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author:("Liu, jinhua")
1.  FIZZ2/RELM-β Induction and Role in Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Found in inflammatory zone (FIZZ) 2, also known as resistin-like molecule (RELM)-β, belongs to a novel cysteine-rich secreted protein family named FIZZ/RELM. Its function is unclear, but a closely related family member, FIZZ1, has profibrotic activities. The human ortholog of rodent FIZZ1 has not been identified, but human FIZZ2 has significant sequence homology to both rodent FIZZ2 (59%) and FIZZ1 (50%). Given the greater homology to rodent FIZZ2, analyzing the role of FIZZ2 in a rodent model of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis would be of greater potential relevance to human fibrotic lung disease. The results showed that FIZZ2 was highly induced in lungs of rodents with bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis and of human patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. FIZZ2 expression was induced in rodent and human lung epithelial cells by Th2 cytokines, which was mediated via STAT6 signaling. The FIZZ2 induction in murine lungs was found to be essential for pulmonary fibrosis, as FIZZ2 deficiency significantly suppressed pulmonary fibrosis and associated enhanced extracellular matrix and cytokine gene expression. In vitro analysis indicated that FIZZ2 could stimulate type I collagen and α-smooth muscle actin expression in lung fibroblasts. Furthermore, FIZZ2 was shown to have chemoattractant activity for bone marrow (BM) cells, especially BM-derived CD11c+ dendritic cells. Notably, lung recruitment of BM-derived cells was impaired in FIZZ2 knockout mice. These findings suggest that FIZZ2 is a Th2-associated multifunctional mediator with potentially important roles in the pathogenesis of fibrotic lung diseases.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1000964
PMCID: PMC4030639  PMID: 21602491
2.  Hemostatic Effects of Microbubble-Enhanced Low-Intensity Ultrasound in a Liver Avulsion Injury Model 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e95589.
Objectives
Microbubble-enhanced therapeutic ultrasound (MEUS) can block the blood flow in the organs. The aim of this study was to evaluate the hemostatic effect of microbubble-enhanced pulsed, low-intensity ultrasound in a New Zealand White rabbit model of avulsion trauma of the liver. The therapeutic ultrasound (TUS) transducer was operated with the frequency of 1.2 MHz and an acoustic pressure of 3.4 MPa. Microbubble-(MB) enhanced ultrasound (MEUS) (n = 6) was delivered to the distal part of the liver where the avulsion was created. Livers were treated by TUS only (n = 4) or MB only (n = 4) which served as controls. Bleeding rates were measured and contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) was performed to assess the hemostatic effect, and liver hemoperfusion before and after treatment. Generally, bleeding rates decreased more than 10-fold after the treatment with MEUS compared with those of the control group (P<0.05). CEUS showed significant declines in perfusion. The peak intensity value and the area under the curve also decreased after insonation compared with those of the control group (P<0.05). Histological examination showed cloudy and swollen hepatocytes, dilated hepatic sinusoids, perisinusoidal spaces with erythrocyte accumulation in small blood vessels, obvious hemorrhage around portal areas and scattered necrosis in liver tissues within the insonation area of MEUS Group. In addition, necrosis was found in liver tissue 48 h after insonation. We conclude that MEUS might provide an effective hemostatic therapy for serious organ trauma such as liver avulsion injury.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095589
PMCID: PMC4006836  PMID: 24788757
3.  Rapamycin Inhibition of Polyposis and Progression to Dysplasia in a Mouse Model 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e96023.
Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is often due to adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene germline mutations. Somatic APC defects are found in about 80% of colorectal cancers (CRCs) and adenomas. Rapamycin inhibits mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) protein, which is often expressed in human adenomas and CRCs. We sought to assess the effects of rapamycin in a mouse polyposis model in which both Apc alleles were conditionally inactivated in colon epithelium. Two days after inactivating Apc, mice were given rapamycin or vehicle in cycles of two weeks on and two weeks off. Polyps were scored endoscopically. Mice were euthanized at time points or when moribund, and tissue analyses were performed. In other studies, mice with demonstrable Apc-defective colon polyps were given rapamycin, followed by analysis of their colon tissues. The median survival of mice receiving rapamycin treatment cycles was 21.5 versus 6.5 weeks in control mice (p = 0.03), and rapamycin-treated mice had a significantly lower percentage of their colon covered with polyps (4.3+/− 2 vs 56.5+/− 10.8 percent, p = 0.001). Mice with Apc-deficient colon tissues that developed high grade dysplasia treated with rapamycin underwent treatment for significantly longer than mice treated with vehicle (15.8 vs 5.1 weeks, p = 0.003). In Apc-defective colon tissues, rapamycin treatment was linked to decreased levels of β-catenin and Sox9 at 7 weeks. Other effects of rapamycin in Apc-defectivecolon tissues included decreased proliferation and increased numbers of differentiated goblet cells at 7 weeks. Rapamycin did not affect β-catenin-regulated gene expression in cultured intestinal epithelial cells. Rapamycin has potent inhibitory effects in a mouse colon polyposis model, and mTOR inhibition is linked to decreased proliferation and increased expression of differentiation markers in Apc-mutant colon epithelium and delays development of dysplasia. Our findings highlight the possibility that mTOR inhibitors may have relevance for polyposis inhibition approaches in FAP patients.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096023
