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author:("Yang, cajun")
1.  Modeling recent human evolution in mice by expression of a selected EDAR variant 
Cell  2013;152(4):691-702.
An adaptive variant of the human Ectodysplasin receptor, EDARV370A, is one of the strongest candidates of recent positive selection from genome-wide scans. We have modeled EDAR370A in mice and characterized its phenotype and evolutionary origins in humans. Our computational analysis suggests the allele arose in Central China approximately 30,000 years ago. Although EDAR370A has been associated with increased scalp hair thickness and changed tooth morphology in humans, its direct biological significance and potential adaptive role remain unclear. We generated a knock-in mouse model and find that, as in humans, hair thickness is increased in EDAR370A mice. We identify novel biological targets affected by the mutation, including mammary and eccrine glands. Building on these results, we find that EDAR370A is associated with an increased number of active eccrine glands in the Han Chinese. This interdisciplinary approach yields unique insight into the generation of adaptive variation among modern humans.
PMCID: PMC3575602  PMID: 23415220
2.  Correction: Polymorphisms in the mTOR Gene and Risk of Sporadic Prostate Cancer in an Eastern Chinese Population 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):10.1371/annotation/bc36c048-60e4-48a2-908d-6253e93df062.
PMCID: PMC3882253
3.  Tanshinol Attenuates the Deleterious Effects of Oxidative Stress on Osteoblastic Differentiation via Wnt/FoxO3a Signaling 
There is now increasing evidence which suggests a pivotal role for oxidative stress in the development and progression of osteoporosis. We confirm herein the protective effects of natural antioxidant Tanshinol against oxidative stress in osteoblastic differentiation and the underlying mechanism. Our results show that hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) leads to accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), decrease in cell viability, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in a caspase-3-dependent manner, and inhibition of osteoblastic differentiation. Tanshinol reverses these deleterious consequence triggered by oxidative stress. Moreover, under the condition of oxidative stress, Tanshinol suppresses the activation of FoxO3a transcription factor and expressions of its target genes Gadd45a and catalase (CAT) and simultaneously counteracts the inhibition of Wnt signalling and expressions of target genes Axin2, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and Osteoprotegerin (OPG). The findings are further consolidated using FoxO3a siRNA interference and overexpression of Tcf4. The results illustrate that Tanshinol attenuates oxidative stress via down-regulation of FoxO3a signaling, and rescues the decrease of osteoblastic differentiation through upregulation of Wnt signal under oxidative stress. The present findings suggest that the beneficial effects of Tanshinol may be adopted as a novel therapeutic approach in recently recognized conditions of niche targeting osteoporosis.
PMCID: PMC3893867  PMID: 24489983
4.  Association of Levels of Mannose-Binding Lectin and the MBL2 Gene with Type 2 Diabetes and Diabetic Nephropathy 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83059.
To investigate the association of Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) and the MBL2 gene with type 2 diabetes and diabetic nephropathy and the influence of MBL2 polymorphisms on serum MBL levels.
The study population included 675 type 2 diabetic patients with or without nephropathy and 855 normoglycemic controls. The single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of rs1800450, rs1800451, and rs11003125 of the MBL2 gene were determined by the Multiplex Snapshot method. Serum MBL levels were measured by enzyme-linked immune sorbent assay.
Rs1800450 and rs11003125 SNPs demonstrated strong linkage disequilibrium in the study population (r2 = 0.97). The haplotypes constructed from the G allele of rs1800450 and the C allele of rs11003125 increased the risk for type 2 diabetes (OR = 1.2, 95% CI = 1.1–1.4, P = 0.01). For rs1800450, GG and GA genotypes were associated with type 2 diabetes (P = 0.02, 0.01, respectively). For rs11003125, the GC genotype frequency was significantly different between patients and controls (18.1% vs. 24.9%, P = 0.001). Analyses of genotypes and allele frequency distributions among patients with normal UAE, microalbuminuria, and macroalbuminuria showed that there was no obvious evidence of association between the MBL2 gene and diabetic nephropathy. Subjects with the GG genotype of rs1800450 and the CC genotype of rs11003125 had much higher serum MBL levels.
The rs1800450 and rs11003125 SNPs of the MBL2 gene have strong linkage disequilibrium and are associated with type 2 diabetes in the North Chinese Han population. No association was observed between the MBL2 gene and diabetic nephropathy. Subjects with the GG genotype of rs1800450 and the CC genotype of rs11003125 had much higher serum MBL levels. An association between elevated serum MBL and diabetic nephropathy was also observed.
