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1.  Down-Regulation of CD9 by Methylation Decreased Bortezomib Sensitivity in Multiple Myeloma 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e95765.
Bortezomib therapy has been proven successful for the treatment of relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma (MM). However, both intrinsic and acquired resistance has already been observed. In this study, we explored the relationship between CD9 expression and bortezomib sensitivity in MM. We found that down-regulation of CD9 by methylation decreased bortezomib sensitivity in multiple myeloma. CD9 expression obviously increased bortezomib sensitivity through inducing apoptosis, significantly inhibiting U266 cells' adhesion to HS-5 and primary bone marrow stromal cells, but increasing U266 cells' adhesion to fibronectin. CD9 expression also significantly inhibited U266 cell migration. The mechanisms may include: the endoplasmic reticulum stress pathway, cell adhesion related signaling pathway and osteoclast differentiation related signaling pathway. Combination therapy with de-methylation reagent 5-Aza-2-deoxycytidine may prove useful to the development of novel strategies for the treatment of bortezomib-resistant MM patients.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095765
PMCID: PMC4008425  PMID: 24788635
2.  The influence of prostate volume on cancer detection in the Chinese population 
Asian Journal of Andrology  2014;16(3):482-486.
In western populations, prostate volume (PV) has been proven to be one of the strongest predictors of detecting prostate cancer (PCa) in biopsies. We performed this study in a biopsy cohort, to evaluate associations among the prostate volume, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and PCa detection in the Chinese population. Between the years, 2007–13, 1486 men underwent prostate biopsy at Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. The study population was divided into two groups for analysis according to total PSA (tPSA) range (4 ng ml−1 < tPSA ≤20 ng ml−1 and tPSA > 20 ng ml−1). PV, age, tPSA, digital rectal examination (DRE) and transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) results were also included in the analysis. Although the positive biopsy rates decreased in both tPSA range groups, the downtrend was more pronounced in the 4 ng ml−1 < tPSA ≤20 ng ml−1 group; therefore, we focused on 853 men in this group with increasing PV. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, only DRE was found to be associated with PCa in four PV groups (P < 0.05) and tPSA did not show a good predictive ability when PV exceeded 50 ml (P > 0.05). Further, it may suggest that with increasing PV, the cancer detection rate decreased in men with different tPSA, DRE and TRUS nodule statuses (all P values for trends were <0.001). Our study indicates that in tPSA ranging from 4 to 20 ng ml−1, the use of PV ranges of 0–35 ml, 35–50 ml and > 50 ml might be taken into consideration for the biopsy decision-making in the Chinese population.
doi:10.4103/1008-682X.125905
PMCID: PMC4023383  PMID: 24625884
China; prostate cancer; prostate-specific antigen; prostate volume
3.  A New Chiral Pyrrolyl α-Nitronyl Nitroxide Radical Attenuates β-Amyloid Deposition and Rescues Memory Deficits in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer Disease 
Neurotherapeutics  2012;10(2):340-353.
The generation of reactive oxygen species causes cellular oxidative damage, and has been implicated in the etiology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). L-NNNBP, a new chiral pyrrolyl α-nitronyl nitroxide radical synthesized in our department, shows potential antioxidant effects. The purpose of this study was to investigate the protective effects of L-NNNBP on β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition and memory deficits in an AD model of APP/PS1 mice. In cultured cortical neurons, L-NNNBP acted as an antioxidant by quenching reactive oxygen species, inhibiting lipid peroxidation, nitrosative stress, and stimulating cellular antioxidant defenses. L-NNNBP inhibited cell apoptosis induced by Aβ exposure. In vivo treatment with L-NNNBP for 1 month induced a marked decrease in brain Aβ deposition and tau phosphorylation in the blinded study on APP/PS1 transgenic mice (1 mM in drinking water, initiated when the mice were 6 months old). The L-NNNBP-treated APP/PS1 mice showed decreased astrocyte activation and improved spatial learning and memory compared with the vehicle-treated APP/PS1 mice. These actions were more potent compared with that of curcumin, a natural product, and TEMPO, a nitroxide radical, which are used as free radical scavengers in clinics. These results proved that the newly synthesized L-NNNBP was an effective therapeutic agent for the prevention and treatment of AD.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13311-012-0168-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s13311-012-0168-z
PMCID: PMC3625382  PMID: 23212232
Reactive oxygen species; Alzheimer disease; Nitroxide radical; L-NNNBP; β-amyloid
4.  Regulation of transcription by the MLL2 complex and MLL complex-associated AKAP95 
Nature structural & molecular biology  2013;20(10):10.1038/nsmb.2656.