PMCID: PMC3999114  PMID: 24763434
4.  The In Vivo Fibrotic Role of FIZZ1 in Pulmonary Fibrosis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88362.
FIZZ (found in inflammatory zone) 1, a member of a cysteine-rich secreted protein family, is highly induced in lung allergic inflammation and bleomycin induced lung fibrosis, and primarily expressed by airway and type II alveolar epithelial cells. This novel mediator is known to stimulate α-smooth muscle actin and collagen expression in lung fibroblasts. The objective of this study was to investigate the in vivo effects of FIZZ1 on the development of lung fibrosis by evaluating bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in FIZZ1 deficient mice. FIZZ1 knockout mice exhibited no detectable abnormality. When these mice were treated with bleomycin they exhibited significantly impaired pulmonary fibrosis relative to wild type mice, along with impaired proinflammatory cytokine/chemokine expression. Deficient lung fibroblast activation was also noted in the FIZZ1 knockout mice. Moreover, recruitment of bone marrow-derived cells to injured lung was deficient in FIZZ1 knockout mice. Interestingly in vitro FIZZ1 was shown to have chemoattractant activity for bone marrow cells, including bone marrow-derived dendritic cells. Finally, overexpression of FIZZ1 exacerbated fibrosis. These findings suggested that FIZZ1 exhibited profibrogenic properties essential for bleomycin induced pulmonary fibrosis, as reflected by its ability to induce myofibroblast differentiation and recruit bone marrow-derived cells.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088362
PMCID: PMC3916640  PMID: 24516640
5.  Needle-knife therapy improves the clinical symptoms of knee osteoarthritis by inhibiting the expression of inflammatory cytokines 
Knee osteoarthritis (KOA) is a degenerative joint disease that occurs mainly in the elderly population. However, there are currently no effective treatments for treating this condition. In this study, the efficacy of needle-knife therapy, a technique of traditional Chinese medicine that has been widely used to treat KOA was investigated. Patients (n=170) with KOA were randomly divided for needle-knife therapy (treatment group) and acupuncture therapy (control group). Outcome evaluation included stiffness, pain, physiological function, overall changes, total symptom score, clinical curative effects and the concentrations of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in the synovial fluid. The trial was completed in 151 patients (233 knees) from a total of 170 patients (264 knees); the treatment group comprised 76 patients (117 knees) who completed the trial and 9 patients (14 knees) who were removed from the study, and the control group comprised 75 patients (116 knees) who completed the trial and 10 patients (17 knees) who were removed from the study. The symptom scores of KOA in stages I–IV were reduced significantly in the treatment group and those of stages I–III were decreased significantly in the control group. The effective rate of the KOA therapy in the patients of stages III and IV in the treatment group was significantly higher than that in the control group. After treatment, the decrements of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α in the treatment group were greater than those in the control group. These results showed that the use of needle-knife therapy to treat KOA effectively improved the clinical symptoms by inhibiting the expression of inflammatory cytokines.
doi:10.3892/etm.2014.1516
PMCID: PMC3961116  PMID: 24669238
needle-knife therapy; osteoarthritis; knee joint; acupuncture
6.  De novo transcriptome profiling uncovers a drastic downregulation of photosynthesis upon nitrogen deprivation in the nonmodel green alga Botryosphaerella sudeticus 
BMC Genomics  2013;14(1):715.
Background
Neutral lipid storage is enhanced by nitrogen deprivation (ND) in numbers of green microalgal species. However, little is known about the metabolic pathways whose transcription levels are most significantly altered following ND in green microalgae, especially the nonmodel species.
Results
To start gaining knowledge on this, we performed transcriptome profiling of the nonmodel green microalga Botryosphaerella sudeticus cells in response to ND. Transcriptome of B. sudeticus is de novo assembled based on millions of HiSEQ short sequence reads using CLC Genomics Workbench software. The resulting non-redundant ESTs are annotated based on the best hits generated from the BLASTX homology comparison against the “best” proteins in the model microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Chlorella variabilis. By using a pathway-based approach according to KEGG databases, we show that ESTs encoding ribosomal proteins and photosynthetic functions are the most abundantly expressed ESTs in the rapidly growing B. sudeticus cells. We find that ESTs encoding photosynthetic function but not the ribosomal proteins are most drastically downregulated upon ND. Notably, ESTs encoding lipid metabolic pathways are not significantly upregulated. Further analyses indicate that chlorophyll content is markedly decreased by 3-fold and total lipid content is only slightly increased by 50%, consistent with the transcriptional profiling. On the other hand, carbon content and photosynthesis efficiency are only marginally decreased by 7% and 20%, respectively, indicating that photosynthesis is only slightly reduced upon drastic downregulation of photosynthetic ESTs and chlorophyll content upon ND. In addition, TAG content is found to be greatly increased by 50-fold, though total lipid content is only slightly increased by 1.5-fold.
