(1/31542) Economic consequences of the progression of rheumatoid arthritis in Sweden.

OBJECTIVE: To develop a simulation model for analysis of the cost-effectiveness of treatments that affect the progression of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: The Markov model was developed on the basis of a Swedish cohort of 116 patients with early RA who were followed up for 5 years. The majority of patients had American College of Rheumatology (ACR) functional class II disease, and Markov states indicating disease severity were defined based on Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) scores. Costs were calculated from data on resource utilization and patients' work capacity. Utilities (preference weights for health states) were assessed using the EQ-5D (EuroQol) questionnaire. Hypothetical treatment interventions were simulated to illustrate the model. RESULTS: The cohort distribution among the 6 Markov states clearly showed the progression of the disease over 5 years of followup. Costs increased with increasing severity of the Markov states, and total costs over 5 years were higher for patients who were in more severe Markov states at diagnosis. Utilities correlated well with the Markov states, and the EQ-5D was able to discriminate between patients with different HAQ scores within ACR functional class II. CONCLUSION: The Markov model was able to assess disease progression and costs in RA. The model can therefore be a useful tool in calculating the cost-effectiveness of different interventions aimed at changing the progression of the disease.  (+info)

(2/31542) Voltage-dependent properties of dendrites that eliminate location-dependent variability of synaptic input.

We examined the hypothesis that voltage-dependent properties of dendrites allow for the accurate transfer of synaptic information to the soma independent of synapse location. This hypothesis is motivated by experimental evidence that dendrites contain a complex array of voltage-gated channels. How these channels affect synaptic integration is unknown. One hypothesized role for dendritic voltage-gated channels is to counteract passive cable properties, rendering all synapses electrotonically equidistant from the soma. With dendrites modeled as passive cables, the effect a synapse exerts at the soma depends on dendritic location (referred to as location-dependent variability of the synaptic input). In this theoretical study we used a simplified three-compartment model of a neuron to determine the dendritic voltage-dependent properties required for accurate transfer of synaptic information to the soma independent of synapse location. A dendrite that eliminates location-dependent variability requires three components: 1) a steady-state, voltage-dependent inward current that together with the passive leak current provides a net outward current and a zero slope conductance at depolarized potentials, 2) a fast, transient, inward current that compensates for dendritic membrane capacitance, and 3) both alpha amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid- and N-methyl-D-aspartate-like synaptic conductances that together permit synapses to behave as ideal current sources. These components are consistent with the known properties of dendrites. In addition, these results indicate that a dendrite designed to eliminate location-dependent variability also actively back-propagates somatic action potentials.  (+info)

(3/31542) Localization of curved DNA and its association with nucleosome phasing in the promoter region of the human estrogen receptor alpha gene.

We determined DNA bend sites in the promoter region of the human estrogen receptor (ER) gene by the circular permutation assay. A total of five sites (ERB-4 to -1, and ERB+1) mapped in the 3 kb region showed an average distance of 688 bp. Most of the sites were accompanied by short poly(dA) x poly(dT) tracts including the potential bend core sequence A2N8A2N8A2 (A/A/A). Fine mapping of the ERB-2 site indicated that this A/A/A and the 20 bp immediate flanking sequence containing one half of the estrogen response element were the sites of DNA curvature. All of the experimentally mapped bend sites corresponded to the positions of DNA curvature as well as to nucleosomes predicted by computer analysis. In vitro nucleosome mapping at ERB-2 revealed that the bend center was located 10-30 bp from the experimental and predicted nucleosome dyad axes.  (+info)

(4/31542) The biochemical role of glutamine 188 in human galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase.

The substitution of arginine for glutamine at amino acid 188 (Q188R) ablates the function of human galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase (GALT) and is the most common mutation causing galactosemia in the white population. GALT catalyzes two consecutive reactions. The first reaction binds UDP-glucose (UDP-Glu), displaces glucose-1-phosphate (glu-1-P), and forms the UMP-GALT intermediate. In the second reaction, galactose-1-phosphate (gal-1-P) is bound, UDP-galactose (UDP-Gal) is released, and the free enzyme is recycled. In this study, we modeled glutamine, asparagine, and a common mutation arginine at amino acid 188 on the three-dimensional model of the Escherichia coli GALT-UMP protein crystal. We found that the amide group of the glutamine side chain could provide two hydrogen bonds to the phosphoryl oxygens of UMP with lengths of 2.52 and 2.82 A. Arginine and asparagine could provide only one hydrogen bond of 2. 52 and 3.02 A, respectively. To test this model, we purified recombinant human Gln188-, Arg188-, and Asn188-GALT and analyzed the first reaction in the absence of gal-1-P by quantitating glu-1-P released using enzyme-linked methods. Gln188-GALT displaced 80 +/- 7. 0 nmol glu-1-P/mg GALT/min in the first reaction. By contrast, both Arg188- and Asn188-GALT released more glu-1-P (170 +/- 8.0 and 129 +/- 28.4 nmol/mg GALT/min, respectively). The overall, double displacement reaction was quantitated in the presence of gal-1-P. Gln188-GALT produced 80,030 +/- 5,910 nmol glu-1-P/mg GALT/min, whereas the mutant Arg188- and Asn188-GALT released only 600 +/- 71. 2 and 2960 +/- 283.6 nmole glu-1-P/mg GALT/min, respectively. We conclude from these data that glutamine at position 188 stabilizes the UMP-GALT intermediate through hydrogen bonding and enables the double displacement of both glu-1-P and UDP-Gal. The substitution of arginine or asparagine at position 188 reduces hydrogen bonding and destabilizes UMP-GALT. The unstable UMP-GALT allows single displacement of glu-1-P with release of free GALT but impairs the subsequent binding of gal-1-P and displacement of UDP-Gal.  (+info)

