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1.  Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 expression is transiently up-regulated in the acute period of myocardial infarction in rat 
The proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) has been confirmed as a major factor regulating cholesterol homeostasis and has low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) independent effects. In addition, the pathogenesis of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) involves lipids alteration and other acute phase responses. It remains unknown whether the PCSK9 expression is influenced by the impact of AMI. The present study aimed to investigate the changes of PCSK9 concentration using AMI rat model.
AMI (n = 6-8 at each time point) or sham operated (n = 6) adult male rats model were used. Whole blood and liver tissue were collected at 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 24, 48, and 96 hour (h) post infarction. The plasma PCSK9 concentration was measured by ELISA and lipid profiles were measured by enzymatic assay. The liver mRNA levels of PCSK9, LDLR, sterol response element binding protein-2 (SREBP-2) and hepatocyte nuclear factor 1α (HNF1α) were measured by quantitative real-time PCR.
The plasma PCSK9 concentration was increased from 12 h to 96 h (P < 0.05 vs. control). Paralleled with the enhanced plasma PCSK9 concentration, the hepatic PCSK9 mRNA expression was up-regulated by 2.2-fold at 12 h and 4.1-fold at 24 h. Hepatic mRNA levels of LDLR, SREBP-2 and HNF1α were all increased and lipid profiles underwent great changes at this acute period.
We firstly demonstrated that PCSK9 was transiently up-regulated in the acute period of AMI, which is also driven by transcriptional factors, SREBP-2 and HNF1α, suggesting that the role of PCSK9 in myocardial injury may be needed further study.
PMCID: PMC4279995  PMID: 25519174
Acute myocardial infarction; PCSK9; Rat
2.  Resources and Biological Activities of Natural Polyphenols 
Nutrients  2014;6(12):6020-6047.
The oxidative stress imposed by reactive oxygen species (ROS) plays an important role in many chronic and degenerative diseases. As an important category of phytochemicals, phenolic compounds universally exist in plants, and have been considered to have high antioxidant ability and free radical scavenging capacity, with the mechanism of inhibiting the enzymes responsible for ROS production and reducing highly oxidized ROS. Therefore, phenolic compounds have attracted increasing attention as potential agents for preventing and treating many oxidative stress-related diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, ageing, diabetes mellitus and neurodegenerative diseases. This review summarizes current knowledge of natural polyphenols, including resource, bioactivities, bioavailability and potential toxicity.
PMCID: PMC4277013  PMID: 25533011
polyphenols; antioxidant; cardioprotection; anticancer; anti-inflammation; antimicrobial; bioavailability
3.  Higher Fibrinogen Level is Independently Linked with the Presence and Severity of New-Onset Coronary Atherosclerosis among Han Chinese Population 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e113460.
Fibrinogen is a coagulation/inflammatory biomarker strongly associated with atherogenesis. However, no data is currently available regarding the association of fibrinogen level with the presence and severity of new-onset coronary atherosclerosis assessed by Gensini score (GS), particularly in Han Chinese with a large sample size.
Methods and Results
We studied 2288 consecutive, new-onset subjects undergoing coronary angiography with angina-like chest pain. Clinical and laboratory data were collected. Coronary stenotic lesions were considered to be the incidence of coronary atherosclerosis. The severity of coronary stenosis was determined by the GS system. Data indicated that patients with high GS had significantly elevated fibrinogen level (p<0.001). The prevalence and severity of coronary atherosclerosis were dramatically increased according to fibrinogen tertiles. Spearman correlation analysis revealed a positive association between fibrinogen level and GS (r = 0.138, p<0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that plasma fibrinogen level was independently associated with high GS (OR = 1.275, 95% CI 1.082–1.502, p = 0.004) after adjusting for potential confounders. Moreover, fibrinogen level was also independently related to the presence of coronary atherosclerosis (fibrinogen tertile 2: OR = 1.192, 95% CI 0.889–1.598, p = 0.241; tertile 3: OR = 2.003, 95% CI 1.383–2.903, p <0.001) and high GS (fibrinogen tertile 2: OR = 1.079, 95% CI 0.833–1.397, p = 0.565; tertile 3: OR = 1.524, 95% CI 1.155–2.011, p = 0.003) in a dose-dependent manner. Receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis showed that the best fibrinogen cut-off value for predicting the severity of coronary stenosis was 3.21 g/L.
Higher fibrinogen level is independently linked with the presence and severity of new-onset coronary atherosclerosis in Han Chinese population.
PMCID: PMC4245131  PMID: 25426943
4.  Synbindin in Extracellular Signal-Regulated Protein Kinase Spatial Regulation and Gastric Cancer Aggressiveness 
The molecular mechanisms that control the aggressiveness of gastric cancer (GC) remain poorly defined. Here we show that synbindin contributes to the aggressiveness of GC by activating extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) signaling on the Golgi apparatus.
