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1.  Functional characterization of a vanillin dehydrogenase in Corynebacterium glutamicum 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8044.
Vanillin dehydrogenase (VDH) is a crucial enzyme involved in the degradation of lignin-derived aromatic compounds. Herein, the VDH from Corynebacterium glutamicum was characterized. The relative molecular mass (Mr) determined by SDS-PAGE was ~51kDa, whereas the apparent native Mr values revealed by gel filtration chromatography were 49.5, 92.3, 159.0 and 199.2kDa, indicating the presence of dimeric, trimeric and tetrameric forms. Moreover, the enzyme showed its highest level of activity toward vanillin at pH 7.0 and 30C, and interestingly, it could utilize NAD+ and NADP+ as coenzymes with similar efficiency and showed no obvious difference toward NAD+ and NADP+. In addition to vanillin, this enzyme exhibited catalytic activity toward a broad range of substrates, including p-hydroxybenzaldehyde, 3,4-dihydroxybenzaldehyde, o-phthaldialdehyde, cinnamaldehyde, syringaldehyde and benzaldehyde. Conserved catalytic residues or putative cofactor interactive sites were identified based on sequence alignment and comparison with previous studies, and the function of selected residues were verified by site-directed mutagenesis analysis. Finally, the vdh deletion mutant partially lost its ability to grow on vanillin, indicating the presence of alternative VDH(s) in Corynebacterium glutamicum. Taken together, this study contributes to understanding the VDH diversity from bacteria and the aromatic metabolism pathways in C. glutamicum.
PMCID: PMC4306973  PMID: 25622822
2.  A Multicenter, Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing the Three-Weekly Docetaxel Regimen plus Prednisone versus Mitoxantone plus Prednisone for Chinese Patients with Metastatic Castration Refractory Prostate Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0117002.
To explore the feasibility and efficacy of docetaxel plus prednisone for Chinese population with metastatic castration refractory prostate cancer (mCRPC).
Patients and methods
A total of 228 patients recruited from 15 centers were randomized to receive 10 cycles of D3P arm (docetaxel: 75 mg/m2, intravenous infusion, every three weeks; Prednisone 10mg orally given daily) or M3P arm (mitoxantrone: 12 mg/m2, intravenous infusion, every three weeks; Prednisone 10mg orally given daily). Primary end point was overall survival, and secondary end points were events progression-free survival (PFS), response rate, response duration. Quality of life (QoL) was also assessed in both treatment groups.
The median overall survival was 21.88 months in D3P arm and 13.67 months in M3P arm (P = 0.0011, hazard ratio = 0.63, 95% confidence interval, 0.46–0.86). Subgroup analysis was consistent with the results of overall analysis. Events progression-free survival (pain, PSA, tumor and disease) were significantly improved in D3P arm compared with M3P arm. PSA response rate was 35.11% for patients treated by D3P arm and 19.39% for M3P arm (P = 0.0155). Pain response rate was higher in D3P arm (61.11%, P = 0.0011) than in M3P (23.08%) arm. No statistical differences were found between D3P arm and M3P arm for QoL, tumor response rate and response duration of PSA and pain. The tolerability and overall safety of D3P arm were generally comparable to that of M3P arm.
Compared with M3P arm, D3P arm significantly prolonged overall survival for the Chinese patients with mCRPC and improved the response rate for PSA and pain.
Trial Registration NCT00436839
PMCID: PMC4307981  PMID: 25625938
4.  The effect and underlying mechanism of Timosaponin B-II on RGC-5 necroptosis induced by hydrogen peroxide 
Necroptosis is an important mode of cell death, which is due to oxidant stress accumulation. Our previous study indicated that oxidant stresses could be reduced by Timosaponin B-II (TBII), a kind of Chinese herb RhizomaAnemarrhenae monomer extraction. We wonder the possible effect of Timosaponin B-II, whether it can protect cells from necroptosis via reducing the oxidant stress, in RGC-5 following hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) insult.
RGC-5 cells were grown in DMEM, the model group was exposed in H2O2 with the concentration of 300 μM, and the experimental group was pre-treated with Timosaponin B-II at different concentrations (1 μM, 10 μM, 100 μM and 1000 μM) for 24 hrs. MTT assay was carried out to measure the cytotoxicity of H2O2, MDA concentration assay was executed to evaluate the degree of oxidative stress, TNF-α ELISA Assay was used to measure the concentration of TNF-α, finally, the degree of necrosis were analyzed using flow cytometry.
