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1.  Role of capecitabine in treating metastatic colorectal cancer in Chinese patients 
OncoTargets and therapy  2014;7:501-511.
The China Food and Drug Administration approved the use of capecitabine in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) in 2004. This paper reviews the available information of capecitabine in Chinese patients with mCRC, focusing on its effectiveness and safety against mCRC. Identification of all eligible studies was made by searching the PubMed and Wanfang database from 2000 to 2013. Published data examining various aspects of clinical response and tolerability with capecitabine alone or in combination with other chemotherapeutic or biological agents for first- and second-line mCRC were examined. Capecitabine and its combination displayed high efficacy in Chinese patients with mCRC. Toxicities are generally manageable, and elderly patients can tolerate capecitabine well.
PMCID: PMC3979786  PMID: 24729715
capecitabine; metastatic colorectal cancer; Chinese
2.  Primary small cell carcinoma of the esophagus: clinicopathological study of 44 cases 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:222.
Primary small cell carcinoma of the esophagus (SCCE) is a highly aggressive disease characterized by early dissemination and poor prognosis. Because of the rarity of this disease, few previous studies have investigated the biomarkers associated with its prognosis. Leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein coupled receptor 5 (Lgr5) is a stem cell marker and a member of the canonical Wnt-signaling cascade. However, the clinical role of Lgr5 in SCCE remains unknown.
Tissue sections were obtained from 44 patients diagnosed with SCCE and expression of Lgr5 was examined by immunohistochemistry. The correlations between Lgr5 expression, and clinical parameters and prognostic significance were evaluated.
Lgr5 was expressed in SCCE cancer tissues. High Lgr5 expression was significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis (p = 0.003), late stage (p = 0.003) and unfavorable response to chemotherapy (p = 0.013) according to RECIST 1.0 criteria. Patients with higher Lgr5 expression levels had shorter overall survival times than those with lower expression levels.
These results demonstrated that overexpression of Lgr5 was significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis, tumor stage, and response to chemotherapy. Furthermore, high levels of Lgr5 expression appeared to be associated with poorer survival in patients with SCCE.
PMCID: PMC3987173  PMID: 24666414
Small cell carcinoma; Esophagus; Prognosis; Lgr5
3.  S-1-Based Chemotherapy versus Capecitabine-Based Chemotherapy as First-Line Treatment for Advanced Gastric Carcinoma: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82798.
Although both oral fluoropyrimidines were reported effective and safe, doubts exist about whether S-1 or capecitabine is more advantageous in advanced gastric carcinoma (AGC). Herein, we performed a meta-analysis to comprehensively compare the efficacy and safety of S-1-based chemotherapy versus capecitabine-based chemotherapy as first-line treatment for AGC.
PubMed/Medline, EmBase, Cochrane library, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure databases were searched for articles comparing S-1-based chemotherapy to capecitabine-based chemotherapy for AGC. Primary outcomes were overall response rate (ORR), time to progression (TTP), overall survival (OS), progression-free probability, and survival probability. Secondary outcomes were toxicities. Fixed-effects model were used and all the results were confirmed by random-effects model.
Five randomized controlled trials and five cohort studies with 821 patients were included. We found equivalent ORR (38.3% vs. 39.1%, odds ratio [OR] 0.92, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.69-1.24, P = 0.59), TTP (harzad ratio [HR] 0.98, 95% CI 0.82-1.16, P = 0.79), OS (HR 0.99, 95% CI 0.87-1.13, P = 0.91), progression-free probability (3-month OR 1.02, 95% CI 0.62-1.68, P = 0.94; 6-month OR 1.34, 95% CI 0.88-2.04, P = 0.18) and survival probability (0.5-year OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.61-1.31, P =0.57; 1-year OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.70- 1.33, P = 0.84; 2-year OR 1.15, 95% CI 0.61-2.17, P = 0.66). Equivalent grade 3 to 4 hematological and non-hematological toxicities were found except hand-foot syndrome was less prominent in S-1-based chemotherapy (0.3% vs. 5.9%, OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.06-0.56, P = 0.003). There’re no significant heterogeneity and publication bias. Cumulative analysis found stable time-dependent trend. Consistent results stratified by study design, age, regimen, cycle, country were observed.
S-1-based chemotherapy was associated with non-inferior antitumor efficacy and better safety profile, compared with capecitabine-based therapy. We recommended S-1 and capecitabine can be used interchangeably for AGC, at least in Asia.
PMCID: PMC3861463  PMID: 24349363
4.  Abnormal expression of paxillin correlates with tumor progression and poor survival in patients with gastric cancer 
Paxillin (PXN) has been found to be aberrantly regulated in various malignancies and involved in tumor growth and invasion. The clinicopathological and prognostic significance of PXN in gastric cancer is still unclear.
