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1.  miRNA contents of cerebrospinal fluid extracellular vesicles in glioblastoma patients 
Journal of neuro-oncology  2015;123(2):205-216.
Analysis of extracellular vesicles (EVs) derived from plasma or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has emerged as a promising biomarker platform for therapeutic monitoring in glioblastoma patients. However, the contents of the various subpopulations of EVs in these clinical specimens remain poorly defined. Here we characterize the relative abundance of miRNA species in EVs derived from the serum and cerebrospinal fluid of glioblastoma patients.
EVs were isolated from glioblastoma cell lines as well as the plasma and CSF of glioblastoma patients. The microvesicle subpopulation was isolated by pelleting at 10,000×g for 30 min after cellular debris was cleared by a 2,000×g (20 min) spin. The exosome subpopulation was isolated by pelleting the microvesicle supernatant at 120,000×g (120 min). qRT-PCR was performed to examine the distribution of miR-21, miR-103, miR-24, and miR-125. Global miRNA profiling was performed in select glioblastoma CSF samples.
In plasma and cell line derived EVs, the relative abundance of miRNAs in exosome and microvesicles were highly variable. In some specimens, the majority of the miRNA species were found in exosomes while in other, they were found in microvesicles. In contrast, CSF exosomes were enriched for miRNAs relative to CSF microvesicles. In CSF, there is an average of one molecule of miRNA per 150-25,000 EVs.
Most EVs derived from clinical biofluids are devoid of miRNA content. The relative distribution of miRNA species in plasma exosomes or microvesicles is unpredictable. In contrast, CSF exosomes are the major EV compartment that harbor miRNAs.
PMCID: PMC4459648  PMID: 25903655
2.  CD36 Mediated Fatty Acid-Induced Podocyte Apoptosis via Oxidative Stress 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0127507.
Hyperlipidemia-induced apoptosis mediated by fatty acid translocase CD36 is associated with increased uptake of ox-LDL or fatty acid in macrophages, hepatocytes and proximal tubular epithelial cells, leading to atherosclerosis, liver damage and fibrosis in obese patients, and diabetic nephropathy (DN), respectively. However, the specific role of CD36 in podocyte apoptosis in DN with hyperlipidemia remains poorly investigated.
The expression of CD36 was measured in paraffin-embedded kidney tissue samples (Ctr = 18, DN = 20) by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence staining. We cultured conditionally immortalized mouse podocytes (MPC5) and treated cells with palmitic acid, and measured CD36 expression by real-time PCR, Western blot analysis and immunofluorescence; lipid uptake by Oil red O staining and BODIPY staining; apoptosis by flow cytometry assay, TUNEL assay and Western blot analysis; and ROS production by DCFH-DA fluorescence staining. All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS 21.0 statistical software.
CD36 expression was increased in kidney tissue from DN patients with hyperlipidemia. Palmitic acid upregulated CD36 expression and promoted its translocation from cytoplasm to plasma membrane in podocytes. Furthermore, palmitic acid increased lipid uptake, ROS production and apoptosis in podocytes, Sulfo-N-succinimidyloleate (SSO), the specific inhibitor of the fatty acid binding site on CD36, decreased palmitic acid-induced fatty acid accumulation, ROS production, and apoptosis in podocytes. Antioxidant 4-hydroxy-2,2,6,6- tetramethylpiperidine -1-oxyl (tempol) inhibited the overproduction of ROS and apoptosis in podocytes induced by palmitic acid.
CD36 mediated fatty acid-induced podocyte apoptosis via oxidative stress might participate in the process of DN.
PMCID: PMC4441449  PMID: 26000608
3.  Comparison between Solitaire™ AB and Enterprise stent-assisted coiling for intracranial aneurysms 
The aim of the present study was to analyze the feasibility, rate of procedure-related complications and midterm angiographic follow-up outcomes using the Enterprise (EP) and Solitaire™ AB (ST) stents in the stent-assisted coiling of intracranial aneurysms. In total, 81 patients with 90 aneurysms were included in the study, with the aim to treat 43 aneurysms with the EP stent (47.8%) and 47 aneurysms with the ST stent (52.2%). The 90 aneurysms were successfully stented and subsequently coiled; however, in four patients undergoing treatment with the EP stent, the stent was not navigable; thus, treatment with the ST stent was employed (EP, n=39, 43.3%; ST, n=51, 56.7%). Of the 90 aneurysms, 44 cases were ruptured aneurysms, with 74 located in the anterior circulation and 16 located in the posterior circulation. The stenting success rate of the ST stent was significantly higher compared with the EP stent. However, no statistically significant differences were observed with regard to the packing density, complete occlusion, progressive occlusion, recurrence rate, procedure-related complications, in-stent stenosis and stent migration rates between the two groups. In conclusion, the two common medical devices used for intracranial aneurysms are relatively safe and effective for the treatment of intracranial aneurysms. However, due to the higher stenting success rate of the ST stent, this medical devise was demonstrated to be more flexible and feasible compared with the EP stent.
