We conducted a prospective, randomized, open-label, multicenter study to compare busulfan plus fludarabine (BuFlu) with busulfan plus cyclophosphamide (BuCy) as the conditioning regimen in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in first complete remission (CR1).
Totally 108 AML-CR1 patients undergoing allo-HSCT were randomized into BuCy (busulfan 1.6 mg/kg, q12 hours, -7 ~ -4d; cyclophosphamide 60 mg/kg.d, -3 ~ -2d) or BuFlu (busulfan 1.6 mg/kg, q12 hours, -5 ~ -2d; fludarabine 30 mg/m2.d, -6 ~ -2d) group. Hematopoietic engraftment, regimen-related toxicity (RRT), graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), transplant related mortality (TRM), and overall survival were compared between the two groups.
All patients achieved hematopoietic reconstitution except for two patients who died of RRT during conditioning. All patients obtained complete donor chimerism by day +30 post-transplantation. The incidence of total and III-IV RRT were 94.4% and 81.5% (P = 0.038), and 16.7% and 0.0% (P = 0.002), respectively, in BuCy and BuFlu group. With a median follow up of 609 (range, 3–2130) days after transplantation, the 5-year cumulative incidence of TRM were 18.8 ± 6.9% and 9.9 ± 6.3% (P = 0.104); the 5-year cumulative incidence of leukemia relapse were 16.5 ± 5.8% and 16.2 ± 5.3% (P = 0.943); the 5-year disease-free survival and overall survival were 67.4 ± 7.6% and 75.3 ± 7.2% (P = 0.315), and 72.3 ± 7.5% and 81.9 ± 7.0% (P = 0.177), respectively in BuCy and BuFlu group.
Compared with BuCy, BuFlu as a myeloablative condition regimen was associated with lower toxicities and comparable anti-leukemic activity in AML-CR1 patients undergoing allo-HSCT.
Busulfan; Fludarabine; Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
The research on self-healing polymers has been a hot topic. The encapsulated-monomer/catalyst, supramolecular self-assembly, and reversible or dynamic covalent bond formation are the prevailingly adopted strategies. The alternative of irreversible covalent bond formation is, however, to be further developed. In this contribution, self-healing hyperbranched poly(aroyltriazole)s of PI and PII sharing such mechanism were developed. The polymers were synthesized by our developed metal-free click polymerizations of bis(aroylacetylene)s and triazide. They are processible and have excellent film-forming ability. High quality homogeneous films and sticks free from defects could be obtained by casting. The scratched films could be self-repaired upon general heating. The cut films and sticks could be healed by stacking or pressing the halves together at elevated temperature. Thus, these hyperbranched polymers could find broad applications in diverse areas, and our design concept for self-healing materials should be generally applicable to other hyperbranched polymers with reactive groups on their peripheries.
Rho-kinase (ROCK) has been shown to play an important role in cardiovascular disease such as coronary artery disease (CAD) and hypertension. Recently, common variants of ROCK2 have been reported to influence blood pressure, but the relationship between common ROCK2 variants and cardiovascular disease has not been extensively studied in the Chinese population.
To derive a more precise estimation of their relationship, we screened for the common variants by direct sequencing of all exons of ROCK2, and then we performed genetic association analyses in a CAD case–control study, including a total of 1344 cases and 1267 ethnically and geographically matched controls.
Unconditional logistic regression showed that no significant association between common variants in the coding region of ROCK2 and CAD was observed in our study (for rs978906, OR = 0.92, 95% CI 0.72–1.20 and P = 0.63; for rs2230774, OR = 0.90, 95% CI 0.70–1.16 and P = 0.47; for rs56304104, OR = 0.97, 95% CI 0.70–1.31 and P = 0.83; respectively).
The relationship between the ROCK2 polymorphisms and cardiovascular disease risk cannot be entirely discounted and warrants further evaluation in a large population.
