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1.  Prognostic role of microRNA-205 in multiple human malignant neoplasms: a meta-analysis of 17 studies 
BMJ Open  2015;5(1):e006244.
MicroRNA-205 (miRNA-205) was revealed as an attractive prognostic tumour biomarker in recent studies. However, the results of different studies have been inconsistent. We conducted a meta-analysis to elucidate the precise predictive value of miRNA-205 in various human malignant neoplasms.
Data sources
Qualified studies were identified up to 5 June 2014 by performing online searches in PubMed, EMBASE and Web of Science, and additional quality evaluations.
Seventeen eligible studies with 4827 patients were ultimately enrolled in this meta-analysis.
Outcome measures
The heterogeneity between studies was assessed using I2 statistics. Pooled HRs with 95% CIs for patient survival and disease recurrence were calculated to investigate the correlation between miRNA-205 expression and cancer prognosis.
Our results indicate that elevated miRNA-205 was significantly associated with enhanced overall survival in the breast cancer subgroup (HR=0.78, 95% CI 0.67 to 0.91) and superior disease-free survival/recurrence-free survival in the adenocarcinoma subgroup (HR=0.68, 95% CI 0.49 to 0.94).
miRNA-205 is a promising biomarker for predicting the recurrence and progression of patients with adenocarcinomas or breast cancer. Owing to its complex roles, further relevant studies are warranted.
PMCID: PMC4305071  PMID: 25613953
2.  Long-term postoperative outcomes of bilateral lateral rectus recession vs unilateral recession-resection for intermittent exotropia 
To discuss the long-term postoperative results of bilateral lateral rectus recession (BLR) and unilateral lateral rectus recession-medial rectus resection (RR) in therapy of intermittent exotropia.
We retrospectively analyzed 213 cases of intermittent exotropia who underwent surgery between 2008 and 2010. The patients were grouped into BLR group and RR group. Motor outcomes were divided into three groups on the basis of the angle of deviation after surgery: overcorrection (esotropia/phoria >5Δ), orthophoria (esotropia/phoria ≤5Δ to exotropia/phoria ≤10Δ), and undercorrection/recurrence (exotropia/phoria >10Δ). Titmus test was used to evaluate stereoacuity, the stereoacuity <800s of arc meaned the patients had stereopsis. Surgical outcome including motor criteria and sensory status were compared at postoperative 6, 12, 24mo and at 36mo examination between groups.
At 12, 24mo after surgery, the motor outcomes had no difference (P>0.05) between groups. However, the motor outcomes at 6, 36mo were signally different in each group, indicating the success rate in RR group at 6mo was higher than that in BLR group (83.02% vs 82.24%, P<0.05) but the result was contrary at the 3y examination (60.75% vs 43.40%, P<0.05). No statistical significance were found in the sensory outcomes between the groups at mean of 3.7y follow-up.
The motor outcomes in RR group were better than in BLR group at 6mo after surgery, while the 3y outcomes were better in BLR group. This may be due to the recurrence rate of the BLR was lower than the RR group's.
PMCID: PMC4270974  PMID: 25540763
intermittent exotropia; operation; treatment effect
3.  The development of a normalization method for comparing nerve regeneration effectiveness among different graft types 
The inability to compare directly different nerve grafts has been a significant factor hindering the advance of nerve graft development. Due to the abundance of variables that exist in nerve graft construction and multiple assessment types, there has been limited success in comparing nerve graft effectiveness among experiments. Using mathematical techniques on nerve conduction velocity (NCV) autograft data, a normalization function was empirically derived that normalizes differences in gap lengths. Further analysis allowed for the development of the Relative Regeneration Ratio (RRR). The RRR function allows researchers to directly compare nerve graft results based on the NCV data from their respective studies as long as the data was collected at the same post-operation time. This function also allows for comparisons between grafts tested at different gap lengths. Initial testing of this RRR function provided confidence that the function is accurate for a continuum of gap lengths and different nerve graft types.
PMCID: PMC3981871  PMID: 24118184
autograft; nerve conduction velocity; nerve conduit; nerve regeneration; peripheral nerve
4.  Dexamethasone attenuates LPS-induced changes in expression of urea transporter and aquaporin proteins, ameliorating brain endotoxemia in mice 
Aim: AQP4 in the brain is involved in the occurrence and development of a variety of encephalopathy. AQPs family changes in kidney were accompanied by altered UTs family. The aim of this study was to observe AQP4 and UT-A3 expression in CNS and to explore their role in the pathogenesis of endotoxemia encephalopathy following peripheral LPS injection in mice. Methods: Endotoxemia was induced in C57Bl/6 mice by intraperitoneal injection of LPS. The expression of UT-A3 and AQP4 in brain were detected by Western blot and immunohistochemistry, the level of cytokines were detected by ELISA, and the content of LDH, AST/ALT, BUN and CREA were detected by colorimetric method. Results: As compared with the control group, in model group, the brain weight/ body weight ratio increased by 13%. Meanwhile, a 2.5 fold increase in LDH and a 1.2 fold increase in AST/ALT were found in peripheral serum (P < 0.05), and also, BUN and CREA increased 2.5 fold (P < 0.01). In addition to severe CNS injury in response to lipopolysaccharide, the contents of cytokines and the expression of AQP4 protein in hippocampal is increased (P < 0.05), while the expression of UT-A3 protein in the hippocampus and cortical astrocytes decreased (P < 0.05). And, in part, Dexa pretreatment attenuated those effects. Conclusions: In endotoxemia encephalopathy, AQPs and UTs which regulate the functions of cell membrane are both altered. We suggested that the molecular mechanisms of regulation in endotoxemia may provide a new strategy for clinical treatment of the disease and drug binding sites.
