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1.  Characterization of the first double-stranded RNA bacteriophage infecting Pseudomonas aeruginosa 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:38795.
Bacteriophages (phages) are widely distributed in the biosphere and play a key role in modulating microbial ecology in the soil, ocean, and humans. Although the role of DNA bacteriophages is well described, the biology of RNA bacteriophages is poorly understood. More than 1900 phage genomes are currently deposited in NCBI, but only 6 dsRNA bacteriophages and 12 ssRNA bacteriophages genome sequences are reported. The 6 dsRNA bacteriophages were isolated from legume samples or lakes with Pseudomonas syringae as the host. Here, we report the first Pseudomonas aeruginosa phage phiYY with a three-segmented dsRNA genome. phiYY was isolated from hospital sewage in China with the clinical P. aeruginosa strain, PAO38, as a host. Moreover, the dsRNA phage phiYY has a broad host range, which infects 99 out of 233 clinical P. aeruginosa strains isolated from four provinces in China. This work presented a detailed characterization of the dsRNA bacteriophage infecting P. aeruginosa.
doi:10.1038/srep38795
PMCID: PMC5146939  PMID: 27934909
2.  Kinase Screening in Pichia pastoris Identified Promising Targets Involved in Cell Growth and Alcohol Oxidase 1 Promoter (PAOX1) Regulation 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(12):e0167766.
As one of the most commonly used eukaryotic recombinant protein expression systems, P. pastoris relies heavily on the AOX1 promoter (PAOX1), which is strongly induced by methanol but strictly repressed by glycerol and glucose. However, the complicated signaling pathways involved in PAOX1 regulation when supplemented with different carbon sources are poorly understood. Here we constructed a kinase deletion library in P. pastoris and identified 27 mutants which showed peculiar phenotypes in cell growth or PAOX1 regulation. We analyzed both annotations and possible functions of these 27 targets, and then focused on the MAP kinase Hog1. In order to locate its potential downstream components, we performed the phosphoproteome analysis on glycerol cultured WT and Δhog1 strains and identified 157 differentially phosphorylated proteins. Our results identified important kinases involved in P. pastoris cell growth and PAOX1 regulation, which could serve as valuable targets for further mechanistic studies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0167766
PMCID: PMC5147967  PMID: 27936065
3.  IGF-1 Levels Across the Spectrum of Normal to Elevated in Acromegaly: Relationship to Insulin Sensitivity, Markers of Cardiovascular Risk and Body Composition 
Pituitary  2015;18(6):808-819.
Purpose
Activity of acromegaly is gauged by levels of GH and IGF-1 and epidemiological studies demonstrate that their normalization reduces acromegaly’s excess mortality rate. However, few data are available linking IGF-1 levels to features of the disease that may relate to cardiovascular (CV) risk. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that serum IGF-1 levels relative to the upper normal limit relate to insulin sensitivity, serum CV risk markers and body composition in acromegaly.
Methods
In this prospective, cross-sectional study conducted at a pituitary tumor referral center we studied 138 adult acromegaly patients, newly diagnosed and previously treated surgically, with fasting and post-oral glucose levels of endocrine and CV risk markers and body composition assessed by DXA.
Results
Active acromegaly is associated with lower insulin sensitivity, body fat and CRP levels than acromegaly in remission. %ULN IGF-1 strongly predicts insulin sensitivity, better than GH and this persists after adjustment for body fat and lean tissue mass. %ULN IGF-1 also relates inversely to CRP levels and fat mass, positively to lean tissue and skeletal muscle estimated (SME) by DXA, but not to blood pressure, lipids, BMI or waist circumference (WC). Gender interacts with the IGF-1-lean tissue mass relationship.
Conclusions
Active acromegaly presents a unique combination of features associated with CV risk, reduced insulin sensitivity yet lower body fat and lower levels of some serum CV risk markers, a pattern that is reversed in remission. %ULN IGF-1 levels strongly predict these features. Given the known increased CV risk of active acromegaly, these findings suggest that of these factors insulin resistance is most strongly related to disease activity and potentially to the increased CV risk of active acromegaly.
doi:10.1007/s11102-015-0657-2
PMCID: PMC4619193  PMID: 25907335
Acromegaly; body composition; insulin sensitivity; IGF-1
4.  Emerging Technologies and Their Applications in Lipid Compartment Measurement 
Non-Communicable diseases (NCDs), including obesity, are emerging as the major health concern of the 21st century. Excess adiposity and related NCD metabolic disturbances have stimulated development of new lipid compartment measurement technologies to help us understand cellular energy exchange, to refine phenotypes, and to develop predictive markers of adverse clinical outcomes. Recent advances now allow for quantification of multiple intracellular lipid and adipose tissue compartments that can be evaluated across the human lifespan. With magnetic resonance methods leading the way, newer approaches will give molecular structural and metabolic information beyond the laboratory in real-world settings. The union between these new technologies and the growing NCD population is creating an exciting interface advancing our understanding of chronic disease mechanisms.
