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1.  Genotypic variants at 2q33 and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in China: a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies 
Abnet, Christian C. | Wang, Zhaoming | Song, Xin | Hu, Nan | Zhou, Fu-You | Freedman, Neal D. | Li, Xue-Min | Yu, Kai | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Yuan, Jian-Min | Zheng, Wei | Dawsey, Sanford M. | Liao, Linda M. | Lee, Maxwell P. | Ding, Ti | Qiao, You-Lin | Gao, Yu-Tang | Koh, Woon-Puay | Xiang, Yong-Bing | Tang, Ze-Zhong | Fan, Jin-Hu | Chung, Charles C. | Wang, Chaoyu | Wheeler, William | Yeager, Meredith | Yuenger, Jeff | Hutchinson, Amy | Jacobs, Kevin B. | Giffen, Carol A. | Burdett, Laurie | Fraumeni, Joseph F. | Tucker, Margaret A. | Chow, Wong-Ho | Zhao, Xue-Ke | Li, Jiang-Man | Li, Ai-Li | Sun, Liang-Dan | Wei, Wu | Li, Ji-Lin | Zhang, Peng | Li, Hong-Lei | Cui, Wen-Yan | Wang, Wei-Peng | Liu, Zhi-Cai | Yang, Xia | Fu, Wen-Jing | Cui, Ji-Li | Lin, Hong-Li | Zhu, Wen-Liang | Liu, Min | Chen, Xi | Chen, Jie | Guo, Li | Han, Jing-Jing | Zhou, Sheng-Li | Huang, Jia | Wu, Yue | Yuan, Chao | Huang, Jing | Ji, Ai-Fang | Kul, Jian-Wei | Fan, Zhong-Min | Wang, Jian-Po | Zhang, Dong-Yun | Zhang, Lian-Qun | Zhang, Wei | Chen, Yuan-Fang | Ren, Jing-Li | Li, Xiu-Min | Dong, Jin-Cheng | Xing, Guo-Lan | Guo, Zhi-Gang | Yang, Jian-Xue | Mao, Yi-Ming | Yuan, Yuan | Guo, Er-Tao | Zhang, Wei | Hou, Zhi-Chao | Liu, Jing | Li, Yan | Tang, Sa | Chang, Jia | Peng, Xiu-Qin | Han, Min | Yin, Wan-Li | Liu, Ya-Li | Hu, Yan-Long | Liu, Yu | Yang, Liu-Qin | Zhu, Fu-Guo | Yang, Xiu-Feng | Feng, Xiao-Shan | Wang, Zhou | Li, Yin | Gao, She-Gan | Liu, Hai-Lin | Yuan, Ling | Jin, Yan | Zhang, Yan-Rui | Sheyhidin, Ilyar | Li, Feng | Chen, Bao-Ping | Ren, Shu-Wei | Liu, Bin | Li, Dan | Zhang, Gao-Fu | Yue, Wen-Bin | Feng, Chang-Wei | Qige, Qirenwang | Zhao, Jian-Ting | Yang, Wen-Jun | Lei, Guang-Yan | Chen, Long-Qi | Li, En-Min | Xu, Li-Yan | Wu, Zhi-Yong | Bao, Zhi-Qin | Chen, Ji-Li | Li, Xian-Chang | Zhuang, Xiang | Zhou, Ying-Fa | Zuo, Xian-Bo | Dong, Zi-Ming | Wang, Lu-Wen | Fan, Xue-Pin | Wang, Jin | Zhou, Qi | Ma, Guo-Shun | Zhang, Qin-Xian | Liu, Hai | Jian, Xin-Ying | Lian, Sin-Yong | Wang, Jin-Sheng | Chang, Fu-Bao | Lu, Chang-Dong | Miao, Jian-Jun | Chen, Zhi-Guo | Wang, Ran | Guo, Ming | Fan, Zeng-Lin | Tao, Ping | Liu, Tai-Jing | Wei, Jin-Chang | Kong, Qing-Peng | Fan, Lei | Wang, Xian-Zeng | Gao, Fu-Sheng | Wang, Tian-Yun | Xie, Dong | Wang, Li | Chen, Shu-Qing | Yang, Wan-Cai | Hong, Jun-Yan | Wang, Liang | Qiu, Song-Liang | Goldstein, Alisa M. | Yuan, Zhi-Qing | Chanock, Stephen J. | Zhang, Xue-Jun | Taylor, Philip R. | Wang, Li-Dong
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;21(9):2132-2141.
