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1.  Intracranial Vasculopathy in a Patient with Systemic Sclerosis: Atherosclerotic or Moyamoya-Like Disease? 
PMCID: PMC3372813  PMID: 22707901
Scleroderma, systemic; Cerebrovascular disorder; Moyamoya disease
2.  Complete Atrioventricular Block in Adult Sjögren's Syndrome with Anti-Ro Autoantibody 
Anti-Ro autoantibody is associated with Sjögren's syndrome (SS), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and neonatal lupus syndrome (i.e., congenital complete heart block in newborns). Generally, the adult atrioventricular (AV) node is believed to be relatively resistant to the scarring effects of anti-Ro/anti-La autoantibodies. However, there have been some reports of adult complete AV block in SS and SLE patients. Here, we report a case of complete heart block in primary SS with anti-Ro autoantibodies, with no other risk factor for the development of heart block, and review their etiological association.
PMCID: PMC3110856  PMID: 21716914
Ro antibodies; Sjögren's syndrome; Atrioventricular block
3.  Correlation of Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Antibody with Hand Joint Erosion Score in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients 
To examine the correlation between radiological joint damage and serological parameters in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
This retrospective study reviewed the records of 216 patients diagnosed with RA and classified them according to disease duration: group 1, ≤ 24 months; group 2, > 24 months; and group 3, all patients combined. The extent of joint damage was assessed from plain radiographs using a modified version of the Larsen method and compared among groups.
The mean radiographic joint damage score was significantly higher in patients who had established RA (10.1 points) compared with those who had early RA. In group 1, the inflammatory parameters, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and C-reactive protein were positively correlated with the joint damage score, but rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibody were not. A subgroup analysis revealed that the anti-CCP positive patients in groups 1 and 2 had greater joint damage scores than did the anti-CCP negative patients, but no difference in RF was observed between subgroups. Anti-CCP positivity was not significantly correlated with joint damage sores in group 3.
Anti-CCP positivity was significantly correlated with more severe joint damage at diagnosis. A correlation was observed between the radiological joint damage score and inflammatory parameters in early and established RA, indicating that anti-CCP can serve as a diagnostic tool and predict structural joint damage. These findings suggest anti-CCP positive patients should receive aggressive therapeutic intervention.
PMCID: PMC2880695  PMID: 20526395
Arthritis, rheumatoid; Rheumatoid factor; Cyclic citrullinated peptide; Joint disease
4.  Reaction Kinetics of Substrate Transglycosylation Catalyzed by TreX of Sulfolobus solfataricus and Effects on Glycogen Breakdown 
Journal of Bacteriology  2014;196(11):1941-1949.
We studied the activity of a debranching enzyme (TreX) from Sulfolobus solfataricus on glycogen-mimic substrates, branched maltotetraosyl-β-cyclodextrin (Glc4-β-CD), and natural glycogen to better understand substrate transglycosylation and the effect thereof on glycogen debranching in microorganisms. The validation test of Glc4-β-CD as a glycogen mimic substrate showed that it followed the breakdown process of the well-known yeast and rat liver extract. TreX catalyzed both hydrolysis of α-1,6-glycosidic linkages and transglycosylation at relatively high (>0.5 mM) substrate concentrations. TreX transferred maltotetraosyl moieties from the donor substrate to acceptor molecules, resulting in the formation of two positional isomers of dimaltotetraosyl-α-1,6-β-cyclodextrin [(Glc4)2-β-CD]; these were 61,63- and 61,64-dimaltotetraosyl-α-1,6-β-CD. Use of a modified Michaelis-Menten equation to study substrate transglycosylation revealed that the kcat and Km values for transglycosylation were 1.78 × 103 s−1 and 3.30 mM, respectively, whereas the values for hydrolysis were 2.57 × 103 s−1 and 0.206 mM, respectively. Also, enzyme catalytic efficiency (the kcat/Km ratio) increased as the degree of polymerization of branch chains rose. In the model reaction system of Escherichia coli, glucose-1-phosphate production from glycogen by the glycogen phosphorylase was elevated ∼1.45-fold in the presence of TreX compared to that produced in the absence of TreX. The results suggest that outward shifting of glycogen branch chains via transglycosylation increases the number of exposed chains susceptible to phosphorylase action. We developed a model of the glycogen breakdown process featuring both hydrolysis and transglycosylation catalyzed by the debranching enzyme.
