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1.  Differential regulation of the hmsCDE operon in Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis by the Rcs phosphorelay system 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8412.
Yersinia pestis, the agent of plague, forms a biofilm in its flea vector to enhance transmission. Y. pestis biofilm development is positively regulated by hmsT and hmsD, encoding diguanylate cyclases (DGCs) involved in synthesis of the bacterial second messenger c-di-GMP. rcsA, encoding an auxiliary protein in Rcs phosphorelay, is nonfunctional in Y. pestis, while in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, rcsA is functional and represses biofilms. Previously we showed that Rcs phosphorelay negatively regulates transcription of hmsT in Y. pestis and its ancestor Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. In this study, we show that Rcs positively regulates hmsCDE operon (encoding HmsD) in Y. pestis; while in the presence of functional rcsA, Rcs represses hmsCDE operon in Y. pseudotuberculosis. Loss of rcsA's function in Y. pestis not only causes derepression of hmsT but also causes activation of hmsD, which may account for the increased biofilm formation in Y. pestis. In addition, differential regulation of the two DGCs, HmsT and HmsD by Rcs may help Y. pestis to adapt to different environment.
PMCID: PMC4325325  PMID: 25672461
2.  Hematology research output from Chinese authors and other countries: a 10-year survey of the literature 
Hematologic disease affects people of all ages worldwide. In the past decade, researchers have made great progress in the field of hematology. In the present study we compared the hematology research output from China and other countries (USA, Germany, UK, Japan and South Korea) over the past 10 years and 5 years.
The related articles were extracted based on the PubMed database. We recorded the number of publications, clinical trials, randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, case reports, reviews, citations, impact factors, articles in the top 10 journals and most published journals to assess the quantity and quality of research output in each region.
A total of 120,641 hematology-related articles were published from 2004 to 2013. The USA accounted for 27.13% (32,732/120,641) of the publications, followed by Germany (7,479/120,641; 6.20%), Japan (6,347/120,641; 5.26%), the UK (5,453/120,641; 4.52%), China (2,924/120,641; 2.42%) and South Korea (1,413/120,641; 1.17%). The ranking for cumulative impact factors was as follows: USA; Germany; UK; Japan; China and South Korea. The median impact factors in the UK, USA, and Germany were higher than Japan, South Korea, and China. Interestingly, the median impact factors in the three Asia countries were similar both in 2004–2013 and 2009–2013. The UK had the highest percentage of publications in the top 25% of journals, while China lagged behind and ranked last. When comparing the number of articles in the top 10 journals, the results were similar to the IF findings. Germany had the highest number of average citations, while China had the lowest number of average citation. The status of hematology research output from the 6 countries in 2009–2013 had little difference from 2004–2013.
Thus, the USA has had a dominant role in hematologic research in the past 10 years. Overall, the quality of publications in European countries was better than Asia countries. Although China has made considerable progress in hematology research, the quality of research needs improvement.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13045-014-0103-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4332745  PMID: 25653049
Hematology; Publications; Impact factor; Citations; Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE)
3.  Pulsatile motion of trabecular meshwork in a patient with iris cyst by phase-sensitive optical coherence tomography: a case report 
A 45-year-old man was diagnosed with a 3 mm × 3 mm iris cyst located at 9 o’clock behind iris and protruding into temporal angle by slit lamp examination, gonioscopy, and ultrasound biomicroscopy (UBM). Phase-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PhS-OCT) was applied on this case for the quantitative measurements of trabecular meshwork (TM) motion. The frequency of TM motion was with the same rhythm of the patient’s peripheral pulse. Its amplitude on the closed angle region showed significant smaller than the open angle region. PhS-OCT can be a useful tool for the diagnosis and follow-up in ocular diseases surrounding iridocorneal angle.
PMCID: PMC4312295
Trabecular meshwork (TM); iris cyst; phase-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PhS-OCT)
4.  Associations between apolipoprotein E gene polymorphisms and Alzheimer’s disease risk in a large Chinese Han population 
Apolipoprotein E gene (APOE) polymorphisms contributing to the risk of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have been identified for decades, but it has not been investigated in large AD samples of Chinese Han population.
We performed a cross-sectional study to explore the effect of APOE polymorphisms on sporadic AD in 875 sporadic AD patients and 1,195 cognitive normal controls of Chinese Han. Genotyping of APOE was determined by multiplex amplification refractory mutation system polymerase chain reaction.
