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1.  Cytoplasmic Retention of a Nucleocytoplasmic Protein TBC1D3 by Microtubule Network Is Required for Enhanced EGFR Signaling 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94134.
The hominoid oncogene TBC1D3 enhances epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling and induces cell transformation. However, little is known regarding its spatio-temporal regulation and mechanism of tumorigenesis. In the current study, we identified the microtubule subunit β-tubulin as a potential interaction partner for TBC1D3 using affinity purification combined with mass spectrometry analysis. The interaction between TBC1D3 and β-tubulin was confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation. Using the same method, we also revealed that TBC1D3 co-precipitated with endogenous α-tubulin, another subunit of the microtubule. In agreement with these results, microtubule cosedimentation assays showed that TBC1D3 associated with the microtubule network. The β-tubulin-interacting site of TBC1D3 was mapped to amino acids 286∼353 near the C-terminus of the TBC domain. Deletion mutation within these amino acids was shown to abolish the interaction of TBC1D3 with β-tubulin. Interestingly, the deletion mutation caused a complete loss of TBC1D3 from the cytoplasmic filamentous and punctate structures, and TBC1D3 instead appeared in the nucleus. Consistent with this, wild-type TBC1D3 exhibited the same nucleocytoplasmic distribution in cells treated with the microtubule depolymerizing agent nocodazole, suggesting that the microtubule network associates with and retains TBC1D3 in the cytoplasm. We further found that deficiency in β-tubulin-interacting resulted in TBC1D3's inability to inhibit c-Cbl recruitment and EGFR ubiquitination, ultimately leading to dysregulation of EGFR degradation and signaling. Taken together, these studies indicate a novel model by which the microtubule network regulates EGFR stability and signaling through tubulin dimer/oligomer interaction with the nucleocytoplasmic protein TBC1D3.
PMCID: PMC3979746  PMID: 24714105
2.  Promise and Challenge: The Lens Model as a Biomarker for Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease 
Disease Markers  2014;2014:826503.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia pathologically characterized by cerebral amyloid-beta (Aβ) deposition. Early and accurate diagnosis of the disease still remains a big challenge. There is evidence that Aβ aggregation starts to occur years before symptoms arise. Noninvasive monitoring of Aβ plaques is critical for both the early diagnosis and prognosis of AD. Presently, there is a major effort on looking for a reasonably priced technology capable of diagnosing AD by detecting the presence of Aβ. Studies suggest that AD is systemic rather than brain-limited focus diseases and the aggregation of the disease-causing proteins also takes place in lens except the brain. There is a possible relationship between AD and a specific subtype of age-related cataract (supranuclear cataract). If similar abnormal protein deposits are present in the lens, it would facilitate non-invasive diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression. However, there are controversies on the issues related to performance and validation of Aβ deposition in lens as biomarkers for early detection of AD. Here we review the recent findings concerning Aβ deposition in the lenses of AD patients and evaluate if the ocular lens can provide a biomarker for AD.
PMCID: PMC3945026
3.  Alleviation of Lead Toxicity by 5-Aminolevulinic Acid Is Related to Elevated Growth, Photosynthesis, and Suppressed Ultrastructural Damages in Oilseed Rape 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:530642.
Lead (Pb) is a widely spread pollutant and leads to diverse morphological and structural changes in the plants. In this study, alleviating role of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) in oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) was investigated with or without foliar application of ALA (25 mg L−1) in hydroponic environment under different Pb levels (0, 100, and 400 µM). Outcomes stated that plant morphology and photosynthetic attributes were reduced under the application of Pb alone. However, ALA application significantly increased the plant growth and photosynthetic parameters under Pb toxicity. Moreover, ALA also lowered the Pb concentration in shoots and roots under Pb toxicity. The microscopic studies depicted that exogenously applied ALA ameliorated the Pb stress and significantly improved the cell ultrastructures. After application of ALA under Pb stress, mesophyll cell had well-developed nucleus and chloroplast having a number of starch granules. Moreover, micrographs illustrated that root tip cell contained well-developed nucleus, a number of mitochondria, and golgi bodies. These results proposed that under 15-day Pb-induced stress, ALA improved the plant growth, chlorophyll content, photosynthetic parameters, and ultrastructural modifications in leaf mesophyll and root tip cells of the B. napus plants.
