Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (272)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

more »
Year of Publication
more »
1.  Prenatal Drug Exposure Affects Neonatal Brain Functional Connectivity 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2015;35(14):5860-5869.
Prenatal drug exposure, particularly prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE), incurs great public and scientific interest because of its associated neurodevelopmental consequences. However, the neural underpinnings of PCE remain essentially uncharted, and existing studies in school-aged children and adolescents are confounded greatly by postnatal environmental factors. In this study, leveraging a large neonate sample (N = 152) and non-invasive resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, we compared human infants with PCE comorbid with other drugs (such as nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, and antidepressant) with infants with similar non-cocaine poly drug exposure and drug-free controls. We aimed to characterize the neural correlates of PCE based on functional connectivity measurements of the amygdala and insula at the earliest stage of development. Our results revealed common drug exposure-related connectivity disruptions within the amygdala–frontal, insula–frontal, and insula–sensorimotor circuits. Moreover, a cocaine-specific effect was detected within a subregion of the amygdala–frontal network. This pathway is thought to play an important role in arousal regulation, which has been shown to be irregular in PCE infants and adolescents. These novel results provide the earliest human-based functional delineations of the neural-developmental consequences of prenatal drug exposure and thus open a new window for the advancement of effective strategies aimed at early risk identification and intervention.
PMCID: PMC4388938  PMID: 25855194
amygdala; fMRI; functional connectivity; infant; insula; prenatal drug exposure
2.  N-acetyl-L-cysteine protects against cadmium-induced neuronal apoptosis by inhibiting ROS-dependent activation of Akt/mTOR pathway in mouse brain 
This study explores the neuroprotective effects and mechanisms of N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) in mice exposed to cadmium (Cd).
NAC (150 mg/kg) was intraperitoneally administered to mice exposed to Cd (10-50 mg/L) in drinking water for 6 weeks. The changes of cell damage and death, reactive oxygen species (ROS), antioxidant enzymes, as well as Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway in brain neurons were assessed. To verify the role of mTOR activation in Cd-induced neurotoxicity, mice also received a subacute regimen of intraperitoneally administered Cd (1 mg/kg) with/without rapamycin (7.5 mg/kg) for 11 days.
Chronic exposure of mice to Cd induced brain damage or neuronal cell death, due to ROS induction. Co-administration of NAC significantly reduced Cd levels in the plasma and brain of the animals. NAC prevented Cd-induced ROS and significantly attenuated Cd-induced brain damage or neuronal cell death. The protective effect of NAC was mediated, at least partially, by elevating the activities of Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase, as well as the level of glutathione in the brain. Furthermore, Cd-induced activation of Akt/mTOR pathway in the brain was also inhibited by NAC. Rapamycin in vitro and in vivo protected against Cd-induced neurotoxicity.
NAC protects against Cd-induced neuronal apoptosis in mouse brain partially by inhibiting ROS-dependent activation of Akt/mTOR pathway. The findings highlight that NAC may be exploited for prevention and treatment of Cd-induced neurodegenerative diseases.
PMCID: PMC4043941  PMID: 24299490
N-acetyl-L-cysteine; cadmium; neuronal apoptosis; mammalian target of rapamycin; reactive oxygen species
3.  Electronic Public Health Registry of Extensively Drug-Resistant Organisms, Illinois, USA 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2015;21(10):1725-1732.
This technology-based public health tool can facilitate detection of and communication about these bacteria.
In response to clusters of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) in Illinois, USA, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Chicago Prevention Epicenter launched a statewide Web-based registry designed for bidirectional data exchange among health care facilities. CRE occurrences are entered and searchable in the system, enabling interfacility communication of patient information. For rapid notification of facilities, admission feeds are automated. During the first 12 months of implementation (November 1, 2013–October 31, 2014), 1,557 CRE reports (≈4.3/day) were submitted from 115 acute care hospitals, 5 long-term acute care hospitals, 46 long-term care facilities, and 7 reference laboratories. Guided by a state and local public health task force of infection prevention specialists and microbiologists and a nonprofit informatics entity, Illinois Department of Public Health deployed a statewide registry of extensively drug-resistant organisms. The legal, technical, and collaborative underpinnings of the system enable rapid incorporation of other emerging organisms.
