17 research outputs found

    Gene targeted therapeutics for liver disease in alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

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    Alpha-1 antitrypsin (A1AT) is a 52 kDa serine protease inhibitor that is synthesized in and secreted from the liver. Although it is present in all tissues in the body the present consensus is that its main role is to inhibit neutrophil elastase in the lung. A1AT deficiency occurs due to mutations of the A1AT gene that reduce serum A1AT levels to <35% of normal. The most clinically significant form of A1AT deficiency is caused by the Z mutation (Glu342Lys). ZA1AT polymerizes in the endoplasmic reticulum of liver cells and the resulting accumulation of the mutant protein can lead to liver disease, while the reduction in circulating A1AT can result in lung disease including early onset emphysema. There is currently no available treatment for the liver disease other than transplantation and therapies for the lung manifestations of the disease remain limited. Gene therapy is an evolving field which may be of use as a treatment for A1AT deficiency. As the liver disease associated with A1AT deficiency may represent a gain of function possible gene therapies for this condition include the use of ribozymes, peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) and RNA interference (RNAi), which by decreasing the amount of aberrant protein in cells may impact on the pathogenesis of the condition

    COVID-19 symptoms at hospital admission vary with age and sex: results from the ISARIC prospective multinational observational study

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    Background: The ISARIC prospective multinational observational study is the largest cohort of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. We present relationships of age, sex, and nationality to presenting symptoms. Methods: International, prospective observational study of 60 109 hospitalized symptomatic patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 recruited from 43 countries between 30 January and 3 August 2020. Logistic regression was performed to evaluate relationships of age and sex to published COVID-19 case definitions and the most commonly reported symptoms. Results: ‘Typical’ symptoms of fever (69%), cough (68%) and shortness of breath (66%) were the most commonly reported. 92% of patients experienced at least one of these. Prevalence of typical symptoms was greatest in 30- to 60-year-olds (respectively 80, 79, 69%; at least one 95%). They were reported less frequently in children (≀ 18 years: 69, 48, 23; 85%), older adults (≄ 70 years: 61, 62, 65; 90%), and women (66, 66, 64; 90%; vs. men 71, 70, 67; 93%, each P &lt; 0.001). The most common atypical presentations under 60 years of age were nausea and vomiting and abdominal pain, and over 60 years was confusion. Regression models showed significant differences in symptoms with sex, age and country. Interpretation: This international collaboration has allowed us to report reliable symptom data from the largest cohort of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19. Adults over 60 and children admitted to hospital with COVID-19 are less likely to present with typical symptoms. Nausea and vomiting are common atypical presentations under 30 years. Confusion is a frequent atypical presentation of COVID-19 in adults over 60 years. Women are less likely to experience typical symptoms than men

    Identification of an Interaction between the TPα and TPÎČ Isoforms of the Human Thromboxane A2 Receptor with Protein Kinase C-related Kinase (PRK) 1: IMPLICATIONS FOR PROSTATE CANCER*

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    In humans, thromboxane (TX) A2 signals through the TPα and TPÎČ isoforms of the TXA2 receptor or TP. Here, the RhoA effector protein kinase C-related kinase (PRK) 1 was identified as an interactant of both TPα and ΀PÎČ involving common and unique sequences within their respective C-terminal (C)-tail domains and the kinase domain of PRK1 (PRK1640–942). Although the interaction with PRK1 is constitutive, agonist activation of TPα/TPÎČ did not regulate the complex per se but enhanced PRK1 activation leading to phosphorylation of its general substrate histone H1 in vitro. Altered PRK1 and TP expression and signaling are increasingly implicated in certain neoplasms, particularly in androgen-associated prostate carcinomas. Agonist activation of TPα/TPÎČ led to phosphorylation of histone H3 at Thr11 (H3 Thr11), a previously recognized specific marker of androgen-induced chromatin remodeling, in the prostate LNCaP and PC-3 cell lines but not in primary vascular smooth muscle or endothelial cells. Moreover, this effect was augmented by dihydrotestosterone in androgen-responsive LNCaP but not in nonresponsive PC-3 cells. Furthermore, PRK1 was confirmed to constitutively interact with TPα/TPÎČ in both LNCaP and PC-3 cells, and targeted disruption of PRK1 impaired TPα/TPÎČ-mediated H3 Thr11 phosphorylation in, and cell migration of, both prostate cell types. Collectively, considering the role of TXA2 as a potent mediator of RhoA signaling, the identification of PRK1 as a bona fide interactant of TPα/TPÎČ, and leading to H3 Thr11 phosphorylation to regulate cell migration, has broad functional significance such as within the vasculature and in neoplasms in which both PRK1 and the TPs are increasingly implicated

    Interaction of the Human Prostacyclin Receptor and the NHERF4 Family member Intestinal and Kidney Enriched PDZ Protein (IKEPP)

