[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gliomas are aggressive primary brain tumors with high infiltrative potential. The expression of Angiotensin II (Ang II) receptors has been associated with poor prognosis in human astrocytomas, the most common type of glioma. In this study, we investigated the role of Angiotensin II in glioma malignancy through transcriptional profiling and network analysis of cultured C6 rat glioma cells exposed to Ang II and to inhibitors of its membrane receptor subtypes. C6 cells were treated with Ang II and specific antagonists of AT1 and AT2 receptors. Total RNA was isolated after three and six hours of Ang II treatment and analyzed by oligonucleotide microarray technology. Gene expression data was evaluated through transcriptional network modeling to identify how differentially expressed (DE) genes are connected to each other. Moreover, other genes co-expressing with the DE genes were considered in these analyses in order to support the identification of enriched functions and pathways. A hub-based network analysis showed that the most connected nodes in Ang II-related networks exert functions associated with cell proliferation, migration and invasion, key aspects for glioma progression. The subsequent functional enrichment analysis of these central genes highlighted their participation in signaling pathways that are frequently deregulated in gliomas such as ErbB, MAPK and p53. Noteworthy, either AT1 or AT2 inhibitions were able to down-regulate different sets of hub genes involved in protumoral functions, suggesting that both Ang II receptors could be therapeutic targets for intervention in glioma. Taken together, our results point out multiple actions of Ang II in glioma pathogenesis and reveal the participation of both Ang II receptors in the regulation of genes relevant for glioma progression. This study is the first one to provide systems-level molecular data for better understanding the protumoral effects of Ang II in the proliferative and infiltrative behavior of gliomas.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(11):e110934. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stenotrophomonas ssp. has a wide environmental distribution and is also found as an opportunistic pathogen, causing nosocomial or community-acquired infections. One species, S. maltophilia, presents multidrug resistance and has been associated with serious infections in pediatric and immunocompromised patients. Therefore, it is relevant to conduct resistance profile and phylogenetic studies in clinical isolates for identifying infection origins and isolates with augmented pathogenic potential. Here, multilocus sequence typing was performed for phylogenetic analysis of nosocomial isolates of Stenotrophomonas spp. and, environmental and clinical strains of S. maltophilia. Biochemical and multidrug resistance profiles of nosocomial and clinical strains were determined. The inferred phylogenetic profile showed high clonal variability, what correlates with the adaptability process of Stenotrophomonas to different habitats. Two clinical isolates subgroups of S. maltophilia sharing high phylogenetic homogeneity presented intergroup recombination, thus indicating the high permittivity to horizontal gene transfer, a mechanism involved in the acquisition of antibiotic resistance and expression of virulence factors. For most of the clinical strains, phylogenetic inference was made using only partial ppsA gene sequence. Therefore, the sequencing of just one specific fragment of this gene would allow, in many cases, determining whether the infection with S. maltophilia was nosocomial or community-acquired.
BioMed research international. 01/2014; 2014:151405.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DCs) are antigen (Ag)-presenting cells that activate and stimulate effective immune responses by T cells, but can also act as negative regulators of these responses and thus play important roles in immune regulation. Pro-angiogenic vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been shown to cause defective DC differentiation and maturation. Previous studies have demonstrated that the addition of VEGF to DC cultures renders these cells weak stimulators of Ag-specific T cells due to the inhibitory effects mediated by VEGF receptor 1 (VEGFR1) and/or VEGFR2 signalling. As the enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) is recognised as an important negative regulator of immune responses, this study aimed to investigate whether VEGF affects the expression of IDO by DCs and whether VEGF-matured DCs acquire a suppressor phenotype. Our results are the first to demonstrate that VEGF increases the expression and activity of IDO in DCs, which has a suppressive effect on Ag-specific and mitogen-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation. These mechanisms have broad implications for the study of immunological responses and tolerance under conditions as diverse as cancer, graft rejection and autoimmunity.
