Recent urban landscape vegetation surveys conducted in many cities in China identified numerous plant nutrient deficiencies, especially in newly developed cities. Soil nutrients and soil nutrient management in the cities of Hubei province have not received adequate attention to date. The aims of this study were to characterize the available nutrients of urban soils from nine cities in Hubei province, China, and to assess how soil nutrient status is related to land use type and topography. Soil nutrients were measured in 405 sites from 1,215 soil samples collected from four land use types (park, institutional [including government building grounds, municipal party grounds, university grounds, and garden city institutes], residential, and roadside verges) and three topographies (mountainous [142–425 m a.s.l], hilly [66–112 m a.s.l], and plain [26–30 m a.s.l]). Chemical analyses showed that urban soils in Hubei had high pH and lower soil organic matter, available nitrogen (N), available phosphorus (P), and available boron (B) concentrations than natural soils. Nutrient concentrations were significantly different among land use types, with the roadside and residential areas having greater concentrations of calcium (Ca), sulfur (S), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), and zinc (Zn) that were not deficient against the recommended ranges. Topographic comparisons showed statistically significant effects for 8 of the 11 chemical variables (p < 0.05). Concentrations of N, Ca, Mg, S, Cu, and Mn in plain cities were greater than those in mountainous cities and show a negative correlation with city elevation. These results provide data on urban soils characteristics in land use types and topography, and deliver significant information for city planners and policy makers.
SARI is associated with the risk for several cancers, and loss of SARI expression is frequently found in aggressive and metastatic cancer. Limited evidence shows that SARI is a tumor suppressor gene, but the role of SARI in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has not been previously reported. This study was to investigate the SARI expression profile in surgically resected lung cancer tissues of Chinese patients by immunohistochemistry and evaluate the relationship between SARI expression and prognosis of lung cancer patients. Furthermore, SARI gene was transfected into lung cancer cells (A549), and the growth curve and cell healing of lung cancer cells were determined, aiming to investigate the influence of SARI on the growth and migration of lung cancer cells in vitro. Results showed that 103 of 195 (52.82%) tissues were positive for SARI. When compared with normal tissues, SARI expression significantly reduced in 50.26% of NSCLC tissues. Patients with negative or reduced SARI expression were more likely to have advanced lung cancer and lymph node metastasis. In squamous carcinoma and adenocarcinoma patients, the SARI expression had no relation with the survival time; However in one-on-one analysis SARI expression in tumor cells and adjacent tissues, patients which tumor cells SARI express reduced than adjacent tissues, survival time was significantly shorter than those without reduction in SARI expression (Log Rank test, p = 0.001). After transfection by SARI gene, the proliferation and migration of A549 cells were obviously inhibited (p < 0.001). These results demonstrate that decreased SARI expression may predict a poor prognosis in NSCLC patients, and SARI may serve as a prognostic biomarker and potential therapeutic target for lung cancer.
SARI; non-small cell lung cancer; prognosis; surgically resected cancer
Genetic approaches to analyzing neuronal circuits and learning would benefit from a technology to first deliver a specific gene into presynaptic neurons, and then deliver a different gene into an identified subset of their postsynaptic neurons, connected by a specific synapse type. Here, we describe targeted gene transfer across a neocortical glutamatergic synapse, using as the model the projection from rat postrhinal to perirhinal cortex. The first gene transfer, into the presynaptic neurons in postrhinal cortex, used a virus vector and standard gene transfer procedures. The vector expresses an artificial peptide neurotransmitter containing a dense core vesicle targeting domain, a NMDA NR1 subunit binding domain (from a monoclonal antibody), and the His tag. Upon release, this peptide neurotransmitter binds to NMDA receptors on the postsynaptic neurons. Antibody-mediated targeted gene transfer to these postsynaptic neurons in perirhinal cortex used a His tag antibody, as the peptide neurotransmitter contains the His tag. Confocal microscopy showed that with untargeted gene transfer, ~3 % of the transduced presynaptic axons were proximal to a transduced postsynaptic dendrite. In contrast, with targeted gene transfer, ≥20 % of the presynaptic axons were proximal to a transduced postsynaptic dendrite. Targeting across other types of synapses might be obtained by modifying the artificial peptide neurotransmitter to contain a binding domain for a different neurotransmitter receptor. This technology may benefit elucidating how specific neurons and subcircuits contribute to circuit physiology, behavior, and learning.