Radon and radon progeny inhalation exposure are recognized to induce lung cancer. To explore the role of mitochondria in radon-induced carcinogenesis in humans, an in vitro partially depleted mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cell line (ρ−) was generated by treatment of human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells (ρ+) with ethidium bromide (EB). The characterization of ρ− cells indicated the presence of dysfunctional mitochondria and might thus serve a reliable model to investigate the role of mitochondria. In a gas inhalation chamber, ρ− and ρ+ cells were exposed to radon gas produced by a radium source. Results showed that apoptosis was significantly increased both in ρ− and ρ+ cells irradiated by radon. Moreover, apoptosis in ρ− cells showed a lower level than in ρ+ cells. Radon was further found to depress mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) of HBE cells with knock-down mtDNA. Production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was markedly elevated both in ρ− and ρ+ cells exposed to radon. The distribution of phases of cell cycle was different in ρ− compared to ρ+ cells. Radon-irradiation induced a rise in G2/M and decrease in S phase in ρ+ cells. In ρ− cells, G1, G2/M and S populations remained similar to cells exposed to radon. In conclusion, radon-induced changes in ROS generation, MMP and cell cycle are all attributed to reduction of apoptosis which may trigger and promote cell transformation leading to carcinogenesis. Our study indicates that the use of the ρ− knock-down mtDNA HBE cells may serve as a reliable model to study the role played by mitochondria in carcinogenic diseases.
New therapeutic strategies are needed for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). We conducted a single-center, open-label, nonrandomized, pilot and feasibility trial using two intrapleural doses of an adenoviral vector encoding human IFN-α (Ad.IFN-α2b). Nine subjects were enrolled at two dose levels. The first three subjects had very high pleural and systemic IFN-α concentrations resulting in severe “flu-like” symptoms necessitating dose de-escalation. The next six patients had reduced (but still significant) pleural and serum IFN-α levels, but with tolerable symptoms. Repeated vector administration appeared to prolong IFN-α expression levels. Anti-tumor humoral immune responses against mesothelioma cell lines were seen in seven of the eight subjects evaluated. No clinical responses were seen in the four subjects with advanced disease. However, evidence of disease stability or tumor regression was seen in the remaining five patients, including one dramatic example of partial tumor regression at sites not in contiguity with vector infusion. These data show that Ad.IFN-α2b has potential therapeutic benefit in MPM and that it generates anti-tumor immune responses that may induce anatomic and/or metabolic reductions in distant tumor.
Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 01212367).
clinical trials; immunotherapy; gene therapy
Fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs), in particular FABP5 and FABP7, have recently been identified by us as intracellular transporters for the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA). Furthermore, animal studies by others have shown that elevated levels of endocannabinoids resulted in beneficial pharmacological effects on stress, pain and inflammation and also ameliorate the effects of drug withdrawal. Based on these observations, we hypothesized that FABP5 and FABP7 would provide excellent pharmacological targets. Thus, we performed a virtual screening of over one million compounds using DOCK and employed a novel footprint similarity scoring function to identify lead compounds with binding profiles similar to oleic acid, a natural FABP substrate. Forty-eight compounds were purchased based on their footprint similarity scores (FPS) and assayed for biological activity against purified human FABP5 employing a fluorescent displacement-binding assay. Four compounds were found to exhibit approximately 50% inhibition or greater at 10 µM, as good as or better inhibitors of FABP5 than BMS309403, a commercially available inhibitor. The most potent inhibitor, γ-truxillic acid 1-naphthyl ester (ChemDiv 8009-2334), was determined to have Ki value of 1.19±0.01 µM. Accordingly a novel α-truxillic acid 1-naphthyl mono-ester (SB-FI-26) was synthesized and assayed for its inhibitory activity against FABP5, wherein SB-FI-26 exhibited strong binding (Ki 0.93±0.08 µM). Additionally, we found SB-FI-26 to act as a potent anti-nociceptive agent with mild anti-inflammatory activity in mice, which strongly supports our hypothesis that the inhibition of FABPs and subsequent elevation of anandamide is a promising new approach to drug discovery. Truxillic acids and their derivatives were also shown by others to have anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive effects in mice and to be the active component of Chinese a herbal medicine (Incarvillea sinensis) used to treat rheumatism and pain in humans. Our results provide a likely mechanism by which these compounds exert their effects.
