Genome-wide association studies of lung cancer reported in populations of European background have identified three regions on chromosomes 5p15.33, 6p21.33, and 15q25 that have achieved genome-wide significance with p-values of 10−7 or lower. These studies have been performed primarily in cigarette smokers, raising the possibility that the observed associations could be related to tobacco use, lung carcinogenesis, or both. Since most women in Asia do not smoke, we conducted a genome-wide association study of lung adenocarcinoma in never-smoking females (584 cases, 585 controls) among Han Chinese in Taiwan and found that the most significant association was for rs2736100 on chromosome 5p15.33 (p = 1.30×10−11). This finding was independently replicated in seven studies from East Asia totaling 1,164 lung adenocarcinomas and 1,736 controls (p = 5.38×10−11). A pooled analysis achieved genome-wide significance for rs2736100. This SNP marker localizes to the CLPTM1L-TERT locus on chromosome 5p15.33 (p = 2.60×10−20, allelic risk = 1.54, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.41–1.68). Risks for heterozygote and homozygote carriers of the minor allele were 1.62 (95% CI; 1.40–1.87), and 2.35 (95% CI: 1.95–2.83), respectively. In summary, our results show that genetic variation in the CLPTM1L-TERT locus of chromosome 5p15.33 is directly associated with the risk of lung cancer, most notably adenocarcinoma.
Worldwide, approximately 15% of lung cancer cases occur among nonsmokers. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of lung cancer conducted in populations of European background have identified three regions on chromosomes 5, 6, and 15 that harbor genetic variants that confer risk for lung cancer. Prior studies were conducted primarily in cigarette smokers, raising the possibility that the associations could be related to tobacco use, lung carcinogenesis, or both. A GWAS of lung cancer among never-smokers is an optimal setting to discover effects that are independent of smoking. Since most women in Asia do not smoke, we conducted a GWAS of lung adenocarcinoma among never-smoking females (584 cases, 585 controls) in Taiwan, and observed a region on chromosome 5 significantly associated with risk for lung cancer in never-smoking women. The finding was independently replicated in seven studies from East Asia totaling 1,164 lung adenocarcinomas and 1,736 controls. To our knowledge, this study is the first reported GWAS of lung cancer in East Asian women, and together with the replication studies represents the largest genetic association study in this population. The findings provide insight into the genetic contribution of common variants to lung carcinogenesis.
Loss of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons is attributable to the proapoptotic signaling induced by nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR) and may link to Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk. Only one study has investigated the association between NGFR polymorphisms and the risk of AD in an Italian population. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) may modify this association based on previous animal and epidemiologic studies.
This was a case-control study in a Chinese population. A total of 264 AD patients were recruited from three teaching hospitals between 2007 to 2010; 389 controls were recruited from elderly health checkup and volunteers of the hospital during the same period of time. Five common (frequency≥5%) haplotype-tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (htSNPs) were selected from NGFR to test the association between NGFR htSNPs and the risk of AD.
Variant NGFR rs734194 was significantly associated with a decreased risk of AD [GG vs. TT copies: adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 0.43, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.20-0.95]. Seven common haplotypes were identified. Minor haplotype GCGCG was significantly associated with a decreased risk of AD (2 vs. 0 copies: adjusted OR = 0.39, 95% CI = 0.17-0.91). Type 2 DM significantly modified the association between rs2072446, rs741072, and haplotype GCTTG and GTTCG on the risk of AD among ApoE ε4 non-carriers (Pinteraction < 0.05).
Inherited polymorphisms of NGFR were associated with the risk of AD; results were not significant after correction for multiple tests. This association was further modified by the status of type 2 DM.
