Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an aggressive malignancy distinct from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in its metastatic potential and treatment response. Using an integrative proteomic and transcriptomic analysis, we investigated molecular differences contributing to the distinct clinical behavior of SCLC and NSCLC. SCLC demonstrated lower levels of several receptor tyrosine kinases and decreased activation of PI3K and Ras/MEK pathways, but significantly increased levels of E2F1-regulated factors including EZH2, thymidylate synthase, apoptosis mediators, and DNA repair proteins. Additionally, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1), a DNA repair protein and E2F1 co-activator, was highly expressed at the mRNA and protein levels in SCLC. SCLC growth was inhibited by PARP1 and EZH2 knockdown. Furthermore, SCLC was significantly more sensitive to PARP inhibitors than NSCLC, and PARP inhibition downregulated key components of the DNA repair machinery and enhanced the efficacy of chemotherapy.
Osterix (Osx) is an osteoblast-specific transcription factor which is essential for bone formation. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been previously shown to be involved in osteogenesis. However, it is unclear whether Osx is involved in the regulation of miRNA expression. In this study, we have identified groups of miRNAs that are differentially expressed in calvaria of the E18.5 Osx−/− embryos compared to wild type embryos. The correlation between the levels of miRNAs and Osx expression was further verified in cultured M-Osx cells in which over-expression of Osx is inducible. Our results suggest that Osx down-regulates expression of a group of miRNAs including mir-133a and -204/211, but up-regulates expression of another group of miRNAs such as mir-141/200a. Mir-133a and -204/211 are known to target the master osteogenic transcription factor Runx2. Further assays suggest that Sost, which encodes the Wnt signaling antagonist Sclerostin, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) are two additional targets of mir-204/211. Mir-141/200a has been known to target the transcription factor Dlx5. Thus, we postulate that during the process of Osx-controlled osteogenesis, Osx has the ability to coordinately modulate Runx2, Sclerostin, ALP and Dlx5 proteins at levels appropriate for optimal osteoblast differentiation and function, at least in part, through regulation of specific miRNAs. Our study shows a tight correlation between Osx and the miRNAs involved in bone formation, and provides new information about molecular mechanisms of Osx-controlled osteogenesis.
Protein extraction from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues is challenging due to extensive molecular crosslinking that occurs upon formalin fixation. Reverse-phase protein array (RPPA) is a high-throughput technology, which can detect changes in protein levels and protein functionality in numerous tissue and cell sources. It has been used to evaluate protein expression mainly in frozen preparations or FFPE-based studies of limited scope. Reproducibility and reliability of the technique in FFPE samples has not yet been demonstrated extensively. We developed and optimized an efficient and reproducible procedure for extraction of proteins from FFPE cells and xenografts, and then applied the method to FFPE patient tissues and evaluated its performance on RPPA.
Fresh frozen and FFPE preparations from cell lines, xenografts and breast cancer and renal tissues were included in the study. Serial FFPE cell or xenograft sections were deparaffinized and extracted by six different protein extraction protocols. The yield and level of protein degradation were evaluated by SDS-PAGE and Western Blots. The most efficient protocol was used to prepare protein lysates from breast cancer and renal tissues, which were subsequently subjected to RPPA. Reproducibility was evaluated and Spearman correlation was calculated between matching fresh frozen and FFPE samples.
The most effective approach from six protein extraction protocols tested enabled efficient extraction of immunoreactive protein from cell line, breast cancer and renal tissue sample sets. 85% of the total of 169 markers tested on RPPA demonstrated significant correlation between FFPE and frozen preparations (p < 0.05) in at least one cell or tissue type, with only 23 markers common in all three sample sets. In addition, FFPE preparations yielded biologically meaningful observations related to pathway signaling status in cell lines, and classification of renal tissues.
With optimized protein extraction methods, FFPE tissues can be a valuable source in generating reproducible and biologically relevant proteomic profiles using RPPA, with specific marker performance varying according to tissue type.
