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1.  A comparison of ARMS and direct sequencing for EGFR mutation analysis and Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors treatment prediction in body fluid samples of Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer patients 
Background
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation is strongly associated with the therapeutic effect of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Nevertheless, tumor tissue that needed for mutation analysis is frequently unavailable. Body fluid was considered to be a feasible substitute for the analysis, but arising problems in clinical practice such as relatively lower mutation rate and poor clinical correlation are not yet fully resolved.
Method
In this study, 50 patients (32 pleural fluids and 18 plasmas) with TKIs therapy experience and with direct sequencing results were selected from 220 patients for further analysis. The EGFR mutation status was re-evaluated by Amplification Refractory Mutation System (ARMS), and the clinical outcomes of TKIs were analyzed retrospectively.
Results
As compared with direct sequencing, 16 positive and 23 negative patients were confirmed by ARMS, and the other 11 former negative patients (6 pleural fluids and 5 plasmas) were redefined as positive, with a fairly well clinical outcome (7 PR, 3 SD, and 1 PD). The objective response rate (ORR) of positive patients was significant, 81.3% (direct sequencing) and 72.7% (ARMS) for pleural fluids, and 80% (ARMS) for plasma. Notably, even reclassified by ARMS, the ORR for negative patients was still relatively high, 60% for pleural fluids and 46.2% for plasma.
Conclusions
When using body fluids for EGFR mutation analysis, positive result is consistently a good indicator for TKIs therapy, and the predictive effect was no less than that of tumor tissue, no matter what method was employed. However, even reclassified by ARMS, the correlation between negative results and clinical outcome of TKIs was still unsatisfied. The results indicated that false negative mutation still existed, which may be settled by using method with sensitivity to single DNA molecule or by optimizing the extraction procedure with RNA or CTC to ensure adequate amount of tumor-derived nucleic acid for the test.
doi:10.1186/1756-9966-30-111
PMCID: PMC3287118  PMID: 22142557
Body Fluids; EGFR Mutation; Direct Sequencing; ARMS; TKIs; NSCLC
3.  Tumor suppressor miR-24 restrains gastric cancer progression by downregulating RegIV 
Molecular Cancer  2014;13:127.
Background
microRNAs are small noncoding RNAs that modulate a variety of cellular processes by regulating multiple targets, which can promote or inhibit the development of malignant behaviors. Accumulating evidence suggests miR-24 plays important roles in human carcinogenesis. However, its precise biological role remains largely elusive. This study examined the role of miR-24 in gastric cancer (GC).
Methods
The expression of miR-24 in GC tissues compared with matched non-tumor tissues and GC cells was detected by qRT-PCR. Synthetic short single or double stranded RNA oligonucleotides and lentiviral vectors were used to regulate miR-24 expression in GC cells to investigate its function in vitro and in vivo.
Results
miR-24 was significantly downregulated in GC tissues compared with matched non-tumor tissues and was associated with tumor differentiation. Ectopic expression of miR-24 in SGC-7901 GC cells suppressed cell proliferation, migration and invasion in vitro as well as tumorigenicity in vivo by inducing cell cycle arrest in G0/G1 phase and promoting cell apoptosis. Furthermore, we identified RegIV as a target of miR-24 and demonstrated that miR-24 regulated RegIV expression via binding its 3′ untranslated region.
Conclusions
miR-24 functions as a novel tumor suppressor in GC and the anti-oncogenic activity may involve its inhibition of the target gene RegIV. These findings suggest the possibility for miR-24 as a therapeutic target in GC.
doi:10.1186/1476-4598-13-127
PMCID: PMC4041902  PMID: 24886316
miR-24; RegIV; Gastric cancer; Proliferation; Invasion; Metastasis
4.  Effect of whole-body vibration for 3 months on arterial stiffness in the middle-aged and elderly 
Background
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a common problem of middle-aged and older adults. Increased arterial stiffness is a CVD risk factor. Whole-body vibration (WBV) is a simple and convenient exercise for middle-aged and older adults; however, there have been few studies investigating the effect of WBV on arterial stiffness. This study mainly investigated the effect of WBV on arterial stiffness in middle-aged and older adults.
Methods
A total of 38 (21 women and 17 men) middle-aged and elderly subjects (average age, 61.9 years) were randomly divided into the WBV group and the control group for a 3-month trial. The WBV group received an intervention of 30 Hz and 3.2 g WBV in a natural full standing posture at a sports center. The brachial–ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), a marker of systemic arterial stiffness, and blood pressure and heart rate were measured before and after the intervention.
Results
After 3 months, there were no significant changes in blood pressure or heart rate in both groups. However, the bilateral baPWV was significantly reduced in the WBV group (decreased by 0.65 m/second [P=0.014]; 0.63 m/second [P=0.041] in either side), but not in the control group. The comparison between the two groups was not statistically significant.