Genome-wide association studies have identified susceptibility loci for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We conducted a meta-analysis of all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that showed nominally significant P-values in two previously published genome-wide scans that included a total of 2961 ESCC cases and 3400 controls. The meta-analysis revealed five SNPs at 2q33 with P< 5 × 10−8, and the strongest signal was rs13016963, with a combined odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of 1.29 (1.19–1.40) and P= 7.63 × 10−10. An imputation analysis of 4304 SNPs at 2q33 suggested a single association signal, and the strongest imputed SNP associations were similar to those from the genotyped SNPs. We conducted an ancestral recombination graph analysis with 53 SNPs to identify one or more haplotypes that harbor the variants directly responsible for the detected association signal. This showed that the five SNPs exist in a single haplotype along with 45 imputed SNPs in strong linkage disequilibrium, and the strongest candidate was rs10201587, one of the genotyped SNPs. Our meta-analysis found genome-wide significant SNPs at 2q33 that map to the CASP8/ALS2CR12/TRAK2 gene region. Variants in CASP8 have been extensively studied across a spectrum of cancers with mixed results. The locus we identified appears to be distinct from the widely studied rs3834129 and rs1045485 SNPs in CASP8. Future studies of esophageal and other cancers should focus on comprehensive sequencing of this 2q33 locus and functional analysis of rs13016963 and rs10201587 and other strongly correlated variants.
PMCID: PMC3315211  PMID: 22323360
2.  Arsenite Suppression of BMP Signaling in Human Keratinocytes 
Toxicology and applied pharmacology  2013;269(3):290-296.
Arsenic, a human skin carcinogen, suppresses differentiation of cultured keratinocytes. Exploring the mechanism of this suppression revealed that BMP-6 greatly increased levels of mRNA for keratins 1 and 10, two of the earliest differentiation markers expressed, a process prevented by co-treatment with arsenite. BMP also stimulated, and arsenite suppressed, mRNA for FOXN1, an important transcription factor driving early keratinocyte differentiation. Keratin mRNAs increased slowly after BMP-6 addition, suggesting they are indirect transcriptional targets. Inhibition of Notch1 activation blocked BMP induction of keratins 1 and 10, while FOXN1 induction was largely unaffected. Supporting a requirement for Notch1 signaling in keratin induction, BMP increased levels of activated Notch1, which was blocked by arsenite. BMP also greatly decreased active ERK, while co-treatment with arsenite maintained active ERK. Inhibition of ERK signaling mimicked BMP by inducing keratin and FOXN1 mRNAs and by increasing active Notch1, effects blocked by arsenite. Of 6 dual-specificity phosphatases (DUSPs) targeting ERK, two were induced by BMP unless prevented by simultaneous exposure to arsenite and EGF. Knockdown of DUSP2 or DUSP14 using shRNAs greatly reduced FOXN1, and keratins 1 and 10 mRNA levels and their induction by BMP. Knockdown also decreased activated Notch1, keratin 1 and keratin 10 protein levels, both in the presence and absence of BMP. Thus, one of the earliest effects of BMP is induction of DUSPs which increase FOXN1 transcription factor and activate Notch1, both required for keratin gene expression. Arsenite prevents this cascade by maintaining ERK signaling, at least in part by suppressing DUSP expression.
PMCID: PMC3759367  PMID: 23566955
Dual specificity phosphatases; EGF; ERK; FOXN1; Keratins 1 and 10; Notch1
3.  Cathepsin L Plays a Role in Quinolinic Acid-Induced NF-Κb Activation and Excitotoxicity in Rat Striatal Neurons 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e75702.
The present study seeks to investigate the role of cathepsin L in glutamate receptor-induced transcription factor nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) activation and excitotoxicity in rats striatal neurons. Stereotaxic administration of the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor agonist Quinolinic acid (QA) into the unilateral striatum was used to produce the in vivo excitotoxic model. Co-administration of QA and the cathepsin L inhibitor Z-FF-FMK or 1-Naphthalenesulfonyl-IW-CHO (NaphthaCHO) was used to assess the contribution of cathepsin L to QA-induced striatal neuron death. Western blot analysis and cathepsin L activity assay were used to assess the changes in the levels of cathepsin L after QA treatment. Western blot analysis was used to assess the changes in the protein levels of inhibitor of NF-κB alpha isoform (IκB-α) and phospho-IκB alpha (p-IκBα) after QA treatment. Immunohistochemical analysis was used to detect the effects of Z-FF-FMK or NaphthaCHO on QA-induced NF-κB. Western blot analysis was used to detect the effects of Z-FF-FMK or NaphthaCHO on QA-induced IκB-α phosphorylation and degradation, changes in the levels of IKKα, p-IKKα, TP53, caspase-3, beclin1, p62, and LC3II/LC3I. The results show that QA-induced loss of striatal neurons were strongly inhibited by Z-FF-FMK or NaphthaCHO. QA-induced degradation of IκB-α, NF-κB nuclear translocation, up-regulation of NF-κB responsive gene TP53, and activation of caspase-3 was strongly inhibited by Z-FF-FMK or NaphthaCHO. QA-induced increases in beclin 1, LC3II/LC3I, and down-regulation of p62 were reduced by Z-FF-FMK or NaphthaCHO. These results suggest that cathepsin L is involved in glutamate receptor-induced NF-κB activation. Cathepsin L inhibitors have neuroprotective effects by inhibiting glutamate receptor-induced IκB-α degradation and NF-κB activation.
