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1.  Association of Low to Moderate Levels of Arsenic Exposure With Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Bangladesh 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;178(10):1563-1570.
Chronic exposure to high levels of arsenic in drinking water is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), but the association between lower levels of arsenic and T2DM is more controversial. Therefore, this study evaluated the association between low to moderate arsenic exposure and T2DM. In 2009–2011, we conducted a study of 957 Bangladeshi adults who participated in a case-control study of skin lesions in 2001–2003. The odds ratio of T2DM was evaluated in relationship to arsenic exposure measured in drinking water and in subjects’ toenails (in 2001–2003) prior to the diagnosis of T2DM (in 2009–2011). Compared with those exposed to the lowest quartile of arsenic in water (≤1.7 µg/L), the adjusted odds ratio for T2DM was 1.92 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.82, 4.35) for those in the second quartile, 3.07 (95% CI: 1.38, 6.85) for those in the third quartile, and 4.51 (95% CI: 2.01, 10.09) for those in the fourth quartile. The relative excess risk of T2DM was 4.78 for individuals who smoked and 8.93 for people who had a body mass index (weight (kg)/height (m)2) greater than 25. These findings suggest that exposure to modest levels of arsenic in drinking water was associated with increased risk of T2DM in Bangladesh. Being overweight or smoking was also associated with increased risk of T2DM.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwt195
PMCID: PMC3888275  PMID: 24049161
additive interaction; arsenic; Bangladesh; diabetes; overweight; smoking
2.  RNA-Seq Transcriptome Profiling Identifies CRISPLD2 as a Glucocorticoid Responsive Gene that Modulates Cytokine Function in Airway Smooth Muscle Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99625.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory disease that affects over 300 million people worldwide. Glucocorticoids are a mainstay therapy for asthma because they exert anti-inflammatory effects in multiple lung tissues, including the airway smooth muscle (ASM). However, the mechanism by which glucocorticoids suppress inflammation in ASM remains poorly understood. Using RNA-Seq, a high-throughput sequencing method, we characterized transcriptomic changes in four primary human ASM cell lines that were treated with dexamethasone—a potent synthetic glucocorticoid (1 µM for 18 hours). Based on a Benjamini-Hochberg corrected p-value <0.05, we identified 316 differentially expressed genes, including both well known (DUSP1, KLF15, PER1, TSC22D3) and less investigated (C7, CCDC69, CRISPLD2) glucocorticoid-responsive genes. CRISPLD2, which encodes a secreted protein previously implicated in lung development and endotoxin regulation, was found to have SNPs that were moderately associated with inhaled corticosteroid resistance and bronchodilator response among asthma patients in two previously conducted genome-wide association studies. Quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting showed that dexamethasone treatment significantly increased CRISPLD2 mRNA and protein expression in ASM cells. CRISPLD2 expression was also induced by the inflammatory cytokine IL1β, and small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of CRISPLD2 further increased IL1β-induced expression of IL6 and IL8. Our findings offer a comprehensive view of the effect of a glucocorticoid on the ASM transcriptome and identify CRISPLD2 as an asthma pharmacogenetics candidate gene that regulates anti-inflammatory effects of glucocorticoids in the ASM.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099625
PMCID: PMC4057123  PMID: 24926665
3.  Genetic Susceptible Locus in NOTCH2 Interacts with Arsenic in Drinking Water on Risk of Type 2 Diabetes 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e70792.
Background
Chronic exposure to arsenic in drinking water is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) but the underlying molecular mechanism remains unclear.
Objectives
This study evaluated the interaction between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes associated with diabetes and arsenic exposure in drinking water on the risk of developing T2DM.
Methods
In 2009–2011, we conducted a follow up study of 957 Bangladeshi adults who participated in a case-control study of arsenic-induced skin lesions in 2001–2003. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate the association between 38 SNPs in 18 genes and risk of T2DM measured at follow up. T2DM was defined as having a blood hemoglobin A1C level greater than or equal to 6.5% at follow-up. Arsenic exposure was characterized by drinking water samples collected from participants' tubewells. False discovery rates were applied in the analysis to control for multiple comparisons.
