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1.  Late acyltransferase genes lpxX and lpxL jointly contribute to the biological activities of Moraxella catarrhalis 
Journal of Medical Microbiology  2013;62(Pt 6):807-812.
Lipo-oligosaccharide (LOS) is a major surface component and virulence factor of the human respiratory pathogen Moraxella catarrhalis. Two late acyltransferase genes, lpxX and lpxL, have been identified involved in the incorporation of acyloxyacyl-linked secondary acyl chains into lipid A during M. catarrhalis LOS biosynthesis. In this study, a double mutant with a deletion of both the lpxX and lpxL genes in M. catarrhalis strain O35E was constructed and named O35ElpxXL. Structural analysis of lipid A showed that the O35ElpxXL mutant lacked two decanoic acids (10 : 0) and one dodecanoic (lauric) acid (12 : 0). In comparison with the O35E parental strain and the single mutants O35ElpxX and O35ElpxL, the double mutant O35ElpxXL displayed prominently decreased endotoxin content, reduced resistance to normal human serum and accelerated bacterial clearance at 0, 3 and 6 h after an aerosol challenge in a mouse model of bacterial pulmonary clearance. These results indicate that these two genes encoding late acyltransferases responsible for lipid A biosynthesis jointly contribute to the biological activities and pathogenicity of M. catarrhalis. The double mutant O35ElpxXL with dramatically reduced toxicity is proposed as a potential vaccine candidate against M. catarrhalis infections for further investigation.
doi:10.1099/jmm.0.056846-0
PMCID: PMC3709554  PMID: 23475908
2.  Use of a sensitive and robust UPLC-MS/MS method to determine the gender-dependent pharmacokinetics in rats of emodin and its glucuronide 
The purpose of this research was to set up a sensitive and consistent UPLC-UV and UPLCMS/MS method to analyze emodin and its glucuronidated metabolite, and to determine how gender differences affect its pharmacokinetic behaviors. In addition, a breast cancer resistance protein inhibitor dipyridamole was used to test how significant the absolute oral biovailabilty of emodin or its glucuronide is increased. A sensitive and fast UPLC-MS/MS method was successfully applied to determine emodin and its metabolite in male and female SD rat plasma. The absolute oral bioavailability of emodin was extremely low whether in male rats (7.5%) and female rats (5%). Following a single intravenous injection of 4 mg/kg emodin, the emodin plasma concentration-time data fit for a good two-compartment model either in male or female SD rats. The t1/2α were 13.26±6.28min (male rats) and 13.52±7.28min (female rats). The t1/2β were 187.38±0.16min (male rats) and 118.50±83.09min (female rats). Emodin showed significant gender differences in i.v. PK profiles with higher AUC values in male (422.71 ± 163.40 mg*μg/ml) than female (282.52 ± 98.42 mg*μg/ml) SD rats (n=6). Emodin glucuronide was suggested a good fit for single compartmental model for the plasma emodin metabolite concentrations. The t1/2Ke were 167.40±50.91min(male rats) and 251.31±114.20min (female rats), the area under the curve (AUC0-∞, i.v.) were 2210.02 ± 950.09 mg*μg/ml and 1054.42 ± 290.31 mg*μg/ml (female rats)(n=6). There was no good fit for any PK compartmental model for the plasma concentration-time data for single dose oral administration of emodin (8mg/kg) and its metabolite. Analyzing the oral PK data using non-compartmental model, Cmax, Tmax and AUC0-∞, p.o. of emodin in male rats were: 0.31±0.094 were μg/ml, 18.00±6.71min and 65.76±34.77 mg*μg/ml respectively; whereas Cmax, Tmax and AUC0-∞, p.o. of emodin in female rats were: 0.039±0.011 μg/ml, 18.75±7.51min and 33.82±4.09 mg*μg/ml respectively. The parameters of emodin glucuronide were significant different with emodin, the Cmax, Tmax and AUC0-∞, p.o of emodin glucuronide in male rats were 6.69±1.06 μg/ml, 240min and 2261.89±655.87 mg*μg/ml respectively, in female rats, the Cmax, Tmax and AUC0-∞, p.o. were 1.81±0.58 μg/ml, 60min and 458.50±373.29 mg*μg/ml respectively. The absolute bioavailability of emodin glucuronide was 60% (male rats) and 15% (female rats). The absolute bioavailability of emodin was no significant changed (7.3%) in male rats by using dipyridamole, the bioavailability of metabolite of emodin was significant declined to 14.6%.
doi:10.1016/j.jpba.2010.12.004
PMCID: PMC4010304  PMID: 21195574
emodin; absolute oral bioavailability; pharmacokinetics; UPLC-MS/MS; emodin
3.  A validated ultra-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry method for the quantification of polymyxin B in mouse serum and epithelial lining fluid: application to pharmacokinetic studies 
Objectives
A rapid, sensitive and robust ultra-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) method was developed for the quantification of four major polymyxin B components (polymyxin B1, polymyxin B2, polymyxin B3 and isoleucine-polymyxin B1) in serum and epithelial lining fluid (ELF) samples.