glutamatergic synapse; vesicular glutamate transporter 1 promoter; peptide neurotransmitter; antibody-mediated targeted gene transfer; herpes simplex virus vector
There remains a critical need for new therapeutics that promote wound healing in patients suffering from chronic skin wounds. This is, in part, due to a shortage of simple, physiologically and clinically relevant test systems for investigating candidate agents. The skin of amphibians possesses a remarkable regenerative capacity, which remains insufficiently explored for clinical purposes. Combining comparative biology with a translational medicine approach, we report the development and application of a simple ex vivo frog (Xenopus tropicalis) skin organ culture system that permits exploration of the effects of amphibian skin-derived agents on re-epithelialisation in both frog and human skin. Using this amphibian model, we identify thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) as a novel stimulant of epidermal regeneration. Moving to a complementary human ex vivo wounded skin assay, we demonstrate that the effects of TRH are conserved across the amphibian-mammalian divide: TRH stimulates wound closure and formation of neo-epidermis in organ-cultured human skin, accompanied by increased keratinocyte proliferation and wound healing-associated differentiation (cytokeratin 6 expression). Thus, TRH represents a novel, clinically relevant neuroendocrine wound repair promoter that deserves further exploration. These complementary frog and human skin ex vivo assays encourage a comparative biology approach in future wound healing research so as to facilitate the rapid identification and preclinical testing of novel, evolutionarily conserved, and clinically relevant wound healing promoters.
We analyzed the clinicopathological features of 9 breast malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) patients. Immunohistochemistry was used to make both diagnosis and differential diagnosis, and to identify prognostic factors. All tumors lacked epithelial markers but expressed mesenchymal markers, suggesting a mesenchymal origin. Of the five cases expressing Ki-67, two of three patients with axillary lymph node involvement died between 6–8 months, and two died at 17 and 26 months after diagnosis. The two remaining cases, with low Ki-67 expression, had no recurrent or metastatic disease at 145 months after diagnosis. Previous studies have shown that surgery is the primary treatment of choice, but no clear benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy was observed. We demonstrate that axillary lymph node involvement and high expression of Ki-67 are associated with poorer prognosis. A literature review indicates surgery remains the first choice for MFH, but benefits from adjuvant chemotherapy remain unclear.
To investigate the value of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) at 3.0 T (3T), and especially the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), in discriminating ovarian thecoma from other adnexal solid masses.
Eighteen thecomas or fibrothecomas, 14 ligamentous leiomyomas, and 24 other ovarian solid tumors underwent prospective DWI magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in addition to routine MRI on a 3T MRI machine. The baseline characteristics, components, and conventional MRI and DWI-MRI signals for the thecomas were recorded. The ADC values (ADCs) were measured for each group and compared.
The thecomas often appeared as homogeneous isointensity (17/18) on T1-weighted images (T1WI; 11/18) or T2WI (11/18) on DWI-MRI, with minor (9/18) or mild (6/18) enhancement. The mean ADC value for thecoma (1.20 ± 0.45 × 10−3 mm2/s) was almost equal to that of the other solid ovarian masses (1.26 ± 0.51 × 10−3 mm2/s), but lower than that for leiomyoma (1.48 ± 0.42 × 10−3 mm2/s), although not significantly so. There was a significant difference (p = 0.043) in the ADCs of the benign ovarian solid masses (1.16 ± 0.47 × 10−3 mm2/s) and leiomyomas (1.48 ± 0.42 × 10−3 mm2/s).
There is no significant difference in ADC between thecoma and other adnexal solid masses, but the ADCs of thecomas are lower than those of leiomyomas.
Thecoma; Ovarian solid mass; Magnetic resonance imaging; Diffusion-weighted imaging
AIM: To investigate the prevalence of minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) and to assess corresponding health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in hospitalized cirrhotic patients in China.
METHODS: This multi-center cross-sectional study included 16 teaching hospitals, which were members of “Hepatobiliary Cooperation Group, Society of Gastroenterology, Chinese Medical Association”, from different areas of China carried out between June and October in 2011. All the eligible hospitalized cirrhotic patients (n = 538) were required to complete triplicate number connection tests combined with one digit symbol test for diagnosing MHE. Patients’ clinical examination data were complemented by a modified questionnaire assessing HRQoL. Written informed consent was obtained from each patient.
