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1.  Percutaneous balloon kyphoplasty for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:3.
Vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) constitute a major health care problem, not only because of their high incidence but also because of their direct and indirect negative impacts on both patients’ health-related quality of life and costs to the health care system. Two minimally invasive surgical approaches were developed for the management of symptomatic VCFs: balloon kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of balloon kyphoplasty in the treatment of symptomatic VCFs.
Between July 2011 and June 2012, one hundred and eighty-seven patients with two hundred and fifty-one vertebras received balloon kyphoplasty in our hospital. There were sixty-five male and one hundred and twenty-two female patients with an average age of 74.5 (range, 61 to 95 years). The pain symptoms and quality of life, were measured before operation and at one day, three months, six months and one year following kyphoplasty. Radiographic data including restoration of kyphotic angle, anterior vertebral height, and any leakage of cement were defined.
The mean visual analog pain scale decreased from a preoperative value of 7.7 to 2.2 at one day (p < .05) following operation and the Oswestry Disability Index improved from 56.8 to 18.3 (p < .05). The kyphotic angle improved from a mean of 14.4° before surgery to 6.7° at one day after surgery (p < .05). The mean anterior vertebral height increased significantly from 52% before surgery to 74.5% at one day after surgery (p < .05) and 70.2% at one year follow-up. Minor cement extravasations were observed in twenty-nine out of two hundred and fifty-one procedures, including six leakage via basivertebral vein, three leakage via segmental vein and twenty leakage through a cortical defect. None of the leakages were associated with any clinical consequences.
Balloon kyphoplasty not only rapidly reduced pain and disability but also restored sagittal alignment in our patients at one-year follow-up. The treatment of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures with balloon kyphoplasty is a safe, effective, and minimally invasive procedure that provides satisfactory clinical results.
PMCID: PMC3922728  PMID: 24423182
2.  High-Resolution Transcriptomic Analyses of Sinorhizobium sp. NGR234 Bacteroids in Determinate Nodules of Vigna unguiculata and Indeterminate Nodules of Leucaena leucocephala 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e70531.
The rhizobium-legume symbiosis is a model system for studying mutualistic interactions between bacteria and eukaryotes. Sinorhizobium sp. NGR234 is distinguished by its ability to form either indeterminate nodules or determinate nodules with diverse legumes. Here, we presented a high-resolution RNA-seq transcriptomic analysis of NGR234 bacteroids in indeterminate nodules of Leucaena leucocephala and determinate nodules of Vigna unguiculata. In contrast to exponentially growing free-living bacteria, non-growing bacteroids from both legumes recruited several common cellular functions such as cbb3 oxidase, thiamine biosynthesis, nitrate reduction pathway (NO-producing), succinate metabolism, PHB (poly-3-hydroxybutyrate) biosynthesis and phosphate/phosphonate transporters. However, different transcription profiles between bacteroids from two legumes were also uncovered for genes involved in the biosynthesis of exopolysaccharides, lipopolysaccharides, T3SS (type three secretion system) and effector proteins, cytochrome bd ubiquinol oxidase, PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone), cytochrome c550, pseudoazurin, biotin, phasins and glycolate oxidase, and in the metabolism of glutamate and phenylalanine. Noteworthy were the distinct expression patterns of genes encoding phasins, which are thought to be involved in regulating the surface/volume ratio of PHB granules. These patterns are in good agreement with the observed granule size difference between bacteroids from L. leucocephala and V. unguiculata.
PMCID: PMC3732241  PMID: 23936444
3.  Robust Markers Reflecting Phylogeny and Taxonomy of Rhizobia 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e44936.
Genomic ANI (Average Nucleotide Identity) has been found to be able to replace DNA-DNA hybridization in prokaryote taxonomy. The ANI of each of the core genes that has a phylogeny congruent with the reference species tree of rhizobia was compared to the genomic ANI. This allowed us to identify three housekeeping genes (SMc00019-truA-thrA) whose ANI reflected the intraspecies and interspecies genomic ANI among rhizobial strains, revealing an ANI gap (≥2%) between the inter- and intra-species comparisons. The intraspecies (96%) and interspecies (94%) ANI boundaries calculated from three genes (SMc00019-truA-thrA) provided a criterion for bacterial species definition and confirmed 621/629 of known interspecies relationships within Bradyrhizobium, Mesorhizobium, Sinorhizobium and Rhizobium. Some widely studied strains should be renamed. The SMc00019-truA-thrA ANI also correlates well with the genomic ANI of strains in Agrobacterium, Methylobacterium, Ralstonia, Rhodopseudomonas, Cupriavidus and Burkholderia, suggesting their wide applicability in other bacteria.
PMCID: PMC3444505  PMID: 23028691
4.  Biodiversity and Biogeography of Rhizobia Associated with Soybean Plants Grown in the North China Plain ▿ †  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2011;77(18):6331-6342.
