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1.  A Retrospective Analysis on Two-week Short-course Pre-operative Radiotherapy in Elderly Patients with Resectable Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:37866.
To validate that a two-week short-course pre-operative radiotherapy regimen is feasible, safe, and effective for the management of elderly patients with locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC), we retrospectively analyzed 99 radiotherapy-naive patients ≥70 years of age with LARC. Patients received pelvic radiation therapy (3D-CRT 30Gy/10f/2w) followed by TME surgery; some patients received adjuvant chemotherapy. The primary endpoint was OS, while the secondary endpoints were DFS, safety and response rate. The median follow-up time was 5.1 years. The 5-year OS and DFS rates were 58.3% and 51.2%, respectively. The completion rate of radiotherapy (RT) was 99.0% (98 of 99). Grade 3 acute adverse events, which resulted from RT, occurred in only 1 patient (1.0%). In addition, no grade 4 acute adverse events induced by RT were observed. All 99 patients (100%) were able to undergo R0 surgical resection, and 68.6% of the patients received sphincter-sparing surgery. The rate of occurrence of clinically relevant post-operative complications was 12.1%. Three patients (3.0%) achieved pathologic complete responses, and forty-three patients (43.4%) achieved pathologic partial responses. The rates of T-downsizing and N-downstaging were 30.3% and 55.7%, respectively. Therefore, we believe that a two-week short-course pre-operative radiotherapy is feasible in elderly patients with resectable LARC.
PMCID: PMC5122946  PMID: 27886277
2.  TRIM25 Identification in the Chinese Goose: Gene Structure, Tissue Expression Profiles, and Antiviral Immune Responses In Vivo and In Vitro 
BioMed Research International  2016;2016:1403984.
The retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) and the RIG-I-like receptor (RLR) protein play a critical role in the interferon (IFN) response during RNA virus infection. The tripartite motif containing 25 proteins (TRIM25) was reported to modify caspase activation and RIG-I recruitment domains (CARDs) via ubiquitin. These modifications allow TRIM25 to interact with mitochondrial antiviral signaling molecules (MAVs) and form CARD-CARD tetramers. Goose TRIM25 was cloned from gosling lungs, which possess a 1662 bp open reading flame (ORF). This ORF encodes a predicted 554 amino acid protein consisting of a B-box domain, a coiled-coil domain, and a PRY/SPRY domain. The protein sequence has 89.25% sequence identity with Anas platyrhynchos TRIM25, 78.57% with Gallus gallus TRIM25, and 46.92% with Homo sapiens TRIM25. TRIM25 is expressed in all gosling and adult goose tissues examined. QRT-PCR revealed that goose TRIM25 transcription could be induced by goose IFN-α, goose IFN-γ, and goose IFN-λ, as well as a35 s polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C)), oligodeoxynucleotides 2006 (ODN 2006), and resiquimod (R848) in vitro; however, it is inhibited in H9N2 infected goslings for unknown reasons. These data suggest that goose TRIM25 might play a positive role in the regulation of the antiviral immune response.
PMCID: PMC5138445  PMID: 27995135
3.  Scleral Cross-Linking Using Riboflavin UVA Irradiation for the Prevention of Myopia Progression in a Guinea Pig Model: Blocked Axial Extension and Altered Scleral Microstructure 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(11):e0165792.
To develop methods of collagen cross-linking (CXL) in the sclera for the treatment of progressive myopia and to investigate the biomechanical and histological changes that occur in as a result.
Twenty 14-day-old guinea pigs were divided into 3 groups: the cross-linking group (CL, n = 8), non cross-linking group (NCL, n = 8), and control group (n = 4). The scleras of the right eyes of the guinea pigs in the CL group were surgically exposed and riboflavin was dropped onto the irradiation zone for 20 seconds prior to ultraviolet-A (UVA) irradiation. The same procedure was conducted on the NCL group but without UVA irradiation. No procedure was conducted on the control group. The right eyes of the guinea pigs in the CL and NCL groups were then fitted with -10.00DS optics for six weeks. Retinoscopy and the axial lengths (AXL) were measured at baseline, and at the second, fourth and sixth weeks post-treatment in all three groups. All animal subjects were euthanized after the sixth week and then biomechanical and histopathological examinations of the scleras were conducted.
The mean AXL of the NCL group was longer than both the control and CL groups at six weeks (P = 0.001). The mean refractive error in the NCL group was statistically significantly more negative than both the control and the CL groups at six weeks (P = 0.001). The scleral collagen fiber arrangements of the CL and control groups were denser and more regularly distributed than the NCL group. Ultimate stress of the sclera was lowest in the NCL group, followed by the CL then the control group (P<0.05). Ultimate strain (%) of the sclera was lowest in the CL group followed by the NCL and then the control group (P<0.05).
