194 research outputs found

    Augustana Historical Society Publications Number 3

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    Table of Contents: Ernst W. Olson / Augustana Book Concern: Publishers to the Augustana Synod.--History of Its Activities since 1889, with Introductory Account of Earlier Publishing Enterprises -- Evald B. Lawson / Christina Nilsson’s Visit to Brockton, Mass., in November, 1870.--Pages from the Early History of the Oldest Swedish Lutheran Church in New Englandhttps://digitalcommons.augustana.edu/ahsbooks/1017/thumbnail.jp

    Deep Brain Stimulation of Nucleus Accumbens Region in Alcoholism Affects Reward Processing

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    The influence of bilateral deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the nucleus nucleus (NAcc) on the processing of reward in a gambling paradigm was investigated using H2[15O]-PET (positron emission tomography) in a 38-year-old man treated for severe alcohol addiction. Behavioral data analysis revealed a less risky, more careful choice behavior under active DBS compared to DBS switched off. PET showed win- and loss-related activations in the paracingulate cortex, temporal poles, precuneus and hippocampus under active DBS, brain areas that have been implicated in action monitoring and behavioral control. Except for the temporal pole these activations were not seen when DBS was deactivated. These findings suggest that DBS of the NAcc may act partially by improving behavioral control

    Hypoxanthine-guanine phosophoribosyltransferase (HPRT) deficiency: Lesch-Nyhan syndrome

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    Deficiency of hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) activity is an inborn error of purine metabolism associated with uric acid overproduction and a continuum spectrum of neurological manifestations depending on the degree of the enzymatic deficiency. The prevalence is estimated at 1/380,000 live births in Canada, and 1/235,000 live births in Spain. Uric acid overproduction is present inall HPRT-deficient patients and is associated with lithiasis and gout. Neurological manifestations include severe action dystonia, choreoathetosis, ballismus, cognitive and attention deficit, and self-injurious behaviour. The most severe forms are known as Lesch-Nyhan syndrome (patients are normal at birth and diagnosis can be accomplished when psychomotor delay becomes apparent). Partial HPRT-deficient patients present these symptoms with a different intensity, and in the least severe forms symptoms may be unapparent. Megaloblastic anaemia is also associated with the disease. Inheritance of HPRT deficiency is X-linked recessive, thus males are generally affected and heterozygous female are carriers (usually asymptomatic). Human HPRT is encoded by a single structural gene on the long arm of the X chromosome at Xq26. To date, more than 300 disease-associated mutations in the HPRT1 gene have been identified. The diagnosis is based on clinical and biochemical findings (hyperuricemia and hyperuricosuria associated with psychomotor delay), and enzymatic (HPRT activity determination in haemolysate, intact erythrocytes or fibroblasts) and molecular tests. Molecular diagnosis allows faster and more accurate carrier and prenatal diagnosis. Prenatal diagnosis can be performed with amniotic cells obtained by amniocentesis at about 15–18 weeks' gestation, or chorionic villus cells obtained at about 10–12 weeks' gestation. Uric acid overproduction can be managed by allopurinol treatment. Doses must be carefully adjusted to avoid xanthine lithiasis. The lack of precise understanding of the neurological dysfunction has precluded development of useful therapies. Spasticity, when present, and dystonia can be managed with benzodiazepines and gamma-aminobutyric acid inhibitors such as baclofen. Physical rehabilitation, including management of dysarthria and dysphagia, special devices to enable hand control, appropriate walking aids, and a programme of posture management to prevent deformities are recommended. Self-injurious behaviour must be managed by a combination of physical restraints, behavioural and pharmaceutical treatments

    Antagonistic Changes in Sensitivity to Antifungal Drugs by Mutations of an Important ABC Transporter Gene in a Fungal Pathogen

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    Fungal pathogens can be lethal, especially among immunocompromised populations, such as patients with AIDS and recipients of tissue transplantation or chemotherapy. Prolonged usage of antifungal reagents can lead to drug resistance and treatment failure. Understanding mechanisms that underlie drug resistance by pathogenic microorganisms is thus vital for dealing with this emerging issue. In this study, we show that dramatic sequence changes in PDR5, an ABC (ATP-binding cassette) efflux transporter protein gene in an opportunistic fungal pathogen, caused the organism to become hypersensitive to azole, a widely used antifungal drug. Surprisingly, the same mutations conferred growth advantages to the organism on polyenes, which are also commonly used antimycotics. Our results indicate that Pdr5p might be important for ergosterol homeostasis. The observed remarkable sequence divergence in the PDR5 gene in yeast strain YJM789 may represent an interesting case of adaptive loss of gene function with significant clinical implications

    Extensive Evolutionary Changes in Regulatory Element Activity during Human Origins Are Associated with Altered Gene Expression and Positive Selection

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    Understanding the molecular basis for phenotypic differences between humans and other primates remains an outstanding challenge. Mutations in non-coding regulatory DNA that alter gene expression have been hypothesized as a key driver of these phenotypic differences. This has been supported by differential gene expression analyses in general, but not by the identification of specific regulatory elements responsible for changes in transcription and phenotype. To identify the genetic source of regulatory differences, we mapped DNaseI hypersensitive (DHS) sites, which mark all types of active gene regulatory elements, genome-wide in the same cell type isolated from human, chimpanzee, and macaque. Most DHS sites were conserved among all three species, as expected based on their central role in regulating transcription. However, we found evidence that several hundred DHS sites were gained or lost on the lineages leading to modern human and chimpanzee. Species-specific DHS site gains are enriched near differentially expressed genes, are positively correlated with increased transcription, show evidence of branch-specific positive selection, and overlap with active chromatin marks. Species-specific sequence differences in transcription factor motifs found within these DHS sites are linked with species-specific changes in chromatin accessibility. Together, these indicate that the regulatory elements identified here are genetic contributors to transcriptional and phenotypic differences among primate species

