Int. J. Mol. Sci.2016, 17(8), 1196; doi:10.3390/ijms17081196 (registering DOI) - published 23 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Elevated homocysteine (Hcy) levels have been reported to be involved in neurotoxicity after ischemic stroke. However, the underlying mechanisms remain incompletely understood to date. In the current study, we hypothesized that neuronal autophagy activation may be involved in the toxic effect of Hcy on cortical neurons following cerebral ischemia. Brain cell injury was determined by hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining and TdT-mediated dUTP Nick-End Labeling (TUNEL) staining. The level and localization of autophagy were detected by transmission electron microscopy, western blot and immunofluorescence double labeling. The oxidative DNA damage was revealed by immunofluorescence of 8-Hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG). Hcy treatment aggravated neuronal cell death, significantly increased the formation of autophagosomes and the expression of LC3B and Beclin-1 in the brain cortex after middle cerebral artery occlusion-reperfusion (MCAO). Immunofluorescence analysis of LC3B and Beclin-1 distribution indicated that their expression occurred mainly in neurons (NeuN-positive) and hardly in astrocytes (GFAP-positive). 8-OHdG expression was also increased in the ischemic cortex of Hcy-treated animals. Conversely, LC3B and Beclin-1 overexpression and autophagosome accumulation caused by Hcy were partially blocked by the autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA). Hcy administration enhanced neuronal autophagy, which contributes to cell death following cerebral ischemia. The oxidative damage-mediated autophagy may be a molecular mechanism underlying neuronal cell toxicity of elevated Hcy level.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2016, 17(8), 1194; doi:10.3390/ijms17081194 (registering DOI) - published 23 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Our previous work demonstrated the epithelial-mesenchymal transition factor, Snail, is a potential marker for predicting the recurrence of localized prostate cancer (PCa). Akt activation is important for Snail stabilization and transcription in PCa. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively investigate the relationship between the phosphorylated level of Akt (p-Akt) in radical prostatectomy (RP) specimens and cancer biochemical recurrence (BCR). Using a tissue microarray and immunohistochemistry, the expression of p-Akt was measured in benign and neoplastic tissues from RP specimens in 53 patients whose cancer was pathologically defined as T2 without positive margins. Herein, we observed that the p-Akt level was higher in PCa than in benign tissues and was significantly associated with the Snail level. A high p-Akt image score (≥8) was significantly correlated with a higher histological Gleason sum, Snail image score, and preoperative prostate-specific antigen (PSA) value. Moreover, the high p-Akt image score and Gleason score sum (≥7) showed similar discriminatory abilities for BCR according to a receiver-operator characteristic curve analysis and were correlated with worse recurrence-free survival according to a log-rank test (p < 0.05). To further determine whether a high p-Akt image score could predict the risk of BCR, a Cox proportional hazard model showed that only a high p-Akt image score (hazard ratio (HR): 3.12, p = 0.05) and a high Gleason score sum (≥7) (HR: 1.18, p = 0.05) but not a high preoperative PSA value (HR: 0.62, p = 0.57) were significantly associated with a higher risk of developing BCR. Our data indicate that, for localized PCa patients after an RP, p-Akt can serve as a potential prognostic marker that improves predictions of BCR-free survival.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2016, 17(8), 1195; doi:10.3390/ijms17081195 (registering DOI) - published 23 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Detection of IgG anti-Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) in serum of patients with Neuromyelitis optica syndrome disorders (NMOSD) has improved diagnosis of these processes and differentiation from Multiple sclerosis (MS). Recent findings also claim that a subgroup of patients with NMOSD, serum negative for IgG-anti-AQP4, present antibodies anti-AQP1 instead. Explore the presence of IgG-anti-AQP1 using a previously developed cell-based assay (CBA) highly sensitive to IgG-anti-AQP4. Serum of 205 patients diagnosed as NMOSD (8), multiple sclerosis (94), optic neuritis (39), idiopathic myelitis (29), other idiopathic demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system (9), other neurological diseases (18) and healthy controls (8), were used in a CBA over fixed HEK cells transfected with hAQP1-EGFP or hM23-AQP4-EGFP, treated with Triton X-100 and untreated. ELISA was also performed. Analysis of serum with our CBA indicated absence of anti-AQP1 antibodies, whereas in cells pretreated with detergent, noisy signal made reliable detection impossible. ELISA showed positive results in few serums. The low number of NMOSD serums included in our study reduces its power to conclude the specificity of AQP1 antibodies as new biomarkers of NMOSD. Our study does not sustain detection of anti-AQP1 in serum of NMOSD patients but further experiments are expected.