Year of publication
- Controlled intramyocardial release of engineered chemokines by biodegradable hydrogels as a treatment approach of myocardial infarction (2014)
- Myocardial infarction (MI) induces a complex inflammatory immune response, followed by the remodelling of the heart muscle and scar formation. The rapid regeneration of the blood vessel network system by the attraction of hematopoietic stem cells is beneficial for heart function. Despite the important role of chemokines in these processes, their use in clinical practice has so far been limited by their limited availability over a long time-span in vivo. Here, a method is presented to increase physiological availability of chemokines at the site of injury over a defined time-span and simultaneously control their release using biodegradable hydrogels. Two different biodegradable hydrogels were implemented, a fast degradable hydrogel (FDH) for delivering Met-CCL5 over 24 hrs and a slow degradable hydrogel (SDH) for a gradual release of protease-resistant CXCL12 (S4V) over 4 weeks. We demonstrate that the time-controlled release using Met-CCL5-FDH and CXCL12 (S4V)-SDH suppressed initial neutrophil infiltration, promoted neovascularization and reduced apoptosis in the infarcted myocardium. Thus, we were able to significantly preserve the cardiac function after MI. This study demonstrates that time-controlled, biopolymer-mediated delivery of chemokines represents a novel and feasible strategy to support the endogenous reparatory mechanisms after MI and may compliment cell-based therapies.
- Propensity matched analysis of longterm outcomes following transcatheter based aortic valve implantation versus classic aortic valve replacement in patients with previous cardiac surgery (2014)
- Background: The aim of this study was to compare outcome of patients with previous cardiac surgery undergoing transapical aortic valve implantation (Redo-TAVI) to those undergoing classic aortic valve replacement (Redo-AVR) by using propensity analysis. Methods: From January 2005 through May 2012, 52 high-risk patients underwent Redo-TAVI using a pericardial xenograft fixed within a stainless steel, balloon-expandable stent (Edwards SAPIEN™). During the same period of time 167 patients underwent classic Redo-AVR. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify covariates among 11 baseline patient variables including the type of initial surgery. Using the significant regression coefficients, each patient’s propensity score was calculated, allowing selectively matched subgroups of 40 patients each. Initial surgery included coronary artery bypass grafting in 30 patients, aortic valve replacement in 7 patients and mitral valve reconstruction in 3 patients in each group. Follow-up was 4 ± 2 years and was 100% complete. Results: Postoperative chest tube drainage (163 ± 214 vs. 562 ± 332 ml/24 h, p = 0.02) and incidence of early permanent neurologic deficit (0 vs. 13%, p = 0.04) was lower in patients with Redo-TAVI and there was a trend towards improved 30-day survival (p = 0.06). Also we detected a decreased ventilation time (p = 0.04) and lower transfusion rate of allogenic blood products (p ≤ 0.05) in the Redo-TAVI group. At late follow up differences regarding incidence of major adverse events, including death and permanent neurologic deficits (25% vs. 43%, p = 0.01) statistically supported early postoperative findings. Conclusion: The encouraging results regarding early and long-term outcomes following TAVI in patients with previous cardiac surgery show, that this evolving approach may be particularly beneficial in this patient cohort.
- Chronic ethanol feeding modulates inflammatory mediators, activation of nuclear factor-κB, and responsiveness to endotoxin in murine Kupffer cells and circulating leukocytes (2014)
- Chronic ethanol abuse is known to increase susceptibility to infections after injury, in part, by modification of macrophage function. Several intracellular signalling mechanisms are involved in the initiation of inflammatory responses, including the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) pathway. In this study, we investigated the systemic and hepatic effect of chronic ethanol feeding on in vivo activation of NF-κB in NF-κB(EGFP) reporter gene mice. Specifically, the study focused on Kupffer cell proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α and activation of NF-κB after chronic ethanol feeding followed by in vitro stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We found that chronic ethanol upregulated NF-κB activation and increased hepatic and systemic proinflammatory cytokine levels. Similarly, LPS-stimulated IL-1 β release from whole blood was significantly enhanced in ethanol-fed mice. However, LPS significantly increased IL-6 and TNF-α levels. These results demonstrate that chronic ethanol feeding can improve the responsiveness of macrophage LPS-stimulated IL-6 and TNF-α production and indicate that this effect may result from ethanol-induced alterations in intracellular signalling through NF-κB. Furthermore, LPS and TNF-α stimulated the gene expression of different inflammatory mediators, in part, in a NF-κB-dependent manner.