PMCID: PMC4593443  PMID: 26402744
automated medical records system; drug resistance; microbial; registries; computers; bacteria; antimicrobial resistance; extensively drug-resistant organisms; Illinois; United States
4.  Development of a rat model of D-galactosamine/lipopolysaccharide induced hepatorenal syndrome 
AIM: To develop a practical and reproducible rat model of hepatorenal syndrome for further study of the pathophysiology of human hepatorenal syndrome.
METHODS: Sprague-Dawley rats were intravenously injected with D-galactosamine and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) via the tail vein to induce fulminant hepatic failure to develop a model of hepatorenal syndrome. Liver and kidney function tests and plasma cytokine levels were measured after D-galactosamine/LPS administration, and hepatic and renal pathology was studied. Glomerular filtration rate was detected in conscious rats using micro-osmotic pump technology with fluorescein isothiocyanate-labelled inulin as a surrogate marker.
RESULTS: Serum levels of biochemical indicators including liver and kidney function indexes and cytokines all significantly changed, especially at 12 h after D-galactosamine/LPS administration [alanine aminotransferase, 3389.5 ± 499.5 IU/L; blood urea nitrogen, 13.9 ± 1.3 mmol/L; Cr, 78.1 ± 2.9 μmol/L; K+, 6.1 ± 0.5 mmol/L; Na+, 130.9 ± 1.9 mmol/L; Cl-, 90.2 ± 1.9 mmol/L; tumor necrosis factor-α, 1699.6 ± 599.1 pg/mL; endothelin-1, 95.9 ± 25.9 pg/mL; P < 0.05 compared with normal saline control group]. Hepatocyte necrosis was aggravated gradually, which was most significant at 12 h after treatment with D-galactosamine/LPS, and was characterized by massive hepatocyte necrosis, while the structures of glomeruli, proximal and distal tubules were normal. Glomerular filtration rate was significantly decreased to 30%-35% of the control group at 12 h after D-galactosamine/LPS administration [Glomerular filtration rate (GFR)1, 0.79 ± 0.11 mL/min; GFR2, 3.58 ± 0.49 mL/min·kgBW-1; GFR3, 0.39 ± 0.99 mL/min·gKW-1]. The decreasing timing of GFR was consistent with that of the presence of hepatocyte necrosis and liver and kidney dysfunction.
CONCLUSION: The joint use of D-galactosamine and LPS can induce liver and kidney dysfunction and decline of glomerular filtration rate in rats which is a successful rat model of hepatorenal syndrome.
PMCID: PMC4566385  PMID: 26379397
Hepatorenal syndrome; Animal model; Rat; D-galactosamine; Lipopolysaccharide
5.  Association between Dietary Patterns and the Indicators of Obesity among Chinese: A Cross-Sectional Study 
Nutrients  2015;7(9):7995-8009.
No previous study has investigated dietary pattern in association with obesity risk in a middle-aged Chinese population. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the associations between dietary patterns and the risk of obesity in the city of Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province, east China. In this cross-sectional study of 2560 subjects aged 45–60 years, dietary intakes were evaluated using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). All anthropometric measurements were obtained using standardized procedures. The partial correlation analysis was performed to assess the associations between dietary patterns and body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and waist to hip ratio (WHR). Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to examine the associations between dietary patterns and obesity, with adjustment for potential confounders. Four major dietary patterns were extracted by means of factor analysis: animal food, traditional Chinese, western fast-food, and high-salt patterns. The animal food pattern was positively associated with BMI (r = 0.082, 0.144, respectively, p < 0.05) and WC (r = 0.102, 0.132, respectively, p < 0.01), and the traditional Chinese pattern was inversely associated with BMI (r = −0.047, −0.116, respectively, p < 0.05) and WC (r = −0.067, −0.113, respectively, p < 0.05) in both genders. After controlling for potential confounders, subjects in the highest quartile of animal food pattern scores had a greater odds ratio for abdominal obesity (odds ratio (OR) = 1.67; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.188–2.340; p < 0.01), in comparison to those from the lowest quartile. Compared with the lowest quartile of the traditional Chinese pattern, the highest quartile had a lower odds ratio for abdominal obesity (OR = 0.63; 95% CI: 0.441–0.901, p < 0.05). Conclusions: Our findings indicated that the animal food pattern was associated with a higher risk of abdominal obesity, while the traditional Chinese pattern was associated with a lower risk of abdominal obesity. Further prospective studies are warranted to confirm these findings.
