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1.  Use of the piggyBac Transposon to Create Stable Packaging Cell Lines for the Production of Clinical-Grade Self-Inactivating γ-Retroviral Vectors 
Human Gene Therapy Methods  2014;25(4):253-260.
Efforts to improve the biosafety of γ-retroviral-mediated gene therapy have resulted in a shift toward the use of self-inactivating (SIN) γ-retroviral vectors. However, scale-up and manufacturing of such vectors requires significant optimization of transient transfection-based processes or development of novel platforms for the generation of stable producer cell clones. To that end, we describe the use of the piggybac transposon to generate stable producer cell clones for the production of SIN γ-retroviral vectors. The piggybac transposon is a universal tool allowing for the stable integration of SIN γ-retroviral constructs into murine (PG13) and human 293-based Phoenix (GALV and RD114, respectively) packaging cell lines without reverse transcription. Following transposition, a high-titer clone is selected for manufacture of a master cell bank and subsequent γ-retroviral vector supernatant production. Packaging cell clones created using the piggybac transposon have comparable titers to non-SIN vectors generated via conventional methods. We describe herein the use of the piggybac transposon for the production of stable packaging cell clones for the manufacture of clinical-grade SIN γ-retroviral vectors for ex vivo gene therapy clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC4142856  PMID: 25072603
2.  TCR stimulation upregulates MS4a4B expression through induction of AP-1 transcription factor during T cell activation 
Molecular immunology  2012;52(2):71-78.
MS4a4B is a novel member of the membrane-spanning 4-domain family, subfamily A (MS4A) specifically expressed in mouse T cells. We have shown previously that expression of MS4a4B in T cells is upregulated upon T cell activation, suggesting that MS4a4B may play a functional role in regulation of T cell responses. However, little is known about the mechanisms that regulate MS4a4B gene expression. In this study, we explored the potential mechanism underlying TCR-stimulation-induced expression of MS4a4B by promoter analysis. We cloned 2495 bp of 5′-flanking region upstream of the MS4a4B start code and inserted the DNA fragment into pGL4.20 reporter plasmid. To analyze promoter activity of the cloned DNA fragment, we transiently transfected EL4 thymoma cells and the T32 cell line with reporter plasmids. Expression of reporter gene was determined by dual-luciferase assay. Potential activator- and repressor-binding sites were analyzed by serial length of 5′-deletion. We have identified at least two potential activator binding regions and two potential repressor binding regions. The activator binding sites have been localized to two fragments, which are a 442-base pair region (region A) positioned from −1176 to −735, and a 119-base pair region (region B) positioned −188 to −70 respectively. MatInspector analysis showed that region A contains the consensus binding motif of the AP-1 family of transcription factors. Machinery analysis showed that nuclear proteins extracted from anti-CD3/anti-CD28-activated primary T cells specifically bind to the AP-1 binding element. In contrast, blockade by AP-1 inhibitor in culture decreased MS4a4B expression in T cells. Our data demonstrate that TCR-stimulation induces transactivation of AP-1 transcription factor, which subsequently binds to the MS4a4B promoter and upregulates expression of MS4a4B in activated T cells.
PMCID: PMC4516228  PMID: 22595231
T cells; Gene promoter AP-1; MS4A family
3.  TMEM140 is associated with the prognosis of glioma by promoting cell viability and invasion 
Gliomas are the most common types of primary brain tumors in the adult central nervous system. TMEM140 is identified as an amplified gene in the human gastric cancer genome. However, the function of TMEM140 in gliomas has not been thoroughly elucidated. The aim of the current study was to determine the clinical significance of TMEM140 expression in patients with gliomas and its effect on tumor cell malignant phenotypes.
Immunohistochemical analysis and real-time reverse transcription PCR were performed to detect the expression levels of TMEM140 in 70 glioma brain tissue samples. Next, the correlation between the TMEM140 expression levels and the clinical characteristics and outcomes of glioma patients was statistically analyzed. TMEM140 expression was inhibited in two glioma cell lines (i.e., U87 and U373) using a knockdown method with small interfering RNA. Cell Counting Kit-8 and Transwell assays were used to investigate TMEM140 function during cell proliferation, invasion, and migration, respectively. Using flow cytometry and Western blot analysis, we subsequently determined the cell cycle and apoptosis profile of the TMEM140-silenced cells.
TMEM140 protein expression was significantly higher in gliomas than in normal brain tissues (p < 0.0001). TMEM140 overexpression was strongly correlated with tumor size, histologic grade, and overall survival time (P < 0.05). TMEM140 decreased cell viability in vitro and dramatically decreased tumor volume in vivo. This phenomenon might be caused by G1 phase cell cycle arrest and cell apoptosis. TMEM140 silencing could suppress the viability, migration, and invasion of glioma cells.
