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1.  A plasma cytokine and angiogenic factor (CAF) analysis for selection of bevacizumab therapy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:17717.
This study intends to identify biomarkers that could refine the selection of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) for bevacizumab treatment. Pretreatment 36 plasma cytokines and angiogenic factors (CAFs) were first measured by protein microarray analysis in patients who received first-line bevacizumab-containing therapies (discovery cohort, n = 64), and further evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in patients treated on regimens with or without bevacizumab (validation cohort, n = 186). Factor levels were correlated with clinical outcomes, predictive values were assessed using a treatment by marker interaction term in the Cox model. Patients with lower pretreatment levels of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) or VEGF-A121 gain much more benefit from bevacizumab treatment as measured by progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS), while angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) levels negatively correlated with PFS and response rate following bevacizumab (all adjusted interaction P < 0.05). A baseline CAF signature combining these three markers has greater predictive ability than individual markers. Signature-negative patients showed impaired survival following bevacizumab treatment (PFS, 7.3 vs 7.0 months; hazard ratio [HR] 1.03; OS, 29.9 vs 21.1 months, HR 1.33) compared with signature-positive patients (PFS, 6.5 vs 11.9 months, HR 0.52; OS, 28.0 vs 55.3 months, HR 0.67). These promising results warrant further prospective studies.
PMCID: PMC4664961  PMID: 26620439
2.  Survey and coping strategies for job stress of new nurses in pharmacy intravenous admixture service: a pilot study 
To survey the nurse stress and analyze stressors in new nurses from pharmacy intravenous admixture service (PIAS). A questionnaire survey referring to the revised stressor scale was carried out on 52 new nurses of PIAS in four hospitals in Harbin. The average stress score for all participants was 2.43±0.63, as medium level of stress. The stressors were classified into 6 categories: ensuring up-to-date knowledge of professional nursing skills, increased workload and work-time, interpersonal relationship, ensuring knowledge of equipments, attending educational programs, and decreased occupational demand. The most important stressors included fear of medical accident occurrence, fear of failure in performance assessment, fear of occupational injuries, feeling fatigue and lack of sleep. Considering the various kinds of stressors in the working places, it was necessary for managers’ to use appropriate strategies to cope with the job stress in new nurses of PIAS.
PMCID: PMC4694483  PMID: 26770583
Job stress nurse coping strategy; pharmacy intravenous admixture service
3.  A novel inflammation-based prognostic score in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: the C-reactive protein/albumin ratio 
BMC Cancer  2015;15:350.
Plenty of studies have demonstrated the prognostic value of various inflammation-based indexes in cancer. This study was designed to investigate the prognostic value of the C-reactive protein/albumin (CRP/Alb) ratio in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
A retrospective study of 423 cases with newly diagnosed esophageal squamous cell carcinoma was conducted. We analyzed the association of the CRP/Alb ratio with clinicopathologic characteristics. The prognostic value was explored by univariate and multivariate survival analysis. In addition, we compared the discriminatory ability of the CRP/Alb ratio with other inflammation-based prognostic scores by evaluating the area under the receiver operating characteristics curves (AUC), including the modified Glasgow Prognostic Score (mGPS), neutrophil lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet lymphocyte ratio (PLR).
The optimal cut-off value was identified to be 0.095 for the CRP/Alb ratio. A higher level of the CRP/Alb ratio was associated with larger tumor size (P < 0.001), poorer differentiation (P = 0.019), deeper tumor invasion (P = 0.003), more lymph node metastasis (P = 0.015), more distant metastasis (P < 0.001) and later TNM stage (P < 0.001). The CRP/Alb ratio was identified to be the only inflammation-based prognostic score with independent association with overall survival by multivariate analysis (P = 0.031). The AUC value of the CRP/Alb ratio was higher compared with the NLR and PLR, but not mGPS at 6, 12 and 24 months of follow-up. In addition, the CRP/Alb ratio could identify a group of patients with mGPS score of 0 who had comparable overall survival with those with mGPS score of 1.
The CRP/Alb ratio is a novel but promising inflammation-based prognostic score in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. It is a valuable coadjutant for the mGPS to further identify patients’ survival differences.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12885-015-1379-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4423167  PMID: 25934640
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; C-reactive protein; Albumin; The modified Glasgow Prognostic Score; Inflammation-based prognostic score; Survival
4.  Role of capecitabine in treating metastatic colorectal cancer in Chinese patients 
OncoTargets and therapy  2014;7:501-511.
