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Streptococcus pneumoniae is the major cause of bacterial pneumonia, and it is also responsible for otitis media and meningitis in children. Apart from the capsule, the virulence factors of this pathogen are not completely understood. Recent technical advances in the field of bacterial pathogenesis (in vivo expression technology and signature-tagged(More)
The testis determining factor, SRY, is a DNA binding protein that causes a large distortion of its DNA target sites. We have analysed the biochemical properties of the DNA binding domains (HMG-boxes) of mutant SRY proteins from five patients with complete gonadal dysgenesis. The mutant proteins fall into three categories: two bind and bend DNA almost(More)
BACKGROUND Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are effective in approximately 70% of patients with a major depressive episode, but therapeutic changes usually require 2 weeks of administration to become clinically relevant. Adjunct light therapy has been proposed to hasten the effects of drug treatment. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate(More)
Genetic studies in medicine exploited age of onset as a criterion to delineate subgroups of illness. Bipolar patients stratified with this criterion were shown to share clinical characteristics and patterns of inheritance of illness. The molecular mechanisms driving the biological clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus may play a role in(More)
BACKGROUND Drug resistance remains a persistent source of morbidity and mortality for patients with bipolar depression. A growing number of clinical studies support the usefulness of chronotherapeutic interventions, such as total sleep deprivation (TSD) and light therapy (LT), in the treatment of nonresistant bipolar depression. METHOD To investigate the(More)
BACKGROUND A functional polymorphism within the promoter of the serotonin transporter has been shown to influence the antidepressant response to serotonergic drug treatments and to total sleep deprivation (TSD). The short-term relapse that follows acute response to TSD has been successfully prevented by combining TSD with light therapy. The mechanism of(More)
HMG boxes are DNA binding domains present in chromatin proteins, general transcription factors for nucleolar and mitochondrial RNA polymerases, and gene- and tissue-specific transcriptional regulators. The HMG boxes of HMG1, an abundant component of chromatin, interact specifically with four-way junctions, DNA structures that are cross-shaped and contain(More)
The molecular mechanisms driving the biological clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus may play a role in mood disorders. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (-50 T/C) falling into the effective promoter region (nt -171 to +29) of the gene coding for glycogen synthase kinase 3-beta (GSK3-beta) has been linked with different age at onset(More)
Recent European studies suggested that sleep phase advance (SPA) could sustain the effects of total sleep deprivation (TSD) both with or without a combined antidepressant drug treatment. Previous studies by our group showed that an ongoing lithium treatment could enhance and sustain the effect of repeated TSD. In the present study we studied the effect of a(More)
In mammals, sex determination is caused by the Y-chromosome gene SRY. The DNA-binding domain of human SRY protein is similar to those of the chromatin protein HMG1. Like HMG1, SRY binds to kinked DNA structures, and bends linear DNA sharply upon binding. We analysed the biochemical properties of mutant SRY proteins from five patients with complete gonadal(More)