Conclusion
This study found that 3 months of WBV had a positive effect on arterial stiffness in middle-aged and older adults and could therefore be regarded as a supplementary exercise. Larger-scale studies are needed to confirm the effects of WBV in the future.
doi:10.2147/CIA.S60029
PMCID: PMC4026558  PMID: 24872684
whole-body vibration; arterial stiffness; middle-aged; elderly
5.  Development of Novel Alkene Oxindole Derivatives As Orally Efficacious AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Activators 
ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters  2013;4(5):475-480.
Adenosine 5′-monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is emerging as a promising drug target for its regulatory function in both glucose and lipid metabolism. Compound PT1 (5) was originally identified from high throughput screening as a small molecule activator of AMPK through the antagonization of the autoinhibition in α subunits. In order to enhance its potency at AMPK and bioavailability, structure–activity relationship studies have been performed and resulted in a novel series of AMPK activators based on an alkene oxindole scaffold. Following their evaluation in pharmacological AMPK activation assays, lead compound 24 was identified to possess improved potency as well as favorable pharmacokinetic profile. In the diet-induced obesity (DIO) mouse model, compound 24 was found to improve glucose tolerance and alleviate insulin resistance. The in vitro and in vivo data for these alkene oxindoles warrant further studies for their potential therapeutic medications in metabolic associated diseases.
doi:10.1021/ml400028q
PMCID: PMC4027511  PMID: 24900695
AMPK activator; alkene oxindole; DIO mouse model; insulin sensitivity; diabetes
6.  CD163+ Tumor-Associated Macrophages Correlated with Poor Prognosis and Cancer Stem Cells in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:838632.
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) play an important role in the progression and prognostication of numerous cancers. However, the role and clinical significance of TAM markers in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has not been elucidated. The present study was designed to investigate the correlation between the expression of TAM markers and pathological features in OSCC by tissue microarray. Tissue microarrays containing 16 normal oral mucosa, 6 oral epithelial dysplasia, and 43 OSCC specimens were studied by immunohistochemistry. We observed that the protein expression of the TAM markers CD68 and CD163 as well as the cancer stem cell (CSC) markers ALDH1, CD44, and SOX2 increased successively from the normal oral mucosa to OSCC. The expressions of CD68 and CD163 were significantly associated with lymph node status, and SOX2 was significantly correlated with pathological grade and lymph node status, whereas ALDH1 was correlated with tumor stage. Furthermore, CD68 was significantly correlated with CD163, SOX2, and ALDH1 (P < 0.05). Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that OSCC patients overexpressing CD163 had significantly worse overall survival (P < 0.05). TAM markers are associated with cancer stem cell marker and OSCC overall survival, suggesting their potential prognostic value in OSCC.
doi:10.1155/2014/838632
PMCID: PMC4032721  PMID: 24883329
7.  Robotic versus Open Partial Nephrectomy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94878.
Objectives
To critically review the currently available evidence of studies comparing robotic partial nephrectomy (RPN) and open partial nephrectomy (OPN).
Materials and Methods
A comprehensive review of the literature from Pubmed, Web of Science and Scopus was performed in October 2013. All relevant studies comparing RPN with OPN were included for further screening. A cumulative meta-analysis of all comparative studies was performed and publication bias was assessed by a funnel plot.
Results
Eight studies were included for the analysis, including a total of 3418 patients (757 patients in the robotic group and 2661 patients in the open group). Although RPN procedures had a longer operative time (weighted mean difference [WMD]: 40.89; 95% confidence interval [CI], 14.39–67.40; p = 0.002), patients in this group benefited from a lower perioperative complication rate (19.3% for RPN and 29.5% for OPN; odds ratio [OR]: 0.53; 95%CI, 0.42–0.67; p<0.00001), shorter hospital stay (WMD: −2.78; 95%CI, −3.36 to −1.92; p<0.00001), less estimated blood loss(WMD: −106.83; 95%CI, −176.4 to −37.27; p = 0.003). Transfusions, conversion to radical nephrectomy, ischemia time and estimated GFR change, margin status, and overall cost were comparable between the two techniques. The main limitation of the present meta-analysis is the non-randomization of all included studies.
Conclusions
RPN appears to be an efficient alternative to OPN with the advantages of a lower rate of perioperative complications, shorter length of hospital stay and less blood loss. Nevertheless, high quality prospective randomized studies with longer follow-up period are needed to confirm these findings.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094878
PMCID: PMC3989253  PMID: 24740259
8.  Stringent homology-based prediction of H. sapiens-M. tuberculosis H37Rv protein-protein interactions 
Biology Direct  2014;9:5.