As the putative center of origin for soybean and the second largest region of soybean production in China, the North China Plain covers temperate and subtropical regions with diverse soil characteristics. However, the soybean rhizobia in this plain have not been sufficiently studied. To investigate the biodiversity and biogeography of soybean rhizobia in this plain, a total of 309 isolates of symbiotic bacteria from the soybean nodules collected from 16 sampling sites were studied by molecular characterization. These isolates were classified into 10 genospecies belonging to the genera Sinorhizobium and Bradyrhizobium, including four novel groups, with S. fredii (68.28%) as the dominant group. The phylogeny of symbiotic genes nodC and nifH defined four lineages among the isolates associated with Sinorhizobium fredii, Bradyrhizobium elkanii, B. japonicum, and B. yuanmingense, demonstrating the different origins of symbiotic genes and their coevolution with the chromosome. The possible lateral transfer of symbiotic genes was detected in several cases. The association between soil factors (available N, P, and K and pH) and the distribution of genospecies suggest clear biogeographic patterns: Sinorhizobium spp. were superdominant in sampling sites with alkaline-saline soils, while Bradyrhizobium spp. were more abundant in neutral soils. This study clarified the biodiversity and biogeography of soybean rhizobia in the North China Plain.
PMCID: PMC3187167  PMID: 21784912
5.  A neuron-glia interaction involving GABA Transaminase contributes to sleep loss in sleepless mutants 
Molecular psychiatry  2014;20(2):240-251.
Sleep is an essential process and yet mechanisms underlying it are not well understood. Loss of the Drosophila quiver/sleepless (qvr/sss) gene increases neuronal excitability and diminishes daily sleep, providing an excellent model for exploring the underpinnings of sleep regulation. Here, we used a proteomic approach to identify proteins altered in sss brains. We report that loss of sleepless post-transcriptionally elevates the CG7433 protein, a mitochondrial γ-aminobutyric acid transaminase (GABAT), and reduces GABA in fly brains. Loss of GABAT increases daily sleep and improves sleep consolidation, indicating that GABAT promotes wakefulness. Importantly, disruption of the GABAT gene completely suppresses the sleep phenotype of sss mutants, demonstrating that GABAT is required for loss of sleep in sss mutants. While SSS acts in distinct populations of neurons, GABAT acts in glia to reduce sleep in sss flies. Our results identify a novel mechanism of interaction between neurons and glia that is important for the regulation of sleep.
PMCID: PMC4168011  PMID: 24637426
sleep; GABA transaminase; glia; mitochondria; quiver/sleepless; Drosophila
6.  Benefits of biphasic calcium phosphate hybrid scaffold-driven osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells through upregulated leptin receptor expression 
The use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and coralline hydroxyapatite (HA) or biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) as a bone substitute for posterolateral spinal fusion has been reported. However, the genes and molecular signals by which MSCs interact with their surrounding environment require further elucidation.
MSCs were harvested from bone grafting patients and identified by flow cytometry. A composite scaffold was developed using poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) copolymer, coralline HA, BCP, and collagen as a carrier matrix for MSCs. The gene expression profiles of MSCs cultured in the scaffolds were measured by microarrays. The alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity of the MSCs was assessed, and the expression of osteogenic genes and proteins was determined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR) and Western blotting. Furthermore, we cultured rabbit MSCs in BCP or coralline HA hybrid scaffolds and transplanted these mixtures into rabbits for spinal fusion. We investigated the differences between BCP and coralline HA hybrid scaffolds by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and computed tomography (CT).
Tested in vitro, the cells were negative for hematopoietic cell markers and positive for MSC markers. There was higher expression of 80 genes and lower of 101 genes of MSCs cultured in BCP hybrid scaffolds. Some of these genes have been shown to play a role in osteogenesis of MSCs. In addition, MSCs cultured in BCP hybrid scaffolds produced more messenger RNA (mRNA) for osteopontin, osteocalcin, Runx2, and leptin receptor (leptin-R) than those cultured in coralline HA hybrid scaffolds. Western blotting showed more Runx2 and leptin-R protein expression in BCP hybrid scaffolds. For in vivo results, 3D reconstructed CT images showed continuous bone bridges and fusion mass incorporated with the transverse processes. Bone mineral content (BMC) values were higher in the BCP hybrid scaffold group than in the coralline HA hybrid scaffold group.
The BCP hybrid scaffold for osteogenesis of MSCs is better than the coralline HA hybrid scaffold by upregulating expression of leptin-R. This was consistent with in vivo data, which indicated that BCP hybrid scaffolds induced more bone formation in a spinal fusion model.
PMCID: PMC4506435  PMID: 26179165
Coralline HA; BCP; MSCs; Osteogenesis; Leptin receptor
7.  IKKα is involved in kidney recovery and regeneration of acute ischemia/reperfusion injury in mice through IL10-producing regulatory T cells 
Disease Models & Mechanisms  2015;8(7):733-742.
