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1.  On-line monitoring of oxygen in Tubespin, a novel, small-scale disposable bioreactor 
Cytotechnology  2011;63(4):345-350.
A novel, optical sensor was fixed in a new type of disposable bioreactor, Tubespin, for the on-line (real-time) monitoring of dissolved oxygen concentrations during cell culture. The cell density, viability and volumetric mass transfer coefficient were also determined to further characterize the bioreactors. The kLa value of the Tubespin at standard conditions was 24.3 h−1, while that of a spinner flask was only 2.7 h−1. The maximum cell density in the Tubespin bioreactor reached 6 × 106 cells mL−1, which was two times higher than the cell density in a spinner flask. Furthermore, the dynamic dissolved oxygen level was maintained above 90% air-saturation in the Tubespin, while the value was only 1.9% in a spinner flask. These results demonstrate the competitive advantage of using the Tubespin system over spinner flasks for process optimization and scale-down studies of oxygen transfer and cell growth.
PMCID: PMC3140833  PMID: 21574065
Tubespin; Spinner flask; Dissolved oxygen; kLa
2.  Enhancement of tumor cell death by combining cisplatin with an oncolytic adenovirus carrying MDA-7/IL-24 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2009;30(4):467-477.
The aim of this study was to creatively implement a novel chemo-gene-virotherapeutic strategy and further strengthen the antitumor effect in cancer cells by the combined use of ZD55-IL-24 and cisplatin.
ZD55-IL-24 is an oncolytic adenovirus that harbors interleukin 24 (IL-24), which has a strong antitumor effect and was identified and evaluated by PCR, RT-PCR, and Western blot analysis. Enhancement of cancer cell death using a combination of ZD55-IL-24 and cisplatin was assessed in several cancer cell lines by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and cytopathic effect (CPE) assay. Apoptosis induction by treatment with ZD55-IL-24 and/or cisplatin was detected in BEL7404 and SMMC7721 by morphological evaluation, apoptotic cell staining, and flow cytometry analysis. In addition, negative effects on normal cells were evaluated in the L-02 cell line using the MTT assay, the CPE assay, morphological evaluation, apoptotic cell staining, and flow cytometry analysis.
The combination of ZD55-IL-24 and cisplatin, which is superior to ZD55-IL-24, cisplatin, and ZD55-EGFP, as well as ZD55-EGFP plus cisplatin, resulted in a significantly increased effect. Most importantly, conjugation of ZD55-IL-24 with cisplatin had toxic effects equal to that of cisplatin and did not have overlapping toxicities in normal cells.
This study showed that ZD55-IL-24 conjugated with cisplatin exhibited a remarkably increased cytotoxic and apoptosis-inducing effect in cancer cells and significantly reduced the toxicity in normal cells through the use of a reduced dose.
PMCID: PMC4002269  PMID: 19270721
cisplatin; MDA-7/IL-24; oncolytic adenovirus; apoptosis
3.  Antitumor effector B cells directly kill tumor cells via the Fas/FasL pathway and are regulated by IL-10 
European journal of immunology  2015;45(4):999-1009.
We have previously reported that adoptive transfer of tumor-draining lymph node (TDLN) B cells confers tumor regression in a spontaneous pulmonary metastasis mouse model of breast cancer. In this study, we identified IL-10-producing cells within these B cells, and found that IL-10 removal, either by using IL-10−/− TDLN B cells or by systemic neutralization of IL-10, significantly augmented the therapeutic efficacy of adoptively transferred TDLN B cells. Depletion of IL-10 in B-cell adoptive transfers significantly increased cytotoxic lymphocytes (CTLs) and B-cell activity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and splenic cells in the recipient. Activated TDLN B cells express Fas ligand, which was further enhanced by co-culture of these TDLN B cells with 4T1 tumor cells. Effector B cells killed tumor cells directly in vitro in an antigen-specific and Fas ligand-dependent manner. Trafficking of TDLN B cells in vivo suggested that they were recruited to the tumor and lung as well as secondary lymphoid organs. These findings further define the biological function of antitumor effector B cells, which may offer alternative cellular therapies to cancer.
PMCID: PMC4414939  PMID: 25545618
B cells; IL-10; Adoptive Immunotherapy; Cytotoxicity; Tumor; Fas
4.  Early Detection of Left Atrial Energy Loss and Mechanics Abnormalities in Diabetic Patients with Normal Left Atrial Size: A Study Combining Vector Flow Mapping and Tissue Tracking Echocardiography 
Whether left atrial (LA) functional abnormalities already exist when the LA is of normal size is unknown. The aim of this study was to explore LA energy loss and mechanics changes using vector flow mapping (VFM) and two-dimensional tissue tracking (2DTT) echocardiography in patients with diabetes and normal LA size.
