Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (111)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

more »
Year of Publication
1.  TLR3 Signaling in Macrophages Is Indispensable for the Protective Immunity of Invariant Natural Killer T Cells against Enterovirus 71 Infection 
PLoS Pathogens  2015;11(1):e1004613.
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is the most virulent pathogen among enteroviruses that cause hand, foot and mouth disease in children but rarely in adults. The mechanisms that determine the age-dependent susceptibility remain largely unclear. Here, we found that the paucity of invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells together with immaturity of the immune system was related to the susceptibility of neonatal mice to EV71 infection. iNKT cells were crucial antiviral effector cells to protect young mice from EV71 infection before their adaptive immune systems were fully mature. EV71 infection led to activation of iNKT cells depending on signaling through TLR3 but not other TLRs. Surprisingly, iNKT cell activation during EV71 infection required TLR3 signaling in macrophages, but not in dendritic cells (DCs). Mechanistically, interleukin (IL)-12 and endogenous CD1d-restricted antigens were both required for full activation of iNKT cells. Furthermore, CD1d-deficiency led to dramatically increased viral loads in central nervous system and more severe disease in EV71-infected mice. Altogether, our results suggest that iNKT cells may be involved in controlling EV71 infection in children when their adaptive immune systems are not fully developed, and also imply that iNKT cells might be an intervention target for treating EV71-infected patients.
Author Summary
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a major causative pathogen of hand, foot and mouth disease. EV71 infection occurs mainly in children but rarely in adults. The factors that determine the susceptibility of children to EV71 infection remain elusive. Here, we found that the paucity of invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells in new-born mice was associated with their susceptibility to EV71 infection. Furthermore, iNKT cells played a critical role in protecting older young mice from EV71 infection before their adaptive immune systems were fully developed. Mechanistically, TLR3 signaling in macrophages, but not in dendritic cells, was essentially required for iNKT cell activation during EV71 infection. Both interleukin (IL)-12 production and endogenous lipid antigens presented by macrophages were required for full iNKT cell activation. iNKT cells tended to prevent the dissemination of EV71 into central nervous system. Taken together, our findings provide a new insight into the susceptibility of children to EV71 infection, and imply that the manipulation of iNKT cells might represent a potential therapeutic strategy for HFMD and other viral infectious diseases in children.
PMCID: PMC4304831  PMID: 25615690
2.  Novel recombinant chimeric virus-like particle is immunogenic and protective against both enterovirus 71 and coxsackievirus A16 in mice 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:7878.
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) has been recognized as an important global public health issue, which is predominantly caused by enterovirus 71 (EV-A71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16). There is no available vaccine against HFMD. An ideal HFMD vaccine should be bivalent against both EV-A71 and CVA16. Here, a novel strategy to produce bivalent HFMD vaccine based on chimeric EV-A71 virus-like particles (ChiEV-A71 VLPs) was proposed and illustrated. The neutralizing epitope SP70 within the capsid protein VP1 of EV-A71 was replaced with that of CVA16 in ChiEV-A71 VLPs. Structural modeling revealed that the replaced CVA16-SP70 epitope is well exposed on the surface of ChiEV-A71 VLPs. These VLPs produced in Saccharomyces cerevisiae exhibited similarity in both protein composition and morphology as naive EV-A71 VLPs. Immunization with ChiEV-A71 VLPs in mice elicited robust Th1/Th2 dependent immune responses against EV-A71 and CVA16. Furthermore, passive immunization with anti-ChiEV-A71 VLPs sera conferred full protection against lethal challenge of both EV-A71 and CVA16 infection in neonatal mice. These results suggested that this chimeric vaccine, ChiEV-A71 might have the potential to be further developed as a bivalent HFMD vaccine in the near future. Such chimeric enterovirus VLPs provide an alternative platform for bivalent HFMD vaccine development.