The recovery phase after kidney ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury is often associated with the suppression of inflammation and the proliferation of tubular epithelial cells (TECs). The duration of this phase is often determined by the suppression of inflammation and the proliferation of TECs. Several lines of evidence suggest that IκB kinase α (IKKα) not only promotes the production of anti-inflammatory factors and/or prevents the production of inflammatory factors, but also induces the accompanying cell differentiation and regeneration, and suppresses inflammation. We therefore hypothesized that IKKα could participate in the kidney repair after IR injury and have used a mouse model of acute kidney injury (AKI) to test this. We found that IKKα mediated the repair of the kidney via infiltrated regulatory T (Treg) cells, which can produce anti-inflammatory cytokine IL10, and that IKKα also increased the proliferation of the surviving TECs and suppressed of inflammation. In addition, the expression of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) in TECs is consistent with the infiltration of IL10-producing Treg cells. We conclude that IKKα is involved in kidney recovery and regeneration through the Treg cells that can produce IL10, which might be a potential therapeutic target that can be used to promote kidney repair after IR injury.
Summary: IKKα in the kidney recovery and regeneration via regulatory T cells secreting IL10.
PMCID: PMC4486855  PMID: 26035380
IκB kinase α; Kidney; Ischemia-reperfusion injury; Repair; IL10; T regular cell; Indoleamine 2; 3-dioxygenase
8.  CR3 and Dectin-1 Collaborate in Macrophage Cytokine Response through Association on Lipid Rafts and Activation of Syk-JNK-AP-1 Pathway 
PLoS Pathogens  2015;11(7):e1004985.
Collaboration between heterogeneous pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) leading to synergistic coordination of immune response is important for the host to fight against invading pathogens. Although complement receptor 3 (CR3) and Dectin-1 are major PRRs to detect fungi, crosstalk between these two receptors in antifungal immunity is largely undefined. Here we took advantage of Histoplasma capsulatum which is known to interact with both CR3 and Dectin-1 and specific particulate ligands to study the collaboration of CR3 and Dectin-1 in macrophage cytokine response. By employing Micro-Western Array (MWA), genetic approach, and pharmacological inhibitors, we demonstrated that CR3 and Dectin-1 act collaboratively to trigger macrophage TNF and IL-6 response through signaling integration at Syk kinase, allowing subsequent enhanced activation of Syk-JNK-AP-1 pathway. Upon engagement, CR3 and Dectin-1 colocalize and form clusters on lipid raft microdomains which serve as a platform facilitating their cooperation in signaling activation and cytokine production. Furthermore, in vivo studies showed that CR3 and Dectin-1 cooperatively participate in host defense against disseminated histoplasmosis and instruct adaptive immune response. Taken together, our findings define the mechanism of receptor crosstalk between CR3 and Dectin-1 and demonstrate the importance of their collaboration in host defense against fungal infection.
Author Summary
The incidence of life-threatening fungal infections is increasing during the last decades. A better understanding of the interactions between fungal pathogen and its host cell is important to the development of new therapeutic strategies against fungal infections. Dimorphic fungus Histoplasma capsulatum becomes disseminated and threatens life in immunocompromised individuals. This fungal pathogen utilizes complement receptor 3 (CR3) and Dectin-1, two pattern recognition receptors on the surface of innate immune cells, to induce macrophage cytokine response. In this study, we demonstrated that CR3 and Dectin-1 act collaboratively to induce macrophage TNF and IL-6 response through a mechanism dependent on activation of the Syk-JNK-AP-1 signaling axis. CR3 and Dectin-1 are recruited and form clusters on lipid raft microdomains upon stimulation by H. capsulatum, leading to activation of their signaling convergence at Syk kinase and induction of subsequent cytokine response. In addition, we showed that CR3 and Dectin-1 cooperatively instruct the adaptive antifungal immunity to defense against H. capsulatum infection. Our findings define the molecular mechanisms underlying receptor crosstalk between CR3 and Dectin-1 and provide a valuable model for receptor collaboration in the context of host-fungus interactions.
PMCID: PMC4488469  PMID: 26132276
9.  A Comparison of Entecavir and Lamivudine for the Prophylaxis of Hepatitis B Virus Reactivation in Solid Tumor Patients Undergoing Systemic Cytotoxic Chemotherapy 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(6):e0131545.
Nucleos(t)ide analogues reduce the incidence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation in cancer patients undergoing systemic cytotoxic chemotherapy but the experience of solid tumors remains limited. Aims. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of entecavir and lamivudine in the prophylaxis of HBV reactivation in solid tumor patients undergoing systemic cytotoxic chemotherapy.
HBsAg seropositive patients undergoing systemic cytotoxic chemotherapy for solid tumors with prophylactic entecavir and lamivudine between January 2006 and June 2013 were retrospectively investigated. The incidence of HBV reactivation and outcome of the patients were analyzed. The risk factors of HBV reactivation were examined.