PMCID: PMC4486898  PMID: 26170926
Solitaire™ AB stent; Enterprise stent; stent-assisted coiling; intracranial aneurysms; endovascular treatment
4.  Gene Expression Profiling and Pathway Network Analysis Predicts a Novel Antitumor Function for a Botanical-Derived Drug, PG2 
PG2 is a botanical drug that is mostly composed of Astragalus polysaccharides (APS). Its role in hematopoiesis and relieving cancer-related fatigue has recently been clinically investigated in cancer patients. However, systematic analyses of its functions are still limited. The aim of this study was to use microarray-based expression profiling to evaluate the quality and consistency of PG2 from three different product batches and to study biological mechanisms of PG2. An integrative molecular analysis approach has been designed to examine significant PG2-induced signatures in HL-60 leukemia cells. A quantitative analysis of gene expression signatures was conducted for PG2 by hierarchical clustering of correlation coefficients. The results showed that PG2 product batches were consistent and of high quality. These batches were also functionally equivalent to each other with regard to how they modulated the immune and hematopoietic systems. Within the PG2 signature, there were five genes associated with doxorubicin: IL-8, MDM4, BCL2, PRODH2, and BIRC5. Moreover, the combination of PG2 and doxorubicin had a synergistic effect on induced cell death in HL-60 cells. Together with the bioinformatics-based approach, gene expression profiling provided a quantitative measurement for the quality and consistency of herbal medicines and revealed new roles (e.g., immune modulation) for PG2 in cancer treatment.
PMCID: PMC4417974  PMID: 25972907
5.  Ancient inland human dispersals from Myanmar into interior East Asia since the Late Pleistocene 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:9473.
Given the existence of plenty of river valleys connecting Southeast and East Asia, it is possible that some inland route(s) might have been adopted by the initial settlers to migrate into the interior of East Asia. Here we analyzed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) HVS variants of 845 newly collected individuals from 14 Myanmar populations and 5,907 published individuals from 115 populations from Myanmar and its surroundings. Enrichment of basal lineages with the highest genetic diversity in Myanmar suggests that Myanmar was likely one of the differentiation centers of the early modern humans. Intriguingly, some haplogroups were shared merely between Myanmar and southwestern China, hinting certain genetic connection between both regions. Further analyses revealed that such connection was in fact attributed to both recent gene flow and certain ancient dispersals from Myanmar to southwestern China during 25–10 kya, suggesting that, besides the coastal route, the early modern humans also adopted an inland dispersal route to populate the interior of East Asia.
PMCID: PMC4379912  PMID: 25826227
6.  PTGBase: an integrated database to study tandem duplicated genes in plants 
Tandem duplication is a wide-spread phenomenon in plant genomes and plays significant roles in evolution and adaptation to changing environments. Tandem duplicated genes related to certain functions will lead to the expansion of gene families and bring increase of gene dosage in the form of gene cluster arrays. Many tandem duplication events have been studied in plant genomes; yet, there is a surprising shortage of efforts to systematically present the integration of large amounts of information about publicly deposited tandem duplicated gene data across the plant kingdom. To address this shortcoming, we developed the first plant tandem duplicated genes database, PTGBase. It delivers the most comprehensive resource available to date, spanning 39 plant genomes, including model species and newly sequenced species alike. Across these genomes, 54 130 tandem duplicated gene clusters (129 652 genes) are presented in the database. Each tandem array, as well as its member genes, is characterized in complete detail. Tandem duplicated genes in PTGBase can be explored through browsing or searching by identifiers or keywords of functional annotation and sequence similarity. Users can download tandem duplicated gene arrays easily to any scale, up to the complete annotation data set for an entire plant genome. PTGBase will be updated regularly with newly sequenced plant species as they become available.
Database URL:
PMCID: PMC4369376  PMID: 25797062
7.  Effect of oral melatonin and wearing earplugs and eye masks on nocturnal sleep in healthy subjects in a simulated intensive care unit environment: which might be a more promising strategy for ICU sleep deprivation? 
Critical Care  2015;19(1):124.
Sleep deprivation is common in critically ill patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). Noise and light in the ICU and the reduction in plasma melatonin play the essential roles. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of simulated ICU noise and light on nocturnal sleep quality, and compare the effectiveness of melatonin and earplugs and eye masks on sleep quality in these conditions in healthy subjects.
This study was conducted in two parts. In part one, 40 healthy subjects slept under baseline night and simulated ICU noise and light (NL) by a cross-over design. In part two, 40 subjects were randomly assigned to four groups: NL, NL plus placebo (NLP), NL plus use of earplugs and eye masks (NLEE) and NL plus melatonin (NLM). 1 mg of oral melatonin or placebo was administered at 21:00 on four consecutive days in NLM and NLP. Earplugs and eye masks were made available in NLEE. The objective sleep quality was measured by polysomnography. Serum was analyzed for melatonin levels. Subjects rated their perceived sleep quality and anxiety levels.