The China Food and Drug Administration approved the use of capecitabine in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) in 2004. This paper reviews the available information of capecitabine in Chinese patients with mCRC, focusing on its effectiveness and safety against mCRC. Identification of all eligible studies was made by searching the PubMed and Wanfang database from 2000 to 2013. Published data examining various aspects of clinical response and tolerability with capecitabine alone or in combination with other chemotherapeutic or biological agents for first- and second-line mCRC were examined. Capecitabine and its combination displayed high efficacy in Chinese patients with mCRC. Toxicities are generally manageable, and elderly patients can tolerate capecitabine well.
PMCID: PMC3979786  PMID: 24729715
capecitabine; metastatic colorectal cancer; Chinese
5.  Primary small cell carcinoma of the esophagus: clinicopathological study of 44 cases 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:222.
Primary small cell carcinoma of the esophagus (SCCE) is a highly aggressive disease characterized by early dissemination and poor prognosis. Because of the rarity of this disease, few previous studies have investigated the biomarkers associated with its prognosis. Leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein coupled receptor 5 (Lgr5) is a stem cell marker and a member of the canonical Wnt-signaling cascade. However, the clinical role of Lgr5 in SCCE remains unknown.
Tissue sections were obtained from 44 patients diagnosed with SCCE and expression of Lgr5 was examined by immunohistochemistry. The correlations between Lgr5 expression, and clinical parameters and prognostic significance were evaluated.
Lgr5 was expressed in SCCE cancer tissues. High Lgr5 expression was significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis (p = 0.003), late stage (p = 0.003) and unfavorable response to chemotherapy (p = 0.013) according to RECIST 1.0 criteria. Patients with higher Lgr5 expression levels had shorter overall survival times than those with lower expression levels.
These results demonstrated that overexpression of Lgr5 was significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis, tumor stage, and response to chemotherapy. Furthermore, high levels of Lgr5 expression appeared to be associated with poorer survival in patients with SCCE.
PMCID: PMC3987173  PMID: 24666414
Small cell carcinoma; Esophagus; Prognosis; Lgr5
6.  S-1-Based Chemotherapy versus Capecitabine-Based Chemotherapy as First-Line Treatment for Advanced Gastric Carcinoma: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82798.
Although both oral fluoropyrimidines were reported effective and safe, doubts exist about whether S-1 or capecitabine is more advantageous in advanced gastric carcinoma (AGC). Herein, we performed a meta-analysis to comprehensively compare the efficacy and safety of S-1-based chemotherapy versus capecitabine-based chemotherapy as first-line treatment for AGC.
PubMed/Medline, EmBase, Cochrane library, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure databases were searched for articles comparing S-1-based chemotherapy to capecitabine-based chemotherapy for AGC. Primary outcomes were overall response rate (ORR), time to progression (TTP), overall survival (OS), progression-free probability, and survival probability. Secondary outcomes were toxicities. Fixed-effects model were used and all the results were confirmed by random-effects model.
Five randomized controlled trials and five cohort studies with 821 patients were included. We found equivalent ORR (38.3% vs. 39.1%, odds ratio [OR] 0.92, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.69-1.24, P = 0.59), TTP (harzad ratio [HR] 0.98, 95% CI 0.82-1.16, P = 0.79), OS (HR 0.99, 95% CI 0.87-1.13, P = 0.91), progression-free probability (3-month OR 1.02, 95% CI 0.62-1.68, P = 0.94; 6-month OR 1.34, 95% CI 0.88-2.04, P = 0.18) and survival probability (0.5-year OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.61-1.31, P =0.57; 1-year OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.70- 1.33, P = 0.84; 2-year OR 1.15, 95% CI 0.61-2.17, P = 0.66). Equivalent grade 3 to 4 hematological and non-hematological toxicities were found except hand-foot syndrome was less prominent in S-1-based chemotherapy (0.3% vs. 5.9%, OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.06-0.56, P = 0.003). There’re no significant heterogeneity and publication bias. Cumulative analysis found stable time-dependent trend. Consistent results stratified by study design, age, regimen, cycle, country were observed.
S-1-based chemotherapy was associated with non-inferior antitumor efficacy and better safety profile, compared with capecitabine-based therapy. We recommended S-1 and capecitabine can be used interchangeably for AGC, at least in Asia.
PMCID: PMC3861463  PMID: 24349363
7.  Abnormal expression of paxillin correlates with tumor progression and poor survival in patients with gastric cancer 
Paxillin (PXN) has been found to be aberrantly regulated in various malignancies and involved in tumor growth and invasion. The clinicopathological and prognostic significance of PXN in gastric cancer is still unclear.
The expression of PXN was determined in paired gastric cancer tissues and adjacent normal tissues by Western blotting and real-time PCR. Immunohistochemistry was performed to detect the expression of PXN in 239 gastric cancer patients. Statistical analysis was applied to investigate the correlation between PXN expression and clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis in patients. Additionally, the effects of PXN on gastric cancer cell proliferation and migration were also evaluated.
