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1.  tRNA-Derived Small Non-Coding RNAs in Response to Ischemia Inhibit Angiogenesis 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:20850.
Ischemic injuries will lead to necrotic tissue damage, and post-ischemia angiogenesis plays critical roles in blood flow restoration and tissue recovery. Recently, several types of small RNAs have been reported to be involved in this process. In this study, we first generated a rat brain ischemic model to investigate the involvement of new types of small RNAs in ischemia. We utilized deep sequencing and bioinformatics analyses to demonstrate that the level of small RNA fragments derived from tRNAs strikingly increased in the ischemic rat brain. Among these sequences, tRNAVal- and tRNAGly-derived small RNAs account for the most abundant segments. The up-regulation of tRNAVal- and tRNAGly-derived fragments was verified through northern blot and quantitative PCR analyses. The levels of these two fragments also increased in a mouse hindlimb ischemia model and cellular hypoxia model. Importantly, up-regulation of the tRNAVal- and tRNAGly-derived fragments in endothelial cells inhibited cell proliferation, migration and tube formation. Furthermore, we showed that these small RNAs are generated by angiogenin cleavage. Our results indicate that tRNA-derived fragments are involved in tissue ischemia, and we demonstrate for the first time that tRNAVal- and tRNAGly-derived fragments inhibit angiogenesis by modulating the function of endothelial cells.
PMCID: PMC4749989  PMID: 26865164
2.  Portable waveguide display system with a large field of view by integrating freeform elements and volume holograms 
Optics Express  2015;23(3):3534-3549.
A compact waveguide display system integrating freeform elements and volume holograms is presented here for the first time. The use of freeform elements can broaden the field of view, which limits the applications of a holographic waveguide. An optimized system can achieve a diagonal field of view of 45° when the thickness of the waveguide planar is 3mm. Freeform-elements in-coupler and the volume holograms out-coupler were designed in detail in our study, and the influence of grating configurations on diffraction efficiency was analyzed thoroughly. The off-axis aberrations were well compensated by the in-coupler and the diffraction efficiency of the optimized waveguide display system could reach 87.57%. With integrated design, stability and reliability of this monochromatic display system were achieved and the alignment of the system was easily controlled by the record of the volume holograms, which makes mass production possible.
PMCID: PMC4394758  PMID: 25836207
(090.2870) Holographic display; (090.2890) Holographic optical elements; (090.7330) Volume gratings; (220.2740) Geometric optical design; (220.4830) Systems design
3.  Quantum dots-based double imaging combined with organic dye imaging to establish an automatic computerized method for cancer Ki67 measurement 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:20564.
As a widely used proliferative marker, Ki67 has important impacts on cancer prognosis, especially for breast cancer (BC). However, variations in analytical practice make it difficult for pathologists to manually measure Ki67 index. This study is to establish quantum dots (QDs)-based double imaging of nuclear Ki67 as red signal by QDs-655, cytoplasmic cytokeratin (CK) as yellow signal by QDs-585, and organic dye imaging of cell nucleus as blue signal by 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI), and to develop a computer-aided automatic method for Ki67 index measurement. The newly developed automatic computerized Ki67 measurement could efficiently recognize and count Ki67-positive cancer cell nuclei with red signals and cancer cell nuclei with blue signals within cancer cell cytoplasmic with yellow signals. Comparisons of computerized Ki67 index, visual Ki67 index, and marked Ki67 index for 30 patients of 90 images with Ki67 ≤ 10% (low grade), 10% < Ki67 < 50% (moderate grade), and Ki67 ≥ 50% (high grade) showed computerized Ki67 counting is better than visual Ki67 counting, especially for Ki67 low and moderate grades. Based on QDs-based double imaging and organic dye imaging on BC tissues, this study successfully developed an automatic computerized Ki67 counting method to measure Ki67 index.
PMCID: PMC4738351  PMID: 26839163
4.  Tumor suppressor p53 and its mutants in cancer metabolism 
Cancer letters  2013;356(2):197-203.
