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1.  Associations of oxidative balance-related exposures with incident, sporadic colorectal adenoma according to antioxidant enzyme genotypes 
Annals of epidemiology  2013;23(4):223-226.
Previous research found inverse associations between oxidative balance and risk of colorectal adenoma. However, these measures were limited to extrinsic (dietary and lifestyle) exposures and did not account for intrinsic factors, specifically antioxidant enzymes responsible for cellular defense against oxidative stress. We investigated whether the association between an oxidative balance score (OBS) and colorectal adenoma may vary according to polymorphisms in genes that encode three antioxidant enzymes: manganese superoxide dismutase (SOD2), catalase (CAT), and glutathione-S-transferase P1 (GSTP1).
Using data pooled from three colonoscopy-based case-control studies of incident, sporadic colorectal adenoma, we constructed an OBS reflecting pro- and anti-oxidant exposures. We used multivariable logistic regression to assess whether the association between the OBS and colorectal adenoma differed according to polymorphisms in the genes encoding the antioxidant enzymes.
The OBS was inversely associated with colorectal adenoma, adenoma risk was not associated with the genetic polymorphisms, and there was no consistent pattern of effect modification by individual genotypes or combined gene scores.
Variations in the antioxidant enzyme genes SOD2, CAT, and GSTP1 do not appear to substantially modify associations of environmental exposures related to oxidative balance with risk for sporadic colorectal adenoma.
PMCID: PMC3605204  PMID: 23290999
2.  A Genome-Wide Association Study of Depressive Symptoms 
Hek, Karin | Demirkan, Ayse | Lahti, Jari | Terracciano, Antonio | Teumer, Alexander | Cornelis, Marilyn C. | Amin, Najaf | Bakshis, Erin | Baumert, Jens | Ding, Jingzhong | Liu, Yongmei | Marciante, Kristin | Meirelles, Osorio | Nalls, Michael A. | Sun, Yan V. | Vogelzangs, Nicole | Yu, Lei | Bandinelli, Stefania | Benjamin, Emelia J. | Bennett, David A. | Boomsma, Dorret | Cannas, Alessandra | Coker, Laura H. | de Geus, Eco | De Jager, Philip L. | Diez-Roux, Ana V. | Purcell, Shaun | Hu, Frank B. | Rimma, Eric B. | Hunter, David J. | Jensen, Majken K. | Curhan, Gary | Rice, Kenneth | Penman, Alan D. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Sotoodehnia, Nona | Emeny, Rebecca | Eriksson, Johan G. | Evans, Denis A. | Ferrucci, Luigi | Fornage, Myriam | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Hofman, Albert | Illig, Thomas | Kardia, Sharon | Kelly-Hayes, Margaret | Koenen, Karestan | Kraft, Peter | Kuningas, Maris | Massaro, Joseph M. | Melzer, David | Mulas, Antonella | Mulder, Cornelis L. | Murray, Anna | Oostra, Ben A. | Palotie, Aarno | Penninx, Brenda | Petersmann, Astrid | Pilling, Luke C. | Psaty, Bruce | Rawal, Rajesh | Reiman, Eric M. | Schulz, Andrea | Shulman, Joshua M. | Singleton, Andrew B. | Smith, Albert V. | Sutin, Angelina R. | Uitterlinden, André G. | Völzke, Henry | Widen, Elisabeth | Yaffe, Kristine | Zonderman, Alan B. | Cucca, Francesco | Harris, Tamara | Ladwig, Karl-Heinz | Llewellyn, David J. | Räikkönen, Katri | Tanaka, Toshiko | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Grabe, Hans J. | Launer, Lenore J. | Lunetta, Kathryn L. | Mosley, Thomas H. | Newman, Anne B. | Tiemeier, Henning | Murabito, Joanne
Biological psychiatry  2013;73(7):10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.09.033.
Depression is a heritable trait that exists on a continuum of varying severity and duration. Yet, the search for genetic variants associated with depression has had few successes. We exploit the entire continuum of depression to find common variants for depressive symptoms.
In this genome-wide association study, we combined the results of 17 population-based studies assessing depressive symptoms with the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Replication of the independent top hits (p < 1 × 10−5) was performed in five studies assessing depressive symptoms with other instruments. In addition, we performed a combined meta-analysis of all 22 discovery and replication studies.
The discovery sample comprised 34,549 individuals (mean age of 66.5) and no loci reached genome-wide significance (lowest p = 1.05 × 10−7). Seven independent single nucleotide polymorphisms were considered for replication. In the replication set (n = 16,709), we found suggestive association of one single nucleotide polymorphism with depressive symptoms (rs161645, 5q21, p = 9.19 × 10−3). This 5q21 region reached genome-wide significance (p = 4.78 × 10−8) in the overall meta-analysis combining discovery and replication studies (n = 51,258).
The results suggest that only a large sample comprising more than 50,000 subjects may be sufficiently powered to detect genes for depressive symptoms.
PMCID: PMC3845085  PMID: 23290196
Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale; CHARGE consortium; depression; depressive symptoms; genetics; genome-wide association study; meta-analysis
3.  GPER-mediated proliferation and estradiol production in breast cancer-associated fibroblasts 
Endocrine-Related Cancer  2014;21(2):355-369.