Subjects had shorter total sleep time (TST) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, longer sleep onset latency, more light sleep and awakening, poorer subjective sleep quality, higher anxiety level and lower serum melatonin level in NL night (P <0.05). NLEE had less awakenings and shorter sleep onset latency (P <0.05). NLM had longer TST and REM and shorter sleep onset latency (P <0.05). Compared with NLEE, NLM had fewer awakenings (P = 0.004). Both NLM and NLEE improved perceived sleep quality and anxiety level (P = 0.000), and NLM showed better than NLEE in perceived sleep quality (P = 0.01). Compared to baseline night, the serum melatonin levels were lower in NL night at every time point, and the average maximal serum melatonin concentration in NLM group was significantly greater than other groups (P <0.001).
Compared with earplugs and eye masks, melatonin improves sleep quality and serum melatonin levels better in healthy subjects exposed to simulated ICU noise and light.
Trial registration
Chinese Clinical Trial Registry ChiCTR-IPR-14005458. Registered 10 November 2014.
PMCID: PMC4365553  PMID: 25887528
8.  A genetic contribution from the Far East into Ashkenazi Jews via the ancient Silk Road 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8377.
Contemporary Jews retain a genetic imprint from their Near Eastern ancestry, but obtained substantial genetic components from their neighboring populations during their history. Whether they received any genetic contribution from the Far East remains unknown, but frequent communication with the Chinese has been observed since the Silk Road period. To address this issue, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation from 55,595 Eurasians are analyzed. The existence of some eastern Eurasian haplotypes in eastern Ashkenazi Jews supports an East Asian genetic contribution, likely from Chinese. Further evidence indicates that this connection can be attributed to a gene flow event that occurred less than 1.4 kilo-years ago (kya), which falls within the time frame of the Silk Road scenario and fits well with historical records and archaeological discoveries. This observed genetic contribution from Chinese to Ashkenazi Jews demonstrates that the historical exchange between Ashkenazim and the Far East was not confined to the cultural sphere but also extended to an exchange of genes.
PMCID: PMC4323646  PMID: 25669617
9.  The Role of Lung Ultrasound in Diagnosis of Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Newborn Infants 
Iranian Journal of Pediatrics  2015;25(1):e323.
Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) is one of the most common causes of neonatal respiratory failure and mortality. The risk of developing RDS decreases with both increasing gestational age and birth weight.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the value of lung ultrasound in the diagnosis of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in newborn infants.
Materials and Methods:
From March 2012 to May 2013, 100 newborn infants were divided into two groups: RDS group (50 cases) and control group (50 cases). According to the findings of chest x-ray, there were 10 cases of grade II RDS, 15 grade III cases, and 25 grade IV cases in RDS group. Lung ultrasound was performed at bedside by a single expert. The ultrasound indexes observed in this study included pleural line, A-line, B-line, lung consolidation, air bronchograms, bilateral white lung, interstitial syndrome, lung sliding, lung pulse etc.
In all of the infants with RDS, lung ultrasound consistently showed generalized consolidation with air bronchograms, bilateral white lung or alveolar-interstitial syndrome, pleural line abnormalities, A-line disappearance, pleural effusion, lung pulse, etc. The simultaneous demonstration of lung consolidation, pleural line abnormalities and bilateral white lung, or lung consolidation, pleural line abnormalities and A-line disappearance co-exists with a sensitivity and specificity of 100%. Besides, the sensitivity was 80% and specificity 100% of lung pulse for the diagnosis of neonatal RDS.
This study indicates that using an ultrasound to diagnose neonatal RDS is accurate and reliable too. A lung ultrasound has many advantages over other techniques. Ultrasound is non-ionizing, low-cost, easy to operate, and can be performed at bedside, making this technique ideal for use in NICU.
PMCID: PMC4505980  PMID: 26199698
Lung; Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn; Infant, Newborn
10.  ocsESTdb: a database of oil crop seed EST sequences for comparative analysis and investigation of a global metabolic network and oil accumulation metabolism 
BMC Plant Biology  2015;15:19.
Oil crop seeds are important sources of fatty acids (FAs) for human and animal nutrition. Despite their importance, there is a lack of an essential bioinformatics resource on gene transcription of oil crops from a comparative perspective. In this study, we developed ocsESTdb, the first database of expressed sequence tag (EST) information on seeds of four large-scale oil crops with an emphasis on global metabolic networks and oil accumulation metabolism that target the involved unigenes.
