Authors: Bornstein MH, Putnick DL
Journal: Dev Psychol. 2012 Mar;48(2):477-91
The stability of language across childhood is traditionally assessed by exploring longitudinal relations between individual language measures. However, language encompasses many domains and varies with different sources (child speech, parental report, experimenter assessment). This study evaluated individual variation in multiple age-appropriate measures of child language derived from multiple sources and stability between their latent variables in 192 young children across more than 2 years. Structural equation modeling demonstrated the loading of multiple measures of child language from different sources on single latent variables of language at ages 20 months and 48 months. A large stability coefficient (r = .84) obtained between the 2 language latent variables. This stability obtained even when accounting for family socioeconomic status, maternal verbal intelligence, education, speech, tendency to respond in a socially desirable fashion, and child social competence. Stability was also equivalent for children in diverse childcare situations and for girls and boys. Across age, from the beginning of language acquisition to just before school entry, aggregating multiple age-appropriate methods and measures at each age and multiple reporters, children show a strong stability of individual differences in general language development.
Authors: Attfield MD, Schleiff PL, Lubin JH, Blair A, Stewart PA, Vermeulen R, Coble JB, Silverman DT
Journal: J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012 Mar 5
Current information points to an association between diesel exhaust exposure and lung cancer and other mortality outcomes, but uncertainties remain. We undertook a cohort mortality study of 12 315 workers exposed to diesel exhaust at eight US non-metal mining facilities. Historical measurements and surrogate exposure data, along with study industrial hygiene measurements, were used to derive retrospective quantitative estimates of respirable elemental carbon (REC) exposure for each worker. Standardized mortality ratios and internally adjusted Cox proportional hazard models were used to evaluate REC exposure-associated risk. Analyses were both unlagged and lagged to exclude recent exposure such as that occurring in the 15 years directly before the date of death. Standardized mortality ratios for lung cancer (1.26, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.09 to 1.44), esophageal cancer (1.83, 95% CI = 1.16 to 2.75), and pneumoconiosis (12.20, 95% CI = 6.82 to 20.12) were elevated in the complete cohort compared with state-based mortality rates, but all-cause, bladder cancer, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease mortality were not. Differences in risk by worker location (ever-underground vs surface only) initially obscured a positive diesel exhaust exposure-response relationship with lung cancer in the complete cohort, although it became apparent after adjustment for worker location. The hazard ratios (HRs) for lung cancer mortality increased with increasing 15-year lagged cumulative REC exposure for ever-underground workers with 5 or more years of tenure to a maximum in the 640 to less than 1280 μg/m(3)-y category compared with the reference category (0 to <20 μg/m(3)-y; 30 deaths compared with eight deaths of the total of 93; HR = 5.01, 95% CI = 1.97 to 12.76) but declined at higher exposures. Average REC intensity hazard ratios rose to a plateau around 32 μg/m(3). Elevated hazard ratios and evidence of exposure-response were also seen for surface workers. The association between diesel exhaust exposure and lung cancer risk remained after inclusion of other work-related potentially confounding exposures in the models and were robust to alternative approaches to exposure derivation. The study findings provide further evidence that exposure to diesel exhaust increases risk of mortality from lung cancer and have important public health implications.