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 10/2013; · 1.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genomic aberrations in the CREBBP (CREB-binding protein - CREBBP or CBP) gene such as point mutations, small insertions or exonic copy number changes are usually associated with Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RTs). In this study, the disruption of the CREBBP gene on chromosome 16p13.3, as revealed by CGH-array and FISH, suggests immune dysregulation in a patient with the Rubinstein Taybi syndrome (RTs) phenotype. Further investigation with Western blot techniques demonstrated decreased expression of CREB, NFκB, c-Jun, c-Fos, BCL2 and cMyc in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, thus indicating that the CREBBP gene is essential for the normal expression of these proteins and the regulation of immune responses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Germline mutations in , and genes have been identified as one of the most important disease-causing issues in young breast cancer patients worldwide. The specific defective biological processes that trigger germline mutation-associated and -negative tumors remain unclear. To delineate an initial portrait of Brazilian early-onset breast cancer, we performed an investigation combining both germline and tumor analysis. Germline screening of the , (c.1100delC and genes was performed in 54 unrelated patients <35 y; their tumors were investigated with respect to transcriptional and genomic profiles as well as hormonal receptors and HER2 expression/amplification. Germline mutations were detected in 12 out of 54 patients (22%) [7 in (13%), 4 in (7%) and one in (2%) gene]. A cancer familial history was present in 31.4% of the unrelated patients, from them 43.7% were carriers for germline mutation (37.5% in and in 6.2% in the genes). Fifty percent of the unrelated patients with hormone receptor-negative tumors carried mutations, percentage increasing to 83% in cases with familial history of cancer. Over-representation of DNA damage-, cellular and cell cycle-related processes was detected in the up-regulated genes of -associated tumors, whereas cell and embryo development-related processes were over-represented in the up-regulated genes of -negative tumors, suggesting distinct mechanisms driving the tumorigenesis. An initial portrait of the early-onset breast cancer patients in Brazil was generated pointing out that hormone receptor-negative tumors and positive familial history are two major risk factors for detection of a germline mutation. Additionally, the data revealed molecular factors that potentially trigger the tumor development in young patients.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e57581. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously described - studying transcriptional signatures of hippocampal CA3 explants - that febrile (FS) and afebrile (NFS) forms of refractory mesial temporal lobe epilepsy constitute two distinct genomic phenotypes. That network analysis was based on a limited number (hundreds) of differentially expressed genes (DE networks) among a large set of valid transcripts (close to two tens of thousands). Here we developed a methodology for complex network visualization (3D) and analysis that allows the categorization of network nodes according to distinct hierarchical levels of gene-gene connections (node degree) and of interconnection between node neighbors (concentric node degree). Hubs are highly connected nodes, VIPs have low node degree but connect only with hubs, and high-hubs have VIP status and high overall number of connections. Studying the whole set of CA3 valid transcripts we: i) obtained complete transcriptional networks (CO) for FS and NFS phenotypic groups; ii) examined how CO and DE networks are related; iii) characterized genomic and molecular mechanisms underlying FS and NFS phenotypes, identifying potential novel targets for therapeutic interventions. We found that: i) DE hubs and VIPs are evenly distributed inside the CO networks; ii) most DE hubs and VIPs are related to synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability whereas most CO hubs, VIPs and high hubs are related to neuronal differentiation, homeostasis and neuroprotection, indicating compensatory mechanisms. Complex network visualization and analysis is a useful tool for systems biology approaches to multifactorial diseases. Network centrality observed for hubs, VIPs and high hubs of CO networks, is consistent with the network disease model, where a group of nodes whose perturbation leads to a disease phenotype occupies a central position in the network. Conceivably, the chance for exerting therapeutic effects through the modulation of particular genes will be higher if these genes are highly interconnected in transcriptional networks.