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1.  Activation of Toll-Like Receptor-9 Promotes Cellular Migration via Up-Regulating MMP-2 Expression in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92748.
Activation of Toll like receptors (TLRs) signaling has been implicated in promoting malignant cell invasion and metastatic potential. Previously we demonstrated that increased TLR-9 expression predicted poor survival in oral cancer patients. The objective of this study is to further investigate the roles and potential molecular mechanisms of TLR-9 signaling in human oral cancer cell invasion.
Cell migration, invasion and protein expression were detected by wound healing assay, Transwell chambers model and western blot. The secretion and activity levels of metalloproteinases-2/9 were quantified by ELISA and Gelatin zymography. EMSA and ChIP assays were employed to detect the activity of AP-1signal pathway. TLR-9 siRNA transfection was used to regulate the expression and activity of TLR-9 in oral cancer cell line HB cells.
The results of both wound healing assay and in vitro Transwell assay revealed that activation of TLR-9 induced dose- and time- dependent migration and invasion of HB cells. An increased expression, secretion and activity of MMP-2 were observed upon the treatment of CpG-ODN. The TLR-9 signaling-mediated MMP-2 expression appeared to be a consequence of AP-1 activation, because that their DNA binding activity was enhanced by CpG-ODN treatment. All these influences were efficiently repressed by the knockdown of TLR-9 through siRNA or pretreatment of an AP-1 inhibitor.
Activation of TLR-9 signaling could promote human oral cancer HB cells invasion with the induction of MMP-2 presentation by attenuating AP-1 binding activity, suggesting a novel anti-metastatic application for TLR-9 targeted therapy in oral cancer in the future.
PMCID: PMC3962433  PMID: 24658023
2.  Prevalence and Correlates of Cigarette Smoking among Chinese Schizophrenia Inpatients Receiving Antipsychotic Mono-Therapy 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88478.
To investigate the prevalence rate of cigarette smoking and its socio-demographic and clinical correlates in Chinese schizophrenia inpatients receiving antipsychotic mono-therapy.
This study was a cross-sectional, two-site, hospital-based survey. Four hundred and twenty-nine schizophrenia patients (male/female: 66.9% vs. 33.1%) were consecutively recruited from psychosis inpatient wards of two large specialty psychiatric hospitals in mainland China. Patients were assessed using a cigarette smoking questionnaire, the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale, the Simpson Angus Scale, the Barnes Akathisia Rating Scale, and the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale. Socio-demographic and other clinical data were also collected. We calculated the prevalence of current smoking in our sample as well as its indirectly standardized prevalence ratio (ISPR) using data from the 2010 Global Adult Tobacco Survey in China.
The prevalence rate of current smoking was 40.6% in our sample, and 57.5% in males and 6.3% in females. The ISPRs of all patients, men and women were 1.11(95%CI: 0.95∼1.29), 1.07(95%CI = 0.91∼1.24) and 4.64(95%CI = 2.12∼8.82), respectively. The overall and male-specific prevalence of current smoking did not differ significantly between patients and the general population. In multiple logistic regression analysis, male sex, older age, poor marital status, alcohol use, use of first-generation antipsychotics, longer duration of illness, more frequent hospitalizations, and more severe negative symptoms were independently associated with current smoking.
Male Chinese inpatients with schizophrenia who received a mono-therapy of antipsychotics were not more likely to smoke than the general population. Cigarette smoking is more common in schizophrenia patients with more severe illness.
PMCID: PMC3919787  PMID: 24520390
3.  MiR-133b is frequently decreased in gastric cancer and its overexpression reduces the metastatic potential of gastric cancer cells 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:34.
Emerging evidence has shown that microRNAs are involved in gastric cancer development and progression. Here we examine the role of miR-133b in gastric cancer.
Quantitative real-time PCR analysis was performed in 140 patient gastric cancer tissues and 8 gastric cancer cell lines. The effects of miR-133b in gastric cancer cells metastasis were examined by scratch assay, transwell migration and matrigel invasion. In vivo effects of miR-133b were examined in an intraperitoneal mouse tumor model. Targets of miR-133b were predicted by bioinformatics tools and validated by luciferase reporter analyses, western blot, and quantitative real-time PCR.
MiR-133b was significantly downregulated in 70% (98/140) of gastric cancer patients. Expression of miR-133b was negatively correlated with lymph node metastasis of gastric cancer in patients. Similarly, the expression of miR-133b was significantly lower in seven tested gastric cancer cell lines than in the immortalized non-cancerous GES-1 gastric epithelial cells. Overexpression of miR-133b markedly inhibited metastasis of gastric cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, the transcriptional factor Gli1 was identified as a direct target for miR-133b. Level of Gli1 protein but not mRNA was decreased by miR-133b. Activity of luciferase with Gli1 3′-untranslated region was markedly decreased by miR-133b in gastric cancer cells. Gli1 target genes, OPN and Zeb2, were also inhibited by miR133b.
