4,108 research outputs found

    Characterization of Vesicular Monoamine Transporter 2 and its role in Parkinson\u27s Disease Pathogenesis using Drosophila

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    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by the selective loss of the dopaminergic neurons in the Substantia nigra pars compacta region of the brain. PD is also the most common neurodegenerative disorder and the second most common movement disorder. PD patients exhibit the cardinal symptoms, including tremor of the extremities, rigidity, slowness of movement, and postural instability, after 70-80% of DA neurons degenerate. It is, therefore, imperative to elucidate the underlying mechanisms involved in the selective degeneration of DA neurons. Although increasing numbers of PD genes have been identified, why these largely widely expressed genes induce selective loss of DA neurons is still not known. Notably, dopamine (DA) itself is a chemically labile molecule and can become oxidized to toxic by-products while induce the accumulation of harmful molecules such as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). Accordingly, DA toxicity has long been suspected to play a role in selective neuronal loss in PD. Vesicular Monoamine Transporter (VMAT) is essential for proper vesicular storage of monoamines such as DA and their regulated release. Increasing evidence have linked VMAT dysfunction with Parkinson’s disease. In this study, we re-examine the gain- and loss-of-function phenotypes of the sole VMAT homologue in Drosophila. Our results suggest that the C-terminal sequences in the two encoded VMAT isoforms not only determine their differential subcellular localizations, but also their activities in content release. In particular, VMAT2 orthologue potentially poses a unique, previously unexplored activity in promoting DA release. On the other hand, by examining DA distribution in wildtype and VMAT mutant animals, we find that there exists intrinsic difference in the dynamics of intracellular DA handling among DA neurons clustered in different brain regions. Furthermore, loss of VMAT causes severe loss of total DA levels and a redistribution of DA in Drosophila brain. Lastly, removal of both VMAT and another PD gene parkin, which is also conserved in Drosophila, results in the selective loss of DA neurons, primarily in the protocerebral anterior medial (PAM) clusters of the brain. Our results suggest a potential involvement of cytoplasmic DA in selective degeneration of DA neurons and also implicating a role for a differential intracellular DA handling mechanism underlying the regional specificity of neuronal loss in PD patients

    How to Run Through Walls: Dynamics of Bubble and Soliton Collisions

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    It has recently been shown in high resolution numerical simulations that relativistic collisions of bubbles in the context of a multi-vacua potential may lead to the creation of bubbles in a new vacuum. In this paper, we show that scalar fields with only potential interactions behave like free fields during high-speed collisions; the kick received by them in a collision can be deduced simply by a linear superposition of the bubble wall profiles. This process is equivalent to the scattering of solitons in 1+1 dimensions. We deduce an expression for the field excursion (shortly after a collision), which is related simply to the field difference between the parent and bubble vacua, i.e. contrary to expectations, the excursion cannot be made arbitrarily large by raising the collision energy. There is however a minimum energy threshold for this excursion to be realized. We verify these predictions using a number of 3+1 and 1+1 numerical simulations. A rich phenomenology follows from these collision induced excursions - they provide a new mechanism for scanning the landscape, they might end/begin inflation, and they might constitute our very own big bang, leaving behind a potentially observable anisotropy.Comment: 15pgs, 14 figures, v2, thanks for the feedback

    Interaction of hemojuvelin with neogenin results in iron accumulation in human embryonic kidney 293 cells

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    Type 2 hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) or juvenile hemochromatosis is an early onset, genetically heterogeneous, autosomal recessive disorder of iron overload. Type 2A HH is caused by mutations in the recently cloned hemojuvelin gene (HJV; also called HFE2) (Papanikolaou, G., Samuels, M. E., Ludwig, E. H., MacDonald, M. L., Franchini, P. L., Dube, M. P., Andres, L., MacFarlane, J., Sakellaropoulos, N., Politou, M., Nemeth, E., Thompson, J., Risler, J. K., Zaborowska, C., Babakaiff, R., Radomski, C. C., Pape, T. D., Davidas, O., Christakis, J., Brissot, P., Lockitch, G., Ganz, T., Hayden, M. R., and Goldberg, Y. P. (2004) Nat. Genet. 36, 77–82), whereas Type 2B HH is caused by mutations in hepcidin. HJV is highly expressed in both skeletal muscle and liver. Mutations in HJV are implicated in the majority of diagnosed juvenile hemochromatosis patients. In this study, we stably transfected HJV cDNA into human embryonic kidney 293 cells and characterized the processing of HJV and its effect on iron homeostasis. Our results indicate that HJV is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked protein and undergoes a partial autocatalytic cleavage during its intracellular processing. HJV co-immunoprecipitated with neogenin, a receptor involved in a variety of cellular signaling processes. It did not interact with the closely related receptor DCC (deleted in Colon Cancer). In addition, the HJV G320V mutant implicated in Type 2A HH did not co-immunoprecipitate with neogenin. Immunoblot analysis of ferritin levels and transferrin-55Fe accumulation studies indicated that the HJV-induced increase in intracellular iron levels in human embryonic kidney 293 cells is dependent on the presence of neogenin in the cells, thus linking these two proteins to intracellular iron homeostasis

    Face Recognition for Fast Information Retrieval and Record Lookup

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    This publication describes systems and techniques directed to taking a red, green and blue (RGB) image of a customer’s face, identifying landmarks on the face, creating a face box region, thumbnailing the face box region, sending the thumbnail to a face recognition model where face data is embedded into a vector, and using the vector in a multi-dimensional tree searching algorithm to quickly look up or retrieve information or a record relating to the customer in a database. The face image capture may be performed using standard RGB camera technology to enable broad, cost-effective business adoption. Two-factor authentication may be employed to address potential RGB image spoofing. Embedding the vector may be implemented on local technology to minimize network data transmissions of face images and increase lookup speed

