The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant was first identified in the state of Maharashtra in late 2020 and spread throughout India, outcompeting pre-existing lineages including B.1.617.1 (Kappa) and B.1.1.7 (Alpha) 1 . In vitro, B.1.617.2 is 6-fold less sensitive to serum neutralising antibodies from recovered individuals, and 8-fold less sensitive to vaccine-elicited antibodies as compared to wild type (WT) Wuhan-1 bearing D614G. Serum neutralising titres against B.1.617.2 were lower in ChAdOx-1 versus BNT162b2 vaccinees. B.1.617.2 spike pseudotyped viruses exhibited compromised sensitivity to monoclonal antibodies against the receptor binding domain (RBD) and N-terminal domain (NTD). B.1.617.2 demonstrated higher replication efficiency in both airway organoid and human airway epithelial systems compared to B.1.1.7, associated with B.1.617.2 spike in a predominantly cleaved state compared to B.1.1.7. The B.1.617.2 spike protein was able to mediate highly efficient syncytium formation that was less sensitive to inhibition by neutralising antibody as compared to WT spike. Additionally we observed that B.1.617.2 had higher replication and spike mediated entry as compared to B.1.617.1, potentially explaining B.1.617.2 dominance. In an analysis of over 130 SARS-CoV-2 infected healthcare workers across three centres in India during a period of mixed lineage circulation, we observed reduced ChAdOx-1 vaccine effectiveness against B.1.617.2 relative to non-B.1.617.2, with the caveat of possible residual confounding. Compromised vaccine efficacy against the highly fit and immune evasive B.1.617.2 Delta variant warrants continued infection control measures in the post-vaccination era. India's first wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections in mid-2020 was relatively mild and was controlled by a nationwide lockdown. Since easing of restrictions, India has seen expansion in cases of COVID-19 since March
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Autophagy is primarily considered a non-selective degradation process induced by starvation. Nutrient-independent basal autophagy, in contrast, imposes intracellular QC by selective disposal of aberrant protein aggregates and damaged organelles, a process critical for suppressing neurodegenerative diseases. The molecular mechanism that distinguishes these two fundamental autophagic responses, however, remains mysterious. Here, we identify the ubiquitin-binding deacetylase, histone deacetylase-6 (HDAC6), as a central component of basal autophagy that targets protein aggregates and damaged mitochondria. Surprisingly, HDAC6 is not required for autophagy activation; rather, it controls the fusion of autophagosomes to lysosomes. HDAC6 promotes autophagy by recruiting a cortactin-dependent, actin-remodelling machinery, which in turn assembles an F-actin network that stimulates autophagosome-lysosome fusion and substrate degradation. Indeed, HDAC6 deficiency leads to autophagosome maturation failure, protein aggregate build-up, and neurodegeneration. Remarkably, HDAC6 and F-actin assembly are completely dispensable for starvation-induced autophagy, uncovering the fundamental difference of these autophagic modes. Our study identifies HDAC6 and the actin cytoskeleton as critical components that define QC autophagy and uncovers a novel regulation of autophagy at the level of autophagosome-lysosome fusion.
Aptamers are ligand-binding nucleic acids whose affinities and selectivities can rival those of antibodies. They have been adapted to analytical applications not only as alternatives to antibodies, but as unique reagents in their own right. In particular, aptamers can be readily site-specifically modified during chemical or enzymatic synthesis to incorporate particular reporters, linkers, or other moieties. Also, aptamer secondary structures can be engineered to undergo analyte-dependent conformational changes, which, in concert with the ability to specifically place chemical agents, opens up a wealth of possible signal transduction schemas, irrespective of whether the detection modality is optical, electrochemical, or mass based. Finally, because aptamers are nucleic acids, they are readily adapted to sequence- (and hence signal-) amplification methods. However, application of aptamers without a basic knowledge of their biochemistry or technical requirements can cause serious analytical difficulties.
This paper explores forced viewing of 'bop-up
Glioblastoma (GBM) is a devastating and incurable brain tumour, with a median overall survival of fifteen months. Identifying the cell of origin that harbours mutations that drive GBM could provide a fundamental basis for understanding disease progression and developing new treatments. Given that the accumulation of somatic mutations has been implicated in gliomagenesis, studies have suggested that neural stem cells (NSCs), with their self-renewal and proliferative capacities, in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the adult human brain may be the cells from which GBM originates. However, there is a lack of direct genetic evidence from human patients with GBM. Here we describe direct molecular genetic evidence from patient brain tissue and genome-edited mouse models that show astrocyte-like NSCs in the SVZ to be the cell of origin that contains the driver mutations of human GBM. First, we performed deep sequencing of triple-matched tissues, consisting of (i) normal SVZ tissue away from the tumour mass, (ii) tumour tissue, and (iii) normal cortical tissue (or blood), from 28 patients with isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) wild-type GBM or other types of brain tumour. We found that normal SVZ tissue away from the tumour in 56.3% of patients with wild-type IDH GBM contained low-level GBM driver mutations (down to approximately 1% of the mutational burden) that were observed at high levels in their matching tumours. Moreover, by single-cell sequencing and laser microdissection analysis of patient brain tissue and genome editing of a mouse model, we found that astrocyte-like NSCs that carry driver mutations migrate from the SVZ and lead to the development of high-grade malignant gliomas in distant brain regions. Together, our results show that NSCs in human SVZ tissue are the cells of origin that contain the driver mutations of GBM.
Immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapy provides remarkable clinical gains and has been very successful in treatment of melanoma. However, only a subset of patients with advanced tumors currently benefit from ICB therapies, which at times incur considerable side effects and costs. Constructing predictors of patient response has remained a serious challenge because of the complexity of the immune response and the shortage of large cohorts of ICB-treated patients that include both 'omics' and response data. Here we build immuno-predictive score (IMPRES), a predictor of ICB response in melanoma which encompasses 15 pairwise transcriptomics relations between immune checkpoint genes. It is based on two key conjectures: (i) immune mechanisms underlying spontaneous regression in neuroblastoma can predict melanoma response to ICB, and (ii) key immune interactions can be captured via specific pairwise relations of the expression of immune checkpoint genes. IMPRES is validated on nine published datasets and on a newly generated dataset with 31 patients treated with anti-PD-1 and 10 with anti-CTLA-4, spanning 297 samples in total. It achieves an overall accuracy of AUC = 0.83, outperforming existing predictors and capturing almost all true responders while misclassifying less than half of the nonresponders. Future studies are warranted to determine the value of the approach presented here in other cancer types.
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