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1.  Melatonin: an Inhibitor of Breast Cancer 
Endocrine-related cancer  2015;22(3):R183-R204.
This review discusses recent work on melatonin-mediated circadian regulation and metabolic and molecular signaling mechanisms involved in human breast cancer growth and associated consequences of circadian disruption by exposure to light at night (LEN). The anti-cancer actions of the circadian melatonin signal in human breast cancer cell lines and xenografts heavily involve MT1 receptor-mediated mechanisms. In estrogen receptor alpha (ERα)-positive human breast cancer, melatonin, via the MT1 receptor, suppresses ERα mRNA expression and ERα transcriptional activity. As well, melatonin regulates the transactivation of other members of the nuclear receptor super-family, estrogen metabolizing enzymes, and the expression of core clock and clock-related genes. Furthermore, melatonin also suppresses tumor aerobic metabolism (Warburg effect), and, subsequently, cell-signaling pathways critical to cell proliferation, cell survival, metastasis, and drug resistance. Melatonin demonstrates both cytostatic and cytotoxic activity in breast cancer cells that appears to be cell type specific. Melatonin also possesses anti-invasive/anti-metastatic actions that involve multiple pathways including inhibition of p38 MAPK and repression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Studies demonstrate that melatonin promotes genomic stability by inhibiting the expression of LINE-1 retrotransposons. Finally, research in animal and human models indicate that LEN induced disruption of the circadian nocturnal melatonin signal promotes the growth, metabolism, and signaling of human breast cancer to drive breast tumors to endocrine and chemotherapeutic resistance. These data provide the strongest understanding and support of the mechanisms underpinning the epidemiologic demonstration of elevated breast cancer risk in night shift workers and other individuals increasingly exposed to LEN.
PMCID: PMC4457700  PMID: 25876649
Melatonin; Breast Cancer; Nuclear receptors; Molecular Signaling; Circadian Disruption; Genomic instability; Drug resistance
2.  Systemic Inflammatory Markers Are Closely Associated with Atherogenic Lipoprotein Subfractions in Patients Undergoing Coronary Angiography 
Mediators of Inflammation  2015;2015:235742.
Objective. To investigate the relationship between inflammatory markers and atherogenic lipoprotein subfractions. Methods. We studied 520 eligible subjects who were not receiving any lipid-lowering therapy. The inflammatory markers including white blood cell (WBC) count, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), fibrinogen, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and D-dimer were measured. A multimarker inflammatory index was developed. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) separation processes were performed using Lipoprint System. Results. In age- and sex-adjusted analysis, several inflammatory markers (WBC count, hs-CRP, fibrinogen, and ESR) were positively related to circulating non-HDL cholesterol and remnant cholesterol (p < 0.05, all). Among lipoprotein subfractions, we observed a positive association of inflammatory markers with very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, small LDL cholesterol, and LDL score (p < 0.05, all). Meanwhile, a negative association was detected between inflammatory markers and mean LDL particle size (p < 0.05) or large HDL cholesterol (p < 0.05). Moreover, we found that the relationships between multimarker index quartiles and small LDL cholesterol, LDL score, and mean LDL particle size were slightly stronger in patients with CAD. Conclusions. Systemic inflammatory markers are positively correlated with small LDL cholesterol and LDL score while being negatively linked with mean LDL particle size and large HDL cholesterol, highlighting the potential contribution to increased cardiovascular risk.
PMCID: PMC4673360  PMID: 26688615
3.  Association of Big Endothelin-1 with Coronary Artery Calcification 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(11):e0142458.
The coronary artery calcification (CAC) is clinically considered as one of the important predictors of atherosclerosis. Several studies have confirmed that endothelin-1(ET-1) plays an important role in the process of atherosclerosis formation. The aim of this study was to investigate whether big ET-1 is associated with CAC.
Methods and Results
A total of 510 consecutively admitted patients from February 2011 to May 2012 in Fu Wai Hospital were analyzed. All patients had received coronary computed tomography angiography and then divided into two groups based on the results of coronary artery calcium score (CACS). The clinical characteristics including traditional and calcification-related risk factors were collected and plasma big ET-1 level was measured by ELISA. Patients with CAC had significantly elevated big ET-1 level compared with those without CAC (0.5±0.4 vs. 0.2±0.2, P<0.001). In the multivariate analysis, big ET-1 (Tertile 2, HR = 3.09, 95% CI 1.66–5.74, P <0.001, Tertile3 HR = 10.42, 95% CI 3.62–29.99, P<0.001) appeared as an independent predictive factor of the presence of CAC. There was a positive correlation of the big ET-1 level with CACS (r = 0.567, p<0.001). The 10-year Framingham risk (%) was higher in the group with CACS>0 and the highest tertile of big ET-1 (P<0.01). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the big ET-1 level in predicting CAC was 0.83 (95% CI 0.79–0.87, p<0.001), with a sensitivity of 70.6% and specificity of 87.7%.