Methods
A Waters Acquity UPLC HSS C18 column was used with 0.1% formic acid in water/acetonitrile as mobile phases. Analysis was performed in a positive ionization mode with multiple-reactions monitoring scan type. Five percent trichloroacetic acid was used to precipitate proteins in biological samples and to increase the sensitivity of detection.
Results
Our results showed a linear concentration range of 0.0065–3.2 mg/L for all the major polymyxin B components in both serum and ELF, respectively; the interday variation was <10% and the accuracy was 88%–115%. The validated method was used to characterize the pharmacokinetics (serum and ELF) of polymyxin B in mice.
Conclusions
This is the first report, to date, examining the individual pharmacokinetics of various polymyxin B components in mice. Our results revealed no considerable differences in clearances among the components. The limited exposure of polymyxin B in ELF observed was consistent with the less favourable efficacy of polymyxin B reported for the treatment of pulmonary infections. This method can be used to further examine the pharmacokinetics of polymyxin B in a variety of clinical and experimental settings.
doi:10.1093/jac/dks536
PMCID: PMC3625435  PMID: 23341128
polymyxin; UPLC-MS/MS; biological samples
4.  The Transfer-Messenger RNA-Small Protein B System Plays a Role in Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli Pathogenicity 
Journal of Bacteriology  2013;195(22):5064-5071.
Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) is capable of colonizing outside of the intestinal tract and evolving into a systemic infection. Avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC) is a member of the ExPEC group and causes avian colibacillosis. Transfer-mRNA-small protein B (tmRNA-SmpB)-mediated trans-translation is a bacterial translational control system that directs the modification and degradation of proteins, the biosynthesis of which has stalled or has been interrupted, facilitating the rescue of ribosomes stalled at the 3′ ends of defective mRNAs that lack a stop codon. We found that disruption of one, or both, of the smpB or ssrA genes significantly decreased the virulence of the APEC strain E058, as assessed by chicken infection assays. Furthermore, the mutants were obviously attenuated in colonization and persistence assays. The results of quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR analysis indicated that the transcription levels of the transcriptional regulation gene rfaH and the virulence genes kpsM, chuA, and iss were significantly decreased compared to those of the wild-type strain. Macrophage infection assays showed that the mutant strains reduced the replication and/or survival ability in the macrophage HD11 cell line compared to that of the parent strain, E058. However, no significant differences were observed in ingestion by macrophages and in chicken serum resistance between the mutant and the wild-type strains. These data indicate that the tmRNA-SmpB system is important in the pathogenesis of APEC O2 strain E058.
doi:10.1128/JB.00628-13
PMCID: PMC3811600  PMID: 24013628
5.  Hypoxia-Response Element (HRE)–Directed Transcriptional Regulation of the Rat Lysyl Oxidase Gene in Response to Cobalt and Cadmium 
Toxicological Sciences  2012;132(2):379-389.
Lysyl oxidase (LO) catalyzes crosslink of collagen, elastin, and histone H1, stabilizing the extracellular matrix and cell nucleus. This enzyme displays dual functions for tumorigenesis, i.e., as a tumor suppressor inactivating the ras oncogene and as a tumor promoter enhancing malignant cell metastasis. To elucidate LO transcriptional regulation, we have cloned the 804 base pair region upstream of the translation start site (ATG) of the rat LO gene with the maximal promoter activity. Computer analysis indicated that at least four hypoxia-response element (HRE) consensuses (5′-ACGTG-3′) exist in the cloned LO promoter. Treatment of rat lung fibroblasts (RFL6) with CoCl2 (Co, 10–100 μM), a chemical hypoxia reagent, enhanced LO mRNA expression and promoter activities. Overexpression of LO was associated with upregulation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α at mRNA levels in cobalt (Co)–treated cells. Thus, LO is a hypoxia-responsive gene. Dominant negative-HIF-1α inhibited LO promoter activities stimulated by Co. Electrophoretic mobility shift, oligonucleotide competition, and in vitro translated HIF-1α binding assays indicated that only one HRE mapped at −387/−383 relative to ATG was functionally active among four consensuses. Site-directed mutation of this HRE significantly diminished the Co-induced and LO promoter-directed expression of the reporter gene. Cadmium (Cd), an inducer of reactive oxygen species, inhibited HIF-1α mRNA expression and HIF-1α binding to the LO gene in Co-treated cells as revealed by RT-PCR and ChIP assays, respectively. Thus, modulation of the HRE activity by Co and Cd plays a critical role in LO gene transactivation.
doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfs327
PMCID: PMC3595521  PMID: 23161664
lysyl oxidase; cobalt; cadmium; hypoxia; hypoxia-response element; hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α.
