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1.  Pim-1 acts as an oncogene in human salivary gland adenoid cystic carcinoma 
Pim-1 (Provirus integration site for Moloney murine leukemia virus 1) belongs to the Ser/Thr kinase family and plays a pivotal role in occurrence and development of oncogenesis. Recent studies have demonstrated that Pim-1 phosphorylates RUNX3 and alters its subcellular localization. However, few studies have concerned the implications of Pim-1 in the salivary gland adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC). In this study, we aimed to clarify the function of Pim-1 in ACC in vitro. Meanwhile, we measured the levels of Pim-1 and RUNX3 in the ACC tissues. The correlations between Pim-1/RUNX3 levels and clinical parameters were also analyzed.
SACC-83 and SACC-LM cells were transfected with the Pim-1 siRNA. Pim-1 mRNA and protein expression were measured using real-time PCR and immnuoblot, respectively. Cell proliferation was analyzed by CCK-8 assay. Cell cycle, apoptosis, and mitochondrial membrane potential were detected by flow cytometry. Effects of Pim-1 on cells’ invasion were evaluated by transwell migration assay. Pim-1 and RUNX3 levels in ACC tissues were examined by immunohistochemistry.
Pim-1 siRNA reduces cell proliferation, induces apoptosis, causes cell cycle arrest through cell cycle related proteins (Cyclin D1 and CDK4), mitochondrial depolarization, and decreases invasive ability in SACC-83 and SACC-LM cells. Pim-1 and RUNX3 levels are significantly relevant and associated with T-stage and nerve invasion in the ACC tissues.
This study demonstrates the oncogenic role of Pim-1 in ACC. The findings also suggest that Pim-1 may serve as a neoteric therapeutic target and potential prognostic marker for ACC cancer.
PMCID: PMC4304190  PMID: 25551195
Salivary gland adenoid cystic carcinoma; Pim-1; RUNX3
2.  A Hypothetical Model of Crossing Bombyx mori Nucleopolyhedrovirus through Its Host Midgut Physical Barrier 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e115032.
Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) is a primary pathogen of silkworm (B. mori) that causes severe economic losses each year. However, the molecular mechanisms of silkworm-BmNPV interactions, especially the silkworm proteins that can interact with the virus, are still largely unknown. In this study, the total and membrane proteins of silkworm midguts were displayed using one- and two-dimensional electrophoresis. A virus overlay assay was used to detect B. mori proteins that specifically bind to BmNPV particles. Twelve proteins were located and identified using mass spectrometry, and the different expression of the corresponding genes in BmNPV susceptible and resistant silkworm strains also indicated their involvement in BmNPV infection. The 12 proteins are grouped based on their potential roles in viral infection, for example, endocytosis, intracellular transportation, and host responses. Based on these results, we hypothesize the following: I) vacuolar ATP synthase catalytic subunit A and subunit B may be implicated in the process of the membrane fusion of virus and the release of the nucleocapsid into cytoplasm; II) actin, enolase and phosphoglycerate kinase are cytoskeleton associated proteins and may play an important role in BmNPV intracellular transportation; III) mitochondrial prohibitin complex protein 2, ganglioside-induced differentiation-associated protein, calreticulin, regucalcin-like isoform X1 and 60 kDa heat shock protein are involved in cell apoptosis regulation during BmNPV infection in larvae midguts; IV) ribosomal P0 may be associated with BmNPV infection by regulating gene expression of BmNPV; V) arginine kinase has a role in the antiviral activities against BmNPV. Our work should prove informative by providing multiple protein targets and a novel direction to investigate the molecular mechanisms of the interactions between silkworms and BmNPV.
PMCID: PMC4264868  PMID: 25502928
3.  A specific cholesterol metabolic pathway is established in a subset of HCCs for tumor growth 
The liver plays a central role in cholesterol homeostasis. It exclusively receives and metabolizes oxysterols, which are important metabolites of cholesterol and are more cytotoxic than free cholesterol, from all extrahepatic tissues. Hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) impair certain liver functions and cause pathological alterations in many processes including cholesterol metabolism. However, the link between an altered cholesterol metabolism and HCC development is unclear. Human ACAT2 is abundantly expressed in intestine and fetal liver. Our previous studies have shown that ACAT2 is induced in certain HCC tissues. Here, by investigating tissue samples from HCC patients and HCC cell lines, we report that a specific cholesterol metabolic pathway, involving induction of ACAT2 and esterification of excess oxysterols for secretion to avoid cytotoxicity, is established in a subset of HCCs for tumor growth. Inhibiting ACAT2 leads to the intracellular accumulation of unesterified oxysterols and suppresses the growth of both HCC cell lines and their xenograft tumors. Further mechanistic studies reveal that HCC-linked promoter hypomethylation is essential for the induction of ACAT2 gene expression. We postulate that specifically blocking this HCC-established cholesterol metabolic pathway may have potential therapeutic applications for HCC patients.
PMCID: PMC3841111  PMID: 24163426
ACAT2; CpG methylation; oxysterol secretion; inhibition of tumor growth; HCC
4.  A case report of acute myocardial infarction concomitant with Standford type B aortic dissection 
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) concomitant with aortic dissection (AD) is rare but a devastating situation if misdiagnosed as simply AMI, followed by anticoagulant or thrombolytic therapy. In such cases, Standford type B AD was extremely infrequent.
