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1.  Sex-specific genetic architecture of human fatness in Chinese: the SAPPHIRe Study 
Human genetics  2010;128(5):501-513.
To dissect the genetic architecture of sexual dimorphism in obesity-related traits, we evaluated the sex–genotype interaction, sex-specific heritability and genome-wide linkages for seven measurements related to obesity. A total of 1,365 non-diabetic Chinese subjects from the family study of the Stanford Asia–Pacific Program of Hypertension and Insulin Resistance were used to search for quantitative trait loci (QTLs) responsible for the obesity-related traits. Pleiotropy and co-incidence effects from the QTLs were also examined using the bivariate linkage approach. We found that sex-specific differences in heritability and the genotype–sex interaction effects were substantially significant for most of these traits. Several QTLs with strong linkage evidence were identified after incorporating genotype by sex (G × S) interactions into the linkage mapping, including one QTL for hip circumference [maximum LOD score (MLS) = 4.22, empirical p = 0.000033] and two QTLs: for BMI on chromosome 12q with MLS 3.37 (empirical p = 0.0043) and 3.10 (empirical p = 0.0054). Sex-specific analyses demonstrated that these linkage signals all resulted from females rather than males. Most of these QTLs for obesity-related traits replicated the findings in other ethnic groups. Bivariate linkage analyses showed several obesity traits were influenced by a common set of QTLs. All regions with linkage signals were observed in one gender, but not in the whole sample, suggesting the genetic architecture of obesity-related traits does differ by gender. These findings are useful for further identification of the liability genes for these phenotypes through candidate genes or genome-wide association analysis.
PMCID: PMC4446122  PMID: 20725740
2.  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
3.  Phase angle and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in sickle cell disease 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2002;87(3):252-254.
PMCID: PMC1719241  PMID: 12193445
4.  Nutrient content of earthworms consumed by Ye'Kuana Amerindians of the Alto Orinoco of Venezuela. 
For the Makiritare (Ye'Kuana) native people of the Alto Orinoco (Venezuela), earthworms (Anellida: Glossoscolecidae) are an important component of the diet. Two species in particular are widely consumed: 'kuru' (Andiorrhinus kuru n. sp.) and 'motto' (Andiorrhinus motto). We analysed eviscerated kuru body proper, and whole and smoked preparations of motto for their content of protein and amino acids, fatty acids and 20 minerals and trace elements. The samples contained large amounts of protein (64.5-72.9% of dry weight), essential amino acids, calcium and iron together with notable quantities of other important elements, indicating that these earthworms contain potentially useful quantities of many nutrients that are critical to the health of the humans who consume them.
PMCID: PMC1691235  PMID: 12614573
5.  Betel quid chewing as a risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma: a case-control study 
British Journal of Cancer  2001;84(5):709-713.
The role of betel quid chewing in the aetiology of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was evaluated in a case–control study including 263 pairs of age- and sex-matched HCC patients and healthy controls. Serum hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), and antibodies to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV) were determined, and standardized personal interview conducted using a structured questionnaire. Multivariate analysis indicated that betel quid chewing (odds ratio (OR), 3.49; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.74–6.96), HBsAg (OR, 16.69; 95% CI, 9.92–28.07), anti-HCV (OR, 38.57; 95% CI, 18.15–81.96), and educational duration of less than 10 years (OR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.05–2.78) are independent risk factors of HCC. In addition, there was an additive interaction between betel quid chewing and chronic infection with either hepatitis B virus (synergy index, 5.37) or hepatitis C virus (synergy index, 1.66). Moreover, risk on HCC increased as duration of betel quid chewing increased, or amount of betel quid consumed (each P for trend < 0.0001). © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2363779  PMID: 11237396
betel quid chewing; hepatocellular carcinoma; hepatitis B virus; hepatitis C virus; risk factor
6.  Clinical evaluation of urinary transforming growth factor-beta1 and serum alpha-fetoprotein as tumour markers of hepatocellular carcinoma. 
British Journal of Cancer  1997;75(10):1460-1466.
