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1.  Genetic differentiation and diversity of Callosobruchus chinensis collections from China 
Bulletin of Entomological Research  2015;106(1):124-134.
Callosobruchus chinensis (Linnaeus) is one of the most destructive pests of leguminous seeds. Genetic differentiation and diversity analysis of 345 C. chinensis individuals from 23 geographic populations using 20 polymorphic simple sequence repeats revealed a total of 149 alleles with an average of 7.45 alleles per locus. The average Shannon's information index was 1.015. The gene flow and genetic differentiation rate values at the 20 loci ranged from 0.201 to 1.841 and 11.0–47.2%, with averages of 0.849 and 24.4%, respectively. In the 23 geographic populations, the effective number of alleles and observed heterozygosity ranged from 1.441 to 2.218 and 0.191–0.410, respectively. Shannon's information index ranged from 0.357 to 0.949, with the highest value in Hohhot and the lowest in Rudong. In all comparisons, the fixation index (FST) values ranged from 0.049 to 0.441 with a total FST value of 0.254 among the 23 C. chinensis populations, indicating a moderate level of genetic differentiation and gene flow among these populations. Analysis of molecular variance revealed that the genetic variation within populations accounted for 76.7% of the total genetic variation. The genetic similarity values between populations varied from 0.617 to 0.969, whereas genetic distances varied from 0.032 to 0.483. Using unweighted pair-group method using arithmetical averages cluster analysis, the 23 geographic collections were classified into four distinct genetic groups but most of them were clustered into a single group. The pattern of the three concentrated groups from polymerase chain reactions analysis showed a somewhat different result with cluster.
PMCID: PMC4762245  PMID: 26548842
Callosobruchus chinensis; simple sequence repeat; geographic populations; genetic differentiation; genetic diversity
2.  Bisphenol A, benzophenone-type ultraviolet filters, and phthalates in relation to uterine leiomyoma 
Environmental research  2014;137:101-107.
Bisphenol A, benzophenone-type UV filters, and phthalates are chemicals in high production and use including in a range of personal care products. Exposure of humans to these chemicals has been shown to affect endocrine function. Although short-lived, widespread exposure may lead to continual opportunity for these chemicals to elicit health effects in humans. The association of these chemicals with incident uterine leiomyoma, an estrogen sensitive disease, is not known. Urinary concentrations of bisphenol A (BPA), five benzophenone-type UV filters (2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone (2OH-4MeO-BP), 2,4-dihydroxybenzophenone (2,4OH-BP), 2,2′-dihydroxybenzophenone (2,2′OH-4MeO-BP), 2,2′4,4′-tetrahydroxybenzophenone (2,2′4,4′OH-BP), and 4-hydroxybenzophenone (4OH-BP), and 14 phthalate monoesters were quantified in 495 women who later underwent laparoscopy/laparotomy at 14 clinical sites for the diagnosis of fibroids. Significantly higher geometric mean creatinine-corrected concentrations of BPA, 2,4OH-BP, and 2OH-4MeO-BP were observed in women with than without fibroids [BPA: 2.09 μg/g vs. 1.46 μg/g p=0.004; 2,4OH-BP:11.10 μg/g vs. 6.71 μg/g p=0.01; 2OH-4MeO-BP: 11.31 μg/g vs. 6.10 μg/g p=0.01]. Mono-methyl phthalate levels were significantly lower in women with than without fibroids (1.78 μg/g vs. 2.40 μg/g). However, none of the exposures were associated with a significant odds ratio even when adjusting for relevant covariates. There was a lack of an association between select nonpersistent chemicals and the odds of a fibroid diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC4355097  PMID: 25531814
benzophenone; bisphenol A; fibroid; phthalate; ultraviolet filter
3.  Unveiling the Mechanism for the Split Hysteresis Loop in Epitaxial Co2Fe1-xMnxAl Full-Heusler Alloy Films 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:18615.
Utilizing epitaxial Co2Fe1-xMnxAl full-Heusler alloy films on GaAs (001), we address the controversy over the analysis for the split hysteresis loop which is commonly found in systems consisting of both uniaxial and fourfold anisotropies. Quantitative comparisons are carried out on the values of the twofold and fourfold anisotropy fields obtained with ferromagnetic resonance and vibrating sample magnetometer measurements. The most suitable model for describing the split hysteresis loop is identified. In combination with the component resolved magnetization measurements, these results provide compelling evidences that the switching is caused by the domain wall nucleation and movements with the switching fields centered at the point where the energy landscape shows equal minima for magnetization orienting near the easy axis and the field supported hard axis.