doi:10.1016/j.tem.2015.10.003
PMCID: PMC4673021  PMID: 26596676
obesity; adiposity; imaging; metabolism; body composition
5.  Analysis of Heritability and Shared Heritability Based on Genome-Wide Association Studies for 13 Cancer Types 
Sampson, Joshua N. | Wheeler, William A. | Yeager, Meredith | Panagiotou, Orestis | Wang, Zhaoming | Berndt, Sonja I. | Lan, Qing | Abnet, Christian C. | Amundadottir, Laufey T. | Figueroa, Jonine D. | Landi, Maria Teresa | Mirabello, Lisa | Savage, Sharon A. | Taylor, Philip R. | Vivo, Immaculata De | McGlynn, Katherine A. | Purdue, Mark P. | Rajaraman, Preetha | Adami, Hans-Olov | Ahlbom, Anders | Albanes, Demetrius | Amary, Maria Fernanda | An, She-Juan | Andersson, Ulrika | Andriole, Gerald | Andrulis, Irene L. | Angelucci, Emanuele | Ansell, Stephen M. | Arici, Cecilia | Armstrong, Bruce K. | Arslan, Alan A. | Austin, Melissa A. | Baris, Dalsu | Barkauskas, Donald A. | Bassig, Bryan A. | Becker, Nikolaus | Benavente, Yolanda | Benhamou, Simone | Berg, Christine | Van Den Berg, David | Bernstein, Leslie | Bertrand, Kimberly A. | Birmann, Brenda M. | Black, Amanda | Boeing, Heiner | Boffetta, Paolo | Boutron-Ruault, Marie-Christine | Bracci, Paige M. | Brinton, Louise | Brooks-Wilson, Angela R. | Bueno-de-Mesquita, H. Bas | Burdett, Laurie | Buring, Julie | Butler, Mary Ann | Cai, Qiuyin | Cancel-Tassin, Geraldine | Canzian, Federico | Carrato, Alfredo | Carreon, Tania | Carta, Angela | Chan, John K. C. | Chang, Ellen T. | Chang, Gee-Chen | Chang, I-Shou | Chang, Jiang | Chang-Claude, Jenny | Chen, Chien-Jen | Chen, Chih-Yi | Chen, Chu | Chen, Chung-Hsing | Chen, Constance | Chen, Hongyan | Chen, Kexin | Chen, Kuan-Yu | Chen, Kun-Chieh | Chen, Ying | Chen, Ying-Hsiang | Chen, Yi-Song | Chen, Yuh-Min | Chien, Li-Hsin | Chirlaque, María-Dolores | Choi, Jin Eun | Choi, Yi Young | Chow, Wong-Ho | Chung, Charles C. | Clavel, Jacqueline | Clavel-Chapelon, Françoise | Cocco, Pierluigi | Colt, Joanne S. | Comperat, Eva | Conde, Lucia | Connors, Joseph M. | Conti, David | Cortessis, Victoria K. | Cotterchio, Michelle | Cozen, Wendy | Crouch, Simon | Crous-Bou, Marta | Cussenot, Olivier | Davis, Faith G. | Ding, Ti | Diver, W. Ryan | Dorronsoro, Miren | Dossus, Laure | Duell, Eric J. | Ennas, Maria Grazia | Erickson, Ralph L. | Feychting, Maria | Flanagan, Adrienne M. | Foretova, Lenka | Fraumeni, Joseph F. | Freedman, Neal D. | Beane Freeman, Laura E. | Fuchs, Charles | Gago-Dominguez, Manuela | Gallinger, Steven | Gao, Yu-Tang | Gapstur, Susan M. | Garcia-Closas, Montserrat | García-Closas, Reina | Gascoyne, Randy D. | Gastier-Foster, Julie | Gaudet, Mia M. | Gaziano, J. Michael | Giffen, Carol | Giles, Graham G. | Giovannucci, Edward | Glimelius, Bengt | Goggins, Michael | Gokgoz, Nalan | Goldstein, Alisa M. | Gorlick, Richard | Gross, Myron | Grubb, Robert | Gu, Jian | Guan, Peng | Gunter, Marc | Guo, Huan | Habermann, Thomas M. | Haiman, Christopher A. | Halai, Dina | Hallmans, Goran | Hassan, Manal | Hattinger, Claudia | He, Qincheng | He, Xingzhou | Helzlsouer, Kathy | Henderson, Brian | Henriksson, Roger | Hjalgrim, Henrik | Hoffman-Bolton, Judith | Hohensee, Chancellor | Holford, Theodore R. | Holly, Elizabeth A. | Hong, Yun-Chul | Hoover, Robert N. | Horn-Ross, Pamela L. | Hosain, G. M. Monawar | Hosgood, H. Dean | Hsiao, Chin-Fu | Hu, Nan | Hu, Wei | Hu, Zhibin | Huang, Ming-Shyan | Huerta, Jose-Maria | Hung, Jen-Yu | Hutchinson, Amy | Inskip, Peter D. | Jackson, Rebecca D. | Jacobs, Eric J. | Jenab, Mazda | Jeon, Hyo-Sung | Ji, Bu-Tian | Jin, Guangfu | Jin, Li | Johansen, Christoffer | Johnson, Alison | Jung, Yoo Jin | Kaaks, Rudolph | Kamineni, Aruna | Kane, Eleanor | Kang, Chang Hyun | Karagas, Margaret R. | Kelly, Rachel S. | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Kim, Christopher | Kim, Hee Nam | Kim, Jin Hee | Kim, Jun Suk | Kim, Yeul Hong | Kim, Young Tae | Kim, Young-Chul | Kitahara, Cari M. | Klein, Alison P. | Klein, Robert J. | Kogevinas, Manolis | Kohno, Takashi | Kolonel, Laurence N. | Kooperberg, Charles | Kricker, Anne | Krogh, Vittorio | Kunitoh, Hideo | Kurtz, Robert C. | Kweon, Sun-Seog | LaCroix, Andrea | Lawrence, Charles | Lecanda, Fernando | Lee, Victor Ho Fun | Li, Donghui | Li, Haixin | Li, Jihua | Li, Yao-Jen | Li, Yuqing | Liao, Linda M. | Liebow, Mark | Lightfoot, Tracy | Lim, Wei-Yen | Lin, Chien-Chung | Lin, Dongxin | Lindstrom, Sara | Linet, Martha S. | Link, Brian K. | Liu, Chenwei | Liu, Jianjun | Liu, Li | Ljungberg, Börje | Lloreta, Josep | Lollo, Simonetta Di | Lu, Daru | Lund, Eiluv | Malats, Nuria | Mannisto, Satu | Marchand, Loic Le | Marina, Neyssa | Masala, Giovanna | Mastrangelo, Giuseppe | Matsuo, Keitaro | Maynadie, Marc | McKay, James | McKean-Cowdin, Roberta | Melbye, Mads | Melin, Beatrice S. | Michaud, Dominique S. | Mitsudomi, Tetsuya | Monnereau, Alain | Montalvan, Rebecca | Moore, Lee E. | Mortensen, Lotte Maxild | Nieters, Alexandra | North, Kari E. | Novak, Anne J. | Oberg, Ann L. | Offit, Kenneth | Oh, In-Jae | Olson, Sara H. | Palli, Domenico | Pao, William | Park, In Kyu | Park, Jae Yong | Park, Kyong Hwa | Patiño-Garcia, Ana | Pavanello, Sofia | Peeters, Petra H. M. | Perng, Reury-Perng | Peters, Ulrike | Petersen, Gloria M. | Picci, Piero | Pike, Malcolm C. | Porru, Stefano | Prescott, Jennifer | Prokunina-Olsson, Ludmila | Qian, Biyun | Qiao, You-Lin | Rais, Marco | Riboli, Elio | Riby, Jacques | Risch, Harvey A. | Rizzato, Cosmeri | Rodabough, Rebecca | Roman, Eve | Roupret, Morgan | Ruder, Avima M. | de Sanjose, Silvia | Scelo, Ghislaine | Schned, Alan | Schumacher, Fredrick | Schwartz, Kendra | Schwenn, Molly | Scotlandi, Katia | Seow, Adeline | Serra, Consol | Serra, Massimo | Sesso, Howard D. | Setiawan, Veronica Wendy | Severi, Gianluca | Severson, Richard K. | Shanafelt, Tait D. | Shen, Hongbing | Shen, Wei | Shin, Min-Ho | Shiraishi, Kouya | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Siddiq, Afshan | Sierrasesúmaga, Luis | Sihoe, Alan Dart Loon | Skibola, Christine F. | Smith, Alex | Smith, Martyn T. | Southey, Melissa C. | Spinelli, John J. | Staines, Anthony | Stampfer, Meir | Stern, Marianna C. | Stevens, Victoria L. | Stolzenberg-Solomon, Rachael S. | Su, Jian | Su, Wu-Chou | Sund, Malin | Sung, Jae Sook | Sung, Sook Whan | Tan, Wen | Tang, Wei | Tardón, Adonina | Thomas, David | Thompson, Carrie A. | Tinker, Lesley F. | Tirabosco, Roberto | Tjønneland, Anne | Travis, Ruth C. | Trichopoulos, Dimitrios | Tsai, Fang-Yu | Tsai, Ying-Huang | Tucker, Margaret | Turner, Jenny | Vajdic, Claire M. | Vermeulen, Roel C. H. | Villano, Danylo J. | Vineis, Paolo | Virtamo, Jarmo | Visvanathan, Kala | Wactawski-Wende, Jean | Wang, Chaoyu | Wang, Chih-Liang | Wang, Jiu-Cun | Wang, Junwen | Wei, Fusheng | Weiderpass, Elisabete | Weiner, George J. | Weinstein, Stephanie | Wentzensen, Nicolas | White, Emily | Witzig, Thomas E. | Wolpin, Brian M. | Wong, Maria Pik | Wu, Chen | Wu, Guoping | Wu, Junjie | Wu, Tangchun | Wu, Wei | Wu, Xifeng | Wu, Yi-Long | Wunder, Jay S. | Xiang, Yong-Bing | Xu, Jun | Xu, Ping | Yang, Pan-Chyr | Yang, Tsung-Ying | Ye, Yuanqing | Yin, Zhihua | Yokota, Jun | Yoon, Ho-Il | Yu, Chong-Jen | Yu, Herbert | Yu, Kai | Yuan, Jian-Min | Zelenetz, Andrew | Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Anne | Zhang, Xu-Chao | Zhang, Yawei | Zhao, Xueying | Zhao, Zhenhong | Zheng, Hong | Zheng, Tongzhang | Zheng, Wei | Zhou, Baosen | Zhu, Meng | Zucca, Mariagrazia | Boca, Simina M. | Cerhan, James R. | Ferri, Giovanni M. | Hartge, Patricia | Hsiung, Chao Agnes | Magnani, Corrado | Miligi, Lucia | Morton, Lindsay M. | Smedby, Karin E. | Teras, Lauren R. | Vijai, Joseph | Wang, Sophia S. | Brennan, Paul | Caporaso, Neil E. | Hunter, David J. | Kraft, Peter | Rothman, Nathaniel | Silverman, Debra T. | Slager, Susan L. | Chanock, Stephen J. | Chatterjee, Nilanjan
Background:
Studies of related individuals have consistently demonstrated notable familial aggregation of cancer. We aim to estimate the heritability and genetic correlation attributable to the additive effects of common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for cancer at 13 anatomical sites.
Methods:
Between 2007 and 2014, the US National Cancer Institute has generated data from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for 49 492 cancer case patients and 34 131 control patients. We apply novel mixed model methodology (GCTA) to this GWAS data to estimate the heritability of individual cancers, as well as the proportion of heritability attributable to cigarette smoking in smoking-related cancers, and the genetic correlation between pairs of cancers.
Results:
GWAS heritability was statistically significant at nearly all sites, with the estimates of array-based heritability, hl 2, on the liability threshold (LT) scale ranging from 0.05 to 0.38. Estimating the combined heritability of multiple smoking characteristics, we calculate that at least 24% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 14% to 37%) and 7% (95% CI = 4% to 11%) of the heritability for lung and bladder cancer, respectively, can be attributed to genetic determinants of smoking. Most pairs of cancers studied did not show evidence of strong genetic correlation. We found only four pairs of cancers with marginally statistically significant correlations, specifically kidney and testes (ρ = 0.73, SE = 0.28), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and pediatric osteosarcoma (ρ = 0.53, SE = 0.21), DLBCL and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) (ρ = 0.51, SE =0.18), and bladder and lung (ρ = 0.35, SE = 0.14). Correlation analysis also indicates that the genetic architecture of lung cancer differs between a smoking population of European ancestry and a nonsmoking Asian population, allowing for the possibility that the genetic etiology for the same disease can vary by population and environmental exposures.
Conclusion:
Our results provide important insights into the genetic architecture of cancers and suggest new avenues for investigation.
doi:10.1093/jnci/djv279
PMCID: PMC4806328  PMID: 26464424
6.  Whole-genome scanning for the litter size trait associated genes and SNPs under selection in dairy goat (Capra hircus) 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:38096.
Dairy goats are one of the most utilized domesticated animals in China. Here, we selected extreme populations based on differential fecundity in two Laoshan dairy goat populations. Utilizing deep sequencing we have generated 68.7 and 57.8 giga base of sequencing data, and identified 12,458,711 and 12,423,128 SNPs in the low fecundity and high fecundity groups, respectively. Following selective sweep analyses, a number of loci and candidate genes in the two populations were scanned independently. The reproduction related genes CCNB2, AR, ADCY1, DNMT3B, SMAD2, AMHR2, ERBB2, FGFR1, MAP3K12 and THEM4 were specifically selected in the high fecundity group whereas KDM6A, TENM1, SWI5 and CYM were specifically selected in the low fecundity group. A sub-set of genes including SYCP2, SOX5 and POU3F4 were localized both in the high and low fecundity selection windows, suggesting that these particular genes experienced strong selection with lower genetic diversity. From the genome data, the rare nonsense mutations may not contribute to fecundity, whereas nonsynonymous SNPs likely play a predominant role. The nonsynonymous exonic SNPs in SETDB2 and CDH26 which were co-localized in the selected region may take part in fecundity traits. These observations bring us a new insights into the genetic variation influencing fecundity traits within dairy goats.