To present a case with apparent concordance with the patient's history, symptoms, cardiac enzymes that lead to diagnostic error.
Case report
An 85-year-old man with chronic hypertension and coronary atherosclerotic heart disease presented in our emergency department with squeezing retrosternal chest pain and dyspnea. Elevated cardiac enzymes and electrocardiography result suggested acute non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. Emergency coronary angiography demonstrated a 50–90% diffuse stenosis of the proximal and mid right coronary artery also confirmed the diagnosis. Stents were deployed thereafter. However, the patient was found to be concomitant with Standford type B AD by computed tomography angiography due to unrelieved chest pain and new onset of abdominal pain after the operation. The patient refused to have endovascular operation and died of hemorrhagic shock one week later.
AD may cause AMI due to some indirect mechanisms, and it is of utmost importance to search for the existence of AD before reperfusion therapy in AMI patients. Aortic dissection detection risk score, transthoracic echocardiography and D-dimer help early identification of AD.
PMCID: PMC3953687  PMID: 24653592
Acute myocardial infarction; Aortic dissection; Misdiagnosis
5.  Somatostatin receptors in gastrointestinal stromal tumors: new prognostic biomarker and potential therapeutic strategy 
Somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) already act as important roles in gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs) with high expression levels for prognosis predicting and octreotide LAR treatment purposes but less noticed in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs). Our study aims to fully evaluate the expression levels and prognostic values of SSTRs in GIST patients. For SSTRs expression detection, qPCR were used in 25 fresh GIST specimens, and then, 453 GIST samples (405 GISTs with operation only and 48 with imatinib adjuvant therapy after surgery) were collected for tissue microarrays (TMAs) construction and confirmed by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Clinicopathological data were confirmed by pathological diagnosis and clinical recorders, recurrence-free survivals (RFS) were evaluated in 453 GIST patients. With IHC performed, SSTR1 and SSTR2 present high positive proportion (81.9% and 87.6%) in 453 GISTs in our study, and positive expression rates of SSTR3, SSTR4 and SSTR5 are 56.1%, 8.8% and 47.2%, respectively. SSTR2 and SSTR5 negative expression are associated with decreased RFS when compared to positive cases by Kaplan-Meier survival analyses with log-rank test and univariate analysis in GISTs, furthermore, SSTR2 was an independent prognostic indicator for GISTs by multivariate analysis. In our study, detection of SSRT2 and SSTR5 expression helps to predict different prognosis in GIST patients. SSTR2 is a novel independent prognostic biomarker for GISTs. With high expression performance of SSTRs in GISTs, new therapeutic strategies such as octreotide or pasireotide LAR could be taken into consideration in selected advanced GIST patients.
PMCID: PMC4297350  PMID: 25628793
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor; somatostatin receptor; octreotide; pasireotide; prognosis
6.  HER4 is a novel prognostic biomarker in gastrointestinal stromal tumor specifically originated from stomach 
HER family has been implicated in a number of malignant tumors for predicting prognosis and potential targeted therapy purposes, however, the prognostic roles of HER family in GISTs have not been elaborated yet. Our study aims to fully evaluate the prognostic value of HER family in GIST patients and efficacy of imatinib adjuvant therapy. For HER family expression detection, qPCR were used in 33 flesh GIST specimens, and then, 453 GIST samples (405 GISTs with operation only and 48 with imatinib adjuvant therapy after radical surgery) were collected for tissue microarrays construction and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Clinicopathological data were confirmed by pathological diagnosis and clinical recorders, recurrence-free survivals (RFS) were evaluated in 453 GIST patients. With qPCR and IHC performed, EGFR, HER2 and HER4 are focused on examining prognostic value in remainder of our study by high positive expression rates in GISTs. In high-risk GISTs with or without imatinib adjuvant therapy, EGFR negative expression are associated with decreased RFS when compared to positive cases. HER2 present no relationship with GIST patients’ prognosis. HER4 positive expression significantly associated with disease recurrence in GISTs. Further subgroup studies revealed HER4 was an independent prognostic indicator especially for gastric GISTs, and also for gastric high-risk GISTs. In our study, detection of EGFR expression helps to precisely subdivide high-risk GISTs for different prognosis and probably predict outcomes for imatinib treatment. HER4 is a novel independent prognostic biomarker for gastric GISTs specifically, which could be potential therapeutic target in GISTs originated from stomach.
PMCID: PMC4266716  PMID: 25520872
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor; EGFR; HER2; HER4; prognosis
7.  Gastrointestinal stromal tumor: 15-years’ experience in a single center 
BMC Surgery  2014;14(1):93.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is known for its wide variability in biological behaviors and it is difficult to predict its malignant potential. The aim of this study is to explore the characteristics and prognostic factors of GIST.
Clinical and pathological data of 497 GIST patients in our center between 1997 and 2012 were reviewed.