PMCID: PMC4586571  PMID: 26393646
dietary patterns; obesity; China; cross-sectional study; factor analysis
7.  Quantitative Comparison and Metabolite Profiling of Saponins in Different Parts of the Root of Panax notoginseng 
Although both rhizome and root of Panax notoginseng are officially utilized as notoginseng in “Chinese Pharmacopoeia”, individual parts of the root were differently used in practice. To provide chemical evidence for the differentiated usage, quantitative comparison and metabolite profiling of different portions derived from the whole root, as well as commercial samples, were carried out, showing an overall higher content of saponins in rhizome, followed by main root, branch root, and fibrous root. Ginsenoside Rb2 was proposed as a potential marker with a content of 0.5 mg/g as a threshold value for differentiating rhizome from other parts. Multivariate analysis of the metabolite profile further suggested 32 saponins as potential markers for the discrimination of different parts of notoginseng. Collectively, the study provided comprehensive chemical evidence for the distinct usage of different parts of notoginseng and, hence, is of great importance for the rational application and exploitation of individual parts of notoginseng.
PMCID: PMC4160291  PMID: 25118819
notoginseng; ginsenosides, LC−MS; metabolomics; root
8.  Inactivation of Wnt signaling by a human antibody that recognizes the heparan sulfate chains of glypican-3 for liver cancer therapy 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2014;60(2):576-587.
Wnt signaling is important for cancer pathogenesis and is often upregulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) function as co-receptors or modulators of Wnt activation. Glypican-3 (GPC3) is a HSPG that is highly expressed in HCC, where it can attract Wnt proteins to the cell surface and promote cell proliferation. Thus, GPC3 has emerged as a candidate therapeutic target in liver cancer. While monoclonal antibodies to GPC3 are currently being evaluated in preclinical and clinical studies, none have shown an effect on Wnt signaling. Here, we first document the expression of Wnt3a, multiple Wnt receptors and GPC3 in several HCC cell lines, and demonstrate that GPC3 enhanced the activity of Wnt3a/β-catenin signaling in these cells. Then, we report the identification of HS20, a human monoclonal antibody against GPC3, which preferentially recognized the heparan sulfate chains of GPC3, both the sulfated and non-sulfated portions. HS20 disrupted the interaction of Wnt3a and GPC3 and blocked Wnt3a/β-catenin signaling. Moreover, HS20 inhibited Wnt3a-dependent cell proliferation in vitro and HCC xenograft growth in nude mice. In addition, HS20 had no detectable undesired toxicity in mice. Taken together, our results show that a monoclonal antibody primarily targeting the heparin sulfate chains of GPC3 inhibited Wnt/β-catenin signaling in HCC cells and had potent anti-tumor activity in vivo.
Here, we provide one of the first examples of an antibody directed against the heparan sulfate of a proteoglycan that showed efficacy in blocking Wnt signaling and HCC growth, suggesting a novel strategy for liver cancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC4083010  PMID: 24492943
Cancer therapy; Wnt3a; heparan sulfate proteoglycan; phage display; antibody engineering
9.  Dietary Patterns, Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Adults: A Meta-Analysis 
Nutrients  2015;7(8):6582-6605.
Previous studies reported the potential associations between dietary patterns and the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in adulthood, however a consistent perspective has not been established to date. Herein, we carried out this meta-analysis to evaluate the associations between dietary patterns and the risk of CHD. MEDLINE and EBSCO were searched for relevant articles published up to April 2015. A total of 35 articles (reporting 37 original studies) met the inclusion criteria and were included in the present meta-analysis. The decreased risk of CHD was shown for the highest compared with the lowest categories of healthy/prudent dietary patterns (odds ratio (OR) = 0.67; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.60, 0.75; p < 0.00001) and alcohol consumption (OR = 0.68; 95% CI: 0.59, 0.78; p < 0.00001). There was evidence of an increased risk of CHD in the highest compared with the lowest categories of the unhealthy/Western-type dietary patterns (OR = 1.45; 95% CI: 1.05, 2.01; p = 0.02). The results of this meta-analysis indicate that different dietary patterns may be associated with the risk of CHD.
