Impairment of lung function was reported to be associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim of the present study is to evaluate the relationship between lung function and carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) in participants without chronic pulmonary disease.
Methodology and Principal Findings
A total of 6,423 participants aged 40 years and above were recruited from Jiading District, Shanghai, China. Lung function, evaluated by forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) was measured with standard spirometry. CIMT was measured with high-resolution ultrasonography by trained physicians. Mean values of FVC (% pred) and FEV1 (% pred) in participants with elevated cIMT were significantly lower than in those without (0.92±0.20 vs. 0.99±0.19, 0.83±0.24 vs. 0.90±0.22; both p-values < 0.0001). The levels of cIMT in the lowest quartile of FVC (% pred) and FEV1 (% pred) were markedly higher than in the second, third and fourth quartile, respectively (p < 0.0001 for all). The lowest quartile of FVC (% pred) and FEV1 (% pred) was associated with increased odds of elevated cIMT, with the fully adjusted odds ratio of 1.34 and 1.41 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09–1.65, p = 0.006, 95% CI 1.15–1.72, p = 0.0008), respectively.
Conclusions and Significance
Impaired lung function is associated with elevated cIMT in middle-aged and elderly Chinese. These findings suggest the need to screen impairment of lung function in people without respiratory disease for the presence of subclinical atherosclerosis in CVD prevention.
Effect of fish oil supplementation on flow-mediated dilation, an index of endothelial function in humans, remains controversial. We performed a meta-analysis to determine whether fish oil supplementation could improve endothelial function.
Human intervention studies were identified by systematic searches of Medline, Embase, Cochrane's library and references of related reviews and studies. A random-effect model was applied to estimate the pooled results. Meta-regression and subgroup analyses were performed to evaluate the impact of study characteristics on the effect of fish oil supplementation on flow-mediated dilation.
A total of sixteen records with 1,385 subjects were reviewed. The results of the pooled analysis showed that fish oil supplementation significantly improved flow-mediated dilation (weighed mean difference: 1.49%, 95% confidence interval 0.48% to 2.50%, p = 0.004). Meta-regression and subgroup analysis suggested that the quality of included studies were inversely related to the overall effect (regression coefficient = −1.60, p = 0.04), and the significance of the effect was mainly driven by the studies with relatively poor quality. Sensitivity analysis including only double-blind, placebo-controlled studies indicated fish oil supplementation has no significant effect on endothelial function (weighed mean difference: 0.54%, 95% confidence interval −0.25% to 1.33%, p = 0.18). Besides, normoglycemic subjects or participants with lower diastolic blood pressure seemed to be associated with remarkable improvement of endothelial function after fish oil supplementation.
Although current evidence suggested a possible role of fish oil in improving endothelial function, large-scale and high-quality clinical trials are needed to evaluate these effects before we can come to a definite conclusion.
Effects of fish oil on systematic inflammation in chronic heart failure remain unclear. In this meta-analysis, we aimed to evaluate the influence of fish oil supplementation on circulating levels of inflammatory markers in patients with chronic heart failure.
Human randomized controlled trials, which compared the effects of fish oil supplementation with placebo in patients with chronic heart failure, were identified by systematic search of Medline, Embase, Cochrane’s library and references cited in related reviews and studies up to November 2011. Outcome measures comprised the changes of circulating inflammatory markers. Meta-analysis was performed with the fixed-effect model or random-effect model according to the heterogeneity.
A total of seven trials with eight study arms were included. The pooled results indicated circulating levels of tumor necrosis factor α (SMD = -0.62, 95% CI -1.08 to -0.16, p = 0.009), interleukin 1 (SMD = -1.24, 95% CI -1.56 to -0.91, p < 0.001) and interleukin 6 (SMD = -0.81, 95% CI -1.48 to -0.14, p = 0.02) were significantly decreased after fish oil supplementation; however, high sensitivity C reactive protein, soluble intracellular adhesion molecular 1 and vascular cell adhesion molecular 1 were not significantly affected. Meta-regression and subgroup analysis results suggested the difference in dose of fish oil and follow-up duration might influence the effects of fish oil on tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 6. Greater reduction of these two markers might be achieved in patients taking fish oil of a higher dose (over 1000 mg/day) or for a longer duration (over 4 months).
