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1.  microRNA-34a promotes DNA damage and mitotic catastrophe 
Cell Cycle  2013;12(22):3500-3511.
Efficient and error-free DNA repair is critical for safeguarding genome integrity, yet it is also linked to radio- and chemoresistance of malignant tumors. miR-34a, a potent tumor suppressor, influences a large set of p53-regulated genes and contributes to p53-mediated apoptosis. However, the effects of miR-34a on the processes of DNA damage and repair are not entirely understood. We explored tet-inducible miR-34a-expressing human p53 wild-type and R273H p53 mutant GBM cell lines, and found that miR-34a influences the broad spectrum of 53BP1-mediated DNA damage response. It escalates both post-irradiation and endogenous DNA damage, abrogates radiation-induced G2/M arrest and drastically increases the number of irradiated cells undergoing mitotic catastrophe. Furthermore, miR-34a downregulates 53BP1 and inhibits its recruitment to the sites of DNA double-strand breaks. We conclude that whereas miR-34a counteracts DNA repair, it also contributes to the p53-independent elimination of distressed cells, thus preventing the rise of genomic instability in tumor cell populations. These properties of miR-34a can potentially be exploited for DNA damage-effecting therapies of malignancies.
PMCID: PMC3906336  PMID: 24091633
microRNA-34a; DNA damage; mitotic catastrophe; mitosis; 53BP1; brain tumors
2.  Invasive Cribriform Carcinoma Arising in Malignant Phyllodes Tumor of Breast: A Case Report 
Korean Journal of Pathology  2012;46(2):205-209.
Phyllodes tumor is an uncommon fibroepithelial neoplasm of the breast. And it is characterized by expanded stroma with increased cellularity and elongated epithelium-lined clefts. Mammary carcinomas within phyllodes tumors have been rarely reported. To date, however, no reports have described the invasive cribriform carcinoma arising in malignant phyllodes tumor. Here, we report a 62-year-old woman who presented with a large breast mass. Microscopically, the mass was a typical malignant phyllodes tumor showing well developed leaf-like architecture and stromal overgrowth with high cellularity and nuclear pleomorphism. In a portion of the tumor, however, the epithelial component showed a cribriform pattern of proliferation in the absence of myoepithelial cells, suggestive of the invasive cribriform carcinoma. To our knowledge, this is rare and it is difficult to make a differential diagnosis of it. Here, we report our case with a review of literatures.
PMCID: PMC3479779  PMID: 23110003
Invasive carcinoma; Phyllodes tumor; Breast; Cribriform
3.  Duplication of intrachromosomal insertion segments 4q32→q35 confirmed by comparative genomic hybridization and fluorescent in situ hybridization 
A 35-year-old man with infertility was referred for chromosomal analysis. In routine cytogenetic analysis, the patient was seen to have additional material of unknown origin on the terminal region of the short arm of chromosome 4. To determine the origin of the unknown material, we carried out high-resolution banding, comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), and FISH. CGH showed a gain of signal on the region of 4q32→q35. FISH using whole chromosome painting and subtelomeric region probes for chromosome 4 confirmed the aberrant chromosome as an intrachromosomal insertion duplication of 4q32→q35. Duplication often leads to some phenotypic abnormalities; however, our patient showed an almost normal phenotype except for congenital dysfunction in spermatogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3283076  PMID: 22384449
Chromosome 4; Insertion 4p; Duplication 4q; Comparative genomic hybridization; Fluorescent in situ hybridization; Human
4.  Dosimetric comparison of 4 MeV and 6 MeV electron beams for total skin irradiation 
In this study, dosimetric aspects of TSEI consisting of a 4 MeV beam with no spoiler were investigated in comparison to a nominal 6 MeV beam with spoiler, and the potential for clinical applications was evaluated.
The TSEI technique is based on the Stanford technique, which utilizes a beam configuration of six-dual fields. MOSFETs were used to measure the optimal gantry angle, profile uniformity, and absolute dose at the calibration point. The depth dose curve of the central axis was measured in the treatment plane using EBT2 film. Photon contamination was measured as the dose at 5 cm depth in a solid water phantom relative to the maximum dose using a parallel plate ion chamber. A MOSFET dosimeter placed on the surface of a humanoid phantom, and EBT2 films inserted into a humanoid phantom were used to verify the TSEI commissioning.
Dosimetric aspects of the 4 MeV TSEI beam, such as profile uniformity (±10%) and relative photon contamination (<0.001%), were comparable to those of a 6 MeV TSEI beam. The relative depth dose of the 4 MeV electrons was 81.4% at the surface and 100% at 0.4 cm. For the 6 MeV electrons, the relative depth dose was 93.4% at the surface and 100% from 0.2 cm to 0.4 cm. The calculated B-factor of the 4 MeV TSEI beam was 1.55, and 1.53 for the 6 MeV TSEI. 80% of the prescribed dose was obtained at 0.22 cm depth for the 4 MeV TSEI beam and 0.53 cm for the 6 MeV TSEI beam in the humanoid phantom measurement.
