ResearchPad - molecular-probe-techniques https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Staurosporine and NEM mainly impair WNK-SPAK/OSR1 mediated phosphorylation of KCC2 and NKCC1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14752 The pivotal role of KCC2 and NKCC1 in development and maintenance of fast inhibitory neurotransmission and their implication in severe human diseases arouse interest in posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms such as (de)phosphorylation. Staurosporine (broad kinase inhibitor) and N-ethylmalemide (NEM) that modulate kinase and phosphatase activities enhance KCC2 and decrease NKCC1 activity. Here, we investigated the regulatory mechanism for this reciprocal regulation by mass spectrometry and immunoblot analyses using phospho-specific antibodies. Our analyses revealed that application of staurosporine or NEM dephosphorylates Thr1007 of KCC2, and Thr203, Thr207 and Thr212 of NKCC1. Dephosphorylation of Thr1007 of KCC2, and Thr207 and Thr212 of NKCC1 were previously demonstrated to activate KCC2 and to inactivate NKCC1. In addition, application of the two agents resulted in dephosphorylation of the T-loop and S-loop phosphorylation sites Thr233 and Ser373 of SPAK, a critical kinase in the WNK-SPAK/OSR1 signaling module mediating phosphorylation of KCC2 and NKCC1. Taken together, these results suggest that reciprocal regulation of KCC2 and NKCC1 via staurosporine and NEM is based on WNK-SPAK/OSR1 signaling. The key regulatory phospho-site Ser940 of KCC2 is not critically involved in the enhanced activation of KCC2 upon staurosporine and NEM treatment, as both agents have opposite effects on its phosphorylation status. Finally, NEM acts in a tissue-specific manner on Ser940, as shown by comparative analysis in HEK293 cells and immature cultured hippocampal neurons. In summary, our analyses identified phospho-sites that are responsive to staurosporine or NEM application. This provides important information towards a better understanding of the cooperative interactions of different phospho-sites.

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<![CDATA[SPOP promotes ubiquitination and degradation of MyD88 to suppress the innate immune response]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14645 MyD88 is a central adaptor that mediates initiation of the innate immune response and production of the proinflammatory cytokines that restrain pathogens and activate adaptive immunity. Although MyD88 is crucial for a host to prevent pathogenic infection, misregulation of its abundance might lead to autoimmune diseases. Thus, degradation of MyD88 is a key canonical mechanism for terminating cytokine production. Here, we characterized a novel E3 ligase, SPOP, that targets MyD88 for degradation. ChSPOP attenuated IL-1β production through K48-linked polyubiquitination and degradation of chMyD88, and thus impaired immune responses. Spop deficient mice showed more susceptibility to infection by Salmonella typhimurium. These findings demonstrate that SPOP is a negative regulator of MyD88-dependent pathway activation triggered by LPS and Salmonella typhimurium, which helps the host to maintain immune homeostasis.

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<![CDATA[The intergenic small non-coding RNA <i>ittA</i> is required for optimal infectivity and tissue tropism in <i>Borrelia burgdorferi</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14635 Lyme disease is a tick-borne infection mediated by the spirochetal bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, that is responsible for greater than 300,000 infections in the United States per year. As such, additional knowledge regarding how this pathogen modulates its regulatory armamentarium is needed to understand how B. burgdorferi establishes and maintains infection. The identification and characterization of small, non-coding RNA molecules in living systems, designated as sRNAs, has recalibrated how we view post-transcriptional regulation. Recently, over 1,000 sRNAs were identified in B. burgdorferi. Despite the identification of these sRNAs, we do not understand how they affect infectivity or B. burgdorferi pathogenesis related outcomes. Here, we characterize the ittA B. burgdorferi sRNA and show that it is essential for optimal infection using murine experimental infection as our readout. We also track the effect of this sRNA on the transcriptional and proteomic profile as the first step in providing mechanistic insight into how this important sRNA mediates its regulatory effect.

