66 research outputs found

    An ultrasoft X-ray multi-microbeam irradiation system for studies of DNA damage responses by fixed- and live-cell fluorescence microscopy

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    Localized induction of DNA damage is a valuable tool for studying cellular DNA damage responses. In recent decades, methods have been developed to generate DNA damage using radiation of various types, including photons and charged particles. Here we describe a simple ultrasoft X-ray multi-microbeam system for high dose-rate, localized induction of DNA strand breaks in cells at spatially and geometrically adjustable sites. Our system can be combined with fixed- and live-cell microscopy to study responses of cells to DNA damage

    Cellular Radiosensitivity: How much better do we understand it?

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    Purpose: Ionizing radiation exposure gives rise to a variety of lesions in DNA that result in genetic instability and potentially tumorigenesis or cell death. Radiation extends its effects on DNA by direct interaction or by radiolysis of H2O that generates free radicals or aqueous electrons capable of interacting with and causing indirect damage to DNA. While the various lesions arising in DNA after radiation exposure can contribute to the mutagenising effects of this agent, the potentially most damaging lesion is the DNA double strand break (DSB) that contributes to genome instability and/or cell death. Thus in many cases failure to recognise and/or repair this lesion determines the radiosensitivity status of the cell. DNA repair mechanisms including homologous recombination (HR) and non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) have evolved to protect cells against DNA DSB. Mutations in proteins that constitute these repair pathways are characterised by radiosensitivity and genome instability. Defects in a number of these proteins also give rise to genetic disorders that feature not only genetic instability but also immunodeficiency, cancer predisposition, neurodegeneration and other pathologies. Conclusions: In the past fifty years our understanding of the cellular response to radiation damage has advanced enormously with insight being gained from a wide range of approaches extending from more basic early studies to the sophisticated approaches used today. In this review we discuss our current understanding of the impact of radiation on the cell and the organism gained from the array of past and present studies and attempt to provide an explanation for what it is that determines the response to radiation

    Physician career satisfaction within specialties

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Specialty-specific data on career satisfaction may be useful for understanding physician workforce trends and for counseling medical students about career options.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We analyzed cross-sectional data from 6,590 physicians (response rate, 53%) in Round 4 (2004-2005) of the Community Tracking Study Physician Survey. The dependent variable ranged from +1 to -1 and measured satisfaction and dissatisfaction with career. Forty-two specialties were analyzed with survey-adjusted linear regressions</p> <p>Results</p> <p>After adjusting for physician, practice, and community characteristics, the following specialties had significantly higher satisfaction levels than family medicine: pediatric emergency medicine (regression coefficient = 0.349); geriatric medicine (0.323); other pediatric subspecialties (0.270); neonatal/prenatal medicine (0.266); internal medicine and pediatrics (combined practice) (0.250); pediatrics (0.250); dermatology (0.249);and child and adolescent psychiatry (0.203). The following specialties had significantly lower satisfaction levels than family medicine: neurological surgery (-0.707); pulmonary critical care medicine (-0.273); nephrology (-0.206); and obstetrics and gynecology (-0.188). We also found satisfaction was significantly and positively related to income and employment in a medical school but negatively associated with more than 50 work-hours per-week, being a full-owner of the practice, greater reliance on managed care revenue, and uncontrollable lifestyle. We observed no statistically significant gender differences and no differences between African-Americans and whites.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Career satisfaction varied across specialties. A number of stakeholders will likely be interested in these findings including physicians in specialties that rank high and low and students contemplating specialty. Our findings regarding "less satisfied" specialties should elicit concern from residency directors and policy makers since they appear to be in critical areas of medicine.</p

    Interleukin-4 Alters Early Phagosome Phenotype by Modulating Class I PI3K Dependent Lipid Remodeling and Protein Recruitment

