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Taking advantage of the bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) phenomenon, we report the development of a highly photon-efficient, self-illuminating fusion protein combining a mutant red fluorescent protein (mOrange) and a mutant Renilla reniformis luciferase (RLuc8). This new BRET fusion protein (BRET3) exhibits severalfold improvement in light intensity in comparison with existing BRET fusion proteins. BRET3 also exhibits the most red-shifted light output (564-nm peak wavelength) of any reported bioluminescent protein that utilizes its natural substrate coelenterazine, a benefit of which is demonstrated at various tissue depths in small animals. The imaging utility of BRET3 at the single-cell level is demonstrated using an intramolecular sensor incorporating two mammalian target of rapamycin pathway proteins (FKBP12 and FRB) that dimerize only in the presence of rapamycin. With its increased photon intensity, red-shifted light output, and good spectral resolution (approximately 85 nm), BRET3 shows improved spatial and temporal resolution for measuring intracellular events in single cells and in living small animal models. The development of further BRET3-based assays will allow imaging of protein-protein interactions using a single assay directly scalable from intact living cells to small living subjects, allowing accelerated drug discovery.
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FKBP11 expression levels were analyzed in 123 paired tumor and tumor-adjacent non-tumorous (TA) tissue samples from patients with HCC and in 29 benign liver samples from patients with hemangioma using quantitative real-time polymerase-chain-reaction.
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Although gastroduodenal ulcers are common in solid organ transplant patients, there are few reports on multiple giant ulcers in the distal ileum and ileocecal valve caused by immunosuppressants Herein, we report on a liver transplant recipient and a renal transplant recipient with multiple large ulcers in the distal ileum and ileocecal valve who rapidly achieved ulcer healing upon withdrawal of sirolimus or tacrolimus and administration of thalidomide. In case 1, a 56-year-old man with primary hepatocellular carcinoma had received a liver transplantation. Tacrolimus combined with sirolimus and prednisolone was used as the anti-rejection regimen. Colonoscopy was performed because of severe abdominal pain and diarrhea at post-operative month 10. Multiple giant ulcers were found at the ileocecal valve and distal ileum. The ulcers healed rapidly with withdrawal of sirolimus and treatment with thalidomide. There was no recurrence during 2 years of follow-up. In case 2, a 34-year-old man with end-stage kidney disease received kidney transplantation and was put on tacrolimus combined with mycophenolate mofetil and prednisolone as the anti-rejection regimen. Twelve weeks after the operation, the patient presented with hematochezia and severe anemia. Colonoscopy revealed multiple large ulcers in the ileocecal valve and distal ileum, with massive accumulation of fresh blood. The bleeding ceased after treatment with intravenous somatostatin and oral thalidomide. Tacrolimus was withdrawn at the same time. Colonoscopy at week 4 of follow-up revealed remarkable healing of the ulcers, and there was no recurrence of bleeding during 1 year of follow-up. No lymphoma, tuberculosis, or infection of cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, or fungus was found in either patient. In post-transplantation cases with ulcers in the distal ileum and ileocecal valve, sirolimus or tacrolimus should be considered a possible risk factor, and withdrawing them or switching to another immunosuppressant might be effective to treat these ulcers.
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Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a chronic inflammatory liver disease leading to cirrhosis and its complications if left untreated. Clinical features include elevated transaminases, elevated immunoglobulin G and the presence of autoantibodies. A liver biopsy is necessary for the establishment of the diagnosis. If treated properly and timely, prognosis of AIH is excellent. Standard treatment today consists of azathioprine and prednisolone and leads to remission in the vast majority of patients. Intolerance to standard treatment or incomplete remission as well as special patient groups such as pregnant patients or elderly patients require second- or sometimes even third-line treatments. For those patients, a number of effective drugs are available off-label and induction of remission will be possible in the vast majority of patients. Choice of drug regimen is important as drug-drug-interactions, concomitant diseases, age and gender of the patients have to be taken into account to achieve a tolerable side effect profile and good quality of life in patients. Mycophenolate mofetil is the drug of first choice in azathioprine intolerance. Other treatments may include the use of cyclosporine, tacrolimus, cyclophosphamide or biologicals such as rituximab or infliximab. Close monitoring of the patients will be necessary as side effects may occur.
