"Denn wozu dient alle der Aufwand von Sonnen und Planeten und Monden ...?" : Bild und Erfahrung der Natur bei Goethe
- Goethes Naturdenken ist an jener historischen Nahtstelle anzusiedeln, an der sich die europäische Menschheit mit Hilfe von Wissenschaft und Technik aus den drückenden Zwängen der Natur zu befreien und sich ihres Verstandes in freier Wahl zu bedienen vorgenommen hat. Der spezifisch neuzeitliche Akzent, der diesem Vorhaben anhaftet, lautet: Die Entfremdung von der Natur ist die Bedingung der menschlichen Freiheit und ihrer Herrschaft über die Natur, doch versuchen schon die Menschen des späten 18. Jahrhunderts, ästhetisch wiederzugewinnen, was sie in der realen Beziehung zwischen Mensch und Natur verloren haben. Der Aufsatz versucht eine sozialgeschichtliche Einordnung von Goethes Naturdenken auch in die zeitgenössischen Erfahrungen der elementaren Naturgewalten, in Gewitter, Feuersbrunst und Hagelschlag, um die Innovationskraft dieses Denkens und ihres ästhetischen Ausdrucks zu belegen. Goethe hat sich zunächst dem Diskurs über die Theodizee angeschlossen, der nach dem großen Erdbeben von Lissabon lebhafter und heftiger wurde als je zuvor, ist dann aber rasch über diesen Diskurs hinausgeschritten, um den Menschen in seiner Glücksfähigkeit von allen anderen Naturwesen zu unterscheiden.
A novel spliced fusion of MLL with CT45A2 in a pediatric biphenotypic acute leukemia
Manuel R. Teixeira
- Background: Abnormalities of 11q23 involving the MLL gene are found in approximately 10% of human leukemias. To date, nearly 100 different chromosome bands have been described in rearrangements involving 11q23 and 64 fusion genes have been cloned and characterized at the molecular level. In this work we present the identification of a novel MLL fusion partner in a pediatric patient with de novo biphenotypic acute leukemia. Methods: Cytogenetics, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), molecular studies (RT-PCR and LDI-PCR), and bioinformatic sequence analysis were used to characterize the CT45A2 gene as novel MLL fusion partner in pediatric acute leukemia. Results: Fluorescence in situ hybridization of the patient G-banded metaphases demonstrated a cryptic insertion of 11q23 in Xq26.3 involving the MLL gene. Breakpoint fusion analysis revealed that a DNA fragment of 653 kb from 11q23, containing MLL exons 1-9 in addition to 16 other 11q23 genes, was inserted into the upstream region of the CT45A2 gene located at Xq26.3. In addition, a deletion at Xq26.3 encompassing the 3' region of the DDX26B gene (exons 9-16) and the entire CT45A1 gene was identified. RNA analysis revealed the presence of a novel MLL-CT45A2 fusion transcript in which the first 9 exons of the MLL gene were fused in-frame to exon 2 of the CT45A2 gene, resulting in a spliced MLL fusion transcript with an intact open reading frame. The resulting chimeric transcript predicts a fusion protein where the N-terminus of MLL is fused to the entire open reading frame of CT45A2. Finally, we demonstrate that all breakpoint regions are rich in long repetitive motifs, namely LINE/L1 and SINE/Alu sequences, but all breakpoints were exclusively identified outside these repetitive DNA sequences. Conclusion: We have identified CT45A2 as a novel spliced MLL fusion partner in a pediatric patient with de novo biphenotypic acute leukemia, as a result of a cryptic insertion of 11q23 in Xq26.3. Since CT45A2 is the first Cancer/Testis antigen family gene found fused with MLL in acute leukemia, future studies addressing its biologic relevance for leukemogenesis are warranted.
Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) expression is an independent prognostic factor in renal cell carcinoma
- Background: The enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) gene exerts oncogene-like activities and its (over)expression has been linked to several human malignancies. Here, we studied a possible association between EZH2 expression and prognosis in patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Methods: EZH2 protein expression in RCC specimens was analyzed by immunohistochemistry using a tissue microarray (TMA) containing RCC tumor tissue and corresponding normal tissue samples of 520 patients. For immunohistochemical assessment of EZH2 expression, nuclear staining quantity was evaluated using a semiquantitative score. The effect of EZH2 expression on cancer specific survival (CSS) was assessed by univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses. Results: During follow-up, 147 patients (28%) had died of their disease, median follow-up of patients still alive was 6.0 years (range 0 - 16.1 years). EZH2 nuclear staining was present in tumor cores of 411 (79%) patients. A multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that high nuclear EZH2 expression was an independent predictor of poor CSS (>25-50% vs. 0%: HR 2.72, p = 0.025) in patients suffering from non-metastatic RCC. Apart from high nuclear EZH2 expression, tumor stage and Fuhrman's grading emerged as significant prognostic markers. In metastatic disease, nuclear EZH2 expression and histopathological subtype were independent predictive parameters of poor CSS (EZH2: 1-5%: HR 2.63, p = 0.043, >5-25%: HR 3.35, p = 0.013, >25%-50%: HR 4.92, p = 0.003, all compared to 0%: HR 0.36, p = 0.025, respectively). Conclusions: This study defines EZH2 as a powerful independent unfavourable prognostic marker of CSS in patients with metastatic and non-metastatic RCC.
Impact papers on aging in 2009
Mikhail V. Blagosklonny
David A. Sinclair
Maria A. Blasco
William M. Bonner
Vilhelm A. Bohr
Robert M. Brosh
Ronald A. DePinho
Lawrence A. Donehower
Caleb E. Finch
Andrei V. Gudkov
Michael N. Hall
Stephen L. Helfand
Heinz D. Osiewacz
Daniel S. Peeper
Thomas A. Rando
K. Lenhard Rudolph
Norman E. Sharpless
Vladimir P. Skulachev
Jonathan L. Tilly
- The editorial board of Aging reviews research papers published in 2009,which they believe have or will have a significant impact on aging research.Among many others, the topics include genes that accelerate aging or incontrast promote longevity in model organisms, DNA damage responsesand telomeres, molecular mechanisms of life span extension by calorierestriction and pharmacologic interventions into aging. The emergingmessage in 2009 is that aging is not random but determined by agenetically-regulated longevity network and can be decelerated bothgenetically and pharmacologically.
Schulkampf oder Chancen für einen Konsens in Nordrhein-Westfalen?
- Im Koalitionsvertrag von Rot-Grün heißt es am Ende einer Präambel zur „Schule der Zukunft“: „Die Diskussion darüber, wie das Schulsystem ausgestaltet werden soll, ist in Nordrhein-Westfalen sehr kontrovers und polarisiert geführt worden. Wir wollen versuchen, mit allen Fraktionen und allen beteiligten Akteurinnen und Akteuren einen Konsens in der Schulpolitik zu erzielen.“ (Koalitionsvertrag zwischen der NRWSPD und Bündnis 90/Die Grünen NRW, Juli 2010, S.7) Wie stehen die Chancen für einen solchen Konsens?
De novo assembly of a 40 Mb eukaryotic genome from short sequence reads: Sordaria macrospora, a model organism for fungal morphogenesis
Jason E. Stajich
Heinz D. Osiewacz
Nick D. Read
Kristina M. Smith
- Filamentous fungi are of great importance in ecology, agriculture, medicine, and biotechnology. Thus, it is not surprising that genomes for more than 100 filamentous fungi have been sequenced, most of them by Sanger sequencing. While next-generation sequencing techniques have revolutionized genome resequencing, e.g. for strain comparisons, genetic mapping, or transcriptome and ChIP analyses, de novo assembly of eukaryotic genomes still presents significant hurdles, because of their large size and stretches of repetitive sequences. Filamentous fungi contain few repetitive regions in their 30–90 Mb genomes and thus are suitable candidates to test de novo genome assembly from short sequence reads. Here, we present a high-quality draft sequence of the Sordaria macrospora genome that was obtained by a combination of Illumina/Solexa and Roche/454 sequencing. Paired-end Solexa sequencing of genomic DNA to 85-fold coverage and an additional 10-fold coverage by single-end 454 sequencing resulted in ~4 Gb of DNA sequence. Reads were assembled to a 40 Mb draft version (N50 of 117 kb) with the Velvet assembler. Comparative analysis with Neurospora genomes increased the N50 to 498 kb. The S. macrospora genome contains even fewer repeat regions than its closest sequenced relative, Neurospora crassa. Comparison with genomes of other fungi showed that S. macrospora, a model organism for morphogenesis and meiosis, harbors duplications of several genes involved in self/nonself-recognition. Furthermore, S. macrospora contains more polyketide biosynthesis genes than N. crassa. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that some of these genes may have been acquired by horizontal gene transfer from a distantly related ascomycete group. Our study shows that, for typical filamentous fungi, de novo assembly of genomes from short sequence reads alone is feasible, that a mixture of Solexa and 454 sequencing substantially improves the assembly, and that the resulting data can be used for comparative studies to address basic questions of fungal biology.
