Integrin-mediated cell-matrix interaction in physiological and pathological blood vessel formation
Johannes Andreas Eble
- Physiological as well as pathological blood vessel formation are fundamentally dependent on cell-matrix interaction. Integrins, a family of major cell adhesion receptors, play a pivotal role in development, maintenance, and remodeling of the vasculature. Cell migration, invasion, and remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) are integrin-regulated processes, and the expression of certain integrins also correlates with tumor progression. Recent advances in the understanding of how integrins are involved in the regulation of blood vessel formation and remodeling during tumor progression are highlighted. The increasing knowledge of integrin function at the molecular level, together with the growing repertoire of integrin inhibitors which allow their selective pharmacological manipulation, makes integrins suited as potential diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets.
Structural and functional analysis of the archaeal endonuclease Nob1
Jan Philip Wurm
Benjamin L. Weis
- Eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis requires the concerted action of numerous ribosome assembly factors, for most of which structural and functional information is currently lacking. Nob1, which can be identified in eukaryotes and archaea, is required for the final maturation of the small subunit ribosomal RNA in yeast by catalyzing cleavage at site D after export of the preribosomal subunit into the cytoplasm. Here, we show that this also holds true for Nob1 from the archaeon Pyrococcus horikoshii, which efficiently cleaves RNA-substrates containing the D-site of the preribosomal RNA in a manganese-dependent manner. The structure of PhNob1 solved by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy revealed a PIN domain common with many nucleases and a zinc ribbon domain, which are structurally connected by a flexible linker. We show that amino acid residues required for substrate binding reside in the PIN domain whereas the zinc ribbon domain alone is sufficient to bind helix 40 of the small subunit rRNA. This suggests that the zinc ribbon domain acts as an anchor point for the protein on the nascent subunit positioning it in the proximity of the cleavage site.
Conformational dynamics of the tetracycline-binding aptamer
Julia E. Weigand
- The conformational dynamics induced by ligand binding to the tetracycline-binding aptamer is monitored via stopped-flow fluorescence spectroscopy and time-correlated single photon counting experiments. The fluorescence of the ligand is sensitive to changes within the tertiary structure of the aptamer during and after the binding process. In addition to the wild-type aptamer, the mutants A9G, A13U and A50U are examined, where bases important for regulation are changed to inhibit the aptamer’s function. Our results suggest a very fast two-step-mechanism for the binding of the ligand to the aptamer that can be interpreted as a binding step followed by a reorganization of the aptamer to accommodate the ligand. Binding to the two direct contact points A13 and A50 was found to occur in the first binding step. The exchange of the structurally important base A9 for guanine induces an enormous deceleration of the overall binding process, which is mainly rooted in an enhancement of the back reaction of the first binding step by several orders of magnitude. This indicates a significant loss of tertiary structure of the aptamer in the absence of the base A9, and underlines the importance of pre-organization on the overall binding process of the tetracycline-binding aptamer.
REAL – Revista de Estudos Alemães : 2011, No. 2 = Travessias e fronteiras ; traduzindo (d)o alemão
- Os textos reunidos na segunda edição da REAL respondem ao núcleo temático proposto pelos editores – com base no fundamento de que a tradução constitui uma forma privilegiada de representação de uma literatura estrangeira no polissistema literário nacional, além de configurar relações interlinguísticas e interculturais, preencher lacunas na cultura de chegada e, desse modo, contribuir para equilibrar assimetrias no universo das relações tradutórias entre Portugal e os países de língua alemã.
Evaluating frequency, diagnostic quality, and cost of Lyme borreliosis testing in Germany : a retrospective model analysis
Michael H. Freitag
Douglas E. Norris
- Background: Data on the economic impact of Lyme borreliosis (LB) on European health care systems is scarce. This project focused on the epidemiology and costs for laboratory testing in LB patients in Germany.
Materials and Methods: We performed a sentinel analysis of epidemiological and medicoeconomic data for 2007 and 2008. Data was provided by a German statutory health insurance (DAK) company covering approx. 6.04 million members. In addition, the quality of diagnostic testing for LB in Germany was studied.
