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1.  Two unrelated patients with rare Crigler-Najjar syndrome type I: two novel mutations and a patient with loss of heterozygosity of UGT1A1 gene 
Crigler-Najjar syndrome type I (CN-I) is the most severe type of hereditary unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia. It is caused by homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations of the UDP-glycuronosyltransferase gene (UGT1A1) on chromosome 2q37. Two patients clinically diagnosed with CN-I were examined in this paper. We sequenced five exons and their flanking sequences, specifically the promoter region of UGT1A1, of the two patients and their parents. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to determine the UGT1A1 gene copy number of one patient. In patient A, two mutations, c.239_245delCTGTGCC (p.Pro80HisfsX6; had not been reported previously) and c.1156G>T (p.Val386Phe), were identified. In patient B, we found that this patient had lost heterozygosity of the UGT1A1 gene by inheriting a deletion of one allele, and had a novel mutation c.1253delT (p.Met418ArgfsX5) in the other allele. In summary, we detected three UGT1A1 mutations in two CN-I patients: c.239_245delCTGTGCC (p.Pro80HisfsX6), c.1253delT (p.Met418ArgfsX5), and c.1156G>T (p.Val386Phe). The former two mutations are pathogenic; however, the pathogenic mechanism of c.1156G>T (p.Val386Phe) is unknown.
PMCID: PMC4076604  PMID: 24793765
Crigler-Najjar syndrome type I (CN-I); Hyperbilirubinemia; UDP-glycuronosyltransferase gene (UGT1A1); Mutation; Loss of heterozygosity
2.  Associations of PI3KR1 and mTOR Polymorphisms with Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Risk and Gene-Environment Interactions in Eastern Chinese Populations 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8250.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the PI3K/PTEN/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway may contribute to carcinogenesis. We genotyped five potentially functional PIK3R1 and mTOR SNPs in 1116 esophageal squamous cell cancer (ESCC) patients and 1117 cancer-free controls to assess their associations with ESCC risk. We observed no association with ESCC risk for any of the selected SNPs. However, the combined analysis of these SNPs revealed that subjects with one-to-three risk genotypes had an increased ESCC risk. Stratified analysis by body mass index (BMI) found that ESCC risk was significantly associated with each of three mTOR SNPs among subjects with BMI < 25.0. Specifically, we found that subjects carrying ≥ 1 risk genotypes had significantly increased ESCC risk, particularly for males, ever-smokers, ever-drinkers, and those with age > 60, or BMI < 25.0. Moreover, three mTOR haplotypes were associated with an increase in ESCC risk. Our meta-analysis of mTOR rs2295080 and cancer risk provided further evidence that mTOR SNPs might modulate cancer susceptibility. In this population, such risk effects might be modified by other risk factors, highlighting the importance of gene-environment interaction in esophageal carcinogenesis. Additional, larger studies are warranted to validate our findings.
PMCID: PMC4318264  PMID: 25654238
3.  Identification and validation of the methylation biomarkers of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) 
Clinical Epigenetics  2015;7(1):3.
DNA methylation was suggested as the promising biomarker for lung cancer diagnosis. However, it is a great challenge to search for the optimal combination of methylation biomarkers to obtain maximum diagnostic performance.
In this study, we developed a panel of DNA methylation biomarkers and validated their diagnostic efficiency for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in a large Chinese Han NSCLC retrospective cohort. Three high-throughput DNA methylation microarray datasets (458 samples) were collected in the discovery stage. After normalization, batch effect elimination and integration, significantly differentially methylated genes and the best combination of the biomarkers were determined by the leave-one-out SVM (support vector machine) feature selection procedure. Then, candidate promoters were examined by the methylation status determined single nucleotide primer extension technique (MSD-SNuPET) in an independent set of 150 pairwise NSCLC/normal tissues. Four statistical models with fivefold cross-validation were used to evaluate the performance of the discriminatory algorithms. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy were 86.3%, 95.7% and 91%, respectively, in Bayes tree model. The logistic regression model incorporated five gene methylation signatures at AGTR1, GALR1, SLC5A8, ZMYND10 and NTSR1, adjusted for age, sex and smoking, showed robust performances in which the sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and area under the curve (AUC) were 78%, 97%, 87%, and 0.91, respectively.
In summary, a high-throughput DNA methylation microarray dataset followed by batch effect elimination can be a good strategy to discover optimal DNA methylation diagnostic panels. Methylation profiles of AGTR1, GALR1, SLC5A8, ZMYND10 and NTSR1, could be an effective methylation-based assay for NSCLC diagnosis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13148-014-0035-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4318209  PMID: 25657825
Non-small cell lung cancer; DNA methylation; Biomarker; Batch effect elimination; Diagnosis
4.  Two functional loci in the promoter of EPAS1 gene involved in high-altitude adaptation of Tibetans 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:7465.