NGFR; Alzheimer's disease; htSNP; haplotype
A laboratory-based surveillance network of 11 clinical virological laboratories for influenza viruses was established in Taiwan under the coordination of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Taiwan. From October 2000 to March 2004, 3,244 influenza viruses were isolated, including 1,969 influenza A and 1,275 influenza B viruses. The influenza infections usually occurred frequently in winter in the northern hemisphere. However, the influenza seasonality in Taiwan was not clear during the four seasons under investigation. For example, the influenza A viruses peaked during the winters of 2001, 2002, and 2003. However, some isolated peaks were also found in the summer and fall (June to November) of 2001 and 2002. An unusual peak of influenza B also occurred in the summer of 2002 (June to August). Phylogenetic analysis shows that influenza A isolates from the same year were often grouped together. However, influenza B isolates from the year 2002 clustered into different groups, and the data indicate that both B/Victoria/2/87-like and B/Yamagata/16/88-like lineages of influenza B viruses were cocirculating. Sequence comparison of epidemic strains versus vaccine strains shows that many vaccine-like Taiwanese strains were circulating at least 2 years before the vaccine strains were introduced. No clear seasonality of influenza reports in Taiwan occurred in contrast to other more continental regions.
Multidrug resistance protein 7 (MRP7, ABCC10) is a recently discovered member of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) family which are capable of conferring resistance to a variety of anticancer drugs, including taxanes and nucleoside analogs, in vivo. MRP7 is highly expressed in non-small cell lung cancer cells, and Mrp7-KO mice are highly sensitive to paclitaxel, making MRP7 an attractive chemotherapeutic target of non-small cell lung cancer. However, only a few inhibitors of MRP7 are currently identified, with none of them having progressed to clinical trials. We used MRP7-expressing cells to investigate whether tariquidar, a third generation inhibitor of P-glycoprotein, could inhibit MRP7-mediated multidrug resistance (MDR). We found that tariquidar, at 0.1 and 0.3 µM, significantly potentiated the sensitivity of MRP7-transfected HEK293 cells to MRP7 substrates and increased the intracellular accumulation of paclitaxel. We further demonstrated that tariquidar directly impaired paclitaxel efflux and could downregulate MRP7 protein expression in a concentration- and time-dependent manner after prolonged treatment. Our findings suggest that tariquidar, at pharmacologically achievable concentrations, reverses MRP7-mediated MDR through inhibition of MRP7 protein expression and function, and thus represents a promising therapeutic agent in the clinical treatment of chemoresistant cancer patients.
Among the 219 vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium isolates collected in 20 Taiwanese hospitals from 2006 to 2010, all were susceptible to linezolid and daptomycin, and 98.6% were susceptible to tigecycline. There was a shift toward higher tigecycline MIC values (MIC90s) from 2006-2007 (0.06 μg/ml) to 2008–2010 (0.12 μg/ml). The MIC90s of daptomycin and linezolid remained stationary. Although pulsotypes among the isolates from the 20 hospitals varied, intrahospital spreading of several clones was identified in 13 hospitals.
To study the association between retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and the progression of diabetic retinopathy (DR).
Using the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000 of Taiwan, we identified individuals with an initial diagnosis for RP during the period of 1997–2008. A non-RP comparison group, 10-fold frequency matched by sex, age, index year and the year of diabetes diagnosed, were randomly selected from the same database. The occurrence of DR was observed for all subjects until the end of 2009. The Kaplan-Meier curves were used to illustrate the cumulative probability of developing DR for the RP group and comparison groups. The hazard ratio (HR) of DR for the RP group relative to the comparison group was estimated using Cox proportional hazards model after adjusting for potential confounders.
The Kaplan-Meier curves were not statistically significant different between the RP group and the comparison group. However, the RP group had a higher cumulative probability of developing DR during the first six to seven years. The cumulative probability kept increasing and became higher in the comparison group but remained unchanged in the RP group. The HR for the RP patients comparing with the comparison group was 0.96 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.43–2.14). Stratified by severity, RP was associated with a non-statistically significant reduced risk of proliferative DR (PDR) (HR = 0.70, 95% CI = 0.16–3.14). The HR for non-proliferative DR (NPDR) was 1.08 (95% CI = 0.40–2.86).
In this study, RP was not statistically significant associated with the incidence of DR.
