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1.  A comparison of ARMS and direct sequencing for EGFR mutation analysis and Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors treatment prediction in body fluid samples of Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer patients 
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation is strongly associated with the therapeutic effect of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Nevertheless, tumor tissue that needed for mutation analysis is frequently unavailable. Body fluid was considered to be a feasible substitute for the analysis, but arising problems in clinical practice such as relatively lower mutation rate and poor clinical correlation are not yet fully resolved.
In this study, 50 patients (32 pleural fluids and 18 plasmas) with TKIs therapy experience and with direct sequencing results were selected from 220 patients for further analysis. The EGFR mutation status was re-evaluated by Amplification Refractory Mutation System (ARMS), and the clinical outcomes of TKIs were analyzed retrospectively.
As compared with direct sequencing, 16 positive and 23 negative patients were confirmed by ARMS, and the other 11 former negative patients (6 pleural fluids and 5 plasmas) were redefined as positive, with a fairly well clinical outcome (7 PR, 3 SD, and 1 PD). The objective response rate (ORR) of positive patients was significant, 81.3% (direct sequencing) and 72.7% (ARMS) for pleural fluids, and 80% (ARMS) for plasma. Notably, even reclassified by ARMS, the ORR for negative patients was still relatively high, 60% for pleural fluids and 46.2% for plasma.
When using body fluids for EGFR mutation analysis, positive result is consistently a good indicator for TKIs therapy, and the predictive effect was no less than that of tumor tissue, no matter what method was employed. However, even reclassified by ARMS, the correlation between negative results and clinical outcome of TKIs was still unsatisfied. The results indicated that false negative mutation still existed, which may be settled by using method with sensitivity to single DNA molecule or by optimizing the extraction procedure with RNA or CTC to ensure adequate amount of tumor-derived nucleic acid for the test.
PMCID: PMC3287118  PMID: 22142557
Body Fluids; EGFR Mutation; Direct Sequencing; ARMS; TKIs; NSCLC
2.  Type III Interferon Induces Distinct SOCS1 Expression Pattern that Contributes to Delayed but Prolonged Activation of Jak/STAT Signaling Pathway: Implications for Treatment Non-Response in HCV Patients 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0133800.
Suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1) has long been thought to block type I interferon signaling. However, IFN-λ, a type III IFN with limited receptor expression in hepatic cells, efficiently inhibits HCV (Hepatitis C virus) replication in vivo with potentially less side effects than IFN-α. Previous studies demonstrated that type I and type III activated Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (Jak/STAT) signaling pathway differently, with delayed but prolonged activation by IFN-λ stimulation compared to IFNα/β. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this observation is not well understood. Here, we found that there are distinct differences in SOCS1 expression patterns in Huh-7.5.1 cells following stimulation with IFN-α and IFN-λ. IFN-λ induced a faster but shorter expression of SOCS1. Furthermore, we confirmed that SOCS1 over-expression abrogates anti-HCV effect of both IFN-α and IFN-λ, leading to increased HCV RNA replication in both HCV replicon cells and JFH1 HCV culture system. In line with this, SOCS1 over-expression inhibited STAT1 phosphorylation, attenuated IFN-stimulated response elements (ISRE) reporter activity, and blocked IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) expression. Finally, we measured SOCS1 mRNA expression levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with or without IFN-α treatment from 48 chronic hepatitis C patients and we found the baseline SOCS1 expression levels are higher in treatment non-responders than in responders before IFN-α treatment. Taken together, SOCS1 acts as a suppressor for both type I and type III IFNs and is negatively associated with sustained virological response (SVR) to IFN-based therapy in patients with HCV. More importantly, faster but shorter induction of SOCS1 by IFN-λ may contribute to delayed but prolonged activation of IFN signaling and ISG expression kinetics by type III IFN.
PMCID: PMC4508043  PMID: 26193702
3.  APOE Effects on Default Mode Network in Chinese Cognitive Normal Elderly: Relationship with Clinical Cognitive Performance 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0133179.
Functional connectivity in default mode network (DMN) may be changed in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients and related risk populations, such as amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) patients and APOE ε4 carriers. Exploring DMN changes and related behavioral performance of APOE ε4 population might provide valuable evidence for better understanding the development of AD.
Subjects were enrolled from a population-based cohort established in a multi-center study in China. Forty-nine cognitive normal individuals were enrolled after standardized cognitive evaluations, MRI examination and APOE genotyping. Regions of interest (ROI)-based functional connectivity analyses were performed, and voxel-based analyses were used to validate these findings. The correlation between DMN functional connectivity and behavioral performance was further evaluated between APOE ε4ε3 and ε3ε3 carriers.
