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1.  MCAF1 and Rta-Activated BZLF1 Transcription in Epstein-Barr Virus 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90698.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) expresses two transcription factors, Rta and Zta, which are involved in the transcriptional activation of EBV lytic genes. This study sought to elucidate the mechanism by which Rta activates transcription of the Zta-encoding gene, BZLF1, through the ZII element in the gene promoter. In a DNA affinity precipitation assay, ATF2 was found to associate with an Rta-interacting protein, MCAF1, at the ZII element. The interaction between Rta, MCAF1, and ATF2 at the same site in the ZII region was further verified in vivo by chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. The complex appears to be crucial for the activation of BZLF1 transcription, as the overexpression of two ATF2-dominant negative mutants, or the introduction of MCAF1 siRNA into 293T cells, were both found to substantially reduce Rta-mediated transcription levels of BZLF1. Moreover, this study also found that the Rta-MCAF1-ATF2 complex binds to a typical AP-1 binding sequence on the promoter of BMRF2, a key viral gene for EBV infection. Mutation of this sequence decreased Rta-mediated promoter activity significantly. Taken together, these results indicate a critical role for MCAF1 in AP-1-dependent Rta activation of BZLF1 transcription.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090698
PMCID: PMC3944714  PMID: 24598729
2.  Nocturnal CPAP improves walking capacity in COPD patients with obstructive sleep apnoea 
Respiratory Research  2013;14(1):66.
Background
Exercise limitation is an important issue in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and it often co-exists with obstructive sleep apnoea (overlap syndrome). This study examined the effects of nocturnal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment on walking capacity in COPD patients with or without obstructive sleep apnoea.
Methods
Forty-four stable moderate-to-severe COPD patients were recruited and completed this study. They all underwent polysomnography, CPAP titration, accommodation, and treatment with adequate pressure. The incremental shuttle walking test was used to measure walking capacity at baseline and after two nights of CPAP treatment. Urinary catecholamine and heart rate variability were measured before and after CPAP treatment.
Results
After two nights of CPAP treatment, the apnoea-hypopnoea index and oxygen desaturation index significantly improved in both overlap syndrome and COPD patients, however these changes were significantly greater in the overlap syndrome than in the COPD group. Sleep architecture and autonomic dysfunction significantly improved in the overlap syndrome group but not in the COPD group. CPAP treatment was associated with an increased walking capacity from baseline from 226.4 ± 95.3 m to 288.6 ± 94.6 m (P < 0.05), and decreased urinary catecholamine levels, pre-exercise heart rate, oxygenation, and Borg scale in the overlap syndrome group. An improvement in the apnoea-hypopnoea index was an independent factor associated with the increase in walking distance (r = 0.564).
Conclusion
Nocturnal CPAP may improve walking capacity in COPD patients with overlap syndrome.
Trial registration
NCT00914264
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-14-66
PMCID: PMC3689615  PMID: 23782492
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Obstructive sleep apnoea; Walking capacity; Autonomic dysfunction; Continuous positive airway pressure
3.  The Potential Regimen of Target-Controlled Infusion of Propofol in Flexible Bronchoscopy Sedation: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e62744.
Objectives
Target-controlled infusion (TCI) provides precise pharmacokinetic control of propofol concentration in the effect-site (Ce), eg. brain. This pilot study aims to evaluate the feasibility and optimal TCI regimen for flexible bronchoscopy (FB) sedation.
Methods
After alfentanil bolus, initial induction Ce of propofol was targeted at 2 μg/ml. Patients were randomized into three titration groups (i.e., by 0.5, 0.2 and 0.1 μg/ml, respectively) to maintain stable sedation levels and vital signs. Adverse events, frequency of adjustments, drug doses, and induction and recovery times were recorded.
Results
The study was closed early due to significantly severe hypoxemia events (oxyhemoglobin saturation <70%) in the group titrated at 0.5 μg/ml. Forty-nine, 49 and 46 patients were enrolled into the 3 respective groups before study closure. The proportion of patients with hypoxemia events differed significantly between groups (67.3 vs. 46.9 vs. 41.3%, p = 0.027). Hypotension events, induction and recovery time and propofol doses were not different. The Ce of induction differed significantly between groups (2.4±0.5 vs. 2.1±0.4 vs. 2.1±0.3 μg/ml, p = 0.005) and the Ce of procedures was higher at 0.5 μg/ml titration (2.4±0.5 vs. 2.1±0.4 vs. 2.2±0.3 μg/ml, p = 0.006). The adjustment frequency tended to be higher for titration at 0.1 μg/ml but was not statistically significant (2 (0∼6) vs. 3 (0∼6) vs. 3 (0∼11)). Subgroup analysis revealed 14% of all patients required no further adjustment during the whole sedation. Comparing patients requiring at least one adjustment with those who did not, they were observed to have a shorter induction time (87.6±34.9 vs. 226.9±147.9 sec, p<0.001), a smaller induction dose and Ce (32.5±4.1 vs. 56.8±22.7 mg, p<0.001; 1.76±0.17 vs. 2.28 ±0.41, p<0.001, respectively), and less hypoxemia and hypotension (15.8 vs.56.9%, p = 0.001; 0 vs. 24.1%, p = 0.008, respectively).
Conclusion
Titration at 0.5 μg/ml is risky for FB sedation. A subgroup of patients required no more TCI adjustment with fewer complications. Further studies are warranted to determine the optimal regimen of TCI for FB sedation.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01101477
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062744
PMCID: PMC3634750  PMID: 23638141
4.  Feasibility of Bispectral Index-Guided Propofol Infusion for Flexible Bronchoscopy Sedation: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e27769.
Objectives
There are safety issues associated with propofol use for flexible bronchoscopy (FB). The bispectral index (BIS) correlates well with the level of consciousness. The aim of this study was to show that BIS-guided propofol infusion is safe and may provide better sedation, benefiting the patients and bronchoscopists.
Methods
After administering alfentanil bolus, 500 patients were randomized to either propofol infusion titrated to a BIS level of 65-75 (study group) or incremental midazolam bolus based on clinical judgment to achieve moderate sedation. The primary endpoint was safety, while the secondary endpoints were recovery time, patient tolerance, and cooperation.
Results
The proportion of patients with hypoxemia or hypotensive events were not different in the 2 groups (study vs. control groups: 39.9% vs. 35.7%, p = 0.340; 7.4% vs. 4.4%, p = 0.159, respectively). The mean lowest blood pressure was lower in the study group. Logistic regression revealed male gender, higher American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status, and electrocautery were associated with hypoxemia, whereas lower propofol dose for induction was associated with hypotension in the study group. The study group had better global tolerance (p<0.001), less procedural interference by movement or cough (13.6% vs. 36.1%, p<0.001; 30.0% vs. 44.2%, p = 0.001, respectively), and shorter time to orientation and ambulation (11.7±10.2 min vs. 29.7±26.8 min, p<0.001; 30.0±18.2 min vs. 55.7±40.6 min, p<0.001, respectively) compared to the control group.
Conclusions
BIS-guided propofol infusion combined with alfentanil for FB sedation provides excellent patient tolerance, with fast recovery and less procedure interference.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials. gov NCT00789815
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0027769
PMCID: PMC3223212  PMID: 22132138

Results 1-4 (4)