741 research outputs found

    T-tubule disease:Relationship between t-tubule organization and regional contractile performance in human dilated cardiomyopathy

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    Evidence from animal models suggest that t-tubule changes may play an important role in the contractile deficit associated with heart failure. However samples are usually taken at random with no regard as to regional variability present in failing hearts which leads to uncertainty in the relationship between contractile performance and possible t-tubule derangement. Regional contraction in human hearts was measured by tagged cine MRI and model fitting. At transplant, failing hearts were biopsy sampled in identified regions and immunocytochemistry was used to label t-tubules and sarcomeric z-lines. Computer image analysis was used to assess 5 different unbiased measures of t-tubule structure/organization. In regions of failing hearts that showed good contractile performance, t-tubule organization was similar to that seen in normal hearts, with worsening structure correlating with the loss of regional contractile performance. Statistical analysis showed that t-tubule direction was most highly correlated with local contractile performance, followed by the amplitude of the sarcomeric peak in the Fourier transform of the t-tubule image. Other area based measures were less well correlated. We conclude that regional contractile performance in failing human hearts is strongly correlated with the local t-tubule organization. Cluster tree analysis with a functional definition of failing contraction strength allowed a pathological definition of ‘t-tubule disease’. The regional variability in contractile performance and cellular structure is a confounding issue for analysis of samples taken from failing human hearts, although this may be overcome with regional analysis by using tagged cMRI and biopsy mapping

    Identification and characterisation of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli subtypes associated with human disease

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    Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) are a major cause of diarrhoea worldwide. Due to their heterogeneity and carriage in healthy individuals, identification of diagnostic virulence markers for pathogenic strains has been difficult. In this study, we have determined phenotypic and genotypic differences between EAEC strains of sequence types (STs) epidemiologically associated with asymptomatic carriage (ST31) and diarrhoeal disease (ST40). ST40 strains demonstrated significantly enhanced intestinal adherence, biofilm formation, and pro-inflammatory interleukin-8 secretion compared with ST31 isolates. This was independent of whether strains were derived from diarrhoea patients or healthy controls. Whole genome sequencing revealed differences in putative virulence genes encoding aggregative adherence fimbriae, E. coli common pilus, flagellin and EAEC heat-stable enterotoxin 1. Our results indicate that ST40 strains have a higher intrinsic potential of human pathogenesis due to a specific combination of virulence-related factors which promote host cell colonization and inflammation. These findings may contribute to the development of genotypic and/or phenotypic markers for EAEC strains of high virulence

    Demonstration of Universal Parametric Entangling Gates on a Multi-Qubit Lattice

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    We show that parametric coupling techniques can be used to generate selective entangling interactions for multi-qubit processors. By inducing coherent population exchange between adjacent qubits under frequency modulation, we implement a universal gateset for a linear array of four superconducting qubits. An average process fidelity of F=93%\mathcal{F}=93\% is estimated for three two-qubit gates via quantum process tomography. We establish the suitability of these techniques for computation by preparing a four-qubit maximally entangled state and comparing the estimated state fidelity against the expected performance of the individual entangling gates. In addition, we prepare an eight-qubit register in all possible bitstring permutations and monitor the fidelity of a two-qubit gate across one pair of these qubits. Across all such permutations, an average fidelity of F=91.6±2.6%\mathcal{F}=91.6\pm2.6\% is observed. These results thus offer a path to a scalable architecture with high selectivity and low crosstalk

    The Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) Tir Effector Inhibits NF-κB Activity by Targeting TNFα Receptor-Associated Factors

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    Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) disease depends on the transfer of effector proteins into epithelia lining the human small intestine. EPEC E2348/69 has at least 20 effector genes of which six are located with the effector-delivery system genes on the Locus of Enterocyte Effacement (LEE) Pathogenicity Island. Our previous work implied that non-LEE-encoded (Nle) effectors possess functions that inhibit epithelial anti-microbial and inflammation-inducing responses by blocking NF-κB transcription factor activity. Indeed, screens by us and others have identified novel inhibitory mechanisms for NleC and NleH, with key co-operative functions for NleB1 and NleE1. Here, we demonstrate that the LEE-encoded Translocated-intimin receptor (Tir) effector has a potent and specific ability to inhibit NF-κB activation. Indeed, biochemical, imaging and immunoprecipitation studies reveal a novel inhibitory mechanism whereby Tir interaction with cytoplasm-located TNFα receptor-associated factor (TRAF) adaptor proteins induces their proteasomal-independent degradation. Infection studies support this Tir-TRAF relationship but reveal that Tir, like NleC and NleH, has a non-essential contribution in EPEC's NF-κB inhibitory capacity linked to Tir's activity being suppressed by undefined EPEC factors. Infections in a disease-relevant intestinal model confirm key NF-κB inhibitory roles for the NleB1/NleE1 effectors, with other studies providing insights on host targets. The work not only reveals a second Intimin-independent property for Tir and a novel EPEC effector-mediated NF-κB inhibitory mechanism but also lends itself to speculations on the evolution of EPEC's capacity to inhibit NF-κB function
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