Our results suggest that TMEM140 expression is a prognostic factor that might play an important role in the viability, migration, and invasion of glioma cells. This study highlights the importance of TMEM140 as a novel prognostic marker and as an attractive therapeutic target for gliomas.
PMCID: PMC4511541  PMID: 26198430
TMEM140; Glioma; Cell viability; Invasion; Prognosis
4.  Salvianolic acid A as a multifunctional agent ameliorates doxorubicin-induced nephropathy in rats 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:12273.
Nephrotic syndrome (NS) is still a therapeutic challenge. To date there is no ideal treatment. Evidence suggest that multidrug therapy has more effect than monotherapy in amelioration of renal injury. Salvianolic acid A (SAA) is the major active component of Salviae Miltiorrhizae Bunge. Previous studies have demonstrated that SAA is a multi-target agent and has various pharmacological activities. The pleiotropic properties of SAA predict its potential in the treatment of NS. The study investigated the effect of SAA on doxorubicin-induced nephropathy. The kidney function related-biochemical changes, hemorheological parameters and oxidative stress status were determined, and histological examination using light and transmission electron microcopies and western blot analysis were also performed. Results revealed that treatment with SAA alleviated histological damages, relieved proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia and hyperlipidemia, reduced oxidative stress, as well as improving hemorheology. Furthermore, SAA restored podocin expression, down-regulated the expression of NF-κB p65 and p-IκBα while up-regulating IκBα protein expression. Overall, as a multifunctional agent, SAA has a favorable renoprotection in doxorubicin-induced nephropathy. The anti-inflammation, antioxidant, amelioration of podocyte injury, improvement of hemorheology and hypolipidemic properties may constituent an important part of its therapeutic effects. All these indicate that SAA is likely to be a promising agent for NS.
PMCID: PMC4508635  PMID: 26194431
5.  Associations between NBS1 Polymorphisms and Colorectal Cancer in Chinese Population 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0132332.
As the central protein of the double strand breaks (DSB)-induced DNA repair pathway, NBS1 participates in detecting the DSBs and plays an essential role in maintaining genomic stability. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in NBS1 gene were commonly tested that associated with the susceptibility to multiple cancers, but the results remained controversial. Thus, we conducted two independent hospital-based case–control studies comprising 1,072 colorectal cancer patients and 1,263 controls to evaluate the association between four NBS1 SNPs and colorectal cancer risk. The result showed that rs2735383C/G polymorphism in the 3’-untranslated region (UTR) of NBS1 was significantly associated with risk of colorectal cancer using logistic regression (P<10-4). Furthermore, we observed that rs2735383CC genotype was associated with substantially increased risk of colorectal cancer (odds ratio=1.55, 95% confidence interval=1.27–1.94), compared with the rs2735383GC+GG genotypes. Further functional experiments demonstrated that the rs2735383C allele in the NBS1 disrupted the binding affinity of has-miR-509-5p to the NBS1 3’-UTR in colorectal cancer cells, affecting the NBS1 transcriptional activity and expression level. In conclusion, current evidence suggests that the rs2735383C/G polymorphism might contribute to the risk for colorectal cancer.
PMCID: PMC4505902  PMID: 26186548
6.  Differences in Antibody Responses Between Trivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine and Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine Correlate With the Kinetics and Magnitude of Interferon Signaling in Children 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2014;210(2):224-233.
Background. Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) and trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) are effective for prevention of influenza virus infection in children, but the mechanisms associated with protection are not well defined.
Methods. We analyzed the differences in B-cell responses and transcriptional profiles in children aged 6 months to 14 years immunized with these 2 vaccines.
Results. LAIV elicited a significant increase in naive, memory, and transitional B cells on day 30 after vaccination, whereas TIV elicited an increased number of plasmablasts on day 7. Antibody titers against the 3 vaccine strains (H1N1, H3N2, and B) were significantly higher in the TIV group and correlated with number of antibody-secreting cells. Both vaccines induced overexpression of interferon (IFN)–signaling genes but with different kinetics. TIV induced expression of IFN genes on day 1 after vaccination in all age groups, and LAIV induced expression of IFN genes on day 7 after vaccination but only in children <5 years old. IFN-related genes overexpressed in both vaccinated groups correlated with H3N2 antibody titers.
Conclusions. These results suggest that LAIV and TIV induced significantly different B-cell responses in vaccinated children. Early induction of IFN appears to be important for development of antibody responses.
PMCID: PMC4092249  PMID: 24495909
Influenza vaccine; LAIV; TIV; children; interferon; HI antibodies; neutralizing antibodies
7.  Gold-Nanoparticle-Decorated Silica Nanorods for Sensitive Visual Detection of Proteins 
Analytical Chemistry  2014;86(15):7351-7359.
