ResearchPad - b-vitamins https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Nutritional and physicochemical characteristics of purple sweet corn juice before and after boiling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7720 Sweet corn juice is becoming increasingly popular in China. In order to provide valuable health-related information to consumers, the nutritional and physicochemical characteristics of raw and boiled purple sweet corn juices were herein investigated. Sugars, antinutrients, total free phenols, anthocyanins, and antioxidant activity were analyzed by conventional chemical methods. The viscosity and stability of juices were determined by Ubbelohde viscosity meter and centrifugation, respectively. Boiling process could elevate viscosity, stability and sugar content, and reduce antinutrients, total free phenols, anthocyanins, and antioxidant activity in corn juice. In addition, short time boiling efficiently reduced the degradation of anthocyanins during subsequent refrigeration. The content of amino acids, vitamin B1/B2 and E were detected by High Performance Liquid Chromatography. Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry was used for the analysis of fatty acids and aroma compounds. Several aroma compounds not previously reported in corn were identified, including 1-heptanol, 2-methyl-2-butenal, (Z)-3-nonen-1-ol, 3-ethyl-2-methyl-1,3-hexadiene, and 2,4-bis(1,1-dimethylethyl)phenol. Interestingly, the boiling process had no apparent effect on the amino acids profile, but it caused a 45.8% loss of fatty acids in the juice by promoting the retention of fatty acids in the corn residue. These results provide detailed information that could be used for increasing consumers’ knowledge of sweet corn juice, further development of sweet corn juice by food producers, and maize breeding programs.

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<![CDATA[Detailed characterization of the solution kinetics and thermodynamics of biotin, biocytin and HABA binding to avidin and streptavidin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c818e96d5eed0c484cc260a

The high affinity (KD ~ 10−15 M) of biotin for avidin and streptavidin is the essential component in a multitude of bioassays with many experiments using biotin modifications to invoke coupling. Equilibration times suggested for these assays assume that the association rate constant (kon) is approximately diffusion limited (109 M-1s-1) but recent single molecule and surface binding studies indicate that they are slower than expected (105 to 107 M-1s-1). In this study, we asked whether these reactions in solution are diffusion controlled, which reaction model and thermodynamic cycle describes the complex formation, and if there are any functional differences between avidin and streptavidin. We have studied the biotin association by two stopped-flow methodologies using labeled and unlabeled probes: I) fluorescent probes attached to biotin and biocytin; and II) unlabeled biotin and HABA, 2-(4’-hydroxyazobenzene)-benzoic acid. Both native avidin and streptavidin are homo-tetrameric and the association data show no cooperativity between the binding sites. The kon values of streptavidin are faster than avidin but slower than expected for a diffusion limited reaction in both complexes. Moreover, the Arrhenius plots of the kon values revealed strong temperature dependence with large activation energies (6–15 kcal/mol) that do not correspond to a diffusion limited process (3–4 kcal/mol). Accordingly, we propose a simple reaction model with a single transition state for non-immobilized reactants whose forward thermodynamic parameters complete the thermodynamic cycle, in agreement with previously reported studies. Our new understanding and description of the kinetics, thermodynamics, and spectroscopic parameters for these complexes will help to improve purification efficiencies, molecule detection, and drug screening assays or find new applications.

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<![CDATA[Molecular features of steroid-binding antidins and their use for assaying serum progesterone]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe5fd5eed0c484e5b998

Chicken avidin (Avd) and streptavidin from Streptomyces avidinii are extensively used in bionanotechnology due to their extremely tight binding to biotin (Kd ~ 10−15 M for chicken Avd). We previously reported engineered Avds known as antidins, which have micro- to nanomolar affinities for steroids, non-natural ligands of Avd. Here, we report the 2.8 Å X-ray structure of the sbAvd-2 (I117Y) antidin co-crystallized with progesterone. We describe the creation of new synthetic phage display libraries and report the experimental as well as computational binding analysis of progesterone-binding antidins. We introduce a next-generation antidin with 5 nM binding affinity for progesterone, and demonstrate the use of antidins for measuring progesterone in serum samples. Our data give insights on how to engineer and alter the binding preferences of Avds and to develop better molecular tools for modern bionanotechnological applications.