PMCID: PMC4702088  PMID: 26733075
4.  Parallel charge sheets of electron liquid and gas in La0.5Sr0.5TiO3/SrTiO3 heterostructures 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:18282.
We show here a new phenomenon in La0.5Sr0.5TiO3/SrTiO3 (LSTO/STO) heterostructures; that is a coexistence of three-dimensional electron liquid (3DEL) and 2D electron gas (2DEG), separated by an intervening insulating LSTO layer. The two types of carriers were revealed through multi-channel analysis of the evolution of nonlinear Hall effect as a function of film thickness, temperature and back gate voltage. We demonstrate that the 3D electron originates from La doping in LSTO film and the 2D electron at the surface of STO is due to the polar field in the intervening insulating layer. As the film thickness is reduced below a critical thickness of 6 unit cells (uc), an abrupt metal-to-insulator transition (MIT) occurs without an intermediate semiconducting state. The properties of the LSTO layer grown on different substrates suggest that the insulating phase of the intervening layer is a result of interface strain induced by the lattice mismatch between the film and substrate. Further, by fitting the magnetoresistance (MR) curves, the 6 unit cell thick LSTO is shown to exhibit spin-orbital coupling. These observations point to new functionalities, in addition to magnetism and superconductivity in STO-based systems, which could be exploited in a multifunctional context.
PMCID: PMC4680910  PMID: 26669575
5.  Negative emotions affect postoperative scores for evaluating functional knee recovery and quality of life after total knee replacement 
This study aimed to determine whether psychological factors affect health-related quality of life (HRQL) and recovery of knee function in total knee replacement (TKR) patients. A total of 119 TKR patients (male: 38; female: 81) completed the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-revised (EPQR-S), Knee Society Score (KSS), and HRQL (SF-36). At 1 and 6 months after surgery, anxiety, depression, and KSS scores in TKR patients were significantly better compared with those preoperatively (P<0.05). SF-36 scores at the sixth month after surgery were significantly improved compared with preoperative scores (P<0.001). Preoperative Physical Component Summary Scale (PCS) and Mental Component Summary Scale (MCS) scores were negatively associated with extraversion (E score) (B=-0.986 and -0.967, respectively, both P<0.05). Postoperative PCS and State Anxiety Inventory (SAI) scores were negatively associated with neuroticism (N score; B=-0.137 and -0.991, respectively, both P<0.05). Postoperative MCS, SAI, Trait Anxiety Inventory (TAI), and BAI scores were also negatively associated with the N score (B=-0.367, -0.107, -0.281, and -0.851, respectively, all P<0.05). The KSS function score at the sixth month after surgery was negatively associated with TAI and N scores (B=-0.315 and -0.532, respectively, both P<0.05), but positively associated with the E score (B=0.215, P<0.05). The postoperative KSS joint score was positively associated with postoperative PCS (B=0.356, P<0.05). In conclusion, for TKR patients, the scores used for evaluating recovery of knee function and HRQL after 6 months are inversely associated with the presence of negative emotions.
PMCID: PMC4678652  PMID: 26577843
Total knee replacement; Negative emotion; Anxiety; Depression; Functional recovery; Health-related quality of life
6.  Association of tamoxifen use and increased diabetes among Asian women diagnosed with breast cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2014;111(9):1836-1842.
We conducted a population-based cohort study to assess whether tamoxifen treatment is associated with an increased incidence of diabetes.
Data obtained from the Taiwanese National Health Insurance Research Database were used for a population-based cohort study. The study cohort included 22 257 breast cancer patients diagnosed between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2004. Among them, 15 210 cases received tamoxifen treatment and 7047 did not. Four subjects without breast cancer were frequency-matched by age and index year as the control group. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis.
Breast cancer patients exhibited a 14% higher rate of developing diabetes (adjusted HR=1.14, 95% CI=1.08–1.20) compared with non-breast cancer controls, but the significant difference was limited to tamoxifen users. In addition, tamoxifen users exhibited a significantly increased risk of diabetes compared with non-tamoxifen users among women diagnosed with breast cancer (adjusted HR=1.31, 95% CI=1.19–1.45). Stratification by age groups indicated that both younger and older women diagnosed with breast cancer exhibited a significantly higher risk of diabetes than the normal control subjects did, and tamoxifen users consistently exhibited a significantly higher diabetes risk than non-tamoxifen users or normal control subjects did, regardless of age. Both recent and remote uses of tamoxifen were associated with an increased likelihood of diabetes.