The suggested 4 MeV beam for TSEI could be applied to shallow depth skin diseases and to electron boost as second treatment course.
PMCID: PMC4261910  PMID: 25194217
Total skin electron irradiation (TSEI); Electron energy; Stanford Technique; Mycosis fungoides
5.  Intratumoral Heterogeneity of Breast Cancer Xenograft Models: Texture Analysis of Diffusion-Weighted MR Imaging 
Korean Journal of Radiology  2014;15(5):591-604.
To investigate whether there is a relationship between texture analysis parameters of apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps and histopathologic features of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 xenograft models.
Materials and Methods
MCF-7 estradiol (+), MCF-7 estradiol (-), and MDA-MB-231 xenograft models were made with approval of the animal care committee. Twelve tumors of MCF-7 estradiol (+), 9 tumors of MCF-7 estradiol (-), and 6 tumors in MDA-MB-231 were included. Diffusion-weighted MR images were obtained on a 9.4-T system. An analysis of the first and second order texture analysis of ADC maps was performed. The texture analysis parameters and histopathologic features were compared among these groups by the analysis of variance test. Correlations between texture parameters and histopathologic features were analyzed. We also evaluated the intraobserver agreement in assessing the texture parameters.
MCF-7 estradiol (+) showed a higher standard deviation, maximum, skewness, and kurtosis of ADC values than MCF-7 estradiol (-) and MDA-MB-231 (p < 0.01 for all). The contrast of the MCF-7 groups was higher than that of the MDA-MB-231 (p = 0.004). The correlation (COR) of the texture analysis of MCF-7 groups was lower than that of MDA-MB-231 (p < 0.001). The histopathologic analysis showed that Ki-67mean and Ki-67diff of MCF-7 estradiol (+) were higher than that of MCF-7 estradiol (-) or MDA-MB-231 (p < 0.05). The microvessel density (MVD)mean and MVDdiff of MDA-MB-231 were higher than those of MCF-7 groups (p < 0.001). A diffuse-multifocal necrosis was more frequently found in MDA-MB-231 (p < 0.001). The proportion of necrosis moderately correlated with the contrast (r = -0.438, p = 0.022) and strongly with COR (r = 0.540, p = 0.004). Standard deviation (r = 0.622, r = 0.437), skewness (r = 0.404, r = 0.484), and kurtosis (r = 0.408, r = 0.452) correlated with Ki-67mean and Ki-67diff (p < 0.05 for all). COR moderately correlated with Ki-67diff (r = -0.388, p = 0.045). Skewness (r = -0.643, r = -0.464), kurtosis (r = -0.581, r = -0.389), contrast (r = -0.473, r = -0.549) and COR (r = 0.588, r = 0.580) correlated with MVDmean and MVDdiff (p < 0.05 for all).
The texture analysis of ADC maps may help to determine the intratumoral spatial heterogeneity of necrosis patterns, amount of cellular proliferation and the vascularity in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 xenograft breast cancer models.
PMCID: PMC4170160  PMID: 25246820
Animal; Breast neoplasms; Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging; Image interpretation; Computer-assisted
6.  Seasonal variation of effect of air pollution on blood pressure 
Many studies have shown a consistent association between ambient air pollution and an increase in death due to cardiovascular causes. An increase in blood pressure is a common risk factor for a variety of cardiovascular diseases. However, the association between air pollution and blood pressure has not been evaluated extensively.
In this cross‐sectional study, we measured blood pressure in 10 459 subjects who had a health examination from 2001 to 2003, and calculated individual's exposure to ambient levels of air pollutants. To evaluate the relationship between exposure to air pollutants and blood pressure with respect to season, we performed a multiple regression analysis, separately, according to season, controlling for individual characteristics and meteorological variables.
In the warm‐weather season (July–September), particulate air pollutant of <10 μm (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations were significantly associated with measures of blood pressure. During cold weather (October–December), blood pressure was significantly associated with sulphur dioxide (SO2) and ozone (O3) concentrations. The significant association between PM10 or NO2 and blood pressure disappeared during the cold‐weather season.
We found a seasonal variation for the association between ambient air‐pollutant concentrations and blood pressure.
PMCID: PMC2652940  PMID: 17372291
7.  The sensitivity of gamma-index method to the positioning errors of high-definition MLC in patient-specific VMAT QA for SBRT 
To investigate the sensitivity of various gamma criteria used in the gamma-index method for patient-specific volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) quality assurance (QA) for stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) using a flattening filter free (FFF) photon beam.
