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1.  Down-Regulation of Human Enteric Antimicrobial Peptides by NOD2 during Differentiation of the Paneth Cell Lineage 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8383.
Ileal Crohn's disease (CD) arising from the alteration of intestinal homeostasis is characterized by two features, namely a decrease in Paneth cell-produced antimicrobial peptides that play a key role in maintaining this balance and an increase in NOD2, an intracellular sensor. Although mutations in NOD2 are highly correlated with the incidence of CD, the physiological role of NOD2 in intestinal immunity remains elusive. Here, we show that NOD2 can down-regulate the expression of human enteric antimicrobial peptides during differentiation of the Paneth cell lineage. This finding, which links the decrease of human enteric antimicrobial peptides to increased NOD2 in ileal CD patients, provides a new view into the pathogenesis of ileal CD.
PMCID: PMC4323657  PMID: 25670499
2.  Thaliporphine Derivative Improves Acute Lung Injury after Traumatic Brain Injury 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:729831.
Acute lung injury (ALI) occurs frequently in patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and is associated with a poor clinical outcome. Aquaporins (AQPs), particularly AQP1 and AQP4, maintain water balances between the epithelial and microvascular domains of the lung. Since pulmonary edema (PE) usually occurs in the TBI-induced ALI patients, we investigated the effects of a thaliporphine derivative, TM-1, on the expression of AQPs and histological outcomes in the lung following TBI in rats. TM-1 administered (10 mg/kg, intraperitoneal injection) at 3 or 4 h after TBI significantly reduced the elevated mRNA expression and protein levels of AQP1 and AQP4 and diminished the wet/dry weight ratio, which reflects PE, in the lung at 8 and 24 h after TBI. Postinjury TM-1 administration also improved histopathological changes at 8 and 24 h after TBI. PE was accompanied with tissue pathological changes because a positive correlation between the lung injury score and the wet/dry weight ratio in the same animal was observed. Postinjury administration of TM-1 improved ALI and reduced PE at 8 and 24 h following TBI. The pulmonary-protective effect of TM-1 may be attributed to, at least in part, downregulation of AQP1 and AQP4 expression after TBI.
PMCID: PMC4330958
3.  Prognostic role of microRNA-205 in multiple human malignant neoplasms: a meta-analysis of 17 studies 
BMJ Open  2015;5(1):e006244.
MicroRNA-205 (miRNA-205) was revealed as an attractive prognostic tumour biomarker in recent studies. However, the results of different studies have been inconsistent. We conducted a meta-analysis to elucidate the precise predictive value of miRNA-205 in various human malignant neoplasms.
Data sources
Qualified studies were identified up to 5 June 2014 by performing online searches in PubMed, EMBASE and Web of Science, and additional quality evaluations.
Seventeen eligible studies with 4827 patients were ultimately enrolled in this meta-analysis.
Outcome measures
The heterogeneity between studies was assessed using I2 statistics. Pooled HRs with 95% CIs for patient survival and disease recurrence were calculated to investigate the correlation between miRNA-205 expression and cancer prognosis.
Our results indicate that elevated miRNA-205 was significantly associated with enhanced overall survival in the breast cancer subgroup (HR=0.78, 95% CI 0.67 to 0.91) and superior disease-free survival/recurrence-free survival in the adenocarcinoma subgroup (HR=0.68, 95% CI 0.49 to 0.94).
miRNA-205 is a promising biomarker for predicting the recurrence and progression of patients with adenocarcinomas or breast cancer. Owing to its complex roles, further relevant studies are warranted.
PMCID: PMC4305071  PMID: 25613953
4.  Complete Genome Sequence of Cedecea neteri Strain SSMD04, a Bacterium Isolated from Pickled Mackerel Sashimi 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(6):e01339-14.
We report here the complete genome sequence of C. neteri SSMD04, a strain isolated from pickled mackerel sashimi, sequenced by third-generation sequencing technology. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first documentation that reports the complete genome of Cedecea neteri.
PMCID: PMC4271172  PMID: 25523782
5.  Complete Genome Sequence of Pluralibacter gergoviae FB2, an N-Acyl Homoserine Lactone-Degrading Strain Isolated from Packed Fish Paste 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(6):e01276-14.
Pluralibacter gergoviae FB2, a bacterial strain isolated from packed food, has been found to exhibit quorum-quenching properties. Hence, we report the first, complete genome of P. gergoviae sequenced using the Pacific Biosciences single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) platform.
