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1.  Ginsenoside Rg3 inhibit hepatocellular carcinoma growth via intrinsic apoptotic pathway 
AIM: To investigate the anti-tumor function of ginsenoside Rg3 on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in vitro and in vivo, and its mechanism.
METHODS: Hep1-6 and HepG2 cells were treated by Rg3 in different concentrations (0, 50, 100 and 200 μg/mL) in vitro. After incubation for 0, 6, 12, 24 and 48 h, cell viability was measured by 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Apoptosis was identified by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling. Caspase-3 activity was measured by chromophore p-nitroanilide and flow cytometry. Bcl-2 family proteins were ascertained by Western-blotting. Mitochondria membrane potential was detected by 5, 5’, 6’ 6’ - tetrachloro-1, 1’, 3, 3’ - tetraethylbenzimidazolylcarbocyanine iodide. Forty liver tumor-bearing C57Bl6 mice were divided randomly into 4 groups for intra-tumor injection of saline, ginsenoside Rg3, cyclophosphamide (CTX) and ginsenoside Rg3 + CTX combination.
RESULTS: The survival time was followed up to 102 d. The mice in the Rg3 + CTX group showed significant increased survival time compared with those in the control group (P < 0.05). Rg3 could inhibit HCC cell proliferation and induce cell apoptosis in vitro in the concentration and time dependent manner. It also induced mitochondria membrane potential to decrease. Caspase-3 activation can be blocked by the inhibitor z-DEVD-FMK. Bax was up-regulated while Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL were down-regulated after Rg3 treatment.
CONCLUSION: Our data suggested that Rg3 alone or combined with CTX inhibited tumor growth in vivo and prolonged mouse survival time by inducing HCC cell apoptosis via intrinsic pathway by expression alterations of Bcl-2 family proteins.
PMCID: PMC3180017  PMID: 21987607
Ginsenoside Rg3; Apoptosis; Hepatocellular Carcinoma; Bcl-2 family proteins; Cyclophosphamide
2.  Visualization of arrestin recruitment by a G Protein-Coupled Receptor 
Nature  2014;512(7513):218-222.
G Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) are critically regulated by β-arrestins (βarrs), which not only desensitize G protein signaling but also initiate a G protein independent wave of signaling1-5. A recent surge of structural data on a number of GPCRs, including the β2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR)-G protein complex, has provided novel insights into the structural basis of receptor activation6-11. Lacking however has been complementary information on recruitment of βarrs to activated GPCRs primarily due to challenges in obtaining stable receptor-βarr complexes for structural studies. Here, we devised a strategy for forming and purifying a functional β2AR-βarr1 complex that allowed us to visualize its architecture by single particle negative stain electron microscopy (EM) and to characterize the interactions between β2AR and βarr1 using hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDXMS) and chemical cross-linking. EM 2D averages and 3D reconstructions reveal bimodal binding of βarr1 to the β2AR, involving two separate sets of interactions, one with the phosphorylated carboxy-terminus of the receptor and the other with its seven-transmembrane core. Areas of reduced HDX together with identification of cross-linked residues suggest engagement of the finger loop of βarr1 with the seven-transmembrane core of the receptor. In contrast, focal areas of increased HDX indicate regions of increased dynamics in both N and C domains of βarr1 when coupled to the β2AR. A molecular model of the β2AR-βarr signaling complex was made by docking activated βarr1 and β2AR crystal structures into the EM map densities with constraints provided by HDXMS and cross-linking, allowing us to obtain valuable insights into the overall architecture of a receptor-arrestin complex. The dynamic and structural information presented herein provides a framework for better understanding the basis of GPCR regulation by arrestins.
PMCID: PMC4134437  PMID: 25043026
3.  A Ligand-observed Mass Spectrometry Approach Integrated into the Fragment Based Lead Discovery Pipeline 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8361.
In fragment-based lead discovery (FBLD), a cascade combining multiple orthogonal technologies is required for reliable detection and characterization of fragment binding to the target. Given the limitations of the mainstream screening techniques, we presented a ligand-observed mass spectrometry approach to expand the toolkits and increase the flexibility of building a FBLD pipeline especially for tough targets. In this study, this approach was integrated into a FBLD program targeting the HCV RNA polymerase NS5B. Our ligand-observed mass spectrometry analysis resulted in the discovery of 10 hits from a 384-member fragment library through two independent screens of complex cocktails and a follow-up validation assay. Moreover, this MS-based approach enabled quantitative measurement of weak binding affinities of fragments which was in general consistent with SPR analysis. Five out of the ten hits were then successfully translated to X-ray structures of fragment-bound complexes to lay a foundation for structure-based inhibitor design. With distinctive strengths in terms of high capacity and speed, minimal method development, easy sample preparation, low material consumption and quantitative capability, this MS-based assay is anticipated to be a valuable addition to the repertoire of current fragment screening techniques.
