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1.  Three-field vs two-field lymph node dissection for esophageal cancer: A meta-analysis 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(47):18022-18030.
AIM: To assess the effects of 3-field lymphadenectomy for esophageal carcinoma.
METHODS: We conducted a computerized literature search of the PubMed, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, and EMBASE databases from their inception to present. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or observational epidemiological studies (cohort studies) that compared the survival rates and/or postoperative complications between 2-field lymphadenectomy (2FL) and 3-field lymphadenectomy (3FL) for esophageal carcinoma with R0 resection were included. Meta-analysis was conducted using published data on 3FL vs 2FL in esophageal carcinoma patients. End points were 1-, 3-, and 5-year overall survival rates and postoperative complications, including recurrent nerve palsy, anastomosis leak, pulmonary complications, and chylothorax. Subgroup analysis was performed on the involvement of recurrent laryngeal lymph nodes.
RESULTS: Two RCTs and 18 observational studies with over 7000 patients were included. There was a clear benefit for 3FL in the 1- (RR = 1.16; 95%CI: 1.09-1.24; P < 0.01), 3- (RR = 1.44; 95%CI: 1.19-1.75; P < 0.01), and 5-year overall survival rates (RR = 1.37; 95%CI: 1.18-1.59; P < 0.01). For postoperative complications, 3FL was associated with significantly more recurrent nerve palsy (RR = 1.43; 95%CI: 1.28-1.60; P = 0.02) and anastomosis leak (RR = 1.26; 95%CI: 1.05-1.52; P = 0.09). In contrast, there was no significant difference for pulmonary complications (RR = 0.93; 95%CI: 0.75-1.16, random-effects model; P = 0.27) or chylothorax (RR = 0.77; 95%CI: 0.32-1.85; P = 0.69).
CONCLUSION: This meta-analysis shows that 3FL improves overall survival rate but has more complications. Because of the high heterogeneity among outcomes, definite conclusions are difficult to draw.
PMCID: PMC4273154  PMID: 25548502
Oesophagus; Cancer; Lymph node dissection; Survival; Complication
2.  Primary malignant neuroectodermal tumor of the ileum with predominantly uncommon pseudopapillary architecture 
A malignant gastrointestinal neuroectodermal tumor (GNET), a distinctive entity covering the characteristics of clear cell sarcoma (CCS) of gastrointestinal tract described recently, arising primarily in the ileum of a 33-year-old woman is reported. Histologically, the neoplasm involved the full thickness of the intestinal wall. Tumor cells, mainly displayed epithelioid or polygonal appearance with oval or round nuclei, arranged in strand, nested, and solid pattern with prominent pseudopapillary architecture instead of the familiar histological image with multinucleated osteoclast-like giant cells. They were positive for vimentin, S-100, synaptophysin, CD56 and CD99 protein, but negative for AE1/AE3, EMA, CEA, LCA, Desmin, CK7, CK20, Villin, CgA, CD117, Dog-1, GFAP, Melan-A, HMB-45, CD34, CR, WT1, D2-40. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) showed the presence of chromosomal translocation involving EWSR. The patients lived through a calm period after a tumor resection and 4 cycles of chemotherapy combining ifosfamide and epirubicin. This case demonstrates that GNET is a rare tumor in gastrointestinal tract, and furthermore, various misleading histological characteristics should been taken into consideration in the diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC4313982
Malignant gastrointestinal neuroectodermal tumor; clear cell sarcoma; ileum; pseudopapillary; immunochemistry; FISH
3.  URG4 overexpression is correlated with cervical cancer progression and poor prognosis in patients with early-stage cervical cancer 
BMC Cancer  2014;14(1):885.
Upregulator of cell proliferation 4 (URG4) has been implicated in the oncogenesis of certain cancers. However, the correlation between URG4 expression and clinicopathological significance in human cancer remains unclear. Therefore, this study investigated its expression and clinicopathological significance in cervical cancer patients.
URG4 expression was examined using quantitative PCR (qPCR) and western blotting in normal cervical epithelial cells, cervical cancer cells, and eight matched pairs of cervical cancer tissues and adjacent noncancerous tissues from the same patient. In addition, immunohistochemistry (IHC) was used to examine URG4 expression in paraffin-embedded tissues from 167 cervical cancer patients (FIGO stages Ib1-IIa2). Statistical analyses were performed to evaluate associations between URG4 expression and prognostic and diagnostic factors.
URG4 was significantly upregulated in the cervical cancer cell lines and tissues compared with the normal cells and adjacent noncancerous cervical tissues. IHC revealed high URG4 expression in 59 out of the 167 (35.13%) cervical cancer specimens. Its expression was significantly correlated with clinical stage (P < 0.0001), tumour size (P = 0.012), T classification (P = 0.023), lymph node metastasis (P = 0.001) and vaginal involvement (P = 0.002). Patients with high URG4 expression, particularly those who received concurrent chemotherapy and radiotherapy (P < 0.0001), showed a shorter overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) compared to those with the low expression of this protein. Multivariate analysis revealed that URG4 expression is an independent prognostic factor for cervical cancer patients.
