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1.  Efficacy of Long-Term β-Blocker Therapy for Secondary Prevention of Long-Term Outcomes After Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Surgery 
Circulation  2015;131(25):2194-2201.
Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text.
Conflicting results from recent observational studies have raised questions concerning the benefit of β-blockers for patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Furthermore, the efficacy of long-term β-blocker therapy in CABG patients after hospital discharge is uncertain.
Methods and Results—
The study included 5926 consecutive patients who underwent CABG and were discharged alive. The prevalence and consistency of β-blocker use were determined in patients with and without a history of myocardial infarction (MI). β-Blockers were always used in 1280 patients (50.9%) with and 1642 patients (48.1%) without previous MI after CABG. Compared with always users (n=2922, 49.3%), the risk of all-cause death was significantly higher among inconsistent β-blocker users (hazard ratio [HR], 1.96; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.50–2.57), and never using β-blockers was associated with increased risk of both all-cause death (HR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.01–2.00) and the composite of adverse cardiovascular events (HR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.10–1.50). In the cohort without MI, the HR for all-cause death was 1.70 (95% CI, 1.17–2.48) in inconsistent users and 1.23 (95% CI, 0.76–1.99) in never users. In the MI cohort, mortality was higher for inconsistent users (HR, 2.14; 95% CI, 1.43–3.20) and for never users (HR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.07–2.63). Consistent results were obtained in equivalent sensitivity analyses.
In patients with or without previous MI undergoing CABG, the consistent use of β-blockers was associated with a lower risk of long-term mortality and adverse cardiovascular events. Strategies should be developed to understand and improve discharge prescription of β-blockers and long-term patient adherence.
PMCID: PMC4472324  PMID: 25908770
adrenergic beta-antagonists; coronary artery bypass; coronary artery disease; myocardial infarction
2.  Testosterone Inhibits Adipogenic Differentiation in 3T3-L1 Cells: Nuclear Translocation of Androgen Receptor Complex with β-Catenin and T-Cell Factor 4 May Bypass Canonical Wnt Signaling to Down-Regulate Adipogenic Transcription Factors 
Endocrinology  2005;147(1):141-154.
Testosterone supplementation in men decreases fat mass; however, the mechanisms by which it inhibits fat mass are unknown. We hypothesized that testosterone inhibits adipogenic differentiation of preadipocytes by activation of androgen receptor (AR)/β-catenin interaction and subsequent translocation of this complex to the nucleus thereby bypassing canonical Wnt signaling. We tested this hypothesis in 3T3-L1 cells that differentiate to form fat cells in adipogenic medium. We found that these cells express AR and that testosterone and dihydrotestosterone dose-dependently inhibited adipogenic differentiation as analyzed by Oil Red O staining and down-regulation of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein-α and -δ and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ2 protein and mRNA. These inhibitory effects of androgens were partially blocked by flutamide or bicalutamide. Androgen treatment was associated with nuclear translocation of β-catenin and AR. Immunoprecipitation studies dem onstrated association of β-catenin with AR and T-cell factor 4 (TCF4) in the presence of androgens. Transfection of TCF4 cDNA inhibited adipogenic differentiation, whereas a dominant negative TCF4 cDNA construct induced adipogenesis and blocked testosterone's inhibitory effects. Our gene array analysis indicates that testosterone treatment led to activation of some Wnt target genes. Expression of constitutively activated AR fused with VP-16 did not inhibit the expression of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein-α in the absence of androgens. Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone inhibit adipocyte differentiation in vitro through an AR-mediated nuclear translocation of β-catenin and activation of downstream Wnt signaling. These data provide evidence for a regulatory role for androgens in inhibiting adipogenic differentiation and a mechanistic explanation consistent with the observed reduction in fat mass in men treated with androgens.
PMCID: PMC4417624  PMID: 16210377
3.  Risk factors for idiopathic central precocious puberty of girls in Fujian province 
PMCID: PMC4429117
precocious puberty; risk factors; Logistic Regression analysis
4.  The prognostic significance of age in operated and non-operated colorectal cancer 
BMC Cancer  2015;15:83.
The prognostic significance of age in colorectal cancer remains controversial. Our purpose was to determine the impact of age at diagnosis on cause- specific survival and overall survival in patients with colorectal cancer.
Using Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) population-based data, we identified 226,430 patients with colorectal cancer diagnosed between 1996 and 2005. Patients were separated into 10-year age groups. Five-year cancer cause-specific survival and overall survival data were obtained. Kaplan-Meier methods were adopted and multivariable Cox regression models were built for the analysis of long-term survival outcomes and risk factors.
In the operated group, those aged 51–60 had the best prognosis with 5-year cause-specific survival of 72.3% and 5-year overall survival of 68.3%.In the non-operated group, those of young age 15–30 had the best prognosis with 5-year cause-specific survival of 21.2% and 5-year overall survival of 18.2%, and there was continued worsening in cause-specific survival and overall survival with increasing age, except for a small increase in the 51–60 age group (P < 0.001). Multivariable analysis demonstrated a statistically significant disadvantage in cause-specific survival in patients older than 60 (P < 0.001), but the difference between the 51–60 age group and the younger age group (15–30, 31–40, 41–50) wasn’t statistically significant (P > 0.05) in both operated and non-operated patients.
There was no apparent difference in survival in colorectal cancer patients 60 and younger, but in those older than 60 years, there was worsening in overall survival and cause-specific survival in both operated and non-operated patients.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12885-015-1071-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4345025  PMID: 25885448
Colorectal cancer; Age; Survival analysis
Cancer discovery  2014;4(8):942-955.
