Can a Segulah free an Agunah? : Jewish beliefs and practices for locating a drowned body
- Bency Eichorn learns in kollel and, on the side, has been researching about various segulos. For his wedding he authored a book, Simchas Zion, discussing the segulah of keeping the afikomom from year-to-year. The post below is a small part of a much larger project on this segulah and has been adapted for the blog.
Market uptake of pegylated interferons for the treatment of Hepatitis C in Europe : meeting abstract ; 53. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie e.V. (GMDS), 15. bis 18.09.2008, Stuttgart
- Introduction and Objectives Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a leading cause of chronic liver disease with life threatening sequelae such as end-stage liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. It is estimated that the infection annually causes about 86,000 deaths, 1.2 million disability adjusted life years (DALYs), and ¼ of the liver transplants in the WHO European region . Presently, only antiviral drugs can prevent the progression to severe liver disease. Pegylated interferons combined with ribavirin are considered as current state-of-the-art treatment. Objective of this investigation was to assess the market uptake of these drugs across Europe in order to find out whether there is unequal access to optimised therapy. Material and Methods We used IMS launch and sales data (April 2000 to December 2005) for peginterferons and ribavirin for 21 countries of the WHO European region . Market uptake was investigated by comparing the development of country-specific sales rates. For market access analysis, we converted sales figures into numbers of treated patients and related those to country-specific hepatitis C prevalence. To convert sales figures into patient figures, the amount of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) sold was divided by average total patient doses (ATPD), derived by a probability tree-based calculation algorithm accounting for genotype distribution, early stopping rules, body weight, unscheduled treatment stops and dose reductions Ntotal=APIPegIFNalpha-2a/ATPDPegIFNalpha-2a+APIPegIFN&alpha-2b/ATPDPegIFNalpha-2b For more concise result presentation the 21 included countries were aggregated into four categories: 1. EU founding members (1957): Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Netherlands; 2. Countries joining EU before 2000: Austria (1995), Denmark (1973), Finland (1995), Greece (1981), Republic of Ireland (1973), Spain (1986), Sweden and UK (1973) 3. Countries joining EU after 2000: Czech Republic (2004), Hungary (2004), Poland (2004) and Romania (2007); 4. EU non-member states: Norway, Russia, Switzerland and Turkey. Results Market launch and market uptake of the investigated drugs differed considerably across countries. The earliest, most rapid and highest increases in sales rates were observed in the EU founding member states, followed by countries that joined the EU before 2000, countries that joined the EU after 2000, and EU non-member states. Most new EU member states showed a noticeable increase in sales after joining the EU. Market access analysis yielded that until end of 2005, about 308 000 patients were treated with peginterferon in the 21 countries. Treatment rates differed across Europe. The number of patients ever treated with peginterferon per 100 prevalent cases ranged from 16 in France to less than one in Romania, Poland, Greece and Russia. Discussion Peginterferon market uptake and prevalence adjusted treatment rates were found to vary considerably across 21 countries in the WHO European region suggesting unequal access to optimised therapy. Poor market access was especially common in low-resource countries. Besides budget restrictions, national surveillance and prevention policy should be considered as explanations for market access variation. Although our results allowed for the ranking of countries in order of market access, no final conclusions on over- or undertreatment can be drawn, because the number of patients who really require antiviral treatment is unknown. Further research based on pan-European decision models is recommended to determine the fraction of not yet successfully treated but treatable patients among those ever diagnosed with HCV. ...
Mitochondrial targeting adaptation of the hominoid-specific glutamate dehydrogenase driven by positive Darwinian selection
Ana C. Marques
- Many new gene copies emerged by gene duplication in hominoids, but little is known with respect to their functional evolution. Glutamate dehydrogenase (GLUD) is an enzyme central to the glutamate and energy metabolism of the cell. In addition to the single, GLUD-encoding gene present in all mammals (GLUD1), humans and apes acquired a second GLUD gene (GLUD2) through retroduplication of GLUD1, which codes for an enzyme with unique, potentially brain-adapted properties. Here we show that whereas the GLUD1 parental protein localizes to mitochondria and the cytoplasm, GLUD2 is specifically targeted to mitochondria. Using evolutionary analysis and resurrected ancestral protein variants, we demonstrate that the enhanced mitochondrial targeting specificity of GLUD2 is due to a single positively selected glutamic acid-to-lysine substitution, which was fixed in the N-terminal mitochondrial targeting sequence (MTS) of GLUD2 soon after the duplication event in the hominoid ancestor ~18–25 million years ago. This MTS substitution arose in parallel with two crucial adaptive amino acid changes in the enzyme and likely contributed to the functional adaptation of GLUD2 to the glutamate metabolism of the hominoid brain and other tissues. We suggest that rapid, selectively driven subcellular adaptation, as exemplified by GLUD2, represents a common route underlying the emergence of new gene functions.