PXN was up-regulated in gastric cancer tissues and cell lines as compared with adjacent normal tissues and normal gastric epithelial cell line GES-1. Overexpression of PXN was correlated with distant metastasis (P = 0.001) and advanced tumor stage (P = 0.021) in gastric cancer patients. Patients with high PXN expression tended to have poor prognosis compared with patients with low PXN expression (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that PXN expression was an independent prognostic factor (P = 0.020). Moreover, ectopic expression of PXN promotes cell proliferation and migration in AGS cells whereas knockdown of PXN inhibits cell proliferation and migration in SGC7901 cells.
PXN plays an important role in tumor progression and may be used as a potential prognostic indicator in gastric cancer.
PMCID: PMC4228400  PMID: 24180516
Gastric cancer; Paxillin; Tumor progression; Prognosis
8.  The status of HBV infection influences metastatic pattern and survival in Chinese patients with pancreatic cancer 
It has been proved that hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection alters the metastatic pattern and affects survival in colorectal cancer (CRC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), while the influence of HBV infection on metastatic pattern and survival in patients with pancreatic cancer (PC) has not been investigated yet.
We conducted an investigation to evaluate the impact of HBV infection on metastatic pattern and overall survival in PC. We collected the data of 460 PC patients treated in our hospital from 1999 to 2010. Serum HBV markers were tested with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The impact of HBV infection on metastatic pattern and overall survival was analyzed.
We found that the incidence of synchronous liver metastasis was significantly higher in patients with HBsAg positive than those with HBsAg negative (46.0% vs 32.0%, P < 0.05), and higher in chronic HBV infection (CHB) group than both non HBV infection and resolved HBV infection group (61.1% vs 33.9%, P < 0.05, and 61.1% vs 28.7%, P < 0.05, respectively). What’s more, Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that CHB, resolved HBV infection and non HBV infection group had significant longer overall survival (OS) compared with inactive HBsAg carriers (IC) group (P=0.037, P=0.009, and P=0.019 respectively). But, in the multivariate analysis, only the CHB and non HBV infection group had significant better overall survival compared with IC group (P=0.010 and P=0.018 respectively).
Our study found that HBV infection increased synchronous liver metastasis rate, and HBV infection status was an independent prognostic factor in PC patients.
PMCID: PMC3851713  PMID: 24099678
Hepatitis B virus; Pancreatic cancer; Liver metastasis; Survival
9.  A 3D high resolution ex vivo white matter atlas of the common squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus) based on diffusion tensor imaging 
Modern magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain atlases are high quality 3-D volumes with specific structures labeled in the volume. Atlases are essential in providing a common space for interpretation of results across studies, for anatomical education, and providing quantitative image-based navigation. Extensive work has been devoted to atlas construction for humans, macaque, and several non-primate species (e.g., rat). One notable gap in the literature is the common squirrel monkey – for which the primary published atlases date from the 1960’s. The common squirrel monkey has been used extensively as surrogate for humans in biomedical studies, given its anatomical neuro-system similarities and practical considerations. This work describes the continued development of a multi-modal MRI atlas for the common squirrel monkey, for which a structural imaging space and gray matter parcels have been previously constructed. This study adds white matter tracts to the atlas. The new atlas includes 49 white matter (WM) tracts, defined using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in three animals and combines these data to define the anatomical locations of these tracks in a standardized coordinate system compatible with previous development. An anatomist reviewed the resulting tracts and the inter-animal reproducibility (i.e., the Dice index of each WM parcel across animals in common space) was assessed. The Dice indices range from 0.05 to 0.80 due to differences of local registration quality and the variation of WM tract position across individuals. However, the combined WM labels from the 3 animals represent the general locations of WM parcels, adding basic connectivity information to the atlas.
PMCID: PMC4825691  PMID: 27064328
squirrel monkey; neuroanatomy; brain atlas; white matter atlas; magnetic resonance imaging; diffusion tensor imaging; tractography
10.  Comprehensive analysis of Stargardt macular dystrophy patients reveals new genotype-phenotype correlations and unexpected diagnostic revisions 
Stargardt macular dystrophy (STGD) results in early central vision loss. We sought to explain the genetic cause of STGD in a cohort of 88 patients from three different cultural backgrounds.
Next Generation Sequencing using a novel capture panel was used to search for disease causing mutations. Unsolved patients were clinically re-examined and tested for copy number variations (CNVs) as well as intronic mutations.
