The aim of the study was to assess the toxicity and the clinical activity of biweekly oxaliplatin in combination with infusional 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and folinic acid (FA) administered every 2 weeks (FOLFOX-4 regimen) in patients with advanced gastric cancer (AGC). A total of 61 previously untreated AGC patients were treated with oxaliplatin 85 mg m−2 on day 1, FA 200 mg m−2 as a 2 h infusion followed by bolus 5-FU 400 mg m−2 and a 22 h infusion of 5-FU 600 mg m−2, repeated for 2 consecutive days every 2 weeks. All patients were assessable for toxicity and response to treatment. Four (7%) complete responses and 19 partial responses were observed (overall response rate, 38%). Stable disease was observed in 22 (36%) patients, with progressive disease in the other six (10%) patients. Median time to progression (TTP) and median overall survival (OS) were 7.1 and 11.2 months, respectively. National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria grade 3 and 4 haematologic toxicities were neutropenia, anaemia and thrombocytopenia in 36, 10 and 5% of the patients, respectively. Grade 3 peripheral neuropathy was recorded in three (5%) patients. FOLFOX-4 is an active and well-tolerated chemotherapy. Response rate (RR)...
Ca2+ signalling in neurons through calmodulin (CaM) has a prominent function in regulating synaptic vesicle trafficking, transport, and fusion. Importantly, Ca2+–CaM binds a conserved region in the priming proteins Munc13-1 and ubMunc13-2 and thus regulates synaptic neurotransmitter release in neurons in response to residual Ca2+ signals. We solved the structure of Ca2+4–CaM in complex with the CaM-binding domain of Munc13-1, which features a novel 1-5-8-26 CaM-binding motif with two separated mobile structural modules, each involving a CaM domain. Photoaffinity labelling data reveal the same modular architecture in the complex with the ubMunc13-2 isoform. The N-module can be dissociated with EGTA to form the half-loaded Munc13/Ca2+2–CaM complex. The Ca2+ regulation of these Munc13 isoforms can therefore be explained by the modular nature of the Munc13/Ca2+–CaM interactions, where the C-module provides a high-affinity interaction activated at nanomolar [Ca2+]i, whereas the N-module acts as a sensor at micromolar [Ca2+]i. This Ca2+/CaM-binding mode of Munc13 likely constitutes a key molecular correlate of the characteristic Ca2+-dependent modulation of short-term synaptic plasticity.
Ca2+-Calmodulin binding to the variable N-terminal region of the diacylglycerol/phorbol ester-binding UNC13/Munc13 family of proteins modulates the short-term synaptic plasticity characteristics in neurons. Here, we report the sequential backbone and side chain resonance assignment of the Ca2+-Calmodulin/Munc13-1458–492 peptide complex at pH 6.8 and 35°C (BMRB No. 15470).
The environmental impact of rice agriculture is poorly studied in developing countries, mainly, due to limitations of the analytical capacity. Here we report the development of a clomazone ELISA as a fast and cost-effective tool to monitor the dissipation of this herbicide along the harvest. Antibodies were prepared using different strategies of hapten conjugation, and the best hapten/antibody pair was selected. It proved to be a reliable tool to measure the herbicide in the 2.0-20 ng/mL range in field samples, with excellent correlation with HPLC results. The assay was used to study the dissipation of the herbicide in floodwater of experimental rice paddies in Uruguay. Large differences in the residual amount of herbicide were observed depending on the flooding practices. Due to its robustness and simplicity, the assay may be useful to delineate and monitor management practices that can contribute to minimizing the release of the herbicide in the environment.
During HIV-1 entry, binding of the viral envelope glycoprotein gp120 to the cellular CD4 receptor triggers conformational changes resulting in exposure of new epitopes, the highly conserved CD4-induced (CD4i) epitopes that are essential for subsequent binding to chemokine receptor CCR5 or CXCR4. Due to their functional conservation, CD4i epitopes represent attractive viral targets for HIV-1 entry inhibition. The aim of the present study was to select peptide ligands for CD4i epitopes on native dualtropic (R5X4) HIV-1 envelope (Env) glycoproteins by phage display. Using CD4-activated retroviral particles carrying Env from the R5X4 HIV-1 89.6 strain as the target, we performed screenings of random peptide phage libraries under stringent selection conditions. Selected peptides showed partial identity with amino acids in the extracellular domains of CCR5/CXCR4, including motifs rich in tyrosines and aspartates at the N terminus known to be important for gp120 binding. A synthetic peptide derivative (XD3) corresponding to the most frequently selected phages was optimized for Env binding on peptide arrays. Interestingly, the optimized peptide could bind specifically to gp120 derived from HIV-1 strains with different coreceptor usage, competed with binding of CD4i-specific monoclonal antibody (MAb) 17b...
