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1.  Development of shelf-stable, ready-to-eat (RTE) shrimps (Litopenaeus vannamei) using water activity lowering agent by response surface methodology 
Three water-activity-lowering agents (composite phosphate, sorbitol and glycerol) were used to develop a kind of shelf-stable, ready-to-eat (RTE) shrimp. Formula of water-activity- lowering agents was optimized by response surface methodology (RSM) using a central composite design. Model equation was proposed with regard to the contents of composite phosphate (X1), sorbitol (X2) and glycerol (X3) : \documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$ Y = {1}.000{4} - 0.{5851}{{\text{X}}_1} - 0.0{322}{{\text{X}}_2} - 0.0{243}{{\text{X}}_3} + 0.0{167}{{\text{X}}_1}{{\text{X}}_2} + 0.0{156 }{{\text{X}}_1}{{\text{X}}_3} + {1}.0000 \times {1}{0^{ - {3}}}{{\text{X}}_2}{{\text{X}}_3} + {1}.0{\text{844X}}_1^2 + {3}.{35}00 \times {1}{0^{ - {3}}}{\text{X}}_2^2 + {2}.{6}000 \times {1}{0^{ - {3}}}{\text{X}}_3^2 $$\end{document}. The model with a very low probability value (P < 0.0003) was highly significant and the value of lack-of-fit was 0.4028, indicating that the model could predict water activity of shrimps using different agents. Composite phosphate of 0.22%, sorbitol of 3.12% and glycerol of 2.51% were found to be the optimal condition to obtain the lowest water activity of 0.884. Compared to the control shrimps, RTE shrimps treated with water-activity-lowering agents had a longer shelflife and higher sensorial acceptability. During storage at temperature of 35 °C, the quality of RTE shrimps in term of appearance, flavor and texture was found to be superior to the untreated ones. Texture profile, TBARS value, contents of astaxanthin and free amino acid of treated samples were found to be decreased slower from origin value compared to that of untreated samples. These RTE shrimps were biologically safe and sensorially acceptable after 30 days of storage at temperature of 35 °C. Briefly, the application of water-activity-lowering agents extent the shelflife of RTE shrimps obviously and would be beneficial for the exploitation of white shrimp.
PMCID: PMC3791247  PMID: 24426026
Ready-to-eat shrimp; Water-activity-lowering agent; Response surface methodology; Storage
2.  Five New Secondary Metabolites Produced by a Marine-Associated Fungus, Daldinia eschscholzii 
Marine Drugs  2014;12(11):5563-5575.
Five new compounds, including a benzopyran ribonic glycoside, daldiniside A (1), two isocoumarin ribonic glycosides, daldinisides B (2) and C (3), and two alkaloids, 1-(3-indolyl)-2R,3-dihydroxypropan-1-one (4) and 3-ethyl-2,5-pyrazinedipropanoic acid (5), along with five known compounds (6–10), were isolated from the EtOAc extract of the marine-associated fungus, Daldinia eschscholzii. Their structures were elucidated by extensive physicochemical and spectroscopic properties, besides comparison with literature data. The absolute configurations of compounds 1–3 were corroborated by chemical transformation, GC analysis and X-ray crystallographic analysis. Meanwhile, the absolute configuration of compound 4 and the planar structure of compound 6 were also determined based on the X-ray diffraction analysis. The cytotoxicity of compounds 1–10, antifungal and anti-HIV activities of compounds 1–5 and the in vitro assay for glucose consumption of compounds 1–3 were done in the anti-diabetic model, whereas none showed obvious activity.
PMCID: PMC4245545  PMID: 25419997
marine-associated fungus; Daldinia eschscholzii; secondary metabolites; hydrolysis; GC analysis; X-ray diffraction analysis
3.  Detection of New Bunyavirus RNA by Reverse Transcription–Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2014;52(2):531-535.
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is a newly emerging and epidemic infectious disease in central and northeast China. It is caused by New Bunyavirus and carries an average 12% case fatality rate. Early and rapid detection is critical for prevention and control of New Bunyavirus infection, since no vaccine or antiviral drugs are currently available, and prevention requires careful attention to control of the suspected tick vector. In this study, a simple and sensitive reverse transcription–loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay was developed for rapid detection of New Bunyavirus. The detection limit of the RT-LAMP assay was approximately 103 50% tissue culture infective doses/ml of New Bunyavirus in culture supernatants, and no cross-reactive amplification of other viruses known to cause similar clinical manifestations was observed. The assay was further evaluated using 138 specimens from clinically suspected SFTS and 40 laboratory-proven hantavirus infection with fever and renal syndrome patients, and the assay exhibited 97% agreement compared to real-time RT-PCR and conventional RT-PCR. Using real-time RT-PCR as the diagnostic gold standard, RT-LAMP was 99% sensitive and 100% specific. The RT-LAMP assay could become a useful alternative in clinical diagnosis of SFTS caused by New Bunyavirus, especially in resource-limited hospitals or rural clinics of China.
