Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (80)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

more »
Year of Publication
more »
1.  Neurochemical features of endomorphin-2-containing neurons in the submucosal plexus of the rat colon 
AIM: To investigate the distribution and neurochemical phenotype of endomorphin-2 (EM-2)-containing neurons in the submucosal plexus of the rat colon.
METHODS: The mid-colons between the right and left flexures were removed from rats, and transferred into Kreb’s solution. For whole-mount preparations, the mucosal, outer longitudinal muscle and inner circular muscle layers of the tissues were separated from the submucosal layer attached to the submucosal plexus. The whole-mount preparations from each rat mid-colon were mounted onto seven gelatin-coated glass slides, and processed for immunofluorescence histochemical double-staining of EM-2 with calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), nitric oxide synthetase (NOS), neuron-specific enolase (NSE), substance P (SP) and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP). After staining, all the fluorescence-labeled sections were observed with a confocal laser scanning microscope. To estimate the extent of the co-localization of EM-2 with CGRP, ChAT, NOS, NSE, SP and VIP, ganglia, which have a clear boundary and neuronal cell outline, were randomly selected from each specimen for this analysis.
RESULTS: In the submucosal plexus of the mid-colon, many EM-2-immunoreactive (IR) and NSE-IR neuronal cell bodies were found in the submucosal plexus of the rat mid-colon. Approximately 6 ± 4.2 EM-2-IR neurons aggregated within each ganglion and a few EM-2-IR neurons were also found outside the ganglia. The EM-2-IR neurons were also immunopositive for ChAT, SP, VIP or NOS. EM-2-IR nerve fibers coursed near ChAT-IR neurons, and some of these fibers were even distributed around ChAT-IR neuronal cell bodies. Some EM-2-IR neuronal cell bodies were surrounded by SP-IR nerve fibers, but many long processes connecting adjacent ganglia were negative for EM-2 immunostaining. Long VIP-IR processes with many branches coursed through the ganglia and surrounded the EM-2-IR neurons. The percentages of the EM-2-IR neurons that were also positive for ChAT, SP, VIP or NOS were approximately 91% ± 2.6%, 36% ± 2.4%, 44% ± 2.5% and 44% ± 4.7%, respectively, but EM-2 did not co-localize with CGRP.
CONCLUSION: EM-2-IR neurons are present in the submucosal plexus of the rat colon and express distinct neurochemical markers.
PMCID: PMC4566386  PMID: 26379398
Endomorphin-2; Submucosal plexus; Enteric neuron; Colon; μ-opioid receptor
2.  Long-term effect of early postnatal overnutrition on insulin resistance and serum fatty acid profiles in male rats 
Increasing evidence suggests that overnutrition during the early postnatal period, a critical window of development, increases the risk of adult-onset obesity and insulin resistance. In this study, we investigated the impact of overnutrition during the suckling period on body weight, serum biochemistry and serum fatty acid metabolomics in male rats.
Rats raised in small litters (SL, 3 pups/dam) and normal litters (NL, 10 pups/dam) were used to model early postnatal overnutrition and control, respectively. Serum glucose, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, free fatty acid, insulin and leptin concentrations were assayed using standard biochemical techniques. Serum fatty acids were identified and quantified using a gas chromatography–mass spectrometry-based metabolomic approach. mRNA and protein levels of key components of the insulin receptor signaling pathway were measured in epididymal fat and gastrocnemius muscle by quantitative PCR and western blotting.
SL rats were 37.3 % and 15.1 % heavier than NL rats at weaning and 16-weeks-old, respectively. They had increased visceral fat mass, adult-onset insulin resistance and glucose intolerance as well as elevated serum levels of free fatty acids and triglycerides. All detectable fatty acids were elevated in the serum of SL pups at weaning compared to NL controls, and significant increases in the levels of four fatty acids (palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, oleic acid and arachidonic acid) persisted into adulthood. Moreover, a significantly positive correlation was identified between an insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR) and concentrations of myristic, palmitic, palmitoleic and oleic acid in serum at postnatal 16 weeks. Early postnatal overnutrition also resulted in a significant downregulation of insulin receptor substrate-1 (Irs-1), protein kinase B (Akt2) and glucose transporter 4 (Glut4) at the protein level in epididymal fat of SL rats at 16 weeks, accompanied by decreased mRNA levels for Irs-1 and Glut4. In gastrocnemius muscle, Akt2 and Glut4 mRNA and Glut4 protein levels were significantly decreased in SL rats.
This study demonstrates that early postnatal overnutrition can have long-lasting effects on body weight and serum fatty acid profiles and can lead to impaired insulin signaling pathway in visceral white adipose tissue and skeletal muscle, which may play a major role in IR.