PMCID: PMC4263834  PMID: 25502672
6.  Potassium Niobate Nanolamina: A Promising Adsorbent for Entrapment of Radioactive Cations from Water 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:7313.
Processing and managing radioactive waste is a great challenge worldwide as it is extremely difficult and costly; the radioactive species, cations or anions, leaked into the environment are a serious threat to the health of present and future generations. We report layered potassium niobate (K4Nb6O17) nanolamina as adsorbent to remove toxic Sr2+, Ba2+ and Cs+ cations from wastewater. The results show that K4Nb6O17 nanolamina can permanently confine the toxic cations within the interlayer spacing via a considerable deformation of the metastable layered structure during the ion exchange process. At the same time, the nanolaminar adsorbent exhibits prompt adsorption kinetics, high adsorption capacity and selectivity, and superior acid resistance. These merits make it be a promising material as ion exchanger for the removal of radioactive cations from wastewater.
PMCID: PMC4255181  PMID: 25472721
7.  Effect of Different Attentional Instructions on the Acquisition of a Serial Movement Task 
Recent research in attentional focus of instruction has predominantly over-emphasized the investigation of discrete and continuous skills rather than serial skills. The purpose of this study was therefore to examine the effect of different attentional focus instructions on learning a serial skill task (i.e., taekwondo routine) in novice learners. It was predicted that the use of movement outcome instructions could enhance the learning of a serial skill as previously supported in studies examining the acquisition of discrete and continuous skills. Thirteen female participants were recruited for this study and were assigned to either movement form condition - control group (n = 7) or movement outcome condition – treatment group (n = 6). All participants underwent 12 practice sessions over an 8-week period with their respective instructional conditions with each session lasting 30 minutes. Video recording of the serial skill tasks (hand techniques, kicking techniques and 10-step routine) were captured at “the-twelfth-training session”, “after 1-week”, and “after 1-month”. It was found that more participants in the treatment group obtained a higher score in all three serial skill tasks, especially in Mastery component of ‘Kicking’ techniques at ‘after 1-week’ (p < 0.05, r = 0.57). This study suggested that movement outcome instructions have positive medium effect on balance control for serial skill task, especially in kicking actions.
Key PointsMovement outcome (MO) instructions have a positive impact on learning a serial task, especially in kicking actions.More functional coordination during movement executions for MO participants.Benefits for MO instructions may be individual specific.
PMCID: PMC4234947  PMID: 25435770
Focus of attention; serial skill tasks; taekwondo routine
8.  Duodenum-preserving resection and Roux-en-Y pancreatic jejunostomy in benign pancreatic head tumors 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(44):16786-16792.
This study was conducted to explore the feasibility of partial pancreatic head resection and Roux-en-Y pancreatic jejunostomy for the treatment of benign tumors of the pancreatic head (BTPH). From November 2006 to February 2009, four patients (three female and one male) with a mean age of 34.3 years (range: 21-48 years) underwent partial pancreatic head resection and Roux-en-Y pancreatic jejunostomy for the treatment of BTPH (diameters of 3.2-4.5 cm) using small incisions (5.1-7.2 cm). Preoperative symptoms include one case of repeated upper abdominal pain, one case of drowsiness and two cases with no obvious preoperative symptoms. All four surgeries were successfully performed. The mean operative time was 196.8 min (range 165-226 min), and average blood loss was 138.0 mL (range: 82-210 mL). The mean postoperative hospital stay was 7.5 d (range: 7-8 d). In one case, the main pancreatic duct was injured. Pathological examination confirmed that one patient suffered from mucinous cystadenoma, one exhibited insulinoma, and two patients had solid-pseudopapillary neoplasms. There were no deaths or complications observed during the perioperative period. All patients had no signs of recurrence of the BTPH within a follow-up period of 48-76 mo and had good quality of life without diabetes. Partial pancreatic head resection with Roux-en-Y pancreatic jejunostomy is feasible in selected patients with BTPH.
PMCID: PMC4248228  PMID: 25469053
Pancreatic benign tumor; Pancreatic head; Partial resection; Roux-en-Y pancreatic jejunostomy; Postoperative complications
9.  Increased expression and possible role of chitinase 3-like-1 in a colitis-associated carcinoma model 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(42):15736-15744.
AIM: To investigate the possible role of chitinase 3-like-1 (CHI3L1) in the progression of colitis-associated carcinoma (CAC).
