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1.  Predictors of Extubation Failure in Neurocritical Patients Identified by a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e112198.
Background
Prediction of extubation failure, particularly in neurocritical patients, is unique and controversial. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to identify the risk factors for extubation failure in these patients.
Methods
A literature search of databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and Web of Science) was performed up to August of 2013 to identify trials that evaluated extubation failure predictors. Included trials were either prospective or retrospective cohort studies.
Results
Nine studies involving 928 participants were included. The systematic review and meta-analysis revealed that the following were predictive for extubation failure: pneumonia, atelectasis, mechanical ventilation of >24 h, a low Glasgow Coma Scale score (7–9T) (OR = 4.96, 95% CI = 1.61–15.26, P = 0.005), the inability to follow commands (OR = 2.07, 95% CI = 1.15–3.71, P = 0.02), especially the command to close the eyes, thick secretion, and no intact gag reflex. Meanwhile, the following were not predictive for extubation failure: sex, secretion volume, coughing upon suctioning, and the inability to follow one command among showing two fingers, wiggling the toes, or coughing on command. Additionally, some traditional weaning parameters were shown to poorly predict extubation failure in neurocritical patients.
Conclusions
Besides pneumonia, atelectasis, and the duration of mechanical ventilation, other factors that should be taken into consideration in the prediction of extubation failure when neurocritical patients are weaned from tracheal intubation include neurologic abilities (Glasgow Coma Scale score and following commands), the secretion texture, and the presence of a gag reflex.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0112198
PMCID: PMC4259297  PMID: 25486091
2.  Microglia/macrophage polarization dynamics in white matter after traumatic brain injury 
Mononuclear phagocytes are a population of multi-phenotypic cells and have dual roles in brain destruction/reconstruction. The phenotype-specific roles of microglia/macrophages in traumatic brain injury (TBI) are, however, poorly characterized. In the present study, TBI was induced in mice by a controlled cortical impact (CCI) and animals were killed at 1 to 14 days post injury. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) and immunofluorescence staining for M1 and M2 markers were performed to characterize phenotypic changes of microglia/macrophages in both gray and white matter. We found that the number of M1-like phagocytes increased in cortex, striatum and corpus callosum (CC) during the first week and remained elevated until at least 14 days after TBI. In contrast, M2-like microglia/macrophages peaked at 5 days, but decreased rapidly thereafter. Notably, the severity of white matter injury (WMI), manifested by immunohistochemical staining for neurofilament SMI-32, was strongly correlated with the number of M1-like phagocytes. In vitro experiments using a conditioned medium transfer system confirmed that M1 microglia-conditioned media exacerbated oxygen glucose deprivation–induced oligodendrocyte death. Our results indicate that microglia/macrophages respond dynamically to TBI, experiencing a transient M2 phenotype followed by a shift to the M1 phenotype. The M1 phenotypic shift may propel WMI progression and represents a rational target for TBI treatment.
doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2013.146
PMCID: PMC3851898  PMID: 23942366
inflammation; macrophage; microglia; polarization; white matter injury
3.  The Complete Mitochondrial Genome of Aix galericulata and Tadorna ferruginea: Bearings on Their Phylogenetic Position in the Anseriformes 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e109701.
Aix galericulata and Tadorna ferruginea are two Anatidae species representing different taxonomic groups of Anseriformes. We used a PCR-based method to determine the complete mtDNAs of both species, and estimated phylogenetic trees based on the complete mtDNA alignment of these and 14 other Anseriforme species, to clarify Anseriform phylogenetics. Phylogenetic trees were also estimated using a multiple sequence alignment of three mitochondrial genes (Cyt b, ND2, and COI) from 68 typical species in GenBank, to further clarify the phylogenetic relationships of several groups among the Anseriformes. The new mtDNAs are circular molecules, 16,651 bp (Aix galericulata) and 16,639 bp (Tadorna ferruginea) in length, containing the 37 typical genes, with an identical gene order and arrangement as those of other Anseriformes. Comparing the protein-coding genes among the mtDNAs of 16 Anseriforme species, ATG is generally the start codon, TAA is the most frequent stop codon, one of three, TAA, TAG, and T-, commonly observed. All tRNAs could be folded into canonical cloverleaf secondary structures except for tRNASer (AGY) and tRNALeu (CUN), which are missing the "DHU" arm.Phylogenetic relationships demonstrate that Aix galericula and Tadorna ferruginea are in the same group, the Tadorninae lineage, based on our analyses of complete mtDNAs and combined gene data. Molecular phylogenetic analysis suggests the 68 species of Anseriform birds be divided into three families: Anhimidae, Anatidae, and Anseranatidae. The results suggest Anatidae birds be divided into five subfamilies: Anatinae, Tadorninae, Anserinae, Oxyurinae, and Dendrocygninae. Oxyurinae and Dendrocygninae should not belong to Anserinae, but rather represent independent subfamilies. The Anatinae includes species from the tribes Mergini, Somaterini, Anatini, and Aythyini. The Anserinae includes species from the tribes Anserini and Cygnini.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0109701
PMCID: PMC4222781  PMID: 25375111
4.  Proteasome inhibitor lactacystin enhances cisplatin cytotoxicity by increasing endoplasmic reticulum stress-associated apoptosis in HeLa cells 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2014;11(1):189-195.
