214 research outputs found

    Novel Anti-bacterial Activities of ÎČ-defensin 1 in Human Platelets: Suppression of Pathogen Growth and Signaling of Neutrophil Extracellular Trap Formation

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    Human ÎČ-defensins (hBD) are antimicrobial peptides that curb microbial activity. Although hBD's are primarily expressed by epithelial cells, we show that human platelets express hBD-1 that has both predicted and novel antibacterial activities. We observed that activated platelets surround Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), forcing the pathogens into clusters that have a reduced growth rate compared to S. aureus alone. Given the microbicidal activity of ÎČ-defensins, we determined whether hBD family members were present in platelets and found mRNA and protein for hBD-1. We also established that hBD-1 protein resided in extragranular cytoplasmic compartments of platelets. Consistent with this localization pattern, agonists that elicit granular secretion by platelets did not readily induce hBD-1 release. Nevertheless, platelets released hBD-1 when they were stimulated by α-toxin, a S. aureus product that permeabilizes target cells. Platelet-derived hBD-1 significantly impaired the growth of clinical strains of S. aureus. hBD-1 also induced robust neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation by target polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs), which is a novel antimicrobial function of ÎČ-defensins that was not previously identified. Taken together, these data demonstrate that hBD-1 is a previously-unrecognized component of platelets that displays classic antimicrobial activity and, in addition, signals PMNs to extrude DNA lattices that capture and kill bacteria

    A search for the decay modes B+/- to h+/- tau l

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    We present a search for the lepton flavor violating decay modes B+/- to h+/- tau l (h= K,pi; l= e,mu) using the BaBar data sample, which corresponds to 472 million BBbar pairs. The search uses events where one B meson is fully reconstructed in one of several hadronic final states. Using the momenta of the reconstructed B, h, and l candidates, we are able to fully determine the tau four-momentum. The resulting tau candidate mass is our main discriminant against combinatorial background. We see no evidence for B+/- to h+/- tau l decays and set a 90% confidence level upper limit on each branching fraction at the level of a few times 10^-5.Comment: 15 pages, 7 figures, submitted to Phys. Rev.

    Evidence for an excess of B -> D(*) Tau Nu decays

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    Based on the full BaBar data sample, we report improved measurements of the ratios R(D(*)) = B(B -> D(*) Tau Nu)/B(B -> D(*) l Nu), where l is either e or mu. These ratios are sensitive to new physics contributions in the form of a charged Higgs boson. We measure R(D) = 0.440 +- 0.058 +- 0.042 and R(D*) = 0.332 +- 0.024 +- 0.018, which exceed the Standard Model expectations by 2.0 sigma and 2.7 sigma, respectively. Taken together, our results disagree with these expectations at the 3.4 sigma level. This excess cannot be explained by a charged Higgs boson in the type II two-Higgs-doublet model. We also report the observation of the decay B -> D Tau Nu, with a significance of 6.8 sigma.Comment: Expanded section on systematics, text corrections, improved the format of Figure 2 and included the effect of the change of the Tau polarization due to the charged Higg

    Search for the decay modes D^0 → e^+e^-, D^0 → ÎŒ^+ÎŒ^-, and D^0 → e^±Ό∓

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    We present searches for the rare decay modes D^0→e^+e^-, D^0→Ό^+ÎŒ^-, and D^0→e^±Ό^∓ in continuum e^+e^-→cc events recorded by the BABAR detector in a data sample that corresponds to an integrated luminosity of 468  fb^(-1). These decays are highly Glashow–Iliopoulos–Maiani suppressed but may be enhanced in several extensions of the standard model. Our observed event yields are consistent with the expected backgrounds. An excess is seen in the D^0→Ό^+ÎŒ^- channel, although the observed yield is consistent with an upward background fluctuation at the 5% level. Using the Feldman–Cousins method, we set the following 90% confidence level intervals on the branching fractions: B(D^0→e^+e^-)<1.7×10^(-7), B(D^0→Ό^+ÎŒ^-) within [0.6,8.1]×10^(-7), and B(D^0→e^±Ό^∓)<3.3×10^(-7)

    Case–control study of lifetime total physical activity and endometrial cancer risk

