eScholarship@UMMS

Syndicate content
Recent documents in eScholarship@UMMS
Updated: 2 hours 14 min ago

Adapting Behavioral Interventions for Social Media Delivery

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:49pm

Patients are increasingly using online social networks (ie, social media) to connect with other patients and health care professionals--a trend called peer-to-peer health care. Because online social networks provide a means for health care professionals to communicate with patients, and for patients to communicate with each other, an opportunity exists to use social media as a modality to deliver behavioral interventions. Social media-delivered behavioral interventions have the potential to reduce the expense of behavioral interventions by eliminating visits, as well as increase our access to patients by becoming embedded in their social media feeds. Trials of online social network-delivered behavioral interventions have shown promise, but much is unknown about intervention development and methodology. In this paper, we discuss the process by which investigators can translate behavioral interventions for social media delivery. We present a model that describes the steps and decision points in this process, including the necessary training and reporting requirements. We also discuss issues pertinent to social media-delivered interventions, including cost, scalability, and privacy. Finally, we identify areas of research that are needed to optimize this emerging behavioral intervention modality.

Incidence of Dengue Virus Infection in Adults and Children in a Prospective Longitudinal Cohort in the Philippines

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:49pm

BACKGROUND: The mean age of dengue has been increasing in some but not all countries. We sought to determine the incidence of dengue virus (DENV) infection in adults and children in a prospective cohort study in the Philippines where dengue is hyperendemic.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A prospective cohort of subjects > /=6 months old in Cebu City, Philippines, underwent active community-based surveillance for acute febrile illnesses by weekly contact. Fever history within the prior seven days was evaluated with an acute illness visit followed by 2, 5, and 8-day, and 3-week convalescent visits. Blood was collected at the acute and 3-week visits. Scheduled visits took place at enrolment and 12 months that included blood collections. Acute samples were tested by DENV PCR and acute/convalescent samples by DENV IgM/IgG ELISA to identify symptomatic infections. Enrolment and 12-month samples were tested by DENV hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) assay to identify subclinical infections. Of 1,008 enrolled subjects, 854 completed all study activities at 12 months per-protocol undergoing 868 person-years of surveillance. The incidence of symptomatic and subclinical infections was 1.62 and 7.03 per 100 person-years, respectively. However, in subjects > 15 years old, only one symptomatic infection occurred whereas 27 subclinical infections were identified. DENV HAI seroprevalence increased sharply with age with baseline multitypic HAIs associated with fewer symptomatic infections. Using a catalytic model, the historical infection rate among dengue naive individuals was estimated to be high at 11-22%/year.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In this hyperendemic area with high seroprevalence of multitypic DENV HAIs in adults, symptomatic dengue rarely occurred in individuals older than 15 years. Our findings demonstrate that dengue is primarily a pediatric disease in areas with high force of infection. However, the average age of dengue could increase if force of infection decreases over time, as is occurring in some hyperendemic countries such as Thailand.

DNAH6 and Its Interactions with PCD Genes in Heterotaxy and Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:49pm

