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1.  Clinical Proteomics Identifies Urinary CD14 as a Potential Biomarker for Diagnosis of Stable Coronary Artery Disease 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0117169.
Inflammation plays a key role in coronary artery disease (CAD) and other manifestations of atherosclerosis. Recently, urinary proteins were found to be useful markers for reflecting inflammation status of different organs. To identify potential biomarker for diagnosis of CAD, we performed one-dimensional SDS-gel electrophoresis followed by liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Among the proteins differentially expressed in urine samples, monocyte antigen CD14 was found to be consistently expressed in higher amounts in the CAD patients as compared to normal controls. Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to analyze the concentrations of CD14 in urine and serum, we confirmed that urinary CD14 levels were significantly higher in patients (n = 73) with multi-vessel and single vessel CAD than in normal control (n = 35) (P < 0.001). Logistic regression analysis further showed that urinary CD14 concentration level is associated with severity or number of diseased vessels and SYNTAX score after adjustment for potential confounders. Concomitantly, the proportion of CD14+ monocytes was significantly increased in CAD patients (59.7 ± 3.6%) as compared with healthy controls (14.9 ± 2.1%) (P < 0.001), implicating that a high level of urinary CD14 may be potentially involved in mechanism(s) leading to CAD pathogenesis. By performing shotgun proteomics, we further revealed that CD14-associated inflammatory response networks may play an essential role in CAD. In conclusion, the current study has demonstrated that release of CD14 in urine coupled with more CD14+ monocytes in CAD patients is significantly correlated with severity of CAD, pointing to the potential application of urinary CD14 as a novel noninvasive biomarker for large-scale diagnostic screening of susceptible CAD patients.
PMCID: PMC4323104  PMID: 25668619
2.  HAI-2 suppresses the invasive growth and metastasis of prostate cancer through regulation of matriptase 
Oncogene  2013;33(38):4643-4652.
Dysregulation of cell surface proteolysis has been strongly implicated in tumorigenicity and metastasis. In this study, we delineated the role of hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor-2 (HAI-2) in prostate cancer (PCa) cell migration, invasion, tumorigenicity and metastasis using a human PCa progression model (103E, N1, and N2 cells) and xenograft models. N1 and N2 cells were established through serial intraprostatic propagation of 103E human PCa cells and isolation of the metastatic cells from nearby lymph nodes. The invasion capability of these cells was revealed to gradually increase throughout the serial isolations (103E
PMCID: PMC4314694  PMID: 24121274
prostate cancer; hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor-2; cancer cell invasion; tumorigenicity and metastasis
D. melanogaster Gαo-subunit and the RGS domain of its interacting partner CG5036 have been overproduced and purified; the crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic analysis of the complex of the two proteins are reported.
Regulator of G-protein signalling (RGS) proteins negatively regulate heterotrimeric G-protein signalling through their conserved RGS domains. RGS domains act as GTPase-activating proteins, accelerating the GTP hydrolysis rate of the activated form of Gα-subunits. Although omnipresent in eukaryotes, RGS proteins have not been adequately analysed in non-mammalian organisms. The Drosophila melanogaster Gαo-subunit and the RGS domain of its interacting partner CG5036 have been overproduced and purified; the crystallization of the complex of the two proteins using PEG 4000 as a crystallizing agent and preliminary X-ray crystallographic analysis are reported. Diffraction data were collected to 2.0 Å resolution using a synchrotron-radiation source.
PMCID: PMC3539706  PMID: 23295489
Drosophila melanogaster; Gαo-subunit; G-protein signalling
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry  2013;21(24):8019-8032.