We report a rapid and highly sensitive approach based on gold-nanoparticle-decorated silica nanorods (GNP-SiNRs) label and lateral-flow strip biosensor (LFSB) for visually detecting proteins. Owing to its biocompatibility and convenient surface modification, SiNRs were used as carriers to load numerous GNPs, and the GNP-SiNRs were used as labels for the lateral-flow assay. The LFSB detection limit was lowered 50 times compared to the traditional GNP-based lateral-flow assay. Rabbit IgG was used as a model target to demonstrate the proof-of-concept. Sandwich-type immunoreactions were performed on the immunochromatographic strips, and the accumulation of GNP-SiNRs on the test zone produced the characteristic colored bands, enabling visual detection of proteins without instrumentation. The quantitative detection was performed by reading the intensities of the colored bands with a portable strip reader. The response of the optimized device was highly linear for the range of 0.05–2 ng mL–1, and the detection limit was estimated to be 0.01 ng mL–1. The GNP-SiNR-based LFSB, thus, offered an ultrasensitive method for rapidly detecting trace amounts of proteins. This method has a potential application with point-of-care screening for clinical diagnostics and biomedical research.
PMCID: PMC4372100  PMID: 25019416
8.  Comparative Long-Term Effectiveness of a Monotherapy with Five Antiepileptic Drugs for Focal Epilepsy in Adult Patients: A Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0131566.
To evaluate and compare long-term effectiveness of five antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) for monotherapy of adult patients with focal epilepsy in routine clinical practice.
Adult patients with focal epilepsy, who were prescribed with carbamazepine (CBZ), valproate (VPA), lamotrigine (LTG), topiramate (TPM), or oxcarbazepine (OXC) as monotherapy, during the period from January 2004 to June 2012 registered in Wenzhou Epilepsy Follow Up Registry Database (WEFURD), were included in the study. Prospective long-term follow-up was conducted until June 2013. The endpoints were time to treatment failure, time to seizure remission, and time to first seizure.
This study included 654 patients: CBZ (n=125), VPA (n=151), LTG (n=135), TPM (n=76), and OXC (n=167). The retention rates of CBZ, VPA, LTG, TPM, and OXC at the third year were 36.1%, 32.4%, 57.6%, 37.9%, and 41.8%, respectively. For time to treatment failure, LTG was significantly better than CBZ and VPA (LTG vs. CBZ, hazard ratio, [HR] 0.80 [95% confidence interval: 0.67-0.96], LTG vs. VPA, 0.53 [0.37-0.74]); TPM was worse than LTG (TPM vs. LTG, 1.77 [1.15-2.74]), and OXC was better than VPA (0.86 [0.78-0.96]). After initial target doses, the seizure remission rates of CBZ, VPA, LTG, TPM, and OXC were 63.0%, 77.0%, 83.6%, 67.9%, and 75.3%, respectively. LTG was significantly better than CBZ (1.44 [1.15-1.82]) and OXC (LTG vs. OXC, 0.76 [0.63-0.93]); OXC was less effective than LTG in preventing the first seizure (1.20 [1.02-1.40]).
LTG was the best, OXC was better than VPA only, while VPA was the worst. The others were equivalent for comparisons between five AEDs regarding the long-term treatment outcomes of monotherapy for adult patients with focal epilepsy in a clinical practice. For selecting AEDs for these patients among the first-line drugs, LTG is an appropriate first choice; others are reservation in the first-line but VPA is not.
PMCID: PMC4493091  PMID: 26147937
9.  The optimal choice of medication administration route regarding intravenous, intramuscular, and subcutaneous injection 
Intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM), and subcutaneous (SC) are the three most frequently used injection routes in medication administration. Comparative studies of SC versus IV, IM versus IV, or IM versus SC have been sporadically conducted, and some new findings are completely different from the dosage recommendation as described in prescribing information. However, clinicians may still be ignorant of such new evidence-based findings when choosing treatment methods.
A literature search was performed using PubMed, MEDLINE, and Web of Sciences™ Core Collection to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of SC, IV, and IM administration in head-to-head comparative studies.