We determined the cause of disease in 67% of our patients. Our analysis identified 35 novel ABCA4 alleles. Eleven patients had mutations in genes not previously reported to cause STGD. Finally, 45% of our unsolved patients had single deleterious mutations in ABCA4, a recessive disease gene. No likely pathogenic CNVs were identified.
This study expands our knowledge of STGD by identifying dozens of novel STGD causing alleles. The frequency of patients with single mutations in ABCA4 is higher than controls, indicating these mutations contribute to disease. Eleven patients were explained by mutations outside ABCA4 underlining the need to genotype all retinal disease genes to maximize genetic diagnostic rates. Few ABCA4 mutations were observed in our French Canadian patients. This population may contain an unidentified founder mutation. Our results indicate that CNVs are unlikely to be a major cause of STGD.
PMCID: PMC4385427  PMID: 25474345
Vision research; Clinical genetics; Macular degeneration; Diagnosis; Copy-number Variations
11.  AntithrombinIII/serpinC1 insufficiency exacerbates renal ischemia/reperfusion injury 
Kidney international  2015;88(4):796-803.
Antithrombin III, encoded by SerpinC1, is a major anti-coagulation molecule in vivo and has anti-inflammatory effects. We found that patients with low antithrombin III activities presented a higher risk of developing acute kidney injury after cardiac surgery. To study this further, we generated SerpinC1 heterozygous knockout rats and followed the development of acute kidney injury in a model of modest renal ischemia/reperfusion injury. Renal injury, assessed by serum creatinine and renal tubular injury scores after 24 hours of reperfusion, was significantly exacerbated in SerpinC1+/- rats compared to wild-type littermates. Concomitantly, renal oxidative stress, tubular apoptosis, and macrophage infiltration following this injury were significantly aggravated in SerpinC1+/-rats. However, significant thrombosis was not found in the kidneys of any group of rats. Antithrombin III is reported to stimulate the production of prostaglandin I2, a known regulator of renal cortical blood flow in addition to anti-inflammatory effects and protect against renal failure. Prostaglandin F1α, an assayable metabolite of prostaglandin I2, was increased in the kidneys of the wild-type rats at 3 hours after reperfusion. The increase of prostaglandin F1α was significantly blunted in SerpinC1 +/- rats, which preceded increased tubular injury and oxidative stress. Thus, our study found a novel role of SerpinC1 insufficiency in increasing the severity of renal ischemia/reperfusion injury.
PMCID: PMC4589441  PMID: 26108065
acute kidney injury; ischemia/reperfusion; SerpinC1
12.  Mild decrease in TBX20 promoter activity is a potentially protective factor against congenital heart defects in the Han Chinese population 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:23662.
Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are one of the most common human birth defects worldwide. TBX20 is a crucial transcription factor for the development of embryonic cardiovascular system. Previous studies have demonstrated that mutations in the TBX20 coding region contribute to familial and sporadic CHD occurrence. However, it remains largely unknown whether variants in the TBX20 regulatory region are also related to CHDs. In this study, we sequenced the 2 kb region upstream of the TBX20 transcription start site in 228 CHD patients and 292 controls in a Han Chinese population. Among the 8 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified, six SNPs are in strong linkage disequilibrium and the minor alleles are associated with lower CHD risk (for rs10235849 chosen as tag SNP, p = 0.0069, OR (95% CI) = 0.68 (0.51–0.90)). Functional analysis showed that the minor alleles have lower transcriptional activity than major alleles in both human heart tissues and three cell lines. The electrophoretic mobility shift assay suggested that TBX20 minor alleles may exhibit higher binding affinity with certain transcription repressors. Our results indicate that a moderately lower TBX20 activity potentially reduces CHD risk in the Han Chinese population, providing new insight in the study of CHD etiology.
PMCID: PMC4817057  PMID: 27034249
13.  microRNA-200b and microRNA-200c promote colorectal cancer cell proliferation via targeting the reversion-inducing cysteine-rich protein with Kazal motifs 
RNA Biology  2015;12(3):276-289.
MicroRNA-200b and microRNA-200c (miR-200b/c) are 2 of the most frequently upregulated oncomiRs in colorectal cancer cells. The role of miR-200b/c during colorectal tumorigenesis, however, remains unclear. In the present study, we report that miR-200b/c can promote colorectal cancer cell proliferation via targeting the reversion-inducing cysteine-rich protein with Kazal motifs (RECK). Firstly, bioinformatics analysis predicted RECK as a conserved target of miR-200b/c. By overexpressing or knocking down miR-200b/c in colorectal cancer cells, we experimentally validated that miR-200b/c are direct regulators of RECK. Secondly, an inverse correlation between the levels of miR-200b/c and RECK protein was found in human colorectal cancer tissues and cell lines. Thirdly, we demonstrated that repression of RECK by miR-200b/c consequently triggered SKP2 (S-phase kinase-associated protein 2) elevation and p27Kip1 (also known as cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1B) degradation in colorectal cancer cells, which eventually promotes cancer cell proliferation. Finally, promoting tumor cell growth by miR-200b/c-targeting RECK was also observed in the xenograft mouse model. Taken together, our results demonstrate that miR-200b/c play a critical role in promoting colorectal tumorigenesis through inhibiting RECK expression and subsequently triggering SKP2 elevation and p27Kip1 degradation.