Three types of intentional misalignments were introduced to original high-definition multi-leaf collimator (HD-MLC) plans. The first type, referred to Class Out, involved the opening of each bank of leaves. The second type, Class In, involved the closing of each bank of leaves. The third type, Class Shift, involved the shifting of each bank of leaves towards the ground. Patient-specific QAs for the original and the modified plans were performed with MapCHECK2 and EBT2 films. The sensitivity of the gamma-index method using criteria of 1%/1 mm, 1.5%/1.5 mm, 1%/2 mm, 2%/1 mm and 2%/2 mm was investigated with absolute passing rates according to the magnitudes of MLCs misalignments. In addition, the changes in dose-volumetric indicators due to the magnitudes of MLC misalignments were investigated. The correlations between passing rates and the changes in dose-volumetric indicators were also investigated using Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient (γ).
The criterion of 2%/1 mm was able to detect Class Out and Class In MLC misalignments of 0.5 mm and Class Shift misalignments of 1 mm. The widely adopted clinical criterion of 2%/2 mm was not able to detect 0.5 mm MLC errors of the Class Out or Class In types, and also unable to detect 3 mm Class Shift errors. No correlations were observed between dose-volumetric changes and gamma passing rates (γ < 0.8).
Gamma criterion of 2%/1 mm was found to be suitable as a tolerance level with passing rates of 90% and 80% for patient-specific VMAT QA for SBRT when using MapCHECK2 and EBT2 film, respectively.
PMCID: PMC4118611  PMID: 25070065
Patient-specific quality assurance; Stereotactic body radiation therapy; Gamma-index method; Dose-volumetric indicator; High-definition multi-leaf collimator
8.  Alu and LINE-1 Hypomethylation Is Associated with HER2 Enriched Subtype of Breast Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e100429.
The changes in DNA methylation status in cancer cells are characterized by hypermethylation of promoter CpG islands and diffuse genomic hypomethylation. Alu and long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) are non-coding genomic repetitive sequences and methylation of these elements can be used as a surrogate marker for genome-wide methylation status. This study was designed to evaluate the changes of Alu and LINE-1 hypomethylation during breast cancer progression from normal to pre-invasive lesions and invasive breast cancer (IBC), and their relationship with characteristics of IBC. We analyzed the methylation status of Alu and LINE-1 in 145 cases of breast samples including normal breast tissue, atypical ductal hyperplasia/flat epithelial atypia (ADH/FEA), ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and IBC, and another set of 129 cases of IBC by pyrosequencing. Alu methylation showed no significant changes during multistep progression of breast cancer, although it tended to decrease during the transition from DCIS to IBC. In contrast, LINE-1 methylation significantly decreased from normal to ADH/FEA, while it was similar in ADH/FEA, DCIS and IBC. In IBC, Alu hypomethylation correlated with negative estrogen receptor (ER) status, and LINE-1 hypomethylation was associated with negative ER status, ERBB2 (HER2) amplification and p53 overexpression. Alu and LINE-1 methylation status was significantly different between breast cancer subtypes, and the HER2 enriched subtype had lowest methylation levels. In survival analyses, low Alu methylation status tended to be associated with poor disease-free survival of the patients. Our findings suggest that LINE-1 hypomethylation is an early event and Alu hypomethylation is probably a late event during breast cancer progression, and prominent hypomethylation of Alu and LINE-1 in HER2 enriched subtype may be related to chromosomal instability of this specific subtype.
PMCID: PMC4074093  PMID: 24971511
9.  Diagnostic Value of Galectin-3, HBME-1, Cytokeratin 19, High Molecular Weight Cytokeratin, Cyclin D1 and p27kip1 in the Differential Diagnosis of Thyroid Nodules 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2007;22(4):621-628.
The distinction between benign and malignant thyroid tumors is critical for the management of patients with thyroid nodules. We applied immunohistochemical staining for galectin-3, HBME-1, cytokeratin 19 (CK19), high molecular weight cytokeratin (HMWCK), cyclin D1 and p27kip1 in 295 thyroid lesions to determine their diagnostic accuracy. The expression of all markers was significantly associated with differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC).The sensitivity for the diagnosis of DTC was 94.7% with galectin-3, 91.3% with HBME-1, and 90.3% with CK19. The specificities of these markers were 95.5%, 69.7%, and 83.1%, respectively. Combining these markers, co-expression of galectin-3 and CK19 or galectin-3 and HBME-1 was seen in 93.2% of carcinomas but in none of the benign nodules. Comparing follicular variant of papillary carcinoma (FVPC) with follicular carcinoma (FC), the expression of galectin-3, CK19, and HMWCK was significantly higher in FVPC. When comparing FC with FA, the expression of galectin-3 and HBME-1 was significantly higher in FC. These results suggest that 1) galectin-3 is a useful marker in the distinction between benign and malignant thyroid tumors, 2) the combined use of HBME-1 and CK19 can increase the diagnostic accuracy, and 3) the use of CK19 and HMWCK can aid in the differential diagnosis between PC and FC.