Our study demonstrates that scleral CXL using riboflavin UVA irradiation effectively prevents the progression of myopia by increasing scleral biomechanical strength in a guinea pig model.
PMCID: PMC5102452  PMID: 27829051
4.  Modulation of HIV Protease Flexibility by the T80N Mutation 
Proteins  2015;83(11):1929-1939.
The flexibility of HIV protease plays a critical role in enabling enzymatic activity and is required for substrate access to the active site. While the importance of flexibility in the flaps that cover the active site is well known, flexibility in other parts of the enzyme is also critical for function. One key region is a loop containing Thr 80 which forms the walls of the active site. Although not situated within the active site, amino acid Thr80 is absolutely conserved. The mutation T80N preserves the structure of the enzyme but catalytic activity is completely lost. To investigate the potential influence of the T80N mutation on HIVp flexibility, wide-angle scattering (WAXS) data was measured for a series of HIV protease variants. Starting with a calculated WAXS pattern from a rigid atomic model, the modulations in the intensity distribution caused by structural fluctuations in the protein were predicted by simple analytic methods and compared to the experimental data. An analysis of T80N WAXS data shows that this variant is significantly more rigid than the WT across all length scales. The effects of this single point mutation extend throughout the protein, so as to alter the mobility of amino acids in the enzymatic core. These results support the contentions that significant protein flexibility extends throughout HIV protease and is critical to catalytic function.
PMCID: PMC4461556  PMID: 25488402
x-ray solution scattering; molecular dynamics simulation
5.  Oleoylethanolamide exerts anti-inflammatory effects on LPS-induced THP-1 cells by enhancing PPARα signaling and inhibiting the NF-κB and ERK1/2/AP-1/STAT3 pathways 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:34611.
The present study aimed to examine the anti-inflammatory actions of oleoylethanolamide (OEA) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced THP-1 cells. The cells were stimulated with LPS (1 μg/ml) in the presence or absence of OEA (10, 20 and 40 μM). The pro-inflammatory cytokines were evaluated by qRT-PCR and ELISA. The THP-1 cells were transiently transfected with PPARα small-interfering RNA, and TLR4 activity was determined with a blocking test using anti-TLR4 antibody. Additionally, a special inhibitor was used to analyse the intracellular signaling pathway. OEA exerted a potent anti-inflammatory effect by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and TLR4 expression, and by enhancing PPARα expression. The modulatory effects of OEA on LPS-induced inflammation depended on PPARα and TLR4. Importantly, OEA inhibited LPS-induced NF-κB activation, IκBα degradation, expression of AP-1, and the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and STAT3. In summary, our results demonstrated that OEA exerts anti-inflammatory effects by enhancing PPARα signaling, inhibiting the TLR4-mediated NF-κB signaling pathway, and interfering with the ERK1/2-dependent signaling cascade (TLR4/ERK1/2/AP-1/STAT3), which suggests that OEA may be a therapeutic agent for inflammatory diseases.
PMCID: PMC5056375  PMID: 27721381
6.  Antibacterial, cytotoxic and genotoxic activity of nitrogenated and haloid derivatives of C50–C60 and C70–C120 polyprenol homologs 
Polyprenol is an important lipid with many bioactive effects. The study on differences in bioactive effects of polyprenol derivatives having different isoprene units are seldom reported and it is helpful to find out which type of polyprenol derivatives are effective for treating A549/HepG2 cells and E. coli /S. aureus.
All tested polyprenol derivatives were measured with inhibition halos by Oxford cup assays. MIC values were assessed by the broth dilution method. Time-killing curve studies were conducted in duplicate on separate days. Cytotoxicity study was measured by the MTT assay and genotoxic study was evaluated by comet assay.
With regard to antibacterial activity, the sensitivities to the quaternary polyprenyl ammonium salt derivatives GAS and MAS were 31.3 μg/mL and 15.6–31.3 μg/mL, respectively. GAS and MAS exhibited cytotoxic activity toward HepG2 cells (IC50 of 10.1–11.6 μg/mL), which was stronger than that exhibited toward A549 cells (IC50 of 13.8–13.9 μg/mL). The bactericidal activity of MAS was stronger than that of GAS at the same concentration at least 48 h. The DNA damage in A549 and HepG2 cells exposed to all 10, 20 and 40 μg/mL MAS was statistically significant in comparison to the control. Our results indicate a dose-dependent increment in DNA damage in A549 and HepG2 cells exposed to 10, 20 and 40 μg/mL MAS for both the percentage of DNA in the tail and tail moment.
The quaternary ammonium salt derivatives GAS and MAS exhibited higher antibacterial (E. coli and S. aureus) and cytotoxic activity (A549 and HepG2 cells) than the other derivatives evaluated in this study. The DNA damage in HepG2 cells suggests that MAS induced A549 and HepG2 cells death via apoptotic pathway. Our results provide new evidence supporting the medical use of polyprenol derivatives against bacterial and tumor diseases.
