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1.  The effect of Piper laetispicum extract (EAE-P) during chronic unpredictable mild stress based on interrelationship of inflammatory cytokines, apoptosis cytokines and neurotrophin in the hippocampus 
The Piper laetispicum C.DC. (Piperaceae) is a traditionally used herb in China for invigorating circulation and reducing stasis, detumescence and analgesia, which is distributed in the southern part of China and the southeastern part of Asia. Previous studies demonstrated that the ethyl acetate extract (EAE-P) of P. laetispicum possesses a significant antidepressant-like effect at doses higher than 60 mg/kg in Kunming (KM) mice, and this effect was not due to an increase in locomotive activity.
To research this mechanism, in the present study, the chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) model in Sprague–Dawley rats was used to further elucidate behavioral changes and corresponding changes in inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-10), apoptosis cytokines (P53, Bax, Bcl2, caspase-3) and neurotrophin (BDNF) in the hippocampus of EAE-P treatment animals.
Results and conclusions
The results suggest that EAE-P is beneficial to the behavioral outcome of the CUMS model animals, and decreased amounts of inflammatory cytokine IL-6 contributed to the antidepressant-like activation of EAE-P in every dosage group (15, 30, 60 mg/kg). In the low dosage group, down-regulated apoptosis cytokine p53 is associated with EAE-P effect, but it is inflammatory cytokine TNF-α that is related to the effect of EAE-P in the high dosage group. Meanwhile, the P53-dependent antiapoptotic effect of EAE-P may not be through Bcl-2 and Bax modulation. Furthermore, EAE-P showed up-regulated expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA and down-regulated apoptosis cytokine caspase-3 mRNA, which was the same change tendency as with Fluoxetine.
PMCID: PMC4504416  PMID: 26183217
Piper laetispicum; Piperaceae; Ethyl acetate extract; Antidepressant; Hippocampus
2.  Diversity and distribution of 16S rRNA and phenol monooxygenase genes in the rhizosphere and endophytic bacteria isolated from PAH-contaminated sites 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:12173.
This is the first investigation of the diversity and distribution of 16S rRNA and phenol monooxygenase (PHE) genes in endophytic and rhizosphere bacteria of plants at sites contaminated with different levels of PAHs. Ten PAHs at concentrations from 34.22 to 55.29 and 45.79 to 97.81 mg·kg−1 were measured in rhizosphere soils of Alopecurus aequalis Sobol and Oxalis corniculata L., respectively. The diversity of 16S rRNA and PHE genes in rhizosphere soils or plants changed with varying PAH pollution levels, as shown based on PCR-DGGE data. Generally, higher Shannon-Weiner indexes were found in mild or moderate contaminated areas. A total of 82 different bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences belonging to five phyla; namely, Acfinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Cyanophyta, and Bacteroidetes, were obtained from rhizosphere soils. For the 57 identified PHE gene sequences, 18 were excised from rhizosphere bacteria and 39 from endophytic bacteria. The copy numbers of 16S rRNA and PHE genes in rhizosphere and endophytic bacteria varied from 3.83 × 103 to 2.28 × 106 and 4.17 × 102 to 1.99 × 105, respectively. The copy numbers of PHE genes in rhizosphere bacteria were significantly higher than in endophytic bacteria. Results increase our understanding of the diversity of rhizosphere and endophytic bacteria from plants grown in PAH-contaminated sites.
PMCID: PMC4505310  PMID: 26184609
3.  Abraxane, the Nanoparticle Formulation of Paclitaxel Can Induce Drug Resistance by Up-Regulation of P-gp 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0131429.
P-glycoprotein (P-gp) can actively pump paclitaxel (PTX) out of cells and induces drug resistance. Abraxane, a nanoparticle (NP) formulation of PTX, has multiple clinical advantages over the single molecule form. However, it is still unclear whether Abraxane overcomes the common small molecule drug resistance problem mediated by P-gp. Here we were able to establish an Abraxane-resistant cell line from the lung adenocarcinoma cell line A549. We compared the transcriptome of A549/Abr resistant cell line to that of its parental cell line using RNA-Seq technology. Several pathways were found to be up or down regulated. Specifically, the most significantly up-regulated gene was ABCB1, which translates into P-glycoprotein. We verified the overexpression of P-glycoprotein and confirmed its function by reversing the drug resistance with P-gp inhibitor Verapamil. The results suggest that efflux pathway plays an important role in the Abraxane-resistant cell line we established. However, the relevance of this P-gp mediated Abraxane resistance in tumors of lung cancer patients remains unknown.
PMCID: PMC4504487  PMID: 26182353
4.  Stimulated scattering effects in gold-nanorod-water samples pumped by 532 nm laser pulses 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:11964.