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are crucial co-mediators of breast cancer progression. Estrogen is the predominant driving force in the cyclic regulation of the mammary extracellular matrix, thus potentially affecting the tumor-associated stroma. Recently, a third estrogen receptor, estrogen (G-protein-coupled) receptor (GPER), has been reported to be expressed in breast CAFs. In this study, GPER was detected by immunohistochemical analysis in stromal fibroblasts of 41.8% (59/141) of the primary breast cancer samples. GPER expression in CAFs isolated from primary breast cancer tissues was confirmed by immunostaining and RT-PCR analyses. Tamoxifen (TAM) in addition to 17β-estradiol (E2) and the GPER agonist G1 activated GPER, resulting in transient increases in cell index, intracellular calcium, and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Furthermore, TAM, E2, and G1 promoted CAF proliferation and cell-cycle progression, both of which were blocked by GPER interference, the selective GPER antagonist G15, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor AG1478, and the ERK1/2 inhibitor U0126. Importantly, TAM as well as G1 increased E2 production in breast CAFs via GPER/EGFR/ERK signaling when the substrate of E2, testosterone, was added to the medium. GPER-induced aromatase upregulation was probably responsible for this phenomenon, as TAM- and G1-induced CYP19A1 gene expression was reduced by GPER knockdown and G15, AG1478, and U0126 administration. Accordingly, GPER-mediated CAF-dependent estrogenic effects on the tumor-associated stroma are conceivable, and CAF is likely to contribute to breast cancer progression, especially TAM resistance, via a positive feedback loop involving GPER/EGFR/ERK signaling and E2 production.
PMCID: PMC3959763  PMID: 24481325
CAF; GPER; tamoxifen resistance; breast cancer
4.  Sexually Dimorphic Expression of vasa Isoforms in the Tongue Sole (Cynoglossus semilaevis) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e93380.
The vasa gene encodes an ATP-dependent RNA helicase of the DEAD box protein family that functions in a broad range of molecular events involving duplex RNA. In most species, the germline specific expression of vasa becomes a molecular marker widely used in the visualization and labeling of primordial germ cells (PGCs) and a tool in surrogate broodstock production through PGC transplantation. The vasa gene from tongue sole (Cynoglossus semilaevis) was characterized to promote the development of genetic breeding techniques in this species. Three C. semilaevis vasa transcripts were isolated, namely vas-l, vas-m, and vas-s. Quantitative real-time PCR results showed that C. semilaevis vasa transcripts were prevalently expressed in gonads, with very weak expression of vas-s in other tissues. Embryonic development expression profiles revealed the onset of zygotic transcription of vasa mRNAs and the maternal deposit of the three transcripts. The genetic ZW female juvenile fish was discriminated from genetic ZZ males by a pair of female specific primers. Only the expression of vas-s can be observed in both sexes during early gonadal differentiation. Before PGCs started mitosis, there was sexually dimorphic expression of vas-s with the ovary showing higher levels and downward trend. The results demonstrated the benefits of vasa as a germline specific marker for PGCs during embryonic development and gonadal differentiation. This study lays the groundwork for further application of C. semilaevis PGCs in fish breeding.
PMCID: PMC3966880  PMID: 24671276
5.  Application of three-dimensionally area-selective atomic layer deposition for selectively coating the vertical surfaces of standing nanopillars 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4458.
We describe a strategy for selectively coating the vertical surfaces of standing nanopillars using area-selective atomic layer deposition (ALD). Hydrophobic self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) are utilised to selectively inhibit the coating of oxides on the modified horizontal regions to ensure that only the vertical surfaces of vertical standing nanorods are coated using ALD processes. This method makes it possible to fabricate vertical nanodevices using a simple process of depositing oxide layer on a vertical surface, and can also be applied to the area-selective surface passivation of other standing structures.
PMCID: PMC3964512  PMID: 24662775
6.  Monosodium Urate and Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Increase Apoptosis in Human Chondrocyte Cultures 
Monosodium urate and tumor necrosis factor-α, are two potent mediators of separate inflammatory response pathways in arthritic joints where inflammation may be accompanied by the loss of chondrocyte vitality via apoptosis. To address this possibility in vitro, chondrocyte cultures were employed to determine the extent to which monosodium urate and recombinant TNF-α altered the frequency of apoptotic chondrocytes. Apoptosis as a function of the activation of p38 kinase, C-Jun-terminal kinase, signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 and/or the activity of xanthine oxidase was also studied. Using normal human chondrocytes, monosodium urate or recombinant tumor necrosis factor-α increased the frequency of apoptosis and activity of xanthine oxidase. However, the xanthine oxidase-specific inhibitor, febuxostat, failed to blunt this response. Monosodium urate, tumor necrosis factor-α or the Janus kinase inhibitor, AG-490, increased the frequency of apoptotic nuclei in macroaggregate pellet cultures initiated from juvenile human chondrocytes, but not in pellet cultures derived from mesenchymal stem cells. In OA chondrocytes, activation of p38, C-Jun-NH2-kinase and signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 preceded apoptosis. Activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 also was seen in pellet cultures initiated from juvenile chondrocytes and MSCs incubated with MSU, recombinant tumor necrosis factor-α or febuxostat, but apoptosis was increased only in the pellet cultures derived from juvenile chondrocytes. Although AG-490 or the combination of AG-490 and febuxostat inhibited signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 activation, apoptosis was unaffected. These results showed that recombinant tumor necrosis factor-α, monosodium urate and AG-490 increased apoptosis in normal human chondrocytes, OA chondrocytes and human juvenile chondrocyte pellet cultures, but not in chondrocyte pellet cultures initiated from MSCs. The increased frequency of apoptotic chondrocytes in response to recombinant tumor necrosis factor-α or monosodium urate was not dependent on either activation of STAT3 or the activity of XO.
