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1.  Time at Treatment of Severe Retinopathy of Prematurity in China: Recommendations for Guidelines in More Mature Infants 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0116669.
To investigate the postmenstrual (PMA) age at treatment of severe retinopathy of prematurity (i.e. Type 1 prethreshold or threshold) in infants in a tertiary referral center in China.
Principal Findings
76.6% (359/469) of infants were treated for threshold disease. 67.5% (317/469) of infants had a birth weight (BW) of 1250g or above and almost 30% (126) had a gestational age (GA) of 32 weeks or above. There was little difference in the characteristics of infants treated for Type 1 prethreshold or threshold ROP. After controlling for GA, PMA age at treatment was highest in infants with BW ≥2000g (mean PMA 40.3±4.4 weeks, p<0.001); after controlling for BW, higher GA was associated with higher PMA at treatment (mean PMA 41.5 weeks for gestational age >34 weeks, p<0.001). For every three weeks increase in GA there was a two-week increase in PMA at treatment (R2 = 0.20, p<0.001). The time at treatment of Type 1 prethreshold disease was similar to that for threshold disease i.e. chronological age 5.6∓7.4 weeks, or PMA 34.1∓40.2 weeks but the lower end of the 95% confidence interval for chronological age for Type 1 prethreshold disease among infants with BW ≥2000g was 3.7 weeks (i.e. before the recommended interval of 4∓6 weeks after birth).
The Chinese guidelines regarding timing of the first examination are appropriate for infants with BW <2000g, but more mature infants should be examined a little earlier, at 3 weeks after birth, in order to detect Type 1 prethreshold disease which has a better prognosis than threshold.
PMCID: PMC4321962  PMID: 25664992
2.  First report of Theileria and Anaplasma in the Mongolian gazelle, Procapra gutturosa 
Parasites & Vectors  2014;7(1):614.
Theileria and Anaplasma are especially important emerging tick-borne pathogens of animals and humans. Molecular surveys and identification of the infectious agents in Mongolian gazelle, Procapra gutturosa are not only crucial for the species’ preservation, but also provide valuable information on parasite and bacterial epidemiology.
A molecular surveillance study was undertaken to assess the prevalence of Theileria spp. and Anaplasma spp. in P. gutturosa by PCR in China. Theileria luwenshuni, A. bovis, A. phagocytophilum, and A. ovis were frequently found in P. gutturosa in China, at a prevalence of 97.8%, 78.3%, 65.2%, and 52.2%, respectively. The prevalence of each pathogens in the tick Haemaphysalis longicornis was 80.0%, 66.7%, 76.7%, and 0%, respectively, and in the tick Dermacentor niveus was 88.2%, 35.3%, 88.2%, and 58.5%, respectively. No other Theileria or Anaplasma species was found in these samples. Rickettsia raoultii was detected for the first time in P. gutturosa in China.
Our results extend our understanding of the epidemiology of theileriosis and anaplasmosis in P. gutturosa, and will facilitate the implementation of measures to control these tick-borne diseases in China.
PMCID: PMC4279875  PMID: 25528582
Theileria; Anaplasma; Detection; Procapra gutturosa; PCR; China
3.  Metal-free [3+2+1]/[2+2+1] Biscyclization: Stereospecific Construction with Concomitant Functionalization of Indolizin-5(1H)-one 
The Journal of organic chemistry  2013;78(22):10.1021/jo401969g.
A metal-free [3+2+1]/[2+2+1] biscyclization strategy has been developed for the stereospecific construction with concomitant derivation of biologically significant indolizin-5(1H)-ones from simple and commercial starting materials. The transformations are notable because they can yield five new sigma bonds and six stereocenters including a quaternary carbon center in a single operation.
PMCID: PMC3876276  PMID: 24168348
4.  A role for platelet glycoprotein Ib-IX and effects of its inhibition in endotoxemia-induced thrombosis, thrombocytopenia and mortality 
Poor prognosis of sepsis is associated with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced intravascular inflammation, microvascular thrombosis, thrombocytopenia, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Platelets are critical for thrombosis, and there have been increasing evidence of the importance of platelets in endotoxemia. The platelet adhesion receptor, the glycoprotein Ib-IX complex (GPIb-IX), mediates platelet adhesion to inflammatory vascular endothelium and exposed subendothelium. Thus, we have investigated the role of GPIb-IX in LPS-induced platelet adhesion, thrombosis and thrombocytopenia.
