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1.  A novel hepatovirus identified in wild woodchuck Marmota himalayana 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:22361.
Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is a hepatotropic picornavirus that causes acute liver disease worldwide. Here, we report on the identification of a novel hepatovirus tentatively named Marmota Himalayana hepatovirus (MHHAV) in wild woodchucks (Marmota Himalayana) in China. The genomic and molecular characterization of MHHAV indicated that it is most closely related genetically to HAV. MHHAV has wide tissue distribution but shows tropism for the liver. The virus is morphologically and structurally similar to HAV. The pattern of its codon usage bias is also consistent with that of HAV. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that MHHAV groups with known HAVs but forms an independent branch, and represents a new species in the genus Hepatovirus within the family Picornaviridae. Antigenic site analysis suggested MHHAV has a new antigenic property to other HAVs. Further evolutionary analysis of MHHAV and primate HAVs led to a most recent common ancestor estimate of 1,000 years ago, while the common ancestor of all HAV-related viruses including phopivirus can be traced back to 1800 years ago. The discovery of MHHAV may provide new insights into the origin and evolution of HAV and a model system with which to explore the pathogenesis of HAV infection.
PMCID: PMC4770319  PMID: 26924426
2.  Emergence of human caliciviruses among diarrhea cases in southwest China 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2016;16:511.
Acute diarrhea is one of the most serious problems in global public health that causes considerable morbidity and mortality worldwide. Human caliciviruses (HuCV) including norovirus (NoV, genogroup GI and GII) and sapovirus (SaV), is a leading cause of acute sporadic diarrhea in individuals across all age groups. However, few studies had been conducted clarifying the characteristics of HuCV in diarrhea cases across all age groups in China. Our study was aimed at assessing the HuCV-related diarrhea burden and NoV genotypes distribution in southwest China.
The study was conducted in four hospitals in Kunming city, Yunnan province, from June 2014 to July 2015. Stool specimens were collected from 1,121 diarrhea cases and 319 healthy controls in outpatient departments. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to detect NoV (GI, GII) and SaV. Sequencing was applied to confirm the three viral infections and phylogenetic analysis was performed to determine their genotypes. A structured questionnaire was used to record the demographic information and clinical symptoms of subjects.
HuCV was detected at an 11.0 % infection rate in 1,121 diarrhea cases and at 3.4 % rate in 319 non-diarrhea subjects (p < 0.0001, OR = 3.5, 95 % CI 1.8–6.5). The prevalence of the NoV genogroup GII and genotype GII.4 in diarrhea cases was significantly higher than that found in healthy controls (p < 0.0001, p = 0.018, respectively). NoV GII (n = 118, 10.5 %) was the most common HuCV subtype in diarrhea cases, followed by SaV (n = 3, 0.3 %) and NoV GI (n = 2, 0.2 %). Of 118 NoV GII strains isolated from diarrhea patients. GII.4 (n = 55, 46.6 %) was the predominant strain, followed by GII.3 (n = 28, 23.7 %), GII.12 (n = 25, 21.2 %), GII.17 (n = 8, 6.8 %), and GII.5 (n = 2, 1.7 %). Of the 55 GII.4 strains, the GII.4 Sydney 2012 variant had absolutely predominant prevalence (n = 52, 94.5 %), followed by the NoV GII.4-2006b variant (n = 3, 5.5 %). The GII.4 Orleans 2009 variant was not found in diarrhea cases of the study.
NoV GII was the major genogroup and GII.4 was the most predominant strain detected in diarrhea patients. The GII.17 is an emergent variant in sporadic diarrhea and might become the predominant strain in diarrhea cases in the near future. Rapid, accurate detection kits need to be developed to help us find and treat NoV-associated diarrhea in clinical settings in a timely manner.
PMCID: PMC5035476  PMID: 27663519
Acute diarrhea; Epidemiology; Sporadic cases; Calicivirus; Norovirus; Novel genotype
3.  Decreasing prevalence and time trend of gastroschisis in 14 cities of Liaoning Province: 2006–2015 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:33333.
To identify trends in the prevalence of gastroschisis on the basis of a large population-based observation study with cases identified by the Liaoning Birth Defects Registry including 14 cities over the course of a 10-year period. Data were obtained from the aforementioned registry which was maintained by the Liaoning Women and Children’s Health Hospital, a comprehensive care institution as well as being responsible for the women’s and children’s health care guidance in this province. Gastroschisis prevalence, percent change, annual percent change (APC), and contribution rates of each city were calculated. We observed 747 cases of gastroschisis among 3,248,954 live births, for a prevalence of 2.30 per 10,000 births. The gastroschisis prevalence significantly decreased by 12.63% per year in Liaoning Province. Although the decreasing trends were observed in all these 14 cities, significant results were only observed in Shenyang (APC = −16.31%), Tieling (APC = −20.23%), and Chaoyang (APC = −13.50%). Notably, Tieling, Shenyang, and Yingkou were the three major cities which contributed almost 37.17% of the decreasing trend of gastroschisis in Liaoning Province. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that the prevalence of gastroschisis has been decreasing during the recent decade among 14 cities in Liaoning Province.
