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1.  Characterization of an Avian Influenza Virus H9N2 Strain Isolated from a Wild Bird in Southern China 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(3):e00600-14.
We isolated an avian influenza virus H9N2 strain from a wild bird in the Guangxi Province of southern China in 2013 named A/turtledove/Guangxi/49B6/2013(H9N2) (GX49B6). We aimed to understand the genetic characters of the GX49B6 strain by analyzing the complete genome sequence. The results showed that our isolated strain has features of low pathogenic avian influenza viruses and viruses that infect humans. The discovery of the complete genome sequence of the GX49B6 strain may be helpful to further the understanding of the epidemiology and surveillance of avian influenza viruses in the field.
PMCID: PMC4064032  PMID: 24948768
2.  Xanthoceraside Ameliorates Mitochondrial Dysfunction Contributing to the Improvement of Learning and Memory Impairment in Mice with Intracerebroventricular Injection of Aβ1-42 
The effects of xanthoceraside on learning and memory impairment were investigated and the possible mechanism associated with the protection of mitochondria was also preliminarily explored in Alzheimer's disease (AD) mice model induced by intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of Aβ1-42. The results indicated that xanthoceraside (0.08–0.32 mg/kg) significantly improved learning and memory impairment in Morris water maze test and Y-maze test. Xanthoceraside significantly reversed the aberrant decrease of ATP levels and attenuated the abnormal increase of ROS levels both in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus in mice injected with Aβ1-42. Moreover, xanthoceraside dose dependently reversed the decrease of COX, PDHC, and KGDHC activity in isolated cerebral cortex mitochondria of the mice compared with Aβ1-42 injected model mice. In conclusion, xanthoceraside could improve learning and memory impairment, promote the function of mitochondria, decrease the production of ROS, and inhibit oxidative stress. The improvement effects on mitochondria may be through withstanding the damage of Aβ to mitochondrial respiratory chain and the key enzymes in Kreb's cycle. Therefore, the results from present study and previous study indicate that xanthoceraside could be a competitive candidate for the treatment of AD.
PMCID: PMC4058193  PMID: 24976855
3.  A New Polymorphism Biomarker rs629367 Associated with Increased Risk and Poor Survival of Gastric Cancer in Chinese by Up-Regulated miRNA-let-7a Expression 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95249.
Variant in pri-miRNA could affect miRNA expression and mature process or splicing efficiency, thus altering the hereditary susceptibility and prognosis of cancer. We aimed to assess miRNA-let-7 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) associated with the risk and prognosis of gastric cancer (GC) as predicting biomarkers, and furthermore, its possible mechanisms.
A two-stage case-control study was designed to screen four miRNA SNPs (pri-let-7a-2 rs629367 and rs1143770, pri-let-7a-1 rs10739971, pri-let-7f-2 rs17276588) in 107 GC patients, 107 atrophic gastritis (AG), and matched 124 controls using PCR-RFLP. Two promising SNPs were validated in another independent 1949 samples (including 579 gastric cancer patients, 649 atrophic gastritis and 721 controls) using Sequenom MassARRAY platform and sequencing.
We found that pri-let-7a-2 rs629367 CC variant genotype was associated with increased risks of gastric cancer and atrophic gastritis by 1.83-fold and 1.86-fold, respectively. For gastric cancer prognosis, patients with rs629367 CC genotype had significantly poorer survival than patients with AA genotype (log-rank P = 0.004). We further investigated the let-7a expression levels in serum and found that let-7a expression elevated gradually for rs629367 AA, CA, CC genotype in the atrophic gastritis group (P = 0.043). Furthermore, we confirmed these findings in vitro study by overexpressing let-7a carrying pri-let-7a-2 wild-type A or polymorphic-type C allele (P<0.001).
pri-let-7a-2 rs629367 CC genotype could increase the risks of gastric cancer as well as atrophic gastritis and was also associated with poor survival of gastric cancer, which possibly by affecting the mature let-7a expression, and could serve as a predicting biomarker for high-risk and poor prognosis of gastric cancer.
PMCID: PMC3997364  PMID: 24760009
4.  Translation and validation of the Chinese version of the quality of life radiation therapy instrument and the head & neck module (QOL-RTI/H&N) 
To translate and validate the Chinese version of the Quality Of Life Radiation Therapy Instrument and the Head & Neck Module (QOL-RTI/H&N), a disease-specific scale to measure quality of life (QOL) for patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) who received radiotherapy.
The QOL-RTI/H&N was translated and validated according to the standard process: a translation and back-translation procedure, pilot testing and a validation study. HNC patients were enrolled from the Cancer Center of Sun Yat-sen University and assessed using the QOL-RTI/H&N, QLQ-C30 and QLQ-H&N35. Reliability (internal consistency reliability, split-half reliability and test-retest reliability), validity (content validity, construct validity, criterion validity and discriminant validity), and responsiveness analysis were performed to evaluate the psychometric characteristics of the QOL-RTI/H&N.