PMCID: PMC3911317  PMID: 24478484
4.  Transmesosigmoid hernia: Case report and review of literature 
Transmesosigmoid hernia has previously been considered as a rare condition. The clinical symptoms can be nonspecific. Here, we report a case of acute intestinal obstruction because of transmesosigmoid hernia. In addition, after a comprehensive review of PubMed and China National Knowledge Infrastructure, we present a review of 22 cases of transmesosigmoid hernia. We summarize several valuable clinical features that help early recognition of transmesosigmoid hernia. As a result of easy strangulation, in patients without a history of surgery or abdominal inflammation who present with symptoms of progressive or persistent small bowel obstruction (SBO), surgeons should consider the possibility of transmesosigmoid hernia. In addition, based on our data, in patients with SBO because of transmesosigmoid hernia, the defect is usually 2-5 cm in diameter. Furthermore, because of the high risk of strangulation with transmesosigmoid hernia, it is mandatory to reassess the condition timely and periodically when patients receive conservative treatment.
PMCID: PMC4024804  PMID: 24914355
Transmesosigmoid hernia; Acute intestinal obstruction; Internal hernia
5.  Alpha-Asarone Protects Endothelial Cells from Injury by Angiotensin II 
α-Asarone is the major therapeutical constituent of Acorus tatarinowii Schott. In this study, the potential protective effects of α-asarone against endothelial cell injury induced by angiotensin II were investigated in vitro. The EA.hy926 cell line derived from human umbilical vein endothelial cells was pretreated with α-asarone (10, 50, 100 µmol/L) for 1 h, followed by coincubation with Ang II (0.1 µmol/L) for 24 h. Intracellular nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were detected by fluorescent dyes, and phosphorylation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) at Ser1177 was determined by Western blotting. α-Asarone dose-dependently mitigated the Ang II-induced intracellular NO reduction (P < 0.01 versus model) and ROS production (P < 0.01 versus model). Furthermore, eNOS phosphorylation (Ser1177) by acetylcholine was significantly inhibited by Ang II, while pretreatment for 1 h with α-asarone partially prevented this effect (P < 0.05 versus model). Additionally, cell viability determined by the MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] assay (105~114.5% versus control, P > 0.05) was not affected after 24 h of incubation with α-asarone at 1–100 µmol/L. Therefore, α-asarone protects against Ang II-mediated damage of endothelial cells and may be developed to prevent injury to cardiovascular tissues.
PMCID: PMC3976910  PMID: 24757494
6.  PRB1 Is Required for Clipping of the Histone H3 N Terminal Tail in Saccharomyces cerevisiae 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e90496.
Cathepsin L, a lysosomal protein in mouse embryonic stem cells has been shown to clip the histone H3 N- terminus, an activity associated with gene activity during mouse cell development. Glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) was also identified as histone H3 specific protease in chicken liver, which has been connected to gene expression during aging. In baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, clipping the histone H3 N-terminus has been associated with gene activation in stationary phase but the protease responsible for the yeast histone H3 endopeptidase activity had not been identified. In searching for a yeast histone H3 endopeptidase, we found that yeast vacuolar protein Prb1 is present in the cellular fraction enriched for the H3 N-terminus endopeptidase activity and this endopeptidase activity is lost in the PRB1 deletion mutant (prb1Δ). In addition, like Cathepsin L and GDH, purified Prb1 from yeast cleaves H3 between Lys23 and Ala24 in the N-terminus in vitro as shown by Edman degradation. In conclusion, our data argue that PRB1 is required for clipping of the histone H3 N-terminal tail in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
PMCID: PMC3938757  PMID: 24587380
7.  Meta-analysis of immunohistochemical expression of hypoxia inducible factor-1α as a prognostic role in gastric cancer 
AIM: To conduct a meta-analysis to evaluate the prognostic role of hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) expression in gastric cancer.
METHODS: The PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science databases were searched systematically for all articles published in English before August, 2013. Pooled effect was calculated from the available data to evaluate the association between HIF-1α expression and 5-year overall survival and tumor clinicopathological features in gastric cancer patients. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) with 95%CIs were calculated using either a fixed-effects or a random-effects model.
RESULTS: Nine studies matched the selection criteria, which reported on 1103 subjects, 548 of whom had HIF-1α positive expression (50%). This meta-analysis indicated that HIF-1α positive expression in gastric cancer correlated with lower 5-year overall survival (OR = 0.36; 95%CI: 0.21-0.64), worse tumor differentiation (OR = 0.38; 95%CI: 0.23-0.64), deeper invasion (OR = 0.42; 95%CI: 0.32-0.57), higher rates of lymph node metastasis (OR = 2.23; 95%CI: 1.46-3.40), lymphatic invasion (OR = 2.50; 95%CI: 1.46-4.28), and vascular invasion (OR = 1.80; 95%CI: 1.29-2.51), and higher TNM stage (III + IV) (OR = 0.31; 95%CI: 0.15-0.60).