Conclusions
Taken together, our results suggest that light-harvesting proteins and chlorophylls are in excess in B. sudeticus. Degradation of excess photosynthesis proteins is most likely a mechanism for recycling of nitrogen-rich molecules to synthesize new proteins for preparation of gametogenesis and zygospore formation in adaptation and survival upon ND. Furthermore, our analyses indicate that TAG accumulation is largely attributed to the modification of other pre-existing lipid molecules, rather than de novo synthesis. We propose that this is likely an evolutionarily conserved mechanism in many green microalgae species.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-715) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-715
PMCID: PMC4050207  PMID: 24138407
Next-generation sequencing; De novo assembly; Transcriptome profiling; Metabolic pathways; B. sudeticus UTEX2629
7.  Hsp70-Hsp40 Chaperone Complex Functions in Controlling Polarized Growth by Repressing Hsf1-Driven Heat Stress-Associated Transcription 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(10):e1003886.
How the molecular mechanisms of stress response are integrated at the cellular level remains obscure. Here we show that the cellular polarity machinery in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe undergoes dynamic adaptation to thermal stress resulting in a period of decreased Cdc42 activity and altered, monopolar growth. Cells where the heat stress-associated transcription was genetically upregulated exhibit similar growth patterning in the absence of temperature insults. We identify the Ssa2-Mas5/Hsp70-Hsp40 chaperone complex as repressor of the heat shock transcription factor Hsf1. Cells lacking this chaperone activity constitutively activate the heat-stress-associated transcriptional program. Interestingly, they also exhibit intermittent monopolar growth within a physiological temperature range and are unable to adapt to heat stress. We propose that by negatively regulating the heat stress-associated transcription, the Ssa2-Mas5 chaperone system could optimize cellular growth under different temperature regiments.
Author Summary
Heat stress, caused by fluctuations in ambient temperature, occurs frequently in nature. How organisms adapt and maintain regular patterns of growth over a range of environmental conditions remain poorly understood. Our work in the simple unicellular yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe suggests that the heat stress-associated transcription must be repressed by the evolutionary conserved Hsp70-Hsp40 chaperone complex to allow cells to adapt the polarized growth machinery to elevated temperature.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003886
PMCID: PMC3798271  PMID: 24146635
8.  Genetic variations of E6 and long control region of human papillomavirus type 16 from patients with cervical lesion in Liaoning, China 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:459.
Background
High-risk human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) is a risk factor for cervical cancer. Previous studies suggest that polymorphisms in the E6 gene or the long control region(LCR)of HPV16 may alter the oncogenic potential of the virus. The aims of this study were to investigate the genetic variations of HPV16 E6 gene and LCR in isolates from Chinese population and correlation of the E6 and LCR polymorphisms with disease status of infected patients.
Methods
HPV16 positive endocervical specimens were collected from 304 women living in Northeast of China. Sequences of E6 gene and LCR were analyzed by PCR-sequencing.
Results
Two lineages were found in the populations, including EUR lineage and As lineage. Based on the HPV16 prototype, the most frequent variation in the E6 gene was T178A/G (48.7%), followed by mutations of G94A (12.2%) and T350G (9.9%). The rank orders of incidence of E6 variations in amino acid were as follows: D25E (46.3%), L83V (9.9%) and H78Y (4.3%). Nucleotide variations in LCR were found in all the 304 isolates from HPV16 positive cervical samples. The most commonly observed LCR variations were the transition replacement G7193T, 7434CIns, G7521A and 7863ADel (100%). The As lineage was associated with HPV persistent infections and with disease status of ≥CIN2,3. The EUR lineage variants showed a negative trend of association with the severity of ≥CIN2,3. Among 41 variations found in LCR, 25 (61.0%) were located at the binding sites for transcription factors. Occurrence of ≥CIN2,3 was significantly associated with the mutations of R10G/L83V in E6 and the C7294T co-variation in LCR, after adjusting for ages of infected patients.
Conclusions
Associations between As lineage and HPV persistent infections, and with disease status of ≥CIN2,3, and an association between the EUR lineage and negative trend of association with the severity of ≥CIN2,3 were found in this study. An association between a co-variation of R10G/L83V in E6 and C7294T in LCR and an increased risk for developing CIN-2,3 was found in a HPV16 infected population of Chinese women. These findings indicate that HPV16 polymorphism influences development of CIN-2,3.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-459
PMCID: PMC3852402  PMID: 24099556
HPV16; E6; LCR; Cervical lesion
9.  The Condition-Dependent Transcriptional Landscape of Burkholderia pseudomallei 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(9):e1003795.