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    Phagocytosis is a complex process that involves membranelipid remodeling and the attraction and retention of key effector proteins. Phagosome phenotype depends on the type of receptor engaged and can be influenced by extracellular signals. Interleukin 4 (IL-4) is a cytokine that induces the alternative activation of macrophages (MΦs) upon prolonged exposure, triggering a different cell phenotype that has an altered phagocytic capacity. In contrast, the direct effects of IL-4 during phagocytosis remain unknown. Here, we investigate the impact of short-term IL-4 exposure (1 hour) during phagocytosis of IgG-opsonized yeast particles by MΦs. By time-lapse confocal microscopy of GFP-tagged lipid-sensing probes, we show that IL-4 increases the negative charge of the phagosomal membrane by prolonging the presence of the negatively charged second messenger PI(3,4,5)P3. Biochemical assays reveal an enhanced PI3K/Akt activity upon phagocytosis in the presence of IL-4. Blocking the specific class I PI3K after the onset of phagocytosis completely abrogates the IL-4-induced changes in lipid remodeling and concomitant membrane charge. Finally, we show that IL-4 direct signaling leads to a significantly prolonged retention profile of the signaling molecules Rac1 and Rab5 to the phagosomal membrane in a PI3K-dependent manner. This protracted early phagosome phenotype suggests an altered maturation, which is supported by the delayed phagosome acidification measured in the presence of IL-4. Our findings reveal that molecular differences in IL-4 levels, in the extracellular microenvironment, influence the coordination of lipid remodeling and protein recruitment, which determine phagosome phenotype and, eventually, fate. Endosomal and phagosomal membranes provide topological constraints to signaling molecules. Therefore, changes in the phagosome phenotype modulated by extracellular factors may represent an additional mechanism that regulates the outcome of phagocytosis and could have significant impact on the net biochemical output of a cell

    H2AX phosphorylation screen of cells from radiosensitive cancer patients reveals a novel DNA double-strand break repair cellular phenotype

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    BACKGROUND: About 1-5% of cancer patients suffer from significant normal tissue reactions as a result of radiotherapy (RT). It is not possible at this time to predict how most patients' normal tissues will respond to RT. DNA repair dysfunction is implicated in sensitivity to RT particularly in genes that mediate the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Phosphorylation of histone H2AX (phosphorylated molecules are known as gammaH2AX) occurs rapidly in response to DNA DSBs, and, among its other roles, contributes to repair protein recruitment to these damaged sites. Mammalian cell lines have also been crucial in facilitating the successful cloning of many DNA DSB repair genes; yet, very few mutant cell lines exist for non-syndromic clinical radiosensitivity (RS).\ud \ud METHODS: Here, we survey DNA DSB induction and repair in whole cells from RS patients, as revealed by gammaH2AX foci assays, as potential predictive markers of clinical radiation response.\ud \ud RESULTS: With one exception, both DNA focus induction and repair in cell lines from RS patients were comparable with controls. Using gammaH2AX foci assays, we identified a RS cancer patient cell line with a novel ionising radiation-induced DNA DSB repair defect; these data were confirmed by an independent DNA DSB repair assay.\ud \ud CONCLUSION: gammaH2AX focus measurement has limited scope as a pre-RT predictive assay in lymphoblast cell lines from RT patients; however, the assay can successfully identify novel DNA DSB repair-defective patient cell lines, thus potentially facilitating the discovery of novel constitutional contributions to clinical RS

    Creating localized DNA double-strand breaks with microirradiation.

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    We describe a protocol for creating localized DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) with minimal requirements that can be applied in cell biology and molecular biology. This protocol is based on the combination of 5-bromo-2\u27-deoxyuridine (BrdU) labeling and ultraviolet C (UVC) irradiation through porous membranes. Cells are labeled with 10 μM BrdU for 48-72 h, washed with Ca(2+)- and Mg(2+)-free PBS(-), covered by polycarbonate membranes with micropores and exposed to UVC light. With this protocol, localized DSBs are created within subnuclear areas, irrespective of the cell cycle phase. Recruitment of proteins involved in DNA repair, DNA damage response, chromatin remodeling and histone modifications can be visualized without any specialized equipment. The quality is the same as that obtained by laser microirradiation or by any other focal irradiation. DSBs become visible within 30 min of UVC irradiation.without figure