PMCID: PMC3779166  PMID: 24073275
4.  Tectorigenin Attenuates Palmitate-Induced Endothelial Insulin Resistance via Targeting ROS-Associated Inflammation and IRS-1 Pathway 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66417.
Tectorigenin is a plant isoflavonoid originally isolated from the dried flower of Pueraria thomsonii Benth. Although its anti-inflammatory and anti-hyperglycosemia effects have been well documented, the effect of tectorigenin on endothelial dysfunction insulin resistance involved has not yet been reported. Herein, this study aims to investigate the action of tectorigenin on amelioration of insulin resistance in the endothelium. Palmitic acid (PA) was chosen as a stimulant to induce ROS production in endothelial cells and successfully established insulin resistance evidenced by the specific impairment of insulin PI3K signaling. Tectorigenin effectively inhibited the ability of PA to induce the production of reactive oxygen species and collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential. Moreover, tectorigenin presented strong inhibition effect on ROS-associated inflammation, as TNF-α and IL-6 production in endothelial cells was greatly reduced with suppression of IKKβ/NF-κB phosphorylation and JNK activation. Tectorigenin also can inhibit inflammation-stimulated IRS-1 serine phosphorylation and restore the impaired insulin PI3K signaling, leading to a decreased NO production. These results demonstrated its positive regulation of insulin action in the endothelium. Meanwhile, tectorigenin down-regulated endothelin-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 overexpression, and restored the loss of insulin-mediated vasodilation in rat aorta. These findings suggested that tectorigenin could inhibit ROS-associated inflammation and ameliorated endothelial dysfunction implicated in insulin resistance through regulating IRS-1 function. Tectorigenin might have potential to be applied for the management of cardiovascular diseases involved in diabetes and insulin resistance.
PMCID: PMC3686685  PMID: 23840461
5.  Phylogeny and biogeography of Allium (Amaryllidaceae: Allieae) based on nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer and chloroplast rps16 sequences, focusing on the inclusion of species endemic to China 
Annals of Botany  2010;106(5):709-733.
Background and Aims
The genus Allium comprises more than 800 species, placing it among the largest monocotyledonous genera. It is a variable group that is spread widely across the Holarctic region. Previous studies of Allium have been useful in identifying and assessing its evolutionary lineages. However, there are still many gaps in our knowledge of infrageneric taxonomy and evolution of Allium. Further understanding of its phylogeny and biogeography will be achieved only through continued phylogenetic studies, especially of those species endemic to China that have often been excluded from previous analyses. Earlier molecular studies have shown that Chinese Allium is not monophyletic, so the goal of the present study was to infer the phylogeny and biogeography of Allium and to provide a classification of Chinese Allium by placement of Chinese species in the context of the entire phylogeny.
Phylogenetic studies were based on sequence data of the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and chloroplast rps16 intron, analysed using parsimony and Bayesian approaches. Biogeographical patterns were conducted using statistical dispersal–vicariance analysis (S-DIVA).
Key Results
Phylogenetic analyses indicate that Allium is monophyletic and consists of three major clades. Optimal reconstructions have favoured the ancestors of Amerallium, Anguinum, Vvedenskya, Porphyroprason and Melanocrommyum as originating in eastern Asia.
Phylogenetic analyses reveal that Allium is monophyletic but that some subgenera are not. The large genetic distances imply that Allium is of ancient origin. Molecular data suggest that its evolution proceeded along three separate evolutionary lines. S-DIVA indicates that the ancestor of Amerallium, Anguinum, Vvedenskya, Porphyroprason and Melanocrommyum originated from eastern Asia and underwent different biogeographical pathways. A taxonomic synopsis of Chinese Allium at sectional level is given, which divides Chinese Allium into 13 subgenera and 34 sections.
PMCID: PMC2958792  PMID: 20966186
Allium; biogeography; classification; ITS; molecular phylogeny; rps16
6.  Association analyses identify six new psoriasis susceptibility loci in the Chinese population 
Nature genetics  2010;42(11):1005-1009.