MiR-133b is frequently decreased in gastric cancer. Overexpression of miR-133b inhibits cell metastasis in vitro and in vivo partly by directly suppressing expression of Gli1 protein. These results suggested that miR-133b plays an important role in gastric cancer metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3925791  PMID: 24443799
MicroRNA; miR-133b; Gastric cancer; Metastasis
4.  Aurora kinase A inhibition-induced autophagy triggers drug resistance in breast cancer cells 
Autophagy  2012;8(12):1798-1810.
We have previously shown that elevated expression of mitotic kinase aurora kinase A (AURKA) in cancer cells promotes the development of metastatic phenotypes and is associated clinically with adverse prognosis. Here, we first revealed a clinically positive correlation between AURKA and autophagy-associated protein SQSTM1 in breast cancer and further demonstrated that AURKA regulated SQSTM1 through autophagy. Indeed, depletion by siRNA or chemical inhibition of AURKA by the small molecule VX-680 increased both the level of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3-II (LC3-II) and the number of autophagosomes, along with decreased SQSTM1. Conversely, overexpression of AURKA inhibited autophagy, as assessed by decreased LC3-II and increased SQSTM1 either upon nutrient deprivation or normal conditions. In addition, phosphorylated forms of both RPS6KB1 and mechanistic target of rapamycin (MTOR) were elevated by overexpression of AURKA whereas they were suppressed by depletion or inhibition of AURKA. Moreover, inhibition of MTOR by PP242, an inhibitor of MTOR complex1/2, abrogated the changes in both LC3-II and SQSTM1 in AURKA-overexpressing BT-549 cells, suggesting that AURKA-suppressed autophagy might be associated with MTOR activation. Lastly, repression of autophagy by depletion of either LC3 or ATG5, sensitized breast cancer cells to VX-680-induced apoptosis. Similar findings were observed in cells treated with the autophagy inhibitors chloroquine (CQ) and bafilomycin A1 (BAF). Our data thus revealed a novel role of AURKA as a negative regulator of autophagy, showing that AURKA inhibition induced autophagy, which may represent a novel mechanism of drug resistance in apoptosis-aimed therapy for breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC3541289  PMID: 23026799
AURKA; SQSTM1; autophagy; breast cancer; MTOR; apoptosis
5.  HER2 Status in Gastric and Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer Assessed by Local and Central Laboratories: Chinese Results of the HER-EAGLE Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80290.
Trastuzumab has been approved for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive advanced gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancers (GC and GJC) in combination with chemotherapy. The aim of this HER2 early/advanced gastric epidemiology (HER-EAGLE) study was to evaluate the frequency of HER2 over-expression and to evaluate agreement on HER2 status assessment in GC and GJC patients in local laboratories versus a central laboratory in China. Tumor samples from 734 GC or GJC patients who were enrolled at 11 different hospitals in China were examined. HER2 status was assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC), and followed by dual-color silver-enhanced in Situ hybridization (DSISH) in IHC 2+ cases. Clinicopathologic characteristics were collected from all of the patients. HER2-positive tumors were identified in 12.0% (88/734) of the GC and GJC cases. There were significantly higher rates of HER2 positivity in patients with GJC (GJC: 18.1%, GC: 9.7%, P=0.002), and intestinal-type cancers using the Lauren classification (intestinal: 23.6%, diffuse/mixed: 4.3%, P<0.0001). No significant difference in HER2 positivity was identified between resection and biopsy samples, or between early and advanced disease stages. The agreement between local laboratories and the central laboratory on HER2 status scoring was good (kappa=0.86). The main reason of HER2 status discordance between local and the central laboratories was IHC result mis-interpretation in local laboratories. These results suggest that IHC followed by DSISH testing is an accurate and cost-effective procedure in China.
PMCID: PMC3828190  PMID: 24244671
6.  A Multimethodology Contractor Assessment Model for Facilitating Green Innovation: The View of Energy and Environmental Protection 
The Scientific World Journal  2013;2013:624340.
The trends of the green supply chain are attributed to pressures from the environment and from customers. Green innovation is a practice for creating competitive advantage in sustainable development. To keep up with the changing business environment, the construction industry needs an appropriate assessment tool to examine the intrinsic and extrinsic effects regarding corporate competitive advantage. From the viewpoint of energy and environmental protection, this study combines four scientific methodologies to develop an assessment model for the green innovation of contractors. System dynamics can be used to estimate the future trends for the overall industrial structure and is useful in predicting competitive advantage in the industry. The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and utility theory focus on the customer's attitude toward risk and are useful for comprehending changes in objective requirements in the environment. Fuzzy logic can simplify complicated intrinsic and extrinsic factors and express them with a number or ratio that is easy to understand. The proposed assessment model can be used as a reference to guide the government in examining the public constructions that qualified green contractors participate in. Additionally, the assessment model serves an indicator of relative competitiveness that can help the general contractor and subcontractor to evaluate themselves and further green innovations.