Tumor-suppressor p53 plays a key role in tumor prevention. As a transcription factor, p53 transcriptionally regulates its target genes to regulate different biological processes in response to stress, including apoptosis, cell cycle arrest or senescence, to exert its function in tumor suppression. Recent studies have revealed that metabolic regulation is a novel function of p53. Metabolic changes have been regarded as a hallmark of tumors and a key contributor to tumor development. p53 regulates many different aspects of metabolism, including glycolysis, mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, pentose phosphate pathway, fatty acid synthesis and oxidation, to maintain the homeostasis of cellular metabolism, which contributes to the role of p53 in tumor suppression. p53 is frequently mutated in human tumors. In addition to loss of tumor suppressive function, tumor-associated mutant p53 proteins often gain new tumorigenic activities, termed gain-of-function of mutant p53. Recent studies have shown that mutant p53 mediates metabolic changes in tumors as a novel gain-of-function to promote tumor development. Here we review the functions and mechanisms of wild-type and mutant p53 in metabolic regulation, and discuss their potential roles in tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC4069248  PMID: 24374014
Tumor suppressor; p53; mutant p53; metabolism
5.  Effects of extremely low frequency pulsed magnetic fields on diabetic nephropathy in streptozotocin-treated rats 
Extremely low frequency pulsed magnetic fields (ELFPMF) have been shown to induce Faraday currents and measurable effects on biological systems. A kind of very high frequency electromagnetic field was reported that it improved the symptoms of diabetic nephropathy (DN) which is a major complication of diabetes. However, few studies have examined the effects of ELFPMF DN at the present. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of ELFPMF on DN in streptozotocin (STZ)–induced type 1 diabetic rats.
Adult male SD rats were randomly divided into three weight-matched groups: Control (non-diabetic rats without DN), DN + ELFPMF (diabetic rats with DN exposed to ELFPMF, 8 h/days, 6 weeks) and DN (diabetic rats with DN exposed to sham ELFPMF). Renal morphology was examined by light and electron microscopy, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) were measured by enzyme linked immune sorbent assay.
After 6 weeks’ ELFPMF exposure, alterations of hyperglycemia and weight loss in STZ-treated rats with DN were not found, while both positive and negative effects of ELFPMF on the development of DN in diabetic rats were observed. The positive one was that ELFPMF exposure attenuated the pathological alterations in renal structure observed in STZ-treated rats with DN, which were demonstrated by slighter glomerular and tubule-interstitial lesions examined by light microscopy and slighter damage to glomerular basement membrane and podocyte foot processes examined by electron microscopy. And then, the negative one was that ELFPMF stimulation statistically significantly decreased renal expression of VEGF-A and statistically significantly increased renal expression of CTGF in diabetic rats with DN, which might partially aggravate the symptoms of DN.
Both positive and negative effects of ELFPMF on the development of DN in diabetic rats were observed. The positive effect induced by ELFPMF might play a dominant role in the procession of DN in diabetic rats, and it is suggested that the positive effect should be derived from the correction of pathogenic diabetes-induced mediators.
PMCID: PMC4717615  PMID: 26786255
Pulsed magnetic fields; Diabetic nephropathy; Streptozotocin; rats
6.  Glutaminase 2 is a novel negative regulator of small GTPase Rac1 and mediates p53 function in suppressing metastasis 
eLife  null;5:e10727.
Glutaminase (GLS) isoenzymes GLS1 and GLS2 are key enzymes for glutamine metabolism. Interestingly, GLS1 and GLS2 display contrasting functions in tumorigenesis with elusive mechanism; GLS1 promotes tumorigenesis, whereas GLS2 exhibits a tumor-suppressive function. In this study, we found that GLS2 but not GLS1 binds to small GTPase Rac1 and inhibits its interaction with Rac1 activators guanine-nucleotide exchange factors, which in turn inhibits Rac1 to suppress cancer metastasis. This function of GLS2 is independent of GLS2 glutaminase activity. Furthermore, decreased GLS2 expression is associated with enhanced metastasis in human cancer. As a p53 target, GLS2 mediates p53’s function in metastasis suppression through inhibiting Rac1. In summary, our results reveal that GLS2 is a novel negative regulator of Rac1, and uncover a novel function and mechanism whereby GLS2 suppresses metastasis. Our results also elucidate a novel mechanism that contributes to the contrasting functions of GLS1 and GLS2 in tumorigenesis.
eLife digest
Healthy cells in the body derive most of their energy from a sugar called glucose. However, cancer cells grow and divide much more rapidly than normal cells and so require larger amounts of energy to sustain themselves. Therefore, many cancer cells can alter their metabolism so that they can obtain more energy from a molecule called glutamine or other alternative sources.
