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1.  Small Kinetochore Associated Protein (SKAP) Promotes UV-Induced Cell Apoptosis through Negatively Regulating Pre-mRNA Processing Factor 19 (Prp19) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e92712.
Apoptosis is a regulated cellular suicide program that is critical for the development and maintenance of healthy tissues. Previous studies have shown that small kinetochore associated protein (SKAP) cooperates with kinetochore and mitotic spindle proteins to regulate mitosis. However, the role of SKAP in apoptosis has not been investigated. We have identified a new interaction involving SKAP, and we propose a mechanism through which SKAP regulates cell apoptosis. Our experiments demonstrate that both overexpression and knockdown of SKAP sensitize cells to UV-induced apoptosis. Further study has revealed that SKAP interacts with Pre-mRNA processing Factor 19 (Prp19). We find that UV-induced apoptosis can be inhibited by ectopic expression of Prp19, whereas silencing Prp19 has the opposite effect. Additionally, SKAP negatively regulates the protein levels of Prp19, whereas Prp19 does not alter SKAP expression. Finally, rescue experiments demonstrate that the pro-apoptotic role of SKAP is executed through Prp19. Taken together, these findings suggest that SKAP promotes UV-induced cell apoptosis by negatively regulating the anti-apoptotic protein Prp19.
PMCID: PMC3981699  PMID: 24718257
2.  Reduced Intensity Conditioning, Combined Transplantation of Haploidentical Hematopoietic Stem Cells and Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Patients with Severe Aplastic Anemia 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e89666.
We examined if transplantation of combined haploidentical hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) affected graft failure and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in patients with severe aplastic anemia (SAA). Patients with SAA-I (N = 17) received haploidentical HSCT plus MSC infusion. Stem cell grafts used a combination of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)-primed bone marrow and G-CSF-mobilized peripheral blood stem cells of haploidentical donors and the culture-expanded third-party donor-derived umbilical cord MSCs (UC-MSCs), respectively. Reduced intensity conditioning consisted of fludarabine (30 mg/m2·d)+cyclosphamide (500 mg/m2·d)+anti-human thymocyte IgG. Transplant recipients also received cyclosporin A, mycophenolatemofetil, and CD25 monoclonal antibody. A total of 16 patients achieved hematopoietic reconstitution. The median mononuclear cell and CD34 count was 9.3×108/kg and 4.5×106/kg. Median time to ANC was >0.5×109/L and PLT count >20×109/L were 12 and 14 days, respectively. Grade III-IV acute GVHD was seen in 23.5% of the cases, while moderate and severe chronic GVHD were seen in 14.2% of the cases. The 3-month and 6-month survival rates for all patients were 88.2% and 76.5%, respectively; mean survival time was 56.5 months. Combined transplantation of haploidentical HSCs and MSCs on SAA without an HLA-identical sibling donor was safe, effectively reduced the incidence of severe GVHD, and improved patient survival.
PMCID: PMC3940616  PMID: 24594618
3.  Genetic variant in SWI/SNF complexes influences hepatocellular carcinoma risk: a new clue for the contribution of chromatin remodeling in carcinogenesis 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4147.
Chromatin remodeling has been newly established as an important cancer genome characterization and recent exome and whole-genome sequencing studies of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) showed that recurrent inactivating mutations in SWI/SNF subunits involved in the molecular basis of hepatocarcinogenesis. To test the hypothesis that genetic variants in the key subunits of SWI/SNF complexes may contribute to HCC susceptibility, we systematically assessed associations of genetic variants in SWI/SNF complexes with HCC risk using a two-staged case-control study in Chinese population. A set of 24 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in SWI/SNF complexes were examined in stage 1 with 502 HCC patients and 487 controls and three promising SNPs (SMARCA4 rs11879293, rs2072382 and SMARCB1 rs2267032) were further genotyped in stage 2 comprising 501 cases and 545 controls for validation. SMARCA4 rs11879293 presented consistently significant associations with the risk of HCC at both stages, with an OR of 0.73 (95% CI: 0.62–0.87) using additive model in combined analysis. Moreover, the decreased risk of HCC associated with SMARCA4 rs11879293 AG/AA was more evident among HBsAg positive individuals (OR = 0.47, 95% CI: 0.27–0.80) in combined analysis. The study highlighted the potential role of the SWI/SNF complexes in conferring susceptibility to HCC, especially modified HCC risk by HBV infection.