Heterotaxy, a birth defect involving left-right patterning defects, and primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), a sinopulmonary disease with dyskinetic/immotile cilia in the airway are seemingly disparate diseases. However, they have an overlapping genetic etiology involving mutations in cilia genes, a reflection of the common requirement for motile cilia in left-right patterning and airway clearance. While PCD is a monogenic recessive disorder, heterotaxy has a more complex, largely non-monogenic etiology. In this study, we show mutations in the novel dynein gene DNAH6 can cause heterotaxy and ciliary dysfunction similar to PCD. We provide the first evidence that trans-heterozygous interactions between DNAH6 and other PCD genes potentially can cause heterotaxy. DNAH6 was initially identified as a candidate heterotaxy/PCD gene by filtering exome-sequencing data from 25 heterotaxy patients stratified by whether they have airway motile cilia defects. dnah6 morpholino knockdown in zebrafish disrupted motile cilia in Kupffer's vesicle required for left-right patterning and caused heterotaxy with abnormal cardiac/gut looping. Similarly DNAH6 shRNA knockdown disrupted motile cilia in human and mouse respiratory epithelia. Notably a heterotaxy patient harboring heterozygous DNAH6 mutation was identified to also carry a rare heterozygous PCD-causing DNAI1 mutation, suggesting a DNAH6/DNAI1 trans-heterozygous interaction. Furthermore, sequencing of 149 additional heterotaxy patients showed 5 of 6 patients with heterozygous DNAH6 mutations also had heterozygous mutations in DNAH5 or other PCD genes. We functionally assayed for DNAH6/DNAH5 and DNAH6/DNAI1 trans-heterozygous interactions using subthreshold double-morpholino knockdown in zebrafish and showed this caused heterotaxy. Similarly, subthreshold siRNA knockdown of Dnah6 in heterozygous Dnah5 or Dnai1 mutant mouse respiratory epithelia disrupted motile cilia function. Together, these findings support an oligogenic disease model with broad relevance for further interrogating the genetic etiology of human ciliopathies.

Palliative cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion: current clinical practice or misnomer

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:49pm

Cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion (CRS/HIPEC) is being used more and more frequently for the management of peritoneal carcinomatosis. Despite significant improvements in oncologic outcomes and the risk of complications and mortality, CRS/HIPEC remains one of the most morbid treatments offered for advanced cancers. Consequently CRS/HIPEC is still considered controversial by many, even in the setting of cancers that are potentially curable. However, as high volume surgical oncologists become more experienced with CRS/HIPEC, the potential role of "palliative CRS/HIPEC" in the management of peritoneal carcinomatosis is being raised. Given the often limited survival benefit expected after CRS/HIPEC, understanding the impact of the treatment on quality of life (QOL) needs to be an essential part of the decision to proceed and is critical to optimizing recovery afterwards. This article reviews the potential definitions of "palliative CRS/HIPEC" in various clinical contexts and describes the current state of the QOL experience after CRS/HIPEC.

Safety of anticoagulation with uninterrupted warfarin vs. interrupted dabigatran in patients requiring an implantable cardiac device

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:49pm

BACKGROUND: The optimal strategy of peri-procedural anticoagulation in patients undergoing permanent cardiac device implantation is controversial. Our objective was to compare the major bleeding and thromboembolic complications in patients managed with uninterrupted warfarin (UW) vs. interrupted dabigatran (ID) during permanent pacemaker (PPM) or implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) implantation.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study of all eligible patients from July 2011 through January 2012 was performed. UW was defined as patients who had maintained a therapeutic international normalized ratio (INR) on the day of the procedure. ID was defined as stopping dabigatran > /=12 hours prior to the procedure and then resuming after implantation. Major bleeding events included hemothorax, hemopericardium, intracranial hemorrhage, gastrointestinal bleed, epistaxis, or pocket hematoma requiring surgical intervention. Thromboembolic complications included stroke, transient ischemic attack, deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, or arterial embolism.

RESULTS: Of the 133 patients (73.4+/-11.0 years; 91 males) in the study, 86 received UW and 47 received ID. One (1.2%) patient in the UW group sustained hemopericardium perioperatively and died. In comparison, the ID patients had no complications. As compared to the ID group, the UW group had a higher median CHADS2 score (2 vs. 3, P=0.04) and incidence of Grade 1 pocket hematoma (0% vs. 7%, P=0.09). Neither group developed any thromboembolic complications.

CONCLUSIONS: Major bleeding rates were similar among UW and ID groups. Perioperative ID appears to be a safe anticoagulation strategy for patients undergoing PPM or ICD implantation.

