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  • Markus Weiler  (33)
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  • 1
  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 07 January 2014, Vol.111(1), pp.409-14
    Description: A hypoxic microenvironment induces resistance to alkylating agents by activating targets in the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. The molecular mechanisms involved in this mTOR-mediated hypoxia-induced chemoresistance, however, are unclear. Here we identify the mTOR target N-myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) as a key determinant of resistance toward alkylating chemotherapy, driven by hypoxia but also by therapeutic measures such as irradiation, corticosteroids, and chronic exposure to alkylating agents via distinct molecular routes involving hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1alpha, p53, and the mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2)/serum glucocorticoid-induced protein kinase 1 (SGK1) pathway. Resistance toward alkylating chemotherapy but not radiotherapy was dependent on NDRG1 expression and activity. In posttreatment tumor tissue of patients with malignant gliomas, NDRG1 was induced and predictive of poor response to alkylating chemotherapy. On a molecular level, NDRG1 bound and stabilized methyltransferases, chiefly O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), a key enzyme for resistance to alkylating agents in glioblastoma patients. In patients with glioblastoma, MGMT promoter methylation in tumor tissue was not more predictive for response to alkylating chemotherapy in patients who received concomitant corticosteroids.
    Keywords: Drug Resistance, Neoplasm ; Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic ; Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating -- Pharmacology ; Brain Neoplasms -- Drug Therapy ; Cell Cycle Proteins -- Metabolism ; Glioblastoma -- Drug Therapy ; Glioma -- Drug Therapy ; Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins -- Metabolism ; O(6)-Methylguanine-DNA Methyltransferase -- Pharmacology ; Tor Serine-Threonine Kinases -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2015, Vol.10(4), p.e0122539
    Description: Soil microbial communities play an important role in forest ecosystem functioning, but how climate change will affect the community composition and consequently bacterial functions is poorly understood. We assessed the effects of reduced precipitation with the aim of simulating realistic future drought conditions for one growing season on the bacterial community and its relation to soil properties and forest management. We manipulated precipitation in beech and conifer forest plots managed at different levels of intensity in three different regions across Germany. The precipitation reduction decreased soil water content across the growing season by between 2 to 8% depending on plot and region. T-RFLP analysis and pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene were used to study the total soil bacterial community and its active members after six months of precipitation reduction. The effect of reduced precipitation on the total bacterial community structure was negligible while significant effects could be observed for the active bacteria. However, the effect was secondary to the stronger influence of specific soil characteristics across the three regions and management selection of overstorey tree species and their respective understorey vegetation. The impact of reduced precipitation differed between the studied plots; however, we could not determine the particular parameters being able to modify the response of the active bacterial community among plots. We conclude that the moderate drought induced by the precipitation manipulation treatment started to affect the active but not the total bacterial community, which points to an adequate resistance of the soil microbial system over one growing season.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 2012, Vol.7(3), p.e33449
    Description: Hypermethylation in the promoter region of the MGMT gene encoding the DNA repair protein O 6 -methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase is among the most important prognostic factors for patients with glioblastoma and predicts response to treatment with alkylating agents like temozolomide. Hence, the MGMT status is widely determined in most clinical trials and frequently requested in routine diagnostics of glioblastoma. Since various different techniques are available for MGMT promoter methylation analysis, a generally accepted consensus as to the most suitable diagnostic method remains an unmet need. Here, we assessed methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP) as a qualitative and semi-quantitative method, pyrosequencing (PSQ) as a quantitative method, and methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MS-MLPA) as a semi-quantitative method in a