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<![CDATA[Demand and supply factors of iron-folic acid supplementation and its association with anaemia in North Indian pregnant women]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b529cd5eed0c4842bcc9d

Anaemia prevalence in pregnant women of India declined from 57.9% to 50.3% from National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-3 to NFHS-4. However, over the course of that decade, the uptake of iron and folic acid (IFA) supplementation for 100 days of pregnancy improved by only 15%. To understand demand side risk factors of anaemia specifically related to IFA intake, an in-depth survey was conducted on pregnant women (n = 436) in 50 villages and wards of Sirohi district of Rajasthan, India. At the demand side, consistent IFA consumption in the previous trimester was inversely and strongly associated with anaemia (OR: 0.26, 95% CI: 0.12, 0.55). Reasons for inconsistent consumption included not registering to antenatal clinic, not receiving IFA tablets from the health worker and perceived lack of need. At the supply side, an analysis of IFA stock data at various levels of the health care (n = 168) providers from primary to tertiary levels showed that 14 out of 52 villages surveyed did not have access to IFA tablets. The closest availability of an IFA tablet for 16 villages, was more than 5 km away. To improve the uptake of IFA supplementation and thereby reduce iron deficiency anaemia in pregnant women, a constant supply of IFA at the village or sub-centre level, where frontline workers can promote uptake, should be ensured.

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<![CDATA[Identification of calnexin as a diacylglycerol acyltransferase-2 interacting protein]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3d0124d5eed0c484038a83

Triacylglycerol synthesis is catalyzed by acyl CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase-2 (DGAT2). DGAT2 is an integral membrane protein that is localized to the endoplasmic reticulum and interacts with lipid droplets. Using BioId, a method to detect proximal and interacting proteins, we identified calnexin as a DGAT2-interacting protein. Co-immunoprecipitation and proximity ligation assays confirmed this finding. We found that calnexin-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts had reduced intracellular triacylglycerol levels and fewer large lipid droplets (>1.0 μm2 area). Despite the alterations in triacylglycerol metabolism, in vitro DGAT2 activity, localization and protein stability were not affected by the absence of calnexin.

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<![CDATA[To B12 or not to B12: Five questions on the role of cobalamin in host-microbial interactions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c37b7b6d5eed0c484490a34 ]]> <![CDATA[Association of pre-eclampsia risk with maternal levels of folate, homocysteine and vitamin B12 in Colombia: A case-control study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf01d5eed0c484913cf4

Background

Maternal serum concentrations of folate, homocysteine, and vitamin B12 have been associated with pre-eclampsia. Nevertheless, reported studies involve limited number of cases to reliably assess the nature of these associations. Our aim was to examine the relation of these three biomarkers with pre-eclampsia risk in a large Colombian population.

Materials and methods

Design: A case-control study.

Setting: Cases of pre-eclampsia and healthy pregnant controls were recruited at the time of delivery from eight different Colombian cities between 2000 and 2012.

Population or Sample: 2978 cases and 4096 controls were studied. Maternal serum concentrations of folate, homocysteine, and vitamin B12 were determined in 1148 (43.6%) cases and 1300 (31.7%) controls. Also, self-reported folic acid supplementation was recorded for 2563 (84%) cases and 3155 (84%) controls.

Analysis: Adjusted odds ratios (OR) for pre-eclampsia were estimated for one standard deviation (1SD) increase in log-transformed biomarkers. Furthermore, we conducted analyses to compare women that reported taking folic acid supplementation for different periods during pregnancy.

Main Outcomes Measures: Odds ratio for pre-eclampsia.

Results

After adjusting for potential confounders in logistic regression models, the OR for pre-eclampsia was 0.80 (95% CI: 0.72, 0.90) for 1SD increase in log-folate, 1.16 (95%CI: 1.05, 1.27) for 1SD increase in log-homocysteine, and 1.10 (95%CI: 0.99, 1.22) for 1SD increase in log-vitamin B12. No interactions among the biomarkers were identified. Women who self-reported consumption of folic acid (1 mg/day) throughout their pregnancy had an adjusted OR for pre-eclampsia of 0.86 (95%CI: 0.67, 1.09) compared to women that reported no consumption of folic acid at any point during pregnancy.

Conclusions

Maternal serum concentrations of folate were associated as a protective factor for pre-eclampsia while concentrations of homocysteine were associated as a risk factor. No association between maternal vitamin B12 concentrations and preeclampsia was found.

