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1.  MicroRNA-27a promotes proliferation and suppresses apoptosis by targeting PLK2 in laryngeal carcinoma 
BMC Cancer  2014;14(1):678.
miRNA-27a has been confirmed as an important regulator in carcinogenesis and other pathological processes. Whether and how it plays a role in the laryngeal carcinoma is unknown.
Mature miRNA-27a expression in laryngeal cancer was detected by qRT-PCR. Gain-of-function studies using mature miR-27a were performed to investigate cell proliferation and apoptosis in the Hep2 cells. In silico database analysis and luciferase reporter assay were applied to predict and validate the direct target, respectively. Loss-of-function assays were performed to investigate the functional significance of the miR-27a target gene. qRT-PCR and Western blot were used to evaluate mRNA and protein levels of the target, respectively.
miR-27a was significantly up-regulated in the laryngeal tumor tissues compared to the adjacent non-tumor tissues. In silico database analysis result revealed that PLK2 is a potential target of miR-27a. luciferase reporter assay result showed the direct inhibition of miR-27a on PLK2-3′UTR. In the cases with miR-27a up-regulation, PLK2 protein expression level was significantly lower in cancer tissues than that in the adjacent non-tumor tissues, which showed a negative correlation with miR-27a expression level. Both miR-27a and knockdown of PLK2 caused the increase of the cell viability and colony formation and inhibition of the late apoptosis in the Hep2 cell lines. Moreover, miR-27a but not PLK2 also repressed the early apoptosis in the Hep2 cells. Additionally, no alteration of the Hep2 cell cycle induced by miR-27a was detected.
miR-27a acts as an oncogene in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma through down-regulation of PLK2 and may provide a novel clue into the potential mechanism of LSCC oncogenesis or serve as a useful biomarker in diagnosis and therapy in laryngeal cancer.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-678) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4177177  PMID: 25239093
Laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma; miR-27a; PLK2; Apoptosis; Proliferation
2.  Mutations and Down-Regulation of CDX1 in Children with Anorectal Malformations 
Background: Anorectal malformations (ARMs) represent a variety of congenital disorders that involve abnormal termination of the anorectum. This study was to reveal relation between CDX1 and human ARMs phenotypes.
Methods: 108 Chinese patients and 120 Chinese controls were included in this study. We analyzed the relation between two by PCR, qRT-PCR, western blot and immunofluorescence.
Results: Four heterozygous mutations in CDX1 gene were identified in ARMs patients (3.7%, 4/108), no found in controls. CDX1 protein expression was significantly decreased in the ARMs compared with the control anorectum. All samples analyzed in ARMs group exhibited down-regulated CDX1 mRNA expression in comparison to matched normal group, demonstrated significant differences statistically.
Conclusion: The findings represented the relation between CDX1 mutations and CDX1 genotype. Furthermore, it was suggested that the downregulation of CDX1 might be related to the development of ARMs.
PMCID: PMC3547218  PMID: 23329892
Anorectal malformations; CDX1; mutation; children
3.  Diaqua­bis­{3-[4-(1H-imidazol-1-yl)phenyl]-5-(pyridin-2-yl-κN)-1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-ido-κN 1}zinc 
The centrosymmetric mol­ecule of the title compound, [Zn(C16H11N6)2(H2O)2], contains one Zn2+ ion located on a center of symmetry, two 3-[4-(1H-imidazol-1-yl)phen­yl]-5-(pyridin-2-yl)-1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-ide (Ippyt) ligands and two coordinating water mol­ecules. The ZnII ion is six-coordinated in a distorted octa­hedral coordination geometry by four N atoms from two Ippyt ligands and by two O atoms from two water mol­ecules. Adjacent units are inter­connected though O—H⋯N hydrogen bonds, forming a three-dimensional network.
PMCID: PMC3435604  PMID: 22969477
4.  Promoter hypermethylation-induced transcriptional down-regulation of the gene MYCT1 in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:219.
MYCT1, previously named MTLC, is a novel candidate tumor suppressor gene. MYCT1 was cloned from laryngeal squamous cell cancer (LSCC) and has been found to be down-regulated in LSCC; however, the regulatory details have not been fully elucidated.
Here, we sought to investigate the methylation status of the CpG islands of MYCT1 and mRNA levels by bisulfite-specific PCR (BSP) based on sequencing restriction enzyme digestion, reverse transcription and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RQ-PCR). The function of specific sites in the proximal promoter of MYCT1 in LSCC was measured by transient transfection, luciferase assays, electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay (ChIP).
