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1.  Subanesthetic Isoflurane Reduces Zymosan-Induced Inflammation in Murine Kupffer Cells by Inhibiting ROS-Activated p38 MAPK/NF-κB Signaling 
Volatile anesthetic isoflurane (ISO) has immunomodulatory effects. The fungal component zymosan (ZY) induces inflammation through toll-like receptor 2 or dectin-1 signaling. We investigated the molecular actions of subanesthetic (0.7%) ISO against ZY-induced inflammatory activation in murine Kupffer cells (KCs), which are known as the resident macrophages within the liver. We observed that ISO reduced ZY-induced cyclooxygenase 2 upregulation and prostaglandin E2 release, as determined by western blot and radioimmunoassay, respectively. ISO also reduced the production of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, IL-6, high-mobility group box-1, macrophage inflammatory protein-1α, macrophage inflammatory protein-2, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 as assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. ISO blocked the ZY-induced nuclear translocation and DNA-binding activity of nuclear factor- (NF)-κB p65. Moreover, ISO attenuated ZY-induced p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation partly by scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS); the interregulation that ROS activated p38 MAPK followed by NF-κB activation was crucial for the ZY-induced inflammatory responses in KCs. An in vivo study by peritoneal injection of ZY into BALB/C mice confirmed the anti-inflammatory properties of 0.7% ISO against ZY in KCs. These results suggest that ISO ameliorates ZY-induced inflammatory responses in murine KCs by inhibiting the interconnected ROS/p38 MAPK/NF-κB signaling pathways.
PMCID: PMC4134815  PMID: 25147596
2.  Erythrocyte eNOS does not modulate red blood cell storage hemolysis 
Transfusion  2012;53(5):981-989.
The red blood cell (RBC) endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) has been shown to regulate intrinsic erythrocyte rheological properties, such as membrane deformability, suggesting that a functional eNOS could be important in RBC viability and function during storage. This study examines the correlation between RBC eNOS deficiency and the propensity of RBCs to hemolyze under selected stress conditions including prolonged hypothermic storage.
Experimental design
Fresh or stored RBCs from normal and eNOS knock out (KO) mice or from healthy human volunteers were subjected to selected hemolytic stress conditions including mechanical stress hemolysis, osmotic stress hemolysis, oxidation stress hemolysis, and evaluated during standard storage in CPDA-1 solutions.
Fresh RBCs from normal and eNOS KO mice demonstrated comparable susceptibility to hemolysis triggered by mechanical stress (mechanical fragility index = 6.5±0.5 in eNOS KO versus 6.4±0.4 for controls; n=8–9), osmotic stress, and oxidative stress. Additionally, RBCs from both mouse groups exhibited similar hemolytic profile at the end of 14-day hypothermic storage, analogous to 42 days of human RBC storage. Storage of human RBCs (28 days in CPDA-1) in the presence of NOS cofactors (L-arginine and tetrahydro-L-biopterin) or inhibitor (L-NMMA) did not affect cell recovery or hemolytic response to the selected stressors.
These studies suggest that RBC eNOS does not modulate susceptibility to hemolysis in response to selected stress conditions or prolonged hypothermic storage. Other strategies to increase NO bioactivity following prolonged storage utilizing NOS-independent pathways such as the nitrate-nitrite-NO pathway may prove a more promising approach.
PMCID: PMC4313879  PMID: 22897637
Hemolysis; red blood cell storage lesion; RBC endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS)
3.  Decision-Making for Risky Gains and Losses among College Students with Internet Gaming Disorder 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0116471.
Individuals with Internet gaming disorder (IGD) tend to exhibit disadvantageous risky decision-making not only in their real life but also in laboratory tasks. Decision-making is a complex multifaceted function and different cognitive processes are involved in decision-making for gains and losses. However, the relationship between impaired decision-making and gain versus loss processing in the context of IGD is poorly understood. The main aim of the present study was to separately evaluate decision-making for risky gains and losses among college students with IGD using the Cups task. Additionally, we further examined the effects of outcome magnitude and probability level on decision-making related to risky gains and losses respectively. Sixty college students with IGD and 42 matched healthy controls (HCs) participated. Results indicated that IGD subjects exhibited generally greater risk taking tendencies than HCs. In comparison to HCs, IGD subjects made more disadvantageous risky choices in the loss domain (but not in the gain domain). Follow-up analyses indicated that the impairment was associated to insensitivity to changes in outcome magnitude and probability level for risky losses among IGD subjects. In addition, higher Internet addiction severity scores were associated with percentage of disadvantageous risky options in the loss domain. These findings emphasize the effect of insensitivity to losses on disadvantageous decisions under risk in the context of IGD, which has implications for future intervention studies.
