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1.  Quantitative analysis of the association between CRP rs2808630 and rs1417938 polymorphisms and cancer risk 
Oncology Letters  2014;9(2):994-998.
Accumulating evidence indicates that polymorphisms in the CRP gene are important in the development of cancer. The current meta-analysis was performed to investigate the association between CRP polymorphisms 3407 A>G (rs2808630) and 29 A>T (rs1417938), and the risk of developing cancer. A search of the relevant literature was conducted using the PubMed database to identify eligible studies published up until March 25, 2014. Five case-control studies involving 888 cases and 3,167 controls for the 3407 A>G polymorphism, and six case-control studies involving 3,110 cases and 5,951 controls for the 29 A>T polymorphism were included in the current meta-analysis. The pooled odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated using the fixed- or random-effects model. Meta-analysis identified no association between the CRP 3407 A>G and 29 A>T polymorphisms, and overall cancer risk. Additional stratified analysis by cancer type did not reveal any significant associations in the genetic models investigated. The findings of the present study indicated that CRP 3407 A>G and 29 A>T polymorphisms are not associated with cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC4301552  PMID: 25624919
C-reactive protein; polymorphism; cancer; meta-analysis
2.  Maternal Ethnicity and Preeclampsia in New York City, 1995–2003 
Studies on ethnic differences in risk of preeclampsia are limited. We linked birth records for 902,460 singleton births for the period 1995–2003 in New York City with hospital discharge data to evaluate the association between ethnicity and the risk of preeclampsia and compare risks between US-born and foreign-born women. Logistic regression models adjusted for maternal age, maternal education, parity, self-reported prepregnancy maternal weight, smoking during pregnancy, and year of delivery, were used to estimate the adjusted odds ratios of preeclampsia and 95% confidence intervals, comparing each ethnic group to non-Hispanic white women. The prevalence of preeclampsia in this study population was 3.2%. Among the major ethnic groups considered in our study, East Asian women had the lowest risk of preeclampsia (1.4%) and Mexican women had the highest risk (5.0%). Compared to non-Hispanic white women, there was a slightly decreased risk for East Asian women (adjusted OR=0.8, 95% CI [0.7, 0.8]), similar risk for North African women (adjusted OR=1.1, 95% CI [0.9, 1.3]), and increased risk for all other major ethnic groups (adjusted ORs: 1.3–2.9), with the highest risk for Mexican women (adjusted OR=2.9, 95% CI [2.7, 3.1]). No difference in risks was observed for US versus foreign born women with the exception that foreign-born South-East Asian and Pacific Islanders had increased risk of preeclampsia (adjusted OR=1.8, 95% CI [1.0, 3.1]) relative to those born in the US. We concluded that there was ethnic heterogeneity in the development of preeclampsia among women in New York City and Asian subgroups should be examined separately in future studies on ethnicity. Our results should contribute to screening for preeclampsia taking ethnic variation into account and may help to suggest leads for study of etiology.
PMCID: PMC4169658  PMID: 22150707
Preeclampsia; ethnicity; New York City
3.  Effects of Spartina alterniflora invasion on the communities of methanogens and sulfate-reducing bacteria in estuarine marsh sediments 
The effect of plant invasion on the microorganisms of soil sediments is very important for estuary ecology. The community structures of methanogens and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) as a function of Spartina alterniflora invasion in Phragmites australis-vegetated sediments of the Dongtan wetland in the Yangtze River estuary, China, were investigated using 454 pyrosequencing and quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) of the methyl coenzyme M reductase A (mcrA) and dissimilatory sulfite-reductase (dsrB) genes. Sediment samples were collected from two replicate locations, and each location included three sampling stands each covered by monocultures of P. australis, S. alterniflora and both plants (transition stands), respectively. qPCR analysis revealed higher copy numbers of mcrA genes in sediments from S. alterniflora stands than P. australis stands (5- and 7.5-fold more in the spring and summer, respectively), which is consistent with the higher methane flux rates measured in the S. alterniflora stands (up to 8.01 ± 5.61 mg m−2 h−1). Similar trends were observed for SRB, and they were up to two orders of magnitude higher than the methanogens. Diversity indices indicated a lower diversity of methanogens in the S. alterniflora stands than the P. australis stands. In contrast, insignificant variations were observed in the diversity of SRB with the invasion. Although Methanomicrobiales and Methanococcales, the hydrogenotrophic methanogens, dominated in the salt marsh, Methanomicrobiales displayed a slight increase with the invasion and growth of S. alterniflora, whereas the later responded differently. Methanosarcina, the metabolically diverse methanogens, did not vary with the invasion of, but Methanosaeta, the exclusive acetate utilizers, appeared to increase with S. alterniflora invasion. In SRB, sequences closely related to the families Desulfobacteraceae and Desulfobulbaceae dominated in the salt marsh, although they displayed minimal changes with the S. alterniflora invasion. Approximately 11.3 ± 5.1% of the dsrB gene sequences formed a novel cluster that was reduced upon the invasion. The results showed that in the sediments of tidal salt marsh where S. alterniflora displaced P. australis, the abundances of methanogens and SRB increased, but the community composition of methanogens appeared to be influenced more than did the SRB.