Burkholderia pseudomallei (Bp), the causative agent of the often-deadly infectious disease melioidosis, contains one of the largest prokaryotic genomes sequenced to date, at 7.2 Mb with two large circular chromosomes (1 and 2). To comprehensively delineate the Bp transcriptome, we integrated whole-genome tiling array expression data of Bp exposed to >80 diverse physical, chemical, and biological conditions. Our results provide direct experimental support for the strand-specific expression of 5,467 Sanger protein-coding genes, 1,041 operons, and 766 non-coding RNAs. A large proportion of these transcripts displayed condition-dependent expression, consistent with them playing functional roles. The two Bp chromosomes exhibited dramatically different transcriptional landscapes — Chr 1 genes were highly and constitutively expressed, while Chr 2 genes exhibited mosaic expression where distinct subsets were expressed in a strongly condition-dependent manner. We identified dozens of cis-regulatory motifs associated with specific condition-dependent expression programs, and used the condition compendium to elucidate key biological processes associated with two complex pathogen phenotypes — quorum sensing and in vivo infection. Our results demonstrate the utility of a Bp condition-compendium as a community resource for biological discovery. Moreover, the observation that significant portions of the Bp virulence machinery can be activated by specific in vitro cues provides insights into Bp's capacity as an “accidental pathogen”, where genetic pathways used by the bacterium to survive in environmental niches may have also facilitated its ability to colonize human hosts.
Author Summary
Bacterial transcriptomes are dynamic, context-specific and condition-dependent. Infection by the soil bacterium, Burkholderia pseudomallei, causes melioidosis, an often fatal infectious disease of humans and animals. Possessing a large multi-chromosomal genome, B. pseudomallei is able to persist and survive in a multitude of environments. To obtain a comprehensive overview of B. pseudomallei expressed transcripts, we initiated whole-genome transcriptome profiling covering a broad spectrum of conditions and exposures — a so-called “condition compendium”. Using the compendium, we confirmed many previously-annotated genes and operons, and also identified hundreds of novel transcripts including anti-sense transcripts and non-coding RNAs. By systematically examining genes exhibiting highly similar expression patterns, we ascribed putative functions to previously uncharacterized genes, and identified novel regulatory elements controlling these expression patterns. We also used the compendium to elucidate candidate virulence pathways associated with quorum-sensing and infection in mice. Our study showcases the power of a B. pseudomallei condition compendium as a valuable resource for understanding microbial physiology and the pathogenesis of melioidosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003795
PMCID: PMC3772027  PMID: 24068961
10.  Primary Pericardial Mesothelioma: A Rare Entity 
Primary pericardial malignant mesothelioma is an extremely rare neoplasm that arises from the pericardial mesothelial cell layers. Clinical symptoms and signs are frequently nonspecific, and the diagnosis is usually made after surgery or at autopsy. There is no standard treatment for pericardial mesothelioma; nonetheless, radical surgery is the mainstay of therapy for localized disease. The neoplasm is highly aggressive and carries a dismal prognosis with an overall survival of less than six months. This paper presents a case study of a 68-year-old patient with a primary pericardial malignant mesothelioma. Radiologic evaluation revealed a small nodule in the posterior pericardium with pericardial and bilateral pleural effusions. The diagnosis was established after surgery by histological and immunohistochemical studies. The patient remained alive and free of disease for about 24 months; however, due to rapid local recurrence, the patient died 27 months after the surgical treatment.
doi:10.1155/2013/283601
PMCID: PMC3697233  PMID: 23840993
11.  Aberrant expression of DNA damage response proteins is associated with breast cancer subtype and clinical features 
Landmark studies of the status of DNA damage checkpoints and associated repair functions in preneoplastic and neoplastic cells has focused attention on importance of these pathways in cancer development, and inhibitors of repair pathways are in clinical trials for treatment of triple negative breast cancer. Cancer heterogeneity suggests that specific cancer subtypes will have distinct mechanisms of DNA damage survival, dependent on biological context. In this study, status of DNA damage response (DDR)-associated proteins was examined in breast cancer subtypes in association with clinical features; 479 breast cancers were examined for expression of DDR proteins γH2AX, BRCA1, pChk2, and p53, DNA damage-sensitive tumor suppressors Fhit and Wwox, and Wwox-interacting proteins Ap2α, Ap2γ, ErbB4, and correlations among proteins, tumor subtypes, and clinical features were assessed. In a multivariable model, triple negative cancers showed significantly reduced Fhit and Wwox, increased p53 and Ap2γ protein expression, and were significantly more likely than other subtype tumors to exhibit aberrant expression of two or more DDR-associated proteins. Disease-free survival was associated with subtype, Fhit and membrane ErbB4 expression level and aberrant expression of multiple DDR-associated proteins. These results suggest that definition of specific DNA repair and checkpoint defects in subgroups of triple negative cancer might identify new treatment targets. Expression of Wwox and its interactor, ErbB4, was highly significantly reduced in metastatic tissues vs. matched primary tissues, suggesting that Wwox signal pathway loss contributes to lymph node metastasis, perhaps by allowing survival of tumor cells that have detached from basement membranes, as proposed for the role of Wwox in ovarian cancer spread.
doi:10.1007/s10549-010-1248-6
PMCID: PMC3677189  PMID: 21069451
Triple negative breast cancer; DNA damage response proteins; Lymph node metastases; Fhit; Wwox; Tissue microarrays
12.  Genome Sequence of Pseudomonas putida Strain SJTE-1, a Bacterium Capable of Degrading Estrogens and Persistent Organic Pollutants 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(17):4781-4782.
