Epidemiological information of hereditary spherocytosis in China is slight. This systematic review summarizes the number of cases of hereditary spherocytosis reported in China Biology Medicine disc from 1978 to 2013. In total, 2,043 cases were reported in the past 36 years. We describe its distribution from time and space. We also estimate the literature reported prevalence of hereditary spherocytosis by DisMod-II software, overall prevalence in China was estimated to be: 1.27 cases per 100,000 people in males and 1.49 cases per 100,000 people in females. All results suggest a stronger network of diagnosis and treatment including all levels of hospitals should be created to improve healthcare for hereditary spherocytosis and even other rare diseases in the future, meanwhile we can obtain more useful information for orphan drug designation purposes and make public health decisions regarding such diseases through the use of the burden of disease models.
Hereditary spherocytosis; Bibliographic study; DisMod-II; China
Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) is a rare chronic lung disease and one of the most difficult complications to treat in premature infants. With the progress at the medical treatment level, an increasing number of BPD premature infants are born, meanwhile, they would be at an increasing risk for numerous complications and rehospitalization because BPD affects many vital organ systems. The pathogenesis of BPD is clearly multifactorial. As the prognosis is closely connected with the severity of BPD, early diagnosis and treatment are of great help to control the development of BPD. This article focuses on risk factors that could influence the severity of BPD in order to provide a reliable basis for early diagnosis, treatment, and better patient assessment.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia; preterm infants; risk factors
A prevalence threshold to define rare diseases is needed for orphan drug designation. Here, we propose a bottom-up approach to defining rare diseases for China, based on the minimum number of patients needed for the industry to make a reasonable profit on a new drug. To obtain this patient population size, we considered three factors: (1) the industry research and development cost per new drug; (2) the sales per new drug to recoup its research and development costs and generate profit; (3) the highest affordable cost for one patient’s treatment in a given healthcare system. Using this model, we estimate that, with the current level of innovation in the pharmaceutical industry in China, between 300,000 and 500,000 patients could be a reference threshold to define rare diseases. Compared with other proposals, this evidence-based definition is more useful for designing rare diseases and orphan drug policies for China.
Rare diseases; Definition; China; Orphan drug
Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a rare inherited skeletal disease, characterized by bone fragility and low bone density. The mutations in this disorder have been widely reported to be on various exonal hotspots of the candidate genes, including COL1A1, COL1A2, CRTAP, LEPRE1, and FKBP10, thus creating a great demand for precise genetic tests. However, large genome sizes make the process daunting and the analyses, inefficient and expensive. Therefore, we aimed at developing a fast, accurate, efficient, and cheaper sequencing platform for OI diagnosis; and to this end, use of an advanced array-based technique was proposed.
A CustomSeq Affymetrix Resequencing Array was established for high-throughput sequencing of five genes simultaneously. Genomic DNA extraction from 13 OI patients and 85 normal controls and amplification using long-range PCR (LR-PCR) were followed by DNA fragmentation and chip hybridization, according to standard Affymetrix protocols. Hybridization signals were determined using GeneChip Sequence Analysis Software (GSEQ). To examine the feasibility, the outcome from new resequencing approach was validated by conventional capillary sequencing method.
Overall call rates using resequencing array was 96–98% and the agreement between microarray and capillary sequencing was 99.99%. 11 out of 13 OI patients with pathogenic mutations were successfully detected by the chip analysis without adjustment, and one mutation could also be identified using manual visual inspection.
A high-throughput resequencing array was developed that detects the disease-associated mutations in OI, providing a potential tool to facilitate large-scale genetic screening for OI patients. Through this method, a novel mutation was also found.
Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a type of rare hereditary disease that affects connective tissue. PXE is found around the world, and its epidemiology in China is still unclear. A database search revealed that 86 patients in total were reported in China from 1985 to 2013. The vast majority of these reports concern single, sporadic cases. This review summarizes the clinical characteristics of PXE and its treatment in China. The hope is to provide a reliable basis for studies on the incidence of PXE and for formulation of relevant policies in the future.