The purpose of this study was to improve the membrane permeability and oral absorption of the poorly permeable anti-influenza agent, zanamivir. The poor oral bioavailability is attributed to the high polarity (cLogP~-5) resulting from the polar and zwitterionic nature of zanamivir. In order to improve the permeability of zanamivir, prodrugs with amino acids were developed to target the intestinal membrane transporter, hPepT1. Several acyloxy ester prodrugs of zanamivir conjugated with amino acids were synthesized and characterized. The prodrugs were evaluated for their chemical stability in buffers at various pHs and for their transport and tissue activation by enzymes. The acyloxy ester prodrugs of zanamivir were shown to competitively inhibit [3H]Gly-Sar uptake in Caco-2 cells (IC50: 1.19±0.19mM for L-valyl prodrug of zanamivir). The L-valyl prodrug of zanamivir exhibited ~3 fold higher uptake in transfected HeLa/hPepT1 cells compared to wild type HeLa cells, suggesting, at least in part, carrier mediated transport by the hPepT1 transporter. Further, enhanced transcellular permeability of prodrugs across Caco-2 monolayer compared to the parent drug (Papp= 2.24E-06 ± 1.33E-07 cm/sec for L-valyl prodrug of zanamivir), with only parent zanamivir appearing in the receiver compartment, indicates that the prodrugs exhibited both enhanced transport and activation in intestinal mucosal cells. Most significantly several of these prodrugs exhibited high intestinal jejunal membrane permeability, similar to metoprolol, in the in situ rat intestinal perfusion system, a system highly correlated with human jejunal permeability.
In summary, this mechanistic targeted prodrug strategy, to enhance oral absorption via intestinal membrane carriers such as hPepT1, followed by activation to parent drug (active pharmaceutical ingredient or API) in the mucosal cell, significantly improves the intestinal epithelial cell permeability of zanamivir and has the potential to provide the high oral bioavailability necessary for oral zanamivir therapy.
Prodrugs; carrier-mediated transport; hPepT1; zanamivir
Obesity increases the risk of many diseases. However, there has been little literature about the epidemiology of obesity classified by body mass index (BMI) or waist (abdominal obesity) among urban Chinese adults. This study is to fill the gap by assessing the prevalence of obesity and associated risk factors among urban Chinese adults.
A representative sample of 25,196 urban adults aged 18 to 74 years in Northeast China was selected and measurements of height, weight and waist circumference (WC) were taken from 2009–2010. Definitions of overweight and obesity by the World Health Organization (WHO) were used.
The overall prevalence rates of general obesity and overweight classified by BMI were 15.0% (15.7% for men and 14.3% for women, p<0.01) and 19.2% (20.8% for men and 17.7% for women, p<0.01), respectively, and the overall prevalence rate of abdominal obesity was 37.6% (31.1% for men and women 43.9% for women, p<0.01). Multivariable logistic regression showed that the elderly and those who had a history of parental obesity, alcohol drinking, or former cigarette smoking were at high risk of obesity classified by BMI or WC, whereas those with a higher level of education, higher family income, or a healthy and balanced diet were at low risk of obesity. Analysis stratified by gender showed that men with a higher level education level, a white-collar job, a cadre job, or higher family income were the high risk group, and women with a higher level of education or higher family income were the low risk group.
Obesity and overweight have become epidemic in urban populations in China; associations of risk factors with obesity differ between men and women.
General obesity; Abdominal obesity; Risk factors; Gender difference; Chinese urban adults
The small molecule anti-tumor agent, 5, 6-dimethylxanthenone-4-acetic acid (DMXAA, now called Vadimezan) is a potent macrophage and dendritic cell activating agent that, in the murine system, results in the release of large amounts of cytokines and chemokines. The mechanisms by which this release is mediated have not been fully elucidated. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways plays an important role in the regulation of proinflammatory cytokines, such as, TNFα, IL-1β, as well as the responses to extracellular stimuli, such as, lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The results of this study demonstrate that DMXAA activates three members of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) superfamily, namely p38 MAPK, extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1 and ERK2), and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) via a RIP2-independent mechanism in murine macrophages. By using selective inhibitors of MAPKs, this study confirms that both activated p38/MK2 pathways and ERK1/2 MAPK play a significant role in regulation of both TNF-α and IL-6 protein production induced by DMXAA at the post-transcriptional level. Our findings also show that Interferon-γ priming can dramatically augment TNF-α protein secretion induced by DMXAA through enhancing activation of multiple MAPKs pathways at the post-transcriptional level. This study expands current knowledge on mechanisms of how DMXAA acts as a potent anti-tumor agent in murine system and also provides useful information for further study on the mechanism of action of this potential anti-tumor compound in human macrophages.
