137 research outputs found

    Sea urchin vault structure, composition, and differential localization during development

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    BACKGROUND: Vaults are intriguing ribonucleoprotein assemblies with an unknown function that are conserved among higher eukaryotes. The Pacific coast sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, is an invertebrate model organism that is evolutionarily closer to humans than Drosophila and C. elegans, neither of which possesses vaults. Here we compare the structures of sea urchin and mammalian vaults and analyze the subcellular distribution of vaults during sea urchin embryogenesis. RESULTS: The sequence of the sea urchin major vault protein (MVP) was assembled from expressed sequence tags and genome traces, and the predicted protein was found to have 64% identity and 81% similarity to rat MVP. Sea urchin MVP includes seven ~50 residue repeats in the N-terminal half of the protein and a predicted coiled coil domain in the C-terminus, as does rat MVP. A cryoelectron microscopy (cryoEM) reconstruction of isolated sea urchin vaults reveals the assembly to have a barrel-shaped external structure that is nearly identical to the rat vault structure. Analysis of the molecular composition of the sea urchin vault indicates that it contains components that may be homologs of the mammalian vault RNA component (vRNA) and protein components (VPARP and TEP1). The sea urchin vault appears to have additional protein components in the molecular weight range of 14–55 kDa that might correspond to molecular contents. Confocal experiments indicate a dramatic relocalization of MVP from the cytoplasm to the nucleus during sea urchin embryogenesis. CONCLUSIONS: These results are suggestive of a role for the vault in delivering macromolecules to the nucleus during development

    Effect of a Lay Counselor Intervention on Prevention of Major Depression in Older Adults Living in Low- and Middle-Income Countries:A Randomized Clinical Trial

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    Importance: Preventing depression in older adults living in low- and middle-income countries is important because of the scarcity of treatment resources and the risk of disability, suicide, and dementia. Objective: To assess whether an intervention for depression prevention provided by lay counselors is effective in older adults from low- and middle-income countries. Design, Setting, and Participants: This parallel-group randomized clinical trial with masked outcome assessment was performed in 181 older adults (≥60 years) with subsyndromal depressive symptoms at rural and urban primary care clinics in Goa, India. The first participant entered the trial on March 31, 2015, and the last exited on June 2, 2017. Data analysis used the intention-to-treat approach. Interventions: Lay counselors provided problem-solving therapy, brief behavioral treatment for insomnia, education in self-care of common medical disorders such as diabetes, and assistance in accessing medical and social programs. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was incidence of major depressive episodes. The study also assessed symptom change during 12 months (12-item General Health Questionnaire [GHQ-12]; score range of 0 to 12, with higher scores indicating greater symptoms of depression and anxiety), functional status (World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0; score range of 12 to 60, with higher scores indicating greater disability), cognition (Hindi Mini-Mental State Examination; score range of 0 to 30, with higher scores indicating better cognitive functioning), blood pressure, and body mass index to provide further clinical context. Results: The study enrolled 181 participants (mean [SD] age, 69.6 [7.2] years; 114 [63.0%] female): 91 to the intervention arm (depression in later life [DIL] intervention) and 90 to care as usual (CAU). Incident episodes of major depression were lower in the DIL intervention than in the CAU group (4.40% vs 14.44%; log-rank P =.04; number needed to treat, 9.95; 95% CI, 5.12-182.43). The 12-month Kaplan-Meier estimates of percentage of depression-free participants were 95.1% (95% CI, 90.5%-99.9%) in the DIL group vs 87.4% (95% CI, 80.4%-95.1%) in the CAU group. The incidence of depressive symptoms (GHQ-12) was also less (12-month mean difference, -1.18; 95% CI, -2.03 to -0.31; group × time interaction P <.001). There were no changes in measures of disability or cognition. The DIL intervention was associated with a significantly greater lowering of systolic blood pressure (12-month mean difference, -6.98; 95% CI, -11.96 to -2.01; group × time interaction P <.001) and change in body mass index (12-month mean difference, 0.23; 95% CI, -0.97 to 1.43; P =.04). Conclusions and Relevance: The DIL intervention is effective for preventing episodes of major depression in older persons with subsyndromal symptoms. If replicated, the DIL intervention may be effective in older adults living in low- and middle-income countries

    What aspects of periods are most bothersome for women reporting heavy menstrual bleeding? Community survey and qualitative study