Authors: Silverman DT, Samanic CM, Lubin JH, Blair AE, Stewart PA, Vermeulen R, Coble JB, Rothman N, Schleiff PL, Travis WD, Ziegler RG, Wacholder S, Attfield MD
Journal: J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012 Mar 5
Most studies of the association between diesel exhaust exposure and lung cancer suggest a modest, but consistent, increased risk. However, to our knowledge, no study to date has had quantitative data on historical diesel exposure coupled with adequate sample size to evaluate the exposure-response relationship between diesel exhaust and lung cancer. Our purpose was to evaluate the relationship between quantitative estimates of exposure to diesel exhaust and lung cancer mortality after adjustment for smoking and other potential confounders. We conducted a nested case-control study in a cohort of 12 315 workers in eight non-metal mining facilities, which included 198 lung cancer deaths and 562 incidence density-sampled control subjects. For each case subject, we selected up to four control subjects, individually matched on mining facility, sex, race/ethnicity, and birth year (within 5 years), from all workers who were alive before the day the case subject died. We estimated diesel exhaust exposure, represented by respirable elemental carbon (REC), by job and year, for each subject, based on an extensive retrospective exposure assessment at each mining facility. We conducted both categorical and continuous regression analyses adjusted for cigarette smoking and other potential confounding variables (eg, history of employment in high-risk occupations for lung cancer and a history of respiratory disease) to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Analyses were both unlagged and lagged to exclude recent exposure such as that occurring in the 15 years directly before the date of death (case subjects)/reference date (control subjects). All statistical tests were two-sided. We observed statistically significant increasing trends in lung cancer risk with increasing cumulative REC and average REC intensity. Cumulative REC, lagged 15 years, yielded a statistically significant positive gradient in lung cancer risk overall (P(trend) = .001); among heavily exposed workers (ie, above the median of the top quartile [REC ≥ 1005 μg/m(3)-y]), risk was approximately three times greater (OR = 3.20, 95% CI = 1.33 to 7.69) than that among workers in the lowest quartile of exposure. Among never smokers, odd ratios were 1.0, 1.47 (95% CI = 0.29 to 7.50), and 7.30 (95% CI = 1.46 to 36.57) for workers with 15-year lagged cumulative REC tertiles of less than 8, 8 to less than 304, and 304 μg/m(3)-y or more, respectively. We also observed an interaction between smoking and 15-year lagged cumulative REC (P(interaction) = .086) such that the effect of each of these exposures was attenuated in the presence of high levels of the other. Our findings provide further evidence that diesel exhaust exposure may cause lung cancer in humans and may represent a potential public health burden.
Authors: Hirsch D, Camps J, Varma S, Kemmerling R, Stapleton M, Ried T, Gaiser T
Journal: Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2012 Feb 15. doi: 10.1002/gcc.21937. [Epub ahead of print]
To identify the genetic drivers of colorectal tumorigenesis, we applied array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) to 13 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples of early, localized human colon adenocarcinomas arising in high-grade adenomas (so-called "malignant polyps"). These lesions are small and hence the amount of DNA is limited. Additionally, the quality of DNA is compromised due to the fragmentation as a consequence of formalin fixation. To overcome these problems, we optimized a newly developed isothermal whole genome amplification system (NuGEN Ovation® WGA FFPE System). Starting with 100 ng of FFPE DNA, the amplification system produced 4.01 ± 0.29 μg (mean ± standard deviation) of DNA. The excellent quality of amplified DNA was further indicated by a high signal-to-noise ratio and a low derivative log(2) ratio spread. Both, the amount of amplified DNA and aCGH performance were independent of the age of the FFPE blocks and the associated degradation of the extracted DNA. We observed losses of chromosome arms 5q and 18q in the adenoma components of the malignant polyp samples, while the embedded early carcinomas revealed losses of 8p, 17p, and 18, and gains of 7, 13, and 20. Aberrations detected in the adenoma components were invariably maintained in the embedded carcinomas. This approach demonstrates that using isothermally whole genome amplified FFPE DNA is technically suitable for aCGH. In addition to demonstrating the clonal origin of the adenoma and carcinoma part within a malignant polyp, the gain of chromosome arm 20q was an indicator for progression from adenoma to carcinoma.
Authors: Rajesh M, Bátkai S, Kechrid M, Mukhopadhyay P, Lee WS, Horváth B, Holovac E, Cinar R, Liaudet L, Mackie K, Haskó G, Pacher P
Journal: Diabetes. 2012 Feb 7. [Epub ahead of print]
Endocannabinoids and cannabinoid 1 (CB(1)) receptors have been implicated in cardiac dysfunction, inflammation, and cell death associated with various forms of shock, heart failure, and atherosclerosis, in addition to their recognized role in the development of various cardiovascular risk factors in obesity/metabolic syndrome and diabetes. In this study, we explored the role of CB(1) receptors in myocardial dysfunction, inflammation, oxidative/nitrative stress, cell death, and interrelated signaling pathways, using a mouse model of type 1 diabetic cardiomyopathy. Diabetic cardiomyopathy was characterized by increased myocardial endocannabinoid anandamide levels, oxidative/nitrative stress, activation of p38/Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), enhanced inflammation (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, cyclooxygenase 2, intracellular adhesion molecule 1, and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1), increased expression of CB(1), advanced glycation end product (AGE) and angiotensin II type 1 receptors (receptor for advanced glycation end product [RAGE], angiotensin II receptor type 1 [AT(1)R]), p47(phox) NADPH oxidase subunit, β-myosin heavy chain isozyme switch, accumulation of AGE, fibrosis, and decreased expression of sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase (SERCA2a). Pharmacological inhibition or genetic deletion of CB(1) receptors attenuated the diabetes-induced cardiac dysfunction and the above-mentioned pathological alterations. Activation of CB(1) receptors by endocannabinoids may play an important role in the pathogenesis of diabetic cardiomyopathy by facilitating MAPK activation, AT(1)R expression/signaling, AGE accumulation, oxidative/nitrative stress, inflammation, and fibrosis. Conversely, CB(1) receptor inhibition may be beneficial in the treatment of diabetic cardiovascular complications.
