6,843 research outputs found

    Gene identification for the cblD defect of vitamin B12 metabolism

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    Background Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is an essential cofactor in several metabolic pathways. Intracellular conversion of cobalamin to its two coenzymes, adenosylcobalamin in mitochondria and methylcobalamin in the cytoplasm, is necessary for the homeostasis of methylmalonic acid and homocysteine. Nine defects of intracellular cobalamin metabolism have been defined by means of somatic complementation analysis. One of these defects, the cblD defect, can cause isolated methylmalonic aciduria, isolated homocystinuria, or both. Affected persons present with multisystem clinical abnormalities, including developmental, hematologic, neurologic, and metabolic findings. The gene responsible for the cblD defect has not been identified. Methods We studied seven patients with the cblD defect, and skin fibroblasts from each were investigated in cell culture. Microcell-mediated chromosome transfer and refined genetic mapping were used to localize the responsible gene. This gene was transfected into cblD fibroblasts to test for the rescue of adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin synthesis. Results The cblD gene was localized to human chromosome 2q23.2, and a candidate gene, designated MMADHC (methylmalonic aciduria, cblD type, and homocystinuria), was identified in this region. Transfection of wild-type MMADHC rescued the cellular phenotype, and the functional importance of mutant alleles was shown by means of transfection with mutant constructs. The predicted MMADHC protein has sequence homology with a bacterial ATP-binding cassette transporter and contains a putative cobalamin binding motif and a putative mitochondrial targeting sequence. Conclusions Mutations in a gene we designated MMADHC are responsible for the cblD defect in vitamin B12 metabolism. Various mutations are associated with each of the three biochemical phenotypes of the disorder

    Cell transformation assays for prediction of carcinogenic potential: State of the science and future research needs

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    Copyright @ 2011 The Authors. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.Cell transformation assays (CTAs) have long been proposed as in vitro methods for the identification of potential chemical carcinogens. Despite showing good correlation with rodent bioassay data, concerns over the subjective nature of using morphological criteria for identifying transformed cells and a lack of understanding of the mechanistic basis of the assays has limited their acceptance for regulatory purposes. However, recent drivers to find alternative carcinogenicity assessment methodologies, such as the Seventh Amendment to the EU Cosmetics Directive, have fuelled renewed interest in CTAs. Research is currently ongoing to improve the objectivity of the assays, reveal the underlying molecular changes leading to transformation and explore the use of novel cell types. The UK NC3Rs held an international workshop in November 2010 to review the current state of the art in this field and provide directions for future research. This paper outlines the key points highlighted at this meeting

    Thyroid cancer: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up

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    Thyroid cancer: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up F. Pacini, M. G. Castagna, L. Brilli & G. Pentheroudakis On behalf of the ESMO Guidelines Working Group* Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism and Biochemistry, Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Siena, Siena, Italy; Department of Medical Oncology, Ioannina University Hospital, Ioannina, Greec

    Towards an ecosystem model of infectious disease

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    Increasingly intimate associations between human society and the natural environment are driving the emergence of novel pathogens, with devastating consequences for humans and animals alike. Prior to emergence, these pathogens exist within complex ecological systems that are characterized by trophic interactions between parasites, their hosts and the environment. Predicting how disturbance to these ecological systems places people and animals at risk from emerging pathogens-and the best ways to manage this-remains a significant challenge. Predictive systems ecology models are powerful tools for the reconstruction of ecosystem function but have yet to be considered for modelling infectious disease. Part of this stems from a mistaken tendency to forget about the role that pathogens play in structuring the abundance and interactions of the free-living species favoured by systems ecologists. Here, we explore how developing and applying these more complete systems ecology models at a landscape scale would greatly enhance our understanding of the reciprocal interactions between parasites, pathogens and the environment, placing zoonoses in an ecological context, while identifying key variables and simplifying assumptions that underly pathogen host switching and animal-to-human spillover risk. As well as transforming our understanding of disease ecology, this would also allow us to better direct resources in preparation for future pandemics

    Publisher Correction: Towards an ecosystem model of infectious disease

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    Correction to: Nature Ecology & Evolution https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-021-01454-8, published online 17 May 2021

    Effect of neonatal exposure to estrogenic compounds on development of the excurrent ducts of the rat testis through puberty to adulthood.

