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ABSTRACT: Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) is a zinc-dependent dipeptidyl carboxypeptidase with an essential role in blood pressure homeostasis in mammals. ACE has long been targeted in the treatment of hypertension through ACE inhibitors, however current inhibitors are known to cause severe side effects. Therefore, there is a requirement for a new generation of ACE inhibitors and structural information will be invaluable in their development. ACE is a challenging enzyme to work with due to its extensive glycosylation. As such, the Drosophila melanogaster ACE homologue, AnCE, which shares ∼60% sequence similarity with human ACE, can be used as a model for studying inhibitor binding. The presence of ligands originating from the crystallisation condition at the AnCE active site has proved an obstacle to studying the binding of new inhibitor precursors. Here we present the crystal structure of AnCE (in a new crystal form) at 1.85 Å resolution, using crystals grown under different conditions. This new structure may be more suitable for studying the binding of new compounds, with the potential of developing a new generation of improved ACE inhibitors.FEBS Open Bio 09/2015; 5:661-7. DOI:10.1016/j.fob.2015.08.004
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ABSTRACT: Aim/hypothesis: The etiology of plantar fasciitis (PF) has been related to several risk factors, but the magnitude of the plantar load is the most commonly described factor. Although PF is the third most-common injury in runners, only two studies have investigated this factor in runners, and their results are still inconclusive regarding the injury stage. Objective: Analyze and compare the plantar loads and vertical loading rate during running of runners in the acute stage of PF to those in the chronic stage of the injury in relation to healthy runners. Methods: Forty-five runners with unilateral PF (30 acute and 15 chronic) and 30 healthy control runners were evaluated while running at 12 km/h for 40 meters wearing standardized running shoes and Pedar-X insoles. The contact area and time, maximum force, and force-time integral over the rearfoot, midfoot, and forefoot were recorded and the loading rate (20-80% of the first vertical peak) was calculated. Groups were compared by ANOVAs (p<0.05). Results: Maximum force and force-time integral over the rearfoot and the loading rate was higher in runners with PF (acute and chronic) compared with controls (p<0.01). Runners with PF in the acute stage showed lower loading rate and maximum force over the rearfoot compared to runners in the chronic stage (p<0.01). Conclusion: Runners with PF showed different dynamic patterns of plantar loads during running over the rearfoot area depending on the injury stage (acute or chronic). In the acute stage of PF, runners presented lower loading rate and forces over the rearfoot, possibly due to dynamic mechanisms related to pain protection of the calcaneal area.PLoS ONE 09/2015; 10(9):e0136971. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0136971
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ABSTRACT: The aim of the current study was to compare levels of energy balance-related behaviours (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and dietary behaviours (more specifically water consumption, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and unhealthy snacking)) in four- to six-year-old preschoolers from six European countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Poland, and Spain) within the ToyBox cross-sectional study. A sample of 4,045 preschoolers (4.77 ± 0.43 years; 52.2% boys) had valid physical activity data (steps per day), parents of 8,117 preschoolers (4.78 ± 0.46 years; 53.0% boys) completed a parental questionnaire with questions on sedentary behaviours (television viewing, computer use, and quiet play), and parents of 7,244 preschoolers (4.77 ± 0.44 years; 52.0% boys) completed a food frequency questionnaire with questions on water consumption, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and unhealthy snacking. The highest levels of physical activity were found in Spain (12,669 steps/day on weekdays), while the lowest levels were found in Bulgaria and Greece (9,777 and 9,656 steps/day on weekdays, respectively). German preschoolers spent the least amount of time in television viewing (43.3 min/day on weekdays), while Greek preschoolers spent the most time in television viewing (88.5 min/day on weekdays). A considerable amount of time was spent in quiet play in all countries, with the highest levels in Poland (104.9 min/day on weekdays), and the lowest levels in Spain (60.4 min/day on weekdays). Belgian, German, and Polish preschoolers had the lowest intakes of water and the highest intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages. The intake of snacks was the highest in Belgian preschoolers (73.1 g/day) and the lowest in Greek preschoolers (53.3 g/day). Across six European countries, differences in preschoolers' energy balance-related behaviours were found. Future interventions should target European preschoolers' energy balance-related behaviours simultaneously, but should apply country-specific adaptations.PLoS ONE 03/2015; 10(3):e0118303. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0118303
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