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1.  Postoperative recurrence of desmoid tumors: clinical and pathological perspectives 
The clinical features and the pathological changes of desmoid tumors were studied to point out the key factors affecting the recurrence.
The clinical data and specimens of 56 patients who underwent desmoid tumor resection from 2003 to 2008 were reviewed. Possible clinical factors related to the postoperative recurrence were analyzed statistically. The specimens round the lesions were studied histopathologically.
The overall recurrence rate was 39.3%. The postoperative recurrence rate of the patients with negative surgical margins and no tumor invasion of the major vessels and nerves was low (P < 0.05). However, the desmoid tumors could destroy the cortical bone and invade the medullary cavity.
Desmoid tumors were pathologically benign, which could extensively invade tissues around the lesions. The invasion of major vessels and nerves and quality of surgical margins are the key factors for the high postoperative recurrence rate.
PMCID: PMC4329213
Histopathology; Immunohistochemistry; Tumor resection
2.  ZBP-89 reduces histone deacetylase 3 by degrading IkappaB in the presence of Pin1 
Histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) is overexpressed in cancers and its inhibition enhances anti-tumor chemotherapy. ZBP-89, a transcription factor, can induce pro-apoptotic Bak and reduce HDAC3 but the mechanism is unknown. Pin1, a molecular switch that determines the fate of phosphoproteins, is known to interact with HDAC3. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism how ZBP-89 downregulated HDAC3.
In this study, liver cells, Pin1-knockout Pin1−/− and Pin1 wild-typed Pin+/+ cells were used to explore how ZBP-89 reduced HDAC3. The overexpression of ZBP-89 was achieved by infecting cells with Ad-ZBP-89, an adenoviral construct containing ZBP-89 gene. The role of NF-κB was determined using CAY10576, MG132 and SN50, the former two being inhibitors of IκB degradation and SN50 being an inhibitor of p65/p50 translocation. A xenograft tumor model was used to confirm the in vitro data.
ZBP-89 reduced HDAC3, and it could form a complex with IκB and induce IκB phosphorylation to inhibit IκB. Furthermore, ZBP-89-mediated HDAC3 reduction was suppressed by IκB degradation inhibitors CAY10576 and MG132 but not by p65/p50 translocation inhibitor SN50, indicating that IκB decrease rather than the elevated activity of NF-κB contributed to HDAC3 reduction. ZBP-89-mediated HDAC3 or IκB reduction was significantly less obvious in Pin1−/− cells compared with Pin1+/+ cells. In Ad-ZBP-89-infected Pin1+/+ cancer cells, Pin1 siRNA increased HDAC3 but decreased Bak, compared with cells without ZBP-89 infection. These findings indicate that Pin1 participates in ZBP-89-mediated HDAC3 downregulation and Bak upregulation. The cell culture result was confirmed by in vivo mouse tumor model experiments.
ZBP-89 attenuates HDAC3 by increasing IκB degradation. Such attenuation is independent of NF-κB activity but partially depends on Pin1. The novel pathway identified may help generate new anti-cancer strategy by targeting HDAC3 and its related molecules.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12967-015-0382-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4311446  PMID: 25623232
ZBP-89; HDAC3; Pin1; IκB; Hepatocellular carcinoma
3.  Characterization and Expression of Genes Encoding Three Small Heat Shock Proteins in Sesamia inferens (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) 
The pink stem borer, Sesamia inferens (Walker), is a major pest of rice and is endemic in China and other parts of Asia. Small heat shock proteins (sHSPs) encompass a diverse, widespread class of stress proteins that have not been characterized in S. inferens. In the present study, we isolated and characterized three S. inferens genes that encode members of the α-crystallin/sHSP family, namely, Sihsp21.4, Sihsp20.6, and Sihsp19.6. The three cDNAs encoded proteins of 187, 183 and 174 amino acids with calculated molecular weights of 21.4, 20.6 and 19.6 kDa, respectively. The deduced amino acid sequences of the three genes showed strong similarity to sHSPs identified in other lepidopteran insects. Sihsp21.4 contained an intron, but Sihsp20.6 and Sihsp19.6 lacked introns. Real-time quantitative PCR analyses revealed that Sihsp21.4 was most strongly expressed in S. inferens heads; Whereas expression of Sihsp20.6 and Sihsp19.6 was highest in eggs. The three S. inferens sHSP genes were up-regulated during low temperature stress. In summary, our results show that S. inferens sHSP genes have distinct regulatory roles in the physiology of S. inferens.