PMCID: PMC4322365  PMID: 25666181
4.  Potential functions of microRNAs in starch metabolism and development revealed by miRNA transcriptome profiling of cassava cultivars and their wild progenitor 
BMC Plant Biology  2015;15:33.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small (approximately 21 nucleotide) non-coding RNAs that are key post-transcriptional gene regulators in eukaryotic organisms. More than 100 cassava miRNAs have been identified in a conservation analysis and a repertoire of cassava miRNAs have also been characterised by next-generation sequencing (NGS) in recent studies. Here, using NGS, we profiled small non-coding RNAs and mRNA genes in two cassava cultivars and their wild progenitor to identify and characterise miRNAs that are potentially involved in plant growth and starch biosynthesis.
Six small RNA and six mRNA libraries from leaves and roots of the two cultivars, KU50 and Arg7, and their wild progenitor, W14, were subjected to NGS. Analysis of the sequencing data revealed 29 conserved miRNA families and 33 new miRNA families. Together, these miRNAs potentially targeted a total of 360 putative target genes. Whereas 16 miRNA families were highly expressed in cultivar leaves, another 13 miRNA families were highly expressed in storage roots of cultivars. Co-expression analysis revealed that the expression level of some targets had negative relationship with their corresponding miRNAs in storage roots and leaves; these targets included MYB33, ARF10, GRF1, RD19, APL2, NF-YA3 and SPL2, which are known to be involved in plant development, starch biosynthesis and response to environmental stimuli.
The identified miRNAs, target mRNAs and target gene ontology annotation all shed light on the possible functions of miRNAs in Manihot species. The differential expression of miRNAs between cultivars and their wild progenitor, together with our analysis of GO annotation and confirmation of miRNA: target pairs, might provide insight into know the differences between wild progenitor and cultivated cassava.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12870-014-0355-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4331152  PMID: 25648603
MicroRNA; Target Gene; Wild Progenitor; Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz)
5.  Treatment of turtle aquaculture effluent by an improved multi-soil-layer system*  
Concentrated turtle aquaculture effluent poses an environmental threat to water bodies, and therefore needs to be treated prior to disposal. This study was conducted to assess the effect of multi-soil-layer (MSL) systems treating turtle aquaculture effluent with adding different amounts of sludge. Four MSL systems were constructed with dry weight ratios of sludge with 0%, 5%, 10%, and 20% (MSL 1, MSL 2, MSL 3, and MSL 4, respectively). The turtle aquaculture effluent had an average chemical oxygen demand (COD), ammonia nitrogen (NH4 +-N) and total nitrogen (TN) concentration of 288.4, 213.4, and 252.0 mg/L, respectively. The COD/TN (C/N) ratio was 1.2. The results showed that the four MSL systems could effectively treat the COD, NH4 +-N, and TN, and MSL 4 showed significantly improved NH4 +-N removal efficiency, suggesting the potential of sludge addition to improve the turtle aquaculture effluent treatment. The average COD, TN, and NH4 +-N removal efficiencies of MSL 4 were 70.3%, 66.5%, and 72.7%, respectively. To further interpret the contribution of microorganisms to the removal, the microbial community compositions and diversities of the four MSL systems were measured. Comparisons of the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles revealed that the amount of nitrifying bacteria and diversity in MSL 4 were higher than those in the other three systems. We concluded that adding 20% of sludge improved the NH4 +-N removal and stability of the system for nitrification, due to the enrichment of the nitrifying bacteria in MSL 4.
PMCID: PMC4322425  PMID: 25644469
Turtle aquaculture effluent; Multi-soil-layer (MSL) system; Sludge; Microbial community diversity
6.  Exosomes: Novel Biomarkers for Clinical Diagnosis 
The Scientific World Journal  2015;2015:657086.
Exosomes are 30–120 nm endocytic membrane-derived vesicles that participate in cell-to-cell communication and protein and RNA delivery. Exosomes harbor a variety of proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids and are present in many and perhaps all bodily fluids. A significant body of literature has demonstrated that molecular constituents of exosomes, especially exosomal proteins and microRNAs (miRNAs), hold great promise as novel biomarkers for clinical diagnosis. In this minireview, we summarize recent advances in the research of exosomal biomarkers and their potential application in clinical diagnostics. We also provide a brief overview of the formation, function, and isolation of exosomes.
