104 research outputs found

    Genome-Wide Association Study of Plasma Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in the InCHIANTI Study

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    Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) have a role in many physiological processes, including energy production, modulation of inflammation, and maintenance of cell membrane integrity. High plasma PUFA concentrations have been shown to have beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease and mortality. To identify genetic contributors of plasma PUFA concentrations, we conducted a genome-wide association study of plasma levels of six omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in 1,075 participants in the InCHIANTI study on aging. The strongest evidence for association was observed in a region of chromosome 11 that encodes three fatty acid desaturases (FADS1, FADS2, FADS3). The SNP with the most significant association was rs174537 near FADS1 in the analysis of arachidonic acid (AA; p = 5.95×10−46). Minor allele homozygotes had lower AA compared to the major allele homozygotes and rs174537 accounted for 18.6% of the additive variance in AA concentrations. This SNP was also associated with levels of eicosadienoic acid (EDA; p = 6.78×10−9) and eicosapentanoic acid (EPA; p = 1.07×10−14). Participants carrying the allele associated with higher AA, EDA, and EPA also had higher low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C) and total cholesterol levels. Outside the FADS gene cluster, the strongest region of association mapped to chromosome 6 in the region encoding an elongase of very long fatty acids 2 (ELOVL2). In this region, association was observed with EPA (rs953413; p = 1.1×10−6). The effects of rs174537 were confirmed in an independent sample of 1,076 subjects participating in the GOLDN study. The ELOVL2 SNP was associated with docosapentanoic and DHA but not with EPA in GOLDN. These findings show that polymorphisms of genes encoding enzymes in the metabolism of PUFA contribute to plasma concentrations of fatty acids

    Identification of Conserved and HLA Promiscuous DENV3 T-Cell Epitopes

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    Anti-dengue T-cell responses have been implicated in both protection and immunopathology. However, most of the T-cell studies for dengue include few epitopes, with limited knowledge of their inter-serotype variation and the breadth of their human leukocyte antigen (HLA) affinity. In order to expand our knowledge of HLA-restricted dengue epitopes, we screened T-cell responses against 477 overlapping peptides derived from structural and non-structural proteins of the dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV3) by use of HLA class I and II transgenic mice (TgM): A2, A24, B7, DR2, DR3 and DR4. TgM were inoculated with peptides pools and the T-cell immunogenic peptides were identified by ELISPOT. Nine HLA class I and 97 HLA class II novel DENV3 epitopes were identified based on immunogenicity in TgM and their HLA affinity was further confirmed by binding assays analysis. A subset of these epitopes activated memory T-cells from DENV3 immune volunteers and was also capable of priming naïve T-cells, ex vivo, from dengue IgG negative individuals. Analysis of inter- and intra-serotype variation of such an epitope (A02-restricted) allowed us to identify altered peptide ligands not only in DENV3 but also in other DENV serotypes. These studies also characterized the HLA promiscuity of 23 HLA class II epitopes bearing highly conserved sequences, six of which could bind to more than 10 different HLA molecules representing a large percentage of the global population. These epitope data are invaluable to investigate the role of T-cells in dengue immunity/pathogenesis and vaccine design. © 2013 Nascimento et al

    Using global team science to identify genetic parkinson's disease worldwide.

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    Automated Force Volume Image Processing for Biological Samples

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    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has now become a powerful technique for investigating on a molecular level, surface forces, nanomechanical properties of deformable particles, biomolecular interactions, kinetics, and dynamic processes. This paper specifically focuses on the analysis of AFM force curves collected on biological systems, in particular, bacteria. The goal is to provide fully automated tools to achieve theoretical interpretation of force curves on the basis of adequate, available physical models. In this respect, we propose two algorithms, one for the processing of approach force curves and another for the quantitative analysis of retraction force curves. In the former, electrostatic interactions prior to contact between AFM probe and bacterium are accounted for and mechanical interactions operating after contact are described in terms of Hertz-Hooke formalism. Retraction force curves are analyzed on the basis of the Freely Jointed Chain model. For both algorithms, the quantitative reconstruction of force curves is based on the robust detection of critical points (jumps, changes of slope or changes of curvature) which mark the transitions between the various relevant interactions taking place between the AFM tip and the studied sample during approach and retraction. Once the key regions of separation distance and indentation are detected, the physical parameters describing the relevant interactions operating in these regions are extracted making use of regression procedure for fitting experiments to theory. The flexibility, accuracy and strength of the algorithms are illustrated with the processing of two force-volume images, which collect a large set of approach and retraction curves measured on a single biological surface. For each force-volume image, several maps are generated, representing the spatial distribution of the searched physical parameters as estimated for each pixel of the force-volume image