PMCID: PMC3930892  PMID: 24556940
4.  Recent advances in the ARID family: focusing on roles in human cancer 
OncoTargets and therapy  2014;7:315-324.
The human AT-rich interaction domain (ARID) family contains seven subfamilies and 15 members characterized by having an ARID. Members of the ARID family have the ability to regulate transcription and are involved in cell differentiation and proliferation. Accumulating evidence suggests that ARID family members are involved in cancer-related signaling pathways, highly mutated or differentially expressed in tumor tissues, and act as predictive factors for cancer prognosis or therapeutic outcome. Here we review the molecular biology and clinical studies concerned with the role played by the ARID family in cancer. This may contribute to our understanding of the initiation and progression of cancer from a novel point of view, as well as providing potential targets for cancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC3933769  PMID: 24570593
AT-rich interaction domain; human cancer; cancer-related signaling pathway; therapy; potential targets
5.  Weak Power Frequency Magnetic Field Acting Similarly to EGF Stimulation, Induces Acute Activations of the EGFR Sensitive Actin Cytoskeleton Motility in Human Amniotic Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e87626.
In this article, we have examined the motility-related effects of weak power frequency magnetic fields (MFs) on the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-sensitive motility mechanism, including the F-actin cytoskeleton, growth of invasive protrusions and the levels of signal molecules in human amniotic epithelial (FL) cells. Without extracellular EGF stimulation, the field stimulated a large growth of new protrusions, especially filopodia and lamellipodia, an increased population of vinculin-associated focal adhesions. And, an obvious reduction of stress fiber content in cell centers was found, corresponding to larger cell surface areas and decreased efficiency of actin assembly of FL cells in vitro, which was associated with a decrease in overall F-actin content and special distributions. These effects were also associated with changes in protein content or distribution patterns of the EGFR downstream motility-related signaling molecules. All of these effects are similar to those following epidermal growth factor (EGF) stimulation of the cells and are time dependent. These results suggest that power frequency MF exposure acutely affects the migration/motility-related actin cytoskeleton reorganization that is regulated by the EGFR-cytoskeleton signaling pathway. Therefore, upon the MF exposure, cells are likely altered to be ready to transfer into a state of migration in response to the stimuli.
PMCID: PMC3914819  PMID: 24505297
6.  MicroRNA-10a Is Down-Regulated by DNA Methylation and Functions as a Tumor Suppressor in Gastric Cancer Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e88057.
MicroRNAs act as posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression in many biological processes. Their deregulations occur commonly in gastric cancer (GC). Although DNA methylation constitutes an important mechanism for microRNA deregulation in cancer, this field largely remains unexplored.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Total RNA was extracted from the tissues of 100 patients with GC and four gastric cancer cell lines. The expression levels of miR-10a were determined by real-time PCR with specific TaqMan probes. Moreover, a functional analysis of miR-10a in regulating cell proliferation, migration and invasion was performed. Subsequently, quantitative methylation-specific PCR (qMSP) was used to detect the DNA methylation status in the CpG islands upstream of miR-10a. In this study, we found that the expression of miR-10a in GC cells was lower than that in normal cells, which was due to the hypermethylation of the CpG islands upstream of miR-10a. We also validated the slightly lower expression of miR-10a in GC tissues than their adjacent non-neoplastic tissues in 100 GC patients and confirmed the hypermethylation of CpG islands upstream of miR-10a in some patients. Furthermore, re-introduction of miR-10a into GC cells was able to inhibit cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Bioinformatic and immunoblot analysis indicated that the tumor suppressor roles of miR-10a in GC cells were possibly through targeting HOXA1.
Our data indicate that miR-10a acts as a tumor suppressor in GC cells and is partially silenced by DNA hypermethylation in GC, suggesting that miR-10a may serve as a potential diagnostic or therapeutic target of GC.