6.  Comparative risk of high-grade histopathology diagnosis following a CIN1 finding in endocervical curettage vs. cervical biopsy 
Objective
No evidence-based clinical management recommendations exist for women with an endocervical curettage (ECC) cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grade 1 (CIN1) result when the concurrent cervical biopsy is not high-grade. For women with these pathology findings, we assessed their short-term risk of high-grade histopathology diagnosis in the Calgary Health Region where ECC was routinely performed.
Materials and Methods
We analyzed pathology and colposcopy reports from 1902 referral colposcopies where both ECC and biopsies were normal or CIN1. We calculated the short-term risk of CIN2 or more severe (CIN2+) detected 12–24 months after colposcopy. Pearson chi-square tests or Fisher’s exact tests were used to compare risks of a CIN2+ diagnosis between combinations of test results and strata of risk factors.
Results
The short-term risk of CIN2+ was the same following a CIN1 biopsy and CIN1 ECC (4.9% of 1389 vs. 5.0% of 359, respectively, P=.37). Compared to low-grade referral cytology, the risk of CIN2+ following high-grade cytology was elevated significantly for CIN1 ECC (13.3% vs. 3.3%, P<.01) and non-significantly for CIN1 biopsy (7.1% vs. 4.6%, P=.12).
Conclusions
Following low-grade cytology, the short-term risk of a high-grade histologic diagnosis in women with either CIN1 ECC or biopsy is equivalent, suggesting similar management. A CIN1 ECC may warrant different management in the context of high-grade referral cytology.
doi:10.1097/LGT.0b013e3182630c41
PMCID: PMC3608705  PMID: 23343702
cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; colposcopy; curettage; diagnosis; endocervical sampling
7.  CypA, a Gene Downstream of HIF-1α, Promotes the Development of PDAC 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92824.
Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) is a highly important transcription factor involved in cell metabolism. HIF-1α promotes glycolysis and inhibits of mitochondrial respiration in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). In response to tumor hypoxia, cyclophilin A (CypA) is over-expressed in various cancer types, and is associated with cell apoptosis, tumor invasion, metastasis, and chemoresistance in PDAC. In this study, we showed that both HIF-1α and CypA expression were significantly associated with lymph node metastasis and tumor stage. The expression of CypA was correlated with HIF-1α. Moreover, the mRNA and protein expression of CypA markedly decreased or increased following the suppression or over-expression of HIF-1α in vitro. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis showed that HIF-1α could directly bind to the hypoxia response element (HRE) in the CypA promoter regions and regulated CypA expression. Consistent with other studies, HIF-1α and CypA promoted PDAC cell proliferation and invasion, and suppressed apoptosis in vitro. Furthermore, we proved the combination effect of 2-methoxyestradiol and cyclosporin A both in vitro and in vivo. These results suggested that,CypA, a gene downstream of HIF-1α, could promote the development of PDAC. Thus, CypA might serve as a potential therapeutic target for PDAC.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092824
PMCID: PMC3963943  PMID: 24662981
8.  A New Strategy to Rapidly Evaluate Kinetics of Glucuronide Efflux by Breast Cancer Resistance Protein (BCRP/ABCG2) 
Pharmaceutical research  2012;29(11):3199-3208.
Purpose
The efflux transporter breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP/ABCG2) plays an important role in excretion of anionic drugs and metabolites including glucuronides in humans.
Methods
In this article, our recently published cell model (i.e., HeLa cells over-expressing UGT1A9 (HeLa1A9)) is used to determine the kinetic parameters of BCRP-mediated transport of glucuronides.
Results
After incubation of the aglycone with the cells, a steady-state (i.e., zero-order or near zero-order) excretion of its glucuronide is rapidly achieved and then maintained. Kinetic profiling with different (intracellular) glucuronide concentrations and their corresponding excretion rates is enabled by varying the concentration of the aglycone, which allows for the determination of kinetic parameters responsible for BCRP-mediated efflux of glucuronides. This approach was validated theoretically using a cellular pharmacokinetic model incorporating various enzymatic and transporter-mediated kinetic processes. It was also validated experimentally in that kinetic parameters of efflux of glucuronides of 6-hydroxyflavone and 4-methylumberiferone in the HeLa1A9 cell model were shown to be consistent with those derived with BCRP-overexpressing membrane vesicles.