PMCID: PMC4549095  PMID: 26302954
Early overnutrition; Insulin resistance; Insulin receptor substrate 1; Glucose transporter 4; Fatty acid
4.  Notch signaling is required for activity-dependent synaptic plasticity at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction 
Journal of neurogenetics  2009;23(4):395-404.
The cell-surface signaling protein Notch is required for numerous developmental processes, and typically specifies which of two adjacent cells will adopt a non-neuronal developmental fate. It has recently been implicated in long-term memory formation in mammals (Costa et al., 2003) and Drosophila (Ge et al., 2004; Presente et al., 2004). Here we investigate whether activity-dependent synaptic plasticity at the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) of third instar Drosophila larvae depends on Notch signaling. The length and number of axonal branches and number of pre-synaptic sites (boutons) in NMJ vary with the level of synaptic activity (Budnik et al., 1990), so we increased activity at the NMJ by two complementary methods: increasing the chronic growth temperature of third instar larvae from 18 to 28°C (Sigrist et al., 2003; Zhong and Wu, 2004), and using the double mutant ether-a-gogo,Shaker (eagSh) (Budnik et al., 1990), both of which increase NMJ size and bouton count. Animals homozygous for the functionally-null temperature sensitive Notch alleles Nts1 and Nts2 (Shellenbarger and Mohler, 1975) displayed no activity-dependent increase in NMJ complexity when reared at the restrictive temperature. Dominant-negative Notch transgenic expression also blocked activity-dependent plasticity. Ectopic expression of wild type Notch and constitutively active truncated Notch transgenes also reduced activity-dependent plasticity, suggesting that there is a “happy medium” level of Notch activity in mediating NMJ outgrowth. Lastly, we show that endogenous Notch is primarily expressed in the presynaptic cell bodies where its expression level is positively correlated with motor neuron activity.
PMCID: PMC4511488  PMID: 19863270
Notch; synaptic plasticity; neuromuscular junction; Drosophila melanogaster; activity; axonal outgrowth
5.  TMPRSS4 facilitates epithelial-mesenchymal transition of hepatocellular carcinoma and is a predictive marker for poor prognosis of patients after curative resection 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:12366.
TMPRSS4 (Transmembrane protease serine 4) is up-regulated in a broad spectrum of cancers. However, little is known about the biological effects of TMPRSS4 on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the related mechanisms. In the present study, we found that overexpression of TMPRSS4 significantly promoted the invasion, migration, adhesion and metastasis of HCC. Further more, TMPRSS4 induced EMT of HCC, which was mediated via snail and slug as a result of Raf/MEK/ERK1/2 activation, and inhibition of ERK1/2 activation by its inhibitor was associated with reduced cell invasion and reversion of EMT. In addition, we demonstrated that TMPRSS4 remarkably suppressed the expression of RECK, an inhibitor of angiogenesis, and drastically induced tumor angiogenesis and growth. More important, in clinical HCC specimens, TMPRSS4 expression was significantly correlated with tumor staging and was inversely correlated with E-cadherin and RECKS expression. Expression of TMPRSS4 is significantly associated with HCC progression and is an independent prognostic factor for postoperative worse survival and recurrence. In conclusion, TMPRSS4 functions as a positive regulator of Raf/MEK/ERK1/2 pathway and promotes HCC progression by inducing EMT and angiogenesis. The increase of TMPRSS4 expression may be a key event for HCC progression and may be regarded as a potential prognostic marker for HCC.
PMCID: PMC4507176  PMID: 26190376
6.  RNA G-quadruplexes cause eIF4A-dependent oncogene translation in cancer 
Nature  2014;513(7516):65-70.
The translational control of oncoprotein expression is implicated in many cancers. Here we report an eIF4A/DDX2 RNA helicase-dependent mechanism of translational control that contributes to oncogenesis and underlies the anticancer effects of Silvestrol and related compounds. For example, eIF4A promotes T-ALL development in vivo and is required for leukaemia maintenance. Accordingly, inhibition of eIF4A with Silvestrol has powerful therapeutic effects in vitro and in vivo. We use transcriptome-scale ribosome footprinting to identify the hallmarks of eIF4A-dependent transcripts. These include 5′UTR sequences such as the 12-mer guanine quartet (CGG)4 motif that can form RNA G-quadruplex structures. Notably, among the most eIF4A-dependent and Silvestrol-sensitive transcripts are a number of oncogenes, super-enhancer associated transcription factors, and epigenetic regulators. Hence, the 5′UTRs of selected cancer genes harbour a targetable requirement for the eIF4A RNA helicase.
PMCID: PMC4492470  PMID: 25079319
7.  Yap1 activation enables bypass of oncogenic Kras addiction in pancreatic cancer 
Cell  2014;158(1):185-197.