Approach and Results
LPS-induced mortality is significantly decreased in mice expressing a functionally deficient mutant of GPIbα. Furthermore, we have developed a micellar peptide inhibitor, MPαC, which selectively inhibits the VWF-binding function of GPIb-IX and GPIb-IX-mediated platelet adhesion under flow without affecting GPIb-IX-independent platelet activation. MPαC inhibits platelet adhesion to LPS-stimulated endothelial cells in vitro and alleviates LPS-induced thrombosis in glomeruli in mice. Importantly, MPαC reduces mortality in LPS-challenged mice, suggesting a protective effect of this inhibitor during endotoxemia. Interestingly, MPαC, but not the integrin antagonist, Integrilin, alleviated LPS-induced thrombocytopenia.
These data indicate an important role for the platelet adhesion receptor GPIb-IX in LPS-induced thrombosis and thrombocytopenia, and suggest the potential of targeting GPIb as an anti-platelet strategy in managing endotoxemia.
PMCID: PMC4043446  PMID: 24051142
5.  Lack of Involvement of CEP Adducts in TLR Activation and in Angiogenesis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e111472.
Proteins that are post-translationally adducted with 2-(ω-carboxyethyl)pyrrole (CEP) have been proposed to play a pathogenic role in age-related macular degeneration, by inducing angiogenesis in a Toll Like Receptor 2 (TLR2)-dependent manner. We have investigated the involvement of CEP adducts in angiogenesis and TLR activation, to assess the therapeutic potential of inhibiting CEP adducts and TLR2 for ocular angiogenesis. As tool reagents, several CEP-adducted proteins and peptides were synthetically generated by published methodology and adduction was confirmed by NMR and LC-MS/MS analyses. Structural studies showed significant changes in secondary structure in CEP-adducted proteins but not the untreated proteins. Similar structural changes were also observed in the treated unadducted proteins, which were treated by the same adduction method except for one critical step required to form the CEP group. Thus some structural changes were unrelated to CEP groups and were artificially induced by the synthesis method. In biological studies, the CEP-adducted proteins and peptides failed to activate TLR2 in cell-based assays and in an in vivo TLR2-mediated retinal leukocyte infiltration model. Neither CEP adducts nor TLR agonists were able to induce angiogenesis in a tube formation assay. In vivo, treatment of animals with CEP-adducted protein had no effect on laser-induced choroidal neovascularization. Furthermore, in vivo inactivation of TLR2 by deficiency in Myeloid Differentiation factor 88 (Myd88) had no effect on abrasion-induced corneal neovascularization. Thus the CEP-TLR2 axis, which is implicated in other wound angiogenesis models, does not appear to play a pathological role in a corneal wound angiogenesis model. Collectively, our data do not support the mechanism of action of CEP adducts in TLR2-mediated angiogenesis proposed by others.
PMCID: PMC4208838  PMID: 25343517
6.  Analyzing and identifying novel B cell epitopes within Toxoplasma gondii GRA4 
Parasites & Vectors  2014;7(1):474.
The identification of specific epitopes targeted by the host antibody response is important for understanding the natural response to infection and for the development of epitope-based marker vaccines and diagnostic tools for toxoplasmosis. In this study, Toxoplasma gondii GRA4 epitopes were identified using software-based prediction and a synthetic peptide technique.
The complete GRA4 gene sequence was obtained from T. gondii of the Gansu Jingtai strain of tachyzoites. The potential B cell epitopes of GRA4 was predicted using the PROTEAN subroutine in the DNASTAR software package. The peptides with good hydrophilicity, high accessibility, high flexibility and strong antigenicity were chemically synthesized and assessed by ELISA using pig sera from different time points after infection.
The potential B cell epitopes of GRA4 predicted by bioinformatics tools focused on six regions of GRA4, 52–77 aa, 93–112 aa, 127–157 aa, 178–201 aa, 223–252 aa and 314–333 aa. Eleven shorter peptides from the six regions were synthesized and assessed by ELISA using pig sera from different time points after infection. Three of the eleven peptides (amino acids 62–77, 233–252 and 314–333) tested were recognized by all sera.
We precisely located the T. gondii GRA4 epitopes using pig sera collected at different time points after infection. The identified epitopes may be useful for additional studies of epitope-based vaccines and diagnostic reagents.
PMCID: PMC4195951  PMID: 25301141
Toxoplasma gondii; GRA4; Epitope; Pig antibodies
7.  Mammary Fat of Breast Cancer: Gene Expression Profiling and Functional Characterization 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e109742.