Conclusion
This study provides a new strategy for rapidly evaluating the kinetics of glucuronide efflux by BCRP.
doi:10.1007/s11095-012-0817-2
PMCID: PMC3953450  PMID: 22752253
BCRP; efflux; glucuronidation; glucuronide; UGT1A9
9.  Peripheral dose measurements in cervical cancer radiotherapy: a comparison of volumetric modulated arc therapy and step-and-shoot IMRT techniques 
Purpose
The aim of this study was to investigate the peripheral doses resulting from volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) and intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) techniques in cervical cancer radiotherapy.
Methods
Nine patients with cervical cancer had treatment planned with both VMAT and IMRT. A specially designed phantom was used for this study, with ion chambers placed at interest points approximating the position of the breast, thyroid, and lens. The peripheral doses at the phantom interest points were measured and compared between the VMAT and IMRT techniques.
Results
VMAT provides a potential dosimetric advantage compared with IMRT. The mean (± standard deviation) peripheral dose to the breast point for 1 fraction (2 Gy) during VMAT measured 5.13 ± 0.96 mGy, compared with 9.04 ± 1.50 mGy for IMRT. At the thyroid and lens interest points, the mean (± standard deviation) peripheral dose during VMAT was 2.19 ± 0.33 and 2.16 ± 0.28 mGy, compared with 7.07 ± 0.76 and 6.97 ± 0.91 mGy for IMRT, respectively. VMAT reduced the monitor units used by 28% and shortened the treatment delivery time by 54% compared with IMRT.
Conclusion
While the dosimetric results are similar for both techniques, VMAT results in a lower peripheral dose to the patient and reduces the monitor-unit usage and treatment delivery time compared with IMRT.
doi:10.1186/1748-717X-9-61
PMCID: PMC3996072  PMID: 24555547
Cervical cancer; Volumetric modulated arc therapy; Intensity modulated radiation therapy; Peripheral dose
10.  A comparative study between Embosphere® and conventional transcatheter arterial chemoembolization for treatment of unresectable liver metastasis from GIST 
Objective
Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) is a standard treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and/or some unresectable liver metastasis tumors. Hypervascular liver metastatic lesions such as metastasis from gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) are an indication for transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Embosphere®-TAE (Embo-TAE) in comparison with conventional TACE (cTACE) for the treatment of liver metastasis from GIST.
Methods
A total of 45 patients who underwent TACE between Aug 2008 and Feb 2013 were enrolled. Patients with GIST who underwent TAE with Embosphere® (n=19) were compared with controls who received cTACE (n=26). The primary end points were treatment response and treatment-related adverse events. The secondary end points were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).
Results
The treatment response of Embo-TAE group was significantly higher than that of the cTACE group (P<0.001). The PFS was significantly better in the Embosphere®-group than in the cTACE group (56.6 and 42.1 weeks, respectively; P=0.003). However, there was no statistically significant difference in liver toxicity between the two groups (P>0.05). The median OS in the Embo-TAE group was longer than that in the cTACE group (74.0 weeks, 95% CI: 68.2-79.8 vs. 61.7 weeks, 95% CI: 56.2-67.2 weeks) (unadjusted P=0.045). The use of Embo-TAE significantly reduced the risk of death in patients with GIST with liver metastases according to the Cox proportional hazards regression model [hazard ratio (HR): 0.149; 95% CI: 0.064-0.475].
Conclusions
TAE with Embosphere® showed better treatment response and delayed tumor progression compared with cTACE. There was no significant difference in treatment-related hepatic toxicities. Embo-TAE thus appears to be a feasible and promising approach in the treatment of liver metastasis from GIST.