Comparing to ε3ε3 carriers, functional connectivity between left parahippocampal gyrus and right superior frontal cortex (LPHC-R.Sup.F), left parahippocampal gyrus and medial prefrontal cortex (ventral) (LPHC-vMPFC) were significantly increased in ε4ε3 carriers, while connectivity between cerebellar tonsils and retrosplenial was decreased. LPHC-R.Sup.F connectivity was positively correlated with the changes of delay recall from baseline to follow-up (r = 0.768, p = 0.009), while LPHC-vMPFC connectivity had a positive correlation with MMSE at baseline (r = 0.356, p = 0.018), and a negative correlation with long-delayed recognition at follow-up (r = -0.677, p = 0.031). Significantly increased functional connectivity in vMPFC was confirmed in voxel-based analyses by taking LPHC as seed region.
APOE ε4 carriers present both increased and decreased functional connectivity in DMN, which is correlated with clinical cognitive performances. DMN changes might be an early sign for cognitive decline.
PMCID: PMC4503593  PMID: 26177270
4.  Cyclooxygeanse-2 promotes metastasis in osteosarcoma 
Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), an inducible form of the enzyme that catalyzes the first step in the synthesis of prostanoids, is associated with carcinogenesis, which is suspected to promote angiogenesis and tissue invasion of tumors and resistance to apoptosis. COX-2 is also involved in metastasis and poor prognosis of cancer. Osteosarcoma with COX-2 positivity is from 67 to 92 %. COX-2-positive rate in metastatic lesions was greater than that of biopsy and/or resected samples of the primary site in osteosarcoma. And, what role does COX-2 play in osteosarcoma metastasis? Genetic studies support a cause-effect connection between COX-2 and tumorigenesis. COX-2 expression had a poor prognosis with regard to metastasis, and patients with increased COX-2 expression in lung metastases died of the disease. COX-2 expression has also been established as a marker in human osteosarcoma, and COX-2 inhibition has been suggested as a possible way of improving therapeutic outcome. In addition, COX-inhibitors inhibit the tumor initiation, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), cell differentiation and T cell proliferation and suppression of the antitumor activity of natural killer cells and macrophages, angiogenic mechanism. Therefore, we can exert the COX-inhibitors to potentialize the effects of chemotherapeutic agents, and reverse the metastasis in osteosarcoma to facilitate the patient who may benefit from addition of COX-inhibitors to standard cytotoxic therapy.
PMCID: PMC4502918  PMID: 26180515
COX-2; COX-inhibitors; Metastasis; Osteosarcoma
5.  Regression of Gastric Cancer by Systemic Injection of RNA Nanoparticles Carrying both Ligand and siRNA 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:10726.
Gastric cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. RNA nanotechnology has recently emerged as an important field due to recent finding of its high thermodynamic stability, favorable and distinctive in vivo attributes. Here we reported the use of the thermostable three-way junction (3WJ) of bacteriophage phi29 motor pRNA to escort folic acid, a fluorescent image marker and BRCAA1 siRNA for targeting, imaging, delivery, gene silencing and regression of gastric cancer in animal models. In vitro assay revealed that the RNA nanoparticles specifically bind to gastric cancer cells, and knock-down the BRCAA1 gene. Apoptosis of gastric cancer cells was observed. Animal trials confirmed that these RNA nanoparticles could be used to image gastric cancer in vivo, while showing little accumulation in crucial organs and tissues. The volume of gastric tumors noticeably decreased during the course of treatment. No damage to important organs by RNA nanoparticles was detectible. All the results indicated that this novel RNA nanotechnology can overcome conventional cancer therapeutic limitations and opens new opportunities for specific delivery of therapeutics to stomach cancer without damaging normal cells and tissues, reduce the toxicity and side effect, improve the therapeutic effect, and exhibit great potential in clinical tumor therapy.
PMCID: PMC4490273  PMID: 26137913
6.  The catechol-o-methyltransferase Val158Met polymorphism modulates the intrinsic functional network centrality of the parahippocampal cortex in healthy subjects 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:10105.