The expression of PXN was determined in paired gastric cancer tissues and adjacent normal tissues by Western blotting and real-time PCR. Immunohistochemistry was performed to detect the expression of PXN in 239 gastric cancer patients. Statistical analysis was applied to investigate the correlation between PXN expression and clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis in patients. Additionally, the effects of PXN on gastric cancer cell proliferation and migration were also evaluated.
PXN was up-regulated in gastric cancer tissues and cell lines as compared with adjacent normal tissues and normal gastric epithelial cell line GES-1. Overexpression of PXN was correlated with distant metastasis (P = 0.001) and advanced tumor stage (P = 0.021) in gastric cancer patients. Patients with high PXN expression tended to have poor prognosis compared with patients with low PXN expression (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that PXN expression was an independent prognostic factor (P = 0.020). Moreover, ectopic expression of PXN promotes cell proliferation and migration in AGS cells whereas knockdown of PXN inhibits cell proliferation and migration in SGC7901 cells.
PXN plays an important role in tumor progression and may be used as a potential prognostic indicator in gastric cancer.
PMCID: PMC4228400  PMID: 24180516
Gastric cancer; Paxillin; Tumor progression; Prognosis
5.  The status of HBV infection influences metastatic pattern and survival in Chinese patients with pancreatic cancer 
It has been proved that hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection alters the metastatic pattern and affects survival in colorectal cancer (CRC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), while the influence of HBV infection on metastatic pattern and survival in patients with pancreatic cancer (PC) has not been investigated yet.
We conducted an investigation to evaluate the impact of HBV infection on metastatic pattern and overall survival in PC. We collected the data of 460 PC patients treated in our hospital from 1999 to 2010. Serum HBV markers were tested with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The impact of HBV infection on metastatic pattern and overall survival was analyzed.
We found that the incidence of synchronous liver metastasis was significantly higher in patients with HBsAg positive than those with HBsAg negative (46.0% vs 32.0%, P < 0.05), and higher in chronic HBV infection (CHB) group than both non HBV infection and resolved HBV infection group (61.1% vs 33.9%, P < 0.05, and 61.1% vs 28.7%, P < 0.05, respectively). What’s more, Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that CHB, resolved HBV infection and non HBV infection group had significant longer overall survival (OS) compared with inactive HBsAg carriers (IC) group (P=0.037, P=0.009, and P=0.019 respectively). But, in the multivariate analysis, only the CHB and non HBV infection group had significant better overall survival compared with IC group (P=0.010 and P=0.018 respectively).
Our study found that HBV infection increased synchronous liver metastasis rate, and HBV infection status was an independent prognostic factor in PC patients.
PMCID: PMC3851713  PMID: 24099678
Hepatitis B virus; Pancreatic cancer; Liver metastasis; Survival
6.  Protein AND Enzyme Gated Supramolecular Disassembly 
An amphiphilic nanoassembly was designed to respond to the concurrent presence of a protein and an enzyme. We present herein a system, where in the presence of these two stimuli causes a supramolecular disassembly and molecular release. This molecular release arises in the form a fluorescence response that has been shown to be specific. We also show that this system can be modified to respond only if light stimulus is also present in addition to the protein and the enzyme. Demonstration of such supramolecular disassembly principles could have wide implications in a variety of biological applications.
PMCID: PMC3985736  PMID: 24447098
7.  The catalytic subunit of the SWR1 remodeler is a histone chaperone for the H2A.Z-H2B dimer 
Molecular cell  2014;53(3):498-505.
Histone variant H2A.Z-containing nucleosomes exist at most eukaryotic promoters and play important roles in gene transcription and genome stability. The multi-subunit nucleosome-remodeling enzyme complex SWR1, conserved from yeast to mammals, catalyzes the ATP-dependent replacement of histone H2A in canonical nucleosomes with H2A.Z. How SWR1 catalyzes the replacement reaction is largely unknown. Here we determined the crystal structure of the N-terminal region (599–627) of the catalytic subunit Swr1, termed Swr1-Z domain, in complex with the H2A.Z-H2B dimer at 1.78 Å resolution. The Swr1-Z domain forms a 310 helix and an irregular chain. A conserved LxxLF motif in the Swr1-Z 310 helix specifically recognizes the αC helix of H2A.Z. Our results show that the Swr1-Z domain can deliver the H2A.Z-H2B dimer to the DNA-(H3–H4)2 tetrasome to form the nucleosome by a histone chaperone mechanism.
PMCID: PMC3940207  PMID: 24507717
8.  Selection of Suitable Reference Genes for qPCR Normalization under Abiotic Stresses and Hormone Stimuli in Carrot Leaves 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0117569.
