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1.  Renoprotective effects of olmesartan medoxomil on diabetic nephropathy in streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats 
Biomedical Reports  2013;2(1):24-28.
Olmesartan medoxomil (OM) is one of the newest members of the angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) family. The renoprotective effects of the angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonist OM was investigated in a streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rat model. In this study, we investigated whether OM was able to ameliorate diabetic nephropathy (DN). Thirty male Sprague Dawley rats were assigned to 3 groups: the non-diabetic (group A, n=10), the untreated STZ-induced DN control (group B, n=10) and the STZ-induced DN treated with OM (group C, n=10). Blood pressure (BP) and glucose, creatinine (Cr), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), superoxide dismutase (SOD), malondialdehyde (MDA) microalbumin and urinary protein concentrations were measured. In STZ diabetic rats, BP, glucose, Cr, BUN, MDA and urinary protein levels were significantly increased compared to the non-diabetic control group. OM significantly improved the biological indices in the DN rats. The renal pathological changes were also observed under a light microscope. Our results suggested that OM exerted renoprotective effects on rats with STZ-induced diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3917007  PMID: 24649063
renoprotective effects; olmesartan medoxomil; diabetic nephropathy
2.  Children with Tourette’s Syndrome May Suffer Immunoglobulin A Dysgammaglobulinemia: Preliminary Report 
Biological psychiatry  2009;67(7):679-683.
Postinfectious autoimmunity has been implicated in Tourette’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder (TS/OCD), whereas increased frequency of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) in TS/OCD patients suggests immune deficiency. We hypothesized that antineuronal antibodies may be elevated in patients (reflecting autoimmune processes), and levels of total immunoglobulins (Igs) may be decreased (reflecting immune deficiency).
We analyzed plasma of TS/OCD patients (n =24) and healthy age- and sex-matched control subjects (n =22) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the levels of total and specific IgG, IgM, and IgA against antigens previously identified in multiple sclerosis (myelin basic protein and myelin-associated glycoprotein) and Sydenham’s chorea (ganglioside-GM1, lysoganglioside, and tubulin).
Total IgA was decreased in TS/OCD patients (median 115 mg/100 mL) compared with control subjects (141 mg/100 mL; p = .02). Specific IgA against all antigens, except tubulin were also decreased in the patients (MPB 0 vs. 13 [ELISA units [EU]; myelin-associated glycoprotein 29 vs. 44 EU, p = .04; ganglioside GM1 21 vs. 35 EU, p = .01; lysoganglioside 44 vs. 56 EU, p = .03; tubulin 44 vs. 44 EU, p = .8). The levels of total IgA and anti-myelin basic protein (MBP) IgA were significantly lower in the subgroup of pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with Streptococcus (PANDAS) cases (n =10) than in non-PANDAS cases (n =9; total IgA 98 mg/100 mL vs. 133 mg/mL, p = .03; anti-MBP IgA 1 vs. 6 EU, p = .03) or healthy control subjects (total IgA 141 mg/100 mL, p = .02; anti-MBP IgA 13 EU, p = .005).
At least some TS/OCD patients may suffer IgA dysgammaglobulinemia, possibly rendering the children more prone to URTI.
PMCID: PMC3974615  PMID: 20006327
Autoimmunity; immune deficiency; immunoglobulins; Group A β-hemolytic streptococcus; PANDAS; Tourette’s syndrome
3.  α-Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone Protects Retinal Vascular Endothelial Cells from Oxidative Stress and Apoptosis in a Rat Model of Diabetes 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e93433.
Oxidative stress and apoptosis are among the earliest lesions of diabetic retinopathy. This study sought to examine the anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic effects of α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) in early diabetic retinas and to explore the underlying mechanisms in retinal vascular endothelial cells.
Sprague-Dawley rats were injected intravenously with streptozocin to induce diabetes. The diabetic rats were injected intravitreally with α-MSH or saline. At week 5 after diabetes, the retinas were analyzed for reactive oxygen species (ROS) and gene expression. One week later, the retinas were processed for terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling staining and transmission electron microscopy. Retinal vascular endothelial cells were stimulated by high glucose (HG) with or without α-MSH. The expression of Forkhead box O genes (Foxos) was examined through real-time PCR. The Foxo4 gene was overexpressed in endothelial cells by transient transfection prior to α-MSH or HG treatment, and oxidative stress and apoptosis were analyzed through CM-H2DCFDA and annexin-V assays, respectively.
