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1.  Rpb3 promotes hepatocellular carcinoma through its N-terminus 
Oncotarget  2014;5(19):9256-9268.
The expression of RNA polymerase II subunit 3 (Rpb3) was found frequent up-regulation in Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tumors. Significant associations could also be drawn between increased expressions of Rpb3 and advance HCC staging and shorter disease-free survival of patients. Overexpression of Rpb3 increased HCC cell proliferation, migratory rate and tumor growth in nude mice, whereas suppression of Rpb3 using shRNA inhibited these effects. For mechanism study, we found that Rpb3 bound directly to Snail, downregulated E-cadherin, induced HCC cells epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). In particular, N-terminus of Rpb3 blocked Rpb3 binding to Snail, inhibited Rpb3-high-expression HCC cells proliferation, migration, tumor growth in nude mice, and also inhibited DEN-induced liver tumorigenesis. Furthermore, N-terminus of Rpb3 did not inhibit normal liver cells or Rpb3-low-expression HCC cells proliferation. These findings suggest that N-terminus of Rpb3 selectively inhibits Rpb3-high-expression HCC cells proliferation. N-terminus of Rpb3 may be useful in treating patients diagnosed with Rpb3-high-expression HCC.
PMCID: PMC4253432  PMID: 25211001
Hepatocellular carcinoma; liver tumorigenesis; Proliferation; Rpb3
2.  LKB1 Tumor Suppressor: Therapeutic Opportunities Knock when LKB1 Is Inactivated 
Genes & Diseases  2014;1(1):64-74.
LKB1 is commonly thought of as a tumor suppressor gene because its hereditary mutation is responsible for a cancer syndrome, and somatic inactivation of LKB1 is found in non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma, and cervical cancers. However, unlike other tumor suppressors whose main function is to either suppress cell proliferation or promote cell death, one of the functions of LKB1-regulated AMPK signaling is to suppress cell proliferation in order to promote cell survival under energetic stress conditions. This unique, pro-survival function of LKB1 has led to the discovery of reagents, such as phenformin, that specifically exploit the vulnerability of LKB1-null cells in their defect in sensing energetic stress. Such targeted agents represent a novel treatment strategy because they induce cell killing when LKB1 is absent. This review article summarizes various vulnerabilities of LKB1-mutant cells that have been reported in the literature and discusses the potential of using existing or developing novel reagents to target cancer cells with defective LKB1.
PMCID: PMC4323096
Tumor Suppressor; tumor vulnerability; targeted therapy; metabolic stress
3.  Solution-phase-peptide synthesis via the Group-Assisted Purification (GAP) chemistry without using chromatography and recrystallization† 
The solution phase synthesis of N-protected amino acids and peptides has been achieved through the Group-Assisted Purification (GAP) chemistry by avoiding disadvantages of other methods in regard to the difficult scale-up, expenses of solid and soluble polymers, etc. The GAP synthesis can reduce the use of solvents, silica gels, energy and manpower. In addition, the GAP auxiliary can be conveniently recovered for re-use and is of environmentally friendly benign by substantially reducing waste production in academic labs and industry.
PMCID: PMC3929111  PMID: 24336500
5.  DAMP Signaling is a Key Pathway Inducing Immune Modulation after Brain Injury 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2015;35(2):583-598.
Acute brain lesions induce profound alterations of the peripheral immune response comprising the opposing phenomena of early immune activation and subsequent immunosuppression. The mechanisms underlying this brain-immune signaling are largely unknown. We used animal models for experimental brain ischemia as a paradigm of acute brain lesions and additionally investigated a large cohort of stroke patients. We analyzed release of HMGB1 isoforms by mass spectrometry and investigated its inflammatory potency and signaling pathways by immunological in vivo and in vitro techniques. Features of the complex behavioral sickness behavior syndrome were characterized by homecage behavior analysis. HMGB1 downstream signaling, particularly with RAGE, was studied in various transgenic animal models and by pharmacological blockade. Our results indicate that the cytokine-inducing, fully reduced isoform of HMGB1 was released from the ischemic brain in the hyperacute phase of stroke in mice and patients. Cytokines secreted in the periphery in response to brain injury induced sickness behavior, which could be abrogated by inhibition of the HMGB1-RAGE pathway or direct cytokine neutralization. Subsequently, HMGB1-release induced bone marrow egress and splenic proliferation of bone marrow-derived suppressor cells, inhibiting the adaptive immune responses in vivo and vitro. Furthermore, HMGB1-RAGE signaling resulted in functional exhaustion of mature monocytes and lymphopenia, the hallmarks of immune suppression after extensive ischemia. This study introduces the HMGB1-RAGE-mediated pathway as a key mechanism explaining the complex postischemic brain-immune interactions.
