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1.  Association of genetic variation in FTO with risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes with data from 96,551 East and South Asians 
Diabetologia  2011;55(4):981-995.
FTO harbours the strongest known obesity-susceptibility locus in Europeans. While there is growing evidence for a role for FTO in obesity risk in Asians, its association with type 2 diabetes, independently of BMI, remains inconsistent. To test whether there is an association of the FTO locus with obesity and type 2 diabetes, we conducted a meta-analysis of 32 populations including 96,551 East and South Asians.
All studies published on the association between FTO-rs9939609 (or proxy [r2 > 0.98]) and BMI, obesity or type 2 diabetes in East or South Asians were invited. Each study group analysed their data according to a standardised analysis plan. Association with type 2 diabetes was also adjusted for BMI. Random-effects meta-analyses were performed to pool all effect sizes.
The FTO-rs9939609 minor allele increased risk of obesity by 1.25-fold/allele (p = 9.0 × 10−19), overweight by 1.13-fold/allele (p = 1.0 × 10−11) and type 2 diabetes by 1.15-fold/allele (p = 5.5 × 10−8). The association with type 2 diabetes was attenuated after adjustment for BMI (OR 1.10-fold/allele, p = 6.6 × 10−5). The FTO-rs9939609 minor allele increased BMI by 0.26 kg/m2 per allele (p = 2.8 × 10−17), WHR by 0.003/allele (p = 1.2 × 10−6), and body fat percentage by 0.31%/allele (p = 0.0005). Associations were similar using dominant models. While the minor allele is less common in East Asians (12–20%) than South Asians (30–33%), the effect of FTO variation on obesity-related traits and type 2 diabetes was similar in the two populations.
FTO is associated with increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, with effect sizes similar in East and South Asians and similar to those observed in Europeans. Furthermore, FTO is also associated with type 2 diabetes independently of BMI.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-011-2370-7) contains peer-reviewed but unedited supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.
PMCID: PMC3296006  PMID: 22109280
Asians; FTO; Meta-analysis; Obesity; Type 2 diabetes
2.  Consistency of predictive signature genes and classifiers generated using different microarray platforms 
The Pharmacogenomics Journal  2010;10(4):247-257.
Microarray-based classifiers and associated signature genes generated from various platforms are abundantly reported in the literature; however, the utility of the classifiers and signature genes in cross-platform prediction applications remains largely uncertain. As part of the MicroArray Quality Control Phase II (MAQC-II) project, we show in this study 80–90% cross-platform prediction consistency using a large toxicogenomics data set by illustrating that: (1) the signature genes of a classifier generated from one platform can be directly applied to another platform to develop a predictive classifier; (2) a classifier developed using data generated from one platform can accurately predict samples that were profiled using a different platform. The results suggest the potential utility of using published signature genes in cross-platform applications and the possible adoption of the published classifiers for a variety of applications. The study reveals an opportunity for possible translation of biomarkers identified using microarrays to clinically validated non-array gene expression assays.
PMCID: PMC2920073  PMID: 20676064
microarray; cross-platform; gene signature; classifier; MAQC; hepatotoxicity
3.  The novel endocannabinoid receptor GPR55 is activated by atypical cannabinoids but does not mediate their vasodilator effects 
British Journal of Pharmacology  2007;152(5):825-831.
Background and purpose:
Atypical cannabinoids are thought to cause vasodilatation through an as-yet unidentified ‘CBx' receptor. Recent reports suggest GPR55 is an atypical cannabinoid receptor, making it a candidate for the vasodilator ‘CBx' receptor. The purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that human recombinant GPR55 is activated by atypical cannabinoids and mediates vasodilator responses to these agents.
Experimental approach:
Human recombinant GPR55 was expressed in HEK293T cells and specific GTPγS activity was monitored as an index of receptor activation. In GPR55-deficient and wild-type littermate control mice, in vivo blood pressure measurement and isolated resistance artery myography were used to determine GPR55 dependence of atypical cannabinoid-induced haemodynamic and vasodilator responses.
Key results:
Atypical cannabinoids O-1602 and abnormal cannabidiol both stimulated GPR55-dependent GTPγS activity (EC50 approximately 2 nM), whereas the CB1 and CB2-selective agonist WIN 55,212-2 showed no effect in GPR55-expressing HEK293T cell membranes. Baseline mean arterial pressure and heart rate were not different between WT and GPR55 KO mice. The blood pressure-lowering response to abnormal cannabidiol was not different between WT and KO mice (WT 20±2%, KO 26±5% change from baseline), nor was the vasodilator response to abnormal cannabidiol in isolated mesenteric arteries (IC50 approximately 3 μ M for WT and KO). The abnormal cannabidiol vasodilator response was antagonized equivalently by O-1918 in both strains.
These results demonstrate that while GPR55 is activated by atypical cannabinoids, it does not appear to mediate the vasodilator effects of these agents.
PMCID: PMC2190033  PMID: 17704827
GPR55; cannabinoid receptors; abnormal cannabidiol; CBx receptor
4.  Manganese-Dependent Cleavage of Nonphenolic Lignin Structures by Ceriporiopsis subvermispora in the Absence of Lignin Peroxidase 
Vol. 62, no. 10, p. 3684, column 2, line 16: "Tri(methylsilyl)" should read "Tri(trimethylsilyl)." Line 17: "Di(methylsilyl)" should read "Di(trimethylsilyl)." Line 20: "Tri(methylsilyl)" should read "Trimethylsilyl." Page 3686, column 1, reference 12: The journal should be Dokl. Akad. Nauk Belarusi.