PMCID: PMC4304794  PMID: 25615595
4.  Sleep Duration, Schedule and Quality among Urban Chinese Children and Adolescents: Associations with Routine After-School Activities 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0115326.
With rapid urbanization accompanied by lifestyle changes, children and adolescents living in metropolitan areas are faced with many time use choices that compete with sleep. This study reports on the sleep hygiene of urban Chinese school students, and investigates the relationship between habitual after-school activities and sleep duration, schedule and quality on a regular school day.
Cross-sectional, school-based survey of school children (Grades 4–8) living in Shanghai, China, conducted in 2011. Self-reported data were collected on students’ sleep duration and timing, sleep quality, habitual after-school activities (i.e. homework, leisure-time physical activity, recreational screen time and school commuting time), and potential correlates.
Mean sleep duration of this sample (mean age: 11.5-years; 48.6% girls) was 9 hours. Nearly 30% of students reported daytime tiredness. On school nights, girls slept less (p<0.001) and went to bed later (p<0.001), a sex difference that was more pronounced in older students. Age by sex interactions were observed for both sleep duration (p=0.005) and bedtime (p=0.002). Prolonged time spent on homework and mobile phone playing was related to shorter sleep duration and later bedtime. Adjusting for all other factors, with each additional hour of mobile phone playing, the odds of daytime tiredness and having difficulty maintaining sleep increased by 30% and 27% among secondary students, respectively.
There are sex differences in sleep duration, schedule and quality. Habitual activities had small but significant associations with sleep hygiene outcomes especially among secondary school students. Intervention strategies such as limiting children’s use of electronic screen devices after school are implicated.
PMCID: PMC4303432  PMID: 25611973
5.  A Permutation Method to Assess Heterogeneity in External Validation for Risk Prediction Models 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0116957.
The value of a developed prediction model depends on its performance outside the development sample. The key is therefore to externally validate the model on a different but related independent data. In this study, we propose a permutation method to assess heterogeneity in external validation for risk prediction models. The permutation p value measures the extent of homology between development and validation datasets. If p < 0.05, the model may not be directly transported to the external validation population without further revision or updating. Monte-Carlo simulations are conducted to evaluate the statistical properties of the proposed method, and two microarray breast cancer datasets are analyzed for demonstration. The permutation method is easy to implement and is recommended for routine use in external validation for risk prediction models.
PMCID: PMC4301917  PMID: 25606854
6.  Exploration of Alternate Catalytic Mechanisms and Optimization Strategies for Retroaldolase Design 
Journal of molecular biology  2013;426(1):256-271.
Designed retroaldolases have utilized a nucleophilic lysine to promote carbon–carbon bond cleavage of β-hydroxy-ketones via a covalent Schiff base intermediate. Previous computational designs have incorporated a water molecule to facilitate formation and breakdown of the carbinolamine intermediate to give the Schiff base and to function as a general acid/base. Here we investigate an alternative active-site design in which the catalytic water molecule was replaced by the side chain of a glutamic acid. Five out of seven designs expressed solubly and exhibited catalytic efficiencies similar to previously designed retroaldolases for the conversion of 4-hydro-xy-4-(6-methoxy-2-naphthyl)-2-butanone to 6-methoxy-2-naphthaldehyde and acetone. After one round of site-directed saturation mutagenesis, improved variants of the two best designs, RA114 and RA117, exhibited among the highest kcat (>10−3 s−1) and kcat/KM (11–25 M−1 s−1) values observed for retroaldolase designs prior to comprehensive directed evolution. In both cases, the >105-fold rate accelerations that were achieved are within 1–3 orders of magnitude of the rate enhancements reported for the best catalysts for related reactions, including catalytic antibodies (kcat/kuncat = 106 to 108) and an extensively evolved computational design (kcat/kuncat > 107). The catalytic sites, revealed by X-ray structures of optimized versions of the two active designs, are in close agreement with the design models except for the catalytic lysine in RA114. We further improved the variants by computational remodeling of the loops and yeast display selection for reactivity of the catalytic lysine with a diketone probe, obtaining an additional order of magnitude enhancement in activity with both approaches.
PMCID: PMC4104579  PMID: 24161950
retroaldolase; enzyme design; protein engineering; enzyme optimization
Virology  2013;448:293-302.