Carrot, a biennial herb of the Apiaceae family, is among the most important vegetable crops in the world. In this study, nine candidate reference genes (GAPDH, ACTIN, eIF-4α, PP2A, SAND, TIP41, UBQ, EF-1α, and TUB) were cloned from carrot. Carrot plants were subjected to abiotic stresses (heat, cold, salt, and drought) and hormone stimuli (gibberellin, salicylic acid, methyl jasmonate, and abscisic acid). The expression profiles of the candidate reference genes were evaluated in three technical and biological replicates. Real-time qPCR data analyses were performed using three commonly used Excel-based applets namely, BestKeeper, geNorm, and NormFinder. ACTIN and TUB were the most stable genes identified among all sample groups, but individual analysis revealed changes in their expression profiles. GAPDH displayed the maximum stability for most of single stresses. To further validate the suitability of the reference genes identified in this study, the expression profile of DcDREB-A1 gene (homolog of AtDREB-A1 gene of Arabidophsis) was studied in carrot. The appropriate reference genes were selected that showed stable expression under the different experimental conditions.
PMCID: PMC4319972  PMID: 25658122
9.  De novo assembly, transcriptome characterization, lignin accumulation, and anatomic characteristics: novel insights into lignin biosynthesis during celery leaf development 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8259.
Celery of the family Apiaceae is a biennial herb that is cultivated and consumed worldwide. Lignin is essential for cell wall structural integrity, stem strength, water transport, mechanical support, and plant pathogen defense. This study discussed the mechanism of lignin formation at different stages of celery development. The transcriptome profile, lignin distribution, anatomical characteristics, and expression profile of leaves at three stages were analyzed. Regulating lignin synthesis in celery growth development has a significant economic value. Celery leaves at three stages were collected, and Illumina paired-end sequencing technology was used to analyze large-scale transcriptome sequences. From Stage 1 to 3, the collenchyma and vascular bundles in the petioles and leaf blades thickened and expanded, whereas the phloem and the xylem extensively developed. Spongy and palisade mesophyll tissues further developed and were tightly arranged. Lignin accumulation increased in the petioles and the mesophyll (palisade and spongy), and the xylem showed strong lignification. Lignin accumulation in different tissues and at different stages of celery development coincides with the anatomic characteristics and transcript levels of genes involved in lignin biosynthesis. Identifying the genes that encode lignin biosynthesis-related enzymes accompanied by lignin distribution may help elucidate the regulatory mechanisms of lignin biosynthesis in celery.
PMCID: PMC4317703  PMID: 25651889
10.  Genome-wide analysis of Dof family transcription factors and their responses to abiotic stresses in Chinese cabbage 
BMC Genomics  2015;16(1):33.
Chinese cabbage is an important leaf vegetable that experienced long-term cultivation and artificial selection. Dof (DNA-binding One Zinc Finger) transcription factors, with a highly conserved Dof domain, are members of a major plant-specific transcription factor family that play important roles in many plant biological processes. The Dof family transcription factors, one of the most important families of transcriptional regulators in higher plants, are involved in massive aspects of plant growth, development, and response to abiotic stresses. Our study will supply resources for understanding how Dof transcription factors respond to abiotic stress and the interaction network of these genes in tolerance mechanism.
In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis of Dof family factors in Chinese cabbage. In total, 76 genes encoding BraDof family transcription factor were identified from Chinese cabbage, and those BraDof factors were divided into nine classes. Fifteen motifs were found based on Dof amino acid sequence alignments. Chromosome locations and gene duplications of BraDof family genes were also analyzed. Ten duplicate events of BraDof genes were discovered in Chinese cabbage chromosomes. The uneven distribution of BraDof genes in Brassica chromosomes may cause the expansion of BraDof genes. In the Dof family, 37 and 7 orthologous genes were identified between Chinese cabbage and Arabidopsis and between Chinese cabbage and Oryza sativa, respectively. The interaction networks of Dof factors in Chinese cabbage were also constructed. Expression profiles of nine selected genes from different nine classes subjected to four abiotic stresses (cold, heat, salt and drought) were further investigated by quantitative real-time PCR to obtain a better understanding of the functions and regulation mechanisms of BraDof family transcription factors in two Chinese cabbage varieties, ‘Lubaisanhao’ and ‘Qingdao 87-114’.
Dof-family transcription factors were analyzed in genome of Chinese cabbage. Chromosomal locations showed that duplication might result in expansion. Response to abiotic stresses was elucidated in Chinese cabbage varieties. The results provide novel insights into the stress responses of BraDof genes and promote a better understanding of the construction and function of Dofs in Chinese cabbage.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1242-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4320540  PMID: 25636232
Dof; Transcription factor; Chromosomal location; Gene duplication; qRT-PCR; Chinese cabbage
11.  Renalase Protects against Contrast-Induced Nephropathy in Sprague-Dawley Rats 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0116583.
Contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) is the third leading cause of hospital-acquired acute renal failure. Oxidative stress, apoptosis and inflammation play crucial roles in CIN. Renalase is a newly discovered monoamine oxidase from the kidney. We hypothesize that renalase could protect against CIN through anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation and anti-apoptosis pathways.
We tested our hypothesis in vivo with a rat model of Ioversol-induced CIN and in vitro. Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 4 groups (n = 6 per group): control group, Ioversol group (rats subjected to Ioversol-induced CIN), Ioversol plus vehicle group (CIN rats pretreated with vehicle) and Ioversol plus renalase group (CIN rats pretreated with 2 mg/kg recombinant renalase). HK2 cells were treated with Ioversol or H2O2.
The results showed that pretreatment with renalase attenuated the deterioration of renal function, tubular necrosis, oxidative stress, apoptosis and inflammation (P<0.05). Furthermore, renalase protected HK2 cells against the cytotoxicity of Ioversol and suppressed Caspase-3 activity, oxidative stress and apoptosis induced by H2O2.
Recombinant renalase protected CIN in rats through anti-oxidation, anti-apoptosis and anti-inflammation mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC4312092  PMID: 25635854
12.  Circulating vitamin D binding protein, total, free and bioavailable 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of colorectal cancer 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:7956.
Epidemiological investigation have suggested that there is a significantly inverse association between circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and the risk for developing colorectal cancer (CRC) in humans. However, little is known about the role of vitamin D binding protein (VDBP) in colorectal carcinogenesis. Blood samples were collected from 212 CRC patients and 212 controls matched with age, gender and blood collection time. We used logistic regression to calculate the odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for further estimation of the association of the quartiles of VDBP, total, free and bioavailable 25(OH)D with CRC risk. The results revealed that there was no significant association between circulating VDBP concentrations and CRC in the present study, and that a negative association existed between total 25(OH)D and the risk of CRC, which was unchanged after adjustment for VDBP. Higher levels of free and bioavailable 25(OH)D were significantly associated with decreased risk of CRC. After stratifying by VDBP, high levels of total, free and bioavailable 25(OH)D were associated significantly with decreased CRC risk among participants with circulating VDBP below the median. These findings indicate that VDBP is not directly associated with the risk of CRC, but it modulates circulating free and bioavailable 25(OH)D concentration.
PMCID: PMC4302314  PMID: 25609140
13.  Protein AND Enzyme Gated Supramolecular Disassembly 
An amphiphilic nanoassembly was designed to respond to the concurrent presence of a protein and an enzyme. We present herein a system, where in the presence of these two stimuli supramolecular disassembly and molecular release occur. This molecular release arises in the form a fluorescence response that has been shown to be specific. We also show that this system can be modified to respond only if light stimulus is also present in addition to the protein and the enzyme. Demonstration of such supramolecular disassembly principles could have broad implications in a variety of biological applications.
PMCID: PMC3985736  PMID: 24447098
14.  Human tRNA Synthetase Catalytic Nulls with Diverse Functions 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2014;345(6194):328-332.
Genetic efficiency in higher organisms depends on mechanisms to create multiple functions from single genes. To investigate this question for an enzyme family, we chose aminoacyl tRNA synthetases (AARSs). They are exceptional in their progressive and accretive proliferation of noncatalytic domains as the Tree of Life is ascended. Here we report discovery of a large number of natural catalytic nulls (CNs) for each human AARS. Splicing events retain noncatalytic domains while ablating the catalytic domain (CD) to create CNs with diverse functions. Each synthetase is converted into several new signaling proteins with biological activities ‘orthogonal’ to that of the catalytic parent. We suggest that splice variants with non-enzymatic functions may be more general, as evidenced by recent findings of other catalytically inactive splice-variant enzymes.