The data firstly demonstrated that the plasma big ET-1 level was a valuable independent predictor for CAC in our study.
PMCID: PMC4643989  PMID: 26565974
4.  Global regulatory mechanism underlying the activation of an exon network required for neurogenesis 
Molecular cell  2014;56(1):90-103.
The vertebrate and neural-specific SR-related protein nSR100/SRRM4 regulates an extensive program of alternative splicing with critical roles in nervous system development. However, the mechanism by which nSR100 controls its target exons is poorly understood. We demonstrate that nSR100-dependent neural exons are associated with a unique configuration of intronic cis-elements that promote rapid switch-like regulation during neurogenesis. A key feature of this configuration is the insertion of specialized intronic enhancers between polypyrimidine tracts and acceptor sites that bind nSR100 to potently activate exon inclusion in neural cells, while weakening 3′ splice site recognition and contributing to exon skipping in non-neural cells. nSR100 further operates by forming multiple interactions with early spliceosome components bound proximal to 3′ splice sites. These multifaceted interactions achieve dominance over neural exon silencing mediated by the splicing regulator PTBP1. The results thus illuminate a widespread mechanism by which a critical neural exon network is activated during neurogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4608043  PMID: 25219497
5.  Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 Inhibits Osteogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Impairs Bio-Scaffold-Mediated Bone Regeneration In Vivo 
Tissue Engineering. Part A  2014;20(19-20):2768-2782.
Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) loaded bio-scaffold transplantation is a promising therapeutic approach for bone regeneration and repair. However, growing evidence shows that pro-inflammatory mediators from injured tissues suppress osteogenic differentiation and impair bone formation. To improve MSC-based bone regeneration, it is important to understand the mechanism of inflammation mediated osteogenic suppression. In the present study, we found that synovial fluid from rheumatoid arthritis patients and pro-inflammatory cytokines including interleukin-1α, interleukin-1β, and tumor necrosis factor α, stimulated intercellular adhesion molecule-1(ICAM-1) expression and impaired osteogenic differentiation of MSCs. Interestingly, overexpression of ICAM-1 in MSCs using a genetic approach also inhibited osteogenesis. In contrast, ICAM-1 knockdown significantly reversed the osteogenic suppression. In addition, after transplanting a traceable MSC-poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) construct in rat calvarial defects, we found that ICAM-1 suppressed MSC osteogenic differentiation and matrix mineralization in vivo. Mechanistically, we found that ICAM-1 enhances MSC proliferation but causes stem cell marker loss. Furthermore, overexpression of ICAM-1 stably activated the MAPK and NF-κB pathways but suppressed the PI3K/AKT pathway in MSCs. More importantly, specific inhibition of the ERK/MAPK and NF-κB pathways or activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway partially rescued osteogenic differentiation, while inhibition of the p38/MAPK and PI3K/AKT pathway caused more serious osteogenic suppression. In summary, our findings reveal a novel function of ICAM-1 in osteogenesis and suggest a new molecular target to improve bone regeneration and repair in inflammatory microenvironments.
PMCID: PMC4195481  PMID: 24702024
6.  MicroRNA-214 targets PCBP2 to suppress the proliferation and growth of glioma cells 
PCBP2, a member of the poly(C)-binding protein (PCBP) family, is involved in posttranscriptional and translational regulation by interacting with single-stranded poly(C) motifs in target mRNAs. Recent studies have shown that PCBP2 is overexpressed and plays an important role in human cancers, including glioma. However, the molecular basis for its up-regulation remains poorly understood. Here, we show that microRNA-214 (miR-214) interacts with the 3’-untranslated region of PCBP2 mRNA and induces its degradation, leading to reductions in its protein expression. As a result, overexpression of miR-214 mimics significantly inhibited, while its antisense oligos proliferation and growth of glioma cells. Restoration of PCBP2 remarkably reversed the tumor-suppressive effects of miR-214 on cell proliferation and growth. In summary, our data indicate that miR-214 may function as tumor suppressor in glioma by targeting PCBP2.
PMCID: PMC4680391  PMID: 26722446
PCBP2; miR-214; glioma; tumor suppressor
7.  Variation in Bordetella pertussis Susceptibility to Erythromycin and Virulence-Related Genotype Changes in China (1970-2014) 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(9):e0138941.
To investigate changes in virulence-related genotypes and in the antimicrobial susceptibility of Bordetella pertussis isolates collected from the 1970s to 2014 in the northern part of China.
A total of 124 B. pertussis isolates from three periods, the 1970s, 2000–2008, and May 2013–Sept 2014, were typed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and tested for antimicrobial susceptibility and virulence-related genes. A fragment of the 23S rRNA gene from each of the 99 isolates from 2013–2014 was amplified and sequenced.