RESULTS: Male was predominant (68.6%) in 519 patients who met the criteria of the study, with a mean age of 49.17 ± 11.02 years. The most common cause of liver cirrhosis was chronic hepatitis B (55.9%). The prevalence of MHE was 39.9% and varied by Child-Pugh-Classification score (CPC-A: 24.8%, CPC-B: 39.4% and CPC-C: 56.1%, P < 0.01). MHE (P < 0.01) and higher CPC scores (P < 0.01) were associated with a high HRQoL scores (reflecting poorer quality of life). The prevalence of MHE was proportionate to CPC (P = 0.01) and high quality of life scores (P = 0.01).
CONCLUSION: Hospitalized cirrhotic patients have a high prevalence of MHE that is proportionate to the degree of liver function and HRQoL impairment.
Minimal hepatic encephalopathy; Health-related quality of life; China; Child-Pugh Classification; Liver cirrhosis
Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and hyperinsulinemia are associated closely with endometrial carcinoma risk, although the molecular mechanism remains unclear. Insulin receptor isoformA expression is upregulated in many cancer cells and tissues, which suggests that IR-A-mediated signaling pathways may have important implications for cancer pathogenesis. We measured the expression of insulin receptor isoforms (IR-A and IR–B in the normal endometrium tissues, the endometrial carcinoma tissues and the endometrial carcinoma cell lines. We found that the total insulin receptor (IR) and IR-A expression mRNA levels and the ratio of IR-A to total IR in endometrial carcinoma specimens were significantly higher than them in control endometrial tissue specimens(P<0.05). Further analysis indicated that the tendency was more prominently in patients with T2DM. IR-A mRNA was differentially expressed in four endometrial carcinoma cell lines (Ishikawa, KLE, RL95-2 and HEC-1-A. RL95-2 cells have a low endogenous IR-A expression, and these were used to construct a stable cell line overexpressing IR-A. We found that IR-A overexpression significantly increased cell proliferation, the proportion of cells in S phase, activation of the Akt pathway and tumorigenicity of xenografts in nude mice. In contrast, there was no significant difference in the the percentage of apoptotic cells between cells overexpressing IR-A and control cells. Moreover, levels of phosphorylated ERK1/2 protein were significantly decreased in cells overexpressing IR-A relative to controls. These findings reveal the pivotal role of IR-A in endometrial cancer carcinogenesis, and suggest that the association of elevated IR-A levels with cell proliferation and tumorigenicity may be causally linked to its effect on the proportion of cells in S phase and the activation of the Akt pathway.
The aim of this study was to investigate the photoprotective and immunoregulatory capacities of ginsenoside Rg1 in skin irradiated by chronic ultraviolet B (UVB) and to verify the potential mechanisms of action. BALB/c mice were pretreated with a topical application of ginsenoside Rg1 and irradiated with different doses of UVB daily for 30 consecutive days. Following chronic UVB irradiation, there were significant pathological changes in the skin of the BALB/c mice, including hyperkeratosis, acanthosis, sponge-like edematization and sunburn occurring in the epidermis, while edema, telangiectasis and inflammatory cell infiltration were observed in the papillary layer of the dermis. Treatment with ginsenoside Rg1 was able to reduce such changes induced by UVB irradiation. The number of p53 protein-positive stained cells following UVB irradiation was also observed by immunohistochemical analysis. Ginsenoside Rg1 downregulated the p53 protein expression induced by UVB irradiation, leading to reductions of 69.50, 23.53 and 12.93% at doses of 30, 60 and 120 mJ/cm2, respectively. Using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), reductions in the levels of interferon (IFN)-γ mRNA expression were detected following UVB exposure; reductions of 19.6, 36.3 and 39.6% were observed following UVB irradiation at doses of 30, 60 and 120 mJ/cm2, respectively. The interleukin (IL)-10 mRNA expression levels increased by 40.1, 71.0 and 89.4% and the tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α mRNA expression levels increased by 36.4, 18.4 and 8.6% following UVB irradiation at doses of 30, 60 and 120 mJ/cm2, respectively. However, pretreatment with ginsenoside Rg1 was observed to markedly attenuate the UVB irradiation-induced effects on the mRNA expression levels of the three cytokines. The topical application of ginsenoside Rg1 was able to protect the irradiated skin from UVB injury and reduce UVB-induced p53 protein expression. Ginsenoside Rg1 also demonstrated a potential regulatory effect on the UVB-induced local expression of the mRNA of the cytokines IFN-γ, IL-10 and TNF-α, which may be important in its immunoregulatory and inflammatory mechanisms.
