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2.  Expression of Stanniocalcin-1 and Stanniocalcin-2 in Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Correlations with Clinical and Pathological Parameters 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95466.
Background
Stanniocalcin-1 (STC1) and stanniocalcin-2 (STC2) are secreted glycoprotein hormones involved in various types of human malignancies. The roles of STC1 and STC2 in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) remain unknown. We investigated correlations between STC1 and STC2 expression and clinicopathological or prognostic factors in LSCC.
Methods
Pre-surgical peripheral blood samples were collected between 2012 and 2013 from 62 patients with LSCC. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis was performed to examine mRNA levels of STC1 and STC2. Immunohistochemistry was performed to retrospectively analyze 90 paraffin-embedded LSCC tissue samples, which were obtained from patients who received surgery between 2006 and 2009. These patients did not have histories of treatment or malignancies. Univariate analysis of patient survival was performed by the Kaplan–Meier method. Multivariate analyses were performed with the Cox proportional hazards model.
Results
The relative mRNA levels of STC1 and STC2 in peripheral blood were significantly greater in LSCC patients than those of healthy volunteers (both P<0.05). STC2 protein expression in tumor tissues was associated with invasion into the thyroid cartilage, T-Stage, lymphatic metastasis, clinical stage, and pathological differentiation (all P<0.05). In addition, STC2 protein expression was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival in patients with LSCC (P = 0.025). In contrast, STC1 expression only correlated with clinical stage (P = 0.026) and was not an independent or significant prognostic factor.
Conclusions
Circulating STC1 and STC2 mRNA are potentially useful blood markers for LSCC. Our results strongly suggest that the STC2 protein, but not STC1, may be a valuable biomarker for LSCC malignancies and a prognostic marker for poor outcome following surgery. Future studies should examine STC2 as a novel molecular target for the treatment of LSCC.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095466
PMCID: PMC3990672  PMID: 24743310
3.  Prognostic Role of microRNA-155 in Various Carcinomas: Results from a Meta-Analysis 
Disease markers  2013;34(6):379-386.
BACKGROUND: Recent studies have shown that microRNAs (miRNA) have prognostic values in cancers. This meta-analysis seeks to summarize the global predicting role of miR-155 for survival in patients with a variety of carcinomas.
METHODS: Eligible studies were identified through multiple search strategies. Data were extracted from studies investigating the relationship between miR-155 expression and survival in cancer patients. Combined hazard ratios (HRs) of miR-155 for outcome were analyzed.
RESULTS: A total of 16 studies dealing with various carcinomas were included for this meta-analysis. For overall survival, higher miR-155 expression could significantly predict worse outcome with the pooled HR of 2.057 (95% CI: 1.392–3.039). For relapse or progress-free survival, elevated miR-155 was also a significant predictor, with a combined HR of 1.918 (95% CI: 1.311–2.806,). In addition, subgroup analysis showed that higher expression of miR-155 had the trends to predict worse outcome in lung cancer. However, the HRs did not reach the statistical significance.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that miR-155 detection has a prognostic value in cancer patients. Regularly measuring miR-155 expression may be useful in clinical practice.
doi:10.3233/DMA-130984
PMCID: PMC3810250  PMID: 23481631
miR-155; cancer; prognosis; clinical
4.  Genotypic variants at 2q33 and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in China: a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies 