PMCID: PMC2693809  PMID: 17728499
Thyroid Neoplasm; Papillary Carcinoma; Follicular Carcinoma; Galectin 3; HBME-1; Cytokeratin 19
10.  The Stimulatory Effect of Essential Fatty Acids on Glucose Uptake Involves Both Akt and AMPK Activation in C2C12 Skeletal Muscle Cells 
Essential fatty acid (EFA) is known to be required for the body to function normally and healthily. However, the effect of EFA on glucose uptake in skeletal muscle has not yet been fully investigated. In this study, we examined the effect of two EFAs, linoleic acid (LA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA), on glucose uptake of C2C12 skeletal muscle cells and investigated the mechanism underlying the stimulatory effect of polyunsaturated EFAs in comparison with monounsaturated oleic acid (OA). In palmitic acid (PA)-induced insulin resistant cells, the co-treatment of EFAs and OA with PA almost restored the PA-induced decrease in the basal and insulin-stimulated 2-NBDG (fluorescent D-glucose analogue) uptake, respectively. Two EFAs and OA significantly protected PA-induced suppression of insulin signaling, respectively, which was confirmed by the increased levels of Akt phosphorylation and serine/threonine kinases (PKCθ and JNK) dephosphorylation in the western blot analysis. In PA-untreated, control cells, the treatment of 500 µM EFA significantly stimulated 2-NBDG uptake, whereas OA did not. Phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and one of its downstream molecules, acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) was markedly induced by EFA, but not OA. In addition, EFA-stimulated 2-NBDG uptake was significantly inhibited by the pre-treatment of a specific AMPK inhibitor, adenine 9-β-D-arabinofuranoside (araA). These data suggest that the restoration of suppressed insulin signaling at PA-induced insulin resistant condition and AMPK activation are involved at least in the stimulatory effect of EFA on glucose uptake in C2C12 skeletal muscle cells.
PMCID: PMC4071179  PMID: 24976766
AMPK; C2C12 cells; Essential fatty acid; Glucose uptake; Insulin signaling
11.  Rapid Prenatal Diagnosis of Down Syndrome Using Quantitative Fluorescent PCR in Uncultured Amniocytes 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2004;19(3):341-344.
Rapid prenatal diagnosis of common chromosome aneuploidies have been successful through quantitative fluoresent PCR (QF-PCR) assays and small tandem repeat (STR) markers. The purpose of our study was to investigate the clinical feasibility for rapid prenatal detection of Down syndrome using the quantitative fluorescent PCR in uncultured amniocytes. DNA was extracted from uncultured amniotic fluid of normal karyotype (n=200) and of Down syndrome (n=21). It was amplified using QF-PCR with four STR markers located on chromosome 21. Among normal samples, the ranges of diallelic peaks for at least one STR marker were 1.0-1.3 for D21S11, 1.0-1.4 for D21S1411 and 1.0-1.5 for D21S1270. Down syndrome samples showed trisomic triallelic patterns or trisomic diallelic patterns. The sensitivity, specificity, and efficiency of the assay for detecting Down syndrome were 95.4%, 100%, and 99.5%, respectively. Rapid prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome using QF-PCR is a reliable technique that aids clinical management of pregnancy.
PMCID: PMC2816832  PMID: 15201497
Polymerase Chain Reaotion; Primed In Situ Labeling; Prenatal Diagnosis; Down Syndrome
12.  Disease specific characteristics of fetal epigenetic markers for non-invasive prenatal testing of trisomy 21 
Non-invasive prenatal testing of trisomy 21 (T21) is being actively investigated using fetal-specific epigenetic markers (EPs) that are present in maternal plasma. Recently, 12 EPs on chromosome 21 were identified based on tissue-specific epigenetic characteristics between placenta and blood, and demonstrated excellent clinical performance in the non-invasive detection of fetal T21. However, the disease-specific epigenetic characteristics of the EPs have not been established. Therefore, we validated the disease-specific epigenetic characteristics of these EPs for use in non-invasive detection of fetal T21.
We performed a high-resolution tiling array analysis of human chromosome 21 using a methyl-CpG binding domain-based protein (MBD) method with whole blood samples from non-pregnant normal women, whole blood samples from pregnant normal women, placenta samples of normal fetuses, and placenta samples of T21 fetuses. Tiling array results were validated by bisulfite direct sequencing and qPCR.
Among 12 EPs, only four EPs were confirmed to be hypermethylated in normal placenta and hypomethylated in blood. One of these four showed a severe discrepancy in the methylation patterns of T21 placenta samples, and another was located within a region of copy number variations. Thus, two EPs were confirmed to be potential fetal-specific markers based on their disease-specific epigenetic characteristics. The array results of these EPs were consisted with the results obtained by bisulfite direct sequencing and qPCR. Moreover, the two EPs were detected in maternal plasma.
We validated that two EPs have the potential to be fetal-specific EPs which is consistent with their disease-specific epigenetic characteristics. The findings of this study suggest that disease-specific epigenetic characteristics should be considered in the development of fetal-specific EPs for non-invasive prenatal testing of T21.