A total of 248,522 ESTs and 106,835 unigenes were collected from the cDNA libraries of rapeseed (Brassica napus), soybean (Glycine max), sesame (Sesamum indicum) and peanut (Arachis hypogaea). These unigenes were annotated by a sequence similarity search against databases including TAIR, NR protein database, Gene Ontology, COG, Swiss-Prot, TrEMBL and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG). Five genome-scale metabolic networks that contain different numbers of metabolites and gene–enzyme reaction–association entries were analysed and constructed using Cytoscape and yEd programs. Details of unigene entries, deduced amino acid sequences and putative annotation are available from our database to browse, search and download. Intuitive and graphical representations of EST/unigene sequences, functional annotations, metabolic pathways and metabolic networks are also available. ocsESTdb will be updated regularly and can be freely accessed at
ocsESTdb may serve as a valuable and unique resource for comparative analysis of acyl lipid synthesis and metabolism in oilseed plants. It also may provide vital insights into improving oil content in seeds of oil crop species by transcriptional reconstruction of the metabolic network.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12870-014-0399-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4312456  PMID: 25604238
Database; Expressed sequence tag; Metabolic network; Oil crop seeds
11.  Osteogenesis of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells on strontium-substituted nano-hydroxyapatite coated roughened titanium surfaces 
Objective: To investigate osteogenesis of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) on strontium-substituted nano-hydroxyapatite (Sr-HA) coated roughened titanium surfaces. Methods: Sr-HA coating and HA coating were fabricated on roughened titanium surfaces by electrochemical deposition technique and characterized by field emission scanning electron microscope (FESM). BMSCs were cultured on Sr-HA coating, HA coating and roughened titanium surfaces respectively. Cell proliferation, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, mineralized nodules formation and cell osteocalcin (OC) secretion were measured. Results: Electrochemically deposited Sr-HA coating and HA coating had no effect on the proliferation of BMSCs and demonstrated that the materials have a good biocompatibility. BMSCs cultured on Sr-HA coating showed increased alkaline phosphatase activity, mineralized nodules formation, and cell OC secretion compared with the other two groups. Cells cultured on HA coating also showed increased biological activity compared with the roughened group. Conclusion: Sr-HA coated titanium surfaces by electrochemical deposition can promote osteogenesis of BMSCs in vitro and have the potential to shorten bone healing period and enhance implant osseointegration.
PMCID: PMC4358450  PMID: 25784995
Titanium; strontium; hydroxyapatite; bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells; osteogenesis
12.  Meta-analysis of the efficacy of probiotics in Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(47):18013-18021.
AIM: To evaluate the role of probiotics in the standard triple Helicobacter pylori therapy.
METHODS: In this meta-analysis, we investigated the efficacy of probiotics in a standard triple H. pylori therapy in adults. Searches were mainly conducted in MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Fourteen studies met our criteria, and the quality of these studies was assessed using the Jadad scale. We used STATA version 12.0 to extract data and to calculate the odds ratios (ORs), which are presented with the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The data are presented as forest plots.
RESULTS: The pooled ORs for the eradication rates calculated by intention-to-treat analysis and per-protocol analysis in the probiotic group vs the control group were 1.67 (95%CI: 1.38-2.02) and 1.68 (95%CI: 1.35-2.08), respectively, using the fixed-effects model. The sensitivity of the Asian studies was greater than that of the Caucasian studies (Asian: OR = 1.78, 95%CI: 1.40-2.26; Caucasian: OR = 1.48, 95%CI: 1.06-2.05). The pooled OR for the incidence of total adverse effects was significantly lower in the probiotic group (OR = 0.49, 95%CI: 0.26-0.94), using the random effects model, with significant heterogeneity (I2 = 85.7%). The incidence of diarrhea was significantly reduced in the probiotic group (OR = 0.21, 95%CI: 0.06-0.74), whereas the incidence of taste disorders, metallic taste, vomiting, nausea, and epigastric pain did not differ significantly between the probiotic group and the control group.
CONCLUSION: Supplementary probiotic preparations during standard triple H. pylori therapy may improve the eradication rate, particularly in Asian patients, and the incidence of total adverse effects.
PMCID: PMC4273153  PMID: 25548501
Helicobacter pylori; Eradication; Probiotics; Meta-analysis; Adult
13.  Detection of Leptospira-Specific Antibodies Using a Recombinant Antigen-Based Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay 
We produced three highly purified recombinant antigens rLipL32, rLipL41, and rLigA-Rep (leptospiral immunoglobulin-like A repeat region) for the detection of Leptospira-specific antibodies in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The performance of these recombinant antigens was evaluated using 121 human sera. Among them, 63 sera were microscopic agglutination test (MAT)-confirmed positive sera from febrile patients in Peru, 22 sera were indigenous MAT-negative febrile patient sera, and 36 sera were from patients with other febrile diseases from Southeast Asia, where leptospirosis is also endemic. Combining the results of immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG detection from these three antigens, the overall sensitivity is close to 90% based on the MAT. These results suggest that an ELISA using multiple recombinant antigens may be used as an alternative method for the detection of Leptospira-specific antibodies.