Authors: Li M, He Y, Dubois W, Wu X, Shi J, Huang J
Journal: Mol Cell. 2012 Feb 29
p53 is critical in regulating the differentiation of ES and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Here, we report a whole-genome study of p53-mediated DNA damage signaling in mouse ES cells. Systems analyses reveal that binding of p53 at the promoter region significantly correlates with gene activation but not with repression. Unexpectedly, we identify a regulatory mode for p53-mediated repression through interfering with distal enhancer activity. Importantly, many ES cell-enriched core transcription factors are p53-repressed genes. Further analyses demonstrate that p53-repressed genes are functionally associated with ES/iPS cell status while p53-activated genes are linked to differentiation. p53-activated genes and -repressed genes also display distinguishable features of expression levels and epigenetic markers. Upon DNA damage, p53 regulates the self-renewal and pluripotency of ES cells. Together, these results support a model where, in response to DNA damage, p53 affects the status of ES cells through activating differentiation-associated genes and repressing ES cell-enriched genes.
Authors: Xekouki P, Hatch MM, Lin L, Rodrigo DA, Azevedo M, Sierra MD, Levy I, Saloustros E, Moraitis A, Horvath A, Kebebew E, Hoffman D, Stratakis CA
Journal: Endocr Relat Cancer. 2012 Feb 9. [Epub ahead of print]
KCNJ5 mutations were recently described in primary hyperaldosteronism (PH or Conn syndrome). The frequency of these mutations in PH and the way KCNJ5 defects cause disease remain unknown.A total of 53 patients with PH have been seen at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) over the last 12 years. Their peripheral and tumor DNA (the latter from 16 that were operated) was screened for KCNJ5 mutations; functional studies of the identified defects were done after transient transfection. Only 2 mutations were identified, both in the tumor DNA only. There were no germline sequencing defects in any of the patients except for known synonymous variants of the KCNJ5 gene. One mutation was the previously described c.G451C alteration; the other was a novel one in the same codon: c.G451A; both lead to the same amino acid substitution (G151R) in the KCNJ5 protein. Functional studies confirmed previous findings: both mutations caused loss of channel selectivity and a positive shift in the reversal potential. The KCNJ5 protein was strongly expressed in the zona glomerulosa of normal adrenal glands but showed variable expression in the APAs with mutation and without.The rate of KCNJ5 mutations among patients with PH and/or their tumors is substantially lower than what was previously reported. The G151R amino acid substitution appears to be the only one so far detected in PH, despite additional nucleotide changes. The mutation causes loss of this potassium channel's selectivity and may assist in the design of new therapies for PH.
Authors: García M, Cooper A, Shi W, Bornmann W, Carrion R, Kalman D, Nabel GJ
Journal: Sci Transl Med. 2012 Feb 29;4(123):123ra24. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3003500
Ebola virus causes a fulminant infection in humans resulting in diffuse bleeding, vascular instability, hypotensive shock, and often death. Because of its high mortality and ease of transmission from human to human, Ebola virus remains a biological threat for which effective preventive and therapeutic interventions are needed. An understanding of the mechanisms of Ebola virus pathogenesis is critical for developing antiviral therapeutics. Here, we report that productive replication of Ebola virus is modulated by the c-Abl1 tyrosine kinase. Release of Ebola virus-like particles (VLPs) in a cell culture cotransfection system was inhibited by c-Abl1-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) or by Abl-specific kinase inhibitors and required tyrosine phosphorylation of the Ebola matrix protein VP40. Expression of c-Abl1 stimulated an increase in phosphorylation of tyrosine 13 (Y(13)) of VP40, and mutation of Y(13) to alanine decreased the release of Ebola VLPs. Productive replication of the highly pathogenic Ebola virus Zaire strain was inhibited by c-Abl1-specific siRNAs or by the Abl-family inhibitor nilotinib by up to four orders of magnitude. These data indicate that c-Abl1 regulates budding or release of filoviruses through a mechanism involving phosphorylation of VP40. This step of the virus life cycle therefore may represent a target for antiviral therapy.
