Enhancer of rudimentary homolog (ERH) is a small, highly conserved protein among eukaryotes. Since its discovery nearly 20 years ago, its molecular function has remained enigmatic. It has been implicated to play a role in transcriptional regulation and in cell cycle. We recently showed that ERH binds to the Sm complex and is required for the mRNA splicing of the mitotic motor protein CENP-E. Furthermore, cancer cells driven by mutations in the
Acute kidney injury (AKI), associated with significant morbidity and mortality, is widely known to involve epithelial apoptosis, excessive inflammation, and fibrosis in response to ischemia or reperfusion injury, which results in either chronic pathological changes or death. Therefore, it is imperative that investigations are conducted in order to find effective, early diagnoses, and therapeutic targets needed to help prevent and treat AKI. However, the mechanisms modulating the pathogenesis of AKI still remain largely undetermined. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), small noncoding RNA molecules, play an important role in several fundamental biological and pathological processes by a post transcriptional regulatory function of gene expression. MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) is a recently identified, typical miRNA that is functional as a regulator known to be involved in apoptosis as well as inflammatory and fibrotic signaling pathways in AKI. As a result, miR-21 is now considered a novel biomarker when diagnosing and treating AKI. This article reviews the correlative literature and research progress regarding the roles of miR-21 in AKI.
The somatic epigenome can be reprogrammed to a pluripotent state by a combination of transcription factors. Altering cell fate involves transcription factors cooperation, epigenetic reconfiguration, such as DNA methylation and histone modification, posttranscriptional regulation by microRNAs, and so on. Nevertheless, such reprogramming is inefficient. Evidence suggests that during the early stage of reprogramming, the process is stochastic, but by the late stage, it is deterministic. In addition to conventional reprogramming methods, dozens of small molecules have been identifi ed that can functionally replace reprogramming factors and significantly improve induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) reprogramming. Indeed, iPS cells have been created recently using chemical compounds only. iPSCs are thought to display subtle genetic and epigenetic variability; this variability is not random, but occurs at hotspots across the genome. Here we discuss the progress and current perspectives in the field. Research into the reprogramming process today will pave the way for great advances in regenerative medicine in the future.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is distinct among members of the
In June 2013, the first human H6N1 influenza virus infection was confirmed in Taiwan. However, the origin and molecular characterization of this virus, A/Taiwan/2/2013 (H6N1), have not been well studied thus far. In the present report, we performed phylogenetic and coalescent analyses of this virus and compared its molecular profile/characteristics with other closely related strains. Molecular characterization of H6N1 revealed that it is a typical avian influenza virus of low pathogenicity, which might not replicate and propagate well in the upper airway in mammals. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the virus clusters with A/chicken/Taiwan/A2837/2013 (H6N1) in seven genes, except PB1. For the PB1 gene, A/Taiwan/2/2013 was clustered with a different H6N1 lineage from A/chicken/Taiwan/A2837/2013. Although a previous study demonstrated that the PB2, PA, and M genes of A/Taiwan/2/2013 might be derived from the H5N2 viruses, coalescent analyses revealed that these H5N2 viruses were derived from more recent strains than that of the ancestor of A/Taiwan/2/2013. Therefore, we propose that A/Taiwan/2/2013 is a reassortant from different H6N1 lineages circulating in chickens in Taiwan. Furthermore, compared to avian isolates, a single P186L (H3 numbering) substitution in the hemagglutinin H6 of the human isolate might increase the mammalian receptor binding and, hence, this strain’s pathogenicity in humans. Overall, human infection with this virus seems an accidental event and is unlikely to cause an influenza pandemic. However, its co-circulation and potential reassortment with other influenza subtypes are still worthy of attention.
Development of controllable hypermutable cells can greatly benefit understanding and harnessing microbial evolution. However, there have not been any similar systems developed for
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a prevalent and potential complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. An animal model, xenogeneic GVHD (X-GVHD), that mimics accurately the clinical presentation of GVHD would provide a tool for investigating the mechanism involved in disease pathogenesis. Murine models indicated that inhibiting IL-21 signaling was a good therapy to reduce GVHD by impairing T cell functions. We sought to investigate the effect of exogenous human IL-21 on the process of X-GVHD. In this study, human IL-21 was expressed by hydrodynamic gene delivery in BALB/c-Rag2-/- IL-2Rγc-/- (BRG) immunodeficient mice which were intravenously transplanted human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (hPBMCs). We found that human IL-21 exacerbated X-GVHD and resulted in rapid fatality. As early as 6 days after hPBMCs transplanted to BRG mice, a marked expansion of human CD19+ B cells, but not T cells, was observed in spleen of IL-21-treated mice. Compared with control group, IL-21 induced robust immunoglobulin secretion, which was accompanied by increased accumulation of CD19+ CD38high plasma cells in spleen. In addition, we demonstrated that B-cell depletion was able to ameliorate X-GVHD. These results are the first to find
Calreticulin (CRT) is a multifunctional molecule in both intracellular and extracellular environment. We have previously found that a recombinant CRT fragment (rCRT/39-272) could modulate T cell-mediated immunity in mice via activation and expansion of CD1dhiCD5+ B cells as well as induction of CRT-specific regulatory antibodies. Antibody secreting cells (ASCs) are terminally differentiated B cells responsible for producing antibodies to participate in positive immune response as well as immune regulation. In this study, we demonstrate that rCRT/39-272 differentiates murine CD1dhiCD5+ B cells into ASCs marked by increased expression of plasma cell-associated transcription factors and production of polyreactive antibodies against DNA and CRT