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Digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG) is a major component of thylakoid membranes, occupying approximately 20% of the membrane system. This lipid composition is conserved from cyanobacteria to the chloroplasts of terrestrial plants, suggesting that DGDG is important for the function of photosynthetic membranes. Here we isolated the gene for DGDG synthase in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 (7942dgdA) and found that this gene is essential for this species. 7942dgdA could be knocked out only when genes for cyanobacterial or plant DGDG synthases were expressed, indicating that the important factor was not the specific synthetic pathway but the lipid product. Lack of DGDG could not be compensated by the other membrane lipids in S. elongatus PCC 7942 or by glucosylgalactosyldiacylglycerol synthesized by the β-GlcT gene of Chloroflexus aurantiacus. These results reveal that DGDG has an indispensable role in S. elongatus PCC 7942 and that the second galactose molecule is key. Conservation and distribution of the galactolipid synthetic pathway among oxygenic phototrophs is discussed. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Plant Lipid Biology edited by Kent D. Chapman and Ivo Feussner.
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Students who study intensively in one of Japan's ‘cram schools’ and/or spend excess time on electronic devices such as video games are in a sedentary state much of the time, and this may affect their physical fitness. We investigated whether there are relationships among obesity, physical fitness and academic achievement in Japanese students after controlling for socioeconomic and behavioral confounding factors.
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Oxysterols are oxygenated forms of cholesterol or its precursors. They are formed enzymatically and via reactive oxygen species. Oxysterols are intermediates in bile acid and steroid hormone biosynthetic pathways and are also bioactive molecules in their own right, being ligands to nuclear receptors and also regulators of the processing of steroid regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) to their active forms as transcription factors regulating cholesterol and fatty acid biosynthesis. Oxysterols are implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple disease states ranging from atherosclerosis and cancer to multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Analysis of oxysterols is challenging on account of their low abundance in biological systems in comparison to cholesterol, and due to the propensity of cholesterol to undergo oxidation in air to generate oxysterols with the same structures as those present endogenously. In this article we review the mass spectrometry-based methods for oxysterol analysis paying particular attention to analysis by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS).
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In vertebrates, the rejection of allografts is primarily accomplished by cell-mediated immunity. We recently identified four IFNγ isoforms with antiviral activity in ginbuna crucian carp, Carassius auratus langsdorfii. However, involvement of the IFNγ isoforms in cell-mediated immunity, especially in T cell function remains unknown. Here we investigate expression of the IFNγ isoforms and effects of administration of recombinant IFNγ (rgIFNγ) isoforms in ginbuna scale allograft rejection. All four IFNγ isoforms showed significantly higher expression with the progression of graft rejection. Administration of rgIFNγrel 1 but not rgIFNγrel 2, rgIFNγ1 nor rgIFNγ2 enhanced allograft rejection. The number of CD4+ and CD8α+ cells increased in early stages of rejection, while sIgM+ cells were higher than controls at day 0 and 5 in the rgIFNγrel 1 administrated group. Expression of IFNγ1 and IFNγ2 mRNA was significantly up-regulated by rgIFNγrel 1 administration, while that of IFNγrel 1 and IFNγrel 2 was not. These results suggest different contributions of the four IFNγ isoforms toward the immune responses comprising allograft rejection.
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– The development of effective therapies for cartilage protection has been limited by a lack of efficient quantitative cartilage imaging modalities in preclinical in vivo models. Our objectives were two-fold: first, to validate a new contrast-enhanced 3D imaging analysis technique, equilibrium partitioning of an ionic contrast agent-micro computed tomography (EPIC-μCT), in a rat medial meniscal transection (MMT) osteoarthritis (OA) model; and second, to quantitatively assess the sensitivity of EPIC-μCT to detect the effects of matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor (MMPi) therapy on cartilage degeneration.