The influence of catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met on brain activation and functional connectivity has been widely reported. However, voxel-wise effects of this genotype on resting-state brain networks remain unclear. Here, we used resting-state fMRI and eigenvector centrality to examine the effects of COMT Val158Met genotypes on the connection patterns of the brain network and working memory (WM) in healthy, young Val/Val and Met carrier subjects. There were significant differences in the performance level on the 2-back WM task between the different COMT genotypes: Val/Val individuals exhibited a higher correct rate compared to the Met carriers. A two-sample t test was used to examine the differences in the eigenvector centrality maps, using age and gender as covariates of no interest, between the Val/Val and Met carriers. We found that the Val/Val individuals exhibited significantly higher eigenvector centrality compared to the Met carriers in the left parahippocampal cortex. Furthermore, a significantly positive correlation between the mean eigenvector centrality of the significant cluster and the correct rate of the 2-back WM task was observed. By using a voxel-wise data-driven method, our findings may provide plausible implications regarding individual differences in the genetic contribution of COMT Val158Met to the brain network and cognition.
PMCID: PMC4460568  PMID: 26054510
7.  Impaired Long Distance Functional Connectivity and Weighted Network Architecture in Alzheimer's Disease 
Cerebral Cortex (New York, NY)  2013;24(6):1422-1435.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is increasingly recognized as a disconnection syndrome, which leads to cognitive impairment due to the disruption of functional activity across large networks or systems of interconnected brain regions. We explored abnormal functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) resting-state dynamics, functional connectivity, and weighted functional networks, in a sample of patients with severe AD (N = 18) and age-matched healthy volunteers (N = 21). We found that patients had reduced amplitude and regional homogeneity of low-frequency fMRI oscillations, and reduced the strength of functional connectivity, in several regions previously described as components of the default mode network, for example, medial posterior parietal cortex and dorsal medial prefrontal cortex. In patients with severe AD, functional connectivity was particularly attenuated between regions that were separated by a greater physical distance; and loss of long distance connectivity was associated with less efficient global and nodal network topology. This profile of functional abnormality in severe AD was consistent with the results of a comparable analysis of data on 2 additional groups of patients with mild AD (N = 17) and amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI; N = 18). A greater degree of cognitive impairment, measured by the mini-mental state examination across all patient groups, was correlated with greater attenuation of functional connectivity, particularly over long connection distances, for example, between anterior and posterior components of the default mode network, and greater reduction of global and nodal network efficiency. These results indicate that neurodegenerative disruption of fMRI oscillations and connectivity in AD affects long-distance connections to hub nodes, with the consequent loss of network efficiency. This profile was evident also to a lesser degree in the patients with less severe cognitive impairment, indicating that the potential of resting-state fMRI measures as biomarkers or predictors of disease progression in AD.
PMCID: PMC4215108  PMID: 23314940
Alzheimer's disease; disconnection; distance; functional connectivity; weighted brain networks
8.  Acute ethanol induces apoptosis by stimulating TRPC6 via elevation of superoxide in oxygenated podocytes 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2015;1853(5):965-974.
Our recent studies indicate that hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) only at high concentrations can cause oxidative stress in renal epithelial cells and induce apoptosis of podocytes. Consistently, the present study shows that H2O2, even at 1 mM, failed to induce intracellular oxidative stress and apoptosis of the podocytes due to efficient activity of catalase, an enzyme which degrades H2O2 to produce water and oxygen (O2). However, H2O2 acted as a source of O2 to allow acute ethanol to induce superoxide production and cause apoptosis of the podocytes. In contrast, acute ethanol alone did not elevate intracellular superoxide, even though it stimulates expression and translocation of p47phox to the plasma membrane. Inhibition of catalase abolished not only O2 production from H2O2 degradation, but also NOX2-dependent superoxide production in the podocytes challenged by both H2O2 and acute ethanol. In parallel, acute ethanol in the presence of H2O2, but neither ethanol nor H2O2 alone, stimulated transient receptor potential canonical 6 (TRPC6) channels and caused TRPC6-dependent elevation of intracellular Ca2+. These data suggest that exogenous H2O2 does not induce oxidative stress due to rapid degradation to produce O2 in the podocytes, but the oxygenated podocytes become sensitive to acute ethanol challenge and undergo apoptosis via a TRPC6-dependent elevation of intracellular Ca2+. Since cultured podocytes are considered in hypoxic conditions, H2O2 may be used as a source of O2 to establish an ischemia–reperfusion model in some type of cultured cells in which H2O2 does not directly induce intracellular oxidative stress.
