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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC2691498  PMID: 19496197
Complication; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Metastatic liver tumor; Radiofrequency ablation; Liver failure
7.  Concurrent TMS to the primary motor cortex augments slow motor learning 
NeuroImage  2013;85(0 3):971-984.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has shown promise as a treatment tool, with one FDA approved use. While TMS alone is able to up- (or down-) regulate a targeted neural system, we argue that TMS applied as an adjuvant is more effective for repetitive physical, behavioral and cognitive therapies, that is, therapies which are designed to alter the network properties of neural systems through Hebbian learning. We tested this hypothesis in the context of a slow motor learning paradigm. Healthy right-handed individuals were assigned to receive 5 Hz TMS (TMS group) or sham TMS (sham group) to the right primary motor cortex (M1) as they performed daily motor practice of a digit sequence task with their non-dominant hand for 4 weeks. Resting cerebral blood flow (CBF) was measured by H215O PET at baseline and after 4 weeks of practice. Sequence performance was measured daily as the number of correct sequences performed, and modeled using a hyperbolic function. Sequence performance increased significantly at 4 weeks relative to baseline in both groups. The TMS group had a significant additional improvement in performance, specifically, in the rate of skill acquisition. In both groups, an improvement in sequence timing and transfer of skills to non-trained motor domains was also found. Compared to the sham group, the TMS group demonstrated increases in resting CBF specifically in regions known to mediate skill learning namely, the M1, cingulate cortex, putamen, hippocampus, and cerebellum. These results indicate that TMS applied concomitantly augments behavioral effects of motor practice, with corresponding neural plasticity in motor sequence learning network. These findings are the first demonstration of the behavioral and neural enhancing effects of TMS on slow motor practice and have direct application in neurorehabilitation where TMS could be applied in conjunction with physical therapy.
PMCID: PMC4331120  PMID: 23867557
TMS; Primary motor cortex; Motor learning; Digit sequence practice; Hebbian learning; Hyperbolic function; Motor system; Skill transfer; Motor learning network
8.  When drug discovery meets web search: Learning to Rank for ligand-based virtual screening 
The rapid increase in the emergence of novel chemical substances presents a substantial demands for more sophisticated computational methodologies for drug discovery. In this study, the idea of Learning to Rank in web search was presented in drug virtual screening, which has the following unique capabilities of 1). Applicable of identifying compounds on novel targets when there is not enough training data available for these targets, and 2). Integration of heterogeneous data when compound affinities are measured in different platforms.
A standard pipeline was designed to carry out Learning to Rank in virtual screening. Six Learning to Rank algorithms were investigated based on two public datasets collected from Binding Database and the newly-published Community Structure-Activity Resource benchmark dataset. The results have demonstrated that Learning to rank is an efficient computational strategy for drug virtual screening, particularly due to its novel use in cross-target virtual screening and heterogeneous data integration.
To the best of our knowledge, we have introduced here the first application of Learning to Rank in virtual screening. The experiment workflow and algorithm assessment designed in this study will provide a standard protocol for other similar studies. All the datasets as well as the implementations of Learning to Rank algorithms are available at
Graphical AbstractThe analogy between web search and ligand-based drug discovery
PMCID: PMC4333300
Learning to Rank; Virtual screening; Drug discovery; Data integration
9.  New Reactions and Products Resulting from Alternative Interactions between the P450 Enzyme and Redox Partners 
Cytochrome P450 enzymes are capable of catalyzing a great variety of synthetically useful reactions such as selective C–H functionalization. Surrogate redox partners are widely used for reconstitution of P450 activity based on the assumption that the choice of these auxiliary proteins or their mode of action does not affect the type and selectivity of reactions catalyzed by P450s. Herein, we present an exceptional example to challenge this postulate. MycG, a multifunctional biosynthetic P450 monooxygenase responsible for hydroxylation and epoxidation of 16-membered ring macrolide mycinamicins, is shown to catalyze the unnatural N-demethylation(s) of a range of mycinamicin substrates when partnered with the free Rhodococcus reductase domain RhFRED or the engineered Rhodococcus-spinach hybrid reductase RhFRED-Fdx. By contrast, MycG fused with the RhFRED or RhFRED-Fdx reductase domain mediates only physiological oxidations. This finding highlights the larger potential role of variant redox partner protein–protein interactions in modulating the catalytic activity of P450 enzymes.