PMCID: PMC4293412  PMID: 25589753
alarmins; HMGB1; immunomodulation; myeloid-derived suppressor cell; RAGE; stroke
6.  Placement of 125I seed strands and stents for a type IV Klatskin tumor 
Herein, we report a new technique that consists of placing two 125I seed strands and two stents in the right and left intrahepatic bile ducts for the treatment of hilar cholangiocarcinoma. A 75-year-old man presented with jaundice and was diagnosed with Bismuth type IV Klatskin tumor. Abdominal computed tomography (CT) showed intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile duct dilatation and a soft tissue mass in the hepatic hilum. Because curative surgical resection was not possible, we placed 125I seed strands and stents in the right and left intrahepatic bile ducts. Three months later, abdominal CT showed less intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile duct dilatation than before the procedure. This technique was feasible and could be considered for the treatment of patients with Bismuth type IV tumors.
PMCID: PMC4284358  PMID: 25574114
Cholangiocarcinoma; Klatskin tumor; 125I seed strands; Stent; Bismuth type IV; Bile duct
7.  Existing public health surveillance systems for mental health in China 
Mental health is a challenging public health issue worldwide and surveillance is crucial for it. However, mental health surveillance has not been developed until recently in certain developed countries; many other countries, especially developing countries, have poor or even no health information systems. This paper presents surveillance related to mental health in China, a developing country with a large population of patients with mental disorders. Detailed information of seven relevant surveillance systems is introduced respectively. From the perspective of utilization, problems including accessibility, comprehensiveness and data quality are discussed. Suggestions for future development are proposed.
PMCID: PMC4298056  PMID: 25601892
Public health surveillance; Mental health; China; Review
8.  Quantitative Hepatitis B Core Antibody Level Is a New Predictor for Treatment Response In HBeAg-positive Chronic Hepatitis B Patients Receiving Peginterferon 
Theranostics  2015;5(3):218-226.
A recent study revealed that quantitative hepatitis B core antibody (qAnti-HBc) level could serve as a novel marker for predicting treatment response. In the present study, we further investigated the predictive value of qAnti-HBc level in HBeAg-positive patients undergoing PEG-IFN therapy. A total of 140 HBeAg-positive patients who underwent PEG-IFN therapy for 48 weeks and follow-up for 24 weeks were enrolled in this study. Serum samples were taken every 12 weeks post-treatment. The predictive value of the baseline qAnti-HBc level for treatment response was evaluated. Patients were further divided into 2 groups according to the baseline qAnti-HBc level, and the response rate was compared. Additionally, the kinetics of the virological and biochemical parameters were analyzed. Patients who achieved response had a significantly higher baseline qAnti-HBc level (serological response [SR], 4.52±0.36 vs. 4.19±0.58, p=0.001; virological response [VR], 4.53±0.35 vs. 4.22±0.57, p=0.005; combined response [CR], 4.50±0.36 vs. 4.22±0.58, p=0.009)). Baseline qAnti-HBc was the only parameter that was independently correlated with SR (p=0.008), VR (p=0.010) and CR(p=0.019). Patients with baseline qAnti-HBc levels ≥30,000 IU/mL had significantly higher response rates, more HBV DNA suppression, and better hepatitis control in PEG-IFN treatment. In conclusion, qAnti-HBc level may be a novel biomarker for predicting treatment response in HBeAg-positive patients receiving PEG-IFN therapy.
PMCID: PMC4279186  PMID: 25553110
quantitative anti-HBc;  chronic hepatitis B; PEG-IFN treatment; treatment response prediction; pretreatment biomarker.
9.  Differential gene expression profiling of gastric intraepithelial neoplasia and early-stage adenocarcinoma 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(47):17883-17893.
AIM: To investigate the differentiated whole genome expression profiling of gastric high- and low-grade intraepithelial neoplasia and early-stage adenocarcinoma.
METHODS: Gastric specimens from an upper magnifying chromoendoscopic targeted biopsy were collected from March 2010 to May 2013. Whole genome expression profiling was performed on 19 low-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (LGIN), 20 high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (HGIN), 19 early-stage adenocarcinoma (EGC), and 19 chronic gastritis tissue samples using Agilent 4 × 44K Whole Human Genome microarrays. Differentially expressed genes between different types of lesions were identified using an unpaired t-test and corrected with the Benjamini and Hochberg false discovery rate algorithm. A gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis was performed using the GeneSpring software GX 12.6. The differentially expressed gene was verified using a real-time TaqMan® PCR assay with independent tissue samples, including 26 LGIN, 15 HGIN, 14 EGC, and 20 chronic gastritis. The expression of G0S2 were further validated by immunohistochemical staining (IHC) in 24 LGIN, 40 HGIN, 30 EGC and 61 chronic gastritis specimens.