Although histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4) methylation is widely associated with gene activation, direct evidence for its causal role in transcription, through specific MLL family members, is scarce. Here we have purified a human MLL2 (Kmt2b) complex that is highly active in H3K4 methylation and chromatin transcription in a cell-free system. This effect requires SAM and intact H3K4, establishing a direct and causal role for MLL2-mediated H3K4 methylation in transcription. We then show that human AKAP95, a chromatin-associated protein, is physically and functionally associated with the DPY30–MLL complexes and directly enhances their methyltransferase activity. Ectopic AKAP95 stimulates expression of a chromosomal reporter in synergy with MLL1 or MLL2, whereas AKAP95 depletion impairs retinoic acid-mediated gene induction in embryonic stem cells. These results demonstrate an important role for AKAP95 in regulating histone methylation and gene expression, particularly during cell fate transitions.
doi:10.1038/nsmb.2656
PMCID: PMC3813012  PMID: 23995757
5.  Effect of Paris saponin I on radiosensitivity in a gefitinib-resistant lung adenocarcinoma cell line 
Oncology Letters  2014;7(6):2059-2064.
Previous studies have observed that Paris saponin I (PSI) exerts a wide range of pharmacological activities, including cytotoxic activity against a number of malignancies, such as non-small cell lung cancers. The present study aimed to investigate the radiosensitization of PSI treatment on a gefitinib-resistant lung adenocarcinoma cell line, PC-9-ZD, and its possible mechanism. A 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide assay was used to determine the growth inhibition effect of PSI. A clonogenic assay was performed to determine the radiosensitizing effect of PSI treatment on the PC-9-ZD cell line. A single-hit multi-target model was used to plot survival curves and calculate sensitizing enhancement ratios. The cell cycle was analyzed by flow cytometry and cell apoptosis was analyzed with fluorescein-isothiocyanate-Annexin V/propidium iodide and Hoechst staining. The expression levels of the proteins were detected by western blotting. There was a significant reduction observed in the proliferation of the PC-9-ZD cell lines that were treated with PSI. PSI enhanced the radiosensitivity of the PC-9-ZD cells with a sensitization enhancement ratio of 1.77. Furthermore, PSI induced G2/M arrest and apoptosis of the irradiated PC-9-ZD cells. Notably, B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) was downregulated, and caspase-3, Bcl-2-like protein 4 (Bax) and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 (P21waf1/cip1) were upregulated by the PSI treatment. The present study showed that PSI treatment exhibited potent radiosensitivity against gefitinib-resistant PC-9-ZD cells in vitro. This radiosensitivity was associated with cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase, and apoptosis via an increase in caspase-3, Bax and P21waf1/cip1 as well as a decrease in Bcl-2 production.
doi:10.3892/ol.2014.2020
PMCID: PMC4049680  PMID: 24932289
radiosensitivity; clonogenic cell survival; Paris saponin I; gefitinib resistance
6.  Multimodal Neuroprotection Induced by PACAP38 in Oxygen–Glucose Deprivation and Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion Stroke Models 
Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptide (PACAP), a potent neuropeptide which crosses the blood–brain barrier, is known to provide neuroprotection in rat stroke models of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) by mechanism(s) which deserve clarification. We confirmed that following i.v. injection of 30 ng/kg of PACAP38 in rats exposed to 2 h of MCAO focal cerebral ischemia and 48 h reoxygenation, 50 % neuroprotection was measured by reduced caspase-3 activity and volume of cerebral infarction. Similar neuroprotective effects were measured upon PACAP38 treatment of oxygen–glucose deprivation and reoxygenation of brain cortical neurons. The neuroprotection was temporally associated with increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, phosphorylation of its receptor—tropomyosin-related kinase receptor type B (trkB), activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase and Akt, and reduction of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 phosphorylation. PACAP38 increased expression of neuronal markers beta-tubulin III, microtubule-associated protein-2, and growth-associated protein-43. PACAP38 induced stimulation of Rac and suppression of Rho GTPase activities. PACAP38 down-regulated the nerve growth factor receptor (p75NTR) and associated Nogo-(Neurite outgrowth-A) receptor. Collectively, these in vitro and in vivo results propose that PACAP exhibits neuroprotective effects in cerebral ischemia by three mechanisms: a direct one, mediated by PACAP receptors, and two indirect, induced by neurotrophin release, activation of the trkB receptors and attenuation of neuronal growth inhibitory signaling molecules p75NTR and Nogo receptor.
doi:10.1007/s12031-012-9818-1
PMCID: PMC3955207  PMID: 22678884
Stroke; Apoptosis; Neuroprotection; PACAP; BDNF; trkB; p75; NgR; Akt; Erk1/2
7.  Effects of bone cement on intervertebral disc degeneration 
Percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) is popular for the treatment of intractable pain due to vertebral collapse from various lesions, intervertebral disk leakage of cement is a frequent complication. The aim of this study was to determine whether bone cement causes disc degeneration, and to evaluate the degree of intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) according to the time period following cement injection, and the type and volume of cement injected. Sixteen dogs were randomly divided into two groups that were sacrificed at 12 or 24 weeks following cement injection. Five intervertebral discs in each dog were studied, including one control untreated disc and four discs randomly injected with polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) or calcium phosphate cement (CPC) in two quantities. Radiographic and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies were performed prior to animal sacrifice. T2-weighted mid-sagittal images of the discs were qualitatively analyzed for evidence of degeneration by calculating the MRI index, and all harvested discs were studied histopathologically. IDD was not evident in control discs. Univariate analysis revealed significant differences in the MRI index and the histological grade of disc degeneration in terms of the time period following cement injection, as well as the type and volume of cement injected. Result indicate that direct contact with PMMA and CPC can lead to IDD. However, IDD induced by PMMA was more severe than that induced by CPC. The extent of IDD was found to correlate with the time period post-cement injection and the volume of cement injected into the disc. PMMA and CPC may lead to intervertebral disc degeneration. Intervertebral disc degeneration induced by PMMA is more serious than that of CPC. The degree of intervertebral disc degeneration is correlative to the time after operation and the doses of bone cement.