APOE ε3ε4 and ε4ε4 genotypes increased AD risk with dosage effect. The odds ratio (OR) of ε3ε4 was 1.89 and the OR of ε4ε4 was 15.64 compared with that of ε3ε3 in all the subjects. E2ε3 genotype decreased AD risk in all the subjects (OR=0.64), female subgroup (OR=0.57), and late-onset AD subgroup (OR=0.60). However, neither ε2ε2 nor ε2ε4 affected AD risk. About the age at onset (AAO), the influence of APOE ε4 was only exhibited in late-onset AD subgroup, with 1 year lower in ε4-positive ones than negative ones. Further analysis did not show the dosage effect of ε4 pertinent to AAO, though the AAO of ε4ε4 patients decreased by 2 years. E2 did not affect the AAO of AD.
APOE ε4 is a strong risk factor of AD risk in Chinese Han population, and APOE ε4ε4 genotype might be related to the AAO of late-onset AD.
PMCID: PMC4321568
sporadic; cross sectional study; dosage effect; age at onset
5.  Intracellular CD24 disrupts the ARF–NPM interaction and enables mutational and viral oncogene-mediated p53 inactivation 
Nature Communications  2015;6:5909.
CD24 is overexpressed in nearly 70% human cancers, whereas TP53 is the most frequently mutated tumour-suppressor gene that functions in a context-dependent manner. Here we show that both targeted mutation and short hairpin RNA (shRNA) silencing of CD24 retard the growth, progression and metastasis of prostate cancer. CD24 competitively inhibits ARF binding to NPM, resulting in decreased ARF, increase MDM2 and decrease levels of p53 and the p53 target p21/CDKN1A. CD24 silencing prevents functional inactivation of p53 by both somatic mutation and viral oncogenes, including the SV40 large T antigen and human papilloma virus 16 E6-antigen. In support of the functional interaction between CD24 and p53, in silico analyses reveal that TP53 mutates at a higher rate among glioma and prostate cancer samples with higher CD24 mRNA levels. These data provide a general mechanism for functional inactivation of ARF and reveal an important cellular context for genetic and viral inactivation of TP53.
P53 is a tumour suppressor that is frequently mutated or downregulated in cancer. Here, Wang et al. show that CD24, a molecule frequently overexpressed in cancer, promotes p53 degradation by disrupting a regulatory ARF–MDM2 interaction, and silencing CD24 prevents the downregulation of p53.
PMCID: PMC4300525  PMID: 25600590
6.  Inactivation of Sag/Rbx2/Roc2 E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Triggers Senescence and Inhibits Kras-Induced Immortalization 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2015;17(1):114-123.
Our recent study showed that SAG/RBX2 E3 ubiquitin ligase regulates apoptosis and vasculogenesis by promoting degradation of NOXA and NF1, and co-operates with Kras to promote lung tumorigenesis by activating NFκB and mTOR pathways via targeted degradation of tumor suppressive substrates including IκB, DEPTOR, p21 and p27. Here we investigated the role of Sag/Rbx2 E3 ligase in cellular senescence and immortalization of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and report that Sag is required for proper cell proliferation and KrasG12D-induced immortalization. Sag inactivation by genetic deletion remarkably suppresses cell proliferation by inducing senescence, which is associated with accumulation of p16, but not p53. Mechanistically, Sag deletion caused accumulation of Jun-B, a substrate of Sag-Fbxw7 E3 ligase and a transcription factor that drives p16 transcription. Importantly, senescence triggered by Sag deletion can be largely rescued by simultaneous deletion of Cdkn2a, the p16 encoding gene, indicating its causal role. Furthermore, KrasG12D-induced immortalization can also be abrogated by Sag deletion via senescence induction, which is again rescued by simultaneous deletion of Cdkn2a. Finally, we found that Sag deletion inactivates KrasG12D activity and block the MAPK signaling pathway, together with accumulated p16, to induce senescence. Taken together, our results demonstrated that Sag is a KrasG12D-cooperating oncogene required for KrasG12D-induced immortalization and transformation, and targeting SAG-SCF E3 ligase may, therefore, have therapeutic value for senescence-based cancer treatment.