PMCID: PMC3854885  PMID: 24166046
14.  De Novo Transcriptome Sequence Assembly and Identification of AP2/ERF Transcription Factor Related to Abiotic Stress in Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e108977.
Parsley is an important biennial Apiaceae species that is widely cultivated as herb, spice, and vegetable. Previous studies on parsley principally focused on its physiological and biochemical properties, including phenolic compound and volatile oil contents. However, little is known about the molecular and genetic properties of parsley. In this study, 23,686,707 high-quality reads were obtained and assembled into 81,852 transcripts and 50,161 unigenes for the first time. Functional annotation showed that 30,516 unigenes had sequence similarity to known genes. In addition, 3,244 putative simple sequence repeats were detected in curly parsley. Finally, 1,569 of the identified unigenes belonged to 58 transcription factor families. Various abiotic stresses have a strong detrimental effect on the yield and quality of parsley. AP2/ERF transcription factors have important functions in plant development, hormonal regulation, and abiotic response. A total of 88 putative AP2/ERF factors were identified from the transcriptome sequence of parsley. Seven AP2/ERF transcription factors were selected in this study to analyze the expression profiles of parsley under different abiotic stresses. Our data provide a potentially valuable resource that can be used for intensive parsley research.
PMCID: PMC4182582  PMID: 25268141
15.  CarrotDB: a genomic and transcriptomic database for carrot 
Carrot (Daucus carota L.) is an economically important vegetable worldwide and is the largest source of carotenoids and provitamin A in the human diet. Given the importance of this vegetable to humans, research and breeding communities on carrot should obtain useful genomic and transcriptomic information. The first whole-genome sequences of ‘DC-27’ carrot were de novo assembled and analyzed. Transcriptomic sequences of 14 carrot genotypes were downloaded from the Sequence Read Archive (SRA) database of National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and mapped to the whole-genome sequence before assembly. Based on these data sets, the first Web-based genomic and transcriptomic database for D. carota (CarrotDB) was developed (database homepage: rotdb). CarrotDB offers the tools of Genome Map and Basic Local Alignment Search Tool. Using these tools, users can search certain target genes and simple sequence repeats along with designed primers of ‘DC-27’. Assembled transcriptomic sequences along with fragments per kilobase of transcript sequence per millions base pairs sequenced information (FPKM) information of 14 carrot genotypes are also provided. Users can download de novo assembled whole-genome sequences, putative gene sequences and putative protein sequences of ‘DC-27’. Users can also download transcriptome sequence assemblies of 14 carrot genotypes along with their FPKM information. A total of 2826 transcription factor (TF) genes classified into 57 families were identified in the entire genome sequences. These TF genes were embedded in CarrotDB as an interface. The ‘GERMPLASM’ part of CarrotDB also offers taproot photos of 45 carrot genotypes and a table containing accession numbers, names, countries of origin and colors of cortex, phloem and xylem parts of taproots corresponding to each carrot genotype. CarrotDB will be continuously updated with new information.
Database URL:
PMCID: PMC4178371  PMID: 25267795
16.  Effective Extraction and Assembly Methods for Simultaneously Obtaining Plastid and Mitochondrial Genomes 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e108291.
In conventional approaches to plastid and mitochondrial genome sequencing, the sequencing steps are performed separately; thus, plastid DNA (ptDNA) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) should be prepared independently. However, it is difficult to extract pure ptDNA and mtDNA from plant tissue. Following the development of high-throughput sequencing technology, many researchers have attempted to obtain plastid genomes or mitochondrial genomes using high-throughput sequencing data from total DNA. Unfortunately, the huge datasets generated consume massive computing and storage resources and cost a great deal, and even more importantly, excessive pollution reads affect the accuracy of the assembly. Therefore, it is necessary to develop an effective method that can generate base sequences from plant tissue and that is suitable for all plant species. Here, we describe a highly effective, low-cost method for obtaining plastid and mitochondrial genomes simultaneously.
First, we obtained high-quality DNA employing Partial Concentration Extraction. Second, we evaluated the purity of the DNA sample and determined the sequencing dataset size employing Vector Control Quantitative Analysis. Third, paired-end reads were obtained using a high-throughput sequencing platform. Fourth, we obtained scaffolds employing Two-step Assembly. Finally, we filled in gaps using specific methods and obtained complete plastid and mitochondrial genomes. To ensure the accuracy of plastid and mitochondrial genomes, we validated the assembly using PCR and Sanger sequencing. Using this method,we obtained complete plastid and mitochondrial genomes with lengths of 153,533 nt and 223,412 nt separately.
