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1.  Estrogen receptor α gene PvuII polymorphism and coronary artery disease: a meta-analysis of 21 studies*  
The association between the estrogen receptor α gene (ESR1) PvuII polymorphism (c.454-397T>C) and coronary artery disease (CAD) is controversial. Thus, we conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the relationship. Data were collected from 21 studies encompassing 9926 CAD patients and 16 710 controls. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to assess the relationship between PvuII polymorphism and CAD. The polymorphism in control populations in all studies followed Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. We found a significant association between ESR1 PvuII polymorphism and CAD risk in all subjects. When the data were stratified by region, a significant association between ESR1 PvuII polymorphism and CAD risk was observed in Asian populations but not in Western populations. The current study suggests that ESR1 PvuII polymorphism has an important role in CAD susceptibility.
PMCID: PMC3955911  PMID: 24599688
Estrogen receptor α gene; Polymorphism; Meta-analysis; Coronary artery disease (CAD)
2.  Granulocyte Transfusion Combined with Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor in Severe Infection Patients with Severe Aplastic Anemia: A Single Center Experience from China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88148.
To investigate the efficacy and safety of granulocyte transfusion combined with granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) in severe infection patients with severe aplastic anemia (SAA).
Fifty-six patients in severe infections with SAA who had received granulocyte transfusions combined with G-CSF from 2006 to 2012 in our department were analyzed. A retrospective analysis was undertaken to investigate the survival rates (at 30 days, 90 days and 180 days), the responses to treatment (at 7 days and 30 days, including microbiological, radiographic and clinical responses), the neutrophil count and adverse events after transfusion.
All SAA patients with severe infections were treated with granulocyte transfusions combined with G-CSF. Forty-seven patients had received antithymocyte globulin/antilymphocyte globulin and cyclosporine A as immunosuppressive therapy. The median number of granulocyte components transfused was 18 (range, 3–75). The survival at 30 days, 90 days and 180 days were 50(89%), 39(70%) and 37(66%) respectively. Among 31 patients who had invasive fungal infections, the survival at 30 days, 90 days and 180 days were 27(87%), 18(58%) and 16(52%) respectively. Among the 25 patients who had refractory severe bacterial infections, the survival at 30 days, 90 days and 180 days were 23(92%), 21(84%) and 21(84%) respectively. Survival rate was correlated with hematopoietic recovery. Responses of patients at 7 and 30 days were correlated with survival rate. Common adverse effects of granulocyte transfusion included mild to moderate fever, chills, allergy and dyspnea.
Granulocyte transfusions combined with G-CSF could be an adjunctive therapy for treating severe infections of patients with SAA.
PMCID: PMC3914902  PMID: 24505406
3.  Inhibition of the K+ Channel KCa3.1 Reduces TGF-β1-Induced Premature Senescence, Myofibroblast Phenotype Transition and Proliferation of Mesangial Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e87410.
KCa3.1 channel participates in many important cellular functions. This study planned to investigate the potential involvement of KCa3.1 channel in premature senescence, myofibroblast phenotype transition and proliferation of mesangial cells.
Methods & Materials
Rat mesangial cells were cultured together with TGF-β1 (2 ng/ml) and TGF-β1 (2 ng/ml) + TRAM-34 (16 nM) separately for specified times from 0 min to 60 min. The cells without treatment served as controls. The location of KCa3.1 channels in mesangial cells was determined with Confocal laser microscope, the cell cycle of mesangial cells was assessed with flow cytometry, the protein and mRNA expression of KCa3.1, α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and fibroblast-specific protein-1 (FSP-1) were detected with Western blot and RT-PCR. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Student-Newman-Keuls-q test (SNK-q) were used to do statistical analysis. Statistical significance was considered at P<0.05.
Kca3.1 channels were located in the cell membranes and/or in the cytoplasm of mesangial cells. The percentage of cells in G0-G1 phase and the expression of Kca3.1, α-SMA and FSP-1 were elevated under the induction of TGF-β1 when compared to the control and decreased under the induction of TGF-β1+TRAM-34 when compared to the TGF-β1 induced (P<0.05 or P<0.01).