Abnet, Christian C. | Wang, Zhaoming | Song, Xin | Hu, Nan | Zhou, Fu-You | Freedman, Neal D. | Li, Xue-Min | Yu, Kai | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Yuan, Jian-Min | Zheng, Wei | Dawsey, Sanford M. | Liao, Linda M. | Lee, Maxwell P. | Ding, Ti | Qiao, You-Lin | Gao, Yu-Tang | Koh, Woon-Puay | Xiang, Yong-Bing | Tang, Ze-Zhong | Fan, Jin-Hu | Chung, Charles C. | Wang, Chaoyu | Wheeler, William | Yeager, Meredith | Yuenger, Jeff | Hutchinson, Amy | Jacobs, Kevin B. | Giffen, Carol A. | Burdett, Laurie | Fraumeni, Joseph F. | Tucker, Margaret A. | Chow, Wong-Ho | Zhao, Xue-Ke | Li, Jiang-Man | Li, Ai-Li | Sun, Liang-Dan | Wei, Wu | Li, Ji-Lin | Zhang, Peng | Li, Hong-Lei | Cui, Wen-Yan | Wang, Wei-Peng | Liu, Zhi-Cai | Yang, Xia | Fu, Wen-Jing | Cui, Ji-Li | Lin, Hong-Li | Zhu, Wen-Liang | Liu, Min | Chen, Xi | Chen, Jie | Guo, Li | Han, Jing-Jing | Zhou, Sheng-Li | Huang, Jia | Wu, Yue | Yuan, Chao | Huang, Jing | Ji, Ai-Fang | Kul, Jian-Wei | Fan, Zhong-Min | Wang, Jian-Po | Zhang, Dong-Yun | Zhang, Lian-Qun | Zhang, Wei | Chen, Yuan-Fang | Ren, Jing-Li | Li, Xiu-Min | Dong, Jin-Cheng | Xing, Guo-Lan | Guo, Zhi-Gang | Yang, Jian-Xue | Mao, Yi-Ming | Yuan, Yuan | Guo, Er-Tao | Zhang, Wei | Hou, Zhi-Chao | Liu, Jing | Li, Yan | Tang, Sa | Chang, Jia | Peng, Xiu-Qin | Han, Min | Yin, Wan-Li | Liu, Ya-Li | Hu, Yan-Long | Liu, Yu | Yang, Liu-Qin | Zhu, Fu-Guo | Yang, Xiu-Feng | Feng, Xiao-Shan | Wang, Zhou | Li, Yin | Gao, She-Gan | Liu, Hai-Lin | Yuan, Ling | Jin, Yan | Zhang, Yan-Rui | Sheyhidin, Ilyar | Li, Feng | Chen, Bao-Ping | Ren, Shu-Wei | Liu, Bin | Li, Dan | Zhang, Gao-Fu | Yue, Wen-Bin | Feng, Chang-Wei | Qige, Qirenwang | Zhao, Jian-Ting | Yang, Wen-Jun | Lei, Guang-Yan | Chen, Long-Qi | Li, En-Min | Xu, Li-Yan | Wu, Zhi-Yong | Bao, Zhi-Qin | Chen, Ji-Li | Li, Xian-Chang | Zhuang, Xiang | Zhou, Ying-Fa | Zuo, Xian-Bo | Dong, Zi-Ming | Wang, Lu-Wen | Fan, Xue-Pin | Wang, Jin | Zhou, Qi | Ma, Guo-Shun | Zhang, Qin-Xian | Liu, Hai | Jian, Xin-Ying | Lian, Sin-Yong | Wang, Jin-Sheng | Chang, Fu-Bao | Lu, Chang-Dong | Miao, Jian-Jun | Chen, Zhi-Guo | Wang, Ran | Guo, Ming | Fan, Zeng-Lin | Tao, Ping | Liu, Tai-Jing | Wei, Jin-Chang | Kong, Qing-Peng | Fan, Lei | Wang, Xian-Zeng | Gao, Fu-Sheng | Wang, Tian-Yun | Xie, Dong | Wang, Li | Chen, Shu-Qing | Yang, Wan-Cai | Hong, Jun-Yan | Wang, Liang | Qiu, Song-Liang | Goldstein, Alisa M. | Yuan, Zhi-Qing | Chanock, Stephen J. | Zhang, Xue-Jun | Taylor, Philip R. | Wang, Li-Dong
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;21(9):2132-2141.
Genome-wide association studies have identified susceptibility loci for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We conducted a meta-analysis of all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that showed nominally significant P-values in two previously published genome-wide scans that included a total of 2961 ESCC cases and 3400 controls. The meta-analysis revealed five SNPs at 2q33 with P< 5 × 10−8, and the strongest signal was rs13016963, with a combined odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of 1.29 (1.19–1.40) and P= 7.63 × 10−10. An imputation analysis of 4304 SNPs at 2q33 suggested a single association signal, and the strongest imputed SNP associations were similar to those from the genotyped SNPs. We conducted an ancestral recombination graph analysis with 53 SNPs to identify one or more haplotypes that harbor the variants directly responsible for the detected association signal. This showed that the five SNPs exist in a single haplotype along with 45 imputed SNPs in strong linkage disequilibrium, and the strongest candidate was rs10201587, one of the genotyped SNPs. Our meta-analysis found genome-wide significant SNPs at 2q33 that map to the CASP8/ALS2CR12/TRAK2 gene region. Variants in CASP8 have been extensively studied across a spectrum of cancers with mixed results. The locus we identified appears to be distinct from the widely studied rs3834129 and rs1045485 SNPs in CASP8. Future studies of esophageal and other cancers should focus on comprehensive sequencing of this 2q33 locus and functional analysis of rs13016963 and rs10201587 and other strongly correlated variants.
doi:10.1093/hmg/dds029
PMCID: PMC3315211  PMID: 22323360
5.  The Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition Promotes Transdifferentiation of Subcutaneously Implanted Hepatic Oval Cells Into Mesenchymal Tumor Tissue 
Stem Cells and Development  2009;18(9):1293-1298.