To evaluate the diagnostic application of urinary transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) and serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), TGF-beta1 and AFP were determined in 94 patients with cirrhotic HCC and in 94 sex- and age-matched patients with cirrhosis alone. TGF-beta1 and AFP levels in HCC were higher than in cirrhosis alone (P = 0.0001). There is an inverse correlation between TGF-beta1 and log AFP (r = -0.292, P = 0.004). Multivariate analysis indicated that TGF-beta1 and AFP were closely associated, in a dose-related fashion, with the development of HCC. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used to determine the optimal cut-off values of TGF-beta1 (50 microg g(-1) creatinine) and AFP (100 ng ml(-1)). Both TGF-beta1 and AFP showed a high specificity (99%) and positive likelihood ratio. The sensitivity was 53.1% for TGF-beta1 and 55.3% for AFP. The determination of both markers in parallel significantly increased the diagnostic accuracy (90.1%) and sensitivity (84%), with a high specificity (98%) and positive likelihood ratio (40.0). In conclusion, TGF-beta1 and AFP are independent tumour markers of HCC and may be used as complementary tumour markers to discriminate HCC from cirrhosis.
PMCID: PMC2223488  PMID: 9166938
7.  Elevated urinary transforming growth factor-beta1 level as a tumour marker and predictor of poor survival in cirrhotic hepatocellular carcinoma. 
British Journal of Cancer  1997;76(2):244-250.
To assess the clinical relevance of transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), urinary TGF-beta1 and serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) were determined in 94 patients with cirrhotic HCC, 94 age- and sex-matched patients with cirrhosis alone and 50 healthy adults. TGF-beta1 level in HCC was higher than in cirrhosis alone or in healthy controls (each P = 0.0001). There is an inverse correlation between TGF-beta1 and AFP levels (r = -0.292, P = 0.004). Significantly higher TGF-beta1 level was found in HCC patients with worsening Child-Pugh stages, diffuse HCC, tumour size > 3 cm, multilobular tumour and AFP < or = 20 ng ml(-1). TGF-beta1 level decreased after complete treatment with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (P = 0.0001). The median survival in HCC patients with raised TGF-beta1 was shorter than those with normal TGF-beta1 (P = 0.018). Multivariate analysis indicated that TGF-beta1 and AFP were significantly correlated with the presence of HCC. In addition, TGF-beta1 could be used as a diagnostic marker for HCC, particularly in tumours with low AFP production. In conclusion, elevated urinary TGF-beta1 level is a tumour marker and predictor of poor survival for cirrhotic HCC.
PMCID: PMC2223945  PMID: 9231926
8.  High frequency of two mutations in codon 778 in exon 8 of the ATP7B gene in Taiwanese families with Wilson disease. 
Journal of Medical Genetics  1996;33(6):521-523.
The gene for Wilson disease (WD) has been cloned as a P type copper transporter gene (ATP7B). To elucidate the possible genetic mechanism for the diversity of clinical manifestations, we characterised 22 Taiwanese families with WD by microsatellite haplotyping of close DNA markers D13S314-D13S301-D13S316. We also screened for mutations of codon 778 in the transmembrane region. There were at least 15 haplotypes within eight broad subgroups observed among 44 WD chromosomes. Among the 22 unrelated patients, we found that six patients (27%) carried a codon 778 mutation. Nucleotide sequence analysis showed there were two different mutations: the previously reported Arg778Leu mutation in four patients and Arg778Gln, a new mutation, in two patients. The two different mutations of the same codon occurred in two distinct microsatellite haplotypes.