PMCID: PMC4188629  PMID: 25035493
15.  Alisertib induces cell cycle arrest and autophagy and suppresses epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition involving PI3K/Akt/mTOR and sirtuin 1-mediated signaling pathways in human pancreatic cancer cells 
Pancreatic cancer is the most aggressive cancer worldwide with poor response to current therapeutics. Alisertib (ALS), a potent and selective Aurora kinase A inhibitor, exhibits potent anticancer effects in preclinical and clinical studies; however, the effect and underlying mechanism of ALS in the pancreatic cancer treatment remain elusive. This study aimed to examine the effects of ALS on cell growth, autophagy, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and to delineate the possible molecular mechanisms in human pancreatic cancer PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells. The results showed that ALS exerted potent cell growth inhibitory, pro-autophagic, and EMT-suppressing effects in PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells. ALS remarkably arrested PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells in G2/M phase via regulating the expression of cyclin-dependent kinases 1 and 2, cyclin B1, cyclin D1, p21 Waf1/Cip1, p27 Kip1, and p53. ALS concentration-dependently induced autophagy in PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells, which may be attributed to the inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK), and extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (Erk1/2) but activation of 5′-AMP-dependent kinase signaling pathways. ALS significantly inhibited EMT in PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells with an increase in the expression of E-cadherin and a decrease in N-cadherin. In addition, ALS suppressed the expression of sirtuin 1 (Sirt1) and pre-B cell colony-enhancing factor/visfatin in both cell lines with a rise in the level of acetylated p53. These findings show that ALS induces cell cycle arrest and promotes autophagic cell death but inhibits EMT in pancreatic cancer cells with the involvement of PI3K/Akt/mTOR, p38 MAPK, Erk1/2, and Sirt1-mediated signaling pathways. Taken together, ALS may represent a promising anticancer drug for pancreatic cancer treatment. More studies are warranted to investigate other molecular targets and mechanisms and verify the efficacy and safety of ALS in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
PMCID: PMC4304576  PMID: 25632225
alisertib; pancreatic cancer; cell cycle; autophagy; EMT; Sirt1
16.  Plumbagin induces cell cycle arrest and autophagy and suppresses epithelial to mesenchymal transition involving PI3K/Akt/mTOR-mediated pathway in human pancreatic cancer cells 
Plumbagin (PLB), an active naphthoquinone compound, has shown potent anticancer effects in preclinical studies; however, the effect and underlying mechanism of PLB for the treatment of pancreatic cancer is unclear. This study aimed to examine the pancreatic cancer cell killing effect of PLB and investigate the underlying mechanism in human pancreatic cancer PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells. The results showed that PLB exhibited potent inducing effects on cell cycle arrest in PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells via the modulation of cell cycle regulators including CDK1/CDC2, cyclin B1, cyclin D1, p21 Waf1/Cip1, p27 Kip1, and p53. PLB treatment concentration- and time-dependently increased the percentage of autophagic cells and significantly increased the expression level of phosphatase and tensin homolog, beclin 1, and the ratio of LC3-II over LC3-I in both PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells. PLB induced inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) pathways and activation of 5′-AMP-dependent kinase as indicated by their altered phosphorylation, contributing to the proautophagic activities of PLB in both cell lines. Furthermore, SB202190, a selective inhibitor of p38 MAPK, and wortmannin, a potent, irreversible, and selective PI3K inhibitor, remarkably enhanced PLB-induced autophagy in PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells, indicating the roles of PI3K and p38 MAPK mediated signaling pathways in PLB-induced autophagic cell death in both cell lines. In addition, PLB significantly inhibited epithelial to mesenchymal transition phenotype in both cell lines with an increase in the expression level of E-cadherin and a decrease in N-cadherin. Moreover, PLB treatment significantly suppressed the expression of Sirt1 in both cell lines. These findings show that PLB promotes cell cycle arrest and autophagy but inhibits epithelial to mesenchymal transition phenotype in pancreatic cancer cells with the involvement of PI3K/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin and p38 MAPK mediated pathways.
PMCID: PMC4304578  PMID: 25632222
Plumbagin; pancreatic cancer; cell cycle; autophagy; EMT; Sirt1
17.  Intestinal Parasite Co-infection among Pulmonary Tuberculosis Cases without Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in a Rural County in China 
Epidemiologic studies of co-infection with tuberculosis (TB) and intestinal parasites in humans have not been extensively investigated in China. A cross-section study was conducted in a rural county of Henan Province, China. Pulmonary TB (PTB) case-patients receiving treatment for infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and healthy controls matched for geographic area, age, and sex were surveyed by using questionnaires. Fecal and blood specimens were collected for detection of intestinal parasites, routine blood examination, and infection with human immunodeficiency virus. The chi-square test was used for univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression models were used to adjust for potential confounding factors. A total of 369 persons with PTB and 366 healthy controls were included; all participants were negative for human immunodeficiency virus. The overall prevalence of intestinal parasites in persons with PTB was 14.9%, including intestinal protozoa (7.9%) and helminthes (7.6%). The infection spectrum of intestinal parasites was Entamoeba spp. (1.4%), Blastocystis hominis (6.2%), Trichomonas hominis (0.3%), Clonorchis sinensis (0.3%), Ascaris lumbricoides (0.5%), Trichuris trichiura (2.2%), and hookworm (4.6%). The prevalence of intestinal parasites showed no significant difference between persons with PTB and healthy controls after adjusting for potential confounding factors. There was no factor that affected infection rates for intestinal parasites between the two groups. Infection with intestinal parasites of persons with PTB was associated with female sex (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.01–4.17), body mass index ≤ 19 (AOR = 3.02, 95% CI = 1.47–6.20), and anemia (AOR = 2.43, 95% CI = 1.17–5.03). Infection of healthy controls was only associated with an annual labor time in farmlands > 2 months (AOR = 4.50, 95% CI = 2.03–10.00). In addition, there was no significant trend between rates of infection with intestinal parasites and duration of receiving treatment for infection with M. tuberculosis in persons with PTB. The prevalence of intestinal parasites was not higher in persons with PTB, and there was no evidence that PTB increased susceptibility to intestinal parasites in this study. However, for patients with PTB, women and patients with comorbidities were more likely to be infected with intestinal parasites.
