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author:("Dong, qing")
1.  Characterization of PERV in a new conserved pig herd as potential donor animals for xenotransplantation in China 
Virology Journal  2014;11(1):212.
Xenotransplantation has drawn increased attention in recent years as a potential solution to the scarcity of human source donor organs. Researchers have highlighted the need to characterize the influence of porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERV) in xenotransplantation. Screening and analyzing the presence and subtype of PERV in donor source animal breeds could provide basic parameters to evaluate the biological safety of xenotransplantation from pigs to humans. We bred a new miniature porcine herd (XENO-1) after decades of investigation, the herd was purpose bred to produce a potential donor animal source for xenotransplantation. To this end we studied the animals’ PERV expression characteristics.
We randomly selected 37 animals of the herd, PCR and RT-PCR based on specific primers were utilized to determine their PERV viral subtype. High fidelity PCR and restriction enzyme digestion were employed for variants detection. To thoroughly understand the PERV expression pattern, quantitative PCR was applied to measure mRNA expression levels in different tissues, At last, transfection capacity was assessed using a in vitro co-culture system.
Our results revealed that the XENO-1 herd was free of PERV-C and exhibited low levels of PERVs in different tissues compared to commercial pig (landrace). The XENO-1 herd showed unique variants of A/B recombination. In addition, even though there were A/B variants in the XENO-1 herd, co-culturing revealed no evidence of PERV transmission from XENO-1 tissue to human cells.
Overall, Our results displayed an unique PERV expression pattern in a new pig herd and demonstrated its non-transfection capacity in vitro. Data in the research indicate that XENO-1 animals can serve as a better potential donor source for xenotransplantation.
PMCID: PMC4272560  PMID: 25471401
PERV; Donor source; New herd; Recombination; Xenotransplantation
2.  Role of Select Genetic Variants in Lung Cancer Risk in African Americans 
Black/white disparities in lung cancer incidence and mortality mandate an evaluation of underlying biological differences. We have previously shown higher risks of lung cancer associated with prior emphysema in African American compared with white lung cancer patients.
We therefore evaluated a panel of 1440 inflammatory gene variants in a two phase analysis (discovery and replication), added top GWAS lung cancer hits from Caucasian populations, and 28 SNPs from a published gene panel. The discovery set (477 self-designated African Americans cases, 366 controls matched on age, ethnicity, and gender) were from Houston, Texas. The external replication set (330 cases, 342 controls) was from the EXHALE study at Wayne State University.
In discovery, 154 inflammation SNPs were significant (P<0.05) on univariate analysis, as was one of the gene panel SNPs (rs308738 in REV1, P=0.0013), and three GWAS hits, rs16969968 P=0.0014 and rs10519203 P=0.0003 in the 15q locus and rs2736100, the HTERT locus, P=0.0002. One inflammation SNP, rs950286, was successfully replicated with a concordant odds ratio of 1.46(1.14-1.87) in discovery, 1.37(1.05-1.77) in replication, and a combined OR of 1.40 (1.17-1.68). This SNP is intergenic between IRF4 and EXOC2 genes. We also constructed and validated epidemiologic and extended risk prediction models. The AUC for the epidemiologic discovery model was 0.77 and 0.80 for the extended model. For the combined datasets, the AUC values were 0.75 and 0.76, respectively.
As has been reported for other cancer sites and populations, incorporating top genetic hits into risk prediction models, provides little improvement in model performance and no clinical relevance.
PMCID: PMC3623962  PMID: 23454887
3.  Genomic Aberrations in the HTPAP Promoter Affect Tumor Metastasis and Clinical Prognosis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90528.
