158 research outputs found

    BcCluster: a bladder cancer database at the molecular level

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    Background: Bladder Cancer (BC) has two clearly distinct phenotypes. Non-muscle invasive BC has good prognosis and is treated with tumor resection and intravesical therapy whereas muscle invasive BC has poor prognosis and requires usually systemic cisplatin based chemotherapy either prior to or after radical cystectomy. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is not often used for patients undergoing cystectomy. High-throughput analytical omics techniques are now available that allow the identification of individual molecular signatures to characterize the invasive phenotype. However, a large amount of data produced by omics experiments is not easily accessible since it is often scattered over many publications or stored in supplementary files. Objective: To develop a novel open-source database, BcCluster (http://www.bccluster.org/), dedicated to the comprehensive molecular characterization of muscle invasive bladder carcinoma. Materials: A database was created containing all reported molecular features significant in invasive BC. The query interface was developed in Ruby programming language (version 1.9.3) using the web-framework Rails (version 4.1.5) (http://rubyonrails.org/). Results: BcCluster contains the data from 112 published references, providing 1,559 statistically significant features relative to BC invasion. The database also holds 435 protein-protein interaction data and 92 molecular pathways significant in BC invasion. The database can be used to retrieve binding partners and pathways for any protein of interest. We illustrate this possibility using survivin, a known BC biomarker. Conclusions: BcCluster is an online database for retrieving molecular signatures relative to BC invasion. This application offers a comprehensive view of BC invasiveness at the molecular level and allows formulation of research hypotheses relevant to this phenotype

    Urinary CE-MS peptide marker pattern for detection of solid tumors

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    Urinary profiling datasets, previously acquired by capillary electrophoresis coupled to mass-spectrometry were investigated to identify a general urinary marker pattern for detection of solid tumors by targeting common systemic events associated with tumor-related inflammation. A total of 2,055 urinary profiles were analyzed, derived from a) a cancer group of patients (n = 969) with bladder, prostate, and pancreatic cancers, renal cell carcinoma, and cholangiocarcinoma and b) a control group of patients with benign diseases (n = 556), inflammatory diseases (n = 199) and healthy individuals (n = 331). Statistical analysis was conducted in a discovery set of 676 cancer cases and 744 controls. 193 peptides differing at statistically significant levels between cases and controls were selected and combined to a multi-dimensional marker pattern using support vector machine algorithms. Independent validation in a set of 635 patients (293 cancer cases and 342 controls) showed an AUC of 0.82. Inclusion of age as independent variable, significantly increased the AUC value to 0.85. Among the identified peptides were mucins, fibrinogen and collagen fragments. Further studies are planned to assess the pattern value to monitor patients for tumor recurrence. In this proof-of-concept study, a general tumor marker pattern was developed to detect cancer based on shared biomarkers, likely indicative of cancer-related features

    Proteomic-biostatistic integrated approach for finding the underlying molecular determinants of hypertension in human plasma

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    Despite advancements in lowering blood pressure, the best approach to lower it remains controversial because of the lack of information on the molecular basis of hypertension. We, therefore, performed plasma proteomics of plasma from patients with hypertension to identify molecular determinants detectable in these subjects but not in controls and vice versa. Plasma samples from hypertensive subjects (cases; n=118) and controls (n=85) from the InGenious HyperCare cohort were used for this study and performed mass spectrometric analysis. Using biostatistical methods, plasma peptides specific for hypertension were identified, and a model was developed using least absolute shrinkage and selection operator logistic regression. The underlying peptides were identified and sequenced off-line using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization orbitrap mass spectrometry. By comparison of the molecular composition of the plasma samples, 27 molecular determinants were identified differently expressed in cases from controls. Seventy percent of the molecular determinants selected were found to occur less likely in hypertensive patients. In cross-validation, the overall R(2) was 0.434, and the area under the curve was 0.891 with 95% confidence interval 0.8482 to 0.9349, P<0.0001. The mean values of the cross-validated proteomic score of normotensive and hypertensive patients were found to be -2.007±0.3568 and 3.383±0.2643, respectively, P<0.0001. The molecular determinants were successfully identified, and the proteomic model developed shows an excellent discriminatory ability between hypertensives and normotensives. The identified molecular determinants may be the starting point for further studies to clarify the molecular causes of hypertension

    Threonine 150 phosphorylation of keratin 5 is linked to EBS and regulates filament assembly, cell cycle and oxidative stress response

