To investigate the effects of various measures of prenatal care on adverse pregnancy outcomes in women with a history of infertility.
A retrospective cohort study.
Data were derived by linking 2 large nationwide population-based datasets, the National Health Insurance Research Database and Taiwan Birth Certificate Registry. The study sample included 15,056 women with an infertility diagnosis and 60,224 randomly selected women without infertility matched to the study sample by maternal age. A conditional logistic regression analysis was performed for the analysis.
Women diagnosed with infertility respectively had 1.39 (95% CI, 1.06~1.83), 1.15 (95% CI, 1.08~1.24), 1.13 (95% CI, 1.08~1.18), and 1.08 (95% CI, 1.05~1.12) higher odds of having very low birth weight (VLBW) babies, preterm births, labor complications, and cesarean sections (CSs) compared to women without infertility. Inadequate numbers of total and major prenatal visits and late initiation of prenatal care increased the risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes in women with infertility, especially the risk of a VLBW baby. However, no significant associations were found for the risks of adverse birth outcomes in infertile women with adequate prenatal care compared to fertile women with adequate care.
Study findings suggest that adequate prenatal care can reduce the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes in women with infertility.
Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) with NBS1 germ-line mutation is a human autosomal recessive disease characterized by genomic instability and enhanced cancer predisposition. The NBS1 gene codes for a protein, Nbs1(p95/Nibrin), involved in the processing/repair of DNA double-strand breaks. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a complex and heterogeneous tumor with several genomic alterations. Recent studies have shown that heterozygous NBS1 mice exhibited a higher incidence of HCC than did wild-type mice. The objective of the present study is to assess whether NBS1 mutations play a role in the pathogenesis of human primary liver cancer, including HBV-associated HCC and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC). Eight missense NBS1 mutations were identified in six of 64 (9.4%) HCCs and two of 18 (11.1%) ICCs, whereas only one synonymous mutation was found in 89 control cases of cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis B. Analysis of the functional consequences of the identified NBS1 mutations in Mre11-binding domain showed loss of nuclear localization of Nbs1 partner Mre11, one of the hallmarks for Nbs1 deficiency, in one HCC and two ICCs with NBS1 mutations. Moreover, seven of the eight tumors with NBS1 mutations had at least one genetic alteration in the TP53 pathway, including TP53 mutation, MDM2 amplification, p14ARF homozygous deletion and promoter methylation, implying a synergistic effect of Nbs1 disruption and p53 inactivation. Our findings provide novel insight on the molecular pathogenesis of primary liver cancer characterized by mutation inactivation of NBS1, a DNA repair associated gene.
The ℓ1-penalized method, or the Lasso, has emerged as an important tool for the analysis of large data sets. Many important results have been obtained for the Lasso in linear regression which have led to a deeper understanding of high-dimensional statistical problems. In this article, we consider a class of weighted ℓ1-penalized estimators for convex loss functions of a general form, including the generalized linear models. We study the estimation, prediction, selection and sparsity properties of the weighted ℓ1-penalized estimator in sparse, high-dimensional settings where the number of predictors p can be much larger than the sample size n. Adaptive Lasso is considered as a special case. A multistage method is developed to approximate concave regularized estimation by applying an adaptive Lasso recursively. We provide prediction and estimation oracle inequalities for single- and multi-stage estimators, a general selection consistency theorem, and an upper bound for the dimension of the Lasso estimator. Important models including the linear regression, logistic regression and log-linear models are used throughout to illustrate the applications of the general results.
variable selection; penalized estimation; oracle inequality; generalized linear models; selection consistency; sparsity
The prognostic value of HIFs in colorectal cancer was evaluated in a large number of studies, but the conclusions were inconclusive. Meanwhile, clinicopathologic differences of HIF-1α and HIF-2α were rarely compared in recent studies.
Identical search strategies were used to search relevant literatures in the PubMed and Web of Science databases. The prognostic significances and clinicopathological differences of HIFs in CRC were analyzed.