doi:10.3892/etm.2014.1531
PMCID: PMC3965156  PMID: 24669259
vertebroplasty; polymethyl methacrylate; calcium phosphate cement; intervertebral disc; degeneration; magnetic resonance imaging
8.  Development of active matrix flat panel imagers incorporating thin layers of polycrystalline HgI2 for mammographic x-ray imaging 
Physics in medicine and biology  2013;58(3):703-714.
Active matrix flat-panel imagers (AMFPIs) offer many advantages and have become ubiquitous across a wide variety of medical x-ray imaging applications. However, for mammography, the imaging performance of conventional AMFPIs incorporating CsI:Tl scintillators or a-Se photoconductors is limited by their relatively modest signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), particularly at low x-ray exposures or high spatial resolution. One strategy for overcoming this limitation involves the use of a high gain photoconductor such as mercuric iodide (HgI2) which has the potential to improve the signal-to-noise ratio by virtue of its low effective work function (WEFF). In this study, the performance of direct-detection AMFPI prototypes employing relatively thin layers of polycrystalline HgI2 operated under mammographic irradiation conditions over a range of 0.5 to 16.0 mR is presented. High x-ray sensitivity (corresponding to WEFF values of ~19 eV), low dark current (<0.1 pA/mm2) and good spatial resolution, largely limited by the size of the pixel pitch, were observed. For one prototype, a detective quantum efficiency of ~70% was observed at an x-ray exposure of ~0.5 mR at 26 kVp.
doi:10.1088/0031-9155/58/3/703
PMCID: PMC3620658  PMID: 23318606
Active matrix flat panel imager; polycrystalline HgI2; DQE; screen-printing
9.  Molecular Insights into the pH-Dependent Adsorption and Removal of Ionizable Antibiotic Oxytetracycline by Adsorbent Cyclodextrin Polymers 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86228.
Effects of pH on adsorption and removal efficiency of ionizable organic compounds (IOCs) by environmental adsorbents are an area of debate, because of its dual mediation towards adsorbents and adsorbate. Here, we probe the pH-dependent adsorption of ionizable antibiotic oxytetracycline (comprising OTCH2+, OTCH±, OTC−, and OTC2−) onto cyclodextrin polymers (CDPs) with the nature of molecular recognition and pH inertness. OTCH± commonly has high adsorption affinity, OTC− exhibits moderate affinity, and the other two species have negligible affinity. These species are evidenced to selectively interact with structural units (e.g., CD cavity, pore channel, and network) of the polymers and thus immobilized onto the adsorbents to different extents. The differences in adsorption affinity and mechanisms of the species account for the pH-dependent adsorption of OTC. The mathematical equations are derived from the multiple linear regression (MLR) analysis of quantitatively relating adsorption affinity of OTC at varying pH to adsorbent properties. A combination of the MLR analysis for OTC and molecular recognition of adsorption of the species illustrates the nature of the pH-dependent adsorption of OTC. Based on this finding, γ-HP-CDP is chosen to adsorb and remove OTC at pH 5.0 and 7.0, showing high removal efficiency and strong resistance to the interference of coexisting components.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086228
PMCID: PMC3897700  PMID: 24465975
10.  Oleanane Triterpenoid CDDO-Me Inhibits Growth and Induces Apoptosis in Prostate Cancer Cells by Independently Targeting Pro-Survival Akt and mTOR 
The Prostate  2009;69(8):10.1002/pros.20937.
Background
Synthetic triterpenoids are potent anticancer agents, but their therapeutic efficacy or mechanism of action for prostate cancer has not been investigated. The goal of this study was to determine the antitumor activity and the mechanism of action of methyl-2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oate (CDDO-Me), a oleanane-derived synthetic triterpenoid for human prostate cancer cells.
Methods
The antitumor activity of CDDO-Me for hormone-refractory PC-3 (AR−) and C4-2 (AR+) prostate cancer cell lines was determined by effects on cell growth and induction of apoptosis, identification of molecular targets, and therapeutic efficacy in vivo in PC-3 xenograft model.
