778 research outputs found

    BioEM: GPU-accelerated computing of Bayesian inference of electron microscopy images

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    In cryo-electron microscopy (EM), molecular structures are determined from large numbers of projection images of individual particles. To harness the full power of this single-molecule information, we use the Bayesian inference of EM (BioEM) formalism. By ranking structural models using posterior probabilities calculated for individual images, BioEM in principle addresses the challenge of working with highly dynamic or heterogeneous systems not easily handled in traditional EM reconstruction. However, the calculation of these posteriors for large numbers of particles and models is computationally demanding. Here we present highly parallelized, GPU-accelerated computer software that performs this task efficiently. Our flexible formulation employs CUDA, OpenMP, and MPI parallelization combined with both CPU and GPU computing. The resulting BioEM software scales nearly ideally both on pure CPU and on CPU+GPU architectures, thus enabling Bayesian analysis of tens of thousands of images in a reasonable time. The general mathematical framework and robust algorithms are not limited to cryo-electron microscopy but can be generalized for electron tomography and other imaging experiments

    Scoring functions for transcription factor binding site prediction

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    BACKGROUND: Transcription factor binding site (TFBS) prediction is a difficult problem, which requires a good scoring function to discriminate between real binding sites and background noise. Many scoring functions have been proposed in the literature, but it is difficult to assess their relative performance, because they are implemented in different software tools using different search methods and different TFBS representations. RESULTS: Here we compare how several scoring functions perform on both real and semi-simulated data sets in a common test environment. We have also developed two new scoring functions and included them in the comparison. The data sets are from the yeast (S. cerevisiae) genome. Our new scoring function LLBG (least likely under the background model) performs best in this study. It achieves the best average rank for the correct motifs. Scoring functions based on positional bias performed quite poorly in this study. CONCLUSION: LLBG may provide an interesting alternative to current scoring functions for TFBS prediction

    The macrocyclic lactone oxacyclododecindione reduces fibrosis progression

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    Background: Renal fibrosis is one of the most important triggers of chronic kidney disease (CKD), and only a very limited number of therapeutic options are available to stop fibrosis progression. As fibrosis is characterized by inflammation, myofibroblast activation, and extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition, a drug that can address all these processes might be an interesting therapeutic option.Methods: We tested in vivo in an ischemia–reperfusion (I/R) model in C57BL/6 mice and in kidney tubular epithelial cells (TEC) (HK2 cell line and primary cells) whether the natural product oxacyclododecindione (Oxa) reduces fibrosis progression in kidney disease. This was evaluated by Western blot, mRNA expression, and mass spectrometry secretome analyses, as well as by immunohistochemistry.Results: Indeed, Oxa blocked the expression of epithelial–mesenchymal transition marker proteins and reduced renal damage, immune cell infiltration, and collagen expression and deposition, both in vivo and in vitro. Remarkably, the beneficial effects of Oxa were also detected when the natural product was administered at a time point of established fibrotic changes, a situation close to the clinical situation. Initial in vitro experiments demonstrated that a synthetic Oxa derivative possesses similar features.Conclusion: Although open questions such as possible side effects need to be investigated, our results indicate that the combination of anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects of Oxa make the substance a promising candidate for a new therapeutic approach in fibrosis treatment, and thus in the prevention of kidney disease progression