METHODS: Thirty-four Balb/c mice were randomly assigned to five groups, including the control, CAC control, CAC + caffeine, colitis control and colitis + caffeine. Three animals were sacrificed every two weeks for blinded macroscopic inspection, histological analysis, and total RNA extraction. An immunofluorescent assay was performed using specimens from the colitis control and colitis + caffeine groups to investigate whether the protective effect of caffeine was associated with less oxidative DNA damage. In vitro, HT29 cells pre-stimulated with different concentrations of recombinant CHI3L1 protein and H2O2 were loaded with the DCFH-DA fluorescent probe to determine the effect of CHI3L1 on intracellular reactive oxygen species production.
RESULTS: CHI3L1 mRNA was increased during the progression of colon carcinogenesis. Tumors were mostly located in the distal end of the colon where the expression of CHI3L1 was higher than in the proximal colon. Caffeine-treated mice developed fewer tumors and milder inflammation than untreated mice. CHI3L1 protein increased reactive oxygen species in HT29 cells when exposed to H2O2.
CONCLUSION: Caffeine reduces tumor incidence by decreasing oxidative DNA damage. CHI3L1 may contribute to CAC by increasing reactive oxygen species production.
PMCID: PMC4229538  PMID: 25400457
Inflammatory bowel disease; Ulcerative colitis; Colitis-associated carcinoma; Murine model; Chitinase 3-like-1; Oxidative stress; Colorectal cancer
10.  The Steroidogenic Enzyme Cyp11a1 is Essential for Development of Peanut-Induced Intestinal Anaphylaxis 
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology  2013;132(5):10.1016/j.jaci.2013.05.027.
Cyp11a1, a cytochrome P450 enzyme, is the first and rate-limiting enzyme in the steroidogenic pathway, converting cholesterol to pregnenolone.Cyp11a1 expression is increases in activated T cells.
To determine the role of Cyp11a1 activation in the development of peanut allergy and T helper cell functional differentiation.
A Cyp11a1 inhibitor, aminoglutethimide (AMG), was administered to peanut-sensitized and -challenged mice. Clinical symptoms, intestinal inflammation, and Cyp11a1 levels were assessed. The effects of Cyp11a1 inhibition on Th1, Th2, and Th17 differentiation were determined. Cyp11a1 gene silencing was performed using Cyp11a1-targeted short hairpin RNA.
Peanut sensitization and challenge resulted in diarrhea, inflammation and increased levels of Cyp11a1, IL-13, and IL-17A mRNA in the small intestine. Inhibition of Cyp11a1 with AMG prevented allergic diarrhea and inflammation. Levels of pregnenolone in serum were reduced in parallel. AMG-treatment decreased IL13 and IL17A mRNA expression in the small intestine without impacting Cyp11a1 mRNA or protein levels. In vitro, the inhibitor decreased levels of IL13 and IL17A mRNA and protein in differentiated Th2 and Th17 CD4 T cells, respectively, without affecting GATA3, RORγt or Th1 cells and IFNG and T-bet expression. shRNA-mediated silencing of Cyp11a1 in polarized Th2 CD4 T cells significantly decreased levels of pregnenolone, and IL13 mRNA and protein.
Cyp11a1 plays an important role in the development of peanut allergy, regulating peanut allergic responses through effects on steroidogenesis, an essential pathway in Th2 differentiation. Cyp11a1 thus serves as a novel target in the regulation and treatment of peanut allergy.
PMCID: PMC3864874  PMID: 23870673
Cyp11a1; peanut allergy; Th2; Th17; CD4 T cells
11.  Core-shell-structured silica/polyacrylate particles prepared by Pickering emulsion: influence of the nucleation model on particle interfacial organization and emulsion stability 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):534.
This work reports a new evidence of the versatility of silica sol as a stabilizer for Pickering emulsions. The organization of silica particles at the oil-water interface is a function of the nucleation model. The present results show that nucleation model, together with monomer hydrophobicity, can be used as a trigger to modify the packing density of silica particles at the oil-water interface: Less hydrophobic methylmethacrylate, more wettable with silica particles, favors the formation of core-shell-structured composite when the composite particles are prepared by miniemulsion polymerization in which monomers are fed in batch (droplet nucleation). By contrast, hydrophobic butylacrylate promotes the encapsulating efficiency of silica when monomers are fed dropwise (homogeneous nucleation). The morphologies of polyacrylate-nano-SiO2 composites prepared from different feed ratio of methylmethacrylate/butylacrylate (with different hydrophobicity) and by different feed processes are characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques. The results from SEM and TEM show that the morphologies of the as-prepared polyacrylate/nano-SiO2 composite can be a core-shell structure or a bare acrylic sphere. The stability of resulting emulsions composed of these composite particles is strongly dependent on the surface coverage of silica particles. The emulsion stability is improved by densely silica-packed composite particles.