We extended our previous GWAS for psoriasis with a a multistage replication study including 8,312 cases and 12,919 controls from China as well as 3,293 cases, 4,188 controls from Germany and the USA, and 254 nuclear families from the USA. We identified 6 new susceptibility loci associated to psoriasis in Chinese, containing candidate genes ERAP1, PTTG1, CSMD1, GJB2, SERPINB8, ZNF816A (PCombined<5×10−8) and replicated one locus 5q33.1 (TNIP1/ANXA6) previously reported (PCombined=3.8×10−21) in European studies. Two of these loci showed evidence for association evidence in the German study, at ZNF816A and GJB2 with P=3.6×10−3 and P=7.9×10−3, respectively. ERAP1 and ZNF816A were preferentially associated with Type I (early onset) psoriasis in Chinese Han population (test for heterogeneity P=6.5×10−3 and P=1.5×10−3, respectively). Comparisons with previous GWAS of psoriasis highlight the heterogeneity of disease susceptibility between Chinese and European populations. Our study identifies new genetic susceptibility factors and suggests new biological pathways in psoriasis.
PMCID: PMC3140436  PMID: 20953187
7.  Quantitative T2 measurement of a single voxel with arbitrary shape using pinwheel excitation and CPMG acquisition 
Magma (New York, N.Y.)  2007;20(5-6):233-240.
The aim of this study is to present a new approach for making quantitative single-voxel T2 measurements from an arbitrarily shaped region of interest (ROI), where the advantage of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) per unit time of the single-voxel approach over conventional imaging approach can be achieved.
Materials and methods
Two-dimensional (2D) spatially selective radiofrequency (RF) pulses are proposed in this work for T2 measurements based on using interleaved spiral trajectories in excitation k-space (pinwheel excitation pulses), combined with a summed Carr—Purcell Meiboom—Gill (CPMG) echo acquisition. The technique is described and compared to standard multi-echo imaging methods, on a two-compartment water phantom and an excised brain tissue.
The studies show good agreement between imaging and our method. The measured improvement factors of SNR per unit time of our single-voxel approach over imaging approach are close to the predicted values.
Measuring T2 relaxation times from a selected ROI of arbitrary shape using a single-voxel rather than an imaging approach can increase the SNR per unit time, which is critical for dynamic T2 or multi-component T2 measurements.
PMCID: PMC2634838  PMID: 17999101
T2 measurement; Arbitrary shape localization; Interleaved spiral trajectory in k-space; CPMG
8.  Multiple functions of hypoxia-regulated miR-210 in cancer 
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. miRNAs can be induced by a variety of stresses such as hypoxia, and are involved in diverse biological processes including differentiation, cell proliferation, cell death, and tumorigenesis. Hypoxia, a common feature of tumor microenvironment, can induce a number of miRNAs expression. miRNA-210 (miR-210) is one of the hypoxia-regulated-miRNAs, which has been investigated extensively in cancer. However, paradoxically opposing results were documented regarding whether it is an oncogene or a tumor suppressor, and whether it is a positive or negative prognostic biomarker. In the present review, we focus on the following investigations of miR-210: 1) its functions of as an oncogene, 2) its functions as a tumor suppressor, 3) its functions in mitochondrial metabolism, and finally, the diagnostic and prognostic value of miR-210 in cancer researches.
PMCID: PMC4060094  PMID: 24909053
microRNA; Hypoxia; miR-210; Proliferation; Apoptosis; Angiogenesis; Metabolism; Diagnosis; Prognosis
9.  MicroRNA Array Normalization: An Evaluation Using a Randomized Dataset as the Benchmark 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e98879.
MicroRNA arrays possess a number of unique data features that challenge the assumption key to many normalization methods. We assessed the performance of existing normalization methods using two microRNA array datasets derived from the same set of tumor samples: one dataset was generated using a blocked randomization design when assigning arrays to samples and hence was free of confounding array effects; the second dataset was generated without blocking or randomization and exhibited array effects. The randomized dataset was assessed for differential expression between two tumor groups and treated as the benchmark. The non-randomized dataset was assessed for differential expression after normalization and compared against the benchmark. Normalization improved the true positive rate significantly in the non-randomized data but still possessed a false discovery rate as high as 50%. Adding a batch adjustment step before normalization further reduced the number of false positive markers while maintaining a similar number of true positive markers, which resulted in a false discovery rate of 32% to 48%, depending on the specific normalization method. We concluded the paper with some insights on possible causes of false discoveries to shed light on how to improve normalization for microRNA arrays.
PMCID: PMC4048305  PMID: 24905456
10.  Kinetics and Prediction of HBsAg Loss during Long-Term Therapy with Nucleos(t)ide Analogues of Different Potency in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis B 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e98476.
Background & Aims
About 350–400 million people are infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) chronically and 1 million people die of hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related liver diseases. Nucleos(t)ide analogues (NAs) have been used for the treatment against HBV. However, few studies have investigated the long-term effects of different nucleos(t)ide analogues on levels of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB). The aims of this study were to measure the magnitude of HBsAg reduction by long-term monotherapy with adefovir dipivoxil (ADV) and entecavir (ETV), to compare HBsAg reduction between the two drugs of different potency and to predict the expected time needed to achieve HBsAg loss.
