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Global outbreaks caused by emerging or re-emerging arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) are becoming increasingly more common. These pathogens include the mosquito-borne viruses belonging to the and genera. These viruses often cause non-specific or asymptomatic infection, which can confound viral prevalence studies. In addition, many acute phase diagnostic tests rely on the detection of viral components such as RNA or antigen. Standard serological tests are often not reliable for diagnosis after seroconversion and convalescence due to cross-reactivity among flaviviruses. In order to contribute to development efforts for mosquito-borne serodiagnostics, we incubated 137 human sera on individual custom peptide arrays that consisted of over 866 unique peptides in quadruplicate. Our bioinformatics workflow to analyze these data incorporated machine learning, statistics, and B-cell epitope prediction. Here we report the results of our peptide array data analysis, which revealed sets of peptides that have diagnostic potential for detecting past exposure to a subset of the tested human pathogens including Zika virus. These peptides were then confirmed using the well-established ELISA method. These array data, and the resulting peptides can be useful in diverse efforts including the development of new pan-flavivirus antibodies, more accurate epitope mapping, and vaccine development against these viral pathogens.
Copyright: © 2020 Martinez Viedma MdP et al.
Calcium-mediated signaling through inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptors (IPRs) is essential for the regulation of numerous physiological processes, including fertilization, muscle contraction, apoptosis, secretion, and synaptic plasticity. Deregulation of IPRs leads to pathological calcium signaling and is implicated in many common diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative, autoimmune, and metabolic diseases. Revealing the mechanism of activation and inhibition of this ion channel will be critical to an improved understanding of the biological processes that are controlled by IPRs. Here, we report structural findings of the human type-3 IPR (IPR-3) obtained by cryo-EM (at an overall resolution of 3.8 Å), revealing an unanticipated regulatory mechanism where a loop distantly located in the primary sequence occupies the IP-binding site and competitively inhibits IP binding. We propose that this inhibitory mechanism must differ qualitatively among IPR subtypes because of their diverse loop sequences, potentially serving as a key molecular determinant of subtype-specific calcium signaling in IPRs. In summary, our structural characterization of human IPR-3 provides critical insights into the mechanistic function of IPRs and into subtype-specific regulation of these important calcium-regulatory channels.
© 2020 Azumaya et al.
WD repeat domain 5 (WDR5) is a member of the WD40-repeat protein family that plays a critical role in multiple chromatin-centric processes. Overexpression of WDR5 correlates with a poor clinical outcome in many human cancers, and WDR5 itself has emerged as an attractive target for therapy. Most drug-discovery efforts center on the WIN site of WDR5 that is responsible for the recruitment of WDR5 to chromatin. Here, we describe discovery of a novel WDR5 WIN site antagonists containing a dihydroisoquinolinone bicyclic core using a structure-based design. These compounds exhibit picomolar binding affinity and selective concentration-dependent antiproliferative activities in sensitive MLL-fusion cell lines. Furthermore, these WDR5 WIN site binders inhibit proliferation in MYC-driven cancer cells and reduce MYC recruitment to chromatin at MYC/WDR5 co-bound genes. Thus, these molecules are useful probes to study the implication of WDR5 inhibition in cancers and serve as a potential starting point toward the discovery of anti-WDR5 therapeutics.
Peptides and biologics provide unique opportunities to modulate intracellular targets not druggable by conventional small molecules. Most peptides and biologics are fused with cationic uptake moieties or formulated into nanoparticles to facilitate delivery, but these systems typically lack potency due to low uptake and/or entrapment and degradation in endolysosomal compartments. Because most delivery reagents comprise cationic lipids or polymers, there is a lack of reagents specifically optimized to deliver cationic cargo. Herein, we demonstrate the utility of the cytocompatible polymer poly(propylacrylic acid) (PPAA) to potentiate intracellular delivery of cationic biomacromolecules and nano-formulations. This approach demonstrates superior efficacy over all marketed peptide delivery reagents and enhances delivery of nucleic acids and gene editing ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) formulated with both commercially-available and our own custom-synthesized cationic polymer delivery reagents. These results demonstrate the broad potential of PPAA to serve as a platform reagent for the intracellular delivery of cationic cargo.