Rare diseases; prevalence; clinical features; literature search
China is facing the great challenge of serving the world’s largest rare disease population. It is necessary to develop a specific medical plan to increase the levels of optimal prevention, diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases under the existing clinical service structures in China. In 2013, China launched its first pilot project focused on 20 representative rare diseases. A national network including approximately 100 provincial or municipal medical centers has been established to enable collaboration on rare diseases across China. The main objectives for this project are to develop and apply medical guidelines and clinical pathways for rare diseases, to establish a rare disease patient registry and data repository system, and to promote molecular testing for rare genetic disorders. This project also emphasizes building close links among the collaborative network, clinicians on the frontlines in basic medical services institutions and rare disease patient organizations. Primarily, this project expects to develop an actionable medical services plan to increase the delivery of quality healthcare for individuals and families living with rare diseases in China within five years.
Apert syndrome (AS) is a rare genetic and congenital disease characterized by craniosynostosis and syndactly of hands and feet. AS patients generally require lifelong management, however there are still no effective treatment methods except surgery. In recent years, research has made great progress in the pathogenesis of AS. FGFR2 mediates extracellular signals into cells and the mutations in the FGFR2 gene cause AS occurrence. Activated FGFs/FGFR2 signaling disrupt the balance of cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis via its downstream signal pathways. However, how the pathways transform the balance is not well understood and contradictions have occurred in different studies. In this review, we'll focus on these problems to get a better understanding of AS pathogenesis.
Apert syndrome; FGFR2 gene; pathogenesis; signal pathways
The conversion of arginine into citrulline, termed citrullination, has important consequences for the structure and function of proteins. Studies have found PADI4, an enzyme performing citrullination, to be highly expressed in a variety of malignant tumours and have shown that PADI4 participates in the process of tumorigenesis. However, as citrullinated proteins have not been systematically investigated in tumours, the present study aimed to identify novel citrullinated proteins in tumours by 2-D western blotting (2-D WB).
Two identical two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) gels were prepared using extracts from ECA, H292, HeLa, HEPG2, Lovo, MCF-7, PANC-1, SGC, and SKOV3 tumour cell lines. The expression profiles on a 2-DE gel were trans-blotted to PVDF membranes, and the blots were then probed with an anti-citrulline antibody. By comparing the 2-DE profile with the parallel 2-D WB profile at a global level, protein spots with immuno-signals were collected from the second 2-DE gel and identified using mass spectrometry. Immunoprecipitation was used to verify the expression and citrullination of the targeted proteins in tumour cell lines.
2-D WB and mass spectrometry identified citrullinated α-enolase (ENO1), heat shock protein 60 (HSP60), keratin 8 (KRT8), tubulin beta (TUBB), T cell receptor chain and vimentin in these cell lines. Immunoprecipitation analyses verified the expression and citrullination of ENO1, HSP60, KRT8, and TUBB in the total protein lysates of the tumour cell lines.
The citrullination of these proteins suggests a new mechanism in the tumorigenic process.
Citrullination; Peptidylarginine deiminases; Tumour
Achondroplasia is a rare autosomal dominant genetic disease. Research on achondroplasia in China, however, has received little emphasis. Around 80–90% of cases of neonatal achondroplasia result from mutations in fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) according to polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP). Recently, genetic research on achondroplasia in China made a major breakthrough by revealing two novel mutations located on the FGFR3 gene, thus helping to complete the pathological molecular map of achondroplasia. There are still, however, unknown aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of achondroplasia. This review will summarize advances in research on and the clinical diagnosis and treatment of achondroplasia in China.
Rare diseases; gene mutation; chondrodystrophia fetalis; chondrodystrophic dwarfism
Matrix vesicles (MVs) play an important role in the initial stage of the process of bone mineralization, and are involved in multiple rare skeletal diseases with pathological mineralization or calcification. The aim of the study was to compare the proteomic profiling of osteoblast-like cells with and without mineralization ability (Saos-2 and U2-OS), and to identify novel mineralization-associated MV proteins. MVs were extracted using ExoQuick solution from mineralization-induced Saos-2 and U2-OS cells, and then were validated by transmission electron microscopy. A label-free quantitative proteomic method was used to compare the protein profiling of MVs from Saos-2 and U2-OS cells. Western-blots were used to confirm the expression of MVs proteins identified in proteomic studies. In our proteomic studies, we identified that 89 mineralization-related proteins were significantly up-regulated in Saos-2 MVs compared with U2-OS MVs. We further validated that two MVs proteins, protein kinase C α and ras-related protein Ral-A, were up-regulated in MVs of Saos-2 cells compared to those of U2-OS cells under mineralization-induction. Our findings suggest that protein kinase C α and ras-related protein Ral-A might be involved in bone mineralization as MVs components.