PMCID: PMC3985502  PMID: 24521145
10.  The iatrogenic injury of double vena cava due to misdiagnosis during the radical nephroureterectomy and cystectomy 
Double inferior vena cava (d-IVC) is a subtype of vascular anomaly that rarely needs treatment. Here, we present a rare case of d-IVC accompanied with concurrent renal pelvis and bladder carcinoma. Due to misdiagnosis, the anomalous left inferior vena cava (IVC) entering the left renal vein was mistaken as the gonadal vein and was then severed during the radical nephroureterectomy. Fortunately, the injured left IVC was recognized correctly during the following cystectomy. The vascular reconstruction operation was performed to recanalize the left iliac veins by anastomosing the ligated vascular stump to the right IVC in an ‘end-to-side’ way. During the hospitalization, the patient was treated with ‘low molecular weight heparin’ and then warfarin to ensure an ideal international normalized ratio. He recovered well from the surgery. A meticulous and comprehensive analysis of radiographic imaging is critical to avoid misdiagnosis of d-IVC.
PMCID: PMC4333245
Double inferior vena cava; Vascular reconstruction; Iatrogenic injury; Misdiagnosis; Anastomosis
11.  Risk factors for wound complications of closed calcaneal fractures after surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
To better clinical outcomes, open reduction and internal fixations (ORIFs) have been commonly performed in the case of closed displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures (CDICFs). Nonetheless, postoperative wound complications remain a significant problem. Therefore, the aim of our study is to summarise relevant evidence investigating the risk factors for postoperative wound complications of CDICFs following ORIFs.
A meta-analysis was conducted on relevant clinical studies to identify the risk factors for wound complications of CDICFs after ORIFs. Electronic databases were searched for all relevant studies up to October 2014. The Newcastle-Ottawa scale was used to evaluate the methodological quality, and study-specific odds ratios (ORs) were pooled using the fixed-effects model or random-effects model. Sensitivity analysis and meta-regression analysis was performed to evaluate the heterogeneity.
Ten observational studies involving 1559 patients with 1651 fractures were included in this meta-analysis. The results showed that diabetes (OR, 9.76; p < 0.01), no drainage (OR, 5.86; p < 0.01), fracture severity (OR, 3.31; p < 0.01) and bone graft (OR, 1.74; p < 0.01) were the risk factors for wound complications of CDICFs after ORIFs. A trend of more wound complications in patients with a history of smoking was detected. However, female patients, ORIFs performed within 14 days of injury, smoking, hypertension and drinking did not significantly increase the risk of wound complications (p > 0.05).
Based on available relevant evidence, bone graft, diabetes, no drainage and fracture severity were all associated with an increased risk of wound complications after ORIF for CDICFs.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13049-015-0092-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4324403
Calcaneus; Fracture; Complications; ORIF
12.  The efficacy of electroacupuncture for the treatment of simple female stress urinary incontinence - comparison with pelvic floor muscle training: study protocol for a multicenter randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2015;16:45.
Previous research has shown that electroacupuncture therapy has a potential therapeutic effect for simple female stress urinary incontinence. In this study, pelvic floor muscle training, the first-line treatment for stress urinary incontinence in women based on meta-analysis of numerous randomized control trials and recommended by international clinical practice, is used as a control group to demonstrate whether electroacupuncture therapy is a better method for female stress urinary incontinence.
A randomized controlled trial has been designed to evaluate the therapeutic benefit of electroacupuncture for female stress urinary incontinence compared with pelvic floor muscle training. The safety of electroacupuncture and patient compliance will also be evaluated. Untoward reaction to the electroacupuncture, including a broken needle, fainting on acupuncture, or pain during acupuncture, will be recorded and the therapy will be stopped if an untoward reaction occurs. After we have received full ethical approval and patient consent, participants will be randomized to receive a series of 24 electroacupuncture or pelvic floor muscle training interventions. The frequency and amount of leakage will be measured as the primary outcome parameters. Secondary outcome parameters include the 1-hour pad test, the short-form of the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire, patient subjective effectiveness evaluation, weekly usage of pad, and usage of specialty therapy for female stress urinary incontinence.
This trial will help to determine whether electroacupuncture is a more effective treatment than pelvic floor muscle training for patients with female stress urinary incontinence.
Trial registration NCT01940432 (12 September 2013).
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13063-015-0560-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4336724
Electroacupuncture; Female stress urinary incontinence; Pelvic floor muscle training
13.  Re-evaluation of ABO gene polymorphisms detected in a genome-wide association study and risk of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma in a Chinese population 
Chinese journal of cancer  2013;33(2):68-73.