Results
Median arsenic levels in 2001–2003 were higher among diabetic participants compared with non-diabetic ones (71.6 µg/L vs. 12.5 µg/L, p-value <0.001). Three SNPs in ADAMTS9 were nominally associated with increased risk of T2DM (rs17070905, Odds Ratio (OR)  = 2.30, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.17–4.50; rs17070967, OR = 2.02, 95%CI 1.00–4.06; rs6766801, OR = 2.33, 95%CI 1.18–4.60), but these associations did not reach the statistical significance after adjusting for multiple comparisons. A significant interaction between arsenic and NOTCH2 (rs699780) was observed which significantly increased the risk of T2DM (p for interaction = 0.003; q-value = 0.021). Further restricted analysis among participants exposed to water arsenic of less than 148 µg/L showed consistent results for interaction between the NOTCH2 variant and arsenic exposure on T2DM (p for interaction  = 0.048; q-value = 0.004).
Conclusions
These findings suggest that genetic variation in NOTCH2 increased susceptibility to T2DM among people exposed to inorganic arsenic. Additionally, genetic variants in ADAMTS9 may increase the risk of T2DM.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070792
PMCID: PMC3743824  PMID: 23967108
4.  Characterization of the Pinus massoniana Transcriptional Response to Bursaphelenchus xylophilus Infection Using Suppression Subtractive Hybridization 
Pine wilt disease (PWD) caused by pine wood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, is the most destructive diseases of pine and poses a threat of serious economic losses worldwide. Although several of the mechanisms involved in disease progression have been discovered, the molecular response of Pinus massoniana to PWN infection has not been explored. We constructed four subtractive suppression hybridization cDNA libraries by taking time-course samples from PWN-inoculated Masson pine trees. One-hundred forty-four significantly differentially expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were identified, and 124 high-quality sequences with transcriptional features were selected for gene ontology (GO) and individual gene analyses. There were marked differences in the types of transcripts, as well as in the timing and levels of transcript expression in the pine trees following PWN inoculation. Genes involved in signal transduction, transcription and translation and secondary metabolism were highly expressed after 24 h and 72 h, while stress response genes were highly expressed only after 72 h. Certain transcripts responding to PWN infection were discriminative; pathogenesis and cell wall-related genes were more abundant, while detoxification or redox process-related genes were less abundant. This study provides new insights into the molecular mechanisms that control the biochemical and physiological responses of pine trees to PWN infection, particularly during the initial stage of infection.
doi:10.3390/ijms140611356
PMCID: PMC3709736  PMID: 23759987
pine wilt disease; differentially expressed genes; suppression subtractive hybridization; Pinus massoniana
5.  Dysregulation of BDNF-TrkB Signaling in Developing Hippocampal Neurons by Pb2+: Implications for an Environmental Basis of Neurodevelopmental Disorders 
Toxicological Sciences  2012;127(1):277-295.
Dysregulation of synaptic development and function has been implicated in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders and mental disease. A neurotrophin that has an important function in neuronal and synaptic development is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). In this communication, we examined the effects of lead (Pb2+) exposure on BDNF-tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) signaling during the period of synaptogenesis in cultured neurons derived from embryonic rat hippocampi. We show that Pb2+ exposure decreases BDNF gene and protein expression, and it may also alter the transport of BDNF vesicles to sites of release by altering Huntingtin phosphorylation and protein levels. Combined, these effects of Pb2+ resulted in decreased concentrations of extracellular mature BDNF. The effect of Pb2+ on BDNF gene expression was associated with a specific decrease in calcium-sensitive exon IV transcript levels and reduced phosphorylation and protein expression of the transcriptional repressor methyl-CpG–binding protein (MeCP2). TrkB protein levels and autophosphorylation at tyrosine 816 were significantly decreased by Pb2+ exposure with a concomitant increase in p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) levels and altered TrkB-p75NTR colocalization. Finally, phosphorylation of Synapsin I, a presynaptic target of BDNF-TrkB signaling, was significantly decreased by Pb2+ exposure with no effect on total Synapsin I protein levels. This effect of Pb2+ exposure on Synapsin I phosphorylation may help explain the impairment in vesicular release documented by us previously (Neal, A. P., Stansfield, K. H., Worley, P. F., Thompson, R. E., and Guilarte, T. R. (2010). Lead exposure during synaptogenesis alters vesicular proteins and impairs vesicular release: Potential role of N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) dependent BDNF signaling. Toxicol. Sci. 116, 249–263) because it controls vesicle movement from the reserve pool to the readily releasable pool. In summary, the present study demonstrates that Pb2+ exposure during the period of synaptogenesis of hippocampal neurons in culture disrupts multiple synaptic processes regulated by BDNF-TrkB signaling with long-term consequences for synaptic function and neuronal development.
doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfs090
PMCID: PMC3327871  PMID: 22345308
BDNF; TrkB; p75NTR; MeCP2; epigenetics; Huntingtin; Synapsin I; phosphorylation; Pb2+; hippocampus; neuron; synaptogenesis
6.  Identification of a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease genetic determinant that regulates HHIP 
Human Molecular Genetics  2011;21(6):1325-1335.