ginsenoside Rg1; UVB irradiation; p53 protein; cytokine; BALB/c mouse skin
The 2010 International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) classification and terminology commission report proposed a much needed departure from previous classifications to incorporate advances in molecular biology, neuroimaging, and genetics. It proposed an interim classification and defined two key requirements that need to be satisfied. The first is the ability to classify epilepsy in dimensions according to a variety of purposes including clinical research, patient care, and drug discovery. The second is the ability of the classification system to evolve with new discoveries. Multi-dimensionality and flexibility are crucial to the success of any future classification. In addition, a successful classification system must play a central role in the rapidly growing field of epilepsy informatics. An epilepsy ontology, based on classification, will allow information systems to facilitate data-intensive studies and provide a proven route to meeting the two foregoing key requirements. Epilepsy ontology will be a structured terminology system that accommodates proposed and evolving ILAE classifications, the NIH/NINDS Common Data Elements, the ICD systems and explicitly specifies all known relationships between epilepsy concepts in a proper framework. This will aid evidence based epilepsy diagnosis, investigation, treatment and research for a diverse community of clinicians and researchers. Benefits range from systematization of electronic patient records to multi-modal data repositories for research and training manuals for those involved in epilepsy care. Given the complexity, heterogeneity and pace of research advances in the epilepsy domain, such an ontology must be collaboratively developed by key stakeholders in the epilepsy community and experts in knowledge engineering and computer science.
Classification; informatics; ontology
Epidemiologic features of unintentional injuries among children in rural China are unknown.
Using a stratified sampling method, we conducted a retrospective study of injury reports over a year-long period. Structured oral questionnaires were administered to parents of 2551 children ages 0 to 14.
The annual incidence of unintentional injuries was 15.6%, with boys (16.7%) having a slightly higher rate than girls (14.5%; p greater than .05). The four leading causes of injury for both genders were falls (5.1% annual incidence), burns (2.9%), animal-related injuries (1.7%), and traffic injuries (1.6%).
Unintentional injuries have substantial negative effects on children and their families. In rural PuCheng, China, the incidence of unintentional injury among children is extremely high compared to other regions of the world. The types of injuries incurred are somewhat different from those reported in other geographic areas. Injury prevention programs targeting the issues specific to this region, and similar rural regions of China, are needed.
Injury; Safety; Rural; Children; China
AIM: To analyze risk factors for refractoriness to proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) in patients with non-erosive reflux disease (NERD).
METHODS: A total of 256 NERD patients treated with the PPI esomeprazole were enrolled. They were classified into symptom-free and residual symptoms groups according to Quality of Life in Reflux and Dyspepsia (QolRad) scale. All subjects completed questionnaires on psychological status (self-rating anxiety scale; self-rating depression scale) and quality of life scale (Short Form 36). Multivariate analysis was used to determine the predictive factors for PPI responses.
RESULTS: According to QolRad, 97 patients were confirmed to have residual reflux symptoms, and the remaining 159 patients were considered symptom free. There were no significant differences between the two groups in lifestyle factors (smoking and alcohol consumption), age, Helicobacter pylori infection, and hiatal hernia. There were significant differences between the two groups in relation to sex, psychological distress including anxiety and depression, body mass index (BMI), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (P < 0.05). Logistic regression analysis found that BMI < 23, comorbid IBS, anxiety, and depression were major risk factors for PPI resistance. Symptomatic patients had a lower quality of life compared with symptom-free patients.
CONCLUSION: Some NERD patients are refractory to PPIs and have lower quality of life. Residual symptoms are associated with psychological distress, intestinal disorders, and low BMI.
Risk factors; Refractoriness; Proton pump inhibitors; Non-erosive reflux disease
Evidence suggests that cytoglobin (Cygb) may function as a tumor suppressor gene.
We immunohistochemically evaluated the expression of Cygb, phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI-3K), phosphorylated (p)-Akt, Interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in 88 patients with 41 high-grade gliomas and 47 low-grade gliomas. Intratumoral microvessel density (IMD) was also determined and associated with clinicopathological factors.