PMCID: PMC4555139  PMID: 26262641
dietary patterns; coronary heart disease; a meta-analysis
10.  Fully-Loaded Micromotors for Combinatorial Delivery and Autonomous Release of Cargoes 
PMCID: PMC4107182  PMID: 24706367
Self-destruction micromachines; Combinatorial drug delivery; Cargo release; Zinc; Drug delivery
11.  Dynamics of serotype 14 Streptococcus pneumoniae population causing acute respiratory infections among children in China (1997–2012) 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2015;15:266.
In the last decade, the Streptococcus pneumoniae population has changed, mainly due to the abuse of antibiotics. The aim of this study was to determine the genetic structure of 144 S. pneumonia serotype 14 isolates collected from children with acute respiratory infections during 1997–2012 in China.
All isolated pneumococci were tested for their sensitivity to 11 kinds of antibiotics with the E-test method or disc diffusion. The macrolides resistance genes ermB and mefA, as well as the sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim resistance gene dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The sequence types (STs) were analyzed with multilocus sequence typing (MLST).
From 1997 to 2012, the percentage of serotype 14 S. pneumonia isolates in the whole isolates increased. All of the 144 serotype 14 S. pneumonia isolates were susceptible to amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, vancomycin and levofloxacin. No penicillin resistant isolate was found, and the intermediate rate was as low as 0.7 %. Erythromycin resistance was confirmed among 143 isolates. The ermB gene was determined in all erythromycin resistant isolates, and the mefA gene was positive additionally in 13 of them. The non-susceptibility rate to the tested cephalosporins increased from 1997–2012. All trimethoprim-resistant isolates contained the Ile100-Leu mutation. Overall, 30 STs were identified, among which ST876 was the most prevalent, followed by ST875. During the study period, the percentage of CC876 increased from 0 % in 1997–2000 to 96.4 % in 2010–2012, whereas CC875 decreased from 84.2 to 0 %. CC876 showed higher non-susceptibility rates to β-lactam antibiotics than CC875.
The percentage of serotype 14 S. pneumonia isolates increased over time in China. The increase of resistance to β-lactam antibiotics in this serotype isolates was associated with the spread of CC876.
PMCID: PMC4499228  PMID: 26163293
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Serotypes; Antibiotic resistance; Children; Epidemiology
12.  Optimal Parameter Design of Coarse Alignment for Fiber Optic Gyro Inertial Navigation System 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2015;15(7):15006-15032.
Two different coarse alignment algorithms for Fiber Optic Gyro (FOG) Inertial Navigation System (INS) based on inertial reference frame are discussed in this paper. Both of them are based on gravity vector integration, therefore, the performance of these algorithms is determined by integration time. In previous works, integration time is selected by experience. In order to give a criterion for the selection process, and make the selection of the integration time more accurate, optimal parameter design of these algorithms for FOG INS is performed in this paper. The design process is accomplished based on the analysis of the error characteristics of these two coarse alignment algorithms. Moreover, this analysis and optimal parameter design allow us to make an adequate selection of the most accurate algorithm for FOG INS according to the actual operational conditions. The analysis and simulation results show that the parameter provided by this work is the optimal value, and indicate that in different operational conditions, the coarse alignment algorithms adopted for FOG INS are different in order to achieve better performance. Lastly, the experiment results validate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.
PMCID: PMC4541819  PMID: 26121614
fiber optic gyro (FOG); inertial navigation system (INS); coarse alignment algorithm; optimal parameter design
13.  The Value of BISAP Score for Predicting Mortality and Severity in Acute Pancreatitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(6):e0130412.
The Bedside Index for Severity in Acute Pancreatitis (BISAP) score has been developed to identify patients at high risk for mortality or severe disease early during the course of acute pancreatitis. We aimed to undertake a meta-analysis to quantify the accuracy of BISAP score for predicting mortality and severe acute pancreatitis (SAP).
Materials and Methods
We searched the databases of Pubmed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library to identify studies using the BISAP score to predict mortality or SAP. The pooled sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios, and diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) were calculated from each study and were compared with the traditional scoring systems.