    PITX1 is a regulator of TERT expression in prostate cancer with prognostic power

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    Simple Summary Most prostate cancer is of an indolent form and is curable. However, some prostate cancer belongs to rather aggressive subtypes leading to metastasis and death, and immediate therapy is mandatory. However, for these, the therapeutic options are highly invasive, such as radical prostatectomy, radiation or brachytherapy. Hence, a precise diagnosis of these tumor subtypes is needed, and the thus far applied diagnostic means are insufficient for this. Besides this, for their endless cell divisions, prostate cancer cells need the enzyme telomerase to elongate their telomeres (chromatin endings). In this study, we developed a gene regulatory model based on large data from transcription profiles from prostate cancer and chromatin-immuno-precipitation studies. We identified the developmental regulator PITX1 regulating telomerase. Besides observing experimental evidence of PITX1â€Čs functional role in telomerase regulation, we also found PITX1 serving as a prognostic marker, as concluded from an analysis of more than 15,000 prostate cancer samples. Abstract The current risk stratification in prostate cancer (PCa) is frequently insufficient to adequately predict disease development and outcome. One hallmark of cancer is telomere maintenance. For telomere maintenance, PCa cells exclusively employ telomerase, making it essential for this cancer entity. However, TERT, the catalytic protein component of the reverse transcriptase telomerase, itself does not suit as a prognostic marker for prostate cancer as it is rather low expressed. We investigated if, instead of TERT , transcription factors regulating TERT may suit as prognostic markers. To identify transcription factors regulating TERT , we developed and applied a new gene regulatory modeling strategy to a comprehensive transcriptome dataset of 445 primary PCa. Six transcription factors were predicted as TERT regulators, and most prominently, the developmental morphogenic factor PITX1. PITX1 expression positively correlated with telomere staining intensity in PCa tumor samples. Functional assays and chromatin immune-precipitation showed that PITX1 activates TERT expression in PCa cells. Clinically, we observed that PITX1 is an excellent prognostic marker, as concluded from an analysis of more than 15,000 PCa samples. PITX1 expression in tumor samples associated with (i) increased Ki67 expression indicating increased tumor growth, (ii) a worse prognosis, and (iii) correlated with telomere length

    Neurosurgery outcomes and complications in a monocentric 7-year patient registry

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    Introduction Capturing adverse events reliably is paramount for clinical practice and research alike. In the era of “big data”, prospective registries form the basis of clinical research and quality improvement. Research question To present results of long-term implementation of a prospective patient registry, and evaluate the validity of the Clavien-Dindo grade (CDG) to classify complications in neurosurgery. Materials and methods A prospective registry for cranial and spinal neurosurgical procedures was implemented in 2013. The CDG – a complication grading focused on need for unplanned therapeutic intervention – was used to grade complications. We assess construct validity of the CDG. Results Data acquisition integrated into our hospital workflow permitted to include all eligible patients into the registry. We have registered 8226 patients that were treated in 11994 surgeries and 32494 consultations up until December 2020. Similarly, we have captured 1245 complications on 6308 patient discharge forms (20%) since full operational status of the registry. The majority of complications (819/6308 ​= ​13%) were treated without invasive treatment (CDG 1 or CDG 2). At discharge, there was a clear correlation of CDG and the Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS, rho ​= ​-0.29, slope -7 KPS percentage points per increment of CDG) and the length of stay (rho ​= ​0.43, slope 3.2 days per increment of CDG)

    NMR and dielectric studies of hydrated collagen and elastin: Evidence for a delocalized secondary relaxation

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    Using a combination of dielectric spectroscopy and solid-state deuteron NMR, the hydration water dynamics of connective tissue proteins is studied at sub-ambient temperatures. In this range, the water dynamics follows an Arrhenius law. A scaling analysis of dielectric losses, 'two-phase' NMR spectra, and spin-lattice relaxation times consistently yield evidence for a Gaussian distribution of energy barriers. With the dielectric data as input, random-walk simulations of a large-angle, quasi-isotropic water reorientation provide an approximate description of stimulated-echo data on hydrated elastin. This secondary process takes place in an essentially rigid energy landscape, but in contrast to typical {\beta}-relaxations it is quasi-isotropic and delocalized. The delocalization is inferred from previous NMR diffusometry experiments. To emphasize the distinction from conventional {\beta}-processes, for aqueous systems such a matrix-decoupled relaxation was termed a {\nu}-process. It is emphasized that the phenomenology of this time-honored, 'new' process is shared by many non-aqueous binary glasses in which the constituent components exhibit a sufficient dynamical contrast

    Production of He-4 and (4) in Pb-Pb collisions at root(NN)-N-S=2.76 TeV at the LHC

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    Results on the production of He-4 and (4) nuclei in Pb-Pb collisions at root(NN)-N-S = 2.76 TeV in the rapidity range vertical bar y vertical bar <1, using the ALICE detector, are presented in this paper. The rapidity densities corresponding to 0-10% central events are found to be dN/dy4(He) = (0.8 +/- 0.4 (stat) +/- 0.3 (syst)) x 10(-6) and dN/dy4 = (1.1 +/- 0.4 (stat) +/- 0.2 (syst)) x 10(-6), respectively. This is in agreement with the statistical thermal model expectation assuming the same chemical freeze-out temperature (T-chem = 156 MeV) as for light hadrons. The measured ratio of (4)/He-4 is 1.4 +/- 0.8 (stat) +/- 0.5 (syst). (C) 2018 Published by Elsevier B.V.Peer reviewe