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Klimas J.,Oregon Health And Science University | Klimas J.,University College DublinDublin | Klimas J.,University of British Columbia | Muench J.,Oregon Health And Science University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Psychoactive Drugs | Year: 2015

Abstract: Problem alcohol use is associated with adverse health and economic outcomes, especially among people in opioid agonist treatment. Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) are effective in reducing alcohol use; however, issues involved in SBIRT implementation among opioid agonist patients are unknown. To assess identification and treatment of alcohol use disorders, we reviewed clinical records of opioid agonist patients screened for an alcohol use disorder in a primary care clinic (n = 208) and in an opioid treatment program (n = 204) over a two-year period. In the primary care clinic, 193 (93%) buprenorphine patients completed an annual alcohol screening and six (3%) had elevated AUDIT scores. In the opioid treatment program, an alcohol abuse or dependence diagnosis was recorded for 54 (27%) methadone patients. Practitioner focus groups were completed in the primary care (n = 4 physicians) and the opioid treatment program (n = 11 counselors) to assess experience with and attitudes towards screening opioid agonist patients for alcohol use disorders. Focus groups suggested that organizational, structural, provider, patient, and community variables hindered or fostered alcohol screening. Alcohol screening is feasible among opioid agonist patients. Effective implementation, however, requires physician training and systematic changes in workflow. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source


Karanikola S.N.,Free University of Berlin | Krucken J.,Free University of Berlin | Ramunke S.,Free University of Berlin | De Waal T.,University College DublinDublin | And 8 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2015

Background: A major constraint for the effective control and management of helminth parasites is the lack of rapid, high-throughput, routine diagnostic tests to assess the health status of individual animals and herds and to identify the parasite species responsible for these helminthoses. The capability of a multiplex platform for the simultaneous detection of three pasture associated parasite species was evaluated and compared to existing ELISAs. Methods: The recombinant antigens 14.2 kDa ES protein for Cooperia oncophora, major sperm protein for Dictyocaulus viviparus and Cathepsin L1 for Fasciola hepatica were recombinantly expressed either in Escherichia coli or Pichia pastoris. Antigens were covalently coupled onto magnetic beads. Optimal concentrations for coupling were determined following the examination of serum samples collected from experimentally mono-infected animals, before and after their infection with the target species. Absence of cross-reactivity was further determined with sera from calves mono-infected with Haemonchus contortus, Ostertagia ostertagi and Trichostrongylus colubriformis. Examination of negative serum samples was characterised by low median fluorescence intensity (MFI). Results: Establishment of the optimal serum dilution of 1:200 was achieved for all three bead sets. Receiver Operating Characteristic analyses were performed to obtain cut-off MFI values for each parasite separately. Sensitivity and specificity at the chosen cut-off values were close to, or 100 % for all bead sets. Examination of serum samples collected on different days post infection from different animals showed a high reproducibility of the assays. Serum samples were additionally examined with two already established ELISAs, an in-house ELISA using the recombinant MSP as an antigen and a DRG ELISA using Cathepsin L1 for liver fluke. The results between the assays were compared and kappa tests revealed an overall good agreement. Conclusions: A versatile bead-based assay using fluorescence detection (xMAP® technology) was developed to simultaneously detect antibodies against C. oncophora, D. viviparus and F. hepatica in cattle serum samples. This platform provides rapid, high-throughput results and is highly sensitive and specific in comparison to existing serological as well as coproscopical diagnostic techniques. © 2015 Karanikola et al. Source


Bergner T.,University of Graz | Tabib C.R.,University of Graz | Winkler A.,University of Graz | Stipsits S.,University of Graz | And 7 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics | Year: 2015

Abstract The lux-operon of bioluminescent bacteria contains the genes coding for the enzymes required for light emission. Some species of Photobacteria feature an additional gene, luxF, which shows similarity to luxA and luxB, the genes encoding the heterodimeric luciferase. Isolated dimeric LuxF binds four molecules of an unusually derivatized flavin, i.e., 6-(3'-(R)-myristyl)-FMN (myrFMN). In the present study we have heterologously expressed LuxF in Escherichia coli BL21 in order to advance our understanding of the protein's binding properties and its role in photobacterial bioluminescence. Structure determination by X-ray crystallography confirmed that apo-LuxF possesses four preorganized binding sites, which are further optimized by adjusting the orientation of amino acid side chains. To investigate the binding properties of recombinant LuxF we have isolated myrFMN from Photobacterium leiognathi S1. We found that LuxF binds myrFMN tightly with a dissociation constant of 80 ± 20 nM demonstrating that the purified apo-form of LuxF is fully competent in myrFMN binding. In contrast to LuxF, binding of myrFMN to luciferase is much weaker (Kd = 4.0 ± 0.4 μM) enabling LuxF to prevent inhibition of the enzyme by scavenging myrFMN. Moreover, we have used apo-LuxF to demonstrate that myrFMN occurs in all Photobacteria tested, irrespective of the presence of luxF indicating that LuxF is not required for myrFMN biosynthesis. © 2015 Published by Elsevier B.V. Source