We first constructed the cell injury model of necroptosis in RGC-5 upon H2O2 exposure. Morphological observation and MTT assay were used to evaluate the degree of RGC-5 death. MDA assay were carried out to describe the degree of oxidant stress. Annexin V/PI staining was used to detect necroptotic cells pre-treated with or without Timosaponin B-II following H2O2 injury. TNF-α ELISA was carried out to detect the TNF-α accumulation in RGC-5. Upon using Timosaponin B-II with concentration of 100 μM, the percentage of cell viability was increased from 50% to 75%, and the necrosis of cells was reduced from 35% to 20% comparing with H2O2 injury group. Oxidant stress and TNF-α was reduced upon injury which decreased the ratio of RGC-5 necroptosis.
Our study found out that Timosaponin B-II might reduce necroptosis via inhibition of ROS and TNF-α accumulation in RGC-5 following H2O2 injury.
PMCID: PMC4258277  PMID: 25439561
Retinal ganglion cells-5; Timosaponin B-II; TNF-α; Necroptosis; Oxidative stress
5.  Penguins significantly increased phosphine formation and phosphorus contribution in maritime Antarctic soils 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:7055.
Most studies on phosphorus cycle in the natural environment focused on phosphates, with limited data available for the reduced phosphine (PH3). In this paper, matrix-bound phosphine (MBP), gaseous phosphine fluxes and phosphorus fractions in the soils were investigated from a penguin colony, a seal colony and the adjacent animal-lacking tundra and background sites. The MBP levels (mean 200.3 ng kg−1) in penguin colony soils were much higher than those in seal colony soils, animal-lacking tundra soils and the background soils. Field PH3 flux observation and laboratory incubation experiments confirmed that penguin colony soils produced much higher PH3 emissions than seal colony soils and animal-lacking tundra soils. Overall high MBP levels and PH3 emissions were modulated by soil biogeochemical processes associated with penguin activities: sufficient supply of the nutrients phosphorus, nitrogen, and organic carbon from penguin guano, high soil bacterial abundance and phosphatase activity. It was proposed that organic or inorganic phosphorus compounds from penguin guano or seal excreta could be reduced to PH3 in the Antarctic soils through the bacterial activity. Our results indicated that penguin activity significantly increased soil phosphine formation and phosphorus contribution, thus played an important role in phosphorus cycle in terrestrial ecosystems of maritime Antarctica.
PMCID: PMC4231338  PMID: 25394572
6.  DNA Logic Gate Based on Metallo-Toehold Strand Displacement 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e111650.
DNA is increasingly being used as an ideal material for the construction of nanoscale structures, circuits, and machines. Toehold-mediated DNA strand displacement reactions play a very important role in these enzyme-free constructions. In this study, the concept of metallo-toehold was utilized to further develop a mechanism for strand displacement driven by Ag+ ions, in which the intercalation of cytosine–cytosine mismatched base pairs on the toeholds provides additional control by varying of the concentration of Ag+ ions. The characteristics of displacement reaction in response to different concentration of Ag+ ions are investigated by fluorescence spectral and non-denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The reaction can successfully occur when the concentration of Ag+ ions is suitabe; excess Ag+ ions block the reaction. Furthermore, the displacement reaction can be tuned and controlled most efficiently under the condition of two C:C mismatched base pairs placed on the six-nt toehold. Based on our research, a mechanism was developed to construct Boolean logic gate AND and OR by employing strand displacement reaction as a tool, Ag+ and Hg2+ as input.
PMCID: PMC4218789  PMID: 25365381
7.  Genetic variations of the ADIPOQ gene and risk of prostate cancer in Chinese Han men 
Asian Journal of Andrology  2014;16(6):878-883.
Adiponectin secreted by adipose tissue has been implicated in prostate carcinogenesis. Genetic variations in ADIPOQ are thought to influence the activity of adiponectin, thus relating to cancer occurrence. In this hospital-based case-control study of 917 prostate cancer (PCa) cases and 1036 cancer-free controls, we evaluated the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms in ADIPOQ with risk of PCa and adiponectin levels in Chinese Han men. Variants of ADIPOQ were genotyped by Taqman polymerase chain reaction method. The plasma adiponectin concentrations were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in a subset of cases and controls. We found that the ADIPOQ rs3774262 variant AA genotype was associated with both decreased PCa risk [adjusted odds ratio (OR): 0.66, 95% confidence interval (CI) =0.48–0.92] and increased plasma adiponectin levels (P = 0.036 and 0.043), with significant difference by tumor grade, clinical stage, and aggressiveness. A significant interaction between ADIPOQ rs3774262 and body mass index was observed in modifying the risk of PCa (P = 6.7 × 10−3). ADIPOQ rs266729 and rs182052 were not related to PCa risk or plasma adiponectin levels. Our data support that ADIPOQ rs3774262 may affect PCa risk in combination with plasma adiponectin levels in Chinese Han men. It may contribute to the molecular basis for the association between obesity and PCa.