Patients were categorized into very low-, low-, intermediate- and high-risk groups according to modified National Institutes of Health (NIH) consensus classification system. Among the 401 patients untreated with imatinib mesylate (IM), 5-year overall survival (OS) in very low-, low-, intermediate- and high-risk groups was 100%, 100%, 89.6% and 65.9%; and 5-year relapse-free survival (RFS) was 100%, 98.1%, 90.9% and 44.5%, respectively. Univariate analysis revealed that sex, tumor size, mitotic rate, risk grade, CD34 expression, and adjacent involvement were predictors of OS or RFS. COX hazard proportional model (Forward LR) showed that large tumor size, high mitotic rate, and high risk grade were independent risk factors to OS, whereas high mitotic rate, high risk grade and adjacent organ involvement were independent risk factors to RFS. The intermediate-high risk patients who received IM adjuvant therapy (n = 87) had better 5-year OS and RFS than those who did not (n = 188) (94.9% vs. 72.1; 82.3% vs. 56.3%, respectively). Similarly, advanced GIST patients underwent IM therapy (n = 45) had better 3-year OS and 1-year progression-free survival (PFS) than those who didn’t (n = 42) (75.6% vs. 6.8%; 87.6% vs. 12.4%, respectively).
Very low- and low-risk GISTs can be treated with surgery alone. Large tumor size, high mitotic rate, high risk grade, and adjacent organ involvement contribute to the poor outcome. IM therapy significantly improves the survival of intermediate-high risk or advanced GIST patients.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2482-14-93) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4254179  PMID: 25403624
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor; Survival; Imatinib
8.  Long intergenic non-coding RNA induced by X-ray irradiation regulates DNA damage response signaling in the human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cell line 
Oncology Letters  2014;9(1):169-176.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been regarded as the primary genetic regulators of several important biological processes. However, the biological functions of lncRNAs in radiation-induced lung damage remain largely unknown. The present study aimed to investigate the potential effects of lncRNAs on radiation-induced lung injury (RILI). Female C57BL/6 mice were exposed to 12 Gy single doses of total body irradiation (TBI). LncRNA microarray screening was conducted at 24 h post-irradiation (IR) to investigate the differentially-expressed lncRNAs during RILI. Following the subsequent bioinformatics analysis and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) validation, one of the verified differentially-expressed long intergenic radiation-responsive ncRNAs (LIRRs), LIRR1, was selected for further functional study. The normal human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cell line was used as the cell model. The recombinant eukaryotic expression vector for the lncRNA was designed, constructed and transfected using lipofectamine. RT-PCR, clonogenic and flow cytometry assays, immunofluorescence detection and western blot analysis were performed to reveal the role of the lncRNA in the radiosensitivity regulation of the RILI target cells. In lung tissues 24 h after 12 Gy TBI, six of the identified differentially-expressed LIRRs near the coding genes were validated using quantitative (q)PCR. The upregulation of two LIRRs was observed and confirmed using qPCR. LIRR1 was chosen for further functional study. Following the stable transfection of LIRR1, identified through G418 screening, increased radiosensitivity, evident cell cycle G1 phase arrest and increased γ-H2AX foci formation were observed in the bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cell line subsequent to IR. LIRR1 overexpression also led to decreased expression of the KU70, KU80 and RAD50 DNA repair proteins, marked activation of p53, decreased mouse double minute 2 homolog (MDM2) expression, and substantially induced p21 and suppressed cyclin-dependent kinase 2 in BEAS-2B following IR. Subsequent to the use of Pifithrin-α, a specific inhibitor of p53 activation, increased MDM2 expression was observed in the LIRR1-overexpressing cells, suggesting that LIRR1 could mediate the DNA damage response (DDR) signaling in a p53-dependent manner. The present study provides a novel mechanism for RILI, using the concept of lncRNAs.
PMCID: PMC4247013  PMID: 25435953
long non-coding RNA; radiation-induced lung injury; radiosensitivity; cell cycle; DNA damage response; p53
9.  Random walks based multi-image segmentation: Quasiconvexity results and GPU-based solutions 
We recast the Cosegmentation problem using Random Walker (RW) segmentation as the core segmentation algorithm, rather than the traditional MRF approach adopted in the literature so far. Our formulation is similar to previous approaches in the sense that it also permits Cosegmentation constraints (which impose consistency between the extracted objects from ≥ 2 images) using a nonparametric model. However, several previous nonparametric cosegmentation methods have the serious limitation that they require adding one auxiliary node (or variable) for every pair of pixels that are similar (which effectively limits such methods to describing only those objects that have high entropy appearance models). In contrast, our proposed model completely eliminates this restrictive dependence –the resulting improvements are quite significant. Our model further allows an optimization scheme exploiting quasiconvexity for model-based segmentation with no dependence on the scale of the segmented foreground. Finally, we show that the optimization can be expressed in terms of linear algebra operations on sparse matrices which are easily mapped to GPU architecture. We provide a highly specialized CUDA library for Cosegmentation exploiting this special structure, and report experimental results showing these advantages.
