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Arabidopsis response regulator 22 inhibits cytokinin-regulated gene transcription in vivo. - Protoplasma
Cytokinin signaling in Arabidopsis is carried out by a two-component system (TCS) multi-step phosphorelay mechanism that involves three different protein families: histidine kinases (AHKs), phosphotransfer proteins (AHPs), and response regulators (ARRs) that are in turn, subdivided into A-, B- and C-type ARRs depending on their function and structure. Upon cytokinin perception, AHK proteins autophosphorylate; this phosphate is then transferred from the AHKs to the AHPs to finally reach the ARRs. When B-type ARRs are activated by phosphorylation, they function as transcription factors that regulate the expression of cytokinin-dependent genes such as the A-type ARRs, among many others. In cytokinin signaling, while A- and B-type ARR function is well understood, it is still unclear if C-type ARRs (ARR22 and ARR24) play a role in this mechanism. Here, we describe a novel method suitable to study TCS activity natively as an in vivo system. We also show that ARR22 inhibits gene transcription of an A-type ARR upon cytokinin treatment in vivo. Consequently, we propose that ARR22, by acting as a phosphatase on specific AHPs, disrupts the TCS phosphorelay and prevents B-type ARR phosphorylation, and thus their activation as transcription factors, explaining the observed deactivation of cytokinin-responsive genes.
Cardiac Niche Influences the Direct Reprogramming of Canine Fibroblasts into Cardiomyocyte-Like Cells. - Stem cells international
The Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies are caused by mutation of dystrophin gene and primarily affect skeletal and cardiac muscles. Cardiac involvement in dystrophic GRMD dogs has been demonstrated by electrocardiographic studies with the onset of a progressive cardiomyopathy similar to the cardiac disease in DMD patients. In this respect, GRMD is a useful model to explore cardiac and skeletal muscle pathogenesis and for developing new therapeutic protocols. Here we describe a protocol to convert GRMD canine fibroblasts isolated from heart and skin into induced cardiac-like myocytes (ciCLMs). We used a mix of transcription factors (GATA4, HAND2, TBX5, and MEF2C), known to be able to differentiate mouse and human somatic cells into ciCLMs. Exogenous gene expression was obtained using four lentiviral vectors carrying transcription factor genes and different resistance genes. Our data demonstrate a direct switch from fibroblast into ciCLMs with no activation of early cardiac genes. ciCLMs were unable to contract spontaneously, suggesting, differently from mouse and human cells, an incomplete differentiation process. However, when transplanted in neonatal hearts of SCID/Beige mice, ciCLMs participate in cardiac myogenesis.
Circulating S100B and Adiponectin in Children Who Underwent Open Heart Surgery and Cardiopulmonary Bypass. - BioMed research international
S100B protein, previously proposed as a consolidated marker of brain damage in congenital heart disease (CHD) newborns who underwent cardiac surgery and cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), has been progressively abandoned due to S100B CNS extra-source such as adipose tissue. The present study investigated CHD newborns, if adipose tissue contributes significantly to S100B serum levels.We conducted a prospective study in 26 CHD infants, without preexisting neurological disorders, who underwent cardiac surgery and CPB in whom blood samples for S100B and adiponectin (ADN) measurement were drawn at five perioperative time-points.S100B showed a significant increase from hospital admission up to 24 h after procedure reaching its maximum peak (P < 0.01) during CPB and at the end of the surgical procedure. Moreover, ADN showed a flat pattern and no significant differences (P > 0.05) have been found all along perioperative monitoring. ADN/S100B ratio pattern was identical to S100B alone with the higher peak at the end of CPB and remained higher up to 24 h from surgery.The present study provides evidence that, in CHD infants, S100B protein is not affected by an extra-source adipose tissue release as suggested by no changes in circulating ADN concentrations.
Synthesis and biological evaluation of several dephosphonated analogues of CMP-Neu5Ac as inhibitors of GM3-synthase. - Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany)
Previous studies demonstrated that reducing the GM3 content in myoblasts increased the cell resistance to hypoxic stress, suggesting that a pharmacological inhibition of the GM3 synthesis could be instrumental for the development of new treatments for ischemic diseases. Herein, the synthesis of several dephosphonated CMP-Neu5Ac congeners and their anti-GM3-synthase activity is reported. Biological activity testes revealed that some inhibitors almost completely blocked the GM3-synthase activity in vitro and reduced the GM3 content in living embryonic kidney 293A cells, eventually activating the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling cascade.Â© 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Association of Calpain (CAPN) 10 (UCSNP-43, rs3792267) gene polymorphism with elevated serum androgens in young women with the most severe phenotype of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). - Gynecological endocrinology : the official journal of the International Society of Gynecological Endocrinology
To highlight a possible association of Calpain (CAPN 10) gene UCSNP-43 polymorphism with hormonal and metabolic traits of young women with different phenotypes of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).PCOS women were genotyped for the CAPN 10 gene UCSNP-43 polymorphism. A comparison of clinical and biochemical features of women with PCOS stratified on the basis of the CAPN 10 gene UCSNP-43 variants was assessed.Anthropometric, hormonal and biochemical measurements were carried out in 668 PCOS women and 200 healthy controls. Subjects were also genotyped for the CAPN 10 gene UCSNP-43 polymorphism. The genotype frequency distributions between groups and controls were compared using the chi-square test. The association of the polymorphism with the clinical and biochemical features of the study cohort was estimated as well.No association of the frequency of CAPN 10 gene UCSNP-43 polymorphism with PCOS was detected. No association of the polymorphism with the anthropometric, biochemical and hormonal features was detected both in PCOS and control women. The polymorphism was associated with serum Î”4 androstenedione (pâ€‰=â€‰0.018), as well as with 17-OH progesterone (17-hydroxyprogesterone) among women with PCOS phenotype A (pâ€‰=â€‰0.012).CAPN 10 gene polymorphism UCSNP-43 is deprived of a metabolic contribution to cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, due to its association with androgen excess in phenotype A, CAPN 10 gene polymorphism UCSNP-43 could be used as a genetic marker for CVD in young PCOS women.