Formalin-fixed; Paraffin-embedded tissue; Protein extraction; Reverse phase protein array; Breast cancer; Renal cancer
Elastase-mediated cleavage of cyclin E generates low molecular weight cyclin E (LMW-E) isoforms exhibiting enhanced CDK2–associated kinase activity and resistance to inhibition by CDK inhibitors p21 and p27. Approximately 27% of breast cancers express high LMW-E protein levels, which significantly correlates with poor survival. The objective of this study was to identify the signaling pathway(s) deregulated by LMW-E expression in breast cancer patients and to identify pharmaceutical agents to effectively target this pathway. Ectopic LMW-E expression in nontumorigenic human mammary epithelial cells (hMECs) was sufficient to generate xenografts with greater tumorigenic potential than full-length cyclin E, and the tumorigenicity was augmented by in vivo passaging. However, cyclin E mutants unable to interact with CDK2 protected hMECs from tumor development. When hMECs were cultured on Matrigel, LMW-E mediated aberrant acinar morphogenesis, including enlargement of acinar structures and formation of multi-acinar complexes, as denoted by reduced BIM and elevated Ki67 expression. Similarly, inducible expression of LMW-E in transgenic mice generated hyper-proliferative terminal end buds resulting in enhanced mammary tumor development. Reverse-phase protein array assay of 276 breast tumor patient samples and cells cultured on monolayer and in three-dimensional Matrigel demonstrated that, in terms of protein expression profile, hMECs cultured in Matrigel more closely resembled patient tissues than did cells cultured on monolayer. Additionally, the b-Raf-ERK1/2-mTOR pathway was activated in LMW-E–expressing patient samples, and activation of this pathway was associated with poor disease-specific survival. Combination treatment using roscovitine (CDK inhibitor) plus either rapamycin (mTOR inhibitor) or sorafenib (a pan kinase inhibitor targeting b-Raf) effectively prevented aberrant acinar formation in LMW-E–expressing cells by inducing G1/S cell cycle arrest. LMW-E requires CDK2–associated kinase activity to induce mammary tumor formation by disrupting acinar development. The b-Raf-ERK1/2-mTOR signaling pathway is aberrantly activated in breast cancer and can be suppressed by combination treatment with roscovitine plus either rapamycin or sorafenib.
Effective cancer treatment should include targeting not only drivers of tumorigenicity but also the downstream signaling pathways that these drivers activate. Special attention has to be given to the model systems that identify these targets and interrogating if these targets are poor prognostic indicators in patients. Using cell lines cultured on plastic and extracellular matrix (Matrigel) and comparing their proteomic profiles to breast cancer tumor samples, we demonstrated that overexpression of LMW-E is concomitant with activation of the b-Raf-ERK1/2-mTOR pathway. Using mouse models, we show that induction of LMW-E is sufficient to induce mammary tumor development in vivo. Next, cells established from the tumors were treated with combination therapy targeting the LMW-E/CDK2 complex and the b-Raf-ERK1/2-mTOR pathway. Results revealed that this combination therapy effectively inhibited the altered proliferation of these cells. Most significantly, we showed that breast cancer patients whose tumors overexpress both LMW-E and different components of the b-Raf-ERK1/2-mTOR pathway have the worst prognosis. In summary, through the use of multiple in vitro and in vivo model systems and translating the findings to clinical specimens, we have identified a novel targeted therapy in breast cancer patients whose tumors overexpress LMW-E.
The lack of large panels of validated antibodies, tissue handling variability, and intratumoral heterogeneity potentially hamper comprehensive study of the functional proteome in non-microdissected solid tumors. The purpose of this study was to address these concerns and to demonstrate clinical utility for the functional analysis of proteins in non-microdissected breast tumors using reverse phase protein arrays (RPPA).
Herein, 82 antibodies that recognize kinase and steroid signaling proteins and effectors were validated for RPPA. Intraslide and interslide coefficients of variability were <15%. Multiple sites in non-microdissected breast tumors were analyzed using RPPA after intervals of up to 24 h on the benchtop at room temperature following surgical resection.