Hepatic oval cells are thought to represent facultative hepatic epithelial stem cells in liver in which damage inhibits hepatocyte proliferation and liver regeneration. The LE/6 hepatic stem cell line was derived from the liver of male Sprague-Dawley rats fed a choline-deficient diet containing 0.1% ethionine. They are histochemically characterized by their expression of hepatocytic (hepPar1), cholangiocytic cytokeratin (CK19), hepatic progenitor cell (OV-6), and hematopoietic stem cell (c-kit) markers. In this study, we transplanted LE/6 cells by subcutaneous injection into adult female nude mice, and examined their engraftment and differentiation potential in the subcutaneous microenvironment in vivo. Our results demonstrated that following subcutaneous transplantation, differentiation of LE/6 cells into mesenchymal tumor tissue (MTT) was associated with reduced E-cadherin expression, upregulation of E-cadherin repressor molecules (Snail proteins), and increased expression of vimentin and N-cadherin, all of these events are characteristic of the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT).
doi:10.1089/scd.2008.0321
PMCID: PMC3156617  PMID: 19226223
6.  Major complications after radiofrequency ablation for liver tumors: Analysis of 255 patients 
AIM: To investigate the major complications after radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for the treatment of liver tumors and analyze possible risk factors that precipitate these complications.
METHODS: From March 2001 to April 2008, 255 patients with liver tumors (205 male, 50 female; age range, 18-89 years; mean age, 56.0 years) who received RFA were enrolled in this study. Of these patients, 212 had hepatocellular carcinoma, 39 had metastatic liver tumors and four had cholangiocellular carcinoma. One hundred and forty eight patients had a single tumor, and 107 had multiple tumors. Maximum diameter of the tumors ranged 1.3-20 cm (mean, 5.1 cm). All patients were treated with a cooled-tip perfusion electrode attached to a radiofrequency generator (Radionics, Burlington, MA, USA). RFA was performed via the percutaneous approach (n = 257), laparoscopy (n = 7), or open surgical treatment (n = 86). The major complications related to RFA were recorded. The resultant data were analyzed to determine risk factors associated these complications.
RESULTS: Among the 255 patients, 425 liver tumors were treated and 350 RFA sessions were performed. Thirty-seven (10%) major complications were observed which included 13 cases of liver failure, 10 cases of hydrothorax requiring drainage, three cases of tumor seeding, one case of upper gastrointestinal bleeding, one case of intrahepatic abscess, one case of bile duct injury, one case of cardiac arrest, and five cases of hyperglycemia. Seven patients had more than two complications. Liver failure was the most severe complication and was associated with the highest mortality. Eleven patients died due to worsening liver decompensation. Child-Pugh classification (P = 0.001) and choice of approach (P = 0.045) were related to post-treatment liver failure, whereas patient age, tumor size and number were not significant factors precipitating this complication.
CONCLUSION: RFA can be accepted as a relatively safe procedure for the treatment of liver tumors. However, attention should be paid to possible complications even though the incidences of these complications are rare. Careful patient selection and the best approach choice (percutaneous, laparoscopy, or laparotomy) will help to minimize the incidence and morbidity rate of complications which occur after RFA.
doi:10.3748/wjg.15.2651
PMCID: PMC2691498  PMID: 19496197
Complication; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Metastatic liver tumor; Radiofrequency ablation; Liver failure
7.  Effect of SLCO1B1 genetic polymorphism on the pharmacokinetics of nateglinide 
Aims
Nateglinide is a meglitinide analogue with antidiabetic action. A recent study showed that SLCO1B1 (which codes the OATP1B1 gene, also known as OATP-C, OATP2) is a major determinant which markedly affects the pharmacokinetics of repaglinide. Our objective was to assess the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of SLCO1B1 and the pharmacokinetics of nateglinide.
Methods
Seventeen healthy volunteers with different SLCO1B1 genotypes (11 with 521TT, four with 521TC and two with 521CC) were enrolled in this study. Each was given a single oral dose of 90 mg nateglinide. Plasma concentrations of nateglinide were measured up to 8 h by HPLC.
Results
The Cmax and AUC(0,∞) of nateglinide were 83% (P = 0.002) and 82% (P = 0.001) higher in the SLCO1B 1521TC subjects (n = 4), and 76% (P = 0.016) and 108% (P = 0.001) higher in the SLCO1B1521CC subjects (n = 2) than in the SLCO1B1521TT subjects (n = 11), respectively. The t1/2 of nateglinide in SLCO1B1521CC subjects was 78% longer than that in 521TT subjects (P = 0.036). The difference in tmax values among the three genotypic groups was not statistically significant.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that OATP1B1-mediated hepatic uptake of nateglinide may be the prior step for its metabolism and elimination. SLCO1B1521T > C SNP might play an important role in the pharmacokinetics of nateglinide.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2125.2006.02686.x
PMCID: PMC1885174  PMID: 16796707
nateglinide; pharmacokinetics; SLCO1B1 polymorphism
10.  Apolipoprotein E gene E2/E2 genotype is a genetic risk factor for vertebral fractures in humans: a large-scale study 
International Orthopaedics  2014;38(8):1665-1669.