“SC better than IV” involves trastuzumab, rituximab, antitumor necrosis factor medications, bortezomib, amifostine, recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, recombinant interleukin-2, immunoglobulin, epoetin alfa, heparin, and opioids. “IV better than SC” involves ketamine, vitamin K1, and abatacept. With respect to insulin and ketamine, whether IV has advantages over SC is determined by specific clinical circumstances. “IM better than IV” involves epinephrine, hepatitis B immu-noglobulin, pegaspargase, and some antibiotics. “IV better than IM” involves ketamine, morphine, and antivenom. “IM better than SC” involves epinephrine. “SC better than IM” involves interferon-beta-1a, methotrexate, human chorionic gonadotropin, hepatitis B immunoglobulin, hydrocortisone, and morphine. Safety, efficacy, patient preference, and pharmacoeconomics are four principles governing the choice of injection route. Safety and efficacy must be the preferred principles to be considered (eg, epinephrine should be given intramuscularly during an episode of systemic anaphylaxis). If the safety and efficacy of two injection routes are equivalent, clinicians should consider more about patient preference and pharmacoeconomics because patient preference will ensure optimal treatment adherence and ultimately improve patient experience or satisfaction, while pharmacoeconomic concern will help alleviate nurse shortages and reduce overall health care costs. Besides the principles, the following detailed factors might affect the decision: patient characteristics-related factors (body mass index, age, sex, medical status [eg, renal impairment, comorbidities], personal attitudes toward safety and convenience, past experience, perception of current disease status, health literacy, and socioeconomic status), medication administration-related factors (anatomical site of injection, dose, frequency, formulation characteristics, administration time, indication, flexibility in the route of administration), and health care staff/institution-related factors (knowledge, human resources).
This updated review of findings of comparative studies of different injection routes will enrich the knowledge of safe, efficacious, economic, and patient preference-oriented medication administration as well as catching research opportunities in clinical nursing practice.
PMCID: PMC4494621  PMID: 26170642
administration route; dosage and administration; efficacy; medication safety; patient preference; pharmacoeconomic
Dermatologic clinics  2014;32(3):277-vii.
The discipline that investigates the biological effects of ultraviolet radiation on the immune system is called photoimmunology. Photoimmunology evolved from an interest in understanding the role of the immune system in skin cancer development, and why immunosuppressed organ transplant recipients are at greatly increased risk for cutaneous neoplasms. Ultraviolet radiation-induced damage DNA modifies the antigen presenting function of cutaneous dendritic cells, biases the immune response towards the generation of regulatory T-cells and stimulates epidermal keratinocyte production of immunosuppressive cytokines. In addition to contributing to an understanding of the pathogenesis of non-melanoma skin cancer, the knowledge acquired about the immunological effects of ultraviolet radiation exposure has provided an understanding of its role in the pathogenesis of other photodermatologic diseases such as polymorphous light eruption, chronic actinic dermatitis and cutaneous lupus erythematosus. This information has also been helpful in developing more effective and safer phototherapeutic devices for the treatment of a variety of cutaneous diseases.
PMCID: PMC4251714  PMID: 24891051
Photoimmunology; non-melanoma skin cancer; ultraviolet radiation; polymorphous light eruption; chronic actinic dermatitis; cutaneous lupus erythematosus; phototherapy; photosensitivity
11.  Molybdopterin Biosynthesis: Trapping of Intermediates for the MoaA-Catalyzed Reaction Using 2′-DeoxyGTP and 2′-ChloroGTP as Substrate Analogues. 
Journal of the American Chemical Society  2014;136(30):10609-10614.
MoaA is a radical S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) enzyme that catalyzes a complex rearrangement of guanosine-5'-triphosphate (GTP) in the first step of molybdopterin biosynthesis. In this paper, we provide additional characterization of the MoaA reaction product, describe the use of 2′-chloroGTP to trap the GTP C3′ radical, generated by hydrogen atom transfer to the 5′-deoxyadenosyl radical, and the use of 2′-deoxyGTP to block a late step in the reaction sequence. These probes, coupled with the previously reported trapping of an intermediate in which C3′ of the ribose is linked to C8 of the purine, allow us to propose a plausible mechanism for the MoaA-catalyzed reaction.
PMCID: PMC4227724  PMID: 24955657
12.  Theoretical predictions on the electronic structure and charge carrier mobility in 2D Phosphorus sheets 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:9961.
We have investigated the electronic structure and carrier mobility of four types of phosphorous monolayer sheet (α-P, β-P,γ-P and δ-P) using density functional theory combined with Boltzmann transport method and relaxation time approximation. It is shown that α-P, β-P and γ-P are indirect gap semiconductors, while δ-P is a direct one. All four sheets have ultrahigh carrier mobility and show anisotropy in-plane. The highest mobility value is ~3 × 105 cm2V−1s−1, which is comparable to that of graphene. Because of the huge difference between the hole and electron mobilities, α-P, γ-P and δ-P sheets can be considered as n-type semiconductors, and β-P sheet can be considered as a p-type semiconductor. Our results suggest that phosphorous monolayer sheets can be considered as a new type of two dimensional materials for applications in optoelectronics and nanoelectronic devices.