PMCID: PMC3842057  PMID: 24311979
7.  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
8.  Concomitant Targeting of Multiple Key Transcription Factors Effectively Disrupts Cancer Stem Cells Enriched in Side Population of Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e73942.
A major challenge in the treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is the failure of chemotherapy, which is likely due to the presence of the cancer stem cells (CSCs).
To identify side population (SP) cells and characterize s-like properties in human pancreatic cancer cell lines (h-PCCLs) and to exploit the efficacy of concomitant targeting of multiple key transcription factors governing the stemness of pancreatic CSCs in suppressing CSC-like phenotypes.
Flow cytometry and Hoechst 33342 DNA-binding dye efflux assay were used to sort SP and non-SP (NSP) cells from three h-PCCLs: PANC-1, SW1990, and BxPc-3. The self-renewal ability, invasiveness, migration and drug resistance of SP cells were evaluated. Expression of CSC marker genes was analyzed. Tumorigenicity was assessed using a xenograft model in nude mice. Effects of a complex decoy oligonucleotide (cdODN-SCO) designed to simultaneously targeting Sox2, Oct4 and c-Myc were assessed.
CSCs were enriched in the side proportion (SP) cells contained in the h-PCCLs and they possessed aggressive growth, invasion, migration and drug-resistance properties, compared with NSP cells. SP cells overexpressed stem cell markers CD133 and ALDH1, pluripotency maintaining factors Nanog, Sox2 and Oct4, oncogenic transcription factor c-Myc, signaling molecule Notch1, and drug resistant gene ABCG2. Moreover, SP cells consistently demonstrated significantly greater tumorigenicity than NSP cells in xenograft model of nude mice. CdODN–SOC efficiently suppressed all CSC properties and phenotypes, and minimized the tumorigenic capability of the SP cells and the resistance to chemotherapy. By comparison, the negative control failed to do so.
The findings indicate that targeting the key genes conferring the stemness of CSCs can efficiently eliminate CSC-like phenotypes, and thus may be considered a new approach for cancer therapy. Specifically, the present study establishes the combination of Sox2/Oct4/c-Myc targeting as a potential anti-pancreatic cancer agent worthy of further studies in preclinical settings.
PMCID: PMC3770686  PMID: 24040121
9.  Decrease of miR-202-3p Expression, a Novel Tumor Suppressor, in Gastric Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69756.
Emerging studies have indicated that microRNAs are involved in the development and progression of cancer. Here we found that miR-202-3p was frequently down-regulated in gastric cancer tissues. Overexpression of miR-202-3p in gastric cancer cells MKN-28 and BGC-823, markedly suppressed cell proliferation and induced cell apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, Gli1 expression was frequently positive in gastric cancer tissues and inversely correlated with miR-133b expression. We demonstrate that the transcriptional factor Gli1 was a target of miR-202-3p and plays an essential role as a mediator of the biological effects of miR-202-3p in gastric cancer. MiR-202-3p also inhibited the expression of γ-catenin and BCL-2. Taken together, these findings suggest that miR-202-3p may function as a novel tumor suppressor in gastric cancer and its anti-tumor activity may attribute the direct targeting and inhibition of Gli1.
PMCID: PMC3723650  PMID: 23936094
10.  Correlation between HPV sperm infection and male infertility 
Asian Journal of Andrology  2013;15(4):529-532.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases which comprises a group of small DNA viruses that infect both cutaneous and mucous squamous epithelia. Liquid bead microarray technology (LBMA) were used to evaluate 24 HPV genotypes in confirmed fertile and infertile males of North China so that the effects of HPV infection on semen parameters and relationship with male infertility could be discussed. A total of 1138 subjects were recruited in this study; 142 were HPV-positive (12.48%). Among 523 confirmed fertile males, only 35 were HPV-positive (6.70%), and two of them had multiple infections. Among 615 infertile males, 107 were HPV-positive (17.4%), and 29 of them had multiple infections. Infertile males had a relatively high HPV infection rate compared with confirmed fertile males. Sperm progressive motility (PR) and the normal morphology rate were significantly decreased in HPV-positive subjects. HPV-45, HPV-52, HPV-18, HPV-59 and HPV-16 infections were more frequently in infertile males. Hence, HPV infection is closely related to male infertility which will decrease sperm PR and morphology. HPV-45, HPV-52, HPV-18, HPV-59 and HPV-16 infection seems to be major risk factors.
PMCID: PMC3739240  PMID: 23603919
HPV genotype; human papillomavirus; male infertility
11.  Targeted therapy: tailoring cancer treatment 
Chinese Journal of Cancer  2013;32(7):363-364.
