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1.  ALOX5 Is Associated with Tuberculosis in a Subset of the Pediatric Population of North China 
Background: Genetic factors are involved in the etiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Recently, ALOX5 has been identified as a candidate gene for tuberculosis (TB) susceptibility. We investigated whether an association between ALOX5 and TB exists in a Chinese pediatric population from northern China. Methods: We conducted a case–control study comprising 488 individuals aged 2 months to 17 years by genotyping 18 tag-single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the ALOX5 gene. The tag-SNPs were selected from the international HapMap project. An Illumina BeadXpress Scanner was utilized for genotyping, supported by the high-density BeadArray technology in combination with an allele-specific extension, adapter ligation, and amplification assay. Statistical analyses were performed to determine correlations between genetic variation and disease. Results: Our study is the first to show that ALOX5 is associated with susceptibility to pediatric TB in a subset of children in northern China. The rs2115819 T allele of ALOX5 presents a risk factor for childhood TB disease.
PMCID: PMC3609609  PMID: 23448388
2.  Genetic Contribution of CISH Promoter Polymorphisms to Susceptibility to Tuberculosis in Chinese Children 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92020.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death due to an infectious disease worldwide, particularly in developing countries. A series of candidate genes have been suggested to be associated with development of TB disease. Among them, the human Cytokine-inducible Src homology 2(SH2) domain protein (CISH) gene has been very recently reported to be involved in T cell activation and differentiation in response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Here, we studied the association between CISH promoter polymorphisms and pediatric TB. A case-control study enrolled 352 TB patients and 527 healthy controls, who were of Han Chinese ethnicity and aged from 0.2 to 18 years. CISH gene promoter SNPs rs414171, rs622502 and rs809451 were genotyped in all subjects and transcriptional activity, mRNA level, and plasma cytokine level of subjects with different genotypes were further examined. Carriers with rs414171TT homozygotes and rs809451GC heterozygotes had a 1.78-fold (95% CI,1.16–2.74) and 1.86-fold (95% CI, 1.26–2.74) excess risk of developing TB compared to those with wild-type genotypes. A greater risk of TB disease was observed in population carrying C−809451-T−414171-C−622502 haplotype (OR 3.66, 95% CI:2.12–6.32). The G−809451-A−414171-C−622502-containing CISH promoter drove a 5.43-fold increased reporter expression compared to the C−809451-T−414171-C−622502-containing counterpart in Hela cell lines (P = 0.0009). PBMCs carrying rs414171TT homozygotes and rs809451GC heterozygotes showed a reduced CISH mRNA level compared to cells carrying wild type genotypes. Individuals with the rs414171TT genotype had significantly increased IL-12p40 and IL-10 production. In conclusion, CISH promoter rs414171 and rs809451 polymorphisms may play a vital role in mediating individual susceptibility to tuberculosis.
PMCID: PMC3954833  PMID: 24632804
3.  Oncogenic Activity of Retinoic Acid Receptor γ Is Exhibited through Activation of the Akt/NF-κB and Wnt/β-Catenin Pathways in Cholangiocarcinoma 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2013;33(17):3416-3425.
Aberrant expression and function of retinoic acid receptor γ (RARγ) are often involved in the progression of several cancers. However, the role of RARγ in cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), chemoresistant bile duct carcinoma with a poor prognosis, remains unclear. In the present study, we found that RARγ was frequently overexpressed in human CCA specimens. Its overexpression was associated with poor differentiation, lymph node metastasis, high serum carbohydrate antigen 19-9 level, and poor prognosis of CCA. Downregulation of RARγ reduced CCA cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and colony formation ability in vitro and tumorigenic potential in nude mice. RARγ knockdown resulted in upregulation of cell cycle inhibitor P21, as well as downregulation of cyclin D1, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, and matrix metallopeptidase 9, in parallel with suppression of the Akt/NF-κB pathway. Furthermore, overexpression of RARγ contributed to the multidrug chemoresistance of CCA cells, at least in part due to upregulation of P glycoprotein via activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Molecular mechanism studies revealed that RARγ interacted with β-catenin and led to β-catenin nuclear translocation. Taken together, our results suggested that RARγ plays an important role in the proliferation, metastasis, and chemoresistance of CCA through simultaneous activation of the Akt/NF-κB and Wnt/β-catenin pathways, serving as a potential molecular target for CCA treatment.
PMCID: PMC3753848  PMID: 23798555
4.  Identification and Characterization of Sebaceous Gland Atrophy-Sparing DGAT1 Inhibitors 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88908.
