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1.  Lean-non-alcoholic fatty liver disease increases risk for metabolic disorders in a normal weight Chinese population 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(47):17932-17940.
AIM: To study the prevalence and clinical biochemical, blood cell and metabolic features of lean-non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (lean-NAFLD) and its association with other diseases.
METHODS: Demographic, biochemical and blood examinations were conducted in all the subjects in this study. We classified the subjects into four groups according to their weight and NAFLD status: lean-control, lean-NAFLD [body mass index (BMI) < 24 kg/m2], overweight-obese control and overweight-obese NAFLD. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare the means of continuous variables (age, BMI, blood pressure, glucose, lipid, insulin, liver enzymes and blood cell counts) and the χ2 test was used to compare the differences in frequency of categorical variables (sex, education, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption and prevalence of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, metabolic syndrome central obesity and obesity). Both univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were adopted to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and predict hyperlipidemia, hypertension, diabetes and metabolic syndrome when we respectively set all controls, lean-control and overweight-obese-control as references. In multivariate logistic regression models, we adjusted potential confounding factors, including age, sex, smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity.
RESULTS: The prevalence of NAFLD was very high in China. NAFLD patients were older, had a higher BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, insulin, blood lipid, liver enzymes and uric acid than the controls. Although lean-NAFLD patients had lower BMI and waist circumstance, they had significantly higher visceral adiposity index than overweight-obese controls. Lean-NAFLD patients had comparable triglyceride, cholesterin and low-density lipoprotein cholesterin to overweight-obese NAFLD patients. In blood cell examination, both lean and overweight-obese NAFLD was companied by higher white blood cell count, red blood cell count, hemoglobin and hematocrit value. All NAFLD patients were at risk of hyperlipidemia, hypertension, diabetes and metabolic syndrome (MetS). Lean-NAFLD was more strongly associated with diabetes (OR = 2.47, 95%CI: 1.14-5.35), hypertension (OR = 1.72, 95%CI: 1.00-2.96) and MetS (OR = 3.19, 95%CI: 1.17-4.05) than overweight-obese-NAFLD (only OR for MetS was meaningful: OR = 1.89, 95%CI: 1.29-2.77). NAFLD patients were more likely to have central obesity (OR = 1.97, 95%CI: 1.38-2.80), especially in lean groups (OR = 2.17, 95%CI: 1.17-4.05).
CONCLUSION: Lean-NAFLD has unique results in demographic, biochemical and blood examinations, and adds significant risk for diabetes, hypertension and MetS in lean individuals.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i47.17932
PMCID: PMC4273143  PMID: 25548491
Lean-non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Metabolic disorder; Diabetes; Risk; Chinese
2.  Herpes B virus gD interaction with its human receptor – an in silico analysis approach 
Background
The glycoprotein D (gD) is essential for Herpes B virus (BV) entry into mammalian cells. Nectin-1, an HSV-1 gD receptor, is found to be the receptor which mediated BV induced cell-cell fusion, while HVEM does not mediate fusion by BV glycoprotein. However, the specific sequence and structural requirements of the BV gD for the recognition of and binding to Nectin-1 are unknown. Moreover, the 3D structures of BV gD and the BV gD-receptor complex have not been determined. In this study, we propose a reliable model of the interaction of the BV gD with receptor using bioinformatics tools.
Results
The three-dimensional structures of two BV gD-receptor complexes were constructed using homology modelling and docking strategy. Based on the models of these complexes, the BV gD receptor interaction patterns were calculated. The results showed that the interface between the BV gD and nectin-1 molecule is not geometrically complementary. The computed molecular interactions indicated that two terminal extensions were the main region of BV gD that binds to nectin-1 and that hydrophobic contacts between the two molecules play key roles in their recognition and binding. The constructed BV gD-HVEM complex model showed that this complex had a lower shape complementarity value and a smaller interface area compared with the HSV-1 gD-HVEM complex, and the number of intermolecular interactions between BV gD-HVEM were fewer than that of HSV-1 gD-HVEM complex. These results could explain why HVEM does not function as a receptor for BV gD.
Conclusion
In this study, we present structural model for the BV gD in a complex with its receptor. Some features predicted by this model can explain previously reported experimental data. This complex model may lead to a better understanding of the function of BV gD and its interaction with receptor and will improve our understanding of the activation of the BV fusion and entry process.
doi:10.1186/1742-4682-11-27
PMCID: PMC4106229  PMID: 24902525
Herpes B virus; Glycoprotein D; Receptor; Interaction; Complex
3.  Synthesis of l-Ascorbic Acid Lactone Derivatives 
A small focused library which comprised of l-AA lactone derivatives was built with a facile method. This reported method was optimized by modifying the acidity of the solvent. As a result, 12 l-AA lactones were synthesized. Among these lactones, lactones 8–12 were new compounds. The cytotoxicity of these synthetic compounds were investigated.