PMCID: PMC3959644  PMID: 24660115
Apoptosis; Arthritis; Chondrocytes; Human; Monosodium urate; Tumor Necrosis Factor-α (TNF-α)
7.  C-Jun NH2 terminal kinase (JNK) is an essential mediator of Toll-like receptor 2-induced corneal inflammation 
Journal of leukocyte biology  2008;83(4):991-997.
TLRs play an important role in the host inflammatory response to bacteria and bacterial products by activating a cascade of intracellular events leading to production of proinflammatory and chemotactic cytokines. To determine the role of MAPKs in TLR- induced corneal inflammation, we stimulated human corneal epithelial (HCE) cells with TLR2 ligands, tripalmitoyl-S-glycero-Cys-(Lys)4 (Pam3Cys) or inactivated Staphylococcus aureus, and examined the time course of expression of MAPKs and the effect of MAPK inhibition on IkBα degradation and CXC chemokine production. We found that S. aureus and Pam3Cys stimulate phosphorylation of JNK, p38 MAPK, and ERK within 4 h and that blockade of JNK, but not p38 or ERK phosphorylation, had an inhibitory effect on IkBα degradation and CXC chemokine production. To determine if JNK is also important in TLR2-induced corneal inflammation in vivo, we examined JNK1−/− mice and pharmacological inhibitors in a murine model of TLR2-induced corneal inflammation which is characterized by neutrophil recruitment to the corneal stroma and development of corneal haze. We found that corneal inflammation was significantly impaired in JNK1−/− mice compared with control mice, and in mice treated with the JNK inhibitor compared with vehicle control. Taken together with results from HCE cells, these findings demonstrate that JNK has an essential role in TLR2-induced corneal inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3959745  PMID: 18218857
TLR2; S. aureus; corneal epithelial cells; inflammation; MAP kinase; neutrophil; chemokines; innate immunity
8.  Trypsin-Catalyzed Deltamethrin Degradation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e89517.
To explore if trypsin could catalyze the degradation of non-protein molecule deltamethrin, we compared in vitro hydrolytic reactions of deltamethrin in the presence and absence of trypsin with ultraviolet-visible (UV/Vis) spectrophotometry and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). In addition, acute oral toxicity of the degradation products was determined in Wistar rats. The results show that the absorption peak of deltamethrin is around 264 nm, while the absorption peaks of deltamethrin degradation products are around 250 nm and 296 nm. In our GC setting, the retention time of undegraded deltamethrin was 37.968 min, while those of deltamethrin degradation products were 15.289 min and 18.730 min. The LD50 of deltamethrin in Wistar rats is 55 mg/kg, while that of deltamethrin degradation products is 3358 mg/kg in female rats and 1045 mg/kg in male rates (61-fold and 19-fold reductions in toxicity), suggesting that trypsin could directly degrade deltamethrin, which significantly reduces the toxicity of deltamethrin. These results expand people's understanding of the functions of proteases and point to potential applications of trypsin as an attractive agent to control residual pesticides in the environment and on agricultural products.
PMCID: PMC3940599  PMID: 24594869
9.  The Pro-Apoptotic Role of the Regulatory Feedback Loop between miR-124 and PKM1/HNF4α in Colorectal Cancer Cells 
Accumulating evidence indicates that miRNA regulatory circuits play important roles in tumorigenesis. We previously reported that miR-124 is correlated with prognosis of colorectal cancer due to PKM-dependent regulation of glycolysis. However, the mechanism by which miR-124 regulates apoptosis in colorectal cancer remains largely elusive. Here, we show that miR-124 induced significant apoptosis in a panel of colorectal cancer cell lines. The mitochondrial apoptosis pathway was activated by miR-124. Furthermore, the pro-apoptotic role of miR-124 was dependent on the status of PKM1/2 level. PKM1 was required for miR-124-induced apoptosis. Via direct protein-protein interaction, PKM1 promoted HNF4α binding to the promoter region of miR-124 and transcribing miR-124. Moreover, HNF4α or PKM1 had a more dramatic effect on colorectal cancer cell apoptosis in the presence of miR-124. However, inhibition of miR-124 blocked cell apoptosis induced by HNF4α or PKM1. These data indicate that miR-124 not only alters the expression of genes involved in glucose metabolism but also stimulates cancer cell apoptosis. In addition, the positive feedback loop between miR-124 and PKM1/HNF4α plays an important role in colorectal cancer cell apoptosis; it suggests that disrupting this regulatory circuit might be a potential therapeutic tool for colorectal cancer treatment.
