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Background Left ventricular ( LV ) diastolic dysfunction often precedes heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, the dominant form of heart failure in postmenopausal women. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of oral estradiol treatment initiated early after ovariectomy on LV function and myocardial gene expression in female cynomolgus macaques. Methods and Results Monkeys were ovariectomized and randomized to receive placebo (control) or oral estradiol at a human-equivalent dose of 1 mg/day for 8 months. Monkeys then underwent conventional and tissue Doppler imaging to assess cardiac function, followed by transcriptomic and histomorphometric analyses of LV myocardium. Age, body weight, blood pressure, and heart rate were similar between groups. Echocardiographic mitral early and late inflow velocities, mitral annular velocities, and mitral E deceleration slope were higher in estradiol monkeys (all P<0.05), despite similar estimated LV filling pressure. MCP1 (monocyte chemoattractant protein 1) and LV collagen staining were lower in estradiol animals ( P<0.05). Microarray analysis revealed differential myocardial expression of 40 genes (>1.2-fold change; false discovery rate, P<0.05) in estradiol animals relative to controls, which implicated pathways associated with better calcium ion homeostasis and muscle contraction and lower extracellular matrix deposition ( P<0.05). Conclusions Estradiol treatment initiated soon after ovariectomy resulted in enhanced LV diastolic function, and altered myocardial gene expression towards decreased extracellular matrix deposition, improved myocardial contraction, and calcium homeostasis, suggesting that estradiol directly or indirectly modulates the myocardial transcriptome to preserve cardiovascular function.
BACKGROUND - Obesity is highly prevalent among blacks and is associated with a greater risk of heart failure (HF). However, the contribution of regional adiposity depots such as visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue toward risk of HF in blacks is unknown.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We included 2602 participants (mean age: 59 years, 35% men) from the Jackson Heart Study without prevalent HF who underwent computed tomography quantification of VAT and subcutaneous adipose tissue during the second visit (2005-2009). The associations between different adiposity measures and HF were evaluated using adjusted Cox models. There were 122 incident HF events over a median follow-up of 7.1 years. Higher amounts of VAT were associated with greater risk of HF in age- and sex-adjusted analyses (hazard ratio [95% CI] per 1-SD higher VAT: 1.29 [1.09-1.52]). This association was attenuated and not significant after additional adjustment for traditional HF risk factors and body mass index. Overall obesity, represented by body mass index, was associated with higher risk of HF independent of risk factors and VAT (hazard ratio [95% CI] per 1-kg/m higher body mass index: 1.06 [1.02-1.11]). Subcutaneous adipose tissue was not associated with risk of HF in adjusted analyses.
CONCLUSIONS - In a community-dwelling black population, higher amounts of overall and visceral adiposity are associated with higher risk of HF. The association between VAT and HF risk in blacks may reflect differences in traditional HF risk factor burden. Future studies are needed to confirm this observation and clarify the independent role of different measures of adiposity on HF outcomes.
The regulatory subunit of human DNA primase has a C-terminal domain (p58C) that contains a [4Fe4S] cluster and binds DNA. Previous electrochemical analysis of a p58C construct revealed that its affinity for DNA is sensitive to the redox state of the [4Fe4S] cluster. Concerns about the validity of this conclusion have been raised, based in part on differences in X-ray crystal structures of the p58C272-464 construct used for that study and that of a N-terminally shifted p58C266-456 construct and consequently, an assumption that p58C272-464 has abnormal physical and functional properties. To address this controversy, a new p58C266-464 construct containing all residues was crystallized under the conditions previously used for crystallizing p58C272-464, and the solution structures of both constructs were assessed using circular dichroism and NMR spectroscopy. In the new crystal structure, p58C266-464 exhibits the same elements of secondary structure near the DNA binding site as observed in the crystal structure of p58C272-464. Moreover, in solution, circular dichroism and 15N,1H-heteronuclear single quantum coherence (HSQC) NMR spectra show there are no significant differences in the distribution of secondary structures or in the tertiary structure or the two constructs. To validate that the two constructs have the same functional properties, binding of a primed DNA template was measured using a fluorescence-based DNA binding assay, and the affinities for this substrate were the same (3.4 ± 0.5 μM and 2.7 ± 0.3 μM, respectively). The electrochemical properties of p58C266-464 were also measured and this p58C construct was able to engage in redox switching on DNA with the same efficiency as p58C272-464. Together, these results show that although p58C can be stabilized in different conformations in the crystalline state, in solution there is effectively no difference in the structure and functional properties of p58C constructs of different lengths.
Abasic sites are one of the most common DNA lesions. All known abasic site repair mechanisms operate only when the damage is in double-stranded DNA. Here, we report the discovery of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) binding, ESC-specific (HMCES) as a sensor of abasic sites in single-stranded DNA. HMCES acts at replication forks, binds PCNA and single-stranded DNA, and generates a DNA-protein crosslink to shield abasic sites from error-prone processing. This unusual HMCES DNA-protein crosslink intermediate is resolved by proteasome-mediated degradation. Acting as a suicide enzyme, HMCES prevents translesion DNA synthesis and the action of endonucleases that would otherwise generate mutations and double-strand breaks. HMCES is evolutionarily conserved in all domains of life, and its biochemical properties are shared with its E. coli ortholog. Thus, HMCES is an ancient DNA lesion recognition protein that preserves genome integrity by promoting error-free repair of abasic sites in single-stranded DNA.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - The effects of tobacco smoking on epigenome-wide methylation signatures in white blood cells (WBCs) collected from persons living with HIV may have important implications for their immune-related outcomes, including frailty and mortality. The application of a machine learning approach to the analysis of CpG methylation in the epigenome enables the selection of phenotypically relevant features from high-dimensional data. Using this approach, we now report that a set of smoking-associated DNA-methylated CpGs predicts HIV prognosis and mortality in an HIV-positive veteran population.