To evaluate the efficacy of 0.03% tacrolimus in the treatment of corticosteroid-refractory vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC).
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Therapeutic drug monitoring of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) was found to be beneficial in preventing acute rejection after kidney transplantation. The aim of this pilot prospective study was to evaluate the efficacy of MMF dose adjustment in de novo liver transplant patients receiving MMF at fixed versus concentration-controlled doses [ie, adapted to mycophenolic acid (MPA) AUC0-12h] and tacrolimus during the first 12 months posttransplant. Twenty-nine patients received steroids only up to day 10, induction therapy by lymphoglobulins followed by tacrolimus and MMF. In all patients, MPA AUC0-12h were measured on posttransplant days 7 and 14 and at months 1, 2, 3, 6, and 12. From March 2006 to March 2007, 15 patients received MMF at a fixed dose of 1 g twice a day for 12 months. From April 2007 to December 2007, MMF was given to 14 patients at a dose of 1 g twice a day until day 7 and was then adapted to reach an MPA AUC0-12h target of 30-60 mg x h/L. The proportion of MPA AUC0-12h values within the target range was similar in both groups. The proportion of patients with MPA AUC0-12h below 30 mg x h/L tended to be higher in the fixed dose group within the first month posttransplant. However, MMF dose did not differ significantly between the 2 groups at any period except month 1. MPA AUC0-12h tended to be higher in the concentration-controlled group at day 14 and month 2 and was significantly so at month 1. Tacrolimus trough concentrations tended to be lower in the concentration-controlled group at all study periods and was significantly so at month 3. At 12 months posttransplant, patient and graft survivals, acute rejection rate, and adverse events were similar in both groups. We concluded that adapting the dose of MMF resulted in a significant increase in MPA AUC0-12h at month 1. There was a trend toward a lower proportion of patients with MPA AUC0-12h below 30 mg x h/L in the concentration-controlled group. No difference in outcome was found between both groups.
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We have designed a protocol for ABO-incompatible kidney transplantations based on preoperative plasmapheresis with a tacrolimus/mycophenolate mofetil/methylprednisolone/basiliximab protocol using low-dose rituximab (200 mg/body) instead of splenectomy to prevent antibody-mediated acute rejection. Eight patients successfully received transplants with this protocol. The titers of anti-A and -B antibodies as well as the number of CD20(+) cells were readily maintained at a low level posttransplantation. There were no side effects. All patients have renal transplant function with a follow-up of 1-34 months.
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Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is the most common infectious complication following solid organ transplantation. Ganciclovir (GCV)-resistant CMV infection may be fatal, and is difficult to treat while avoiding allograft rejection. A 31-year-old woman received a second ABO-incompatible kidney transplant, from her father. Induction therapy consisted of basiliximab and rituximab followed by maintenance immunosuppression with tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and methylprednisolone. Her CMV serostatus was D(+) /R(-) at second transplant and she received prophylactic low-dose valganciclovir (VGCV). BK polyoma virus nephropathy (BKVN) developed 7 months after transplant concurrent with CMV hepatitis and retinitis. VGCV was increased to a therapeutic dose combined with reduced immunosuppression with minimal methylprednisolone (2 mg/day) and everolimus (0.5 mg/day). However, pp65 antigenaemia continued to increase for 6 weeks. Her CMV was defined as ganciclovir (GCV)-resistant. Foscarnet was therefore administered and her CMV disease resolved within 2 weeks. Kidney allograft dysfunction developed 9 months after transplant, and graft biopsy showed tubulointerstitial injury with crystal deposition suggesting foscarnet nephrotoxicity, with no findings of BKVN or rejection. Kidney function recovered after cessation of foscarnet and the patient had good graft function 18 months after transplant. This case demonstrates the successful use of foscarnet to treat GCV-resistant CMV infection after ABO-incompatible kidney transplant complicated with BKVN, without acute allograft rejection. This case further highlights the need to establish appropriate management for CMV D(+) /R(-) patients to avoid the acquisition of GCV-resistant gene mutations.