The results of this population-based cohort study suggested that tamoxifen use in breast cancer patients might increase subsequent diabetes risk. The underlying mechanism remains unclear and further larger studies are mandatory to validate our findings.
PMCID: PMC4453737  PMID: 25225901
tamoxifen; breast cancer; diabetes; population-based; cohort study
7.  Genotranscriptomic meta-analysis of the Polycomb gene CBX2 in human cancers: initial evidence of an oncogenic role 
British Journal of Cancer  2014;111(8):1663-1672.
Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are histone modifiers known to transcriptionally silence key tumour suppressor genes in multiple human cancers. The chromobox proteins (CBX2, 4, 6, 7, and 8) are critical components of PcG-mediated repression. Four of them have been associated with tumour biology, but the role of CBX2 in cancer remains largely uncharacterised.
Addressing this issue, we conducted a comprehensive and unbiased genotranscriptomic meta-analysis of CBX2 in human cancers using the COSMIC and Oncomine databases.
We discovered changes in gene expression that are suggestive of a widespread oncogenic role for CBX2. Our genetic analysis of 8013 tumours spanning 29 tissue types revealed no inactivating chromosomal aberrations and only 40 point mutations at the CBX2 locus. In contrast, the overall rate of CBX2 amplification averaged 10% in all combined neoplasms but exceeded 30% in ovarian, breast, and lung tumours. In addition, transcriptomic analyses revealed a strong tendency for increased CBX2 mRNA levels in many cancers compared with normal tissues, independently of CDKN2A/B silencing. Furthermore, CBX2 upregulation and amplification significantly correlated with metastatic progression and lower overall survival in many cancer types, particularly those of the breast.
Overall, we report that the molecular profile of CBX2 is suggestive of an oncogenic role. As CBX2 has never been studied in human neoplasms, our results provide the rationale to further investigate the function of CBX2 in the context of cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC4200100  PMID: 25225902
CBX2; polycomb; metastasis; prognosis; expression; breast; prostate; lung; meta-analysis
8.  RILP suppresses invasion of breast cancer cells by modulating the activity of RalA through interaction with RalGDS 
Wang, Z | Zhou, Y | Hu, X | Chen, W | Lin, X | Sun, L | Xu, X | Hong, W | Wang, T
Cell Death & Disease  2015;6(10):e1923-.
RILP (Rab7-interacting lysosomal protein) is a key regulator for late endosomal/lysosomal trafficking, and probably a tumor suppressor in prostate cancer. However, the role of RILP in other cancers and the underlying mechanism for RILP in regulating the invasion of cancer cells remain to be investigated. In this study, we showed that overexpression of RILP in breast cancer cells inhibits the migration and invasion, whereas the depletion of RILP by RNAi-mediated knockdown promotes the migration and invasion. We identified RalGDS (Ral guanine nucleotide dissociation stimulator) as a novel interacting partner for RILP, and truncation analysis revealed the N-terminal region of RILP is responsible for interacting with the guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) domain of RalGDS. Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that RalGDS can be recruited to the late endosomal compartments by RILP. Further investigations indicated that the overexpression of RILP inhibits the activity of RalA, a downstream target of RalGDS. Our data suggest that RILP suppresses the invasion of breast cancer cells by interacting with RalGDS to inhibit its GEF activity for RalA.
PMCID: PMC4632296  PMID: 26469971
9.  Spectroscopic study of Gd nanostructures quantum confined in Fe corrals 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:12092.
Low dimensional nanostructures have attracted attention due to their rich physical properties and potential applications. The essential factor for their functionality is their electronic properties, which can be modified by quantum confinement. Here the electronic states of Gd atom trapped in open Fe corrals on Ag(111) were studied via scanning tunneling spectroscopy. A single spectroscopic peak above the Fermi level is observed after Gd adatoms are trapped inside Fe corrals, while two peaks appear in empty corrals. The single peak position is close to the higher energy peak of the empty corrals. These findings, attributed to quantum confinement of the corrals and Gd structures trapped inside, are supported by tight-binding calculations. This demonstrates and provides insights into atom trapping in open corrals of various diameters, giving an alternative approach to modify the properties of nano-objects.