In diabetic retinas, the levels of H2O2 and ROS and the total anti-oxidant capacity were normalized, the apoptotic cell number was reduced, and the ultrastructural injuries were ameliorated by α-MSH. Treatment with α-MSH also corrected the aberrant changes in eNOS, iNOS, ICAM-1, and TNF-α expression levels in diabetic retinas. Furthermore, α-MSH inhibited Foxo4 up-regulation in diabetic retinas and in endothelial cells exposed to HG, whereas Foxo4 overexpression abrogated the anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic effects of α-MSH in HG-stimulated retinal vascular endothelial cells.
α-MSH normalized oxidative stress, reduced apoptosis and ultrastructural injuries, and corrected gene expression levels in early diabetic retinas. The protective effects of α-MSH in retinal vascular endothelial cells may be mediated through the inhibition of Foxo4 up-regulation induced by HG. This study suggests an α-MSH-mediated potential intervention approach to early diabetic retinopathy and a novel regulatory mechanism involving Foxo4.
PMCID: PMC3973693  PMID: 24695675
4.  Soft Constraints in Nonlinear Spectral Fitting with Regularized Lineshape Deconvolution 
This paper presents a novel method for incorporating a priori knowledge into regularized nonlinear spectral fitting as soft constraints. Regularization was recently introduced to lineshape deconvolution as a method for correcting spectral distortions. Here, the deconvoluted lineshape was described by a new type of lineshape model and applied to spectral fitting. The non-linear spectral fitting was carried out in two steps that were subject to hard constraints and soft constraints, respectively. The hard constraints step provided a starting point and, therefore, only the changes of the relevant variables were constrained in the soft constraints step and incorporated into the linear sub-steps of the Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm. The method was demonstrated using localized averaged echo time point resolved spectroscopy (PRESS) proton spectroscopy of human brains.
PMCID: PMC3432296  PMID: 22618964
lineshape; deconvolution; regularization; soft constraints; spectral fitting
5.  Effects of imposed defocus of opposite sign on temporal gene expression patterns of BMP4 and BMP7 in chick RPE 
Experimental eye research  2013;109:98-106.
This study investigated the effects of imposed optical defocus on the expression patterns of bone morphogenetic protein 4 and 7 (BMP4, BMP7) in chick retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), as indicators of roles in postnatal eye growth regulation. BMP4 and BMP7 gene and protein expression patterns were characterized for retina, RPE and choroid tissues of young normal White-Leghorn chickens. The effects of short-term (2 and 48 h) exposure to monocular +10 and −10 diopter (D) lenses on RPE gene expression of BMP4 and BMP7 were also examined. Tissues from both treated and fellow eyes as well as from eyes of age-matched untreated birds were included in the latter experiment. Of ocular tissues comprising the posterior wall of the chick eye, RPE showed the highest expression of BMP4 and BMP7 mRNA, compared to retina and choroid. Western blots and immunohistochemisty confirmed the expression of BMP4 and BMP7 protein in all layers - retina, RPE, choroid and sclera. With imposed defocus, both BMP4 and BMP7 showed bidirectional changes in expression in RPE, however, with different temporal patterns. With +10 D lenses, BMP4 gene expression was up-regulated after both 2 and 48 h of treatment, while BMP7 expression was up-regulated only after 48 h of lens wear. With −10 D lenses, both BMP4 and BMP7 showed down-regulation of gene expression for both 2 and 48 h treatment durations. With the −10 D lens treatment applied for 48 h, gene expression for both BMP4 and BMP7 was also down-regulated in contralateral fellows of treated eyes compared to eyes of untreated chicks. The rapid changes in gene expression in chick RPE observed for both BMP4 and BMP7, up or down according to the sign of imposed optical defocus, resemble similar trends reported for BMP2. Further studies are needed to confirm the roles of BMPs as ocular growth modulators, as suggested by these data. The data also suggest a role for the RPE as a conduit for relaying growth modulatory retinal signals.
PMCID: PMC3615070  PMID: 23428741
myopia; retinal pigment epithelium (RPE); Bone Morphogenetic protein4 (BMP4); BMP7
6.  Pathology of US Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Strain PC21A in Gnotobiotic Pigs 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2014;20(4):662-665.
To understand the progression of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus infection, we inoculated gnotobiotic pigs with a newly emerged US strain, PC21A, of the virus. At 24–48 hours postinoculation, the pigs exhibited severe diarrhea and vomiting, fecal shedding, viremia, and severe atrophic enteritis. These findings confirm that strain PC21A is highly enteropathogenic.
PMCID: PMC3966387  PMID: 24656149
porcine epidemic diarrhea virus; porcine epidemic diarrhea, pathogenesis, outbreak, USA, gnotobiotic pigs, US strain, pigs, strain PC21A, viruses, enteropathogenic
7.  VASP Activation via the Gα13/RhoA/PKA Pathway Mediates Cucurbitacin-B-Induced Actin Aggregation and Cofilin-Actin Rod Formation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e93547.