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    A population-based case–control study of physical activity and endometrial cancer risk was conducted in Alberta between 2002 and 2006. Incident, histologically confirmed cases of endometrial cancer (n = 542) were frequency age-matched to controls (n = 1,032). The Lifetime Total Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to measure occupational, household, and recreational activity levels. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted. Total lifetime physical activity reduced endometrial cancer risk (odds ratio [OR] for >129 vs. <82 MET-h/week/year = 0.86, 95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 0.63, 1.18). By type of activity, the risks were significantly decreased for greater recreational activity (OR = 0.64, 95% CI: 0.47, 0.87), but not for household activity (OR = 1.09, 95% CI: 0.75, 1.58) and/or occupational activity (OR = 0.90, 95% CI: 0.67, 1.20) when comparing the highest to lowest quartiles. For activity performed at different biologically defined life periods, some indication of reduced risks with activity done between menarche and full-term pregnancy and after menarche was observed. When examining the activity by intensity of activity (i.e., light <3, moderate 3–6, and vigorous >6 METs), light activity slightly decreased endometrial cancer risk (OR = 0.68, 95% CI: 0.48, 0.97) but no association with moderate or vigorous intensity activity was found. Endometrial cancer risk was increased with sedentary occupational activity by 28% (95 CI%: 0.89, 1.83) for >11.3 h/week/year versus ≀2.4 h/week/year or by 11% for every 5 h/week/year spent in sedentary behavior. This study provides evidence for a decreased risk between lifetime physical activity and endometrial cancer risk and a possible increased risk associated with sedentary behavior

    Study of the reaction e^{+}e^{-} -->J/psi\pi^{+}\pi^{-} via initial-state radiation at BaBar

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    We study the process e+e−→J/ψπ+π−e^+e^-\to J/\psi\pi^{+}\pi^{-} with initial-state-radiation events produced at the PEP-II asymmetric-energy collider. The data were recorded with the BaBar detector at center-of-mass energies 10.58 and 10.54 GeV, and correspond to an integrated luminosity of 454 fb−1\mathrm{fb^{-1}}. We investigate the J/ψπ+π−J/\psi \pi^{+}\pi^{-} mass distribution in the region from 3.5 to 5.5 GeV/c2\mathrm{GeV/c^{2}}. Below 3.7 GeV/c2\mathrm{GeV/c^{2}} the ψ(2S)\psi(2S) signal dominates, and above 4 GeV/c2\mathrm{GeV/c^{2}} there is a significant peak due to the Y(4260). A fit to the data in the range 3.74 -- 5.50 GeV/c2\mathrm{GeV/c^{2}} yields a mass value 4244±54244 \pm 5 (stat) ±4 \pm 4 (syst)MeV/c2\mathrm{MeV/c^{2}} and a width value 114−15+16114 ^{+16}_{-15} (stat)±7 \pm 7(syst)MeV\mathrm{MeV} for this state. We do not confirm the report from the Belle collaboration of a broad structure at 4.01 GeV/c2\mathrm{GeV/c^{2}}. In addition, we investigate the π+π−\pi^{+}\pi^{-} system which results from Y(4260) decay

    Prevalence and factors associated with poor performance in the 5‐chair stand test: findings from the Cognitive Function and Ageing Study II and proposed Newcastle protocol for use in the assessment of sarcopenia

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    Background Poor performance in the 5‐chair stand test (5‐CST) indicates reduced lower limb muscle strength. The 5‐CST has been recommended for use in the initial assessment of sarcopenia, the accelerated loss of muscle strength and mass. In order to facilitate the use of the 5‐CST in sarcopenia assessment, our aims were to (i) describe the prevalence and factors associated with poor performance in the 5‐CST, (ii) examine the relationship between the 5‐CST and gait speed, and (iii) propose a protocol for using the 5‐CST. Methods The population‐based study Cognitive Function and Ageing Study II recruited people aged 65 years and over from defined geographical localities in Cambridgeshire, Newcastle, and Nottingham. The study collected data for assessment of functional ability during home visits, including the 5‐CST and gait speed. We used multinomial logistic regression to assess the associations between factors including the SARC‐F questionnaire and the category of 5‐CST performance: fast (15 s), or unable, with slow/unable classed as poor performance. We reviewed previous studies on the protocol used to carry out the 5‐CST. Results A total of 7190 participants aged 65+ from the three diverse localities of Cognitive Function and Ageing Study II were included (54.1% female). The proportion of those with poor performance in the 5‐CST increased with age, from 34.3% at age 65–69 to 89.7% at age 90+. Factors independently associated with poor performance included positive responses to the SARC‐F questionnaire, physical inactivity, depression, impaired cognition, and multimorbidity (all P < 0.005). Most people with poor performance also had slow gait speed (57.8%) or were unable to complete the gait speed test (18.4%). We found variation in the 5‐CST protocol used, for example, timing until a participant stood up for the fifth time or until they sat down afterwards. Conclusions Poor performance in the 5‐CST is increasingly common with age and is associated with a cluster of other factors that characterize risk for poor ageing such as physical inactivity, impaired cognition, and multimorbidity. We recommend a low threshold for performing the 5‐CST in clinical settings and provide a protocol for its use