Expression of synbindin was examined in normal gastric mucosa (n = 44), intestinal metaplastic gastric mucosa (n = 66), and GC tissues (n=52), and the biological effects of synbindin on tumor growth and ERK signaling were detected in cultured cells, nude mice, and human tissue samples. The interaction between synbindin and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK1)/ERK was determined by immunofluorescence and fluorescence resonance energy transfer assays. The transactivation of synbindin by nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) was detected using luciferase reporter assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation.
High expression of synbindin was associated with larger tumor size (120.8 vs 44.8cm3; P = .01), advanced tumor node metastasis (TNM) stage (P = .003), and shorter patient survival (hazard ratio = 1.51; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.01 to 2.27; P = .046). Synbindin promotes cell proliferation and invasion by activating ERK2 on the Golgi apparatus, and synbindin is directly transactivated by NF-κB. Synbindin expression level was statistically significantly higher in human GCs with activated ERK2 than those with low ERK2 activity (intensity score of 11.5, 95% CI = 10.4 to 12.4 vs intensity score of 4.6, 95% CI 3.9 to 5.3; P < .001). Targeting synbindin in xenograft tumors decreased ERK2 phosphorylation and statistically significantly reduced tumor volume (451.2mm3, 95% CI = 328.3 to 574.1 vs 726.1mm3, 95% CI = 544.2 to 908.2; P = .01).
Synbindin contributes to malignant phenotypes of GC by activating ERK on the Golgi, and synbindin is a potential biomarker and therapeutic target for GC.
PMCID: PMC4042874  PMID: 24104608
5.  Protective Role of the Cholinergic Anti-Inflammatory Pathway in a Mouse Model of Viral Myocarditis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112719.
Activation of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway, which relies on the α7nAchR (alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor), has been shown to decrease proinflammatory cytokines. This relieves inflammatory responses and improves the prognosis of patients with experimental sepsis, endotoxemia, ischemia/reperfusion injury, hemorrhagic shock, pancreatitis, arthritis and other inflammatory syndromes. However, whether the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway has an effect on acute viral myocarditis has not been investigated. Here, we studied the effects of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway on acute viral myocarditis.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In a coxsackievirus B3 murine myocarditis model (Balb/c), nicotine and methyllycaconitine were used to stimulate and block the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway, respectively. Relevant signal pathways were studied to compare their effects on myocarditis, survival rate, histopathological changes, ultrastructural changes, and cytokine levels. Nicotine treatments significantly improved survival rate, attenuated myocardial lesions, and downregulated the expression of TNF-α and IL-6. Methyllycaconitine decreased survival rate, aggravated myocardial lesions, and upregulated the expression of TNF-α and IL-6. In addition, levels of the signaling protein phosphorylated STAT3 were higher in the nicotine group and lower in the methyllycaconitine group compared with the untreated myocarditis group.
These results show that nicotine protects mice from CVB3-induced viral myocarditis and that methyllycaconitine aggravates viral myocarditis in mice. Because nicotine is a α7nAchR agonist and methyllycaconitine is a α7nAchR antagonist, we conclude that α7nAchR activation increases the phosphorylation of STAT3, reduces the expression of TNF-α and IL-6, and, ultimately, alleviates viral myocarditis. We also conclude that blocking α7nAchR reduces the phosphorylation of STAT3, increases the expression of TNF-α and IL-6, aggravating viral myocarditis.
PMCID: PMC4232511  PMID: 25396421
7.  Cell localisation of gadolinium-based nanoparticles and related radiosensitising efficacy in glioblastoma cells 
Cancer Nanotechnology  2014;5(1):6.