Loss of PTEN is a common event in many cancers and leads to hyperactivation of the PI 3-K/Akt signaling pathway. The mechanisms by which Akt isoforms mediate signaling to phenotypes associated with PTEN-inactivation in cancer have not been defined. Here we show that Akt2 is exclusively required for PTEN-deficient prostate tumor spheroid maintenance whereas Akt1 is dispensable. shRNA silencing of Akt2 but not Akt1 promotes regression of prostate cancer xenografts. Mechanistically, we show that Akt2 silencing up-regulates p21 and the pro-apoptotic protein Bax and downregulates the insulin-like growth factor receptor-1. We also show that p21 is an effector of Akt2 in mediating prostate tumor maintenance. Moreover, Akt2 is also exclusively required for the maintenance and survival of other PTEN-deficient solid tumors, including breast cancer and glioblastoma. These findings identify a specific function for Akt2 in mediating survival of PTEN-deficient tumors and provide a rationale for developing therapeutics targeting Akt2.
PMCID: PMC4125464  PMID: 24838891
6.  Androgen receptor epigenetics 
The androgen receptor (AR) is a transcription factor that drives the differentiation of prostate epithelium by regulating the expression of several hundred genes. Conversely, AR also plays a central role in prostate cancer (PCa) development, and it continues to be active in tumors that relapse after castration (castration-resistant prostate cancer, CRPC). The transactivation function of AR has been extensively studied, and AR can also function as a transcriptional repressor on a distinct set of genes, but the identity of the AR regulated genes that are critical for PCa remain unclear. Moreover, the extent to which AR acquires new functions during PCa development and progression remains to be determined. Recent studies have highlighted the central role of chromatin structure and histone posttranslational modifications in determining the spectrum of genes regulated by AR and all other transcription factors. While the role of DNA methylation in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression is well established, it is now appreciated that chromatin structure plays a central and dynamic role in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression. The focus of this review is on AR interactions with chromatin and how they regulate AR function in PCa development and progression.
PMCID: PMC4286807  PMID: 25580383
Androgen receptor (AR); prostate cancer (PCa); transcription; epigenetics; histone methylation
7.  An integrated transcriptome and expressed variant analysis of sepsis survival and death 
Genome Medicine  2014;6(11):111.
Sepsis, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, is not a homogeneous disease but rather a syndrome encompassing many heterogeneous pathophysiologies. Patient factors including genetics predispose to poor outcomes, though current clinical characterizations fail to identify those at greatest risk of progression and mortality.
The Community Acquired Pneumonia and Sepsis Outcome Diagnostic study enrolled 1,152 subjects with suspected sepsis. We sequenced peripheral blood RNA of 129 representative subjects with systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) or sepsis (SIRS due to infection), including 78 sepsis survivors and 28 sepsis non-survivors who had previously undergone plasma proteomic and metabolomic profiling. Gene expression differences were identified between sepsis survivors, sepsis non-survivors, and SIRS followed by gene enrichment pathway analysis. Expressed sequence variants were identified followed by testing for association with sepsis outcomes.
The expression of 338 genes differed between subjects with SIRS and those with sepsis, primarily reflecting immune activation in sepsis. Expression of 1,238 genes differed with sepsis outcome: non-survivors had lower expression of many immune function-related genes. Functional genetic variants associated with sepsis mortality were sought based on a common disease-rare variant hypothesis. VPS9D1, whose expression was increased in sepsis survivors, had a higher burden of missense variants in sepsis survivors. The presence of variants was associated with altered expression of 3,799 genes, primarily reflecting Golgi and endosome biology.
The activation of immune response-related genes seen in sepsis survivors was muted in sepsis non-survivors. The association of sepsis survival with a robust immune response and the presence of missense variants in VPS9D1 warrants replication and further functional studies.
Trial registration NCT00258869. Registered on 23 November 2005.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13073-014-0111-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4274761  PMID: 25538794
8.  microRNA-antagonism regulates breast cancer stemness and metastasis via TET family dependent chromatin remodeling 
Cell  2013;154(2):311-324.
Tumor cells metastasize to distant organs through genetic and epigenetic alterations, including changes in microRNA (miR) expression. Here we find miR-22 triggers epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), enhances invasiveness and promotes metastasis in mouse xenografts. In a conditional mammary gland-specific transgenic (TG) mouse model, we show that miR-22 enhances mammary gland side-branching, expands the stem cell compartment, and promotes tumor development. Critically, miR-22 promotes aggressive metastatic disease in MMTV-miR-22 TG mice, as well as compound MMTV-neu or -PyVT-miR-22 TG mice. We demonstrate that miR-22 exerts its metastatic potential by silencing anti-metastatic miR-200 through direct targeting of the TET (Ten eleven translocation) family of methylcytocine dioxygenases, thereby inhibiting demethylation of the mir-200 promoter. Finally, we show that miR-22 overexpression correlates with poor clinical outcomes and silencing of the TET-miR-200 axis in patients. Taken together, our findings implicate miR-22 as a crucial epigenetic modifier and promoter of EMT and breast cancer stemness towards metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3767157  PMID: 23830207
9.  Characterization, sequencing and comparative genomic analysis of vB_AbaM-IME-AB2, a novel lytic bacteriophage that infects multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii clinical isolates 
BMC Microbiology  2014;14:181.