PMCID: PMC5057508  PMID: 27724930
Polyprenol; Nitrogenated derivatives; Haloid derivatives; Antibacterial activity; Cytotoxic activity; Genotoxic activity
7.  Ethanol extract of Zhongtian hawthorn lowers serum cholesterol in mice by inhibiting transcription of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase via nuclear factor-kappa B signal pathway 
Experimental Biology and Medicine  2016;241(6):667-674.
Hawthorn is a berry-like fruit from the species of Crataegus. In China, it has another more famous name, Shan-Zha, which has been used to improve digestion as a traditional Chinese medicine or food for thousands of years. Moreover, during the last decades, hawthorn has received more attention because of its potential to treat cardiovascular diseases. However, currently, only fruits of C. pinnatifida and C. pinnatifida var. major are included as Shan-Zha in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia. In this study, our results showed that the ethanol extract of Zhongtian hawthorn, a novel grafted cultivar of C. cuneata (wild Shan-Zha), could markedly reduce body weight and levels of serum total cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and liver cholesterol of hyperlipidemia mice. It could suppress the stimulation effect of high-fat diet on the transcription of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGCR) and p65, and counteract the downregulation of CYP7A1 and LDLR. In addition, the results of luciferase reporter assay and Western blot showed that the transcriptional activity of HMGCR promoter was inhibited by Zhongtian hawthorn ethanol extract in a dose-dependent manner, while overexpression of p65 could reverse this transcriptional repression effect. These results suggested that Zhongtian hawthorn could provide health benefits by counteracting the high-fat diet-induced hypercholesteolemic and hyperlipidemic effects in vivo, and the mechanism underlying this event was mainly dependent on the suppressive effect of Zhongtian hawthorn ethanol extract on the transcription of HMGCR via nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signal pathway. Therefore, this novel cultivar of hawthorn cultivar which has much bigger fruits, early bearing, high yield, cold resistance, and drought resistance, might be considered as a good alternative to Shan-Zha and has great value in the food and medicine industry. In addition, to our best knowledge, this is also the first report that the extract of Crataegus could suppress the transcription of HMGCR via NF-κB signal pathway.
PMCID: PMC4950330  PMID: 26825354
Zhongtian hawthorn; hypolipidemic; hypocholesteolemic; 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase; transcriptional regulation; nuclear factor-kappa B
8.  Polyprenols of Ginkgo biloba Enhance Antibacterial Activity of Five Classes of Antibiotics 
BioMed Research International  2016;2016:4191938.
Polyprenol (GBP) from Ginkgo biloba Leaves (GBL) is an important lipid with many bioactive effects. The effect of GBP on antibacterial properties of five antibiotics belonging to different classes was through analysis of inhibition halos, MIC, and FIC index. And we studied the time-killing curves and Ca2+ mobilization assay in Staphylococcus aureus cells treated with GBP microemulsion and gentamicin sulfate under MIC/2 conditions. These results showed that the GBP microemulsion (average diameter 90.2 nm) combining with gentamicin sulfate had the highest enhancing antibacterial effect against Staphylococcus aureus, and the MIC value was 33.0 μg/mL. The increase of the antibacterial effect of tested antibiotics was positively correlated with the decrease of the average diameter of GBP microemulsion. Moreover, GBP microemulsion enhanced antibacterial effect and prolonged antibacterial time of GBP combining with gentamicin sulfate against Staphylococcus aureus. GBP microemulsion could enhance the ability of gentamicin inducing an increase in intracellular calcium concentrations to Staphylococcus aureus. GBP microemulsion could help some classes of antibiotics to inhibit or kill bacteria. This study supports the fact that GBP microemulsion obviously can not only reduce the dosage of some classes of antibiotics, but also reduce the frequency of the antibiotic use in vitro.
PMCID: PMC5011515  PMID: 27642597
9.  Prevalence, awareness, treatment, control of type 2 diabetes mellitus and risk factors in Chinese rural population: the RuralDiab study 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:31426.
The study aimed to investigate prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and to explore potential risk factors in rural areas of China. A total of 16413 individuals aged 18–74 years in rural districts were recruited from the Rural Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle (RuralDiab) study for the epidemiological research. Meanwhile, a meta-analysis including 7 published studies was conducted to validate the result of the cross-sectional study. The rates of crude and age-standardized prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of T2DM were 12.19%, 67.00%, 62.35%, 22.20% and 6.98%, 60.11%, 54.85%, 18.77%, respectively. The prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of T2DM displayed increased trends with age (Ptrend < 0.01) and were strongly associated with education, drinking, more vegetable and fruit intake, physical activity, family history of diabetes, body mass index (BMI). The results of this meta-analysis showed that the pooled prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of T2DM in China countryside were 7.3% (5.3–9.4%), 57.3% (36.9–77.6%), 48.4% (32.4–64.5%) and 21.0% (9.9–32.1%), respectively. The prevalence of T2DM was high with inadequate awareness, treatment and control of T2DM in China rural areas. Healthy lifestyles should be advocated to reduce prevalence and improve awareness, treatment, and control of T2DM in Chinese rural residents.
