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1.  Assembling single gold nanorods into large-scale highly aligned nanoarrays via vacuum-enhanced capillarity 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):556.
We report a simple, straightforward, and efficient approach to assemble single gold nanorods (AuNRs) into highly aligned arrays, via a unique vacuum-enhanced capillarity. The assembled AuNR arrays demonstrate both an excellently unidirectional ordering and a wonderful single-rod resolution. The key role of vacuum in this approach enables high-aspect-ratio (10 to 22) AuNR alignment and efficiently facilitates large-area alignment. Further investigation of one- and two-dimensional AuNR arrays would undoubtedly be beneficial to their potential applications.
PMCID: PMC4194060  PMID: 25313304
Gold; Nanorods; Assembly; Capillary; Atomic force microscopy; Nanoarray
2.  Electroacupuncture preconditioning-induced neuroprotection may be mediated by glutamate transporter type 2 
Neurochemistry international  2013;63(4):302-308.
Electroacupuncture has been shown to induce a preconditioning effect in the brain. The mechanisms for this protection are not fully elucidated. We hypothesize that this protection is mediated by excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs) that have been shown to be neuroprotective. To test this hypothesis, two-month old male Sprague-Dawley rats and EAAT type 3 (EAAT3) knockout mice received or did not receive 30-min electroacupuncture once a day for 5 consecutive days. They were subjected to a 120-min middle cerebral arterial occlusion (MCAO) at 24 h after the last electroacupuncture. Neurological outcome was assessed 2 days after the MCAO. Brain tissues were harvested at 24 h after the last electroacupuncture for Western blotting. Rats subjected to electroacupuncture at the Baihui acupoint had smaller brain infarct volumes and better neurological deficit scores than control rats. Electroacupuncture increased EAAT type 2 (EAAT2) in the cerebral cortex, tended to increase EAAT3 in the hippocampus, and had no effect on EAAT type 1 expression. Dihydrokainate, an EAAT2 inhibitor, worsened the neurological outcome of rats with electroacupuncture pretreatment. Electroacupuncture pretreatment at the Baihui acupoint increased EAAT2 in the cerebral cortex and improved the neurological outcome of EAAT3 knockout mice. Together, our results suggest that EAAT2 may mediate the electroacupuncture preconditioning-induced neuroprotection.
PMCID: PMC3758789  PMID: 23831620
brain; electroacupuncture; glutamate transporter; ischemia; preconditioning
3.  Timosaponin A3 induces hepatotoxicity in rats through inducing oxidative stress and down-regulating bile acid transporters 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2014;35(9):1188-1198.
To investigate the mechanisms underlying the hepatotoxicity of timosaponin A3 (TA3), a steroidal saponin from Anemarrhena asphodeloides, in rats.
Male SD rats were administered TA3 (100 mg·kg−1·d−1, po) for 14 d, and the blood and bile samples were collected after the final administration. The viability of a sandwich configuration of cultured rat hepatocytes (SCRHs) was assessed using WST-1. Accumulation and biliary excretion index (BEI) of d8-TCA in SCRHs were determined with LC-MS/MS. RT-PCR and Western blot were used to analyze the expression of relevant genes and proteins. ROS and ATP levels, and mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) were measured. F-actin cytoskeletal integrity was assessed under confocal microscopy.
TA3 administration in rats significantly elevated the total bile acid in serum, and decreased bile acid (BA) component concentrations in bile. TA3 inhibited the viability of the SCRHs with an IC50 value of 15.21±1.73 μmol/L. Treatment of the SCRHs with TA3 (1–10 μmol/L) for 2 and 24 h dose-dependently decreased the accumulation and BEI of d8-TCA. The TA3 treatment dose-dependently decreased the expression of BA transporters Ntcp, Bsep and Mrp2, and BA biosynthesis related Cyp7a1 in hepatocytes. Furthermore, the TA3 treatment dose-dependently increased ROS generation and HO-1 expression, decreased the ATP level and MMP, and disrupted F-actin in the SCRHs. NAC (5 mmol/L) significantly ameliorated TA3-induced effects in the SCRHs, whereas mangiferin (10–200 μg/mL) almost blocked TA3-induced ROS generation.
