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1.  Genetic Structure of Chinese Indigenous Goats and the Special Geographical Structure in the Southwest China as a Geographic Barrier Driving the Fragmentation of a Large Population 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94435.
China has numerous native domestic goat breeds, however, extensive studies are focused on the genetic diversity within the fewer breeds and limited regions, the population demograogic history and origin of Chinese goats are still unclear. The roles of geographical structure have not been analyzed in Chinese goat domestic process. In this study, the genetic relationships of Chinese indigenous goat populations were evaluated using 30 microsatellite markers.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Forty Chinese indigenous populations containing 2078 goats were sampled from different geographic regions of China. Moderate genetic diversity at the population level (HS of 0.644) and high population diversity at the species level (HT value of 0.737) were estimated. Significant moderate population differentiation was detected (FST value of 0.129). Significant excess homozygosity (FIS of 0.105) and recent population bottlenecks were detected in thirty-six populations. Neighbour-joining tree, principal components analysis and Bayesian clusters all revealed that Chinese goat populations could be subdivided into at least four genetic clusters: Southwest China, South China, Northwest China and East China. It was observed that the genetic diversity of Northern China goats was highest among these clusters. The results here suggested that the goat populations in Southwest China might be the earliest domestic goats in China.
Our results suggested that the current genetic structure of Chinese goats were resulted from the special geographical structure, especially in the Western China, and the Western goat populations had been separated by the geographic structure (Hengduan Mountains and Qinling Mountains-Huaihe River Line) into two clusters: the Southwest and Northwest. It also indicated that the current genetic structure was caused by the geographical origin mainly, in close accordance with the human’s migration history throughout China. This study provides a fundamental genetic profile for the conservation of these populations and better to understand the domestication process and origin of Chinese goats.
PMCID: PMC3981790  PMID: 24718092
2.  The distribution and ultrastructure of the forming blood capillaries and the effect of apoptosis on vascularization in mouse embryonic molar mesenchyme 
Cell and tissue research  2014;356(1):137-145.
Vascularization is essential for organ and tissue development. Teeth develop through interactions between epithelium and mesenchyme. The developing capillaries in the enamel organ, the dental epithelial structure, occur simultaneously by mechanisms of vasculogenesis and angiogenesis at the onset of dentinogenesis. The vascular neoformation in the dental mesenchyme has been reported to start from the cap stage. However, the mechanisms of vascularization in the dental mesenchyme remain unknown. In the hope of understanding the mechanisms of the formation of dental mesenchymal vasculature, mouse lower molar germs from embryonic day (E) 13.5 to E16.5 were processed for immunostaining of CD31 and CD34, terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In addition, the role of apoptosis for the vascularization in dental mesenchyme was examined by in vitro culture of E14.0 lower molars in the presence of the apoptosis inhibitor (z-VAD-fmk) and a subsequent subrenal culture. Our results showed that CD31- and CD34-positive cells progressively entered the central part of the dental papilla from the peridental mesenchyme. For TEM, angioblasts, young capillaries with thick endothelium and endothelial cells containing vacuoles were observed in peripheral dental mesenchyme, suggesting vasculogenesis was taking place. The presence of lateral sprouting, cytoplasmic filopodia and transluminal bridges in the dental papilla suggested angiogenesis was also occurring. Inhibition of apoptosis delayed the angiogenic vascularization of the dental papilla. Therefore, these data demonstrated that molar mesenchyme is progressively vascularized by mechanisms of both vasculogenesis and angiogenesis and apoptosis partially contributes to the vascularization of the dental papilla.
PMCID: PMC3977602  PMID: 24477797
Apoptosis; Angiogenesis; Electron microscopy; Tooth mesenchyme; Vasculogenesis
3.  Novel Small-Molecule PGC-1α Transcriptional Regulator With Beneficial Effects on Diabetic db/db Mice 
Diabetes  2013;62(4):1297-1307.
Peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) has been shown to influence energy metabolism. Hence, we explored a strategy to target PGC-1α expression to treat metabolic syndromes. We developed a high-throughput screening assay that uses the human PGC-1α promoter to drive expression of luciferase. The effects of lead compound stimulation on PGC-1α expression in muscle cells and hepatocytes were investigated in vitro and in vivo. A novel small molecule, ZLN005, led to changes in PGC-1α mRNA levels, glucose uptake, and fatty acid oxidation in L6 myotubes. Activation of AMP-activated protein kinase was involved in the induction of PGC-1α expression. In diabetic db/db mice, chronic administration of ZLN005 increased PGC-1α and downstream gene transcription in skeletal muscle, whereas hepatic PGC-1α and gluconeogenesis genes were reduced. ZLN005 increased fat oxidation and improved the glucose tolerance, pyruvate tolerance, and insulin sensitivity of diabetic db/db mice. Hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia also were ameliorated after treatment with ZLN005. Our results demonstrated that a novel small molecule selectively elevated the expression of PGC-1α in myotubes and skeletal muscle and exerted promising therapeutic effects for treating type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3609556  PMID: 23250358
4.  Accurate Guitar Tuning by Cochlear Implant Musicians 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92454.
Modern cochlear implant (CI) users understand speech but find difficulty in music appreciation due to poor pitch perception. Still, some deaf musicians continue to perform with their CI. Here we show unexpected results that CI musicians can reliably tune a guitar by CI alone and, under controlled conditions, match simultaneously presented tones to <0.5 Hz. One subject had normal contralateral hearing and produced more accurate tuning with CI than his normal ear. To understand these counterintuitive findings, we presented tones sequentially and found that tuning error was larger at ∼30 Hz for both subjects. A third subject, a non-musician CI user with normal contralateral hearing, showed similar trends in performance between CI and normal hearing ears but with less precision. This difference, along with electric analysis, showed that accurate tuning was achieved by listening to beats rather than discriminating pitch, effectively turning a spectral task into a temporal discrimination task.
PMCID: PMC3961348  PMID: 24651081
5.  Rtp801, a suppressor of mTOR signaling, is an essential mediator of cigarette smoke – induced pulmonary injury and emphysema 
Nature medicine  2010;16(7):767-773.
Rtp801, a stress – related protein triggered by adverse environmental conditions, inhibits mTOR and enhances oxidative stress – dependent cell death. We postulated that Rtp801 acts as potential amplifying switch in the development of cigarette smoke – induced lung injury, leading to emphysema. Rtp801 was overexpressed in human emphysematous lungs and in lungs of mice exposed to cigarette smoke. The upregulation of Rtp801 expression by cigarette smoke in the lung relied on oxidative stress – dependent activation of the CCAAT response element. Rtp801 was necessary and sufficient for NF – κ B activation in cultured cells and, when forcefully expressed in mouse lungs, it promoted NF – kB activation, alveolar inflammation, oxidative stress, and apoptosis of alveolar septal cells. On the other hand, Rtp801 − / − mice were markedly protected against acute cigarette smoke – induced lung injury, partly via increased mTOR signaling, and, when exposed chronically, against emphysema. Our data support the notion that Rtp801 may represent an important molecular sensor and mediator of lung injury to cigarette smoke.
PMCID: PMC3956129  PMID: 20473305
Rtp801; cigarette smoke; oxidative stress; apoptosis; inflammation; NF –κB; rapamycin
6.  Epidemiological and Etiological Characteristics of Fever, Thrombocytopenia and Leukopenia Syndrome in Henan Province, China, 2011–2012 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91166.
The Fever, Thrombocytopenia and Leukopenia Syndrome (FTLS) is caused by a bunyavirus known as the FTLS virus (FTLSV), which was recently discovered in China. We examined the epidemiological and etiological features of 637 laboratory-confirmed cases of FTLS with onset from January 2011 to December 2012 in Henan Province, China. The highest incidence of FTLS occurred between May and August: 76.5% of all laboratory-confirmed cases occurred during those four months. Of the laboratory-confirmed cases, 60.9% were in the 46–69 years old age groups; 96.1% (612/637) occurred in farmers; 98.1% (625/637) were reported from Xinyang Prefecture. During the same time period, 2047 cases were reported in China. The nucleotide and amino acid sequences of FTLSV strains identified during 2011–2012 in Henan Province were ≥96% identical. This findings provides insight for developing public-health interventions for the control and prevention of FTLS in epidemic area.
PMCID: PMC3954591  PMID: 24633131
7.  Risk Factors for Aborted Cardiac Arrest and Sudden Cardiac Death in Children with the Congenital Long-QT Syndrome 
Circulation  2008;117(17):2184-2191.