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<![CDATA[A modified arginine-depleting enzyme NEI-01 inhibits growth of pancreatic cancer cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11227 Arginine deprivation cancer therapy targets certain types of malignancies with positive result in many studies and clinical trials. NEI-01 was designed as a novel arginine-depleting enzyme comprising an albumin binding domain capable of binding to human serum albumin to lengthen its half-life. In the present work, NEI-01 is shown to bind to serum albumin from various species, including mice, rat and human. Single intraperitoneal administration of NEI-01 to mice reduced plasma arginine to undetectable level for at least 9 days. Treatment of NEI-01 specifically inhibited cell viability of MIA PaCa-2 and PANC-1 cancer cell lines, which were ASS1 negative. Using a human pancreatic mouse xenograft model, NEI-01 treatment significantly reduced tumor volume and weight. Our data provides proof of principle for a cancer treatment strategy using NEI-01.

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<![CDATA[Proteomic analysis of protein composition of rat hippocampus exposed to morphine for 10 days; comparison with animals after 20 days of morphine withdrawal]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N2838fdc6-dc33-429a-ba0d-e2e831e6a950

Opioid addiction is recognized as a chronic relapsing brain disease resulting from repeated exposure to opioid drugs. Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the ability of organism to return back to the physiological norm after cessation of drug supply are not fully understood. The aim of this work was to extend our previous studies of morphine-induced alteration of rat forebrain cortex protein composition to the hippocampus. Rats were exposed to morphine for 10 days and sacrificed 24 h (groups +M10 and −M10) or 20 days after the last dose of morphine (groups +M10/−M20 and −M10/−M20). The six altered proteins (≥2-fold) were identified in group (+M10) when compared with group (−M10) by two-dimensional fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE). The number of differentially expressed proteins was increased to thirteen after 20 days of the drug withdrawal. Noticeably, the altered level of α-synuclein, β-synuclein, α-enolase and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) was also determined in both (±M10) and (±M10/−M20) samples of hippocampus. Immunoblot analysis of 2D gels by specific antibodies oriented against α/β-synucleins and GAPDH confirmed the data obtained by 2D-DIGE analysis. Label-free quantification identified nineteen differentially expressed proteins in group (+M10) when compared with group (−M10). After 20 days of morphine withdrawal (±M10/−M20), the number of altered proteins was increased to twenty. We conclude that the morphine-induced alteration of protein composition in rat hippocampus after cessation of drug supply proceeds in a different manner when compared with the forebrain cortex. In forebrain cortex, the total number of altered proteins was decreased after 20 days without morphine, whilst in hippocampus, it was increased.

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<![CDATA[Identification and expression analysis of miRNAs and elucidation of their role in salt tolerance in rice varieties susceptible and tolerant to salinity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N52f944dc-26d8-4e67-9222-1bf646d955e0

Soil salinization is a serious problem for cultivation of rice, as among cereals rice is the most salt sensitive crop, and more than 40% of the total agricultural land amounting to approximately 80 million ha the world over is salt affected. Salinity affects a plant in a varieties of ways, including ion toxicity, osmotic stress and oxidative damage. Since miRNAs occupy the top place in biochemical events determining a trait, understanding their role in salt tolerance is highly desirable, which may allow introduction of the trait in the rice cultivars of choice through biotechnological interventions. High throughput sequencing of sRNAs in the root and shoot tissues of the seedlings of the control and NaCl treated Pokkali, a salt-tolerant rice variety, identified 75 conserved miRNAs and mapped 200 sRNAs to the rice genome as novel miRNAs. Expression of nine novel miRNAs and two conserved miRNAs were confirmed by Northern blotting. Several of both conserved and novel miRNAs that expressed differentially in root and/or shoot tissues targeted transcription factors like AP2/EREBP domain protein, ARF, NAC, MYB, NF-YA, HD-Zip III, TCP and SBP reported to be involved in salt tolerance or in abiotic stress tolerance in general. Most of the novel miRNAs expressed in the salt tolerant wild rice Oryza coarctata, suggesting conservation of miRNAs in taxonomically related species. One of the novel miRNAs, osa-miR12477, also targeted L-ascorbate oxidase (LAO), indicating build-up of oxidative stress in the plant upon salt treatment, which was confirmed by DAB staining. Thus, salt tolerance might involve miRNA-mediated regulation of 1) cellular abundance of the hormone signaling components like EREBP and ARF, 2) synthesis of abiotic stress related transcription factors, and 3) antioxidative component like LAO for mitigation of oxidative damage. The study clearly indicated importance of osa-miR12477 regulated expression of LAO in salt tolerance in the plant.