TA3 triggers liver injury through inducing ROS generation and suppressing the expression of BA transporters. Mangiferin, an active component in Anemarrhena, may protect hepatocytes from TA3-induced hepatotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC4155534  PMID: 25087997
timosaponin A3; hepatotoxicity; cholestasis; bile acid; transporter; Cyp7a1; ROS; N-acetyl-L- cysteine; mangiferin
4.  Diagnostic Accuracy of Intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis Detection for Tuberculous Meningitis 
Rationale: Early diagnosis and treatment of tuberculous meningitis saves lives, but current laboratory diagnostic tests lack sensitivity.
Objectives: We investigated whether the detection of intracellular bacteria by a modified Ziehl-Neelsen stain and early secretory antigen target (ESAT)-6 in cerebrospinal fluid leukocytes improves tuberculous meningitis diagnosis.
Methods: Cerebrospinal fluid specimens from patients with suspected tuberculous meningitis were stained by conventional Ziehl-Neelsen stain, a modified Ziehl-Neelsen stain involving cytospin slides with Triton processing, and an ESAT-6 immunocytochemical stain. Acid-fast bacteria and ESAT-6–expressing leukocytes were detected by microscopy. All tests were performed prospectively in a central laboratory by experienced technicians masked to the patients’ final diagnosis.
Measurements and Main Results: Two hundred and eighty patients with suspected tuberculous meningitis were enrolled. Thirty-seven had Mycobacterium tuberculosis cultured from cerebrospinal fluid; 40 had a microbiologically confirmed alternative diagnosis; the rest had probable or possible tuberculous meningitis according to published criteria. Against a clinical diagnostic gold standard the sensitivity of conventional Ziehl-Neelsen stain was 3.3% (95% confidence interval, 1.6–6.7%), compared with 82.9% (95% confidence interval, 77.4–87.3%) for modified Ziehl-Neelsen stain and 75.1% (95% confidence interval, 68.8–80.6%) for ESAT-6 immunostain. Intracellular bacteria were seen in 87.8% of the slides positive by the modified Ziehl-Neelsen stain. The specificity of modified Ziehl-Neelsen and ESAT-6 stain was 85.0% (95% confidence interval, 69.4–93.8%) and 90.0% (95% confidence interval, 75.4–96.7%), respectively.
Conclusions: Enhanced bacterial detection by simple modification of the Ziehl-Neelsen stain and an ESAT-6 intracellular stain improve the laboratory diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis.
PMCID: PMC3977721  PMID: 24450377
tuberculosis; central nervous system; cerebrospinal fluid; diagnosis
5.  Anandamide Protects HT22 Cells Exposed to Hydrogen Peroxide by Inhibiting CB1 Receptor-Mediated Type 2 NADPH Oxidase 
Background. Endogenous cannabinoid anandamide (AEA) protects neurons from oxidative injury in rodent models; however the mechanism of AEA-induced neuroprotection remains to be determined. Activation of neuronal NADPH oxidase 2 (Nox2) contributes to oxidative damage of the brain, and inhibition of Nox2 can attenuate cerebral oxidative stress. We aimed to determine whether the neuronal Nox2 was involved in protection mediated by AEA. Methods. The mouse hippocampal neuron cell line HT22 was exposed to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to mimic oxidative injury of neurons. The protective effect of AEA was assessed by measuring cell metabolic activity, apoptosis, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release, cellular morphology, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), and antioxidant and oxidant levels and Nox2 expression. Results. HT22 cells exposed to H2O2 demonstrated morphological changes, decreased LDH release, reduced metabolic activity, increased levels of intracellular ROS and oxidized glutathione (GSSG), reduced levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), and reduced glutathione (GSH) and increased expression of Nox2. AEA prevented these effects, a property abolished by simultaneous administration of CB1 antagonist AM251 or CB1-siRNA. Conclusion. Nox2 inhibition is involved in AEA-induced cytoprotection against oxidative stress through CB1 activation in HT22 cells.
PMCID: PMC4127243  PMID: 25136404
6.  Interleukin-1 beta guides the migration of cortical neurons 
Proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) is expressed at high levels in the developing brain and declines to low constitutive levels in the adult. However, the pathophysiological function of IL-1β during brain development remains elusive. In this study, we investigated the role of IL-1β in neuronal migration.
The Boyden transwell assay was used to examine the effects of IL-1β on the migration of dissociated primary cortical neurons. To determine the role of IL-1β in neuron leading process pathfinding, we employed a growth cone turning assay. In utero electroporation combined with RNAi technology was used to examine the neuronal migration in vivo during brain development in Sprague–Dawley rats.