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Studies reporting on rejection rate, allograft survival, or renal function were included and ranked according to the US Preventive Services Task Force classification; excluded were studies that were dose-finding or used cyclosporine only, involved patients on enteric-coated mycophenolate sodium or those with multiorgan transplant, or provided no information on concomitant immunosuppressants. Data extracted were study design, sample size, immunosuppression regimen, type of transplant, and allograft outcomes.
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Cancer is a major cause of mortality among transplant recipients. Immunosuppressive treatment is a modifiable factor contributing to this phenomenon. Cyclosporine in kidney transplant recipients was associated with reduced UV-induced DNA repair by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and increased cancer rate. H(2)O(2) is a common cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), which induces DNA damage followed by DNA repair.
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The endpoints of this investigator-initiated, observational, 36-month follow-up were acute rejection incidence rates, rates of patient and graft survival and renal function. An additional analysis was performed using the combined endpoints BPAR, graft loss and patient death. Data available from the original ITT population (557 patients; 286 tacrolimus and 271 CsA-ME) were analysed.
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Baseline eGFR was 89.3 ± 27.9 (range, 58-145). eGFR decreased to 75.7 ± 26.2, 71 ± 20.6, 66.5 ± 14.8, and 62.1 ± 11.2 at 6 months, 1, 3, and 5 years representing -15.2%, -20.5%, -15.8%, and -22.6% percentage decreases respectively (P < .05 for all pairwise comparisons). The Baseline SCr was 8.6 ± 2.3 mg/L (range, 5-13). SCr progressively increased to 10.1 ± 3, 10.5 ± 3.1, 10.9 ± 3.1, and 11.3 ± 1.7 at 6 months, 1, 3, and 5 years a 17.1%, 22%, 16.6%, and 19.9% increase respectively (P < .05 for all pairwise comparisons). One of ten, 2/8, and 3/7 patients displayed an eGFR <60 at transplantation versus 3 and 5 years thereafter, respectively. No patient developed a SCr > 25 mg/L or eGFR <30 or needed dialysis or kidney transplantation. Five of ten patients had micro-albuminuria or proteinuria before transplantation. Tacrolimus levels were within recommended therapeutic ranges over time.
Mutation of the immunophilin-like FK506-binding protein TWISTED DWARF1 (FKBP42/TWD1) causes dwarf and twisted-organ phenotypes in Arabidopsis. However, the function of FKBP42 is not fully understood at the molecular level. Using genetic, physiological, and immunological experiments, we show here that FKBP42/TWD1 is necessary for brassinosteroid (BR) signal transduction. The twd1 mutant showed reduced BR sensitivity in growth responses and activation of the BZR1 transcription factor. However, twd1 showed normal responses to an inhibitor of BIN2/GSK3, suggesting that twd1 has a defect upstream of BIN2 in the BR signaling pathway. In vitro and in vivo assays showed that TWD1 interacts physically with the kinase domains of the BR receptor kinases BRI1 and BAK1. TWD1 is not required for normal localization of BRI1-GFP to the plasma membrane or for activation of the flagellin receptor kinase FLS2. Our results suggest that FKBP42/TWD1 plays a specific role in the activation of BRI1 receptor kinase.
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Eighty patients received the study drug (40 patients in each group) and were included in the full analysis set. In the full analysis set, there was no significant difference in the primary efficacy endpoint between the two groups (p = 0.078). However, some secondary analyses suggested the steroid-sparing effect of tacrolimus. Tacrolimus was well tolerated, and no safety concerns were noted.