Recently, the addition of nanoparticles (NPs) has been proposed as a new strategy to enhance the effect of radiotherapy particularly in the treatment of aggressive tumors such as glioblastoma. The physical processes involved in radiosensitisation by nanoparticles have been well studied although further understanding of its biological impact is still lacking, and this includes the localisation of these NPs in the target cells. Most studies were performed with NPs tagged with fluorescent markers. However, the presence of these markers can influence the NPs uptake and localisation. In this study, a set of methods was used to unambiguously and fully characterise the uptake of label-free NPs, their co-localisation with cell organelles, and their radiosensitising efficacy. This set was applied to the case of gadolinium-based nanoparticles (GdBN) used to amplify the radiation killing of U87 glioblastoma cells extracted from highly aggressive human tumor. For the first time, Synchrotron Radiation Deep UV (SR-DUV) microscopy is proposed as a new tool to track label-free GdBN. It confirmed the localisation of the NPs in the cytoplasm of U87 cells and the absence of NPs in the nucleus. In a second step, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) demonstrated that GdBN penetrate cells by endocytosis. Third, using confocal microscopy it was found that GdBN co-localise with lysosomes but not with mitochondria. Finally, clonogenic assay measurements proved that the presence of NPs in the lysosomes induces a neat amplification of the killing of glioblastoma cells irradiated by gamma rays. The set of combined experimental protocols—TEM, SR-DUV and confocal microscopy—demonstrates a new standard method to study the localisation of label-free NPs together with their radiosensitising properties. This will further the understanding of NP-induced radiosentisation and contribute to the development of nanoagents for radiotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4192560  PMID: 25328549
Radiosensitisation; Nanomedicine; Tumor targeting; Theranostic; Gadolinium- based nanoparticles; Localisation; Deep-UV synchrotron microscopy; Glioblastoma
8.  Telekin suppresses human hepatocellular carcinoma cells in vitro by inducing G2/M phase arrest via the p38 MAPK signaling pathway 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2014;35(10):1311-1322.
Telekin, isolated from the Chinese herb Carpesium divaricatum, has shown anti-proliferation effects against various cancer cells, including hepatocellular carcinoma cells. In this study, we investigated the anti-proliferation mechanisms of telekin in human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells in vitro.
HepG2 cells were treated with telekin. Cell viability was evaluated using MTT assay. Flow cytometry was used to measure cell cycle profiles, ROS level and apoptosis. The protein expression levels were analyzed with Western blotting.
Telekin (3.75–30 μmol/L) dose-dependently inhibited the viability of HepG2 cells and induced l apoptosis. Furthermore, the treatment induced cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase, accompanied by significantly increased the phosphorylation of Cdc25A and Cdc2, and decreased Cyclin B1 level. Moreover, the treatment significantly stimulated ROS production, and increased the phosphorylation of p38 and MAPKAPK-2 in the cells. Pretreatment with the antioxidant NAC (2.5, 5, and 10 mmol/L), or the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580 (2.5 and 5 μmol/L) dose-dependently attenuated these telekin-induced effects in the cells.
Telekin suppresses hepatocellular carcinoma cells in vitro by inducing G2/M phase arrest via activating the p38 MAPK pathway.
PMCID: PMC4186990  PMID: 25176399
Telekin; hepatocellular carcinoma; HepG2 cell; cell cycle arrest; ROS; p38 MAPK pathway; apoptosis; antioxidant; NAC; SB203580
9.  High-Glucose Inhibits Human Fibroblast Cell Migration in Wound Healing via Repression of bFGF-Regulating JNK Phosphorylation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e108182.
One of the major symptoms of diabetes mellitus (DM) is delayed wound healing, which affects large populations of patients worldwide. However, the underlying mechanism behind this illness remains elusive. Skin wound healing requires a series of coordinated processes, including fibroblast cell proliferation and migration. Here, we simulate DM by application of high glucose (HG) in human foreskin primary fibroblast cells to analyze the molecular mechanism of DM effects on wound healing. The results indicate that HG, at a concentration of 30 mM, delay cell migration, but not cell proliferation. bFGF is known to promote cell migration that partially rescues HG effects on cell migration. Molecular and cell biology studies demonstrated that HG enhanced ROS production and repressed JNK phosphorylation, but did not affect Rac1 activity. JNK and Rac1 activation were known to be important for bFGF regulated cell migration. To further confirm DM effects on skin repair, a type 1 diabetic rat model was established, and we observed the efficacy of bFGF on both normal and diabetic rat skin repair. Furthermore, proteomic studies identified an increase of Annexin A2 protein nitration in HG-stressed fibroblasts and the nitration was protected by activation of bFGF signaling. Treatment with FGFR1 and JNK inhibitors delayed cell migration and increased Annexin A2 nitration levels, indicating that Annexin A2 nitration is modulated by bFGF signaling via activation of JNK. Together with these results, our data suggests that the HG-mediated delay of cell migration is linked to the inhibition of bFGF signaling, specifically through JNK suppression.
PMCID: PMC4171528  PMID: 25244316
10.  Clinical features of coronary artery ectasia in the elderly 
To investigate the incidence, imaging and clinical characteristics in elderly patients with coronary artery ectasia (CAE).
A retrospective analysis was conducted on patients with CAE who underwent coronary angiography between January 2006 and December 2012. According to age, the enrolled patients were divided into two groups (elderly group, age ≥ 65 years; non-elderly group, age < 65 years). The clinical feature, imaging characteristics and the 5-year survival rate of the two groups were compared.