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<![CDATA[Impact of Laboratory Test Use Strategies in a Turkish Hospital]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad4ab0ee8fa60bb7496

Objectives

Eliminating unnecessary laboratory tests is a good way to reduce costs while maintain patient safety. The aim of this study was to define and process strategies to rationalize laboratory use in Ankara Numune Training and Research Hospital (ANH) and calculate potential savings in costs.

Methods

A collaborative plan was defined by hospital managers; joint meetings with ANHTA and laboratory professors were set; the joint committee invited relevant staff for input, and a laboratory efficiency committee was created. Literature was reviewed systematically to identify strategies used to improve laboratory efficiency. Strategies that would be applicable in local settings were identified for implementation, processed, and the impact on clinical use and costs assessed for 12 months.

Results

Laboratory use in ANH differed enormously among clinics. Major use was identified in internal medicine. The mean number of tests per patient was 15.8. Unnecessary testing for chloride, folic acid, free prostate specific antigen, hepatitis and HIV testing were observed. Test panel use was pinpointed as the main cause of overuse of the laboratory and the Hospital Information System test ordering page was reorganized. A significant decrease (between 12.6–85.0%) was observed for the tests that were taken to an alternative page on the computer screen. The one year study saving was equivalent to 371,183 US dollars.

Conclusion

Hospital-based committees including laboratory professionals and clinicians can define hospital based problems and led to a standardized approach to test use that can help clinicians reduce laboratory costs through appropriate use of laboratory tests.

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<![CDATA[Cocaine-and Amphetamine Regulated Transcript (CART) Peptide Is Expressed in Precursor Cells and Somatotropes of the Mouse Pituitary Gland]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae7ab0ee8fa60bbdf7d

Cocaine-and Amphetamine Regulated Transcript (CART) peptide is expressed in the brain, endocrine and neuroendocrine systems and secreted into the serum. It is thought to play a role in regulation of hypothalamic pituitary functions. Here we report a spatial and temporal analysis of Cart expression in the pituitaries of adult and developing normal and mutant mice with hypopituitarism. We found that Prop1 is not necessary for initiation of Cart expression in the fetal pituitary at e14.5, but it is required indirectly for maintenance of Cart expression in the postnatal anterior pituitary gland. Pou1f1 deficiency has no effect on Cart expression before or after birth. There is no 1:1 correspondence between CART and any particular cell type. In neonates, CART is detected primarily in non-proliferating, POU1F1-positive cells. CART is also found in some cells that express TSH and GH suggesting a correspondence with committed progenitors of the POU1F1 lineage. In summary, we have characterized the normal temporal and cell specific expression of CART in mouse development and demonstrate that postnatal CART expression in the pituitary gland requires PROP1.

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<![CDATA[Investigation of Factors Affecting Aerobic and Respiratory Growth in the Oxygen-Tolerant Strain Lactobacillus casei N87]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da02ab0ee8fa60b74a62

Aerobic and respiratory cultivations provide benefits for some lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Growth, metabolites, enzymatic activities (lactate dehydrogenase; pyruvate and NADH oxidases, NADH peroxidase; catalase), antioxidant capability and stress tolerance of Lactobacillus casei N87 were evaluated in anaerobic, aerobic and respiratory (aerobiosis with heme and menaquinone supplementation) batch cultivations with different dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations. The expression of pox (pyruvate oxidase) and cydABCD operon (cytochrome bd oxidase complex) was quantified by quantitative Real Time polymerase chain reaction. Respiration increased biomass production compared to anaerobiosis and unsupplemented aerobiosis, and altered the central metabolism rerouting pyruvate away from lactate accumulation. All enzymatic activities, except lactate dehydrogenase, were higher in respiratory cultures, while unsupplemented aerobiosis with 60% of DO promoted H2O2 and free radical accumulation. Respiration improved the survival to oxidative and freeze-drying stresses, while significant numbers of dead, damaged and viable but not cultivable cells were found in unsupplemented aerobic cultures (60% DO). Analysis of gene expression suggested that the activation of aerobic and respiratory pathways occurred during the exponential growth phase, and that O2 and hemin induced, respectively, the transcription of pox and cydABCD genes. Respiratory cultivation might be a natural strategy to improve functional and technological properties of L. casei.