PMCID: PMC3975400  PMID: 24619225
PKM; HNF4α; miR-124; colorectal cancer
10.  Differential Host Cell Gene Expression and Regulation of Cell Cycle Progression by Nonstructural Protein 11 of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:430508.
Nonstructural protein 11 (nsp11) of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a viral endoribonuclease with an unknown function. The regulation of cellular gene expression by nsp11 was examined by RNA microarrays using MARC-nsp11 cells constitutively expressing nsp11. In these cells, the interferon-β, interferon regulatory factor 3, and nuclear factor-κB activities were suppressed compared to those of parental cells, suggesting that nsp11 might serve as a viral interferon antagonist. Differential cellular transcriptome was examined using Affymetrix exon chips representing 28,536 transcripts, and after statistical analyses 66 cellular genes were shown to be upregulated and 104 genes were downregulated by nsp11. These genes were grouped into 5 major signaling pathways according to their functional relations: histone-related, cell cycle and DNA replication, mitogen activated protein kinase signaling, complement, and ubiquitin-proteasome pathways. Of these, the modulation of cell cycle by nsp11 was further investigated since many of the regulated genes fell in this particular pathway. Flow cytometry showed that nsp11 caused the delay of cell cycle progression at the S phase and the BrdU staining confirmed the cell cycle arrest in nsp11-expressing cells. The study provides insights into the understanding of specific cellular responses to nsp11 during PRRSV infection.
PMCID: PMC3955671  PMID: 24719865
11.  A Compositional Look at the Human Gastrointestinal Microbiome and Immune Activation Parameters in HIV Infected Subjects 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(2):e1003829.
HIV progression is characterized by immune activation and microbial translocation. One factor that may be contributing to HIV progression could be a dysbiotic microbiome. We therefore hypothesized that the GI mucosal microbiome is altered in HIV patients and this alteration correlates with immune activation in HIV. 121 specimens were collected from 21 HIV positive and 22 control human subjects during colonoscopy. The composition of the lower gastrointestinal tract mucosal and luminal bacterial microbiome was characterized using 16S rDNA pyrosequencing and was correlated to clinical parameters as well as immune activation and circulating bacterial products in HIV patients on ART. The composition of the HIV microbiome was significantly different than that of controls; it was less diverse in the right colon and terminal ileum, and was characterized by loss of bacterial taxa that are typically considered commensals. In HIV samples, there was a gain of some pathogenic bacterial taxa. This is the first report characterizing the terminal ileal and colonic mucosal microbiome in HIV patients with next generation sequencing. Limitations include use of HIV-infected subjects on HAART therapy.
Author Summary
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection related illness progresses despite the control of the virus itself by medications that stop the replication of the virus. This happens because the immune system gets activated. While the causes for such activation of the immune system are not exactly known, immune activation in HIV infection may be occurring as a result of bacteria or their products in the digestive tract. This study looks at the types of bacteria that reside in the lower intestinal tract in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus, using state of the art sequencing technology, that can simultaneously look at thousands of bacteria. We have found that the bacteria at the end of the small bowel (an area also called the terminal ileum), at the right and left sides of the large intestine and in the stool is different in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV patients harbor more bacteria that have been linked to other human diseases and have been previously described as harmful. This finding is new and could open up a new frontier of study that could now pave the way to gain a deeper understanding of how the HIV causes illness.
PMCID: PMC3930561  PMID: 24586144
12.  Measurement of retinal thickness in macular region of high myopic eyes using spectral domain OCT 
To investigate the changes of retinal thickness in macula of high myopic eyes using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT).
Middle-aged and young myopic patients were divided into three groups according to their refractive error/axial length: low and medium myopia group (LMMG), high myopia group (HMG) and super high myopia group (SHMG). Cirrus HD-OCT was used to evaluate total average macular thickness, central subfield thickness, inner/outer macular thickness and macular volume. The differences among experimental groups were analyzed by one-factor analysis of variance. Associations between macular thickness and refractive error/axial length were analyzed by Pearson correlation analysis.
There was no significant difference in age among the three groups (P=0.2789). The mean refraction error in the LMMG, HMG, and SHMG groups was -2.49±1.38D, -8.53±1.95D and -13.88±1.76D, respectively (P<0.001). The central subfield thickness of three groups was 244.56±12.19µm, 254.33±11.61µm and 261.75±11.83µm, respectively, and there were statistically significance between random two groups. The total average macular thickness, inner/outer macular thickness, and macular volume decreased with increased myopia/axial length. Average foveal thickness had negative correlations with refractive error (P<0.001), and positive correlations with axial length. The inferior and temporal inner macular thickness, all the quadrants of outer ring, total average macular thickness and macular volume featured positive correlations with refractive error, and negative correlations with axial length. Average foveal thickness, superior and temporal inner macular thicknesses, and temporal outer macular thickness was lower in females compared to males.