PMCID: PMC3934662
4.  Elevated Th22 Cells Correlated with Th17 Cells in Peripheral Blood of Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia 
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a hematological tumor in which progress T helper (Th) subsets including Th22, Th17, and Th1 cells play a pivotal role. However, the role of T helper (Th) subsets in the immune pathogenesis of AML remains unclear. Here, we investigated frequencies of Th22, Th17, pure Th17, and Th1 cells in the peripheral blood (PB) of AML patients. We demonstrated that Th22, Th17, and pure Th17 in newly-diagnosed (ND) and non-complete remission (Non-CR) AML patients and plasma IL-22 in ND AML patients were significantly increased. Retinoid-related orphan receptor C (RORC) expression was significantly elevated in CR and Non-CR AML patients. However, Th1 in ND AML patients and IL-17 in ND, Non-CR or CR AML patients was significantly decreased compared with controls. Moreover, Th22 and IL-22 showed positive correlation with pure Th17, but Th22 showed negative correlation with Th1 in ND AML patients. RORC showed positive correlation with Th22 and approximately positive correlation with pure Th17 in Non-CR patients. PB blast cell showed positive correlation with Th22 and negative correlation with Th1 in ND AML patients. Our results indicate that Th22 and pure Th17 cells conjointly contribute to the pathogenesis of AML and might be promising novel clinical index for AML.
PMCID: PMC3958830  PMID: 24473142
acute myeloid leukemia; T helper 22; T helper 17; T helper 1; interleukin-22; interleukin-17
5.  Targeting Six1 by lentivirus-mediated RNA interference inhibits colorectal cancer cell growth and invasion 
The Six1 homeodomain protein is a developmental transcription factor that has been implicated in tumor onset and progression. Recently, it’s reported that overexpression of Six1 is sufficient to induce epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis of colorectal cancer. Moreover, its expression is significantly associated with poorer overall survival probability in advanced-stage colorectal cancer. To address whether Six1 could serve as a therapeutic target for human colorectal cancer, we used a lentivirus-mediated short hairpin RNA (shRNA) gene knockdown method to suppress the expression of Six1 in colorectal cancer cells. We showed that lentivirusmediated shRNA targeted to Six1 gene efficiently reduced its expression in colorectal cancer cells at both mRNA and protein levels. In vitro functional assays revealed that knockdown of Six1 significantly suppressed cell proliferation, and inhibited cell migration and invasion of colorectal cancer cells. Furthermore, tumor xenograft model demonstrated that downregulation of Six1 dramatically inhibited colorectal cancer growth in vivo. In conclusion, these findings suggest that lentivirus-mediated Six1 inhibition may represent a novel therapeutic approach for treatment of colorectal cancer.
PMCID: PMC3925907  PMID: 24551283
Six1; colorectal cancer; cell growth; invasion
6.  Surface assembly and nanofabrication of 1,1,1-tris(mercaptomethyl)heptadecane on Au(111) studied with time-lapse atomic force microscopy 
The solution self-assembly of multidentate organothiols onto Au(111) was studied in situ using scanning probe nanolithography and time-lapse atomic force microscopy (AFM). Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) prepared from dilute solutions of multidentate thiols were found to assemble slowly, requiring more than six hours to generate films. A clean gold substrate was first imaged in ethanolic media using liquid AFM. Next, a 0.01 mM solution of multidentate thiol was injected into the liquid cell. As time progressed, molecular-level details of the surface changes at different time intervals were captured by successive AFM images. Scanning probe based nanofabrication was accomplished using protocols of nanografting and nanoshaving with n-alkanethiols and a tridentate molecule, 1,1,1-tris(mercaptomethyl)heptadecane (TMMH). Nanografted patterns of TMMH could be inscribed within n-alkanethiol SAMs; however, the molecular packing of the nanopatterns was less homogeneous compared to nanopatterns produced with monothiolates. The multidentate molecules have a more complex assembly pathway than monothiol counterparts, mediated by sequential steps of forming S–Au bonds to the substrate.
PMCID: PMC3896263  PMID: 24455459
liquid AFM; multidentate; nanografting; nanolithography; self-assembly
7.  Use of Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor for the Treatment of Thin Endometrium in Experimental Rats 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82375.
