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Journal: DNA and cell biology


Haplotypes formed by polymorphisms (T-786C, rs2070744; a variable number of tandem repeats in intron 4, and Glu298Asp, rs1799983) of the eNOS gene were associated previously with gestational hypertension (GH) and preeclampsia (PE). However, no study has explored the Tag SNPs rs743506 and rs7830 in these disorders. The aim of the current study was to compare the distribution of the genotypes and haplotypes formed by the five eNOS polymorphisms mentioned among healthy pregnant (HP, n=122), GH (n=138), and PE (n=157). The haplotype formed by “C b G G C” was more frequent in HP compared to GH and PE (p=0.0071), which is supported by previous findings that demonstrated the association of the combination “C b G” with a higher level of nitrite (NO marker). Our results suggest a protective effect of the haplotype “C b G G C” against the development of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Pregnancy, Hypertension, Obstetrics, Population genetics, Pre-eclampsia, International HapMap Project


Fipronil (FP) is a phenylpyrazole pesticide developed by the transnational company, Rhône-Poulenc Agro in 1987. Data on the genotoxicity and toxicity of FP are rather inadequate. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the potential genotoxic activity of FP using the single-cell microgel electrophoresis or comet assay, sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs), and micronuclei (MN) in human peripheral blood lymphocytes. In addition, the cytokinesis block proliferation index (CBPI) and proliferation index (PRI) were measured for cytotoxicity. In this study, three different doses of FP were used (0.7, 0.3, 0.1 μg/mL). Mitomycin C (2 μg/mL) and hydrogen peroxide were used as positive controls for SCE MN test systems, and comet assay, respectively. FP induced a statistically significant increase in the MN and SCE frequency and DNA damage in a dose-dependent manner in human peripheral blood lymphocytes (p<0.01, p<0.05, for 0.7 and 0.3 μg/mL, respectively) compared with a negative control. There is no significant difference between 0.1 μg/mL and the negative control for MN frequency, but there is significant difference between all the doses of FP and negative control for SCE frequency, mitotic index, CBPI, and PRI values (p<0.01). Using the alkaline comet assay, we showed that all the doses of the FP induced DNA damage in human peripheral blood lymphocytes in vitro (p<0.05).

Concepts: Mutation, Statistics, Statistical significance, Addition, Cytotoxicity, Mitosis, Mutagen, Sister chromatids


Ebola virus (EBOV) can cause a devastating hemorrhagic disease, leading to death in a short period of time. After infection, the resulting EBOV disease results in high levels of circulating cytokines, endothelial dysfunction, coagulopathy, and bystander lymphocyte apoptosis in humans and nonhuman primates. The VP40 matrix protein of EBOV is essential for viral assembly and budding from the host cell. Recent data have shown that VP40 exists in the extracellular environment, including in exosomes, and exosomal VP40 can impact the viability of recipient immune cells, including myeloid and T cells, through the regulation of the RNAi and endosomal sorting complexes required for transport pathways. In this study, we discuss the latest findings of the impact of exosomal VP40 on immune cells in vitro and its potential implications for pathogenesis in vivo.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, DNA, Protein, Microbiology, Virus, Biological warfare, Viral hemorrhagic fever


The variation in cytokine production during bacterial invasion of human intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) is a contributing factor for progression of the infection. A few Salmonella enterica Heidelberg strains isolated from poultry products harbor transmissible plasmids (TPs), including those that encode a type-IV secretion system. Earlier, we showed that these TPs are responsible for increased virulence during infection. This study examines the potential role of these TPs in cytokine production in IECs. This study showed that S. Heidelberg strains containing TPs (we refer as virulent strains) caused decreased interleukin (IL)-10 production in IECs after 1 h infection. The virulent strains induced a high level of tumor necrosis factor-α production under identical conditions. The virulent strains of S. Heidelberg also altered the production of IL-2, IL-17, and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor compared to an avirulent strain. As a part of infection, bacteria cross the epithelial barrier and encounter intestinal macrophages. Hence, we examined the cytotoxic mechanism of strains of S. Heidelberg in macrophages. Scanning electron microscopy showed cell necrosis occurs during the early stage of infection. In conclusion, virulent S. Heidelberg strains were able to modify the host cytokine profile during the early stages of infection and also caused necrosis in macrophages.