A total of 23studies comprising 2984 CRC patients met the inclusion criteria. The results indicated that overexpressed HIFs were significantly associated with increase of mortality risk, including overall survival (OS) (HR 2.06 95%CI 1.55–2.74) and disease free survival (HR 2.84, 95%CI 1.87–4.31). Subgroup analysis revealed that both overexpressed HIF-1α and HIF-2α had correlations with worse prognosis. The pooled HRs were 2.01 (95% CI: 1.55–2.6) and 2.07(95% CI: 1.01–4.26). Further subgroup analysis on HIF-1α was performed by study location, number of patients, quality score and cut-off value. The results showed that HIF-1α overexpression was significantly associated with poor OS, particularly in Asian countries (HR 2.3, 95% CI: 1.74–3.01), while not in European or other countries. In addition, overexpression of HIF-1α was closely related with these clinicopathological features, including Dukes' stages (OR 0.39, 95% CI: 0.17–0.89), UICC stages (OR 0.42 95% CI: 0.3–0.59), depth of invasion (OR 0.71, 95% CI: 0.51–0.99), lymphnode status (OR 0.49, 95% CI: 0.32–0.73) and metastasis (OR 0.29, 95% CI: 0.11–0.81). While overexpression of HIF-2α was only associated with grade of differentiation (OR 0.48, 95% CI: 0.29–0.81).
This study showed that both HIF-1α and HIF-2α overexpression were associated with an unfavorable prognosis. HIF-1α overexpression seemed to be associated with worse prognosis in Asian countries. Additionally, HIF-1α and HIF-2α indicated distinct clinicopathologic features.
The dysregulation of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes plays an important role in many cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is one of the most common cancers in the world. In a previous microarray experiment, we found that DLGAP5 is overexpressed in HCCs. However, whether the up-regulation of DLGAP5 contributes to hepatocarcinogenesis remains unclear.
In this study, we showed that DLGAP5 was significantly up-regulated in 76.4% (168 of 220) of the analyzed HCC specimens when compared with adjacent liver tissue. DLGAP5 overexpression was evident in 25% (22 of 88) of the HCC specimens without AFP expression, suggesting that DLGAP5 may be a novel biomarker for HCC pathogenesis. The silencing of DLGAP5 gene expression by RNA interference significantly suppressed cell growth, migration and colony formation in vitro. The expression level of DLGAP5 was also found to be related to the methylation level of its promoter in the HCC specimens.
Taken together, these data suggest that the expression of DLGAP5 is regulated by methylation and that the up-regulation of DLGAP5 contributes to HCC tumorigenesis by promoting cell proliferation.
The prognostic significance of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) detected in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is still inconsistent. We aimed to assess the prognostic relevance of CTCs using a meta-analysis.
We searched PubMed, Web of Science and EMBASE for relevant studies that assessed the prognostic relevance of CTCs in NSCLC. Statistical analyses were conducted to calculate the summary incidence, odds ratio, relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using fixed or random-effects models according to the heterogeneity of included studies.
A total of 20 studies, comprising 1576 patients, met the inclusion criteria. In identified studies, CTCs were not correlated with histology (adenocarcinoma vs squamous cell carcinoma) (odds ratio [OR] = 0.88; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.59–1.33; Z = –0.61; P = 0.545). However, pooled analyses showed that CTCs were associated with lymph node metastasis (OR = 2.06; 95% CI: 1.18–3.62; Z = 2.20; P = 0.027) and tumor stage (OR = 1.95; 95% CI: 1.08–3.54; Z = 2.53; P = 0.011). Moreover, CTCs were significantly associated with shorter overall survival (relative risk [RR] = 2.19; 95% CI: 1.53–3.12; Z = 4.32; P<0.0001) and progression-free/disease-free survival (RR = 2.14; 95% CI: 1.36–3.38; Z = 3.28; P<0.0001).
The presence of CTCs indicates a poor prognosis in patients with NSCLC. Further well-designed prospective studies are required to explore the clinical applications of CTCs in lung cancer.