Twenty-one of 82 total and phosphoproteins demonstrated time-dependent instability at room temperature with most variability occurring at later time points between 6 and 24 h. However, the 82-protein functional proteomic “fingerprint” was robust in most tumors even when maintained at room temperature for 24 h before freezing. In repeat samples from each tumor, intratumoral protein levels were markedly less variable than intertumoral levels. Indeed, an independent analysis of prognostic biomarkers in tissue from multiple tumor sites accurately and reproducibly predicted patient outcomes. Significant correlations were observed between RPPA and immunohistochemistry. However, RPPA demonstrated a superior dynamic range. Classification of 128 breast cancers using RPPA identified six subgroups with markedly different patient outcomes that demonstrated a significant correlation with breast cancer subtypes identified by transcriptional profiling.
Thus, the robustness of RPPA and stability of the functional proteomic “fingerprint” facilitate the study of the functional proteome in non-microdissected breast tumors.
Functional proteome; RPPA; Breast cancer; Kinase signaling; Steroid signaling
Thermoanaerobic bacteria are of interest in cellulosic-biofuel production, due to their simultaneous pentose and hexose utilization (co-utilization) and thermophilic nature. In this study, we experimentally reconstructed the structure and dynamics of the first genome-wide carbon utilization network of thermoanaerobes. The network uncovers numerous novel pathways and identifies previously unrecognized but crucial pathway interactions and the associated key junctions. First, glucose, xylose, fructose, and cellobiose catabolism are each featured in distinct functional modules; the transport systems of hexose and pentose are apparently both regulated by transcriptional antiterminators of the BglG family, which is consistent with pentose and hexose co-utilization. Second, glucose and xylose modules cooperate in that the activity of the former promotes the activity of the latter via activating xylose transport and catabolism, while xylose delays cell lysis by sustaining coenzyme and ion metabolism. Third, the vitamin B12 pathway appears to promote ethanologenesis through ethanolamine and 1, 2-propanediol, while the arginine deiminase pathway probably contributes to cell survival in stationary phase. Moreover, by experimentally validating the distinct yet collaborative nature of glucose and xylose catabolism, we demonstrated that these novel network-derived features can be rationally exploited for product-yield enhancement via optimized timing and balanced loading of the carbon supply in a substrate-specific manner. Thus, this thermoanaerobic glycobiome reveals novel genetic features in carbon catabolism that may have immediate industrial implications and provides novel strategies and targets for fermentation and genome engineering.
Renewable liquid fuels derived from lignocellulosic biomass could alleviate global energy shortage and climate change. Cellulose and hemicellulose are the main components of lignocellulosic biomass. Therefore, the ability to simultaneously utilize pentose and hexose (i.e., co-utilization) has been a crucial challenge for industrial microbes producing lignocellulosic biofuels. Certain thermoanaerobic bacteria demonstrate this unusual talent, but the genetic foundation and molecular mechanism of this process remain unknown. In this study, we reconstructed the structure and dynamics of the first genome-wide carbon utilization network of thermoanaerobes. This transcriptome-based co-expression network reveals that glucose, xylose, fructose, and cellobiose catabolism are each featured on distinct functional modules. Furthermore, the dynamics of the network suggests a distinct yet collaborative nature between glucose and xylose catabolism. In addition, we experimentally demonstrated that these novel network-derived features can be rationally exploited for product-yield enhancement via optimized timing and balanced loading of the carbon supply in a substrate-specific manner. Thus, the newly discovered modular and precisely regulated network elucidates unique features of thermoanaerobic glycobiomes and reveals novel perturbation strategies and targets for the enhanced thermophilic production of lignocellulosic biofuels.
To determine whether functional proteomics improves breast cancer classification and prognostication and can predict pathological complete response (pCR) in patients receiving neoadjuvant taxane and anthracycline-taxane-based systemic therapy (NST).
Reverse phase protein array (RPPA) using 146 antibodies to proteins relevant to breast cancer was applied to three independent tumor sets. Supervised clustering to identify subgroups and prognosis in surgical excision specimens from a training set (n = 712) was validated on a test set (n = 168) in two cohorts of patients with primary breast cancer. A score was constructed using ordinal logistic regression to quantify the probability of recurrence in the training set and tested in the test set. The score was then evaluated on 132 FNA biopsies of patients treated with NST to determine ability to predict pCR.