CONCLUSION: HIF-1α positive expression indicates a poor prognosis for patients with gastric cancer. Further studies are required to confirm these results.
PMCID: PMC3921536  PMID: 24574785
Hypoxia inducible factor-1α; Gastric cancer; 5-year overall survival; Clinicopathological features; Meta-analysis
8.  Isoflavone intake inhibits the development of 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene(DMBA)-induced mammary tumors in normal and ovariectomized rats 
To determine the associations between isoflavone (49.72% genistin, 5.32% daidzin, 34.54% glycitin) and breast cancer risk, 150 rats were given 5 mg 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene and half of them were ovariectomized. Then normal rats and ovariectomized rats were divided into 5 groups: control group, isoflavone high (HI), middle (MI), or low (LI) dose group consuming 100, 500, or 1000 mg isoflavones/kg diet, estrogen group (2.5 mg stilboestrol/kg diet). After 24 weeks, tumor incidences were 73% in control group, 7% in HI, 7% in MI, 27% in LI, and 80% in estrogen group for normal rats; 60% in control group, 13% in HI, 7% in MI, 13% in LI, and 73% in estrogen group for ovariectomized rats. Isoflavone treatment decreased tumor incidence and mean tumor number per rat and increased mean latent period compared with those in control group and estrogen group group significantly (p<0.05). The mRNA and protein expression of estrogen receptor β were significantly higher in isoflavone treatment groups than those in control group group. Moreover, isoflavone treatment significantly decreased 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine content and increased superoxide dismutase level in normal rats and decreased malondialdehyde concentrations in ovariectomized rats compared with control group. In conclusions, isoflavone intake significantly inhibited the development of premenopausal and postmenopausal mammary tumors.
PMCID: PMC3882481  PMID: 24426188
isoflavones; mammary tumors; ovariectomized rats; estrogen receptor
9.  Comparison of two methods used to culture and purify rat retinal Müller cells 
To study two methods for culturing and purifying Sprague-Dawley (SD) rat retinal Müller cells and determine which one is better.
The passage culture method of Müller cells was respectively carried out by complete pancreatic enzyme digestion method and repeated incomplete pancreatic enzyme digestion method. After culturing retinal cells for one month through these two methods, fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS), RT-PCR, and immunohistochemistry technology were performed to examine the enrichment and purity of Müller glial cells, and carried out two-sample approximate t test using SSPS 13.0 to further compare the Müller cell positive rate in both methods.
The statistical results showed that the purity of Müller cells was 83.2%±5.16% in group A, and the purity was 98.5%±1.08% in group B. The two-sample approximate t test analysis demonstrated that the difference between group A and group B was statistically significant (t=-9.178, P<0.005). The results clearly exhibited a difference between the purity of Müller cells cultured by the complete pancreatic enzyme digestion method (group A) and the repeated incomplete pancreatic enzyme digestion method (group B).
Compared with the complete pancreatic enzyme digestion method, this novel method was more efficient and a higher purity of Müller cells could be obtained using this approach.
PMCID: PMC3874515  PMID: 24392324
primary culture; passage; purification; retinal Müller cell; trypsinization
10.  Characterization and expression profiling of cucumber kinesin genes during early fruit development: revealing the roles of kinesins in exponential cell production and enlargement in cucumber fruit 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2013;64(14):4541-4557.
Rapid cell division and expansion in early fruit development are important phases for cucumber fruit yield and quality. Kinesin proteins are microtubule-based motors responsible for modulating cell division and enlargement. In this work, the candidate kinesin genes involved in rapid cell division and expansion during cucumber fruit development were investigated. The morphological and cellular changes during early fruit development were compared in four cucumber genotypes with varied fruit size. The correlation between the expression profiles of cucumber kinesin genes and cellular changes in fruit was investigated. Finally, the biochemical characteristics and subcellular localizations of three candidate kinesins were studied. The results clarified the morphological and cellular changes during early cucumber fruit development. This study found that CsKF2–CsKF6 were positively correlated with rapid cell production; CsKF1 and CsKF7 showed a strongly positive correlation with rapid cell expansion. The results also indicated that CsKF1 localized to the plasma membrane of fast-expanding fruit cells, that CsKF2 might play a role in fruit chloroplast division, and that CsKF3 is involved in the function or formation of phragmoplasts in fruit telophase cells. The results strongly suggest that specific fruit-enriched kinesins are specialized in their functions in rapid cell division and expansion during cucumber fruit development.
PMCID: PMC3808332  PMID: 24023249
Cell division; chloroplast; cucumber; expansion; fruit; kinesin; phragmoplast; plasma membrane.