The prevalence of CAE in elderly patients was 0.33%. Patients in elderly group were found to have significantly higher proportion of female (30.1% vs. 10.1%, P < 0.001), three-vessel disease (60.5% vs. 45.2%, P = 0.003) and localized ectasia (55.0% vs. 40.2%, P = 0.003). In addition, body mass index (20.90 ± 2.71 kg/m2 vs. 22.31 ± 2.98 kg/m2, P < 0.001) and percentage of current smokers (45.0% vs. 64.6%, P < 0.001) were significantly lower in elderly group. Cumulative survival curves demonstrated reduced 5-year cumulative survival at the follow-up in the elderly group compared with the non-elderly group (88.0% vs. 96.0%, P = 0.002). But the 5-year event free survival rate failed to show a significant difference between the two groups (31.0% vs. 35.0%, P = 0.311).
The prevalence of CAE in elderly patients was 0.33%, which was about 1/3 of the entire numbers of CAE patients. There were significant differences between the elderly and the non-elderly patients with CAE in terms of coronary artery disease risk factors and coronary artery ectatic characteristics. CAE might be associated with increased mortality risk in the elderly.
PMCID: PMC4178508  PMID: 25278965
Coronary artery ectasia; Elderly patients; Clinical feature
11.  Genetic variants in STAT4 and HLA-DQ genes confer risk of hepatitis B virus–related hepatocellular carcinoma 
Nature genetics  2012;45(1):72-75.
To identify genetic susceptibility loci for hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the Chinese population, we carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in 2,514 chronic HBV carriers (1,161 HCC cases and 1,353 controls) followed by a 2-stage validation among 6 independent populations of chronic HBV carriers (4,319 cases and 4,966 controls). The joint analyses showed that HCC risk was significantly associated with two independent loci: rs7574865 at STAT4, Pmeta = 2.48 × 10−10, odds ratio (OR) = 1.21; and rs9275319 at HLA-DQ, Pmeta = 2.72 × 10−17, OR = 1.49. The risk allele G at rs7574865 was significantly associated with lower mRNA levels of STAT4 in both the HCC tissues and nontumor tissues of 155 individuals with HBV-related HCC (Ptrend = 0.0008 and 0.0002, respectively). We also found significantly lower mRNA expression of STAT4 in HCC tumor tissues compared with paired adjacent nontumor tissues (P = 2.33 × 10−14).
PMCID: PMC4105840  PMID: 23242368
12.  Relationship of Glycated Hemoglobin Levels with Myocardial Injury following Elective Percutaneous Coronary Intervention in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e101719.
Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) predicts clinical cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular mortality. However, the relationship between HbA1c and myocardial injury following elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) has not been investigated.
The study sought to assess the relationship between HbA1c and myocardial injury following elective PCI in patients with type 2 DM.
We studied a cohort of consecutive 994 diabetic patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) undergoing elective PCI. Periprocedural myocardial injury was evaluated by analysis of troponin I (cTnI). The association between preprocedural HbA1c levels and the peak values of cTnI within 24 hours after PCI was evaluated.
Peak postprocedural cTnI >1×upper limit of normal (ULN), >3×ULN and >5×ULN were detected in 543 (54.6%), 337 (33.9%) and 245 (24.6%) respectively. In the multivariate model, higher HbA1c levels were associated with less risk of postprocedural cTnI >1×ULN (odds ratio [OR], 0.85; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.76–0.95; P = 0.005). There was a trend that higher HbA1c levels were associated with less risk of postprocedural cTnI >3×ULN (OR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.81–1.02; P = 0.088). HbA1c was not associated with the risk of postprocedural cTnI elevation above 5×ULN (OR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.84–1.08; P = 0.411).
The present study provided the first line of evidence that higher preprocedural HbA1c levels were associated with less risk of myocardial injury following elective PCI in diabetic patients.
PMCID: PMC4079566  PMID: 24988213
13.  Detection and significance of TregFoxP3+ and Th17 cells in peripheral blood of non-small cell lung cancer patients 
Archives of Medical Science : AMS  2014;10(2):232-239.
The aim of this study was to explore the relationships between TregFoxP3+ cells and Th17 cells and occurrence of lung cancer.
Material and methods
The proportions of TregFoxP3+ and Th17 cells, the expression of FoxP3 and RORγt mRNA, and the levels of related cell factors such as transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), interleukin IL-17 (IL-17) and IL-23 were determined respectively by flow cytometry analysis, real-time-polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and ELISA in peripheral blood of 18 healthy people and 26 patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
The levels of TregFoxP3+ and Th17, expression of FoxP3 and RORγt mRNA, and ratios of TregFoxP3+/Th17 and FoxP3/RORγt in peripheral blood with NSCLC were higher than those in healthy controls (p < 0.05). The proportion of Th17 cells from NSCLC patients was positively correlated with that of TregFoxP3+ (r = 0.81, p < 0.05). The receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve demonstrates that the increased level of TregFoxP3+/Th17 in the peripheral blood may be a useful indicator in early diagnosis of non-small cell lung carcinoma. The TregFoxP3+/Th17 and FoxP3/RORγt levels for patients in stage IV were higher than those of patients in stages I, II, and III (p < 0.05). The levels of TGF-β, IL-17, and IL-23 were higher in NSCLC patients than those in healthy controls.