- Enlarging the toolbox for allergen epitope definition with an allergen-type model protein (2014)
- Background: Birch pollen-allergic subjects produce polyclonal cross-reactive IgE antibodies that mediate pollen-associated food allergies. The major allergen Bet v 1 and its homologs in plant foods bind IgE in their native protein conformation. Information on location, number and clinical relevance of IgE epitopes is limited. We addressed the use of an allergen-related protein model to identify amino acids critical for IgE binding of PR-10 allergens. Method: Norcoclaurine synthase (NCS) from meadow rue is structurally homologous to Bet v 1 but does not bind Bet v 1-reactive IgE. NCS was used as the template for epitope grafting. NCS variants were tested with sera from 70 birch pollen allergic subjects and with monoclonal antibody BV16 reported to compete with IgE binding to Bet v 1. Results: We generated an NCS variant (Δ29NCSN57/I58E/D60N/V63P/D68K) harboring an IgE epitope of Bet v 1. Bet v 1-type protein folding of the NCS variant was evaluated by 1H-15N-HSQC NMR spectroscopy. BV16 bound the NCS variant and 71% (50/70 sera) of our study population showed significant IgE binding. We observed IgE and BV16 cross-reactivity to the epitope presented by the NCS variant in a subgroup of Bet v 1-related allergens. Moreover BV16 blocked IgE binding to the NCS variant. Antibody cross-reactivity depended on a defined orientation of amino acids within the Bet v 1-type conformation. Conclusion: Our system allows the evaluation of patient-specific epitope profiles and will facilitate both the identification of clinically relevant epitopes as biomarkers and the monitoring of therapeutic outcomes to improve diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy of allergies caused by PR-10 proteins.
- The Inhibition of Stat5 by a Peptide Aptamer Ligand Specific for the DNA Binding Domain Prevents Target Gene Transactivation and the Growth of Breast and Prostate Tumor Cells (2013)
- The signal transducer and activator of transcription Stat5 is transiently activated by growth factor and cytokine signals in normal cells, but its persistent activation has been observed in a wide range of human tumors. Aberrant Stat5 activity was initially observed in leukemias, but subsequently also found in carcinomas. We investigated the importance of Stat5 in human tumor cell lines. shRNA mediated downregulation of Stat5 revealed the dependence of prostate and breast cancer cells on the expression of this transcription factor. We extended these inhibition studies and derived a peptide aptamer (PA) ligand, which directly interacts with the DNA-binding domain of Stat5 in a yeast-two-hybrid screen. The Stat5 specific PA sequence is embedded in a thioredoxin (hTRX) scaffold protein. The resulting recombinant protein S5-DBD-PA was expressed in bacteria, purified and introduced into tumor cells by protein transduction. Alternatively, S5-DBD-PA was expressed in the tumor cells after infection with a S5-DBD-PA encoding gene transfer vector. Both strategies impaired the DNA-binding ability of Stat5, suppressed Stat5 dependent transactivation and caused its intracellular degradation. Our experiments describe a peptide based inhibitor of Stat5 protein activity which can serve as a lead for the development of a clinically useful compound for cancer treatment.
- Competition/fragmentation in equities markets: a literature survey : [version november 2013] (2013)
- Advances in technology and several regulatory initiatives have led to the emergence of a competitive but fragmented equity trading landscape in the US and Europe. While these changes have brought about several benefits like reduced transaction costs, regulators and market participants have also raised concerns about the potential adverse effects associated with increased execution complexity and the impact on market quality of new types of venues like dark pools. In this article we review the theoretical and empirical literature examining the economic arguments and motivations underlying market fragmentation, as well as the resulting implications for investors' welfare. We start with the literature that views exchanges as natural monopolies due to presence of network externalities, and then examine studies which challenge this view by focusing on trader heterogeneity and other aspects of the microstructure of equity markets.