With the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, immunosuppressive drugs, and glucocorticoids, multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (MDR-AB) has become a major nosocomial pathogen species. The recent renaissance of bacteriophage therapy may provide new treatment strategies for combatting drug-resistant bacterial infections. In this study, we isolated a lytic bacteriophage vB_AbaM-IME-AB2 has a short latent period and a small burst size, which clear its host’s suspension quickly, was selected for characterization and a complete genomic comparative study.
The isolated bacteriophage vB_AbaM-IME-AB2 has an icosahedral head and displays morphology resembling Myoviridae family. Gel separation assays showed that the phage particle contains at least nine protein bands with molecular weights ranging 15–100 kDa. vB_AbaM-IME-AB2 could adsorb its host cells in 9 min with an adsorption rate more than 99% and showed a short latent period (20 min) and a small burst size (62 pfu/cell). It could form clear plaques in the double-layer assay and clear its host’s suspension in just 4 hours. Whole genome of vB_AbaM-IME-AB2 was sequenced and annotated and the results showed that its genome is a double-stranded DNA molecule consisting of 43,665 nucleotides. The genome has a G + C content of 37.5% and 82 putative coding sequences (CDSs). We compared the characteristics and complete genome sequence of all known Acinetobacter baumannii bacteriophages. There are only three that have been sequenced Acinetobacter baumannii phages AB1, AP22, and phiAC-1, which have a relatively high similarity and own a coverage of 65%, 50%, 8% respectively when compared with our phage vB_AbaM-IME-AB2. A nucleotide alignment of the four Acinetobacter baumannii phages showed that some CDSs are similar, with no significant rearrangements observed. Yet some sections of these strains of phage are nonhomologous.
vB_AbaM-IME-AB2 was a novel and unique A. baumannii bacteriophage. These findings suggest a common ancestry and microbial diversity and evolution. A clear understanding of its characteristics and genes is conducive to the treatment of multidrug-resistant A. baumannii in the future.
PMCID: PMC4094691  PMID: 24996449
Acinetobacter baumannii; Bacteriophage; Characteristics; Genome
10.  Depletion of a Putatively Druggable Class of Phosphatidylinositol Kinases Inhibits Growth of p53-Null Tumors 
Cell  2013;155(4):844-857.
Here, we show that a subset of breast cancers express high levels of the type 2 phosphatidylinositol-5-phosphate 4-kinases α and/or β (PI5P4Kα and β) and provide evidence that these kinases are essential for growth in the absence of p53. Knocking down PI5P4Kα and β in a breast cancer cell line bearing an amplification of the gene encoding PI5P4K β and deficient for p53 impaired growth on plastic and in xenografts. This growth phenotype was accompanied by enhanced levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) leading to senescence. Mice with homozygous deletion of both TP53 and PIP4K2B were not viable, indicating a synthetic lethality for loss of these two genes. Importantly however, PIP4K2A−/−, PIP4K2B+/−, and TP53−/− mice were viable and had a dramatic reduction in tumor formation compared to TP53−/− littermates. These results indicate that inhibitors of PI5P4Ks could be effective in preventing or treating cancers with mutations in TP53.
PMCID: PMC4070383  PMID: 24209622
11.  Abnormal coexistence of unipolar, bipolar, and threshold resistive switching in an Al/NiO/ITO structure 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):268.
This paper reports an abnormal coexistence of different resistive switching behaviors including unipolar (URS), bipolar (BRS), and threshold switching (TRS) in an Al/NiO/indium tin oxide (ITO) structure fabricated by chemical solution deposition. The switching behaviors have been strongly dependent on compliance current (CC) and switching processes. It shows reproducible URS and BRS after electroforming with low and high CC of 1 and 3 mA, respectively, which is contrary to previous reports. Furthermore, in the case of high-forming CC, TRS is observed after several switching cycles with a low-switching CC. Analysis of current-voltage relationship demonstrates that Poole-Frenkel conduction controlled by localized traps should be responsible for the resistance switching. The unique behaviors can be dominated by Joule heating filament mechanism in the dual-oxygen reservoir structure composed of Al/NiO interfacial layer and ITO. The tunable switching properties can render it flexible for device applications.
PMCID: PMC4041631  PMID: 24940181
Resistive switching; Thin film; Interface; Indium tin oxide substrate
12.  Systematic study of the effects of lowering low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol on regression of coronary atherosclerotic plaques using intravascular ultrasound 
Conflicting results currently exist on the effects of LDL-C levels and statins therapy on coronary atherosclerotic plaque, and the target level of LDL-C resulting in the regression of the coronary atherosclerotic plaques has not been settled.
PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases were searched from Jan. 2000 to Jan. 2014 for randomized controlled or blinded end-points trials assessing the effects of LDL-C lowering therapy on regression of coronary atherosclerotic plaque (CAP) in patients with coronary heart disease by intravascular ultrasound. Data concerning the study design, patient characteristics, and outcomes were extracted. The significance of plaques regression was assessed by computing standardized mean difference (SMD) of the volume of CAP between the baseline and follow-up. SMD were calculated using fixed or random effects models.
Twenty trials including 5910 patients with coronary heart disease were identified. Mean lowering LDL-C by 45.4% and to level 66.8 mg/dL in the group of patients with baseline mean LDL-C 123.7 mg/dL, mean lowering LDL-C by 48.8% and to level 60.6 mg/dL in the group of patients with baseline mean LDL-C 120 mg/dL, and mean lowering LDL-C by 40.4% and to level 77.8 mg/dL in the group of patients with baseline mean LDL-C 132.4 mg/dL could significantly reduce the volume of CAP at follow up (SMD −0.108 mm3, 95% CI −0.176 ~ −0.040, p = 0.002; SMD −0.156 mm3, 95% CI −0.235 ~ −0.078, p = 0.000; SMD −0.123 mm3, 95% CI −0.199 ~ −0.048, p = 0.001; respectively). LDL-C lowering by rosuvastatin (mean 33 mg daily) and atorvastatin (mean 60 mg daily) could significantly decrease the volumes of CAP at follow up (SMD −0.162 mm3, 95% CI: −0.234 ~ −0.081, p = 0.000; SMD −0.101, 95% CI: −0.184 ~ −0.019, p = 0.016; respectively). The mean duration of follow up was from 17 ~ 21 months.
