Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Biological Research]]> vol. 50 num. lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Musk gland seasonal development and musk secretion are regulated by the testis in muskrat (<em>Ondatra zibethicus</em>)]]> Abstract Background The muskrat is a seasonal breeder. Males secrete musk to attract females during the breeding season. The testosterone binding to the androgen receptor (AR) in musk glands of muskrat may play an important role conducting the musk secretion process. Methods The musk gland, testis and blood samples of musk rats are collected in both breeding and non-breeding seasons. Some part of the samples are kept in liquid nitrogen for transcriptome analysis and Western blotting test. Some part of the samples are kept in 70% alcohol for histology experiment, blood samples are kept at −20 °C for the serum testosterone measurement experiment. Results This study demonstrates that the quantity of secreted musk, the volume of the musk glands, the diameter of the gland cells and AR expression are all higher during the breeding season than at other times (p &lt; 0.01). StAR, P450scc and 3β-HSD expression in the Leydig cells of the testis were also higher during this season, as was serum testosterone. AR was also observed in the gland cells of two other musk-secreting animals, the musk deer and small Indian civet, in their musk glands. These results suggest that the testes and musk glands co-develop seasonally. Conclusion The musk glands’ seasonal development and musk secretion are regulated by the testes, and testosterone plays an important role in the seasonal development of musk glands. <![CDATA[BJ-1108, a 6-Amino-2,4,5-trimethylpyridin-3-ol analogue, regulates differentiation of Th1 and Th17 cells to ameliorate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis]]> Abstract Background CD4+ T cells play an important role in the initiation of an immune response by providing help to other cells. Among the helper T subsets, interferon-γ (IFN-γ)-secreting T helper 1 (Th1) and IL-17-secreting T helper 17 (Th17) cells are indispensable for clearance of intracellular as well as extracellular pathogens. However, Th1 and Th17 cells are also associated with pathogenesis and contribute to the progression of multiple inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases. Results In the current study, we found that BJ-1108, a 6-aminopyridin-3-ol analogue, significantly inhibited Th1 and Th17 differentiation in vitro in a concentration-dependent manner, with no effect on proliferation or apoptosis of activated T cells. Moreover, BJ-1108 inhibited differentiation of Th1 and Th17 cells in ovalbumin (OVA)-specific OT II mice. A complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA)/OVA-induced inflammatory model revealed that BJ-1108 can reduce generation of proinflammatory Th1 and Th17 cells. Furthermore, in vivo studies showed that BJ-1108 delayed onset of disease and suppressed experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) disease progression by inhibiting differentiation of Th1 and Th17 cells. Conclusions BJ-1108 treatment ameliorates inflammation and EAE by inhibiting Th1 and Th17 cells differentiation. Our findings suggest that BJ-1108 is a promising novel therapeutic agent for the treatment of inflammation and autoimmune disease. <![CDATA[Metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 may be involved in macrophage plasticity]]> Abstract Background Macrophages are a functionally heterogeneous cell population and depending on microenvironments they polarize in two main groups: M1 and M2. Glutamic acid and glutamate receptors may participate in the regulation of macrophage plasticity. To investigate the role of glutamatergic systems in macrophages physiology, we performed the transfection of mGluR5 cDNAs into RAW-264.7 cells. Results Comparative analysis of modified (RAW-mGluR5 macrophages) and non-modified macrophages (RAW-macrophages) has shown that the RAW-mGluR5 macrophages absorbed more glutamate than control cells and the amount of intracellular glutamate correlated with the expression of excitatory amino acid transporters -2 (EAAT-2). Besides, our results have shown that RAW-mGluR5 macrophages expressed a higher level of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPAR-γ) and secreted more IL-10, high mobility group box 1 proteins (HMGB1) and Galectin-3 than control RAW-macrophages. Conclusions We propose that elevation of intracellular glutamate and expression of mGluR5 may initiate the metabolic rearrangement in macrophages that could contribute to the formation of an immunosuppressive phenotype. <![CDATA[Analysis of gene expression changes associated with human carcinoma-associated fibroblasts in non-small cell lung carcinoma]]> Abstract Background This study aimed to investigate the gene expression changes associated with carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) involving in non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Methods We downloaded the GEO series GSE22862, which contained matched gene expression values for 15 CAF and normal fibroblasts samples, and series GSE27289 containing SNP genotyping for four matched NSCLC samples. The differentially expressed genes in CAF samples were identified using the limma package in R. Then we performed gene ontology (GO) and pathway enrichment analysis and protein–protein interaction (PPI) network construction using the identified DEGs. Moreover, aberrant cell fraction, ploidy, allele-specific copy number, and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) within CAF cells were analyzed using the allele-specific copy number analysis. Results We obtained 545 differentially expressed genes between CAF and normal fibroblasts samples. The up-regulated genes are mainly