PMCID: PMC5022025  PMID: 27623985
4.  Evaluating the time trends in prevalence of exomphalos in 14 cities of Liaoning province, 2006 to 2015 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:32901.
To evaluate time trends of exomphalos prevalence using a large population-based study with cases identified by the Liaoning Birth Defects Registry including 14 cities over the course of a 10-year period. Exomphalos prevalence, percent change, annual percent change (APC), and contribution rates of each city were calculated. Additionally, epidemiological characteristics of this malformation were described. We observed 516 cases of exomphalos among 3,248,954 live births. Birth prevalence of exomphalos was 1.59 per 10,000 live births with non-significant change during the observational period (APC = −1.19%, P = 0.48). However, significantly decreasing trends were noticed in three cities: Fushun (APC = −9.15%, P = 0.03), Benxi (APC = −11.49%, P = 0.05), and Yingkou (APC = −16.47%, P = 0.04), contributing 62.77% of the decreasing trend of overall prevalence. The mean maternal age, gestational age, and birth weight was 28.4 years (standard deviation [SD], 6.1 years), 25.6 weeks (SD, 8.6 weeks), and 1236.2 gram (SD, 1164.4 gram). For time of diagnosis, 79.8% (n = 412) cases were diagnosed during pregnancy. In summary, the prevalence of exomphalos in Liaoning province did not change remarkably during 2006 to 2015. Future studies are warranted to investigate the risk factors and create prevention strategies for this disease.
PMCID: PMC5015066  PMID: 27604427
5.  Identification of a Novel Enterovirus Species in Rhesus Macaque in China 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:28526.
Recent studies of Enterovirus (EV) in nonhuman primates (NHPs), which could act as a source of future emerging human viral diseases, have boosted interest in the search for novel EVs. Here, a highly divergent strain of EV, tentatively named SEV-gx, was identified by viral metagenomic analysis from stool samples of rhesus macaques in China. In total, 27 of 280 (9.6%) faecal samples from rhesus macaques were positive for SEV-gx. Its complete genomic sequence is 7,367 nucleotide (nt). Genomic analyses showed that it has a standard genomic organisation for EVs, being more closely related to EV-J strains (approximately 54.0%, 43.0–44.1%, 52.3–55.2%, 61.1–62.7% and 64.0% amino acids identity in polyprotein, P1, P2 and P3 and combined 2C/3CD regions, respectively). It was also shown to have genome characteristics typical of EVs. Phylogenetic analysis of P1, 2C and 3CD aa indicated that SEV-gx can be classified as a distinct cluster in the EVs. All of this evidence demonstrates SEV-gx is a novel species (tentatively named EV-K) in the EV genus, which contributes to our understanding of the genetic diversity and evolution of EVs. Further studies are needed to investigate the potential pathogenicity of SEV-gx in NHPs and humans.
PMCID: PMC4916455  PMID: 27329349
6.  Loss of epithelial FAM20A in mice causes amelogenesis imperfecta, tooth eruption delay and gingival overgrowth 
FAM20A has been studied to a very limited extent. Mutations in human FAM20A cause amelogenesis imperfecta, gingival fibromatosis and kidney problems. It would be desirable to systemically analyse the expression of FAM20A in dental tissues and to assess the pathological changes when this molecule is specifically nullified in individual tissues. Recently, we generated mice with a Fam20A-floxed allele containing the beta-galactosidase reporter gene. We analysed FAM20A expression in dental tissues using X-Gal staining, immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, which showed that the ameloblasts in the mouse mandibular first molar began to express FAM20A at 1 day after birth, and the reduced enamel epithelium in erupting molars expressed a significant level of FAM20A. By breeding K14-Cre mice with Fam20Aflox/flox mice, we created K14-Cre;Fam20Aflox/flox (conditional knock out, cKO) mice, in which Fam20A was inactivated in the epithelium. We analysed the dental tissues of cKO mice using X-ray radiography, histology and immunohistochemistry. The molar enamel matrix in cKO mice was much thinner than normal and was often separated from the dentinoenamel junction. The Fam20A-deficient ameloblasts were non-polarized and disorganized and were detached from the enamel matrix. The enamel abnormality in cKO mice was consistent with the diagnosis of amelogenesis imperfecta. The levels of enamelin and matrix metalloproteinase 20 were lower in the ameloblasts and enamel of cKO mice than the normal mice. The cKO mice had remarkable delays in the eruption of molars and hyperplasia of the gingival epithelium. The findings emphasize the essential roles of FAM20A in the development of dental and oral tissues.
