"Sometimes I feel that this is the Russia we had always dreamed of..." : transnationalism and capitalism ; migrants from the former Soviet Union and their experiences in Germany; paper for the conference 'Alltag der Globalisierung. Perspektiven einer transnationalen Anthropologie', January 16-18, 2003, Institute of Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main
- The present article explores perceptions and cultural constructions of the terms capitalism or capitalistic West among ex-Soviet, highly qualified Jewish migrants from Russia and Ukraine after their emigration to Germany between 1990 and 1996. It seems that migration offers a unique opportunity to migrants to realise knowledge that is normally taken for granted, behaviour schemes and values, and to reflect on them. How do they acquire such presumed capitalist knowledge of the new society and new social world, how do they create it, and with what concrete contents do they connect the illusion about monolithic cultural, economic and political capital, the illusion which contributes to group formation and which serves as action orientation? As my research shows, immigrants try to disparage much of what appeared to them in the Soviet Union as normative, right and appropriate; now they often act by way of categories, which were defined in the previous context as "capitalist" and were interpreted as immoral. Without exact ideas or knowledge about behaviour codes, unspoken norms and silent values from the new society, many immigrants orient themselves towards the opposite of what was counted as morally proper in the origin society. Simultaneously they revive old system through the establishing and development of a Russian language enclave. Nevertheless this enclave is not located in a vacuum of "dusty" memories from the past, but build transnational cross-border space connected and corresponding to the processes of to-day's CIS and with the life of those relatives and friends who still live there, und with whom the emigrants share intensive social networks.
Challenging and confirming touristic representations of the Mediterranean : migrant workers in Crete
- From the perspective of Western Europe the Mediterranean is shaped by the imagery of tourism and migration. During the time of the “guest worker”-migration in the 1960s and 70s the notion of the hopelessly underdeveloped South of Europe which pushes “guest workers” towards the rich North became prevalent here. It offered a contrast which let the beginning prosperity in the North appear even clearer. (see von Osten 2006) Besides the attractions “sea, sun and sand” it was exactly this conception of backwardness which – reinterpreted in authentic and traditional Mediterranean lifestyle – made the area attractive for tourist consumption. Today it is again pictures of the Mediterranean, which represent migration dynamics in Europe. In the meantime, however, the countries of origin of the “guest workers” have become countries of immigration and European Union member states or candidates for accession. The representation of the Mediterranean as an area of migration is dominated now by pictures of desperate refugees and illegal immigrants, who risk their life by crossing the sea, in order to enter the “fortress Europe”. In these current representations the “colonial narrative of migrants as members of a territory of underdeveloped” is continued (ibid.). A translation of the migrant area into the tourist area seems, however, more difficult than at the times of the “guest worker”-migration. What constitutes the Mediterranean as a tourist destination seems to have no longer anything in common with the Mediterranean as an area of migration.....
Ist die traditionelle Leistungsethik in den führenden Industrienationen zum Haupthindernis eines prosperierenden und gerechten Kapitalismus geworden? : die Relevanz dieser zeitdiagnostischen Frage für die Religionssoziologie
- Der Autor beschäftigt sich in diesem Aufsatz aus religionssoziologischer Perspektive mit der Frage, ob die herkömmliche Leistungsethik in den entwickelten Industrienationen zum Haupthindernis eines prosperierenden und gerechten Kapitalismus geworden ist. Vor dem Hintergrund der Skizze einer Krisendiagnose vom "Ende der Erwerbsarbeitsethik als Normalmodell" wird zu bestimmen versucht, was diese Krise insbesondere für die Lebensführung bedeutet und welche religionssoziologisch relevanten Fragen durch sie aufgeworfen werden. Es wird schließlich unter Rekurs auf die skizzierte Krise die erweiterte Version einer Weberianschen Säkularisierungstheorie entworfen, die sich nicht zuletzt durch die krisenhafte Entwicklung theoretisch aufdränge.
