The focus was on genes related to cell-cell contacts Furthermore

The focus was on genes related to cell-cell contacts. Furthermore, the effect of epidermal growth factor (EGF) on gene expression was studied. Most of the genes investigated here were down-regulated in migratory cells. Many of the alterations are expected to affect the permeability

of tight junctions. Also the nectin-afadin complex of adherens junctions was modulated as well as the expression of both the chemokine receptor CXCR4 and the EGF receptor. Of note, restitution was not accompanied by the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). EGF treatment severely affected the expression of genes important for cell-cell contact and cell communication such as selected tight junction components, CXCR4, and TFF3. Many of these genes are known to be involved in EMT and metastasis. Of special note, most of the expression changes induced by EGF are in contrast to the changes observed in migratory cells. Copyright (C) 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel”
“We have previously demonstrated

that lipoplex, a complex of cationic liposomes and DNA, could be targeted to human hepatic cells in vitro and in vivo by conjugation with bio-nanocapsules (BNCs) comprising hepatitis B virus (HBV) surface antigen L protein particles. Because the BNC-lipoplex complexes were endowed with the human hepatic cell-specific infection machinery from HBV, the complexes showed excellent specific transfection efficiency in human hepatic cells. In this study, we have found that polyplex (a complex of polyethyleneimine (PEI) and DNA) could form stable complexes with BNCs spontaneously. The diameter and zeta-potential of BNC-polyplex complexes are about 240 nm and +3.54 CA4P cell line mV, respectively, which make them more suitable for in vivo use than polyplex alone. BNC-polyplex complexes with an N/P ratio (the molar ratio

of the amine group of PEI to the phosphate group of DNA) of 40 showed excellent transfection efficiency in human hepatic cells. When acidification of endosomes was inhibited by bafilomycin A1, the complexes showed higher transfection efficiency than polyplex itself, strongly suggesting that the complexes escaped from endosomes by both fusogenic activity of BNCs and proton sponge activity of polyplex. Furthermore, the cytotoxicity is comparable to that of polyplex of the same N/P value. Thus, BNC-polyplex complexes would be a promising gene delivery carrier for human liver-specific gene therapy. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.”
“Atherosclerosis (AS) causes cardiovascular disease, which leads to fatal clinical end points like myocardial infarction or stroke, the most prevalent causes of death in developed countries. An early, noninvasive method of detection and diagnosis of atherosclerotic lesions is necessary to prevent and treat these clinical end points.

Methods: This analysis is based on the prospective database o

\n\nMethods: This analysis is based on the prospective database of the Swiss Association of Laparoscopic and Thoracoscopic Surgery. All patients undergoing emergency laparoscopic appendectomy for acute appendicitis from 1995 to 2006 were included. The following outcomes were assessed for each of the 12 years: conversion rates, intraoperative complications, surgical postoperative complications, general postoperative complications, rate of reoperations, and length of hospital stay. Unadjusted and risk-adjusted multivariable analyses were performed. Statistical significance was set at a level of P < 0.05.

All statistical tests were 2-sided.\n\nResults: Data from 7446 patients undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy for acute appendicitis were prospectively collected. Over the period of observation, the conversion rate decreased significantly from 2.2% to 1.2% (P(trend) < 0.001), as did intraoperative GSK923295 chemical structure complications (from 3.1% to 0.7%; P(trend) < 0.001), surgical postoperative complications (from 6.1% to 1.9%; P(trend) < 0.001), general postoperative complications (from 4.9% to 1.5%; P(trend) < 0.001), and rates of reoperations (from 3.4% to 0.7%; P(trend) < 0.001). Average postoperative length of hospital stay also significantly decreased

from 4.9 to 3.5 days (P(trend) < 0.001).\n\nConclusions: Our investigation provides compelling evidence that intraoperative complications, surgical and general postoperative complications, conversion rates, rates of reoperations, and average length of hospital stay have