PMCID: PMC4322857
7.  Visual fatigue caused by watching 3DTV: an fMRI study 
BioMedical Engineering OnLine  2015;14(Suppl 1):S12.
The objective of this study is to observe the visual fatigue caused by watching 3DTV using the method of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The data of fMRI during three kinds of visual stimulation tasks were obtained from twenty subjects. At first, blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal changes during stimuli of checkerboard task were compared before and after one-hour watching 3D/2DTV, and subjective evaluation was conducted based on the questionnaire simultaneously. Then 3D and 2D images were used to stimulate healthy individuals to measure brain activities that correlated with stereoscopic vision. Finally, the relationship between front or back depth of field images and visual fatigue was investigated. The results reveal that the 3D group shows more significant differences of brain activities in BA8, BA17, BA18 and BA19 than the 2D group during the checkerboard stimulation. BA5, BA6, BA7 and BA8 were testified to have close relationship with stereoscopic perception via the 2D/3D images stimulation. Furthermore, the front depth of field image was proven to impose a more serious impact on visual fatigue than the back one. These conclusions are useful for healthy and reasonable 3DTV watching as well as properly designing of 3D scenes.
PMCID: PMC4306101  PMID: 25603496
Visual fatigue; fMRI; 3DTV; Stereoscopic images
8.  Risk Factors and Prognostic Significance of Retropancreatic Lymph Nodes in Gastric Adenocarcinoma 
Background. The studies on risk factors and metastatic rate of retropancreatic (number 13) lymph nodes in gastric adenocarcinoma were few and the results were still controversial. The aim of this study was to elucidate risk factors and prognostic significance of number 13 lymph nodes in gastric adenocarcinoma. Method. From January 2000 to December 2011, 114 patients who underwent gastrectomy with number 13 lymph nodes dissection were enrolled and followed up to January 2014. Patients were grouped according to whether number 13 lymph nodes were positive or negative. Results. The metastatic rate of number 13 lymph nodes was 22.8%. In multivariate analysis, pT stage (P = 0.027), pN stage (P = 0.005), and number 11p (P = 0.015) lymph nodes were independent risk factors of positive number 13 lymph nodes. In all patients (P < 0.001) and subpopulation with TNM III stage (P = 0.007), positive number 13 lymph nodes had significantly worse prognosis than those of patients with negative number 13 LNs in Kaplan-Meier analysis. Conclusion. Number 13 lymph nodes had relatively high metastatic rate and led to poor prognosis. pT stage, pN stage, and number 11p lymph nodes were independent risk factors of positive number 13 lymph nodes.
PMCID: PMC4302373  PMID: 25642243
9.  In vitro generated Th17 cells support the expansion and phenotypic stability of CD4+ Foxp3+ Regulatory T cells in vivo 
Cytokine  2013;65(1):10.1016/j.cyto.2013.09.008.
CD4+ T cells stimulate immune responses through distinct patterns of cytokine produced by Th1, Th2 or Th17 cells, or inhibit immune responses through Foxp3-expressing regulatory T cells (Tregs). Paradoxically, effector T cells were recently shown to activate Tregs, however, it remains unclear which Th subset is responsible for this effect. In this study, we found that Th17 cells expressed the highest levels of TNF among in vitro generated Th subsets, and most potently promoted expansion and stabilized Foxp3 expression by Tregs when co-transferred into Rag1−/− mice. Both TNF and IL-2 produced by Th17 cells contributed to this effect. The stimulatory effect of Th17 cells on Tregs was largely abolished when co-transferred with TNFR2-deficient Tregs. Furthermore, Tregs deficient in TNFR2 also supported a much lower production of IL-17A and TNF expression by co-transferred Th17 cells. Thus, our data indicate that the TNF-TNFR2 pathway plays a crucial role in the reciprocal stimulatory effect of Th17 cells and Tregs. This bidirectional interaction should be taken into account when designing therapy targeting Th17 cells, Tregs, TNF and TNFR2.