We previously reported that the intronic tagSNP +357G/C in the metastasis suppressor HTPAP is associated with metastasis and prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim of this study was to investigate whether SNPs in the HTPAP promoter modulate HTPAP expression and prognosis of HCC. Genomic DNA from 572 microdissected HCCs were genotyped by pyrosequencing and verified by direct sequencing. Haplotype blocks were analyzed. Reporter plasmids were constructed and transfected into HCC cell lines. Transcriptional activities of plasmids were analyzed by dual-luciferase reporter systems. HTPAP expression was measured by real-time quantitative PCR, western blots, and tissue microarrays. Invasion was assessed by Matrigel assays. The prognostic values of HTPAP promoter SNPs in HCC were evaluated by Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses. We identified six SNPs, including -1053A/G and +64G/C, in the HTPAP promoter. The SNPs were in complete linkage disequilibrium, resulting in three promoter haplotypes (promoter I:-1053AA/+64GG, promoter II: -1053AG/+64GC, and promoter III: -1053GG/+64CC). Promoter I manifested the highest luciferase index (p<0.005). However, no significant difference was observed between promoters II and III. We consistently found that HTPAP mRNA and protein levels were significantly higher in promoter I than that of promoter II+III (p<0.001). Invasion was increased in HCC cells transfected with promoters II+III compared to those transfected with promoter I (p<0.05). The HTPAP promoter II+III haplotype was associated with significantly increased metastasis compared to that of promoter I (p = 0.023). The postoperative five-year overall survival of patients with promoters II+III was lower than that of patients with promoter I (p = 0.006). Multivariate analysis showed that the promoter II+III haplotype was an adverse prognostic marker in HCC. The genetic variants at loci –1053 and +64 of the HTPAP promoter affect the expression of HTPAP, which might be a novel determinant and target for HCC prognosis.
PMCID: PMC3946185  PMID: 24603412
4.  Sensation seeking genes and physical activity in youth 
Genes, brain, and behavior  2012;12(2):181-188.
Many studies examining genetic influences on physical activity (PA) have evaluated the impact of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) related to the development of lifestyle-related chronic diseases, under the hypothesis that they would be associated with PA. However, PA is a multi-determined behavior and associated with a multitude of health consequences. Thus, examining a broader range of candidate genes associated with a boarder range of PA correlates may provide new insights into the genetic underpinnings of PA. In this study we focus on one such correlate – sensation seeking behavior. Participants (N=1,130 Mexican origin youth) provided a saliva sample and data on PA and sensation seeking tendencies in 2008–09. Participants were genotyped for 630 functional and tagging variants in the dopamine, serotonin, and cannabinoid pathways. Overall 30% of participants (males – 37.6%; females – 22.0%) reported ≥60 minutes of PA on five out of seven days. After adjusting for gender, age and population stratification, and applying the Bayesian False Discovery Probability approach for assessing noteworthiness, four gene variants were significantly associated with PA. In a multivariable model, being male, having higher sensation seeking tendencies and at least one copy of the minor allele for SNPs in ACE (rs8066276 OR=1.44; p=0.012) and TPH2 (rs11615016 OR=1.73; p=0.021) were associated with increased likelihood of meeting PA recommendations. Participants with at least one copy of the minor allele for SNPs in SNAP25 (rs363035 OR=0.53; p=0.005) and CNR1 (rs6454672 OR=0.62; p=0.022) have decreased likelihood of meeting PA recommendations. Our findings extend current knowledge of the complex relationship between PA and possible genetic underpinnings.
PMCID: PMC3581711  PMID: 23190435
Physical Activity; Genes; Sensation Seeking; Mexican origin youth
5.  Variants in inflammation genes are implicated in risk of lung cancer in never smokers exposed to second-hand smoke 
Cancer discovery  2011;1(5):420-429.
Lung cancer in lifetime never smokers is distinct from that in smokers, but the role of separate or overlapping carcinogenic pathways has not been explored. We therefore evaluated a comprehensive panel of 11,737 SNPs in inflammatory-pathway genes in a discovery phase (451 lung cancer cases, 508 controls from Texas). SNPs that were significant were evaluated in a second external population (303 cases, 311 controls from the Mayo Clinic). An intronic SNP in the ACVR1B gene, rs12809597, was replicated with significance and restricted to those reporting adult exposure to environmental tobacco smoke Another promising candidate was a SNP in NR4A1, although the replication OR did not achieve statistical significance. ACVR1B belongs to the TGFR-β superfamily, contributing to resolution of inflammation and initiation of airway remodeling. An inflammatory microenvironment, (second hand smoking, asthma, or hay fever) is necessary for risk from these gene variants to be expressed. These findings require further replication, followed by targeted resequencing, and functional validation.