Twelve cohorts from 10 studies were included. The overall sensitivity of a BISAP score of ≥3 for mortality was 56% (95% CI, 53%-60%), with a specificity of 91% (95% CI, 90%-91%). The positive and negative likelihood ratios were 5.65 (95% CI, 4.23-7.55) and 0.48 (95% CI, 0.41-0.56), respectively. Regarding the outcome of SAP, the pooled sensitivity was 51% (43%-60%), and the specificity was 91% (89%-92%). The pooled positive and negative likelihood ratios were 7.23 (4.21-12.42) and 0.56 (0.44-0.71), respectively. Compared with BISAP score, the Ranson criteria and APACHEⅡscore showed higher sensitivity and lower specificity for both outcomes.
The BISAP score was a reliable tool to identify AP patients at high risk for unfavorable outcomes. Compared with the Ranson criteria and APACHEⅡscore, BISAP score outperformed in specificity, but having a suboptimal sensitivity for mortality as well as SAP.
PMCID: PMC4474919  PMID: 26091293
14.  Draft Genome Sequence of Shewanella sp. ECSMB14102, a Mussel Recruitment-Promoting Bacterium Isolated from the East China Sea 
Genome Announcements  2015;3(3):e00670-15.
Shewanella sp. ECSMB14102, which promotes recruitment of the mussel Mytilus coruscus, was isolated from natural biofilms formed on glass slides submerged in the East China Sea. Here, we present the draft genome sequence, which comprises 4.41 Mb with a G+C content of 52.2%. The genomic information in this strain will contribute to deepening our understanding of bacteria-animal interaction.
PMCID: PMC4472906  PMID: 26089429
15.  Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) induces migration and invasive mechanisms in rheumatoid arthritis 
This study investigates the role of Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) in the regulation of migratory and invasive mechanisms in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Invasion, migration, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, -3 and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-3 (TIMP-3) expression, β-integrin binding, cytoskeletal rearrangement and Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac1) activation in response to a TLR2-ligand, Pam3CSK4 (1 μg/ml), in ex vivo RA synovial tissue explants, primary RA synovial fibroblasts (RASFC) and microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC) were assessed by Transwell Matrigel™ invasion chambers, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), multiplex adhesion binding assay, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), F-actin immunofluorescent staining, matrigel synovial outgrowths, Rac1 pull-down assays/Western blot and zymography. β1-integrin expression in RA/control synovial tissue was assessed by immunohistology. The effect of Pam3CSK4 on cell migration, invasion, MMP-3 and Rac1 activation was examined in the presence or absence of anti-β1-integrin (10 μg/ml) or anti-IgG control (10 μg/ml). The effect of an anti-TLR-2 mAb (OPN301)(1 μg/ml) or immunoglobulin G (IgG) control (1 μg/ml) on RASFC migration and RA synovial tissue MMP activity was assessed by wound assays, ELISA and zymography.
Pam3CSK4 significantly induced cell migration, invasion, MMP-1, MMP-3, MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression and induced the MMP-1/TIMP-3 and MMP-3/TIMP-3 ratio in RASFC and explants (p <0.05). β1-integrin expression was significantly higher in RA synovial tissue compared to controls (p <0.05). Pam3CSK4 specifically induced β1-integrin binding in RASFC (p <0.05), with no effect observed for β2-4, β6, αvβ5 or α5β1. Pam3CSK4 increased β1-integrin mRNA expression, Rac1 activation, RASFC outgrowths and altered cytoskeletal dynamic through induction of filopodia formation. Pam3CSK4-regulated cell migration and invasion processes, but not MMP-3, were inhibited in the presence of anti-β1-integrin (p <0.05), with no effect observed for anti-IgG control. Furthermore, anti-β1-integrin inhibited Pam3CSK4-induced Rac1 activation. Finally, blockade of TLR2 with OPN301 significantly decreased spontaneous release of MMP-3, MMP-2 and MMP-9 and increased TIMP-3 secretion from RA synovial explant cultures (p <0.05). Incubation of RASFC with OPN301 RA ex vivo conditioned media inhibited migration and invasion compared to IgG control.
TLR2 activation induces migrational and invasive mechanisms, which are critically involved in the pathogenesis of RA, suggesting TLR2 as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of RA.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13075-015-0664-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4495696  PMID: 26055925
17.  ADAM19 and HTR4 Variants and Pulmonary Function: The Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Targeted Sequencing Study 
The pulmonary function measures of forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and its ratio to forced vital capacity (FVC) are used in the diagnosis and monitoring of lung diseases and predict cardiovascular mortality in the general population. Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have identified numerous loci associated with FEV1 and FEV1/FVC but the causal variants remain uncertain. We hypothesized that novel or rare variants poorly tagged by GWAS may explain the significant associations between FEV1/FVC and two genes: ADAM19 and HTR4.