A total of 213 patients (entecavir group, 70 patients; lamivudine group, 143 patients) were evaluated. Less incidence of HBV reactivation was noticed in entecavir group than in lamivudine group (0% vs. 7.0%, P = 0.02). No HBV reactivation was noticed in the patients with a baseline HBV DNA level < 2000 IU/mL. A baseline HBV DNA level ≥ 2000 IU/mL, HBeAg, and lamivudine were significantly associated with HBV reactivation. Subgroup analysis of the patients with a baseline HBV DNA level ≥ 2000 IU/mL found that lamivudine was significantly associated with HBV reactivation. Most of the reactivation events were properly managed by using tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. The incidence of hepatitis during chemotherapy and disruption of chemotherapy was similar between patients using entecavir and lamivudine with a baseline HBV DNA level ≥ or < 2000 IU/mL.
A baseline HBV DNA level ≥ 2000 IU/mL, HBeAg, and lamivudine were the risk factors of HBV reactivation during systemic cytotoxic chemotherapy in solid tumor patients. Entecavir was superior to lamivudine in terms of less incidence of reactivation in the patients with a baseline HBV DNA level ≥ 2000 IU/mL. Both agents were equally efficacious in the patients with HBV DNA levels < 2000 IU/mL.
PMCID: PMC4488285  PMID: 26121480
10.  Adenosine accelerates the healing of diabetic ischemic ulcers by improving autophagy of endothelial progenitor cells grown on a biomaterial 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:11594.
Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) seeded on biomaterials can effectively promote diabetic ischemic wound healing. However, the function of transplanted EPCs is negatively affected by a high-glucose and ischemic microenvironment. Our experiments showed that EPC autophagy was inhibited and mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) was increased in diabetic patients, while adenosine treatment decreased the energy requirements and increased the autophagy levels of EPCs. In animal experiments, we transplanted a biomaterial seeded with EPCs onto the surface of diabetic wounds and found that adenosine-stimulated EPCs effectively promoted wound healing. Increased microvascular genesis and survival of the transplanted cells were also observed in the adenosine-stimulated groups. Interestingly, our study showed that adenosine increased the autophagy of the transplanted EPCs seeded onto the biomaterial and maintained EPC survival at 48 and 96 hours. Moreover, we observed that adenosine induced EPC differentiation through increasing the level of autophagy. In conclusion, our study indicated that adenosine-stimulated EPCs seeded onto a biomaterial significantly improved wound healing in diabetic mice; mechanistically, adenosine might maintain EPC survival and differentiation by increasing high glucose-inhibited EPC autophagy and maintaining cellular energy metabolism.
PMCID: PMC4479873  PMID: 26108983
11.  Anchor-based classification and type-C inhibitors for tyrosine kinases 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:10938.
Tyrosine kinases regulate various biological processes and are drug targets for cancers. At present, the design of selective and anti-resistant inhibitors of kinases is an emergent task. Here, we inferred specific site-moiety maps containing two specific anchors to uncover a new binding pocket in the C-terminal hinge region by docking 4,680 kinase inhibitors into 51 protein kinases, and this finding provides an opportunity for the development of kinase inhibitors with high selectivity and anti-drug resistance. We present an anchor-based classification for tyrosine kinases and discover two type-C inhibitors, namely rosmarinic acid (RA) and EGCG, which occupy two and one specific anchors, respectively, by screening 118,759 natural compounds. Our profiling reveals that RA and EGCG selectively inhibit 3% (EGFR and SYK) and 14% of 64 kinases, respectively. According to the guide of our anchor model, we synthesized three RA derivatives with better potency. These type-C inhibitors are able to maintain activities for drug-resistant EGFR and decrease the invasion ability of breast cancer cells. Our results show that the type-C inhibitors occupying a new pocket are promising for cancer treatments due to their kinase selectivity and anti-drug resistance.
PMCID: PMC4468516  PMID: 26077136
12.  The Effects of Antigen-Specific IgG1 Antibody for the Pulmonary-Hypertension-Phenotype and B Cells for Inflammation in Mice Exposed to Antigen and Fine Particles from Air Pollution 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(6):e0129910.
Air pollution is known to exacerbate chronic inflammatory conditions of the lungs including pulmonary hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and autoimmune diseases. Directly pathogenic antibodies bind pro-inflammatory cell receptors and cause or exacerbate inflammation. In contrast, anti-inflammatory antibody isotypes (e.g. mouse immunoglobulin G1, IgG1) bind inhibitory cell receptors and can inhibit inflammation. Our previous studies showed that co-exposure to antigen and urban ambient particulate matter (PM2.5) induced severe pulmonary arterial thickening and increased right ventricular systolic pressures in mice via T-cell produced cytokines, Interleukin (IL)-13 and IL-17A. The aim of the current study was to understand how B cell and antibody responses integrate into this T cell cytokine network for the pulmonary hypertension phenotype. Special focus was on antigen-specific IgG1 that is the predominant antibody in the experimental response to antigen and urban ambient PM2.5. Wild type and B cell-deficient mice were primed with antigen and then challenged with antigen and urban particulate matter and injected with antibodies as appropriate. Our data surprisingly showed that B cells were necessary for the development of increased right ventricular pressures and molecular changes in the right heart in response to sensitization and intranasal challenge with antigen and PM2.5. Further, our studies showed that both, the increase in right ventricular systolic pressure and right ventricular molecular changes were restored by reconstituting the B cell KO mice with antigen specific IgG1. In addition, our studies identified a critical, non-redundant role of B cells for the IL-17A-directed inflammation in response to exposure with antigen and PM2.5, which was not corrected with antigen-specific IgG1. In contrast, IL-13-directed inflammatory markers, as well as severe pulmonary arterial remodeling induced by challenge with antigen and PM2.5 were similar in B cell-deficient and wild type mice. Our studies have identified B cells and antigen specific IgG1 as potential therapeutic targets for pulmonary hypertension associated with immune dysfunction and environmental exposures.