Chemoresistance induces enhanced adhesion and transendothelial penetration of neuroblastoma cells by down-regulating NCAM surface expression
Roman A. Blaheta
Frederick H. Daher
Eva M. Weich
Hans Wilhelm Doerr
- Background Drug resistance to chemotherapy is often associated with increased malignancy in neuroblastoma (NB). One explanation for the link between resistance and malignancy might be that resistance facilitates cancer progression and invasion. To investigate this hypothesis, adhesion, transendothelial penetration and NCAM (CD56) adhesion receptor expression of drug-resistant versus drug-sensitive NB tumor cells were evaluated. Methods Acquired drug resistance was mimicked by exposing parental UKF-NB-2, UKF-NB-3 or IMR-32 tumor cells to increasing concentrations of vincristine- (VCR) or doxorubicin (DOX) to establish the resistant tumor cell sublines UKF-NB-2VCR, UKF-NB-2DOX, UKF-NB-3VCR, UKF-NB-3DOX, IMR-32VCR and IMR-32DOX. Additionally, the malignant behaviour of UKF-NB-4, which already possessed the intrinsic multidrug resistance (MDR) phenotype, was analyzed. UKF-NB-4 exposed to VCR or DOX were designated UKF-NB-4VCR or UKF-NB-4DOX. Combined phase contrast - reflection interference contrast microscopy was used to separately evaluate NB cell adhesion and penetration. NCAM was analyzed by flow cytometry, western blot and RT-PCR. Results VCR and DOX resistant tumor sublines showed enhanced adhesion and penetration capacity, compared to their drug naive controls. Strongest effects were seen with UKF-NB-2VCR, UKF-NB-3VCR and IMR-32DOX. DOX or VCR treatment also evoked increased invasive behaviour of UKF-NB-4. The process of accelerated tumor invasion was accompanied by decreased NCAM surface and protein expression, and down-regulation of NCAM coding mRNA. Transfection of UKF-NB-4VCR cells with NCAM cDNA led to a significant receptor up-regulation, paralleled by diminished adhesion to an endothelial cell monolayer. Conclusions It is concluded that NB cells resistant to anticancer drugs acquire increased invasive capacity relative to non-resistant parental cells, and that enhanced invasion is caused by strong down-regulation of NCAM adhesion receptors.
On the molecular basis of novel anti-inflammatory compounds and functional leukocyte responses
- Inflammation is a complex pathophysiological event that can be triggered by activation of a number of distinct activation pathways eventually leading to the release of pro-inflammatory molecules and enzymes. Among all cells involved in inflammatory processes, neutrophils, monocytes and platelets are of major relevance. Activation of leukocytes occurs via binding of agonists to distinct GPCRs leading to activation of G proteins and proximate signaling cascades. In short, GPCR activation by pro-inflammatory agonists such as fMLP, PAF or LTB4 leads to activation of G proteins that are associated with the receptor at the cytosolic side of the plasma membrane. G proteins consist of a Gα- and a Gβγ-subunit which are associated in the inactive state. In this state, G proteins bind GDP. Upon activation, GDP is replaced by GTP that results in the dissociation of the Gα- from the Gβγ-subunit. Both subunits are capable of activating distinct PLC-β isoenzymes that catalyze the turnover of PtdIns(4,5)P2 into the second messengers Ins(1,4,5)P3 and DAG. Every GPCR holds a distinct pattern of associated G proteins which preferentially activate distinct PLC-β isoenzymes. Ca2+ channels within the SR/ER-membrane function as specific receptors for Ins(1,4,5)P3. Ligation of Ins(1,4,5)P3 to this receptor causes a release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores into the cytosol that is subsequently followed by the influx of Ca2+ e through channels in the plasma membrane. Ca2+ represents an important signaling molecule, involved in the regulation of cellular processes and enzymes that mediate inflammatory events such as ROS formation and the release of degradative enzymes. 