Stimulated scattering in gold-nanorod-water samples has been investigated experimentally. The scattering centers are impurity particles rather than the atoms or molecules of conventional homogeneous scattering media. The pump source for exciting stimulated scattering is a pulsed and narrow linewidth second-harmonic Nd: YAG laser, with 532 nm wavelength, ~8 ns pulse duration, and 10 Hz repetition rate. Experimental results indicate that SMBS, SBS and STRS can be generated in gold-nanorod-water samples under appropriate pump and absorption conditions. The incident pump energy has to be larger than a certain threshold value before stimulated scattering can be detected. The absorption coefficient of samples at 532 nm wavelength depends on the one of characteristic absorption bands of gold nanorods located around 530 nm. A critical absorption coefficient can be determined for the transition from SBS to STRS. Also, the spectral-line-broadening effects of STRS have been observed, the line-shape presents a pseudo-Voigt profile due to the random thermal motion of molecules and strong particle collision.
PMCID: PMC4502513  PMID: 26173804
5.  LIF is a new p53 negative regulator 
Journal of nature and science  2015;1(7):e131-.
Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), a cytokine that belongs to the interleukin-6 family, regulates multiple important biological functions. Recently, we found that LIF is an important negative regulator of p53 in human colorectal cancer cells. LIF negatively regulates p53 protein levels and functions by activation of the Stat3 signaling pathway, which in turn induces the expression of ID1, the helix-loop-helix (HLH) protein inhibitor of differentiation and DNA binding. ID1 increases MDM2 expression at both mRNA and protein levels to accelerate p53 protein degradation. Overexpression of LIF increases chemoresistance of cultured colorectal cancer cells and colorectal xenograft tumors in a largely p53-dependent manner. Furthermore, LIF is overexpressed in a large percentage of human colorectal cancer specimens and LIF overexpression is associated with a poor prognosis in colorectal cancer patients. Our study revealed a new role of LIF in tumorigenesis through regulation of the p53 signaling pathway.
PMCID: PMC4493903  PMID: 26161442
LIF; p53; Stat3; ID1; MDM2; chemoresistance
6.  New breast cancer prognostic factors identified by computer-aided image analysis of HE stained histopathology images 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:10690.
Computer-aided image analysis (CAI) can help objectively quantify morphologic features of hematoxylin-eosin (HE) histopathology images and provide potentially useful prognostic information on breast cancer. We performed a CAI workflow on 1,150 HE images from 230 patients with invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) of the breast. We used a pixel-wise support vector machine classifier for tumor nests (TNs)-stroma segmentation, and a marker-controlled watershed algorithm for nuclei segmentation. 730 morphologic parameters were extracted after segmentation, and 12 parameters identified by Kaplan-Meier analysis were significantly associated with 8-year disease free survival (P < 0.05 for all). Moreover, four image features including TNs feature (HR 1.327, 95%CI [1.001 - 1.759], P = 0.049), TNs cell nuclei feature (HR 0.729, 95%CI [0.537 - 0.989], P = 0.042), TNs cell density (HR 1.625, 95%CI [1.177 - 2.244], P = 0.003), and stromal cell structure feature (HR 1.596, 95%CI [1.142 - 2.229], P = 0.006) were identified by multivariate Cox proportional hazards model to be new independent prognostic factors. The results indicated that CAI can assist the pathologist in extracting prognostic information from HE histopathology images for IDC. The TNs feature, TNs cell nuclei feature, TNs cell density, and stromal cell structure feature could be new prognostic factors.
PMCID: PMC4448264  PMID: 26022540
7.  The regulation of the p53/MDM2 feedback loop by microRNAs 
RNA & disease (Houston, Tex.)  2015;2(1):e502-.
Tumor suppressor p53 and its signaling pathway play a central role in tumor prevention. The E3 ubiquitin ligase MDM2, which is a direct p53 transcriptional target and also the most critical negative regulator of p53, forms an autoregulatory negative feedback loop with p53 in the cell to tightly regulate the levels and activity of p53. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenously expressed small non-coding RNAs that play a critical role in the post-translational regulation of gene expression. Recent studies have revealed that miRNAs directly regulate the levels of p53 or MDM2 to modulate the p53 function in tumor suppression. Recently, we identified miR-339-5p as a new miRNA that directly represses MDM2 to activate p53 and enhance p53 function in tumor suppression. Thus, miRNAs have become a new but important component of the p53 signaling pathway through regulating the p53/MDM2 feedback loop.
PMCID: PMC4435570  PMID: 25995995
p53; MDM2; microRNA; tumor
8.  Alteration of the Flexible Loop in 1-Deoxy-d-xylulose-5-phosphate Reductoisomerase Boosts Enthalpy-Driven Inhibition by Fosmidomycin 
Biochemistry  2014;53(21):3423-3431.