Cancer cells obtain glutamine from the blood and use an enzyme called glutaminase to convert it into another type of molecule. Human cells produce two forms of glutaminase called GLS1 and GLS2. Even though both enzymes share many common features, they have different effects on cancer cells. GLS1 promotes tumor formation, while GLS2 has the opposite effect. However, it is not clear why these enzymes behave so differently.
Zhang, Liu et al. now investigate how GLS2 suppresses the progression of tumors. The experiments show that GLS2, but not GLS1, can directly bind to a protein called Rac1 that normally promotes the spread of tumor cells around the body. GLS1 inhibits the activity of Rac1, but this happens independently of the enzyme’s glutaminase activity. Zhang, Liu et al. altered the levels of GLS2 in liver cancer cells and then injected these cells into mice. Cells that had low levels of GLS2 were able to spread and form tumors in distant sites like the lung. In contrast, smaller and fewer lung tumors were observed in mice that had been injected with cells that produced high levels of GLS2.
Zhang, Liu et al.’s findings reveal a new role for GLS2 that may help to explain why it affects tumor progression differently from GLS1. Further work is now needed to explore whether targeting Rac1 could be a potential therapy for cancers that have lost GLS2.
PMCID: PMC4749555  PMID: 26751560
GLS2; p53; Rac1; metastasis; tumor suppression; Human; Mouse
7.  Ozone-induced IL-17A and neutrophilic airway inflammation is orchestrated by the caspase-1-IL-1 cascade 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:18680.
Ozone is a common environmental air pollutant leading to respiratory illness. The mechanisms regulating ozone-induced airway inflammation remain poorly understood. We hypothesize that ozone-triggered inflammasome activation and interleukin (IL)-1 production regulate neutrophilic airway inflammation through IL-17A. Pulmonary neutrophilic inflammation was induced by extended (72 h) low-dose (0.7 ppm) exposure to ozone. IL-1 receptor 1 (Il1r1)−/−, Il17a−/− mice and the caspase-1 inhibitor acetyl-YVAD-chloromethylketone (Ac-YVAD-cmk) were used for in vivo studies. Cellular inflammation and protein levels in bronchial alveolar lavage fluid (BALF), cytokines, and IL-17A-producing γδT-cells, as well as mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) release, and inflammasome activation in lung macrophages were analyzed. Ozone-induced neutrophilic airway inflammation, accompanied an increased production of IL-1β, IL-18, IL-17A, Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), Interferon-γ inducible protein 10 (IP-10) and BALF protein in the lung. Ozone-induced IL-17A production was predominantly in γδT-cells, and Il17a-knockout mice exhibited reduced airway inflammation. Lung macrophages from ozone-exposed mice exhibited higher levels of mitochondrial ROS, enhanced cytosolic mtDNA, increased caspase-1 activation, and higher production of IL-1β. Il1r1-knockout mice or treatment with Ac-YVAD-cmk decreased the IL-17A production and subsequent airway inflammation. Taken together, we demonstrate that ozone-induced IL-17A and neutrophilic airway inflammation is orchestrated by the caspase-1-IL-1 cascade.
PMCID: PMC4703985  PMID: 26739627
8.  Transmembrane Protease Serine 4 Promotes Thyroid Cancer Proliferation via CREB Phosphorylation 
Thyroid  2015;25(1):85-94.
Background: Transmembrane protease serine 4 (TMPRSS4), one of the type II transmembrane serine proteases (TTSPs), is elevated in various cancers and is associated with multiple malignant phenotypes. However, the expression pattern and biologic significance of TMPRSS4 in thyroid cancer are largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the expression of TMPRSS4 in thyroid cancer and assessed the pro-proliferative role of TMPRSS4 in thyroid cancer.
Methods: Immunohistochemistry and real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays were performed to assess the expression of TMPRSS4 in thyroid cancer. We evaluated in vitro cell proliferation using MTT, colony formation, anchorage-independent growth, flow cytometry analysis, and 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU) incorporation assays. Western blot, real-time RT-PCR, and luciferase assays were conducted to reveal the underlying mechanisms.