PMCID: PMC4297979  PMID: 25597595
3.  Lineage-specific evolution of Methylthioalkylmalate synthases (MAMs) involved in glucosinolates biosynthesis 
Methylthioalkylmalate synthases (MAMs) encoded by MAM genes are central to the diversification of the glucosinolates, which are important secondary metabolites in Brassicaceae species. However, the evolutionary pathway of MAM genes is poorly understood. We analyzed the phylogenetic and synteny relationships of MAM genes from 13 sequenced Brassicaceae species. Based on these analyses, we propose that the syntenic loci of MAM genes, which underwent frequent tandem duplications, divided into two independent lineage-specific evolution routes and were driven by positive selection after the divergence from Aethionema arabicum. In the lineage I species Capsella rubella, Camelina sativa, Arabidopsis lyrata, and A. thaliana, the MAM loci evolved three tandem genes encoding enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of aliphatic glucosinolates with different carbon chain-lengths. In lineage II species, the MAM loci encode enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of short-chain aliphatic glucosinolates. Our proposed model of the evolutionary pathway of MAM genes will be useful for understanding the specific function of these genes in Brassicaceae species.
PMCID: PMC4315028
glucosinolates; MAM genes; syntenic; evolution; Brassicaceae
4.  Identification of Genomic Alterations in Pancreatic Cancer Using Array-Based Comparative Genomic Hybridization 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e114616.
Genomic aberration is a common feature of human cancers and also is one of the basic mechanisms that lead to overexpression of oncogenes and underexpression of tumor suppressor genes. Our study aims to identify frequent genomic changes in pancreatic cancer.
Materials and Methods
We used array comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) to identify recurrent genomic alterations and validated the protein expression of selected genes by immunohistochemistry.
Sixteen gains and thirty-two losses occurred in more than 30% and 60% of the tumors, respectively. High-level amplifications at 7q21.3–q22.1 and 19q13.2 and homozygous deletions at 1p33–p32.3, 1p22.1, 1q22, 3q27.2, 6p22.3, 6p21.31, 12q13.2, 17p13.2, 17q21.31 and 22q13.1 were identified. Especially, amplification of AKT2 was detected in two carcinomas and homozygous deletion of CDKN2C in other two cases. In 15 independent validation samples, we found that AKT2 (19q13.2) and MCM7 (7q22.1) were amplified in 6 and 9 cases, and CAMTA2 (17p13.2) and PFN1 (17p13.2) were homozygously deleted in 3 and 1 cases. AKT2 and MCM7 were overexpressed, and CAMTA2 and PFN1 were underexpressed in pancreatic cancer tissues than in morphologically normal operative margin tissues. Both GISTIC and Genomic Workbench software identified 22q13.1 containing APOBEC3A and APOBEC3B as the only homozygous deletion region. And the expression levels of APOBEC3A and APOBEC3B were significantly lower in tumor tissues than in morphologically normal operative margin tissues. Further validation showed that overexpression of PSCA was significantly associated with lymph node metastasis, and overexpression of HMGA2 was significantly associated with invasive depth of pancreatic cancer.
These recurrent genomic changes may be useful for revealing the mechanism of pancreatic carcinogenesis and providing candidate biomarkers.
PMCID: PMC4263743  PMID: 25502777
5.  Morphology, Carbohydrate Composition and Vernalization Response in a Genetically Diverse Collection of Asian and European Turnips (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e114241.
Brassica rapa displays enormous morphological diversity, with leafy vegetables, turnips and oil crops. Turnips (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa) represent one of the morphotypes, which form tubers and can be used to study the genetics underlying storage organ formation. In the present study we investigated several characteristics of an extensive turnip collection comprising 56 accessions from both Asia (mainly Japanese origin) and Europe. Population structure was calculated using data from 280 evenly distributed SNP markers over 56 turnip accessions. We studied the anatomy of turnip tubers and measured carbohydrate composition of the mature turnip tubers of a subset of the collection. The variation in 16 leaf traits, 12 tuber traits and flowering time was evaluated in five independent experiments for the entire collection. The effect of vernalization on flowering and tuber formation was also investigated. SNP marker profiling basically divided the turnip accessions into two subpopulations, with admixture, generally corresponding with geographical origin (Europe or Asia). The enlarged turnip tuber consists of both hypocotyl and root tissue, but the proportion of the two tissues differs between accessions. The ratio of sucrose to fructose and glucose differed among accessions, while generally starch content was low. The evaluated traits segregated in both subpopulations, with leaf shape, tuber colour and number of shoots per tuber explaining most variation between the two subpopulations. Vernalization resulted in reduced flowering time and smaller tubers for the Asian turnips whereas the European turnips were less affected by vernalization.