PMCID: PMC4284760  PMID: 25514417
Sesamia inferens; small heat shock protein; cloning; expression pattern
4.  Effects of Metal Ions on Stability and Activity of Hyperthermophilic Pyrolysin and Further Stabilization of This Enzyme by Modification of a Ca2+-Binding Site 
Pyrolysin is an extracellular subtilase produced by the marine hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus. This enzyme functions at high temperatures in seawater, but little is known about the effects of metal ions on the properties of pyrolysin. Here, we report that the supplementation of Na+, Ca2+, or Mg2+ salts at concentrations similar to those in seawater destabilizes recombinant pyrolysin but leads to an increase in enzyme activity. The destabilizing effect of metal ions on pyrolysin appears to be related to the disturbance of surface electrostatic interactions of the enzyme. In addition, mutational analysis of two predicted high-affinity Ca2+-binding sites (Ca1 and Ca2) revealed that the binding of Ca2+ is important for the stabilization of this enzyme. Interestingly, Asn substitutions at residues Asp818 and Asp820 of the Ca2 site, which is located in the C-terminal extension of pyrolysin, resulted in improvements in both enzyme thermostability and activity without affecting Ca2+-binding affinity. These effects were most likely due to the elimination of unfavorable electrostatic repulsion at the Ca2 site. Together, these results suggest that metal ions play important roles in modulating the stability and activity of pyrolysin.
PMCID: PMC3993279  PMID: 24561589
5.  The molecular features of tongue epithelium treated with the carcinogen 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide and alcohol as a model for HNSCC 
Carcinogenesis  2013;34(11):2673-2681.
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the sixth most common type of cancer affecting humans worldwide. To determine the potential mechanisms by which chronic tobacco and alcohol abuse lead to HNSCC of the oral cavity, we have used both the 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide (4-NQO) murine oral carcinogenesis and the Meadows–Cook alcohol models. In this study, we treated mice with 4-NQO in drinking water for 10 weeks and then administered 20% (w:v) ethanol (EtOH) for another 10 weeks. We observed increased levels and/or activation of signaling proteins [p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), β-catenin and Erk 1/2] that are typically altered during HNSCC initiation in humans. We found that EtOH administration alone increased the expression of p38 MAPK but not Erk 1/2 MAPK. Total β-catenin levels in the tongues increased by 2- to 3-fold after 4-NQO treatment, with or without EtOH. However, EtOH combined with 4-NQO reduced phosphorylated β-catenin levels, whereas 4-NQO treatment alone did not. These data implicate EtOH as a regulator of β-catenin signaling in this HNSCC model. We also utilized K14-CreERTAM; ROSA26 mice to mark permanently stem/progenitor cells in the tongue epithelia. We found that 4-NQO alone and 4-NQO plus EtOH treatment resulted in massive, horizontal expansion of stem/progenitor cell populations arising from single stem cells in the basal layer of the epithelia. This expansion is consistent with carcinogen-associated, symmetric division of stem/progenitor cells. Our data suggest that specific therapeutic targets for prevention of HNSCC of the oral cavity associated with both alcohol and tobacco use are p38 MAPK and β-catenin.
PMCID: PMC3810837  PMID: 23784083
6.  Acute basophilic leukemia presenting with maculopapular rashes and a gastric ulcer: A case report 
Oncology Letters  2014;8(6):2513-2516.
Acute basophilic leukemia (ABL) is a rare and poorly characterized form of leukemia. The case of a 65-year-old male who complained of dizziness, maculopapular skin lesions and melena is described in the current report. A gastroscopy was conducted and indicated a gastric antral ulcer. The diagnosis of ABL was determined due to characteristic cytomorphological features, the myeloid immunophenotype of the blast cells (identified to be positive for cluster of differentiation [CD]25 and CD123) in addition to the absence of the Philadelphia chromosome and a c-kit D816V mutation. The patient initially demonstrated clinical improvement as a result of chemotherapy, however, subsequently deteriorated. The gastric and skin manifestations of ABL may be associated with excessive histamine release from basophilic cells. Thus, the administration of H1- and H2-receptor antagonists, proton pump inhibitors and steroids is proposed in order to minimize these associated complications.