Targeting Mutant BRAF in Relapsed or Refractory Hairy-Cell Leukemia. - The New England journal of medicine
BRAF V600E is the genetic lesion underlying hairy-cell leukemia. We assessed the safety and activity of the oral BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib in patients with hairy-cell leukemia that had relapsed after treatment with a purine analogue or who had disease that was refractory to purine analogues.We conducted two phase 2, single-group, multicenter studies of vemurafenib (at a dose of 960 mg twice daily)--one in Italy and one in the United States. The therapy was administered for a median of 16 weeks in the Italian study and 18 weeks in the U.S. study. Primary end points were the complete response rate (in the Italian trial) and the overall response rate (in the U.S. trial). Enrollment was completed (28 patients) in the Italian trial in April 2013 and is still open (26 of 36 planned patients) in the U.S. trial.The overall response rates were 96% (25 of 26 patients who could be evaluated) after a median of 8 weeks in the Italian study and 100% (24 of 24) after a median of 12 weeks in the U.S. study. The rates of complete response were 35% (9 of 26 patients) and 42% (10 of 24) in the two trials, respectively. In the Italian trial, after a median follow-up of 23 months, the median relapse-free survival was 19 months among patients with a complete response and 6 months among those with a partial response; the median treatment-free survival was 25 months and 18 months, respectively. In the U.S. trial, at 1 year, the progression-free survival rate was 73% and the overall survival rate was 91%. Drug-related adverse events were usually of grade 1 or 2, and the events most frequently leading to dose reductions were rash and arthralgia or arthritis. Secondary cutaneous tumors (treated with simple excision) developed in 7 of 50 patients. The frequent persistence of phosphorylated ERK-positive leukemic cells in bone marrow at the end of treatment suggests bypass reactivation of MEK and ERK as a resistance mechanism.A short oral course of vemurafenib was highly effective in patients with relapsed or refractory hairy-cell leukemia. (Funded by the Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro and others; EudraCT number, 2011-005487-13; ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT01711632.).
Effects of language concordance and interpreter use on therapeutic alliance in Spanish-speaking integrated behavioral health care patients. - Psychological services
The discrepancy between the growing number of Spanish speakers in the U.S. and the availability of bilingual providers creates a barrier to accessing quality mental health care. Use of interpreters provides one strategy for overcoming this linguistic barrier; however, concerns about whether sessions with interpreters, versus bilingual providers, impede therapeutic alliance remain. The current study explored associations between the use of interpreters and therapeutic alliance in a sample of 458 Spanish-speaking patients seen for integrated behavioral health visits at primary care clinics. Patients completed a brief (4 item) therapeutic alliance scale at their behavioral health appointment. In addition, to supplement the quantitative study data, a pilot study of 30 qualitative interviews was conducted with a new sample of 10 Spanish-speaking patients, 10 behavioral health consultants (BHCs), and 10 trained interpreters. Quantitative results showed that interpreter use did not relate to therapeutic alliance, even when controlling for relevant demographic variables. However, qualitative interviews suggested major themes regarding the relative benefits and challenges of using interpreters for patients, interpreters, and BHCs. In interviews, patients expressed a strong preference for bilingual providers. Benefits included greater privacy, sense of trust, and accuracy of communication. However, in their absence, interpreters were seen as increasing access to services and facilitating communication with providers, thereby addressing the behavioral health needs of patients with limited English proficiency. BHCs and interpreters emphasized the importance of interpreter training and a good collaborative relationship with interpreters to minimize negative effects on the quality of care. (PsycINFO Database Record(c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Trypsinogen 4 boosts tumor endothelial cells migration through proteolysis of tissue factor pathway inhibitor-2. - Oncotarget
Proteases contribute to cancer in many ways, including tumor vascularization and metastasis, and their pharmacological inhibition is a potential anticancer strategy. We report that human endothelial cells (EC) express the trypsinogen 4 isoform of the serine protease 3 (PRSS3), and lack both PRSS2 and PRSS1. Trypsinogen 4 expression was upregulated by the combined action of VEGF-A, FGF-2 and EGF, angiogenic factors representative of the tumor microenvironment. Suppression of trypsinogen 4 expression by siRNA inhibited the angiogenic milieu-induced migration of EC from cancer specimens (tumor-EC), but did not affect EC from normal tissues. We identified tissue factor pathway inhibitor-2 (TFPI-2), a matrix associated inhibitor of cell motility, as the functional target of trypsinogen 4, which cleaved TFPI-2 and removed it from the matrix put down by tumor-EC. Silencing tumor-EC for trypsinogen 4 accumulated TFPI2 in the matrix. Showing that angiogenic factors stimulate trypsinogen 4 expression, which hydrolyses TFPI-2 favoring a pro-migratory situation, our study suggests a new pathway linking tumor microenvironment signals to endothelial cell migration, which is essential for angiogenesis and blood vessel remodeling. Abolishing trypsinogen 4 functions might be an exploitable strategy as anticancer, particularly anti-vascular, therapy.