NgBR is a type I receptor with a single transmembrane domain and was identified as a specific receptor for Nogo-B. Our recent findings demonstrated that NgBR binds farnesylated Ras and recruits Ras to the plasma membrane, which is a critical step required for the activation of Ras signaling in human breast cancer cells and tumorigenesis. Here, we first use immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR approaches to examine the expression patterns of Nogo-B and NgBR in both normal and breast tumor tissues. Then, we examine the relationship between NgBR expression and molecular subtypes of breast cancer, and the roles of NgBR in estrogen-dependent survivin signaling pathway. Results showed that NgBR and Nogo-B protein were detected in both normal and breast tumor tissues. However, the expression of Nogo-B and NgBR in breast tumor tissue was much stronger than in normal breast tissue. The statistical analysis demonstrated that NgBR is highly associated with ER-positive/HER2-negative breast cancer. We also found that the expression of NgBR has a strong correlation with the expression of survivin, which is a well-known apoptosis inhibitor. The correlation between NgBR and survivin gene expression was further confirmed by real-time PCR. In vitro results also demonstrated that estradiol induces the expression of survivin in ER-positive T47D breast tumor cells but not in ER-negative MDA-MB-468 breast tumor cells. NgBR knockdown with siRNA abolishes estradiol-induced survivin expression in ER-positive T47D cells but not in ER-negative MDA-MB-468 cells. In addition, estradiol increases the expression of survivin and cell growth in ER-positive MCF-7 and T47D cells whereas knockdown of NgBR with siRNA reduces estradiol-induced survivin expression and cell growth. In summary, these results indicate that NgBR is a new molecular marker for breast cancer. The data suggest that the expression of NgBR may be essential in promoting ER-positive tumor cell proliferation via survivin induction in breast cancer.
Grouping structures arise naturally in many statistical modeling problems. Several methods have been proposed for variable selection that respect grouping structure in variables. Examples include the group LASSO and several concave group selection methods. In this article, we give a selective review of group selection concerning methodological developments, theoretical properties and computational algorithms. We pay particular attention to group selection methods involving concave penalties. We address both group selection and bi-level selection methods. We describe several applications of these methods in nonparametric additive models, semiparametric regression, seemingly unrelated regressions, genomic data analysis and genome wide association studies. We also highlight some issues that require further study.
Bi-level selection; group LASSO; concave group selection; penalized regression; sparsity; oracle property
We examined the effect of competition on stem growth of Picea glauca and Populus tremuloides in boreal mixedwood stands during the stem exclusion stage. We combined traditional approaches of collecting competition data with dendrochronology to provide retrospective measurements of stem diameter growth. Several competition indices including stand basal area (BA), the sum of stem diameter at breast height (SDBH), and density (N) for the broadleaf and coniferous species, as well as similar indices considering only trees with diameters greater than each subject (BAGR, SDBHGR, and NGR), were evaluated. We used a nonlinear mixed model to characterize the basal area increment over the past 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 years as a function of growth of nearby dominant trees, the size of the subject trees, deciduous and coniferous competition indices, and ecoregions. SDBHGR and BAGR were better predictors for spruce, and SDBHGR and NGR were better for aspen, respectively, than other indices. Results showed strongest correlations with long-term stem growth, as the best models integrated growth for 10–25 years for aspen and ≥25 for spruce. Our model demonstrated a remarkable capability (adjusted R2>0.67) to represent this complex variation in growth as a function of site, size and competition.
Patterned surfaces with special wettability and adhesion (sliding, sticky or patterned superoleophobic surface) can be found on many living creatures. They offer a versatile platform for microfluidic management and other biological functions. Inspired by their precise arrangement of structure and chemical component, we described a facile one-step approach to construct large scale pinecone-like anatase TiO2 particles (ATP) film. The as-prepared ATP film exhibits excellent superamphiphilic property in air, changes to underwater superoleophobicity with good dynamical stability. In addition, erasable and rewritable patterned superamphiphobic ATP films or three-dimensional (3D) Janus surfaces were constructed for a versatile platform for microfluidic management and biomedical applications. In a proof-of-concept study, robust super-antiwetting feet for artificial anti-oil strider at the oil/water interface, novel superamphiphobic surface for repeatable oil/water separation, and multifunctional patterned superamphiphobic ATP template for cell, fluorecent probe and inorganic nanoparticles site-selective immobilization were demonstrated.