Background
H. sapiens-M. tuberculosis H37Rv protein-protein interaction (PPI) data are essential for understanding the infection mechanism of the formidable pathogen M. tuberculosis H37Rv. Computational prediction is an important strategy to fill the gap in experimental H. sapiens-M. tuberculosis H37Rv PPI data. Homology-based prediction is frequently used in predicting both intra-species and inter-species PPIs. However, some limitations are not properly resolved in several published works that predict eukaryote-prokaryote inter-species PPIs using intra-species template PPIs.
Results
We develop a stringent homology-based prediction approach by taking into account (i) differences between eukaryotic and prokaryotic proteins and (ii) differences between inter-species and intra-species PPI interfaces. We compare our stringent homology-based approach to a conventional homology-based approach for predicting host-pathogen PPIs, based on cellular compartment distribution analysis, disease gene list enrichment analysis, pathway enrichment analysis and functional category enrichment analysis. These analyses support the validity of our prediction result, and clearly show that our approach has better performance in predicting H. sapiens-M. tuberculosis H37Rv PPIs. Using our stringent homology-based approach, we have predicted a set of highly plausible H. sapiens-M. tuberculosis H37Rv PPIs which might be useful for many of related studies. Based on our analysis of the H. sapiens-M. tuberculosis H37Rv PPI network predicted by our stringent homology-based approach, we have discovered several interesting properties which are reported here for the first time. We find that both host proteins and pathogen proteins involved in the host-pathogen PPIs tend to be hubs in their own intra-species PPI network. Also, both host and pathogen proteins involved in host-pathogen PPIs tend to have longer primary sequence, tend to have more domains, tend to be more hydrophilic, etc. And the protein domains from both host and pathogen proteins involved in host-pathogen PPIs tend to have lower charge, and tend to be more hydrophilic.
Conclusions
Our stringent homology-based prediction approach provides a better strategy in predicting PPIs between eukaryotic hosts and prokaryotic pathogens than a conventional homology-based approach. The properties we have observed from the predicted H. sapiens-M. tuberculosis H37Rv PPI network are useful for understanding inter-species host-pathogen PPI networks and provide novel insights for host-pathogen interaction studies.
Reviewers
This article was reviewed by Michael Gromiha, Narayanaswamy Srinivasan and Thomas Dandekar.
doi:10.1186/1745-6150-9-5
PMCID: PMC4022245  PMID: 24708540
9.  A Propensity-Score Matched Comparison of Perioperative and Early Renal Functional Outcomes of Robotic versus Open Partial Nephrectomy 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94195.
Objectives
To compare the perioperative and early renal functional outcomes of RPN with OPN for kidney tumors.
Materials and Methods
A total of 209 RPN or OPN patients with availability of preoperative cross-sectional imaging since 2009 at our center were included. To adjust for potential baseline confounders propensity-score matching was performed, which resulted in 94 OPNs matched to 51 RPNs. Perioperative and early renal functional outcomes were compared.
Results
In propensity-score matched analysis, RPN procedures were well tolerated and resulted in significant decreases in postoperative analgesic time (24 vs. 48 hr, p<0.001) and visual analog pain scale (3 vs. 4, p<0.001). Besides, the RPN patients had a significantly shorter LOS (9 vs. 11 days, p = 0.008) and less EBL (100 vs. 200 ml, p<0.001), but median operative time was significantly longer (229 vs. 182 min, p<0.001). Ischemia time, transfusion rates, complication rates, percentage eGFR decline and CKD upstaging were equivalent after RPN versus OPN. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, RPN patients were less likely to have a prolonged LOS (odds ratio [OR]: 0.409; p = 0.016), while more likely to experience a longer operative time (OR: 4.296; p = 0.001). However, the statistical significance for the protective effect of RPN versus OPN in EBL was not confirmed by examining the risk of EBL≥400 ml (OR: 0.488; p = 0.212).
Conclusions
When adjusted for potential selection biases, RPN offers comparable perioperative and early renal functional outcomes to those of OPN, with the added advantage of improved postoperative pain control and a shorter LOS.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094195
PMCID: PMC3977998  PMID: 24710511
10.  Identification of the Key Weather Factors Affecting Overwintering Success of Apolygus lucorum Eggs in Dead Host Tree Branches 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94190.