Ubiquitin C-terminal Hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1) has oncogenic properties and is highly expressed during malignancies. We recently documented that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection induces uch-l1 expression. Here we show that Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) infection induced UCH-L1 expression, via cooperation of KSHV Latency-Associated Nuclear Antigen (LANA) and RBP-Jκ and activation of the uch-l1 promoter. UCH-L1 expression was also increased in Primary Effusion Lymphoma (PEL) cells co-infected with KSHV and EBV compared with PEL cells infected only with KSHV, suggesting EBV augments the effect of LANA on uch-l1. EBV latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) is one of the few EBV products expressed in PEL cells. Results showed that LMP1 was sufficient to induce uch-l1 expression, and co-expression of LMP1 and LANA had an additive effect on uch-l1 expression. These results indicate that viral latency products of both human γ-herpesviruses contribute to uch-l1 expression, which may contribute to the progression of lymphoid malignancies.
PMCID: PMC4157526  PMID: 24314660
8.  Ethanol extracts of Cinnamomum kanehirai Hayata leaves induce apoptosis in human hepatoma cell through caspase-3 cascade 
OncoTargets and therapy  2014;8:99-109.
Inducing apoptosis to susceptible cells is the major mechanism of most cytotoxic anticancer drugs in current use. Cinnamomum kanehirai Hayata (Lauraceae), a unique and native tree of Taiwan, is the major host for the medicinal fungus Antrodia cinnamomea which exhibits anti-cancer activity. Because of the scarcity of A. cinnamomea, C. kanehirai Hayata instead, is used as fork medicine in liver cancer. Here we observed the C. kanehirai Hayata ethanol extract could inhibit the cellular viability of both HepG2 and HA22T/VGH human hepatoma cell lines in a dose- and time-dependent manner. We found the mode of cell death was apoptosis according to cell morphological changes by Liu’s stain, oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation by gel electrophoresis, externalization of phosphotidyl serine by detecting Annexin V and hypoploid population by cell cycle analysis. Our results showed that the extracts caused cleavage of caspase-3 and increased enzyme activity of caspase-8 and caspase-9. Caspase 3 inhibitor partially reversed the viability inhibition by the extract. Furthermore, the up-regulation of Bax and down-regulation of Bcl-2 were also noted by the extract treatment. In conclusion, C. kanehirai Hayata ethanol extract induced intrinsic pathway of apoptosis through caspase-3 cascade in human hepatoma HA22T/VGH and HepG2 cells, which might shed new light on hepatoma therapy.
PMCID: PMC4317145
Antrodia cinnamomea; hepatoma; apoptosis; anticancer
9.  Universal Stem-Loop Primer Method for Screening and Quantification of MicroRNA 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e115293.
RT-qPCR is the accepted technique for the quantification of microRNA (miR) expression: however, stem-loop RT-PCR, the most frequently used method for quantification of miRs, is time- and reagent-consuming as well as inconvenient for scanning. We established a new method called ‘universal stem-loop primer’ (USLP) with 8 random nucleotides instead of a specific sequence at the 3′ end of the traditional stem-loop primer (TSLP), for screening miR profile and to semi-quantify expression of miRs. Peripheral blood samples were cultured with phytohaemagglutinin (PHA), and then 87 candidate miRs were scanned in cultured T cells. By USLP, our study revealed that the expression of miR-150-5p (miR-150) decreased nearly 10-fold, and miR-155-5p (miR-155) increased more than 7-fold after treated with PHA. The results of the dissociation curve and gel electrophoresis showed that the PCR production of the USLP and TSLP were specificity. The USLP method has high precision because of its low ICV (ICV<2.5%). The sensitivity of the USLP is up to 103 copies/µl miR. As compared with the TSLP, USLP saved 75% the cost of primers and 60% of the test time. The USLP method is a simple, rapid, precise, sensitive, and cost-effective approach that is suitable for screening miR profiles.
PMCID: PMC4280144  PMID: 25548906
10.  Dynamic Quantitative Trait Locus Analysis of Seed Vigor at Three Maturity Stages in Rice 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e115732.
