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1.  Deletion of the low-molecular-weight glutenin subunit allele Glu-A3a of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) significantly reduces dough strength and breadmaking quality 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14(1):367.
Background
Low-molecular-weight glutenin subunits (LMW-GS), encoded by Glu-3 complex loci in hexaploid wheat, play important roles in the processing quality of wheat flour. To date, the molecular characteristics and effects on dough quality of individual Glu-3 alleles and their encoding proteins have been poorly studied. We used a Glu-A3 deletion line of the Chinese Spring (CS-n) wheat variety to conduct the first comprehensive study on the molecular characteristics and functional properties of the LMW-GS allele Glu-A3a.
Results
The Glu-A3a allele at the Glu-A3 locus in CS and its deletion in CS-n were identified and characterized by proteome and molecular marker methods. The deletion of Glu-A3a had no significant influence on plant morphological and yield traits, but significantly reduced the dough strength and breadmaking quality compared to CS. The complete sequence of the Glu-A3a allele was cloned and characterized, which was found to encode a B-subunit with longer repetitive domains and an increased number of α-helices. The Glu-A3a-encoded B-subunit showed a higher expression level and accumulation rate during grain development. These characteristics of the Glu-A3a allele could contribute to achieving superior gluten quality and demonstrate its potential application to wheat quality improvement. Furthermore, an allele-specific polymerase chain reaction (AS-PCR) marker for the Glu-A3a allele was developed and validated using different bread wheat cultivars, including near-isogenic lines (NILs) and recombinant inbred lines (RILs), which could be used as an effective molecular marker for gluten quality improvement through marker-assisted selection.
Conclusions
This work demonstrated that the LMW-GS allele Glu-A3a encodes a specific LMW-i type B-subunit that significantly affects wheat dough strength and breadmaking quality. The Glu-A3a-encoded B-subunit has a long repetitive domain and more α-helix structures as well as a higher expression level and accumulation rate during grain development, which could facilitate the formation of wheat with a stronger dough structure and superior breadmaking quality.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12870-014-0367-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12870-014-0367-3
PMCID: PMC4275963  PMID: 25524150
Wheat; Glu-A3a; Molecular cloning; Dough strength; Breadmaking quality
2.  iTRAQ-based quantitative proteome and phosphoprotein characterization reveals the central metabolism changes involved in wheat grain development 
BMC Genomics  2014;15(1):1029.
Background
Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is an economically important grain crop. Two-dimensional gel-based approaches are limited by the low identification rate of proteins and lack of accurate protein quantitation. The recently developed isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) method allows sensitive and accurate protein quantification. Here, we performed the first iTRAQ-based quantitative proteome and phosphorylated proteins analyses during wheat grain development.
Results
The proteome profiles and phosphoprotein characterization of the metabolic proteins during grain development of the elite Chinese bread wheat cultivar Yanyou 361 were studied using the iTRAQ-based quantitative proteome approach, TiO2 microcolumns, and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Among 1,146 non-redundant proteins identified, 421 showed at least 2-fold differences in abundance, and they were identified as differentially expressed proteins (DEPs), including 256 upregulated and 165 downregulated proteins. Of the 421 DEPs, six protein expression patterns were identified, most of which were up, down, and up-down expression patterns. The 421 DEPs were classified into nine functional categories mainly involved in different metabolic processes and located in the membrane and cytoplasm. Hierarchical clustering analysis indicated that the DEPs involved in starch biosynthesis, storage proteins, and defense/stress-related proteins significantly accumulated at the late grain development stages, while those related to protein synthesis/assembly/degradation and photosynthesis showed an opposite expression model during grain development. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis of 12 representative genes encoding different metabolic proteins showed certain transcriptional and translational expression differences during grain development. Phosphorylated proteins analyses demonstrated that 23 DEPs such as AGPase, sucrose synthase, Hsp90, and serpins were phosphorylated in the developing grains and were mainly involved in starch biosynthesis and stress/defense.
Conclusions
Our results revealed a complex quantitative proteome and phosphorylation profile during wheat grain development. Numerous DEPs are involved in grain starch and protein syntheses as well as adverse defense, which set an important basis for wheat yield and quality. Particularly, some key DEPs involved in starch biosynthesis and stress/defense were phosphorylated, suggesting their roles in wheat grain development.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-1029) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-1029
PMCID: PMC4301063  PMID: 25427527
Wheat; Grain proteome; iTRAQ; Phosphoproteins; qRT-PCR
3.  Pharmacogenetic meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of LDL cholesterol response to statins 
Postmus, Iris | Trompet, Stella | Deshmukh, Harshal A. | Barnes, Michael R. | Li, Xiaohui | Warren, Helen R. | Chasman, Daniel I. | Zhou, Kaixin | Arsenault, Benoit J. | Donnelly, Louise A. | Wiggins, Kerri L. | Avery, Christy L. | Griffin, Paula | Feng, QiPing | Taylor, Kent D. | Li, Guo | Evans, Daniel S. | Smith, Albert V. | de Keyser, Catherine E. | Johnson, Andrew D. | de Craen, Anton J. M. | Stott, David J. | Buckley, Brendan M. | Ford, Ian | Westendorp, Rudi G. J. | Eline Slagboom, P. | Sattar, Naveed | Munroe, Patricia B. | Sever, Peter | Poulter, Neil | Stanton, Alice | Shields, Denis C. | O’Brien, Eoin | Shaw-Hawkins, Sue | Ida Chen, Y.-D. | Nickerson, Deborah A. | Smith, Joshua D. | Pierre Dubé, Marie | Matthijs Boekholdt, S. | Kees Hovingh, G. | Kastelein, John J. P. | McKeigue, Paul M. | Betteridge, John | Neil, Andrew | Durrington, Paul N. | Doney, Alex | Carr, Fiona | Morris, Andrew | McCarthy, Mark I. | Groop, Leif | Ahlqvist, Emma | Bis, Joshua C. | Rice, Kenneth | Smith, Nicholas L. | Lumley, Thomas | Whitsel, Eric A. | Stürmer, Til | Boerwinkle, Eric | Ngwa, Julius S. | O’Donnell, Christopher J. | Vasan, Ramachandran S. | Wei, Wei-Qi | Wilke, Russell A. | Liu, Ching-Ti | Sun, Fangui | Guo, Xiuqing | Heckbert, Susan R | Post, Wendy | Sotoodehnia, Nona | Arnold, Alice M. | Stafford, Jeanette M. | Ding, Jingzhong | Herrington, David M. | Kritchevsky, Stephen B. | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Launer, Leonore J. | Harris, Tamara B. | Chu, Audrey Y. | Giulianini, Franco | MacFadyen, Jean G. | Barratt, Bryan J. | Nyberg, Fredrik | Stricker, Bruno H. | Uitterlinden, André G. | Hofman, Albert | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Emilsson, Valur | Franco, Oscar H. | Ridker, Paul M. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Liu, Yongmei | Denny, Joshua C. | Ballantyne, Christie M. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Adrienne Cupples, L. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Palmer, Colin N. A. | Tardif, Jean-Claude | Colhoun, Helen M. | Hitman, Graham | Krauss, Ronald M. | Wouter Jukema, J | Caulfield, Mark J.