PMCID: PMC4615722  PMID: 25826661
colorectal cancer; cell proliferation; miR-200b/c; oncogene; RECK
14.  miR-93 functions as an oncomiR for the downregulation of PDCD4 in gastric carcinoma 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:23772.
Programmed cell death 4 (PDCD4), as a tumor suppressor gene, is frequently reduced in a variety of tumors, including gastric cancer. Previous findings have indicated that PDCD4 participates in tumorigenesis through the regulation of apoptosis, but the molecular basis of this process has not been fully elucidated, and no studies have shown the upstream regulation of this gene in gastric cancer. In this study, we used bioinformatics analysis to search for miRNAs that could potentially target PDCD4 and identified miR-93 as a candidate. Moreover, we observed the inverse correlation between miR-93 and PDCD4 protein levels, but not mRNA levels, in human gastric cancer tissues. We further experimentally validated PDCD4 as the direct target of miR-93 by evaluating PDCD4 expression in gastric cancer cells after the overexpression or knockdown of miR-93. Additionally, the biological consequences of targeting PDCD4 through miR-93 were examined using cell apoptosis assays in vitro. We demonstrated that the repression of PDCD4 through miR-93 suppressed the apoptosis of gastric cancer cells. Finally, we revealed that miR-93 promoted the development of gastric tumor growth in xenograft mice by negatively regulating PDCD4. Taken together, the findings of the present study indicated the oncogenic role of miR-93 in gastric cancer tumorigenesis through targeting PDCD4, particularly in apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC4810498  PMID: 27021515
15.  Synergistic effect of κ-carrageenan on oxazolone-induced inflammation in BALB/c mice 
BMC Gastroenterology  2016;16:41.
Carrageenan is a traditional ingredient that has been widely used in the food industry. In the present study, we propose a hypothesis that carrageenan is a conditional inflammatory agent. When the intestinal tract is in an “unhealthy” state such as that during bacterial infection or acute inflammation, carrageenan can synergistically enhance the inflammatory response.
BALB/C mice received κ-carrageenan via intragastric administration prior to the induction of oxazolone colitis. Weight changes, survival rate, histologic change, secretion of inflammatory cytokines, ratio of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in peripheral blood, and expression of genes and proteins involved in inflammation and cell proliferation in the colonic mucosa were examined.
Intragastric administration of κ-carrageenan to BALB/c mice prior to the induction of oxazolone colitis resulted in an aggravation of body weight loss, a decrease in the survival ratio, aggravation of colonic inflammation, and decrease in the ratio of CD4 + CD25+/CD4+. The secretion of interleukin-4 (IL-4), interleukin-10 (IL-10), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) also significantly increased after κ-carrageenan administration. κ-Carrageenan, together with oxazolone, suppressed the expression of forkhead box p3 (FOXp3) and increased the expression of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), and proliferating cell nuclear antigen in the colonic mucosa. These results were confirmed by qRT-PCR and western blot analyses at the molecular and protein levels, respectively.
κ-Carrageenan aggravated oxazolone-induced intestinal inflammation in BALB/c mice. This effect is associated with an activation of the TLR4-NF-κB pathway, a decreased ratio of Tregs, and the induction of Th2-dependent immune responses.
PMCID: PMC4807553  PMID: 27015810
κ-carrageenan; Oxazolone; Intestinal inflammation; Aggravation
16.  Association of serum fatty acid and estimated desaturase activity with hypertension in middle-aged and elderly Chinese population 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:23446.