PMCID: PMC4214495  PMID: 25364419
acute basophilic leukemia; maculopapular rashes; gastric ulcer
7.  Primary malignant melanoma of the lung: a case report 
Primary malignant melanoma of the lung is a very rare disease with about 40 cases reported in English literature. We report a 49-year-old female with history of 2 month chest pain who was revealed to have a peripheral lung mass in left upper lobe by chest CT scan. Left upper lobectomy was performed and post-operative pathology revealed to be primary malignant melanoma of the lung. 4 months after operation, a node in right breast was found by patient herself and needle aspiration biopsy revealed to be breast cancer. The patient refused any diagnostic and therapeutic procedure and died of extensive metastasis 3 months later. Primary malignant melanoma of the lung is highly malignant disease with poor prognosis in most patients.
PMCID: PMC4132140  PMID: 25126176
Primary malignant melanoma of the lung (PMML); lobectomy; pathology; metastasis
8.  Placental mesenchymal dysplasia: a case of a normal-appearing fetus with intrauterine growth restriction 
In this paper, we described a placenta with vesicular lesions in a 23-year-old woman (1-gravid) who visited our hospital at 13 weeks of gestation on prenatal routine examination. Ultrasound findings showed multiple vesicular lesions which gradually increased as the pregnancy advanced, and a live normal-appearing fetus which was confirmed of IUGR at 30 weeks of gestation in her uterus. Throughout gestation, the maternal serum β-human chorionic gonadotropin level keeps normal, but the serum alpha-fetoprotein was higher than average. The patient delivered an 1800-g female without obvious anomalies at 35 weeks 5 days of gestation due to premature rupture of membrane. The diagnosis of placental mesenchymal dysplasia was determined on the pathological examination and androgenetic/biparental mosaicism in the placenta was identified by immunohistochemical staining of p57kip2.
PMCID: PMC4152104  PMID: 25197414
Placental mesenchymal dysplasia; molar pregnancy; Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome
9.  Fecal lactoferrin in discriminating inflammatory bowel disease from Irritable bowel syndrome: a diagnostic meta-analysis 
BMC Gastroenterology  2014;14:121.
To perform a meta-analysis evaluating the diagnostic ability of fecal lactoferrin (FL) to distinguish inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The Medline, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane library and CNKI databases were systematically searched for studies that used FL concentrations to distinguish between IBD and IBS. The sensitivity, specificity, and other diagnostic indexes of FL were pooled using a random-effects model.
Seven studies, involving 1012 patients, were eligible for inclusion. In distinguishing IBD from IBS, FL had a pooled sensitivity of 0.78 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.75, 0.82), a specificity of 0.94 (95% CI: 0.91, 0.96), a positive likelihood ratio of 12.31 (95% CI: 5.93, 29.15), and a negative likelihood ratio of 0.23 (95% CI: 0.18, 0.29). The area under the summary receiver-operating characteristic curve was 0.94 (95% CI: 0.90, 0.98) and the diagnostic odds ratio was 52.65 (95% CI: 25.69, 107.91).
FL, as a noninvasive and simple marker, is useful in differentiating between IBD and IBS.
PMCID: PMC4105129  PMID: 25002150
Fecal lactoferrin; Inflammatory bowel disease; Irritable bowel syndrome; Meta-analysis
10.  Zymomonas mobilis: a novel platform for future biorefineries 
Biosynthesis of liquid fuels and biomass-based building block chemicals from microorganisms have been regarded as a competitive alternative route to traditional. Zymomonas mobilis possesses a number of desirable characteristics for its special Entner-Doudoroff pathway, which makes it an ideal platform for both metabolic engineering and commercial-scale production of desirable bio-products as the same as Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae based on consideration of future biomass biorefinery. Z. mobilis has been studied extensively on both fundamental and applied level, which will provide a basis for industrial biotechnology in the future. Furthermore, metabolic engineering of Z. mobilis for enhancing bio-ethanol production from biomass resources has been significantly promoted by different methods (i.e. mutagenesis, adaptive laboratory evolution, specific gene knock-out, and metabolic engineering). In addition, the feasibility of representative metabolites, i.e. sorbitol, bionic acid, levan, succinic acid, isobutanol, and isobutanol produced by Z. mobilis and the strategies for strain improvements are also discussed or highlighted in this paper. Moreover, this review will present some guidelines for future developments in the bio-based chemical production using Z. mobilis as a novel industrial platform for future biofineries.