IL-1β at concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 10 ng/mL in the lower chamber of a transwell induced a significant increase in the number of migrating neurons in a dose-dependent manner. When IL-1β was simultaneously put in both the upper and lower chambers to eliminate the gradient, no significant differences in cell migration were observed. IL-1 receptor antagonist IL-1RA dose-dependently blocked the attractive effect of IL-1β on neuronal migration. Microscopic gradients of IL-1β were created near the growth cones of isolated neurons by repetitive pulsatile application of picoliters of a IL-1β-containing solution with a micropipette. We found that growth cones exhibited a clear bias toward the source of IL-1β at the end of a one hour period in the IL-1β gradient. No significant difference was observed in the rate of neurite extension between IL-1β and controls. We electroporated specific siRNA constructs against IL-1R1 mRNA into cortical progenitors at embryonic day 16 and examined the position and distribution of transfected cells in the somatosensory cortex at postnatal day 5. We found that neurons transfected with IL-1R1-siRNA displayed a severe retardation in radial migration, with about 83% of total cells unable to arrive at the upper cortical layers.
Our study suggests an essential contribution of IL-1β to neuronal migration during brain development, which provides a basis to understand the physiological roles of IL-1β in the developing brain and could have significant implications for the prevention of some neurodevelopment disorders due to abnormal neuronal migration.
PMCID: PMC4084576  PMID: 24950657
IL-1beta; Neuronal migration; in utero electroporation; Brain development
7.  Astrocytic expression of cannabinoid type 1 receptor in rat and human sclerotic hippocampi 
Cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R), which is traditionally located on axon terminals, plays an important role in the pathology of epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases by modulating synaptic transmission. Using the pilocarpine model of chronic spontaneous recurrent seizures, which mimics the main features of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) with hippocampal sclerosis (HS) in humans, we examined the expression of CB1R in hippocampal astrocytes of epileptic rats. Furthermore, we also examined the expression of astrocytic CB1R in the resected hippocampi from patients with medically refractory mesial TLE. Using immunofluorescent double labeling, we found increased expression of astrocytic CB1R in hippocampi of epileptic rats, whereas expression of astrocytic CB1R was not detectable in hippocampi of saline treated animals. Furthermore, CB1R was also found in some astrocytes in sclerotic hippocampi in a subset of patients with intractable mesial TLE. Detection with immune electron microscopy showed that the expression of CB1R was increased in astrocytes of epileptic rats and modest levels of CB1R were also found on the astrocytic membrane of sclerotic hippocampi. These results suggest that increased expression of astrocytic CB1R in sclerotic hippocampi might be involved in the cellular basis of the effects of cannabinoids on epilepsy.
PMCID: PMC4097232  PMID: 25031702
Epilepsy; cannabinoid type 1 receptor; hippocampal sclerosis; astrocyte; immune electron microscopy
8.  Decreased expression of miR-204 is associated with poor prognosis in patients with breast cancer 
The identification of biomarkers in breast cancer diagnosis and therapy is important in achieving early cancer diagnosis and improving patient outcomes. The aim of this study was to examine clinical significance of miR-204 expression in tissues from breast cancer patients. The relationship between miR-204 expression and clinicopathological characteristics was investigated. MiR-204 expression was significantly associated with TNM stage and metastasis. Patients with low miR-204 expression had poorer overall survival time and disease free survival time than those with high miR-204 expression. Furthermore, miR-204 expression was correlated with chemotherapeutic resistance of breast cancer patients. In conclusion, the miR-204 may be a potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarker of breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC4097245  PMID: 25031750
MiR-204; breast cancer; prognosis
9.  Honokiol Suppresses Renal Cancer Cells’ Metastasis via Dual-Blocking Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Cancer Stem Cell Properties through Modulating miR-141/ZEB2 Signaling 
Molecules and Cells  2014;37(5):383-388.
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is associated with a high frequency of metastasis and only few therapies substantially prolong survival. Honokiol, isolated from Magnolia spp. bark, has been shown to exhibit pleiotropic anticancer effects in many cancer types. However, whether honokiol could suppress RCC metastasis has not been fully elucidated. In the present study, we found that honokiol suppressed renal cancer cells’ metastasis via dual-blocking epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer stem cell (CSC) properties. In addition, honokiol inhibited tumor growth in vivo. It was found that honokiol could up-regulate miR-141, which targeted ZEB2 and modulated ZEB2 expression. Honokiol reversed EMT and suppressed CSC properties partly through the miR-141/ZEB2 axis. Our study suggested that honokiol may be a suitable therapeutic strategy for RCC treatment.