Our results demonstrated that elevated URG4 protein expression is associated with a poor outcome in patients with early-stage cervical cancer. URG4 may be a novel prognostic marker and therapeutic target for the treatment of cervical cancer.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-885) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4259088  PMID: 25427922
URG4; Cervical cancer; Prognosis; Concurrent chemotherapy and radiotherapy; Biomarker
4.  Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization combined with radiofrequency ablation delays tumor progression and prolongs overall survival in patients with intermediate (BCLC B) hepatocellular carcinoma 
BMC Cancer  2014;14(1):849.
This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of radiofrequency ablation in patients with intermediate (BCLC B) stage hepatocellular carcinoma who underwent transcatheter arterial chemoembolization.
Included in this study were 211 patients with intermediate stage HCC who underwent initial transcatheter arterial chemoembolization and were potentially amendable for radiofrequency ablation (single tumor with diameter 5-8 cm, median 6.0 cm; 2–5 multiple nodules with diameter less than 5 cm) between January 2005 and December 2011. According to the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 55 patients were treated with following radiofrequency ablation, and the remaining 156 patients were treated with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization alone. The treatment effectiveness, local tumor control and survival outcome between the two groups were compared.
The complete tumor necrosis rate after treatment was 76.9% in combination group vs. 46.5% in transcatheter arterial chemoembolization alone group (P = 0.02). The major complication rate was 1.8% in combination group vs. 2.6% in transcatheter arterial chemoembolization alone group. Follow-up observation showed that the total tumor control rate was 74.5% in combination group versus 54.5% in transcatheter arterial chemoembolization alone group (P < 0.001). The 1-, 3- and 5-year survival rates in combination group were significantly higher than those in TACE alone group (P = 0.01).
Radiofrequency ablation following initial transcatheter arterial chemoembolization delays tumor progression and prolongs overall survival of patients with intermediate stage HCC tumors.
PMCID: PMC4256894  PMID: 25409554
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization; Radiofrequency ablation; Combination therapy; Survival
5.  ZmSOC1, an MADS-Box Transcription Factor from Zea mays, Promotes Flowering in Arabidopsis 
Zea mays is an economically important crop, but its molecular mechanism of flowering remains largely uncharacterized. The gene, SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS 1 (SOC1), integrates multiple flowering signals to regulate floral transition in Arabidopsis. In this study, ZmSOC1 was isolated from Zea mays. Sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the ZmSOC1 protein contained a highly conserved MADS domain and a typical SOC1 motif. ZmSOC1 protein was localized in the nucleus in protoplasts and showed no transcriptional activation activity in yeast cells. ZmSOC1 was highly expressed in maize reproductive organs, including filaments, ear and endosperm, but expression was very low in embryos; on the other hand, the abiotic stresses could repress ZmSOC1 expression. Overexpression of ZmSOC1 resulted in early flowering in Arabidopsis through increasing the expression of AtLFY and AtAP1. Overall, these results suggest that ZmSOC1 is a flowering promoter in Arabidopsis.
PMCID: PMC4264151  PMID: 25372944
Zea mays; ZmSOC1; flowering; Arabidopsis; transcription factor
6.  Goosecoid Promotes the Metastasis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma by Modulating the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e109695.
The homeobox gene, goosecoid (GSC), is a transcription factor that participates in cell migration during embryonic development. Because cell migration during development has characteristics similar to cell invasion during metastasis, we evaluated the potential role of GSC in the metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). GSC expression in HCC cell lines and tissues was evaluated, and its effects on the migration potential of HCC cells were determined by GSC knock-down and overexpression methods. In addition, the prognostic role of GSC expression in the metastasis of cancer cells in HCC patients was determined. Our data showed that GSC was highly expressed in several HCC cell lines, particularly in a highly metastatic HCC cell line. Overexpression of GSC promoted cell migration and invasion of HCC cells in vitro. Gain-of-function induced the epithelial-mesenchymal transition but not collective cell migration, whereas loss-of-function induced the reverse change. High-level expression of GSC correlated closely with poor survival and lung metastasis in HCC patients; lung metastases showed more upregulated GSC expression than the primary tumor. We conclude that GSC promotes metastasis of HCC potentially through initiating the epithelial-mesenchymal transition. GSC is also a prognostic factor for poor survival and metastasis of HCC, which suggests its potential as a therapeutic target for metastatic HCC.
PMCID: PMC4208742  PMID: 25343336
7.  A Study on Four Antioxidation Effects of Lycium Barbarum Polysaccharides In Vitro 
The objective of the study was to investigate the in vitro antioxidation activity of lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP). Ultraviolet spectrophotometry was adopted to determine the capability of LBP to clear superoxide anions, hydroxyl radicals, DPPH free radicals and ABTS free radicals. The result showed that the law for LBP to clear superoxide anions, hydroxyl radicals and DPPH free radicals was that the clearance rate increased gradually with the increase of the concentration, and when the concentration reached a certain value, the clearance rate leveled off, while the IC50 for clearing ABTS free radicals was 47.158±6.231 µg/ml. The study concluded that LBP is a good in vitro antioxidant.