A total of 238 patients (99.2%) completed the questionnaire. Item RTI23 had 16.0% missing data. Other items had low percentages of missing data (0.4% or 0.8%) or no missing data. The average time to finish the scale was 9.8 minutes. Cronbach's alpha of the domains ranged from 0.41 to 0.77. The split-half reliability coefficients ranged from 0.43 to 0.77. All of the intra-class correlation coefficients were equal to or greater than 0.8. All of the item-own domain correlation coefficients were greater than those of the item-other domain. Confirmatory factor analysis showed that Comparative Fit Index, Normed Fit Index and Non-Normed Fit Index were equal to 1.00. Root Mean Square Error of Approximation was 0.01, with 90% CI (0.00, 0.10). The domain scores of the QOL-RTI/H&N were significantly correlated with those of the QLQ-C30 or QLQ-H&N3. All domain scores of patients in different radiotherapy stages were statistically significant (P < 0.05), apart from the speech domain.
The Chinese version of the QOL-RTI/H&N is a valid, reliable and responsive scale to measure QOL in HNC patients and can be used to assess the effects of radiotherapy treatment on these patients.
PMCID: PMC4022371  PMID: 24731442
Head and neck cancer; Quality of Life; QOL-RTI/H&N; Translation; Validation
5.  A rapid nested polymerase chain reaction method to detect circulating cancer cells in breast cancer patients using multiple marker genes 
Oncology Letters  2014;7(6):2192-2198.
The aim of the present study was to develop a simple and rapid method for the detection of circulating cancer cells using multiple tumor markers and to investigate the clinical significance of circulating cancer cells in breast cancer patients. A novel rapid nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, with high sensitivity and specificity, was evaluated, which was considered to be suitable for clinical application. The rapid nested PCR method was used to detect the circulating cancer cells of 142 breast cancer patients, using a panel of marker genes (FAM83A, NPY1R and KRT19), which were identified by the Digital Gene Expression Displayer Tool of the National Cancer Institute-Cancer Genome Anatomy Project. In total, 79.6% of the 142 breast cancer patient blood samples were found to express at least one tumor marker. In addition, the number of positive markers was found to significantly correlate with the disease stage and presence of distant metastasis. Furthermore, positivity for more than one tumor marker appeared to predict a reduced survival time in breast cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC4049700  PMID: 24932314
breast cancer; tumor marker; circulating cancer cells; nested polymerase chain reaction
6.  Excavation of Pid3 Orthologs with Differential Resistance Spectra to Magnaporthe oryzae in Rice Resource 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e93275.
Twenty-six orthologs of the rice blast resistance gene Pid3 from cultivated varieties and wild rice accessions distributed in different areas were cloned by allele mining. Sequence analysis showed that while each of the orthologous genes from indica varieties and most wild accessions encodes a complete NBS-LRR protein, each of the proteins encoded by those from japonica varieties and few wild rice accessions presents a premature termination. Eleven of the 26 orthologs were selected for blast resistance testing by transforming into the blast susceptible rice variety TP309, respectively. Inoculation of 23 M. oryzae strains collected from diverse regions of China to the respective transgenic plants revealed that 6 Pid3 orthologs showed susceptible to all the tested strains, while the other 5 orthologs showed differential resistance spectra in a gradually spectrum-widen order as Pid3-W3, Pid3-W4, Pid3-I3, Pid3-W5 and Pid3-I1. Amino acid sequences alignment of these orthologs indicated that the sequence diversities between the blast resistance orthologs were mostly located in the LRR domain such as the substitutions of Q694H,D856H,Q896R,D899E etc. However, the differences between the resistance orthologs and the susceptible ones were mostly located in the NBS domain. The present experiments provide an example of that the ortholog evaluation of plant R genes could be an efficient way to expand the rice blast resistance and some other plant disease resistance as well for breeding.
PMCID: PMC3969318  PMID: 24681716
7.  The Interaction Effects of pri-let-7a-1 rs10739971 with PGC and ERCC6 Gene Polymorphisms in Gastric Cancer and Atrophic Gastritis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89203.
The aim of this study was to investigate the interaction effects of pri-let-7a-1 rs10739971 with pepsinogen C (PGC) and excision repair cross complementing group 6 (ERCC6) gene polymorphisms and its association with the risks of gastric cancer and atrophic gastritis. We hoped to identify miRNA polymorphism or a combination of several polymorphisms that could serve as biomarkers for predicting the risk of gastric cancer and its precancerous diseases.