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<![CDATA[Toscana virus non-structural protein NSs acts as E3 ubiquitin ligase promoting RIG-I degradation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na0a913dc-a63b-43c4-adc6-448aab832714

It is known that the non-structural protein (NSs) of Toscana virus (TOSV), an emergent sandfly-borne virus causing meningitis or more severe central nervous system injuries in humans, exerts its function triggering RIG-I for degradation in a proteasome-dependent manner, thus breaking off the IFN-β production. The non-structural protein of different members of Bunyavirales has recently appeared as a fundamental protagonist in immunity evasion through ubiquitination-mediated protein degradation targets. We showed that TOSV NSs has an E3 ubiquitin ligase activity, mapping at the carboxy-terminal domain and also involving the amino-terminal of the protein. Indeed, neither the amino- (NSsΔN) nor the carboxy- (NSsΔC) terminal-deleted mutants of TOSV NSs were able to cause ubiquitin-mediated proteasome degradation of RIG-I. Moreover, the addition of the C-terminus of TOSV NSs to the homologous protein of the Sandfly Fever Naples Virus, belonging to the same genus and unable to inhibit IFN-β activity, conferred new properties to this protein, favoring RIG-I ubiquitination and its degradation. NSs lost its antagonistic activity to IFN when one of the terminal residues was missing. Therefore, we showed that NSs could behave as an atypical RING between RING (RBR) E3 ubiquitin ligases. This is the first report which identified the E3 ubiquitin ligase activity in a viral protein among negative strand RNA viruses.

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<![CDATA[A Notch-mediated, temporal asymmetry in BMP pathway activation promotes photoreceptor subtype diversification]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2d9d5eed0c48441ebbe

Neural progenitors produce neurons whose identities can vary as a function of the time that specification occurs. Here, we describe the heterochronic specification of two photoreceptor (PhR) subtypes in the zebrafish pineal gland. We find that accelerating PhR specification by impairing Notch signaling favors the early fate at the expense of the later fate. Using in vivo lineage tracing, we show that most pineal PhRs are born from a fate-restricted progenitor. Furthermore, sister cells derived from the division of PhR-restricted progenitors activate the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway at different times after division, and this heterochrony requires Notch activity. Finally, we demonstrate that PhR identity is established as a function of when the BMP pathway is activated. We propose a novel model in which division of a progenitor with restricted potential generates sister cells with distinct identities via a temporal asymmetry in the activation of a signaling pathway.

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<![CDATA[Strand break-induced replication fork collapse leads to C-circles, C-overhangs and telomeric recombination]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e913d5eed0c48496f7a0

Telomerase-independent ALT (alternative lengthening of telomeres) cells are characterized by high frequency of telomeric homologous recombination (HR), C-rich extrachromosomal circles (C-circles) and C-rich terminal 5' overhangs (C-overhangs). However, underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Here, we show that both C-circle and C-overhang form when replication fork collapse is induced by strand break at telomeres. We find that endogenous DNA break predominantly occur on C-rich strand of telomeres in ALT cells, resulting in high frequency of replication fork collapse. While collapsed forks could be rescued by replication fork regression leading to telomeric homologous recombination, those unresolved are converted to C-circles and C-overhang at lagging and leading synthesized strand, respectively. Meanwhile, multiple hallmarks of ALT are provoked, suggesting that strand break-induced replication stress underlies ALT. These findings provide a molecular basis underlying telomeric HR and biogenesis of C-circle and C-overhang, thus implicating the specific mechanism to resolve strand break-induced replication defect at telomeres in ALT cells.

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<![CDATA[IL-11 prevents IFN-γ-induced hepatocyte death through selective downregulation of IFN-γ/STAT1 signaling and ROS scavenging]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac63d5eed0c484d08693

Aims

Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) exhibits hepatotoxicity through signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) activation. On the contrary, interleukin-11 (IL-11) shows tissue-protective effects on various organs including the liver through STAT3 activation. Here, we found that IL-11 pretreatment protects hepatocytes from IFN-γ-induced death and investigated the molecular mechanisms, particularly focusing on signal crosstalk.