The Tigecycline In Vitro Surveillance in Taiwan (TIST) study, initiated in 2006, is a nationwide surveillance program designed to longitudinally monitor the in vitro activity of tigecycline against commonly encountered drug-resistant bacteria. This study compared the in vitro activity of tigecycline against 3,014 isolates of clinically important drug-resistant bacteria using the standard broth microdilution and disk diffusion methods. Species studied included methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA; n = 759), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE; n = 191), extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (n = 602), ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 736), and Acinetobacter baumannii (n = 726) that had been collected from patients treated between 2008 and 2010 at 20 hospitals in Taiwan. MICs and inhibition zone diameters were interpreted according to the currently recommended U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) criteria and the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) criteria. The MIC90 values of tigecycline against MRSA, VRE, ESBL-producing E. coli, ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae, and A. baumannii were 0.5, 0.125, 0.5, 2, and 8 μg/ml, respectively. The total error rates between the two methods using the FDA criteria were high: 38.4% for ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae and 33.8% for A. baumannii. Using the EUCAST criteria, the total error rate was also high (54.6%) for A. baumannii isolates. The total error rates between these two methods were <5% for MRSA, VRE, and ESBL-producing E. coli. For routine susceptibility testing of ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae and A. baumannii against tigecycline, the broth microdilution method should be used because of the poor correlation of results between these two methods.
The Tigecycline In Vitro Surveillance in Taiwan (TIST) study, a nationwide, prospective surveillance during 2006 to 2010, collected a total of 7,793 clinical isolates, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (n = 1,834), penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (PRSP) (n = 423), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) (n = 219), extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (n = 1,141), ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 1,330), Acinetobacter baumannii (n = 1,645), and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (n = 903), from different specimens from 20 different hospitals in Taiwan. MICs of tigecycline were determined following the criteria of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST-2011). Among drug-resistant Gram-positive pathogens, all of the PRSP isolates were susceptible to tigecycline (MIC90, 0.03 μg/ml), and only one MRSA isolate (MIC90, 0.5 μg/ml) and three VRE isolates (MIC90, 0.125 μg/ml) were nonsusceptible to tigecycline. Among the Gram-negative bacteria, the tigecycline susceptibility rates were 99.65% for ESBL-producing E. coli (MIC90, 0.5 μg/ml) and 96.32% for ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae (MIC90, 2 μg/ml) when interpreted by FDA criteria but were 98.7% and 85.8%, respectively, when interpreted by EUCAST-2011 criteria. The susceptibility rate for A. baumannii (MIC90, 4 μg/ml) decreased from 80.9% in 2006 to 55.3% in 2009 but increased to 73.4% in 2010. A bimodal MIC distribution was found among carbapenem-susceptible A. baumannii isolates, and a unimodal MIC distribution was found among carbapenem-nonsusceptible A. baumannii isolates. In Taiwan, tigecycline continues to have excellent in vitro activity against several major clinically important drug-resistant bacteria, with the exception of A. baumannii.
The role of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke is controversial. This prospective study assessed the efficacy and safety of HBOT as adjuvant treatment on 46 acute ischemic stroke in patients who did not receive thrombolytic therapy. The HBOT group (n = 16) received conventional medical treatment with 10 sessions of adjunctive HBOT within 3–5 days after stroke onset, while the control group (n = 30) received the same treatment but without HBOT. Early (around two weeks after onset) and late (one month after onset) outcomes (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, NIHSS scores) and efficacy (changes of NIHSS scores) of HBOT were evaluated. The baseline clinical characteristics were similar in both groups. Both early and late outcomes of the HBOT group showed significant difference (P ≤ 0.001). In the control group, there was only significant difference in early outcome (P = 0.004). For early efficacy, there was no difference when comparing changes of NIHSS scores between the two groups (P = 0.140) but there was statistically significant difference when comparing changes of NIHSS scores at one month (P ≤ 0.001). The HBOT used in this study may be effective for patients with acute ischemic stroke and is a safe and harmless adjunctive treatment.
We report the first genome-wide association study of a joint analysis using 795 Han Chinese individuals with treatment-refractory schizophrenia (TRS) and 806 controls. Three loci showed suggestive significant association with TRS were identified. These loci include: rs10218843 (P = 3.04×10−7) and rs11265461 (P = 1.94×10−7) are adjacent to signaling lymphocytic activation molecule family member 1 (SLAMF1); rs4699030 (P = 1.94×10−6) and rs230529 (P = 1.74×10−7) are located in the gene nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells 1 (NFKB1); and rs13049286 (P = 3.05×10−5) and rs3827219 (P = 1.66×10−5) fall in receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 4 (RIPK4). One isolated single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs739617 (P = 3.87×10−5) was also identified to be associated with TRS. The -94delATTG allele (rs28362691) located in the promoter region of NFKB1 was identified by resequencing and was found to associate with TRS (P = 4.85×10−6). The promoter assay demonstrated that the -94delATTG allele had a significant lower promoter activity than the -94insATTG allele in the SH-SY5Y cells. This study suggests that rs28362691 in NFKB1 might be involved in the development of TRS.