PMCID: PMC4236333  PMID: 25038177
adiponectin; ADIPOQ; polymorphism; prostate cancer
8.  Differential Regulation of Proinflammatory Cytokine Expression by Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases in Macrophages in Response to Intestinal Parasite Infection 
Infection and Immunity  2014;82(11):4789-4801.
Blastocystis is a common enteric protistan parasite that can cause acute, as well as chronic, infection and is associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, the pathogenic status of Blastocystis infection remains unclear. In this study, we found that Blastocystis antigens induced abundant expression of proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukin 1β (IL-1β), IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), in mouse intestinal explants, in mouse colitis colon, and in macrophages. Further investigation utilizing RAW264.7 murine macrophages showed that Blastocystis treatment in RAW264.7 macrophages induced the activation of ERK, JNK, and p38, the three major groups of mammalian mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases that play essential roles in the expression of proinflammatory cytokines. ERK inhibition in macrophages significantly suppressed both mRNA and protein expression of IL-6 and TNF-α and mRNA expression of IL-1β. On the other hand, JNK inhibition resulted in reductions in both c-Jun and ERK activation and significant suppression of all three proinflammatory cytokines at both the mRNA and protein levels. Inhibition of p38 suppressed only IL-6 protein expression with no effect on the expression of IL-1β and TNF-α. Furthermore, we found that serine proteases produced by Blastocystis play an important role in the induction of ERK activation and proinflammatory cytokine expression by macrophages. Our study thus demonstrated for the first time that Blastocystis could induce the expression of various proinflammatory cytokines via the activation of MAP kinases and that infection with Blastocystis may contribute to the pathogenesis of inflammatory intestinal diseases through the activation of inflammatory pathways in host immune cells, such as macrophages.
PMCID: PMC4249314  PMID: 25156742
9.  Chloroquine Is a Zinc Ionophore 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e109180.
Chloroquine is an established antimalarial agent that has been recently tested in clinical trials for its anticancer activity. The favorable effect of chloroquine appears to be due to its ability to sensitize cancerous cells to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and induce apoptosis. The present study investigated the interaction of zinc ions with chloroquine in a human ovarian cancer cell line (A2780). Chloroquine enhanced zinc uptake by A2780 cells in a concentration-dependent manner, as assayed using a fluorescent zinc probe. This enhancement was attenuated by TPEN, a high affinity metal-binding compound, indicating the specificity of the zinc uptake. Furthermore, addition of copper or iron ions had no effect on chloroquine-induced zinc uptake. Fluorescent microscopic examination of intracellular zinc distribution demonstrated that free zinc ions are more concentrated in the lysosomes after addition of chloroquine, which is consistent with previous reports showing that chloroquine inhibits lysosome function. The combination of chloroquine with zinc enhanced chloroquine's cytotoxicity and induced apoptosis in A2780 cells. Thus chloroquine is a zinc ionophore, a property that may contribute to chloroquine's anticancer activity.
PMCID: PMC4182877  PMID: 25271834
10.  Genitourinary small-cell carcinoma: 11-year treatment experience 
Asian Journal of Andrology  2014;16(5):705-709.
The predictive factors of prognosis and treatment strategies for small-cell carcinoma (SCC) of the urinary tract are controversial. This study was aimed to investigate the clinical experience and management of patients with SCC of the urinary tract. We collected data of patients who were diagnosed with genitourinary SCC (GSCC) between 2002 and 2013 and were treated in the Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center. A total of 18 patients were diagnosed with GSCC of which 10 originated from the prostate, seven from the bladder and one from the adrenal gland. The mean follow-up time was 15.5 months and progression-free survival (PFS) was 9.3 months. Primary tumor resection was attempted in 13 of 18 patients (72.2%) in whom radical surgery was performed in six of 14 (42.9%) limited disease patients. Most of the patients (13, 72.2%) received cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Patients who had normal lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) levels showed a significantly higher median PFS and overall survival (OS) compared with patients with high LDH levels (P = 0.030, P= 0.010). Patients with limited disease treated with a radical operation experienced a non-significant (P = 0.211) longer PFS compared with patients who were not treated, but this reached statistical significance after analyzing OS (P = 0.211, P= 0.039). Our patients showed a poor prognosis as reported previously. Serum LDH levels beyond the normal range indicate a poor prognosis. For GSCC patients who are diagnosed with limited disease, radical surgery is strongly recommended along with cisplatin-based chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4215663  PMID: 24713837
bladder cancer; diagnosis; genitourinary small-cell carcinoma; prognosis; prostate cancer
11.  Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (Richter Syndrome) in Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia: A Cohort Study of Newly Diagnosed Patients 
British journal of haematology  2013;162(6):774-782.