Methods and results

Primary culture mouse hepatocytes were treated with IL-11 prior to IFN-γ, and cell death was evaluated by lactate dehydrogenase release into media. As a result, IL-11 pretreatment effectively suppressed IFN-γ-induced hepatocyte death. Since IFN-γ-induced hepatocyte death requires STAT1 signaling, the activity of STAT1 was analyzed. IFN-γ robustly activated STAT1 with its peak at 1 hr after stimulation, which was significantly attenuated by IL-11 pretreatment. Consistently, IL-11 pretreatment impeded mRNA increase of STAT1-downstream molecules promoting cell death, i.e., IRF-1, caspase 1, bak, and bax. IL-11-mediated suppression of STAT1 signaling was presumably due to upregulation of the suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) genes, which are well-known negative feedback regulators of the JAK/STAT pathway. Interestingly, however, IFN-γ pretreatment failed to affect the following IL-11-induced STAT3 activation, although IFN-γ also upregulated SOCSs. Finally, we demonstrated that IL-11 pretreatment mitigated oxidative stress through increasing expression of ROS scavengers.

Conclusion

IL-11 protects hepatocytes from IFN-γ-induced death via STAT1 signal suppression and ROS scavenging. Further investigation into the mechanisms underlying selective negative feedback regulation of IFN-γ/STAT1 signaling compared to IL-11/STAT3 signaling may shed new light on the molecular biology of hepatocytes.

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<![CDATA[The Cdk8/19-cyclin C transcription regulator functions in genome replication through metazoan Sld7]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59feebd5eed0c4841357c1

Accurate genome duplication underlies genetic homeostasis. Metazoan Mdm2 binding protein (MTBP) forms a main regulatory platform for origin firing together with Treslin/TICRR and TopBP1 (Topoisomerase II binding protein 1 (TopBP1)–interacting replication stimulating protein/TopBP1-interacting checkpoint and replication regulator). We report the first comprehensive analysis of MTBP and reveal conserved and metazoa-specific MTBP functions in replication. This suggests that metazoa have evolved specific molecular mechanisms to adapt replication principles conserved with yeast to the specific requirements of the more complex metazoan cells. We uncover one such metazoa-specific process: a new replication factor, cyclin-dependent kinase 8/19–cyclinC (Cdk8/19-cyclin C), binds to a central domain of MTBP. This interaction is required for complete genome duplication in human cells. In the absence of MTBP binding to Cdk8/19-cyclin C, cells enter mitosis with incompletely duplicated chromosomes, and subsequent chromosome segregation occurs inaccurately. Using remote homology searches, we identified MTBP as the metazoan orthologue of yeast synthetic lethal with Dpb11 7 (Sld7). This homology finally demonstrates that the set of yeast core factors sufficient for replication initiation in vitro is conserved in metazoa. MTBP and Sld7 contain two homologous domains that are present in no other protein, one each in the N and C termini. In MTBP the conserved termini flank the metazoa-specific Cdk8/19-cyclin C binding region and are required for normal origin firing in human cells. The N termini of MTBP and Sld7 share an essential origin firing function, the interaction with Treslin/TICRR or its yeast orthologue Sld3, respectively. The C termini may function as homodimerisation domains. Our characterisation of broadly conserved and metazoa-specific initiation processes sets the basis for further mechanistic dissection of replication initiation in vertebrates. It is a first step in understanding the distinctions of origin firing in higher eukaryotes.

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<![CDATA[Accelerated bacterial detection in blood culture by enhanced acoustic flow cytometry (AFC) following peptide nucleic acid fluorescence in situ hybridization (PNA-FISH)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730b6d5eed0c484f37f63