Pancreatic cancer is a fatal malignancy with an increasing incidence in Shanghai, China. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) and other work have shown that ABO alleles are associated with pancreatic cancer risk. We conducted a population-based case-control study involving 256 patients with pathologically confirmed pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and 548 healthy controls in Shanghai, China, to assess the relationships between GWAS-identified ABO alleles and risk of PDAC. Carriers of the C allele of rs505922 had an increased cancer risk [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.42, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02–1.98] compared to TT carriers. The T alleles of rs495828 and rs657152 were also significantly associated with an elevated cancer risk (adjusted OR = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.17–2.14; OR = 1.51, 95% CI: 1.09–2.10). The rs630014 variant was not associated with risk. We did not find any significant gene-environment interactions with cancer risk using a multifactor dimensionality reduction (MDR) method. Haplotype analysis also showed that the haplotype CTTC was associated with an increased risk of PDAC (adjusted OR = 1.46, 95% CI: 1.12–1.91) compared with haplotype TGGT. GWAS-identified ABO variants are thus also associated with risk of PDAC in the Chinese population.
PMCID: PMC3884064  PMID: 23816557
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; ABO gene; genome-wide association study; genetic variation; haplotype
14.  Three-column osteotomy surgery versus standard surgical management for the correction of adult spinal deformity: a cohort study 
The aim of this study was to analyze and compare the surgical data, clinical outcomes, and complications between three-column osteotomy (3-COS) and standard surgical management (SSM) for the treatment of adult spine deformity (ASD).
A total of 112 patients who underwent consecutive 3-COS (n = 48) and SSM (n = 64) procedures for ASD correction at a single institution from 2001 to 2011 were reviewed in this study. The outcomes were assessed using the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)-22 scores. The complications of patients with 3-COS and SSM were also compared.
No significant differences were found in patient characteristics between SSM and 3-COS groups. Surgical data and radiographic parameters showed that the patients of the 3-COS group suffered more severe ASD than those of the SSM group. The distribution of surgical complications revealed that SSM group underwent more complications than 3-COS groups with no significant differences. At final follow-up, the total SRS-22 score of SSM was not significant between pre-operation and post-operation. However, the total SRS-22 score of 3-COS at final follow-up was significantly higher than pre-operation.
For severe ASD patients with high grade pelvic incidence (PI), pelvic tilt (PT), and PI/lumbar lordosis (LL) mismatch and who have subjected to spine surgeries more than twice before, 3-COS might be more effective than SSM in improving the clinical outcomes. However, due to the higher reoperation rate of 3-COS, SSM may be more appropriate than SSM for correcting the not serious ASD patients.
PMCID: PMC4333161  PMID: 25645680
Standard surgical management; Three-column osteotomy; Adult spinal deformity
15.  The G Allele of CaSR R990G Polymorphism Increases Susceptibility to Urolithiasis and Hypercalciuria: Evidences from a Comprehensive Meta-Analysis 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:958207.
Background. The calcium-sensing receptor gene (CaSR) is a candidate to explain urolithiasis. A number of case-control studies were conducted to investigate associations between CaSR polymorphisms with risks of hypercalciuria and urolithiasis in humans. But the results were still inconsistent. Methods. A meta-analysis was performed to address this issue. Crude odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to estimate the strength of associations between CaSR polymorphisms and the risk of urolithiasis. The pooled standardized mean difference (SMD) with 95% CI was used for the meta-analysis of CaSR polymorphisms and urine calcium concentration. Results. For urolithiasis association, the SS genotype of A986S polymorphism was a risk factor for urolithiasis in Asians and PHPT patients, but a protective factor in Caucasians. The GG genotype of R990 polymorphism was associated with an increased risk of urolithiasis, especially in Caucasians and healthy population. Regarding urine calcium concentration association, individuals with the G allele had a higher level of urine calcium than the noncarriers. Conclusions. This meta-analysis revealed that the G allele of CaSR R990G polymorphism increases susceptibility to urolithiasis and hypercalciuria. The A986S and Q1011E polymorphisms were associated with urolithiasis and hypercalciuria in specific populations.
PMCID: PMC4331470
16.  Auxiliary proteins promote modal gating of AMPA- and kainate-type glutamate receptors 
The European journal of neuroscience  2014;39(7):1138-1147.