doi:10.1007/s13659-014-0022-6
PMCID: PMC4050306  PMID: 24955300
l-Ascorbic acid lactone; Cytotoxicity; Focused library
4.  Synthesis of l-Ascorbic Acid Lactone Derivatives 
A small focused library which comprised of l-AA lactone derivatives was built with a facile method. This reported method was optimized by modifying the acidity of the solvent. As a result, 12 l-AA lactones were synthesized. Among these lactones, lactones 8–12 were new compounds. The cytotoxicity of these synthetic compounds were investigated.
doi:10.1007/s13659-014-0022-6
PMCID: PMC4050306  PMID: 24955300
l-Ascorbic acid lactone; Cytotoxicity; Focused library
5.  Overexpression of GRB2 is correlated with lymph node metastasis and poor prognosis in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma 
The adapter protein growth factor receptor-bound 2 (GRB2) is essential for various basic cellular functions by mediating the regulation of receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling, however, little is known about GRB2 expression in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We sought to characterize GRB2 expression and its relationship with clinicopathological parameters and prognostic significance in ESCC patients. Here, it was presented that GRB2 was overexpressed in cytoplasm in 58.1% (100/172) of ESCC cases by immunohistochemistry. Survival analysis demonstrated overexpression of GRB2 protein was significantly related to poor prognosis of ESCC patients (P = 0.021). Furthermore, overexpression of GRB2 was significantly associated with the lymph node metastases. In addition, subgroup analysis according to lymph node metastasis revealed a shorter disease-free survival (DFS) in the ESCC patients with GRB2 overexpression than the patients with GRB2 low-expression (Means for DFS months: 33.8 versus 52.1). Finally, the significant difference between overexpression of GRB2 and poor survival rates exhibited in univariate analysis (P = 0.022) and multivariate Cox analysis (close to significance, P = 0.065), demonstrated that GRB2 was an independent factor in prognosis of ESCC patients. In conclusion, GRB2 expression status could be as a positive biomarker of ESCC progression and lymph node metastasis.
PMCID: PMC4097250  PMID: 25031732
GRB2 expression; survival; lymph node metastasis; immunohistochemistry; esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
6.  Recoding RNA editing of antizyme inhibitor 1 predisposes to hepatocellular carcinoma 
Nature medicine  2013;19(2):209-216.
Better understanding of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) pathogenesis at the molecular level will facilitate the discovery of tumor initiating events. Herein, transcriptome sequencing revealed that adenosine (A)-to-inosine (I) RNA editing of antizyme inhibitor 1 (AZIN1) displays a high modification rate in HCC specimens. A-to-I editing of AZIN1 transcripts is specifically regulated by adenosine deaminase acting on RNA-1 (ADAR1). The serine (S) → glycine (G) substitution at residue 367, located in β-strand 15 (β15), predicted a conformational change, induced a cytoplasmic-to-nuclear translocation, and conferred “gain-of-function” phenotypes manifested by augmented tumor initiating potential and more aggressive behavior. Compared with wild-type AZIN1 protein, the edited form possesses stronger affinity to antizyme, and the resultant higher protein stability promotes cell proliferation via the neutralization of antizyme-mediated degradation of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and cyclin D1 (CCND1). Collectively, A-to-I RNA editing of AZIN1 may be a potential driver in the pathogenesis of human cancers, particularly HCC.
doi:10.1038/nm.3043
PMCID: PMC3783260  PMID: 23291631
A-to-I; RNA editing; AZIN1; ADAR1; antizyme; ODC; CCND1; HCC
7.  Genotypic variants at 2q33 and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in China: a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies 