We retrospectively evaluated the kinetics of HBsAg in 67 patients with CHB who all exhibited persistent viral suppression. These patients were treated with ADV or ETV for at least 6 years. HBV genotype was determined at baseline. Liver biochemistry, HBV serological markers, serum HBV DNA and HBsAg titers were determined at baseline, half year and yearly from year 1 to 6.
Serum HBsAg titers after treatment with ADV or ETV were significantly lower than the baseline titers (P<0.05). HBsAg reduction rate of patients treated with ETV (0.11 log10 IU/mL/ year) was higher than that treated with ADV (0.10 log10 IU/mL/year), and the calculated expected time to HBsAg loss for patients treated with ETV (approximate 24.99 years) was shorter than that with ADV (approximate 30.33 years), but there was no statistically significant difference between two groups (P>0.05).
Serum HBsAg titers gradually decreased during long-term treatment with either ADV or ETV. It appears that the potency of ADV on HBsAg reduction is close to that of ETV, as long as patients have achieved persistent viral suppression.
PMCID: PMC4048200  PMID: 24905586
11.  Subtype of Dietary Fat in Relation to Risk of Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Population-based Case-Control Study in Connecticut and Massachusetts 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2013;24(3):485-494.
Few epidemiological studies have examined the relationship between dietary fat, which may affect immune function, and risk of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that high dietary intake of fat and specific subtypes of fat is associated with the risk of HL among 486 HL cases and 630 population-based controls recruited between 1997–2000 in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Unconditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) stratified by age and gender. Among younger adults, HL risk was significantly and positively associated with higher intake of saturated fat (ORs for increasing quartiles= 1.3, 1.8, and 2.1; p trend = 0.04), and negatively associated with higher intake of monounsaturated fat (ORs for increasing quartiles= 0.5, 0.5, and 0.4; p trend = 0.03), after adjustment for potential confounders including lifestyle and other dietary factors. The associations with saturated fat (ORs for increasing quartile = 2.4, 3.2, and 4.4; p trend < 0.01) and monounsaturated fat (ORs for increasing quartile= 0.3, 0.6, and 0.3; p trend = 0.04) were most apparent in younger women, whereas there was no significant association between intake of total fat or any type of fat and risk of HL in older females or younger or older males. These findings show that the associations between dietary fat and risk of HL may vary by gender and age, and require confirmation in other populations.
PMCID: PMC4044911  PMID: 23314676
Hodgkin lymphoma; dietary fat; saturated fat; monounsaturated fat
12.  BAG3-dependent noncanonical autophagy induced by proteasome inhibition in HepG2 cells 
Autophagy  2013;9(6):905-916.
Emerging lines of evidence have shown that blockade of ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) activates autophagy. The molecular players that regulate the relationship between them remain to be elucidated. Bcl-2 associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) is a member of the BAG co-chaperone family that regulates the ATPase activity of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) chaperone family. Studies on BAG3 have demonstrated that it plays multiple roles in physiological and pathological processes, including antiapoptotic activity, signal transduction, regulatory role in virus infection, cell adhesion and migration. Recent studies have attracted much attention on its role in initiation of autophagy. The current study, for the first time, demonstrates that proteasome inhibitors elicit noncanonical autophagy, which was not suppressed by inhibitors of class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PtdIns3K) or shRNA against Beclin 1 (BECN1). In addition, we demonstrate that BAG3 is ascribed to activation of autophagy elicited by proteasome inhibitors and MAPK8/9/10 (also known as JNK1/2/3 respectively) activation is also implicated via upregulation of BAG3. Moreover, we found that noncanonical autophagy mediated by BAG3 suppresses responsiveness of HepG2 cells to proteasome inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC3672299  PMID: 23575457
ubiquitin proteasome system; noncanonical autophagy; BAG3; BECN1; crosstalk
13.  A Chimeric Dengue Virus Vaccine using Japanese Encephalitis Virus Vaccine Strain SA14-14-2 as Backbone Is Immunogenic and Protective against Either Parental Virus in Mice and Nonhuman Primates 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(24):13694-13705.