Cisplatin is commonly used as a therapeutic agent, despite its known adverse side effects and the occurrence of drug resistance. The development of novel methods for combination therapy with cisplatin is required in order to circumvent these limitations of cisplatin alone. The proteasome inhibitor lactacystin (LAC) has been indicated to produce anti-tumor effects, and has previously been used as an antitumor agent in cancer treatment research; however, its effects in combination with cisplatin treatment are unknown. In the current study, the effects of LAC in combination with cisplatin treatment were investigated in HeLa human cervical cancer (HCC) cells. The results demonstrated that cisplatin treatment inhibited cell growth and induced cell apoptosis. HeLa cell exposure to cisplatin induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-associated apoptosis, and LAC treatment increased levels of cell apoptosis and the activation of caspase-3. Specifically, LAC treatment increased the cisplatin-induced expression of PDI, GRP78, CHOP, cleaved caspase-4 and cleaved caspase-3. Together, these data indicate that LAC is able to enhance cisplatin cytotoxicity by increasing ER stress-associated apoptosis in HeLa cells.
doi:10.3892/mmr.2014.2683
PMCID: PMC4237085  PMID: 25323748
lactacystin; cisplatin; apoptosis; ER stress; cervical cancer
5.  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
6.  Anopheles gambiae Circumsporozoite Protein–Binding Protein Facilitates Plasmodium Infection of Mosquito Salivary Glands 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2013;208(7):1161-1169.
Malaria, a mosquito-borne disease caused by Plasmodium species, causes substantial morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Plasmodium sporozoites mature in oocysts formed in the mosquito gut wall and then invade the salivary glands, where they remain until transmitted to the vertebrate host during a mosquito bite. The Plasmodium circumsporozoite protein (CSP) binds to salivary glands and plays a role in the invasion of this organ by sporozoites. We identified an Anopheles salivary gland protein, named CSP-binding protein (CSPBP), that interacts with CSP. Downregulation of CSPBP in mosquito salivary glands inhibited invasion by Plasmodium organisms. In vivo bioassays showed that mosquitoes that were fed blood with CSPBP antibody displayed a 25% and 90% reduction in the parasite load in infected salivary glands 14 and 18 days after the blood meal, respectively. These results suggest that CSPBP is important for the infection of the mosquito salivary gland by Plasmodium organisms and that blocking CSPBP can interfere with the Plasmodium life cycle.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jit284
PMCID: PMC3762383  PMID: 23801601
Anopheles gambiae; circumsporozoite protein; invasion; Sporozoite
7.  Case control study of association between the ANK3 rs10761482 polymorphism and schizophrenia in persons of Uyghur nationality living in Xinjiang China 
Shanghai Archives of Psychiatry  2014;26(5):288-293.
Background
The rs10761482 polymorphism of the ANK3 gene has been associated with the occurrence of schizophrenia.
Aim
Assess the relationship between the ANK3 gene and schizophrenia in individuals of Uyghurian descent.
Methods
A total of 630 patients with schizophrenia and 535 healthy controls of Uyghur descent were genotyped for the ANK3 gene rs10761482 locus using Taqman probe technology. SHEsis and SPSS17.0 software were used for data analysis.
Results
There were no significant differences in the genotype or allele frequencies between the case group and control group. Within the case group there was no relationship between gender or age of onset of schizophrenia and the genotype or allele frequencies. Separate analyses among men and among women also failed to identify significant differences in the allele and genotype frequencies between cases and controls or between patients with adolescent-onset schizophrenia and those with adult-onset schizophrenia
Conclusion
Our findings do not support previous reports about the relationship of the ANK3 gene and schizophrenia. In the Uyghur nationality group recruited for this study there was no significant association between the ANK3 gene rs10761482 polymorphism and schizophrenia. If these results are replicated in further studies, then the focus should change to understanding why this widely acknowledged association does not exist in this particular ethnic group.
doi:10.11919/j.issn.1002-0829.214033
PMCID: PMC4248261  PMID: 25477722
schizophrenia; ANK3 gene; rs10761482 polymorphism; association studies; Uyghur nationality; China
8.  Glutathione S-transferase P1, a novel downstream regulator of LRRK2 (G2019S)-induced cytotoxicity in neural cells 
The enhanced neurotoxicity of the Parkinson’s disease-associated LRRK2 mutant, G2019S, than its wild-type counter-part has recently been reported. Overexpression of LRRK2 (G2019S) in cultured neural cells results in caspase-3-dependent apoptosis via a yet undefined signaling pathway. Elucidation of the mechanism underlying LRRK2 (G2019S) neurotoxicity may offer new insights into the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease. In this study, utilizing two-dimensional gel electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry, we have identified glutathione s-transferase P1 (GSTP1) as a selective target whose expression is negatively regulated at the transcriptional levels by LRRK2 (G2019S). Overexpression of LRRK2 (G2019S) in the human neuronal cell line SH-SY5Y markedly suppressed the expression of GSTP1 prior to any manifestation of cell death. This suppression of GSTP1 expression was due to LRRK2 (G2019S) – elicited production of peroxides and subsequent hyper-methylation on the promoter of GSTP1. Moreover, shRNA-mediated knockdown of endogenous GSTP1 expression exacerbated LRRK2 (G2019S) neurotoxicity, whereas overexpression of GSTP1 protected against LRRK2 (G2019S)-induced caspase-3 activation and neuronal apoptosis. In conclusion, the results suggest a previously undefined signaling mechanism underlying the neurotoxic effect of LRRK2 (G2019S), in which LRRK2 (G2019S) triggers oxidative stress in cells and, in turn, results in caspase-dependent apoptosis at least in part by suppressing the expression of GSTP1.