Multiple intergenic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) near hedgehog interacting protein (HHIP) on chromosome 4q31 have been strongly associated with pulmonary function levels and moderate-to-severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, whether the effects of variants in this region are related to HHIP or another gene has not been proven. We confirmed genetic association of SNPs in the 4q31 COPD genome-wide association study (GWAS) region in a Polish cohort containing severe COPD cases and healthy smoking controls (P = 0.001 to 0.002). We found that HHIP expression at both mRNA and protein levels is reduced in COPD lung tissues. We identified a genomic region located ∼85 kb upstream of HHIP which contains a subset of associated SNPs, interacts with the HHIP promoter through a chromatin loop and functions as an HHIP enhancer. The COPD risk haplotype of two SNPs within this enhancer region (rs6537296A and rs1542725C) was associated with statistically significant reductions in HHIP promoter activity. Moreover, rs1542725 demonstrates differential binding to the transcription factor Sp3; the COPD-associated allele exhibits increased Sp3 binding, which is consistent with Sp3's usual function as a transcriptional repressor. Thus, increased Sp3 binding at a functional SNP within the chromosome 4q31 COPD GWAS locus leads to reduced HHIP expression and increased susceptibility to COPD through distal transcriptional regulation. Together, our findings reveal one mechanism through which SNPs upstream of the HHIP gene modulate the expression of HHIP and functionally implicate reduced HHIP gene expression in the pathogenesis of COPD.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddr569
PMCID: PMC3284120  PMID: 22140090
7.  Genome-Wide Association Analysis in Asthma Subjects Identifies SPATS2L as a Novel Bronchodilator Response Gene 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(7):e1002824.
Bronchodilator response (BDR) is an important asthma phenotype that measures reversibility of airway obstruction by comparing lung function (i.e. FEV1) before and after the administration of a short-acting β2-agonist, the most common rescue medications used for the treatment of asthma. BDR also serves as a test of β2-agonist efficacy. BDR is a complex trait that is partly under genetic control. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) of BDR, quantified as percent change in baseline FEV1 after administration of a β2-agonist, was performed with 1,644 non-Hispanic white asthmatic subjects from six drug clinical trials: CAMP, LOCCS, LODO, a medication trial conducted by Sepracor, CARE, and ACRN. Data for 469,884 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were used to measure the association of SNPs with BDR using a linear regression model, while adjusting for age, sex, and height. Replication of primary P-values was attempted in 501 white subjects from SARP and 550 white subjects from DAG. Experimental evidence supporting the top gene was obtained via siRNA knockdown and Western blotting analyses. The lowest overall combined P-value was 9.7E-07 for SNP rs295137, near the SPATS2L gene. Among subjects in the primary analysis, those with rs295137 TT genotype had a median BDR of 16.0 (IQR = [6.2, 32.4]), while those with CC or TC genotypes had a median BDR of 10.9 (IQR = [5.0, 22.2]). SPATS2L mRNA knockdown resulted in increased β2-adrenergic receptor levels. Our results suggest that SPATS2L may be an important regulator of β2-adrenergic receptor down-regulation and that there is promise in gaining a better understanding of the biological mechanisms of differential response to β2-agonists through GWAS.
Author Summary
Bronchodilator response (BDR) is an important asthma phenotype that measures reversibility of airway obstruction by comparing lung function before and after the administration of short-acting β2-agonists, common medications used for asthma treatment. We performed a genome-wide association study of BDR with 1,644 white asthmatic subjects from six drug clinical trials and attempted to replicate these findings in 1,051 white subjects from two independent cohorts. The most significant associated variant was near the SPATS2L gene. We knocked down SPATS2L mRNA in human airway smooth muscle cells and found that β2-adrenergic receptor levels increased, suggesting that SPATS2L may be a regulator of BDR. Our results highlight the promise of pursuing GWAS results that do not necessarily reach genome-wide significance and are an example of how results from pharmacogenetic GWAS can be studied functionally.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002824
PMCID: PMC3390407  PMID: 22792082
8.  Genome-Wide RNAi Screen in IFN-γ-Treated Human Macrophages Identifies Genes Mediating Resistance to the Intracellular Pathogen Francisella tularensis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e31752.
Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) inhibits intracellular replication of Francisella tularensis in human monocyte-derived macrophages (HMDM) and in mice, but the mechanisms of this protective effect are poorly characterized. We used genome-wide RNA interference (RNAi) screening in the human macrophage cell line THP-1 to identify genes that mediate the beneficial effects of IFN-γ on F. tularensis infection. A primary screen identified ∼200 replicated candidate genes. These were prioritized according to mRNA expression in IFN-γ-primed and F. tularensis-challenged macrophages. A panel of 20 top hits was further assessed by re-testing using individual shRNAs or siRNAs in THP-1 cells, HMDMs and primary human lung macrophages. Six of eight validated genes tested were also found to confer resistance to Listeria monocytogenes infection, suggesting a broadly shared host gene program for intracellular pathogens. The F. tularensis-validated hits included ‘druggable’ targets such as TNFRSF9, which encodes CD137. Treating HMDM with a blocking antibody to CD137 confirmed a beneficial role of CD137 in macrophage clearance of F. tularensis. These studies reveal a number of important mediators of IFN-γ activated host defense against intracellular pathogens, and implicate CD137 as a potential therapeutic target and regulator of macrophage interactions with Francisella tularensis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031752
PMCID: PMC3281001  PMID: 22359626
9.  Micoletzkya chinaae n. sp. (Nematoda: Diplogastridae), a potential predacious nematode and Ektaphelenchus macrobulbosus (Nematoda: Ektaphelenchinae) isolated from Simao pine in South-western China 
Journal of Nematology  2010;42(4):298-306.
Detailed morphology of a new diplogastrid and a known ektaphelenchid species isolated from Simao pine in south-western China were illustrated and described/redescribed. Micoletzkya chinaae n. sp. is characterized by a relatively short body length (601-802 μm in female and 505-773 μm in male), undivided cheilorhabdia (forming an entire ring), dimorphic buccal cavity (eury- or stenostomatous), a large claw-like dorsal tooth and a large right subventral tooth in the stoma of eurystomatous form, typical diplogastrid pharynx, didelphic female gonads, nine pairs of genital papillae on male tail region with two ventral pairs (GP1 and GP2) closely associated, a unique gubernaculum morphology, and a long filiform tail in both sexes. The new diplogastrid belongs to the Group 1 category of Micoletzkya species sensu Massey, 1966, which is characterized by stoma equipped with a large dorsal and a large subventral tooth, and both teeth can cross near the center of the pharynx. The new species can be easily distinguished from other species within this group except for M. tomea Massey, 1966 with the long filiform female and male tails. However, it shows great similarities to Mononchoides spp., Koerneria spp., Fictor spp., and Acrostichus members in some aspects. More morphological features as well as molecular data of this clade should be available before relationships between and within these genera can be better interpreted. The two large moveable teeth in eurystomatous worms indicate their potentially predacious habits, and re-isolation of this species is necessary. Morphology of south-western Chinese population of Ektaphelenchus macrobulbosus (Rühm,1956) Massey, 1974 conforms well to the previous descriptions except for a few minor variations. It is characterized by medium-long female and male bodies (676-791 and 613-685 μm, respectively), three incisures in the lateral field, offset cephalic region, knobless stylet 18-20 μm long, oblong median bulb with posteriorly situated valves, two to three rows of developing oocytes, short postuterine sac, absence of female rectum and anus, two pairs of subventral papillae on the male tail region, a cucullus (apophysis) present on the dorsal distal end of the spicule, and the conoid female and male tails.
PMCID: PMC3380528  PMID: 22736862
description; redescription; morphology; morphometrics; new species; pine wood nematode; Pinus kesiya var. langbianensis; SEM; taxonomy; Micoletzkya; Ektaphelenchus
10.  Identification of Cellular Genes Affecting the Infectivity of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus▿  
Journal of Virology  2009;83(13):6681-6688.
Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) produces one of the most infectious of all livestock diseases, causing extensive economic loss in areas of breakout. Like other viral pathogens, FMDV recruits proteins encoded by host cell genes to accomplish the entry, replication, and release of infectious viral particles. To identify such host-encoded proteins, we employed an antisense RNA strategy and a lentivirus-based library containing approximately 40,000 human expressed sequence tags (ESTs) to randomly inactivate chromosomal genes in a bovine kidney cell line (LF-BK) that is highly susceptible to FMDV infection and then isolated clones that survived multiple rounds of exposure to the virus. Here, we report the identification of ESTs whose expression in antisense orientation limited host cell killing by FMDV and restricted viral propagation. The role of one such EST, that of ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase 6 (NTPDase6; also known as CD39L2), a membrane-associated ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase that previously was not suspected of involvement in the propagation of viral pathogens and which we now show is required for normal synthesis of FMDV RNA and proteins, is described in this report.
doi:10.1128/JVI.01729-08
PMCID: PMC2698527  PMID: 19369337
11.  Notch1 signaling inhibits growth of EC109 esophageal carcinoma cells through downmodulation of HPV18 E6/E7 gene expression 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2009;30(2):153-158.
Aim:
To investigate the role of the Notch1 signaling pathway in growth arrest of an esophageal carcinoma cell line (EC109) in vitro and the mechanism involved.
Methods:
An intracellular domain of Notch1 (ICN) was transfected into cultured EC109 cells by lipofectamine transfection. Subsequently, the proliferation of the transfected cells was measured by an MTT assay. Cell cycle distribution was analyzed by flow cytometry. Human papillomavirus type 18 (HPV18) E6/E7 mRNA expression was detected by RT-PCR, and p53 protein expression was detected by Western blot.
Results:
Activation of Notch1 signaling resulted in inhibition of EC109 cell proliferation with the induction of G2/M arrest, downmodulation of HPV18 E6/E7 gene expression, and upregulation of p53 expression.
Conclusion:
Repression of HPV18 E6/E7 expression by Notch1 signaling results in the activation of p53-mediated pathways with concomitant growth suppression of HPV18-positive EC109 cells.
doi:10.1038/aps.2008.16
PMCID: PMC4002459  PMID: 19122673
Notch1; esophageal carcinoma; EC109 cell line; growth inhibition; HPV18 E6/E7; p53
12.  Presence of qnr gene in Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae resistant to ciprofloxacin isolated from pediatric patients in China 
Background
Quinolone resistance in Enterobacteriaceae results mainly from mutations in type II DNA topoisomerase genes and/or changes in the expression of outer membrane and efflux pumps. Several recent studies have indicated that plasmid-mediated resistance mechanisms also play a significant role in fluoroquinolone resistance, and its prevalence is increasing worldwide. In China, the presence of the qnr gene in the clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae has been reported, but this transmissible quinolone resistance gene has not been detected in strains isolated singly from pediatric patients. Because quinolones associated with a variety of adverse side effects on children, they are not authorized for pediatric use. This study therefore aimed to investigate the presence of the qnr gene in clinical isolates of E. coli and K. pneumoniae from pediatric patients in China.
Methods
A total 213 of non-repetitive clinical isolates resistant to ciprofloxacin from E. coli and K. pneumoniae were collected from hospitalized patients at five children's hospital in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chongqing. The isolates were screened for the plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance genes of qnrA, qnrB, and qnrS by PCR. Transferability was examined by conjugation with the sodium azide-resistant E. coli J53. All qnr-positive were analyzed for clonality by enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC)-PCR.
Results
The study found that 19 ciprofloxacin-resistant clinical isolates of E. coli and K. pneumoniae were positive for the qnr gene, and most of the qnr positive strains were ESBL producers. Conjugation experiments showed that quinolone resitance could be transferred to recipients. Apart from this, different DNA banding patterns were obtained by ERIC-PCR from positive strains, which means that most of them were not clonally related.
Conclusion
This report on transferable fluoroquinolone resistance due to the qnr gene among E. coli and K. pneumoniae strains indicated that plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance has emerged in pediatric patients in China.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-8-68
PMCID: PMC2409344  PMID: 18498643
13.  Phenotype-Based Identification of Host Genes Required for Replication of African Swine Fever Virus†  
Journal of Virology  2006;80(17):8705-8717.