PMCID: PMC4932772  PMID: 27281036
conditional knock out mice; enamel; FAM20A; gingival overgrowth; tooth eruption
7.  White Matter Changes in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Prospective Longitudinal Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study 
Chinese Medical Journal  2016;129(9):1091-1099.
The ability to predict posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a critical issue in the management of patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), as early medical and rehabilitative interventions may reduce the risks of long-term cognitive changes. The aim of the present study was to investigate how diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) metrics changed in the transition from acute to chronic phases in patients with mTBI and whether the alteration relates to the development of PTSD.
Forty-three patients with mTBI and 22 healthy volunteers were investigated. The patients were divided into two groups: successful recovery (SR, n = 22) and poor recovery (PR, n = 21), based on neurocognitive evaluation at 1 or 6 months after injury. All patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging investigation at acute (within 3 days), subacute (10–20 days), and chronic (1–6 months) phases after injury. Group differences of fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) were analyzed using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS). The accuracy of DTI metrics for classifying PTSD was estimated using Bayesian discrimination analysis.
TBSS showed white matter (WM) abnormalities in various brain regions. In the acute phase, FA values were higher for PR and SR patients than controls (all P < 0.05). In subacute phase, PR patients have higher mean MD than SR and controls (all P < 0.05). In the chronic phase, lower FA and higher MD were observed in PR compared with both SR and control groups (all P < 0.05). PR and SR groups could be discriminated with a sensitivity of 73%, specificity of 78%, and accuracy of 75.56%, in terms of MD value in subacute phase.
Patients with mTBI have multiple abnormalities in various WM regions. DTI metrics change over time and provide a potential indicator at subacute stage for PTSD following mTBI.
PMCID: PMC4852678  PMID: 27098796
Diffusion Tensor Imaging; Mild Traumatic Brain Injury; Posttraumatic Stress Disorder; Tract-based Spatial Statistics
8.  Time trends of neonatal mortality by causes of death in Shenyang, 1997–2014 
Oncotarget  2016;7(13):16610-16618.
To investigate the rate and time trends of neonatal mortality from 1997 to 2014 in Shenyang, which were previously rarely reported upon by developing countries, data on 4719 neonatal deaths (0–28 days) and 970,583 live births from the Shenyang Women and Children Health Care Centre were analyzed. Neonatal mortality rates (per 1000 live births), percent change, and annual percent change (APC) were calculated. During the observation period, neonatal mortality in Shenyang significantly decreased by 7.04%, 8.33%, and 5.35% per year overall, in urban and rural areas, respectively. When grouped by category of neonatal death, the time trends of three categories showed statistically significant decreases: congenital malformations (APC = −9.97%), diseases of the perinatal period (APC = −6.04%), and diseases of the respiratory system (APC = −8.52%). Congenital malformations, diseases of the respiratory system, and diseases of the nervous system and sense organs were the three major contributors to the aforementioned decreasing trend, which accounted for 58.71% in overall areas. Among selective causes of neonatal death, the neonatal mortality rates of pneumonia, congenital heart disease, preterm birth and low birth weight, birth asphyxia, and intracranial hemorrhage of the newborn significantly decreased 7.87%, 7.32%, 2.47%, 11.04%, and 10.68% per year, respectively. In summary, neonatal mortality rates decreased in Shenyang during the 17-year study period. Future studies are warranted to further investigate the factors contributing to the neonatal mortality trends in China.
PMCID: PMC4941338  PMID: 26918828
annual percent change; neonatal mortality rate; Shenyang; trend
9.  Treatments for the Fifth Metacarpal Neck Fractures 
Medicine  2016;95(11):e3059.
The fifth metacarpal neck fractures (commonly termed boxer's fractures) are the most common type of metacarpal fractures. Many types of treatments are available in clinical practice, some of which have already been compared with other treatments by various researchers. However, a comprehensive treatment comparison is lacking. We estimated the comparative efficacy of different interventions for total complications, through a network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
We conducted a systematic search of the literature through October 2015. The outcome measurements were the total complications. We used a Bayesian network meta-analysis to combine direct and indirect evidence and to estimate the relative effects of treatment.