Results
CDDO-Me inhibited the growth and induced apoptosis in PC-3 and C4-2 cells at extremely low concentrations. The antitumor activity of CDDO-Me was associated with the inhibition of p-Akt, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signaling proteins and their downstream targets such as p-Bad and p-Foxo3a (Akt); p-S6K1, p-eIF-4E and p-4E-BP1 (mTOR); and COX-2, VEGF and cyclin D1(NF-κB). Silencing of Akt sensitized the PC-3 cells to CDDO-Me, whereas overexpression of Akt induced resistance to CDDO-Me. Targeted silencing of Akt showed that Akt does not regulate mTOR activation in PC-3 cells, but targeted silencing of mTOR sensitized PC-3 cells to CDDO-Me mediated growth inhibition. Further, treatment with CDDO-Me inhibited the growth of PC-3 xenografts in nude mice.
Conclusions
This study demonstrated potent antitumor activity of CDDO-Me against prostate cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. Data also identified Akt and mTOR as molecular targets of CDDO-Me in prostate cancer cells.
doi:10.1002/pros.20937
PMCID: PMC3865612  PMID: 19189297
CDDO-Me; prostate cancer; apoptosis; Akt; mTOR; xenograft
11.  Discovery of metabolite biomarkers: flux analysis and reaction-reaction network approach 
BMC Systems Biology  2013;7(Suppl 2):S13.
Background
Metabolism is a vital cellular process, and its malfunction can be a major contributor to many human diseases. Metabolites can serve as a metabolic disease biomarker. An detection of such biomarkers plays a significant role in the study of biochemical reaction and signaling networks. Early research mainly focused on the analysis of the metabolic networks. The issue of integrating metabolite networks with other available biological data to reveal the mechanics of disease-metabolite associations is an important and interesting challenge.
Results
In this article, we propose two new approaches for the identification of metabolic biomarkers with the incorporation of disease specific gene expression data and the genome-scale human metabolic network. The first approach is to compare the flux interval between the normal and disease sample so as to identify reaction biomarkers. The second one is based on the Reaction-Reaction Network (RRN) to reveal the significant reactions. These two approaches utilize reaction flux obtained by a Linear Programming (LP) based method that can contribute to the discovery of potential novel biomarkers.
Conclusions
Biomarker identification is an important issue in studying biochemical reactions and signaling networks. Two efficient and effective computational methods are proposed for the identification of biomarkers in this article. Furthermore, the biomarkers found by our proposed methods are shown to be significant determinants for diabetes.
doi:10.1186/1752-0509-7-S2-S13
PMCID: PMC3866256  PMID: 24564929
12.  Neuronal aging: learning from C. elegans 
The heterogeneity and multigenetic nature of nervous system aging make modeling of it a formidable task in mammalian species. The powerful genetics, simple anatomy and short life span of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans offer unique advantages in unraveling the molecular genetic network that regulates the integrity of neuronal structures and functions during aging. In this review, we first summarize recent breakthroughs in the morphological and functional characterization of C. elegans neuronal aging. Age-associated morphological changes include age-dependent neurite branching, axon beading or swelling, axon defasciculation, progressive distortion of the neuronal soma, and early decline in presynaptic release function. We then discuss genetic pathways that modulate the speed of neuronal aging concordant with alteration in life span, such as insulin signaling, as well as cell-autonomous factors that promote neuronal integrity during senescence, including membrane activity and JNK/MAPK signaling. As a robust genetic model for aging, insights from C. elegans neuronal aging studies will contribute to our mechanistic understanding of human brain aging.
doi:10.1186/1750-2187-8-14
PMCID: PMC3895751  PMID: 24325838
C. elegans; Aging; Neurons; Neural activity; Insulin signaling
13.  Activation of transsulfuration pathway by salvianolic acid a treatment: a homocysteine-lowering approach with beneficial effects on redox homeostasis in high-fat diet-induced hyperlipidemic rats 
Background
Elevated homocysteine is a cardiovascular risk factor in hyperlipidemia. Transsulfuration pathway provides an endogenous pathway for homocysteine conversion to antioxidant glutathione (GSH). Salvianolic acid A (Sal A) contains two molecules of caffeic acid and one molecule of danshensu that is capable of enhancing homocysteine transsulfuration, which led to the hypothesis that Sal A has activatory effect on transsulfuration pathway and this effect may have beneficial effects on both homocysteine and redox status in hyperlipidemia.
Methods and results
To test this hypothesis, we developed a rat model of hyperlipidemia induced by high-fat diet for 16 weeks, during which rats were treated with 1 mg/kg salvianolic acid A (Sal A) for the final 4 weeks. Activities of key enzymes and metabolite profiling in the transsulfuration pathway revealed that hyperlipidemia led to elevated plasma homocysteine levels after 16-week dietary treatment, which was associated with reduced activities of homocysteine transsulfuration enzymes, cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) and cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE). The impaired transsulfuration pathway prevented homocysteine transsulfuration to cysteine, resulting in cysteine deficiency and subsequent reduction in GSH pool size. The redox status was altered in the setting of hyperlipidemia as indicated by GSH/GSSG ratio. Sal A treatment increased hepatic CBS and CSE activities, which was associated with reduced accumulation in circulating homocysteine levels and attenuated decline in hepatic cysteine content in hyperlipidemic rats. Sal A also led to an increase in GSH pool size, which subsequently caused a restored GSH/GSSG ratio. The activatory effect of Sal A on CBS was also observed in normal rats and in in vitro experiment.
