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1.  Treatment of turtle aquaculture effluent by an improved multi-soil-layer system*  
Concentrated turtle aquaculture effluent poses an environmental threat to water bodies, and therefore needs to be treated prior to disposal. This study was conducted to assess the effect of multi-soil-layer (MSL) systems treating turtle aquaculture effluent with adding different amounts of sludge. Four MSL systems were constructed with dry weight ratios of sludge with 0%, 5%, 10%, and 20% (MSL 1, MSL 2, MSL 3, and MSL 4, respectively). The turtle aquaculture effluent had an average chemical oxygen demand (COD), ammonia nitrogen (NH4 +-N) and total nitrogen (TN) concentration of 288.4, 213.4, and 252.0 mg/L, respectively. The COD/TN (C/N) ratio was 1.2. The results showed that the four MSL systems could effectively treat the COD, NH4 +-N, and TN, and MSL 4 showed significantly improved NH4 +-N removal efficiency, suggesting the potential of sludge addition to improve the turtle aquaculture effluent treatment. The average COD, TN, and NH4 +-N removal efficiencies of MSL 4 were 70.3%, 66.5%, and 72.7%, respectively. To further interpret the contribution of microorganisms to the removal, the microbial community compositions and diversities of the four MSL systems were measured. Comparisons of the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles revealed that the amount of nitrifying bacteria and diversity in MSL 4 were higher than those in the other three systems. We concluded that adding 20% of sludge improved the NH4 +-N removal and stability of the system for nitrification, due to the enrichment of the nitrifying bacteria in MSL 4.
PMCID: PMC4322425  PMID: 25644469
Turtle aquaculture effluent; Multi-soil-layer (MSL) system; Sludge; Microbial community diversity
2.  Epigenetic modification of FOXP3 in patients with chronic HIV infection 
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) modulates host cell epigenetic machinery to control its own replication and induce immune suppression. HIV-1 infection leads to activation of T regulatory cell (Treg), but the mechanism underlying this immune modulation is unclear. Treg plays a prominent role in gut-mucosal immune tolerance by restraining excessive effector T-cell responses, a mechanism that is known to be disturbed in chronic HIV-1 infection. DNA methylation plays a major role in Treg lineage commitment and immune homeostasis, which may be regulated by HIV. To investigate the mechanisms of aberrant methylation of the Treg marker FOXP3 in HIV-1 infection, we evaluated the expression pattern of methylation related enzymes and its correlation to FOXP3 methylation.
FOXP3 promoter methylation in the colon mucosa and peripheral blood from HIV-infected patients and control subjects was measured using Pyrosequencing. Gene expression pattern of DNA methylation enzymes in the colon mucosa was investigated by Microarray and quantitative rt-PCR analysis in the same subjects.
FOXP3 promoter was significantly (p=< 0.0001) demethylated in HIV-infected patients compared to control subjects in both tissues. Expression of DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNAMT1), DNA methyltransferase 1-associated protein 1(DMAP1), methyltransferase like 7B (METTL7B), and methyltransferase like 10 (METTL10), were significantly down regulated in HIV-infected patients compared to controls and had a significant positive correlation to FOXP3 promoter methylation.
We present evidence suggesting that altered methylation pattern of FOXP3 and accordingly higher Treg frequency in gut mucosa of HIV infected patients may be due to aberrant methylation processing in HIV.
PMCID: PMC3871978  PMID: 23846566
HIV; FOXP3; Methylation; Epigenetics; Methylation enzymes
3.  Early Left Ventricular Dysfunction in Children after Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Acute Leukemia: A Case Control Study Using Speckle Tracking Echocardiography 
Korean Circulation Journal  2015;45(1):51-58.
Background and Objectives
Cardiovascular complications are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in childhood cancer survivors. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a curable therapy for pediatric cancer. However, changes in cardiac function in children after HSCT are not well known. We assessed left ventricular (LV) function in children after HSCT using speckle tracking echocardiography (STE).
Subjects and Methods
Forty consecutive patients with median age of 11.9 years (range, 1.5-16 years) who received HSCT for acute leukemia and had comprehensive echocardiography before and after (median 9.2 month) HSCT were included in this study. The LV function parameters including conventional tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) and STE data were collected from pre- and post-HSCT echocardiography. These data were compared to those of 39 age-matched normal controls.
