495 research outputs found

    Cholesterol Promotes Hemifusion and Pore Widening in Membrane Fusion Induced by Influenza Hemagglutinin

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    Cholesterol-specific interactions that affect membrane fusion were tested for using insect cells; cells that have naturally low cholesterol levels (<4 mol %). Sf9 cells were engineered (HAS cells) to express the hemagglutinin (HA) of the influenza virus X-31 strain. Enrichment of HAS cells with cholesterol reduced the delay between triggering and lipid dye transfer between HAS cells and human red blood cells (RBC), indicating that cholesterol facilitates membrane lipid mixing prior to fusion pore opening. Increased cholesterol also increased aqueous content transfer between HAS cells and RBC over a broad range of HA expression levels, suggesting that cholesterol also favors fusion pore expansion. This interpretation was tested using both trans-cell dye diffusion and fusion pore conductivity measurements in cholesterol-enriched cells. The results of this study support the hypothesis that host cell cholesterol acts at two stages in membrane fusion: (1) early, prior to fusion pore opening, and (2) late, during fusion pore expansion

    Isolation and ultrastructural characterization of squid synaptic vesicles

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    Author Posting. © Marine Biological Laboratory, 2011. This article is posted here by permission of Marine Biological Laboratory for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Biological Bulletin 220 (2011): 89-96.Synaptic vesicles contain a variety of proteins and lipids that mediate fusion with the pre-synaptic membrane. Although the structures of many synaptic vesicle proteins are known, an overall picture of how they are organized at the vesicle surface is lacking. In this paper, we describe a better method for the isolation of squid synaptic vesicles and characterize the results. For highly pure and intact synaptic vesicles from squid optic lobe, glycerol density gradient centrifugation was the key step. Different electron microscopic methods show that vesicle membrane surfaces are largely covered with structures corresponding to surface proteins. Each vesicle contains several stalked globular structures that extend from the vesicle surface and are consistent with the V-ATPase. BLAST search of a library of squid expressed sequence tags identifies 10 V-ATPase subunits, which are expressed in the squid stellate ganglia. Negative-stain tomography demonstrates directly that vesicles flatten during the drying step of negative staining, and furthermore shows details of individual vesicles and other proteins at the vesicle surface.JAD is supported by the RI-INBRE program award # P20RR016457-10 from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), NIH

    Out of hours care: a profile analysis of patients attending the emergency department and the general practitioner on call

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Overuse of emergency departments (ED) is of concern in Western society and it is often referred to as 'inappropriate' use. This phenomenon may compromise efficient use of health care personnel, infrastructure and financial resources of the ED. To redirect patients, an extensive knowledge of the experiences and attitudes of patients and their choice behaviour is necessary. The aim of this study is to quantify the patients and socio-economical determinants for choosing the general practitioner (GP) on call or the ED.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Data collection was conducted simultaneously in 4 large cities in Belgium. All patients who visited EDs or used the services of the GP on call during two weekends in January 2005 were enrolled in the study in a prospective manner. We used semi-structured questionnaires to interview patients from both services.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>1611 patient contacts were suitable for further analysis. 640 patients visited the GP and 971 went to the ED. Determinants that associated with the choice of the ED are: being male, having visited the ED during the past 12 months at least once, speaking another language than Dutch or French, being of African (sub-Saharan as well as North African) nationality and no medical insurance. We also found that young men are more likely to seek help at the ED for minor trauma, compared to women.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Patients tend to seek help at the service they are acquainted with. Two populations that distinctively seek help at the ED for minor medical problems are people of foreign origin and men suffering minor trauma. Aiming at a redirection of patients, special attention should go to these patients. Informing them about the health services' specific tasks and the needlessness of technical examinations for minor trauma, might be a useful intervention.</p

    Adjuvant Pembrolizumab versus Placebo in Resected Stage III Melanoma

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    BACKGROUND The programmed death 1 (PD-1) inhibitor pembrolizumab has been found to prolong progression-free and overall survival among patients with advanced melanoma. We conducted a phase 3 double-blind trial to evaluate pembrolizumab as adjuvant therapy in patients with resected, high-risk stage III melanoma. METHODS Patients with completely resected stage III melanoma were randomly assigned (with stratification according to cancer stage and geographic region) to receive 200 mg of pembrolizumab (514 patients) or placebo (505 patients) intravenously every 3 weeks for a total of 18 doses (approximately 1 year) or until disease recurrence or unacceptable toxic effects occurred. Recurrence-free survival in the overall intention-to-treat population and in the subgroup of patients with cancer that was positive for the PD-1 ligand (PD-L1) were the primary end points. Safety was also evaluated. RESULTS At a median follow-up of 15 months, pembrolizumab was associated with significantly longer recurrence-free survival than placebo in the overall intention-to-treat population (1-year rate of recurrence-free survival, 75.4% [95% confidence interval {CI}, 71.3 to 78.9] vs. 61.0% [95% CI, 56.5 to 65.1]; hazard ratio for recurrence or death, 0.57; 98.4% CI, 0.43 to 0.74; P<0.001) and in the subgroup of 853 patients with PD-L1-positive tumors (1-year rate of recurrence-free survival, 77.1% [95% CI, 72.7 to 80.9] in the pembrolizumab group and 62.6% [95% CI, 57.7 to 67.0] in the placebo group; hazard ratio, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.42 to 0.69; P<0.001). Adverse events of grades 3 to 5 that were related to the trial regimen were reported in 14.7% of the patients in the pembrolizumab group and in 3.4% of patients in the placebo group. There was one treatment-related death due to myositis in the pembrolizumab group. CONCLUSIONS As adjuvant therapy for high-risk stage III melanoma, 200 mg of pembrolizumab administered every 3 weeks for up to 1 year resulted in significantly longer recurrencefree survival than placebo, with no new toxic effects identified.
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