Mammary fat is the main composition of breast, and is the most probable candidate to affect tumor behavior because the fat produces hormones, growth factors and adipokines, a heterogeneous group of signaling molecules. Gene expression profiling and functional characterization of mammary fat in Chinese women has not been reported. Thus, we collected the mammary fat tissues adjacent to breast tumors from 60 subjects, among which 30 subjects had breast cancer and 30 had benign lesions. We isolated and cultured the stromal vascular cell fraction from mammary fat. The expression of genes related to adipose function (including adipogenesis and secretion) was detected at both the tissue and the cellular level. We also studied mammary fat browning. The results indicated that fat tissue close to malignant and benign lesions exhibited distinctive gene expression profiles and functional characteristics. Although the mammary fat of breast tumors atrophied, it secreted tumor growth stimulatory factors. Browning of mammary fat was observed and browning activity of fat close to malignant breast tumors was greater than that close to benign lesions. Understanding the diversity between these two fat depots may possibly help us improve our understanding of breast cancer pathogenesis and find the key to unlock new anticancer therapies.
PMCID: PMC4188628  PMID: 25291184
8.  Training stem cells for treatment of malignant brain tumors 
World Journal of Stem Cells  2014;6(4):432-440.
The treatment of malignant brain tumors remains a challenge. Stem cell technology has been applied in the treatment of brain tumors largely because of the ability of some stem cells to infiltrate into regions within the brain where tumor cells migrate as shown in preclinical studies. However, not all of these efforts can translate in the effective treatment that improves the quality of life for patients. Here, we perform a literature review to identify the problems in the field. Given the lack of efficacy of most stem cell-based agents used in the treatment of malignant brain tumors, we found that stem cell distribution (i.e., only a fraction of stem cells applied capable of targeting tumors) are among the limiting factors. We provide guidelines for potential improvements in stem cell distribution. Specifically, we use an engineered tissue graft platform that replicates the in vivo microenvironment, and provide our data to validate that this culture platform is viable for producing stem cells that have better stem cell distribution than with the Petri dish culture system.
PMCID: PMC4172671  PMID: 25258664
Stem cells; Malignant brain tumors; Engineered tissue graft; Organotypic slice model
9.  Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells Infected with Adenovirus Expressing HGF Promote Regeneration of Damaged Neuron Cells in a Parkinson's Disease Model 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:909657.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative movement disorder that is characterized by the progressive degeneration of the dopaminergic (DA) pathway. Mesenchymal stem cells derived from human umbilical cord (hUC-MSCs) have great potential for developing a therapeutic agent as such. HGF is a multifunctional mediator originally identified in hepatocytes and has recently been reported to possess various neuroprotective properties. This study was designed to investigate the protective effect of hUC-MSCs infected by an adenovirus carrying the HGF gene on the PD cell model induced by MPP+ on human bone marrow neuroblastoma cells. Our results provide evidence that the cultural supernatant from hUC-MSCs expressing HGF could promote regeneration of damaged PD cells at higher efficacy than the supernatant from hUC-MSCs alone. And intracellular free Ca2+ obviously decreased after treatment with cultural supernatant from hUC-MSCs expressing HGF, while the expression of CaBP-D28k, an intracellular calcium binding protein, increased. Therefore our study clearly demonstrated that cultural supernatant of MSC overexpressing HGF was capable of eliciting regeneration of damaged PD model cells. This effect was probably achieved through the regulation of intracellular Ca2+ levels by modulating of CaBP-D28k expression.
PMCID: PMC4167956  PMID: 25276829
10.  Sensitivity of MRI-guided near-infrared spectroscopy clinical breast exam data and its impact on diagnostic performance 
Biomedical Optics Express  2014;5(9):3103-3115.
In this study, data from breast MRI-guided near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) exams delivered to 44 patients scheduled for surgical resection (ending in 16 benign and 28 malignant diagnoses) were analyzed using a spatial sensitivity metric to quantify the adequacy of the optical measurements for interrogating the tumor region of interest, as derived from the concurrent MRI scan. Along with positional sensitivity, the incorporation of spectral priors and the selection of an appropriate regularization parameter in the image reconstruction were considered, and found to influence the diagnostic accuracy of the recovered images. Once optimized, the MRI/NIRS data was able to differentiate the malignant from benign lesions through both total hemoglobin (p = 0.0037) and tissue optical index (p = 0.00019), but required the relative spatial sensitivity of the optical measurement data to each lesion to be above 1%. Spectral constraints implemented during the reconstruction were required to obtain statistically significant diagnostic information from images of H2O, lipids, and Tissue Optical Index (TOI). These results confirm the need for optical systems that have homogenous spatial coverage of the breast while still being able to accommodate the normal range of breast sizes.