Early production of IL-22 but not IL-17 by peripheral blood mononuclear cells exposed to live Borrelia burgdorferi: the role of monocytes and interleukin-1
Josef Martin Pfeilschifter
- If insufficiently treated, Lyme borreliosis can evolve into an inflammatory disorder affecting skin, joints, and the CNS. Early innate immunity may determine host responses targeting infection. Thus, we sought to characterize the immediate cytokine storm associated with exposure of PBMC to moderate levels of live Borrelia burgdorferi. Since Th17 cytokines are connected to host defense against extracellular bacteria, we focused on interleukin (IL)-17 and IL-22. Here, we report that, despite induction of inflammatory cytokines including IL-23, IL-17 remained barely detectable in response to B. burgdorferi. In contrast, T cell-dependent expression of IL-22 became evident within 10 h of exposure to the spirochetes. This dichotomy was unrelated to interferon-gamma but to a large part dependent on caspase-1 and IL-1 bioactivity derived from monocytes. In fact, IL-1beta as a single stimulus induced IL-22 but not IL-17. Neutrophils display antibacterial activity against B. burgdorferi, particularly when opsonized by antibodies. Since neutrophilic inflammation, indicative of IL-17 bioactivity, is scarcely observed in Erythema migrans, a manifestation of skin inflammation after infection, protective and antibacterial properties of IL-22 may close this gap and serve essential functions in the initial phase of spirochete infection.
Failure of interferon gamma to induce the anti-inflammatory interleukin 18 binding protein in familial hemophagocytosis
Claudia A. Nold-Petry
Josef Martin Pfeilschifter
Marcel Friedrich Nold
- Background: Familial hemophagocytosis (FHL) is a rare disease associated with defects in proteins involved in CD8+ T-cell cytotoxicity. Hyperactivation of immune cells results in a perilous, Th1-driven cytokine storm. We set out to explore the regulation of cytokines in an FHL patient who was clinically stable on low-dose immunosuppressive therapy after bone marrow transplantation over a six-month period. During this period, chimerism analyses showed that the fraction of host cells was between 1 and 10%. Both parents of the patient as well as healthy volunteers were studied for comparison. Methods/Principal Findings: Using ELISA, quantitative real-time PCR, and clinical laboratory methods, we investigated constitutive and inducible cytokines, polymorphisms, and clinical parameters in whole blood and whole blood cultures. Although routine laboratory tests were within the normal range, the chemokines IP-10 and IL-8 as well as the cytokine IL-27p28 were increased up to 10-fold under constitutive and stimulated conditions compared to healthy controls. Moreover, high levels of IFNgamma and TNFalpha were produced upon stimulation. Unexpectedly, IFNgamma induction of IL-18 binding protein (IL-18BP) was markedly reduced (1.6-fold vs 5-fold in controls). The patient's mother featured intermediately increased cytokine levels, whereas levels in the father were similar to those in the controls. Conclusions/Significance: Since IL-18 plays a major role in perpetuating hemophagocytosis, the failure of IFNgamma to induce IL-18BP may constitute a fundamental pathogenetic mechanism. Furthermore, increased production of IL-8 and IL-27 appears to be associated with this disease. Such dysregulation of cytokines was also found in the heterozygous parents, providing a novel insight into genotype-phenotype correlation of FHL which may encourage future research of this rare disease.