With an increase in myopia degree/axial length, the average foveal thickness increased and the inner/outer macular thickness decreased. Females featured thicker average foveal thickness, and thinner macular thickness compared to males.
PMCID: PMC3949472  PMID: 24634877
optical coherence tomography; retinal thickness; high myopic eyes
13.  Genome-Wide Gene Expression Profile Analyses Identify CTTN as a Potential Prognostic Marker in Esophageal Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88918.
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the most common fatal malignances of the digestive tract. Its prognosis is poor mainly due to the lack of reliable markers for early detection and prognostic prediction. Here we aim to identify the molecules involved in ESCC carcinogenesis and those as potential markers for prognosis and as new molecular therapeutic targets.
We performed genome-wide gene expression profile analyses of 10 primary ESCCs and their adjacent normal tissues by cDNA microarrays representing 47,000 transcripts and variants. Candidate genes were then validated by semi quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR), tissue microarrays (TMAs) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining.
Using an arbitrary cutoff line of signal log ratio of ≥1.5 or ≤−1.5, we observed 549 up-regulated genes and 766 down-regulated genes in ESCCs compared with normal esophageal tissues. The functions of 302 differentially expressed genes were associated with cell metabolism, cell adhesion and immune response. Several candidate deregulated genes including four overexpressed (CTTN, DMRT2, MCM10 and SCYA26) and two underexpressed (HMGCS2 and SORBS2) were subsequently verified, which can be served as biomarkers for ESCC. Moreover, overexpression of cortactin (CTTN) was observed in 126/198 (63.6%) of ESCC cases and was significantly associated with lymph node metastasis (P = 0.000), pathologic stage (P = 0.000) and poor survival (P<0.001) of ESCC patients. Furthermore, a significant correlation between CTTN overexpression and shorter disease-specific survival rate was found in different subgroups of ESCC patient stratified by the pathologic stage (P<0.05).
Our data provide valuable information for establishing molecules as candidates for prognostic and/or as therapeutic targets.
PMCID: PMC3925182  PMID: 24551190
14.  Gene expression profiling of CD4+ T cells in treatment-naive HIV, HCV mono- or co-infected Chinese 
Virology Journal  2014;11:27.
Because of the shared transmission routes, co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HIV) is very common. Accumulated clinical evidence showed that one could alter the infectious course of the other virus in HIV and HCV co-infected individuals. However, little is known on the molecular basis of HIV/HCV interactions and their modulations on hosts.
In this study, treatment-naive HIV, HCV mono-/co-infected individuals with CD4+ T cell counts >300/μl were recruited and their gene expression profiles were investigated by microarray assays. The differentially expressed genes were identified and validated by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). To further understand the biological meanings of the gene expression profiles in these three groups, GSEA analysis (version 2.0, Broad Institute was performed.
By gene set enrichment analysis, we revealed that gene sets of cell cycle progression, innate immune response and some transcription factors in CD4+ T cells were mainly affected by HIV; while genes associated with GPCR signaling were the major targets of HCV. Metabolic pathways were modulated by both HCV and HIV viruses.
This study for the first time offers gene profiling basis for HCV/HIV mono-/co- infections in human beings. HIV infection displayed the great impact on transcription profile of CD4+ T cells in HIV/HCV co-infected individuals. Genes related to cell cycle arrest were significantly mediated by HIV which may lead to dysfunction of CD4+ T cells and acceleration of HCV-related disease progression in the co-infections.
PMCID: PMC3943807  PMID: 24520951
HIV; HCV; Co-infection; Microarray; CD4+ T cells
15.  Integrated analyses identify a master microRNA regulatory network for the mesenchymal subtype in serous ovarian cancer 
Cancer cell  2013;23(2):186-199.
Integrated genomic analyses revealed a miRNA-regulatory network, which further defined a robust integrated mesenchymal subtype associated with poor overall survival in 459 cases of serous ovarian cancer (OvCa) from The Cancer Genome Atlas and 560 cases from independent cohorts. Eight key miRNAs, including miR-506, miR-141 and miR-200a, were predicted to regulate 89% of the targets in this network. Follow-up functional experiments illustrate that miR-506 augmented E-cadherin expression, inhibited cell migration and invasion, and prevented TGFβ-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by targeting SNAI2, a transcriptional repressor of E-cadherin. In human OvCa, miR-506 expression was correlated with decreased SNAI2 and VIM, elevated E-cadherin, and beneficial prognosis. Nanoparticle delivery of miR-506 in orthotopic OvCa mouse models led to E-cadherin induction and reduced tumor growth.
PMCID: PMC3603369  PMID: 23410973
16.  Genome-Wide Association Study of Cardiac Structure and Systolic Function in African Americans: The Candidate Gene Association Resource (CARe) Study 
Using data from four community-based cohorts of African Americans (AA), we tested the association between genome-wide markers (SNPs) and cardiac phenotypes in the Candidate-gene Association REsource (CARe) study.