- Gender differences in associations of glutamate decarboxylase 1 gene (GAD1) variants with panic disorder (2012)
- Background: Panic disorder is common (5% prevalence) and females are twice as likely to be affected as males. The heritable component of panic disorder is estimated at 48%. Glutamic acid dehydrogenase GAD1, the key enzyme for the synthesis of the inhibitory and anxiolytic neurotransmitter GABA, is supposed to influence various mental disorders, including mood and anxiety disorders. In a recent association study in depression, which is highly comorbid with panic disorder, GAD1 risk allele associations were restricted to females. Methodology/Principal Findings: Nineteen single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) tagging the common variation in GAD1 were genotyped in two independent gender and age matched case-control samples (discovery sample n = 478; replication sample n = 584). Thirteen SNPs passed quality control and were examined for gender-specific enrichment of risk alleles associated with panic disorder by using logistic regression including a genotype×gender interaction term. The latter was found to be nominally significant for four SNPs (rs1978340, rs3762555, rs3749034, rs2241165) in the discovery sample; of note, the respective minor/risk alleles were associated with panic disorder only in females. These findings were not confirmed in the replication sample; however, the genotype×gender interaction of rs3749034 remained significant in the combined sample. Furthermore, this polymorphism showed a nominally significant association with the Agoraphobic Cognitions Questionnaire sum score. Conclusions/Significance: The present study represents the first systematic evaluation of gender-specific enrichment of risk alleles of the common SNP variation in the panic disorder candidate gene GAD1. Our tentative results provide a possible explanation for the higher susceptibility of females to panic disorder.
- Cytosolic re-localization and optimization of valine synthesis and catabolism enables increased isobutanol production with the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (2012)
- Background: The branched chain alcohol isobutanol exhibits superior physicochemical properties as an alternative biofuel. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae naturally produces low amounts of isobutanol as a by-product during fermentations, resulting from the catabolism of valine. As S. cerevisiae is widely used in industrial applications and can easily be modified by genetic engineering, this microorganism is a promising host for the fermentative production of higher amounts of isobutanol. Results: Isobutanol production could be improved by re-locating the valine biosynthesis enzymes Ilv2, Ilv5 and Ilv3 from the mitochondrial matrix into the cytosol. To prevent the import of the three enzymes into yeast mitochondria, N-terminally shortened Ilv2, Ilv5 and Ilv3 versions were constructed lacking their mitochondrial targeting sequences. SDS-PAGE and immunofluorescence analyses confirmed expression and re-localization of the truncated enzymes. Growth tests or enzyme assays confirmed enzymatic activities. Isobutanol production was only increased in the absence of valine and the simultaneous blockage of the mitochondrial valine synthesis pathway. Isobutanol production could be even more enhanced after adapting the codon usage of the truncated valine biosynthesis genes to the codon usage of highly expressed glycolytic genes. Finally, a suitable ketoisovalerate decarboxylase, Aro10, and alcohol dehydrogenase, Adh2, were selected and overexpressed. The highest isobutanol titer was 0.63 g/L at a yield of nearly 15 mg per g glucose. Conclusion: A cytosolic isobutanol production pathway was successfully established in yeast by re-localization and optimization of mitochondrial valine synthesis enzymes together with overexpression of Aro10 decarboxylase and Adh2 alcohol dehydrogenase. Driving forces were generated by blocking competition with the mitochondrial valine pathway and by omitting valine from the fermentation medium. Additional deletion of pyruvate decarboxylase genes and engineering of co-factor imbalances should lead to even higher isobutanol production.
