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1.  Generation of neural progenitor cells by chemical cocktails and hypoxia 
Cell Research  2015;25(5):645-646.
PMCID: PMC4423089  PMID: 25941173
2.  Can steroidal ovarian suppression during the luteal phase after oocyte retrieval reduce the risk of severe OHSS? 
Ovarian stimulation in IVF cycle results in luteal supraphysiological steroid concentrations especially for high response patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of ovarian steroid hormone suppression in luteal phase after oocyte retrieval for preventing severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) in high-risk patients with embryo cryopreservation.
281 patients with high risk of OHSS were enrolled in this study among 4735 infertile women undergoing their first IVF treatment. The subjects were allocated into treatment and control group. The treatment group (n = 161) received letrozole (n = 43), mifepristone (n = 51), cetrotide (n = 39) and three-drug combinations (n = 28) during the luteal phase after oocyte retrieval, respectively. The control group (n = 120) received no medicine. Fertilization rate, good embryo rate, serum steroid concentration, clinical outcome, and incidence of severe OHSS were compared between the two groups.
On days 2, 5 and 8 after oocyte retrieval, serum estradiol levels in the letrozole and three-drug combination therapy group were significantly lower than in the other three groups at the same time (P < 0.001, respectively). There were no significantly difference of serum luteinizing hormone concentration on days 2, 5 and 8 and progesterone concentration on day 8 after oocyte retreival among the five groups (P > 0.05, respectively). Compared with the control group, the incidence of severe OHSS, the paracentesis rate, the duration of hospitalization and the days of luteal phase in each subgroup of treatment groups was not significantly decreased (P > 0.05, respectively).
Our findings indicate that steroidal ovarian suppression in luteal phase after oocyte retrieval seems to be unable to prevent severe OHSS in high-risk patients with embryo cryopreservation.
PMCID: PMC4579791  PMID: 26400057
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome; In vitro fertilization; Luteal phase; Mifepristone; Aromatase inhibitors; Gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist; Prevention
3.  MicroRNA-195 suppresses tumor cell proliferation and metastasis by directly targeting BCOX1 in prostate carcinoma 
Elucidation of the downstream targets regulated by the metastasis-suppressive miRNAs can shed light on the metastatic processes in prostate cancer (PCa). We conducted microarray analyses and found that miR-195 was significantly decreased in metastatic PCa. Low miR-195 expression is an independent prognostic factor for poor biochemical recurrence-free and overall survival. Forced expression of miR-195 in PCa cells drastically inhibits proliferation, migration and invasion in vitro and inhibits tumor growth and metastasis in vivo. BCOX1 is identified as a direct target of miR-195 in PCa, and is found to be drastically increased in metastatic PCa. BCOX1 knockdown phenotypically copies miR-195-induced phenotypes, whereas forced expression of BCOX1 reverses the effects of miR-195. Collectively, this is the first report unveils that loss of miR-195 expression and thus uncontrolled BCOX1 upregulation might drive PCa metastasis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13046-015-0209-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4559360  PMID: 26338045
miRNA; Metastasis; miR-195; Prostate cancer; BCOX1
4.  Rapid assessment of drug response in cancer cells using microwell array and molecular imaging 
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry  2014;406(17):4195-4206.
Selection of personalized chemotherapy regimen for individual patients has significant potential to improve chemotherapy efficacy and to reduce the deleterious effects of ineffective chemotherapy drugs. In this study, a rapid and high-throughput in vitro drug response assay was developed using a combination of microwell array and molecular imaging. The microwell array provided high-throughput analysis of drug response, which was quantified based on the reduction in intracellular uptake (2-[N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)amino]-2-deoxy-d-glucose) (2-NBDG). Using this synergistic approach, the drug response measurement was completed within 4 h, and only a couple thousand cells were needed for quantification. The broader application of this microwell molecular imaging approach was demonstrated by evaluating the drug response of two cancer cell lines, cervical (HeLa) and bladder (5637) cancer cells, to two distinct classes of chemotherapy drugs (cisplatin and paclitaxel). This approach did not require an extended cell culturing period, and the quantification of cellular drug response was 4–16 times faster compared with other cell-microarray drug response studies. Moreover, this molecular imaging approach had comparable sensitivity to traditional cell viability assays, i.e., the MTT assay and propidium iodide labeling of cellular nuclei;and similar throughput results as flow cytometry using only 1,000–2,000 cells. Given the simplicity and robustness of this microwell molecular imaging approach, it is anticipated that the assay can be adapted to quantify drug responses in a wide range of cancer cells and drugs and translated to clinical settings for a rapid in vitro drug response using clinically isolated samples.