Pseudomonas putida strain SJTE-1 can utilize 17β-estradiol and other environmental estrogens/toxicants, such as estrone, and naphthalene as sole carbon sources. We report the draft genome sequence of strain SJTE-1 (5,551,505 bp, with a GC content of 62.25%) and major findings from its annotation, which could provide insights into its biodegradation mechanisms.
doi:10.1128/JB.01060-12
PMCID: PMC3415482  PMID: 22887678
13.  Genome Sequence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Strain SJTD-1, a Bacterium Capable of Degrading Long-Chain Alkanes and Crude Oil 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(17):4783-4784.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain SJTD-1 can utilize long-chain alkanes, diesel oil, and crude oil as sole carbon sources. We report the draft genome sequence of strain SJTD-1 (6,074,058 bp, with a GC content of 66.83%) and major findings from its annotation, which could provide insights into its petroleum biodegradation mechanism.
doi:10.1128/JB.01061-12
PMCID: PMC3415508  PMID: 22887679
14.  The Neural Pathway of Reflex Regulation of Electroacupuncture at Orofacial Acupoints on Gastric Functions in Rats 
Acupuncture has a reflex regulation in gastrointestinal functions, which is characterized with segment. In the present study, the neural pathway of electroacupuncture (EA) at orofacial acupoints (ST2) on gastric myoelectric activity (GMA) in rats was investigated. The results indicated that EA at ST2 facilitated spike bursts of GMA, which is similar to EA at limbs and opposite to EA at abdomen. The excitatory effect was abolished by the transaction of infraorbital nerves, dorsal vagal complex lesion, and vagotomy, respectively. In addition, microinjection of L-glutamate into the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) attenuated the excitatory effect. All these data suggest that the dorsal vagal complex is involved in the reflex regulation of EA at orofacial acupoints on gastric functions and NTS-dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV) inhibitory connections may be essential for it.
doi:10.1155/2012/753264
PMCID: PMC3549401  PMID: 23346213
15.  Aging is associated with an increase in T cells and inflammatory macrophages in visceral adipose tissue1 
Age-related adiposity has been linked to chronic inflammatory diseases in late-life. To date, the studies on adipose tissue leukocytes and aging have not taken into account the heterogeneity of adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs), nor have they examined how age impacts other leukocytes such as T cell in fat. Therefore, we have performed a detailed examination of ATM subtypes in young and old mice using state of the art techniques. Our results demonstrate qualitative changes in ATMs with aging that generate a decrease in resident Type 2 (M2) ATMs. The profile of ATMs in old fat shifts towards a pro-inflammatory environment with increased numbers of CD206-CD11c- (double negative) ATMs. The mechanism of this aging-induced shift in the phenotypic profile of ATMs was found to be related to a decrease in PPARγ expression in ATMs and alterations in chemokine/chemokine receptor expression profiles. Furthermore, we have revealed a profound and unexpected expansion of adipose tissue T (ATT) cells in visceral fat with aging that includes a significant induction of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in fat. Our findings demonstrate a unique inflammatory cell signature in the physiologic context of aging adipose tissue that differs from those induced in setting of diet-induced obesity.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1102188
PMCID: PMC3237772  PMID: 22075699
16.  Discovery of Isoxazole Analogs of Sazetidine-A as Selective α4β2-Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor (nAChR) Partial Agonists for the Treatment of Depression 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2011;54(20):7280-7288.
Depression, a common neurological condition, is one of the leading causes of disability and suicide worldwide. Standard treatment targeting monoamine transporters selective for the neurotransmitters serotonin and noradrenalin are not able to help many patients that are poor responders. This study advances the development of sazetidine-A analogs that interact with α4β2-nAChR as partial agonists and that possess favorable antidepressant profiles. The resulting compounds that are highly selective for the α4β2 subtype of nAChR over α3β4-nAChRs are partial agonists at the α4β2 subtype and have excellent antidepressant behavioral profiles as measured by the mouse forced swim test. Preliminary ADMET studies for one promising ligand revealed an excellent plasma protein binding (PPB) profile, low CYP450 related metabolism, and low cardiovascular toxicity, suggesting it is a promising lead as well as a drug candidate to be advanced through the drug discovery pipeline.