- Identifizierung und Charakterisierung der mRNA processing bodies von Arabidopsis thaliana (2007)
- mRNA-Abbau ist ein essentieller Prozess der Genexpression, der den Zellen ermöglicht, die Qualität und die Quantität der mRNA zu kontrollieren. Besonders unter Stressbedingungen könnte der mRNA-Abbau eine bedeutende Rolle neben der Speicherung von mRNAs sowie der Regulation der Proteinhomöostase zum Schutz vor schädigenden Einflüssen spielen. Studien mit Hefen und Säugerzellen zeigten, dass dem 5'-3'mRNA-Abbau ein wichtige Rolle sowohl unter normalen Bedingungen als auch unter Stressbedingungen zukommt und dieser in zytoplasmatischen Processing bodies (P-bodies) stattfindet. Im Rahmen dieser Arbeit sollten Erkenntnisse über den 5'-3'mRNA-Abbau erhalten werden. Im Vordergrund stand die Frage nach der Existenz von P-bodies in Arabidopsis thaliana und die Identifikation und Charakterisierung deren Komponenten. Weiterhin sollten Erkenntnisse über die Rolle der P-bodies unter Stressbedingungen gewonnen werden. Dabei sollten besonders Informationen über die Beziehungen zwischen den P-bodies und RNA Stressgranula (mRNA Speicherkompartimente) und Hitzestressgranula (Regulation der Proteinhomöostase) erhalten werden. Das komplette sequenzierte Genom von Arabidopsis thaliana eignete sich zur Identifikation von mRNA-Abbauproteine kodierender Gene. Unter Verwendung von Aminosäuresequenzen bereits bekannter mRNA-Abbauproteine aus Hefe und Säugerzellen konnten Homologe für die Decappingproteine Dcp1 und Dcp2 sowie für die Proteine LSm1,2,5,8 als Untereinheiten des LSm1-7 Komplexes, welcher an der Regulation der Decappingreaktion beteiligt ist, identifiziert werden. Über Hefe-Zwei-Hybrid Analysen konnten anschließend Protein-Protein-Interaktionen zwischen den untersuchten Proteinen identifiziert werden. Weiterhin konnte unter Einsatz der BIFC-Analyse gezeigt werden, dass die Interaktionen zwischen den untersuchten Proteinen hauptsächlich in zytoplasmatischen Strukturen stattfanden. Aufbauend auf diesen Befunden wurde ein Antikörper gegen Dcp1 als Marker für die zytoplasmatischen Strukturen erstellt. Dieser ermöglichte erstmals die Detektion der endogenen Strukturen in Arabidopsis thaliana. Die weitere Charakterisierung über Immunofluoreszenzanalysen zeigten, dass diese P-bodies sind. Wie die P-bodies anderer Organismen sind sie hochdynamisch und benötigen untranslatierte mRNA für die Assemblierung. Die Größe und Anzahl der P-bodies hängt dabei vom Verhältniss des Zuflusses von mRNA und der mRNA-Abbaurate ab. Weiterhin konnte beobachtet werden, das die P-bodies besonders groß unter Stressbedingungen sind und deuten eine wichtige Funktion des mRNA-Abbaus unter Stress an. Dies führte zu der Frage nach der Beziehung der P-bodies zu RNA Stressgranula, die der Speicherung von mRNA unter Stressbedingungen dienen, sowie zu Hitzestressgranula, die an der Aufrechterhaltung der Proteinhomöostase beteiligt sind. Durch Kolokalisationsanalysen mit Markern der RNA Stressgranula, der Hitzestressgranula und der P-bodies konnte erstmals gezeigt werden, dass es sich um voneinander unabhängige Mikrokompartimente handelt, und dass unter Stressbedingungen die zellulären Prozesse mRNA-Abbau, mRNA-Speicherung und Aufrechterhaltung der Proteinhomöostase auf einzelne Mikrkompartimente beschränkt sind. Allerdings konnte zwischen P-bodies und RNA Stressgranula häufig eine räumliche Nähe beobachtet werden. Dies deutet auf einen Austausch von Komponenten zwischen diesen Strukturen hin. Zusammen zeigen die erhaltenen Ergebnisse, dass die identifizierten Proteine Komponenten des 5'-3'mRNA-Abbaus darstellen, und dass der 5'-3'mRNA-Abbau in Pflanzen auch in P-bodies stattfindet. Die Identifizierung und Charakterisierung der pflanzlichen P-bodies bildet eine Grundlage für zukünftige Untersuchungen. Vor allem die massive Bildung von P-bodies unter Stressbedingungen und die Interaktion der P-bodies mit RNA Stressgranula zeigen neue Aspekte der pflanzlichen Hitzestressantwort auf.
- Current status of quark gluon plasma signals (2001)
- Compelling evidence for the creation of a new form of matter has been claimed to be found in Pb+Pb collisions at SPS. We discuss the uniqueness of often proposed experimental signatures for quark matter formation in relativistic heavy ion collisions. It is demonstrated that so far none of the proposed signals like J/psi meson production/suppression, strangeness enhancement, dileptons, and directed flow unambigiously show that a phase of deconfined matter has been formed in SPS Pb+Pb collisions. We emphasize the need for systematic future measurements to search for simultaneous irregularities in the excitation functions of several observables in order to come close to pinning the properties of hot, dense QCD matter from data.