Targeted disruption of KCa3.1 inhibits TGF-β1-induced premature aging, myofibroblast-like phenotype transdifferentiation and proliferation of mesangial cells.
PMCID: PMC3905019  PMID: 24489911
4.  Association of Variants in Estrogen-Related Pathway Genes with Prostate Cancer Risk 
The Prostate  2012;73(1):1-10.
Through mediation of estrogen receptors, estradiol has been shown to have both carcinogenic and anti-carcinogenic effects on the prostate. We performed a population-based case-control study to investigate variants in estrogen-related genes ESR1, ESR2, CYP19A1, CYP1A1, and CYP1B1 and the potential association with risk of prostate cancer.
Materials and Methods
We evaluated prostate cancer risk conferred by 73 single nucleotide polymorphisms in 1,304 incident prostate cancer cases and 1,266 age-matched controls. Analysis included stratification by clinical features and assessment of environmental modifiers.
There was evidence of altered risk of developing prostate cancer for variants in ESR1, CYP1A1, and CYP1B1, however, only CYP1B1 rs1056836 retained significance after adjustment for multiple comparisons. An association with risk for more aggressive prostate cancer was observed for variants in ESR1, ESR2, and CYP19A1, but none was significant after adjustment for multiple comparisons. There was no effect modification by obesity.
Germline genetic variation of these estrogen pathway genes may contribute to risk of prostate cancer. Additional studies to validate these results and examine the functional consequence of validated variants are warranted.
PMCID: PMC3544476  PMID: 22549291
Estrogen Receptor; Cytochrome P450; Aromatase; Prostate Neoplasm; Polymorphism
5.  Association of body mass index and risk of death from pancreas cancer in Asians: findings from the Asia Cohort Consortium 
We aimed to examine the association between BMI and the risk of death from pancreas cancer in a pooled analysis of data from the Asia Cohort Consortium.
The data for this pooled-analysis included 883,529 men and women from 16 cohort studies in Asian countries. Cox proportional-hazards models were used to estimate the hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for pancreas cancer mortality in relation to BMI. Seven predefined BMI categories (<18.5, 18.5–19.9, 20.0–22.4, 22.5–24.9, 25.0–27.4, 27.5–29.9, ≥30) were used in the analysis, with BMI of 22.5–24.9 serving as the reference group. The multivariable analyses were adjusted for known risk factors, including age, smoking, and history of diabetes.
We found no statistically significant overall association between each BMI category and risk of death from pancreas cancer in all Asians, and obesity was unrelated to mortality risk in both East Asians and South Asians. Age, smoking, and history of diabetes did not modify the association between BMI and risk of death from pancreas cancer. In planned subgroup analyses among East Asians, an increased risk of death from pancreas cancer among those with a BMI<18.5 was observed for individuals with a history of diabetes; HR = 2.01(95%CI: 1.01–4.00) (p for interaction=0.07).
The data do not support an association between BMI and risk of death from pancreas cancer in these Asian populations.
PMCID: PMC3838869  PMID: 23044748
body mass index; insulin resistance; obesity; overweight; pancreatic cancer
6.  The Monoamine Oxidase A Gene Promoter Repeat and Prostate Cancer Risk 
The Prostate  2012;72(15):1622-1627.
Amine catabolism by Monoamine Oxidase A (MAOA) contributes to oxidative stress, which plays a role in prostate cancer (PCa) development and progression. An upstream variable-number tandem repeat (uVNTR) in the MAOA promoter influences gene expression and activity, and may thereby affect PCa susceptibility.
Caucasian (n=2,572) men from two population-based case-control studies of PCa were genotyped for the MAOA-VNTR. Logistic regression was used to assess PCa risk in relation to genotype.
Common alleles of the MAOA-VNTR were not associated with the relative risk of PCa, nor did the relationship differ by clinical features of the disease. The rare 5-copy variant (frequency: 0.5% in cases; 1.8% in controls), however, was associated with a reduced PCa risk (odds ratio, OR=0.30, 95% CI 0.13–0.71).