Cucurbitacin B (CuB), a potent antineoplastic agent of cucurbitacin triterpenoids, induces rapid disruption of actin cytoskeleton and aberrant cell cycle inhibiting carcinogenesis. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of such anticancer effects remains incompletely understood. In this study, we showed that CuB treatment rapidly induced vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) phosphorylation (i.e. activation) at the Ser157 residue and generated VASP clumps which were co-localized with amorphous actin aggregates prior to the formation of highly-ordered cofilin-actin rods in melanoma cells. Knockdown of VASP or inhibition of VASP activation using PKA-specific inhibitor H89 suppressed CuB-induced VASP activation, actin aggregation and cofilin-actin rod formation. The VASP activation was mediated by cAMP-independent PKA activation as CuB decreased the levels of cAMP while MDL12330A, an inhibitor of adenylyl cyclase, had weak effect on VASP activation. Knockdown of either Gα13 or RhoA not only suppressed VASP activation, but also ameliorated CuB-induced actin aggregation and abrogated cofilin-actin rod formation. Collectively, our studies highlighted that the CuB-induced actin aggregation and cofilin-actin rod formation was mediated via the Gα13/RhoA/PKA/VASP pathway.
PMCID: PMC3972149  PMID: 24691407
8.  Effect of Intraoperative High-Dose Remifentanil on Postoperative Pain: A Prospective, Double Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91454.
Remifentanil, an ultra-short-acting opioid, is widely used for pain control during surgery. However, regular dose (RD) remifentanil exacerbates postoperative pain in a dose-dependent manner. Recent studies suggest that high-dose (HD) remifentanil offers sustained analgesia in experimental studies. We thus hypothesized that intraoperative administration of high-dose remifentanil may attenuate postoperative pain.
In this prospective, randomized, double blind, controlled clinical study, sixty patients undergoing thyroidectomy (18–60 years-of-age) received an intraoperative infusion of 0.2 (RD group) or 1.2 μg kg−1min−1 (HD group) remifentanil during thyroidectomy. A visual analogue scale (VAS) was used to measure pain intensity. Mechanical pain threshold on the forearm was assessed using von Frey filaments before surgery (baseline), 2 h postoperatively and 18–24 h postoperatively. The primary outcome was to compare the difference of VAS score at different time points after operation and morphine consumption 24 h postoperatively between RD and HD groups. The second outcome was to compare the difference of mechanical pain thresholds in the forearm postoperatively between RD and the HD groups.
VAS scores were lower 30 min postoperatively in the HD group (1.29±1.67, 95% CI 0.64–1.94) compared with the RD group (2.21±1.67, 95% CI 1.57–2.84) (t = 3.427, p = 0.0043, RD group vs. HD group). Postoperative morphine consumption was much lower in the HD group compared with the RD group (1.27±1.88 mg vs. 0.35±1.25 mg, p = 0.033). In both groups, mechanical pain threshold was decreased 18–24 h postoperatively (2.93±0.209 Ln(g) vs. 3.454±2.072 Ln(g), p = 0.032 in RD group; 2.910±0.196 Ln(g) vs. 3.621±0.198 Ln(g), p = 0.006 in HD group, 18–24 h postoperatively vs baseline).
Intraoperative administration of high-dose remifentanil decreased VAS scores and morphine consumption postoperatively. Thus, modulation of intraoperative opiates may be a simple and effective method of postoperative pain management.
Trial Registration
This trial is registered in, with the Name: Effect of Higher Doses of Remifentanil on Postoperative Pain in Patients Undergoing Thyroidectomy, and ID number: NCT01761149.
PMCID: PMC3965388  PMID: 24667391
9.  The Association between RAD23B Ala249Val Polymorphism and Cancer Susceptibility: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91922.
A number of studies have investigated associations of genetic variation in RAD23B Ala249Val (rs1805329 C>T) with cancer susceptibility; however, the findings are inconsistent. We performed a meta-analysis to acquire a more precise estimation of the relationship.
We searched literatures from PubMed, Embase and Web of Science. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to estimate the association between Ala249Val polymorphism and cancer risk.
A total of 23 studies consisting of 10837 cases and 13971 controls were included in this meta-analysis. Overall, no significant associations were found between RAD23B Ala249Val polymorphism and cancer risk (Val/Val vs. Ala/Ala: OR = 0.97, 95% CI = 0.75–1.25; Ala/Val vs. Ala/Ala: OR = 1.08, 95% CI = 0.96–1.22; recessive model: OR = 0.93, 95% CI = 0.76–1.14 and dominant model: OR = 1.07, 95% CI = 0.94–1.20). We did not find any significant associations in the further stratification analyses by cancer type, ethnicity and source of control.