Results: TMPRSS4 is overexpressed in thyroid cancer and is associated with the grade of malignancy. Depletion of TMPRSS4 in thyroid cancer cells significantly suppressed proliferation. Moreover, the proliferation of thyroid cancer cells with TMPRSS4 overexpression was significantly enhanced. We also show that cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element-binding protein (CREB)-cyclin D1 signaling mediates, at least partially, the role of TMPRSS4 in thyroid cancer cell proliferation.
Conclusions: TMPRSS4 is overexpressed in thyroid cancer and TMPRSS4-CREB signaling is needed to sustain thyroid cancer cell proliferation.
PMCID: PMC4290798  PMID: 25244400
9.  A Case–Control Study of Prenatal Thallium Exposure and Low Birth Weight in China 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2015;124(1):164-169.
Thallium (Tl) is a highly toxic heavy metal widely present in the environment. Case reports have suggested that maternal exposure to high levels of Tl during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight (LBW), but epidemiological data are limited.
This study was designed to evaluate whether prenatal Tl exposure is associated with an increased risk of LBW.
This case–control study involving 816 study participants (204 LBW cases and 612 matched controls) was conducted in Hubei Province, China, in 2012–2014. Tl concentrations were measured in maternal urine collected at delivery, and associations with LBW were evaluated using conditional logistic regression.
Higher maternal urinary Tl levels were significantly associated with increased risk of LBW [crude odds ratio (OR) = 1.52; 95% CI: 1.00, 2.30 for the highest vs. lowest tertile], and the association was similarly elevated after adjustment for potential confounders (adjusted OR = 1.90; 95% CI: 1.01, 3.58 for the highest vs. lowest tertile). Stratified analyses showed slightly higher risk estimates for LBW associated with higher Tl levels for mothers < 28 years old and for mothers with lower household income; however, there was no statistical evidence of heterogeneity in risk according to maternal age (p for heterogeneity = 0.18) or household income (p for heterogeneity = 0.28).
To our knowledge, ours is the first case–control study to investigate the association between prenatal Tl exposure and LBW. The results suggest that prenatal exposure to high levels of Tl may be associated with an increased risk of LBW.
Xia W, Du X, Zheng T, Zhang B, Li Y, Bassig BA, Zhou A, Wang Y, Xiong C, Li Z, Yao Y, Hu J, Zhou Y, Liu J, Xue W, Ma Y, Pan X, Peng Y, Xu S. 2016. A case–control study of prenatal thallium exposure and low birth weight in China. Environ Health Perspect 124:164–169;
PMCID: PMC4710601  PMID: 26009470
10.  Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (ICBT-i) Improves Comorbid Anxiety and Depression—A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(11):e0142258.
As the internet has become popularized in recent years, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i) has shifted from a face-to-face approach to delivery via the internet (internet-based CBT-i, ICBT-i). Several studies have investigated the effects of ICBT-i on comorbid anxiety and depression; however, the results remain inconclusive. Thus, a meta-analysis was conducted to determine the effects of ICBT-i on anxiety and depression. Electronic databases, including PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO and the Cochrane Library (throughout May 28, 2015), were systematically searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of ICBT-i. Data were extracted from the qualified studies and pooled together. The standardized mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were calculated to assess the effects of ICBT-i on comorbid anxiety and depression. Nine records that included ten studies were ultimately qualified. The effect sizes (ESs) were -0.35 [-0.46, -0.25] for anxiety and -0.36 [-0.47, -0.26] for depression, which were stable using a between-group or within-group comparison and suggest positive effects of ICBT-i on both comorbid disorders. Although positive results were identified in this meta-analysis, additional high-quality studies with larger sample sizes are needed in the future.
PMCID: PMC4651423  PMID: 26581107
11.  Identification and characterization of microRNAs from in vitro-grown pear shoots infected with Apple stem grooving virus in response to high temperature using small RNA sequencing 
BMC Genomics  2015;16:945.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have functions in diverse biological processes such as growth, signal transduction, disease resistance, and stress responses in plants. Thermotherapy is an effective approach for elimination of viruses from fruit trees. However, the role of miRNAs in this process remains elusive. Previously, we showed that high temperature treatment reduces the titers of Apple stem grooving virus (ASGV) from the tips of in vitro-grown Pyrus pyrifolia plants. In this study, we identified high temperature-altered pear miRNAs using the next generation sequencing technology, and futher molecularly characterized miRNA-mediated regulaton of target gene expression in the meristem tip and base tissues of in vitro-grown, ASGV-infected pear shoots under different temperatures.