PMCID: PMC4194059  PMID: 25313299
Polymer composites; Wetting ability; Nucleation model; Core-shell; Pickering emulsion; Self-assembly
12.  Both Carboplatin and Bevacizumab Improve Pathological Complete Remission Rate in Neoadjuvant Treatment of Triple Negative Breast Cancer: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e108405.
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is associated with high pathological complete remission (pCR) rate in neoadjuvant treatment (NAT). TNBC patients who achieve pCR have superior outcome than those without pCR. A meta-analysis was done to evaluate whether integrating novel approaches into NAT can improve the pCR rate in TNBC. Medical subject heading terms (Breast Neoplasm) and key words (triple negative OR estrogen receptor (ER) negative OR HER2 negative) AND (primary systemic OR neoadjuvant OR preoperative) were used to select eligible studies. Experimental arm in each study was considered as the testing regimen, and control arm was defined as the standard regimen in this meta-analysis. A total of 11 studies with 14 paired regimens were included in the final analysis. Aggregate pCR rate was 37.3% and 44.6% in the standard and testing group, respectively. Novel approaches in the testing regimen significantly improved the pCR rate in NAT of TNBC patients compared with the standard regimen, with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.34 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11–1.62, P = 0.002). Considering specific regimens, we demonstrated the pCR rate to be much higher in the carboplatin-containing (OR = 1.80, 95% CI 1.39–2.32, P<0.001) or bevacizumab-containing regimens (OR = 1.36, 95% CI 1.11–1.66, P = 0.003) than in the control regimens. The addition of carboplatin in NAT had a pCR rate as high as 51.2% in TNBC patients, with an absolute pCR difference of 13.8% as compared with control regimens. No significant heterogeneity was identified among studies evaluating the addition of carboplatin or bevacizumab efficacy in NAT. This meta-analysis indicates that these novel NAT regimens have achieved a significant pCR improvement in TNBC patients, especially among patients treated with carboplatin-containing or bevacizumab-containing regimen. This can help us design appropriate trials in the adjuvant setting and guide clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC4172579  PMID: 25247558
13.  Flexible carbon nanotube/mono-crystalline Si thin-film solar cells 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):514.
Flexible heterojunction solar cells were fabricated from carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and mono-crystalline Si thin films at room temperature. The Si thin films with thickness less than 50 μm are prepared by chemically etching Si wafer in a KOH solution. The initial efficiency of the thin-film solar cell varies from approximately 3% to 5%. After doping with a few drops of 1 M HNO3, the efficiency increases to 6% with a short-circuit current density of 16.8 mA/cm2 and a fill factor of 71.5%. The performance of the solar cells depends on the surface state and thickness of Si thin films, as well as the interface of CNT/Si. The flexible CNT/Si thin-film solar cells exhibit good stability in bending-recovery cycles.
PMCID: PMC4174534  PMID: 25258617
Carbon nanotubes; Si thin film; Solar cell; Heterojunction
14.  Collagen-Glycosaminoglycan Matrix Implantation Promotes Angiogenesis following Surgical Brain Trauma 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:672409.
Surgical brain injury (SBI) is unavoidable during many neurosurgical procedures intrinsically linked to postoperative neurological deficits. We have previously demonstrated that implantation of collagen glycosaminoglycan (CG) following surgical brain injury could significantly promote functional recovery and neurogenesis. In this study we further hypothesized that this scaffold may provide a microenvironment by promoting angiogenesis to favor neurogenesis and subsequent functional recovery. Using the rodent model of surgical brain injury as we previously established, we divided Sprague-Dawley male rats (weighting 300–350 g) into three groups: (1) sham (2) surgical injury with a lesion (L), and (3) L with CG matrix implantation (L + CG). Our results demonstrated that L + CG group showed a statistically significant increase in the density of vascular endothelial cells and blood vessels over time. In addition, tissue concentrations of angiogenic growth factors (such as VEGF, FGF2, and PDGF) significantly increased in L + CG group. These results suggest that implantation of a CG scaffold can promote vascularization accompanied by neurogenesis. This opens prospects for use of CG scaffolds in conditions such as brain injury including trauma and ischemia.