PMCID: PMC4980764  PMID: 27510966
10.  Correlation between secondary thrombosis in epileptic patients and serum levels of folate and vitamin B12 
Biomedical Reports  2016;5(4):417-420.
Epilepsy is a chronic brain dysfunction syndrome and nervous system disease whose pathogenesis remains to be determined. The aim of the present study was to analyze the correlation between secondary thrombosis and the serum levels of folate and vitamin B12 in epileptic patients, as well as to determine whether the supplementation of folate and vitamin B12 was associated with a decreased incidence of thrombosis, and provide the basis for novel clinical treatment. A total of 37 patients, diagnosed as epileptic with secondary thrombosis between April 2012 and April 2014, were included in the treatment group. A total of 37 epileptic patients without secondary thrombosis were included in the control group. The serum levels of homocysteine, folate and vitamin B12 in the two groups and in the epileptic patients with intracranial thrombosis or peripheral thrombosis were compared. According to the Guidance of Epilepsy, the patients in the two groups were administered antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) with the supplementation of folate tablet (0.4 mg/day) and vitamin B12 tablet (100 µg/day). These indicators and the incidence of thrombosis in the two groups were compared after 1 year. The serum levels of homocysteine in the two groups were higher than normal, and the levels in the treatment group were significantly higher than those in the control group. The serum levels of folate and vitamin B12 in the treatment group were significantly higher than those in the control group and the difference was statistically significant (P<0.05). The Pearson correlation analysis revealed that the serum levels of folate and vitamin B12 were not associated with the serum level of homocysteine (P>0.05). The logistic regression analysis revealed that the serum levels of folate and vitamin B12 were independent risk factors for epilepsy with secondary thrombosis [folate: odds ratio (OR)=0.635, P=0.038; vitamin B12: OR=0.418, P=0.042]. The differences in the serum levels of homocysteine, folate and vitamin B12 in the epileptic patients with intracranial thrombosis or peripheral thrombosis were not statistically significant (P>0.05). The serum levels of homocysteine in the two groups, were significantly decreased, while the levels of folate and vitamin B12 were significantly increased. The differences in the serum levels of homocysteine, folate and vitamin B12 in the two groups were not statistically significant (P>0.05). The differences in the incidence of thrombosis in the two groups were not statistically significant (P>0.05). In conclusion, the serum levels of folate and vitamin B12 were independent of serum homocysteine, and were the dependent risk factors for primary epilepsy with secondary thrombosis. The supplementation of folate and vitamin B12 may be beneficial for the prevention of epilepsy with secondary thrombosis, making it valuable in application.
PMCID: PMC5038890  PMID: 27703674
epilepsy; thrombosis; folate; vitamin B12; homocysteine
11.  Effects of antiepileptic drugs on the serum folate and vitamin B12 in various epileptic patients 
Biomedical Reports  2016;5(4):413-416.
Epilepsy is a common neurodegenerative disease with an increasing morbidity. Clinical treatment of epilepsy includes symptomatic treatment, etiological treatment, surgery and prevention. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) on serum folate and vitamin B12 in various epileptic patients, and to examine the correlation between these effects and secondary cerebrovascular events. A total of 68 epileptic patients, diagnosed between May 2012 and May 2014, were included in the present study. The study included 8 cases of autonomic seizures, 10 cases of absence seizures, 13 cases of complex partial seizures, 28 cases of generalized tonic-clonic seizures, and 9 cases of simple partial seizures. The patients received appropriate AED treatment according to the characteristics of epileptic seizure and the treatment guidance. The differences in the serum levels of folate and vitamin B12 in these patients, and the differences in the secondary cerebrovascular events in these patients after 1 year follow-up were analyzed. The difference in the AEDs used by various epileptic patients was statistically significant (P<0.05). The proportion of AED monotherapy in the autonomic seizure group and petit mal group was highest, and the proportion of two AED in combination with the psychomotor seizure, grand mal and simple partial seizure groups was highest. The serum levels of folate and vitamin B12 in these patients following treatment were significantly lower than those prior to treatment (P<0.05). The differences in the serum levels of folate and vitamin B12 in these groups following treatment were not statistically significant (P>0.05). The difference in the incidence of cerebrovascular events in these groups at follow up was not statistically significant (P>0.05). The multifactorial logistic regression analysis revealed that the serum levels of folate and vitamin B12 were the independent risk factors for epilepsy with secondary cerebrovascular events [folate: odds ratio (OR)=0.536, P=0.039; vitamin: OR=0.382, P=0.041]. In conclusion, various AEDs may decrease the serum levels of folate and vitamin B12 and affect the secondary cerebrovascular events in various epileptic patients. Thus, regular supplementation of folate and vitamin B12 may be an option.