Using in vitro-grown P. pyrifolia shoot meristem tips infected with ASGV, a total of 22,592,997 and 20,411,254 clean reads were obtained from Illumina high-throughput sequencing of small RNA libraries at 24 °C and 37 °C, respectively. We identified 149 conserved and 141 novel miRNAs. Seven conserved miRNAs and 77 novel miRNAs were differentially expressed at different temperatures. Target genes for differentially expressed known and novel miRNAs were predicted and functionally annotated. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis showed that high-ranking miRNA target genes were involved in metabolic processes, responses to stress, and signaling, indicating that these high temperature-responsive miRNAs have functions in diverse gene regulatory networks. Spatial expression patterns of the miRNAs and their target genes were found to be expressed in shoot tip and base tissues by qRT-PCR. In addition, high temperature reduced viral titers in the shoot meristem tip, while negatively regulated miRNA-mediated target genes related to resistance disease defense and hormone signal transduction pathway were up-regulated in the P. pyrifolia shoot tip in response to high temperature. These results suggested that miRNAs may have important functions in the high temperature-dependent decrease of ASGV titer in in vitro-grown pear shoots.
This is the first report of miRNAs differentially expressed at 24 °C and 37 °C in the meristem tip of pear shoots infected with ASGV. The results of this study provide valuable information for further exploration of the function of high temperature-altered miRNAs in suppressing viral infections in pear and other fruit trees.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-2126-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4647338  PMID: 26573813
Pyrus pyrifolia; microRNA; High temperature; Small RNA sequencing; Apple stem grooving virus
12.  Effects of Liraglutide Combined with Short-Term Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion on Glycemic Control and Beta Cell Function in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Pilot Study 
Journal of Diabetes Research  2015;2016:6839735.
The objective of this paper is to investigate the effects of liraglutide in combination with short-term continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) therapy on glycemic control and beta cell function in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Thirty-nine eligible newly diagnosed T2DM patients were recruited and randomized to receive either of two therapies: short-term CSII alone (CSII alone group) or CSII in combination with liraglutide (CSII + Lira group) for 12 weeks. Blood glucose control, homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) indices, and acute insulin response (AIR) were compared between the two groups. The patients in CSII + Lira group achieved euglycemia with equivalent insulin dosage in shorter time (1 (0) versus 2 (3) days, P = 0.039). HbA1c at the end of study was comparable between two groups (6.3 ± 0.7% versus 6.0 ± 0.5%, for CSII alone group and CSII + Lira group, resp., P = 0.325). The increment of AIR was higher in CSII + Lira group (177.58 (351.57) μU·min/mL versus 58.15 (51.30) μU·min/mL, P < 0.001). However, after stopping liraglutide, its effect on beta cell function disappeared completely. Liraglutide combined with short-term CSII was effective in further improving beta cell function, but the beneficial effects did not sustain after suspension of the therapy.
PMCID: PMC4657099  PMID: 26640805
13.  Prevalence and Determinants of Metabolic Health in Subjects with Obesity in Chinese Population 
Background: The study was to investigate the prevalence of metabolic health in subjects with obesity in the Chinese population and to identify the determinants related to metabolic abnormality in obese individuals. Methods: 5013 subjects were recruited from seven provincial capitals in China. The obesity and metabolic status were classified based on body mass index (BMI) and the number of abnormalities in common components of metabolic syndrome. Results: 27.9% of individuals with obesity were metabolically healthy. The prevalence of the metabolically healthy obese (MHO) phenotype was significantly decreased with age in women (p trend < 0.001), but not significantly in men (p trend = 0.349). Central obesity (odds ratio [OR] = 4.07, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.93–8.59), longer sedentary time (OR = 1.97, 95%CI = 1.27–3.06), and with a family history of obesity related diseases (hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia) (OR = 1.85, 95%CI = 1.26–2.71) were significantly associated with having metabolic abnormality in obese individuals. Higher levels of physical activity and more fruit/vegetable intake had decreased ORs of 0.67 (95%CI = 0.45–0.98) and 0.44 (95%CI = 0.28–0.70), respectively. Conclusion: 27.9% of obese participants are in metabolic health. Central obesity, physical activity, sedentary time, fruits/vegetables intake and family history of diseases are the determinants associated with metabolic status in obesity.