PMCID: PMC4451805  PMID: 26035176
13.  Cyclosporine A in Atopic Dermatitis Modulates activated inflammatory pathways and reverses epidermal pathology 
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common inflammatory disease. Evolving disease models link changes in epidermal growth and differentiation to Th2/Th22 cytokine activation. However, these models have not been tested by in-vivo suppression of T-cell cytokines. CsA is an immune-suppressant highly effective for severe disease, but its mechanism in AD skin lesions has not been studied.
To establish the ability of a systemic immune-suppressant to modulate immune and epidermal alterations that form the pathogenic disease phenotype, and to correlate changes with clinical improvement.
CsA effects on AD skin pathology were evaluated using geneexpression and immunohistochemistry studies in baseline, week 2 and 12 lesional and non-lesional biopsies from 19 patients treated with 5 mg/kg/d CsA for 12 weeks.
After 2 and 12 weeks of treatment, we observed significant reductions of 51% and 72%, respectively, in Scoring of AD/SCORAD. Clinical improvements were associated with significant gene expression changes in lesional but also non-lesional skin, particularly reductions of Th2-, Th22-, and some Th17-related molecules (i.e IL-13, IL-22, CCL17, S100As, elafin/PI3), and modulation of epidermal hyperplasia and differentiation measures.
This is the first study that establishes a relationship between cytokine activation and molecular epidermal alterations as well as correlations between disease biomarkers in the skin and clinical improvement. The reversal of the molecular phenotype with CsA and the associated biomarkers can serve as a reference for the successful modulation of tissue inflammation with specific immune-antagonists in future studies, contributing to the understanding of the specific cytokines involved in epidermal pathology.
PMCID: PMC4122665  PMID: 24786238
atopic dermatitis; cyclosporine A; T-cell; immune; epidermal abnormalities; S100 proteins
14.  Prognostic Role of Phospho-STAT3 in Patients with Cancers of the Digestive System: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0127356.
The definite prognostic role of p-STAT3 has not been well defined. We performed a meta-analysis evaluating the prognostic role of p-STAT3 expression in patients with digestive system cancers.
We searched the available articles reporting the prognostic value of p-STAT3 in patients with cancers of the digestive system, mainly including colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, esophagus cancer and pancreatic cancer. The pooled hazard ratios (HRs) with 95 % confidence intervals (95 % CIs) of overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were used to assess the prognostic role of p-STAT3 expression level in cancer tissues. And the association between p-STAT3 expression and clinicopathological characteristics was evaluated.
A total of 22 studies with 3585 patients were finally enrolled in the meta-analysis. The results showed that elevated p-STAT3 expression level predicted inferior OS (HR=1.809, 95% CI: 1.442-2.270, P<0.001) and DFS (HR=1.481, 95% CI: 1.028-2.133, P= 0.035) in patients with malignant cancers of the digestive system. Increased expression of p-STAT3 is significantly related with tumor cell differentiation (Odds ratio (OR) =1.895, 95% CI: 1.364-2.632, P<0.001) and lymph node metastases (OR=2.108, 95% CI: 1.104-4.024, P=0.024). Sensitivity analysis suggested that the pooled HR was stable and omitting a single study did not change the significance of the pooled HR. Funnel plots and Egger’s tests revealed there was no significant publication bias in the meta-analysis.
Phospho-STAT3 might be a prognostic factor of patients with digestive system cancers. More well designed studies with adequate follow-up are needed to gain a thorough understanding of the prognostic role of p-STAT3.
PMCID: PMC4449159  PMID: 26024373
15.  Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:865028.
PMCID: PMC4463990  PMID: 26106618
16.  Inhibition of Hyperpolarization-Activated Cation Current in Medium-Sized DRG Neurons Contributed to the Antiallodynic Effect of Methylcobalamin in the Rat of a Chronic Compression of the DRG 
Neural Plasticity  2015;2015:197392.
Recently several lines of evidence demonstrated that methylcobalamin (MeCbl) might have potential analgesic effect in experimental and clinical studies. However, it was reported that MeCbl had no effect on treating lumbar spinal stenosis induced pain. Thus, the effects of short-term and long-term administration of MeCbl were examined in the chronic compression of dorsal root ganglion (CCD) model. We found that mechanical allodynia was significantly inhibited by a continuous application of high dose and a single treatment of a super high dose of MeCbl. Little is known about mechanisms underlying the analgesia of MeCbl. We examined the effect of MeCbl on the spontaneous activity (SA), the excitability, and hyperpolarization-activated nonselective cation ion current in compressed medium-sized dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons using extracellular single fiber recording in vivo and whole-cell patch clamp in vitro. We found that MeCbl significantly inhibited the SA of A-type sensory neurons in a dose-dependent manner and inhibited the excitability of medium-sized DRG neurons. In addition, MeCbl also decreased Ih current density in injured medium-sized DRG neurons. Our results proved that MeCbl might exert an analgesic effect through the inhibition Ih current and then might inhibit the hyperexcitability of primary sensory neurons under neuropathic pain state.