Nature Communications  2014;5:5068.
Statins effectively lower LDL cholesterol levels in large studies and the observed interindividual response variability may be partially explained by genetic variation. Here we perform a pharmacogenetic meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in studies addressing the LDL cholesterol response to statins, including up to 18,596 statin-treated subjects. We validate the most promising signals in a further 22,318 statin recipients and identify two loci, SORT1/CELSR2/PSRC1 and SLCO1B1, not previously identified in GWAS. Moreover, we confirm the previously described associations with APOE and LPA. Our findings advance the understanding of the pharmacogenetic architecture of statin response.
Statins are effectively used to prevent and manage cardiovascular disease, but patient response to these drugs is highly variable. Here, the authors identify two new genes associated with the response of LDL cholesterol to statins and advance our understanding of the genetic basis of drug response.
doi:10.1038/ncomms6068
PMCID: PMC4220464  PMID: 25350695
4.  Associations of Candidate Genes to Age-related Macular Degeneration Among Racial/Ethnic Groups in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
American journal of ophthalmology  2013;156(5):10.1016/j.ajo.2013.06.004.
Purpose
To describe the relationships of selected candidate genes to the prevalence of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in a cohort of whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Chinese Americans.
Design
Cross-sectional study.
Methods
Setting
Multicenter study.
Study Population
2456 persons aged 45–84 years with genotype information and fundus photographs.
Procedures
Twelve of 2862 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 11 of 233 candidate genes for cardiovascular disease were selected for analysis based on screening with marginal unadjusted P value <0.001 within 1 or more racial/ethnic groups. Logistic regression models tested for association in case-control samples.
Main Outcome Measure
Prevalence of early AMD.
Results
Early AMD was present in 4.0% of the cohort and varied from 2.4% in blacks to 6.0% in whites. The odds ratio increased from 2.3 for one to 10.0 for four risk alleles in a joint effect analysis of Age-Related Maculopathy Susceptibility 2 rs10490924 and Complement Factor H Y402H (P for trend=4.2×10−7). Frequencies of each SNP varied among the racial/ethnic groups. Adjusting for age and other factors, few statistically significant associations of the 12 SNPs with AMD were consistent across all groups. In a multivariate model, most candidate genes did not attenuate the comparatively higher odds of AMD in whites. The higher frequency of risk alleles for several SNPs in Chinese Americans may partially explain their AMD frequency approaching that of whites.
Conclusions
The relationships of 11 candidate genes to early AMD varied among 4 racial/ethnic groups, and partially explained the observed variations in early AMD prevalence among them.
doi:10.1016/j.ajo.2013.06.004
PMCID: PMC3812928  PMID: 23938121
5.  Prenatal Exposure to Lipopolysaccharide Results in Local RAS Activation in the Adipose Tissue of Rat Offspring 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e111376.
Background
Adult metabolic syndrome may originate in part during fetal or early life. This study was designed to investigate the effects of prenatal exposure to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on adipose development and local renin-angiotensin system (RAS) activation in rat offspring.
Methods
Pregnant rats were randomly divided into three groups (n = 8 in each), including an NS group (pregnant rats were only treated with 0.5 ml normal saline from the 8th to the 14th day of gestation); an LPS group (pregnant rats were injected intraperitoneally with 0.79 mg/kg LPS on the 8th, 10th and 12th days of pregnancy); and an LPS+pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) group (identical to the LPS group except that 100 mg/kg PDTC was administered from the 8th to the 14th day of gestation).
Results
Prenatal exposure to LPS resulted in increased blood pressure, adipose coefficient and body weight in rat offspring. Specifically, during the infancy of the offspring rats, the LPS stimulus promoted the differentiation of adipose cells, diminishing their diameters and proportions while simultaneously increasing cell number. In contrast, once the rats were grown, adipose cell differentiation was inhibited, and the diameters and proportions of the cells were increased. Moreover, each component of the RAS was changed and was shown to be activated. PDTC, an inhibitor of NF-κB, could reverse the influence of the stimulus during pregnancy.
Conclusion
Prenatal exposure to LPS in rats results in increased blood pressure, adipose coefficient, body weight and activation of adipose RAS in offspring.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111376
PMCID: PMC4216013  PMID: 25360670
6.  Tomato SR/CAMTA transcription factors SlSR1 and SlSR3L negatively regulate disease resistance response and SlSR1L positively modulates drought stress tolerance 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14(1):286.
Background
The SR/CAMTA proteins represent a small family of transcription activators that play important roles in plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Seven SlSR/CAMTA genes were identified in tomato as tomato counterparts of SR/CAMTA; however, the involvement of SlSRs/CAMTAs in biotic and abiotic stress responses is not clear. In this study, we performed functional analysis of the SlSR/CAMTA family for their possible functions in defense response against pathogens and tolerance to drought stress.
Results
Expression of SlSRs was induced with distinct patterns by Botrytis cinerea and Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst) DC3000. Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS)-based knockdown of either SlSR1 or SlSR3L in tomato resulted in enhanced resistance to B. cinerea and Pst DC3000 and led to constitutive accumulation of H2O2, elevated expression of defense genes, marker genes for pathogen-associated molecular pattern-triggered immunity, and regulatory genes involved in the salicylic acid- and ethylene-mediated signaling pathways. Furthermore, the expression of SlSR1L and SlSR2L in detached leaves and whole plants was significantly induced by drought stress. Silencing of SlSR1L led to decreased drought stress tolerance, accelerated water loss in leaves, reduced root biomass and attenuated expression of drought stress responsive genes in tomato. The SlSR1 and SlSR3L proteins were localized in the nucleus of plant cells when transiently expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana and had transcriptional activation activity in yeast.
Conclusions
VIGS-based functional analyses demonstrate that both SlSR1 and SlSR3L in the tomato SlSR/CAMTA family are negative regulators of defense response against B. cinerea and Pst DC3000 while SlSR1L is a positive regulator of drought stress tolerance in tomato.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12870-014-0286-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12870-014-0286-3
PMCID: PMC4219024  PMID: 25348703
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum); SR/CAMTA; Disease resistance response; Drought stress
7.  No Association of 9p21 with Arterial Elasticity and Retinal Microvascular Findings 
Atherosclerosis  2013;230(2):301-303.
Objective
How 9p21 variation affects risk of cardiovascular disease is unclear, so we assessed whether 9p21 variants are associated with arterial elasticity or retinal microvascular findings.
Methods
In the prospective Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) we assessed 378 SNPs in the 9p21 locus. Within four ethnic groups, we used an additive genetic model to relate the 9p21 SNPs to five vascular phenotypes: small and large elasticity derived from radial diastolic pulse contour analysis; Young’s elastic modulus from carotid artery ultrasound measurements; and the diameter of the central retinal arteries and veins.
Results
In neither ethnic-specific nor pooled data was there any statistically significant association between any of the 9p21 SNPs and any of the five vascular phenotypes.
Conclusion
Our study does not support an association of 9p21 variation with arterial elasticity or retinal microvascular abnormalities.
doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2013.07.049
PMCID: PMC3787319  PMID: 24075760
Prospective study; 9p21 SNP; retinal microvascular abnormalities; arterial elasticity
8.  Molecular cloning, phylogenetic analysis, and expression profiling of endoplasmic reticulum molecular chaperone BiP genes from bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14(1):260.