PMCID: PMC4230863  PMID: 25401024
(170.0110) Imaging systems; (170.6960) Tomography; (100.6890) Three-dimensional image processing
11.  Satellite Fault Diagnosis Using Support Vector Machines Based on a Hybrid Voting Mechanism 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:582042.
The satellite fault diagnosis has an important role in enhancing the safety, reliability, and availability of the satellite system. However, the problem of enormous parameters and multiple faults makes a challenge to the satellite fault diagnosis. The interactions between parameters and misclassifications from multiple faults will increase the false alarm rate and the false negative rate. On the other hand, for each satellite fault, there is not enough fault data for training. To most of the classification algorithms, it will degrade the performance of model. In this paper, we proposed an improving SVM based on a hybrid voting mechanism (HVM-SVM) to deal with the problem of enormous parameters, multiple faults, and small samples. Many experimental results show that the accuracy of fault diagnosis using HVM-SVM is improved.
PMCID: PMC4146359  PMID: 25215324
12.  Genome Sequence of Borrelia garinii Strain SZ, Isolated in China 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(4):e00010-14.
We announce the genome sequence of Borrelia garinii strain SZ, isolated from Dermacentor ticks collected in northeastern China. B. garinii strain SZ carries numerous plasmids, both 10 circular and 9 linear plasmids. The 902,487-bp linear chromosome (28.2% GC content) contains 820 open reading frames, 33 tRNAs, and 4 complete rRNAs. The plasmid cp32-10 contains one clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) with four repeats.
PMCID: PMC4102854  PMID: 25035317
13.  Molecular identification of Theileria parasites of northwestern Chinese Cervidae 
Parasites & Vectors  2014;7:225.
Theileria and Babesia protozoan parasites are transmitted mainly by tick vectors. These parasites cause heavy economic losses to the live-stock industry, as well as affecting the health of wild animals in parasite-endemic areas. Identification of infectious agents in wild animals is not only crucial for species preservation, but also provides valuable information on parasite epidemiology. Here, we conducted a molecular surveillance study in Northwestern China to assess the prevalence of blood pathogens in cervids.
PCR analysis and microscopic evaluation of blood smears to detect Theileria- and Babesia-related diseases in Cervidae were conducted, in which 22 blood samples from red deer (n = 22) in Qilian Mountain and 20 from sika deer (n = 20) in Long Mountain were collected and tested for the presence of Theileria and Babesia. The 18S rRNA gene was amplified, and selected polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive samples were sequenced for species identification.
PCR revealed that 9.1% of the Qilian Mountain samples and 20% of the Long Mountain samples were positive for Theileria uilenbergi; 90.09% of the Qilian Mountain samples (n = 22) were positive for T. capreoli, but all of the Long Mountain samples (n = 20) were negative for T. capreoli; no other Theileria or Babesia species were found. PCR showed that T. uilenbergi and T. capreoli were present in red deer in Qilian Mountain, while only T. uilenbergi was found in sika Deer in Long Mountain. The 18S rRNA gene sequences were aligned against the corresponding GenBank sequences of known isolates of Theileria and Babesia and subjected to phylogenetic analysis. The phylogenetic tree showed that the newly isolated Theileria spp. could be classified as belonging to two clades: one group belonged to the same clade as T. uilenbergi, the other to a clade containing T. capreoli.
Our results provide important data to increase understanding of the epidemiology of Cervidae theileriosis, and will assist with the implementation of measures to control theileriosis transmission to Cervidae and small ruminants in central China.
PMCID: PMC4029935  PMID: 24885179
Theileria and Babesia; Molecular detection; Cervid; PCR; Northwestern China
14.  Research progress on surface antigen 1 (SAG1) of Toxoplasma gondii 
Parasites & Vectors  2014;7:180.