PMCID: PMC4044309  PMID: 24810210
cancer stem cell; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; honokiol; microRNA; renal cell carcinoma
10.  Cancer Stem-like Cell Properties are Regulated by EGFR/AKT/β-catenin Signaling and Preferentially Inhibited by Gefitinib in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma 
The FEBS journal  2013;280(9):10.1111/febs.12226.
We report that the EGFR pathway plays a critical role in regulating cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), one of the most common malignant tumors in Southeast Asia. Effects of EGFR on maintaining CSCs are mainly mediated by AKT signaling, and β-catenin is responsible for governing CSC properties in response to EGFR/AKT activation. Significantly, CSCs are enriched by cisplatin and decreased by gefitinib in NPC xenograft models. Upon reimplantation in secondary mice, tumor cells derived from cisplatin-treated mice grew rapidly, whereas regrowth of tumor cells from gefitinib-treated mice was severely diminished. We further demonstrate that expression of EGFR correlates with expression of β-catenin and Nanog in primary tumor specimens from NPC patients. These findings provide mechanistic and preclinical evidence supporting the use of gefitinib alone or in combination with a chemotherapeutic agent in first-line therapy for patients with NPC. In addition, our results suggest that targeting β-catenin represents a rational clinical modality for patients whose tumors harbor activated EGFR or AKT.
PMCID: PMC3831031  PMID: 23461856
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Cancer stem-like cells; EGFR; β-catenin; Gefitinib
11.  A case of horizontal gene transfer from Wolbachia to Aedes albopictus C6/36 cell line 
Mobile Genetic Elements  2014;4:e28914.
Horizontal gene transfer plays an essential role in evolution and ecological adaptation, yet this phenomenon has remained controversial, particularly where it occurs between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. There are a handful of reported examples of horizontal gene transfer occurring between prokaryotes and eukaryotes in the literature, with most of these documented cases pertaining to invertebrates and endosymbionts. However, the vast majority of these horizontally transferred genes were either eventually excluded or rapidly became nonfunctional in the recipient genome. In this study, we report the discovery of a horizontal gene transfer from the endosymbiont Wolbachia in the C6/36 cell line derived from the mosquito Aedes albopictus. Moreover, we report that this horizontally transferred gene displayed high transcription level. This finding and the results of further experimentation strongly suggest this gene is functional and has been expressed and translated into a protein in the mosquito host cells.
PMCID: PMC4013104  PMID: 24812591
horizontal gene transfer; endosymbiont; Wolbachia; mosquito; Aedes Albopictus; C6/36 cell line
12.  Ribosomal Protein S29 Regulates Metabolic Insecticide Resistance through Binding and Degradation of CYP6N3 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94611.
Many diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes, including malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, filariasis, and West Nile fever. Chemical control plays a major role in managing mosquito-borne diseases. However, excessive and continuous application of insecticides has caused the development of insecticide resistance in many species including mosquito, and this has become the major obstacle to controlling mosquito-borne diseases. Insecticide resistance is the result of complex polygenic inheritance, and the mechanisms are not well understood. Ribosomal protein RPS29 was found to be associated with DM resistance in our previous study. In this study, we aim to further investigate the involvement of RPS29 in deltamethrin resistance.
Methodology and Principal Findings
In this study, tandem affinity purification was used to identify proteins that can interact with RPS29. Among the candidate proteins, CYP6N3, a member of the CYP450 superfamily, was identified, and binding to RPS29 was confirmed in vitro and in vivo by GST pull-down and immunofluorescence. CCK-8 assay was used to investigate the RPS29-CTP6N3 interaction in relation to DM resistance. CYP6N3 overexpression significantly enhanced DM resistance and insect cell viability, but this was reversed by RPS29 overexpression. Western blot was used to study the mechanism of interaction between RPS29 and CYP6N3. RPS29 increases CYP6N3 protein degradation through the proteasome.
Conclusions and Significance
These observations indicate that CYP6N3, a novel RPS29-interacting partner, could stimulate deltamethrin resistance in mosquito cells and RPS29 overexpression targeted CYP6N3 for proteosomal degradation, abrogating the CYP6N3-associated resistence to deltamethrin. Our findings provide a novel mechanism associated with CYP450s mediated DM resistance.