significantly decreased over the check details past decade in patients undergoing surgery for acute appendicitis. The present trend analysis is the first one in the literature encompassing more than a decade and reporting clinical outcomes after laparoscopic appendectomy for acute appendicitis, which represents an important quality control.”
“Objective: Psychomotor impairment has been described in hypertyrosinemia types II and III (HT III). Only recently cognitive deficits have also been reported selleck chemical in hypertyrosinemia type I (HT I). The pathogenic mechanisms responsible are unknown. Since implementation of 2-(2-nitro-4-trifluoromethylbenzoyl)-1,3-cyclohexanedione (NTBC, Nitisinone (Swedish Orphan International)) in the treatment of HT I, plasma tyrosine elevation is a common finding as known from the other hypertyrosinemias.\n\nPatients and methods: With elevated tyrosine as suspected pathogenic factor in the development of cognitive deficits, we here investigated tyrosine in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serotonergic and dopaminergic neurotransmitter levels in three patients with HT I during long-term treatment with Nitisinone. In addition, Nitisinone concentrations in plasma and CSF were measured. We also assessed psychomotor and cognitive development by standardized test systems and brain morphology by magnetic resonance imaging.

The average follow-up was 30 1 months The average period from th

The average follow-up was 30.1 months. The average period from the original arthroplasty to the arthrodesis was 49.8 months. Results: Thirteen of the ZD1839 manufacturer 17 ankles were considered radiographically healed after the first attempt in an average time of 3.7 months and 3 after repeat arthrodesis.

Bone grafts were used in 16 patients. The median postoperative AOFAS score was 74.5. The mean Meary angle of the hindfoot was 5 degrees of valgus. Conclusion: Tibiotalar and tibiotalocalcaneal arthrodeses were effective salvage procedures for failed TAR. Massive cancellous allografts were a good alternative to compensate for the large bone defect after removal of the prosthesis and to preserve the leg length. Level of Evidence: Level IV, retrospective case series.”
“SETTING: The risk of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) may increase with increased use of anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) treatment in inflammatory arthritis. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of anti-TNF treatment on radiological manifestations of PTB. METHOD: Between January 2007 and December 2012, the chest radiographs (CXRs) of 23 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed PTB who underwent anti-TNF treatment were studied. Chest computed DMH1 tomography (CT) images were available for 14. To compare the radiological features

of PTB, the CXRs of 46 immunocompetent PTB patients with similar demographics were studied as controls, of whom 34 underwent chest CT. Two radiologists and one chest physician reviewed the chest images independently. RESULTS: Compared with the controls, fibronodular

lesions were less common on Alvespimycin chemical structure CXR in the anti-TNF group (P smaller than 0.001). In contrast, lymphadenopathy (P smaller than 0.001), pleural effusion (P = 0.015) and pericardial effusion (P = 0.02) were more common, while tree-in-bud appearance (P = 0.017) was less commonly depicted on chest CT in the anti-TNF group. Although there was no significant difference in zonal predilection and laterality of the lesions between the two groups, diffuse lesions (P = 0.004) on chest CT scans were more frequent in the anti-TNF group. CONCLUSION: Unusual presentations of PTB were more common in the CXRs and/or CT scans of patients who underwent anti-TNF treatment.”
“Following injury, platelets rapidly interact with the exposed extracellular matrix (ECM) of the vessel wall and the surrounding tissues. Hyaluronan (HA) is a major glycosaminoglycan component of the ECM and plays a significant role in regulating inflammation. We have recently reported that human platelets degrade HA from the surfaces of activated endothelial cells into fragments capable of inducing immune responses by monocytes.

Diets contained

Diets contained Selleckchem GDC-973 wheat flour as whole soft white, refined soft white, whole hard red, or refined hard red. Feeding was begun 10 days prior to carcinogen treatment and continued for 9 wk. Hard red-fed groups had significantly fewer ACF than soft white-fed groups (25-32% reduction, P = 0.013). However, state of refinement had no significant effect on ACF number. Cecal contents supernatant oxygen radical absorbance capacity and fecal bile acid concentration were significantly greater in whole wheat-fed groups than refined wheatfed groups and did not correlate with ACF number (increase of 21-22%, P smaller than 0.001 and 55-56%, P smaller than 0.001, respectively).