PMCID: PMC4441224  PMID: 25601712
Catalase; Oxidative stress; NOX2; Patch-clamp technique; Confocal microscopy; Intracellular Ca2+
9.  IFN-λ: A New Class of Interferon with Distinct Functions-Implications for Hepatitis C Virus Research 
Pegylated interferon-α and ribavirin (PEG-IFN/RBV) is widely used to treat chronic hepatitis C virus infection with notorious adverse reactions since the broad expression of IFN-α receptors on all nucleated cells. Accordingly, a Type III IFN with restricted receptors distribution is much safer as an alternative for HCV therapy. In addition, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) near the human IFN-λ3 gene, IL-28B, correlate strongly with the ability to achieve a sustained virological response (SVR) to therapy with pegylated IFN-α plus ribavirin in patients infected with chronic hepatitis C. Furthermore, we also discuss the most recent findings: IFN-λ4 predicts treatment outcomes of HCV infection. In consideration of the apparent limitations of current HCV therapy, especially high failure rate and universal side effects, prediction of treatment outcomes prior to the initiation of treatment and developing new alternative drugs are two important goals in HCV research.
PMCID: PMC4452855  PMID: 26078754
10.  Lovastatin inhibits human B lymphoma cell proliferation by reducing intracellular ROS and TRPC6 expression 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2014;1843(5):894-901.
Clinical evidence suggests that statins reduce cancer incidence and mortality. However, there is lack of in vitro data to show the mechanism by which statins can reduce the malignancies of cancer cells. We used a human B lymphoma Daudi cells as a model and found that lovastatin inhibited, whereas exogenous cholesterol (Cho) stimulated, proliferation cell cycle progression in control Daudi cells, but not in the cells when transient receptor potential canonical 6 (TRPC6) channel was knocked down. Lovastatin decreased, whereas Cho increased, the levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) respectively by decreasing or increasing the expression of p47-phox and gp91-phox (NOX2). Reducing intracellular ROS with either a mimetic superoxide dismutase (TEMPOL) or a NADPH oxidase inhibitor (apocynin) inhibited cell proliferation, particularly in Cho-treated cells. The effects of TEMPOL or apocynin were mimicked by inhibition of TRPC6 with SKF-96365. Lovastatin decreased TRPC6 expression and activity via a Cho-dependent mechanism, whereas Cho increased TRPC6 expression and activity via an ROS-dependent mechanism. Consistent with the fact that TRPC6 is a Ca2+-permeable channel, lovastatin decreased, but Cho increased, intracellular Ca2+ also via ROS. These data suggest that lovastatin inhibits malignant B cell proliferation by reducing membrane Cho, intracellular ROS, TRPC6 expression and activity, and intracellular Ca2+.
PMCID: PMC4015521  PMID: 24518247
Anti-cancer drugs; Cell cycle; Membrane cholesterol; Oxidative stress; Intracellular calcium; Confocal microscopy; Patch-clamp techniques
11.  Relationship between tumor and peripheral blood NPRL2 mRNA levels in patients with colorectal adenoma and colorectal cancer 
Cancer Biology & Therapy  2014;15(5):489-495.
NPRL2 is a tumor suppressor gene involved in the progression of human cancer. The present study investigated whether NPRL2 expression correlates with colorectal cancer (CRC) progression.
Colorectal tissue and peripheral blood samples were obtained from 62 patients with CRC, 38 patients with colorectal adenomas and 51 normal controls. NPRL2 mRNA levels in tissue samples and blood were measured using quantitative real-time PCR. NPRL2 protein expression was determined by immunohistochemistry.
NPRL2 protein expression in CRCs was significantly lower than in the adenomas or normal colorectal tissue. NPRL2 mRNA expression was significantly decreased in adenomas compared with normal controls (P < 0.0001) and it was further decreased in colorectal tumors compared with adenomas (P < 0.0001). NPRL2 mRNA levels expression correlated with tumor stage. In addition, NPRL2 mRNA levels in the blood correlated with the levels detected in tumors. Furthermore, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis showed that NPRL2 expression in blood could distinguish colorectal adenomas and CRCs from normal controls.
NPRL2 mRNA expression in CRC tumor tissues and peripheral blood correlated with colorectal tumor progression. Based on our findings, we can conclude that NPRL2 mRNA blood levels could be a potentially useful marker for the detection of early stage adenomas and CRCs.
PMCID: PMC4026070  PMID: 24521741
nitrogen permease regulator-like 2; intensive tumor suppressor gene; biological markers; colorectal carcinoma; adenoma; DNA mismatch repair
12.  Epigenetic silencing of microRNA-149 in cancer-associated fibroblasts mediates prostaglandin E2/interleukin-6 signaling in the tumor microenvironment 
Cell Research  2015;25(5):588-603.