Authors: Noinaj N, Easley NC, Oke M, Mizuno N, Gumbart J, Boura E, Steere AN, Zak O, Aisen P, Tajkhorshid E, Evans RW, Gorringe AR, Mason AB, Steven AC, Buchanan SK
Journal: Nature. 2012 Feb 12. doi: 10.1038/nature10823. [Epub ahead of print]
Neisseria are obligate human pathogens causing bacterial meningitis, septicaemia and gonorrhoea. Neisseria require iron for survival and can extract it directly from human transferrin for transport across the outer membrane. The transport system consists of TbpA, an integral outer membrane protein, and TbpB, a co-receptor attached to the cell surface; both proteins are potentially important vaccine and therapeutic targets. Two key questions driving Neisseria research are how human transferrin is specifically targeted, and how the bacteria liberate iron from transferrin at neutral pH. To address these questions, we solved crystal structures of the TbpA-transferrin complex and of the corresponding co-receptor TbpB. We characterized the TbpB-transferrin complex by small-angle X-ray scattering and the TbpA-TbpB-transferrin complex by electron microscopy. Our studies provide a rational basis for the specificity of TbpA for human transferrin, show how TbpA promotes iron release from transferrin, and elucidate how TbpB facilitates this process.
Authors: Bolton KL, Chenevix-Trench G, Goh C, Sadetzki S, Ramus SJ, Karlan BY, Lambrechts D, Despierre E, Barrowdale D, McGuffog L, Healey S, Easton DF, Sinilnikova O, Benítez J, García MJ, Neuhausen S, Gail MH, Hartge P, Peock S, Frost D, Evans DG, Eeles R, Godwin AK, Daly MB, Kwong A, Ma ES, Lázaro C, Blanco I, Montagna M, D'Andrea E, Nicoletto MO, Johnatty SE, Kjær SK, Jensen A, Høgdall E, Goode EL, Fridley BL, Loud JT, Greene MH, Mai PL, Chetrit A, Lubin F, Hirsh-Yechezkel G, Glendon G, Andrulis IL, Toland AE, Senter L, Gore ME, Gourley C, Michie CO, Song H, Tyrer J, Whittemore AS, McGuire V, Sieh W, Kristoffersson U, Olsson H, Borg Å, Levine DA, Steele L, Beattie MS, Chan S, Nussbaum RL, Moysich KB, Gross J, Cass I, Walsh C, Li AJ, Leuchter R, Gordon O, Garcia-Closas M, Gayther SA, Chanock SJ, Antoniou AC, Pharoah PD; EMBRACE; kConFab Investigators; Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network
Journal: JAMA. 2012 Jan 25;307(4):382-90.
CONTEXT: Approximately 10% of women with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) carry deleterious germline mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2. A recent article suggested that BRCA2-related EOC was associated with an improved prognosis, but the effect of BRCA1 remains unclear.
OBJECTIVE: To characterize the survival of BRCA carriers with EOC compared with noncarriers and to determine whether BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers show similar survival patterns.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A pooled analysis of 26 observational studies on the survival of women with ovarian cancer, which included data from 1213 EOC cases with pathogenic germline mutations in BRCA1 (n = 909) or BRCA2 (n = 304) and from 2666 noncarriers recruited and followed up at variable times between 1987 and 2010 (the median year of diagnosis was 1998).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Five-year overall mortality.
RESULTS: The 5-year overall survival was 36% (95% CI, 34%-38%) for noncarriers, 44% (95% CI, 40%-48%) for BRCA1 carriers, and 52% (95% CI, 46%-58%) for BRCA2 carriers. After adjusting for study and year of diagnosis, BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers showed a more favorable survival than noncarriers (for BRCA1: hazard ratio [HR], 0.78; 95% CI, 0.68-0.89; P < .001; and for BRCA2: HR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.50-0.76; P < .001). These survival differences remained after additional adjustment for stage, grade, histology, and age at diagnosis (for BRCA1: HR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.64-0.84; P < .001; and for BRCA2: HR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.39-0.61; P < .001). The BRCA1 HR estimate was significantly different from the HR estimated in the adjusted model (P for heterogeneity = .003).
CONCLUSION: Among patients with invasive EOC, having a germline mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 was associated with improved 5-year overall survival. BRCA2 carriers had the best prognosis.