This study included 47 normotensive patients with diabetes and 45 controls. The following indexes were measured: LA energy loss during systole (LAELs), early diastole (LAELed), and atrial contraction (LAELac); atrial longitudinal strain during systole (SLAs), early diastole (SLAed) and late diastole (SLAac); and peak LA strain rate during systole (SRLAs), early diastole (SRLAed), and atrial contraction (SRLAac).
The LAELs and LAELed decreased in diabetic patients compared with controls (P=0.002, P<0.01, respectively), whereas the LAELac increased in diabetic patients (P<0.001). The SLAs, SLAed, SRLAs, and SRLAed (all P<0.01) were all lower in diabetic patients than in controls. However, there was no difference in the SLAac and SRLAac between the two groups. Multivariate regression analysis showed that the LAELs, LAELac, and SRLAs were independently associated with HbA1c in the whole study population.
LA energy loss and deformation mechanics are already impaired in diabetic patients with normal LA size and the long-term parameter of glycemic control was correlated with them. VFM combined with 2DTT might be a promising tool for the early detection of LA dysfunction caused by impaired glucose metabolism.
PMCID: PMC4807740  PMID: 27005947
Diabetes Mellitus; Echocardiography; Energy Transfer; Heart Atria; Mechanics
5.  Kinetics of cytochrome P450 enzymes for metabolism of sodium tanshinone IIA sulfonate in vitro 
Chinese Medicine  2016;11:11.
Sodium tanshinone IIA sulfonate (STS) is a water-soluble derivative of tanshinone IIA for treating cardiovascular disorders. The roles of cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs) in the metabolism of STS have remained unclear. This study aims to screen the main CYPs for metabolism of STS and study their interactions in vitro.
Seven major CYPs were screened for metabolism of STS by human liver microsomes (HLMs) or recombinant CYP isoforms. Phenacetin (CYP1A2), coumarin (CYP2A6), tolbutamide (CYP2C9), metoprolol (CYP2D6), chlorzoxazone (CYP2E1), S-mephenytoin (CYP2C19), and midazolam (CYP3A4) were used as probe substrates to determine the potential of STS in affecting CYP-mediated phase I metabolism in humans. Enzyme kinetic studies were performed to investigate the modes of inhibition of the enzyme–substrate interactions by GraphPad Prism Enzyme Kinetic 5 Demo software.
Sodium tanshinone IIA sulfonate inhibited the activity of CYP3A4 in a dose–dependent manner by the HLMs and CYP3A4 isoform. The Km and Vmax values of STS were 54.8 ± 14.6 µM and 0.9 ± 0.1 nmol/mg protein/min, respectively, for the HLMs and 7.5 ± 1.4 µM and 6.8 ± 0.3 nmol/nmol P450/min, respectively, for CYP3A4. CYP1A2, CYP2A6, CYP2C9, CYP2D6, CYP2E1, and CYP2C19 showed minimal or no effects on the metabolism of STS.
This in vitro study showed that STS mainly inhibited the activities of CYP3A4.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13020-016-0083-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4802617  PMID: 27006687
6.  Endothelium-Derived 5-Methoxytryptophan Protects Endothelial Barrier Function by Blocking p38 MAPK Activation 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(3):e0152166.
The endothelial junction is tightly controlled to restrict the passage of blood cells and solutes. Disruption of endothelial barrier function by bacterial endotoxins, cytokines or growth factors results in inflammation and vascular damage leading to vascular diseases. We have identified 5-methoxytryptophan (5-MTP) as an anti-inflammatory factor by metabolomic analysis of conditioned medium of human fibroblasts. Here we postulated that endothelial cells release 5-MTP to protect the barrier function. Conditioned medium of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) prevented endothelial hyperpermeability and VE-cadherin downregulation induced by VEGF, LPS and cytokines. We analyzed the metabolomic profile of HUVEC conditioned medium and detected 5-MTP but not melatonin, serotonin or their catabolites, which was confirmed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Addition of synthetic pure 5-MTP preserved VE-cadherin and maintained barrier function despite challenge with pro-inflammatory mediators. Tryptophan hydroxylase-1, an enzyme required for 5-MTP biosynthesis, was downregulated in HUVECs by pro-inflammatory mediators and it was accompanied by reduction of 5-MTP. 5-MTP protected VE-cadherin and prevented endothelial hyperpermeability by blocking p38 MAPK activation. A chemical inhibitor of p38 MAPK, SB202190, exhibited a similar protective effect as 5-MTP. To determine whether 5-MTP prevents vascular hyperpermeability in vivo, we evaluated the effect of 5-MTP administration on LPS-induced murine microvascular permeability with Evans blue. 5-MTP significantly prevented Evans blue dye leakage. Our findings indicate that 5-MTP is a new class of endothelium-derived molecules which protects endothelial barrier function by blocking p38 MAPK.