PMCID: PMC4309684  PMID: 25622904
7.  Delayed Anaphylaxis to Red Meat Associated With Specific IgE Antibodies to Galactose 
A novel delayed anaphylactic reaction to red meat, associated with tick bites and IgE antibodies against galactose-α-1, 3-galactose (α-gal), was reported in 2009 in the US, Australia and Europe. In this case, serum specific IgE to galactose-α-1, 3-galactose (>100 kU/L) and IgE to multiple non-primate mammalian proteins were positive. However, the pathogenesis of this disease remains unclear. We report the first case in Asia of delayed anaphylactic reaction to red meat, which was induced by bites from the hard tick, Hematophagous ixodidae. We confirmed the increased concentration of IgE reactive epitopes in non-primate mammalian organs, which may be rich in α-gal proteins in lymphatic and endothelial tissues. All confirmed ticks associated with this disorder in the literature and in our case belonged to the hard tick family. We hypothesize that hard tick saliva is enriched with blood-type substances, such as oligosaccharides, from the non-primate mammal victim's blood after days to weeks of blood sucking, which sensitizes humans through the injection route while blood sucking.
PMCID: PMC4274476  PMID: 25553269
Food allergy; anaphylaxis; red meat allergy; tick
8.  Protective Effect of Liriodendrin Isolated from Kalopanax pictus against Gastric Injury 
Biomolecules & Therapeutics  2015;23(1):53-59.
In this study, we investigated the inhibitory activities on gastritis and gastric ulcer using liriodendrin which is a constituent isolated from Kalopanax pictus. To elucidate its abilities to prevent gastric injury, we measured the quantity of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) as the protective factor, and we assessed inhibition of activities related to excessive gastric acid be notorious for aggressive factor and inhibition of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) colonization known as a cause of chronic gastritis, gastric ulcer, and gastric cancer. Liriodendrin exhibited higher PGE2 level than rebamipide used as a positive control group at the dose of 500 μM. It was also exhibited acid-neutralizing capacity (10.3%) and H+/K+-ATPase inhibition of 42.6% (500 μM). In pylorus-ligated rats, liriodendrin showed lower volume of gastric juice (4.38 ± 2.14 ml), slightly higher pH (1.53 ± 0.41), and smaller total acid output (0.47 ± 0.3 mEq/4 hrs) than the control group. Furthermore liriodendrin inhibited colonization of H. pylori effectively. In vivo test, liriodendrin significantly inhibited both of HCl/EtOH-induced gastritis (46.9 %) and indomethacin-induced gastric ulcer (46.1%). From these results, we suggest that liriodendrin could be utilized for the treatment and/or protection of gastritis and gastric ulcer.
PMCID: PMC4286750  PMID: 25593644
Liriodendrin; Prostaglandin E2; H+/K+-ATPase; Gastritis; Gastric ulcer
9.  Activating Brown Adipose Tissue for Weight Loss and Lowering of Blood Glucose Levels: A MicroPET Study Using Obese and Diabetic Model Mice 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e113742.
This study aims at using 18F-FDG microPET to monitor the brown adipose tissue (BAT) glucose metabolism in obese and diabetic mouse models under different interventions, and study the therapeutic potential of BAT activation for weight loss and lowering of blood glucose in these models.
Obese mice were established by a high-fat diet for eight weeks, and diabetes mellitus(DM) models were induced with Streptozocin in obese mice. 18F-FDG microPET was used to monitor BAT function during obese and DM modeling, and also after BRL37344 (a β3-adrenergic receptor agonist) or levothyroxine treatment. The BAT function was correlated with the body weight and blood glucose levels.
Compared with the controls, the obese mice and DM mice showed successively lower 18F-FDG uptake in the interscapular BAT (P = 0.036 and <0.001, respectively). After two-week BRL37344 treatment, the BAT uptake was significantly elevated in both obese mice (P = 0.010) and DM mice (P = 0.004), accompanied with significantly decreased blood glucose levels (P = 0.023 and 0.036, respectively). The BAT uptake was negatively correlated with the blood glucose levels in both obese mice (r = −0.71, P = 0.003) and DM mice (r = −0.74, P = 0.010). BRL37344 treatment also caused significant weight loss in the obese mice (P = 0.001). Levothyroxine treatment increased the BAT uptake in the control mice (P = 0.025) and obese mice (P = 0.013), but not in the DM mice (P = 0.45).