EPAS1 involves in the hypoxic response and is suggested to be responsible for the genetic adaptation of high-altitude hypoxia in Tibetans. However, the detailed molecular mechanism remains unknown. In this study, a single nucleotide polymorphism rs56721780:G>C and an insertion/deletion (indel) polymorphism −742 indel in the promoter region showed divergence between Tibetans and non-Tibetan lowlanders. rs56721780:G>C regulated the transcription of EPAS1 by IKAROS family zinc finger 1 (IKZF1), which was identified as a new transcriptional repressor for EPAS1 gene. It demonstrated that the C allele of rs56721780:G>C decreased the binding of IKZF1, leading to the attenuated transcriptional repression of EPAS1 gene. The insertion at −742 indel provided a new binding site for Sp1 and was related to the activation of EPAS1 promoter. Further functional analysis revealed that lysyl oxidase (LOX) gene, which was reported to be responsible for extracellular matrix protein cross-linking of amnion previously, was a direct target of EPAS1. The CC genotype at rs56721780:G>C and the insertion genotype at −742 indel were found associated with higher EPAS1 and LOX expression levels in amnion, as well as higher birth weight of Tibetan newborns, suggesting that EPAS1 gene might play important roles in the development of amnion, fetus growth and high-altitude adaptation of Tibetans.
PMCID: PMC4264014  PMID: 25501874
5.  A new method of building permanent A-V block model: ablating his-bundle potential through femoral artery with pre-implanted biventricular pacemaker 
To explore the feasibility of a new method of achieving a permanent A-V block animal model.
16 beagles were randomly divided into two groups based on the method of their pre-implanted biventricular pacemakers. (1) In the first group (8 beagles), the A-V block model was achieved by ablating his-bundle potential at the site of the left ventricular superior-septum, under the aortic sinus, through femoral artery. (2) In the second group (8 beagles), the A-V block model was achieved by ablating his-bundle potential at the triangle of Koch, through femoral vein. A complete A-V block model was achieved as a standard in this study. The success rates, intraoperative arrhythmias, operative and X-ray exposure time, intraoperative bleeding amount were assessed in this two groups, both animal models were followed up for four weeks and then fasted to monitor myocardial pathological changes.
The success rate of the first group, which with fewer intraoperative arrhythmias, and less operative and X-ray exposure time, was significantly higher than the second group.
Compared with traditional animal method, our new method of ablating his-bundle potential at the left ventricle from the femoral artery has a higher success rate, fewer occurrence of malignant arrhythmias, and less operation and X-ray time. Thus, our new method should be preferred in the building of Permanent A-V Block Model.
PMCID: PMC4246545  PMID: 25410685
A-V block; His-bundle potential; Biventricular pacemaker; Radiofrequency ablation; Beagle; Disease models
7.  Genetic variations of the ADIPOQ gene and risk of prostate cancer in Chinese Han men 
Asian Journal of Andrology  2014;16(6):878-883.
Adiponectin secreted by adipose tissue has been implicated in prostate carcinogenesis. Genetic variations in ADIPOQ are thought to influence the activity of adiponectin, thus relating to cancer occurrence. In this hospital-based case-control study of 917 prostate cancer (PCa) cases and 1036 cancer-free controls, we evaluated the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms in ADIPOQ with risk of PCa and adiponectin levels in Chinese Han men. Variants of ADIPOQ were genotyped by Taqman polymerase chain reaction method. The plasma adiponectin concentrations were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in a subset of cases and controls. We found that the ADIPOQ rs3774262 variant AA genotype was associated with both decreased PCa risk [adjusted odds ratio (OR): 0.66, 95% confidence interval (CI) =0.48–0.92] and increased plasma adiponectin levels (P = 0.036 and 0.043), with significant difference by tumor grade, clinical stage, and aggressiveness. A significant interaction between ADIPOQ rs3774262 and body mass index was observed in modifying the risk of PCa (P = 6.7 × 10−3). ADIPOQ rs266729 and rs182052 were not related to PCa risk or plasma adiponectin levels. Our data support that ADIPOQ rs3774262 may affect PCa risk in combination with plasma adiponectin levels in Chinese Han men. It may contribute to the molecular basis for the association between obesity and PCa.