PMCID: PMC4803234  PMID: 27002329
7.  Atomic-Scale Quantitative Analysis of Lattice Distortions at Interfaces of Two-Dimensionally Sr-Doped La2CuO4 Superlattices 
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces  2016;8(10):6763-6769.
Using spherical aberration corrected high-resolution and analytical scanning transmission electron microscopy, we have quantitatively studied the lattice distortion and the redistribution of charges in two-dimensionally strontium (Sr)-doped La2CuO4 superlattices, in which single LaO planes are periodically replaced by SrO planes. As shown previously, such structures show Tc up to 35 K as a consequence of local charge accumulation on both sides of the nominal SrO planes position. This is caused by two distinct mechanisms of doping: heterogeneous doping at the downward side of the interface (space–charge effect) and “classical” homogeneous doping at the upward side. The comparative chemical and atomic-structural analyses reveal an interrelation between local CuO6 octahedron distortions, hole spatial distribution, and chemical composition. In particular we observe an anomalous expansion of the apical oxygen–oxygen distance in the heterogeneously doped (space–charge) region, and a substantial shrinkage of the apical oxygen–oxygen distance in the homogeneously doped region. Such findings are interpreted in terms of different Jahn–Teller effects occurring at the two interface sides (downward and upward).
PMCID: PMC4796864  PMID: 26909681
transmission electron microscopy; electron energy loss spectroscopy; superconductivity; oxide interface; CuO6 octahedron distortion
8.  A Convenient Thiazole Orange Fluorescence Assay for the Evaluation of DNA Duplex Hybridization Stability 
A simple and rapid method for measuring the hybridization stability of duplexes of DNAs and other oligomers in different environments is described. When added to an oligomer duplex, the thiazole orange (TO) dye intercalates and in this state is fluorescent. Therefore, when duplex dissociation occurs, the release of TO results in a detectable change in fluorescence intensity. This assay was developed primarily to screen antisense oligomer duplexes that are stable in serum and in the cytoplasm but unstable in the presence of their target messenger RNA (mRNA).
The two antisense oligomers of this investigation were both 25 mer phosphorothioate (PS) DNAs, one directed against the RIα mRNA and the other directed against the mdr1 mRNA. The former duplex was first used in the solution studies, in most cases duplexed with a 16 mer phosphodiester (PO) complementary DNA (i.e., PS-DNA25/PO-cDNA16). Both duplexes were then tested in a series of cell studies using SK-BR-3 (RIα+), KB-G2 (mdr1++), and KB-31 (mdr1+/−) cells.
Preliminary measurements in solution showed that maximum fluorescence was achieved when more than ten TO molecules were bound to each duplex. When a 25 mer PO-DNA or PO-RNA with the base sequence of the RIα mRNA was added, the dramatic change in fluorescence intensity that followed signified dissociation of the antisense DNA from the study duplex and reassociation with the target DNA. Kinetic measurements showed that this process was completed in about 3 min. Fluorescent measurements of SK-BR-3 (RIα+) cells incubated at 37°C with the anti-RIα study duplex over time showed a maximum at the point where the loss of fluorescence due to dissociation of the study duplex, probably by an antisense mechanism, began to dominate over the increasing fluorescence due to continuing cellular accumulation. A similar result was observed in the KB-G2 (mdr1+) cells incubated with the anti-mdr1 study duplex.
When study duplexes shown to be stable in serum were incubated with their target cells, the assay successfully detected evidence of dissociation, most likely by an antisense mechanism. Thus, a TO fluorescence assay has been developed that is capable of detecting the dissociation of DNA duplexes.
PMCID: PMC4797636  PMID: 19444399
Thiazole orange; Fluorescence assay; DNA duplex; Antisense mechanism
9.  Optical Antisense Tumor Targeting in Vivo with an Improved Fluorescent DNA Duplex Probe 
Bioconjugate chemistry  2009;20(6):1223-1227.