Despite some limitations, this meta-analysis indicates that it is unlikely that the RAD23B 249Val/Val polymorphism may contribute to the individual susceptibility to cancer risk. However, further advanced designed studies with larger sample size and different ethnicities should be conducted to confirm our results.
PMCID: PMC3958435  PMID: 24643114
10.  A Cucumber DELLA Homolog CsGAIP May Inhibit Staminate Development through Transcriptional Repression of B Class Floral Homeotic Genes 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91804.
In hermaphroditic Arabidopsis, the phytohormone gibberellin (GA) stimulates stamen development by opposing the DELLA repression of B and C classes of floral homeotic genes. GA can promote male flower formation in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), a typical monoecious vegetable with unisexual flowers, and the molecular mechanism remains unknown. Here we characterized a DELLA homolog CsGAIP in cucumber, and we found that CsGAIP is highly expressed in stem and male flower buds. In situ hybridization showed that CsGAIP is greatly enriched in the stamen primordia, especially during the hermaphrodite stage of flower development. Further, CsGAIP protein is located in nucleus. CsGAIP can partially rescue the plant height, stamen development and fertility phenotypes of Arabidopsis rga-24/gai-t6 mutant, and ectopic expression of CsGAIP in wide-type Arabidopsis results in reduced number of stamens and decreased transcription of B class floral homeotic genes APETALA3 (AP3) and PISTILLATA (PI). Our data suggest that monoecious CsGAIP may inhibit staminate development through transcriptional repression of B class floral homeotic genes in Arabidopsis.
PMCID: PMC3954735  PMID: 24632777
11.  FSP27 and PLIN1 interaction promotes the formation of large lipid droplets in human adipocytes 
Human adipocytes express high levels of two distinct lipid droplet proteins, Fat Specific Protein 27 (FSP27; also called CIDEC), a member of the CIDE family, and perilipin1 (PLIN1), a member of the PAT family. Both proteins play a role in fat metabolism in adipocytes, but how they interact is not known. Our present study demonstrates that FSP27 and PLIN1 co-localize and interact in cultured human primary adipocytes. We also found that the C-terminal domain of FSP27, aa 120–220, interacts with PLIN1. Individual expression of exogenous FSP27 or PLIN1 increased triglyceride content and decreased glycerol release (a measure of lipolysis), but co-expression of both proteins did not further increase triglyceride content or decrease lipolysis in human adipocytes. However, the combination of PLIN1 and FSP27 increased the average size of lipid droplets or caused the formation of unilocular adipocytes. Our data suggest that FSP27 interacts with PLIN1 to regulate lipid droplet size in human adipocytes in a concerted manner.
PMCID: PMC3595328  PMID: 23399566
Adipocytes; fat metabolism; fatty acids; glycerol; fat; lipolysis
12.  Body Weight Selection Affects Quantitative Genetic Correlated Responses in Gut Microbiota 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e89862.
The abundance of gut microbiota can be viewed as a quantitative trait, which is affected by the genetics and environment of the host. To quantify the effects of host genetics, we calculated the heritability of abundance of specific microorganisms and genetic correlations among them in the gut microbiota of two lines of chickens maintained under the same husbandry and dietary regimes. The lines, which originated from a common founder population, had undergone >50 generations of selection for high (HW) or low (LW) 56-day body weight and now differ by more than 10-fold in body weight at selection age. We identified families of Paenibacillaceae, Streptococcaceae, Helicobacteraceae, and Burkholderiaceae that had moderate heritabilities. Although there were no obvious phenotypic correlations among gut microbiota, significant genetic correlations were observed. Moreover, the effects were modified by genetic selection for body weight, which altered the quantitative genetic background of the host. Heritabilities for Bacillaceae, Flavobacteriaceae, Helicobacteraceae, Comamonadaceae, Enterococcaceae, and Streptococcaceae were moderate in LW line and little to zero in the HW line. These results suggest that loci associated with these microbiota families, while exhibiting genetic variation in LW, have been fixed in HW line. Also, long term selection for body weight has altered the genetic correlations among gut microbiota. No microbiota families had significant heritabilities in both the LW and HW lines suggesting that the presence and/or absence of a particular microbiota family either has a strong growth promoting or inhibiting effect, but not both. These results demonstrate that the quantitative genetics of the host have considerable influence on the gut microbiota.
PMCID: PMC3946484  PMID: 24608294
13.  Cytokine Signaling Modulates Blood-Brain Barrier Function 
Current pharmaceutical design  2011;17(33):3729-3740.