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasitic protozoan that has a wide host range and causes a zoonotic parasitosis called toxoplasmosis. This infection causes significant morbidity, costs for care and loss of productivity and suffering. The most effective measures to minimize this parasite’s harm to patients are prompt diagnosis and treatment and preventing infection. A parasite surface antigen, SAG1, is considered an important antigen for the development of effective diagnostic tests or subunit vaccines. This review covers several aspects of this antigen, including its gene structure, contribution to host invasion, mechanisms of the immune responses and its applications for diagnosis and vaccine development. This significant progress on this antigen provides foundations for further development of more effective and precise approaches to diagnose toxoplasmosis in the clinic, and also have important implications for exploring novel measures to control toxoplasmosis in the near future.
PMCID: PMC3989796  PMID: 24726014
T. gondii; Surface antigen 1; Gene structure; Invasion; Diagnosis; Vaccine
15.  Molecular investigation of bovine viral diarrhea virus infection in yaks (Bos gruniens) from Qinghai, China 
Virology Journal  2014;11:29.
Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is a pestivirus which infects both domestic animals and wildlife species worldwide. In China, cattle are often infected with BVDV of different genotypes, but there is very limited knowledge regarding BVDV infection in Chinese yaks and the genetic diversity of the virus. The objectives of this study were to detect viral infection in yaks in Qinghai, China and to determine the genotypes of BVDV based on analysis of the 5′untranslated region (5′UTR) and N-terminal protease (Npro) region.
Between 2010 and 2012, 407 blood samples were collected from yaks with or without clinical signs in six counties of Qinghai Province. Ninety-eight samples (24%) were found to be positive by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) targeting a conserved region of BVDV-1 and BVDV-2. The nucleotide sequences of the 5′UTR and complete Npro region were determined for 16 positive samples. Phylogenetic reconstructions demonstrated that all 16 samples belong to subgenotypes BVDV-1b, BVDV-1d and BVDV-1q.
This study provides, for the first time, molecular evidence for BVDV infection in yaks in Qinghai involving multiple subgenotypes of BVDV-1. This may have occurred under three possible scenarios: interspecies transmission, natural infection, and the use of vaccines contaminated with BVDV. The results have important implications for yak production and management in China, and specifically indicate that unscientific vaccination practices should be stopped and bio-security increased.
PMCID: PMC3926853  PMID: 24524442
Bovine viral diarrhea virus; Yak; 5′UTR; Npro; Phylogeny
16.  Magnetic resonance characteristics of adult-onset Lhermitte-Duclos disease: An indicator for active cancer surveillance? 
Molecular and Clinical Oncology  2014;2(3):415-420.
Lhermitte-Duclos disease (LDD) is a rare, non-cancerous entity characterized by enlarged, abnormally developed cerebellar folia containing dysplastic cells. Symptomatic LDD is commonly observed in adults (adult-onset LDD, aLDD) as an isolated condition or associated with Cowden’s disease (CD). The present study aimed to investigate the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) characteristics and the underlying pathological findings in 7 cases of aLDD, with emphasis on the association with CD and the need for active cancer surveillance once the diagnosis of LDD is confirmed. The MRI findings along with the clinical and histopathological data collected from 7 patients with aLDD were retrospectively reviewed. The diagnosis of CD was based on a range of clinical characteristics, according to the International Cowden Consortium Criteria. A thorough review of the published data was conducted and our results indicated that all 7 cases shared similar MRI characteristics, whether the aLDD was sporadic (2 cases) or associated with CD (5 cases), including a highly typical non-enhancing striated MRI appearance of thickened folia, consisting of alternating bands on T1- and T2-weighted images. On gross examination, the involved cerebellar folia were distorted and enlarged, whereas the histopathological examination revealed that the molecular layer was widened and occupied by abnormal ganglion cells. Moreover, a reduction in the number or absence of the Purkinje cells and hypertrophy of the granular cell layer were observed. Our findings were consistent with the diagnosis of LDD. Variable levels of vacuolization of the white matter and the molecular layer were observed in all the cases. Notably, CD34 immunohistochemical analysis revealed the presence of angiogenesis within the lesions. aLDD associated with CD exhibited no pathological or immunohistochemical characteristics that were distinct from those of isolated aLDD. Of the 7 cases of aLDD, 5 presented with symptoms suggestive of CD, which is a syndrome associated with a high risk of multiple benign and malignant neoplasms. In conclusion, aLDD exhibits characteristic MRI and histopathological findings and displays a strong association with CD. Therefore, we recommend that the MRI diagnosis of aLDD triggers active cancer surveillance and preventive care.