Limited evidence suggests anti-inflammation may be a potential mechanism underlying the beneficial effects of fish oil for chronic heart failure. Further large-scale and adequately powered clinical trials are needed to confirm these effects.
Fish oil; Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; Heart failure; Inflammatory markers; Meta-analysis
Berberine, a major pharmacological component of the Chinese herb Coptis chinensis, which was originally used to treat bacterial diarrhea, has recently been demonstrated to be clinically effective in alleviating type 2 diabetes. In this study, we revealed that berberine effectively prevented the development of obesity and insulin resistance in high-fat diet (HFD)-fed rats, which showed decreased food intake. Increases in the levels of serum lipopolysaccharide-binding protein, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and leptin and decrease in the serum level of adiponectin corrected for body fat in HFD-fed rats were also significantly retarded by the co-administration of berberine at 100 mg/kg body weight. Bar-coded pyrosequencing of the V3 region of 16S rRNA genes revealed a significant reduction in the gut microbiota diversity of berberine-treated rats. UniFrac principal coordinates analysis revealed a marked shift of the gut microbiota structure in berberine-treated rats away from that of the controls. Redundancy analysis identified 268 berberine-responding operational taxonomic units (OTUs), most of which were essentially eliminated, whereas a few putative short-chain fatty acid (SCFA)-producing bacteria, including Blautia and Allobaculum, were selectively enriched, along with elevations of fecal SCFA concentrations. Partial least square regression models based on these 268 OTUs were established (Q2>0.6) for predicting the adiposity index, body weight, leptin and adiponectin corrected for body fat, indicating that these discrete phylotypes might have a close association with the host metabolic phenotypes. Taken together, our findings suggest that the prevention of obesity and insulin resistance by berberine in HFD-fed rats is at least partially mediated by structural modulation of the gut microbiota, which may help to alleviate inflammation by reducing the exogenous antigen load in the host and elevating SCFA levels in the intestine.
With the wide use of double-stranded RNA interference (RNAi) for the analysis of gene function in plants, a high-throughput system for making hairpin RNA (hpRNA) constructs is in great demand. Here, we describe a novel restriction-ligation approach that provides a simple but efficient construction of intron-containing hpRNA (ihpRNA) vectors. The system takes advantage of the type IIs restriction enzyme BsaI and our new plant RNAi vector pRNAi-GG based on the Golden Gate (GG) cloning. This method requires only a single PCR product of the gene of interest flanked with BsaI recognition sequence, which can then be cloned into pRNAi-GG at both sense and antisense orientations simultaneously to form ihpRNA construct. The process, completed in one tube with one restriction-ligation step, produced a recombinant ihpRNA with high efficiency and zero background. We demonstrate the utility of the ihpRNA constructs generated with pRNAi-GG vector for the effective silencing of various individual endogenous and exogenous marker genes as well as two genes simultaneously. This method provides a novel and high-throughput platform for large-scale analysis of plant functional genomics.
The presentation of viral epitopes to cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) by swine leukocyte antigen class I (SLA I) is crucial for swine immunity. To illustrate the structural basis of swine CTL epitope presentation, the first SLA crystal structures, SLA-1*0401, complexed with peptides derived from either 2009 pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) swine-origin influenza A virus (S-OIVNW9; NSDTVGWSW) or Ebola virus (EbolaAY9; ATAAATEAY) were determined in this study. The overall peptide–SLA-1*0401 structures resemble, as expected, the general conformations of other structure-solved peptide major histocompatibility complexes (pMHC). The major distinction of SLA-1*0401 is that Arg156 has a “one-ballot veto” function in peptide binding, due to its flexible side chain. S-OIVNW9 and EbolaAY9 bind SLA-1*0401 with similar conformations but employ different water molecules to stabilize their binding. The side chain of P7 residues in both peptides is exposed, indicating that the epitopes are “featured” peptides presented by this SLA. Further analyses showed that SLA-1*0401 and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I HLA-A*0101 can present the same peptides, but in different conformations, demonstrating cross-species epitope presentation. CTL epitope peptides derived from 2009 pandemic S-OIV were screened and evaluated by the in vitro refolding method. Three peptides were identified as potential cross-species influenza virus (IV) CTL epitopes. The binding motif of SLA-1*0401 was proposed, and thermostabilities of key peptide–SLA-1*0401 complexes were analyzed by circular dichroism spectra. Our results not only provide the structural basis of peptide presentation by SLA I but also identify some IV CTL epitope peptides. These results will benefit both vaccine development and swine organ-based xenotransplantation.