C2-symmetric bisamidines : chiral Brønsted bases catalysing the Diels-Alder reaction of anthrones
Jan W. Bats
Michael W. Göbel
- C2-symmetric bisamidines 8 have been tested as chiral Brønsted bases in the Diels- Alder reaction of anthrones and N-substituted maleimides. High yields of cycloadducts and significant asymmetric inductions up to 76% ee are accessible. The proposed mechanism involves proton transfer between anthrone and bisamidine, association of the resulting ions and finally a cycloaddition step stereoselectively controlled by the chiral ion pair.
Distinct gamma-band components reflect the short-term memory maintenance of different sound lateralization angles
Christian F. Altmann
- Oscillatory activity in human electro- or magnetoencephalogram has been related to cortical stimulus representations and their modulation by cognitive processes. Whereas previous work has focused on gamma-band activity (GBA) during attention or maintenance of representations, there is little evidence for GBA reflecting individual stimulus representations. The present study aimed at identifying stimulus-specific GBA components during auditory spatial short-term memory. A total of 28 adults were assigned to 1 of 2 groups who were presented with only right- or left-lateralized sounds, respectively. In each group, 2 sample stimuli were used which differed in their lateralization angles (15° or 45°) with respect to the midsagittal plane. Statistical probability mapping served to identify spectral amplitude differences between 15° versus 45° stimuli. Distinct GBA components were found for each sample stimulus in different sensors over parieto-occipital cortex contralateral to the side of stimulation peaking during the middle 200–300 ms of the delay phase. The differentiation between "preferred" and "nonpreferred" stimuli during the final 100 ms of the delay phase correlated with task performance. These findings suggest that the observed GBA components reflect the activity of distinct networks tuned to spatial sound features which contribute to the maintenance of task-relevant information in short-term memory.
Varicellovirus UL 49.5 proteins differentially affect the function of the transporter associated with antigen processing, TAP
Marieke C. Verweij
Andrea D. Lipinska
Eric A. Reits
Marisa Marcondes Rezende
Thomas C. Mettenleiter
Mirjam H. M. Heemskerk
Jacques J. Neefjes
Shafiqul I. Chowdhury
Maaike E. Ressing
Frans A. M. Rijsewijk
Emmanuel J. H. J. Wiertz
- Cytotoxic T-lymphocytes play an important role in the protection against viral infections, which they detect through the recognition of virus-derived peptides, presented in the context of MHC class I molecules at the surface of the infected cell. The transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP) plays an essential role in MHC class I–restricted antigen presentation, as TAP imports peptides into the ER, where peptide loading of MHC class I molecules takes place. In this study, the UL49.5 proteins of the varicelloviruses bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1), pseudorabies virus (PRV), and equine herpesvirus 1 and 4 (EHV-1 and EHV-4) are characterized as members of a novel class of viral immune evasion proteins. These UL49.5 proteins interfere with MHC class I antigen presentation by blocking the supply of antigenic peptides through inhibition of TAP. BHV-1, PRV, and EHV-1 recombinant viruses lacking UL49.5 no longer interfere with peptide transport. Combined with the observation that the individually expressed UL49.5 proteins block TAP as well, these data indicate that UL49.5 is the viral factor that is both necessary and sufficient to abolish TAP function during productive infection by these viruses. The mechanisms through which the UL49.5 proteins of BHV-1, PRV, EHV-1, and EHV-4 block TAP exhibit surprising diversity. BHV-1 UL49.5 targets TAP for proteasomal degradation, whereas EHV-1 and EHV-4 UL49.5 interfere with the binding of ATP to TAP. In contrast, TAP stability and ATP recruitment are not affected by PRV UL49.5, although it has the capacity to arrest the peptide transporter in a translocation-incompetent state, a property shared with the BHV-1 and EHV-1 UL49.5. Taken together, these results classify the UL49.5 gene products of BHV-1, PRV, EHV-1, and EHV-4 as members of a novel family of viral immune evasion proteins, inhibiting TAP through a variety of mechanisms.