PMCID: PMC4182695  PMID: 25309917
15.  Nonlinear Pedagogy: An Effective Approach to Cater for Individual Differences in Learning a Sports Skill 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104744.
Learning a sports skill is a complex process in which practitioners are challenged to cater for individual differences. The main purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of a Nonlinear Pedagogy approach for learning a sports skill. Twenty-four 10-year-old females participated in a 4-week intervention involving either a Nonlinear Pedagogy (i.e.,manipulation of task constraints including equipment and rules) or a Linear Pedagogy (i.e., prescriptive, repetitive drills) approach to learn a tennis forehand stroke. Performance accuracy scores, movement criterion scores and kinematic data were measured during pre-intervention, post-intervention and retention tests. While both groups showed improvements in performance accuracy scores over time, the Nonlinear Pedagogy group displayed a greater number of movement clusters at post-test indicating the presence of degeneracy (i.e., many ways to achieve the same outcome). The results suggest that degeneracy is effective for learning a sports skill facilitated by a Nonlinear Pedagogy approach. These findings challenge the common misconception that there must be only one ideal movement solution for a task and thus have implications for coaches and educators when designing instructions for skill acquisition.
PMCID: PMC4139301  PMID: 25140822
16.  Chronic bronchitis with fungal infection presenting with marked elevation of serum carbohydrate antigen 19-9: a case report 
Carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9) is the most frequently applied serum tumor marker for diagnosis of cancers in the digestive organs. However, some patients with benign diseases can have elevated serum levels of CA19-9 as well. The current study presents a 55-year-old female who was admitted to our hospital for further evaluation of a nodular cavity shadow in the right lower lobe and clarification of the cause of the marked elevation of serum CA19-9 levels. Abdominal MRI and gastrointestinal endoscopy did not find any malignancy. As lung cancer cannot be excluded in this patient, a video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery was carried, intraoperative and postoperative biopsy analysis both suggested chronic bronchitis with fungal infection (due to Histoplasma capsulatum or Penicillium marneffei) and organization. Immunohistochemistry showed marked positive staining for CA19-9 in the damaged lung tissue. The CA19-9 levels quickly returned to the normal range following lobe resection. Therefore, the marked elevation of serum CA19-9 levels, in this case, may have resulted from the chronic bronchitis with fungal infection.
PMCID: PMC4203255  PMID: 25337284
Carbohydrate antigen 19-9; chronic bronchitis; fungal infection; immunohistochemistry
17.  Acute Pancreatitis as the Initial Presentation of Systematic Lupus Erythematosus 
Systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multisystem disease, including the gastrointestinal system in about half of SLE patients. As a rare complication of SLE, acute pancreatitis presents as generalized flare-ups in most cases of patients previously diagnosed with SLE. Here we report a rare case of acute pancreatitis as the initial presentation with later diagnosis of SLE.
PMCID: PMC4150433  PMID: 25197582
18.  Prognostic role of microRNA-145 in various human malignant neoplasms: a meta-analysis of 18 related studies 
Recent studies show that microRNA-145 (miR-145) might be an attractive tumor biomarker of considerable prognostic value. To clarify the preliminary predictive value of miR-145 for prognosis in various malignant neoplasms, we conducted a meta-analysis of 18 relevant studies.
Eligible studies were identified by searching the online databases PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science up to March 2014. Pooled hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for patient survival and disease progress were calculated to investigate the association with miR-145 expression.
In total, 18 eligible studies were included in this meta-analysis. Our results showed that upregulated miR-145 significantly predicted a favorable overall survival (OS) (HR = 0.47, 95% CI 0.31 to 0.72), but failed to show a significant relation with disease prognosis. In stratified analyses, high miR-145 expression predicted favorable OS in both Whites and Asians but the intensity of the association in Whites (HR = 0.67, 95% CI 0.47 to 0.95) was not as strong as in Asians (HR = 0.35, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.64). High miR-145 expression also predicted better progression-free survival (PFS) in Asians (HR = 0.43, 95% CI 0.21 to 0.89), but not in Whites. In addition, a significantly favorable OS associated with upregulated miR-145 expression was observed in both squamous cell (SCC) (HR = 0.34, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.93) and glioblastoma (HR = 0.72, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.99).