RESULTS: The gene expression patterns of LGIN and HGIN tissues were distinct. There were 2521 significantly differentially expressed transcripts in HGIN, with 951 upregulated and 1570 downregulated. A GO enrichment analysis demonstrated that the most striking overexpressed transcripts in HGIN compared with LGIN were in the category of metabolism, defense response, and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) cascade. While the vast majority of transcripts had barely altered expression in HGIN and EGC tissues, only 38 transcripts were upregulated in EGC. A GO enrichment analysis revealed that the alterations of the immune response were most prominent in the progression from HGIN to EGC. It is worth noting that, compared with LGIN, 289 transcripts were expressed at higher levels both in HGIN and EGC. A characteristic gene, G0/G1 switch 2 (G0S2) was one of the 289 transcripts and related to metabolism, the immune response, and the NF-κB cascade, and its expression was validated in independent samples through real-time TaqMan® PCR and immunohistochemical staining. In real-time PCR analysis, the expression of G0S2 was elevated both in HGIN and EGC compared with that in LGIN (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively). In IHC analysis, G0S2 immunoreactivity was detected in the cytoplasmic of neoplastic cells, but was undetectable in chronic gastritis cells. The G0S2 expression in HGIN was higher than that of LGIN (P = 0.012, χ2 = 6.28) and EGC (P = 0.008, χ2 = 6.94).
CONCLUSION: A clear biological distinction between gastric high- and low-grade intraepithelial neoplasia was identified, and provides molecular evidence for clinical application.
PMCID: PMC4273138  PMID: 25548486
Gastric early-stage adenocarcinoma; High-and low-grade intraepithelial neoplasia; G0/G1 switch 2; Whole genome expression microarray; Quantitative real-time PCR; Immunohistochemical staining
10.  Trichomonas vaginalis Metalloproteinase Induces mTOR Cleavage of SiHa Cells 
Trichomonas vaginalis secretes a number of proteases which are suspected to be the cause of pathogenesis; however, little is understood how they manipulate host cells. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) regulates cell growth, cell proliferation, cell motility, cell survival, protein synthesis, and transcription. We detected various types of metalloproteinases including GP63 protein from T. vaginalis trophozoites, and T. vaginalis GP63 metalloproteinase was confirmed by sequencing and western blot. When SiHa cells were stimulated with live T. vaginalis, T. vaginalis excretory-secretory products (ESP) or T. vaginalis lysate, live T. vaginalis and T. vaginalis ESP induced the mTOR cleavage in both time- and parasite load-dependent manner, but T. vaginalis lysate did not. Pretreatment of T. vaginalis with a metalloproteinase inhibitor, 1,10-phenanthroline, completely disappeared the mTOR cleavage in SiHa cells. Collectively, T. vaginalis metallopeptidase induces host cell mTOR cleavage, which may be related to survival of the parasite.
PMCID: PMC4277021  PMID: 25548410
Trichomonas vaginalis; 1,10-phenanthroline; mTOR cleavage; SiHa cell; metalloproteinase
11.  Locality Constrained Joint Dynamic Sparse Representation for Local Matching Based Face Recognition 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e113198.
Recently, Sparse Representation-based Classification (SRC) has attracted a lot of attention for its applications to various tasks, especially in biometric techniques such as face recognition. However, factors such as lighting, expression, pose and disguise variations in face images will decrease the performances of SRC and most other face recognition techniques. In order to overcome these limitations, we propose a robust face recognition method named Locality Constrained Joint Dynamic Sparse Representation-based Classification (LCJDSRC) in this paper. In our method, a face image is first partitioned into several smaller sub-images. Then, these sub-images are sparsely represented using the proposed locality constrained joint dynamic sparse representation algorithm. Finally, the representation results for all sub-images are aggregated to obtain the final recognition result. Compared with other algorithms which process each sub-image of a face image independently, the proposed algorithm regards the local matching-based face recognition as a multi-task learning problem. Thus, the latent relationships among the sub-images from the same face image are taken into account. Meanwhile, the locality information of the data is also considered in our algorithm. We evaluate our algorithm by comparing it with other state-of-the-art approaches. Extensive experiments on four benchmark face databases (ORL, Extended YaleB, AR and LFW) demonstrate the effectiveness of LCJDSRC.
PMCID: PMC4242617  PMID: 25419662
12.  In Vitro Antibacterial Activity of a Novel Resin-Based Pulp Capping Material Containing the Quaternary Ammonium Salt MAE-DB and Portland Cement 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112549.
Vital pulp preservation in the treatment of deep caries is challenging due to bacterial infection. The objectives of this study were to synthesize a novel, light-cured composite material containing bioactive calcium-silicate (Portland cement, PC) and the antimicrobial quaternary ammonium salt monomer 2-methacryloxylethyl dodecyl methyl ammonium bromide (MAE-DB) and to evaluate its effects on Streptococcus mutans growth in vitro.