A rare polymorphism of the MAOA promoter previously shown to confer low expression was associated with a reduced risk of developing prostate cancer. This novel finding awaits confirmation in other study populations.
PMCID: PMC3532925  PMID: 22473857
MAOA; polymorphism; prostate cancer
7.  The juxtamembrane and carboxy-terminal domains of Arabidopsis PRK2 are critical for ROP-induced growth in pollen tubes 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2013;64(18):5599-5610.
Polarized growth of pollen tubes is a critical step for successful reproduction in angiosperms and is controlled by ROP GTPases. Spatiotemporal activation of ROP (Rho GTPases of plants) necessitates a complex and sophisticated regulatory system, in which guanine nucleotide exchange factors (RopGEFs) are key components. It was previously shown that a leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase, Arabidopsis pollen receptor kinase 2 (AtPRK2), interacted with RopGEF12 for its membrane recruitment. However, the mechanisms underlying AtPRK2-mediated ROP activation in vivo are yet to be defined. It is reported here that over-expression of AtPRK2 induced tube bulging that was accompanied by the ectopic localization of ROP-GTP and the ectopic distribution of actin microfilaments. Tube depolarization was also induced by a potentially kinase-dead mutant, AtPRK2K366R, suggesting that the over-expression effect of AtPRK2 did not require its kinase activity. By contrast, deletions of non-catalytic domains in AtPRK2, i.e. the juxtamembrane (JM) and carboxy-terminal (CT) domains, abolished its ability to affect tube polarization. Notably, AtPRK2K366R retained the ability to interact with RopGEF12, whereas AtPRK2 truncations of these non-catalytic domains did not. Lastly, it has been shown that the JM and CT domains of AtPRK2 were not only critical for its interaction with RopGEF12 but also critical for its distribution at the plasma membrane. These results thus provide further insight into pollen receptor kinase-mediated ROP activation during pollen tube growth.
PMCID: PMC3871813  PMID: 24136420
Actin microfilaments; CRIB; polar growth; receptor kinase; ROP GTPases.
8.  Role of Injured Pancreatic Extract Promotes Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Efficiently Differentiate into Insulin-Producing Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e76056.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be successfully induced to differentiate into insulin-producing cells (IPCs) by a variety of small molecules and cytokines in vitro. However, problems remain, such as low transdifferentiation efficiency and poor maturity of trans-differentiated cells. The damaged pancreatic cells secreted a large amount of soluble proteins, which were able to promote pancreative islet regeneration and MSCs differentiation. In this study, we utilized the rat injured pancreatic tissue extract to modulate rat bone marrow-derived MSCs differentiation into IPCs by the traditional two-step induction. Our results showed that injured pancreatic tissue extract could effectively promote the trans-differentiation efficiency and maturity of IPCs by the traditional induction. Moreover, IPCs were able to release more insulin in a glucose-dependent manner and ameliorate better the diabetic conditions of streptozotocin (STZ)-treated rats. Our study provides a new strategy to induce an efficient and directional differentiation of MSCs into IPCs.
PMCID: PMC3776851  PMID: 24058711
9.  Combination lamivudine and adefovir versus entecavir for the treatment of naïve chronic hepatitis B patients: A pilot study 
The aim of this study was to compare the effect of combination lamivudine (LAM) and adefovir dipivoxil (ADV) versus entecavir (ETV) monotherapy for naïve HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients.
Fifty enrolled patients with CHB were evenly divided into 2 groups: a group treated with of lamivudine (LAM) (100 mg/day) plus adefovir (ADV) (10 mg/day) combination, and a group treated with entecavir (ETV) (0.5 mg/day). Serum levels of ALT, AST, creatinine, bilirubin, HBsAg, HBeAg and HBV viral load, and genotypic resistance were analyzed at 0, 12, 24, 52, and 104 weeks. HBV DNA levels were determined by real-time PCR and HBsAg and HBeAg by chemiluminescence. Serum levels of ALT, AST, creatinine, and bilirubin were measured by an automatic biochemical analyzer. Data analysis was performed with SPSS 12.0 software.