Malignant glioma is a common and severe primary brain tumor with a high recurrence rate and an extremely high mortality rate within 2 years of diagnosis, even when surgical, radiological, and chemotherapeutic interventions are applied. Intravenously administered drugs have limited use because of their adverse systemic effects and poor blood–brain barrier penetration. Here, we combine 2 methods to increase drug delivery to brain tumors. Focused ultrasound transiently permeabilizes the blood–brain barrier, increasing passive diffusion. Subsequent application of an external magnetic field then actively enhances localization of a chemotherapeutic agent immobilized on a novel magnetic nanoparticle. Combining these techniques significantly improved the delivery of 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea to rodent gliomas. Furthermore, the physicochemical properties of the nanoparticles allowed their delivery to be monitored by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The resulting suppression of tumor progression without damaging the normal regions of the brain was verified by MRI and histological examination. This noninvasive, reversible technique promises to provide a more effective and tolerable means of tumor treatment, with lower therapeutic doses and concurrent clinical monitoring.
BCNU; glioma; magnetic nanoparticle; MRI; ultrasound
Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by a CAG trinucleotide expansion in the Huntingtin (Htt) gene. The expanded CAG repeats are translated into polyglutamine (polyQ), causing aberrant functions as well as aggregate formation of mutant Htt. Effective treatments for HD are yet to be developed.
Here, we report a novel dual-function compound, N6-(4-hydroxybenzyl)adenine riboside (designated T1-11) which activates the A2AR and a major adenosine transporter (ENT1). T1-11 was originally isolated from a Chinese medicinal herb. Molecular modeling analyses showed that T1-11 binds to the adenosine pockets of the A2AR and ENT1. Introduction of T1-11 into the striatum significantly enhanced the level of striatal adenosine as determined by a microdialysis technique, demonstrating that T1-11 inhibited adenosine uptake in vivo. A single intraperitoneal injection of T1-11 in wildtype mice, but not in A2AR knockout mice, increased cAMP level in the brain. Thus, T1-11 enters the brain and elevates cAMP via activation of the A2AR in vivo. Most importantly, addition of T1-11 (0.05 mg/ml) to the drinking water of a transgenic mouse model of HD (R6/2) ameliorated the progressive deterioration in motor coordination, reduced the formation of striatal Htt aggregates, elevated proteasome activity, and increased the level of an important neurotrophic factor (brain derived neurotrophic factor) in the brain. These results demonstrate the therapeutic potential of T1-11 for treating HD.
The dual functions of T1-11 enable T1-11 to effectively activate the adenosinergic system and subsequently delay the progression of HD. This is a novel therapeutic strategy for HD. Similar dual-function drugs aimed at a particular neurotransmitter system as proposed herein may be applicable to other neurotransmitter systems (e.g., the dopamine receptor/dopamine transporter and the serotonin receptor/serotonin transporter) and may facilitate the development of new drugs for other neurodegenerative diseases.
Accumulated evidences have shown that vascular risk factors, e.g., hypertension, diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia, may be related to the risk of dementia. This study investigated the association between genetic polymorphisms of a vascular susceptibility gene, Ninjurin2 (NINJ2), and the risk of dementia, which has not been explored previously.
A total of 275 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and 119 vascular dementia (VaD) patients aged 50 or older were recruited from three teaching hospitals from 2007 to 2010. Healthy controls (n = 423) with the same age of cases were recruited from the health checkup and volunteers worked at the hospital during the same time period. Five common (frequency >5%) haplotype-tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (htSNPs) in NINJ2 were genotyped to test for the association between sequence variants of NINJ2 and dementia risk, and how vascular risk factors modify this association.