Nearly all information about patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) who develop diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (Richter syndrome [RS]) is derived from retrospective case series or patients treated on clinical trials. We used the Mayo Clinic CLL Database to identify patients with newly diagnosed CLL (1/2000–7/2011). Individuals who developed biopsy-proven RS during follow-up were identified. After median follow-up of 4 years, 37/1641 (2.3%) CLL patients developed RS. The rate of RS was approximately 0.5%/year. Risk of RS was associated with advanced Rai stage at diagnosis (p<0.001), high-risk FISH (p<0.0001), unmutated IGHV (p=0.003), and expression of ZAP-70 (p=0.02) and CD38 (p=0.001). The rate of RS doubled in patients treated for CLL (1%/year). Stereotyped B-cell receptors (odds-ratio=4.2; p=0.01) but not VH4–39 was associated with increased risk of RS. Treatment with combination of purine analogues and alkylating agents increased the risk of RS 3-fold (odds-ratio= 3.26, p=0.0003). Median survival after RS diagnosis was 2.1 years. The RS prognosis score stratified patients into three risk groups with median survivals of 0.5 years, 2.1 years and not reached. Both underlying characteristics of the CLL clone and subsequent CLL therapy influence the risk of RS. Survival after RS remains poor and new therapies are needed.
PMCID: PMC4098845  PMID: 23841899
transformation; aggressive lymphoma; stem cell transplantation; purine analogues; RS survival score
12.  Metabolic syndrome and renal cell carcinoma 
Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a cluster of metabolic abnormalities, which has been regarded as a pivotal risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Recent studies focusing on the relationship between MS and cancer have recognized the significant role of MS on carcinogenesis. Likewise, growing evidence suggests that MS has a strong association with increased renal cell carcinoma (RCC) risk. This review outlines the link between MS and RCC, and some underlying mechanisms responsible for MS-associated RCC.
Materials and methods
A National Center for Biotechnology Information PubMed search ( was conducted using medical subject headings ‘metabolic syndrome’, ‘obesity’, ‘hypertension’, ‘diabetes’, ‘dyslipidemia’, and ‘renal cell carcinoma’.
This revealed that a variety of molecular mechanisms secondary to MS are involved in RCC formation, progression, and metastasis. A deeper understanding of these molecular mechanisms may provide some strategies for the prevention and treatment of RCC.
In summary, there is a large body of evidence regarding the link between MS and RCC, within which each component of MS is considered to have a close causal association with RCC.
PMCID: PMC4118156  PMID: 25069390
Metabolic syndrome; Renal cell carcinoma; Insulin resistance; Mechanism
13.  Testicular desmoplastic small round cell tumor: a case report and review of literature 
Desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT) is an uncommon and highly aggressive malignancy with undetermined histogenesis and poor prognosis. To date, no case of testicular DSRCT has been reported in the literature.
A 42-year-old Chinese man presented with painless swelling of his left testis and a painless palpable nodule in his left inguinal region. Computed tomography showed a solid mass in the left testis and multiple metastases in the body. Laboratory tests gave no abnormal results. Left radical orchiectomy was performed, and histopathological and molecular pathological examination showed typical features of DSRCT. Six cycles of chemotherapy were administrated after the operation, leading to partial remission. Postoperative 9-month follow-up indicated no progression.
PMCID: PMC4107620  PMID: 25037705
Desmoplastic small round cell tumor; Testis; Immunohistochemistry; Chemotherapy
14.  Eliminating Plasmodium falciparum in Hainan, China: a study on the use of behavioural change communication intervention to promote malaria prevention in mountain worker populations 
Malaria Journal  2014;13:273.
In the island of Hainan, the great majority of malaria cases occur in mountain worker populations. Using the behavioral change communication (BCC) strategy, an interventional study was conducted to promote mountain worker malaria prevention at a test site. This study found the methods and measures that are suitable for malaria prevention among mountain worker populations.
During the Plasmodium falciparum elimination stage in Hainan, a representative sampling method was used to establish testing and control sites in areas of Hainan that were both affected by malaria and had a relatively high density of mountain workers. Two different methods were used: a BCC strategy and a conventional strategy as a control. Before and after the intervention, house visits, core group discussions, and structural surveys were utilized to collect qualitative and quantitative data regarding mountain worker populations (including knowledge, attitudes, and practices [KAPs]; infection status; and serological data), and these data from the testing and control areas were compared to evaluate the effectiveness of BCC strategies in the prevention of malaria.