Background
The endoplasmic reticulum chaperone binding protein (BiP) is an important functional protein, which is involved in protein synthesis, folding assembly, and secretion. In order to study the role of BiP in the process of wheat seed development, we cloned three BiP homologous cDNA sequences in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum), completed by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE), and examined the expression of wheat BiP in wheat tissues, particularly the relationship between BiP expression and the subunit types of HMW-GS using near-isogenic lines (NILs) of HMW-GS silencing, and under abiotic stress.
Results
Sequence analysis demonstrated that all BiPs contained three highly conserved domains present in plants, animals, and microorganisms, indicating their evolutionary conservation among different biological species. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) revealed that TaBiP (Triticum aestivum BiP) expression was not organ-specific, but was predominantly localized to seed endosperm. Furthermore, immunolocalization confirmed that TaBiP was primarily located within the protein bodies (PBs) in wheat endosperm. Three TaBiP genes exhibited significantly down-regulated expression following high molecular weight-glutenin subunit (HMW-GS) silencing. Drought stress induced significantly up-regulated expression of TaBiPs in wheat roots, leaves, and developing grains.
Conclusions
The high conservation of BiP sequences suggests that BiP plays the same role, or has common mechanisms, in the folding and assembly of nascent polypeptides and protein synthesis across species. The expression of TaBiPs in different wheat tissue and under abiotic stress indicated that TaBiP is most abundant in tissues with high secretory activity and with high proportions of cells undergoing division, and that the expression level of BiP is associated with the subunit types of HMW-GS and synthesis. The expression of TaBiPs is developmentally regulated during seed development and early seedling growth, and under various abiotic stresses.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12870-014-0260-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12870-014-0260-0
PMCID: PMC4189733  PMID: 25273817
Wheat; BiP; Cloning; Expression; HMW-GS silencing; Drought stress
9.  Genome-Wide Meta-Analysis of Myopia and Hyperopia Provides Evidence for Replication of 11 Loci 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e107110.
Refractive error (RE) is a complex, multifactorial disorder characterized by a mismatch between the optical power of the eye and its axial length that causes object images to be focused off the retina. The two major subtypes of RE are myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness), which represent opposite ends of the distribution of the quantitative measure of spherical refraction. We performed a fixed effects meta-analysis of genome-wide association results of myopia and hyperopia from 9 studies of European-derived populations: AREDS, KORA, FES, OGP-Talana, MESA, RSI, RSII, RSIII and ERF. One genome-wide significant region was observed for myopia, corresponding to a previously identified myopia locus on 8q12 (p = 1.25×10−8), which has been reported by Kiefer et al. as significantly associated with myopia age at onset and Verhoeven et al. as significantly associated to mean spherical-equivalent (MSE) refractive error. We observed two genome-wide significant associations with hyperopia. These regions overlapped with loci on 15q14 (minimum p value = 9.11×10−11) and 8q12 (minimum p value 1.82×10−11) previously reported for MSE and myopia age at onset. We also used an intermarker linkage- disequilibrium-based method for calculating the effective number of tests in targeted regional replication analyses. We analyzed myopia (which represents the closest phenotype in our data to the one used by Kiefer et al.) and showed replication of 10 additional loci associated with myopia previously reported by Kiefer et al. This is the first replication of these loci using myopia as the trait under analysis. “Replication-level” association was also seen between hyperopia and 12 of Kiefer et al.'s published loci. For the loci that show evidence of association to both myopia and hyperopia, the estimated effect of the risk alleles were in opposite directions for the two traits. This suggests that these loci are important contributors to variation of refractive error across the distribution.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107110
PMCID: PMC4169415  PMID: 25233373
10.  The construction of hierarchical structure on Ti substrate with superior osteogenic activity and intrinsic antibacterial capability 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6172.
The deficient osseointegration and implant-associated infections are pivotal issues for the long-term clinical success of endosteal Ti implants, while development of functional surfaces that can simultaneously overcome these problems remains highly challenging. This study aimed to fabricate sophisticated Ti implant surface with both osteogenic inducing activity and inherent antibacterial ability simply via tailoring surface topographical features. Micro/submciro/nano-scale structure was constructed on Ti by three cumulative subtractive methods, including sequentially conducted sandblasting as well as primary and secondary acid etching treatment. Topographical features of this hierarchical structure can be well tuned by the time of the secondary acid treatment. Ti substrate with mere micro/submicro-scale structure (MS0-Ti) served as a control to examine the influence of hierarchical structures on surface properties and biological activities. Surface analysis indicated that all hierarchically structured surfaces possessed exactly the same surface chemistry as that of MS0-Ti, and all of them showed super-amphiphilicity, high surface free energy, and high protein adsorption capability. Biological evaluations revealed surprisingly antibacterial ability and excellent osteogenic activity for samples with optimized hierarchical structure (MS30-Ti) when compared with MS0-Ti. Consequently, for the first time, a hierarchically structured Ti surface with topography-induced inherent antibacterial capability and excellent osteogenic activity was constructed.
doi:10.1038/srep06172
PMCID: PMC4141259  PMID: 25146099
11.  Dynamic development of starch granules and the regulation of starch biosynthesis in Brachypodium distachyon: comparison with common wheat and Aegilops peregrina 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14(1):198.
Background
Thorough understanding of seed starch biosynthesis and accumulation mechanisms is of great importance for agriculture and crop improvement strategies. We conducted the first comprehensive study of the dynamic development of starch granules and the regulation of starch biosynthesis in Brachypodium distachyon and compared the findings with those reported for common wheat (Chinese Spring, CS) and Aegilops peregrina.
Results
Only B-granules were identified in Brachypodium Bd21, and the shape variation and development of starch granules were similar in the B-granules of CS and Bd21. Phylogenetic analysis showed that most of the Bd21 starch synthesis-related genes were more similar to those in wheat than in rice. Early expression of key genes in Bd21 starch biosynthesis mediate starch synthesis in the pericarp; intermediate-stage expression increases the number and size of starch granules. In contrast, these enzymes in CS and Ae. peregrina were mostly expressed at intermediate stages, driving production of new B-granules and increasing the granule size, respectively. Immunogold labeling showed that granule-bound starch synthase (GBSSI; related to amylose synthesis) was mainly present in starch granules: at lower levels in the B-granules of Bd21 than in CS. Furthermore, GBSSI was phosphorylated at threonine 183 and tyrosine 185 in the starch synthase catalytic domain in CS and Ae. peregrina, but neither site was phosphorylated in Bd21, suggesting GBSSI phosphorylation could improve amylose biosynthesis.
Conclusions
Bd21 contains only B-granules, and the expression of key genes in the three studied genera is consistent with the dynamic development of starch granules. GBSSI is present in greater amounts in the B-granules of CS than in Bd21; two phosphorylation sites (Thr183 and Tyr185) were found in Triticum and Aegilops; these sites were not phosphorylated in Bd21. GBSSI phosphorylation may reflect its importance in amylose synthesis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12870-014-0198-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12870-014-0198-2
PMCID: PMC4256708  PMID: 25095703
Brachypodium Bd21; B-granules; Starch biosynthesis; Expression profiling; GBSSI; Phosphorylation
12.  Drug-gene interactions and the search for missing heritability: a cross-sectional pharmacogenomics study of the QT interval 
The pharmacogenomics journal  2013;14(1):6-13.