Matrix vesicle; osteoblasts; mineralization; proteomics
As the world's most populous country, China has the world's largest number of rare disease groups in terms of prevalence. However, the country has no system of registering cases of most rare diseases, so there is very little documented information on the epidemiology of those diseases. The purpose of this study was to study the state of rare disease research and survey doctors in Shandong Province regarding their level of awareness of rare diseases. Types of rare diseases and numbers of cases were tallied and their geographical distribution over the decades was analyzed. Eight hundred and twenty-four doctors in tertiary hospitals and maternity and child care hospitals were surveyed by questionnaire. Data were descriptively analyzed and a map of disease distribution was created. Articles about rare diseases were retrieved from the Chinese Biomedical Literature Database to provide pertinent data. This study yielded 5,749 cases of 323 different types of rare diseases. The survey found that doctors lack awareness of research on rare diseases. An authoritative and information-rich platform for rare disease research is urgently needed. Key steps are to study epidemiological and statistical techniques and then obtain available data to provide a basis for the definition and regulation of rare diseases in China.
Rare diseases; awareness survey; descriptive analysis
Little information is available on the prevalence, geographic distribution and mutation spectrum of genetic skeletal disorders (GSDs) in China. This study systematically reviewed GSDs as defined in “Nosology and Classification of genetic skeletal disorders (2010 version)” using Chinese biomedical literature published over the past 34 years from 1978 to 2012. In total, 16,099 GSDs have been reported. The most frequently reported disorders were Marfan syndrome, osteogenesis imperfecta, fibrous dysplasia, mucopolysaccharidosis, multiple cartilaginous exostoses, neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), osteopetrosis, achondroplasia, enchondromatosis (Ollier), and osteopoikilosis, accounting for 76.5% (12,312 cases) of the total cases. Five groups (group 8, 12, 14, 18, 21) defined by “Nosology and Classification of genetic skeletal disorders” have not been reported in the Chinese biomedical literature. Gene mutation testing was performed in only a minor portion of the 16,099 cases of GSDs (187 cases, 1.16%). In total, 37 genes for 41 different GSDs were reported in Chinese biomedical literature, including 43 novel mutations. This review revealed a significant imbalance in rare disease identification in terms of geographic regions and hospital levels, suggesting the need to create a national multi-level network to meet the specific challenge of care for rare diseases in China.
Rare diseases; Genetic skeletal diseases; China; Bibliographic study
Rare diseases research in China can be traced back to the 1980s. Currently, control of rare diseases has become a national concern. This paper describes developments concerning rare diseases in China with regard to epidemiology, case registration, basic research, establishment of medical networks, and orphan drugs. A national program for rare disease research is being implemented in China to promote international cooperation in the future.
Rare disease; China; development; epidemiology
This study reported a family with primary hyperparathyroidism due to parathyroid carcinoma and investigated the pathological and genetic features of family members. Three members of the family had clinical manifestation of primary hyperparathyroidism and tumors in the neck. All three patients underwent parathyroidectomy, thyroidectomy and level-VI neck dissection and were definitively diagnosed based on pathology. The index case was a patient that was found to have parathyroid carcinoma on the right side and parathyroid adenoma on the left side. The other two patients had local tumor recurrence and metastasis to distant organs. A germline mutation in the HRPT2 gene (Arg91Pro) was identified in all of the patients in this family. Study of the literature indicated that this is the first report of familial parathyroid carcinomas with an HRPT2 gene missense mutation. Results also indicated that HRPT2 may play an important role in the development of parathyroid carcinoma.