Low expression of Cygb was significantly associated with the higher histological grading and tumor recurrence. A significant negative correlation emerged between Cygb expression and PI3K, p-Akt, IL-6, TNFα or VEGF expression. Cygb expression was negatively correlated with IMD. There was a positive correlation between PI3K, p-Akt, IL-6, TNFα and VEGF expression with IMD.High histologic grade, tumor recurrence, decreased Cygb expression, increased PI3K expression, increased p-Akt expression and increased VEGF expression correlated with patients’ overall survival in univariate analysis. However, only histological grading and Cygb expression exhibited a relationship with survival of patients as independent prognostic factors of glioma by multivariate analysis.
Cygb loss may contribute to tumor recurrence and a worse prognosis in gliomas. Cygb may serve as an independent predictive factor for prognosis of glioma patients.
Glioma; Cytoglobin; Phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase; Recurrence; Prognosis
Toxoplasma gondii is an important zoonotic pathogen infecting humans and almost all warm-blooded animals. The most common sources of human infection are ingestion of tissue cysts in raw or undercooked meat. However, limited information is available about T. gondii infection in horses and donkeys in China. In the present study, we report the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in horses and donkeys in Liaoning province, northeastern China.
Serum samples were collected from 711 and 738 slaughtered horses and donkeys, respectively, in 13 regions of Liaoning province. The modified agglutination test (MAT) was used to test the specific antibodies to T. gondii.
In this study, 178 of 711 (25.0%) horses were seropositive for T. gondii with titers of 1:25 in 81, 1:50 in 62, 1:100 in 33, and 1:200 in 2, and seroprevalence of T. gondii infection from 13 regions ranged from 8.2% to 37.0%. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 174 of 738 (23.6%) donkeys with titers of 1:25 in 66, 1:50 in 54, 1:100 in 49, and 1:200 in 5, and seroprevalence varied in 13 different regions, ranging from 9.1% to 32.6%.
The results of the present study indicated that the rate of infection with T. gondii in horses and donkeys is a little high in Liaoning province, northeastern China in comparison to other surveys in China, which suggests that consumption of horse and donkey meat in this area may represent a potential source for human infection with T. gondii.
Toxoplasma gondii; Seroprevalence; Horse; Donkey; MAT
Decomposition of water and fat in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is important for biomedical research and clinical applications. In this paper, we propose a two-phased approach for the three-point water-fat decomposition problem. Our contribution consists of two components: (1) a background-masked Markov Random Field (MRF) energy model to formulate the local smoothness of field inhomogeneity; (2) a new Iterated Conditional Modes (ICM) algorithm accounting for high-performance optimization of the MRF energy model. The MRF energy model is integrated with background masking to prevent error propagation of background estimates as well as improve efficiency. The central component of our new ICM algorithm is the Stability Tracking (ST) mechanism intended to dynamically track iterative stability on pixels so that computation per iteration is performed only on instable pixels. The ST mechanism significantly improves the efficiency of ICM. We also develop a median-based initialization algorithm to provide good initial guesses for ICM iterations, and an adaptive gradient-based scheme for parametric configuration of the MRF model. We evaluate the robust of our approach with high-resolution mouse datasets acquired from 7-Tesla MRI.
Background masking; field inhomogeneity; MRF; iterated conditional modes(ICM); magnetic resonance imaging(MRI); Markov random field(MRF); median value initialization; stability tracking; water/fat
The aim of the present study was to explore the correlation between estrogen receptor α (ERα) phosphorylation at serines 118 and 167 and the responsiveness of patients with primary breast cancer to tamoxifen. Tumors from 104 patients with primary breast cancer who received adjuvant tamoxifen therapy at The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Shantou University Medical College between January 2001 to December 2007 were subjected to immunohistochemical analysis with specific antibodies against ERα phosphorylated at either serine 118 (pERα-S118) and/or serine 167 (pERα-S167). ERα phosphorylation at the two sites was correlated with either the disease-free survival or the overall survival rate of these patients using the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. pERα-S118 and pERα-S167 were found to be expressed in the cell nucleus of 25.0% (26/104) and 26.9% (28/104) of breast cancers, respectively. The expression of pERα-S118 was positively correlated with the human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER-2) status (χ2=6.85, P=0.01). The Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed a poorer disease-free (P=0.022) and overall survival (P=0.013) in breast cancer patients expressing pERα-S118, but not in those expressing pERα-S167. In conclusion, pERα-S118 was correlated with the HER-2 status and predicted breast cancer resistance to tamoxifen.
estrogen receptor α; phosphorylation; tamoxifen; breast cancer; endocrine resistance
AIM: To evaluate the expression of galectin-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in gastric cancer and investigate their relationships with clinicopathologic factors and prognostic significance.