Targeted therapies include small-molecule inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies, have made treatment more tumor-specific and less toxic, and have opened new possibilities for tailoring cancer treatment. Nevertheless, there remain several challenges to targeted therapies, including molecular identification, drug resistance, and exploring reliable biomarkers. Here, we present several selected signaling pathways and molecular targets involved in human cancers including Aurora kinases, PI3K/mTOR signaling, FOXO-FOXM1 axis, and MDM2/MDM4-p53 interaction. Understanding the molecular mechanisms for tumorigenesis and development of drug resistance will provide new insights into drug discovery and design of therapeutic strategies for targeted therapies.
PMCID: PMC3845608  PMID: 23823626
Targeted therapy; Aurora kinases; PI3K/mTOR signaling; FOXO-FOXM1 axis; MDM2/MDM4-p53 interaction
12.  Epigenetic Silencing of miR-338-3p Contributes to Tumorigenicity in Gastric Cancer by Targeting SSX2IP 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66782.
MicroRNA has been recently recognized as playing a prominent role in tumorigenesis and metastasis. Here, we report that miR-338-3p was epigenetically silenced in gastric cancer, and its down-regulation was significantly correlated with gastric cancer clinicopathological features. Strikingly, restoring miR-338-3p expression in SGC-7901 gastric cancer cells inhibited proliferation, migration, invasion and tumorigenicity in vitro and in vivo, at least partly through inducing apoptosis. Furthermore, we demonstrate the oncogene SSX2IP is a target of miR-338-3p. We propose that miR-338-3p functions as a tumor suppressor in gastric cancer, and the methylation status of its CpG island could serve as a potential diagnostic marker for gastric cancer.
PMCID: PMC3691322  PMID: 23826132
13.  Activation of Akt and cardioprotection against reperfusion injury are maximal with only five minutes of sevoflurane postconditioning in isolated rat hearts*  
It had been proved that administration of sevoflurane for the first two minutes of reperfusion effectively protects the heart against reperfusion injury in rats in vivo. Our aim was to investigate the duration of effective sevoflurane administration and its underlying mechanism in isolated rat hearts exposed to global ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into six groups (n=12): a sham-operation group, an I/R group, and four sevoflurane postconditioning groups (S2, S5, S10, and S15). In the S2, S5, S10, and S15 groups, the duration times of sevoflurane administration were 2, 5, 10, and 15 min after the onset of reperfusion, respectively. The isolated rat hearts were mounted on the Langendorff system, and after a period of equilibrium were subjected to 40 min global ischemia and 120 min reperfusion. Left ventricular (LV) hemodynamic parameters were monitored throughout each experiment and the data at 30 min of equilibrium and 30, 60, 90, and 120 min of reperfusion were analyzed. Myocardial infarct size at the end of reperfusion (n=7 in each group) and the expression of myocardial phosphorylated Akt (p-Akt) after 15-min reperfusion were determined in a duplicate set of six groups of rat hearts (n=5 in each group). Compared with the I/R group, the S5, S10, and S15 groups had significantly improved left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP), left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP), and the maximal rate of rise or fall of the LV pressure (±dP/dt max), and decreased myocardial infarct size (P<0.05), but not the S2 group. After 15 min of reperfusion, the expression of p-Akt was markedly up-regulated in the S5, S10, and S15 groups compared with that in the I/R group (P<0.05), but not in the S2 group. Sevoflurane postconditioning for 5 min was sufficient to activate Akt and exert maximal cardioprotection against I/R injury in isolated rat hearts.
PMCID: PMC3682167  PMID: 23733428
Sevoflurane postconditioning; Ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury; Cardioprotection; Duration of administration; Akt
14.  Conversion of Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Wharton’s Jelly to Dopamine Neurons Mediated by the Lmx1a and Neurturin In Vitro: Potential Therapeutic Application for Parkinson’s Disease in a Rhesus Monkey Model 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64000.
hUC-MSCs hold great promise in vitro neuronal differentiation and therapy for neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson’s disease. Recent studies provided that Lmx1α play an important role in the midbrain dopamine cells differentiation. Neurturin is desired candidate gene for providing a neuroprotective to DA neurons. In this study, we investigated a novel neuronal differentiation strategy in vitro with Lmx1α and NTN. We transferred these two genes to hUC-MSCs by recombinant adenovirus combined with Lmx1α regulatory factor and other inductor to improve the efficiency of inducing. Then those induced cells were implanted into the striatum and substantia nigra of MPTP lesioned hemi-parkinsonian rhesus monkeys. Monkeys were monitored by using behavioral test for six months after implantation. The result showed that cells isolated from the umbilical cord were negative for CD45, CD34 and HLA-DR, but were positive for CD44, CD49d, CD29. After those cells were infected with recombinant adenovirus, RT-PCR result shows that both Lmx1α and NTN genes were transcribed in hUC-MSCs. We also observed that the exogenous were highly expressed in hUC-MSCs from immunofluorescence and western blot. Experiments in vitro have proved that secretion NTN could maintain the survival of rat fetal midbrain dopaminergic neurons. After hUC-MSCs were induced with endogenous and exogenous factors, the mature neurons specific gene TH, Pitx3 was transcripted and the neurons specific protein TH, β-tubulinIII, NSE, Nestin, MAP-2 was expressed in those differentiated cells. In addition, the PD monkeys, transplanted with the induced cells demonstrated the animals’ symptoms amelioration by the behavioral measures. Further more, pathological and immunohistochemistry data showed that there were neuronal-like cells survived in the right brain of those PD monkeys, which may play a role as dopaminergic neurons. The findings from this study may help us to better understand the inside mechanisms of PD pathogenesis and may also help developing effective therapy for Parkinson’s disease.