PMCID: PMC4174408  PMID: 22652643
LRRK2; G2019S; GSTP1; Apoptosis; Parkinson
9.  Pivotal Role of MUC1 Glycosylation by Cigarette Smoke in Modulating Disruption of Airway Adherens Junctions In Vitro 
The Journal of pathology  2014;234(1):60-73.
Cigarette smoke increases the risk of lung cancer by 20-fold and accounts for 87% of lung cancer deaths. In the normal airway, heavily O-glycosylated mucin-1 (MUC1) and adherens junctions (AJs) establish a structural barrier that protects the airway from infectious, inflammatory and noxious stimuli. Smoke disrupts cell-cell adhesion via its damaging effects on the AJ protein, epithelial cadherin (E-cad). Loss of E-cad is a major hallmark of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and has been reported in lung cancer where it is associated with invasion, metastasis and poor prognosis. Using organotypic cultures of primary human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells treated with smoke-concentrated medium (Smk), we have demonstrated that E-cad loss is regulated through the aberrant interaction of its AJ binding partner, p120-catenin (p120ctn), and the C-terminus of MUC1 (MUC1-C). Here, we reported that even before MUC1-C became bound to p120ctn, smoke promoted the generation of a novel 400kDa glycoform of MUC1’s N-terminus (MUC1-N) differing from the 230kDa and 150kDa glycoforms in untreated control cells. The subsequent smoke-induced, time-dependent shedding of glycosylated MUC1-N exposed MUC1-C as a putative receptor for interactions with EGFR, Src and p120ctn. Smoke-induced MUC1-C glycosylation modulated MUC1-C tyrosine phosphorylation (TyrP) that was essential for MUC1-C/p120ctn interaction through dose-dependent bridging of Src/MUC1-C/galectin-3/EGFR signalosomes. Chemical deglycosylation of MUC1 using a mixture of N-glycosylation inhibitor tunicamycin and O-glycosylation inhibitor benzyl-α-GalNAc disrupted the Src/MUC1-C/galectin-3/EGFR complexes and thereby abolished smoke-induced MUC1-C-TyrP and MUC1-C/p120ctn interaction. Similarly, inhibition of smoke-induced MUC1-N glycosylation using adenoviral shRNA directed against N-acetyl-galactosaminyl transferase-6 (GALNT6, an enzyme that controls the initiating step of O-glycosylation) successfully suppressed MUC1-C/p120ctn interaction, prevented E-cad degradation and maintained cellular polarity in response to smoke. Thus, GALNT6 shRNA represents a potential therapeutic modality to prevent initiation of events associated with EMT in the smoker’s airway.
doi:10.1002/path.4375
PMCID: PMC4138268  PMID: 24838315
p120-catenin; MUC1; glycosylation; E-cadherin; EGFR; galectin-3; in vitro airway model; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; cigarette smoke; lung cancer
10.  Methylglyoxal Induces Systemic Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e105307.
Patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) show a wide range of symptoms including diarrhea, abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, nausea, vomiting, headache, anxiety, depression and cognitive impairment. Methylglyoxal has been proved to be a potential toxic metabolite produced by intestinal bacteria. The present study was aimed at investigating the correlation between methylglyoxal and irritable bowel syndrome. Rats were treated with an enema infusion of methylglyoxal. Fecal water content, visceral sensitivity, behavioral tests and serum 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) were assessed after methylglyoxal exposure. Our data showed that fecal water content was significantly higher than controls after methylglyoxal exposure except that of 30 mM group. Threshold volumes on balloon distension decreased in the treatment groups. All exposed rats showed obvious head scratching and grooming behavior and a decrease in sucrose preference. The serum 5-HT values were increased in 30, 60, 90 mM groups and decreased in 150 mM group. Our findings suggested that methylglyoxal could induce diarrhea, visceral hypersensitivity, headache as well as depression-like behaviors in rats, and might be the key role in triggering systemic symptoms of IBS.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0105307
PMCID: PMC4144894  PMID: 25157984
11.  Evaluation of the Ecotoxicity of Sediments from Yangtze River Estuary and Contribution of Priority PAHs to Ah Receptor-Mediated Activities 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104748.