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    Background: Heavy menstrual bleeding is a common symptom amongst women of reproductive age, yet questions remain about why some women experience this as a problem while others do not. We investigated the concerns of women who reported heavy menstrual bleeding on questionnaire. Methods: A cross-sectional postal survey and qualitative interviews were carried out amongst a community-based sample of women in Lothian, Scotland. 906 women aged 25 to 44 reported heavy or very heavy periods in response to a postal survey of 2833 women registered with 19 general practices. Amongst those who had reported heavy menstrual bleeding, analysis was carried out of responses to the free text questionnaire item, "What bothers you most about your periods?" In addition, 32 of these women participated in qualitative interviews and their accounts were analysed to explore how menstrual symptoms and 'problems' with periods were experienced. Results: Even amongst this subgroup of women, selected on the basis of having reported their periods as heavy in the survey, pain was the aspect of their periods that 'most bothered' them, followed by heaviness, mood changes or tiredness, and irregularity or other issues of timing. Interviewees' accounts similarly suggested that a range of menstrual symptoms were problematic and some women did not disentangle which was worst. Judgements of periods as a problem were based on the impact of menstrual symptoms on daily life and this was contingent on social circumstances such as type of paid work and other responsibilities. Although women spoke readily of whether their periods were a problem, there was less clarity in accounts of whether or not menstrual loss was 'heavy'; women said they made judgements based on what was normal for them, degree of difficulty in containing blood loss and pattern of loss. Conclusion: Women with heavy periods are bothered by a range of menstrual symptoms and their impact on everyday life. Clinical emphasis should be on clarifying the presenting problem and providing help and advice for this, as well as on excluding serious disease. Sometimes simple approaches, such as help with analgesia, may be all that is required

    HBO1 is required for the maintenance of leukaemia stem cells.

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    Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a heterogeneous disease characterized by transcriptional dysregulation that results in a block in differentiation and increased malignant self-renewal. Various epigenetic therapies aimed at reversing these hallmarks of AML have progressed into clinical trials, but most show only modest efficacy owing to an inability to effectively eradicate leukaemia stem cells (LSCs)1. Here, to specifically identify novel dependencies in LSCs, we screened a bespoke library of small hairpin RNAs that target chromatin regulators in a unique ex vivo mouse model of LSCs. We identify the MYST acetyltransferase HBO1 (also known as KAT7 or MYST2) and several known members of the HBO1 protein complex as critical regulators of LSC maintenance. Using CRISPR domain screening and quantitative mass spectrometry, we identified the histone acetyltransferase domain of HBO1 as being essential in the acetylation of histone H3 at K14. H3 acetylated at K14 (H3K14ac) facilitates the processivity of RNA polymerase II to maintain the high expression of key genes (including Hoxa9 and Hoxa10) that help to sustain the functional properties of LSCs. To leverage this dependency therapeutically, we developed a highly potent small-molecule inhibitor of HBO1 and demonstrate its mode of activity as a competitive analogue of acetyl-CoA. Inhibition of HBO1 phenocopied our genetic data and showed efficacy in a broad range of human cell lines and primary AML cells from patients. These biological, structural and chemical insights into a therapeutic target in AML will enable the clinical translation of these findings

    A large scale hearing loss screen reveals an extensive unexplored genetic landscape for auditory dysfunction

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    The developmental and physiological complexity of the auditory system is likely reflected in the underlying set of genes involved in auditory function. In humans, over 150 non-syndromic loci have been identified, and there are more than 400 human genetic syndromes with a hearing loss component. Over 100 non-syndromic hearing loss genes have been identified in mouse and human, but we remain ignorant of the full extent of the genetic landscape involved in auditory dysfunction. As part of the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium, we undertook a hearing loss screen in a cohort of 3006 mouse knockout strains. In total, we identify 67 candidate hearing loss genes. We detect known hearing loss genes, but the vast majority, 52, of the candidate genes were novel. Our analysis reveals a large and unexplored genetic landscape involved with auditory function

    The role of ALOX5AP, LTA4H and LTB4R polymorphisms in determining baseline lung function and COPD susceptibility in UK smokers