All isolates from 2000–2008 and 2013–2014 were identified as ST2, whereas isolates from the 1970s were ST1. PtxA2/ptxC1/ptxP1/prn1/fim2-1/fim3-1/tcfA2, which was the same as the vaccine strain, was the only type in the 1970s. During the 2000s and 2013–2014, the virulence type ptxA1/ptxC1/ptxP1/prn1/fim2-1/fim3-1/tcfA2 was dominant, with frequencies of 68.4% and 91.9%, respectively. Nine ptxP3 strains, which were more virulent, were detected after 2000. All 124 isolates were susceptible to levofloxacin, sulphamethoxazole/trimethoprim and tetracycline. The isolates from the 1970s and 2000–2008 were susceptible to all tested macrolides, whereas 91.9% of the 2013–2014 isolates were highly resistant (minimal inhibitory concentration, MIC >256 μg/ml). No ptxP3 strain was resistant to macrolides. All erythromycin-resistant strains except for one had the A2047G mutation in the 23S rRNA gene.
Macrolide resistance of the B. pertussis population has been a serious problem in the northern part of China. Because most of the epidemic clone of the pathogen expresses the same antigen profiles as the vaccine strain, except ptxA, improvements in immunization strategies may prevent the spread of infection and drug resistance.
PMCID: PMC4583996  PMID: 26406905
8.  Fascia and Primo Vascular System 
The anatomical basis for the concept of acupuncture points/meridians in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has not been resolved. This paper reviews the fascia research progress and the relationship among acupuncture points/meridians, primo vascular system (PVS), and fascia. Fascia is as a covering, with common origins of layers of the fascial system despite diverse names for individual parts. Fascia assists gliding and fluid flow and holds memory and is highly innervated. Fascia is intimately involved with nourishment of all cells of the body, including those of disease and cancer. The human body's fascia network may be the physical substrate represented by the meridians of TCM. The PVS is a newly found circulatory system; recent increased interest has led to new research and new discoveries in the anatomical and functional aspects of the PVS. The fasciology theory provides new insights into the physiological effects of acupuncture needling on basic cellular mechanisms including connective tissue mechanotransduction and regeneration. This view represents a theoretical basis and means for applying modern biomedical research to examining TCM principles and therapies, and it favors a holistic approach to diagnosis and treatment.
PMCID: PMC4561979  PMID: 26379741
9.  CD146 as an adverse prognostic factor in uterine sarcoma 
Uterine sarcoma is an aggressive malignancy with a poor prognosis. This study aimed to determine the expression of CD146, P53, and Ki-67 in uterine sarcoma and to evaluate their prognostic significance.
We retrospectively analyzed the prognosis and clinicopathologic features of 68 patients with uterine sarcoma. Immunohistochemical analyses of CD146, P53, and Ki-67 were performed in tissue samples collected from these patients and their relationship with prognosis was investigated.
The 5-year overall survival (OS) rate was 46 %. Endometrial stromal sarcoma (ESS) patients had a better prognosis than leiomyosarcoma (LMS) patients, with a 2-year survival rate of 82 %. The membrane and cytoplasm of tumor cells exhibited CD146 overexpression in 8 (32 %) ESS cases, which was less than the 25 (69.4 %) cases observed in LMS and 2 (28.6 %) in MMMT. CD146 overexpression in the membrane and cytoplasm of tumor cells was closely related to lymph node metastasis (P = 0.021) and Ki-67 overexpression (P = 0.0053); there was no significant correlation with age, tumor size, International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology stage, or P53 overexpression in LMS.
CD146, P53, and Ki-67 are overexpressed in uterine sarcoma. CD146 expression correlates with lymph node metastasis and is associated with poor OS in LMS; it may be a potential prognostic marker for LMS.
PMCID: PMC4546164  PMID: 26293576
Uterine sarcoma; CD146 overexpression; Prognostic marker
10.  Wnt/β-catenin up-regulates Midkine expression in glioma cells 
Midkine, also known as neurite growth-promoting factor 2 (NEGF2), plays an important role in cell proliferation, apoptosis and differentiation. Recent studies have shown that Midkine is up-regulated in several types of human cancers. However, the molecular mechanism for its up-regulation remains poorly understood. Activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling is viewed as crucial for multiple tumor growth and metastasis, including glioma. In the present study, we found that Wnt3a administration or transfection of a constitutively activated β-catenin promoted Midkine expression in glioma cells. We further identified a TCF/LEF binding site, with which beta-catenin interacts, on the proximal promoter region of Midkine gene, by luciferase reporter and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. Thus, our results suggest a previously unknown Wnt/β-catenin/Midkine molecular network controlling glioma development.