Novel oral transforming growth factor-beta signaling inhibitor EW-7197 eradicates CML-initiating cells

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:49pm

Recent strategies for treating CML patients have focused on investigating new combinations of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) as well as identifying novel translational research agents that can eradicate CML leukemia-initiating cells (CML-LICs). However, little is known about the therapeutic benefits such CML-LIC targeting therapies might bring to CML patients. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic potential of EW-7197, an orally bioavailable transforming growth factor-beta signaling inhibitor which has recently been approved as an Investigational New Drug (NIH, USA), to suppress CML-LICs in vivo. Compared to TKI treatment alone, administration of TKI plus EW-7197 to CML-affected mice significantly delayed disease relapse and prolonged survival. Notably, combined treatment with EW-7197 plus TKI was effective in eliminating CML-LICs even if they expressed the TKI-resistant T315I mutant BCR-ABL1 oncogene. Collectively, these results indicate that EW-7197 may be a promising candidate for a new therapeutic that can greatly benefit CML patients by working in combination with TKIs to eradicate CML-LICs.

Genomic Access to Monarch Migration Using TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Targeted Mutagenesis

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:49pm

The eastern North American monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, is an emerging model system to study the neural, molecular, and genetic basis of animal long-distance migration and animal clockwork mechanisms. While genomic studies have provided new insight into migration-associated and circadian clock genes, the general lack of simple and versatile reverse-genetic methods has limited in vivo functional analysis of candidate genes in this species. Here, we report the establishment of highly efficient and heritable gene mutagenesis methods in the monarch butterfly using transcriptional activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) and CRISPR-associated RNA-guided nuclease Cas9 (CRISPR/Cas9). Using two clock gene loci, cryptochrome 2 and clock (clk), as candidates, we show that both TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9 generate high-frequency nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ)-mediated mutations at targeted sites (up to 100%), and that injecting fewer than 100 eggs is sufficient to recover mutant progeny and generate monarch knockout lines in about 3 months. Our study also genetically defines monarch CLK as an essential component of the transcriptional activation complex of the circadian clock. The methods presented should not only greatly accelerate functional analyses of many aspects of monarch biology, but are also anticipated to facilitate the development of these tools in other nontraditional insect species as well as the development of homology-directed knock-ins.

Genomic insights into the Ixodes scapularis tick vector of Lyme disease

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:49pm

Ticks transmit more pathogens to humans and animals than any other arthropod. We describe the 2.1 Gbp nuclear genome of the tick, Ixodes scapularis (Say), which vectors pathogens that cause Lyme disease, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, babesiosis and other diseases. The large genome reflects accumulation of repetitive DNA, new lineages of retro-transposons, and gene architecture patterns resembling ancient metazoans rather than pancrustaceans. Annotation of scaffolds representing approximately 57% of the genome, reveals 20,486 protein-coding genes and expansions of gene families associated with tick-host interactions. We report insights from genome analyses into parasitic processes unique to ticks, including host 'questing', prolonged feeding, cuticle synthesis, blood meal concentration, novel methods of haemoglobin digestion, haem detoxification, vitellogenesis and prolonged off-host survival. We identify proteins associated with the agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis, an emerging disease, and the encephalitis-causing Langat virus, and a population structure correlated to life-history traits and transmission of the Lyme disease agent.

Improved cell metabolism prolongs photoreceptor survival upon retinal-pigmented epithelium loss in the sodium iodate induced model of geographic atrophy

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:48pm

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is characterized by malfunction and loss of retinal-pigmented epithelium (RPE) cells. Because the RPE transfers nutrients from the choriocapillaris to photoreceptor (PR), PRs are affected as well. Geographic atrophy (GA) is an advanced form of AMD characterized by severe vision impairment due to RPE loss over large areas. Currently there is no treatment to delay the degeneration of nutrient deprived PRs once RPE cells die. Here we show that cell-autonomous activation of the key regulator of cell metabolism, the kinase mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), delays PR death in the sodium iodate induced model of RPE atrophy. Consistent with this finding loss of mTORC1 in cones accelerates cone death as cones fail to balance demand with supply. Interestingly, promoting rod survival does not promote cone survival in this model of RPE atrophy as both, rods and cones suffer from a sick and dying RPE. The findings suggest that activation of metabolic genes downstream of mTORC1 can serve as a strategy to prolong PR survival when RPE cells malfunction or die.