    Cyclin D1 and p16 expression in recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma

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    Abstract Background Cyclin D1 and p16 are involved in the regulation of G1 checkpoint and may play an important role in the tumorigenesis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Previous studies have examined the level of expression of cyclin D1 and p16 in primary untreated NPC but no such information is available for recurrent NPC. We set out in this study to examine the expression level of cyclin D1 and p16 in recurrent NPC that have failed previous treatment with radiation +/- chemotherapy. Patients and methods A total of 42 patients underwent salvage nasopharyngectomy from 1984 to 2001 for recurrent NPC after treatment failure with radiation +/- chemotherapy. Twenty-seven pathologic specimens were available for immunohistochemical study using antibodies against cyclin D1 and p16. Results Positive expression of cyclin D1 was observed in 7 of 27 recurrent NPC specimens (26%) while positive p16 expression was seen in only 1 of 27 recurrent NPC (4%). Conclusion While the level of expression of cyclin D1 in recurrent NPC was similar to that of previously untreated head and neck cancer, the level of p16 expression in recurrent NPC samples was much lower than that reported for previously untreated cancer. The finding that almost all (96%) of the recurrent NPC lack expression of p16 suggested that loss of p16 may confer a survival advantage by making cancer cells more resistant to conventional treatment with radiation +/- chemotherapy. Further research is warranted to investigate the clinical use of p16 both as a prognostic marker and as a potential therapeutic target

    Competition between linear and cyclic structures in monochromium carbide clusters CrCn- and CrCn (n=2-8): A photoelectron spectroscopy and density functional study

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    Photoelectron spectroscopy (PES) is combined with density functional theory (DFT) to study the monochromium carbide clusters CrC−n and CrCn (n=2–8). Well-resolved PES spectra were obtained, yielding structural, electronic, and vibrational information about both the anionic and neutral clusters. Experimental evidence was observed for the coexistence of two isomers for CrC−2, CrC−3, CrC−4, and CrC−6. Sharp and well-resolved PES spectra were observed for CrC−n (n=4,6,8), whereas broad spectra were observed for CrC−5 and CrC−7. Extensive DFT calculations using the generalized gradient approximation were carried out for the ground and low-lying excited states of all the CrC−n and CrCn species, as well as coupled-cluster calculations for CrC−2 and CrC2. Theoretical electron affinities and vertical detachment energies were calculated and compared with the experimental data to help the assignment of the ground states and obtain structural information. We found that CrC−2 and CrC−3 each possess a close-lying cyclic and linear structure, which were both populated experimentally. For the larger CrC−n clusters with n=4, 6, 8, linear structures are the overwhelming favorite, giving rise to the sharp PES spectral features. CrC−7 was found to have a cyclic structure. The broad PES spectra of CrC−5 suggested a cyclic structure, whereas the DFT results predicted a linear one

    CXCR7 antagonism prevents axonal injury during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis as revealed by in vivo axial diffusivity

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is characterized by the pathological trafficking of leukocytes into the central nervous system (CNS). Using the murine MS model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), we previously demonstrated that antagonism of the chemokine receptor CXCR7 blocks endothelial cell sequestration of CXCL12, thereby enhancing the abluminal localization of CXCR4-expressing leukocytes. CXCR7 antagonism led to decreased parenchymal entry of leukocytes and amelioration of ongoing disease during EAE. Of note, animals that received high doses of CXCR7 antagonist recovered to baseline function, as assessed by standard clinical scoring. Because functional recovery reflects axonal integrity, we utilized diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to evaluate axonal injury in CXCR7 antagonist- versus vehicle-treated mice after recovery from EAE.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>C57BL6/J mice underwent adoptive transfer of MOG-reactive Th1 cells and were treated daily with either CXCR7 antagonist or vehicle for 28 days; and then evaluated by DTI to assess for axonal injury. After imaging, spinal cords underwent histological analysis of myelin and oligodendrocytes via staining with luxol fast blue (LFB), and immunofluorescence for myelin basic protein (MBP) and glutathione S-transferase-π (GST-π). Detection of non-phosphorylated neurofilament H (NH-F) was also performed to detect injured axons. Statistical analysis for EAE scores, DTI parameters and non-phosphorylated NH-F immunofluorescence were done by ANOVA followed by Bonferroni post-hoc test. For all statistical analysis a p < 0.05 was considered significant.</p> <p>Results</p> <p><it>In vivo </it>DTI maps of spinal cord ventrolateral white matter (VLWM) axial diffusivities of naïve and CXCR7 antagonist-treated mice were indistinguishable, while vehicle-treated animals exhibited decreased axial diffusivities. Quantitative differences in injured axons, as assessed via detection of non-phosphorylated NH-F, were consistent with axial diffusivity measurements. Overall, qualitative myelin content and presence of oligodendrocytes were similar in all treatment groups, as expected by their radial diffusivity values. <b/>Quantitative assessment of persistent inflammatory infiltrates revealed significant decreases within the parenchyma of CXCR7 antagonist-treated mice versus controls.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>These data suggest that CXCR7 antagonism not only prevents persistent inflammation but also preserves axonal integrity. Thus, targeting CXCR7 modifies both disease severity and recovery during EAE, suggesting a role for this molecule in both phases of disease.</p
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