Fluorescent conjugated DNA oligonucleotides for antisense targeting of mRNA has the potential of improving tumor/normal tissue ratios over that achievable by nuclear antisense imaging. By conjugating the Cy5.5 emitter to the 3′ equivalent end of a 25 mer phosphorothioate (PS) antisense major DNA and hybridizing with a shorter 18 mer phosphodiester (PO) complementary minor DNA (cDNA) with the Black Hole inhibitor BHQ3 on its 5′ end (i.e., PS DNA25-Cy5.5/PO cDNA18-BHQ3), we previously achieved antisense optical imaging in mice as a proof of this concept. In a process of optimization, we have now evaluated the stability of a small series of duplexes with variable-length minor strands. From these results, a new study anti-mdr1 antisense duplex was selected with a 10 mer minor strand (i.e., PS DNA25-Cy5.5/PO cDNA10-BHQ3). The new study duplex shows stability in serum environments at 37 °C and provides a dramatically enhanced fluorescence in KB-G2 (pgp++) cells when compared with KB-31 (pgp±) as evidence of antisense dissociation at its mdr1 mRNA target. The duplex was also administered to KB-G2 tumor bearing mice, and when compared to the duplex used previously, the fluorescence from the tumor thigh was more obvious and the tumor-to-background fluorescence ratio was improved. In conclusion, by a process designed to optimize the duplex for optical antisense tumor targeting, the fluorescence signal was improved both in cells and in tumored mice.
PMCID: PMC4793961  PMID: 19489604
10.  Clusterin/Akt Up-Regulation Is Critical for GATA-4 Mediated Cytoprotection of Mesenchymal Stem Cells against Ischemia Injury 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(3):e0151542.
Clusterin (Clu) is a stress-responding protein with multiple biological functions. Our preliminary microarray studies show that clusterin was prominently upregulated in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) overexpressing GATA-4 (MSCGATA-4). We hypothesized that the upregulation of clusterin is involved in overexpression of GATA-4 mediated cytoprotection.
MSCs harvested from bone marrow of rats were transduced with GATA-4. The expression of clusterin in MSCs was further confirmed by real-time PCR and western blotting. Simulation of ischemia was achieved by exposure of MSCs to a hypoxic environment. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) released from MSCs was served as a biomarker of cell injury and MTs uptake was used to estimate cell viability. Mitochondrial function was evaluated by measuring mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and caspase 3/7 activity.
(1) Clusterin expression was up-regulated in MSCGATA-4 compared to control MSCs transfected with empty-vector (MSCNull). MSCGATA-4 were tolerant to 72 h hypoxia exposure as shown by reduced LDH release and higher MTs uptake. This protection was abrogated by transfecting Clu-siRNA into MSCGATA-4. (2) Exogenous clusterin significantly decreased LDH release and increased MSC survival in hypoxic environment. Moreover, ΔΨm was maintained and caspase 3/7 activity was reduced by clusterin in a concentration-dependent manner. (3) p-Akt expression in MSCs was upregulated following pre-treatment with clusterin, with no change in total Akt. Moreover, cytoprotection mediated by clusterin was partially abrogated by Akt inhibitor LY294002.
Clusterin/Akt signaling pathway is involved in GATA-4 mediated cytoprotection against hypoxia stress. It is suggested that clusterin may be therapeutically exploited in MSC based therapy for cardiovascular diseases.
PMCID: PMC4786134  PMID: 26962868
11.  Copper Hydride-Catalyzed Hydroamination of Alkenes and Alkynes 
Over the past few years, CuH-catalyzed hydroamination has been discovered and developed as a robust and conceptually novel approach for the synthesis of enantioenriched secondary and tertiary amines. The success in this area of research was made possible through the large body of precedent in copper(I) hydride catalysis and the well-explored use of hydroxylamine esters as electrophilic amine sources in related copper-catalyzed processes. This mini-review details the background, advances, and mechanistic investigations in CuH-catalyzed hydroamination.
Graphical Abstract
CuH-catalyzed hydroamination has recently been developed as a viable method for synthesizing a broad range of chiral aliphatic amines in excellent efficiencies and enantioselectivites. This minireview highlights advancements made in this area of catalysis along with the precedent that has led to these discoveries.
PMCID: PMC4782926  PMID: 26661678
hydroamination; copper catalysis; copper(I) hydride; chiral amine synthesis; asymmetric catalysis
12.  Metformin use and young age lung cancer: A case series report 
Oncology Letters  2016;11(4):2899-2902.