doi:10.1021/jm200855b
PMCID: PMC3197876  PMID: 21905669
17.  Chromatin-Associated Proteins Revealed by SILAC-Proteomic Analysis Exhibit a High Likelihood of Requirement for Growth Fitness under DNA Damage Stress 
Chromatin-associated nonhistone proteins (CHRAPs) are readily collected from the DNaseI digested crude chromatin preparation. In this study, we show that the absolute abundance-based label-free quantitative proteomic analysis fail to identify potential CHRAPs from the CHRAP-prep. This is because that the most-highly abundant cytoplasmic proteins such as ribosomal proteins are not effectively depleted in the CHRAP-prep. Ribosomal proteins remain the top-ranked abundant proteins in the CHRAP-prep. On the other hand, we show that relative abundance-based SILAC-mediated quantitative proteomic analysis is capable of discovering the potential CHRAPs in the CHRAP-prep when compared to the whole-cell-extract. Ribosomal proteins are depleted from the top SILAC ratio-ranked proteins. In contrast, nucleus-localized proteins or potential CHRAPs are enriched in the top SILAC-ranked proteins. Consistent with this, gene-ontology analysis indicates that CHRAP-associated functions such as transcription, regulation of chromatin structures, and DNA replication and repair are significantly overrepresented in the top SILAC-ranked proteins. Some of the novel CHRAPs are confirmed using the traditional method. Notably, phenotypic assessment reveals that the top SILAC-ranked proteins exhibit the high likelihood of requirement for growth fitness under DNA damage stress. Taken together, our results indicate that the SILAC-mediated proteomic approach is capable of determining CHRAPs without prior knowledge.
doi:10.1155/2012/630409
PMCID: PMC3415198  PMID: 22900175
18.  Computational challenges and human factors influencing the design and use of clinical research participant eligibility pre-screening tools 
Background
Clinical trials are the primary mechanism for advancing clinical care and evidenced-based practice, yet challenges with the recruitment of participants for such trials are widely recognized as a major barrier to these types of studies. Data warehouses (DW) store large amounts of heterogenous clinical data that can be used to enhance recruitment practices, but multiple challenges exist when using a data warehouse for such activities, due to the manner of collection, management, integration, analysis, and dissemination of the data. A critical step in leveraging the DW for recruitment purposes is being able to match trial eligibility criteria to discrete and semi-structured data types in the data warehouse, though trial eligibility criteria tend to be written without concern for their computability. We present the multi-modal evaluation of a web-based tool that can be used for pre-screening patients for clinical trial eligibility and assess the ability of this tool to be practically used for clinical research pre-screening and recruitment.
Methods
The study used a validation study, usability testing, and a heuristic evaluation to evaluate and characterize the operational characteristics of the software as well as human factors affecting its use.
Results
Clinical trials from the Division of Cardiology and the Department of Family Medicine were used for this multi-modal evaluation, which included a validation study, usability study, and a heuristic evaluation. From the results of the validation study, the software demonstrated a positive predictive value (PPV) of 54.12% and 0.7%, respectively, and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 73.3% and 87.5%, respectively, for two types of clinical trials. Heuristic principles concerning error prevention and documentation were characterized as the major usability issues during the heuristic evaluation.
Conclusions
This software is intended to provide an initial list of eligible patients to a clinical study coordinators, which provides a starting point for further eligibility screening by the coordinator. Because this software has a high “rule in” ability, meaning that it is able to remove patients who are not eligible for the study, the use of an automated tool built to leverage an existing enterprise DW can be beneficial to determining eligibility and facilitating clinical trial recruitment through pre-screening. While the results of this study are promising, further refinement and study of this and related approaches to automated eligibility screening, including comparison to other approaches and stakeholder perceptions, are needed and future studies are planned to address these needs.
doi:10.1186/1472-6947-12-47
PMCID: PMC3407791  PMID: 22646313
Clinical trials as topic/Methods; Patient selection; Medical records systems, Computerized; Patients/Classification; User-computer interface
19.  Genomic Polymorphism of Human Papillomavirus Type 52 in Women from Northeast China 
Human papillomavirus (HPV) 52 is an oncogenic HPV type prevalent in Asia. The aim of the study was to analyze HPV 52 genetic variations in women from Northeast China. To explore the intratypic variants of HPV 52, the genomic regions of L1, E6, E7 and long control region (LCR) of HPV 52, which have been identified in women from Northeast China by HPV GenoArray test, were analyzed. Twenty-five mutations were identified in the regions examined. Of the mutations found in the L1 gene, three novel nonsynonymous mutations of C5640T, A5641T and G5642A were located within the region that encodes the binding domain of neutralizing antibodies against HPV 52. Although four variations were identified in HPV 52 E6 and E7 genes, no significant association was found between the mutations and the cytological lesion of the patients. Eight mutations, including a novel CTT7681–7683 deletion, found in the LCR of HPV 52 encompassed the known transcription binding sites, which may possibly affect the transcription of the oncogenic genes of E6 and E7. The most prevalent HPV 52 variant in women from northeastern China belongs to clade L1-LN-A. The genetic variations of HPV 52, including three novel nonsynonymous mutations of C5640T, A5641T and G5642A in the L1 gene and a novel CTT7681–7683 deletion in the LCR, were first documented in strains from women in Northeast China. The statistical result showed no associations between the variants and the severities of the infected women. These findings provide new data regarding gene variations of HPV 52.
doi:10.3390/ijms131114962
PMCID: PMC3509622  PMID: 23203106
HPV 52; E6; E7; LCR; L1; genomic polymorphism
20.  Chemistry and Pharmacological Characterization of Novel Nitrogen Analogs of AMOP-H-OH (Sazetidine-A; 6-[5-(Azetidin-2-ylmethoxy)pyridin-3-yl]hex-5-yn-1-ol) as α4β2-Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor-Selective Partial Agonists 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2010;53(19):6973-6985.