Variability in response to drug use is common and heritable, suggesting that genome-wide pharmacogenomics studies may help explain the “missing heritability” of complex traits. Here, we describe four independent analyses in 33,781 participants of European ancestry from ten cohorts that were designed to identify genetic variants modifying the effects of drugs on QT interval duration (QT). Each analysis cross-sectionally examined four therapeutic classes: thiazide diuretics (prevalence of use=13.0%), tri/tetracyclic antidepressants (2.6%), sulfonylurea hypoglycemic agents (2.9%), and QT prolonging drugs as classified by the University of Arizona Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (4.4%). Drug-gene interactions were estimated using covariable adjusted linear regression and results were combined with fixed-effects meta-analysis. Although drug-SNP interactions were biologically plausible and variables were well-measured, findings from the four cross-sectional meta-analyses were null (Pinteraction>5.0×10−8). Simulations suggested that additional efforts, including longitudinal modeling to increase statistical power, are likely needed to identify potentially important pharmacogenomic effects.
doi:10.1038/tpj.2013.4
PMCID: PMC3766418  PMID: 23459443
QT interval; pharmacogenomics; gene-environment interaction
13.  Lipopolysaccharide Exposure during Pregnancy Leads to Aortic Dysfunction in Offspring Rats 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102273.
Background
Prenatal exposure to Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) produces hypertension in adult offspring rats. The present study was to explore the effects of prenatal inflammation on morphological and functional changes in the aorta from offspring rats and to further assess its susceptibility to cardiovascular diseases.
Methods and Results
Pregnant rats were treated intraperitoneally on gestation Days 8, 10 and 12 with saline, LPS (0.79 mg/kg), or pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC, 100 mg/kg)+LPS, respectively. Aortic ring reactivity and histopathological alteration were analyzed in offspring at the age of 12 weeks. The detections of connexin (Cx) 37, Cx40, Cx43, and Cx45, including immunofluorescent patterns, protein levels and mRNA expression in the aorta, were performed as well. Furthermore, the expressions of Nuclear factor (NF)-κB (p65), IκBα, phospho-IκBα and IκBβ were determined. The results showed that prenatal LPS exposure leads to morphological abnormalities and impaired aortic reactivity in offspring. Prenatal LPS exposure also decreased the protein and mRNA expression of Cx37 in the aorta from offspring rats. NF-κB and phospho-IκBα levels were both increased, IκBα level, however, was decreased in the aorta of offspring from the maternal LPS exposure compared to the controls. Simultaneously, PDTC treatment markedly reversed the action of LPS.
Conclusions
Decreased expression of Cx37 contributed to the aortic dysfunction of prenatal LPS exposure offspring, which should be associated with NF-κB activation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102273
PMCID: PMC4099131  PMID: 25025169
14.  Tomato NAC Transcription Factor SlSRN1 Positively Regulates Defense Response against Biotic Stress but Negatively Regulates Abiotic Stress Response 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102067.
Biotic and abiotic stresses are major unfavorable factors that affect crop productivity worldwide. NAC proteins comprise a large family of transcription factors that play important roles in plant growth and development as well as in responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. In a virus-induced gene silencing-based screening to identify genes that are involved in defense response against Botrytis cinerea, we identified a tomato NAC gene SlSRN1 (Solanum lycopersicum Stress-related NAC1). SlSRN1 is a plasma membrane-localized protein with transactivation activity in yeast. Expression of SlSRN1 was significantly induced by infection with B. cinerea or Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst) DC3000, leading to 6–8 folds higher than that in the mock-inoculated plants. Expression of SlSRN1 was also induced by salicylic acid, jasmonic acid and 1-amino cyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid and by drought stress. Silencing of SlSRN1 resulted in increased severity of diseases caused by B. cinerea and Pst DC3000. However, silencing of SlSRN1 resulted in increased tolerance against oxidative and drought stresses. Furthermore, silencing of SlSRN1 accelerated accumulation of reactive oxygen species but attenuated expression of defense genes after infection by B. cinerea. Our results demonstrate that SlSRN1 is a positive regulator of defense response against B. cinerea and Pst DC3000 but is a negative regulator for oxidative and drought stress response in tomato.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102067
PMCID: PMC4092073  PMID: 25010573
15.  Relationship of Sex to Diabetes Risk in Statin Trials 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(7):e100-e101.
doi:10.2337/dc13-0490
PMCID: PMC3687308  PMID: 23801803
16.  Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in five cohorts reveals common variants in RBFOX1, a regulator of tissue-specific splicing, associated with refractive error 
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;22(13):2754-2764.
Visual refractive errors (REs) are complex genetic traits with a largely unknown etiology. To date, genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of moderate size have identified several novel risk markers for RE, measured here as mean spherical equivalent (MSE). We performed a GWAS using a total of 7280 samples from five cohorts: the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS); the KORA study (‘Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg’); the Framingham Eye Study (FES); the Ogliastra Genetic Park-Talana (OGP-Talana) Study and the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Genotyping was performed on Illumina and Affymetrix platforms with additional markers imputed to the HapMap II reference panel. We identified a new genome-wide significant locus on chromosome 16 (rs10500355, P = 3.9 × 10−9) in a combined discovery and replication set (26 953 samples). This single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is located within the RBFOX1 gene which is a neuron-specific splicing factor regulating a wide range of alternative splicing events implicated in neuronal development and maturation, including transcription factors, other splicing factors and synaptic proteins.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddt116
PMCID: PMC3674806  PMID: 23474815
17.  Tomato SlMKK2 and SlMKK4 contribute to disease resistance against Botrytis cinerea 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14:166.
Background
Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades are highly conserved signaling modules that mediate the transduction of extracellular stimuli via receptors/sensors into intracellular responses and play key roles in plant immunity against pathogen attack. However, the function of tomato MAPK kinases, SlMKKs, in resistance against Botrytis cinerea remains unclear yet.
Results
A total of five SlMKK genes with one new member, SlMKK5, were identified in tomato. qRT-PCR analyses revealed that expression of SlMKK2 and SlMKK4 was strongly induced by B. cinerea and by jasmonic acid and ethylene precursor 1-amino cyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid. Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS)-based knockdown of individual SlMKKs and disease assays identified that SlMKK2 and SlMKK4 but not other three SlMKKs (SlMKK1, SlMKK3 and SlMKK5) are involved in resistance against B. cinerea. Silencing of SlMKK2 or SlMKK4 resulted in reduced resistance to B. cinerea, increased accumulation of reactive oxygen species and attenuated expression of defense genes after infection of B. cinerea in tomato plants. Furthermore, transient expression of constitutively active phosphomimicking forms SlMKK2DD and SlMKK4DD in leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana plants led to enhanced resistance to B. cinerea and elevated expression of defense genes.
