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Muller P.A.J.,Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit | Vousden K.H.,CR UK Beatson Institute
Cancer Cell | Year: 2014

Many different types of cancer show a high incidence of TP53 mutations, leading to the expression of mutant p53 proteins. There is growing evidence that these mutant p53s have both lost wild-type p53 tumor suppressor activity and gained functions that help to contribute to malignant progression. Understanding the functions of mutant p53 will help in the development of new therapeutic approaches that may be useful in a broad range of cancer types. © 2014 The Authors.

The safety of chemicals, drugs, novel foods and genetically modified crops is often tested using repeat-dose sub-acute toxicity tests in rats or mice. It is important to avoid misinterpretations of the results as these tests are used to help determine safe exposure levels in humans. Treated and control groups are compared for a range of haematological, biochemical and other biomarkers which may indicate tissue damage or other adverse effects. However, the statistical analysis and presentation of such data poses problems due to the large number of statistical tests which are involved. Often, it is not clear whether a ''statistically significant'' effect is real or a false positive (type I error) due to sampling variation. The author's conclusions appear to be reached somewhat subjectively by the pattern of statistical significances, discounting those which they judge to be type I errors and ignoring any biomarker where the p-value is greater than p50.05. However, by using standardised effect sizes (SESs) a range of graphical methods and an over,all assessment of the mean absolute response can be made. The approach is an extension, not a replacement of existing methods. It is intended to assist toxicologists and regulators in the interpretation of the results. Here, the SES analysis has been applied to data from nine published sub-acute toxicity tests in order to compare the findings with those of the author's. Line plots, box plots and bar plots show the pattern of response. Dose-response relationships are easily seen. A ''bootstrap'' test compares the mean absolute differences across dose groups. In four out of seven papers where the no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) was estimated by the authors, it was set too high according to the bootstrap test, suggesting that possible toxicity is under-estimated. ©2014 Michael F. W.

Davies J.W.,Royal Infirmary | Hainsworth A.H.,St Georges, University of London | Hainsworth A.H.,De Montfort University | Guerin C.J.,Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit | Lambert D.G.,Royal Infirmary
British Journal of Anaesthesia | Year: 2010

Background. Transient receptor potential vanilloid subtype 1 (TRPV1) receptor is a primary pain-sensing relay at peripheral sensory nerve endings and is also widespread in the brain, where it is implicated in neurodegeneration. Previous studies of TRPV1 neurotoxicity have utilized heterogeneous receptor populations, non-selective ligands, or non-neuronal cell types. Here, we explored the pharmacology of TRPV1-induced cytotoxicity in a homogeneous, neurone-like cellular environment.Methods. Cell death was examined in a human neurone-like cell line, stably expressing recombinant human TRPV1. Cytotoxicity was quantified in terms of nuclear morphology and mitochondrial complex II activity. Immunocytochemical markers of apoptotic cell death were also examined.Results. The TRPV1-selective agonist capsaicin, and the endovanilloids anandamide and N-arachidonoyl-dopamine (NADA), induced TRPV1-dependent delayed cell death in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Capsaicin exposure time was significantly correlated with potency (r2=0.91, P=0.01). Release of cytochrome c from mitochondria, activation of caspase-3, and condensed nuclear chromatin were evident 6 h after capsaicin exposure, but cytotoxicity was unaffected by a pan-caspase inhibitor (zVAD-fmk, 50 μM).Conclusions. We conclude that capsaicin, anandamide, and NADA can initiate TRPV1-dependent delayed cell death in neurone-like cells. This is an apoptosis-like process, but independent of caspase activity. © The Author [2010]. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Journal of Anaesthesia. All rights reserved.

Spriggs K.A.,University of Nottingham | Bushell M.,Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit | Willis A.E.,Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit
Molecular Cell | Year: 2010

A number of stresses, including nutrient stress, temperature shock, DNA damage, and hypoxia, can lead to changes in gene expression patterns caused by a general shutdown and reprogramming of protein synthesis. Each of these stress conditions results in selective recruitment of ribosomes to mRNAs whose protein products are required for responding to stress. This recruitment is regulated by elements within the 5′ and 3′ untranslated regions of mRNAs, including internal ribosome entry segments, upstream open reading frames, and microRNA target sites. These elements can act singly or in combination and are themselves regulated by trans-acting factors. Translational reprogramming can result in increased life span, and conversely, deregulation of these translation pathways is associated with disease including cancer and diabetes. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Jackson T.J.,Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit | Jackson T.J.,University of Nottingham | Spriggs R.V.,Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit | Burgoyne N.J.,Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit | And 2 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2014

Background: Next-generation sequencing does not yield fully unbiased estimates for read abundance, which may impact on the conclusions that can be drawn from sequencing data. The ligation step in RNA sequencing library generation is a known source of bias, motivating developments in enzyme technology and library construction protocols. We present the first comparison of the standard duplex adaptor protocol supplied by Life Technologies for use on the Ion Torrent PGM with an alternate single adaptor approach involving CircLigase (CircLig protocol).A correlation between over-representation in sequenced libraries and degree of secondary structure has been reported previously, therefore we also investigated whether bias could be reduced by ligation with an enzyme that functions at a temperature not permissive for such structure.Results: A pool of small RNA fragments of known composition was converted into a sequencing library using one of three protocols and sequenced on an Ion Torrent PGM. The CircLig protocol resulted in less over-representation of specific sequences than the standard protocol. Over-represented sequences are more likely to be predicted to have secondary structure and to co-fold with adaptor sequences. However, use of the thermostable ligase Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum RNA ligase K97A (Mth K97A) was not sufficient to reduce bias.Conclusions: The single adaptor CircLigase-based approach significantly reduces, but does not eliminate, bias in Ion Torrent data. Ligases that function at temperatures to remove the possible influence of secondary structure on library generation may be of value, although Mth K97A is not effective in this case. © 2014 Jackson et al.

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