In the BCC malaria prevention strategy testing areas, the accuracy rates of malaria-related KAP were significantly improved among mountain worker populations. The accuracy rates in the 3 aspects of malaria-related KAP increased from 37.73%, 37.00%, and 43.04% to 89.01%, 91.53%, and 92.25%, respectively. The changes in all 3 aspects of KAP were statistically significant (p < 0.01). In the control sites, the changes in the indices were not as marked as in the testing areas, and the change was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Furthermore, in the testing areas, both the percentage testing positive in the serum malaria indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) and the number of people inflicted decreased more significantly than in the control sites (p < 0.01).
The use of the BCC strategy significantly improved the ability of mountain workers in Hainan to avoid malarial infection. Educational and promotional materials and measures were developed and selected in the process, and hands-on experience was gained that will help achieve the goal of total malaria elimination in Hainan.
PMCID: PMC4112993  PMID: 25017319
15.  Zinc at Sub-Cytotoxic Concentrations Induces Heme Oxygenase-1 Expression in Human Cancer Cells 
This study investigated the effects of zinc on heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression in human cancer cells.
Zinc at sub-cytotoxic concentrations (50–100 µM) induces HO-1 expression in the MDA-MB-231 (human breast cancer) and A2780 (human ovarian cancer) cell lines in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. The induction of HO-1 by zinc was detected after 4–6 hours of treatment, reached maximal level at 8 hours, and declined thereafter. Using a human HO-1 gene promoter reporter construct, we identified two antioxidant response elements (AREs) that mediated the zinc-induced increase in HO-1 gene transcription, indicating that the nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) signaling pathway is involved in this event. This assumption was supported by the observations that knockdown of Nrf2 expression compromised the zinc-induced increase in HO-1 gene transcription, and that zinc increased Nrf2 protein expression and the Nrf2 binding to the AREs. Additionally, we found that the zinc-induced HO-1 gene transcription can be enhanced by clioquinol, a zinc ionophore, and reversed by pretreatment with TPEN, a known zinc chelator, indicating that an increase in intracellular zinc levels is responsible for this induction.
These findings demonstrate that zinc at sub-cytotoxic concentrations induces HO-1 expression in human cancer cells. The biological significance of this induction merits further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3833100  PMID: 23868099
Heme oxygenase 1; Zinc; Cancer; Nrf2; A2780; MDA-MB-231
16.  JWA gene regulates PANC-1 pancreatic cancer cell behaviors through MEK-ERK1/2 of the MAPK signaling pathway 
Oncology Letters  2014;8(4):1859-1863.
The present study aimed to investigate the role of JWA gene in the proliferation, apoptosis, invasion and migration of PANC-1 pancreatic cancer cells and the effect on the MAPK signaling pathway. Human PANC-1 pancreatic cancer cells were cultured in vitro, and small interfering RNA (siRNA) was designed for the JWA gene. The siRNA was transfected into PANC-1 cells. Subsequently, the cell proliferation was measured by MTT assay; cell apoptosis was detected by analyzing BAX and Bcl-2 protein expression; cell migration and invasion were measured using Transwell® chambers; and the protein expression of JWA and ERK1/2, JNK and p38 and their phosphorylated forms were measured by western blotting. By utilizing the MTT assay, the results showed that when JWA protein expression was inhibited, the proliferation of PANC-1 cells was enhanced. In addition, the expression of apoptosis-associated protein (AAP) BAX was substantially decreased, while the expression of the apoptosis inhibitor gene, Bcl-2, was significantly enhanced. Using Transwell chambers, it was found that the number of penetrating PANC-1 cells was significantly increased after transfection with JWA siRNA, suggesting that the migration and invasion of the cells was substantially increased. By studying the association between JWA and the MAPK pathway in PANC-1 cells, it was found that the expression of p-ERK1/2 of the MAPK pathway was significantly downregulated following JWA siRNA transfection. However, the expression levels of ERK1/2, JNK, p38, p-JNK and p-p38 showed no significant differences. In conclusion, it was shown that JWA affects the proliferation, apoptosis, invasion and migration of PANC-1 pancreatic cancer cells which could be attributed to effects on the expression of ERK1/2 in the MAPK pathway.
PMCID: PMC4156185  PMID: 25202426
JWA; PANC-1 cells; MAPK pathways; siRNA
17.  Laparoscopic vs open extended right hemicolectomy for colon cancer 
AIM: To evaluate the feasibility, safety, and oncologic outcomes of laparoscopic extended right hemicolectomy (LERH) for colon cancer.