PMCID: PMC4094786  PMID: 25024744
Zymomonas mobilis; platform; biorefinery; biofuel; building block chemical
11.  Early Public Response to Influenza A(H7N9) Virus, Guangzhou, China, May 30–June 7, 2013 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2014;20(7):1238-1240.
PMCID: PMC4073867  PMID: 24964006
public; influenza; influenza virus; influenza A(H7N9) virus; subtype H7N9; live poultry markets; China; Guangzhou; behaviors; attitudes; urban; semirural; viruses; chickens
12.  Optimization of Phenolics Extracted from Idesia polycarpa Defatted Fruit Residue and Its Antioxidant and Depigmenting Activity In Vitro and In Vivo 
Extraction of phenolics from Idesia polycarpa defatted fruit residue was optimized by the maximization of the yield in total phenolics, using the response surface methodology. The optimized conditions were 50% ethanol, 5 h extraction time, 1 : 40 liquid to solid ratio, and 80°C extraction temperature. The experimental average total phenolics yield was 54.49 ± 4.26 mg/g. These antioxidant properties of phenolics were comprehensively analyzed for the first time. All the extracts not only demonstrated the significant free radical scavenging activities and metal chelating activity but also inhibited lipid, lipoprotein peroxidation and revealed reducing power activity. Ethyl acetate extraction (EAE) also inhibited mushroom tyrosinase activity and significantly increased the average skin-whitening index (L value) of the skin of C57BL/6 mice, indicating its potential use for skin hyperpigmentation in humans. The results of cell experiments showed EAE could strongly inhibit cellular tyrosinase activity, which had led to the decrease of melanogenesis in B16 mouse melanoma cells. Overall, EAE is an excellent natural antioxidant and depigmenting agent, which can be developed as a new food additive, medicine, and cosmetic.
PMCID: PMC4087257  PMID: 25045392
13.  Hydrogen sulfide inhibits homocysteine-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress and neuronal apoptosis in rat hippocampus via upregulation of the BDNF-TrkB pathway 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2014;35(6):707-715.
Homocysteine (Hcy) can elicit neuronal cell death, and hyperhomocysteinemia is a strong independent risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) on Hcy-induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and neuronal apoptosis in rat hippocampus.
Adult male SD rats were intracerebroventricularly (icv) injected with Hcy (0.6 μmol/d) for 7 d. Before Hcy injection, the rats were treated with NaHS (30 or 100 μmol·kg−1·d−1, ip) and/or k252a (1 μg/d, icv) for 2 d. The apoptotic neurons were detected in hippocampal coronal slices with TUNEL staining. The expression of glucose regulated protein 78 (GRP78), C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), cleaved caspase-12, and BDNF in the hippocampus were examined using Western blotting assays. The generation of H2S in the hippocampus was measured with the NNDPD method.
Hcy markedly inhibited the production of endogenous H2S and increased apoptotic neurons in the hippocampus. Furthermore, Hcy induced ER stress responses in the hippocampus, as indicated by the upregulation of GRP78, CHOP, and cleaved caspase-12. Treatment with the H2S donor NaHS increased the endogenous H2S production and BDNF expression in a dose-dependent manner, and significantly reduced Hcy-induced neuronal apoptosis and ER stress responses in the hippocampus. Treatment with k252a, a specific inhibitor of TrkB (the receptor of BDNF), abolished the protective effects of NaHS against Hcy-induced ER stress in the hippocampus.
H2S attenuates ER stress and neuronal apoptosis in the hippocampus of Hcy-treated rats via upregulating the BDNF-TrkB pathway.
PMCID: PMC4086382  PMID: 24747165
hydrogen sulfide; homocysteine; neurotoxicity; hippocampus; apoptosis; ER stress; BDNF; tyrosine protein kinase B; Alzheimer's disease
14.  Basal stem cells contribute to squamous cell carcinomas in the oral cavity 
Carcinogenesis  2013;34(5):1158-1164.
The cells of origin of oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC) are unknown. We used a cell lineage tracing approach (adult K14-CreERTAM; ROSA26 mice transiently treated with tamoxifen) to identify and track normal epithelial stem cells (SCs) in mouse tongues by X-gal staining and to determine if these cells become neoplastically transformed by treatment with a carcinogen, 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide (4-NQO). Here, we show that in normal tongue epithelia, X-gal(+) cells formed thin columns throughout the entire epithelium 12 weeks after tamoxifen treatment, indicating that the basal layer contains long-lived SCs that produce progeny by asymmetric division to maintain homeostasis. Carcinogen treatment results in a ~10-fold reduction in the total number of X-gal(+) clonal cell populations and horizontal expansion of X-gal(+) clonal cell columns, a pattern consistent with symmetric division of some SCs. Finally, X-gal(+) SCs are present in papillomas and invasive OCSCCs, and these long-lived X-gal(+) SCs are the cells of origin of these tumors. Moreover, the resulting 4-NQO-induced tumors are multiclonal. These findings provide insights into the identity of the initiating cells of oral cancer.