    A Machine Learning Approach for Identifying Novel Cell Type–Specific Transcriptional Regulators of Myogenesis

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    Transcriptional enhancers integrate the contributions of multiple classes of transcription factors (TFs) to orchestrate the myriad spatio-temporal gene expression programs that occur during development. A molecular understanding of enhancers with similar activities requires the identification of both their unique and their shared sequence features. To address this problem, we combined phylogenetic profiling with a DNA–based enhancer sequence classifier that analyzes the TF binding sites (TFBSs) governing the transcription of a co-expressed gene set. We first assembled a small number of enhancers that are active in Drosophila melanogaster muscle founder cells (FCs) and other mesodermal cell types. Using phylogenetic profiling, we increased the number of enhancers by incorporating orthologous but divergent sequences from other Drosophila species. Functional assays revealed that the diverged enhancer orthologs were active in largely similar patterns as their D. melanogaster counterparts, although there was extensive evolutionary shuffling of known TFBSs. We then built and trained a classifier using this enhancer set and identified additional related enhancers based on the presence or absence of known and putative TFBSs. Predicted FC enhancers were over-represented in proximity to known FC genes; and many of the TFBSs learned by the classifier were found to be critical for enhancer activity, including POU homeodomain, Myb, Ets, Forkhead, and T-box motifs. Empirical testing also revealed that the T-box TF encoded by org-1 is a previously uncharacterized regulator of muscle cell identity. Finally, we found extensive diversity in the composition of TFBSs within known FC enhancers, suggesting that motif combinatorics plays an essential role in the cellular specificity exhibited by such enhancers. In summary, machine learning combined with evolutionary sequence analysis is useful for recognizing novel TFBSs and for facilitating the identification of cognate TFs that coordinate cell type–specific developmental gene expression patterns

    Common Variants at 9p21 and 8q22 Are Associated with Increased Susceptibility to Optic Nerve Degeneration in Glaucoma

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    Optic nerve degeneration caused by glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. Patients affected by the normal-pressure form of glaucoma are more likely to harbor risk alleles for glaucoma-related optic nerve disease. We have performed a meta-analysis of two independent genome-wide association studies for primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) followed by a normal-pressure glaucoma (NPG, defined by intraocular pressure (IOP) less than 22 mmHg) subgroup analysis. The single-nucleotide polymorphisms that showed the most significant associations were tested for association with a second form of glaucoma, exfoliation-syndrome glaucoma. The overall meta-analysis of the GLAUGEN and NEIGHBOR dataset results (3,146 cases and 3,487 controls) identified significant associations between two loci and POAG: the CDKN2BAS region on 9p21 (rs2157719 [G], OR = 0.69 [95%CI 0.63–0.75], p = 1.86×10−18), and the SIX1/SIX6 region on chromosome 14q23 (rs10483727 [A], OR = 1.32 [95%CI 1.21–1.43], p = 3.87×10−11). In sub-group analysis two loci were significantly associated with NPG: 9p21 containing the CDKN2BAS gene (rs2157719 [G], OR = 0.58 [95% CI 0.50–0.67], p = 1.17×10−12) and a probable regulatory region on 8q22 (rs284489 [G], OR = 0.62 [95% CI 0.53–0.72], p = 8.88×10−10). Both NPG loci were also nominally associated with a second type of glaucoma, exfoliation syndrome glaucoma (rs2157719 [G], OR = 0.59 [95% CI 0.41–0.87], p = 0.004 and rs284489 [G], OR = 0.76 [95% CI 0.54–1.06], p = 0.021), suggesting that these loci might contribute more generally to optic nerve degeneration in glaucoma. Because both loci influence transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) signaling, we performed a genomic pathway analysis that showed an association between the TGF-beta pathway and NPG (permuted p = 0.009). These results suggest that neuro-protective therapies targeting TGF-beta signaling could be effective for multiple forms of glaucoma

    MicroRNA Involvement in Immune Activation During Heart Failure

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    Heart failure is one of the common end stages of cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of death in developed countries. Molecular mechanisms underlying the development of heart failure remain elusive but there is a consistent observation of chronic immune activation and aberrant microRNA (miRNA) expression that is present in failing hearts. This review will focus on the interplay between the immune system and miRNAs as factors that play a role during the development of heart failure. Several studies have shown that heart failure patients can be characterized by a sustained innate immune activation. The role of inflammatory signaling is discussed and TLR4 signaling, IL-1β, TNFα and IL-6 expression appears to coincide with the development of heart failure. Furthermore, we describe the implication of the renin angiotensin aldosteron system in immunity and heart failure. In the past decade microRNAs (miRNAs), small non-coding RNAs that translationally repress protein synthesis by binding to partially complementary sequences of mRNA, have come to light as important regulators of several kinds of cardiovascular diseases including cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. The involvement of differentially expressed miRNAs in the inflammation that occurs during the development of heart failure is still subject of investigation. Here, we summarize and comment on the first studies in this field and hypothesize on the putative involvement of certain miRNAs in heart failure. MicroRNAs have been shown to be critical regulators of cardiac function and inflammation. Future research will have to point out if dampening the immune response, and the miRNAs associated with it, during the development of heart failure is a therapeutically plausible route to follow
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