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Sci Rep ; 9(1): 13138, 2019 Sep 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31511533


Characterization of rock discontinuities and rock bridges is required to define stability conditions of fractured rock masses in both natural and engineered environments. Although remote sensing methods for mapping discontinuities have improved in recent years, remote detection of intact rock bridges on cliff faces remains challenging, with their existence typically confirmed only after failure. In steep exfoliating cliffs, such as El Capitan in Yosemite Valley (California, USA), rockfalls mainly occur along cliff-parallel exfoliation joints, with rock bridges playing a key role in the stability of partially detached exfoliation sheets. We employed infrared thermal imaging (i.e., thermography) as a new means of detecting intact rock bridges prior to failure. An infrared thermal panorama of El Capitan revealed cold thermal signatures for the surfaces of two granitic exfoliation sheets, consistent with the expectation that air circulation cools the back of the partially detached sheets. However, we also noted small areas of warm thermal anomalies on these same sheets, even during periods of nocturnal rock cooling. Rock attachment via rock bridges is the likely cause for the warm anomalies in the thermal data. 2-D model simulations of the thermal behavior of one of  the monitored sheets reproduce the observed anomalies and explain the temperature differences detected in the rock bridge area. Based on combined thermal and ground-based lidar imaging, and using geometric and rock fracture mechanics analysis, we are able to quantify the stability of both sheets. Our analysis demonstrates that thermography can remotely detect intact rock bridges and thereby greatly improve rockfall hazard assessment.

Sci Immunol ; 3(24)2018 Jun 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29907691


Heterozygosity for human signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) dominant-negative (DN) mutations underlies an autosomal dominant form of hyper-immunoglobulin E syndrome (HIES). We describe patients with an autosomal recessive form of HIES due to loss-of-function mutations of a previously uncharacterized gene, ZNF341 ZNF341 is a transcription factor that resides in the nucleus, where it binds a specific DNA motif present in various genes, including the STAT3 promoter. The patients' cells have low basal levels of STAT3 mRNA and protein. The autoinduction of STAT3 production, activation, and function by STAT3-activating cytokines is strongly impaired. Like patients with STAT3 DN mutations, ZNF341-deficient patients lack T helper 17 (TH17) cells, have an excess of TH2 cells, and have low memory B cells due to the tight dependence of STAT3 activity on ZNF341 in lymphocytes. Their milder extra-hematopoietic manifestations and stronger inflammatory responses reflect the lower ZNF341 dependence of STAT3 activity in other cell types. Human ZNF341 is essential for the STAT3 transcription-dependent autoinduction and sustained activity of STAT3.

Elife ; 72018 Mar 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29537367


Most humans are exposed to Tropheryma whipplei (Tw). Whipple's disease (WD) strikes only a small minority of individuals infected with Tw (<0.01%), whereas asymptomatic chronic carriage is more common (<25%). We studied a multiplex kindred, containing four WD patients and five healthy Tw chronic carriers. We hypothesized that WD displays autosomal dominant (AD) inheritance, with age-dependent incomplete penetrance. We identified a single very rare non-synonymous mutation in the four patients: the private R98W variant of IRF4, a transcription factor involved in immunity. The five Tw carriers were younger, and also heterozygous for R98W. We found that R98W was loss-of-function, modified the transcriptome of heterozygous leukocytes following Tw stimulation, and was not dominant-negative. We also found that only six of the other 153 known non-synonymous IRF4 variants were loss-of-function. Finally, we found that IRF4 had evolved under purifying selection. AD IRF4 deficiency can underlie WD by haploinsufficiency, with age-dependent incomplete penetrance.