The congenital long-QT syndrome (LQTS) is an important cause of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in children without structural heart disease. However, specific risk factors for life-threatening cardiac events in children with this genetic disorder have not been identified
Methods and Results
Cox proportional hazards regression modeling was used to identify risk factors for aborted cardiac arrest (ACA) or SCD in 3,015 LQTS children from the International LQTS Registry who were followed up from age 1 through 12 years. The cumulative probability of the combined end point was significantly higher in males (5%) than in females (1%; p<0.001). Risk factors for ACA or SCD during childhood included QTc duration >500 msec (HR=2.72 [95%CI 1.50 - 4.92]; p=0.001) and prior syncope (recent syncope [<2 years]: HR=6.16 [95%CI 3.41 - 11.15], p<0.001; remote syncope [≥2 years]: HR=2.67 [95% CI 1.22 - 5.85], p=0.01) in males, whereas prior syncope was the only significant risk factor among females (recent syncope: HR=27.82 [95%CI 9.72 - 79.60], p<0.001]; remote syncope: HR=12.04 [95%CI 3.79 - 38.26], p<0.001). β-blocker therapy was associated with a significant 53% reduction in the risk of ACA or SCD (p=0.01).
LQTS males experience a significantly higher rate of fatal or near-fatal cardiac events than females during childhood. A QTc duration >500 msec and a history of prior syncope identify risk in males, whereas prior syncope is the only significant risk factor among females. β-blocker therapy is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of life-threatening cardiac events during childhood.
PMCID: PMC3944375  PMID: 18427136
long-QT syndrome; risk factors; sudden death
8.  PTEN Regulates BCRP/ABCG2 and the Side Population through the PI3K/Akt Pathway in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e88298.
A small population of cancer stem cells named the “side population” (SP) has been demonstrated to be responsible for the persistence of many solid tumors. However, the role of the SP in leukemic pathogenesis remains controversial. The resistance of leukemic stem cells to targeted therapies, such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), results in therapeutic failure or refractory/relapsed disease in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The drug pump, ATP-binding cassette sub-family G member 2 (ABCG2), is well known as a specific marker of the SP and could be controlled by several pathways, including the PI3K/Akt pathway. Our data demonstrated that compared with wild-type K562 cells, the higher percentage of ABCG2+ cells corresponded to the higher SP fraction in K562/ABCG2 (ABCG2 overexpressing) and K562/IMR (resistance to imatinib) cells, which exhibited enhanced drug resistance along with downregulated phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome -10 (PTEN) and activated phosphorylated-Akt (p-Akt). PTEN and p-Akt downregulation could be abrogated by both the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 and the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin. Moreover, in CML patients in the accelerated phase/blastic phase (AP/BP), increased SP phenotype rather than ABCG2 expression was accompanied by the loss of PTEN protein and the up-regulation of p-Akt expression. These results suggested that the expression of ABCG2 and the SP may be regulated by PTEN through the PI3K/Akt pathway, which would be a potentially effective strategy for targeting CML stem cells.
PMCID: PMC3945754  PMID: 24603487
9.  The has-miR-526b Binding-Site rs8506G>A Polymorphism in the lincRNA-NR_024015 Exon Identified by GWASs Predispose to Non-Cardia Gastric Cancer Risk 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90008.
Gastric cancer including the cardia and non-cardia types is the second frequent cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. A subset of non-cardia gastric cancer genetic susceptibility loci have been addressed among Asian through genome-wide association studies (GWASs). This study was to evaluate the effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) on non-cardia gastric cancer susceptibility in Chinese populations. We selected long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) located in non-cardia gastric cancer risk-related loci and identified 10 SNPs located within lincRNA exonic regions. We examined whether genetic polymorphisms in lincRNAs exons are associated with non-cardia gastric cancer risk in 438 non-cardia gastric cancer patients and 727 control subjects in Chinese populations using logistic regression. Functional relevance was further examined by biochemical assays. We found that lincRNA-NR_024015 rs8506AA carrier was significantly associated with risk of non-cardia gastric cancer (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.56, 95%CI = 1.03–2.39, compared with the rs8506 AG or GG genotype. Further stratification analysis showed that the risk effect was more pronounced in subgroups of smokers (P = 0.001). Biochemical analysis demonstrated that the G to A base change at rs8506G>A disrupts the binding site for has-miR-526b, thereby influencing the transcriptional activity of lincRNA-NR_024015 and affecting cell proliferation. Our present study established a robust association between the rs8506G>A polymorphism in the lincRNA-NR_024015 exon and the risk of non-cardia gastric cancer.