PMCID: PMC3892082  PMID: 24397966
Trisomy 21; Non-invasive prenatal testing; Epigenetic markers
13.  Three cases of glycogenic hepatopathy mimicking acute and relapsing hepatitis in type I diabetes mellitus 
Clinical and molecular hepatology  2013;19(4):421-425.
Glycogenic hepatopathy (GH) is an uncommon cause of serum transaminase elevation in type I diabetes mellitus (DM). The clinical signs and symptoms of GH are nonspecific, and include abdominal discomfort, mild hepatomegaly, and transaminase elevation. In this report we describe three cases of patients presenting serum transaminase elevation and hepatomegaly with a history of poorly controlled type I DM. All of the cases showed sudden elevation of transaminase to more than 30 times the upper normal range (like in acute hepatitis) followed by sustained fluctuation (like in relapsing hepatitis). However, the patients did not show any symptom or sign of acute hepatitis. We therefore performed a liver biopsy to confirm the cause of liver enzyme elevation, which revealed GH. Clinicians should be aware of GH so as to prevent diagnostic delay and misdiagnosis, and have sufficient insight into GH; this will be aided by the present report of three cases along with a literature review.
PMCID: PMC3894443  PMID: 24459648
Glycogen hepatopathy; Transaminase; Type I diabetes mellitus
14.  Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing of Trisomy 18 by an Epigenetic Marker in First Trimester Maternal Plasma 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e78136.
Quantification of cell-free fetal DNA by methylation-based DNA discrimination has been used in non-invasive prenatal testing of fetal chromosomal aneuploidy. The maspin (Serpin peptidase inhibitor, clade B (ovalbumin), member 5; SERPINB5) gene, located on chromosome 18q21.33, is hypomethylated in the placenta and completely methylated in maternal blood cells. The objective of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of non-invasive detection of fetal trisomy 18 using the unmethylated-maspin (U-maspin) gene as a cell-free fetal DNA marker and the methylated-maspin (M-maspin) gene as a cell-free total DNA marker in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Methodology/Principal Findings
A nested case-control study was conducted using maternal plasma collected from 66 pregnant women, 11 carrying fetuses with trisomy 18 and 55 carrying normal fetuses. Median U-maspin concentrations were significantly elevated in women with trisomy 18 fetuses compared with controls (27.2 vs. 6.7 copies/mL; P<0.001). Median M-maspin concentrations were also significantly higher in women with trisomy 18 fetuses than in controls (96.9 vs. 19.5 copies/mL, P<0.001). The specificities of U-maspin and M-maspin concentrations for non-invasive fetal trisomy 18 detection were 96.4% and 74.5%, respectively, with a sensitivity of 90.9%.
Our results suggest that U-maspin and M-maspin concentrations may be useful as potential biomarkers for non-invasive detection of fetal trisomy 18 in the first trimester of pregnancy, irrespective of the sex and genetic variations of the fetus.
PMCID: PMC3815335  PMID: 24223769
15.  Targeting the Transforming Growth Factor-β Signaling in Cancer Therapy 
Biomolecules & Therapeutics  2013;21(5):323-331.
TGF-β pathway is being extensively evaluated as a potential therapeutic target. The transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling pathway has the dual role in both tumor suppression and tumor promotion. To design cancer therapeutics successfully, it is important to understand TGF-β related functional contexts. This review discusses the molecular mechanism of the TGF-β pathway and describes the different ways of tumor suppression and promotion by TGF-β. In the last part of the review, the data on targeting TGF-β pathway for cancer treatment is assessed. The TGF-β inhibitors in pre-clinical studies, and Phase I and II clinical trials are updated.
PMCID: PMC3825194  PMID: 24244818
Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β); EW-7197; ALK5; Breast cancer; Metastasis
16.  Evolutionary Pathways in BRCA1-Associated Breast Tumors 
Cancer discovery  2012;2(6):503-511.
BRCA1-associated breast tumors display loss of BRCA1 and frequent somatic mutations of PTEN and TP53. Here we describe the analysis of BRCA1, PTEN, and p53 at the single cell level in 55 BRCA1-associated breast tumors and computational methods to predict the relative temporal order of somatic events, on the basis of the frequency of cells with single or combined alterations. Although there is no obligatory order of events, we found that loss of PTEN is the most common first event and is associated with basal-like subtype, whereas in the majority of luminal tumors, mutation of TP53 occurs first and mutant PIK3CA is rarely detected. We also observed intratumor heterogeneity for the loss of wild-type BRCA1 and increased cell proliferation and centrosome amplification in the normal breast epithelium of BRCA1 mutation carriers. Our results have important implications for the design of chemopreventive and therapeutic interventions in this high-risk patient population.
Defining the temporal order of tumor-driving somatic events is critical for early detection, risk stratification, and the design of chemopreventive therapies. Our combined experimental and computational approach reveal that the loss of wild-type BRCA1 may not be the first event in the majority of BRCA1-associated breast tumors and may not be present in all cancer cells within tumors.