Compared to normal controls, post HSCT patients had similar (p=0.06) LV ejection fraction. However, the following three LV function parameters were significantly decreased in post HSCT patients: rate-corrected velocity of circumferential fiber shortening (p=0.04), mitral inflow E velocity (p<0.001), and mitral septal annular E' velocity (p=0.03). The following four STE parameters were also significantly decreased in post HSCT patients: LV global circumferential systolic strain (p<0.01), strain rate (SR, p=0.01), circumferential diastolic SR (p<0.01), and longitudinal diastolic SR (p<0.001). There was no significant change in TDI or STE parameters after HSCT compared to pre-HSCT. Patients with anthracycline cumulative dose >400 mg/m2 showed significantly (p<0.05) lower circumferential systolic strain and circumferential diastolic SR.
Subclinical cardiac dysfunction is evident in children after HSCT. It might be associated with pre-HSCT anthracycline exposure with little effect of conditioning regimens. Serial monitoring of cardiac function is mandatory for all children following HSCT.
PMCID: PMC4310980  PMID: 25653704
Childhood leukemia; Stem cell transplantation; Heart function; Speckle tracking; Echocardiography; Strain rate
4.  Cyclin D1-CDK4 Controls Glucose Metabolism Independently of Cell Cycle Progression 
Nature  2014;510(7506):547-551.
Insulin constitutes a major evolutionarily conserved hormonal axis for maintaining glucose homeostasis1-3; dysregulation of this axis causes diabetes2,4. PGC-1α links insulin signaling to the expression of glucose and lipid metabolic genes5-7. GCN5 acetylates PGC-1α and suppresses its transcriptional activity, whereas SIRT1 deacetylates and activates PGC-1α8,9. Although insulin is a mitogenic signal in proliferative cells10,11, whether components of the cell cycle machinery contribute to insulin’s metabolic action is poorly understood. Herein, we report that insulin activates cyclin D1-CDK4, which, in turn, increases GCN5 acetyltransferase activity and suppresses hepatic glucose production independently of cell cycle progression. Through a cell-based high throughput chemical screen, we identified a CDK4 inhibitor that potently decreases PGC-1α acetylation. Insulin/GSK3β signaling induces cyclin D1 protein stability via sequestering cyclin D1 in the nucleus. In parallel, dietary amino acids increase hepatic cyclin D1 mRNA transcripts. Activated cyclin D1-CDK4 kinase phosphorylates and activates GCN5, which then acetylates and inhibits PGC-1α activity on gluconeogenic genes. Loss of hepatic cyclin D1 results in increased gluconeogenesis and hyperglycemia. In diabetic models, cyclin D1-CDK4 is chronically elevated and refractory to fasting/feeding transitions; nevertheless further activation of this kinase normalizes glycemia. Our findings show that insulin uses components of the cell cycle machinery in post-mitotic cells to control glucose homeostasis independently of cell division.
PMCID: PMC4076706  PMID: 24870244
5.  Primary malignant melanoma of lacrimal sac 
PMCID: PMC4270979  PMID: 25540768
6.  Attenuation of inflammatory-mediated neurotoxicity by Saururus chinensis extract in LPS-induced BV-2 microglia cells via regulation of NF-κB signaling and anti-oxidant properties 
A Saururus chinensis Baill (SC) has been used by Native Americans, early colonists and practitioners of Korean traditional medicine for treating several diseases including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and edema. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of SC extract in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated neuroinflammatory responses in BV-2 microglial cells.
The effects of SC on the LPS–induced neuroinflammatory responses in BV-2 microglial cells were assessed by Western blotting, RT-PCR and immunofluorescence labeling techniques. DPPH and alkyl radical scavenging assay was performed to evaluate the anti-oxidant effects. Comparisons between groups were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance followed by Dunnett’s multiple comparisons test using GraphPad Prism V5.01 software.
Pre-treatment with SC extract (1, 5 and 10 μg/mL) significantly (p < 0.001 at 10 μg/mL) and concentration dependently inhibited LPS-induced production of nitric oxide (NO), inducible NO synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and suppressed the inflammatory cytokine levels such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin (IL)-6 in BV-2 microglial cells (p < 0.001 at 10 μg/mL). Further, SC suppressed the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) activation by blocking the degradation of IκB-α. SC also exhibited profound anti-oxidant effects by scavenging 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) (IC50: 0.055 mg/mL) and alkyl radicals (IC50: 0.349 mg/mL). High performance liquid chromatography finger printing analysis of SC revealed quercetin (QCT) as one of the major constituents compared with reference standard. QCT also inhibited the excessive release of NO, and inhibited the increased expressional levels of IL-6, iNOS and COX-2 in LPS-stimulated BV-2 cells.