Sequenom MassARRAY platform method was used to detect polymorphisms of pri-let-7a-1 rs10739971 G→A, PGC rs4711690 C→G, PGC rs6458238 G→A, PGC rs9471643 G→C, and ERCC6 rs1917799 in 471 gastric cancer patients, 645 atrophic gastritis patients and 717 controls.
An interaction effect of pri-let-7a-1 rs10739971 polymorphism with ERCC6 rs1917799 polymorphism was observed for the risk of gastric cancer (Pinteraction = 0.026); and interaction effects of pri-let-7a-1 rs10739971 polymorphism with PGC rs6458238 polymorphism (Pinteraction = 0.012) and PGC rs9471643 polymorphism (Pinteraction = 0.039) were observed for the risk of atrophic gastritis.
The combination of pri-let-7a-1 rs10739971 polymorphism and ERCC6 and PGC polymorphisms could provide a greater prediction potential than a single polymorphism on its own. Large-scale studies and molecular mechanism research are needed to confirm our findings.
PMCID: PMC3934903  PMID: 24586594
8.  NOD2 Polymorphisms Associated with Cancer Risk: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89340.
Emerging evidence indicated that common polymorphisms of NOD2 might impact individual susceptibility to cancer. However, the results from published studies were inconclusive. The aim of this meta-analysis was to elucidate whether NOD2 polymorphisms were associated with cancer risk.
A systematically literature search was performed by using electronic databases including PubMed and Web of Science. ORs and their 95% CI were used to assess the strength of association between NOD2 gene polymorphisms and cancer risks.
Thirty case-control studies were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled analysis indicated that NOD2 rs2066842 C/T polymorphism was not significantly associated with cancer risk; for NOD2 rs2066844 C/T polymorphism, (TT+CT) genotype was associated with increased cancer risk compared with wild-type CC genotype (OR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.01–1.72, P = 0.041); for NOD2 rs2066845 C/G polymorphism, individuals with (CC+CG) genotype were significantly associated with increased cancer risk compared with GG genotype (OR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.01–1.72, P = 0.040); for NOD2 rs2066847 (3020insC) polymorphism, carriers of (insC/insC+insC/−) genotype were significantly associated with increased cancer risk compared with −/− carriers (OR = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.10–1.38, P<0.001). In the subgroup analysis of cancer type, (insC/insC+insC/−) genotype was significantly associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer, gastric cancer and MALT lymphoma, breast cancer, lung cancer, laryngeal cancer but not with urogenital cancer, pancreatic cancer, melanoma or non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
NOD2 rs2066844 C/T, rs2066845 C/G and rs2066847 (3020insC) polymorphisms might be associated with increased cancer risk. No significant association was observed between NOD2 rs2066842 C/T polymorphism and cancer risk. Further large-scale and well-designed studies are still needed to confirm the results of our meta-analysis.
PMCID: PMC3930717  PMID: 24586700
9.  Improvement of a gene targeting system for genetic manipulation in Penicillium digitatum * #  
Penicillium digitatum is the most important pathogen of postharvest citrus. Gene targeting can be done in P. digitatum using homologous recombination via Agrobacterium tumefaciens mediated transformation (ATMT), but the frequencies are often very low. In the present study, we replaced the Ku80 homolog (a gene of the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway) with the hygromycin resistance cassette (hph) by ATMT. No significant change in vegetative growth, conidiation, or pathogenicity was observed in Ku80-deficient strain (ΔPdKu80) of P. digitatum. However, using ΔPdKu80 as a targeting strain, the gene-targeting frequencies for both genes PdbrlA and PdmpkA were significantly increased. These results suggest that Ku80 plays an important role in homologous integration and the created ΔPdKu80 strain would be a good candidate for rapid gene function analysis in P. digitatum.
PMCID: PMC3924387  PMID: 24510704
Penicillium digitatum; Efficiency; Gene targeting; Non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway; Ku80
10.  Identification of CHIP as a Novel Causative Gene for Autosomal Recessive Cerebellar Ataxia 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e81884.
Autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxias are a group of neurodegenerative disorders that are characterized by complex clinical and genetic heterogeneity. Although more than 20 disease-causing genes have been identified, many patients are still currently without a molecular diagnosis. In a two-generation autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxia family, we mapped a linkage to a minimal candidate region on chromosome 16p13.3 flanked by single-nucleotide polymorphism markers rs11248850 and rs1218762. By combining the defined linkage region with the whole-exome sequencing results, we identified a homozygous mutation (c.493CT) in CHIP (NM_005861) in this family. Using Sanger sequencing, we also identified two compound heterozygous mutations (c.389AT/c.441GT; c.621C>G/c.707GC) in CHIP gene in two additional kindreds. These mutations co-segregated exactly with the disease in these families and were not observed in 500 control subjects with matched ancestry. CHIP colocalized with NR2A, a subunit of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, in the cerebellum, pons, medulla oblongata, hippocampus and cerebral cortex. Wild-type, but not disease-associated mutant CHIPs promoted the degradation of NR2A, which may underlie the pathogenesis of ataxia. In conclusion, using a combination of whole-exome sequencing and linkage analysis, we identified CHIP, encoding a U-box containing ubiquitin E3 ligase, as a novel causative gene for autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxia.