Cycloadditions involving oxyallyl intermediates typically require an electron-rich diene or alkene, but we have discovered the first examples of the cycloaddition of heteroatom-stabilized oxyallyls onto carbonyl groups. An oxazolidinone-substituted oxyallyl undergoes chemoselective (3+2) cycloaddition onto the carbonyl group of a tethered dienone, in preference to formation of the expected (4+3) cycloadduct. Density functional theory calculations indicate that the (3+2) cycloaddition takes place through a concerted, highly asynchronous mechanism. The transition state features simultaneous interactions of the oxyallyl LUMO with the carbonyl π and lone pair orbitals, which place this reaction halfway between a purely pericyclic and a purely pseudopericyclic process (“hemipseudopericyclic”). Further (3+2) cycloadditions involving tethered phenylketones and a tethered enone were predicted theoretically and verified experimentally.
Different from herbaceous plants, the woody plants undergo a long-period vegetative stage to achieve floral transition. They then turn into seasonal plants, flowering annually. In this study, a preliminary model of gene regulations for seasonal pistillate flowering in hickory (Carya cathayensis) was proposed. The genome-wide dynamic transcriptome was characterized via the joint-approach of RNA sequencing and microarray analysis.
Differential transcript abundance analysis uncovered the dynamic transcript abundance patterns of flowering correlated genes and their major functions based on Gene Ontology (GO) analysis. To explore pistillate flowering mechanism in hickory, a comprehensive flowering gene regulatory network based on Arabidopsis thaliana was constructed by additional literature mining. A total of 114 putative flowering or floral genes including 31 with differential transcript abundance were identified in hickory. The locations, functions and dynamic transcript abundances were analyzed in the gene regulatory networks. A genome-wide co-expression network for the putative flowering or floral genes shows three flowering regulatory modules corresponding to response to light abiotic stimulus, cold stress, and reproductive development process, respectively. Totally 27 potential flowering or floral genes were recruited which are meaningful to understand the hickory specific seasonal flowering mechanism better.
Flowering event of pistillate flower bud in hickory is triggered by several pathways synchronously including the photoperiod, autonomous, vernalization, gibberellin, and sucrose pathway. Totally 27 potential flowering or floral genes were recruited from the genome-wide co-expression network function module analysis. Moreover, the analysis provides a potential FLC-like gene based vernalization pathway and an 'AC’ model for pistillate flower development in hickory. This work provides an available framework for pistillate flower development in hickory, which is significant for insight into regulation of flowering and floral development of woody plants.
Co-expression network; Carya cathayensis Sarg; Floral development; Seasonal flowering; Hickory; High-throughput data analysis
With the establishment of minimally invasive surgery in society, the robot has been increasingly widely used in the urologic field, including in partial nephrectomy. This study aimed to comprehensively summarize the currently available evidence on the feasibility and safety of robotic partial nephrectomy for renal tumors of >4 cm.
Method and Findings
An electronic database search of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library was performed. This systematic review and meta-analysis was based on all relevant studies that assessed robotic partial nephrectomy for renal tumors of >4 cm. Five studies were included. The meta-analysis involved 3 studies from 11 institutions including 154 patients, while the narrative review involved the remaining 2 studies from 5 institutions including 64 patients. In the meta-analysis, the mean ischemic time, operation time, and console time was 28, 319, and 189 minutes, respectively. The estimated blood loss and length of stay was 317 ml and 3.8 days, respectively. The rates of conversion, positive margins, intraoperative complications, postoperative complications, hilar clamping, and collecting system repair were 7.0%, 3.5%, 7.0%, 9.8%, 93.9%, and 47.5%, respectively. The narrative review showed results similar to those of the meta-analysis.
Robotic partial nephrectomy is feasible and safe for renal tumors of >4 cm with an acceptable warm ischemic time, positive margin rate, conversion rate, complication rate, operation time, estimated blood loss, and length of stay.