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<![CDATA[Decreased Brain Levels of Vitamin B12 in Aging, Autism and Schizophrenia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db34ab0ee8fa60bd298f

Many studies indicate a crucial role for the vitamin B12 and folate-dependent enzyme methionine synthase (MS) in brain development and function, but vitamin B12 status in the brain across the lifespan has not been previously investigated. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin, Cbl) exists in multiple forms, including methylcobalamin (MeCbl) and adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl), serving as cofactors for MS and methylmalonylCoA mutase, respectively. We measured levels of five Cbl species in postmortem human frontal cortex of 43 control subjects, from 19 weeks of fetal development through 80 years of age, and 12 autistic and 9 schizophrenic subjects. Total Cbl was significantly lower in older control subjects (> 60 yrs of age), primarily reflecting a >10-fold age-dependent decline in the level of MeCbl. Levels of inactive cyanocobalamin (CNCbl) were remarkably higher in fetal brain samples. In both autistic and schizophrenic subjects MeCbl and AdoCbl levels were more than 3-fold lower than age-matched controls. In autistic subjects lower MeCbl was associated with decreased MS activity and elevated levels of its substrate homocysteine (HCY). Low levels of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) have been linked to both autism and schizophrenia, and both total Cbl and MeCbl levels were decreased in glutamate-cysteine ligase modulatory subunit knockout (GCLM-KO) mice, which exhibit low GSH levels. Thus our findings reveal a previously unrecognized decrease in brain vitamin B12 status across the lifespan that may reflect an adaptation to increasing antioxidant demand, while accelerated deficits due to GSH deficiency may contribute to neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders.

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<![CDATA[Modeling the efficacy profiles of UV-light activated corneal collagen crosslinking]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc599

Objective

Analysis of the crosslink time, depth and efficacy profiles of UV-light-activated corneal collagen crosslinking (CXL).

Methods

A modeling system described by a coupled dynamic equations are numerically solved and analytic formulas are derived for the crosslinking time (T*) and crosslinking depth (z*). The z-dependence of the CXL efficacy is numerically produced to show the factors characterizing the profiles.

Results

Optimal crosslink depth (z*) and maximal CXL efficacy (Ceff) have opposite trend with respective to the UV light intensity and RF concentration, where z* is a decreasing function of the riboflavin concentration (C0). In comparison, Ceff is an increasing function of C0 and the UV exposure time (for a fixed UV dose), but it is a decreasing function of the UV light intensity. CXL efficacy is a nonlinear increasing function of [C0/I0]-0.5 and more accurate than that of the linear theory of Bunsen Roscoe law. Depending on the UV exposure time and depth, the optimal intensity ranges from 3 to 30 mW/cm2 for maximal CXL efficacy. For steady state (with long exposure time), low intensity always achieves high efficacy than that of high intensity, when same dose is applied on the cornea.

Conclusions

The crosslinking depth (z*) and the crosslinking time (T*) have nonlinear dependence on the UV light dose and the efficacy of corneal collagen crosslinking should be characterized by both z* and the efficacy profiles. A nonlinear scaling law is needed for more accurate protocol.

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<![CDATA[Expression of C-5 sterol desaturase from an edible mushroom in fisson yeast enhances its ethanol and thermotolerance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc370

Bioethanol is an environment friendly and renewable source of energy produced by the fermentation of agricultural raw material by a variety of microorganisms including yeast. Obtaining yeast strains that are tolerant to stresses like high levels of ethanol and high temperature is highly desirable as it reduces cost and increases yield during bioethanol production. Here, we report that heterologous expression of C-5 Sterol desaturase (FvC5SD)—an ergosterol biosynthesis enzyme from an edible mushroom Flammulina velutipes in fission yeast, not only imparts increased thermotolerance but also tolerance towards high ethanol concentration and low pH. This tolerance could be attributed to an increase of ≈1.5 fold in the level of ergosterol and oleic acid (C-18 unsaturated fatty acid) as analysed by gas chromatography- mass spectrometry. FvC5SD is a membrane localized iron binding enzyme that introduces double bond at C-5 position into the Δ7-sterol substrates to yield Δ5, 7- sterols as products. In F. velutipes, FvC5SD transcript was observed to be upregulated by ≈5 fold under low pH condition and by ≈ 9 folds and ≈5 fold at 40°C and 4°C respectively when compared to normal growth temperature of 23°C. Besides, susceptibility to cell wall inhibiting drugs like Congo red and Calcoflour white was also found to increase in FvC5SD expressing S. pombe strain. Alteration in membrane sterol and fatty acid composition could also lead to increase in susceptibility to cell wall inhibiting drugs. Thus, this study has immense industrial application and can be employed to ensure competitiveness of fermentation process.