PMCID: PMC3846781  PMID: 24312598
11.  NaxD is a deacetylase required for lipid A modification and Francisella pathogenesis 
Molecular microbiology  2012;86(3):10.1111/mmi.12004.
Modification of specific Gram-negative bacterial cell envelope components, such as capsule, O-antigen and lipid A, are often essential for the successful establishment of infection. Francisella species express lipid A molecules with unique characteristics involved in circumventing host defences, which significantly contribute to their virulence. In this study, we show that NaxD, a member of the highly conserved YdjC superfamily, is a deacetylase required for an important modification of the outer membrane component lipid A in Francisella. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed that NaxD is essential for the modification of a lipid A phosphate with galactosamine in Francisella novicida, a model organism for the study of highly virulent Francisella tularensis. Significantly, enzymatic assays confirmed that this protein is necessary for deacetylation of its substrate. In addition, NaxD was involved in resistance to the antimicrobial peptide polymyxin B and critical for replication in macrophages and in vivo virulence. Importantly, this protein is also required for lipid A modification in F. tularensis as well as Bordetella bronchiseptica. Since NaxD homologues are conserved among many Gram-negative pathogens, this work has broad implications for our understanding of host subversion mechanisms of other virulent bacteria.
PMCID: PMC3841722  PMID: 22966934
12.  Measurement of Phenolic Environmental Estrogens in Women with Uterine Leiomyoma 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79838.
To investigate the effect of phenolic environmental estrogens on uterine leiomyoma from the perspective of clinical epidemiology.
Urine and blood samples were collected from Han women with uterine leiomyoma and women without uterine leiomyoma, living in Nanjing, China, between September 2011 and February 2013. A total of 156 urine samples and 214 blood samples were collected from the uterine leiomyoma group and 106 urine samples and 126 blood plasma samples from the control group. Bisphenol A (BPA), nonylphenol (NP) and octylphenol (OP) concentrations were determined by solid-phase extraction (SPE) coupled with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS).
Phenolic environmental estrogens in the uterine leiomyoma and control groups were compared based on: gravida>3 and gravida ≤ 3. In participants with gravida>3, urine OP concentration was significantly (P<0.05) higher in the uterine leiomyoma group than in the control group. In participants with gravida ≤ 3, urine NP concentration was significantly (P<0.05) higher in the uterine leiomyoma group compared to controls. Despite obstetric history, urine BPA mean exposure concentration was significantly (P<0.05) different between uterine leiomyoma group and control group. The urine BPA concentration was not significantly (P>0.05) different between gravida>3 and gravida ≤ 3 patients. There was no significant (P>0.05) difference in plasma concentrations of BPA, OP and NP between the leiomyoma group and control group. Mean exposure concentration and range of distribution of BPA, OP and NP plasma concentration differed between the uterine leiomyoma and control group.
Exposure level of phenolic environmental estrogens in human was related with leiomyoma tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC3821850  PMID: 24255718
13.  Semi-supervised method for biomedical event extraction 
Proteome Science  2013;11(Suppl 1):S17.
Biomedical extraction based on supervised machine learning still faces the problem that a limited labeled dataset does not saturate the learning method. Many supervised learning algorithms for bio-event extraction have been affected by the data sparseness.
In this study, a semi-supervised method for combining labeled data with large scale of unlabeled data is presented to improve the performance of biomedical event extraction. We propose a set of rich feature vector, including a variety of syntactic features and semantic features, such as N-gram features, walk subsequence features, predicate argument structure (PAS) features, especially some new features derived from a strategy named Event Feature Coupling Generalization (EFCG). The EFCG algorithm can create useful event recognition features by making use of the correlation between two sorts of original features explored from the labeled data, while the correlation is computed with the help of massive amounts of unlabeled data. This introduced EFCG approach aims to solve the data sparse problem caused by limited tagging corpus, and enables the new features to cover much more event related information with better generalization properties.
The effectiveness of our event extraction system is evaluated on the datasets from the BioNLP Shared Task 2011 and PubMed. Experimental results demonstrate the state-of-the-art performance in the fine-grained biomedical information extraction task.