Metformin, a widely-prescribed antihyperglycemic drug for the treatment of diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM-II), has been demonstrated to be antineoplastic in vivo and in vitro. However, various preclinical and epidemiological studies investigating the effects of metformin on lung cancer have obtained inconclusive results. The aim of the present study was to retrospectively investigate the effects of metformin, for the treatment of diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM-II), on the onset of lung cancer. In the present study, the pathological features of ten consecutive young age lung cancer cases, aged between 15 and 45 years old at the time of diagnosis and exhibiting existing primary DM, were investigated using the Mayo Clinic Lung Cancer Cohort database. Amongst this cohort, there were 2 cases of DM type 1 (DM-I) and 8 cases of DM-II. Of these patients, two exhibiting adenocarcinoma and DM-II had not been administered metformin; however, 1 patient exhibiting lymphoma and 4 patients with pulmonary neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) had been administered metformin at least 12 months prior to lung cancer diagnosis. The remaining 3 patients exhibiting NETs and DM-II had been treated with insulin therapy. The present study hypothesized that the high proportion of NETs observed in the cases of metformin-treated DM-II was unlikely to be a random event. It was suggested that metformin treatment was not effective in the prevention of pulmonary NETs, and that metformin may instead induce the occurrence of NETs via as yet unknown signaling pathways. The present hypothesis may potentially serve as a novel indicator for the requirement to monitor young patients with diabetes, who are being treated with metformin, for the occurrence of pulmonary NETs.
PMCID: PMC4812209  PMID: 27073573
metformin; lung cancer; neuroendocrine tumors
13.  Doubly Spliced RNA of Hepatitis B Virus Suppresses Viral Transcription via TATA-Binding Protein and Induces Stress Granule Assembly 
Journal of Virology  2015;89(22):11406-11419.
The risk of liver cancer in patients infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and their clinical response to interferon alpha therapy vary based on the HBV genotype. The mechanisms underlying these differences in HBV pathogenesis remain unclear. In HepG2 cells transfected with a mutant HBVG2335A expression plasmid that does not transcribe the 2.2-kb doubly spliced RNA (2.2DS-RNA) expressed by wild-type HBV genotype A, the level of HBV pregenomic RNA (pgRNA) was higher than that in cells transfected with an HBV genotype A expression plasmid. By using cotransfection with HBV genotype D and 2.2DS-RNA expression plasmids, we found that a reduction of pgRNA was observed in the cells even in the presence of small amounts of the 2.2DS-RNA plasmid. Moreover, ectopic expression of 2.2DS-RNA in the HBV-producing cell line 1.3ES2 reduced the expression of pgRNA. Further analysis showed that exogenously transcribed 2.2DS-RNA inhibited a reconstituted transcription in vitro. In Huh7 cells ectopically expressing 2.2DS-RNA, RNA immunoprecipitation revealed that 2.2DS-RNA interacted with the TATA-binding protein (TBP) and that nucleotides 432 to 832 of 2.2DS-RNA were required for efficient TBP binding. Immunofluorescence experiments showed that 2.2DS-RNA colocalized with cytoplasmic TBP and the stress granule components, G3BP and poly(A)-binding protein 1 (PABP1), in Huh7 cells. In conclusion, our study reveals that 2.2DS-RNA acts as a repressor of HBV transcription through an interaction with TBP that induces stress granule formation. The expression of 2.2DS-RNA may be one of the viral factors involved in viral replication, which may underlie differences in clinical outcomes of liver disease and responses to interferon alpha therapy between patients infected with different HBV genotypes.
IMPORTANCE Patients infected with certain genotypes of HBV have a lower risk of hepatocellular carcinoma and exhibit a more favorable response to antiviral therapy than patients infected with other HBV genotypes. Using cultured human hepatoma cells as a model of HBV infection, we found that the expression of 2.2DS-RNA caused a decrease in HBV replication. In cultured cells, the ectopic expression of 2.2DS-RNA obviously reduced the intracellular levels of HBV mRNAs. Our analysis of the 2.2DS-RNA-mediated suppression of viral RNA expression showed that 2.2DS-RNA inhibited transcription via binding to the TATA-binding protein and stress granule proteins. Our findings suggest that the 2.2DS-RNA acts as a suppressive noncoding RNA that modulates HBV replication, which may in turn influence the development of chronic hepatitis B.
PMCID: PMC4645676  PMID: 26339052
14.  miRNA Profiling Reveals Dysregulation of RET and RET-Regulating Pathways in Hirschsprung's Disease 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(3):e0150222.
Hirschsprung’s disease (HSCR), the most common congenital malformation of the gut, is regulated by multiple signal transduction pathways. Several components of these pathways are important targets for microRNAs (miRNAs). Multiple miRNAs have been associated with the pathophysiology of HSCR, and serum miRNAs profiles of HSCR patients have been reported, but miRNA expression in HSCR colon tissue is almost completely unexplored. Using microarray technology, we screened colon tissue to detect miRNAs whose expression profiles were altered in HSCR and identify targets of differentially expressed miRNAs. Following filtering of low-intensity signals, data normalization, and volcano plot filtering, we identified 168 differentially expressed miRNAs (104 up-regulated and 64 down-regulated). Fifty of these mRNAs represent major targets of dysegulated miRNAs and may thus important roles in the pathophysiology of HSCR. Pathway analysis revealed that 7 of the miRNA targets encode proteins involved in regulation of cell proliferation and migration via RET and related signaling pathways (MAPK and PI3K/AKT). Our results identify miRNAs that play key roles in the pathophysiology of the complex multi-factorial disease HSCR.