PMCID: PMC4560352  PMID: 24760393
Microwell array; High throughput; Cancer; Drug response; Molecular imaging; 2-NBDG
6.  Deep sequencing-based characterization of transcriptome of trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.) in response to cold stress 
BMC Genomics  2015;16(1):555.
Trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.) is extremely cold hardy after a full acclimation; however the underlying molecular mechanisms underlying this economically valuable trait remain poorly understood. In this study, global transcriptome profiles of trifoliate orange under cold conditions (4 °C) over a time course were generated by high-throughput sequencing.
More than 68 million high-quality reads were produced and assembled into a non-redundant data of 77,292 unigenes with an average length of 1112 bp (N50 = 1778 bp). Of these, 23,846 had significant sequence similarity to known genes and these were assigned to 61 gene ontology (GO) categories and 25 clusters of orthologous groups (COG) involved in 128 KEGG pathways. Sequences derived from cold-treated and control plants were mapped to the assembled transcriptome, resulting in the identification of 5549 differentially expressed genes (DEGs). These comprised 600 (462 up-regulated, 138 down-regulated), 2346 (1631 up-regulated, 715 down-regulated), and 5177 (2702 up-regulated, 2475 down-regulated) genes from the cold-treated samples at 6, 24 and 72 h, respectively. The accuracy of the RNA-seq derived transcript expression data was validated by analyzing the expression patterns of 17 DEGs by qPCR. Plant hormone signal transduction, plant-pathogen interaction, and secondary metabolism were the most significantly enriched GO categories amongst in the DEGs. A total of 60 transcription factors were shown to be cold responsive. In addition, a number of genes involved in the catabolism and signaling of hormones, such as abscisic acid, ethylene and gibberellin, were affected by the cold stress. Meanwhile, levels of putrescine progressively increased under cold, which was consistent with up-regulation of an arginine decarboxylase gene.
This dataset provides valuable information regarding the trifoliate orange transcriptome changes in response to cold stress and may help guide future identification and functional analysis of genes that are importnatn for enhancing cold hardiness.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1629-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4518522  PMID: 26219960
Poncirus trifoliata; RNA-seq; Cold stress; Transcriptome profiling; Digital gene expression; Citrus
7.  The Profile of T Helper Subsets in Bone Marrow Microenvironment Is Distinct for Different Stages of Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients and Chemotherapy Partly Ameliorates These Variations 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0131761.
T helper (Th) cells immune regulation is important for the pathogenesis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Recurrent Th abnormalities in AML peripheral blood were reported, while the comprehensive status of various Th subsets is rarely investigated in bone marrow (BM) microenvironment which is the origin of AML leukemic blast cells.
BM was extracted from 48 newly-diagnosed (ND), 34 complete-remission (CR), 19 relapsed-refractory AML patients and 15 controls. Slight iron deficiency anemia patients were used as controls. Th subsets frequencies were examined by flow cytometry. BM plasma Th-associated cytokines levels were determined by ELISA. The expression of key transcription factor was examined by RT-PCR.
Th22, Th17, Th1, Th2 cells, IL-22 and RORC expression were significantly decreased, while Treg cells, related cytokine IL-10 and transcription factor Foxp3 were markedly elevated in ND compared to CR patients or controls. Meanwhile, the imbalanced Th1/Th2 and Th17/Treg ratio were observed in ND and relapsed-refractory patients. Negative correlation between Th1 or Th2 and peripheral WBC, between Th17/Treg or Th1/Th2 and leukemic blast existed in ND patients. Moreover, chemotherapy ameliorated these variations.
Th subsets in BM are distinct for different stages of AML and chemotherapy partly ameliorates the abnormality. Our findings suggest that these cells and cytokines may be implicated in AML pathogenesis and provided therapeutic insights.
PMCID: PMC4489914  PMID: 26134277
8.  JAK2/STAT5/Bcl-xL signalling is essential for erythropoietin-mediated protection against apoptosis induced in PC12 cells by the amyloid β−peptide Aβ25–35 
British Journal of Pharmacology  2014;171(13):3234-3245.
Erythropoietin (EPO) exerts neuroprotective actions in the CNS, including protection against apoptosis induced by the amyloid β−peptide Aβ25–35. However, it remains unclear which signalling pathway activated by EPO is involved in this neuroprotection. Here, we have investigated whether JAK2/STAT5/Bcl-xL and ERK1/2 signalling pathways are essential for EPO-mediated protection against apoptosis induced by Aβ25–35.