Intensive lowering LDL-C (rosuvastatin mean 33 mg daily and atorvastatin mean 60 mg daily) with >17 months of duration could lead to the regression of CAP, LDL-C level should be reduced by >40% or to a target level <78 mg/dL for regressing CAP.
PMCID: PMC4229739  PMID: 24886532
Low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol; Coronary atherosclerotic plaque; Intravascular ultrasound; Coronary artery disease
13.  Role of Toll-Like Receptor 4 in Colorectal Carcinogenesis: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e93904.
This meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the role of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) in colorectal carcinogenesis.
The PubMed, CISCOM, CINAHL, Web of Science, Google Scholar, EBSCO, Cochrane Library, and CBM databases were searched from inception through November 1st, 2013 without language restrictions. Odds ratios (ORs) or standardized mean differences (SMD) with their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated.
Fourteen case-control studies met the inclusion criteria for this meta-analysis. A total of 1,209 colorectal cancer (CRC) cases and 1,218 healthy controls were involved in this meta-analysis. Two common polymorphisms (299 A>G and 399 C>T) in the TLR-4 gene, TLR-4 mRNA and protein expression were assessed. Our meta-analysis results revealed that the TLR-4 399 C>T polymorphism might increase the risk of CRC (allele model: OR = 1.77, 95%CI = 1.32∼2.36, P<0.001; dominant model: OR = 1.83, 95%CI = 1.32∼2.52, P<0.001; respectively). However, we found no correlation between the TLR-4 299 A>G polymorphism and CRC risk (all P>0.05). A subgroup analysis by ethnicity suggested that TLR-4 genetic polymorphisms were associated with an increased risk of CRC among Asians (allele model: OR = 1.50, 95%CI = 1.19∼1.88, P = 0.001; dominant model: OR = 1.49, 95%CI = 1.16∼1.92, P = 0.002; respectively), but not among Caucasians and Africans (all P>0.05). Furthermore, our results showed that TLR-4 mRNA and protein levels in CRC patients were higher than those in healthy controls (TLR-4 mRNA: SMD  = 2.51, 95%CI  = 0.98∼4.05, P = 0.001; TLR-4 protein: OR  = 4.75, 95%CI  = 1.16∼19.36, P = 0.030; respectively).
Our findings provide empirical evidence that TLR-4 may play an important role in colorectal carcinogenesis. Thus, TLR-4 is a promising potential biomarker for the early diagnosis of CRC.
PMCID: PMC3976338  PMID: 24705379
14.  Transcription Factors GATA-4 and GATA-6: Molecular Characterization, Expression Patterns and Possible Functions During Goose (Anser cygnoides) Follicle Development 
The transcription factors GATA-4 and GATA-6, members of the GATA family, play an important role in ovarian cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. In this study, the full-length coding sequences of goose GATA-4 and GATA-6 were cloned and characterized. GATA-4 and GATA-6 consist of 1236 and 1104 nucleotides encoding proteins with 411 and 367 amino acids, respectively. The deduced amino acid sequences of both proteins include two adjacent zinc finger domains with the distinctive form (CVNC-X17-CNAC)-X29-(CANC-X17-CNAC) and share 84.76% identity within this domain. In silico prediction together with matching of the high affinity RRXS(T)Y motif revealed that the GATA-4 protein might be phosphorylated predominantly at S233, but no phosphorylation site was found in the GATA-6 protein. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis showed that GATA-4 and GATA-6 mRNAs were co-expressed in goose follicles, moderately expressed in granulosa cells and weakly expressed in theca cells. The expression level of GATA-4 mRNA in healthy follicles was significantly higher than in atretic follicles or postovulatory follicles (P<0.01), and the expression level of GATA-6 mRNA in healthy follicles was significantly lower than in atretic follicles or postovulatory follicles (P<0.01). The expression level of GATA-4 mRNA in granulosa cells was downregulated during follicle development; the peak of expression occurred in the 8-10 mm follicles, and the lowest expression was in the F1 follicles. GATA-6 was upregulated and reached its peak expression in the F1 follicles. These results indicate that the molecular structural differences in goose GATA-4 and GATA-6 may be related to their different roles during follicle development.
PMCID: PMC3999398  PMID: 24531706
Cloning; Expression; GATA-4; GATA-6; Tianfu goose
15.  Genetic variants influencing circulating lipid levels and risk of coronary artery disease 
Genetic studies might provide new insights into the biological mechanisms underlying lipid metabolism and risk of CAD. We therefore conducted a genome-wide association study to identify novel genetic determinants of LDL-c, HDL-c and triglycerides.
Methods and results
We combined genome-wide association data from eight studies, comprising up to 17,723 participants with information on circulating lipid concentrations. We did independent replication studies in up to 37,774 participants from eight populations and also in a population of Indian Asian descent. We also assessed the association between SNPs at lipid loci and risk of CAD in up to 9,633 cases and 38,684 controls.