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2016, 17(7), 1101; doi:10.3390/ijms17071101 (registering DOI) - published 22 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Aquaporins (AQPs) are membrane proteins involved in the regulation of cellular transport and the balance of water and glycerol and cell volume in the white adipose tissue (WAT). In our previous study, we found the co-expression of the AQP1 water channel and AQP7 in the mouse WAT. In our present study, we aimed to find out whether prolonged starvation influences the AQP1 expression of AQP7 knock-out mice (AQP7 KO) in the WAT. To resolve this hypothesis, immunoperoxidase, immunoblot and immunogold microscopy were used. AQP1 expression was found with the use of immunohistochemistry and was confirmed by immunogold microscopy in the vessels of mouse WAT of all studied groups. Semi-quantitative immunoblot and quantitative immunogold microscopy showed a significant increase (by 2.5- to 3-fold) in the abundance of AQP1 protein expression in WAT in the 72 h starved AQP7 KO mice as compared to AQP7+/+ (p < 0.05) and AQP7−/− (p < 0.01) controls, respectively. In conclusion, the AQP1 water channel located in the vessels of WAT is up-regulated in response to prolonged starvation in the WAT of AQP7 KO mice. The present data suggest that an interaction of different AQP isoforms is required for maintaining proper water homeostasis within the mice WAT.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2016, 17(7), 1110; doi:10.3390/ijms17071110 (registering DOI) - published 22 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Background: The grasshopper Shirakiacris shirakii is an important agricultural pest and feeds mainly on gramineous plants, thereby causing economic damage to a wide range of crops. However, genomic information on this species is extremely limited thus far, and transcriptome data relevant to insecticide resistance and pest control are also not available. Methods: The transcriptome of S. shirakii was sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq platform, and we de novo assembled the transcriptome. Results: Its sequencing produced a total of 105,408,878 clean reads, and the de novo assembly revealed 74,657 unigenes with an average length of 680 bp and N50 of 1057 bp. A total of 28,173 unigenes were annotated for the NCBI non-redundant protein sequences (Nr), NCBI non-redundant nucleotide sequences (Nt), a manually-annotated and reviewed protein sequence database (Swiss-Prot), Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) databases. Based on the Nr annotation results, we manually identified 79 unigenes encoding cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s), 36 unigenes encoding carboxylesterases (CarEs) and 36 unigenes encoding glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) in S. shirakii. Core RNAi components relevant to miroRNA, siRNA and piRNA pathways, including Pasha, Loquacious, Argonaute-1, Argonaute-2, Argonaute-3, Zucchini, Aubergine, enhanced RNAi-1 and Piwi, were expressed in S. shirakii. We also identified five unigenes that were homologous to the Sid-1 gene. In addition, the analysis of differential gene expressions revealed that a total of 19,764 unigenes were up-regulated and 4185 unigenes were down-regulated in larvae. In total, we predicted 7504 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) from 74,657 unigenes. Conclusions: The comprehensive de novo transcriptomic data of S. shirakii will offer a series of valuable molecular resources for better studying insecticide resistance, RNAi and molecular marker discovery in the transcriptome.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2016, 17(7), 1173; doi:10.3390/ijms17071173 (registering DOI) - published 22 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Mutations in the genes low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor-related protein-6 (LRP6) and myocyte enhancer factor 2A (MEF2A) were reported in families with coronary artery disease (CAD). We intend to determine the mutational spectrum of these genes among hyperlipidemic and normolipidemic CAD families. Forty probands with early-onset CAD were recruited from 19 hyperlipidemic and 21 normolipidemic Chinese families. We sequenced all exons and intron-exon boundaries of LRP6 and MEF2A, and found a novel heterozygous variant in LRP6 from a proband with normolipidemic CAD. This variant led to a substitution of histidine to tyrosine (Y418H) in an evolutionarily conserved domain YWTD in exon 6 and was not found in 1025 unrelated healthy individuals. Co-segregated with CAD in the affected family, LRP6Y418H significantly debilitated the Wnt3a-associated signaling pathway, suppressed endothelial cell proliferation and migration, and decreased anti-apoptotic ability. However, it exhibited no influences on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol uptake. Thus, mutation Y418H in LRP6 likely contributes to normolipidemic familial CAD via impairing endothelial cell functions and weakening the Wnt3a signaling pathway.