Inhibition of Diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1) has been a mechanism of interest for metabolic disorders. DGAT1 inhibition has been shown to be a key regulator in an array of metabolic pathways; however, based on the DGAT1 KO mouse phenotype the anticipation is that pharmacological inhibition of DGAT1 could potentially lead to skin related adverse effects. One of the aims in developing small molecule DGAT1 inhibitors that target key metabolic tissues is to avoid activity on skin-localized DGAT1 enzyme. In this report we describe a modeling-based approach to identify molecules with physical properties leading to differential exposure distribution. In addition, we demonstrate histological and RNA based biomarker approaches that can detect sebaceous gland atrophy pre-clinically that could be used as potential biomarkers in a clinical setting.
PMCID: PMC3928314  PMID: 24558447
5.  Activating HER2 mutations in HER2 gene amplification negative breast cancer 
Cancer discovery  2012;3(2):224-237.
Data from eight breast cancer genome sequencing projects identified 25 patients with HER2 somatic mutations in cancers lacking HER2 gene amplification. To determine the phenotype of these mutations, we functionally characterized thirteen HER2 mutations using in vitro kinase assays, protein structure analysis, cell culture and xenograft experiments. Seven of these mutations are activating mutations, including G309A, D769H, D769Y, V777L, P780ins, V842I, and R896C. HER2 in-frame deletion 755-759, which is homologous to EGFR exon 19 in-frame deletions, had a neomorphic phenotype with increased phosphorylation of EGFR or HER3. L755S produced lapatinib resistance, but was not an activating mutation in our experimental systems. All of these mutations were sensitive to the irreversible kinase inhibitor, neratinib. These findings demonstrate that HER2 somatic mutation is an alternative mechanism to activate HER2 in breast cancer and they validate HER2 somatic mutations as drug targets for breast cancer treatment.
PMCID: PMC3570596  PMID: 23220880
Genomics; Breast Cancer; Receptor Tyrosine Kinase; Oncogene
6.  Enhanced MGMT expression contributes to temozolomide resistance in glioma stem-like cells 
Chinese Journal of Cancer  2014;33(2):115-122.
O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) can remove DNA alkylation adducts, thereby repairing damaged DNA and contributing to the drug resistance of gliomas to alkylating agents. In addition, glioma stem-like cells (GSCs) have been demonstrated to be involved in the recurrence and treatment resistance of gliomas. In this study, we aimed to investigate MGMT expression and regulatory mechanisms in GSCs and the association of MGMT with temozolomide (TMZ) sensitivity. GSCs were enriched from one MGMT-positive cell line (SF-767) and 7 MGMT-negative cell lines (U251, SKMG-4, SKMG-1, SF295, U87, MGR1, and MGR2) through serum-free clone culture. GSCs from the U251G, SKMG-4G, SF295G, and SKMG-1G cell lines became MGMT-positive, but those from the U87G, MGR1G, and MGR2G cell lines remained MGMT-negative. However, all the GSCs and their parental glioma cell lines were positive for nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). In addition, GSCs were more resistant to TMZ than their parental glioma cell lines (P < 0.05). However, there was no significant difference in the 50% inhibition concentration (IC50) of TMZ between MGMT-positive and MGMT-negative GSCs (P > 0.05). When we treated the MGMT-positive GSCs with TMZ plus MG-132 (an NF-κB inhibitor), the antitumor activity was significantly enhanced compared to that of GSCs treated with TMZ alone (P < 0.05). Furthermore, we found that MGMT expression decreased through the down-regulation of NF-κB expression by MG-132. Our results show that MG-132 may inhibit NF-κB expression and further decrease MGMT expression, resulting in a synergistic effect on MGMT-positive GSCs. These results indicate that enhanced MGMT expression contributes to TMZ resistance in MGMT-positive GSCs.
PMCID: PMC3935013  PMID: 23958055
Glioma stem cell; MGMT; temozolomide; drug resistance; NF-κB
7.  Endocrine-Therapy-Resistant ESR1 Variants Revealed by Genomic Characterization of Breast-Cancer-Derived Xenografts 
Cell reports  2013;4(6):10.1016/j.celrep.2013.08.022.