METHODS: Galectin-1 and VEGF were immunohistochemically investigated in tumor samples obtained from 214 gastric cancer patients with all tumor stages. Immunohistochemical analyses for galectin-1 and VEGF expression were performed on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sections of surgical specimens. The relationship between the expression and staining intensity of galectin-1 and VEGF, clinicopathologic variables, and patient survival were analyzed. All patients underwent follow-up until cancer-related death or more than five years after tumor resection. P values < 0.05 were considered statistically significant.
RESULTS: Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that 138 of 214 gastric cancer samples (64.5%) were positive for galectin-1, and 116 out of 214 gastric cancer samples (54.2%) were positive for VEGF. There was a significant association between galectin-1 and VEGF expression; VEGF was detected in 60.1% of galectin-1-positive samples and 43.4% of galectin-1-negative samples (P < 0.05). Galectin-1 expression was associated with tumor size, tumor location, stage, lymph node metastases, and VEGF expression (all P < 0.05). VEGF expression was related to tumor size, stage, and lymph node metastases (all P < 0.05). The 5-year survival rate was 56.6% for galectin-1-positive patients and 69.2% for galectin-1-negative patients, and the prognosis for galectin-1-positive patients was significantly poorer compared with galectin-1-negative patients (χ2 = 13.880, P = 0.000). The 5-year survival rates for VEGF-positive and VEGF-negative patients were 53.4% and 70.5%, respectively (χ2 = 4.619, P = 0.032). The overall survival rate of patients with both galectin-1 and VEGF overexpression in gastric cancer tissue samples was significantly poorer than other groups (both P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Galectin-1 expression was positively associated with VEGF expression. Both galectin-1 and VEGF can serve as independent prognostic indicators of poor survival for gastric cancer after gastrectomy.
Galectin-1; Vascular endothelial growth factor; Gastric cancer; Prognosis
The Aerides–Vanda alliance is a complex group in the subtribe Aeridinae (subfamily Epidendroideae, Orchidaceae). Some phylogenetic systems of this alliance have been previously proposed based on molecular and morphological analyses. However, several taxonomic problems within this alliance as well as between it and its allies remain unsolved.
We utilized ITS and five plastid DNA regions in this phylogenetic analysis. Consensus trees strongly indicate that the Aerides–Vanda alliance is monophyletic, and the 14 genera of this alliance can be grouped into the following clades with 14 subclades: 1. Aerides, comprising two subclades: Rhynchostylis and Aerides; 2. Ascocentropsis; 3. Papilionanthe; 4. Vanda, comprising five subclades: Neofinetia, Christensonia, Seidenfadenia, Ascocentrum, and Vanda–Trudelia, in which Vanda and Trudelia form a subclade; 5. Tsiorchis, comprising three subclades: Chenorchis, Tsiorchis, and two species of Ascocentrum; 6. Paraholcoglossum; and 7. Holcoglossum. Among the 14 genera, only Ascocentrum is triphyletic: two species of the Ascocentrum subclade, an independent subclade Ascocentrum subclade in the Tsiorchis clade; the Ascocentrum subclade in the Vanda clade; and one species in the Holcoglossum clade. The Vanda and Trudelia species belong to the same subclade. The molecular conclusion is consistent with their morphological characteristics.
We elucidate the relationship among the 14 genera of the Aerides–Vanda alliance. Our phylogenetic results reveal that the Aerides–Vanda alliance is monophyletic, but it can be divided into 14 genera. The data prove that Ascocentrum is triphyletic. Plants with elongate-terete leaves and small flowers should be treated as a new genus, Pendulorchis. Saccolabium himalaicum (Ascocentrum himalaicum) should be transferred to Pendulorchis. Ascocentrum pumilum, endemic to Taiwan, should be transferred to Holcoglossum. A new combination, Holcoglossum pumilum, was also established. Trudelia should not be recognized as an independent genus. Two new species, Pendulorchis gaoligongensis and Holcoglossum singchianum, were described as well.
Orchids have numerous species, and their speciation rates are presumed to be exceptionally high, suggesting that orchids are continuously and actively evolving. The wide diversity of orchids has attracted the interest of evolutionary biologists. In this study, a new orchid was discovered on Danxia Mountain in Guangdong, China. However, the phylogenetic clarification of this new orchid requires further molecular, morphological, and phytogeographic analyses.