PMCID: PMC4460234  PMID: 26101670
17.  Use of Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound to Study Relationship between Serum Uric Acid and Renal Microvascular Perfusion in Diabetic Kidney Disease 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:732317.
Purpose. To investigate the relationship between uric acid and renal microvascular perfusion in diabetic kidney disease (DKD) using contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) method. Materials and Methods. 79 DKD patients and 26 healthy volunteers were enrolled. Renal function and urine protein markers were tested. DKD patients were subdivided into two groups including a normal serum uric acid (SUA) group and a high SUA group. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) was performed, and low acoustic power contrast-specific imaging was used for quantitative analysis. Results. Normal controls (NCs) had the highest levels of AUC, AUC1, and AUC2. Compared to the normal SUA DKD group, high SUA DKD patients had significantly higher IMAX, AUC, and AUC1 (P < 0.05). DKD patients with low urinary uric acid (UUA) excretion had significantly higher AUC2 compared to DKD patients with normal UUA (P < 0.05). Conclusion. Hyperuricemia in DKD patients was associated with a renal ultrasound image suggestive of microvascular hyperperfusion. The CEUS parameter AUC1 holds promise as an indicator for renal microvascular hyperperfusion, while AUC2 might be a useful indicator of declining glomerular filtration rate in DKD patients with decreased excretion of uric acid.
PMCID: PMC4464846  PMID: 26106613
18.  Activation of hypoxia signaling induces phenotypic transformation of glioma cells: implications for bevacizumab antiangiogenic therapy 
Oncotarget  2015;6(14):11882-11893.
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and deadly primary brain tumor in adults. Bevacizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), can attenuate tumor-associated edema and improve patient symptoms but based on magnetic resonance imaging, is associated with non-enhancing tumor progression and possibly gliosarcoma differentiation. To gain insight into these findings, we investigated the role of hypoxia and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-associated proteins in GBM. Tumor markers of hypoxia and EMT were upregulated in bevacizumab-treated tumors from GBM patients compared to untreated counterparts. Exposure of glioma cells to 1% oxygen tension increased cell proliferation, expression of EMT-associated proteins and enhanced cell migration in vitro. These phenotypic changes were significantly attenuated by pharmacologic knockdown of hypoxia-inducible Factor 1α (HIF1α) or HIF2α, indicating that HIFs represent a therapeutic target for mesenchymal GBM cells. These findings provide insights into potential development of novel therapeutic targeting of angiogenesis-specific pathways in GBM.
PMCID: PMC4494911  PMID: 25957416
glioblastoma; bevacizumab; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; pathologic angiogenesis; hypoxia-inducible factor
19.  Bypassing the Limitations of Directed C–H Functionalizations of Heterocycles 
Nature  2014;515(7527):389-393.
In directed C–H activation reactions, nitrogen and sulfur atoms present in heterocyclic substrates coordinate strongly with metal catalysts. This coordination, which can lead to catalyst poisoning or C–H functionalization at an undesired position, limits the application of C–H activation reactions in heterocycle-based drug discovery.1–5 Herein, we report a robust and synthetically useful reaction that overcomes the complications associated with performing C–H functionalization reactions on heterocycles. Our approach employs a simple N-methoxy amide group, which serves as both a directing group and an anionic ligand to promote the in situ generation of the reactive PdX2 (X = ArCONOMe) species from a Pd(0) source using air as the sole oxidant. In this way, the PdX2 species is inherently anchored in close proximity with the target C–H bond adjacent to CONHOMe group, thus avoiding the interference from various heterocycles. Remarkably, this reaction overrides the conventional positional selectivity patterns observed with substrates containing strongly coordinating heteroatoms, including nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus. Thus, this operationally simple aerobic reaction demonstrates the feasibility of bypassing a fundamental limitation that has long plagued applications of directed C–H activation in medicinal chemistry.
PMCID: PMC4248606  PMID: 25383516
20.  Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound in the Diagnosis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma: Controversy over the ASSLD Guideline 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:349172.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) are both regarded as primary liver cancers, having different biological behaviors and prognoses. Correct differentiation between them is essential for surgical planning and prognosis assessment. In 2005, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) recommended that noninvasive diagnosis of HCC is achievable by a single dynamic technique (including contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS)) showing intense arterial uptake followed by washout of contrast in the venous-delayed phases. However, CEUS has been dropped from the diagnostic techniques in the latest AASLD guideline according to the opinion of some authors from Europe that CEUS may offer false positive HCC diagnosis in patients with ICC. Since the update of AASLD guideline has been released, increased attention has been paid to this interesting topic. Remarkable controversy over this issue is present and this removal was not well received in Europe and Asia. This commentary summarized the opinions for the role of CUES in differentiation between HCC and ICC in recent years. It is concluded that prospective studies with strict design and large case series are mandatory to solve the controversies and stratification of ICC in terms of tumor size and liver background is also essential.