Seed vigor is an important characteristic of seed quality. In this study, one rice population of recombinant inbred lines (RILs) was used to determine the genetic characteristics of seed vigor, including the germination potential, germination rate, germination index and time for 50% of germination, at 4 (early), 5 (middle) and 6 weeks (late) after heading in two years. A total of 24 additive and 9 epistatic quantitative trait loci (QTL) for seed vigor were identified using QTL Cartographer and QTLNetwork program respectively in 2012; while 32 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers associated with seed vigor were detected using bulked segregant analysis (BSA) in 2013. The additive, epistatic and QTL × development interaction effects regulated the dry maturity developmental process to improve seed vigor in rice. The phenotypic variation explained by each additive, epistatic QTL and QTL × development interaction ranged from 5.86 to 40.67%, 4.64 to 11.28% and 0.01 to 1.17%, respectively. The QTLs were rarely co-localized among the different maturity stages; more QTLs were expressed at the early maturity stage followed by the late and middle stages. Twenty additive QTLs were stably expressed in two years which might play important roles in establishment of seed vigor in different environments. By comparing chromosomal positions of these stably expressed additive QTLs with those previously identified, the regions of QTL for seed vigor are likely to coincide with QTL for grain size, low temperature germinability and seed dormancy; while 5 additive QTL might represent novel genes. Using four selected RILs, three cross combinations of seed vigor for the development of RIL populations were predicted; 19 elite alleles could be pyramided by each combination.
PMCID: PMC4275237  PMID: 25536503
11.  Control of cotton fibre elongation by a homeodomain transcription factor GhHOX3 
Nature Communications  2014;5:5519.
Cotton fibres are unusually long, single-celled epidermal seed trichomes and a model for plant cell growth, but little is known about the regulation of fibre cell elongation. Here we report that a homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-ZIP) transcription factor, GhHOX3, controls cotton fibre elongation. GhHOX3 genes are localized to the 12th homoeologous chromosome set of allotetraploid cotton cultivars, associated with quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for fibre length. Silencing of GhHOX3 greatly reduces (>80%) fibre length, whereas its overexpression leads to longer fibre. Combined transcriptomic and biochemical analyses identify target genes of GhHOX3 that also contain the L1-box cis-element, including two cell wall loosening protein genes GhRDL1 and GhEXPA1. GhHOX3 interacts with GhHD1, another homeodomain protein, resulting in enhanced transcriptional activity, and with cotton DELLA, GhSLR1, repressor of the growth hormone gibberellin (GA). GhSLR1 interferes with the GhHOX3–GhHD1 interaction and represses target gene transcription. Our results uncover a novel mechanism whereby a homeodomain protein transduces GA signal to promote fibre cell elongation.
Cotton fibre is the most important renewable material for textiles, with a huge economic output. Here the authors show that a homeodomain-leucine zipper transcription factor, GhHOX3, transduces a gibberellin signal that in turn promotes fibre cell elongation.
PMCID: PMC4263147  PMID: 25413731
12.  Hyperuricemia and Risk of Incident Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e114259.
Observational studies of the relationship between hyperuricemia and the incidence of hypertension are controversial. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the association and consistency between uric acid levels and the risk of hypertension development.
We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CBM (Chinese Biomedicine Database) through September 2013 and reference lists of retrieved studies to identify cohort studies and nested case-control studies with uric acid levels as exposure and incident hypertension as outcome variables. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed study quality using Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Extracted information included study design, population, definition of hyperuricemia and hypertension, number of incident hypertension, effect sizes, and adjusted confounders. Pooled relative risks (RRs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between hyperuricemia and risk of hypertension were calculated using a random-effects model.
We included 25 studies with 97,824 participants assessing the association between uric acid and incident hypertension in our meta-analysis. The quality of included studies is moderate to high. Random-effects meta-analysis showed that hyperuricemia was associated with a higher risk of incident hypertension, regardless of whether the effect size was adjusted or not, whether the data were categorical or continuous as 1 SD/1 mg/dl increase in uric acid level (unadjusted: RR = 1.73, 95% CI 1.46∼2.06 for categorical data, RR = 1.22, 95% CI 1.03∼1.45 for a 1 SD increase; adjusted: RR = 1.48, 95% CI 1.33∼1.65 for categorical data, RR = 1.15, 95% CI 1.06∼1.26 for a 1 mg/dl increase), and the risk is consistent in subgroup analyses and have a dose-response relationship.
Hyperuricemia may modestly increase the risk of hypertension incidence, consistent with a dose-response relationship.
