Noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) have numerous roles in development and disease, and one of the prominent roles is to regulate gene expression. A vast number of circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been identified, and some have been shown to function as microRNA sponges in animal cells. Here, we report a class of circRNAs associated with RNA polymerase II in human cells. In these circRNAs, exons are circularized with introns 'retained' between exons; we term them exon-intron circRNAs or EIciRNAs. EIciRNAs predominantly localize in the nucleus, interact with U1 snRNP and promote transcription of their parental genes. Our findings reveal a new role for circRNAs in regulating gene expression in the nucleus, in which EIciRNAs enhance the expression of their parental genes in cis, and highlight a regulatory strategy for transcriptional control via specific RNA-RNA interaction between U1 snRNA and EIciRNAs.
Emerging evidence has linked the gut microbiome to human obesity. We performed a metagenome-wide association study and serum metabolomics profiling in a cohort of lean and obese, young, Chinese individuals. We identified obesity-associated gut microbial species linked to changes in circulating metabolites. The abundance of Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, a glutamate-fermenting commensal, was markedly decreased in obese individuals and was inversely correlated with serum glutamate concentration. Consistently, gavage with B. thetaiotaomicron reduced plasma glutamate concentration and alleviated diet-induced body-weight gain and adiposity in mice. Furthermore, weight-loss intervention by bariatric surgery partially reversed obesity-associated microbial and metabolic alterations in obese individuals, including the decreased abundance of B. thetaiotaomicron and the elevated serum glutamate concentration. Our findings identify previously unknown links between intestinal microbiota alterations, circulating amino acids and obesity, suggesting that it may be possible to intervene in obesity by targeting the gut microbiota.
Background Irreversible inhibition of Bruton tyrosine kinase (Btk) by ibrutinib represents a significant therapeutic advance for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). However, ibrutinib also irreversibly inhibits alternative kinase targets, which potentially compromise its therapeutic index. Acalabrutinib (ACP-196) is a more selective irreversible Btk inhibitor specifically designed to improve upon the safety and efficacy of first generation Btk inhibitors. Methods Sixty-one patients with relapsed CLL were treated in a phase 1–2 multicenter study designed to assess the safety, efficacy, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of oral acalabrutinib. Patients were continuously treated with acalabrutinib 100 to 400 mg once daily in the dose-escalation portion of the study, and 100 mg twice daily in the expansion portion. Results Patient demographics include a median age of 62 years; median of 3 prior therapies; 31% del(17)(p13.1) and 75% unmutated immunoglobulin heavy chain variable genes. No dose-limiting toxicities occurred. The most common adverse events observed were headache (43%), diarrhea (39%) and increased weight (26%). Most adverse events were Grade 1–2. At a median follow-up of 14.3 months, the best overall response rate was 95%, including 85% partial response, 10% partial response with lymphocytosis and 5% stable disease. In patients with del(17)(p13.1), the best overall response was 100%. No cases of Richter’s transformation and only 1 CLL progression have occurred. Conclusions Acalabrutinib is a highly selective Btk inhibitor that provides effective and well tolerated treatment for patients with relapsed CLL, including those with del(17)(p13.1).
In the past half decade, graphene oxide (GO), a precursor of graphene, 1À4 has attracted a great deal of attention due to its unique structure and outstanding physical and chemical properties. 5À8 Particularly, GO behaves like an amphiphilic macromolecule with hydrophilic edges and a more hydrophobic basal plane, 9À11 which makes it an attractive building block for the construction of various supramolecular architectures. 12,13 Furthermore, the two-dimensional (2D) structure of GO sheets provides them with various new supramolecular behaviors compared with conventional low-dimensional counterparts. Although GO sheets have been assembled into various macrostructures, such as LangmuirÀBlodgett (LB) films and paper-like films, 14À17 their 3D assembly behavior has not yet been clearly revealed. 18 We have first reported the 3D assembly of GO sheets in water solution by adding poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) as a crosslinker, forming a pH-sensitive supramolecular hydrogel. 19 Hydrogen bonding between GO sheets and PVA chains is believed to be responsible for the formation of the hydrogel. Recently, single-stranded DNA was also found to be a good cross-linker for preparing a GO/DNA composite hydrogel, in which πÀπ interaction was the dominant driving force. 20 Similarly, hydrogels based on chemically concerted graphene (CCG) have also been reported by us and other groups. 21À25 These examples reflect that GO and CCG are good gelators. However, the gelation of GO sheets has not yet been studied extensively and the fundamental roles behind gelation phenomena have also not been clearly revealed. Here, we report a systematical study on GO gelation. The GO-based hydrogels were prepared by acidification or adding small organic molecules, polymers, or ions as crosslinkers. The effects of different driving forces (e.g., hydrogen bonding, electrostatic interaction, and coordination) and lateral dimensions of GO sheets on GO gelation are discussed.
Efalizumab therapy resulted in significant improvements in plaque psoriasis in subjects with moderate-to-severe disease. Extending treatment from 12 to 24 weeks resulted in both maintenance and improvement of responses.
Although the dinosaurian hypothesis of bird origins is widely accepted, debate remains about how the ancestor of birds first learned to fly. Here we provide new evidence suggesting that basal dromaeosaurid dinosaurs were four-winged animals and probably could glide, representing an intermediate stage towards the active, flapping-flight stage. The new discovery conforms to the predictions of early hypotheses that proavians passed through a tetrapteryx stage.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and SARS-like coronavirus are a potential threat to global health. However, reviews of the long-term effects of clinical treatments in SARS patients are lacking. Here a total of 25 recovered SARS patients were recruited 12 years after infection. Clinical questionnaire responses and examination findings indicated that the patients had experienced various diseases, including lung susceptibility to infections, tumors, cardiovascular disorders, and abnormal glucose metabolism. As compared to healthy controls, metabolomic analyses identified significant differences in the serum metabolomes of SARS survivors. The most significant metabolic disruptions were the comprehensive increase of phosphatidylinositol and lysophospha tidylinositol levels in recovered SARS patients, which coincided with the effect of methylprednisolone administration investigated further in the steroid treated non-SARS patients with severe pneumonia. These results suggested that high-dose pulses of methylprednisolone might cause long-term systemic damage associated with serum metabolic alterations. The present study provided information for an improved understanding of coronavirus-associated pathologies, which might permit further optimization of clinical treatments.
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