National Institute of Environmental Health and Safety

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Fenton S.E.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Reed C.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Newbold R.R.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Newbold R.R.,National Institute of Environmental Health and Safety
Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology | Year: 2012

Puberty is an important transition that enables reproduction of mammalian species. Precocious puberty, specifically early thelarche (the appearance of breast "buds"), in girls of multiple ethnic backgrounds is a major health problem in the United States and other countries. The cause for a continued decrease in the age of breast development in girls is unknown, but environmental factors likely play a major role. Laboratory and epidemiological studies have identified several individual environmental factors that affect breast development, but further progress is needed. Current research needs include increased attention to and recording of prenatal and neonatal environmental exposures, testing of marketed chemicals for effects on the mammary gland, and understanding of the mammary glandspecific mechanisms that are altered by chemicals. Such research is required to halt the increasing trend toward puberty at earlier ages. © 2012 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Bienstock R.J.,National Institute of Environmental Health and Safety
Current Pharmaceutical Design | Year: 2012

Novel discoveries in molecular disease pathways within the cell, combined with increasing information regarding protein binding partners has lead to a new approach in drug discovery. There is interest in designing drugs to modulate protein-protein interactions as opposed to solely targeting the catalytic active site within a single enzyme or protein. There are many challenges in this new approach to drug discovery, particularly since the protein-protein interface has a larger surface area, can comprise a discontinuous epitope, and is more amorphous and less well defined than the typical drug design target, a small contained enzyme-binding pocket. Computational methods to predict modes of protein-protein interaction, as well as protein interface hot spots, have garnered significant interest, in order to facilitate the development of drugs to successfully disrupt and inhibit protein-protein interactions. This review summarizes some current methods available for computational protein-protein docking, as well as tabulating some examples of the successful design of antagonists and small molecule inhibitors for protein-protein interactions. Several of these drugs are now beginning to appear in the clinic. © 2012 Bentham Science Publishers.


Patent
INC Research, Emory University, National Institute of Environmental Health, Safety, Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System and University of Oregon | Date: 2012-10-19

The present invention relates to methods of treatment for Parkinson Disease (PD) in a person by identifying gene variants which may indicate a more favorable response to specific medicaments, thereby allowing for personalized or individualized treatment. The present invention relates to a method of screening for a genetic predisposition to PD in a person. The present invention is also directed to a method of testing a person for the presence of particular gene variants, wherein the presence of a gene variant indicates a higher predisposition to PD, and the absence of a gene variant indicates a lower predisposition to PD, compared to a control sample. The present invention further relates to methods and kits for treating, or inhibiting the development of, PD in a person. The present invention is also directed to a method of identifying the heritage of an individual based on the genetic profile of the individual.


Wilcox A.J.,National Institute of Environmental Health and Safety | Weinberg C.R.,National Institute of Environmental Health and Safety | Basso O.,McGill University
American Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2011

Preterm delivery is a powerful predictor of newborn morbidity and mortality. Such problems are due to not only immaturity but also the pathologic factors (such as infection) that cause early delivery. The understanding of these underlying pathologic factors is incomplete at best. To the extent that unmeasured pathologies triggering preterm delivery also directly harm the fetus, they will confound the association of early delivery with neonatal outcomes. This, in turn, complicates studies of newborn outcomes more generally. When investigators analyze the association of risk factors with neonatal outcomes, adjustment for gestational age as a mediating variable will lead to bias. In the language of directed acyclic graphs, gestational age is a collider. The theoretical basis for colliders has been well described, and gestational age has recently been acknowledged as a possible collider. However, the impact of this problem, as well as its implications for perinatal research, has not been fully appreciated. The authors discuss the evidence for confounding and present simulations to explore how much bias is produced by adjustments for gestational age when estimating direct effects. Under plausible conditions, frank reversal of exposure-outcome associations can occur. When the purpose is causal inference, there are few settings in which adjustment for gestational age can be justified. © 2011 The Author.