Methods and Results
We sequenced ADAM19 and its promoter region along with the approximately 21 kb portion of HTR4 harboring GWAS SNPs for pulmonary function and analyzed associations with FEV1/FVC among 3,983 participants of European ancestry from Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE). Meta-analysis of common variants in each region identified statistically significant associations (316 tests, P < 1.58×10−4) with FEV1/FVC for 14 ADAM19 SNPs and 24 HTR4 SNPs. After conditioning on the sentinel GWAS hit in each gene [ADAM19 rs1422795, minor allele frequency (MAF)=0.33 and HTR4 rs11168048, MAF=0.40] one SNP remained statistically significant (ADAM19 rs13155908, MAF = 0.12, P = 1.56×10−4). Analysis of rare variants (MAF < 1%) using Sequence Kernel Association Test did not identify associations with either region.
Sequencing identified one common variant associated with FEV1/FVC independently of the sentinel ADAM19 GWAS hit and supports the original HTR4 GWAS findings. Rare variants do not appear to underlie GWAS associations with pulmonary function for common variants in ADAM19 and HTR4.
PMCID: PMC4136502  PMID: 24951661
genetic polymorphism; lung; population studies; DNA sequencing; Genome Wide Association Study
18.  New High Affinity Monoclonal Antibodies Recognize Non-Overlapping Epitopes On Mesothelin For Monitoring And Treating Mesothelioma 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:9928.
Mesothelin is an emerging cell surface target in mesothelioma and other solid tumors. Most antibody drug candidates recognize highly immunogenic Region I (296–390) on mesothelin. Here, we report a group of high-affinity non-Region I rabbit monoclonal antibodies. These antibodies do not compete for mesothelin binding with the immunotoxin SS1P that binds Region I of mesothelin. One pair of antibodies (YP218 and YP223) is suitable to detect soluble mesothelin in a sandwich ELISA with high sensitivity. The new assay can also be used to measure serum mesothelin concentration in mesothelioma patients, indicating its potential use for monitoring patients treated with current antibody therapies targeting Region I. The antibodies are highly specific and sensitive in immunostaining of mesothelioma. To explore their use in tumor therapy, we have generated the immunotoxins based on the Fv of these antibodies. One immunotoxin (YP218 Fv-PE38) exhibits potent anti-tumor cytotoxicity towards primary mesothelioma cell lines in vitro and an NCI-H226 xenograft tumor in mice. Furthermore, we have engineered a humanized YP218 Fv that retains full binding affinity for mesothelin-expressing cancer cells. In conclusion, with their unique binding properties, these antibodies may be promising candidates for monitoring and treating mesothelioma and other mesothelin-expressing cancers.
PMCID: PMC4440525  PMID: 25996440
19.  The Protecting Effect of Deoxyschisandrin and Schisandrin B on HaCaT Cells against UVB-Induced Damage 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0127177.
Schisandra chinensis is a traditional Chinese medicine that has multiple biological activities, including antioxidant, anticancer, tonic, and anti-aging effects. Deoxyschisandrin (SA) and schisandrin B (SB), the two major lignans isolated from S. chinensis, exert high antioxidant activities in vitro and in vivo by scavenging free radicals, such as reactive oxygen species (ROS). Ultraviolet B-ray (UVB) radiation induces the production of ROS and DNA damage, which eventually leads to cell death by apoptosis. However, it is unknown whether SA or SB protects cells against UVB-induced cellular DNA damage. Our study showed that both SA and SB effectively protected HaCaT cells from UVB-induced cell death by antagonizing UVB-mediated production of ROS and induction of DNA damage. Our results showed that both SA and SB significantly prevented UVB-induced loss of cell viability using 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays. Dichloro-dihydro-fluorescein diacetate (DCFH-DA) assays showed that the production of ROS following UVB exposure was inhibited by treatment with SA and SB. Moreover, SA and SB decreased the UVB-induced DNA damage in HaCaT cells by comet assays. In addition, SA and SB also prevented UVB-induced cell apoptosis and the cleavage of caspase-3, caspase-8 and caspase-9. In a word, our results imply that the antioxidants SA and SB could protect cells from UVB-induced cell damage via scavenging ROS.