11.  Atoh7 promotes the differentiation of retinal stem cells derived from Müller cells into retinal ganglion cells by inhibiting Notch signaling 
Retinal Müller cells exhibit the characteristics of retinal progenitor cells, and differentiate into ganglion cells under certain conditions. However, the number of ganglion cells differentiated from retinal Müller cells falls far short of therapeutic needs. This study aimed to develop a novel protocol to promote the differentiation of retinal Müller cells into ganglion cells and explore the underlying signaling mechanisms.
Müller cells were isolated and purified from rat retina and induced to dedifferentiate into retinal stem cells. Next the stem cells were transfected with lentivirus PGC-FU-GFP or lentivirus PGC-FU-Atoh7-GFP. In addition, the stem cells were transfected with Brn-3b siRNA or Isl-1 siRNA or treated with Notch inhibitor gamma-secretase inhibitor (GSI).
The proportion of ganglion cells differentiated from Atoh7-tranfected stem cells was significantly higher than that of controls. Knockdown of Brn-3b or Isl-1 inhibited, while GSI promoted, the differentiation into retinal ganglion cells. Atoh7 promoted the expression of Brn-3b and Isl-1 but inhibited the expression of Notch1.
Atoh7 promotes the differentiation of Müller cells-derived retinal stem cells into retinal ganglion cells by inhibiting Notch signaling, thus opening up a new avenue for gene therapy and optic nerve regeneration in glaucoma.
PMCID: PMC3854761  PMID: 23945288
Müller cells; Retinal ganglion cells; Atoh7; Notch; Stem cells; Differentiation
12.  Eicosapentaenoic acid-enriched phospholipid ameliorates insulin resistance and lipid metabolism in diet-induced-obese mice 
Over the past two decades, a striking increase in the number of people with metabolic syndrome (MS) has taken place worldwide. With the elevated risk of not only diabetes but also cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, there is urgent need for strategies to prevent this emerging global epidemic. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effects of dietary eicosapentaenoic acid-enriched phospholipid (EPA-PL) on metabolic disorders.
Male C57BL/6J mice (n = 7) were fed one of the following 4 diets for a period of 4 weeks: 1) a modified AIN-96G diet with 5% corn oil (control diet); 2) a high fat (20%, wt/wt) and high fructose (20%, wt/wt) diet (HF diet); 3) the HF diet containing 1% SOY-PL (SOY-PL diet); 4) the HF diet containing 1% EPA-PL (EPA-PL diet). The oral glucose tolerance test was performed. Plasma TG, TC, glucose, NEFA, insulin, leptin, adiponectin, TNF-α and IL-6 levels were assessed. In addition, hepatic lipid levels, lipogenic, and lipidolytic enzyme activities and gene expressions were evaluated.
Both EPA-PL and SOY-PL significantly inhibited body weight gain and white adipose tissue accumulation, alleviated glucose intolerance, and lowered both serum fasting glucose and NEFA levels substantially. Only EPA-PL significantly reduced serum TNF-α and IL-6 levels, and increased serum adiponectin level. EPA-PL was more effective in reducing hepatic and serum TG and TC levels than SOY-PL. Both EPA-PL and SOY-PL reduced the activities of hepatic lipogenic enzymes, such as FAS and G6PDH, but only EPA-PL significantly increased CPT, peroxisomal β-oxidation enzymes activities and CPT-1a mRNA level. Alterations of hepatic lipogenic gene expressions, such as FAS, G6PDH, ACC, SCD-1 and SREBP-1c were consistent with changes in related enzyme activities.
According to our study, EPA-PL supplementation was efficacious in suppressing body fat accumulation, and alleviating insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis by modulating the secretion of adipocytokines and inflammatory cytokines, suppression of SREBP-1c mediated lipogenesis and enhancement of fatty acid β-oxidation. These results demonstrate that EPA-PL is a novel beneficial food component for the prevention and improvement of metabolic disorders.
PMCID: PMC3728066  PMID: 23876229
Eicosapentaenoic acid; Phospholipid; Metabolic syndrome; Obesity; Insulin resistance; Lipid metabolism
13.  Orbital Rosai–Dorfman Disease in a fifty-eight years old woman 
Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences  2013;29(4):1065-1067.
Rosai–Dorfman disease (RDD) is rare and characterized by histiocytic proliferation and massive cervical lymphadenopathy. About 40% of patients have extra-nodal involvement. Opthalmic involvement is seen in 10% of cases. A case of orbital Rosai Dorfman disease in a 58 years old woman is presented here, who was misdiagnosed as orbital inflammatory disease initially. The patient did not respond to a course of oral prednisolone. Then complete surgical excision of the mass was performed and the histopathological examination was consistent with a diagnosis of RDD.
PMCID: PMC3817788  PMID: 24353690
Orbital Inflammation; Rosai–Dorfman disease
14.  A New Molecular Phylogeny and a New Genus, Pendulorchis, of the Aerides–Vanda Alliance (Orchidaceae: Epidendroideae) 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60097.