Diversely functionalized, fused aryl-alkyl ring systems hold a prominent position as well-established molecular frameworks for a variety of anti-cancer agents. The benzosuberene (6,7 fused, also referred to as dihydro-5H-benzo[7]annulene and benzocycloheptene) ring system has emerged as a valuable molecular core component for the development of inhibitors of tubulin assembly, which function as antiproliferative anti-cancer agents and, in certain cases, as vascular disrupting agents (VDAs). Both a phenolic-based analogue (known as KGP18, compound 39) and its corresponding amine-based congener (referred to as KGP156, compound 45), which demonstrate strong inhibition of tubulin assembly (low micromolar range) and potent cytotoxicity (picomolar range for KGP18 and nanomolar range for KGP156) are noteworthy examples of such benzosuberene-based compounds. In order to extend the structure-activity relationship (SAR) knowledge base related to benzosuberene anti-cancer agents, a series of eleven analogues (including KGP18) were prepared in which the methoxylation pattern on the pendant aryl ring as well as functional group incorporation on the fused aryl ring were varied. The synthetic approach to these compounds featured a sequential Wittig olefination, reduction, Eaton's reagent-mediated cyclization strategy to achieve the core benzosuberone intermediate, and represented a higher-yielding synthesis of KGP18 (which we prepared previously through a ring-expansion strategy). Incorporation of a fluorine or chlorine atom at the 1-position of the fused aryl ring or replacement of one of the methoxy groups with hydrogen (on the pendant aryl ring of KGP18) led to benzosuberene analogues that were both strongly inhibitory against tubulin assembly (IC50 approximately 1.0 M) and strongly cytotoxic against selected human cancer cell lines (for example, GI50 = 5.47 nM against NCI-H460 cells with fluorobenzosuberene analogue 37). A water-soluble phosphate prodrug salt of KGP18 (referred to as KGP265, compound 44) and a water-soluble serinamide salt (compound 48) of KGP156 were also synthesized and evaluated in this study.
PMCID: PMC3968794  PMID: 24183586
inhibitors of tubulin assembly; benzosuberene-based anti-cancer agents; vascular disrupting agents (VDAs); combretastatin analogues
PMCID: PMC3889368  PMID: 24427732
Tragal cartilage; Endaural incision
Several prognostic models for overall survival (OS) have been developed and validated in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) who receive first-line chemotherapy. We sought to develop and validate a prognostic model to predict OS in men who had progressed after first-line chemotherapy and were selected to receive second-line chemotherapy.
Data from a phase III trial in men with mCRPC who had developed progressive disease after first-line chemotherapy (TROPIC trial) were used. The TROPIC was randomly split into training (n = 507) and testing (n = 248) sets. Another dataset consisting of 488 men previously treated with docetaxel (SPARC trial) was used for external validation. Adaptive least absolute shrinkage and selection operator selected nine prognostic factors of OS. A prognostic score was computed from the regression coefficients. The model was assessed on the testing and validation sets for its predictive accuracy using the time-dependent area under the curve (tAUC).
The nine prognostic variables in the final model were Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, time since last docetaxel use, measurable disease, presence of visceral disease, pain, duration of hormonal use, hemoglobin, prostate specific antigen, and alkaline phosphatase. The tAUCs for this model were 0.73 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.72 to 0.74) and 0.70 (95% CI = 0.68 to 0.72) for the testing and validation sets, respectively.
A prognostic model of OS in the postdocetaxel, second-line chemotherapy, mCRPC setting was developed and externally validated. This model incorporates novel prognostic factors and can be used to provide predicted probabilities for individual patients and to select patients to participate in clinical trials on the basis of their prognosis. Prospective validation is needed.
PMCID: PMC3833929  PMID: 24136890
Respiratory Research  2014;15(1):137.
Epidemiological studies have revealed that intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) or low birth weight is linked to the later development of asthma. Epigenetic regulatory mechanisms play an important role in the fetal origins of adult disease. However, little is known regarding the correlation between epigenetic regulation and the development of asthma following IUGR.
An IUGR and ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitization/challenge rat model was used to study whether epigenetic mechanisms play a role in the development of asthma following IUGR.
Maternal nutrient restriction increased histone acetylation levels of the endothelin-1 (ET-1) gene promoter in lung tissue of offspring, but did not cause significant alterations of DNA methylation. The effect was maintained until 10 weeks after birth. Furthermore, these epigenetic changes may have induced IUGR individuals to be highly sensitive to OVA challenge later in life, resulting in more significant changes related to asthma.
These findings suggest that epigenetic mechanisms might be closely associated with the development of asthma following IUGR, providing further insight for improved prevention of asthma induced by environmental factors.