EPO was added to cultures of PC12 cells, 1 h before Aβ25–35. For kinase inhibitor studies, AG490 and PD98059 were added to PC12 cells, 0.5 h before the addition of EPO. Transfection with siRNA was used to knockdown STAT5. Activation of JAK2/STAT5/Bcl-xL and ERK1/2 signalling pathways were investigated by Western blotting. Cell viability was measured by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl) 2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide assay and apoptosis was detected by TUNEL and acridine orange–ethidium bromide double staining.
EPO increased phosphorylation of JAK2 and STAT5 in PC12 cells treated with Aβ25–35. Furthermore, EPO modulated the nuclear translocation of phospho-STAT5, which increased expression of Bcl-xL and decreased levels of caspase-3. These beneficial effects were blocked by the JAK2 inhibitor, AG490 or STAT5 knockdown. However, the ERK1/2 pathway did not play a crucial role in our model.
EPO protected PC12 cells against Aβ25–35-induced neurotoxicity. Activation of JAK2/STAT5/Bcl-xL pathway was important in EPO-mediated neuroprotection. EPO may serve as a novel protective agent against Aβ25–35-induced cytotoxicity in, for instance, Alzheimer's disease.
PMCID: PMC4080977  PMID: 24597613
erythropoietin; Aβ; apoptosis; kinase inhibitor; JAK2/STAT5; ERK1/2
9.  Profiling of components of rhizoma et radix polygoni cuspidati by high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet diode-array detector and ion trap/time-of-flight mass spectrometric detection 
Pharmacognosy Magazine  2015;11(43):486-501.
Rhizoma et Radix Polygoni Cuspidati (Huzhang in Chinese, HZ) is a traditional medicinal plant in China. Many of the components of HZ have been proved to be bioactive while it is difficult to conduct a comprehensive chemical profiling of HZ as a consequence of the absence of efficient separation system and sensitive detective means. We developed a simple and effective method for comprehensive characterization of constituents in HZ.
To develop a simple and effective method to characterize the components in HZ and provide useful information for subsequent metabolic studies of HZ.
Materials and Methods:
The components in HZ aqueous extract were characterized by using high performance liquid chromatography with UV diode-array detector (HPLC-DAD) and ion trap/time-of-flight mass spectrometric detection (HPLC-IT/TOF). Stilbenes, anthraquinones, gallates and tannins, naphthalenes and some other compounds were identified and confirmed by diagnostic fragment ions with accurate mass measurements, characteristic fragmentation pathways and relevant published literatures.
Among the 238 constituents detected in HZ, a total number of 74 constituents were identified unambiguously or tentatively, including 29 compounds reported for the first time in HZ.
The identification and structure elucidation of these chemicals provided essential data for quality control and further in vivo metabolic studies of HZ. Key words: Polygonum cuspidatum, HPLC-DAD, HPLC-IT/TOF, qualitative analysis.
PMCID: PMC4522834  PMID: 26246723
Polygonum cuspidatum; high-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detector; high-performance liquid chromatography-ion trap/time-of-flight; qualitative analysis
Synapse (New York, N.Y.)  2011;65(3):234-248.
Recent studies have identified Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) as a strong genetic risk factor associated with schizophrenia. Previously, we have reported that a mutation in the second exon of the DISC1 gene (leucine (L) to proline (P) at amino acid position 100, L100P) leads to the development of schizophrenia-related behaviors in mice. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) is a serine/threonine protein kinase that interacts with the N-terminal region of DISC1 (aa 1-220) and has been implicated as an important downstream component in the etiology of schizophrenia.
Here, for the first time, we show that pharmacological and genetic inactivation of GSK-3 reverses Pre-Pulse Inhibition (PPI) and Latent Inhibition (LI) deficits as well as normalizing the hyperactivity of Disc1-L100P mutants. In parallel to these observations, interaction between DISC1 and GSK-3α and β is reduced in Disc1-L100P mutants. Our data provide genetic, biochemical and behavioral evidence for a molecular link between DISC1 and GSK-3 in relation to psychopathology and highlights the value of missense mutations in dissecting the underlying and complex molecular mechanisms of neurological disorders.
PMCID: PMC4485461  PMID: 20687111 CAMSID: cams1566
DISC1; GSK-3; TDZD-8; genetic mouse model; Schizophrenia
11.  Reduction of Bleomycin-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis by Serum Amyloid P 
Fibrotic diseases such as scleroderma, severe chronic asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, and cardiac fibrosis kill tens of thousands of people each year in the U.S. alone. Growing evidence suggests that in fibrotic lesions, a subset of blood monocytes enters the tissue and differentiates into fibroblast-like cells called fibrocytes, causing tissue dysfunction. We previously found that a plasma protein called serum amyloid P (SAP) inhibits fibrocyte differentiation in vitro. Bleomycin treatment is a standard model for pulmonary fibrosis, and causes an increase in collagen, fibrocytes, and leukocytes in the lungs, and a decrease in peripheral blood hemoglobin oxygen saturation. We find that injections of rat SAP in rats reduce all of the above bleomycin-induced changes, suggesting that the SAP injections reduced the bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. We repeated these studies in mice, and find that injections of murine SAP decrease bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. To confirm the efficacy of SAP treatment, we used a delayed treatment protocol using SAP from day 7 to 13 only, and then measured fibrosis at day 21. Delayed SAP injections also reduce the bleomycin-induced decrease in peripheral blood hemoglobin oxygen saturation, and an increase in lung collagen, leukocyte infiltration, and fibrosis. Our data suggest the possibility that SAP may be useful as a therapy for pulmonary fibrosis in humans.