In this study, in vitro bioassays were performed to assess the ecotoxicological potential of sediments from Yangtze River estuary. The cytotoxicity and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-mediated toxicity of sediment extracts with rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) liver cells were determined by neutral red retention and 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase assays. The cytotoxicity and AhR-mediated activity of sediments from the Yangtze River estuary ranged from low level to moderate level compared with the ecotoxicity of sediments from other river systems. However, Yangtze River releases approximately 14 times greater water discharge compared with Rhine, a major river in Europe. Thus, the absolute pollution mass transfer of Yangtze River may be detrimental to the environmental quality of estuary and East China Sea. Effect-directed analysis was applied to identify substances causing high dioxin-like activities. To identify unknown substances contributing to dioxin-like potencies of whole extracts, we fractionated crude extracts by open column chromatography. Non-polar paraffinic components (F1), weakly and moderately polar components (F2), and highly polar substances (F3) were separated from each crude extract of sediments. F2 showed the highest dioxin-like activities. Based on the results of mass balance calculation of chemical toxic equivalent concentrations (TEQs), our conclusion is that priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons indicated a low portion of bio-TEQs ranging from 1% to 10% of crude extracts. Further studies should be conducted to identify unknown pollutants.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104748
PMCID: PMC4128779  PMID: 25111307
12.  Estrogen Therapy, Independent of Timing, Improves Cardiac Structure and Function in Oophorectomized mRen2.Lewis Rats 
Menopause (New York, N.Y.)  2013;20(8):860-868.
Objective
mRen2.Lewis Rats exhibit exacerbated increases in blood pressure, left ventricular (LV) remodeling, and diastolic impairment following the loss of estrogens. In this same model, depletion of estrogens has marked effects on the cardiac biopterin profile concomitant with suppressed nitric oxide (NO) release. With respect to the establishment of overt systolic hypertension after oophorectomy (OVX), we assessed the effects of timing chronic 17 β-estradiol (E2) therapy on myocardial function, structure, and the cardiac NO system.
Methods
Oophrectomy (OVX; n=24) or sham-operation (Sham; n=13) was performed in 4-week-old, female mRen2.Lewis rats. Following randomization, OVX rats received E2 immediately (OVX + early E2; n=7), E2 at 11 weeks of age (OVX + late E2 N=8), or no E2 at all (OVX N=9).
Results
Early E2 was associated with lower body weight, less hypertension-related cardiac remodeling, and decreased LV filling pressure compared to OVX rats without E2 supplementation. Late E2 similarly attenuated the adverse effects of ovarian hormone loss on tissue-Doppler derived LV filling pressures and perivascular fibrosis, and significantly improved myocardial relaxation, or mitral annular velocity (e′). Early and late exposure to E2 decreased dihydrobiopterin, but only late E2 yielded significant increases in cardiac nitrite concentrations.
Conclusions
Although there were some similarities between early and late E2 treatment on preservation of diastolic function and cardiac structure after OVX, the lusitropic potential of E2 was most consistent with late supplementation. The cardioprotective effects of late E2 were independent of blood pressure and may have occurred through regulation of cardiac biopterins and NO production.
doi:10.1097/GME.0b013e318280589a
PMCID: PMC3690139  PMID: 23481117
cardiac biopterins; diastolic dysfunction; estrogen timing; LV remodeling; menopause; nitrite
13.  Effects of L-proline on the Growth Performance, and Blood Parameters in Weaned Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-challenged Pigs 
This trail was conducted to study the effect of L-proline on the growth performance, and blood parameter in the weaned lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-challenged pigs. Thirty six pigs (9.13±0.85 kg) were assigned randomly to dietary treatments in a 2×3 factorial arrangement in a 20-d growth assay. Factors were intraperitoneal injection with saline or LPS, and three dietary L-proline supplement levels (0%, 0.5%, or 1.0%). On d 10, blood samples were collected at 3 h after LPS (100 μg LPS/kg body weight [BW]) or saline injection. On d 20 of the trial, all pigs were orally administrated D-xylose (0.1 g/kg BW) at 2 h, and blood samples were collected at 3 h after LPS or saline injection. As a result, dietary supplementation with 0.5% proline had a tendency to increase average daily gain (ADG) in piglets during d 10 to 20 (p = 0.088). Without LPS challenge, dietary supplementation with 1.0% proline had no effect on growth hormone (GH) concentrations on d 10 (p>0.05), but decreased it after LPS challenge (p<0.05). There was LPS challenge×proline interaction for GH concentrations on d 10 (p<0.05). Dietary supplementation with 1.0% proline decreased glucagon concentration on d 10 after LPS challenge (p<0.05). In addition, dietary supplementation with proline increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity significantly on d 10 and 20 (p<0.05), and 1.0% proline increased heat shock proteins-70 concentration on d 10 (p<0.05). Moreover, proline supplementation increased diamine oxidase (DAO) concentrations after LPS challenge (p<0.05). There was LPS challenge×proline interaction for DAO (p<0.05). Furthermore, dietary supplementation with 1.0% proline increased the D-xylose level when no LPS challenge (p<0.05). These results indicate that proline supplementation could improve growth performance, increase SOD activities, and has a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract digestibility in early weaned pigs.
doi:10.5713/ajas.2013.13828
PMCID: PMC4109871  PMID: 25083109
L-proline; Growth Performance; Blood Parameters; Gastrointestinal Tract Digestibility; Early Weaned Pigs; Lipopolysaccharide
14.  Analysis of Clonostachys rosea-Induced Resistance to Tomato Gray Mold Disease in Tomato Leaves 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102690.