The RRM domain of poly(A)-specific ribonuclease has a noncanonical binding site for mRNA cap analog recognition
- The degradation of the poly(A) tail is crucial for posttranscriptional gene regulation and for quality control of mRNA. Poly(A)-specific ribonuclease (PARN) is one of the major mammalian 3’ specific exo-ribonucleases involved in the degradation of the mRNA poly(A) tail, and it is also involved in the regulation of translation in early embryonic development. The interaction between PARN and the m7GpppG cap of mRNA plays a key role in stimulating the rate of deadenylation. Here we report the solution structures of the cap-binding domain of mouse PARN with and without the m7GpppG cap analog. The structure of the cap-binding domain adopts the RNA recognition motif (RRM) with a characteristic a-helical extension at its C-terminus, which covers the b-sheet surface (hereafter referred to as PARN RRM). In the complex structure of PARN RRM with the cap analog, the base of the N7-methyl guanosine (m7G) of the cap analog stacks with the solvent-exposed aromatic side chain of the distinctive tryptophan residue 468, located at the C-terminal end of the second b-strand. These unique structural features in PARN RRM reveal a novel cap-binding mode, which is distinct from the nucleotide recognition mode of the canonical RRM domains.
The plasmodium export element revisited
Jan Alexander Hiß
Jude Marek Przyborski
- We performed a bioinformatical analysis of protein export elements (PEXEL) in the putative proteome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. A protein family-specific conservation of physicochemical residue profiles was found for PEXEL-flanking sequence regions. We demonstrate that the family members can be clustered based on the flanking regions only and display characteristic hydrophobicity patterns. This raises the possibility that the flanking regions may contain additional information for a family-specific role of PEXEL. We further show that signal peptide cleavage results in a positional alignment of PEXEL from both proteins with, and without, a signal peptide.
Adaptor SKAP-55 binds p21ras activating exchange factor RasGRP1 and negatively regulates the p21ras-ERK pathway in T-Cells
Christopher E. Rudd
- While the adaptor SKAP-55 mediates LFA-1 adhesion on T-cells, it is not known whether the adaptor regulates other aspects of signaling. SKAP-55 could potentially act as a node to coordinate the modulation of adhesion with downstream signaling. In this regard, the GTPase p21ras and the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway play central roles in T-cell function. In this study, we report that SKAP-55 has opposing effects on adhesion and the activation of the p21ras -ERK pathway in T-cells. SKAP-55 deficient primary T-cells showed a defect in LFA-1 adhesion concurrent with the hyper-activation of the ERK pathway relative to wild-type cells. RNAi knock down (KD) of SKAP-55 in T-cell lines also showed an increase in p21ras activation, while over-expression of SKAP-55 inhibited activation of ERK and its transcriptional target ELK. Three observations implicated the p21ras activating exchange factor RasGRP1 in the process. Firstly, SKAP-55 bound to RasGRP1 via its C-terminus, while secondly, the loss of binding abrogated SKAP-55 inhibition of ERK and ELK activation. Thirdly, SKAP-55−/− primary T-cells showed an increased presence of RasGRP1 in the trans-Golgi network (TGN) following TCR activation, the site where p21ras becomes activated. Our findings indicate that SKAP-55 has a dual role in regulating p21ras-ERK pathway via RasGRP1, as a possible mechanism to restrict activation during T-cell adhesion.
The challenge of conserving amphibian megadiversity in Madagascar
Angus I. Carpenter
Louis du Preez
Joseph R. Mendelson III
Russell A. Mittermeier
Robin D. Moore
Nirhy H. C. Rabibisoa
Noromalala Rasoamampionona Raminosoa
Olga Ravoahangimalala Ramilijaona
Christopher J. Raxworthy
David R. Vieites