PMCID: PMC3984272  PMID: 24728095
13.  Strength Training Induces Muscle Hypertrophy and Functional Gains in Black Prostate Cancer Patients Despite Androgen Deprivation Therapy 
Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer (PCa) is associated with weakness, fatigue, sarcopenia, and reduced quality of life (QoL). Black men have a higher incidence and mortality from PCa than Caucasians. We hypothesized that despite ADT, strength training (ST) would increase muscle power and size, thereby improving body composition, physical function, fatigue levels, and QoL in older black men with PCa.
Muscle mass, power, strength, endurance, physical function, fatigue perception, and QoL were measured in 17 black men with PCa on ADT before and after 12 weeks of ST. Within-group differences were determined using t tests and regression models.
ST significantly increased total body muscle mass (2.7%), thigh muscle volume (6.4%), power (17%), and strength (28%). There were significant increases in functional performance (20%), muscle endurance (110%), and QoL scores (7%) and decreases in fatigue perception (38%). Improved muscle function was associated with higher functional performance (R 2 = 0.54) and lower fatigue perception (R 2 = 0.37), and both were associated with improved QoL (R 2 = 0.45), whereas fatigue perception tended to be associated with muscle endurance (R 2 = 0.37).
ST elicits muscle hypertrophy even in the absence of testosterone and is effective in counteracting the adverse functional consequences of ADT in older black men with PCa. These improvements are associated with reduced fatigue perception, enhanced physical performance, and improved QoL. Thus, ST may be a safe and well-tolerated therapy to prevent the loss of muscle mass, strength, and power commonly observed during ADT.
PMCID: PMC3593619  PMID: 23089339
14.  A Small Physiological Electric Field Mediated Responses of Extravillous Trophoblasts Derived from HTR8/SVneo Cells: Involvement of Activation of Focal Adhesion Kinase Signaling 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92252.
Moderate invasion of trophoblast cells into endometrium is essential for the placental development and normal pregnancy. Electric field (EF)-induced effects on cellular behaviors have been observed in many cell types. This study was to investigate the effect of physiological direct current EF (dc EF) on cellular responses such as elongation, orientation and motility of trophoblast cells. Immortalized first trimester extravillous trophoblast cells (HTR-8/SVneo) were exposed to the dc EF at physiological magnitude. Cell images were recorded and analyzed by image analyzer. Cell lysates were used to detect protein expression by Western blot. Cultured in the dc EFs the cells showed elongation, orientation and enhanced migration rate compared with non-EF stimulated cells at field strengths of 100 mV/mm to 200 mV/mm. EF exposure increased focal adhesion kinase (FAK) phosphorylation in a time-dependent manner and increased expression levels of MMP-2. Pharmacological inhibition of FAK impaired the EF-induced responses including motility and abrogated the elevation of MMP-2 expression. However, the expression levels of integrins like integrin α1, α5, αV and β1 were not affected by EF stimulation. Our results demonstrate the importance of FAK activation in migration/motility of trophobalst cells driven by EFs. In addition, it raises the feasibility of using applied EFs to promote placentation through effects on trophoblast cells.
PMCID: PMC3958492  PMID: 24643246
15.  Trypsin-Catalyzed Deltamethrin Degradation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e89517.
To explore if trypsin could catalyze the degradation of non-protein molecule deltamethrin, we compared in vitro hydrolytic reactions of deltamethrin in the presence and absence of trypsin with ultraviolet-visible (UV/Vis) spectrophotometry and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). In addition, acute oral toxicity of the degradation products was determined in Wistar rats. The results show that the absorption peak of deltamethrin is around 264 nm, while the absorption peaks of deltamethrin degradation products are around 250 nm and 296 nm. In our GC setting, the retention time of undegraded deltamethrin was 37.968 min, while those of deltamethrin degradation products were 15.289 min and 18.730 min. The LD50 of deltamethrin in Wistar rats is 55 mg/kg, while that of deltamethrin degradation products is 3358 mg/kg in female rats and 1045 mg/kg in male rates (61-fold and 19-fold reductions in toxicity), suggesting that trypsin could directly degrade deltamethrin, which significantly reduces the toxicity of deltamethrin. These results expand people's understanding of the functions of proteases and point to potential applications of trypsin as an attractive agent to control residual pesticides in the environment and on agricultural products.
PMCID: PMC3940599  PMID: 24594869
16.  Co-Expression of Bacterial Aspartate Kinase and Adenylylsulfate Reductase Genes Substantially Increases Sulfur Amino Acid Levels in Transgenic Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88310.