5-LO and COXs are involved in the biosynthesis of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids and catalyze the turnover of AA into LTs and PGs, respectively. Both enzymes play pivotal roles in the initiation and maintenance of allergic diseases and inflammatory processes. LTB4 is regarded as a potent chemotactic and chemokinetic substance, whereas the cysteinyl-LTs cause smooth muscle contraction and increased vascular permeability. Therefore, 5-LO inhibitors are assumed to possess therapeutic potential for the treatment of diseases related to inflammation. Besides the intervention with 5-LO activity, inhibition of COX-activity is an effective way to suppress inflammatory reactions. The two COX isoenzymes, namely COX-1 and COX-2 show different patterns in terms of tissue expression and sensitivity towards inhibitors. COX-1 is supposed to be constantly expressed whereas COX-2 expression is upregulated at sites of inflammation. The extract of H. perforatum is commonly used for the treatment of mild to moderate depressive disorders, accompanied by a moderate profile of side effects. The extract´s efficacy as an antidepressant can be traced back to the content of the phloroglucinol hyperforin which represents the most abundant lipophilic constituent. However, in folk medicine hypericum extracts are additionally used for the treatment of inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory skin diseases. In fact, it was shown that hypericum extracts and hyperforin possess anti-inflammatory potential. Hyperforin was described as a dual inhibitor of 5-LO and COX-1. The phloroglucinols MC and S-MC from M. communis significantly differ from the molecular structure of hyperforin. Hyperforin represents a monomeric prenylated derivative whereas MS and S-MC are non-prenylated oligomeric compounds. To date, the anti-inflammatory potential of SM and S-MC has not been investigated in detail. So far, solely antioxidant activity was attributed to MC and S-MC that indeed might qualify them as anti-inflammatory drugs. The phloroglucinols MC, S-MC and hyperforin are potent inhibitors of ROS formation and HLE release. However, any inhibitory potential of these compounds was only observed when cells were activated by GPCR agonists such as fMLP or PAF. In contrast, when cells were stimulated under circumvention of G protein-associated signaling cascades, the abovementioned inhibitors were not effective at all. In leukocytes, [Ca2+]i plays a pivotal role in signal transduction and regulation of the indicated pro-inflammatory cellular functions. We were able to show that MC, S-MC and hyperforin inhibited GPCR-mediated Ca2+ mobilization with approximately the same potency as the above-mentioned leukocyte responses. However, all of the indicated phloroglucinols were ineffective when cells were stimulated with ionomycin. Since ionomycin as well as GPCR agonists exert their effects by mobilizing Ca2+ i, it seems conceivable that MC, S-MC and hyperforin somehow interfere with G protein-associated signaling pathways. In order to investigate PLC as a potential target of hyperforin, the effects of hyperforin were compared to those of the broad spectrum PLC inhibitor U-73122. We found that both inhibitors acted in a comparable manner in terms of agonist-induced Ca2+ mobilization and in regard of the manipulation of basal Ca2+ levels in unstimulated cells. In this respect, significant differences between hyperforin and U-73122 were obvious for inhibition of total PLC activity in vitro. Thus, U-73122 blocked PLC activity whereas hyperforin was ineffective in this respect. This might indicate that only certain PLC isoenzymes are affected by hyperforin. Alternatively, other components within G protein-associated signaling pathways such as G proteins itself or the Ins(1,4,5)P3 receptor must be taken into account as putative targets of hyperforin. We were able to introduce MC and S-MC as novel dual inhibitors of 5-LO and COX-1. Interestingly, such a pattern was also described for hyperforin. MC and S-MC turned out to be direct inhibitors of 5-LO, based on the fact that they inhibit 5-LO not only in intact cells but also as purified enzyme in vitro. For MC and S-MC, great discrepancies were observed between the IC50 values concerning 5-LO inhibition and the concentrations that exert the antioxidative effects. It seems probable that 5-LO inhibition is not related to reduction of the active site iron as a result of the antioxidant activity of MC and S-MC but rather to direct interference with the 5-LO enzyme. The capability of MC and S-MC to suppress COX-1 activity seems not to be a unique effect of these phloroglucinols because for COX-1, the IBPC, present in both MC and S-MC, turned out to be the most active compound. ....