1-Deoxy-d-xylulose-5-phosphate reductoisomerase (DXR), which catalyzes the first committed step in the 2-C-methyl-d-erythritol 4-phosphate pathway of isoprenoid biosynthesis used by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other infectious microorganisms, is absent in humans and therefore an attractive drug target. Fosmidomycin is a nanomolar inhibitor of DXR, but despite great efforts, few analogues with comparable potency have been developed. DXR contains a strictly conserved residue, Trp203, within a flexible loop that closes over and interacts with the bound inhibitor. We report that while mutation to Ala or Gly abolishes activity, mutation to Phe and Tyr only modestly impacts kcat and Km. Moreover, pre-steady-state kinetics and primary deuterium kinetic isotope effects indicate that while turnover is largely limited by product release for the wild-type enzyme, chemistry is significantly more rate-limiting for W203F and W203Y. Surprisingly, these mutants are more sensitive to inhibition by fosmidomycin, resulting in Km/Ki ratios up to 19-fold higher than that of wild-type DXR. In agreement, isothermal titration calorimetry revealed that fosmidomycin binds up to 11-fold more tightly to these mutants. Most strikingly, mutation strongly tips the entropy–enthalpy balance of total binding energy from 50% to 75% and 91% enthalpy in W203F and W203Y, respectively. X-ray crystal structures suggest that these enthalpy differences may be linked to differences in hydrogen bond interactions involving a water network connecting fosmidomycin’s phosphonate group to the protein. These results confirm the importance of the flexible loop, in particular Trp203, in ligand binding and suggest that improved inhibitor affinity may be obtained against the wild-type protein by introducing interactions with this loop and/or the surrounding structured water network.
PMCID: PMC4045324  PMID: 24825256
9.  Athermally photoreduced graphene oxides for three-dimensional holographic images 
Nature Communications  2015;6:6984.
The emerging graphene-based material, an atomic layer of aromatic carbon atoms with exceptional electronic and optical properties, has offered unprecedented prospects for developing flat two-dimensional displaying systems. Here, we show that reduced graphene oxide enabled write-once holograms for wide-angle and full-colour three-dimensional images. This is achieved through the discovery of subwavelength-scale multilevel optical index modulation of athermally reduced graphene oxides by a single femtosecond pulsed beam. This new feature allows for static three-dimensional holographic images with a wide viewing angle up to 52 degrees. In addition, the spectrally flat optical index modulation in reduced graphene oxides enables wavelength-multiplexed holograms for full-colour images. The large and polarization-insensitive phase modulation over π in reduced graphene oxide composites enables to restore vectorial wavefronts of polarization discernible images through the vectorial diffraction of a reconstruction beam. Therefore, our technique can be leveraged to achieve compact and versatile holographic components for controlling light.
Owing to its electronic and optical properties, graphene holds potential for flat display systems. Here, Li et al. write wide-angle, full-colour, three-dimensional holographic images using subwavelength, multilevel index modulation of athermally reduced graphene oxide by a single femtosecond pulse.
PMCID: PMC4421811  PMID: 25901676
10.  Characterization of LEF1 High Expression and Novel Mutations in Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0125429.
Aberrant activation of the Wnt pathway plays a pathogenetic role in tumors and has been associated with adverse outcome in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Lymphoid enhancer binding factor 1 (LEF1), a key mediator of Wnt signaling, has been linked to leukemic transformation, and LEF1 mutations have been identified in T-ALL. Here we found LEF1 is highly expressed in 25.0% adult ALL patients and LEF1 high expression was associated with high-risk leukemia factors (high WBC, Philadelphia chromosome positive, complex karyotype), shorter event-free survival (EFS), and high relapse rates in patients with B-ALL. LEF1 high expression is also associated with high mutation rate of Notch1 and JAK1 in T-ALL. We identified 2 novel LEF1 mutations (K86E and P106L) in 4 of 131 patients with ALL, and those patients with high-risk ALL (high WBC, complex karyotype). These results suggest a role for LEF1 mutations in leukemogenesis. We further explored the effect of the mutations on cell proliferation and found both mutations significantly promoted the proliferation of ALL cells. We also observed the effect of LEF1 and its mutations on the transcription of its targets, c-MYC and Cyclin D1. We found LEF1 increased the promoter activity of its targets c-MYC and Cyclin D1, and LEF1 K86E and P106L mutants further significantly enhanced this effect. We also observed that the c-MYC and Cyclin D1 mRNA levels were significantly increased in patients with LEF1 high expression compared with those with low expression. Taken together, our findings indicate high LEF1 expression and mutation are associated with high-risk leukemia and our results also revealed that LEF1 high expression and/or gain-of-function mutations are involved in leukemogenesis of ALL.