There were no significant differences in the virological response (VR) rates between LAM+ADV and ETV cohorts at 24, 52, and 104 weeks (P>0.05). The HBeAg seroconversion rates were 28% and 20%, and the biochemical response (BR) rates were 88% and 84% at week 104 in the LAM+ADV and ETV groups, respectively. The rates of undetectable HBV DNA, HBeAg seroconversion, and ALT normalization rates were similar in both cohorts. No virological breakthrough or serious adverse effects were noted for any patient during the study period.
Both LAM + ADV combination therapy and ETV monotherapy were effective and safe in the treatment of naïve HBeAg-positive CHB patients. However, further studies are needed to obtain long-term results.
PMCID: PMC3775615  PMID: 24019010
chronic hepatitis B; HBeAg-positive; lamivudine; adefovir dipivoxil; entecavir
10.  Increased Frequency of Bone Marrow T Follicular Helper Cells in Patients with Immune-Related Pancytopenia 
Immune-related pancytopenia (IRP) is one kind of bone marrow failure diseases which is related to autoantibodies. Autoantibodies have been detected on the membrane of various bone marrow (BM) hemopoietic cells by BM mononuclear-cell-Coombs test or flow cytometric analysis. There are autoantibodies in the BM supernatant of IRP patients, which can target several antigens on hematopoietic cells membranes by western blot. T follicular helper (Tfh) cells are the true helper cells for Ab responses, which represent one of the most numerous and important subsets of effector T cells. Dysregulation of Tfh cell function or expression of Tfh cell-associated molecules could contribute to the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Currently, there are no studies regarding the role of Tfh cells in IRP patients. The percentages of Tfh cells, Tfh-related molecules ICOS, CD40L, IL-21, and Bcl-6 in BM were investigated in 90 patients with IRP, and 25 healthy controls. We observed that there exist increased quantity and hyperfunction of Tfh cells in IRP, and the results were correlated with patient characteristics. It was indicated that dysregulated Tfh cells might be involved in the pathogenesis of IRP and that inhibition of Tfh cells effector molecules might provide opportunities for new therapeutic approaches to IRP and even other human autoimmune diseases.
PMCID: PMC3771269  PMID: 24069044
11.  Androgen metabolism and JAK/STAT pathway genes and prostate cancer risk 
Cancer Epidemiology  2012;36(4):347-353.
Prostate cancer (PC) is the most frequently diagnosed solid tumor in U.S. men. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified over 40 risk-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including variants in androgen pathway genes (e.g., KLK3 and AR). Androgens are important in PC and genes involved in this pathway are therefore candidates for conferring susceptibility to PC.
In this hypothesis-testing study, we evaluated PC risk in association with SNPs in 22 candidate genes involved in androgen metabolism or interactions with the androgen receptor (AR). A total of 187 SNPs were genotyped in 1,458 cases and 1,351 age-matched controls from a population-based study. PC risk was estimated using adjusted unconditional logistic regression and multinomial regression models.
Single SNP analyses showed evidence (p<0.05) for associations with 14 SNPs in 9 genes: NKX3.1, HSD17B3, AKR1C3, SULT2A1, CYP17A1, KLK3, JAK2, NCOA4 and STAT3. The most significant result was observed for rs2253502 in HSD17B3 (odds ratio, OR=0.57, 95% CI: 0.39–0.84). In addition, five SNPs in four genes (CYP17A1, HSD17B4, NCOA4, and SULT2A1) were associated with more aggressive disease (p<0.01).
Our results replicate previously reported associations for SNPs in CYP17A1, HSD17B3, ARK1C3, NKX3.1, NCOA4 and KLK3. In addition, novel associations were observed for SNPs in JAK2, HSD17B4, and SULT2A1. These results will require replication in larger studies.