PMCID: PMC3738298  PMID: 22628410
17.  Trans-Ancestral Studies Fine Map the SLE-Susceptibility Locus TNFSF4 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(7):e1003554.
We previously established an 80 kb haplotype upstream of TNFSF4 as a susceptibility locus in the autoimmune disease SLE. SLE-associated alleles at this locus are associated with inflammatory disorders, including atherosclerosis and ischaemic stroke. In Europeans, the TNFSF4 causal variants have remained elusive due to strong linkage disequilibrium exhibited by alleles spanning the region. Using a trans-ancestral approach to fine-map the locus, utilising 17,900 SLE and control subjects including Amerindian/Hispanics (1348 cases, 717 controls), African-Americans (AA) (1529, 2048) and better powered cohorts of Europeans and East Asians, we find strong association of risk alleles in all ethnicities; the AA association replicates in African-American Gullah (152,122). The best evidence of association comes from two adjacent markers: rs2205960-T (P = 1.71×10−34, OR = 1.43[1.26–1.60]) and rs1234317-T (P = 1.16×10−28, OR = 1.38[1.24–1.54]). Inference of fine-scale recombination rates for all populations tested finds the 80 kb risk and non-risk haplotypes in all except African-Americans. In this population the decay of recombination equates to an 11 kb risk haplotype, anchored in the 5′ region proximal to TNFSF4 and tagged by rs2205960-T after 1000 Genomes phase 1 (v3) imputation. Conditional regression analyses delineate the 5′ risk signal to rs2205960-T and the independent non-risk signal to rs1234314-C. Our case-only and SLE-control cohorts demonstrate robust association of rs2205960-T with autoantibody production. The rs2205960-T is predicted to form part of a decameric motif which binds NF-κBp65 with increased affinity compared to rs2205960-G. ChIP-seq data also indicate NF-κB interaction with the DNA sequence at this position in LCL cells. Our research suggests association of rs2205960-T with SLE across multiple groups and an independent non-risk signal at rs1234314-C. rs2205960-T is associated with autoantibody production and lymphopenia. Our data confirm a global signal at TNFSF4 and a role for the expressed product at multiple stages of lymphocyte dysregulation during SLE pathogenesis. We confirm the validity of trans-ancestral mapping in a complex trait.
Author Summary
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE/lupus) is a complex disease in which the body's immune cells cause inflammation in one or more systems to cause the associated morbidity. Hormones, the environment and genes are all causal contributors to SLE and over the past several years the genetic component of SLE has been firmly established. Several genes which are regulators of the immune system are associated with disease risk. We have established one of these, the tumour-necrosis family superfamily member 4 (TNFSF4) gene, as a lupus susceptibility gene in Northern Europeans. A major obstacle in pinpointing the marker(s) at TNFSF4 which best explain the risk of SLE has been the strong correlation (linkage disequilibrium, LD) between adjacent markers across the TNFSF4 region in this population. To address this, we have typed polymorphisms in several populations in addition to the European groups. The mixed ancestry of these populations gives a different LD pattern than that found in Europeans, presenting a method of pinpointing the section of the TNFSF4 region which results in SLE susceptibility. The Non-European populations have allowed identification of a polymorphism likely to regulate expression of TNFSF4 to increase susceptibility to SLE.
PMCID: PMC3715547  PMID: 23874208
18.  First Imported Case of Skin Infection Caused by PVL-positive ST30 Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Clone in a Returning Korean Traveler from the Philippines 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2013;28(7):1100-1102.
Although pandemic community-associated (CA-) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) ST30 clone has successfully spread into many Asian countries, there has been no case in Korea. We report the first imported case of infection caused by this clone in a Korean traveler returning from the Philippines. A previously healthy 30-yr-old Korean woman developed a buttock carbuncle while traveling in the Philippines. After coming back to Korea, oral cephalosporin was given by a primary physician without any improvement. Abscess was drained and MRSA strain isolated from her carbuncle was molecularly characterized and it was confirmed as ST30-MRSA-IV. She was successfully treated with vancomycin and surgery. Frequent international travel and migration have increased the risk of international spread of CA-MRSA clones. The efforts to understand the changing epidemiology of CA-MRSA should be continued, and we should raise suspicion of CA-MRSA infection in travelers with skin infections returning from CA-MRSA-endemic countries.
PMCID: PMC3708085  PMID: 23853497
Staphylococcus aureus; Methicillin Resistance; Community-Acquired Infections; Carbuncle; Travel
19.  Molecular and cytogenetic studies of 101 infertile men with microdeletions of Y chromosome in 1,306 infertile Korean men 
To determine the prevalence of Y chromosome microdeletions in infertile Korean men with abnormal sperm counts and to assess the clinical features and frequency of chromosomal abnormalities in Korean patients with microdeletions.