Results: In 2007 and 2008, the incident diagnosis LB was coded on average for 15,742 out of 6.04 million insured members (0.26%). 20,986 EIAs and 12,558 immunoblots were ordered annually for these patients. For all insured members in the outpatient sector, a total of 174,820 EIAs and 52,280 immunoblots were reimbursed annually to health care providers (cost: 2,600,850€). For Germany, the overall expected cost is estimated at 51,215,105€. However, proficiency testing data questioned test quality and standardization of diagnostic assays used.
Conclusion: Findings from this study suggest ongoing issues related to care for LB and may help to improve future LB disease management.
Einblick : der Newsletter für Alumni der Goethe-Universität ; Augabe 16 - Oktober 2011
Quarkonium phenomenology in vacuum
- This thesis has light mesons and their vacuum interactions as its topic. In particular, the work examines the question where the scalar antiquark-quark states are found in the physical spectrum -- in the energy region below or above 1 GeV. Contrary to the naive expectation, the mentioned states are found in the region above 1 GeV. This has consequences for the building of order parameters for the chiral symmetry breaking of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD).
Methodological problems in fMRI studies on acupuncture: a critical review with special emphasis on visual and auditory cortex activations
- Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been used for more than a decade to investigate possible supraspinal mechanisms of acupuncture stimulation. More than 60 studies and several review articles have been published on the topic. However, till now some acupuncture-fMRI studies have not adopted all methodological standards applied to most other fMRI studies. In this critical review, we comment on some of the problems including the choice of baseline, interpretation of deactivations, attention control and implications of different group statistics. We illustrate the possible impact of these problems by focussing on some early findings, namely activations of visual and auditory cortical areas, when acupoints were stimulated that are believed to have a therapeutic effect on vision or hearing in traditional Chinese medicine. While we are far from questioning the validity of using fMRI for the study of acupuncture effects, we think that activations reported by some of these studies were probably not a direct result of acupuncture stimulation but rather attributable to one or more of the methodological problems covered here. Finally, we try to offer solutions for these problems where possible.
The problem of metal needles in acupuncture-fMRI studies
- Acupuncture is a therapy based on sensory stimulation of the human
body by means of metal needles. The exact underlying mechanisms of
acupuncture have not been clarified so far. Functional magnetic
resonance imaging (fMRI) has become an important tool in
acupuncture research. Standard acupuncture needles, which are made
of ferromagnetic steel, however, are problematic in
acupuncture-fMRI studies for several reasons, such as attraction
by the scanner's magnetic field, significant image distortions and
signal-dropouts, when positioned close to the head or even heating
due to absorption of radio frequency (RF). The aim of this study
was to compare two novel types of acupuncture needles with a
standard needle for their effect on MRI image quality. The
standard needle severely reduced image quality, when located
inside the RF coil. The nonferromagnetic metal needle may pose a
risk due to RF heating, while the plastic needle has a
significantly larger diameter. In conclusion, our recommendations
are: (1) standard needles should not be used in MRI; (2)
Nonferromagnetic metal needles seem to be the best choice for
acupoints outside of the transmitter coil; and (3) only plastic
needles are suited for points inside the coil. Laser acupuncture
may be a safe alternative, too.
Interactive comment on "Latitudinal differences in the amplitude of the OAE-2 carbon isotopic excursion: pCO2 and paleoproductivity" by E. C. van Bentum et al.
- Interactive comment on “Latitudinal differences in the amplitude of the OAE-2 carbon isotopic excursion: pCO2 and paleoproductivity” by E. C. van Bentum et al. http://www.biogeosciences-discuss.net/8/6191/2011/bgd-8-6191-2011.html. AC C4036: 'Reaction to C2676–C2678 S. Voigt (Referee)', Elisabeth Van Bentum, 31 Oct 2011 : http://www.biogeosciences-discuss.net/8/C4036/2011/bgd-8-C4036-2011.pdf