Tumor initiation and growth depend on its microenvironment in which cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in tumor stroma play an important role. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and interleukin (IL)-6 signal pathways are involved in the crosstalk between tumor and stromal cells. However, how PGE2-mediated signaling modulates this crosstalk remains unclear. Here, we show that microRNA (miR)-149 links PGE2 and IL-6 signaling in mediating the crosstalk between tumor cells and CAFs in gastric cancer (GC). miR-149 inhibited fibroblast activation by targeting IL-6 and miR-149 expression was substantially suppressed in the CAFs of GC. miR-149 negatively regulated CAFs and their effect on GC development both in vitro and in vivo. CAFs enhanced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the stem-like properties of GC cells in a miR-149-IL-6-dependent manner. In addition to IL-6, PGE2 receptor 2 (PTGER2/EP2) was revealed as another potential target of miR-149 in fibroblasts. Furthermore, H. pylori infection, a leading cause of human GC, was able to induce cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)/PGE2 signaling and to enhance PGE2 production, resulting in the hypermethylation of miR-149 in CAFs and increased IL-6 secretion. Our findings indicate that miR-149 mediates the crosstalk between tumor cells and CAFs in GC and highlight the potential of interfering miRNAs in stromal cells to improve cancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC4423088  PMID: 25916550
microRNA-149; epigenetic silencing; cancer-associated fibroblasts; PGE2; IL-6
13.  Inhibition of STAT3 reduces proliferation and invasion in salivary gland adenoid cystic carcinoma 
American Journal of Cancer Research  2015;5(5):1751-1761.
In this study, we accessed the expression and correlation of p-STAT3 with Survivin, Cyclin D1, CD147, Slug and Ki67 by immunohistochemical staining of human tissue microarray which contains 72 adenoid cystic carcinoma (AdCC), 12 pleomorphic adenoma (PMA) and 18 normal salivary gland (NSG) using digital pathological scanner and scoring system. We found that the expression of p-STAT3, Survivin, Slug, Cyclin D1 and CD147 was significantly increased in AdCC as compared with PMA and (or) NSG (p<0.05). While, the level of p-STAT3 and expression of Cyclin D1 and CD147 was not associated with pathological type of human AdCC (p>0.05). Correlation analysis of these proteins revealed that p-STAT3 up-regulates the expression of Survivin, Slug, Cyclin D1 and CD147 (p<0.05). Moreover, the activation of STAT3 was associated with proliferation marker Ki-67 (p<0.05). Selective inhibition of STAT3 by a small molecule S3I-201 significantly reduced human SACC-83 and SACC-LM cells proliferation, migration and invasion with the corresponding decrease in expression of Survivin, Slug, Cyclin D1 and CD147. These findings indicate that high phosphorylation level of STAT3 in AdCC is related to Survivin, Slug, Cyclin D1 and CD147. We suggest that the inhibition of STAT3 may be a novel strategy for neoadjuvant chemotherapeutic treatment of AdCC.
PMCID: PMC4497441  PMID: 26175943
STAT3; Cyclin D1; CD147; adenoid cystic carcinoma; S3I-201
14.  Association of Urinary Metal Profiles with Altered Glucose Levels and Diabetes Risk: A Population-Based Study in China 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0123742.
Elevated heavy metals and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels were both associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, studies on the associations of heavy metals and essential elements with altered FPG and diabetes risk were limited or conflicting. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential associations of heavy metals and essential trace elements with FPG and diabetes risk among general Chinese population.
We conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate the associations of urinary concentrations of 23 metals with FPG, impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and diabetes among 2242 community-based Chinese adults in Wuhan. We used the false discovery rate (FDR) method to correct for multiple hypothesis tests.
After adjusting for potential confounders, urinary aluminum, titanium, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, selenium, rubidium, strontium, molybdenum, cadmium, antimony, barium, tungsten and lead were associated with altered FPG, IFG or diabetes risk (all P< 0.05); arsenic was only dose-dependently related to diabetes (P< 0.05). After additional adjustment for multiple testing, titanium, copper, zinc, selenium, rubidium, tungsten and lead were still significantly associated with one or more outcomes (all FDR-adjusted P< 0.05).
Our results suggest that multiple metals in urine are associated with FPG, IFG or diabetes risk. Because the cross-sectional design precludes inferences about causality, further prospective studies are warranted to validate our findings.