Our findings indicate that high miR-145 expression is better at predicting patient survival rather than disease progression for malignant tumors, especially for SCC and glioblastoma in Asians. Considering the insufficient evidence, further investigations and more studies are needed.
PMCID: PMC4249768  PMID: 25106061
Malignant neoplasm; miR-145; Prognosis; Overall survival; Progression-free survival
19.  Long-term outcomes following adjuvant endocrine therapy in breast cancer patients with a positive-to-negative change of hormone receptor status following neoadjuvant chemotherapy 
Molecular and Clinical Oncology  2014;2(6):997-1002.
The aim of the present study was to investigate whether breast cancer patients with changes from positive to negative in the hormone receptor following neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) could benefit from adjuvant endocrine therapy (ET). Between December 2000 and November 2010, 97 eligible patients with a positive-to-negative switch of the hormone receptor status following NAC were identified. All the patients were categorized into two groups on the basis of the administration of ET: 57 ET-administered and 40 ET-naïve patients. Survival analyses were performed to examine the prognostic value of ET administration, as well as other clinical and pathological variables. The administration of ET was associated with a significantly improved disease-free survival (DFS) (P=0.018) in patients with a positive-to-negative switch of the hormone receptor status. The 5-year DFS rates were 77.0 and 55.5% in ET-administered and ET-naïve patients, respectively. The 5-year overall survival (OS) rate for ET-administered was also higher than that of the ET-naïve patients (81.3 vs. 72.7%, P=0.053), but the difference between the two groups did not reach a statistical significance. The present study revealed that patients with the hormone receptor that was altered from positive to negative following NAC benefit from ET, and the hormone receptor status should be evaluated not only in specimens obtained during post-NAC surgery, but also in specimens biopsied prior to NAC.
PMCID: PMC4179815  PMID: 25279188
breast cancer; endocrine therapy; neoadjuvant chemotherapy; hormone receptor
20.  The efficacy of molecular subtyping in predicting postoperative recurrence in breast-conserving therapy: a 15-study meta-analysis 
Recent research displays that breast cancer (BC) is a heterogeneous disease and distinct molecular subtypes yield different prognostic outcomes.
We conducted a meta-analysis to clarify the role of molecular subtypes in recurrence risk after breast-conserving therapy (BCT). Eligible studies of single- (ER, PR, Her-2, and p53) and triple-molecular (Luminal A, Luminal B, Her-2, triple-negative) subtypes were identified through multiple search strategies. Pooled hazard ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated to assess this research topic.
Fifteen studies involving 21,645 participants were included in the meta-analysis. Her-2 positive patients had a significantly higher recurrence risk in both overall merge (HR = 1.97, 95% CI: 1.41-2.75) and subtotal merge of local recurrence (LR) (HR = 1.93, 95% CI: 1.34-2.78). Significantly higher risk of recurrence was also observed in p53 positive patients by overall merge (HR = 1.78, 95% CI: 1.49 -2.12) and subtotal merge of LR (HR = 1.73, 95% CI: 1.44-2.07). When setting Luminal A as a baseline, Luminal B, Her-2, and triple-negative all showed significantly increased risk for both LR and distant recurrence (DR). Comparing triple-negative and non-triple-negative subtypes showed the biggest risk for overall recurrence (HR = 3.19, 95% CI: 1.91-5.31) and LR (HR = 3.31, 95% CI: 1.69-6.45).
Our meta-analysis showed significant differences in recurrence risk among various molecular subtypes after BCT. Although Her-2 and p53 positive subtypes can be considered independent prognostic biomarkers for indicating high LR risk, triple-molecular biomarkers showed higher clinical value. Triple-negative subtype showed the highest recurrence risk among all subtypes, and adjuvant chemotherapy should be considered for it.
PMCID: PMC4105249  PMID: 25022995
Breast cancer; Molecular subtypes; Breast-conserving therapy; Recurrence; Meta-analysis
21.  Gene clusters of Hafnia alvei strain FB1 important in survival and pathogenesis: a draft genome perspective 
Gut Pathogens  2014;6:29.
Hafnia alvei is an opportunistic pathogen involved in various types of nosocomical infections. The species has been found to inhabit food and mammalian guts. However, its status as an enteropathogen, and whether the food-inhabiting strains could be a source of gastrointestinal infection remains obscure. In this report we present a draft genome of H. alvei strain FB1 isolated from fish paste meatball, a food popular among Malaysian and Chinese populations. The data was generated on the Illumina MiSeq platform.