Limited labeled data could be combined with unlabeled data to tackle the data sparseness problem by means of our EFCG approach, and the classified capability of the model was enhanced through establishing a rich feature set by both labeled and unlabeled datasets. So this semi-supervised learning approach could go far towards improving the performance of the event extraction system. To the best of our knowledge, it was the first attempt at combining labeled and unlabeled data for tasks related biomedical event extraction.
PMCID: PMC3909242  PMID: 24565105
14.  Folate-chitosan-gemcitabine core-shell nanoparticles targeted to pancreatic cancer 
Human pancreatic cancer is one of the most common clinical malignancies. The effect of comprehensive treatment based on surgery is general. The effects of chemotherapy were not obvious mainly because of lack of targeting and chemoresistance in pancreatic cancer. This study aimed to investigate the effects of folate receptor (FR)-mediated gemcitabine FA-Chi-Gem nanoparticles with a core-shell structure by electrostatic spray on pancreatic cancer.
In this study, the levels of expression of FR in six human pancreatic cancer cell lines were studied by immunohistochemical analysis. The uptake rate of isothiocyanate-labeled FA-Chi nanoparticles in FR high expression cell line COLO357 was assessed by fluorescence microscope and the inhibition rate of FA-Chi-Gem nanoparticles on COLO357 cells was evaluated by MTT assay. Moreover, the biodistribution of PEG-FA-ICGDER02-Chi in the orthotopic pancreatic tumor model was observed using near-infrared imaging and the human pancreatic cancer orthotopic xenografts were treated with different nanoparticles and normal saline control.
The expression of FR in COLO357 was the highest among the six pancreatic cancer cell lines. The FR mainly distributed on cell membrane and fewer in the cytoplasm in pancreatic cancer. Moreover, the absorption rate of the FA-Chi-Gem nanoparticles was more than the Chi nanoparticles without FA modified. The proliferation of COLO357 was significantly inhibited by FA-Chi-Gem nanoparticles. The PEG-FA-ICGDER02-Chi nanoparticles were enriched in tumor tissue in human pancreatic cancer xenografts, while non-targeted nanoparticles were mainly in normal liver tissue. PEG-FA-Gem-Chi significantly inhibited the growth of human pancreatic cancer xenografts (PEG-FA-Gem-Chi vs. Gem, t=22.950, P=0.000).
PEG-FA-FITC-Chi nanoparticles might be an effective targeted drug for treating human FR-positive pancreatic cancer.
PMCID: PMC3828436  PMID: 24255576
Pancreatic cancer; folate receptor; targeted nanoparticle; gemcitabine
15.  Growth inhibitory effect of Cucurbitacin E on breast cancer cells 
Objective: Due its inhibitory effects on chemical carcinogenesis and inflammation, Cucurbitacins have been proposed as an effective agent for the prevention or treatment of human cancers. In this study, we aimed to explore the effect of Cucurbitacin E (CuE) on human breast cancer cells. Methods: The inhibitory effect of CuE on proliferation of Bcap37 and MDA-MB-231 cells was assessed by MTT assay. The cell cycle distribution and cell apoptosis were determined by flow cytometry (FCM). The expression of pro-caspase 3, cleaved caspase 3, p21, p27 and the phosphorylation of signaling proteins was detected by Western Blotting. Results: CuE inhibited the growth of human breast cancer cells in a dose and time-dependent manner. FCM analysis showed that CuE induced G2/M phase arrest and cell apoptosis. CuE treatment promoted the cleavage of caspase 3 and upregulated p21 and p27. In addition, the phosphorylation of STAT3 but not ERK-1/2 was abrogated upon CuE treatment. Interestingly, losedose CuE significantly enhanced the growth inhibition induced by cisplatin. Conclusions Cucurbitacin E (CuE) could inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells in vitro. CuE induced both apoptosis and cell cycle arrest probably through the inhibition of STAT3 function. Lose-dose CuE significantly enhanced the growth inhibitory effect of cisplatin on breast cancer cells, further indicating the potential clinical values of CuE for the prevention or treatment of human breast cancer
PMCID: PMC3759486  PMID: 24040444
Cucurbitacin E; breast cancer; apoptosis
16.  The co-expression of functional gastric proteins in dynamic gastric diseases and its clinical significance 
Pepsinogen C (PGC) and mucin1 (MUC1) are important physiologically functional gastric proteins; Mucin2 (MUC2) is an “ectopic” functional protein in intestinal metaplasia of gastric mucosa. We analyzed the co-expression of the above-mentioned three proteins in dynamic gastric diseases {superficial gastritis (SG)-atrophic gastritis (AG)--gastric cancer (GC)} as well as different histological types of gastric cancer in order to find molecular phenotypes of gastric cancer and precancerous disease and further explore the potential co-function of PGC, MUC1 and MUC2 in the occurrence and development of gastric cancer.