Bacteraemia is a risk factor for subsequent clinical deterioration and death. Current reliance on culture-based methods for detection of bacteraemia delays identification and assessment of this risk until after the optimal period for positively impacting treatment decisions has passed. Therefore, a method for rapid detection and identification of bacterial infection in the peripheral bloodstream in acutely ill patients is crucial for improved patient survival through earlier targeted antibiotic treatment. The turnaround time for current clinical laboratory methods ranges from 12 to 48 hours, emphasizing the need for a faster diagnostic test. Here we describe a novel assay for accelerated generic detection of bacteria in blood culture (BC) using peptide nucleic acid fluorescence in situ hybridization enhanced acoustic flow cytometry (PNA-FISH-AFC). For assay development, we used simulated blood cultures (BCs) spiked with one of three bacterial species at a low starting concentration of 10 CFU/mL: Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae or Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Under current clinical settings, it takes a minimum of 12 hours incubation to reach positivity on the BacTEC system, corresponding to a bacterial concentration of 107−109 CFU/mL optimal for further analyses. In contrast, our PNA-FISH-AFC assay detected 103–104 CFU/mL bacteria in BC following a much shorter culture incubation of 5 to 10 hours. Using either PCR-based FilmArray assay or MALDI-TOF for bacterial detection, it took 7–10 and 12–24 hours of incubation, respectively, to reach the positive result. These findings indicate a potential time advantage of PNA-FISH-AFC assay for rapid bacterial detection in BC with significantly improved turnaround time over currently used laboratory techniques.

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<![CDATA[Learning the sequence of influenza A genome assembly during viral replication using point process models and fluorescence in situ hybridization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d65ed5eed0c484031d18

Within influenza virus infected cells, viral genomic RNA are selectively packed into progeny virions, which predominantly contain a single copy of 8 viral RNA segments. Intersegmental RNA-RNA interactions are thought to mediate selective packaging of each viral ribonucleoprotein complex (vRNP). Clear evidence of a specific interaction network culminating in the full genomic set has yet to be identified. Using multi-color fluorescence in situ hybridization to visualize four vRNP segments within a single cell, we developed image-based models of vRNP-vRNP spatial dependence. These models were used to construct likely sequences of vRNP associations resulting in the full genomic set. Our results support the notion that selective packaging occurs during cytoplasmic transport and identifies the formation of multiple distinct vRNP sub-complexes that likely form as intermediate steps toward full genomic inclusion into a progeny virion. The methods employed demonstrate a statistically driven, model based approach applicable to other interaction and assembly problems.

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<![CDATA[ARR22 overexpression can suppress plant Two-Component Regulatory Systems]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b2616d5eed0c4842892c3

In plants, several developmental processes are co-coordinated by cytokinins via phosphorylation dependent processes of the Two-Component System (TCS). An outstanding challenge is to track phosphorelay flow from cytokinin perception to its molecular outputs, of which gene activation plays a major role. To address this issue, a kinetic-based reporter system was expounded to track TCS phosphorelay activity in vivo that can distinguish between basal and cytokinin dependent effects of overexpressed TCS members. The TCS phosphorelay can be positively activated by cytokinin and inhibited by pharmaceuticals or naturally interfering components. In this case we took advantage of the phosphohistidine-phosphatase Arabidopsis Response Regulator (ARR) 22 and investigated its phosphocompetition with other TCS members in regulating promoters of ARR5 and WUS in Arabidopsis thaliana cell culture protoplasts. In congruency with the proposed function of ARR22, overexpression of ARR22 blocked the activation of all B-type ARRs in this study in a TCS dependent manner. Furthermore, this effect could not be mimicked by A-type response regulator overexpression or compensated by AHP overexpression. Compared to other reporter assays, ours mimicked effects previously observed only in transgenic plants for all of the TCS proteins studied, suggesting that it is possible to expose phosphocompetition. Thus, our approach can be used to investigate gene signaling networks involving the TCS by leveraging ARR22 as a TCS inhibitor along with B-type ARR overexpression.

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<![CDATA[Merkel cell polyomavirus Tumor antigens expressed in Merkel cell carcinoma function independently of the ubiquitin ligases Fbw7 and β-TrCP]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d627d5eed0c484031780

Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) accounts for 80% of all Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) cases through expression of two viral oncoproteins: the truncated large T antigen (LT-t) and small T antigen (ST). MCPyV ST is thought to be the main driver of cellular transformation and has also been shown to increase LT protein levels through the activity of its Large-T Stabilization Domain (LSD). The ST LSD was reported to bind and sequester several ubiquitin ligases, including Fbw7 and β-TrCP, and thereby stabilize LT-t and several other Fbw7 targets including c-Myc and cyclin E. Therefore, the ST LSD is thought to contribute to transformation by promoting the accumulation of these oncoproteins. Targets of Fbw7 and β-TrCP contain well-defined, conserved, phospho-degrons. However, as neither MCPyV LT, LT-t nor ST contain the canonical Fbw7 phospho-degron, we sought to further investigate the proposed model of ST stabilization of LT-t and transformation. In this study, we provide several lines of evidence that fail to support a specific interaction between MCPyV T antigens and Fbw7 or β-TrCP by co-immunoprecipitation or functional consequence. Although MCPyV ST does indeed increase LT protein levels through its Large-T Stabilization domain (LSD), this is accomplished independently of Fbw7. Therefore, our study indicates a need for further investigation into the role and mechanism(s) of MCPyV T antigens in viral replication, latency, transformation, and tumorigenesis.