PMCID: PMC3886404  PMID: 24166044
18.  An Antibody with a Variable Region Coiled-Coil “Knob” Domain 
PMCID: PMC3926434  PMID: 24254636
Antibodies; Protein engineering; Ultralong CDR; Polypeptide; Coiled coil
19.  Loss of p53 and altered miR15-a/16-1→MCL-1 pathway in CLL: insights from TCL1-Tg:p53−/− mouse model and primary human leukemia cells 
Leukemia  2013;28(1):118-128.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients with deletion of chromosome 17p, where the tumor suppressor p53 gene is located, often develop more aggressive disease with poor clinical outcomes. To investigate the underlying mechanisms responsible for the highly malignant phenotype of 17p- CLL and to facilitate the in vivo evaluation of potential drugs against CLL with p53 deletion, we have created a mouse model with TCL1-Tg:p53−/− genotype. The TCL1-Tg:p53−/− mice develop B-cell leukemia at very early age and follow an aggressive path of disease development that resembles human CLL with 17p deletion, with an early appearance of CD5+/IgM+ B cells in the peritoneal cavity, spleen and bone marrow. These TCL1-Tg:p53−/− leukemia cells exhibit higher survival capacity and are more resistant to drug treatment than the leukemia cells from the TCL1-Tg:p53wt (TCL1-Tg) mice. Analysis of microRNA expression reveals that the p53 deletion resulted in a significant decrease of miR-15a and miR-16-1, leading to a substantial elevated expression of Mcl-1. Primary leukemia cells from CLL patients with 17p deletion also show a decrease in miR-15a/miR-16-1 and an increase in Mcl-1 expression. Our study has created a novel CLL mouse model, and suggests that the p53/miR15a/16-Mcl-1 axis may contribute to the aggressive phenotype and drug resistance in CLL cells with loss of p53.
PMCID: PMC3806892  PMID: 23608884
Leukemia; p53; TCL1; mouse model; Drug resistance
20.  TBK1 Mediates Critical Effects of Measles Virus Nucleocapsid Protein (MVNP) on Pagetic Osteoclast Formation 
Paget’s disease of bone (PDB) is characterized by abnormal osteoclasts with unique characteristics that include: increased sensitivity of osteoclast progenitors to 1,25(OH)2D3, RANKL and TNF-α, increased osteoclast numbers, increased expression of IL-6 and several transcription factors. We recently reported that measles virus nucleocapsid protein (MVNP) plays a key role in the development of these abnormal osteoclasts. MVNP can induce the pagetic osteoclast phenotype in vitro and in vivo in TRAP-MVNP transgenic mice. However, the molecular mechanisms by which MVNP generates pagetic osteoclasts have not been determined. TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) and IκB kinase-ɛ (IKKɛ) are IKK family members which complex with MVNP and activate both IRF3 and NF-κB pathways. MVNP increases the amount of TBK1 protein in bone marrow monocytes (BMM). Interestingly, we found that RANKL increased TBK1 and IKKɛ early in osteoclast differentiation, suggesting a possible role in normal osteoclastogenesis. However, only TBK1 is further increased in osteoclasts formed by TRAP-MVNP BMM due to increased TBK1 protein stability. TBK1 over-expression induced IL6 promoter reporter activity, and elevated endogenous IL6 mRNA and p65 NF-κB, TAF12 and ATF7 proteins in several cell lines. Over-expression of TBK1 was insufficient to induce pagetic osteoclasts from WT BMM, but synergized with MVNP to increase pagetic osteoclast formation from TRAP-MVNP BMM. BX795 inhibition of TBK1 impaired MVNP-induced IL-6 expression in both NIH3T3 cells and BMM, and shRNA knockdown of Tbk1 in NIH3T3 cells impaired IL-6 secretion induced by MVNP and decreased TAF12 and ATF7, factors involved in 1,25(OH)2D3 hypersensitivity of pagetic osteoclasts. Similarly, Tbk1 knockdown in BMM from TRAP-MVNP and WT mice specifically impaired development of the MVNP-induced osteoclast pagetic phenotype. These results demonstrate that TBK1 plays a critical role in mediating the effects of MVNP on osteoclast differentiation, and on the expression of IL-6, a key contributor to the pagetic osteoclast phenotype.