PMCID: PMC3750361  PMID: 23986751
dissimilatory sulfite reductase B (dsrB); methyl coenzyme M reductase A (mcrA); spartina alterniflora; phragmites australis; estuarine marsh
4.  Ambulatory ECG-based T-wave alternans and heart rate turbulence can predict cardiac mortality in patients with myocardial infarction with or without diabetes mellitus 
Many patients who survive a myocardial infarction (MI) remain at risk of sudden cardiac death despite revascularization and optimal medical treatment. We used the modified moving average (MMA) method to assess the utility of T-wave alternans (TWA) and heart rate turbulence (HRT) as risk markers in MI patients with or without diabetes mellitus (DM).
We prospectively enrolled 248 consecutive patients: 96 with MI (post-MI patients); 77 MI with DM (post-MI + DM patients); 75 controls without cardiovascular disease (group control). Both TWA and HRT were measured on ambulatory electrocardiograms (AECGs). HRT was assessed by two parameters ─ turbulence onset (TO) and turbulence slope (TS). HRT was considered positive when both TO ≥0% and TS ≤2.5 ms/R-R interval were met. The endpoint was cardiac mortality.
TWA values differed significantly between MI and controls. Post-MI + DM patients had higher TWA values than post-MI patients (58 ± 21 μV VS 52 ± 18 μV, P = 0.029). Impaired HRT--increased TO and decreased TS were observed in MI patients with or without DM. During follow-up of 578 ± 146 days, cardiac death occurred in ten patients and three of them suffered sudden cardiac death (SCD). Multivariate analysis determined that a HRT-positive outcome [HR (95% CI): 5.01, 1.33–18.85; P = 0.017], as well as the combination of abnormal TWA (≥47 μV) and positive HRT had significant association with the endpoint [HR (95% CI): 9.08, 2.21–37.2; P = 0.002)].
This study indicates that AECGs-based TWA and HRT can predict cardiac mortality in MI patients with or without DM. Combined analysis TWA and HRT may be a convenient and useful method of identifying patients at high risk for cardiovascular death.
PMCID: PMC3458961  PMID: 22950360
Ambulatory electrocardiograms; Heart rate turbulence; Myocardial infarction; T-wave alternans; Diabetes mellitus
5.  The Role of the p38 MAPK Signaling Pathway in High Glucose-Induced Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition of Cultured Human Renal Tubular Epithelial Cells 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):e22806.
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition of tubular epithelial cells, which is characterized by a loss of epithelial cell characteristics and a gain of ECM-producing myofibroblast characteristics, is an essential mechanism that is involved in tubulointerstitial fibrosis, an important component of the renal injury that is associated with diabetic nephropathy. Under diabetic conditions, p38 MAPK activation has been reported in glomeruli and mesangial cells; however, studies on p38 MAPK in TECs are lacking. In this study, the role of p38 MAPK in AP-1 activation and in the EMT in the human proximal tubular epithelial cell line (HK-2) under high glucose concentration conditions is investigated.
Methodology/Principal Findings
A vector for small interfering RNA that targets p38 MAPK was constructed; the cells were then either transfected with p38 siRNA or pretreated with a chemical inhibitor of AP-1 and incubated with low glucose plus TGF-β1 or high glucose for 48 h. Cells that were not transfected or pretreated and were exposed to low glucose with or without TGF-β1 or high glucose for 48 h were considered to be the controls. We found that high glucose induced an increase in TGF-β1. And high glucose-induced p38 MAPK activation was inhibited by p38 siRNA (P<0.05). A significant decline in E-cadherin and CK expression and a notable increase in vimentin and α-SMA were detected when exposed to low glucose with TGF-β1 or high glucose, and a significant raise of secreted fibronectin were detected when exposed to high glucose; whereas these changes were reversed when the cells were treated with p38 siRNA or AP-1 inhibitor (P<0.05). AP-1 activity levels and Snail expression were up-regulated under high glucose conditions but were markedly down-regulated through knockdown of p38 MAPK with p38 siRNA or pretreatment with AP-1 inhibitor (P<0.05).
This study suggests that p38 MAPK may play an important role in the high glucose-induced EMT by activating AP-1 in tubular epithelial cells.
PMCID: PMC3146517  PMID: 21829520
6.  Dihalogenated trichodermin (4β-acet­oxy-9,10-dibromo-12,13-epoxy­tri­chothec) 
In the title dihalogenated trichodermin mol­ecule, C17H24Br2O4 (systematic name: 9,10-dibromo-12,13-epoxy­trichothec-9-en-4β-yl acetate), the five-membered ring displays an envelope conformation, whereas the two six-membered rings show the same conformation, viz. chair. As for the seven-membered ring, the dihedral angle between the mean planes formed by the four C atoms of the envelope unit and the three C and one O atoms of the six-membered chair is 69.08 (4)°; these two mean planes are nearly perpendicular to the ep­oxy ring with angles of 87.53 (4) and 88.67 (4)°, respectively.
PMCID: PMC2980171  PMID: 21580095

Results 1-7 (7)