PMCID: PMC4314035
Lipopolysaccharide (LPS); urea transporters (UTs); aquaporins (AQPs); dexamethasone (Dexa); brain
5.  Increasing gene discovery and coverage using RNA-seq of globin RNA reduced porcine blood samples 
BMC Genomics  2014;15(1):954.
Transcriptome analysis of porcine whole blood has several applications, which include deciphering genetic mechanisms for host responses to viral infection and vaccination. The abundance of alpha- and beta-globin transcripts in blood, however, impedes the ability to cost-effectively detect transcripts of low abundance. Although protocols exist for reduction of globin transcripts from human and mouse/rat blood, preliminary work demonstrated these are not useful for porcine blood Globin Reduction (GR). Our objectives were to develop a porcine specific GR protocol and to evaluate the GR effects on gene discovery and sequence read coverage in RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) experiments.
A GR protocol for porcine blood samples was developed using RNase H with antisense oligonucleotides specifically targeting porcine hemoglobin alpha (HBA) and beta (HBB) mRNAs. Whole blood samples (n = 12) collected in Tempus tubes were used for evaluating the efficacy and effects of GR on RNA-seq. The HBA and HBB mRNA transcripts comprised an average of 46.1% of the mapped reads in pre-GR samples, but those reads reduced to an average of 8.9% in post-GR samples. Differential gene expression analysis showed that the expression level of 11,046 genes were increased, whereas 34 genes, excluding HBA and HBB, showed decreased expression after GR (FDR <0.05). An additional 815 genes were detected only in post-GR samples.
Our porcine specific GR primers and protocol minimize the number of reads of globin transcripts in whole blood samples and provides increased coverage as well as accuracy and reproducibility of transcriptome analysis. Increased detection of low abundance mRNAs will ensure that studies relying on transcriptome analyses do not miss information that may be vital to the success of the study.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-954) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4230834  PMID: 25374277
Pig; Blood; Globin reduction; RNA-seq; Transcriptome
6.  Nuclear factor of activated T cells 5 maintained by Hotair suppression of miR-568 upregulates S100 calcium binding protein A4 to promote breast cancer metastasis 
The onset of distal metastasis, which underlies the high mortality of breast cancers, warrants substantial studies to depict its molecular basis. Nuclear factor of activated T cells 5 (NFAT5) is upregulated in various malignancies and is critically involved in migration and invasion of neoplastic cells. Nevertheless, the metastasis-related events potentiated by this transcriptional factor and the mechanism responsible for NFAT5 elevation in carcinoma cells remain to be fully elucidated.
The correlation of NFAT5 with breast cancer invasiveness was investigated in vitro and clinically. The genes transcriptionally activated by NFAT5 were probed and their roles in breast cancer progression were dissected. The upstream regulators of NFAT5 were studied with particular attempt to explore the involvement of non-coding RNAs, and the mechanism underlying the maintenance of NFAT5 expression was deciphered.
In metastatic breast cancers, NFAT5 promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and invasion of cells by switching on the expression of the calcium binding protein S100A4, and facilitates the angiogenesis of breast epithelial cells and thus the development of metastases by transcriptionally activating vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C). NFAT5 is directly targeted by miR-568, which is in turn suppressed by the long non-coding RNA, Hotair, via a documented in trans gene silencing pattern, that is recruitment of the polycomb complex (Polycomb Repressive Complex 2; PRC2) and LSD1, and consequently methylation of histone H3K27 and demethylation of H3K4 on the miR-568 loci.
This study unravels a detailed role of NFAT5 in mediating metastatic signaling, and provides broad insights into the involvement of Hotair, in particular, by transcriptionally regulating the expression of microRNA(s), in the metastasis of breast cancers.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13058-014-0454-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4303133  PMID: 25311085
7.  A new tumour suppression mechanism by p27Kip1: EGFR down-regulation mediated by JNK/c-Jun pathway inhibition 
Biochemical Journal  2014;463(Pt 3):383-392.
p27Kip1 is a potent inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases that drive G1-to-S cell-cycle transition. Reduced p27Kip1 expression is prevalent in a wide range of human tumours; however, the exact mechanism(s) of p27Kip1-mediated tumour suppression remains obscure. In the present study, we identified a close inverse relationship between p27Kip1 and EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) expression: the parental T24 human bladder cancer cells had high p27Kip1 expression but low EGFR expression and, in striking contrast, the metastatic derivative of T24 (T24T) had low p27Kip1 expression but high EGFR expression. This relationship was also found in various human cancer tissues, and was not only just correlative but also causal; depletion of p27Kip1 in MEF (mouse embryonic fibroblast) cells resulted in markedly elevated EGFR expression, a result reproducible with an Egfr promoter-luciferase reporter in both T24 and MEF cells, suggesting transcriptional repression of EGFR by p27Kip1. Indeed, p27Kip1 was found to regulate EGFR expression via the JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase)/c-Jun transcription factor: p27Kip1 deficiency activated JNK/c-Jun, whereas inhibition of JNK/c-Jun by dominant-negative mutants dramatically repressed Egfr transcription. Furthermore, the proximal promoter of the Egfr gene was crucial for its transcription, where the recruiting activity of c-Jun was much greater in p27Kip1−/− cells than in p27Kip1+/+ cells. Introduction of GFP–p27Kip1 into T24T cells suppressed JNK/c-Jun activation, EGFR expression and anchorage-independent growth. The results of the present study demonstrate that p27Kip1 suppresses JNK/c-Jun activation and EGFR expression in MEFs and human bladder cancer cells, and the results obtained are consistent with those from human cancer specimens. The present study provides new insights into p27Kip1 suppression of cancer cell growth, migration and metastasis.
