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1.  Arterial and end-tidal carbon dioxide difference in pediatric intensive care 
Background and Aim:
Arterial carbon dioxide tension (PaCO2) is considered the gold standard for scrupulous monitoring in pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), but it is invasive, laborious, expensive, and intermittent. The study aims to explore when we can use end-tidal carbon dioxide tension (PETCO2) as a reliable, continuous, and noninvasive monitor of arterial CO2
Materials and Methods:
Concurrent PETCO2, fraction of inspired oxygen, PaCO2, and arterial oxygen tension values of clinically stable children on mechanical ventilation were recorded. Children with extra-pulmonary ventriculoatrial shunts were excluded. The PETCO2 and PaCO2 difference and its variability and reproducibility were studied.
A total of 624 concurrent readings were obtained from 105 children (mean age [SD] 5.53 [5.43] years) requiring invasive bi-level positive airway pressure ventilation in the PICU. All had continuous PETCO2 monitoring and an arterial line for blood gas measurement. The mean (SD) number of concurrent readings obtained from each child, 4-6 h apart was 6.0 (4.05). The PETCO2 values were higher than PaCO2 in 142 observations (22.7%). The PaCO2–PETCO2 difference was individual admission specific (ANOVA, P < 0.001). The PaCO2–PETCO2 difference correlated positively with the alveolar-arterial oxygen tension [P(A-a)O2] difference (ρ = 0.381 P < 0.0001). There was a fixed bias between the PETCO2 and PaCO2 measuring methods, difference +0.66 KPa (95% confidence interval: +0.57 to +0.76).
The PaCO2–PETCO2 difference was individual specific. It was not affected by the primary disorder leading to the ventilation.
PMCID: PMC4238087  PMID: 25425837
Capnography; carbon dioxide partial pressure; critical care; pediatrics
2.  E-Vita Open Plus for Treating Complex Aneurysms and Dissections of the Thoracic Aorta: A NICE Medical Technology Guidance 
The E-vita open plus is a one-stage endoluminal stent graft system used for treating complex aneurysms and dissections of the thoracic aorta. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), as a part of its Medical Technologies Evaluation Programme (MTEP), selected this device for evaluation and invited the manufacturer, JOTEC GmbH, to submit clinical and economic evidence. King’s Technology Evaluation Centre (KiTEC), an External Assessment Centre (EAC) commissioned by the NICE, independently critiqued the manufacturer’s submissions. The EAC considered that the manufacturer had included most of the relevant evidence for the E-vita open plus, based on international E-vita open registry data for 274 patients, but had provided only limited evidence for the comparators. The EAC therefore conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of all comparators to supplement the information, and found ten additional studies providing outcome data for the three two-stage comparators. The EAC noted that the cost model submitted by the manufacturer did not include key complications during the procedures. The EAC developed a new economic model incorporating data on complications along with their long-term costs. The revised model indicated that the E-vita open plus might not provide cost savings when compared with some of the comparators in the short-term (1 year), but would have high cost savings in the long-term, from the second year onwards. The NICE Medical Technologies Guidance MTG 16, issued in December 2013, recommended the adoption of the E-vita open plus in selected patients within the National Health Service in England.
PMCID: PMC4175038  PMID: 25056415
3.  Down-Regulation of Nicotinamide N-methyltransferase Induces Apoptosis in Human Breast Cancer Cells via the Mitochondria-Mediated Pathway 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89202.
Nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT) has been found involved in cell proliferation of several malignancies. However, the functional role of NNMT in breast cancer has not been elucidated. In the present study, we showed that NNMT was selectively expressed in some breast cancer cell lines, down-regulation of NNMT expression in Bcap-37 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines by NNMT shRNA significantly inhibited cell growth in vitro, decreased tumorigenicity in mice and induced apoptosis. The silencing reciprocal effect of NNMT was confirmed by over-expressing NNMT in the MCF-7 and SK-BR-3 breast cancer cell lines which lack constitutive expression of NNMT. In addition, down-regulation of NNMT expression resulted in reducing expression of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, up-regulation of Bax, Puma, cleaved caspase-9, cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved PARP, increasing reactive oxygen species production and release of cytochrome c from mitochondria, and decreasing the phosphorylation of Akt and ERK1/2. These data suggest that down-regulation of NNMT induces apoptosis via the mitochondria-mediated pathway in breast cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC3928407  PMID: 24558488
4.  Hepatitis B Virus mRNA-Mediated miR-122 Inhibition Upregulates PTTG1-Binding Protein, Which Promotes Hepatocellular Carcinoma Tumor Growth and Cell Invasion 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(4):2193-2205.