PMCID: PMC4010986  PMID: 24610710
5.  Acupuncture in subjects with cold hands sensation: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2014;15(1):348.
Cold hands sensation is a common disorder within the Korean population. Many Korean family physicians believe that it is a mild early manifestation of Raynaud’s phenomenon (RP), or may be related to RP. RP is characterized by reversible digital vasospasm provoked by cold temperatures and/or emotional stress, and doctors often prescribe medications that are used in treatment of RP for subjects with cold hands. However, this has not shown a clear benefit, and these medications can cause unwanted side effects. It is also reported that traditional Korean medicine, including acupuncture, is widely used to treat cold hands, although the current level of evidence for this approach is also poor and to date, there have been no published randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs) evaluating the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for cold hands. We have therefore designed a pilot RCT to obtain information for the design of a further full-scale trial.
The proposed study is a five-week pilot RCT. A total of 14 subjects will be recruited and randomly allocated to two groups: an acupuncture plus medication group (experimental group) and a medication-only group (control group). All subjects will take nifedipine (5 mg once daily) and beraprost (20 mg three times daily) for three weeks. The experimental group will receive additional treatment with three acupuncture sessions per week for three weeks (nine sessions total). The primary outcome will be measured using a visual analogue scale. Secondary outcomes will be measured by blood perfusion in laser Doppler perfusion imaging of the hands, frequency and duration of episodes of cold hands, and heart rate variability. Assessments will be made at baseline and at one, three, and five weeks thereafter.
This study will provide an indication of the feasibility and a clinical foundation for a future large-scale trial.
Trial registration
This study was registered at Korean Clinical Research Information Service (CRIS) registry on 5 August 2013 with the registration number #KCT0000817.
PMCID: PMC4167502  PMID: 25185456
Acupuncture; Cold hands sensation; Laser Doppler perfusion image
6.  Pyrolysis and co-pyrolysis of Laminaria japonica and polypropylene over mesoporous Al-SBA-15 catalyst 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):376.
The catalytic co-pyrolysis of a seaweed biomass, Laminaria japonica, and a typical polymer material, polypropylene, was studied for the first time. A mesoporous material Al-SBA-15 was used as a catalyst. Pyrolysis experiments were conducted using a fixed-bed reactor and pyrolysis gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS). BET surface area, N2 adsorption-desorption isotherms, and NH3 temperature programmed desorption were measured to examine the catalyst characteristics. When only L. japonica was pyrolyzed, catalytic reforming slightly increased the gas yield and decreased the oil yield. The H2O content in bio-oil was increased by catalytic reforming from 42.03 to 50.32 wt% due to the dehydration reaction occurring on the acid sites inside the large pores of Al-SBA-15. Acids, oxygenates, mono-aromatics, poly aromatic hydrocarbons, and phenolics were the main components of the bio-oil obtained from the pyrolysis of L. japonica. Upon catalytic reforming over Al-SBA-15, the main oxygenate species 1,4-anhydro-d-galactitol and 1,5-anhydro-d-manitol were completely removed. When L. japonica was co-pyrolyzed with polypropylene, the H2O content in bio-oil was decreased dramatically (8.93 wt% in the case of catalytic co-pyrolysis), contributing to the improvement of the oil quality. A huge increase in the content of gasoline-range and diesel-range hydrocarbons in bio-oil was the most remarkable change that resulted from the co-pyrolysis with polypropylene, suggesting its potential as a transport fuel. The content of mono-aromatics with high economic value was also increased significantly by catalytic co-pyrolysis.
PMCID: PMC4130117  PMID: 25136282
Catalytic co-pyrolysis; Laminaria japonica; Polypropylene; Al-SBA-15
7.  Resting energy expenditure is not associated with disease activity in women with rheumatoid arthritis: cross-sectional study 
Increased resting energy expenditure (REE) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients is thought to be caused by hypermetabolism associated with production of proinflammatory cytokines. Our aim in the present study was to explore the possible association between REE and disease activity in females with RA.