Activating mutations in KRAS are among the most frequent events in diverse human carcinomas and are particularly prominent in human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). An inducible KrasG12D-driven mouse model of PDAC has established a critical role for sustained KrasG12D expression in tumor maintenance, providing a model to determine the potential for, and the underlying mechanisms of, KrasG12D–independent PDAC recurrence. Here we show that some tumors undergo spontaneous relapse and are devoid of KrasG12D expression and downstream canonical MAPK signaling and instead acquire amplification and overexpression of the transcriptional co-activator Yap1. Functional studies established the role of Yap1 and the transcriptional factor Tead2 in driving KrasG12D–independent tumor maintenance. The Yap1/Tead2 complex acts cooperatively with E2F transcription factors to activate a cell cycle and DNA replication program. Our studies, along with corroborating evidence from human PDAC models, portend a novel mechanism of escape from oncogenic Kras addiction in PDAC.
PMCID: PMC4109295  PMID: 24954535
8.  Codon Optimization, Expression in Escherichia coli, and Immunogenicity of Recombinant Chinese Sacbrood Virus (CSBV) Structural Proteins VP1, VP2, and VP3 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(6):e0128486.
Chinese sacbrood virus (CSBV) is a small RNA virus family belonging to the genus Iflavirus that causes larval death, and even the collapse of entire bee colonies. The virus particle is spherical, non-enveloped, and its viral capsid is composed of four proteins, although the functions of the structural proteins are unclear. In this study, we used codon recoding to express the recombinant proteins VP1, VP2, and VP3 in Escherichia coli. SDS-PAGE analysis and Western blotting revealed that the target genes were expressed at high levels. Mice were then immunized with the purified, recombinant proteins, and antibody levels and lymphocyte proliferation were analyzed by ELISA and the MTT assay, respectively. The results show that the recombinant proteins induced high antibody levels and promoted lymphocyte proliferation. Polyclonal antibodies directed against these proteins will aid future studies of the molecular pathogenesis of CSBV.
PMCID: PMC4466328  PMID: 26067659
9.  Molecular epidemiology and phylogenetic analysis of diverse bovine astroviruses associated with diarrhea in cattle and water buffalo calves in China 
Astroviruses are the principal causative agents of gastroenteritis in humans and have been associated with diarrhea in other mammals as well as birds. However, astroviral infection of animals had been poorly studied. In the present study, 211 rectal swabs collected from cattle and water buffalo calves with mild to severe diarrhea were tested for bovine astrovirus (BAstV) by RT-PCR. Results: 92/211 (43.6%) samples were positive for BAstV, at a rate of 46.10% (71/154) in cattle and 36.84% (21/57) in water buffalo. Phylogenetic analysis based on the partial and full-length of 25 ORF2 amino acid sequences obtained in this study classified the Guangxi BAstVs isolates into five subgroups under the genus of Mamastrovirus, genotype MAstV33, which suggested that the water buffalo was a new host of this genogroup that previously included only cattle and roe deer. Despite the origin of the host, the Guangxi BAstV isolates were closely related to the BAstV Hong Kong isolates (B18/HK and B76-2/HK), but highly divergent from the BAstV NeuroS1 isolate previously associated with neurologic disease in cattle in the U.S.A. Nucleotide sequence-based characterization of the ORF1b/ORF2 junction and corresponding overlapping regions showed distinctive properties, which may be common to BAstVs. Our results suggested that cattle and water buffalo are prone to infection of closely related astroviruses, which probably evolved from the same ancestor. The current study described astroviruses in water buffalo for the first time and is thus far among the largest epidemiological investigations of BAstV infection in cattle conducted in China.
PMCID: PMC4488400  PMID: 25716289
bovine astrovirus; cattle; China; phylogenetic analysis; water buffalo
10.  Emergence and spread of O16-ST131 and O25b-ST131 clones among faecal CTX-M-producing Escherichia coli in healthy individuals in Hunan Province, China 
The objectives of this study were to determine CTX-M-producing Escherichia coli ST131 strain prevalence in stool specimens from healthy subjects in central China and to molecularly characterize clonal groups.
From November 2013 to January 2014, stool specimens from healthy individuals in Hunan Province were screened for ESBL-producing E. coli using chromogenic medium and CTX-M genotypes and phylogenetic groups were determined. ST131 clonal groups were detected by PCR and characterized for antibiotic resistance, fimH, gyrA and parC alleles, plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance determinants, virulence genotypes and PFGE patterns.
Among 563 subjects, 287 (51.0%) exhibited the presence of faecal ESBL-producing E. coli, all of which produced CTX-M enzymes. The most common CTX-M genotypes were CTX-M-14 (48.4%), CTX-M-15 (27.5%) and CTX-M-27 (15.0%). Of the 287 CTX-M-producing isolates, 32 (11.1%) belonged to the ST131 clone. O16-ST131 isolates were dominant (75%) and contained the fimH41 allele. The remaining eight (25%) ST131 isolates were of the O25b subgroup and contained fimH30 or fimH41. Ciprofloxacin resistance was found in 100% of the O25b-ST131 isolates, whereas only 8% of the O16-ST131 isolates were resistant. All of the O25b-ST131 isolates except one showed gyrA1AB and parC1aAB mutations; most of the O16-ST131 isolates had gyrA1A and parC1b mutations. The virulence genotypes of O16-ST131 resembled those of the O25b-ST131 isolates. The 32 ST131 isolates formed one large group at the 64% similarity level. They comprised 15 PFGE groups (defined at ≥85% similarity).
