PLOS ONE

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/

List of Papers (Total 193,090)

Cost-Effectiveness of an Opportunistic Screening Programme and Brief Intervention for Excessive Alcohol Use in Primary Care

Background Effective prevention of excessive alcohol use has the potential to reduce the public burden of disease considerably. We investigated the cost-effectiveness of Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) for excessive alcohol use in primary care in the Netherlands, which is targeted at early detection and treatment of ‘at-risk’ drinkers. Methodology and Results We compared a...

Adenylyl Cyclases 1 and 8 Initiate a Presynaptic Homeostatic Response to Ethanol Treatment

Background Although ethanol exerts widespread action in the brain, only recently has progress been made in understanding the specific events occurring at the synapse during ethanol exposure. Mice deficient in the calcium-stimulated adenylyl cyclases, AC1 and AC8 (DKO), demonstrate increased sedation duration and impaired phosphorylation by protein kinase A (PKA) following acute...

Twelve Years' Experience with Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs in Canada: A Cautionary Tale

Background Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription drugs is illegal in Canada as a health protection measure, but is permitted in the United States. However, in 2000, Canadian policy was changed to allow ‘reminder’ advertising of prescription drugs. This is a form of advertising that states the brand name without health claims. ‘Reminder’ advertising is prohibited...

A Sequence and Structure Based Method to Predict Putative Substrates, Functions and Regulatory Networks of Endo Proteases

Background Proteases play a central role in cellular homeostasis and are responsible for the spatio- temporal regulation of function. Many putative proteases have been recently identified through genomic approaches, leading to a surge in global profiling attempts to characterize their function. Through such efforts and others it has become evident that many proteases play non...

Mitochondrial Alterations in PINK1 Deficient Cells Are Influenced by Calcineurin-Dependent Dephosphorylation of Dynamin-Related Protein 1

PTEN-induced novel kinase 1 (PINK1) mutations are associated with autosomal recessive parkinsonism. Previous studies have shown that PINK1 influences both mitochondrial function and morphology although it is not clearly established which of these are primary events and which are secondary. Here, we describe a novel mechanism linking mitochondrial dysfunction and alterations in...

CD152 (CTLA-4) Determines CD4 T Cell Migration In Vitro and In Vivo

Background Migration of antigen-experienced T cells to secondary lymphoid organs and the site of antigenic-challenge is a mandatory prerequisite for the precise functioning of adaptive immune responses. The surface molecule CD152 (CTLA-4) is mostly considered as a negative regulator of T cell activation during immune responses. It is currently unknown whether CD152 can also...

The Role of Toll-Like Receptor 2 in Inflammation and Fibrosis during Progressive Renal Injury

Tissue fibrosis and chronic inflammation are common causes of progressive organ damage, including progressive renal disease, leading to loss of physiological functions. Recently, it was shown that Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) is expressed in the kidney and activated by endogenous danger signals. The expression and function of TLR2 during renal fibrosis and chronic inflammation has...

Transcriptional Down-Regulation and rRNA Cleavage in Dictyostelium discoideum Mitochondria during Legionella pneumophila Infection

Bacterial pathogens employ a variety of survival strategies when they invade eukaryotic cells. The amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is used as a model host to study the pathogenic mechanisms that Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaire's disease, uses to kill eukaryotic cells. Here we show that the infection of D. discoideum by L. pneumophila results in a...

Larger than Life: Humans' Nonverbal Status Cues Alter Perceived Size

Background Social dominance and physical size are closely linked. Nonverbal dominance displays in many non-human species are known to increase the displayer's apparent size. Humans also employ a variety of nonverbal cues that increase apparent status, but it is not yet known whether these cues function via a similar mechanism: by increasing the displayer's apparent size...

Codon Size Reduction as the Origin of the Triplet Genetic Code

The genetic code appears to be optimized in its robustness to missense errors and frameshift errors. In addition, the genetic code is near-optimal in terms of its ability to carry information in addition to the sequences of encoded proteins. As evolution has no foresight, optimality of the modern genetic code suggests that it evolved from less optimal code variants. The length of...

Tat-SF1 Is Not Required for Tat Transactivation but Does Regulate the Relative Levels of Unspliced and Spliced HIV-1 RNAs

Background HIV-1 relies on several host proteins for productive viral transcription. HIV-1 Tat-specific factor 1 (Tat-SF1) is among these cofactors that were identified by in vitro reconstituted transcription reactions with immunodepleted nuclear extracts. At the onset of this work, the prevailing hypothesis was that Tat-SF1 was a required cofactor for the viral regulatory...

Sox17 Promotes Cell Cycle Progression and Inhibits TGF-β/Smad3 Signaling to Initiate Progenitor Cell Behavior in the Respiratory Epithelium

The Sry-related high mobility group box transcription factor Sox17 is required for diverse developmental processes including endoderm formation, vascular development, and fetal hematopoietic stem cell maintenance. Expression of Sox17 in mature respiratory epithelial cells causes proliferation and lineage respecification, suggesting that Sox17 can alter adult lung progenitor cell...

Genetic Diversity of Staphylocoagulase Genes (coa): Insight into the Evolution of Variable Chromosomal Virulence Factors in Staphylococcus aureus

Background The production of staphylocoagulase (SC) causing the plasma coagulation is one of the important characteristics of Staphylococcus aureus. Although SCs have been classified into 10 serotypes based on the differences in the antigenicity, genetic bases for their diversities and relatedness to chromosome types are poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings We...

