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Evidence-based evaluation of potential benefits and safety of beta-alanine supplementation for military personnel. - Nutrition reviews
This Department of Defense-sponsored evidence-based review evaluates the safety and putative outcomes of enhancement of athletic performance or improved recovery from exhaustion in studies involving beta-alanine alone or in combination with other ingredients. Beta-alanine intervention studies and review articles were collected from 13 databases, and safety information was collected from adverse event reporting portals. Due to the lack of systematic studies involving military populations, all the available literature was assessed with a subgroup analysis of studies on athletes to determine if beta-alanine would be suitable for the military. Available literature provided only limited evidence concerning the benefits of beta-alanine use, and a majority of the studies were not designed to address safety. Overall, the strength of evidence in terms of the potential for risk of bias in the quality of the available literature, consistency, directness, and precision did not support the use of beta-alanine by military personnel. The strength of evidence for a causal relation between beta-alanine and paresthesia was moderate.
Cellular and molecular interactions of phosphoinositides and peripheral proteins. - Chemistry and physics of lipids
Anionic lipids act as signals for the recruitment of proteins containing cationic clusters to biological membranes. A family of anionic lipids known as the phosphoinositides (PIPs) are low in abundance, yet play a critical role in recruitment of peripheral proteins to the membrane interface. PIPs are mono-, bis-, or trisphosphorylated derivatives of phosphatidylinositol (PI) yielding seven species with different structure and anionic charge. The differential spatial distribution and temporal appearance of PIPs is key to their role in communicating information to target proteins. Selective recognition of PIPs came into play with the discovery that the substrate of protein kinase C termed pleckstrin possessed the first PIP binding region termed the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. Since the discovery of the PH domain, more than ten PIP binding domains have been identified including PH, ENTH, FYVE, PX, and C2 domains. Representative examples of each of these domains have been thoroughly characterized to understand how they coordinate PIP headgroups in membranes, translocate to specific membrane docking sites in the cell, and function to regulate the activity of their full-length proteins. In addition, a number of novel mechanisms of PIP-mediated membrane association have emerged, such as coincidence detection-specificity for two distinct lipid headgroups. Other PIP-binding domains may also harbor selectivity for a membrane physical property such as charge or membrane curvature. This review summarizes the current understanding of the cellular distribution of PIPs and their molecular interaction with peripheral proteins.Copyright Â© 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
The wild ways of conscious will: what we do, how we do it, and why it has meaning. - Frontiers in psychology
It is becoming increasingly mainstream to claim that conscious will is an illusion. This assertion is based on a host of findings that indicate conscious will does not share an efficient-cause relationship with actions. As an alternative, the present paper will propose that conscious will is not about causing actions, but rather, about constraining action systems toward producing outcomes. In addition, it will be proposed that we generate and sustain multiple outcomes simultaneously because the multi-scale dynamics by which we do so are, themselves, self-sustaining. Finally, it will be proposed that self-sustaining dynamics entail meaning (i.e., conscious content) because they naturally and necessarily constitute embodiments of context.