PMCID: PMC4469456  PMID: 26079807
13.  Antifungal activity of berberine hydrochloride and palmatine hydrochloride against Microsporum canis -induced dermatitis in rabbits and underlying mechanism 
Phellodendron amurense, exhibits antifungal activity mainly by bioactive components including berberine hydrochloride and palmatine hydrochloride. This study was conducted to evaluate the antifungal effects of berberine hydrochloride, palmatine hydrochloride, and a mixture of both substances against Microsporum canis in vivo and in vitro.
The minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of monomers and clotrimazole were determined using 1.5 % tryptic soy agar. The effects of these drugs on Microsporum canis growth was detected by determining dry weight. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was performed to observe the effect of chemicals on cell ultrastructure. Differential mRNA expressions of eight genes of M. canis treated with berberine or palmatine or their combination at different time points were determined by real-time PCR. NADH enzyme concentration was also detected. Clinical evaluation via in-vivo antifungal assay was also performed. Skin histology PAS staining was also carried out.
Results showed that MICs of berberine, palmatine and clotrimazole were 1, 1, and 0.015 mg/mL, respectively. No significant difference was observed among the growth curves of the three groups before 18 h was reached. TEM showed that these drugs could destroy the cell membrane and organelles of M. canis at different time points. After 30 h of incubation, relative mRNA expressions of the genes in the combined group were significantly higher than those in the other groups including the clotrimazole group (P < 0.05); Palmatine initially induced the mRNA up-regulation of PGAL4, FSH1, PQ-LRP, NADH1 and NDR in M. canis; by contrast, berberine maintained a high expression level of these genes to shorten fungal life cycle and eradicate M. canis. Clinical results showed that combined treatment was more effective than single administration of each monomer or clotrimazole. Hence, berberine mixed with palmatine significantly elicited antifungal activities and could be used to treat M. canis in rabbits.
These results provide a comprehensive view of the mechanism of berberine and palmatine in anti-M. canis activity.
PMCID: PMC4460627  PMID: 26054937
Phellodendron amurense; berberine hydrochloride; Palmatine hydrochloride; Antifungal mechanism; Microsporum canis
14.  Meta-Analysis-Based Preliminary Exploration of the Connection between ATDILI and Schizophrenia by GSTM1/T1 Gene Polymorphisms 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(6):e0128643.
Anti-tuberculosis drugs have some adverse effects such as anti-tuberculosis drug-induced liver injury (ATDILI) and mental disorders. The involvement of glutathione S-transferase (GST) genes in pathogenesis of ATDILI or schizophrenia (SCZ) has been reported. Therefore, GST genes may exemplify molecular connectors between ATDILI and SCZ. However, association studies of GSTM1/T1 polymorphisms with these two diseases have yielded conflicting results. After searching case-control association studies in PubMed, ISI Web of Science, EMBASE, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), and Chinese BioMedical Literature Database, we performed meta-analyses across a total of 20 published association studies on 3146 subjects for the association of GSTM1 and ATDILI, 2587 for the GSTT1-ATDILI association, 2283 for GSTM1-SCZ and 1116 for GSTT1-SCZ to test the associations of GSTM1/T1 polymorphisms with ATDILI and SCZ. The GSTM1 present genotype was significantly associated with decreased risks of ATDILI (risk ratio(RR): 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.75–0.88, P < 0.0001) and SCZ (RR: 0.88, 95%CI: 0.80–0.96, P = 0.004) according to the fixed-effect model, while the GSTT1 present genotype was significantly associated only with a high risk of SCZ (RR: 1.17, 95%CI: 1.04–1.32, P = 0.01) according to both the random- and fixed-effect models, but not with ATDILI (P = 0.82) according to the fixed-effect model. Moreover, these significant results were supported with moderate evidence according to the Venice criteria. These results indicate that GSTM1 represents a genetic connection between ATDILI and SCZ, and suggest that ATDILI and SCZ may be co-occurring for the subjects with GSTM1 null genotype.
PMCID: PMC4457417  PMID: 26046920
15.  Izalpinin from Fruits of Alpinia Oxyphylla with Antagonistic Activity Against the Rat Bladder Contractility 
Alpinia oxyphylla (Zingiberaceae), an herbaceous perennial plant, its capsular fruit is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of different urinary incontinence symptoms including frequency, urgency and nocturia. These symptoms are similar to the overactive bladder syndrome. In our lab, we found that the 95% ethanol extract of the capsular fruits exhibited significant anti-muscarinic activity. Some constituents in capsular fruits including flavonoids (e.g., izalpinin and tectochrysin), diarylheptanoids (e.g., yakuchinone A and yakuchinone B) and sesquiterpenes (e.g., nootkatone), are regarded as representative chemicals with putative pharmacological activities.