PMCID: PMC3665802  PMID: 23724014
15.  Periodontal status and associated risk factors among childbearing age women in Cixi City of China*  
Objective: To investigate the periodontal status and associated risk factors among women of childbearing age to increase the awareness of oral health. Methods: The study was conducted on childbearing age women in Cixi, a city in Zhejiang Province in the southeast of China. A total of 754 women participated in periodontal examination while receiving prenatal care. Data of the women were collected from the Cixi Family Planning Commission and during an interview. Clinical periodontal indices, such as bleeding on probing (BOP), probing depth (PD), and clinical attachment level (CAL) were measured during the examination. Statistical analysis on subject-based data was performed. Results: The prevalence of periodontal disease among childbearing age women in Cixi was high (84.7%). A significant association was found between the disease and educational level, pregnancy, taking oral contraceptives, stress, alcohol consumption, overweight, dental visit, and teeth brushing (P<0.05). Women who suffered periodontal disease showed deep PD, obvious BOP, and clinical attachment loss. Among this population, pregnancy was closely associated with higher BOP percentage; teeth brushing no more than once per day or brushing for less than 1 min (P<0.001) after adjusting for age and stress. Conclusions: The periodontal status of childbearing age women in Cixi needs to be improved urgently. Attention towards the periodontal health should be warranted, especially for those in special statuses and with poor awareness.
PMCID: PMC3596574  PMID: 23463766
Periodontal status; Childbearing age women; Risk factors; Pregnancy
16.  Sevoflurane Induces Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Mediated Apoptosis in Hippocampal Neurons of Aging Rats 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e57870.
Elderly patients are more likely to suffer from postoperative memory impairment for volatile anesthetics could induce aging neurons degeneration and apoptosis while the mechanism was still elusive. Therefore we hypothesized that ER stress mediated hippocampal neurons apoptosis might play an important role in the mechanism of sevoflurane-induced cognitive impairment in aged rats. Thirty 18-month-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into two groups: the sham anesthesia group (exposure to simply humidified 30–50% O2 balanced by N2 in an acrylic anesthetizing chamber for 5 hours) and the sevoflurane anesthesia group (received 2% sevoflurane in the same humidified mixed air in an identical chamber for the same time). Spatial memory of rats was assayed by the Morris water maze test. The ultrastructure of the hippocampus was observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The expressions of C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) and caspase-12 in the hippocampus were observed by immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR analysis. The apoptosis neurons were also assessed by TUNEL assay. The Morris water maze test showed that sevoflurane anesthesia induced spatial memory impairment in aging rats (P<0.05). The apoptotic neurons were condensed and had clumped chromatin with fragmentation of the nuclear membrane, verifying apoptotic degeneration in the sevoflurane group rats by TEM observation. The expressions of CHOP and caspase-12 increased, and the number of TUNEL positive cells of the hippocampus also increased in the sevoflurane group rats (P<0.05). The present results suggested that the long time exposure of sevoflurane could induce neuronal degeneration and cognitive impairment in aging rats. The ER stress mediated neurons apoptosis may play a role in the sevoflurane-induced memory impairment in aging rats.
PMCID: PMC3585271  PMID: 23469093
17.  Inhibition of cancer cell proliferation by midazolam by targeting transient receptor potential melastatin 7 
Oncology Letters  2013;5(3):1010-1016.
Transient receptor potential melastatin 7 (TRPM7), a Ca2+-permeable channel, has been demonstrated to be present in cancer cells and involved in their growth and proliferation. The present study used midazolam, a benzodiazepine class anesthesic, to pharmacologically intervene in the expression of TRPM7 and to inhibit cancer cell proliferation. Midazolam significantly inhibited the growth and proliferation of FaDu human hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma cells, concurring with the induction of G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and blockage of Rb activation. Central-type and peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptor antagonists did not abrogate proliferation inhibition by midazolam, while the specific TRPM7 agonist bradykinin reversed this effect. In addition, other benzodiazepines, diazepam and clonazepam also exhibited anti-proliferative activities. The inhibitory activity on cancer cell growth and proliferation, combined with the TRPM-dependent mechanism, reveals the anticancer potential of midazolam as a TRPM7 inhibitor and supports the suggestion that TRPM7 is a valuable target for pharmaceutical intervention.