PMCID: PMC5038598  PMID: 27699007
antiepileptic drugs; folate; vitamin B12; cerebrovascular events; independent risk factors
13.  E3 Ubiquitin Ligases Pellinos as Regulators of Pattern Recognition Receptor Signaling and Immune responses 
Immunological reviews  2015;266(1):109-122.
Pellinos are a family of E3 ubiquitin ligases discovered for their role in catalyzing K63-linked polyubiquitination of Pelle, an IL-1 receptor-associated kinase homologue in the Drosophila Toll pathway. Subsequent studies have revealed the central and non-redundant roles of mammalian Pellino-1, Pellino-2 and Pelino-3 in signaling pathways emanating from IL-1 receptors, Toll-like receptors, NOD-like receptors, T- and B-cell receptors. While Pellinos ability to interact with many signaling intermediates suggested their scaffolding roles, recent findings in mice expressing ligase-inactive Pellinos demonstrated the importance of Pellino ubiquitin ligase activity. Cell-specific functions of Pellinos have emerged, e.g., Pellino-1 being a negative regulator in T-lymphocytes and a positive regulator in myeloid cells, and details of molecular regulation of receptor signaling by various members of the Pellino family have been revealed. In this review, we have summarized current information about Pellino-mediated regulation of signaling by pattern recognition receptors, T-cell and B-cell receptors and TNF receptors, and discuss Pellino’s role in sepsis and infectious diseases, as well as in autoimmune, inflammatory and allergic disorders. We also provide our perspective on the potential of targeting Pellinos with peptide- or small molecule-based drug compounds as a new therapeutic approach for septic shock and autoimmune pathologies.
PMCID: PMC4473797  PMID: 26085210
pattern recognition receptors; signal transduction; ubiquitin; inflammation; innate immunity
14.  Cross-Species Antiviral Activity of Goose Interferons against Duck Plague Virus Is Related to Its Positive Self-Feedback Regulation and Subsequent Interferon Stimulated Genes Induction 
Viruses  2016;8(7):195.
Interferons are a group of antiviral cytokines acting as the first line of defense in the antiviral immunity. Here, we describe the antiviral activity of goose type I interferon (IFNα) and type II interferon (IFNγ) against duck plague virus (DPV). Recombinant goose IFNα and IFNγ proteins of approximately 20 kDa and 18 kDa, respectively, were expressed. Following DPV-enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) infection of duck embryo fibroblast cells (DEFs) with IFNα and IFNγ pre-treatment, the number of viral gene copies decreased more than 100-fold, with viral titers dropping approximately 100-fold. Compared to the control, DPV-EGFP cell positivity was decreased by goose IFNα and IFNγ at 36 hpi (3.89%; 0.79%) and 48 hpi (17.05%; 5.58%). In accordance with interferon-stimulated genes being the “workhorse” of IFN activity, the expression of duck myxovirus resistance (Mx) and oligoadenylate synthetases-like (OASL) was significantly upregulated (p < 0.001) by IFN treatment for 24 h. Interestingly, duck cells and goose cells showed a similar trend of increased ISG expression after goose IFNα and IFNγ pretreatment. Another interesting observation is that the positive feedback regulation of type I IFN and type II IFN by goose IFNα and IFNγ was confirmed in waterfowl for the first time. These results suggest that the antiviral activities of goose IFNα and IFNγ can likely be attributed to the potency with which downstream genes are induced by interferon. These findings will contribute to our understanding of the functional significance of the interferon antiviral system in aquatic birds and to the development of interferon-based prophylactic and therapeutic approaches against viral disease.
PMCID: PMC4974530  PMID: 27438848
goose interferon; duck plague virus; feedback regulation; antiviral activity; interferon stimulated gene
15.  Relaxin Level in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation and Association with Heart Failure Occurrence 
Medicine  2016;95(21):e3664.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia requiring medical treatment and has been associated with enhanced atrial fibrosis and heart failure (HF). Relaxin (RLX), an antifibrosis and antiinflammatory peptide hormone, may be used to evaluate atrial fibrosis and is associated with HF occurrence in AF. We aimed to clarify the clinical significance of RLX level in patients with AF.
We measured circulating levels of RLX and other fibrosis-related factors in 311 patients with sinus rhythm (SR; n = 116) or AF (n = 195). All discharged AF patients were followed up for the occurrence of HF for a mean of 6 months.