PMCID: PMC4612862  PMID: 26550177
Midkine; Wnt/β-catenin; glioma; chromatin immunoprecipitation
11.  Is Huachansu Beneficial in Treating Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer? Evidence from a Meta-Analysis of Its Efficacy Combined with Chemotherapy 
Background. Huachansu, the sterilized water extract of Bufo bufo gargarizans toad skin, is used in China to alleviate the side-effects and enhance the therapeutic effect of chemotherapy in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We conducted a meta-analysis to assess Huachansu's efficacy. Methods. We extensively searched electronic databases (CENTRAL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, CBM, Cochrane Library, CNKI, CEBM, WFDP, CSCD, CSTD, and IPA) for randomized controlled trials containing Huachansu plus chemotherapy as the test group and chemotherapy as the control group. Seventeen trials were selected based on the selection criteria. The pooled relative ratio (RR) of indicators with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) was calculated for efficacy evaluation. Results. The meta-analysis demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in objective tumor response, one-year survival, Karnofsky performance status, pain relief, and alleviation of severe side-effects (nausea and vomiting, leukocytopenia) in the test group as compared to the control group, but no significant difference in thrombocytopenia. Conclusions. This study demonstrated the efficacy of Huachansu combined with chemotherapy in the treatment of advanced NSCLC. However, limitations exist and high-quality trials are needed for further verification.
PMCID: PMC4548072  PMID: 26347788
12.  Module Based Differential Coexpression Analysis Method for Type 2 Diabetes 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:836929.
More and more studies have shown that many complex diseases are contributed jointly by alterations of numerous genes. Genes often coordinate together as a functional biological pathway or network and are highly correlated. Differential coexpression analysis, as a more comprehensive technique to the differential expression analysis, was raised to research gene regulatory networks and biological pathways of phenotypic changes through measuring gene correlation changes between disease and normal conditions. In this paper, we propose a gene differential coexpression analysis algorithm in the level of gene sets and apply the algorithm to a publicly available type 2 diabetes (T2D) expression dataset. Firstly, we calculate coexpression biweight midcorrelation coefficients between all gene pairs. Then, we select informative correlation pairs using the “differential coexpression threshold” strategy. Finally, we identify the differential coexpression gene modules using maximum clique concept and k-clique algorithm. We apply the proposed differential coexpression analysis method on simulated data and T2D data. Two differential coexpression gene modules about T2D were detected, which should be useful for exploring the biological function of the related genes.
PMCID: PMC4538423  PMID: 26339648
13.  Circadian and Melatonin Disruption by Exposure to Light at Night Drives Intrinsic Resistance to Tamoxifen Therapy in Breast Cancer 
Cancer research  2014;74(15):4099-4110.
Resistance to endocrine therapy is a major impediment to successful treatment of breast cancer. Preclinical and clinical evidence links resistance to anti-estrogen drugs in breast cancer cells with the overexpression and/or activation of various pro-oncogenic tyrosine kinases. Disruption of circadian rhythms by night shift work or disturbed sleep-wake cycles may lead to an increased risk of breast cancer and other diseases. Moreover, light exposure at night (LEN) suppresses the nocturnal production of melatonin that inhibits breast cancer growth. In this study, we used a rat model of ERα+ MCF-7 tumor xenografts to demonstrate how altering light/dark cycles with dim LEN (dLEN) speeds the development of breast tumors, increasing their metabolism and growth and conferring an intrinsic resistance to tamoxifen therapy. These characters were not produced in animals where circadian rhythms were not disrupted, or in animals subjected to dLEN if they received nocturnal melatonin replacement. Strikingly, our results also showed that melatonin acted both as a tumor metabolic inhibitor and a circadian-regulated kinase inhibitor to re-establish the sensitivity of breast tumors to tamoxifen and tumor regression. Together, our findings show how dLEN-mediated disturbances in nocturnal melatonin production can render tumors insensitive to tamoxifen.
PMCID: PMC4119539  PMID: 25062775
Melatonin; Tamoxifen; Circadian; Breast; Warburg
14.  AGPAT9 suppresses cell growth, invasion and metastasis by counteracting acidic tumor microenvironment through KLF4/LASS2/V-ATPase signaling pathway in breast cancer 
Oncotarget  2015;6(21):18406-18417.
Human 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate O-acyltransferase 9 (AGPAT9) is the gene identified from adipose tissue in 2007. We found AGPAT9 expression was significantly higher in poorly invasive MCF7 human breast cancer cells than the highly invasive MDA-MB-231 cells. AGPAT9 significantly inhibited the proliferation of breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Live-cell imaging and transwell assays showed that AGPAT9 could significantly inhibit the migration and invasive capacities of breast cancer cells. The inhibitory effect of AGPAT9 on metastasis was also observed in vivo in lung metastasis model. AGPAT9 inhibited breast cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion through, at least in part, suppressing the V-ATPase activity. In addition, increased AGPAT9 expression in MCF-7/ADR cells could increase the chemosensitivity to doxorubicin (Dox). Our findings suggest that increasing AGPAT9 expression may be a new approach that can be used for breast cancer treatment.