The experimental material was prepared from a 2∶1 ratio of PC mixed with a resin of 2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate, bisphenol glycerolate dimethacrylate, and triethylene glycol dimethacrylate (4∶3∶1) containing 5 wt% MAE-DB. Cured resin containing 5% MAE-DB without PC served as the positive control material, and resin without MAE-DB or PC served as the negative control material. Mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) and calcium hydroxide (Dycal) served as commercial controls. S. mutans biofilm formation on material surfaces and growth in the culture medium were tested according to colony-forming units (CFUs) and metabolic activity after 24 h incubation over freshly prepared samples or samples aged in water for 6 months. Biofilm formation was also assessed by Live/Dead staining and scanning electron microscopy.
S. mutans biofilm formation on the experimental material was significantly inhibited, with CFU counts, metabolic activity, viability staining, and morphology similar to those of biofilms on the positive control material. None of the materials affected bacterial growth in solution. Contact-inhibition of biofilm formation was retained by the aged experimental material. Significant biofilm formation was observed on MTA and Dycal.
The synthesized material containing HEMA-BisGMA-TEGDMA resin with MAE-DB as the antimicrobial agent and PC to support mineralized tissue formation inhibited S. mutans biofilm formation even after aging in water for 6 months, but had no inhibitory effect on bacteria in solution. Therefore, this material shows promise as a pulp capping material for vital pulp preservation in the treatment of deep caries.
PMCID: PMC4229210  PMID: 25389975
13.  Effect of “Deqi” during the Study of Needling “Wang's Jiaji” Acupoints Treating Spasticity after Stroke 
Background. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce spasticity and prevent the onset of spasticity after stroke. The purpose of this study is to assess the effect of “Deqi” during needling “Wang's Jiaji” acupoints treating spasticity in the early stage of stroke. Methods. This study is a multicenter, prospective, randomized, controlled trial. 238 patients with stroke (<21 days) participated and were randomly allocated to the verum-acupuncture (n = 121) group or sham-acupuncture group (n = 117). The verum-acupuncture group received verum acupuncture required to produce the sense of “Deqi” while the sham-acupuncture group received sham acupuncture without “Deqi.” Patients in both groups followed the same 30 min acupuncture regimen 5 times per week for a period of 4 weeks. Scales of MAS, FMA, ADL, MBI, NIHSS, SS-QOL, and MRS were measured at baseline and at 2, 4, and 12 weeks after intervention. Results. Significant differences were observed between two groups. The MRS rating composition has the statistical difference after 4 weeks (P = 0.017). The score of MAS, FMA, Barthel, and SSQOL in verum-acupuncture group has increased significantly compared with the sham-acupuncture group after 12 weeks. There was 14% reduction of higher muscle tension in the verum-acupuncture group. Conclusion. Acupuncture “Wang's Jiaji” points with sensation of “Deqi” in the early stage may reduce the occurrence and decrease the severity of spasticity after stroke.
PMCID: PMC4247953  PMID: 25477996
14.  Statistical analysis of twenty years (1993 to 2012) of data from mainland China’s first intervention center for children with autism spectrum disorder 
Molecular Autism  2014;5:52.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by persistent deficits in social communication and interaction, and restrictive and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities. This study aimed to analyze trends in ASD diagnosis and intervention in 20 years of data from the Beijing Stars and Rain Education Institute for Autism (SR), the first autism intervention center in mainland China, and from a recent survey of members of the Heart Alliance, an industry association of autism intervention centers in China.
We analyzed the registration data at the SR from 1993 to 2012 for a total of 2,222 children who had a parent-reported diagnosis of ASD and 612 of ‘autistic tendencies’. Most of the children who were the primary focus of our analyses were age six and under. We also analyzed results of a survey we conducted in 2013 of 100 member centers of the Heart Alliance. Generalized Estimating Equations, multiple linear regression and the Mann-Whitney test were used for data analysis. Statistically significant findings are reported here.
The number of hospitals where SR children received their diagnosis increased from several in the early 1990s to 276 at present. The proportion of ‘autistic tendencies’ diagnosis increased 2.04-fold from 1998 to 2012 and was higher for children diagnosed at a younger age. The mean age at first diagnosis of ASD or ‘autistic tendencies’ decreased by 0.27 years every decade. A higher level of parental education was statistically significantly associated with an earlier diagnosis of the child. The mean parental age at childbirth increased by about 1.48 years per decade, and the mean maternal age was 1.40 and 2.10 years higher than that in the national population censuses of 2000 and 2010, respectively. At the time of the survey 3,957 children with ASD were being trained at the 100 autism intervention centers. Ninety-seven of these centers opened after the year 2000. Economically underdeveloped regions are still underserved.
This study revealed encouraging trends and remaining challenges in ASD diagnosis and intervention among children at the SR over the past 20 years and the 100 autism intervention centers in China at present.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/2040-2392-5-52) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4332440
Autism spectrum disorder; Diagnosis; Intervention; Parental age; China
15.  Dihydromyricetin induces mouse hepatoma Hepal-6 cell apoptosis via the transforming growth factor-β pathway 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2014;11(3):1609-1614.