doi:10.1038/srep38096
PMCID: PMC5131482  PMID: 27905513
7.  Knockdown of ELMO3 Suppresses Growth, Invasion and Metastasis of Colorectal Cancer 
The engulfment and cell motility (ELMOs) family of proteins plays a crucial role in tumor cell migration and invasion. However, the function of ELMO3 is poorly defined. To elucidate its role in the development and progression of colorectal cancer (CRC), we examined the expression of ELMO3 in 45 cases of paired CRC tumor tissues and adjacent normal tissues. Furthermore, we assessed the effect of the knockdown of ELMO3 on cell proliferation, cell cycle, migration, invasion and F-actin polymerization in HCT116 cells. The result shows that the expression of ELMO3 in CRC tissues was significantly increased in comparison to the adjacent normal colorectal tissues. Moreover, this overexpression was associated with tumor size (p = 0.007), tumor differentiation (p = 0.001), depth of invasion (p = 0.009), lymph node metastasis (p = 0.003), distant metastasis (p = 0.013) and tumor, node, metastasis (TNM)-based classification (p = 0.000). In in vitro experiments, the silencing of ELMO3 inhibited cell proliferation, invasion, metastasis, and F-actin polymerization, and induced Gap 1 (G1) phase cell cycle arrest. Our study demonstrates that ELMO3 is involved in the processes of growth, invasion and metastasis of CRC, and could be used a potential molecular diagnostic tool or therapy target of CRC.
doi:10.3390/ijms17122119
PMCID: PMC5187919  PMID: 27999268
engulfment and cell mobility; ELMO; proliferation; invasion; metastasis; colorectal cancer
8.  MicroRNA-147 suppresses human hepatocellular carcinoma proliferation migration and chemosensitivity by inhibiting HOXC6 
American Journal of Cancer Research  2016;6(12):2787-2798.
Patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) experience poor prognosis and low survival rates. In this study, we explored the molecular mechanism of microRNA-147 (miR-147) in regulating human HCC. We firstly used quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) to compare the expression levels of miR-147 between 7 HCC and two normal liver cell lines, as well as 10 paired primary HCC tissues and their adjacent non-carcinoma tissues. We found miR-147 was down-regulated in both HCC cell lines and primary HCCs tissues. HCC cell lines HepG2 and HuH7 were transfected with lentiviral vector of miR-147 mimics. We found overexpressing miR-147 significantly inhibited HCC in vitro proliferation and migration, increased 5-FU chemosensitivity, and reduced in vivo tumorigenicity. Luciferase, qRT-PCR and western blot assays showed that HOXC6 was the downstream target of miR-147, and both gene and protein levels of HOXC6 were down-regulated by miR-147 in HCC cells. SiRNA mediated HOXC6 knockdown inhibited in vitro proliferation and migration, and increased 5-FU chemosensitivity in HCC. On the other hand, HOXC6 overexpression reversed the inhibitory effect of miR-147 on HCC in vitro proliferation. Therefore, our results suggest that miR-147 can modulates HCC development through the regulation on HOXC6.
PMCID: PMC5199754  PMID: 28042500
miR-147; hepatocellular carcinoma; HOXC6; migration; proliferation; chemosensitivity
9.  Cyanate‐Impaired Angiogenesis: Association With Poor Coronary Collateral Growth in Patients With Stable Angina and Chronic Total Occlusion 
Background
Cyanate has recently gained attention for its role in the pathogenesis of vascular injury. Nonetheless, the effect of cyanate on angiogenesis remains unclear.
Methods and Results
In this study, we demonstrated that oral administration of cyanate impaired blood perfusion recovery in a mouse hind‐limb ischemia model. A reduction in blood perfusion recovery at day 21 was observed in the ischemic tissue of cyanate‐treated mice. Likewise, there were fewer capillaries in the ischemic hind‐limb tissue of cyanate‐exposed mice. Our in vitro study showed that cyanate, together with its carbamylated products, inhibited the migration, proliferation, and tube‐formation abilities of endothelial cells. Further research revealed that cyanate regulated angiogenesis partly by interrupting the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2/phosphatidylinositol 3‐kinase/Akt pathway. The serum concentrations of homocitrulline, a marker of cyanate exposure, were determined in 117 patients with stable angina and chronic total occlusion. Consistent with the antiangiogenic role of cyanate, homocitrulline levels were increased in patients with poor coronary collateralization (n=58) compared with those with high collateralization (n=59; 21.09±13.08 versus 15.54±9.02 ng/mL, P=0.009). In addition, elevated homocitrulline concentration was a strong predictor of poor coronary collateral growth.
Conclusions
Impaired angiogenesis induced by cyanate might contribute to poor coronary collateral growth.
doi:10.1161/JAHA.116.004700
PMCID: PMC5210395  PMID: 27986757
angiogenesis; carbamylation; chronic total coronary occlusion; collateral circulation; cyanate; endothelial dysfunction; Angiogenesis; Vascular Biology; Endothelium/Vascular Type/Nitric Oxide; Clinical Studies
10.  Hydrogen Sulfide and/or Ammonia Reduces Spermatozoa Motility through AMPK/AKT Related Pathways 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:37884.
A number of emerging studies suggest that air pollutants such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and ammonia (NH3) may cause a decline in spermatozoa motility. The impact and underlying mechanisms are currently unknown. Boar spermatozoa (in vitro) and peripubertal male mice (in vivo) were exposed to H2S and/or NH3 to evaluate the impact on spermatozoa motility. Na2S and/or NH4Cl reduced the motility of boar spermatozoa in vitro. Na2S and/or NH4Cl disrupted multiple signaling pathways including decreasing Na+/K+ ATPase activity and protein kinase B (AKT) levels, activating Adenosine 5′-monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome ten (PTEN), and increasing reactive oxygen species (ROS) to diminish boar spermatozoa motility. The increase in ROS might have activated PTEN, which in turn diminished AKT activation. The ATP deficiency (indicated by reduction in Na+/K+ ATPase activity), transforming growth factor (TGFβ) activated kinase-1 (TAK1) activation, and AKT deactivation stimulated AMPK, which caused a decline in boar spermatozoa motility. Simultaneously, the deactivation of AKT might play some role in the reduction of boar spermatozoa motility. Furthermore, Na2S and/or NH4Cl declined the motility of mouse spermatozoa without affecting mouse body weight gain in vivo. Findings of the present study suggest that H2S and/or NH3 are adversely associated with spermatozoa motility.
doi:10.1038/srep37884
PMCID: PMC5121643  PMID: 27883089
11.  EphB4 Forward‐Signaling Regulates Cardiac Progenitor Development in Mouse ES Cells 
Journal of Cellular Biochemistry  2015;116(3):467-475.
