238 research outputs found

    Prevalence of Fabry disease and GLA variants in young patients with acute stroke: The challenge to widen the screening. The Fabry-Stroke Italian Registry

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    Background: Fabry disease (FD) is a treatable X-linked lysosomal storage disorder caused by GLA gene variants leading to alpha-galactosidase A deficiency. FD is a rare cause of stroke, and it is still controversial whether in stroke patients FD should be searched from the beginning or at the end of the diagnostic workup (in cryptogenic strokes). Methods: Fabry-Stroke Italian Registry is a prospective, multicentric screening involving 33 stroke units. FD was sought by measuring őĪ-galactosidase A activity (males) and by genetic tests (males with reduced enzyme activity and females) in patients aged 18-60 years hospitalized for TIA, ischemic stroke, or intracerebral hemorrhage. We diagnosed FD in patients with 1) already known pathogenic GLA variants; 2) novel GLA variants if additional clinical, laboratory, or family-derived criteria were present. Results: Out of 1906 patients, we found a GLA variant in 15 (0.79%; 95%CI 0.44-1.29) with a certain FD diagnosis in 3 (0.16%; 95%CI 0.03-0.46) patients, none of whom had hemorrhage. We identified 1 novel pathogenic GLA variant. Ischemic stroke etiologies in carriers of GLA variants were: cardioaortic embolism (33%), small artery occlusion (27%), other causes (20%), and undetermined (20%). Mild severity, recurrence, previous TIA, acroparesthesias, hearing loss, and small artery occlusion were predictors of GLA variant. Conclusion: In this large multicenter cohort the frequency of FD and GLA variants was consistent with previous reports. Limiting the screening for GLA variants to patients with cryptogenic stroke may miss up to 80% of diagnoses. Some easily recognizable clinical features could help select patients for FD screening

    The Third Fermi Large Area Telescope Catalog of Gamma-ray Pulsars

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    We present 294 pulsars found in GeV data from the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Another 33 millisecond pulsars (MSPs) discovered in deep radio searches of LAT sources will likely reveal pulsations once phase-connected rotation ephemerides are achieved. A further dozen optical and/or X-ray binary systems co-located with LAT sources also likely harbor gamma-ray MSPs. This catalog thus reports roughly 340 gamma-ray pulsars and candidates, 10% of all known pulsars, compared to ‚ȧ11\leq 11 known before Fermi. Half of the gamma-ray pulsars are young. Of these, the half that are undetected in radio have a broader Galactic latitude distribution than the young radio-loud pulsars. The others are MSPs, with 6 undetected in radio. Overall, >235 are bright enough above 50 MeV to fit the pulse profile, the energy spectrum, or both. For the common two-peaked profiles, the gamma-ray peak closest to the magnetic pole crossing generally has a softer spectrum. The spectral energy distributions tend to narrow as the spindown power Eňô\dot E decreases to its observed minimum near 103310^{33} erg s‚ąí1^{-1}, approaching the shape for synchrotron radiation from monoenergetic electrons. We calculate gamma-ray luminosities when distances are available. Our all-sky gamma-ray sensitivity map is useful for population syntheses. The electronic catalog version provides gamma-ray pulsar ephemerides, properties and fit results to guide and be compared with modeling results.Comment: 142 pages. Accepted by the Astrophysical Journal Supplemen

    Genome-wide screening in pluripotent cells identifies Mtf1 as a suppressor of mutant huntingtin toxicity

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    Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by CAG-repeat expansions in the huntingtin (HTT) gene. The resulting mutant HTT (mHTT) protein induces toxicity and cell death via multiple mechanisms and no effective therapy is available. Here, we employ a genome-wide screening in pluripotent mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) to identify suppressors of mHTT toxicity. Among the identified suppressors, linked to HD-associated processes, we focus on Metal response element binding transcription factor 1 (Mtf1). Forced expression of Mtf1 counteracts cell death and oxidative stress caused by mHTT in mouse ESCs and in human neuronal precursor cells. In zebrafish, Mtf1 reduces malformations and apoptosis induced by mHTT. In R6/2 mice, Mtf1 ablates motor defects and reduces mHTT aggregates and oxidative stress. Our screening strategy enables a quick in vitro identification of promising suppressor genes and their validation in vivo, and it can be applied to other monogenic diseases

    Organic Selenium induces ferroptosis in pancreatic cancer cells

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    Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) cells reprogram both mitochondrial and lysosomal functions to support growth. At the same time, this causes significant dishomeostasis of free radicals. While this is compensated by the upregulation of detoxification mechanisms, it also represents a potential vulnerability.Here we demonstrate that PDA cells are sensitive to the inhibition of the mevalonate pathway (MVP), which supports the biosynthesis of critical antioxidant intermediates and protect from ferroptosis. We attacked the susceptibility of PDA cells to ferroptotic death with selenorganic compounds, including dibenzyl diselenide (DBDS) that exhibits potent pro-oxidant properties and inhibits tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. DBDS treatment induces the mobilization of iron from mitochondria enabling uncontrolled lipid peroxidation. Finally, we showed that DBDS and statins act synergistically to promote ferroptosis and provide evidence that combined treatment is a viable strategy to combat PDA

    Mechanobiology of organelles: illuminating their roles in mechanosensing and mechanotransduction

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    Mechanobiology studies the mechanisms by which cells sense and respond to physical forces, and the role of these forces in shaping cells and tissues themselves. Mechanosensing can occur at the plasma membrane, which is directly exposed to external forces, but also in the cell's interior, for example, through deformation of the nucleus. Less is known on how the function and morphology of organelles are influenced by alterations in their own mechanical properties, or by external forces. Here, we discuss recent advances on the mechanosensing and mechanotransduction of organelles, including the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the Golgi apparatus, the endo-lysosmal system, and the mitochondria. We highlight open questions that need to be addressed to gain a broader understanding of the role of organelle mechanobiology

    Mitochondrial fission links ECM mechanotransduction to metabolic redox homeostasis and metastatic chemotherapy resistance.