We aimed to investigate the cross-sectional associations of serum fatty acid (FA) and related Δ-desaturase with hypertension among 2,447 community-dwellers aged 35–79 years living in Zhejiang Province, China. Individual FA was determined in serum, Δ5-desaturase (D5D) and Δ6-desaturase (D6D) activities were indirectly estimated by FA product/precursor ratios. Participants in the highest quartile of D5D component scores (20:4n–6, 20:5n–3, 22:6n–3 and D5D) have significantly lower odds of hypertension compared with individuals in the lowest (multivariate-adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 0.68, 95% CI: 0.46–0.98). When further stratified by gender, high D5D component scores were significantly associated with lower odds of hypertension in women (OR = 0.53, 95% CI: 0.35–0.80), but not in men (OR = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.52-1.18). Multivariate-adjusted prevalent OR for an interquartile increment of individual FA and estimated desaturase was 1.27 (95% CI: 1.08–1.50) for 16:0, 1.15 (95% CI: 1.01–1.30) for 16:1n–7, 0.89 (95% CI: 0.80–0.99) for 22:6n–3, 1.32 (95% CI: 1.01–1.72) for D6D (18:3n–6/18:2n–6), and 0.74 (95% CI: 0.56, 0.98) for D5D (20:4n–6/20:3n–6). Present findings suggested that high serum 22:6n–3 and D5D as well as low 16:0, 16:1n–7 and D6D were associated with a low prevalence of hypertension in this Chinese population.
PMCID: PMC4804219  PMID: 27006169
17.  Coulomb-corrected molecular orbital tomography of nitrogen 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:23236.
High-order harmonic generation (HHG) from aligned molecules has provided a promising way to probe the molecular orbital with an Ångström resolution. This method, usually called molecular orbital tomography (MOT) replies on a simple assumption of the plane-wave approximation (PW), which has long been questioned due to that PW approximation is known to be valid in the keV energy region. However, the photon energy is usually no more than 100 eV in HHG. In this work, we experimentally reconstruct the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) of nitrogen (N2) by using a Coulomb-corrected MOT (CCMOT) method. In our scheme, the molecular continuum states are described by a Coulomb wave function instead of the PW approximation. With CCMOT, the reconstructed orbital is demonstrated to agree well with the theoretical prediction and retain the main features of the HOMO of N2. Compared to the PW approximation method, the CCMOT shows a significant improvement in eliminating the artificial structures caused by PW approximation.
PMCID: PMC4802381  PMID: 27000666
18.  Exploratory serum fatty acid patterns associated with blood pressure in community-dwelling middle-aged and elderly Chinese 
Epidemiological studies have assessed relationships between circulating levels of fatty acid (FA) and blood pressure (BP), and their results remain controversial. Nevertheless, data are sparse on serum FA as biomarker and BP in China. The aim of the study was to investigate the association between serum FA and BP in Chinese populations.
We conducted a cross-sectional study nested within a community-based cohort of 2447 Chinese participants aged 35–79 years who completed a baseline assessment between October 2012 and April 2013. Baseline assessment included the collection of fasting blood samples, anthropometric measurements and a personal interview using a validated questionnaire. Serum FA was determined by gas-liquid chromatography. Exploratory factor analyses were employed to identify FA-factor as a reflection of serum FA pattern. A multiple regression model was conducted to estimate adjusted mean of BP with 95 % confidence interval (CI) by tertile groups of the generated FA-factor scores.
Hypertensive patients have significantly higher serum 14:0, 16:0, 16:1n-7, 18:3n-6, 20:3n-6 and Δ6-desaturase index (18:3n-6/18:2n-6) as well as lower 18:2n-6, 22:6n-3 and Δ5-desaturase index (20:4n-6/20:3n-6) compared with normotensive participants. Factor 1 (low linoleic acid/high saturated FA pattern: 14:0, 16:0, 16:1n-7, 18:2n-6, 18:3n-6, 20:3n-6) and Factor 2 (n-3 PUFA pattern: 20:5n-3, 22:5n-3, 22:6n-3, 18:1n-9) were identified as indicators of the serum FA pattern. After adjustment for age, gender, body mass index, hypertension treatment, smoking, alcohol intake, education, profession, exercise habit, salt intake, family history of hypertension, heart rate, blood lipids and fasting blood-glucose levels, per a standard deviation (SD) increment of Factor 1 scores was associated with an increment of 2.44 (95 % CI: 1.73, 3.15) mm Hg for systolic BP, whereas per a SD increment of Factor 2 scores was associated with a reduction of 1.40 (95 % CI: 0.80, 2.04) mm Hg for diastolic BP.
The serum FA pattern characterized by low proportions of 14:0, 16:0, 16:1n-7 and 18:3n-6 as well as high 18:2n-6 and 22:6n-3 was beneficially associated with BP levels in this Chinese population. This evidence well supports the current dietary recommendations in the communities to replace saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12944-016-0226-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4797152  PMID: 26993260
Blood pressure; Fatty acid; Factor analysis; Hypertension
19.  Genomic identification of WRKY transcription factors in carrot (Daucus carota) and analysis of evolution and homologous groups for plants 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:23101.