We identified 6 RCTs registering a total of 288 patients who were eligible for our network meta-analysis. The literature's quality is relatively high. The median Structured Effectiveness for Quality Evaluation of Study score for the included trials was 33.8. The overall methodological quality was high. Of the 6 studies, all were 2-arm controlled trials comparing active intervention. Among the 4 treatments—conservative treatment (CT), antegrade intramedullary nailing (AIMN), transverse pinning (TP) with K-wires, and plate fixation (PF)—CT had the best rankings (ie, lowest risk of total complications), followed by PF, AIMN, and TP (ie, highest risk of total complications). Furthermore, we also presented the results using surface under the cumulative ranking curve. The surface under the cumulative ranking curve probabilities were 94.1%, 52.9%, 37.3%, and 15.7% for CT, PF, AIMN, and TP, respectively.
In conclusion, current evidence suggested that conservative treatment is the optimum treatment for the fifth metacarpal neck fractures because of reduced total complication rates. Moreover, the TP with K-wires is the worst option with highly total complication rates. PF and AIMN therapy should be considered as the first-line choices. Larger and higher-quality randomized controlled trials are required to confirm these conclusions and better inform clinical decision-making.
PMCID: PMC4839910  PMID: 26986129
10.  C3-Luc Cells Are an Excellent Model for Evaluation of Cellular Immunity following HPV16L1 Vaccination 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(2):e0149748.
C3 and TC-1 are the two model cell lines most commonly used in studies of vaccines and drugs against human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Because C3 cells contain both the HPV16 E and L genes, but TC-1 cells contain only the HPV16 E genes, C3 cells are usually used as the model cell line in studies targeting the HPV16 L protein. However, expression of the L1 protein is difficult to detect in C3 cells using common methods. In our study, Short tandem repeat analysis (STR) was used to demonstrate that C3 cells are indeed derived from mice, PCR results show that HPV16 L1, E6 and E7 genes were detected in C3 genomic DNA, and RT-PCR results demonstrated that L1 transcription had occurred in C3 cells. However, the expression of C3 protein was not found in the results of western blot and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Growth and proliferation of C3 were inhibited by mice spleen lymphocytes that had been immunized with a vaccine against HPV16L1. The luciferase gene was integrated into C3 cells, and it was confirmed that addition of the exogenous gene had no effect on C3 cells by comparing cell growth and tumor formation with untransformed cells. Cells stably expressing luciferase (C3-luc) were screened and subcutaneously injected into the mice. Tumors became established and were observed using a Spectrum Pre-clinical in Vivo Imaging System. Tumor size of mice in the different groups at various time points was calculated by counting photons. The sensitivity of the animals to the vaccine was quantified by statistical comparison. Ten or 30 days following injection of the C3-luc cells, tumor size differed significantly between the PBS and vaccine groups, indicating that C3 cells were susceptible to vaccination even after tumors were formed in vivo.
PMCID: PMC4763794  PMID: 26900913
11.  Caloric Restriction Promotes the Reserve of Follicle Pool in Adult Female Rats by Inhibiting the Activation of Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Signaling 
Reproductive Sciences  2015;22(1):60-67.
Caloric restriction (CR) is known to increase the number of primordial follicles and prolong the reproductive life span. However, how CR modulates follicular development is not well understood. In the present study, we examined the effects of CR on follicular development in rats and investigated the underlying mechanism. After 10 weeks of CR or high-fat diet, ovarian follicles at different developmental stages were examined by histological analysis. Plasma levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and estrogen (ESG) were measured, and the levels of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), p70S6 kinase (p70S6K), and phosphorylated p70S6K in the ovary were detected by Western blot. The results showed that the reserve of follicle pool in CR rats was increased, accompanied by decreased level of phosphorylated p70S6K in the ovary, and decreased serum LH, FSH, and ESG levels. Taken together, these results suggest that CR may suppress ovarian follicular development and enhance the follicle pool reserve by inhibiting mTOR signaling.
PMCID: PMC4275449  PMID: 25001019
caloric restriction; mTOR; primordial follicle; luteinizing hormone; estrogen
12.  MIF, secreted by human hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells, promotes chemotaxis and outgrowth of colorectal cancer in liver prometastasis 
Oncotarget  2015;6(26):22410-22423.
Growth and invasion of metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) cells in the liver depend on microenvironment. Here, we showed that human hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells (HHSECs) induce chemotaxis and outgrowth of CRC cells. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), released by HHSECs, stimulated chemotaxis of CRC cells. MIF secreted by HHSECs, but not by CRC cells themselves, promoted migration and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and facilitated proliferation and apoptotic resistance of CRC cells. In orthotopic implantation models in nude mice, exogenous MIF stimulated growth of CRC cells and metastasis. Furthermore, MIF accelerated mobility of CRC cells by suppressing F-actin depolymerization and phosphorylating cofilin. Noteworthy, MIF levels were correlated with the size of hepatic metastases. We suggest that HHSECs and paracrine MIF promote initial migration and proliferation of CRC cells in the hepatic sinusoids to generate liver metastases.