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) provides a vast interface for cytokines to affect CNS function. The BBB is a target for therapeutic intervention. It is essential, therefore, to understand how cytokines interact with each other at the level of the BBB and how secondary signals modulate CNS functions beyond the BBB. The interactions between cytokines and lipids, however, have not been fully addressed at the level of the BBB. Here, we summarize current understanding of the localization of cytokine receptors and transporters in specific membrane microdomains, particularly lipid rafts, on the luminal (apical) surface of the microvascular endothelial cells composing the BBB. We then illustrate the clinical context of cytokine effects on the BBB by neuroendocrine regulation and amplification of inflammatory signals. Two unusual aspects discussed are signaling crosstalk by different classes of cytokines and genetic regulation of drug efflux transporters. We also introduce a novel area of focus on how cytokines may act through nuclear hormone receptors to modulate efflux transporters and other targets. A specific example discussed is the ATP-binding cassette transporter-1 (ABCA-1) that regulates lipid metabolism. Overall, cytokine signaling at the level of the BBB is a crucial feature of the dynamic regulation that can rapidly change BBB function and affect brain health and disease.
PMCID: PMC3939622  PMID: 21834767
Cytokines; blood-brain barrier; TNF; IL-15; leptin; adipokines; NFκB; STAT3; promoter analysis; ABCA-1; P-gp
14.  Longitudinal Study of [D10]Phenanthrene Metabolism by the Diol Epoxide Pathway in Smokers 
The extent of metabolism of [D10]phenanthrene to [D10]r-1,t-2,3,c-4-tetrahydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetradeuterophenanthrene ([D10]PheT) could be a biomarker of human metabolic activation of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, leading to identification of smokers particularly susceptible to lung cancer. The longitudinal stability of [D10]PheT was evaluated in 24 cigarette smokers given 7 – 8 oral doses of [D10]phenanthrene (10 μg) over 5.5 months. [D10]PheT in 6 h urine was quantified after each dose. The overall coefficient of variation for 24 subjects was (mean ± S.D.) 27.4 ± 8.83%. Thus, a single administration of [D10]phenanthrene is likely sufficient to determine a smoker’s ability to metabolize it to [D10]PheT.
PMCID: PMC3577059  PMID: 23336104
[D10]phenanthrene; [D10]r-1, t-2, 3, c-4-tetrahydroxy-1, 2, 3, 4-tetradeuterophenanthrene ([D10]PheT); urinary metabolites; carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; cigarette smokers
15.  A novel role of hematopoietic CCL5 in promoting triple-negative mammary tumor progression by regulating generation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells 
Cell Research  2012;23(3):394-408.
CCL5 is a member of the CC chemokine family expressed in a wide array of immune and non-immune cells in response to stress signals. CCL5 expression correlates with advanced human breast cancer. However, its functional significance and mode of action have not been established. Here, we show that CCL5-deficient mice are resistant to highly aggressive, triple-negative mammary tumor growth. Hematopoietic CCL5 is dominant in this phenotype. The absence of hematopoietic CCL5 causes aberrant generation of CD11b+/Gr-1+, myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in the bone marrow in response to tumor growth by accumulating Ly6Chi and Ly6G+ MDSCs with impaired capacity to suppress cytotoxicity of CD8+ T cells. These properties of CCL5 are observed in both orthotopic and spontaneous mammary tumors. Antibody-mediated systemic blockade of CCL5 inhibits tumor progression and enhances the efficacy of therapeutic vaccination against non-immunogenic tumors. CCL5 also helps maintain the immunosuppressive capacity of human MDSCs. Our study uncovers a novel, chemokine-independent activity of the hematopoietically derived CCL5 that promotes mammary tumor progression via generating MDSCs in the bone marrow in cooperation with tumor-derived colony-stimulating factors. The study sheds considerable light on the interplay between the hematopoietic compartment and tumor niche. Because of the apparent dispensable nature of this molecule in normal physiology, CCL5 may represent an excellent therapeutic target in immunotherapy for breast cancer as well as a broad range of solid tumors that have significant amounts of MDSC infiltration.
PMCID: PMC3587709  PMID: 23266888
CCL5; myeloid-derived suppressor cell; triple-negative breast cancer; immune response; mammary tumor; bone marrow; cytotoxic T lymphocyte
16.  Attitudes Toward HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Western China 
AIDS Patient Care and STDs  2013;27(3):137-141.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), as demonstrated in recently published clinical trials, is one promising approach for controlling the emerging epidemic among men who have sex with men (MSM). We evaluated the attitudes towards use of PrEP among MSM in western China. A total of 1402 participants completed a self-administered questionnaire. Overall, 22% of the participants reported that they had heard of PrEP, <1% had ever used medicine to prevent HIV, and 64% reported that they were absolutely willing to use PrEP if it were proven to be safe and effective. The predictors of willingness to use PrEP included lower education, moderate income compared with the lowest income, never or rarely finding sexual partners through the Internet in the past 6 months, sexually transmitted infection (STI) history, more knowledge of AIDS, worrying about HIV as a threat to themselves and their family, having previously heard of PrEP, and believing that PrEP was effective in preventing HIV. This study demonstrates that Chinese MSM have moderate awareness of PrEP and a high interest in using it.