Six breast cancer subgroups were identified by a 10-protein biomarker panel in the 712 tumor training set. They were associated with different recurrence-free survival (RFS) (log-rank p = 8.8 E-10). The structure and ability of the six subgroups to predict RFS was confirmed in the test set (log-rank p = 0.0013). A prognosis score constructed using the 10 proteins in the training set was associated with RFS in both training and test sets (p = 3.2E-13, for test set). There was a significant association between the prognostic score and likelihood of pCR to NST in the FNA set (p = 0.0021).
We developed a 10-protein biomarker panel that classifies breast cancer into prognostic groups that may have potential utility in the management of patients who receive anthracycline-taxane-based NST.
Breast Cancer; Functional Proteomics; Prognosis; Prediction
Identification and isolation of adult stem cells are still challenging for stem cell biologists. For example, no consensus exists yet regarding definitive markers for corneal epithelial stem cells, which have been identified to reside in the limbus for two decades. This study characterized the molecular signatures and biological pathways of limbal epithelial progenitors, the rapid adherent cells (RAC) isolated by adhesion on collagen IV, using human genome microarrays, real-time PCR and immunofluorescent staining. The microarrays produced highly reproducible data not only for all gene transcripts, but also for significantly changed genes, although the total 12 samples of 3 cell populations in 2 arrays were isolated from 4 separate experiments at different time period. The hierarchical clustering heatmap visually revealed that RAC progenitor population displayed distinguishably characteristic gene expression profile. With verification of 27 important genes by quantitative real-time PCR, the microarray data not only confirm the expression patterns of 15 known genes as stem cell associated markers representing limbal stem cell phenotype, but also identified many significantly regulated genes expressed by limbal progenitor cells. Transcription factor TCF4 and cell surface protein SPRRs were identified as potentially positive or negative markers, respectively, for corneal epithelial progenitor cells. Using GenMAPP and MAPPFinder, we have identified three patterns of biological pathway profiles, overexpressed, underexpressed and balanced, by RAC progenitors based on Gene Ontology categories. These genes and related pathways are interesting targets for further identification and isolation of limbal stem cells as well as other tissue specific adult stem cells.
Adult stem cells; progenitors; epithelium; gene expression; microarray
Mycoplasma hyorhinis infection has been postulated to play a role in the development of several types of cancer, but the direct evidence and mechanism remained to be determined.
Immunohistochemistry assay and nested polymerase-chain reaction (PCR) were performed to examine the mycoplasma hyorhinis infection in gastric cancer tissues. Statistical analysis was used to check the association between mycoplasma infection and clinicopathologic parameters. Transwell chamber assay and metastasis assay were used to evaluate mycoplasma hyorhinis' effects on metastasis in vitro and in vivo. Mycoplasma hyorhinis-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation were investigated by Western blot.
Mycoplasma hyorhinis infection in gastric cancer tissues was revealed and statistical analysis indicated a significant association between mycoplasma infections and lymph node metastasis, Lauren's Classification, TNM stage, and age of the patients. Mycoplasma hyorhinis promoted tumor cell migration, invasion and metastasis in vitro and in vivo, which was possibly associated with the enhanced phosphorylation of EGFR and ERK1/2. The antibody against p37 protein of Mycoplasma hyorhinis could inhibit the migration of the infected cells.
The infection of mycoplasma hyorhinis may contribute to the development of gastric cancer and Mycoplasma hyorhinis-induced malignant phenotypes were possibly mediated by p37.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease imposes a significant burden of illness in Western populations. However, data on the impact of reflux symptoms on daily life in Asian populations are scarce. The current study aimed to evaluate the impact of GERD (defined on the basis of symptoms) on health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) in individuals from five regions in China, as part of the Systematic Investigation of Gastrointestinal Diseases in China (SILC) study.