PMCID: PMC4673172  PMID: 26087187
colorectal cancer; hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cell; macrophage migration inhibitory factor; chemotaxis; metastasis
13.  Cordblood-Based High-Throughput Screening for Deafness Gene of 646 Newborns in Jinan Area of China 
Infants with slight/mild or late-onset hearing impairment might be missed in universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS). We identified the mutation hot spot of common deaf gene in the newborns in Jinan area population by screening the mutation spot with neonate cord blood, in order to make clear whether the neonate cord blood for screening is feasible.
Six hundred and forty-six newborns were subjected to both UNHS and genetic screening for deafness by using neonate cord blood. The newborn genetic screening targeted four deafness-associated genes, which were commonly found in the Chinese population including gap junction beta-2 protein (GJB2), gap junction beta-3 protein (GJB3), solute carrier family 26 member 4 (SLC26A4), and mtDNA 12S rRNA. The most common 20 spot mutations in 4 deaf genes were detected by MassARRAY iPLEX platform and mitochondrial 12S rRNA A1555G and C1494T mutations were sequenced using Sanger sequencing.
Among the 646 newborns, 635 cases passed the UNHS and the other 11 cases (1.7%) did not. Of the 11 failures, two cases were found to carry homozygous GJB2 p.R143W pathogenic mutation, one case was found to have heterozygous GJB2 235delC mutation, and another one case carried heterozygous GJB3 p.R180X pathogenic mutation. Six hundred and thirty-five babies passed the newborn hearing screening, in which 25 babies were identified to carry pathogenic mutations, including 12 heterozygotes (1.9%) for GJB2 235delC, eight heterozygotes (1.3%) for SLC26A4 IVS7-2A>G, one heterozygote (0.2%) for p.R409H, two homozygotes (0.3%) for m.1494C>T, and two homozygotes (0.3%) for m.1555A>G.
Newborn genetic screening through the umbilical cord blood for common deafness-associated mutations may identify carriers sensitive to aminoglycoside antibiotic, and can effectively prevent or delay hearing loss occurs.
PMCID: PMC4553350  PMID: 26330914
Deafness; Cord Blood; Genes; High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
14.  Myofibrotic malformation vessels: unique angiodysplasia toward the progression of hemorrhoidal disease 
The etiology and pathogenesis of hemorrhoids is unclear, although hemorrhoids are a worldwide disease in men and women, with peak prevalence at 45–65 years of age. Hemorrhoidal cushions as the anal venous plexi are normal anatomical structures from infancy. This study attempts to reveal the angiodysplasia and other pathological changes in association with different degrees of symptomatic hemorrhoids.
Materials and methods
A total of 281 patients with internal hemorrhoids from degree I to IV underwent hemorrhoidectomy. The vascular changes were analyzed by microscopic assessment and software analysis, with Masson’s trichrome, CD34, and smooth muscle actin.
The hemorrhoidal tissues exhibited abnormal vessels in the mucosae and submucosae that we termed them as myofibrotic malformation vessels (MMVs). MMVs are not ascribed to arteries or veins because they exhibit enlarged and tortuous lumens with smooth muscle dysplasia and fibrotic deposition in the walls without overlying mucosal ulceration. The muscularis mucosae also showed smooth muscle dysplasia and fibrosis, even if it were interrupted by the intruding MMVs. The statistical data indicated that the severity of all the changes correlate positively with the progression of hemorrhoids (P<0.001). Hemorrhoidal patients are prone for reoccurrence even with prolapsing hemorrhoid when compared with the conventional hemorrhoidectomy. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that MMVs in mucosal propria, mean thickness of mucosal muscularis layer, and fibrotic changes in MMV were independent risk factors for MMVs in hemorrhoidal disease.
MMVs and muscularis mucosae dysplasia reciprocally contribute to hemorrhoidal exacerbation. The novel findings of this study propose that the characteristic features of MMVs and muscularis mucosae dysplasia of the anorectal tube ultimately cause symptomatic hemorrhoids, which could affect the clinical management of hemorrhoidal disease through the use of surgery to target the malformed vessels.
PMCID: PMC4541538  PMID: 26316703
internal hemorrhoids; hemorrhoidal progression; myofibrotic malformation vessels; muscularis mucosae dysplasia; anorectal disease
15.  Human Leukocyte Antigen DQB1 (HLA-DQB1) Polymorphisms and the Risk for Guillain-Barré Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0131374.