PMCID: PMC3847391  PMID: 24311876
LBP; superoxide anion; hydroxyl radical; DPPH; ABTS
8.  A Functional Polymorphism in the 3'-UTR of PXR Interacts with Smoking to Increase Lung Cancer Risk in Southern and Eastern Chinese Smoker 
Pregnane X receptor (PXR) is an important member of the nuclear receptor superfamily that copes with various endobiotic and xenobiotic stimuli, such as carcinogens by regulating an array of environmental response genes. Low PXR expression has been shown to promote tumor initiation and metastasis. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of PXR could alter lung cancer susceptibility in Chinese by affecting the function or expression of PXR. We genotyped three putatively functional SNPs of PXR (i.e., rs3814055C>T, rs3732360C>T, and rs3814058C>T) and analyzed their associations with lung cancer risk in a two-stage case-control study with a total of 1559 lung cancer cases and 1679 controls in the southern and eastern Chinese population. We found that in comparison to the rs3814058CC common genotype, the rs3814058T variants (TC/TT) which is located in the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of PXR conferred a consistently increased risk of lung cancer in both the southern Chinese (odd ratios (OR) = 1.24, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.03−1.49) and the eastern Chinese (OR = 1.33, 95% CI = 1.02−1.75). The variants also significantly interacted with smoking on increasing cancer risk (p = 0.023). Moreover, lung cancer tissues with the rs3814058T variants showed significantly lower PXR expression than those with rs3814058CC genotype in the smokers (p = 0.041). These results suggested that the rs3814058C>T polymorphism of PXR interacts with smoking on increasing lung cancer risk in Chinese smokers, which might be a functional genetic biomarker for lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC4227172  PMID: 25268617
pregnane X receptor (PXR); lung cancer; susceptibility
9.  Effects of ginsenosides-Rb1 on exercise-induced oxidative stress in forced swimming mice 
Pharmacognosy Magazine  2014;10(40):458-463.
The fleshy root of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer (ginseng) is one of the most well-known and valued herbs in traditional Chinese medicine. Ginsenosides are considered mainly responsible for the pharmacological activities of ginseng. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of ginsenoside-Rb1 (G-Rb1) on swimming exercise-induced oxidative stress in male mice.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 48 animals were randomly divided into four groups, with twelve mice in each group. The first, second and third groups were designed as G-Rb1 treatment groups, got 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg bodyweight of G-Rb1, respectively. The fourth group was designed as the control group, got physiologic saline. The mice were intragastrically administered once daily for 4 weeks. The weight-loaded forced swimming test was conducted on the final day of experimentation. Then the exhaustive swimming time, blood lactate, serum creatine kinase (CK), malondialdehyde (MDA) and antioxidant enzymes in liver of mice were measured.
The results showed that G-Rb1 could prolong the exhaustive swimming time and improve exercise endurance capacity of mice, as well as accelerate the clearance of blood lactate and decrease serum CK activities. Meanwhile, G-Rb1 could decrease MDA contents and increase superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase activities in liver of mice.
The study suggested that G-Rb1 possessed protective effects on swimming exercise-induced oxidative stress in mice.
PMCID: PMC4239723  PMID: 25422546
Antioxidant enzymes; blood lactate; exhaustive swimming time; malondialdehyde; serum creatine kinase
10.  Time-Varying Pattern of Postoperative Recurrence Risk of Early-Stage (T1a-T2bN0M0) Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC): Results of a Single-Center Study of 994 Chinese Patients 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e106668.
The aim of this study was to analyze the time-varying pattern of recurrence risk of early-stage (T1a-T2bN0M0) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after surgery using the hazard function and identify patients who might benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy.
Patients and Methods
This retrospective study enrolled 994 patients with early-stage NSCLC who underwent radical surgical resection between January 1999 and October 2009. Survival curves were generated using the Kaplan-Meier method, and the annual recurrence hazard was estimated using the hazard function.
The median recurrence-free survival (RFS) was 8.8 years. The life table survival analysis showed that the 1-year, 3-year, 5-year and 10-year recurrence rates were 82.0%, 67.0%, 59.0% and 48.0%, respectively. Approximately 256 (25.7%) patients experienced relapse [locoregional: 32 (3.2%) and distant: 224 (22.5%)], and 162 patients died from cancer. The annual recurrence hazard curve for the entire population showed that the first major recurrence surge reached a maximum 1.6 years after surgery. The curve subsequently declined until reaching a nadir at 7.2 years. A second peak occurred at 8.8 years. An analysis of clinical-pathological factors demonstrated that this double-peaked pattern was present in several subgroups.
The presence of a double-peaked pattern indicates that there is a predictable temporal distribution of the recurrence hazard of early-stage NSCLC. The annual recurrence hazard may be an effective method of selecting patients at high risk of recurrence, who may benefit from adjuvant therapy.
PMCID: PMC4159289  PMID: 25203402
11.  Small-Animal PET of Melanocortin 1 Receptor Expression Using a 18F-Labeled α-Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone Analog 
18F-Labeled small synthetic peptides have emerged as attractive probes for imaging various molecular targets with PET. The α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) receptor (melano-cortin type 1 receptor [MC1R]) is overexpressed in most murine and human melanomas. It is a promising molecular target for diagnosis and therapy of melanomas. However, 18F compounds have not been successfully developed for imaging the MC1R.