PMCID: PMC4236333  PMID: 25038177
adiponectin; ADIPOQ; polymorphism; prostate cancer
8.  Influences of APOA5 Variants on Plasma Triglyceride Levels in Uyghur Population 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e110258.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in apolipoprotein A5 (APOA5) gene are associated with triglyceride (TG) levels. However, the minor allele frequencies and linkage disequilibriums (LDs) of the SNPs in addition to their effects on TG levels vary greatly between Caucasians and East Asians. The distributions of the SNPs/haplotypes and their associations with TG levels in Uyghur population, an admixture population of Caucasians and East Asians, have not been reported to date. Here, we performed a cross-sectional study to address these.
Genotyping of four SNPs in APOA5 (rs662799, rs3135506, rs2075291, and rs2266788) was performed in 1174 unrelated Uyghur subjects. SNP/haplotype and TG association analyses were conducted.
The frequencies of the SNPs in Uyghurs were in between those in Caucasians and East Asians. The LD between rs662799 and rs2266788 in Uyghurs was stronger than that in East Asians but weaker than that in Caucasians, and the four SNPs resulted in four haplotypes (TGGT, CGGC, TCGT, and CGTT arranged in the order of rs662799, rs3135506, rs2075291, and rs2266788) representing 99.2% of the population. All the four SNPs were significantly associated with TG levels. Compared with non-carriers, carriers of rs662799-C, rs3135506-C, rs2075291-T, and rs2266788-C alleles had 16.0%, 15.1%, 17.1%, and 12.4% higher TG levels, respectively. When haplotype TGGT was defined as the reference, the haplotypes CGGC, TCGT, and CGTT resulted in 16.1%, 19.0%, and 19.8% higher TG levels, respectively. The proportions of variance in TG explained by APOA5 locus were 2.5%, 0.3%, 0.4%, and 1.9% for single SNP rs662799, rs3135506, rs2075291, and rs2266788, respectively, and 3.0% for the haplotypes constructed by them.
The association profiles between the SNPs and haplotypes at APOA5 locus and TG levels in this admixture population differed from those in Caucasians and East Asians. The functions of these SNPs and haplotypes need to be elucidated comprehensively.
PMCID: PMC4196964  PMID: 25313938
9.  High-Glucose Inhibits Human Fibroblast Cell Migration in Wound Healing via Repression of bFGF-Regulating JNK Phosphorylation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e108182.
One of the major symptoms of diabetes mellitus (DM) is delayed wound healing, which affects large populations of patients worldwide. However, the underlying mechanism behind this illness remains elusive. Skin wound healing requires a series of coordinated processes, including fibroblast cell proliferation and migration. Here, we simulate DM by application of high glucose (HG) in human foreskin primary fibroblast cells to analyze the molecular mechanism of DM effects on wound healing. The results indicate that HG, at a concentration of 30 mM, delay cell migration, but not cell proliferation. bFGF is known to promote cell migration that partially rescues HG effects on cell migration. Molecular and cell biology studies demonstrated that HG enhanced ROS production and repressed JNK phosphorylation, but did not affect Rac1 activity. JNK and Rac1 activation were known to be important for bFGF regulated cell migration. To further confirm DM effects on skin repair, a type 1 diabetic rat model was established, and we observed the efficacy of bFGF on both normal and diabetic rat skin repair. Furthermore, proteomic studies identified an increase of Annexin A2 protein nitration in HG-stressed fibroblasts and the nitration was protected by activation of bFGF signaling. Treatment with FGFR1 and JNK inhibitors delayed cell migration and increased Annexin A2 nitration levels, indicating that Annexin A2 nitration is modulated by bFGF signaling via activation of JNK. Together with these results, our data suggests that the HG-mediated delay of cell migration is linked to the inhibition of bFGF signaling, specifically through JNK suppression.