PMCID: PMC4395404  PMID: 25874871
15.  Induction of autophagy-dependent cell death by the survivin suppressant YM155 in salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma 
Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is one of the most common malignancies of the major and minor salivary glands. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the aggressive growth of human salivary ACC remains unclear. In the present study, we showed that survivin, which belongs to the family of inhibitors of apoptosis, is closely related to the high expression of CDK4 and cyclin D1 in human ACC specimens. By employing the smallmolecule drug YM155, we found that the inhibition of survivin in ACC cells caused significant cell death and induced autophagy. Chloroquine, an autophagy inhibitor, prevented cell death induced by YM155, suggesting YM155-induced autophagy contributed to the cell death effects in ACC cells. More importantly, evidence obtained from a xenograft model using ACC-2 cells proved the occurrence of YM155-induced autophagy and cell death in vivo was correlated with the suppression of Erk1/2 and S6 activation as well as increased TFEB nuclear translocation. Taken together, our results indicate YM155 is a novel inducer of autophagy-dependent cell death and possesses therapeutic potential in ACC.
PMCID: PMC4211076  PMID: 24370995
Survivin; Adenoid cystic carcinoma; YM155; Apoptosis; Autophagy
16.  Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Keratocystic Odontogenic Tumor: Possible Role in Locally Aggressive Behavior 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:168089.
The aim of this study is to clarify whether epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is involved in the pathogenesis and development of keratocystic odontogenic tumor (KCOT). The expression levels of EMT-related proteins and genes in normal oral mucosa (OM), radicular cyst (RC), and KCOT were determined and compared by real-time quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry. Our data showed that the expression of epithelial markers E-cadherin and Pan-cytokeratin was significantly downregulated in KCOT with upregulation of mesenchymal markers N-cadherin compared to OM and RC. Importantly, TGF-β, a potent EMT inducer, and Slug, a master transcription factor, were also found highly expressed in KCOT. In addition, the results from Spearman rank correlation test and clustering analysis revealed the close relationship between Slug and MMP-9, which was further evidenced by double-labeling immunofluorescence that revealed a synchronous distribution for Slug with MMP-9 in KCOT samples. All the data suggested EMT might be involved in the locally aggressive behavior of KCOT.
PMCID: PMC4386571  PMID: 25879017
17.  Management for the anterior combined with posterior urethral stricture: a 9-year single centre experience 
Objective: Therapy for anterior combined with posterior urethral stricture is difficult and controversial. This study aims to introduce a standard process for managing anterior combined with posterior urethral stricture. Patients and methods: 19 patients with anterior combined with posterior urethral stricture were treated following our standard process. Average (range) age was 52 (21-72) years old. In this standard process, anterior urethral stricture should be treated first. Endoscopic surgery is applied for anterior urethra stricture as a priority as long as obliteration does not occur, and operation for posterior urethral stricture can be conducted in the same stage. Otherwise, an open reconstructive urethroplasty for anterior urethral is needed; while in this condition, the unobliterated posterior urethra can also be treated with endoscopic surgery in the same stage; however, if posterior urethra obliteration exists, then open reconstructive urethroplasty for posterior urethral stricture should be applied 2-3 months later. Results: The median (range) follow-up time was 25.8 (3-56) months. All 19 patients were normal in urethrography after 1 month of the surgery. 4 patients (21.1%) recurred urethral stricture during follow-up, and the locations of recurred stricture were bulbomembranous urethra (2 cases), bulbar urethra (1 case) and bladder neck (1 case). 3 of them restored to health through urethral dilation, yet 1 underwent a second operation. 2 patients (10.5%) complaint of dripping urination. No one had painful erection, stress urinary incontinence or other complications. Conclusions: The management for anterior combined with posterior urethral stricture following our standard process is effective and safe.
PMCID: PMC4443127  PMID: 26064293
Anterior urethral stricture; combined; posterior urethral stricture; standard process; surgical management
18.  Percutaneous needle decompression in treatment of malignant small bowel obstruction 
AIM: To investigate the efficacy and safety of percutaneous needle decompression in the treatment of malignant small bowel obstruction (MSBO).
METHODS: A prospective analysis of the clinical data of 52 MSBO patients undergoing percutaneous needle decompression was performed.
RESULTS: Percutaneous needle decompression was successful in all 52 patients. Statistically significant differences were observed in symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal distension and abdominal pain before and after treatment (81.6% vs 26.5%, 100% vs 8.2%, and 85.7% vs 46.9%, respectively; all P < 0.05). The overall significantly improved rate was 19.2% (11/52) and the response rate was 94.2% (49/52) using decompression combined with nasal tube placement, local arterial infusion of chemotherapy and nutritional support. During the one-month follow-up period, puncture-related complications were acceptable.