    Observation and study of baryonic B decays: B -> D(*) p pbar, D(*) p pbar pi, and D(*) p pbar pi pi

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    We present a study of ten B-meson decays to a D(*), a proton-antiproton pair, and a system of up to two pions using BaBar's data set of 455x10^6 BBbar pairs. Four of the modes (B0bar -> D0 p anti-p, B0bar -> D*0 p anti-p, B0bar -> D+ p anti-p pi-, B0bar -> D*+ p anti-p pi-) are studied with improved statistics compared to previous measurements; six of the modes (B- -> D0 p anti-p pi-, B- -> D*0 p anti-p pi-, B0bar -> D0 p anti-p pi- pi+, B0bar -> D*0 p anti-p pi- pi+, B- -> D+ p anti-p pi- pi-, B- -> D*+ p anti-p pi- pi-) are first observations. The branching fractions for 3- and 5-body decays are suppressed compared to 4-body decays. Kinematic distributions for 3-body decays show non-overlapping threshold enhancements in m(p anti-p) and m(D(*)0 p) in the Dalitz plots. For 4-body decays, m(p pi-) mass projections show a narrow peak with mass and full width of (1497.4 +- 3.0 +- 0.9) MeV/c2, and (47 +- 12 +- 4) MeV/c2, respectively, where the first (second) errors are statistical (systematic). For 5-body decays, mass projections are similar to phase space expectations. All results are preliminary.Comment: 28 pages, 90 postscript figures, submitted to LP0

    Host Factors Required for Modulation of Phagosome Biogenesis and Proliferation of Francisella tularensis within the Cytosol

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    Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious facultative intracellular bacterium that can be transmitted between mammals by arthropod vectors. Similar to many other intracellular bacteria that replicate within the cytosol, such as Listeria, Shigella, Burkholderia, and Rickettsia, the virulence of F. tularensis depends on its ability to modulate biogenesis of its phagosome and to escape into the host cell cytosol where it proliferates. Recent studies have identified the F. tularensis genes required for modulation of phagosome biogenesis and escape into the host cell cytosol within human and arthropod-derived cells. However, the arthropod and mammalian host factors required for intracellular proliferation of F. tularensis are not known. We have utilized a forward genetic approach employing genome-wide RNAi screen in Drosophila melanogaster-derived cells. Screening a library of ∌21,300 RNAi, we have identified at least 186 host factors required for intracellular bacterial proliferation. We silenced twelve mammalian homologues by RNAi in HEK293T cells and identified three conserved factors, the PI4 kinase PI4KCA, the ubiquitin hydrolase USP22, and the ubiquitin ligase CDC27, which are also required for replication in human cells. The PI4KCA and USP22 mammalian factors are not required for modulation of phagosome biogenesis or phagosomal escape but are required for proliferation within the cytosol. In contrast, the CDC27 ubiquitin ligase is required for evading lysosomal fusion and for phagosomal escape into the cytosol. Although F. tularensis interacts with the autophagy pathway during late stages of proliferation in mouse macrophages, this does not occur in human cells. Our data suggest that F. tularensis utilizes host ubiquitin turnover in distinct mechanisms during the phagosomal and cytosolic phases and phosphoinositide metabolism is essential for cytosolic proliferation of F. tularensis. Our data will facilitate deciphering molecular ecology, patho-adaptation of F. tularensis to the arthropod vector and its role in bacterial ecology and patho-evolution to infect mammals