PMCID: PMC4171528  PMID: 25244316
10.  Genome-wide association analysis identifies new lung cancer susceptibility loci in never-smoking women in Asia 
Lan, Qing | Hsiung, Chao A | Matsuo, Keitaro | Hong, Yun-Chul | Seow, Adeline | Wang, Zhaoming | Hosgood, H Dean | Chen, Kexin | Wang, Jiu-Cun | Chatterjee, Nilanjan | Hu, Wei | Wong, Maria Pik | Zheng, Wei | Caporaso, Neil | Park, Jae Yong | Chen, Chien-Jen | Kim, Yeul Hong | Kim, Young Tae | Landi, Maria Teresa | Shen, Hongbing | Lawrence, Charles | Burdett, Laurie | Yeager, Meredith | Yuenger, Jeffrey | Jacobs, Kevin B | Chang, I-Shou | Mitsudomi, Tetsuya | Kim, Hee Nam | Chang, Gee-Chen | Bassig, Bryan A | Tucker, Margaret | Wei, Fusheng | Yin, Zhihua | Wu, Chen | An, She-Juan | Qian, Biyun | Lee, Victor Ho Fun | Lu, Daru | Liu, Jianjun | Jeon, Hyo-Sung | Hsiao, Chin-Fu | Sung, Jae Sook | Kim, Jin Hee | Gao, Yu-Tang | Tsai, Ying-Huang | Jung, Yoo Jin | Guo, Huan | Hu, Zhibin | Hutchinson, Amy | Wang, Wen-Chang | Klein, Robert | Chung, Charles C | Oh, In-Jae | Chen, Kuan-Yu | Berndt, Sonja I | He, Xingzhou | Wu, Wei | Chang, Jiang | Zhang, Xu-Chao | Huang, Ming-Shyan | Zheng, Hong | Wang, Junwen | Zhao, Xueying | Li, Yuqing | Choi, Jin Eun | Su, Wu-Chou | Park, Kyong Hwa | Sung, Sook Whan | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Chen, Yuh-Min | Liu, Li | Kang, Chang Hyun | Hu, Lingmin | Chen, Chung-Hsing | Pao, William | Kim, Young-Chul | Yang, Tsung-Ying | Xu, Jun | Guan, Peng | Tan, Wen | Su, Jian | Wang, Chih-Liang | Li, Haixin | Sihoe, Alan Dart Loon | Zhao, Zhenhong | Chen, Ying | Choi, Yi Young | Hung, Jen-Yu | Kim, Jun Suk | Yoon, Ho-Il | Cai, Qiuyin | Lin, Chien-Chung | Park, In Kyu | Xu, Ping | Dong, Jing | Kim, Christopher | He, Qincheng | Perng, Reury-Perng | Kohno, Takashi | Kweon, Sun-Seog | Chen, Chih-Yi | Vermeulen, Roel | Wu, Junjie | Lim, Wei-Yen | Chen, Kun-Chieh | Chow, Wong-Ho | Ji, Bu-Tian | Chan, John K C | Chu, Minjie | Li1, Yao-Jen | Yokota, Jun | Li, Jihua | Chen, Hongyan | Xiang, Yong-Bing | Yu, Chong-Jen | Kunitoh, Hideo | Wu, Guoping | Jin, Li | Lo, Yen-Li | Shiraishi, Kouya | Chen, Ying-Hsiang | Lin, Hsien-Chih | Wu, Tangchun | Wu, Yi-Long | Yang, Pan-Chyr | Zhou, Baosen | Shin, Min-Ho | Fraumeni, Joseph F | Lin, Dongxin | Chanock, Stephen J | Rothman, Nathaniel
Nature genetics  2012;44(12):1330-1335.
To identify common genetic variants that contribute to lung cancer susceptibility, we conducted a multistage genome-wide association study of lung cancer in Asian women who never smoked. We scanned 5,510 never-smoking female lung cancer cases and 4,544 controls drawn from 14 studies from mainland China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. We genotyped the most promising variants (associated at P < 5 × 10-6) in an additional 1,099 cases and 2,913 controls. We identified three new susceptibility loci at 10q25.2 (rs7086803, P = 3.54 × 10-18), 6q22.2 (rs9387478, P = 4.14 × 10-10) and 6p21.32 (rs2395185, P = 9.51 × 10-9). We also confirmed associations reported for loci at 5p15.33 and 3q28 and a recently reported finding at 17q24.3. We observed no evidence of association for lung cancer at 15q25 in never-smoking women in Asia, providing strong evidence that this locus is not associated with lung cancer independent of smoking.
PMCID: PMC4169232  PMID: 23143601
11.  Optimal enamel conditioning strategy for rebonding orthodontic brackets: a laboratory study 
Objective: To compare the conventional etching and primer method (CEP) and the self-etching primer method (SEP) in rebonding brackets. Methods: Forty human maxillary second premolars extracted for orthodontic purpose were randomly divided into 4 equal groups. Group 1 and Group 2 were bonded using the CEP method; Group 3 and Group 4 using the SEP method. All the brackets were debonded and 40 new brackets were rebonded with four different protocols after surface cleaning: Group 1: CEP + adhesive; Group 2: CEP without etch step + adhesive; Group 3: SEP + adhesive; Group 4: non-acidic primer + adhesive. Then, the shear bond strength (SBS) of each group was tested and the measurements of adhesive remnant index scores (ARI) and SEM examination were performed. Results: The mean SBSs for Group 1, 2, 3 and 4 were 14.18, 6.57, 11.90, 5.91 MPa, respectively. Statistical differences of the SBS existed between Group 1 and 2 (P < 0.05) and between Group 3 and 4 (P < 0.05). No difference was found between Group 1 and 3, or Group 2 and 4. Conclusion: Omission of the acid-etching step in rebonding orthodontic brackets may be adequate for the clinical requirement. No differences in SBS and ARI of the rebonded brackets were showed between CEP and SEP methods.