PMCID: PMC3919666  PMID: 22586632
lung cancer; never smokers; inflammation genes; sidestream exposure
6.  Specific siRNA Targeting Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products (RAGE) Decreases Proliferation in Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines 
Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products (RAGE) is an oncogenic trans-membranous receptor overexpressed in various human cancers. However, the role of RAGE in breast cancer development and proliferation is still unclear. In this study, we demonstrated that RAGE expression levels are correlated to the degree of severity of breast cancer. Furthermore, there is a decrease in the proliferation of all sub-types of breast cancer, MCF-7, SK-Br-3 and MDA-MB-231, as a result of the effect of RAGE siRNA. RAGE siRNA arrested cells in the G1 phase and inhibited DNA synthesis (p < 0.05). Moreover, qRT-PCR and Western Blot results demonstrated that RAGE siRNA decreases the expression of transcriptional factor NF-κB p65 as well as the expression of cell proliferation markers PCNA and cyclinD1. RAGE and RAGE ligands can thus be considered as possible targets for breast cancer management and therapy.
PMCID: PMC3645726  PMID: 23579957
RAGE; siRNA; proliferation; breast cancer
7.  Pilot Study of CYP2B6 Genetic Variation to Explore the Contribution of Nitrosamine Activation to Lung Carcinogenesis 
We explored the contribution of nitrosamine metabolism to lung cancer in a pilot investigation of genetic variation in CYP2B6, a high-affinity enzymatic activator of tobacco-specific nitrosamines with a negligible role in nicotine metabolism. Previously we found that variation in CYP2A6 and CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 combined to increase lung cancer risk in a case-control study in European American ever-smokers (n = 860). However, these genes are involved in the pharmacology of both nicotine, through which they alter smoking behaviours, and carcinogenic nitrosamines. Herein, we separated participants by CYP2B6 genotype into a high- vs. low-risk group (*1/*1 + *1/*6 vs. *6/*6). Odds ratios estimated through logistic regression modeling were 1.25 (95% CI 0.68–2.30), 1.27 (95% CI 0.89–1.79) and 1.56 (95% CI 1.04–2.31) for CYP2B6, CYP2A6 and CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4, respectively, with negligible differences when all genes were evaluated concurrently. Modeling the combined impact of high-risk genotypes yielded odds ratios that rose from 2.05 (95% CI 0.39–10.9) to 2.43 (95% CI 0.47–12.7) to 3.94 (95% CI 0.72–21.5) for those with 1, 2 and 3 vs. 0 high-risk genotypes, respectively. Findings from this pilot point to genetic variation in CYP2B6 as a lung cancer risk factor supporting a role for nitrosamine metabolic activation in the molecular mechanism of lung carcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3645749  PMID: 23591849
CYP2B6; CYP2A6; CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4; tobacco specific nitrosamines; lung cancer risk; genetic variation
8.  Cigarette Experimentation in Mexican Origin Youth: Psychosocial and Genetic Determinants 
Established psychosocial risk factors increase the risk for experimentation among Mexican-origin youth. Now we comprehensively investigate the added contribution of select polymorphisms in candidate genetic pathways associated with sensation seeking, risk taking, and smoking phenotypes to predict experimentation.
Participants, (N=1,118 Mexican origin youth) recruited from a large population-based cohort study in Houston, Texas, provided prospective data on cigarette experimentation over three years. Psychosocial data were elicited twice—baseline and final follow-up. Participants were genotyped for 672 functional and tagging variants in the dopamine, serotonin and opioid pathways.
After adjusting for gender and age, with a Bayesian False Discovery Probability set at 0.8 and prior probability of 0.05, six gene variants were significantly associated with risk of experimentation. After controlling for established risk factors, multivariable analyses revealed that participants with six or more risk alleles were 2.25 (95%CI: 1.62–3.13) times more likely to have experimented since baseline compared to participants with five or fewer. Among committed never smokers (N=872), three genes (OPRM1, SNAP25, HTR1B) were associated with experimentation as were all psychosocial factors. Among susceptible youth (N=246) older age at baseline, living with a smoker, and three different genes (HTR2A, DRD2, SLC6A3) predicted experimentation.
Our findings, which have implications for development of culturally-specific interventions, need to be validated in other ethnic groups.
These results suggest that variations in select genes interact with a cognitive predisposition toward smoking. In susceptible adolescents, the impact of the genetic variants appears to be larger compared to committed never smokers.
PMCID: PMC3382046  PMID: 22028400
9.  MicroRNA-29a-5p Is a Novel Predictor for Early Recurrence of Hepatitis B Virus-Related Hepatocellular Carcinoma after Surgical Resection 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e52393.