In this study, an α-MSH analog, Ac-Nle-Asp-His-D-Phe-Arg-Trp-Gly-Lys-NH2 (NAPamide), was radiolabeled with N-succinimidyl-4-18F-fluorobenzoate (18F-SFB). The resulting radiopeptide was evaluated as a potential molecular probe for small-animal PET of melanoma and MC1R expression in melanoma xenografted mouse models.
The binding affinity of 19F-SFB–conjugated NAPamide, 19F-FB-NAPamide, was determined to be 7.2 ± 1.2 nM (mean ± SD) using B16/F10 cells and 125I-(Tyr2)-[Nle4,D-Phe7]-α-MSH [125I-(Tyr2)-NDP] as a radio-ligand. The biodistribution of 18F-FB-NAPamide was then investigated in C57BL/6 mice bearing subcutaneous murine B16/F10 melanoma tumors with high expression of MC1Rs and Fox Chase Scid mice bearing human A375M melanoma with a relatively low number of MC1R receptors. Biodistribution experiments showed that tumor uptake values (percentage injected dose per gram of tumor [%ID/g]) of 18F-FB-NAPamide were 1.19 ± 0.11 %ID/g and 0.46 ± 0.11 %ID/g, in B16/F10 and A375M xenografted melanoma at 1 h after injection, respectively. Furthermore, the B16/F10 tumor uptake was significantly inhibited by coinjection with excess α-MSH peptide (P < 0.05), indicating that 18F-FB-NAPamide specifically recognizes the MC1R in living mice. Small-animal PET of 18F-FB-NAPamide in mice bearing B16/F10 and A375M tumors at 1 h after tail vein injection revealed good B16/F10 tumor-to-background contrast and low A375M tumor-to-background ratios.
18F-FB-NAPamide is a promising molecular probe for α-MSH receptor-positive melanoma PET and warrants further study.
PMCID: PMC4154809  PMID: 17504880
melanoma; α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone; PET; imaging; 18F
12.  miR-92a inhibits vascular smooth muscle cell apoptosis: role of the MKK4–JNK pathway 
Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) apoptosis plays an important role in vascular remodeling and atherosclerotic plaque instability. Oxidative stress in diseased vessels promotes VSMC apoptosis in part by activating the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway, which has been identified as a molecular target of miR-92a in macrophages. Here, we examined the expression and biological activity of miR-92a in VSMC. Quiescent VSMC exhibited a low basal expression of miR-92a, which was positively regulated by serum stimulation and negatively regulated by H2O2. Overexpression of miR-92a decreased H2O2-induced VSMC apoptosis as indicated by TUNEL assay and cleaved caspase-3 protein levels. Using 3′UTRreporter assay, we found that miR-92a overexpression led to suppression of both mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 4 (MKK4)- and JNK1-dependent luciferase activity. We also found that 10 mer seed match between miRNA: mRNA pair is more efficient than 8 mer seed match for us to identify authentic miRNA target. Protein levels of active phospho-JNK and phospho-c-Jun, downstream targets of the MKK4–JNK1 pathway, were also decreased by overexpressing miR-92a in VSMC under oxidative stress. Consistent with these findings, overexpression of MKK4 reversed the anti-apoptotic effects of miR-92a in oxidatively stressed VSMC. In conclusion, miR-92a overexpression inhibits H2O2-induced VSMC apoptosis by directly targeting the MKK4–JNK1 pathway.
PMCID: PMC4143895  PMID: 24705900
Vascular smooth muscle cells; miR-92a; JNK; Apoptosis; Oxidative stress
13.  PET of Malignant Melanoma Using 18F-Labeled Metallopeptides 
Melanocortin type 1 receptor (MC1R), also known as α-melanocyte–stimulating hormone (α-MSH) receptor, is an attractive molecular target for melanoma imaging and therapy. An 18F-labeled linear α-MSH peptide (18F-FB-Ac-Nle-Asp-His-D-Phe-Arg-Trp-Gly-Lys-NH2 [NAPamide]) shows promising melanoma imaging properties but with only moderate tumor uptake and retention. A transition metal rhenium-cyclized α-MSH peptide, ReO[Cys3,4,10,D-Phe7,Arg11] α-MSH3–13 (ReCCMSH(Arg11)), has shown high in vitro binding affinity to MC1R and excellent in vivo melanoma-targeting pro-files when labeled with radiometals. Therefore, we hypothesized that ReCCMSH(Arg11) could be a good platform for the further development of an 18F-labeled probe for PET of MC1R-positive malignant melanoma.
In this study, the metallopeptide Ac-D-Lys-ReCCMSH(Arg11) was synthesized using conventional solid-phase peptide synthesis chemistry and a rhenium cyclization reaction. The resulting peptides were then labeled with N-succinimidyl-4-18F-fluorobenzoate (18F-SFB). The 18F-labeled metallopeptides were further tested for their in vitro receptor binding affinities, in vivo biodistribution, and PET imaging properties.