O16-ST131 isolates have emerged as the predominant type of ST131 isolate in faecal CTX-M-producing E. coli in healthy individuals in China.
PMCID: PMC4500775  PMID: 25957581
E. coli; faecal carriage; ESBLs; genotypes
11.  A Leucine Residue in the C Terminus of Human Parainfluenza Virus Type 3 Matrix Protein Is Essential for Efficient Virus-Like Particle and Virion Release 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(22):13173-13188.
Paramyxovirus particles, like other enveloped virus particles, are formed by budding from membranes of infected cells, and matrix (M) proteins are critical for this process. To identify the M protein important for this process, we have characterized the budding of the human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV3) M protein. Our results showed that expression of the HPIV3 M protein alone is sufficient to initiate the release of virus-like particles (VLPs). Electron microscopy analysis confirmed that VLPs are morphologically similar to HPIV3 virions. We identified a leucine (L302) residue within the C terminus of the HPIV3 M protein that is critical for M protein-mediated VLP production by regulating the ubiquitination of the M protein. When L302 was mutated into A302, ubiquitination of M protein was defective, the release of VLPs was abolished, and the membrane binding and budding abilities of M protein were greatly weakened, but the ML302A mutant retained oligomerization activity and had a dominant negative effect on M protein-mediated VLP production. Furthermore, treatment with a proteasome inhibitor also inhibited M protein-mediated VLP production and viral budding. Finally, recombinant HPIV3 containing the ML302A mutant could not be rescued. These results suggest that L302 acts as a critical regulating signal for the ubiquitination of the HPIV3 M protein and virion release.
IMPORTANCE Human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV3) is an enveloped virus with a nonsegmented negative-strand RNA genome. It can cause severe respiratory tract diseases, such as bronchiolitis, pneumonia, and croup in infants and young children. However, no valid antiviral therapy or vaccine is currently available. Thus, further elucidation of its assembly and budding will be helpful in the development of novel therapeutic approaches. Here, we show that a leucine residue (L302) located at the C terminus of the HPIV3 M protein is essential for efficient production of virus-like particles (VLPs). Furthermore, we found L302 regulated M protein-mediated VLP production via regulation of M protein ubiquitination. Recombinant HPIV3 containing the ML302A mutant is growth defective. These findings provide new insight into the critical role of M protein-mediated VLP production and virion release of a residue that does not belong to L domain and may advance our understanding of HPIV3 viral assembly and budding.
PMCID: PMC4249104  PMID: 25187547
12.  Common Variants of KCNJ10 Are Associated with Susceptibility and Anti-Epileptic Drug Resistance in Chinese Genetic Generalized Epilepsies 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0124896.
To explore genetic mechanism of genetic generalized epilepsies (GGEs) is challenging because of their complex heritance pattern and genetic heterogeneity. KCNJ10 gene encodes Kir4.1 channels and plays a major role in modulating resting membrane potentials in excitable cells. It may cause GGEs if mutated. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible association between KCNJ10 common variants and the susceptibility and drug resistance of GGEs in Chinese population. The allele-specific MALDI–TOF mass spectrometry method was used to assess 8 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of KCNJ10 in 284 healthy controls and 483 Chinese GGEs patients including 279 anti-epileptic drug responsive patients and 204 drug resistant patients. We found the rs6690889 TC+TT genotypes were lower frequency in the GGEs group than that in the healthy controls (6.7% vs 9.5%, p = 0.01, OR = 0.50[0.29–0.86]). The frequency of rs1053074 G allele was lower in the childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) group than that in the healthy controls (28.4% vs 36.2%, p = 0.01, OR = 0.70[0.53–0.93]). The frequency of rs12729701 G allele and AG+GG genotypes was lower in the CAE group than that in the healthy controls (21.2% vs 28.4%, p = 0.01, OR = 0.74[0.59–0.94] and 36.3% vs 48.1%, p = 0.01, OR = 0.83[0.72–0.96], respectively). The frequency of rs12402969 C allele and the CC+CT genotypes were higher in the GGEs drug responsive patients than that in the drug resistant patients (9.3% vs 5.6%, OR = 1.73[1.06–2.85], p = 0.026 and 36.3% vs 48.1%, p = 0.01, OR = 0.83[0.72–0.96], respectively). This study identifies potential SNPs of KCNJ10 gene that may contribute to seizure susceptibility and anti-epileptic drug resistance.