Our results indicated that SC inhibited the LPS-stimulated neuroinflammatory responses in BV-2 microglia via regulation of NF-κB signaling. The antioxidant active constituents of SC might be partly involved in delivering such effects. Based on the traditional claims and our present results SC can be potentially used in treating inflammatory-mediated neurodegenerative diseases.
PMCID: PMC4301828  PMID: 25514974
Microglia; Saururus chinensis; Quercetin; LPS; NF-κB; Neurodegenerative disease
7.  Genetic Identification and Risk Factor Analysis of Asymptomatic Bacterial Colonization on Cardiovascular Implantable Electronic Devices 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:725163.
Asymptomatic bacterial colonization of cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) is widespread and increases the risk of clinical CIED infection. The aim of the study was to evaluate the incidence of bacterial colonization of generator pockets in patients without signs of infection and to analyze the relationship with clinical infection and risk factors. From June 2011 to December 2012, 78 patients underwent CIED replacement or upgrade. Exclusion criteria included a clinical diagnosis of CIED infection, bacteremia, or infective endocarditis. All patients were examined for evidence of bacterial 16S rDNA on the device and in the surrounding tissues. Infection cases were recorded during follow-up. The bacterial-positive rate was 38.5% (30 cases); the coagulase-negative Staphylococcus detection rate was the highest (9 cases, 11.5%). Positive bacterial DNA results were obtained from pocket tissue in 23.1% of patients (18 cases), and bacterial DNA was detected on the device in 29.5% of patients (23 cases). During follow-up (median 24.6 months), two patients (6.7%, 2/30) became symptomatic with the same species of microorganism, S. aureus and S. epidermidis. Multivariable logistic regression analysis found that the history of bacterial infection, use of antibiotics, application of antiplatelet drugs, replacement frequency, and renal insufficiency were independent risk factors for asymptomatic bacterial colonization.
PMCID: PMC4233659  PMID: 25530969
8.  A mutation of Aspergillus niger for hyper-production of citric acid from corn meal hydrolysate in a bioreactor*  
The properties of the screened mutants for hyper-production of citric acid induced by carbon (12C6+) ion beams and X-ray irradiation were investigated in our current study. Among these mutants, mutant H4002 screened from 12C6+ ion irradiation had a higher yield of citric acid production than the parental strain in a 250-ml shaking flash. These expanded submerged experiments in a bioreactor were also carried out for mutant H4002. The results showed that (177.7–196.0) g/L citric acid was accumulated by H4002 through exploiting corn meal hydrolysate (containing initial 200.0–235.7 g/L sugar) with the productivity of (2.96–3.27) g/(L∙h). This was especially true when the initial sugar concentration was 210 g/L, and the best economical citric acid production reached (187.5±0.7) g/L with a productivity of 3.13 g/(L∙h). It was observed that mutant H4002 can utilize low-cost corn meal as a feedstock to efficiently produce citric acid. These results imply that the H4002 strain has the industrial production potentiality for citric acid and offers strong competition for the citric acid industry.
PMCID: PMC4228513  PMID: 25367793
Mutation; Citric acid; Corn meal hydrolysate; Aspergillus niger
9.  PAF and EZH2 Induce Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Hyperactivation 
Molecular cell  2013;52(2):193-205.
Fine-control of Wnt signaling is essential for various cellular and developmental decision making processes. However, deregulation of Wnt signaling leads to pathological consequences including cancer. Here, we identify a novel function of PAF, a component of translesion DNA synthesis, in modulating Wnt signaling. PAF is specifically overexpressed in colon cancer cells and intestinal stem cells, and required for colon cancer cell proliferation. In Xenopus laevis, ventrovegetal expression of PAF hyperactivates Wnt signaling, developing secondary axis with β-catenin target gene upregulation. Upon Wnt signaling activation, PAF is dissociated from PCNA, and directly binds to β-catenin. Then, PAF recruits EZH2 to β-catenin transcriptional complex, and specifically enhances Wnt target gene transactivation, independently of EZH2's methyltransferase activity. In mouse, conditional expression of PAF induces intestinal neoplasia via Wnt signaling hyperactivation. Our studies reveal an unexpected role of PAF in regulating Wnt signaling, and propose a novel regulatory mechanism of Wnt signaling during tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC4040269  PMID: 24055345
Wnt; β-catenin; PAF; KIAA0101; EZH2
10.  Correlation of Apical Fluid-Regulating Channel Proteins with Lung Function in Human COPD Lungs 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e109725.