    Bacterial Surface Appendages Strongly Impact Nanomechanical and Electrokinetic Properties of Escherichia coli Cells Subjected to Osmotic Stress

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    The physicochemical properties and dynamics of bacterial envelope, play a major role in bacterial activity. In this study, the morphological, nanomechanical and electrohydrodynamic properties of Escherichia coli K-12 mutant cells were thoroughly investigated as a function of bulk medium ionic strength using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and electrokinetics (electrophoresis). Bacteria were differing according to genetic alterations controlling the production of different surface appendages (short and rigid Ag43 adhesins, longer and more flexible type 1 fimbriae and F pilus). From the analysis of the spatially resolved force curves, it is shown that cells elasticity and turgor pressure are not only depending on bulk salt concentration but also on the presence/absence and nature of surface appendage. In 1 mM KNO3, cells without appendages or cells surrounded by Ag43 exhibit large Young moduli and turgor pressures (∼700–900 kPa and ∼100–300 kPa respectively). Under similar ionic strength condition, a dramatic ∼50% to ∼70% decrease of these nanomechanical parameters was evidenced for cells with appendages. Qualitatively, such dependence of nanomechanical behavior on surface organization remains when increasing medium salt content to 100 mM, even though, quantitatively, differences are marked to a much smaller extent. Additionally, for a given surface appendage, the magnitude of the nanomechanical parameters decreases significantly when increasing bulk salt concentration. This effect is ascribed to a bacterial exoosmotic water loss resulting in a combined contraction of bacterial cytoplasm together with an electrostatically-driven shrinkage of the surface appendages. The former process is demonstrated upon AFM analysis, while the latter, inaccessible upon AFM imaging, is inferred from electrophoretic data interpreted according to advanced soft particle electrokinetic theory. Altogether, AFM and electrokinetic results clearly demonstrate the intimate relationship between structure/flexibility and charge of bacterial envelope and propensity of bacterium and surface appendages to contract under hypertonic conditions

    Multiplicity of cerebrospinal fluid functions: New challenges in health and disease

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    This review integrates eight aspects of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) circulatory dynamics: formation rate, pressure, flow, volume, turnover rate, composition, recycling and reabsorption. Novel ways to modulate CSF formation emanate from recent analyses of choroid plexus transcription factors (E2F5), ion transporters (NaHCO3 cotransport), transport enzymes (isoforms of carbonic anhydrase), aquaporin 1 regulation, and plasticity of receptors for fluid-regulating neuropeptides. A greater appreciation of CSF pressure (CSFP) is being generated by fresh insights on peptidergic regulatory servomechanisms, the role of dysfunctional ependyma and circumventricular organs in causing congenital hydrocephalus, and the clinical use of algorithms to delineate CSFP waveforms for diagnostic and prognostic utility. Increasing attention focuses on CSF flow: how it impacts cerebral metabolism and hemodynamics, neural stem cell progression in the subventricular zone, and catabolite/peptide clearance from the CNS. The pathophysiological significance of changes in CSF volume is assessed from the respective viewpoints of hemodynamics (choroid plexus blood flow and pulsatility), hydrodynamics (choroidal hypo- and hypersecretion) and neuroendocrine factors (i.e., coordinated regulation by atrial natriuretic peptide, arginine vasopressin and basic fibroblast growth factor). In aging, normal pressure hydrocephalus and Alzheimer's disease, the expanding CSF space reduces the CSF turnover rate, thus compromising the CSF sink action to clear harmful metabolites (e.g., amyloid) from the CNS. Dwindling CSF dynamics greatly harms the interstitial environment of neurons. Accordingly the altered CSF composition in neurodegenerative diseases and senescence, because of adverse effects on neural processes and cognition, needs more effective clinical management. CSF recycling between subarachnoid space, brain and ventricles promotes interstitial fluid (ISF) convection with both trophic and excretory benefits. Finally, CSF reabsorption via multiple pathways (olfactory and spinal arachnoidal bulk flow) is likely complemented by fluid clearance across capillary walls (aquaporin 4) and arachnoid villi when CSFP and fluid retention are markedly elevated. A model is presented that links CSF and ISF homeostasis to coordinated fluxes of water and solutes at both the blood-CSF and blood-brain transport interfaces