PMCID: PMC3392409  PMID: 22542949
Androgen pathway; JAK2; HSD17B3; prostate cancer; polymorphisms; genetic susceptibility
12.  Renal Protective Role of Xiexin Decoction with Multiple Active Ingredients Involves Inhibition of Inflammation through Downregulation of the Nuclear Factor-κB Pathway in Diabetic Rats 
In Chinese medicine, Xiexin decoction (XXD) has been used for the clinical treatment of diabetes for at least 1700 years. The present study was conducted to investigate the effective ingredients of XXD and their molecular mechanisms of antidiabetic nephropathy in rats. Rats with diabetes induced by high-fat diet and streptozotocin were treated with XXD extract for 12 weeks. XXD significantly improved the glucolipid metabolism disorder, attenuated albuminuria and renal pathological changes, reduced renal advanced glycation end-products, inhibited receptor for advanced glycation end-product and inflammation factors expression, suppressed renal nuclear factor-κB pathway activity, and downregulated renal transforming growth factor-β1. The concentrations of multiple components in plasma from XXD were determined by liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic analysis using partial least square regression revealed that 8 ingredients of XXD were responsible for renal protective effects via actions on multiple molecular targets. Our study suggests that the renal protective role of XXD with multiple effective ingredients involves inhibition of inflammation through downregulation of the nuclear factor-κB pathway, reducing renal advanced glycation end-products and receptor for advanced glycation end-product in diabetic rats.
PMCID: PMC3713598  PMID: 23935673
13.  An exceptional case of myelodysplastic syndrome with myelofibrosis following combination chemotherapy for squamous cell lung cancer 
Cancer Biology & Medicine  2013;10(2):117-120.
A 60-year-old woman with squamous cell carcinoma in the right lung was successfully treated with four cycles of combination chemotherapy after surgery, and complete remission was achieved. However, the patient developed myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) RAEB-2 with myelofibrosis after remission, possibly because of chemotherapy or DNA methylation. The patient responded well to dacitabine (Dacogen), suggesting that DNA hypomethylation agents can be a promising therapy to retard the progression of a second tumor or carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3719187  PMID: 23882429
DNA methylation; myelodysplastic syndrome; myelofibrosis; squamous cell lung cancer
14.  Effect of DLK1 on tumorigenesis in CD34+CD38− bone marrow cells in myelodysplastic syndromes 
Oncology Letters  2013;6(1):203-206.
The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs) are a group of clonal stem cell disorders resulting from aberrations within hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which may lead to the onset of a number of diseases, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Recent studies have demonstrated that the expression levels of the DLK1 gene are increased in MDS. In order to determine whether the addition of DLK1 affects tumorigenesis, small interfering (si)RNAs were designed to target DLK1 in order to knockdown its expression in CD34+CD38− bone marrow cells in MDS. A lower proliferative rate was observed in the CD34+CD38− bone marrow cells following this knockdown of DLK1 expression. The suppression of DLK1 expression resulted in a less aggressive MDS phenotype, which suggests that the upregulation of DLK1 expression may play an oncogenic role in CD34+CD38− bone marrow cells.
PMCID: PMC3742462  PMID: 23946804
myelodysplastic syndromes; CD34+CD38− bone marrow cells; DLK gene; small interfering RNA; tumorigenesis
15.  Changes in the proteomic profiles of mouse brain after infection with cyst-forming Toxoplasma gondii 
Parasites & Vectors  2013;6:96.
Toxoplasma gondii is an opportunistic pathogenic protozoan parasite, which infects approximately one third of the human population worldwide, causing opportunistic zoonotic toxoplasmosis. The predilection of T. gondii for the central nervous system (CNS) causes behavioral disorders and fatal necrotizing encephalitis and thus constitutes a major threat especially to AIDS patients.
In the present study, we explored the proteomic profiles of brain tissues of the specific pathogen-free (SPF) Kunming mice at 7 d, 14 d and 21 d after infection with cysts of the Toxoplasma gondii Prugniaud (PRU) strain (Genotype II), by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) combined with MALDI-TOF/TOF tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS).
A total of 60 differentially expressed protein spots were selected. Fifty-six spots were successfully identified, which corresponded to 45 proteins of the mouse. Functional analysis using a Gene Ontology database showed that these proteins were mainly involved in metabolism, cell structure, signal transduction and immune responses, and will be beneficial for the understanding of molecular mechanisms of T. gondii pathogenesis.