Purpose
Although many studies have been performed to evaluate whether or not apolipoprotein E gene (APOE) polymorphisms are differentially associated with bone mineral density (BMD) and fractures, the results have been conflicting. This large-scale study was performed to investigate whether a relationship exists between APOE polymorphisms and risk of fracture.
Methods
A hospital-based case–control study was conducted in 3,000 patients with fractures and 3,000 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) assay was applied to assess the APOE gene polymorphisms.
Results
Patients with fractures had a significantly higher frequency of APOE E2/E2 genotype [odds ratio (OR) = 2.02, 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 1.30, 3.14; P = 0.002] than healthy controls. When stratifying by fracture type, it was found that patients with vertebral fractures had a significantly higher frequency of APOE E2/E2 genotype (OR = 2.86, 95 % CI = 1.73, 4.73; P < 0.001). No significant differences were found in nonvertebral (hip or wrist or other) fractures.
Conclusions
Our study suggests that APOE E2/E2 genotype is a potential genetic risk factor for vertebral fractures in humans.
doi:10.1007/s00264-014-2380-4
PMCID: PMC4115114  PMID: 24880936
Apolipoprotein E; Fracture; Gene polymorphism; Case–control study
11.  (+)-2-(1-Hydroxyl-4-oxocyclohexyl) ethyl caffeate suppresses solar UV-induced skin carcinogenesis by targeting PI3-K, ERK1/2 and p38 
For decades, skin cancer incidence has increased, mainly due to oncogenic signaling pathways activated by solar ultraviolet (UV) irradiation (i.e., sun exposure). Solar UV induces multiple signaling pathways that are critical in the development of skin cancer, and therefore the development of compounds capable of targeting multiple molecules for chemoprevention of skin carcinogenesis is urgently needed. Herein, we examined the chemopreventive effects and the molecular mechanism of HOEC, [(+)-2-(1-hydroxyl-4-oxocyclohexyl) ethyl caffeate], isolated from Incarvillea mairei var. grandiflora (Wehrhahn) Grierson. HOEC strongly inhibited neoplastic transformation of JB6 C14l cells without toxicity. PI3-K, ERK1/2 and p38 kinase activities were suppressed by direct binding with HOEC in vitro. Our in silico docking data showed that HOEC binds at the ATP-binding site of each kinase. The inhibition of solar UV-induced PI3-K, ERK1/2 and p38 kinase activities resulted in suppression of their downstream signaling pathways and AP-1 and NF-κB transactivation in JB6 cells. Furthermore, topical application of HOEC reduced skin cancer incidence and tumor volume in SKH-1 hairless mice chronically exposed to solar UV. In summary, our results show that HOEC exerts inhibitory effects on multiple kinase targets and their downstream pathways activated by solar UV in vitro and in vivo. These findings suggest that HOEC is as a potent chemopreventive compound against skin carcinogenesis caused by solar UV exposure.
doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-13-0286
PMCID: PMC4125463  PMID: 24845061
2-(1-hydroxyl-4-oxocyclohexyl) ethyl caffeate; solar-UV; skin carcinogenesis; natural compound
12.  Rutin protects against cognitive deficits and brain damage in rats with chronic cerebral hypoperfusion 
British Journal of Pharmacology  2014;171(15):3702-3715.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion is a critical causative factor for the development of cognitive decline and dementia in the elderly, which involves many pathophysiological processes. Consequently, inhibition of several pathophysiological pathways is an attractive therapeutic strategy for this disorder. Rutin, a biologically active flavonoid, protects the brain against several insults through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but its effect on cognitive deficits and brain damage caused by chronic cerebral hypoperfusion remains unknown. Here, we investigated the neuroprotective effect of rutin on cognitive impairments and the potential mechanisms underlying its action in rats with chronic cerebral hypoperfusion.
EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH
We used Sprague-Dawley rats with permanent bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO), a well-established model of chronic cerebral hypoperfusion. After rutin treatment for 12 weeks, the neuroprotective effect of rutin in rats was evaluated by behavioural tests, biochemical and histopathological analyses.
KEY RESULTS
BCCAO rats showed marked cognitive deficits, which were improved by rutin treatment. Moreover, BCCAO rats exhibited central cholinergic dysfunction, oxidative damage, inflammatory responses and neuronal damage in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, compared with sham-operated rats. All these effects were significantly alleviated by treatment with rutin.
CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS
Our results provide new insights into the pharmacological actions of rutin and suggest that rutin has multi-targeted therapeutical potential on cognitive deficits associated with conditions with chronic cerebral hypoperfusion such as vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
doi:10.1111/bph.12725
PMCID: PMC4128067  PMID: 24758388
chronic cerebral hypoperfusion; rutin; cognitive deficits; oxidative stress; neuroinflammation
13.  Preformulation studies of EFdA, a novel nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor for HIV prevention 
4′-Ethynyl-2-fluoro-2′-deoxyadenosine (EFdA) is a novel nucleoside analog of great interest because of its superior activity against wild-type and multidrug-resistant HIV-1 strains, and favorable safety profiles in vitro and in vivo. The aim of this work was to provide preformulation information of EFdA important for delivery system development. A simple, accurate and specific reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatographic (RP-HPLC) method with UV detection was developed for quantification of EFdA. In addition, physicochemical characterizations including pH solubility profile, octanol/water partition coefficient (Log Po/w), DSC analysis, field emission scanning electron microscopy, and stability studies under various conditions were conducted. EFdA existed in planar or flake shape, with a melting point of ~130 °C, and had a pH dependent solubility. The log Po/w value of EFdA was −1.19. The compound was stable upon exposure to pH levels from 3 to 9 and showed good stability at elevated temperature (65 °C). In vitro cytotoxicity assessments were performed in two different epithelial cell lines. In cell-based studies, the EFdA selectivity index (50% cytotoxic concentration [CC50] values/50% effective concentration [EC50]) was found to be greater than 1 × 103. Permeability studies using cell- and tissue-based models showed that EFdA had an apparent permeability coefficient (Papp) <1 × 10−6cm/s and that the paracelluar pathway was the dominant transport route for EFdA. Overall, EFdA possesses favorable characteristics for further formulation development.
doi:10.3109/03639045.2013.809535
PMCID: PMC4136418  PMID: 23841536
Caco-2 cells; EFdA; permeability; preformulation; solubility; transport
14.  Speckle-type POZ protein, SPOP, is involved in the DNA damage response 
Carcinogenesis  2014;35(8):1691-1697.
Summary
We demonstrate that SPOP is a critical component of the DDR. SPOP forms nuclear foci and interacts with the ATM kinase after DNA damage. Depletion of SPOP results in an impaired DDR and hypersensitivity to radiation.
Speckle-type POZ protein (SPOP) is an adaptor of the cullin 3-based ubiquitin ligase responsible for the degradation of oncoproteins frequently overexpressed in many tumor cells. Altered expression and somatic mutations of SPOP have been observed in various tumor types with chromosomal aberrations, indicating a role of SPOP in maintaining genome stability, although a detailed mechanism remains unclear. Here, we show that SPOP is a component of the DNA damage response (DDR). SPOP is recruited to DNA double-strand break sites and it forms nuclear foci after DNA damage. SPOP foci colocalize with γ-H2AX foci and are predominantly dependent on the activity of the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase. Furthermore, SPOP interacts with ATM in response to DNA damage. Finally, we demonstrate that knocking down of SPOP resulted in an impaired DDR and a hypersensitivity to ionizing irradiation. Together, we highlight a critical role of SPOP in the DDR.
doi:10.1093/carcin/bgu022
PMCID: PMC4123640  PMID: 24451148
15.  Effects of karanjin on cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human A549, HepG2 and HL-60 cancer cells 
Biological Research  2015;48(1):40.
Background
We have investigated the potential anticancer effects of karanjin, a principal furanoflavonol constituent of the Chinese medicine Fordia cauliflora, using cytotoxic assay, cell cycle arrest, and induction of apoptosis in three human cancer cell lines (A549, HepG2 and HL-60 cells).
Results
MTT cytotoxic assay showed that karanjin could inhibit the proliferation and viability of all three cancer cells. The induction of cell cycle arrest was observed via a PI (propidium iodide)/RNase Staining Buffer detection kit and analyzed by flow cytometry: karanjin could dose-dependently induce cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase in the three cell lines. Cell apoptosis was assessed by Annexin V-FITC/PI staining: all three cancer cells treated with karanjin exhibited significantly increased apoptotic rates, especially in the percentage of late apoptosis cells.
Conclusion
Karanjin can induce cancer cell death through cell cycle arrest and enhance apoptosis. This compound may be effective clinically for cancer pharmacotherapy.
doi:10.1186/s40659-015-0031-x
PMCID: PMC4515023  PMID: 26209237
Karanjin; Cell cycle; Apoptosis; Cancer therapy
16.  Urinary isothiocyanates level and liver cancer risk: a nested case-control study in Shanghai, China 
Nutrition and cancer  2014;66(6):1023-1029.
