We reconstruct the rise of a segment of the southern flank of the Himalaya-Tibet orogen, to the south of the Lhasa terrane, using a paleoaltimeter based on paleoenthalpy encoded in fossil leaves from two new assemblages in southern Tibet (Liuqu and Qiabulin) and four previously known floras from the Himalaya foreland basin. U-Pb dating of zircons constrains the Liuqu flora to the latest Paleocene (ca. 56 Ma) and the Qiabulin flora to the earliest Miocene (21-19 Ma). The proto-Himalaya grew slowly against a high (~4 km) proto-Tibetan Plateau from ~1 km in the late Paleocene to ~2.3 km at the beginning of the Miocene, and achieved at least ~5.5 km by ca. 15 Ma. Contrasting precipitation patterns between the Himalaya-Tibet edifice and the Himalaya foreland basin for the past ~56 m.y. show progressive drying across southern Tibet, seemingly linked to the uplift of the Himalaya orogen.
Bismuth ferrite (BiFeO3) uniform microcrystals with various morphologies (microspheres and micro/submirocubes) were successfully synthesized by a controlled hydrothermal method. The resulting microstructures were characterized using X-ray diffraction, scanning/transmission electron microscopies and Raman spectroscopy. Possible formation mechanism for BiFeO3 microcrystals was proposed. UV−vis spectra showed that the optical properties of the microsized BiFeO3 crystals were strongly related to their shape and size. We further demonstrated the useful photocatalytic activity of these regular-shaped structures as determined by degradation of Congo red under visible-light irradiation (λ > 400 nm). Additionally, magnetic responses were observed to be influenced by the morphology of as-synthesized BiFeO3 products, and the ferroelectric performance of BiFeO3 submicrocube was also studied by piezoelectric force microscopy (PFM). Being a multiferroic semiconductor with suitable narrow band gap (∼2.2 eV) and uniform morphologies, these BiFeO3 microcrystals might be useful for the design of devices combining magnetic, electronic, and optical functionalities.
Fibroblast growth factor 21 is a novel hormonal regulator with the potential to treat a broad variety of metabolic abnormalities, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, hepatic steatosis, and cardiovascular disease. Human recombinant wild type FGF21 (FGF21) has been shown to ameliorate metabolic disorders in rodents and non-human primates. However, development of FGF21 as a drug is challenging and requires re-engineering of its amino acid sequence to improve protein expression and formulation stability. Here we report the design and characterization of a novel FGF21 variant, LY2405319. To enable the development of a potential drug product with a once-daily dosing profile, in a preserved, multi-use formulation, an additional disulfide bond was introduced in FGF21 through Leu118Cys and Ala134Cys mutations. FGF21 was further optimized by deleting the four N-terminal amino acids, His-Pro-Ile-Pro (HPIP), which was subject to proteolytic cleavage. In addition, to eliminate an O-linked glycosylation site in yeast a Ser167Ala mutation was introduced, thus allowing large-scale, homogenous protein production in Pichia pastoris. Altogether re-engineering of FGF21 led to significant improvements in its biopharmaceutical properties. The impact of these changes was assessed in a panel of in vitro and in vivo assays, which confirmed that biological properties of LY2405319 were essentially identical to FGF21. Specifically, subcutaneous administration of LY2405319 in ob/ob and diet-induced obese (DIO) mice over 7–14 days resulted in a 25–50% lowering of plasma glucose coupled with a 10–30% reduction in body weight. Thus, LY2405319 exhibited all the biopharmaceutical and biological properties required for initiation of a clinical program designed to test the hypothesis that administration of exogenous FGF21 would result in effects on disease-related metabolic parameters in humans.
The gene encoding PTEN is one of the most frequently mutated tumor suppressor-encoding genes in human cancer. While PTEN's function in tumor suppression is well established, its relationship to anti-microbial immunity remains unknown. Here we found a pivotal role for PTEN in the induction of type I interferon, the hallmark of antiviral innate immunity, that was independent of the pathway of the kinases PI(3)K and Akt. PTEN controlled the import of IRF3, a master transcription factor responsible for IFN-β production, into the nucleus. We further identified a PTEN-controlled negative phosphorylation site at Ser97 of IRF3 and found that release from this negative regulation via the phosphatase activity of PTEN was essential for the activation of IRF3 and its import into the nucleus. Our study identifies crosstalk between PTEN and IRF3 in tumor suppression and innate immunity.
BackgroundMicroglial polarization with M1/M2 phenotype shifts and the subsequent neuroinflammatory responses are vital contributing factors for spinal cord injury (SCI)-induced secondary injury. Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) is considered the central transcription factor of inflammatory mediators, which plays a crucial role in microglial activation. Lysine acetylation of STAT1 seems necessary for NF-kB pathway activity, as it is regulated by histone deacetylases (HDACs). There have been no studies that have explained if HDAC inhibition by valproic acid (VPA) affects the NF-κB pathway via acetylation of STAT1 dependent of HDAC activity in the microglia-mediated central inflammation following SCI. We investigated the potential molecular mechanisms that focus on the phenotypic transition of microglia and the STAT1-mediated NF-κB acetylation after a VPA treatment.MethodsThe Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan locomotion scale, the inclined plane test, the blood-spinal cord barrier, and Nissl staining were employed to determine the neuroprotective effects of VPA treatment after SCI. Assessment of microglia polarization and pro-inflammatory markers, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and interferon (INF)-γ was used to evaluate the neuroinflammatory responses and the anti-inflammatory effects of VPA treatment. Immunofluorescent staining and Western blot analysis were used to detect HDAC3 nuclear translocation, activity, and NF-κB signaling pathway activation to evaluate the effects of VPA treatment. The impact of STAT1 acetylation on NF-kB pathway and the interaction between STAT1 and NF-kB were assessed to evaluate anti-inflammation effects of VPA treatment and also whether these effects were dependent on a STAT1/NF-κB pathway to gain further insight into the mechanisms underlying the development of the neuroinflammatory response after SCI.ResultsThe results showed that the VPA treatment promoted the phenotypic shift of microglia from M1 to M2 phenotype and inhibited microglial activation, thus reducing the SCI-induced inflammatory factors. The VPA treatment upregulation of the acetylation of STAT1/NF-κB pathway was likely caused by the HDAC3 translocation to the nucleus and activity. These results indicated that the treatment with the VPA suppressed the expression and the activity of HDAC3 and enhanced STAT1, as well as NF-κB p65 acetylation following a SCI. The acetylation status of NF-kB p65 and the complex with NF-κB p65 and STAT1 inhibited the NF-kB p65 transcriptional activity and attenuated the microglia-mediated central inflammatory response following SCI.ConclusionsThese results suggested that the VPA treatment attenuated the inflammatory response by modulating microglia polarization through STAT1-mediated acetylation of the NF-κB pathway, dependent of HDAC3 activity. These effects led to neuroprotective effects following SCI.
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