PMCID: PMC4450216  PMID: 26090401
21.  Accelerated blood clearance phenomenon upon cross-administration of PEGylated nanocarriers in beagle dogs 
The cross-administration of nanocarriers modified by poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), named PEGylated nanocarriers, a type of combination therapy, is becoming an increasingly important method of long-term drug delivery, to decrease side effects, avoid multidrug resistance, and increase therapeutic efficacy. However, repeated injections of PEGylated nanocarriers induces the accelerated blood clearance (ABC) phenomenon, prevents long circulation, and can cause adverse effects owing to alterations in the biodistribution of the drug. Although the nature of the ABC phenomenon that is induced by repeated injections of PEGylated nanocarriers has already been studied in detail, there are few reports on the immune response elicited by the cross-administration of PEGylated nanocarriers. In this study, we investigated the ABC phenomenon induced by the intravenous cross-administration of various PEGylated nanocarriers, including PEGylated liposomes (PL), PEG micelles (PM), PEGylated solid lipid nanoparticles (PSLN), and PEGylated emulsions (PE), in beagle dogs. The results indicated that the magnitude of the immune response elicited by the cross-administration was in the following order (from the strongest to the weakest): PL, PE, PSLN, PM. It is specifically PEG in the brush structure that elicits a significant immune response, in both the induction phase and the effectuation phase. Furthermore, the present study suggests that there is a considerable difference between the effect of repeated injections and cross-administration, depending on the colloidal structure. This work is a preliminary investigation into the cross-administration of PEGylated nanocarriers, and our observations can have serious implications for the design of combination therapies that use PEGylated vectors.
PMCID: PMC4437610  PMID: 25999716
ABC phenomenon; repeated injection; cross-administration; immune response; PEGylated nanocarriers
22.  An ShRNA Based Genetic Screen Identified Sesn2 as a Potential Tumor Suppressor in Lung Cancer via Suppression of Akt-mTOR-p70S6K Signaling 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0124033.
Lung cancer is emerging rapidly as the leading death cause in Chinese cancer patients. The causal factors for Chinese lung cancer development remain largely unclear. Here we employed an shRNA library-based loss-of-function screen in a genome-wide and unbiased manner to interrogate potential tumor suppressor candidates in the immortalized human lung epithelial cell line BEAS-2B.
Soft agar assays were conducted for screening BEAS-2B cells infected with the retroviral shRNA library with the acquired feature of anchorage-independent growth, large (>0.5mm in diameter) and well—separated colonies were isolated for proliferation. PCRs were performed to amplify the integrated shRNA fragment from individual genomic DNA extracted from each colony, and each PCR product is submitted for DNA sequencing to reveal the integrated shRNA and its target gene. A total of 6 candidate transformation suppressors including INPP4B, Sesn2, TIAR, ACRC, Nup210, LMTK3 were identified. We validated Sesn2 as the candidate of lung cancer tumor suppressor. Knockdown of Sesn2 by an shRNA targeting 3’ UTR of Sesn2 transcript potently stimulated the proliferation and malignant transformation of lung bronchial epithelial cell BEAS-2B via activation of Akt-mTOR-p70S6K signaling, whereas ectopic expression of Sens2 re-suppressed the malignant transformation elicited by the Sesn2 shRNA. Moreover, knockdown of Sesn2 in BEAS-2B cells promoted the BEAS-2B cell-transplanted xenograft tumor growth in nude mice. Lastly, DNA sequencing indicated mutations of Sesn2 gene are rare, the protein levels of Sesn2 of 77 Chinese lung cancer patients varies greatly compared to their adjacent normal tissues, and the low expression level of Sesn2 associates with the poor survival in these examined patients by Kaplan Meier analysis.
Our shRNA-based screen has demonstrated Sesn2 is a potential tumor suppressor in lung epithelial cells. The expression level of Sesn2 may serve as a prognostic marker for Chinese lung cancer patients in the clinic.
PMCID: PMC4427398  PMID: 25962159
23.  Expression of pyruvate dehydrogenase is an independent prognostic marker in gastric cancer 
AIM: To investigate the expression and prognostic role of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) in gastric cancer (GC).