Geographen im Beruf : Ergebnisse einer Befragung von Frankfurter Diplom-Geographinnen und -Geographen zu den Anforderungen des Arbeitsmarktes
Optimization and antiviral analysis of peptide ligands for the HIV-1 packaging signal PSI
- Oral presentations Background: We selected peptide ligands for the HIV-1 packaging signal PSI by screening phage displayed peptide libraries. Peptide ligands were optimized by screening spot synthesis peptide membranes. The aim of this study is the functional characterization of these peptide ligands with respect to inhibition of HIV-1 replication. Methods: Phage displayed peptide libraries were screened with PSI-RNA structures. The Trp-rich peptide motifs were optimized for specific binding on spot synthesis peptide membranes. The best binding peptide was expressed intracellularly in fusion with RFP or linked to a protein transduction domain (PTD) for intracellular delivery. The effects on virion production were analyzed using pseudotyped lentiviral particles. Results: After positive and negative selection rounds, phages binding specifically to PSI-RNA were identified by ELISA. Peptide inserts contained conserved motifs of aromatic amino acids known to be implicated in binding of PSI-RNA by the natural Gag ligand. The filter assay identified HKWPWW as the best binding ligand for PSI-RNA, which is delivered into several cell lines by addition of a PTD. Compared to a control peptide, the HKWPWW peptide inhibited HIV-1 replication as deduced from reduced titers of culture supernatants. As HKWPWW also binds to the TAR-RNA like the natural nucleocapsid PSI-RNA ligand, the effect on Tat-TAR inhibition will also be analyzed. Currently T-cell lines are established which stably express HKWPWW as well as a control peptide, which will be infected with HIV-1 to monitor the ability of HKWPWW to inhibit wild type HIV-1 replication. Conclusion: The selection of a peptide ligand for PSI-RNA able to inhibit HIV-1 replication proves the suitability of the phage display technology for the selection of peptides binding to RNA-structures. This enables the indentification of peptides serving as leads to interfere with additional targets in the HIV-1 replication cycle.
A randomized multi-center phase II trial of the angiogenesis inhibitor Cilengitide (EMD 121974) and gemcitabine compared with gemcitabine alone in advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer
Jan M. Langrehr
Dieter K. Hossfeld
Simon Van Belle
Albert Abad Esteve
Adrien A. Tempia-Caliera
- Background Anti-angiogenic treatment is believed to have at least cystostatic effects in highly vascularized tumours like pancreatic cancer. In this study, the treatment effects of the angiogenesis inhibitor Cilengitide and gemcitabine were compared with gemcitabine alone in patients with advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer. Methods A multi-national, open-label, controlled, randomized, parallel-group, phase II pilot study was conducted in 20 centers in 7 countries. Cilengitide was administered at 600 mg/m2 twice weekly for 4 weeks per cycle and gemcitabine at 1000 mg/m2 for 3 weeks followed by a week of rest per cycle. The planned treatment period was 6 four-week cycles. The primary endpoint of the study was overall survival and the secondary endpoints were progression-free survival (PFS), response rate, quality of life (QoL), effects on biological markers of disease (CA 19.9) and angiogenesis (vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor), and safety. An ancillary study investigated the pharmacokinetics of both drugs in a subset of patients. Results Eighty-nine patients were randomized. The median overall survival was 6.7 months for Cilengitide and gemcitabine and 7.7 months for gemcitabine alone. The median PFS times were 3.6 months and 3.8 months, respectively. The overall response rates were 17% and 14%, and the tumor growth control rates were 54% and 56%, respectively. Changes in the levels of CA 19.9 went in line with the clinical course of the disease, but no apparent relationships were seen with the biological markers of angiogenesis. QoL and safety evaluations were comparable between treatment groups. Pharmacokinetic studies showed no influence of gemcitabine on the pharmacokinetic parameters of Cilengitide and vice versa. Conclusion There were no clinically important differences observed regarding efficacy, safety and QoL between the groups. The observations lay in the range of other clinical studies in this setting. The combination regimen was well tolerated with no adverse effects on the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of either agent.