Abnet, Christian C. | Wang, Zhaoming | Song, Xin | Hu, Nan | Zhou, Fu-You | Freedman, Neal D. | Li, Xue-Min | Yu, Kai | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Yuan, Jian-Min | Zheng, Wei | Dawsey, Sanford M. | Liao, Linda M. | Lee, Maxwell P. | Ding, Ti | Qiao, You-Lin | Gao, Yu-Tang | Koh, Woon-Puay | Xiang, Yong-Bing | Tang, Ze-Zhong | Fan, Jin-Hu | Chung, Charles C. | Wang, Chaoyu | Wheeler, William | Yeager, Meredith | Yuenger, Jeff | Hutchinson, Amy | Jacobs, Kevin B. | Giffen, Carol A. | Burdett, Laurie | Fraumeni, Joseph F. | Tucker, Margaret A. | Chow, Wong-Ho | Zhao, Xue-Ke | Li, Jiang-Man | Li, Ai-Li | Sun, Liang-Dan | Wei, Wu | Li, Ji-Lin | Zhang, Peng | Li, Hong-Lei | Cui, Wen-Yan | Wang, Wei-Peng | Liu, Zhi-Cai | Yang, Xia | Fu, Wen-Jing | Cui, Ji-Li | Lin, Hong-Li | Zhu, Wen-Liang | Liu, Min | Chen, Xi | Chen, Jie | Guo, Li | Han, Jing-Jing | Zhou, Sheng-Li | Huang, Jia | Wu, Yue | Yuan, Chao | Huang, Jing | Ji, Ai-Fang | Kul, Jian-Wei | Fan, Zhong-Min | Wang, Jian-Po | Zhang, Dong-Yun | Zhang, Lian-Qun | Zhang, Wei | Chen, Yuan-Fang | Ren, Jing-Li | Li, Xiu-Min | Dong, Jin-Cheng | Xing, Guo-Lan | Guo, Zhi-Gang | Yang, Jian-Xue | Mao, Yi-Ming | Yuan, Yuan | Guo, Er-Tao | Zhang, Wei | Hou, Zhi-Chao | Liu, Jing | Li, Yan | Tang, Sa | Chang, Jia | Peng, Xiu-Qin | Han, Min | Yin, Wan-Li | Liu, Ya-Li | Hu, Yan-Long | Liu, Yu | Yang, Liu-Qin | Zhu, Fu-Guo | Yang, Xiu-Feng | Feng, Xiao-Shan | Wang, Zhou | Li, Yin | Gao, She-Gan | Liu, Hai-Lin | Yuan, Ling | Jin, Yan | Zhang, Yan-Rui | Sheyhidin, Ilyar | Li, Feng | Chen, Bao-Ping | Ren, Shu-Wei | Liu, Bin | Li, Dan | Zhang, Gao-Fu | Yue, Wen-Bin | Feng, Chang-Wei | Qige, Qirenwang | Zhao, Jian-Ting | Yang, Wen-Jun | Lei, Guang-Yan | Chen, Long-Qi | Li, En-Min | Xu, Li-Yan | Wu, Zhi-Yong | Bao, Zhi-Qin | Chen, Ji-Li | Li, Xian-Chang | Zhuang, Xiang | Zhou, Ying-Fa | Zuo, Xian-Bo | Dong, Zi-Ming | Wang, Lu-Wen | Fan, Xue-Pin | Wang, Jin | Zhou, Qi | Ma, Guo-Shun | Zhang, Qin-Xian | Liu, Hai | Jian, Xin-Ying | Lian, Sin-Yong | Wang, Jin-Sheng | Chang, Fu-Bao | Lu, Chang-Dong | Miao, Jian-Jun | Chen, Zhi-Guo | Wang, Ran | Guo, Ming | Fan, Zeng-Lin | Tao, Ping | Liu, Tai-Jing | Wei, Jin-Chang | Kong, Qing-Peng | Fan, Lei | Wang, Xian-Zeng | Gao, Fu-Sheng | Wang, Tian-Yun | Xie, Dong | Wang, Li | Chen, Shu-Qing | Yang, Wan-Cai | Hong, Jun-Yan | Wang, Liang | Qiu, Song-Liang | Goldstein, Alisa M. | Yuan, Zhi-Qing | Chanock, Stephen J. | Zhang, Xue-Jun | Taylor, Philip R. | Wang, Li-Dong
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;21(9):2132-2141.
Genome-wide association studies have identified susceptibility loci for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We conducted a meta-analysis of all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that showed nominally significant P-values in two previously published genome-wide scans that included a total of 2961 ESCC cases and 3400 controls. The meta-analysis revealed five SNPs at 2q33 with P< 5 × 10−8, and the strongest signal was rs13016963, with a combined odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of 1.29 (1.19–1.40) and P= 7.63 × 10−10. An imputation analysis of 4304 SNPs at 2q33 suggested a single association signal, and the strongest imputed SNP associations were similar to those from the genotyped SNPs. We conducted an ancestral recombination graph analysis with 53 SNPs to identify one or more haplotypes that harbor the variants directly responsible for the detected association signal. This showed that the five SNPs exist in a single haplotype along with 45 imputed SNPs in strong linkage disequilibrium, and the strongest candidate was rs10201587, one of the genotyped SNPs. Our meta-analysis found genome-wide significant SNPs at 2q33 that map to the CASP8/ALS2CR12/TRAK2 gene region. Variants in CASP8 have been extensively studied across a spectrum of cancers with mixed results. The locus we identified appears to be distinct from the widely studied rs3834129 and rs1045485 SNPs in CASP8. Future studies of esophageal and other cancers should focus on comprehensive sequencing of this 2q33 locus and functional analysis of rs13016963 and rs10201587 and other strongly correlated variants.
doi:10.1093/hmg/dds029
PMCID: PMC3315211  PMID: 22323360
8.  Exploring of drug leads from diversity-oriented Michael-acceptor library derived from natural products 
Abstract
A potential strategy for drug lead identification and in-active natural products re-discovery is elaborated. Starting from fifteen structurally diverse natural products, a focused library featured by Michael acceptors is constructed with IBX mediated oxidation. Biological assay on five tumor cell lines indicates that four Michael acceptors, 8a, 11a, 12a, 14a, are with improved cytotoxicity (3–10 folds more potent than the parent compounds), which merit further investigations. Further thiol-sensitive assay of the active hit 8a revealed that it was an irreversible Michael acceptor. The results suggest that the strategy is not only effective and relatively high discovery rate (28%), but also resource saving.