Both isomers of Ac-D-Lys-ReCCMSH(Arg11), named as RMSH-1 and RMSH-2, were purified and identified by high-performance liquid chromatography. The binding affinities of RMSH-1 and RMSH-2 and their respective 19F-SFB–conjugated peptides (19F-FB-RMSH-1 and 19F-FB-RMSH-2) were all determined to be within nanomolar range. Both 18F-labeled metallopeptides showed good tumor uptake in the B16F10 murine model, with high MC1R expression, but much lower uptake in the A375M human melanoma xenografted in mice, indicating low MC1R expression. 18F-FB-RMSH-1, when compared with 18F-FB-RMSH-2, displayed more favorable in vivo performance in terms of slightly higher tumor uptakes and much lower accumulations in the kidney and liver at 2 h after injection. Small-animal PET of 18F-FB-RMSH-1 and -2 in mice bearing B16F10 tumors at 1 and 2 h showed good tumor imaging quality. As expected, much lower tumor uptakes and poorer tumor–to–normal organ contrasts were observed for the A375M model than for the B16F10 model. 18F-FB-RMSH-1 and -2 showed higher tumor uptake and better tumor retention than did 18F-FB-NAPamide.
Specific in vivo targeting of 18F-FB-RMSH-1 to malignant melanoma was successfully achieved in preclinical models with high MC1R expression. Thus, the radiofluorinated metallopeptide 18F-FB-RMSH-1 is a promising molecular probe for PET of MC1R-positive tumors.
PMCID: PMC4136965  PMID: 19837749
malignant melanoma; α-MSH; PET; imaging; 18F
14.  The Rare Cancer Network: Ongoing Studies and Future Strategy 
Rare Tumors  2014;6(3):5465.
The Rare Cancer Network (RCN) was formed in the early 1990’s to create a global network that could pool knowledge and resources in the studies of rare malignancies whose infrequency prevented both their study with prospective clinical trials. To date, the RCN has initiated 74 studies resulting in 46 peer reviewed publications. The First International Symposium of the Rare Cancer Network took place in Nice in March of 2014. Status updates and proposals for new studies were heard for fifteen topics. Ongoing studies continue for cardiac sarcomas, thyroid cancers, glomus tumors, and adult medulloblastomas. New proposals were presented at the symposium for primary hepatic lymphoma, solitary fibrous tumors, Rosai-Dorfman disease, tumors of the ampulla of Vater, salivary gland tumors, anorectal melanoma, midline nuclear protein in testes carcinoma, pulmonary lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma, adenoid cystic carcinoma of the trachea, osteosarcomas of the mandible, and extra-cranial hemangiopericytoma. This manuscript presents the abstracts of those proposals and updates on ongoing studies, as well a brief summary of the vision and future of the RCN.
PMCID: PMC4178279  PMID: 25276326
rare; diseases; cancer; carcinoma; Rare Cancer Network
15.  Features of Reovirus Outer Capsid Protein μ1 Revealed by Electron Cryomicroscopy and Image Reconstruction of the Virion at 7.0 Å Resolution 
Structure (London, England : 1993)  2005;13(10):1545-1557.
Reovirus is a useful model for addressing the molecular basis of membrane penetration by one of the larger nonenveloped animal viruses. We now report the structure of the reovirus virion at 7.0 Å resolution as obtained by electron cryomicroscopy and three-dimensional image reconstruction. Several features of the myristoylated outer capsid protein μ1, not seen in a previous X-ray crystal structure of the μ1-σ3 heterohexamer, are evident in the virion. These features appear to be important for stabilizing the outer capsid, regulating the conformational changes in μ1 that accompany perforation of target membranes, and contributing directly to membrane penetration during cell entry.
PMCID: PMC4126556  PMID: 16216585
16.  A comparative analysis of EGFR mutation status in association with the efficacy of TKI in combination with WBRT/SRS/surgery plus chemotherapy in brain metastasis from non-small cell lung cancer 
Journal of Neuro-Oncology  2014;120(2):423-430.
We proposed to identify the efficacy of an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) using whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT)/stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)/surgery in brain metastases from patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and clarify the association between treatment outcome and EGFR gene mutation status. A total of 282 patients with NSCLC brain metastases who underwent WBRT/SRS/surgery alone or in combination with TKI were enrolled in our study from 2003–2013. Amplification mutation refractory system technology was used to determine the EGFR mutation status in 109 tissue samples. EGFR mutation detection was performed in 109 patients with tumor tissues. The EGFR positive rate was 50 % (55/109), including 26 exon 19 deletions and 24 L858R mutations. The median follow-up time was 28 months. The median overall survival, median progression-free survival of intracranial disease, and median progression-free survival of extracranial disease was significantly longer for patients with TKI treatment (31.9 vs 17.0 months, P < 0.0001; 19.8 vs 12.0 months, P < 0.0001; and 19.6 vs 12.3 months, P < 0.0001; respectively). In subgroup analysis within the TKI group, patients harboring EGFR mutations had better extracranial disease control (20.4 vs 14.1 months, P = 0.032). Administration of TKI agents with conventional therapy compared with conventional therapy alone might be beneficial for overall survival, progression-free survival of intracranial disease and progression-free survival of extracranial disease in patients with brain metastases from NSCLC independent of EGFR mutations.