PMCID: PMC3643419  PMID: 23358851
15.  Adipose-derived stem cells transfected with pEGFP-OSX enhance bone formation during distraction osteogenesis*  
This study was designed to investigate the effects of local delivery of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) transfected with transcription factor osterix (OSX) on bone formation during distraction osteogenesis. New Zealand white rabbits (n=54) were randomly divided into three groups (18 rabbits per group). A directed cloning technique was used for the construction of recombinant plasmid pEGFP-OSX, where EGFP is the enhanced green fluorescence protein. After osteodistraction of the right mandible of all experimental rabbits, rabbits in group A were treated with ADSCs transfected with pEGFP-OSX, group B with ADSCs transfected with pEGFP-N1, and group C with physiological saline. Radiographic and histological examinations were processed after half of the animals within each group were humanely killed by injection of sodium pentothal at Week 2 or 6 after surgery. The distraction bone density was measured as its projectional bone mineral density (BMD). Three parameters were measured, namely, the thickness of new trabeculae (TNT), and the volumes of the newly generated cortical bone (NBV1) and the cancellous bone (NBV2) of the distracted regions. Good bone generation in the distraction areas was found in group A, which had the highest BMD, TNT, and NBV in the distraction zones among the groups. There was no significant difference in bone generation in the distraction areas between groups B and C. The results indicate that the transplantation of ADSCs transfected with pEGFP-OSX can effectively promote bone generation during distraction in vivo.
PMCID: PMC4076605  PMID: 24793766
Adipose-derived stem cell (ADSC); Distraction osteogenesis; Transcription factor; Gene transfection
16.  Differentiation induction of mouse cardiac stem cells into sinus node-like cells by co-culturing with sinus node 
Sinus nodal cells can generate a diastolic or “pacemaker” depolarization at the end of an action potential driving the membrane potential slowly up to the threshold for firing the next action potential. It has been proved that adult cardiac stem cells (CSCs) can differentiate into sinus nodal cells by demethylating agent. However, there is no report about adult CSCs-derived sinus nodal cells with pacemaker current (the funny current, I f). In this study, we isolated the mouse adult CSCs from mouse hearts by the method of tissue explants adherence. The expression of c-kit protein indicated the isolation of CSCs. Then we co-cultured mouse CSCs with mouse sinus node tissue to induce the differentiation of these CSCs into sinus node-like cells, which was proved by identifying the enhanced expression of marker proteins cTnI, cTnT and α-Actinin with Immunofluorescence staining. At the same time, with whole-cell patch-clamp we detected the I f current, which can be blocked by CsCl, in these differentiated cells. In conclusion, by confirming specific I f current in the induced node-like cells, our work shows a method inducing differentiation of CSCs into sinus node-like cells, which can provide helpful information for the further research on sick sinus syndrome.
PMCID: PMC4069922  PMID: 24966897
Cardiac stem cells; If current; sinus node; co-culture
17.  Hydrogen Sulfide Inhibits Formaldehyde-Induced Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in PC12 Cells by Upregulation of SIRT-1 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89856.
Formaldehyde (FA), a well-known environmental pollutant, has been classified as a neurotoxic molecule. Our recent data demonstrate that hydrogen sulfide (H2S), the third gaseous transmitter, has a protective effect on the neurotoxicity of FA. However, the exact mechanisms underlying this protection remain largely unknown. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress has been implicated in the neurotoxicity of FA. Silent mating type information regulator 2 homolog 1 (SIRT-1), a histone deacetylases, has various biological activities, including the extension of lifespan, the modulation of ER stress, and the neuroprotective action.
We hypothesize that the protection of H2S against FA-induced neurotoxicity involves in inhibiting ER stress by upregulation of SIRT-1. The present study attempted to investigate the protective effect of H2S on FA-induced ER stress in PC12 cells and the contribution of SIRT-1 to the protection of H2S against FA-induced injuries, including ER stress, cytotoxicity and apoptosis.