PMCID: PMC3942390  PMID: 24595048
10.  BRAFV600E Mutation and Its Association with Clinicopathological Features of Colorectal Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90607.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a heterogeneous disease with multiple underlying causative genetic mutations. The B-type Raf proto-oncogene (BRAF) plays an important role in the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling cascade during CRC. The presence of BRAFV600E mutation can determine the response of a tumor to chemotherapy. However, the association between the BRAFV600E mutation and the clinicopathological features of CRC remains controversial. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the effect of BRAFV600E mutation on the clinicopathological characteristics of CRC.
We identified studies that examined the effect of BRAFV600E mutation on CRC within the PubMed, ISI Science Citation Index, and Embase databases. The effect of BRAFV600E on outcome parameters was estimated by odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for each study using a fixed effects or random effects model.
25 studies with a total of 11,955 CRC patients met inclusion criteria. The rate of BRAFV600 was 10.8% (1288/11955). The BRAFV600E mutation in CRC was associated with advanced TNM stage, poor differentiation, mucinous histology, microsatellite instability (MSI), CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP). This mutation was also associated with female gender, older age, proximal colon, and mutL homolog 1 (MLH1) methylation.
This meta-analysis demonstrated that BRAFV600E mutation was significantly correlated with adverse pathological features of CRC and distinct clinical characteristics. These data suggest that BRAFV600E mutation could be used to supplement standard clinical and pathological staging for the better management of individual CRC patients, and could be considered as a poor prognostic marker for CRC.
PMCID: PMC3940924  PMID: 24594804
11.  Propofol increases expression of basic fibroblast growth factor after transient cerebral ischemia in rats 
Neurochemical research  2012;38(3):530-537.
Anesthetics such as propofol can provide neuroprotective effects against cerebral ischemia. However, the underlying mechanism of this beneficial effect is not clear. Therefore, we subjected male Sprague-Dawley rats to 2 h of middle cerebral artery occlusion and investigated how post-ischemic administration of propofol affected neurologic outcome and the expression of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). After 2 h of ischemia, just before reperfusion, the animals were randomly assigned to receive either propofol (20 mg•kg−1•h−1) or vehicle (10% intralipid, 2 ml•kg−1•h−1) intravenously for 4 h. Neurologic scores, infarct volume, and brain water content were measured at different time points after reperfusion. mRNA level of bFGF was measured by real-time PCR, and the protein expression level of bFGF was analyzed by immunohistochemistry and Western blot. At 6 h, 24 h, 72 h, and 7 days of reperfusion, infarct volume was significantly reduced in the propofol-treated group compared to that in the vehicle-treated group (all P<0.05). Propofol post-treatment also attenuated brain water content at 24 and 72 h and reduced neurologic deficit score at 72 h and 7 days of reperfusion (all P<0.05). Additionally, in the peri-infarct area, bFGF mRNA and protein expression were elevated at 6, 24, and 72 h of reperfusion compared to that in the vehicle-treated group (all P<0.05). These results show that post-ischemic administration of propofol provides neural protection from cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. This protection may be related to an early increase in the expression of bFGF.
PMCID: PMC3574197  PMID: 23247820
brain; basic fibroblast growth factor; ischemia-reperfusion; propofol
12.  Screening for Glycosylphosphatidylinositol-Modified Cell Wall Proteins in Pichia pastoris and Their Recombinant Expression on the Cell Surface 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2013;79(18):5519-5526.
Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored glycoproteins have various intrinsic functions in yeasts and different uses in vitro. In the present study, the genome of Pichia pastoris GS115 was screened for potential GPI-modified cell wall proteins. Fifty putative GPI-anchored proteins were selected on the basis of (i) the presence of a C-terminal GPI attachment signal sequence, (ii) the presence of an N-terminal signal sequence for secretion, and (iii) the absence of transmembrane domains in mature protein. The predicted GPI-anchored proteins were fused to an alpha-factor secretion signal as a substitute for their own N-terminal signal peptides and tagged with the chimeric reporters FLAG tag and mature Candida antarctica lipase B (CALB). The expression of fusion proteins on the cell surface of P. pastoris GS115 was determined by whole-cell flow cytometry and immunoblotting analysis of the cell wall extracts obtained by β-1,3-glucanase digestion. CALB displayed on the cell surface of P. pastoris GS115 with the predicted GPI-anchored proteins was examined on the basis of potential hydrolysis of p-nitrophenyl butyrate. Finally, 13 proteins were confirmed to be GPI-modified cell wall proteins in P. pastoris GS115, which can be used to display heterologous proteins on the yeast cell surface.
PMCID: PMC3754174  PMID: 23835174
13.  Intracortical Multiplication of Thalamocortical Signals in Mouse Auditory Cortex 
Nature neuroscience  2013;16(9):10.1038/nn.3493.
Cortical processing of sensory information initiates from the transformation of thalamically-relayed signals. By optogenetically silencing intracortical circuits to isolate thalamic inputs to layer 4 neurons, we show that intracortical excitation linearly amplifies thalamocortical responses underlying frequency and direction selectivity with preserved spectral range and tuning, and prolongs the response duration. This signal pre-amplification and prolongation enhances the salience of thalamocortically-relayed information and ensures its robust, faithful and more persistent representation.
PMCID: PMC3844430  PMID: 23933752
14.  Linear Transformation of Thalamocortical input by Intracortical Excitation 
Nature neuroscience  2013;16(9):10.1038/nn.3494.
Neurons in thalamorecipient layers of sensory cortices integrate thalamocortical and intracortical inputs. Although their functional properties can be inherited from the convergence of thalamic inputs, the roles of intracortical circuits in thalamocortical transformation of sensory information remain unclear. Here, by reversibly silencing intracortical excitatory circuits with optogenetic activation of parvalbumin-positive inhibitory neurons in mouse primary visual cortex, we compared visually-evoked thalamocortical input with total excitation in the same layer 4 pyramidal neurons. We found that intracortical excitatory circuits preserve the orientation and direction tuning of thalamocortical excitation, with a linear amplification of thalamocortical signals by about threefold. The spatial receptive field of thalamocortical input is slightly elongated, and is expanded by intracortical excitation in an approximately proportional manner. Thus, intracortical excitatory circuits faithfully reinforce the representation of thalamocortical information, and may influence the size of the receptive field by recruiting additional inputs.
PMCID: PMC3855439  PMID: 23933750
15.  Human Antibody Neutralizes Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus, an Emerging Hemorrhagic Fever Virus 
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV), a newly discovered member of the Bunyaviridae family, is the causative agent of an emerging hemorrhagic fever, SFTS, in China. Currently, there are no vaccines or effective therapies against SFTS. In this study, a combinatorial human antibody library was constructed from the peripheral lymphocytes of 5 patients who had recovered from SFTS. The library was screened against purified virions for the production of single-chain variable-region fragments (ScFv). Of the 6 positive clones, one clone (monoclonal antibody [MAb] 4-5) showed neutralizing activity against SFTSV infection in Vero cells. MAb 4-5 was found to effectively neutralize all of the clinical isolates of SFTSV tested, which were isolated from patients in China from 2010 to 2012. MAb 4-5 was found to bind a linear epitope in the ectodomain of glycoprotein Gn. Its neutralizing activity is attributed to blockage of the interactions between the Gn protein and the cellular receptor, indicating that inhibition of virus-cell attachment is its main mechanism. These data suggest that MAb 4-5 can be used as a promising candidate molecule for immunotherapy against SFTSV infection.
PMCID: PMC3889583  PMID: 23863504
16.  Planar substrate-binding site dictates the specificity of ECF-type nickel/cobalt transporters 
Cell Research  2013;24(3):267-277.