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(11):e79913. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Isolation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from umbilical cord blood (UCB) from full-term deliveries is a laborious, time-consuming process that results in a low yield of cells. In this study we identified parameters that can be helpful for a successful isolation of UCB-MSCs. According to our findings, chances for a well succeeded isolation of these cells are higher when MSCs were isolated from UCB collected from normal full-term pregnancies that did not last over 37 weeks. Besides the duration of pregnancy, blood volume and storage period of the UCB should also be considered for a successful isolation of these cells. Here, we found that the ideal blood volume collected should be above 80 mL and the period of storage should not exceed 6 h. We characterized UCB-MSCs by morphologic, immunophenotypic, protein/gene expression and by adipogenic differentiation potential. Isolated UCB-MSCs showed fibroblast-like morphology and the capacity of differentiating into adipocyte-like cells. Looking for markers of the undifferentiated status of UCB-MSCs, we analyzed the UCB-MSCs' protein expression profile along different time periods of the differentiation process into adipocyte-like cells. Our results showed that there is a decrease in the expression of the markers CD73, CD90, and CD105 that correlates to the degree of differentiation of UCB-MSCs We suggest that CD90 can be used as a mark to follow the differentiation commitment degree of MSCs. Microarray results showed an up-regulation of genes related to the adipogenesis process and to redox metabolism in the adipocyte-like differentiated MSCs. Our study provides information on a group of parameters that may help with successful isolation and consequently with characterization of the differentiated/undifferentiated status of UCB-MSCs, which will be useful to monitor the differentiation commitment of UCB-MSC and further facilitate the application of those cells in stem-cell therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) is a leading cause of acute renal failure. The definition of the molecular mechanisms involved in renal IRI and counter protection promoted by ischemic pre-conditioning (IPC) or Hemin treatment is an important milestone that needs to be accomplished in this research area. We examined, through an oligonucleotide microarray protocol, the renal differential transcriptome profiles of mice submitted to IRI, IPC and Hemin treatment. After identifying the profiles of differentially expressed genes observed for each comparison, we carried out functional enrichment analysis to reveal transcripts putatively involved in potential relevant biological processes and signaling pathways. The most relevant processes found in these comparisons were stress, apoptosis, cell differentiation, angiogenesis, focal adhesion, ECM-receptor interaction, ion transport, angiogenesis, mitosis and cell cycle, inflammatory response, olfactory transduction and regulation of actin cytoskeleton. In addition, the most important overrepresented pathways were MAPK, ErbB, JAK/STAT, Toll and Nod like receptors, Angiotensin II, Arachidonic acid metabolism, Wnt and coagulation cascade. Also, new insights were gained about the underlying protection mechanisms against renal IRI promoted by IPC and Hemin treatment. Venn diagram analysis allowed us to uncover common and exclusively differentially expressed genes between these two protective maneuvers, underscoring potential common and exclusive biological functions regulated in each case. In summary, IPC exclusively regulated the expression of genes belonging to stress, protein modification and apoptosis, highlighting the role of IPC in controlling exacerbated stress response. Treatment with the Hmox1 inducer Hemin, in turn, exclusively regulated the expression of genes associated with cell differentiation, metabolic pathways, cell cycle, mitosis, development, regulation of actin cytoskeleton and arachidonic acid metabolism, suggesting a pleiotropic effect for Hemin. These findings improve the biological understanding of how the kidney behaves after IRI. They also illustrate some possible underlying molecular mechanisms involved in kidney protection observed with IPC or Hemin treatment maneuvers.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(11):e49569. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: About 5-10% of breast and ovarian carcinomas are hereditary and most of these result from germline mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. In women of Ashkenazi Jewish ascendance, up to 30% of breast and ovarian carcinomas may be attributable to mutations in these genes, where 3 founder mutations, c.68_69del (185delAG) and c.5266dup (5382insC) in BRCA1 and c.5946del (6174delT) in BRCA2, are commonly encountered. It has been suggested by some authors that screening for founder mutations should be undertaken in all Brazilian women with breast cancer. Thus, the goal of this study was to determine the prevalence of three founder mutations, commonly identified in Ashkenazi individuals in a sample of non-Ashkenazi cancer-affected Brazilian women with clearly defined risk factors for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome. Among 137 unrelated Brazilian women from HBOC families, the BRCA1c.5266dup mutation was identified in seven individuals (5%). This prevalence is similar to that encountered in non-Ashkenazi HBOC families in other populations. However, among patients with bilateral breast cancer, the frequency of c.5266dup was significantly higher when compared to patients with unilateral breast tumors (12.1% vs 1.2%, p = 0.023). The BRCA1 c.68_69del and BRCA2 c.5946del mutations did not occur in this sample. We conclude that screening non-Ashkenazi breast cancer-affected women from the ethnically heterogeneous Brazilian populations for the BRCA1 c.68_69del and BRCA2 c.5946del is not justified, and that screening for BRCA1c.5266dup should be considered in high risk patients, given its prevalence as a single mutation. In high-risk patients, a negative screening result should always be followed by comprehensive BRCA gene testing. The finding of a significantly higher frequency of BRCA1 c.5266dup in women with bilateral breast cancer, as well as existence of other as yet unidentified founder mutations in this population, should be further assessed in a larger well characterized high-risk cohort.
Hereditary Cancer in Clinical Practice 12/2011; 9:12. · 1.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Down syndrome (DS) immune phenotype is characterized by thymus hypotrophy, higher propensity to organ-specific autoimmune disorders, and higher susceptibility to infections, among other features. Considering that AIRE (autoimmune regulator) is located on 21q22.3, we analyzed protein and gene expression in surgically removed thymuses from 14 DS patients with congenital heart defects, who were compared with 42 age-matched controls with heart anomaly as an isolated malformation. Immunohistochemistry revealed 70.48 ± 49.59 AIRE-positive cells/mm(2) in DS versus 154.70 ± 61.16 AIRE-positive cells/mm(2) in controls (p < 0.0001), and quantitative PCR as well as DNA microarray data confirmed those results. The number of FOXP3-positive cells/mm(2) was equivalent in both groups. Thymus transcriptome analysis showed 407 genes significantly hypoexpressed in DS, most of which were related, according to network transcriptional analysis (FunNet), to cell division and to immunity. Immune response-related genes included those involved in 1) Ag processing and presentation (HLA-DQB1, HLA-DRB3, CD1A, CD1B, CD1C, ERAP) and 2) thymic T cell differentiation (IL2RG, RAG2, CD3D, CD3E, PRDX2, CDK6) and selection (SH2D1A, CD74). It is noteworthy that relevant AIRE-partner genes, such as TOP2A, LAMNB1, and NUP93, were found hypoexpressed in DNA microarrays and quantitative real-time PCR analyses. These findings on global thymic hypofunction in DS revealed molecular mechanisms underlying DS immune phenotype and strongly suggest that DS immune abnormalities are present since early development, rather than being a consequence of precocious aging, as widely hypothesized. Thus, DS should be considered as a non-monogenic primary immunodeficiency.
The Journal of Immunology 08/2011; 187(6):3422-30. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most frequent bone tumor in children and adolescents. Tumor antigens are encoded by genes that are expressed in many types of solid tumors but are silent in normal tissues, with the exception of placenta and male germ-line cells. It has been proposed that antigen tumors are potential tumor markers.
The premise of this study is that the identification of novel OS-associated transcripts will lead to a better understanding of the events involved in OS pathogenesis and biology.
We analyzed the expression of a panel of seven tumor antigens in OS samples to identify possible tumor markers. After selecting the tumor antigen expressed in most samples of the panel, gene expression profiling was used to identify osteosarcoma-associated molecular alterations. A microarray was employed because of its ability to accurately produce comprehensive expression profiles.