PMCID: PMC3869742  PMID: 24376633
5.  Polymorphisms in the mTOR Gene and Risk of Sporadic Prostate Cancer in an Eastern Chinese Population 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e71968.
The mTOR gene regulates cell growth by controlling mRNA translation, ribosome biogenesis, autophagy, and metabolism. Abnormally increased expression of mTOR was associated with carcinogenesis, and its functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may regulate the expression of mTOR and thus contribute to cancer risk.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In a hospital-based case-control study of 1004 prostate cancer (PCa) cases and 1051 cancer-free controls, we genotyped six potentially functional SNPs of mTOR (rs2536 T>C, rs1883965 G>A, rs1034528 G>C, rs17036508 T>C, rs3806317 A>G, and rs2295080 T>G) and assessed their associations with risk of PCa by using logistic regression analysis.
In the single-locus analysis, we found a significantly increased risk of PCa associated with mTOR rs2536 CT/CC and rs1034528 CG/CC genotypes [adjusted OR = 1.42 (1.13–1.78), P = 0.003 and 1.29 (1.07–1.55), P = 0.007), respectively], compared with their common homozygous genotypes, whereas mTOR rs2295080 GT/GG genotypes were associated with a decreased risk of PCa [adjusted OR = 0.76 (0.64–0.92), P = 0.003], compared with wild-type TT genotypes. In the combined analysis of the six SNPs, we found that individuals carrying two or more adverse genotypes had an increased risk of PCa [adjusted OR = 1.24 (1.04–1.47), P = 0.016], compared with individuals carrying less than two adverse genotypes. In the multiple dimension reduction analysis, body mass index (BMI) was the best one-factor model with the highest CVC (100%) and the lowest prediction error (42.7%) among all seven factors. The model including an interaction among BMI, rs17036508, and rs2536 was the best three-factor model with the highest CVC (100%) and the lowest prediction error of 41.9%. These findings suggested that mTOR SNPs may contribute to the risk of PCa in Eastern Chinese men, but the effect was weak and needs further validation by larger population-based studies.
PMCID: PMC3734314  PMID: 23940798
6.  Chebulagic Acid, a Hydrolyzable Tannin, Exhibited Antiviral Activity in Vitro and in Vivo against Human Enterovirus 71 
Human enterovirus 71 is one of the major causative agents of hand, foot and mouth disease in children under six years of age. Presently, no vaccines or antiviral drugs have been clinically available to employ against EV71. In this study, we demonstrate that treatment with chebulagic acid reduced the viral cytopathic effect on rhabdomyosarcoma cells with an IC50 of 12.5 μg/mL. The utilization of the chebulagic acid treatment on mice challenged with a lethal dose of enterovirus 71 was able to efficiently reduce mortality and relieve clinical symptoms through the inhibition of viral replication. Chebulagic acid may represent a potential therapeutic agent to control infections to enterovirus 71.
PMCID: PMC3676802  PMID: 23644889
chebulagic acid; enterovirus 71; hydrolyzable tannin; antiviral activity
7.  Prevalence and risk factors of gastroesophageal reflux symptoms in a Chinese retiree cohort 
BMC Gastroenterology  2012;12:161.
Data about prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERD) from Asian populations are still scarce. To provide additional data on prevalence of GERD and investigate its potential risk factors, we performed this cross-sectional study in the Taizhou Retiree Cohort.
After physical examination, the participants were asked whether they suffered with heartburn or acid regurgitation in the last 12 months by trained interviewers, and if yes, the severity and frequency of the symptoms were recorded. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations of obesity and other risk factors with GERD were derived from logistic regression models.
8831 retirees completed the questionnaire and physical examination. In total 150 (1.7%) reported the symptoms occurring at least once per week within the last 12 months before the interview. Compared with subjects without GERD, having a history of diabetes mellitus (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.4-3.5), hypertension (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0-2.1), gastritis (OR 8.2, 95% CI 5.8-11.5), peptic ulcer (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.8-6.1) and high triglyceride level (≥1.81mmol/L) (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2-3.4) were associated with a significantly increased risk of GERD. However, there was no significant association between body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio or waist alone, smoking, consumption of alcohol & tea, and the occurrence of reflux symptoms.