Homozygosity of two NINJ2 SNPs was significantly associated with a decreased risk of AD [rs11833579: adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 0.43; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.23–0.80; rs12425791: AOR = 0.33, 95% CI = 0.12–0.96]. Five common haplotypes (cumulative frequency = 97%) were identified. The global test for the association between NINJ2 haplotypes and AD was significant (p = 0.03). Haplotype CAGGA was significantly associated with a decreased risk of AD (AOR = 0.32, 95% CI = 0.11–0.94). No associations were observed for VaD.
Inherited polymorphisms of the vascular susceptibility gene NINJ2 were associated with AD risk.
The expressions of different vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) isoforms are associated with the degree of tumor invasiveness and the patient's prognosis in human cancers. We hypothesized that different VEGF isoforms can exert different effects on the functional and structural characteristics of tumor angiogenesis. We used dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) and steady-state contrast-enhanced MRI (SSCE-MRI) to evaluate in vivo vascular functions (e.g., perfusion and permeability) and structural characteristics (e.g., vascular size and vessel density) of the tumor angiogenesis induced by different VEGF isoforms (VEGF121, VEGF165, and VEGF189) in a murine xenograft model of human lung cancer. Tumors overexpressing VEGF189 were larger than those overexpressing the other two VEGF isoforms. The Ktrans map obtained from DCE-MRI revealed that the perfusion and permeability functions of tumor microvessels was highest in both the rim and core regions of VEGF189-overexpressing tumors (p<0.001 for both tumor rim and core). The relative vessel density and relative vessel size indexes derived from SSCE-MRI revealed that VEGF189-overexpressing tumors had the smallest (p<0.05) and the most-dense (p<0.01) microvessels, which penetrated deeply from the tumor rim into the core, followed by the VEGF165-overepxressing tumor, whose microvessels were located mainly in the tumor rim. The lowest-density microvessels were found in the VEGF121-overexpressing tumor; these microvessels had a relatively large lumen and were found mainly in the tumor rim. We conclude that among the three VEGF isoforms evaluated, VEGF189 induces the most densely sprouting and smallest tumor microvessels with the highest in vivo perfusion and permeability functions. These characteristics of tumor microvessels may contribute to the reported adverse effects of VEGF189 overexpression on tumor progression, metastasis, and patient survival in several human cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer, and suggest that applying aggressive therapy may be necessary in human cancers in which VEGF189 is overexpressed.
Genetic factors may play a role in susceptibility to spontaneous deep intracerebral hemorrhage (SDICH). Previous studies have shown that TNF-α gene variation was associated with risks of subarachnoid hemorrhage in multiple ethnicities. The present case-control study tested the hypothesis that genetic variations of the TNF-α gene may affect the risk of Taiwanese SDICH. We examined the association of SDICH risks with four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the TNF-α gene promoter, namely T-1031C, C-863A, C-857T, and G-308A.
Genotyping was determined by PCR-based restriction and electrophoresis assay for 260 SDICH patients and 368 controls. Associations were tested by logistic regression or general linear models with adjusting for multiple covariables in each gender group, and then in combined. Multiplicative terms of gender and each of the four SNPs were applied to detect the interaction effects on SDICH risks. To account for the multiple testing, permutation testing of 1,000 replicates was performed for empirical estimates.
In an additive model, SDICH risks were positively associated with the minor alleles -1031C and -308A in men (OR = 1.9, 95% CI 1.1 to 3.4, p = 0.03 and OR = 2.6, 95% CI 1.3 to 5.3, p = 0.005, respectively) but inversely associated with -863A in females (OR = 0.5, 95% CI 0.2 to 0.9, p = 0.03). There were significant interaction effects between gender and SNP on SDICH risks regarding SNPs T-1031C, C-863A, and G-308A (p = 0.005, 0.005, and 0.007, respectively). Hemorrhage size was inversely associated with -857T in males (p = 0.04).
In the Taiwan population, the associations of genetic variations in the TNF-α gene promoter with SDICH risks are gender-dependent.
To compare the differences in dose-volume data among coplanar intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), noncoplanar IMRT, and helical tomotherapy (HT) among patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and portal vein thrombosis (PVT).