The SG-AG-GC sequence was 57-57-70 cases in this case–control study, respectively. Different histological types of GC were 28 cases of highly and moderately differentiated aden ocarcinoma (HMDA)、30 of poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma (PDA) and 12 of mucinous adenocarcinoma (MA) or signet ring cell carcinoma (SRCC). PGC, MUC1 and MUC2 expression in situ were detected in all 184 cases using immunohistochemistry.
Both PGC and MUC1 had a significantly decreased expression in GC than in SG and AG (P < 0.0001 and P < 0.01, respectively); While MUC2 had a significant increased expression in AG than in SG and GC (P < 0.0001). Seven phenotypes of PGC, MUC1 and MUC2 co-expression were found in which PGC+/MUC1+/MUC2- phenotype took 94.7%(54/57) in SG group; PGC+/MUC1+/MUC2+ and PGC-/MUC1+/MUC2+ phenotype took 43.9% (25/57) and 52.6% (30/57) in AG; the phenotypes in GC group appeared variable; extraordinarily, PGC-/MUC1-/MUC2+ phenotype took 100% (6/6) in MA or SRCC group and had a statistical significance compared with others (P < 0.05).
Phenotypes of PGC, MUC1 and MUC2 co-expression in dynamic gastric diseases are variable. In SG group it always showed PGC+/MUC1+/MUC2- phenotype and AG group showed two phenotypes (PGC+/MUC1+/MUC2+ and PGC-/MUC1+/MUC2+); the phenotypes in GC group appeared variable but the phenotype of PGC-/MUC1-/MUC2+ may be a predictive biomarker for diagnosing MA or SRCC, or distinguishing histological MA or SRCC from tubular adenocarcinoma accompanied by mucinous secretion or signet ring cell scattered distribution.
PMCID: PMC3750757  PMID: 23937908
Pepsinogen C(PGC); Mucin1(MUC1); Mucin2 (MUC2); Immunohistochemistry; Gastric cancer; Functional proteins
17.  Degradation of aqueous synthesized CdTe/ZnS quantum dots in mice: differential blood kinetics and biodistribution of cadmium and tellurium 
Quantum dots (QDs) have been used as novel fluorescent nanoprobes for various bioapplications. The degradation of QDs, and consequent release of free cadmium ions, have been suggested to be the causes of their overall toxicity. However, in contrast to sufficient investigations regarding the biological fate of QDs, a paucity of studies have reported their chemical fate in vivo. Therefore, the overall aim of our study was to understand the chemical fate of QDs in vivo and explore analytical techniques or methods that could be used to define the chemical fate of QDs in vivo.
Male ICR mice were administered a single intravenous dose (0.2 μmol/kg) of aqueous synthesized CdTe/ZnS aqQDs. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used to simultaneously measure the concentrations of cadmium (Cd) and tellurium (Te) in the blood and tissues over the course of a 28 day period. We compared the blood kinetic parameters and biodistributions of Cd and Te, and used the molar ratio of Cd:Te as a marker for QDs degradation.
Cd and Te display different blood kinetics and biodistribution profiles. The Cd:Te ratio in the blood did not vary significantly within the first hour compared with intact CdTe/ZnS aqQDs. The Cd:Te ratio decreased gradually over time from the 6 h time point on. Cd accumulated in the liver, kidneys, and spleen. Te was distributed primarily to the kidneys. Sharp time-dependent increases in the Cd:Te ratio were found in liver tissues.
QDs can undergo degradation in vivo. In vitro, QDs are chemically stable and do not elicit the same biological responses or consequences as they do in vivo. Our methods might provide valuable information regarding the degradation of QDs in vivo and may enable the design and development of QDs for biological and biomedical applications.
PMCID: PMC3750282  PMID: 23915017
Biodistribution; Chemical fate; Degradation; Intravenous; ICP-MS; Kinetics; Mice; Nanoparticles; Quantum dots
18.  Lipoprotein FtsB in Streptococcus pyogenes Binds Ferrichrome in Two Steps with Residues Tyr137 and Trp204 as Critical Ligands 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e65682.
Lipoprotein FtsB is a component of the FtsABCD transporter that is responsible for ferrichrome binding and uptake in the Gram-positive pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes. In the present study, FtsB was cloned and purified from the bacteria and its Fch binding characteristics were investigated in detail by using various biophysical and biochemical methods. Based on the crystal structures of homogeneous proteins, FtsB was simulated to have bi-lobal structure forming a deep cleft with four residues in the cleft as potential ligands for Fch binding. With the assistance of site-directed mutagenesis, residue Trp204 was confirmed as a key ligand and Tyr137 was identified to be another essential residue for Fch binding. Kinetics experiments demonstrated that Fch binding in FtsB occurred in two steps, corresponding to the bindings to Tyr137 at N-lobe and Trp204 from C-lobe, respectively, and so that closing the protein conformation. Without either residue Tyr137 or Trp204, Fch binding in the protein as mutants Fch-Y137A and Fch-W204A may have a loose conformation, resembling the apo-proteins in proteolysis resistance and migration behaviors in native gel. This study revealed the inconsistence in the key amino acids among Fch-binding proteins from Gram-positive and –negative bacteria, providing interesting findings for understanding the differences between Gram-positive and –negative bacteria in the mechanism of iron uptake via siderophore (Fch) binding and transport.