PMCID: PMC3909310  PMID: 24498243
7.  Correction: Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition at Two Sites in an Arid Environment of Central Asia 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):10.1371/annotation/9f5d3b10-1021-4d7d-8bad-26e9b513176b.
PMCID: PMC3888444
8.  Differential expression and regulation of prohibitin during curcumin-induced apoptosis of immortalized human epidermal HaCaT cells 
Prohibitin (PHB), also known as inhibin, is important in cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. This protein localizes to the inner membrane of mitochondria, where it acts as a chaperone protein, and is also found in the nucleus, where it negatively regulates transcription. The tumor-suppressive role of PHB in cell proliferation appears to be contradictory. In this study, we investigated the existence, localization and alterations in the expression of PHB in the whole cell and nuclear matrix and analyzed its co-localization with the expression products of related genes. The western blot analysis results revealed that PHB exists in the composition of nuclear matrix proteins and that the expression level of PHB is significantly increased in the whole cell and markedly decreased in the nuclear matrix after curcumin (1,7-bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1,6-heptadiene-3,5-dione) treatment. The laser confocal scanning microscope results demonstrated the co-localization of PHB with p53, c-Myc, Bax, and Fas in HaCaT cells, and this co-localization region was transferred as a result of curcumin treatment. In addition, the results of the GST pull-down assay demonstrated the direct interaction of PHB with p53, c-Myc and Bax but not Fas in vitro. Results of the present study confirmed that the expression and distribution of PHB, which is a nuclear matrix protein, affect the apoptosis of HaCaT cells and its co-localization with specific gene products connected with cell apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC3926502  PMID: 24402549
prohibitin; nuclear matrix; curcumin; cell apoptosis; differential expression
9.  Incidence and risk of developing contrast-induced acute kidney injury following intravascular contrast administration in elderly patients 
The purpose of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the epidemiology of contrast-induced acute kidney injury (CI-AKI) in the elderly.
A literature review was undertaken to determine the incidence of CI-AKI in individuals receiving intravascular contrast medium in the hospital setting.
Twenty-two studies with 186,455 patients were identified. The pooled incidence of CI-AKI was 13.6% in 67,831 patients older than 65 years of age (95% confidence interval [CI] 10.1–18.2, I2=0.496). The pooled odds ratio of CI-AKI in the elderly was 2.55 (95% CI 1.85–3.52, I2=0.34). The high incidence of CI-AKI in the elderly was consistent across different administration route subgroups (intracoronary contrast medium group, 15.5% [95% CI 10.3–22.6]; intravenous contrast medium group, 12.4% [95% CI 8.0–18.8]).
Elderly patients are at greater risk for developing CI-AKI.
PMCID: PMC3883550  PMID: 24403826
contrast-induced acute kidney injury; angiography; enhanced computed tomography; epidemiology; meta-analysis
10.  Effectiveness of a hydroxynaphthoquinone fraction from Arnebia euchroma in rats with experimental colitis 
AIM: To evaluate the potential effectiveness of hydroxynaphthoquinone mixture (HM) in rats with 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced colitis.
METHODS: Colitis was induced by intracolonic administration of TNBS (80 mg/kg, dissolved in 50% ethanol). Rats were treated daily for 7 d with HM (2.5, 5, 10 mg/kg) and mesalazine 100 mg/kg 24 h after TNBS instillation. Disease progression was monitored daily by observation of clinical signs and body weight change. At the end of the experiment, macroscopic and histopathologic lesions of rats were scored, and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity was determined. We also determined inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α level by ELISA, Western blotting and immunochemistry to explore the potential mechanisms of HM.
RESULTS: After intracolonic instillation of TNBS, animals developed colitis associated with soft stool, diarrhea and marked colonic destruction. Administration of HM significantly attenuated clinical and histopathologic severity of TNBS-induced colitis in a dose-dependent manner. It abrogated body weight loss, diarrhea and inflammation, decreased macroscopic damage score, and improved histological signs, with a significant reduction of inflammatory infiltration, ulcer size and the severity of goblet cell depletion (all P < 0.05 vs TNBS alone group). HM could reduce MPO activity. In addition, it also decreased serum TNF-α level and down-regulated TNF-α expression in colonic tissue. This reduction was statistically significant when the dose of HM was 10 mg/kg (P < 0.05 vs TNBS alone group), and the effect was comparable to that of mesalazine and showed no apparent adverse effect. The underlying mechanism may be associated with TNF-α inhibition.
CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that HM possesses favourable therapeutic action in TNBS-induced colitis, which provides direct pharmacological evidence for its clinical application.
PMCID: PMC3882404  PMID: 24409058
Arnebia euchroma (Royle) Johnst; Hydroxynaphthoquinones; Inflammatory bowel disease; 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid-induced colitis; Tumor necrosis factor
11.  Comparison of two methods used to culture and purify rat retinal Müller cells 
To study two methods for culturing and purifying Sprague-Dawley (SD) rat retinal Müller cells and determine which one is better.
The passage culture method of Müller cells was respectively carried out by complete pancreatic enzyme digestion method and repeated incomplete pancreatic enzyme digestion method. After culturing retinal cells for one month through these two methods, fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS), RT-PCR, and immunohistochemistry technology were performed to examine the enrichment and purity of Müller glial cells, and carried out two-sample approximate t test using SSPS 13.0 to further compare the Müller cell positive rate in both methods.
The statistical results showed that the purity of Müller cells was 83.2%±5.16% in group A, and the purity was 98.5%±1.08% in group B. The two-sample approximate t test analysis demonstrated that the difference between group A and group B was statistically significant (t=-9.178, P<0.005). The results clearly exhibited a difference between the purity of Müller cells cultured by the complete pancreatic enzyme digestion method (group A) and the repeated incomplete pancreatic enzyme digestion method (group B).
Compared with the complete pancreatic enzyme digestion method, this novel method was more efficient and a higher purity of Müller cells could be obtained using this approach.
PMCID: PMC3874515  PMID: 24392324
primary culture; passage; purification; retinal Müller cell; trypsinization
13.  A Simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols Shows Developmental Deficits in Schizophrenia Patients 
Neural Plasticity  2013;2013:130642.
People with neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia often display deficits in spatial working memory and attention. Evaluating working memory and attention in schizophrenia patients is usually based on traditional tasks and the interviewer's judgment. We developed a simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols (SWAPS). It takes only several minutes to complete, comprising 101 trials for each subject. In this study, we tested 72 schizophrenia patients and 188 healthy volunteers in China. In a healthy control group with ages ranging from 12 to 60, the efficiency score (accuracy divided by reaction time) reached a peak in the 20–27 age range and then declined with increasing age. Importantly, schizophrenia patients failed to display this developmental trend in the same age range and adults had significant deficits compared to the control group. Our data suggests that this simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols can be a useful tool for studies of spatial working memory and attention in neuropsychiatric disorders.
PMCID: PMC3856212  PMID: 24349797
14.  Locally Expansive Solutions for a Class of Iterative Equations 
The Scientific World Journal  2013;2013:372681.
Iterative equations which can be expressed by the following form fn(x) = H(x, f(x), f2(x),…, fn−1(x)), where n ≥ 2, are investigated. Conditions for the existence of locally expansive C1 solutions for such equations are given.
PMCID: PMC3836456  PMID: 24319362
15.  Phase II Trial of Cetuximab With or Without Paclitaxel in Patients With Advanced Urothelial Tract Carcinoma  
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2012;30(28):3545-3551.
The benefit of salvage chemotherapy is modest in metastatic urothelial cancer. We conducted a randomized, noncomparative phase II study to measure the efficacy of cetuximab with or without paclitaxel in patients with previously treated urothelial cancer.
Patients and Methods
Patients with metastatic urothelial cancer who received one line of chemotherapy in the perioperative or metastatic setting were randomly assigned to 4-week cycles of cetuximab 250 mg/m2 with or without paclitaxel 80 mg/m2 per week. We used early progression as an indicator of futility. Either arm would close if seven of the initial 15 patients in that arm progressed at the first disease evaluation at 8 weeks.