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The overall mean daily-dose requirement to reach the same predose Tac blood concentration was 33% lower for carriers of the T variant allele than for rs35599367CC patients (95% CI, -46% to -20%; P = 0.018). When combined with the *3 genotype of the CYP3A5 (cytochrome P450, family 3, subfamily A, polypeptide 5) gene, the rs35599367C>T SNP was also associated with a risk of supratherapeutic Tac concentrations (>15 μg/L) during the first 3 days after surgery, with an odds ratio of 8.7 for carriers of the CYP3A4 T allele plus CYP3A5*3/*3 (P = 0.027) and 4.2 for the CYP3A4 CC homozygotes plus CYP3A5*3/*3 (P = 0.002), compared with CYP3A4 CC homozygotes having 1 or 2 CYP3A5*1 alleles. The overall increase in the Tac dose-adjusted trough blood concentration was +179% for carriers of the CYP3A4 T allele with CYP3A5*3/*3 (P < 0.001), +101% for CYP3A4 CC homozygotes with CYP3A5*3/*3 (P < 0.001), and +64% for CYP3A4 T allele carriers with CYP3A5*1 (P = 0.020),compared with CYP3A4 CC homozygotes with CYP3A5*1.
Quantitative BKV DNA surveillance in plasma/urine and cytological testing in urine were performed regularly within the first year post-transplantation in 229 kidney recipients. Patients with BK viremia and BKVAN treated with immunosuppression reduction were monitored for BKV every 3-6 months. All the patients were followed up for a minimum of 5 years to exclude later development of BKVAN. Potential variables were compared and analyzed using logistic regression model multivariate analysis to assess and rank the BKV infection-related factors.
Dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis leads to impaired stress response. FK506-binding protein 51 (FKBP5), which influences HPA axis activity via glucocorticoid receptors, is supposed to play an important role in the regulation of negative feedback and glucocorticoid resistance. Since ineffective stress response mechanisms are considered as a biological background of suicide behavior, we aimed to analyze a possible association between FKBP5 functional polymorphisms and completed suicide.
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A total of 62 consecutive patients with VKC refractory to conventional treatment were included retrospectively. Tacrolimus 0.01% ophthalmic solution was administered to patients twice daily after discontinuation of all previous topical medications. The duration of treatment ranged from 1 month to 29 months. The clinical symptoms of itching, redness, foreign body sensation, and discharge and the clinical signs of conjunctival hyperemia, conjunctival papillary hypertrophy, limbal infiltration, Trantas dots, and superficial punctate keratopathy were graded as 0 (normal), 1+ (mild), 2+ (moderate), or 3+ (severe). Assessment was carried out before initiation of therapy and on the last visit after treatment.
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Linearity was observed from 0.16 to 2.5 μmol/L of product peptide, with accuracy in the 15% tolerance range. Intraassay and interassay recoveries were 100.6 (9.6) and 100 (7.5), respectively. Michaelis-Menten kinetics for purified CN were Km = 10.7 (1.6) μmol/L, Vmax = 2.8 (0.3) μmol/min · mg, and for Jurkat lysate, Km = 182.2 (118.0) μmol/L, Vmax = 0.013 (0.006) μmol/min · mg. PBMC CN activity was successfully measured in a single tube with an inhibitor cocktail.
A study of mortality in renal transplantation recipients showed that the combination of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and tacrolimus (TaC) reduced the mortality rate. We studied 1045 consecutive adult deceased donor kidney transplant recipients from 1986-2001, where follow-up to 2011 was a minimum of 10 years, to analyze the impact of these immunosuppressive drugs on patient survival. Cox multivariate analysis showed that treatment with MMF and the use of TaC instead of cyclosporine reduced the risk of death by 43%. In conclusion, both immunosuppressive drugs reduced the risk of death of patients receiving from renal transplants deceased donors.
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Macaques given a rAAV5 vector encoding human PBGD developed cellular and humoral immunity against viral capsids but not towards the transgene. Anti-AAV humoral responses were attenuated during 12 weeks but intensely rebounded following cessation of the immunosuppressants. Accordingly, subsequent gene transfer with a rAAV5 vector encoding green fluorescent protein was impossible. One macaque showed enhanced PBGD expression 25 weeks after rAAV5-pbgd administration but overexpression had not been detected while the animal was under immunosuppression. As a potential explanation, MMF decreases transgene expression in mouse livers that had been successfully transduced by a rAAV5 several weeks before MMF onset. Such a silencing effect was independent of AAV complementary strand synthesis and requires an adaptive immune system.