PMCID: PMC3595955  PMID: 23425017
17.  Cisplatin upregulates MSH2 expression by reducing miR-21 to inhibit A549 cell growth 
miR-21 can act as an oncogene. MSH2 has been reported that it involved in the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) system and overexpression of MSH2 can induce cell apoptosis. We predicted that MSH2-3′-untranslated region (3′-UTR) was targeted by miR-21 using microRNA analysis softwares. To further explore the roles of miR-21 and MSH2 in A549 cells, we constructed pcDNA-GFP-msh-UTR vector (including MSH2-3′-UTR) to transfect A549 cells with miR-21, GFP positive cells were estimated under a fluorescence microscopy and by flow cytometry. We found miR-21 could obviously downregulate the expression of MSH2, which was further proved by western blotting. Moreover, we treated A549 cells with cisplatin and found that cisplatin could inhibit A549 cell growth in vitro and in vivo. We also found that cisplatin could downregulate miR-21 expression, while increase MSH2 expression in A549 cells. Our results demonstrated that cisplatin could upregulate the expression of MSH2 through downregulating miR-21 to inhibit A549 cell proliferation, which provides new gene targets for drug design or cancer therary.
PMCID: PMC3646586  PMID: 23485110
microRNA; Lung cancer; MSH2; Cisplatin; Gene expression
18.  Drosophila glypicans Dally and Dally-like are essential regulators for JAK/STAT signaling and Unpaired distribution in eye development 
Developmental biology  2013;375(1):23-32.
The highly conserved janus kinase (JAK)-signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway is a well-known signaling system that is involved in many biological processes. In Drosophila, this signaling cascade is activated by ligands of the Unpaired (Upd) family. Therefore, the regulation of Upd distribution is one of the key issues in controlling the JAK/STAT signaling activity and function. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) are macromolecules that regulate the distribution of many ligand proteins including Wingless, Hedgehog and Decapentaplegic (Dpp). Here we show that during Drosophila eye development, HSPGs are also required in normal Upd distribution and JAK/STAT signaling activity. Loss of HSPG biosynthesis enzyme Brother of tout-velu (Botv), Sulfateless (Sfl), or glypicans Division abnormally delayed (Dally) and Dally-like protein (Dlp) led to reduced levels of extracellular Upd and reduction in JAK/STAT signaling activity. Overexpression of dally resulted in the accumulation of Upd and up-regulation of the signaling activity. Luciferase assay also showed that Dally promotes JAK/STAT signaling activity, and is dependent on its heparin sulfate chains. These data suggest that Dally and Dlp are essential for Upd distribution and JAK/STAT signaling activity.
PMCID: PMC3922208  PMID: 23313126
JAK/STAT; Unpaired; HSPGs; Dally; Dally-like; distribution
19.  Transgenic expression of delta-6 and delta-15 fatty acid desaturases enhances omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid accumulation in Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which contain two or more double bonds in their backbone, are the focus of intensive global research, because of their nutritional value, medicinal applications, and potential use as biofuel. However, the ability to produce these economically important compounds is limited, because it is both expensive and technically challenging to separate omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs) from natural oils. Although the biosynthetic pathways of some plant and microalgal ω-3 PUFAs have been deciphered, current understanding of the correlation between fatty acid desaturase content and fatty acid synthesis in Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 is incomplete.
We constructed a series of homologous vectors for the endogenous and exogenous expression of Δ6 and Δ15 fatty acid desaturases under the control of the photosynthesis psbA2 promoter in transgenic Synechocystis sp. PCC6803. We generated six homologous recombinants, harboring various fatty acid desaturase genes from Synechocystis sp. PCC6803, Gibberella fujikuroi and Mortierella alpina. These lines produced up to 8.9 mg/l of α-linolenic acid (ALA) and 4.1 mg/l of stearidonic acid (SDA), which are more than six times the corresponding wild-type levels, at 20°C and 30°C. Thus, transgenic expression of Δ6 and Δ15 fatty acid desaturases enhances the accumulation of specific ω-3 PUFAs in Synechocystis sp. PCC6803.
In the blue-green alga Synechocystis sp. PCC6803, overexpression of endogenous and exogenous genes encoding PUFA desaturases markedly increased accumulation of ALA and SDA and decreased accumulation of linoleic acid and γ-linolenic acid. This study lays the foundation for increasing the fatty acid content of cyanobacteria and, ultimately, for producing nutritional and medicinal products with high levels of essential ω-3 PUFAs.