PMCID: PMC3999135  PMID: 24772310
Lhermitte-Duclos disease; dysplastic cerebellar gangliocytoma; Cowden’s disease; magnetic resonance imaging; pathology
17.  A Progressive Translational Mouse Model of Human VCP Disease: The VCP R155H/+ Mouse 
Muscle & nerve  2012;47(2):260-270.
Mutations in the valosin containing protein (VCP) gene cause hereditary Inclusion Body Myopathy (hIBM) associated with Paget disease of bone (PDB), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). More recently they have been linked to 2% of familial ALS cases. A knock-in mouse model offers the opportunity to study VCP-associated pathogenesis.
The VCPR155H/+ knock-in mouse model was assessed for muscle strength, immunohistochemical, Western, apoptosis, autophagy and MicroPET/CT imaging analyses.
VCPR155H/+ mice developed significant progressive muscle weakness, and the quadriceps and brain developed progressive cytoplasmic accumulation of TDP-43, ubiquitin-positive inclusion bodies and increased LC3-II staining. MicroCT analyses revealed Paget-like lesions at the ends of long bones. Spinal cord demonstrated neurodegenerative changes, ubiquitin, and TDP-43 pathology of motor neurons.
VCPR155H/+ knock-in mice represent an excellent pre-clinical model for understanding VCP-associated disease mechanisms and future treatments.
PMCID: PMC3556223  PMID: 23169451
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS); Inclusion Body Myopathy; Paget Disease of Bone; Frontotemporal Dementia (IBMPFD); Valosin Containing Protein (VCP); molecular genetics, pathology
18.  Protective Effect of Wheat Peptides against Indomethacin-Induced Oxidative Stress in IEC-6 Cells 
Nutrients  2014;6(2):564-574.
Recent studies have demonstrated that wheat peptides protected rats against non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs-induced small intestinal epithelial cells damage, but the mechanism of action is unclear. In the present study, an indomethacin-induced oxidative stress model was used to investigate the effect of wheat peptides on the nuclear factor-κB(NF-κB)-inducible nitric oxide synthase-nitric oxide signal pathway in intestinal epithelial cells-6 cells. IEC-6 cells were treated with wheat peptides (0, 125, 500 and 2000 mg/L) for 24 h, followed by 90 mg/L indomethacin for 12 h. Wheat peptides significantly attenuated the indomethacin-induced decrease in superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activity. Wheat peptides at 2000 mg/L markedly decreased the expression of the NF-κB in response to indomethacin-induced oxidative stress. This study demonstrated that the addition of wheat peptides to a culture medium significantly inhibited the indomethacin-induced release of malondialdehyde and nitrogen monoxide, and increased antioxidant enzyme activity in IEC-6 cells, thereby providing a possible explanation for the protective effect proposed for wheat peptides in the prevention of indomethacin-induced oxidative stress in small intestinal epithelial cells.
PMCID: PMC3942717  PMID: 24481130
wheat peptides; indomethacin; IEC-6 cells; oxidative stress; NF-κB-iNOS-NO signal pathway
19.  HGF Accelerates Wound Healing by Promoting the Dedifferentiation of Epidermal Cells through β1-Integrin/ILK Pathway 
BioMed Research International  2014;2013:470418.
Skin wound healing is a critical and complex biological process after trauma. This process is activated by signaling pathways of both epithelial and nonepithelial cells, which release a myriad of different cytokines and growth factors. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a cytokine known to play multiple roles during the various stages of wound healing. This study evaluated the benefits of HGF on reepithelialization during wound healing and investigated its mechanisms of action. Gross and histological results showed that HGF significantly accelerated reepithelialization in diabetic (DB) rats. HGF increased the expressions of the cell adhesion molecules β1-integrin and the cytoskeleton remodeling protein integrin-linked kinase (ILK) in epidermal cells in vivo and in vitro. Silencing of ILK gene expression by RNA interference reduced expression of β1-integrin, ILK, and c-met in epidermal cells, concomitantly decreasing the proliferation and migration ability of epidermal cells. β1-Integrin can be an important maker of poorly differentiated epidermal cells. Therefore, these data demonstrate that epidermal cells become poorly differentiated state and regained some characteristics of epidermal stem cells under the role of HGF after wound. Taken together, the results provide evidence that HGF can accelerate reepithelialization in skin wound healing by dedifferentiation of epidermal cells in a manner related to the β1-integrin/ILK pathway.