The results suggest that ratios of Treg/Th17 correlate with the stage of NSCLC.
PMCID: PMC4042043  PMID: 24904654
carcinoma; non-small cell lung; TregFoxP3+; RORγt; Th17
14.  Direct writing of graphene patterns on insulating substrates under ambient conditions 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4892.
To unleash the full potential of graphene in electronics and optoelectronics, high-quality graphene patterns on insulating substrates are required. However, existing methods generally follow a “synthesis + patterning” strategy, which are time consuming and costly for fabricating high-quality graphene patterns on desired substrates. We developed a nanofabrication process to deposit high-quality graphene patterns directly on insulating substrates via a solid-phase laser direct writing (LDW) process. Open-air and room-temperature fabrication of graphene patterns on insulating substrates has been achieved via a femtosecond LDW process without graphene transfer and patterning. Various graphene patterns, including texts, spirals, line arrays, and integrated circuit patterns, with a feature line width of 800 nm and a low sheet resistance of 205 ohm/sq, were fabricated. The LDW method provides a facile and cost-effective way to fabricate complex and high-quality graphene patterns directly on target substrates, which opens a door for fabricating various advanced functional devices.
PMCID: PMC4013930  PMID: 24809639
15.  Impact of admission triglyceride for early outcome in diabetic patients with stable coronary artery disease 
The role of triglyceride (TG) in predicting the outcomes in diabetic patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) has not been well investigated.
A total of 329 cases with stable angina pectoris (SAP) were prospectively enrolled and followed up for an average of 12 months. They were classified into the two groups according to the cut-off values of predicting early outcome of fasting TG level (low group <1.2 mmol/L, n = 103; High group ≥1.2 mmol/L, n = 226). The relationship between the TG levels and early outcomes were evaluated.
High TG group showed severer lipid profile and elevated inflammatory markers. During an average of 12-month follow-up, 47 out of 329 patients suffered from pre-specified outcomes. Area under the receivers operating characteristic curve suggested that TG, similar to serum Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C), was a significant predictor of early outcome for diabetic patients with SAP (P = 0.002). In Cox regression models, after adjusted age, gender, body mass index, other lipid parameters, fasting blood glucose, high sensitivity C-reactive protein, neutrophil count and HbA1C, TG remained as an independent predictor of adverse prognosis.
High level of fasting TG (≥1.2 mmol/L) was an independent predictor for early outcome of diabetic patients with SAP as like as HBA1c and number of affected coronary arteries in the era of revascularization and statin therapeutics.
PMCID: PMC4013537  PMID: 24766776
Triglyceride; Hemoglobin A1C; Stable angina pectoris; Coronary artery disease; Outcome
16.  Genome Sequence of Streptomyces albulus PD-1, a Productive Strain for Epsilon-Poly-l-Lysine and Poly-l-Diaminopropionic Acid 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(2):e00297-14.
Streptomyces albulus PD-1, a productive strain for epsilon-poly-l-lysine and poly-l-diaminopropionic acid, was isolated from soils. We present the genome sequence of S. albulus PD-1, which may provide abundant information regarding the production of epsilon-poly-l-lysine and poly-l-diaminopropionic acid.
PMCID: PMC3990750  PMID: 24744334
17.  Variations in the MHC Region Confer Risk to Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma on the Subjects from High-Incidence Area in Northern China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90438.
The human major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is the most important region in vertebrate genome, and is crucial in innate immunity. Recent studies have demonstrated the possible role of polymorphisms in the MHC region to high risk for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Our previous genome-wide association study (GWAS) has indicated that the MHC region may confer important risk loci for ESCC, but without further fine mapping. The aim of this study is to further identify the risk loci in the MHC region for ESCC in Chinese population.
Conditional logistic regression analysis (CLRA) was performed on 24 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the MHC region, which were obtained from the genetically matched 937 cases and 692 controls of Chinese Han population. The identified promising SNPs were further correlated with clinical and clinicopathology characteristics. Immunohistochemistry was performed to explore the protein expression pattern of the related genes in ESCC and neighboring normal tissues.