To characterize patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) for functional studies, we made whole-genome comparisons with originating breast cancers representative of the major intrinsic subtypes. Structural and copy number aberrations were found to be retained with high fidelity. However, at the single-nucleotide level, variable numbers of PDX-specific somatic events were documented, although they were only rarely functionally significant. Variant allele frequencies were often preserved in the PDXs, demonstrating that clonal representation can be transplantable. Estrogen-receptor-positive PDXs were associated with ESR1 ligand-binding-domain mutations, gene amplification, or an ESR1/YAP1 translocation. These events produced different endocrine-therapy-response phenotypes in human, cell line, and PDX endocrine-response studies. Hence, deeply sequenced PDX models are an important resource for the search for genome-forward treatment options and capture endocrine-drug-resistance etiologies that are not observed in standard cell lines. The originating tumor genome provides a benchmark for assessing genetic drift and clonal representation after transplantation.
PMCID: PMC3881975  PMID: 24055055
8.  The Gene Expression Profile of Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells from EV71-Infected Rhesus Infants and the Significance in Viral Pathogenesis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e83766.
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is the major pathogen responsible for fatal hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). Our previous work reported on an EV71-infected rhesus monkey infant model that presented with histo-pathologic changes of the central nervous system (CNS) and lungs. This study is focused on the correlated modulation of gene expression in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from EV71-infected rhesus monkey infants. The expression of more than 500 functional genes associated with multiple pathways was modulated. The expression of genes associated with immune inflammatory responses was up-regulated during the period from days 4 to 10 post-infection. The expression of two genes (TAC1 and IL17A), which play major roles in inflammatory reactions, was remarkably up-regulated during the infection period. Furthermore, a higher expression level of the TAC1 gene was identified in the CNS compared to the lungs, but a high expression level of the IL-17A gene was observed in the lungs and not in the CNS. The results of this study suggest at least two facts about EV71 infection, which are that: the TAC1 gene that encodes substance P and neurokinin-A is present in both PBMCs and the hypothalamus; and the up-regulation of IL-17A is sustained in the peripheral blood.
PMCID: PMC3879270  PMID: 24392094
9.  A Country-Wide Study of Spoligotype and Drug Resistance Characteristics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Isolates from Children in China 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e84315.
Tuberculosis (TB) is still a big threat to human health, especially in children. However, an isolation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture from pediatric cases remains a challenge. In order to provide some scientific basis for children TB control, we investigated the genotyping and drug resistance characteristics of M. tuberculosis isolates from pediatric cases in China.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In this study, a total of 440 strains including 90 from children (<15 years), 159 from adolescents (15–18 years) and 191 from adults (>18 years) isolated in 25 provinces across China were subjected to spoligotyping and drug susceptibility testing. As a result, Beijing family strains were shown to remain predominant in China (85.6%, 81.1% and 75.4% in three above groups, respectively), especially among new children cases (91.0% vs. 69.6% in previously treated cases, P = 0.03). The prevalence of the Beijing genotype isolates was higher in northern and central China in the total collection (85.1% in northern and 83.9% in central vs. 61.6% in southern China, P<0.001) and a similar trend was seen in all three age groups (P = 0.708, <0.001 and 0.025, respectively). In adolescents, the frequencies of isoniazid (INH)-resistant and ethambutol (EMB)-resistant isolates were significantly higher among Beijing strains compared to non-Beijing genotype strains (P = 0.028 for INH and P = 0.027 for EMB). Furthermore, strong association was observed between resistance to rifampicine (RIF), streptomycin (STR) and multidrug resistance (MDR) among Beijing compared to non-Beijing strains in previously treated cases of children (P = 0.01, 0.01 and 0.025, respectively).
Beijing family was more prevalent in northern and central China compared to southern China and these strains were predominant in all age groups. The genetic diversity of M. tuberculosis isolates from children was similar to that found in adolescents and adults. Beijing genotype was associated with RIF, STR and MDR resistance in previously treated children.
PMCID: PMC3875490  PMID: 24386365
10.  The Modulation of Phosphatase Expression Impacts the Proliferation Efficiency of HSV-1 in Infected Astrocytes 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79648.
Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1) is a major pathogen that causes human neurological diseases, including herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE). Previous studies have shown that astrocytes are involved in HSV-1 systemic pathogenesis in the central nervous system (CNS), although the mechanism remains unclear. In this study, a high-throughput RNAi library screening method was used to analyze the effect of host phosphatase gene regulation on HSV-1 replication using Macaca mulatta primary astrocytes in an in vitro culture system. The results showed that the downregulation of five phosphatase genes (PNKP, SNAP23, PTPRU, LOC714621 and PPM1M) significantly inhibited HSV-1 infection, suggesting that these phosphatases were needed in HSV-1 replication in rhesus astrocytes. Although statistically significant, the effect of downregulation of these phosphatases on HSV-1 replication in a human astrocytoma cell line appears to be more limited. Our results suggest that the phosphatase genes in astrocytes may regulate the immunological and pathological reactions caused by HSV-1 CNS infection through the regulation of HSV-1 replication or of multiple signal transduction pathways.