PMCID: PMC4661606  PMID: 26516886
metabolic; prevalence; obesity; dietary; public health
14.  Maximizing Information Diffusion in the Cyber-physical Integrated Network † 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2015;15(11):28513-28530.
Nowadays, our living environment has been embedded with smart objects, such as smart sensors, smart watches and smart phones. They make cyberspace and physical space integrated by their abundant abilities of sensing, communication and computation, forming a cyber-physical integrated network. In order to maximize information diffusion in such a network, a group of objects are selected as the forwarding points. To optimize the selection, a minimum connected dominating set (CDS) strategy is adopted. However, existing approaches focus on minimizing the size of the CDS, neglecting an important factor: the weight of links. In this paper, we propose a distributed maximizing the probability of information diffusion (DMPID) algorithm in the cyber-physical integrated network. Unlike previous approaches that only consider the size of CDS selection, DMPID also considers the information spread probability that depends on the weight of links. To weaken the effects of excessively-weighted links, we also present an optimization strategy that can properly balance the two factors. The results of extensive simulation show that DMPID can nearly double the information diffusion probability, while keeping a reasonable size of selection with low overhead in different distributed networks.
PMCID: PMC4701293  PMID: 26569254
cyber-physical network; information diffusion; relationship; dominating set; probabilistic links
15.  Knockdown of WISP1 inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis in ALL Jurkat cells 
WISP1, a Wnt-induced secreted protein, has been found to have anticancer activity. ALL is a leading cause of death. Here we investigate the WISP1 effects on ALL Jurkat cells. Cell viability was assessed by CCK-8. Cell cycle and apoptosis were detected by flow cytometry. Mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) was monitored using TMRM. Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was quantified using DCFH-DA. Western blot was used to detect the expression of cell proliferation and apoptosis related genes. The results showed that knockdown of WISP1 significantly inhibited proliferation of Jurkat cells. Parallelly, cell cycle distribution was increased at G1 phase and apoptotic rate was induced after WISP1 knockdown. Furthermore, knockdown of WISP1 induced apoptosis of Jurkat cells was also associated with loss of MMP and generation of ROS. Western blot results showed that the protein expression p-AKT, PCNA, CDK1, P-ERK, CDK2, VEGF, VEGFR2 and Bcl2 were decreased, while the expression of Bax was up-regulated. In conclusion, WISP1 plays an important role in proliferation and apoptosis of Jurkat cells in mitochondria dependent pathway, the specific mechanisms need further study.
PMCID: PMC4713705  PMID: 26823919
ALL; WISP1; proliferation; apoptosis; MMP; ROS
16.  Platelets promote allergic asthma through the expression of CD154 
Cellular and Molecular Immunology  2014;12(6):700-707.
Platelet activation is associated with multiple immune responses and the pathogenesis of various immune-related diseases. However, the exact role and the underlying mechanism of platelets in the progression of allergic asthma remain largely unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that during antigen sensitization, platelets can be activated by ovalbumin (OVA) aerosol via the upregulation of CD154 (CD40L) expression. Platelet transfer promoted allergic asthma progression by inducing more severe leukocyte infiltration and lung inflammation, elevated IgE production and strengthened T helper 2 (Th2) responses in asthma-induced mice. Accordingly, platelet depletion compromised allergic asthma progression. Cd154-deficient platelets failed to promote asthma development, indicating the requirement of CD154 for platelets to promote asthma progression. The mechanistic study showed that platelets inhibited the induction of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells both in vivo and in vitro at least partially through CD154, providing an explanation for the increase of Th2 responses by platelet transfer. Our study reveals the previously unknown role of platelet CD154 in the promotion of asthma progression by polarizing Th2 responses and inhibiting regulatory T-cell generation and thus provides a potential clue for allergic disease interventions.