ABSTRACT
Eph receptor (Eph)‐ephrin signaling plays an important role in organ development and tissue regeneration. Bidirectional signaling of EphB4–ephrinB2 regulates cardiovascular development. To assess the role of EphB4–ephrinB2 signaling in cardiac lineage development, we utilized two GFP reporter systems in embryonic stem (ES) cells, in which the GFP transgenes were expressed in Nkx2.5+ cardiac progenitor cells and in α‐MHC+ cardiomyocytes, respectively. We found that both EphB4 and ephrinB2 were expressed in Nkx2.5‐GFP+ cardiac progenitor cells, but not in α‐MHC‐GFP+ cardiomyocytes during cardiac lineage differentiation of ES cells. An antagonist of EphB4, TNYL‐RAW peptides, that block the binding of EphB4 and ephrinB2, impaired cardiac lineage development in ES cells. Inhibition of EphB4–ephrinB2 signaling at different time points during ES cell differentiation demonstrated that the interaction of EphB4 and ephrinB2 was required for the early stage of cardiac lineage development. Forced expression of human full‐length EphB4 or intracellular domain‐truncated EphB4 in EphB4‐null ES cells was established to investigate the role of EphB4‐forward signaling in ES cells. Interestingly, while full‐length EphB4 was able to restore the cardiac lineage development in EphB4‐null ES cells, the truncated EphB4 that lacks the intracellular domain of tyrosine kinase and PDZ motif failed to rescue the defect of cardiomyocyte development, suggesting that EphB4 intracellular domain is essential for the development of cardiomyocytes. Our study provides evidence that receptor‐kinase‐dependent EphB4‐forward signaling plays a crucial role in the development of cardiac progenitor cells. J. Cell. Biochem. 116: 467–475, 2015. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
doi:10.1002/jcb.25000
PMCID: PMC4452947  PMID: 25359705
EMBRYONIC STEM (ES) CELLS; CARDIOMYOCYTES; EphB4; ephrinB2; CARDIAC PROGENITOR CELLS; Nkx 2.5; α‐MHC
12.  Tea and Risk of Age-Related Cataracts: A Cross-Sectional Study in Zhejiang Province, China 
Journal of Epidemiology  2016;26(11):587-592.
Background
The antioxidant properties of tea extracts are considered to be effective in protecting against cataracts. However, there is still insufficient epidemiological knowledge about the protective effects of different types of tea on age-related cataracts.
Methods
The data was derived from the Zhejiang Major Public Health Surveillance (ZJMPHS) Program on health and related factors in the elderly. The relationships between consumption of different types of tea and risk of age-related cataracts were assessed after adjusting for related covariates.
Results
The prevalence of age-related cataracts in this study population was 4.4% (409/9343). After adjustment for potential confounders, tea drinking was associated with reduced risk of age-related cataracts (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.47–0.91). Compared to nondrinkers, green tea drinkers had a significantly reduced risk of cataracts (adjusted OR 0.58; 95% CI, 0.40–0.85). Average tea consumption of 14–27 cups (adjusted OR 0.55; 95% CI, 0.33–0.93) and over 28 cups (adjusted OR 0.58; 95% CI, 0.34–0.99) per week had a protective effect against cataracts in comparison to no consumption. In addition, ingesting a moderate concentration of tea significantly decreased the risk of cataract compared to no consumption (adjusted OR 0.43; 95% CI, 0.27–0.71).
Conclusions
Tea ingestion was associated with reduced risk of age-related cataracts. In light of these findings, we suggest that reasonable tea consumption (ie, favoring green tea and consuming an average of over 500 mL per day at moderate concentration) should offer protection against age-related cataracts.
doi:10.2188/jea.JE20150223
PMCID: PMC5083322  PMID: 27180932
tea; cataract; cross-sectional study; odds ratio
13.  Processing and Representation of Ambiguous Words in Chinese Reading: Evidence from Eye Movements 
Frontiers in Psychology  2016;7:1713.
In the current study, we used eye tracking to investigate whether senses of polysemous words and meanings of homonymous words are represented and processed similarly or differently in Chinese reading. Readers read sentences containing target words which was either homonymous words or polysemous words. The contexts of text preceding the target words were manipulated to bias the participants toward reading the ambiguous words according to their dominant, subordinate, or neutral meanings. Similarly, disambiguating regions following the target words were also manipulated to favor either the dominant or subordinate meanings of ambiguous words. The results showed that there were similar eye movement patterns when Chinese participants read sentences containing homonymous and polysemous words. The study also found that participants took longer to read the target word and the disambiguating text following it when the prior context and disambiguating regions favored divergent meanings rather than the same meaning. These results suggested that homonymy and polysemy are represented similarly in the mental lexicon when a particular meaning (sense) is fully specified by disambiguating information. Furthermore, multiple meanings (senses) are represented as separate entries in the mental lexicon.
doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01713
PMCID: PMC5093148  PMID: 27857701
homonymy; polysemy; Chinese; reading; eye movements
14.  Is surgery indicated for elderly patients with early stage nonsmall cell lung cancer, in the era of stereotactic body radiotherapy? 
Medicine  2016;95(43):e5212.
Abstract
Background:
The aim of this article is to assess the influence of comorbidities among elderly patients (at least 70 year old) undergoing surgery for early stage nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and to explore the tolerability and efficacy of surgery in relation to stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) in this patient population.
Methods:
A review of the literature on the prevalence of comorbidities among elderly patients with early stage NSCLC, and the impact of comorbidity factors on survival following surgery was conducted. Survival rates and the incidence of complications following SBRT for this patient population were also identified.
Results:
Comorbidities in elderly patients with early stage NSCLC may preclude surgery or lead to poor survival following surgery. However, chronological age alone should not be used as a deciding factor to deny curative treatment in elderly, but fit patients. Stereotactic body radiotherapy is well tolerated by elderly lung cancer patients and may result in survival rates similar to that following surgery.