A new type of proton coordination in an F1Fo-ATP synthase rotor ring
David B. Hicks
Terry A. Krulwich
- We solved the crystal structure of a novel type of c-ring isolated from Bacillus pseudofirmus OF4 at 2.5 Å, revealing a cylinder with a tridecameric stoichiometry, a central pore, and an overall shape that is distinct from those reported thus far. Within the groove of two neighboring c-subunits, the conserved glutamate of the outer helix shares the proton with a bound water molecule which itself is coordinated by three other amino acids of outer helices. Although none of the inner helices contributes to ion binding and the glutamate has no other hydrogen bonding partner than the water oxygen, the site remains in a stable, ion-locked conformation that represents the functional state present at the c-ring/membrane interface during rotation. This structure reveals a new, third type of ion coordination in ATP synthases. It appears in the ion binding site of an alkaliphile in which it represents a finely tuned adaptation of the proton affinity during the reaction cycle. Formal Correction: This article has been formally corrected to address the following errors. 1. The images for Figures S2 and S3 were incorrectly switched. The image that appears as Figure S2 should be Figure S3, and the image that appears as Figure S3 should be Figure S2. The figure legends appear in the correct order. Please view the correct... (read formal correction) 2. The images for Figures S2 and S3 were incorrectly switched. The image that appears as Figure S2 should be Figure S3, and the image that appears as Figure S3 should be Figure S2. The figure legends appear in the correct order. Please view the correct... (read formal correction)
Hemolysis is associated with low reticulocyte production index and predicts blood transfusion in severe malarial anemia
Wolfgang E. Berdel
Peter G. Kremsner
- Background: Falciparum Malaria, an infectious disease caused by the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium falciparum, is among the leading causes of death and morbidity attributable to infectious diseases worldwide. In Gabon, Central Africa, one out of four inpatients have severe malarial anemia (SMA), a life-threatening complication if left untreated. Emerging drug resistant parasites might aggravate the situation. This case control study investigates biomarkers of enhanced hemolysis in hospitalized children with either SMA or mild malaria (MM). Methods and Findings: Ninety-one children were included, thereof 39 SMA patients. Strict inclusion criteria were chosen to exclude other causes of anemia. At diagnosis, erythrophagocytosis (a direct marker for extravascular hemolysis, EVH) was enhanced in SMA compared to MM patients (5.0 arbitrary units (AU) (interquartile range (IR): 2.2–9.6) vs. 2.1 AU (IR: 1.3–3.9), p<0.01). Furthermore, indirect markers for EVH, (i.e. serum neopterin levels, spleen size enlargement and monocyte pigment) were significantly increased in SMA patients. Markers for erythrocyte ageing, such as CD35 (complement receptor 1), CD55 (decay acceleration factor) and phosphatidylserine exposure (annexin-V-binding) were investigated by flow cytometry. In SMA patients, levels of CD35 and CD55 on the red blood cell surface were decreased and erythrocyte removal markers were increased when compared to MM or reconvalescent patients. Additionally, intravascular hemolysis (IVH) was quantified using several indirect markers (LDH, alpha-HBDH, haptoglobin and hemopexin), which all showed elevated IVH in SMA. The presence of both IVH and EVH predicted the need for blood transfusion during antimalarial treatment (odds ratio 61.5, 95% confidence interval (CI): 8.9–427). Interestingly, this subpopulation is characterized by a significantly lowered reticulocyte production index (RPI, p<0.05). Conclusions: Our results show the multifactorial pathophysiology of SMA, whereby EVH and IVH play a particularly important role. We propose a model where removal of infected and non-infected erythrocytes of all ages (including reticulocytes) by EVH and IVH is a main mechanism of SMA. Further studies are underway to investigate the mechanism and extent of reticulocyte removal to identify possible interventions to reduce the risk of SMA development.