This study identified some mouse brain proteins involved in the response with cyst-forming T. gondii PRU strain. These results provided an insight into the responsive relationship between T. gondii and the host brain tissues, which will shed light on our understanding of the mechanisms of pathogenesis in toxoplasmic encephalitis, and facilitate the discovery of new methods of diagnosis, prevention, control and treatment of toxoplasmic encephalopathy.
PMCID: PMC3660206  PMID: 23587304
Toxoplasma gondii; Cyst; Brain; Proteome; Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE); Mass spectrometry (MS)
16.  Complete Genome Sequence of a Novel Duck Hepatitis A Virus Discovered in Southern China 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(18):10247.
We report here the complete genomic sequence of a novel duck hepatitis A virus (DHAV) isolated from mixed infections with DHAV type 1 (DHAV-1) and DHAV-3 in ducklings in Southern China. The whole nucleotide sequence had the highest homology with the sequence of DHAV-3 (GenBank accession number DQ812093) (96.2%). To our knowledge, this is the first report of gene rearrangement between DHAV-1 and DHAV-3, and it will help to understand the epidemiology and molecular characteristics of duck hepatitis A virus in Southern China.
PMCID: PMC3446583  PMID: 22923805
17.  Seroprevalence of chlamydial infection in dairy cattle in Guangzhou, southern China 
Irish Veterinary Journal  2013;66(1):2.
Chlamydia spp. are obligate intracellular gram-negative bacteria that cause a wide range of significant diseases in humans and animals worldwide, resulting in significant economic losses. Chlamydial infection in cattle has been reported in many countries including China. However, there has been no survey of chlamydial infection of dairy cattle in Guangzhou, southern China. The objective of the present investigation was to examine the chlamydial seroprevalence in dairy cattle in Guangzhou, subtropical southern China by using an indirect hemagglutination assay (IHA). The overall seroprevalence of chlamydial infection in dairy cattle was 7.25% (29/400). Greater than or equal to eight-yr-old dairy cattle had the highest seroprevalence (10.34%), followed by those that were ≥ 6 years old or < 7 years old dairy cattle (10.20%), although there were no statistically significant differences among different groups (P > 0.05). Dairy cattle with 5 pregnancies had the highest seroprevalence (10.81%). These results indicate that chlamydial infection was present in dairy cattle in Guangzhou, subtropical southern China, and integrated strategies and measures should be executed to control and prevent chlamydial infection and disease outbreak in the study region.
PMCID: PMC3568409  PMID: 23379717
Chlamydia; Dairy cattle; Seroprevalence; Indirect hemagglutination antibody (IHA); Guangzhou; China
18.  Detection and Analysis of Autoantigens Targeted by Autoantibodies in Immunorelated Pancytopenia 
Previously, we described a group of patients with hemocytopenia who did not conform to diagnostic criteria of known hematological and nonhematological diseases. Most patients responded well to adrenocortical hormone and/or high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin treatment, indicating that cytopenia might be mediated by autoantibodies. Autoantibodies were detected on the membrane of various bone marrow (BM) hemopoietic cells by bone marrow mononuclear-cell-Coombs test or flow cytometric analysis. Thus, the hemocytopenia was termed “Immunorelated Pancytopenia” (IRP) to distinguish it from other pancytopenias. Autoantigens in IRP were investigated by membrane protein extraction from BM hemopoietic cells and BM supernatant from IRP patients. Autoantibody IgG was detected in the BM supernatant of 75% of patients (15/20), which was significantly higher than that in aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, or autoimmune hemolytic anemia patients (0%) and normal healthy controls (0%) (P < 0.01). Autoantigens had approximate molecular weights of 25, 30, 47.5, 60, 65, 70, and 80 kDa, some of which were further identified by mass fingerprinting. This study identified that a G-protein-coupled receptor 156 variant and chain P, a crystal structure of the cytoplasmic domain of human erythrocyte band-3 protein, were autoantigens in IRP. Further studies are needed to confirm the antigenicity of these autoantigens.