PMCID: PMC4420493  PMID: 25942645
11.  LIF negatively regulates tumor suppressor p53 through Stat3/ID1/MDM2 in colorectal cancers 
Nature communications  2014;5:5218.
Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) has been recently identified as a p53 target gene, which mediates the role of p53 in maternal implantation under normal physiological conditions. Here, we report that LIF is a negative regulator of p53; LIF downregulates p53 protein levels and function in human colorectal cancer (CRC) cells. The downregulation of p53 by LIF is mediated by the activation of Stat3, which transcriptionally induces ID1. ID1 upregulates MDM2, a key negative regulator of p53, and promotes p53 protein degradation. LIF is overexpressed in a large percentage of CRCs. LIF overexpression promotes cellular resistance towards chemotherapeutic agents in cultured CRC cells and colorectal xenograft tumors in a largely p53-dependent manner. Overexpression of LIF is associated with a poor prognosis in CRC patients. Taken together, LIF is a novel negative regulator of p53, overexpression of LIF is an important mechanism for the attenuation of p53, which promotes chemoresistance in CRCs.
PMCID: PMC4203416  PMID: 25323535
12.  Negative pressure pulmonary edema after craniotomy through the endonasal transsphenoidal approach 
We describe a case of negative pressure pulmonary edema that occurred in the post-anesthesia care unit in a patient who had undergone transsphenoidal resection of a pituitary adenoma. Negative pressure pulmonary edema is an uncommon complication of general anesthesia. In this case, the patient’s nasal cavity had been filled with surgical packs and she had not become accustomed to breathing through her mouth, in addition to her large tongue and small oropharyngeal cavity, residual effect of anesthetic may resulting in tongue falling which caused airway obstruction. The main causative factor is excessive negative intrathoracic pressure generated by the patient’s spontaneous forced inspiration in an effort to overcome the airway obstruction. It typically developed rapidly, and may be life threatening if not diagnosed promptly. After re-intubation for a short period of mechanical ventilation with positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP 10 cm H2O) and a bolus of intravenous furosemide, the patient recovered rapidly and discharged 8 days after surgery.
PMCID: PMC4484008  PMID: 26131257
Pulmonary edema; airway obstruction; anesthesia; neurosurgery
13.  Quantum Dots-Based Quantitative and In Situ Multiple Imaging on Ki67 and Cytokeratin to Improve Ki67 Assessment in Breast Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0122734.
As a marker for tumor cell proliferation, Ki67 has important impacts on breast cancer (BC) prognosis. Although immunohistochemical staining is the current standard method, variations in analytical practice make it difficult for pathologists to manually measure Ki67 index. This study was to develop a fluorescent spectrum-based quantitative analysis of Ki67 expression by quantum-dots (QDs) multiple imaging technique.
A QDs-based in situ multiple fluorescent imaging method was developed, which stained nuclear Ki67 as red signal and cytoplasmic cytokeratin (CK) as green signal. Both Ki67 and CK signals were automatically separated and quantified by professional spectrum analysis software. This technique was applied to tissue microarrays from 240 BC patients. Both Ki67 and CK values, and Ki67/CK ratio were obtained for each patient, and their prognostic value on 5-year disease free survival was assessed.
This method simultaneously stains nuclear Ki67 and cytoplasmic CK with clear signal contrast, making it easy for signal separation and quantification. The total fluorescent signal intensities of both Ki67 sum and CK sum were obtained, and Ki67/CK ratio calculated. Ki67 sum and Ki67/CK ratio were each attributed into two grades by X-tile software based on the best P value principle. Multivariate analysis showed Ki67 grade (P = 0.047) and Ki67/CK grade (P = 0.004) were independent prognostic factors. Furthermore, area under curve (AUC) of ROC analysis for Ki67/CK grade (AUC: 0.683, 95%CI: 0.613–0.752) was higher than Ki67 grade (AUC: 0.665, 95%CI: 0.596–0.734) and HER-2 gene (AUC: 0.586, 95%CI: 0.510–0.661), but lower than N stage (AUC: 0.760, 95%CI: 0.696–0.823) and histological grade (AUC: 0.756, 95%CI: 0.692–0.820) on predicting the risk for recurrence.
A QDs-based quantitative and in situ multiple imaging on Ki67 and CK was developed to improve Ki67 assessment in BC, and Ki67/CK grade had better performance than Ki67 grade in predicting prognosis.
PMCID: PMC4391934  PMID: 25856425
14.  Effects of dietary omega-3/omega-6 fatty acid ratios on reproduction in the young breeder rooster 
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are necessary for the body's metabolism, growth and development. Although PUFAs play an important role in the regulation of reproduction, their role in testis development in the rooster is unknown. The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of omega-3/omega-6 (n-3/n-6, PUFAs) ratios on reproductive performance in young breeder roosters. Plasma levels of reproductive hormones, testis development, and reproductive hormone receptor and StAR mRNA expression were also assessed.
