Response prediction in chronic hepatitis C by assessment of IP-10 and IL28B-related single nucleotide polymorphisms
Avidan U. Neumann
Bart L. Haagmans
DITTO-HCV Study Group
- Background: High baseline levels of IP-10 predict a slower first phase decline in HCV RNA and a poor outcome following interferon/ribavirin therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Several recent studies report that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) adjacent to IL28B predict spontaneous resolution of HCV infection and outcome of treatment among HCV genotype 1 infected patients. Methods and Findings: In the present study, we correlated the occurrence of variants at three such SNPs (rs12979860, rs12980275, and rs8099917) with pretreatment plasma IP-10 and HCV RNA throughout therapy within a phase III treatment trial (HCV-DITTO) involving 253 Caucasian patients. The favorable SNP variants (CC, AA, and TT, respectively) were associated with lower baseline IP-10 (P = 0.02, P = 0.01, P = 0.04) and were less common among HCV genotype 1 infected patients than genotype 2/3 (P<0.0001, P<0.0001, and P = 0.01). Patients carrying favorable SNP genotypes had higher baseline viral load than those carrying unfavorable variants (P = 0.0013, P = 0.029, P = 0.0004 respectively). Among HCV genotype 1 infected carriers of the favorable C, A, or T alleles, IP-10 below 150 pg/mL significantly predicted a more pronounced reduction of HCV RNA from day 0 to 4 (first phase decline), which translated into increased rates of RVR (62%, 53%, and 39%) and SVR (85%, 76%, and 75% respectively) among homozygous carriers with baseline IP-10 below 150 pg/mL. In multivariate analyses of genotype 1-infected patients, baseline IP-10 and C genotype at rs12979860 independently predicted the first phase viral decline and RVR, which in turn independently predicted SVR. Conclusions: Concomitant assessment of pretreatment IP-10 and IL28B-related SNPs augments the prediction of the first phase decline in HCV RNA, RVR, and final therapeutic outcome.
Gray matter NG2 cells display multiple Ca2+-signaling pathways and highly motile processes
- NG2 cells, the fourth type of glia in the mammalian CNS, receive synaptic input from neurons. The function of this innervation is unknown yet. Postsynaptic changes in intracellular Ca2+-concentration ([Ca2+]i) might be a possible consequence. We employed transgenic mice with fluorescently labeled NG2 cells to address this issue. To identify Ca2+-signaling pathways we combined patch-clamp recordings, Ca2+-imaging, mRNA-transcript analysis and focal pressure-application of various substances to identified NG2-cells in acute hippocampal slices. We show that activation of voltage-gated Ca2+-channels, Ca2+-permeable AMPA-receptors, and group I metabotropic glutamate-receptors provoke [Ca2+]i-elevations in NG2 cells. The Ca2+-influx is amplified by Ca2+-induced Ca2+-release. Minimal electrical stimulation of presynaptic neurons caused postsynaptic currents but no somatic [Ca2+]i elevations, suggesting that [Ca2+]i elevations in NG2 cells might be restricted to their processes. Local Ca2+-signaling might provoke transmitter release or changes in cell motility. To identify structural prerequisites for such a scenario, we used electron microscopy, immunostaining, mRNA-transcript analysis, and time lapse imaging. We found that NG2 cells form symmetric and asymmetric synapses with presynaptic neurons and show immunoreactivity for vesicular glutamate transporter 1. The processes are actin-based, contain ezrin but not glial filaments, microtubules or endoplasmic reticulum. Furthermore, we demonstrate that NG2 cell processes in situ are highly motile. Our findings demonstrate that gray matter NG2 cells are endowed with the cellular machinery for two-way communication with neighboring cells.
Prosuming, or when customers turn collaborators: coordination and motivation of customer contribution
- This article investigates the phenomenon of increasing integration of customers and users into the organizational creation of value, focusing primarily on the dissolving boundaries between production and consumption. Concepts such as "prosuming", the "working customer", "produsing" and "interactive value creation" have been used to describe this phenomenon. Within the framework of a research project at the Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main, this debate was investigated theoretically as well as empirically in three case studies. The research question is as follows: Why do customers participate in "new types of prosuming" or "interactive value creation" and how are these processes coordinated by the firms? The results show a considerable range of motives and forms of coordination: The customers’ primary motives to voluntarily assume tasks and activities were both intrinsic and extrinsic in nature. The organizational models identified range from strategies of rationalization to prosuming as a basic business model to the collaborative and interactive value creation between the company and the web-community.
New forms of collaborative innovation and production on the internet : an interdisciplinary perspective
- Contents Introduction 1 New forms of collaborative innovation and production on the Internet : Volker Wittke and Heidemarie Hanekop Interdisciplinary perspectives on collaborative innovation and production: Conceptual debates 2 Customer Co-Creation: Open Innovation with Customers : Frank Piller, Christoph Ihl and Alexander Vossen 3 Governing Social Production : Niva Elkin-Koren 4 Trust Management in Online Communities : Audun Jøsang 5 Building a reputation system for Wikipedia : Christian Damsgaard Jensen 6 Cooperation in Wikipedia from a Network Perspective : Christian Stegbauer Firm driven collaborative innovation and production: Case studies 7 Managing a New Consumer Culture: “Working Consumers” in Web 2.0 as a Source of Corporate Feedback : Sabine Hornung, Frank Kleemann and G. Günter Voß 8 Prosuming, or when customers turn collaborators: coordination and motivation of customer contribution : Birgit Blättel-Mink, Raphael Menez, Dirk Dalichau, Daniel Kahnert 9 Role Confusion in Open Innovation Intermediary Arenas : Tobias Fredberg, Maria Elmquist, Susanne Ollila, Anna Yström List of Contributors
Bayesian cue integration as a developmental outcome of reward mediated learning
Thomas H. Weisswange
Constantin A. Rothkopf
- Average human behavior in cue combination tasks is well predicted by Bayesian inference models. As this capability is acquired over developmental timescales, the question arises, how it is learned. Here we investigated whether reward dependent learning, that is well established at the computational, behavioral, and neuronal levels, could contribute to this development. It is shown that a model free reinforcement learning algorithm can indeed learn to do cue integration, i.e. weight uncertain cues according to their respective reliabilities and even do so if reliabilities are changing. We also consider the case of causal inference where multimodal signals can originate from one or multiple separate objects and should not always be integrated. In this case, the learner is shown to develop a behavior that is closest to Bayesian model averaging. We conclude that reward mediated learning could be a driving force for the development of cue integration and causal inference.
