87 research outputs found

    Molecular characterization and function analysis of the vitellogenin receptor from the cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner) (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae)

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    Developing oocytes accumulate plentiful yolk protein during oogenesis through receptor-mediated endocytosis. The vitellogenin receptor (VgR), belonging to the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) family, regulates the absorption of yolk protein. In this work, the full-length vitellogenin receptor (HaVgR) in the cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera was identified, encoding a 1817 residue protein. Sequence alignment revealed that the sequence of HaVgR contained all of the conservative structural motifs of LDLR family members, and phylogenetic analysis indicated that HaVgR had a high identity among Lepidoptera and was distinct from that of other insects. Consistent with other insects, HaVgR was specifically expressed in ovarian tissue. The developmental expression pattern showed that HaVgR was first transcribed in the newly metamorphosed female adults, reached a peak in 2-day-old adults and then declined. Western blot analysis also revealed an ovarian-specific and developing expression pattern, which was consistent with the HaVgR mRNA transcription. Moreover, RNAi-mediated HaVgR knockdown strongly reduced the VgR expression in both the mRNA and protein levels, which inhibited the yolk protein deposition in the ovaries, led to the dramatic accumulation of vitellogenin and the up-regulation of HaVg expression in hemolymph, and eventually resulted in a declined fecundity. Together, all of these findings demonstrate that HaVgR is a specific receptor in uptake and transportation of yolk protein for the maturation of oocytes and that it plays a critical role in female reproduction

    A cryptic promoter in potato virus X vector interrupted plasmid construction

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    BACKGROUND: Potato virus X has been developed into an expression vector for plants. It is widely used to express foreign genes. In molecular manipulation, the foreign genes need to be sub-cloned into the vector. The constructed plasmid needs to be amplified. Usually, during amplification stage, the foreign genes are not expressed. However, if the foreign gene is expressed, the construction work could be interrupted. Two different viral genes were sub-cloned into the vector, but only one foreign gene was successfully sub-cloned. The other foreign gene, canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2) VP1 could not be sub-cloned into the vector and amplified without mutation (frame shift mutation). RESULTS: A cryptic promoter in the PVX vector was discovered with RT-PCR. The promoter activity was studied with Northern blots and Real-time RT-PCR. CONCLUSION: It is important to recognize the homologous promoter sequences in the vector when a virus is developed as an expression vector. During the plasmid amplification stage, an unexpected expression of the CPV-2 VP1 gene (not in the target plants, but in E. coli) can interrupt the downstream work

    Agriculture and Dairy Production Systems in China: An Overview and Case Studies

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    The Chinese dairy industry is growing rapidly. Since 1980, the rate of increase in dairy cattle in China's dairy industry (+210,000 cows per year) is 1.7 times higher than the rate of decline of dairy cattle in the US dairy industry (-124,000 cows per year). If the current trends do not change, there will be as many dairy cows in China as in the US-approximately 7.45 million cows in 2012. This two-part Discussion Paper presents the context in which the Chinese dairy industry is developing (Part I) and a study of the Dairy Farm systems and case studies of five farms in the Province of Yunnan, the city of Beijing and the province of Heilongjiang (Part II).Chinese Dairy Industry, Dairy Cows in China, Development of the Chinese Dairy Industry, Chinese Dairy Farm Case Studies, Consumer/Household Economics, Farm Management, International Development, International Relations/Trade, Productivity Analysis,

    A cytomegalovirus peptide-specific antibody alters natural killer cell homeostasis and ss shared in several autoimmune diseases

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    Human cytomegalovirus (hCMV), a ubiquitous beta-herpesvirus, has been associated with several autoimmune diseases. However, the direct role of hCMV in inducing autoimmune disorders remains unclear. Here we report the identification of an autoantibody that recognizes a group of peptides with a conserved motif matching the Pp150 protein of hCMV (anti-Pp150) and is shared among patients with various autoimmune diseases. Anti-Pp150 also recognizes the single-pass membrane protein CIP2A and induces the death of CD56bright NK cells, a natural killer cell subset whose expansion is correlated with autoimmune disease. Consistent with this finding, the percentage of circulating CD56bright NK cells is reduced in patients with several autoimmune diseases and negatively correlates with anti-Pp150 concentration. CD56bright NK cell death occurs via both antibody- and complement-dependent cytotoxicity. Our findings reveal that a shared hCMV-induced autoantibody is involved in the decrease of CD56bright NK cells and may thus contribute to the onset of autoimmune disorders

    Changes in Cortical Thickness in Patients With Early Parkinson’s Disease at Different Hoehn and Yahr Stages

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    Objectives: This study was designed to explore changes in cortical thickness in patients with early Parkinson’s disease (PD) at different Hoehn and Yahr (H-Y) stages and to demonstrate the association of abnormally altered brain regions with part III of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS-III).Materials and Methods: Sixty early PD patients and 29 age- and gender-matched healthy controls (HCs) were enrolled in this study. All PD patients underwent comprehensive clinical and neuropsychological evaluations and 3.0 T magnetic resonance scanning. Patients with H-Y stage ≤1.5 were included in the mild group, and all other patients were included in the moderate group. FreeSurfer software was used to calculate cortical thickness. We assessed the relationship between UPDRS-III and regional changes in cortical thinning, including the bilateral fusiform and the temporal lobe.Results: The average cortical thickness of the temporal pole, fusiform gyrus, insula of the left hemisphere and fusiform gyrus, isthmus cingulate cortex, inferior temporal gyrus, middle temporal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex of the right hemisphere exhibited significant decreasing trends in HCs group and PD groups (i.e., the mild group and moderate group). After controlling for the effects of age, gender, and disease duration, the UPDRS-III scores in patients with early PD were correlated with the cortical thickness of the left and right fusiform gyrus and the left temporal pole (p < 0.05).Conclusion: The average cortical thickness of specific brain regions reduced with increasing disease severity in early PD patients at different H-Y stages, and the UPDRS-III scores of early PD patients were correlated with cortical thickness of the bilateral fusiform gyrus and the left temporal pole
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