PMCID: PMC4498218  PMID: 26160318
10.  Optical probe for surface and subsurface defects induced by ion bombardment 
Physica Status Solidi  2013;7(4):301-304.
We demonstrate that reflectance difference spectroscopy (RDS) is sensitive to defects induced by ion bombardment, located either in the topmost layer or in the subsurface region. Most importantly, these two kinds of defects can be spectrally discriminated, since the corresponding signatures in the RD spectrum arise from perturbations of different types of electronic states: The defects in the topmost surface layer mainly lead to a quenching of the optical anisotropy related to surface states, whereas the subsurface defects strongly affect the optical anisotropy originating from transitions between surface-modified bulk electronic states. Consequently, RDS can be used to simultaneously monitor the defects in the topmost surface layer and in the subsurface region in-situ during ion bombardment and thermal annealing.
Characteristic RD spectra and the corresponding STM images for a Cu(110) substrate before and after healing of the subsurface defects.
PMCID: PMC4461859  PMID: 26089989
metal surfaces; ion bombardment; reflectance difference spectroscopy; optical anisotropy; surface defects; bulk defects
11.  GSK3 is a regulator of RAR-mediated differentiation 
Leukemia  2012;26(6):1277-1285.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common form of leukemia in adults. Unfortunately, the standard therapeutic agents used for this disease have high toxicities and poor efficacy. The one exception to these poor outcomes is the use of the retinoid, all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), for a rare subtype of AML (APL). The use of the differentiation agent, ATRA, in combination with low-dose chemotherapy leads to the long-term survival and presumed cure of 75–85% of patients. Unfortunately ATRA has not been clinically useful for other subtypes of AML. Though many non-APL leukemic cells respond to ATRA, they require significantly higher concentrations of ATRA for effective differentiation. Here we show that the combination of ATRA with glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) inhibition significantly enhances ATRA-mediated AML differentiation and growth inhibition. These studies have revealed that ATRA's receptor, the retinoic acid receptor (RAR), is a novel target of GSK3 phosphorylation and that GSK3 can impact the expression and transcriptional activity of the RAR. Overall, our studies suggest the clinical potential of ATRA and GSK3 inhibition for AML and provide a mechanistic framework to explain the promising activity of this combination regimen.
PMCID: PMC4458365  PMID: 22222598
AML; differentiation; retinoids
12.  Testes-specific protease 50 promotes cell invasion and metastasis by increasing NF-kappaB-dependent matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression 
Cell Death & Disease  2015;6(3):e1703-.
The high mortality in breast cancer is often associated with metastatic progression in patients. Previously we have demonstrated that testes-specific protease 50 (TSP50), an oncogene overexpressed in breast cancer samples, could promote cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. However, whether TSP50 also has a key role in cell invasion and cancer metastasis, and the mechanism underlying the process are still unclear. Here we found that TSP50 overexpression greatly promoted cell migration, invasion, adhesion and formation of the stellate structures in 3D culture system in vitro as well as lung metastasis in vivo. Conversely, TSP50 knockdown caused the opposite changes. Mechanistic studies revealed that NF-κB signaling pathway was required for TSP50-induced cell migration and metastasis, and further results indicated that TSP50 overexpression enhanced expression and secretion of MMP9, a target gene of NF-κB signaling. In addition, knockdown of MMP9 resulted in inhibition of cell migration and invasion in vitro and lung metastasis in vivo. Most importantly, immunohistochemical staining of human breast cancer samples strongly showed that the coexpression of TSP50 and p65 as well as TSP50 and MMP9 were correlated with increased metastasis and poor survival. Furthermore, we found that some breast cancer diagnosis-associated features such as tumor size, tumor grade, estrogen receptors (ER) and progesterone receptors (PR) levels, were correlated well with TSP50/p65 and TSP50/MMP9 expression status. Taken together, this work identified the TSP50 activation of MMP9 as a novel signaling mechanism underlying human breast cancer invasion and metastasis.
PMCID: PMC4385939  PMID: 25811800
13.  Celastrol induces apoptosis and autophagy via the ROS/JNK signaling pathway in human osteosarcoma cells: an in vitro and in vivo study 
Cell Death & Disease  2015;6(1):e1604-.
Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignant tumor of bone, the long-term survival of which has stagnated in the past several decades. Celastrol, a triterpene from traditional Chinese medicine, has been proved to possess potent anti-tumor effect on various cancers. However, the effect of celastrol on human osteosarcoma and the underlying mechanisms remains to be elucidated. We reported here that celastrol could inhibit cell proliferation by causing G2/M phase arrest. Exposure to celastrol resulted in the activation of caspase-3, -8, and -9, indicating that celastrol induced apoptosis through both extrinsic and intrinsic pathways. Autophagy occurred in celastrol-treated cells as evidenced by formation of autophagosome and accumulation of LC3B-II. The celastrol-induced cell death was remarkably restored by the combination of autophagy and apoptosis inhibitors. Furthermore, inhibition of apoptosis enhanced autophagy while suppression of autophagy diminished apoptosis. Celastrol also induced JNK activation and ROS generation. The JNK inhibitor significantly attenuated celastrol-triggered apoptosis and autophagy while ROS scavenger could completely reverse them. The ROS scavenger also prevented G2/M phase arrest and phosphorylation of JNK. Importantly, we found that celastrol had the similar effects on primary osteosarcoma cells. Finally, in vivo, celastrol suppressed tumor growth in the mouse xenograft model. Taken together, our results revealed that celastrol caused G2/M phase arrest, induced apoptosis and autophagy via the ROS/JNK signaling pathway in human osteosarcoma cells. Celastrol is therefore a promising candidate for development of antitumor drugs targeting osteosarcoma.
PMCID: PMC4669742  PMID: 25611379
14.  A Glimpse of Matrix Metalloproteinases in Diabetic Nephropathy 
Current medicinal chemistry  2014;21(28):3244-3260.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are proteolytic enzymes belonging to the family of zinc-dependent endopeptidases that are capable of degrading almost all the proteinaceous components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). It is known that MMPs play a role in a number of renal diseases, such as, various forms of glomerulonephritis and tubular diseases, including some of the inherited kidney diseases. In this regard, ECM accumulation is considered to be a hallmark morphologic finding of diabetic nephropathy, which not only is related to the excessive synthesis of matrix proteins, but also to their decreased degradation by the MMPs. In recent years, increasing evidence suggest that there is a good correlation between the activity or expression of MMPs and progression of renal disease in patients with diabetic nephropathy in humans and in various experimental animal models. In such a diabetic milieu, the expression of MMPs is modulated by high glucose, advanced glycation end products (AGEs), TGF-β, reactive oxygen species (ROS), transcription factors and some of the microRNAs. In this review, we focused on the structure and functions of MMPs, and their role in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy.
PMCID: PMC4281028  PMID: 25039784
Diabetic nephropathy; extracellular matrix; metalloproteinases; TGF-β
16.  Transformations of the macromolecular landscape at mitochondria during DNA-damage-induced apoptotic cell death 
Cell Death & Disease  2014;5(10):e1453-.
Apoptosis is a dynamic process regulated by mitochondrion critical for cellular respiration and survival. Execution of apoptosis is mediated by multiple protein signaling events at mitochondria. Initiation and progression of apoptosis require numerous apoptogenic factors that are either released from or sequestered in mitochondria, which may transform the biomolecular makeup of the organelle. In this communication, using Raman microspectroscopy, we demonstrate that transformation in biomolecular composition of mitochondrion may be used as apoptosis marker in an individual cell. For the first time, we show that significant changes occur in the concentrations of RNA, DNA, protein, and lipid constituents of mitochondria during apoptosis. The structural analysis of proteins on mitochondria demonstrated a decrease in α-helix secondary structure content, and an increase in the levels of random coils and β-sheets on mitochondria. This may represent an additional hallmark of apoptosis. Strikingly, we observed nearly identical changes in macromolecular content of mitochondria both in the presence and absence of a key proapoptotic protein, Bax (Bcl-2-associated X protein). Increased DNA level in mitochondria corresponded with higher mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), and mitochondrial ROS production. Upregulation of polymerase-γ (POLG), mitochondrial helicase Twinkle, and mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam) in response to DNA damage correlated with increased mtDNA and RNA synthesis. Elevated activity of oxidative phosphorylation complexes supports functional mitochondrial respiration during apoptosis. Thus, we define previously unknown dynamic correlation of macromolecular structure of mitochondria and apoptosis progression in the presence and absence of Bax protein. These findings open up a new approach for monitoring physiological status of cells by non invasive single-cell method.