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) induces stem cells to mobilize to the injury site, which have beneficial effect on tissue repair. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of G-CSF on the thin endometrium in rat models. In the present study, rats with thin endometrium were divided into 4 groups (experimental group I: administrated with G-CSF (40 µg/kg/d) 4–6 hours post-modeling; control group I: administrated with saline 4–6 hours post-modeling; experimental group II: administrated with G-CSF (40 µg/kg/d) 12 days post-modeling; control group II: administrated with saline 12 days post-modeling. The agentia was given once daily and last for 5 days. Endometrial morphology was analyzed by Hematoxylin-Eosin staining, and the regeneration of endometrial cells was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and western-blot with cytokeratin and vimentin. We found that endometrial thickness and morphology presented a significant difference between experimental groups and control groups. No matter when we start with G-CSF, there was a significantly thicker endometrium and stronger expression of cytokeratin/vimintin in the experimental groups compared with the control groups (P<0.01). There were significant thicker endometrial lining and stronger expression of cytokeratin/vimintin in experimental group I than that of experimental group II (P<0.05), but there was no difference in the endometrial lining and the expression of cytokeratin/vimintin between the two control groups (P>0.05). In conclusion, G-CSF can promote the regeneration of endometrial cells in animal research, especially when the G-CSF was administrated earlier.
PMCID: PMC3871160  PMID: 24376532
8.  Beclin 1 Deficiency Correlated with Lymph Node Metastasis, Predicts a Distinct Outcome in Intrahepatic and Extrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80317.
Autophagy can be tumor suppressive as well as promotive in regulation of tumorigenesis and disease progression. Accordingly, the prognostic significance of autophagy key regulator Beclin 1 was varied among different tumors. Here, we detected the clinicopathological and prognostic effect of Beclin 1 in the subtypes of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ECC). Beclin 1 expression level was detected by immunohistochemistry staining in 106 ICC and 74 ECC patients. We found that Beclin 1 was lowly expressed in 126 (70%) cholangiocarcinoma patients, consist of 72 ICC and 54 ECC. Moreover, the cholangiocarcinoma patients with lymph node metastasis (N1) had a lower Beclin 1 level than that of N0 subgroup (P=0.012). However, we did not detect any correlations between Beclin 1 and other clinicopathological features, including tumor subtypes, vascular invasion, HBV infection, liver cirrhosis, cholecystolithiasis and TNM stage. Survival analysis showed that, compared with the high expression subset, Beclin 1 low expression was correlated with a poorer 3-year progression-free survival (PFS, 69.1% VS 46.8%, P=041) for cholangiocarcinoma. Importantly, our stratified univariate and multivariate analysis confirmed that Beclin 1 lowly expressed ICC had an inferior PFS as well as overall survival than ECC, particularly than that of Beclin 1 highly expressed ECC patients. Thus, our study demonstrated that Beclin 1low expression, correlated with lymph node metastasis, and might be a negative prognostic biomarker for cholangiocarcinoma. Combined Beclin 1 level with the anatomical location might lead to refined prognosis for the subtypes of ICC and ECC.
PMCID: PMC3841169  PMID: 24303007
9.  A Novel Antibody Humanization Method Based on Epitopes Scanning and Molecular Dynamics Simulation 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80636.
1-17-2 is a rat anti-human DEC-205 monoclonal antibody that induces internalization and delivers antigen to dendritic cells (DCs). The potentially clinical application of this antibody is limited by its murine origin. Traditional humanization method such as complementarity determining regions (CDRs) graft often leads to a decreased or even lost affinity. Here we have developed a novel antibody humanization method based on computer modeling and bioinformatics analysis. First, we used homology modeling technology to build the precise model of Fab. A novel epitope scanning algorithm was designed to identify antigenic residues in the framework regions (FRs) that need to be mutated to human counterpart in the humanization process. Then virtual mutation and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation were used to assess the conformational impact imposed by all the mutations. By comparing the root-mean-square deviations (RMSDs) of CDRs, we found five key residues whose mutations would destroy the original conformation of CDRs. These residues need to be back-mutated to rescue the antibody binding affinity. Finally we constructed the antibodies in vitro and compared their binding affinity by flow cytometry and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) assay. The binding affinity of the refined humanized antibody was similar to that of the original rat antibody. Our results have established a novel method based on epitopes scanning and MD simulation for antibody humanization.