The development of a safe and efficient dengue vaccine represents a global challenge in public health. Chimeric dengue viruses (DENV) based on an attenuated flavivirus have been well developed as vaccine candidates by using reverse genetics. In this study, based on the full-length infectious cDNA clone of the well-known Japanese encephalitis virus live vaccine strain SA14-14-2 as a backbone, a novel chimeric dengue virus (named ChinDENV) was rationally designed and constructed by replacement with the premembrane and envelope genes of dengue 2 virus. The recovered chimeric virus showed growth and plaque properties similar to those of the parental DENV in mammalian and mosquito cells. ChinDENV was highly attenuated in mice, and no viremia was induced in rhesus monkeys upon subcutaneous inoculation. ChinDENV retained its genetic stability and attenuation phenotype after serial 15 passages in cultured cells. A single immunization with various doses of ChinDENV elicited strong neutralizing antibodies in a dose-dependent manner. When vaccinated monkeys were challenged with wild-type DENV, all animals except one that received the lower dose were protected against the development of viremia. Furthermore, immunization with ChinDENV conferred efficient cross protection against lethal JEV challenge in mice in association with robust cellular immunity induced by the replicating nonstructural proteins. Taken together, the results of this preclinical study well demonstrate the great potential of ChinDENV for further development as a dengue vaccine candidate, and this kind of chimeric flavivirus based on JE vaccine virus represents a powerful tool to deliver foreign antigens.
PMCID: PMC3838253  PMID: 24109223
14.  PARP-1 Val762Ala Polymorphism and Risk of Cancer: A Meta-Analysis Based on 39 Case-Control Studies 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e98022.
Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) is a nuclear chromatin-associated enzyme involved in several important cellular processes, particularly in the DNA repair system. PARP-1 rs1136410: C>T is among the most studied polymorphisms and likely involved in human carcinogenesis. However, results from previous studies are inconclusive. Thus, a meta-analysis was conducted to derive a more precise estimation of the effects of this enzyme.
Methodology and Principal Findings
A comprehensive search was conducted in the PubMed and EMBASE databases until December 9, 2013. A total of 39 studies with 16,783 cancer cases and 23,063 control subjects were included in the meta-analysis on the basis of the inclusion and exclusion criteria. No significant association between the PARP-1 Val762Ala polymorphism and cancer risk was found when all of the studies were pooled into the analysis (VA + AA vs. VV: OR = 1.03, 95% CI = 0.95–1.11). The subgroup analysis of cancer types revealed that the –762Ala allele was associated with increased risk of gastric, cervical, and lung cancers and a decreased risk of glioma. In addition, a significantly increased risk of cancer associated with the polymorphism was observed in Asian descendents (VA + AA vs. VV: OR = 1.17, 95% CI = 1.09–1.25; AA vs. VV: OR = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.08–1.51; VA vs. VV: OR = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.04–1.20; AA vs. VA + VV: OR = 1.09, 95% CI = 1.03–1.39). These results also indicated that a joint effect between PARP-1 Val762Ala and XRCC1 Arg399Gln could be involved in the risk of cancer development (OR = 3.53, 95% CI = 1.30–9.59).
The present meta-analysis provides evidence that the PARP-1 Val762Ala may be involved in cancer development at least in some ethnic groups (Asian) or some specific cancer types (gastric, cervical, and lung cancers, and glioma).
PMCID: PMC4031170  PMID: 24853559
15.  Experience of 1166 Thyroidectomy without Use of Prophylactic Antibiotic 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:758432.
Background. Although the procedure requires a small surgical incision and a short duration, incision infection rate is very low in thyroidectomy; however, doctors still have misgivings about infection events. Aim. We retrospectively analyzed the prevention of incision infection without perioperative use of antibacterial medications following thyroidectomy. Materials and Methods. 1166 patients of thyroidectomy were not administered perioperative antibiotics. Unilateral total lobectomy or partial thyroidectomy was performed in 68.0% patients with single-side nodular goiter or thyroid adenoma. Bilateral partial thyroidectomy was performed in 25.5% patients with nodular goiter or Graves' disease. The mean time of operation was 80.6 ± 4.87 (range: 25–390) min. Results. Resuturing was performed in two patients of secondary hemorrhage from residual thyroid following bilateral partial thyroidectomy. Temporally recurrent nerve paralysis was reported following right-side total lobectomy and left-side subtotal lobectomy in a nodular goiter patient. One case had suppurative infection in neck incision 5 days after bilateral partial thyroidectomy. Conclusions. Thyroidectomy, which is a clean incision, involves a small incision, short duration, and minor hemorrhage. If the operation is performed under strict conditions of sterility and hemostasis, antibacterial medications may not be required to prevent incision infection, which reduces cost and discourages the excessive use of antibiotics.
PMCID: PMC4037569  PMID: 24900986
16.  Recombinant tandem multi-linear neutralizing epitopes of human enterovirus 71 elicited protective immunity in mice 
Virology Journal  2014;11:79.
Human Enterovirus 71 (EV71) has emerged as the leading cause of viral encephalitis in children, especially in the Asia-Pacific regions. EV71 vaccine development is of high priority at present, and neutralization antibodies have been documented to play critical roles during in vitro and in vivo protection against EV71 infection.