A total of 1,306 infertile men were screened for Y chromosome microdeletions, and 101 of them had microdeletions. These 101 men were then retrospectively studied for cytogenetic evaluation, testicular biopsy and outcomes of IVF and ICSI.
The overall prevalence of Y chromosome microdeletions in infertile men was 7.7 % (101/1,306). Most microdeletions were in the AZFc region (87.1 %), including deletions of AZFbc (24.7 %) and AZFabc (8.9 %). All patients with AZFa, AZFbc and AZFabc deletions had azoospermia, whereas patients with an AZFc deletion usually had low levels of sperm in the ejaculate or in the testis tissues. Chromosomal studies were performed in 99 men with microdeletions, 36 (36.4 %) of whom had chromosomal abnormalities. Among the infertile men with Y chromosome microdeletions in this study, the incidence of chromosomal abnormality was 48.6 % in the azoospermic group and 3.7 % in the oligozoospermic group. Among the 69 patients with microdeletions and available histological results, 100.0 % of the azoospermic group and 85.7 % of the oligozoospermic group had histological abnormalities. The frequency of both chromosomal abnormalities and histological abnormalities was higher in the azoospermic group compared to the oligozoospermic group. Thirty-four ICSI cycles with either testicular (n = 14) or ejaculated spermatozoa (n = 20) were performed in 23 couples with men with AZFc microdeletion. Thirteen clinical pregnancies (39.4 %) were obtained, leading to the birth of 13 babies.
The study results revealed a close relationship between microdeletions and spermatogenesis, although IVF outcome was not significantly affected by the presence of the AZFc microdeletion. Nevertheless, Y chromosome microdeletions have the potential risk of being transmitted from infertile fathers to their offspring by ICSI. Therefore, before using ICSI in infertile patients with severe spermatogenic defects, careful evaluations of chromosomal abnormalities and Y chromosome microdeletions screening should be performed and genetic counseling should be provided before IVF-ET.
PMCID: PMC3370041  PMID: 22456825
Y chromosome microdeletion; Chromosomal abnormality; Azoospermia factor (AZF); Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
20.  Evaluation of TRAF6 in a Large Multi-Ancestral Lupus Cohort 
Arthritis and Rheumatism  2012;64(6):1960-1969.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a heterogeneous autoimmune disease with significant immune system aberrations resulting from complex heritable genetics as well as environmental factors. TRAF6 is a candidate gene for SLE, which has a major role in several signaling pathways that are important for immunity and organ development.
Fifteen single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), across TRAF6 were evaluated in 7,490 SLE and 6,780 control subjects from different ancestries. Population-based case-control association analyses and meta-analyses were performed. P values, false discovery rate q values, and odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated.
Evidence of associations in multiple SNPs was detected. The best overall p values were obtained for SNPs rs5030437 and rs4755453 (p=7.85×10−5 and p=4.73×10−5, respectively) without significant heterogeneity among populations (p=0.67 and p=0.50 in Q-statistic). In addition, rs540386 previously reported to be associated with RA was found to be in LD with these two SNPs (r2= 0.95) and demonstrated evidence of association with SLE in the same direction (meta-analysis p=9.15×10−4, OR=0.89, 95%CI=0.83–0.95). Thrombocytopenia improved the overall results in different populations (meta-analysis p=1.99×10−6, OR=0.57, 95%CI=0.45–0.72, for rs5030470). Finally evidence of family based association in 34 African-American pedigrees with the presence of thrombocytopenia were detected in one available SNP rs5030437 with Z score magnitude of 2.28 (p=0.02) under a dominant model.
Our data indicate the presence of association of TRAF6 with SLE in agreement with the previous report of association with RA. These data provide further support for the involvement of TRAF6 in the pathogenesis of autoimmunity.
PMCID: PMC3380425  PMID: 22231568
TRAF6; polymorphism; systemic lupus erythematosus
21.  A case of mediastinal ectopic thyroid presenting with a paratracheal mass 
Mediastinal ectopic thyroid is a very rare condition, with few reported cases in the literature and no reported cases in Korea. This report describes an asymptomatic 65-year-old man with a right paratracheal mass compressing the superior vena. Additionally, the epidemiology, clinical manifestation, diagnosis, and management of mediastinal ectopic thyroids are discussed. A mediastinal ectopic thyroid should be considered in the differential diagnosis of all mediastinal masses. Surgical excision is recommended for both the diagnosis and treatment of this condition, because of its potential for malignancy and compression of mediastinal structures. This case demonstrates the clinical importance of mediastinal etopic thyroid.
PMCID: PMC3654136  PMID: 23682232
Thyroid dysgenesis; Mediastinum
22.  Klinefelter Syndrome Diagnosed by Prenatal Screening Tests in High-Risk Groups 
Korean Journal of Urology  2013;54(4):263-265.
Klinefelter syndrome is a chromosomal disorder present in 1 out of 400 to 1,000 male newborns in Western populations. Two-thirds of affected newborns show a karyotype of 47,XXY. Few studies have examined the incidence of Klinefelter syndrome in Korea. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of Klinefelter syndrome by use of prenatal screening tests.