The energy-coupling factor (ECF) transporters are multi-subunit protein complexes that mediate uptake of transition-metal ions and vitamins in about 50% of the prokaryotes, including bacteria and archaea. Biological and structural studies have been focused on ECF transporters for vitamins, but the molecular mechanism by which ECF systems transport metal ions from the environment remains unknown. Here we report the first crystal structure of a NikM, TtNikM2, the substrate-binding component (S component) of an ECF-type nickel transporter from Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis. In contrast to the structures of the vitamin-specific S proteins with six transmembrane segments (TSs), TtNikM2 possesses an additional TS at its N-terminal region, resulting in an extracellular N-terminus. The highly conserved N-terminal loop inserts into the center of TtNikM2 and occludes a region corresponding to the substrate-binding sites of the vitamin-specific S components. Nickel binds to NikM via its coordination to four nitrogen atoms, which are derived from Met1, His2 and His67 residues. These nitrogen atoms form an approximately square-planar geometry, similar to that of the metal ion-binding sites in the amino-terminal Cu2+- and Ni2+-binding (ATCUN) motif. Replacements of residues in NikM contributing to nickel coordination compromised the Ni-transport activity. Furthermore, systematic quantum chemical investigation indicated that this geometry enables NikM to also selectively recognize Co2+. Indeed, the structure of TtNikM2 containing a bound Co2+ ion has almost no conformational change compared to the structure that contains a nickel ion. Together, our data reveal an evolutionarily conserved mechanism underlying the metal selectivity of EcfS proteins, and provide insights into the ion-translocation process mediated by ECF transporters.
PMCID: PMC3945884  PMID: 24366337
energy-coupling factor transporter; nickel and cobalt transporters; crystal structure
17.  Heme, an Essential Nutrient from Dietary Proteins, Critically Impacts Diverse Physiological and Pathological Processes 
Nutrients  2014;6(3):1080-1102.
Heme constitutes 95% of functional iron in the human body, as well as two-thirds of the average person’s iron intake in developed countries. Hence, a wide range of epidemiological studies have focused on examining the association of dietary heme intake, mainly from red meat, with the risks of common diseases. High heme intake is associated with increased risk of several cancers, including colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer and lung cancer. Likewise, the evidence for increased risks of type-2 diabetes and coronary heart disease associated with high heme intake is compelling. Furthermore, recent comparative metabolic and molecular studies of lung cancer cells showed that cancer cells require increased intracellular heme biosynthesis and uptake to meet the increased demand for oxygen-utilizing hemoproteins. Increased levels of hemoproteins in turn lead to intensified oxygen consumption and cellular energy generation, thereby fueling cancer cell progression. Together, both epidemiological and molecular studies support the idea that heme positively impacts cancer progression. However, it is also worth noting that heme deficiency can cause serious diseases in humans, such as anemia, porphyrias, and Alzheimer’s disease. This review attempts to summarize the latest literature in understanding the role of dietary heme intake and heme function in diverse diseases.
PMCID: PMC3967179  PMID: 24633395
heme intake; iron; red meat; cancer; diabetes; coronary heart disease; hemoproteins; cancer progression
18.  Exercise Pretreatment Promotes Mitochondrial Dynamic Protein OPA1 Expression after Cerebral Ischemia in Rats 
Exercise training is a neuroprotective strategy in cerebral ischemic injury, but the underlying mechanisms are not yet clear. In the present study, we investigated the effects of treadmill exercise pretreatment on the expression of mitochondrial dynamic proteins. We examined the expression of OPA1/DLP1/MFF/Mfn1/Mfn2, which regulatesmitochondrial fusion and fission, and cytochrome C oxidase subunits (COX subunits), which regulatemitochondrial functions, after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in rats. T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was evaluated as indices of brain edema after ischemia as well. Treadmill training pretreatment increased the expression levels of OPA1 and COXII/III/IV and alleviated brain edema, indicating that exercise pretreatment provided neuroprotection in cerebral ischemic injury via the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics and functions.
PMCID: PMC3975407  PMID: 24633199
exercise pretreatment; mitochondrial dynamics; OPA1; cerebral ischemia; neuroprotection
19.  Regional patterns of 15N natural abundance in forest ecosystems along a large transect in eastern China 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4249.
The regional determining factors underlying inter- and intra-site variation of 15N natural abundance in foliage, O horizon and mineral soil were investigated in eastern China.15N natural abundance values for these forest ecosystems were in the middle of the range of values previously found for global forest ecosystems. In contrast to commonly reported global patterns, temperate forest ecosystems were significantly more15N-enriched than tropical forest ecosystems, and foliage δ15N was negatively correlated with increasing mean annual temperature and net soil N mineralisation in eastern China. Tight N cycling in forest ecosystems and the use of atmospheric N deposition by trees might underlie the δ15N distribution patterns in eastern China. The existence of mycorrhizal fungi and root distribution profiles in the soil may also influence the15N natural abundance patterns in forest ecosystems of eastern China.