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<![CDATA[Low-cost cross-taxon enrichment of mitochondrial DNA using in-house synthesised RNA probes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e92ed5eed0c48496f93a

Hybridization capture with in-solution oligonucleotide probes has quickly become the preferred method for enriching specific DNA loci from degraded or ancient samples prior to high-throughput sequencing (HTS). Several companies synthesize sets of probes for in-solution hybridization capture, but these commercial reagents are usually expensive. Methods for economical in-house probe synthesis have been described, but they do not directly address one of the major advantages of commercially synthesised probes: that probe sequences matching many species can be synthesised in parallel and pooled. The ability to make “phylogenetically diverse” probes increases the cost-effectiveness of commercial probe sets, as they can be used across multiple projects (or for projects involving multiple species). However, it is labour-intensive to replicate this with in-house methods, as template molecules must first be generated for each species of interest. While it has been observed that probes can be used to enrich for phylogenetically distant targets, the ability of this effect to compensate for the lack of phylogenetically diverse probes in in-house synthesised probe sets has not been tested. In this study, we present a refined protocol for in-house RNA probe synthesis and evaluated the ability of probes generated using this method from a single species to successfully enrich for the target locus in phylogenetically distant species. We demonstrated that probes synthesized using long-range PCR products from a placental mammal mitochondrion (Bison spp.) could be used to enrich for mitochondrial DNA in birds and marsupials (but not plants). Importantly, our results were obtained for approximately a third of the cost of similar commercially available reagents.

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<![CDATA[Viral loads correlate with upregulation of PD-L1 and worse patient prognosis in Epstein–Barr Virus-associated gastric carcinoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fec6d5eed0c484135434

Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-associated gastric carcinoma (EBVaGC), one of four major gastric cancer types, consists of clonal growth of EBV-infected epithelial cells. However, the significance of viral loads in each tumor cell has not been evaluated. EBV-DNA is stably maintained in episomal form in the nucleus of each cancer cell. To estimate EBV copy number per genome (EBV-CN), qPCR of viral EBNA1 and host GAPDH, standardized by Namalwa DNA (one copy/genome), was applied to the formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) surgically resected EBVaGC specimens (n = 43) and EBVaGC cell lines (SNU-719 and NCC-24). In surgical specimens, the cancer cell ratio (CCR) was determined with image analysis, and EBV-CN was obtained by adjusting qPCR value with CCR. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) was also applied to the FFPE sections using the whole EBV-genome as a probe. In surgical specimens, EBV-CN obtained by qPCR/CCR was between 1.2 and 185 copies with a median of 9.9. EBV-CN of SNU-719 and NCC-24 was 42.0 and 1.1, respectively. A linear correlation was observed with qPCR/CCR data up to 20 copies/genome (40 signals/nucleus), the limit of FISH analysis. In addition, substantial variation in the number of EBV foci was observed. Based on qPCR/CCR, high EBV-CN (>10 copies) correlated with PD-L1 expression in cancer cells (P = 0.015), but not with other pathological indicators. Furthermore, EBVaGC with high EBV-CN showed worse disease-specific survival (P = 0.041). Our findings suggest that cancer cell viral loads may contribute to expression of the immune checkpoint molecule and promotion of cancer progression in EBVaGC.