The Aerides–Vanda alliance is a complex group in the subtribe Aeridinae (subfamily Epidendroideae, Orchidaceae). Some phylogenetic systems of this alliance have been previously proposed based on molecular and morphological analyses. However, several taxonomic problems within this alliance as well as between it and its allies remain unsolved.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We utilized ITS and five plastid DNA regions in this phylogenetic analysis. Consensus trees strongly indicate that the Aerides–Vanda alliance is monophyletic, and the 14 genera of this alliance can be grouped into the following clades with 14 subclades: 1. Aerides, comprising two subclades: Rhynchostylis and Aerides; 2. Ascocentropsis; 3. Papilionanthe; 4. Vanda, comprising five subclades: Neofinetia, Christensonia, Seidenfadenia, Ascocentrum, and Vanda–Trudelia, in which Vanda and Trudelia form a subclade; 5. Tsiorchis, comprising three subclades: Chenorchis, Tsiorchis, and two species of Ascocentrum; 6. Paraholcoglossum; and 7. Holcoglossum. Among the 14 genera, only Ascocentrum is triphyletic: two species of the Ascocentrum subclade, an independent subclade Ascocentrum subclade in the Tsiorchis clade; the Ascocentrum subclade in the Vanda clade; and one species in the Holcoglossum clade. The Vanda and Trudelia species belong to the same subclade. The molecular conclusion is consistent with their morphological characteristics.
We elucidate the relationship among the 14 genera of the Aerides–Vanda alliance. Our phylogenetic results reveal that the Aerides–Vanda alliance is monophyletic, but it can be divided into 14 genera. The data prove that Ascocentrum is triphyletic. Plants with elongate-terete leaves and small flowers should be treated as a new genus, Pendulorchis. Saccolabium himalaicum (Ascocentrum himalaicum) should be transferred to Pendulorchis. Ascocentrum pumilum, endemic to Taiwan, should be transferred to Holcoglossum. A new combination, Holcoglossum pumilum, was also established. Trudelia should not be recognized as an independent genus. Two new species, Pendulorchis gaoligongensis and Holcoglossum singchianum, were described as well.
PMCID: PMC3618120  PMID: 23577083
15.  Zeolite-based hemostat QuikClot releases calcium into blood and promotes blood coagulation in vitro 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2013;34(3):367-372.
To examine the changes in electrolyte concentrations after addition of zeolite-based hemostat QuikClot in blood and the effects of zeolite on blood coagulation in vitro.
Fresh blood was taken from healthy adult volunteers and sheep, and the electrolyte concentrations in blood were measured using a blood electrolyte analyzer. Zeolite Saline Solution (ZSS) was prepared by addition of 2 g zeolite to 0.9% NaCl solution (4, 8, or 16 mL). The electrolytes in ZSS were measured using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy. The prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) of blood were measured using the test tube method. The activated clotting time (ACT) and clotting rate (CR) of blood were measured with Sonoclot Coagulation and Platelet Function Analyzer.
Addition of zeolite (50 and 100 mg) in 2 mL human blood significantly increased Ca2+ concentration, while Na+ and K+ concentrations were significantly decreased. Addition of zeolite (50 and 100 mg) in 0.9% NaCl solution (2 mL) caused similar changes in Ca2+ and Na+ concentrations. Si4+ (0.2434 g/L) and Al3+ (0.2575 g/L) were detected in ZSS (2 g/8 mL). Addition of ZSS in sheep blood shortened APTT in a concentration dependent manner, without changing PT. ZSS or aqueous solution of CaCl2 that contained Ca2+ concentration identical to that of ZSS significantly shortened ACT in human blood without significantly changing CR, and the effect of ZSS on ACT was not significantly different from that of CaCl2.
Zeolite releases Ca2+ into blood, thus accelerating the intrinsic pathway of blood coagulation and shortening the clot formation time.
PMCID: PMC4002488  PMID: 23334236
hemostatics; QuikClot; zeolites; electrolytes; calcium; blood coagulation; prothrombin time; activated partial thromboplastin time; activated clotting time; clotting rate
16.  Decreased Dicer Expression Enhances SRP-Mediated Protein Targeting 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e56950.
We have shown that Dicer processes 7SL RNA into different fragments ranging from ∼20 to more than 200 nucleotides. Here we addressed the molecular functions of these 7SL RNA fragments and found that some of them functioned as dominant-negative regulators of the full-length 7SL RNA, interfering with signal recognition particle (SRP) complex formation. Transfection of these 7SL RNA fragments inhibited the expression of cell surface glycoproteins, the targeting of a reporter protein to the endoplasmic reticulum, and the secretion of secreted alkaline phosphatase. These results suggest that some Dicer-processed 7SL RNA fragments interfered with SRP-mediated protein targeting. Moreover, we showed that Dicer knockdown enhanced SRP-mediated protein targeting and that transfection of a mixture of the 7SL RNA fragments partially restored this effect. Our data indicate that Dicer can fine-tune the efficiency of SRP-mediated protein targeting via processing a proportion of 7SL RNA into fragments of different lengths.