PMCID: PMC3836750  PMID: 24278299
10.  Mechanisms of microemulsion enhancing the oral bioavailability of puerarin: comparison between oil-in-water and water-in-oil microemulsions using the single-pass intestinal perfusion method and a chylomicron flow blocking approach 
The purpose of the present work was to determine the mechanisms by which microemulsions (MEs) enhance the oral bioavailability of puerarin. The in situ perfusion method was used in rats to study the absorption mechanisms of an oil-in-water (O/W) microemulsion (O/W-ME) and a water-in-oil (W/O) microemulsion (W/O-ME). The possibility of lymphatic transport of the MEs was investigated using a chylomicron flow blocking approach. The results for the absorption mechanisms in the stomach and intestines indicated that the absorption characteristics of the O/W-ME and W/O-ME depend on the segment. The W/O-ME had higher internal membrane permeability than the O/W-ME. The results of the lymphatic transport analyses showed that both the O/W-ME and W/O-ME underwent lymphatic transport and that this pathway was a major contributor to the oral bioavailability of MEs. Furthermore, the type of ME can significantly affect the absorption of puerarin through the lymphatic system due to the oil content and the form of the microemulsion after oral administration. In conclusion, these data indicate that microemulsions are an effective and promising delivery system to enhance the oral bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs.
PMCID: PMC3838017  PMID: 24277986
microemulsion; lymphatic transport; oral bioavailability; chylomicron
11.  Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism Modulates Gray Matter Volume and Functional Connectivity of the Default Mode Network 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e78697.
The effect of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism on brain structure and function has been previously investigated separately and regionally; this prevents us from obtaining a full picture of the effect of this gene variant. Additionally, gender difference must not be overlooked because estrogen exerts an interfering effect on COMT activity. We examined 323 young healthy Chinese Han subjects and analyzed the gray matter volume (GMV) differences between Val/Val individuals and Met carriers in a voxel-wise manner throughout the whole brain. We were interested in genotype effects and genotype × gender interactions. We then extracted these brain regions with GMV differences as seeds to compute resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) with the rest of the brain; we also tested the genotypic differences and gender interactions in the rsFCs. Val/Val individuals showed decreased GMV in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) compared with Met carriers; decreased GMV in the medial superior frontal gyrus (mSFG) was found only in male Val/Val subjects. The rsFC analysis revealed that both the PCC and mSFG were functionally correlated with brain regions of the default mode network (DMN). Both of these regions showed decreased rsFCs with different parts of the frontopolar cortex of the DMN in Val/Val individuals than Met carriers. Our findings suggest that the COMT Val158Met polymorphism modulates both the structure and functional connectivity within the DMN and that gender interactions should be considered in studies of the effect of this genetic variant, especially those involving prefrontal morphology.
PMCID: PMC3797700  PMID: 24147141
12.  Association of single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the STAT3 gene with autoimmune thyroid disease in Chinese individuals 
The aim of this study was to investigate the association between signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) polymorphisms and autoimmune thyroid diseases and clinical features. We genotyped six single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs1053005, rs2293152, rs744166, rs17593222, rs2291281, and rs2291282 of STAT3 gene in 667 patients with autoimmune thyroid disease (417 Graves’ disease (GD) and 250 Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT)) and 301 healthy controls. The allele A from rs1053005 was significantly less frequent in both GD and HT patients (P = 0.0024, OR = 0.6958, 95%CI = 0.5508–0.8788; P = 0.0091, OR = 0.7013, 95%CI = 0.5397–0.9112, respectively). The AA genotype of rs1053005 was less in GD and HT patients too (P = 0.0025,OR = 0.6278, 95%CI = 0.466–0.847) and (P = 0.0036,OR = 0.601, 95%CI = 0.428–0.843). The allele G from rs17593222 increased the susceptibility to the ophthalmopathy development both in autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) and GD patients (P = 0.0007, OR = 3.980, 95%CI = 1.871–8.464; P = 0.0081, OR = 3.378, 95%CI = 1.441–7.919, respectively). The allele A and AA genotype of SNP rs1053005 may protect individuals from the susceptibility to AITD and their frequency decreased in AITD patients. In addition, the allele G of rs17593222 may increase the ophthalmopathy risk in AITD patients. Our findings suggest the existence of association between STAT3 gene and AITD, thus adding STAT3 gene to the list of the predisposing genes to AITD.
PMCID: PMC3824579  PMID: 24081513
Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3); Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs); Autoimmune thyroid disease; Graves’ disease; Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
13.  Th17 and Treg Cells in Bone Related Diseases 
Bone-related diseases share the process of immune response that targets bone tissue and bone marrow and then induce adverse effects on structure and function. In recent years, reciprocal relationship between immune cells and bone systems has been uncovered gradually. Regulatory T (Treg) and T helper 17 (Th17) cells are newly identified subsets of CD4+ T cells, and the balance between them is particularly essential for maintaining immune homeostasis. Accumulated data have demonstrated quantitative or functional imbalance between Th17 and Treg in bone related diseases, suggesting that Th17 and Treg cells are involved in these bone diseases. Understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating Th17 and Treg cells will create opportunities for the development of therapeutic approaches. This review will present the role of Th17 and Treg cells in the inflammatory bone diseases and bone marrow malignancies and find the potential therapeutic target for immunotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3800633  PMID: 24187560
14.  Occurrence and Diversity of Yeasts in the Mangrove Ecosystems in Fujian, Guangdong and Hainan Provinces of China 
Indian Journal of Microbiology  2012;52(3):346-353.