A total of 499 female RA patients were recruited to this cross-sectional study assessing REE scores on disease activity indices (the routine assessment of patient index data 3 [RAPID3], the disease activity score 28, and the clinical/simplified disease activity index [CDAI/SDAI]) and the levels of RA-associated autoantibodies (rheumatoid factor and anticyclic citrullinated peptide [anti-CCP] antibodies). Age-matched healthy female controls (n = 131) were also enrolled.
REE did not differ between RA patients (all patients, and those in remission or not) and controls, or between RA patients in remission or not (p > 0.05 for all comparisons). Increased REE in total RA patients was associated with younger age and a higher body mass index (BMI) (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively), but not with disease activity index scores on any of RAPID3, CDAI, or SDAI. BMI was the only clinical parameter exhibiting a significant relationship with REE quartiles (Q1 to Q4; p < 0.001); none of disease duration, functional status, or anti-CCP antibody titer in RA patients was significantly related to REE, based on analysis of covariance.
We found no association between REE and disease activity in RA patients, implying that energy metabolism in RA patients might be independent of RA-associated systemic inflammation.
PMCID: PMC4101599  PMID: 25045300
Arthritis, rheumatoid; Resting energy expenditure; Disease activity index
8.  Hypermethylation of EBF3 and IRX1 Genes in Synovial Fibroblasts of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis 
Molecules and Cells  2013;35(4):298-304.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disease of unknown origin, which exhibits a complex heterogeneity in its pathophysiological background, resulting in differential responses to a range of therapies and poor long-term prognosis. RA synovial fibroblasts (RASFs) are key player cells in RA pathogenesis. Identification of DNA methylation biomarkers is a field that provides potential for improving the process of diagnosis and prognosis of various human diseases. We utilized a genome-wide technique, methylated DNA isolation assay (MeDIA), in combination with a high resolution CpG microarray for discovery of novel hypermethylated genes in RASFs. Thirteen genes (APEX1, EBF3, EGR2, EN1, IRX1, IRX6, KIF12, LHX2, MIPOL1, SGTA, SIN3A, TOLLIP, and ZHX2) with three consecutive hypermethylated probes were isolated as candidate genes through two CpG microarrays. Pyrosequencing assay was performed to validate the methylation status of TGF-β signaling components, EBF3 and IRX1 genes in RASFs and osteoarthritis (OA) SFs. Hypermethylation at CpG sites in the EBF3 and IRX1 genes was observed with a high methylation index (MI) in RASFs (52.5% and 41.4%, respectively), while a lower MI was observed in OASFs and healthy SFs (13.2% for EBF3 and 4.3% for IRX1). In addition, RT-PCR analysis showed a remarkable decrease in their mRNA expression in the RA group, compared with the OA or healthy control, and their reduction levels correlated with MI. The current findings suggest that methylation-associated down-regulation of EBF3 and IRX1 genes may play an important role in a pathogenic effect of TGF-β on RASFs. However, further clinical validation with large numbers of patients is needed in order to confirm our findings.
PMCID: PMC3887890  PMID: 23456299
EBF3; hypermethylation; IRX1; rheumatoid arthritis; synovial fibroblast
9.  Acupuncture for low back pain due to spondylolisthesis: study protocol for a randomized controlled pilot trial 
Trials  2014;15:105.
Spondylolisthesis is the major cause of refractory low back pain. There are many studies of the surgical treatment of spondylolisthesis, but few of conservative treatments. There is also no optimal conservative treatment protocol, however, low back pain caused by low-grade spondylolisthesis is controlled with non-surgical pain management. Acupuncture has become a useful method for treating low back pain, but there has not been any study of its efficacy in relation to spondylolisthesis. This study was designed to establish the feasibility of a randomized controlled trial and the safety of acupuncture for low back pain due to low-grade spondylolisthesis.
The study is a randomized controlled pilot clinical trial of five weeks duration. Fourteen patients will be recruited and randomly allocated to two groups: an acupuncture plus interlaminar epidural steroid injection group (experimental group), and an interlaminar epidural steroid injection group (control group). All patients will be administered an interlaminar epidural steroid injection once a week for three weeks (three injections in total), but only the experimental group will receive additional treatment with three acupuncture sessions a week for three weeks (nine acupuncture sessions in total). The primary outcome will be measured by the visual analogue scale (VAS). Our primary end point is three-week VAS. The secondary outcome will be measured using the PainVision system, the short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire, and the Oswestry Disability Index. Assessments will be made at baseline and at one, three and five weeks thereafter (that is, the five-week assessment will be made two weeks after treatment cessation).