Reconstruction of 60 Years of Chikungunya Epidemiology in the Philippines Demonstrates Episodic and Focal Transmission

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:48pm

Proper understanding of the long-term epidemiology of chikungunya has been hampered by poor surveillance. Outbreak years are unpredictable and cases often misdiagnosed. Here we analyzed age-specific data from 2 serological studies (from 1973 and 2012) in Cebu, Philippines, to reconstruct both the annual probability of infection and population-level immunity over a 60-year period (1952-2012). We also explored whether seroconversions during 2012-2013 were spatially clustered. Our models identified 4 discrete outbreaks separated by an average delay of 17 years. On average, 23% (95% confidence interval [CI], 16%-37%) of the susceptible population was infected per outbreak, with > 50% of the entire population remaining susceptible at any point. Participants who seroconverted during 2012-2013 were clustered at distances of < 230 m, suggesting focal transmission. Large-scale outbreaks of chikungunya did not result in sustained multiyear transmission. Nevertheless, we estimate that > 350,000 infections were missed by surveillance systems. Serological studies could supplement surveillance to provide important insights on pathogen circulation.

Transcriptional activation of follistatin by Nrf2 protects pulmonary epithelial cells against silica nanoparticle-induced oxidative stress

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:48pm

Silica nanoparticles (SiO2 NPs) cause oxidative stress in respiratory system. Meanwhile, human cells launch adaptive responses to overcome SiO2 NP toxicity. However, besides a few examples, the regulation of SiO2 NP-responsive proteins and their functions in SiO2 NP response remain largely unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that SiO2 NP induced the expression of follistatin (FST), a stress responsive gene, in mouse lung tissue as well as in human lung epithelial cells (A549). The levels of Ac-H3(K9/18) and H3K4me2, two active gene markers, at FST promoter region were significantly increased during SiO2 NP treatment. The induction of FST transcription was mediated by the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), as evidenced by the decreased FST expression in Nrf2-deficient cells and the direct binding of Nrf2 to FST promoter region. Down-regulation of FST promoted SiO2 NP-induced apoptosis both in cultured cells and in mouse lung tissue. Furthermore, knockdown of FST increased while overexpression of FST decreased the expression level of NADPH oxidase 1 (NOX1) and NOX5 as well as the production of cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Taken together, these findings demonstrated a protective role of FST in SiO2 NP-induced oxidative stress and shed light on the interaction between SiO2 NPs and biological systems.

Manipulation of IL-1beta and IL-18 production by Yersinia pestis effectors YopJ and YopM and redundant impact on virulence

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:48pm

Innate immunity plays a central role in resolving infections by pathogens. Host survival during plague, caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis, is favored by a robust early innate immune response initiated by Interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and IL-18. These cytokines are produced by a two-step mechanism involving NF-kB mediated pro-cytokine production and inflammasome-driven maturation into bioactive inflammatory mediators. Because of the anti-microbial effects induced by IL-1beta/IL-18, it may be desirable for pathogens to manipulate their production. Y. pestis type III secretion system effectors YopJ and YopM can interfere with different parts of this process. Both effectors have been reported to influence inflammasome caspase-1 activity; YopJ promotes caspase-8 dependent cell death and caspase-1 cleavage, while YopM inhibits caspase-1 activity via an incompletely understood mechanism. Yet neither effector appears essential for full virulence in vivo. Here we report that the sum of influences by YopJ and YopM on IL-1beta/IL-18 release is suppressive. In the absence of YopM, YopJ minimally affects caspase-1 cleavage, but suppresses IL-1beta, IL-18 and other cytokines and chemokines. Importantly, we find that Y. pestis containing combined deletions of YopJ and YopM induces elevated levels of IL-1beta/IL-18 in vitro and in vivo, and is significantly attenuated in a mouse model of bubonic plague. The reduced virulence of the YopJ-YopM mutant is dependent on the presence of IL-1beta, IL-18 and caspase-1. Thus, we conclude that Y. pestis YopJ and YopM can both exert a tight control of host IL-1beta/IL-18 production to benefit the bacteria, resulting in a redundant impact on virulence.