PMCID: PMC4482349  PMID: 17785842
12.  PtrABF of Poncirus trifoliata functions in dehydration tolerance by reducing stomatal density and maintaining reactive oxygen species homeostasis 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2015;66(19):5911-5927.
PtrABF, a positive regulator of dehydration tolerance, is involved in stomatal development and regulates polyamine biosynthesis.
Abscisic acid-responsive element (ABRE)-binding factors (ABFs) play important roles in abiotic stress responses; however, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. In this study, it is reported that overexpression of Poncirus trifoliata PtrABF significantly enhanced dehydration tolerance. The transgenic lines displayed smaller stomatal apertures, reduced stomatal density/index, and lower expression levels of genes associated with stomatal development. PtrABF was found to interact with PtrICE1, a homologue of ICE1 (Inducer of CBF Expression 1) that has been shown to be critical for stomatal development. Microarray analysis revealed that a total of 70 genes were differentially expressed in the transgenic line, 42 induced and 28 repressed. At least two units of ABREs and coupling elements were present in the promoters of most of the induced genes, among which peroxidase and arginine decarboxylase were verified as bona fide targets of PtrABF. Transgenic plants exhibited higher antioxidant enzyme activities and free polyamine levels, but lower levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and malondialdehyde. Polyamines were revealed to be associated with ROS scavenging in the transgenic plants due to a modulation of antioxidant enzymes triggered by signalling mediated by H2O2 derived from polyamine oxidase (PAO)-mediated catabolism. Taken together, the results indicate that PtrABF functions positively in dehydration tolerance by limiting water loss through its influence on stomatal movement or formation and maintaining ROS homeostasis via modulation of antioxidant enzymes and polyamines through transcriptional regulation of relevant target genes.
PMCID: PMC4566982  PMID: 26116025
ABRE; antioxidant enzyme; arginine decarboxylase; polyamine; polyamine oxidase; Poncirus trifoliata; ROS; stomatal development.
13.  Strategies to Design and Analyze Targeted Sequencing Data: The Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Targeted Sequencing Study 
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified thousands of genetic variants that influence a variety of diseases and health-related quantitative traits. However, the causal variants underlying the majority of genetic associations remain unknown. The Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Targeted Sequencing Study aims to follow up GWAS signals and identify novel associations of the allelic spectrum of identified variants with cardiovascular related traits.
Methods and Results
The study included 4,231 participants from three CHARGE cohorts: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, the Cardiovascular Health Study, and the Framingham Heart Study. We used a case-cohort design in which we selected both a random sample of participants and participants with extreme phenotypes for each of 14 traits. We sequenced and analyzed 77 genomic loci, which had previously been associated with one or more of 14 phenotypes. A total of 52,736 variants were characterized by sequencing and passed our stringent quality control criteria. For common variants (minor allele frequency ≥1%), we performed unweighted regression analyses to obtain p-values for associations and weighted regression analyses to obtain effect estimates that accounted for the sampling design. For rare variants, we applied two approaches: collapsed aggregate statistics and joint analysis of variants using the Sequence Kernel Association Test.
We sequenced 77 genomic loci in participants from three cohorts. We established a set of filters to identify high-quality variants, and implemented statistical and bioinformatics strategies to analyze the sequence data, and identify potentially functional variants within GWAS loci.
PMCID: PMC4176824  PMID: 24951659
genetics; epidemiology; CHARGE; sampling; targeted sequencing
14.  Protective effects of luteolin against cognitive impairment induced by infusion of Aβ peptide in rats 
Luteolin can be found in many traditional Chinese medicines, it’s a falconoid compound derived from Lonicera japonica Thunb. This study aims to investigate the neuroprotective effects of luteolin against cognitive impairment induced by amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide and the underlying mechanisms in rats. The animal behavioral tests showed that luteolin could ameliorate Aβ-induced learning and memory impairment. In hippocampal tissue, the activity of choline acetyl transferase (ChAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) increased after treated by luteolin. Luteolin also reversed the increased activity of acetylcholine esterase (AchE). In hippocampi homogenate, the content of acetylcholine (Ach) increased, but malondialdehyde (MDA) reduced. Moreover, luteolin can increase Bcl-2/Bax ratio. This study demonstrated that luteolin could protect Alzheimer’s disease (AD) rats against Aβ-induced cognitive impairment through regulating the cholinergic system and inhibiting oxidative injuries. The results suggesting that luteolin may have potential as a therapy for AD.