PMCID: PMC3585229  PMID: 23468895
17.  RpaA Regulates the Accumulation of Monomeric Photosystem I and PsbA under High Light Conditions in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e45139.
The response regulator RpaA was examined by targeted mutagenesis under high light conditions in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. A significant reduction in chlorophyll fluorescence from photosystem I at 77 K was observed in the RpaA mutant cells under high light conditions. Interestingly, the chlorophyll fluorescence emission from the photosystem I trimers at 77 K are similar to that of the wild type, while the chlorophyll fluorescence from the photosystem I monomers was at a much lower level in the mutant than in the wild type under high light conditions. The RpaA inactivation resulted in a dramatic reduction in the monomeric photosystem I and the D1 protein but not the CP47 content. However, there is no significant difference in the transcript levels of psaA or psbA or other genes examined, most of which are involved in photosynthesis, pigment biosynthesis, or stress responses. Under high light conditions, the growth of the mutant was affected, and both the chlorophyll content and the whole-chain oxygen evolution capability of the mutant were found to be significantly lower than those of the wild type, respectively. We propose that RpaA regulates the accumulation of the monomeric photosystem I and the D1 protein under high light conditions. This is the first report demonstrating that inactivation of a stress response regulator has specifically reduced the monomeric photosystem I. It suggests that PS I monomers and PS I trimers can be regulated independently for acclimation of cells to high light stress.
PMCID: PMC3443226  PMID: 23024802
18.  Dicer-Dependent Biogenesis of Small RNAs Derived from 7SL RNA 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40705.
It has been reported that decreased Dicer expression leads to Alu RNAs accumulation in human retinal pigmented epithelium cells, and Dicer may process the endogenous SINE/B1 RNAs (the rodent equivalent of the primate Alu RNAs) into small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). In this study, we aimed to address whether Dicer can process Alu RNAs and their common ancestor, 7SL RNA. Using Solexa sequencing technology, we showed that Alu-derived small RNAs accounted for 0.6% of the total cellular small RNAs in HepG2.2.15 cells, and the abundance decreased when Dicer was knocked down. However, Alu-derived small RNAs showed different characteristics from miRNAs and siRNAs, the classic Dicer-processed products. Interestingly, we found that small RNAs derived from 7SL RNA accounted for 3.1% of the total cellular small RNAs in the control cells, and the abundance dropped about 3.4 folds in Dicer knockdown cells. Dicer-dependent biogenesis of 7SL RNA-derived small RNAs was validated by northern blotting. In vitro cleavage assay using the recombinant human Dicer protein also showed that synthetic 7SL RNA was processed by Dicer into fragments of different lengths. Further functional analysis suggested that 7SL RNA-derived small RNAs do not function like miRNAs, neither do they regulate the expression of 7SL RNA. In conclusion, the current study demonstrated that Dicer can process 7SL RNA, however, the biological significance remains to be elucidated.
PMCID: PMC3395682  PMID: 22808238
19.  Short term effects of different omega-3 fatty acid formulation on lipid metabolism in mice fed high or low fat diet 
Bioactivities of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) depend on their chemical forms. The present study was to investigate short term effects of triglyceride (TG), ethyl ester (EE), free fatty acid (FFA) and phospholipid (PL) forms of omega-3 fatty acid (FA) on lipid metabolism in mice, fed high fat or low fat diet.
Male Balb/c mice were fed with 0.7% different Omega-3 fatty acid formulation: DHA bound free fatty acid (DHA-FFA), DHA bound triglyceride (DHA-TG), DHA bound ethyl ester (DHA-EE) and DHA bound phospholipid (DHA-PL) for 1 week, with dietary fat levels at 5% and 22.5%. Serum and hepatic lipid concentrations were analyzed, as well as the fatty acid composition of liver and brain.
At low fat level, serum total cholesterol (TC) level in mice fed diets with DHA-FFA, DHA-EE and DHA-PL were significantly lower than that in the control group (P < 0.05). Hepatic TG level decreased significantly in mice fed diets with DHA-TG (P < 0.05), DHA-EE (P < 0.05) and DHA-PL (P < 0.05), while TC level in liver was significantly lower in mice fed diets with TG and EE compared with the control group (P < 0.05). At high fat level, mice fed diets with DHA-EE and DHA-PL had significantly lower hepatic TC level compared with the control diet (P < 0.05). Hepatic PL concentration experienced a significant increase in mice fed the diet with PL at high fat level (P < 0.05). Furthermore, both at low and high fat levels, hepatic DHA level significantly increased and AA level significantly decreased in all forms of DHA groups (P < 0.05), compared to control groups at two different fat levels, respectively. Additionally, cerebral DHA level in mice fed diets with DHA-FFA, DHA-EE and DHA-PL significantly increased compared with the control at high fat level (P < 0.05), but no significant differences were observed among dietary treatments for mice fed diets with low fat level.