Mangrove wetland is a unique ecosystem and has rich bioresources. In this article, the roots, stems, branches, leaves, barks, fruits, and flowers from 12 species of the mangrove plants and six species of the accompanying mangrove plants, seawater and sediments in mangrove ecosystems in China were used as sources for isolation of yeasts. A total of 269 yeasts strains were obtained from the samples. The results of routine identification and phylogenetic analysis showed that they belonged to 22 genera and 45 species. Of all the 269 strains, Candida spp. was predominant with the proportion of 44.61%, followed by Kluyveromyces spp. (8.55%), Pichia spp. (7.44%), Kodamaea ohmeri (5.58%), Issatchenkia spp. (4.83%) and Debaryomyces hansenii (4.46%). We also found that strains N02-2.3 and ST3-1Y3 belonged to the undescribed species of Pichia sp. and Trichosporon sp. respectively while strain HN-12 was not related to any known yeast strains. This means that different yeast strains of Candida spp. especially C. tropicalis were widely distributed in the mangrove ecosystems and may have an important role in the mangrove ecosystems. The results also showed that some of them may have potential applications.
PMCID: PMC3460139  PMID: 23997323
Yeast diversity; Mangrove ecosystems; Diversity; Candida spp.; Undescribed yeasts
15.  Artemisinin Analogue SM934 Ameliorates Murine Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis through Enhancing the Expansion and Functions of Regulatory T Cell 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e74108.
Artemisinin analogue SM934 was previously reported to possess immunosuppressive properties. The aim of this study was to determine the effects and the underlying mechanisms of SM934 in murine experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE).
Female C57BL/6 mice immunized with MOG35–55 were treated with or without SM934, then the clinical scores and other relevant parameters were assessed. Th1, Th17 and regulatory T (Treg) cell profiles were determined through ELISA, qRT-PCR, flow cytometry and BrdU incorporation assay. The effects of SM934 on Th1, Th17 and Treg cells differentiation were explored through intracellular staining and flow cytometry examination.
In vivo, administration of SM934 significantly inhibited the development of EAE and suppressed the elevation of serum IL-17. Ex vivo, upon antigen-recall stimulation, IL-2, IFN-γ, IL-17 and IL-6 production were decreased, whereas IL-10 and TGF-β production were increased from the splenocytes isolated from SM934-treated mice. Consistently, both flow cytometry and qRT-PCR results showed that SM934 treatment significantly increased the Treg, while strongly suppressed the Th17 and Th1, responses in the peripheral. Furthermore, in the spinal lesion, SM934 treatment dramatically decreased the infiltration of CD4+ T cells, within which the Treg cells percentage was enlarged, whereas the Th17, but not Th1 percentage, was significantly decreased comparing with the vehicle-treated groups. Finally, both BrdU incorporation and in vitro Treg differentiation assays revealed that SM934 treatment could directly promote the expansion of Treg cells in vivo and in vitro.
Taken together, this study demonstrated that SM934 treatment could ameliorate the murine EAE disease, which might be mediated by inducing Treg differentiation and expansion.
PMCID: PMC3756992  PMID: 24009768
16.  Aberrant T Helper 17 Cells and Related Cytokines in Bone Marrow Microenvironment of Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia 
In this study, we mainly investigate the role of Th17 cells, Th1 cells, and their related cytokines in the pathophysiology of AML. BM and PB were extracted from ND, CR, and relapsed-refractory AML patients and controls. Th subsets frequencies were examined by flow cytometry. BM plasma Th-associated cytokines levels were determined by ELISA. The frequencies of Th17 and Th1, and IFN-γ or TGF-β concentrations were significantly decreased in ND compared with CR patients or controls. Th17 percentage was significantly lower in BM than in PB for ND patients but was higher in BM for CR patients. However, in CR or relapsed-refractory patients, Th1 percentage in BM was higher than that in PB. Moreover, BM IL-17A level showed a decreased trend in ND patients. A significant elevation of plasma IL-6 level was found in ND compared with CR patients or controls. IL-17A showed the positive correlation with IL-6 concentration. And Th17 cells frequencies and TGF-β1 concentration were increased in BM from AML patients achieving CR after chemotherapy. Moreover, a significant decrease of BM plasma TGF-β1 level was found in M3 patients compared with the other subtypes. Our findings suggest that Th17 and related cytokines may be implicated in AML pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3759248  PMID: 24023567
17.  Complications of Absorbable Fixation in Maxillofacial Surgery: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e67449.