Emerging methodologies to investigate lipid-protein interactions. - Integrative biology : quantitative biosciences from nano to macro
Cellular membranes are composed of hundreds of different lipids, ion channels, receptors and scaffolding complexes that act as signalling and trafficking platforms for processes fundamental to life. Cellular signalling and membrane trafficking are often regulated by peripheral proteins, which reversibly interact with lipid molecules in highly regulated spatial and temporal fashions. In most cases, one or more modular lipid-binding domain(s) mediate recruitment of peripheral proteins to specific cellular membranes. These domains, of which more than 10 have been identified since 1989, harbour structurally selective lipid-binding sites. Traditional in vitro and in vivo studies have elucidated how these domains coordinate their cognate lipids and thus how the parent proteins associate with membranes. Cellular activities of peripheral proteins and subsequent physiological processes depend upon lipid binding affinities and selectivity. Thus, the development of novel sensitive and quantitative tools is essential in furthering our understanding of the function and regulation of these proteins. As this field expands into new areas such as computational biology, cellular lipid mapping, single molecule imaging, and lipidomics, there is an urgent need to integrate technologies to detail the molecular architecture and mechanisms of lipid signalling. This review surveys emerging cellular and in vitro approaches for studying protein-lipid interactions and provides perspective on how integration of methodologies directs the future development of the field.This journal is Â© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2012
Metabolically stabilized derivatives of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate: synthesis and applications. - Chemistry & biology
Phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PtdIns(4)P) lipid is an essential component of eukaryotic membranes and a marker of the Golgi complex. Here, we developed metabolically stabilized (ms) analogs of PtdIns(4)P and the inositol 1,4-bisphosphate (IP(2)) head group derivative and demonstrated that these compounds can substitute the natural lipid fully retaining its physiological activities. The methylenephosphonate (MP) and phosphorothioate (PT) analogs of PtdIns(4)P and the aminohexyl (AH)-IP(2) probe are recognized by the PtdIns(4)P-specific PH domain of four phosphate adaptor protein 1 (FAPP1). Binding of FAPP1 to the PtdIns(4)P derivatives stimulates insertion of the PH domain into the lipid layers and induces tubulation of membranes. Both ms analogs and IP(2) probes could be invaluable for identifying protein effectors and characterizing PtdIns(4)P-dependent signaling cascades within the trans-Golgi network (TGN).Copyright Â© 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Epicutaneous challenge of orally immunized mice redirects antigen-specific gut-homing T cells to the skin. - The Journal of clinical investigation
Patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) often suffer from food allergy and develop flares upon skin contact with food allergens. However, it is unclear whether T cells sensitized to allergens in the gut promote this skin inflammation. To address this question, we orally immunized WT mice and mice lacking the skin-homing chemokine receptor Ccr4 (Ccr4-/- mice) with OVA and then challenged them epicutaneously with antigen. Allergic skin inflammation developed in the WT mice but not in the mutants and was characterized by epidermal thickening, dermal infiltration by eosinophils and CD4+ T cells, and upregulation of Th2 cytokines. T cells purified from mesenteric lymph nodes (MLNs) of orally immunized WT mice transferred allergic skin inflammation to naive recipients cutaneously challenged with antigen, but this effect was lost in T cells purified from Ccr4-/- mice. In addition, the ability of adoptively transferred OVA-activated T cells to home to the skin following cutaneous OVA challenge was ablated in mice that lacked lymph nodes. These results indicate that cutaneous exposure to food antigens can reprogram gut-homing effector T cells in LNs to express skin-homing receptors, eliciting skin lesions upon food allergen contact in orally sensitized AD patients.
Molecular basis of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate and ARF1 GTPase recognition by the FAPP1 pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. - The Journal of biological chemistry
Four-phosphate-adaptor protein 1 (FAPP1) regulates secretory transport from the trans-Golgi network (TGN) to the plasma membrane. FAPP1 is recruited to the Golgi through binding of its pleckstrin homology (PH) domain to phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PtdIns(4)P) and a small GTPase ADP-ribosylation factor 1 (ARF1). Despite the critical role of FAPP1 in membrane trafficking, the molecular basis of its dual function remains unclear. Here, we report a 1.9 Ã… resolution crystal structure of the FAPP1 PH domain and detail the molecular mechanisms of the PtdIns(4)P and ARF1 recognition. The FAPP1 PH domain folds into a seven-stranded Î²-barrel capped by an Î±-helix at one edge, whereas the opposite edge is flanked by three loops and the Î²4 and Î²7 strands that form a lipid-binding pocket within the Î²-barrel. The ARF1-binding site is located on the outer side of the Î²-barrel as determined by NMR resonance perturbation analysis, mutagenesis, and measurements of binding affinities. The two binding sites have little overlap, allowing FAPP1 PH to associate with both ligands simultaneously and independently. Binding to PtdIns(4)P is enhanced in an acidic environment and is required for membrane penetration and tubulation activity of FAPP1, whereas the GTP-bound conformation of the GTPase is necessary for the interaction with ARF1. Together, these findings provide structural and biochemical insight into the multivalent membrane anchoring by the PH domain that may augment affinity and selectivity of FAPP1 toward the TGN membranes enriched in both PtdIns(4)P and GTP-bound ARF1.