PMCID: PMC4433126  PMID: 25978330
20.  Mannose-capped Lipoarabinomannan from Mycobacterium tuberculosis induces IL-37 production via upregulating ERK1/2 and p38 in human type II alveolar epithelial cells 
The major surface lipoglycan of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb), mannose-capped lipoarabinomannan (ManLAM), is an immunosuppressive epitope of M. tb. Interleukin (IL)-37, is a newly identified anti-inflammatory cytokine, which reduces systemic and local inflammation. However, the correlation between ManLAM and IL-37 remains unknown. Therefore, in this study, we investigate the possible role and relative molecular mechanism of ManLAM in IL-37 production of human type II alveolar epithelial cells by using A549 cell line. Here, we report that M. tb induced IL-37 mRNA and protein expression in a time-dependent manner. We next fractionated components of M. tb using chloroform: methanol (C:M) and water. In sharp contrast to the C:M phase, water phase was mainly responsible for the production of IL-37. Since ManLAM is the major component of water phase, we found that ManLAM induced IL-37 mRNA and protein expression in a time and dose-dependent manner, while this activity was almost totally abolished by the ERK1/2 (U0126) and p38 (SB203580) inhibitor. ManLAM stimulation significantly induced ERK1/2 and p38 phosphorylation in A549 cells, as well as cell surface TLR2 expression. After interfering TLR2 expression, ERK1/2 and p38 phosphorylation levels were markedly decreased, and also IL-37 production. Though ManLAM also promoted TLR4 expression on A549 cells, TLR4 interference showed no influence on ManLAM-induced IL-37 production. Our results indicate that ManLAM induces IL-37 production in human type II alveolar epithelial cells via up-regulating TLR2/p38 or ERK1/2 pathway, and this provide an important evidence to explain the pathological role of ManLAM that contribute to the persistence of M. tb.
PMCID: PMC4509212  PMID: 26221267
ManLAM; tuberculosis; IL-37; TLR2; ERK1/2; p38
21.  Cellular and Subcellular Immunohistochemical Localization and Quantification of Cadmium Ions in Wheat (Triticum aestivum) 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0123779.
The distribution of metallic ions in plant tissues is associated with their toxicity and is important for understanding mechanisms of toxicity tolerance. A quantitative histochemical method can help advance knowledge of cellular and subcellular localization and distribution of heavy metals in plant tissues. An immunohistochemical (IHC) imaging method for cadmium ions (Cd2+) was developed for the first time for the wheat Triticum aestivum grown in Cd2+-fortified soils. Also, 1-(4-Isothiocyanobenzyl)-ethylenediamine-N,N,N,N-tetraacetic acid (ITCB-EDTA) was used to chelate the mobile Cd2+. The ITCB-EDTA/Cd2+ complex was fixed with proteins in situ via the isothiocyano group. A new Cd2+-EDTA specific monoclonal antibody, 4F3B6D9A1, was used to locate the Cd2+-EDTA protein complex. After staining, the fluorescence intensities of sections of Cd2+-positive roots were compared with those of Cd2+-negative roots under a laser confocal scanning microscope, and the location of colloidal gold particles was determined with a transmission electron microscope. The results enable quantification of the Cd2+ content in plant tissues and illustrate Cd2+ translocation and cellular and subcellular responses of T. aestivum to Cd2+ stress. Compared to the conventional metal-S coprecipitation histochemical method, this new IHC method is quantitative, more specific and has less background interference. The subcellular location of Cd2+ was also confirmed with energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis. The IHC method is suitable for locating and quantifying Cd2+ in plant tissues and can be extended to other heavy metallic ions.
PMCID: PMC4420502  PMID: 25941807
22.  Molecular Cloning and Characterisation of Farnesyl Pyrophosphate Synthase from Tripterygium wilfordii 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0125415.
Farnesylpyrophosphate synthase (FPS) catalyzes the biosynthesis of farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP), which is an important precursor of sesquiterpenoids such as artemisinin and wilfordine. In the present study, we report the molecular cloning and characterization of two full-length cDNAs encoding FPSs from Tripterygium wilfordii (TwFPSs). TwFPSs maintained their capability to synthesise FPP in vitro when purified as recombinant proteins from E. coli. Consistent with the endogenous role of FPS in FPP biosynthesis, TwFPSs were highly expressed in T. wilfordii roots, and were up-regulated upon methyl jasmonate (MeJA) treatment. The global gene expression profiles suggested that the TwFPSs might play an important regulatory role interpenoid biosynthesis in T. wilfordii, laying the groundwork for the future study of the synthetic biology of natural terpene products.