PMCID: PMC4178955  PMID: 25278742
10.  Analyzing the Subspace Structure of Related Images: Concurrent Segmentation of Image Sets* 
We develop new algorithms to analyze and exploit the joint subspace structure of a set of related images to facilitate the process of concurrent segmentation of a large set of images. Most existing approaches for this problem are either limited to extracting a single similar object across the given image set or do not scale well to a large number of images containing multiple objects varying at different scales. One of the goals of this paper is to show that various desirable properties of such an algorithm (ability to handle multiple images with multiple objects showing arbitary scale variations) can be cast elegantly using simple constructs from linear algebra: this significantly extends the operating range of such methods. While intuitive, this formulation leads to a hard optimization problem where one must perform the image segmentation task together with appropriate constraints which enforce desired algebraic regularity (e.g., common subspace structure). We propose efficient iterative algorithms (with small computational requirements) whose key steps reduce to objective functions solvable by max-flow and/or nearly closed form identities. We study the qualitative, theoretical, and empirical properties of the method, and present results on benchmark datasets.
PMCID: PMC4176815  PMID: 25267943
11.  How Reliable Are Standard Radiographic Measures of the Foot and Ankle in Children With Achondroplasia? 
Radiographic measurements are typically used in achondroplasia (ACH) during correction of lower limb alignment. However, reliabilities for the measurements on weightbearing radiographs of the foot and ankle in patients with ACH have not been described, and the differences between the ACH population and subjects without ACH likewise have not been well characterized; these issues limit the use of studies on this subject.
We proposed (1) to measure the inter- and intraobserver reliability of a number of radiographic measures of ankle and foot alignment in an achondroplastic cohort of patients; and (2) to compare our radiographic measurement values with age-matched literature-based normative values.
Ten radiographic measurements were applied to foot and ankle radiographs of 20 children (40 feet) with ACH (mean age, 10 years; range, 8–16 years). Interobserver and intraobserver reliabilities of these radiographic measurement methods were obtained and expressed by intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs). The mean values were calculated and compared with the literature-based values.
The interobserver reliability was excellent for eight measurements with ICCs ranging from 0.801 to 0.962, except for lateral talo-first metatarsal angle and mediolateral column ratio, which were much lower. The intraobserver reliability was excellent for all 10 radiographic measurements with ICCs ranging from 0.812 to 0.998. Compared with existing literature-based values, all 10 measurements had a significant difference (p < 0.01).
We suggest tibiotalar angle, calcaneal pitch angle, tibiocalcaneal angle, talocalcaneal angle, naviculocuboid overlap, talonavicular coverage angle, metatarsal stacking angle, and AP talo-first metatarsal angle with excellent interobserver and intraobserver reliabilities should be considered preferentially in analysis of foot and ankle alignment in children with ACH.
Level of Evidence
Level II, diagnostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
PMCID: PMC3734405  PMID: 23609814
12.  Maternal Hypertension after a Low-Birth-Weight Delivery Differs by Race/Ethnicity: Evidence from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999–2006 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104149.
Studies have suggested an increase in maternal morbidity and mortality due to cardiovascular diseases in women with a prior low-birth-weight (LBW, <2,500 grams) delivery. This study evaluated blood pressure and hypertension in women who reported a prior preterm or small-for-gestational-age (SGA) LBW delivery in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2006 (n = 6,307). This study also aimed to explore if race/ethnicity, menopause status, and years since last pregnancy modified the above associations. A total of 3,239 white, 1,350 black, and 1,718 Hispanics were assessed. Linear regression models were used to evaluate blood pressure by birth characteristics (preterm-LBW, SGA-LBW, and birthweight ≥2,500). Logistic regression models estimated the odds ratios (OR) of hypertension among women who reported a preterm-LBW or SGA-LBW delivery compared with women who reported an infant with birthweight ≥2,500 at delivery. Overall, there was a positive association between a preterm-LBW delivery and hypertension (adjusted OR = 1.39, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02–1.90). Prior SGA-LBW also increased the odds of hypertension, but the estimate did not reach statistical significance (adjusted OR = 1.21, 95% CI 0.76–1.92). Race/ethnicity modified the above associations. Only black women had increased risk of hypertension following SGA-LBW delivery (adjusted OR = 2.09, 95% CI 1.12–3.90). Black women were at marginally increased risk of hypertension after delivery of a preterm-LBW (adjusted OR = 1.49, 95% CI 0.93–2.38). Whites and Hispanics had increased, but not statistically significant, risk of hypertension after a preterm-LBW (whites: adjusted OR = 1.39, 95% CI 0.92–2.10; Hispanics: adjusted OR = 1.22, 95% CI 0.62–2.38). Stratified analysis indicated that the associations were stronger among women who were premenopausal and whose last pregnancy were more recent. The current study suggests that in a representative United States population, women with a history of preterm- or SGA-LBW deliveries have increased odds of hypertension and this risk appears to be higher for black women and younger women.
PMCID: PMC4122444  PMID: 25093324
13.  Increased expression of native cytosolic Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase improves tolerance to oxidative and chilling stresses in cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14:208.
Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a tropical root crop, and is therefore, extremely sensitive to low temperature; its antioxidative response is pivotal for its survival under stress. Timely turnover of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in plant cells generated by chilling-induced oxidative damages, and scavenging can be achieved by non-enzymatic and enzymatic reactions in order to maintain ROS homeostasis.