Hum Mol Genet ; 27(22): 3919-3935, 2018 11 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31222290


Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial disease (MSMD) is characterized by clinical disease caused by weakly virulent mycobacteria, such as environmental mycobacteria and Bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccines, in otherwise healthy individuals. All known genetic etiologies disrupt interferon (IFN)-γ immunity. Germline bi-allelic mutations of IFNGR2 can underlie partial or complete forms of IFN-γ receptor 2 (IFN-γR2) deficiency. Patients with partial IFN-γR2 deficiency express a dysfunctional molecule on the cell surface. We studied three patients with MSMD from two unrelated kindreds from Turkey (P1, P2) and India (P3), by whole-exome sequencing. P1 and P2 are homozygous for a mutation of the initiation codon(c.1A>G) of IFNGR2, whereas P3 is homozygous for a mutation of the second codon (c.4delC). Overexpressed mutant alleles produce small amounts of full-length IFN-γR2 resulting in an impaired, but not abolished, response to IFN-γ. Moreover, SV40-fibroblasts of P1 and P2 responded weakly to IFN-γ, and Epstein Barr virus-transformed B cells had a barely detectable response to IFN-γ. Studies in patients' primary T cells and monocyte-derived macrophages yielded similar results. The residual expression of IFN-γR2 protein of normal molecular weight and function is due to the initiation of translation between the second and ninth non-AUG codons. We thus describe mutations of the first and second codons of IFNGR2, which define a new form of partial recessive IFN-γR2 deficiency. Residual levels of IFN-γ signaling were very low, accounting for the more severe clinical phenotype of these patients with residual expression levels of normally functional surface receptors than of patients with partial recessive IFN-γR2 deficiency due to surface-expressed dysfunctional receptors, whose residual levels of IFN-γ signaling were higher.

Alelos , Códon de Iniciação , Predisposição Genética para Doença , Mutação em Linhagem Germinativa , Homozigoto , Infecções por Mycobacterium/genética , Receptores de Interferon/genética , Criança , Pré-Escolar , Feminino , Humanos , Índia , Lactente , Recém-Nascido , Masculino , Turquia , Sequenciamento Completo do Exoma
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 138(1): 241-248.e3, 2016 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26936803


BACKGROUND: Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is a rare primary immunodeficiency caused by inborn errors of the phagocyte nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase complex. From the first year of life onward, most affected patients display multiple, severe, and recurrent infections caused by bacteria and fungi. Mycobacterial infections have also been reported in some patients. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to assess the effect of mycobacterial disease in patients with CGD. METHODS: We analyzed retrospectively the clinical features of mycobacterial disease in 71 patients with CGD. Tuberculosis and BCG disease were diagnosed on the basis of microbiological, pathological, and/or clinical criteria. RESULTS: Thirty-one (44%) patients had tuberculosis, and 53 (75%) presented with adverse effects of BCG vaccination; 13 (18%) had both tuberculosis and BCG infections. None of these patients displayed clinical disease caused by environmental mycobacteria, Mycobacterium leprae, or Mycobacterium ulcerans. Most patients (76%) also had other pyogenic and fungal infections, but 24% presented solely with mycobacterial disease. Most patients presented a single localized episode of mycobacterial disease (37%), but recurrence (18%), disseminated disease (27%), and even death (18%) were also observed. One common feature in these patients was an early age at presentation for BCG disease. Mycobacterial disease was the first clinical manifestation of CGD in 60% of these patients. CONCLUSION: Mycobacterial disease is relatively common in patients with CGD living in countries in which tuberculosis is endemic, BCG vaccine is mandatory, or both. Adverse reactions to BCG and severe forms of tuberculosis should lead to a suspicion of CGD. BCG vaccine is contraindicated in patients with CGD.

Doença Granulomatosa Crônica/complicações , Infecções por Mycobacterium/diagnóstico , Infecções por Mycobacterium/etiologia , Vacina BCG/administração & dosagem , Infecções Bacterianas/diagnóstico , Infecções Bacterianas/epidemiologia , Infecções Bacterianas/etiologia , Infecções Bacterianas/mortalidade , Criança , Pré-Escolar , Feminino , Doença Granulomatosa Crônica/epidemiologia , Doença Granulomatosa Crônica/mortalidade , Doença Granulomatosa Crônica/terapia , Humanos , Lactente , Masculino , Infecções por Mycobacterium/epidemiologia , Infecções por Mycobacterium/mortalidade , Micoses/diagnóstico , Micoses/epidemiologia , Micoses/etiologia , Micoses/mortalidade , Avaliação de Resultados da Assistência ao Paciente , Estudos Retrospectivos , Tuberculose/diagnóstico , Tuberculose/etiologia