A Common Variant in the Adaptor Mal Regulates Interferon Gamma Signaling

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:48pm

Humans that are heterozygous for the common S180L polymorphism in the Toll-like receptor (TLR) adaptor Mal (encoded by TIRAP) are protected from a number of infectious diseases, including tuberculosis (TB), whereas those homozygous for the allele are at increased risk. The reason for this difference in susceptibility is not clear. We report that Mal has a TLR-independent role in interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) receptor signaling. Mal-dependent IFN-gamma receptor (IFNGR) signaling led to mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) p38 phosphorylation and autophagy. IFN-gamma signaling via Mal was required for phagosome maturation and killing of intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). The S180L polymorphism, and its murine equivalent S200L, reduced the affinity of Mal for the IFNGR, thereby compromising IFNGR signaling in macrophages and impairing responses to TB. Our findings highlight a role for Mal outside the TLR system and imply that genetic variation in TIRAP may be linked to other IFN-gamma-related diseases including autoimmunity and cancer.

A Modular Assembly Platform for Rapid Generation of DNA Constructs

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:48pm

Traditional cloning methods have limitations on the number of DNA fragments that can be simultaneously manipulated, which dramatically slows the pace of molecular assembly. Here we describe GMAP, a Gibson assembly-based modular assembly platform consisting of a collection of promoters and genes, which allows for one-step production of DNA constructs. GMAP facilitates rapid assembly of expression and viral constructs using modular genetic components, as well as increasingly complicated genetic tools using contextually relevant genomic elements. Our data demonstrate the applicability of GMAP toward the validation of synthetic promoters, identification of potent RNAi constructs, establishment of inducible lentiviral systems, tumor initiation in genetically engineered mouse models, and gene-targeting for the generation of knock-in mice. GMAP represents a recombinant DNA technology designed for widespread circulation and easy adaptation for other uses, such as synthetic biology, genetic screens, and CRISPR-Cas9.

Alcoholic hepatitis accelerates early hepatobiliary cancer by increasing stemness and miR-122-mediated HIF-1alpha activation

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:48pm

Alcohol-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) develops with advanced alcoholic liver disease and liver fibrosis. Using adult mice, we evaluate the effect of alcoholic steatohepatitis on early hepatobiliary carcinoma after initiation by diethyl-nitrosamine (DEN). Here we show that alcohol-fed DEN-injected mice have higher ALT and liver-to-body weight ratio compared to pair-fed DEN-injected mice. Alcohol feeding results in steatohepatitis indicated by increased pro-inflammatory cytokines and fibrotic genes. MRI and liver histology of alcohol+DEN mice shows hepatobiliary cysts, early hepatic neoplasia and increase in serum alpha-fetoprotein. Proliferation makers (BrdU, cyclin D1, p53) and cancer stem cell markers (CD133 and nanog) are significantly up-regulated in livers of alcohol-fed DEN-injected mice compared to controls. In livers with tumors, loss of miR-122 expression with a significant up-regulation of miR-122 target HIF-1alpha is seen. We conclude that alcoholic steatohepatitis accelerates hepatobiliary tumors with characteristic molecular features of HCC by up-regulating inflammation, cell proliferation, stemness, and miR-122 loss.