PMCID: PMC3576402  PMID: 23426784
transient receptor potential melastatin 7; midazolam; proliferation; cell cycle arrest; human head and neck carcinoma
18.  Osteopontin Splice Variants Differentially Exert Clinicopathological Features and Biological Functions in Gastric Cancer 
Purpose: Gastric cancer (GC) remains a leading cause of death worldwide, and an elevated expression of osteopontin (OPN) may correlate with its poor survival. Alternative splicing of OPN can result in three isoforms, OPN-a, OPN-b and OPN-c. The aim of our current study is to examine the expression pattern and biological functions of OPN splice variants in GC.
Methods: Firstly, we evaluated the expression of OPN splice variants in 7 gastric cell lines, 101 pairs of GC tissues and their adjacent non-tumor tissues by Quantative real-time PCR (QT-PCR). Gain-of-function experiments were subsequently performed to determine their diverse roles in malignant behaviors of GC. Besides, their differential effects on the regulation of crucial downstream molecules were further explored in the anti-apoptotic and pro-metastatic process.
Results: We found that OPN-b is the dominant kind of OPN isoform in GC cell lines. Although the expression levels of three variants were all elevated in GC tissues, increased OPN-b or OPN-c expression could correlate with clinicopathological features. Functional analyses further showed that OPN-b most strongly promoted GC cell survival possibly by regulation of Bcl-2 family proteins and CD44v expressions. Moreover, OPN-c most effectively stimulated GC metastatic activity by increasing secretion of MMP-2, uPa, and IL-8.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that OPN splice variants differentially exert clinicopathological features and biological functions in GC. Therefore, focusing on specific OPN isoform could be a novel direction for developing diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in GC.
PMCID: PMC3535534  PMID: 23289017
OPN splice variants; gastric cancer; clinicopathological feature; biological function; apoptosis; metastasis.
19.  Soybean Endo-β-Mannanase GmMAN1 Is Not Associated with Leaf Abscission, but Might Be Involved in the Response to Wounding 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e49197.
The objective of this work is to investigate the relationship between endo-β-mannanase and leaf abscission, and response to wounding in soybean (Glycine max). An endo-β-mannanase gene GmMAN1 was cloned from the abscission zone in petiole explants, and was heterologously expressed in E. coli. Polyclonal antibodies were raised against the fusion protein. The increases in activity, isoform numbers, and amounts of transcripts and proteins of GmMAN1 were found not only in the abscission zone but also in the non-abscission zone during petiole abscission in the explants, but not in these two tissues during leaf abscission artificially induced by ethephon treatment in the intact plants. The changes in endo-β-mannanase expression patterns in these two tissues were probably induced by the inherent mechanical wounding during the preparation of explants. When soybean plants were wounded by removing half of the leaf blade of the first pair of true leaves, the transcripts and proteins of GmMAN1 were induced in the leaves and stem, leading to the increases in enzyme activity and isoform numbers in them. It is concluded that the soybean endo-β-mannanase GmMAN1 is not associated with leaf abscission, but might be involved in the response to wounding.
PMCID: PMC3500276  PMID: 23173047
20.  Prognostic value of admission heart rate in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction: Role of Type 2 diabetes mellitus 
It’s unknown whether the prognostic value of admission heart rate (HR) was different in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) with or without concomitant type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Consecutive STEMI patients who presented within 12 hours of symptom onset were recruited from 274 hospitals in China. Participants were stratified into quartiles by admission HR. Baseline characteristics, current therapeutic recommenda- tions, laboratory biochemical tests, 30-day all-cause mortality and Cardiovascular Events (CVE, including all-cause death, reinfarction and stroke) were compared across admission HR quartiles.
We evaluated 7294 STEMI patients, of these 820 (11.2%) had known T2DM. The admission HR quartile stratification was significantly associated with all-cause mortality and CVE regardless of T2DM status (P < 0.001 both for survival and CVE). After adjusted other risk factors, in patients without T2DM, comparing with HR <66 b.p.m., the increase of HR level was associated with worse prognosis (P < 0.05). In patients with T2DM, the hazard ratios for 30-day CVE were 1.75 (95%CI), 1.92 (95%CI), 3.00 (95%CI) in the HR of 66–76 b.p.m., 77–88 b.p.m., and >88 b.p.m., respectively. Results were similar for 30-day all-cause mortality, but the hazard ratios in Q2 (P = 0.139 and P =0.086 for survival and CVE, respectively) and Q3 groups were non-significant (P = 0.072 and P =0.033 for survival and CVE, respectively). There was a significant interaction effect of HR and T2DM on 30-day CVE mortality (P = 0.035), which was not found on all-cause mortality (P = 0.126).
Admission heart rate was an important risk factor of 30-day all-cause mortality and CVE in patients with STEMI with or without T2DM. However, the predictive effect was modified by T2DM.
