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vegetative function [keywords]
- Efficacy Outcome Selection in the Therapeutic Hypothermia After Pediatric Cardiac Arrest Trials. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Pediatr Crit Care Med 2014 Sep 29.
The Therapeutic Hypothermia After Pediatric Cardiac Arrest trials will determine whether therapeutic hypothermia improves survival with good neurobehavioral outcome, as assessed by the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales Second Edition, in children resuscitated after cardiac arrest in the in-hospital and out-of-hospital settings. We describe the innovative efficacy outcome selection process during Therapeutic Hypothermia After Pediatric Cardiac Arrest protocol development.Consensus assessment of potential outcomes and evaluation timepoints.None.We evaluated practical and technical advantages of several follow-up timepoints and continuous/categorical outcome variants. Simulations estimated power assuming varying hypothermia benefit on mortality and on neurobehavioral function among survivors. Twelve months after arrest was selected as the optimal assessment timepoint for pragmatic and clinical reasons. Change in Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales Second Edition from prearrest level, measured as quasicontinuous with death and vegetative status being worst-possible levels, yielded optimal statistical power. However, clinicians preferred simpler multicategorical or binary outcomes because of easier interpretability and favored outcomes based solely on postarrest status because of concerns about accurate parental assessment of prearrest status and differing clinical impact of a given Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales Second Edition change depending on prearrest status. Simulations found only modest power loss from categorizing or dichotomizing quasicontinuous outcomes because of high expected mortality. The primary outcome selected was survival with 12-month Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales Second Edition no less than two SD below a reference population mean (70 points), necessarily evaluated only among children with prearrest Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales Second Edition greater than or equal to 70. Two secondary efficacy outcomes, 12-month survival and quasicontinuous Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales Second Edition change from prearrest level, will be evaluated among all randomized children, including those with compromised function prearrest.Extensive discussion of optimal efficacy assessment timing, and of the advantages versus drawbacks of incorporating prearrest status and using quasicontinuous versus simpler outcomes, was highly beneficial to the final Therapeutic Hypothermia After Pediatric Cardiac Arrest design. A relatively simple, binary primary outcome evaluated at 12 months was selected, with two secondary outcomes that address the potential disadvantages of primary outcome.
- Arabidopsis STAYGREEN-LIKE (SGRL) promotes abiotic stress-induced leaf yellowing during vegetative growth. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- FEBS Lett 2014 Sep 24.
During leaf senescence in Arabidopsis, STAYGREEN 1 (SGR1) and SGR2 regulate chlorophyll degradation positively and negatively, respectively. SGR-LIKE (SGRL) is also expressed in pre-senescing leaves, but its function remains largely unknown. Here we show that under abiotic stress, Arabidopsis plants overexpressing SGRL exhibit early leaf yellowing and sgrl-1 mutants exhibit persistent green color of leaves. Under salt stress, SGR1 and SGRL act synergistically for rapid Chl degradation prior to senescence. Furthermore, SGRL forms homo- and heterodimers with SGR1 and SGR2 in vivo, and interacts with LHCII and chlorophyll catabolic enzymes. The role of SGRL under abiotic stress is discussed.
- Cell Substratum Adhesion during Early Development of Dictyostelium discoideum. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- PLoS One 2014; 9(9):e106574.
Vegetative and developed amoebae of Dictyostelium discoideum gain traction and move rapidly on a wide range of substrata without forming focal adhesions. We used two independent assays to quantify cell-substrate adhesion in mutants and in wild-type cells as a function of development. Using a microfluidic device that generates a range of hydrodynamic shear stress, we found that substratum adhesion decreases at least 10 fold during the first 6 hr of development of wild type cells. This result was confirmed using a single-cell assay in which cells were attached to the cantilever of an atomic force probe and allowed to adhere to untreated glass surfaces before being retracted. Both of these assays showed that the decrease in substratum adhesion was dependent on the cAMP receptor CAR1 which triggers development. Vegetative cells missing talin as the result of a mutation in talA exhibited slightly reduced adhesive properties compared to vegetative wild-type cells. In sharp contrast to wild-type cells, however, these talA mutant cells did not show further reduction of adhesion during development such that after 5 hr of development they were significantly more adhesive than developed wild type cells. In addition, both assays showed that substrate adhesion was reduced in 0 hr cells when the actin cytoskeleton was disrupted by latrunculin. Consistent with previous observations, substrate adhesion was also reduced in 0 hr cells lacking the membrane proteins SadA or SibA as the result of mutations in sadA or sibA. However, there was no difference in the adhesion properties between wild type AX3 cells and these mutant cells after 6 hr of development, suggesting that neither SibA nor SadA play an essential role in substratum adhesion during aggregation. Our results provide a quantitative framework for further studies of cell substratum adhesion in Dictyostelium.