A comparative study was carried out on FB1 against two other previously sequenced H. alvei genomes. Several gene clusters putatively involved in survival and pathogenesis of H. alvei FB1 in food and gut environment were characterised in this study. These include the widespread colonisation island (WCI), the tad locus that is known to play an essential role in biofilm formation, a eut operon that might contribute to advantage in nutrient acquisition in gut environment, and genes responsible for siderophore production This features enable the bacteria to successful colonise in the host gut environment.
With the whole genome data of H. alvei FB1 presented in this study, we hope to provide an insight into future studies on this candidate of enteropathogen by looking into the possible mechanisms employed to survive stresses and gain advantage in competitions, which eventually leads to successful colonisation and pathogenesis. This is to serve as the basis for more effective clinical diagnosis and treatment.
PMCID: PMC4114107  PMID: 25075225
Hafnia alvei; Gut pathogen; Widespread Colonisation Island; tad; Ethanolamine utilisation; eut; Siderophore; Next generation sequencing
22.  Novel AAV-Based Rat Model of Forebrain Synucleinopathy Shows Extensive Pathologies and Progressive Loss of Cholinergic Interneurons 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e100869.
Synucleinopathies, characterized by intracellular aggregation of α-synuclein protein, share a number of features in pathology and disease progression. However, the vulnerable cell population differs significantly between the disorders, despite being caused by the same protein. While the vulnerability of dopamine cells in the substantia nigra to α-synuclein over-expression, and its link to Parkinson's disease, is well studied, animal models recapitulating the cortical degeneration in dementia with Lewy-bodies (DLB) are much less mature. The aim of this study was to develop a first rat model of widespread progressive synucleinopathy throughout the forebrain using adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector mediated gene delivery. Through bilateral injection of an AAV6 vector expressing human wild-type α-synuclein into the forebrain of neonatal rats, we were able to achieve widespread, robust α-synuclein expression with preferential expression in the frontal cortex. These animals displayed a progressive emergence of hyper-locomotion and dysregulated response to the dopaminergic agonist apomorphine. The animals receiving the α-synuclein vector displayed significant α-synuclein pathology including intra-cellular inclusion bodies, axonal pathology and elevated levels of phosphorylated α-synuclein, accompanied by significant loss of cortical neurons and a progressive reduction in both cortical and striatal ChAT positive interneurons. Furthermore, we found evidence of α-synuclein sequestered by IBA-1 positive microglia, which was coupled with a distinct change in morphology. In areas of most prominent pathology, the total α-synuclein levels were increased to, on average, two-fold, which is similar to the levels observed in patients with SNCA gene triplication, associated with cortical Lewy body pathology. This study provides a novel rat model of progressive cortical synucleinopathy, showing for the first time that cholinergic interneurons are vulnerable to α-synuclein over-expression. This animal model provides a powerful new tool for studies of neuronal degeneration in conditions of widespread cortical α-synuclein pathology, such as DLB, as well an attractive model for the exploration of novel biomarkers.
PMCID: PMC4085060  PMID: 24999658
23.  Erythropoietin contributes to slow oxidative muscle fiber specification via PGC-1α and AMPK activation 
Erythropoietin activity, required for erythropoiesis, is not restricted to the erythroid lineage. In light of reports on the metabolic effects of erythropoietin, we examined the effect of erythropoietin signaling on skeletal muscle fiber type development. Skeletal muscles that are rich in slow twitch fibers are associated with increased mitochondrial oxidative activity and corresponding expression of related genes compared to muscle rich in fast twitch fibers. Although erythropoietin receptor is expressed on muscle progenitor/precursor cells and is down regulated in mature muscle fibers, we found that skeletal muscles from mice with high erythropoietin production in vivo exhibit an increase in the proportion of slow twitch myofibers and increased mitochondrial activity. In comparison, skeletal muscle from wild type mice and mice with erythropoietin activity restricted to erythroid tissue have fewer slow twitch myofibers and reduced mitochondrial activity. PGC-1α activates mitochondrial oxidative metabolism and converts the fast myofibers to slow myofibers when overexpressed in skeletal muscle and PGC- 1α was elevated by 2-fold in mice with high erythropoietin. In vitro erythropoietin treatment of primary skeletal myoblasts increased mitochondrial biogenesis gene expression including PGC- 1α by 2.6-fold, CytC by 2-fold, oxygen consumption rate by 2-fold, and citrate synthase activity by 58%. Erythropoietin also increases AMPK, which induces PGC-1α and stimulates slow oxidative fiber formation. These data suggest that erythropoietin contributes to skeletal muscle fiber programming and metabolism, and increases PGC-1α and AMPK activity during muscle development directly to affect the proportion of slow/fast twitch myofibers in mature skeletal muscle.