Experimental studies have provided evidence that isothiocyanates (ITCs) from cruciferous vegetables may modulate carcinogen metabolism and facilitate carcinogen detoxification and reduce cancer risk. However, no epidemiological studies on liver cancer were reported. This study investigates the association between urinary ITCs levels and liver cancer risk among men and women in Shanghai, China. A nested case-control study of 217 incident cases of liver cancer and 427 matched controls identified from the Shanghai Women’s Health Study and Shanghai Men’s Health Study was conducted. Conditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) summarizing the association between urinary ITCs levels and liver cancer risk. Compared to those with undetectable ITCs, non-significantly inverse association was observed among detectable (OR = 0.80; 95% CI = 0.51–1.26), below-median (OR = 0.76; 95% CI = 0.47–1.24), and above-median concentration (OR = 0.86; 95% CI = 0.52–1.41) with liver cancer risk. Similar patterns were observed when urinary ITCs levels were categorized into tertiles or quartiles. Although our study firstly focused on the association between urinary ITCs exposure and liver cancer risk, we did not find significant results. Future multicenter prospective, different population studies are warranted to validate our findings.
doi:10.1080/01635581.2014.936953
PMCID: PMC4512210  PMID: 25076394
isothiocyanates; liver neoplasms; urinary biomarkers; nested case-control study
17.  Reducible chimeric polypeptide consisting of octa-d-arginine and tetra-l-histidine peptides as an efficient gene delivery vector 
Cationic oligopeptide as a nonviral gene delivery vector has aroused much research interest recently, but its further application is limited by its low transfection efficiency. In the present study, we have created a high-efficiency gene vector by using octa-d-arginine and tetra-l-histidine to form a disulfide cross-linked chimeric polypeptide and used this vector to deliver the therapeutic gene tumor-necrosis-factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) to see whether the gene could be transferred and could exert antitumor effects in vitro and in vivo. The result showed that the newly designed vector was able to condense DNA into nanosized polyplexes effectively, thus facilitating its transmembrane transport, promoting its endosomal escape, and finally enabling degradation within the cell. Our study has demonstrated that this chimeric polypeptide is an effective gene carrier in cancer therapy.
doi:10.2147/IJN.S83507
PMCID: PMC4516254
reducible polypeptide; disulfide bond; octa-d-arginine; tetra-l-histidine; TRAIL
18.  Disinfection of bacterial biofilms in pilot-scale cooling tower systems 
Biofouling  2011;27(4):393-402.
The impact of continuous chlorination and periodic glutaraldehyde treatment on planktonic and biofilm microbial communities was evaluated in pilot-scale cooling towers operated continuously for 3 months. The system was operated at a flow rate of 10,080 l day−1. Experiments were performed with a well-defined microbial consortium containing three heterotrophic bacteria: Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Flavobacterium sp. The persistence of each species was monitored in the recirculating cooling water loop and in biofilms on steel and PVC coupons in the cooling tower basin. The observed bacterial colonization in cooling towers did not follow trends in growth rates observed under batch conditions and, instead, reflected differences in the ability of each organism to remain attached and form biofilms under the high-through flow conditions in cooling towers. Flavobacterium was the dominant organism in the community, while P. aeruginosa and K. pneumoniae did not attach well to either PVC or steel coupons in cooling towers and were not able to persist in biofilms. As a result, the much greater ability of Flavobacterium to adhere to surfaces protected it from disinfection, whereas P. aeruginosa and K. pneumoniae were subject to rapid disinfection in the planktonic state.
doi:10.1080/08927014.2011.577525
PMCID: PMC4507511  PMID: 21547755
pilot-scale cooling towers; chlorination; glutaraldehyde; disinfection; bacterial biofilms; microbial community
19.  Multi-Seasonal Nitrogen Recoveries from Crop Residue in Soil and Crop in a Temperate Agro-Ecosystem 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0133437.