Conclusion:
SBRT should be the treatment of choice for early stage NSCLC in elderly patients with multiple comorbidities that preclude surgery. The roles of surgery and SBRT for elderly, -fit patients with early stage NSCLC needs to be further defined in future prospective trials.
doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000005212
PMCID: PMC5089109  PMID: 27787380
early stage; elderly; lung cancer; SBRT; surgery
15.  A novel methanol-free Pichia pastoris system for recombinant protein expression 
Background
As one of the most popular expression systems, recombinant protein expression in Pichia pastoris relies on the AOX1 promoter (PAOX1) which is strongly induced by methanol. However, the toxic and inflammatory nature of methanol restricts its application, especially in edible and medical products. Therefore, constructing a novel methanol-free system becomes necessary. The kinases involved in PAOX1 activation or repression by different carbon sources may be promising targets.
Results
We identified two kinase mutants: Δgut1 and Δdak, both of which showed strong alcohol oxidase activity under non-methanol carbon sources. Based on these two kinases, we constructed two methanol-free expression systems: Δgut1-HpGCY1-glycerol (PAOX1 induced by glycerol) and Δdak-DHA (PAOX1 induced by DHA). By comparing their GFP expression efficiencies, the latter one showed better potential. To further test the Δdak-DHA system, three more recombinant proteins were expressed as examples. We found that the expression ability of our novel methanol-free Δdak-DHA system was generally better than the constitutive GAP promoter, and reached 50–60 % of the traditional methanol induced system.
Conclusions
We successfully constructed a novel methanol-free expression system Δdak-DHA. This modified expression platform preserved the favorable regulatable nature of PAOX1, providing a potential alternative to the traditional system.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12934-016-0578-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12934-016-0578-4
PMCID: PMC5073731  PMID: 27769297
Recombination protein expression; AOX1 promoter; Dihydroxyacetone; GUT1; DAK; Pichia pastoris
16.  Continuous Low-dose-rate Irradiation of Iodine-125 Seeds Inhibiting Perineural Invasion in Pancreatic Cancer 
Chinese Medical Journal  2016;129(20):2460-2468.
Background:
Perineural invasion (PNI) is a histopathological characteristic of pancreatic cancer (PanCa). The aim of this study was to observe the treatment effect of continuous low-dose-rate (CLDR) irradiation to PNI and assess the PNI-related pain relief caused by iodine-125 (125I) seed implantation.
Methods:
The in vitro PNI model established by co-culture with dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and cancer cells was interfered under 2 and 4 Gy of 125I seeds CLDR irradiation. The orthotopic models of PNI were established, and 125I seeds were implanted in tumor. The PNI-related molecules were analyzed. In 30 patients with panCa, the pain relief was assessed using a visual analog scale (VAS). Pain intensity was measured before and 1 week, 2 weeks, and 1, 3, and 6 months after 125I seed implantation.
Results:
The co-culture of DRG and PanCa cells could promote the growth of PanCa cells and DRG neurites. In co-culture groups, the increased number of DRG neurites and pancreatic cells in radiation group was significantly less. In orthotopic models, the PNI-positive rate in radiation and control group was 3/11 and 7/11; meanwhile, the degrees of PNI between radiation and control groups was significant difference (P < 0.05). At week 2, the mean VAS pain score in patients decreased by 50% and significantly improved than the score at baseline (P < 0.05). The pain scores were lower in all patients, and the pain-relieving effect was retained about 3 months.
Conclusions:
The CLDR irradiation could inhibit PNI of PanCa with the value of further study. The CLDR irradiation could do great favor in preventing local recurrence and alleviating pain.
doi:10.4103/0366-6999.191777
PMCID: PMC5072259  PMID: 27748339
Continuous Low-dose-rate Irradiation; Pancreatic Cancer; Perineural Invasion; Radioactive Seeds
17.  Significantly enhancing recombinant alkaline amylase production in Bacillus subtilis by integration of a novel mutagenesis-screening strategy with systems-level fermentation optimization 
Background
Alkaline amylase has significant potential for applications in the textile, paper and detergent industries, however, low yield of which cannot meet the requirement of industrial application. In this work, a novel ARTP mutagenesis-screening method and fermentation optimization strategies were used to significantly improve the expression level of recombinant alkaline amylase in B. subtilis 168.
Results
The activity of alkaline amylase in mutant B. subtilis 168 mut-16# strain was 1.34-fold greater than that in the wild-type, and the highest specific production rate was improved from 1.31 U/(mg·h) in the wild-type strain to 1.57 U/(mg·h) in the mutant strain. Meanwhile, the growth of B. subtilis was significantly enhanced by ARTP mutagenesis. When the agitation speed was 550 rpm, the highest activity of recombinant alkaline amylase was 1.16- and 1.25-fold of the activities at 450 and 650 rpm, respectively. When the concentration of soluble starch and soy peptone in the initial fermentation medium was doubled, alkaline amylase activity was increased 1.29-fold. Feeding hydrolyzed starch and soy peptone mixture or glucose significantly improved cell growth, but inhibited the alkaline amylase production in B. subtilis 168 mut-16#. The highest alkaline amylase activity by feeding hydrolyzed starch reached 591.4 U/mL, which was 1.51-fold the activity by feeding hydrolyzed starch and soy peptone mixture. Single pulse feeding-based batch feeding at 10 h favored the production of alkaline amylase in B. subtilis 168 mut-16#.
Conclusion
The results indicated that this novel ARTP mutagenesis-screening method could significantly improve the yield of recombinant proteins in B. subtilis. Meanwhile, fermentation optimization strategies efficiently promoted expression of recombinant alkaline amylase in B. subtilis 168 mut-16#. These findings have great potential for facilitating the industrial-scale production of alkaline amylase and other enzymes, using B. subtilis cultures as microbial cell factories.
doi:10.1186/s13036-016-0035-2
PMCID: PMC5067897  PMID: 27777616
B. subtilis; ARTP mutagenesis; Alkaline amylase; Fermentation optimization; Fed-batch; Overexpression
18.  Cytotoxic effects of ZnO nanoparticles on mouse testicular cells 
Background
Nanoscience and nanotechnology are developing rapidly, and the applications of nanoparticles (NPs) have been found in several fields. At present, NPs are widely used in traditional consumer and industrial products, however, the properties and safety of NPs are still unclear and there are concerns about their potential environmental and health effects. The aim of the present study was to investigate the potential toxicity of ZnO NPs on testicular cells using both in vitro and in vivo systems in a mouse experimental model.
Methods
ZnO NPs with a crystalline size of 70 nm were characterized with various analytical techniques, including ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy. The cytotoxicity of the ZnO NPs was examined in vitro on Leydig cell and Sertoli cell lines, and in vivo on the testes of CD1 mice injected with single doses of ZnO NPs.
