Recent Submissions

  • Proteomes Are of Proteoforms: Embracing the Complexity

    Carbonara, Katrina; Andonovski, Martin; Coorssen, Jens R. (MDPI AG, 2021-08-31)
    Proteomes are complex—much more so than genomes or transcriptomes. Thus, simplifying their analysis does not simplify the issue. Proteomes are of proteoforms, not canonical proteins. While having a catalogue of amino acid sequences provides invaluable information, this is the Proteome-lite. To dissect biological mechanisms and identify critical biomarkers/drug targets, we must assess the myriad of proteoforms that arise at any point before, after, and between translation and transcription (e.g., isoforms, splice variants, and post-translational modifications [PTM]), as well as newly defined species. There are numerous analytical methods currently used to address proteome depth and here we critically evaluate these in terms of the current ‘state-of-the-field’. We thus discuss both pros and cons of available approaches and where improvements or refinements are needed to quantitatively characterize proteomes. To enable a next-generation approach, we suggest that advances lie in transdisciplinarity via integration of current proteomic methods to yield a unified discipline that capitalizes on the strongest qualities of each. Such a necessary (if not revolutionary) shift cannot be accomplished by a continued primary focus on proteo-genomics/-transcriptomics. We must embrace the complexity. Yes, these are the hard questions, and this will not be easy…but where is the fun in easy?
  • Profit versus Quality: The Enigma of Scientific Wellness

    Carbonara, Katrina; MacNeil, Adam J.; O'Leary, Deborah D.; Coorssen, Jens R. (Journal of Personalized Medicine, 2022-01-03)
    The “best of both worlds” is not often the case when it comes to implementing new health models, particularly in community settings. It is often a struggle between choosing or balancing between two components: depth of research or financial profit. This has become even more apparent with the recent shift to move away from a traditionally reactive model of medicine toward a predictive/preventative one. This has given rise to many new concepts and approaches with a variety of often overlapping aims. The purpose of this perspective is to highlight the pros and cons of the numerous ventures already implementing new concepts, to varying degrees, in community settings of quite differing scales—some successful and some falling short. Scientific wellness is a complex, multifaceted concept that requires integrated experimental/analytical designs that demand both high-quality research/healthcare and significant funding. We currently see the more likely long-term success of those ventures in which any profit is largely reinvested into research efforts and health/healthspan is the primary focus.
  • Oxygen toxicity: cellular mechanisms in normobaric hyperoxia

    Alva, Ricardo; Baiton, Adam; Bobinski, Ava; Mirza, Maha; Lazaran, Lucas; Samokysh, Lyuda; Obioru, Dede; Stuart, Jeffrey A.; Al Makhoul, Tala (Springer, 2022)
    In clinical settings, oxygen therapy is administered to preterm neonates and to adults with acute and chronic conditions such as COVID-19, pulmonary fibrosis, sepsis, cardiac arrest, carbon monoxide poisoning, and acute heart failure. In non-clinical settings, divers and astronauts may also receive supplemental oxygen. In addition, under current standard cell culture practices, cells are maintained in atmospheric oxygen, which is several times higher than what most cells experience in vivo. In all the above scenarios, the elevated oxygen levels (hyperoxia) can lead to increased production of reactive oxygen species from mitochondria, NADPH oxidases, and other sources. This can cause cell dysfunction or death. Acute hyperoxia injury impairs various cellular functions, manifesting ultimately as physiological deficits. Chronic hyperoxia, particularly in the neonate, can disrupt development, leading to permanent deficiencies. In this review, we discuss the cellular activities and pathways affected by hyperoxia, as well as strategies that have been developed to ameliorate injury.
  • Colorectal cancer screening behaviors among South Asian immigrants in Canada: a qualitative study

    Crawford, Joanne; Ahmad, Farah; Beaton, Dorcas E.; Bierman, Arlene S. (Emerald, 2015)
    The purpose of this paper is to gain an in-depth understanding of beliefs, attitudes, and reasons for decision making about colorectal cancer (CRC) screening among South Asian (SA) immigrants. Design/methodology/approach – Six focus groups conducted in English, Punjabi, and Urdu were held with 42 SA immigrants, 50-74 years old and at average risk for CRC, from November 2012 to May 2013. All focus group discussions were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. Data analysis used an inductive and systematic approach employing constant comparison techniques. Findings – Three dominant themes emerged. Beliefs and attitudes towards cancer and screening represented SA immigrant’s perceptions that early detection was beneficial; screening was not necessary in the absence of symptoms; cancer was scary; and the loss of previously established bowel practices upon immigration as potential risks for CRC. Knowledge and awareness focused on unscreened participants’ cancer stories; screened participants’ knowledge of CRC, risk factors, and screening; experiential learning from focus groups; and screened participants’ strategies to promote screening. Support and accessibility concentrated on physician support and responsibility to provide information, explanation, and recommend screening to facilitate access. Originality/value – Findings provide novel insights on socio-cultural context, beliefs, and barriers to CRC screening among SA immigrants. Culturally appropriate community-based strategies included story-telling, the use of social networks, and greater physician engagement. Enhancing collaborative partnerships with physicians and public health may minimize structural barriers and reduce health disparities. Future research could explore effectiveness of outreach strategies including these collaborations.
  • Home Care Nursing Visits and Same-Day Emergency Department Use: Which Patients Are Most at Risk?