In total, 18 000 residents were randomly selected from across five regions of China and asked to complete a general information questionnaire and a Chinese version of the Reflux Disease Questionnaire (RDQ). A randomly selected subsample of one-fifth of subjects (20% from each region) completed Chinese versions of the 36-item self-administered (SF-36) questionnaire and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) questionnaire. Reflux symptoms were defined as the presence of heartburn and/or regurgitation. Symptom-defined GERD was diagnosed as mild heartburn and/or regurgitation ≥2 days per week, or moderate/severe heartburn and/or regurgitation ≥1 day a week, based on the Montreal Definition of GERD for population-based studies.
The response rate was 89.4% for the total sample (16 091/18 000), and for the 20% subsample (3219/3600). Meaningful impairment was observed in all 8 SF-36 dimensions in participants with symptom-defined GERD, in 7 of the 8 SF-36 dimensions in participants with troublesome reflux symptoms, and in 6 of the 8 SF-36 dimensions in participants with reflux symptoms below the threshold for symptom-defined GERD. Meaningful daytime sleepiness was also observed in each of these groups. The proportion of individuals reporting troublesome symptoms increased as reflux symptom frequency and severity approached the threshold for symptom-defined GERD, and this was associated with concomitant decreases in all HRQoL measures. Troublesome symptoms were reported by 68.2% (75/110) of individuals with symptom-defined GERD.
GERD diagnosed using symptom/frequency criteria (recommended for population-based studies), or based on troublesome reflux symptoms (recommended for the clinic), is associated with significantly impaired HRQoL in Chinese individuals. However, patient groups identified using these definitions do not overlap completely, suggesting that they capture slightly different, though clinically relevant, GERD populations.
While trying to integrate multiple data sets collected by different researchers, we noticed that the sample names were frequently entered inconsistently. Most of the variations appeared to involve punctuation, white space, or their absence, at the juncture between alphabetic and numeric portions of the cell line name.
Reasoning that the variant names could be described in terms of mutations or deletions of character strings, we implemented a simple version of the Needleman-Wunsch global sequence alignment algorithm and applied it to the cell line names. All correct matches were found by this procedure. Incorrect matches only occured when a cell line was present in one data set but not in the other. The raw match scores tended to be substantially worse for the incorrect matches.
A simple application of the Needleman-Wunsch global sequence alignment algorithm provides a useful first pass at matching sample names from different data sets.
Blast; Cancer cell lines
The epidemiology of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) has yet to be investigated using the symptomatic threshold criteria recommended by the Montreal Definition. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of symptom-defined GERD across five regions of China, and to investigate variables associated with GERD.
A representative sample of 18 000 adults (aged 18-80 years) were selected equally from rural and urban areas in each region (n = 1800). According to the Montreal Definition, GERD is present when mild symptoms of heartburn and/or regurgitation occur on ≥2 days a week, or moderate-to-severe symptoms of heartburn and/or regurgitation occur on ≥1 day a week.
In total, 16 091 participants completed the survey (response rate: 89.4%) and 16 078 responses were suitable for analysis. Applying the Montreal criteria, the prevalence of symptom-defined GERD was 3.1% and varied significantly (p < 0.001) among the five regions (from 1.7% in Guangzhou to 5.1% in Wuhan) and between rural and urban populations (3.8% vs 2.4%). Factors significantly associated with GERD included living in a rural area and a family history of gastrointestinal diseases.
This population-based survey found that the prevalence of symptom-defined GERD in China was 3.1%, which is lower than that found in Western countries.