An inverse relationship between p27Kip1 and EGFR expression in parental T24 human bladder cancer cells and various human cancer tissues was found. Depletion of p27Kip1 in cells markedly elevated EGFR expression through transcriptional repression of Egfr by p27Kip1 via the JNK/c-Jun cascade.
PMCID: PMC4209780  PMID: 25121353
bladder cancer; c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/c-Jun pathway; epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR); p27Kip1; signal transduction pathway; AP-1, activator protein 1; BME, basal medium Eagle; CDK, cyclin-dependent kinase; DMEM, Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium; EGFR, epidermal growth factor receptor; GAPDH, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; HSF-1, heat-shock factor 1; Hsp, heat-shock protein; IHC, immunohistochemistry; JNK, c-Jun N-terminal kinase; MEF, mouse embryonic fibroblast; RT, reverse transcription; SP1, specificity protein 1
8.  Mandibuloacral dysplasia type A-associated progeria caused by homozygous LMNA mutation in a family from Southern China 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14(1):256.
Mandibuloacral dysplasia type A (MADA) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder, characterized by growth retardation, skeletal abnormality with progressive osteolysis of the distal phalanges and clavicles, craniofacial anomalies with mandibular hypoplasia, lipodystrophy and mottled cutaneous pigmentation. Some patients may show progeroid features. MADA with partial lipodystrophy, more marked acral, can be caused by homozygous or compound heterozygous mutation in the gene encoding lamin A and lamin C (LMNA). MADA and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome are caused by the same gene and may represent a single disorder with varying degrees of severity. MAD patients characterized by generalized lipodystrophy (type B) affecting the face as well as extremities and severe progressive glomerulopathy present heterozygous compound mutations in the ZMPSTE24 gene.
Cases presentations
We described a rare pedigree from Southern China, among them all three children presented with phenotypes of MADA associated progeria. The two elder sisters had developed severe mandibular hypoplasia associated progeria since the age of 1year. The eldest sister showed a progressive osteolysis. The youngest son of 10 months showed severer lesions than those of his sisters at the same age, and presented possible muscle damage, and his symptoms progressed gradually. Three genes mutations including LMNA, ZMPSTE24 and BANF1 were tested in the family. LMNA gene sequencing revealed a homozygous missense mutation, c.1579C > T, p.R527C for all three siblings, and heterozygous mutations for their parents, whereas no mutations of ZMPSTE24 and BANF1 genes was detected among them.
The same homozygous mutation of c.1579C > T of LMNA gene led to MADA associated progeria for the present family. The course of osteolysis for MADA is progressive.
PMCID: PMC4287574  PMID: 25286833
Differential diagnosis; LMNA gene; Mandibuloacral dysplasia type A; Mutation; Progeria syndrome
9.  Replication and fine mapping of asthma-associated loci in individuals of African ancestry 
Human genetics  2013;132(9):1039-1047.
Asthma originates from genetic and environmental factors with about half the risk of disease attributable to heritable causes. Genome-wide association studies, mostly in populations of European ancestry, have identified numerous asthma-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Studies in populations with diverse ancestries allow both for identification of robust associations that replicate across ethnic groups and for improved resolution of associated loci due to different patterns of linkage disequilibrium between ethnic groups. Here we report on an analysis of 745 African-American subjects with asthma and 3,238 African-American control subjects from the Candidate Gene Association Resource (CARe) Consortium, including analysis of SNPs imputed using 1,000 Genomes reference panels and adjustment for local ancestry. We show strong evidence that variation near RAD50/IL13, implicated in studies of European ancestry individuals, replicates in individuals largely of African ancestry. Fine mapping in African ancestry populations also refined the variants of interest for this association. We also provide strong or nominal evidence of replication at loci near ORMDL3/GSDMB, IL1RLML18R1, and 10pl4, all previously associated with asthma in European or Japanese populations, but not at the PYHIN1 locus previously reported in studies of African-American samples. These results improve the understanding of asthma genetics and further demonstrate the utility of genetic studies in populations other than those of largely European ancestry.
PMCID: PMC3975655  PMID: 23666277
10.  Proliferative ductular reactions correlate with hepatic progenitor cell and predict recurrence in HCC patients after curative resection 
Cell & Bioscience  2014;4(1):50.
Ductular reactions (DRs) are well documented in many acute and chronic liver disease.The DRs are thought to be the transit amplifying cells deriving from activation of the stem/progenitor cell compartments of the liver. The aim of this study was to examine the presence of proliferative index of DR (PI-DR) and HPC markers’ expression in HCCs after curative hepatectomy, as well as their relationship with clinicopathological features and prognosis.
Tissue microarray with peritumoral and intratumoral tissue samples of 120 HCCs after hepatectomy was analysed for peritumoral expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen for PI-DR. Peritumoral and intratumoral expression status of HPC markers including EpCAM, OV6, CD133 and c-kit were also examined by immunohistochemistry. TMA analysis of HCCs revealed that peritumoral PI-DR strongly correlated with the degree of inflammation and fibrosis. The peritumoral PI-DR positively correlated with peritumoral HPC markers EpCAM, OV6, CD133 and c-kit expression. Moreover, there were highly significant correlations between peritumoral PI-DR and intratumoral HPC markers EpCAM, OV6, CD133 and c-kit expression. Further, multivariate analysis showed that peritumoral PI-DR was the independent prognostic factor for overall survival (HR; 3.316, P < 0.001), and peritumoral PI-DR had a better power to predict disease-free survival (HR; 2.618, P < 0.001).
Peritumoral PI-DR, as a valid surrogate for peritumoral and intratumoral expression of HPC markers, could be served as a potential prognostic marker for recurrence and survival in HCC after hepatectomy.