PMCID: PMC3829861  PMID: 24260274
11.  A Functional Promoter Polymorphism of IFITM3 Is Associated with Susceptibility to Pediatric Tuberculosis in Han Chinese Population 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e67816.
A susceptibility locus for tuberculosis, a re-emerging infectious disease throughout the world, was previously discovered to exist on chromosome 11p15. IFITM3 gene encoding for interferon inducible transmembrane protein 3, is located at 11p15. It acts as an effector molecule for interferon-gamma, which is essential for anti-tuberculosis immune response. In order to investigate the association between susceptibility to TB and genetic polymorphisms of the IFITM3 core promoter, a case-control study including 368 TB patients and 794 healthy controls was performed in Han Chinese children in northern China. The rs3888188 polymorphism showed significant association with susceptibility to TB. The rs3888188 G allele, acting recessively, was more frequent in TB patients (95% confidence interval: 1.08–1.56, Bonferroni P-value: 0.039). We further assessed the effect of rs3888188 polymorphism on IFITM3 transcription in vitro. As based on luciferase promoter assays, the promoter activity of haplotypes with rs3888188 G allele was lower than that of haplotypes with rs3888188 T allele. Moreover, peripheral-blood mononuclear cells carrying rs3888188 GG genotype showed a reduced IFITM3 mRNA level compared to cells carrying TT or GT genotype. In conclusion, rs3888188, a functional promoter polymorphism of IFITM3, was identified to influence the risk for pediatric TB in Han Chinese population.
PMCID: PMC3706438  PMID: 23874452
12.  Russian “Successful” Clone B0/W148 of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Beijing Genotype: a Multiplex PCR Assay for Rapid Detection and Global Screening 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(11):3757-3759.
We describe a multiplex PCR assay to detect the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Beijing genotype variant B0/W148, which is considered a “successful” clone of M. tuberculosis, widespread in Russia. Specificity and sensitivity of the assay were 100% based on the analysis of a collection of 516 M. tuberculosis isolates of different genotypes and origins. This assay may be used for accurate and simple detection and surveillance of this clinically and epidemiologically important variant of M. tuberculosis.
PMCID: PMC3486266  PMID: 22933595
13.  Chemotherapy for gliomas in mainland China: An overview 
Oncology Letters  2013;5(5):1448-1452.
Chemotherapy is currently the standard treatment modality for malignant gliomas. Many patients with gliomas are treated in mainland China every year. The history and development of chemotherapy for glioma, however, are not well documented. In this study, an extensive literature search of Pubmed and major Chinese electronic databases was performed to identify clinical studies. A total of 210 publications were identified, with a total of 10,105 patients. Among these studies, 76.2% were retrospective and 23.8% were prospective. Chemotherapy was found to have been administered by the Department of Neurosurgery in 143 studies (68.1%). Oral or intravenous administration was found in 55.7% of studies, followed by intra-arterial (26.7%) and interstitial (15.7%) chemotherapy. Nitrosoureas were the most frequently used chemotherapeutic agents, as found in 133 studies (63.3%). Since 2003, 56 studies on temozolomide (TMZ) have been published. Studies on chemotherapy for gliomas began in the 1970s in mainland China but well-designed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are rare. Much effort and collaboration should be made to carry out high-quality multicenter RCTs on chemotherapy for gliomas.
PMCID: PMC3678589  PMID: 23761809
glioma; chemotherapy; mainland China
14.  Whole Genome Analysis Informs Breast Cancer Response to Aromatase Inhibition 
Nature  2012;486(7403):353-360.