PMCID: PMC4395153  PMID: 25874548
13.  Radiofrequency ablation of hepatocellular carcinoma in difficult locations: Strategies and long-term outcomes 
AIM: To investigate the treatment strategies and long-term outcomes of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in difficult locations and to compare the results with non-difficult HCC.
METHODS: From 2004 to 2012, a total of 470 HCC patients underwent ultrasound-guided percutaneous RFA. Among these HCC patients, 382 with tumors located ≤ 5 mm from a major vessel/bile duct (n = 87), from peripheral important structures (n = 232) or from the liver capsule (n = 63) were regarded as difficult cases. There were 331 male patients and 51 female patients, with an average age of 55.3 ± 10.1 years old. A total of 235 and 147 patients had Child-Pugh class A and class B liver function, respectively. The average tumor size was 3.4 ± 1.2 cm. Individual treatment strategies were developed to treat these difficult cases. During the same period, 88 HCC patients with tumors that were not in difficult locations served as the control group. In the control group, 74 patients were male, and 14 patients were female, with an average age of 57.4 ± 11.8 years old. Of these, 62 patients and 26 patients had Child-Pugh class A and class B liver function, respectively. Regular follow-up after RFA was performed to assess treatment efficacy. Survival results were generated from Kaplan-Meier estimates, and multivariate analysis was performed using the Cox regression model.
RESULTS: Early tumor necrosis rate in the difficult group was similar to that in the control group (97.6% vs 94.3%, P = 0.080). The complication rate in the difficult group was significantly higher than that in the control group (4.9% vs 0.8%, P = 0.041). The follow-up period ranged from 6 to 116 mo, with an average of 28 ± 22.4 mo. Local progression rate in the difficult group was significantly higher than that in the control group (12.7% vs 7.1%, P = 0.046). However, the 1-, 3-, 5-, and 7-year overall survival rates in the difficult group were not significantly different from those in the control group (84.3%, 54.4%, 41.2%, and 29.9% vs 92.5%, 60.3%, 43.2%, and 32.8%, respectively, P = 0.371). Additionally, a multivariate analysis revealed that tumor location was not a significant risk factor for survival.
CONCLUSION: There was no significant difference in long-term overall survival between the two groups even though the local progression rate was higher in the difficult group.
PMCID: PMC4316097  PMID: 25663774
Radiofrequency ablation; Ultrasound guidance; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Difficult location; Long-term outcome
15.  Inhibition of human high affinity copper importer Ctr1 orthologous in the nervous system of Drosophila ameliorates Aβ42-induced alzheimer’s disease-like symptoms 
Neurobiology of aging  2013;34(11):2604-2612.
Disruption of copper homeostasis has been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) during the last two decades; however, whether copper is a friend or a foe is controversial. Within a genetically tractable Drosophila AD model, we manipulated the expression of human high affinity copper importer orthologous in Drosophila to explore the in vivo roles of copper ions in the development of AD. We found that inhibition of Ctr1C expression by RNAi in Aβ-expressing flies significantly reduced copper accumulation in the brains of the flies as well as ameliorating neurodegeneration, enhancing climbing ability and prolonging lifespan. Interestingly, Ctr1C inhibition led to a significant increase in higher molecular weight Aβ42 forms in brain lysates, while it was accompanied by a trend of decreased expression of amyloid-β degradation proteases (including NEP1-3 and IDE) with age and reduced Cu-Aβ interaction-induced oxidative stress in Ctr1C RNAi flies. Similar results were obtained from inhibiting another copper importer Ctr1B and overexpressing a copper exporter DmATP7 in the nervous system of AD flies. These results imply that copper may play a causative role in developing AD, as either Aβ oligomers or aggregates were less toxic in a reduced copper environment or one with less copper binding. Early manipulation of brain copper uptake can have a great effect on Aβ pathology.
PMCID: PMC3770863  PMID: 23827522
Alzheimer's disease; Drosophila; Copper; Amyloid-β; Neurodegeneration; High affinity copper importer; Ctr1; DmATP7
16.  Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders without and with autoimmune diseases 
BMC Neurology  2014;14:162.
Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) can coexist with non-organ-specific or organ-specific autoimmune diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate and compare the features between NMOSD without and with autoimmune diseases, and NMOSD with non-organ-specific and organ-specific autoimmune diseases.
One hundred and fifty five NMOSD patients without autoimmune diseases (n = 115) and with autoimmune diseases (n = 40) were enrolled. NMOSD with autoimmune diseases were divided by organ-specific autoimmune diseases. The clinical, laboratory and magnetic resonance imaging features between two groups were assessed.