Principal Findings
We found that exogenous application of sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS; an H2S donor) significantly attenuated FA-induced ER stress responses, including the upregulated levels of glucose-regulated protein 78, C/EBP homologous protein, and cleaved caspase-12 expression. We showed that NaHS upregulates the expression of SIRT-1 in PC12 cells. Moreover, the protective effects of H2S on FA-elicited ER stress, cytotoxicity and apoptosis were reversed by Sirtinol, a specific inhibitor of SIRT-1.
These data indicate that H2S exerts its protection against the neurotoxicity of FA through overcoming ER stress via upregulation of SIRT-1. Our findings provide novel insights into the protective mechanisms of H2S against FA-induced neurotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC3938548  PMID: 24587076
18.  The rhythmic expression of clock genes attenuated in human plaque-derived vascular smooth muscle cells 
Acute myocardial infarction and stroke are more likely to occur in the early morning. Circadian pacemakers are considered to be involved in the process. Many peripheral tissues and cells also contain clock systems. In this study, we examined whether the primary cultured human plaque-derived vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) process circadian rhythmicity; furthermore, we investigated the expression difference of clock genes between normal human carotid VSMCs and human plaque-derived VSMCs.
Fifty-six human carotid plaques provided the atherosclerotic tissue, and 21 samples yielded viable cultured primary VSMCs. The normal carotid VSMCs were cultured from donors’ normal carotids. The mRNA levels of the target genes were measured by Quantitative Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR).
After serum shock, both types of cells showed clear circadian expressions of Bmal1, Cry1, Cry2, Per1, Per2, Per3 and Rev-erbα mRNA; meanwhile the Clock mRNA show a rhythmic expression in plaque-derived SMCs but not in normal carotid VSMCs. The expression levels of these main clock genes were significantly attenuated in human plaque-derived VSMCs compared with normal human carotid VSMCs. The rhythm of Bmal1 mRNA in plaque-derived VSMCs was changed.
The present results demonstrate that the human plaque-derived VSMCs possess different circadian rhythmicity from that of normal carotid VSMCs. The rhythm changes of clock genes in plaque-derived VSMCs may be involved in the process of atherosclerosis and finally promote the rupture of plaque.
PMCID: PMC4077102  PMID: 24418196
Circadian rhythm; Primary cell culture; Human vascular smooth muscle cells; Atherosclerosis; Plaque rupture
19.  Effects of Acupuncture on CCL2 and CXCL8 Expression and the Subset of uNK Cells in Rats with Embryo Implantation Failure 
The present study was designed to investigate the efficacy and mechanism of acupuncture treatment on embryo implantation failure in rats. The pregnant rats were randomized into normal group (N), implantation failure group (M), acupuncture treatment group (A), and progestin treatment group (W). The embryo implantation failure model was established by mifepristone. Efficacy of acupuncture treatment was evaluated by the number of implanted embryos. The expression of CCL2 and CXCL8 and the subset of uterine natural killer cells in the endometrium were detected. We demonstrated that the number of implanted embryos was dramatically reduced after mifepristone (M group) treatment, while the acupuncture (A group) and progestin (W group) treatments significantly rescued impaired embryo implantation. The protein and mRNA expressions of CCL2 and CXCL8 were significantly reduced by mifepristone treatment, but the attenuated expression of CCL2 and CXCL8 was markedly reversed by acupuncture or progestin treatment. More importantly, acupuncture and progestin could markedly increase the subset of uNK cells in rats with embryo implantation failure. These evidences suggest that acupuncture is able to modulate the endometrial immune microenvironment and thus improve embryo implantation in pregnant rats, which provides solid experimental evidence for the curative effect of acupuncture treatment on infertility.
PMCID: PMC3874941  PMID: 24396391
20.  Comparative transcriptome analysis of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) in response to exogenous abscisic acid 
BMC Genomics  2013;14(1):841.
Abscisic acid (ABA) can regulate the expressions of many stress-responsive genes in plants. However, in defense responses to pathogens, mounting evidence suggests that ABA plays variable roles. Little information exists about genome-wide gene expression in ABA responses in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), a model fruit crop plant.