To correlate the variable clinical features of estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer with somatic alterations, we studied pre-treatment tumour biopsies accrued from patients in a study of neoadjuvant aromatase inhibitor (AI) therapy by massively parallel sequencing and analysis. Eighteen significantly mutated genes were identified, including five genes (RUNX1, CBFB, MYH9, MLL3 and SF3B1) previously linked to hematopoietic disorders. Mutant MAP3K1 was associated with Luminal A status, low grade histology and low proliferation rates whereas mutant TP53 associated with the opposite pattern. Moreover, mutant GATA3 correlated with suppression of proliferation upon AI treatment. Pathway analysis demonstrated mutations in MAP2K4, a MAP3K1 substrate, produced similar perturbations as MAP3K1 loss. Distinct phenotypes in ER+ breast cancer are associated with specific patterns of somatic mutations that map into cellular pathways linked to tumor biology but most recurrent mutations are relatively infrequent. Prospective clinical trials based on these findings will require comprehensive genome sequencing.
PMCID: PMC3383766  PMID: 22722193
15.  Protective Effects of Salidroside on Epirubicin-Induced Early Left Ventricular Regional Systolic Dysfunction in Patients with Breast Cancer 
Drugs in R&d  2012;12(2):101-106.
Salidroside [2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)ethyl-β-D-glucopyranoside], one of the most potent ingredients extracted from the plant Rhodiola rosea L., has been shown to have a cardiovascular protective effect as an antioxidant, and early treatment of epirubicin-induced cardiotoxicity has been the focus of clinical chemotherapy in patients with breast cancer. However, the cardioprotective effects of salidroside on epirubicin-induced cardiotoxicity, especially early left ventricular regional systolic dysfunction, have to date been sparsely investigated.
The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effects of salidroside in preventing early left ventricular regional systolic dysfunction induced by epirubicin.
Sixty patients with histologically confirmed breast cancer were enrolled. Eligible patients were randomized to receive salidroside (600 mg/day; n= 30) or placebo (n = 30) starting 1 week before chemotherapy. Patients were investigated by means of echocardiography and strain rate (SR) imaging. We also measured plasma concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS). All parameters were assessed at baseline and 7 days after each new epirubicin dose of 100 mg/m2.
A decline of the SR peak was observed at an epirubicin dose of 200 mg/m2, with no significant differences between salidroside and placebo (1.35 ± 0.36 vs 1.42 ± 0.49/second). At growing cumulative doses of epirubicin, the SR normalized only with salidroside, showing a significant difference in comparison with placebo at epirubicin doses of 300 mg/m2 (1.67 ± 0.43 vs 1.32 ± 0.53/second, p< 0.05) and 400 mg/m2 (1.68±0.29 vs 1.40 ± 0.23/second, p < 0.05). Moreover, a significant increase in plasma concentrations of ROS was found with placebo, but they remained unchanged with salidroside.
Salidroside can provide a protective effect on epirubicin-induced early left ventricular regional systolic dysfunction in patients with breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC3585960  PMID: 22770377
16.  Molecular characteristics of erythromycin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae from pediatric patients younger than five years in Beijing, 2010 
BMC Microbiology  2012;12:228.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is the main pathogen that causes respiratory infections in children younger than five years. The increasing incidence of macrolide- and tetracycline-resistant pneumococci among children has been a serious problem in China for many years. The molecular characteristics of erythromycin-resistant pneumococcal isolates that were collected from pediatric patients younger than five years in Beijing in 2010 were analyzed in this study.
A total of 140 pneumococcal isolates were collected. The resistance rates of all isolates to erythromycin and tetracycline were 96.4% and 79.3%, respectively. Of the 135 erythromycin-resistant pneumococci, 91.1% were non-susceptible to tetracycline. In addition, 30.4% of the erythromycin-resistant isolates expressed both the ermB and mef genes, whereas 69.6% expressed the ermB gene but not the mef gene. Up to 98.5% of the resistant isolates exhibited the cMLSB phenotype, and Tn6002 was the most common transposon present in approximately 56.3% of the resistant isolates, followed by Tn2010, with a proportion of 28.9%. The dominant sequence types (STs) in all erythromycin-resistant S. pneumoniae were ST271 (11.9%), ST81 (8.9%), ST876 (8.9%), and ST320 (6.7%), whereas the prevailing serotypes were 19F (19.3%), 23F (9.6%), 14 (9.6%), 15 (8.9%), and 6A (7.4%). The 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) coverage of the erythromycin-resistant pneumococci among the children younger than five years were 45.2% and 62.2%, respectively. ST320 and serotype 19A pneumococci were common in children aged 0 to 2 years. CC271 was the most frequent clonal complex (CC), which accounts for 24.4% of all erythromycin-resistant isolates.