PRAME was identified as the tumor antigen expressed in most OS samples; it was detected in 68% of the cases. Microarray results showed differences in expression for genes functioning in cell signaling and adhesion as well as extracellular matrix-related genes, implying that such tumors could indeed differ in regard to distinct patterns of tumorigenesis.
The hypothesis inferred in this study was gathered mostly from available data concerning other kinds of tumors. There is circumstantial evidence that PRAME expression might be related to distinct patterns of tumorigenesis. Further investigation is needed to validate the differential expression of genes belonging to tumorigenesis-related pathways in PRAME-positive and PRAME-negative tumors.
Journal of Orthopaedic Science 06/2011; 16(4):458-66. · 0.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the number of genes known to be associated with bovine spermatogenesis has increased in the past few years, regulation of this biological process remains poorly understood. Therefore, discovery of new male fertility genetic markers is of great value for assisted selection in commercially important cattle breeds, e.g., Nelore, that have delayed reproductive maturation and low fertility rates. The objective of the present study was to identify sequences associated with spermatogenesis that could be used as fertility markers. With RT-PCR, the following five transcripts preferentially expressed in adult testis were detected: TET(656) detected only in adult testis; TET(868) and TET(515) expressed preferentially in adult testis but also detected in fetal gonads of both sexes; and TET(456) and TET(262,) expressed primarily in the testis, but also present in very low amounts in somatic tissues. Based on their homologies and expression profiles, we inferred that they had putative roles in spermatogenesis. Detection of sequences differentially expressed in testis, ovary, or both, was a useful approach for identifying new genes related to bovine spermatogenesis. The data reported here contributed to discovery of gene pathways involved in bovine spermatogenesis, with potential for prediction of fertility.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An online scheme to assign Stenotrophomonas isolates to genomic groups was developed using the multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA), which is based on the DNA sequencing of selected fragments of the housekeeping genes ATP synthase alpha subunit (atpA), the recombination repair protein (recA), the RNA polymerase alpha subunit (rpoA) and the excision repair beta subunit (uvrB). This MLSA-based scheme was validated using eight of the 10 Stenotrophomonas species that have been previously described. The environmental and nosocomial Stenotrophomonas strains were characterised using MLSA, 16S rRNA sequencing and DNA-DNA hybridisation (DDH) analyses. Strains of the same species were found to have greater than 95% concatenated sequence similarity and specific strains formed cohesive readily recognisable phylogenetic groups. Therefore, MLSA appeared to be an effective alternative methodology to amplified fragment length polymorphism fingerprint and DDH techniques. Strains of Stenotrophomonas can be readily assigned through the open database resource that was developed in the current study (www.steno.lncc.br/).
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 06/2011; 106(4):394-9. · 1.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of the present study was to determine the sperm enrichment with X-bearing spermatozoa, after one centrifugation in a Percoll or OptiPrep continuous density gradient, using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) of sperm DNA and resultant in vitro-produced bovine embryos by PCR. Frozen/thawed sperm was layered on density gradients and the tubes were centrifuged. Supernatants were gently aspirated and the sperm recovered from the bottom of the tubes. Cleavage and blastocyst rates were determined through in vitro production of embryos and PCR was performed to identify the embryos' genetic sex. A difference in blastocyst rate was found in the Percoll treatment compared to OptiPrep (P<0.05). The percentage of female embryos in the Percoll and OptiPrep groups was 62.0% and 47.1%, respectively. These results were confirmed by qPCR of spermatozoa DNA and underestimation was seen only in the Percoll group. It was possible to sexing sperm using simple approach.
Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia 06/2011; 63(3):544-551. · 0.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A Gram-negative, rod-shaped, non-spore-forming and nitrogen-fixing bacterium, designated ICB 89(T), was isolated from stems of a Brazilian sugar cane variety widely used in organic farming. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis revealed that strain ICB 89(T) belonged to the genus Stenotrophomonas and was most closely related to Stenotrophomonas maltophilia LMG 958(T), Stenotrophomonas rhizophila LMG 22075(T), Stenotrophomonas nitritireducens L2(T), [Pseudomonas] geniculata ATCC 19374(T), [Pseudomonas] hibiscicola ATCC 19867(T) and [Pseudomonas] beteli ATCC 19861(T). DNA-DNA hybridization together with chemotaxonomic data and biochemical characteristics allowed the differentiation of strain ICB 89(T) from its nearest phylogenetic neighbours. Therefore, strain ICB 89(T) represents a novel species, for which the name Stenotrophomonas pavanii sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is ICB 89(T) ( = CBMAI 564(T) = LMG 25348(T)).
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SYSTEMATIC AND EVOLUTIONARY MICROBIOLOGY 04/2011; 61(Pt 4):926-31. · 2.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prolonged febrile seizures constitute an initial precipitating injury (IPI) commonly associated with refractory mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (RMTLE). In order to investigate IPI influence on the transcriptional phenotype underlying RMTLE we comparatively analyzed the transcriptomic signatures of CA3 explants surgically obtained from RMTLE patients with (FS) or without (NFS) febrile seizure history. Texture analyses on MRI images of dentate gyrus were conducted in a subset of surgically removed sclerotic hippocampi for identifying IPI-associated histo-radiological alterations.
DNA microarray analysis revealed that CA3 global gene expression differed significantly between FS and NFS subgroups. An integrative functional genomics methodology was used for characterizing the relations between GO biological processes themes and constructing transcriptional interaction networks defining the FS and NFS transcriptomic signatures and its major gene-gene links (hubs). Co-expression network analysis showed that: i) CA3 transcriptomic profiles differ according to the IPI; ii) FS distinctive hubs are mostly linked to glutamatergic signalization while NFS hubs predominantly involve GABAergic pathways and neurotransmission modulation. Both networks have relevant hubs related to nervous system development, what is consistent with cell genesis activity in the hippocampus of RMTLE patients. Moreover, two candidate genes for therapeutic targeting came out from this analysis: SSTR1, a relevant common hub in febrile and afebrile transcriptomes, and CHRM3, due to its putative role in epilepsy susceptibility development. MRI texture analysis allowed an overall accuracy of 90% for pixels correctly classified as belonging to FS or NFS groups. Histological examination revealed that granule cell loss was significantly higher in FS hippocampi.
CA3 transcriptional signatures and dentate gyrus morphology fairly correlate with IPI in RMTLE, indicating that FS-RMTLE represents a distinct phenotype. These findings may shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying refractory epilepsy phenotypes and contribute to the discovery of novel specific drug targets for therapeutic interventions.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(10):e26268. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC) and Shigella spp cause bacillary dysentery in humans by invading and multiplying within epithelial cells of the colonic mucosa. Although EIEC and Shigella share many genetic and biochemical similarities, the illness caused by Shigella is more severe. Thus, genomic and structure-function molecular studies on the biological interactions of these invasive enterobacteria with eukaryotic cells have focused on Shigella rather than EIEC. Here we comparatively studied the interactions of EIEC and of Shigella flexneri with cultured J774 macrophage-like cells. We evaluated several phenotypes: (i) bacterial escape from macrophages after phagocytosis, (ii) macrophage death induced by EIEC and S. flexneri, (iii) macrophage cytokine expression in response to infection and (iv) expression of plasmidial (pINV) virulence genes. The results showed that S. flexneri caused macrophage killing earlier and more intensely than EIEC. Both pathogens induced significant macrophage production of TNF, IL-1 and IL-10 after 7 h of infection. Transcription levels of the gene invasion plasmid antigen-C were lower in EIEC than in S. flexneri throughout the course of the infection; this could explain the diminished virulence of EIEC compared to S. flexneri.
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 09/2010; 105(6):786-91. · 1.36 Impact Factor