CONCLUSION: Percutaneous needle intestinal decompression is a safe and effective palliative treatment for MSBO.
PMCID: PMC4342925  PMID: 25741156
Arterial infusion chemotherapy; Malignant small bowel obstruction; Nasal intestinal decompression tube; Percutaneous needle decompression; Palliative treatment
19.  Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Inhibition Reduces Angiogenesis via Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1α and Notch1 in Head Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0119723.
Angiogenesis, a marker of cancer development, affects response to radiotherapy sensibility. This preclinical study aims to understand the receptor tyrosine kinase-mediated angiogenesis in head neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The receptor tyrosine kinase activity in a transgenic mouse model of HNSCC was assessed. The anti-tumorigenetic and anti-angiogenetic effects of cetuximab-induced epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibition were investigated in xenograft and transgenic mouse models of HNSCC. The signaling transduction of Notch1 and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) was also analyzed. EGFR was overexpressed and activated in the Tgfbr1/Pten deletion (2cKO) mouse model of HNSCC. Cetuximab significantly delayed tumor onset by reducing tumor angiogenesis. This drug exerted similar effects on heterotopic xenograft tumors. In the human HNSCC tissue array, increased EGFR expression correlated with increased HIF-1α and micro vessel density. Cetuximab inhibited tumor-induced angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo by significantly downregulating HIF-1α and Notch1. EGFR is involved in the tumor angiogenesis of HNSCC via the HIF-1α and Notch1 pathways. Therefore, targeting EGFR by suppressing hypoxia- and Notch-induced angiogenesis may benefit HNSCC therapy.
PMCID: PMC4344331  PMID: 25723392
20.  Risk Factors and Medico-Economic Effect of Pancreatic Fistula after Pancreaticoduodenectomy 
The study aimed to uncover the risk factors for the new defined pancreatic fistula (PF) and clinical related PF (CR-PF) after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) surgery and to evaluate the medico-economic effect of patients. A total of 412 patients were classified into two groups according to different criteria, PF and NOPF according to PF occurrence: CR-PF (grades B and C) and NOCR-PF (grade A) based on PF severity. A total of 28 factors were evaluated by univariate and multivariate logistic regression test. Hospital charges and stays of these patients were assessed. The results showed that more hospital stages and charges are needed for patients in PF and CR-PF groups than in NOPF and NOCR-PF groups (P < 0.05). The excessive drinking, soft remnant pancreas, preoperative albumin, and intraoperative blood transfusion are risk factors affecting both PF and CR-PF incidence. More professional surgeons can effectively reduce the PF and CR-PF incidence. Patients with PF and CR-PF need more hospital costs and stages than that in NOPF and NOCR-PF groups. It is critical that surgeons know the risk factors related to PF and CR-PF so as to take corresponding therapeutic regimens for each patient.
PMCID: PMC4350616  PMID: 25788941
21.  Seasonal Alterations in Host Range and Fidelity in the Polyphagous Mirid Bug, Apolygus lucorum (Heteroptera: Miridae) 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0117153.
In herbivorous insects, host plant switching is commonly observed and plays an important role in their annual life cycle. However, much remains to be learned about seasonal host switching of various pestiferous arthropods under natural conditions. From 2006 until 2012, we assessed Apolygus lucorum (Meyer-Dür) host plant use in successive spring, summer and winter seasons at one single location (Langfang, China). Data were used to quantify changes in host plant breadth and host fidelity between seasons. Host fidelity of A. lucorum differed between seasons, with 87.9% of spring hosts also used in the summer and 36.1% of summer hosts used in winter. In contrast, as little as 25.6% host plant species were shared between winter and spring. Annual herbaceous plants are most often used for overwintering, while perennial woody plants are relatively important for initial population build-up in the spring. Our study contributes to an improved understanding of evolutionary interactions between A. lucorum and its host plants and lays the groundwork for the design of population management strategies for this important pest in myriad crops.
PMCID: PMC4333344  PMID: 25692969
22.  Proteomic analysis of differentially expressed skin proteins in iRhom2Uncv mice 
BMB Reports  2015;48(1):19-24.