This randomized controlled pilot trial will inform the design of a further full-scale trial. The outcomes will provide some resources for incorporating acupuncture into existing pain management methods such as interlaminar epidural steroid injection in low-grade spondylolisthesis.
Trial registration
This trial is registered with the US National Institutes of Health Clinical Trials registry: NCT01909284.
PMCID: PMC4006524  PMID: 24693959
Acupuncture; Interlaminar epidural steroid injection; Spondylolisthesis
10.  Rapid destruction of the rhodamine B using TiO2 photocatalyst in the liquid phase plasma 
Rhodamine B (RhB) is widely used as a colorant in textiles and food stuffs, and is also a well-known water tracer fluorescent. It is harmful to human beings and animals, and causes irritation of the skin, eyes and respiratory tract. The carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity and chronic toxicity toward humans and animals have been experimentally proven. RhB cannot be effectively removed by biological treatment due to the slow kinetics. Therefore, RhB is chosen as a model pollutant for liquid phase plasma (LPP) treatment in the present investigation.
This paper presents experimental results for the bleaching of RhB from aqueous solutions in the presence of TiO2 photocatalyst with LPP system. Properties of generated plasma were investigated by optical emission spectroscopy methods. The results of electrical-discharge degradation of RhB showed that the decomposition rate increased with the applied voltage, pulse width, and frequency. The oxygen gas addition to reactant solution increases the degradation rate by active oxygen species. The RhB decomposition rate was shown to increase with the TiO2 particle dosage.
This work presents the conclusions on the photocatalytic oxidation of RhB, as a function of plasma conditions, oxygen gas bubbling as well as TiO2 particle dosage. We knew that using the liquid phase plasma system with TiO2 photocatalyst at high speed we could remove the organic matter in the water.
PMCID: PMC3847586  PMID: 24041151
Liquid phase plasma; Bubbling; TiO2; Pulsed discharge; Dyes
11.  Effects of dietary high fat on prostate intraepithelial neoplasia in TRAMP mice 
Laboratory Animal Research  2013;29(1):39-47.
Increased fat intake is known to be a major cause of prostate cancer. In this study, we investigated the effect of dietary high fat on prostate intraepithelial neoplasia using transgenic adenocarcinoma mouse prostate (TRAMP) mice. Six-week-old male TRAMP mice were fed AIN93G (control group, 4.0 kcal/kg, n=6) and AIN93G-HFD (experimental group, 4.8 kcal/kg, n=7) for 10 weeks. Prostate histopathology, urogenital tract (UGT) weight, epididymal white adipose tissue weight, argyrophilic nucleolar organizer regions (AgNORs) counts, and serum leptin levels were examined. AIN93G-HFD fed group showed progressed neoplastic lesions in the prostate (P<0.05) compared to AIN93G fed group. AIN93G-HFD intake resulted in a increase in the weight of UGT (P<0.05) and epididymal white adipose tissue. The number of Ag-NOR positive dots significantly increased in each prostate lobe and final serum leptin levels in AIN93G-HFD fed group were about twice those of AIN93G fed group (P<0.05). Dietary high fat was related to the prostate cancer progression in the early stage of TRAMP mice and increased serum leptin levels, suggesting that the regulation of dietary components could delay the progression of prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3616208  PMID: 23573107
High fat; prostate cancer; transgenic adenocarcinoma mouse prostate; early progression; Ag-NOR
12.  Regulatory effect of calcineurin inhibitor, tacrolimus, on IL-6/sIL-6R-mediated RANKL expression through JAK2-STAT3-SOCS3 signaling pathway in fibroblast-like synoviocytes 
This study investigated whether the calcineurin inhibitor, tacrolimus, suppresses receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) expression in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) through regulation of IL-6/Janus activated kinase (JAK2)/signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3) and suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS3) signaling.
The expression of RANKL, JAK2, STAT3, and SOCS3 proteins was assessed by western blot analysis, real-time PCR and ELISA in IL-6 combined with soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R)-stimulated rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-FLS with or without tacrolimus treatment. The effects of tacrolimus on synovial inflammation and bone erosion were assessed using mice with arthritis induced by K/BxN serum. Immunofluorescent staining was performed to identify the effect of tacrolimus on RANKL and SOCS3. The tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase staining assay was performed to assess the effect of tacrolimus on osteoclast differentiation.