The inhibited BAT function in obese and DM mice can be re-activated by β3-adrenergic receptor agonist or thyroid hormone, and effective BAT activation may lead to weight loss and blood glucose lowering. Activating BAT can provide a new treatment strategy for obesity and DM.
PMCID: PMC4252055  PMID: 25462854
10.  Phenotypic Screening of a Targeted Mutant Library Reveals Campylobacter jejuni Defenses against Oxidative Stress 
Infection and Immunity  2014;82(6):2266-2275.
During host colonization, Campylobacter jejuni is exposed to harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced from the host immune system and from the gut microbiota. Consequently, identification and characterization of oxidative stress defenses are important for understanding how C. jejuni survives ROS stress during colonization of the gastrointestinal tract. Previous transcriptomic studies have defined the genes belonging to oxidant stimulons within C. jejuni. We have constructed isogenic deletion mutants of these identified genes to assess their role in oxidative stress survival. Phenotypic screening of 109 isogenic deletion mutants identified 22 genes which were either hypersensitive or hyposensitive to oxidants, demonstrating important roles for these genes in oxidant defense. The significance of these genes in host colonization was also assessed in an in vivo chick model of C. jejuni colonization. Overall, our findings identify an indirect role for motility in resistance to oxidative stress. We found that a nonmotile flagellum mutant, the ΔmotAB mutant, displayed increased sensitivity to oxidants. Restoration of sensitivity to superoxide in the ΔmotAB mutant was achieved by fumarate supplementation or tandem deletion of motAB with ccoQ, suggesting that disruption of the proton gradient across the inner membrane resulted in increased superoxide production in this strain. Furthermore, we have identified genes involved in cation transport and binding, detoxification, and energy metabolism that are also important factors in oxidant defense. This report describes the first isogenic deletion mutant library construction for screening of relevant oxidative stress defense genes within C. jejuni, thus providing a comprehensive analysis of the total set of oxidative stress defenses.
PMCID: PMC4019188  PMID: 24643543
11.  Vector competence of the tick Ixodes sinensis (Acari: Ixodidae) for Rickettsia monacensis 
Parasites & Vectors  2014;7(1):512.
Cases of Mediterranean Spotted Fever like rickettsioses, caused by Rickettsia monacensis, have become more common in the last 10 years. In China, natural infection of R. monacensis in various tick species has been confirmed but the vector(s) of R. monacensis have not been recorded.
The prevalence of R. monacensis in >1500 Ixodidae ticks from central and southern China was determined using centrifugation-shell vial culture and polymerase chain reaction techniques. The predominant species, Ixodes sinensis, harbored a natural infection of R. monacensis and was assumed to be a vector candidate of R. monacensis. Experimental transmissions were initialized by infecting Rickettsia-free tick colonies with R. monacensis using capillary tube feeding (CTF) or immersion techniques. Transstadial and transovarial transmissions, and transmission from ticks to mice, were conducted under laboratory conditions.
R. monacensis was isolated and identified from hemolymph of Ixodes sinensis using molecular techniques. Transovarial transmission of R. monacensis from infected ♀I. sinensis to offspring was documented and infected offspring successfully passed Rickettsia to mice. Transstadial transmission rates were 58% in larva to nymph and 56% in nymph to adult stages. Infected nymphs and adults were also able to infect mice.
I. sinensis is a competence vector for R. monacensis as demonstrated by natural infection and transmission studies.
PMCID: PMC4237728  PMID: 25406413
Rickettsia monacensis; Ixodes sinensis; Vector competence
12.  A positive autoregulatory loop of Jak-STAT signaling controls the onset of astrogliogenesis 
Nature neuroscience  2005;8(5):616-625.
During development of the CNS, neurons and glia are generated in a sequential manner. The mechanism underlying the later onset of gliogenesis is poorly understood, although the cytokine-induced Jak-STAT pathway has been postulated to regulate astrogliogenesis. Here, we report that the overall activity of Jak-STAT signaling is dynamically regulated in mouse cortical germinal zone during development. As such, activated STAT1/3 and STAT-mediated transcription are negligible at early, neurogenic stages, when neurogenic factors are highly expressed. At later, gliogenic periods, decreased expression of neurogenic factors causes robust elevation of STAT activity. Our data demonstrate a positive autoregulatory loop whereby STAT1/3 directly induces the expression of various components of the Jak-STAT pathway to strengthen STAT signaling and trigger astrogliogenesis. Forced activation of Jak-STAT signaling leads to precocious astrogliogenesis, and inhibition of this pathway blocks astrocyte differentiation. These observations suggest that autoregulation of the Jak-STAT pathway controls the onset of astrogliogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4222251  PMID: 15852015
13.  Carrier of Wingless (Cow), a Secreted Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycan, Promotes Extracellular Transport of Wingless 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e111573.