We identified four novel genetic loci that showed reproducible associations with lipids (P values 1.6 × 10−8 to 3.1 × 10−10). These include a potentially functional SNP in the SLC39A8 gene for HDL-c, a SNP near the MYLIP/GMPR and PPP1R3B genes for LDL-c and at the AFF1 gene for triglycerides. SNPs showing strong statistical association with one or more lipid traits at the CELSR2, APOB, APOE-C1-C4-C2 cluster, LPL, ZNF259-APOA5-A4-C3-A1 cluster and TRIB1 loci were also associated with CAD risk (P values 1.1 × 10−3 to 1.2 × 10−9).
We have identified four novel loci associated with circulating lipids. We also show that in addition to those that are largely associated with LDL-c, genetic loci mainly associated with circulating triglycerides and HDL-c are also associated with risk of CAD. These findings potentially provide new insights into the biological mechanisms underlying lipid metabolism and CAD risk.
PMCID: PMC3891568  PMID: 20864672
lipids; lipoproteins; genetics; epidemiology
16.  Single Intraperitoneal Injection of Monocrotaline as a Novel Large Animal Model of Chronic Pulmonary Hypertension in Tibet Minipigs 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e78965.
The purpose of this study was to establish an animal model of chronic pulmonary hypertension with a single-dose intraperitoneal injection of monocrotaline (MCT) in young Tibet minipigs, so as to enable both invasive and noninvasive measurements and hence facilitate future studies.
Twenty-four minipigs (8-week-old) were randomized to receive single-dose injection of 12.0 mg/kg MCT (MCT group, n = 12) or placebo (control group, n = 12 each). On day 42, all animals were evaluated for pulmonary hypertension with conventional transthoracic echocardiography, right heart catheterization (RHC), and pathological changes. Findings of these studies were compared between the two groups.
At echocardiography, the MCT group showed significantly higher pulmonary arterial mean pressure (PAMP) compared with the controls (P<0.001). The pulmonary valve curve showed v-shaped signals with reduction of a-waves in minipigs treated with MCT. In addition, the MCT group had longer pulmonary artery pre-ejection phases, and shorter acceleration time and ejection time. RHC revealed higher mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPAP) in the MCT group than in the control group (P<0.01). A significant and positive correlation between the mPAP values and the PAMP values (R = 0.974, P<0.0001), and a negative correlation between the mPAP and ejection time (R = 0.680, P<0.0001) was noted. Pathology demonstrated evidence of pulmonary vascular remodeling and higer index of right ventricular hypertrophy in MCT-treated minipigs.
A chronic pulmonary hypertension model can be successfully established in young minipigs at six weeks after MCT injection. These minipig models exhibited features of pulmonary arterial hypertension that can be evaluated by both invasive (RHC) and noninvasive (echocardiography) measurements, and may be used as an easy and stable tool for future studies on pulmonary hypertension.
PMCID: PMC3823945  PMID: 24244396
17.  Direct Interaction between AR and PAK6 in Androgen-Stimulated PAK6 Activation 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e77367.
A p21-activated kinase 6 (PAK6) was previously identified to be an androgen receptor (AR) interacting protein through a yeast two-hybrid screening. We used hormone responsive prostate cancer LAPC4 and LNCap cell lines as models to study the signaling events associated with androgen stimulation and PAK6. An androgen-stimulated PAK6 kinase activation was observed in LAPC4 cells expressing endogenous PAK6 and in LNCap cells ectopically expressing a wild type PAK6. This activation was likely mediated through a direct interaction between AR and PAK6 since siRNA knock-down of AR in LAPC4 cells downregulated androgen-stimulated PAK6 activation. In addition, LNCap cells expressing a non-AR-interacting PAK6 mutant exhibited dampened androgen-stimulated kinase activation. As a consequence of androgen-stimulated activation, PAK6 was phosphorylated at multiple serine/threonine residues including the AR-interacting domain of PAK6. Furthermore, androgen-stimulation promoted prostate cancer cell motility and invasion were demonstrated in LNCap cells ectopically expressing PAK6-WT. In contrast, LNCap expressing non-AR-interacting mutant PAK6 did not respond to androgen stimulation with increased cell motility and invasion. Our results demonstrate that androgen-stimulated PAK6 activation is mediated through a direct interaction between AR and PAK6 and PAK6 activation promotes prostate cancer cells motility and invasion.
PMCID: PMC3795072  PMID: 24130878
18.  Prevalence of adenovirus in children with acute respiratory tract infection in Lanzhou, China 
Virology Journal  2013;10:271.
Human adenovirus (HAdV) is an important agent causing respiratory tract infection in children. Information on the epidemiological and clinical features of HAdV is limited in children with acute respiratory tract infections (ARTIs) in China, especially those of a novel genotype, Ad55.
In total, 1169 nasopharyngeal aspirates were collected from children younger than 14 years with ARTIs between November 2006 and November 2009. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to screen HAdVs. All PCR-positive products were sequenced.
74 of 1169 (6.33%) specimens were positive for HAdVs. Among positive cases, AdV3 (58/74) was detected most frequently, followed by AdV11 (10/74), AdV2 (2/74), AdV7 (2/69), AdV6 (1/74), and AdV1 (1/74). AdV55 was found in one case. The incidence of HAdV infection peaked in children aged 3–7 years. The most common clinical diagnosis was upper respiratory infection, and the most common syndrome was fever and cough.The comparison of HAdV and RSV group revealed that Children infected with group AdV were significant older than children infected with group RSV, had more fever but less frequently wheezing, and cough, crackles, and cyanosis, The duration of hospitalization between the AdV group and RSV group was not significant, but a greater frequency of LRTIs was observed in RSV group.