PMCID: PMC4156622  PMID: 25197550
Proliferative index of ductular reaction; Hepatic progenitor cell; Recurrence; Hepatocellular carcinoma
11.  Sequence, Structural and Expression Divergence of Duplicate Genes in the Bovine Genome 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102868.
Gene duplication is a widespread phenomenon in genome evolution, and it has been proposed to serve as an engine of evolutionary innovation. In the present study, we performed the first comprehensive analysis of duplicate genes in the bovine genome. A total of 3131 putative duplicated gene pairs were identified, including 712 cattle-specific duplicate gene pairs unevenly distributed across the genome, which are significantly enriched for specific biological functions including immunity, growth, digestion, reproduction, embryonic development, inflammatory response, and defense response to bacterium. Around 97.1% (87.8%) of (cattle-specific) duplicate gene pairs were found to have distinct exon-intron structures. Analysis of gene expression by RNA-Seq and sequence divergence (synonymous or non-synonymous) revealed that expression divergence is correlated with sequence divergence, as has been previously observed in other species. This analysis also led to the identification of a subset of cattle-specific duplicate gene pairs exhibiting very high expression divergence. Interestingly, further investigation revealed a significant relationship between structural and expression divergence while controlling for the effect of synonymous sequence divergence. Together these results provide further insight into duplicate gene sequence and expression divergence in cattle, and their potential contributions to phenotypic divergence.
PMCID: PMC4108385  PMID: 25054921
12.  Genome-wide association analysis of red blood cell traits in African Americans: the COGENT Network 
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;22(12):2529-2538.
Laboratory red blood cell (RBC) measurements are clinically important, heritable and differ among ethnic groups. To identify genetic variants that contribute to RBC phenotypes in African Americans (AAs), we conducted a genome-wide association study in up to ∼16 500 AAs. The alpha-globin locus on chromosome 16pter [lead SNP rs13335629 in ITFG3 gene; P < 1E−13 for hemoglobin (Hgb), RBC count, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), MCH and MCHC] and the G6PD locus on Xq28 [lead SNP rs1050828; P < 1E − 13 for Hgb, hematocrit (Hct), MCV, RBC count and red cell distribution width (RDW)] were each associated with multiple RBC traits. At the alpha-globin region, both the common African 3.7 kb deletion and common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) appear to contribute independently to RBC phenotypes among AAs. In the 2p21 region, we identified a novel variant of PRKCE distinctly associated with Hct in AAs. In a genome-wide admixture mapping scan, local European ancestry at the 6p22 region containing HFE and LRRC16A was associated with higher Hgb. LRRC16A has been previously associated with the platelet count and mean platelet volume in AAs, but not with Hgb. Finally, we extended to AAs the findings of association of erythrocyte traits with several loci previously reported in Europeans and/or Asians, including CD164 and HBS1L-MYB. In summary, this large-scale genome-wide analysis in AAs has extended the importance of several RBC-associated genetic loci to AAs and identified allelic heterogeneity and pleiotropy at several previously known genetic loci associated with blood cell traits in AAs.
PMCID: PMC3658166  PMID: 23446634
13.  Mesenchymal stem cells contribute to the chemoresistance of hepatocellular carcinoma cells in inflammatory environment by inducing autophagy 
Cell & Bioscience  2014;4:22.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been reported to play an important role in tumor growth. Inflammation is an important feature of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Certain inflammatory cytokines produced in tumor microenvironment modulate functional activities of MSCs. At the present time, however, the role of MSCs in the development of HCC cell resistance to chemotherapy in the inflammatory microenvironment during tumor growth has not yet been identified.
MTT and PI/Annexin V-FITC assay were employed to examine the proliferation and apoptosis of HCC cell lines. The expression of TGF-β are detected by Realtime PCR and Western blot. GFP tagged LC3 expression vector and electron microscopy are utilized to demonstrate the occurrence of autophagy.
We observed that MSCs pretreated with the combination of IFN-γ and TNF-α induced resistance to chemotherapy in HCC cell lines in both the in vitro and in vivo circumstances. Following exposure to conditioned medium of MSCs that were pre-treated with IFN-γ plus TNF-α, HCC cell line cells underwent autophagy which serves as a protective mechanism for HCC cells to resist the cell toxicity of chemotherapeutic agents. Treatment of HCC cell line cells with autophagy inhibitor effectively reversed the MSCs-induced resistance to chemotherapy in these cells. Stimulation with the combination of IFN-γ and TNF-α provoked expression of TGF-β by MSCs. MSCs-induced chemoresistance in HCC cell lines was correlated with the up-regulation of TGF-β expression by MSCs. Knockdown of TGF-β expression by MSCs with siRNA attenuated MSCs-induced chemoresistance in HCC cells.
These results suggest that increase in TGF-β expression by MSCs in the inflammatory microenvironment of HCC promotes the development of chemoresistance in HCC cells.
PMCID: PMC4036298  PMID: 24872873
Mesenchymal stem cells; Inflammation; Autophagy; Hepatocellular carcinoma
14.  The Impact of Ancestry and Common Genetic Variants on QT Interval in African Americans 
Ethnic differences in cardiac arrhythmia incidence have been reported, with a particularly high incidence of sudden cardiac death (SCD) and low incidence of atrial fibrillation in individuals of African ancestry. We tested the hypotheses that African ancestry and common genetic variants are associated with prolonged duration of cardiac repolarization, a central pathophysiological determinant of arrhythmia, as measured by the electrocardiographic QT interval.