PMCID: PMC3684177  PMID: 23523698
Erythropoietin; slow twitch fiber; AMPK; PGC-1α; mitochondrial activity
24.  L-Ascorbate Attenuates the Endotoxin-Induced Production of Inflammatory Mediators by Inhibiting MAPK Activation and NF-κB Translocation in Cortical Neurons/Glia Cocultures 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e97276.
In response to acute insults to the central nervous system, such as pathogen invasion or neuronal injuries, glial cells become activated and secrete inflammatory mediators such as nitric oxide (NO), cytokines, and chemokines. This neuroinflammation plays a crucial role in the pathophysiology of chronic neurodegenerative diseases. Endogenous ascorbate levels are significantly decreased among patients with septic encephalopathy. Using the bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to induce neuroinflammation in primary neuron/glia cocultures, we investigated how L-ascorbate (vitamin C; Vit. C) affected neuroinflammation. LPS (100 ng/ml) induced the expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and the production of NO, interleukin (IL)-6, and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2/CXCL2) in a time-dependent manner; however, cotreatment with Vit. C (5 or 10 mM) attenuated the LPS-induced iNOS expression and production of NO, IL-6, and MIP-2 production. The morphological features revealed after immunocytochemical staining confirmed that Vit. C suppressed LPS-induced astrocytic and microglial activation. Because Vit. C can be transported into neurons and glia via the sodium-dependent Vit. C transporter-2, we examined how Vit. C affected LPS-activated intracellular signaling in neuron/glia cocultures. The results indicated the increased activation (caused by phosphorylation) of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), such as p38 at 30 min and extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) at 180 min after LPS treatment. The inhibition of p38 and ERK MAPK suppressed the LPS-induced production of inflammatory mediators. Vit. C also inhibited the LPS-induced activation of p38 and ERK. Combined treatments of Vit. C and the inhibitors of p38 and ERK yielded no additional inhibition compared with using the inhibitors alone, suggesting that Vit. C functions through the same signaling pathway (i.e., MAPK) as these inhibitors. Vit. C also reduced LPS-induced IκB-α degradation and NF-κB translocation. Thus, Vit. C suppressed the LPS-stimulated production of inflammatory mediators in neuron/glia cocultures by inhibiting the MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways.
PMCID: PMC4077707  PMID: 24983461
25.  Modulated Expression of Genes Encoding Estrogen Metabolizing Enzymes by G1-Phase Cyclin-Dependent Kinases 6 and 4 in Human Breast Cancer Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97448.
G1-phase cell cycle defects, such as alterations in cyclin D1 or cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) levels, are seen in most tumors. For example, increased cyclin D1 and decreased cdk6 levels are seen in many human breast tumors. Overexpression of cdk6 in breast tumor cells in culture has been shown to suppress proliferation, unlike the growth stimulating effects of its close homolog, cdk4. In addition to directly affecting proliferation, alterations in cdk6 or cdk4 levels in breast tumor cells also differentially influence levels of numerous steroid metabolic enzymes (SMEs), including those involved in estrogen metabolism. Overexpression of cdk6 in tumor cell lines having low cdk6 resulted in decreased levels of mRNAs encoding aldo-keto reductase (AKR)1C1, AKR1C2 and AKR1C3, which are hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (HSDs) involved in steroid hormone metabolism. In contrast, increasing cdk4 dramatically increased these transcript levels, especially those encoding AKR1C3, an enzyme that converts estrone to 17β-estradiol, a change that could result in a pro-estrogenic state favoring tumor growth. Effects on other estrogen metabolizing enzymes, including cytochrome P450 (CYP) 19 aromatase, 17β-HSD2, and CYP1B1 transcripts, were also observed. Interactions of cdk6 and cdk4, but not cyclin D1, with the promoter region of a cdk-regulated gene, 17β-HSD2, were detected. The results uncover a previously unsuspected link between the cell cycle and hormone metabolism and differential roles for cdk6 and cdk4 in a novel mechanism for pre-receptor control of steroid hormone action, with important implications for the origin and treatment of steroid hormone-dependent cancers.
PMCID: PMC4029737  PMID: 24848372

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