Treatment of Peritoneal Carcinomatosis by Targeted Delivery of the Radio-Labeled Tumor Homing Peptide 213Bi-DTPA-[F3]2 into the Nucleus of Tumor Cells

Background α-particle emitting isotopes are effective novel tools in cancer therapy, but targeted delivery into tumors is a prerequisite of their application to avoid toxic side effects. Peritoneal carcinomatosis is a widespread dissemination of tumors throughout the peritoneal cavity. As peritoneal carcinomatosis is fatal in most cases, novel therapies are needed. F3 is a tumor...

Novel Application of Fluorescence Lifetime and Fluorescence Microscopy Enables Quantitative Access to Subcellular Dynamics in Plant Cells

Background Optical and spectroscopic technologies working at subcellular resolution with quantitative output are required for a deeper understanding of molecular processes and mechanisms in living cells. Such technologies are prerequisite for the realisation of predictive biology at cellular and subcellular level. However, although established in the physical sciences, these...

Combined Targeting of BRAF and CRAF or BRAF and PI3K Effector Pathways Is Required for Efficacy in NRAS Mutant Tumors

Background Oncogenic RAS is a highly validated cancer target. Attempts at targeting RAS directly have so far not succeeded in the clinic. Understanding downstream RAS-effectors that mediate oncogenesis in a RAS mutant setting will help tailor treatments that use RAS-effector inhibitors either alone or in combination to target RAS-driven tumors. Methodology/Principal Findings In...

Sequence Conservation in Plasmodium falciparum α-Helical Coiled Coil Domains Proposed for Vaccine Development

Background The availability of the P. falciparum genome has led to novel ways to identify potential vaccine candidates. A new approach for antigen discovery based on the bioinformatic selection of heptad repeat motifs corresponding to α-helical coiled coil structures yielded promising results. To elucidate the question about the relationship between the coiled coil motifs and...

Concentration and Length Dependence of DNA Looping in Transcriptional Regulation

In many cases, transcriptional regulation involves the binding of transcription factors at sites on the DNA that are not immediately adjacent to the promoter of interest. This action at a distance is often mediated by the formation of DNA loops: Binding at two or more sites on the DNA results in the formation of a loop, which can bring the transcription factor into the immediate...

TRAF6 Establishes Innate Immune Responses by Activating NF-κB and IRF7 upon Sensing Cytosolic Viral RNA and DNA

Background In response to viral infection, the innate immune system recognizes viral nucleic acids and then induces production of proinflammatory cytokines and type I interferons (IFNs). Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) and TLR9 detect viral RNA and DNA, respectively, in endosomal compartments, leading to the activation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and IFN regulatory factors (IRFs) in...

Covert Reorganization of Implicit Task Representations by Slow Wave Sleep

Background There is evidence that slow wave sleep (SWS) promotes the consolidation of memories that are subserved by mediotemporal- and hippocampo-cortical neural networks. In contrast to implicit memories, explicit memories are accompanied by conscious (attentive and controlled) processing. Awareness at pre-sleep encoding has been recognized as critical for the off-line memory...

Variation in Phenotype, Parasite Load and Male Competitive Ability across a Cryptic Hybrid Zone

Background Molecular genetic studies are revealing an increasing number of cryptic lineages or species, which are highly genetically divergent but apparently cannot be distinguished morphologically. This observation gives rise to three important questions: 1) have these cryptic lineages diverged in phenotypic traits that may not be obvious to humans; 2) when cryptic lineages come...

Coordination of Membrane and Actin Cytoskeleton Dynamics during Filopodia Protrusion

Leading edge protrusion of migrating cells involves tightly coordinated changes in the plasma membrane and actin cytoskeleton. It remains unclear whether polymerizing actin filaments push and deform the membrane, or membrane deformation occurs independently and is subsequently stabilized by actin filaments. To address this question, we employed an ability of the membrane-binding...

Down-Regulation of ZnT8 Expression in INS-1 Rat Pancreatic Beta Cells Reduces Insulin Content and Glucose-Inducible Insulin Secretion

The SLC30A8 gene codes for a pancreatic beta-cell-expressed zinc transporter, ZnT8. A polymorphism in the SLC30A8 gene is associated with susceptibility to type 2 diabetes, although the molecular mechanism through which this phenotype is manifest is incompletely understood. Such polymorphisms may exert their effect via impacting expression level of the gene product. We used an...

Middleborns Disadvantaged? Testing Birth-Order Effects on Fitness in Pre-Industrial Finns

Parental investment is a limited resource for which offspring compete in order to increase their own survival and reproductive success. However, parents might be selected to influence the outcome of sibling competition through differential investment. While evidence for this is widespread in egg-laying species, whether or not this may also be the case in viviparous species is...

Reexamining microRNA Site Accessibility in Drosophila: A Population Genomics Study

Kertesz et al. (Nature Genetics 2008) described PITA, a miRNA target prediction algorithm based on hybridization energy and site accessibility. In this note, we used a population genomics approach to reexamine their data and found that the PITA algorithm had lower specificity than methods based on evolutionary conservation at comparable levels of sensitivity. We also showed that...