1. Interictal amylin levels in chronic migraine patients: A case-control study
Pablo Irimia, et al. Cephalalgia. 2021 Apr;41(5):604-612. doi: 10.1177/0333102420977106. Epub 2020 Dec 3.
Background: Recently, amylin and its receptors were found in different structures involved in migraine pathophysiology. Here, we evaluate interictal concentrations of amylin and calcitonin gene-related peptide in peripheral blood as biomarkers for chronic migraine. Methods: We prospectively recruited patients with episodic migraine, chronic migraine and healthy controls. Interictal amylin and calcitonin gene-related peptide levels were assessed in blood samples using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Results: We assessed plasma samples from 58 patients with episodic migraine (mean age 37.71 ± 10.47, 87.9% female), 191 with chronic migraine (mean age 46.03 ± 11.93, 95% female), and on 68 healthy controls (mean age 43.58 ± 11.08 years, 86% female). Body mass index was 25.94 ± 4.53 kg/m2 for migraine patients and 25.13 ± 4.92 kg/m2 for healthy controls (p = 0.0683). Interictal plasma amylin levels were higher in chronic migraine patients (47.1 pg/mL) than in the episodic migraine patients (28.84 pg/mL, p < 0.0001) and healthy controls (24.74 pg/mL, p < 0.0001). Plasma calcitonin gene-related peptide levels were increased (20.01 pg/mL) in chronic migraine patients when compared to healthy controls (11.37 pg/mL, p = 0.0016), but not to episodic migraine patients (18.89 pg/mL, p = 0.4369). Applying a cut-off concentration of 39.68 pg/mL plasma amylin, the sensitivity to differentiate chronic migraine from healthy controls was 57.6% and the specificity was 88.2%. Variables such as age, analgesic overuse, depression, allodynia, use of preventive medication or a history of aura did not influence the plasma concentrations of amylin or calcitonin gene-related peptide. Conclusion: Interictal plasma amylin levels are higher in patients with chronic migraine and may serve as a diagnostic biomarker for chronic migraine.
2. The many futures for cell-penetrating peptides: how soon is now?
J Howl, I D Nicholl, S Jones Biochem Soc Trans. 2007 Aug;35(Pt 4):767-9. doi: 10.1042/BST0350767.
Studies of CPPs (cell-penetrating peptides), sequences that are also commonly designated as protein transduction domains, now extend to a second decade of exciting and far-reaching discoveries. CPPs are proven vehicles for the intracellular delivery of macromolecules that include oligonucleotides, peptides and proteins, low-molecular-mass drugs, nanoparticles and liposomes. The biochemical properties of different classes of CPP, including various sequences derived from the HIV-1 Tat (transactivator of transcription) [e.g. Tat-(48-60), GRKKRRQRRRPPQ], and the homeodomain of the Drosophila homeoprotein Antennapaedia (residues 43-58, commonly named penetratin, RQIKIWFQNRRMKWKK), also provide novel insights into the fundamental mechanisms of translocation across biological membranes. Thus the efficacy of CPP-mediated cargo delivery continues to provide valuable tools for biomedical research and, as witnessed in 2007, candidate and emerging therapeutics. Thus it is anticipated that the further refinement of CPP technologies will provide drug-delivery vectors, cellular imaging tools, nanoparticulate devices and molecular therapeutics that will have a positive impact on the healthcare arena. The intention of this article is to provide both a succinct overview of current developments and applications of CPP technologies, and to illustrate key developments that the concerted efforts of the many researchers contributing to the Biochemical Society's Focused Meeting in Telford predict for the future. The accompanying papers in this issue of Biochemical Society Transactions provide additional details and appropriate references. Hopefully, the important and eagerly anticipated biomedical and clinical developments within the CPP field will occur sooner rather than later.
3. Genetic causes of growth hormone insensitivity beyond GHR
Vivian Hwa, Masanobu Fujimoto, Gaohui Zhu, Wen Gao, Corinne Foley, Meenasri Kumbaji, Ron G Rosenfeld Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2021 Mar;22(1):43-58. doi: 10.1007/s11154-020-09603-3. Epub 2020 Oct 8.
Growth hormone insensitivity (GHI) syndrome, first described in 1966, is classically associated with monogenic defects in the GH receptor (GHR) gene which result in severe post-natal growth failure as consequences of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) deficiency. Over the years, recognition of other monogenic defects downstream of GHR has greatly expanded understanding of primary causes of GHI and growth retardation, with either IGF-I deficiency or IGF-I insensitivity as clinical outcomes. Mutations in IGF1 and signaling component STAT5B disrupt IGF-I production, while defects in IGFALS and PAPPA2, disrupt transport and release of circulating IGF-I, respectively, affecting bioavailability of the growth-promoting IGF-I. Defects in IGF1R, cognate cell-surface receptor for IGF-I, disrupt not only IGF-I actions, but actions of the related IGF-II peptides. The importance of IGF-II for normal developmental growth is emphasized with recent identification of defects in the maternally imprinted IGF2 gene. Current application of next-generation genomic sequencing has expedited the pace of identifying new molecular defects in known genes or in new genes, thereby expanding the spectrum of GH and IGF insensitivity. This review discusses insights gained and future directions from patient-based molecular and functional studies.