Understanding the effects of weather on insect population dynamics is crucial to simulate and forecast pest outbreaks, which is becoming increasingly important with the effects of climate change. The mirid bug Apolygus lucorum is an important pest on cotton, fruit trees and other crops in China, and primarily lays its eggs on dead parts of tree branches in the fall for subsequent overwintering. As such, the eggs that hatch the following spring are most strongly affected by ambient weather factors, rather than by host plant biology. In this study, we investigated the effects of three major weather factors: temperature, relative humidity and rainfall, on the hatching rate of A. lucorum eggs overwintering on dead branches of Chinese date tree (Ziziphus jujuba). Under laboratory conditions, rainfall (simulated via soaking) was necessary for the hatching of overwintering A. lucorum eggs. In the absence of rainfall (unsoaked branches), very few nymphs successfully emerged under any of the tested combinations of temperature and relative humidity. In contrast, following simulated rainfall, the hatching rate of the overwintering eggs increased dramatically. Hatching rate and developmental rate were positively correlated with relative humidity and temperature, respectively. Under field conditions, the abundance of nymphs derived from overwintering eggs was positively correlated with rainfall amount during the spring seasons of 2009–2013, while the same was not true for temperature and relative humidity. Overall, our findings indicate that rainfall is the most important factor affecting the hatching rate of overwintering A. lucorum eggs on dead plant parts and nymph population levels during the spring season. It provides the basic information for precisely forecasting the emergence of A. lucorum and subsequently timely managing its population in spring, which will make it possible to regional control of this insect pest widely occurring in multiple crops in summer.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094190
PMCID: PMC3976405  PMID: 24705353
11.  Biglycan enhances gastric cancer invasion by activating FAK signaling pathway 
Oncotarget  2014;5(7):1885-1896.
Biglycan (BGN) is an important member of small leucine-rich proteoglycans family, and has been implicated in oncogenesis and development of various human cancer types. Here we report that BGN promotes tumor invasion and metastasis of gastric cancer both in vitro and in vivo. BGN expression is significantly higher in gastric cancer tissues and associated with lymph node metastasis, depth of tumor invasion and TNM stage. BGN enhances gastric cancer cell wound healing, migration and invasion ability as well as the tube formation ability of endothelial cells in vitro. Animal experiments results in vivo are consistent with outcomes in vitro. BGN induces increased phosphorylation of FAK (Tyr576/577, Tyr925 and Tyr397) and Paxillin. These results indicate that BGN is upregulated, and plays an oncogenic role, in gastric cancer metastasis by activating the FAK signaling pathway.
PMCID: PMC4039113  PMID: 24681892
BGN; Gastric cancer; Metastasis; FAK
12.  The histone demethylase JMJD1A induces cell migration and invasion by up-regulating the expression of the long noncoding RNA MALAT1 
Oncotarget  2014;5(7):1793-1804.
Patients with neuroblastoma due to N-Myc oncogene amplification have a high frequency of tumor metastasis. However, it is not clear how N-Myc induces cell migration, invasion and metastasis. The histone demethylase JMJD1A activates gene transcription by demethylating the lysine 9 residue of histone H3 (H3K9) at target gene promoters. The long noncoding RNA MALAT1 induces lung cancer cell migration and plays a pivotal role in lung cancer metastasis. Here we demonstrated that N-Myc up-regulated the expression of JMJD1A in N-Myc oncogene-amplified human neuroblastoma cells by directly binding to the JMJD1A gene promoter. Affymetrix microarray studies revealed that the gene second most significantly up-regulated by JMJD1A was MALAT1. Consistent with this finding, RT-PCR and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that JMJD1A bound to the MALAT1 gene promoter and demethylated histone H3K9 at the MALAT1 gene promoter. Moreover, JMJD1A and MALAT1 induced, while the small molecule JMJD1A inhibitor DMOG suppressed, neuroblastoma cell migration and invasion. Taken together, our data identify a novel pathway through which N-Myc causes neuroblastoma cell migration and invasion, and provide important evidence for further development of more potent JMJD1A/MALAT1 inhibitors for the prevention of tumor metastasis.
PMCID: PMC4039110  PMID: 24742640
neuroblastoma; N-Myc; JMJD1A; histone demethylation; MALAT1
13.  Inositol pyrophosphates mediate the effects of aging on bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells by inhibiting Akt signaling 
Introduction
Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) have been proposed as an ideal autologous stem cell source for cell-based therapy for myocardial infarction (MI). However, decreased viability and impaired function of aged MSCs hampered the therapeutic efficacy of engrafted MSCs, and the underlying mechanisms remain unclarified. Here, we investigated the role of inositol phosphates 6 kinase (IP6Ks) inhibition on the therapeutic efficacy of BM-MSCs and its underlying mechanism.
Methods
BM-MSCs isolated from young (8-week-old) or aged (18-month-old) donor male C57BL/6 mice, were subjected to hypoxia and serum deprivation (H/SD) injury with or without administration of inositol phosphates 6 kinase (IP6Ks) inhibitor TNP (10 μM). MSC apoptosis induced by H/SD was determined by flow cytometry and TUNEL assays. Protein expressions were evaluated by Western blot assay. Furthermore, the paracrine effects of MSCs were measured by reverse transcriptase–polymerized chain reaction (RT-PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) analyses.