Concepts: Immune system, DNA, Electron, Cell, Bacteria, Microbiology, Apoptosis, Plasmid


The congenital cataract has been a clinically important cause of impaired vision development, making up about 10% of the cases of childhood blindness. Mutations of more than 40 genes have been identified causing congenital cataract with Mendelian inheritance, which indicated that it has an extremely high genetic heterogeneity. In this study, we recruited a large congenital cataract family and identified a missense mutation (c.143A>G: p.E48G) within gap junction protein alpha-3 (GJA3) gene in the proband using whole exome sequencing. Subsequent Sanger sequencing of this mutation in all family members revealed that this mutation cosegregated with the phenotype in the family with full penetrance. Our study identified a mutation in GJA3 that correlated with congenital cataract phenotype, which was not reported previously, and would be of benefit to the diagnosis of this genetic disorder. This finding expands the mutation spectrum of GJA3 and provides useful information for further study of the molecular pathogenesis of congenital cataract.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Mutation, Evolution, Molecular biology, Thomas Hunt Morgan, Point mutation


Dengue is currently regarded as the most common arthropod-borne viral disease in tropical and subtropical areas, with an estimated 50-100 million infections occurring each year. Nearly all patients experience a self-limiting clinical course; however, the illness ranges from undifferentiated fever to severe hemorrhagic fever with or without shock syndrome complications. There are several immune cells associated with the pathogenesis of dengue virus (DENV) infection and systemic spread, including dendritic cells, macrophages, and mast cells (MCs). MCs are widely recognized for their immune functions and as cellular regulators of vascular integrity in human skin. Furthermore, these cells are able to detect DENV, which results in activation and degranulation of potent vasoactive mediators prestored in the granules. These mediators can act directly on vascular endothelium, increasing permeability and inducing vascular leakage. This review is designed to present an insight into the role of MCs during DENV infection and the dual functions in immune protection and contribution to the most severe forms of dengue.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, White blood cell, Infection, Mast cell, Fever, Dengue fever, Viral hemorrhagic fever


Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a highly prevalent human neurotropic pathogen. HSV-1 infection is associated with a variety of diseases ranging from benign orolabial lesions to more serious and even life-threatening conditions such as herpes simplex keratitis and herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE). HSE is a rare occurrence among healthy adult individuals, but newborns are a particularly susceptible population. Type I IFN signaling has been identified as a crucial component of the innate immune response to the control of HSV-1 infection. In this study, we review the contribution of the type I IFN response to controlling HSV-1 infection, and differences in the early host response between adults and newborns that may contribute to the increased susceptibility to infection and central nervous system disease in newborns.

Concepts: Immune system, Virus, Innate immune system, Interferon, Herpes simplex virus, Herpesviridae, Herpes simplex, Encephalitis


The chaperone protein HSPA5/Dna K is conserved throughout evolution from higher eukaryotes down to prokaryotes. The celecoxib derivative OSU-03012 (also called AR-12) interacts with Viagra or Cialis in eukaryotic cells to rapidly reduce HSPA5 levels as well as blunt the functions of many other chaperone proteins. Because multiple chaperones are modulated in eukaryotes, the expression of cell surface virus receptors is reduced and because HSPA5 in blocked viruses cannot efficiently replicate. Because DnaK levels are reduced in prokaryotes by OSU-03012, the levels of DnaK chaperone proteins such as Rec A decline, which is associated with bacterial cell death and a resensitization of so-called drug-resistant superbugs to standard of care antibiotics. In Alzheimer’s disease, HSPA5 has been shown to play a supportive role for the progression of tau phosphorylation and neurodegeneration. Thus, in eukaryotes, HSPA5 represents a target for anticancer, antiviral, and anti-Alzheimer’s therapeutics and in prokaryotes, DnaK and bacterial phosphodiesterases represent novel antibiotic targets that should be exploited in the future by pharmaceutical companies.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Cell nucleus, Gene expression, Bacteria, Organism, Endoplasmic reticulum, Prokaryote


Tuberculosis (TB), a chronic infectious disease mainly caused by the tubercle bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is one of the world’s deadliest diseases that has afflicted humanity since ancient times. Although the number of people falling ill with TB each year is declining, its incidence in many developing countries is still a major cause of concern. Upon invading host cells by phagocytosis, M. tuberculosis can replicate within infected cells by arresting the maturation of the phagosome whose function is to target the pathogen for elimination. Host cells have mechanisms of controlling this evasion by inducing autophagy, an elaborate cellular process that targets bacteria for progressive elimination, decreasing bacterial loads within infected cells. In addition, autophagy activation also aids in the control of inflammation, contributing to a more efficient innate immune response against M. tuberculosis. Several innovative TB therapies have been envisaged based on autophagy manipulation, with some of them revealing high potential for future clinical trials and eventual implementation in healthcare systems. Thus, this review highlights the recent advances on the innate immune response regulation by autophagy upon M. tuberculosis infection and the promising new autophagy-based therapies for TB.

Concepts: Immune system, Medicine, Infectious disease, Bacteria, Infection, Tuberculosis, Mycobacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis


Leukotriene B4 receptor 1 (BLT1), a high-affinity G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) for leukotriene B4 (LTB4), plays important roles in inflammatory and immune reactions. Although the LTB4-BLT1 axis is known to promote inflammation, the binding proteins that modulate LTB4-BLT1 signaling have not been identified. Recently, we discovered that receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) interacts with BLT1 and modulates LTB4-BLT1 signaling. We propose RAGE as a new class of GPCR modulator and a new target of future GPCR studies.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Signal transduction, Asthma, Cell membrane, Chemokine, Metabotropic glutamate receptor, Eicosanoid