series of 35 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded glioblastoma tissues derived from patients treated in a prospective clinical phase II trial that tested up-front chemoradiotherapy with dose-intensified temozolomide (UKT-05). Our goal was to determine which of these three diagnostic methods provides the most accurate prediction of progression-free survival (PFS). The MGMT promoter methylation status was assessable by each method in almost all cases ( n  = 33/35 for MSP; n  = 35/35 for PSQ; n  = 34/35 for MS-MLPA). We were able to calculate significant cut-points for the continuous methylation signals at each CpG site analysed by PSQ (range, 11.5 to 44.9%) and at one CpG site assessed by MS-MLPA (3.6%) indicating that a dichotomisation of continuous methylation data as a prerequisite for comparative survival analyses is feasible. Our results show that, unlike MS-MLPA, MSP and PSQ provide a significant improvement of predicting PFS compared with established clinical prognostic factors alone (likelihood ratio tests: p 〈0.001). Conclusively, taking into consideration prognostic value, cost effectiveness and ease of use, we recommend pyrosequencing for analyses of MGMT promoter methylation in high-throughput settings and MSP for clinical routine diagnostics with low sample numbers.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Medicine ; Oncology ; Pathology
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: 2012, Vol.7(11), p.e49742
    Description: Patients with ulnar neuropathy of unclear etiology occasionally present with lesion extension from elbow to upper arm level on MRI. This study investigated whether MRI thereby distinguishes multifocal neuropathy from focal-compressive neuropathy at the elbow. ; This prospective study was approved by the institutional ethics committee and written informed consent was obtained from all participants. 122 patients with ulnar mononeuropathy of undetermined localization and etiology by clinical and electrophysiological examination were assessed by MRI at upper arm and elbow level using T2-weighted fat-saturated sequences at 3T. Twenty-one patients were identified with proximal ulnar nerve lesions and evaluated for findings suggestive of disseminated neuropathy (i) subclinical lesions in other nerves, (ii) unfavorable outcome after previous decompressive elbow surgery, and (iii) subsequent diagnosis of inflammatory or other disseminated neuropathy. Two groups served as controls for quantitative analysis of nerve-to-muscle signal intensity ratios: 20 subjects with typical focal ulnar neuropathy at the elbow and 20 healthy subjects. ; In the group of 21 patients with proximal ulnar nerve lesion extension, T2-w ulnar nerve signal was significantly (p〈0.001) higher at upper arm level than in both control groups. A cut-off value of 1.92 for maximum nerve-to-muscle signal intensity ratio was found to be sensitive (86%) and specific (100%) to discriminate this group. Ten patients (48%) exhibited additional T2-w lesions in the median and/or radial nerve. Another ten (48%) had previously undergone elbow surgery without satisfying outcome. Clinical follow-up was available in 15 (71%) and revealed definitive diagnoses of multifocal neuropathy of various etiologies in four patients. In another eight, diagnoses could not yet be considered definitive but were consistent with multifocal neuropathy. ; Proximal ulnar nerve T2 lesions at upper arm level are detected by MRI and indicate the presence of a non-focal disseminated neuropathy instead of a focal compressive neuropathy.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology ; Medicine ; Immunology ; Physiology ; Neurological Disorders ; Radiology And Medical Imaging
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2017, Vol.12(8), p.e0183845
    Description: To investigate in vivo morphological and functional correlates of oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy (OXA-PNP) by magnetic resonance neurography (MRN).Twenty patients (7 female, 13 male, 58.9±10.0 years) with mild to moderate OXA-PNP and 20 matched controls (8 female, 12 male, 55.7±15.6 years) were prospectively enrolled. All patients underwent a detailed neurophysiological examination prior to neuroimaging. A standardized imaging protocol at 3.0 Tesla included the lumbosacral plexus and both sciatic nerves and their branches using T2-weighted fat-saturated sequences and diffusion tensor imaging. Quantitative assessment included volumetry of the dorsal root ganglia (DRG), sciatic nerve normalized T2 (nT2) signal and caliber, and fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial (AD) and radial diffusivity (RD). Additional qualitative evaluation of sciatic, peroneal, and tibial nerves evaluated the presence, degree, and distribution of nerve lesions.DRG hypertrophy in OXA-PNP patients (207.3±47.7mm3 vs. 153.0±47.1mm3 in controls, p = 0.001) was found as significant morphological correlate of the sensory neuronopathy. In contrast, peripheral nerves only exhibited minor morphological alterations qualitatively. Quantitatively, sciatic nerve caliber (27.3±6.7mm2 vs. 27.4±7.4mm2, p = 0.80) and nT2 signal were not significantly changed in patients (1.32±0.22 vs. 1.22±0.26, p = 0.16). AD, RD, and MD showed a non-significant decrease in patients, while FA was unchanged.OXA-PNP manifests with morphological and functional correlates that can be detected in vivo by MRN. We report hypertrophy of the DRG that stands in contrast to experimental and postmortem studies. DRG volume should be further investigated as a biomarker in other sensory peripheral neuropathies and ganglionopathies.