METHODS: Since its establishment in 2009, the Southern Chinese Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgical Study (SCLCSS) group has been dedicated to promoting patients’ quality of life through minimally invasive surgery. The multicenter database was launched by combining existing datasets from members of the SCLCSS group. The study enrolled 220 consecutive patients who were recorded in the multicenter retrospective database and underwent either LERH (n = 119) or open extended right hemicolectomy (OERH) (n = 101) for colon cancer. Clinical characteristics, surgical outcomes, and oncologic outcomes were compared between the two groups.
RESULTS: There were no significant differences in terms of age, gender, body mass index (BMI), history of previous abdominal surgery, tumor location, and tumor stage between the two groups. The blood loss was lower in the LERH group than in the OERH group [100 (100-200) mL vs 150 (100-200) mL, P < 0.0001]. The LERH group was associated with earlier first flatus (2.7 ± 1.0 d vs 3.2 ± 0.9 d, P < 0.0001) and resumption of liquid diet (3.6 ± 1.0 d vs 4.2 ± 1.0 d, P < 0.0001) compared to the OERH group. The postoperative hospital stay was significantly shorter in the LERH group (11.4 ± 4.7 d vs 12.8 ± 5.6 d, P = 0.009) than in the OERH group. The complication rate was 11.8% and 17.6% in the LERH and OERH groups, respectively (P = 0.215). Both 3-year overall survival [LERH (92.0%) vs OERH (84.4%), P = 0.209] and 3-year disease-free survival [LERH (84.6%) vs OERH (76.6%), P = 0.191] were comparable between the two groups.
CONCLUSION: LERH with D3 lymphadenectomy for colon cancer is a technically feasible and safe procedure, yielding comparable short-term oncologic outcomes to those of open surgery.
PMCID: PMC4069319  PMID: 24976728
Colon cancer; Laparoscopic surgery; Extended right hemicolectomy; D3 lymphadenectomy; Survival
18.  Phytophthora parasitica: a model oomycete plant pathogen 
Mycology  2014;5(2):43-51.
Oomycetes are eukaryotic microorganisms morphologically similar to but phylogenetically distant from true fungi. Most species in the genus Phytophthora of oomycetes are devastating plant pathogens, causing damages to both agricultural production and natural ecosystems. Tremendous progress has been achieved in recent years in diversity, evolution and lifestyles of oomycete plant pathogens, as well as on the understanding of genetic and molecular basis of oomycete-plant interactions. Phytophthora parasitica is a soilborne pathogen with a wide range of host plants and represents most species in the genus Phytophthora. In this review, we present some recent progress of P. parasitica research by highlighting important features that make it emerge as a model species of oomycete pathogens. The emerged model pathogen will facilitate improved understanding of oomycete biology and pathology that are crucial to the development of novel disease-control strategies and improved disease-control measures.
PMCID: PMC4066925  PMID: 24999436
oomycete; Phytophthora parasitica; model pathosystem; tobacco; Arabidopsis thaliana
19.  Critical appraisal of sorafenib in the treatment of Chinese patients with renal cell carcinoma 
OncoTargets and therapy  2014;7:925-935.
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) accounts for 3% of all malignancies, and is the most aggressive cancer of the genitourinary system. Metastatic RCC is naturally resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and immunotherapy is of little benefit. In recent years, the emergence of molecular-targeted therapies has largely changed the therapeutic approach to metastatic RCC. These novel multikinase inhibitors have now become first-choice therapy because of their activity in inhibiting both cell proliferation and tumor angiogenesis. Sorafenib is the first tyrosine kinase inhibitor found to be effective in treating patients with metastatic RCC. Due to its good efficacy and safety, this agent is recommended as both first-line and second-line therapy for metastatic RCC in the People’s Republic of China. Sorafenib seems to be more effective in patients of Chinese ethnicity than in western patients, and is well tolerated with a manageable toxicity profile, even at higher dosages and when used in combination with other anticancer agents. Novel biomarkers for predicting the efficacy of sorafenib have potential clinical value for guiding individualized targeted therapy.
PMCID: PMC4057324  PMID: 24944516
kidney cancer; renal cell carcinoma; sorafenib; tyrosine kinase inhibitor
21.  Trait impulsivity and impaired prefrontal impulse inhibition function in adolescents with internet gaming addiction revealed by a Go/No-Go fMRI study 
Recent studies suggest that Internet gaming addiction (IGA) is an impulse disorder, or is at least related to impulse control disorders. In the present study, we hypothesized that different facets of trait impulsivity may be specifically linked to the brain regions with impaired impulse inhibition function in IGA adolescents.