Methods and Results
First, individual estimates of African and European ancestry were inferred from genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data in seven population-based cohorts of African Americans (n=12 097) and regressed on measured QT interval from electrocardiograms. Second, imputation was performed for 2.8 million SNPs and a genome-wide association (GWA) study of QT interval performed in ten cohorts (n=13 105). There was no evidence of association between genetic ancestry and QT interval (p=0.94). Genome-wide significant associations (p<2.5×10−8) were identified with SNPs at two loci, upstream of the genes NOS1AP (rs12143842, p=2×10−15) and ATP1B1 (rs1320976, p=2×10−10). The most significant SNP in NOS1AP was the same as the strongest SNP previously associated with QT interval in individuals of European ancestry. Low p-values (p<10−5) were observed for SNPs at several other loci previously identified in GWA studies in individuals of European ancestry, including KCNQ1, KCNH2, LITAF and PLN.
We observed no difference in duration of cardiac repolarization with global genetic indices of African ancestry. In addition, our GWA study extends the association of polymorphisms at several loci associated with repolarization in individuals of European ancestry to include African Americans.
PMCID: PMC3568265  PMID: 23166209
electrocardiography; electrophysiology; genome-wide association studies; ion channels; repolarization
15.  A Meta-Analysis Identifies New Loci Associated with Body Mass index in Individuals of African Ancestry 
Monda, Keri L. | Chen, Gary K. | Taylor, Kira C. | Palmer, Cameron | Edwards, Todd L. | Lange, Leslie A. | Ng, Maggie C.Y. | Adeyemo, Adebowale A. | Allison, Matthew A. | Bielak, Lawrence F. | Chen, Guanji | Graff, Mariaelisa | Irvin, Marguerite R. | Rhie, Suhn K. | Li, Guo | Liu, Yongmei | Liu, Youfang | Lu, Yingchang | Nalls, Michael A. | Sun, Yan V. | Wojczynski, Mary K. | Yanek, Lisa R. | Aldrich, Melinda C. | Ademola, Adeyinka | Amos, Christopher I. | Bandera, Elisa V. | Bock, Cathryn H. | Britton, Angela | Broeckel, Ulrich | Cai, Quiyin | Caporaso, Neil E. | Carlson, Chris | Carpten, John | Casey, Graham | Chen, Wei-Min | Chen, Fang | Chen, Yii-Der I. | Chiang, Charleston W.K. | Coetzee, Gerhard A. | Demerath, Ellen | Deming-Halverson, Sandra L. | Driver, Ryan W. | Dubbert, Patricia | Feitosa, Mary F. | Freedman, Barry I. | Gillanders, Elizabeth M. | Gottesman, Omri | Guo, Xiuqing | Haritunians, Talin | Harris, Tamara | Harris, Curtis C. | Hennis, Anselm JM | Hernandez, Dena G. | McNeill, Lorna H. | Howard, Timothy D. | Howard, Barbara V. | Howard, Virginia J. | Johnson, Karen C. | Kang, Sun J. | Keating, Brendan J. | Kolb, Suzanne | Kuller, Lewis H. | Kutlar, Abdullah | Langefeld, Carl D. | Lettre, Guillaume | Lohman, Kurt | Lotay, Vaneet | Lyon, Helen | Manson, JoAnn E. | Maixner, William | Meng, Yan A. | Monroe, Kristine R. | Morhason-Bello, Imran | Murphy, Adam B. | Mychaleckyj, Josyf C. | Nadukuru, Rajiv | Nathanson, Katherine L. | Nayak, Uma | N’Diaye, Amidou | Nemesure, Barbara | Wu, Suh-Yuh | Leske, M. Cristina | Neslund-Dudas, Christine | Neuhouser, Marian | Nyante, Sarah | Ochs-Balcom, Heather | Ogunniyi, Adesola | Ogundiran, Temidayo O. | Ojengbede, Oladosu | Olopade, Olufunmilayo I. | Palmer, Julie R. | Ruiz-Narvaez, Edward A. | Palmer, Nicholette D. | Press, Michael F. | Rampersaud, Evandine | Rasmussen-Torvik, Laura J. | Rodriguez-Gil, Jorge L. | Salako, Babatunde | Schadt, Eric E. | Schwartz, Ann G. | Shriner, Daniel A. | Siscovick, David | Smith, Shad B. | Wassertheil-Smoller, Sylvia | Speliotes, Elizabeth K. | Spitz, Margaret R. | Sucheston, Lara | Taylor, Herman | Tayo, Bamidele O. | Tucker, Margaret A. | Van Den Berg, David J. | Velez Edwards, Digna R. | Wang, Zhaoming | Wiencke, John K. | Winkler, Thomas W. | Witte, John S. | Wrensch, Margaret | Wu, Xifeng | Yang, James J. | Levin, Albert M. | Young, Taylor R. | Zakai, Neil A. | Cushman, Mary | Zanetti, Krista A. | Zhao, Jing Hua | Zhao, Wei | Zheng, Yonglan | Zhou, Jie | Ziegler, Regina G. | Zmuda, Joseph M. | Fernandes, Jyotika K. | Gilkeson, Gary S. | Kamen, Diane L. | Hunt, Kelly J. | Spruill, Ida J. | Ambrosone, Christine B. | Ambs, Stefan | Arnett, Donna K. | Atwood, Larry | Becker, Diane M. | Berndt, Sonja I. | Bernstein, Leslie | Blot, William J. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Bottinger, Erwin P. | Bowden, Donald W. | Burke, Gregory | Chanock, Stephen J. | Cooper, Richard S. | Ding, Jingzhong | Duggan, David | Evans, Michele K. | Fox, Caroline | Garvey, W. Timothy | Bradfield, Jonathan P. | Hakonarson, Hakon | Grant, Struan F.A. | Hsing, Ann | Chu, Lisa | Hu, Jennifer J. | Huo, Dezheng | Ingles, Sue A. | John, Esther M. | Jordan, Joanne M. | Kabagambe, Edmond K. | Kardia, Sharon L.R. | Kittles, Rick A. | Goodman, Phyllis J. | Klein, Eric A. | Kolonel, Laurence N. | Le Marchand, Loic | Liu, Simin | McKnight, Barbara | Millikan, Robert C. | Mosley, Thomas H. | Padhukasahasram, Badri | Williams, L. Keoki | Patel, Sanjay R. | Peters, Ulrike | Pettaway, Curtis A. | Peyser, Patricia A. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Redline, Susan | Rotimi, Charles N. | Rybicki, Benjamin A. | Sale, Michèle M. | Schreiner, Pamela J. | Signorello, Lisa B. | Singleton, Andrew B. | Stanford, Janet L. | Strom, Sara S. | Thun, Michael J. | Vitolins, Mara | Zheng, Wei | Moore, Jason H. | Williams, Scott M. | Zhu, Xiaofeng | Zonderman, Alan B. | Kooperberg, Charles | Papanicolaou, George | Henderson, Brian E. | Reiner, Alex P. | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Loos, Ruth JF | North, Kari E. | Haiman, Christopher A.
