For interpretation of quantitative gene expression measurements in clinical tumor samples, a normalizer is necessary to correct expression data for differences in cellular input, RNA quality, and RT efficiency between samples. In many studies, a single housekeeping gene is used for normalization. However, no unequivocal single reference gene (with proven invariable expression between cells) has been identified yet. As the best alternative, the mean expression of multiple housekeeping genes can be used for normalization. In this study, no attempt was made to determine the gold-standard gene for normalization, but to identify the best single housekeeping gene that could accurately replace the measurement of multiple genes. Expression patterns of 13 frequently used housekeeping genes were determined in 80 normal and tumor samples from colorectal, breast, prostate, skin, and bladder tissues with real-time quantitative RT-PCR. These genes included, large ribosomal protein, b-actin, cyclophilin A, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, phosphoglycerokinase 1, b-2-microglobin, b-glucuronidase, hypoxanthine ribosyltransferase (HPRT), TATA-box-binding protein, transferrin receptor, porphobilinogen deaminase, ATP synthase 6, and 18S ribosomal RNA. Principal component analysis was used to analyze these expression patterns, independent of the level of expression. Our approach identified HPRT as the single best reference gene that could be used as an accurate and economic alternative for the measurement of multiple housekeeping genes. We recommend this gene for future studies to standardize gene expression measurements in cancer research and tumor diagnostics until a definite gold standard has been determined.
DNA repair-deficient Ercc1Δ/− mice show numerous accelerated aging features limiting lifespan to 4–6 month1–4. Simultaneously they exhibit a ‘survival response’, which suppresses growth and enhances maintenance, resembling the anti-aging response induced by dietary restriction (DR)1,5. Here we report that subjecting these progeroid, dwarf mutants to 30% DR tripled median and maximal remaining lifespan, and drastically retarded numerous aspects of accelerated aging, e.g. DR animals retained 50% more neurons and maintained full motoric function, even far beyond the lifespan of ad libitum (AL) animals. Repair-deficient, progeroid Xpg−/− mice, a Cockayne syndrome model6, responded similarly, extending this observation to other repair mutants. The DR response in Ercc1Δ/− mice closely resembled DR in wild type animals. Interestingly, AL Ercc1Δ/− liver showed preferential extinction of expression of long genes, a phenomenon we also observe in several normal aging tissues. This is consistent with accumulation of stochastic, transcription-blocking lesions, affecting long genes more than short ones. DR largely prevented declining transcriptional output and reduced γH2AX DNA damage foci, indicating that DR preserves genome function by alleviating DNA damage. Our findings establish Ercc1Δ/− mice as powerful model for interventions sustaining health, reveal untapped potential for reducing endogenous damage, provide new venues for understanding the molecular mechanism of DR, and suggest a counterintuitive DR-like therapy for human progeroid genome instability syndromes and possibly neurodegeneration in general.
The current resurgence of whooping cough is alarming, and improved pertussis vaccines are thought to offer a solution. Outer membrane vesicle vaccines (omvPV) are potential vaccine candidates, but omvPV-induced humoral responses have not yet been characterized in detail. The purpose of this study was to determine the antigen composition of omvPV and to elucidate the immunogenicity of the individual antigens. Quantitative proteome analysis revealed the complex composition of omvPV. The omvPV immunogenicity profile in mice was compared to those of classic whole cell vaccine (wPV), acellular vaccine (aPV), and pertussis infection. Pertussis-specific antibody levels, antibody isotypes, IgG subclasses, and antigen specificity were determined after vaccination or infection by using a combination of multiplex immunoassays, two-dimensional immunoblotting, and mass spectrometry. The vaccines and infection raised strong antibody responses, but large quantitative and qualitative differences were measured. The highest antibody levels were obtained by omvPV. All IgG subclasses (IgG1/IgG2a/IgG2b/IgG3) were elicited by omvPV and in a lower magnitude by wPV, but not by aPV (IgG1) or infection (IgG2a/b). The majority of omvPV-induced antibodies were directed against Vag8, BrkA, and LPS. The broad and balanced humoral response makes omvPV a promising pertussis vaccine candidate.