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    Metastatic breast cancer cells disseminate to organs with a soft microenvironment. Whether and how the mechanical properties of the local tissue influence their response to treatment remains unclear. Here we found that a soft extracellular matrix empowers redox homeostasis. Cells cultured on a soft extracellular matrix display increased peri-mitochondrial F-actin, promoted by Spire1C and Arp2/3 nucleation factors, and increased DRP1- and MIEF1/2-dependent mitochondrial fission. Changes in mitochondrial dynamics lead to increased production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and activate the NRF2 antioxidant transcriptional response, including increased cystine uptake and glutathione metabolism. This retrograde response endows cells with resistance to oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species-dependent chemotherapy drugs. This is relevant in a mouse model of metastatic breast cancer cells dormant in the lung soft tissue, where inhibition of DRP1 and NRF2 restored cisplatin sensitivity and prevented disseminated cancer-cell awakening. We propose that targeting this mitochondrial dynamics- and redox-based mechanotransduction pathway could open avenues to prevent metastatic relapse

    Gain- and Loss-of-Function CFTR Alleles Are Associated with COVID-19 Clinical Outcomes

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    Carriers of single pathogenic variants of the CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) gene have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 and 14-day death. The machine learning post-Mendelian model pinpointed CFTR as a bidirectional modulator of COVID-19 outcomes. Here, we demonstrate that the rare complex allele [G576V;R668C] is associated with a milder disease via a gain-of-function mechanism. Conversely, CFTR ultra-rare alleles with reduced function are associated with disease severity either alone (dominant disorder) or with another hypomorphic allele in the second chromosome (recessive disorder) with a global residual CFTR activity between 50 to 91%. Furthermore, we characterized novel CFTR complex alleles, including [A238V;F508del], [R74W;D1270N;V201M], [I1027T;F508del], [I506V;D1168G], and simple alleles, including R347C, F1052V, Y625N, I328V, K68E, A309D, A252T, G542*, V562I, R1066H, I506V, I807M, which lead to a reduced CFTR function and thus, to more severe COVID-19. In conclusion, CFTR genetic analysis is an important tool in identifying patients at risk of severe COVID-19

    Antennal Morphology and Fine Structure of Flagellar Sensilla in Hippoboscid Flies with Special Reference to Lipoptena fortisetosa (Diptera: Hippoboscidae)

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    Lipoptena cervi (Linnaeus), Lipoptena fortisetosa Maa, Hippobosca equina Linnaeus, and Pseudolynchia canariensis (Macquart) are hematophagous ectoparasites that infest different animal species and occasionally bite humans. Hosts are located by a complex process involving different kinds of stimuli perceived mainly by specific sensory structures on the antennae, which are the essential olfactory organs. General antennal morphology, together with distribution and ultrastructure of sensilla, have been studied in detail with scanning and transmission electron microscopy approaches. Observations have revealed some common features among the four studied hippoboscids: (a) typical concealment of the flagellum inside the other two segments; (b) characteristic trabecular surface of the flagellum; (c) peculiar external microtrichia; (d) presence on the flagellum of basiconic sensilla and grooved peg coeloconic sensilla; (e) unarticulated arista. The ultrastructure of L. fortisetosa revealed that microtrichia and the flagellar reticulated cuticle are not innervated. Different roles have been hypothesized for the described antennal structures. Microtrichia and the reticulated cuticle could convey volatile compounds towards the flagellar sensory area. Peculiar sensory neurons characterize the unarticulated arista which could be able to detect temperature variations. Coeloconic sensilla could be involved in thermoreception, hygroreception, and carbon dioxide reception at long distances, while the poorly porous basiconic sensilla could play a role in the host odour perception at medium–short distances

    An explainable model of host genetic interactions linked to COVID-19 severity

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    We employed a multifaceted computational strategy to identify the genetic factors contributing to increased risk of severe COVID-19 infection from a Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) dataset of a cohort of 2000 Italian patients. We coupled a stratified k-fold screening, to rank variants more associated with severity, with the training of multiple supervised classifiers, to predict severity based on screened features. Feature importance analysis from tree-based models allowed us to identify 16 variants with the highest support which, together with age and gender covariates, were found to be most predictive of COVID-19 severity. When tested on a follow-up cohort, our ensemble of models predicted severity with high accuracy (ACC = 81.88%; AUCROC = 96%; MCC = 61.55%). Our model recapitulated a vast literature of emerging molecular mechanisms and genetic factors linked to COVID-19 response and extends previous landmark Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS). It revealed a network of interplaying genetic signatures converging on established immune system and inflammatory processes linked to viral infection response. It also identified additional processes cross-talking with immune pathways, such as GPCR signaling, which might offer additional opportunities for therapeutic intervention and patient stratification. Publicly available PheWAS datasets revealed that several variants were significantly associated with phenotypic traits such as "Respiratory or thoracic disease", supporting their link with COVID-19 severity outcome.A multifaceted computational strategy identifies 16 genetic variants contributing to increased risk of severe COVID-19 infection from a Whole Exome Sequencing dataset of a cohort of Italian patients
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