PMCID: PMC4621899  PMID: 26110566
breast cancer; AGPAT9; acidic tumor microenvironment; proliferation; invasion
15.  Image classification of liver cancer surrounding right hepatic pedicle and its guide to precise liver resection 
Purpose: The aim of this study was to explore the feasibility of image classification of liver cancer surrounding right hepatic pedicle (RHP) and its guide to precise liver resection. Methods: Twenty-five patients with single liver cancer surrounding RHP were collected. According to the adjacent relationship between neoplasm and RHP shown in CT or MRI, the liver neoplasms were divided into the 4 types, type A neoplasm infiltrating or surrounding RHP, type B neoplasm locating in the anterior side of RHP, type C neoplasm locating in the dorsal side of RHP and type D neoplasm locating between the two branches. On the basis of image classification, operation project including hepatic vascular occlusion (HVO) and surgical resection procedure was designed. In the end, preoperative classification and surgical design was compared with operative results. Results: The locations of liver neoplasms were completely in line with preoperative classification. The methods of HVO and range of surgical resection were essentially coincident with preoperative plan. Pringle maneuver, total hepatic and hemihepatic vascular occlusion were applied. Four patients with type A neoplasms underwent right hemihepatectomy or extended right hepatectomy. Seven with type B received right anterior lobectomy or mesohepatectomy. Six with type C underwent segment V, VI resection, and eight with type D received right anterior or posterior lobectomy. All operations were smoothly finished. Conclusion: Preoperative classification guided by RHP can provide the accurate location information for liver cancer surrounding RHP, contribute to choosing suitable method of HVO and reasonable range of hepatic resection for precise surgery.
PMCID: PMC4565292  PMID: 26379909
Liver neoplasm; right hepatic pedicle; precise liver resection; hepatic vascular occlusion
16.  Dynamics of serotype 14 Streptococcus pneumoniae population causing acute respiratory infections among children in China (1997–2012) 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2015;15:266.
In the last decade, the Streptococcus pneumoniae population has changed, mainly due to the abuse of antibiotics. The aim of this study was to determine the genetic structure of 144 S. pneumonia serotype 14 isolates collected from children with acute respiratory infections during 1997–2012 in China.
All isolated pneumococci were tested for their sensitivity to 11 kinds of antibiotics with the E-test method or disc diffusion. The macrolides resistance genes ermB and mefA, as well as the sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim resistance gene dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The sequence types (STs) were analyzed with multilocus sequence typing (MLST).
From 1997 to 2012, the percentage of serotype 14 S. pneumonia isolates in the whole isolates increased. All of the 144 serotype 14 S. pneumonia isolates were susceptible to amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, vancomycin and levofloxacin. No penicillin resistant isolate was found, and the intermediate rate was as low as 0.7 %. Erythromycin resistance was confirmed among 143 isolates. The ermB gene was determined in all erythromycin resistant isolates, and the mefA gene was positive additionally in 13 of them. The non-susceptibility rate to the tested cephalosporins increased from 1997–2012. All trimethoprim-resistant isolates contained the Ile100-Leu mutation. Overall, 30 STs were identified, among which ST876 was the most prevalent, followed by ST875. During the study period, the percentage of CC876 increased from 0 % in 1997–2000 to 96.4 % in 2010–2012, whereas CC875 decreased from 84.2 to 0 %. CC876 showed higher non-susceptibility rates to β-lactam antibiotics than CC875.
The percentage of serotype 14 S. pneumonia isolates increased over time in China. The increase of resistance to β-lactam antibiotics in this serotype isolates was associated with the spread of CC876.
PMCID: PMC4499228  PMID: 26163293
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Serotypes; Antibiotic resistance; Children; Epidemiology
17.  Protective effects of SS31 on t-BHP induced oxidative damage in 661W cells 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2015;12(4):5026-5034.