We found that RANKL expression in RA FLS is regulated by the IL-6/sIL-6R/JAK2/STAT3/SOCS3 pathway. Inhibitory effects of tacrolimus on RANKL expression in a serum-induced arthritis mice model were identified. Tacrolimus inhibits RANKL expression in IL-6/sIL-6R-stimulated FLS by suppressing STAT3. Among negative regulators of the JAK/STAT pathway, such as CIS1, SOCS1, and SOCS3, only SOCS3 is significantly induced by tacrolimus. As compared to dexamethasone and methotrexate, tacrolimus more potently suppresses RANKL expression in FLS. By up-regulating SOCS3, tacrolimus down-regulates activation of the JAK-STAT pathway by IL-6/sIL-6R trans-signaling, thus decreasing RANKL expression in FLS.
These data suggest that tacrolimus might affect the RANKL expression in IL-6 stimulated FLS through STAT3 suppression, together with up-regulation of SOCS3.
PMCID: PMC3672788  PMID: 23406906
13.  Greater prevalence of seropositivity for anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody in unaffected first-degree relatives in multicase rheumatoid arthritis-affected families 
This study determined the prevalence and determinants of seropositivity for rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibody, and anti-mutated citrullinated vimentin (anti-MCV) antibody in unaffected first-degree relatives (FDRs) of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.
A total of 337 subjects (135 with RA and 202 FDRs) were enrolled in this case-control study. Serum RF, anti-CCP antibody, and anti-MCV antibody were assayed. Subjects in multicase families (≥ 2 affected FDRs within the same family) were identified. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify risk factors associated with RA-related autoantibodies.
Seropositivity for RF, anti-CCP antibody, or anti-MCV antibody was detected in 14.4%, 5.0%, or 13.4% of unaffected FDRs, respectively. Anti-CCP antibody seropositivity was more prevalent in FDRs in multicase families (17.8%) than in those not in multicase families (1.3%, p < 0.0001). Significant correlations between RA-associated autoantibodies were detected in the FDR group (between RF and anti-CCP antibody: r = 0.366, p < 0.0001; between RF and anti-MCV antibody: r = 0.343, p < 0.0001; and between anti-CCP antibody and anti-MCV antibody: r = 0.849, p < 0.0001). After adjustment for age and sex, anti-CCP antibody seropositivity in FDRs was significantly associated with being in a multicase family (odds ratio, 49.8; 95% confidence interval, 5.6 to 441.6).
The association between anti-CCP antibody seropositivity in unaffected FDRs and being in a multicase family suggests that genetic and/or environmental factors may increase the risk for RA development in unaffected FDRs.
PMCID: PMC3543960  PMID: 23345996
Rheumatoid arthritis; First-degree relative; Rheumatoid factor; Citrullinated antigen
14.  Catalytic ozone oxidation of benzene at low temperature over MnOx/Al-SBA-16 catalyst 
The low-temperature catalytic ozone oxidation of benzene was investigated. In this study, Al-SBA-16 (Si/Al = 20) that has a three-dimensional cubic Im3m structure and a high specific surface area was used for catalytic ozone oxidation for the first time. Two different Mn precursors, i.e., Mn acetate and Mn nitrate, were used to synthesize Mn-impregnated Al-SBA-16 catalysts. The characteristics of these two catalysts were investigated by instrumental analyses using the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller method, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and temperature-programmed reduction. A higher catalytic activity was exhibited when Mn acetate was used as the Mn precursor, which is attributed to high Mn dispersion and a high degree of reduction of Mn oxides formed by Mn acetate than those formed by Mn nitrate.