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The chemical and microbial composition of urban air particulate matter (PM) displays seasonal variation that may affect its harmfulness on human health. We studied the in vitro inflammatory and cellular metabolic activity/cytotoxicity of urban air particulate samples collected in four size-ranges (PM10–2.5, PM2.5–1, PM1–0.2, PM0.2) during four seasons in relatively clean urban environment in Helsinki, Finland. The composition of the same samples were analyzed, including ions, elements, PAH compounds and endotoxins. In addition, microbial contribution on the detected responses was studied by inhibiting the endotoxin-induced responses with Polymyxin B both in the PM samples and by two different bacterial strains representing Gram-positive and -negative bacteria. Macrophage cell line (RAW 264.7) was exposed to the size segregated particulate samples as well as to microbe samples for 24h and markers of inflammation and cytotoxicity were analyzed. The toxicological responses were dependent on the dose as well as size range of the particles, PM10–2.5 being the most potent and smaller size ranges having significantly smaller responses. Samples collected during spring and autumn had in most cases the highest inflammatory activity. Soil components and other non-exhaust particulate emissions from road traffic correlated with inflammatory responses in coarse particles. Instead, PAH-compounds and K+ had negative associations with the particle-induced inflammatory responses in fine particles, suggesting the role of incomplete biomass combustion. Endotoxin content was the highest in PM10–2.5 samples and correspondingly, the largest decrease in the responses by Polymyxin B was seen with the very same samples. We found also that inhibitory effect of Polymyxin B was not completely specific for Gram-negative bacteria. Thus, in addition to endotoxin, also other microbial components may have a significant effect on the toxicological responses by ambient particulate matter.
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Amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptide oligomerization plays a central role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and Aβ oligomers are collectively considered an appealing therapeutic target for the treatment of AD. However, the molecular mechanisms leading to the pathologic accumulation of oligomers are unclear, and the exact structural composition of oligomers is being debated. Using targeted and quantitative mass spectrometry, we reveal site-specific Aβ autocleavage during the early phase of aggregation, producing a typical Aβ fragment signature and that truncated Aβ peptides can form stable oligomeric complexes with full-length Aβ peptide. We show that the use of novel anti-Aβ antibodies raised against these truncated Aβ isoforms allows for monitoring and targeting the accumulation of truncated Aβ fragments. Antibody-enabled screening of transgenic models of AD as well as human postmortem brain tissue and cerebrospinal fluid revealed that aggregation-associated Aβ cleavage is a highly relevant clinical feature of AD.
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This study assessed whether male fetal gender increases the risk of maternal gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and investigated the association with placental weight.
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Sleep disturbances are among the most disabling non-motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease. The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus and basal ganglia are likely involved in these dysfunctions, as they are affected by neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease and have a role in sleep regulation. To investigate this, we promoted a lesion in the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus or substantia nigra pars compacta of male rats, followed by 24 h of REM sleep deprivation. Then, we administrated a dopaminergic D2 receptor agonist, antagonist or vehicle directly in the striatum. After a period of 24 h of sleep-wake recording, we observed that the ibotenic acid infusion in the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus blocked the so-called sleep rebound effect mediated by REM sleep deprivation, which was reversed by striatal D2 receptors activation. Rotenone infusion in the substantia nigra pars compacta also blocked the sleep rebound, however, striatal D2 receptors activation did not reverse it. In addition, rotenone administration decreased the time spent in NREM sleep, which was corroborated by positive correlations between dopamine levels in both substantia nigra pars compacta and striatum and the time spent in NREM sleep. These findings suggest a new circuitry for sleep regulation in Parkinson's disease, involving the triad composed by pedunculopontine nucleus, substantia nigra pars compacta and striatum, evidencing a potential therapeutic target for the sleep disturbances associated to this pathology.
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The ROLIS, CIVA-P and OSIRIS instruments on-board the Philae lander and the Rosetta orbiter acquired high-resolution images during the lander׳s descent towards the targeted landing site Agilkia, during its unexpected rebounds and at the final landing site Abydos on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. We, exploited these images, using robotic vision techniques, to locate the first touchdown on the surface of the comet nucleus, to reconstruct the lander׳s 3D trajectory during the descent and at the beginning of the first rebound, and to create local digital terrain models and depth maps of Agilkia and Abydos sites. Using the ROLIS close-up images we could also determine the actual movements of the lander between the beginning and the end of the First Science Sequence and we propose a new lander׳s bubble movement command meant to increase the probability for a successful drilling during a hypothetical future Long Term Science phase.
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