Although PUFAs (n-3/n-6: 1/4.15) had no significant effect on the testis index (P > 0.05), the spermatogonial development and germ cell layers were increased. Moreover, serum levels of hormones (GnRH, FSH, LH and T) on day 35 were also significantly increased by PUFAs (n-3/n-6: 1/4.15). To investigate whether PUFAs regulate the expression of hormone receptors and StAR, real time-PCR was used to measure GnRHR, FSHR, LHR and StAR mRNA levels. PUFAs significantly increased the mRNA levels of all of these genes.
These results indicate that PUFAs enhance the reproductive performance of young roosters by increasing hormone secretion and function, the latter by up-regulating receptor expression. These findings provide a sound basis for a balanced n-3/n-6 PUFA ratio being beneficial to young rooster reproduction.
PMCID: PMC4396019  PMID: 25890385
PUFAs; Young breeder roosters; Reproductive hormones; Testis development; Reproductive hormone receptors; StAR mRNA
15.  MyD88 mediates the decision to die by apoptosis or necroptosis after UV irradiation 
Innate immunity  2013;10.1177/1753425913501706.
UV irradiation-induced cellular damage is classically associated with apoptosis and is known to result in systemic immunosuppression. How the decision to undergo apoptosis is made following UV is not fully understood. We hypothesize that a central mediator of TLR signaling, MyD88, determines cell fate after UV exposure. Survival after UV of immortalized bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) and ex vivo peritoneal macrophages (PM) from MyD88 germline-deficient mice (MyD88−/−) was significantly higher than wild type (WT) PM. UV-induced apoptosis (DNA laddering) in PM and epidermis of MyD88−/− animals versus WT was decreased. In MyD88−/− PM, decreased cleavage of caspase 3, as well as pro-necroptotic protein, RIP1, and a significant increase in transcription and release of proinflammatory TNF-α, suggest that necroptosis, rather than apoptosis, has been initiated. In vivo studies confirm this hypothesis after UV, showing low apoptosis by TUNEL and inflammation in MyD88−/− skin sections. Considering that MyD88 participates in many TLR pathways, BMDM from TLR2−/−, TLR4−/− and WT mice were compared for evidence of UV-induced apoptosis. Only TLR4−/− BMDM and PM had a similar phenotype to MyD88−/−, suggesting that the TLR4– MyD88 axis importantly contributes to cell fate decision. Our study describes a new cellular consequence of MyD88 signaling after UV, and may provide rationale for therapies to mitigate UV-induced immunosuppression.
PMCID: PMC4041851  PMID: 24048771
MyD88; ultraviolet irradiation; apoptosis; necroptosis; TLR4
16.  Cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A contributes to human papillomavirus oncoprotein E7-induced cell proliferation via E2F1 
Oncotarget  2015;6(7):5253-5262.
Cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A (CIP2A) is a recently identified oncoprotein that is overexpressed in many human malignant tumors including cervical cancer. Human papillomavirus (HPV) oncoprotein E7 is the key transformation factor in cervical cancer. Our previous data showed a positive association of CIP2A and HPV-16E7 protein levels; however, how CIP2A is regulated by HPV-E7 and the roles of CIP2A in HPV-E7-mediated cell proliferation are unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that HPV-16E7 protein significantly upregulating CIP2A mRNA and protein expression depended on retinoblastoma protein pRb rather than p130. CIP2A siRNA knockdown in HPV-E7-expressing cells inhibited cell proliferation, DNA synthesis and G1/S cell cycle progression. CIP2A siRNA decreased the protein levels of cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1), Cdk2 and their partner cyclin A2, with no change in levels of Cdk4, Cdk6 and their partner cyclin D1. The downregulation of Cdk1 and Cdk2 was independent of c-Myc; instead, E2F1 was the main target of CIP2A in this process, as overexpression of E2F1 rescued the inhibitory effects of CIP2A siRNA knockdown on cell proliferation and G1 arrest of HPV-E7-expressing cells. Our studies reveal a novel function of CIP2A in HPV-16E7-mediated cell proliferation.