PMCID: PMC3842389  PMID: 24080164
Th17; regulatory T cell; IL-2; TNF; TNFR2
10.  MiR-494 Within an Oncogenic MicroRNA Megacluster Regulates G1/S Transition in Liver Tumorigenesis Through Suppression of MCC 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2013;59(1):10.1002/hep.26662.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is associated with poor survival for patients and few effective treatment options, raising the need for novel therapeutic strategies. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in tumor development and show deregulated patterns of expression in HCC. Because of the liver’s unique affinity for small nucleic acids, miRNA based therapy has been proposed in the treatment of liver disease. There is thus an urgent need to identify and characterize aberrantly expressed miRNAs in HCC. In our study, we profiled miRNA expression changes in de novo liver tumors driven by MYC and/or RAS, two canonical oncogenes activated in a majority of human HCC. We identified an upregulated miRNA megacluster comprised of 53 miRNAs on mouse chromosome 12qF1 (human homolog 14q32). This miRNA megacluster is upregulated in all three transgenic liver models and in a subset of human HCCs. An unbiased functional analysis of all miRNAs within this cluster was performed.
We found that miR-494 is overexpressed in human HCC, and aids in transformation by regulating the G1/S cell cycle transition through targeting of the Mutated in Colorectal Cancer (MCC) tumor suppressor. miR-494 inhibition in human HCC cell lines decreases cellular transformation and anti-miR-494 treatment of primary MYC-driven liver tumor formation significantly diminishes tumor size. Our findings identify a new therapeutic target, miR-494, for the treatment of HCC.
PMCID: PMC3877416  PMID: 23913442
HCC; cancer; cell cycle; Dlk1-Dio3; miRNA therapy
11.  Gambogic Acid Induces Apoptosis in Imatinib-Resistant Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Cells via Inducing Proteasome Inhibition and Caspase-Dependent Bcr-Abl Downregulation 
Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is characterized by the constitutive activation of Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase. Bcr-Abl-T315I is the predominant mutation that causes resistance to imatinib, cytotoxic drugs, and the second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The emergence of imatinib resistance in patients with CML leads to searching for novel approaches to the treatment of CML. Gambogic acid, a small molecule derived from Chinese herb gamboges, has been approved for phase II clinical trial for cancer therapy by the Chinese Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In this study, we investigated the effect of gambogic acid on cell survival or apoptosis in CML cells bearing Bcr-Abl-T315I or wild-type Bcr-Abl.
Experimental Design
CML cell lines (KBM5, KBM5-T315I, and K562), primary cells from patients with CML with clinical resistance to imatinib, and normal monocytes from healthy volunteers were treated with gambogic acid, imatinib, or their combination, followed by measuring the effects on cell growth, apoptosis, and signal pathways. The in vivo antitumor activity of gambogic acid and its combination with imatinib was also assessed with nude xenografts.
Gambogic acid induced apoptosis and cell proliferation inhibition in CML cells and inhibited the growth of imatinib-resistant Bcr-Abl-T315I xenografts in nude mice. Our data suggest that GA-induced proteasome inhibition is required for caspase activation in both imatinib-resistant and -sensitive CML cells, and caspase activation is required for gambogic acid–induced Bcr-Abl downregulation and apoptotic cell death.
These findings suggest an alternative strategy to overcome imatinib resistance by enhancing Bcr-Abl downregulation with the medicinal compound gambogic acid, which may have great clinical significance in imatinib-resistant cancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC3938960  PMID: 24334603
12.  The clinical significance of CDK1 expression in oral squamous cell carcinoma 
Objectives: To evaluate the clinical significance of cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) in 77 oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) using immunohistochemical methods. Study Design: Immunohistochemical expression of CDK1 was compared with various clinicopathological features in 77 OSCC and 60 controlled epithelia adjacent to the tumours. In addition, correlation of CDK1 expression and prognostic and the 5-year accumulative survival rate of OSCC were investigated. Results: The CDK1 protein was expressed in 52 cases of 77 tumor tissues (67.5%), compared with 21 cases of 60 controlled (35.0%). The expression of CDK1 was significantly correlated with the histological grade of OSCC (P<0.05). The CDK1 protein was over-expressed in recurrent tumors or in those with lymph node metastasis. Statistical analysis showed a significant reduction in the 5-year accumulative survival rate in CDK1 positive cases compared with CDK1 negative cases (P<0.05). Namely, the CDK1 positive patients had poor prognosis. Conclusions: The expression of CDK1 might serve as malignant degree and prognostic markers for the survival of OSCC.
Key words:Cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1), oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), immunohistochemistry, cell proliferation.