Materials and Methods
From January 2001 to December 2010, 18,049 pregnant women who had undergone a chromosomal study for fetal anomalies were included. For fetuses that were diagnosed as having Klinefelter syndrome, the patients' medical records were retrospectively reviewed. Both parents' ages, the reason for the chromosomal studies, and karyotypes were investigated.
We found that 22 of 18,049 (0.12%) fetuses were diagnosed with Klinefelter syndrome. The incidence of this disorder in male fetuses was 22 of 9,387 (0.23%). Also, 19 of the newborns (86.4%) showed a karyotype of 47,XXY; the other newborns showed karyotypes of 48,XXY,+21; 48,XXY,+12[12]/46,XY[54]; and 47,XXY[6]/45,X[1]/46,XY[95]. The mean age of the mothers was 36.1 years, and 2 women had a past history of a Down syndrome pregnancy. Nine mothers had a normal spontaneous delivery, 9 mothers underwent artificial abortion, and 2 fetuses were spontaneously aborted.
The incidence of Klinefelter syndrome as reported in this study is higher than in previous studies. Further studies with a broader population should be considered to confirm these results.
PMCID: PMC3630347  PMID: 23614065
Karyotype; Klinefelter syndrome; Male infertility
23.  MRI-Guided Intervention for Breast Lesions Using the Freehand Technique in a 3.0-T Closed-Bore MRI Scanner: Feasibility and Initial Results 
Korean Journal of Radiology  2013;14(2):171-178.
To report the feasibility of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided intervention for diagnosing suspicious breast lesions detectable by MRI only, using the freehand technique with a 3.0-T closed-bore MRI scanner.
Materials and Methods
Five women with 5 consecutive MRI-only breast lesions underwent MRI-guided intervention: 3 underwent MRI-guided needle localization and 2, MRI-guided vacuum-assisted biopsy. The interventions were performed in a 3.0-T closed-bore MRI system using a dedicated phased-array breast coil with the patients in the prone position; the freehand technique was used. Technical success and histopathologic outcome were analyzed.
MRI showed that four lesions were masses (mean size, 11.5 mm; range, 7-18 mm); and 1, a nonmass-like enhancement (maximum diameter, 21 mm). The locations of the lesions with respect to the breast with index cancer were as follows: different quadrant, same breast - 3 cases; same quadrant, same breast - 1 case; and contralateral breast - 1 case. Histopathologic evaluation of the lesions treated with needle localization disclosed perilobular hemangioma, fibrocystic change, and fibroadenomatous change. The lesions treated with vacuum-assisted biopsy demonstrated a radial scar and atypical apocrine hyperplasia. Follow-up MRI after 2-7 months (mean, 4.6 months) confirmed complete lesion removal in all cases.
MRI-guided intervention for breast lesions using the freehand technique with a 3.0-T closed-bore MRI scanner is feasible and accurate for diagnosing MRI-only lesions.
PMCID: PMC3590327  PMID: 23482868
Breast neoplasms; Magnetic resonance imaging; Biopsy; High field; Freehand technique; Needle localization
24.  The Unusual Ultrasound Features of a Breast Cholesterol Granuloma Manifesting as an Intracystic Mass: Case Report and Literature Review 
Korean Journal of Radiology  2013;14(2):179-182.
Cholesterol granuloma of the breast is a rare, benign disease. Here, we present the unique ultrasonographic findings of breast cholesterol granuloma manifesting as an intracystic mass. The findings of this case report may help expand existing knowledge regarding differential diagnosis of intracystic breast masses, which are found on ultrasonographic examination.
PMCID: PMC3590328  PMID: 23482884
Breast; Cholesterol granuloma; Ultrasonography
25.  Non-invasive prenatal diagnosis of fetal trisomy 21 using cell-free fetal DNA in maternal blood 
Since the existence of cell-free fetal DNA (cff-DNA) in maternal circulation was discovered, it has been identified as a promising source of fetal genetic material in the development of reliable methods for non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) of fetal trisomy 21 (T21). Currently, a prenatal diagnosis of fetal T21 is achieved through invasive techniques, such as chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis. However, such invasive diagnostic tests are expensive, require expert technicians, and have a miscarriage risk approximately 1%. Therefore, NIPD using cff-DNA in the detection of fetal T21 is significant in prenatal care. Recently, the application of new techniques using single-molecular counting methods and the development of fetal-specific epigenetic markers has opened up new possibilities in the NIPD of fetal T21 using cff-DNA. These new technologies will facilitate safer, more sensitive and accurate prenatal tests in the near future. In this review, we investigate the recent methods for the NIPD of fetal T21 and discuss their implications in future clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC3784100  PMID: 24327983
Cell-free fetal DNA; Noninvasive prenatal diagnosis; Trisomy 21

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