HAdV is an important viral agent in children with ARTIs in Lanzhou City, China. Multiple HAdV serotypes co-circulated with Ad3, which was predominant in this 3-year study. The novel AdV55 genotype was found in one case. No fixed seasonal rhythm could be identified.
PMCID: PMC4015357  PMID: 23984826
Adenovirus; Respiratory tract infection; PCR; Children
19.  Deep Resequencing Unveils Genetic Architecture of ADIPOQ and Identifies a Novel Low-Frequency Variant Strongly Associated With Adiponectin Variation 
Diabetes  2012;61(5):1297-1301.
Increased adiponectin levels have been shown to be associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. To understand the relations between genetic variation at the adiponectin-encoding gene, ADIPOQ, and adiponectin levels, and subsequently its role in disease, we conducted a deep resequencing experiment of ADIPOQ in 14,002 subjects, including 12,514 Europeans, 594 African Americans, and 567 Indian Asians. We identified 296 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including 30 amino acid changes, and carried out association analyses in a subset of 3,665 subjects from two independent studies. We confirmed multiple genome-wide association study findings and identified a novel association between a low-frequency SNP (rs17366653) and adiponectin levels (P = 2.2E–17). We show that seven SNPs exert independent effects on adiponectin levels. Together, they explained 6% of adiponectin variation in our samples. We subsequently assessed association between these SNPs and type 2 diabetes in the Genetics of Diabetes Audit and Research in Tayside Scotland (GO-DARTS) study, comprised of 5,145 case and 6,374 control subjects. No evidence of association with type 2 diabetes was found, but we were also unable to exclude the possibility of substantial effects (e.g., odds ratio 95% CI for rs7366653 [0.91–1.58]). Further investigation by large-scale and well-powered Mendelian randomization studies is warranted.
PMCID: PMC3331741  PMID: 22403302
20.  A Genetic Polymorphism of FREM1 Is Associated with Resistance against HIV Infection in the Pumwani Sex Worker Cohort 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(21):11899-11905.
A subgroup of women enrolled in the Pumwani sex worker cohort remain seronegative and PCR negative for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 despite repeated exposure through high-risk sex work. Studies have shown that polymorphisms of genes involved in antigen presentation and viral restriction factors are associated with resistance to HIV infection. To discover other possible genetic factors underlying this HIV-resistant phenotype, we conducted an exploratory nonbiased, low-resolution, genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis comparing 60 HIV-resistant women to 48 HIV-infected controls. The SNP minor allele rs1552896, in an intron of FREM1, was significantly associated with the resistant phenotype (P = 1.68 × 10−5; adjusted P = 2.37 × 10−4; odds ratio [OR], 9.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.82 to 32.05). We expanded the sample size by genotyping rs1552896 in the Pumwani cohort and comparing 114 HIV-resistant women to 609 HIV-infected controls and confirmed the association (P = 1.7 × 10−4; OR, 2.67; 95% CI, 1.47 to 4.84). To validate the association in a second cohort, we genotyped 783 women enrolled in a mother-child health study and observed the minor allele of rs1552896 enriched in HIV-uninfected women (n = 488) compared to HIV-infected enrollees (n = 295) (P = 0.036; OR, 1.69; 95% CI, 0.98 to 2.93). Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR showed that FREM1 mRNA was highly expressed in tissues relevant for HIV-1 infection, and immunohistochemical analysis revealed that FREM1 protein is expressed in the ectocervical mucosa of HIV-resistant women. The significant association of rs1552896 with an HIV-resistant phenotype, together with the expression profile of FREM1 in tissues relevant to HIV infection, suggests that FREM1 is a potentially novel candidate gene for resistance to HIV infection.
PMCID: PMC3486297  PMID: 22915813
21.  Meta-analysis and imputation refines the association of 15q25 with smoking quantity 
Liu, Jason Z. | Tozzi, Federica | Waterworth, Dawn M. | Pillai, Sreekumar G. | Muglia, Pierandrea | Middleton, Lefkos | Berrettini, Wade | Knouff, Christopher W. | Yuan, Xin | Waeber, Gérard | Vollenweider, Peter | Preisig, Martin | Wareham, Nicholas J | Zhao, Jing Hua | Loos, Ruth J.F. | Barroso, Inês | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Grundy, Scott | Barter, Philip | Mahley, Robert | Kesaniemi, Antero | McPherson, Ruth | Vincent, John B. | Strauss, John | Kennedy, James L. | Farmer, Anne | McGuffin, Peter | Day, Richard | Matthews, Keith | Bakke, Per | Gulsvik, Amund | Lucae, Susanne | Ising, Marcus | Brueckl, Tanja | Horstmann, Sonja | Wichmann, H.-Erich | Rawal, Rajesh | Dahmen, Norbert | Lamina, Claudia | Polasek, Ozren | Zgaga, Lina | Huffman, Jennifer | Campbell, Susan | Kooner, Jaspal | Chambers, John C | Burnett, Mary Susan | Devaney, Joseph M. | Pichard, Augusto D. | Kent, Kenneth M. | Satler, Lowell | Lindsay, Joseph M. | Waksman, Ron | Epstein, Stephen | Wilson, James F. | Wild, Sarah H. | Campbell, Harry | Vitart, Veronique | Reilly, Muredach P. | Li, Mingyao | Qu, Liming | Wilensky, Robert | Matthai, William | Hakonarson, Hakon H. | Rader, Daniel J. | Franke, Andre | Wittig, Michael | Schäfer, Arne | Uda, Manuela | Terracciano, Antonio | Xiao, Xiangjun | Busonero, Fabio | Scheet, Paul | Schlessinger, David | St Clair, David | Rujescu, Dan | Abecasis, Gonçalo R. | Grabe, Hans Jörgen | Teumer, Alexander | Völzke, Henry | Petersmann, Astrid | John, Ulrich | Rudan, Igor | Hayward, Caroline | Wright, Alan F. | Kolcic, Ivana | Wright, Benjamin J | Thompson, John R | Balmforth, Anthony J. | Hall, Alistair S. | Samani, Nilesh J. | Anderson, Carl A. | Ahmad, Tariq | Mathew, Christopher G. | Parkes, Miles | Satsangi, Jack | Caulfield, Mark | Munroe, Patricia B. | Farrall, Martin | Dominiczak, Anna | Worthington, Jane | Thomson, Wendy | Eyre, Steve | Barton, Anne | Mooser, Vincent | Francks, Clyde | Marchini, Jonathan
Nature genetics  2010;42(5):436-440.