PMCID: PMC4211778  PMID: 25356128
Orthodontics; dental bonding; acid-etching; bond strength
12.  Potentially functional polymorphisms in the ERCC2 gene and risk of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Chinese populations 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6281.
ERCC2 is indispensable for nucleotide excision repair pathway, and its functional polymorphisms may be associated with cancer risk. In a large case-control study of 1126 esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCC) patients and 1131 controls, we genotyped two SNPs in ERCC2 (rs238406 G > T and rs13181 T > G) and assessed their associations with ESCC risk. We found a significantly elevated ESCC risk associated with the rs238406 T variant genotypes (adjusted OR = 1.30 and 1.24, 95% CI = 1.02–1.66 and 1.03–1.49 for TG and TG/TT, respectively, compared with GG), particularly in the subgroup of those smoked more than 16 pack-years. Multivariate logistic regression analysis suggested a possible multiplicative gene-environment interaction between rs238406 genotypes and smoking (Pinteraction = 0.026) on ESCC risk. Although no significant risk associations were observed for rs13181, further mini meta-analysis with our and 18 other published studies of 5,012 cases and 8,238 controls found evidence of an association between the rs13181 variant G allele and esophageal cancer risk (TG/GG vs. TT, OR = 1.17; 95% CI = 1.02–1.33). Interestingly, we consistently found a significant correlation between variant genotypes of these two SNPs and ERCC2 mRNA expression. These findings suggest that potentially functional SNPs in ERCC2 may contribute to ESCC risk.
PMCID: PMC4160711  PMID: 25209371
13.  Evaluating the Y chromosomal timescale in human demographic and lineage dating 
Y chromosome is a superb tool for inferring human evolution and recent demographic history from a paternal perspective. However, Y chromosomal substitution rates obtained using different modes of calibration vary considerably, and have produced disparate reconstructions of human history. Here, we discuss how substitution rate and date estimates are affected by the choice of different calibration points. We argue that most Y chromosomal substitution rates calculated to date have shortcomings, including a reliance on the ambiguous human-chimpanzee divergence time, insufficient sampling of deep-rooting pedigrees, and using inappropriate founding migrations, although the rates obtained from a single pedigree or calibrated with the peopling of the Americas seem plausible. We highlight the need for using more deep-rooting pedigrees and ancient genomes with reliable dates to improve the rate estimation.
PMCID: PMC4160915  PMID: 25215184
Y chromosome; Substitution rate; Demographic history; Lineage dating
14.  Association of the HLA-DRB1 with Scleroderma in Chinese Population 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e106939.
Multiple alleles of the Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) DRB1 have been strongly associated with systemic sclerosis (SSc) and its clinical or serological subsets. However, the associations vary in different ethnic populations. To define SSc-risk and/or -protective alleles of HLA-DRB1 in Chinese population, we studied a Han Chinese cohort containing 585 patients with SSc and 458 gender-matched, unrelated controls. The HLA-DRB1 genotyping was performed with sequence-based typing method. Exact p-values were obtained (Fisher’s test) from 2×2 tables of allele frequency and disease status. The major SSc-risk allele subtypes of HLA-DRB1 are the DRB1*15∶02 and *16∶02 in this Chinese cohort. Particularly, DRB1*15∶02 was most significantly associated with anti-centromere autoantibodies (ACA) positive, and DRB1*16∶02 with anti-topoisomerase I autoantibodies (ATA) positive patients. On the other hand, DRB1*01∶01 and *04∶06 were strong SSc-protective alleles in Chinese, especially in patients who were ACA positive and had diffuse cutaneous SSc (dcSSc), respectively. In addition, DRB1*11 and *07∶01 also showed significant association with SSc as a risk for and protection from SSc, respectively, and which is consistent with the studies of Spanish, US Caucasian and Hispanic populations. DRB1*15 was associated with ATA positive Chinese SSc that is consistent with Black South African and Korean SSc. These findings of HLA-DRB1 alleles in association with Chinese SSc provide the growing knowledge of genetics of SSc, and indicate that the genetic heterogeneity among ethnicities may significantly impact the complex trait of SSc.
PMCID: PMC4153724  PMID: 25184637
15.  Y Chromosomes of 40% Chinese Descend from Three Neolithic Super-Grandfathers 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e105691.