PMCID: PMC4320424  PMID: 25129248
13.  DCDB 2.0: a major update of the drug combination database 
Experience in clinical practice and research in systems pharmacology suggested the limitations of the current one-drug-one-target paradigm in new drug discovery. Single-target drugs may not always produce desired physiological effects on the entire biological system, even if they have successfully regulated the activities of their designated targets. On the other hand, multicomponent therapy, in which two or more agents simultaneously interact with multiple targets, has attracted growing attention. Many drug combinations consisting of multiple agents have already entered clinical practice, especially in treating complex and refractory diseases. Drug combination database (DCDB), launched in 2010, is the first available database that collects and organizes information on drug combinations, with an aim to facilitate systems-oriented new drug discovery. Here, we report the second major release of DCDB (Version 2.0), which includes 866 new drug combinations (1363 in total), consisting of 904 distinctive components. These drug combinations are curated from ∼140 000 clinical studies and the food and drug administration (FDA) electronic orange book. In this update, DCDB collects 237 unsuccessful drug combinations, which may provide a contrast for systematic discovery of the patterns in successful drug combinations.
Database URL:
PMCID: PMC4275564  PMID: 25539768
14.  Maduramicin Inhibits Proliferation and Induces Apoptosis in Myoblast Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e115652.
Maduramicin, a polyether ionophore antibiotic derived from the bacterium Actinomadura yumaensis, is currently used as a feed additive against coccidiosis in poultry worldwide. It has been clinically observed that maduramicin can cause skeletal muscle and heart cell damage, resulting in skeletal muscle degeneration, heart failure, and even death in animals and humans, if improperly used. However, the mechanism of its toxic action in myoblasts is not well understood. Using mouse myoblasts (C2C12) and human rhabdomyosarcoma (RD and Rh30) cells as an experimental model for myoblasts, here we found that maduramicin inhibited cell proliferation and induced cell death in a concentration-dependent manner. Further studies revealed that maduramicin induced accumulation of the cells at G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle, and induced apoptosis in the cells. Concurrently, maduramicin downregulated protein expression of cyclin D1, cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK4 and CDK6), and CDC25A, and upregulated expression of the CDK inhibitors (p21Cip1 and p27Kip1), resulting in decreased phosphorylation of Rb. Maduramicin also induced expression of BAK, BAD, DR4, TRADD and TRAIL, leading to activation of caspases 8, 9 and 3 as well as cleavage of poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP). Taken together, our results suggest that maduramicin executes its toxicity in myoblasts at least by inhibiting cell proliferation and inducing apoptotic cell death.
PMCID: PMC4274093  PMID: 25531367
15.  Concerns of and coping strategies by parents of pediatric liver transplant recipients: a qualitative study from China 
Parents of liver transplant recipient children have to face complicated health issues of their children. Coping strategies of parents as major care providers not only impacts on their handling of stresses on themselves but also on the recipients’ quality of life. In this study, we sought to investigate the coping strategies of parents of Chinese pediatric liver transplant recipients at a single tertiary care institution in China. Twenty-five parents of liver transplant recipients were selected by the purposive sampling method and data was collected using qualitative semi-structured interview. Interviews were conducted until thematic saturation was achieved. We extracted 5 major themes: 1) guilt and self-blame for not giving a happy life to the sick child; 2) seeking social support for helping to treat the sick child; 3) standing firm by not giving up on treating the sick child; 4) cautious caretaking; 5) compromise: a helpless acceptance of truth. In summary, parents of transplant recipients present 5 major coping strategies. Proper assessment of stresses on parents of liver transplant recipient children and their coping strategies may help the medical staff and social services to provide more targeted support, and help and promote the balance of the family function.
PMCID: PMC4307545  PMID: 25664098
Liver transplant; children; parents; coping; qualitative study
16.  LFCseq: a nonparametric approach for differential expression analysis of RNA-seq data 
BMC Genomics  2014;15(Suppl 10):S7.
With the advances in high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies, RNA-seq has rapidly emerged as a powerful tool for the quantitative analysis of gene expression and transcript variant discovery. In comparative experiments, differential expression analysis is commonly performed on RNA-seq data to identify genes/features that are differentially expressed between biological conditions. Most existing statistical methods for differential expression analysis are parametric and assume either Poisson distribution or negative binomial distribution on gene read counts. However, violation of distributional assumptions or a poor estimation of parameters often leads to unreliable results.
In this paper, we introduce a new nonparametric approach called LFCseq that uses log fold changes as a differential expression test statistic. To test each gene for differential expression, LFCseq estimates a null probability distribution of count changes from a selected set of genes with similar expression strength. In contrast, the nonparametric NOISeq approach relies on a null distribution estimated from all genes within an experimental condition regardless of their expression levels.
Through extensive simulation study and RNA-seq real data analysis, we demonstrate that the proposed approach could well rank the differentially expressed genes ahead of non-differentially expressed genes, thereby achieving a much improved overall performance for differential expression analysis.