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an autoimmune disorder of the peripheral nervous system. There is no consensus regarding reported associations between human leukocyte antigen DQB1 (HLA-DQB1) polymorphisms and the risk for developing GBS. Here, we evaluated possible associations between HLA-DQB1 polymorphisms and the risk for GBS using a meta-analysis. We searched PubMed for case-control genetic association studies for HLA-DQB1 polymorphisms (*020x, *030x, *040x, *050x, and *060x) and the risk for GBS. Fixed-effect meta-analytical methods were used for the outcome measure and subgroup analyses. Estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to investigate the associations between HLA-DQB1 polymorphisms and the risk for GBS. Nine case-control studies involving 780 cases of GBS and 1353 controls were identified in the current study. The meta-analysis demonstrated no significant associations between HLA-DQB1 polymorphisms and the risk for GBS in Asian and Caucasian populations. There were two associations that approached significance: HLA-DQB1*030x in Asian patients (P = 0.07; OR: 0.76, 95% CI: 0.57–1.03) and HLA-DQB1*060x in all patients (P = 0.08; OR: 1.48, 95% CI: 0.96–2.29). Additional studies with larger sample sizes are required to establish a definitive assessment of the contribution of HLA-DQB1 polymorphisms to GBS risk.
PMCID: PMC4512729  PMID: 26204120
16.  Salivirus in Children and Its Association with Childhood Acute Gastroenteritis: A Paired Case-Control Study 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0130977.
Salivirus was recently discovered in children with gastroenteritis and in sewage. Though a causative role for salivirus in childhood gastroenteritis was suggested in the previous study, the relationship between salivirus and acute gastroenteritis has not yet been clearly clarified. The sewage strain reported by Ng, although represented by incomplete genome sequencing data, was distinct from previously reported saliviruses, and had not previously been detected in humans. A case-control study examining 461 paired stool samples from children with diarrhea and healthy controls (1:1) was conducted in this study. Also, common diarrheal viruses were detected and complete genome of a salivirus was determined. Results showed that salivirus was detected in 16 (3.5%) and 13 (2.8%) of the case and control samples, respectively; no differences in detection rates (p=0.571) or mean values of viral loads (p=0.400) were observed between the groups. Multivariate Cox regression revealed no association between salivirus and gastroenteritis (p=0.774). The data also demonstrated that salivirus infection did not exacerbate clinical symptoms of gastroenteritis in children. Furthermore, complete genome sequence of a salivirus recovered from the feces of a child with diarrhea (i.e., SaliV-FHB) shared a 99% nucleotide identity with the sewage strain. In conclusion, a paired case-control study did not support a causative role for salivirus strains detected in this study with pediatric gastroenteritis. This study also demonstrated that all known saliviruses can be detected in the feces of children with or without gastroenteritis.
PMCID: PMC4507861  PMID: 26193371
17.  Tongxinluo (TXL), a Traditional Chinese Medicinal Compound, Improves Endothelial Function After Chronic Hypoxia Both In Vivo and In Vitro 
Vascular injury after chronic hypoxia leads to endothelial injury and structural damage to tight junctions (TJs), thereby resulting in a variety of cardiovascular diseases. Thus, attenuating hypoxia-induced damage has great significance for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the endothelial protection conferred by tongxinluo (TXL), a traditional Chinese medicinal compound, is related to its regulation of TJ protein expression. In vivo, we found that TXL could promote hypoxia-induced angiogenesis in lung and liver tissue. In vitro, we found that CoCl2 treatment significantly reduced the expression of the TJ proteins occludin, claudin-1, VE-cadherin, and beta-catenin in cultured human cardiac microvascular endothelial cells. TXL pretreatment abrogated the CoCl2-induced downregulation of these TJ proteins. Conversely, overexpression of Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) inhibited the expression of TJ proteins in human cardiac microvascular endothelial cells, an effect that was reversed by TXL pretreatment. Further experiments showed that TXL could promote endothelial cell proliferation by increasing KLF4 phosphorylation, thereby reversing the effect of KLF4 on the expression of TJ proteins. These findings provide a new molecular mechanism for the TXL-induced increase in TJ protein expression.
PMCID: PMC4461393  PMID: 26065642
TXL; human cardiac microvascular endothelial cells; chronic hypoxia; tight junction protein; KLF4
18.  Molecular cloning, characterization and expression of the energy homeostasis-associated gene in piglet*  
The energy homeostasis-associated (Enho) gene encodes a secreted protein, adropin, which regulates the expression of hepatic lipogenic genes and adipose tissue peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ, a major regulator of lipogenesis. In the present study, the porcine (Sus scrofa) homologue of the Enho gene, which was named pEnho, was amplified by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using oligonucleotide primers derived from in silico sequences. The gene sequence was submitted into the GenBank of NCBI, and the access number is GQ414763. The pEnho encodes a protein of 76 amino acids which shows 75% similarity to Homo sapiens adropin. The expression profile of pEnho in tissues (liver, muscle, anterior jejunum, posterior jejunum, and ileum) was determined by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. pEnho was localized on porcine chromosome 10 and no introns were found. In conclusion, pEnho was cloned and analysed with the aim of increasing knowledge about glucose and lipid metabolism in piglets and helping to promote the health and growth of piglets through adropin regulation.