PMCID: PMC3941260  PMID: 24581179
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; Gene expression; Fatty acid desaturase; Synechocystis sp. PCC6803
20.  Tissue elasticity displayed by elastography and its correlation with the characteristics of collagen type I and type III in prostatic stroma 
Asian Journal of Andrology  2014;16(2):305-308.
We investigated the prostate elasticity displayed by elastography and its correlation with the content and distribution of collagen type I (Col1) and type III (Col3). A total of 62 patients underwent transrectal real-time tissue elastography (TRTE) examinations. Targeted biopsies were performed after 12-core systematic biopsy. The tissues corresponding to the elastograms were stained with picric acid-sirius red. The distribution of Col1 and type Col3 was observed, and the collagen volume fraction (CVF) of these two types of collagen fibers was calculated. The CVFs of Col1 in the stiff and soft groups were 0.05 ± 0.02 and 0.02 ± 0.01 (P = 0.002), respectively. The CVFs of Col3 in the stiff and soft groups were 0.05 ± 0.04 and 0.07 ± 0.03 (P = 0.13), respectively. The circular analysis results showed that collagen fibers were disorganized both in the soft and stiff groups. Col1 and Col3 were mainly cross-linked, and some parallelization was observed in the sections. The distributions of Col1 and Col3 were different between the stiff and soft groups (P = 0.03). In conclusion, the texture of the prostate is due to the content of Col1 and its relative correlation with Col3.
PMCID: PMC3955345  PMID: 24435054
elastography; extracellular matrix; lesion; prostate; ultrasound
21.  7T MR spectroscopic imaging in the localization of surgical epilepsy 
Epilepsia  2013;54(9):1668-1678.
With the success that surgical approaches can provide for localization-related epilepsy, accurate seizure localization remains important. Although magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy has had success in earlier studies in medial temporal lobe epilepsy, there have been fewer studies evaluating its use in a broader range of localization-related epilepsy. With improvements in signal-to-noise with ultra-high field MR, we report on the use of high resolution 7T MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) in 25 surgically treated patients studied over a 3.5-year period.
Patients were included in this analysis if the region of MRSI study included the surgical resection region. Concordance between region of MRSI abnormalities and of surgical resection was classified into three groups (complete, partial, or no agreement) and outcome was dichotomized by International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) I–III and IV–VI groups. MRSI was performed with repetition time/echo time 1.5 s/40 msec in two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) encoding for robust detection of singlets N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), creatine (Cr), and choline with abnormalities in NAA/Cr determined with correction for tissue content of gray matter.
Key Findings
The concordance between MRSI-determined abnormality and surgical resection region was significantly related to outcome: Outcome was better if the resected tissue was metabolically abnormal. All 14 patients with complete resection of the region with the most severe metabolic abnormality had good outcome, including five requiring intracranial electroencephalography (EEG) analysis, whereas only 3/11 without complete resection of the most severe metabolic abnormality had good outcome (p < 0.001).
This is consistent with the seizure-onset zone being characterized by metabolic dysfunction and suggests that high resolution MRSI can help define these regions for the purposes of outcome prediction.
PMCID: PMC3938332  PMID: 23895497
Localization-related epilepsy; Spectroscopic imaging; Seizure localization; Outcomes
22.  Involved-field irradiation in definitive chemoradiotherapy for locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma 
Since there is high local failure and poor survival for unresectable esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), the necessity of elective node irradiation is controversial. The purpose of this study was to investigate the failure patterns and survival in patients with locally advanced ESCC receiving involved-field irradiation (IFI).
A retrospective study was preformed on the clinical records of patients with locally advanced ESCC, who have received IFI with concurrent chemotherapy between January 2003 and January 2009. Comparing the target volume and first sites of failure, patterns of failure were defined as in-field, out-of-field regional lymph node and distant failure. The survivals were analyzed by different patterns of failure.
Eighty patients were included in our study. With a median follow-up of 52.6 months, failures were observed in 76 patients. In-field recurrence, distant metastasis, and out-of-field regional failure were seen in 53.75%, 41.25%, 30% patients, respectively. There were significant differences in OS for patients with and without in-field (median OS 14.2 vs.17.4 m, P = 0.01)or distant failure(13.2 vs.15.9 m, P ≤ 0.0001), but not for out-of-field regional lymph node failure(both 14.5 m, P = 0.665).
The solitary regional nodal failure of out-of-field was acceptable in advanced ESCC patients treated with IFI. In-field and distant failures remained the predominant patterns and negatively impacted survival more significantly. Further investigation is needed to establish the optimal radiotherapy field for these patients at advanced stage.