involved in GO terms such as positive regulation of cell migration and extracellular region, while the down-regulated genes participate in the lung development and extracellular region. Multiple genes including bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) and transforming growth factor, beta 3 (TGFB3) are involved in the TGF-β signaling pathway. Genes including BMP4, TGFBI and matrix Gla protein (MGP) were hub genes. Moreover, no LOH event for BMP4 and MGP was found, that for sphingosine kinase 1 (SPHK1) was 70%, and for TGFBI was 40%. Conclusion Our data suggested that BMP4, MGP, TGFBI, and SPHK1 may be important in CAFs-associated NSCLC, and the abnormal expression and high LOH frequency of them may be used as the diagnosis targets of CAFs in NSCLC. <![CDATA[Uptake of DNA by cancer cells without a transfection reagent]]> Abstract Background Cancer cells exhibit elevated levels of glucose uptake and may obtain pre-formed, diet-derived fatty acids from the bloodstream to boost their rapid growth; they may also use nucleic acid from their microenvironment. The study of processing nucleic acid by cancer cells will help improve the understanding of the metabolism of cancer. DNA is commonly packaged into a viral or lipid particle to be transferred into cells; this process is called transfection in laboratory. Cancer cells are known for having gene mutations and the evolving ability of endocytosis. Their uptake of DNAs might be different from normal cells; they may take in DNAs directly from the environment. In this report, we studied the uptake of DNAs in cancer cells without a transfection reagent. Methods A group of DNA fragments were prepared with PCR and labeled with isotope phosphorous-32 to test their uptake by Huh 7 (liver cancer) and THLE3 (normal liver cells) after incubation overnight by counting radioactivity of the cells’ genomic DNA. Multiple cell lines including breast cancer and lung cancer were tested with the same method. DNA molecules were also labeled with fluorescence to test the location in the cells using a kit of “label it fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)” from Mirus (USA). Results The data demonstrated that hepatocellular carcinoma cells possess the ability to take in large DNA fragments directly without a transfection reagent whereas normal liver cells cannot. Huh7 and MDA-MB231 cells displayed a significantly higher Rhodamine density in the cytoplasmic phagosomes and this suggests that the mechanism of uptake of large DNA by cancer cells is likely endocytosis. The efficacy of uptake is related to the DNA’s size. Some cell lines of lung cancer and breast cancer also showed similar uptake of DNA. Conclusions In the present study, we have revealed the evidence that some cancer cells, but not nontumorigenic cells, can take DNA fragments directly from the environment without the aid of the transfecting reagent. <![CDATA[<em>Alpinia oxyphylla</em> Miq. extract changes miRNA expression profiles in db-/db- mouse kidney]]> Abstract Background A number of dysregulated miRNAs have been identified and are proposed to have significant roles in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus or renal pathology. Alpinia oxyphylla has shown significant anti-inflammatory properties and play an anti-diabetes role. The objective of this study was to detect the alteration of miRNAs underlying the anti-diabetes effects of A. oxyphylla extract (AOE) in a type II diabetic animal model (C57BIKsj db-/db-). Results Treatment with AOE for 8 weeks led to lower concentrations of blood glucose, urine albumin, and urine creatinine. 17 and 13 miRNAs were statistically identified as differentially regulated in the DB/DB and db-/db- AOE mice, respectively, compared to the untreated db-/db- mice. Of these, 7 miRNAs were identified in both comparison groups, and these 7 miRNAs were verified by quantitative real-time PCR. Functional bioinformatics showed that the putative target genes of 7 miRNAs were associated with several diabetes effects and signaling pathways. Conclusions These founding suggest that the potential of AOE as a medicinal anti-diabetes treatment through changes in the expressions of specific miRNAs. The results provide a useful resource for future investigation of the role of AOE-regulated miRNAs in diabetes mellitus. <![CDATA[De novo transcriptome assembly, functional annotation and differential gene expression analysis of juvenile and adult <em>E. fetida</em>, a model oligochaete used in ecotoxicological studies]]> Abstract Background Earthworms are sensitive to toxic chemicals present in the soil and so are useful indicator organisms for soil health. Eisenia fetida are commonly used in ecotoxicological studies; therefore the assembly of a baseline transcriptome is important for subsequent analyses exploring the impact of toxin exposure on genome wide gene expression. Results This paper reports on the de novo transcriptome assembly of E. fetida using Trinity, a freely available software tool. Trinotate was used to carry out functional annotation of the Trinity generated transcriptome file and the transdecoder generated peptide sequence file along with BLASTX, BLASTP and HMMER searches and were loaded into a Sqlite3 database. To identify differentially expressed transcripts; each of the original sequence files were aligned to the de novo assembled transcriptome using Bowtie and then RSEM was used to estimate expression values based on the alignment. EdgeR was used to calculate differential expression between the two conditions, with an FDR corrected P value cut off of 0.001, this returned six significantly differentially expressed genes. Initial BLASTX hits of these putative genes included hits with annelid ferritin and lysozyme proteins, as well as fungal NADH cytochrome b5 reductase and senescence