Global transcriptome profiles of tomato leaf responses to exogenous ABA were generated using Illumina RNA-sequencing. More than 173 million base pair reads were mapped onto the tomato reference genome and the expression pattern differences between treated and control leaves were assessed. In total, 50,616 transcripts were generated. Among them, 42,583 were functionally annotated in the NCBI non-redundant database and 47,877 in the tomato genome reference. Additionally, 31,107 transcripts were categorized into 57 functional groups based on Gene Ontology terms, and 14,371 were assigned to 310 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways. In both the ABA treatment and control samples, 39,671 transcripts were available to analyze their expressions, of which 21,712 (54.73%) responded to exogenous ABA. Of these transcripts, 2,787 were significantly differently expressed genes (DEGs). Many known and novel ABA-induced and -repressed genes were found. Exogenous ABA can influence the ABA signaling pathway with PYR/PYL/RCARs-PP2Cs-SnRK2s as the center. Eighteen PYL genes were detected. A large number of genes related to various transcription factors, heat shock proteins, pathogen resistance, and the salicylic acid, jasmonic acid, and ethylene signaling pathways were up-regulated by exogenous ABA.
The results indicated that ABA has the potential to improve pathogen-resistance and abiotic stress tolerance in tomato. This study presents the global expression analysis of ABA-regulated transcripts in tomato and provides a robust database for investigating the functions of genes induced by ABA.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-841) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4046761  PMID: 24289302
Tomato; Exogenous ABA; RNA-Seq; ABA signaling pathway; Transcription factors; Heat shock proteins; Pathogen-related proteins; ROS scavenging enzymes
21.  Harnessing the Potential of Halogenated Natural Product Biosynthesis by Mangrove-Derived Actinomycetes 
Marine Drugs  2013;11(10):3875-3890.
Mangrove-derived actinomycetes are promising sources of bioactive natural products. In this study, using homologous screening of the biosynthetic genes and anti-microorganism/tumor assaying, 163 strains of actinomycetes isolated from mangrove sediments were investigated for their potential to produce halogenated metabolites. The FADH2-dependent halogenase genes, identified in PCR-screening, were clustered in distinct clades in the phylogenetic analysis. The coexistence of either polyketide synthase (PKS) or nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) as the backbone synthetases in the strains harboring the halogenase indicated that these strains had the potential to produce structurally diversified antibiotics. As a validation, a new enduracidin producer, Streptomyces atrovirens MGR140, was identified and confirmed by gene disruption and HPLC analysis. Moreover, a putative ansamycin biosynthesis gene cluster was detected in Streptomyces albogriseolus MGR072. Our results highlight that combined genome mining is an efficient technique to tap promising sources of halogenated natural products synthesized by mangrove-derived actinomycetes.
PMCID: PMC3826140  PMID: 24129229
mangrove-derived actinomycetes; genome mining; halogenase; enduracidin; ansamycin
22.  Calcium-permeable AMPA receptors in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (Review) 
Biomedical Reports  2013;1(6):828-832.
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is an important cause of brain injury in the newborn and may result in long-term devastating consequences. Excessive stimulation of glutamate receptors (GluRs) is a pivotal mechanism underlying ischemia-induced selective and delayed neuronal death. Although initial studies focused on N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors as critical mediators in HIE, subsequent studies supported a more central role for α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors (AMPARs), particularly Ca2+-permeable AMPARs, in brain damage associated with hypoxia-ischemia. This study reviewed the important role of Ca2+-permeable AMPARs in HIE and the future potential neuroprotective strategies associated with Ca2+-permeable AMPARs.
PMCID: PMC3916971  PMID: 24649036
hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy; neonate; Ca2+-permeable α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors; glutamate receptors 2
23.  Treatment of stage IIIb/IV non-small cell lung cancer with Pemetrexed plus Oxaliplatin after failure of Erlotinib as second-line treatment 
To determine the efficacy and toxicity of Pemetrexed plus Oxaliplatin in patients suffering from stage IIIb or IV lung adenocarcinoma and being treated with Erlotinib as second-line treatment, a total of 45 patients were randomly divided into two groups. One group was treated with 500 mg/m2 Pemetrexed plus 100 mg/m2 Oxaliplatin, and the other was treated with 500 mg/m2 Pemetrexed plus 75 mg/m2 Cisplatin. All drugs were administered on day one of a 21-day cycle. In the Oxaliplatin group, 3 patients (13.6 %) experienced partial response (PR), 9 patients (41.0 %) showed stable disease (SD), and 10 patients (45.5 %) had progressive disease (PD). In the Cisplatin group, 2 patients (8.7 %) experienced PR, 7 patients (30.4 %) showed SD, and 14 patients (60.9 %) had PD. The PFS of the Oxaliplatin group and the Cisplatin group was 4.45 months (95 % CI 4.10–4.80) and 3.96 months (95 % CI 3.68–4.24) (P = 0.03), respectively. The median overall survival (OS) was 10.8 months (95 % CI 10.2–11.5) and 10.7 months (95 % CI 10.2–11.3) (P = 0.72), respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in the occurrence rate of grades 3 and 4 myelotoxicity between the two groups. However, there was a significant difference in the occurrence rate of grades 3 and 4 gastrointestinal reactions and peripheral neurotoxicity between the two groups (P < 0.05). A regime combining Pemetrexed and Oxaliplatin was marginally effective and well tolerated in patients with stage IIIb or IV lung adenocarcinoma who have received Erlotinib as second-line treatment.