PMCID: PMC4774952  PMID: 26933947
15.  Correction: Bioinformatics Analysis of the Effects of Tobacco Smoke on Gene Expression 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(3):e0150778.
PMCID: PMC4775001  PMID: 26934050
16.  Children Diagnosed as Mixed-Phenotype Acute Leukemia Didn’t Benefit from the CCLG-2008 Protocol, Retrospective Analysis from Single Center 
Mixed phenotype acute leukemia (MPAL) is a rare type of acute leukemia with a poor clinical outcome which lacks specific therapy. To evaluate the therapeutic efficiency of CCLG-2008 protocol used for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in China on MPAL children who were initially diagnosed as ALL by morphology, we reviewed patients’ database diagnosed as ALL and MPAL according to WHO classification and compared their outcomes from July 2008 to June 2012. Total newly enrolled ALL in this study were 309 cases by morphology, in which ten cases were identified as MPAL mainly by immunophenotyping: B+ myeloid (3/10), T+ myeloid (2/10), B + T (4/10), trilineage (1/10). Two cases were classified as intermediate risk (IR) and 8 cases were high risk (HR) according to the CCLG-2008 criteria. Only one case of IR survived and others died due to primary resistance of chemotherapy and relapse. Compared with MPAL, ALL children in IR and HR had a longer survival (28.1 vs 9.5 months, p < 0.0001) and lower relapse (16.3 vs 85.7 %, p = 0.0002). In a summary, our result indicated that MPAL in children is a poor-risk disease which needs personalized therapy to improve outcome.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12288-014-0372-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4275512  PMID: 25548442
Mixed-phenotype acute leukemia (MPAL); Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL); Children; CCLG-2008 protocol
17.  Invariant natural killer T cells generated from human adult hematopoietic stem-progenitor cells are poly-functional 
Cytokine  2015;72(1):48-57.
Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells constitute an important subset of T cells that can both directly and indirectly mediate anti-tumor immunity. However, cancer patients have a reduction in both iNKT cell number and function, and these deficits limit the potential clinical application of iNKT cells for cancer therapy. To overcome the problem of limited iNKT cell numbers, we investigated whether iNKT cells can be generated in vitro from bone marrow-derived adult hematopoietic stem-progenitor cells (HSPC). Our data demonstrate that co-culture of HSPC with OP9-DL1 stromal cells, results in a functional CD3+ T cell population. These T cells can be further differentiated into iNKT cells by secondary culture with CD1d-Ig-based artificial antigen-presenting cells (aAPC). Importantly, these in vitro-generated iNKT cells are functional, as demonstrated by their ability to proliferate and secrete IFN-γ and GM-CSF following stimulation.
PMCID: PMC4329102  PMID: 25569376
18.  Neurobiological Changes of Schizotypy: Evidence From Both Volume-Based Morphometric Analysis and Resting-State Functional Connectivity 
Schizophrenia Bulletin  2014;41(Suppl 2):S444-S454.
The current study sought to examine the underlying brain changes in individuals with high schizotypy by integrating networks derived from brain structural and functional imaging. Individuals with high schizotypy (n = 35) and low schizotypy (n = 34) controls were screened using the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire and underwent brain structural and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging on a 3T scanner. Voxel-based morphometric analysis and graph theory-based functional network analysis were conducted. Individuals with high schizotypy showed reduced gray matter (GM) density in the insula and the dorsolateral prefrontal gyrus. The graph theoretical analysis showed that individuals with high schizotypy showed similar global properties in their functional networks as low schizotypy individuals. Several hubs of the functional network were identified in both groups, including the insula, the lingual gyrus, the postcentral gyrus, and the rolandic operculum. More hubs in the frontal lobe and fewer hubs in the occipital lobe were identified in individuals with high schizotypy. By comparing the functional connectivity between clusters with abnormal GM density and the whole brain, individuals with high schizotypy showed weaker functional connectivity between the left insula and the putamen, but stronger connectivity between the cerebellum and the medial frontal gyrus. Taken together, our findings suggest that individuals with high schizotypy present changes in terms of GM and resting-state functional connectivity, especially in the frontal lobe.