PMCID: PMC3572650  PMID: 23424599
19.  Transcriptome profiling of Zymomonas mobilis under ethanol stress 
High tolerance to ethanol is a desirable characteristics for ethanologenic strains used in industrial ethanol fermentation. A deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying ethanologenic strains tolerance of ethanol stress may guide the design of rational strategies to increase process performance in industrial alcoholic production. Many extensive studies have been performed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli. However, the physiological basis and genetic mechanisms involved in ethanol tolerance for Zymomonas mobilis are poorly understood on genomic level. To identify the genes required for tolerance to ethanol, microarray technology was used to investigate the transcriptome profiling of the ethanologenic Z. mobilis in response to ethanol stress.
We successfully identified 127 genes which were differentially expressed in response to ethanol. Ethanol up- or down-regulated genes related to cell wall/membrane biogenesis, metabolism, and transcription. These genes were classified as being involved in a wide range of cellular processes including carbohydrate metabolism, cell wall/membrane biogenesis, respiratory chain, terpenoid biosynthesis, DNA replication, DNA recombination, DNA repair, transport, transcriptional regulation, some universal stress response, etc.
In this study, genome-wide transcriptional responses to ethanol were investigated for the first time in Z. mobilis using microarray analysis.Our results revealed that ethanol had effects on multiple aspects of cellular metabolism at the transcriptional level and that membrane might play important roles in response to ethanol. Although the molecular mechanism involved in tolerance and adaptation of ethanologenic strains to ethanol is still unclear, this research has provided insights into molecular response to ethanol in Z. mobilis. These data will also be helpful to construct more ethanol resistant strains for cellulosic ethanol production in the future.
PMCID: PMC3495753  PMID: 23057803
20.  Genetic Variants in the LEPR, CRY1, RNASEL, IL4, and ARVCF Genes Are Prognostic Markers of Prostate Cancer-Specific Mortality 
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men, accounting for over 30,000 deaths annually. The purpose of this study was to test whether variation in selected candidate genes in biological pathways of interest for prostate cancer progression could help distinguish patients at higher risk for fatal prostate cancer.
In this hypothesis-driven study, we genotyped 937 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 156 candidate genes in a population-based cohort of 1,309 prostate cancer patients. We identified 22 top-ranking SNPs (P ≤0.01, FDR ≤0.70) associated with prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM). A subsequent validation study was completed in an independent population-based cohort of 2,875 prostate cancer patients.
Five SNPs were validated (P ≤0.05) as being significantly associated with PCSM, one each in the LEPR, CRY1, RNASEL, IL4, and ARVCF genes. Compared to patients with 0–2 of the at-risk genotypes those with 4–5 at-risk genotypes had a 50% (95% CI, 1.2–1.9) higher risk of PCSM and risk increased with the number of at-risk genotypes carried (Ptrend = 0.001), adjusting for clinicopathological factors known to influence prognosis.
Five genetic markers were validated to be associated with lethal prostate cancer.
This is the first population-based study to demonstrate that germline genetic variants provide prognostic information for prostate cancer-specific survival. The clinical utility of this five-SNP panel to stratify patients at higher risk for adverse outcomes should be evaluated.
PMCID: PMC3169727  PMID: 21846818
Prostate cancer-specific mortality; survival; genetic variants; single nucleotide polymorphisms; hazard ratio
21.  Expression of DLK1 Gene in the Bone Marrow Cells of Patients with Myelodysplastic Syndromes and Its Clinical Significance 
Cancer Biology & Medicine  2012;9(3):188-191.
This study aims to investigate the expression of delta-like 1 (DLK1) gene in the bone marrow cells of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and to explore its molecular characteristics for the early diagnosis of MDS.
The expression of DLK1 mRNA in the bone marrow cells of cases with MDS, acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and normal control groups were measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction and were analyzed for clinical significance.