The gating behavior of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) and kainate receptors is modulated by association with the auxiliary proteins: transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) and neuropilin tolloid-like (Netos), respectively. Although the mechanisms underlying receptor modulation differ for both AMPA and kainate receptors, association with these auxiliary subunits results in the appearance of a slow component in the decay of ensemble responses to rapid applications of saturating concentrations of glutamate. We show here that these components arise from distinct gating behaviors, characterized by substantially higher open probability (Popen), which we only observe when core subunits are associated with their respective auxiliary partners. We refer to these behaviors as gating modes, because individual receptors switch between the low- and high-Popen gating on a time-scale of seconds. At any given time, association of AMPA and kainate receptors with their auxiliary subunits results in a heterogeneous receptor population, some of which are in the high-Popen mode and others that display gating behavior similar to that seen for receptors formed from core subunits alone. While the switching between modes is infre quent, the presence of receptors displaying both types of gating has a large impact on both the kinetics and amplitude of ensem ble currents similar to those seen at synapses.
PMCID: PMC4311398  PMID: 24712993
glutamate; kinetics; modulation; Neto2; TARPs
17.  Epigenetic Regulation of Elf5 Is Associated with Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Urothelial Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0117510.
E74-like factor 5 (Elf5) has been associated with tumor suppression in breast cancer. However, its role in urothelial cancer (UC) is completely unknown. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) and methylation specific PCR (MSP) were done to detect Elf5 expression level and its promoter methylation. Results revealed that low expression of Elf5 on protein and mRNA levels were associated with tumor progression, early relapse and poor survival. In vitro, down-regulation of Elf5 can increase epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Aberrant Elf5 methylation was identified as major mechanism for Elf5 gene silence. Accordingly, restoration of Elf5 by infection or demethylating treatment effectively reversed EMT processes. In conclusion, we identified Elf5 as a novel biomarker of UC on several biological levels and established a causative link between Elf5 and EMT in UC.
PMCID: PMC4309403  PMID: 25629735
18.  A Multicenter, Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing the Three-Weekly Docetaxel Regimen plus Prednisone versus Mitoxantone plus Prednisone for Chinese Patients with Metastatic Castration Refractory Prostate Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0117002.
To explore the feasibility and efficacy of docetaxel plus prednisone for Chinese population with metastatic castration refractory prostate cancer (mCRPC).
Patients and methods
A total of 228 patients recruited from 15 centers were randomized to receive 10 cycles of D3P arm (docetaxel: 75 mg/m2, intravenous infusion, every three weeks; Prednisone 10mg orally given daily) or M3P arm (mitoxantrone: 12 mg/m2, intravenous infusion, every three weeks; Prednisone 10mg orally given daily). Primary end point was overall survival, and secondary end points were events progression-free survival (PFS), response rate, response duration. Quality of life (QoL) was also assessed in both treatment groups.
The median overall survival was 21.88 months in D3P arm and 13.67 months in M3P arm (P = 0.0011, hazard ratio = 0.63, 95% confidence interval, 0.46–0.86). Subgroup analysis was consistent with the results of overall analysis. Events progression-free survival (pain, PSA, tumor and disease) were significantly improved in D3P arm compared with M3P arm. PSA response rate was 35.11% for patients treated by D3P arm and 19.39% for M3P arm (P = 0.0155). Pain response rate was higher in D3P arm (61.11%, P = 0.0011) than in M3P (23.08%) arm. No statistical differences were found between D3P arm and M3P arm for QoL, tumor response rate and response duration of PSA and pain. The tolerability and overall safety of D3P arm were generally comparable to that of M3P arm.
Compared with M3P arm, D3P arm significantly prolonged overall survival for the Chinese patients with mCRPC and improved the response rate for PSA and pain.
Trial Registration NCT00436839
PMCID: PMC4307981  PMID: 25625938
19.  Nonuniform gene expression pattern detected along the longitudinal axis in the matured rice leaf 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8015.
Rice (Oryza sativa) is a staple crop that supports half the world's population and an important monocot model system. Monocot leaf matures in a basipetal manner, and has a well-defined developmental gradient along the longitudinal axis. However, little is known about its transcriptional dynamics after leaf maturation. In this study, we have reconstructed a high spatial resolution transcriptome for the matured rice leaf by sectioning the leaf into seven 3-cm fragments. We have performed strand-specific Illumina sequencing to generate gene expression profiles for each fragment. We found that the matured leaf contains a longitudinal gene expression gradient, with 6.97% (2,603) of the expressed genes showing differentially expression along the seven sections. The leaf transcriptome showed a gradual transition from accumulating transcripts related to primary cell wall and basic cellular metabolism at the base to those involved in photosynthesis and energy production in the middle, and catabolic metabolism process toward the tip.