The present study suggested that not only total dietary fat content but also the molecular forms of omega-3 fatty acids contributed to lipid metabolism in mice. DHA-PL showed effective bioactivity in decreasing hepatic and serum TC, TG levels and increasing omega-3 concentration in liver and brain.
PMCID: PMC3393618  PMID: 22676394
Omega-3 fatty acid; DHA; EPA; Lipid metabolism; Triglycerides; Ethyl ester; Phospholipids
20.  Dietary sea cucumber cerebroside alleviates orotic acid-induced excess hepatic adipopexis in rats 
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a prevalent chronic liver disease in industrialized countries. The present study was undertaken to explore the preventive effect of dietary sea cucumber cerebroside (SCC) extracted from Acaudina molpadioides in fatty liver rats.
Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups including normal control group, NAFLD model group, and two SCC-treated groups with SCC at 0.006% and 0.03% respectively. The fatty liver model was established by administration of 1% orotic acid (OA) to the rats. After 10d, serum and hepatic lipid levels were detected. And the serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activities were also determined. Besides, to gain the potential mechanism, the changes of key enzymes and gene expressions related to the hepatic lipid metabolism were measured.
Dietary SCC at the level of 0.006% and 0.03% ameliorated the hepatic lipid accumulation in fatty liver rats. SCC administration elevated the serum triglyceride (TG) level and the ALT, AST activities in OA-fed rats. The activities of hepatic lipogenic enzymes including fatty acid synthase (FAS), malic enzyme (ME) and glucose-6-phosphatedehydrogenase (G6PDH) were inhibited by SCC treatment. And the gene expressions of FAS, ME, G6PDH and sterol-regulatory element binding protein (SREBP-1c) were also reduced in rats fed SCC. However, dietary SCC didn't affect the activity and mRNA expression of carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT) in liver. Besides, suppression of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) activity was observed in SCC-feeding rats.
These results suggested that dietary SCC could attenuate hepatic steatosis due to its inhibition of hepatic lipogenic gene expression and enzyme activity and the enhancement of TG secretion from liver.
PMCID: PMC3477080  PMID: 22569330
Sea cucumber cerebroside; Orotic acid; Fatty liver; Lipogenesis; Microsomal triglyceride transfer protein
21.  The Expression Profiling of the Lipoxygenase (LOX) Family Genes During Fruit Development, Abiotic Stress and Hormonal Treatments in Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) 
Lipoxygenases (LOXs) are non-haem iron-containing dioxygenases that catalyse oxygenation of polyunsaturated fatty acids and lipids to initiate the formation of a group of biologically active compounds called oxylipins. Plant oxylipins play important and diverse functions in the cells. In the current study, expression analysis during cucumber development using semi-quantitative RT-PCR revealed that 13 of 23 CsLOX genes were detectable, and were tissue specific or preferential accumulation. In total, 12 genes were found to be differentially expressed during fruit development and have different patterns of expression in exocarp, endocarp and pulp at day 5 after anthesis. The expression analysis of these 12 cucumber LOX genes in response to abiotic stresses and plant growth regulator treatments revealed their differential transcript in response to more than one treatment, indicating their diverse functions in abiotic stress and hormone responses. Results suggest that in cucumber the expanded LOX genes may play more diverse roles in life cycle and comprehensive data generated will be helpful in conducting functional genomic studies to understand their precise roles in cucumber fruit development and stress responses.
PMCID: PMC3292035  PMID: 22408466
lipoxygenase; cucumber; fruit development; abiotic stress; plant growth regulator
22.  Autologous nerve implantation into denervated monkey skin promotes regeneration of Meissner’s corpuscle 
The aim of this study was to observe the effects of autologous nerve implantation into the denervated finger flap on the regression and regeneration of sensory nerve endings and Meissner’s corpuscles.
Bilateral nerves of fingers were separated: one was removed and the other was implanted into the denervated finger in the implantation group. In the non-implantation group, both nerves were removed. The ventral skin of fingers was collected for immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after surgery.
The nerve endings in the Meissner’s corpuscles began to degenerate 3 months after denervation. The elementary structure of Meissner’s corpuscles was not significantly altered. Nerve fibers were present around the Meissner’s corpuscles, accompanied by growing into its inward. The axons in the denervated nerve disappeared and the Meissner’s corpuscles began to atrophy at month 6. More regenerated nerve fibers were observed after nerve implantation, including intensive and thick fibers, accompanied by reinnervation of Meissner’s corpuscles. More nerve fibers and a higher proportion of myelinated nerve fibers were noted at month 9 in the implantation group, and the reinnervation was present in the majority of Meissner’s corpuscles. Naive myelinated nerve fibers appeared at the caudal end of Meissner’s corpuscles. The nerve fibers in the Meissner’s corpuscles increased to the normal level at 12 months after nerve implantation.