Demographic change of human populations is one of the central questions for delving into the past of human beings. To identify major population expansions related to male lineages, we sequenced 78 East Asian Y chromosomes at 3.9 Mbp of the non-recombining region, discovered >4,000 new SNPs, and identified many new clades. The relative divergence dates can be estimated much more precisely using a molecular clock. We found that all the Paleolithic divergences were binary; however, three strong star-like Neolithic expansions at ∼6 kya (thousand years ago) (assuming a constant substitution rate of 1×10−9/bp/year) indicates that ∼40% of modern Chinese are patrilineal descendants of only three super-grandfathers at that time. This observation suggests that the main patrilineal expansion in China occurred in the Neolithic Era and might be related to the development of agriculture.
PMCID: PMC4149484  PMID: 25170956
16.  L-22 enhances the invasiveness of endometrial stromal cells of adenomyosis in an autocrine manner 
It has reported that interleukin-22 (IL-22) promotes the invasion of tumor cells. IL-22 in the endometriotic milieu stimulates the proliferation of human endometrial stromal cells (ESCs). The present study aimed to elucidate whether and how IL-22 regulates the invasion of ESCs from adenomyosis. The expression of IL-22 and its receptors in normal endometrium, eutopic endometrium and ectopic lesion was analyzed by immunohistochemistry; the invasiveness of ESCs in vitro was verified by Matrigel invasion assay; and the effects of IL-22 on the correspondent functional molecules were investigated by ELISA and flow cytometry. Here we found that IL-22 and its receptors IL-22R1 and IL-10R2 in eutopic endometrium and ectopic lesion of adenomyosis were significantly higher than that of normal endometrium. Recombinant human IL-22 (rhIL-22) increased IL-22R1 and IL-10R2 levels on ESCs. Moreover, rhIL-22 promoted the invasiveness of ESCs, and inhibited the expression of metastasis suppressor gene CD82, stimulated the secretion of IL-8, RANTES, IL-6 and VEGF of ESCs. On the contrary, the neutralizing antibody for IL-22 reversed these effects. Our current study has demonstrated that IL-22 has a positive feedback on the expression of its receptors IL-22R1 and IL-10R2 on ESCs. This autocrine effect of IL-22 promotes the invasion of ESCs possibly through regulating invasion-related molecules, suggesting that the abnormal high expression of IL-22 may play an important role in ESCs invasion and finally contribute to the origin and development of adenomyosis.
PMCID: PMC4203188  PMID: 25337217
IL-22; endometrial stromal cells; invasion; adenomyosis
17.  The applications of buckminsterfullerene C60 and derivatives in orthopaedic research 
Connective tissue research  2014;55(2):71-79.
Buckminsterfullerene C60 and derivatives have been extensively explored in biomedical research due to their unique structure and unparalleled physicochemical properties. C60 is characterized as a “free radical sponge” with an anti-oxidant efficacy several hundred-fold higher than conventional anti-oxidants. Also, the C60 core has a strong electron-attracting ability and numerous functional compounds with widely different properties can be added to this fullerene cage. This review focused on the applications of C60 and derivatives in orthopaedic research, such as the treatment of cartilage degeneration, bone destruction, intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD), vertebral bone marrow disorder, radiculopathy, etc., as well as their toxicity in vitro and in vivo. We suggest that C60 and derivatives, especially the C60 cores coupled with functional groups presenting new biological and pharmacological activities, are advantageous in orthopaedic research and will be promising in clinical performance for musculoskeletal disorders treatment; however, the pharmacokinetics and toxicology of these agents as local/systemic administration need to be carefully determined.
PMCID: PMC4124742  PMID: 24409811
Anti-oxidant; double-action compound; fullerene; orthopaedic applications; reactive oxygen species
18.  Association of UGT1A1 Variants and Hyperbilirubinemia in Breast-Fed Full-Term Chinese Infants 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104251.
A retrospective case control study of breast-fed full-term infants was carried out to determine whether variants in Uridine Diphosphate Glucuronosyl Transferase 1A1 (UGT1A1) and Heme Oxygenase-1 (HMOX1) were associated with neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. Eight genetic variants of UGT1A1 and 3 genetic variants of HMOX1 were genotyped in 170 hyperbilirubinemic newborns and 779 controls. Five significant associations with breast-fed hyperbilirubinemia were detected after adjusting for gender, birth season, birth weight, delivery mode, gestational age and False Discovery Rate (FDR) correction: the dominant effect of rs887829 (c-364t) (Odds Ratio (OR): 0.55; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.34–0.89; p = 0.014), the additive effect of (TA)n repeat (OR: 0.59; 95%CI: 0.38–0.91; p = 0.017), the dominant effect of rs4148323 (Gly71Arg, G211A) (OR: 2.02; 95%CI: 1.44–2.85; p = 5.0×10−5), the recessive effect of rs6717546 (g+914a) (OR: 0.30; 95%CI: 0.11–0.83; p = 0.021) and rs6719561 (t+2558c) (OR: 0.38; 95%CI: 0.20–0.75; p = 0.005). Neonates carrying the minor allele of rs887829 (TA)n repeat had significantly lower peak bilirubin than wild types, while the minor allele carriers of rs4148323 had significantly higher peak bilirubin than wild types. No association was found in HMOX1. Our findings added to the understanding of the significance of UGT1A1 in association with neonatal hyperbilirubinemia in East Asian population. Additional studies were required to investigate the mechanisms of the protective effects.