Nature genetics  2013;45(6):690-696.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified 36 loci associated with body mass index (BMI), predominantly in populations of European ancestry. We conducted a meta-analysis to examine the association of >3.2 million SNPs with BMI in 39,144 men and women of African ancestry, and followed up the most significant associations in an additional 32,268 individuals of African ancestry. We identified one novel locus at 5q33 (GALNT10, rs7708584, p=3.4×10−11) and another at 7p15 when combined with data from the Giant consortium (MIR148A/NFE2L3, rs10261878, p=1.2×10−10). We also found suggestive evidence of an association at a third locus at 6q16 in the African ancestry sample (KLHL32, rs974417, p=6.9×10−8). Thirty-two of the 36 previously established BMI variants displayed directionally consistent effect estimates in our GWAS (binomial p=9.7×10−7), of which five reached genome-wide significance. These findings provide strong support for shared BMI loci across populations as well as for the utility of studying ancestrally diverse populations.
PMCID: PMC3694490  PMID: 23583978
16.  Novel Loci Associated with PR Interval in a Genome-Wide Association Study of Ten African American Cohorts 
The PR interval (PR) as measured by the resting, standard 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) reflects the duration of atrial/atrioventricular nodal depolarization. Substantial evidence exists for a genetic contribution to PR, including genome-wide association studies that have identified common genetic variants at nine loci influencing PR in populations of European and Asian descent. However, few studies have examined loci associated with PR in African Americans.
Methods and Results
We present results from the largest genome-wide association study to date of PR in 13,415 adults of African descent from ten cohorts. We tested for association between PR (ms) and approximately 2.8 million genotyped and imputed single nucleotide polymorphisms. Imputation was performed using HapMap 2 YRI and CEU panels. Study-specific results, adjusted for global ancestry and clinical correlates of PR, were meta-analyzed using the inverse variance method. Variation in genome-wide test statistic distributions was noted within studies (lambda range: 0.9–1.1), although not after genomic control correction was applied to the overall meta-analysis (lambda: 1.008). In addition to generalizing previously reported associations with MEIS1, SCN5A, ARHGAP24, CAV1, and TBX5 to African American populations at the genome-wide significance level (P<5.0×10−8), we also identified a novel locus: ITGA9, located in a region previously implicated in SCN5A expression. The 3p21 region harboring SCN5A also contained two additional independent secondary signals influencing PR (P<5.0×10−8).
This study demonstrates the ability to map novel loci in African Americans as well as the generalizability of loci associated with PR across populations of African, European and Asian descent.
PMCID: PMC3560365  PMID: 23139255
electrocardiography; epidemiology; GWAS; single nucleotide polymorphism genetics; PR interval
17.  The identification of candidate genes and SNP markers for classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy susceptibility 
Prion  2012;6(5):461-469.
Classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy is a transmissible prion disease that is fatal to cattle and is a human health risk due to its association with a strain of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). Mutations to the coding region of the prion gene (PRNP) have been associated with susceptibility to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in mammals including bovines and humans. Additional loci such as the retinoic acid receptor beta (RARB) and stathmin like 2 (STMN2) have also been associated with disease risk. The objective of this study was to refine previously identified regions associated with BSE susceptibility and to identify positional candidate genes and genetic variation that may be involved with the progression of classical BSE. The samples included 739 samples of either BSE infected animals (522 animals) or non-infected controls (207 animals). These were tested using a custom SNP array designed to narrow previously identified regions of importance in bovine genome. Thirty one single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified at p < 0.05 and a minor allele frequency greater than 5%. The chromosomal regions identified and the positional and functional candidate genes and regulatory elements identified within these regions warrant further research.
PMCID: PMC3510855  PMID: 22918267
BSE; Susceptibility; SNP; Candidate Genes
18.  B7-H1 Expression Is Associated with Poor Prognosis in Colorectal Carcinoma and Regulates the Proliferation and Invasion of HCT116 Colorectal Cancer Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76012.
Background And Objective
The investigation concerning the B7-H1 expression in colorectal cancer cells is at an early stage. It is unclear whether B7-H1 expression may have diagnostic or prognostic value in colorectal carcinoma. Additionally, how B7-H1 is associated with the clinical features of colorectal carcinoma is not known. In order to investigate the relationship between B7-H1 and colorectal cancer, we analyzed B7-H1 expression and its effect in clinical specimens and HCT116 cells.
Paraffin-embedded specimens from 143 eligible patients were used to investigate the expression of CD274 by immunohistochemistry. We also examined whether B7-H1 itself may be related to cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion in colon cancer HCT116 cells.