MAPK; post-transcriptional regulation; TNFα; DMXAA; proinflammatory cytokines
The aim of the present study was to investigate the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) in tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC) and to assess its possible impact on prognosis. A total of 49 tumor samples and 15 adjacent non-tumor samples from 49 patients treated between January 2000 and December 2005 at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Hospital of Stomatology, Tongji University (Shanghai, China) were obtained for investigation with immunohistochemistry and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The expression of HIF-1α was detected in 87.76% (43/49) of the TSCC samples and in 33.33% (5/15) of the adjacent non-tumor tissues. The expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was also observed in 83.67% (41/49) of the TSCC samples and in only 20% (3/15) of the adjacent non-tumor samples at a low level. RT-PCR revealed that the mRNA expression of HIF-1α and VEGF was present in the tumor tissues; however, it was barely detected in the corresponding adjacent normal tissues. The overexpression of HIF-1α was significantly associated with T classification (P=0.01), lymphatic metastasis (P=0.05) and histological differentiation (P<0.001). Furthermore, HIF-1α overexpression was significantly associated with poor overall (P=0.001) and disease-free survival rates (P=0.01), independent of T stage and lymphatic metastasis. The Cox proportional hazards regression model demonstrated that the level of HIF-1α expression may be an independent prognostic factor for TSCC. HIF-1α overexpression was observed in TSCC and its overexpression suggests a poor prognosis. HIF-1α may be a molecular marker for predicting the prognosis of TSCC.
hypoxia; hypoxia-inducible factor-1α; vascular endothelial growth factor; tongue squamous cell carcinoma; prognosis
Quality of life (QoL) is increasingly recognized as an important outcome measure in clinical trials. The Canadian Hemophilia Outcomes-Kids Life Assessment Tool (CHO-KLAT) shows promise for use in China.
To adapt the CHO-KLAT version 2.0 for use in clinical trials in China.
Forward and back translations of the CHO-KLAT2.0 were completed in 2008. Between October 2009 and June 2010, a series of 3 focus groups were held with 20 boys and 31 parents in rural and urban China to elicit additional concepts, important to their QoL, for the Chinese CHO-KLAT2.0. All of the items identified by boys and parents were reviewed by a group of experts, resulting in a Chinese version of the CHO-KLAT2.0. This version underwent a detailed cognitive debriefing process between October 2010 and June 2011. Thirteen patient-parent pairs participated in this cognitive debriefing process until a stable and clearly understood Chinese version of the CHO-KLAT2.0 was obtained.
The initial back translation of the Chinese CHO-KLAT2.0 was slightly discrepant from the original English version on 12 items. These were all successfully adjudicated. The focus groups identified 9 new items that formed an add-on Socio-Economic Context (SEC) module for China. Linguistic improvements were made after the 2nd, 5th, 7th and 13th cognitive debriefings pairs and affected a total of 18 items. The result was a 35 item CHO-KLAT2.0 and a SEC module in Simplified Chinese, both of which have good content validity.
This detailed process proved to be extremely valuable in ensuring the items were accurately interpreted by Chinese boys with hemophilia ages ≤18 years. The need for the additional SEC module highlighted the different context that currently exists in China with regard to hemophilia care as compared to many Western countries, and will be important in tracking progress within both rural and urban China over time. Changes based on the cognitive debriefings suggest that expert verbatim translation alone is not sufficient. The Chinese version of the CHO-KLAT2.0 is well understood by boys with hemophilia in China. Next steps will be to test its construct validity and reliability in boys with hemophilia in China.