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    Prostacyclin and its I Prostanoid receptor, the IP, play central roles in haemostasis and in re-endothelialization in response to vascular injury. Herein, Intestinal and Kidney Enriched PDZ Protein (IKEPP) was identified as an interactant of the human (h) IP mediated through binding of PDZ domain 1 (PDZD1) and, to a lesser extent, PDZD2 of IKEPP to a carboxyl-terminal Class I ‘PDZ ligand’ within the hIP. While the interaction is constitutive, agonist-activation of the hIP leads to cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PK) A and PKC- phosphorylation of IKEPP, coinciding with its increased interaction with the hIP. Ectopic expression of IKEPP increases functional expression of the hIP, enhancing its ligand binding and agonist-induced cAMP generation. Originally thought to be restricted to renal and gastrointestinal tissues, herein, IKEPP was also found to be expressed in vascular endothelial cells where it co-localizes and complexes with the hIP. Furthermore, siRNA-disruption of IKEPP expression impaired hIP-induced endothelial cell migration and in vitro angiogenesis, revealing the functional importance of the IKEPP:IP interaction within the vascular endothelium. Identification of IKEPP as a functional interactant of the IP reveals novel mechanistic insights into the role of these proteins within the vasculature and, potentially, in other systems where they are co-expressed.Science Foundation IrelandDG - 10/10/1

    Identification of 15 new psoriasis susceptibility loci highlights the role of innate immunity

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    To gain further insight into the genetic architecture of psoriasis, we conducted a meta-analysis of 3 genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and 2 independent data sets genotyped on the Immunochip, including 10,588 cases and 22,806 controls. We identified 15 new susceptibility loci, increasing to 36 the number associated with psoriasis in European individuals. We also identified, using conditional analyses, five independent signals within previously known loci. The newly identified loci shared with other autoimmune diseases include candidate genes with roles in regulating T-cell function (such as RUNX3, TAGAP and STAT3). Notably, they included candidate genes whose products are involved in innate host defense, including interferon-mediated antiviral responses (DDX58), macrophage activation (ZC3H12C) and nuclear factor (NF)-ÎșB signaling (CARD14 and CARM1). These results portend a better understanding of shared and distinctive genetic determinants of immune-mediated inflammatory disorders and emphasize the importance of the skin in innate and acquired host defense

    Respiratory support in patients with severe COVID-19 in the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection (ISARIC) COVID-19 study: a prospective, multinational, observational study

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    Background: Up to 30% of hospitalised patients with COVID-19 require advanced respiratory support, including high-flow nasal cannulas (HFNC), non-invasive mechanical ventilation (NIV), or invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV). We aimed to describe the clinical characteristics, outcomes and risk factors for failing non-invasive respiratory support in patients treated with severe COVID-19 during the first two years of the pandemic in high-income countries (HICs) and low middle-income countries (LMICs). Methods: This is a multinational, multicentre, prospective cohort study embedded in the ISARIC-WHO COVID-19 Clinical Characterisation Protocol. Patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection who required hospital admission were recruited prospectively. Patients treated with HFNC, NIV, or IMV within the first 24 h of hospital admission were included in this study. Descriptive statistics, random forest, and logistic regression analyses were used to describe clinical characteristics and compare clinical outcomes among patients treated with the different types of advanced respiratory support. Results: A total of 66,565 patients were included in this study. Overall, 82.6% of patients were treated in HIC, and 40.6% were admitted to the hospital during the first pandemic wave. During the first 24 h after hospital admission, patients in HICs were more frequently treated with HFNC (48.0%), followed by NIV (38.6%) and IMV (13.4%). In contrast, patients admitted in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs) were less frequently treated with HFNC (16.1%) and the majority received IMV (59.1%). The failure rate of non-invasive respiratory support (i.e. HFNC or NIV) was 15.5%, of which 71.2% were from HIC and 28.8% from LMIC. The variables most strongly associated with non-invasive ventilation failure, defined as progression to IMV, were high leukocyte counts at hospital admission (OR [95%CI]; 5.86 [4.83-7.10]), treatment in an LMIC (OR [95%CI]; 2.04 [1.97-2.11]), and tachypnoea at hospital admission (OR [95%CI]; 1.16 [1.14-1.18]). Patients who failed HFNC/NIV had a higher 28-day fatality ratio (OR [95%CI]; 1.27 [1.25-1.30]). Conclusions: In the present international cohort, the most frequently used advanced respiratory support was the HFNC. However, IMV was used more often in LMIC. Higher leucocyte count, tachypnoea, and treatment in LMIC were risk factors for HFNC/NIV failure. HFNC/NIV failure was related to worse clinical outcomes, such as 28-day mortality. Trial registration This is a prospective observational study; therefore, no health care interventions were applied to participants, and trial registration is not applicable