In conservation tillage systems, at least 30% of the soil surface was covered by crop residues which generally contain significant amounts of nitrogen (N). However, little is known about the multi-seasonal recoveries of the N derived from these crop residues in soil-crop systems, notably in northeastern China. In a temperate agro-ecosystem, 15N-labeled maize residue was applied to field surfaces in the 1st year (2009). From the 2nd to 4th year (2010-2012), one treatment halted the application of maize residue, whereas the soil in the second treatment was re-applied with unlabeled maize residue. Crop and soil samples were collected after each harvest, and their 15N enrichments were determined on an isotope ratio mass spectrometer to trace the allocation of N derived from the initially applied maize residue in the soil-crop systems. On average, 8.4% of the maize residue N was recovered in the soil-crop in the 1st year, and the vast majority (61.9%-91.9%) was recovered during subsequent years. Throughout the experiment, the cumulative recovery of the residue N in the crop increased gradually (18.2%-20.9%), but most of the residue N was retained in the soil, notably in the 0-10 cm soil layer. Compared to the single application, the sequential residue application significantly increased the recovery of the residue N in the soil profile (73.8% vs. 40.9%) and remarkably decreased the total and the initially applied residue derived mineral N along the soil profile. Our results suggested that the residue N was actively involved in N cycling, and its release and recovery in crop and soil profile were controlled by the decomposition process. Sequential residue application significantly enhanced the retention and stabilization of the initially applied residue N in the soil and retarded its translocation along the soil profile.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0133437
PMCID: PMC4507866  PMID: 26192436
20.  COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSES OF DNA REPAIR PATHWAYS, SMOKING, AND BLADDER CANCER RISK IN LOS ANGELES AND SHANGHAI 
Tobacco smoking is a bladder cancer risk factor and a source of carcinogens that induce DNA damage to urothelial cells. Using data and samples from 988 cases and 1,004 controls enrolled in the Los Angeles County Bladder Cancer Study and the Shanghai Bladder Cancer Study we investigated associations between bladder cancer risk and 632 tagSNPs that comprehensively capture genetic variation in 28 DNA repair genes from four DNA repair pathways: base excision repai, nucleotide excision repair (NER), non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ), and homologous recombination repair (HHR). Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for each tagSNP were corrected for multiple testing for all SNPs within each gene using pACT, and for genes within each pathway and across pathways with Bonferroni. Gene and pathway summary estimates were obtained using ARTP. We observed an association between bladder cancer and POLB rs7832529 (BER) (pACT = 0.003; ppathway = 0.021) among all, and SNPs in XPC (NER) and OGG1 (BER) among Chinese men and women, respectively. The NER pathway showed an overall association with risk among Chinese males (ARTP NER p = 0.034). The XRCC6 SNP rs2284082 (NHEJ), also in LD with SREBF2, showed an interaction with smoking (Smoking status interaction pgene = 0.001, ppathway = 0.008, poverall = 0.034). Our findings support a role in bladder carcinogenesis for regions that map close to or within BER (POLB, OGG1) and NER genes (XPC). A SNP that tags both the XRCC6 and SREBF2 genes strongly modifies the association between bladder cancer risk and smoking.
doi:10.1002/ijc.28693
PMCID: PMC4016180  PMID: 24382701
Bladder cancer; smoking; DNA repair; POLB; XRCC6
21.  Nogo-B protects mice against lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:12061.
Nogo-B, a member of the reticulon 4 protein family, plays a critical role in tissue repair and acute inflammation. Its role in acute lung injury (ALI) remains unclear. Here, we assessed the function of Nogo-B during tissue injury in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced ALI mouse model. We found that pulmonary Nogo-B was significantly repressed after LPS instillation in C57BL/6 mice. Over-expression of pulmonary Nogo-B using an adenovirus vector carrying the Nogo-B-RFP-3flag gene (Ad-Nogo-B) significantly prolonged the survival of mice challenged with a lethal dose of LPS. The Ad-Nogo-B-treated mice also had less severe lung injury, less alveolar protein exudation, and a higher number of macrophages but less neutrophil infiltration compared with Ad-RFP-treated mice. Interestingly, microarray analysis showed that the Ad-Nogo-B-treated mice had different gene expression profiles compared with the controls and the prominent expression of genes related to wound healing and the humoral immune response after LPS induction. Of the 49 differently expressed genes, we found that the expression of PTX3 was significantly up-regulated following Nogo-B over-expression as observed in lung tissues and RAW264.7 cells. In conclusion, Nogo-B plays a protective role against LPS-induced ALI, and this effect might be exerted through the modulation of alveolar macrophage recruitment and PTX3 production.
doi:10.1038/srep12061
PMCID: PMC4502524  PMID: 26174362
22.  B7-H3 silencing by RNAi inhibits tumor progression and enhances chemosensitivity in U937 cells 
OncoTargets and therapy  2015;8:1721-1733.
Background
The role of B7-H3 in acute monocytic leukemia U937 cells has not been thoroughly investigated.
Materials and methods
B7-H3 knockdown in the U937 cell line was performed using small hairpin (sh)RNA lentivirus transduction. The effects on cell proliferation, cycle, migration, and invasion were investigated by Cell Counting Kit-8 assay, methyl cellulose colony-forming assay, propidium iodide staining, and Transwell assays in vitro. Changes in cell growth inhibition and apoptosis, when combined with chemotherapy drugs, were determined using the Cell Counting Kit-8 and Annexin V-FITC/PI assays. U937 xenograft models were used to assess the effects of B7-H3 on tumorigenicity and the therapeutic effect of B7-H3 knockdown in combination with chemotherapy drugs in vivo.
Results
Downregulation of B7-H3 significantly decreased U937 cell growth and colony-forming ability. The mean inhibition rate of tumor growth with B7-H3 knockdown was 59.4%, and the expression of both Ki-67 and PCNA in xenografts was significantly reduced. After B7-H3 silencing, the U937 cell cycle was arrested at the G0/G1 phase. The cell migration rate of B7-H3 knockdown cells was reduced more than fivefold, and invasion capacity decreased by 86.7%. B7-H3 RNAi profoundly increased the antitumor effect of chemotherapy in vitro and in vivo. On day 19, inhibition rates of tumor growth in B7-H3 shRNA combined with idarubicin, cytarabine, and idarubicin plus cytarabine were 70.5%, 80.0%, and 90.0%, respectively (P=0.006, P=0.004, and P=0.016, respectively).