The results suggested hypermethylation of 12 CpG sites of the promoter in both laryngeal cancer tissues and the laryngeal cancer line Hep-2 cell. The hypermethylation of the site CGCG (−695 to −692), which has been identified as the c-Myc binding site, was identified in laryngeal cancer tissues (59/73) compared to paired mucosa (13/73); in addition, statistical analysis revealed that the methylation status of this site significantly correlated with cancer cell differentiation(p < 0.01). The mRNA level of MYCT1 increased in Hep-2 cells treated with 5-aza-C (p < 0.01). The luciferase activity from mutant transfectants pGL3-MYCT1m (−852/+12, mut-695-C > A, mut-693-C > G) was significantly reduced compared with the wild type pGL3-MYCT1 (−852/+12), while the luciferase activity from wild transfectants pGL3-MYCT1 (−852/+12) rose after 5-aza treatment in Hep-2 cells. Finally, EMSA and ChIP confirmed that the methylation of the CGCG (−695 to −692) site prevented c-Myc from binding of the site and demethylation treatment of the 5′ flanking region of MYCT1 by 5-aza induced the increased occupation of the core promoter by c-Myc (p < 0.01).
In summary, this study concluded that hypermethylation contributed to the transcriptional down-regulation of MYCT1 and could inhibit cancer cell differentiation in LSCC. DNA methylation of the CGCG site (−695 to −692) of MYCT1 altered the promoter activity by interfering with its binding to c-Myc in LSCC. Epigenetic therapy of reactivating MYCT1 by 5-aza should be further evaluated in clinical trails of LSCC.
PMCID: PMC3472177  PMID: 22672838
Hypermethylation; MYCT1; Laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma
5.  Adiponectin protects rat hippocampal neurons against excitotoxicity 
Age  2010;33(2):155-165.
Adiponectin exerts multiple regulatory functions in the body and in the hypothalamus primarily through activation of its two receptors, adiponectin receptor1 and adiponectin receptor 2. Recent studies have shown that adiponectin receptors are widely expressed in other areas of the brain including the hippocampus. However, the functions of adiponectin in brain regions other than the hypothalamus are not clear. Here, we report that adiponectin can protect cultured hippocampal neurons against kainic acid-induced (KA) cytotoxicity. Adiponectin reduced the level of reactive oxygen species, attenuated apoptotic cell death, and also suppressed activation of caspase-3 induced by KA. Pretreatment of hippocampal primary neurons with an AMPK inhibitor, compound C, abolished adiponectin-induced neuronal protection. The AMPK activator, 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-beta-D-ribofuranoside, attenuated KA-induced caspase-3 activity. These findings suggest that the AMPK pathway is critically involved in adiponectin-induced neuroprotection and may mediate the antioxidative and anti-apoptotic properties of adiponectin.
PMCID: PMC3127462  PMID: 20842535
Adiponectin; Neuroprotection; Hippocampus; Kainic acid; AMPK
6.  MYCT1-TV, A Novel MYCT1 Transcript, Is Regulated by c-Myc and May Participate in Laryngeal Carcinogenesis 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e25648.
MYCT1, a putative target of c-Myc, is a novel candidate tumor suppressor gene cloned from laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC). Its transcriptional regulation and biological effects on LSCC have not been clarified.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Using RACE assay, we cloned a 1106 bp transcript named Myc target 1 transcript variant 1 (MYCT1-TV) and confirmed its transcriptional start site was located at 140 bp upstream of the ATG start codon of MYCT1-TV. Luciferase, electrophoretic mobility shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays confirmed c-Myc could regulate the promoter activity of MYCT1-TV by specifically binding to the E-box elements within −886 to −655 bp region. These results were further verified by site-directed mutagenesis and RNA interference (RNAi) assays. MYCT1-TV and MYCT1 expressed lower in LSCC than those in paired adjacent normal laryngeal tissues, and overexpression of MYCT1-TV and MYCT1 could inhibit cell proliferation and invasion and promote apoptosis in LSCC cells.
Our data indicate that MYCT1-TV, a novel MYCT1 transcript, is regulated by c-Myc and down-regulation of MYCT1-TV/MYCT1 could contribute to LSCC development and function.
PMCID: PMC3187795  PMID: 21998677
7.  Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Dendritic Plasticity Support Running-Improved Spatial Learning and Depression-Like Behaviour in Stressed Rats 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(9):e24263.