Conclusions
VIGS-based knockdown of SlMKK2 and SlMKK4 expression in tomato and gain-of-function transient expression of constitutively active phosphomimicking forms SlMKK2DD and SlMKK2DD in N. benthamiana demonstrate that both SlMKK2 and SlMKK4 function as positive regulators of defense response against B. cinerea.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-14-166
PMCID: PMC4094914  PMID: 24930014
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum); MAPK cascade; MPK kinase; SlMKK2/SlMKK4; Botrytis cinerea; Defense response
18.  An association between the Calpastatin (CAST) gene and keratoconus 
Cornea  2013;32(5):696-701.
Purpose
Keratoconus is a genetically heterogeneous corneal dystrophy. Previously, we performed two genome-wide linkage scans in a four generation autosomal dominant pedigree and repeatedly mapped a keratoconus locus to a genomic region located on chromosome 5q overlapping the gene encoding the inhibitor of calpains, calpastatin (CAST). To test whether variants in CAST gene are involved in genetic susceptibility to keratoconus we performed genetic testing of polymorphic markers in CAST gene in family and case-control panels of patients with keratoconus.
Methods
We genotyped SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) located in CAST gene in 262 patients in 40 Caucasian keratoconus families and in a Caucasian case-control panel with 304 cases and 518 controls. Generalized estimating equation models accounting for familial correlations implemented in GWAF program were used for association testing in families. Logistic regression models implemented in PLINK were performed to test associations in case-control samples.
Results
Genetic testing of first set of seven SNPs in familial samples revealed two tentative nominally significant markers (rs4869307 p=0.03; rs27654: p=0.07). Additional genotyping of twelve tightly spaced SNPs identified CAST SNP rs4434401 to be associated with keratoconus in both familial and case-control panels with p values of 0.005 and 0.05, respectively; and with combined meta p value of familial and case-control cohorts of 0.002, or, after Bonferroni correction, 0.04.
Conclusions
Linkage analysis and genetic association support involvement of CAST gene in the genetic susceptibility to keratoconus. In-silico analysis of CAST expression suggests differential regulation of calpain/calpastatin system in cornea as a potential mechanism of functional defect.
doi:10.1097/ICO.0b013e3182821c1c
PMCID: PMC3653445  PMID: 23449483
Linkage analysis; genetic association; common variation; keratoconus; calpains; calpastatin
19.  Discovery and Refinement of Loci Associated with Lipid Levels 
Willer, Cristen J. | Schmidt, Ellen M. | Sengupta, Sebanti | Peloso, Gina M. | Gustafsson, Stefan | Kanoni, Stavroula | Ganna, Andrea | Chen, Jin | Buchkovich, Martin L. | Mora, Samia | Beckmann, Jacques S. | Bragg-Gresham, Jennifer L. | Chang, Hsing-Yi | Demirkan, Ayşe | Den Hertog, Heleen M. | Do, Ron | Donnelly, Louise A. | Ehret, Georg B. | Esko, Tõnu | Feitosa, Mary F. | Ferreira, Teresa | Fischer, Krista | Fontanillas, Pierre | Fraser, Ross M. | Freitag, Daniel F. | Gurdasani, Deepti | Heikkilä, Kauko | Hyppönen, Elina | Isaacs, Aaron | Jackson, Anne U. | Johansson, Åsa | Johnson, Toby | Kaakinen, Marika | Kettunen, Johannes | Kleber, Marcus E. | Li, Xiaohui | Luan, Jian’an | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Magnusson, Patrik K.E. | Mangino, Massimo | Mihailov, Evelin | Montasser, May E. | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Nolte, Ilja M. | O’Connell, Jeffrey R. | Palmer, Cameron D. | Perola, Markus | Petersen, Ann-Kristin | Sanna, Serena | Saxena, Richa | Service, Susan K. | Shah, Sonia | Shungin, Dmitry | Sidore, Carlo | Song, Ci | Strawbridge, Rona J. | Surakka, Ida | Tanaka, Toshiko | Teslovich, Tanya M. | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Van den Herik, Evita G. | Voight, Benjamin F. | Volcik, Kelly A. | Waite, Lindsay L. | Wong, Andrew | Wu, Ying | Zhang, Weihua | Absher, Devin | Asiki, Gershim | Barroso, Inês | Been, Latonya F. | Bolton, Jennifer L. | Bonnycastle, Lori L | Brambilla, Paolo | Burnett, Mary S. | Cesana, Giancarlo | Dimitriou, Maria | Doney, Alex S.F. | Döring, Angela | Elliott, Paul | Epstein, Stephen E. | Ingi Eyjolfsson, Gudmundur | Gigante, Bruna | Goodarzi, Mark O. | Grallert, Harald | Gravito, Martha L. | Groves, Christopher J. | Hallmans, Göran | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Hayward, Caroline | Hernandez, Dena | Hicks, Andrew A. | Holm, Hilma | Hung, Yi-Jen | Illig, Thomas | Jones, Michelle R. | Kaleebu, Pontiano | Kastelein, John J.P. | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Kim, Eric | Klopp, Norman | Komulainen, Pirjo | Kumari, Meena | Langenberg, Claudia | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lin, Shih-Yi | Lindström, Jaana | Loos, Ruth J.F. | Mach, François | McArdle, Wendy L | Meisinger, Christa | Mitchell, Braxton D. | Müller, Gabrielle | Nagaraja, Ramaiah | Narisu, Narisu | Nieminen, Tuomo V.M. | Nsubuga, Rebecca N. | Olafsson, Isleifur | Ong, Ken K. | Palotie, Aarno | Papamarkou, Theodore | Pomilla, Cristina | Pouta, Anneli | Rader, Daniel J. | Reilly, Muredach P. | Ridker, Paul M. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rudan, Igor | Ruokonen, Aimo | Samani, Nilesh | Scharnagl, Hubert | Seeley, Janet | Silander, Kaisa | Stančáková, Alena | Stirrups, Kathleen | Swift, Amy J. | Tiret, Laurence | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | van Pelt, L. Joost | Vedantam, Sailaja | Wainwright, Nicholas | Wijmenga, Cisca | Wild, Sarah H. | Willemsen, Gonneke | Wilsgaard, Tom | Wilson, James F. | Young, Elizabeth H. | Zhao, Jing Hua | Adair, Linda S. | Arveiler, Dominique | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Bandinelli, Stefania | Bennett, Franklyn | Bochud, Murielle | Boehm, Bernhard O. | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Bornstein, Stefan R. | Bovet, Pascal | Burnier, Michel | Campbell, Harry | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Chambers, John C. | Chen, Yii-Der Ida | Collins, Francis S. | Cooper, Richard S. | Danesh, John | Dedoussis, George | de Faire, Ulf | Feranil, Alan B. | Ferrières, Jean | Ferrucci, Luigi | Freimer, Nelson B. | Gieger, Christian | Groop, Leif C. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Gyllensten, Ulf | Hamsten, Anders | Harris, Tamara B. | Hingorani, Aroon | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Hofman, Albert | Hovingh, G. Kees | Hsiung, Chao Agnes | Humphries, Steve E. | Hunt, Steven C. | Hveem, Kristian | Iribarren, Carlos | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Jula, Antti | Kähönen, Mika | Kaprio, Jaakko | Kesäniemi, Antero | Kivimaki, Mika | Kooner, Jaspal S. | Koudstaal, Peter J. | Krauss, Ronald M. | Kuh, Diana | Kuusisto, Johanna | Kyvik, Kirsten O. | Laakso, Markku | Lakka, Timo A. | Lind, Lars | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | Martin, Nicholas G. | März, Winfried | McCarthy, Mark I. | McKenzie, Colin A. | Meneton, Pierre | Metspalu, Andres | Moilanen, Leena | Morris, Andrew D. | Munroe, Patricia B. | Njølstad, Inger | Pedersen, Nancy L. | Power, Chris | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Price, Jackie F. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Quertermous, Thomas | Rauramaa, Rainer | Saleheen, Danish | Salomaa, Veikko | Sanghera, Dharambir K. | Saramies, Jouko | Schwarz, Peter E.H. | Sheu, Wayne H-H | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Siegbahn, Agneta | Spector, Tim D. | Stefansson, Kari | Strachan, David P. | Tayo, Bamidele O. | Tremoli, Elena | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Uusitupa, Matti | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Vollenweider, Peter | Wallentin, Lars | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Whitfield, John B. | Wolffenbuttel, Bruce H.R. | Ordovas, Jose M. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Palmer, Colin N.A. | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Chasman, Daniel I. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Franks, Paul W. | Ripatti, Samuli | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Sandhu, Manjinder S. | Rich, Stephen S. | Boehnke, Michael | Deloukas, Panos | Kathiresan, Sekar | Mohlke, Karen L. | Ingelsson, Erik | Abecasis, Gonçalo R.