- Genetic interaction between rice PLASTOCHRON genes and the gibberellin pathway in leaf development. [Journal Article]
- Rice (N Y) 2014; 7(1):25.
The rice PLASTOCHRON (PLA) genes PLA1 and PLA2 regulate leaf maturation and the temporal pattern of leaf initiation. Although the function of PLA genes in the leaf initiation process has been analyzed, little is known about how they affect leaf growth. Previously, we suggested that PLA1 and PLA2 function downstream of the gibberellin (GA) signal transduction pathway. In the present study, we examined the phenotype of a double mutant of pla and slender rice 1 (slr1), which is a constitutive GA response mutant. By analyzing these double mutants, we discuss the relationship between PLA-related and GA-dependent pathways and the possible function of PLA genes in leaf growth.Single slr1 and pla mutants exhibited elongated and dwarf phenotypes in the vegetative stage, respectively. The stature and leaf size of the pla1/slr1 and pla2/slr1 double mutants were intermediate between those of the pla and slr1 single mutants. However, the effects of slr1 on leaf elongation were markedly suppressed in the pla1 and pla2 mutant backgrounds. On the other hand, the change in cell length in the double mutants was almost the same as that in the single mutants. An expression analysis of genes involved in GA biosynthesis and catabolism indicated that feedback regulation functioned normally in the pla/slr1 double mutants.Our genetic results confirm that PLA genes regulate leaf growth downstream of the GA pathway. Our findings also suggest that PLA1 and PLA2 are partly required for GA-dependent leaf elongation, mainly by affecting cellular proliferation.
- Assessment of patients with disorder of consciousness: do different Coma Recovery Scale scoring correlate with different settings? [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Neurol 2014 Sep 11.
Differential diagnosis between Vegetative State and Minimally Conscious State is a challenging task that requires specific assessment scales, involvement of expert neuropsychologists or physicians and use of tailored stimuli for eliciting behavioural responses. Although misdiagnosis rate as high as 40 % has been reported, no clear guidelines are available in literature on the optimal setting for assessment. The present study aims to analyse score differences in behavioural assessments of persons with disorders of consciousness (DOC) with or without family members and to determine whether the presence of caregivers could improve clinical accuracy in diagnostic evaluation. The research was conducted on 92 adults with DOC among 153 consecutive patients enrolled in the Coma Research Centre of the Neurological Institute C. Besta of Milan between January 2011 and May 2013. The results indicate that in almost half of the sample the scoring, thus the performance, observed with caregivers was better than without them. Furthermore, in 16 % of the sample, when assessment was performed with caregivers there was a change in diagnosis, from Vegetative to Minimally Conscious State or from that to Severe Disability. Finally, statistical differences were found in relation to diagnosis between mean scores in the "visual function" Coma Recovery Scale revised's subscale obtained by raters plus caregiver and rates only assessment. This study demonstrates how the presence of caregivers can positively affect behavioural assessments of persons with DOC, thus contributing to the definition of the optimal setting for behavioural evaluation of patients, to decrease misdiagnosis rates.
- Expression and enzymatic properties of rice (Oryza sativa L.) monolignol β-glucosidases. [Journal Article]
- Plant Sci 2014 Oct.:101-9.