PMCID: PMC4525891  PMID: 26261557
Luteolin; Aβ peptide; Alzheimer’s disease; antioxidant activity; neuroprotection
15.  Synthesis of Pt3Ni Microspheres with High Performance for Rapid Degradation of Organic Dyes 
In this study, Pt3Ni microspheres consisted of nanoparticles were synthesized without addition of surfactants via the solvothermal route. The obtained sample was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometer (ICP-AES), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). Furthermore, the catalytic performance of as-synthesized Pt3Ni microspheres was evaluated on the degradation of different organic dyes (methylene blue, methyl orange, Congo red, and rhodamine B). The results show that different dyes were rapidly decomposed by Pt3Ni microspheres in different pathways. Among different dyes, the formation and further degradation of the intermediates was observed during the degradation of methylene blue and methyl orange, suggesting the indirect degradation process of these dyes. This study provides not only a promising catalyst for the removal of organic contaminants for environment remediation, but also new insights for Pt3Ni alloy as a high-performance catalyst in organic synthesis.
PMCID: PMC4469682  PMID: 26058511
Pt3Ni alloy; Catalytic degradation; Organic dye
16.  Is Tuberculosis Treatment Really Free in China? A Study Comparing Two Areas with Different Management Models 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0126770.
China has implemented a free-service policy for tuberculosis. However, patients still have to pay a substantial proportion of their annual income for treatment of this disease. This study describes the economic burden on patients with tuberculosis; identifies related factors by comparing two areas with different management models; and provides policy recommendation for tuberculosis control reform in China.
There are three tuberculosis management models in China: the tuberculosis dispensary model, specialist model and integrated model. We selected Zhangjiagang (ZJG) and Taixing (TX) as the study sites, which correspond to areas implementing the integrated model and dispensary model, respectively. Patients diagnosed and treated for tuberculosis since January 2010 were recruited as study subjects. A total of 590 patients (316 patients from ZJG and 274 patients from TX) were interviewed with a response rate of 81%. The economic burden attributed to tuberculosis, including direct costs and indirect costs, was estimated and compared between the two study sites. The Mann-Whitney U Test was used to compare the cost differences between the two groups. Potential factors related to the total out-of-pocket costs were analyzed based on a step-by-step multivariate linear regression model after the logarithmic transformation of the costs.
The average (median, interquartile range) total cost was 18793.33 (9965, 3200-24400) CNY for patients in ZJG, which was significantly higher than for patients in TX (mean: 6598.33, median: 2263, interquartile range: 983–6688) (Z = 10.42, P < 0.001). After excluding expenses covered by health insurance, the average out-of-pocket costs were 14304.4 CNY in ZJG and 5639.2 CNY in TX. Based on the multivariable linear regression analysis, factors related to the total out-of-pocket costs were study site, age, number of clinical visits, residence, diagnosis delay, hospitalization, intake of liver protective drugs and use of the second-line drugs.
Under the current “free of diagnosis and treatment” policy, the financial burden remains heavy on tuberculosis patients. Policy makers need to consider appropriate steps to lessen the burden of out-of-pocket costs for tuberculosis patients in China and how best to improve service delivery for poor patients.
PMCID: PMC4439067  PMID: 25993411
17.  Increased HMGB1 and cleaved caspase-3 stimulate the proliferation of tumor cells and are correlated with the poor prognosis in colorectal cancer 
Dying tumor cells after irradiation could promote the proliferation of living tumor cells might cause tumor relapse and treatment failure. Our previous study showed that activated caspase-3 after irradiation probably participates in tumor repopulation. In this study, we investigated whether high mobility group box 1(HMGB1) is also involved in tumor repopulation.
Colorectal tumor cells were irradiated. The cleaved caspase-3 (CC3) in irradiated tumor cells and HMGB1 in the supernatant of irradiated tumor cells were detected by Western blot. A large number of irradiated colorectal tumor cells (feeder cells) were then co-cultured with a small number of luciferase-labeled living colorectal tumor cells (reporter cells) and proliferation of reporter cells was measured by bioluminescence imaging. The CC3 and HMGB1 protein expression in colorectal tumor and peritumoral tissues were detected by immunohistochemistry and their correlation with prognosis were analyzed.