Our results show that B7-H1 was highly expressed in colorectal carcinoma and was significantly associated with cell differentiation status and TNM (Tumor Node Metastasis) stage. Patients with positive B7-H1 expression showed a trend of shorter survival time. Using multivariate analysis, we demonstrate that positive B7-H1 expression is an independent predictor of colorectal carcinoma prognosis. Our results indicate that B7-H1 silencing with siRNA inhibits cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Furthermore, cell apoptosis was also increased by B7-H1 inhibition.
Positive B7-H1 expression is an independent predictor for colorectal carcinoma prognosis. Moreover, knockdown of B7-H1 can inhibit cell proliferation, migration and invasion.
PMCID: PMC3790819  PMID: 24124529
19.  Downregulated Expression of Peroxiredoxin 4 in Granulosa Cells from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76460.
Peroxiredoxin 4 (PRDX4), a member of Peroxiredoxin (PRDX) family, is a typical 2-Cys PRDX. PRDX4 monitors the oxidative burden within cellular compartment and reduces hydrogen peroxide and alkyl hydroperoxide related to oxidative stress and apoptosis. Antioxidant, like PRDX4, may promote follicle development and participate in the pathophysiology of PCOS. In our previous study, we found that PRDX4 was expressed in mice oocyte cumulus oophorus complex, and that PRDX4 could be associated with follicle development. In this study, we explored the expression of PRDX4 in human follicles and possible role of PRDX4 in PCOS pathophysiology. Our data showed that PRDX4 was mainly expressed in granulosa cells in human ovaries. When compared to control group, both PRDX4 mRNA level and protein level decreased in PCOS group. The lowered levels of PRDX4 may relate to oxidative stress in the pathophysiologic progress of PCOS. Furthermore, expression of PRDX4 in the granulosa cells of in vivo or in vitro matured follicles was higher than that in immatured follicles, which suggested that PRDX4 may have a close relationship with follicular development. Altogether, our findings may provide new clues of the pathophysiologic mechanism of PCOS and potential therapeutic strategy using antioxidant, like PRDX4.
PMCID: PMC3789707  PMID: 24098506
20.  p53/p21 Pathway Involved in Mediating Cellular Senescence of Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patients 
Our and other groups have found that bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients exhibited senescent behavior and are involved in the pathogenesis of SLE. Numerous studies have shown that activation of the p53/p21 pathway inhibits the proliferation of BM-MSCs. The aim of this study was to determine whether p53/p21 pathway is involved in regulating the aging of BM-MSCs from SLE patients and the underlying mechanisms. We further confirmed that BM-MSCs from SLE patients showed characteristics of senescence. The expressions of p53 and p21 were significantly increased, whereas levels of Cyclin E, cyclin-dependent kinase-2, and phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein were decreased in the BM-MSCs from SLE patients and knockdown of p21 expression reversed the senescent features of BM-MSCs from SLE patients. Our results demonstrated that p53/p21 pathway played an important role in the senescence process of BM-MSCs from SLE.
PMCID: PMC3787636  PMID: 24151513
21.  Expansion of ruminant-specific microRNAs shapes target gene expression divergence between ruminant and non-ruminant species 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:609.
Understanding how species-specific microRNAs (miRNAs) contribute to species-specific phenotypes is a central topic in biology. This study aimed to elucidate the role of ruminant-specific miRNAs in shaping mRNA expression divergence between ruminant and non-ruminant species.
We analyzed miRNA and mRNA transcriptomes generated by Illumina sequencing from whole blood samples of cattle and a closely related non-ruminant species, pig. We found evidence of expansion of cattle-specific miRNAs by analyzing miRNA conservation among 57 vertebrate species. The emergence of cattle-specific miRNAs was accompanied by accelerated sequence evolution at their target sites. Further, the target genes of cattle-specific miRNAs show markedly reduced expression compared to their pig and human orthologues. We found that target genes with conserved or non-conserved target sites of cattle-specific miRNAs exhibit reduced expression. One of the significantly enriched KEGG pathway terms for the target genes of the cattle-specific miRNAs is the insulin signalling pathway, raising the possibility that some of these miRNAs may modulate insulin resistance in ruminants.
We provide evidence of rapid miRNA-mediated regulatory evolution in the ruminant lineage. Cattle-specific miRNAs play an important role in shaping gene expression divergence between ruminant and non-ruminant species, by influencing the expression of targets genes through both conserved and cattle-specific target sites.
PMCID: PMC3847189  PMID: 24020371
22.  The protective effect of geniposide on human neuroblastoma cells in the presence of formaldehyde 
Formaldehyde can induce misfolding and aggregation of Tau protein and β amyloid protein, which are characteristic pathological features of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). An increase in endogenous formaldehyde concentration in the brain is closely related to dementia in aging people. Therefore, the discovery of effective drugs to counteract the adverse impact of formaldehyde on neuronal cells is beneficial for the development of appropriate treatments for age-associated cognitive decline.
In this study, we assessed the neuroprotective properties of TongLuoJiuNao (TLJN), a traditional Chinese medicine preparation, against formaldehyde stress in human neuroblastoma cells (SH-SY5Y cell line). The effect of TLJN and its main ingredients (geniposide and ginsenoside Rg1) on cell viability, apoptosis, intracellular antioxidant activity and the expression of apoptotic-related genes in the presence of formaldehyde were monitored.
Cell counting studies showed that in the presence of TLJN, the viability of formaldehyde-treated SH-SY5Y cells significantly recovered. Laser scanning confocal microscopy revealed that the morphology of formaldehyde-injured cells was rescued by TLJN and geniposide, an effective ingredient of TLJN. Moreover, the inhibitory effect of geniposide on formaldehyde-induced apoptosis was dose-dependent. The activity of intracellular antioxidants (superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase) increased, as did mRNA and protein levels of the antiapoptotic gene Bcl-2 after the addition of geniposide. In contrast, the expression of the apoptotic-related gene - P53, apoptotic executer - caspase 3 and apoptotic initiator - caspase 9 were downregulated after geniposide treatment.