PMCID: PMC3942777  PMID: 24571804
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Irradiation; Nodal metastasis; Patterns of failure; Prognosis
23.  Impact of currently prescribed lipid-lowering drugs on plasma PCSK9 concentration: single or in combination study in rats 
An emerging data suggested a significant impact of statins on PCSK9 concentration, while the rapid impacts of other lipid-lowering drugs such as ezetimibe and xuezhikang alone or in combination on PCSK9 and lipid profile have not been assessed. This study aims to investigate whether an enhanced PCSK9 concentration by single or combined therapy of lipid-lowering drugs currently used precedes the changes of lipid profile in rats.
Sixty-three rats were randomly divided into six groups and orally administrated with placebo (N = 13), ezetimibe 10 mg/kg daily, Xuezhikang 1200 mg/kg daily, ezetimibe 10 mg/kg plus Xuezhikang 1200 mg/kg daily, pitavastatin 10 mg/kg daily or pitavastatin 10 mg/kg plus ezetimibe 10 mg/kg daily for 3 days (N = 10 for each group respectively). Blood samples were obtained at day 3 after orally administration. Plasma PCSK9 levels were determined by ELISA and lipid profile were measured by enzymatic assay.
Ezetimibe, Xuezhikang and pitavastatin alone and Xuezhikang plus ezetimibe as well as pitavastatin plus ezetimibe increased PCSK9 levels by 124%, 56%, 111%, 63% and 204% respectively (p < 0.05 compared with placebo). However, Xuezhikang plus ezetimibe did not enhance greater PCSK9 levels compared to monotherapy. Ezetimibe and pitavastatin in combination induced higher PCSK9 levels than pitavastatin monotherapy or co-therapy with ezetimibe plus Xuezhikang. There was no significant difference between any groups with regard to lipid profile levels at day 3 (P > 0.05).
Elevated PCSK9 concentration by ezetimibe, Xuezhikang and pitavastatin alone or in combination was found prior to the alterations of lipid profile in rats. Combination of Xuezhikang and ezetimibe significantly attenuated increase in PCSK9 compared to ezetimibe plus pitavastatin, suggesting that the former combination may be better than the latter in future clinical application.
PMCID: PMC3931276  PMID: 24533584
PCSK9; Statin; Lipid profile; Rat
24.  White matter abnormalities in adolescents with generalized anxiety disorder: a diffusion tensor imaging study 
BMC Psychiatry  2014;14:41.
Previous neuroimaging studies have suggested an abnormal neural circuitry of emotion regulation including the amygdala and prefrontal cortex in both adult and adolescent generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) patients. Aberrant integrity of white matter in this neural circuitry has been verified in adult GAD patients. White matter abnormalities in adolescent GAD patients have not been detected.
Twenty-five adolescents with GAD and 24 healthy controls underwent a diffusion tensor imaging scan. Fractional anisotropy (FA) was compared between groups with a voxel-wise Tract-Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS) analysis method.
Compared with healthy controls, adolescents with GAD showed significantly reduced FA in bilateral uncinate fasciculus, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, inferior longitudinal fasciculus, and corona radiata.
The findings in the present study suggest a neural basis of emotion dysregulation in adolescent GAD patients.
PMCID: PMC3937009  PMID: 24528558
Generalized anxiety disorder; Adolescent; Diffusion tensor imaging; Fractional anisotropy
25.  Prognostic significance of Flotillin1 expression in clinically N0 tongue squamous cell cancer 
Purpose: The present study aimed to investigate the clinical and prognostic significance of Flotillin1 (FLOT1) in clinically N0 tongue squamous cell cancer (cN0 TSCC). Methods: Real-time PCR and Western blotting analyses were carried out to examine FLOT1 expression in four tongue squamous cell cancer cell lines, primary cultured normal tongue epithelial cells, and eight matched pairs of oral tongue cancer samples and adjacent non-cancerous tissue samples from the same patient. Immunohistochemistry was performed to examine FLOT1 protein expression in paraffin-embedded tissues from 181 cN0 TSCC patients. Statistical analyses evaluated the diagnostic value and the associations of FLOT1 expression with clinical parameters. Results: FLOT1 mRNA and protein levels were upregulated in tongue squamous cell cancer cell lines and cancerous tissues compared with that in TEC and adjacent non-cancerous tissue samples. The level of FLOT1 protein was positively correlated with clinical stage (P = 0.001), T classification (P = 0.009), N classification (P = 0.001) and recurrence (P = 0.018). Patients with higher FLOT1 expression had shorter overall survival times. Conclusion: Our results suggest that overexpression of FLOT1 can be found in patients with higher pathological stage, T classification, N classification or recurrence. FLOT1 expression is associated with cN0 TSCC progression and may be valuable for the prognostic evaluation of cN0 TSCC.
PMCID: PMC3971302
FLOT1; Flotillin1; prognosis; clinically N0 tongue squamous cell cancer

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