Monolignol glucosides and their β-glucosidases are found in monocots, but their biological roles are unclear. Phylogenetic analysis of rice (Oryza sativa L.) glycoside hydrolase family GH1 β-glucosidases indicated that Os4BGlu14, Os4BGlu16, and Os4BGlu18 are closely related to known monolignol β-glucosidases. An optimized Os4BGlu16 cDNA and cloned Os4BGlu18 cDNA were used to express fusion proteins with His6 tags in Pichia pastoris and Escherichia coli, respectively. The secreted Os4BGlu16 fusion protein was purified from media by immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC), while Os4BGlu18 was extracted from E. coli cells and purified by anion exchange chromatography, hydrophobic interaction chromatography and IMAC. Os4BGlu16 and Os4BGlu18 hydrolyzed the monolignol glucosides coniferin (kcat/KM, 21.6mM(-1)s(-1) for Os4BGlu16 and for Os4BGlu18) and syringin (kcat/KM, 22.8mM(-1)s(-1) for Os4BGlu16 and 24.0mM(-1)s(-1) for Os4BGlu18) with much higher catalytic efficiencies than other substrates. In quantitative RT-PCR, highest Os4BGlu14 mRNA levels were detected in endosperm, embryo, lemma, panicle and pollen. Os4BGlu16 was detected highest in leaf from 4 to 10 weeks, endosperm and lemma, while Os4BGlu18 mRNA was most abundant in vegetative stage from 1 week to 4 weeks, pollen and lemma. These data suggest a role for Os4BGlu16 and Os4BGlu18 monolignol β-glucosidases in both vegetative and reproductive rice tissues.
- Arabidopsis RRP6L1 and RRP6L2 Function in FLOWERING LOCUS C Silencing via Regulation of Antisense RNA Synthesis. [Journal Article]
- PLoS Genet 2014 Sep; 10(9):e1004612.
The exosome complex functions in RNA metabolism and transcriptional gene silencing. Here, we report that mutations of two Arabidopsis genes encoding nuclear exosome components AtRRP6L1 and AtRRP6L2, cause de-repression of the main flowering repressor FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) and thus delay flowering in early-flowering Arabidopsis ecotypes. AtRRP6L mutations affect the expression of known FLC regulatory antisense (AS) RNAs AS I and II, and cause an increase in Histone3 K4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) at FLC. AtRRP6L1 and AtRRP6L2 function redundantly in regulation of FLC and also act independently of the exosome core complex. Moreover, we discovered a novel, long non-coding, non-polyadenylated antisense transcript (ASL, for Antisense Long) originating from the FLC locus in wild type plants. The AtRRP6L proteins function as the main regulators of ASL synthesis, as these mutants show little or no ASL transcript. Unlike ASI/II, ASL associates with H3K27me3 regions of FLC, suggesting that it could function in the maintenance of H3K27 trimethylation during vegetative growth. AtRRP6L mutations also affect H3K27me3 levels and nucleosome density at the FLC locus. Furthermore, AtRRP6L1 physically associates with the ASL transcript and directly interacts with the FLC locus. We propose that AtRRP6L proteins participate in the maintenance of H3K27me3 at FLC via regulating ASL. Furthermore, AtRRP6Ls might participate in multiple FLC silencing pathways by regulating diverse antisense RNAs derived from the FLC locus.
- Functional Characterisation of Germinant Receptors in Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium sporogenes Presents Novel Insights into Spore Germination Systems. [Journal Article]
- PLoS Pathog 2014 Sep; 10(9):e1004382.
Clostridium botulinum is a dangerous pathogen that forms the highly potent botulinum toxin, which when ingested causes a deadly neuroparalytic disease. The closely related Clostridium sporogenes is occasionally pathogenic, frequently associated with food spoilage and regarded as the non-toxigenic equivalent of Group I C. botulinum. Both species form highly resistant spores that are ubiquitous in the environment and which, under favourable growth conditions germinate to produce vegetative cells. To improve the control of botulinum neurotoxin-forming clostridia, it is imperative to comprehend the mechanisms by which spores germinate. Germination is initiated following the recognition of small molecules (germinants) by a specific germinant receptor (GR) located in the spore inner membrane. The present study precisely defines clostridial GRs, germinants and co-germinants. Group I C. botulinum ATCC3502 contains two tricistronic and one pentacistronic GR operons, while C. sporogenes ATCC15579 has three tricistronic and one tetracistronic GR operons. Insertional knockout mutants, allied with characterisation of recombinant GRs shows for the first time that amino acid stimulated germination in C. botulinum requires two tri-cistronic encoded GRs which act in synergy and cannot function individually. Spore germination in C. sporogenes requires one tri-cistronic GR. Two other GRs form part of a complex involved in controlling the rate of amino-acid stimulated germination. The suitability of using C. sporogenes as a substitute for C. botulinum in germination studies and food challenge tests is discussed.