Nine patients with unresectable HCC and PVT underwent step and shoot coplanar IMRT with intent to deliver 46 - 54 Gy to the tumor and portal vein. The volume of liver received 30Gy was set to keep less than 30% of whole normal liver (V30 < 30%). The mean dose to at least one side of kidney was kept below 23 Gy, and 50 Gy as for stomach. The maximum dose was kept below 47 Gy for spinal cord. Several parameters including mean hepatic dose, percent volume of normal liver with radiation dose at X Gy (Vx), uniformity index, conformal index, and doses to organs at risk were evaluated from the dose-volume histogram.
HT provided better uniformity for the planning-target volume dose coverage than both IMRT techniques. The noncoplanar IMRT technique reduces the V10 to normal liver with a statistically significant level as compared to HT. The constraints for the liver in the V30 for coplanar IMRT vs. noncoplanar IMRT vs. HT could be reconsidered as 21% vs. 17% vs. 17%, respectively. When delivering 50 Gy and 60-66 Gy to the tumor bed, the constraints of mean dose to the normal liver could be less than 20 Gy and 25 Gy, respectively.
Noncoplanar IMRT and HT are potential techniques of radiation therapy for HCC patients with PVT. Constraints for the liver in IMRT and HT could be stricter than for 3DCRT.
To investigate the underlying mechanisms of T2D pathogenesis, we looked for diabetes susceptibility genes that increase the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in a Han Chinese population. A two-stage genome-wide association (GWA) study was conducted, in which 995 patients and 894 controls were genotyped using the Illumina HumanHap550-Duo BeadChip for the first genome scan stage. This was further replicated in 1,803 patients and 1,473 controls in stage 2. We found two loci not previously associated with diabetes susceptibility in and around the genes protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type D (PTPRD) (P = 8.54×10−10; odds ratio [OR] = 1.57; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.36–1.82), and serine racemase (SRR) (P = 3.06×10−9; OR = 1.28; 95% CI = 1.18–1.39). We also confirmed that variants in KCNQ1 were associated with T2D risk, with the strongest signal at rs2237895 (P = 9.65×10−10; OR = 1.29, 95% CI = 1.19–1.40). By identifying two novel genetic susceptibility loci in a Han Chinese population and confirming the involvement of KCNQ1, which was previously reported to be associated with T2D in Japanese and European descent populations, our results may lead to a better understanding of differences in the molecular pathogenesis of T2D among various populations.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a complex disease that involves many genes and environmental factors. Genome-wide and candidate-gene association studies have thus far identified at least 19 regions containing genes that may confer a risk for T2D. However, most of these studies were conducted with patients of European descent. We studied Chinese patients with T2D and identified two genes, PTPRD and SRR, that were not previously known to be involved in diabetes and are involved in biological pathways different from those implicated in T2D by previous association reports. PTPRD is a protein tyrosine phosphatase and may affect insulin signaling on its target cells. SRR encodes a serine racemase that synthesizes D-serine from L-serine. Both D-serine (coagonist) and the neurotransmitter glutamate bind to NMDA receptors and trigger excitatory neurotransmission in the brain. Glutamate signaling also regulates insulin and glucagon secretion in pancreatic islets. Thus, SRR and D-serine, in addition to regulating insulin and glucagon secretion, may play a role in the etiology of T2D. Our study suggests that, in different patient populations, different genes may confer risks for diabetes. Our findings may lead to a better understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of T2D.
The human X chromosome has a unique biology that was shaped by its evolution as the sex chromosome shared by males and females. We have determined 99.3% of the euchromatic sequence of the X chromosome. Our analysis illustrates the autosomal origin of the mammalian sex chromosomes, the stepwise process that led to the progressive loss of recombination between X and Y, and the extent of subsequent degradation of the Y chromosome. LINE1 repeat elements cover one-third of the X chromosome, with a distribution that is consistent with their proposed role as way stations in the process of X-chromosome inactivation. We found 1,098 genes in the sequence, of which 99 encode proteins expressed in testis and in various tumour types. A disproportionately high number of mendelian diseases are documented for the X chromosome. Of this number, 168 have been explained by mutations in 113 X-linked genes, which in many cases were characterized with the aid of the DNA sequence.
Background & Aims
Quantitative HBsAg has been recognized to assist in the management of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. However, its role in disease monitoring of HBeAg-negative patients remains unclear. We aimed to investigate the longitudinal HBsAg change in HBeAg-negative carriers with HBV genotype B or C infection.