PMCID: PMC3937787  PMID: 24576905
20.  A Metabolomic Strategy to Screen the Prototype Components and Metabolites of Shuang-Huang-Lian Injection in Human Serum by Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography Coupled with Quadrupole Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry 
Shuang-huang-lian injection (SHLI) is a famous Chinese patent medicine, which has been wildly used in clinic to treat acute respiratory tract infection, pneumonia, influenza, and so forth. Despite the widespread clinical application, the prototype components and metabolites of SHLI have not been fully elucidated, especially in human body. To discover and screen the constituents or metabolites of Chinese medicine in biofluids tends to be more and more difficult due to the complexity of chemical compositions, metabolic reactions and matrix effects. In this work, a metabolomic strategy to comprehensively elucidate the prototype components and metabolites of SHLI in human serum conducted by UPLC-Q-TOF/MS was developed. Orthogonal partial least squared discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) was applied to distinguish the exogenous, namely, drug-induced constituents, from endogenous in human serum. In the S-plot, 35 drug-induced constituents were found, including 23 prototype compounds and 12 metabolites which indicated that SHLI in human body mainly caused phase II metabolite reactions. It was concluded that the metabolomic strategy for identification of herbal constituents and metabolites in biological samples was successfully developed. This identification and structural elucidation of the chemical compounds provided essential data for further pharmacological and pharmacokinetics study of SHLI.
PMCID: PMC3955581  PMID: 24719777
21.  High-Resolution Melting Analysis for accurate detection of BRAF mutations: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4168.
The high-resolution melting curve analysis (HRMA) might be a good alternative method for rapid detection of BRAF mutations. However, the accuracy of HRMA in detection of BRAF mutations has not been systematically evaluated. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis involving 1324 samples from 14 separate studies. The overall sensitivity of HRMA was 0.99 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.75–0.82), and the overall specificity was very high at 0.99 (95% CI = 0.94–0.98). The values for the pooled positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio, and diagnostic odds ratio were 68.01 (95% CI = 25.33–182.64), 0.06 (95% CI = 0.03–0.11), and1263.76 (95% CI = 393.91–4064.39), respectively. The summary receiver operating characteristic curve for the same data shows an area of 1.00 and a Q* value of 0.97. The high sensitivity and specificity, simplicity, low cost, less labor or time and rapid turnaround make HRMA a good alternative method for rapid detection of BRAF mutations in the clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC3933866  PMID: 24566771
22.  Mesenteric Lymph Drainage Alleviates Acute Kidney Injury Induced by Hemorrhagic Shock without Resuscitation 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:720836.
This study aimed to investigate the effect of mesenteric lymph drainage on the acute kidney injury induced by hemorrhagic shock without resuscitation. Eighteen male Wistar rats were randomly divided into sham, shock, and drainage groups. The hemorrhagic shock model (40 mmHg, 3 h) was established in shock and drainage groups; mesenteric lymph drainage was performed from 1 h to 3 h of hypotension in the drainage group. The results showed that renal tissue damage occurred; the levels of urea, creatinine, and trypsin in the plasma as well as intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), receptor of advanced glycation end-products (RAGE), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), malondialdehyde (MDA), lactic acid (LA), and 2,3-DPG in the renal tissue were increased in the shock group after 3 h of hypotension. Mesenteric lymph drainage lessened the following: renal tissue damage; urea and trypsin concentrations in the plasma; ICAM-1, RAGE, TNF-α, MDA, and LA levels in the renal tissue. By contrast, mesenteric lymph drainage increased the 2,3-DPG level in the renal tissue. These findings indicated that mesenteric lymph drainage could relieve kidney injury caused by sustained hypotension, and its mechanisms involve the decrease in trypsin activity, suppression of inflammation, alleviation of free radical injury, and improvement of energy metabolism.
PMCID: PMC3956641  PMID: 24723822
23.  The Core Proteome and Pan Proteome of Salmonella Paratyphi A Epidemic Strains 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89197.