PMCID: PMC4125195  PMID: 25102181
19.  Genetic Structure of Qiangic Populations Residing in the Western Sichuan Corridor 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e103772.
The Qiangic languages in western Sichuan (WSC) are believed to be the oldest branch of the Sino-Tibetan linguistic family, and therefore, all Sino-Tibetan populations might have originated in WSC. However, very few genetic investigations have been done on Qiangic populations and no genetic evidences for the origin of Sino-Tibetan populations have been provided. By using the informative Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers, we analyzed the genetic structure of Qiangic populations. Our results revealed a predominantly Northern Asian-specific component in Qiangic populations, especially in maternal lineages. The Qiangic populations are an admixture of the northward migrations of East Asian initial settlers with Y chromosome haplogroup D (D1-M15 and the later originated D3a-P47) in the late Paleolithic age, and the southward Di-Qiang people with dominant haplogroup O3a2c1*-M134 and O3a2c1a-M117 in the Neolithic Age.
PMCID: PMC4121179  PMID: 25090432
20.  Genome-wide association study in Chinese men identifies two new prostate cancer risk loci at 9q31.2 and 19q13.4 
Nature genetics  2012;44(11):1231-1235.
Prostate cancer risk–associated variants have been reported in populations of European descent, African-Americans and Japanese using genome-wide association studies (GWAS). To systematically investigate prostate cancer risk–associated variants in Chinese men, we performed the first GWAS in Han Chinese. In addition to confirming several associations reported in other ancestry groups, this study identified two new risk-associated loci for prostate cancer on chromosomes 9q31.2 (rs817826, P = 5.45 × 10−14) and 19q13.4 (rs103294, P = 5.34 × 10−16) in 4,484 prostate cancer cases and 8,934 controls. The rs103294 marker at 19q13.4 is in strong linkage equilibrium with a 6.7-kb germline deletion that removes the first six of seven exons in LILRA3, a gene regulating inflammatory response, and was significantly associated with the mRNA expression of LILRA3 in T cells (P < 1 × 10−4). These findings may advance the understanding of genetic susceptibility to prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC4116636  PMID: 23023329
21.  Dissection of the mechanism of traditional Chinese medical prescription-Yiqihuoxue formula as an effective anti-fibrotic treatment for systemic sclerosis 
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a connective tissue fibrotic disease for which there is no effective treatment. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), such as the Yiqihuoxue formula used in Shanghai TCM-integrated Hospital, has shown the efficacy of anti-fibrosis in clinical applications. This study was aiming to dissect the anti-fibrotic mechanism of Yiqihuoxue treatment for SSc.
Bleomycin-induced mice and SSc dermal fibroblasts were treated with Yiqihuoxue decoction; NIH-3T3 fibroblasts were exposed to exogenous TGF-β1, and then cultured with or without Yiqihuoxue decoction. Luciferase reporter gene assay was used to determine the activity of Smad binding element (SBE). Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to examine the mRNA levels of extracellular matrix (ECM) genes. The protein levels of type I collagen, Smad3 and phosphorylated-Smad3 (p-Smad3) were detected by western blotting. Student’s t-tests were used to determine the significance of the results.
Bleomycin-induced mice, SSc dermal fibroblasts and TGF-β1-induced NIH/3T3 fibroblasts showed higher levels of ECM gene transcriptions and collagen production. In addition, the phosphorylation level of Smad3 and activity of SBE were significantly increased after exogenous TGF-β1 induction. Whereas, Yiqihuoxue treatment could obviously attenuate fibrosis in bleomycin-induced mice, down regulate ECM gene expressions and collagen production in SSc dermal fibroblasts and TGF-β1-induced NIH/3T3 fibroblasts. Furthermore, the aberrantly high phosphorylation level of Smad3 and activity of SBE in the TGF-β1-induced NIH/3T3 fibroblasts were also dramatically decreased by Yiqihuoxue treatment.
Yiqihuoxue treatment could effectively reduce collagen production via down-regulating the phosphorylation of Smad3 and then the activity of SBE, which are involved in the TGF-β pathway and constitutively activated in the progression of SSc.
PMCID: PMC4226964  PMID: 24998426
Systemic sclerosis; Traditional Chinese Medicine; Fibrosis; Collagen; TGF-β
22.  Increased genome instability in human DNA segments with self-chains: homology-induced structural variations via replicative mechanisms 
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;22(13):2642-2651.