Circulating levels of RLX were significantly different in patients with AF as compared with SR (P < 0.001), and in the subgroup analysis of AF. RLX level was correlated with left atrial diameter (LAD; R = 0.358, P < 0.001). Among followed up AF patients, on Kaplan–Meier curve analysis, patients with the third RLX tertile (T3) had a significantly higher HF rate than those with the 1st tertile (T1) (P = 0.002) and the cut-off value was 294.8 ng/L (area under the ROC curve [AUC] = 0.723). On multivariable analysis, HF occurrence with AF was associated with increased tertile of serum RLX level (odds ratio [OR] 2.659; confidence interval [95% CI] 1.434–4.930; P = 0.002).
RLX is associated with fibrosis-related biomarkers and significantly elevated in AF. RLX was related to the HF occurrence in patients with AF.
PMCID: PMC4902350  PMID: 27227926
16.  Prevalence and Fate of Carbapenemase Genes in a Wastewater Treatment Plant in Northern China 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(5):e0156383.
Carbapenemase-producing strains of bacteria, which were primarily found in the medical field, have increasingly been found in the environment, thus posing potential risks to public health. One possible way for carbapenemase genes to enter the environment is via wastewater. Therefore, the goal of this study was to determine the occurrence and fate of five high-risk carbapenemase genes in a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in northern China using real-time qPCR. Results showed that the blaKPC-2, blaGES-1, and blaIMP-1 genes prevailed throughout all processing stages (even in the chlorination disinfection unit) in the WWTP, whereas the blaVIM-2 and blaOXA-48 genes were not detected in all samples. Worryingly, considerable amounts of carbapenemase genes ((1.54 ± 0.61) × 103 copies/mL to (2.14± 0.41) × 105 copies/mL) were detected in WWTP effluent samples, while the majority of the carbapenemase genes were transported to the dewatered sludge with concentrations from (6.51 ± 0.14) × 109 copies/g to (6.18 ± 0.63) × 1010 copies/g dry weight. Furthermore, a total of 97 KPC-2-producing strains, belonging to 8 bacterial genera, were isolated from the WWTP. Sequencing of 16S rRNA revealed that most of KPC-2 producing isolates were opportunistic pathogens, including Klebsiella spp. (10.3%), Enterococcus spp. (11.3%), Acinetobacter spp. (19.6%), Escherichia spp. (12.4%), Shigella spp. (17.5%), Stenotrophomonas spp. (10.3%) and Wautersiella spp. (9.3%). Moreover, blaKPC-2 genes were identified for the first time in Paenibacillus spp. isolates (an indigenous bacteria), indicating an increased risk of horizontal transfer between clinical pathogens and environmental bacteria. Indeed, a conjugation experiment demonstrated transfer of the blaKPC-2 gene to an E.coli J53 strain from a Klebsiella strain isolated from the WWTP. To our knowledge, this is the first study to obtain Paenibacillus spp. isolates carrying the carbapenemase gene and to quantify the abundance of carbapenemase genes in the environment.
PMCID: PMC4882038  PMID: 27227329
17.  Antigen distribution of TMUV and GPV are coincident with the expression profiles of CD8α-positive cells and goose IFNγ 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:25545.
Both Tembusu virus (TMUV) and goose parvovirus (GPV) are causative agents of goose disease. However, the host immune response of the goose against these two different categories of virus has not been well documented. Here, we compared the clinical symptoms and pathological characteristics, antigen distribution and intensity, and expression of immune-related genes in TMUV- and GPV- infected goose. The immunohistochemistry analysis demonstrated that GPV was primarily located in the liver, lung, small intestine, and rectum, while TMUV was situated in the liver, brain, spleen, and small intestine. The induction of IFNγ and proinflammatory cytokines is highly associated with the distribution profiles of antigen and CD8α+ molecules. The effector function of CD8 T cells may be accomplished by the secretion of IFNγ together with high expression of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL1 and IL6. Remarkably, significant increases in the transcription of immune genes were observed after infection, which suggested that both GPV and TMUV can effectively induce immune response in goose PMBCs. This study will provide fundamental information for goose molecular immunology in defending against pandemic viruses.
PMCID: PMC4858762  PMID: 27150912
18.  Spirolactone provides protection from renal fibrosis by inhibiting the endothelial–mesenchymal transition in isoprenaline-induced heart failure in rats 
Fibrosis results in excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins, collagen component alteration, and abnormalities in structure and is partly derived from a process called the endothelial–mesenchymal transition involving transforming growth factor β (TGF-β). We investigated whether spironolactone, an aldosterone receptor blocker, attenuated isoprenaline (Iso)-induced heart failure in rats and also studied the mechanism for the same.