Transgenic cassava plants that co-express cytosolic superoxide dismutase (SOD), MeCu/ZnSOD, and ascorbate peroxidase (APX), MeAPX2, were produced and tested for tolerance against oxidative and chilling stresses. The up-regulation of MeCu/ZnSOD and MeAPX2 expression was confirmed by the quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and enzymatic activity analyses in the leaves of transgenic cassava plant lines with a single-transgene integration site. Upon exposure to ROS-generating agents, 100 μM ROS-generating reagent methyl viologen and 0.5 M H2O2, higher levels of enzymatic activities of SOD and APX were detected in transgenic plants than the wild type. Consequently, the oxidative stress parameters, such as lipid peroxidation, chlorophyll degradation and H2O2 synthesis, were lower in the transgenic lines than the wild type. Tolerance to chilling stress at 4°C for 2 d was greater in transgenic cassava, as observed by the higher levels of SOD, catalase, and ascorbate-glutathione cycle enzymes (e.g., APX, monodehydroascorbate reductase, dehydroascorbate reducatase and glutathione reductase) and lower levels of malondialdehyde content.
These results suggest that the expression of native cytosolic SOD and APX simultaneously activated the antioxidative defense mechanisms via cyclic ROS scavenging, thereby improving its tolerance to cold stress.
PMCID: PMC4236755  PMID: 25091029
Manihot esculenta Crantz; Cytosolic superoxide dismutase; Cytosolic ascorbate peroxidase; Reactive oxygen species scavenging; Abiotic stress resistance
14.  Proteomic Characterization of Acyclovir-Induced Nephrotoxicity in a Mouse Model 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e103185.
Acyclovir (ACV) is an effective and widely used antiviral agent. However, its clinical application is limited by severe nephrotoxicity. We assessed ACV-induced nephrotoxicity and identified the differentially expressed proteins using mass spectrometry-based proteomic analysis. In total, 30 ICR mice were intraperitoneally administrated ACV (150 or 600 mg/kg per day) for 9 days. After administration of ACV, levels of serum creatinine and urea nitrogen increased significantly. In addition, mouse kidneys exhibited histopathological changes and reduced expression levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor VEGFR2. In the proteomic analysis, more than 1,000 proteins were separated by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and a total of 20 proteins were up- or down-regulated in the ACV group compared with the saline group. Among these, six proteins (MHC class II antigen, glyoxalase 1, peroxiredoxin 1, αB-crystallin, fibroblast growth factor receptor 1-IIIb, and cytochrome c oxidase subunit Vb) were identified in association with ACV-induced nephrotoxicity. These findings were confirmed by Western blotting analysis. The differential expression levels of α-BC, Prx1, Glo I and CcO Vb suggest that oxidative damage and mitochondrial injury may be involved in ACV-induced nephrotoxicity. Furthermore, VEGF and FGF may play a role in tissue repair and the restoration process following ACV nephrotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC4108384  PMID: 25055032
15.  Treatment protocols for growth hormone-secreting pituitary adenomas combined with craniofacial fibrous dysplasia: A case report of atypical McCune-Albright syndrome 
McCune-Albright syndrome (MAS) is a rare, post-zygotic (non-germline) disorder, characterized by hypersecretory endocrinopathies, fibrous dysplasia of the bone and café-au-lait macules. The most common endocrine dysfunction is gonadal hyperfunction; thus, hypersecretion of growth hormones (GHs) as a manifestation of endocrine hyperfunction in MAS is rarely reported. MAS affects both genders, although the majority of cases have been reported in young females. Atypical presentations of MAS, with only one or two of the classic symptoms, have been previously described, but remain particularly challenging due to the lack of a diagnostic phenotype. In patients with atypical MAS, analysis of mutations in the gene of the α-subunit of the stimulatory G-protein is limited; thus, diagnosis is based on clinical judgment. In the present study, a male with polyostotic fibrous dysplasia and GH-secreting pituitary adenomas, diagnosed with atypical MAS, was reported. The pituitary adenoma was effectively treated with radiotherapy and the patient underwent surgery for the polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, with marked improvements observed in appearance.
PMCID: PMC4113538  PMID: 25120617
McCune-Albright syndrome; fibrous dysplasia; growth hormone-secreting pituitary adenoma
16.  Evaluation of high-risk clinicopathological indicators in gastrointestinal stromal tumors for prognosis and imatinib treatment outcome 
BMC Gastroenterology  2014;14:105.
Although the clinical benefit of imatinib adjuvant therapy for high-risk patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) has been proven, the recurrence rate still remains high. This study aimed to sub-divide high-risk GIST patients with some “very high-risk” factors for more precise prognostic indicator, and possible association with efficiency of imatinib adjuvant therapy.
Clinicopathological data were confirmed by pathological diagnosis and clinical records. Recurrence-free survivals (RFS) were evaluated in 370 GIST patients (212 cases as test cohort and 158 cases as validation cohort) and 48 high-risk GISTs with imatinib adjuvant therapy after R0 resection.
