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Thomas C.,CRP Sante
Frontiers in Plant Science | Year: 2012

Progress in live-cell imaging of the cytoskeleton has significantly extended our knowledge about the organization and dynamics of actin filaments near the plasma membrane of plant cells. Noticeably, two populations of filamentous structures can be distinguished. On the one hand, fine actin filaments which exhibit an extremely dynamic behavior basically characterized by fast polymerization and prolific severing events, a process referred to as actin stochastic dynamics. On the other hand, thick actin bundles which are composed of several filaments and which are comparatively more stable although they constantly remodel as well. There is evidence that the actin cytoskeleton plays critical roles in trafficking and signaling at both the cell cortex and organelle periphery but the exact contribution of actin bundles remains unclear. A common view is that actin bundles provide the long-distance tracks used by myosin motors to deliver their cargo to growing regions and accordingly play a particularly important role in cell polarization. However, several studies support that actin bundles are more than simple passive highways and display multiple and dynamic roles in the regulation of many processes, such as cell elongation, polar auxin transport, stomatal and chloroplast movement, and defense against pathogens. The list of identified plant actin-bundling proteins is ever expanding, supporting that plant cells shape structurally and functionally different actin bundles. Here I review the most recently characterized actin-bundling proteins, with a particular focus on those potentially relevant to membrane trafficking and/or signaling. © 2012 Thomas.

Targeted MS analyses based on selected reaction monitoring (SRM) has enabled significant achievements in proteomic quantification, such that its application to clinical studies has augured great advancements for life sciences. The approach has been challenged by the complexity of clinical samples that affects the selectivity of measurements, in many cases limiting analytical performances to a larger extent than expected. This Personal Perspective discusses some insight to better comprehend the mismatch between the often underestimated sample complexity and the selectivity of SRM measurements performed on a triple quadrupole instrument. The implications for the design and evaluation of SRM assays are discussed and illustrated with selected examples, providing a baseline for a more critical use of the technique in the context of clinical samples and to evaluate alternative methods. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Steinmetz A.,CRP Sante
Anti-cancer agents in medicinal chemistry | Year: 2014

We have studied the anti-cancer activities of antofine N-oxide isolated and purified from the medicinal plant Cynanchum vincetoxicum. Antofine N-oxide displayed a strong inhibitory effect on several solid tumor cell lines (glioblastoma, breast carcinoma and lung carcinoma) and on a T-cell leukemia cell line. Remarkably, its cytotoxic effect was considerably weaker in non-cancer cells. Antofine N-oxide was found to inhibit proliferation of the solid tumor cells whereas it caused apoptotic cell death in the leukemia cells. A microarray analysis after a short treatment revealed that the number of differentially expressed genes was considerably higher in solid tumor than in leukemia cells. Up-regulated genes in the three solid tumor cell lines include genes related to TNFα signaling, of which TNFα was among the most significantly induced. A functional analysis revealed that TNFR1 signaling was most likely activated in the solid tumor cells. The increased mRNA levels of several genes of this pathway (namely TNFα, TNFAIP3 and BIRC3) were confirmed by real-time quantitative PCR after different treatment durations. Finally a slight inhibition of NFκB-mediated transcription was observed in the same cells. Together our results suggest that inhibition of cell proliferation in solid tumor cells essentially occurs through TNFα signaling whereas this pathway is not activated in leukemia cells. Apoptotic cell death in the latter is induced by a distinct yet unknown pathway.

Senn S.,CRP Sante
Statistics in Medicine | Year: 2013

I consider seven misunderstandings that may be encountered about the nature, purpose and properties of randomisation in clinical trials. Some concern the practical realities of clinical research on patients. Others are to do with the value and purpose of balance. Still others are to do with a confusion about the role of conditioning in valid statistical inference. I consider a simple game of chance involving two dice to illustrate some points about inference and then consider the seven misunderstandings in turn. I conclude that although one should not make a fetish of randomisation, when proposing alternatives to randomisation in clinical trials, one should be very careful to be precise about the exact nature of the alternative being considered if one is to avoid the danger of underestimating the advantages that randomisation can offer. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Azuaje F.,CRP Sante
Cardiovascular Research | Year: 2013

This article introduces fundamental concepts to guide the analysis and interpretation of drug-target interaction networks. An overview of the generation and integration of interaction networks is followed by key strategies for extracting biologically meaningful information. The article highlights how this information can enable novel translational and clinically motivated applications. Important advances for the discovery of new treatments and for the detection of adverse drug effects are discussed. Examples of applications and findings originating from cardiovascular research are presented. The review ends with a discussion of crucial challenges and opportunities. © 2012 Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author 2012.

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