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is one of the most important forage crops used to feed livestock, such as cattle and sheep, and the sulfur amino acid (SAA) content of alfalfa is used as an index of its nutritional value. Aspartate kinase (AK) catalyzes the phosphorylation of aspartate to Asp-phosphate, the first step in the aspartate family biosynthesis pathway, and adenylylsulfate reductase (APR) catalyzes the conversion of activated sulfate to sulfite, providing reduced sulfur for the synthesis of cysteine, methionine, and other essential metabolites and secondary compounds. To reduce the feedback inhibition of other metabolites, we cloned bacterial AK and APR genes, modified AK, and introduced them into alfalfa. Compared to the wild-type alfalfa, the content of cysteine increased by 30% and that of methionine increased substantially by 60%. In addition, a substantial increase in the abundance of essential amino acids (EAAs), such as aspartate and lysine, was found. The results also indicated a close connection between amino acid metabolism and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. The total amino acid content and the forage biomass tested showed no significant changes in the transgenic plants. This approach provides a new method for increasing SAAs and allows for the development of new genetically modified crops with enhanced nutritional value.
PMCID: PMC3919742  PMID: 24520364
17.  Ribose-phosphate pyrophosphokinase 1 (PRPS1) associated with deltamethrin resistance in Culex pipiens pallens 
Parasitology research  2012;112(2):847-854.
Ribose-phosphate pyrophosphokinase 1 (PRPS1) was identified and isolated as a differentially expressed gene between deltamethrin-susceptible (DS) and deltamethrin-resistant (DR) Culex pipiens pallens and Aedes albopictus C6/36 cell line through microarray and 2D-Gel. An open reading frame of PRPS1 cloned from C. pipiens pallens has 1,011 bp and encodes for a 336 amino acids protein which shares high homology with Culex quinquefasciatus. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the transcript expression level of PRPS1 in DS and DR strains. The expression levels of PRPS1 were higher in DR laboratory strains and natural population JXZ-DR, JXZ-LDR. PRPS1 was also detected and expressed at all developmental stages of C. pipiens pallens and increased expression level in DR3 strain than DS strain in the third and fourth instar larvae, female and male stages. In addition, to further investigate the role of PRPS1 in deltamethrin resistance, PRPS1 was transiently expressed in A. albopictus C6/36 cells and detected by western blotting. Cells transfected with PRPS1 had an increased resistance to deltamethrin compared with control cells. These results suggested that the increased expression level of PRPS1 may play roles in the regulation of deltamethrin resistance.
PMCID: PMC3720864  PMID: 23250545
18.  Genome sequence of Anopheles sinensis provides insight into genetics basis of mosquito competence for malaria parasites 
BMC Genomics  2014;15:42.
Anopheles sinensis is an important mosquito vector of Plasmodium vivax, which is the most frequent and widely distributed cause of recurring malaria throughout Asia, and particularly in China, Korea, and Japan.
We performed 454 next-generation sequencing and obtained a draft sequence of A. sinensis assembled into scaffolds spanning 220.8 million base pairs. Analysis of this genome sequence, we observed expansion and contraction of several immune-related gene families in anopheline relative to culicine mosquito species. These differences suggest that species-specific immune responses to Plasmodium invasion underpin the biological differences in susceptibility to Plasmodium infection that characterize these two mosquito subfamilies.
The A. sinensis genome produced in this study, provides an important resource for analyzing the genetic basis of susceptibility and resistance of mosquitoes to Plasmodium parasites research which will ultimately facilitate the design of urgently needed interventions against this debilitating mosquito-borne disease.
PMCID: PMC3901762  PMID: 24438588
Genome; Anopheles sinensis; Malaria
19.  Identification of Amides as Carboxylic Acid Surrogates for Quinolizidinone-Based M1 Positive Allosteric Modulators 
ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters  2012;3(12):1070-1074.
Selective activation of the M1 muscarinic receptor via positive allosteric modulation represents an approach to treat the cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer's disease. A series of amides were examined as a replacement for the carboxylic acid moiety in a class of quinolizidinone carboxylic acid M1 muscarinic receptor positive allosteric modulators, and leading pyran 4o and cyclohexane 5c were found to possess good potency and in vivo efficacy.
PMCID: PMC4025801  PMID: 24900430
carboxylic acid surrogates; quinolizidinone; positive allosteric modulators
20.  Epidemiology and Risk Factors of Cervical Spine Injury during Heating Season in the Patients with Cervical Trauma: A Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e78358.
The purpose of this study was to describe the epidemiology of cervical spine injury in the patients with cervical trauma and analyze its associated risk factors during the special heating season in North China.