Consequently, wheat class, not state of refinement, appears to influence colon cancer risk, with hard red wheat protective relative to soft white wheat. Thus, epidemiological associations of reduced colon cancer risk with whole grain consumption may actually reflect different

wheat classes.”
“We derive a phase diagram buy Stem Cell Compound Library for amorphous solids and liquid supercooled water and explain why the amorphous solids of water exist in several different forms. Application of large-deviation theory allows us to prepare such phases in computer simulations. Along with nonequilibrium transitions between the ergodic liquid and two distinct amorphous solids, we establish coexistence between these two amorphous solids. The phase diagram we predict includes a nonequilibrium triple point where two amorphous phases and the liquid coexist. Whereas the amorphous solids are long-lived and slowly aging glasses, their melting can lead quickly to the formation of crystalline ice. Further, melting of the higher

density amorphous solid at low pressures takes place in steps, transitioning to the lower-density glass before accessing a nonequilibrium liquid from which ice coarsens.”
“De HSP inhibitor novo sequencing is an important computational approach to determining the amino acid sequence of a peptide with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Most of the existing approaches use a graph model to describe a spectrum and the sequencing is performed by computing the longest antisymmetric path in the graph. The task is often computationally intensive since a given MS/MS spectrum often contains noisy data, missing mass peaks, or post translational modifications/mutations. This paper develops a new parameterized algorithm that can efficiently compute the longest antisymmetric partial path in an extended spectrum graph that is of bounded path width. Our testing results show that this algorithm can efficiently process experimental spectra and provide sequencing results of high accuracy.”
“The intrauterine environment can impact the developing infant by altering the function of the placenta through changes to the epigenetic regulatory features of this tissue.

We evaluated colitis severity, fatty acid and lipid mediator cont

We evaluated colitis severity, fatty acid and lipid mediator contents in colonic tissue, and the expression of genes related to lipid mediator formation.\n\nResults: ARA composition of colon phospholipids was significantly elevated in an ARA dose-dependent manner. ARA, as well as DHA, did not affect colitis severity (body weight loss, colon shortening, diarrhea and hemoccult phenomena) and histological features. PGE(2) contents in the colon were unchanged by dietary ARA, while LXA(4) contents increased in an ARA dose-dependent

manner. Gene expression of cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2 was unchanged, while that of 12/15-lipoxgenase (LOX) was significantly increased by dietary ARA. ARA composition did not correlate with neither colon length nor PGE(2) contents, but significantly correlated with LXA(4) content.\n\nConclusion: These results suggest that dietary ARA increases Natural Product Library cell assay ARA and LXA4 contents in colon, but that it has no effect on severity and PGE(2) content in a DSS-induced murine colitis model.”
“Bone integrity is maintained through a balance between bone formation by osteoblasts and bone resorption by osteoclasts. FDA approved Drug Library solubility dmso Imbalance of the process results in metabolic bone diseases such as osteoporosis. This study investigated the yellow flag iris extract (YFIE) and revealed its anti-osteoporotic effects in osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 mouse cells and RAW 264.7 murine macrophages. When osteoblasts were treated with 1-20 mu g/ml YFIE in an osteogenic medium, the bone

nodule formation by calcium deposits was markedly enhanced during differentiation. Consistently, YFIE stimulated alkaline phosphatase activity and collagen type I secretion with a substantial effect on osteoblast proliferation. On the other hand, RAW 264.7 macrophages were pre-incubated with 1-20 mu g/ml YFIE for 5 days in the presence of receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand Belnacasan price (RANKL). Non-toxic YFIE markedly attenuated the differentiation of macrophages to multi-nucleated osteoclasts. YFIE diminished RANKL-elevated tartrate-resistant

acid phosphatase activity and bone resorption. In addition, the YFIE treatment retarded RANKL-induced cathepsin K production and carbonic anhydrase II expression, both of which are involved in bone resorption. Therefore, YFIE potentially posesses therapeutic agents that may prevent osteoporosis through promoting bone formation and reducing bone resorption.”
“Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) has officially been recognized as a rare disease in Italy. Regional reference centers for EB have been created during the past years. This article discusses the clinical services and coordinated multidisciplinary management of EB in Italy.”
“A balance trial experiment was carried out to evaluate the potential relationship between an enzymatically hydrolyzed yeast (EHY) and yeast culture combined with a live Bacillus subtilis (Bs) on the productive parameters, ileal digestibility, retention of nutrient and energy and villus morphology in broilers.