PMCID: PMC1389535  PMID: 16535528
5.  Manganese-Dependent Cleavage of Nonphenolic Lignin Structures by Ceriporiopsis subvermispora in the Absence of Lignin Peroxidase 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  1996;62(10):3679-3686.
Many ligninolytic fungi appear to lack lignin peroxidase (LiP), the enzyme generally thought to cleave the major, recalcitrant, nonphenolic structures in lignin. At least one such fungus, Ceriporiopsis subvermispora, is nevertheless able to degrade these nonphenolic structures. Experiments showed that wood block cultures and defined liquid medium cultures of C. subvermispora rapidly depolymerized and mineralized a (sup14)C-labeled, polyethylene glycol-linked, high-molecular-weight (beta)-O-4 lignin model compound (model I) that represents the major nonphenolic structure of lignin. The fungus cleaved model I between C(inf(alpha)) and C(inf(beta)) to release benzylic fragments, which were shown in isotope trapping experiments to be major products of model I metabolism. The C(inf(alpha))-C(inf(beta)) cleavage of (beta)-O-4 lignin structures to release benzylic fragments is characteristic of LiP catalysis, but assays of C. subvermispora liquid cultures that were metabolizing model I confirmed that the fungus produced no detectable LiP activity. Three results pointed, instead, to the participation of a different enzyme, manganese peroxidase (MnP), in the degradation of nonphenolic lignin structures by C. subvermispora. (i) The degradation of model I and of exhaustively methylated (nonphenolic), (sup14)C-labeled, synthetic lignin by the fungus in liquid cultures was almost completely inhibited when the Mn concentration of the medium was decreased from 35 (mu)M to approximately 5 (mu)M. (ii) The fungus degraded model I and methylated lignin significantly faster in the presence of Tween 80, a source of unsaturated fatty acids, than it did in the presence of Tween 20, which contains only saturated fatty acids. Previous work has shown that nonphenolic lignin structures are degraded during the MnP-mediated peroxidation of unsaturated lipids. (iii) In experiments with MnP, Mn(II), and unsaturated lipid in vitro, this system mimicked intact C. subvermispora cultures in that it cleaved nonphenolic (beta)-O-4 lignin model compounds between C(inf(alpha)) and C(inf(beta)) to release a benzylic fragment.
PMCID: PMC1388956  PMID: 16535418
6.  New polymeric model substrates for the study of microbial ligninolysis. 
Lignin model dimers are valuable tools for the elucidation of microbial ligninolytic mechanisms, but their low molecular weight (MW) makes them susceptible to nonligninolytic intracellular metabolism. To address this problem, we prepared lignin models in which unlabeled and alpha-14C-labeled beta-O-4-linked dimers were covalently attached to 8,000-MW polyethylene glycol (PEG) or to 45,000-MW polystyrene (PS). The water-soluble PEG-linked model was mineralized extensively in liquid medium and in solid wood cultures by the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium, whereas the water-insoluble PS-linked model was not. Gel permeation chromatography showed that P. chrysosporium degraded the PEG-linked model by cleaving its lignin dimer substructure rather than its PEG moiety. C alpha-C beta cleavage was the major fate of the PEG-linked model after incubation with P. chrysosporium in vivo and also after oxidation with P. chrysosporium lignin peroxidase in vitro. The brown rot fungus Gloeophyllum trabeum, which unlike P. chrysosporium lacks a vigorous extracellular ligninolytic system, was unable to degrade the PEG-linked model efficiently. These results show that PEG-linked lignin models are a marked improvement over the low-MW models that have been used in the past.
PMCID: PMC167619  PMID: 7574649
7.  Efficacy and safety of continuous 4-year telbivudine treatment in patients with chronic hepatitis B 
Journal of Viral Hepatitis  2012;20(4):e37-e46.
In the phase-III GLOBE/015 studies, telbivudine demonstrated superior efficacy vs lamivudine during 2-year treatment in HBeAg-positive and HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B (CHB). After completion, 847 patients had an option to continue telbivudine treatment for further 2 years. A total of 596 (70%) of telbivudine-treated patients, who were serum HBV DNA positive or negative and without genotypic resistance to telbivudine at the end of the GLOBE/015 trials, were enrolled into a further 2-year extension study. A group of 502 patients completed 4 years of continuous telbivudine treatment and were included in the telbivudine per-protocol population. Amongst 293 HBeAg-positive patients, 76.2% had undetectable serum HBV DNA and 86.0% had normal serum ALT at the end of 4 years. Notably, the cumulative rate of HBeAg seroconversion was 53.2%. Amongst 209 HBeAg-negative patients, 86.4% had undetectable HBV DNA and 89.6% had normal serum ALT. In patients who had discontinued telbivudine treatment due to HBeAg seroconversion, the HBeAg response was durable in 82% of patients (median 111 weeks of off-treatment follow-up). The cumulative 4-year resistance rate was 10.6% for HBeAg-positive and 10.0% for HBeAg-negative patients. Most adverse events were mild or moderate in severity and transient. Renal function measured by estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) increased by 14.9 mL/min/1.73 m2 (16.6%) from baseline to 4 years (P < 0.0001). In conclusion, in HBeAg-positive and HBeAg-negative CHB patients without resistance after 2 years, two additional years of telbivudine treatment continued to provide effective viral suppression with a favourable safety profile. Moreover, telbivudine achieved 53% of HBeAg seroconversion in HBeAg-positive patients.
PMCID: PMC3618368  PMID: 23490388
HBeAg seroconversion; long-term treatment; off-treatment; renal function; safety

Results 1-7 (7)