Abstract in English:Deletions in GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes are considered to be a risk factor for cancer development but the exact location of these deletions in the genome was unknown. Three main objectives of the current study were to: (a) identify the boundaries of these deletions in the human genome, (b) screen homozygous (-/-) and heterozygous (+/-) deleted, as well as homozygous present (+/+) individuals using PCR assays, (c) detect associations of pharyngeal (PC) and laryngeal cancer (LC) with the respective genotypes. In total, 102 PC and 92 LC patients were screened and compared with 150 controls. PCR mapping and sequencing revealed a 6 kbp deletion for GSTM1 and a 9 kbp deletion for the GSTT1 gene. The mean age of PC cases was 48.1 (±16.7) years; for LC cases it was 48.5 (±17.4) years and for controls 46 (±17.7) years. The OR (odds ratio) for the GSTM1 null genotype in PC and LC cases was 10.2 and 1.0 (95% CI 5.04-20.7 and 1.1-1.7) respectively. Similarly, for GSTT1 the OR was 4.02 with a 95% CI of 2.3-7.1 in PC cases. For LC cases the OR was 0.8 with 95% CI of 0.4-1.7. A non-significant number of LC and PC patients had heterozygous deletions of GSTM1 compared to controls (OD 0.5, 95% CI 0.2- 1.6 and OR 0.5, 95% CI 0.2- 1.5 respectively). The GSTT1 gene also showed a non-significant association in PC (OD 0.9, 95% CI 0.4-1.9), as well as in LC patients (OD 0.7, 95% CI 0.3-1.7). The homozygous genotype was significantly associated with PC and LC, whereas the heterozygous was not so. The GSTM1 (-/-) and GSTT1 (-/-) genotypes are a risk factor for LC and PC, whereas the (+/-) genotypes are not.
Abstract in English:It has been suggested that leukemia is characterized by an impaired balance between the proliferation of blood cells and their capacity to undergo apoptosis. The aim of this study was to examine the expression of key molecules related to apoptosis (BCL-2, BAX, FAS, FAS-L) in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Measurement of BCL-2 and BAX mRNA was performed by quantitative real-time PCR, and membrane expression of FAS and FAS-L was assessed by flow cytometry in bone marrow mononuclear cells, both at diagnosis and at remission following induction chemotherapy. At diagnosis, increased levels of the apoptotic BAX/BCL-2 ratio were observed in children older than 10 years and with higher white blood cell counts. A DNA index < 1.16 was associated with increased BAX/BCL-2, both at diagnosis and at remission, and the del(9p) chromosome abnormality with increased BAX/BCL-2 at remission. The expression of the apoptotic receptor FAS was significantly higher at remission compared to diagnosis, which might reflect enhanced sensitivity of the leukemic clone to apoptosis and response to treatment. Altogether, our results highlight the association of apoptosis-related genes with clinical and cytogenetic prognostic parameters in pediatric ALL. A better understanding of the mechanisms and regulation of apoptosis should enable the design of novel targeted therapies for these patients.
Abstract in English:There is an urgent need to improve the clinical management of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), one of the most frequent causes of cancer-related deaths in men and women worldwide. Rhazya stricta, an important medicinal plant used in traditional Oriental medicine, possesses anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic and free radical scavenging properties. This study was done to explore the potential anticancer activity of a crude alkaloid extract of R. stricta (CAERS) against the NSCLC line A549. CAERS markedly suppressed the growth of A549 cells and considerably enhanced the anti-proliferative potential of cisplatin. CAERS-mediated inhibition of A549 cell growth correlated with the induction of apoptosis that was accompanied by numerous morphological changes, DNA fragmentation, an increase in the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, the release of mitochondrial cytochrome c, activation of caspases 3 and 9 and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose)-polymerase. CAERS reduced the constitutive expression of anti-apoptotic proteins (Bcl-2, Bcl-X L, Mcl-1 and Survivin) and cell cycle regulating proteins (cyclin D1 and c-Myc), but enhanced expression of the proapoptotic proteins Noxa and BAD. These observations indicate that CAERS induced apoptosis and sensitized NSCLC to cisplatin via a mitochondria-mediated apoptotic pathway. These data provide a rationale for using a combination of CAERS and CDDP to treat NSCLC and other CDDP-resistant tumors.