Dihydromyricetin (DHM) is a flavonoid compound which possesses potent antitumor activity. In the present study, it was demonstrated that DHM significantly inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in mouse hepatocellular carcinoma Hepal-6 cells. Transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) is recognized as a major profibrogenic cytokine and is therefore a common target for drugs in the treatment of liver disease. The present study aimed to investigate whether TGF-β was involved in DHM-triggered cell-viability inhibition and apoptosis induction. An MTT assay was used to evaluate the viability of Hepal-6 cells following DHM treatment. TGF-β signalling is mediated by Smads and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase 4 (NOX4) is a crucial regulator of reactive oxygen species ROS production. TGF-β, Smad3, phosphorylated (p)-Smad2/3 and NOX4 protein expression levels were evaluated by western blot analysis. TGF-β and NOX4 gene expression levels were determined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The results indicated that DHM downregulated TGF-β, Smad3, p-Smad2/3 and NOX4 in a concentration-dependent manner. A cell counting assay indicated that DHM also inhibited Hepal-6 cell growth in a concentration-dependent manner. TGF-β expression was significantly decreased following DHM treatment. In conclusion, the results of the present study defined and supported a novel function for DHM, indicating that it induced cell apoptosis by downregulating ROS production via the TGF-β/Smad3 signaling pathway in mouse hepatocellular carcinoma Hepal-6 cells.
PMCID: PMC4270327  PMID: 25376731
dihydromyricetin; transforming growth factor-β; Smad3; NADPH oxidase 4; reactive oxygen species
16.  The mitochondrial genome of the land snail Camaena cicatricosa (Müller, 1774) (Stylommatophora, Camaenidae): the first complete sequence in the family Camaenidae 
ZooKeys  2014;33-48.
The complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of the snail Camaena cicatricosa (Müller, 1774) has been sequenced and annotated in this study. The entire circular genome is 13,843 bp in size and represents the first camaenid mt genome, with content of 31.9%A, 37.9%T, 13.5%C and 16.7%G. Gene content, codon usage and base organization show similarity to a great extent to the sequenced mt genome from Stylommatophora, whereas, gene order is different from them, especially the positions of tRNACys, tRNAPhe, COII, tRNAAsp, tRNAGly, tRNAHis and tRNATrp. All protein coding genes use standard initiation codons ATN except for COII with GTG as start signal. Conventional stop codons TAA and TAG have been assigned to all protein coding genes. All tRNA genes possess the typical clover leaf structure, but the TψC arm of tRNAAsp and dihydrouridine arm of tRNASer(AGN) only form a simple loop. Shorter intergenic spacers have been found in this mt genome. Phylogenetic study based on protein coding genes shows close relationship of Camaenidae and Bradybaenidae. The presented phylogeny is consistent with the monophyly of Stylommatophora.
PMCID: PMC4258619  PMID: 25493046
Camaena cicatricosa; Camaenidae; Stylommatophora; mitochondrial genome; secondary structure
17.  Modified Yupingfeng Formula for the Treatment of Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials 
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is a very common disease of respiratory system. An increasing number of clinical trials on Yupingfeng formula in the management of stable COPD have been performed. However, the evidence base for it remains unknown. This review aims at assessing the efficacy, and safety of modified Yupingfeng formula in the treatment of stable COPD through a systematic review of all available randomized controlled trials.
Materials and Methods
Literature retrieval was conducted using four English databases (CENTRAL, PubMed, EMBASE, and ISI Web of Science), and four Chinese databases (CBM, CNKI, VIP, and WANFANG), from respective inception to January 2013, and supplemented with a manual search. Review authors independently extracted the trial data, and assessed the quality of each trial. Methodological quality was assessed by Cochrane risk of bias and Jadad's scale. The following outcomes were evaluated: (1) lung function; (2) 6-minute walk distance (6MWD); (3) effective rate; (4) serum levels of IgA, IgG and IgE; and (5) adverse events. Data were analyzed using STATA 12.0 software.
A total of nine studies involving 660, stable COPD patients were identified. Patients from all studies included in this review were randomized to receive Yupingfeng formula combined with Western medications in comparison with Western medications. In general, the methodological quality of the included trials was poor. The results of this systematic review indicates that, compared with Western medications alone, the use of Yupingfeng formula, if combined with Western medications could significantly improve FEV1 (WMD = 0.30L; 95%CI: 0.19, 0.42), FEV1/FVC ratio (SMD = 0.69; 95%CI: 0.48, 0.91), 6MWD (WMD = 31.73m; 95% CI: 19.29, 44.17), and effective rate (RR = 1.24; 95% CI: 1.10, 1.41), and increase the serum levels of IgA (WMD = 0.25; 95%CI: 0.16, 0.34) and IgG (WMD = 1.10; 95%CI: 0.53, 1.68), but no difference was found in the serum IgE levels (WMD = 0.47; 95%CI: −0.32, 1.27) between the two groups. No serious adverse events were reported.