- The rice receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase GUDK is required for drought tolerance, and grain yield under normal and drought stress conditions. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Plant Physiol 2014 Sep 10.
Rice is the primary food source for more than half of the world's population, and since rice cultivation is dependent on water availability, drought during flowering severely affects grain yield. Here, we show that the function of a drought inducible receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase (RLCK), named GROWTH UNDER DROUGHT KINASE (GUDK), is required for grain yield under drought and well-watered conditions. Loss-of-function gudk mutant lines exhibit sensitivity to salinity, osmotic stress and ABA treatment at the seedling stage, and reduction in photosynthesis and plant biomass under controlled drought stress at the vegetative stage. The gudk mutants interestingly showed significant reduction in grain yield, both under normal well-watered conditions and under drought stress at the reproductive stage. Phosphoproteome profiling of the mutant followed by in vitro assays identified the AP2/ERF transcription factor OsAP37 as a phosphorylation target of GUDK. The involvement of OsAP37 in regulating grain yield under drought through activation of several stress genes has been shown previously (Oh et al., 2009). Our transactivation assays confirmed that GUDK is required for activation of stress genes by OsAP37. We propose that GUDK mediates drought stress signaling through phosphorylation and activation of OsAP37, resulting in transcriptional activation of stress regulated genes, which impart tolerance and improve yield under drought. Our study reveals new insights around drought stress signaling mediated by RLCKs, and also identifies a primary regulator of grain yield in rice that offers the opportunity to improve and stabilize rice grain yield under normal and drought stress conditions.
- Deep brain stimulation of the basolateral amygdala for treatment-refractory combat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): study protocol for a pilot randomized controlled trial with blinded, staggered onset of stimulation. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Trials 2014 Sep 10; 15(1):356.
Combat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) involves significant suffering, impairments in social and occupational functioning, substance use and medical comorbidity, and increased mortality from suicide and other causes. Many veterans continue to suffer despite current treatments. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has shown promise in refractory movement disorders, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, with deep brain targets chosen by integration of clinical and neuroimaging literature. The basolateral amygdala (BLn) is an optimal target for high-frequency DBS in PTSD based on neurocircuitry findings from a variety of perspectives. DBS of the BLn was validated in a rat model of PTSD by our group, and limited data from humans support the potential safety and effectiveness of BLn DBS.We describe the protocol design for a first-ever Phase I pilot study of bilateral BLn high-frequency DBS for six severely ill, functionally impaired combat veterans with PTSD refractory to conventional treatments. After implantation, patients are monitored for a month with stimulators off. An electroencephalographic (EEG) telemetry session will test safety of stimulation before randomization to staggered-onset, double-blind sham versus active stimulation for two months. Thereafter, patients will undergo an open-label stimulation for a total of 24 months. Primary efficacy outcome is a 30% decrease in the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) total score. Safety outcomes include extensive assessments of psychiatric and neurologic symptoms, psychosocial function, amygdala-specific and general neuropsychological functions, and EEG changes. The protocol requires the veteran to have a cohabiting significant other who is willing to assist in monitoring safety and effect on social functioning. At baseline and after approximately one year of stimulation, trauma script-provoked 18FDG PET metabolic changes in limbic circuitry will also be evaluated.While the rationale for studying DBS for PTSD is ethically and scientifically justified, the importance of the amygdaloid complex and its connections for a myriad of emotional, perceptual, behavioral, and vegetative functions requires a complex trial design in terms of outcome measures. Knowledge generated from this pilot trial can be used to design future studies to determine the potential of DBS to benefit both veterans and nonveterans suffering from treatment-refractory PTSD.Trial registration: PCC121657, 19 March 2014.