PMCID: PMC3667368  PMID: 23576138
Lung adenocarcinoma; Oxaliplatin; Pemetrexed; Erlotinib as second-line treatment
24.  The expressions of MIF and CXCR4 protein in tumor microenvironment are adverse prognostic factors in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma 
Tumor-derived cytokines and their receptors usually take important roles in the disease progression and prognosis of cancer patients. In this survey, we aimed to detect the expression levels of MIF and CXCR4 in different cell populations of tumor microenvironments and their association with survivals of patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).
MIF and CXCR4 levels were measured by immunochemistry in tumor specimens from 136 resected ESCC. Correlation analyses and independent prognostic outcomes were determined using Pearson’s chi-square test and Cox regression analysis.
The expression of CXCR4 in tumor cells was positively associated with tumor status (P = 0.045) and clinical stage (P = 0.044); whereas the expression of CXCR4 in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and the expression of MIF in tumor cells and in TILs were not associated with clinical parameters of ESCC patients. High MIF expression in tumor cells or in TILs or high CXCR4 expression in tumor cells was significantly related to poor survival of ESCC patients (P < 0.05). Multivariate analysis showed that the expression of MIF or CXCR4 in tumor cells and the expression of MIF in TILs were adverse independent factors for disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in the whole cohort of patients (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the expression of MIF and CXCR4 in tumor cells were independent factors for reduced DFS and OS in metastatic/recurrent ESCC patients (P < 0.05). Interestingly, the expressions of MIF and CXCR4 in tumor cells and in TILs were significantly positively correlated (P < 0.05), and the combined MIF and CXCR4 expression in tumor cells was an independent adverse predictive factor for DFS and OS (P < 0.05).
The expressions of MIF and CXCR4 proteins in tumor cells and TILs have different clinically predictive values in ESCC.
PMCID: PMC3623724  PMID: 23497377
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Tumor microenvironment; MIF; CXCR4; Prognosis
25.  A Novel Mechanism of Formaldehyde Neurotoxicity: Inhibition of Hydrogen Sulfide Generation by Promoting Overproduction of Nitric Oxide 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54829.
Formaldehyde (FA) induces neurotoxicity by overproduction of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Increasing studies have shown that hydrogen sulfide (H2S), an endogenous gastransmitter, protects nerve cells against oxidative stress by its antioxidant effect. It has been shown that overproduction of nitric oxide (NO) inhibits the activity of cystathionine-beta-synthase (CBS), the predominant H2S-generating enzyme in the central nervous system.
We hypothesize that FA-caused neurotoxicity involves the deficiency of this endogenous protective antioxidant gas, which results from excessive generation of NO. The aim of this study is to evaluate whether FA disturbs H2S synthesis in PC12 cells, and whether this disturbance is associated with overproduction of NO.
Principal Findings
We showed that exposure of PC12 cells to FA causes reduction of viability, inhibition of CBS expression, decrease of endogenous H2S production, and NO production. CBS silencing deteriorates FA-induced decreases in endogenous H2S generation, neurotoxicity, and intracellular ROS accumulation in PC12 cells; while ADMA, a specific inhibitor of NOS significantly attenuates FA-induced decreases in endogenous H2S generation, neurotoxicity, and intracellular ROS accumulation in PC12 cells.
Our data indicate that FA induces neurotoxicity by inhibiting the generation of H2S through excess of NO and suggest that strategies to manipulate endogenous H2S could open a suitable novel therapeutic avenue for FA-induced neurotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC3554621  PMID: 23359814

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