This cross-sectional study investigated predictors for cervical spine injury in cervical trauma patients using retrospectively collected data of Hebei Provincial Orthopaedic Hospital from 11/2011 to 02/2012, and 11/2012 to 02/2013. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to determine risk factors for cervical fractures/dislocations or cord injury.
A total of 106 patients were admitted into this study. Of all, 34 patients (32.1%) were treated from 11/2011 to 02/2012 and 72 patients (67.9%) from 11/2012 to 02/2013. The mean age was 41.9±13.3 years old; 85 patients (80.2%) were male and 82 (77.4%) from rural areas. Eighty patients (75.5%) were caused by fall including 45 (42.5%) by severe fall (>2 m). Sixty-five patients (61.3%) of all suffered injuries to other body regions and 32 (30.2%) got head injury. Thirty-one patients (29.2%) sustained cervical cord injury with cervical fractures/dislocations. Twenty-six (83.9%) of cervical cord injury patients were from rural areas and 24 (77.4%) of those resulted from fall including 15 (48.4%) from severe fall (>2 m). Logistic regression displayed that age (OR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.05–2.07), head injury (OR, 5.63; 95% CI, 2.23–14.26), were risk factors for cervical cord injury and snowing (OR, 8.25; 95% CI, 2.26–30.15) was a risk factor for cervical spine injury due to severe fall (>2 m).
The elder male patients and patients with head trauma are high-risk population for cervical cord injury. As a seasonal factor, snowing during heating season is of note a risk factor for cervical spine injury resulting from severe fall (>2 m) in the patients with cervical trauma in North China.
PMCID: PMC3817250  PMID: 24223795
21.  Hypercholesterolemic Myocardium Is Vulnerable to Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury and Refractory to Sevoflurane-Induced Protection 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76652.
Recent studies have demonstrated that volatile anesthetic postconditioning confers myocardial protection against ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury through activation of the reperfusion injury salvage kinase (RISK) pathway. As RISK has been shown to be impaired in hypercholesterolemia. Therefore, we investigate whether anesthetic-induced cardiac protection was maintained in hypercholesterolemic rats. In the present study, normocholesteolemic or hypercholesterolemic rat hearts were subjected to 30 min of ischemia and 2 h of reperfusion. Animals received 2.4% sevoflurane for 5 min or 3 cycles of 10-s ischemia/10-s reperfusion. The hemodynamic parameters, including left ventricular developed pressure, left ventricular end-diastolic pressure and heart rate, were continuously monitored. The infarct size, apoptosis, p-Akt, p-ERK1/2, p-GSK3β were determined. We found that both sevoflurane and ischemic postconditioning significantly improved heart pump function, reduced infarct size and increased the phosphorylation of Akt, ERK1/2 and their downstream target of GSK3β in the healthy rats. In the hypercholesterolemic rats, neither sevoflurane nor ischemic postconditioning improved left ventricular hemodynamics, reduced infarct size and increased the phosphorylated Akt, ERK1/2 and GSK3β. In contrast, GSK inhibitor SB216763 conferred cardioprotection against IR injury in healthy and hypercholesterolemic hearts. In conclusions, hyperchoesterolemia abrogated sevoflurane-induced cardioprotection against IR injury by alteration of upstream signaling of GSK3β and acute GSK inhibition may provide a novel therapeutic strategy to protect hypercholesterolemic hearts against IR injury.
PMCID: PMC3790738  PMID: 24124583
22.  Medial patella retinaculum plasty for treatment of habitual patellar dislocation in adolescents 
International Orthopaedics  2012;36(9):1819-1825.
The surgical technique, medial patellar retinaculum plasty, can almost restore both static and dynamic stability and verge on anatomical repair for the treatment of habitual patellar dislocation in adolescents.
In accordance with the injury patterns of the medial patellar retinaculum through knee MRI, we repaired different injury sites with this surgical procedure. We reviewed this technique in 16 patients with an average age of 15 years. Retrospective review of charts and radiographs immediately after the surgery up to the latest follow-up (range 12–36 months) was undertaken.
All patients were evaluated clinically and radiologically over an average of 20.7 months. The recovery of knee mobility results were good. No recurrence of patellar instability has been found.
We think this could be a valid technique to treat habitual patellar dislocation in adolescents.