Within the limitations of this systematic review, we may conclude that compared with Western medications alone, Yupingfeng formula, when combined with Western medications can provide more benefits for patients with stable COPD, without any serious adverse reactions being identified. However, these benefits need to be further confirmed through high-quality prospective placebo-controlled trials that should be strictly conducted in accordance with methodological principles and procedures.
PMCID: PMC3957235  PMID: 24653547
Yupingfeng formula; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Systematic review
18.  Hormone Suppression with GnRH Antagonist Promotes Spermatogenic Recovery from Transplanted Spermatogonial Stem Cells in Irradiated Cynomolgus Monkeys 
Andrology  2013;1(6):886-898.
Hormone suppression given before or after cytotoxic treatment stimulates recovery of spermatogenesis from endogenous and transplanted spermatogonial stem cells (SSC) and restores fertility in rodents. To test whether the combination of hormone suppression and transplantation could enhance the recovery of spermatogenesis in primates, we irradiated (7 Gy) the testes of 12 adult cynomolgus monkeys and treated 6 of them with GnRH-antagonist (GnRH-ant) for 8 weeks. At the end of this treatment, we transfected cryopreserved testicular cells with GFP-lentivirus and autologously transplanted them back into one of the testes. The only significant effect of GnRH-ant treatment on endogenous spermatogenesis was an increase in the percentage of tubules containing differentiated germ cells (tubule differentiation index; TDI) in the sham-transplanted testes of GnRH-ant-treated monkeys compared to radiation-only monkeys at 24 weeks after irradiation. Although transplantation alone after irradiation did not significantly increase the TDI, detection of lentiviral DNA in the sperm of one radiation-only monkey indicated that some transplanted cells colonized the testis. However, the combination of transplantation and GnRH-ant clearly stimulated spermatogenic recovery as evidenced by several observations in the GnRH-ant-treated monkeys receiving transplantation: (a) significant increases (~20%) in the volume and weight of the testes compared to the contralateral sham-transplanted testes and/or to the transplanted testes of the radiation-only monkeys; (b) increases in TDI compared to the transplanted testes of radiation-only monkeys at 24 weeks (9.6% vs. 2.9%; P=0.05) and 44 weeks (16.5% vs. 6.1%, P=0.055); (c) detection of lentiviral sequences in the sperm or testes of five of the GnRH-ant–treated monkeys; and (d) significantly higher sperm counts than in the radiation-only monkeys. Thus hormone suppression enhances spermatogenic recovery from transplanted SSC in primates and may be a useful tool in conjunction with spermatogonial transplantation to restore fertility in men after cancer treatment.
PMCID: PMC3889638  PMID: 24124124
Radiation; spermatogenesis; infertility; transplantation; GnRH-antagonist
19.  Trichonomas vaginalis Metalloproteinase Induces Apoptosis of SiHa Cells through Disrupting the Mcl-1/Bim and Bcl-xL/Bim Complexes 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e110659.
To elucidate the roles of metalloproteinases and the Bcl-2 family of proteins in Trichovaginalis. vaginalis-induced apoptosis in human cervical cancer cells (SiHa cells) and vaginal epithelial cells (MS74 cells), SiHa cells and MS74 cells were incubated with live T. vaginalis, T. vaginalis excretory and secretory products (ESP), and T. vaginalis lysates, either with or without the specific metalloproteinase inhibitor 1,10-phenanthroline (1,10-PT), and examined apoptotic events and Bcl-2 signaling. The live T. vaginalis and the T. vaginalis ESP induced the release of cytochrome c into the cytosol, the activation of caspase-3 and caspase-9, and the cleavage of PARP. Additionally, the live T. vaginalis, but not the T. vaginalis lysate, induced the cleavage of the proapoptotic Bim protein. The live T. vaginalis and the T. vaginalis ESP, but not the T. vaginalis lysate, induced the dose-dependent cleavage of the antiapoptotic Bcl-xL and Mcl-1 proteins and decreased the association levels of Bcl-xL/Bim and Mcl-1/Bim complexes. We performed gelatin zymography and casein-hydrolysis assays on the live T. vaginalis and the T. vaginalis ESP to identify the apoptosis-inducing factor. Both the live T. vaginalis and the ESP contained high levels of metalloproteinases, of which activities were significantly inhibited by 1,10-PT treatment. Furthermore, the 1,10-PT blocked the cleavage of Bcl-xL, Mcl-1, PARP, caspase-3, and caspase-9, as well as the release of cytochrome c into the cytosol, and it significantly increased the association levels of the Bcl-xL/Bim and Mcl-1/Bim protein complexes, returning them to normal levels. Our results demonstrate that T. vaginalis induces mitochondria-dependent apoptosis in SiHa cells through the dissociation of Bcl-xL/Bim and Mcl-1/Bim complexes and that the apoptosis is blocked by the metalloproteinase inhibitor 1,10-PT. These results expand our understanding of the role of metalloproteinases in T. vaginalis-induced apoptosis and the signaling pathway in trichomoniasis of the cervicovaginal epithelial cells.