associated proteins. At a cut off of P = 0.01 there were a further 26 differentially expressed genes. Conclusion These data have been made publicly available, and to our knowledge represent the most comprehensive available transcriptome for E. fetida assembled from RNA sequencing data. This provides important groundwork for subsequent ecotoxicogenomic studies exploring the impact of the environment on global gene expression in E. fetida and other earthworm species. <![CDATA[Differential roles for pathogenicity islands SPI-13 and SPI-8 in the interaction of <em>Salmonella</em> Enteritidis and <em>Salmonella</em> Typhi with murine and human macrophages]]> Abstract Background Salmonella pathogenicity island (SPI)-13 is conserved in many serovars of S. enterica, including S. Enteritidis, S. Typhimurium and S. Gallinarum. However, it is absent in typhoid serovars such as S. Typhi and Paratyphi A, which carry SPI-8 at the same genomic location. Because the interaction with macrophages is a critical step in Salmonella pathogenicity, in this study we investigated the role played by SPI-13 and SPI-8 in the interaction of S. Enteritidis and S. Typhi with cultured murine (RAW264.7) and human (THP-1) macrophages. Results Our results showed that SPI-13 was required for internalization of S. Enteritidis in murine but not human macrophages. On the other hand, SPI-8 was not required for the interaction of S. Typhi with human or murine macrophages. Of note, the presence of an intact copy of SPI-13 in a S. Typhi mutant carrying a deletion of SPI-8 did not improve its ability to be internalized by, or survive in human or murine macrophages. Conclusions Altogether, our results point out to different roles for SPI-13 and SPI-8 during Salmonella infection. While SPI-13 contributes to the interaction of S. Enteritidis with murine macrophages, SPI-8 is not required in the interaction of S. Typhi with murine or human macrophages. We hypothesized that typhoid serovars have lost SPI-13 and maintained SPI-8 to improve their fitness during another phase of human infection. <![CDATA[A spleen tyrosine kinase inhibitor attenuates the proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells]]> Abstract Background Pathologic vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation and migration after vascular injury promotes the development of occlusive vascular disease. Therefore, an effective chemical agent to suppress aberrant proliferation and migration of VSMCs can be a potential therapeutic modality for occlusive vascular disease such as atherosclerosis and restenosis. To find an anti-proliferative chemical agent for VSMCs, we screened an in-house small molecule library, and the selected small molecule was further validated for its anti-proliferative effect on VSMCs using multiple approaches, such as cell proliferation assays, wound healing assays, transwell migration assays, and ex vivo aortic ring assay. Results Among 43 initially screened small molecule inhibitors of kinases that have no known anti-proliferative effect on VSMCs, a spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) inhibitor (BAY61-3606) showed significant anti-proliferative effect on VSMCs. Further experiments indicated that BAY61 attenuated the VSMC proliferation in both concentration- and time-dependent manner, and it also significantly suppressed the migration of VSMCs as assessed by both wound healing assays and transwell assays. Additionally, BAY61 suppressed the sprouting of VSMCs from endothelium-removed aortic rings. Conclusion The present study identified a Syk kinase inhibitor as a potent VSMC proliferation and migration inhibitor and warrants further studies to elucidate its underlying molecular mechanisms, such as its primary target, and to validate its in vivo efficacy as a therapeutic agent for restenosis and atherosclerosis. <![CDATA[Selective intra-dinucleotide interactions and periodicities of bases separated by K sites: a new vision and tool for phylogeny analyses]]> Abstract Direct tests of the random or non-random distribution of nucleotides on genomes have been devised to test the hypothesis of neutral, nearly-neutral or selective evolution. These tests are based on the direct base distribution and are independent of the functional (coding or non-coding) or structural (repeated or unique sequences) properties of the DNA. The first approach described the longitudinal distribution of bases in tandem repeats under the Bose–Einstein statistics. A huge deviation from randomness was found. A second approach was the study of the base distribution within dinucleotides whose bases were separated by 0, 1, 2… K nucleotides. Again an enormous difference from the random distribution was found with significances out of tables and programs. These test values were periodical and included the 16 dinucleotides. For example a high “positive” (more observed than expected dinucleotides) value, found in dinucleotides whose bases were separated by (3K + 2) sites, was preceded by two smaller “negative” (less observed than expected dinucleotides) values, whose bases were separated by (3K) or (3K + 1) sites. We examined mtDNAs, prokaryote genomes and some eukaryote chromosomes and found that the significant non-random interactions and periodicities were present up to 1000 or more sites of base separation and in human chromosome 21 until separations of more than 10 millions sites. Each nucleotide has its own significant value of its distance to neutrality; this yields 16 hierarchical significances. A three dimensional table with the number of sites of separation between the bases and the 16 significances (the third dimension is the dinucleotide, individual or taxon involved) gives directly an evolutionary state of the analyzed genome that can be used to obtain phylogenies. An example is provided.