PMCID: PMC3269362  PMID: 22221406
Al-SBA-16; Mn precursors; benzene; ozone; catalytic oxidation
15.  Indoor formaldehyde removal over CMK-3 
The removal of formaldehyde at low concentrations is important in indoor air pollution research. In this study, mesoporous carbon with a large specific surface area was used for the adsorption of low-concentration indoor formaldehyde. A mesoporous carbon material, CMK-3, was synthesized using the nano-replication method. SBA-15 was used as a mesoporous template. The surface of CMK-3 was activated using a 2N H2SO4 solution and NH3 gas to prepare CMK-3-H2SO4 and CMK-3-NH3, respectively. The activated samples were characterized by N2 adsorption-desorption, X-ray diffraction, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The formaldehyde adsorption performance of the mesoporous carbons was in the order of CMK-3-NH3 > CMK-3-H2SO4 > CMK-3. The difference in the adsorption performance was explained by oxygen and nitrogen functional groups formed during the activation process and by the specific surface area and pore structure of mesoporous carbon.
PMCID: PMC3271978  PMID: 22221425
low-concentration formaldehyde; mesoporous carbon; sulfuric acid; ammonia; activation; adsorption
16.  Catalytic pyrolysis of waste rice husk over mesoporous materials 
Catalytic fast pyrolysis of waste rice husk was carried out using pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry [Py-GC/MS]. Meso-MFI zeolite [Meso-MFI] was used as the catalyst. In addition, a 0.5-wt.% platinum [Pt] was ion-exchanged into Meso-MFI to examine the effect of Pt addition. Using a catalytic upgrading method, the activities of the catalysts were evaluated in terms of product composition and deoxygenation. The structure and acid site characteristics of the catalysts were analyzed by Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface area measurement and NH3 temperature-programmed desorption analysis. Catalytic upgrading reduced the amount of oxygenates in the product vapor due to the cracking reaction of the catalysts. Levoglucosan, a polymeric oxygenate species, was completely decomposed without being detected. While the amount of heavy phenols was reduced by catalytic upgrading, the amount of light phenols was increased because of the catalytic cracking of heavy phenols into light phenols and aromatics. The amount of aromatics increased remarkably as a result of catalytic upgrading, which is attributed to the strong Brönsted acid sites and the shape selectivity of the Meso-MFI catalyst. The addition of Pt made the Meso-MFI catalyst even more active in deoxygenation and in the production of aromatics.
PMCID: PMC3284393  PMID: 22221540
Py-GC/MS; rice husk; Meso-MFI; Pt-Meso-MFI
17.  Role of Maltose Enzymes in Glycogen Synthesis by Escherichia coli▿ 
Journal of Bacteriology  2011;193(10):2517-2526.
Mutants with deletion mutations in the glg and mal gene clusters of Escherichia coli MC4100 were used to gain insight into glycogen and maltodextrin metabolism. Glycogen content, molecular mass, and branch chain distribution were analyzed in the wild type and in ΔmalP (encoding maltodextrin phosphorylase), ΔmalQ (encoding amylomaltase), ΔglgA (encoding glycogen synthase), and ΔglgA ΔmalP derivatives. The wild type showed increasing amounts of glycogen when grown on glucose, maltose, or maltodextrin. When strains were grown on maltose, the glycogen content was 20 times higher in the ΔmalP strain (0.97 mg/mg protein) than in the wild type (0.05 mg/mg protein). When strains were grown on glucose, the ΔmalP strain and the wild type had similar glycogen contents (0.04 mg/mg and 0.03 mg/mg protein, respectively). The ΔmalQ mutant did not grow on maltose but showed wild-type amounts of glycogen when grown on glucose, demonstrating the exclusive function of GlgA for glycogen synthesis in the absence of maltose metabolism. No glycogen was found in the ΔglgA and ΔglgA ΔmalP strains grown on glucose, but substantial amounts (0.18 and 1.0 mg/mg protein, respectively) were found when they were grown on maltodextrin. This demonstrates that the action of MalQ on maltose or maltodextrin can lead to the formation of glycogen and that MalP controls (inhibits) this pathway. In vitro, MalQ in the presence of GlgB (a branching enzyme) was able to form glycogen from maltose or linear maltodextrins. We propose a model of maltodextrin utilization for the formation of glycogen in the absence of glycogen synthase.
PMCID: PMC3133173  PMID: 21421758
18.  Catalytic pyrolysis of Laminaria japonica over nanoporous catalysts using Py-GC/MS 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):500.