    Schumacher, Connie; Jones, Aaron; Costa, Andrew P. (Sage Publications, 2020)
    Background Home care patients are a growing group of community-dwelling older adults with complex care needs and high health service use. Adult home care patients are at high risk for emergency department (ED) visits, which is greater on the same day as a nursing visit. The purpose of this study was to examine whether common nursing indicators modified the association between nursing visits and same-day ED visits. Methods A case-crossover design within a retrospective cohort of adult home care patients in Ontario. Results A total of 11,840 home care nursing patients were analyzed. Home care patients who received a home nursing visit were more likely to go the ED after hours on the same day with a stronger association for visits not admitted to the hospital. Having a urinary catheter increased the risk of a same-day ED visit (OR: 1.78 (95% CI 1.15–1.60) vs. 1.21 (95% CI 1.15–1.28)). No other clinical indicator modified the association. The findings of this study can be used to inform care policies and practices for home care nurses in the management of indwelling urinary catheter complications. Further examination of system factors such as capacity and resources available to respond to catheter related complications in the community setting are recommended.
  • What is the effect of ADHD stimulant medication on Heart Rate and Blood Pressure in a Community Sample of Children?

    St Amour, Meagan; O'Leary, Deborah D; Cairney, John; Wade, Terrance J (Springer International Publishing, 2018)
    OBJECTIVE: This study examines the effect of ADHD diagnosis and stimulant medication for ADHD treatment on child heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) in a community sample compared to children without ADHD. METHODS: Data came from the HBEAT Study. 2,013 participants from 49 schools from southern Ontario in grades 5-8 were included. Linear regression analyses examined the effects of ADHD medications on systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate adjusting for age, sex, and body mass index (BMI). RESULTS: Compared to non-ADHD children and adjusting for age, sex and BMI, children with ADHD on stimulant medication had a 12.3 bpm higher HR, and 3.0 mmHg higher SBP and DBP (all statistically significant). Children with ADHD on no stimulant medication had no differences in HR and BP compared to those children without a diagnosis of ADHD. CONCLUSION: Stimulant medications used to treat ADHD are associated with elevated HR and higher BP. While it is unknown if children on ADHD medications may be at risk for longer term cardiovascular issues, this study supports the need to examine the long-term consequences of ADHD medication.
  • Saturation of SERCA's lipid annulus may protect against its thermal inactivation.

    Fajardo, Val Andrew; Trojanowski, Natalie S.; Castelli, Laura; Miotto, Paula; Amoye, Foyinsola; Ward, Wendy E.; Tupling, A. Russell; LeBlanc, Paul (Elsevier, 2017-01-26)
    The sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) pumps are integral membrane proteins that catalyze the active transport of Ca2+ into the sarcoplasmic reticulum, thereby eliciting muscle relaxation. SERCA pumps are highly susceptible to oxidative damage, and cytoprotection of SERCA dampens thermal inactivation and is a viable therapeutic strategy in combating diseases where SERCA activity is impaired, such as muscular dystrophy. Here, we sought to determine whether increasing the percent of saturated fatty acids (SFA) within SERCA's lipid annulus through diet could protect SERCA pumps from thermal inactivation. Female Wistar rats were fed either a semi-purified control diet (AIN93G, 7% soybean oil by weight) or a modified AIN93G diet containing high SFA (20% lard by weight) for 17 weeks. Soleus muscles were extracted and SERCA lipid annulus and activity under thermal stress were analyzed. Our results show that SERCA's lipid annulus is abundant with short-chain (12–14 carbon) fatty acids, which corresponds well with SERCA's predicted bilayer thickness of 21 Å. Under control-fed conditions, SERCA's lipid annulus was already highly saturated (79%), and high-fat feeding did not increase this any further. High-fat feeding did not mitigate the reductions in SERCA activity seen with thermal stress; however, correlational analyses revealed significant and strong associations between % SFA and thermal stability of SERCA activity with greater %SFA being associated with lower thermal inactivation and greater % polyunsaturation and unsaturation index being associated with increased thermal inactivation. Altogether, these findings show that SERCA's lipid annulus may influence its susceptibility to oxidative damage, which could have implications in muscular dystrophy and age-related muscle wasting.