PMCID: PMC4206296  PMID: 25098700
EGFR mutation; TKI; Brain metastasis; Non-small cell lung cancer
17.  Socio-Economic Factors of Bacillary Dysentery Based on Spatial Correlation Analysis in Guangxi Province, China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102020.
In the past decade, bacillary dysentery was still a big public health problem in China, especially in Guangxi Province, where thousands of severe diarrhea cases occur every year.
Reported bacillary dysentery cases in Guangxi Province were obtained from local Centers for Diseases Prevention and Control. The 14 socio-economic indexes were selected as potential explanatory variables for the study. The spatial correlation analysis was used to explore the associations between the selected factors and bacillary dysentery incidence at county level, which was based on the software of ArcGIS10.2 and GeoDA 0.9.5i.
The proportion of primary industry, the proportion of younger than 5-year-old children in total population, the number of hospitals per thousand persons and the rates of bacillary dysentery incidence show statistically significant positive correlation. But the proportion of secondary industry, per capital GDP, per capital government revenue, rural population proportion, popularization rate of tap water in rural area, access rate to the sanitation toilets in rural, number of beds in hospitals per thousand persons, medical and technical personnel per thousand persons and the rate of bacillary dysentery incidence show statistically significant negative correlation. The socio-economic factors can be divided into four aspects, including economic development, health development, medical development and human own condition. The four aspects were not isolated from each other, but interacted with each other.
PMCID: PMC4103826  PMID: 25036182
18.  Adiponectin Ameliorates Experimental Periodontitis in Diet-Induced Obesity Mice 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97824.
Adiponectin is an adipokine that sensitizes the body to insulin. Low levels of adiponectin have been reported in obesity, diabetes and periodontitis. In this study we established experimental periodontitis in male adiponectin knockout and diet-induced obesity mice, a model of obesity and type 2 diabetes, and aimed at evaluating the therapeutic potential of adiponectin. We found that systemic adiponectin infusion reduced alveolar bone loss, osteoclast activity and infiltration of inflammatory cells in both periodontitis mouse models. Furthermore, adiponectin treatment decreased the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in white adipose tissue of diet-induced obesity mice with experimental periodontitis. Our in vitro studies also revealed that forkhead box O1, a key transcriptional regulator of energy metabolism, played an important role in the direct signaling of adiponectin in osteoclasts. Thus, adiponectin increased forkhead box O1 mRNA expression and its nuclear protein level in osteoclast-precursor cells undergoing differentiation. Inhibition of c-Jun N-terminal kinase signaling decreased nuclear protein levels of forkhead box O1. Furthermore, over-expression of forkhead box O1 inhibited osteoclastogenesis and led to decreased nuclear levels of nuclear factor of activated T cells c1. Taken together, this study suggests that systemic adiponectin application may constitute a potential intervention therapy to ameliorate type 2 diabetes-associated periodontitis. It also proposes that adiponectin inhibition of osteoclastogenesis involves forkhead box O1.
PMCID: PMC4023953  PMID: 24836538
19.  Prognostic Significance of the Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio in Primary Liver Cancer: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e96072.
The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is a useful biomarker that reflects systemic inflammation responses. However, the prognostic value of the NLR in patients with primary liver cancer (PLC) remains controversial. We performed a meta-analysis of 26 studies (comprising 4,461 patients) to evaluate the association between the pre-treatment NLR and clinical outcomes of overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) in patients with PLC. The correlation between NLR and tumor characteristics or other inflammation-related parameters was also assessed. Data were synthesized using the random-effects model of DerSimonian and Laird, and the hazard ratio (HR) or odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was used to estimate effect size. Our analysis indicated that a high NLR predicted poor OS (HR, 2.102; 95% CI: 1.741–2.538) and DFS (HR, 2.474; 95% CI: 1.855–3.300) for PLC. A high NLR was associated with the presence of tumor vascular invasion (OR: 1.889, 95% CI: 1.487–2.400; p<0.001) and an elevated alpha-fetoprotein level (OR: 1.536; 95% CI: 1.152–2.048; p = 0.003). Thus, we conclude that a high NLR indicates a poor prognosis for patients with PLC and may also be predictive for PLC invasion and metastasis. Subgroup analysis suggested that the predictive role of NLR in cholangiocarcinoma is limited, and a further large study to confirm these findings is warranted.
PMCID: PMC4008563  PMID: 24788770
20.  Genetic polymorphisms of HSP70 in age-related cataract 
Cell Stress & Chaperones  2013;18(6):703-709.