A new orchid possesses a labellum with a large Y-shaped callus and two sacs at the base, and cylindrical, fleshy seeds, which make it distinct from all known orchid genera. Phylogenetic methods were applied to a matrix of morphological and molecular characters based on the fragments of the nuclear internal transcribed spacer, chloroplast matK, and rbcL genes of Orchidaceae (74 genera) and Calypsoeae (13 genera). The strict consensus Bayesian inference phylogram strongly supports the division of the Calypsoeae alliance (not including Dactylostalix and Ephippianthus) into seven clades with 11 genera. The sequence data of each species and the morphological characters of each genus were combined into a single dataset. The inferred Bayesian phylogram supports the division of the 13 genera of Calypsoeae into four clades with 13 subclades (genera). Based on the results of our phylogenetic analyses, Calypsoeae, under which the new orchid is classified, represents an independent lineage in the Epidendroideae subfamily.
Analyses of the combined datasets using Bayesian methods revealed strong evidence that Calypsoeae is a monophyletic tribe consisting of eight well-supported clades with 13 subclades (genera), which are all in agreement with the phytogeography of Calypsoeae. The Danxia orchid represents an independent lineage under the tribe Calypsoeae of the subfamily Epidendroideae. This lineage should be treated as a new genus, which we have named Danxiaorchis, that is parallel to Yoania. Both genera are placed under the subtribe Yoaniinae.
Hypertrophic scars (HTS) and keloids are challenging problems. Their pathogenesis results from an overproduction of fibroblasts and excessive deposition of collagen. Studies suggest a possible anti-scarring effect of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) during wound healing, but the precise mechanisms of bFGF are still unclear. In view of this, we investigated the therapeutic effects of bFGF on HTS animal model as well as human scar fibroblasts (HSF) model. We show that bFGF promoted wound healing and reduced the area of flattened non-pathological scars in rat skin wounds and HTS in the rabbit ear. We provide evidence of a new therapeutic strategy: bFGF administration for the treatment of HTS. The scar elevation index (SEI) and epidermal thickness index (ETI) was also significantly reduced. Histological reveal that bFGF exhibited significant amelioration of the collagen tissue. bFGF regulated extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesis and degradation via interference in the collagen distribution, the α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and transforming growth factor-1 (TGF-β1) expression. In addition, bFGF reduced scarring and promoted wound healing by inhibiting TGFβ1/SMAD-dependent pathway. The levels of fibronectin (FN), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) collagen I, and collagen III were evidently decreased, and matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) and apoptosis cells were markedly increased. These results suggest that bFGF possesses favorable therapeutic effects on hypertrophic scars in vitro and in vivo, which may be an effective cure for human hypertrophic scars.
A monomeric phytase with a molecular mass of 14 kDa was acquired from fresh fruiting bodies of the shiitake mushroom Lentinus edodes. The isolation procedure involved chromatography on DEAE-cellulose, CM-cellulose, Q-Sepharose, Affi-gel blue gel, and a final fast protein liquid chromatography-gel filtration on Superdex 75. The purified phytase demonstrated the unique N-terminal amino acid sequence DPKRTDQVN, which exhibited no sequence similarity with those of other phytases previously reported. It expressed its maximal activity at pH 5.0 and 37°C. Phytase activity manifested less than 20% change in activity over the pH range of 3.0–9.0, considerable thermostability with more than 60% residual activity at 70°C, and about 40% residual activity at 95°C. It displayed a wide substrate specificity on a variety of phosphorylated compounds with the following ranking: ATP > fructose-6-phosphate > AMP > glucose-6-phosphate > ADP > sodium phytate > β-glycerophosphate. The phytase activity was moderately stimulated by Ca2+, but inhibited by Al3+, Mn2+, Zn2+, and Cu2+ at a tested concentration of 5 mM.