Motor deficit was less frequent in NMOSD patients with non-organ-specific autoimmune diseases (p = 0.024). Cerebrospinal fluid white blood cell and protein, serum C-reactive protein and immunoglobulin G were lower in NMOSD patients without autoimmune diseases, while several autoantibodies seropositivity and thyroid indexes were significantly higher in NMOSD patients with autoimmune diseases (p < 0.05). No difference was found in other clinical and laboratory characteristics between different NMOSD subtypes (p > 0.05). NMOSD patients with autoimmune diseases had higher brain abnormalities than NMOSD without autoimmune diseases (p < 0.001).
The characteristics between NMOSD without and with autoimmune diseases were similar. NMOSD with autoimmune diseases have high frequency of brain abnormalities.
PMCID: PMC4236652  PMID: 25135481
Neuromyelitis optica; Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder; Non-organ-specific autoimmune diseases; Organ-specific autoimmune diseases; Autoantibodies; Magnetic resonance imaging
17.  Automated White Matter Hyperintensity Detection in Multiple Sclerosis Using 3D T2 FLAIR 
White matter hyperintensities (WMH) seen on T2WI are a hallmark of multiple sclerosis (MS) as it indicates inflammation associated with the disease. Automatic detection of the WMH can be valuable in diagnosing and monitoring of treatment effectiveness. T2 fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) MR images provided good contrast between the lesions and other tissue; however the signal intensity of gray matter tissue was close to the lesions in FLAIR images that may cause more false positives in the segment result. We developed and evaluated a tool for automated WMH detection only using high resolution 3D T2 fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) MR images. We use a high spatial frequency suppression method to reduce the gray matter area signal intensity. We evaluate our method in 26 MS patients and 26 age matched health controls. The data from the automated algorithm showed good agreement with that from the manual segmentation. The linear correlation between these two approaches in comparing WMH volumes was found to be Y = 1.04X + 1.74  (R2 = 0.96). The automated algorithm estimates the number, volume, and category of WMH.
PMCID: PMC4130152  PMID: 25136355
18.  Spatio-temporal mapping of variation potentials in leaves of Helianthus annuus L. seedlings in situ using multi-electrode array 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:5435.
Damaging thermal stimuli trigger long-lasting variation potentials (VPs) in higher plants. Owing to limitations in conventional plant electrophysiological recording techniques, recorded signals are composed of signals originating from all of the cells that are connected to an electrode. This limitation does not enable detailed spatio-temporal distributions of transmission and electrical activities in plants to be visualised. Multi-electrode array (MEA) enables the recording and imaging of dynamic spatio-temporal electrical activities in higher plants. Here, we used an 8 × 8 MEA with a polar distance of 450 μm to measure electrical activities from numerous cells simultaneously. The mapping of the data that were recorded from the MEA revealed the transfer mode of the thermally induced VPs in the leaves of Helianthus annuus L. seedlings in situ. These results suggest that MEA can enable recordings with high spatio-temporal resolution that facilitate the determination of the bioelectrical response mode of higher plants under stress.
PMCID: PMC4069705  PMID: 24961469
19.  Complete genome sequence and comparative genomic analyses of the vancomycin-producing Amycolatopsis orientalis 
BMC Genomics  2014;15(1):363.
Amycolatopsis orientalis is the type species of the genus and its industrial strain HCCB10007, derived from ATCC 43491, has been used for large-scale production of the vital antibiotic vancomycin. However, to date, neither the complete genomic sequence of this species nor a systemic characterization of the vancomycin biosynthesis cluster (vcm) has been reported. With only the whole genome sequence of Amycolatopsis mediterranei available, additional complete genomes of other species may facilitate intra-generic comparative analysis of the genus.
The complete genome of A. orientalis HCCB10007 comprises an 8,948,591-bp circular chromosome and a 33,499-bp dissociated plasmid. In total, 8,121 protein-coding sequences were predicted, and the species-specific genomic features of A. orientalis were analyzed in comparison with that of A. mediterranei. The common characteristics of Amycolatopsis genomes were revealed via intra- and inter-generic comparative genomic analyses within the domain of actinomycetes, and led directly to the development of sequence-based Amycolatopsis molecular chemotaxonomic characteristics (MCCs). The chromosomal core/quasi-core and non-core configurations of the A. orientalis and the A. mediterranei genome were analyzed reciprocally, with respect to further understanding both the discriminable criteria and the evolutionary implementation. In addition, 26 gene clusters related to secondary metabolism, including the 64-kb vcm cluster, were identified in the genome. Employing a customized PCR-targeting-based mutagenesis system along with the biochemical identification of vancomycin variants produced by the mutants, we were able to experimentally characterize a halogenase, a methyltransferase and two glycosyltransferases encoded in the vcm cluster. The broad substrate spectra characteristics of these modification enzymes were inferred.