Conclusion
Our results suggest that activation of transsulfuration pathway by Sal A is a promising homocysteine-lowering approach that has beneficial effects on redox homeostasis in hyperlipidemic settings.
doi:10.1186/1743-7075-10-68
PMCID: PMC4028786  PMID: 24314320
Hyperlipidemia; Transsulfuration pathway; Homocysteine; Redox status; Salvianolic acid A
14.  A Subanesthetic Dose of Isoflurane during Postconditioning Ameliorates Zymosan-Induced Neutrophil Inflammation Lung Injury and Mortality in Mice 
Mediators of Inflammation  2013;2013:479628.
Anesthetic isoflurane (ISO) has immunomodulatory effects. In the present study, we investigated whether a subanesthetic dose of ISO (0.7%) protected against zymosan (ZY) induced inflammatory responses in the murine lung and isolated neutrophils. At 1 and 6 hrs after ZY administration intraperitoneally, ISO was inhaled for 1 hr, and 24 hrs later, lung inflammation and injury were assessed. We found that ISO improved the survival rate of mice and mitigated lung injury as characterized by the histopathology, wet-to-dry weight ratio, protein leakage, and lung function index. ISO significantly attenuated ZY-induced lung neutrophil recruitment and inflammation. This was suggested by the downregulation of (a) endothelial adhesion molecule expression and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity in lung tissue and polymorphonuclear neutrophils (b) chemokines, and (c) proinflammatory cytokines in BALF. Furthermore, ZY-induced nuclear translocation and DNA-binding activity of NF-κB p65 were also reduced by ISO. ISO treatment inhibited iNOS expression and activity, as well as subsequent nitric oxide generation. Consistent with these in vivo observations, in vitro studies confirmed that ISO blocked NF-κB and iNOS activation in primary mouse neutrophils challenged by ZY. These results provide evidence that 0.7% ISO ameliorates inflammatory responses in ZY-treated mouse lung and primary neutrophils.
doi:10.1155/2013/479628
PMCID: PMC3863458  PMID: 24369446
15.  Treatment outcomes in relapsed acute promyelocytic leukemia patients initially treated with all-trans retinoic acid and arsenic compound-based combined therapies 
Oncology Letters  2013;7(1):177-182.
Contemporary combined therapies that include the use of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and arsenic compounds have reduced relapse rates from ~50 to <10% in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) patients, however relapse treatment remains controversial. Treatment outcomes in relapsed patients with APL previously treated with combined ATRA + arsenic compound therapy were investigated. A retrospective, observational study was conducted of 25 patients with APL (male to female ratio, 17:8; mean age, 36.4±10.3 years) exhibiting first-time relapse following combined ATRA + arsenic compound therapy. These patients were subsequently treated with secondary ATRA + arsenic compound therapy, salvage chemotherapy, monoclonal antibody therapy or intrathecal chemotherapy, between January 1994 and December 2010. The overall remission rate, duration of remission and toxic effects were assessed. Patient outcomes included mortality during secondary induction therapy (6/25, 24.0%); complete recovery from central nervous system (CNS) relapse following intrathecal chemotherapy (1/25, 4.0%); complete remission following ATRA + arsenic compound therapy (10/25, 40.0%), chemotherapy (3/25, 12.0%) and targeted therapy (1/25, 4.0%); and non-remission (NR) following ATRA + arsenic compound therapy (4/25, 16%). Four (16.0%) patients were subsequently treated with allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT), two of which remained disease-free at the end of the study period and two of which succumbed to the disease. Secondary bone marrow and CNS relapse occurred in 14 (56.0%) patients and one (4.0%) patient, respectively. ATRA + arsenic compound-based combination therapy was effective in re-inducing morphological remission in relapsed patients with APL with previous exposure to ATRA + arsenic compounds, producing low molecular remission rates and high risk of secondary relapse. Furthermore, investigation of early allo-HSCT is required to determine its potential as a therapeutic option for re-inducing morphological remission in relapsed patients with APL with previous exposure to ATRA + arsenic compounds.
doi:10.3892/ol.2013.1643
PMCID: PMC3861585  PMID: 24348844
acute promyelocytic leukemia; relapse; re-induction therapy; remission; all-trans retinoic acid; arsenic compound
16.  Effect of Adjuvant Magnetic Fields in Radiotherapy on Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Cells In Vitro 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:657259.