Our previous work in perfused rat livers has demonstrated that 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE) is catabolized predominantly via beta oxidation. Therefore, we hypothesized that perturbations of beta oxidation, such as diet-altered fatty acid oxidation activity, could lead to changes in HNE levels. To test our hypothesis, we (i) developed a simple and sensitive GC/MS method combined with mass isotopomer analysis to measure HNE and HNE analogs, 4-oxononenal (ONE) and 1,4-dihydroxynonene (DHN), and (ii) investigated the effects of four diets (standard, low fat, ketogenic, and high fat mix diets) on HNE, ONE, and DHN concentrations in rat livers. Our results showed that livers from rats fed ketogenic diet or high fat mix diet had high ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid concentrations and markers of oxidative stress. However, high concentrations of HNE (1.6 ± 0.5 nmol/g) and ONE (0.9 ± 0.2 nmol/g) were only found in livers from rats fed the high fat mix diet. Livers from rats fed the ketogenic diet had low HNE (0.8 ± 0.1 nmol/g) and ONE (0.4 ± 0.07 nmol/g), similar to rats fed the standard diet. A possible explanation is that the predominant pathway of HNE catabolism (i.e. beta oxidation) is activated in the liver by the ketogenic diet. This is consistent with a 10 fold decrease in malonyl-CoA in livers from rats fed a ketogenic diet compared to a standard diet. The accelerated catabolism of HNE lowers HNE and HNE analog concentrations in livers from rats fed the ketogenic diet. On the other hand, rats fed the high fat mix diet had high rates of lipid synthesis and low rates of fatty acid oxidation, resulting in the slowing down of the catabolic disposal of HNE and HNE analogs. Thus, decreased HNE catabolism by a high fat mix diet induces high concentrations of HNE and HNE analogs. The results of the present work suggested a potential causal relationship to metabolic syndrome induced by western diets (i.e. high fat mix), as well as the effects of the ketogenic diet on the catabolism of lipid peroxidation products in liver.
4-hydroxynonenal; 4-oxononenal; 1,4-dihydroxynonene; diet; rat liver; metabolism; lipid peroxidation; mass isotopomer analysis
Visualization of the cell cycle in living subjects has long been a big challenge. The present study aimed to noninvasively visualize mitotic arrest of the cell cycle with an optical reporter in living subjects.
An N-terminal cyclin B1–luciferase fusion construct (cyclin B-Luc) controlled by the cyclin B promoter, as a mitosis reporter, was generated. HeLa or HCT116 cells stably expressing cyclin B-Luc reporter were used to evaluate its cell cycle-dependent regulation and ubiquitination-mediated degradation. We also evaluated its feasibility to monitor the mitotic arrest caused by Taxotere both in vitro and in vivo.
We showed that the cyclin B-Luc fusion protein was regulated in a cell cycle-dependent manner and accumulated in the mitotic phase (M phase) in cellular assays. The regulation of cyclin B-Luc reporter was mediated by proteasome ubiquitination. In the present study, in vitro imaging showed that antimitotic reagents like Taxotere upregulated the reporter through cell cycle arrest in the M phase. Noninvasive longitudinal bioluminescence imaging further demonstrated an upregulation of the reporter consistent with mitotic arrest induced in tumor xenograft models. Induction of this reporter was also observed with a kinesin spindle protein inhibitor, which causes cell cycle blockage in the M phase.
Our results demonstrate that the cyclin B-Luc reporter can be used to image whether compounds are capable, in vivo, of causing an M phase arrest and/or altering cyclin B turnover. This reporter can also be potentially used in high-throughput screening efforts aimed at discovering novel molecules that will cause cell cycle arrest at the M phase in cultivated cell lines and animal models.
Optical imaging; Mitotic arrest; Cell cycle; Cyclin B1; Bioluminescence
A field experiment was conducted to (i) examine the diurnal and seasonal soil carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes pattern in rice paddy fields in central China and (ii) assess the role of floodwater in controlling the emissions of CO2 from soil and floodwater in intermittently draining rice paddy soil. The soil CO2 flux rates ranged from −0.45 to 8.62 µmol.m−2.s−1 during the rice-growing season. The net effluxes of CO2 from the paddy soil were lower when the paddy was flooded than when it was drained. The CO2 emissions for the drained conditions showed distinct diurnal variation with a maximum efflux observed in the afternoon. When the paddy was flooded, daytime soil CO2 fluxes reversed with a peak negative efflux just after midday. In draining/flooding alternating periods, a sudden pulse-like event of rapidly increasing CO2 efflux occured in response to re-flooding after draining. Correlation analysis showed a negative relation between soil CO2 flux and temperature under flooded conditions, but a positive relation was found under drained conditions. The results showed that draining and flooding cycles play a vital role in controlling CO2 emissions from paddy soils.