Of the 24 promising SNPs analyzed, we identified three independent SNPs in the MHC region associated with ESCC: rs35399661 (P = 6.07E-06, OR = 1.71, 95%CI = 1.36–2.17), rs3763338 (P = 1.62E-05, OR = 0.63, 95%CI = 0.50–0.78) and rs2844695 (P = 7.60E-05, OR = 0.74, 95%CI = 0.64–0.86). These three SNPs were located at the genes of HLA-DQA1, TRIM27, and DPCR1, respectively. Further analyses showed that rs2844695 was preferentially associated with younger ESCC cases (P = 0.009). The positive immunostaining rates both for HLA-DQA1 and TRIM27 were much higher in ESCC tissues than in neighboring normal tissues (69.4% vs. 26.8% for HLA-DQA1 and 77.6% vs. 47.8% for TRIM27, P<0.001). Furthermore, the overexpression of HLA-DQA1 is correlated significantly with age (P = 0.001) and family history (P<0.001).
This study for the first time provides evidence that multiple genetic factors within the MHC region confer risk to ESCC on the subjects from high-risk area in northern China.
PMCID: PMC3942432  PMID: 24595008
18.  Identification of the involvement of LOXL4 in generation of keratocystic odontogenic tumors by RNA-Seq analysis 
Keratocystic odontogenic tumors (KCOT) are benign, locally aggressive intraosseous tumors of odontogenic origin. KCOT have a higher stromal microvessel density (MVD) than dentigerous cysts (DC) and normal oral mucosa. To identify genes in the stroma of KCOT involved in tumor development and progression, RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) was performed using samples from KCOT and primary stromal fibroblasts isolated from gingival tissues. Seven candidate genes that possess a function potentially related to KCOT progression were selected and their expression levels were confirmed by quantitative PCR, immunohistochemistry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Expression of lysyl oxidase-like 4 (LOXL4), the only candidate gene that encodes a secreted protein, was enhanced at both the mRNA and protein levels in KCOT stromal tissues and primary KCOT stromal fibroblasts compared to control tissues and primary fibroblasts (P<0.05). In vitro, high expression of LOXL4 could enhance proliferation and migration of the human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). There was a significant, positive correlation between LOXL4 protein expression and MVD in stroma of KCOT and control tissues (r=0.882). These data suggest that abnormal expression of LOXL4 of KCOT may enhance angiogenesis in KCOT, which may help to promote the locally aggressive biological behavior of KCOT.
PMCID: PMC3967310  PMID: 24357854
angiogenesis; keratocystic odontogenic tumor; lysyl oxidase-like 4; RNA-sequencing; tumor stromal fibroblast
19.  Mitochondria are required for antigen-specific T cell activation through reactive oxygen species signaling 
Immunity  2013;38(2):225-236.
It is widely appreciated that T cells increase glycolytic flux during activation, however the role of mitochondrial flux is unclear. Here we have shown that mitochondrial metabolism, in the absence of glucose metabolism, was sufficient to support interleukin-2 (IL-2) induction. Furthermore, we used mice with reduced mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mROS) production in T cells (T-Uqcrfs−/− mice) to show that mitochondria are required for T cell activation to produce mROS for activation of nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) and subsequent IL-2 induction. These mice could not induce antigen-specific expansion of T cells in vivo, however Uqcrfs1−/− T cells retained the ability to proliferate in vivo under lymphopenic conditions. This suggests that Uqcrfs1−/− T cells were not lacking bioenergetically, but rather lacked specific ROS-dependent signaling events needed for antigen-specific expansion. Thus, mitochondrial metabolism is a critical component of T cell activation through production of complex III ROS.
PMCID: PMC3582741  PMID: 23415911
20.  Impact of currently prescribed lipid-lowering drugs on plasma PCSK9 concentration: single or in combination study in rats 
An emerging data suggested a significant impact of statins on PCSK9 concentration, while the rapid impacts of other lipid-lowering drugs such as ezetimibe and xuezhikang alone or in combination on PCSK9 and lipid profile have not been assessed. This study aims to investigate whether an enhanced PCSK9 concentration by single or combined therapy of lipid-lowering drugs currently used precedes the changes of lipid profile in rats.
Sixty-three rats were randomly divided into six groups and orally administrated with placebo (N = 13), ezetimibe 10 mg/kg daily, Xuezhikang 1200 mg/kg daily, ezetimibe 10 mg/kg plus Xuezhikang 1200 mg/kg daily, pitavastatin 10 mg/kg daily or pitavastatin 10 mg/kg plus ezetimibe 10 mg/kg daily for 3 days (N = 10 for each group respectively). Blood samples were obtained at day 3 after orally administration. Plasma PCSK9 levels were determined by ELISA and lipid profile were measured by enzymatic assay.