MicroRNA (miRNA) is a class of functional non-coding small RNA with 19-25 nucleotides in length while Amur grape (Vitis amurensis Rupr.) is an important wild fruit crop with the strongest cold resistance among the Vitis species, is used as an excellent breeding parent for grapevine, and has elicited growing interest in wine production. To date, there is a relatively large number of grapevine miRNAs (vv-miRNAs) from cultivated grapevine varieties such as Vitis vinifera L. and hybrids of V. vinifera and V. labrusca, but there is no report on miRNAs from Vitis amurensis Rupr, a wild grapevine species.
A small RNA library from Amur grape was constructed and Solexa technology used to perform deep sequencing of the library followed by subsequent bioinformatics analysis to identify new miRNAs. In total, 126 conserved miRNAs belonging to 27 miRNA families were identified, and 34 known but non-conserved miRNAs were also found. Significantly, 72 new potential Amur grape-specific miRNAs were discovered. The sequences of these new potential va-miRNAs were further validated through miR-RACE, and accumulation of 18 new va-miRNAs in seven tissues of grapevines confirmed by real time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis. The expression levels of va-miRNAs in flowers and berries were found to be basically consistent in identity to those from deep sequenced sRNAs libraries of combined corresponding tissues. We also describe the conservation and variation of va-miRNAs using miR-SNPs and miR-LDs during plant evolution based on comparison of orthologous sequences, and further reveal that the number and sites of miR-SNP in diverse miRNA families exhibit distinct divergence. Finally, 346 target genes for the new miRNAs were predicted and they include a number of Amur grape stress tolerance genes and many genes regulating anthocyanin synthesis and sugar metabolism.
Deep sequencing of short RNAs from Amur grape flowers and berries identified 72 new potential miRNAs and 34 known but non-conserved miRNAs, indicating that specific miRNAs exist in Amur grape. These results show that a number of regulatory miRNAs exist in Amur grape and play an important role in Amur grape growth, development, and response to abiotic or biotic stress.
Amur grape; microRNA; Sequences evolution; Solexa sequencing; miR-RACE; qRT-PCR
As a maskless nanofabrication technique, friction-induced selective etching can easily produce nanopatterns on a Si(100) surface. Experimental results indicated that the height of the nanopatterns increased with the KOH etching time, while their width increased with the scratching load. It has also found that a contact pressure of 6.3 GPa is enough to fabricate a mask layer on the Si(100) surface. To understand the mechanism involved, the cross-sectional microstructure of a scratched area was examined, and the mask ability of the tip-disturbed silicon layer was studied. Transmission electron microscope observation and scanning Auger nanoprobe analysis suggested that the scratched area was covered by a thin superficial oxidation layer followed by a thick distorted (amorphous and deformed) layer in the subsurface. After the surface oxidation layer was removed by HF etching, the residual amorphous and deformed silicon layer on the scratched area can still serve as an etching mask in KOH solution. The results may help to develop a low-destructive, low-cost, and flexible nanofabrication technique suitable for machining of micro-mold and prototype fabrication in micro-systems.