We enrolled 39 evaluable patients. The single-agent cetuximab arm closed after nine of the first 11 patients progressed by 8 weeks. The combination arm completed the full accrual of 28 patients, of whom 22 patients (78.5%) had visceral disease. Twelve of 28 patients had progression-free survival greater than 16 weeks. The overall response rate was 25% (95% CI, 11% to 45%; three complete responses and four partial responses). The median progression-free survival was 16.4 weeks (95% CI, 12 to 25.1 weeks), and the median overall survival was 42 weeks (95% CI, 30.4 to 78 weeks). Treatment-related grade 3 and 4 adverse events that occurred in at least two patients were rash (six cases), fatigue (five cases), and low magnesium (three cases).
Although it had limited activity as a single agent, cetuximab appears to augment the antitumor activity of paclitaxel in previously treated urothelial cancers. The cetuximab and paclitaxel combination merits additional study to establish its role in the treatment of urothelial cancers.
PMCID: PMC3454772  PMID: 22927525
Human immunology  2011;72(4):312-318.
Populations of African ancestry continue to account for a disproportionate burden of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) epidemic in the US. We investigated the effects of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I markers in association with virologic and immunologic control of HIV-1 infection among 338 HIV-1 subtype B-infected African Americans in two cohorts: REACH (Reaching for Excellence in Adolescent Care and Health) and HERS (HIV Epidemiology Research Study). One-year treatment-free interval measurements of HIV-1 RNA viral loads and CD4+ T-cells were examined both separately and combined to represent three categories of HIV-1 disease control (76 “controllers,” 169 “intermediates,” and 93 “non-controllers”). Certain previously or newly implicated HLA class I alleles (A*32, A*36, A*74, B*14, B*1510, B*3501, B*45, B*53, B*57, Cw*04, Cw*08, Cw*12, and Cw*18) were associated with one or more of the endpoints in univariate analyses. After multivariable adjustments for other genetic and non-genetic risk factors of HIV-1 progression, the subset of alleles more strongly or consistently associated with HIV-1 disease control included A*32, A*74, B*14, B*45, B*53, B*57, and Cw*08. Carriage of infrequent HLA-B but not HLA-A alleles was associated with more favorable disease outcomes. Certain HLA class I associations with control of HIV-1 infection span the boundaries of race and viral subtype; while others appear confined within one or the other of those boundaries.
PMCID: PMC3778654  PMID: 21262311
HLA class I; Allele frequency; HIV-1 control; African American
17.  A regulatory circuit comprising GATA1/2 switch and microRNA-27a/24 promotes erythropoiesis 
Nucleic Acids Research  2013;42(1):442-457.
Transcriptional networks orchestrate complex developmental processes, and such networks are commonly instigated by master regulators for development. By now, considerable progress has been made in elucidating GATA factor-dependent genetic networks that control red blood cell development. Here we reported that GATA-1 and GATA-2 co-regulated the expression of two microRNA genes, microRNA-27a and microRNA-24, with critical roles in regulating erythroid differentiation. In general, GATA-2 occupied the miR-27a∼24 promoter and repressed their transcription in immature erythroid progenitor cells. As erythropoiesis proceeded, GATA-1 directly activated miR-27a∼24 transcription, and this involved a GATA-1-mediated displacement of GATA-2 from chromatin, a process termed ‘GATA switch’. Furthermore, the mature miR-27a and miR-24 cooperatively inhibited GATA-2 translation and favoured the occupancy switch from GATA-2 to GATA-1, thus completing a positive feedback loop to promote erythroid maturation. In line with the essential role of GATA factors, ectopic expression of miR-27a or miR-24 promoted erythropoiesis in human primary CD34+ haematopoietic progenitor cells and mice, whereas attenuated miR-27 or miR-24 level led to impaired erythroid phenotypes in haematopoietic progenitor cells and zebrafish. Taken together, these data integrated micro RNA expression and function into GATA factor coordinated networks and provided mechanistic insight into a regulatory circuit that comprised GATA1/2 switch and miR-27a/24 in erythropoiesis.