It is still difficult to predict the probability of tumor recurrence after resection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this study, we set out to identify specific microRNA (miRNA) in microdissected hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related HCC tissue from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples which might be used in predicting early recurrence after HCC resection. Taqman low density arrays were used to detect the 667 miRNA profiles in both the microdissected tumorous and adjacent non-tumorous liver tissues from 20 HCC patients (discovery set) including 10 patients with early tumor recurrence and 10 without early tumor recurrence and to identify the differentially expressed miRNAs related to HCC recurrence. Then quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to verify the findings in 106 patients (training set), and to develop a predictive assay. The identified miRNAs were further validated in an independent cohort of 112 patients (validation set). Thirty seven miRNAs were identified from 20 HCC patients and validated in 106 HCC patients using qRT-PCR. A significant association was found between miR-29a-5p level in HCC tissues and early tumor recurrence (P = 0.0002). This association was further confirmed in the independent validation set of 112 patients (P = 0.0154). MiR-29a-5p level was significantly associated with both time to tumor recurrence (TTR) (P = 0.0015) and overall survival (OS) (P = 0.0079) in validation set. In the multivariate analyses, miR-29a-5p was identified as an independent factor for TTR, particularly for those patients with early stage of HCC. The sensitivity and specificity of miR-29a-5p for the prediction of early HCC recurrence of BCLC 0/A stage HCC were 74.2% and 68.2%, respectively. These suggest that miR-29a-5p might be a useful marker for the prediction of early tumor recurrence after HCC resection, especially in BCLC 0/A stage HCCs.
PMCID: PMC3527523  PMID: 23285022
10.  TGF beta1 and related-Smads contribute to pulmonary metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma in mice model 
Recent studies indicate that Transforming Growth Factor beta (TGF β) correlated with pulmonary metastasis of cancers. However, the correlation between TGF β and pulmonary metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is till unknown.
We detected the in vitro and in vivo expression levels of TGF β1/Smads by Real-time PCR and Western blot in MHCC97-H and MHCC97–L cell lines, which are HCC cell lines and have higher and lower pulmonary metastatic potential respectively.
TGF β1 mRNA level in MHCC97-L tumors were higher than that in MHCC97-H tumors, (2.81±1.61 vs. 1.24±0.96, P=0.002), TGF β1 protein level in MHCC97-L tumors were also higher than that in MHCC97-H tumors (1.37±0.95 vs. 0.32±0.22, P<0.001). In addition, the TGF β1 mRNA level positively correlated with pulmonary metastasis, and the relations between TGF β1 and Smads were also found (R2=0.12 and 0.40, respectively).
Our results suggest that TGF β/ Smads promote pulmonary metastasis of HCC.
PMCID: PMC3503772  PMID: 23151305
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Metastasis; Transforming growth factor beta
11.  Multistage analysis of variants in the Inflammation pathway and lung cancer risk in smokers 
Tobacco-induced lung cancer is characterized by a deregulated inflammatory microenvironment. Variants in multiple genes in inflammation pathways may contribute to risk of lung cancer.
We therefore conducted a three-stage comprehensive pathway analysis (discovery, replication and meta-analysis) of inflammation gene variants in ever smoking lung cancer cases and controls. A discovery set (1096 cases; 727 controls) and an independent and non-overlapping internal replication set (1154 cases; 1137 controls) were derived from an ongoing case-control study. For discovery, we used an iSelect BeadChip to interrogate a comprehensive panel of 11737 inflammation pathway SNPs and selected nominally significant (p<0.05) SNPs for internal replication.
There were 6 SNPs that achieved statistical significance (p<0.05) in the internal replication dataset with concordant risk estimates for former smokers and 5 concordant and replicated SNPs in current smokers. Replicated hits were further tested in a subsequent meta-analysis using external data derived from two published GWAS and a case-control study. Two of these variants (a BCL2L14 SNP in former smokers and a SNP in IL2RB in current smokers) were further validated. In risk score analyses, there was a 26% increase in risk with each additional adverse allele when we combined the genotyped SNP and the most significant imputed SNP in IL2RB in current smokers and a 36% similar increase in risk for former smokers associated with genotyped and imputed BCL2L14 SNPs.
Before they can be applied for risk prediction efforts, these SNPs should be subject to further external replication and more extensive fine mapping studies.
PMCID: PMC3487592  PMID: 22573796
Inflammation SNPS; lung cancer; smokers
12.  DNA Repair Capacity in Peripheral Lymphocytes Predicts Survival of Patients With Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer Treated With First-Line Platinum-Based Chemotherapy  
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2011;29(31):4121-4128.