Links between epithelial ion channels and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) are emerging through animal model and in vitro studies. However, clinical correlations between fluid-regulating channel proteins and lung function in COPD remain to be elucidated. To quantitatively measure epithelial sodium channels (ENaC), cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), and aquaporin 5 (AQP5) proteins in human COPD lungs and to analyze the correlation with declining lung function, quantitative western blots were used. Spearman tests were performed to identify correlations between channel proteins and lung function. The expression of α and β ENaC subunits was augmented and inversely associated with lung function. In contrast, both total and alveolar type I (ATI) and II (ATII)-specific CFTR proteins were reduced. The expression level of CFTR proteins was associated with FEV1 positively. Abundance of AQP5 proteins and extracellular superoxide dismutase (SOD3) was decreased and correlated with spirometry test results and gas exchange positively. Furthermore, these channel proteins were significantly associated with severity of disease. Our study demonstrates that expression of ENaC, AQP5, and CFTR proteins in human COPD lungs is quantitatively associated with lung function and severity of COPD. These apically located fluid-regulating channels may thereby serve as biomarkers and potent druggable targets of COPD.
PMCID: PMC4201481  PMID: 25329998
11.  Deep Sequencing of RNA from Three Different Extracellular Vesicle (EV) Subtypes Released from the Human LIM1863 Colon Cancer Cell Line Uncovers Distinct Mirna-Enrichment Signatures 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e110314.
Secreted microRNAs (miRNAs) enclosed within extracellular vesicles (EVs) play a pivotal role in intercellular communication by regulating recipient cell gene expression and affecting target cell function. Here, we report the isolation of three distinct EV subtypes from the human colon carcinoma cell line LIM1863 – shed microvesicles (sMVs) and two exosome populations (immunoaffinity isolated A33-exosomes and EpCAM-exosomes). Deep sequencing of miRNA libraries prepared from parental LIM1863 cells/derived EV subtype RNA yielded 254 miRNA identifications, of which 63 are selectively enriched in the EVs - miR-19a/b-3p, miR-378a/c/d, and miR-577 and members of the let-7 and miR-8 families being the most prominent. Let-7a-3p*, let-7f-1-3p*, miR-451a, miR-574-5p*, miR-4454 and miR-7641 are common to all EV subtypes, and 6 miRNAs (miR-320a/b/c/d, miR-221-3p, and miR-200c-3p) discern LIM1863 exosomes from sMVs; miR-98-5p was selectively represented only in sMVs. Notably, A33-Exos contained the largest number (32) of exclusively-enriched miRNAs; 14 of these miRNAs have not been reported in the context of CRC tissue/biofluid analyses and warrant further examination as potential diagnostic markers of CRC. Surprisingly, miRNA passenger strands (star miRNAs) for miR-3613-3p*, -362-3p*, -625-3p*, -6842-3p* were the dominant strand in A33-Exos, the converse to that observed in parental cells. This finding suggests miRNA biogenesis may be interlinked with endosomal/exosomal processing.
PMCID: PMC4201526  PMID: 25330373
12.  Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor C and anti-angiogenesis therapy in endometriosis 
Angiogenesis is an important pathogenesis of Endometriosis. Vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) is one of the most important factor in the regulation of both normal and abnormal angiogenesis. Anti-angiogenic treatment of endometriosis is still in the exploratory stage. In this study, we investigate the relationship between VEGF-C and endometriosis, the therapeutic effects of Endostar in the rat endometriosis model. We then demonstrated that Immunohistochemical expression of VEGF-C was higher in endometriotic tissues than in control normal ovary tissues (P < 0.01) and higher in the endomertriosis grade III-IV than in endomertriosis grade I-II (P=0.013). In rat endometriosis model, we observed a significant reduction in the mean volume and weight of the endometriotic implants per rat in the treatment group as compared with the control group. By immunohistochemical evaluation, there was a significant reduction in VEGF-C expression after treatment in all areas examined. VEGF-C may be involved in the pathogenesis of endomertriosis by regulating the angiogenesis. Endostar has therapeutic effects of endometriosis lesions in the rat endometriosis model.