PMCID: PMC4250178  PMID: 25437867
13.  Secondhand Smoke Exposure, Indoor Smoking Bans and Smoking-Related Knowledge in China 
Although previous studies have provided strong evidence that Chinese individuals are exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS) and lack knowledge of its harmful effects, there has not been an in-depth exploration of the variability in exposure and knowledge by geographic region, occupation, and socioeconomic status. The objectives of this study were to examine: (1) the demographic factors associated with the level of knowledge of the harmful effects of smoking; (2) the factors related to implementation of in-home and workplace smoking bans; and (3) geographic differences in being exposed to SHS in government buildings, healthcare facilities, restaurants, public transportations, and schools. We used data from the 2010 Global Adult Tobacco Survey-China. Chi-square tests were used for statistical analysis. The results suggested that among Chinese citizens age 15 years and older, there is poor knowledge of the harmful effects of tobacco, and knowledge varies with region and socioeconomic status. Over three-quarters of the households had no smoking restrictions, and a large percentage of workers reported working in places with no smoking ban. In public places, exposure to SHS was high, particularly in rural areas and in the Southwest. These results suggest Chinese individuals are not well informed of smoking and SHS associated risks and are regularly exposed to SHS at home, work and public places.
PMCID: PMC4276649  PMID: 25514143
clean-indoor air laws; public smoking bans; smoke-free environments; secondhand smoke; tobacco control policies/interventions
14.  A Cross-Sectional Study of Avian Influenza in One District of Guangzhou, 2013 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e111218.
Since Feb, 2013, more than 100 human beings had been infected with novel H7N9 avian influenza virus. As of May 2013, several H7N9 viruses had been found in retail live bird markets (LBMs) in Guangdong province of southern China where several human cases were confirmed later. However, the real avian influenza virus infection status especially H7N9 in Guangzhou remains unclear. Therefore, a cross-sectional study of avian influenza in commercial poultry farms, the wholesale LBM and retail LBMs in one district of Guangzhou was conducted from October to November, 2013. A total of 1505 cloacal and environmental samples from 52 commercial poultry farms, 1 wholesale LBM and 18 retail LBMs were collected and detected using real-time RT-PCR for type A, H7, H7N9 and H9 subtype avian influenza virus, respectively. Of all the flocks randomly sampled, 6 farms, 12 vendors of the wholesale LBM and 18 retail LBMs were type A avian influenza virus positive with 0, 3 and 11 positive for H9, respectively. The pooled prevalence and individual prevalence of type A avian influenza virus were 33.9% and 7.9% which for H9 subtype was 7.6% and 1.6%, respectively. None was H7 and H7N9 subtype virus positive. Different prevalence and prevalence ratio were found in different poultry species with partridges having the highest prevalence for both type A and H9 subtype avian influenza virus. Our results suggest that LBM may have a higher risk for sustaining and transmission of avian influenza virus than commercial poultry farms. The present study also indicates that different species may play different roles in the evolution and transmission of avian influenza virus. Therefore, risk-based surveillance and management measures should be conducted in future in this area.
PMCID: PMC4214741  PMID: 25356738
16.  Outbreak of Epidemic Keratoconjunctivitis Caused by Human Adenovirus Type 56, China, 2012 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e110781.
HAdV-56 is a new recombinant type isolated from epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC) patients and has been sporadically isolated in Japan several times. Here, an outbreak of EKC in the city of Dalian, China involving a large number of workers in two factories was reported; this was the first outbreak of EKC associated with HAdV-56 worldwide.
PMCID: PMC4208770  PMID: 25343525
17.  Effects of cyclooxygenase-2 gene silencing on the biological behavior of SKOV3 ovarian cancer cells 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2014;11(1):59-66.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of plasmid-mediated RNA interference targeting of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) on the biological behaviors of SKOV3 human ovarian cancer cells and to analyze the function of COX-2 in carcinogenesis and development of ovarian cancer. A COX-2 small hairpin (sh)RNA sequence was designed and synthesized and pGPU6-COX-2-shRNA plasmids were constructed. The recombinant vector plasmids were stably transfected into SKOV3 cells. The mRNA and protein expression of COX-2 was subsequently analyzed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis, respectively. MTT and colony formation assays were used to detect the cellular proliferation ability and flow cytometry was performed to detect phase changes in the cell cycle. Finally, a Transwell assay was used to detect cell invasion. The SKOV3 cells, transfected with recombinant vector plasmids, and control cells, were injected into nude mice and the tumor emergence time, volume and weight were measured. The impact of COX-2 gene silencing on the growth of xenograft tumors in nude mice was analyzed. Following transfection of the pGPU6-COX-2-shRNA plasmid, in vitro analyses indicated that the shRNA efficiently suppressed the mRNA and protein expression of COX-2. COX-2 gene silencing significantly inhibited the proliferation and invasion ability of SKOV3 cells, leading to cell cycle arrest in G1. The tumor formation time in the interference group was significantly prolonged, and the tumor volume and weight were significantly decreased, as compared with the control group. Plasmid-mediated shRNA was shown to effectively silence COX-2 expression in SKOV3 ovarian cancer cells. It was identified that COX-2 functioned in regulating proliferation, cell cycle and invasion of ovarian cancer cells. These findings provided a theoretical basis for determining the function of COX-2 in the development of ovarian cancer and suggested that COX-2 may be an effective target for gene therapy and clinical applications.