PMCID: PMC3899705  PMID: 24490163
20.  Chlorotoxin-Fc Fusion Inhibits Release of MMP-2 from Pancreatic Cancer Cells 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:152659.
Chlorotoxin (CTX) is a 36-amino acid peptide derived from Leiurus quinquestriatus (scorpion) venom, which inhibits low-conductance chloride channels in colonic epithelial cells. It has been reported that CTX also binds to matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), membrane type-1 MMP, and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2, as well as CLC-3 chloride ion channels and other proteins. Pancreatic cancer cells require the activation of MMP-2 during invasion and migration. In this study, the fusion protein was generated by joining the CTX peptide to the amino terminus of the human IgG-Fc domain without a hinge domain, the monomeric form of chlorotoxin (M-CTX-Fc). The resulting fusion protein was then used to target pancreatic cancer cells (PANC-1) in vitro. M-CTX-Fc decreased MMP-2 release into the media of PANC-1 cells in a dose-dependent manner. M-CTX-Fc internalization into PANC-1 cells was observed. When the cells were treated with chlorpromazine (CPZ), the internalization of the fusion protein was reduced, implicating a clathrin-dependent internalization mechanism of M-CTX-Fc in PANC-1 cells. Furthermore, M-CTX-Fc clearly exhibited the inhibition of the migration depending on the concentration, but human IgG, as negative control of Fc, was not affected. The M-CTX-Fc may be an effective instrument for targeting pancreatic cancer.
PMCID: PMC3910484  PMID: 24511528
21.  Transmission of hepatitis C virus among intravenous drug users in the Uppsala region of Sweden 
Infection Ecology & Epidemiology  2014;4:10.3402/iee.v4.22251.
Epidemiology and transmission patterns of hepatitis C virus (HCV) are important subjects as we enter a new era of treatment with directly acting antivirals (DAAs). The highest prevalence of HCV in developed countries is found among intravenous drug users (IDUs), where unsafe needle sharing practices provide the main route of infection. Efforts to prohibit the continuous spread of HCV among these groups have been initiated by the community services and health care providers. Our goal was to understand how HCV was transmitted among IDUs within a limited population group. We provide a retrospective study (2005–2007) of the HCV transmission patterns in a population of IDUs in the Uppsala region of Sweden.
Eighty-two serum samples were collected from IDUs in Uppsala County. Our reverse transcription nested polymerase chain reaction (RT-nested PCR) and sequencing method enabled a comprehensive genetic analysis for a broad spectrum of genotypes of two relatively conserved regions, NS5B and NS3, that encodes for the viral polymerase and protease, respectively. HCV RNA in serum samples was amplified and sequenced with in-house primers. Sequence similarities between individuals and subgroups were analyzed with maximum likelihood (ML) phylogenetic trees. Published HCV reference sequences from other geographic regions and countries were also included for clarity.
Phylogenetic analysis was possible for 59 NS5B (72%) and 29 NS3 (35%) sequences from Uppsala patients. Additionally, we also included 15 NS3 sequences from Örebro patients, making a total of 44 NS3 sequences for the analysis. By analyzing the NS3 sequences, two transmission sets were found between the IDUs (>98% sequence identity), with one set consisting of two individuals and another set consisting of three individuals. In addition, the phylogenetic analysis done with our serum samples displayed clusters that distinguished them from the reference sequences.
Our method seems to enable us to trace the HCV transmission between IDUs. Furthermore, the method is fairly independent of the time of infection because the method uses relatively conserved HCV sequence regions (i.e. NS5B and NS3).
PMCID: PMC3895264  PMID: 24455107
hepatitis C virus; transmission; intravenous drug users; phylogeny; NS5B; NS3
22.  Evaluation of a 3A-truncated foot-and-mouth disease virus in pigs for its potential as a marker vaccine 
Veterinary Research  2014;45(1):51.
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious and economically devastating disease of cloven-hoofed animals in the world. The disease can be effectively controlled by vaccination of susceptible animals with the conventional inactivated vaccine. However, one major concern of the inactivated FMD virus (FMDV) vaccine is that it does not allow serological discrimination between infected and vaccinated animals, and therefore interferes with serologic surveillance and the epidemiology of disease. A marker vaccine has proven to be of great value in disease eradication and control programs. In this study, we constructed a marker FMDV containing a deletion of residues 93 to 143 in the nonstructural protein 3A using a recently developed FMDV infectious cDNA clone. The marker virus, r-HN/3A93–143, had similar growth kinetics as the wild type virus in culture cell and caused a symptomatic infection in pigs. Pigs immunized with chemically inactivated marker vaccine were fully protected from the wild type virus challenge, and the potency of this marker vaccine was 10 PD50 (50% pig protective dose) per dose, indicating it could be an efficacious vaccine against FMDV. In addition, we developed a blocking ELISA targeted to the deleted epitope that could clearly differentiate animals infected with the marker virus from those infected with the wild type virus. These results indicate that a marker FMDV vaccine can be potentially developed by deleting an immunodominant epitope in NSP 3A.