Platinum-based regimens are the standard chemotherapy for patients with advanced non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). DNA repair capacity (DRC) in tumor cells plays an important role in resistance to platinum-based drugs. We have previously reported that efficient DRC, as assessed by an in vitro lymphocyte-based assay, was a determinant of poor survival in patients with NSCLC in a relatively small data set. In this larger independent study of 591 patients with NSCLC, we further evaluated whether DRC in peripheral lymphocytes predicts survival of patients with NSCLC who receive platinum-based chemotherapy.
Patients and Methods
All patients were recruited at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and donated blood samples before the start of any chemotherapy. We measured DRC in cultured T lymphocytes by using the host-cell reactivation assay, and we assessed associations between DRC in peripheral lymphocytes and survival of patients with NSCLC who were treated with first-line platinum-based chemotherapy.
We found an inverse association between DRC in peripheral lymphocytes and patient survival. Compared with patients in the low tertile of DRC, patients with NSCLC in the high tertile of DRC had significantly worse overall and 3-year survival (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.33; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.71; P = .023; and HR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.76; P = .025, respectively). This trend was more pronounced in patients with early-stage tumors, adenocarcinoma, or squamous cell carcinoma.
We confirmed that DRC in peripheral lymphocytes is an independent predictor of survival for patients with NSCLC treated with platinum-based chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3675702  PMID: 21947825
13.  Bis(2-methyl-1H-benzimidazol-3-ium) naphthalene-1,5-disulfonate 
The asymmetric unit of the title compound, 2C8H9N2 +·C10H6O6S2 2−, contains a 2-methyl­benzimidazolium cation and one half of a naphthalene-1,5-disulfonate anion. The formula unit is generated by an inversion center. In the crystal, N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds link the components into chains along [001]. In addition, weak C—H⋯O hydrogen bonds and weak C—H⋯π inter­actions are observed. The methyl H atoms were refined as disordered over two sets of sites with equal occupancy.
PMCID: PMC3470333  PMID: 23125746
14.  Relationship Between CYP2A6 and CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 Variation and Smoking Behaviors and Lung Cancer Risk 
Genetic variations in the CYP2A6 nicotine metabolic gene and the CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 (CHRNA5-A3-B4) nicotinic gene cluster have been independently associated with lung cancer. With genotype data from ever-smokers of European ancestry (417 lung cancer patients and 443 control subjects), we investigated the relative and combined associations of polymorphisms in these two genes with smoking behavior and lung cancer risk. Kruskal–Wallis tests were used to compare smoking variables among the different genotype groups, and odds ratios (ORs) for cancer risk were estimated using logistic regression analysis. All statistical tests were two-sided. Cigarette consumption (P < .001) and nicotine dependence (P = .036) were the highest in the combined CYP2A6 normal metabolizers and CHRNA5-A3-B4 AA (tag single-nucleotide polymorphism rs1051730 G>A) risk group. The combined risk group also exhibited the greatest lung cancer risk (OR = 2.03; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.21 to 3.40), which was even higher among those who smoked 20 or fewer cigarettes per day (OR = 3.03; 95% CI = 1.38 to 6.66). Variation in CYP2A6 and CHRNA5-A3-B4 was independently and additively associated with increased cigarette consumption, nicotine dependence, and lung cancer risk. CYP2A6 and CHRNA5-A3-B4 appear to be more strongly associated with smoking behaviors and lung cancer risk, respectively.
PMCID: PMC3168937  PMID: 21747048
15.  Inherited variation at chromosome 12p13.33 including RAD52 influences squamous cell lung carcinoma risk 
Cancer Discovery  2011;2(2):131-139.
While lung cancer is largely caused by tobacco smoking, inherited genetic factors play a role in its etiology. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in Europeans have robustly demonstrated only three polymorphic variations influencing lung cancer risk. Tumor heterogeneity may have hampered the detection of association signal when all lung cancer subtypes were analyzed together. In a GWAS of 5,355 European smoking lung cancer cases and 4,344 smoking controls, we conducted a pathway-based analysis in lung cancer histologic subtypes with 19,082 SNPs mapping to 917 genes in the HuGE-defined “inflammation” pathway. We identified a susceptibility locus for squamous cell lung carcinoma (SQ) at 12p13.33 (RAD52, rs6489769), and replicated the association in three independent samples totaling 3,359 SQ cases and 9,100 controls (odds ratio=1.20, Pcombined=2.3×10−8).
The combination of pathway-based approaches and information on disease specific subtypes can improve the identification of cancer susceptibility loci in heterogeneous diseases.