Methods and Results
Among 6,765 AA, we related age, sex, height and weight-adjusted residuals for nine cardiac phenotypes (assessed by echocardiogram or MRI) to 2.5 million SNPs genotyped using Genome-Wide Affymetrix Human SNP Array 6.0 (Affy6.0) and the remainder imputed. Within cohort genome-wide association analysis was conducted followed by meta-analysis across cohorts using inverse variance weights (genome-wide significance threshold=4.0 ×10−07). Supplementary pathway analysis was performed. We attempted replication in 3 smaller cohorts of African ancestry and tested look-ups in one consortium of European ancestry (EchoGEN). Across the 9 phenotypes, variants in 4 genetic loci reached genome-wide significance: rs4552931 in UBE2V2 (p=1.43 × 10−07) for left ventricular mass (LVM); rs7213314 in WIPI1 (p=1.68 × 10−07) for LV internal diastolic diameter (LVIDD); rs1571099 in PPAPDC1A (p= 2.57 × 10−08) for interventricular septal wall thickness (IVST); and rs9530176 in KLF5 (p=4.02 × 10−07) for ejection fraction (EF). Associated variants were enriched in three signaling pathways involved in cardiac remodeling. None of the 4 loci replicated in cohorts of African ancestry were confirmed in look-ups in EchoGEN.
In the largest GWAS of cardiac structure and function to date in AA, we identified 4 genetic loci related to LVM, IVST, LVIDD and EF that reached genome-wide significance. Replication results suggest that these loci may represent unique to individuals of African ancestry. Additional large-scale studies are warranted for these complex phenotypes.
PMCID: PMC3591479  PMID: 23275298
echocardiography; ethnic; genome-wide association studies; Left atrium genetics; left ventricular mass genetics
17.  Ribose-phosphate pyrophosphokinase 1 (PRPS1) associated with deltamethrin resistance in Culex pipiens pallens 
Parasitology research  2012;112(2):847-854.
Ribose-phosphate pyrophosphokinase 1 (PRPS1) was identified and isolated as a differentially expressed gene between deltamethrin-susceptible (DS) and deltamethrin-resistant (DR) Culex pipiens pallens and Aedes albopictus C6/36 cell line through microarray and 2D-Gel. An open reading frame of PRPS1 cloned from C. pipiens pallens has 1,011 bp and encodes for a 336 amino acids protein which shares high homology with Culex quinquefasciatus. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the transcript expression level of PRPS1 in DS and DR strains. The expression levels of PRPS1 were higher in DR laboratory strains and natural population JXZ-DR, JXZ-LDR. PRPS1 was also detected and expressed at all developmental stages of C. pipiens pallens and increased expression level in DR3 strain than DS strain in the third and fourth instar larvae, female and male stages. In addition, to further investigate the role of PRPS1 in deltamethrin resistance, PRPS1 was transiently expressed in A. albopictus C6/36 cells and detected by western blotting. Cells transfected with PRPS1 had an increased resistance to deltamethrin compared with control cells. These results suggested that the increased expression level of PRPS1 may play roles in the regulation of deltamethrin resistance.
PMCID: PMC3720864  PMID: 23250545
18.  Host Defense at the Ocular Surface 
Microbial infections of the cornea frequently cause painful, blinding and debilitating disease that is often diffcult to treat and may require corneal transplantation. In addition, sterile corneal infiltrates that are associated with contact lens wear cause pain, visual impairment and photophobia. In this article, we review the role of Toll-Like Receptors (TLR) in bacterial keratitis and sterile corneal infiltrates, and describe the role of MD-2 regulation in LPS responsiveness by corneal epithelial cells. We conclude that both live bacteria and bacterial products activate Toll-Like Receptors in the cornea, which leads to chemokine production and neutrophil recruitment to the corneal stroma. While neutrophils are essential for bacterial killing, they also cause tissue damage that results in loss of corneal clarity. These disparate outcomes, therefore, represent a spectrum of disease severity based on this pathway, and further indicate that targeting the TLR pathway is a feasible approach to treating inflammation caused by live bacteria and microbial products. Further, as the P. aeruginosa type III secretion system (T3SS) also plays a critical role in disease pathogenesis by inducing neutrophil apoptosis and facilitating bacterial growth in the cornea, T3SS exotoxins are additional targets for therapy for P. aeruginosa keratitis.
PMCID: PMC3750950  PMID: 23360155
bacteria; cornea; epithelial cells; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Toll-like receptors
19.  MyD88 Regulation of Fusarium Keratitis Is Dependent on TLR4 and IL-1R1 but Not TLR21 
The fungal pathogens Fusarium solani and Fusarium oxysporum cause severe corneal disease in the United States and worldwide and were the causative organisms in a recent outbreak of contact lens-associated keratitis. To characterize innate immunity in Fusarium keratitis, we developed a murine model in which conidia are injected into the corneal stroma. Immunocompetent C57BL/6 mice rapidly developed severe corneal opacification associated with neutrophil infiltration and clearance of Fusarium hyphae. In contrast, neutrophil infiltration was delayed in MyD88−/− mice, resulting in uncontrolled growth of Fusarium hyphae in the corneal stroma and anterior chamber, and eventually resulting in corneal perforation. Corneal opacification scores in TLR2−/−, TLR4−/−, and TLR2/4−/− mice were similar to those of C57BL/6 mice; however, TLR4−/− and TLR2/4−/− mice had impaired antifungal responses. The phenotype of infected IL-1R1−/− mice was similar to that of MyD88−/− mice, with uncontrolled fungal growth resulting in corneal perforation. IL-1R1−/− mice also produced significantly less CXCL1/KC in the corneal stroma compared with C57BL/6 mice consistent with delayed neutrophil recruitment to the corneal stroma. Together, these findings indicate that IL-1R1 and MyD88 regulate CXC chemokine production and neutrophil recruitment to the cornea, and that TLR4 has an important role in controlling growth and replication of these pathogenic fungi.