friction-induced selective etching; nanofabrication; silicon
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), an evolutionarily conserved serine-threonine kinase, is an intracellular fuel sensor critical for cellular energy homeostasis. Gastrointestinal endocrine cells play a vital role in the regulation of energy balance by secreting hormones that inform the brain about energy supply. Here we showed the localization of mTOR signaling molecules in more than 90 % of gastric ghrelin cells and 36 ± 3% of gastrin cells, while no somatostatin-positive cell showed phospho-S6K1 immunoreactivity. Inhibition of mTOR significantly stimulated expression of gastric ghrelin mRNA and protein, and the concentration of plasma ghrelin (2.06±0.34 vs. 12.53±3.9 ng/ml, p<0.05), inhibited gastrin synthesis and secretion (75.01±6.71 vs. 54.04±3.65 pg/ml, p<0.05), but had no effect on somatostatin production (165.2±25.07 vs. 178.9±29.14 pg/ml, p=0.73). Gastric mTOR is a gastric sensor whose activity is linked to the differential regulation of gastric hormone production and release.
Gastric mTOR; gastric endocrine cells; gastric hormones
The presentation of viral peptide epitopes to host cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) is crucial for adaptive cellular immunity to clear the virus infection, especially for some chronic viral infections. Indeed, hosts have developed effective strategies to achieve this goal. The ideal scenario would be that the peptide epitopes stimulate a broad spectrum of CTL responses with diversified T-cell receptor (TCR) usage (the TCR repertoire). It is believed that a diversified TCR repertoire requires a “featured” peptide to be presented by the host major histocompatibility complex (MHC). A featured peptide can be processed and presented in a number of ways. Here, using the X-ray diffraction method, the crystal structures of an antigenic peptide derived from rinderpest virus presented by bovine MHC class I N*01801 (BoLA-A11) have been solved, and two distinct conformations of the presented peptide are clearly displayed. A detailed analysis of the structure and comparative sequences revealed that the polymorphic amino acid isoleucine 73 (Ile73) is extremely flexible, allowing the MHC groove to adopt different conformations to accommodate the rinderpest virus peptide. This makes the peptide more featured by exposing different amino acids for T-cell recognition. The crystal structures also demonstrated that the N*01801 molecule has an unusually large A pocket, resulting in the special conformation of the P1 residue at the N terminus of the peptide. We propose that this strategy of host peptide presentation might be beneficial for creating a diversified TCR repertoire, which is important for a more-effective CTL response.
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome bunyavirus is a newly discovered bunyavirus with high pathogenicity to human. The transmission model has been largely uncharacterized. Investigation on a cluster of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome cases provided evidence of person-to-person transmission through blood contact to the index patient with high serum virus load.
To study the association of serum fetuin-A as a potential risk factor with abnormal albuminuria in Chinese individuals with normal glucose tolerance (NGT).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The cross-sectional analysis included 607 men and 1,042 women aged 40 or older with NGT.
Women with combined microalbuminuria and macroalbuminuria (n = 68) had significantly higher serum fetuin-A concentrations than those with normal albumin excretion (n = 974) (314.3 vs. 280.4 mg/l, P = 0.007). Compared with the lowest quartile, the highest quartile of serum fetuin-A had 40% increased risk of abnormal albuminuria after the multiple adjustments in women (Pfor trend = 0.02). However, the associations were not detected in men.
Higher serum fetuin-A was associated with abnormal albuminuria independent of BMI, waist circumference, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, blood pressure, and other determinants of albuminuria in middle-aged and elderly Chinese women with NGT.
Ghrelin, the only identified circulating orexigenic signal, is unique in structure in which a specific acyl-modification of its third serine occurs. This acylation is necessary for ghrelin to bind to its receptor and to exert its biologic activity, which is catalyzed by ghrelin O-acyltransferase (GOAT). Although ghrelin is mainly secreted from gastric X/A like endocrine cells, it is also expressed in pancreatic islet cells and regulates insulin secretion. In this study, we examined the expression and regulation of GOAT in pancreas.
GOAT mRNA and immunoreactivity were examined in pancreatic islets and INS-1 cells by RT-PCR and immunofluorescent staining or Western blotting.