Objectives. To explore sensitization and possible mechanisms of adjuvant magnetic fields (MFs) in radiotherapy (RT) of non-small-cell lung cancer. Methods. Human A549 lung adenocarcinoma cells were treated with MF, RT, and combined MF-RT. Colony-forming efficiency was calculated, cell cycle and apoptosis were measured, and changes in cell cycle- and apoptosis-related gene expression were measured by microarray. Results. A 0.5 T, 8 Hz stationary MF showed a duration-dependent inhibitory effect lasting for 1–4 hours. The MF-treated groups had significantly greater cell inhibition than did controls (P < 0.05). Surviving fractions and growth curves derived from colony-forming assay showed that the MF-only, RT-only, and MF-RT groups had inhibited cell growth; the MF-RT group showed a synergetic effect. Microarray of A549 cells exposed for 1 hour to MF showed that 19 cell cycle- and apoptosis-related genes had 2-fold upregulation and 40 genes had 2-fold downregulation. MF significantly arrested cells in G2 and M phases, apparently sensitizing the cells to RT. Conclusions. MF may inhibit A549 cells and can increase their sensitivity to RT, possibly by affecting cell cycle- and apoptosis-related signaling pathways.
doi:10.1155/2013/657259
PMCID: PMC3810260  PMID: 24224175
17.  Palliative surgery for primary sarcoma in the abdominal aorta: A case report and review of the literature 
Oncology Letters  2013;6(6):1738-1740.
Primary sarcoma of the aorta is extremely rare and accounts for <1% of all sarcomas. The present study describes the case of a 45-year-old male who presented with lower limb and abdominal pain. Abdominal computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) arteriography revealed a tumor that extended from the infrarenal aorta to the aortic bifurcation. The external and internal iliac arteries were occluded by the tumor incursion. Palliative surgery was performed for the sarcoma since the patient refused a radical resection. To improve the blood supply to the lower limbs, an axillary bifemoral bypass was established. Following the surgery, the pain was significantly reduced. However, the patient succumbed due to extensive metastasis 6 months after this surgery. Aortic sarcoma is an extremely rare disease with a poor prognosis. A diagnosis at a relatively early stage is necessary for a longer survival time. Radical surgery is the most significant treatment. Patients at advanced stages should consider palliative surgery in order to improve their quality of life.
doi:10.3892/ol.2013.1594
PMCID: PMC3834868  PMID: 24273607
abdominal aortic aneurysm; palliative surgery
18.  Floquet stability analysis of the longitudinal dynamics of two hovering model insects 
Because of the periodically varying aerodynamic and inertial forces of the flapping wings, a hovering or constant-speed flying insect is a cyclically forcing system, and, generally, the flight is not in a fixed-point equilibrium, but in a cyclic-motion equilibrium. Current stability theory of insect flight is based on the averaged model and treats the flight as a fixed-point equilibrium. In the present study, we treated the flight as a cyclic-motion equilibrium and used the Floquet theory to analyse the longitudinal stability of insect flight. Two hovering model insects were considered—a dronefly and a hawkmoth. The former had relatively high wingbeat frequency and small wing-mass to body-mass ratio, and hence very small amplitude of body oscillation; while the latter had relatively low wingbeat frequency and large wing-mass to body-mass ratio, and hence relatively large amplitude of body oscillation. For comparison, analysis using the averaged-model theory (fixed-point stability analysis) was also made. Results of both the cyclic-motion stability analysis and the fixed-point stability analysis were tested by numerical simulation using complete equations of motion coupled with the Navier–Stokes equations. The Floquet theory (cyclic-motion stability analysis) agreed well with the simulation for both the model dronefly and the model hawkmoth; but the averaged-model theory gave good results only for the dronefly. Thus, for an insect with relatively large body oscillation at wingbeat frequency, cyclic-motion stability analysis is required, and for their control analysis, the existing well-developed control theories for systems of fixed-point equilibrium are no longer applicable and new methods that take the cyclic variation of the flight dynamics into account are needed.
doi:10.1098/rsif.2012.0072
PMCID: PMC3405748  PMID: 22491980
insect; hovering; cyclic-motion stability; Floquet theory
19.  Countering Beam Divergence Effects with Focused Segmented Scintillators for High DQE Megavoltage Active Matrix Imagers 
Physics in medicine and biology  2012;57(16):5343-5358.
The imaging performance of active matrix flat-panel imagers designed for megavoltage imaging (MV AMFPIs) is severely constrained by relatively low x-ray detection efficiency, which leads to a detective quantum efficiency (DQE) of only ~1%. Previous theoretical and empirical studies by our group have demonstrated the potential for addressing this constraint through utilization of thick, two-dimensional, segmented scintillators with optically isolated crystals. However, this strategy is constrained by degradation of high-frequency DQE resulting from spatial resolution loss at locations away from the central beam axis due to oblique incidence of radiation.
To address this challenge, segmented scintillators constructed so that the crystals are individually focused toward the radiation source are proposed and theoretically investigated. The study was performed using Monte Carlo simulations of radiation transport to examine the modulation transfer function and DQE of focused segmented scintillators with thicknesses ranging from 5 to 60 mm. The results demonstrate that, independent of scintillator thickness, the introduction of focusing largely restores spatial resolution and DQE performance otherwise lost in thick, unfocused segmented scintillators. For the case of a 60 mm thick BGO scintillator and at a location 20 cm off the central beam axis, use of focusing improves DQE by up to a factor of ~130 at non-zero spatial frequencies. The results also indicate relatively robust tolerance of such scintillators to positional displacements, of up to 10 cm in the source-to-detector direction and 2 cm in the lateral direction, from their optimal focusing position, which could potentially enhance practical clinical use of focused segmented scintillators in MV AMFPIs.
doi:10.1088/0031-9155/57/16/5343
PMCID: PMC3429122  PMID: 22854009
AMFPI; DQE; segmented crystalline scintillator; focused geometry; EPID
20.  Effect of Simvastatin on Glioma Cell Proliferation, Migration and Apoptosis 
Neurosurgery  2009;65(6):1087-1097.