A mouse homozygous for the spontaneous mutation uncovered (Uncv) has a hairless phenotype. A 309-bp non-frameshift deletion mutation in the N-terminal cytoplasmic domain of iRhom2 was identified in Uncv mice (iRhom2Uncv) using target region sequencing. The detailed molecular basis for how the iRhom2 mutation causes the hairless phenotype observed in the homozygous iRhom2Uncv mouse remains unknown. To identify differentially expressed proteins in the skin of wild-type and homozygous iRhom2Uncv littermates at postnatal day 5, proteomic approaches, including two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry were used. Twelve proteins were differentially expressed in the skin in a comparison between wild-type and homozygous iRhom2Uncv mice. A selection of the proteomic results were tested and verified using qRT-PCR, western blot and immunohistochemistry. These data indicate that differentially expressed proteins, especially KRT73, MEMO1 and Coro-1, might participate in the mechanism by which iRhom2 regulates the development of murine skin. [BMB Reports 2015; 48(1): 19-24]
PMCID: PMC4345637  PMID: 24667173
Hair follicle; iRhom2; Proteomic; Skin; Uncv
23.  β-Hydroxybutyric Sodium Salt Inhibition of Growth Hormone and Prolactin Secretion via the cAMP/PKA/CREB and AMPK Signaling Pathways in Dairy Cow Anterior Pituitary Cells 
β-hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA) regulates the synthesis and secretion of growth hormone (GH) and prolactin (PRL), but its mechanism is unknown. In this study, we detected the effects of BHBA on the activities of G protein signaling pathways, AMPK-α activity, GH, and PRL gene transcription, and GH and PRL secretion in dairy cow anterior pituitary cells (DCAPCs). The results showed that BHBA decreased intracellular cAMP levels and a subsequent reduction in protein kinase A (PKA) activity. Inhibition of PKA activity reduced cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation, thereby inhibiting GH and PRL transcription and secretion. The effects of BHBA were attenuated by a specific Gαi inhibitor, pertussis toxin (PTX). In addition, intracellular BHBA uptake mediated by monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1) could trigger AMPK signaling and result in the decrease in GH and PRL mRNA translation in DCAPCs cultured under low-glucose and non-glucose condition when compared with the high-glucose group. This study identifies a biochemical mechanism for the regulatory action of BHBA on GH and PRL gene transcription, translation, and secretion in DCAPCs, which may be one of the factors that regulate pituitary function during the transition period in dairy cows.
PMCID: PMC4346956  PMID: 25690038
β-hydroxybutyric acid; dairy cow anterior pituitary cells; growth hormone; prolactin
24.  Nano-Magnetic Immunosensor Based on Staphylococcus Protein A and the Amplification Effect of HRP-Conjugated Phage Antibody 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2015;15(2):3896-3910.
In this research, super-paramagnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles (magnetic particles) were coated with Staphylococcus protein A (SPA) and coupled with polyclonal antibody (pcAb) to construct magnetic capturing probes, and HRP-conjugated phage antibody was then used as specific detecting probe to design a labeled immunosensor for trace detection of Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B (SEB). The linear detection range of the sensor was 0.008∼125 μg/L, the regression equation was Y = 0.487X + 1.2 (R = 0.996, N = 15, p < 0.0001), the limit of detection (LOD) was 0.008 μg/L, and the limit of quantification (LOQ) was 0.008 μg/L. HRP-conjugated phage antibody, SPA and magnetic particles can enhance the sensitivity 4-fold, 3-fold and 2.6-fold higher, respectively. Compared with conventional double-antibody sandwich ELISA, the detection sensitivity of the sensor was 31-fold higher resulting from the integrated amplifying effect. The immunosensor integrates the unique advantages of SPA-oriented antibody as magnetic capturing probe, HRP-conjugated phage antibody as detecting probe, magnetic separation immunoassay technique, and several other advanced techniques, so it achieves high sensitivity, specificity and interference-resistance. It is proven to be well suited for analysis of trace SEB in various environmental samples with high recovery rate and reproducibility.
PMCID: PMC4367391  PMID: 25671509
Staphylococcus protein A; HRP-conjugated phage antibody; signal amplification; nanomagnetic immunosensor; Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B
25.  Downregulation of survivin inhibits proliferation and migration of human gastric carcinoma cells 
Gastric cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Survivin overexpressed in many human cancers as a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein family. We found that all samples of normal gastric tissues did not express the protein of survivin, and however, 65% human gastric cancer samples expressed survivin. Positive expression of survivin correlated with differentiation. The proliferation and migration of gastric cancer decreased after downregulation of surviving by RNA interference. Furthermore, downregulation of survivin caused the cell cycle arrest. These suggest that survivin play an important role in gastric cancer and the use of survivin siRNA might become an effective approach to cancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC4396289  PMID: 25973061
Survivin; gastric cancer; proliferation; migration; cell cycle

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