PMCID: PMC4304217  PMID: 25560842
Differential expression; Nonparametric; RNA-seq
17.  MiR-210 expression reverses radioresistance of stem-like cells of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma 
World Journal of Clinical Oncology  2014;5(5):1068-1077.
AIM: To investigate the expression of miR-210 and the role it plays in the cell cycle to regulate radioresistance in oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).
METHODS: MiR-210 expression was evaluated in 37 pairs of ESCC tissues and matched para-tumorous normal oesophageal tissues from surgical patients who had not received neoadjuvant therapy, and in the cells of two novel radioresistant cell lines, TE-1R and Eca-109R, using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The transient up-regulation of miR-210 expression in TE-1R and Eca-109R cells was studied using liposomes and was confirmed using qRT-PCR. The rate of cell survival after a series of radio-treatment doses was evaluated using the clone formation assay. Flow cytometry was used to detect the changes to the cell cycle patterns due to radiation treatment. RT-PCR and Western blot were used to detect the expression of ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and DNA dependent protein kinase (DNA-PKcs) after irradiation, and the cell sphere formation assay was used to evaluate the proliferative ability of the cancer stem-like cells.
RESULTS: The level of miR-210 expression was significantly decreased, by 21.3% to 97.2%, with the average being 39.2% ± 16.1%, in the ESCC tissues of most patients (81.1%, 30 of 37 vs patients with high miR-210 expression, P < 0.05). A low level of expression of miR-210 was correlated with a poorly differentiated pathological type (P < 0.01) but was not correlated with the T-stage or lymph node infiltration (both P > 0.05). Early local recurrences (< 18 mo, n = 19) after radiotherapy were significantly related with low miR-210 expression (n = 13, P < 0.05). The level of miR-210 was decreased by approximately 73% (vs TE-1, 0.27 ± 0.10, P < 0.01) in the established radioresistant TE-IR cell line and by 52% (vs Eca-109, 0.48 ± 0.17, P < 0.05) in the corresponding Eca-109R line. Transient transfection with a miR-210 precursor increased the level of miR-210 expression, leading to a significant increase in cell survival after radiotherapy (P < 0.05). Twenty-four hours after radiation, the proportion of pmiR-210 cells in S phase was increased (vs control cells, 30.4% ± 0.4%, and vs untreated TE-1R cells, 23.3% ± 0.7%, P < 0.05 for both). The levels of DNA-PKcs (0.21 ± 0.07) and ATM (0.12 ± 0.03, P < 0.05) proteins were significantly lower in the PmiR-210 cells than in control cells, but no differences were found in the levels of the corresponding mRNAs in the two cell types (P > 0.05 for all). Exogenous miR-210 expression decreased the diameter of pmiR-210 cell spheres (vs control cells, 0.60 ± 0.14, P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: MiR-210 expression is negatively correlated with the pathological type and the local survival rate after radiotherapy, and high expression of miR-210 may reverse the radioresistance of ESCC stem-like cells.
PMCID: PMC4259934  PMID: 25493243
MiR-210; Oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Radiation resistance; Cell cycle arrest; Stem-like cells
18.  Comparison of off-pump and on-pump coronary endarterectomy for patients with diffusely diseased coronary arteries: early and midterm outcome 
Coronary endarterectomy (CE) is an alternative for the diffusely diseased left anterior descending (LAD), but its mid and long term results are largely questionable. This study is to compare the early to mid-term results between off-pump and on-pump coronary endarterectomy with coronary artery bypass grafting.
212 consecutive patients underwent CE and bypass grafting for diffusely diseased LAD. Ninety-two patients undergoing CE with off-pump (group off-pump) were compared with 120 patients undergoing CE with on-pump (group on-pump). The main preference for selection to an off-pump CE surgery were the preoperative high risk factors, especially previous cerebrovascular accident、chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)、calcified ascending aorta and right coronary artery (RCA) critical stenosis >90%.
There were three deaths in this group with total operative mortality of 1.4%. The perioperative mortality of group off-pump (1.1%) was similar with that of group on-pump (1.7%). The postoperative myocardial infarctions rate was 2.8%. There was no significant difference as for the morbidity between the group off-pump and group on-pump. Among survivors, the patency rate of the LIMA–LAD anastomosis was 89.4%. There was no difference as for the grafts patency rate between the two groups. Kaplan–Meier survival revealed no significant difference between the two groups. Kaplan-Meier freedom from cardiac events requiring hospital re-admission and angina recurrence were similar in both groups.