Tomato gray mold disease, caused by Botrytis cinerea, is a serious disease in tomato. Clonostachys rosea is an antagonistic microorganism to B. cinerea. To investigate the induced resistance mechanism of C. rosea, we examined the effects of these microorganisms on tomato leaves, along with changes in the activities of three defense enzymes (PAL, PPO, GST), second messengers (NO, H2O2, O2−) and phytohormones (IAA, ABA, GA3, ZT, MeJA, SA and C2H4). Compared to the control, all treatments induced higher levels of PAL, PPO and GST activity in tomato leaves and increased NO, SA and GA3 levels. The expression of WRKY and MAPK, two important transcription factors in plant disease resistance, was upregulated in C. rosea- and C. rosea plus B. cinerea-treated samples. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis analysis showed that two abundant proteins were present in the C. rosea plus B. cinerea-treated samples but not in the other samples. These proteins were determined (by mass spectrum analysis) to be LEXYL2 (β-xylosidase) and ATP synthase CF1 alpha subunit. Therefore, C. rosea plus B. cinerea treatment induces gray mold resistance in tomato. This study provides a basis for elucidating the mechanism of C. rosea as a biocontrol agent.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102690
PMCID: PMC4111289  PMID: 25061981
15.  Cigarette smoke disrupts the integrity of airway adherens junctions through the aberrant interaction of p120-catenin with the cytoplasmic tail of MUC1 
The Journal of pathology  2012;229(1):74-86.
Adherens junctions (AJs) containing epithelial cadherin (E-cad) bound to p120-catenin (p120ctn) and β-catenin (β-ctn) play a crucial role in regulating cell–cell adhesion. Cigarette smoke abrogates cell–cell adhesion between epithelial cells by disrupting E-cad, a hallmark of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), yet the underlying mechanism remains unknown. We used an organotypic culture of primary human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells treated with smoke-concentrated medium (Smk) to establish an essential role for the interaction between p120ctn and the cytoplasmic tail of MUC1 (MUC1-CT) in regulating E-cad disruption. Within the first 4 h of smoke exposure, apical MUC1-CT repositioned to the basolateral membrane of pseudo-stratified HBE cells, where it interacted with p120ctn. A time-dependent increase in MUC1-CT/p120ctn complexes occurred in conjunction with a time-dependent dissociation of p120ctn/E-cad/β-ctn complexes, as well as the coordinated degradation of p120ctn and E-cad. Interestingly, Smk induced a similar interaction between MUC1-CT and β-ctn, but this occurred 44 h after MUC1-CT’s initial interaction with p120ctn, and well after the AJs were destroyed. Blocking MUC1-CT’s interaction with p120ctn using a MUC1-CT dominant-negative peptide, PMIP, successfully abolished Smk’s disruptive effects on AJs and recovered apical-basolateral polarity of HBE cells. The MUC1-CT/p120ctn interaction was highly dependent on EGFR/Src/Jnk-mediated tyrosine phosphorylation (TyrP) of MUC1-CT. Accordingly, EGFR, Src or Jnk inhibitors (AG1478, PP2, SP600125, respectively) abrogated Smk-induced MUC1-CT-TyrP, MUC1-CT/p120ctn interaction, AJ disruption, and loss of cellular polarity. Our work identified MUC1-CT and p120ctn as important regulators of epithelial polarity and cell-cell adhesion during a smoke-induced EMT-like process. Novel therapeutics designed to inhibit MUC1-CT/p120ctn complex formation may prevent EMT in the smoker’s airway.
doi:10.1002/path.4070
PMCID: PMC4096852  PMID: 22833523
p120-catenin; MUC1 cytoplasmic tail; E-cadherin; β-catenin; in vitro airway model; cell adhesion; epithelial–mesenchymal transition; cigarette smoke; lung cancer
16.  p120-Catenin modulates airway epithelial cell migration induced by cigarette smoke 
Cigarette smoking has been linked to almost all major types of cancer. Emerging evidence suggests that smoking initiates transformed cell growth and migration by disrupting cell–cell interactions in the polarized mucosal epithelium. Together with other adherens junction proteins, p120-catenin (p120ctn) maintains cell–cell adhesion through its direct interaction with E-cadherin (E-cad). Mislocalization and/or loss of p120ctn have been reported in all lung cancer subtypes and are related to poor prognosis. Here, we showed that p120ctn modulates smoke-induced cell migration via the EGFR/Src-P pathway. Chemical blockade of EGFR/Src signaling inhibited smoke-induced activation of cofilin (an actin severing protein) and promoted cell migration in the presence of p120ctn but had little effect on blocking migration in the absence of p120ctn. These data suggested that smoke-induced cell migration was mediated via an EGFR/Src-dependent signaling pathway in cells that expressed p120ctn, but upon loss of p120ctn, migration continued to occur via an alternative, EGFR/Src-independent pathway. Thus, gradual loss of membrane p120ctn with lung cancer progression may contribute to reduced effectiveness of conventional chemotherapies, such as those directed against EGFR.
doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.11.048
PMCID: PMC4066870  PMID: 22120634
Cigarette smoke; Adherens junction; p120-Catenin; Cell migration
17.  HSP27 Protects the Blood-Brain Barrier Against Ischemia-Induced Loss of Integrity 
Loss of integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in stroke victims initiates a devastating cascade of events including extravasation of blood-borne molecules, water, and inflammatory cells deep into brain parenchyma. Thus, it is important to identify mechanisms by which BBB integrity can be maintained in the face of ischemic injury in experimental stroke. We previously demonstrated that the phylogenetically conserved small heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) protects against transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO). Here we show that HSP27 transgenic overexpression also maintains the integrity of the BBB in mice subjected to tMCAO. Extravasation of endogenous IgG antibodies and exogenous FITC-albumin into the brain following tMCAO was reduced in transgenic mice, as was total brain water content. HSP27 overexpression abolished the appearance of TUNEL-positive profiles in microvessel walls. Transgenics also exhibited less loss of microvessel proteins following tMCAO. Notably, primary endothelial cell cultures were rescued from oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) by lentiviral HSP27 overexpression according to four viability assays, supporting a direct effect on this cell type. Finally, HSP27 overexpression reduced the appearance of neutrophils in the brain and inhibited the secretion of five cytokines. These findings reveal a novel role for HSP27 in attenuating ischemia/reperfusion injury - the maintenance of BBB integrity. Endogenous upregulation of HSP27 after ischemia in wild-type animals may exert similar protective functions and warrants further investigation. Exogenous enhancement of HSP27 by rational drug design may lead to future therapies against a host of injuries, including but not limited to a harmful breach in brain vasculature.
PMCID: PMC4061290  PMID: 23469858
endothelial cell; heat shock protein; HSP25; HSPB1; microvessel; stroke; tight junction; vascular
18.  TESTIN suppresses tumor growth and invasion via manipulating cell cycle progression in endometrial carcinoma 
Background
The TESTIN gene was demonstrated to be a tumor suppressor in prostate and breast cancer through inhibiting tumor growth and invasion. Herein, we aimed to investigate the detailed functions of TESTIN in the highly sexual hormone (estrogen)-dependent malignancy, endometrial carcinoma.
Material/Methods
TESTIN mRNA and protein expression were measured by qRT-PCR, Western blot and immunohistochemistry. Upregulation of TESTIN was achieved by transfecting the pcDNA3.1-TESTIN plasmids into AN3CA cells. Knockdown of TESTIN was achieved by transfecting the shRNA-TESTIN into Ishikawa cells. MTT assay, colony formation assay, and Transwell assay were used to investigate the effects of TESTIN on cellular proliferation and invasion. The apoptotic status and cell cycle were analyzed using flow cytometry. MMP2 secretion was determined by ELISA assay. The xenograft assay was used to investigate the functions of TESTIN in nude mice.
Results
Compared to the non-malignant adjacent endometrium, 54% of tumor samples presented downregulation of TESTIN (P<0.001). Loss of TESTIN protein was correlated with advanced tumor stage (P=0.047), high grade (P=0.034), and lymphatic vascular space invasion (P=0.036). In vitro, overexpression of TESTIN suppressed cell proliferation, induced dramatic G1 arrest, and inhibited tumor invasion through blocking the secretion of MMP2. Loss of TESTIN accelerated cellular proliferation, promoted cell cycle progression, and enhanced tumor invasion by increasing the secretion of MMP2. Consistently, TESTIN could significantly delay the growth of xenografts in nude mice.
Conclusions
TESTIN was commonly downregulated in human endometrial carcinoma and was associated with poor prognostic markers. Moreover, TESTIN significantly inhibited tumor growth and invasion via arresting cell cycle in in vitro and in vivo experiments. Therefore, we propose that TESTIN might be a prognostic marker and therapeutic target for endometrial carcinoma.
doi:10.12659/MSM.890544
PMCID: PMC4067424  PMID: 24929083
Endometrial Neoplasms - genetics; Endometrial Neoplasms - pathology; Neoplasm Invasiveness - genetics
19.  Lack of Associations of Ten Candidate Coronary Heart Disease Risk Genetic Variants and Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Four U.S. Populations: the Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) Study 
Atherosclerosis  2013;228(2):390-399.
Background
A number of genetic variants have been discovered by recent genome-wide association studies for their associations with clinical coronary heart disease (CHD). However, it is unclear whether these variants are also associated with the development of CHD as measured by subclinical atherosclerosis phenotypes, ankle brachial index (ABI), carotid artery intima-media thickness (cIMT) and carotid plaque.
Methods
Ten CHD risk single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in individuals of European American (EA), African American (AA), American Indian (AI), and Mexican American (MA) ancestry in the Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) study. In each individual study, we performed linear or logistic regression to examine population-specific associations between SNPs and ABI, common and internal cIMT, and plaque. The results from individual studies were meta-analyzed using a fixed effect inverse variance weighted model.