Compared with Western populations, the prevalence of GERD in this Chinese retiree cohort is low. A history of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, gastritis, peptic ulcer or hypertriglyceridaemia increases GERD risk in this population.
PMCID: PMC3573958  PMID: 23153099
Gastroesophageal reflux symptoms; Body mass index; Obesity; Abdominal obesity; Retired population
8.  Reproducibility and Relative Validity of a Food Frequency Questionnaire Developed for Adults in Taizhou, China 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e48341.
To evaluate the reproducibility and validity of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) developed to investigate the relationship between dietary factors and diseases in the adult Chinese population in East China.
A total of 78 males and 129 females aged 30–75 years completed four inconsecutive 24-hour dietary recalls (24-HRs, served as a reference method) and two FFQs (FFQ1 and FFQ2) over a nine-month interval. The reproducibility of the FFQ was estimated with correlation coefficients, cross-classification, and weighted kappa statistic. The validity was assessed by comparing the data obtained from FFQ and 24-HRs.
The median nutrient intakes assessed with FFQs were higher than the average of four 24-HRs. For the food groups, Spearman, Pearson, and intraclass correlation coefficients between FFQ1 and FFQ2 ranged from 0.23 to 0.61, 0.27 to 0.64, and 0.26 to 0.65, respectively. For total energy and nutrient intakes, the corresponding coefficients ranged from 0.25 to 0.61, 0.28 to 0.64, and 0.28 to 0.62, respectively. The correlations between FFQ1 and FFQ2 for most nutrients decreased after adjustment with total energy intake. More than 70% of the subjects were classified into the same and adjacent categories by both FFQs. For food groups, the crude, energy-adjusted, and de-attenuated Spearman correlation coefficients between FFQ2 and the 24-HRs ranged from 0.17 to 0.59, 0.10 to 0.57, and 0.11 to 0.64, respectively. For total energy and nutrient intakes, the corresponding coefficients ranged from 0.20 to 0.58, 0.08 to 0.54, and 0.09 to 0.56, respectively. More than 67% of the subjects were classified into the same and adjacent categories by both instruments. Both weighted kappa statistic and Bland-Altman Plots showed reasonably acceptable agreement between the FFQ2 and 24-HRs.
The FFQ developed for adults in the Taizhou area is reasonably reliable and valid for assessment of most food and nutrient intakes.
PMCID: PMC3491058  PMID: 23139777
9.  LIGHT regulates inflamed draining lymph node hypertrophy 
Lymph node (LN) hypertrophy, the increased cellularity of LNs, is the major indication of the initiation and expansion of the immune response against infection, vaccination, cancer or autoimmunity. The mechanisms underlying LN hypertrophy remain poorly defined. Here, we demonstrate that LIGHT (TNFSF14) is a novel factor essential for LN hypertrophy after CFA immunization. Mechanistically, LIGHT is required for the influx of lymphocytes into but not egress out of LNs. In addition, LIGHT is required for DC migration from the skin to draining LNs. Compared with WT mice, LIGHT−/− mice express lower levels of chemokines in skin and addressins in LN vascular endothelial cells after CFA immunization. We unexpectedly observed that LIGHT from radioresistant rather than radiosensitive cells, likely Langerhans cells, is required for LN hypertrophy. Importantly, antigen-specific T cell responses were impaired in DLN of LIGHT−/− mice, suggesting the importance of LIGHT regulation of LN hypertrophy in the generation of an adaptive immune response. Collectively, our data reveal a novel cellular and molecular mechanism for the regulation of LN hypertrophy and its potential impact on the generation of an optimal adaptive immune response.
PMCID: PMC3110546  PMID: 21572030
10.  Potentially Functional Variants of PLCE1 Identified by GWASs Contribute to Gastric Adenocarcinoma Susceptibility in an Eastern Chinese Population 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e31932.
Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have found a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP, rs2274223 A>G) in PLCE1 to be associated with risk of gastric adenocarcinoma. In the present study, we validated this finding and also explored the risk associated with another unreported potentially functional SNP (rs11187870 G>C) of PLCE1 in a hospital-based case-control study of 1059 patients with pathologically confirmed gastric adenocarcinoma and 1240 frequency-matched healthy controls.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We determined genotypes of these two SNPs by the Taqman assay and used logistic regression models to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). We found that a significant higher gastric adenocarcinoma risk was associated with rs2274223 variant G allele (adjusted OR = 1.35, 95% CI = 1.14–1.60 for AG+GG vs. AA) and rs11187870 variant C allele (adjusted OR = 1.26, 95% CI = 1.05–1.50 for CG+CC vs. GG). We also found that the number of combined risk alleles (i.e., rs2274223G and rs11187870C) was associated with risk of gastric adenocarcinoma in an allele-dose effect manner (Ptrend = 0.0002). Stratification analysis indicated that the combined effect of rs2274223G and rs11187870C variant alleles was more evident in subgroups of males, non-smokers, non-drinkers and patients with gastric cardia adenocarcinoma. Further real-time PCR results showed that expression levels of PLCE1 mRNA were significantly lower in tumors than in adjacent noncancerous tissues (0.019±0.002 vs. 0.008±0.001, P<0.05).
Our results further confirmed that genetic variations in PLCE1 may contribute to gastric adenocarcinoma risk in an eastern Chinese population.
PMCID: PMC3295761  PMID: 22412849
11.  A Map of Copy Number Variations in Chinese Populations 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e27341.
It has been shown that the human genome contains extensive copy number variations (CNVs). Investigating the medical and evolutionary impacts of CNVs requires the knowledge of locations, sizes and frequency distribution of them within and between populations. However, CNV study of Chinese minorities, which harbor the majority of genetic diversity of Chinese populations, has been underrepresented considering the same efforts in other populations. Here we constructed, to our knowledge, a first CNV map in seven Chinese populations representing the major linguistic groups in China with 1,440 CNV regions identified using Affymetrix SNP 6.0 Array. Considerable differences in distributions of CNV regions between populations and substantial population structures were observed. We showed that ∼35% of CNV regions identified in minority ethnic groups are not shared by Han Chinese population, indicating that the contribution of the minorities to genetic architecture of Chinese population could not be ignored. We further identified highly differentiated CNV regions between populations. For example, a common deletion in Dong and Zhuang (44.4% and 50%), which overlaps two keratin-associated protein genes contributing to the structure of hair fibers, was not observed in Han Chinese. Interestingly, the most differentiated CNV deletion between HapMap CEU and YRI containing CCL3L1 gene reported in previous studies was also the highest differentiated regions between Tibetan and other populations. Besides, by jointly analyzing CNVs and SNPs, we found a CNV region containing gene CTDSPL were in almost perfect linkage disequilibrium between flanking SNPs in Tibetan while not in other populations except HapMap CHD. Furthermore, we found the SNP taggability of CNVs in Chinese populations was much lower than that in European populations. Our results suggest the necessity of a full characterization of CNVs in Chinese populations, and the CNV map we constructed serves as a useful resource in further evolutionary and medical studies.
PMCID: PMC3210162  PMID: 22087296
12.  Lycorine reduces mortality of human enterovirus 71-infected mice by inhibiting virus replication 
Virology Journal  2011;8:483.
Human enterovirus 71 (EV71) infection causes hand, foot and mouth disease in children under 6 years old and this infection occasionally induces severe neurological complications. No vaccines or drugs are clinical available to control EV71 epidemics. In present study, we show that treatment with lycorine reduced the viral cytopathic effect (CPE) on rhabdomyosarcoma (RD) cells by inhibiting virus replication. Analysis of this inhibitory effect of lycorine on viral proteins synthesis suggests that lycorine blocks the elongation of the viral polyprotein during translation. Lycorine treatment of mice challenged with a lethal dose of EV71 resulted in reduction of mortality, clinical scores and pathological changes in the muscles of mice, which were achieved through inhibition of viral replication. When mice were infected with a moderate dose of EV71, lycorine treatment was able to protect them from paralysis. Lycorine may be a potential drug candidate for the clinical treatment of EV71-infected patients.
PMCID: PMC3212826  PMID: 22029605
Human enterovirus 71; Lycorine; Mouse model; Drug
13.  Refined Geographic Distribution of the Oriental ALDH2*504Lys (nee 487Lys) Variant 
Annals of human genetics  2009;73(Pt 3):335-345.
Mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) is one of the most important enzymes in human alcohol metabolism. The oriental ALDH2*504Lys variant functions as a dominant negative greatly reducing activity in heterozygotes and abolishing activity in homozygotes. This allele is associated with serious disorders such as alcohol liver disease, late onset Alzheimer disease, colorectal cancer, and esophageal cancer, and is best known for protection against alcoholism. Many hundreds of papers in various languages have been published on this variant, providing allele frequency data for many different populations. To develop a highly refined global geographic distribution of ALDH2*504Lys, we have collected new data on 4,091 individuals from 86 population samples and assembled published data on a total of 80,691 individuals from 366 population samples. The allele is essentially absent in all parts of the world except East Asia. The ALDH2*504Lys allele has its highest frequency in Southeast China, and occurs in most areas of China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and Indochina with frequencies gradually declining radially from Southeast China. As the indigenous populations in South China have much lower frequencies than the southern Han migrants from Central China, we conclude that ALDH2*504Lys was carried by Han Chinese as they spread throughout East Asia. Esophageal cancer, with its highest incidence in East Asia, may be associated with ALDH2*504Lys because of a toxic effect of increased acetaldehyde in the tissue where ingested ethanol has its highest concentration. While the distributions of esophageal cancer and ALDH2*504Lys do not precisely correlate, that does not disprove the hypothesis. In general the study of fine scale geographic distributions of ALDH2*504Lys and diseases may help in understanding the multiple relationships among genes, diseases, environments, and cultures.
PMCID: PMC2846302  PMID: 19456322
East Asia; aldehyde dehydrogenase 2; alcohol associated; allele frequency; esophageal cancer
14.  Rationales, design and recruitment of the Taizhou Longitudinal Study 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:223.
Rapid economic growth in China in the past decades has been accompanied by dramatic changes in lifestyle and environmental exposures. The burdens of non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer, have also increased substantially.
We initiated a large prospective cohort–the Taizhou Longitudinal Study–in Taizhou (a medium-size city in China) to explore the environmental and genetic risk factors for common non-communicable diseases. The sample size of the cohort will be at least 100,000 adults aged 30–80 years drawn from the general residents of the districts of Hailin, Gaogang, and Taixing (sample frame, 1.8 million) of Taizhou. A three-stage stratified sampling method will be applied. Baseline investigations include interviewer-administered questionnaire, anthropometric measurements, and collection of buccal mucosal cells and blood specimens. DNA will be extracted for genetic studies and serum samples will be used for biochemical examinations. A follow-up survey will be conducted every three years to obtain information on disease occurrence and information on selected lifestyle exposures. Study participants will be followed-up indefinitely by using a chronic disease register system for morbidity and cause-specific mortality. Information on non-fatal events will be obtained for certain major categories of disease (e.g., cancer, stroke, myocardial infarction) through established registry systems.
The Taizhou Longitudinal Study will provide a good basis for exploring the roles of many important environmental factors (especially those concomitant with the economic transformation in China) for common chronic diseases, solely or via interaction with genetic factors.
PMCID: PMC2715397  PMID: 19589173
15.  Mutated Cadherin Alleles from a Field Population of Helicoverpa armigera Confer Resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Toxin Cry1Ac▿  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2007;73(21):6939-6944.
The cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera is the major insect pest targeted by cotton genetically engineered to produce the Bacillus thuringiensis toxin (transgenic Bt cotton) in the Old World. The evolution of this pest's resistance to B. thuringiensis toxins is the main threat to the long-term effectiveness of transgenic Bt cotton. A deletion mutation allele (r1) of a cadherin gene (Ha_BtR) was previously identified as genetically linked with Cry1Ac resistance in a laboratory-selected strain of H. armigera. Using a biphasic screen strategy, we successfully trapped two new cadherin alleles (r2 and r3) associated with Cry1Ac resistance from a field population of H. armigera collected from the Yellow River cotton area of China in 2005. The r2 and r3 alleles, respectively, were created by inserting the long terminal repeat of a retrotransposon (designated HaRT1) and the intact HaRT1 retrotransposon at the same position in exon 8 of Ha_BtR, which results in a truncated cadherin containing only two ectodomain repeats in the N terminus of Ha_BtR. This is the first time that the B. thuringiensis resistance alleles of a target insect of Bt crops have been successfully detected in the open field. This study also demonstrated that bollworm larvae carrying two resistance alleles can complete development on Bt cotton. The cadherin locus should be an important target for intensive DNA-based screening of field populations of H. armigera.
PMCID: PMC2074965  PMID: 17827322

Results 1-15 (15)