PMCID: PMC4031899  PMID: 24885414
23.  One-pot multicomponent strategy for stereospecific construction of tricyclic pyrrolo[1,2-a]quinolines 
A novel multicomponent strategy for the efficient synthesis of tricyclic pyrrolo[1,2-a]quinolines has been described. The bond-forming efficiency, accessibility and generality of this synthesis make it highly attractive to assemble tri-heterocyclic scaffolds.
PMCID: PMC3529132  PMID: 23128187
24.  TNF-α triggers rapid membrane insertion of Ca2+ permeable AMPA receptors into adult motor neurons and enhances their susceptibility to slow excitotoxic injury 
Experimental neurology  2012;238(2):93-102.
Excitotoxicity (caused by over-activation of glutamate receptors) and inflammation both contribute to motor neuron (MN) damage in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other diseases of the spinal cord. Microglial and astrocytic activation in these conditions results in release of inflammatory mediators, including the cytokine, tumor necrosis factor–alpha (TNF-α). TNF-α has complex effects on neurons, one of which is to trigger rapid membrane insertion of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) type glutamate receptors, and in some cases, specific insertion of GluA2 lacking, Ca2+ permeable AMPA receptors (Ca-perm AMPAr). In the present study, we use a histochemical stain based upon kainate stimulated uptake of cobalt ions (“Co2+ labeling”) to provide the first direct demonstration of the presence of substantial numbers of Ca-perm AMPAr in ventral horn MNs of adult rats under basal conditions. We further find that TNF-α exposure causes a rapid increase in the numbers of these receptors, via a phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K) and protein kinase A (PKA) dependent mechanism. Finally, to assess the relevance of TNF-α to slow excitotoxic MN injury, we made use of organotypic spinal cord slice cultures. Co2+ labeling revealed that MNs in these cultures possess Ca-perm AMPAr. Addition of either a low level of TNF-α, or of the glutamate uptake blocker, trans-pyrrolidine-2,4-dicarboxylic acid (PDC) to the cultures for 48 h resulted in little MN injury. However, when combined, TNF-α+PDC caused considerable MN degeneration, which was blocked by the AMPA/kainate receptor blocker, 2,3-Dihydroxy-6-nitro-7-sulfamoylbenzo (F) quinoxaline (NBQX), or the Ca-perm AMPAr selective blocker, 1-naphthyl acetylspermine (NASPM). Thus, these data support the idea that prolonged TNF-α elevation, as may be induced by glial activation, acts in part by increasing the numbers of Ca-perm AMPAr on MNs to enhance injurious excitotoxic effects of deficient astrocytic glutamate transport.
PMCID: PMC3498614  PMID: 22921461
tumor necrosis factor-alpha; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; ALS; AMPA; Ca2+ permeable AMPA receptors; slice culture; motor neuron; protein kinase A; phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase
25.  Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase is dispensable for breast tumor maintenance and growth 
Oncotarget  2013;4(12):2502-2511.
Cancer cells rely on aerobic glycolysis to maintain cell growth and proliferation via the Warburg effect. Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHDGH) catalyzes the first step of the serine biosynthetic pathway downstream of glycolysis, which is a metabolic gatekeeper both for macromolecular biosynthesis and serine-dependent DNA synthesis. Here, we report that PHDGH is overexpressed in many ER-negative human breast cancer cell lines. PHGDH knockdown in these cells leads to a reduction of serine synthesis and impairment of cancer cell proliferation. However, PHGDH knockdown does not affect tumor maintenance and growth in established breast cancer xenograft models, suggesting that PHGDH-dependent cancer cell growth may be context-dependent. Our findings suggest that other mechanisms or pathways may bypass exclusive dependence on PHGDH in established human breast cancer xenografts, indicating that PHGDH is dispensable for the growth and maintenance of tumors in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3926844  PMID: 24318446
PHGDH; breast cancer cells; in vivo

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