Spherical harmonics coeffcients for ligand-based virtual screening of cyclooxygenase inhibitors
Carlo Federico Angioni
- Background: Molecular descriptors are essential for many applications in computational chemistry, such as ligand-based similarity searching. Spherical harmonics have previously been suggested as comprehensive descriptors of molecular structure and properties. We investigate a spherical harmonics descriptor for shape-based virtual screening. Methodology/Principal Findings: We introduce and validate a partially rotation-invariant three-dimensional molecular shape descriptor based on the norm of spherical harmonics expansion coefficients. Using this molecular representation, we parameterize molecular surfaces, i.e., isosurfaces of spatial molecular property distributions. We validate the shape descriptor in a comprehensive retrospective virtual screening experiment. In a prospective study, we virtually screen a large compound library for cyclooxygenase inhibitors, using a self-organizing map as a pre-filter and the shape descriptor for candidate prioritization. Conclusions/Significance: 12 compounds were tested in vitro for direct enzyme inhibition and in a whole blood assay. Active compounds containing a triazole scaffold were identified as direct cyclooxygenase-1 inhibitors. This outcome corroborates the usefulness of spherical harmonics for representation of molecular shape in virtual screening of large compound collections. The combination of pharmacophore and shape-based filtering of screening candidates proved to be a straightforward approach to finding novel bioactive chemotypes with minimal experimental effort.
Inhibitors of Helicobacter pylori protease HtrA found by "virtual ligand" screening combat bacterial invasion of epithelia
- Background: The human pathogen Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a main cause for gastric inflammation and cancer. Increasing bacterial resistance against antibiotics demands for innovative strategies for therapeutic intervention. Methodology/Principal Findings: We present a method for structure-based virtual screening that is based on the comprehensive prediction of ligand binding sites on a protein model and automated construction of a ligand-receptor interaction map. Pharmacophoric features of the map are clustered and transformed in a correlation vector (‘virtual ligand’) for rapid virtual screening of compound databases. This computer-based technique was validated for 18 different targets of pharmaceutical interest in a retrospective screening experiment. Prospective screening for inhibitory agents was performed for the protease HtrA from the human pathogen H. pylori using a homology model of the target protein. Among 22 tested compounds six block E-cadherin cleavage by HtrA in vitro and result in reduced scattering and wound healing of gastric epithelial cells, thereby preventing bacterial infiltration of the epithelium. Conclusions/Significance: This study demonstrates that receptor-based virtual screening with a permissive (‘fuzzy’) pharmacophore model can help identify small bioactive agents for combating bacterial infection.
Agreeable smellers and sensitive neurotics - correlations among personality traits and sensory thresholds
Amy N. B. Johnston
- Correlations between personality traits and a wide range of sensory thresholds were examined. Participants (N = 124) completed a personality inventory (NEO-FFI) and underwent assessment of olfactory, trigeminal, tactile and gustatory detection thresholds, as well as examination of trigeminal and tactile pain thresholds. Significantly enhanced odor sensitivity in socially agreeable people, significantly enhanced trigeminal sensitivity in neurotic subjects, and a tendency for enhanced pain tolerance in highly conscientious participants was revealed. It is postulated that varied sensory processing may influence an individual's perception of the environment; particularly their perception of socially relevant or potentially dangerous stimuli and thus, varied with personality.
Role of p53 serine 46 in p53 target gene regulation
Simon J. van Heeringen
Hendrik G. Stunnenberg
- The tumor suppressor p53 plays a crucial role in cellular growth control inducing a plethora of different response pathways. The molecular mechanisms that discriminate between the distinct p53-responses have remained largely elusive. Here, we have analyzed the p53-regulated pathways induced by Actinomycin D and Etoposide treatment resulting in more growth arrested versus apoptotic cells respectively. We found that the genome-wide p53 DNA-binding patterns are almost identical upon both treatments notwithstanding transcriptional differences that we observed in global transcriptome analysis. To assess the role of post-translational modifications in target gene choice and activation we investigated the genome-wide level of phosphorylation of Serine 46 of p53 bound to DNA (p53-pS46) and of Serine 15 (p53-pS15). Interestingly, the extent of S46 phosphorylation of p53 bound to DNA is considerably higher in cells directed towards apoptosis while the degree of phosphorylation at S15 remains highly similar. Moreover, our data suggest that following different chemotherapeutical treatments, the amount of chromatin-associated p53 phosphorylated at S46 but not at pS15 is higher on certain apoptosis related target genes. Our data provide evidence that cell fate decisions are not made primarily on the level of general p53 DNA-binding and that post-translationally modified p53 can have distinct DNA-binding characteristics.
Eine Reise in den Wahnsinn : Erkenntnisse aus Literatur, Philosophie und Medizin, angewandt auf das Werk von Luigi Pirandello