Abstract in English:Soroprevalence for Hepatitis C virus is reported as 2.12% in Northern Brazil, with about 50% of the patients exhibiting a sustained virological response (SVR). Aiming to associate polymorphisms in Killer Cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptors (KIR) with chronic hepatitis C and therapy responses we investigated 125 chronic patients and 345 controls. Additionally, 48 ancestry markers were genotyped to control for population stratification. The frequency of the KIR2DL2 and KIR2DL2+HLA-C Asp80 gene and ligand was higher in chronic infected patients than in controls (p < 0.0009, OR = 3.4; p = 0.001, OR = 3.45). In fact, KIR2DL3 is a weaker inhibitor of NK activity than KIR2DL2, which could explain the association of KIR2DL2 with chronic infection. Moreover, KIR2DS2 and KIR2DS2+HLA-C Asp80 (p < 0.0001, OR = 2.51; p = 0.0084, OR = 2.62) and KIR2DS3 (p < 0.0001; OR = 2.57) were associated with chronic infection, independently from KIR2DL2. No differences in ancestry composition were observed between control and patients, even with respect to therapy response groups. The allelic profile KIR2DL2/KIR2DS2/KIR2DS3 was associated with the chronic hepatitis C (p < 0.0001; OR = 3). Furthermore, the patients also showed a higher mean number of activating genes and a lower frequency of the homozygous AA profile, which is likely secondary to the association with non-AA and/or activating genes. In addition, the KIR2DS5 allele was associated with SVR (p = 0.0261; OR = 0.184).The ancestry analysis of samples ruled out any effects of population substructuring and did not evidence interethnic differences in therapy response, as suggested in previous studies.
Abstract in English:Decreased Choline Acetyltransferase (ChAT) brain level is one of the main biochemical disorders in Alzheimer's Disease (AD). In rodents, recent data show that the CHAT gene can be regulated by a neural restrictive silencer factor (NRSF). The aim of the present work was to evaluate the gene and protein expression of CHAT and NRSF in frontal, temporal, entorhinal and parietal cortices of AD patient brains. Four brains from patients with AD and four brains from subjects without dementia were studied. Cerebral tissues were obtained and processed by the guanidine isothiocyanate method for RNA extraction. CHAT and NRSF gene and protein expression were determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blotting. CHAT gene expression levels were 39% lower in AD patients as compared to the control group (p < 0.05, U test). ChAT protein levels were reduced by 17% (p = 0.02, U test). NRSF gene expression levels were 86% higher in the AD group (p = 0.001, U test) as compared to the control group. In the AD subjects, the NRSF protein levels were 57% higher (p > 0.05, U test) than in the control subjects. These findings suggest for the first time that in the brain of AD patients high NRSF protein levels are related to low CHAT gene expression levels.
Abstract in English:The Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) recognizes flagellin of Gram-positive and -negative bacteria and plays an important role in the host defense system. Here, we surveyed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the coding sequence of the porcine TLR5 gene in 83 individuals from five pig breeds, these including Chinese local populations and Western commercial pig breeds. A total of 19 medium polymorphic SNPs (0.25 < PIC < 0.5) were identified, three of which were missense mutations that clustered within the extracellular domain of TLR5. One of the non-synonymous SNPs fell within a 228-amino acid region which has been shown to be important for flagellin recognition. Four SNPs were only found with high frequencies in Oriental pig breeds. The 19 SNPs were found in 30 haplotypes, one of which segregated at high frequency in all samples. Compared with Western pig breeds, Chinese local populations had higher genetic diversity and more haplotypes. Tajima's test showed no evidence for deviation from neutrality. The data provide useful information for future genetic marker characterization by means of disease association analysis and/or stimulating the mutation carrier with relevant ligands.
Abstract in English:The weight records from Simmental beef cattle were used in a genetic evaluation of growth with or without the inclusion of animals obtained by embryo transfer. A multi-trait model in which embryo transfer individuals were excluded (MTM1) contained 29,510 records from 10,659 animals, while another model without exclusion of these animals (MTM2) contained 62,895 weight records from 23,160 animals. The weight records were adjusted for ages of 100, 205, 365, 450, 550 and 730 days. The (co)variance components and genetic parameters were estimated by the restricted maximum likelihood method. The (co)variance components were similar in both models, except for maternal permanent environment variance. Direct heritabilities (h²d) in MTM1 were 0.04, 0.11, 0.20, 0.27, 0.31 and 0.42, while in MTM2 they were 0.11, 0.11, 0.17, 0.21, 0.22 and 0.26 for 100, 205, 365, 450, 550 and 730 days of age, respectively. Estimates of h²d in MTM1 were higher than in MTM2 for the weight at 365 days of age. Genetic correlations between weights in both models ranged from moderate to high, suggesting that these traits may be determined mainly by the same genes. Animals from embryo transfer may be included in the genetic evaluation of Simmental beef cattle in Brazil; this inclusion may provide potential gains in accuracy and genetic gains by reducing the interval between generations.