PMCID: PMC4237092  PMID: 25335121
ovarian cancer; cyclooxygenase-2; RNA interference; proliferation; invasion; gene therapy
18.  Contact mechanics of modular metal-on-polyethylene total hip replacement under adverse edge loading conditions 
Journal of Biomechanics  2014;47(13):3303-3309.
Edge loading can negatively impact the biomechanics and long-term performance of hip replacements. Although edge loading has been widely investigated for hard-on-hard articulations, limited work has been conducted for hard-on-soft combinations. The aim of the present study was to investigate edge loading and its effect on the contact mechanics of a modular metal-on-polyethylene (MoP) total hip replacement (THR). A three-dimensional finite element model was developed based on a modular MoP bearing. Different cup inclination angles and head lateral microseparation were modelled and their effect on the contact mechanics of the modular MoP hip replacement were examined. The results showed that lateral microseparation caused loading of the head on the rim of the cup, which produced substantial increases in the maximum von Mises stress in the polyethylene liner and the maximum contact pressure on both the articulating surface and backside surface of the liner. Plastic deformation of the liner was observed under both standard conditions and microseparation conditions, however, the maximum equivalent plastic strain in the liner under microseparation conditions of 2000 µm was predicted to be approximately six times that under standard conditions. The study has indicated that correct positioning the components to avoid edge loading is likely to be important clinically even for hard-on-soft bearings for THR.
PMCID: PMC4199141  PMID: 25218504
Microseparation; Edge loading; Metal-on-polyethylene; Contact mechanics; Total hip replacement
19.  RPA Inhibition increases Replication Stress and Suppresses Tumor Growth 
Cancer research  2014;74(18):5165-5172.
The ATR/Chk1 pathway is a critical surveillance network that maintains genomic integrity during DNA replication by stabilizing the replication forks during normal replication to avoid replication stress. One of the many differences between normal cells and cancer cells is the amount of replication stress that occurs during replication. Cancer cells with activated oncogenes generate increased levels of replication stress. This creates an increased dependency on the ATR/Chk1 pathway in cancer cells and opens up an opportunity to preferentially kill cancer cells by inhibiting this pathway. In support of this idea, we have identified a small molecule termed HAMNO ((1Z)-1-[(2-hydroxyanilino)methylidene]naphthalen-2-one), a novel protein interaction inhibitor of replication protein A (RPA), a protein involved in the ATR/Chk1 pathway. HAMNO selectively binds the N-terminal domain of RPA70, effectively inhibiting critical RPA protein interactions which rely on this domain. HAMNO inhibits both ATR autophosphorylation and phosphorylation of RPA32 Ser33 by ATR. By itself, HAMNO treatment creates DNA replication stress in cancer cells that are already experiencing replication stress, but not in normal cells, and it acts synergistically with etoposide to kill cancer cells in vitro and slow tumor growth in vivo. Thus, HAMNO illustrates how RPA inhibitors represent candidate therapeutics for cancer treatment, providing disease selectivity in cancer cells by targeting their differential response to replication stress.
PMCID: PMC4201622  PMID: 25070753
20.  Increased susceptibility to pulmonary Pseudomonas infection in Splunc1 knockout mice 
Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)  2013;191(8):10.4049/jimmunol.1202340.