This study aimed to evaluate the in vitro antagonistic actions of izalpinin on carbachol-induced contraction of the rat detrusor muscle.
Materials and Methods
In vitro inhibition of rat detrusor contractile response to carbachol was used to study the functional activity of izalpinin. The isolated detrusor strips of rats were mounted in organ baths containing oxygenated Krebs' solution. The cumulative consecutive concentration-response curves to carbachol-evoked contractions in strips of rat bladder were obtained.
Carbachol induced concentration-dependent contractions of isolated rat bladder detrusor strips. The vehicle DMSO had no impact on the contraction response. The contraction effects were concentration-dependently antagonized by izalpinin, with a mean EC50 value of 0.35 µM. The corresponding cumulative agonist concentration-response curves shifted right-ward.
Izalpinin exhibits inhibitory role of muscarinic receptor-related detrusor contractile activity, and it may be a promising lead compound to treat overactive bladder.
PMCID: PMC4202406  PMID: 25392590
Izalpinin; rat bladder; muscarinic receptor; antagonistic action
16.  Acetylation of Beclin 1 inhibits autophagosome maturation and promotes tumour growth 
Nature Communications  2015;6:7215.
Beclin 1, a protein essential for autophagy, regulates autophagy by interacting with Vps34 and other cofactors to form the Beclin 1 complex. Modifications of Beclin 1 may lead to the induction, inhibition or fine-tuning of the autophagic response under a variety of conditions. Here we show that Beclin 1 is acetylated by p300 and deacetylated by SIRT1 at lysine residues 430 and 437. In addition, the phosphorylation of Beclin 1 at S409 by CK1 is required for the subsequent p300 binding and Beclin 1 acetylation. Beclin 1 acetylation inhibits autophagosome maturation and endocytic trafficking by promoting the recruitment of Rubicon. In tumour xenografts, the expression of 2KR mutant Beclin 1 (substitution of K430 and K437 to arginines) leads to enhanced autophagosome maturation and tumour growth suppression. Therefore, our study identifies an acetylation-dependent regulatory mechanism governing Beclin 1 function in autophagosome maturation and tumour growth.
Beclin 1 is an essential autophagy effector, necessary to form the autophagosome. Here Sun et al. show that Beclin 1 acetylation regulated by p300 and SIRT1 inhibits autophagosome maturation, and mutation of the acetylation sites leads to tumour growth suppression in vivo.
PMCID: PMC4455096  PMID: 26008601
17.  Inhibition of janus kinase 2 by compound AG490 suppresses the proliferation of MDA-MB-231 cells via up-regulating SARI (suppressor of AP-1, regulated by IFN) 
The Janus kinase-signal transducers and activators of transcription signaling pathway (JAK/STAT pathway) play an important role in proliferation of breast cancer cells. Previous data showed that inhibition of STAT3 suppresses the growth of breast cancer cells, but the associated mechanisms are not well understood. This study aims to investigate the effect and associated mechanisms of JAK/STAT pathway inhibitor AG490 on proliferation and suppression of breast cancer cells.
Materials and Methods:
CCK-8 assay and trypan blue exclusion assay were used to investigate the cytotoxicity of AG490 to MDA-MB-231 cells. Real-time PCR was used to detect the mRNA level of SARI (suppressor of AP-1, regulated by IFN). Western blot was used to analyze the protein levels of SARI, phospho-STAT3 and total STAT3. Luciferase reporter assay was adopted to explore the mechanism of SARI mRNA upregulation.
AG490 suppressed the proliferation of MDA-MB-231 cells in a dose-dependent manner. AG490 significantly up-regulated the mRNA and protein levels of SARI in MDA-MB-231 cells. Knockdown of SARI obviously attenuated AG490-induced growth suppression effect in MDA-MB-231 cells. Furthermore, AG490 dramatically enhanced the transcription activity of SARI promoter. But the transcription activity of truncated SARI promoter, which does not contain STAT3 binding site, cannot be activated by AG490 treatment.
We demonstrate in this study that AG490 suppresses the proliferation of MDA-MB-231 cells through transcriptional activation of SARI.