Graphical abstract
Electronic Supplementary Material
Supplementary material is available for this article at 10.1007/s13659-012-0071-7 and is accessible for authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s13659-012-0071-7
PMCID: PMC4131632
drug leads identification; in-active natural products re-discovery; Michael acceptors; anti-tumor activity
9.  Euglobal-IIIa, a novel acylphloroglucinol-sesquiterpene derivative from Eucalyptus robusta: absolute structure and cytotoxicity 
Euglobal-IIIa (1), a novel acylphloroglucinol-sesquiterpene derivative, and a known analogue, have been isolated from leaves of Eucalyptus robusta. The structures was elucidated by extensive spectroscopic data and by comparison with data reported in literature, while the absolute configuration of 1 was determined by the X-ray diffraction analysis. Compound 1 exhibited comparable cytotoxicity with that of cisplatin against five human cancer cell lines HL-60, SMMC-7721, A-549, MCF-7, and SW480 with IC50 values of 15.7, 15.5, 17.6, 14.3, and 21.8 µM, respectively.
Electronic Supplementary Material
Supplementary material is available for this article at 10.1007/s13659-011-0021-9 and is accessible for authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s13659-011-0021-9
PMCID: PMC4131649
Eucalyptus robusta; acylphloroglucinol-sesquiterpene; absolute structure; cytotoxicity
10.  Chemical constituents from the aerial parts of Musella lasiocarpa 
Phytochemical investigation of the aerial parts of the monotypic plant, Musella lasiocarpa, led to the isolation of four rare bicyclic diarylheptanoids, musellarins B-E (2–5), two new phenylphenalenones, 2-methoxy-9-(3′,4′-dihydroxyphenyl)-1Hphenalen-1-one (9), 2-methoxy-9-(3′-methoxy-4′-hydroxyphenyl)-1H-phenalen-1-one (10), a new acenaphtylene derivative, trans-(1S,2S)-3-(4′-methoxyphenyl)-acenaphthene-1,2-diol (13), and two new sucrose esters, 1,2′,3′,4′,6′-O-pentaacetyl-3-O-trans-pcoumaroylsucrose (16), 1,2′,3′,4′,6′-O-pentaacetyl-3-O-cis-p-coumaroylsucrose (17), together with nine known compounds. In addition, (4E,6E)-1-(3′,4′-dihydroxyphenyl)-7-(4″-hydroxyphenyl)-hepta-4,6-dien-3-one (15) was isolated for the first time from a natural source. The structures of new compounds were elucidated by analysis of their spectroscopic data. Compounds 2, 6, 8–10, 12, and 14 were cytotoxic toward several of the human tumor cell lines (HL-60, SMMC-7721, A-549, MCF-7, and SW480). Of these, the new compound 9 was the most potent one, with IC50 values of 5.8, 10.3, 6.3, 3.3, and 2.3 µM, respectively.
Electronic Supplementary Material
Supplementary material is available for this article at 10.1007/s13659-011-0007-7 and is accessible for authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s13659-011-0007-7
PMCID: PMC4131711
monotypic; diarylheptanoid; phenylphenalenone; acenaphtylene; sucrose ester; Musella lasiocarpa
11.  Hypoxia augments the calcium-activated chloride current carried by anoctamin-1 in cardiac vascular endothelial cells of neonatal mice 
British Journal of Pharmacology  2014;171(15):3680-3692.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
The molecular identity of calcium-activated chloride channels (CaCCs) in vascular endothelial cells remains unknown. This study sought to identify whether anoctamin-1 (Ano1, also known as TMEM16A) functions as a CaCC and whether hypoxia alters the biophysical properties of Ano1 in mouse cardiac vascular endothelial cells (CVECs).
EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH
Western blot, quantitative real-time PCR, confocal imaging analysis and patch-clamp analysis combined with pharmacological approaches were used to determine whether Ano1 was expressed and functioned as CaCC in CVECs.
KEY RESULTS
Ano1 was expressed in CVECs. The biophysical properties of the current generated in the CVECs, including the Ca2+ and voltage dependence, outward rectification, anion selectivity and the pharmacological profile, are similar to those described for CaCCs. The density of ICl(Ca) detected in CVECs was significantly inhibited by T16Ainh-A01, an Ano1 inhibitor, and a pore-targeting, specific anti-Ano1 antibody, and was markedly decreased in Ano1 gene knockdown CVECs. The density of ICl(Ca) was significantly potentiated in CVECs exposed to hypoxia, and this hypoxia-induced increase in the density of ICl(Ca) was inhibited by T16Ainh-A01 or anti-Ano1 antibody. Hypoxia also increased the current density of ICl(Ca) in Ano1 gene knockdown CVECs.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS
Ano1 formed CaCC in CVECs of neonatal mice. Hypoxia enhances Ano1-mediated ICl(Ca) density via increasing its expression, altering the ratio of its splicing variants, sensitivity to membrane voltage and to Ca2+. Ano1 may play a role in the pathophysiological processes during ischaemia in heart, and therefore, Ano1 might be a potential therapeutic target to prevent ischaemic damage.
doi:10.1111/bph.12730
PMCID: PMC4128065  PMID: 24758567
calcium-activated chloride channels; cardiac vascular endothelial cells; anoctamin; hypoxia
12.  High Prevalence of Screen Detected Prostate Cancer in West Africans: Implications for Racial Disparity of Prostate Cancer 
The Journal of urology  2014;192(3):730-735.