Metaplastic breast cancers (MBC) are aggressive, chemoresistant tumors characterized by lineage plasticity. To advance understanding of their pathogenesis and relatedness to other breast cancer subtypes, 28 MBCs were compared with common breast cancers using comparative genomic hybridization, transcriptional profiling, and reverse-phase protein arrays and by sequencing for common breast cancer mutations. MBCs showed unique DNA copy number aberrations compared with common breast cancers. PIK3CA mutations were detected in 9 of 19 MBCs (47.4%) versus 80 of 232 hormone receptor–positive cancers (34.5%; P = 0.32), 17 of 75 HER-2–positive samples (22.7%; P = 0.04), 20 of 240 basal-like cancers (8.3%; P < 0.0001), and 0 of 14 claudin-low tumors (P = 0.004). Of 7 phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT pathway phosphorylation sites, 6 were more highly phosphorylated in MBCs than in other breast tumor subtypes. The majority of MBCs displayed mRNA profiles different from those of the most common, including basal-like cancers. By transcriptional profiling, MBCs and the recently identified claudin-low breast cancer subset constitute related receptor-negative subgroups characterized by low expression of GATA3-regulated genes and of genes responsible for cell-cell adhesion with enrichment for markers linked to stem cell function and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). In contrast to other breast cancers, claudin-low tumors and most MBCs showed a significant similarity to a “tumorigenic” signature defined using CD44+/CD24− breast tumor–initiating stem cell–like cells. MBCs and claudin-low tumors are thus enriched in EMT and stem cell–like features, and may arise from an earlier, more chemoresistant breast epithelial precursor than basal-like or luminal cancers. PIK3CA mutations, EMT, and stem cell-like characteristics likely contribute to the poor outcomes of MBC and suggest novel therapeutic targets.
Symptom-based surveys suggest that the prevalence of gastrointestinal diseases is lower in China than in Western countries. The aim of this study was to validate a methodology for the epidemiological investigation of gastrointestinal symptoms and endoscopic findings in China.
A randomized, stratified, multi-stage sampling methodology was used to select 18 000 adults aged 18-80 years from Shanghai, Beijing, Xi'an, Wuhan and Guangzhou. Participants from Shanghai were invited to provide blood samples and undergo upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. All participants completed Chinese versions of the Reflux Disease Questionnaire (RDQ) and the modified Rome II questionnaire; 20% were also invited to complete the 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). The psychometric properties of the questionnaires were evaluated statistically.
The study was completed by 16 091 individuals (response rate: 89.4%), with 3219 (89.4% of those invited) completing the SF-36 and ESS. All 3153 participants in Shanghai provided blood samples and 1030 (32.7%) underwent endoscopy. Cronbach's alpha coefficients were 0.89, 0.89, 0.80 and 0.91, respectively, for the RDQ, modified Rome II questionnaire, ESS and SF-36, supporting internal consistency. Factor analysis supported construct validity of all questionnaire dimensions except SF-36 psychosocial dimensions.
This population-based study has great potential to characterize the relationship between gastrointestinal symptoms and endoscopic findings in China.
Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) governs a number of physiologic and pathophysiological processes. Malignant ascites fluid is rich in LPA, and LPA receptors are aberrantly expressed by ovarian cancer cells, implicating LPA in the initiation and progression of ovarian cancer. However, there is an absence of systematic data critically analyzing the transcriptional changes induced by LPA in ovarian cancer.
Methodology and Principal Findings
In this study, gene expression profiling was used to examine LPA-mediated transcription by exogenously adding LPA to human epithelial ovarian cancer cells for 24 h to mimic long-term stimulation in the tumor microenvironment. The resultant transcriptional profile comprised a 39-gene signature that closely correlated to serous epithelial ovarian carcinoma. Hierarchical clustering of ovarian cancer patient specimens demonstrated that the signature is associated with worsened prognosis. Patients with LPA-signature-positive ovarian tumors have reduced disease-specific and progression-free survival times. They have a higher frequency of stage IIIc serous carcinoma and a greater proportion is deceased. Among the 39-gene signature, a group of seven genes associated with cell adhesion recapitulated the results. Out of those seven, claudin-1, an adhesion molecule and phenotypic epithelial marker, is the only independent biomarker of serous epithelial ovarian carcinoma. Knockdown of claudin-1 expression in ovarian cancer cells reduces LPA-mediated cellular adhesion, enhances suspended cells and reduces LPA-mediated migration.
The data suggest that transcriptional events mediated by LPA in the tumor microenvironment influence tumor progression through modulation of cell adhesion molecules like claudin-1 and, for the first time, report an LPA-mediated expression signature in ovarian cancer that predicts a worse prognosis.