PMCID: PMC4418688  PMID: 25938487
23.  An analysis of patients receiving emergency CAG without PCI and the value of GRACE score in predicting PCI possibilities in NSTE-ACS patients 
There are patients who underwent emergency coronary angiography (CAG) but did not receive percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The aim of this study was to analyze these reasons.
This is a single-center retrospective study. We recruited 201 consecutive patients who received emergency CAG but did not receive PCI. To investigate the value of the Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events (GRACE) score in predicting PCI possibilities in non-ST segment elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS) patients, we recruited 80 consecutive patients who presented with NSTE-ACS and received emergency CAG as well as emergency PCI.
Among the 201 patients who received emergency CAG but did not receive PCI, 26% patients had final diagnosis other than coronary heart disease. In the patients with significant coronary artery stenosis, 23 patients (11.5%) were recommended to coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), one patient (0.5%) refused PCI; 13 patients (6.5%) with significant thrombus burden were treated with glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor antagonist; 74 patients (36.8%) were treated with drug therapy because no severe stenosis (> 70%) was present in the crime vessel. Moreover, 80 of the 201 patients were presented with NSTE-ACS (excluding those patients with final diagnosis other than coronary heart disease, excluding those patients planned for CABG treatment), referred as non PCI NSTE-ACS. When comparing their GRACE scores with 80 consecutive patients presented with NSTE-ACS who received emergency CAG as well as emergency PCI (referred as PCI NSTE-ACS), we found that PCI NSTE-ACS patients had significantly higher GRACE scores compared with non PCI NSTE-ACS patients. We then used Receiver Operator Characteristic Curve (ROC) to test whether the GRACE score is good at evaluating the possibilities of PCI in NSTE-ACS patients. The area under the curve was 0.854 ± 0.030 (P < 0.001), indicating good predictive value. Furthermore, we analyzed results derived from ROC statistics, and found that a GRACE score of 125.5, as a cut-off, has high sensitivity and specificity in evaluating PCI possibilities in NSTE-ACS patients.
Our findings indicate that the GRACE score has predictive value in determining whether NSTE-ACS patients would receive PCI.
PMCID: PMC4460167  PMID: 26089848
Acute coronary syndrome; Coronary angiography; GRACE score; Percutaneous coronary intervention
24.  Vasospastic angina with J waves formation in patients with sudden loss of consciousness 
Vasospastic angina is caused by sudden occlusive vasoconstriction of a segment of an epicardial artery, which can present with a wide spectrum of clinical scenario. We report the cases of two patients diagnosed with vasospastic angina, with one of which presenting with sudden cardiac arrest, while the other presenting with a relatively benign syncope. But both of them have J waves formation on ECG during active ischemia. The diagnosis and management of vasospastic angina, as well as the proposed clinical significance of J waves during coronary spasm are discussed.
PMCID: PMC4460176  PMID: 26089857
Angina; Consciousness loss; J wave; Osborn wave
25.  Downregulation of long noncoding RNA ZMAT1 transcript variant 2 predicts a poor prognosis in patients with gastric cancer 
Gastric cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death partially because of its aggressive metastasis and the fact that it is often diagnosed at an advanced stage. Recent studies have shown that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play critical roles in multiple biological processes including oncogenesis. In the present study, we found for the first time that the lncRNA ZMAT1 transcript variant 2 is downregulated in gastric cancer tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues (P < 0.001). The expression of ZMAT1 transcript variant 2 was inversely correlated with lymph node metastasis (P < 0.05), depth of tumor invasion and tumor node metastasis stage (P < 0.05). Univariate and multivariate analyses showed that ZMAT1 transcript variant 2 expression was an independent predictor for overall survival (P < 0.05). Our study suggests that ZMAT1 transcript variant 2 is a potential diagnostic factor in patients with gastric cancer.
PMCID: PMC4503135  PMID: 26191264
Gastric cancer; ZMAT1 transcript; prognosis

Results 1-25 (272)