The airway epithelium is the first line of host defense against pathogens. The short PLUNC 1 (SPLUNC1) protein is secreted in respiratory tracts and a member of the BPI fold-containing (BPIF) protein family, which shares structural similarities with bactericidal/permeability-increasing (BPI)-like proteins. On the basis of its homology with BPIs and restricted expression of SPLUNC1 in serous cells of submucosal glands and surface epithelial cells of the upper respiratory tract, SPLUNC1 is thought to possess antimicrobial activity in host defense. SPLUNC1 is also reported to have surfactant properties, which may contribute to anti-biofilm defenses. The objective of this study was to determine the in vivo functions of SPLUNC1 following Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection and to elucidate the underlying mechanism, using a knockout (KO) mouse model with a genetic ablation of Splunc1. Splunc1 KO mice showed accelerated mortality and increased susceptibility to P. aeruginosa infection with significantly decreased survival rates, increased bacterial burdens, exaggerated tissue injuries, and elevated proinflammatory cytokine levels as compared to those of their wild-type (WT) littermates. Increased neutrophil infiltration in Splunc1 KO mice was accompanied by elevated chemokine levels including Cxcl1, Cxcl2, and Ccl20. Furthermore, the expression of several epithelial secretory proteins and antimicrobial molecules was considerably suppressed in the lungs of Splunc1 KO mice. The deficiencya of Splunc1 in mouse airway epithelium also results in increased biofilm formation of P. aeruginosa. Taken together, our results support that the ablation of Splunc1 in mouse airways affects the mucociliary clearance, resulting in decreased innate immune response during Pseudomonas-induced respiratory infection.
PMCID: PMC3839417  PMID: 24048904
splunc1; epithelium; mucociliary clearance; Pseudomonas infection
21.  Phenotypic Plasticity of HSP70s Gene Expression during Diapause: Signs of Evolutionary Responses to Cold Stress among Soybean Pod Borer Populations (Leguminivora glycinivorella) in Northeast of China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e109465.
The soybean pod borer (Leguminivora glycinivorella Matsumura) successfully survives the winter because of its high expression of 70-kDa heat shock proteins (HSP70s) during its overwintering diapause. The amount of HSP70s is different under different environmental stresses. In this study, inducible heat shock protein 70 and its constitutive heat shock cognate 70 were cloned by RT-PCR and RACE. These genes were named Lg-hsp70 and Lg-hsc70, respectively. Gene transcription and protein expression after cold stress treatment (5°C to −5°C) were analyzed by western blotting and by qRT-PCR for four populations that were sampled in the northeast region of China, including Shenyang, Gongzhuling, Harbin and Heihe, when the soybean pod borer was in diapause. As the cold shock temperature decreased, the levels of Lg-HSP70s were significantly up-regulated. The amount of cold-induced Lg-HSP70s was highest in the southernmost population (Shenyang, 41°50′N) and lowest in the northernmost population (Heihe, 50°22′N). These results support the hypothesis that the soybean pod borer in the northeast region of China displays phenotypic plasticity, and the accumulation of Lg-HSP70s is a strategy for overcoming environmental stress. These results also suggest that the induction of HSP70 synthesis, which is a complex physiological adaptation, can evolve quickly and inherit stability.
PMCID: PMC4198119  PMID: 25330365
22.  Factors related to survival rates for breast cancer patients 
This study is to analyze the relationship between clinical parameters and prognosis and survival rates of breast cancer patients. A total of 1541 cases of breast cancer were retrospectively reviewed with respect to clinical parameters and the correlation with prognosis and survival rates. Among these patients, follow-up investigation was performed for 1381 cases. Clinical parameters including disease sites (the lesion quadrant), incidences, the number of axillary lymph node metastasis, maximum diameter of tumor, tumor regional lymph node metastasis (TNM) stages, pathological types were investigated. The estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-2 levels were correlated with long term disease-free survival. Lymph node metastases, tumor diameter, TNM stage, and hormone receptor status are correlated with survival rates of breast cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC4238527  PMID: 25419424
Breast cancer; breast cancer prognosis factors; clinical parameters; retrospective analysis
23.  Mechanisms for Cellular NO Oxidation and Nitrite Formation in Lung Epithelial Cells 
Airway lining fluid contains relatively high concentrations of nitrite and arterial blood levels of nitrite are higher than venous levels, suggesting the lung epithelium may represent an important source of nitrite in vivo. To investigate whether lung epithelial cells possess the ability to convert NO to nitrite by oxidation, and the effect of oxygen reactions on nitrite formation, the NO donor DETA NONOate was incubated with or without A549 cells or primary human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells for 24 hrs under normoxic (21% O2) and hypoxic (1% O2) conditions. Nitrite production was significantly increased under all conditions in the presence of A549 or HBE cells, suggesting that both A549 and HBE cells have the capacity to oxidize NO to nitrite even under low oxygen conditions. The addition of oxy-hemoglobin (oxy-Hb) to the A549 cell media decreased the production of nitrite, consistent with NO scavenging limiting nitrite formation. Heat-denatured A549 cells produced much lower nitrite and bitrate, suggesting an enzymatic activity is required. This NO oxidation activity was found to be highest in membrane bound proteins with molecular sizes < 100 kDa. In addition, 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo-[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one] (ODQ) and cyanide inhibited formation of nitrite in A549 cells. It has been shown that ceruloplasmin (Cp) possesses an NO oxidase and nitrite synthase activity in plasma based on NO oxidation to nitrosonium cation (NO+). We observed that Cp is expressed intracellularly in lung epithelial A549 cells and secreted into medium under basal conditions and during cytokine stimulation. However, an analysis of Cp expression level and activity measured via ρ-phenylenediamine oxidase activity assay revealed very low activity compared with plasma, suggesting that there is insufficient Cp to contribute to detectable NO oxidation to nitrite in A549 cells. Additionally, Cp levels were knocked down using siRNA by more than 75% in A549 cells, with no significant change in either nitrite or cellular S-nitrosothiol (SNO) formation compared to scrambled siRNA control under basal conditions or cytokine stimulation. These data suggest that lung epithelial cells possess NO oxidase activity, which is enhanced in cell membrane associated proteins and not regulated by intracellular or secreted Cp, indicating that alternative NO oxidases determine hypoxic and normoxic nitrite formation from NO in human lung epithelial cells.