Reverse phase protein arrays (RPPAs) are a powerful high-throughput tool for measuring protein concentrations in a large number of samples. In RPPA technology, the original samples are often diluted successively multiple times, forming dilution series to extend the dynamic range of the measurements and to increase confidence in quantitation. An RPPA experiment is equivalent to running multiple ELISA assays concurrently except that there is usually no known protein concentration from which one can construct a standard response curve. Here, we describe a new method called ‘serial dilution curve for RPPA data analysis’. Compared with the existing methods, the new method has the advantage of using fewer parameters and offering a simple way of visualizing the raw data. We showed how the method can be used to examine data quality and to obtain robust quantification of protein concentrations.
Availability: A computer program in R for using serial dilution curve for RPPA data analysis is freely available at http://odin.mdacc.tmc.edu/~zhangli/RPPA.
Health related quality of life (HRQL) is a research topic that has attracted increasing interests around the world over the past two decades. The 36-item Short Form (SF-36) is a commonly used instrument for measuring HRQL. However, the information on Chinese adults' quality of life is limited. This paper reports on the feasibility of using the Mandarin version of SF-36 to evaluate HRQL in the population of Shanghai, China.
A total of 1034 subjects were randomly sampled using a stratified multiple-stage sampling method in Shanghai. Demographic information was collected, and SF-36 was used to measure HRQL.
Internal reliability coefficients were greater than 0.7 in six of the eight SF-36 dimensions, except social function and mental health. Intraclass correlation coefficients ranged from 0.689 to 0.972. Split-half reliability coefficients were higher than 0.9 in five SF-36 dimensions. Validity was assessed by factor analysis and correlation analysis. Our results were basically in accordance with the theoretical construction of SF-36. The average scores of most SF-36 dimensions were higher than 80. The primary influencing risk factors of HRQL included chronic diseases, age, frequency of activities, and geographical region, which were identified using multivariate stepwise regression.
Overall, HRQL in the population of Shanghai is quite good. The Mandarin version of SF-36 is a valid and reliable tool for assessing HRQL.
The inference of genetic regulatory networks from global measurements of gene expressions is an important problem in computational biology. Recent studies suggest that such dynamical molecular systems are poised at a critical phase transition between an ordered and a disordered phase, affording the ability to balance stability and adaptability while coordinating complex macroscopic behavior. We investigate whether incorporating this dynamical system-wide property as an assumption in the inference process is beneficial in terms of reducing the inference error of the designed network. Using Boolean networks, for which there are well-defined notions of ordered, critical, and chaotic dynamical regimes as well as well-studied inference procedures, we analyze the expected inference error relative to deviations in the networks' dynamical regimes from the assumption of criticality. We demonstrate that taking criticality into account via a penalty term in the inference procedure improves the accuracy of prediction both in terms of state transitions and network wiring, particularly for small sample sizes.
This study evaluated the toxic effects of the organophosphate pesticide trichlorfon on hepatic lipid accumulation in crucian carp Carassius auratus gibelio. Seventy-five fish were divided into five groups (each group in triplicate), and then exposed to 0, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 mg/L of trichlorfon and fed with commercial feed for 30 d. At the end of the experiment, plasma and hepatic lipid metabolic biochemical status were analyzed. Triglyceride contents were significantly (P < 0.05) increased in liver but decreased in plasma after 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 mg/L trichlorfon treatments. Plasma insulin contents were markedly (P < 0.05) increased when trichlorfon concentrations were 0.5, 1.0, and 4.0 mg/L. There were no significant differences in hepatic hormone-sensitive lipase contents between the trichlorfon-treated fish and the controls. Hepatic cyclic adenosine 3′, 5′-monophosphate, very-low-density lipoprotein, and apolipoprotein B100 contents were decreased in the fish when trichlorfon concentration was 2.0 mg/L. Furthermore, electron microscope observations showed rough endoplasmic reticulum dilatation and mitochondrial vacuolization in hepatocytes with trichlorfon exposure. On the basis of morphological and physiological evidence, trichlorfon influenced crucian carp hepatic pathways of lipid metabolism and hepatocellular ultrastructure, which resulted in lipid accumulation in the liver.