Comparative proteomics of the multiple strains within the same species can reveal the genetic variation and relationships among strains without the need to assess the genomic data. Similar to comparative genomics, core proteome and pan proteome can also be obtained within multiple strains under the same culture conditions. In this study we present the core proteome and pan proteome of four epidemic Salmonella Paratyphi A strains cultured under laboratory culture conditions. The proteomic information was obtained using a Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) technique. The expression profiles of these strains were conservative, similar to the monomorphic genome of S. Paratyphi A. Few strain-specific proteins were found in these strains. Interestingly, non-core proteins were found in similar categories as core proteins. However, significant fluctuations in the abundance of some core proteins were also observed, suggesting that there is elaborate regulation of core proteins in the different strains even when they are cultured in the same environment. Therefore, core proteome and pan proteome analysis of the multiple strains can demonstrate the core pathways of metabolism of the species under specific culture conditions, and further the specific responses and adaptations of the strains to the growth environment.
PMCID: PMC3933413  PMID: 24586590
24.  The relationship between hepatic resistin overexpression and inflammation in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis 
BMC Gastroenterology  2014;14:39.
The relationship between resistin and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is not clear, some studies claimed that serum resistin levels were associated with neither the presence of NASH nor its severity, others declared that serum resistin was related with inflammation and fibrosis in NASH. Our animal study verified that the distribution of resistin in the liver is correlated with inflammation in NASH. However, there is no pertinent study in humans.
Thirty patients with NASH, 28 simple steatosis, and 43 controls were recruited. Blood was collected for resistin, liver chemistries, fasting insulin and some metabolic parameters. Liver histology was scored according to NAFLD activity scoring system. Hepatic resistin expression was examined by real-time polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry. Resistin protein expression was confirmed by western blotting in 13 patients with concomitant NAFLD and gallstone.
Serum resistin was significantly elevated in both NASH and simple steatotic subjects compared with controls (all P < 0.05). Hepatic resistin was significantly increased in NASH patients in both mRNA and protein levels than those in simple steatosis and control subjects (all P < 0.05). Both serum and hepatic resistin had a correlation with obesity, but not with insulin resistance. The distribution of resistin positive cells was predominantly in perisinusoidal cells (such as Kupffer cells and hepatic stellate cells) in human NASH. Multivariate analysis revealed that waist-hip ratio, higher serum triglyceride, and hyperresistinemia were independent factors related to higher grade of steatosis; whereas hepatic resistin and serum cytokeratin predict NASH and severity of liver fibrosis.
Hepatic resistin overexpression in NASH patients is associated with the severity of liver inflammation and fibrosis. Liver-derived resistin may be involved in the pathogenesis of human NASH.
PMCID: PMC3942781  PMID: 24559185
Resistin; Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Inflammation; Adipokine
25.  Clinical Analysis of Cause, Treatment and Prognosis in Acute Kidney Injury Patients 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e85214.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is characterized by an abrupt decline in renal function, resulting in an inability to secrete waste products and maintain electrolyte and water balance, and is associated with high risks of morbidity and mortality. This study retrospectively analyzed clinical data, treatment, and prognosis of 271 hospitalized patients (172 males and 99 females) diagnosed with AKI from December, 2008 to December, 2011. In addition, this study explored the association between the cause of AKI and prognosis, severity and treatment of AKI. The severity of AKI was classified according to the Acute Kidney Injury Network (AKIN) criteria. Renal recovery was defined as a decrease in a serum creatinine level to the normal value. Prerenal, renal, and postrenal causes accounted for 36.5% (99 patients), 46.5% (126 patients) and 17.0% (46 patients), respectively, of the incidence of AKI. Conservative, surgical, and renal replacement treatments were given to 180 (66.4%), 30 (11.1%) and 61 patients (22.5%), respectively. The overall recovery rate was 21.0%, and the mortality rate was 19.6%. Levels of Cl−, Na+ and carbon dioxide combining power decreased with increasing severity of AKI. Cause and treatment were significantly associated with AKI prognosis. Likewise, the severity of AKI was significantly associated with cause, treatment and prognosis. Multivariate logistic regression analysis found that respiratory injury and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) were associated with AKI patient death. Cause, treatment and AKIN stage are associated with the prognosis of AKI. Respiratory injury and MODS are prognostic factors for death of AKI patients.
PMCID: PMC3931618  PMID: 24586237

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