PMCID: PMC3874166  PMID: 24049083
18.  Serum peptidomic profiling identifies a minimal residual disease detection and prognostic biomarker for patients with acute leukemia 
Oncology Letters  2013;6(5):1453-1460.
The evaluation of minimal residual disease (MRD) in acute leukemia (AL) is currently recognized as a potential critical tool to assess the response and relapse rate of treatments. The present study investigated serum peptides from patients with AL to identify biomarkers that would be useful in providing clinical evaluations and independent prognostic information. The patterns of serum peptides from 123 patients with AL and 49 healthy controls were analyzed using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry. Furthermore, diagnostic models of differential peptides were established using the support vector machine (SVM) algorithm to discriminate between the AL patients and healthy controls or between the AL patients with various degrees of remission. Finally, the peptides were applied to evaluate the prognosis of the affected patients. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC), analyzed using the SVM algorithm to distinguish between the AL patients and healthy controls, was 0.921. The AUC of the models for distinguishing between the newly-diagnosed AL patients and those in AL-hematological complete remission (HCR) and between the AL-HCR patients from those in AL-molecular remission (MR), was 0.824 and 0.919, respectively. A short serum peptide of m/z 4625 was identified to decrease in density in parallel with an increase in the degree of remission, which was used to monitor the MRD level. The intensity of the m/z 4625 peptide was significantly correlated with a poor overall survival (OS). The m/z 4625 peptide was identified to be a partial fragment of SERPINA3. The serum peptide pattern is high in sensitivity and specificity and may be used to discriminate between AL patients with various degrees of remission. The m/z 4625 peptide may be used to monitor the MRD levels and provide independent prognostic information in patients with AL.
PMCID: PMC3813581  PMID: 24179540
acute leukemia; minimal residual disease; peptide pattern; mass spectrum
19.  Penile prosthesis implantation in Chinese patients with severe erectile dysfunction: 10-year experience 
Asian Journal of Andrology  2013;15(5):658-661.
We retrospectively evaluated the clinical outcome of penile prosthesis implantation (PPI) in Chinese patients with severe erectile dysfunction (SED). From July 2000 to December 2011, 224 patients (mean age: 35.9±11.8 years, range: 20–75 years) with SED underwent PPI by experienced surgeon according to standard PPI procedure at our centre. A malleable prosthesis (AMS 650) was implanted in 45 cases (20.1%), and a three-piece inflatable prosthesis (AMS 700 CXM or AMS 700 CXR) was implanted in 179 cases (79.9%). Surgical outcomes, including postoperative complications, clinical efficacy and couple satisfaction, were evaluated over than 6 months postoperatively using medical record abstraction, IIEF-5, quality of life (QoL) scores, and the patient/partner sexual satisfaction score proposed by Bhojwani et al. Of the 224 patients eligible for the study, 201 subjects (89.7%) completed follow-up. All of patients could perform sexual intercourse post PPI with the mean postoperative IIEF-5 and QoL scores were 20.02±2.32 and 5.28±0.76, respectively, which were significantly improved compared with the preoperative scores (6.29±1.5 and 2.13±0.84, P<0.01). Of the 201 men, mechanical malfunction occurred in four cases (2.0%) and three cases were re-implanted new device, and two cases (1.0%) developed a mild curvature of the penis. Scrotal erosion with infection occurred in one case with diabetes mellitus (0.5%) and required complete removal of the implanted AMS 700 CXM. Satisfactory sexual intercourse at least twice per month was reported by 178 men (88.6%), and overall satisfaction with the PPI surgery was reported by 89.0% of men and 82.5% of partners. Patient satisfaction in the three-piece inflatable prosthesis group was higher than in the malleable prosthesis group (P<0.05). Satisfaction, however, between the types of prostheses, did not differ in the partner survey. PPI is a safe and effective treatment option for Chinese patients with SED and experienced surgeon perform PPI according to standard PPI procedure could reduce the postoperative complications of PPI and could improve patient satisfaction ratio and QoL.