Quality of life; Hemophilia; China; Children; Cross-cultural studies
Drugs that can rapidly inhibit respiratory infection from influenza or other respiratory pathogens are needed. One approach is to engage primary innate immune defenses against viral infection, such as activating the IFN pathway. In this study, we report that a small, cell-permeable compound called 5,6-di-methylxanthenone-4-acetic acid (DMXAA) can induce protection against vesicular stomatitis virus in vitro and H1N1 influenza A virus in vitro and in vivo through innate immune activation. Using the mouse C10 bronchial epithelial cell line and primary cultures of nasal epithelial cells, we demonstrate DMXAA activates the IFN regulatory factor-3 pathway leading to production of IFN-β and subsequent high-level induction of IFN-β–dependent proteins, such as myxovirus resistance 1 (Mx1) and 2′,5′-oligoadenylate synthetase 1 (OAS1). Mice treated with DMXAA intranasally elevate mRNA/protein expression of Mx1 and OAS1 in the nasal mucosa, trachea, and lung. When challenged intranasally with a lethal dose of H1N1 influenza A virus, DMXAA reduced viral titers in the lungs and protected 80% of mice from death, even when given at 24 hours before infection. These data show that agents, like DMXAA, that can directly activate innate immune pathways, such as the IFN regulatory factor-3/IFN-β system, in respiratory epithelial cells can be used to protect from influenza pneumonia and potentially in other respiratory viral infections. Development of this approach in humans could be valuable for protecting health care professionals and “first responders” in the early stages of viral pandemics or bioterror attacks.
innate immunity; interferon; influenza; pneumonia; bronchial epithelium
Constitutive activation of pro-survival kinases has become a promising target of small molecules with an increasing interest in developing multi-targeted agents. The mechanisms underlying the responsiveness to most agents targeting cancer specific survival pathways are still poorly understood but critical for their clinical application. In this study, we found that sunitinib, a small molecule inhibitor of multiple tyrosine kinases including VEGFRs and PDGFRs induces apoptosis and inhibits cell growth in colon cancer cells in cell culture and xenograft models via the BH3-only protein PUMA. Sunitinib treatment induced PUMA transcription via the AKT/FoxO3a axis. PUMA, BH3 mimetics, or 5-Flurourical sensitized colon cancer cells to sunitinib-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, PUMA was induced by sunitinib treatment in xenograft tumors, and deficiency in PUMA significantly suppressed the anti-tumor effects of sunitinib. Our study suggests that PUMA-mediated apoptosis is important for the therapeutic responses to sunitinib, and activation of the mitochondrial pathway by BH3 mimetics or PUMA manipulation may be useful for improving the antitumor activity of sunitinib. Modulation of PUMA and selective Bcl-2 family members might be potential biomarkers for predicting sunitinib responses.
Intensified conditioning regimens (increasing the intensity of standard myeloablative conditioning) for hematological malignancies in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) could reduce the relapse rate of the underlying disease, but it might simultaneously increase the transplant-related mortality including the mortality of infections. To explore whether intensified conditioning affected Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections, 185 patients undergoing allo-HSCT were enrolled.
A total of 104 cases received standard and 81 intensified conditioning. Cyclosporine A (CsA) withdrawal and/or donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) were conducted in high-risk patients. The EBV-DNA and CMV-DNA levels of blood were monitored regularly by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RQ-PCR) and immune reconstitution of recipients were analyzed by flow cytometry.