Sumayao R.,University College DublinDublin | McEvoy B.,University College DublinDublin | Newsholme P.,Health Science University | McMorrow T.,University College DublinDublin
Journal of Physiology | Year: 2016

Key points: Cystine is a disulphide amino acid that is normally generated in the lysosomes by the breakdown of cystine-containing proteins. Previously, we demonstrated that lysosomal cystine accumulation in kidney proximal tubular epithelial cells (PTECs) dramatically reduced glutathione (GSH) levels, which may result in the disruption of cellular redox balance. In the present study, we show that lysosomal cystine accumulation following CTNS gene silencing in kidney PTECs resulted in elevated intracellular reactive oxygen species production, reduced antioxidant capacity, induction of redox-sensitive proteins, altered mitochondrial integrity and augmented cell death. These alterations may represent different facets of a unique cascade leading to tubular dysfunction initiated by lysosomal cystine accumulation and may present a clear disadvantage for cystinotic PTECs in vivo. Cystine depletion by cysteamine afforded cytoprotection in CTNS knockdown cells by reducing oxidative stress, normalizing intracellular GSH and ATP content, and preserving cell viability. Abstract: Cystine is a disulphide amino acid that is normally generated within the lysosomes through lysosomal-based protein degradation and via extracellular uptake of free cystine. In the autosomal recessive disorder, cystinosis, a defect in the CTNS gene results in excessive lysosomal accumulation of cystine, with early kidney failure a hallmark of the disease. Previously, we demonstrated that silencing of the CTNS gene in kidney proximal tubular epithelial cells (PTECs) resulted in an increase in intracellular cystine concentration coupled with a dramatic reduction in the total GSH content. Because of the crucial role of GSH in maintaining the redox status and viability of kidney PTECs, we assessed the effects of CTNS knockdown-induced lysosomal cystine accumulation on intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, activity of classical redox-sensitive genes, mitochondrial integrity and cell viability. Our results showed that lysosomal cystine accumulation increased ROS production and solicitation to oxidative stress (OS). This was associated with the induction of classical redox-sensitive proteins, NF-κB, NRF2, HSP32 and HSP70. Cystine-loaded PTECs also displayed depolarized mitochondria, reduced ATP content and augmented apoptosis. Treatment of CTNS knockdown PTECs with the cystine-depleting agent cysteamine resulted in the normalization of OS index, increased GSH and ATP content, and preservation of cell viability. Taken together, the alterations observed in cystinotic cells may represent different facets of a cascade leading to tubular dysfunction and, in combination with cysteamine therapy, may offer a novel link for the attenuation of renal injury and preservation of functions of other organs affected in cystinosis. © 2016 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2016 The Physiological Society Source


Milewska M.,University College DublinDublin | Romano D.,University College DublinDublin | Herrero A.,University College DublinDublin | Guerriero M.L.,University College DublinDublin | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

BRAF functions in the RAS-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling cascade. Activation of this pathway is necessary to mediate the transforming potential of oncogenic BRAF, however, it may also cause a negative feedback that inhibits the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Mitogen-inducible gene-6 (MIG-6) is a potent inhibitor of the EGFR and has been demonstrated to function as a tumor suppressor. As MIG-6 can be induced via RAS-ERK signaling, we investigated its potential involvement in this negative regulatory loop. Focus formation assays were performed and demonstrated that MIG-6 significantly reduces malignant transformation induced by oncogenic BRAF. Although this genetic interaction was mirrored by a physical interaction between MIG-6 and BRAF, we did not observe a direct regulation of BRAF kinase activity by MIG-6. Interestingly, a selective chemical EGFR inhibitor suppressed transformation to a similar degree as MIG-6, whereas combining these approaches had no synergistic effect. By analyzing a range of BRAF mutated and wildtype cell line models, we could show that BRAF V600E causes a strong upregulation of MIG-6, which was mediated at the transcriptional level via the RAS-ERK pathway and resulted in downregulation of EGFR activation. This feedback loop is operational in tumors, as shown by the analysis of almost 400 patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). Presence of BRAF V600E correlated with increased MIG-6 expression on the one hand, and with inactivation of the EGFR and of PI3K/AKT signaling on the other hand. Importantly, we also observed a more aggressive disease phenotype when BRAF V600E coexisted with low MIG-6 expression. Finally, analysis of methylation data was performed and revealed that higher methylation of MIG-6 correlated to its decreased expression. Taken together, we demonstrate that MIG-6 efficiently reduces cellular transformation driven by oncogenic BRAF by orchestrating a negative feedback circuit directed towards the EGFR. © 2015 Milewska et al. Source

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