Environmental factors including ionizing radiation and chemical agents have been known to be able to induce DNA rearrangements and cause genomic structural variations (SVs); however, the roles of intrinsic characteristics of the human genome, such as regional genome architecture, in SV formation and the potential mechanisms underlying genomic instability remain to be further elucidated. Recently, locus-specific observations showed that ‘self-chain’ (SC), a group of short low-copy repeats (LCRs) in the human genome, can induce autism-associated SV mutations of the MECP2 and NRXN1 genes. In this study, we conducted a genome-wide analysis to investigate SCs and their potential roles in genomic SV formation. Utilizing a vast amount of human SV data, we observed a significant biased distribution of human germline SV breakpoints to SC regions. Notably, the breakpoint distribution pattern is different between SV types across deletion, duplication, inversion and insertion. Our observations were coincident with a mechanism of SC-induced DNA replicative errors, whereas SC may sporadically be used as substrates of nonallelic homologous recombination (NAHR). This contention was further supported by our consistent findings in somatic SV mutations of cancer genomes, suggesting a general mechanism of SC-induced genome instability in human germ and somatic cells.
PMCID: PMC3674805  PMID: 23474816
23.  What Does Stock Ownership Breadth Measure?* 
Review of finance  2013;17(4):1239-1278.
Using holdings data on a representative sample of all Shanghai Stock Exchange investors, we show that increases in ownership breadth (the fraction of market participants who own a stock) predict low returns: highest change quintile stocks underperform lowest quintile stocks by 23% per year. Small retail investors drive this result. Retail ownership breadth increases appear to be correlated with overpricing. Among institutional investors, however, the opposite holds: Stocks in the top decile of wealth-weighted institutional breadth change outperform the bottom decile by 8% per year, consistent with prior work that interprets breadth as a measure of short-sales constraints.
PMCID: PMC3992521  PMID: 24764801
24.  An Updated Phylogeny of the Human Y-Chromosome Lineage O2a-M95 with Novel SNPs 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e101020.
Though the Y-chromosome O2a-M95 lineage is one of the major haplogroups present in eastern Asian populations, especially among Austro-Asiatic speaking populations from Southwestern China and mainland Southeast Asia, to date its phylogeny lacks structure due to only one downstream SNP marker (M88) assigned to the lineage. A recent array-capture-based Y chromosome sequencing of Asian samples has yielded a variety of novel SNPs purportedly belonging to the O2a-M95 lineage, but their phylogenetic positions have yet to be determined. In this study, we sampled 646 unrelated males from 22 Austro-Asiatic speaking populations from Cambodia, Thailand and Southwestern China, and genotyped 12 SNP makers among the sampled populations, including 10 of the newly reported markers. Among the 646 males, 343 belonged to the O2a-M95 lineage, confirming the supposed dominance of this Y chromosome lineage in Austro-Asiatic speaking populations. We further characterized the phylogeny of O2a-M95 by defining 5 sub-branches: O2a1*-M95, O2a1a-F789, O2a1b*-F1252, O2a1b1*-M88 and O2a1b1a -F761. This updated phylogeny not only improves the resolution of this lineage, but also allows for greater tracing of the prehistory of human populations in eastern Asia and the Pacific, which may yield novel insights into the patterns of language diversification and population movement in these regions.
PMCID: PMC4074153  PMID: 24972021
25.  Isolation, plant colonization potential, and phenanthrene degradation performance of the endophytic bacterium Pseudomonas sp. Ph6-gfp 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:5462.
This investigation provides a novel method of endophyte-aided removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from plant bodies. A phenanthrene-degrading endophytic bacterium Pseudomonas sp. Ph6 was isolated from clover (Trifolium pratense L.) grown in a PAH-contaminated site. After being marked with the GFP gene, the colonization and distribution of strain Ph6-gfp was directly visualized in plant roots, stems, and leaves for the first time. After ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) roots inoculation, strain Ph6-gfp actively and internally colonized plant roots and transferred vertically to the shoots. Ph6-gfp had a natural capacity to cope with phenanthrene in vitro and in planta. Ph6-gfp degraded 81.1% of phenanthrene (50 mg·L−1) in a culture solution within 15 days. The inoculation of plants with Ph6-gfp reduced the risks associated with plant phenanthrene contamination based on observations of decreased concentration, accumulation, and translocation factors of phenanthrene in ryegrass. Our results will have important ramifications in the assessment of the environmental risks of PAHs and in finding ways to circumvent plant PAH contamination.
PMCID: PMC4071310  PMID: 24964867

Results 1-25 (211)