Morphogens are signaling molecules that regulate growth and patterning during development by forming a gradient and activating different target genes at different concentrations. The extracellular distribution of morphogens is tightly regulated, with the Drosophila morphogen Wingless (Wg) relying on Dally-like (Dlp) and transcytosis for its distribution. However, in the absence of Dlp or endocytic activity, Wg can still move across cells along the apical (Ap) surface. We identified a novel secreted heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) that binds to Wg and promotes its extracellular distribution by increasing Wg mobility, which was thus named Carrier of Wg (Cow). Cow promotes the Ap transport of Wg, independent of Dlp and endocytosis, and this function addresses a previous gap in the understanding of Wg movement. This is the first example of a diffusible HSPG acting as a carrier to promote the extracellular movement of a morphogen.
PMCID: PMC4216105  PMID: 25360738
14.  Characterization of Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome in Rural Regions of Zhejiang, China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e111127.
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) infections have recently been found in rural regions of Zhejiang. A severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) surveillance and sero-epidemiological investigation was conducted in the districts with outbreaks. During the study period of 2011–2014, a total of 51 SFTSV infection cases were identified and the case fatality rate was 12% (6/51). Ninety two percent of the patients (47/51) were over 50 years of age, and 63% (32/51) of laboratory confirmed cases occurred from May to July. Nine percent (11/120) of the serum samples from local healthy people without symptoms were found to be positive for antibodies to the SFTS virus. SFTSV strains were isolated by culture using Vero, and the whole genomic sequences of two SFTSV strains (01 and Zhao) were sequenced and submitted to the GenBank. Homology analysis showed that the similarity of the target nucleocapsid gene from the SFTSV strains from different geographic areas was 94.2–100%. From the constructed phylogenetic tree, it was found that all the SFTSV strains diverged into two main clusters. Only the SFTSV strains from the Zhejiang (Daishan) region of China and the Yamaguchi, Miyazakj regions of Japan, were clustered into lineage II, consistent with both of these regions being isolated areas with similar geographic features. Two out of eight predicted linear B cell epitopes from the nucleocapsid protein showed mutations between the SFTSV strains of different clusters, but did not contribute to the binding ability of the specific SFTSV antibodies. This study confirmed that SFTSV has been circulating naturally and can cause a seasonal prevalence in Daishan, China. The results also suggest that the molecular characteristics of SFTSV are associated with the geographic region and all SFTSV strains can be divided into two genotypes.
PMCID: PMC4214719  PMID: 25356556
15.  Neurons or Glia? Can SHP2 Know It All? 
PMCID: PMC4211625  PMID: 17971566
16.  Transcriptional regulation of neuronal differentiation: The epigenetic layer of complexity 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2008;1779(8):432-437.
The transcriptional programs of neural progenitor cells change dynamically during neurogenesis, a process regulated by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Although many of the transcription factors required for neuronal differentiation have long been identified, we are only at the brink of understanding how epigenetic mechanisms influence transcriptional activity and the accessibility of transcription factors to bind consensus cis-elements. Herein, we delineate the chief epigenetic modifications and the machinery responsible for these alterations. Further, we review the epigenetic modifications presently known to participate in the maintenance of the neural progenitor cell state and in the regulation of neuronal differentiation.
PMCID: PMC4211633  PMID: 18674649
miR-124; miR-9; Neurogenesis; REST; Chromatin remodeling; Histone modification; Acetylation; Methylation; miRNA; ncRNA; bHLH
17.  Systematic profiling of mRNA and miRNA expression in the pancreatic islets of spontaneously diabetic Goto-Kakizaki rats 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2014;11(1):67-74.
Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is a complex multifactorial metabolic disorder that affects >100 million individuals worldwide, yet the mechanisms involved in the development and progression of the disease have not yet been fully elucidated. The present study examined the mRNA and micro (mi)RNA expression profiles by microarray analysis in the pancreas islets of spontaneously diabetic Goto-Kakizaki rats with the aim to identify regulatory mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of T2DM. A total of 9 upregulated and 10 downregulated miRNAs were identified, including miR-150, miR-497, miR-344-3p and let-7f, which were independently validated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction assays. In addition, differential expression of 670 genes was detected by mRNA microarray analysis, including 370 upregulated and 247 downregulated genes. The differentially expressed genes were statistically associated with major cellular pathways, including the immune response pathway and the extracellular matrix (ECM)-receptor interaction pathway. Finally, a reverse regulatory association of differentially expressed miRNAs and their predicted target genes was constructed, supported by analysis of their mRNA and miRNA expression profiles. A number of key pairs of miRNA-mRNA was proposed to have significant roles in the pathogenesis of T2DM rats based on bioinformatics analysis, one example being the let-7f/collagen, type II, alpha 1 pair that may regulate ECM-receptor interactions.
PMCID: PMC4237099  PMID: 25333294
type 2 diabetes; gene expression array; microRNA microarray; microRNA-mRNA regulatory correlation
18.  Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Dry Eye Symptom in Mainland China: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
Journal of Ophthalmology  2014;2014:748654.
Purpose. To evaluate the pooled prevalence rate and risk factors of dry eye symptoms (DES) in mainland China. Methods. All the published population-based studies investigating the prevalence of DES in China were searched and evaluated against inclusion criteria. A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed. Results. Twelve out of the 119 identified studies were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled prevalence of DES in China was 17.0%. Female individuals, subjects living in the Northern and Western China, and over 60 years of age had significantly higher prevalent rates (21.6%, 17.9%, 31.3%, and 34.4%, resp.) compared with their counterparts. Patients with diabetes were also found to be more vulnerable to DES. Conclusions. The pooled prevalence rate of DES in mainland China was lower than that in other Asian regions and countries. A remarkable discrepancy in the prevalence in different geographic regions was noted. Aging, female gender, and diabetes were found to be risk factors for DES in China.
PMCID: PMC4216702  PMID: 25386359
19.  Intra-abdominal inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor: Spontaneous regression 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(37):13625-13631.
Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors are usually treated by surgical resection. We herein report two cases of intra-abdominal inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors that were unresectable and underwent spontaneous regression without any treatment. Our case report and literature review show that regression is more common in the middle-aged and older male populations. Abdominal discomfort and fever were the most common symptoms, but the majority of patients had no obvious physical signs. There was no specific indicator for diagnosis. The majority of the lesions regressed within 3 mo and nearly all of the masses completely resolved within 1 year. We conclude that the clinical characteristics of inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors are variable and, accordingly, the disease needs to be subdivided and treated on an individual basis. Surgery is always the first-line treatment; however, for those masses assessed as unresectable, conservative therapy with intense follow-up should be considered.
PMCID: PMC4188916  PMID: 25309095
Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor; Inflammatory pseudotumor; Abdominal cavity; Spontaneous regression
20.  Magnetic resonance imaging of intracranial hemangiopericytoma and correlation with pathological findings 
Oncology Letters  2014;8(5):2140-2144.
The present study aimed to evaluate the radiological and pathological features of intracranial hemangiopericytoma, and improve the understanding of this tumor. A retrospective analysis of radiological and pathological features of five cases of intracranial hemangiopericytoma was conducted between 2006 and 2012 in the Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University. A total of five cases (three males and two females; aged 37–60 years) were enrolled. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed that the lesions were lobulated with iso-intensity T1-weighted image signals and slightly long T2-weighted image signals. Cystic degeneration, necrosis and flow void were observed. The case with the lesion located under the tentorium cerebelli exhibited compression of the fourth ventricle with lateral ventricle dilatation hydrocephalus. In all cases, the solid section of the lesion was markedly enhanced following injection of the contrast agent, and intratumoral vessels were observed. No case exhibited the dural tail sign. Immunohistochemical examination revealed positive expression of cluster of differentiation 34(CD34), vimentin and CD99, and negative expression of epithelial membrane antigen, S100 and glial fibrillary acidic protein. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen Ki-67 immunohistochemical staining revealed that <5% of cells expressed Ki-67 in two cases and 5–10% of cells expressed Ki-67 in three cases. In conclusion, intracranial hemangiopericytoma exhibits certain distinctive characteristics in radiological examination, allowing for improved diagnosis. However, pathological examination is required for confirmation.