PMCID: PMC4233040  PMID: 25391516
Allergen; Asthma; Epigenetics; Endothelin-1; Intrauterine growth retardation
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2013;31(31):3944-3950.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) kinetics, and more specifically a ≥ 30% decline in PSA within 3 months after initiation of first-line chemotherapy with docetaxel, are associated with improvement in overall survival (OS) in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). The objective of this analysis was to evaluate post-treatment PSA kinetics as surrogates for OS in patients receiving second-line chemotherapy.
Patients and Methods
Data from a phase III trial of patients with mCRPC randomly assigned to cabazitaxel plus prednisone (C + P) or mitoxantrone plus prednisone were used. PSA decline (≥ 30% and ≥ 50%), velocity, and rise within the first 3 months of treatment were evaluated as surrogates for OS. The Prentice criteria, proportion of treatment explained (PTE), and meta-analytic approaches were used as measures of surrogacy.
The observed hazard ratio (HR) for death for patients treated with C + P was 0.66 (95% CI, 0.55 to 0.79; P < .001). Furthermore, a ≥ 30% decline in PSA was a statistically significant predictor of OS (HR for death, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.43 to 0.64; P < .001). Adjusting for treatment effect, the HR for a ≥ 30% PSA decline was 0.50 (95% CI, 0.40 to 0.62; P < .001), but treatment remained statistically significant, thus failing the third Prentice criterion. The PTE for a ≥ 30% decline in PSA was 0.34 (95% CI, 0.11 to 0.56), indicating a lack of surrogacy for OS. The values of R2 were < 1, suggesting that PSA decline was not surrogate for OS.
Surrogacy for any PSA-based end point could not be demonstrated in this analysis. Thus, the benefits of cabazitaxel in mediating a survival benefit are not fully captured by early PSA changes.
PMCID: PMC3805930  PMID: 24101043
This study aimed to evaluate the spatial variation of esophageal distensibility in normal subjects using a novel multichannel functional luminal imaging probe (FLIP).
Ten healthy subjects (4 male, age 21–49 years) were evaluated during endoscopy with a high-resolution impedance planimetry probe (FLIP) positioned through the esophagogastric junction (EGJ) and distal 10cm of the esophageal body. Stepwise bag distensions using 5 ml increments from 0 to 60 mL were conducted and simultaneous measurements of cross-sectional area (CSA) and the associated intrabag pressure from each subject were analyzed using a customized MATLAB™ program. The distensibility along the esophagus was determined and compared between the EGJ and interval locations at 2–5 cm and 6–10 cm above the EGJ.
The pressure-CSA relationship was nearly linear among sites at lower pressures (0 to 7.5 mmHg) and reached a distension plateau at pressures ranging from 8 to 24 mmHg. The location of greatest distensibility was 4 cm above the EGJ. Although the CSAs of individual recording loci were not significantly different, there was a significant difference between the mean CSAs when comparing the region 2 to 5 cm proximal to EGJ to that 6 to 10 cm proximal to the EGJ.
There were significant regional differences in distensibility along the distal esophagus with lower values in the proximal part compared to more distal part. The greatest distensibility was noted to occur at about 4 cm above the EGJ in close proximity to the location of the contractile deceleration point and phrenic ampulla.
PMCID: PMC3793325  PMID: 23965159
cross-sectional area; esophageal distensibility; functional imaging; impedance planimetry
Neuroscience letters  2013;555:10.1016/j.neulet.2013.09.040.
Recently, we reported that several polymorphisms and haplotypes in the choline acetyltransferase gene (ChAT) are associated with nicotine dependence (ND). Of them, SNP rs1880676 is of particular interest because: 1) it is a non-synonymous variant located in the coding region of an alternatively spliced form of ChAT and 2) it is located in several haplotypes that are significantly associated with ND. The objective of this study was to determine, using an in vitro system, whether the alleles G (coding for aspartic acid) or A (coding for asparagine) of rs1880676 have any allele-specific effect on ChAT expression. We first used site-directed mutagenesis to construct two expression vectors differed in the allelic position of rs1880676(G/A), which were transfected into HeLa cells. We then measured expression of ChAT associated with each allele. We found significant expression differences for the two alleles, with the G allele being expressed significantly greater than A allele (P<0.01 at both mRNA and protein levels). Further, we validated the ChAT expression of the G allele was significantly higher than that of the A allele by using ELISA assay (P=0.00016). We concluded that rs1880676 is functional and that the allelic variations of this polymorphism are involved in developing ND by altering ChAT expression.