Mitosis count > 10/50 high-power fields (HPF) and serosal invasion are independent prognostic factors for RFS of GIST patients. Mitosis count > 10/50HPF and serosal invasion can sub-divide high-risk GIST patients effectively and significantly improve the area under the curve (AUC) of receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve for prognostic indicator both in test and validation cohort. Patients with serosal invasion after R0 resection showed a poorer prognosis with imatinib adjuvant therapy.
Sub-division of high-risk GIST patients helps to more precisely predicting the prognosis. Serosal invasion may be an adverse predictive factor in high-risk patients and imatinib treatment outcome.
PMCID: PMC4057930  PMID: 24906683
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor; Mitosis; Serosal invasion; Prognosis
17.  Calcium Sensing Receptor Modulates Extracellular Calcium Entry and Proliferation via TRPC3/6 Channels in Cultured Human Mesangial Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e98777.
Calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) has been demonstrated to be present in several tissues and cells unrelated to systemic calcium homeostasis, where it regulates a series of diverse cellular functions. A previous study indicated that CaSR is expressed in mouse glomerular mesangial cells (MCs), and stimulation of CaSR induces cell proliferation. However, the signaling cascades initiated by CaSR activation in MCs are currently unknown. In this study, our data demonstrate that CaSR mRNA and protein are expressed in a human mesangial cell line. Activating CaSR with high extracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]o) or spermine induces a phospholipase C (PLC)-dependent increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i). Interestingly, the CaSR activation-induced increase in [Ca2+]i results not only from intracellular Ca2+ release from internal stores but also from canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC)-dependent Ca2+ influx. This increase in Ca2+ was attenuated by treatment with a nonselective TRPC channel blocker but not by treatment with a voltage-gated calcium blocker or Na+/Ca2+ exchanger inhibitor. Furthermore, stimulation of CaSR by high [Ca2+]o enhanced the expression of TRPC3 and TRPC6 but not TRPC1 and TRPC4, and siRNA targeting TRPC3 and TRPC6 attenuated the CaSR activation-induced [Ca2+]i increase. Further experiments indicate that 1-oleoyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol (OAG), a known activator of receptor-operated calcium channels, significantly enhances the CaSR activation-induced [Ca2+]i increase. Moreover, under conditions in which intracellular stores were already depleted with thapsigargin (TG), CaSR agonists also induced an increase in [Ca2+]i, suggesting that calcium influx stimulated by CaSR agonists does not require the release of calcium stores. Finally, our data indicate that pharmacological inhibition and knock down of TRPC3 and TRPC6 attenuates the CaSR activation-induced cell proliferation in human MCs. With these data, we conclude that CaSR activation mediates Ca2+ influx and cell proliferation via TRPC3 and TRPC6 in human MCs.
PMCID: PMC4048219  PMID: 24905090
18.  Structure of the bacteriophage T4 DNA adenine methyltransferase 
Nature structural biology  2003;10(10):849-855.
DNA-adenine methylation at certain GATC sites plays a pivotal role in bacterial and phage gene expression as well as bacterial virulence. We report here the crystal structures of the bacteriophage T4Dam DNA adenine methyltransferase (MTase) in a binary complex with the methyl-donor product S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine (AdoHcy) and in a ternary complex with a synthetic 12-bp DNA duplex and AdoHcy. T4Dam contains two domains: a seven-stranded catalytic domain that harbors the binding site for AdoHcy and a DNA binding domain consisting of a five-helix bundle and a β-hairpin that is conserved in the family of GATC-related MTase orthologs. Unexpectedly, the sequence-specific T4Dam bound to DNA in a nonspecific mode that contained two Dam monomers per synthetic duplex, even though the DNA contains a single GATC site. The ternary structure provides a rare snapshot of an enzyme poised for linear diffusion along the DNA.
PMCID: PMC4030375  PMID: 12937411
19.  MyD88 and TRIF mediate divergent inflammatory and regenerative responses to skeletal muscle ischemia 
Physiological Reports  2014;2(5):e12006.
We have previously shown that MyD88 KO mice appear protected from ischemic muscle injury while TRIF KO mice exhibit sustained necrosis after femoral artery ligation (FAL). However, our previous data did not differentiate whether the protective effect of absent MyD88 signaling was secondary to attenuated injury after FAL or quicker recovery from the insult. The purpose of this study was to delineate these different possibilities. On the basis of previous findings, we hypothesized that MyD88 signaling promotes enhanced inflammation while TRIF mediates regeneration after skeletal muscle ischemia. Our results show that after FAL, both MyD88 KO mice and TRIF KO mice have evidence of ischemia, as do their control counterparts. However, MyD88 KO mice had lower levels of serum IL‐6 24 h after FAL, while TRIF KO mice demonstrated sustained serum IL‐6 up to 1 week after injury. Additionally, MyD88 KO mice had higher nuclear content and larger myofibers than control animals 1 week after injury. IL‐6 is known to have differential effects in myoblast function, and can inhibit proliferation and differentiation. In tibialis anterior muscle harvested from injured animals, IL‐6 levels were higher and the proliferative marker MyoD was lower in TRIF KO mice by PCR. Furthermore, expression of MyD88 appeared to be higher in skeletal muscle of TRIF KO mice. In vitro, we showed that myoblast differentiation and proliferation were attenuated in response to IL‐6 treatment giving credence to the finding that low IL‐6 in MyD88 KO mice may be responsible for larger myocyte sizes 1 week after FAL. We conclude that MyD88 and TRIF work in concert to mediate a balanced response to ischemic injury.