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<![CDATA[Folic Acid-Metabolizing Enzymes Regulate the Antitumor Effect of 5-Fluoro-2′-Deoxyuridine in Colorectal Cancer Cell Lines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da45ab0ee8fa60b8b80e

In colorectal cancer chemotherapy, the current standard of care includes combination therapy with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and leucovorin (LV). However, the factors that determine the LV-mediated enhancement of 5-FU antitumor activity are not fully understood. Therefore, we investigated the roles of thymidine synthase (TYMS), folate receptor 1 (FOLR1), dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), phosphoribosylglycinamide formyltransferase (GART), methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase (MTHFD1), and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) in LV-mediated enhancement of 5-fluoro-2′-deoxyuridine (FdUrd) cytotoxicity in vitro as a model of 5-FU antitumor activity. These genes were downregulated in DLD-1 and HCT116 human colorectal cancer cells by using small-interfering RNA. Reduced expression of TYMS mRNA significantly increased FdUrd cytotoxicity by 100- and 8.3-fold in DLD-1 and HCT116 cells, respectively. In contrast, reducing the expression of FOLR1, DHFR, GART, MTHFD1, and MTHFR decreased FdUrd cytotoxicity by 2.13- to 12.91-fold in DLD-1 cells and by 3.52- to 10.36-fold in HCT116 cells. These results demonstrate that folate metabolism is important for the efficacy of FdUrd. Overall, the results indicate that it is important to clarify the relationship between folate metabolism-related molecules and 5-FU treatment in order to improve predictions of the effectiveness of 5-FU and LV combination therapy.

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<![CDATA[Frequency and Pathophysiology of Acute Liver Failure in Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency (OTCD)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad0ab0ee8fa60bb5ce7

Background

Acute liver failure (ALF) has been reported in ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency (OTCD) and other urea cycle disorders (UCD). The frequency of ALF in OTCD is not well-defined and the pathogenesis is not known.

Aim

To evaluate the prevalence of ALF in OTCD, we analyzed the Swiss patient cohort. Laboratory data from 37 individuals, 27 females and 10 males, diagnosed between 12/1991 and 03/2015, were reviewed for evidence of ALF. In parallel, we performed cell culture studies using human primary hepatocytes from a single patient treated with ammonium chloride in order to investigate the inhibitory potential of ammonia on hepatic protein synthesis.

Results

More than 50% of Swiss patients with OTCD had liver involvement with ALF at least once in the course of disease. Elevated levels of ammonia often correlated with (laboratory) coagulopathy as reflected by increased values for international normalized ratio (INR) and low levels of hepatic coagulation factors which did not respond to vitamin K. In contrast, liver transaminases remained normal in several cases despite massive hyperammonemia and liver involvement as assessed by pathological INR values. In our in vitro studies, treatment of human primary hepatocytes with ammonium chloride for 48 hours resulted in a reduction of albumin synthesis and secretion by approximately 40%.

Conclusion

In conclusion, ALF is a common complication of OTCD, which may not always lead to severe symptoms and may therefore be underdiagnosed. Cell culture experiments suggest an ammonia-induced inhibition of hepatic protein synthesis, thus providing a possible pathophysiological explanation for hyperammonemia-associated ALF.

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<![CDATA[Paternal B Vitamin Intake Is a Determinant of Growth, Hepatic Lipid Metabolism and Intestinal Tumor Volume in Female Apc1638N Mouse Offspring]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4eab0ee8fa60bdb3e2

Background

The importance of maternal nutrition to offspring health and risk of disease is well established. Emerging evidence suggests paternal diet may affect offspring health as well.