This is a retrospective cohort study conducted in a university hospital. Treatment-naïve HBeAg-negative carriers followed for more than 3 years were recruited. Their hepatitis activities were categorized by longitudinal HBV-DNA levels into high viral-load (HVL: HBV-DNA >/ = 2000 IU/mL persistently), low viral-load (LVL: HBV-DNA <2000 IU/mL persistently) and fluctuated viral-load (FVL: HBV-DNA between HVL and LVL). The baseline and end-of-follow-up (EOF) HBsAg levels were quantified for analyses.
We recruited 187 patients with a median follow-up of 8 years. LVL patients had a significantly lower HBsAg at baseline and EOF and a significantly greater annualized HBsAg decline compared with the FVL and HVL. The longitudinal HBsAg change was independent of genotype B or C. The lower baseline HBsAg level predicted the HBsAg decline and HBsAg loss, whereas the higher baseline HBV-DNA predicted the hepatitis flare. A baseline HBsAg <50 IU/mL predicted subsequent HBsAg loss with a sensitivity of 82% and specificity of 67%. The annualized HBsAg decline appeared non-linear, and accelerated as the HBsAg level lowered (0.054, 0.091, 0.126 log10 IU/mL in patients with baseline HBsAg >1000, 100–999, <100 IU/mL, respectively, P for trend = .014).
In genotype B or C HBeAg-negative carriers, baseline HBsAg levels correlate with future disease activities and help to predict HBsAg decline or loss. Inactive carriers with lower baseline HBsAg levels have a greater and accelerating HBsAg decline over time, regardless of HBV genotypes.
The auditory system is the most susceptible to damages from blast waves. Blast injuries always lead to varying degrees of hearing impairment. Although a disorder of the cochlear blood flow (CoBF) has been considered to be related to many pathological processes of the auditory system and to contribute to various types of hearing loss, changes in the CoBF induced by blast waves and the relationship between such changes and hearing impairment are undefined. To observe the changes in the cochlear microcirculation after exposure to an explosion blast, investigate the relationship between changes in the CoBF and hearing impairment and subsequently explore the mechanism responsible for the changes in the CoBF, we detected the perfusion of the cochlear microcirculation and hearing threshold shift after exposure to an explosion blast. Then, an N-nitro-L-arginine-methyl ester (L-NAME, NO synthase inhibitor) solution and artificial perilymph were applied to the round window (RW) of the cochlea before the blast exposure, followed by an evaluation of the CoBF and hearing function. The results indicated that the changes in the CoBF were correlated to the strength of the blast wave. The cochlear blood flow significantly increased when the peak value of the blast overpressure was greater than approximately 45 kPa, and there was no significant change in the cochlear blood flow when the peak value of the blast overpressure was less than approximately 35 kPa. Following local administration of the NO synthase inhibitor L-NAME, the increase in the CoBF induced by the blast was inhibited, and this reduction was significantly associated with the hearing threshold.
Cochlea; blood flow; hearing function; blast injury; guinea pigs
Myotonia congenita is a hereditary muscle disorder caused by mutations in the human voltage-gated chloride (Cl−) channel CLC-1. Myotonia congenita can be inherited in an autosomal recessive (Becker type) or dominant (Thomsen type) fashion. One hypothesis for myotonia congenita is that the inheritance pattern of the disease is determined by the functional consequence of the mutation on the gating of CLC-1 channels. Several disease-related mutations, however, have been shown to yield functional CLC-1 channels with no detectable gating defects. In this study, we have functionally and biochemically characterized a myotonia mutant: A531V. Despite a gating property similar to that of wild-type (WT) channels, the mutant CLC-1 channel displayed a diminished whole-cell current density and a reduction in the total protein expression level. Our biochemical analyses further demonstrated that the reduced expression of A531V can be largely attributed to an enhanced proteasomal degradation as well as a defect in protein trafficking to surface membranes. Moreover, the A531V mutant protein also appeared to be associated with excessive endosomal-lysosomal degradation. Neither the reduced protein expression nor the diminished current density was rescued by incubating A531V-expressing cells at 27°C. These results demonstrate that the molecular pathophysiology of A531V does not involve anomalous channel gating, but rather a disruption of the balance between the synthesis and degradation of the CLC-1 channel protein.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) accounts for approximately 75% of childhood leukemia, and chemotherapy remains the mainstay therapy. Baicalein is an active flavonoid used in traditional Chinese medicine and has recently been found to have anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antiallergic properties. This study aims to investigate the molecular apoptotic mechanisms of baicalein in CCRF-CEM leukemic cells and to evaluate the combined therapeutic efficacy of baicalein with several commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs in CCRF-CEM cells. Our results demonstrate that baicalein induces mitochondria-dependent cleavage of caspases-9 and -3 and PARP with concomitant decreases in IAP family proteins, survivin, and XIAP. Furthermore, our results present for the first time that baicalein triggers a convergence of the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways via the death receptor-caspase 8-tBid signaling cascade in CCRF-CEM cells. In addition, we also present for the first time that the combination of baicalein and vincristine results in a synergistic therapeutic efficacy. Overall, this combination strategy is recommended for future clinical trials in the treatment of pediatric leukemia owing to baicalein's beneficial effects in alleviating the vomiting, nausea, and skin rashes caused by chemotherapy.