The implanted nerve regenerated a large amount of free nerve endings, which helped to regenerate simple Meissner’s corpuscles via governing previously degenerated corpuscles.
PMCID: PMC3628142  PMID: 22129896
neurotization; denervated skin; Meissner’s corpuscle; nerve fiber; regeneration
23.  Paraholcoglossum and Tsiorchis, Two New Orchid Genera Established by Molecular and Morphological Analyses of the Holcoglossum Alliance 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e24864.
Holcoglossum is a small orchid genus of 12 species ranging from SW China to Thailand and NE India. Although molecular and morphological analyses have been performed to establish the phylogenetic relationships within this genus, the interspecific relations and its relations with allied genera, such as Rhynchostylis, Aerides and Vanda, remain unclear.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In addition to morphological analysis, maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian inference analyses were performed based on fragments of the nuclear ITS and chloroplast trnL-F and matK genes of 31 taxa (15 Holcoglossum, 14 Aeridinae, 2 outgroups) representing all major clades of the Holcoglossum alliance. The results suggest that Holcoglossum is triphyletic, comprising three clades: the Holcoglossum clade, its sister clade, and a distant clade more closely related to Rhynchostylis, Aerides, and Vanda than to the Holcoglossum clade. The Holcoglossum clade is further divided into three subclades; the genetic distances between these three subclades also support this delimitation. The molecular conclusion is consistent with their distinct morphological characters.
We propose that the latter two clades comprise two new genera, Paraholcoglossum and Tsiorchis, and Holcoglossum clade divides into three sections. In addition, a new section, Holcoglossum sect. Nujiangensia, and a new species, Holcoglossum linearifolium, are proposed. Some new combinations are made, and a new scheme is provided for the classification of all species of Holcoglossum, Paraholcoglossum, and Tsiorchis.
PMCID: PMC3189912  PMID: 22016762
24.  Ds-echinoside A, a new triterpene glycoside derived from sea cucumber, exhibits antimetastatic activity via the inhibition of NF-κB-dependent MMP-9 and VEGF expressions*  
Ds-echinoside A (DSEA), a non-sulfated triterpene glycoside, was isolated from the sea cucumber Pearsonothuria graeffei. In vitro and in vivo investigations were conducted on the effects of DSEA on tumor cell adhesion, migration, invasion, and angiogenesis. In this study, we found that DSEA inhibited the proliferation of human hepatocellular liver carcinoma cells Hep G2, with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 2.65 μmol/L, and suppressed Hep G2 cell adhesion, migration, and invasion in a dose-dependent manner. DSEA also reduced tube formation of human endothelial cells ECV-304 on matrigel in vitro and attenuated neovascularization in the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay in vivo. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed that DSEA significantly decreased the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), which plays an important role in the degradation of basement membrane in tumor metastasis and angiogenesis. DSEA also increased the protein expression level of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1), an important regulator of MMP-9 activation. From the results of Western blotting, the expressions of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were found to be remarkably reduced by DSEA. These findings suggest that DSEA exhibits a significant anti-metastatic activity through the specific inhibition of NF-κB-dependent MMP-9 and VEGF expressions.
PMCID: PMC3134607  PMID: 21726060
Triterpene glycoside; Ds-echinoside A (DSEA); Metastasis; Angiogenesis; Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB); Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9); Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
25.  Vasodilatory effects of cinnamaldehyde and its mechanism of action in the rat aorta 
The vasodilatory effect of cinnamaldehyde was investigated for its mechanism of action using isolated rings of rat aorta. Cinnamaldehyde relaxed aortic rings precontracted with phenylephrine in a dose-dependent manner, was not affected by either the presence or removal of the endothelium. Pretreatment with NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester and 1H-[1,2,4]-oxadiazole-[4,3-a]-quinoxalin-1-one could not block vasodilation by cinnamaldehyde, indicating that nitric oxide signaling is not involved. Potassium channel blockers, such as glibenclamide, tetraethylammonium, and BaCl2, had no effect on the relaxation produced by cinnamaldehyde. In addition, treatment with either indomethacin or propranolol did not affect cinnamaldehyde-induced vasodilatation. On the other hand, pretreatment of endothelium-denuded rings with cinnamaldehyde significantly inhibited vasoconstriction induced by endogenous vasoconstrictors, including angiotensin II, 5-hydroxytryptamine, dopamine, endothelin-1, and phenylephrine. In a Ca2+-free experimental setting, this natural vasodilator not only blocked Ca2+ influx-dependent vasoconstriction by either phenylephrine or KCl, but also inhibited phenylephrine-induced tonic contraction, which relies on intracellular Ca2+ release. This study shows that endothelium-independent, Ca2+ influx and/or an inhibitory release mechanism contributes to the vasodilatory effect of cinnamaldehyde.
PMCID: PMC3096507  PMID: 21603596
cinnamaldehyde; vasodilation; endothelium; vascular smooth muscle cell

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