Objective

In the current study we sought to determine whether modulating pre-conception paternal B vitamin intake alters intestinal tumor formation in offspring. Additionally, we sought to identify potential mechanisms for the observed weight differential among offspring by profiling hepatic gene expression and lipid content.

Methods

Male Apc1638N mice (prone to intestinal tumor formation) were fed diets containing replete (control, CTRL), mildly deficient (DEF), or supplemental (SUPP) quantities of vitamins B2, B6, B12, and folate for 8 weeks before mating with control-fed wild type females. Wild type offspring were euthanized at weaning and hepatic gene expression profiled. Apc1638N offspring were fed a replete diet and euthanized at 28 weeks of age to assess tumor burden.

Results

No differences in intestinal tumor incidence or burden were found between male Apc1638N offspring of different paternal diet groups. Although in female Apc1638N offspring there were no differences in tumor incidence or multiplicity, a stepwise increase in tumor volume with increasing paternal B vitamin intake was observed. Interestingly, female offspring of SUPP and DEF fathers had a significantly lower body weight than those of CTRL fed fathers. Moreover, hepatic trigylcerides and cholesterol were elevated 3-fold in adult female offspring of SUPP fathers. Weanling offspring of the same fathers displayed altered expression of several key lipid-metabolism genes. Hundreds of differentially methylated regions were identified in the paternal sperm in response to DEF and SUPP diets. Aside from a few genes including Igf2, there was a striking lack of overlap between these genes differentially methylated in sperm and differentially expressed in offspring.

Conclusions

In this animal model, modulation of paternal B vitamin intake prior to mating alters offspring weight gain, lipid metabolism and tumor growth in a sex-specific fashion. These results highlight the need to better define how paternal nutrition affects the health of offspring.

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<![CDATA[Deciphering the Transcriptional Response Mediated by the Redox-Sensing System HbpS-SenS-SenR from Streptomycetes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9eab0ee8fa60ba4b69

The secreted protein HbpS, the membrane-embedded sensor kinase SenS and the cytoplasmic response regulator SenR from streptomycetes have been shown to form a novel type of signaling pathway. Based on structural biology as well as different biochemical and biophysical approaches, redox stress-based post-translational modifications in the three proteins were shown to modulate the activity of this signaling pathway. In this study, we show that the homologous system, named here HbpSc-SenSc-SenRc, from the model species Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) provides this bacterium with an efficient defense mechanism under conditions of oxidative stress. Comparative analyses of the transcriptomes of the Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) wild-type and the generated hbpSc-senSc-senRc mutant under native and oxidative-stressing conditions allowed to identify differentially expressed genes, whose products may enhance the anti-oxidative defense of the bacterium. Amongst others, the results show an up-regulated transcription of genes for biosynthesis of cysteine and vitamin B12, transport of methionine and vitamin B12, and DNA synthesis and repair. Simultaneously, transcription of genes for degradation of an anti-oxidant compound is down-regulated in a HbpSc-SenSc-SenRc-dependent manner. It appears that HbpSc-SenSc-SenRc controls the non-enzymatic response of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) to counteract the hazardous effects of oxidative stress. Binding of the response regulator SenRc to regulatory regions of some of the studied genes indicates that the regulation is direct. The results additionally suggest that HbpSc-SenSc-SenRc may act in concert with other regulatory modules such as a transcriptional regulator, a two-component system and the Streptomyces B12 riboswitch. The transcriptomics data, together with our previous in vitro results, enable a profound characterization of the HbpS-SenS-SenR system from streptomycetes. Since homologues to HbpS-SenS-SenR are widespread in different actinobacteria with ecological and medical relevance, the data presented here will serve as a basis to elucidate the biological role of these homologues.

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<![CDATA[Who Should Be Targeted for the Prevention of Birth Defects? A Latent Class Analysis Based on a Large, Population-Based, Cross-Sectional Study in Shaanxi Province, Western China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db43ab0ee8fa60bd774d

Background

The wide range and complex combinations of factors that cause birth defects impede the development of primary prevention strategies targeted at high-risk subpopulations.

Methods

Latent class analysis (LCA) was conducted to identify mutually exclusive profiles of factors associated with birth defects among women between 15 and 49 years of age using data from a large, population-based, cross-sectional study conducted in Shaanxi Province, western China, between August and October, 2013. The odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of associated factors and the latent profiles of indicators of birth defects and congenital heart defects were computed using a logistic regression model.