PMCID: PMC4509956  PMID: 26221484
AG490; MDA-MB-231; Proliferation; SARI; STAT3
18.  Population-based Human Papillomavirus 16,18, 6 and 11 DNA Positivity and Seropositivity in Chinese Women 
To optimize HPV vaccination implementation at the population-level in China, data are needed on age-specific HPV 16, 18, 6 and 11 prevalence. This cross-sectional, population-based study evaluated the age- and type-specific HPV 16, 18, 6 and 11 prevalence of DNA and serum antibodies among women in China. From July 2006 to April 2007, 17 to 54-year-old women from three rural provinces (Xinjiang, Shanxi, and Henan) and two cities (Beijing and Shanghai) provided cervical exfoliated cells for HPV DNA and liquid-based cervical cytology (SurePath). High and low-risk HPV types were detected with HC-II (Qiagen), with genotyping of HPV-positive samples using Linear Array (Roche). HPV 16, 18, 6, and 11 serum antibodies were detected using a Luminex-based, competitive immunoassay (Merck and Co). A total of 4,206 women with DNA and serum antibody results were included. HPV 16 DNA prevalence peaked in women aged 30–34 (4.2%) and 45–49 years (3.8%), while HPV 18 DNA prevalence peaked at ages 40–44 years (1.3%). Most women were dually DNA and serum antibody negative: HPV 16 (92.2%), 18 (97.2%), HPV 16 & 18 (90.2%), 6 (92.0%), 11 (96.6%), 6 & 11(89.9%), and HPV 16, 18, 6, & 11 (82.5%). Future national HPV vaccination programs in China should target younger women due to increased exposure to HPV types 16, 18, 6 and 11 with age. Cumulative exposure of HPV may be underreported in this population as cross-sectional data do not accurately reflect exposure to HPV infections over time.
PMCID: PMC4446973  PMID: 22120998
HPV prevalence; HPV DNA; HPV antibodies; China
19.  The Effect of Graft Strength on Knee Laxity and Graft In-Situ Forces after Posterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0127293.
Surgical reconstruction is generally recommended for posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injuries; however, the use of grafts is still a controversial problem. In this study, a three-dimensional finite element model of the human tibiofemoral joint with articular cartilage layers, menisci, and four main ligaments was constructed to investigate the effects of graft strengths on knee kinematics and in-situ forces of PCL grafts. Nine different graft strengths with stiffness ranging from 0% (PCL rupture) to 200%, in increments of 25%, of an intact PCL’s strength were used to simulate the PCL reconstruction. A 100 N posterior tibial drawer load was applied to the knee joint at full extension. Results revealed that the maximum posterior translation of the PCL rupture model (0% stiffness) was 6.77 mm in the medial compartment, which resulted in tibial internal rotation of about 3.01°. After PCL reconstruction with any graft strength, the laxity of the medial tibial compartment was noticeably improved. Tibial translation and rotation were similar to the intact knee after PCL reconstruction with graft strengths ranging from 75% to 125% of an intact PCL. When the graft’s strength surpassed 150%, the medial tibia moved forward and external tibial rotation greatly increased. The in-situ forces generated in the PCL grafts ranged from 13.15 N to 75.82 N, depending on the stiffness. In conclusion, the strength of PCL grafts have has a noticeable effect on anterior-posterior translation of the medial tibial compartment and its in-situ force. Similar kinematic response may happen in the models when the PCL graft’s strength lies between 75% and 125% of an intact PCL.
PMCID: PMC4441446  PMID: 26001045
20.  Multi-stage resection and repair for the treatment of adult giant sacrococcygeal teratoma: A case report and literature review 
Oncology Letters  2015;10(1):425-429.
Sacrococcygeal teratoma (SCT) is a sacrococcygeal neoplasm derived from more than one primitive germ layer and is only occasionally encountered in adults. The primary treatment for all primary SCTs is surgical excision. The present study reports the case of a giant SCT in a middle-aged female with a history lasting >3 decades. Multi-staged surgical treatment was performed, including ileostomy plus tumor excision, four debridement plus flap repair procedures, and closure of the ileostomy. Follow-up showed improved quality of life without evidence of local recurrence after resection. The study also presents a brief overview of the relevant literature. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of multi-staged surgical treatment for giant SCT in an adult patient.
PMCID: PMC4487105  PMID: 26171044
sacrococcygeal teratoma; presacral tumor; presacral teratoma; teratoma; adult
21.  Long non-coding RNA ANRIL is upregulated in hepatocellular carcinoma and regulates cell apoptosis by epigenetic silencing of KLF2 
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death, especially in China. And the mechanism of its progression remains poorly understood. Growing evidence indicates that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are found to be dysregulated in many cancers, including HCC. ANRIL, a lncRNA co-clustered mainly with p14/ARF has been reported to be dysregulated in gastric cancer, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, and lung cancer. However, its clinical significance and potential role in HCC are still not documented.
Methods and results
In this study, expression of ANRIL was analyzed in 77 HCC tissues and matched normal tissues by using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). ANRIL expression was upregulated in HCC tissues, and the higher expression of ANRIL was significantly correlated with tumor size and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. Moreover, taking advantage of loss-of-function experiments in HCC cells, we found that knockdown of ANRIL expression could impair cell proliferation and invasion and induce cell apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo. We also found that ANRIL could epigenetically repress Kruppel-like factor 2 (KLF2) transcription in HCC cells by binding with PRC2 and recruiting it to the KLF2 promoter region. We also found that SP1 could regulate the expression of ANRIL.