Smoking is a leading global cause of disease and mortality1. We performed a genomewide meta-analytic association study of smoking-related behavioral traits in a total sample of 41,150 individuals drawn from 20 disease, population, and control cohorts. Our analysis confirmed an effect on smoking quantity (SQ) at a locus on 15q25 (P=9.45e-19) that includes three genes encoding neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits (CHRNA5, CHRNA3, CHRNB4). We used data from the 1000 Genomes project to investigate the region using imputation, which allowed analysis of virtually all common variants in the region and offered a five-fold increase in coverage over the HapMap. This increased the spectrum of potentially causal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which included a novel SNP that showed the highest significance, rs55853698, located within the promoter region of CHRNA5. Conditional analysis also identified a secondary locus (rs6495308) in CHRNA3.
PMCID: PMC3612983  PMID: 20418889
The use of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery in China is growing, but little is known about hospital-level performance. We sought to characterize the variation in performance across hospitals participating in a national registry in China.
Methods and results
The study sample was drawn from the Chinese Cardiac Surgery Registry (CCSR), a national multi-center database that includes 43 hospitals across 13 provinces and 4 direct-controlled municipalities in China. We assessed consecutive patients undergoing isolated CABG surgery during the period of January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2008. Hierarchical generalized linear models were used to estimate hospital-level risk-standardized in-hospital all-cause mortality rates (RSMR) and major complication rates (RSMCR), which included death, myocardial infarction, reoperation for bleeding, mediastinal infection, stroke, re-intubation, and renal failure. Among 8739 patients who underwent isolated CABG surgery, the mean age was 62.2 years (Standard Deviation [SD]=9.2) and 78% were male. Observed in-hospital mortality and complication rates were 2.2% (95% Confidence Interval [CI], 1.9%–2.5%) and 6.6% (95% CI, 6.1%–7.1%) respectively. The mean RSMR was 1.9% (SD=1.1) with a range of 0.7% to 5.8%, and the mean RSMCR was 6.4% (SD=1.5) with a range of 3.8% to 10.1%. The odds of dying and the odds of having a complication after CABG surgery at a hospital one SD below the average relative to a hospital one SD above the average were 2.06 (95% CI, 1.40–3.04) and 1.53 (95% CI, 1.31–1.79) respectively. The Eastern region had the lowest RSMR and RSMCR (1.6% and 5.8%, respectively), whereas the Central region had the highest RSMR (2.5%) and the Southern region had the highest RSMCR (7.7%).
Mortality and complication rates after CABG surgery in the Chinese Cardiac Surgery Registry are generally low but vary by hospital and region within China. These results suggest that there are opportunities to improve outcomes in some CABG facilities.
PMCID: PMC3509783  PMID: 22396587
CABG; outcomes research
23.  ERG induces androgen receptor-mediated regulation of SOX9 in prostate cancer 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2013;123(3):1109-1122.
Fusion of the androgen receptor-regulated (AR-regulated) TMPRSS2 gene with ERG in prostate cancer (PCa) causes androgen-stimulated overexpression of ERG, an ETS transcription factor, but critical downstream effectors of ERG-mediating PCa development remain to be established. Expression of the SOX9 transcription factor correlated with TMPRSS2:ERG fusion in 3 independent PCa cohorts, and ERG-dependent expression of SOX9 was confirmed by RNAi in the fusion-positive VCaP cell line. SOX9 has been shown to mediate ductal morphogenesis in fetal prostate and maintain stem/progenitor cell pools in multiple adult tissues, and has also been linked to PCa and other cancers. SOX9 overexpression resulted in neoplasia in murine prostate and stimulated tumor invasion, similarly to ERG. Moreover, SOX9 depletion in VCaP cells markedly impaired invasion and growth in vitro and in vivo, establishing SOX9 as a critical downstream effector of ERG. Finally, we found that ERG regulated SOX9 indirectly by opening a cryptic AR-regulated enhancer in the SOX9 gene. Together, these results demonstrate that ERG redirects AR to a set of genes including SOX9 that are not normally androgen stimulated, and identify SOX9 as a critical downstream effector of ERG in TMPRSS2:ERG fusion–positive PCa.