PMCID: PMC4373629  PMID: 25533270
schizotypy; voxel-based morphometry; graph theory; functional connectivity; insula
19.  Role of Kir2.1 in human monocyte‐derived foam cell maturation 
The role of K+ channels in macrophage immunomodulation has been well‐established. However, it remains unclear whether K+ channels are involved in the lipid uptake of macrophages. The expression and function of the inward rectifier potassium channel (Kir2.1, KCNJ2) in Human acute monocytic leukemia cell line (THP‐1) cells and human monocytes derived macrophages (HMDMs) were investigated using RT‐PCR and western blotting, and patch clamp technique. The expression of scavenger receptors in THP‐1–derived macrophages was detected using western blotting. Expressions of Kir2.1 mRNA and protein in HMDMs were significantly decreased by 60% (P < 0.05) and 90% (P < 0.001) on macrophage maturation, but overexpressed by approximately 1.3 (P > 0.05) and 3.8 times (P = 0.001) after foam cell formation respectively. Concurrently, the Kir2.1 peak current density in HMDMs, mature macrophages and foam cells, measured at −150 mV, were −22.61 ± 2.1 pA/pF, −7.88 ± 0.60 pA/pF and −13.39 ± 0.80 pA/pF respectively (P < 0.05). In association with an up‐regulation of Kir2.1 in foam cells, the SR‐A protein level was significantly increased by over 1.5 times compared with macrophages (P < 0.05). THP‐1 cells contained much less lipids upon Kir2.1 knockdown and cholesterol ester/total cholesterol ratio was 29.46 ± 2.01% (P < 0.05), and the SR‐BI protein level was increased by over 6.2 times, compared to that of macrophages (P < 0.001). Kir2.1 may participate in macrophage maturation and differentiation, and play a key role in lipid uptake and foam cell formation through modulating the expression of scavenger receptors.
PMCID: PMC4759473  PMID: 26689595
potassium channels; monocytes; macrophages; foam cells; atherosclerosis
20.  Molecular mechanisms underlying mangiferin-induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in A549 human lung carcinoma cells 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2016;13(4):3423-3432.
Mangiferin, which is a C-glucosylxanthone (1,3,6,7-tetrahydroxyxanthone-C2-β-D-glucoside) purified from plant sources, has recently gained attention due to its various biological activities. The present study aimed to determine the apoptotic effects of mangiferin on A549 human lung adenocarcinoma cells. In vitro studies demonstrated that mangiferin exerted growth-inhibitory and apoptosis-inducing effects against A549 cells. In addition, mangiferin exhibited anti-tumor properties in A549 xenograft mice in vivo. Mangiferin triggered G2/M phase cell cycle arrest via down-regulating the cyclin-dependent kinase 1-cyclin B1 signaling pathway, and induced apoptotic cell death by inhibiting the protein kinase C-nuclear factor-κB pathway. In addition, mangiferin was able to enhance the antiproliferative effects of cisplatin on A549 cells, thus indicating the potential for a combined therapy. Notably, mangiferin exerted anticancer effects in vivo, where it was able to markedly decrease the volume and weight of subcutaneous tumor mass, and expand the lifespan of xenograft mice. The present study clarified the molecular mechanisms underlying mangiferin-induced antitumor activities, and suggested that mangiferin may be considered a potential antineoplastic drug for the future treatment of cancer.
PMCID: PMC4805064  PMID: 26935347
mangiferin; cdc2-cyclin B1 signaling pathway; PKC-NF-κB pathway
21.  Facile Growth of Cu2ZnSnS4 Thin-Film by One-Step Pulsed Hybrid Electrophoretic and Electroplating Deposition 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:19102.
The use of costly and rare metals such as indium and gallium in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) based solar cells has motivated research into the use of Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) as a suitable replacement due to its non-toxicity, abundance of compositional elements and excellent optical properties (1.5 eV direct band gap and absorption coefficient of ~104 cm−1). In this study, we demonstrate a one-step pulsed hybrid electrodeposition method (PHED), which combines electrophoretic and electroplating deposition to deposit uniform CZTS thin-films. Through careful analysis and optimization, we are able to demonstrate CZTS solar cells with the VOC, JSC, FF and η of 350 mV, 3.90 mA/cm2, 0.43 and 0.59%, respectively.
PMCID: PMC4763260  PMID: 26902556
22.  Transient increase of interleukin-1β after prolonged febrile seizures promotes adult epileptogenesis through long-lasting upregulating endocannabinoid signaling 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:21931.