The non-invasive S. pneumoniae in children younger than five years in Beijing presented high and significant resistance rates to erythromycin and tetracycline. The expressions of ermB and tetM genes were the main factors that influence pneumococcal resistance to erythromycin and tetracycline, respectively. Majority of the erythromycin-resistant non-invasive isolates exhibited the cMLSB phenotype and carried the ermB, tetM, xis, and int genes, suggesting the spread of the transposons of the Tn916 family. PCV13 provided higher serotype coverage in the childhood pneumococcal diseases caused by the erythromycin-resistant isolates better than PCV7. Further long-term surveys are required to monitor the molecular characteristics of the erythromycin-resistant S. pneumoniae in children.
PMCID: PMC3534231  PMID: 23043378
17.  Clonal Architecture of Secondary Acute Myeloid Leukemia 
The New England Journal of Medicine  2012;366(12):1090-1098.
The myelodysplastic syndromes are a group of hematologic disorders that often evolve into secondary acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The genetic changes that underlie progression from the myelodysplastic syndromes to secondary AML are not well understood.
We performed whole-genome sequencing of seven paired samples of skin and bone marrow in seven subjects with secondary AML to identify somatic mutations specific to secondary AML. We then genotyped a bone marrow sample obtained during the antecedent myelodysplastic-syndrome stage from each subject to determine the presence or absence of the specific somatic mutations. We identified recurrent mutations in coding genes and defined the clonal architecture of each pair of samples from the myelodysplastic-syndrome stage and the secondary-AML stage, using the allele burden of hundreds of mutations.
Approximately 85% of bone marrow cells were clonal in the myelodysplastic-syndrome and secondary-AML samples, regardless of the myeloblast count. The secondary-AML samples contained mutations in 11 recurrently mutated genes, including 4 genes that have not been previously implicated in the myelodysplastic syndromes or AML. In every case, progression to acute leukemia was defined by the persistence of an antecedent founding clone containing 182 to 660 somatic mutations and the outgrowth or emergence of at least one subclone, harboring dozens to hundreds of new mutations. All founding clones and subclones contained at least one mutation in a coding gene.
Nearly all the bone marrow cells in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes and secondary AML are clonally derived. Genetic evolution of secondary AML is a dynamic process shaped by multiple cycles of mutation acquisition and clonal selection. Recurrent gene mutations are found in both founding clones and daughter subclones. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.)
PMCID: PMC3320218  PMID: 22417201
18.  Clonal evolution in relapsed acute myeloid leukemia revealed by whole genome sequencing 
Nature  2012;481(7382):506-510.
Most patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) die from progressive disease after relapse, which is associated with clonal evolution at the cytogenetic level1,2. To determine the mutational spectrum associated with relapse, we sequenced the primary tumor and relapse genomes from 8 AML patients, and validated hundreds of somatic mutations using deep sequencing; this allowed us to precisely define clonality and clonal evolution patterns at relapse. Besides discovering novel, recurrently mutated genes (e.g. WAC, SMC3, DIS3, DDX41, and DAXX) in AML, we found two major clonal evolution patterns during AML relapse: 1) the founding clone in the primary tumor gained mutations and evolved into the relapse clone, or 2) a subclone of the founding clone survived initial therapy, gained additional mutations, and expanded at relapse. In all cases, chemotherapy failed to eradicate the founding clone. The comparison of relapse-specific vs. primary tumor mutations in all 8 cases revealed an increase in transversions, probably due to DNA damage caused by cytotoxic chemotherapy. These data demonstrate that AML relapse is associated with the addition of new mutations and clonal evolution, which is shaped in part by the chemotherapy that the patients receive to establish and maintain remissions.
PMCID: PMC3267864  PMID: 22237025
Nature Genetics  2011;44(1):53-57.
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are hematopoietic stem cell disorders that often progress to chemotherapy-resistant secondary acute myeloid leukemia (sAML). We used whole genome sequencing to perform an unbiased comprehensive screen to discover all the somatic mutations in a sAML sample and genotyped these loci in the matched MDS sample. Here we show that a missense mutation affecting the serine at codon 34 (S34) in U2AF1 was recurrently mutated in 13/150 (8.7%) de novo MDS patients, with suggestive evidence of an associated increased risk of progression to sAML. U2AF1 is a U2 auxiliary factor protein that recognizes the AG splice acceptor dinucleotide at the 3′ end of introns and mutations are located in highly conserved zinc fingers in U2AF11,2. Mutant U2AF1 promotes enhanced splicing and exon skipping in reporter assays in vitro. This novel, recurrent mutation in U2AF1 implicates altered pre-mRNA splicing as a potential mechanism for MDS pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3247063  PMID: 22158538
20.  Habitat Loss other than Fragmentation per se Decreased Nuclear and Chloroplast Genetic Diversity in a Monoecious Tree 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39146.