In order to advance therapeutic applications of nicotinic ligands, continuing research efforts are being directed toward the identification and characterization of novel nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) ligands that are both potent and subtype selective. Herein we report the synthesis and pharmacological evaluation of members of a new series of 3-alkoxy-5-aminopyridine derivatives that display good selectivity for the α4β2-nAChR subtype based on ligand binding and functional evaluations. The most potent ligand in this series, compound 64, showed high radioligand binding affinity and selectivity for rat α4β2-nAChR with a Ki value of 1.2 nM and 4700-fold selectivity for α4β2-over α3β4-nAChR, and ~100-fold selectivity for functional, high-sensitivity, human α4β2-nAChR over α3β4*-nAChR. In the mouse forced swim test, compound 64 exhibited antidepressant-like effects. Structure-activity relationship (SAR) analyses suggest that the introduction of additional substituents to the amino group present on the pyridine ring of the N-demethylated analogue of compound 17 can provide potent α4β2-nAChR-selective ligands for possible use in treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders including depression.
doi:10.1021/jm100765u
PMCID: PMC2957884  PMID: 20822184
21.  Construction of a Bacterial Assay for Estrogen Detection Based on an Estrogen-Sensitive Intein ▿ †  
Escherichia coli strain DIER was constructed for estrogen detection by inserting an estrogen-sensitive intein (VMAER intein) into the specific site of the constitutively expressed chromosomal lacZ gene. This VMAER intein was generated by replacing the endonuclease region of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae VMA intein with the estrogen binding region of the human estrogen receptor α (hERα). When there were estrogens or analogs, the splicing of the VMAER intein was induced to produce the mature LacZ protein, which was detected through a β-galactosidase colorimetric assay. Eight typical chemicals (17-β-estradiol, bisphenol A, chrysene, 6-OH-chrysene, benz[a]anthracene, pyrene, progesterone, and testosterone) were detected using this DIER strain, and the whole detection procedure was accomplished in 2 h. Their 50% effective concentrations (EC50), relative estrogenic activities, and estradiol equivalency factors were calculated and were quite consistent with those detected with the yeast estrogen screening (YES) system. Furthermore, the estrogenic activities of the synthetic musk samples extracted from the wastewater and waste sludge of a sewage treatment plant of Shanghai (China) were detected, and their results were comparable to those obtained from the YES system and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In conclusion, the DIER bioassay could fill a niche for the efficient, rapid, high-throughput screening of estrogenic compounds and has potential for the remote, near-real-time monitoring of environmental estrogens.
doi:10.1128/AEM.02336-10
PMCID: PMC3067455  PMID: 21317264
22.  Deconvolution of Chromatin Immunoprecipitation-Microarray (ChIP-chip) Analysis of MBF Occupancies Reveals the Temporal Recruitment of Rep2 at the MBF Target Genes ▿ § 
Eukaryotic Cell  2011;10(1):130-141.
MBF (or DSC1) is known to regulate transcription of a set of G1/S-phase genes encoding proteins involved in regulation of DNA replication. Previous studies have shown that MBF binds not only the promoter of G1/S-phase genes, but also the constitutive genes; however, it was unclear if the MBF bindings at the G1/S-phase and constitutive genes were mechanistically distinguishable. Here, we report a chromatin immunoprecipitation-microarray (ChIP-chip) analysis of MBF binding in the Schizosaccharomyces pombe genome using high-resolution genome tiling microarrays. ChIP-chip analysis indicates that the majority of the MBF occupancies are located at the intragenic regions. Deconvolution analysis using Rpb1 ChIP-chip results distinguishes the Cdc10 bindings at the Rpb1-poor loci (promoters) from those at the Rpb1-rich loci (intragenic sequences). Importantly, Res1 binding at the Rpb1-poor loci, but not at the Rpb1-rich loci, is dependent on the Cdc10 function, suggesting a distinct binding mechanism. Most Cdc10 promoter bindings at the Rpb1-poor loci are associated with the G1/S-phase genes. While Res1 or Res2 is found at both the Cdc10 promoter and intragenic binding sites, Rep2 appears to be absent at the Cdc10 promoter binding sites but present at the intragenic sites. Time course ChIP-chip analysis demonstrates that Rep2 is temporally accumulated at the coding region of the MBF target genes, resembling the RNAP-II occupancies. Taken together, our results show that deconvolution analysis of Cdc10 occupancies refines the functional subset of genomic binding sites. We propose that the MBF activator Rep2 plays a role in mediating the cell cycle-specific transcription through the recruitment of RNAP-II to the MBF-bound G1/S-phase genes.
doi:10.1128/EC.00218-10
PMCID: PMC3019803  PMID: 21076007
23.  Deciphering transcription factor binding patterns from genome-wide high density ChIP-chip tiling array data 
BMC Proceedings  2011;5(Suppl 2):S8.