The study first evaluated the hepatoprotective effect of Zhuyeqing Liquor (ZYQL) against acute alcohol-induced liver injury in mice. Animals were administered orally with 50% alcohol 12 ml/kg at 4 h after the doses of ZYQL everyday for fourteen consecutive days except mice in normal group. The protective effect was evaluated by biochemical parameters including serum aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transferase (ALT), total-bilirubin (TBIL) and reduced glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD) in liver tissue. The result were confirmed histopathologically and the expression of TNF-α in mice liver was determined by immunohistochemistry analysis. HPLC-PDA was used for phytochemical analysis of ZYQL, and the plant source of each compound was claritied by UPLC-TOF-MS. The result showed that pretreatment with ZYQL exhibited a significant protective effect by reversing the biochemical parameters and histopathological changes in a dose depended manner. HPLC analysis indicated that ZYQL contained flavonoids, iridoids, terpenoids and phenolic acids, which might be the active chemicals. This study demonstrated the hepatoprotective activity of ZYQL, thus scientifically supported the function of its health care.
Zhuyeqing liquor; Hepatoprotective effect; Alcohol; Acute liver injury
The structure of a complex of an endoglucanase with cellotriose was determined with a hexagonal unit cell and showed how the substrate interacts with the enzyme.
The endoglucanase EglA from Piromyces rhizinflata found in cattle stomach belongs to the GH5 family of glycoside hydrolases. The crystal structure of the catalytic domain of EglA shows the (β/α)8-barrel fold typical of GH5 enzymes. Adjacent to the active site of EglA, a loop containing a disulfide bond not found in other similar structures may participate in substrate binding. Because the active site was blocked by the N-terminal His tag of a neighbouring protein molecule in the crystal, enzyme–substrate complexes could not be obtained by soaking but were prepared by cocrystallization. The E154A mutant structure with a cellotriose bound to the −3, −2 and −1 subsites shows an extensive hydrogen-bonding network between the enzyme and the substrate, along with a stacking interaction between Trp44 and the −3 sugar. A possible dimer was observed in the crystal structure, but retention of activity in the E242A mutant suggested that the enzyme probably does not function as a dimer in solution. On the other hand, the first 100 amino acids encoded by the original cDNA fragment are very similar to those in the last third of the (β/α)8-barrel fold, indicating that EglA comprises at least two catalytic domains acting in tandem.
carbohydrate utilization; catalytic domain; cellulase; molecular interactions
The authors conducted a genome-wide linkage scan and positional association analysis to identify the genetic determinants of salt sensitivity of blood pressure (BP) in a large family-based, dietary-feeding study. The dietary intervention was conducted among 1,906 participants in rural China (2003–2005). A 7-day low-sodium intervention was followed by a 7-day high-sodium intervention. Salt sensitivity was defined as BP responses to low- and high-sodium interventions. Signals of the logarithm of the odds to the base 10 (LOD ≥ 3) were detected at 33–42 centimorgans of chromosome 2 (2p24.3-2p24.1), with a maximum LOD score of 3.33 for diastolic blood pressure responses to high-sodium intervention. LOD scores were 2.35–2.91 for mean arterial pressure (MAP) and 0.80–1.49 for systolic blood pressure responses in this region, respectively. Correcting for multiple tests, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs11674786 (2.7 kilobases upstream of the family with sequence similarity 84, member A, gene (FAM84A)) in the linkage region was significantly associated with diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.0007) and MAP responses (P = 0.0007), and SNP rs16983422 (2.8 kilobases upstream of the visinin-like 1 gene (VSNL1)) was marginally associated with diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.005) and MAP responses (P = 0.005). An additive interaction between SNPs rs11674786 and rs16983422 was observed, with P = 7.00 × 10−5 and P = 7.23 × 10−5 for diastolic blood pressure and MAP responses, respectively. The authors concluded that genetic region 2p24.3-2p24.1 might harbor functional variants for the salt sensitivity of BP.