Purpose
To our knowledge the reasons for the high rates of prostate cancer in black American men are unknown. Genetic and lifestyle factors have been implicated. Better understanding of prostate cancer rates in West African men would help clarify why black American men have such high rates since the groups share genetic ancestry and yet have different lifestyles and screening practices. To estimate the prostate cancer burden in West African men we performed a population based screening study with biopsy confirmation in Ghana.
Materials and Methods
We randomly selected 1,037 healthy men 50 to 74 years old from Accra, Ghana for prostate cancer screening with prostate specific antigen testing and digital rectal examination. Men with a positive screen result (positive digital rectal examination or prostate specific antigen greater than 2.5 ng/ml) underwent transrectal ultrasound guided biopsies.
Results
Of the 1,037 men 154 (14.9%) had a positive digital rectal examination and 272 (26.2%) had prostate specific antigen greater than 2.5 ng/ml, including 166 with prostate specific antigen greater than 4.0 ng/ml. A total of 352 men (33.9%) had a positive screen by prostate specific antigen or digital rectal examination and 307 (87%) underwent biopsy. Of these men 73 were confirmed to have prostate cancer, yielding a 7.0% screen detected prostate cancer prevalence (65 patients), including 5.8% with prostate specific antigen greater than 4.0 ng/ml.
Conclusions
In this relatively unscreened population in Africa the screen detected prostate cancer prevalence is high, suggesting a possible role of genetics in prostate cancer etiology and the disparity in prostate cancer risk between black and white American men. Further studies are needed to confirm the high prostate cancer burden in African men and the role of genetics in prostate cancer etiology.
doi:10.1016/j.juro.2014.04.017
PMCID: PMC4332806  PMID: 24747091
prostatic neoplasms; prostate-specific antigen; mass screening; African Americans; Africa
13.  Mechanistic insight into the functional transition of the enzyme guanylate kinase induced by a single mutation 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8405.
Dramatic functional changes of enzyme usually require scores of alterations in amino acid sequence. However, in the case of guanylate kinase (GK), the functional novelty is induced by a single (S→P) mutation, leading to the functional transition of the enzyme from a phosphoryl transfer kinase into a phosphorprotein interaction domain. Here, by using molecular dynamic (MD) and metadynamics simulations, we provide a comprehensive description of the conformational transitions of the enzyme after mutating serine to proline. Our results suggest that the serine plays a crucial role in maintaining the closed conformation of wild-type GK and the GMP recognition. On the contrary, the S→P mutant exhibits a stable open conformation and loses the ability of ligand binding, which explains its functional transition from the GK enzyme to the GK domain. Furthermore, the free energy profiles (FEPs) obtained by metadymanics clearly demonstrate that the open-closed conformational transition in WT GK is positive correlated with the process of GMP binding, indicating the GMP-induced closing motion of GK enzyme, which is not observed in the mutant. In addition, the FEPs show that the S→P mutation can also leads to the mis-recognition of GMP, explaining the vanishing of catalytic activity of the mutant.
doi:10.1038/srep08405
PMCID: PMC4325336  PMID: 25672880
14.  An Anisotropic Coarse-Grained Model for Proteins Based On Gay-Berne and Electric Multipole Potentials 
Gay-Berne anisotropic potential has been widely used to evaluate the non-bonded interactions between coarse-grained particles being described as elliptical rigid bodies. In this paper, we are presenting a coarse-grained model for twenty kinds of amino acids and proteins, based on the anisotropic Gay–Berne and point electric multipole (EMP) potentials. We demonstrate that the anisotropic coarse-grained model, namely GBEMP model, is able to reproduce many key features observed from experimental protein structures (Dunbrack Library) as well as from atomistic force field simulations (using AMOEBA, AMBER and CHARMM force fields) while saving the computational cost by a factor of about 10~200 depending on specific cases and atomistic models. More importantly, unlike other coarse-grained approaches, our framework is based on the fundamental intermolecular forces with explicit treatment of electrostatic and repulsion-dispersion forces. As a result, the coarse-grained protein model presented an accurate description of non-bonded interactions (particularly electrostatic component) between hetero-/homo-dimers (such as peptide-peptide, peptide-water). In addition, the encouraging performance of the model was reflected by the excellent correlation between GBEMP and AMOEBA models in the calculations of the dipole moment of peptides. In brief, the GBEMP model given here is general and transferable, suitable for simulating complex biomolecular systems.
doi:10.1021/ct400974z
PMCID: PMC3958967  PMID: 24659927
Gay-Berne anisotropic potential; electric multipole potential; coarse-grained model; molecular dynamic simulation
16.  A review of the genus Toxorhina Loew from China, with descriptions of three new species (Diptera, Limoniidae, Limoniinae) 
ZooKeys  2015;59-80.