doi:10.3978/j.issn.1000-9604.2014.02.11
PMCID: PMC3937743  PMID: 24653635
Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE); gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST); embolization
11.  Testosterone regulation of Akt/mTORC1/FoxO3a Signaling in Skeletal Muscle 
Low endogenous testosterone production, known as hypogonadism is commonly associated with conditions inducing muscle wasting. Akt signaling can control skeletal muscle mass through mTOR regulation of protein synthesis and FoxO regulation of protein degradation, and this pathway has been previously identified as a target of androgen signaling. However, the testosterone sensitivity of Akt/mTOR signaling requires further understanding in order to grasp the significance of varied testosterone levels seen with wasting disease on muscle protein turnover regulation. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to determine the effect of androgen availability on muscle Akt/mTORC1/FoxO3a regulation in skeletal muscle and cultured C2C12 myotubes. C57BL/6 mice were either castrated for 42 days or castrated and treated with the nandrolone decanoate (ND) (6 mg/kg bw/wk). Testosterone loss (TL) significantly decreased volitional grip strength, body weight, and gastrocnemius (GAS) muscle mass, and ND reversed these changes. Related to muscle mass regulation, TL decreased muscle IGF-1 mRNA, the rate of myofibrillar protein synthesis, Akt phosphorylation, and the phosphorylation of Akt targets, GSK3β, PRAS40 and FoxO3a. TL induced expression of FoxO transcriptional targets, MuRF1, atrogin1 and REDD1. Muscle AMPK and raptor phosphorylation, mTOR inhibitors, were not altered by low testosterone. ND restored IGF-1 expression and Akt/mTORC1 signaling while repressing expression of FoxO transcriptional targets. Testosterone (T) sensitivity of Akt/mTORC1 signaling was examined in C2C12 myotubes, and mTOR phosphorylation was induced independent of Akt activation at low T concentrations, while a higher T concentration was required to activate Akt signaling. Interestingly, low concentration T was sufficient to amplify myotube mTOR and Akt signaling after 24h of T withdrawal, demonstrating the potential in cultured myotubes for a T initiated positive feedback mechanism to amplify Akt/mTOR signaling. In summary, androgen withdrawal decreases muscle myofibrillar protein synthesis through Akt/mTORC1 signaling, which is independent of AMPK activation, and readily reversible by anabolic steroid administration. Acute Akt activation in C2C12 myotubes is sensitive to a high concentration of testosterone, and low concentrations of testosterone can activate mTOR signaling independent of Akt.
doi:10.1016/j.mce.2012.10.019
PMCID: PMC3529800  PMID: 23116773
Muscle; Testosterone; raptor; Akt; mTOR; AMPK; FoxO; REDD1; MuRF1; atrophy; IGF-1; castration
12.  Single Domain SmCo5@Co Exchange-coupled Magnets Prepared from Core/shell Sm[Co(CN)6]·4H2O@GO Particles: A Novel Chemical Approach 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:3542.
SmCo5 based magnets with smaller size and larger maximum energy product have been long desired in various fields such as renewable energy technology, electronic industry and aerospace science. However, conventional relatively rough synthetic strategies will lead to either diminished magnetic properties or irregular morphology, which hindered their wide applications. In this article, we present a facile chemical approach to prepare 200 nm single domain SmCo5@Co core/shell magnets with coercivity of 20.7 kOe and saturation magnetization of 82 emu/g. We found that the incorporation of GO sheets is responsible for the generation of the unique structure. The single domain SmCo5 core contributes to the large coercivity of the magnets and the exchange-coupled Co shell enhances the magnetization. This method can be further utilized in the synthesis other Sm-Co based exchange-coupled magnets.
doi:10.1038/srep03542
PMCID: PMC3868969  PMID: 24356309
13.  RfaH Promotes the Ability of the Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli O2 Strain E058 To Cause Avian Colibacillosis 
Journal of Bacteriology  2013;195(11):2474-2480.
Avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) infection causes avian colibacillosis, which refers to any localized or systemic infection, such as acute fatal septicemia or subacute pericarditis and airsacculitis. The RfaH transcriptional regulator in E. coli is known to regulate a number of phenotypic traits. The direct effect of RfaH on the virulence of APEC has not been investigated yet. Our results showed that the inactivation of rfaH significantly decreased the virulence of APEC E058. The attenuation was assessed by in vivo and in vitro assays, including chicken infection assays, an ingestion and intracellular survival assay, and a bactericidal assay with serum complement. The virulence phenotype was restored to resemble that of the wild type by complementation of the rfaH gene in trans. The results of the quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis and animal system infection experiments indicated that the deletion of rfaH correlated with decreased virulence of the APEC E058 strain.
doi:10.1128/JB.02074-12
PMCID: PMC3676060  PMID: 23504015
14.  A Review on the Importance of Metals and Metalloids in Atmospheric Dust and Aerosol from Mining Operations 
Contaminants can be transported rapidly and over relatively long distances by atmospheric dust and aerosol relative to other media such as water, soil and biota; yet few studies have explicitly evaluated the environmental implications of this pathway, making it a fundamental but understudied transport mechanism. Although there are numerous natural and anthropogenic activities that can increase dust and aerosol emissions and contaminant levels in the environment, mining operations are notable with respect to the quantity of particulates generated, the global extent of area impacted, and the toxicity of contaminants associated with the emissions. Here we review (i) the environmental fate and transport of metals and metalloids in dust and aerosol from mining operations, (ii) current methodologies used to assess contaminant concentrations and particulate emissions, and (iii) the potential health and environmental risks associated with airborne contaminants from mining operations. The review evaluates future research priorities based on the available literature and suggest that there is a particular need to measure and understand the generation, fate and transport of airborne particulates from mining operations, specifically the finer particle fraction. More generally, our findings suggest that mining operations play an important but underappreciated role in the generation of contaminated atmospheric dust and aerosol and the transport of metal and metalloid contaminants, and highlight the need for further research in this area. The role of mining activities in the fate and transport of environmental contaminants may become increasingly important in the coming decades, as climate change and land use are projected to intensify, both of which can substantially increase the potential for dust emissions and transport.
doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.06.013
PMCID: PMC3418464  PMID: 22766428
Dust; Aerosol; Mining; Tailings; Metals and Metalloids; Arsenic and Lead
15.  Can Increases in the Cigarette Tax Rate be Linked to Cigarette Retail Prices? Solving mysteries related to the cigarette pricing mechanism in China 
Tobacco control  2011;21(6):560-562.