Although epidemiological studies in shift workers and flight attendants have associated chronic circadian rhythm disturbance (CRD) with increased breast cancer risk, causal evidence for this association is lacking. Several scenarios have been proposed to contribute to the shift work-cancer connection: (1) internal desynchronization, (2) light at night (resulting in melatonin suppression), (3) sleep disruption, (4) lifestyle disturbances, and (5) decreased vitamin D levels due to lack of sunlight. The confounders inherent in human field studies are less problematic in animal studies, which are therefore a good approach to assess the causal relation between circadian disturbance and cancer. However, the experimental conditions of many of these animal studies were far from the reality of human shift workers. For example, some involved xenografts (addressing tumor growth rather than cancer initiation and/or progression), chemically induced tumor models, or continuous bright light exposure, which can lead to suppression of circadian rhythmicity. Here, we have exposed breast cancer-prone p53(R270H/+)WAPCre conditional mutant mice (in a FVB genetic background) to chronic CRD by subjecting them to a weekly alternating light-dark (LD) cycle throughout their life. Animals exposed to the weekly LD inversions showed a decrease in tumor suppression. In addition, these animals showed an increase in body weight. Importantly, this study provides the first experimental proof that CRD increases breast cancer development. Finally, our data suggest internal desynchronization and sleep disturbance as mechanisms linking shift work with cancer development and obesity.
Down syndrome (DS) results from triplication of human chromosome 21. Neuropathological hallmarks of DS include atypical central nervous system development that manifests prenatally and extends throughout life. As a result, individuals with DS exhibit cognitive and motor deficits, and have delays in achieving developmental milestones. To determine whether different mouse models of DS recapitulate the human prenatal and postnatal phenotypes, here, we directly compared brain histogenesis, gene expression and behavior over the lifespan of three cytogenetically distinct mouse models of DS: Ts1Cje, Ts65Dn and Dp(16)1/Yey. Histological data indicated that Ts65Dn mice were the most consistently affected with respect to somatic growth, neurogenesis and brain morphogenesis. Embryonic and adult gene expression results showed that Ts1Cje and Ts65Dn brains had considerably more differentially expressed (DEX) genes compared with Dp(16)1/Yey mice, despite the larger number of triplicated genes in the latter model. In addition, DEX genes showed little overlap in identity and chromosomal distribution in the three models, leading to dissimilarities in affected functional pathways. Perinatal and adult behavioral testing also highlighted differences among the models in their abilities to achieve various developmental milestones and perform hippocampal- and motor-based tasks. Interestingly, Dp(16)1/Yey mice showed no abnormalities in prenatal brain phenotypes, yet they manifested behavioral deficits starting at postnatal day 15 that continued through adulthood. In contrast, Ts1Cje mice showed mildly abnormal embryonic brain phenotypes, but only select behavioral deficits as neonates and adults. Altogether, our data showed widespread and unexpected fundamental differences in behavioral, gene expression and brain development phenotypes between these three mouse models. Our findings illustrate unique limitations of each model when studying aspects of brain development and function in DS. This work helps to inform model selection in future studies investigating how observed neurodevelopmental abnormalities arise, how they contribute to cognitive impairment, and when testing therapeutic molecules to ameliorate the intellectual disability associated with DS..
In acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), differentiation therapy with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and/or arsenic trioxide can induce a differentiation syndrome (DS) with massive pulmonary infiltration of differentiating leukemic cells. Because chemokines are implicated in migration and extravasation of leukemic cells, chemokines might play a role in DS. ATRA stimulation of the APL cell line NB4 induced expression of multiple CC-chemokines (CCLs) and their receptors (> 19-fold), resulting in increased chemokine levels and chemotaxis. Induction of CCL2 and CCL24 was directly mediated by ligand-activated retinoic acid receptors. In primary leukemia cells derived from APL patients at diagnosis, ATRA induced chemokine production as well. Furthermore, in plasma of an APL patient with DS, we observed chemokine induction, suggesting that chemokines might be important in DS. Dexamethasone, which efficiently reduces pulmonary chemokine production, did not inhibit chemokine induction in APL cells. Finally, chemokine production was also induced by arsenic trioxide as single agent or in combination with ATRA. We propose that differentiation therapy may induce chemokine production in the lung and in APL cells, which both trigger migration of leukemic cells. Because dexamethasone does not efficiently reduce leukemic chemokine production, pulmonary infiltration of leukemic cells may induce an uncontrollable hyperinflammatory reaction in the lung. IntroductionAcute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is characterized by a specific t(15;17) chromosomal translocation, which fuses the promyelocytic leukemia (PML) gene on chromosome 15 to the retinoic acid receptor-␣ (RARA) gene on chromosome 17. This translocation results in blockage of terminal granulocytic differentiation at the promyelocytic stage. 1,2 Treatment with high dosage of the RARA ligand all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) relieves this blockage, resulting in terminal differentiation of the APL blasts. Presently, standard therapy for patients with newly diagnosed APL consists of a combination of ATRA and anthracycline-based chemotherapy, which results in the induction of a complete remission in more than 90% of the patients and a 5-year overall survival rate of more than 80%.  In addition, arsenic trioxide (ATO) treatment has been shown to be highly effective in relapsed APL patients and has also been used successfully as a single agent or in combination with ATRA in newly diagnosed APL patients.  Despite the high cure rates, induction mortality is a still a problem in APL. In a large series of 732 APL patients who received ATRA plus idarubicin, induction mortality was 9%. The most common causes of death were hemorrhage, infection, and the differentiation syndrome (DS), formerly known as retinoic acid syndrome. 22 DS is reported in 2.5% to 31% of the APL patients who receive induction therapy with ATRA and/or ATO. 10,14,16,19,20, DS is not observed during consolidation o...
Worldwide resurgence of pertussis necessitates the need for improvement of pertussis vaccines and vaccination strategies. Since natural infections induce a longer-lasting immunity than vaccinations, detailed knowledge of the immune responses following natural infection can provide important clues for such improvement. The purpose was to elucidate the kinetics of the protective immune response evolving after experimental Bordetella pertussis (B. pertussis) infection in mice. Data were collected from (i) individual analyses, i.e. microarray, flow cytometry, multiplex immunoassays, and bacterial clearance; (ii) twelve time points during the infection; and (iii) different tissues involved in the immune responses, i.e. lungs, spleen and blood. Combined data revealed detailed insight in molecular and cellular sequence of events connecting different phases (innate, bridging and adaptive) of the immune response following the infection. We detected a prolonged acute phase response, broad pathogen recognition, and early gene signatures of subsequent T-cell recruitment in the lungs. Activation of particular transcription factors and specific cell markers provided insight into the time course of the transition from innate towards adaptive immune responses, which resulted in a broad spectrum of systemic antibody subclasses and splenic Th1/Th17 memory cells against B. pertussis. In addition, signatures preceding the local generation of Th1 and Th17 cells as well as IgA in the lungs, considered key elements in protection against B. pertussis, were established. In conclusion, molecular and cellular immunological processes in response to live B. pertussis infection were unraveled, which may provide guidance in selecting new vaccine candidates that should evoke local and prolonged protective immune responses.
Current globally harmonized Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) animal test guidelines for developmental toxicity require high numbers of experimental animals. To reduce animal use in this field, alternative developmental toxicity assays are highly desirable. We previously developed a dynamic in vitro model for screening effects of possible neurodevelopmental toxicants, using neural cell differentiation of pluripotent murine embryonic stem cells. To further mechanistically characterize the mouse neural embryonic stem cell test (ESTn) and to improve detection of possible neurodevelopmental toxicants, gene expression patterns were studied describing neural cell differentiation over time, as well as the impact on gene expression of exposure to the well-known neurotoxicant methylmercury (MeHg). A transcriptomics study was performed to examine whole-genome expression changes during the first 7 days of the cell differentiation protocol. Specific gene clusters were identified and enrichment analysis of Gene Ontology (GO) terms and gene sets derived from literature was performed using DAVID and T-profiler. Over time, a decrease of blastocyst and trophectoderm GO terms was observed, which included well-characterized pluripotency genes. Furthermore, an increase in the range of neural development-related GO terms, such as neuron differentiation and the wnt pathway, was observed. Analysis of gene expression using principle component analysis showed a time-dependent track in untreated cells, describing the process of neural differentiation. Furthermore, MeHg was shown to induce deviation from the predefined differentiation track. The compound inhibited general development GO terms and induced neural GO terms over time. This system appears promising for studying compound effects on neural differentiation in a mechanistic approach.
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