PMCID: PMC4716619  PMID: 25418472
allergic asthma; CD154; platelet; regulatory T cells; Th2 response
17.  Achieving Reproducible Performance of Electrochemical, Folding Aptamer-Based Sensors on Microelectrodes: Challenges and Prospects 
Analytical Chemistry  2014;86(22):11417-11424.
Combining specific recognition capabilities with the excellent spatiotemporal resolution of small electrodes represents a promising methodology in bioanalytical and chemical sensing. In this paper, we report the development of reproducible electrochemical, aptamer-based (E-AB) sensors on a gold microelectrode platform. Specifically, we develop microscale sensors (25 μm diameter) for two representative small molecule targets–adenosine triphosphate and tobramycin. Furthermore, we report on the challenges encountered at this size scale including small-magnitude signals and interference from the irreversible reduction of dissolved oxygen and present methods to circumvent these challenges. Through the electrochemical deposition of dendritic gold nanostructures, we demonstrate microscale sensors with improved performance by increasing signal-to-noise and consequently sensitivity. Finally, we report on the use of the nonspecific adsorption of serum proteins as an additional layer of surface passivation for stable sensor performance. The sensor development here represents general guidelines for fabricating electrochemical, folding aptamer-based sensors on small-scale electrodes.
PMCID: PMC4238692  PMID: 25337781
18.  Dental and periodontal status of 12-year-old Dai school children in Yunnan Province, China: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Oral Health  2015;15:117.
The Dai people are one of the ethnic minorities in China and have a population of 1,260,000. They have the same origin as one of the main ethnic groups in Laos and Thailand. The study aims to describe the dental caries and gingival status of 12-year-old Dai children in China and to study the factors affecting their oral-health status.
This cross-sectional oral-health survey was conducted from 2011–2012 with ethics approval. A sample of 12-year-old Dai children living in Yunnan, China, was selected using a multistage and cluster sampling method. One trained examiner performed the clinical examination. Caries experience was measured using DMFT index, and gingival status was assessed with CPI index. A self-completed questionnaire was sent to the children, and they were asked about their backgrounds and oral-health-related behaviors and oral-health knowledge. Binary logistic regression analysis was performed to investigate the factors that affected the caries status.
A total of 875 children were invited, and 823 (94 %) joined the survey. The prevalence of caries experience among the participants was 40 %. The mean DMFT and DT scores were 0.9 and 0.8, respectively. Most children (93 %) had gingivitis, and many (46 %) had calculus. Girls and those who had visited a dentist during the previous year had a higher prevalence of caries.
Dental caries were prevalent among 12-year-old Dai children in China. The periodontal condition of most of the children was poor. Caries were associated with gender and dental attendance.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12903-015-0106-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4597448  PMID: 26449516
Caries; Children; Ethnic; Minority; China
19.  Discovery and validation of potential bacterial biomarkers for lung cancer 
American Journal of Cancer Research  2015;5(10):3111-3122.
Microbes are residents in a number of body sites, including the oral and nasal cavities, which are connected to the lung via the pharynx. The associations between oral diseases and increased risk of lung cancer have been reported in previous prospective studies. In this study, we measured variations of salivary microbiota and evaluated their potential association with lung cancer, including squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adenocarcinoma (AC). A three-phase study was performed: First, we investigated the salivary microbiota from 20 lung cancer patients (10 SCC and 10 AC) and control subjects (n=10) using a deep sequencing analysis. Salivary Capnocytophaga, Selenomonas, Veillonella and Neisseria were found to be significantly altered in patients with SCC and AC when compared to that in control subjects. Second, we confirmed the significant changes of Capnocytophaga, Veillonella and Neisseria in the same lung cancer patients using quantitative PCR (qPCR). Finally, these bacterial species were further validated on new patient/control cohorts (n=56) with qPCR. The combination of two bacterial biomarkers, Capnocytophaga and Veillonella, yielded a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) value of 0.86 with an 84.6% sensitivity and 86.7% specificity in distinguishing patients with SCC from control subjects and a ROC value of 0.80 with a 78.6% sensitivity and 80.0% specificity in distinguishing patients with AC from control subjects. In conclusion, we have for the first time demonstrated the association of saliva microbiota with lung cancer. Particularly, the combination of the 16S sequencing discovery with qPCR validation studies revealed that the levels of Capnocytophaga and Veillonella were significantly higher in the saliva from lung cancer patients, which may serve as potential biomarkers for the disease detection/classification.