PMCID: PMC3836665  PMID: 24076142
choline acetyltransferase; rs1880676; expression; HeLa cells
Critical Care  2014;18(5):548.
Extracorporeal life support (ECLS) can temporarily support cardiopulmonary function, and is occasionally used in resuscitation. Multi-scale entropy (MSE) derived from heart rate variability (HRV) is a powerful tool in outcome prediction of patients with cardiovascular diseases. Multi-scale symbolic entropy analysis (MSsE), a new method derived from MSE, mitigates the effect of arrhythmia on analysis. The objective is to evaluate the prognostic value of MSsE in patients receiving ECLS. The primary outcome is death or urgent transplantation during the index admission.
Fifty-seven patients receiving ECLS less than 24 hours and 23 control subjects were enrolled. Digital 24-hour Holter electrocardiograms were recorded and three MSsE parameters (slope 5, Area 6–20, Area 6–40) associated with the multiscale correlation and complexity of heart beat fluctuation were calculated.
Patients receiving ECLS had significantly lower value of slope 5, area 6 to 20, and area 6 to 40 than control subjects. During the follow-up period, 29 patients met primary outcome. Age, slope 5, Area 6 to 20, Area 6 to 40, acute physiology and chronic health evaluation II score, multiple organ dysfunction score (MODS), logistic organ dysfunction score (LODS), and myocardial infarction history were significantly associated with primary outcome. Slope 5 showed the greatest discriminatory power. In a net reclassification improvement model, slope 5 significantly improved the predictive power of LODS; Area 6 to 20 and Area 6 to 40 significantly improved the predictive power in MODS. In an integrated discrimination improvement model, slope 5 added significantly to the prediction power of each clinical parameter. Area 6 to 20 and Area 6 to 40 significantly improved the predictive power in sequential organ failure assessment.
MSsE provides additional prognostic information in patients receiving ECLS.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13054-014-0548-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4221713  PMID: 25341381
Abnormal expression of aquaporins (AQPs) has been reported in several human cancers. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-extracellular signal-regulated kinases1/2 (ERK1/2) are associated with tumorigenesis and cancer progression and may upregulate AQPs expression. In this study, we investigated acquaporin-8 expression and signaling via epidermal growth factor receptor-extracellular signal-regulated kinases1/2 in human esophageal cancer Eca-109 cells by western blot, immunofluorescence and wound healing (scratch) assays. Our results showed that epidermal growth factor (EGF) induced both Eca-109 migration and AQP8 expression. Wound healing results showed that cell migration was increased by 1.23-1.10-fold at 24 h and 48 h after EGF treatment. AQP8 expression was significantly increased (1.19-fold) at 48 h after EGF treatment in Eca-109. The EGFR kinase inhibitor, PD153035, blocked EGF-induced AQP8 expression and cell migration. AQP8 expression was decreased from 3.65-fold (EGF-treated) to 0.55-fold (PD153035-treated) in Eca-109. Furthermore, the MEK [MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase)/Erk1/2]/Erk1/2 inhibitor U0126 also inhibited EGF-induced AQP8 expression and cell migration. AQP8 expression was decreased from 3.92-fold (EGF-treated) to 1.38-fold (U0126-treated) in Eca-109. In conclusions, EGF induces AQP8 expression and cell migration in Eca-109 cells via the EGFR/Erk1/2 signal transduction pathway.
PMCID: PMC4270600  PMID: 25550802
Eca-109; aquaporin 8; EGFR; Erk1/2; migration
Genome Medicine  2014;6(10):81.
Recently, a number of large-scale cancer genome sequencing projects have generated a large volume of somatic mutations; however, identifying the functional consequences and roles of somatic mutations in tumorigenesis remains a major challenge. Researchers have identified that protein pocket regions play critical roles in the interaction of proteins with small molecules, enzymes, and nucleic acid. As such, investigating the features of somatic mutations in protein pocket regions provides a promising approach to identifying new genotype-phenotype relationships in cancer.