Ezetimibe, Xuezhikang and pitavastatin alone and Xuezhikang plus ezetimibe as well as pitavastatin plus ezetimibe increased PCSK9 levels by 124%, 56%, 111%, 63% and 204% respectively (p < 0.05 compared with placebo). However, Xuezhikang plus ezetimibe did not enhance greater PCSK9 levels compared to monotherapy. Ezetimibe and pitavastatin in combination induced higher PCSK9 levels than pitavastatin monotherapy or co-therapy with ezetimibe plus Xuezhikang. There was no significant difference between any groups with regard to lipid profile levels at day 3 (P > 0.05).
Elevated PCSK9 concentration by ezetimibe, Xuezhikang and pitavastatin alone or in combination was found prior to the alterations of lipid profile in rats. Combination of Xuezhikang and ezetimibe significantly attenuated increase in PCSK9 compared to ezetimibe plus pitavastatin, suggesting that the former combination may be better than the latter in future clinical application.
PMCID: PMC3931276  PMID: 24533584
PCSK9; Statin; Lipid profile; Rat
21.  The anti-MMP activity of benzalkonium chloride 
Journal of dentistry  2010;39(1):10.1016/j.jdent.2010.10.003.
This study evaluated the ability of benzalkonium chloride (BAC) to bind to dentine and to inhibit soluble recombinant MMPs and bound dentine matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs).
Dentine powder was prepared from extracted human molars. Half was left mineralized; the other half was completely demineralized. The binding of BAC to dentine powder was followed by measuring changes in the supernatant concentration using UV spectrometry. The inhibitory effects of BAC on rhMMP-2, -8 and -9 were followed using a commercially available in vitro proteolytic assay. Matrix-bound endogenous MMP-activity was evaluated in completely demineralized beams. Each beam was either dipped into BAC and then dropped into 1 mL of a complete medium (CM) or they were placed in 1 mL of CM containing BAC for 30 d. After 30 d, changes in the dry mass of the beams or in the hydroxyproline (HYP) content of hydrolyzates of the media were quantitated as indirect measures of matrix collagen hydrolysis by MMPs.
Demineralized dentine powder took up 10-times more BAC than did mineralized powder. Water rinsing removed about 50% of the bound BAC, while rinsing with 0.5 M NaCl removed more than 90% of the bound BAC. BAC concentrations 0.5 wt% produced 100% inhibition of soluble recombinant MMP-2, -8 or -9, and inhibited matrix-bound MMPs between 55-66% when measured as mass loss or 76-81% when measured as solubilization of collagen peptide fragments.
BAC is effective at inhibiting both soluble recombinant MMPs and matrix-bound dentine MMPs in the absence of resins.
PMCID: PMC3866626  PMID: 20951183
MMPs; dentine; benzalkonium chloride; binding
22.  Evaluation of Paeonol Skin-Target Delivery from Its Microsponge Formulation: In Vitro Skin Permeation and In Vivo Microdialysis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79881.
The aim of the present study was to design a novel topical skin-target drug-delivery system, the paeonol microsponge, and to investigate its drug-release patterns in dosage form, both in vitro and in vivo. Paeonol microsponges were prepared using the quasi-emulsion solvent-diffusion method. In vitro release studies were carried out using Franz diffusion cells, while in vivo studies were investigated by microdialysis after the paeonol microsponges were incorporated into a cream base. In vitro release studies showed that the drug delivered via microsponges increased the paeonol permeation rate. Ex vivo drug-deposition studies showed that the microsponge formulation improved drug residence in skin. In addition, in vivo microdialysis showed that the values for the area under the concentration versus time curve (AUC) for the paeonol microsponge cream was much higher than that of paeonol cream without microsponges. Maximum time (Tmax) was 220 min for paeonol microsponge cream and 480 min for paeonol cream, while the half-life (t1/2) of paeonol microsponge cream (935.1 min) was almost twice that of paeonol cream (548.6 min) in the skin (n = 3). Meanwhile, in the plasma, the AUC value for paeonol microsponge cream was half that of the paeonol cream. Based on these results, paeonol-loaded microsponge formulations could be a better alternative for treating skin disease, as the formulation increases drug bioavailability by lengthening the time of drug residence in the skin and should reduce side-effects because of the lower levels of paeonol moving into the circulation.
PMCID: PMC3835837  PMID: 24278204
23.  Effects of carvedilol treatment on cardiac cAMP response element binding protein expression and phosphorylation in acute coxsackievirus B3-induced myocarditis 
The role of β-adrenergic stimulation on viral myocarditis has been investigated in animal models of viral myocarditis. Excess stimulation of β-adrenergic receptors by catecholamines causes phosphorylation/activation of cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) by the cAMP signaling pathway. CREB as an important regulator of gene expression mediates the cardiovascular remodeling process and promotes anti-inflammatory immune responses. However, the CREB expression and phosphorylation have not been studied, and the effects of carvedilol (a nonselective β-adrenoceptor antagonist) on the CREB has not been investigated in the setting of acute viral myocarditis.