The 3-year cumulative incidence of EBV viremia, EBV-associated diseases and mortality of EBV-associated diseases were 25.3% ± 4.6%, 10.5% ± 3.4% and 0.0% ± 0.0% in the standard group, compared with 45.6% ± 6.5%, 26.0% ±5.3% and 7.3% ± 3.1% in the intensified group (P = 0.002, P = 0.002, P = 0.008). The 3-year cumulative incidence of CMV viremia and CMV-associated diseases, mortality of CMV-associated diseases and incidence of bacterial and fungal infections were similar between the two groups (P = 0.855, P = 0.581, P = 0.933, P = 0.142, P = 0.182, respectively). Multivariate analysis showed that intensified conditioning was one of the risk factors for EBV viremia and EBV-associated diseases (P = 0.037, P = 0.037), but it had no effects on CMV infections. The percentage of CD4+ T cells and CD4+/CD8+ ratio at 3 months post-transplantation were lower in the intensified group (P = 0.032, P = 0.022). The 3-year OS and DFS in the standard group were 62.2% ± 5.8% and 60.6% ± 5.6%, compared with 51.6% ± 6.2% and 51.1% ± 5.9% in the intensified group (P = 0.029, P = 0.063).
Intensified conditioning represents a promising approach for high-risk hematological malignancies, although it affects early immune reconstitution of recipients and increases the incidence and mortality of EBV infections.
Epstein-Barr virus; Cytomegalovirus; Conditioning; Hematological malignancies; Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
Little has been known about the demographic and clinical features of the melancholic subtype of major depressive disorder (MDD) in Chinese patients. This study examined the frequency of melancholia in Chinese MDD patients and explored its demographic and clinical correlates and prescribing patterns of psychotropic drugs.
A consecutively collected sample of 1,178 patients with MDD were examined in 13 psychiatric hospitals or psychiatric units of general hospitals in China nationwide. The cross-sectional data of patients’ demographic and clinical characteristics and prescriptions of psychotropic drugs were recorded using a standardized protocol and data collection procedure. The diagnosis of the melancholic subtype was established using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). Medications ascertained included antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and benzodiazepines.
Six hundred and twenty nine (53.4%) of the 1,178 patients fulfilled criteria for melancholia. In multiple logistic regression analyses, compared to non-melancholic counterparts, melancholic MDD patients were more likely to be male and receive benzodiazepines, had more frequent suicide ideations and attempts and seasonal depressive episodes, while they were less likely to be employed and receive antidepressants and had less family history of psychiatric disorders and lifetime depressive episodes.
The demographic and clinical features of melancholic MDD in Chinese patients were not entirely consistent with those found in Western populations. Compared to non-melancholic MDD patients, melancholic patients presented with different demographic and clinical features, which have implications for treatment decisions.
The WNT1-inducible signaling pathway protein 3 (WISP3), which belongs to the CCN (cysteine-rich protein 61, connective tissue growth factor, nephroblastoma overexpressed) family, is a secreted cysteine-rich matricellular protein that is involved in chondrogenesis, osteogenesis and tumorigenesis. WISP3 gene mutations are associated with progressive pseudorheumatoid dysplasia (PPD, OMIM208230), an autosomal recessive genetic disease that is characterized by the swelling of multiple joints and disproportionate dwarfism.
Four PPD patients from two unrelated Chinese families were recruited for this study. The clinical diagnosis was confirmed by medical history, physical examinations, laboratory results and radiological abnormalities. WISP3 mutations were detected by direct DNA sequence analysis. In total, four different mutations were identified, which consisted of two missense mutations, one deletion and one insertion that spanned exons 3, 5 and 6 of the WISP3 gene. One of the missense mutations (c.342T>G/p.C114W) and a seven-base pair frameshift deletion (c.716_722del/p.E239fs*16) were novel. The other missense mutation (c.1000T>C/p. S334P) and the insertion mutation (c.866_867insA/p.Q289fs*31) had previously been identified in Chinese patients. All four cases had a compound heterozygous status, and their parents were heterozygous carriers of these mutations.
The results of our study expand the spectrum of WISP3 mutations that are associated with PPD and further elucidate the function of WISP3.