Significantly higher expression of DLK1 mRNA was observed in the bone marrow cells of MDS patients (0.7342±0.3652) compared with the normal control group (0.4801±0.1759) (P<0.05). The expression of DLK1 mRNA had a positive correlation with the proportion of bone marrow blasts (r=0.467, P<0.05). Moreover, DLK1 mRNA expression was significantly increased as MDS progressed (P<0.05). Patients with abnormal karyotypes exhibited significantly higher expression of DLK1 mRNA (0.9007±0.4334) than those with normal karyotypes (0.6411±0.2630) (P<0.05). Subsequently, patients with highly expressed DLK1 (≥0.8) presented significantly higher malignant clone burden (0.4134±0.3999) than those with lower DLK1 expression (<0.8),(0.1517±0.3109), (P<0.05).
The DLK1 gene was highly expressed in MDS patients, and was increased as MDS progressed. The expression of DLK1 mRNA was positively correlated with the proportion of the bone marrow blasts. A high expression of DLK1 gene suggested a higher malignant clone burden of MDS.
PMCID: PMC3643669  PMID: 23691477
DLK1 gene; myelodysplastic syndromes; expression
22.  Genetic variation in RNASEL and risk for prostate cancer in a population-based case-control study 
The Prostate  2011;10.1002/pros.21370.
Linkage studies have implicated chromosome 1q24 as a putative locus for hereditary prostate cancer. The RNASEL gene maps to 1q24 and has been associated with prostate cancer risk in multiple family-based linkage studies. The RNASEL gene product combats viral infection by degrading viral RNA and inducing apoptosis of infected cells. Few studies have evaluated the role of RNASEL variants in unselected or sporadic prostate cancer, or have considered the potential interaction between RNASEL variants and patient characteristics associated with past viral infection.
Ten SNPs in the RNASEL gene were genotyped in 1,308 prostate cancer cases and 1,267 age-matched controls from prior population-based, case-control studies. The association between each SNP and haplotype with prostate cancer risk was calculated using logistic regression. Associations stratified by Gleason score were evaluated using polytomous regression. The likelihood ratio test was used to investigate effect modification by history of prostatitis.
Two RNASEL SNPs were associated with overall increases in prostate cancer risk (OR=1.13 for each variant allele of rs12723593; OR=1.88 for any variant allele of rs56250729). Risk estimates did not vary substantially by Gleason score, but there was effect modification for the variant allele of rs635261 by history of prostatitis (p=0.02).
This study identified three RNASEL variants that are associated with risk for prostate cancer. Further research is required to confirm these results and to better understand the potential role RNASEL variants may play in the etiology of sporadic prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3130811  PMID: 21360564
Prostate cancer; RNASEL; Gleason grade; prostatitis
23.  Correction: Penicillamine Increases Free Copper and Enhances Oxidative Stress in the Brain of Toxic Milk Mice 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):10.1371/annotation/e57c1988-71fd-4809-8d84-aff56e60b2c7.
PMCID: PMC3435132
24.  3-(4-Bromo­phen­yl)-1-(4-chloro­benz­yl)-1H-pyrazole-5-carbaldehyde 
The title compound, C17H12BrClN2O, was synthesized by oxidation of [3-(4-bromo­phen­yl)-1-(4-chloro­benz­yl)-1H-pyrazol-5-yl]methanol under mild conditions. The pyrazole ring makes dihedral angles of 3.29 (9) and 74.91 (4)°, respectively, with the bromo­phenyl and chloro­phenyl rings.
PMCID: PMC3394000  PMID: 22798865
25.  Isolation and Phylogenetic Analysis of H1N1 Swine Influenza Virus from Sick Pigs in Southern China 
Two swine influenza (SI) H1N1 virus was isolated from a pig during a severe outbreak of respiratory disease in south China. The two H1N1 influenza viruses were classical SI virus. A/swine/Guangdong/L6/09 is classical SI virus of recent years, which is of the main SI virus in China. Howere, A/swine/Guangdong/L3/09 was closet to A/swine/Iowa/1931, which was the first isolated SI virus and had demonstrated significant pathogenicity in animal models. The results of phylogenetic analysis of A/swine/Guangdong/L3/09 showed a close relationship with the 1918 pandemic virus. The results suggested that the previous SI virus appeared again. Whether, it brought a new pandemic to pigs deserves more attention.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13337-011-0035-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3550729  PMID: 23637505
Swine influenza virus H1N1; Phylogenetic analysis

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