Seventeen adolescents with IGA and seventeen healthy controls were scanned during performance of a response-inhibition Go/No-Go task using a 3.0 T MRI scanner. The Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS)-11 was used to assess impulsivity.
There were no differences in the behavioral performance on the Go/No-Go task between the groups. However, the IGA group was significantly hyperactive during No-Go trials in the left superior medial frontal gyrus, right anterior cingulate cortex, right superior/middle frontal gyrus, left inferior parietal lobule, left precentral gyrus, and left precuneus and cuneus. Further, the bilateral middle temporal gyrus, bilateral inferior temporal gyrus, and right superior parietal lobule were significantly hypoactive during No-Go trials. Activation of the left superior medial frontal gyrus was positively associated with BIS-11 and Chen Internet Addiction Scale (CIAS) total score across IGA participants.
Our data suggest that the prefrontal cortex may be involved in the circuit modulating impulsivity, while its impaired function may relate to high impulsivity in adolescents with IGA, which may contribute directly to the Internet addiction process.
PMCID: PMC4050412  PMID: 24885073
Internet addiction; Response inhibition; fMRI; Go/No-Go
22.  Laparoscopic resection of synchronous gastric cancer and primary small intestinal lymphoma: A case report 
Synchronous gastric cancer and primary small intestinal lymphoma are extremely rare. A 49-year-old woman was referred to our hospital with a history of upper abdominal pain for two weeks and was diagnosed with synchronous cancer. During hospitalization, the patient underwent laparoscopic distal gastrectomy + resection of bilateral ovaries + partial resection of both small intestine and descending colon. Pathological examination revealed a synchronous cancer consisting of early gastric cancer with poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma located in mucosa, with lymph node metastasis (3+/29) (T1N1M0, stage IB); and diffuse large B cell lymphoma of small intestine involving descending colon and bilateral ovaries, with lymph node metastasis (2+/5) (Ann Arbor IIE). The patient recovered well, without any obvious complications and was discharged on post-operative day 7. The patient received six cycles of chemotherapy after operation. She has been doing well with no evidence of recurrence for 13 mo.
PMCID: PMC4033475  PMID: 24876758
Synchronous; Multiple primary cancers; Gastric cancer; Primary small intestinal lymphoma
23.  Structural and Biochemical Characterization Reveals LysGH15 as an Unprecedented “EF-Hand-Like” Calcium-Binding Phage Lysin 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(5):e1004109.
The lysin LysGH15, which is derived from the staphylococcal phage GH15, demonstrates a wide lytic spectrum and strong lytic activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Here, we find that the lytic activity of the full-length LysGH15 and its CHAP domain is dependent on calcium ions. To elucidate the molecular mechanism, the structures of three individual domains of LysGH15 were determined. Unexpectedly, the crystal structure of the LysGH15 CHAP domain reveals an “EF-hand-like” calcium-binding site near the Cys-His-Glu-Asn quartet active site groove. To date, the calcium-binding site in the LysGH15 CHAP domain is unique among homologous proteins, and it represents the first reported calcium-binding site in the CHAP family. More importantly, the calcium ion plays an important role as a switch that modulates the CHAP domain between the active and inactive states. Structure-guided mutagenesis of the amidase-2 domain reveals that both the zinc ion and E282 are required in catalysis and enable us to propose a catalytic mechanism. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and titration-guided mutagenesis identify residues (e.g., N404, Y406, G407, and T408) in the SH3b domain that are involved in the interactions with the substrate. To the best of our knowledge, our results constitute the first structural information on the biochemical features of a staphylococcal phage lysin and represent a pivotal step forward in understanding this type of lysin.
Author Summary
The staphylococcal phage lysin LysGH15 demonstrates great potential against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Here, we report that the lytic activity of LysGH15 and its CHAP domain is dependent on calcium ions. To elucidate the molecular mechanism, we determined the structures of three individual LysGH15 domains using X-ray crystallography or nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The crystal structure unexpectedly reveals an “EF-hand-like” calcium-binding site near the Cys-His-Glu-Asn quartet active site groove in the LysGH15 CHAP domain. Furthermore, the calcium ion plays an important role as a switch that modulates the lytic activity of the CHAP domain. Additionally, structure-guided mutagenesis also confirms that both E282 and the zinc ion play an important role in maintaining the lytic activity of the LysGH15 amidase-2 domain. Moreover, the NMR structure and titration-guided mutagenesis identify residues in the LysGH15 SH3b domain that are involved in the interactions with the substrate. The structure of LysGH15 is the first determined lysin structure from a staphylococcal phage, and these results represent a pivotal step forward in understanding this type of lysin.