PMCID: PMC4270624  PMID: 25550812
Endomertriosis; VEGF-C; angiogenesis; rat; Endostar
13.  Identification of Exonic Nucleotide Variants of the Thyroid Hormone Responsive Protein Gene Associated with Carcass Traits and Fatty Acid Composition in Korean Cattle 
The thyroid hormone responsive protein (THRSP) gene is a functional gene that can be used to indicate the fatty acid compositions. This study investigates the relationships of exonic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the THRSP gene and fatty acid composition of muscle fat and marbling score in the 612 Korean cattle. The relationships between fatty acid composition and eight SNPs in the THRSP gene (g.78 G>A, g.173 C>T, g.184 C>T, g.190 C>A, g.194 C>T, g.277 C>G, g.283 T>G and g.290 T>G) were investigated, and according to the results, two SNPs (g.78 G>A and g.184 C>T) in exon 1 were associated with fatty acid composition. The GG and CC genotypes of g.78 G>A and g.184 C>T had higher unsaturated fatty acid (UFA) and monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) content (p<0.05). In addition, the ht1*ht1 group (Val/Ala haplotype) in a linkage disequilibrium increased MUFAs and marbling scores for carcass traits (p<0.05). As a result, g.78 G>A and g.184 C>T had significantly relationships with UFAs and MUFAs. Two SNPs in the THRSP gene affected fatty acid composition, suggesting that GG and CC genotypes and the ht1*ht1 group (Val/Ala haplotype) can be markers to genetically improve the quality and flavor of beef.
PMCID: PMC4150167  PMID: 25178286
Thyroid Hormone Responsive Protein (THRSP) Gene; Unsaturated Fatty Acid; SNP; Beef Flavor; Korean Cattle
14.  Inhibition of the Interleukin-11-STAT3 Axis Attenuates Hypoxia-Induced Migration and Invasion in MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells 
Although interleukin-11 (IL-11) has been reported to be elevated in hypoxic tumors and has been associated with a poor prognosis in various cancers, little is known about its precise role in promoting metastasis in hypoxic tumors. In the present study, the molecular mechanism underlying the effects of IL-11 on MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells migration and invasion in relation to metastasis under hypoxic conditions has been defined. Inhibition of IL-11 expression or function using small interfering RNA (siRNA) or a neutralizing antibody attenuated hypoxic MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell migration and invasion through down-regulation of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and activation of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) related gene expression. In addition, hypoxia-induced IL-11 increased STAT3 phosphorylation and STAT3 knockdown suppressed hypoxic MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell invasion due to reduced MMP levels and reprogrammed EMT-related gene expression. These results suggest that one of the hypoxic metastasis pathways and the regulation of this pathway could be a potential target for novel cancer therapeutics.
PMCID: PMC4211122  PMID: 25352758
Hypoxia; Interleukin-11; Invasion; Migration; STAT3
15.  Meta-analysis of ciprofloxacin in treatment of Crohn's disease 
Biomedical Reports  2014;3(1):70-74.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of ciprofloxacin (cipro) for the treatment of Crohn's disease (CD) through a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. The PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Library databases were searched up to May 2014, with no language restrictions, for randomized placebo-controlled trials. Additional references were obtained from the reviewed studies. Five studies were in accordance with the criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled risk ratio (RR) of all the studies was 1.35 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.03–1.76; P=0.03]. In three studies, cipro was used for the treatment of CD with perianal fistula and the pooled RR was 1.66 (95% CI, 1.16–2.39; P=0.006). In two studies, cipro was used to treat active CD and the pooled RR was 1.13 (95% CI, 0.77–1.66; P=0.54). Thus in conclusion, cipro exhibits a significant efficacy for the treatment of CD, in particular with perianal fistula.
PMCID: PMC4251156  PMID: 25469250
Crohn's disease; ciprofloxacin; meta-analysis
16.  PAF-Mediated MAPK Signaling Hyperactivation via LAMTOR3 Induces Pancreatic Tumorigenesis 
Cell reports  2013;5(2):314-322.
Deregulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling leads to development of pancreatic cancer. Although Ras mutation-driven pancreatic tumorigenesis is well understood, the underlying mechanism of Ras-independent MAPK hyperactivation remains elusive. Here, we identified a distinct function of PAF (PCNA-associated factor) in modulating MAPK signaling. PAF is overexpressed in pancreatic cancer, and required for pancreatic cancer cell proliferation. In mouse models, PAF expression induced pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia with expression of pancreatic cancer stem cell markers. PAF-induced ductal epithelial cell hyperproliferation was accompanied by extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation, independent of Ras or Raf mutations. Intriguingly, PAF transcriptionally activated the expression of late endosomal/lysosomal adaptor, MAPK and mTOR activator 3 (LAMTOR3) that hyperphosphorylates MEK and ERK, which was necessary for pancreatic cancer cell proliferation. Our results reveal an unsuspected mechanism of mitogenic signaling activation via LAMTOR3, and suggest that PAF-induced MAPK hyperactivation contributes to pancreatic tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC4157353  PMID: 24209743
PAF; KIAA0101; pancreatic cancer; LAMTOR3; MAPK
17.  Central cholinergic activation of a vagus nerve - to spleen circuit alleviates experimental colitis 
Mucosal immunology  2013;7(2):335-347.
The cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway is an efferent vagus nerve-based mechanism that regulates immune responses and cytokine production through α7nicotinic-acetylcholinereceptor (α7nAChR) signaling. Decreased efferent vagus nerve activity is observed in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We determined whether central activation of this pathway alters inflammation in mice with colitis and the mediating role of a vagus nerve-to spleen circuit and α7nAChR signaling. Two experimental models of colitis were used in C57BL/6 mice. Central cholinergic activation induced by the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor galantamine or a muscarinic acetylcholine receptor agonist treatments resulted in reduced mucosal inflammation associated with decreased MHC II level and pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion by splenic CD11c+ cells mediated by α7nAChR signaling. The cholinergic anti-inflammatory efficacy was abolished in mice with vagotomy, splenic neurectomy or splenectomy. In conclusion, central cholinergic activation of a vagus nerve–to spleen circuit controls intestinal inflammation and this regulation can be explored to develop novel therapeutic strategies.
PMCID: PMC3859808  PMID: 23881354
Galantamine; vagus nerve; cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway; experimental colitis; dendritic cells
18.  Protective efficacy of a high-growth reassortant swine H3N2 inactivated vaccine constructed by reverse genetic manipulation 
Journal of Veterinary Science  2014;15(3):381-388.
Novel reassortant H3N2 swine influenza viruses (SwIV) with the matrix gene from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus have been isolated in many countries as well as during outbreaks in multiple states in the United States, indicating that H3N2 SwIV might be a potential threat to public health. Since southern China is the world's largest producer of pigs, efficient vaccines should be developed to prevent pigs from acquiring H3N2 subtype SwIV infections, and thus limit the possibility of SwIV infection at agricultural fairs. In this study, a high-growth reassortant virus (GD/PR8) was generated by plasmid-based reverse genetics and tested as a candidate inactivated vaccine. The protective efficacy of this vaccine was evaluated in mice by challenging them with another H3N2 SwIV isolate [A/Swine/Heilongjiang/1/05 (H3N2) (HLJ/05)]. Prime and booster inoculation with GD/PR8 vaccine yielded high-titer serum hemagglutination inhibiting antibodies and IgG antibodies. Complete protection of mice against H3N2 SwIV was observed, with significantly reduced lung lesion and viral loads in vaccine-inoculated mice relative to mock-vaccinated controls. These results suggest that the GD/PR8 vaccine may serve as a promising candidate for rapid intervention of H3N2 SwIV outbreaks in China.
PMCID: PMC4178139  PMID: 24675833
H3N2 subtype; protective efficacy; reverse genetics; swine influenza virus
19.  DNA methylation dynamics during ex vivo differentiation and maturation of human dendritic cells 
Dendritic cells (DCs) are important mediators of innate and adaptive immune responses, but the gene networks governing their lineage differentiation and maturation are poorly understood. To gain insight into the mechanisms that promote human DC differentiation and contribute to the acquisition of their functional phenotypes, we performed genome-wide base-resolution mapping of 5-methylcytosine in purified monocytes and in monocyte-derived immature and mature DCs.
DC development and maturation were associated with a great loss of DNA methylation across many regions, most of which occurs at predicted enhancers and binding sites for known transcription factors affiliated with DC lineage specification and response to immune stimuli. In addition, we discovered novel genes that may contribute to DC differentiation and maturation. Interestingly, many genes close to demethylated CG sites were upregulated in expression. We observed dynamic changes in the expression of TET2, DNMT1, DNMT3A and DNMT3B coupled with temporal locus-specific demethylation, providing possible mechanisms accounting for the dramatic loss in DNA methylation.