PMCID: PMC3582143  PMID: 23426182
24.  Variants in MTNR1B influence fasting glucose levels 
Prokopenko, Inga | Langenberg, Claudia | Florez, Jose C | Saxena, Richa | Soranzo, Nicole | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Loos, Ruth J F | Manning, Alisa K | Jackson, Anne U | Aulchenko, Yurii | Potter, Simon C | Erdos, Michael R | Sanna, Serena | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Wheeler, Eleanor | Kaakinen, Marika | Lyssenko, Valeriya | Chen, Wei-Min | Ahmadi, Kourosh | Beckmann, Jacques S | Bergman, Richard N | Bochud, Murielle | Bonnycastle, Lori L | Buchanan, Thomas A | Cao, Antonio | Cervino, Alessandra | Coin, Lachlan | Collins, Francis S | Crisponi, Laura | de Geus, Eco J C | Dehghan, Abbas | Deloukas, Panos | Doney, Alex S F | Elliott, Paul | Freimer, Nelson | Gateva, Vesela | Herder, Christian | Hofman, Albert | Hughes, Thomas E | Hunt, Sarah | Illig, Thomas | Inouye, Michael | Isomaa, Bo | Johnson, Toby | Kong, Augustine | Krestyaninova, Maria | Kuusisto, Johanna | Laakso, Markku | Lim, Noha | Lindblad, Ulf | Lindgren, Cecilia M | McCann, Owen T | Mohlke, Karen L | Morris, Andrew D | Naitza, Silvia | Orrù, Marco | Palmer, Colin N A | Pouta, Anneli | Randall, Joshua | Rathmann, Wolfgang | Saramies, Jouko | Scheet, Paul | Scott, Laura J | Scuteri, Angelo | Sharp, Stephen | Sijbrands, Eric | Smit, Jan H | Song, Kijoung | Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur | Stringham, Heather M | Tuomi, Tiinamaija | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Uitterlinden, André G | Voight, Benjamin F | Waterworth, Dawn | Wichmann, H-Erich | Willemsen, Gonneke | Witteman, Jacqueline C M | Yuan, Xin | Zhao, Jing Hua | Zeggini, Eleftheria | Schlessinger, David | Sandhu, Manjinder | Boomsma, Dorret I | Uda, Manuela | Spector, Tim D | Penninx, Brenda WJH | Altshuler, David | Vollenweider, Peter | Jarvelin, Marjo Riitta | Lakatta, Edward | Waeber, Gerard | Fox, Caroline S | Peltonen, Leena | Groop, Leif C | Mooser, Vincent | Cupples, L Adrienne | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Boehnke, Michael | Barroso, Inês | Van Duijn, Cornelia | Dupuis, Josée | Watanabe, Richard M | Stefansson, Kari | McCarthy, Mark I | Wareham, Nicholas J | Meigs, James B | Abecasis, Gonçalo R
Nature genetics  2008;41(1):77-81.
To identify previously unknown genetic loci associated with fasting glucose concentrations, we examined the leading association signals in ten genome-wide association scans involving a total of 36,610 individuals of European descent. Variants in the gene encoding melatonin receptor 1B (MTNR1B) were consistently associated with fasting glucose across all ten studies. The strongest signal was observed at rs10830963, where each G allele (frequency 0.30 in HapMap CEU) was associated with an increase of 0.07 (95% CI = 0.06-0.08) mmol/l in fasting glucose levels (P = 3.2 = × 10−50) and reduced beta-cell function as measured by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-B, P = 1.1 × 10−15). The same allele was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (odds ratio = 1.09 (1.05-1.12), per G allele P = 3.3 × 10−7) in a meta-analysis of 13 case-control studies totaling 18,236 cases and 64,453 controls. Our analyses also confirm previous associations of fasting glucose with variants at the G6PC2 (rs560887, P = 1.1 × 10−57) and GCK (rs4607517, P = 1.0 × 10−25) loci.
PMCID: PMC2682768  PMID: 19060907
25.  Th22 Cells as Well as Th17 Cells Expand Differentially in Patients with Early-Stage and Late-Stage Myelodysplastic Syndrome 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e51339.
Immunological mechanisms are increasingly recognized in the progression of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Early-stage MDS (E-MDS) is characterized by autoimmune-mediated myelosuppression whereas late-stage MDS (L-MDS) involves immune evasion, giving dysplastic cells growth potential to progress into acute myeloid leukemia. T-helper (Th) 22 is involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory autoimmunity and tumorigenesis. The roles of Th22 cells in the pathophysiology of E-MDS and L-MDS remain unsettled.
Design and Methods
We studied 37 MDS patients (E-MDS, n = 17; L-MDS, n = 20) and 20 healthy controls to characterize their peripheral blood (PB), as well as 25 MDS patients and 10 healthy controls to characterize their bone marrow(BM). The expression of Interleukin-22 (IL-22), IL-17 or interferon gamma (IFN-γ) was examined in E-MDS, L-MDS patients and controls by flow cytometry. The mRNA expression levels of RAR-related orphan receptor C (RORC), IL-6, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and IL-23 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were determined by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The levels of IL-22 and IL-17 both in PB and BM plasma were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
In E-MDS, peripheral Th17 cells were significantly elevated and correlated with peripheral Th22 cells compared with healthy controls and L-MDS. Significantly higher levels of peripheral Th22 expansion, mRNA expression of IL-6, TNF-α and lower level of RORC mRNA expression were observed in L-MDS compared with E-MDS. No statistical difference was found in IL-23 mRNA expression or plasma IL-22, IL-17 levels among E-MDS, L-MDS and controls.
Our data demonstrated that L-MDS cohort had increased frequencies of peripheral Th22 cells and higher mRNA expression levels of IL-6 and TNF-α, indicating that Th22 cells along with Th17 cells or not are involved in the dynamic immune responses of MDS.
PMCID: PMC3517399  PMID: 23236476

Results 1-25 (48)