(5/31542) All 16 centromere DNAs from Saccharomyces cerevisiae show DNA curvature.

All 16 centromere DNA regions of Saccharomyces cerevisiae including 90 bp framing sequences on either side were cloned. These 300 bp long centromere regions were analysed by native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and found to display a reduced mobility indicative of DNA curvature. The degree of curvature is centromere dependent. The experimental data were confirmed by computer analysis of the 3-dimensional structure of the CEN DNAs. Altogether these data provide further evidence for a model for budding yeast centromeres in which CEN DNA structure could be important for the assembly, activity and/or regulation of the centromere protein-DNA complex.  (+info)

(6/31542) Molecular dynamics as a tool to detect protein foldability. A mutant of domain B1 of protein G with non-native secondary structure propensities.

The usefulness of molecular dynamics to assess the structural integrity of mutants containing several mutations has been investigated. Our goal was to determine whether molecular dynamics would be able to discriminate mutants of a protein having a close-to-wild-type fold, from those that are not folded under the same conditions. We used as a model the B1 domain of protein G in which we replaced the unique central alpha-helix by the sequence of the second beta-hairpin, which has a strong intrinsic propensity to form this secondary structure in solution. In the resulting protein, one-third of the secondary structure has been replaced by a non-native one. Models of the mutants were built based on the three-dimensional structure of the wild-type GB1 domain. During 2 ns of molecular dynamics simulations on these models, mutants containing up to 10 mutations in the helix retained the native fold, while another mutant with an additional mutation unfolded. This result is in agreement with our circular dichroism and NMR experiments, which indicated that the former mutants fold into a structure similar to the wild-type, as opposed to the latter mutant which is partly unfolded. Additionally, a mutant containing six mutations scattered through the surface of the domain, and which is unfolded, was also detected by the simulation. This study suggests that molecular dynamics calculations could be performed on molecular models of mutants of a protein to evaluate their foldability, prior to a mutagenesis experiment.  (+info)

(7/31542) Crystal structure of human muscle aldolase complexed with fructose 1,6-bisphosphate: mechanistic implications.

Fructose 1,6-bisphosphate aldolase catalyzes the reversible cleavage of fructose 1,6-bisphosphate and fructose 1-phosphate to dihydroxyacetone phosphate and either glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate or glyceraldehyde, respectively. Catalysis involves the formation of a Schiff's base intermediate formed at the epsilon-amino group of Lys229. The existing apo-enzyme structure was refined using the crystallographic free-R-factor and maximum likelihood methods that have been shown to give improved structural results that are less subject to model bias. Crystals were also soaked with the natural substrate (fructose 1,6-bisphosphate), and the crystal structure of this complex has been determined to 2.8 A. The apo structure differs from the previous Brookhaven-deposited structure (1ald) in the flexible C-terminal region. This is also the region where the native and complex structures exhibit differences. The conformational changes between native and complex structure are not large, but the observed complex does not involve the full formation of the Schiff's base intermediate, and suggests a preliminary hydrogen-bonded Michaelis complex before the formation of the covalent complex.  (+info)

(8/31542) Crystal structure of the FMN-binding domain of human cytochrome P450 reductase at 1.93 A resolution.

The crystal structure of the FMN-binding domain of human NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase (P450R-FMN), a key component in the cytochrome P450 monooxygenase system, has been determined to 1.93 A resolution and shown to be very similar both to the global fold in solution (Barsukov I et al., 1997, J Biomol NMR 10:63-75) and to the corresponding domain in the 2.6 A crystal structure of intact rat P450R (Wang M et al., 1997, Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 94:8411-8416). The crystal structure of P450R-FMN reported here confirms the overall similarity of its alpha-beta-alpha architecture to that of the bacterial flavodoxins, but reveals differences in the position, number, and length of the helices relative to the central beta-sheet. The marked similarity between P450R-FMN and flavodoxins in the interactions between the FMN and the protein, indicate a striking evolutionary conservation of the FMN binding site. The P450R-FMN molecule has an unusual surface charge distribution, leading to a very strong dipole, which may be involved in docking cytochrome P450 into place for electron transfer near the FMN. Several acidic residues near the FMN are identified by mutagenesis experiments to be important for electron transfer to P4502D6 and to cytochrome c, a clear indication of the part of the molecular surface that is likely to be involved in substrate binding. Somewhat different parts are found to be involved in binding cytochrome P450 and cytochrome c.  (+info)