PMCID: PMC3354721  PMID: 22585858
Lung cancer; histology; squamous cell carcinoma; pathway analysis; RAD52
16.  Automated detection of genetic abnormalities combined with cytology in sputum is a sensitive predictor of lung cancer 
Modern Pathology  2008;21(8):950-960.
Detection of lung cancer by sputum cytology has low sensitivity but is noninvasive and, if improved, could be a powerful tool for early lung cancer detection. To evaluate whether the accuracy of diagnosing lung cancer by evaluating sputa for cytologic atypia and genetic abnormalities is greater than that of conventional cytology alone, automated scoring of genetic abnormalities for 3p22.1 and 10q22.3 (SP-A) by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and conventional cytology was done on sputa from 35 subjects with lung cancer, 25 high-risk smokers, and 6 healthy control subjects. Multivariate analysis was performed to select variables that most accurately predicted lung cancer. A model of probability for the presence of lung cancer was derived for each subject. Cells exfoliated from patients with lung cancer contained genetic aberrations and cytologic atypias at significantly higher levels than in those from control subjects. When combined with cytologic atypia, a model of risk for lung cancer was derived that had 74% sensitivity and 82% specificity to predict the presence of lung cancer, whereas conventional cytology achieved only 37% sensitivity and 87% specificity. For diagnosing lung cancer in sputum, a combination of molecular and cytologic variables was superior to using conventional cytology alone.
PMCID: PMC3377448  PMID: 18500269
surfactant protein A gene; 3p22.1; FISH; cytology; field cancerization effect; sputum
17.  3-Carb­oxy-2-(2-cyclo­propyl­amino-4-methyl­pyridinium-3-yl­amino)­pyridinium dinitrate dihydrate 
The two benzene rings in the cation of the title compound, C15H18N4O2 2+·2NO3 −·2H2O, are almost perpendicular [dihedral angle = 91.6 (2)°]. In the crystal, the components are linked by O—H⋯O, N—H⋯O and C—H⋯O hydrogen bonds.
PMCID: PMC3247599  PMID: 22219904
18.  Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Region on Chromosome 15q25 and Lung Cancer Risk Among African Americans: A Case–Control Study 
Genome-wide association studies of white persons with lung cancer have identified a region of extensive linkage disequilibrium on chromosome 15q25.1 that appears to be associated with both risk for lung cancer and smoking dependence. Because studying African American persons, who exhibit lower levels of linkage disequilibrium in this region, may identify additional loci that are associated with lung cancer, we genotyped 34 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in this region (including LOC123688, PSMA4, CHRNA5, CHRNA3, and CHRNB4 genes) in 467 African American patients with lung cancer and 388 frequency-matched African American control subjects. Associations of SNPs in LOC123688 (rs10519203; odds ratio [OR] = 1.60, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.25 to 2.05, P = .00016), CHRNA5 (rs2036527; OR = 1.67, 95% CI = 1.26 to 2.21, P = .00031), and CHRNA3 (rs1051730; OR = 1.81, 95% CI = 1.26 to 2.59, P = .00137) genes with lung cancer risk reached Bonferroni-corrected levels of statistical significance (all statistical tests were two-sided). Joint logistic regression analysis showed that rs684513 (OR = 0.47, 95% CI = 0.31 to 0.71, P = .0003) in CHRNA5 and rs8034191 (OR = 1.76, 95% CI = 1.23 to 2.52, P = .002) in LOC123688 were also associated with risk. The functional A variant of rs1696698 in CHRNA5 had the strongest association with lung cancer (OR = 1.98, 95% CI = 1.25 to 3.11, P = .003). These SNPs were primarily associated with increased risk for lung adenocarcinoma histology and were only weakly associated with smoking phenotypes. Thus, among African American persons, multiple loci in the region of chromosome 15q25.1 appear to be strongly associated with lung cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC2914761  PMID: 20554942
19.  Anti-cancer effects of p21WAF1/CIP1 transcriptional activation induced by dsRNAs in human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2011;32(7):939-946.
To investigate the anti-cancer effects of p21WAF1/CIP1 transcriptional activation induced by dsRNAs in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines.