Our results suggest that lncRNA ANRIL, as a growth regulator, may serve as a new biomarker and target for therapy in HCC.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13045-015-0146-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4434820  PMID: 25966845
Long non-coding RNA; ANRIL; HCC; Proliferation; KLF2
22.  Quetiapine-associated leucopenia and thrombocytopenia: a case report 
BMC Psychiatry  2015;15:110.
There have been few reports regarding quetiapine-associated hematological effects other than white-blood-cell alteration. We present the first reported Han-Chinese case that developed leucopenia and thrombocytopenia after taking quetiapine.
Case presentation
We present a case of a person with a bipolar I disorder who experienced leucopenia and thrombocytopenia after taking 400 mg/day of quetiapine and 1000 mg/day of valproic acid for three and one-half months.
The hematological toxicity abated upon the discontinuation of both drugs. However, due to the intolerable side effects of the replaced antipsychotic (haloperidol), and according to the patient’s preference, we prescribed quetiapine and valproic acid again. There was a recurrence of leucopenia and a decreased platelet count by the sixth day. The adverse effects disappeared soon after we discontinued quetiapine, while keeping valproic acid treatment.
Quetiapine-associated leucopenia and thrombocytopenia seems reversible but possibly fatal. Therefore, clinical practitioners should be aware of this adverse reaction.
PMCID: PMC4426546  PMID: 25948288
Quetiapine; Leucopenia; Thrombocytopenia
23.  A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Phase II Clinical Trial of Lovastatin for Various Endpoints of Melanoma Pathobiology 
Based on large cardiovascular clinical trials of lipid lowering agents that showed a considerable decrease in incidence of primary melanomas in the active agent arm, we have carried out a randomized, double-blind clinical trial examining the impact of lovastatin on various biomarkers of melanoma pathogenesis. Subjects with at least two clinically atypical nevi, were randomized to receive oral lovastatin or placebo for a six month period. Clinical, histopathologic, and molecular biomarkers were evaluated for change in the two groups. 80 subjects were randomized, evaluable, and included in the analyses. Lovastatin showed no benefit in comparison to placebo in the primary endpoint of decreasing the level of histopathologic atypia, nor in any of the secondary endpoints of decreasing clinical atypia, impact on nevus number, nor in showing significant changes in any of the molecular biomarkers. There were no significant differences in adverse event profiles for lovastatin compared to placebo. The lovastatin arm did show a significant and considerable decrease in total serum cholesterol and serum LDL levels compared to placebo, an expected result. This finding bolsters confidence in subject compliance. Given the results of this trial, it is concluded that if lovastatin were to lower the incidence of melanoma, it would appear not to be doing so by reversing atypia of precursor atypical nevi over the six month time frame studied. Further research into the pathogenesis of melanoma and in other potential chemopreventive agents is needed.
PMCID: PMC4208700  PMID: 24614012
melanoma; chemoprevention; statins; lovastatin; atypical nevi
24.  An HDAC2-TET1 switch at distinct chromatin regions significantly promotes the maturation of pre-iPS to iPS cells 
Nucleic Acids Research  2015;43(11):5409-5422.
The maturation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) is one of the limiting steps of somatic cell reprogramming, but the underlying mechanism is largely unknown. Here, we reported that knockdown of histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) specifically promoted the maturation of iPS cells. Further studies showed that HDAC2 knockdown significantly increased histone acetylation, facilitated TET1 binding and DNA demethylation at the promoters of iPS cell maturation-related genes during the transition of pre-iPS cells to a fully reprogrammed state. We also found that HDAC2 competed with TET1 in the binding of the RbAp46 protein at the promoters of maturation genes and knockdown of TET1 markedly prevented the activation of these genes. Collectively, our data not only demonstrated a novel intrinsic mechanism that the HDAC2-TET1 switch critically regulates iPS cell maturation, but also revealed an underlying mechanism of the interplay between histone acetylation and DNA demethylation in gene regulation.
PMCID: PMC4477660  PMID: 25934799
25.  Antagonism of Tumoral Prolactin Receptor Promotes Autophagy Related Cell Death 
Cell reports  2014;7(2):488-500.
Therapeutic upregulation of macroautophagy in cancer cells provides an alternative mechanism for cell death. Prolactin (PRL) and its receptor (PRLR) are considered attractive therapeutic targets because of their roles as growth factors in tumor growth and progression. We utilized a novel antagonist peptide of PRL, G129R, to block activity of the tumoral PRL/PRLR axis, which resulted in inhibition of tumor growth in orthotopic models of human ovarian cancer. Prolonged treatment with G129R induced accumulation of redundant autolysosomes in three-dimensional cancer spheroids, leading to a type II programmed cell death. This inducible autophagy was a non-canonical beclin-1–independent pathway and was sustained by an astrocytic phosphoprotein (PEA-15) and protein kinase C zeta interactome. Lower levels of tumoral PRL/PRLR in clinical samples were associated with longer patient survival. Our findings provide a new understanding of the mechanisms of tumor growth inhibition through targeting PRL/PRLR and may have clinical implications.
PMCID: PMC4038960  PMID: 24703838

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