The use of titanium during maxillofacial fixation is limited due to its palpability, mutagenic effects and interference with imaging, which lead to the requirement for subsequent removal. The use of a biologically absorbable fixation material will potentially eliminate these limitations. In this meta-analysis, we analyzed the complications of absorbable fixation in maxillofacial surgery.
We performed a systematic search of PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Systematic Reviews and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for trials published through December 2012. Data extracted from literature were analyzed with Review manager 5.0.24.
Relevant data was extracted from 20 studies (1673 participants) and revealed that patients in the absorbable group had significantly more complications than those in the titanium group (RR = 1.20; 95% CI: 1.02–1.42; P = 0.03) in all enrolled maxillofacial surgeries. For bimaxillary operation subgroup, the absorbable fixation group did not have a significant increase in complications when compared with the titanium group (RR = 1.89; 95% CI: 0.85–4.22; P = 0.12). There was no significant difference observed between the absorbable and titanium groups receiving a bilateral sagittal split ramus osteotomy (BSSRO) (RR = 1.45; 95% CI: 0.84–2.48; P = 0.18) and Le Fort I osteotomy (RR = 0.65; 95% CI: 0.34–1.23; P = 0.18). The combined results of the five trials revealed that the absorbable group had a significantly lower rate of complications compared to the titanium group (RR = 0.71; 95% CI: 0.52–0.97; P = 0.03) in fracture fixation.
This meta-analysis shows that absorbable fixation systems used for fixation in maxillofacial surgery do not have adequate safety profiles. Subgroup indicated the safety of absorbable fixation systems was superior during fracture fixation. The absorbable fixation systems tend to have a similar favorable safety profile as titanium fixation during Le Fort I, bimaxillary operation and BSSRO.
PMCID: PMC3696084  PMID: 23840705
18.  Vitamin D Induces Interleukin-1β Expression: Paracrine Macrophage Epithelial Signaling Controls M. tuberculosis Infection 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(6):e1003407.
Although vitamin D deficiency is a common feature among patients presenting with active tuberculosis, the full scope of vitamin D action during Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection is poorly understood. As macrophages are the primary site of Mtb infection and are sites of vitamin D signaling, we have used these cells to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying modulation of the immune response by the hormonal form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25D). We found that the virulent Mtb strain H37Rv elicits a broad host transcriptional response. Transcriptome profiling also revealed that the profile of target genes regulated by 1,25D is substantially altered by infection, and that 1,25D generally boosts infection-stimulated cytokine/chemokine responses. We further focused on the role of 1,25D- and infection-induced interleukin 1β (IL-1β) expression in response to infection. 1,25D enhanced IL-1β expression via a direct transcriptional mechanism. Secretion of IL-1β from infected cells required the NLRP3/caspase-1 inflammasome. The impact of IL-1β production was investigated in a novel model wherein infected macrophages were co-cultured with primary human small airway epithelial cells. Co-culture significantly prolonged survival of infected macrophages, and 1,25D/infection-induced IL-1β secretion from macrophages reduced mycobacterial burden by stimulating the anti-mycobacterial capacity of co-cultured lung epithelial cells. These effects were independent of 1,25D-stimulated autophagy in macrophages but dependent upon epithelial IL1R1 signaling and IL-1β-driven epithelial production of the antimicrobial peptide DEFB4/HBD2. These data provide evidence that the anti-microbial actions of vitamin D extend beyond the macrophage by modulating paracrine signaling, reinforcing its role in innate immune regulation in humans.
Author Summary
In 2010 there were ∼9 million cases of tuberculosis and 1.4 million deaths, representing the second largest cause of death worldwide and the leading cause of death from a curable disease. M. tuberculosis (Mtb) replicates within cells of the immune system called macrophages over an approximate 72 hour period, ultimately inducing cell death. Notably, macrophages are sites of vitamin D signaling, and there is broad evidence that vitamin D modulates macrophage responses to Mtb. Elevated levels of TB have long been associated with vitamin D deficiency, strongly suggesting that vitamin D supplementation may be of therapeutic benefit. In this study we profile the host macrophage response to Mtb infection through the use of high-throughput genomics techniques. From this we have discovered that the dominant function of vitamin D is the modulation of the levels of specific cytokines, mediators of immune cell to cell signaling. Of particular interest was the increase in IL-1β signaling, which we show to be directly regulated by vitamin D. We also show that this increase in IL-1β is critical for driving a signaling cascade between macrophages and lung epithelial cells leading to epithelial antimicrobial peptide production that helps to contain Mtb infection in our model culture system.