PMCID: PMC4208800  PMID: 25343522
20.  Epidermal growth factor upregulates serotonin transporter and its association with visceral hypersensitivity in irritable bowel syndrome 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(37):13521-13529.
AIM: To investigate the role of epidermal growth factor (EGF) in visceral hypersensitivity and its effect on the serotonin transporter (SERT).
METHODS: A rat model for visceral hypersensitivity was established by intra-colonic infusion of 0.5% acetic acid in 10-d-old Sprague-Dawley rats. The visceral sensitivity was assessed by observing the abdominal withdrawal reflex and recording electromyographic activity of the external oblique muscle in response to colorectal distension. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure the EGF levels in plasma and colonic tissues. SERT mRNA expression was detected by real-time PCR while protein level was determined by Western blot. The correlation between EGF and SERT levels in colon tissues was analyzed by Pearson’s correlation analysis. SERT function was examined by tritiated serotonin (5-HT) uptake experiments. Rat intestinal epithelial cells (IEC-6) were used to examine the EGF regulatory effect on SERT expression and function via the EGF receptor (EGFR).
RESULTS: EGF levels were significantly lower in the rats with visceral hypersensitivity as measured in plasma (2.639 ± 0.107 ng/mL vs 4.066 ± 0.573 ng/mL, P < 0.01) and in colonic tissue (3.244 ± 0.135 ng/100 mg vs 3.582 ± 0.197 ng/100 mg colon tissue, P < 0.01) compared with controls. Moreover, the EGF levels were positively correlated with SERT levels (r = 0.820, P < 0.01). EGF displayed dose- and time-dependent increased SERT gene expressions in IEC-6 cells. An EGFR kinase inhibitor inhibited the effect of EGF on SERT gene upregulation. SERT activity was enhanced following treatment with EGF (592.908 ± 31.515 fmol/min per milligram vs 316.789 ± 85.652 fmol/min per milligram protein, P < 0.05) and blocked by the EGFR kinase inhibitor in IEC-6 cells (590.274 ± 25.954 fmol/min per milligram vs 367.834 ± 120.307 fmol/min per milligram protein, P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: A decrease in EGF levels may contribute to the formation of visceral hypersensitivity through downregulation of SERT-mediated 5-HT uptake into enterocytes.
PMCID: PMC4188903  PMID: 25309082
Epidermal growth factor; Visceral hypersensitivity; Rat models; Serotonin transporter; Rat small intestinal epithelial cells; Intestinal epithelial cells; Irritable bowel syndrome
21.  Study on the Main Components Interaction from Flos Lonicerae and Fructus Forsythiae and Their Dissolution In Vitro and Intestinal Absorption in Rats 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e109619.
The Flos Lonicerae-Fructus Forsythiae herb couple is the basic components of Chinese herbal preparations (Shuang-Huang-Lian tablet, Yin-Qiao-Jie-Du tablet and Fufang Qin-Lan oral liquid), and its pharmacological effects were significantly higher than that in Flos Lonicerae or Fructus Forsythiae, but the reasons remained unknown. In the present study, pattern recognition analysis (hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and principal component analysis (PCA)) combined with UHPLC-ESI/LTQ-Orbitrap MS system were performed to study the chemical constitution difference between co-decoction and mixed decoction in the term of chemistry. Besides, the pharmacokinetics in vivo and intestinal absorption in vitro combined with pattern recognition analysis were used to reveal the discrepancy between herb couple and single herbs in the view of biology. The observation from the chemical view in vitro showed that there was significant difference in quantity between co-decoction and mixed decoction by HCA, and the exposure level of isoforsythoside and 3, 5-dicaffeoylquinic acid in co-decoction, higher than that in mixed decoction, directly resulted in the discrepancy between co-decoction and mixed decoction using both PCA and HCA. The observation from the pharmacokinetics displayed that the exposure level in vivo of neochlorogenic acid, 3, 4-dicaffeoylquinic acid, isoforsythoside and forsythoside A, higher than that in single herbs, was the main factor contributing to the difference by both PCA and HCA, interestingly consistent with the results obtained from Caco-2 cells in vitro, which indicated that it was because of intestinal absorption improvement of neochlorogenic acid, 3, 4-dicaffeoylquinic acid, isoforsythoside and forsythoside A that resulted in a better efficacy of herb couple than that of single herbs from the perspective of biology. The results above illustrated that caffeic acid derivatives in Flos Lonicerae-Fructus Forsythiae herb couple could be considered as chemical markers for quality control of its preparations.