On-pump or off-pump CE is a good technique with the same early and mid-term outcomes. In the series of off-pump CE, we have shown that the effect of OPCABG with CE appears to be durable, and mid-term clinical outcomes are encouraging. Despite the higher risk profile, hospital mortality and major complications in our study are comparable to those for CCE.
PMCID: PMC4266222  PMID: 25471231
Coronary endarterectomy; Off-pump; On-pump; Diffused coronary disease; Left internal mammary artery
19.  Protein Kinase Inhibitor γ reciprocally regulates osteoblast and adipocyte differentiation by downregulating Leukemia Inhibitory Factor 
Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio)  2013;31(12):2789-2799.
The Protein Kinase Inhibitor (Pki) gene family inactivates nuclear PKA and terminates PKA-induced gene expression. We previously showed that Pkig is the primary family member expressed in osteoblasts and that Pkig knockdown increases the effects of parathyroid hormone and isoproterenol on PKA activation, gene expression, and inhibition of apoptosis. Here, we determined whether endogenous levels of Pkig regulate osteoblast differentiation. Pkig is the primary family member in MEFs, murine marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, and human mesenchymal stem cells. Pkig deletion increased forskolin-dependent nuclear PKA activation and gene expression and Pkig deletion or knockdown increased osteoblast differentiation. PKA signaling is known to stimulate adipogenesis; however, adipogenesis and osteogenesis are often reciprocally regulated. We found that the reciprocal regulation predominates over the direct effects of PKA since adipogenesis was decreased by Pkig deletion or knockdown. Pkig deletion or knockdown simultaneously increased osteogenesis and decreased adipogenesis in mixed osteogenic/adipogenic medium. Pkig deletion increased PKA-induced expression of Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (Lif) mRNA and LIF protein. LIF neutralizing antibodies inhibited the effects on osteogenesis and adipogenesis of either Pkig deletion in MEFs or PKIγ knockdown in both murine and human mesenchymal stem cells. Collectively, our results show that endogenous levels of Pkig reciprocally regulate osteoblast and adipocyte differentiation and that this reciprocal regulation is mediated in part by LIF.
PMCID: PMC3930625  PMID: 23963683
Protein kinase inhibitor; osteogenesis; adipogenesis; Leukemia Inhibitory Factor; mesenchymal stem cell
20.  A Novel RNA Motif Mediates the Strict Nuclear Localization of a Long Noncoding RNA 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2014;34(12):2318-2329.
The ubiquitous presence of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in eukaryotes points to the importance of understanding how their sequences impact function. As many lncRNAs regulate nuclear events and thus must localize to nuclei, we analyzed the sequence requirements for nuclear localization in an intergenic lncRNA named BORG (BMP2-OP1-responsive gene), which is both spliced and polyadenylated but is strictly localized in nuclei. Subcellular localization of BORG was not dependent on the context or level of its expression or decay but rather depended on the sequence of the mature, spliced transcript. Mutational analyses indicated that nuclear localization of BORG was mediated through a novel RNA motif consisting of the pentamer sequence AGCCC with sequence restrictions at positions −8 (T or A) and −3 (G or C) relative to the first nucleotide of the pentamer. Mutation of the motif to a scrambled sequence resulted in complete loss of nuclear localization, while addition of even a single copy of the motif to a cytoplasmically localized RNA was sufficient to impart nuclear localization. Further, the presence of this motif in other cellular RNAs showed a direct correlation with nuclear localization, suggesting that the motif may act as a general nuclear localization signal for cellular RNAs.
PMCID: PMC4054287  PMID: 24732794
21.  Video-assisted thoracoscopic left upper lobe apical trisegmentectomy with the Harmonic scalpel 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2014;6(12):1822-1825.
Segmental resection is a useful procedure to preserve respiratory function. A 56-year-old woman presented with a finding of a left upper lobe lesion on CT scanning. She was performed video-assisted thoracoscopic left upper lobe apical trisegmentectomy with the Harmonic scalpel. Video-assisted thoracoscopy surgery (VATS) segmentectomy is associated with safe and feasible procedure. With the Harmonic scalpel dissection, blood loss is minimal and this speeds patient recovery.