In this study, we developed a protein pocket-based computational approach to uncover the functional consequences of somatic mutations in cancer. We mapped 1.2 million somatic mutations across 36 cancer types from the COSMIC database and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) onto the protein pocket regions of over 5,000 protein three-dimensional structures. We further integrated cancer cell line mutation profiles and drug pharmacological data from the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE) onto protein pocket regions in order to identify putative biomarkers for anticancer drug responses.
We found that genes harboring protein pocket somatic mutations were significantly enriched in cancer driver genes. Furthermore, genes harboring pocket somatic mutations tended to be highly co-expressed in a co-expressed protein interaction network. Using a statistical framework, we identified four putative cancer genes (RWDD1, NCF1, PLEK, and VAV3), whose expression profiles were associated with overall poor survival rates in melanoma, lung, or colorectal cancer patients. Finally, genes harboring protein pocket mutations were more likely to be drug-sensitive or drug-resistant. In a case study, we illustrated that the BAX gene was associated with the sensitivity of three anticancer drugs (midostaurin, vinorelbine, and tipifarnib).
This study provides novel insights into the functional consequences of somatic mutations during tumorigenesis and for anticancer drug responses. The computational approach used might be beneficial to the study of somatic mutations in the era of cancer precision medicine.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13073-014-0081-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4213513  PMID: 25360158
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6454.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a common form of malignant cancer, for which radiotherapy or chemotherapy are the main treatment methods. Cucurbitacin E (CuE) is a natural compound-based drug which from the climbing stem of Cucumic melo L (Guadi). Previously shown to be an antifeedant as well as a potent chemopreventive agent against several types of cancer. The present study, investigated anti-proliferation and cell cycle G2/M arrest induced by CuE in Detroit 562 cells (pharynx carcinoma) and HONE-1 (nasopharyngeal carcinoma) cells. Results indicate that the cytotoxicity is associated with accumulation in G2/M cell-cycle phases. CuE produced cell cycle arrest as well as the downregulation of cyclin B1 and CDC2 expression. In addition, treated cells with CuE and GADD45γ SiRNA that also coincided with GADD45γ gene activation in cell cycle arrest. Both effects increased proportionally with the dose of CuE; however, proliferation inhibition and mitosis delay was dependant on the amount of CuE treatment in the cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC4171705  PMID: 25245461
Aim: To investigate the role of miR-101 in the regulation of tumor proliferation, invasion, apoptosis and to its target gene in human ESCC. Methods: The expression level of miR-101 in Eca109 cell line was determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). After transfected with miR-101 mimics and inhibitor, proliferation, migration and apoptosis in ESCC cell line (Eca109) were detected by MTT, cell wound healing assay and flow cytometry, respectively. The expression of EZH2 in Eca109 cell was examined by immunohistochemical staining. Results: We found that miR-101 was significantly down-regulated in ESCC cell than in matched normal esophageal epithelium cell. The expression level of miR-101 was inversely correlated to EZH2 protein expression in ESCC cell. In Eca109 cells, over-expression of miR-101 significantly inhibited the migration and invasion of ESCC cells, and promotes cell apoptosis. Conclusions: These findings suggest that decreased expression of miR-101 might promote metastasis of human ESCC by inducing accumulation of EZH2 protein.
PMCID: PMC4230090  PMID: 25400732
MiR-101; ESCC; proliferation; invasion; EZH2
Biology Open  2014;3(9):861-870.
Planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling plays a critical role in tissue morphogenesis. In mammals, disruption of three of the six “core PCP” components results in polarity-dependent defects with rotated cochlear hair cell stereocilia and open neural tube. We recently demonstrated a role of Prickle1, a core PCP molecule in Drosophila, in mammalian neuronal development. To examine Prickle1 function along a broader developmental window, we generated three mutant alleles in mice. We show that the complete loss of Prickle1 leads to systemic tissue outgrowth defects, aberrant cell organization and disruption of polarity machinery. Curiously, Prickle1 mutants recapitulate the characteristic features of human Robinow syndrome and phenocopy mouse mutants with Wnt5a or Ror2 gene defects, prompting us to explore an association of Prickle1 with the Wnt pathway. We show that Prickle1 is a proteasomal target of Wnt5a signaling and that Dvl2, a target of Wnt5a signaling, is misregulated in Prickle1 mutants. Our studies implicate Prickle1 as a key component of the Wnt-signaling pathway and suggest that Prickle1 mediates some of the WNT5A-associated genetic defects in Robinow syndrome.