Characterization and remodeling of the vasculature in human adipose tissue
Investigations on the regulation of 5-lipoxygenase gene expression by DNA methylation and histone deacetylation/acetylation
- 5-LO is the key enzyme in the biosynthesis of proinflammatory leukotrienes, converting arachidonic acid to 5-HPETE, and in a second step 5-HPETE to leukotriene A4. Although the 5-LO promoter possesses characteristics of so called housekeeping genes, such as lack of TATA/CCAAT boxes and existence of several Sp1 binding sites, the 5 -LO gene is tissue specifically expressed in primarily immune competent cells of myeloid origin including granulocytes, monocytes, macrophages, mast cells and B-lymphocytes. 5-LO gene expression in MM6 and HL-60 cells is strongly induced after differentiation of the cells with TGF-beta and 1,25(OH)2D3. In some monocytic cancer cell lines, such as HL-60 TB and U937, TGF-beta and 1,25(OH)2D3 treatment are not able to activate 5-LO gene transcription. It was demonstrated, that in these cell lines the 5-LO core promoter is heavily methylated and that only demethylation by the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-2 deoxycytidine (Adc) upregulated the 5-LO mRNA levels. It was also shown that the histone deacetylase inhibitor TsA could induce 5-LO mRNA levels, but only in 1,25(OH)2D3/TGF-beta inducible MM6 cells. Interestingly the 1,25(OH)2D3/TGF-beta effect on 5-LO expression is reduced, when combined with TsA. Reporter gene assays revealed that 5-LO promoter activity is strongly induced after 24 h treatment with 330 nM TsA (construct N10 up to 35 fold in HeLa cells). The effect is dependent on the presence of the proximal Sp1 binding site GC4 (-53 bp to –48 bp in relation to the major TIS) in both HeLa and MM6 cells. In vitro binding of the transcription factor Sp1 to this site has been demonstrated in gel shift assays and DNase I footprints. Mutation of the binding site resulted in a loss of basal promoter activity in both 5-LO negative HeLa cells and in 5-LO positive MM6 cells, as well as in the loss of TsA inducibility. The mutational study of different Sp1 binding sites in a larger promoter context revealed the interaction or respectively the additive effect of the multiple Sp1 binding sites of the 5-LO promoter on basal as well as on TsA upregulated promoter activity. However, GC4 seems to be of special relevance for both the basal promoter activity, possibly recruiting the basal transcription machinery, as well as for the TsA induced upregulation of 5-LO promoter activity. TsA does not alter the protein expression levels of Sp1 and Sp3 as investigated in Western blot analysis, neither in HeLa nor in MM6 cells. DNA affinity purification assays revealed that TsA had no effect on the DNA affinity of Sp1 or Sp3. In vitro binding of both Sp1 and Sp3 to the 5-fold GC box, GC4 and GC5 was demonstrated by DAPA analysis, but histone deacetylase inhibition did not change the associated protein amounts. Finally, in vivo binding of Sp1 and Sp3 was investigated in chromatin immunoprecipitation assay (ChIP) in MM6 cells. TsA clearly induced the association of both proteins to the promoter area surrounding the TIS. Upon TsA treatment also RNA polymerase II binding to the area surrounding the TIS (-318 to +52 bp) was increased and even initiated in the more distal promoter parts –1049 to –292 bp, which are negatively regulated in reporter gene assays. Interestingly histone H4 is already highly acetylated without TsA treatment and the acetylation status of H4 remains unchanged after histone deacetylase inhibition, indicating an open chromatin structure of the 5-LO gene in MM6 cells. In a cotransfection study with Sp1 and Sp3, the transactivating potential of factors was investigated and in accordance with the ChIP data, Sp1 and Sp3 increased the promoter activity, but only after TsA treatment. In gel shift assays, the influence of DNA methylation on Sp1 binding was investigated. The results indicate different roles for the three proximal promoter sites. Whereas Sp1 binding to the 5-fold GC box and GC4 is impaired by DNA methylation, binding to GC5 is even increased. A cotransfection study with methylated 5-LO promoter constructs and the murine methyl-CpG binding proteins suggest MBD1 involvement in the regulation of the 5-LO promoter. Since in gel shifts Sp1 binding is inhibited by DNA methylation, at least to the 5-fold GC box and the activating element GC4, and similarly the mutation/deletion of the same sites strongly reduces or inhibits promoter activity, it is likely to assume, that the loss of promoter activity after in vitro methylation is in the first place due to impaired Sp1/Sp3 binding. Together the data underline the importance and complexity of Sp1/Sp3 binding to the GC rich sites in the regulation of 5-LO promoter activity in response to the histone deacetylase inhibitor TsA as well as in respect to DNA methylation.