PMCID: PMC3521170  PMID: 23153317
Heart rate; ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction; Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus; Prognosis
21.  PI3K Contributed to Modulation of Spinal Nociceptive Information Related to ephrinBs/EphBs 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e40930.
There is accumulating evidence to implicate the importance of EphBs receptors and ephrinBs ligands were involved in modulation of spinal nociceptive information. However, the downstream mechanisms that control this process are not well understood. In the present study, we investigated whether phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), as the downstream effectors, participates in modulation of spinal nociceptive information related to ephrinBs/EphBs. Intrathecal injection of ephrinB1-Fc produced a dose- and time-dependent thermal and mechanical hyperalgesia, accompanied by the increase of spinal PI3K-p110γ, phosphorylation of AKT (p-AKT) and c-Fos expression. Pre-treatment with PI3K inhibitor wortmannin or LY294002 prevented activation of spinal AKT induced by ephrinB1-Fc. Inhibition of spinal PI3K signaling dose-dependently prevented and reversed pain behaviors and spinal c-Fos protein expression induced by intrathecal injection of ephrinB1-Fc. Inhibition of EphBs receptors by intrathecal injection of EphB1-Fc reduced formalin-induced inflammation and chronic constrictive injury-induced neuropathic pain behaviors accompanied by decreased expression of spinal PI3K,p-AKT and c-Fos protein. Furthermore, pre-treatment with PI3K inhibitor wortmannin or LY294002 prevented ephrinB1-Fc-induced ERK activation in spinal. These data demonstrated that PI3K and PI3K crosstalk to ERK signaling contributed to modulation of spinal nociceptive information related to ephrinBs/EphBs.
PMCID: PMC3411731  PMID: 22879882
22.  Hypermethylated FAM5C and MYLK in Serum as Diagnosis and Pre-Warning Markers for Gastric Cancer 
Disease markers  2012;32(3):195-202.
Most cases of gastric cancer (GC) are not diagnosed at early stage which can be curable, so it is necessary to identify effective biomarkers for its diagnosis and pre-warning. We have used methylated DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP) to identify genes that are frequently methylated in gastric cancer cell lines. Promoter regions hypermethylation of candidate genes were tested by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP) in serum samples, including GC (n = 58), gastric precancerous lesions (GPL, n = 46), and normal controls (NC, n = 30). Eighty two hypermethylated genes were acquired by array analysis and 5 genes (BCAS4, CHRM2, FAM5C, PRAC and MYLK) were selected as the candidate genes. Three genes (CHRM2, FAM5C and MYLK) were further confirmed to show methylation rates increased with progression from NC to GPL, then to GC. There was obvious decrease in detection of FAM5C and MYLK hypermethylation, but not CHRM2, from preoperative to postoperative evaluation (P < 0.001). Combined detection of FAM5C and MYLK hypermethylation had a higher sensitivity in GC diagnosis (77.6%,45/58) and pre-warning (30.4%,14/46) than one single gene detection and also had a high specificity of 90%. The combined hypermethylated status of FAM5C and MYLK correlated with tumor size (P < 0.001), tumor invasion depth (P = 0.001) and tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage (P = 0.003). Hypermethylated FAM5C and MYLK can be used as potential biomarkers for diagnosis and pre-warning of GC.
PMCID: PMC3826591  PMID: 22377736
Gastric cancer; hypermethylated DNA; biomarker; diagnosis; pre-warning; FAM5C and MYLK
23.  microRNA-21 promotes tumor proliferation and invasion in gastric cancer by targeting PTEN 
Oncology Reports  2012;27(4):1019-1026.
Gastric cancer is one of the most common carcinomas in China. microRNAs, a type of non-coding RNA, are important specific regulators and are involved in numerous bioprocesses of an organism. microRNA-21 (miR-21) has been identified as the most suitable choice for further investigation because it is overexpressed in nearly all solid tumors; furthermore, it has been demonstrated that miR-21 is involved in the genesis and progression of human cancer. It has been reported that PTEN, an important tumour suppressor, is regulated by multiple miRNAs. Thus, in this study we focused on the expression and significance of miR-21 in gastric cancer tissues, and the role of miR-21 in the biological behaviour and the expression of PTEN in gastric cancer cells. Real-time PCR was used to detect miR-21 expression in gastric cancer tissues, the adjacent normal tissues, and the gastric cell lines. The gastric cancer cell line BGC-823 was transfected with pre-miR-21/miR-21 inhibitor to overexpress/downregulate miR-21. The influence of miR-21 on the biological behaviour of gastric cancer cells was evaluated using the CCK-8 kit, FCMs, the scratch healing assay and the transwell test. Western blotting and the Luciferase Reporter Assay were used to evaluate the change of PTEN expression after lowered expression of miR-21 in gastric cancer cell lines. Real-time PCR analysis indicated that miR-21 exhibited higher expression in gastric cancer tissues compared to the adjacent non-tumor tissues. miR-21 expression was significantly associated with the degree of differentiation of the tumour tissues (P=0.004), as well as local invasion and lymph node metastasis (P<0.01). After transfection, pre-miR21 BGC-823 cells grew faster than the negative and control groups (P<0.01). The reduction in miR-21 expression demonstrated a remarkable effect on the biological behaviour of gastric cancer cells (P<0.05); the pre-miR-21-transfected cells healed more quickly compared to the control cells in the scratch healing assay, whereas the transwell test indicated that cell migration in vitro was notably inhibited with the downregulation of miR-21 (P<0.05). The western blot results and Luciferase Reporter Assay demonstrated that PTEN expression was remarkably increased after miR-21 inhibition (P<0.05). microRNA-21 expression was upregulated in gastric carcinoma tissues and was significantly associated with the degree of differentiation of tumour tissues, local invasion and lymph node metastasis. Overexpression of miR-21 promoted BGC-823 cell growth, invasion and cell migration in vitro, whereas downregulation of miR-21 exhibited a stronger inhibitory effect on the biological behaviour of gastric cancer cells; additionally, miR-21 inhibition may upregulate the PTEN expression level, which indicates that PTEN may be a target gene for gastric cancer initiation and development.