A simple method for extracting, evaluating, sequencing and assembling plastid and mitochondrial genomes was developed. This method has many advantages: it is timesaving, inexpensive and reproducible and produces high-quality sequence. Furthermore, this method can produce plastid and mitochondrial genomes simultaneously and be used for other plant species. Due to its simplicity and extensive applicability, this method will support research on plant cytoplasmic genomes.
PMCID: PMC4177114  PMID: 25251391
17.  Low-magnitude high-frequency loading, by whole-body vibration, accelerates early implant osseointegration in ovariectomized rats 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2014;10(6):2835-2842.
Osteoporosis deteriorates jaw bone quality and may compromise early implant osseointegration and early implant loading. The influence of low-magnitude, high-frequency (LMHF) vibration on peri-implant bone healing and implant integration in osteoporotic bones remains poorly understood. LMHF loading via whole-body vibration (WBV) for 8 weeks has previously been demonstrated to significantly enhance bone-to-implant contact, peri-implant bone fraction and implant mechanical properties in osteoporotic rats. In the present study, LMHF loading by WBV was performed in osteoporotic rats, with a loading duration of 4 weeks during the early stages of bone healing. The results indicated that 4-week LMHF loading by WBV partly reversed the negative effects of osteoporosis and accelerated early peri-implant osseointegration in ovariectomized rats.
PMCID: PMC4227418  PMID: 25270245
low-magnitude high-frequency loading; whole-body vibration; osteoporosis; dental implants; osseointegration; rat
18.  Activation of Dormant Secondary Metabolite Production by Introducing Neomycin Resistance into the Deep-Sea Fungus, Aspergillus versicolor ZBY-3 
Marine Drugs  2014;12(8):4326-4352.
A new ultrasound-mediated approach has been developed to introduce neomycin-resistance to activate silent pathways for secondary metabolite production in a bio-inactive, deep-sea fungus, Aspergillus versicolor ZBY-3. Upon treatment of the ZBY-3 spores with a high concentration of neomycin by proper ultrasound irradiation, a total of 30 mutants were obtained by single colony isolation. The acquired resistance of the mutants to neomycin was confirmed by a resistance test. In contrast to the ZBY-3 strain, the EtOAc extracts of 22 of the 30 mutants inhibited the human cancer K562 cells, indicating that these mutants acquired a capability to produce antitumor metabolites. HPLC-photodiode array detector (PDAD)-UV and HPLC-electron spray ionization (ESI)-MS analyses of the EtOAc extracts of seven bioactive mutants and the ZBY-3 strain indicated that diverse secondary metabolites have been newly produced in the mutant extracts in contrast to the ZBY-3 extract. The followed isolation and characterization demonstrated that six metabolites, cyclo(d-Pro-d-Phe) (1), cyclo(d-Tyr-d-Pro) (2), phenethyl 5-oxo-l-prolinate (3), cyclo(l-Ile-l-Pro) (4), cyclo(l-Leu-l-Pro) (5) and 3β,5α,9α-trihydroxy-(22E,24R)-ergosta-7,22-dien-6-one (6), were newly produced by the mutant u2n2h3-3 compared to the parent ZBY-3 strain. Compound 3 was a new compound; 2 was isolated from a natural source for the first time, and all of these compounds were also not yet found in the metabolites of other A. versicolor strains. Compounds 1–6 inhibited the K562 cells, with inhibition rates of 54.6% (1), 72.9% (2), 23.5% (3), 29.6% (4), 30.9% (5) and 51.1% (6) at 100 μg/mL, and inhibited also other human cancer HL-60, BGC-823 and HeLa cells, to some extent. The present study demonstrated the effectiveness of the ultrasound-mediated approach to activate silent metabolite production in fungi by introducing acquired resistance to aminoglycosides and its potential for discovering new compounds from silent fungal metabolic pathways. This approach could be applied to elicit the metabolic potentials of other fungal isolates to discover new compounds from cryptic secondary metabolites.
PMCID: PMC4145319  PMID: 25076061
Aspergillus versicolor ZBY-3; deep-sea fungus; neomycin resistance; ultrasound; antitumor activity; secondary metabolite production
19.  Glioma-Associated Antigen HEATR1 Induces Functional Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes in Patients with Glioma 
Journal of Immunology Research  2014;2014:131494.
A2B5+ glioblastoma (GBM) cells have glioma stem-like cell (GSC) properties that are crucial to chemotherapy resistance and GBM relapse. T-cell-based antigens derived from A2B5+ GBM cells provide important information for immunotherapy. Here, we show that HEAT repeat containing 1 (HEATR1) expression in GBM tissues was significantly higher than that in control brain tissues. Furthermore, HEATR1 expression in A2B5+ U87 cells was higher than that in A2B5−U87 cells (P = 0.016). Six peptides of HEATR1 presented by HLA-A∗02 were selected for testing of their ability to induce T-cell responses in patients with GBM. When peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy donors (n = 6) and patients with glioma (n = 33) were stimulated with the peptide mixture, eight patients with malignant gliomas had positive reactivity with a significantly increased number of responding T-cells. The peptides HEATR1682–690, HEATR11126–1134, and HEATR1757–765 had high affinity for binding to HLA-A∗02:01 and a strong capacity to induce CTL response. CTLs against HEATR1 peptides were capable of recognizing and lysing GBM cells and GSCs. These data are the first to demonstrate that HEATR1 could induce specific CTL responses targeting both GBM cells and GSCs, implicating that HEATR1 peptide-based immunotherapy could be a novel promising strategy for treating patients with GBM.