It remains unclear how infantile febrile seizures (FS) enhance adult seizure susceptibility. Here we showed that the transient increase of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) after prolonged FS promoted adult seizure susceptibility, which was blocked by interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) within a critical time window. Postnatal administered IL-1β alone mimicked the effect of FS on adult seizure susceptibility. IL-1R1 knockout mice were not susceptible to adult seizure after prolonged FS or IL-1β treatment. Prolonged FS or early-life IL-1β treatment increased the expression of cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) for over 50 days, which was blocked by IL-1Ra or was absent in IL-1R1 knockout mice. CB1R antagonist, knockdown and endocannabinoid synthesis inhibitor abolished FS or IL-1β-enhanced seizure susceptibility. Thus, this work identifies a pathogenic role of postnatal IL-1β/IL-1R1 pathway and subsequent prolonged prominent increase of endocannabinoid signaling in adult seizure susceptibility following prolonged FS, and highlights IL-1R1 as a potential therapeutic target for preventing the development of epilepsy after infantile FS.
PMCID: PMC4763292  PMID: 26902320
23.  Concurrent DNA Preconcentration and Separation in Bipolar Electrode-Based Microfluidic Device 
This paper presents a bipolar electrode (BPE) device in a microfluidic dual-channel design for concurrent preconcentration and separation of composite DNA containing samples. The novelty of the present effort relies on the combination of BPE-induced ion concentration polarization (ICP) and end-labeled free-solution electrophoresis (ELFSE). The ion concentration polarization effect arising from the faradaic reaction on the BPE is utilized to exert opposing electrophoretic and electroosmotic forces on the DNA samples. Meanwhile, end-labeled free-solution electrophoresis alters the mass-charge ratio to enable simultaneous DNA separation in free solution. The microfluidic device was fabricated using standard and soft lithography techniques to form gold-on-glass electrode capped with a PDMS microfluidic channel. Experimental testing with various DNA samples was carried out over a range of applied electric field. Concentration ratios up to 285× within 5 minutes for a 102-mer DNA, and concurrent preconcentration and free-solution separation of binary mixture of free and bound 102-mer DNA within 6 minutes was demonstrated. The effect of applied electric field was also interrogated with respect to pertinent performance metrics of preconcentration and separation.
PMCID: PMC4437544  PMID: 26005497
24.  Antacid Use and De Novo Brain Metastases in Patients with Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-Mutant Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Who Were Treated Using First-Line First-Generation Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(2):e0149722.
Antacid treatments decrease the serum concentrations of first-generation epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), although it is unknown whether antacids affect clinical outcomes. As cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of TKIs are much lower than serum concentrations, we hypothesized that this drug-drug interaction might affect the prognosis of patients with de novo brain metastases.
Materials and Methods
This retrospective study evaluated 269 patients with EGFR-mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who had been diagnosed between December 2010 and December 2013, and had been treated using first-line first-generation EGFR-TKIs. Among these patients, we identified patients who concurrently used H2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs) and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) as antacids. Patients who exhibited >30% overlap between the use of TKIs and antacids were considered antacid users.
Fifty-seven patients (57/269, 21.2%) were antacid users, and antacid use did not significantly affect progression-free survival (PFS; no antacids: 11.2 months, H2RAs: 9.4 months, PPIs: 6.7 months; p = 0.234). However, antacid use significantly reduced overall survival (OS; no antacids: 25.0 months, H2RAs: 15.5 months, PPIs: 11.3 months; p = 0.002). Antacid use did not affect PFS for various metastasis sites, although antacid users with de novo brain metastases exhibited significantly shorter OS, compared to non-users (11.8 vs. 16.3 months, respectively; p = 0.041). Antacid use did not significantly affect OS in patients with bone, liver, or pleural metastases.
Antacid use reduced OS among patients with EGFR-mutant NSCLC who were treated using first-line first-generation EGFR-TKIs, and especially among patients with de novo brain metastases.
PMCID: PMC4760710  PMID: 26894507
25.  A modified Tessari method for producing more foam 
SpringerPlus  2016;5:129.
This study aimed to develop a modified Tessari method for producing more sclerosing foam in treatment of extensive venous malformations. Sclerosing foam was produced by using Tessari method and the modified Tessari method. The procedure of the later was as follows: prepared foam in a sclerosant–air ratio of 1:4; connected three disposable 10 ml syringes to two medical three-way taps; drawn 4 ml of liquid sclerosant into one syringe and 16 ml averagely of air into the other two; then moved the plungers of all syringes back and forth for 20 times to produce sclerosing foam. The volume and foam half time (FHT) of foam produced by the two methods were compared. The average volume of sclerosing foam produced by Tessari method and the modified Tessari method were 9.8 and 19.7 ml, and assessed to have statistical difference. The FHT of foam produced by the two methods were 120 and 150 s, and assessed to have statistical difference. In conclusion, the modified Tessari method could produce more fresh and stable sclerosing foam.
PMCID: PMC4760956  PMID: 26933628
Sclerosing foam; Tessari technique; Modified Tessari method; Sclerotherapy; Venous malformations

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