K-turn motifs are universal RNA structural elements providing a binding platform for proteins in several cellular contexts. Their characteristic is a sharp kink in the phosphate backbone that puts the two helical stems of the protein-bound RNA at an angle of 60°. However, to date no high-resolution structure of a naked K-turn motif is available. Here, we present the first structural investigation at atomic resolution of an unbound K-turn RNA (the spliceosomal U4-Kt RNA) by a combination of NMR and small-angle neutron scattering data. With this study, we wish to address the question whether the K-turn structural motif assumes the sharply kinked conformation in the absence of protein binders and divalent cations. Previous studies have addressed this question by fluorescence resonance energy transfer, biochemical assays and molecular dynamics simulations, suggesting that the K-turn RNAs exist in equilibrium between a kinked conformation, which is competent for protein binding, and a more extended conformation, with the population distribution depending on the concentration of divalent cations. Our data shows that the U4-Kt RNA predominantly assumes the more extended conformation in the absence of proteins and divalent cations. The internal loop region is well structured but adopts a different conformation from the one observed in complex with proteins. Our data suggests that the K-turn consensus sequence does not per se code for the kinked conformation; instead the sharp backbone kink requires to be stabilized by protein binders.
AIM: To evaluate efficacy and tolerability of the combination valsartan plus hydrochlorothiazide (160 mg and 25 mg daily, respectively) in young-middle aged males with high-normal blood pressure (BP) or first-degree arterial hypertension with evidence of target organ damage.
We report the long-term follow-up of 3 cases of severe idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension, in whom tadalafil plus sitaxentan combination therapy improved the clinical condition and exercise performance without any relevant adverse event.
The impact of the use of herbicides in agriculture can be minimized by compliance with good management practices that reduce the amount used and their release into the environment. Simple tests that provide real time on-site information about these chemicals are a major aid for these programs. In this work we show that PHAIA, a method that uses phage-borne peptides to detect the formation of antibody-analyte immunocomplexes, is an advantageous technology to produce such field tests. A monoclonal antibody to the herbicide clomazone was raised and used in the development of conventional competitive and noncompetitive PHAIA immunoassays. The sensitivity attained with the PHAIA format was over ten times higher than that of the competitive format. The cross-reactivity of the two methods was also compared by using structurally related compounds, and we observed that the two-site binding of PHAIA “double-checks” the recognition of the analyte, thereby increasing the assay specificity. The positive readout of the noncompetitive PHAIA method allowed adaptation of the assay into a rapid and simple format where as little as 0.4 ng/ml of clomazone (more than 10-fold lower than the proposed standard) in water samples from a rice field could be easily detected by simple visual inspection.
We tested for the presence of coronary calcifications in patients with chronic renal disease not on dialysis and studied its progression in 181 consecutive non-dialyzed patients who were followed for a median of 745 days. Coronary calcifications (calcium score) were tallied in Agatston units by computed tomography, and the patients were stratified into two groups by their baseline calcium score (100 U or less and over 100 U). Survival was measured by baseline calcium score and its progression. Cardiac death and myocardial infarction occurred in 29 patients and were significantly more frequent in those patients with calcium scores over 100 U (hazard ratio of 4.11). With a calcium score of 100 U or less, the hazard ratio for cardiac events was 0.41 and 3.26 in patients with absent and accelerated progression, respectively. Thus, in non-dialyzed patients, the extent of coronary calcifications was associated to cardiac events, and progression was an independent predictive factor of cardiac events mainly in less calcified patients. Hence, assessment of coronary calcifications and progression might be useful for earlier management of risk factors and guiding decisions for prevention of cardiac events in this patient population.