The irradiated colorectal tumor cells underwent apoptosis and necrosis and produced CC3 in tumor cells and HMGB1 in the supernatant of cultured cells. The increased expression of secretory HMGB1 correlated with CC3 level and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) after irradiation in vitro. The irradiated dying cells remarkably stimulated living tumor cell proliferation. Interestedly, immunohistochemistry staining showed that positive HMGB1, CC3, and Ki67 expression were significantly higher in colorectal tumor tissues than in peritumoral tissues (p <0.01). The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis revealed that high HMGB1, CC3, and Ki67 levels were significantly associated with poor prognosis (p <0.05, p <0.01). Multivariate analysis using Cox proportional hazards model showed that TNM staging and HMGB1 were independent prognostic factors in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) (p <0.01, p <0.001).
Both apoptotic and necrotic cells could stimulate proliferation of living tumor cells, and the increased expression of CC3 and HMGB1 in tumor cells could be new markers for poor prognosis in colorectal cancer patients.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13046-015-0166-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4446854  PMID: 25986235
Colorectal cancer; Caspase-3; High mobility group box 1(HMGB1); Dying cells; Tumor cell proliferation
18.  Photodynamic therapy with decacationic [60]fullerene monoadducts: effect of a light absorbing electron-donor antenna and micellar formulation 
We report the synthesis and anticancer photodynamic properties of two new decacationic fullerene (LC14) and red light-harvesting antenna-fullerene conjugated monoadduct (LC15) derivatives. The antenna of LC15 was attached covalently to C60> with distance of only <3.0 Ǻ to facilitate ultrafast intramolecular photoinduced-electron-transfer (for type-I photochemistry) and photon absorption at longer wavelengths. Because LC15 was hydrophobic we compared formulation in CremophorEL micelles with direct dilution from dimethylacetamide. LC14 produced more 1O2 than LC15, while LC15 produced much more HO· than LC14 as measured by specific fluorescent probes. When delivered by DMA, LC14 killed more HeLa cells than LC15 when excited by UVA light, while LC15 killed more cells when excited by white light consistent with the antenna effect. However LC15 was more effective than LC14 when delivered by micelles regardless of the excitation light. Micellar delivery produced earlier apoptosis and damage to the endoplasmic reticulum as well as to lysosomes and mitochondria.
PMCID: PMC4019724  PMID: 24333585
photodynamic therapy; decacationic fullerene monoadducts; nanomedicine; structure-function relationship; reactive oxygen species; light absorbing antenna; apoptosis; micelles
19.  The Alteration and Clinical Significance of Th22/Th17/Th1 Cells in Patients with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia 
Journal of Immunology Research  2015;2015:416123.
T helper- (Th-) cell immunodeficiency plays important roles in tumor development and their effects in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) remain unclear. In the present study, we mainly investigated the role of Th22, Th17, and Th1 cell and their related cytokines (IL-22, IL-17, and IFN-r) in the pathophysiology of CML. Bone marrow (BM) and peripheral blood (PB) were extracted from newly diagnosed (ND), chronic phase- (CP-) CML patients, and controls. Th subsets were examined by flow cytometry. Plasma IL-22, IL-17, and IFN-r concentrations were measured by ELISA. AHR and RORC mRNA expressions were examined by RT-PCR. The frequencies of Th22, Th17, and Th1 cells, along with the expression of specific transcription factors RORC and AHR, were significantly decreased in ND patients compared with healthy controls, while all these abnormality recovered in CP patients. In addition, there existed a significantly positive relationship between Th22 and Th17 cells in PB or BM. A significantly negative relationship was found between Th cells (Th22, Th17, or Th1) and BCR-ABL (%) IS or the number of PB white blood cells. All these results demonstrated that Th22, Th17, and Th1 cells might be important therapeutic targets in CML and could facilitate a better outcome for tumor immunotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4427092  PMID: 26000313
20.  Hybrid-polymerase chain reaction to identify novel target genes of miR-134 in paclitaxel resistant human ovarian carcinoma cells 
Oncology Letters  2015;9(6):2910-2916.