PMCID: PMC4467146  PMID: 25650660
CIP2A; HPV; E7; G1 arrest; E2F1
17.  Tumor suppressor p53 and its gain-of-function mutants in cancer 
Tumor suppressor p53 plays a pivotal role in tumor suppression. p53 is the most frequently mutated gene in cancer. As a transcription factor, p53 mainly exerts its role in tumor suppression through transcriptional regulation of its downstream target genes. Thus, p53 and its target genes form a complex p53 signaling pathway to regulate a wide variety of biological processes to prevent tumorigenesis. Recent studies have revealed that in addition to apoptosis, cell cycle arrest and senescence, p53's functions in the regulation of energy metabolism and anti-oxidant defense contribute significantly to its role in tumor suppression. Studies further show that many tumor-associated mutant p53 proteins not only lose tumor suppressive functions of wild-type p53, but also gain new oncogenic activities that are independent of wild-type p53, including promoting tumor cell proliferation, survival, metabolic changes, angiogenesis, and metastasis, which are defined as mutant p53 gain-of-function. The frequent loss of wild-type p53 function and the gain-of-function of mutant p53 in human tumors make p53 an extremely attractive target for cancer therapy. Different strategies and many small-molecule drugs are being developed for the p53-based tumor therapy. Here, we review the mechanisms of p53 in tumor suppression and gain-of-function mutant p53 in tumor development, as well as the recent advances in the development of the p53-based tumor therapy.
PMCID: PMC3932832  PMID: 24374774
tumor suppressor; p53; mutant p53; gain-of-function; tumor therapy
18.  Glutathione S-transferase A1 polymorphism and the risk of recurrent spontaneous abortion in Chinese Han population 
Recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA) is a multifactor and distressing disease. There are still approximately half of the RSA patients with cause not being identified to date. Accumulating studies have confirmed that genetic polymorphisms in glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) were associated with the risk of recurrent spontaneous abortion. In this study, we aimed to investigate the relationship between the polymorphism of GSTA1, which is GSTA1 -69C/T (rs3957357), and the development of recurrent spontaneous abortion.
A case–control study of 127 cases with RSA and 112 ethnic and age matched women as controls was conducted. And measurement of Polymerase Chain Reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) was performed to genotype all of samples in order to analyze the association between GSTA1 -69C/T (rs3957357) and the risk of RSA.
We found that the frequencies of genotypes between cases and controls have no significant difference (P = 0.908) and GSTA1 mutant allele GSTA1 −69 T was present at a frequency of 0.122 in case group, while in controls the frequency was 0.125 (P = 0.922).
The polymorphism of GSTA1 (rs3957357) may not be associated with the risk of recurrent spontaneous abortion in Chinese Han population.
PMCID: PMC3947069  PMID: 24390679
GSTA1; Recurrent spontaneous abortion; Variant; Genetics
19.  TNF-α-308G/A polymorphism associated with TNF-α protein expression in patients with diabetic nephropathy 
Aims: This study was to clarify the regulated effects of TNF-α -308G/A polymorphism on TNF-α and investigate the relationship of -308G/A polymorphisms with diabetic nephropathy (DN) susceptibility. Methods: 86 DN patients and 94 healthy individuals were enrolled in our study. Polymerase chain reaction-sequence specific primer (PCR-SSP) detection technology was used to testify single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of TNF-α gene. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to measure the content of TNF-α protein. Odds ratio (OR) with 95% CI were used to evaluate the association of TNF-α -308G/A polymorphism and DN susceptibility. Results: The level of TNF-α protein was much higher in DN patients compared to that of controls (P < 0.05). For TNF-α -308G/A, G/A genotype could increase the risk for DN (OR = 2.15, 95% CI = 1.08-4.30). Moreover, a allele frequency was found higher in cases compared with controls, which suggested that A allele served as an genetic-susceptibility factor for DN (OR = 1.89, 95% CI = 1.10-3.26). Further analysis indicated that level of TNF-α for individuals with mutant genotype (GA and AA) were higher than that of individuals with wild genotype (P < 0.05). However, AA genotype showed no effects on DN susceptibility (OR = 2.08, 95% CI = 0.56-7.33). Conclusion: TNF-α-308G/A polymorphism was associated with expression level of TNF-α and served as an genetic-susceptibility factor for DN.
PMCID: PMC4440137  PMID: 26045828
Tumor necrosis factor-α; diabetic nephropathy; protein expression
20.  Impact evaluation of a community-based intervention to reduce risky sexual behaviour among female sex workers in Shanghai, China 
BMC Public Health  2015;15:147.
Female sex workers (FSWs) are at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. We implemented an HIV/STI preventive intervention among FSWs in Shanghai that aimed to increase condom use, improve HIV knowledge, and reduce STI and HIV incidence.
From six districts in Shanghai, 750 randomly selected venue-based FSWs were allocated to either a behavioural intervention or control group. In the intervention and control groups, 221 and 278 participants, respectively, had at least one follow-up at three or six months. In analysis, we randomly selected 57 lost to follow-up cases in the intervention group and imputed baseline values to equalize the arms at n = 278 (74.1% follow-up rate in each group). The impacts of the intervention on condom use, HIV/STI risk perception and knowledge, and STI incidence were assessed using either a logistic or linear model, adjusting for the baseline measure of the outcome and venue type.