METHODS: This study included 265 patients (194 male, 71 female, mean age 59 years (range, 29-81 years) with GC who underwent curative surgery at the First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University from January 2006 to May 2007. All patients were followed up for more than 5 years. Patient-derived paraffin embedded GC specimens were collected for tissue microarrays (TMAs). We examined PDH expression by immunohistochemistry in TMAs containing tumor tissue and matched non-neoplastic mucosa. Immunoreactivity was evaluated independently by two researchers. Overall survival (OS) rates were determined using the Kaplan-Meier estimator. Correlations with other clinicopathologic factors were evaluated by two-tailed χ2 tests or a two-tailed t-test. The Cox proportional-hazard model was used in univariate analysis and multivariate analysis to identify factors significantly correlated with prognosis.
RESULTS: Immunohistochemistry showed that 35.47% of total cancer tissue specimens had cytoplasmic PDH staining. PDH expression was much higher in normal mucosa specimens (75.09%; P = 0.001). PDH expression was correlated with Lauren grade (70.77% in intestinal type vs 40.0% in diffuse type; P = 0.001), lymph node metastasis (65.43% with no metastasis vs 51.09% with metastasis; P = 0.033), lymphatic invasion (61.62% with no invasion vs 38.81% with invasion; P = 0.002), histologic subtypes (70.77% in intestinal type vs 40.0% in diffuse type; P = 0.001) and tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage (39% in poorly differentiated vs 65.91% in well differentiated and 67.11% in moderately differentiated; P = 0.001) in GC. PDH expression in cancer tissue was significantly associated with higher OS (P < 0.001). The multivariate analysis adjusted for age, Lauren classification, TNM stage, lymph node metastasis, histological type, tumor size, depth of invasion and lymphatic invasion showed that the PDH expression in GC was an independent prognostic factor for higher OS (HR = 0.608, 95%CI: 0.504-0.734, P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Our study indicated that PDH expression is an independent prognostic factor in GC patients and that positive expression of PDH may be predictive of favorable outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4419075  PMID: 25954108
Pyruvate dehydrogenase; Gastric carcinoma; Tissue microarray; Prognosis; Immunohistochemical analysis
24.  Factors influencing the spontaneous closure of ventricular septal defect in infants 
This study is to prospectively evaluate the potential value of maternal and infantile variables as predictors for the spontaneous ventricular septal defects (VSD) closure in infants. Methods: Consecutive infants less than six-month-old when diagnosed with VSD, were followed-up for at least 5 years. Demographic, clinical and maternal factors were evaluated for the possible associations of the incidence of spontaneous VSD closure Of the 425 eligible infants, 93 had spontaneous VSD closure, 78.50% of which occurred when the patients were under 3 years of age. Diameter of the defect (DVSD), ratio between diameter of the defect and aortic root diameter (DVSD/DAR), left atrium sizes, left ventricle sizes, main pulmonary forward blood flow, infection scores, shunt ratio (Qp/Qs), VSD locations, and comorbidities including patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), and membranous septal aneurysm were independent predictors of spontaneous closure. However, maternal factors during the first 3 months of pregnancy and VSD infants with Down syndrome did not affect the spontaneous closure of infants with VSD. Conclusion: DVSD, DVSD/DAR, left atrium sizes, left ventricle sizes, main pulmonary forward blood flow, infection scores, Qp/Qs, VSD location, comorbidities including PDA, or membranous septal aneurysm may be used as potential independent predictors of spontaneous VSD closure in infants.
PMCID: PMC4503144  PMID: 26191273
Ventricular septal defect; spontaneous closure; predictive factor; prognosis
25.  High-mobility group box-1 induces vascular remodelling processes via c-Jun activation 
Extracellular high-mobility group box-1 (HMGB1) acts as a signalling molecule during inflammation, cell differentiation and angiogenesis. Increased abundance of HMGB1 is associated with several pathological disorders such as cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In this study, we investigated the relevance of HMGB1 in the pathological remodelling present in patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) and pulmonary hypertension (PH) associated with COPD. Remodelled vessels present in COPD with PH and IPAH lung samples were often surrounded by HMGB1-positive cells. Increased HMGB1 serum levels were detected in both patient populations compared to control samples. The effects of physiological HMGB1 concentrations were then examined on cellular responses in vitro. HMGB1 enhanced proliferation of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMC) and primary human arterial endothelial cells (PAEC). HMGB1 stimulated p38, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) phosphorylation. Furthermore, activation of the downstream AP-1 complex proteins c-Fos and c-Jun was observed. Silencing of c-Jun ablated the HMGB1-induced proliferation in PASMC. Thus, an inflammatory component such as HMGB1 can contribute to PASMC and PAEC proliferation and therefore potentially to vascular remodelling and PH pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4420616  PMID: 25726846
alarmins; HMGB1; inflammation; proliferation; pulmonary hypertension

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