Results
Aged BM-MSCs exhibited more Inositol pyrophosphate 7 (IP7) production, compared with young BM-MSCs. Meanwhile, the expression of phospho-Akt (Thr308) was significantly decreased in the aged MSCs, resulting in enhanced Bad activation and decreased Bax/Bcl-2 ratio. Moreover, the apoptosis in aged BM-MSCs was increased, compared with young BM-MSCs. Furthermore, TNP administration significantly inhibited IP7 production and increased the phosphorylation of Akt under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Meanwhile, IP6Ks inhibition reduced apoptotic index of aged MSCs, associated with decreased expressions of pro-apoptotic proteins Bax and Bad and increased anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2. The expressions of angiogenic factors, including VEGF, bFGF, IGF-1 and HGF, were decreased in MSCs from aged mice. In addition, TNP administration enhanced the paracrine efficiency of aged BM-MSCs under normoxic and hypoxic conditions.
Conclusions
This study demonstrates for the first time that IP6Ks and IP7 play critical role in the aging related vulnerability to hypoxic injury and impaired paracrine efficiency of BM-MSCs, which is associated with impaired Akt activation.
doi:10.1186/scrt431
PMCID: PMC4055148  PMID: 24670364
14.  The sabotage of the bacterial transcription machinery by a small bacteriophage protein 
Bacteriophage  2014;4:e28520.
Many bacteriophages produce small proteins that specifically interfere with the bacterial host transcription machinery and thus contribute to the acquisition of the bacterial cell by the bacteriophage. We recently described how a small protein, called P7, produced by the Xp10 bacteriophage inhibits bacterial transcription initiation by causing the dissociation of the promoter specificity sigma factor subunit from the host RNA polymerase holoenzyme. In this addendum to the original publication, we present the highlights of that research.
doi:10.4161/bact.28520
PMCID: PMC3962504  PMID: 24701369
bacterial RNA polymerase; bacteriophage; inhibitor; sigma factor; transcription
15.  A bacteriophage transcription regulator inhibits bacterial transcription initiation by σ-factor displacement 
Nucleic Acids Research  2014;42(7):4294-4305.
Bacteriophages (phages) appropriate essential processes of bacterial hosts to benefit their own development. The multisubunit bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAp) enzyme, which catalyses DNA transcription, is targeted by phage-encoded transcription regulators that selectively modulate its activity. Here, we describe the structural and mechanistic basis for the inhibition of bacterial RNAp by the transcription regulator P7 encoded by Xanthomonas oryzae phage Xp10. We reveal that P7 uses a two-step mechanism to simultaneously interact with the catalytic β and β’ subunits of the bacterial RNAp and inhibits transcription initiation by inducing the displacement of the σ70-factor on initial engagement of RNAp with promoter DNA. The new mode of interaction with and inhibition mechanism of bacterial RNAp by P7 underscore the remarkable variety of mechanisms evolved by phages to interfere with host transcription.
doi:10.1093/nar/gku080
PMCID: PMC3985653  PMID: 24482445
16.  Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway may regulate the expression of angiogenic growth factors in hepatocellular carcinoma 
Oncology Letters  2014;7(4):1175-1178.
The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway plays a key role during hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) genesis and development. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway on the expression of angiogenic growth factors involved in HCC. The HCC HepG2 cell line was transfected with small interfering RNA (siRNA) against β-catenin. After 72 and 96 h, protein was extracted and the expression levels of β-catenin, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, MMP-9, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A, VEGF-C and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) were detected by western blot analysis. β-catenin protein expression was inhibited at both time points. Notably, MMP-2, MMP-9, VEGF-A, VEGF-C and bFGF protein expression levels decreased at 72 h and then increased at 96 h after transfection. Our results demonstrated that in HCC cells, the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway may regulate the protein expression of the angiogenic factors, MMP-2, MMP-9, VEGF-A, VEGF-C and bFGF. These proteins were downstream of β-catenin signaling and were also regulated by other factors. In conclusion, the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway may contribute to the regulation of HCC angiogenesis, infiltration and metastasis through regulating the expression of these angiogenic factors.
doi:10.3892/ol.2014.1828
PMCID: PMC3961220  PMID: 24944688
hepatocellular carcinoma; RNA interference; β-catenin; signaling pathway; angiogenesis factor
17.  Homocysteine Level and Risk of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85831.
Objectives
Previous studies have reported inconsistent findings regarding the association between elevated plasma homocysteine (Hcy) levels and abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). We investigated this association between Hcy levels in patients with AAA and unaffected controls by conducting a meta-analysis and systematic review.