allelic association; blood pressure; genetic linkage; salt sensitivity
Salt sensitivity of blood pressure (BP) is influenced by genetic and environmental factors. A dietary feeding study was conducted from October 2003 to July 2005 that included a 7-day low-sodium intervention (51.3 mmol sodium/day) followed by a 7-day high-sodium intervention (307.8 mmol sodium/day) among 1,906 individuals who were 16 years of age or older and living in rural northern China. Salt sensitivity of BP was defined as mean BP change from the low-sodium intervention to the high-sodium intervention. Usual physical activity during the past 12 months was assessed at baseline using a standard questionnaire. The multivariable-adjusted means of systolic BP responses to high-sodium intervention were 5.21 mm Hg (95% confidence interval (CI): 4.55, 5.88), 4.97 mm Hg (95% CI: 4.35, 5.59), 5.02 mm Hg (95% CI: 4.38, 5.67), and 3.96 mm Hg (95% CI: 3.29, 4.63) among participants from the lowest to the highest quartiles of physical activity, respectively (P = 0.003 for linear trend). The multivariable-adjusted odds ratio of high salt sensitivity of systolic BP was 0.66 (95% CI: 0.49, 0.88) for persons in the highest quartile of physical activity compared with those in the lowest quartile. Physical activity is significantly, independently, and inversely related to salt sensitivity of BP and may be particularly effective in lowering BP among salt-sensitive individuals.
blood pressure; dietary sodium; physical activity; salt sensitivity
We study the absolute penalized maximum partial likelihood estimator in sparse, high-dimensional Cox proportional hazards regression models where the number of time-dependent covariates can be larger than the sample size. We establish oracle inequalities based on natural extensions of the compatibility and cone invertibility factors of the Hessian matrix at the true regression coefficients. Similar results based on an extension of the restricted eigenvalue can be also proved by our method. However, the presented oracle inequalities are sharper since the compatibility and cone invertibility factors are always greater than the corresponding restricted eigenvalue. In the Cox regression model, the Hessian matrix is based on time-dependent covariates in censored risk sets, so that the compatibility and cone invertibility factors, and the restricted eigenvalue as well, are random variables even when they are evaluated for the Hessian at the true regression coefficients. Under mild conditions, we prove that these quantities are bounded from below by positive constants for time-dependent covariates, including cases where the number of covariates is of greater order than the sample size. Consequently, the compatibility and cone invertibility factors can be treated as positive constants in our oracle inequalities.
Proportional hazards; regression; absolute penalty; regularization; oracle inequality; survival analysis
In breast cancer research, it is of great interest to identify genomic markers associated with prognosis. Multiple gene profiling studies have been conducted for such a purpose. Genomic markers identified from the analysis of single datasets often do not have satisfactory reproducibility. Among the multiple possible reasons, the most important one is the small sample sizes of individual studies. A cost-effective solution is to pool data from multiple comparable studies and conduct integrative analysis. In this study, we collect four breast cancer prognosis studies with gene expression measurements. We describe the relationship between prognosis and gene expressions using the accelerated failure time (AFT) models. We adopt a 2-norm group bridge penalization approach for marker identification. This integrative analysis approach can effectively identify markers with consistent effects across multiple datasets and naturally accommodate the heterogeneity among studies. Statistical and simulation studies demonstrate satisfactory performance of this approach. Breast cancer prognosis markers identified using this approach have sound biological implications and satisfactory prediction performance.