PMCID: PMC4256417  PMID: 25474111
6.  Development of reverse-transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay for rapid detection of novel avian influenza A (H7N9) virus 
BMC Microbiology  2014;14(1):271.
The emerged human infection with avian influenza A (H7N9) virus in China since 2013 has aroused global concerns. There is great demand for simple and rapid diagnostic method for early detection of H7N9 to provide timely treatment and disease control. The aim of the current study was to develop a rapid, accurate and feasible reverse-transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay for detection of H7N9 virus.
The detection limits of the H7- and N9-specific RT-LAMP assay were both approximately 0.2 PFU per reaction. No cross-reactivity was observed with other subtype of influenza viruses or common respiratory viral pathogens. The assay worked well with clinical specimens from patients and chickens, and exhibited high specificity and sensitivity.
The H7/N9 specific RT-LAMP assay was sensitive and accurate, which could be a useful alternative in clinical diagnostics of influenza A (H7N9) virus, especially in the hospitals and laboratories without sophisticated diagnostic systems.
PMCID: PMC4234856  PMID: 25394781
Influenza virus; H7N9 subtype; Reverse transcription-loop-mediated isothermal amplification; Molecular diagnosis
7.  Transplantation of ATP7B–Transduced Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells Decreases Copper Overload in Rats 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e111425.
Recent studies have demonstrated that transplantation of ATP7B-transduced hepatocytes ameliorates disease progression in LEC (Long-Evans Cinnamon) rats, a model of Wilson's disease (WD). However, the inability of transplanted cells to proliferate in a normal liver hampers long-term treatment. In the current study, we investigated whether transplantation of ATP7B-transduced bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) could decrease copper overload in LEC rats.
Materials and Methods
The livers of LEC rats were preconditioned with radiation (RT) and/or ischemia-reperfusion (IRP) before portal vein infusion of ATP7B-transduced MSCs (MSCsATP7B). The volumes of MSCsATP7B or saline injected as controls were identical. The expression of ATP7B was analyzed by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) at 4, 12 and 24 weeks post-transplantation. MSCATP7B repopulation, liver copper concentrations, serum ceruloplasmin levels, and alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) levels were also analyzed at each time-point post-transplantation.
IRP-plus-RT preconditioning was the most effective strategy for enhancing the engraftment and repopulation of transplanted MSCsATP7B. This strategy resulted in higher ATP7B expression and serum ceruloplasmin, and lower copper concentration in this doubly preconditioned group compared with the saline control group, the IRP group, and the RT group at all three time-points post-transplantation (p<0.05 for all). Moreover, 24 weeks post-transplantation, the levels of ALT and AST in the IRP group, the RT group, and the IRP-plus-RT group were all significantly decreased compared to those of the saline group (p<0.05 compared with the IRP group and RT group, p<0.01 compared with IRP-plus-RT group); ALT and AST levels were significantly lower in the IRP-plus-RT group compared to either the IRP group or the RT group (p<0.01 and p<0.05. respectively).
These results demonstrate that transplantation of MSCsATP7B into IRP-plus-RT preconditioned LEC rats decreased copper overload and was associated with an increase in MSC engraftment and repopulation.
PMCID: PMC4222898  PMID: 25375371
8.  Development of a Double Antibody Sandwich ELISA for West Nile Virus Detection Using Monoclonal Antibodies against Non-Structural Protein 1 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e108623.