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<![CDATA[In-stem molecular beacon targeted to a 5′-region of tRNA inclusive of the D arm that detects mature tRNA with high sensitivity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59febad5eed0c484135341

Cellular functions are regulated by the up- and down-regulation and localization of RNA molecules. Therefore, many RNA detection methods have been developed to analyze RNA levels and localization. Molecular beacon (MB) is one of the major methods for quantitative RNA detection and analysis of RNA localization. Most oligonucleotide-based probes, including MB, are designed to target a long flexible region on the target RNA molecule, e.g., a single-stranded region. Recently, analyses of tRNA localization and levels became important, as it has been shown that environmental stresses and chemical reagents induce nuclear accumulation of tRNA and tRNA degradation in mammalian cells. However, tRNA is highly structured and does not harbor any long flexible regions. Hence, only a few methods are currently available for detecting tRNA. In the present study, we attempted to detect elongator tRNAMet (eMet) and initiator tRNAMet (iMet) by using an in-stem molecular beacon (ISMB), characterized by more effective quenching and significantly higher sensitivity than those of conventional MB. We found that ISMB1 targeted a 5′- region that includes the D arm of tRNA and that it detected eMet and iMet transcripts as well as mature eMet with high sensitivity. Moreover, the analysis revealed that the formation of the ISMB/tRNA transcript complex required more time than the formation of an ISMB/unstructured short RNA complex. These results suggest that ISMB-based tRNA detection can be a useful tool for various biological and medical studies.

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<![CDATA[Characterisation of a type II functionally-deficient variant of alpha-1-antitrypsin discovered in the general population]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c424390d5eed0c4845e05dc

Lung disease in alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) results from dysregulated proteolytic activity, mainly by neutrophil elastase (HNE), in the lung parenchyma. This is the result of a substantial reduction of circulating alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) and the presence in the plasma of inactive polymers of AAT. Moreover, some AAT mutants have reduced intrinsic activity toward HNE, as demonstrated for the common Z mutant, as well as for other rarer variants. Here we report the identification and characterisation of the novel AAT reactive centre loop variant Gly349Arg (p.G373R) present in the ExAC database. This AAT variant is secreted at normal levels in cellular models of AATD but shows a severe reduction in anti-HNE activity. Biochemical and molecular dynamics studies suggest it exhibits unfavourable RCL presentation to cognate proteases and compromised insertion of the RCL into β-sheet A. Identification of a fully dysfunctional AAT mutant that does not show a secretory defect underlines the importance of accurate genotyping of patients with pulmonary AATD manifestations regardless of the presence of normal levels of AAT in the circulation. This subtype of disease is reminiscent of dysfunctional phenotypes in anti-thrombin and C1-inibitor deficiencies so, accordingly, we classify this variant as the first pure functionally-deficient (type II) AATD mutant.

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<![CDATA[Recruitment of Vps34 PI3K and enrichment of PI3P phosphoinositide in the viral replication compartment is crucial for replication of a positive-strand RNA virus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5f5d5eed0c484caa846

Tombusviruses depend on subversions of multiple host factors and retarget cellular pathways to support viral replication. In this work, we demonstrate that tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) and the closely-related carnation Italian ringspot virus (CIRV) recruit the cellular Vps34 phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) into the large viral replication compartment. The kinase function of Vps34 is critical for TBSV replication, suggesting that PI(3)P phosphoinositide is utilized by TBSV for building of the replication compartment. We also observed increased expression of Vps34 and the higher abundance of PI(3)P in the presence of the tombusviral replication proteins, which likely leads to more efficient tombusvirus replication. Accordingly, overexpression of PI(3)P phosphatase in yeast or plants inhibited TBSV replication on the peroxisomal membranes and CIRV replication on the mitochondrial membranes. Moreover, the purified PI(3)P phosphatase reduced TBSV replicase assembly in a cell-free system. Detection of PI(3)P with antibody or a bioprobe revealed the enrichment of PI(3)P in the replication compartment. Vps34 is directly recruited into the replication compartment through interaction with p33 replication protein. Gene deletion analysis in surrogate yeast host unraveled that TBSV replication requires the vesicle transport function of Vps34. In the absence of Vps34, TBSV cannot efficiently recruit the Rab5-positive early endosomes, which provide PE-rich membranes for membrane biogenesis of the TBSV replication compartment. We found that Vps34 and PI(3)P needed for the stability of the p33 replication protein, which is degraded by the 26S proteasome when PI(3)P abundance was decreased by an inhibitor of Vps34. In summary, Vps34 and PI(3)P are needed for providing the optimal microenvironment for the replication of the peroxisomal TBSV and the mitochondrial CIRV.

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