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Computational Genomics
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    ABSTRACT: It has been suggested that the N-terminal strand of the light chain variable domain (VL) protects the molecule from aggregation by hindering spurious intermolecular contacts. We evaluated the impact of mutations in the N-terminal strand on the thermodynamic stability and kinetic of fibrillogenesis of the VL protein 6aJL2. Mutations in this strand destabilized the protein in a position-dependent manner, accelerating the fibrillogenesis by shortening the lag time; an effect that correlated with the extent of destabilization. In contrast, the effect on the kinetics of fibril elongation, as assessed in seeding experiments was of different nature, as it was not directly dependant on the degree of destabilization. This finding suggests different factors drive the nucleation-dependent and elongation phases of light chain fibrillogenesis. Finally, taking advantage of the dependence of the Trp fluorescence upon environment, four single Trp substitutions were made in the N-terminal strand, and changes in solvent exposure during aggregation were evaluated by acrylamide-quenching. The results suggest that the N-terminal strand is buried in the fibrillar state of 6aJL2 protein. This finding suggest a possible explanation for the modulating effect exerted by the mutations in this strand on the aggregation behavior of 6aJL2 protein.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Human parturition is associated with an intrauterine pro-inflammatory environment in the choriodecidua. Evidence that some mediators of this signaling cascade also elicit responses leading to labor prompted us to characterize the cellular sources of these mediators in the human choriodecidua. Leukocyte-enriched preparations from human choriodecidua (ChL) and intervillous placental blood leukocytes (PL) were maintained in culture. Secretions of inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and MMP-9 were documented. Leukocyte phenotype of ChL and PL was determined by flow cytometry using specific fluorochrome-conjugated antibodies. ChL showed a distinct pro-inflammatory secretion pattern of cytokines and chemokines when compared with PL, including higher amounts of TNF-α and IL-6, and decreased secretions of IL-4 and IL-1ra. ChL also secreted more MIP-1α and MCP-1 and MMP-9 than PL. No significant differences were found in leukocytes subsets between compartments. Based on our findings, we propose that ChL isolated from fetal membranes at term are functionally different from PL and may collaborate to modulate the microenvironment linked to induction and progression of human labor.
    American Journal Of Reproductive Immunology 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: γ-glutamyl transferase (GGT) is useful as a marker in pathological conditions, including several types of cancer. We optimized the histochemical detection of GGT to assay the gene expression profiles of phenotype-specific cells selected by laser capture microdissection (LCM). For optimization, we used the livers of rats subjected to hepatocarcinogenesis. This model induced nodules of hepatocytes and tumors with GGT activity. To obtain sufficient high quality RNA after histochemistry and LCM, we included an RNase inhibitor and air-dried the tissue sections. This optimization allowed the visualization of GGT activity in situ and a yield of 1.4 to 2 μg of total RNA from 15 to 18 mm(2) of microdissected tissue (20 μm thickness). The average RNA integrity number in GGT-positive tissue, determined by chip-capillary electrophoresis, was 6.9, and the 28S/18S rRNA ratio was 1.4. The RNAs were processed for the Rat Gene 1.0 ST Array (Affymetrix). Comparable quality control metrics, such as signal intensity and RNA degradation plots, were found between the LCM samples and non-LCM tissue. The increased expression of Ggt1 expected in GGT-positive tissue was confirmed by microarrays and qRT-PCR. This optimization provided a suitable method for whole-transcript analysis of GGT-positive tissue isolated using LCM.
    Analytical Biochemistry 11/2013;


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    Mexico City, Mexico
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