HCC cell lines BEL7402, SMMC-7721, MHCC97L, MHCC97H, and MHCCLM3 were used. HCC cells were treated with dsP21-322 (50 nmol/L), dsControl (50 nmol/L), siP21 (50 nmol/L), or mock transfection. The expression of p21 was detected using quantitative PCR and Western blot. The effects of RNA activation on HCC cells were determined using cell viability assays, apoptosis analyses and clonogenic survival assays. Western blot was also conducted to detect the expression of Bcl-xL, survivin, cleaved caspase-3, cleaved caspase-9 and cleaved PARP.
At 72 to 120 h following the transfection, dsP21-322 markedly inhibited the viability of HCC cells and clone formation. At the same times, dsP21-322 caused a significant increase in HCC cell apoptosis, as demonstrated with cytometric analysis. The phenomena were correlated with decreased expression levels of the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-xL, surviving, and increased expression of cleaved caspase-3, cleaved caspase-9 and cleaved PARP.
RNA-induced activation of p21 gene expression may have significant therapeutic potential for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and other cancers.
PMCID: PMC4003122  PMID: 21666704
hepatocellular carcinoma; small activating RNA (saRNA); RNA-induced gene activation (RNAa); p21WAF1/CIP1; cell viability; apoptosis
20.  An Expanded Risk Prediction Model for Lung Cancer 
Risk prediction models are useful in clinical decision making. We have published an internally validated prediction tool for lung cancer based on easily obtainable epidemiologic and clinical data. Because the precision of the model was modest, we now estimate the improvement obtained by adding two markers of DNA repair capacity.
Assay data (host-cell reactivation and mutagen sensitivity) were available for 725 White lung cancer cases and 615 controls, all former or current smokers, a subset of cases and controls from the previous analysis. Multivariable models were constructed from the original variables with addition of the biomarkers separately and together. Pairwise comparisons of the area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUC) and 3-fold cross-validations were done.
For former smokers, the AUC and 95% confidence intervals were 0.67 (0.63–0.71) for the baseline model and 0.70 (0.66–0.74) for the expanded model. For current smokers, the comparable AUC values were 0.68 (0.64–0.72) and 0.73 (0.69–0.77). For both groups, the expanded models were statistically significantly better than the baseline models (P = 0.006 and P = 0.0048, respectively), although the increases in the concordance statistics were modest. We also recomputed 1-year absolute risks of lung cancer as described previously for two different risk profiles and showed that individuals who exhibited poor repair capacity or heightened mutagen sensitivity had increased absolute risks of lung cancer.
Addition of biomarker assays improved the sensitivity of the expanded models.
PMCID: PMC2854404  PMID: 19138968
21.  Development and Validation of a Lung Cancer Risk Prediction Model for African-Americans 
Because existing risk prediction models for lung cancer were developed in white populations, they may not be appropriate for predicting risk among African-Americans. Therefore, a need exists to construct and validate a risk prediction model for lung cancer that is specific to African-Americans. We analyzed data from 491 African-Americans with lung cancer and 497 matched African-American controls to identify specific risks and incorporate them into a multivariable risk model for lung cancer and estimate the 5-year absolute risk of lung cancer. We performed internal and external validations of the risk model using data on additional cases and controls from the same ongoing multiracial/ethnic lung cancer case-control study from which the model-building data were obtained as well as data from two different lung cancer studies in metropolitan Detroit, respectively. We also compared our African-American model with our previously developed risk prediction model for whites. The final risk model included smoking-related variables [smoking status, pack-years smoked, age at smoking cessation (former smokers), and number of years since smoking cessation (former smokers)], self- reported physician diagnoses of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or hay fever, and exposures to asbestos or wood dusts. Our risk prediction model for African-Americans exhibited good discrimination [75% (95% confidence interval, 0.67−0.82)] for our internal data and moderate discrimination [63% (95% confidence interval, 0.57−0.69)] for the external data group, which is an improvement over the Spitz model for white subjects. Existing lung cancer prediction models may not be appropriate for predicting risk for African-Americans because (a) they were developed using white populations, (b) level of risk is different for risk factors that African-American share with whites, and (c) unique group-specific risk factors exist for African-Americans. This study developed and validated a risk prediction model for lung cancer that is specific to African-Americans and thus more precise in predicting their risks. These findings highlight the importance of conducting further ethnic-specific analyses of disease risk.
PMCID: PMC2854402  PMID: 19138969
22.  Common 5p15.33 and 6p21.33 variants influence lung cancer risk 
Nature genetics  2008;40(12):1407-1409.