RESULTS - We first identified 137 epigenome-wide significant CpGs for smoking in WBCs from 1137 HIV-positive individuals (p < 1.70E-07). To examine whether smoking-associated CpGs were predictive of HIV frailty and mortality, we applied ensemble-based machine learning to build a model in a training sample employing 408,583 CpGs. A set of 698 CpGs was selected and predictive of high HIV frailty in a testing sample [(area under curve (AUC) = 0.73, 95%CI 0.63~0.83)] and was replicated in an independent sample [(AUC = 0.78, 95%CI 0.73~0.83)]. We further found an association of a DNA methylation index constructed from the 698 CpGs that were associated with a 5-year survival rate [HR = 1.46; 95%CI 1.06~2.02, p = 0.02]. Interestingly, the 698 CpGs located on 445 genes were enriched on the integrin signaling pathway (p = 9.55E-05, false discovery rate = 0.036), which is responsible for the regulation of the cell cycle, differentiation, and adhesion.
CONCLUSION - We demonstrated that smoking-associated DNA methylation features in white blood cells predict HIV infection-related clinical outcomes in a population living with HIV.
There is growing concern that the physician-scientist is endangered due to a leaky training pipeline and prolonged time to scientific independence (1). The NIH Physician-Scientist Workforce Working Group has concluded that as many as 1,000 individuals will need to enter the pipeline each year to sustain the workforce (2). Moreover, surveys of postgraduate training programs document considerable variability in disposition and infrastructure (3). Programs can be broadly grouped into two classes: physician-scientist training programs (PSTPs) that span residency and fellowship training, and research-in-residency programs (RiRs), which are limited to residency but trainees are able to match into PSTPs upon transitioning to fellowship (Figure 1). Funding sources for RiRs and PSTPs are varied and include NIH KL2 and T32 awards, charitable foundations, philanthropy, and institutional support. Furthermore, standards for research training and tools for evaluating programmatic success are lacking. Here, we share consensus generated from iterative workshops hosted by the Alliance of Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) and the student-led American Physician Scientists Association (APSA).
Using an integrated approach to characterize the pancreatic tissue and isolated islets from a 33-year-old with 17 years of type 1 diabetes (T1D), we found that donor islets contained β cells without insulitis and lacked glucose-stimulated insulin secretion despite a normal insulin response to cAMP-evoked stimulation. With these unexpected findings for T1D, we sequenced the donor DNA and found a pathogenic heterozygous variant in the gene encoding hepatocyte nuclear factor-1α (HNF1A). In one of the first studies of human pancreatic islets with a disease-causing HNF1A variant associated with the most common form of monogenic diabetes, we found that HNF1A dysfunction leads to insulin-insufficient diabetes reminiscent of T1D by impacting the regulatory processes critical for glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and suggest a rationale for a therapeutic alternative to current treatment.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - Bile diversion to the ileum (GB-IL) has strikingly similar metabolic and satiating effects to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) in rodent obesity models. The metabolic benefits of these procedures are thought to be mediated by increased bile acids, although parallel changes in body weight and other confounding variables limit this interpretation.
METHODS - Global G protein-coupled bile acid receptor-1 null (Tgr5) and intestinal-specific farnesoid X receptor null (Fxr) mice on high-fat diet as well as wild-type C57BL/6 and glucagon-like polypeptide 1 receptor deficient (Glp-1r) mice on chow diet were characterized following GB-IL.
RESULTS - GB-IL induced weight loss and improved oral glucose tolerance in Tgr5, but not Fxr mice fed a high-fat diet, suggesting a role for intestinal Fxr. GB-IL in wild-type, chow-fed mice prompted weight-independent improvements in glycemia and glucose tolerance secondary to augmented insulin responsiveness. Improvements were concomitant with increased levels of lymphatic GLP-1 in the fasted state and increased levels of intestinal Akkermansia muciniphila. Improvements in fasting glycemia after GB-IL were mitigated with exendin-9, a GLP-1 receptor antagonist, or cholestyramine, a bile acid sequestrant. The glucoregulatory effects of GB-IL were lost in whole-body Glp-1r mice.
CONCLUSIONS - Bile diversion to the ileum improves glucose homeostasis via an intestinal Fxr-Glp-1 axis. Altered intestinal bile acid availability, independent of weight loss, and intestinal Akkermansia muciniphila appear to mediate the metabolic changes observed after bariatric surgery and might be manipulated for treatment of obesity and diabetes.
Copyright © 2019 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Previous studies in psychosis patients have shown hippocampal volume deficits across anterior and posterior regions or across subfields, but subfield specific changes in volume along the hippocampal long axis have not been examined. Here, we tested the hypothesis that volume changes exist across the hippocampus in chronic psychosis but only the anterior CA region is affected in early psychosis patients. We analyzed structural MRI data from 179 patients with a non-affective psychotic disorder (94 chronic psychosis; 85 early psychosis) and 167 heathy individuals demographically matched to the chronic and early psychosis samples respectively (82 matched to chronic patients; 85 matched to early patients). We measured hippocampal volumes using Freesurfer 6-derived automated segmentation of both anterior and posterior regions and the CA, dentate gyrus, and subiculum subfields. We found a hippocampal volume deficit in both anterior and posterior regions in chronic psychosis, but this deficit was limited to the anterior hippocampus in early psychosis patients. This volume change was more pronounced in the anterior CA subfield of early psychosis patients than in the dentate gyrus or subiculum. Our findings support existing models of psychosis implicating initial CA dysfunction with later progression to other hippocampal regions and suggest that the anterior hippocampus may be an important target for early interventions.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.