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    Neonatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) can alter the structure of the testicular excurrent ducts in rats. We characterized these changes according to dose and time posttreatment and established whether potent estrogens (ethinyl estradiol), environmental estrogens (genistein, octylphenol, bisphenol A, parabens), and tamoxifen induce such changes. Rats were administered these compounds neonatally and assessed at several time points during (day 10, or day 18 for some treatments) and after (days 18, 25, 35, and 75) the treatment period to detect any changes in testis weight, distension of the rete testis and efferent ducts, epithelial cell height in the efferent ducts, and immunoexpression of the water channel aquaporin-1 (AQP-1). Treatment with DES (10, 1, or 0.1 microg/injection; equivalent to 0.37, 0.037, or 0.0037 mg/kg/day, respectively) induced dose-dependent changes in testis weight and all parameters. These effects were most pronounced at days 18 and 25 and appeared to lessen with time, although some persisted into adulthood. Neonatal treatment with ethinyl estradiol (10 microg/injection; equivalent to 0.37 mg/kg/day) caused changes broadly similar to those induced by 10 mg DES. Administration of tamoxifen (2 mg/kg/day) caused changes at 18 days that were similar to those induced by 1 microg DES. Treatment with genistein (4 mg/kg/day), octylphenol (2 mg/injection; equivalent to 150 mg/kg/day), or bisphenol A (0.5 mg/injection; equivalent to 37 mg/kg/day) caused minor but significant (p<0.05) decreases in epithelial cell height of the efferent ducts at days 18 and/or 25. In animals that were followed through to 35 days and/or adulthood, these changes were no longer obvious; other parameters were either unaffected or were affected only marginally and transiently. Administration of parabens (2 mg/kg/day) had no detectable effect on any parameter at day 18. To establish whether these effects of estrogens were direct or indirect (i.e., resulting from reduced follicle-stimulating hormone/luteinizing hormone secretion), the above end points were assessed in animals in which gonadotropin secretion was suppressed neonatally by administration of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist. This treatment permanently reduced testis weight, but did not affect any of the other end points, apart from a minor transient reduction in efferent duct epithelial cell height at 18 days. This study suggests that structural and functional (expression of AQP-1) development of the excurrent ducts is susceptible to impairment by neonatal estrogen exposure, probably as a consequence of direct effects. The magnitude and duration of adverse changes induced by treatment with a range of estrogenic compounds was broadly comparable to their estrogenic potencies reported from in vitro assays

    Saliva and salivary components affect goat rumen fermentation in short-term batch incubations

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    The research about the role of saliva in ruminants has been mainly focused on its buffering capacity together with facilitation of the rumination process. However, the role of salivary bioactive components on modulating the activity of the rumen microbiota has been neglected until recently. This study developed an in vitro approach to assess the impact of different components in saliva on rumen microbial fermentation. Four different salivary fractions were prepared from four goats: (i) non-filtrated saliva (NFS), (ii) filtrated through 0.25 µm to remove microorganisms and large particles (FS1), (iii) centrifuged through a 30 kDa filter to remove large proteins, (FS2), and (iv) autoclaved saliva (AS) to keep only the minerals. Two experiments were conducted in 24 h batch culture incubations with 6 ml of total volume consisting of 2 ml of rumen fluid and 4 ml of saliva/buffer mix. In Experiment 1, the effect of increasing the proportion of saliva (either NFS or FS1) in the solution (0%, 16%, 33% and 50% of the total volume) was evaluated. Treatment FS1 promoted greater total volatile fatty acids (VFA) (+8.4%) and butyrate molar proportion (+2.8%) but lower NH3-N concentrations than NFS fraction. Replacing the bicarbonate buffer solution by increasing proportions of saliva resulted in higher NH3-N, total VFA (+8.0%) and propionate molar proportion (+11%). Experiment 2 addressed the effect of the different fractions of saliva (NFS, FS1, FS2 and AS). Saliva fractions led to higher total VFA and NH3-N concentrations than non-saliva incubations, which suggests that the presence of some salivary elements enhanced rumen microbial activity. Fraction FS1 promoted a higher concentration of total VFA (+7.8%) than the other three fractions, and higher propionate (+26%) than NFS and AS. This agrees with findings from Experiment 1 and supports that ‘microbe-free saliva’, in which large salivary proteins are maintained, boosts rumen fermentation. Our results show the usefulness of this in vitro approach and suggest that different salivary components can modulate rumen microbial fermentation, although the specific metabolites and effects they cause need further research

    Distributed Computing Grid Experiences in CMS

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    The CMS experiment is currently developing a computing system capable of serving, processing and archiving the large number of events that will be generated when the CMS detector starts taking data. During 2004 CMS undertook a large scale data challenge to demonstrate the ability of the CMS computing system to cope with a sustained data-taking rate equivalent to 25% of startup rate. Its goals were: to run CMS event reconstruction at CERN for a sustained period at 25 Hz input rate; to distribute the data to several regional centers; and enable data access at those centers for analysis. Grid middleware was utilized to help complete all aspects of the challenge. To continue to provide scalable access from anywhere in the world to the data, CMS is developing a layer of software that uses Grid tools to gain access to data and resources, and that aims to provide physicists with a user friendly interface for submitting their analysis jobs. This paper describes the data challenge experience with Grid infrastructure and the current development of the CMS analysis system
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