P-Rex1 Promotes Resistance to VEGF/VEGFR-Targeted Therapy in Prostate Cancer

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:47pm

Autocrine VEGF signaling is critical for sustaining prostate and other cancer stem cells (CSCs), and it is a potential therapeutic target, but we observed that CSCs isolated from prostate tumors are resistant to anti-VEGF (bevacizumab) and anti-VEGFR (sunitinib) therapy. Intriguingly, resistance is mediated by VEGF/neuropilin signaling, which is not inhibited by bevacizumab and sunitinib, and it involves the induction of P-Rex1, a Rac GEF, and consequent Rac1-mediated ERK activation. This induction of P-Rex1 is dependent on Myc. CSCs isolated from the PTEN(pc-/-) transgenic model of prostate cancer exhibit Rac1-dependent resistance to bevacizumab. Rac1 inhibition or P-Rex1 downregulation increases the sensitivity of prostate tumors to bevacizumab. These data reveal that prostate tumors harbor cells with stem cell properties that are resistant to inhibitors of VEGF/VEGFR signaling. Combining the use of available VEGF/VEGFR-targeted therapies with P-Rex1 or Rac1 inhibition should improve the efficacy of these therapies significantly.

Biochemical and functional characterization of Plasmodium falciparum DNA polymerase delta

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:47pm

BACKGROUND: Emergence of drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum has created an urgent need for new drug targets. DNA polymerase delta is an essential enzyme required for chromosomal DNA replication and repair, and therefore may be a potential target for anti-malarial drug development. However, little is known of the characteristics and function of this P. falciparum enzyme. METHODS: The coding sequences of DNA polymerase delta catalytic subunit (PfPoldelta-cat), DNA polymerase delta small subunit (PfPoldeltaS) and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PfPCNA) from chloroquine- and pyrimethamine-resistant P. falciparum strain K1 were amplified, cloned into an expression vector and expressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant proteins were analysed by SDS-PAGE and identified by LC-MS/MS. PfPoldelta-cat was biochemically characterized. The roles of PfPoldeltaS and PfPCNA in PfPoldelta-cat function were investigated. In addition, inhibitory effects of 11 compounds were tested on PfPoldelta-cat activity and on in vitro parasite growth using SYBR Green I assay. RESULTS: The purified recombinant protein PfPoldelta-cat, PfPoldeltaS and PfPCNA showed on SDS-PAGE the expected size of 143, 57 and 34 kDa, respectively. Predicted amino acid sequence of the PfPoldelta-cat and PfPoldeltaS had 59.2 and 24.7 % similarity respectively to that of the human counterpart. The PfPoldelta-cat possessed both DNA polymerase and 3'-5' exonuclease activities. It used both Mg(2+) and Mn(2+) as cofactors and was inhibited by high KCl salt ( > 200 mM). PfPoldeltaS stimulated PfPoldelta-cat activity threefolds and up to fourfolds when PfPCNA was included in the assay. Only two compounds were potent inhibitors of PfPoldelta-cat, namely, butylphenyl-dGTP (BuPdGTP; IC50 of 38 microM) and 7-acetoxypentyl-(3, 4 dichlorobenzyl) guanine (7-acetoxypentyl-DCBG; IC50 of 55 microM). The latter compound showed higher inhibition on parasite growth (IC50 of 4.1 microM). CONCLUSIONS: Recombinant PfPoldelta-cat, PfPoldeltaS and PfPCNA were successfully expressed and purified. PfPolS and PfPCNA increased DNA polymerase activity of PfPoldelta-cat. The high sensitivity of PfPoldelta to BuPdGTP can be used to differentiate parasite enzyme from mammalian and human counterparts. Interestingly, 7-acetoxypentyl-DCBG showed inhibitory effects on both enzyme activity and parasite growth. Thus, 7-acetoxypentyl-DCBG is a potential candidate for future development of a new class of anti-malarial agents targeting parasite replicative DNA polymerase.