In this study, a novel strategy to produce EV71 vaccine candidate based on recombinant multiple tandem linear neutralizing epitopes (mTLNE) was proposed. The three well identified EV71 linear neutralizing epitopes in capsid proteins, VP1-SP55, VP1-SP70 and VP2-SP28, were sequentially linked by a Gly-Ser linker ((G4S)3), and expressed in E.coli in fusion with the Trx and His tag at either terminal. The recombinant protein mTLNE was soluble and could be purified by standard affinity chromatography. Following three dosage of immunization in adult mice, EV71-specific IgG and neutralization antibodies were readily induced by recombinant mTLNE. IgG subtyping demonstrated that lgG1 antibodies dominated the mTLNE-induced humoral immune response. Especially, cytokine profiling in spleen cells from the mTLNE-immunized mice revealed high production of IL-4 and IL-6. Finally, in vivo challenge experiments showed that passive transfer with anti-mTLNE sera conferred full protection against lethal EV71 challenge in neonatal mice.
Our results demonstrated that this rational designed recombinant mTLNE might have the potential to be further developed as an EV71 vaccine in the future.
PMCID: PMC4030048  PMID: 24885030
Enterovirus 71; Vaccine; Linear neutralizing epitopes
17.  Derivation and Osmotolerance Characterization of Three Immortalized Tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) Cell Lines 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e95919.
Fish cell cultures are becoming more widely used models for investigating molecular mechanisms of physiological response to environmental challenge. In this study, we derived two immortalized Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) cell lines from brain (OmB) and lip epithelium (OmL), and compared them to a previously immortalized bulbus arteriosus (TmB) cell line. The OmB and OmL cell lines were generated without or with Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) inhibitor/3T3 feeder layer supplementation. Although both approaches were successful, ROCK inhibitor/feeder layer supplementation was found to offer the advantages of selecting for epithelial-like cell type and decreasing time to immortalization. After immortalization (≥ passage 5), we characterized the proteomes of the newly derived cell lines (OmB and OmL) using LCMS and identified several unique cell markers for each line. Subsequently, osmotolerance for each of the three cell lines following acute exposure to elevated sodium chloride was evaluated. The acute maximum osmotolerance of these tilapia cell lines (>700 mOsm/kg) was markedly higher than that of any other known vertebrate cell line, but was significantly higher in the epithelial-like OmL cell line. To validate the physiological relevance of these tilapia cell lines, we quantified the effects of acute hyperosmotic challenge (450 mOsm/kg and 700 mOsm/kg) on the transcriptional regulation of two enzymes involved in biosynthesis of the compatible organic osmolyte, myo-inositol. Both enzymes were found to be robustly upregulated in all three tilapia cell lines. Therefore, the newly established tilapia cells lines represent valuable tools for studying molecular mechanisms involved in the osmotic stress response of euryhaline fish.
PMCID: PMC4010420  PMID: 24797371
20.  Predicting Impacts of Climate Change on the Aboveground Carbon Sequestration Rate of a Temperate Forest in Northeastern China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e96157.
The aboveground carbon sequestration rate (ACSR) reflects the influence of climate change on forest dynamics. To reveal the long-term effects of climate change on forest succession and carbon sequestration, a forest landscape succession and disturbance model (LANDIS Pro7.0) was used to simulate the ACSR of a temperate forest at the community and species levels in northeastern China based on both current and predicted climatic data. On the community level, the ACSR of mixed Korean pine hardwood forests and mixed larch hardwood forests, fluctuated during the entire simulation, while a large decline of ACSR emerged in interim of simulation in spruce-fir forest and aspen-white birch forests, respectively. On the species level, the ACSR of all conifers declined greatly around 2070s except for Korean pine. The ACSR of dominant hardwoods in the Lesser Khingan Mountains area, such as Manchurian ash, Amur cork, black elm, and ribbed birch fluctuated with broad ranges, respectively. Pioneer species experienced a sharp decline around 2080s, and they would finally disappear in the simulation. The differences of the ACSR among various climates were mainly identified in mixed Korean pine hardwood forests, in all conifers, and in a few hardwoods in the last quarter of simulation. These results indicate that climate warming can influence the ACSR in the Lesser Khingan Mountains area, and the largest impact commonly emerged in the A2 scenario. The ACSR of coniferous species experienced higher impact by climate change than that of deciduous species.
PMCID: PMC3999096  PMID: 24763409
21.  Parallel mRNA and MicroRNA Profiling of HEV71-Infected Human Neuroblastoma Cells Reveal the Up-Regulation of miR-1246 in Association with DLG3 Repression 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95272.