WRKY transcription factors belong to one of the largest transcription factor families. These factors possess functions in plant growth and development, signal transduction, and stress response. Here, we identified 95 DcWRKY genes in carrot based on the carrot genomic and transcriptomic data, and divided them into three groups. Phylogenetic analysis of WRKY proteins from carrot and Arabidopsis divided these proteins into seven subgroups. To elucidate the evolution and distribution of WRKY transcription factors in different species, we constructed a schematic of the phylogenetic tree and compared the WRKY family factors among 22 species, which including plants, slime mold and protozoan. An in-depth study was performed to clarify the homologous factor groups of nine divergent taxa in lower and higher plants. Based on the orthologous factors between carrot and Arabidopsis, 38 DcWRKY proteins were calculated to interact with other proteins in the carrot genome. Yeast two-hybrid assay showed that DcWRKY20 can interact with DcMAPK1 and DcMAPK4. The expression patterns of the selected DcWRKY genes based on transcriptome data and qRT-PCR suggested that those selected DcWRKY genes are involved in root development, biotic and abiotic stress response. This comprehensive analysis provides a basis for investigating the evolution and function of WRKY genes.
PMCID: PMC4792144  PMID: 26975939
20.  Analysis of the sex ratio of reported gonorrhoea incidence in Shenzhen, China 
BMJ Open  2016;6(3):e009629.
To assess the clinical process of gonorrhoea diagnosis and report in China, and to determine the difference of sex ratio between reported incidence based on reporting data and true diagnosis rate based on reference tests of gonorrhoea.
A total of 26 dermatology and sexually transmitted disease (STD) departments, 34 obstetrics-gynaecology clinics and 28 urology outpatient clinics selected from 34 hospitals of Shenzhen regarded as our study sites.
A total of 2754 participants were recruited in this study, and 2534 participants completed the questionnaire survey and provided genital tract secretion specimens. There were 1106 male and 1428 female participants. Eligible participants were patients who presented for outpatient STD care at the selected clinics for the first time in October 2012 were at least 18 years old, and were able to give informed consent.
Outcome measures
Untested rate, true-positive rate, false-negative rate and unreported rate of gonorrhoea, as well as reported gonorrhoea incidence sex ratio and true diagnosis sex ratio were calculated and used to describe the results.
2534 participants were enrolled in the study. The untested rate of gonorrhoea among females was significantly higher than that among males (female 88.1%, male 68.3%, p=0.001). The male-to-female sex ratios of untested rate, true-positive rate, false-negative rate and unreported rate were 1:1.3, 1.2:1, 1:1.6 and 1:1.4, respectively. The reported gonorrhoea incidence sex ratio of new diagnosed gonorrhoea was 19.8:1 (male vs female: 87/1106 vs 5/1420), while the true diagnosis sex ratio was 2.5:1 (male vs female: 161/1106 vs 84/1420). These data indicate that the sex ratio of reported gonorrhoea incidence has been overestimated by a factor of 7.9 (19.8/2.5).
We found the current reported gonorrhoea incidence and sex ratios to be inaccurate due to underestimations of gonorrhoea incidence, especially among women.
PMCID: PMC4800114  PMID: 26975933
21.  An Immunosuppressive Antibody-Drug Conjugate 
We have developed a novel antibody drug-conjugate (ADC) which can selectively deliver the Lck inhibitor dasatinib to human T lymphocytes. This ADC is based on a humanized antibody which selectively binds with high affinity to CXCR4, an antigen that is selectively expressed on hematopoietic cells. The resulting dasatinib-antibody conjugate suppresses T-cell-receptor (TCR)-mediated T cell activation and cytokine expression with low nM EC50 and has minimal effects on cell viability. This ADC may lead to a new class of selective immunosuppressive drugs with improved safety, and extends the antibody-drug conjugate strategy to the targeted delivery of kinase inhibitors for indications beyond oncology.
PMCID: PMC4472444  PMID: 25699419
22.  Detecting microbial dysbiosis associated with Pediatric Crohn’s disease despite the high variability of the gut microbiota 
Cell reports  2016;14(4):945-955.
The relationship between the host and its microbiota is challenging to understand because both microbial communities and their environment are highly variable. We developed a set of techniques to address this challenge based on population dynamics and information theory. These methods identified additional bacterial taxa associated with pediatric Crohn's disease and could detect significant changes in microbial communities with fewer samples than previous statistical approaches. We also substantially improved the accuracy of the diagnosis based on the microbiota from stool samples and found that the ecological niche of a microbe predicts its role in Crohn’s disease. Bacteria typically residing in the lumen of healthy patients decrease in disease while bacteria typically residing on the mucosa of healthy patients increase in disease. Our results also show that the associations with Crohn’s disease are evolutionarily conserved and provide a mutual-information-based method to visualize dysbiosis.