We describe opposing roles of MyD88 and TRIF, both downstream signaling molecules of TLR4, in the inflammatory and regenerative processes that follow limb ischemia. MyD88 appears to mediate inflammation, while TRIF appears to be required for modulation of MyD88 activity and promoting regeneration. Absence of MyD88 may ultimately have a protective effect in muscle recovery after ischemic injury.
PMCID: PMC4098734  PMID: 24844636
Innate immunity; muscle ischemia; PAD; Toll‐like receptors
20.  The Use of Functional Chemical-Protein Associations to Identify Multi-Pathway Renoprotectants 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97906.
Typically, most nephropathies can be categorized as complex human diseases in which the cumulative effect of multiple minor genes, combined with environmental and lifestyle factors, determines the disease phenotype. Thus, multi-target drugs would be more likely to facilitate comprehensive renoprotection than single-target agents. In this study, functional chemical-protein association analysis was performed to retrieve multi-target drugs of high pathway wideness from the STITCH 3.1 database. Pathway wideness of a drug evaluated the efficiency of regulation of Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways in quantity. We identified nine experimentally validated renoprotectants that exerted remarkable impact on KEGG pathways by targeting a limited number of proteins. We selected curcumin as an illustrative compound to display the advantage of multi-pathway drugs on renoprotection. We compared curcumin with hemin, an agonist of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), which significantly affects only one KEGG pathway, porphyrin and chlorophyll metabolism (adjusted p = 1.5×10−5). At the same concentration (10 µM), both curcumin and hemin equivalently mitigated oxidative stress in H2O2-treated glomerular mesangial cells. The benefit of using hemin was derived from its agonistic effect on HO-1, providing relief from oxidative stress. Selective inhibition of HO-1 completely blocked the action of hemin but not that of curcumin, suggesting simultaneous multi-pathway intervention by curcumin. Curcumin also increased cellular autophagy levels, enhancing its protective effect; however, hemin had no effects. Based on the fact that the dysregulation of multiple pathways is implicated in the etiology of complex diseases, we proposed a feasible method for identifying multi-pathway drugs from compounds with validated targets. Our efforts will help identify multi-pathway agents capable of providing comprehensive protection against renal injuries.
PMCID: PMC4022655  PMID: 24830678
21.  Ultrasonographic features of adenomyoepithelial adenosis: a case report and literature review 
Adenomyoepithelial adenosis of the breast is extremely rare. We treated a 35-year-old woman with two small painless hard lumps in her breasts. On ultrasonography, the lesion in the right breast (upper inner quadrant) showed heterogeneous echogenicity and irregular, well-defined, uniformly hypoechoic nodules separated by funiform hyperechoic areas. The entire lesion had unclear boundaries. Excisional biopsy showed adenomyoepithelial adenosis. The mass in the left breast was a fibroadenoma. Adenomyoepithelial adenosis can show local recurrence and malignant degeneration, therefore, preoperative ultrasonographic diagnosis is important for surgical planning. The differential diagnosis includes common adenosis, fibroadenoma, adenomyoepithelioma and adenomyoepithelial carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC4057880  PMID: 24955201
Adenomyoepithelial adenosis; breast; ultrasonography; adenosis; adenomyoepithelioma
22.  Prognostic value of Ki67 index in gastrointestinal stromal tumors 
Background: Ki67 index is one of the most important immunocytochemical markers of proliferation in tumors, but the criterion of Ki67 index in GISTs was not well-defined yet. Our study aims to fully evaluate the prognostic value of Ki67 index in GIST patients and efficiency of imatinib adjuvant therapy. Methods: Clinicopathological data were confirmed by pathological diagnosis and clinical recorders. Recurrence-free survivals (RFS) were evaluated in 418 GIST patients (370 cases only taken the surgery and 48 high-risks taken imatinib adjuvant therapy after R0 resection). Results: Two cutoff levels of Ki67 index (> 5 and > 8%) were established in our study through statistical analysis. Ki67 index (≤ 5, 6-8 and > 8%) is an independent prognostic factor for RFS of GIST patients. Ki67 index > 8% can precisely sub-divide high-risk GISTs effectively with different outcomes, and high-risk patients with Ki67 index > 8% showed a poorer prognosis even with imatinib adjuvant therapy. Conclusion: Ki67 index is an effective complementation of modified NIH criteria in predicting the prognosis of GISTs, and Ki67 index > 8% may act as an unfavorable factor for imatinib adjuvant therapy.
PMCID: PMC4069950  PMID: 24966939
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor; Ki67; prognosis; targeted therapy
23.  The role of VuMATE1 expression in aluminium-inducible citrate secretion in rice bean (Vigna umbellata) roots 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2013;64(7):1795-1804.