PMCID: PMC4022735  PMID: 24831957
24.  Initial transcatheter thrombolysis for acute superior mesenteric venous thrombosis 
AIM: To determine the optimal initial treatment modality for acute superior mesenteric vein thrombosis (ASMVT) in patients with circumscribed peritonitis.
METHODS: A retrospective review was made of the Vascular Surgery Department’s medical records to identify adult patients (≥ 18 years old) presenting with circumscribed peritonitis and diagnosed with ASMVT by imaging or endoscopic examination. Patients were selected from the time period between October 2009 and October 2012 to assess the overall performance of a new first-line treatment policy implemented in May 2011 for patients with circumscribed peritonitis, which recommends transcatheter thrombolysis with local anticoagulation and endovascular mechanical thrombectomy. Of the 25 patients selected for study inclusion, 12 had undergone emergency surgical exploration (group 1) and 13 had undergone the initial catheter-directed thrombolysis (group 2). Data extracted from each patient’s records for statistical analyses included method of diagnosis, symptoms, etiology and risk factors, thrombus location, initial management, morbidity, mortality, duration and total cost of hospitalization (in Renminbi, RMB), secondary operation, total length of bowel resection, duration of and findings in follow-up, and death/survival.
RESULTS: The two treatment groups showed similar rates of morbidity, 30-d mortality, and 1-year survival, as well as similar demographic characteristics, etiology or risk factors, computed tomography characteristics, symptoms, findings of blood testing at admission, complications, secondary operations, and follow-up outcomes. In contrast, the patients who received the initial non-operative treatment of transcatheter thrombolysis had significantly shorter durations of admission to symptom elimination (group 1: 18.25 ± 7.69 d vs group 2: 7.23 ± 2.42 d) and hospital stay (43.00 ± 13.77 d vs 20.46 ± 6.59 d), and early enteral or oral nutrition restoration (20.50 ± 5.13 d vs 8.92 ± 1.89 d), as well as significantly less total length of bowel resection (170.83 ± 61.27 cm vs 29.23 ± 50.24 cm) and lower total cost (200020.4 ± 91505.62 RMB vs 72785.6 ± 21828.16 RMB) (P < 0.05 for all). Statistical analyses suggested that initial transcatheter thrombolysis is correlated with quicker resolution of the thrombus, earlier improvement of symptoms, stimulation of collateral vessel development, reversal of intestinal ischemia, receipt of localizing bowel resection to prevent short bowel syndrome, shorter hospitalization, and lower overall cost of treatment.
CONCLUSION: For ASMVT patients with circumscribed peritonitis, early diagnosis is key to survival, and non-operative transcatheter thrombolysis is feasible and effective as an initial treatment.
PMCID: PMC4017063  PMID: 24833878
Acute superior mesenteric venous thrombosis; Transcatheter thrombolysis; Initial management; Circumscribed peritonitis
25.  Calpain: a molecule to induce AIF-mediated necroptosis in RGC-5 following elevated hydrostatic pressure 
BMC Neuroscience  2014;15:63.
RIP3 (Receptor-interacting protein 3) pathway was mainly described as the molecular mechanism of necroptosis (programmed necrosis). But recently, non-RIP3 pathways were found to mediate necroptosis. We deliberate to investigate the effect of calpain, a molecule to induce necroptosis as reported (Cell Death Differ 19:245–256, 2012), in RGC-5 following elevated hydrostatic pressure.
First, we identified the existence of necroptosis of RGC-5 after insult by using necrostatin-1 (Nec-1, necroptosis inhibitor) detected by flow cytometry. Immunofluorescence staining and western blot were used to detect the expression of calpain. Western blot analysis was carried out to describe the truncated AIF (tAIF) expression with or without pretreatment of ALLN (calpain activity inhibitor). Following elevated hydrostatic pressure, necroptotic cells pretreated with or without ALLN was stained by Annexin V/PI, The activity of calpain was also examined to confirm the inhibition effect of ALLN. The results showed that after cell injury there was an upregulation of calpain expression. Upon adding ALLN, the calpain activity was inhibited, and tAIF production was reduced upon injury along with the decreased number of necroptosis cells.
Our study found that calpain may induce necroptosis via tAIF-modulation in RGC-5 following elevated hydrostatic pressure.
PMCID: PMC4023497  PMID: 24884644
Retinal ganglion cells-5; Calpain; Elevated hydrostatic pressure; tAIF; Necroptosis

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