Insulin inhibits the expression of GOAT mRNA and GOAT promoter activity in a dose and time-dependent manner. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is activated by insulin. Blocking mTOR signaling by either rapamycin or overexpression of its negative regulator tuberous sclerosis complex 1 (TSC1) or TSC2 attenuates the inhibitory effect of insulin on the transcription and translation of GOAT.
Our study suggests that GOAT is present in pancreatic islet cells and that insulin inhibits the expression of GOAT via the mediation of mTOR signaling.
Ghrelin O-acyltransferase; Insulin; Pancreatic islet cells; Mammalian target of rapamycin
Genome-wide association study (GWAS) has identified more than 30 loci associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Caucasians. However, genomic understanding of T2D in Asians, especially Han Chinese, is still limited.
Methods and Principal Findings
A two-stage GWAS was performed in Han Chinese from Mainland China. The discovery stage included 793 T2D cases and 806 healthy controls genotyped using Illumina Human 660- and 610-Quad BeadChips; and the replication stage included two independent case-control populations (a total of 4445 T2D cases and 4458 controls) genotyped using TaqMan assay. We validated the associations of KCNQ1 (rs163182, p = 2.085×10−17, OR 1.28) and C2CD4A/B (rs1370176, p = 3.677×10−4, OR 1.124; rs1436953, p = 7.753×10−6, OR 1.141; rs7172432, p = 4.001×10−5, OR 1.134) in Han Chinese.
Conclusions and Significance
Our study represents the first GWAS of T2D with both discovery and replication sample sets recruited from Han Chinese men and women residing in Mainland China. We confirmed the associations of KCNQ1 and C2CD4A/B with T2D, with the latter for the first time being examined in Han Chinese. Arguably, eight more independent loci were replicated in our GWAS.
Previous studies have demonstrated that fetuin-A is related to insulin resistance among subjects with normal glucose tolerance but not patients with type 2 diabetes. There are limited data available concerning fetuin-A and insulin resistance in Chinese. We aimed to study the association of feuin-A with insulin resistance among participants with or without type 2 diabetes in a large sample size of adults aged 40 and older.
Methodology and Principal Findings
A community-based cross-sectional study was performed among 5,227 Chinese adults. The average age of our study was 61.5±9.9 years. Serum fetuin-A concentrations were not significantly different between male and female (296.9 vs. 292.9 mg/l, p = 0.11). Compared with the lowest quartile, the highest quartile of serum fetuin-A revealed a significant higher proportion of type 2 diabetic patients (34.8% vs. 27.3%, p<0.0001). In the multinomial logit models, the risk of type 2 diabetes was associated with each one quartile increase of serum fetuin-A concentrations when referenced not only to normal glucose tolerance (OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.07–1.43, p = 0.004) but also to impaired glucose regulation (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.08–1.44, p = 0.003, respectively), after adjustment for age, sex, community, current smoking, and current drinking. The logistic regression analysis showed that fetuin-A were associated with elevated HOMA-IR and fasting serum insulin both among the participants with or without type 2 diabetes in the full adjusted analysis. There was no significant association between elevated serum fetuin-A concentrations and impaired glucose regulation (all p≥0.12).
Conclusions and Significance
Higher fetuin-A concentrations were associated with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance in middle aged and elderly Chinese.
In this paper, a new friction-induced nanofabrication method is presented to fabricate protrusive nanostructures on quartz surfaces through scratching a diamond tip under given normal loads. The nanostructures, such as nanodots, nanolines, surface mesas and nanowords, can be produced on the target surface by programming the tip traces according to the demanded patterns. The height of these nanostructures increases with the increase of the number of scratching cycles or the normal load. Transmission electron microscope observations indicated that the lattice distortion and dislocations induced by the mechanical interaction may have played a dominating role in the formation of the protrusive nanostructures on quartz surfaces. Further analysis reveals that during scratching, a contact pressure ranged from 0.4Py to Py (Py is the critical yield pressure of quartz) is apt to produce protuberant nanostructures on quartz under the given experimental conditions. Finally, it is of great interest to find that the protrusive nanostructures can be selectively dissolved in 20% KOH solution. Since the nanowords can be easily 'written' by friction-induced fabrication and 'erased' through selective etching on a quartz surface, this friction-induced method opens up new opportunities for future nanofabrication.