Nature genetics  2013;45(11):10.1038/ng.2797.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol are heritable, modifiable, risk factors for coronary artery disease. To identify new loci and refine known loci influencing these lipids, we examined 188,578 individuals using genome-wide and custom genotyping arrays. We identify and annotate 157 loci associated with lipid levels at P < 5×10−8, including 62 loci not previously associated with lipid levels in humans. Using dense genotyping in individuals of European, East Asian, South Asian, and African ancestry, we narrow association signals in 12 loci. We find that loci associated with blood lipids are often associated with cardiovascular and metabolic traits including coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, waist-hip ratio, and body mass index. Our results illustrate the value of genetic data from individuals of diverse ancestries and provide insights into biological mechanisms regulating blood lipids to guide future genetic, biological, and therapeutic research.
doi:10.1038/ng.2797
PMCID: PMC3838666  PMID: 24097068
20.  Common variants associated with plasma triglycerides and risk for coronary artery disease 
Do, Ron | Willer, Cristen J. | Schmidt, Ellen M. | Sengupta, Sebanti | Gao, Chi | Peloso, Gina M. | Gustafsson, Stefan | Kanoni, Stavroula | Ganna, Andrea | Chen, Jin | Buchkovich, Martin L. | Mora, Samia | Beckmann, Jacques S. | Bragg-Gresham, Jennifer L. | Chang, Hsing-Yi | Demirkan, Ayşe | Den Hertog, Heleen M. | Donnelly, Louise A. | Ehret, Georg B. | Esko, Tõnu | Feitosa, Mary F. | Ferreira, Teresa | Fischer, Krista | Fontanillas, Pierre | Fraser, Ross M. | Freitag, Daniel F. | Gurdasani, Deepti | Heikkilä, Kauko | Hyppönen, Elina | Isaacs, Aaron | Jackson, Anne U. | Johansson, Åsa | Johnson, Toby | Kaakinen, Marika | Kettunen, Johannes | Kleber, Marcus E. | Li, Xiaohui | Luan, Jian'an | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Magnusson, Patrik K.E. | Mangino, Massimo | Mihailov, Evelin | Montasser, May E. | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Nolte, Ilja M. | O'Connell, Jeffrey R. | Palmer, Cameron D. | Perola, Markus | Petersen, Ann-Kristin | Sanna, Serena | Saxena, Richa | Service, Susan K. | Shah, Sonia | Shungin, Dmitry | Sidore, Carlo | Song, Ci | Strawbridge, Rona J. | Surakka, Ida | Tanaka, Toshiko | Teslovich, Tanya M. | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Van den Herik, Evita G. | Voight, Benjamin F. | Volcik, Kelly A. | Waite, Lindsay L. | Wong, Andrew | Wu, Ying | Zhang, Weihua | Absher, Devin | Asiki, Gershim | Barroso, Inês | Been, Latonya F. | Bolton, Jennifer L. | Bonnycastle, Lori L | Brambilla, Paolo | Burnett, Mary S. | Cesana, Giancarlo | Dimitriou, Maria | Doney, Alex S.F. | Döring, Angela | Elliott, Paul | Epstein, Stephen E. | Eyjolfsson, Gudmundur Ingi | Gigante, Bruna | Goodarzi, Mark O. | Grallert, Harald | Gravito, Martha L. | Groves, Christopher J. | Hallmans, Göran | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Hayward, Caroline | Hernandez, Dena | Hicks, Andrew A. | Holm, Hilma | Hung, Yi-Jen | Illig, Thomas | Jones, Michelle R. | Kaleebu, Pontiano | Kastelein, John J.P. | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Kim, Eric | Klopp, Norman | Komulainen, Pirjo | Kumari, Meena | Langenberg, Claudia | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lin, Shih-Yi | Lindström, Jaana | Loos, Ruth J.F. | Mach, François | McArdle, Wendy L | Meisinger, Christa | Mitchell, Braxton D. | Müller, Gabrielle | Nagaraja, Ramaiah | Narisu, Narisu | Nieminen, Tuomo V.M. | Nsubuga, Rebecca N. | Olafsson, Isleifur | Ong, Ken K. | Palotie, Aarno | Papamarkou, Theodore | Pomilla, Cristina | Pouta, Anneli | Rader, Daniel J. | Reilly, Muredach P. | Ridker, Paul M. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rudan, Igor | Ruokonen, Aimo | Samani, Nilesh | Scharnagl, Hubert | Seeley, Janet | Silander, Kaisa | Stančáková, Alena | Stirrups, Kathleen | Swift, Amy J. | Tiret, Laurence | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | van Pelt, L. Joost | Vedantam, Sailaja | Wainwright, Nicholas | Wijmenga, Cisca | Wild, Sarah H. | Willemsen, Gonneke | Wilsgaard, Tom | Wilson, James F. | Young, Elizabeth H. | Zhao, Jing Hua | Adair, Linda S. | Arveiler, Dominique | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Bandinelli, Stefania | Bennett, Franklyn | Bochud, Murielle | Boehm, Bernhard O. | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Bornstein, Stefan R. | Bovet, Pascal | Burnier, Michel | Campbell, Harry | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Chambers, John C. | Chen, Yii-Der Ida | Collins, Francis S. | Cooper, Richard S. | Danesh, John | Dedoussis, George | de Faire, Ulf | Feranil, Alan B. | Ferrières, Jean | Ferrucci, Luigi | Freimer, Nelson B. | Gieger, Christian | Groop, Leif C. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Gyllensten, Ulf | Hamsten, Anders | Harris, Tamara B. | Hingorani, Aroon | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Hofman, Albert | Hovingh, G. Kees | Hsiung, Chao Agnes | Humphries, Steve E. | Hunt, Steven C. | Hveem, Kristian | Iribarren, Carlos | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Jula, Antti | Kähönen, Mika | Kaprio, Jaakko | Kesäniemi, Antero | Kivimaki, Mika | Kooner, Jaspal S. | Koudstaal, Peter J. | Krauss, Ronald M. | Kuh, Diana | Kuusisto, Johanna | Kyvik, Kirsten O. | Laakso, Markku | Lakka, Timo A. | Lind, Lars | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | Martin, Nicholas G. | März, Winfried | McCarthy, Mark I. | McKenzie, Colin A. | Meneton, Pierre | Metspalu, Andres | Moilanen, Leena | Morris, Andrew D. | Munroe, Patricia B. | Njølstad, Inger | Pedersen, Nancy L. | Power, Chris | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Price, Jackie F. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Quertermous, Thomas | Rauramaa, Rainer | Saleheen, Danish | Salomaa, Veikko | Sanghera, Dharambir K. | Saramies, Jouko | Schwarz, Peter E.H. | Sheu, Wayne H-H | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Siegbahn, Agneta | Spector, Tim D. | Stefansson, Kari | Strachan, David P. | Tayo, Bamidele O. | Tremoli, Elena | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Uusitupa, Matti | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Vollenweider, Peter | Wallentin, Lars | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Whitfield, John B. | Wolffenbuttel, Bruce H.R. | Altshuler, David | Ordovas, Jose M. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Palmer, Colin N.A. | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Chasman, Daniel I. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Franks, Paul W. | Ripatti, Samuli | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Sandhu, Manjinder S. | Rich, Stephen S. | Boehnke, Michael | Deloukas, Panos | Mohlke, Karen L. | Ingelsson, Erik | Abecasis, Goncalo R. | Daly, Mark J. | Neale, Benjamin M. | Kathiresan, Sekar
Nature genetics  2013;45(11):1345-1352.