PMCID: PMC4471604  PMID: 26055914
Adropin; Energy homeostasis-associated (Enho) gene; Gene coloning; Piglets; RT-PCR
19.  Invertase Suc2-mediated inulin catabolism is regulated at the transcript level in Saccharomyces cerevisiae 
Invertase Suc2 was recently identified as a key hydrolase for inulin catabolism in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, whereas the Suc2 activity degrading inulin varies greatly in different S. cerevisiae strains. The molecular mechanism causing such variation remained obscure. The aim of this study is to investigate how Suc2 activity is regulated in S. cerevisiae.
The effect of SUC2 expression level on inulin hydrolysis was investigated by introducing different SUC2 genes or their corresponding promoters in S. cerevisiae strain BY4741 that can only weakly catabolize inulin. Both inulinase and invertase activities were increased with the rising SUC2 expression level. Variation in the promoter sequence has an obvious effect on the transcript level of the SUC2 gene. It was also found that the high expression level of SUC2 was beneficial to inulin degradation and ethanol yield.
Suc2-mediated inulin catabolism is regulated at transcript level in S. cerevisiae. Our work should be valuable for engineering advanced yeast strains in application of inulin for ethanol production.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12934-015-0243-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4404613  PMID: 25890240
Invertase; Transcript level; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Inulin
20.  Combined Effects of Admission Serum Creatinine Concentration with Age and Gender on the Prognostic Significance of Subjects with Acute ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction in China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e108986.
to explore the impact of admission serum creatinine concentration on the in-hospital mortality and its interaction with age and gender in patients with acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in China.
1424 acute STEMI patients were enrolled in the study. Anthropometric and laboratory measurements were collected from every patient. A Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to determine the relationships between the admission serum creatinine level (Cr level), age, sex and the in-hospital mortality. A crossover analysis and a stratified analysis were used to determine the combined impact of Cr levels with age and gender.
Female (HR 1.687, 95%CI 1.051∼2.708), elevated Cr level (HR 5.922, 95%CI 3.780∼9,279) and old age (1.692, 95%CI 1.402∼2.403) were associated with a high risk of death respectively. After adjusting for other confounders, the renal dysfunction was still independently associated with a higher risk of death (HR 2.48, 95% CI 1.32∼4.63), while female gender (HR 1.19, 95%CI 0.62∼2.29) and old age (HR 1.77, 95%CI 0.92∼3.37) was not. In addition, crossover analysis revealed synergistic effects between elevated Cr level and female gender (SI = 3.01, SIM = 2.10, AP = 0.55). Stratified analysis showed that the impact of renal dysfunction on in-hospital mortality was more pronounced in patients <60 years old (odds ratios 11.10, 95% CI 3.72 to 33.14) compared with patients 60 to 74 years old (odds ratios 5.18, 95% CI 2.48∼10.83) and patients ≥75years old (odds ratios 3.99, 95% CI 1.89 to 8.42).
Serum Cr concentration on admission was a strong predictor for in-hospital mortality among Chinese acute STEMI patients especially in the young and the female.
PMCID: PMC4193830  PMID: 25303229
21.  An Improved Method for Including Upper Size Range Plasmids in Metamobilomes 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104405.
Two recently developed isolation methods have shown promise when recovering pure community plasmid DNA (metamobilomes/plasmidomes), which is useful in conducting culture-independent investigations into plasmid ecology. However, both methods employ multiple displacement amplification (MDA) to ensure suitable quantities of plasmid DNA for high-throughput sequencing. This study demonstrates that MDA greatly favors smaller circular DNA elements (<10 Kbp), which, in turn, leads to stark underrepresentation of upper size range plasmids (>10 Kbp). Throughout the study, we used two model plasmids, a 4.4 Kbp cloning vector (pBR322), and a 56 Kbp conjugative plasmid (pKJK10), to represent lower- and upper plasmid size ranges, respectively. Subjecting a mixture of these plasmids to the overall isolation protocol revealed a 34-fold over-amplification of pBR322 after MDA. To address this bias, we propose the addition of an electroelution step that separates different plasmid size ranges prior to MDA in order to reduce size-dependent competition during incubation. Subsequent analyses of metamobilome data from wastewater spiked with the model plasmids showed in silica recovery of pKJK10 to be very poor with the established method and a 1,300-fold overrepresentation of pBR322. Conversely, complete recovery of pKJK10 was enabled with the new modified protocol although considerable care must be taken during electroelution to minimize cross-contamination between samples. For further validation, non-spiked wastewater metamobilomes were mapped to more than 2,500 known plasmid genomes. This displayed an overall recovery of plasmids well into the upper size range (median size: 30 kilobases) with the modified protocol. Analysis of de novo assembled metamobilome data also suggested distinctly better recovery of larger plasmids, as gene functions associated with these plasmids, such as conjugation, was exclusively encoded in the data output generated through the modified protocol. Thus, with the suggested modification, access to a large uncharacterized pool of accessory elements that reside on medium-to-large plasmids has been improved.