Previous studies suggested that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress–associated apoptosis plays an important role in the pathogenesis of ischemic heart disease. Gene transfer of sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase 2a (SERCA2a) attenuates myocardial apoptosis in a variety of heart failure models. This study is to investigate the effects of SERCA2a gene delivery on the myocardial apoptosis and ER stress pathway in a porcine ischemic heart disease model. Eighteen pigs were either subjected to ameroid implantation in the coronary artery or sham operation. Eight wks after gene delivery, the protein level and activity of SERCA2a were measured. Myocardial apoptosis was determined using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase–mediated DNA nick-end labeling assay. Regional myocardial perfusion and function were evaluated by 99m Tc-sestamibi (99m Tc-MIBI) single photon emission computed tomography and echocardiography. The ER stress signaling was assessed by Western blot. SERCA2a protein level and activity were significantly decreased in the ischemic myocardium and restored to normal after SERCA2a gene transfer. Restoration of SERCA2a expression significantly improved the cardiac function, although no improvement of regional myocardial perfusion was detected. Restoration of SERCA2a significantly attenuated myocardial apoptosis and reversed the activation of unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway and the ER stress–associated apoptosis pathways. These findings demonstrate a robust role of SERCA2a in attenuation of ischemic myocardial apoptosis, correlating with reverse activation of the ER stress–associated apoptosis pathways, suggesting that the beneficial effects of SERCA2a gene transfer may involve the attenuation of ER stress–associated myocardial apoptosis.
Many susceptible loci for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have recently been identified from Caucasians through genome wide association studies (GWAS). We aimed to determine the association of 11 known loci with T2DM and impaired glucose regulation (IGR), individually and in combination, in Chinese.
Subjects were enrolled in: (1) a case-control study including 1825 subjects with T2DM, 1487 with IGR and 2200 with normal glucose regulation; and (2) a prospective cohort with 734 non-diabetic subjects at baseline. The latter was followed up for 3.5 years, in which 67 subjects developed T2DM. Nineteen single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected to replicate in both studies. We found that CDKAL1 (rs7756992), SLC30A8 (rs13266634, rs2466293), CDKN2A/2B (rs10811661) and KCNQ1 (rs2237892) were associated with T2DM with odds ratio from 1.21 to 1.35. In the prospective study, the fourth quartile of risk scores based on the combined effects of the risk alleles had 3.05 folds (95% CI, 1.31–7.12) higher risk for incident T2DM as compared with the first quartile, after adjustment for age, gender, body mass index and diabetes family history. This combined effect was confirmed in the case-control study after the same adjustments. The addition of the risk scores to the model of clinical risk factors modestly improved discrimination for T2DM by 1.6% in the case-control study and 2.9% in the prospective study.
Our study provided further evidence for these GWAS derived SNPs as the genetic susceptible loci for T2DM in Chinese and extended this association to IGR.
The aim of this review was to examine aspirin utilization, cardiovascular risk estimation, and clinical evidence for aspirin prophylaxis in Asian versus Western countries.
A literature search was performed using PubMed and the key terms “aspirin” and “Asia” or “Western”.
Despite the growing burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD), aspirin is underutilized in high-risk patients in both Asian and Western countries. A number of risk estimation scores are available; however, validation is needed in countries such as Japan, India, and in South Asia. Underutilization of aspirin in Asia may be linked to an overestimation of bleeding risks. It is possible that a higher prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection and genetic differences may make Asians more susceptible to gastrointestinal bleeding. Very low aspirin doses and even the wider use of gastroprotective agents may be the optimal approach to high-risk patients in Asia.