PMCID: PMC4649512  PMID: 25299778
17.  Mutational analysis of Polycomb genes in solid tumours identifies PHC3 amplification as a possible cancer-driving genetic alteration 
British Journal of Cancer  2013;109(6):1699-1702.
Polycomb group genes (PcGs) are epigenetic effectors implicated in most cancer hallmarks. The mutational status of all PcGs has never been systematically assessed in solid tumours.
We conducted a multi-step analysis on publically available databases and patient samples to identify somatic aberrations of PcGs.
Data from more than 1000 cancer patients show for the first time that the PcG member PHC3 is amplified in three epithelial neoplasms (rate: 8–35%). This aberration predicts poorer prognosis in lung and uterine carcinomas (P<0.01). Gene amplification correlates with mRNA overexpression (P<0.01), suggesting a functional role of this aberration.
PHC3 amplification may emerge as a biomarker and potential therapeutic target in a relevant fraction of epithelial tumours.
PMCID: PMC3776977  PMID: 23942079
Polycomb; lung cancer; endometrial cancer
18.  Accelerated partial-breast irradiation using intensity-modulated proton radiotherapy: do uncertainties outweigh potential benefits? 
The British Journal of Radiology  2013;86(1029):20130176.
Passive scattering proton beam (PSPB) radiotherapy for accelerated partial-breast irradiation (APBI) provides superior dosimetry for APBI three-dimensional conformal photon radiotherapy (3DCRT). Here we examine the potential incremental benefit of intensity-modulated proton radiotherapy (IMPT) for APBI and compare its dosimetry with PSPB and 3DCRT.
Two theoretical IMPT plans, TANGENT_PAIR and TANGENT_ENFACE, were created for 11 patients previously treated with 3DCRT APBI and were compared with PSPB and 3DCRT plans for the same CT data sets. The impact of range, motion and set-up uncertainties as well as scanned spot mismatching between fields of IMPT plans was evaluated.
IMPT plans for APBI were significantly better regarding breast skin sparing (p<0.005) and other normal tissue sparing than 3DCRT plans (p<0.01) with comparable target coverage (p=ns). IMPT plans were statistically better than PSPB plans regarding breast skin (p<0.002) and non-target breast (p<0.007) in higher dose regions but worse or comparable in lower dose regions. IMPT plans using TANGENT_ENFACE were superior to that using TANGENT_PAIR in terms of target coverage (p<0.003) and normal tissue sparing (p<0.05) in low-dose regions. IMPT uncertainties were demonstrated for multiple causes. Qualitative comparison of dose–volume histogram confidence intervals for IMPT suggests that numeric gains may be offset by IMPT uncertainties.
Using current clinical dosimetry, PSPB provides excellent dosimetry compared with 3DCRT with fewer uncertainties compared with IMPT.
Advances in knowledge:
As currently delivered in the clinic, PSPB planning for APBI provides as good or better dosimetry than IMPT with less uncertainty.
PMCID: PMC3755395  PMID: 23728947
19.  Activation-induced necroptosis contributes to B-cell lymphopenia in active systemic lupus erythematosus 
Fan, H | Liu, F | Dong, G | Ren, D | Xu, Y | Dou, J | Wang, T | Sun, L | Hou, Y
Cell Death & Disease  2014;5(9):e1416-.
B-cell abnormality including excessive activation and lymphopenia is a central feature of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Although activation threshold, auto-reaction and death of B cells can be affected by intrinsical and/or external signaling, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Herein, we demonstrate that co-activation of Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) and B-cell receptor (BCR) pathways is a core event for the survival/dead states of B cells in SLE. We found that the mortalities of CD19+CD27- and CD19+IgM+ B-cell subsets were increased in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of SLE patients. The gene microarray analysis of CD19+ B cells from active SLE patients showed that the differentially expressed genes were closely correlated to TLR7, BCR, apoptosis, necroptosis and immune pathways. We also found that co-activation of TLR7 and BCR could trigger normal B cells to take on SLE-like B-cell characters including the elevated viability, activation and proliferation in the first 3 days and necroptosis in the later days. Moreover, the necroptotic B cells exhibited mitochondrial dysfunction and hypoxia, along with the elevated expression of necroptosis-related genes, consistent with that in both SLE B-cell microarray and real-time PCR verification. Expectedly, pretreatment with the receptor-interacting protein kinase 1 (RIPK1) inhibitor Necrostatin-1, and not the apoptosis inhibitor zVAD, suppressed B-cell death. Importantly, B cells from additional SLE patients also significantly displayed high expression levels of necroptosis-related genes compared with those from healthy donors. These data indicate that co-activation of TLR7 and BCR pathways can promote B cells to hyperactivation and ultimately necroptosis. Our finding provides a new explanation on B-cell lymphopenia in active SLE patients. These data suggest that extrinsic factors may increase the intrinsical abnormality of B cells in SLE patients.