PMCID: PMC3427441  PMID: 22552428
23.  Cloning and characterization of prophenoloxidase A3 (proPOA3) from Culex pipiens pallens 
The prophenoloxidase subunit A3 (proPOA3) gene was cloned from Culex pipiens pallens, which had an open reading frame of 2,061 bp encoding a putative 686 amino acid protein. The deduced amino acid sequence shares 98% with proPOA3 from Cx. quinquefasciatus. ProPOA3 is expressed at all developmental stages of Cx. pipiens pallens. Significant negative correlation was observed between proPOA3 expression and deltamethrin resistance in resistant Cx. pipiens pallens. Furthermore, proPOA3 expression levels were significantly lower in deltamethrin-resistant mosquitoes than in susceptible mosquitoes collected at four locations in Eastern China. However, we did not find any substantial change in proPOA3 expression in field-collected resistant Anopheles mosquitoes. Moreover, overexpressing proPOA3 in C6/36 cells led to more sensitivity to deltamethrin treatment. In laboratory and field-collected resistant Cx. pipiens pallens, a valine to isoleucine mutation (769G>A) and two synonymous mutations (1116G>C and 1116G>A) were identified in proPOA3. In addition, the mutation frequency of 769G>A and 1116G>C increased gradually, which corresponded with raised deltamethrin resistance levels. Taken together, our study provides the first evidence that proPOA3 may play a role in the regulation of deltamethrin-resistance in Cx. pipiens pallens.
PMCID: PMC3365641  PMID: 22561195
Culex pipiens pallens; deltamethrin resistance; prophenoloxidase; mutation
24.  Results of a randomized and controlled clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of combination therapy with Endostar and S-1 combined with oxaliplatin in advanced gastric cancer 
OncoTargets and therapy  2013;6:925-929.
We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of combination therapy of Endostar (recombinant human endostatin) and S-1 combined with oxaliplatin (SOX) in patients with advanced gastric cancer.
In this randomized, controlled trial, 165 late-stage gastric cancer patients were assigned to the experimental arm with Endostar in combination with SOX (80 patients) and the control arm with SOX alone (85 patients). The end points of this study included progression-free survival, response rate, and disease-control rate.
There was no statistically significant difference in response rate between the experimental arm and the control arm (53.8% vs 42.4%, P=0.188). The difference in disease-control rate was also statistically insignificant between the two arms (85.0% vs 72.9%, P=0.188). Progression-free survival in the experimental arm was significantly higher than that in the control arm (15.0 months vs 12.0 months, P=0.0001). Common adverse events included immunosuppression, gastrointestinal distress, and neuropathy. There was no statistical difference in the incidences of adverse events.
Combination therapy of Endostar and SOX provides therapeutic benefits to advanced gastric cancer patients, with tolerable adverse effects.
PMCID: PMC3728266  PMID: 23926435
endostatin; gastric cancer; SOX; oxaliplatin; Endostar; S-1
25.  Identification of Proteasome Subunit Beta Type 6 (PSMB6) Associated with Deltamethrin Resistance in Mosquitoes by Proteomic and Bioassay Analyses 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e65859.
Deltamethrin (DM) insecticides are currently being promoted worldwide for mosquito control, because of the high efficacy, low mammalian toxicity and less environmental impact. Widespread and improper use of insecticides induced resistance, which has become a major obstacle for the insect-borne disease management. Resistance development is a complex and dynamic process involving many genes. To better understand the possible molecular mechanisms involved in DM resistance, a proteomic approach was employed for screening of differentially expressed proteins in DM-susceptible and -resistant mosquito cells. Twenty-seven differentially expressed proteins were identified by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and mass spectrometry (MS). Four members of the ubiquitin-proteasome system were significantly elevated in DM-resistant cells, suggesting that the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway may play an important role in DM resistance. Proteasome subunit beta type 6 (PSMB6) is a member of 20S proteasomal subunit family, which forms the proteolytic core of 26S proteasome. We used pharmaceutical inhibitor and molecular approaches to study the contributions of PSMB6 in DM resistance: the proteasome inhibitor MG-132 and bortezomib were used to suppress the proteasomal activity and siRNA was designed to block the function of PSMB6. The results revealed that both MG-132 and bortezomib increased the susceptibility in DM-resistant cells and resistance larvae. Moreover, PSMB6 knockdown decreased cellular viability under DM treatment. Taken together, our study indicated that PSMB6 is associated with DM resistance in mosquitoes and that proteasome inhibitors such as MG-132 or bortezomib are suitable for use as a DM synergist for vector control.
PMCID: PMC3677870  PMID: 23762443

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