Increasing evidence has shown that miR-134 is involved in the promotion of tumorigenesis and chemoresistance. However, whether miR-134 participates in ovarian cancer chemoresistance and its functional targets still remains unclear. The objective of this study was to apply hybrid-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to screen target genes of miR-134 in ovarian carcinoma paclitaxel resistant SKOV3-TR30 cells, and to provide a number of novel targets of miR-134 for further study of ovarian cancer paclitaxel resistance. The current study found that miR-134 was decreased in SKOV3-TR30 cells compared with the parental SKOV3 cell line. By applying hybrid-PCR, 8 putative target genes of miR-134 in SKOV3-TR30 cells were identified, including C16orf72, PNAS-105, SRM, VIM, F-box protein 2, GAPDH, PRPF6 and RPL41. Notably, the target sites of VIM and PRPF6 were not located in 3′untranslated region, but rather in the coding sequence region. By conducting a luciferase reporter assay, miR-134 was demonstrated to recognize the putative binding sites of these target genes including VIM and PRPF6. Transfecting SKOV3-TR30 cells with miR-134 mimic and performing reverse transcription-PCR in addition to western blot analysis confirmed that miR-134 regulates vimentin expression at a post transcriptional level. This finding provides a novel perspective for studying the mechanism of miR-134/mRNA interaction. In conclusion, this study was the first to apply an effective method of hybrid-PCR to screen putative target mRNAs of miR-134 in paclitaxel resistant SKOV3-TR30 cells and indicate that miR-134 may contribute to the induction of SKOV3-TR30 paclitaxel resistance by targeting these genes.
PMCID: PMC4473704  PMID: 26137169
paclitaxel resistance; hybrid-polymerase chain reaction; ovarian cancer; miR-134; target mRNAs; SKOV3-TR30
21.  Effect of Electrode Shape on Impedance of Single HeLa Cell: A COMSOL Simulation 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:871603.
In disease prophylaxis, single cell inspection provides more detailed data compared to conventional examinations. At the individual cell level, the electrical properties of the cell are helpful for understanding the effects of cellular behavior. The electric field distribution affects the results of single cell impedance measurements whereas the electrode geometry affects the electric field distributions. Therefore, this study obtained numerical solutions by using the COMSOL multiphysics package to perform FEM simulations of the effects of electrode geometry on microfluidic devices. An equivalent circuit model incorporating the PBS solution, a pair of electrodes, and a cell is used to obtain the impedance of a single HeLa cell. Simulations indicated that the circle and parallel electrodes provide higher electric field strength compared to cross and standard electrodes at the same operating voltage. Additionally, increasing the operating voltage reduces the impedance magnitude of a single HeLa cell in all electrode shapes. Decreasing impedance magnitude of the single HeLa cell increases measurement sensitivity, but higher operational voltage will damage single HeLa cell.
PMCID: PMC4415739  PMID: 25961043
22.  Amyloid-β immunization enhances neurogenesis and cognitive ability in neonatal mice 
Whether Aβ actually has a physiological as well as a pathological role is not known. In order to investigate the effect of endogenous Aβ, wild type C57BL/6 mice were immunized with human or mouse derived Aβ1-42. The anti-Aβ antibody concentrations were increased in both treated groups. Compared to the human Aβ1-42 treated group, level of serum Aβ significantly decreased in mouse Aβ1-42 treated group. Western blot results revealed that these two derived Aβ1-42 had no cross-reaction. The new dentate granule survival cells increased in Aβ1-42 immunization groups, indicated by more BrdU+/NeuN+ and BrdU+/DCX+ cells as compared to PBS-treated group, accompanied by behavioral performance improving in a hippocampus-dependent learning task. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that BrdU+/Iba1+ cells also increased, however new born astrocytes (BrdU+/GFAP+) were unaffected in all treated mice. Interestingly, according the results of ELISA analysis both vaccines up-regulated IL-4 and IFN-γ levels in the brains and sera, but the TNF-α level did not changed. Of note, human Aβ1-42 immunization in neonatal mice enhanced neurogenesis and cognitive ability, might via Aβ immune response rather than cleaning endogenous Aβ.
PMCID: PMC4483988  PMID: 26131110
Amyloid-β; immunization; neurogenesis; cognitive function; neonatal mice
23.  Evaluation of tumour vaccine immunotherapy for the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer: a systematic meta-analysis 
BMJ Open  2015;5(4):e006321.
Our meta-analysis performed a systematic evaluation on the therapeutic efficacy and safety of tumour vaccines for the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCT).
Data sources
PubMed, the Cochrane Center Register of Controlled Trials, Science Direct and EMBASE were searched from January 1980 until January 2015.
Eligibility criteria for selecting studies
RCT were included; the control arm had to receive either placebo or chemotherapy or no treatment.
Main outcome measures
The quality of the data from individual papers was assessed for overall survival (OS), clinical response rate and side effects.