Intestinal inflammation is a risk factor for colorectal cancer formation, but the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we investigated whether colitis alters the colonic microbiota to enhance its cancer-inducing activity. Colitis increased epithelial oxygenation in the colon of mice and drove an expansion of within the gut-associated microbial community through aerobic respiration. An aerobic expansion of colibactin-producing was required for the cancer-inducing activity of this pathobiont in a mouse model of colitis-associated colorectal cancer formation. We conclude that increased epithelial oxygenation in the colon is associated with an expansion of a prooncogenic driver species, thereby increasing the cancer-inducing activity of the microbiota. One of the environmental factors important for colorectal cancer formation is the gut microbiota, but the habitat filters that control its cancer-inducing activity remain unknown. Here, we show that chemically induced colitis elevates epithelial oxygenation in the colon, thereby driving an expansion of colibactin-producing , a prooncogenic driver species. These data suggest that elevated epithelial oxygenation is a potential risk factor for colorectal cancer formation because the consequent changes in the gut habitat escalate the cancer-inducing activity of the microbiota.
Copyright © 2019 Cevallos et al.
BACKGROUND - Only a handful of genetic discovery efforts in apparent treatment-resistant hypertension (aTRH) have been described.
METHODS - We conducted a case-control genome-wide association study of aTRH among persons treated for hypertension, using data from 10 cohorts of European ancestry (EA) and 5 cohorts of African ancestry (AA). Cases were treated with 3 different antihypertensive medication classes and had blood pressure (BP) above goal (systolic BP ≥ 140 mm Hg and/or diastolic BP ≥ 90 mm Hg) or 4 or more medication classes regardless of BP control (nEA = 931, nAA = 228). Both a normotensive control group and a treatment-responsive control group were considered in separate analyses. Normotensive controls were untreated (nEA = 14,210, nAA = 2,480) and had systolic BP/diastolic BP < 140/90 mm Hg. Treatment-responsive controls (nEA = 5,266, nAA = 1,817) had BP at goal (<140/90 mm Hg), while treated with one antihypertensive medication class. Individual cohorts used logistic regression with adjustment for age, sex, study site, and principal components for ancestry to examine the association of single-nucleotide polymorphisms with case-control status. Inverse variance-weighted fixed-effects meta-analyses were carried out using METAL.
RESULTS - The known hypertension locus, CASZ1, was a top finding among EAs (P = 1.1 × 10-8) and in the race-combined analysis (P = 1.5 × 10-9) using the normotensive control group (rs12046278, odds ratio = 0.71 (95% confidence interval: 0.6-0.8)). Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in this locus were robustly replicated in the Million Veterans Program (MVP) study in consideration of a treatment-responsive control group. There were no statistically significant findings for the discovery analyses including treatment-responsive controls.
CONCLUSION - This genomic discovery effort for aTRH identified CASZ1 as an aTRH risk locus.
© American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd 2019. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Autopsy measures of Alzheimer's disease neuropathology have been leveraged as endophenotypes in previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, despite evidence of sex differences in Alzheimer's disease risk, sex-stratified models have not been incorporated into previous GWAS analyses. We looked for sex-specific genetic associations with Alzheimer's disease endophenotypes from six brain bank data repositories. The pooled dataset included 2701 males and 3275 females, the majority of whom were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at autopsy (70%). Sex-stratified GWAS were performed within each dataset and then meta-analysed. Loci that reached genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10-8) in stratified models were further assessed for sex interactions. Additional analyses were performed in independent datasets leveraging cognitive, neuroimaging and CSF endophenotypes, along with age-at-onset data. Outside of the APOE region, one locus on chromosome 7 (rs34331204) showed a sex-specific association with neurofibrillary tangles among males (P = 2.5 × 10-8) but not females (P = 0.85, sex-interaction P = 2.9 × 10-4). In follow-up analyses, rs34331204 was also associated with hippocampal volume, executive function, and age-at-onset only among males. These results implicate a novel locus that confers male-specific protection from tau pathology and highlight the value of assessing genetic associations in a sex-specific manner.