PMCID: PMC4740235  PMID: 26804920
23.  Establishment of Immortalized BMP2/4 Double Knock‐Out Osteoblastic Cells Is Essential for Study of Osteoblast Growth, Differentiation, and Osteogenesis 
Journal of Cellular Physiology  2015;231(6):1189-1198.
Bone morphogenetic proteins 2 and 4 (BMP2/4) are essential for osteoblast differentiation and osteogenesis. Generation of a BMP2/4 dual knock‐out (ko/ko) osteoblastic cell line is a valuable asset for studying effects of BMP2/4 on skeletal development. In this study, our goal was to create immortalized mouse deleted BMP2/4 osteoblasts by infecting adenoviruses with Cre recombinase and green fluorescent protein genes into immortalized murine floxed BMP2/4 osteoblasts. Transduced BMP2/4ko/ko cells were verified by green immunofluorescence and PCR. BMP2/4ko/ko osteoblasts exhibited small size, slow cell proliferation rate and cell growth was arrested in G1 and G2 phases. Expression of bone‐relate genes was reduced in the BMP2/4ko/ko cells, resulting in delay of cell differentiation and mineralization. Importantly, extracellular matrix remodeling was impaired in the BMP2/4ko/ko osteoblasts as reflected by decreased Mmp‐2 and Mmp‐9 expressions. Cell differentiation and mineralization were rescued by exogenous BMP2 and/or BMP4. Therefore, we for the first time described establishment of an immortalized deleted BMP2/4 osteoblast line useful for study of mechanisms in regulating osteoblast lineages. J. Cell. Physiol. 231: 1189–1198, 2016. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Cellular Physiology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
PMCID: PMC4784166  PMID: 26595646
24.  FXYD2, a γ subunit of Na+,K+-ATPase, maintains persistent mechanical allodynia induced by inflammation 
Cell Research  2015;25(3):318-334.
Na+,K+-ATPase (NKA) is required to generate the resting membrane potential in neurons. Nociceptive afferent neurons express not only the α and β subunits of NKA but also the γ subunit FXYD2. However, the neural function of FXYD2 is unknown. The present study shows that FXYD2 in nociceptive neurons is necessary for maintaining the mechanical allodynia induced by peripheral inflammation. FXYD2 interacted with α1NKA and negatively regulated the NKA activity, depolarizing the membrane potential of nociceptive neurons. Mechanical allodynia initiated in FXYD2-deficient mice was abolished 4 days after inflammation, whereas it persisted for at least 3 weeks in wild-type mice. Importantly, the FXYD2/α1NKA interaction gradually increased after inflammation and peaked on day 4 post inflammation, resulting in reduction of NKA activity, depolarization of neuron membrane and facilitation of excitatory afferent neurotransmission. Thus, the increased FXYD2 activity may be a fundamental mechanism underlying the persistent hypersensitivity to pain induced by inflammation.
PMCID: PMC4349241  PMID: 25633594
FXYD2; Na+,K+-ATPase; inflammatory pain; dorsal root ganglion
25.  Microarray Study of Pathway Analysis Expression Profile Associated with MicroRNA-29a with Regard to Murine Cholestatic Liver Injuries 
Accumulating evidence demonstrates that microRNA-29 (miR-29) expression is prominently decreased in patients with hepatic fibrosis, which consequently stimulates hepatic stellate cells’ (HSCs) activation. We used a cDNA microarray study to gain a more comprehensive understanding of genome-wide gene expressions by adjusting miR-29a expression in a bile duct-ligation (BDL) animal model. Methods: Using miR-29a transgenic mice and wild-type littermates and applying the BDL mouse model, we characterized the function of miR-29a with regard to cholestatic liver fibrosis. Pathway enrichment analysis and/or specific validation were performed for differentially expressed genes found within the comparisons. Results: Analysis of the microarray data identified a number of differentially expressed genes due to the miR-29a transgene, BDL, or both. Additional pathway enrichment analysis revealed that TGF-β signaling had a significantly differential activated pathway depending on the occurrence of miR-29a overexpression or the lack thereof. Furthermore, overexpression was found to elicit changes in Wnt/β-catenin after BDL. Conclusion: This study verified that an elevated miR-29a level could alleviate liver fibrosis caused by cholestasis. Furthermore, the protective effects of miR-29a correlate with the downregulation of TGF-β and associated with Wnt/β-catenin signal pathway following BDL.
PMCID: PMC4813186  PMID: 26938532
miR-29a; bile duct ligation; cholestasis; liver fibrosis; TGF-β signaling pathway; Wnt signaling pathway

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