PMCID: PMC3909484  PMID: 18566426
20.  Bone Marrow Chimeras and c-fms Conditional Ablation (Mafia) Mice Reveal an Essential Role for Resident Myeloid Cells in Lipopolysaccharide/TLR4-Induced Corneal Inflammation1 
The mammalian cornea contains an extensive network of resident macrophages and dendritic cells. To determine the role of these cells in LPS-induced corneal inflammation, TLR4−/− mice were sublethally irradiated and reconstituted with bone marrow cells from either enhanced GFP (eGFP)+/C57BL/6 or eGFP+/TLR4−/− mice. The corneal epithelium was abraded, LPS was added topically, and cellular infiltration to the corneal stroma and development of corneal haze were examined after 24 h. TLR4−/− mice reconstituted with C57BL/6, but not TLR4−/− bone marrow cells donor cells were found to cause infiltration of eGFP+ cells to the cornea, including neutrophils, and also increased corneal haze compared with saline-treated corneas. In a second experimental approach, corneas of transgenic macrophage Fas induced apoptosis (Mafia) mice were stimulated with LPS. These mice express eGFP and a suicide gene under control of the c-fms promoter, and systemic treatment with the FK506 dimerizer (AP20187) causes Fas-mediated apoptosis of monocytic cells. AP20187-treated mice had significantly fewer eGFP+ cells in the cornea than untreated mice. After stimulation with LPS neutrophil recruitment and development of corneal haze were impaired in AP20187-treated mice compared with untreated controls. Furthermore, LPS induced CXCL1/KC and IL-1α production within 4 h in corneas of untreated Mafia mice, which is before cellular infiltration; however, cytokine production was impaired after AP20187 treatment. Together, results from both experimental approaches demonstrate an essential role for resident corneal monocytic lineage cells (macrophages and dendritic cells) in development of corneal inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3909485  PMID: 19234168
21.  Inhibition of Corneal Inflammation by the TLR4 Antagonist Eritoran Tetrasodium (E5564) 
To investigate the role of the TLR4/MD-2 antagonist eritoran tetrasodium in a murine model of contact lens–associated corneal infiltrates.
C57BL/6 mouse corneas were abraded and treated with eritoran tetrasodium or placebo, either before or after stimulation with either LPS, the TLR2 ligand Pam3Cys, or antibiotic-killed Pseudomonas aeruginosa. A 2-mm punch from a silicon hydrogel contact lens was used to cover the corneal surface throughout the inhibition and stimulation period. Corneal infiltrates were detected by in vivo confocal microscopy and by immunohistochemistry for neutrophils. The effect of eritoran tetrasodium on stimulated human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs), macrophages, and neutrophils was also assessed.
Eritoran tetrasodium significantly inhibited CXC chemokine production in the cornea and development of corneal infiltrates, specifically neutrophils, in response to stimulation with LPS (TLR4), but not Pam3Cys (TLR2). When the antagonist was applied after LPS stimulation, neutrophil infiltration was also inhibited, although a higher concentration was needed. Furthermore, IL-8 production by TLR4- but not TLR2-stimulated HCECs, macrophages and neutrophils was also significantly reduced. Corneal inflammation induced by P. aeruginosa in the presence of tobramycin was found to be dependent on expression of TLR4 and MD-2 and is inhibited by eritoran tetrasodium.
Eritoran tetrasodium is a highly effective antagonist of TLR4/MD-2-dependent corneal inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3909488  PMID: 18936141
22.  Exposure to Atrazine during Gestation and Lactation Periods: Toxicity Effects on Dopaminergic Neurons in Offspring by Downregulation of Nurr1 and VMAT2 
High atrazine (2-chloro-4-ethytlamino-6-isopropylamine-1,3,5-triazine; ATR) contents in the environment threaten the health conditions of organisms. We examined the effects of ATR exposure on Sprague-Dawley rats during gestation and on the dopaminergic neurons of offspring during lactation. Pregnant dams were orally treated with 0 mg/kg/day to 50 mg/kg/day of ATR from gestational day 5 to postnatal day 22. Afterward, neither offspring nor dams received ATR. Dopamine (DA) content was examined in striatum samples by HPLC-FL; the mRNA expressions of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), orphan nuclear hormone (Nurr1), dopamine transporter (DAT), and vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) in the ventral midbrain samples were examined by fluorescence PCR when the offspring reached one year of age. After the pregnant rats were exposed to ATR, the DA concentrations and mRNA levels of Nurr1 were decreased in their offspring. Decreased Nurr1 levels were also accompanied by changes in the mRNA levels of VMAT2, which controls the transport and reuptake of DA.