This study was therefore designed to examine the effects of carvedilol on the transcriptional factor CREB in a murine model of acute viral myocarditis. In a coxsackievirus B3 murine myocarditis model (Balb/c), effects of carvedilol on plasma noradrenaline, heart rate and blood pressure, myocardial histopathological changes and fibrosis, cardiomyocyte apoptosis, cardiac CREB and phosphorylated CREB, cytokine levels, and viral RNA were studied.
The expression and phosphorylation of CREB were decreased with concomitant increase of IL-6 and TNF-α in murine coxsackievirus-induced acute viral myocarditis. The levels of IL-6 and TNF-α were correlated with the expression of CREB or phosphorylated CREB. Carvedilol increased the cardiac CREB expression and phosphorylation and decreased the plasma catecholamine levels and the production of IL-6 and TNF-α with amelioration of acute viral myocarditis.
These results show that CREB may be involved in the pathophysiology of viral myocarditis and carvedilol exerts some of its beneficial effects by increasing the CREB expression and phosphorylation.
PMCID: PMC3840656  PMID: 24225056
Viral myocarditis; cAMP response element binding protein; Carvedilol
24.  Biological resonance for cancer metastasis, a new hypothesis based on comparisons between primary cancers and metastases 
Cancer Microenvironment  2013;6(3):213-230.
Many hypotheses have been proposed to try to explain cancer metastasis. However, they seem to be contradictory and have some limitations. Comparisons of primary tumors and matched metastases provide new insight into metastasis. The results show high concordances and minor differences at multiple scales from organic level to molecular level. The concordances reflect the commonality between primary cancer and metastasis, and also mean that metastatic cancer cells derived from primary cancer are quite conservative in distant sites. The differences reflect variation that cancer cells must acquire new traits to adapt to foreign milieu during the course of evolving into a new tumor in second organs. These comparisons also provided new information on understanding mechanism of vascular metastasis, organ-specific metastasis, and tumor dormancy. The collective results suggest a new hypothesis, biological resonance (bio-resonance) model. The hypothesis has two aspects. One is that primary cancer and matched metastasis have a common progenitor. The other is that both ancestors of primary cancer cells and metastatic cancer cells are under similar microenvironments and receive similar or same signals. When their interactions reach a status similar to primary cancer, metastasis will occur. Compared with previous hypotheses, the bio-resonance hypothesis seems to be more applicable for cancer metastasis to explain how, when and where metastasis occurs. Thus, it has important implications for individual prediction, prevention and treatment of cancer metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3855372  PMID: 24214411
Primary cancer; Metastasis; Similarity; Difference; Biological resonance (bio-resonance) model
25.  Impact of the quality of coronal restoration versus the quality of root canal fillings on success of root canal treatment: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Journal of endodontics  2011;37(7):10.1016/j.joen.2011.04.002.
Thorough cleaning and shaping of root canals are essential for periapical healing. Restoration of endodontically-treated teeth is also required for them to function and prevent coronal leakage. This study compared the impact of the quality of root canal treatment versus the quality of coronal restoration in treatment outcomes.
Literature search was conducted using the search terms “coronal restoration”, “root canal”, “periapical status” and “quality”. Articles that evaluated the effect of the quality of root filling and coronal restoration or both on the success of root canal treatment were selected. Nine articles were identified and were reviewed by three investigators. Data were collected based on pre-determined criteria. Percentages of teeth without apical periodontitis were recorded for each category: Adequate Root Canal Treatment (AE), Inadequate Root Canal Treatment (IE), Adequate Restoration (AR), Inadequate Restoration (IR). Data were analyzed using meta-analysis for odds ratios (ORs).
After adjusting for significant covariates to reduce heterogeneity, the results were combined to obtain pooled estimates of the common OR for the comparison of AR/AE vs AR/IE (OR 2.734; 95% CI 2.61–2.88; p<0.001) and AR/AE vs IR/AE (OR 2.808; 95% CI 2.64–2.97; p<0.001).
On the basis of the current best available evidence, the odds for healing of apical periodontitis increase with both adequate root canal treatment and adequate restorative treatment. Although poorer clinical outcomes may be expected with adequate root filling-inadequate coronal restoration and inadequate root filling-adequate coronal restoration, there is no significant difference in the odds of healing between these two combinations.
PMCID: PMC3815527  PMID: 21689541
coronal restoration; meta-analysis; obturation; periapical status; quality; root canal treatment; systematic review

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