The early diagnosis of West Nile virus (WNV) infection is important for successful clinical management and epidemiological control. The non-structural protein 1 (NS1) of flavivirus, a highly conserved and secreted glycoprotein, is abundant in the serum of flavivirus-infected patients and represents a useful early diagnostic marker. We developed a WNV-specific NS1 antigen-capture ELISA using two mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that recognised distinct epitopes of the NS1 protein of WNV as capture and detection antibodies. The antigen-capture ELISA displayed exclusive specificity to WNV without cross-reaction with other related members of the flavivirus family, including the dengue virus, yellow fever virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, and tick-borne encephalitis virus. Additionally, the specificity was presented as no false positive in normal (0/1003) and DENV-infected (0/107) human serum specimens. The detection limit of the antigen-capture ELISA was as low as 15 pg/ml of recombinant WNV NS1 protein (rWNV-NS1) and 6.1 plaque-forming units (PFU)/0.1 ml of WNV-infected culture supernatant. In mice infected with WNV, the NS1 protein was readily detected in serum as early as one day after WNV infection, prior to the development of clinical signs of the disease. The sensitivity of the NS1 capture ELISA (93.7%) was significantly higher (79.4%) than that of real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in 63 serum samples from WNV-infected mice (p = 0.035). This newly developed NS1 antigen-capture ELISA with high sensitivity and specificity could be used as an efficient method for the early diagnosis of WNV infection in animals or humans.
PMCID: PMC4193763  PMID: 25303282
9.  The Prognostic Value of Serum Neuron-Specific Enolase in Traumatic Brain Injury: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e106680.
Several studies have suggested that neuron-specific enolase (NSE) in serum may be a biomarker of traumatic brain injury. However, whether serum NSE levels correlate with outcomes remains unclear. The purpose of this review was to evaluate the prognostic value of serum NSE protein after traumatic brain injury.
PubMed and Embase were searched for relevant studies published up to October 2013. Full-text publications on the relationship of NSE to TBI were included if the studies concerned patients with closed head injury, NSE levels in serum after injury, and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) or Extended GOS (GOSE) scores or mortality. Study design, inclusion criteria, assay, blood sample collection time, NSE cutoff, sensitivity and specificity of NSE for mortality prediction (if sufficient information was provided to calculate these values), and main outcomes were recorded.
Sixteen studies were eligible for the current meta-analysis. In the six studies comparing NSE concentrations between TBI patients who died and those who survived, NSE concentrations correlated with mortality (M.D. 0.28, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.21 to 0.34; I2 55%). In the eight studies evaluating GOS or GOSE, patients with unfavorable outcomes had significantly higher NSE concentrations than those with favorable outcomes (M.D. 0.24, 95% CI, 0.17 to 0.31; I2 64%). From the studies providing sufficient data, the pooled sensitivity and specificity for mortality were 0.79 and 0.50, and 0.72 and 0.66 for unfavorable neurological prognosis, respectively. The areas under the SROC curve (AUC) of NSE concentrations were 0.73 (95% CI, 0.66–0.80) for unfavorable outcome and 0.76 (95% CI, 0.62–0.90) for mortality.
Mortality and unfavorable outcome were significantly associated with greater NSE concentrations. In addition, NSE has moderate discriminatory ability to predict mortality and neurological outcome in TBI patients. The optimal discrimination cutoff values and optimal sampling time remain uncertain because of significant variations between studies.
PMCID: PMC4154726  PMID: 25188406
10.  Human Enterovirus 71 Uncoating Captured at Atomic Resolution 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(6):3114-3126.
Human enterovirus 71 (EV71) is the major causative agent of severe hand-foot-and-mouth diseases (HFMD) in young children, and structural characterization of EV71 during its life cycle can aid in the development of therapeutics against HFMD. Here, we present the atomic structures of the full virion and an uncoating intermediate of a clinical EV71 C4 strain to illustrate the structural changes in the full virion that lead to the formation of the uncoating intermediate prepared for RNA release. Although the VP1 N-terminal regions observed to penetrate through the junction channel at the quasi-3-fold axis in the uncoating intermediate of coxsackievirus A16 were not observed in the EV71 uncoating intermediate, drastic conformational changes occur in this region, as has been observed in all capsid proteins. Additionally, the RNA genome interacts with the N-terminal extensions of VP1 and residues 32 to 36 of VP3, both of which are situated at the bottom of the junction. These observations highlight the importance of the junction for genome release. Furthermore, EV71 uncoating is associated with apparent rearrangements and expansion around the 2- and 5-fold axes without obvious changes around the 3-fold axes. Therefore, these structures enabled the identification of hot spots for capsid rearrangements, which led to the hypothesis that the protomer interface near the junction and the 2-fold axis permits the opening of large channels for the exit of polypeptides and viral RNA, which is an uncoating mechanism that is likely conserved in enteroviruses.