PMCID: PMC3675149  PMID: 23762029
19.  Reconstructing a Flavodoxin Oxidoreductase with Early Amino Acids 
Primitive proteins are proposed to have utilized organic cofactors more frequently than transition metals in redox reactions. Thus, an experimental validation on whether a protein constituted solely by early amino acids and an organic cofactor can perform electron transfer activity is an urgent challenge. In this paper, by substituting “late amino acids (C, F, M, T, W, and Y)” with “early amino acids (A, L, and V)” in a flavodoxin, we constructed a flavodoxin mutant and evaluated its characteristic properties. The major results showed that: (1) The flavodoxin mutant has structural characteristics similar to wild-type protein; (2) Although the semiquinone and hydroquinone flavodoxin mutants possess lower stability than the corresponding form of wild-type flavodoxin, the redox potential of double electron reduction Em,7 (fld) reached −360 mV, indicating that the flavodoxin mutant constituted solely by early amino acids can exert effective electron transfer activity.
PMCID: PMC3709815  PMID: 23783279
origin of life; primitive redox protein; cofactor; early amino acid
20.  In-Depth Tanscriptomic Analysis on Giant Freshwater Prawns 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e60839.
Gene discovery in the Malaysian giant freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) has been limited to small scale data collection, despite great interest in various research fields related to the commercial significance of this species. Next generation sequencing technologies that have been developed recently and enabled whole transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq), have allowed generation of large scale functional genomics data sets in a shorter time than was previously possible. Using this technology, transcriptome sequencing of three tissue types: hepatopancreas, gill and muscle, has been undertaken to generate functional genomics data for M. rosenbergii at a massive scale. De novo assembly of 75-bp paired end Ilumina reads has generated 102,230 unigenes. Sequence homology search and in silico prediction have identified known and novel protein coding candidate genes (∼24%), non-coding RNA, and repetitive elements in the transcriptome. Potential markers consisting of simple sequence repeats associated with known protein coding genes have been successfully identified. Using KEGG pathway enrichment, differentially expressed genes in different tissues were systematically represented. The functions of gill and hepatopancreas in the context of neuroactive regulation, metabolism, reproduction, environmental stress and disease responses are described and support relevant experimental studies conducted previously in M. rosenbergii and other crustaceans. This large scale gene discovery represents the most extensive transcriptome data for freshwater prawn. Comparison with model organisms has paved the path to address the possible conserved biological entities shared between vertebrates and crustaceans. The functional genomics resources generated from this study provide the basis for constructing hypotheses for future molecular research in the freshwater shrimp.
PMCID: PMC3667022  PMID: 23734171
21.  Gene expression profiling of the DNMT3A R882 mutation in acute leukemia 
Oncology Letters  2013;6(1):268-274.
DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A) is one of two human de novo DNA methyltransferases essential for the regulation of gene expression. DNMT3A mutations and deletions have been previously observed in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic sydromes and myeloproliferative neoplasms. However, the involvement of DNMT3A in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has rarely been reported. In the present study, PCR and direct sequencing was performed to analyze mutations of DNMT3A amino acid residue 882 in 99 acute leukemia patients, including 57 AML patients, 41 ALL patients and a single biphenotypic acute leukemia (BAL) patient. DNMT3A expression was detected in mono-nuclear cells of the bone marrow in these patients and in normal individuals using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and 17.5% (10/57) of AML patients were found to exhibit DNMT3A mutations. Four missense mutations were observed in the DNMT3A-mutated AML patients, including R882 mutations and a novel single nucleotide polymorphism resulting in the M880V amino acid substitution. However, the ALL and BAL patients were not found to exhibit DNMT3A mutations. The DNMT3A expression levels in the AML patients were significantly higher compared with those of the ALL patients or normal controls. The reduced expression levels of DNMT3A were associated with a significantly lower complete remission rate in the AML patients. However, in the ALL patients, no statistical significance was identified. The results of the present study indicate that DNMT3A may play varying roles in the regulation of DNA methylation in AML and ALL.