PMCID: PMC4283342  PMID: 25589981
Video-assisted thoracoscopy surgery (VATS); segmentectomy; Harmonic scalpel
22.  Different expression of NOD2 in decidual stromal cells between normal and unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion women during first trimester gestation 
The NOD2 gene, encoding intracellular paternal recognition receptor (PRR) also called caspase activation and recruitment domain 15 (CARD15), is mutated in Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune-disorder. Unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion (URSA) involved in complex auto-immune disorder. However, little is known about the expression of NOD2 protein at maternal-fetal interface with URSA patients. Our aim was to compare the expression levels of NOD2 in the decidual stromal cells (DSCs) from patients with normal pregnancy to those with unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion (URSA) during first trimester pregnancy. Tissues and DSCs were collected from 12 patients with URSA and 26 patients with normal pregnancies that required abortion. DSCs in the normal pregnancy group showed significantly higher mRNA and protein levels of NOD2 than those isolated from the URSA group using real time PCR and in cell western. The appropriate expression of NOD2 in normal DSCs suggests that this protein may be required to sustain normal pregnancy.
PMCID: PMC4313978
NOD2; decidual stromal cells (DSCs); unexplained spontaneous recurrent abortion
23.  Individualized proximal margin for early gastric cancer patients 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(44):16793-16794.
There is no robust evidence to define a safe proximal margin by distance for early gastric cancer (EGC). The discussion on resection margin should not only focus on the oncologic safety, but also the postgastrectomy quality of life. The distance 1-10 mm is only acceptable for those endoscopic treatment fit EGC patients. For endoscopic unfit EGC cases, if the borderline of tumor is able to be clearly determined intraoperatively, the distance 1-3 cm is recommended for proximal resection margin. If there is any uncertainty on the tumor borderline, the distance 3-5 cm should be considered for proximal margin.
PMCID: PMC4248229  PMID: 25469054
Early gastric cancer; Gastrectomy; Margin; Oncologic safety; Quality of life
24.  Transforming Growth Factor-β1 rs1800470 Polymorphism is Associated with Lung Cancer Risk: A Meta-Analysis 
Transforming growth factor-β1 is a member of a large class of polypeptides that regulate the proliferation, differentiation, and carcinogenesis of epithelial cells. The rs1800470 polymorphism influences transforming growth factor-β1 expression and has been associated with lung cancer susceptibility. However, the association between the rs1800470 polymorphism and lung cancer risk remains controversial. Thus, a meta-analysis was conducted.
We comprehensively searched PubMed and EMBASE databases. Summary odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using random-effects models or fixed-effects models.
Overall, there was a significant association between rs1800470 polymorphism and lung cancer susceptibility (OR=1.23; 95%CI, 1.03–1.47; P=0.02). In the stratified analysis by ethnicity, we found that this polymorphism was significantly associated with lung cancer in Asians (OR=1.26; 95%CI, 1.01–1.57; P=0.04). However, we did not find any significant association between this polymorphism and lung cancer risk in Caucasians (OR=1.04; 95%CI, 0.60–1.82; P=0.88). In the NSCLC subgroup, we found that rs1800470 polymorphism could increase NSCLC risk (OR=1.36; 95%CI, 1.06–1.74; P=0.02).
This meta-analysis suggested that rs1800470 polymorphism was a risk factor of lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC4247234  PMID: 25409890
Lung Neoplasms; Meta-Analysis; Polymorphism, Genetic; Transforming Growth Factor beta
25.  A Functional Polymorphism C-509T in TGFβ-1 Promoter Contributes to Susceptibility and Prognosis of Lone Atrial Fibrillation in Chinese Population 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112912.
Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) is an important mediator of atrial fibrosis and atrial fibrillation (AF). But the involved genetic mechanism is unknown. Herein, the TGF-β1 C-509T polymorphism (rs1800469) was genotyped in a case-control study of 840 patients and 845 controls in Chinese population to explore the association between the polymorphism and susceptibility and prognosis of lone AF. As a result, the CT and/or TT genotypes had an increased lone AF risk [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.50 for CT, OR = 3.72 for TT, and OR = 2.15 for CT/TT], compared with the TGF-β1CC genotype. Moreover, patients carrying CT/TT genotypes showed a higher possibility of AF recurrence after catheter ablation, compared with patients carrying CC genotype. In a genotype-phenotype correlation analysis using 24 normal left atrial appendage samples, increasing gradients of atrial TGF-β1 expression levels positively correlated with atrial collagen volume fraction were identified in samples with CC, CT and TT genotypes. The in vitro luciferase assays also showed a higher luciferase activity of the -509T allele than that of the -509C allele. In conclusion, the TGF-β1 C-509T polymorphism is involved in the etiology of lone AF and thus may be a marker for genetic susceptibility to lone AF and predicting prognosis after catheter ablation in Chinese populations. Therefore, we provide new information about treatment strategies and our understanding of TGF-β1 in AF.
PMCID: PMC4234495  PMID: 25402477

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