Methods
We conducted a systematic literature search (up to August 2013) of the PubMed database and Embase. We selected observational studies that evaluated Hcy levels in subjects with AAA compared to unaffected controls. Criteria for inclusion were the assessment of baseline Hcy and risk of AAA as an outcome. The results were presented as odd ratio (OR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) comparing AAA patients to the control subjects.
Results
7 studies with 6,445 participants were identified and analyzed. Overall, elevated plasma Hcy was associated with an increased risk of AAA (3.29; 95% CI 1.66–6.51). The pooled adjusted OR from a random effect model of only men participants in the AAA compared with the control group was 2.36 (95% CI 0.63–8.82).
Conclusion
This meta-analysis and systematic review suggested that Hcy significantly increased the risk of AAA.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085831
PMCID: PMC3897527  PMID: 24465733
18.  Extravascular lung water and pulmonary arterial wedge pressure for fluid management in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome 
Background
Extravascular lung water (EVLW) is a sensitive prognostic indicator of pulmonary edema. Thus, EVLW may be an advantageous method of fluid management. This study aims to evaluate the outcomes of using EVLW and pulmonary artery wedge pressure (PAWP) as strategies for fluid management in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
Methods
Twenty-nine patients were randomly divided into the EVLW and PAWP groups. The survival rate, ICU (Intensive Care Unit) length of stay, duration of mechanical ventilation, acute lung injury scores, and oxygenation index of the EVLW and PAWP groups were compared.
Results
No significant difference in the survival rates at 28 and 60 days (d) after treatment was found between the two groups (p = 0.542). The duration of mechanical ventilation and ICU length of stay were significantly lower (p < 0.05) in the EVLW group than in the PAWP group. The 7 d cumulative fluid balance was -783 ± 391 ml in the EVLW group and -256 ± 514 ml in the PAWP group (p < 0.05). Compared with the PAWP group, the EVLW group showed improved oxygenation index (p = 0.006).
Conclusions
EVLW for fluid management improved clinical results in patients with ARDS better than PAWP.
doi:10.1186/2049-6958-9-3
PMCID: PMC3906773  PMID: 24428957
Acute respiratory distress syndrome; Extravascular lung water; Fluid management; Pulmonary artery wedge pressure
19.  Substrate-dependent gene regulation of self-assembled human MSC spheroids on chitosan membranes 
BMC Genomics  2014;15(1):10.
Background
Three-dimensional (3D) multicellular spheroids of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are generally regarded to have beneficial properties over MSCs in monolayer. Recent literatures have documented that MSCs can self-assemble into 3D spheroids with a greater capacity for differentiation into various cell types when grown on chitosan (CS), a biopolymer. The genomic modulation occurring in these MSC spheroids is thus of essential importance for understanding their uniqueness and therapeutic potentials. In this study, 3D spheroids self-assembled from human umbilical cord MSCs grown on CS membranes were analyzed by mRNA as well as microRNA microarrays, which helped identify the critical signaling events that may alter the cellular functions during the spheroid forming process.
Results
Genes screened from mRNA and microRNA cross-correlation analyses were further confirmed with the quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis. Results revealed the regulation of a significant number of calcium-associated genes, which suggested the crucial role of calcium signaling in CS-derived MSC spheroids. In addition, many genes associated with the multilineage differentiation capacities and those associated with the antiinflammatory and antitumor properties of MSCs were upregulated. The genetic modulation was significantly more remarkable and endured longer for MSC spheroids derived on CS substrates compared to those derived on a non-adherent (polyvinyl alcohol) substrate.
Conclusions
Based on the study, the culture substrates used to prepare 3D MSC spheroids may predefine their properties through cell-substrate interaction.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-10) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-10
PMCID: PMC4046657  PMID: 24387160
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs); Cellular spheroids; Chitosan; Calcium signaling; Gene profile; Microarray
20.  The significance of LRPPRC overexpression in gastric cancer 
LRPPRC is a multifunctional protein involved in mitochondrial gene expression and function, cell cycle progression, and tumorigenesis. We analyzed LRPPRC gene expression in 253 paired cases of gastric cancer and noncancerous regions and six gastric cancer cell lines to demonstrate the importance of LRPPRC expression for the prediction of prognosis of gastric cancer. Our results showed that LRPPRC expression in gastric cancer tissues is significantly higher than that in paired control tissue (P < 0.001). Patients with higher LRPPRC expression showed a poorer overall survival rate than those with lower LRPPRC expression (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that lymph node metastasis (N), distant metastasis (M), TNM stage, and LRPPRC expression were independent prognostic factors for gastric cancer (P = 0.004, 0.002, 0.017, 0.004 respectively).Moreover, Western blotting showed that LRPPRC expression was increased in SGC7901, BGC823, MKN45, and XGC9811cells. The in vitro proliferation assay showed that LRPPRC expression is inversely associated with gastric cancer cells growth. Our results indicated that LRPPRC could be used as a predictive marker for patient prognosis of gastric cancer and may be a novel therapeutic target for gastric cancer in future.