PMCID: PMC1050643  PMID: 8782057
9.  Effects of zinc-desferrioxamine on Plasmodium falciparum in culture. 
The zinc-desferrioxamine (Zn-DFO) complex is considered to be more permeative into parasitized erythrocytes than is the metal-free DFO. The former may penetrate the cell and exchange its bound zinc for ferric ions, rendering the iron unavailable for vital parasite functions. The effects of these compounds on the in vitro development of Plasmodium falciparum are compared. The results indicate that Zn-DFO is superior to DFO, especially at concentrations below 20 microM, as shown by decreased levels of hypoxanthine incorporation, lower levels of parasitemia, and interference with the life cycle of the parasite. At low concentrations, DFO even enhanced parasite growth. Such an enhancement was not observed following exposure to Zn-DFO. Experiments in which the compounds were removed from the cultures indicated that parasites treated with Zn-DFO are less likely to recover at a later stage. Since DFO has already been used in humans for the treatment of malaria, its complex with zinc, which is more effective in vitro, should also be examined in vivo.
PMCID: PMC162853  PMID: 7486946
10.  Insulin-stimulated oocyte maturation requires insulin receptor substrate 1 and interaction with the SH2 domains of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1993;13(11):6653-6660.
Xenopus oocytes from unprimed frogs possess insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) receptors but lack insulin and IGF-I receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1), the endogenous substrate of this kinase, and fail to show downstream responses to hormonal stimulation. Microinjection of recombinant IRS-1 protein enhances insulin-stimulated phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns) 3-kinase activity and restores the germinal vesicle breakdown response. Activation of PtdIns 3-kinase results from formation of a complex between phosphorylated IRS-1 and the p85 subunit of PtdIns 3-kinase. Microinjection of a phosphonopeptide containing a pYMXM motif with high affinity for the src homology 2 (SH2) domain of PtdIns 3-kinase p85 inhibits IRS-1 association with and activation of the PtdIns 3-kinase. Formation of the IRS-1-PtdIns 3-kinase complex and insulin-stimulated PtdIns 3-kinase activation are also inhibited by microinjection of a glutathione S-transferase fusion protein containing the SH2 domain of p85. This effect occurs in a concentration-dependent fashion and results in a parallel loss of hormone-stimulated oocyte maturation. These inhibitory effects are specific and are not mimicked by glutathione S-transferase fusion proteins expressing the SH2 domains of ras-GAP or phospholipase C gamma. Moreover, injection of the SH2 domains of p85, ras-GAP, and phospholipase C gamma do not interfere with progesterone-induced oocyte maturation. These data demonstrate that phosphorylation of IRS-1 plays an essential role in IGF-I and insulin signaling in oocyte maturation and that this effect occurs through interactions of the phosphorylated YMXM/YXXM motifs of IRS-1 with SH2 domains of PtdIns 3-kinase or some related molecules.
PMCID: PMC364728  PMID: 8413261
11.  A study on the acute effect of amphetamine on the urinary excretion of biogenic amines and metabolites in monkeys. 
British Journal of Pharmacology  1981;74(3):571-577.
1 The effects of an acute dose (3 mg/kg) of amphetamine on the urinary excretion of phenylethylamine (PEA), p-tyramine, their metabolites, catecholamine metabolites and p-hydroxymandelic acid, a major metabolite of p-octopamine were evaluated in the monkey. Amphetamine excretion was also measured. 2 Amphetamine was slowly eliminated from the body, being found in the urine at least six days after administration. 3 Amphetamine increased the excretion of PEA and decreased that of its major metabolite, phenylacetic acid (PAA). This pattern of changes is similar to that previously found in the urine of chronic schizophrenics. 4 The excretion of the dopamine metabolite, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) was markedly reduced, that of vanilmandelic acid (VMA) remained unchanged while 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) was increased on the day of drug administration and persisted for at least a further six days. A similar extended effect on the excretion of p-hydroxymandelic acid (it was reduced) was also observed. 5 The excretion of p-tyramine but not its metabolite, p-hydroxyphenylacetic acid, was decreased by amphetamine during treatment and returned to normal levels six days later. 6 From the results obtained, it was concluded that amphetamine effects on behaviour cannot exclusively be attributed to its influence on catecholamines and that other biogenic amines may be involved. 7 Since PEA elicits many behavioural changes similar to those seen with amphetamine, and since amphetamine increases PEA excretion, we suggest that amphetamine may exert some of its behavioural responses through the release of PEA.
PMCID: PMC2071751  PMID: 7296162

Results 1-11 (11)