Polymorphisms have been identified in several HSP70 genes, which may affect HSP70 repair efficiency. We investigated the association of the polymorphisms in HSPA1A, HSPA1B, and HSPA1L genes in the HSPs repair pathway with the risk of cataract in a Chinese population. The study included 415 cataract patients and 386 controls. Genotyping was done by the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method. HSPA1B 1267 A/A genotype seems to have a protective role against cataract (p = 0.014, odds ratio (OR) = 0.664, 95 % confidence intervals (CI) = 0.480–0.919), and the G allele (p = 0.057, OR = 1.216, 95 % CI = 0.999–1.479) does not seem to have a deleterious role in the development of cataract. Haplotypes with frequencies of GAT were significantly different than those of controls (p = 0.005). In HSPA1A G190C and HSPA1L T2437C polymorphisms, there were no significant differences in frequencies of the variant homozygous in patients compared to controls. We conclude that the A/A genotype of HSPA1B A1267G polymorphism seem to have a protective role against age-related cataract.
PMCID: PMC3789879  PMID: 23666708
Oxidative stress; Reactive oxygen species; Polymorphisms; Cataract; Heat shock proteins
21.  Mitochondrial Regulation of NADPH Oxidase in Hindlimb Unweighting Rat Cerebral Arteries 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95916.
Exposure to microgravity results in post-flight cardiovascular deconditioning and orthostatic intolerance in astronauts. Vascular oxidative stress injury and mitochondrial dysfunction have been indicated in this process. To elucidate the mechanism for this condition, we investigated whether mitochondria regulated NADPH oxidase in hindlimb unweighting (HU) rat cerebral and mesenteric arteries. Four-week HU was used to simulate microgravity in rats. Vascular superoxide generation, protein and mRNA levels of Nox2/Nox4, and the activity of NADPH oxidase were examined in the present study. Compared with control rats, the levels of superoxide increased in cerebral (P<0.001) but not in mesenteric vascular smooth muscle cells. The protein and mRNA levels of Nox2 and Nox4 were upregulated significantly (P<0.001 and P<0.001 for Nox2, respectively; P<0.001 and P<0.001 for Nox4, respectively) in HU rat cerebral arteries but not in mesenteric arteries. NADPH oxidases were activated significantly by HU (P<0.001) in cerebral arteries but not in mesenteric arteries. Chronic treatment with mitochondria-targeted antioxidant mitoTEMPO attenuated superoxide levels (P<0.001), decreased the protein and mRNA expression levels of Nox2/Nox4 (P<0.01 and P<0.05 for Nox2, respectively; P<0.001 and P<0.001 for Nox4, respectively) and the activity of NADPH oxidase (P<0.001) in HU rat cerebral arteries, but exerted no effects on HU rat mesenteric arteries. Therefore, mitochondria regulated the expression and activity of NADPH oxidases during simulated microgravity. Both mitochondria and NADPH oxidase participated in vascular redox status regulation.
PMCID: PMC3997512  PMID: 24759683
22.  Maintenance of Stemness in Oxaliplatin-Resistant Hepatocellular Carcinoma Is Associated with Increased Autocrine of IGF1 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e89686.
Evidence suggests that many types of cancers are composed of different cell types, including cancer stem cells (CSCs). We have previously shown that the chemotherapeutic agent oxaliplatin induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition, which is thought to be an important mechanism for generating CSCs. In the present study, we investigate whether oxaliplatin-treated cancer tissues possess characteristics of CSCs, and explore oxaliplatin resistance in these tissues.
Hepatocellular carcinoma cells (MHCC97H cells) were subcutaneously injected into mice to form tumors, and the mice were intravenously treated with either oxaliplatin or glucose. Five weeks later, the tumors were orthotopically xenografted into livers of other mice, and these mice were treated with either oxaliplatin or glucose. Metastatic potential, sensitivity to oxaliplatin, and expression of CSC-related markers in the xenografted tumor tissues were evaluated. DNA microarrays were used to measure changes in gene expression as a result of oxaliplatin treatment. Additionally, an oxaliplatin-resistant cell line (MHCC97H-OXA) was established to assess insulin-like growth factor 1 secretion, cell invasion, cell colony formation, oxaliplatin sensitivity, and expression of CSC-related markers. The effects of an insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor inhibitor were also assessed.
Oxaliplatin treatment inhibited subcutaneous tumor growth. Tumors from oxaliplatin-treated mice that were subsequently xenografted into livers of other mice exhibited that decreasing sensitivity to oxaliplatin and increasing pulmonary metastatic potential. Among the expression of CSC-related proteins, the gene for insulin-like growth factor 1, was up-regulated expecially in these tumor tissues. Additionally, MHCC97H-OXA cells demonstrated that increasing cell invasion, colony formation, and expression of insulin-like growth factor 1 and CSC-related markers, whereas treatment with an inhibitor of the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor suppressed these effects.
Maintenance of stemness in oxaliplatin-resistant hepatocellular carcinoma cells is associated with increased autocrine of IGF1.
PMCID: PMC3954560  PMID: 24632571
23.  Family-Wide Survey of miR169s and NF-YAs and Their Expression Profiles Response to Abiotic Stress in Maize Roots 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91369.