Breast cancer prognosis; Gene expression; Marker identification; Integrative analysis; 2-norm group bridge
The increase in isometric twitch force observed in fast-twitch rodent muscles during or after activity, known universally as potentiation, is normally associated with myosin regulatory light chain (RLC) phosphorylation. Interestingly, fast muscles from mice devoid of detectable skeletal myosin light chain kinase (skMLCK) retain a reduced ability to potentiate twitch force, indicating the presence of a secondary origin for this characteristic feature of the fast muscle phenotype. The purpose of this study was to assess changes in intracellular cytosolic free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) after a potentiating stimulus in mouse lumbrical muscle (37°C). Lumbricals were loaded with the Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent indicators fura-2 or furaptra to detect changes in resting and peak, respectively, intracellular Ca2+ levels caused by 2.5 s of 20-Hz stimulation. Although this protocol produced an immediate increase in twitch force of 17 ± 3% (all data are n = 10) (P < 0.01), this potentiation dissipated quickly and was absent 30 s afterward. Fura-2 fluorescence signals at rest were increased by 11.1 ± 1.3% (P < 0.01) during potentiation, indicating a significant increase in resting [Ca2+]i. Interestingly, furaptra signals showed no change to either the amplitude or the duration of the intracellular Ca2+ transients (ICTs) that triggered potentiated twitches during this time (P < 0.50). Immunofluorescence work showed that 77% of lumbrical fibers expressed myosin heavy chain isoform IIx and/or IIb, but with low expression of skMLCK and high expression of myosin phosphatase targeting subunit 2. As a result, lumbrical muscles displayed no detectable RLC phosphorylation either at rest or after stimulation. We conclude that stimulation-induced elevations in resting [Ca2+]i, in the absence of change in the ICT, are responsible for a small-magnitude, short-lived potentiation of isometric twitch force. If operative in other fast-twitch muscles, this mechanism may complement the potentiating influence of myosin RLC phosphorylation.
Poor prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) associated with late diagnosis necessitates the development of early diagnostic biomarkers. We have previously delineated the landscape of DNA methylation in HCC patients unraveling the importance of promoter hypomethylation in activation of cancer- and metastasis-driving genes. The purpose of the present study was to test the feasibility that genes that are hypomethylated in HCC could serve as candidate diagnostic markers. We use high resolution melting analysis (HRM) as a simple translatable PCR-based method to define methylation states in clinical samples. We tested seven regions selected from the shortlist of genes hypomethylated in HCC and showed that HRM analysis of several of them distinguishes methylation states in liver cancer specimens from normal adjacent liver and chronic hepatitis in the Shanghai area. Such regions were identified within promoters of neuronal membrane glycoprotein M6-B (GPM6B) and melanoma antigen family A12 (MAGEA12) genes. Differences in HRM in the immunoglobulin superfamily Fc receptor (FCRL1) separated invasive tumors from less invasive HCC. The identified biomarkers differentiated HCC from chronic hepatitis in another set of samples from Dhaka. Although the main thrust in DNA methylation diagnostics in cancer is on hypermethylated genes, our study for the first time illustrates the potential use of hypomethylated genes as markers for solid tumors. After further validation in a larger cohort, the identified DNA hypomethylated regions can become important candidate biomarkers for liver cancer diagnosis and prognosis, especially in populations with high risk for HCC development.
Many studies have reported the prognostic predictive value of CD166 as a cancer stem cell marker in cancers of the digestive system; however, its predictive value remains controversial. Here, we investigate the correlation between CD166 positivity in digestive system cancers and clinicopathological features using meta-analysis.
A comprehensive search in PubMed and ISI Web of Science through March of 2013 was performed. Only articles containing CD166 antigen immunohistochemical staining in cancers of the digestive system were included,including pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer, gastric cancer and colorectal cancer. Data comparing 3- and 5-year overall survival along with other clinicopathological features were collected.
Nine studies with 2553 patients who met the inclusion criteria were included for the analysis. The median rate of CD166 immunohistochemical staining expression was 56% (25.4%–76.3%). In colorectal cancer specifically, the results of a fixed-effects model indicated that CD166-positive expression was an independent marker associated with a smaller tumor burden (T category; RR = 0.93, 95%, CI: 0.88–0.98) but worse spread to nearby lymph nodes (N category; RR = 1.17, 95% CI: 1.05–1.30). The 5-year overall survival rate was showed relationship with cytoplasmic positive staining of CD166 (RR = 1.47 95% 1.21–1.79), but no significant association was found in the pool or any other stratified analysis with 3- or 5- year overall survival rate.
Based on the published studies, different cellular location of CD166 has distinct prognostic value and cytoplasmic positive expression is associated with worse prognosis outcome. Besides, our results also find CD166 expression indicate advanced T category and N-positive status in colorectal cancer specifically.