Copeland W.C.,National Institute of Environmental Health and Safety
Sub-cellular biochemistry | Year: 2010

Since mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) have been shown to be a cause of many mitochondrial diseases as well as aging, it is important to understand the origin of these mutations and how replication proteins modulate this process. DNA polymerase gamma (pol gamma) is the polymerase that is responsible for replication and repair of mtDNA. Pol gamma has three main roles in mtDNA maintenance and mutagenesis. As the only known DNA polymerase in mitochondria, pol gamma is required for all replication and repair functions and is the main source of errors produced in human mtDNA. Pol gamma is also sensitive to a host of antiviral nucleoside analogs used to treat HIV-1 infections, which can cause an induced mitochondrial toxicity. Finally, the gene for pol gamma, POLG, is a genetic locus for several mitochondrial disease with over 150 genetic mutations currently identified.


Copeland W.C.,National Institute of Environmental Health and Safety
Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology | Year: 2012

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is replicated by the DNA polymerase g in concert with accessory proteins such as the mtDNA helicase, single stranded DNA binding protein, topoisomerase, and initiating factors. Nucleotide precursors for mtDNA replication arise from the mitochondrial salvage pathway originating from transport of nucleosides, or alternatively from cytoplasmic reduction of ribonucleotides. Defects in mtDNA replication or nucleotide metabolism can cause mitochondrial genetic diseases due to mtDNA deletions, point mutations, or depletion which ultimately cause loss of oxidative phosphorylation. These genetic diseases include mtDNA depletion syndromes such as Alpers or early infantile hepatocerebral syndromes, and mtDNA deletion disorders, such as progressive external ophthalmoplegia (PEO), ataxia-neuropathy, or mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy (MNGIE). This review focuses on our current knowledge of genetic defects of mtDNA replication (POLG, POLG2, C10orf2) and nucleotide metabolism (TYMP, TK2, DGOUK, and RRM2B) that cause instability of mtDNA and mitochondrial disease. © 2012 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.


Roberts S.A.,National Institute of Environmental Health and Safety | Gordenin D.A.,National Institute of Environmental Health and Safety
BioEssays | Year: 2014

The gain of a selective advantage in cancer as well as the establishment of complex traits during evolution require multiple genetic alterations, but how these mutations accumulate over time is currently unclear. There is increasing evidence that a mutator phenotype perpetuates the development of many human cancers. While in some cases the increased mutation rate is the result of a genetic disruption of DNA repair and replication or environmental exposures, other evidence suggests that endogenous DNA damage induced by AID/APOBEC cytidine deaminases can result in transient localized hypermutation generating simultaneous, closely spaced (i.e. "clustered") multiple mutations. Here, we discuss mechanisms that lead to mutation cluster formation, the biological consequences of their formation in cancer and evidence suggesting that APOBEC mutagenesis can also occur genome-wide. This raises the possibility that dysregulation of these enzymes may enable rapid malignant transformation by increasing mutation rates without the loss of fitness associated with permanent mutators. © 2014 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.


Rider L.G.,National Institute of Environmental Health and Safety | Miller F.W.,National Institute of Environmental Health and Safety
JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association | Year: 2011

The idiopathic inflammatory myopathies or myositis syndromes (the most common forms are polymyositis, dermatomyositis, and inclusion body myositis) are systemic autoimmune diseases defined by chronic muscle weakness and inflammation of unknown etiology and result in significant morbidity and mortality. Research suggests that categorizing heterogeneous myositis syndromes into mutually exclusive and stable phenotypes by using clinical and immune response features is useful for predicting clinical signs and symptoms, associated genetic and environmental risk factors, and responses to therapy and prognosis. Knowledge of myositis phenotypes should enhance clinicians' ability to recognize and manage these rare disorders. ©2011 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Contract Interagency Agreement | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 86.85K | Year: 2011

None


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Contract Interagency Agreement | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 335.59K | Year: 2011

None

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