PMCID: PMC4306128  PMID: 25619793
20.  Identification of the binding site of an allosteric ligand using STD-NMR, docking, and CORCEMA-ST calculations 
ChemMedChem  2013;10.1002/cmdc.201300267.
PMCID: PMC4213317  PMID: 23894090
allosteric; kinesin Eg5; STD-NMR; CORCEMA-ST; drug discovery
21.  Effects of whole cigarette smoke on human beta defensins expression and secretion by oral mucosal epithelial cells 
Tobacco Induced Diseases  2015;13(1):3.
Cigarette smoke a recognized risk factor for many systemic diseases and also oral diseases. Human beta defensins (HBDs), a group of important antimicrobial peptides expressed by the epithelium, are crucial for local defense and tissue homeostasis of oral cavity. The aim of this study was to evaluate potential effects of whole cigarette smoke (WCS) exposure on the expression and secretion of HBDs by oral mucosal epithelial cells.
Immortalized human oral mucosal epithelial (Leuk-1) cells were exposed to WCS for various time periods. HBD-1, -2 and -3 expression and subcellular localization were detected by real time qPCR, immunofluorescence assay and confocal microscopy. According to the relative fluorescent intensity, the expression levels of HBD-1, -2 and -3 were evaluated by digital image analysis system. The alteration of HBD-1, -2 and -3 secretion levels was measured by the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay.
WCS exposure remarkably attenuated HBD-1 expression and secretion while clearly enhanced HBD-2, -3 expression levels and HBD-2 secretion by Leuk-l cells. It appeared that there was no significant effect of WCS exposure on HBD-3 secretion.
WCS exposure could modulate expression and secretion of HBDs by oral mucosal epithelial cells, establishing a link between cigarette smoke and abnormal levels of antimicrobial peptides. The present results may give a new perspective to investigate smoking-related local defense suppression and oral disease occurrence.
PMCID: PMC4310021  PMID: 25635179
Whole cigarette smoke; Human β defensin; Oral mucosa
22.  Aberrant spontaneous low-frequency brain activity in male patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea revealed by resting-state functional MRI 
The majority of previous neuroimaging studies have demonstrated both structural and functional abnormalities in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, few studies have focused on the regional intensity of spontaneous fluctuations during the resting state and the relationship between the abnormal properties and the behavioral performances. In the present study, we employed the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) method to explore the local features of spontaneous brain activity in OSA patients (OSAs).
Twenty-five untreated male severe OSAs and 25 age-matched and years-of-education-matched male good sleepers (GSs) were included in this study. The ALFF method was used to assess the local features of spontaneous brain activity. The mean signal values of the altered ALFF areas were analyzed with receiver operating characteristic curve. Partial correlation analysis was used to explore the relationship between the observed mean ALFF values of the different areas and the behavioral performances.
Compared with GSs, OSAs had significantly higher scores for body mass index, apnea–hypopnea index, arterial oxygen saturation <90%, arousal index, and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) score; furthermore, OSAs had significantly lower scores for rapid eye movement sleep and in the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Compared with GSs, OSAs showed significant lower-ALFF areas in the cluster of the right precuneus and bilateral posterior cingulate gyrus, as well as a higher-ALFF area in the left inferior frontal gyrus. The area under the curve values of the lower- and higher-ALFF areas were 0.90 and 0.93, respectively. Further diagnostic analysis exhibited that the sensibility and specificity of the two clusters were 80% and 92%, respectively. The mean signal value of the lower-ALFF cluster displayed significant positive correlations with lowest oxygen saturation (r=0.447, P=0.025) and MoCA score (r =0.405, P=0.045).
OSAs may involve in a dysfunction in the default mode network and an adaptive compensatory response in the frontal lobe, which reflect the underlying pathophysiology of cognitive impairment.
PMCID: PMC4311758  PMID: 25653530
obstructive sleep apnea; amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation; functional magnetic resonance imaging; resting state; spontaneous activity; blood oxygen-level-dependent
23.  A medical costs study of older patients with acute myocardial infarction and metabolic syndrome in hospital 
Older patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) usually have a poor prognosis, but whether this poor prognosis leads to high hospital costs remains unclear. This study investigated the clinical outcomes of and costs incurred by older patients with AMI and metabolic syndrome (MS) in hospital.