The present study aimed to investigate the ability of SS31, a novel mitochondria-targeted peptide to protect against t-BHP-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis in 661W cell lines. The 661W cells were treated with various concentrations of SS-31 and an MTT assay was used to determine cell viability. The expression of nitrotyrosine and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) was detected using immunofluorescent staining. Apoptosis were assessed using Hoechst staining and an annexin V/propidium iodide flow cytometer. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) were detected using MitoSOX™ with confocal microscopy. Changes in mitochondrial membrane potential were analyzed using flow cytometry. In addition, the release of cytochrome c was analyzed using confocal microscopy. The viability of the cells improved following treatment with SS31 between 100 nM and 1 µM, compared with untreated control group. Compared with the t-BHP treatment group (20.0±3.8%), the number of annexin V-positive cells decreased dose-dependently to 13.6±2.6, 9.8±0.5 and 7.4±2.0% in the SS-31 treated group at concentrations of 10 nM, 100 nM and 1 µM, respectively. Treatment with SS-31 significantly prevented the t-BHP-induced expression of nitrotyrosine and 8-OHdG, decreased the quantity of mitochondrial ROS, increased mitochondrial potential, and prevented the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria into the cytoplasm. Therefore, the SS31 mitochondria-targeted peptide protected the 661W cells from the sustained oxidative stress induced by t-BHP.
PMCID: PMC4581771  PMID: 26165373
retinal degeneration; photoreceptor; oxidative stress; in vitro; neuroprotection; antioxidants
18.  Conservation of imprinting of Neuronatin (Nnat) in rabbits 
SpringerPlus  2015;4:257.
Although the expression and epigenetic status of imprinted genes have been extensively studied in a number of species, less is known about the genomic imprinting in rabbits. Neuronatin (Nnat) plays significant roles in the brain development and metabolic regulation and has been identified to be imprinted and paternally expressed in humans, mice and pigs; however, it has not yet been investigated in rabbits. In this study, we confirmed the expression of two isoforms of the rabbit Nnat (Nnat-a and Nnat-β) identified in Genbank and Ensembl by quantitative real-time PCR. In addition, we also determined the methylation profile of the CpG island in the promoter region of the rabbit Nnat using bisulfite sequencing PCR and combined bisulfite restriction analysis. Here, we provide the first evidence that Nnat has two transcripts in rabbit. Additionally, the CpG island located in the promoter region shows oocyte-specific methylation and may be the differentially methylated region of Nnat in rabbits.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40064-015-1054-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4467822  PMID: 26090304
DMR; Imprinted gene; Nnat; Paternally expressed; Promoter; Rabbit
19.  CKIP-1 regulates macrophage proliferation by inhibiting TRAF6-mediated Akt activation 
Cell Research  2014;24(6):742-761.
Macrophages play pivotal roles in development, homeostasis, tissue repair and immunity. Macrophage proliferation is promoted by macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF)-induced Akt signaling; yet, how this process is terminated remains unclear. Here, we identify casein kinase 2-interacting protein-1 (CKIP-1) as a novel inhibitor of macrophage proliferation. In resting macrophages, CKIP-1 was phosphorylated at Serine 342 by constitutively active GSK3β, the downstream target of Akt. This phosphorylation triggers the polyubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of CKIP-1. Upon M-CSF stimulation, Akt is activated by CSF-1R-PI3K and then inactivates GSK3β, leading to the stabilization of CKIP-1 and β-catenin proteins. β-catenin promotes the expression of proliferation genes including cyclin D and c-Myc. CKIP-1 interacts with TRAF6, a ubiquitin ligase required for K63-linked ubiquitination and plasma membrane recruitment of Akt, and terminates TRAF6-mediated Akt activation. By this means, CKIP-1 inhibits macrophage proliferation specifically at the late stage after M-CSF stimulation. Furthermore, CKIP-1 deficiency results in increased proliferation and decreased apoptosis of macrophages in vitro and CKIP-1−/− mice spontaneously develop a macrophage-dominated splenomegaly and myeloproliferation. Together, these data demonstrate that CKIP-1 plays a critical role in the regulation of macrophage homeostasis by inhibiting TRAF6-mediated Akt activation.
PMCID: PMC4042176  PMID: 24777252
macrophage proliferation; Akt signaling; TRAF6; GSK3β; CKIP-1
20.  Circulating miR-497 and miR-663b in plasma are potential novel biomarkers for bladder cancer 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:10437.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs), abundant and highly stable in the plasma, have been widely reported. This greatly pursued us to investigate whether plasma miRNAs could be considered as powerful biomarkers for diagnosing bladder cancer (BC). We performed a plasma miRNAs profile with the TaqMan Low Density Array, and a two-phase validation to detect the candidate miRNAs expression by quantitative PCR. The receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) and the area under curve (AUC) were used to evaluate diagnostic accuracy. A total of eight plasma miRNAs abnormally expressed between BC patients and healthy controls in microarray analysis (i.e., elevated miRNAs for miR-505, miR-363 and miR-663b, and decreased for miR-99a, miR-194, miR-100, miR-497 and miR-1 in BC plasma). In further independent cohorts, miR-497 and miR-663b with significantly differential expression were confirmed. Moreover, the AUC, sensitivity and specificity were raised to 0.711 (95% CI = 0.641-0.780), 69.7% and 69.6%, respectively, when miR-497 and miR-663b were integrated. This is the first study systematically exploring the existence of specific plasma miRNAs as early diagnostic biomarkers for BC in Chinese population; and these findings supported that plasma miR-497 and miR-663b could be promising novel circulating biomarkers in clinical detection of BC.