Based on the current evidence, aspirin should be used for CVD prevention when the risk:benefit ratio is favorable. A number of trials are underway, including the Diabetic Atherosclerosis Prevention by Cilostazol and Japanese Primary Prevention Project, which will provide key data on the benefits of aspirin in Asian patients at risk of CVD, and may improve aspirin utilization and risk estimation.
aspirin; cardiovascular risk estimation; Asia; Western
Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) has been a cost-effective tool in molecular biology and represents an abundant valuable resource for genome annotation, gene expression, and comparative genomics in plants.
In this study, we constructed a cDNA library of Prunus mume flower and fruit, sequenced 10,123 clones of the library, and obtained 8,656 expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences with high quality. The ESTs were assembled into 4,473 unigenes composed of 1,492 contigs and 2,981 singletons and that have been deposited in NCBI (accession IDs: GW868575 - GW873047), among which 1,294 unique ESTs were with known or putative functions. Furthermore, we found 1,233 putative simple sequence repeats (SSRs) in the P. mume unigene dataset. We randomly tested 42 pairs of PCR primers flanking potential SSRs, and 14 pairs were identified as true-to-type SSR loci and could amplify polymorphic bands from 20 individual plants of P. mume. We further used the 14 EST-SSR primer pairs to test the transferability on peach and plum. The result showed that nearly 89% of the primer pairs produced target PCR bands in the two species. A high level of marker polymorphism was observed in the plum species (65%) and low in the peach (46%), and the clustering analysis of the three species indicated that these SSR markers were useful in the evaluation of genetic relationships and diversity between and within the Prunus species.
We have constructed the first cDNA library of P. mume flower and fruit, and our data provide sets of molecular biology resources for P. mume and other Prunus species. These resources will be useful for further study such as genome annotation, new gene discovery, gene functional analysis, molecular breeding, evolution and comparative genomics between Prunus species.
To evaluate the association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and metabolic syndrome in the Chinese population.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Plasma 25(OH)D was measured in a cross-sectional sample of 1,443 men and 1,819 women aged 50–70 years from Beijing and Shanghai. Metabolic syndrome was defined according to the updated National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria for Asian Americans. Fasting plasma glucose, insulin, lipid profile, A1C, and inflammatory markers were measured.
The geometric mean of plasma 25(OH)D was 40.4 nmol/l, and percentages of vitamin D deficiency [25(OH)D <50 nmol/l] and insufficiency [50 ≤ 25(OH)D <75 nmol/l] were 69.2 and 24.4%, respectively. Compared with the highest 25(OH)D quintile (≥57.7 nmol/l), the odds ratio for metabolic syndrome in the lowest quintile (≤28.7 nmol/l) was 1.52 (95% CI 1.17–1.98, Ptrend = 0.0002) after multiple adjustment. Significant inverse associations also existed between 25(OH)D and individual metabolic syndrome components plus A1C. Moreover, we observed significant inverse associations of 25(OH)D with fasting insulin and the insulin resistance index (homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance [HOMA-IR]) in overweight and obese individuals (BMI ≥24 kg/m2) but not in their normal-weight counterparts (test for interaction: P = 0.0363 and 0.0187 for insulin and HOMA-IR, respectively).
Vitamin D deficiency is common in the middle-aged and elderly Chinese population, and a low 25(OH)D level is significantly associated with an increased risk of having metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. Prospective studies and randomized clinical trials are warranted to determine the role of 25(OH)D in the development of metabolic syndrome and related metabolic diseases.
Menin, which is encoded by the multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) gene, is a tumor suppressor and transcriptional regulator. Menin controls proliferation and apoptosis of cells, especially pancreatic β cells. We have found that menin contains two functional nuclear export signals and that there is nuclear accumulation of β-catenin in Men1-null mouse embryonic fibroblasts and insulinoma tissues from β-cell-specific Men1 knockout mice. It is reported that the deregulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling caused by inactivation of tumor suppressors results in abnormal development or tumorigenesis. We further revealed that overexpression of menin reduces β-catenin nuclear accumulation and its transcriptional activity. Menin is able to directly interact with β-catenin and carry β-catenin out of the nucleus via nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling in a CRM1-dependent manner. These results imply that menin may control cell proliferation through suppression of Wnt/β-catenin signaling.
