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  • Deep Brain Stimulation for Obesity. Cureus Ho, A. L., Sussman, E. S., Zhang, M., Pendharkar, A. V., Azagury, D. E., Bohon, C., Halpern, C. H. 2015; 7 (3)

    Abstract

    Obesity is now the third leading cause of preventable death in the US, accounting for 216,000 deaths annually and nearly 100 billion dollars in health care costs. Despite advancements in bariatric surgery, substantial weight regain and recurrence of the associated metabolic syndrome still occurs in almost 20-35% of patients over the long-term, necessitating the development of novel therapies. Our continually expanding knowledge of the neuroanatomic and neuropsychiatric underpinnings of obesity has led to increased interest in neuromodulation as a new treatment for obesity refractory to current medical, behavioral, and surgical therapies. Recent clinical trials of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in chronic cluster headache, Alzheimer's disease, and depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of targeting the hypothalamus and reward circuitry of the brain with electrical stimulation, and thus provide the basis for a neuromodulatory approach to treatment-refractory obesity. In this study, we review the literature implicating these targets for DBS in the neural circuitry of obesity. We will also briefly review ethical considerations for such an intervention, and discuss genetic secondary-obesity syndromes that may also benefit from DBS. In short, we hope to provide the scientific foundation to justify trials of DBS for the treatment of obesity targeting these specific regions of the brain.

    View details for DOI 10.7759/cureus.259

    View details for PubMedID 26180683

  • Macrophages eat cancer cells using their own calreticulin as a guide: Roles of TLR and Btk. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Feng, M., Chen, J. Y., Weissman-Tsukamoto, R., Volkmer, J., Ho, P. Y., McKenna, K. M., Cheshier, S., Zhang, M., Guo, N., Gip, P., Mitra, S. S., Weissman, I. L. 2015; 112 (7): 2145-2150

    Abstract

    Macrophage-mediated programmed cell removal (PrCR) is an important mechanism of eliminating diseased and damaged cells before programmed cell death. The induction of PrCR by eat-me signals on tumor cells is countered by don't-eat-me signals such as CD47, which binds macrophage signal-regulatory protein ╬▒ to inhibit phagocytosis. Blockade of CD47 on tumor cells leads to phagocytosis by macrophages. Here we demonstrate that the activation of Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling pathways in macrophages synergizes with blocking CD47 on tumor cells to enhance PrCR. Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk) mediates TLR signaling in macrophages. Calreticulin, previously shown to be an eat-me signal on cancer cells, is activated in macrophages for secretion and cell-surface exposure by TLR and Btk to target cancer cells for phagocytosis, even if the cancer cells themselves do not express calreticulin.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1424907112

    View details for PubMedID 25646432

  • Galvanizing medical students in the administration of influenza vaccines: the Stanford Flu Crew. Advances in medical education and practice Rizal, R. E., Mediratta, R. P., Xie, J., Kambhampati, S., Hills-Evans, K., Montacute, T., Zhang, M., Zaw, C., He, J., Sanchez, M., Pischel, L. 2015; 6: 471-477

    Abstract

    Many national organizations call for medical students to receive more public health education in medical school. Nonetheless, limited evidence exists about successful servicelearning programs that administer preventive health services in nonclinical settings. The Flu Crew program, started in 2001 at the Stanford University School of Medicine, provides preclinical medical students with opportunities to administer influenza immunizations in the local community. Medical students consider Flu Crew to be an important part of their medical education that cannot be learned in the classroom. Through delivering vaccines to where people live, eat, work, and pray, Flu Crew teaches medical students about patient care, preventive medicine, and population health needs. Additionally, Flu Crew allows students to work with several partners in the community in order to understand how various stakeholders improve the delivery of population health services. Flu Crew teaches students how to address common vaccination myths and provides insights into implementing public health interventions. This article describes the Stanford Flu Crew curriculum, outlines the planning needed to organize immunization events, shares findings from medical students' attitudes about population health, highlights the program's outcomes, and summarizes the lessons learned. This article suggests that Flu Crew is an example of one viable service-learning modality that supports influenza vaccinations in nonclinical settings while simultaneously benefiting future clinicians.

    View details for DOI 10.2147/AMEP.S70294

    View details for PubMedID 26170731

  • Intraoperative Neuromonitoring in Single-Level Spinal Procedures A Retrospective Propensity Score-Matched Analysis in a National Longitudinal Database SPINE Cole, T., Veeravagu, A., Zhang, M., Li, A., Ratliff, J. K. 2014; 39 (23): 1950-1959
  • Sequence-dependent Structural Variation in DNA Undergoing Intrahelical Inspection by the DNA glycosylase MutM JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Sung, R., Zhang, M., Qi, Y., Verdine, G. L. 2012; 287 (22): 18044-18054

    Abstract

    MutM, a bacterial DNA-glycosylase, plays a critical role in maintaining genome integrity by catalyzing glycosidic bond cleavage of 8-oxoguanine (oxoG) lesions to initiate base excision DNA repair. The task faced by MutM of locating rare oxoG residues embedded in an overwhelming excess of undamaged bases is especially challenging given the close structural similarity between oxoG and its normal progenitor, guanine (G). MutM actively interrogates the DNA to detect the presence of an intrahelical, fully base-paired oxoG, whereupon the enzyme promotes extrusion of the target nucleobase from the DNA duplex and insertion into the extrahelical active site. Recent structural studies have begun to provide the first glimpse into the protein-DNA interactions that enable MutM to distinguish an intrahelical oxoG from G; however, these initial studies left open the important question of how MutM can recognize oxoG residues embedded in 16 different neighboring sequence contexts (considering only the 5'- and 3'-neighboring base pairs). In this study we set out to understand the manner and extent to which intrahelical lesion recognition varies as a function of the 5'-neighbor. Here we report a comprehensive, systematic structural analysis of the effect of the 5'-neighboring base pair on recognition of an intrahelical oxoG lesion. These structures reveal that MutM imposes the same extrusion-prone ("extrudogenic") backbone conformation on the oxoG lesion irrespective of its 5'-neighbor while leaving the rest of the DNA relatively free to adjust to the particular demands of individual sequences.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M111.313635

    View details for Web of Science ID 000306411600014

    View details for PubMedID 22465958

  • Strandwise translocation of a DNA glycosylase on undamaged DNA PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Qi, Y., Nam, K., Spong, M. C., Banerjee, A., Sung, R., Zhang, M., Karplus, M., Verdine, G. L. 2012; 109 (4): 1086-1091

    Abstract

    Base excision repair of genotoxic nucleobase lesions in the genome is critically dependent upon the ability of DNA glycosylases to locate rare sites of damage embedded in a vast excess of undamaged DNA, using only thermal energy to fuel the search process. Considerable interest surrounds the question of how DNA glycosylases translocate efficiently along DNA while maintaining their vigilance for target damaged sites. Here, we report the observation of strandwise translocation of 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase, MutM, along undamaged DNA. In these complexes, the protein is observed to translocate by one nucleotide on one strand while remaining untranslocated on the complementary strand. We further report that alterations of single base-pairs or a single amino acid substitution (R112A) can induce strandwise translocation. Molecular dynamics simulations confirm that MutM can translocate along DNA in a strandwise fashion. These observations reveal a previously unobserved mode of movement for a DNA-binding protein along the surface of DNA.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1111237108

    View details for Web of Science ID 000299412600024

    View details for PubMedID 22219368

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