Objective
To explain China’s cigarette pricing mechanism and the role of the Chinese State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA) on cigarette pricing and taxation.
Methods
Published government tobacco tax documentation and statistics published by the Chinese State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA) are used to analyze the interrelations among industry profits, taxes, and retail price of cigarettes in China.
Results
The 2009 excise tax increase on cigarettes in China has not translated into higher retail prices because the Chinese STMA used its policy authority to ensure that retail cigarette prices did not change. The government tax increase is being collected at both the producer and wholesale levels. As a result, the 2009 excise tax increase in China has resulted in higher tax revenue for the government and lower profits for the tobacco industry, with no increase in the retail price of cigarettes for consumers.
Conclusions
Numerous studies have found that taxation is one of the most effective policy instruments for tobacco control. However, these findings come from countries that have market economies where market forces determine prices and influence how cigarette taxes are passed to the consumers in retail prices. China’s tobacco industry is not a market economy; therefore, nonmarket forces and the current Chinese tobacco monopoly system determine cigarette prices. The result is that tax increases do not necessarily get passed on to the retail price.
doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050027
PMCID: PMC3704211  PMID: 23076787
cigarette; pricing; taxes; China
16.  High-Density Three-Dimension Graphene Macroscopic Objects for High-Capacity Removal of Heavy Metal Ions 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:2125.
The chemical vapor deposition (CVD) fabrication of high-density three-dimension graphene macroscopic objects (3D-GMOs) with a relatively low porosity has not yet been realized, although they are desirable for applications in which high mechanical and electrical properties are required. Here, we explore a method to rapidly prepare the high-density 3D-GMOs using nickel chloride hexahydrate (NiCl2·6H2O) as a catalyst precursor by CVD process at atmospheric pressure. Further, the free-standing 3D-GMOs are employed as electrolytic electrodes to remove various heavy metal ions. The robust 3D structure, high conductivity (~12 S/cm) and large specific surface area (~560 m2/g) enable ultra-high electrical adsorption capacities (Cd2+ ~ 434 mg/g, Pb2+ ~ 882 mg/g, Ni2+ ~ 1,683 mg/g, Cu2+ ~ 3,820 mg/g) from aqueous solutions and fast desorption. The current work has significance in the studies of both the fabrication of high-density 3D-GMOs and the removal of heavy metal ions.
doi:10.1038/srep02125
PMCID: PMC3699809  PMID: 23821107
17.  Expression of Lewis y antigen and integrin αv, β3 in ovarian cancer and their relationship with chemotherapeutic drug resistance 
Objective
This study investigates the expression of Lewis y antigen, integrin αv, β3 in epithelial ovarian cancer tissues. We further evaluate the relationship between their expression and chemotherapy resistance of ovarian cancer and its possible clinical significance.
Methods
Tissues of 92 patients with ovarian cancer meeting the inclusion criteria with complete follow-up data were enrolled and divided into chemotherapy resistant group and sensitive group. The expression and relationship of Lewis y antigen and integrin αv, β3 are assessed in paraffin sections using immunohistochemistry and double-labeling immunofluorescence method. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the relationship between age, clinical stage, differentiation, histologic subtype, Lewis y antigen and integrin αv, β3 expression in ovarian cancer patients.
Results
The expression rates of Lewis y antigen and integrin αv in the resistant group, significantly higher than the rates found in the sensitive group (p <0.05). Multivariate analysis showed that the expression of Lewis y antigen, integrin αv and ovarian cancer’s clinical stage were independent, drug resistance-related risk factors. The expression levels of Lewis y antigen and integrin αv, β3 were positively correlated with each other.
Conclusions
A close correlation between Lewis y antigen, integrin αv, β3 and ovarian cancer was observed. Lewis y antigen can influence the biological behavior of a tumor cell as an important composition of integrin αv, β3 by some signal pathway. And the expression of Lewis y antigen, integrin αv and ovarian cancer’s clinical stage are both independent, drug resistance-related risk factors.
doi:10.1186/1756-9966-32-36
PMCID: PMC3699420  PMID: 23725446
Ovarian Cancer; Lewis y Antigen; Integrin αv, β3; Chemotherapeutic Drug Resistance
19.  Three-dimensional graphene foam as a biocompatible and conductive scaffold for neural stem cells 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:1604.