As the most abundant liver-specific microRNA, miR-122 is involved in diverse aspects of hepatic function and neoplastic transformation. Our previous study showed that miR-122 levels are significantly decreased in hepatitis B virus (HBV)-infected patients, which may facilitate viral replication and persistence (S. Wang, L. Qiu, X. Yan, W. Jin, Y. Wang, L. Chen, E. Wu, X. Ye, G. F. Gao, F. Wang, Y. Chen, Z. Duan, and S. Meng, Hepatology 55:730–741, 2012). Loss of miR-122 expression in patients with hepatitis B enhances hepatitis B virus replication through cyclin G1-modulated P53 activity.). In this study, we provide evidence that all HBV mRNAs harboring an miR-122 complementary site act as sponges to bind and sequester endogenous miR-122, indicating that the highly redundant HBV transcripts are involved in HBV-mediated miR-122 suppression. We next identified pituitary tumor-transforming gene 1 (PTTG1) binding factor (PBF) as a target of miR-122 and demonstrated that HBV replication causes an obvious increase in PBF levels. Furthermore, we observed that the miR-122 levels were decreased and PBF was upregulated in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Overexpression and knockdown studies both revealed that PBF enhances proliferation and invasion of HCC cells, and silencing PBF resulted in a dramatic reduction of HCC tumor growth in vivo. Mechanistic analysis demonstrated that PBF interacts with PTTG1 and facilitates PTTG1 nuclear translocation, subsequently increasing its transcriptional activities. Therefore, we identified a novel HBV mRNA-miR-122-PBF regulatory pathway that facilitates malignant hepatocyte growth and invasion in CHB which may contribute to CHB-induced HCC development and progression. Our work underscores the reciprocal interplay of host miRNA sequestration and depletion by viral mRNAs, which may contribute to chronic-infection-related cancer.
PMCID: PMC3571498  PMID: 23221562
5.  Placenta-derived gp96 as a multivalent prophylactic cancer vaccine 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:1947.
A major challenge for designing prophylactic cancer vaccines is to define immunogenic and safe cancer antigens. Given the striking similarity of antigen expression patterns between cancer and embryonic tissues, we defined a prototype strategy of using placenta-derived heat shock protein gp96, which induces prophylactic anti-tumor T cell responses. Immunization with placental gp96 provided partial protection and long-term (at least 3 months) anti-tumor immunity against growth of transplantable melanoma or breast tumors in mice, elicited total protection against 7, 12-dimethylbenz(a)-anthracene (DMBA)-induced mammary tumors in rats, and significantly reduced the occurrence and growth of autochthonous breast tumors in HER2 transgenic mice. Placental gp96 activated HER2- and MUC1-specific T cell responses through binding to tumor-associated antigens. Our results reveal the novel immunogenicity of placental gp96 and its potential use as a multivalent cancer vaccine.
PMCID: PMC3674428  PMID: 23739295
6.  Inheritance of coronary artery disease in men: an analysis of the role of the Y chromosome 
Lancet  2012;379(9819):915-922.
A sexual dimorphism exists in the incidence and prevalence of coronary artery disease—men are more commonly affected than are age-matched women. We explored the role of the Y chromosome in coronary artery disease in the context of this sexual inequity.
We genotyped 11 markers of the male-specific region of the Y chromosome in 3233 biologically unrelated British men from three cohorts: the British Heart Foundation Family Heart Study (BHF-FHS), West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS), and Cardiogenics Study. On the basis of this information, each Y chromosome was tracked back into one of 13 ancient lineages defined as haplogroups. We then examined associations between common Y chromosome haplogroups and the risk of coronary artery disease in cross-sectional BHF-FHS and prospective WOSCOPS. Finally, we undertook functional analysis of Y chromosome effects on monocyte and macrophage transcriptome in British men from the Cardiogenics Study.
Of nine haplogroups identified, two (R1b1b2 and I) accounted for roughly 90% of the Y chromosome variants among British men. Carriers of haplogroup I had about a 50% higher age-adjusted risk of coronary artery disease than did men with other Y chromosome lineages in BHF-FHS (odds ratio 1·75, 95% CI 1·20–2·54, p=0·004), WOSCOPS (1·45, 1·08–1·95, p=0·012), and joint analysis of both populations (1·56, 1·24–1·97, p=0·0002). The association between haplogroup I and increased risk of coronary artery disease was independent of traditional cardiovascular and socioeconomic risk factors. Analysis of macrophage transcriptome in the Cardiogenics Study revealed that 19 molecular pathways showing strong differential expression between men with haplogroup I and other lineages of the Y chromosome were interconnected by common genes related to inflammation and immunity, and that some of them have a strong relevance to atherosclerosis.