PMCID: PMC4225223  PMID: 25210799
20.  Magnetic Exchange Coupling and Anisotropy of 3d Transition Metal Nanowires on Graphyne 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4014.
Applying two-dimensional monolayer materials in nanoelectronics and spintronics is hindered by a lack of ordered and separately distributed spin structures. We investigate the electronic and magnetic properties of one-dimensional zigzag and armchair 3d transition metal (TM) nanowires on graphyne (GY), using density functional theory plus Hubbard U (DFT + U). The 3d TM nanowires are formed on graphyne (GY) surfaces. TM atoms separately and regularly embed within GY, achieving long-range magnetic spin ordering. TM exchange coupling of the zigzag and armchair nanowires is mediated by sp-hybridized carbon, and results in long-range magnetic order and magnetic anisotropy. The magnetic coupling mechanism is explained by competition between through-bond and through-space interactions derived from superexchange. These results aid the realization of GY in spintronics.
PMCID: PMC3918920  PMID: 24510164
21.  Enhanced tumor suppression in vitro and in vivo by co-expression of survivin-specific siRNA and wild-type p53 protein 
Shao, Y | Liu, Y | Shao, C | Hu, J | Li, X | Li, F | Zhang, L | Zhao, D | Sun, L | Zhao, X | Kopecko, DJ | Kalvakolanu, DV | Li, Y | Xu, DQ
Cancer gene therapy  2010;17(12):844-854.
The development of malignant prostate cancer involves multiple genetic alterations. For example, alterations in both survivin and p53 are reported to have crucial roles in prostate cancer progression. However, little is known regarding the interrelationships between p53 and survivin in prostate cancer. Our data demonstrate that the expression of survivin is inversely correlated with that of wtp53 protein (rs=0.548) in prostate cancer and in normal prostate tissues. We have developed a therapeutic strategy, in which two antitumor factors, small interfering RNA-survivin and p53 protein, are co-expressed from the same plasmid, and have examined their effects on the growth of PC3, an androgen-independent prostate cancer cell line. When p53 was expressed along with a survivin-specific short hairpin RNA (shRNA), tumor cell proliferation was significantly suppressed and apoptosis occurred. In addition, this combination also abrogated the expression of downstream target molecules such as cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and c-Myc, while enhancing the expression of GRIM19. These changes in gene expression occurred distinctly in the presence of survivin-shRNA/wtp53 compared with control or single treatment groups. Intratumoral injection of the co-expressed construct inhibited the growth and survival of tumor xenografts in a nude mouse model. These studies revealed evidence of an interaction between p53 and survivin proteins plus a complex signaling network operating downstream of the wtp53-survivin pathway that actively controls tumor cell proliferation, survival and apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC3915357  PMID: 20706288
prostate cancer; p53; survivin; siRNA
22.  Understanding strong magnetostriction in Fe100−xGax alloys 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:3521.
Magnetostriction of ferromagnetic materials describes the change of their shape or dimension in response to the reorientation of magnetization under the influence of external magnetic field. Fe100−xGax binary alloys (Galfenol) have large magnetostriction and excellent ductility; and they are very promising rare-earth free materials for applications in sensors, actuators, energy-harvesters and spintronic devices. Here we report results of large-scale ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) simulations for Galfenol, especially regarding the mechanism that leads to the sudden drop of tetragonal magnetostriction at x ~ 19, a long-standing puzzle for the community. Based on rigid band analysis, we propose possible ways to further optimize the performance of Galfenol for device applications. For example, we found that the substitution of a small amount of Cu for Ga (1.6%) in certain configuration may double the magnetostriction of Galfenol.
PMCID: PMC3865486  PMID: 24343479
23.  miR-874 regulates myocardial necrosis by targeting caspase-8 
Cell Death & Disease  2013;4(7):e709-.
