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Author: Simon Becker (17)


Jul
2017

Metabolism of the essential amino acid tryptophan (trp) is a key endogenous immunosuppressive pathway restricting inflammatory responses. Tryptophan metabolites promote regulatory T cell (Treg) differentiation and suppress proinflammatory T helper cell (Th)1 and Th17 phenotypes. It has been shown that treatment with natural and synthetic tryptophan metabolites can suppress autoimmune neuroinflammation in preclinical animal models.

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Jan
2017

The catabolism of tryptophan to immunosuppressive and neuroactive kynurenines is a key metabolic pathway regulating immune responses and neurotoxicity. The rate-limiting step is controlled by indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) and tryptophan-2,3-dioxygenase (TDO). IDO is expressed in antigen presenting cells during immune reactions, hepatic TDO regulates blood homeostasis of tryptophan and neuronal TDO influences neurogenesis.

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Oct
2016

We investigate different dynamic mechanisms, reflection and phase matching, of surface plasmons in a three-dimensional single-crystalline gold taper excited by relativistic electrons. Plasmonic modes of gold tapers with various opening angles from 5° to 47° are studied both experimentally and theoretically, by means of electron energy-loss spectroscopy and finite-difference time-domain numerical calculations, respectively. Distinct resonances along the taper shaft are observed in tapers independent of opening angles.

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Oct
2015

Drosophila GoLoco motif-containing protein Pins is unusual in its highly efficient interaction with both GDP- and the GTP-loaded forms of the α-subunit of the heterotrimeric Go protein. We analysed the interactions of Gαo in its two nucleotide forms with GoLoco1-the first of the three GoLoco domains of Pins-and the possible structures of the resulting complexes, through combination of conventional fluorescence and FRET measurements as well as through molecular modelling. Our data suggest that the orientation of the GoLoco1 motif on Gαo significantly differs between the two nucleotide states of the latter.

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Dec
2015

The intracellular transcription factor aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is bound and activated by xenobiotics, thereby promoting their catabolism by inducing expression of cytochrome P450 oxidase (CYP) genes through binding xenobiotic response elements (XRE) in their promoter region. In addition, it is involved in several cellular pathways like cell proliferation, differentiation, regeneration, tumor invasiveness and immune responses. Several pharmaceutical compounds like benzimidazoles activate the AHR and induce their own metabolic degradation.

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Jan
2016

Normothermic ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) has developed as a powerful technique to evaluate particularly marginal donor lungs prior to transplantation. In this study, acellular and cellular perfusate compositions were compared in an identical experimental setting as no consensus has been reached on a preferred technique yet. Porcine lungs underwent EVLP for 12 h on the basis of an acellular or a cellular perfusate composition after 24 h of cold ischaemia as defined organ stress.

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Jul
2015

We investigate the optical modes in three-dimensional single-crystalline gold tapers by means of electron energy-loss spectroscopy. At the very proximity to the apex, a broad-band excitation at all photon energies from 0.75 to 2 eV, which is the onset for interband transitions, is detected.

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Oct
2014

Chinese herbal medicine is an increasingly popular worldwide medical therapy which also has an impact in pregnancy. However, the question of its drug safety during pregnancy remains unresolved. Potential problems include teratogenicity, abortion, perinatal toxicity, pre- and postnatal developmental abnormalities, and eventually an increased risk for carcinomas in the offspring.

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Aug
2014

Plasmonic nanoantennas are versatile tools for coherently controlling and directing light on the nanoscale. For these antennas, current fabrication techniques such as electron beam lithography (EBL) or focused ion beam (FIB) milling with Ga(+)-ions routinely achieve feature sizes in the 10 nm range. However, they suffer increasingly from inherent limitations when a precision of single nanometers down to atomic length scales is required, where exciting quantum mechanical effects are expected to affect the nanoantenna optics.

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Nov
2013

We describe and demonstrate the use of an adaptive wave front optimization scheme for enhancing the efficiency of adiabatic nanofocusing of surface plasmon polariton (SPP) waves along an ultrasharp conical gold taper. Adiabatic nanofocusing is an emerging and promising scheme for controlled focusing of far field light into nanometric volumes. It comprises three essential steps: SPP excitation by coupling far field light to an SPP waveguide, SPP propagation along the waveguide and adiabatic SPP nanofocusing towards a geometric singularity.

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Dec
1969

We investigate the radiation patterns of sharp conical gold tapers, which were designed as adiabatic nanofocusing probes for scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM). Field calculations show that only the lowest order eigenmode of such a taper can reach the very apex and thus induce the generation of strongly enhanced near-field signals. Higher-order modes are coupled into the far field at finite distances from the apex.

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Dec
2013

The human α1/His10-β1 isoform of Na,K-ATPase has been reconstituted as a complex with and without FXYD1 into proteoliposomes of various lipid compositions in order to study the effect of the regulatory subunit on the half-saturating Na⁺ concentration (K(½)) of Na⁺ ions for activation of the ion pump. It has been shown that the fraction of negatively charged lipid in the bilayer crucially affects the regulatory properties. At low concentrations of the negatively charged lipid DOPS (<10 %), FXYD1 increases K(½) of Na⁺ ions for activation of the ion pump.

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Sep
2013

Disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a hallmark of acute inflammatory lesions in multiple sclerosis (MS) and its animal model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. This disruption may precede and facilitate the infiltration of encephalitogenic T cells. The signaling events that lead to this BBB disruption are incompletely understood but appear to involve dysregulation of tight-junction proteins such as claudins.

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Dec
1969

Chai hu (Bupleuri radix), one of the most frequently used herbs in Chinese herbal medicine, has 3 major functions, depending on dosage and combination with other herbs. The aim of this study was to investigate how chai hu is prescribed in everyday practice in Switzerland, and whether these prescription patterns reflect its various applications.
A random sample of 1,053 prescriptions was drawn from the database of Lian Chinaherb AG, Wollerau, Switzerland, and analyzed regarding the most frequently used classical formulas containing chai hu, daily dosages and combinations with other herbs.

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Jul
2012

Preoperative chemoradiotherapy, total mesorectal excision surgery, and adjuvant chemotherapy with fluorouracil is the standard combined modality treatment for rectal cancer. With the aim of improving disease-free survival (DFS), this phase 3 study (CAO/ARO/AIO-04) integrated oxaliplatin into standard treatment.
This was a multicentre, open-label, randomised, phase 3 study in patients with histologically proven carcinoma of the rectum with clinically staged T3-4 or any node-positive disease.

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Jun
2012

We report fluorescence lifetime and rotational anisotropy measurements of the fluorescent dye Alexa647 attached to the guanylate cyclase-activating protein 2 (GCAP2), an intracellular myristoylated calcium sensor protein operating in photoreceptor cells. By linking the dye to different protein regions critical for monitoring calcium-induced conformational changes, we could measure fluorescence lifetimes and rotational correlation times as a function of myristoylation, calcium, and position of the attached dye, while GCAP2 was still able to regulate guanylate cyclase in a Ca(2+)-sensitive manner. We observe distinct site-specific variations in the fluorescence dynamics when externally changing the protein conformation.

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Dec
2008

Many species of migratory birds migrate in a series of solitary nocturnal flights. Between flights, they stop to rest and refuel for the next segment of their journey. The mechanism controlling this behaviour has long remained elusive.

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