The genus Toxorhina Loew from China is reviewed. Seven species belonging to the subgenus Ceratocheilus Wesche are recognized, of which three species, Toxorhina (Ceratocheilus) huanglica sp. n., Toxorhina (Ceratocheilus) omnifusca sp. n. and Toxorhina (Ceratocheilus) univirgata sp. n., are described as new to science, Toxorhina (Ceratocheilus) fuscolimbata Alexander is recorded from China for the first time, and three known species are redescribed and illustrated.
doi:10.3897/zookeys.480.7526
PMCID: PMC4319109
China; Diptera; Limoniidae; new species; Toxorhina
17.  Environmental Surveillance of Human Enteroviruses in Shandong Province, China, 2008 to 2012: Serotypes, Temporal Fluctuation, and Molecular Epidemiology 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2014;80(15):4683-4691.
Environmental surveillance is an effective approach in investigating the circulation of polioviruses (PVs) and other human enteroviruses (EVs) in the population. The present report describes the results of environmental surveillance conducted in Shandong Province, China, from 2008 to 2012. A total of 129 sewage samples were collected, and 168 PVs and 1,007 nonpolio enteroviruses (NPEVs) were isolated. VP1 sequencing and typing were performed on all isolates. All PV strains were Sabin-like, with the numbers of VP1 substitutions ranging from 0 to 7. The NPEVs belonged to 19 serotypes, and echovirus 6 (E6), E11, coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3), E3, E12, and E7 were the six main serotypes, which accounted for 18.3%, 14.8%, 14.5%, 12.9%, 9.0%, and 5.7% of NPEVs isolated, respectively. Typical summer-fall peaks of NPEV were observed in the monthly distribution of isolation, and an epidemic pattern of annual circulation was revealed for the common serotypes. Phylogenetic analysis was performed on environmental CVB3 and E3 strains with global reference strains and local strains from aseptic meningitis patients. Shandong strains formed distinct clusters, and a close relationship was observed between local environmental and clinical strains. As an EV-specific case surveillance system is absent in China and many other countries, continuous environmental surveillance should be encouraged to investigate the temporal circulation and phylogeny of EVs in the population.
doi:10.1128/AEM.00851-14
PMCID: PMC4148804  PMID: 24837389
18.  Identification and Cytotoxic Activities of Two New Trichothecenes and a New Cuparane-Type Sesquiterpenoid from the Cultures of the Mushroom Engleromyces goetzii 
Abstract
Engleromyces goetzii is a traditional medicinal mushroom that is widely used to treat infection, inflammation and cancer in Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces of China. Two new trichothecenes, engleromycones A and B (1 and 2), one new cuparane-type sesquiterpenoid named infuscol F (11), eight known trichothecene analogs, sambucinol (3), 3-deoxysambucinol (4), trichothecolone (5), trichodermol (6), 8-deoxytrichothecin (7), trichothecin (8), trichothecinol B (9) and trichothecinol A (10), and one known cyclopentanoid sesquiterpene cyclonerodiol (12) were isolated from the cultures of E. goetzii. The new compounds were elucidated through spectroscopic analyses. The anticancer effects of trichothecenes 1–10 were examined in the HL-60, SMMC-7721, A549, MCF-7, and SW-480 human cancer cell lines using an MTT assay. Trichothecinol A (10) significantly inhibited the growth of MCF-7 cells, with an IC50 value of 0.006 µM, which was comparable to the cytotoxic activity of the positive control, paclitaxel, indicating that trichothecinol A (10) represents a potential anticancer agent.
Graphical Abstract
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13659-014-0051-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s13659-014-0051-1
PMCID: PMC4328002  PMID: 25633363
Engleromyces goetzii; Trichothecene; Engleromycone; Cuparane; Infuscol; Mycotoxin
19.  Identification and Cytotoxic Activities of Two New Trichothecenes and a New Cuparane-Type Sesquiterpenoid from the Cultures of the Mushroom Engleromyces goetzii 
Abstract
Engleromyces goetzii is a traditional medicinal mushroom that is widely used to treat infection, inflammation and cancer in Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces of China. Two new trichothecenes, engleromycones A and B (1 and 2), one new cuparane-type sesquiterpenoid named infuscol F (11), eight known trichothecene analogs, sambucinol (3), 3-deoxysambucinol (4), trichothecolone (5), trichodermol (6), 8-deoxytrichothecin (7), trichothecin (8), trichothecinol B (9) and trichothecinol A (10), and one known cyclopentanoid sesquiterpene cyclonerodiol (12) were isolated from the cultures of E. goetzii. The new compounds were elucidated through spectroscopic analyses. The anticancer effects of trichothecenes 1–10 were examined in the HL-60, SMMC-7721, A549, MCF-7, and SW-480 human cancer cell lines using an MTT assay. Trichothecinol A (10) significantly inhibited the growth of MCF-7 cells, with an IC50 value of 0.006 µM, which was comparable to the cytotoxic activity of the positive control, paclitaxel, indicating that trichothecinol A (10) represents a potential anticancer agent.