PMCID: PMC3742503  PMID: 23946816
DNMT3A; R882 mutations; acute myeloid leukemia; acute lymphoblastic leukemia; gene expression
22.  Existence of G-quadruplex structures in promoter region of oncogenes confirmed by G-quadruplex DNA cross-linking strategy 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:1811.
Existence of G-quadruplex DNA in vivo always attract widespread interest in the field of biology and biological chemistry. We reported our findings for the existence of G-quadruplex structures in promoter region of oncogenes confirmed by G-quadruplex DNA cross-linking strategy. Probes for selective G-quadruplex cross-linking was designed and synthesized that show high selectivity for G-quadruplex cross-linking. Further biological studies demonstrated its good inhibition activity against murine melanoma cells. To further investigate if G-quadruplex DNA was formed in vivo and as the target, a derivative was synthesized and pull-down process toward chromosome DNAs combined with circular dichroism and high throughput deep sequencing were performed. Several simulated intracellular conditions, including X. laevis oocytes, Ficoll 70 and PEG, was used to investigate the compound's pure cross-linking ability upon preformed G-quadruplex. Thus, as a potent G-quadruplex cross-linking agent, our strategy provided both valuable evidence of G-quadruplex structures in vivo and intense potential in anti-cancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC3648798  PMID: 23657205
23.  Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts from Hepatocellular Carcinoma Promote Malignant Cell Proliferation by HGF Secretion 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63243.
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are reported to support tumorigenesis by stimulating angiogenesis, cancer cell proliferation, and invasion in most solid tumors. However, the roles of CAFs in the liver cancer microenvironment have not been thoroughly studied. In our previous study, we successfully isolated CAFs from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) (H-CAFs) and proved that H-CAFs suppressed the activation of NK cells and thereby created favorable conditions for HCC progression. In our present study, we found that the proliferation of MHCC97L and Hep3B cells was significantly promoted by treatment with conditioned medium from H-CAFs. Pathological analysis also revealed that H-CAFs increased the proportion of Ki-67 (+) malignant cells and prevented them from undergoing necrosis. Moreover, the concentration of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) cytokine in the conditioned medium of H-CAFs was higher than conditioned medium from normal skin fibroblasts (NSFs). Anti-HGF significantly reduced the proliferation-promoting capability of H-CAFs. In addition, we found that the abundance of H-CAFs correlated positively with tumor size. These results indicate that H-CAFs are an important factor for promoting the growth of HCC in vitro and in vivo, and that HGF plays a key role in HCC proliferation induced by H-CAFs.
PMCID: PMC3647063  PMID: 23667593
24.  Endoscopic drainage for duodenal hematoma following endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography: A case report 
Intramural duodenal hematoma (IDH) is a rare complication following endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Blunt damage caused by the endoscope or an accessory has been suggested as the main reason for IDH. Surgical treatment of isolated duodenal hematoma after blunt trauma is traditionally reserved for rare cases of perforation or persistent symptoms despite conservative management. Typical clinical symptoms of IDH include abdominal pain and vomiting. Diagnosis of IDH can be confirmed by imaging techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Duodenal hematoma is mainly treated by drainage, which includes open surgery drainage and percutaneous transhepatic cholangial drainage, both causing great trauma. Here we present a case of massive IDH following ERCP, which was successfully managed by minimally invasive management: intranasal hematoma aspiration combined with needle knife opening under a duodenoscope.
PMCID: PMC3623993  PMID: 23599635
Duodenal hematoma; Duodenal obstruction; Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography; Non-operative method
25.  Clinical Trial on the Characteristics of Zheng Classification of Pulmonary Diseases Based on Infrared Thermal Imaging Technology 
Zheng classification study based on infrared thermal imaging technology has not been reported before. To detect the relative temperature of viscera and bowels of different syndromes patients with pulmonary disease and to summarize the characteristics of different Zheng classifications, the infrared thermal imaging technology was used in the clinical trial. The results showed that the infrared thermal images characteristics of different Zheng classifications of pulmonary disease were distinctly different. The influence on viscera and bowels was deeper in phlegm-heat obstructing lung syndrome group than in cold-phlegm obstructing lung syndrome group. It is helpful to diagnose Zheng classification and to improve the diagnosis rate by analyzing the infrared thermal images of patients. The application of infrared thermal imaging technology provided objective measures for medical diagnosis and treatment in the field of Zheng studies and provided a new methodology for Zheng classification.
PMCID: PMC3626312  PMID: 23606873

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