Abstract in English:Zaprionus indianus is a drosophilid native to the Afrotropical region that has colonized South America and exhibits a wide geographical distribution. In contrast, Z. sepsoides is restricted to certain African regions. The two species differ in the size of their testes, which are larger in Z. indianus than in Z. sepsoides. To better understand the biology and the degree of differentiation of these species, the current study evaluated spermatogenesis in males of different ages by conventional staining techniques and ultrastructural analysis. Spermatogenesis and the ultrastructure of spermatozoa were similar in the two species, and the diploid number was confirmed to be 2n = 12. A greater number of spermatozoa were observed in young Z. indianus (1-3 days old) compared to Z. sepsoides males, which showed a higher frequency of cells at the early stages of spermatogenesis. The head of the sperm was strongly marked by silver staining, lacto-acetic orcein and the Feulgen reaction; the P.A.S. reaction revealed glycogen granules in the testes of both species. Both species presented similar arrangement of microtubules (9+9+2), two mitochondrial derivatives of different size and 64 spermatozoa per bundle. Such similarity within the genus Zaprionus with other species of Drosophila, indicates that these structures are conserved in the family Drosophilidae. The differences observed the number and frequency of sperm cells in the early stages of spermatogenesis, between the young males of Z. indianus and Z. sepsoides, are features that may interfere with reproductive success and be related to the invasive potential of Z. indianus.
Abstract in English:Comprehension of the mechanisms by which ectotherms, such as fish, respond to thermal stress is paramount for understanding the threats that environmental changes may pose to wild populations. Heat shock proteins are molecular chaperones with an important role in several stress conditions such as high temperatures. In the Iberian Peninsula, particularly in Portugal, freshwater fish of the genus Squalius are subject to daily and seasonal temperature variations. To examine the extent to which different thermal regimes influence the expression patterns of hsp70 and hsc70 transcripts we exposed two species of Squalius (S. torgalensis and S. carolitertii) to different temperatures (20, 25, 30 and 35 ºC). At 35 ºC, there was a significant increase in the expression of hsp70 and hsc70 in the southern species, S. torgalensis, while the northern species, S. carolitertii, showed no increase in the expression of these genes; however, some individuals of the latter species died when exposed to 35 ºC. These results suggest that S. torgalensis may cope better with harsher temperatures that are characteristic of this species natural environment; S. carolitertii, on the other hand, may be unable to deal with the extreme temperatures faced by the southern species.
Abstract in English:Cytogenetic studies in birds are still scarce compared to other vertebrates. Woodcreepers (Dendrocolaptidae) are part of a highly specialized group within the Suboscines of the New World. They are forest birds exclusive to the Neotropical region and similar to woodpeckers, at a comparable evolutionary stage. This paper describes for the first time the karyotypes of the Olivaceous and the Narrow-billed Woodcreeper using conventional staining with Giemsa and silver nitrate staining of the nucleolar organizer regions (Ag-NORs). Metaphases were obtained by fibular bone marrow culture. The chromosome number of the Olivaceous Woodcreeper was 2n = 82 and of the Narrow-billed Woodcreeper, 2n = 82. Ag-NORs in the largest macrochromosome pair and evidence of a chromosome inversion are described herein for the first time for this group.
Abstract in English:Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) are enzymes that inhibit protein synthesis after depurination of a specific adenine in rRNA. The RIP family members are classified as type I RIPs that contain an RNA-N-glycosidase domain and type II RIPs that contain a lectin domain (B chain) in addition to the glycosidase domain (A chain). In this work, we identified 30 new plant RIPs and characterized 18 Ricinus communis RIPs. Phylogenetic and functional divergence analyses indicated that the emergence of type I and II RIPs probably occurred before the monocot/eudicot split. We also report the expression profiles of 18 castor bean genes, including those for ricin and agglutinin, in five seed stages as assessed by quantitative PCR. Ricin and agglutinin were the most expressed RIPs in developing seeds although eight other RIPs were also expressed. All of the RIP genes were most highly expressed in the stages in which the endosperm was fully expanded. Although the reason for the large expansion of RIP genes in castor beans remains to be established, the differential expression patterns of the type I and type II members reinforce the existence of biological functions other than defense against predators and herbivory.