PMCID: PMC4186565  PMID: 25289095
HPC; intracranial; MRI; immunohistochemical
21.  Medicaid care management: Description of high-cost addictions treatment clients 
High utilizers of alcohol and other drug treatment (AODTx) services are a priority for healthcare cost control. We examine characteristics of Medicaid-funded AODTx clients, comparing three groups: individuals < 90th percentile of AODTx expenditures (n = 41,054); high-cost clients in the top decile of AODTx expenditures (HC; n = 5,718); and 1760 enrollees in a chronic care management (CM) program for HC clients implemented in 22 counties in New York State. Medicaid and state AODTx registry databases were combined to draw demographic, clinical, social needs and treatment history data. HC clients accounted for 49% of AODTx costs funded by Medicaid. As expected, HC clients had significant social welfare needs, comorbid medical and psychiatric conditions, and use of inpatient services. The CM program was successful in enrolling some high-needs, high-cost clients but faced barriers to reaching the most costly and disengaged individuals.
PMCID: PMC3783198  PMID: 23579079
Medicaid; Care management; Costs; Addictions treatment; Healthcare reform
22.  Tissue-specific mechanical and geometrical control of cell viability and actin cytoskeleton alignment 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6160.
Different tissues have specific mechanical properties and cells of different geometries, such as elongated muscle cells and polygonal endothelial cells, which are precisely regulated during embryo development. However, the mechanisms that underlie these processes are not clear. Here, we built an in vitro model to mimic the cellular microenvironment of muscle by combining both mechanical stretch and geometrical control. We found that mechanical stretch was a key factor that determined the optimal geometry of myoblast C2C12 cells under stretch, whereas vascular endothelial cells and fibroblasts had no such dependency. We presented the first experimental evidence that can explain why myoblasts are destined to take the elongated geometry so as to survive and maintain parallel actin filaments along the stretching direction. The study is not only meaningful for the research on myogenesis but also has potential application in regenerative medicine.
PMCID: PMC4141254  PMID: 25146956
23.  Ribosomal protein S27-like is a physiological regulator of p53 that suppresses genomic instability and tumorigenesis 
eLife  2014;3:e02236.
Cell-based studies showed that several Mdm2-binding ribosomal proteins, upon overexpression, stabilize and activate p53. In contrast, here we show in a mouse knockout study that Mdm2-binding ribosomal protein S27-like (Rps27l), upon disruption, activates p53. Germline inactivation of Rps27l triggers ribosomal stress to stabilize Mdm2, which degrades Mdm4 to reduce Mdm2-Mdm4 E3 ligase towards p53, leading to p53-dependent apoptotic depletion of hematopoietic stem cells and postnatal death, which is rescued by Trp53 deletion. Paradoxically, while increased p53 is expected to inhibit tumorigenesis, Rps27l−/−;Trp53+/− mice develop lymphomas at higher incidence with p53 loss-of-heterozygosity and severe genome aneuploidy, suggesting that Rps27l disruption impose a selection pressure against p53. Thus, Rps27l has dual functions in p53 regulation: under Trp53+/+ background, Rps27l disruption triggers ribosomal stress to induce p53 and apoptosis, whereas under Trp53+/− background, Rps27l disruption triggers genomic instability and Trp53 deletion to promote tumorigenesis. Our study provides a new paradigm of p53 regulation.
eLife digest
There are over a hundred different types of cancer that can affect humans; but, in general, all cancers are caused by mutations that cause cells to grow and divide abnormally. ‘Tumor suppressor genes’ are genes that normally protect a cell from genetic changes that can lead a cell towards becoming cancerous.
About half of all cancers in humans have a mutation in one of the two copies of a tumor suppressor gene that encodes a protein called p53, which helps to control how and when cells grow and divide. In normal cells, the p53 protein can be activated in various ways. Damage to a cell's DNA triggers p53 to stop the cell growing, which gives the cell time to repair the DNA damage. However, if the damage is too severe and cannot be repaired, p53 essentially causes the cell to kill itself, via a process called apoptosis. Furthermore, if a cell has problems building new copies of its protein-making machinery, some of the parts (called ribosomal proteins) that make up these molecular machines can also lead to p53 being activated.