PMCID: PMC3870038  PMID: 23794264
TBK1; MVNP; IL-6; osteoclasts; Paget’s disease
21.  The interaction between the helicase DHX33 and IPS-1 as a novel pathway to sense double-stranded RNA and RNA viruses in myeloid dendritic cells 
In eukaryotes, there are at least 60 members of the DExD/H helicase family, many of which are able to sense viral nucleic acids. By screening all known family members, we identified the helicase DHX33 as a novel double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) sensor in myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs). The knockdown of DHX33 using small heteroduplex RNA (shRNA) blocked the ability of mDCs to produce type I interferon (IFN) in response to poly I:C and reovirus. The HELICc domain of DHX33 was shown to bind poly I:C. The interaction between DHX33 and IPS-1 is mediated by the HELICc region of DHX33 and the C-terminal domain of IPS-1 (also referred to MAVS and VISA). The inhibition of DHX33 expression by RNA interference blocked the poly I:C-induced activation of MAP kinases, NF-κB and IRF3. The interaction between the helicase DHX33 and IPS-1 was independent of RIG-I/MDA5 and may be a novel pathway for sensing poly I:C and RNA viruses in mDCs.
PMCID: PMC4002151  PMID: 24037184
DHX33; helicase; innate immunity; IPS-1; myeloid dendritic cell; viral nucleic acid
22.  Upregulation of TLRs and IL-6 as a Marker in Human Colorectal Cancer 
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) not only form an important part of the innate immune system but also serve to activate the adaptive immune system in response to cancer. Real-time PCR; immunohistochemical stain and Western blotting analyses were performed to clarify molecular alterations in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. We identified Toll-like receptor 1 (TLR1), TLR2, TLR4 and TLR8 gene expression levels and downstream gene, i.e., interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, interferon-α (IFN-α) and myeloid differentiation primary-response protein-88 (MyD88), expression levels in CRC patients and in cancer cell lines. CRC tissues have higher TLR1, TLR2, TLR4, TLR8, IL-6 and IL-8 gene expression levels than do the normal colon mucosa (p < 0.05). TLR2 expression varied in different cell types (mucosa and lymphocytes). There was no difference in the MyD88 and IFN-α gene expression levels between cancerous and normal colon mucosa. CRC patients had higher levels of IL-6 (p = 0.002) and IL-8 (p = 0.038) expression than healthy volunteers did; and higher IL-6 and IL-8 expression was also found to signify a higher risk of recurrence. CL075 (3M002) treatments can reduce the production of IL-8 in different cancer cell lines. The signaling pathway of TLRs in cancer tissue is different from that in normal cells; and is MyD88-independent. Higher expression levels of TLR1, TLR2, TLR 4 and TLR 8 mRNA were related to upregulation inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-8 gene expression in tissue and to the upregulation of IL-6 in blood. The concentration of IL-6 in serum can be used as an indicator of the possibility of CRC recurrence. Treatment with 3M002 can reduce IL-6 production in vitro and may prevent CRC recurrence. Our findings provide evidence that TLR1, TLR2, TLR4 and TLR8 gene expression induce downstream IL-6 and IL-8 gene expression; detection of these expression levels can serve as a CRC marker.
PMCID: PMC4307241  PMID: 25547486
Toll-like receptors; real-time PCR; immunohistochemical stain; Western blotting; colorectal cancer
23.  Clinicopathologic and prognostic relevance of ARID1A protein loss in colorectal cancer 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(48):18404-18412.
AIM: To explore the association between AT-rich interactive domain 1A (ARID1A) protein loss by immunohistochemistry and both clinicopathologic characteristics and prognosis in patients with colorectal cancer.
METHODS: We retrospectively collected clinicopathologic data and archived paraffin-embedded primary colorectal cancer samples from 209 patients, including 111 patients with colon cancer and 98 patients with rectal cancer. The tumor stage ranged from stage I to stage IV according to the 7th edition of the American Joint Committee on Cancer tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) staging system. All patients underwent resection of primary colorectal tumors. The expression of ARID1A protein in primary colorectal cancer tissues was examined by immunohistochemical staining. The clinicopathologic association and survival relevance of ARID1A protein loss in colorectal cancer were analyzed.