PMCID: PMC3583594  PMID: 22267008
gastric cancer; miR-21; biological behavior; PTEN
24.  ABO Blood Group System and Gastric Cancer: A Case-Control Study and Meta-Analysis 
This study focuses on the association between the ABO blood group system and the risk of gastric cancer or Helicobacter pylori infection. The data for the ABO blood group was collected from 1045 cases of gastric cancer, whereby the patient underwent a gastrectomy in Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai. The information on the ABO blood group from 53,026 healthy blood donors was enrolled as control. We searched the Pubmed database on the relationship between ABO blood groups and gastric cancer risk for meta-analysis. In our case-control study, the risk of gastric cancer in blood group A was significantly higher than that in non-A groups (O, B and AB) (odd ratio, OR1.34; 95% confidential interval, CI 1.25–1.44). Compared with non-O groups (A, B and AB), individuals with blood group O demonstrated a reduced risk of gastric cancer (OR = 0.80; 95% CI 0.72–0.88). The proportion of H. pylori infection in blood group A individuals was significantly higher than that in non-A blood groups (OR = 1.42; 95% CI 1.05–1.93). We further combined our data with the published data of others, and crossreferenced the risk of gastric cancer with the blood type, finding consistent evidence that gastric cancer risk in the blood A group was higher than that in the non-A groups (OR = 1.11; 95% CI 1.07–1.15), and that blood type O individuals were consistently shown gastric cancer risk reduction (OR = 0.91; 95% CI 0.89–0.94). Our study concluded that there was a slightly increased risk of gastric cancer in blood group A individuals, and people with blood type A are more prone to be infected by H. pylori than other ABO blood type individuals, whereas, a slightly decreased risk of gastric cancer was identified in blood type O individuals.
PMCID: PMC3497328  PMID: 23202954
ABO blood group; gastric cancer; Helicobacter pylori; Asian cohort; meta-analysis
25.  Fast track multi-discipline treatment (FTMDT trial) versus conventional treatment in colorectal cancer--the design of a prospective randomized controlled study 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:494.
Laparoscopy-assisted surgery, fast-track perioperative treatment are both increasingly used in colorectal cancer treatment, for their short-time benefits of enhanced recovery and short hospital stays. However, the benefits of the integration of the Laparoscopy-assisted surgery, fast-track perioperative treatment, and even with the Xelox chemotherapy, are still unknown. In this study, the three treatments integration is defined as "Fast Track Multi-Discipline Treatment Model" for colorectal cancer and this model extends the benefits to the whole treatment process of colorectal cancer. The main purpose of the study is to explore the feasibility of "Fast Track Multi-Discipline Treatment" model in treatment of colorectal cancer.
The trial is a prospective randomized controlled study with 2 × 2 balanced factorial design. Patients eligible for the study will be randomized to 4 groups: (I) Laparoscopic surgery with fast track perioperative treatment and Xelox chemotherapy; (II) Open surgery with fast track perioperative treatment and Xelox chemotherapy; (III) Laparoscopic surgery with conventional perioperative treatment and mFolfox6 chemotherapy; (IV) Open surgery with conventional perioperative treatment and mFolfox6 chemotherapy. The primary endpoint of this study is the hospital stays. The secondary endpoints are the quality of life, chemotherapy related adverse events, surgical complications and hospitalization costs. Totally, 340 patients will be enrolled with 85 patients in each group.
The study initiates a new treatment model "Fast Track Multi-Discipline Treatment" for colorectal cancer, and will provide feasibility evidence on the new model "Fast Track Multi-Discipline Treatment" for patients with colorectal cancer.
Trial registration NCT01080547
PMCID: PMC3254142  PMID: 22111914
Colorectal surgery; Rehabilitation; Colorectal neoplasms; Hospitalization; Randomized controlled trial

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