Neural stem cell (NSC) based therapy provides a promising approach for neural regeneration. For the success of NSC clinical application, a scaffold is required to provide three-dimensional (3D) cell growth microenvironments and appropriate synergistic cell guidance cues. Here, we report the first utilization of graphene foam, a 3D porous structure, as a novel scaffold for NSCs in vitro. It was found that three-dimensional graphene foams (3D-GFs) can not only support NSC growth, but also keep cell at an active proliferation state with upregulation of Ki67 expression than that of two-dimensional graphene films. Meanwhile, phenotypic analysis indicated that 3D-GFs can enhance the NSC differentiation towards astrocytes and especially neurons. Furthermore, a good electrical coupling of 3D-GFs with differentiated NSCs for efficient electrical stimulation was observed. Our findings implicate 3D-GFs could offer a powerful platform for NSC research, neural tissue engineering and neural prostheses.
doi:10.1038/srep01604
PMCID: PMC3615386  PMID: 23549373
20.  A Microparticle/Hydrogel Combination Drug-Delivery System for Sustained Release of Retinoids 
Purpose.
To design and develop a drug-delivery system containing a combination of poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) microparticles and alginate hydrogel for sustained release of retinoids to treat retinal blinding diseases that result from an inadequate supply of retinol and generation of 11-cis-retinal.
Methods.
To study drug release in vivo, either the drug-loaded microparticle–hydrogel combination was injected subcutaneously or drug-loaded microparticles were injected intravitreally into Lrat−/− mice. Orally administered 9-cis-retinoids were used for comparison and drug concentrations in plasma were determined by HPLC. Electroretinography (ERG) and both chemical and histologic analyses were used to evaluate drug effects on visual function and morphology.
Results.
Lrat−/− mice demonstrated sustained drug release from the microparticle/hydrogel combination that lasted 4 weeks after subcutaneous injection. Drug concentrations in plasma of the control group treated with the same oral dose rose to higher levels for 6−7 hours but then dropped markedly by 24 hours. Significantly increased ERG responses and a markedly improved retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE)–rod outer segment (ROS) interface were observed after subcutaneous injection of the drug-loaded delivery combination. Intravitreal injection of just 2% of the systemic dose of drug-loaded microparticles provided comparable therapeutic efficacy.
Conclusions.
Sustained release of therapeutic levels of 9-cis-retinoids was achieved in Lrat−/− mice by subcutaneous injection in a microparticle/hydrogel drug-delivery system. Both subcutaneous and intravitreal injections of drug-loaded microparticles into Lrat−/− mice improved visual function and retinal structure.
A novel drug-delivery system was developed for sustained release of therapeutic levels of 9-cis-retinoids. A PLGA microsphere alginate hydrogel combination was used both in vitro and in vivo to evaluate its therapeutic efficacy in retinas of Lrat−/− mice.
doi:10.1167/iovs.12-10279
PMCID: PMC3465014  PMID: 22918645
21.  Aerobactin Synthesis Genes iucA and iucC Contribute to the Pathogenicity of Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli O2 Strain E058 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e57794.
Aerobactin genes are known to be present in virulent strains and absent from avirulent strains, but contributions of iucC and iucA, which are involved in aerobactin synthesis, to the pathogenicity of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) have not been clarified. In this study, effects of double mutants (iucA/iutA or iucC/iutA) compared to those of single mutants (iucA, iucC or iutA) of aerobactin genes on the virulence of APEC strain E058 were examined both in vitro (aerobactin production, ingestion into HD-11 cells, survival in chicken serum) and in vivo (competitive growth against parental strain, colonization and persistence). In competitive co-infection assays, compared to the E058 parental strain, the E058ΔiucA mutant was significantly reduced in the liver, kidney, spleen (all P<0.01), heart and lung (both P<0.001). The E058ΔiutA mutant also was significantly reduced in the liver, lung, kidney (all P<0.01), heart and spleen (both P<0.001). The E058ΔiucC mutant was significantly attenuated in the heart and kidney (both P<0.05) and showed a remarkable reduction in the liver, spleen and lung (P<0.01); meanwhile, both E058ΔiucAΔiutA and E058ΔiucCΔiutA double mutants were sharply reduced as well (P<0.001). In colonization and persistence assays, compared with E058, recovered colonies of E058ΔiucA were significantly reduced from the lung, liver, spleen and kidney (P<0.01) and significantly reduced in the heart (P<0.001). E058ΔiutA was significantly reduced from the heart, lung, liver, spleen and kidney (P<0.01). E058ΔiucC, E058ΔiucAΔiutA and E058ΔiucCΔiutA were significantly decreased in all organs tested (P<0.001). These results suggest that iutA, iucA and iucC play important roles in the pathogenicity of APEC E058.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057794
PMCID: PMC3584046  PMID: 23460907
22.  Interlayer catalytic exfoliation realizing scalable production of large-size pristine few-layer graphene 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:1134.