PMCID: PMC3958883  PMID: 24552878
atrazine; orphan nuclear hormone; vesicular monoaminetransporter 2; dopaminergic neuron
23.  Novel esophageal squamous cell carcinoma bone metastatic clone isolated by scintigraphy, X ray and micro PET/CT 
AIM: To establish a Chinese esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) cell line with high bone metastasis potency using 99mTc-methylene diphosphonate (99mTc-MDP) micro-pinhole scintigraphy, X ray and micro-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) for exploring the mechanism of occurrence and development in esophageal cancer.
METHODS: The cells came from a BALB/c nu/nu immunodeficient mouse, and oncogenic tumor tissue was from a surgical specimen from a 61-year-old male patient with ESCC. The cell growth curve was mapped and analysis of chromosome karyotype was performed. Approximately 1 × 106 oncogenic cells were injected into the left cardiac ventricle of immunodeficient mice. The bone metastatic lesions of tumor-bearing mice were detected by 99mTc-MDP scintigraphy, micro-PET/CT and X-ray, and were resected from the mice under deep anesthesia. The bone metastatic cells in the lesions were used for culture and for repeated intracardiac inoculation. This in vivo/in vitro experimental metastasis study was repeated for four cycles. All of the suspicious bone sites were confirmed by pathology. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to compare the gene expression in the parental cells and in the bone metastatic clone.
RESULTS: The surgical specimen was implanted subcutaneously in immunodeficient mice and the tumorigenesis rate was 100%. First-passage oncogenic cells were named CEK-Sq-1. The chromosome karyotype analysis of the cell line was hypotriploid. The bone metastasis rate went from 20% with the first-passage oncogenic cells via intracardiac inoculation to 90% after four cycles. The established bone metastasis clone named CEK-Sq-1BM had a high potential to metastasize in bone, including mandible, humerus, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, scapula and femur. The bone metastasis lesions were successfully detected by micro-pinhole bone scintigraphy, micro-PET/CT, and X-ray. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of the micro-pinhole scintigraphy, X-ray, and micro-PET/CT imaging examinations were: 89.66%/32%/80%, 88.2%/100%/89.2%, and 88.75%/77.5%/87.5%, respectively. Some gene expression difference was found between parental and bone metastasis cells.
CONCLUSION: This newly established Chinese ESCC cell line and animal model may provide a useful tool for the study of the pathogenesis and development of esophageal carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3921526  PMID: 24574775
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Cell line; Bone metastasis; Molecular imaging; Real-time polymerase chain reaction
24.  Diversity of Virulence Phenotypes among Type III Secretion Negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa Clinical Isolates 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86829.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a frequent cause of acute infections. The primary virulence factor that has been linked to clinical disease is the type III secretion system, a molecular syringe that delivers effector proteins directly into host cells. Despite the importance of type III secretion in dictating clinical outcomes and promoting disease in animal models of infections, clinical isolates often do not express the type III secretion system in vitro. Here we screened 81 clinical P. aeruginosa isolates for secretion of type III secretion system substrates by western blot. Non-expressing strains were also subjected to a functional test assaying the ability to intoxicate epithelial cells in vitro, and to survive and cause disease in a murine model of corneal infection. 26 of 81 clinical isolates were found to be type III secretion negative by western blot. 17 of these 26 non-expressing strains were tested for their ability to cause epithelial cell rounding. Of these, three isolates caused epithelial cell rounding in a type III secretion system dependent manner, and one strain was cytotoxic in a T3SS-independent manner. Five T3SS-negative isolates were also tested for their ability to cause disease in a murine model of corneal infection. Of these isolates, two strains caused severe corneal disease in a T3SS-independent manner. Interestingly, one of these strains caused significant disease (inflammation) despite being cleared. Our data therefore show that P. aeruginosa clinical isolates can cause disease in a T3SS-independent manner, demonstrating the existence of novel modifiers of clinical disease.
PMCID: PMC3900666  PMID: 24466261
25.  Genome sequence of Anopheles sinensis provides insight into genetics basis of mosquito competence for malaria parasites 
BMC Genomics  2014;15:42.
Anopheles sinensis is an important mosquito vector of Plasmodium vivax, which is the most frequent and widely distributed cause of recurring malaria throughout Asia, and particularly in China, Korea, and Japan.
We performed 454 next-generation sequencing and obtained a draft sequence of A. sinensis assembled into scaffolds spanning 220.8 million base pairs. Analysis of this genome sequence, we observed expansion and contraction of several immune-related gene families in anopheline relative to culicine mosquito species. These differences suggest that species-specific immune responses to Plasmodium invasion underpin the biological differences in susceptibility to Plasmodium infection that characterize these two mosquito subfamilies.
The A. sinensis genome produced in this study, provides an important resource for analyzing the genetic basis of susceptibility and resistance of mosquitoes to Plasmodium parasites research which will ultimately facilitate the design of urgently needed interventions against this debilitating mosquito-borne disease.
PMCID: PMC3901762  PMID: 24438588
Genome; Anopheles sinensis; Malaria

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