Generally, effect of fragmentation per se on biodiversity has not been separated from the effect of habitat loss. In this paper, using nDNA and cpDNA SSRs, we studied genetic diversity of Castanopsis sclerophylla (Lindl. & Paxton) Schotty populations and decoupled the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation per se. We selected seven nuclear and six cpDNA microsatellite loci and genotyped 460 individuals from mainland and island populations, which were located in the impoundment created in 1959. Number of alleles per locus of populations in larger habitats was significantly higher than that in smaller habitats. There was a significant relationship between the number of alleles per locus and habitat size. Based on this relationship, the predicted genetic diversity of an imaginary population of size equaling the total area of the islands was lower than that of the global population on the islands. Re-sampling demonstrated that low genetic diversity of populations in small habitats was caused by unevenness in sample size. Fisher's α index was similar among habitat types. These results indicate that the decreased nuclear and chloroplast genetic diversity of populations in smaller habitats was mainly caused by habitat loss. For nuclear and chloroplast microsatellite loci, values of FST were 0.066 and 0.893, respectively, and the calculated pollen/seed dispersal ratio was 162.2. When separated into pre-and post-fragmentation cohorts, pollen/seed ratios were 121.2 and 189.5, respectively. Our results suggest that habitat loss explains the early decrease in genetic diversity, while fragmentation per se may play a major role in inbreeding and differentiation among fragmented populations and later loss of genetic diversity.
PMCID: PMC3377594  PMID: 22723951
21.  Apoptosis of human cholangiocarcinoma cells induced by ESC-3 from Crocodylus siamensis bile 
AIM: To investigate the effects of ESC-3 isolated from crocodile bile on the growth and apoptosis induction of human cholangiocarcinoma cells.
METHODS: ESC-3 was isolated from crocodile bile by Sephadex LH-20 and RP-18 reversed-phase column. 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay was conducted to determine the effects of ESC-3 on the proliferation of human cholangiocarcinoma cell lines (QBC939, Sk-ChA-1 and MZ-ChA-1). Giemsa staining, Hoechst 33258 and acridine orange/ethidium bromide staining showed the morphological changes of Mz-ChA-1 cells exposed to ESC-3 at different concentrations. Flow cytometry with regular propidium iodide (PI) staining was performed to analyze the cell cycle distribution of Mz-ChA-1 cells and to assess apoptosis by annexin v-fluorescein isothiocyanate (V-FITC)/PI staining. Rh123 staining was used to detect the alteration of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm). The protein levels of Bax, Bcl-2, Cdk2, cytochrome c and caspase-3 were further confirmed by Western blotting.
RESULTS: ESC-3 significantly inhibited the growth of three human cholangiocarcinoma cell lines and arrested Mz-ChA-1 cell cycle at G0/G1 phase. Mz-ChA-1 cells showed typical apoptotic morphological changes after treated with ESC-3 (10 μg/mL) for 48 h. Cell death assay indicated that Mz-ChA-1 cells underwent apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner induced by ESC-3. In addition, ESC-3 treatment could downregulate the protein level of Bcl-2 and upregulate the Bax, leading to the increase in the ratio of Bax to Bcl-2 in Mz-ChA-1 cells. Meanwhile, cytochrome c was released from the mitochondria into the cytosol, which subsequently initiated the activation of caspase-3. All these events were associated with the collapse of the mitochondrial membrane potential.