Overall, 11 RCT of advanced NSCLC with a total of 3986 patients were conducted for meta-analysis. The results showed that the vaccine arm significantly extended primary endpoint median overall survival compared with control group (p<0.00001) (HR 0.760; 95% CI 0.644 to 0.896; p=0.001). Three subgroup patients with tumour vaccine at 1-year, 2-year and 3-year survival rates also gained significant benefits compared with their corresponding control group (p=0.0004, 0.03 and 0.19, respectively). Besides, a significant improvement in median time to progression (TTP), median progression-free survival (PFS) and a trend of improvement in objective response rate were observed after tumour vaccine treatment (p=0.001, 0.005 and 0.05, respectively; median PFS HR 0.842; 95% CI 0.744 to 0.954; p=0.007). A few severe adverse effects occurred in the tumour vaccine group, but fewer side effects were observed in the vaccine group compared with the control group (p<0.00001).
Taken together, NSCLC tumour vaccines markedly prolong median OS (p<0.00001), median TTP (p=0.001) and median PFS (p=0.005), improve clinical response rate (p=0.05) and lessen adverse side effects (p<0.00001). Our meta-analysis suggests tumour vaccines improve the efficacy of the treatment, and also provide superiority in treatment of patients with advanced NSCLC among a variety of immunotherapy strategies.
PMCID: PMC4401843  PMID: 25872936
Tumor vaccine; Immunotherapy; Non-small cell lung cancer
24.  Assessing structural variation in a personal genome—towards a human reference diploid genome 
BMC Genomics  2015;16(1):286.
Characterizing large genomic variants is essential to expanding the research and clinical applications of genome sequencing. While multiple data types and methods are available to detect these structural variants (SVs), they remain less characterized than smaller variants because of SV diversity, complexity, and size. These challenges are exacerbated by the experimental and computational demands of SV analysis. Here, we characterize the SV content of a personal genome with Parliament, a publicly available consensus SV-calling infrastructure that merges multiple data types and SV detection methods.
We demonstrate Parliament’s efficacy via integrated analyses of data from whole-genome array comparative genomic hybridization, short-read next-generation sequencing, long-read (Pacific BioSciences RSII), long-insert (Illumina Nextera), and whole-genome architecture (BioNano Irys) data from the personal genome of a single subject (HS1011). From this genome, Parliament identified 31,007 genomic loci between 100 bp and 1 Mbp that are inconsistent with the hg19 reference assembly. Of these loci, 9,777 are supported as putative SVs by hybrid local assembly, long-read PacBio data, or multi-source heuristics. These SVs span 59 Mbp of the reference genome (1.8%) and include 3,801 events identified only with long-read data. The HS1011 data and complete Parliament infrastructure, including a BAM-to-SV workflow, are available on the cloud-based service DNAnexus.
HS1011 SV analysis reveals the limits and advantages of multiple sequencing technologies, specifically the impact of long-read SV discovery. With the full Parliament infrastructure, the HS1011 data constitute a public resource for novel SV discovery, software calibration, and personal genome structural variation analysis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1479-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4490614  PMID: 25886820
Structural variation; Long-read sequencing; SV software
25.  In Ovo Injection of Betaine Affects Hepatic Cholesterol Metabolism through Epigenetic Gene Regulation in Newly Hatched Chicks 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0122643.
Betaine is reported to regulate hepatic cholesterol metabolism in mammals. Chicken eggs contain considerable amount of betaine, yet it remains unknown whether and how betaine in the egg affects hepatic cholesterol metabolism in chicks. In this study, eggs were injected with betaine at 2.5 mg/egg and the hepatic cholesterol metabolism was investigated in newly hatched chicks. Betaine did not affect body weight or liver weight, but significantly increased the serum concentration (P < 0.05) and the hepatic content (P < 0.01) of cholesterol. Accordingly, the cholesterol biosynthetic enzyme HMGCR was up-regulated (P < 0.05 for both mRNA and protein), while CYP7A1 which converts cholesterol to bile acids was down-regulated (P < 0.05 for mRNA and P = 0.07 for protein). Moreover, hepatic protein content of the sterol-regulatory element binding protein 1 which regulates cholesterol and lipid biosynthesis, and the mRNA abundance of ATP binding cassette sub-family A member 1 (ABCA1) which mediates cholesterol counter transport were significantly (P < 0.05) increased in betaine-treated chicks. Meanwhile, hepatic protein contents of DNA methyltransferases 1 and adenosylhomocysteinase-like 1 were increased (P < 0.05), which was associated with global genomic DNA hypermethylation (P < 0.05) and diminished gene repression mark histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (P < 0.05). Furthermore, CpG methylation level on gene promoters was found to be increased (P < 0.05) for CYP7A1 yet decreased (P < 0.05) for ABCA1. These results indicate that in ovo betaine injection regulates hepatic cholesterol metabolism in chicks through epigenetic mechanisms including DNA and histone methylations.
PMCID: PMC4393024  PMID: 25860502

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