African swine fever virus (ASFV) produces a fatal acute hemorrhagic fever in domesticated pigs that potentially is a worldwide economic threat. Using an expressed sequence tag (EST) library-based antisense method of random gene inactivation and a phenotypic screen for limitation of ASFV replication in cultured human cells, we identified six host genes whose cellular functions are required by ASFV. These included three loci, BAT3 (HLA-B-associated transcript 3), C1qTNF (C1q and tumor necrosis factor-related protein 6), and TOM40 (translocase of outer mitochondrial membrane 40), for which antisense expression from a tetracycline-regulated promoter resulted in reversible inhibition of ASFV production by >99%. The effects of antisense transcription of the BAT3 EST and also of expression in the sense orientation of this EST, which encodes amino acid residues 450 to 518 of the mature BAT3 protein, were investigated more extensively. Sense expression of the BAT3 peptide, which appears to reversibly interfere with BAT3 function by a dominant negative mechanism, resulted in decreased synthesis of viral DNA and proteins early after ASFV infection, altered transcription of apoptosis-related genes as determined by cDNA microarray analysis, and increased cellular sensitivity to staurosporine-induced apoptosis. Antisense transcription of BAT3 reduced ASFV production without affecting abundance of the virus macromolecules we assayed. Our results, which demonstrate the utility of EST-based functional screens for the detection of host genes exploited by pathogenic viruses, reveal a novel collection of cellular genes previously not known to be required for ASFV infection.
doi:10.1128/JVI.00475-06
PMCID: PMC1563864  PMID: 16912318
14.  High Prevalence of Antimicrobial Resistance among Clinical Streptococcus pneumoniae Isolates in Asia (an ANSORP Study) 
A total of 685 clinical Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates from patients with pneumococcal diseases were collected from 14 centers in 11 Asian countries from January 2000 to June 2001. The in vitro susceptibilities of the isolates to 14 antimicrobial agents were determined by the broth microdilution test. Among the isolates tested, 483 (52.4%) were not susceptible to penicillin, 23% were intermediate, and 29.4% were penicillin resistant (MICs ≥ 2 mg/liter). Isolates from Vietnam showed the highest prevalence of penicillin resistance (71.4%), followed by those from Korea (54.8%), Hong Kong (43.2%), and Taiwan (38.6%). The penicillin MICs at which 90% of isolates are inhibited (MIC90s) were 4 mg/liter among isolates from Vietnam, Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan. The prevalence of erythromycin resistance was also very high in Vietnam (92.1%), Taiwan (86%), Korea (80.6%), Hong Kong (76.8%), and China (73.9%). The MIC90s of erythromycin were >32 mg/liter among isolates from Korea, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. Isolates from Hong Kong showed the highest rate of ciprofloxacin resistance (11.8%), followed by isolates from Sri Lanka (9.5%), the Philippines (9.1%), and Korea (6.5%). Multilocus sequence typing showed that the spread of the Taiwan19F clone and the Spain23F clone could be one of the major reasons for the rapid increases in antimicrobial resistance among S. pneumoniae isolates in Asia. Data from the multinational surveillance study clearly documented distinctive increases in the prevalence rates and the levels of antimicrobial resistance among S. pneumoniae isolates in many Asian countries, which are among the highest in the world published to date.
doi:10.1128/AAC.48.6.2101-2107.2004
PMCID: PMC415617  PMID: 15155207
15.  Two Tetrahymena G-DNA-binding proteins, TGP1 and TGP3, share novel motifs and may play a role in micronuclear division 
Nucleic Acids Research  2000;28(15):2993-3001.
G-DNA is a four-stranded DNA structure with diverse putative biological roles. We have previously purified and cloned a novel G-DNA-binding protein TGP1 from the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila. Here we report the molecular cloning of TGP3, an additional G-DNA-binding protein from the same organism. The TGP3 cDNA encodes a 365 amino acid protein that is homologous to TGP1 (34% identity and 44% similarity). The proteins share a sequence pattern that contains two novel repetitive and homologous motifs flanking an extensively hydrophilic and basic region. A nuclear fractionation experiment showed that TGP1 and TGP3 activities are localized predominantly in the nuclear fraction. To further investigate the biological roles of the proteins in vivo, we have generated separate macronuclear gene knockout (KO) strains (TGP1KO and TGP3KO) for each of the two genes. Southern blot analysis demonstrated that the macronuclear copies of each gene were completely disrupted. Mobility shift assays showed that the corresponding G-DNA-binding activity for each protein was abolished in the KO strains. Growth analysis showed that both KO strains grew at near wild-type rates, indicating that neither of the genes is essential for cell growth. Nevertheless, nuclear staining analysis revealed that both TGP1KO and TGP3KO cells have an increased occurrence (more than 2-fold) of extra micronuclei, implying faulty control of micronuclear division in the KO cells.
PMCID: PMC102678  PMID: 10908364

Results 1-15 (15)