Results
ZnO NPs were internalized by Leydig cells and Sertoli cells, and this resulted in cytotoxicity in a time- and dose-dependent manner through the induction of apoptosis. Apoptosis likely occurred as a consequence of DNA damage (detected as γ-H2AX and RAD51 foci) caused by increase in reactive oxygen species associated with loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. In addition, injection of ZnO NPs in male mice caused structural alterations in the seminiferous epithelium and sperm abnormalities.
Conclusion
These results demonstrate that ZnO NPs have the potential to induce apoptosis in testicular cells likely through DNA damage caused by reactive oxygen species, with possible adverse consequences for spermatogenesis and therefore, male fertility. This suggests that evaluating the potential impacts of engineered NPs is essential prior to their mass production, to address both the environmental and human health concerns and also to develop sustainable and safer nanomaterials.
doi:10.2147/IJN.S111447
PMCID: PMC5066861  PMID: 27785022
ZnO nanoparticle; Sertoli cells; Leydig cells; mice
19.  SeqKit: A Cross-Platform and Ultrafast Toolkit for FASTA/Q File Manipulation 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(10):e0163962.
FASTA and FASTQ are basic and ubiquitous formats for storing nucleotide and protein sequences. Common manipulations of FASTA/Q file include converting, searching, filtering, deduplication, splitting, shuffling, and sampling. Existing tools only implement some of these manipulations, and not particularly efficiently, and some are only available for certain operating systems. Furthermore, the complicated installation process of required packages and running environments can render these programs less user friendly. This paper describes a cross-platform ultrafast comprehensive toolkit for FASTA/Q processing. SeqKit provides executable binary files for all major operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX, and can be directly used without any dependencies or pre-configurations. SeqKit demonstrates competitive performance in execution time and memory usage compared to similar tools. The efficiency and usability of SeqKit enable researchers to rapidly accomplish common FASTA/Q file manipulations. SeqKit is open source and available on Github at https://github.com/shenwei356/seqkit.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163962
PMCID: PMC5051824  PMID: 27706213
20.  Silver Nanoparticle-Mediated Cellular Responses in Various Cell Lines: An in Vitro Model 
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have attracted increased interest and are currently used in various industries including medicine, cosmetics, textiles, electronics, and pharmaceuticals, owing to their unique physical and chemical properties, particularly as antimicrobial and anticancer agents. Recently, several studies have reported both beneficial and toxic effects of AgNPs on various prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems. To develop nanoparticles for mediated therapy, several laboratories have used a variety of cell lines under in vitro conditions to evaluate the properties, mode of action, differential responses, and mechanisms of action of AgNPs. In vitro models are simple, cost-effective, rapid, and can be used to easily assess efficacy and performance. The cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, and biocompatibility of AgNPs depend on many factors such as size, shape, surface charge, surface coating, solubility, concentration, surface functionalization, distribution of particles, mode of entry, mode of action, growth media, exposure time, and cell type. Cellular responses to AgNPs are different in each cell type and depend on the physical and chemical nature of AgNPs. This review evaluates significant contributions to the literature on biological applications of AgNPs. It begins with an introduction to AgNPs, with particular attention to their overall impact on cellular effects. The main objective of this review is to elucidate the reasons for different cell types exhibiting differential responses to nanoparticles even when they possess similar size, shape, and other parameters. Firstly, we discuss the cellular effects of AgNPs on a variety of cell lines; Secondly, we discuss the mechanisms of action of AgNPs in various cellular systems, and try to elucidate how AgNPs interact with different mammalian cell lines and produce significant effects; Finally, we discuss the cellular activation of various signaling molecules in response to AgNPs, and conclude with future perspectives on research into AgNPs.
doi:10.3390/ijms17101603
PMCID: PMC5085636  PMID: 27669221
silver nanoparticles; cellular effect; epithelial cells; endothelial cells; macrophage; keratinocytes; fibroblasts; neuronal cells; stem cells
21.  The Prognostic Role of the Platelet-Lymphocytes Ratio in Gastric Cancer: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(9):e0163719.
Background
Systemic inflammatory parameters, such as the elevator PLR (platelet-lymphocyte ratio), the NLR (neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio) and the platelet count (PLT), have been found to be associated with the prognosis in gastric cancer; however, these results, especially those relating to the PLR, remain inconsistent. So we aimed to evaluate the prognostic role of the PLR in gastric cancer by conducting and presenting the findings of this meta-analysis.
Methods
We conducted a systematic literature search in PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Library to evaluate the prognostic value of the PLR in gastric cancer. The quality of the included studies was evaluated using the Newcastle Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale (NOS). The hazard ratio (HR) /Odds Ratio (OR) and its 95% confidence were pooled using a random effects model. A funnel plot based on overall survival was used to evaluate the publication bias.
Results
It total, 8 studies comprising 4513 patients with gastric cancer met the pre-setting inclusion criteria. In comparison to the normal PLR, an elevated PLR was correlated with a higher risk of lymph node metastasis with an OR of 1.50 (95% Cl:1.24–1.82; I2 = 17%) and serosal invasion (T3 +T4) risk with an OR of 2.01 (95% Cl: 1.49–2.73; I2 = 55%), and an elevated PLR also increased the advanced stage (III +IV) risk with an OR of 1.99 (95% Cl: 1.60–2.46; I2 = 28%). An elevated PLR was not a reliable predictor for OS with an HR of 0.99 (95% CI: 0.9–1.1; I2 = 12%).
Conclusions
An elevated PLR was correlated with a higher risk of lymph node metastasis, serosal invasion and advanced stage (III +IV) risk in gastric cancer; however, the PLR may not act as a negative predictor for the overall survival of gastric cancer.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163719
PMCID: PMC5042439  PMID: 27684077
22.  Super-elastic and fatigue resistant carbon material with lamellar multi-arch microstructure 
Nature Communications  2016;7:12920.
Low-density compressible materials enable various applications but are often hindered by structure-derived fatigue failure, weak elasticity with slow recovery speed and large energy dissipation. Here we demonstrate a carbon material with microstructure-derived super-elasticity and high fatigue resistance achieved by designing a hierarchical lamellar architecture composed of thousands of microscale arches that serve as elastic units. The obtained monolithic carbon material can rebound a steel ball in spring-like fashion with fast recovery speed (∼580 mm s−1), and demonstrates complete recovery and small energy dissipation (∼0.2) in each compress-release cycle, even under 90% strain. Particularly, the material can maintain structural integrity after more than 106 cycles at 20% strain and 2.5 × 105 cycles at 50% strain. This structural material, although constructed using an intrinsically brittle carbon constituent, is simultaneously super-elastic, highly compressible and fatigue resistant to a degree even greater than that of previously reported compressible foams mainly made from more robust constituents.