PMCID: PMC3881644  PMID: 23872664
complication; erectile dysfunction (ED); implantation; quality of life (QoL); penile prosthesis; satisfaction
20.  Atoh7 promotes the differentiation of retinal stem cells derived from Müller cells into retinal ganglion cells by inhibiting Notch signaling 
Retinal Müller cells exhibit the characteristics of retinal progenitor cells, and differentiate into ganglion cells under certain conditions. However, the number of ganglion cells differentiated from retinal Müller cells falls far short of therapeutic needs. This study aimed to develop a novel protocol to promote the differentiation of retinal Müller cells into ganglion cells and explore the underlying signaling mechanisms.
Müller cells were isolated and purified from rat retina and induced to dedifferentiate into retinal stem cells. Next the stem cells were transfected with lentivirus PGC-FU-GFP or lentivirus PGC-FU-Atoh7-GFP. In addition, the stem cells were transfected with Brn-3b siRNA or Isl-1 siRNA or treated with Notch inhibitor gamma-secretase inhibitor (GSI).
The proportion of ganglion cells differentiated from Atoh7-tranfected stem cells was significantly higher than that of controls. Knockdown of Brn-3b or Isl-1 inhibited, while GSI promoted, the differentiation into retinal ganglion cells. Atoh7 promoted the expression of Brn-3b and Isl-1 but inhibited the expression of Notch1.
Atoh7 promotes the differentiation of Müller cells-derived retinal stem cells into retinal ganglion cells by inhibiting Notch signaling, thus opening up a new avenue for gene therapy and optic nerve regeneration in glaucoma.
PMCID: PMC3854761  PMID: 23945288
Müller cells; Retinal ganglion cells; Atoh7; Notch; Stem cells; Differentiation
21.  Lysine-Specific Demethylase 1 (LSD1/KDM1A) Contributes to Colorectal Tumorigenesis via Activation of the Wnt/Β-Catenin Pathway by Down-Regulating Dickkopf-1 (DKK1) 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e70077.
We collected paired samples of tumor and adjacent normal colorectal tissues from 22 patients with colorectal carcinoma to compare the differences in the expression of lysine specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) in these two tissues. The results showed that in 19 paired samples (86.4%), LSD1 is more highly expressed in tumor tissue than in normal tissue. To explore the role of LSD1 in colorectal tumorigenesis, we used somatic cell gene targeting to generate an LSD1 knockout (KO) HCT 116 human colorectal cancer cell line as a research model. The analysis of phenotypic changes showed that LSD1 KO colorectal cancer cells are less tumorigenic, both in vivo and in vitro. The differential expression analysis of the cells by mRNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) yielded 2,663 differentially expressed genes, and 28 of these genes had highly significant differences (Q <0.01). We then selected the 4 colorectal cancer-related genes ADM, DKK1, HAS3 and SMURF2 for quantitative real-time PCR verification. The results showed that the differences in the expression of ADM, DKK1 and HAS3 were consistent with those measured using the RNA-Seq data. As DKK1 was the gene with the most significant differential expression, we analyzed the key proteins of the DKK1-related Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and found that, after knocking out LSD1, the amount of free β-catenin translocated to the nucleus was significantly reduced and that the transcription of the signaling pathway target gene c-Myc was down-regulated. Our studies show that LSD1 activates the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway by down-regulating the pathway antagonist DKK1, which may be one of the mechanisms leading to colorectal tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC3724785  PMID: 23922913
22.  Effect of the Reaction Field on Molecular Forces and Torques Revealed by an Image-Charge Solvation Model 
We recently developed the Image-Charge Solvation Model (ICSM), which is an explicit/implicit hybrid model to accurately account for long-range electrostatic forces in molecular dynamics simulations [Lin et al., J. Chem. Phys., 131, 154103, 2009]. The ICSM has a productive spherical volume within the simulation cell for which key physical properties of bulk water are reproduced, such as density, radial distribution function, diffusion constants and dielectric properties. Although the reaction field (RF) is essential, it typically accounts for less than 2% of the total electrostatic force on a water molecule. This observation motivates investigating further the role of the RF within the ICSM. In this report we focus on distributions of forces and torques on water molecules as a function of distance from the origin and make extensive tests over a range of model parameters where Coulomb forces are decomposed into direct interactions from waters modeled explicitly and the RF. Molecular torques due to the RF typically account for 20% of the total torque, revealing why the RF plays an important role in the dielectric properties of simulated water. Moreover, it becomes clear that the buffer layer in the ICSM is essential to mitigate artifacts caused by the discontinuous change in dielectric constants at the explicit/implicit interface.