Results
None of the ten SNPs was significantly associated with ABI and common or internal cIMT, after Bonferroni correction. In the sample of 13,337 EA, 3,809 AA, and 5,353 AI individuals with carotid plaque measurement, the GCKR SNP rs780094 was significantly associated with the presence of plaque in AI only (OR = 1.32, 95% confidence interval: 1.17, 1.49, P = 1.08 × 10−5), but not in the other populations (P = 0.90 in EA and P = 0.99 in AA). A 9p21 region SNP, rs1333049, was nominally associated with plaque in EA (OR = 1.07, P = 0.02) and in AI (OR = 1.10, P = 0.05).
Conclusions
We identified a significant association between rs780094 and plaque in AI populations, which needs to be replicated in future studies. There was little evidence that the index CHD risk variants identified through genome-wide association studies in EA influence the development of CHD through subclinical atherosclerosis as assessed by cIMT and ABI across ancestries.
doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2013.02.038
PMCID: PMC3717342  PMID: 23587283
ankle brachial index; carotid artery intima-media thickness; carotid plaque; coronary heart disease; genetic association study; multiethnic populations; subclinical atherosclerosis
20.  Characterization and mapping of a spotted leaf mutant in rice (Oryza sativa) 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(2):406-413.
Spotted leaf mutant belongs to a class of mutants that can produce necrotic lesions spontaneously in plants without any attack by pathogens. These mutants have no beneficial effect on plant productivity but provide a unique opportunity to study programmed cell death in plant defense responses. A novel rice spotted leaf mutant (spl30) was isolated through low-energy heavy ion irradiation. Lesion expression was sensitive to light and humidity. The spl30 mutant caused a decrease in chlorophyll and soluble protein content, with marked accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) around the lesions. In addition, the spl30 mutant significantly enhanced resistance to rice bacterial blight (X. oryzae pv. oryzae) from China (C1–C7). The use of SSR markers showed that the spl30 gene was located between markers XSN2 and XSN4. The genetic distance between the spl30 gene and XSN2 and between spl30 and XSN4 was 1.7 cM and 0.2 cM, respectively. The spl30 gene is a new gene involved in lesion production and may be related to programmed cell death in rice. The ability of this mutant to confer broad resistance to bacterial blight provides a model for studying the interaction between plants and pathogenic bacteria.
PMCID: PMC4094620  PMID: 25071406
gene mapping; reactive oxygen species; rice (Orzya sativa); rice bacterial blight; spotted leaf mutant
21.  Hydrothermal growth of TiO2 nanowire membranes sensitized with CdS quantum dots for the enhancement of photocatalytic performance 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):270.
In this paper, TiO2 nanowires (NWs) on Ti foils were prepared using a simple hydrothermal approach and annealing treatment. CdS quantum dots (QDs) were assembled onto the crystallized TiO2 NWs by sequential chemical bath deposition. Ultraviolet-visible absorption spectra showed that CdS adds bands in the visible to the TiO2 absorption and exhibited a broad absorption band in the visible region, which extended the scope of absorption spectrum and helped improve the photocatalytic degradation efficiency. The results of photocatalytic experiment revealed that CdS-TiO2 NWs possessed higher photocatalytic activities toward methyl orange than pure TiO2 nanowires. The degradation efficiency of 96.32% after ten cycles indicated that the as-prepared CdS-TiO2 composite exhibited excellent long-time recyclable ability and can be reused for the degradation of contaminants.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-270
PMCID: PMC4046152  PMID: 24936164
Hydrothermal; S-CBD; CdS-TiO2 NWs; Photocatalytic activity
22.  Zinc-α2-Glycoprotein Is Associated With Insulin Resistance in Humans and Is Regulated by Hyperglycemia, Hyperinsulinemia, or Liraglutide Administration 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(5):1074-1082.
OBJECTIVE
Zinc-α2-glycoprotein (ZAG) has been proposed to play a role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance. Previous studies in humans and in rodents have produced conflicting results regarding the link between ZAG and insulin resistance. The objective of this study was to examine the relationships between ZAG and insulin resistance in cross-sectional and interventional studies.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Serum ZAG (determined with ELISA) was compared with various parameters related to insulin resistance in subjects with normal glucose tolerance, impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), and newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and in women with or without polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamps were performed in healthy and PCOS women. Real-time RT-PCR and Western blotting were used to assess mRNA and protein expression of ZAG. The effect of a glucagon-like peptide-1 agonist on ZAG was studied in a 12-week liraglutide treatment trial.
RESULTS
Circulating ZAG was lower in patients with IGT and newly diagnosed T2DM than in controls. Circulating ZAG correlated positively with HDL cholesterol and adiponectin, and correlated inversely with BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, body fat percentage, triglycerides, fasting blood glucose, fasting insulin, HbA1c, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). On multivariate analysis, ZAG was independently associated with BMI, HOMA-IR, and adiponectin. ZAG mRNA and protein were decreased in adipose tissue of T2DM patients. Moreover, circulating ZAG levels were lower in women with PCOS than in women with high insulin sensitivity. Liraglutide treatment for 12 weeks significantly increased circulating ZAG levels.