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Remote Sensing, 01 July 2015, Vol.7(8), pp.9769-9795
    Description: Modifications of human land use and climate change are known to be a threat for the health and proper functioning of tropical wetlands. They interfere with the seasonal flood pulse, which is seen as the most important driver for biodiversity and directly controls evaporation. In order to investigate the impact of local and upstream changes on wetlands, a regional assessment of evaporation is crucial but challenging in such often remote and poorly gauged ecosystems. Evaporation is the major water balance component of these wetlands and links the flood pulse with the ecosystem. It can therefore be seen as a proxy for their functioning. In the last decades, information from space became an important data source to assess remote wetland areas. Here, we developed a new approach to quantify regional evaporation driven by inundation dynamics as its dominant control. We used three water and vegetation indices (mNDWI (modified Normalized Difference Water Index), NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), and EVI (Enhanced Vegetation Index)) from MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) surface reflectance products to assess regional inundation dynamics between the dry and wet seasons. Two years of continual in situ water level measurements at different locations in our study area, the Pantanal wetland of South America, provided the reference to evaluate our method. With process-based modeling that used the inundation dynamics to determine the water available for evaporation, we were able to estimate actual evaporation (AET) on a regional scale. Relating AET to changes in discharge due to upstream flow modifications and on local precipitation over the last 13 years, we found that the Pantanal is more vulnerable to alternated inundation dynamics than to changes in local precipitation. We concluded that coupling ground- and space-based information in this remote wetland area is a valuable first step to investigate the status of the Pantanal ecosystem.
    Keywords: Pantanal ; Modis ; Inundation ; Evaporation ; Tropical Wetland ; Remoteness ; Geography
    E-ISSN: 2072-4292
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Vadose Zone Journal, 01 March 2018, Vol.17(1)
    Description: The isotopic composition (δH, δO) of pore water is an invaluable tracer for the minimally invasive study of subsurface water flow and transport processes. Here, we evaluated a method for pore water isotope analysis that combines laser-based isotope analyzers and water-vapor isotope equilibration using evaporation-proof metalized sample bags. We tested inflation atmospheres (dry air vs. pure N) and the impact of biogenic gas (CO, CH) accumulation for storage times of up to 4 wk. Samples were analyzed with a water isotope analyzer (Picarro L2120-) and a gas chromatograph. Air-inflated water vapor samples showed a greater range of gas matrix effects (δO: 9.63‰; δH: 21.7‰) than N–inflated samples (δO: 7.49‰; δH: 10.6‰) induced by nonuniform buildup of biogenic CO, starting immediately after sample preparation. However, only air-inflated samples could be reliably corrected using instrument-specific sensitivity factors that were empirically determined by interpretation of periodically repeated isotope measurements. Corrected water isotope data were confirmed by similarity with local precipitation and suction cup isotope data. Residual uncertainties were well below the natural variations of soil water isotope values and independent of storage time, thus allowing for consistently reliable interpretations of soil water isotope profiles. We conclude that, especially for pore water sampling that requires small sample volumes and/or long storage times, metalized sample bags should be used to prevent evaporation notwithstanding the enhanced buildup of biogenic gases. Further, if gas matrix effects cannot be excluded, air inflation is preferred over pure N, as only in that case can reliable postcorrections be performed by using internal data only.
    Keywords: Agriculture
    ISSN: 1539-1663
    E-ISSN: 1539-1663
    Source: Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
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