Triglycerides are transported in plasma by specific triglyceride-rich lipoproteins; in epidemiologic studies, increased triglyceride levels correlate with higher risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). However, it is unclear whether this association reflects causal processes. We used 185 common variants recently mapped for plasma lipids (P<5×10−8 for each) to examine the role of triglycerides on risk for CAD. First, we highlight loci associated with both low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides, and show that the direction and magnitude of both are factors in determining CAD risk. Second, we consider loci with only a strong magnitude of association with triglycerides and show that these loci are also associated with CAD. Finally, in a model accounting for effects on LDL-C and/or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, a polymorphism's strength of effect on triglycerides is correlated with the magnitude of its effect on CAD risk. These results suggest that triglyceride-rich lipoproteins causally influence risk for CAD.
doi:10.1038/ng.2795
PMCID: PMC3904346  PMID: 24097064
21.  Optical coherence tomography (OCT) combined with videokeratography to differentiate mild keratoconus subtypes 
Background/Aims
To develop parameters using a combination of optical coherence tomography (OCT) and videokeratography to ‘early’ detect keratoconus.
Methods
We performed videokeratography, wavefront analysis and measured OCT indices on 180 normal, 46 moderate keratoconus, 54 early keratoconus, 7 ‘forme fruste’ keratoconus and 16 keratoconus ‘suspect” eyes, to determine the most sensitive parameters for separating these groups.
Results
A combination of videokeratography and OCT indices (I-S value and Minimum pachymetry) was statistically the most significant in separating the keratoconus groups from normals (P<.001). Using a newly derived index, the Minimum pachymetry divided by the I-S value (PA/I-S index) with a cut off of 100, we could identify 100% of “early” and ‘forme fruste’ keratoconus as being abnormal with 7 normals misclassified (misclassification rate of 2.7%). By adding keratoconus ‘suspects’ to the analysis and an I-S value of 1.2 as a cut of point, we classified 5 ‘suspects’ as normal and 11 normals as abnormal (misclassification rate 7.8%). The PA/I-S index, with a cut of point of 100, reduced this misclassification rate to 4.4%.
Conclusion
These results suggest that OCT combined with videokeratography may be more useful for differentiating mild forms of keratoconus, than videokeratography alone.
doi:10.3928/1081597X-20140120-02
PMCID: PMC4000528  PMID: 24763472
22.  Molecular Characterization and Expression Profiling of the Protein Disulfide Isomerase Gene Family in Brachypodium distachyon L 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94704.
Protein disulfide isomerases (PDI) are involved in catalyzing protein disulfide bonding and isomerization in the endoplasmic reticulum and functions as a chaperone to inhibit the aggregation of misfolded proteins. Brachypodium distachyon is a widely used model plant for temperate grass species such as wheat and barley. In this work, we report the first molecular characterization, phylogenies, and expression profiles of PDI and PDI-like (PDIL) genes in B. distachyon in different tissues under various abiotic stresses. Eleven PDI and PDIL genes in the B. distachyon genome by in silico identification were evenly distributed across all five chromosomes. The plant PDI family has three conserved motifs that are involved in catalyzing protein disulfide bonding and isomerization, but a different exon/intron structural organization showed a high degree of structural differentiation. Two pairs of genes (BdPDIL4-1 and BdPDIL4-2; BdPDIL7-1 and BdPDIL7-2) contained segmental duplications, indicating each pair originated from one progenitor. Promoter analysis showed that Brachypodium PDI family members contained important cis-acting regulatory elements involved in seed storage protein synthesis and diverse stress response. All Brachypodium PDI genes investigated were ubiquitously expressed in different organs, but differentiation in expression levels among different genes and organs was clear. BdPDIL1-1 and BdPDIL5-1 were expressed abundantly in developing grains, suggesting that they have important roles in synthesis and accumulation of seed storage proteins. Diverse treatments (drought, salt, ABA, and H2O2) induced up- and down-regulated expression of Brachypodium PDI genes in seedling leaves. Interestingly, BdPDIL1-1 displayed significantly up-regulated expression following all abiotic stress treatments, indicating that it could be involved in multiple stress responses. Our results provide new insights into the structural and functional characteristics of the plant PDI gene family.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094704
PMCID: PMC3991636  PMID: 24747843
23.  Early filiform needle acupuncture for poststroke depression: a meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled clinical trials 
Neural Regeneration Research  2014;9(7):773-784.
OBJECTIVE:
To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of filiform needle acupuncture for poststroke depression, and to compare acupuncture with the therapeutic efficacy of antidepressant drugs.
DATA RETRIEVAL:
We retrieved data from the Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (1979–2012), Wanfang (1980–2012), VIP (1989–2012), Chinese Biomedical Literature (1975–2012), PubMed (1966–2012), Ovid Lww (–2012), and Cochrane Library (–2012) Database using the internet.
SELECTION CRITERIA:
Randomized controlled trials on filiform needle acupuncture versus antidepressant drugs for treatment of poststroke depression were included. Moreover, the included articles scored at least 4 points on the Jadad scale. Exclusion criteria: other acupuncture therapies as treatment group, not stroke-induced depression patients, score < 4 points, non-randomized controlled trials, or animal trials.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
These were the Hamilton Depression Scale scores, clinical effective rate, Self-Rating Depression Scale scores, Side Effect Rating Scale scores, and incidence of adverse reaction and events.