CONCLUSION: ESC-3, the active ingredient of crocodile bile, induced apoptosis in Mz-ChA-1 cells through the mitochondria-dependent pathway and may be a potential chemotherapeutic drug for the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3281230  PMID: 22363144
Crocodylus siamensis bile; Cholangiocarcinoma; Antiproliferation; Apoptosis; Mitochondria
22.  Recurrent DNMT3A Mutations in Patients with Myelodysplastic Syndromes 
Alterations in DNA methylation have been implicated in the pathogenesis of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), although the underlying mechanism remains largely unknown. Methylation of CpG dinucleotides is mediated by DNA methyltransferases, including DNMT1, DNMT3A, and DNMT3B. DNMT3A mutations have recently been reported in patients with de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML), providing a rationale for examining the status of DNMT3A in MDS samples. Here, we report the frequency of DNMT3A mutations in patients with de novo MDS, and their association with secondary AML. We sequenced all coding exons of DNMT3A using DNA from bone marrow and paired normal cells from 150 patients with MDS and identified 13 heterozygous mutations with predicted translational consequences in 12/150 patients (8.0%). Amino acid R882, located in the methyltransferase domain of DNMT3A, was the most common mutation site, accounting for 4/13 mutations. DNMT3A mutations were expressed in the majority of cells in all tested mutant samples regardless of blast counts, suggesting that DNMT3A mutations occur early in the course of MDS. Patients with DNMT3A mutations had worse overall survival compared to patients without DNMT3A mutations (p=0.005) and more rapid progression to AML (p=0.007), suggesting that DNMT3A mutation status may have prognostic value in de novo MDS.
PMCID: PMC3202965  PMID: 21415852
myelodysplastic syndrome; DNMT3A; mutation
23.  A cluster of specified microRNAs in peripheral blood as biomarkers for metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer by stem-loop RT-PCR 
To investigate the levels for some specified microRNAs in human’s peripheral blood so as to determine whether they can serve as biomarkers for metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer.
Use a quantitative stem-loop RT-PCR method to examine the serum levels for certain microRNAs including has-miR-125a-5p, has-miR-126, has-miR-183, has-miR-200, has-miR-221, and has-miR-222 from the patients with Stage IV, Stage I/II non-small-cell lung cancer and the controls.
There was statistical difference in the serum levels for hsa-miR-126, hsa-miR-183, and hsa-miR-222 between the controls and the Stage IV patients, but not for has-miR-125a-5p, has-miR-200 and has-miR-221. It also showed statistical difference for hsa-miR-126 and hsa-miR-183 between the Stage I/II patients and Stage IV patients, but not between the controls and Stage I/II patients.
Hsa-miR-126 and hsa-miR-183 may serve as potential serum biomarkers for metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC3249180  PMID: 22009180
microRNAs; Non-small-cell lung cancer; Stem-loop RT-PCR; Biomarker
24.  Dichlorido[1-(2,6-dimethyl­phenyl­imino)-1,2-diphenyl­propan-2-ol-κ2 N,O]palladium(II) methanol monosolvate 
The title compound, [PdCl2(C23H23NO)]·CH3OH, was obtained by the reaction of 1-(2,6-dimethyl­phenyl­imino)-1,2-diphenyl­propan-2-ol and palladium chloride in methanol. The Pd atom is four-coordinated by the O atom of a tertiary alcohol, the imine N atom of the hy­droxy­limine part of the bidentate ligand and by two chloride ions, forming a nearly square-planar geometry. The complex mol­ecule and the uncoordinated methanol mol­ecule are connected via an O—H⋯O hydrogen bond.
PMCID: PMC3201399  PMID: 22065642
25.  The identification of a novel TP53 cancer susceptibility mutation through whole genome sequencing of a patient with therapy-related AML 
The identification of patients with inherited cancer susceptibility syndromes facilitates early diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. However, in many cases of suspected cancer susceptibility, the family history is unclear and genetic testing of common cancer susceptibility genes is unrevealing.
To apply whole-genome sequencing to a patient with suspected cancer susceptibility (and lacking a clear family history of cancer and no BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations) to identify rare or novel germline variants in cancer susceptibility genes.
Design, Setting, and Participant
Skin (normal) and bone marrow (leukemia) DNA were obtained from a patient with early-onset breast and ovarian cancer and therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia (t-AML), and analyzed with: 1) whole genome sequencing using paired end reads; 2) SNP genotyping; 3) RNA expression profiling; and 4) spectral karyotyping.
Main Outcome Measures
Structural variants, copy number alterations, single nucleotide variants and small insertions and deletions (indels) were detected and validated using the above platforms.
Whole genome sequencing revealed a novel, heterozygous 3 Kb deletion removing exons 7-9 of TP53 in the patient’s normal skin DNA, which was homozygous in the leukemia DNA as a result of uniparental disomy. In addition, a total of 28 validated somatic single nucleotide variations or indels in coding genes, 8 somatic structural variants, and 12 somatic copy number alterations were detected in the patient’s leukemia genome.
Whole genome sequencing can identify novel, cryptic variants in cancer susceptibility genes in addition to providing unbiased information on the spectrum of mutations in a cancer genome.
PMCID: PMC3170052  PMID: 21505135

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