doi:10.1007/s12032-013-0818-y
PMCID: PMC3899470  PMID: 24375316
LRPPRC; LRP130; Gastric cancer; Expression; Prognosis
21.  Clinical Significance of Keap1 and Nrf2 in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83479.
Oxidative stress has been reported to play an important role in progression and prognostication in various kinds of cancers. However, the role and clinical significance of oxidative stress markers Keap1 and Nrf2 in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has not been elucidated. This study aimed to investigate the correlation of oxidative stress markers Keap1 and Nrf2 expression and pathological features in OSCC by using tissue microarray. Tissue microarrays containing 17 normal oral mucosa, 7 oral epithelial dysplasia and 43 OSCC specimens were studied by immunohistochemistry. The association among these proteins and pathological features were analyzed. Expression of oxidative stress markers Keap1, Nrf2, and antioxidants PPIA, Prdx6, as well as CD147 was found to increase consecutively from normal oral mucosa to OSCC, and the Keap1, Nrf2, PPIA, Prdx6, CD147 expression in OSCC were significantly higher when compared to normal oral mucosa. Expression of Keap1, Nrf2 in tumors was not found to be significantly associated with T category, lymph node metastases, and pathological grade. Furthermore, we checked the relationship among these oxidative stress markers and found that Keap1 was significantly correlated with Nrf2, Prdx6 and CD147. Significant relationship between Nrf2 and Prdx6 was also detected. Finally, we found patients with overexpression of Keap1 and Nrf2 had not significantly worse overall survival by Kaplan–Meier analysis. These findings suggest that ROS markers are associated with carcinogenesis and progression of OSCC, which may have prognostic value and could be regarded as potential therapeutic targets in OSCC.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083479
PMCID: PMC3873935  PMID: 24386210
22.  IL-21 Modulates Release of Proinflammatory Cytokines in LPS-Stimulated Macrophages through Distinct Signaling Pathways 
Mediators of Inflammation  2013;2013:548073.
The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of IL-21 on LPS-induced mouse peritoneal macrophages. The results showed that IL-21 significantly inhibited LPS-induced mRNA expression of IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6 in macrophages, but not of IFN-γ, IL-10, CCL5, or CXCL2. ELISA analysis showed that IL-21 also suppressed LPS-induced production of TNF-α and IL-6 in culture supernatants. Western blot analysis showed that IL-21 clearly inhibited ERK and IκBα phosphorylation and NF-κB translocation in LPS-stimulated macrophages, but it increased STAT3 phosphorylation. Flow cytometric and Western blot analysis showed that IL-21 decreased M1 macrophages surface markers expression of CD86, iNOS, and TLR4 in LPS-stimulated cells. All results suggested that IL-21 decreases IL-6 and TNF-α production via inhibiting the phosphorylation of ERK and translocation of NF-κB and promotes a shift from the M1 to M2 macrophage phenotype by decreasing the expression of CD86, iNOS, and TLR4 and by increasing STAT3 phosphorylation in LPS-stimulated cells.
doi:10.1155/2013/548073
PMCID: PMC3888770  PMID: 24574581
23.  Toxoplasma gondii-Induced Activation of EGFR Prevents Autophagy Protein-Mediated Killing of the Parasite 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(12):e1003809.
Toxoplasma gondii resides in an intracellular compartment (parasitophorous vacuole) that excludes transmembrane molecules required for endosome - lysosome recruitment. Thus, the parasite survives by avoiding lysosomal degradation. However, autophagy can re-route the parasitophorous vacuole to the lysosomes and cause parasite killing. This raises the possibility that T. gondii may deploy a strategy to prevent autophagic targeting to maintain the non-fusogenic nature of the vacuole. We report that T. gondii activated EGFR in endothelial cells, retinal pigment epithelial cells and microglia. Blockade of EGFR or its downstream molecule, Akt, caused targeting of the parasite by LC3+ structures, vacuole-lysosomal fusion, lysosomal degradation and killing of the parasite that were dependent on the autophagy proteins Atg7 and Beclin 1. Disassembly of GPCR or inhibition of metalloproteinases did not prevent EGFR-Akt activation. T. gondii micronemal proteins (MICs) containing EGF domains (EGF-MICs; MIC3 and MIC6) appeared to promote EGFR activation. Parasites defective in EGF-MICs (MIC1 ko, deficient in MIC1 and secretion of MIC6; MIC3 ko, deficient in MIC3; and MIC1-3 ko, deficient in MIC1, MIC3 and secretion of MIC6) caused impaired EGFR-Akt activation and recombinant EGF-MICs (MIC3 and MIC6) caused EGFR-Akt activation. In cells treated with autophagy stimulators (CD154, rapamycin) EGFR signaling inhibited LC3 accumulation around the parasite. Moreover, increased LC3 accumulation and parasite killing were noted in CD154-activated cells infected with MIC1-3 ko parasites. Finally, recombinant MIC3 and MIC6 inhibited parasite killing triggered by CD154 particularly against MIC1-3 ko parasites. Thus, our findings identified EGFR activation as a strategy used by T. gondii to maintain the non-fusogenic nature of the parasitophorous vacuole and suggest that EGF-MICs have a novel role in affecting signaling in host cells to promote parasite survival.