Cardiorespiratory responses, leg discomfort, muscle fatigue and m

Cardiorespiratory responses, leg discomfort, muscle fatigue and markers of systemic inflammation were assessed during or after the last NMES session. Tolerance to NMES was quantified as the increase in current intensity from the initial to the final NMES session (Delta Int). Results: Mean Delta Int was 12+/-10 mA. FEV1, fat-free-mass, quadriceps strength, aerobic capacity and leg discomfort during the last NMES session positively correlated with Delta Int (r = 0.42 to 0.64, all p smaller than = 0.06) while post/pre NMES IL-6 ratio

negatively correlated with Delta Int (r = -0.57, p = 0.001). FEV1, leg discomfort during last NMES session and post/pre IL-6 ratio to NMES were independent factors of variance in Delta Int (r(2) = 0.72, p = 0.001). Conclusion: Lower tolerance to NMES was associated with increasing airflow obstruction, low tolerance to leg discomfort during NMES and the magnitude of the IL-6 response after NMES.”
“Site-specific cross-linking can generate homogeneous multimeric proteins of defined valency. Pancreatic-type ribonucleases are an especially attractive

target, selleck as their natural dimers can enter mammalian cells, evade the cytosolic ribonuclease inhibitor (RI), and exert their toxic ribonucleolytic activity. Here, we report on the use of eight distinct thiol-reactive cross-linking reagents to produce dimeric and trimeric conjugates of four pancreatic-type ribonucleases. Both the site of conjugation and, to a lesser extent, the propinquity of the monomers within the conjugate modulate affinity for RI, and hence cytotoxicity. Still, the cytotoxicity TPX-0005 clinical trial of the multimers is confounded in vitro by their increased hydrodynamic radius, which attenuates cytosolic entry. A monomeric RI-evasive variant of bovine pancreatic ribonuclease (RNase A) inhibits the growth of human prostate and lung tumors in mice. An RI-evasive trimeric conjugate inhibits tumor growth at a lower dose and with less frequent administration than does the monomer. This effect is attributable to an enhanced persistence of the trimers

in circulation. On a molecular basis, the trimer is similar to 300-fold more efficacious and as well tolerated as erlotinib, which is in clinical use for the treatment of lung cancer. These data encourage the development of mammalian ribonucleases for the treatment of human cancers.”
“A 28 year-old heretofore healthy woman was transferred to our hospital with a two-month history of recurring episodes of bleeding. Administration of vitamin K and prothrombin complex concentrates in the transferring hospital had only temporarily corrected both the markedly elevated international normalized ratio (INR) and the prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT). The patient’s medical and family history revealed no reason for these abnormalities. Our laboratory analyses revealed a sustained deficiency of vitamin K-dependent clotting factors.

Importantly, pharmacologic interruption of the CCL2/CCR2-STAT3 ax

Importantly, pharmacologic interruption of the CCL2/CCR2-STAT3 axis Transmembrane Transporters inhibitor suppressed EMT and PCa cell migration, providing a new mechanism linking CCL2 and EMT. Simultaneously targeting PCa AR with siRNA and the CCL2/CCR2-STAT3

axis resulted in better suppression of PCa growth and metastasis in a xenograft PCa mouse model. Human PCa tissue microarray analysis suggests that increased CCL2 expression may be potentially associated with poor prognosis of PCa patients. Together, these results may provide a novel therapeutic approach to better battle PCa progression and metastasis at the castration resistant stage via the combination of targeting AR with siRNA and anti-CCL2/CCR2-STAT3 signalling.”
“In the field of psychology, the first studies in experimental aesthetics were conducted approximately 140 years ago. Since then, research has mainly concentrated on aesthetic responses to visual art. Both the aesthetic experience of music and, especially, its development have

received rather limited attention. Moreover, until now, very little attention has been paid to the investigation of the aesthetic experience of music using neuroscientific methods. Aesthetic experiences are multidimensional and include inter alia sensory, perceptual, affective, and cognitive components. Aesthetic processes are usually experienced as pleasing and rewarding and are, thus, important and valuable experiences for 3-deazaneplanocin A in vivo many people. Because of their multidimensional nature, these processes employ several brain areas. In the present review, we examine