Abstract in English:Seeds are the most important plant storage organ and play a central role in the life cycle of plants. Since little is known about the protein composition of rice (Oryza sativa) seeds, in this work we used proteomic methods to obtain a reference map of rice seed proteins and identify important molecules. Overall, 480 reproducible protein spots were detected by two-dimensional electrophoresis on pH 4-7 gels and 302 proteins were identified by MALDI-TOF MS and database searches. Together, these proteins represented 252 gene products and were classified into 12 functional categories, most of which were involved in metabolic pathways. Database searches combined with hydropathy plots and gene ontology analysis showed that most rice seed proteins were hydrophilic and were related to binding, catalytic, cellular or metabolic processes. These results expand our knowledge of the rice proteome and improve our understanding of the cellular biology of rice seeds.
Abstract in English:Epistasis, an additive-by-additive interaction between quantitative trait loci, has been defined as a deviation from the sum of independent effects of individual genes. Epistasis between QTLs assayed in populations segregating for an entire genome has been found at a frequency close to that expected by chance alone. Recently, epistatic effects have been considered by many researchers as important for complex traits. In order to understand the genetic control of complex traits, it is necessary to clarify additive-by-additive interactions among genes. Herein we compare estimates of a parameter connected with the additive gene action calculated on the basis of two models: a model excluding epistasis and a model with additive-by-additive interaction effects. In this paper two data sets were analysed: 1) 150 barley doubled haploid lines derived from the Steptoe x Morex cross, and 2) 145 DH lines of barley obtained from the Harrington x TR306 cross. The results showed that in cases when the effect of epistasis was different from zero, the coefficient of determination was larger for the model with epistasis than for the one excluding epistasis. These results indicate that epistatic interaction plays an important role in controlling the expression of complex traits.
Abstract in English:This report demonstrates the usefulness of PCR for the genes spaS and sboA as a means of identifying Bacillus strains with a potential to produce subtilin and subtilosin A. One collection strain and five Bacillus spp. isolated from aquatic environments in the Amazon basin were screened by PCR using primers for sboA and spaS designed specifically for this study. The sequences of the PCR products showed elevated homology with previously described spaS and sboA genes. Antimicrobial peptides were isolated from culture supernatants and analyzed by mass spectrometry. For all samples, the mass spectra revealed clusters with peaks at m/z 3300-3500 Da, corresponding to subtilosin A, subtilin and isoforms of these peptides. These results suggest that the antimicrobial activity of these strains may be associated with the production of subtilosin A and/or subtilin. The PCR used here was efficient in identifying novel Bacillus strains with the essential genes for producing subtilosin A and subtilin.
Abstract in English:Cancer has become a major public health problem worldwide and the number of deaths due to this disease is increasing almost exponentially. In the constant search for new treatments, natural products of plant origin have provided a variety of new compounds to be explored as antitumor agents. Tabernaemontana catharinensis is a medicinal plant that produces alkaloids with expressive antitumor activity, such as heyneanine, coronaridine and voacangine. The aim of present study was firstly to screen the cytotoxic activity of the indole alkaloids heyneanine, coronaridine and voacangine against HeLa (human cervix tumor), 3T3 (normal mouse embryo fibroblasts), Hep-2 (human laryngeal epithelial carcinoma) and B-16 (murine skin) cell lines by MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide); and secondly to analyze the apoptotic activity, cell membrane damage and genotoxicity of the compound that showed the best cytotoxic activity against the tumor cell lines tested. Coronaridine was the one that exhibited greater cytotoxic activity in the laryngeal carcinoma cell line Hep-2 (IC50 = 54.47 µg/mL) than the other alkaloids tested (voacangine IC50 = 159.33 µg/mL, and heyneanine IC50 = 689.45 µg/mL). Coronaridine induced apoptosis in cell lines 3T3 and Hep-2, even at high concentrations. The evaluation of genotoxicity by comet assay showed further that coronaridine caused minimal DNA damage in the Hep-2 tumor cell line, and the LDH test showed that it did not affect the plasma membrane. These results suggest that further investigation of coronaridine as an antitumor agent has merit.
Abstract in English:Melipona quadrifasciata is a stingless bee widely found throughout the Brazilian territory, with two recognized subspecies, M. quadrifasciata anthidioides, that exhibits interrupted metasomal stripes, and M. quadrifasciata quadrifasciata, with continuous metasomal stripes. This study aimed to estimate the genetic variability of these subspecies. For this purpose, 127 colonies from 15 Brazilian localities were analyzed, using nine species-specific microsatellite primers. At these loci, the number of alleles ranged from three to 15 (mean: 7.2), and the observed heterozygosity (Ho) ranged from 0.03-0.21, while the expected heterozygosity (He) ranged from 0.23-0.47. The genetic distances among populations ranged from 0.03-0.45. The F ST multilocus value (0.23) indicated that the populations sampled were structured, and the clustering analysis showed the formation of two subgroups and two more distant populations. The first group contained the subspecies M. quadrifasciata quadrifasciata, and the other, the subspecies M. quadrifasciata anthidioides and the two M. quadrifasciata populations with continuous metasomal stripes from northern Minas Gerais. These results confirmed that the yellow metasomal stripes alone are not a good means for correctly identifying the different subspecies of M. quadrifasciata.