© The Author(s) (2019). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Resuscitation with 0.9% Normal Saline (NS), a non-buffered acidic solution, leads to increased morbidity and mortality in the critically ill. The goal of this study was to determine the molecular mechanisms of endothelial injury after exposure to NS. The hypothesis of this investigation is that exposure of endothelium to NS would lead to loss of cell membrane integrity, resulting in release of ATP, activation of the purinergic receptor (P2X7R), and subsequent activation of stress activated signaling pathways and inflammation. Human saphenous vein endothelial cells (HSVEC) incubated in NS, but not buffered electrolyte solution (Plasma-Lyte, PL), exhibited abnormal morphology and increased release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and decreased transendothelial resistance (TEER), suggesting loss of membrane integrity. Incubation of intact rat aorta (RA) or human saphenous vein in NS but not PL led to impaired endothelial-dependent relaxation which was ameliorated by apyrase (hydrolyzes ATP) or SB203580 (p38 MAPK inhibitor). Exposure of HSVEC to NS but not PL led to activation of p38 MAPK and its downstream substrate, MAPKAP kinase 2 (MK2). Treatment of HSVEC with exogenous ATP led to interleukin 1β (IL-1β) release and increased vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM) expression. Treatment of RA with IL-1β led to impaired endothelial relaxation. IL-1β treatment of HSVEC led to increases in p38 MAPK and MK2 phosphorylation, and increased levels of arginase II. Incubation of porcine saphenous vein (PSV) in PL with pH adjusted to 6.0 or less also led to impaired endothelial function, suggesting that the acidic nature of NS is what contributes to endothelial dysfunction. Volume overload resuscitation in a porcine model after hemorrhage with NS, but not PL, led to acidosis and impaired endothelial function. These data suggest that endothelial dysfunction caused by exposure to acidic, non-buffered NS is associated with loss of membrane integrity, release of ATP, and is modulated by P2X7R-mediated inflammatory responses.
Germline mutations in SAMD9 and SAMD9L genes cause MIRAGE (myelodysplasia, infection, restriction of growth, adrenal hypoplasia, genital phenotypes, and enteropathy) (OMIM: *610456) and ataxia-pancytopenia (OMIM: *611170) syndromes, respectively, and are associated with chromosome 7 deletions, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and bone marrow failure. In this retrospective series, we report outcomes of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) in patients with hematologic disorders associated with SAMD9/SAMD9L mutations. Twelve patients underwent allogeneic HCT for MDS (n = 10), congenital amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia (n = 1), and dyskeratosis congenita (n = 1). Exome sequencing revealed heterozygous mutations in SAMD9 (n = 6) or SAMD9L (n = 6) genes. Four SAMD9 patients had features of MIRAGE syndrome. Median age at HCT was 2.8 years (range, 1.2 to 12.8 years). Conditioning was myeloablative in 9 cases and reduced intensity in 3 cases. Syndrome-related comorbidities (diarrhea, infections, adrenal insufficiency, malnutrition, and electrolyte imbalance) were present in MIRAGE syndrome cases. One patient with a familial SAMD9L mutation, MDS, and morbid obesity failed to engraft and died of refractory acute myeloid leukemia. The other 11 patients achieved neutrophil engraftment. Acute post-transplant course was complicated by syndrome-related comorbidities in MIRAGE cases. A patient with SAMD9L-associated MDS died of diffuse alveolar hemorrhage. The other 10 patients had resolution of hematologic disorder and sustained peripheral blood donor chimerism. Ten of 12 patients were alive with a median follow-up of 3.1 years (range, 0.1 to 14.7 years). More data are needed to refine transplant approaches in SAMD9/SAMD9L patients with significant comorbidities and to develop guidelines for their long-term follow-up.
Copyright © 2019 American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
With age, long-lived proteins in the human body deteriorate, which can have consequences both for aging and disease. The aging process is often associated with the formation of covalently crosslinked proteins. Currently our knowledge of the mechanism of formation of these crosslinks is limited. In this study, proteomics was used to characterize sites of covalent protein-protein crosslinking and identify a novel mechanism of protein-protein crosslinking in the adult human lens. In this mechanism, Lys residues are crosslinked to C-terminal Asp residues that are formed by non-enzymatic protein truncation. Ten different crosslinks were identified in major lens proteins such as αA-crystallin, αB-crystallin and AQP0. Crosslinking in AQP0 increased significantly with age and also increased significantly in cataract lenses compared with normal lenses. Using model peptides, a mechanism of formation of the Lys-Asp crosslink was elucidated. The mechanism involves spontaneous peptide cleavage on the C-terminal side of Asp residues which can take place in the pH range 5-7.4. Cleavage appears to involve attack by the side chain carboxyl group on the adjacent peptide bond, resulting in the formation of a C-terminal Asp anhydride. This anhydride intermediate can then either react with water to form Asp, or with a nucleophile, such as a free amine group to form a crosslink. If an ε-amino group of Lys or an N-terminal amine group attacks the anhydride, a covalent protein-protein crosslink will be formed. This bi-phasic mechanism represents the first report to link two spontaneous events: protein cleavage and crosslinking that are characteristic of long-lived proteins.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.