Human enterovirus 71 (HEV71) has emerged as the leading cause of viral encephalitis in children in most Asian countries. The roles of host miRNAs in the neurological pathogenesis of HEV71 infection remain unknown. In the present study, comprehensive miRNA expression profiling in HEV71-infected human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells was performed using the Affymetrix Gene Chip microarray assay and was validated using real-time RT-PCR. Among the 69 differentially expressed miRNAs, miR-1246 was specifically induced by HEV71 infection in human neuroblastoma cells, but inhibition of miR-1246 failed to affect HEV71 replication. Parallel mRNA and microRNA profiling based on the 35 K Human Genome Array identified 182 differentially regulated genes. Target prediction of miR-1246 and network modeling revealed 14 potential target genes involved in cell death and cell signaling. Finally, a combined analysis of the results from mRNA profiling and miR-1246 target predication led to the identification of disc-large homolog 3 (DLG3), which is associated with neurological disorders, for further validation. Sequence alignment and luciferase reporter assay showed that miR-1246 directly bound with the 3′-UTR of DLG3 gene. Down-regulation of miR-1246 induced significant changes in DLG3 expression levels in HEV71-infected SHSY5Y cells. Together, these results suggested that miR-1246 might play a role in neurological pathogenesis of HEV71 by regulating DLG3 gene in infected cells. These findings provide new information on the miRNA and mRNA profiles of HEV71-infected neuroblastoma cells. The biological significance of miR-1246 and DLG3 during the course of HEV71 infection deserves further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3989279  PMID: 24739954
22.  Trisubstituted Sulfonamides: a New Chemotype for Development of Potent and Selective CB2 Receptor Inverse Agonists 
ACS medicinal chemistry letters  2013;4(4):387-392.
An extensive exploration of the SAR of a trisubstituted sulfonamides series led to the identification of 39, which is a potent and selective CB2 receptor inverse agonist (CB2 Ki = 5.4 nM, and CB1 Ki = 500 nM). The functional properties measured by cAMP assays indicated that the selected compounds were CB2 inverse agonists with high potency values (34, EC50 = 8.2 nM, and 39, EC50 = 2.5 nM). Furthermore, an osteoclastogenesis bioassay indicated that trisubstituted sulfonamide compounds showed great inhibition of osteoclast formation.
PMCID: PMC3979583  PMID: 24729834
cannabinoid receptors; inverse agonists; trisubstituted sulfonamides; osteoclast inhibitors
23.  Trisubstituted Sulfonamides: A New Chemotype for Development of Potent and Selective CB2 Receptor Inverse Agonists 
ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters  2013;4(4):387-392.
An extensive exploration of the structure–activity relationship of a trisubstituted sulfonamide series led to the identification of 39, which is a potent and selective CB2 receptor inverse agonist [Ki(CB2) = 5.4 nM, and Ki(CB1) = 500 nM]. The functional properties measured by cAMP assays indicated that the selected compounds were CB2 inverse agonists with high potency values (for 34, EC50 = 8.2 nM, and for 39, EC50 = 2.5 nM). Furthermore, an osteoclastogenesis bioassay indicated that trisubstituted sulfonamide compounds showed great inhibition of osteoclast formation.
PMCID: PMC3979583  PMID: 24729834
Cannabinoid receptors; inverse agonists; trisubstituted sulfonamides; osteoclast inhibitors
24.  Novel Triaryl Sulfonamide Derivatives as Selective Cannabinoid Receptor 2 Inverse Agonist and Osteoclast Inhibitor: Discovery, Optimization and Biological Evaluation 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(5):2045-2058.
Cannabinoid receptors have gained more and more attention as drug targets for developing potential therapeutic ligands. Here, we report the discovery and optimization of triaryl sulfonamide as a novel series possessing significant CB2 receptor affinity and selectivity. Four sets of triaryl ligands were designed, synthesized for further structural modifications, and led to the identification of eight compounds as potent and selective CB2 inverse agonists with high binding affinity (CB2 Ki < 10 nM). Especially, compound 57 exhibited the strongest binding affinity on CB2 receptor (CB2 Ki of 0.5 nM) and the best selectivity over CB1 receptor (selectivity index of 2594). Importantly, 57 also showed potent inhibitory activity on osteoclast formation, and was confirmed its inhibition effects were not derived from its cytotoxicity by the cell viability assay. Finally, 3D QSAR studies confirmed our SAR findings that three bulky groups play an important role for CB2 receptor binding affinity.
PMCID: PMC3967766  PMID: 23406429
25.  Biocompatible and Photostable AIE Dots with Red Emission for In Vivo Two-Photon Bioimaging 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4279.
Bioimaging systems with cytocompatibility, photostability, red fluorescence, and optical nonlinearity are in great demand. Herein we report such a bioimaging system. Integration of tetraphenylethene (T), triphenylamine (T), and fumaronitrile (F) units yielded adduct TTF with aggregation-induced emission (AIE). Nanodots of the AIE fluorogen with efficient red emission were fabricated by encapsulating TTF with phospholipid. The AIE dots enabled three-dimensional dynamic imaging with high resolution in blood vessels of mouse brain under two-photon excitation.
PMCID: PMC3955920  PMID: 24632722

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