PMCID: PMC4163663  PMID: 25190059
Planar cell polarity; Development; Morphogenesis; Organogenesis; Conditional mouse mutants
Development (Cambridge, England)  2014;141(17):3399-3409.
Drosophila neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) represent a powerful model system with which to study glutamatergic synapse formation and remodeling. Several proteins have been implicated in these processes, including components of canonical Wingless (Drosophila Wnt1) signaling and the giant isoforms of the membrane-cytoskeleton linker Ankyrin 2, but possible interconnections and cooperation between these proteins were unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the heterotrimeric G protein Go functions as a transducer of Wingless-Frizzled 2 signaling in the synapse. We identify Ankyrin 2 as a target of Go signaling required for NMJ formation. Moreover, the Go-ankyrin interaction is conserved in the mammalian neurite outgrowth pathway. Without ankyrins, a major switch in the Go-induced neuronal cytoskeleton program is observed, from microtubule-dependent neurite outgrowth to actin-dependent lamellopodial induction. These findings describe a novel mechanism regulating the microtubule cytoskeleton in the nervous system. Our work in Drosophila and mammalian cells suggests that this mechanism might be generally applicable in nervous system development and function.
PMCID: PMC4199127  PMID: 25139856
Drosophila; Neuromuscular junction; Wnt; Frizzled; G protein; Ankyrin; Microtubules
Nucleic Acids Research  2014;42(16):10720-10730.
Follistatin (FST) performs several vital functions in the cells, including protection from apoptosis during stress. The expression of FST is up-regulated in response to glucose deprivation by an unknown mechanism. We herein showed that the induction of FST by glucose deprivation was due to an increase in the half-life of its mRNA. We further identified an AU-rich element (ARE) in the 3′UTR of FST mRNA that mediated its decay. The expression of FST was elevated after knocking down AUF1 and reduced when AUF1 was further expressed. In vitro binding assays and RNA pull-down assays revealed that AUF1 interacted with FST mRNA directly via its ARE. During glucose deprivation, a majority of AUF1 shuttled from cytoplasm to nucleus, resulting in dissociation of AUF1 from FST mRNA and thus stabilization of FST mRNA. Finally, knockdown of AUF1 decreased whereas overexpression of AUF1 increased glucose deprivation-induced apoptosis. The apoptosis promoting effect of AUF1 was eliminated in FST expressing cells. Collectively, this study provided evidence that AUF1 is a negative regulator of FST expression and participates in the regulation of cell survival under glucose deprivation.
PMCID: PMC4176339  PMID: 25159612
BMC Gastroenterology  2014;14:147.
To evaluate the safety, efficacy and outcomes of fast-track rehabilitation applied to gastric cancer proximal, distal and total gastrectomy.
Eighty consecutive patients undergoing gastric cancer resection performed by a single surgeon, received perioperative multimodal rehabilitation. Demographic and operative data, gastrointestinal function, postoperative hospital stays, surgical and general complications and mortality were assessed prospectively.
Of the 80 patients (mean age 56.3 years), 10 (12.5%) received proximal subtotal gastrectomy (Billroth I), 38 (47.5%) received distal (Billroth II), and 32 (40%) received total gastrectomy (Roux-en-Y). Mean operative time was 104.9 minutes and intraoperative blood loss was 281.9 ml. Time to first flatus was 2.8 ± 0.5 postoperative days. Patients were discharged at a mean of 5.3 ± 2.2 postoperative days; 30-day readmission rate was 3.8%. In-hospital mortality was 0%; general and surgical complications were both 5%.
Fast-track multimodal rehabilitation is feasible and safe in patients undergoing gastric cancer resection and may reduce time to first flatus and postoperative hospital stays.