Detection of p75NTR Trimers: Implications for Receptor Stoichiometry and Activation. - The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
The p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR)) is a multifunctional receptor that participates in many critical processes in the nervous system, ranging from apoptosis to synaptic plasticity and morphological events. It is a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) superfamily, whose members undergo trimeric oligomerization. Interestingly, p75(NTR) interacts with dimeric ligands (i.e., proneurotrophins or mature neurotrophins), but several of the intracellular adaptors that mediate p75(NTR) signaling are trimeric (i.e., TNFR-associated factor 6 or TRAF6). Consequently, the active receptor signaling unit remains uncertain. To identify the functional receptor complex, we evaluated its oligomerization in vitro and in mice brain tissues using a combination of biochemical techniques. We found that the most abundant homotypic arrangement for p75(NTR) is a trimer and that monomers and trimers coexist at the cell surface. Interestingly, trimers are not required for ligand-independent or ligand-dependent p75(NTR) activation in a growth cone retraction functional assay. However, monomers are capable of inducing acute morphological effects in neurons. We propose that p75(NTR) activation is regulated by its oligomerization status and its levels of expression. These results indicate that the oligomeric state of p75(NTR) confers differential responses and offers an explanation for the diverse and contradictory actions of this receptor in the nervous system.The p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR)) regulates a wide range of cellular functions, including apoptosis, neuronal processes remodeling, and synaptic plasticity. The goal of our work was to inquire whether oligomers of the receptor are required for function. Here we report that p75(NTR) predominantly assembles as a trimer, similar to other tumor necrosis factor receptors. Interestingly, monomers and trimers coexist at the cell surface, but trimers are not required for p75(NTR) activation in a functional assay. However, monomers are capable of inducing acute morphological effects in neurons. Identification of the oligomerization state of p75(NTR) begins to provide insights to the mechanisms of signal initiation of this noncatalytic receptor, as well as to develop therapeutic interventions to diminish its activity.Copyright Â© 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3511911-10$15.00/0.
Tph2 gene deletion enhances amphetamine-induced hypermotility: effect of 5-HT restoration and role of striatal noradrenaline release. - Journal of neurochemistry
Variants of tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (Tph2), the gene encoding enzyme responsible for the synthesis of brain serotonin (5-HT), have been associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, substance abuse and addiction. This study assessed the effect of Tph2 gene deletion on motor behavior and found that motor activity induced by 2.5 and 5 mg/kg amphetamine was enhanced in Tph2(-/-) mice. Using the in vivo microdialysis technique we found that the ability of amphetamine to stimulate noradrenaline (NA) release in the striatum was reduced by about 50% in Tph2(-/-) mice while the release of dopamine (DA) was not affected. Tph2 deletion did not affect the release of NA and DA in the prefrontal cortex. The role of endogenous 5-HT in enhancing the effect of amphetamine was confirmed showing that treatment with the 5-HT precursor 5-hydroxytryptophan (10 mg/kg) restored tissue and extracellular levels of brain 5-HT and the effects of amphetamine on striatal NA release and motor activity in Tph2(-/-) mice. Treatment with the NA precursor dihydroxyphenylserine (400 mg/kg) was sufficient to restore the effect of amphetamine on striatal NA release and motor activity in Tph2(-/-) mice. These findings indicate that amphetamine-induced hyperactivity is attenuated by endogenous 5-HT through the inhibition of striatal NA release. Tph2(-/-) mice may be a useful preclinical model to assess the role of 5-HT-dependent mechanisms in the action of psychostimulants. Acute sensitivity to the motor effects of amphetamine has been associated to increased risk of psychostimulant abuse. Here, we show that deletion of Tph2, the gene responsible for brain 5-HT synthesis, enhances the motor effect of amphetamine in mice through the inhibition of striatal NA release. This suggests that Tph2(-/-) mice is a useful preclinical model to assess the role of 5-HT-dependent mechanisms in psychostimulants action. Tph2, tryptophan hydroxylase-2.Â© 2015 International Society for Neurochemistry.
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