OBJECTIVE
In this study, we seek to investigate the effects of simvastatin on proliferation, migration and apoptosis in human U251 and U87 glioma cells and the underlying molecular mechanism.
METHODS
We used colony formation assay to test the cell proliferation, in vitro scratch assay to examine the cell migration, and caspase-3 activity assay, annexin V staining and cytochrome C release to evaluate the cell apoptosis. Lipid raft fractions were isolated from glioma cells. Total cholesterol content assay was used to test the change of cholesterol level in lipid raft fractions. Immunocytochemistry staining was performed to detect the changes of lipid rafts in cell membrane. Western blotting analysis was performed to examine the signal transduction both in cells and in lipid raft fractions.
RESULTS
Simvastatin inhibited proliferation and migration of U251 and U87 cells dose-dependently. Simvastatin induced an increase of caspase-3 activity, annexin V staining, and downregulated the PI3K/Akt pathway. Simvastatin also decreased cholesterol content in lipid raft fractions, suppressed caveolin-1 expression in the lipid rafts and induced Fas translocation into lipid rafts, suggesting that simvastatin may inhibit pro-survival PI3K/Akt pathway and trigger caspase-3-dependent apoptotic cell death through the modulation of lipid rafts.
CONCLUSION
These results suggest that modulation of lipid rafts, Fas translocation and PI3K/Akt/caspase-3 pathway are involved in the antitumor effect of simvastatin and it may have a potential role in cancer prevention and treatment.
doi:10.1227/01.NEU.0000360130.52812.1D
PMCID: PMC3711082  PMID: 19934968
apoptosis; glioma; lipid rafts; PI3K/Akt pathway; simvastatin
21.  Simvastatin Increases Phosphorylation of Akt and its Downstream Signaling Targets and Suppresses Apoptosis after Traumatic Brain Injury 
Journal of neurosurgery  2008;109(4):691-698.
Object
Our previous studies found that simvastatin treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in rats had beneficial effects on spatial learning functions. In the current study we wanted to determine whether simvastatin suppressed neuronal cell apoptosis after TBI, and if so, the underlying mechanisms of this process.
Methods
Saline or simvastatin (1 mg/kg) was administered orally to rats starting at Day 1 after TBI and then daily for 14 days. Modified neurological severity scores (NSS) were employed to evaluate the sensory motor functional recovery. Rats were sacrificed at 1, 3, 7, 14 and 35 days after treatment and brain tissue was harvested for TUNEL staining, caspase-3 activity assay and Western blot analysis. Simvastatin significantly decreased NSS from Days 7 to 35 after TBI, significantly reduced the number of TUNEL-positive cells at Day 3, suppressed the caspase-3 activity at Days 1 and 3 after TBI, and increased phosphorylation of Akt as well as FOXO1, IκB and eNOS, which are the downstream targets of the pro-survival Akt signaling protein.
Conclusions
These data suggested that simvastatin reduces the apoptosis in neuronal cells and improves the sensory motor function recovery after TBI. These beneficial effects of simvastatin may be mediated through activation of Akt, FOXO1 and NF-κB signaling pathways, which suppress the activation of caspase-3 and apoptotic cell death, and thereby lead to neuronal function recovery after TBI.
doi:10.3171/JNS/2008/109/10/0691
PMCID: PMC3703644  PMID: 18826357
simvastatin; apoptosis; Akt; FOXO1; IκB; traumatic brain injury
22.  Spatio-Temporal Variability of Aquatic Vegetation in Taihu Lake over the Past 30 Years 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66365.
It is often difficult to track the spatio-temporal variability of vegetation distribution in lakes because of the technological limitations associated with mapping using traditional field surveys as well as the lack of a unified field survey protocol. Using a series of Landsat remote sensing images (i.e. MSS, TM and ETM+), we mapped the composition and distribution area of emergent, floating-leaf and submerged macrophytes in Taihu Lake, China, at approximate five-year intervals over the past 30 years in order to quantify the spatio-temporal dynamics of the aquatic vegetation. Our results indicated that the total area of aquatic vegetation increased from 187.5 km2 in 1981 to 485.0 km2 in 2005 and then suddenly decreased to 341.3 km2 in 2010. Similarly, submerged vegetation increased from 127.0 km2 in 1981 to 366.5 km2 in 2005, and then decreased to 163.3 km2. Floating-leaf vegetation increased continuously through the study period in both area occupied (12.9 km2 in 1981 to 146.2 km2 in 2010) and percentage of the total vegetation (6.88% in 1981 to 42.8% in 2010). In terms of spatial distribution, the aquatic vegetation in Taihu Lake has spread gradually from the East Bay to the surrounding areas. The proportion of vegetation in the East Bay relative to that in the entire lake has decreased continuously from 62.3% in 1981, to 31.1% in 2005 and then to 21.8% in 2010. Our findings have suggested that drastic changes have taken place over the past 30 years in the spatial pattern of aquatic vegetation as well as both its relative composition and the amount of area it occupies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066365
PMCID: PMC3688898  PMID: 23823189
23.  Prognostic impact of postoperative radiation in patients undergoing radical esophagectomy for pathologic lymph node positive esophageal cancer 
Purpose
Though postoperative radiation for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma is offered in selected cases, there is conflicting evidence as to whether it improves overall survival (OS). A retrospective investigation was performed to analyze the prognostic impact of postoperative radiation therapy (PORT) in a large cohort of patients.