Graphical Abstract
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13659-014-0051-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s13659-014-0051-1
PMCID: PMC4328002  PMID: 25633363
Engleromyces goetzii; Trichothecene; Engleromycone; Cuparane; Infuscol; Mycotoxin
20.  Sexual and Reproductive Health Knowledge, Contraception Uptake, and Factors Associated with Unmet Need for Modern Contraception among Adolescent Female Sex Workers in China 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0115435.
Objective
In China, policy and social taboo prevent unmarried adolescents from accessing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. Research is needed to determine the SRH needs of highly disadvantaged groups, such as adolescent female sex workers (FSWs). This study describes SRH knowledge, contraception use, pregnancy, and factors associated with unmet need for modern contraception among adolescent FSWs in Kunming, China.
Methods
A cross-sectional study using a one-stage cluster sampling method was employed to recruit adolescents aged 15 to 20 years, and who self-reported having received money or gifts in exchange for sex in the past 6 months. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered by trained peer educators or health workers. Multivariable logistic regression was conducted to determine correlates of low knowledge and unmet need for modern contraception.
Results
SRH knowledge was poor among the 310 adolescents surveyed; only 39% had heard of any long-acting reversible contraception (implant, injection or IUD). Despite 98% reporting not wanting to get pregnant, just 43% reported consistent condom use and 28% currently used another form of modern contraception. Unmet need for modern contraception was found in 35% of adolescents, and was associated with having a current non-paying partner, regular alcohol use, and having poorer SRH knowledge. Past abortion was common (136, 44%). In the past year, 76% had reported a contraception consultation but only 27% reported ever receiving SRH information from a health service.
Conclusions
This study demonstrated a low level of SRH knowledge, a high unmet need for modern contraception and a high prevalence of unintended pregnancy among adolescent FSWs in Kunming. Most girls relied on condoms, emergency contraception, or traditional methods, putting them at risk of unwanted pregnancy. This study identifies an urgent need for Chinese adolescent FSWs to be able to access quality SRH information and effective modern contraception.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0115435
PMCID: PMC4307985  PMID: 25625194
21.  Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of nab-paclitaxel in patients with solid tumors: Disposition kinetics and pharmacology distinct from solvent-based paclitaxel 
Journal of Clinical Pharmacology  2014;54(10):1097-1107.
The aim of this study was to characterize population pharmacokinetics and the exposure–neutropenia relationship with nanoparticle albumin-bound (nab)-paclitaxel in patients with solid tumors. Plasma and blood concentrations of paclitaxel and neutrophil data were collected from 150 patients with various solid tumors over the nab-paclitaxel dose range of 80–375 mg/m2. Data were analyzed using nonlinear mixed-effect modeling or logistic regression. Pharmacokinetics of nab-paclitaxel were described by a 3-compartment model with saturable distribution and elimination. The rapid disappearance of circulating paclitaxel was driven by its fast distribution to peripheral compartments; maximum rate for saturable distribution (325000 μg/h) was 40-fold greater than that for saturable elimination (8070 μg/h). Albumin was a significant covariate of paclitaxel elimination (P < .001), while total bilirubin, creatinine clearance, body size, age, sex, and tumor type had no significant or clinically relevant effect. The probability of experiencing a ≥50% reduction in neutrophils was best correlated to the duration above the drug concentration of 720 ng/mL. At a given exposure level, neutropenia development was positively correlated with increasing age but not significantly influenced by hepatic function, tumor type, sex, or dosing schedule. Covariate analyses supports exposure-matched dose adjustments in patients with moderate to severe hepatic impairment.
doi:10.1002/jcph.304
PMCID: PMC4302229  PMID: 24719309
pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics; neutropenia; nab-paclitaxel; covariates
22.  Regulation of Active DNA Demethylation by an α-Crystallin Domain Protein in Arabidopsis 
Molecular cell  2014;55(3):361-371.
SUMMARY
DNA methylation patterns are dynamically controlled by DNA methylation and active DNA demethylation, but the mechanisms of regulation of active DNA demethylation are not well understood. Through forward genetic screens for Arabidopsis mutants showing DNA hypermethylation at specific loci and increased silencing of reporter genes, we identified IDM2 (increased DNA methylation 2) as a regulator of DNA demethylation and gene silencing. IDM2 dysfunction causes DNA hypermethylation and silencing of reporter genes and some endogenous genes. These effects of idm2 mutations are similar to those of mutations in IDM1, a regulator of active DNA demethylation. IDM2 encodes an α-crystallin domain protein in the nucleus. IDM2 and IDM1 interact physically and partially colocalize at discrete subnuclear foci. IDM2 is required for the full activity of H3K18 acetylation but not H3K23 acetylation of IDM1 in planta. Our results suggest that IDM2 functions in active DNA demethylation and in antisilencing by regulating IDM1.
doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2014.06.008
PMCID: PMC4302764  PMID: 25002145
23.  Early B-cell factor 3 (EBF3) is a novel tumor suppressor gene with promoter hypermethylation in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia 
Background
Pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) comprises up to 20% of all childhood leukemia. Recent research shows that aberrant DNA methylation patterning may play a role in leukemogenesis. The epigenetic silencing of the EBF3 locus is very frequent in glioblastoma. However, the expression profiles and molecular function of EBF3 in pediatric AML is still unclear.