Author Summary
Toxoplasma gondii resides in a parasitophorous vacuole that excludes transmembrane proteins required for recruitment of endosomes and lysosomes and thus, does not follow the path of classical lysosomal degradation. However, the non-fusogenic nature of the vacuole can be reverted when autophagy, a pathway to lysosomal degradation, is upregulated through the immune system or pharmacologically. Maintenance of the non-fusogenic nature of the vacuole is central to parasite survival. Thus, in addition to preventing degradation through a classical lysosomal pathway, T. gondii may also deploy strategies to prevent constitutive levels of autophagy from targeting the pathogen and causing its lysosomal degradation. We report that T. gondii accomplishes this task by causing EGFR activation in host cells. In cells that were not subjected to immune or pharmacologic upregulation of autophagy, blockade of EGFR resulted in parasite encasing by structures that expressed the autophagy protein LC3, vacuole-lysosomal fusion and autophagy protein-dependent killing of the parasite. Moreover, EGFR signaling also impaired targeting of the parasite by LC3+ structures in cells treated with stimulators of autophagy. Studies with T. gondii deficient in EGF domain containing-micronemal proteins (EGF-MICs) and recombinant EGF-MICs support the concept that these parasite adhesins contribute to EGFR activation.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003809
PMCID: PMC3868508  PMID: 24367261
24.  Silencing of Barkor/ATG14 sensitizes osteosarcoma cells to cisplatin-induced apoptosis 
Although surgical excision following neoadjuvant chemotherapy has contributed to the long-term survival of osteosarcoma patients, patients that do not respond to commonly used drugs including cisplatin, have a poor prognosis. Autophagy is important in the inhibition of chemotherapeutic apoptosis. Therefore, we investigated whether knockdown of Beclin1-associated autophagy-related key regulator (Barkor/ATG14) promoted cisplatin-induced apoptosis in a drug-resistant osteosarcoma cell line in vitro. Saos-2 cells were transfected with Barkor siRNA. Sensitivity of the Barkor siRNA-transfected cell line to cisplatin was evaluated. Silencing of Barkor did not directly inhibit the growth rate of the transfected cells, but it significantly increased their sensitivity to cisplatin. The results of flow cytometry and 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining revealed that Barkor siRNA-transfected Saos-2 cells treated with cisplatin exhibited much higher rates of apoptosis than the control and control siRNA-transfected cells. Additionally, the combination of silencing of Barkor with cisplatin treatment promoted the expression of caspase-12 and calpain. The increase of cisplatin cytotoxicity may therefore be involved in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-associated apoptosis. Bcl-2 was markedly downregulated in dose-dependent cisplatin-treated Barkor-transfected-Saos-2 cells. Findings of the present study suggest that the combination of silencing of Barkor and cisplatin enhanced the antitumor efficacy through the Barkor-related ER- and mitochondrial-mediated apoptotic pathway.
doi:10.3892/ijmm.2013.1578
PMCID: PMC3896476  PMID: 24337183
osteosarcoma; Barkor/ATG14; caspase-12; apoptosis; cisplatin
25.  4-Nitro­phenyl­hydrazinium picrate monohydrate 
In the crystal structure of the title compound, C6H8N3O2 +·C6H2N3O7 −·H2O, N—H⋯O and O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds link the components into a two-dimensional network parallel to (010). In addition, there are pairs of weak inversion-related C—H⋯O hydrogen bonds within the two-dimensional network. The three nitro groups are twisted by 1.6 (3), 7.8 (3) and 12.1 (3)° from the ring plane in the anion, while in the cation, the nitro group makes a dihedral angle of 4.6 (2)° with the ring.
doi:10.1107/S1600536813032479
PMCID: PMC3914065  PMID: 24526966

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