This study not only extended the genetic knowledge of the genus Amycolatopsis and the biochemical knowledge of vcm-related post-assembly tailoring enzymes, but also developed methodology useful for in vivo studies in A. orientalis, which has been widely considered as a barrier in this field.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-363) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4048454  PMID: 24884615
Amycolatopsis orientalis; Complete genome sequencing; Molecular taxonomic characteristics; Vancomycin biosynthesis
20.  Comparison of form-deprived myopia and lens-induced myopia in guinea pigs 
To study the efficacy difference between form-deprived myopia (FDM) and lens-induced myopia (LIM), the degree of myopia, axial length and pathological changes of the posterior sclera from guinea pigs were evaluated.
Four-week pigmented guinea pigs were randomly assigned into 3 groups, including normal control (n=6), FDM group with monocular cover (n=11) and LIM group with monocular -7D lens treatment (n=11). FDM group was form-deprived while LIM group was lens-induced for 14 d. Refractive error and axial length were measured prior to and post treatment, respectively. Morphological changes of sclera were examined using both light and electronic microscopes.
After 14d treatment, refractive errors for FDM group and LIM group were -3.05±0.71D and -2.12±1.29D, respectively, which were significantly more myopic than that of normal controls and fellow control eyes (P<0.01). As for axial length, it was 7.93±0.03 mm for FDM group and 7.89±0.06 mm for LIM group, which were significantly longer than both normal and fellow controls (P<0.01). With respect to both refractory error and axial length, the differences between FDM group and LIM group were not significant (P>0.05). Under light microscope, both FDM group and LIM group showed thinned sclera, disarrangement of fibrosis and enlarged disassociation between fibers. Consistently, ultrastructural examination showed degenerated fibroblasts and thinned fibers in posterior sclera.
Following two weeks of myopia induction in guinea pigs, with regard to the degree of myopia, axial length and pathological alterations, there was no significant difference between FDM and LIM models. Therefore, FDM and LIM are equally effective and useful as a model of experimental myopia and guinea pigs are ideal animals for induction of experimental myopia because their high sensitivity to both form-deprivation and lens-induction.
PMCID: PMC4003077  PMID: 24790865
form-deprived myopia; lens-induced myopia; pathology
21.  Graded Encoding of Food Odor Value in the Drosophila Brain 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2013;33(40):15693-15704.
Odors are highly evocative, yet how and where in the brain odors derive meaning remains unknown. Our analysis of the Drosophila brain extends the role of a small number of hunger-sensing neurons to include food-odor value representation. In vivo two-photon calcium imaging shows the amplitude of food odor-evoked activity in neurons expressing Drosophila neuropeptide F (dNPF), the neuropeptide Y homolog, strongly correlates with food-odor attractiveness. Hunger elevates neural and behavioral responses to food odors only, although food odors that elicit attraction in the fed state also evoke heightened dNPF activity in fed flies. Inactivation of a subset of dNPF-expressing neurons or silencing dNPF receptors abolishes food-odor attractiveness, whereas genetically enhanced dNPF activity not only increases food-odor attractiveness but promotes attraction to aversive odors. Varying the amount of presented odor produces matching graded neural and behavioral curves, which can function to predict preference between odors. We thus demonstrate a possible motivationally scaled neural “value signal” accessible from uniquely identifiable cells.
PMCID: PMC3787495  PMID: 24089477
22.  Curcumin suppresses tumor necrosis factor-α-induced matrix metalloproteinase-2 expression and activity in rat vascular smooth muscle cells via the NF-κB pathway 
The aim of the present study was to investigate the inhibitory effect of curcumin on tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α-induced cell migration and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 expression and activity in rat vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), in order to identify whether the effects are mediated by the nuclear factor (NF)-κB signaling pathway. The VSMCs cells were pretreated with curcumin prior to stimulation with TNF-α. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis were used to determine the MMP-2 mRNA and protein expression levels in TNF-α-stimulated VSMCs. Activity levels of MMP-2 were measured using a gelatin zymography assay. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was also analyzed. Curcumin was found to suppress the TNF-α-stimulated migration of VSMCs. In addition, curcumin inhibited the TNF-α-induced induction of MMP-2 activity and expression. Curcumin also decreased ROS generation in TNF-α-stimulated VSMCs. Signal transduction experiments indicated that TNF-α-induced MMP-2 expression in VSMCs was partly reversed with the application of an NF-κB inhibitor (BAY11-7082). In addition, western blot analysis revealed that curcumin reduced NF-κB p65 protein expression in TNF-α-stimulated VSMCs at the concentration of 20 and 40 μM. Therefore, these observations indicated that curcumin suppressed TNF-α-stimulated VSMC migration and partially prevented TNF-α-induced MMP-2 expression and activity in VSMCs via the NF-κB pathway.
PMCID: PMC4043596  PMID: 24926361
curcumin; tumor necrosis factor-α; nuclear factor-κB; matrix metalloproteinase-2
23.  Draft genome sequence of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens HB-26 
Standards in Genomic Sciences  2014;9(3):775-782.