Sprague–Dawley rats were subcutaneously injected with Iso to induce heart failure, which promoted renal fibrosis; rats with spironolactone treatment were given a gavage of spironolactone (30 or 60 mg/kg/d, for 21 days). Cardiac function and fibrosis indices were measured. Pathological alterations and expression of Type I and III collagen, α-smooth muscle actin, cluster of differentiation-31, and TGF-β were examined.
In Iso-induced heart failure in rats, spironolactone significantly improved cardiac function and decreased myocardial fibrosis, reduced collagen fibrous proliferation in kidney, reduced expression of Type I and III collagen, increased the expression of cluster of differentiation-31, and decreased the expression of α-smooth muscle actin and TGF-β.
Spironolactone may prevent renal fibrosis by inhibiting the endothelial–mesenchymal transition.
PMCID: PMC4862356  PMID: 27217725
spironolactone; heart failure; renal fibrosis; endothelial-mesenchymal transition
19.  Purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray data collection of the N-terminal domain of the 26S proteasome regulatory subunit p27 and its complex with the ATPase domain of Rpt5 from Mus musculus  
The N-terminal domain of the 26S proteasome regulatory subunit p27 and its complex with the ATPase domain of Rpt5 from Mus musculus were crystallized, yielding crystals diffracting 1.7 and 4.0 Å, respectively.
The protein 26S proteasome regulatory subunit p27 is one of the four chaperones that help in the assembly of the 19S regulatory particle (RP) of the 26S proteasome. In the present work, the N-terminus of p27 (residues 1–128) from Mus musculus was cloned, expressed, purified and crystallized alone and in complex with the C-terminal ATPase domain of Rpt5 (residues 173–442). The crystals of p27(1–128) diffracted to 1.7 Å resolution and belonged to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 26.79, b = 30.39, c = 145.06 Å. Resolution-dependent Matthews coefficient probability analysis suggested the presence of only one molecule per asymmetric unit, with 40.5% solvent content and a V M value of 2.02 Å3 Da−1. The crystal of the p27(1–128)–Rpt5(173–442) complex diffracted to 4 Å resolution and belonged to space group P222, with unit-cell parameters a = 75.93, b = 76.08, c = 336.85 Å. The presence of four heterodimers in the asymmetric unit with 53.2% solvent content and a V M value of 2.63 Å3 Da−1 or five heterodimers in the asymmetric unit with 41.5% solvent content and a V M value of 2.10 Å3 Da−1 is assumed.
PMCID: PMC4014330  PMID: 24817721
26S proteasome regulatory subunit p27; chaperones; ATPase domain of Rpt5; Mus musculus
20.  Protective Effects of Hydrogen Gas on Experimental Acute Pancreatitis 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(4):e0154483.
Acute pancreatitis (AP) is an inflammatory disease mediated by damage to acinar cells and pancreatic inflammation. In patients with AP, subsequent systemic inflammatory responses and multiple organs dysfunction commonly occur. Interactions between cytokines and oxidative stress greatly contribute to the amplification of uncontrolled inflammatory responses. Molecular hydrogen (H2) is a potent free radical scavenger that not only ameliorates oxidative stress but also lowers cytokine levels. The aim of the present study was to investigate the protective effects of H2 gas on AP both in vitro and in vivo. For the in vitro assessment, AR42J cells were treated with cerulein and then incubated in H2-rich or normal medium for 24 h, and for the in vivo experiment, AP was induced through a retrograde infusion of 5% sodium taurocholate into the pancreatobiliary duct (0.1 mL/100 g body weight). Wistar rats were treated with inhaled air or 2% H2 gas and sacrificed 12 h following the induction of pancreatitis. Specimens were collected and processed to measure the amylase and lipase activity levels; the myeloperoxidase activity and production levels; the cytokine mRNA expression levels; the 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine, malondialdehyde, and glutathione levels; and the cell survival rate. Histological examinations and immunohistochemical analyses were then conducted. The results revealed significant reductions in inflammation and oxidative stress both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, the beneficial effects of H2 gas were associated with reductions in AR42J cell and pancreatic tissue damage. In conclusion, our results suggest that H2 gas is capable of ameliorating damage to the pancreas and AR42J cells and that H2 exerts protective effects both in vitro and in vivo on subjects with AP. Thus, the results obtained indicate that this gas may represent a novel therapy agent in the management of AP.