Cardiomyocyte death is an important reason for the cardiac syndromes, such as heart failure (HF) and myocardial infarction (MI). In the heart diseases, necrosis is one of the main forms of cell death. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs that mediate post-transcriptional gene silencing. Hitherto, it is not yet clear whether miRNA can regulate necrosis in cardiomyocyte. In this work, we performed a microarray to detect miRNAs in response to H2O2 treatment, and the results showed that miR-874 was substantially increased. We further studied the function of miR-874, and observed that knockdown of miR-874 attenuated necrosis in the cellular model and also MI in the animal model. We searched for the downstream mediator of miR-874 and identified that caspase-8 was a target of miR-874. Caspase-8 was able to antagonize necrosis. When suppressed by miR-874, caspase-8 lost the ability to repress necrotic program. In exploring the molecular mechanism by which miR-874 expression is regulated, we identified that Foxo3a could transcriptionally repress miR-874 expression. Foxo3a transgenic or knockout mice exhibited a low or high expression level of miR-874, and a reduced or enhanced necrosis and MI. Our present study reveals a novel myocardial necrotic regulating model, which is composed of Foxo3a, miR-874 and caspase-8. Modulation of their levels may provide a new approach for tackling myocardial necrosis.
PMCID: PMC3730407  PMID: 23828572
myocardial necrosis; miR-874; caspase-8
24.  Aligned Silk-Based 3D Architectures for Contact Guidance in Tissue Engineering 
Acta Biomaterialia  2011;8(4):1530-1542.
An important challenge in the biomaterials field is to mimic the structure of functional tissues via cell and extracellular matrix (ECM) alignment and anisotropy. Toward this goal, silk-based scaffolds resembling bone lamellar structure were developed using a freeze-drying technique. The structure could be controlled directly by solute concentration and freezing parameters, resulting in lamellar scaffolds with regular morphology. Different post-treatments were investigated to induce water stability, such as methanol, water annealing and steam sterilization. The resulting structures exhibited significant differences in terms of morphological integrity, structure and mechanical properties. the lamellar thicknesses were around ~2,6 μm for the methanol treated scaffolds and ~5,8 μm for water-annealed. These values are in the range of the reported for human lamellar bone. Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) were seeded on these silk fibroin lamellar scaffolds and grown under osteogenic conditions to assess the effect of the microstructure on cell behaviour. Collagen in the newly deposited ECM, was found aligned along the lamellar architectures. In the case of methanol treated lamellar structures the hMSCs were able to migrate into the interior of the scaffolds producing a multilamellar hybrid construct. The present morphology constitutes a useful pattern onto which hMSCs cells attach and proliferate for guided formation of a highly oriented extracellular matrix.
PMCID: PMC3289723  PMID: 22202909
Silk fibroin; scaffold; freeze-drying; directional freezing; tissue engineering; lamellar morphology; cell alignment
25.  A phase II study evaluating the safety and efficacy of an adenovirus-ΔLMP1-LMP2 transduced dendritic cell vaccine in patients with advanced metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma 
Annals of Oncology  2011;23(4):997-1005.
Background: Individuals with metastatic Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-positive nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) continue to have poor outcomes. To evaluate the ability of a dendritic cell (DC) vaccine to target subdominant EBV antigens LMP1 and LMP2 expressed by NPC cells, we vaccinated patients using autologous DCs transduced with an adenovirus encoding a truncated LMP1 (ΔLMP1) and full-length LMP2 (Ad-ΔLMP1-LMP2).
Materials and methods: Sixteen subjects with metastatic NPC received Ad-ΔLMP1-LMP2 DC vaccines i.d. biweekly for up to five doses. Toxicity, immune responses and clinical responses were determined.
Results: Most patients had extensive disease, with a median of three visceral sites of involvement (range 1–7). No significant toxicity was observed. Ad-ΔLMP1-LMP2 DCs induced delayed type hypersensitivity responses in 9 out of 12 patients, but although these DCs activated LMP1/2-specific T cells in vitro, no such increase in the frequency of peripheral LMP1/2-specific T cells was detected. Three patients had clinical responses including one with partial response (for 7½ months) and two with stable disease (for 6½ and 7½ months).
Conclusions: Ad-ΔLMP1-LMP2 transduced DCs can be successfully generated and safely administered to patients with advanced NPC. Since efficacy was limited, future studies should focus on DC vaccines with greater potency administered to subjects with less tumor burden.
PMCID: PMC3314324  PMID: 21821548
dendritic cell vaccine; Epstein–Barr virus; nasopharyngeal carcinoma; recombinant adenovirus

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