The last decade has witnessed an explosion in the elucidation of the role that the heme oxygenase system plays in human physiology. This system encompasses not only the heme degradative pathway, including heme oxygenase and biliverdin reductase, but also the products of heme degradation, carbon monoxide, iron, and biliverdin/bilirubin. Their role in diabetes, inflammation, heart disease, hypertension, transplantation, and pulmonary disease are areas of burgeoning research. The research has focused not only on heme itself but also on its metabolic products as well as endogenous compounds involved in a vast number of genetic and metabolic processes that are affected when heme metabolism is perturbed. It should be noted, however, that although the use of carbon monoxide and biliverdin/bilirubin as therapeutic agents has been successful, these agents can be toxic at high levels in tissue, e.g., kernicterus. Care must be used to ensure that when these compounds are used as therapeutic agents their deleterious effects are minimized or avoided. On balance, however, the strategies to target heme oxygenase-1 as described in this review offer promising therapeutic approaches to clinicians for the effective management of hypertension and renal function. The approaches detailed may prove to be seminal in the development of a new therapeutic strategy to treat hypertension.
Heme oxygenase; Hypertension; Carbon monoxide; Bilirubin; Adiponectin
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of non-protein-coding small RNAs. Considering the conservation of many miRNA genes in different plant genomes, the identification of miRNAs from non-model organisms is both practicable and instrumental in addressing miRNA-guided gene regulation. Citrus is an important staple fruit tree, and publicly available expressed sequence tag (EST) database for citrus are increasing. However, until now, little has been known about miRNA in citrus. In this study, 27 known miRNAs from Arabidopsis were searched against citrus EST databases for miRNA precursors, of which 13 searched precursor sequences could form fold-back structures similar with those of Arabidopsis. The ubiquitous expression of those 13 citrus microRNAs and other 13 potential citrus miRNAs could be detected in citrus leaf, young shoot, flower, fruit and root by northern blotting, and some of them showed differential expression in different tissues. Based on the fact that miRNAs exhibit perfect or nearly perfect complementarity with their target sequences, a total of 41 potential targets were identified for 15 citrus miRNAs. The majority of the targets are transcription factors that play important roles in citrus development, including leaf, shoot, and root development. Additionally, some other target genes appear to play roles in diverse physiological processes. Four target genes have been experimentally verified by detection of the miRNA-mediated mRNA cleavage in Poncirus trifoliate. Overall, this study in the identification and characterization of miRNAs in citrus can initiate further study on citrus miRNA regulation mechanisms, and it can help us to know more about the important roles of miRNAs in citrus.
Citrus; MicroRNAs; Northern blotting; 5′RACE
Heat shock proteins (Hsps) or stress proteins, and, in particular, the inducible, cytosolic Hsp70, represent a highly conserved response to heat exposure and to a variety of noxious stimuli. Many investigations have shown correlations between the aberrant expression of Hsps and disease states. Whether the basal and inducible levels of Hsp70 are of any biological significance in patients with heat-induced diseases remains unknown. In the present study, we compared the basal and inducible levels of Hsp70 by flow cytometry in lymphocytes of patients with heat-induced diseases and after recovery from this disease, and in matched controls. Both groups comprised individuals who exercised by running in the same hot environment. The level of inducible Hsp70 was also measured after a heat treatment of lymphocytes in vitro. The results show that there is variation of basal and inducible Hsp70 levels among individuals. However, the group of patients suffering from heat-induced illnesses in May shows a significantly higher basal (P = 0.02) level of Hsp70 than does the control group. Individuals who have an increased level of Hsp70 may be more sensitive to heat or may respond differently. The level of Hsp70 may represent a biomarker to evaluate whether they are more susceptible to stresses than other individuals. Interestingly, the basal level of Hsp70 is higher in both the patient group and the control group in November than in May. In fact, the basal levels of Hsp70 in the patient and control groups are essentially the same in November, perhaps reflecting the successful stress conditioning of both groups.