Conclusion
B7-H3 may promote U937 cell progression, and shRNA targeting B7-H3 significantly enhances sensitivity to chemotherapeutic drugs. These results may provide new insight into the function of B7-H3 and a promising therapeutic approach targeting B7-H3 in acute monocytic leukemia.
doi:10.2147/OTT.S85272
PMCID: PMC4508088  PMID: 26203263
B7-H3; acute monocytic leukemia; cancer gene therapy; chemosensitivity
23.  Predicting Changes in Macrophyte Community Structure from Functional Traits in a Freshwater Lake: A Test of Maximum Entropy Model 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0131630.
Trait-based approaches have been widely applied to investigate how community dynamics respond to environmental gradients. In this study, we applied a series of maximum entropy (maxent) models incorporating functional traits to unravel the processes governing macrophyte community structure along water depth gradient in a freshwater lake. We sampled 42 plots and 1513 individual plants, and measured 16 functional traits and abundance of 17 macrophyte species. Study results showed that maxent model can be highly robust (99.8%) in predicting the species relative abundance of macrophytes with observed community-weighted mean (CWM) traits as the constraints, while relative low (about 30%) with CWM traits fitted from water depth gradient as the constraints. The measured traits showed notably distinct importance in predicting species abundances, with lowest for perennial growth form and highest for leaf dry mass content. For tuber and leaf nitrogen content, there were significant shifts in their effects on species relative abundance from positive in shallow water to negative in deep water. This result suggests that macrophyte species with tuber organ and greater leaf nitrogen content would become more abundant in shallow water, but would become less abundant in deep water. Our study highlights how functional traits distributed across gradients provide a robust path towards predictive community ecology.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0131630
PMCID: PMC4500458  PMID: 26167856
24.  Genome-scale long noncoding RNA expression pattern in squamous cell lung cancer 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:11671.
In this study, we aimed to explore the long noncoding RNA expression pattern in squamous cell lung cancer (SQCC) on a genome-wide scale. Total RNAs were extracted from 16 lung SQCC patients’ normal and matched lung cancer tissues by Trizol reagent. The expression level of genome-wide scale lncRNA and mRNA was determined by microarray. qRT-PCR was used to validate the lncRNA expression level in 47 patients. Data analyses were performed using R and Bioconductor. A total of 2,748 up and 852 down regulated probes were identified to be significantly and differentially expressed in tumor tissues. The annotation result of their co-expressed mRNAs showed that the most significantly related category of GO analysis was development and differentiation, while the most significantly related pathway was cell cycle. Subgroup analysis identified that 46 and 18 probes were specifically differentially expressed in smoking and moderately differentiated tumors, respectively. Our study indicated that clusters of lncRNAs were significantly and differentially expressed in SQCC compared with normal tissues in the same subject. They may exert a significant role in lung cancer development and could be potential targets for future treatment of SQCC.
doi:10.1038/srep11671
PMCID: PMC4498179  PMID: 26159226
25.  Association of three 8q24 polymorphisms with prostate cancer susceptibility: evidence from a meta-analysis with 50,854 subjects 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:12069.
The 8q24 polymorphisms have been implicated in various cancers. Three 8q24 polymorphisms (rs1447295 C>A, rs16901979 C>A, and rs6983267 T>G) have been extensively investigated for their association with prostate cancer (PCa) susceptibility, yet conclusions are contradictory. We conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis to reevaluate the associations between those polymorphisms and PCa susceptibility, according to the latest meta-analysis guidelines (PRISMA). Eligible publications were searched from MEDLINE, EMBASE and CBM. False positive report possibility analysis was performed. We totally collected 20184 cases and 20439 controls from 20 studies for the rs1447295 C>A, 1850 cases and 2090 controls from 7 studies for the rs16901979 C>A, and 12233 cases and 7582 controls from 17 studies for the rs6983267 T>G. Overall, each of studied 8q24 polymorphisms was significantly associated with PCa risk individually. Significant associations were also observed in stratified analysis by ethnicity, source of control, and quality score. Interestingly, the effect of rs1447295 on PCa risk was observed among Caucasians and Asians, but not Africa-Americans. The effect of rs16901979 was more prominent among Africa-Americans than Asians. Likewise, rs6983267 conferred a higher Pca risk among Caucasians than Asians. Collectively, these 8q24 variant(s) may modulate PCa risk in an ethnic-specific manner.
doi:10.1038/srep12069
PMCID: PMC4498192  PMID: 26159557

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