PMCID: PMC3883890  PMID: 23639566
ceruloplasmin; NO oxidase; nitrite; nitric oxide; human lung epithelial cells; hypoxia
24.  Resting heart rate as a marker for identifying the risk of undiagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus: a cross-sectional survey 
BMC Public Health  2014;14(1):1052.
Fast resting heart rate might increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, it is unclear whether resting heart rate could be used to predict the risk of undiagnosed T2DM. Therefore, the purposes of this study were to examine the association between resting heart rate and undiagnosed T2DM, and evaluate the feasibility of using resting heart rate as a marker for identifying the risk of undiagnosed T2DM.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted. Resting heart rate and relevant covariates were collected and measured. Fasting blood samples were obtained to measure blood glucose using the modified hexokinase enzymatic method. Predictive performance was analyzed by Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve.
This study included 16, 636 subjects from rural communities aged 35–78 years. Resting heart rate was significantly associated with undiagnosed T2DM in both genders. For resting heart rate categories of <60, 60–69, 70–79, and ≥80 beats/min, adjusted odds ratios for undiagnosed T2DM were 1.04, 2.32, 3.66 and 1.05, 1.57, 2.98 in male and female subjects, respectively. For male subjects, resting heart rate ≥70 beats/min could predict undiagnosed T2DM with 76.56% sensitivity and 48.64% specificity. For female subjects, the optimum cut-off point was ≥79 beats/min with 49.72% sensitivity and 67.53% specificity. The area under the ROC curve for predicting undiagnosed T2DM was 0.65 (95% CI: 0.64-0.66) and 0.61(95% CI: 0.60-0.62) in male and female subjects, respectively.
Fast resting heart rate is associated with an increased risk of undiagnosed T2DM in male and female subjects. However, resting heart rate as a marker has limited potential for screening those at high risk of undiagnosed T2DM in adults living in rural areas.
PMCID: PMC4210587  PMID: 25297916
Marker; Resting heart rate; Type 2 diabetes mellitus
25.  Experimental Comparison of the Reproductive Outcomes and Early Development of the Offspring of Rats Given Five Common Types of Drinking Water 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e108955.
Tap water (unfiltered), filtered tap water and processed bottled water (purified water, artificial mineralized water, or natural water) are now the five most widely consumed types of drinking water in China. However, the constituents (organic chemicals and inorganic ingredients) of the five waters differ, which may cause them to have different long-term health effects on those who drink them, especially sensitive children. In order to determine which type of water among the five waters is the most beneficial regarding reproductive outcomes and the developmental behaviors of offspring, two generations of Sprague–Dawley rats were given these five waters separately, and their reproductive outcomes and the developmental behaviors of their offspring were observed and compared. The results showed that the unfiltered tap water group had the lowest values for the maternal gestation index (MGI) and offspring's learning and memory abilities (OLMA); the lowest offspring survival rate was found in the purified water group; and the highest OLMA were found in the filtered tap water group. Thus, the best reproductive and offspring early developmental outcomes were found in the group that drank filtered tap water, which had the lowest levels of pollutants and the richest minerals. Therefore, thoroughly removing toxic contaminants and retaining the beneficial minerals in drinking water may be important for both pregnant women and children, and the best way to treat water may be with granular activated carbon and ion exchange by copper zinc alloy.
PMCID: PMC4184831  PMID: 25279561

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