Low-density compressible materials often suffer from fatigue-induced failure or limited elasticity. Here, the authors create a hierarchical multi-arch carbon material that achieves high compressibility, superior elasticity and fatigue resistance simultaneously, inspired by properties of arches in daily life.
doi:10.1038/ncomms12920
PMCID: PMC5052633  PMID: 27676215
23.  Transcriptomic and Metabolomic Analysis Revealed Multifaceted Effects of Phage Protein Gp70.1 on Pseudomonas aeruginosa 
The impact of phage infection on the host cell is severe. In order to take over the cellular machinery, some phage proteins were produced to shut off the host biosynthesis early in the phage infection. The discovery and identification of these phage-derived inhibitors have a significant prospect of application in antibacterial treatment. This work presented a phage protein, gp70.1, with non-specific inhibitory effects on Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli. Gp70.1 was encoded by early gene – orf 70.1 from P. aeruginosa phage PaP3. The P. aeruginosa with a plasmid encoding gp70.1 showed with delayed growth and had the appearance of a small colony. The combination of multifaceted analysis including microarray-based transcriptomic analysis, RT-qPCR, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy-based metabolomics and phenotype experiments were performed to investigate the effects of gp70.1 on P. aeruginosa. A total of 178 genes of P. aeruginosa mainly involved in extracellular function and metabolism were differentially expressed in the presence of gp70.1 at three examined time points. Furthermore, our results indicated that gp70.1 had an extensive impact on the extracellular phenotype of P. aeruginosa, such as motility, pyocyanin, extracellular protease, polysaccharide, and cellulase. For the metabolism of P. aeruginosa, the main effect of gp70.1 was the reduction of amino acid consumption. Finally, the RNA polymerase sigma factor RpoS was identified as a potential cellular target of gp70.1. Gp70.1 was the first bacterial inhibitor identified from Pseudomonas aeruginosa phage PaP3. It was also the first phage protein that interacted with the global regulator RpoS of bacteria. Our results indicated the potential value of gp70.1 in antibacterial applications. This study preliminarily revealed the biological function of gp70.1 and provided a reference for the study of other phage genes sharing similarities with orf70.1.
doi:10.3389/fmicb.2016.01519
PMCID: PMC5035744  PMID: 27725812
Pseudomonas aeruginosa; bacteriophage; phage–host interaction; host shut-off proteins; RpoS
24.  The crucial role of Activin A on the formation of primordial germ cell-like cells from skin-derived stem cells in vitro 
Cell Cycle  2015;14(19):3016-3029.
Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are founder cells of the germ cell lineage, and can be differentiated from stem cells in an induced system in vitro. However, the induction conditions need to be optimized in order to improve the differentiation efficiency. Activin A (ActA) is a member of the TGF-β super family and plays an important role in oogenesis and folliculogenesis. In the present study, we found that ActA promoted PGC-like cells (PGCLCs) formation from mouse skin-derived stem cells (SDSCs) in both embryoid body-like structure (EBLS) differentiation and the co-culture stage in a dose dependent manner. ActA treatment (100 ng/ml) during EBLS differentiation stage and further co-cultured for 6 days without ActA significantly increased PGCLCs from 53.2% to 82.8%, and as well as EBLS differentiation without ActA followed by co-cultured with 100 ng/ml ActA for 4 to 12 days with the percentage of PGCLCs increasing markedly in vitro. Moreover, mice treated with ActA at 100 ng/kg body weight from embryonic day (E) 5.5–12.5 led to more PGCs formation. However, the stimulating effects of ActA were interrupted by Smad3 RNAi, and in an in vitro cultured Smad3−/− mouse skin cells scenario. SMAD3 is thus likely a key effecter molecule in the ActA signaling pathway. In addition, we found that the expression of some epiblast cell markers, Fgf5, Dnmt3a, Dnmt3b and Wnt3, was increased in EBLSs cultured for 4 days or PGCLCs co-cultured for 12 days with ActA treatment. Interestingly, at 16 days of differentiation, the percentage of PGCLCs was decreased in the presence of ActA, but the expression of meiosis-relative genes, such as Stra8, Dmc1, Sycp3 and Sycp1, was increased. In conclusion, our data here demonstrated that ActA can promote PGCLC formation from SDSCs in vitro, at early stages of differentiation, and affect meiotic initiation of PGCLCs in later stages
doi:10.1080/15384101.2015.1078031
PMCID: PMC4825550  PMID: 26406115
activin A; differentiation; primordial germ cells; skin-derived stem cells; smad3
25.  Characterization and Comparative Genomic Analyses of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Phage PaoP5: New Members Assigned to PAK_P1-like Viruses 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:34067.
As a potential alternative to antibiotics, phages can be used to treat multi-drug resistant bacteria. As such, the biological characteristics of phages should be investigated to utilize them as effective antimicrobial agents. In this study, phage PaoP5, a lytic virus that infects Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1, was isolated and genomically characterized. PaoP5 comprises an icosahedral head with an apex diameter of 69 nm and a contractile tail with a length of 120 nm. The PaoP5 genome is a linear dsDNA molecule containing 93,464 base pairs (bp) with 49.51% G + C content of 11 tRNA genes and a 1,200 bp terminal redundancy. A total of 176 protein-coding genes were predicted in the PaoP5 genome. Nine PaoP5 structural proteins were identified. Three hypothetical proteins were determined as structural. Comparative genomic analyses revealed that seven new Pseudomonas phages, namely, PaoP5, K8, C11, vB_PaeM_C2-10_Ab02, vB_PaeM_C2-10_Ab08, vB_PaeM_C2-10_Ab10, and vB_PaeM_C2-10_Ab15, were similar to PAK_P1-like viruses. Phylogenetic and pan-genome analyses suggested that the new phages should be assigned to PAK_P1-like viruses, which possess approximately 100 core genes and 150 accessory genes. This work presents a detailed and comparative analysis of PaoP5 to enhance our understanding of phage biology.
doi:10.1038/srep34067
PMCID: PMC5034324  PMID: 27659070

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