Our study is the first to map DNA methylation changes during human DC differentiation and maturation in purified cell populations and will greatly enhance the understanding of DC development and maturation and aid in the development of more efficacious DC-based therapeutic strategies.
PMCID: PMC4144987  PMID: 25161698
DNA methylation; Human dendritic cells; Monocytes; Differentiation; Maturation; TET; DNMT
20.  Zinc finger and BTB domain-containing protein 3 is essential for the growth of cancer cells 
BMB Reports  2014;47(7):405-410.
ZBTB3 belongs to the Zinc finger and BTB/POZ domain containing transcription factor family; however, its biological role has rarely been studied. We demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, that ZBTB3 is an essential factor for cancer cell growth via the regulation of the ROS detoxification pathway. Suppression of ZBTB3 using two different short hairpin RNAs in human melanoma, lung carcinoma, and breast carcinoma results in diminished cell growth. In addition, we found that suppression of ZBTB3 activates a caspase cascade, including caspase-9, -3, and PARP leading to cellular apoptosis, resulting from failed ROS detoxification. We identified that ZBTB3 plays an important role in the gene expression of ROS detoxification enzymes. Our results reveal that ZBTB3 may play a critical role in cancer cell growth via the ROS detoxification system. Therefore, therapeutic strategies that target ZBTB3 could be used in selective cancer treatments. [BMB Reports 2014; 47(7): 405-410]
PMCID: PMC4163853  PMID: 24856827
Apoptosis; Cancer; ROS; ZBTB3
21.  Rho/Rock cross-talks with transforming growth factor-β/Smad pathway participates in lung fibroblast-myofibroblast differentiation 
Biomedical Reports  2014;2(6):787-792.
The differentiation of fibroblasts, which are promoted by transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/Smad, is involved in the process of pulmonary fibrosis. The Rho/Rho-associated coiled-coil-forming protein kinase (Rock) pathway may regulate the fibroblast differentiation and myofibroblast expression of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), however, the mechanism is not clear. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of Rho/Rock and TGF-β/Smad in TGF-β1-induced lung fibroblasts differentiation. Human embryonic lung fibroblasts were stimulated by TGF-β1, Y-27632 (inhibitor of Rho/Rock signaling) and staurosporine (inhibitor of TGF-β/Smad signaling). The α-SMA expression, cell cycle progression, content of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in cell culture supernatants and the expression of RhoA, RhoC, Rock1 and Smad2 were detected. The results demonstrated that α-SMA-positive cells significantly increased following TGF-β1 stimulation. Rho/Rock and TGF-β/Smad inhibitors suppressed TGF-β1-induced lung fibroblast differentiation. The inhibitors increased G0/G1 and decreased S and G2/M percentages. The concentrations of the ECM proteins in the supernatant were significantly increased by TGF-β1 stimulation, whereas they were decreased by inhibitor stimulation. RhoA, RhoC, Rock1, Smad2 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 were upregulated by TGF-β1 stimulation. The Rho/Rock inhibitor downregulated Smad2 expression and the TGF-β/Smad inhibitor downregulated RhoA, RhoC and Rock1 expression. Therefore, the Rho/Rock pathway and Smad signaling were involved in the process of lung fibroblasts transformation, induced by TGF-β1, to myofibroblasts. The two pathways may undergo cross-talk in the lung fibroblasts differentiation in vitro.
PMCID: PMC4179758  PMID: 25279146
pulmonary fibrosis; myofibroblast; transforming growth factor-β; Rho; Rho-associated coiled-coil-forming protein kinase; Smad
22.  Ectopic TSH-secreting pituitary tumor: a case report and review of prior cases 
BMC Cancer  2014;14(1):544.
Ectopic TSH-secreting pituitary adenoma (TSH-oma) is a very unusual disorder. To date, there are only four cases reported. It is difficult to distinguish ectopic cases from both regular TSH-omas and resistance to thyroid hormone (RTH).