Mass production of reduced graphene oxide and graphene nanoplatelets has recently been achieved. However, a great challenge still remains in realizing large-quantity and high-quality production of large-size thin few-layer graphene (FLG). Here, we create a novel route to solve the issue by employing one-time-only interlayer catalytic exfoliation (ICE) of salt-intercalated graphite. The typical FLG with a large lateral size of tens of microns and a thickness less than 2 nm have been obtained by a mild and durative ICE. The high-quality graphene layers preserve intact basal crystal planes owing to avoidance of the degradation reaction during both intercalation and ICE. Furthermore, we reveal that the high-quality FLG ensures a remarkable lithium-storage stability (>1,000 cycles) and a large reversible specific capacity (>600 mAh g−1). This simple and scalable technique acquiring high-quality FLG offers considerable potential for future realistic applications.
doi:10.1038/srep01134
PMCID: PMC3555088  PMID: 23355949
23.  Whole-genome reconstruction and mutational signatures in gastric cancer 
Genome Biology  2012;13(12):R115.
Background
Gastric cancer is the second highest cause of global cancer mortality. To explore the complete repertoire of somatic alterations in gastric cancer, we combined massively parallel short read and DNA paired-end tag sequencing to present the first whole-genome analysis of two gastric adenocarcinomas, one with chromosomal instability and the other with microsatellite instability.
Results
Integrative analysis and de novo assemblies revealed the architecture of a wild-type KRAS amplification, a common driver event in gastric cancer. We discovered three distinct mutational signatures in gastric cancer - against a genome-wide backdrop of oxidative and microsatellite instability-related mutational signatures, we identified the first exome-specific mutational signature. Further characterization of the impact of these signatures by combining sequencing data from 40 complete gastric cancer exomes and targeted screening of an additional 94 independent gastric tumors uncovered ACVR2A, RPL22 and LMAN1 as recurrently mutated genes in microsatellite instability-positive gastric cancer and PAPPA as a recurrently mutated gene in TP53 wild-type gastric cancer.
Conclusions
These results highlight how whole-genome cancer sequencing can uncover information relevant to tissue-specific carcinogenesis that would otherwise be missed from exome-sequencing data.
doi:10.1186/gb-2012-13-12-r115
PMCID: PMC4056366  PMID: 23237666
24.  Prevalence of qnr, aac(6′)-Ib-cr, qepA, and oqxAB in Escherichia coli Isolates from Humans, Animals, and the Environment 
qnr, aac(6′)-Ib-cr, qepA, and oqxAB genes were detected in 5.7%, 4.9%, 2.6%, and 20.2% of 1,022 Escherichia coli isolates from humans, animals, and the environment, respectively, collected between 1993 and 2010 in China. The prevalence of oqxAB in porcine isolates (51.0%) was significantly higher than that in other isolates. This is the first report of oqxAB-positive isolates from ducks and geese and as early as 1994 from chickens.
doi:10.1128/AAC.06191-11
PMCID: PMC3370760  PMID: 22391545
25.  Long Span DNA Paired-End-Tag (DNA-PET) Sequencing Strategy for the Interrogation of Genomic Structural Mutations and Fusion-Point-Guided Reconstruction of Amplicons 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e46152.
Structural variations (SVs) contribute significantly to the variability of the human genome and extensive genomic rearrangements are a hallmark of cancer. While genomic DNA paired-end-tag (DNA-PET) sequencing is an attractive approach to identify genomic SVs, the current application of PET sequencing with short insert size DNA can be insufficient for the comprehensive mapping of SVs in low complexity and repeat-rich genomic regions. We employed a recently developed procedure to generate PET sequencing data using large DNA inserts of 10–20 kb and compared their characteristics with short insert (1 kb) libraries for their ability to identify SVs. Our results suggest that although short insert libraries bear an advantage in identifying small deletions, they do not provide significantly better breakpoint resolution. In contrast, large inserts are superior to short inserts in providing higher physical genome coverage for the same sequencing cost and achieve greater sensitivity, in practice, for the identification of several classes of SVs, such as copy number neutral and complex events. Furthermore, our results confirm that large insert libraries allow for the identification of SVs within repetitive sequences, which cannot be spanned by short inserts. This provides a key advantage in studying rearrangements in cancer, and we show how it can be used in a fusion-point-guided-concatenation algorithm to study focally amplified regions in cancer.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046152
PMCID: PMC3461012  PMID: 23029419

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