PMCID: PMC4183595  PMID: 25275510
22.  Systematic evaluation of coding variation identifies a candidate causal variant in TM6SF2 influencing total cholesterol and myocardial infarction risk 
Nature genetics  2014;46(4):345-351.
Blood lipid levels are heritable, treatable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. We systematically assessed genome-wide coding variation to identify novel lipid genes, fine-map known lipid loci, and evaluate whether low frequency variants with large effect exist. Using an exome array, we genotyped 80,137 coding variants in 5,643 Norwegians. We followed up 18 variants in 4,666 Norwegians to identify 10 loci with coding variants associated with a lipid trait (P < 5×10−8). One coding variant in TM6SF2 (p.Glu167Lys), residing in a GWAS locus for lipid levels, modifies total cholesterol levels and is associated with myocardial infarction. Transient overexpression and knockdown of TM6SF2 in mouse produces alteration in serum lipid profiles consistent with the association observed in humans, identifying TM6SF2 as the functional gene at a large GWAS locus previously known as NCAN/CILP2/PBX4 or 19p13. This study demonstrates that systematic assessment of coding variation can quickly point to a candidate causal gene.
PMCID: PMC4169222  PMID: 24633158
23.  Vibrational, electronic and structural properties of wurtzite GaAs nanowires under hydrostatic pressure 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6472.
The structural, vibrational, and electronic properties of GaAs nanowires have been studied in the metastable wurtzite phase via Resonant Raman spectroscopy and synchrotron X-ray diffraction measurements in diamond anvil cells under hydrostatic conditions between 0 and 23 GPa. The direct band gap E0 and the crystal field split-off gap E0 + Δ of wurtzite GaAs increase with pressure and their values become close to those of zinc-blende GaAs at 5 GPa, while being reported slightly larger at lower pressures. Above 21 GPa, a complete structural transition from the wurtzite to an orthorhombic phase is observed in both Raman and X-ray diffraction experiments.
PMCID: PMC4174565  PMID: 25253566
24.  High-performance binder-free supercapacitor electrode by direct growth of cobalt-manganese composite oxide nansostructures on nickel foam 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):492.
A facile approach composed of hydrothermal process and annealing treatment is proposed to directly grow cobalt-manganese composite oxide ((Co,Mn)3O4) nanostructures on three-dimensional (3D) conductive nickel (Ni) foam for a supercapacitor electrode. The as-fabricated porous electrode exhibits excellent rate capability and high specific capacitance of 840.2 F g-1 at the current density of 10 A g-1, and the electrode also shows excellent cycling performance, which retains 102% of its initial discharge capacitance after 7,000 cycles. The fabricated binder-free hierarchical composite electrode with superior electrochemical performance is a promising candidate for high-performance supercapacitors.
PMCID: PMC4167254  PMID: 25258611
Cobalt-manganese composite oxide; Hierarchical nanosheets; Binder-free; Supercapacitor electrode
25.  Changes in Poly(ADP-Ribosyl)ation Patterns in Workers Exposed to BTX 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e106146.
Occupational exposure to (benzene, toluene and xylene, BTX is common in the Chinese workplace. Chronic occupational exposure to benzene is associated with an increased risk of hematological malignancies such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. This study investigates changes in poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation and DNA methylation in subjects occupationally exposed to a BTX. Blood DNA samples and exposure data were obtained from subjects with different levels of exposure, including 132 decorators, 129 painters, and 130 unexposed referents in a container-manufacturing factory in Shenzhen, China. Occupational exposure assessment included personal monitoring of airborne benzene, toluene and xylene. Hematological parameters were measured and the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay was used to detect DNA damage in peripheral lymphocytes. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to detect the mRNA expression of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) and poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase (PARG), DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) including DNMT1, DNMT3a and DNMT3b, methyl-CpG-binding domain protein 2(MBD2). PARP1 assay was used to measure PARP activity. Airborne levels of benzene, toluene and xylene in the two exposed groups were significantly higher than those of controls (P<0.001). The two exposed groups (decorators, painters) showed decreased PARP1, DNMTs and MBD2 expression relative to controls (P<0.05), and PARP activity was also decreased (P<0.05). Decreased PARP1, DNMT1, DNMT3a, DNMT3b and MBD2 mRNA expression was correlated with increased airborne BTX (Pearson's r: −0.587, −0.314, −0.636, −0.567 and −0.592 respectively, P<0.001). No significant differences in hematological parameters and CBMN were found among the three groups. Together, these results suggest that decreased DNMTs, MBD2 and PARP1 might be involved in the global hypomethylation associated with BTX exposure, and the imbalance of PARP/PARG might participate in the down-regulation of DNMTs. This is the first human study to link altered poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation patterns, which reproduce the aberrant epigenetic patterns found in benzene-treated cells, to chronic occupational exposure to BTX.
PMCID: PMC4162541  PMID: 25215535

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