CONCLUSIONS
We conclude that ZAG may be an adipokine associated with insulin resistance.
doi:10.2337/dc12-0940
PMCID: PMC3631846  PMID: 23275352
23.  Incidental findings on cardiac computed tomography in incident hemodialysis patients: the predictors of arrhythmic and cardiovascular events in end-stage renal disease (PACE) study 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:68.
Background
This is the first study that has examined non-cardiac incidental findings in research cardiac computed tomography (CT) of hemodialysis patients and their relationship with patient characteristics.
Methods
We performed a cross-sectional analysis in the Predictors of Arrhythmic and Cardiovascular Events in End-Stage Renal Disease (PACE) study, a prospective cohort study on incident hemodialysis patients. Non-cardiac structures in the cardiac CT scan were reviewed and evaluated. The type and frequencies of non-cardiac incidental CT findings were summarized. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were performed to analyze the associations between gender, older age, obesity, history of cardiovascular disease (CVD), smoking status, history of chronic pulmonary disease and history of cancer with presence of any incidental CT findings and, separately, pulmonary nodules.
Results
Among the 260 participants, a total of 229 non-cardiac incidental findings were observed in 145 participants (55.8% of all participants). Of these findings, pulmonary nodules were the most common incidental finding (24.2% of all findings), and 41.3% of them requiring further follow-up imaging per radiology recommendation. Vascular and gastrointestinal findings occurred in 11.8% and 15.3% of participants, respectively. Participants 65 years or older had a higher odds of any incidental findings (Odds Ratio (OR) =2.55; 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) 1.30, 4.99) and pulmonary nodules (OR = 4.80; 95% CI 2.51, 9.18). Prior history of CVD was independently and significantly associated with any incidental findings (OR = 2.00; 95% CI 1.19, 3.40); but not with the presence of pulmonary nodules.
Conclusions
We demonstrate that the prevalence of incidental findings by cardiac CT scanning is extremely high among patients on hemodialysis. Further investigations to follow-up on the high occurrence of incidental findings during our research study and potentially clinical studies raises important practical, ethical and medico-legal issues that need to be carefully considered in research projects using imaging studies.
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-15-68
PMCID: PMC4019788  PMID: 24885570
Incidental findings; Cardiac; Computed tomography; Hemodialysis; Prevalence; Pulmonary nodule
24.  Association of Functional Polymorphism rs2231142 (Q141K) in the ABCG2 Gene With Serum Uric Acid and Gout in 4 US Populations 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;177(9):923-932.
A loss-of-function mutation (Q141K, rs2231142) in the ATP-binding cassette, subfamily G, member 2 gene (ABCG2) has been shown to be associated with serum uric acid levels and gout in Asians, Europeans, and European and African Americans; however, less is known about these associations in other populations. Rs2231142 was genotyped in 22,734 European Americans, 9,720 African Americans, 3,849 Mexican Americans, and 3,550 American Indians in the Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) Study (2008–2012). Rs2231142 was significantly associated with serum uric acid levels (P = 2.37 × 10−67, P = 3.98 × 10−5, P = 6.97 × 10−9, and P = 5.33 × 10−4 in European Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, and American Indians, respectively) and gout (P = 2.83 × 10−10, P = 0.01, and P = 0.01 in European Americans, African Americans, and Mexican Americans, respectively). Overall, the T allele was associated with a 0.24-mg/dL increase in serum uric acid level (P = 1.37 × 10−80) and a 1.75-fold increase in the odds of gout (P = 1.09 × 10−12). The association between rs2231142 and serum uric acid was significantly stronger in men, postmenopausal women, and hormone therapy users compared with their counterparts. The association with gout was also significantly stronger in men than in women. These results highlight a possible role of sex hormones in the regulation of ABCG2 urate transporter and its potential implications for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of hyperuricemia and gout.
doi:10.1093/aje/kws330
PMCID: PMC4023295  PMID: 23552988
ABCG2 protein, human; genetic association studies; gout; meta-analysis; polymorphism, single nucleotide; urate transporter; uric acid
25.  Apoptosis is an obstacle to the differentiation of adipose-derived stromal cells into astrocytes 
Neural Regeneration Research  2014;9(8):837-844.
Previous studies have demonstrated that nerve cells differentiated from adipose-derived stromal cells after chemical induction have reduced viability; however, the underlying mechanisms remained unclear. In this study, we induced the differentiation of adult adipose-derived stromal cells into astrocytes using chemical induction. 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay and flow cytometry showed that, with increasing induction time, the apoptotic rate gradually increased, and the number of living cells gradually decreased. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that the number of glial fibrillary acidic protein-, caspase-3- and caspase-9-positive cells gradually increased with increasing induction time. Transmission electron microscopy revealed typical signs of apoptosis after differentiation. Taken together, our results indicate that caspase-dependent apoptosis is an obstacle to the differentiation of adipose-derived stromal cells into astrocytes. Inhibiting apoptosis may be an important strategy for increasing the efficiency of induction.
doi:10.4103/1673-5374.131600
PMCID: PMC4146249  PMID: 25206897
nerve regeneration; adult adipose-derived stromal cells; cell apoptosis; caspase-dependent apoptosis; cell differentiation; astrocytes; caspase-9; caspase-3; neural regeneration

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