RESULTS: ARID1A loss by immunohistochemistry was not rare in primary colorectal cancer tumors (25.8%). There were 7.4%, 24.1%, 22.2% and 46.3% of patients with ARID1A loss staged at TNM stage I, II, III and IV, respectively, compared with 20.0%, 22.6%, 27.7% and 29.7% of patients without ARID1A loss staged at TNM stage I, II, III and IV, respectively. In patients with ARID1A loss, the distant metastasis rate was 46.3%. However, only 29.7% of patients without ARID1A loss were found to have distant metastasis. In terms of pathologic differentiation, there were 25.9%, 66.7% and 7.4% with poorly, moderately and well differentiated tumors in patients with ARID1A loss, and 14.2%, 72.3% and 13.5% with poorly, moderately and well differentiated tumors in patients without ARID1A loss, respectively. ARID1A loss was associated with late TNM stage (P = 0.020), distant metastasis (P = 0.026), and poor pathological classification (P = 0.035). However, patients with positive ARID1A had worse overall survival compared to those with negative ARID1A in stage IV colorectal cancer (HR = 2.49, 95%CI: 1.13-5.51).
CONCLUSION: ARID1A protein loss is associated with clinicopathologic characteristics in colorectal cancer patients and with survival in stage IV patients.
PMCID: PMC4277979  PMID: 25561809
AT-rich interactive domain 1A; Switching defective/sucrose non-fermenting complexes; Colorectal cancer; Clinicopathologic characteristics; Prognosis
24.  Time trends and age-period-cohort analyses on incidence rates of thyroid cancer in Shanghai and Hong Kong 
BMC Cancer  2014;14(1):975.
Increasing incidence rates of thyroid cancer have been noted worldwide, while the underlying reasons remain unclear.
Using data from population-based cancer registries, we examined the time trends of thyroid cancer incidence in two largest cities in China, Shanghai and Hong Kong, during the periods 1973–2009 and 1983–2011, respectively. We further performed age-period-cohort analyses to address the possible underlying reasons for the observed temporal trends.
We observed continuous increases in the incidence rates of thyroid cancer in Shanghai and Hong Kong, since the 1980s, in addition to higher incidence rates in the 1970s in both sexes in Shanghai. The age-standardized incidence rate of thyroid cancer increased by 3.1% [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.0%, 5.1%] and 3.8% (95% CI: 1.9%, 5.7%) per year on average, respectively, in Shanghai men and women during the period 1973–2009, while it increased by 2.2% (95% CI: 1.5%, 2.8%) and 2.7% (1.6%, 3.8%) per year on average, respectively, in Hong Kong men and women during the period 1983–2011. We observed global changes in trends across all age groups in similar ways, in addition to varied trends across different generations (birth cohorts).
The increased incidence rates of thyroid cancer in these two Chinese populations during recent decades may be contributable to a combination of the introduction of more sensitive diagnostic techniques and the increasing prevalence of environmental exposures in the populations.
PMCID: PMC4301456  PMID: 25519305
Thyroid cancer; Incidence; Time trend; Age–period–cohort analysis; Etiology
25.  PET imaging of apoptosis in tumor-bearing mice and rabbits after paclitaxel treatment with 18F-Labeled recombinant human His10-annexin V 
Monitoring response to chemo- or radiotherapy is of great importance in clinical practice. Apoptosis imaging serves as a very useful tool for the early evaluation of tumor response. The goal of this study was PET imaging of apoptosis with 18F-labeled recombinant human annexin V linked with 10 histidine tag (18F-rh-His10-annexin V) in nude mice bearing an A549 tumor and rabbits bearing a VX2 lung cancer after paclitaxel therapy. 18F-rh-His10-annexin V was prepared by conjugation of rh-His10-annexin V with N-succinimidyl 4-[18F]fluorobenzoate. Biodistribution was determined in mice by the dissection method and small-animal PET. Single-dose paclitaxel (175 mg/m2) was used to induce apoptosis in A549 and VX2 tumor models. 18F-rh-His10-annexin V was injected into A549 mice and VX rabbits to acquire dynamic and static PET images 72 h after paclitaxel treatment. The uptake of 18F-rh-His10-annexin V in apoptotic cells 4 h after induction was 6.45±0.52 fold higher than that in non-induced cells. High focal uptake of 18F-rh-His10-annexin V was visualized in A549 (SUVmax: 0.35±0.13) and VX2 (0.41±0.23) tumor models after paclitaxel treatment, whereas lower uptake was found in the corresponding tumors before treatment (A549 SUVmax: 0.04±0.02; VX2: 0.009±0.002). The apoptotic index was 75.61±11.56% in the treated VX2 cancer, much higher than that in the untreated VX2 (8.03±2.81%). This study demonstrated the feasibility of 18F-rh-His10-annexin V for the detection of apoptosis after chemotherapy in A549 and VX2 tumor models.
PMCID: PMC4299778  PMID: 25625024
Apoptosis; molecular imaging; recombinant human His10-annexin V; tumor response

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