Background
The binding events of DNA-interacting proteins and their patterns can be extensively characterized by high density ChIP-chip tiling array data. The characteristics of the binding events could be different for different transcription factors. They may even vary for a given transcription factor among different interaction loci. The knowledge of binding sites and binding occupancy patterns are all very useful to understand the DNA-protein interaction and its role in the transcriptional regulation of genes.
Results
In the view of the complexity of the DNA-protein interaction and the opportunity offered by high density tiled ChIP-chip data, we present a statistical procedure which focuses on identifying the interaction signal regions instead of signal peaks using moving window binomial testing method and deconvolving the patterns of interaction using peakedness and skewness scores. We analyzed ChIP-chip data of 4 different DNA interacting proteins including transcription factors and RNA polymerase in fission yeast using our procedure. Our analysis revealed the variation of binding patterns within and across different DNA interacting proteins. We present their utility in understanding transcriptional regulation from ChIP-chip data.
Conclusions
Our method can successfully detect the signal regions and characterize the binding patterns in ChIP-chip data which help appropriate analysis of the ChIP-chip data.
doi:10.1186/1753-6561-5-S2-S8
PMCID: PMC3090766  PMID: 21554766
24.  Identification of an Exon 4-Deletion Variant of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor with Increased Metastasis-Promoting Capacity12 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2011;13(5):461-471.
Several types of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene alternations have been observed in human tumors. Here we present a novel EGFR variant with aberrant splicing of exon 4 (named as de4 EGFR). Variant-specific polymerase chain reaction showed that de4 EGFR was expressed in some glioma (4/40), prostate cancer (3/11), and ovarian cancer (3/9) tissues but not in tissues adjacent to tumors or normal tissues. de4 EGFR displayed an enhanced transformation and a higher metastasis-promoting capacity in comparison to wild-type EGFR. With minimal EGF-binding activity, de4 EGFR underwent ligand-independent autophosphorylation and self-dimerization. Moreover, in serum-starved condition, de4 EGFR expression in U87 MG cells significantly upregulated the extracellular signal-regulated kinase and AKT phosphorylation and expression of JUN and Src. Importantly, E-cadherin expression was barely detectable in the U87 MG cells expressing de4 EGFR and restored expression of E-cadherin in these cells inhibited their metastatic behaviors. Taken together, we identified a novel EGFR variant with increased metastasis-promoting activity that may become a promising new target for cancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC3084623  PMID: 21532887
25.  Antibody Dynamics of 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) Virus in Infected Patients and Vaccinated People in China 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(2):e16809.
Background
To evaluate the risk of the recurrence and the efficiency of the vaccination, we followed-up antibody responses in patients with the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza and persons who received the pandemic H1N1 vaccine in Guangzhou China.
Methods
We collected serum samples from 129 patients and 86 vaccinated persons at day 0, 15, 30, 180 after the disease onset or the vaccination, respectively. Antibody titers in these serum samples were determined by haemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay using a local isolated virus strain A/Guangdong Liwan/SWL1538/2009(H1N1).
Results
HI antibody positive rate of the patients increased significantly from 0% to 60% at day 15 (χ2 = 78, P<0.001) and 100% at day 30 (χ2 = 23, P<0.001), but decreased significantly to 52% at day 180 (χ2 = 38, P<0.001), while that of vaccinated subjects increased from 0% to 78% at day 15 (χ2 = 110, P<0.001) and 81% at day 30 (χ2 = 0.32, P = 0.57), but decreased significantly to 34% at day 180 (χ2 = 39, P<0.001). Geometric mean titers (GMT) of HI antibodies in positive samples from the patients did not change significantly between day 15 and day 30 (T = 0.92, P = 0.36), but it decreased significantly from 80 at day 30 to 52 at day 180 (T = 4.5, P<0.001). GMT of vaccinated persons increased significantly from 100 at day 15 to 193 at day 30 (T = 4.5, P<0.001), but deceased significantly to 74 at day 180 (T = 5.1, P<0.001). Compared to the patients, the vaccinated subjects showed lower seroconversion rate (χ2 = 11, P<0.001; χ2 = 5.9, P = 0.015), but higher GMT (T = 6.0, P<0.001; T = 3.6, P = 0.001) at day 30 and day 180, respectively.
Conclusion
Vaccination of 2009 influenza A (H1N1) was effective. However, about half or more recovered patients and vaccinated persons might have lost sufficient immunity against the recurrence of the viral infection after half a year. Vaccination or re-vaccination may be necessary for prevention of the recurrence.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016809
PMCID: PMC3036653  PMID: 21347418

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