PMCID: PMC3688767  PMID: 23840354
19.  Characterization of Deqi Sensation and Acupuncture Effect 
Acupuncture stimulation elicits deqi, a composite of unique sensations. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), deqi experienced by patients is often described as suan (aching or soreness), ma (numbness or tingling), zhang (fullness, distention, or pressure), and zhong (heaviness) and is felt by the acupuncturists (needle grasping) as tense, tight, and full. It is believed that deqi may be an important variable in the studies of the mechanism and efficacy of acupuncture treatment. In recent years, great efforts have been made to understand deqi, which include a couple of questionnaires to qualify and quantify deqi sensations, neuroimaging studies of deqi and acupuncture, physiological mechanisms of deqi, and the relation between deqi and clinical efficacy. However, many problems need to be resolved, and more researches are required to be made in the future.
PMCID: PMC3705793  PMID: 23864884
20.  Pre-miR-27a rs895819A/G Polymorphisms in Cancer: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e65208.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) negatively regulate the 3′ untranslated region (3′-UTR) of coding genes by suppressing translation or degrading mRNAs, and they act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors. Recently, several studies investigated the association between pre-miR-27a rs895819 polymorphism and the risks of various cancers, but the results were inconsistent.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We conducted a meta-analysis of 13 studies that included 6501 cancer cases and 7571 controls to address this association. Overall, this meta-analysis showed that the pre-miR-27a rs895819 A/G polymorphism was not statistically associated with cancers risk in all genetic models. In the stratified analysis by cancer types, when compared with the ancestral A allele, individuals with the variant G allele was consistently associated with reduced risks of breast cancer (OR = 0.92, 95% CI = 0.85–0.99), renal cell cancer (OR = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.67–0.97) and nasopharyngeal cancer (OR = 0.84, 95% CI = 0.72–0.97). Inversely, individuals with the heterozygote AG was associated with an increased risk of digestive tract cancers compared with AA genotype (AG vs. AA: OR = 1.16, 95% CI = 1.01–1.32). In the stratified analysis by ethnicity, the pre-miR-27a rs895819 polymorphism showed statistically significant association with decreased risks of cancers in Caucasians (G vs. A allele: OR = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.83–0.97; AG vs. AA: OR = 0.84, 95% CI = 0.75–0.94; AG/GG vs. AA: OR = 0.85, 95% CI = 0.76–0.94) but not in Asians.
This meta-analysis suggests that the pre-miR-27a rs895819 polymorphism may contribute to the susceptibilities of some specific-type of cancers, including breast cancer, renal cell cancer, nasopharyngeal cancer and digestive tract cancers, as well as the susceptibilities of cancers in Caucasians to some extent.
PMCID: PMC3676439  PMID: 23762318
21.  Complete Genome Sequence of a Duck Hepatitis A Virus Type 3 Identified in Eastern China 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(24):13848.
We report here the complete genome sequence of a novel duck hepatitis A virus type 3 (DHAV-3) isolated from a dead Cherry Valley duckling in eastern China. The whole genomic nucleotide sequence and polyprotein amino acid sequence of the virus had higher homology with those of Chinese DHAV-3 isolates, medium homology with those of Korean DHAV-3 isolates, and the lowest homology with those of Vietnamese isolate DN2. The result indicated that the genetic evolution of DHAV-3 isolates had obvious geographical features.
PMCID: PMC3503064  PMID: 23166253
22.  Complete Genome Sequence of a Duck Astrovirus Discovered in Eastern China 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(24):13833-13834.
We report here the complete genome sequence of a duck astrovirus (DAstV) isolated from a dead duckling in eastern China. Sequence analyses indicated that the genome of the astrovirus possessed a typical astrovirus organization. Comparison of the partial polymerase gene sequences of DAstV-1 and DAstV-2 showed that the astrovirus shared 94.4% and 64.2% nucleotide identity, respectively. The whole nucleotide sequence of the astrovirus had the highest homology with the sequence of DAstV-1 strain C-NGB (98.7%). Therefore, the strain we describe here is a DAstV-1 isolate.