AIM: To investigated whether sall3 transcription was regulated by promoter CpG island hypermethylation in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: The cell lines Huh7, HepG2, SK-HEP1, SMMC7721, Bel7402, QGY7703 and a cohort of 38 HCC tissue specimens and corresponding nontumorous tissues were subjected to analysis for sall3 promoter CpG island methylation and mRNA transcription. sall3 promoter CpG island methylation levels were determined using the MassARRAY platform and mRNA transcription levels of the gene were detected by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS: The levels of sall3 mRNA were decreased by more than twofold in 33 of 38 tumor tissues compared to adjacent noncancerous tissues. Among these 33 tumor tissues with lower levels of sall3 mRNA, 24 showed higher levels of methylation. Based on these results, we hypothesized that the decrease in sall3 mRNA transcription level was likely due to promoter CpG island hypermethylation. Changes in sall3 mRNA transcription and promoter CpG island methylation were determined in the above six cell lines after treatment with 0, 0.1, 0.5 and 2.5 μmol 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine, a demethylating agent. Promoter CpG island methylation levels decreased in a dose-dependent manner in all six cell lines, while the mRNA transcription level increased dose-dependently in Huh7, HepG2, SK-HEP1 and SMMC7721 cells and irregularly in Bel7402 and QGY7703 cells.
CONCLUSION: These results indicated that promoter CpG island hypermethylation contributes to the downregulation of sall3 mRNA transcription in HCC.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; sall3; Aberrant methylation; Down regulation mRNA transcription
Workstations and electronic display devices in a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) provide a convenient and efficient platform for medical diagnosis. The performance of display devices has to be verified to ensure that image quality is not degraded. In this study, we designed a set of randomized object test patterns (ROTPs) consisting of randomly located spheres with various image characteristics to evaluate the performance of a 2.5 mega-pixel (MP) commercial color LCD and a 3 MP diagnostic monochrome LCD in several aspects, including the contrast, resolution, point spread effect, and noise. The ROTPs were then merged into 120 abdominal CT images. Five radiologists were invited to review the CT images, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was carried out using a five-point rating scale. In the high background patterns of ROTPs, the sensitivity performance was comparable between both monitors in terms of contrast and resolution, whereas, in the low background patterns, the performance of the commercial color LCD was significantly poorer than that of the diagnostic monochrome LCD in all aspects. The average area under the ROC curve (AUC) for reviewing abdominal CT images was 0.717±0.0200 and 0.740±0.0195 for the color monitor and the diagnostic monitor, respectively. The observation time (OT) was 145±27.6 min and 127±19.3 min, respectively. No significant differences appeared in AUC (p = 0.265) and OT (p = 0.07). The overall results indicate that ROTPs can be implemented as a quality control tool to evaluate the intrinsic characteristics of display devices. Although there is still a gap in technology between different types of LCDs, commercial color LCDs could replace diagnostic monochrome LCDs as a platform for reviewing abdominal CT images after monitor calibration.
Aberrant glycosylation of cell membrane and secreted glycoproteins is a hallmark of various disease states, including cancer. The natural lectins currently used in the recognition of these glycoproteins are costly, difficult to produce, and unstable towards rigorous use. Herein we describe the design and synthesis of several boronic acid functionalized peptide-based synthetic lectin (SL) libraries, as well as the optimized methodology for obtaining peptide sequences of these SLs. SL libraries were subsequently used to identify SLs with as high as 5-fold selectivity for various glycoproteins. SLs will inevitably find a role in cancer diagnositics, given that they do not suffer from the drawbacks of natural lectins and that the combinatorial nature of these libraries allows for the identification of an SL for nearly any glycosylated biomolecule.
Boronic acids; aberrant glycosylation; synthetic lectins; cancer; sensors
A two-step procedure for deprotection of alkylpinacolyl boronate esters via transesterification with diethanolamine followed by hydrolysis was successfully developed with the advantages of tolerance to various functional groups, short reaction time and ease of product isolation.