Using the event-related optical signal (EROS) technique, this study investigated the dynamics of semantic brain activation during sentence comprehension. Participants read sentences constituent-by-constituent and made a semantic judgment at the end of each sentence. The EROSs were recorded simultaneously with ERPs and time-locked to expected or unexpected sentence-final target words. The unexpected words evoked a larger N400 and a late positivity than the expected ones. Critically, the EROS results revealed activations first in the left posterior middle temporal gyrus (LpMTG) between 128 and 192 ms, then in the left anterior inferior frontal gyrus (LaIFG), the left middle frontal gyrus (LMFG), and the LpMTG in the N400 time window, and finally in the left posterior inferior frontal gyrus (LpIFG) between 832 and 864 ms. Also, expected words elicited greater activation than unexpected words in the left anterior temporal lobe (LATL) between 192 and 256 ms. These results suggest that the early lexical-semantic retrieval reflected by the LpMTG activation is followed by two different semantic integration processes: a relatively rapid and transient integration in the LATL and a relatively slow but enduring integration in the LaIFG/LMFG and the LpMTG. The late activation in the LpIFG, however, may reflect cognitive control.
Adult neural stem cells (NSCs) persist throughout life to replace mature cells that are lost during turnover, disease, or injury. The investigation of NSC creates novel treatments for central nervous system (CNS) injuries and neurodegenerative disorders. The plasticity and reparative potential of NSC are regulated by different factors, which are critical for neurological regenerative medicine research. We investigated the effects of Psoralen, which is the mature fruit of Psoralea corylifolia L., on NSC behaviors and the underlying mechanisms. The self-renewal and proliferation of NSC were examined. We detected neuron- and/or astrocyte-specific markers using immunofluorescence and Western blotting, which could evaluate NSC differentiation. Psoralen treatment significantly inhibited neurosphere formation in a dose-dependent manner. Psoralen treatment increased the expression of the astrocyte-specific marker but decreased neuron-specific marker expression. These results suggested that Psoralen was a differentiation inducer in astrocyte. Differential gene expression following Psoralen treatment was screened using DNA microarray and confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR. Our microarray study demonstrated that Psoralen could effectively regulate the specific gene expression profile of NSC. The genes involved in the classification of cellular differentiation, proliferation, and metabolism, the transcription factors belonging to Ets family, and the hedgehog pathway may be closely related to the regulation.
Patients with chronic inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, often have osteoporosis due to a combination of Tumor necrosis factor-induced increased bone resorption and reduced bone formation. To test if TNF inhibits bone formation by affecting the commitment and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into osteoblasts, we examined the osteogenic potential of MSCs from TNF transgenic (TNF-Tg) mice, a model of chronic inflammatory arthritis. MSC-enriched cells were isolated from bone marrow stromal cells using negative selection with anti-CD45 antibody coated magnetic beads. The expression profile of MSC surface markers the osteogenic, chondrogenic, and adipogenic properties of CD45− cells were confirmed by FACS and cell differentiation assays. MSC-enriched CD45− cells from TNF-Tg mice formed significantly decreased numbers of fibroblast and ALP+ colonies and had a decreased expression of osteoblast marker genes. As TNF may upregulate ubiquitin ligases, which negatively regulate osteoblast differentiation, we examined the expression levels of several ubiquitin ligases and found that Wwp1 expression was significantly increased in MSC-enriched CD45− cells of TNF-Tg mice. Wwp1 knockdown rescued impaired osteoblast differentiation of TNF-Tg CD45− cells. Wwp1 promotes ubiquitination and degradation of JunB, an AP-1 transcription factor that positively regulates osteoblast differentiation. Injection of TNF into wild-type mice resulted in decreased osteoblast differentiation of MSCs and increased JunB ubiquitination, which was completely blocked in Wwp1−/− mice. Thus, Wwp1 targets JunB for ubiquitination and degradation in MSCs after chronic exposure to TNF, and inhibition of Wwp1 in MSCs could be a new mechanism to limit inflammation-mediated osteoporosis by promoting their differentiation into osteoblasts.
Tumor necrosis factor; Mesenchymal stem cells; osteoblasts; Wwp1; E3 ligase