Results

Five discrete subpopulations of participants were identified as follows: No folic acid supplementation in the periconceptional period (reference class, 21.37%); low maternal education level + unhealthy lifestyle (class 2, 39.75%); low maternal education level + unhealthy lifestyle + disease (class 3, 23.71%); unhealthy maternal lifestyle + advanced age (class 4, 4.71%); and multi-risk factor exposure (class 5, 10.45%). Compared with the reference subgroup, the other subgroups consistently had a significantly increased risk of birth defects (ORs and 95% CIs: class 2, 1.75 and 1.21–2.54; class 3, 3.13 and 2.17–4.52; class 4, 5.02 and 3.20–7.88; and class 5, 12.25 and 8.61–17.42, respectively). For congenital heart defects, the ORs and 95% CIs were all higher, and the magnitude of OR differences ranged from 1.59 to 16.15.

Conclusions

A comprehensive intervention strategy targeting maternal exposure to multiple risk factors is expected to show the strongest results in preventing birth defects.

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<![CDATA[Objectives and Design of BLEEDS: A Cohort Study to Identify New Risk Factors and Predictors for Major Bleeding during Treatment with Vitamin K Antagonists]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e3ab0ee8fa60b6a62a

Background

Risk scores for patients who are at high risk for major bleeding complications during treatment with vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) do not perform that well. BLEEDS was initiated to search for new biomarkers that predict bleeding in these patients.

Objectives

To describe the outline and objectives of BLEEDS and to examine whether the study population is generalizable to other VKA treated populations.

Methods

A cohort was created consisting of all patients starting VKA treatment at three Dutch anticoagulation clinics between January-2012 and July-2014. We stored leftover plasma and DNA following analysis of the INR.

Results

Of 16,706 eligible patients, 16,570 (99%) were included in BLEEDS and plasma was stored from 13,779 patients (83%). Patients had a mean age of 70 years (SD 14), 8713 were male (53%). The most common VKA indications were atrial fibrillation (10,876 patients, 66%) and venous thrombosis (3920 patients, 24%). 326 Major bleeds occurred during 17,613 years of follow-up (incidence rate 1.85/100 person years, 95%CI 1.66–2.06). The risk for major bleeding was highest in the initial three months of VKA treatment and increased when the international normalized ratio increased. These results and characteristics are in concordance with results from other VKA treated populations.

Conclusion

BLEEDS is generalizable to other VKA treated populations and will permit innovative and unbiased research of biomarkers that may predict major bleeding during VKA treatment.

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<![CDATA[Prediction of bleeding risk in patients taking vitamin K antagonists using thrombin generation testing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf5cd

Until recently, vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) were the mainstay of oral anticoagulant treatment with bleeding as the most prevalent adverse effect. One to four percent of patients experience major bleeding episodes, while clinically relevant bleeding occurs in up to 20%. At this moment no laboratory assays are available to identify patients at risk for bleeding. With this study we aimed to investigate whether thrombin generation tests might identify a bleeding risk in patients taking VKAs. This prospective cohort study included 129 patients taking VKAs for more than three months. Calibrated automated thrombinography (CAT) was performed in whole blood, platelet rich and platelet poor plasma. Hematocrit, hemoglobin concentrations and the International Normalized Ratio (INR) were defined and coagulation factor levels were measured. Forty clinically relevant bleeding episodes were registered in 26 patients during follow-up. No differences were found in plasma CAT parameters or INR values. Bleeding was not associated with age, sex, hematocrit, hemoglobin levels or coagulation factor levels. In whole blood a significantly lower endogenous thrombin potential (ETP) and peak were found in patients with bleeding (median ETP: 182.5 versus 256.2 nM.min, p = 0.002; peak: 23.9 versus 39.1 nM, p = 0.029). Additionally, the area under the receiver operating curve (AUC ROC) was significantly associated with bleeding (ETP: 0.700, p = 0.002; peak: 0.642, p = 0.029). HAS-BLED scores were also significantly higher in bleeding patients (3 versus 2, p = 0.003), with an AUC ROC 0.682 (p = 0.004). In conclusion, bleeding in patients taking VKAs is associated with a decreased whole blood ETP and peak as well as with an increased HAS-BLED score.

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