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    A characteristic feature of the skin blistering disease epidermolysis bullosa simplex is keratin filament (KF) network collapse caused by aggregation of the basal epidermal keratin type II (KtyII) K5 and its type I partner keratin 14 (K14). Here, we examine the role of keratin phosphorylation in KF network rearrangement and cellular functions. We detect phosphorylation of the K5 head domain residue T150 in cytoplasmic epidermolysis bullosa simplex granules containing R125C K14 mutants. Expression of phosphomimetic T150D K5 mutants results in impaired KF formation in keratinocytes. The phenotype is enhanced upon combination with other phosphomimetic K5 head domain mutations. Remarkably, introduction of T150D K5 mutants into KtyII-lacking (KtyII–/–) keratinocytes prevents keratin network formation altogether. In contrast, phosphorylation-deficient T150A K5 leads to KFs with reduced branching and turnover. Assembly of T150D K5 is arrested at the heterotetramer stage coinciding with increased heat shock protein association. Finally, reduced cell viability and elevated response to stressors is noted in T150 mutant cells. Taken together, our findings identify T150 K5 phosphorylation as an important determinant of KF network formation and function with a possible role in epidermolysis bullosa simplex pathogenesis

    A Bifunctional Adsorber Particle for the Removal of Hydrophobic Uremic Toxins from Whole Blood of Renal Failure Patients

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    Hydrophobic uremic toxins accumulate in patients with chronic kidney disease, contributing to a highly increased cardiovascular risk. The clearance of these uremic toxins using current hemodialysis techniques is limited due to their hydrophobicity and their high binding affinity to plasma proteins. Adsorber techniques may be an appropriate alternative to increase hydrophobic uremic toxin removal. We developed an extracorporeal, whole-blood bifunctional adsorber particle consisting of a porous, activated charcoal core with a hydrophilic polyvinylpyrrolidone surface coating. The adsorption capacity was quantified using analytical chromatography after perfusion of the particles with an albumin solution or blood, each containing mixtures of hydrophobic uremic toxins. A time-dependent increase in hydrophobic uremic toxin adsorption was depicted and all toxins showed a high binding affinity to the adsorber particles. Further, the particle showed a sufficient hemocompatibility without significant effects on complement component 5a, thrombin-antithrombin III complex, or thrombocyte concentration in blood in vitro, although leukocyte counts were slightly reduced. In conclusion, the bifunctional adsorber particle with cross-linked polyvinylpyrrolidone coating showed a high adsorption capacity without adverse effects on hemocompatibility in vitro. Thus, it may be an interesting candidate for further in vivo studies with the aim to increase the efficiency of conventional dialysis techniques

    Mass-spectrometric identification of a novel angiotensin peptide in human plasma

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    Objective— Angiotensin peptides play a central role in cardiovascular physiology and pathology. Among these peptides, angiotensin II (Ang II) has been investigated most intensively. However, further angiotensin peptides such as Ang 1-7, Ang III, and Ang IV also contribute to vascular regulation, and may elicit additional, different, or even opposite effects to Ang II. Here, we describe a novel Ang II-related, strong vasoconstrictive substance in plasma from healthy humans and end-stage renal failure patients. Methods and Results— Chromatographic purification and structural analysis by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight/time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF/TOF) revealed an angiotensin octapeptide with the sequence Ala-Arg-Val-Tyr-Ile-His-Pro-Phe, which differs from Ang II in Ala1 instead of Asp1. Des[Asp1]-[Ala1]-Ang II, in the following named Angiotensin A (Ang A), is most likely generated enzymatically. In the presence of mononuclear leukocytes, Ang II is converted to Ang A by decarboxylation of Asp1. Ang A has the same affinity to the AT1 receptor as Ang II, but a higher affinity to the AT2 receptor. In the isolated perfused rat kidney, Ang A revealed a smaller vasoconstrictive effect than Ang II, which was not modified in the presence of the AT2 receptor antagonist PD 123319, suggesting a lower intrinsic activity at the AT1 receptor. Ang II and Ang A concentrations in plasma of healthy subjects and end-stage renal failure patients were determined by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass-analysis, because conventional enzyme immunoassay for Ang II quantification did not distinguish between Ang II and Ang A. In healthy subjects, Ang A concentrations were less than 20% of the Ang II concentrations, but the ratio Ang A / Ang II was higher in end-stage renal failure patients. Conclusion— Ang A is a novel human strong vasoconstrictive angiotensin-derived peptide, most likely generated by enzymatic transformation through mononuclear leukocyte-derived aspartate decarboxylase. Plasma Ang A concentration is increased in end-stage renal failure. Because of its stronger agonism at the AT2 receptor, Ang A may modulate the harmful effects of Ang II. In this study, a new angiotensin-peptide of human plasma is described, which is characterized as a strong AT2-receptor agonist
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