Drosophila Vision Depends on Carcinine Uptake by an Organic Cation Transporter

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:47pm

Recycling of neurotransmitters is essential for sustained neuronal signaling, yet recycling pathways for various transmitters, including histamine, remain poorly understood. In the first visual ganglion (lamina) of Drosophila, photoreceptor-released histamine is taken up into perisynaptic glia, converted to carcinine, and delivered back to the photoreceptor for histamine regeneration. Here, we identify an organic cation transporter, CarT (carcinine transporter), that transports carcinine into photoreceptors during histamine recycling. CarT mediated in vitro uptake of carcinine. Deletion of the CarT gene caused an accumulation of carcinine in laminar glia accompanied by a reduction in histamine, resulting in abolished photoreceptor signal transmission and blindness in behavioral assays. These defects were rescued by expression of CarT cDNA in photoreceptors, and they were reproduced by photoreceptor-specific CarT knockdown. Our findings suggest a common role for the conserved family of CarT-like transporters in maintaining histamine homeostasis in both mammalian and fly brains.

Cross-Sectional Associations of Computed Tomography (CT)-Derived Adipose Tissue Density and Adipokines: The Framingham Heart Study

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:47pm

BACKGROUND: Excess accumulation of abdominal subcutaneous (SAT) and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) is associated with adverse levels of adipokines and cardiovascular disease risk. Whether fat quality is associated with adipokines has not been firmly established. This study examined the association between abdominal SAT and VAT density, an indirect measure of fat quality, with a panel of metabolic regulatory biomarkers secreted by adipose tissue or the liver independently of absolute fat volumes. METHODS AND RESULTS: We evaluated 1829 Framingham Heart Study participants (44.9% women). Abdominal SAT and VAT density was estimated indirectly by adipose tissue attenuation using computed tomography. Adipokines included adiponectin, leptin receptor, leptin, fatty acid-binding protein 4 (FABP-4), retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP-4), and fetuin-A. Fat density was associated with all the biomarkers evaluated, except fetuin-A. Lower fat density (ie, more-negative fat attenuation) was associated with lower adiponectin and leptin receptor, but higher leptin and FABP-4 levels (all P < 0.0001). SAT density was inversely associated with RPB-4 in both sexes, whereas the association between VAT density and RPB-4 was only observed in men (P < 0.0001). In women, after additional adjustment for respective fat volume, SAT density retained the significant associations with adiponectin, leptin, FABP-4, and RBP-4; and VAT density with adiponectin only (all P<0.0001). In men, significant associations were maintained upon additional adjustment for respective fat volume (P < 0.005). CONCLUSIONS: Lower abdominal fat density was associated with a profile of biomarkers suggestive of greater cardiometabolic risk. These observations support that fat density may be a valid biomarker of cardiometabolic risk.

Promoter-enhancer looping at the PPARgamma2 locus during adipogenic differentiation requires the Prmt5 methyltransferase

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:47pm

PPARgamma2 is a critical lineage-determining transcription factor that is essential for adipogenic differentiation. Here we report characterization of the three-dimensional structure of the PPARgamma2 locus after the onset of adipogenic differentiation and the mechanisms by which it forms. We identified a differentiation-dependent loop between the PPARgamma2 promoter and an enhancer sequence 10 kb upstream that forms at the onset of PPARgamma2 expression. The arginine methyltransferase Prmt5 was required for loop formation, and overexpression of Prmt5 resulted in premature loop formation and earlier onset of PPARgamma2 expression. Kinetic studies of regulatory factor interactions at the PPARgamma2 promoter and enhancer revealed enhanced interaction of Prmt5 with the promoter that preceded stable association of Prmt5 with enhancer sequences. Prmt5 knockdown prevented binding of both MED1, a subunit of Mediator complex that facilitates enhancer-promoter interactions, and Brg1, the ATPase of the mammalian SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling enzyme required for PPARgamma2 activation and adipogenic differentiation. The data indicate a dynamic association of Prmt5 with the regulatory sequences of the PPARgamma2 gene that facilitates differentiation-dependent, three-dimensional organization of the locus. In addition, other differentiation-specific, long-range chromatin interactions showed Prmt5-dependence, indicating a more general role for Prmt5 in mediating higher-order chromatin connections in differentiating adipocytes.