Delayed remote ischemic postconditioning (DRIPost) has been shown to protect the rat brain from ischemic injury. However, extremely short therapeutic time windows hinder its translational use and the mechanism of action remains elusive. Because opening of the mitochondria KATP channel is crucial for cell apoptosis, we hypothesized that the neuroprotective effect of DRIPost may be associated with KATP channels. In the present study, the neuroprotective effects of DRIPost were investigated using adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Rats were exposed to 90 minutes of middle cerebral artery occlusion followed by 72 hours of reperfusion. Delayed remote ischemic postconditioning was performed with three cycles of bilateral femoral artery occlusion/reperfusion for 5 minutes at 3 or 6 hours after reperfusion. Neurologic deficit scores and infarct volumes were assessed, and cellular apoptosis was monitored by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase nick-end labeling. Our results showed that DRIPost applied at 6 hours after reperfusion exerted neuroprotective effects. The KATP opener, diazoxide, protected rat brains from ischemic injury, while the KATP blocker, 5-hydroxydecanote, reversed the neuroprotective effects of DRIPost. These findings indicate that DRIPost reduces focal cerebral ischemic injury and that the neuroprotective effects of DRIPost may be achieved through opening of KATP channels.
brain ischemia; KATP; remote ischemic postconditioning; reperfusion injury
Transcription factors c-Rel and RelA/p65 bind and activate two Rorg promoters to drive Th17 differentiation.
The Th17 cells use the retinoid-related orphan receptor-γ (Rorg or Rorc) to specify their differentiation and lineage-specific function. However, how Rorg is switched on during Th17 differentiation is unknown. We report here that c-Rel and RelA/p65 transcription factors drive Th17 differentiation by binding to and activating two distinct Rorg promoters that control RORγT and RORγ expression, respectively. Similar to RORγT, RORγ is selectively expressed in Th17 cells and is effective in specifying the Th17 phenotype. T cells deficient in c-Rel or RelA are significantly compromised in Th17 differentiation, and c-Rel–deficient mice are defective in Th17 responses. Thus, Th17 immunity is controlled by a Rel–RORγ–RORγT axis, and strategies targeting Rel/NF-κB can be effective for controlling Th17 cell–mediated diseases.
The endothelial cell dysfunction observed in preeclampsia (PE) may be induced by CD40/CD40L signaling. This study investigated the role of CD40/CD40L in the pathogenesis of PE by comparing the effect of maternal serum obtained from healthy pregnant women and PE patients on HUVEC cell growth, apoptosis and CD40/CD40L expression.
Maternal serum was obtained from 20 patients with PE (PE group) as well as 20 healthy pregnant women (control group). The human umbilical endothelial cell line, CRL1730, was cultured in the presence of maternal serum for 24, 48, and 72 h after which cell growth and apoptosis were assessed by MTT and flow cytometry analysis, respectively. CD40/CD40L expression was determined using flow cytometry and RT-PCR analyses.
As compared to CRL1730 cells treated with control sera, those treated with PE sera had altered morphology, decreased cell growth, increased apoptosis and greater CD40/CD40L protein and mRNA expression. Stimulation of CD40/CD40L protein and mRNA expression by PE sera was greatest at 24 h.
PE sera may induce endothelial cell damage possibly through increased CD40/CD40L expression in early-onset PE. Further studies are necessary to determine the factor(s) in PE sera responsible for the observed changes in endothelial cell viability.
Preeclampsia; Endothelial dysfunction; CD40/CD40L; Human umbilical cord endothelial cells
Grafting is an ancient cloning method that has been used widely for thousands of years in agricultural practices. Graft-union development is also an intricate process that involves substantial changes such as organ regeneration and genetic material exchange. However, the molecular mechanisms for graft-union development are still largely unknown. Here, a micrografting method that has been used widely in Arabidopsis was improved to adapt it a smooth procedure to facilitate sample analysis and to allow it to easily be applied to various dicotyledonous plants. The developmental stage of the graft union was characterized based on this method. Histological analysis suggested that the transport activities of vasculature were recovered at 3 days after grafting (dag) and that auxin modulated the vascular reconnection at 2 dag. Microarray data revealed a signal-exchange process between cells of the scion and stock at 1 dag, which re-established the communication network in the graft union. This process was concomitant with the clearing of cell debris, and both processes were initiated by a wound-induced programme. The results demonstrate the feasibility and potential power of investigating various plant developmental processes by this method, and represent a primary and significant step in interpretation of the molecular mechanisms underlying graft-union development.
Arabidopsis thaliana; cell–cell communication; endomembrane system; graft-union development; local auxin accumulation; micrografting; vascular reconnection