Familial; parathyroid tumor; hyperparathyroidism; HRPT2
During the process of matrix vesicle (MV)-mediated initiation of mineralisation, chondrocytes and osteoblasts mineralise the extracellular matrix by promoting the seeding of basic calcium phosphate crystals of hydroxyapatite (HA) along the collagen fibrils. This orchestrated process is carefully regulated by the balanced action of propagators and inhibitors of calcification. The primary antagonistic regulators of extracellular matrix mineralisation are phosphate (Pi) and inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi). Studies in mouse models and in humans have established critical roles for Pi/PPi homeostasis in biomineralisation. In this review, we present the regulators of Pi/PPi, as derived from animal models, and discuss their clinical relevance to physiological and pathological mineralisation.
Mineralisation; Matrix vesicles; PPi; Pi; MV-related proteins; OPN.
One of the most distinctive features of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is new bone formation and bone resorption at sites of chronic inflammation. Previous studies have indicated that the hyperplasia and inflammation of synovial tissues are significantly related to the pathogenic process of AS. The present study used a proteomic approach to identify novel AS-specific proteins by simultaneously comparing the expression profiles of synovial membranes from patients with AS, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA).
Synovial tissues were collected from the hip joints of patients with AS and knee joints of patients with RA or OA (n = 10 for each disease) during joint replacement surgery. Proteins extracted from the synovial tissues were separated by 2-D electrophoresis (2-DE), and the proteins with significantly increased expression in the AS samples were subjected to MALDI-TOF/TOF-MS analysis. The results were verified using western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Levels of the candidate proteins in synovial fluids from knee joints (n = 40 for each disease) were measured using ELISA.
The proteomic approach revealed significantly increased expression of carbonic anhydrase I (CA1) in the synovial membrane of patients with AS as compared with the RA and OA tissue samples. Immunohistochemistry and western blotting analysis confirmed the findings described above. The ELISA detected a higher level of CA1 in synovial fluids from patients with AS than those with OA. The mean value of the CA1 level was also higher in AS patients as compared with RA patients. This study also detected increased expression of alpha-1-antitrypsin in the synovial tissues from AS patients, which is in agreement with other reports.
In vitro experiments by other groups indicated that CA1 catalyzes the generation of HCO3- through the hydration of CO2, which then combines with Ca2+ to form a CaCO3 precipitate. Calcification is an essential step of bone formation. Substantial evidence indicates that carbonic anhydrase also stimulates bone resorption. Hence, overexpression of CA1 in the synovial tissues of AS patients may promote improper calcification and bone resorption in AS.
The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) is challenging for the lack of a specific diagnostic test. Recent researches in quantitative proteomics, however, offer new opportunities for biomarker discovery and the study of disease pathogenesis. To find more potential protein biomarkers, we used two technologies, 2-dimensional fluorescence difference in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE), followed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and ultra-performance liquid chromato-graph coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC/Q-TOF MS), to quantitatively analyse differential proteomic expression in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) between patients with MS (the experiment group) and patients with other neurological diseases (ONDs; the control group). Analysis by the former technology identified more than 43 different protein spots (39 proteins), of which 17 spots (13 proteins) showed more than 1.5-fold difference in abundance as analysed by DeCyder software (GE Healthcare, Piscataway. NJ, USA) between the MS and the ONDs groups. The expression of five protein spots was elevated and the expression of 12 protein spots was decreased in the MS group. Meanwhile, the latter method, UPLC/Q-TOF MS showed 68 different proteins. There were 45 proteins with a difference of more than 1.5 folds between the two groups, in which the expression of 20 proteins was elevated and the expression of 25 proteins was decreased in the MS group. Data provided by the two methods indicated that the proteins overlapped ratio was 27% in the 26 significant proteins that had the same regulation tendency. The differential CSF proteins were analysed further by biological network and it revealed interaction of them. The subsequent ELISA measuring the concentration of cystatin C (P < 0.01), which was one of the proteins discovered simultaneously with the two technologies, confirmed the results of the two quantitative proteomic analysis. The combination of the two quantitative proteomic technologies was helpful in discovering differentially expressed proteins that may have a connection with MS disease physiology and serve as useful biomarkers for diagnosis and treatment of MS diseases.
multiple sclerosis; quantitative proteomic; 2D-DIGE; UPLC/Q-TOF; ELISA