PMCID: PMC4236561  PMID: 25135360
Gastric cancer; Fast-track surgery; Perioperative treatment; Hospital stay; Morbidity
Background. Nontraumatic cerebral air embolism cases are rare. We report a case of an air embolism resulting in cerebral infarction related to angioinvasive cavitary aspergillosis. To our knowledge, there have been no previous reports associating these two conditions together. Case Presentation. A 32-year-old female was admitted for treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Her hospital course was complicated by pulmonary aspergillosis. On hospital day 55, she acutely developed severe global aphasia with right hemiplegia. A CT and CT-angiogram of her head and neck were obtained demonstrating intravascular air emboli within the left middle cerebral artery (MCA) branches. She was emergently taken for hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). Evaluation for origin of the air embolus revealed an air focus along the left lower pulmonary vein. Over the course of 48 hours, her symptoms significantly improved. Conclusion. This unique case details an immunocompromised patient with pulmonary aspergillosis cavitary lesions that invaded into a pulmonary vein and caused a cerebral air embolism. With cerebral air embolisms, the acute treatment option differs from the typical ischemic stroke pathway and the provider should consider emergent HBOT. This case highlights the importance of considering atypical causes of acute ischemic stroke.
PMCID: PMC4150411  PMID: 25197589
Genetic defects in matriptase are linked to two congenital ichthyosis, autosomal recessive ichthyosis with hypotrichosis (ARIH, OMIM 610765) and, ichthyosis, follicular atrophoderma, hypotrichosis, and hypohidrosis (IFAH, OMIM602400). Mouse models with matriptase deficiency indicate an involvement of matriptase in suprabasal keratinocytes in the maintenance of the epidermal barrier. In contrast to what has been reported for mouse skin, we show that in human skin, matriptase is primarily expressed in the basal and spinous keratinocytes, but not in the more differentiated keratinocytes of the granular layer. In addition, matriptase zymogen activation was predominantly detected in the basal cells. Furthermore, using skin organotypic cultures as a model system to monitor the course of human epidermal differentiation, we found elevated matriptase zymogen activation during early stages of epidermal differentiation, coupled with a loss of matriptase expression in the late stages of this process. We also show here that matriptase deficiency in HaCaT cells modestly reduces cell proliferation and temporally affects calcium-induced expression of differentiation markers. These collective data suggests that, unlike mouse matriptase, human matriptase may be involved in regulation of keratinocyte growth and early differentiation, rather than terminal differentiation, providing mechanistic insights for the pathology of the two congenital ichthyoses, ARIH and IFAH.
PMCID: PMC3925676  PMID: 23900022
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e103142.
MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that can regulate expressions of their target genes at the post-transcriptional level. In this study, we propose a tri-component strategy that combines the conservation of microRNAs, homology of mRNA coding regions, and conserved microRNA binding sites in the 3′ untranslated regions to discover conserved microRNA-mRNA interactions. To validate the performance of our conservation strategy, we collected the experimentally validated microRNA-mRNA interactions from three databases as the golden standard. We found that the proposed strategy can improve the performance of existing target prediction algorithms by approximately 2–4 fold. In addition, we demonstrated that the proposed strategy could efficiently retain highly confident interactions from the intersection results of the existing algorithms and filter out the possible false positive predictions in the union one. Furthermore, this strategy can facilitate our ability to trace the homologues in different species that are targeted by the same miRNA family because it combines these three features to identify the conserved miRNA-mRNA interactions during evolution. Through an extensive application of the proposed conservation strategy to a study of the miR-1/206 regulatory network, we demonstrate that the target mRNA recruiting process could be associated with expansion of miRNA family during its evolution. We also uncovered the functional evolution of the miR-1/206 regulatory network. In this network, the early targeted genes tend to participate in more general and development-related functions. In summary, the conservation strategy is capable of helping to highlight the highly confident miRNA-mRNA interactions and can be further applied to reveal the evolutionary features of miRNA regulatory network and functions.