A combination of narrowband ultraviolet B (NBUVB) phototherapy plus topical tacrolimus has been used in adult vitiligo but has not yet been explored in children. We therefore sought to highlight the efficacy of this synergistic combination in childhood vitiligo. The objective was to study the clinical efficacy and safety of a combination of NBUVB with topical tacrolimus ointment 0.03% in childhood vitiligo.
At the time of LDLT, all patients had end-stage cholestatic liver failure. Seven patients were positive for AMAand anti-M2 while 1 patient was negative for these markers but strongly positive for ANA. Donors were blood relatives in 6 cases, and 2 donors who were not blood relatives still exhibited multiple HLA matches with the recipients. At the end of the study in May 2006, all patients were doing well. On laboratory examination, mild abnormal liver function test results were found in 4 patients: 3 were probably due to recurrence of PBC, 1 resulted from nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Comparison of the AMA titer between before LDLT and the most recent follow-up visit showed an increase in three patients, a decrease in two patients and no change in three patients. In contrast, the ANA titer increased in five patients. Histologically, strong evidence of recurrent PBC was found in 4 patients, and findings compatible with PBC were present in 2 additional patients.
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Hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) is a frequent and severe complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) affecting 9.6-17.3 % of cases. 200 HSCT, performed between January 1995 and March 2013 in our Paediatric HSCT Centre in Trieste, were retrospectively analysed to evaluate the frequency of VOD and to identify the associated risk factors. The frequency of VOD according to the Seattle criteria was 17 %, within the range reported in literature. The mortality rate was 37.5 % (75 out of 200 transplantations) in the general population and 73.5 % (25 out of 34) in VOD patients (p < 0.05). Veno-occlusive disease significantly decreased from 38 % (1995-2000) to 8 % (2007-2013) p < 0.05. Univariate and multivariate analyses identified sepsis and pre-transplant ferritin levels above 1000 ng/ml as two significant risk factors for VOD, while the use of tacrolimus appeared to be associated with a lower VOD risk. Veno-occlusive disease still remains an important cause of transplant-related mortality even if it appears to have decreased over the last few years.
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Intravesical therapy is a valuable option in the clinical management of urinary tract disorders such as interstitial cystitis/ painful bladder syndrome (IC/PBS) and refractory overactive bladder. This review will cover the latest advances in this field using polymer and liposomes as delivery platform for drugs, protein and nucleic acids.
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Intestinal absorption and metabolism of tacrolimus was significantly affected by the SNPs in the CYP3A5 and MDR1 genes, which may offer a useful tool to optimize tacrolimus dosing after renal transplantation.
FK506 binding protein (FKBP)-51 and FKBP52 act as molecular chaperones to control glucocorticoid receptor (GR) sensitivity. Dysregulation of proteins involved in GR-mediated signaling can lead to maladaptive stress response and aging-related cognitive decline. As HIV infection is related to chronic stress, we hypothesized that altered cortical expression of these proteins was associated with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). We used quantitative immunohistochemistry to assess expression levels of these proteins in the mid-frontal gyrus of 55 HIV-infected subjects free of cerebral opportunistic diseases compared to 20 age-matched non-HIV controls. The immunoreactivity normalized to the neuroanatomic area measured (IRn) for FKBP51 was increased in HIV subjects both in the cortex and subcortical white matter (p < 0.0001, U test), while no significant alterations were observed for GR or FKBP52. Notably, the cortical FKBP51 IRn was higher in HAND subjects than in cognitively normal HIV subjects (p = 0.02, U test). There was also a trend for increasing cortical FKBP51 IRn with the increasing severity of HAND (p = 0.08, Kruskal-Wallis test). No significant changes in FKBP51 IRn were found with respect to hepatitis C virus infection, lifetime methamphetamine use, or antiretroviral treatment in HIV subjects. In conclusion, the increased cortical expression of FKBP51 (an inhibitor for GR activity) might represent negative feedback in an attempt to reduce GR sensitivity in the setting of chronic stress-induced elevation of GR-mediated signaling inherent in HIV infection. The further increased FKBP51 expression might lead to maladaptive stress response and HAND.