PMCID: PMC4130580  PMID: 25116381
22.  Physical Exercise Promotes Recovery of Neurological Function after Ischemic Stroke in Rats 
Although physical exercise is an effective strategy for treatment of ischemic stroke, the underlying protective mechanisms are still not well understood. It has been recently demonstrated that neural progenitor cells play a vital role in the recovery of neurological function (NF) through differentiation into mature neurons. In the current study, we observed that physical exercise significantly reduced the infarct size and improved damaged neural functional recovery after an ischemic stroke. Furthermore, we found that the treatment not only exhibited a significant increase in the number of neural progenitor cells and neurons but also decreased the apoptotic cells in the peri-infarct region, compared to a control in the absence of exercise. Importantly, the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)/Akt signaling pathway was dramatically activated in the peri-infarct region of rats after physical exercise training. Therefore, our findings suggest that physical exercise directly influences the NF recovery process by increasing neural progenitor cell count via activation of the IGF-1/Akt signaling pathway.
PMCID: PMC4100192  PMID: 24945308
physical exercise; IGF-1; Akt; apoptosis; neurogenesis; middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)
23.  Relationship of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system polymorphisms and phenotypes to mortality in Chinese coronary atherosclerosis patients 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4600.
We performed a large, long-term cohort study to evaluate the association of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system gene polymorphisms and baseline phenotypes to all-cause mortality among patients with angiographically confirmed coronary atherosclerosis. The study included 1075 subjects who underwent coronary angiography. Patients were genotyped for eight polymorphisms (rs4343, rs5186, rs5182, rs5049, rs5051, rs699, rs4762, and rs1799998), and their baseline plasma angiotensin II and aldosterone levels were measured. The interval between baseline and follow-up time-points ranged from 6.39 to 9.59 years. The results of multivariate regression analysis further indicated that high baseline angiotensin II levels (1.226 (1.024–1.468), p = 0.027) were independently associated with all-cause death. Therefore, we found that an increased baseline plasma angiotensin II level was associated with higher long-term all-cause mortality, even after correcting for established cardiovascular risk factors.
PMCID: PMC3983573  PMID: 24722536
24.  Mechanisms of NOS1AP action on NMDA receptor-nNOS signaling 
NMDA receptors (NMDAR) are glutamate-gated calcium channels that play pivotal roles in fundamental aspects of neuronal function. Dysregulated receptor function contributes to many disorders. Recruitment by NMDARs of calcium-dependent enzyme nNOS via PSD95 is seen as a key contributor to neuronal dysfunction. nNOS adaptor protein (NOS1AP), originally described as a competitor of PSD95:nNOS interaction, is regarded an inhibitor of NMDAR-driven nNOS function. In conditions of NMDAR hyperactivity such as excitotoxicity, one expects NOS1AP to be neuroprotective. Conditions of NMDAR hypoactivity, as thought to occur in schizophrenia, might be exacerbated by NOS1AP. Indeed GWAS have implicated NOS1AP and nNOS in schizophrenia. Several studies now indicate NOS1AP can mediate rather than inhibit NMDAR/nNOS-dependent responses, including excitotoxic signaling. Yet the concept of NOS1AP as an inhibitor of nNOS predominates in studies of human disease genetics. Here we review the experimental evidence to evaluate this apparent controversy, consider whether the known functions of NOS1AP might defend neurons against NMDAR dysregulation and highlight specific areas for future investigation to shed light on the functions of this adaptor protein.
PMCID: PMC4145862  PMID: 25221472
NOS1AP; nNOS; NMDA receptor; PSD95; PDZ; nitric oxide; excitotoxicity; schizophrenia
25.  Identification of a Novel Strain of Human Papillomavirus from Children with Diarrhea in China 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(5):e00761-13.
A highly divergent human papillomavirus (HPV) strain, HPV-L55, was identified in fecal samples from children hospitalized with diarrhea in China. The L1 gene of HPV-L55 shares <75% identity with previously reported HPVs, indicating that this virus represents a novel type of HPV. Phylogenetic analysis classified this virus as a member of the gammapapillomaviruses.
PMCID: PMC3790082  PMID: 24092778

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