Case presentation
A newly identified case of ectopic TSH-oma arising from the nasal pharynx was described, and reports of four prior cases were reviewed. The patient was a 41-year-old male who developed what appeared to be typical hyperthyroidism and atrial fibrillation in 2009. Thyroid function tests showed elevated basal levels of free T3 (FT3, 24.08 pmol/L), free T4 (FT4, 75.73 pmol/L), and serum TSH (7.26 μIU/ml). Both TSH-oma and resistance to thyroid hormone syndrome were considered. TRH stimulating test was negative, whereas octreotide inhibition test showed a reduction in TSH by 30.8%. Furthermore, a large space-occupying lesion located at the nasopharynx was found by computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A normal pituitary was visualized. Ectopic TSH-oma was preliminarily established. Using an endoscopic endonasal approach, the tumor was resected. Histological features and immunophenotypes were consistent with those of TSH-secreting tumor. The levels of both free thyroxine and TSH returned to normal ranges the day after surgery and remained within normal range for 48 months.
Although exceedingly rare, ectopic TSH-oma should be considered for patients with inappropriate secretion of TSH with hyperthyroidism and pituitary tumor undetectable by computed tomography and MRI. To our knowledge, this is the first case followed up more than 4 years. The characteristics and successful interventions summarized in this report provide a guideline for clinicians.
PMCID: PMC4125694  PMID: 25069990
Ectopic TSH-secreting pituitary adenoma; Resistance to thyroid hormone (RTH); TRH stimulating test; Octreotide inhibition test; Hyperthyroidism
23.  Decoding noncoding RNA: the long and short of it 
Circulation research  2013;113(3):240-241.
PMCID: PMC3901056  PMID: 23868825
24.  Development of lead-free single-element ultrahigh frequency (170 – 320 MHz) ultrasonic transducers 
Ultrasonics  2013;53(5):1033-1038.
This paper presents the design, fabrication and characterization of single-element ultrahigh frequency (UHF) ultrasonic transducers in which the center frequency ranged from 170 to 320 MHz. The center frequency of > 300 MHz is the highest value of lead-free ceramic ultrasonic transducers ever reported. With concern in the environmental pollution of lead-based materials, the transducer elements presented in this work were lead-free K0.5Na0.5NbO3/Bi0.5Na0.5TiO3 (KNN/BNT) composite thick films. All transducers were evaluated in a pulse-echo arrangement. The measured −6 dB bandwidth of the transducers ranged from 35 to 64 %. With the optimized piezoelectric properties of the composite film, the insertion loss of the UHF transducers was measured and determined to range from −50 to −60 dB. In addition to the pulse-echo measurement, a 6-μm tungsten wire phantom was also imaged with a 205 MHz transducer to demonstrate the imaging capability. The measured −6 dB axial and lateral resolutions were found to be 12 μm and 50 μm, respectively. The transducer performance presented in this work is shown to be better or comparable to previously reported results even though the frequency is much higher.
PMCID: PMC3624055  PMID: 23485349
UHF ultrasonic transducer; lead-free; composite sol-gel; thick film
25.  Overcoming Hypoxic-Resistance of Tumor Cells to TRAIL-Induced Apoptosis through Melatonin 
A solid tumor is often exposed to hypoxic or anoxic conditions; thus, tumor cell responses to hypoxia are important for tumor progression as well as tumor therapy. Our previous studies indicated that tumor cells are resistant to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-induced cell apoptosis under hypoxic conditions. Melatonin inhibits cell proliferation in many cancer types and induces apoptosis in some particular cancer types. Here, we examined the effects of melatonin on hypoxic resistant cells against TRAIL-induced apoptosis and the possible mechanisms of melatonin in the hypoxic response. Melatonin treatment increased TRAIL-induced A549 cell death under hypoxic conditions, although hypoxia inhibited TRAIL-mediated cell apoptosis. In a mechanistic study, hypoxia inducible factor-1α and prolyl-hydroxylase 2 proteins, which increase following exposure to hypoxia, were dose-dependently down-regulated by melatonin treatment. Melatonin also blocked the hypoxic responses that reduced pro-apoptotic proteins and increased anti-apoptotic proteins including Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL. Furthermore, melatonin treatment reduced TRAIL resistance by regulating the mitochondrial transmembrane potential and Bax translocation. Our results first demonstrated that melatonin treatment induces apoptosis in TRAIL-resistant hypoxic tumor cells by diminishing the anti-apoptotic signals mediated by hypoxia and also suggest that melatonin could be a tumor therapeutic tool by combining with other apoptotic ligands including TRAIL, particularly in solid tumor cells exposed to hypoxia.
PMCID: PMC4139822  PMID: 25000265
melatonin; TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand); HIF-1α (hypoxia inducible factor-1α); PHD2 (prolyl-hydroxylase 2); MTP (mitochondrial transmembrane potential); Bax translocation

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