Methods
Twelve human acute leukemia cell lines, 105 pediatric AML samples and 30 normal bone marrow/idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (NBM/ITP) control samples were analyzed. Transcriptional level of EBF3 was evaluated by semi-quantitative and real-time PCR. EBF3 methylation status was determined by methylation specific PCR (MSP) and bisulfite genomic sequencing (BGS). The molecular mechanism of EBF3 was investigated by apoptosis assays and PCR array analysis.
Results
EBF3 promoter was hypermethylated in 10/12 leukemia cell lines. Aberrant EBF3 methylation was observed in 42.9% (45/105) of the pediatric AML samples using MSP analysis, and the BGS results confirmed promoter methylation. EBF3 expression was decreased in the AML samples compared with control. Methylated samples revealed similar survival outcomes by Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. EBF3 overexpression significantly inhibited cell proliferation and increased apoptosis. Real-time PCR array analysis revealed 93 dysregulated genes possibly implicated in the apoptosis of EBF3-induced AML cells.
Conclusion
In this study, we firstly identified epigenetic inactivation of EBF3 in both AML cell lines and pediatric AML samples for the first time. Our findings also showed for the first time that transcriptional overexpression of EBF3 could inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis in AML cells. We identified 93 dysregulated apoptosis-related genes in EBF3-overexpressing, including DCC, AIFM2 and DAPK1. Most of these genes have never been related with EBF3 over expression. These results may provide new insights into the molecular mechanism of EBF3-induced apoptosis; however, further research will be required to determine the underlying details.
Our findings suggest that EBF3 may act as a putative tumor suppressor gene in pediatric AML.
doi:10.1186/s13046-014-0118-1
PMCID: PMC4311429  PMID: 25609158
Early B-cell factor 3; Pediatric acute myeloid leukemia; Methylation; Tumor suppressor; Real-time PCR array
24.  Abdominal circumference but not the degree of lumbar flexion affects the accuracy of lumbar interspace identification by Tuffier’s line palpation method: an observational study 
BMC Anesthesiology  2015;15(1):9.
Background
Lumbar puncture for spinal or epidural anesthesia is commonly performed by palpating bony landmarks, but identification of the desired intervertebral level is often inaccurate. It is unclear whether such inaccuracy is related to patient factors, such as body mass index and degree of lumbar flexion. We hypothesized that overweight patients and patients with less of an ability to hyperflex their lumbar spines are prone to inaccurate lumbar spinous intervertebral level identification.
Methods
52 adult volunteers were included in this study. 7 anesthesiologists with different years of experience identified and marked subjects’ levels of the iliac crests, then marked the presumed interspaces. Lumbar X-ray was then performed with metal markers, and actual radiographic findings were identified and compared to the initial markings.
Results
Patients with larger abdominal circumferences (mean (SD), 94.0(12.1) cm), higher body mass indices (25.9(3.9) kg/m2), and aged between 50 and 70 years old had lumbar interspaces that were higher than the presumed level; patients with smaller abdominal circumferences (82.8(13.5) cm) and lower body mass indices (21.6(4.1) kg/m2) had intervertebral levels that were lower than the presumed level. Cobb’s angle, indicating the degree of lumbar flexion, did not affect the accuracy obtained.
Conclusions
Patients’ abdominal circumference, body mass index, and age are factors that may impact the accuracy of lumbar level identification. Tuffier’s line, as identified by palpation, does not seem to be a reliable landmark for proper lumbar interspace identification in all cases.
doi:10.1186/1471-2253-15-9
PMCID: PMC4323173  PMID: 25670920
Lumbar interspace; Spinal anesthesia; Cobb’s angle; Abdominal circumference
25.  siRNA induces gelsolin gene transcription activation in human esophageal cancer cell 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:7901.
Recent studies show that targeting gene promoter or 3′ terminal regions of mRNA with siRNA induces target gene transcription. However, the ability of exon-targeting siRNA to affect transcription has yet to be demonstrated. We designed and synthesized siRNA against various exons in the gelsolin gene (GSN) to knockdown GSN transcript in KYSE150 and KYSE450 cells. Surprisingly, we found that siGSN-2, targeting the GSN twelfth exon, induced GSN gene transcription detected by real time RT-PCR. An siGSN-2 co-precipitation assay was performed and H3 histone, previously shown to correlate with gene transcription, was detected in the siGSN-2 pull-down pellet. However, H3 histone was not detected in an siGSN-1-precipitated pellet, which resulted in GSN knockdown. In addition, siGSN-2 decreased stress fibers, lamellipodia and filopodia, demonstrating that siGSN-2 induced GSN transcription activation and exerted biological function. In conclusion, our finds reveal siRNA, which is derived from target gene exon, can form the complex with H3 histone to be involved in the regulation of gene expression.
doi:10.1038/srep07901
PMCID: PMC4298738  PMID: 25600697

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