Adenocarcinoma (AC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) are two major histological subtypes of lung cancer. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have made considerable advances in the understanding of lung cancer susceptibility. Obvious heterogeneity has been observed between different histological subtypes of lung cancer, but genetic determinants in specific to lung SqCC have not been systematically investigated. Here, we performed the GWAS analysis specifically for lung SqCC in 833 SqCC cases and 3,094 controls followed by a two-stage replication in additional 2,223 lung SqCC cases and 6,409 controls from Chinese populations. We found that rs12296850 in SLC17A8-NR1H4 gene region at12q23.1 was significantly associated with risk of lung SqCC at genome-wide significance level [additive model: odds ratio (OR) = 0.78, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.72–0.84, P = 1.19×10−10]. Subjects carrying AG or GG genotype had a 26% (OR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.67–0.81) or 32% (OR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.56–0.83) decreased risk of lung SqCC, respectively, as compared with AA genotype. However, we did not observe significant association between rs12296850 and risk of lung AC in a total of 4,368 cases with lung AC and 9,486 controls (OR = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.90–1.02, P = 0.173). These results indicate that genetic variations on chromosome 12q23.1 may specifically contribute to lung SqCC susceptibility in Chinese population.
Previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) strongly suggested the importance of genetic susceptibility for lung cancer. However, the studies specific to different histological subtypes of lung cancer were limited. We performed the GWAS analysis specifically for lung squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) with 570,009 autosomal SNPs in 833 SqCC cases and 3,094 controls and replicated in additional 2,223 lung SqCC cases and 6,409 controls from Chinese populations (822 SqCC cases and 2,243 controls for the first replication stage and 1,401 SqCC cases and 4,166 controls for the second replication stage). We found a novel association at rs12296850 (SLC17A8-NR1H4) on12q23.1. However, rs12296850 didn't show significant association with risk of lung adenocacinoma (AC) in 4,368 lung AC cases and 9,486 controls. These results indicate that genetic variations on chromosome 12q23.1 may specifically contribute to lung SqCC susceptibility in Chinese population.
Our previous studies have demonstrated that stable microRNAs (miRNAs) in mammalian serum and plasma are actively secreted from tissues and cells and can serve as a novel class of biomarkers for diseases, and act as signaling molecules in intercellular communication. Here, we report the surprising finding that exogenous plant miRNAs are present in the sera and tissues of various animals and that these exogenous plant miRNAs are primarily acquired orally, through food intake. MIR168a is abundant in rice and is one of the most highly enriched exogenous plant miRNAs in the sera of Chinese subjects. Functional studies in vitro and in vivo demonstrated that MIR168a could bind to the human/mouse low-density lipoprotein receptor adapter protein 1 (LDLRAP1) mRNA, inhibit LDLRAP1 expression in liver, and consequently decrease LDL removal from mouse plasma. These findings demonstrate that exogenous plant miRNAs in food can regulate the expression of target genes in mammals.
microRNA; MIR168a; LDLRAP1; low-density lipoprotein; microvesicle; cross-kingdom