important psychological and neural mechanisms that are believed to contribute to the development of aesthetic experiences of music. We also discuss relevant research findings. With the present review, we wish to provoke further discussion and possible future investigations as we consider the investigation of aesthetic experiences to be important both scientifically and with respect to potential clinical applications. (C) 2011 Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.”
“Upon hydration, GSK1838705A flax seeds secrete mucilages whose content and physico-chemical properties vary according to the genotype and environment. The aim of the work was to investigate the complex genetic relationships between the vegetative period, colour, size and production of seed, the composition (polysaccharides and proteins) and physico-chemical properties of soluble mucilages collected at 28 degrees C from seeds of 18 lines grown in St Petersburg area. The vegetative period duration was found to impact the size and production of seeds, the yield of mucilages, including the polysaccharides, and the galactosidase enzymes, as well as their composition (mainly the rhamnogalacturonan I moieties) and some of their properties (mainly viscosity).

Mean of central macular thickness in the pre-injection time for i

Mean of central macular thickness in the pre-injection time for intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide (IVTA) group was 295.62 mu, and 309.87 mu in intravitreal bevacizumab (IVB) group, which were decreased after six months to 199.27 mu and 221.06 mu, respectively (p<0.001). Conclusion: This study shows that IVT

and IVB are both effective in improving vision in uveitic CME. Although effects of triamcinolone on Central Macular Thickness (CMT) are more apparent, this superiority is not seen on Best Corrected Visual Acuity (BCVA).”
“Over the last 5 years foliar diseases had caused devastating damages in young plantations of Eucalyptus globulus in Uruguay. The sustainability of this species, the most important in the country with more than 270,000 ha of commercial plantations, depends on the rapid development of resistant genetic stock. The genetic variation in resistance of juvenile foliage to diseases and in the onset to adult foliage were examined in a field trial of E. globulus naturally infected by Mycosphaerella

leaf disease (Mycosphaerella spp. and Teratosphaeria spp.) and Eucalyptus rust (Puccinia psidii). The genetic material included 226 open pollinated seed lots from SRT1720 manufacturer 16 provenances of Australia, Chile and Uruguay. Disease severity (% of leaf spots and % defoliation) was assessed 8 months after planting and precocity of phase change (% of adult foliage) at 20 months. Tree growth and survival were evaluated every 2 years up to the ninth year. Differences in disease severity and in precocity of phase change were significant among countries of origin and provenances. Within provenances, the narrow-sense individual tree heritabilities for leaf spot severity (0.37), defoliation (0.41) and proportion of adult foliage (0.40) were higher than those obtained for tree growth (0.19 to 0.33) and similar to those obtained

for survival (0.33 to 0.45). Genetic correlations between disease severity and growth traits were negative LCL161 mw (-0.20 to -0.44) and were also negative between disease severity and survival (-0.28 to -0.51). There were positive genetic correlations between precocity of phase change and growth traits (0.34 to 0.41) and between precocity of phase change and survival (0.29 to 0.37). Our results demonstrate that selection for low disease severity in the first year and for high proportion of adult foliage in the second year are feasible in order to obtain genetic material for sites at risk of infection of both Mycosphaerella leaf disease and Eucalyptus rust.”
“Muscle degenerative diseases such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy are incurable and treatment options are still restrained. Understanding the mechanisms and factors responsible for muscle degeneration and regeneration will facilitate the development of novel therapeutics.

Quadriceps CAR was assessed at 70 degrees of knee flexion at four

Quadriceps CAR was assessed at 70 degrees of knee flexion at four instants (baseline, 20, 30, and 45min). There was a significant treatment x time interaction (F3,30=5.9, P=0.003) and post hoc analyses revealed that CAR was higher in the focal knee joint cooling session than the control session at 20min (0.79 +/- 0.12 vs. 0.70 +/- 0.12;

t10=3.9, P=0.003) and 45min (0.77 +/- 0.10 vs. 0.69 +/- 0.12; t10=3.1, P=0.01). The CAR tended to be higher during the experimental session than the control NVP-HSP990 session at 30min (0.79 +/- 0.13 vs. 0.74 +/- 0.11; t10=2.1, P=0.07).Volitional activation increased following focal knee joint cooling in healthy volunteers.”
“Introduction: Heart failure (HF) represents a significant healthcare issue because of its ever-increasing prevalence, poor prognosis and complex pathophysiology. Currently, blockade of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is the cornerstone of treatment; however, the combination of RAAS blockade