PMCID: PMC4121097  PMID: 25126583
20.  Cardiac Troponin T (TNNT2) Mutations in Chinese Dilated Cardiomyopathy Patients 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:907360.
Background. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is one of the leading causes of heart failure with high morbidity and mortality. Although more than 40 genes have been reported to cause DCM, the role of genetic testing in clinical practice is not well defined. Mutations in the troponin T (TNNT2) gene represent an important subset of known disease-causing mutations associated with DCM. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to determine the genetic variations in TNNT2 and the associations of those variations with DCM in Chinese patients. Methods. An approximately 4 kb fragment of the TNNT2 gene was isolated from 103 DCM patients and 192 healthy controls and was analyzed by DNA sequence analysis for genetic variations. Results. A total of 6 TNNT2 mutations were identified in 99 patients, including a G321T missense mutation (Leu84Phe) and 5 novel intronic mutations. Alleles of two novel SNPs (c.192 + 353 C>A, OR = 0.095, 95% CI: 0.013–0.714, P = 0.022; c.192 + 463 G>A, OR = 0.090, 95% CI: 0.012–0.675, P = 0.019) and SNP rs3729843 (OR = 1.889, 95% CI: 1.252–2.852; P = 0.002) were significantly correlated with DCM. Conclusions. These results suggest that the missense mutation (Leu84Phe) and two novel SNPs (c.192 + 353 C>A, c.192 + 463 G>A) in TNNT2 gene might be associated with DCM in the Chinese population.
PMCID: PMC4109665  PMID: 25110706
21.  Temporal scaling in information propagation 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:5334.
For the study of information propagation, one fundamental problem is uncovering universal laws governing the dynamics of information propagation. This problem, from the microscopic perspective, is formulated as estimating the propagation probability that a piece of information propagates from one individual to another. Such a propagation probability generally depends on two major classes of factors: the intrinsic attractiveness of information and the interactions between individuals. Despite the fact that the temporal effect of attractiveness is widely studied, temporal laws underlying individual interactions remain unclear, causing inaccurate prediction of information propagation on evolving social networks. In this report, we empirically study the dynamics of information propagation, using the dataset from a population-scale social media website. We discover a temporal scaling in information propagation: the probability a message propagates between two individuals decays with the length of time latency since their latest interaction, obeying a power-law rule. Leveraging the scaling law, we further propose a temporal model to estimate future propagation probabilities between individuals, reducing the error rate of information propagation prediction from 6.7% to 2.6% and improving viral marketing with 9.7% incremental customers.
PMCID: PMC4061555  PMID: 24939414
22.  Detecting Deep Divergence in Seventeen Populations of Tea Geometrid (Ectropis obliqua Prout) in China by COI mtDNA and Cross-Breeding 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99373.
The tea geometrid (Ectropis obliqua Prout, Lepidoptera: Geometridae) is a dominant chewing insect endemic in most tea-growing areas in China. Recently some E. obliqua populations have been found to be resistant to the nucleopolyhedrovirus (EoNPV), a host-specific virus that has so far been found only in E. obliqua. Although the resistant populations are morphologically indistinguishable from susceptible populations, we conducted a nationwide collection and examined the genetic divergence in the COI region of the mtDNA in E. obliqua. Phylogenetic analyses of mtDNA in 17 populations revealed two divergent clades with genetic distance greater than 3.7% between clades and less than 0.7% within clades. Therefore, we suggest that E. obliqua falls into two distinct groups. Further inheritance analyses using reciprocal single-pair mating showed an abnormal F1 generation with an unbalanced sex ratio and the inability to produce fertile eggs (or any eggs) through F1 self-crossing. These data revealed a potential cryptic species complex with deep divergence and reproductive isolation within E. obliqua. Uneven distribution of the groups suggests a possible geographic effect on the divergence. Future investigations will be conducted to examine whether EoNPV selection or other factors prompted the evolution of resistance.
PMCID: PMC4051655  PMID: 24915522
23.  Nine New and Five Known Polyketides Derived from a Deep Sea-Sourced Aspergillus sp. 16-02-1 
Marine Drugs  2014;12(6):3116-3137.