The intervention improved consistent condom use with any partner type in the previous month (AOR = 2.09, 95% CI, 1.43-3.04, p = 0.0001). Consistent condom use with clients in the three most recent sex acts increased in both arms, and with primary partners in the intervention arm, but there was no difference between groups after adjusting for baseline condom use and venue type. There were no differences in cumulative incidence of any STI (i.e., chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis) between groups. HIV transmission knowledge (p = 0.0001), condom use skill (p = 0.0421), and self-efficacy for using condoms (p = 0.0071) were improved by the intervention. HIV-related stigma declined (p = 0.0119) and HIV and STI risk perception were improved (4.6 to 13.9%, and 9.4 to 20.0%, respectively). The intervention was associated with these improvements after adjusting for the baseline measure and venue type.
Following a preventive intervention among Shanghai FSWs, our findings demonstrate that a simple, community-based educational intervention improved overall condom use, HIV and STI knowledge, and attitudes in relation to HIV/AIDS. The intervention should be implemented widely after tailoring educational materials regarding condom negotiation with different partner types (i.e., commercial sex clients and primary partners).
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12889-015-1439-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4377073  PMID: 25880416
China; Shanghai; Female sex worker; STI; HIV; Intervention; Condom; Risk perception
21.  IL-9 Regulates Allergen-Specific Th1 Responses in Allergic Contact Dermatitis 
The cytokine IL-9, derived primarily from T-helper (Th)-9 lymphocytes, promotes expansion of the Th2 subset and is implicated in the mechanisms of allergic asthma. We hypothesize that IL-9 also plays a role in human allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). To investigate this hypothesis, skin biopsy specimens of positive patch test sites from non-atopic patients were assayed using qPCR and immunohistochemistry. Along with Th2 associated cytokines, IFN-γ, IL-4, and IL-17A, expression of IL-9, and PU.1, a Th9-associated transcription factor, were elevated when compared to paired normal skin. Immunohistochemistry on ACD skin biopsies identified PU.1+CD3+, and PU.1+CD4+ cells, consistent with Th9 lymphocytes, in the inflammatory infiltrate. PBMC from nickel-allergic patients, but not non-allergic controls, show significant IL-9 production in response to nickel. Blocking studies with monoclonal antibodies to HLA-DR (but not HLA-A, B, C) or chloroquine significantly reduced this nickel-specific IL-9 production. Additionally, blockade of IL-9 or IL-4 enhanced allergen-specific IFN-γ production. A contact hypersensitivity model using IL-9−/− mice, shows enhanced Th1 lymphocyte immune responses, when compared to WT mice, consistent with our human in vitro data. This study demonstrates that IL-9, through its direct effects on Th1 and ability to promote IL-4 secretion, has a regulatory role for Th1 lymphocytes in ACD.
PMCID: PMC4303591  PMID: 24487305
22.  Predicting target-ligand interactions using protein ligand-binding site and ligand substructures 
BMC Systems Biology  2015;9(Suppl 1):S2.
Cell proliferation, differentiation, Gene expression, metabolism, immunization and signal transduction require the participation of ligands and targets. It is a great challenge to identify rules governing molecular recognition between chemical topological substructures of ligands and the binding sites of the targets.
We suppose that the ligand-target interactions are determined by ligand substructures as well as the physical-chemical properties of the binding sites. Therefore, we propose a fragment interaction model (FIM) to describe the interactions between ligands and targets, with the purpose of facilitating the chemical interpretation of ligand-target binding. First we extract target-ligand complexes from sc-PDB database, based on which, we get the target binding sites and the ligands. Then we represent each binding site as a fragment vector based on a target fragment dictionary that is composed of 199 clusters (denoted as fragements in this work) obtained by clustering 4200 trimers according to their physical-chemical properties. And then, we represent each ligand as a substructure vector based on a dictionary containing 747 substructures. Finally, we build the FIM by generating the interaction matrix M (representing the fragment interaction network), and the FIM can later be used for predicting unknown ligand-target interactions as well as providing the binding details of the interactions.
The five-fold cross validation results show that the proposed model can get higher AUC score (92%) than three prevalence algorithms CS-PD (80%), BLM-NII (85%) and RF (85%), demonstrating the remarkable predictive ability of FIM. We also show that the ligand binding sites (local information) overweight the sequence similarities (global information) in ligand-target binding, and introducing too much global information would be harmful to the predictive ability. Moreover, The derived fragment interaction network can provide the chemical insights on the interactions.
The target and ligand bindings are local events, and the local information dominate the binding ability. Though integrating of the global information can promote the predictive ability, the role is very limited. The fragment interaction network is helpful for understanding the mechanism of the ligand-target interaction.