Methods
From 2001 to 2009, 725 patients underwent radical esophagectomy (R0) with or without PORT were eligible for retrospective analysis. Patients were grouped into surgery alone (n = 467) and surgery plus PORT (n = 258). Median irradiation doses were 50 Gy (range: 40-56 Gy). Radiation fields encompassed the bilateral supraclavicular fossa, mediastinum, subcarinal area, and the tumor bed for the upper/middle-third disease; the bilateral supraclavicular fossa, mediastinum, the tumor bed, subcarinal area, and lower thoracic paraesophageal area for the lower-third disease. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analysis were used to compare OS.
Results
After median follow-up of 53 months, the median OS was 29 months in the PORT group and 23 months in the surgery alone group. The addition of PORT improved OS at 3 years from 36.6 to 43.6% compared with surgery alone. The use of PORT was associated with significantly improved OS (p = 0.018). For American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage III esophageal cancer (T1-2N2M0, T3N1-2M0, T4N1-3M0), there was significant improvement in OS (p = 0.002) in the PORT group, not only for lymph-node metastatic ratio (LNMR) ≥0.25 (p = 0.001), but also for LNMR <0.25 (p = 0.043). However, for stage IIB disease (T1-2N1M0) there was no significant differences. The addition of POCT didn’t prolong the OS significantly (Surgery alone group, p = 0.079; PORT group, p = 0.111).
Conclusions
This large retrospective analysis supports the use of PORT for pathologic lymph node positive stage III esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Given the retrospective nature of this study, the results should be confirmed by appropriately powered randomized trials. Further development of adjuvant therapy in EC is warranted.
doi:10.1186/1748-717X-8-116
PMCID: PMC3671214  PMID: 23656920
Esophageal cancer; Postoperative radiation; Esophagectomy; Survival
24.  Regulation of pluripotency and self-renewal of ES cells through epigenetic-threshold modulation and mRNA pruning 
Cell  2012;151(3):576-589.
SUMMARY
ES cell pluripotency requires bivalent epigenetic modifications of key developmental genes regulated by various transcription factors and chromatin modifying enzymes. How these factors coordinate with one another to maintain the bivalent chromatin state so that ES cells can undergo rapid self-renewal while retaining pluripotency is poorly understood. We report that Utf1, a target of Oct4 and Sox2, is a bivalent chromatin component that buffers poised states of bivalent genes. By limiting PRC2 loading and Histone 3 lysine-27 trimethylation, Utf1 sets proper activation thresholds for bivalent genes. It also promotes nuclear tagging of mRNAs transcribed from insufficiently silenced bivalent genes for cytoplasmic degradation through mRNA de-capping. These opposing functions of Utf1 promote coordinated differentiation. The mRNA degradation function also ensures rapid cell proliferation by blocking the Myc-Arf feedback control. Thus, Utf1 couples the core pluripotency factors with Myc and PRC2 networks to promote the pluripotency and proliferation of ESCs.
doi:10.1016/j.cell.2012.09.023
PMCID: PMC3575637  PMID: 23101626
Utf1; PRC2; Myc; bivalency; pluripotency; self-renewal; ES cells; epigenetics; mRNA degradation; differentiation
25.  Role for Dpy-30 in ES Cell-Fate Specification by Regulation of H3K4 Methylation within Bivalent Domains 
Cell  2011;144(4):513-525.
Summary
Histone H3K4 methylation is associated with active genes and, along with H3K27 methylation, is part of a bivalent chromatin mark that typifies poised developmental genes in embryonic stem cells (ESCs). However, its functional roles in ESC maintenance and differentiation are not established. Here we show that mammalian Dpy-30, a core subunit of the SET1/MLL histone methyltransferase complexes, modulates H3K4 methylation in vitro, and directly regulates chromosomal H3K4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) throughout the mammalian genome. Depletion of Dpy-30 does not affect ESC self-renewal, but significantly alters the differentiation potential of ESCs, particularly along the neural lineage. The differentiation defect is accompanied by defects in gene induction and in H3K4 methylation at key developmental loci. Our results strongly indicate an essential functional role for Dpy-30 and SET1/MLL complex-mediated H3K4 methylation, as a component of the bivalent mark, at developmental genes during the ESC fate transitions.
doi:10.1016/j.cell.2011.01.020
PMCID: PMC3572774  PMID: 21335234

Results 1-25 (64)