Exercise promotes hippocampal neurogenesis and dendritic plasticity while stress shows the opposite effects, suggesting a possible mechanism for exercise to counteract stress. Changes in hippocampal neurogenesis and dendritic modification occur simultaneously in rats with stress or exercise; however, it is unclear whether neurogenesis or dendritic remodeling has a greater impact on mediating the effect of exercise on stress since they have been separately examined. Here we examined hippocampal cell proliferation in runners treated with different doses (low: 30 mg/kg; moderate: 40 mg/kg; high: 50 mg/kg) of corticosterone (CORT) for 14 days. Water maze task and forced swim tests were applied to assess hippocampal-dependent learning and depression-like behaviour respectively the day after the treatment. Repeated CORT treatment resulted in a graded increase in depression-like behaviour and impaired spatial learning that is associated with decreased hippocampal cell proliferation and BDNF levels. Running reversed these effects in rats treated with low or moderate, but not high doses of CORT. Using 40 mg/kg CORT-treated rats, we further studied the role of neurogenesis and dendritic remodeling in mediating the effects of exercise on stress. Co-labelling with BrdU (thymidine analog) /doublecortin (immature neuronal marker) showed that running increased neuronal differentiation in vehicle- and CORT-treated rats. Running also increased dendritic length and spine density in CA3 pyramidal neurons in 40 mg/kg CORT-treated rats. Ablation of neurogenesis with Ara-c infusion diminished the effect of running on restoring spatial learning and decreasing depression-like behaviour in 40 mg/kg CORT-treated animals in spite of dendritic and spine enhancement. but not normal runners with enhanced dendritic length. The results indicate that both restored hippocampal neurogenesis and dendritic remodelling within the hippocampus are essential for running to counteract stress.
PMCID: PMC3174166  PMID: 21935393
8.  14,54-Dichloro-3(2,7),7(2,7)-dinaphthal­ena-2,4,6,8-tetra­oxa-1(2,6),5(2,6)-di(1,3,5-triazina)octa­phane 
In the macrocyclic title compound, C26H12Cl2N6O4, an O-atom-bridged calix[2]naphthalene­[2]triazine synthesized using a one-pot approach from naphthalene-2,7-diol and cyanuric chloride, the two isolated naphthalene planes and the two triazine-2,6-di­oxy planes adopt a 1,3-alternate configuration, with a dihedral angle of 84.10 (8)° between the naphthalene rings and a dihedral angle of 39.02 (14)° between the triazine rings. In the crystal, weak inter­molecular π–π stacking inter­actions are found between face-to-face naphthalene rings [centroid–centroid distance = 3.662 (7) Å].
PMCID: PMC3200940  PMID: 22065129
9.  Adipogenic Signaling in Rat White Adipose Tissue: Modulation by Aging and Calorie Restriction 
Experimental gerontology  2007;42(8):733-744.
Alterations in adipogenesis could have significant impact on several aging processes. We previously reported that calorie restriction (CR) in rats significantly increases the level of circulating adiponectin, a distinctive marker of differentiated adipocytes, leading to a concerted modulation in the expression of key transcription target genes and, as a result, to increased fatty acid oxidation and reduced deleterious lipid accumulation in other tissues. These findings led us to investigate further the effects of aging on adipocytes and to determine how CR modulates adipogenic signaling in vivo. CR for 2 and 25 months, significantly increased the expression of PPARγ, C/EBPβ and Cdk-4, and partially attenuated age-related decline in C/EBPα expression relative to rats fed ad libitum (AL). As a result, adiponectin was upregulated at both mRNA and protein levels, resulting in activation of target genes involved in fatty acid oxidation and fatty acid synthesis, and greater responsiveness of adipose tissue to insulin. Moreover, CR significantly decreased the ratio of C/EBPß isoforms LAP/LIP, suggesting the suppression of gene transcription associated with terminal differentiation while facilitating preadipocytes proliferation. Morphometric analysis revealed a greater number of small adipocytes in CR relative to AL feeding. Immunostaining confirmed that small adipocytes were more strongly positive for adiponectin than the large ones. Overall these results suggest that CR increased the expression of adipogenic factors, and maintained the differentiated state of adipocytes, which is critically important for adiponectin biosynthesis and insulin sensitivity.
PMCID: PMC1978194  PMID: 17624709
C/EBPs; PPAR; Lipid Metabolism; Insulin Sensitivity; Insulin/Insulin-Like Signaling

Results 1-9 (9)