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      Potential Biomarkers in Systemic Sclerosis: A Literature Review and Update

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          Abstract

          Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by dysregulation of the immune system, vascular damage, and fibrosis of the skin and internal organs. Patients with SSc show a heterogeneous phenotype and a range of clinical courses. Therefore, biomarkers that are helpful for precise diagnosis, prediction of clinical course, and evaluation of the therapeutic responsiveness of disease are required in clinical practice. SSc-specific autoantibodies are currently used for diagnosis and prediction of clinical features, as other biomarkers have not yet been fully vetted. Krebs von den Lungen-6 (KL-6), surfactant protein-D (SP-D), and CCL18 have been considered as serum biomarkers of SSc-related interstitial lung disease. Moreover, levels of circulating brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) can provide diagnostic information and indicate the severity of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Assessment of several serum/plasma cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, adhesion molecules, and other molecules may also reflect the activity or progression of fibrosis and vascular involvement in affected organs. Recently, microRNAs have also been implicated as possible circulating indicators of SSc. In this review, we focus on several potential SSc biomarkers and discuss their clinical utility.

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          Most cited references 218

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          Diagnostic criteria for hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome).

          Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) is easily recognized in individuals displaying the classical triad of epistaxis, telangiectasia, and a suitable family history, but the disease is more difficult to diagnosis in many patients. Serious consequences may result if visceral arteriovenous malformations, particularly in the pulmonary circulation, are unrecognized and left untreated. In spite of the identification of two of the disease-causing genes (endoglin and ALK-1), only a clinical diagnosis of HHT can be provided for the majority of individuals. On behalf of the Scientific Advisory Board of the HHT Foundation International, Inc., we present consensus clinical diagnostic criteria. The four criteria (epistaxes, telangiectasia, visceral lesions and an appropriate family history) are carefully delineated. The HHT diagnosis is definite if three criteria are present. A diagnosis of HHT cannot be established in patients with only two criteria, but should be recorded as possible or suspected to maintain a high index of clinical suspicion. If fewer than two criteria are present, HHT is unlikely, although children of affected individuals should be considered at risk in view of age-related penetration in this disorder. These criteria may be refined as molecular diagnostic tests become available in the next few years.
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            Interleukin-6: from basic science to medicine--40 years in immunology.

            This essay summarizes my 40 years of research in immunology. As a young physician, I encountered a patient with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, and this inspired me to study the structure of IgM. I began to ask how antibody responses are regulated. In the late 1960s, the essential role of T cells in antibody production had been reported. In search of molecules mediating T cell helper function, I discovered activities in the culture supernatant of T cells that induced proliferation and differentiation of B cells. This led to my life's work: studying one of those factors, interleukin-6 (IL-6). To my surprise, IL-6 turned out to play additional roles, including myeloma growth factor and hepatocyte-stimulating factor activities. More importantly, it was involved in a number of diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and Castleman's disease. I feel exceptionally fortunate that my work not only revealed the framework of cytokine signaling, including identification of the IL-6 receptor, gp130, NF-IL6, STAT3, and SOCS-1, but also led to the development of a new therapy for chronic inflammatory diseases.
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              New families in the classification of glycosyl hydrolases based on amino acid sequence similarities.

              301 glycosyl hydrolases and related enzymes corresponding to 39 EC entries of the I.U.B. classification system have been classified into 35 families on the basis of amino-acid-sequence similarities [Henrissat (1991) Biochem. J. 280, 309-316]. Approximately half of the families were found to be monospecific (containing only one EC number), whereas the other half were found to be polyspecific (containing at least two EC numbers). A > 60% increase in sequence data for glycosyl hydrolases (181 additional enzymes or enzyme domains sequences have since become available) allowed us to update the classification not only by the addition of more members to already identified families, but also by the finding of ten new families. On the basis of a comparison of 482 sequences corresponding to 52 EC entries, 45 families, out of which 22 are polyspecific, can now be defined. This classification has been implemented in the SWISS-PROT protein sequence data bank.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Clin Med
                J Clin Med
                jcm
                Journal of Clinical Medicine
                MDPI
                2077-0383
                22 October 2020
                November 2020
                : 9
                : 11
                Affiliations
                Department of Dermatology, Divison of Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Fukui, 23-3, Matsuokashimoaizuki, Eiheiji-cho, Yoshida-gun, Fukui 910-1193, Japan; utsunomi@ 123456u-fukui.ac.jp (A.U.); norider@ 123456u-fukui.ac.jp (N.O.)
                Author notes
                Article
                jcm-09-03388
                10.3390/jcm9113388
                7690387
                33105647
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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