RESULTS:
A total of 17 randomized controlled clinical trials were included. Meta-analysis results displayed that after 4 weeks of treatment, clinical effective rate was better in patients treated with filiform needle acupuncture than those treated with simple antidepressant drugs [relative risk = 1.11, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.03–1.21, P = 0.01]. At 6 weeks, clinical effective rate was similar between filiform needle acupuncture and antidepressant drug groups. At 2 weeks after filiform needle acupuncture, Hamilton Depression Scale (17 items) scores were lower than in the antidepressant drug group (mean difference = −2.34, 95%CI: −3.46 to −1.22, P < 0.000,1). At 4 weeks, Hamilton Depression Scale (24 items) scores were similar between filiform needle acupuncture and antidepressant drug groups. Self-Rating Depression Scale scores were lower in filiform needle acupuncture group than in the antidepressant drug group. Side Effect Rating Scale was used in only two articles, and no meta-analysis was conducted. Safety evaluation of the 17 articles showed that gastrointestinal tract reactions such as nausea and vomiting were very common in the antidepressant drug group. Incidence of adverse reaction and events was very low in the filiform needle acupuncture group.
CONCLUSION:
Early filiform needle acupuncture for poststroke depression can perfectly control depression. Filiform needle acupuncture is safe and reliable. Therapeutic effects of filiform needle acupuncture were better than those of antidepressant drugs.
doi:10.4103/1673-5374.131590
PMCID: PMC4146280  PMID: 25206889
nerve regeneration; poststroke depression; filiform needle acupuncture; antidepressant drugs; randomized controlled trials; clinical effective rate; safety; meta-analysis; the Guangdong Provincial “211 Engineering”; Stage-III Key Disciplines Construction Project; neural regeneration
24.  Genome-wide association analyses identify multiple loci associated with central corneal thickness and keratoconus 
Lu, Yi | Vitart, Veronique | Burdon, Kathryn P | Khor, Chiea Chuen | Bykhovskaya, Yelena | Mirshahi, Alireza | Hewitt, Alex W | Koehn, Demelza | Hysi, Pirro G | Ramdas, Wishal D | Zeller, Tanja | Vithana, Eranga N | Cornes, Belinda K | Tay, Wan-Ting | Tai, E Shyong | Cheng, Ching-Yu | Liu, Jianjun | Foo, Jia-Nee | Saw, Seang Mei | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Stefansson, Kari | Dimasi, David P | Mills, Richard A | Mountain, Jenny | Ang, Wei | Hoehn, René | Verhoeven, Virginie J M | Grus, Franz | Wolfs, Roger | Castagne, Raphaële | Lackner, Karl J | Springelkamp, Henriët | Yang, Jian | Jonasson, Fridbert | Leung, Dexter Y L | Chen, Li J | Tham, Clement C Y | Rudan, Igor | Vatavuk, Zoran | Hayward, Caroline | Gibson, Jane | Cree, Angela J | MacLeod, Alex | Ennis, Sarah | Polasek, Ozren | Campbell, Harry | Wilson, James F | Viswanathan, Ananth C | Fleck, Brian | Li, Xiaohui | Siscovick, David | Taylor, Kent D | Rotter, Jerome I | Yazar, Seyhan | Ulmer, Megan | Li, Jun | Yaspan, Brian L | Ozel, Ayse B | Richards, Julia E | Moroi, Sayoko E | Haines, Jonathan L | Kang, Jae H | Pasquale, Louis R | Allingham, R Rand | Ashley-Koch, Allison | Mitchell, Paul | Wang, Jie Jin | Wright, Alan F | Pennell, Craig | Spector, Timothy D | Young, Terri L | Klaver, Caroline C W | Martin, Nicholas G | Montgomery, Grant W | Anderson, Michael G | Aung, Tin | Willoughby, Colin E | Wiggs, Janey L | Pang, Chi P | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Lotery, Andrew J | Hammond, Christopher J | van Duijn, Cornelia M | Hauser, Michael A | Rabinowitz, Yaron S | Pfeiffer, Norbert | Mackey, David A | Craig, Jamie E | Macgregor, Stuart | Wong, Tien Y
Nature genetics  2013;45(2):155-163.
Central corneal thickness (CCT) is associated with eye conditions including keratoconus and glaucoma. We performed a meta-analysis on >20,000 individuals in European and Asian populations that identified 16 new loci associated with CCT at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8). We further showed that 2 CCT-associated loci, FOXO1 and FNDC3B, conferred relatively large risks for keratoconus in 2 cohorts with 874 cases and 6,085 controls (rs2721051 near FOXO1 had odds ratio (OR) = 1.62, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.4–1.88, P = 2.7 × 10−10, and rs4894535 in FNDC3B had OR = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.29–1.68, P = 4.9 × 10−9). FNDC3B was also associated with primary open-angle glaucoma (P = 5.6 × 10−4; tested in 3 cohorts with 2,979 cases and 7,399 controls). Further analyses implicate the collagen and extracellular matrix pathways in the regulation of CCT.
doi:10.1038/ng.2506
PMCID: PMC3720123  PMID: 23291589
25.  Transcriptome analysis during seed germination of elite Chinese bread wheat cultivar Jimai 20 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14:20.
Background
Wheat seed germination directly affects wheat yield and quality. Although transcriptome and proteome analyses during seed germination have been reported in some crop plant species, dynamic transcriptome characterization during wheat seed germination has not been conducted. We performed the first comprehensive dynamic transcriptome analysis during different seed germination stages of elite Chinese bread wheat cultivar Jimai 20 using the Affymetrix Wheat Genome Array.
Results
A total of 61,703 probe sets representing 51,411 transcripts were identified during the five seed germination stages of Jimai 20, of which 2,825 differential expression probe sets corresponding to 2,646 transcripts with different functions were declared by ANOVA and a randomized variance model. The seed germination process included a rapid initial uptake phase (0–12 hours after imbibition [HAI]), a plateau phase (12–24 HAI), and a further water uptake phase (24–48 HAI), corresponding to switches from the degradation of small-molecule sucrose to the metabolism of three major nutrients and to photosynthesis. Hierarchical cluster and MapMan analyses revealed changes in several significant metabolism pathways during seed germination as well as related functional groups. The signal pathway networks constructed with KEGG showed three important genes encoding the phosphofructokinase family protein, with fructose-1, 6-bisphosphatase, and UTP-glucose-1-phosphate uridylyltransferase located at the center, indicating their pivotal roles in the glycolytic pathway, gluconeogenesis, and glycogenesis, respectively. Several significant pathways were selected to establish a metabolic pathway network according to their degree value, which allowed us to find the pathways vital to seed germination. Furthermore, 51 genes involved in transport, signaling pathway, development, lipid metabolism, defense response, nitrogen metabolism, and transcription regulation were analyzed by gene co-expression network with a k-core algorithm to determine which play pivotal roles in germination. Twenty-three meaningful genes were found, and quantitative RT-PCR analysis validated the expression patterns of 12 significant genes.
Conclusions
Wheat seed germination comprises three distinct phases and includes complicated regulation networks involving a large number of genes. These genes belong to many functional groups, and their co-regulations guarantee regular germination. Our results provide new insight into metabolic changes during seed germination and interactions between some significant genes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-14-20
PMCID: PMC3923396  PMID: 24410729
Bread wheat; Seed germination; Transcriptome; qRT-PCR

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