The catalytic pyrolysis of Laminaria japonica was carried out over a hierarchical meso-MFI zeolite (Meso-MFI) and nanoporous Al-MCM-48 using pyrolysis gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS). The effect of the catalyst type on the product distribution and chemical composition of the bio-oil was examined using Py-GC/MS. The Meso-MFI exhibited a higher activity in deoxygenation and aromatization during the catalytic pyrolysis of L. japonica. Meanwhile, the catalytic activity of Al-MCM-48 was lower than that of Meso-MFI due to its weak acidity.
PMCID: PMC3212015  PMID: 21851599
Laminaria japonica; hierarchical meso-MFI zeolite; Al-MCM-48; Py-GC/MS
19.  Lymphocytic Interstitial Pneumonia in Primary Sjögren's Syndrome: A Case Report 
Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is an autoimmune disorder in which lymphocytes infiltrate the exocrine glands, resulting in the development of sicca symptoms. Lymphocytes may also invade various other organs and cause diverse symptoms. Interstitial pneumonia has been observed frequently in SS patients. Typically, the pneumonia responds well to systemic steroids, and fatal cases are rare. We experienced a case of lymphocytic pneumonia accompanied by SS and treated with cyclophosphamide pulse therapy, and we present details of the case herein.
PMCID: PMC3056249  PMID: 21437172
Sjögren's syndrome; Interstitial pneumonia; Lymphocytes
20.  Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition of Mesothelial Cells in Tuberculous Pleurisy 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2010;52(1):51-58.
Tuberculous pleurisy is the most frequent extrapulmonary manifestation of tuberculosis. In spite of adequate treatment, pleural fibrosis is a common complication, but the mechanism has not been elucidated. This study is to determine whether epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) of mesothelial cells occurs in tuberculous pleurisy.
Materials and Methods
Normal pleural mesothelial cells, isolated from irrigation fluids during operations for primary spontaneous pneumothorax, were characterized by immunofluorescence and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). These cells were treated in vitro with various cytokines, which were produced in the effluents of tuberculous pleurisy. The isolated cells from the effluents of tuberculous pleurisy were analyzed by immunofluorescence and RT-PCR analysis.
The isolated cells from the irrigation fluid of primary spontaneous pneumothorax had epithelial characteristics. These cells, with transforming growth factor-β1 and/or interleukin-1β treatment, underwent phenotypic transition from epithelial to mesenchymal cells, with the loss of epithelial morphology and reduction in cytokeratin and E-cadherin expression. Effluent analysis from tuberculous pleurisy using immunofluorescence and RT-PCR demonstrated two phenotypes that showed mesenchymal characteristics and both epithelial & mesencymal characteristics.
Our results suggest that pleural mesothelial cells in tuberculous pleurisy have been implicated in pleural fibrosis through EMT.
PMCID: PMC3017708  PMID: 21155035
Epithelial to mesenchymal transition; IL-1β; mesothelial cells; pleural fibrosis; TGF-β1; tuberculous pleurisy
21.  Prevalence of Human Papilloma Virus Infections and Cervical Cytological Abnormalities among Korean Women with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2010;25(10):1431-1437.
We performed a multicenter cross-sectional study of 134 sexually active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients to investigate the prevalence of and risk factors for high risk human papilloma virus (HPV) infection and cervical cytological abnormalities among Korean women with SLE. In this multicenter cross-sectional study, HPV testing and routine cervical cytologic examination was performed. HPV was typed using a hybrid method or the polymerase chain reaction. Data on 4,595 healthy women were used for comparison. SLE patients had greater prevalence of high-risk HPV infection (24.6% vs. 7.9%, P<0.001, odds ratio 3.8, 95% confidence interval 2.5-5.7) and of abnormal cervical cytology (16.4 vs. 2.8%, P<0.001, OR 4.4, 95% CI 2.5-7.8) compared with controls. SLE itself was identified as independent risk factors for high risk HPV infection among Korean women (OR 3.8, 95% CI 2.5-5.7) along with ≥2 sexual partners (OR 8.5, 95% CI 1.2-61.6), and Pap smear abnormalities (OR 97.3, 95% CI 6.5-1,456.7). High-risk HPV infection and cervical cytological abnormalities were more common among Korean women with SLE than controls. SLE itself may be a risk factor for HPV infection among Korean women, suggesting the importance of close monitoring of HPV infections and abnormal Pap smears in SLE patients.