Abstract in English:Genetic diversity is a major component of the biological diversity of an ecosystem. The survival of a population may be seriously threatened if its genetic diversity values are low. In this work, we measured the genetic diversity of the stingless bee Plebeia remota based on molecular data obtained by analyzing 15 microsatellite loci and sequencing two mitochondrial genes. Population structure and genetic diversity differed depending on the molecular marker analyzed: microsatellites showed low population structure and moderate to high genetic diversity, while mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) showed high population structure and low diversity in three populations. Queen philopatry and male dispersal behavior are discussed as the main reasons for these findings.
Abstract in English:Partamona mulata is a stingless bee species endemic to cerrado, a severely threatened phytogeographical domain. Clearing for pasture without proper soil treatment in the cerrado facilitates the proliferation of termite ground nests, which are the nesting sites for P. mulata. The genetic consequences of these changes in the cerrado environment for bee populations are still understudied. In this work, we analyzed the genetic diversity of 48 colonies of P. mulata collected throughout the species' distribution range by sequencing two mitochondrial genes, cytochrome oxidase I and cytochrome B. A very low polymorphism rate was observed when compared to another Partamona species from the Atlantic forest. Exclusive haplotypes were observed in two of the five areas sampled. The sharing of two haplotypes between collection sites separated by a distance greater than the flight range of queens indicates an ancient distribution for these haplotypes. The low haplotype and nucleotide diversity observed here suggests that P. mulata is either a young species or one that has been through population bottlenecks. Locally predominant and exclusive haplotypes (H2 and H4) may have been derived from local remnants through cerrado deforestation and the expansion of a few colonies with abundant nesting sites.
Abstract in English:Molted feather sampling is a useful tool for genetic analyses of endangered species, but it is often very laborious due to the low quality and quantity of the DNA obtained. In the present study we show the parts of feathers that resulted in better yield of DNA. In descending order these were: blood clot outside the umbilicus, umbilicus (without blood clot), tip, inner membrane, and small calamus. Compared to DNA extracted from blood samples, DNA extracted from feathers produced microsatellite alleles of poorer quality and had to be processed immediately after extraction. As expected due to the level of DNA degradation, molecular sexing protocols that result in shorter PCR products were more efficient.
Abstract in English:The PPARγ nuclear receptor regulates the expression of genes involved in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, and it has protective effects in some patients with type 2 diabetes. Nevertheless, the therapeutic value of the PPARγ nuclear receptor protein is limited due to the secondary effects of some PPARγ ligands. Because the downstream effects of PPARγ are determined by the binding of specific cofactors that are mediated by ligand-induced conformational changes, we evaluated the differential effects of various ligands on the binding of certain cofactors associated with PPARγ. The ligands used were rosiglitazone for treating type 2 diabetes and telmisartan for treating arterial hypertension. Functional, phenotypic, and molecular studies were conducted on pre-adipocyte 3T3-L1 and functional studies in U2OS cells. The moderating influence of various cofactor families was evaluated using transient transfection assays. Our findings confirm that telmisartan has a partial modulating effect on PPARγ activity compared to rosiglitazone. The cofactors SRC1 and GRIP1 mediate the activity of telmisartan and rosiglitazone and partially determine the difference in their effects. Studying the modulating activity of these cofactors can provide interesting insights for developing new therapeutic approaches for certain metabolic diseases.
Abstract in English:Intracellular fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) are multifunctional cytosolic lipid-binding proteins found in vertebrates and invertebrates. In this work, we used RACE to obtain a full-length cDNA of Sp-FABP from the mud crab Scylla paramamosain. The open reading frame of the full length cDNA (886 bp) encoded a 136 amino acid polypeptide that showed high homology with related genes from other species. Real-time quantitative PCR identified variable levels of Sp-FABP transcripts in epidermis, eyestalk, gill, heart, hemocytes, hepatopancreas, muscle, ovary, stomach and thoracic ganglia. In ovaries, Sp-FABP expression increased gradually from stage I to stage IV of development and decreased in stage V. Sp-FABP transcripts in the hepatopancreas and hemocytes were up-regulated after a bacterial challenge with Vibrio alginnolyficus. These results suggest that Sp-FABP may be involved in the growth, reproduction and immunity of the mud crab.