Our results indicate that geniposide can protect SH-SY5Y cells against formaldehyde stress through modulating the expression of Bcl-2, P53, caspase 3 and caspase 9, and by increasing the activity of intracellular superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase.
PMCID: PMC3702466  PMID: 23815892
Formaldehyde impairment; Geniposide; Neuroprotection
23.  Vitellogenin Receptor Mutation Leads to the Oogenesis Mutant Phenotype “scanty vitellin” of the Silkworm, Bombyx mori* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2013;288(19):13345-13355.
Background: The vitellogenin receptor (VgR) mediates the uptake of vitellogenin (Vg) from the hemolymph by developing oocytes.
Results: VgR with the mutational EGF1 domain can bind ligand proteins but cannot be dissociated under acidic conditions. The mutant is lethal in embryos.
Conclusion: Bombyx mori VgR (BmVgR) has an important role in egg formation and embryonic development.
Significance: BmVgR is a potential target for pest control.
In insects, the vitellogenin receptor (VgR) mediates the uptake of vitellogenin (Vg) from the hemolymph by developing oocytes. The oogenesis mutant scanty vitellin (vit) of Bombyx mori (Bm) lacks vitellin and 30-kDa proteins, but B. mori egg-specific protein and BmVg are normal. The vit eggs are white and smaller compared with the pale yellow eggs of the wild type and are embryonic lethal. This study found that a mutation in the B. mori VgR gene (BmVgR) is responsible for the vit phenotype. We cloned the cDNA sequences encoding WT and vit BmVgR. The functional domains of BmVgR are similar to those of other low-density lipoprotein receptors. When compared with the wild type, a 235-bp genomic sequence in vit BmVgR is substituted for a 7-bp sequence. This mutation has resulted in a 50-amino acid deletion in the third Class B region of the first epidermal growth factor (EGF1) domain. BmVgR is expressed specifically in oocytes, and the transcriptional level is changed dramatically and consistently with maturation of oocytes during the previtellogenic periods. Linkage analysis confirmed that BmVgR is mutated in the vit mutant. The coimmunoprecipitation assay confirmed that mutated BmVgR is able to bind BmVg but that BmVg cannot be dissociated under acidic conditions. The WT phenotype determined by RNA interference was similar to that of the vit phenotype for nutritional deficiency, such as BmVg and 30-kDa proteins. These results showed that BmVgR has an important role in transporting proteins for egg formation and embryonic development in B. mori.
PMCID: PMC3650373  PMID: 23515308
Development; Lipids; Lipid Transport; Receptor Endocytosis; Silkworm; Low-density Lipoprotein Receptor; Mutation; Oogenesis; Vitellogenin Receptor
24.  Gene-Centric Analysis of Serum Cotinine Levels in African and European American Populations 
Neuropsychopharmacology  2011;37(4):968-974.
To date, most genetic association studies of tobacco use have been conducted in European American subjects using the phenotype of smoking quantity (cigarettes per day). However, smoking quantity is a very imprecise measure of exposure to tobacco smoke constituents. Analyses of alternate phenotypes and populations may improve our understanding of tobacco addiction genetics. Cotinine is the major metabolite of nicotine, and measuring serum cotinine levels in smokers provides a more objective measure of nicotine dose than smoking quantity. Previous genetic association studies of serum cotinine have focused on individual genes. We conducted a genetic association study of the biomarker in African American (N=365) and European American (N=315) subjects from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study using a chip containing densely-spaced tag SNPs in ∼2100 genes. We found that rs11187065, located in the non-coding region (intron 1) of insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE), was the most strongly associated SNP (p=8.91 × 10−6) in the African American cohort, whereas rs11763963, located on chromosome 7 outside of a gene transcript, was the most strongly associated SNP in European Americans (p=1.53 × 10−6). We then evaluated how the top variant association in each population performed in the other group. We found that the association of rs11187065 in IDE was also associated with the phenotype in European Americans (p=0.044). Our top SNP association in European Americans, rs11763963 was non-polymorphic in our African American sample. It has been previously shown that psychostimulant self-administration is reduced in animals with lower insulin because of interference with dopamine transmission in the brain reward centers. Our finding provides a platform for further investigation of this, or additional mechanisms, involving the relationship between insulin and self-administered nicotine dose.
PMCID: PMC3280653  PMID: 22089314
cotinine; nicotine; IDE; CARDIA; MORF4L1; IMAT-Broad-CARe; behavioral science; neurogenetics; addiction & substance abuse; pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics; cotinine; nicotine; IDE; CARDIA; MORF4L1
25.  Robustness and Backbone Motif of a Cancer Network Regulated by miR-17-92 Cluster during the G1/S Transition 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e57009.
Based on interactions among transcription factors, oncogenes, tumor suppressors and microRNAs, a Boolean model of cancer network regulated by miR-17-92 cluster is constructed, and the network is associated with the control of G1/S transition in the mammalian cell cycle. The robustness properties of this regulatory network are investigated by virtue of the Boolean network theory. It is found that, during G1/S transition in the cell cycle process, the regulatory networks are robustly constructed, and the robustness property is largely preserved with respect to small perturbations to the network. By using the unique process-based approach, the structure of this network is analyzed. It is shown that the network can be decomposed into a backbone motif which provides the main biological functions, and a remaining motif which makes the regulatory system more stable. The critical role of miR-17-92 in suppressing the G1/S cell cycle checkpoint and increasing the uncontrolled proliferation of the cancer cells by targeting a genetic network of interacting proteins is displayed with our model.
PMCID: PMC3585929  PMID: 23469179

Results 1-25 (55)