PMCID: PMC2946651  PMID: 20890422
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Human Papilloma Virus; Cervical Cytological Abnormalities
22.  A Case of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Presenting as Malignant Hypertension with Hypertensive Retinopathy 
The variability of cardiovascular abnormalities is one of the characteristics of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Among the cardiovascular manifestations, hypertension is reported in 14% to 58.1% of patients in diverse ethnic populations, and remains a clinically important issue due to its close relationship with early mortality in patients with SLE. The development of hypertension in patients with SLE has been associated with advanced lupus-related renal disease and the medications used for the treatment of lupus. Malignant hypertension is a serious complication of hypertension; it rarely occurs in patients with SLE. However, it can occur in patients with other complicated medical conditions such as the antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS) or cardiac tamponade. Here, we report the case of a patient with SLE and malignant hypertension with hypertensive retinopathy that initially presented without clinical evidence of APS or hypertensive nephropathy.
PMCID: PMC2932950  PMID: 20830234
Lupus erythematosus, systemic; Hypertension, malignant
23.  Assessment of Microwave/UV/O3 in the Photo-Catalytic Degradation of Bromothymol Blue in Aqueous Nano TiO2 Particles Dispersions 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2010;5(10):1627-1632.
In this study, a microwave/UV/TiO2/ozone/H2O2 hybrid process system, in which various techniques that have been used for water treatment are combined, is evaluated to develop an advanced technology to treat non-biodegradable water pollutants efficiently. In particular, the objective of this study is to develop a novel advanced oxidation process that overcomes the limitations of existing single-process water treatment methods by adding microwave irradiation to maximize the formation of active intermediate products, e.g., OH radicals, with the aid of UV irradiation by microwave discharge electrodeless lamp, photo-catalysts, and auxiliary oxidants. The results of photo-catalytic degradation of BTB showed that the decomposition rate increased with the TiO2 particle dosages and microwave intensity. When an auxiliary oxidant such as ozone or hydrogen peroxide was added to the microwave-assisted photo-catalysis, however, a synergy effect that enhanced the reaction rate considerably was observed.
PMCID: PMC2956052  PMID: 21076676
Photo-catalysts; Microwave; UV; Ozone; Dye
24.  Assessment of Microwave/UV/O3 in the Photo-Catalytic Degradation of Bromothymol Blue in Aqueous Nano TiO2 Particles Dispersions 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2010;5(10):1627-1632.
In this study, a microwave/UV/TiO2/ozone/H2O2 hybrid process system, in which various techniques that have been used for water treatment are combined, is evaluated to develop an advanced technology to treat non-biodegradable water pollutants efficiently. In particular, the objective of this study is to develop a novel advanced oxidation process that overcomes the limitations of existing single-process water treatment methods by adding microwave irradiation to maximize the formation of active intermediate products, e.g., OH radicals, with the aid of UV irradiation by microwave discharge electrodeless lamp, photo-catalysts, and auxiliary oxidants. The results of photo-catalytic degradation of BTB showed that the decomposition rate increased with the TiO2 particle dosages and microwave intensity. When an auxiliary oxidant such as ozone or hydrogen peroxide was added to the microwave-assisted photo-catalysis, however, a synergy effect that enhanced the reaction rate considerably was observed.
PMCID: PMC2956052  PMID: 21076676
Photo-catalysts; Microwave; UV; Ozone; Dye
25.  Production of specific antibodies against SARS-coronavirus nucleocapsid protein without cross reactivity with human coronaviruses 229E and OC43 
Journal of Veterinary Science  2010;11(2):165-167.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a life-threatening disease for which accurate diagnosis is essential. Although many tools have been developed for the diagnosis of SARS, false-positive reactions in negative sera may occur because of cross-reactivity with other coronaviruses. We have raised polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies (Abs) using a recombinant form of the SARS virus nucleocapsid protein. Cross-reactivity of these anti-SARS Abs against human coronavirus (HCoV) 229E and HCoV OC43 were determined by Western blotting. The Abs produced reacted with recombinant SARS virus nucleocapsid protein, but not with HCoV 229E or HCoV OC43.
PMCID: PMC2873818  PMID: 20458159
cross-reactivity; HCoV 229E; HCoV OC43; recombinant nucleocapsid protein; SARS

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