Methods and results
Patients with AMI seen at Qilu Hospital of Shandong University between January 2011 and May 2013 were separated into four groups: young non-MS patients (n=282), older non-MS patients (n=324), young MS patients (n=217), and older MS patients (n=174). We found that advanced age was significantly associated with worse clinical outcomes, and that the clinical outcomes in patients with AMI and MS are also worsened. At the same cost (RMB¥10,000), older patients with and without MS had a markedly increased number of cardiovascular incidences compared with younger patients without MS. In a comparison of the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of percutaneous coronary intervention, older patients without MS had a lower ICER for cardiovascular incidences and a higher ICER for cardiac event-free survival rate when compared with young patients without MS, but a lower ICER for cardiovascular incidences and a higher ICER for cardiac event-free survival rate when compared with older MS patients.
Older AMI patients have poor clinical outcomes and their treatment is not cost-effective; however, the results are worse in patients with AMI and MS. Percutaneous coronary intervention is a cost-effective therapy in older patients with AMI, but its cost-effectiveness decreases in patients with AMI and MS.
PMCID: PMC4315548
metabolic syndrome; aging; vascular; acute myocardial infarction; cost-effectiveness
24.  Correction of Depth-Dependent Aberrations in 3D Single Molecule Localization and Super-resolution Microscopy 
Optics letters  2014;39(2):275-278.
Single molecule switching based super-resolution microscopy techniques have been extended into three dimensions through various 3D single molecule localization methods. However, the localization accuracy in z can be severely degraded by the presence of aberrations, particularly the spherical aberration introduced by the refractive-index-mismatch when imaging into an aqueous sample with an oil immersion objective. This aberration confines the imaging depth in most experiments to regions close to the coverslip. Here, we show a method to obtain accurate, depth dependent z calibrations by measuring the point spread function (PSF) at the coverslip surface, calculating the microscope pupil function through phase retrieval, and then computing the depth dependent PSF with the addition of spherical aberrations. We demonstrate experimentally that this method can maintain z localization accuracy over a large range of imaging depths. Our super-resolution images of a mammalian cell nucleus acquired between 0 and 2.5 μm past the coverslip show that this method produces accurate z localizations even in the deepest focal plane.
PMCID: PMC4030053  PMID: 24562125
25.  High Antimicrobial Effectiveness with Low Hemolytic and Cytotoxic Activity for PEG/Quaternary Copolyoxetanes 
Biomacromolecules  2014;15(2):456-467.
The alkyl chain length of quaternary ammonium/PEG copolyoxetanes has been varied to discern effects on solution antimicrobial efficacy, hemolytic activity and cytotoxicity. Monomers 3-((4-bromobutoxy)methyl)-3-methyloxetane (BBOx) and 3-((2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethoxy)methyl)-3-methyloxetane (ME2Ox) were used to prepare precursor P[(BBOx)(ME2Ox)-50:50–4 kDa] copolyoxetane via cationic ring opening polymerization. The 1:1 copolymer composition and Mn (4 kDa) were confirmed by 1H NMR spectroscopy. After C–Br substitution by a series of tertiary amines, ionic liquid Cx-50 copolyoxetanes were obtained, where 50 is the mole percent of quaternary repeat units and “x” is quaternary alkyl chain length (2, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, or 16 carbons). Modulated differential scanning calorimetry (MDSC) studies showed Tgs between −40 and −60 °C and melting endotherms for C14–50 and C16–50. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) were determined for Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. A systematic dependence of MIC on alkyl chain length was found. The most effective antimicrobials were in the C6–50 to C12–50 range. C8–50 had better overall performance with MICs of 4 μg/mL, E. coli; 2 μg/mL, S. aureus; and 24 μg/mL, P. aeruginosa. At 5 × MIC, C8–50 effected >99% kill in 1 h against S. aureus, E. coli, and P. aeruginosa challenges of 108 cfu/mL; log reductions (1 h) were 7, 3, and 5, respectively. To provide additional insight into polycation interactions with bacterial membranes, a geometric model based on the dimensions of E. coli is described that provides an estimate of the maximum number of polycations that can chemisorb. Chain dimensions were estimated for polycation C8–50 with a molecular weight of 5 kDa. Considering the approximations for polycation chemisorption (PCC), it is surprising that a calculation based on geometric considerations gives a C8–50 concentration within a factor of 2 of the MIC, 4.0 (±1.2) μg/mL for E. coli. Cx-50 copolyoxetane cytotoxicity was low for human red blood cells, human dermal fibroblasts (HDF), and human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF). Selectivities for bacterial kill over cell lysis were among the highest ever reported for polycations indicating good prospects for biocompatibility.
PMCID: PMC3998775  PMID: 24422429

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