Previous studies have identified miR169/NF-YA modules are important regulators of plant development and stress responses. Currently, reported genome sequence data offers an opportunity for global characterization of miR169 and NF-YA genes, which may provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of the miR169/NF-YA modules in maize. In our study, fourteen NF-YA transcription factors with conserved domains were identified based on maize genome loci. The miR169 gene family has 18 members that generate 10 mature products, and 8 of these mature miR169 members could target 7 of 14 ZmNF-YA genes in maize. The seven ZmNF-YA proteins were localized to the nucleus while lacked transcriptional activity. We investigated the expression patterns of the zma-miR169 members and their targeted ZmNF-YA genes in maize roots treated by drought stress (polyethylene glycol, PEG), hormone stress (abscisic acid, ABA), and salt stress (NaCl). The zma-miR169 family members were downregulated in short term (0∼48 h) and generally upregulated over the long term (15 days) in response to the three abiotic stress conditions. Most of the targeted ZmNF-YA genes exhibited a reverse correlation with zma-miR169 gene expression over both the short term and long term. Maize root elongation was promoted by PEG and ABA but repressed by NaCl over the long term. Apparently, ZmNF-YA14 expression perfectly matched the zma-miR169 expression and corresponded to root growth reversely.
PMCID: PMC3954700  PMID: 24633051
24.  TGFβR2 is a major target of miR-93 in nasopharyngeal carcinoma aggressiveness 
Molecular Cancer  2014;13:51.
MiR-17-92 cluster and its paralogues have emerged as crucial regulators of many oncogenes and tumor suppressors. Transforming growth factor-β receptor II (TGFβR2), as an important tumor suppressor, is involved in various cancer types. However, it is in cancer that only two miRNAs of this cluster and its paralogues have been reported so far to regulate TGFβR2. MiR-93 is oncogenic, but its targetome in cancer has not been fully defined. The role of miR-93 in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) still remains largely unknown.
We firstly evaluated the clinical signature of TGFβR2 down-regulation in clinical samples, and next used a miRNA expression profiling analysis followed by multi-validations, including Luciferase reporter assay, to identify miRNAs targeting TGFβR2 in NPC. In vitro and in vivo studies were performed to further investigate the effects of miRNA-mediated TGFβR2 down-regulation on NPC aggressiveness. Finally, mechanism studies were conducted to explore the associated pathway and genes influenced by this miRNA-mediated TGFβR2 down-regulation.
TGFβR2 was down-regulated in more than 50% of NPC patients. It is an unfavorable prognosis factor contributing to clinical NPC aggressiveness. A cluster set of 4 TGFβR2-associated miRNAs was identified; they are all from miR-17-92 cluster and its paralogues, of which miR-93 was one of the most significant miRNAs, directly targeting TGFβR2, promoting cell proliferation, invasion and metastasis in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, miR-93 resulted in the attenuation of Smad-dependent TGF-β signaling and the activation of PI3K/Akt pathway by suppressing TGFβR2, further promoting NPC cell uncontrolled growth, invasion, metastasis and EMT-like process. Impressively, the knockdown of TGFβR2 by siRNA displayed a consentaneous phenocopy with the effect of miR-93 in NPC cells, supporting TGFβR2 is a major target of miR-93. Our findings were also substantiated by investigation of the clinical signatures of miR-93 and TGFβR2 in NPC.
The present study reports an involvement of miR-93-mediated TGFβR2 down-regulation in NPC aggressiveness, thus giving extended insights into molecular mechanisms underlying cancer aggressiveness. Approaches aimed at blocking miR-93 may serve as a promising therapeutic strategy for treating NPC patients.
PMCID: PMC4016586  PMID: 24606633
miR-93; TGFβR2; Aggressiveness; PI3K/Akt; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
25.  Association of Common Variants of CYP4A11 and CYP4F2 with Stroke in the Han Chinese Population 
Pharmacogenetics and genomics  2010;20(3):187-194.
20-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) has been shown to play an important role in cerebral vascular function. We hypothesized that polymorphisms in genes encoding 20-HETE synthesizing enzymes might confer susceptibility to stroke. To test the hypothesis, haplotype tagging SNPs (htSNPs) and potential functional polymorphisms of CYP4A11 and CYP4F2 genes were genotyped in 558 ischemic stroke patients, 221 hemorrhagic stroke patients and 557 controls. The association analyses were performed at both SNP and haplotype levels. We further verified our findings in an independent cohort of 551 ischemic stroke cases and 48 hemorrhagic stroke subjects and 694 unaffected controls. We identified CYP4A11 C-296T and CYP4F2 V433M were associated with significantly increased risk of ischemic stroke (CT+TT vs CC, adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.50, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.17–1.93, Pcombined=0.001, Pcorr=0.008; V/M+M/M vs. V/V, OR 1.38, 95% CI, 1.15–1.65, Pcombined=5.6×10−4, Pcorr=0.005, respectively) Interestingly, the effects of CYP4F2 V433M on ischemic stroke in our study was only evident in male subjects. Our results suggest that genetic variation in CYP4A11 and CYP4F2 alters susceptibility to stroke in the Han Chinese population.
PMCID: PMC3932492  PMID: 20130494
ischemic stroke; Genetics; haplotypes; Han Chinese population

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