Characterizing the relationship between sesame, coconut, and nut allergy in children. - Pediatric allergy and immunology : official publication of the European Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
Sesame and coconut are emerging food allergens in the United States. We sought to examine whether children allergic to peanuts and tree nuts are at increased risk of having an allergy to sesame or coconut. We performed a retrospective chart review of children who underwent skin prick testing (SPT) to sesame and coconut and identified 191 children who underwent SPT to sesame and 40 to coconut. Sensitization to sesame was more likely in children with positive SPT to peanuts (odds ratio [OR] = 6.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] [2.7-16.8], p < 0.001) and tree nuts (OR = 10.5, 95% CI [4.0-27.7], p < 0.001). Children with histories of both peanut and tree nut reaction were more likely to have a history of sesame reaction (OR = 10.2, 95% CI [2.7-38.7], p < 0.001). Children with sensitization or allergy to peanuts or tree nuts were not more likely to be sensitized or allergic to coconut. In conclusion, children with peanut or tree nut sensitization were more likely to be sensitized to sesame but not coconut. Children with clinical histories of both peanut and tree nut allergy were more likely to be allergic to sesame.Â© 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Effects of cinnamaldehyde on the glucose transport activity of GLUT1. - Biochimie
There is accumulating evidence that cinnamon extracts contain components that enhance insulin action. However, little is know about the effects of cinnamon on non-insulin stimulated glucose uptake. Therefore, the effects of cinnamaldehyde on the glucose transport activity of GLUT1 in L929 fibroblast cells were examined under both basal conditions and conditions where glucose uptake is activated by glucose deprivation. The data reveal that cinnamaldehyde has a dual action on the glucose transport activity of GLUT1. Under basal conditions it stimulates glucose uptake and reaches a 3.5 fold maximum stimulation at 2.0mM. However, cinnamaldehyde also inhibits the activation of glucose uptake by glucose deprivation in a dose dependent manner. Experiments with cinnamaldehyde analogs reveal that these activities are dependent on the Î±,Î²-unsaturated aldehyde structural motif in cinnamaldehyde. The inhibitory, but not the stimulatory activity of cinnamaldehyde was maintained after a wash-recovery period. Pretreatment of cinnamaldehyde with thiol-containing compounds, such as Î²-mercaptoethanol or cysteine, blocked the inhibitory activity of cinnamaldehyde. These results suggest that cinnamaldehyde inhibits the activation of GLUT1 by forming a covalent link to target cysteine residue/s. This dual activity of cinnamaldehyde on the transport activity of GLUT1 suggests that cinnamaldehyde is not a major contributor to the anti-diabetic properties of cinnamon.Copyright Ã‚Â© 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
Sesame allergy: role of specific IgE and skin-prick testing in predicting food challenge results. - Allergy and asthma proceedings : the official journal of regional and state allergy societies
There are conflicting data regarding the diagnostic value of sesame-specific IgE and sesame skin test. Currently, there are no established thresholds that predict clinical reactivity. We examined the correlation of sesame ImmunoCAP and skin-prick test (SPT) results with oral challenge outcomes in children suspected of having a sesame food allergy. We conducted a retrospective chart review of children, aged 2-12 years, receiving a sesame ImmunoCAP level, SPT, and food challenge from January 2004 to August 2008 at Children's Hospital Boston and affiliated allergy clinics. Food challenges were conducted in cases of questionable clinical history or a negative ImmunoCAP and/or negative SPT despite a convincing history. Thirty-three oral sesame challenges were conducted. Of the 33 challenges performed, 21% (n = 7) failed and 79% (n = 26) passed. A sesame-specific IgE level of > or = 7 kU(A)/L showed specificity of >90%. An SPT wheal size of > or = 6 mm showed specificity of >90%. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis for sesame-specific IgE revealed an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.56. ROC curve analysis for SPT wheal size revealed an AUC of 0.67. To our knowledge, this study represents the largest number of sesame challenges performed to evaluate the diagnostic value of both sesame-specific IgE and SPT. Based on our sample, both tests are not good predictors of true sesame allergy as determined by an oral challenge. We were unable to establish a threshold with a 95% positive predictive value for both sesame-specific IgE and SPT.
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