Bacillus amyloliquefaciens HB-26, a Gram-positive bacterium was isolated from soil in China. SDS-PAGE analysis showed this strain secreted six major protein bands of 65, 60, 55, 34, 25 and 20 kDa. A bioassay of this strain reveals that it shows specific activity against P. brassicae and nematode. Here we describe the features of this organism, together with the draft genome sequence and annotation. The 3,989,358 bp long genome (39 contigs) contains 4,001 protein-coding genes and 80 RNA genes.
PMCID: PMC4149015  PMID: 25197462
Bacillus amyloliquefaciens HB-26; The Next-Generation sequencing; Plasmodiophora brassicae
24.  Anticipation, anti-glaucoma drug treatment response and phenotype of a Chinese family with glaucoma caused by the Pro370Leu myocilin mutation 
To describe the anticipation and anti-glaucoma drugs response of a Chinese family with juvenile-onset open angle glaucoma (JOAG) caused by the Pro370Leu myocilin (MYOC) mutation.
Fifteen members of a three-generation Chinese family with JOAG were recruited to this study. They all underwent ophthalmic common examinations. Patients suspected to have JOAG got an assessment of visual field and optical coherence tomography. Intraocular pressures (IOPs) of four patients were measured at 8, 10, 12, 14, 17 o'clock respectively after using anti-glaucoma drugs. Mutation screening of all MYOC gene coding exons of the participants was performed by using direct sequencing of PCR products.
Clinical examinations and pedigree analysis revealed eight family members were suffered from JOAG. Apparent genetics anticipation phenomenon was observed in this family. Their clinical features included elevated IOP of 35-55mmHg, loss of visual field, thinning of retinal nerve fiber layer, and glaucomatous optic disc damage. Noticeably, their intraocular pressure levels could be controlled within normal range at 8 and 10 o'clock by anti-glaucoma drugs, but their IOPs would elevate >21mmHg after 12 o'clock. Seven patients received trabeculectomy produced thin-walled, pale, and saccate filtering blebs maintaining lower intraocular pressure efficiently. Mutation screening indentified a heterozygous C→T missense mutation in the MYOC gene at position 1 109 in exon 3, corresponding to a substitution of a highly conserved proline to leucine at codon 370 in the olfactomedin domain of MYOC.
The clinical characteristics of JOAG in this family were 1) genetics anticipation; 2) high IOP; 3) temporay response to anti-glaucoma drugs; 4) filtering surgery produced thin-walled and saccate filtering blebs, helping maintain lower IOP.
PMCID: PMC3949457  PMID: 24634862
phenotype; anticipation; anti-glaucoma drugs; myocilin
25.  The effect of ROCK-1 activity change on the adhesive and invasive ability of Y79 retinoblastoma cells 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:89.
Retinoblastoma (Rb) is the most common intraocular tumor in childhood worldwide. It is a deadly pediatric eye cancer. The main cause of death in Rb patients is intracranial and systemic metastasis. ROCK is the main downstream effector of Ras-homologous (Rho) family of GTPases which are involved in many cellular functions, such as cell proliferation, invasion and metastasis. Overexpression of ROCK promotes invasion and metastasis of many solid tumors. However, the effect of ROCK in Rb is largely unknown.
ROCK-1 and ROCK-2 mRNA expression in Y79 cell lines were examined by RT-PCR. Protein expression in the Y79 cell line were examined by western blot analyses. ROCK-1 and ROCK-2 siRNA were transfected into Y79 cells with Lipofectamine 2000. Cell proliferation was evaluated by CCK-8 assay after exposure to ROCK inhibitor (Y-27632). We examined the effect of ROCK inhibitors (Y-27632, ROCK-1 and ROCK-2 siRNA) on Y79 cell adhesive capacity by cell adhesion assay. Cell invasion assay through matrigel was used to study the effect of ROCK inhibitors on Y79 cell invasive capacity.
The expression of mRNA of ROCK-1 was more than that of ROCK-2 in the Y79 cell line. The protein expression levels of ROCK-1 and ROCK-2 were downregulated in the cells transfected with siRNA. Y-27632 treatment didn’t lead to any changes of Y79 cells proliferation. Adhesive ability of Y79 cells was enhanced following Y-27632 or ROCK-1 siRNA treatment. The invasive capacity of Y79 cells showed an inverse relationship with increasing Y-27632 concentration. Invasiveness of Y79 cells also decreased in Y79 cells transfected with ROCK-1 siRNA. However, there was no change in adhesive ability or invasive capacity in Y79 cells transfected with siRNA against ROCK-2.
The findings of this study demonstrate that ROCK-1 protein plays a key role in regulating metastasis and invasion of Y79 cells, suggesting that the ROCK-1 dependent pathway may be a potential target for therapy of Rb.
PMCID: PMC3931292  PMID: 24528629
Adhesion; Invasion; Retinoblastoma; ROCK

Results 1-25 (80)