PMCID: PMC3503081  PMID: 23166244
23.  Acupuncture Effect and Central Autonomic Regulation 
Acupuncture is a therapeutic technique and part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Acupuncture has clinical efficacy on various autonomic nerve-related disorders, such as cardiovascular diseases, epilepsy, anxiety and nervousness, circadian rhythm disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and subfertility. An increasing number of studies have demonstrated that acupuncture can control autonomic nerve system (ANS) functions including blood pressure, pupil size, skin conductance, skin temperature, muscle sympathetic nerve activities, heart rate and/or pulse rate, and heart rate variability. Emerging evidence indicates that acupuncture treatment not only activates distinct brain regions in different kinds of diseases caused by imbalance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic activities, but also modulates adaptive neurotransmitter in related brain regions to alleviate autonomic response. This review focused on the central mechanism of acupuncture in modulating various autonomic responses, which might provide neurobiological foundations for acupuncture effects.
PMCID: PMC3677642  PMID: 23762116
24.  Bone Loss following Spinal Cord Injury in a Rat Model 
Journal of Neurotrauma  2012;29(8):1676-1682.
The current study was undertaken to follow the time course of bone loss in the proximal tibia of rats over several weeks following thoracic contusion spinal cord injury (SCI) of varying severity. It was hypothesized that bone loss would be more pronounced in the more severely injured animals, and that hindlimb weight bearing would help prevent bone loss. Twenty-six female Sprague-Dawley rats (200–225 g, 6–7 weeks old) received standard thoracic (T9) injuries at energies of 6.25, 12.5, 25, or 50 g-cm. The rats were scored weekly for hindlimb function during locomotion. At 0, 2 or 3, and 8 weeks, high-resolution micro-CT images of each right tibia were obtained. Mechanical indentation testing was done to measure the compressive strength of the cancellous bone structure. The 6.25 g-cm group showed near normal locomotion, the 12.5 and 25 g-cm groups showed the ability to frequently or occasionally generate weight-supported plantar steps, respectively, and the 50 g-cm group showed only movement without weight-supported plantar stepping. The 6.25, 12.5 and 25 g-cm groups remained at the same level of bone volume fraction (cancBV/TV=0.24±0.07), while the 50 g-cm group experienced severe bone loss (67%), resulting in significantly lower (p<0.05) bone volume fraction (cancBV/TV=0.11±0.05) at 8 weeks. Proximal tibia cancellous bone strength was reduced by approximately 50% in these severely injured rats. Instead of a linear proportionality between injury severity and bone loss, there appears to be a distinct functional threshold, marked by occasional weight-supported stepping, above which bone loss does not occur.
PMCID: PMC3353757  PMID: 22181016
bone loss; cancellous; density; locomotion; spinal cord injury
25.  Effect evaluation of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist nanoparticles for mesenchymal stem cell transplantation 
AIM: To study the efficacy of marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) transplantation combined with interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) for acute liver failure (ALF).
METHODS: Chinese experimental miniature swine were randomly divided into four groups (n = 7), and all animals were given D-galactosamine (D-gal) to induce ALF. Group A animals were then injected with 40 mL saline via the portal vein 24 h after D-gal induction; Group B animals were injected with 2 mg/kg IL-1Ra via the ear vein 18 h, 2 d and 4 d after D-gal induction; Group C received approximately 1 × 108 green fluorescence protein (GFP)-labeled MSCs (GFP-MSCs) suspended in 40 mL normal saline via the portal vein 24 h after D-gal induction; Group D animals were injected with 2 mg/kg IL-1Ra via the ear vein 18 h after D-gal induction, MSCs transplantation was then carried out at 24 h after D-gal induction, and finally 2 mg/kg IL-1Ra was injected via the ear vein 1 d and 3 d after surgery as before. Liver function, serum inflammatory parameters and pathological changes were measured and the fate of MSCs was determined.
RESULTS: The optimal efficiency of transfection (97%) was achieved at an multiplicity of infection of 80, as observed by fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry (FCM). Over 90% of GFP-MSCs were identified as CD44+ CD90+ CD45- MSCs by FCM, which indicated that most GFP-MSCs retained MSCs characteristics. Biochemical assays, the levels of serum inflammatory parameters and histological results in Group D all showed a significant improvement in liver injury compared with the other groups (P < 0.05). The number of GFP-MSCs in Group D was also greater than that in Group B, and the long-term cell proliferation rate was also better in Group D than in the other groups.
CONCLUSION: MSCs transplantation is useful in ALF, IL-1Ra plays an important role in alleviating the inflammatory condition, and combination therapy with MSCs transplantation and IL-1Ra is a promising treatment for ALF.
PMCID: PMC3613115  PMID: 23569345
Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist; Mesenchymal stem cells; Cell transplantation; Acute liver failure; Inflammatory environment

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