PMCID: PMC4444850  PMID: 26014226
21.  Antioxidant Activities In Vitro and Hepatoprotective Effects of Nelumbo Nucifera Leaves In Vivo 
Herbal medicines played a major role in the treatment of hepatic disorders, and a number of medicinal plants and their compounds were widely used for the treatment of these disorders, and oxidant stress injury was one of the mechanism of liver injury.
Materials and Methods
Antioxidant activity of Nelumbo nucifera leaves (NU) extracts was assayed by the methods of scavenging 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzo-thiazoline-6-sulfonicacid) (ABTS) radical and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) in vitro. By intraperitoneal injection carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) to establish acute liver injury model in mice, the levels of Glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (GPT), glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and the content of and maleicdialdehyde (MDA) were detected to evaluate hepatoprotective effect of NU using corresponding test kit.
EtOAC (NUEA) and n-BuOH extracts (NUBU) of N. nucifera leaves had good scavenging DPPH and ABTS radical activity and ferric reducing antioxidant power in vitro. DPPH radical scavenging activity and ferric reducing antioxidant power of NUEA (IC50= 6.68±0.29 µg/mL, RACT50=1749.82±67.03 µmol/g) and NUBU (IC50= 4.61±0.01 µg/mL, RACT50=1995.27±135.71 µmol/g ) were higher than that of BHT (IC50=8.76±0.20 µg/mL, RACT50=1581.68±97.41 µmol/g) and Dangfeiliganning (IC50=28.06±0.17 µg/mL, RACT50=1028.55±3.28 µmol/g). ABTS radical scavenging activity of NUEA (IC50= 5.32±0.12 µg/mL) and NUBU (IC50= 8.16±0.27 µg/mL) were higher than that of Dangfeiliganning (IC50= 9.76±0.16 µg/mL). Thus, hepatoprotective effect of NUEA and NUBU was evaluated on CCl4-induced acute liver injury mice. The results showed that the levels of GOT and GPT in each treatment group significantly decreased (p<0.001 and p<0.01, p<0.05, respectively) except for the group of NUEA (130.8 mg/kg) (p>0.05). The contents of malondialdehyde (MDA) in liver in groups of NUEA (523 mg/kg), NUBU (840.5 and 420.5 mg/kg, repectively) had significant decrease (p<0.001 and p<0.05, respectively), and the level of SOD in liver for each treatment group could significantly decrease (p<0.001, p<0.05, respectively).
NUEA and NUBU had significantly hepatoprotective effect for Calcium tetrachloride CCl4-induced liver injury, which might be attributable to its antioxidant activity.
PMCID: PMC4202423  PMID: 25371567
Antioxidant activity; Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4); hepatoprotective effect; Nelumbo nucifera leaves
22.  The effect of depression on the thermal nociceptive thresholds in rats with spontaneous pain 
Neuroscience bulletin  2010;26(6):429-436.
Recently, there has been growing interest in the interaction between depressive disorders and pain. The purpose of this study was to examine whether depression would lead to a decreased sensitivity to noxious stimuli in rats with spontaneous pain.
The olfactory bulbectomized rats were used as a model of depression. The depression-like behaviors were assessed by open field test and changes in body weight. Formalin solution was injected into the rat hindpaw to produce ongoing pain. Noxious thermal stimuli were applied onto the hindpaw contralateral to formalin injection, and the withdrawal thresholds were measured.
In non-depressive rats, the formalin-treated paw developed hypoalgesia to noxious stimuli while the contralateral paw was not affected. The depressive rats, however, showed a significantly lower sensitivity to noxious thermal stimulus, represented as higher withdrawal thresholds of the contralateral paw, when compared to the non-depressive rats.
These results demonstrate that depression can alleviate the stimulus-evoked pain even in the context of formalin inflammatory pain, consistent with the previous clinical observations that patients suffering from both depression and persistent pain have decreased sensitivities to noxious experimental stimuli.
PMCID: PMC4382591  PMID: 21113193
depression; evoked pain; formalin; olfactory bulbectomy; thermal stimulation
23.  Cytokines in CSF correlate with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders in the post-HAART era in China 
Journal of neurovirology  2013;19(2):144-149.