with inhibition of neprilysin (NEP), an enzyme that degrades natriuretic peptides, has recently emerged as a potentially superior treatment strategy. Areas covered: Following the results of the recent Phase III Prospective Comparison of ARNI with ACEI to Determine Impact on Global Mortality and Morbidity in Heart Failure clinical trial in patients with chronic HF with reduced ejection fraction (HF-REF), this review focuses on LCZ696, a first-in-class angiotensin receptor NEP inhibitor. This drug consists of a supramolecular complex containing the angiotensin receptor inhibitor valsartan in combination with the NEP inhibitor prodrug, see more AHU377. Following oral administration, the LCZ696 complex dissociates and the NEP inhibitor component is metabolized to the active form (LBQ657). Aspects of the trial that might be relevant to clinical practice are also discussed. Expert opinion: Speculation that LCZ696 will pass the scrutiny of regulatory agencies for HF-REF appears to be justified, and it is likely to become a core therapeutic component in the near future. Replication

of the eligibility criteria and titration protocol used in the PARADIGM-HF this website trial would be valuable in clinical practice and may minimize the risk of adverse events. Although long-term data remain to be generated, the promising results regarding hypertension are likely to expedite acceptance of the drug for HF-REF.”
“For use in chronic oral chemotherapeutic regimens, the potent anticancer drug docetaxel needs a solid oral dosage form. Because docetaxel has a very low permeability and a very low aqueous solubility (biopharmaceutical classification system class IV), a pharmacokinetic booster was combined with a newly developed solid dispersion formulation to improve the oral bioavailability of docetaxel.\n\nThe best performing solid dispersion was a 1/9/1 w/w/w ternary mixture of docetaxel, polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-K30 and sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS).

Ouabain, a Na/K ATPase pump inhibitor, was stereotactically injec

Ouabain, a Na/K ATPase pump inhibitor, was stereotactically injected into the right striatum

of Wistar rats. One week later, the superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO)-labeled rat BMSCs (n=7) or vehicle (n=8) were stereotactically transplanted into PLX3397 mouse the left striatum. Using rotarod test, motor function was serially evaluated through the experiment. A 7.0-T MR apparatus was employed to serially monitor the migration of BMSCs in the host brain. Histological analysis was performed at 7 weeks after ouabain injection, i.e., 6 weeks after BMSC transplantation. Ouabain injection yielded the reproducible, focal lesion in the right striatum, causing continuous motor dysfunction throughout the experiment. BMSC transplantation significantly enhanced the recovery of motor function after

ouabain injection. MR imaging demonstrated that the BMSCs aggressively migrated towards the lesion through the corpus callosum. Histological analysis supported the findings on MRI. The BMSCs significantly enhanced the neurogenesis in the subventricular zone (SVZ) on both sides. Some of them also expressed neuronal or astrocytic phenotypes in the neocortex, SVZ, corpus callosum, and pen-lesion area. These findings strongly suggest that the BMSCs may serve therapeutic impacts on lacunar stroke when stereotactically transplanted at clinically relevant timing.”
“Mutualistic associations shape the evolution in different AZD6094 organism groups. The association

between the leaf-cutter ant Atta sexdens and the basidiomycete fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus has enabled them to degrade starch from plant material generating glucose, which is a major food source for both mutualists. Starch degradation is promoted by enzymes EVP4593 mouse contained in the fecal fluid that ants deposit on the fungus culture in cut leaves inside the nests. To understand the dynamics of starch degradation in ant nests, we purified and characterized starch degrading enzymes from the ant fecal fluid and from laboratory cultures of L. gongylophorus and found that the ants intestine positively selects fungal alpha-amylase and a maltase likely produced by the ants, as a negative selection is imposed to fungal maltase and ant alpha-amylases. Selected enzymes are more resistant to catabolic repression by glucose and proposed to structure a metabolic pathway in which the fungal alpha-amylase initiates starch catalysis to generate byproducts which are sequentially degraded by the maltase to produce glucose. The pathway is responsible for effective degradation of starch and proposed to represent a major evolutionary innovation enabling efficient starch assimilation from plant material by leaf-cutters. (c) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.