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>We have previously shown evidence that polymorphisms within genes controlling leukotriene B<sub>4 </sub>(LTB<sub>4</sub>) production (<it>ALOX5AP </it>and <it>LTA4H</it>) are associated with asthma susceptibility in children. Evidence also suggests a potential role of LTB<sub>4 </sub>in COPD disease mechanisms including recruitment of neutrophils to the lung. The aim of the current study was to see if these SNPs and those spanning the receptor genes for LTB<sub>4 </sub>(<it>LTB4R1 </it>and <it>LTB4R2</it>) influence baseline lung function and COPD susceptibility/severity in smokers.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Eight <it>ALOX5AP</it>, six <it>LTA4H </it>and six <it>LTB4R </it>single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in a UK Smoking Cohort (n = 992). Association with baseline lung function (FEV<sub>1 </sub>and FEV<sub>1</sub>/FVC ratio) was determined by linear regression. Logistic regression was used to compare smoking controls (n = 176) with spirometry-defined COPD cases (n = 599) and to more severe COPD cases (GOLD stage 3 and 4, n = 389).</p> <p>Results</p> <p>No association with <it>ALOX5AP</it>, <it>LTA4H </it>or <it>LTB4R </it>survived correction for multiple testing. However, we showed modest association with <it>LTA4H </it>rs1978331C (intron 11) with increased FEV<sub>1 </sub>(p = 0.029) and with increased FEV<sub>1</sub>/FVC ratio (p = 0.020).</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>These data suggest that polymorphisms spanning <it>ALOX5AP</it>, <it>LTA4H </it>and the <it>LTB4R </it>locus are not major determinants of baseline lung function in smokers, but provide tentative evidence for <it>LTA4H </it>rs1978331C (intron 11) in determining baseline FEV<sub>1 </sub>and FEV<sub>1</sub>/FVC ratio in Caucasian Smokers in addition to our previously identified role in asthma susceptibility.</p

    The Ser82 RAGE variant affects lung function and serum RAGE in smokers and sRAGE production in vitro

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    Introduction: Genome-Wide Association Studies have identified associations between lung function measures and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and chromosome region 6p21 containing the gene for the Advanced Glycation End Product Receptor (AGER, encoding RAGE). We aimed to (i) characterise RAGE expression in the lung, (ii) identify AGER transcripts, (iii) ascertain if SNP rs2070600 (Gly82Ser C/T) is associated with lung function and serum sRAGE levels and (iv) identify whether the Gly82Ser variant is functionally important in altering sRAGE levels in an airway epithelial cell model. Methods: Immunohistochemistry was used to identify RAGE protein expression in 26 human tissues and qPCR was used to quantify AGER mRNA in lung cells. Gene expression array data was used to identify AGER expression during lung development in 38 fetal lung samples. RNA-Seq was used to identify AGER transcripts in lung cells. sRAGE levels were assessed in cells and patient serum by ELISA. BEAS2B-R1 cells were transfected to overexpress RAGE protein with either the Gly82 or Ser82 variant and sRAGE levels identified. Results: Immunohistochemical assessment of 6 adult lung samples identified high RAGE expression in the alveoli of healthy adults and individuals with COPD. AGER/RAGE expression increased across developmental stages in human fetal lung at both the mRNA (38 samples) and protein levels (20 samples). Extensive AGER splicing was identified. The rs2070600T (Ser82) allele is associated with higher FEV1, FEV1/FVC and lower serum sRAGE levels in UK smokers. Using an airway epithelium model overexpressing the Gly82 or Ser82 variants we found that HMGB1 activation of the RAGE-Ser82 receptor results in lower sRAGE production. Conclusions: This study provides new information regarding the expression profile and potential role of RAGE in the human lung and shows a functional role of the Gly82Ser variant. These findings advance our understanding of the potential mechanisms underlying COPD particularly for carriers of this AGER polymorphism

    A Comprehensive Map of Mobile Element Insertion Polymorphisms in Humans

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    As a consequence of the accumulation of insertion events over evolutionary time, mobile elements now comprise nearly half of the human genome. The Alu, L1, and SVA mobile element families are still duplicating, generating variation between individual genomes. Mobile element insertions (MEI) have been identified as causes for genetic diseases, including hemophilia, neurofibromatosis, and various cancers. Here we present a comprehensive map of 7,380 MEI polymorphisms from the 1000 Genomes Project whole-genome sequencing data of 185 samples in three major populations detected with two detection methods. This catalog enables us to systematically study mutation rates, population segregation, genomic distribution, and functional properties of MEI polymorphisms and to compare MEI to SNP variation from the same individuals. Population allele frequencies of MEI and SNPs are described, broadly, by the same neutral ancestral processes despite vastly different mutation mechanisms and rates, except in coding regions where MEI are virtually absent, presumably due to strong negative selection. A direct comparison of MEI and SNP diversity levels suggests a differential mobile element insertion rate among populations
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