PMCID: PMC4845997  PMID: 27115738
21.  LPAIV H9N2 Drives the Differential Expression of Goose Interferons and Proinflammatory Cytokines in Both In Vitro and In Vivo Studies 
Geese, as aquatic birds, are an important natural reservoir of avian influenza virus (AIV). To characterize the innate antiviral immune response against AIV H9N2 strain infection in geese as well as the probable relationship between the expression of immune-related genes and the distribution of viral antigens, we investigated the levels of immune-related gene transcription both in AIV H9N2 strain-infected geese and in vitro. The patterns of viral location and the tissue distribution of CD4- and CD8α-positive cells were concurrently detected by immunohistochemical staining, which revealed respiratory and digestive organs as the primary sites of antigen-positive signals. Average AIV H9N2 viral loads were detected in the feces, Harderian gland (HG), and trachea, where higher copy numbers were detected compared with the rectum. Our results suggested the strong induction of proinflammatory cytokine expression compared with interferons (IFNs). Notably, in most tissues from the AIV H9N2 strain-infected birds, IFNα and IFNγ gene transcripts were differentially expressed. However, inverse changes in IFNα and IFNγ expression after AIV H9N2 strain infection were observed in vitro. Taken together, the results suggest that AIV H9N2 is widely distributed in multiple tissues, efficiently induces inflammatory cytokines in the HG and spleen of goslings and inversely influences type I and II IFN expression both in vivo and in vitro. The findings of this study further our understanding of host defense mechanisms and the pathogenesis of the H9N2 influenza virus in geese.
PMCID: PMC4756125  PMID: 26925041
AIV H9N2; geese; antiviral response; cellular immune; viral distribution
22.  Wind-blown Sand Electrification Inspired Triboelectric Energy Harvesting Based on Homogeneous Inorganic Materials Contact: A Theoretical Study and Prediction 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:19912.
Triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) based on contact electrification between heterogeneous materials has been widely studied. Inspired from wind-blown sand electrification, we design a novel kind of TENG based on size dependent electrification using homogeneous inorganic materials. Based on the asymmetric contact theory between homogeneous material surfaces, a calculation of surface charge density has been carried out. Furthermore, the theoretical output of homogeneous material based TENG has been simulated. Therefore, this work may pave the way of fabricating TENG without the limitation of static sequence.
PMCID: PMC4730222  PMID: 26817411
23.  Draft Genome Sequence of a Selenite- and Tellurite-Reducing Marine Bacterium, Lysinibacillus sp. Strain ZYM-1 
Genome Announcements  2016;4(1):e01552-15.
Lysinibacillus sp. ZYM-1, a Gram-positive strain isolated from marine sediments, reduces selenite and tellurite efficiently. Meanwhile, it also exhibits high resistance to Zn2+ and Mn2+. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of strain ZYM-1, which contains genes related to selenite and tellurite reduction and also metal resistance.
PMCID: PMC4714120  PMID: 26769938
24.  Koninginins N-Q, Polyketides from the Endophytic Fungus Trichoderma koningiopsis Harbored in Panax notoginseng 
Four new fungal polyketides named koninginins N-Q (1–4), together with four known analogues (5–8), were isolated from the endophytic fungus Trichoderma koningiopsis YIM PH30002 harbored in Panax notoginseng. Their structures were determined on the basis of spectral data interpretation. These compounds were evaluated for their antifungal activity, nitric oxide inhibition, and anticoagulant activity.
Graphical Abstract
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13659-015-0085-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4749524  PMID: 26753920
Trichoderma koningiopsis; Polyketide; Antifungal activity; Bioactivity assay; Koninginin
25.  A Facile Approach to Functionalize Cell Membrane-Coated Nanoparticles 
Theranostics  2016;6(7):1012-1022.
Convenient strategies to provide cell membrane-coated nanoparticles (CM-NPs) with multi-functionalities beyond the natural function of cell membranes would dramatically expand the application of this emerging class of nanomaterials. We have developed a facile approach to functionalize CM-NPs by chemically modifying live cell membranes prior to CM-NP fabrication using a bifunctional linker, succinimidyl-[(N-maleimidopropionamido)-polyethyleneglycol] ester (NHS-PEG-Maleimide). This method is particularly suitable to conjugate large bioactive molecules such as proteins on cell membranes as it establishes a strong anchorage and enable the control of linker length, a critical parameter for maximizing the function of anchored proteins. As a proof of concept, we show the conjugation of human recombinant hyaluronidase, PH20 (rHuPH20) on red blood cell (RBC) membranes and demonstrate that long linker (MW: 3400) is superior to short linker (MW: 425) for maintaining enzyme activity, while minimizing the changes to cell membranes. When the modified membranes were fabricated into RBC membrane-coated nanoparticles (RBCM-NPs), the conjugated rHuPH20 can assist NP diffusion more efficiently than free rHuPH20 in matrix-mimicking gels and the pericellular hyaluronic acid matrix of PC3 prostate cancer cells. After quenching the unreacted chemical groups with polyethylene glycol, we demonstrated that the rHuPH20 modification does not reduce the ultra-long blood circulation time of RBCM-NPs. Therefore, this surface engineering approach provides a platform to functionlize CM-NPs without sacrificing the natural function of cell membranes.
PMCID: PMC4876625  PMID: 27217834
Tumor penetration; extracellular matrix; biomimetics; lymph nodes; drug delivery.

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