Aluminium (Al)-activated citrate secretion plays an important role in Al resistance in a number of plant species, such as rice bean (Vigna umbellata). This study further characterized the regulation of VuMATE1, an aluminium-activated citrate transporter. Al stress induced VuMATE1 expression, followed by the secretion of citrate. Citrate secretion was specific to Al stress, whereas VuMATE1 expression was not, which could be explained by a combined regulation of VuMATE1 expression and Al-specific activation of VuMATE1 protein. Pre-treatment with a protein translation inhibitor suppressed VuMATE1 expression, indicating that de novo biosynthesis of proteins is required for gene expression. Furthermore, post-treatment with a protein translation inhibitor inhibited citrate secretion, indicating that post-transcriptional regulation of VuMATE1 is critical for citrate secretion. Protein kinase and phosphatase inhibitor studies showed that reversible phosphorylation was important not only for transcriptional regulation of VuMATE1 expression but also for post-translational regulation of VuMATE1 protein activity. These results suggest that citrate secretion is dependent on both transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of VuMATE1. Additionally, VuMATE1 promoter–β-glucuronidase fusion lines revealed that VuMATE1 expression was restricted to the root apex and was entirely Al induced, indicating the presence of cis-acting elements regulating root tip-specific and Al-inducible gene expression, which will be an important resource for genetic improvement of plant Al resistance.
PMCID: PMC3638816  PMID: 23408830
aluminium toxicity; cis-acting element; promoter; reversible phosphorylation; signalling transduction; transcription factor.
24.  Protective role of hydrogen-rich water on aspirin-induced gastric mucosal damage in rats 
AIM: To investigate the role of the hydrogen-rich water (HRW) in the prevention of aspirin-induced gastric mucosal injury in rats.
METHODS: Forty male rats were allocated into four groups: normal control group, HRW group, aspirin group, and HRW plus aspirin group. The protective efficacy was tested by determining the gastric mucosal damage score. Malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), myeloperoxidase (MPO), interleukin (IL)-06 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in gastric tissues were evaluated. The serum levels of IL-1β and TNF-α were also detected. Histopathology of gastric tissues and localization of Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) were detected using hematoxylin and eosin staining and immunohistochemistry, respectively.
RESULTS: Pretreatment with HRW obviously reduced aspirin-induced gastric damage scores (4.04 ± 0.492 vs 2.10 ± 0.437, P < 0.05). The oxidative stress levels of MDA and MPO in the gastric tissues increased significantly in the aspirin-treated group compared with the HRW group (2.43 ± 0.145 vs 1.79 ± 0.116 nmol/mg prot, P < 0.05 and 2.53 ± 0.238 vs 1.40 ± 0.208 U/g tissue, P < 0.05, respectively). HRW could obviously elevated the SOD levels in the gastric tissues (37.94 ± 8.44 vs 59.55 ± 9.02 nmol/mg prot, P < 0.05). Pretreatment with HRW significantly reduced IL-06 and TNF-α in the gastric tissues (46.65 ± 5.50 vs 32.15 ± 4.83 pg/mg, P < 0.05 and 1305.08 ± 101.23 vs 855.96 ± 93.22 pg/mg, P < 0.05), and IL-1β and TNF-α in the serum (505.38 ± 32.97 vs 343.37 ± 25.09 pg/mL, P < 0.05 and 264.53 ± 28.63 vs 114.96 ± 21.79 pg/mL, P < 0.05) compared to treatment with aspirin alone. HRW could significantly decrease the COX-2 expression in the gastric tissues (staining score: 8.4 ± 2.1 vs 2.9 ± 1.5, P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: HRW pretreatment alleviated the aspirin-induced gastric lesions by inhibiting the oxidative stress, inflammatory reaction and reducing the COX-2 in the gastric tissues.
PMCID: PMC3925872  PMID: 24587639
Hydrogen; Aspirin; Gastric lesion; Oxidative stress; Cytokines; Cyclooxygenase 2
25.  Frontal asymmetry in behavioral variant FTD: clinicoimaging & pathogenetic correlates 
Neurobiology of aging  2012;34(2):636-639.
We aimed to assess associations between clinical, imaging, pathological and genetic features and frontal lobe asymmetry in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD). Volumes of the left and right dorsolateral, medial and orbital frontal lobes were measured in 80 bvFTD subjects and subjects were classified into three groups according to the degree of asymmetry (asymmetric left, asymmetric right, symmetric) using cluster analysis. The majority of subjects were symmetric (65%), with 20% asymmetric left and 15% asymmetric right. There were no clinical differences across groups, although there was a trend for greater behavioral dyscontrol in right asymmetric compared to left asymmetric subjects. More widespread atrophy involving the parietal lobe was observed in the symmetric group. Genetic features differed across groups with symmetric frontal lobes associated with C9ORF72 and tau mutations, while asymmetric frontal lobes were associated with progranulin mutations. These findings therefore suggest that neuroanatomical patterns of frontal lobe atrophy in bvFTD are influenced by specific gene mutations.
PMCID: PMC3404265  PMID: 22502999
Frontotemporal dementia; frontal lobes; MRI; asymmetry; microtubule associated protein tau; progranulin; C9ORF72; pathology

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