Nine new C9 polyketides, named aspiketolactonol (1), aspilactonols A–F (2–7), aspyronol (9) and epiaspinonediol (11), were isolated together with five known polyketides, (S)-2-(2′-hydroxyethyl)-4-methyl-γ-butyrolactone (8), dihydroaspyrone (10), aspinotriol A (12), aspinotriol B (13) and chaetoquadrin F (14), from the secondary metabolites of an Aspergillus sp. 16-02-1 that was isolated from a deep-sea sediment sample. Structures of the new compounds, including their absolute configurations, were determined by spectroscopic methods, especially the 2D NMR, circular dichroism (CD), Mo2-induced CD and Mosher’s 1H NMR analyses. Compound 8 was isolated from natural sources for the first time, and the possible biosynthetic pathways for 1–14 were also proposed and discussed. Compounds 1–14 inhibited human cancer cell lines, K562, HL-60, HeLa and BGC-823, to varying extents.
PMCID: PMC4071568  PMID: 24871461
Aspergillus sp. 16-02-1; fungal strain from deep sea sediment; aspiketolactonol; aspilactonol; aspyronol; lactone; epiaspinonediol; polyketide; structure; cytotoxicity
24.  Procalcitonin and C-reactive protein in urinary tract infection diagnosis 
BMC Urology  2014;14:45.
Urinary infections are a common type of pediatric disease, and their treatment and prognosis are closely correlated with infection location. Common clinical manifestations and laboratory tests are insufficient to differentiate between acute pyelonephritis and lower urinary tract infection. This study was conducted to explore a diagnostic method for upper and lower urinary tract infection differentiation.
The diagnostic values of procalcitonin (PCT) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were analyzed using the receiver operating characteristic curve method for upper and lower urinary tract infection differentiation. PCT was determined using chemiluminescent immunoassay.
The PCT and CRP values in children with acute pyelonephritis were significantly higher than those in children with lower urinary tract infection (3.90 ± 3.51 ng/ml and 68.17 ± 39.42 mg/l vs. 0.48 ± 0.39 ng/ml and 21.39 ± 14.92 mg/l). The PCT values were correlated with the degree of renal involvement, whereas the CRP values failed to show such a significant correlation. PCT had a sensitivity of 90.47% and a specificity of 88% in predicting nephropathia, whereas CRP had sensitivity of 85.71% and a specificity of 48%.
Both PCT and CRP can be used for upper and lower urinary tract infection differentiation, but PCT has higher sensitivity and specificity in predicting pyelonephritis than CRP. PCT showed better results than CRP. PCT values were also correlated with the degree of renal involvement.
PMCID: PMC4074860  PMID: 24886302
Urinary tract infections; Acute pyelonephritis; Receiver operating characteristic curve; Procalcitonin
25.  Plasma NT pro-BNP, hs-CRP and big-ET levels at admission as prognostic markers of survival in hospitalized patients with dilated cardiomyopathy: a single-center cohort study 
Circulating N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT pro-BNP), high- sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and big endothelin (big-ET) have been shown to be increased in heart failure and to contribute to both hemodynamic deterioration and cardiovascular remodeling. Here, we examined the prognostic value of the three neurohormones at admission in a population of hospitalized patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
Methods and results
This cohort study was undertaken in 622 hospitalized patients with DCM in Fuwai Hospital from January 2005 to September 2011 (female 26.5%, 51.4 ± 14.6 years old). Standard demographics, echocardiography and routine blood samples were obtained shortly after admission. NT pro-BNP, hs-CRP and big-ET were measured, and their concentrations in relation to all-cause mortality were assessed through a mean follow-up of 2.6 ± 1.6 years. Kaplan-Meier curves showed that the all-cause mortality rates were higher in patients with NT pro-BNP > 2247 pmol/L compared to patients with NT pro-BNP < 2247 pmol/L (11.9% vs 34.8%, log-rank χ2 = 35.588, P < 0.001), in patients with hs-CRP > 3.90 mg/L compared to patients with hs-CRP < 3.90 mg/L (12.8% vs 33.6%, log-rank χ2 = 39.662, P < 0.001) and in patients with big-ET > 0.95 pmol/L compared to patients with big-ET <0.95 pmol/L (12.5% vs 31.0%, log-rank χ2 = 17.890, P < 0.001). High circulating concentrations of NT pro-BNP (HR 2.217, 95% CI 1.015-4.846, P = 0.046) and hs-CRP (HR 1.922, 95% CI 1.236-2.988, P = 0.004), but not big-ET, in addition to left atrial diameter and fasting blood glucose, were independent predictors of the outcome defined as all-cause mortality.
In a large population of patients with DCM, the circulating concentrations of NT pro-BNP and hs-CRP, but not big-ET, were independent markers of all-cause mortality.
PMCID: PMC4041639  PMID: 24885051
Dilated cardiomyopathy; NT pro-BNP; Hs-CRP; Big-endothelin; Prognosis

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