PMCID: PMC4108425  PMID: 25054916
Oncology Letters  2014;8(4):1717-1724.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between the prognosis of lymph node-negative breast cancer patients and clinicopathological factors, as well as the association between tumor-associated gene expression and prognosis. Clinical data and survival information was collected for 341 patients with lymph node-negative breast cancer, admitted to the Cancer Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (Beijing, China) from 1995 to 1999. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and Log-rank tests were used to evaluate the association of clinical parameters and prognosis. In addition, the gene expression of HER2, TOP2A and CCND1 in patients with good [disease-free survival (DFS), ≥5 years] and poor (DFS, <5 years) prognoses was analyzed. The clinicopathological factors of the 341 lymph node-negative breast cancer patients were determined. The 5-year DFS and overall survival rate (OS) in patients >35 years old was higher as compared with those of patients under the age of 35. Tumor size significantly affected the 5-year DFS. Patients with smaller tumors (≤2 cm) had a significantly higher DFS rate as compared with patients with larger tumors (>2 cm). Estrogen receptor (ER)-positive patients had a significantly higher 5-year DFS and OS rate as compared with ER-negative patients. By contrast, there were no significant differences in the 5-year DFS and OS rates between progesterone receptor-positive and -negative patients. The 5-year DFS and OS rates were significantly higher in patients treated with adjuvant hormone therapy, as compared with patients without hormone therapy. The expression of HER2 protein was higher in patients with a poor prognosis as compared with those with a good prognosis; however, there were no differences in the protein expression of CCND1 and TOP2A between patients with a good and poor prognosis. The results of quantitative polymerase chain reaction showed that the gene expression of HER2 and CCND1 was higher in patients with a poor prognosis as compared with that in patients with a good prognosis. TOP2A gene expression was not significantly different between patients with a poor and good prognosis. The age at diagnosis, tumor size, ER status and hormone therapy were associated with prognosis in patients with lymph node-negative breast cancer. The molecular biomarker, HER2, but not CCND1 or TOP2A, may be a critical factor for predicting prognosis.
PMCID: PMC4156224  PMID: 25202398
lymph node-negative breast cancer; prognosis; HER2; TOP2A; CCND1
Oncotarget  2014;5(13):5153-5164.
The functions and mechanisms of metastasis-associated protein 1 (MTA1) in cancer progression are still unclear due to a lagged recognition of the subcellular localization. In the present study, using multiple molecular technologies we confirmed for the first time that MTA1 localizes to the nucleus, cytoplasm and nuclear envelope. MTA1 is primarily localized in the nucleus of normal adult tissues but in the cytoplasm of embryonic tissues. While in colon cancer, both distributions have been described. Further investigation revealed that MTA1 localizes on the nuclear envelope in a translocated promoter region (TPR)-dependent manner, while in the cytoplasm, MTA1 shows an obvious localization on microtubules. Both nuclear and cytoplasmic MTA1 are associated with cancer progression. However, these functions may be associated with different mechanisms because only nuclear MTA1 has been associated with cancer differentiation. Overexpression of MTA1 in HCT116 cells inhibited differentiation and promoted proliferation, whereas MTA1 knockdown resulted in cell differentiation and death. Theses results not only suggest that nuclear MTA1 is a good marker for cancer differentiation diagnosis and a potential target for the treatment of cancers but also reveal the necessity to differentially examine the functions of nuclear and cytoplasmic MTA1.
PMCID: PMC4148129  PMID: 24970816
MTA1; Subcellular distribution; Cancer; Differentiation
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;22(11):2234-2246.
Development of axons and dendrites constitutes a critical event in neuronal maturation and seems to require signaling through the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway. Mutations in components of the PCP pathway lead to a spectrum of neurological phenotypes and disorders. For example, a missense mutation in Prickle 1 (Pk1) is associated with progressive myoclonus epilepsy (PME) in humans, and its reduced gene dosage increases sensitivity to induced seizure in mice. In an effort to unravel the role of the PCP pathway in mammalian neuronal development, we examined the expression of Pk1 in the central nervous system (CNS) using in situ hybridization (ISH) in combination with a genetic knock-in approach. We show that Pk1 transcripts are detected in the postmitotic cells of the subplate and cortical plate during mid- and late stages of cortical neurogenesis. In adult brain, Pk1 is expressed in distinct neuronal and glial cell populations, with dynamic formation of dendrites and glial processes during development. Of all the cell types in the mature retina, the highest expression of Pk1 is detected in cholinergic amacrine neurons. Knockdown of Pk1 by shRNA or dominant-negative constructs causes reduced axonal and dendritic extension in hippocampal neurons. Similarly, Pk1 knockdown in neonatal retina leads to defects in inner and outer segments and axon terminals of photoreceptors. Our studies implicate Pk1 function in axonal-dendritic development associated with the maturation of CNS neurons.
PMCID: PMC3652420  PMID: 23420014

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