PMCID: PMC4656734  PMID: 26693063
Lung cancer; 16S rDNA sequencing; Capnocytophaga; Veillonella; saliva microbiota
20.  Elevated Levels of IFN-γ in CSF and Serum of Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(9):e0136937.
To explore whether the levels of IFN-γ in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) and serum are elevated in ALS patients and to analyze the correlations between the IFN-γ levels and disease progression.
CSF and serum samples were obtained from 52 ALS patients and 31 non-ALS patients. The levels of IFN-γ in CSF and serum were assessed, and disease progression parameters, including the disease interval (months from onset, MFO), the revised ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-r) score and the disease progression rate (DPR) were analyzed by registered neurologists. All samples were measured using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Statistical analyses were performed using Prism software.
Compared to the non-ALS patients, the ALS patients displayed significantly increased levels of IFN-γ in both CSF and serum, and these values consistently correlated with disease progression.
These results demonstrated that IFN-γ in CSF may serve as a biomarker of ALS differentiation and progression. CSF IFN-γ was a more reliable biomarker of disease diagnosis and progression than serum IFN-γ.
PMCID: PMC4557946  PMID: 26332465
21.  BAG2 promotes tumorigenesis through enhancing mutant p53 protein levels and function 
eLife  null;4:e08401.
Tumor suppressor p53 is the most frequently mutated gene in tumors. Many mutant p53 (mutp53) proteins promote tumorigenesis through the gain-of-function (GOF) mechanism. Mutp53 proteins often accumulate to high levels in tumors, which is critical for mutp53 GOF. Its underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Here, we found that BAG2, a protein of Bcl-2 associated athanogene (BAG) family, promotes mutp53 accumulation and GOF in tumors. Mechanistically, BAG2 binds to mutp53 and translocates to the nucleus to inhibit the MDM2-mutp53 interaction, and MDM2-mediated ubiquitination and degradation of mutp53. Thus, BAG2 promotes mutp53 accumulation and GOF in tumor growth, metastasis and chemoresistance. BAG2 is frequently overexpressed in tumors. BAG2 overexpression is associated with poor prognosis in patients and mutp53 accumulation in tumors. These findings revealed a novel and important mechanism for mutp53 accumulation and GOF in tumors, and also uncovered an important role of BAG2 in tumorigenesis through promoting mutp53 accumulation and GOF.
eLife digest
Cancer can develop if cells in the body acquire mutations that enable them to grow rapidly to form a mass called a tumor. The gene that encodes a protein called p53 is the most commonly mutated gene in human tumors. Most of these mutations result in the production of mutant p53 proteins that are similar in size to the normal protein, but do not work in the same way.
The normal p53 protein is known as a ‘tumor suppressor’ because it promotes the repair of damaged genetic material and stops the cell from dividing while this repair is underway. Also, it can instruct a cell to die if the damage is too great to repair. However, many of the mutant p53 proteins stop performing these roles and gain new activities that promote tumor growth instead. These activities often rely on the mutant p53 proteins accumulating to very high levels, but it is not clear why this happens.
Here, Yue, Zhao et al. used biochemical techniques to search for other proteins that can bind to mutant p53 proteins. The experiments reveal that a protein called BAG2 binds to mutant p53 and promotes its accumulation in cancer cells, which increases the activity of mutant p53 in driving tumor growth. Loss of BAG2 leads to a reduction in the level of mutant p53 in cells and inhibits the activity of mutant p53.
Using a public database of genetic data from human tumors, Yue, Zhao et al. found that human tumor cells often contain higher levels of BAG2 than normal cells. Furthermore, patients with tumors that had high levels of BAG2—and therefore accumulated mutant p53 proteins—were less likely to have positive outcomes after medical treatment.
Yue, Zhao et al.'s findings suggest that increased production of BAG2 in many tumors may be responsible for the accumulation of mutant p53 proteins that drive tumor growth. A future goal is to develop a new treatment strategy that targets BAG2 in tumors to prevent the accumulation of mutant p53 proteins and therefore block the growth of tumors.
PMCID: PMC4561369  PMID: 26271008
mutant p53; BAG2; tumorigenesis; human; mouse
22.  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
23.  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
24.  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
25.  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

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