In the current era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the incidence of HIV dementia has declined, but the prevalence of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) remains high. HIV-induced systemic and localized inflammation is considered to be one of the mechanisms of HAND. Changes in cytokine levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) during HIV infection might help to identify HAND. To investigate whether the cytokine profile of the CSF during HIV infection could be used as a biomarker of HAND, we compared cytokine levels in the CSF of HIV-infected cases with and without neurocognitive impairment. Cytokine concentrations in the CSF were measured by quantification bioassays (Luminex xMAP). HIV-infected cases with neurocognitive impairment demonstrated higher levels of interleukin (IL)-8, monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1, induced protein (IP)-10, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) in the CSF than those without neurocognitive impairment (G-CSF (p=0.0003), IL-8 (p=0.0046), IP-10 (p<0.0001), and MCP-1 (p<0.0001)). There was no significant impact of HAART on cytokine levels in the CSF, except for IP-10, which was higher in HAART-treated patients with impaired cognition (p=0.0182). Findings from this preliminary study suggest that elevated levels of the cytokines IL-8, MCP-1, G-CSF, and IP-10 in the CSF are associated with neurocognitive impairment in HIV infection, and these cytokines likely represent a biomarker profile for HAND.
PMCID: PMC4363104  PMID: 23389619
HIV; Neurocognitive disorder; Cytokines; CSF; Biomarker
24.  The Relationship of CSF and Plasma Cytokine Levels in HIV Infected Patients with Neurocognitive Impairment 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:506872.
Although HAD is now rare due to HAART, the milder forms of HAND persist in HIV-infected patients. HIV-induced systemic and localized inflammation is considered to be one of the mechanisms of HAND. The levels of cytokines in CSF were associated with neurocognitive impairment in HIV infection. However, the changes of cytokines involved in cognition impairment in plasma have not been shown, and their relationships between CSF and plasma require to be addressed. We compared cytokine levels in paired CSF and plasma samples from HIV-infected individuals with or without neurocognitive impairment. Cytokine concentrations were measured by Luminex xMAP. In comparing the expression levels of cytokines in plasma and CSF, IFN-α2, IL-8, IP-10, and MCP-1 were significantly higher in CSF. Eotaxin was significantly higher in plasma, whereas G-CSF showed no difference between plasma and CSF. G-CSF (P = 0.0079), IL-8 (P = 0.0223), IP-10 (P = 0.0109), and MCP-1 (P = 0.0497) in CSF showed significant difference between HIV-CI and HIV-NC group, which may indicate their relationship to HIV associated neurocognitive impairment. In addition, G-CSF (P = 0.0191) and IP-10 (P = 0.0377) in plasma were significantly higher in HIV-CI than HIV-NC. The consistent changes of G-CSF and IP-10 in paired plasma and CSF samples might enhance their potential for predicting HAND.
PMCID: PMC4363531  PMID: 25821806
25.  EIF4EBP1 Overexpression Is Associated with Poor Survival and Disease Progression in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0117493.
EIF4EBP1 acts as a crucial effector in mTOR signaling pathway. Studies have suggested that EIF4EBP1 plays a critical role in carcinogenesis. However, the clinical significance and biological role of EIF4EBP1 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have not been elucidated. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the clinical significance of EIF4EBP1 in HCC.
Total 128 cases of HCCs were included in this study. EIF4EBP1 expression in HCC tissues was detected by qRT-PCR, Western blot and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Then the relationships between EIF4EBP1 expression and clinical features as well as survival were analyzed.
The expression level of EIF4EBP1 mRNA is significantly higher in 60% (24/40) of fresh HCC tissues than that in the matched adjacent nontumor liver (NCL) tissues (P = 0.044). Similarly, EIF4EBP1 protein is notably upregulated in 8 HCC tissues (randomly selected from the 40 HCCs) measured by Western blot and is significantly increased in another 88 paraffin-embedded HCCs (53%, 47/88) by immunohistochemistry compared with the matched NCLs (P < 0.001). EIF4EBP1 protein expression in HCC tissues is significantly correlated with serum AFP (P = 0.003) and marginally significantly associated with pathological grade (P = 0.085), tumor number (P = 0.084), tumor embolus (P = 0.084) and capsulation (P = 0.073). Patients with higher EIF4EBP1 protein expression have a much worse 5-year overall survival (40.3% vs 73.6%) and 5-year disease-free survival (33.0% vs 49.0%) than those with low expression. Furthermore, Cox regression analysis shows that EIF4EBP1 protein is an independent prognostic factor for overall survival (HR, 2.285; 95% CI, 1.154–4.527; P = 0.018) and disease-free survival (HR, 1.901; 95% CI, 1.067–3.386; P = 0.029) in HCC patients.
Our results demonstrate for the first time that EIF4EBP1 mRNA and protein are markedly up-regulated in HCC tissues, and the protein overexpression is significantly associated with poor survival and progression, which provide a potential new prognostic marker and therapeutic target for HCC patients.
PMCID: PMC4319970  PMID: 25658620

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