We conducted a genome-wide association (GWA) study of lung cancer comparing 511,919 SNP genotypes in 1,952 cases and 1,438 controls. The most significant association was attained at 15q25.1 (rs8042374; P = 7.75 × 10−12), confirming recent observations. Pooling data with two other GWA studies (5,095 cases, 5,200 controls) and with replication in an additional 2,484 cases and 3,036 controls, we identified two newly associated risk loci mapping to 6p21.33 (rs3117582, BAT3-MSH5; Pcombined = 4.97 × 10−10) and 5p15.33 (rs401681, CLPTM1L; Pcombined = 7.90 × 10−9).
PMCID: PMC2695928  PMID: 18978787
23.  The CHRNA5-A3 Region on Chromosome 15q24-25.1 Is a Risk Factor Both for Nicotine Dependence and for Lung Cancer 
Common variants in the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene cluster on chromosome 15q24-25.1 were associated with lung cancer risk in three recently published independently conducted genome-wide association studies, with no consensus as to the relative impact of the variants on the propensity to smoke vs a direct carcinogenic effect. To further explore our hypothesis that these variants are indeed associated with both cancer causation and nicotine dependence, we performed a more detailed analysis of the association of these putative risk genotypes with smoking phenotype, as well as in lifetime never smokers, and in other smoking-related cancers. We demonstrate a statistically significant association of the variants with both nicotine dependence, as well as lung cancer phenotypes, including earlier age at lung cancer onset. The variants were associated with higher risks of lung cancer in lower smoking-exposed strata, and in individuals with a strong family history of lung or smoking-related cancers. In contrast, we found no evidence that the variants were associated with elevated risks in 547 lifetime never-smoking lung cancer case subjects, nor in other smoking-related cancers (bladder and renal). Thus, we conclude that the variants are implicated both in smoking behavior and more directly in lung cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC2720751  PMID: 18957677
24.  Genome-wide association scan of tag SNPs identifies a susceptibility locus for lung cancer at 15q25.1 
Nature genetics  2008;40(5):616-622.
To identify risk variants for lung cancer, we conducted a multistage genome-wide association study. In the discovery phase, we analyzed 315,450 tagging SNPs in 1,154 current and former (ever) smoking cases of European ancestry and 1,137 frequency-matched, ever-smoking controls from Houston, Texas. For replication, we evaluated the ten SNPs most significantly associated with lung cancer in an additional 711 cases and 632 controls from Texas and 2,013 cases and 3,062 controls from the UK. Two SNPs, rs1051730 and rs8034191, mapping to a region of strong linkage disequilibrium within 15q25.1 containing PSMA4 and the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit genes CHRNA3 and CHRNA5, were significantly associated with risk in both replication sets. Combined analysis yielded odds ratios of 1.32 (P < 1 × 10−17) for both SNPs. Haplotype analysis was consistent with there being a single risk variant in this region. We conclude that variation in a region of 15q25.1 containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors genes contributes to lung cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC2713680  PMID: 18385676
25.  Suitable reference genes for real-time PCR in human HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma with different clinical prognoses 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:49.
Housekeeping genes are routinely used as endogenous references to account for experimental differences in gene expression assays. However, recent reports show that they could be de-regulated in different diseases, model animals, or even under varied experimental conditions, which may lead to unreliable results and consequently misinterpretations. This study focused on the selection of suitable reference genes for quantitative PCR in human hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with different clinical outcomes.
We evaluated 6 commonly used housekeeping genes' expression levels in 108 HBV-related HCCs' matched tumor and non-tomor tissue samples with different clinical outcomes and 26 normal liver specimens by real-time PCR. The expression stability of the 6 genes was compared using the software programs geNorm and NormFinder. To show the impact of reference genes on data analysis, we took PGK1 as a target gene normalized by each reference gene, and performed one-way ANOVA and the equivalence test.
With the geNorm and NormFinder software programs, analysis of TBP and HPRT1 showed the best stability in all tissue samples, while 18s and ACTB were less stable. When 18s or ACTB was used for normalization, no significant difference of PGK1 expression (p > 0.05) was found among HCC tissues with and without metastasis, and normal liver specimens; however, dramatically differences (p < 0.001) were observed when either TBP or the combination of TBP and HPRT1 were selected as reference genes.
TBP and HPRT1 are the most reliable reference genes for q-PCR normalization in HBV-related HCC specimens. However, the well-used ACTB and 18S are not suitable, which actually lead to the misinterpretation of the results in gene expression analysis.
PMCID: PMC2644316  PMID: 19200351

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