2,519 research outputs found

    Duplication of clostridial binding domains for enhanced macromolecular delivery into neurons

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    Neurological diseases constitute a quarter of global disease burden and are expected to rise worldwide with the ageing of human populations. There is an increasing need to develop new molecular systems which can deliver drugs specifically into neurons, non-dividing cells meant to last a human lifetime. Neuronal drug delivery must rely on agents which can recognise neurons with high specificity and affinity. Here we used a recently introduced ‘stapling’ system to prepare macromolecules carrying duplicated binding domains from the clostridial family of neurotoxins. We engineered individual parts of clostridial neurotoxins separately and combined them using a strong alpha-helical bundle. We show that combining two identical binding domains of tetanus and botulinum type D neurotoxins, in a sterically defined way by protein stapling, allows enhanced intracellular delivery of molecules into neurons. We also engineered a botulinum neurotoxin type C variant with a duplicated binding domain which increased enzymatic delivery compared to the native type C toxin. We conclude that duplication of the binding parts of tetanus or botulinum neurotoxins will allow production of high avidity agents which could deliver imaging reagents and large therapeutic enzymes into neurons with superior efficiency

    Current issues and future research priorities for health economic modelling across the full continuum of Alzheimer's disease

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    This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record.Available data and models for the health-economic evaluation of treatment in Alzheimer's disease (AD) have limitations causing uncertainty to decision makers. Forthcoming treatment strategies in preclinical or early AD warrant an update on the challenges associated with their economic evaluation. The perspectives of the co-authors were complemented with a targeted review of literature discussing methodological issues and data gaps in AD health-economic modelling. The methods and data available to translate treatment efficacy in early disease into long-term outcomes of relevance to policy makers and payers are limited. Current long-term large-scale data accurately representing the continuous, multifaceted, and heterogeneous disease process are missing. The potential effect of disease-modifying treatment on key long-term outcomes such as institutionalization and death is uncertain but may have great effect on cost-effectiveness. Future research should give priority to collaborative efforts to access better data on the natural progression of AD and its association with key long-term outcomes.This research was funded by Novartis Pharma AG

    Control of intestinal stem cell function and proliferation by mitochondrial pyruvate metabolism.

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    Most differentiated cells convert glucose to pyruvate in the cytosol through glycolysis, followed by pyruvate oxidation in the mitochondria. These processes are linked by the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC), which is required for efficient mitochondrial pyruvate uptake. In contrast, proliferative cells, including many cancer and stem cells, perform glycolysis robustly but limit fractional mitochondrial pyruvate oxidation. We sought to understand the role this transition from glycolysis to pyruvate oxidation plays in stem cell maintenance and differentiation. Loss of the MPC in Lgr5-EGFP-positive stem cells, or treatment of intestinal organoids with an MPC inhibitor, increases proliferation and expands the stem cell compartment. Similarly, genetic deletion of the MPC in Drosophila intestinal stem cells also increases proliferation, whereas MPC overexpression suppresses stem cell proliferation. These data demonstrate that limiting mitochondrial pyruvate metabolism is necessary and sufficient to maintain the proliferation of intestinal stem cells

    Telomere fusion threshold identifies a poor prognostic subset of breast cancer patients

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    Telomere dysfunction and fusion can drive genomic instability and clonal evolution in human tumours, including breast cancer. Telomere length is a critical determinant of telomere function and has been evaluated as a prognostic marker in several tumour types, but it has yet to be used in the clinical setting. Here we show that high-resolution telomere length analysis, together with a specific telomere fusion threshold, is highly prognostic for overall survival in a cohort of patients diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast (n = 120). The telomere fusion threshold defined a small subset of patients with an extremely poor clinical outcome, with a median survival of less than 12 months (HR = 21.4 (7.9-57.6), P < 0.0001). Furthermore, this telomere length threshold was independent of ER, PGR, HER2 status, NPI, or grade and was the dominant variable in multivariate analysis. We conclude that the fusogenic telomere length threshold provides a powerful, independent prognostic marker with clinical utility in breast cancer. Larger prospective studies are now required to determine the optimal way to incorporate high-resolution telomere length analysis into multivariate prognostic algorithms for patients diagnosed with breast cancer