The human Y chromosome is associated with risk of coronary artery disease in men of European ancestry, possibly through interactions of immunity and inflammation.
British Heart Foundation; UK National Institute for Health Research; LEW Carty Charitable Fund; National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia; European Union 6th Framework Programme; Wellcome Trust.
PMCID: PMC3314981  PMID: 22325189
7.  PMC42, a breast progenitor cancer cell line, has normal-like mRNA and microRNA transcriptomes 
The use of cultured cell lines as model systems for normal tissue is limited by the molecular alterations accompanying the immortalisation process, including changes in the mRNA and microRNA (miRNA) repertoire. Therefore, identification of cell lines with normal-like expression profiles is of paramount importance in studies of normal gene regulation.
The mRNA and miRNA expression profiles of several breast cell lines of cancerous or normal origin were measured using printed slide arrays, Luminex bead arrays, and real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.
We demonstrate that the mRNA expression profiles of two breast cell lines are similar to that of normal breast tissue: HB4a, immortalised normal breast epithelium, and PMC42, a breast cancer cell line that retains progenitor pluripotency allowing in-culture differentiation to both secretory and myoepithelial fates. In contrast, only PMC42 exhibits a normal-like miRNA expression profile. We identified a group of miRNAs that are highly expressed in normal breast tissue and PMC42 but are lost in all other cancerous and normal-origin breast cell lines and observed a similar loss in immortalised lymphoblastoid cell lines compared with healthy uncultured B cells. Moreover, like tumour suppressor genes, these miRNAs are lost in a variety of tumours. We show that the mechanism leading to the loss of these miRNAs in breast cancer cell lines has genomic, transcriptional, and post-transcriptional components.
We propose that, despite its neoplastic origin, PMC42 is an excellent molecular model for normal breast epithelium, providing a unique tool to study breast differentiation and the function of key miRNAs that are typically lost in cancer.
PMCID: PMC2481505  PMID: 18588681
8.  High-resolution aCGH and expression profiling identifies a novel genomic subtype of ER negative breast cancer 
Genome Biology  2007;8(10):R215.
High resolution array-CGH and expression profiling identifies a novel genomic subtype of ER negative breast cancer, and provides a genome-wide list of common copy number alterations associated with aberrant expression and poor prognosis.
The characterization of copy number alteration patterns in breast cancer requires high-resolution genome-wide profiling of a large panel of tumor specimens. To date, most genome-wide array comparative genomic hybridization studies have used tumor panels of relatively large tumor size and high Nottingham Prognostic Index (NPI) that are not as representative of breast cancer demographics.
We performed an oligo-array-based high-resolution analysis of copy number alterations in 171 primary breast tumors of relatively small size and low NPI, which was therefore more representative of breast cancer demographics. Hierarchical clustering over the common regions of alteration identified a novel subtype of high-grade estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer, characterized by a low genomic instability index. We were able to validate the existence of this genomic subtype in one external breast cancer cohort. Using matched array expression data we also identified the genomic regions showing the strongest coordinate expression changes ('hotspots'). We show that several of these hotspots are located in the phosphatome, kinome and chromatinome, and harbor members of the 122-breast cancer CAN-list. Furthermore, we identify frequently amplified hotspots on 8q22.3 (EDD1, WDSOF1), 8q24.11-13 (THRAP6, DCC1, SQLE, SPG8) and 11q14.1 (NDUFC2, ALG8, USP35) associated with significantly worse prognosis. Amplification of any of these regions identified 37 samples with significantly worse overall survival (hazard ratio (HR) = 2.3 (1.3-1.4) p = 0.003) and time to distant metastasis (HR = 2.6 (1.4-5.1) p = 0.004) independently of NPI.
We present strong evidence for the existence of a novel subtype of high-grade ER-negative tumors that is characterized by a low genomic instability index. We also provide a genome-wide list of common copy number alteration regions in breast cancer that show strong coordinate aberrant expression, and further identify novel frequently amplified regions that correlate with poor prognosis. Many of the genes associated with these regions represent likely novel oncogenes or tumor suppressors.
PMCID: PMC2246289  PMID: 17925008

Results 1-8 (8)