By deleting the gene for a protein called Rps27l that is a newly characterized ribosomal protein, Xiong et al. have discovered that, in mice, Rps27I regulates the p53 protein in two different ways. In normal cells, Rps27l appears to inhibit p53, which is likely to encourage cancer to develop. But, if a cell has already lost a copy of the p53 gene—a situation that would normally encourage the cells to accrue further mutations and become cancerous—Rps27l acts as a tumor suppressor. In these mutated cells, the Rps27l protein helps to maintain the stability of the genome and prevent the loss of the second copy of gene for p53, and so protects the cell from becoming cancerous.
Thus Rps27l can either activate or inactivate p53 activity depending on how many copies of the gene for p53 remain intact. The next challenge is to investigate if Rps27l levels determine the early-onset of tumor development in cancer-prone cells seen in patients with Li-Fraumeni syndrome, who are born with a mutated copy of the p53 gene.
PMCID: PMC4163686  PMID: 25144937
p53; Mdm2-Mdm4; ribosomal proteins; mouse knockout; aneuploidy; tumorigenesis; human; mouse
24.  Prognostic Value of Red Blood Cell Distribution Width for Patients with Heart Failure: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104861.
Multiple studies have investigated the prognostic role of red blood cell distribution width (RDW) for patients with heart failure (HF), but the results have been inconsistent. The aim of the present study was to estimate the impact of RDW on the prognosis of HF by performing a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Methods and Results
The Embase, PubMed, and Web of Science databases were searched up to November 16, 2013 to identify eligible cohort studies. The quality of each study was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS). The association between RDW, either on admission or at discharge, and HF outcomes (all-cause mortality [ACM], heart transplantation, cardiovascular mortality, and rehospitalization, etc.) were reviewed. The overall hazard ratio (HR) for the effect of RDW on ACM was pooled using a random-effects model, and the publication bias was evaluated using funnel plots and Eggers' tests. Seventeen studies, with a total of 18288 HF patients, were included for systematic review. All eligible studies indicated that RDW on admission and RDW at discharge, as well as its change during treatment, were of prognostic significance for HF patients. The HR for the effect of a 1% increase in baseline RDW on ACM was 1.10 (95% confidence interval: 1.07–1.13), based on pooling of nine studies that provided related data. However, publication bias was observed among these studies.
HF patients with higher RDW may have poorer prognosis than those with lower RDW. Further studies are needed to explore the potential mechanisms underlying this association.
PMCID: PMC4136732  PMID: 25133510
25.  Inhibition of protein phosphatase 2A radiosensitizes pancreatic cancers by modulating CDC25C/CDK1 and homologous recombination repair 
To identify targets whose inhibition may enhance the efficacy of chemoradiation in pancreatic cancer and thus improve survival, we performed an siRNA library screen in pancreatic cancer cells. We investigated PPP2R1A, a scaffolding subunit of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) as a lead radiosensitizing target.
Experimental Design
We determined the effect of PP2A inhibition by genetic (PPP2R1A siRNA) and pharmacological (LB100, a small molecule entering Phase I clinical trials) approaches on radiosensitization of Panc-1 and MiaPaCa-2 pancreatic cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo.
PPP2R1A depletion by siRNA radiosensitized Panc-1 and MiaPaCa-2 cells, with radiation enhancement ratios of 1.4 (P<0.05). Likewise, LB100 produced similar radiosensitization in pancreatic cancer cells, but minimal radiosensitization in normal small intestinal cells. Mechanistically, PPP2R1A siRNA or LB100 caused aberrant CDK1 activation, likely resulting from accumulation of the active forms of PLK1 (pPLK1 T210) and CDC25C (pCDC25C T130). Furthermore, LB100 inhibited radiation-induced Rad51 focus formation and homologous recombination repair (HRR), ultimately leading to persistent radiation-induced DNA damage, as reflected by γH2AX expression. Finally, we identified CDC25C as a key PP2A substrate involved in LB100-mediated radiosensitization as depletion of CDC25C partially reversed LB100-mediated radiosensitization. In a mouse xenograft model of human pancreatic cancer, LB100 produced significant radiosensitization with minimal weight loss.
Collectively, our data demonstrate that PP2A inhibition radiosensitizes pancreatic cancer both in vitro and in vivo via activation of CDC25C/CDK1 and inhibition of HRR, and provide proof-of-concept evidence that PP2A is a promising target for the improvement of local therapy in pancreatic cancer.
PMCID: PMC3754450  PMID: 23780887
pancreatic cancer; protein phosphatase 2A; radiosensitization; homologous recombination repair

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