PMCID: PMC3702192  PMID: 23833681
Image charges; reaction field; force distribution; torque distribution; dipole moment
23.  Cumulative Impact of Host and Viral Factors on HIV-1 Viral-Load Control during Early Infection 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(2):708-715.
In HIV-1 infection, the early set-point viral load strongly predicts both viral transmission and disease progression. The factors responsible for the wide spectrum of set-point viral loads are complex and likely reflect an interplay between the transmitted virus and genetically defined factors in both the transmitting source partner and the seroconverter. Indeed, analysis of 195 transmission pairs from Lusaka, Zambia, revealed that the viral loads in transmitting source partners contributed only ∼2% of the variance in early set-point viral loads of seroconverters (P = 0.046 by univariable analysis). In multivariable models, early set-point viral loads in seroconverting partners were a complex function of (i) the viral load in the source partner, (ii) the gender of the seroconverter, (iii) specific HLA class I alleles in the newly infected partner, and (iv) sharing of HLA-I alleles between partners in a transmission pair. Each of these factors significantly and independently contributed to the set-point viral load in the newly infected partner, accounting for up to 37% of the variance observed and suggesting that many factors operate in concert to define the early virological phenotype in HIV-1 infection.
PMCID: PMC3554094  PMID: 23115285
24.  Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition at Two Sites in an Arid Environment of Central Asia 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e67018.
Arid areas play a significant role in the global nitrogen cycle. Dry and wet deposition of inorganic nitrogen (N) species were monitored at one urban (SDS) and one suburban (TFS) site at Urumqi in a semi-arid region of central Asia. Atmospheric concentrations of NH3, NO2, HNO3, particulate ammonium and nitrate (pNH4+ and pNO3−) concentrations and NH4-N and NO3-N concentrations in precipitation showed large monthly variations and averaged 7.1, 26.6, 2.4, 6.6, 2.7 µg N m−3 and 1.3, 1.0 mg N L−1 at both SDS and TFS. Nitrogen dry deposition fluxes were 40.7 and 36.0 kg N ha−1 yr−1 while wet deposition of N fluxes were 6.0 and 8.8 kg N ha−1 yr−1 at SDS and TFS, respectively. Total N deposition averaged 45.8 kg N ha−1 yr−1at both sites. Our results indicate that N dry deposition has been a major part of total N deposition (83.8% on average) in an arid region of central Asia. Such high N deposition implies heavy environmental pollution and an important nutrient resource in arid regions.
PMCID: PMC3694121  PMID: 23840576
25.  HLA-B Signal Peptide Polymorphism Influences the Rate of HIV-1 Acquisition but Not Viral Load 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;205(12):1797-1805.
Human leukocyte antigen alleles influence the immune response to HIV-1. Signal peptides cleaved from those alleles bind to HLA-E and mediate natural killer cell function. Signal peptides of HLA-A and HLA-C proteins carry methionine (Met) at anchor position 2 (P2); those of HLA-B carry Met or threonine (Thr). Different P2 residues alter HLA-E binding to its cognate receptors and may impact HIV-1 acquisition. Among Zambian couples (N = 566) serodiscordant for HIV-1, P2-Met accelerated acquisition in the HIV-1-negative partner (relative hazard [RH], 1.79). Among seroconverting Zambian (n = 240) and Rwandan (n = 64) partners, P2-Met also accelerated acquisition (RH, 1.47 and RH, 1.83 respectively). HLA-B alleles displaying the reportedly protective Bw4 epitope carry P2-Thr. Bw4/P2-Thr and Bw6/P2-Thr showed similar protective effects compared with Bw6/P2-Met. Neither motif was associated with viral load. The influence of HLA-B alleles on HIV/AIDS may derive from multiple motifs in and beyond the mature proteins.
PMCID: PMC3571229  PMID: 22492862

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