PMCID: PMC4331677  PMID: 25707321
23.  Membranous expressions of Lewis y and CAM-DR-related markers are independent factors of chemotherapy resistance and poor prognosis in epithelial ovarian cancer 
Background: Chemotherapy resistance is a common problem faced by patients diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Currently there are no specific or sensitive clinical biomarkers that maybe implemented to identify chemotherapy resistance and give insight to prognosis. The aim of this study is to investigate the roles of Lewis y antigen and the markers associated with cell-adhesion-mediated drug resistance (CAM-DR) in patients with EOC. Methods: 92 EOC patients who were treated with systemic chemotherapy after cytoreductive surgery were included in this analysis. Patients were divided into two groups, chemotherapy sensitive (n = 56) and resistant (n = 36). Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining for Lewis y and CAM-DR-related cell surface proteins including CD44, CD147, HE4 (Human epididymis protein 4), integrin α5, β1, αv and β3 were conducted on tissues collected during primary debulking surgery. Using multivariate logistic regressions, IHC results were compared to clinical variables and chemotherapy resistance to determine possible correlations. The relationships between IHC expression and progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were analyzed using Kaplan–Meier method and Cox regression analysis. Results: Membranous expression of Lewis y and all these CAM-DR-related markers were significantly higher in the resistant group than that of the sensitive group (all P < 0.01). Multivariate regression analysis revealed that high expression of Lewis y, CD44, HE4, integrin α5 and β1 as well as advanced FIGO stage were independent risk factors for chemotherapy resistance (all P < 0.05). Advanced FIGO stage, lymph node metastasis and high expression of Lewis y, CD44, CD147, HE4, integrin α5, β1 were associated with a shorter PFS and OS (all P < 0.05). Moreover, multivariate COX analysis demonstrated that the following variates were independent predictors of worse PFS and OS survival: late FIGO stage (P = 0.013, 0.049), high expressions of Lewis y (P = 0.010, 0.036), HE4 (P = 0.006, 0.013) and integrin β1 (PFS, P = 0.003), integrin α5 (OS, P = 0.019). Conclusion: Membranous expression of Lewis y and CAM-DR-related markers including CD44, CD147, HE4, integrin α5, β1, αv and β3 are associated with the development of chemotherapy resistance. High expression of Lewis y antigen and CAM-DR-related markers including CD44, CD147, HE4, integrin α5 and β1 are independent markers for PFS and OS, in which Lewis y and HE4 are the most significant.
PMCID: PMC4396026  PMID: 25973320
Epithelial ovarian cancer; chemotherapy resistance; prognosis; CAM-DR; Lewis y; HE4
24.  Himalayan fossils of the oldest known pantherine establish ancient origin of big cats 
Pantherine felids (‘big cats’) include the largest living cats, apex predators in their respective ecosystems. They are also the earliest diverging living cat lineage, and thus are important for understanding the evolution of all subsequent felid groups. Although the oldest pantherine fossils occur in Africa, molecular phylogenies point to Asia as their region of origin. This paradox cannot be reconciled using current knowledge, mainly because early big cat fossils are exceedingly rare and fragmentary. Here, we report the discovery of a fossil pantherine from the Tibetan Himalaya, with an age of Late Miocene–Early Pliocene, replacing African records as the oldest pantherine. A ‘total evidence’ phylogenetic analysis of pantherines indicates that the new cat is closely related to the snow leopard and exhibits intermediate characteristics on the evolutionary line to the largest cats. Historical biogeographic models provide robust support for the Asian origin of pantherines. The combined analyses indicate that 75% of the divergence events in the pantherine lineage extended back to the Miocene, up to 7 Myr earlier than previously estimated. The deeper evolutionary origin of big cats revealed by the new fossils and analyses indicate a close association between Tibetan Plateau uplift and diversification of the earliest living cats.
PMCID: PMC3843846  PMID: 24225466
first appearance; Himalaya; Pantherinae; Felidae; Miocene; Asia
25.  New Meroterpenoids from the Endophytic Fungus Aspergillus flavipes AIL8 Derived from the Mangrove Plant Acanthus ilicifolius 
Marine Drugs  2015;13(1):237-248.
Four new meroterpenoids (2–5), along with three known analogues (1, 6, and 7) were isolated from mangrove plant Acanthus ilicifolius derived endophytic fungus Aspergillus flavipes. The structures of these compounds were elucidated by NMR and MS analysis, the configurations were assigned by CD data, and the stereochemistry of 1 was confirmed by X-ray crystallography analysis. A possible biogenetic pathway of compounds 1–7 was also proposed. All compounds were evaluated for antibacterial and cytotoxic activities.
PMCID: PMC4306934  PMID: 25574738
meroterpenoid; Aspergillus flavipes; endophytic fungus

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