IMPORTANCE Human enterovirus 71 (EV71) is the major causative agent of severe hand-foot-and-mouth diseases (HFMD) in young children. EV71 contains an RNA genome protected by an icosahedral capsid shell. Uncoating is essential in EV71 life cycle, which is characterized by conformational changes in the capsid to facilitate RNA release into host cell. Here we present the atomic structures of the full virion and an uncoating intermediate of a clinical C4 strain of EV71. Structural analysis revealed drastic conformational changes associated with uncoating in all the capsid proteins near the junction at the quasi-3-fold axis and protein-RNA interactions at the bottom of the junction in the uncoating intermediate. Significant capsid rearrangements also occur at the icosahedral 2- and 5-fold axes but not at the 3-fold axis. Taking the results together, we hypothesize that the junction and nearby areas are hot spots for capsid breaches for the exit of polypeptides and viral RNA during uncoating.
PMCID: PMC3957924  PMID: 24352461
11.  Clearance of serum solutes by hemofiltration in dogs with severe heat stroke 
We have previously reported that hemofiltration (HF) may be an effective additional means of treating heat stroke when rapid cooling is not effective.
Dogs were assigned to a heat stroke (control) or heat stroke + hemofiltration (HF) group (n = 8 each group). After heat stroke induction, dogs in the HF group received HF for 3 h. Serum concentrations of interleukin (IL)-10, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, IL-6, blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine were measured at baseline and 1, 2, and 3 h after heat stroke. Clearance rates of solutes were determined 1, 2, and 3 h after the start of HF.
Serum concentrations of all solutes tended to increase with time after heat stroke in the control group, but decreased (BUN, creatinine) or remained relatively unchanged (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-10) with time in the HF group. Concentrations of all solutes were significantly lower in the HF group compared with the control group at 2 and 3 h (P < 0.05). Clearance rates for small molecular weight solutes were high, while those for larger molecular weight solutes were low.
HF prevents heat stroke-induced increases in serum cytokine concentrations and is effective for clearing small molecular weight solutes from serum, but less effective for clearing larger molecular weight solutes, including TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-10.
PMCID: PMC4237957  PMID: 25145441
Clearance; Dogs; Heat stroke; Hemofiltration; Shock; Solute
12.  Dengue Type Four Viruses with E-Glu345Lys Adaptive Mutation from MRC-5 Cells Induce Low Viremia but Elicit Potent Neutralizing Antibodies in Rhesus Monkeys 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e100130.
Knowledge of virulence and immunogenicity is important for development of live-attenuated dengue vaccines. We previously reported that an infectious clone-derived dengue type 4 virus (DENV-4) passaged in MRC-5 cells acquired a Glu345Lys (E-E345K) substitution in the E protein domain III (E-DIII). The same cloned DENV-4 was found to yield a single E-Glu327Gly (E-E327G) mutation after passage in FRhL cells and cause the loss of immunogenicity in rhesus monkeys. Here, we used site-directed mutagenesis to generate the E-E345K and E-E327G mutants from DENV-4 and DENV-4Δ30 infectious clones and propagated in Vero or MRC-5 cells. The E-E345K mutations were consistently presented in viruses recovered from MRC-5 cells, but not Vero cells. Recombinant E-DIII proteins of E345K and E327G increased heparin binding correlated with the reduced infectivity by heparin treatment in cell cultures. Different from the E-E327G mutant viruses to lose the immunogencity in rhesus monkeys, the E-E345K mutant viruses were able to induce neutralizing antibodies in rhesus monkeys with an almost a 10-fold lower level of viremia as compared to the wild type virus. Monkeys immunized with the E-E345K mutant virus were completely protected with no detectable viremia after live virus challenges with the wild type DENV-4. These results suggest that the E-E345K mutant virus propagated in MRC-5 cells may have potential for the use in live-attenuated DENV vaccine development.
PMCID: PMC4069063  PMID: 24959738
13.  Clinical analysis and etiology of porokeratosis 
The present study was performed in order to define the clinical manifestations of porokeratosis, with particular emphasis on genital porokeratosis. A total of 55 cases of porokeratosis were retrospectively reviewed between 2000 and 2007 from Huashan Hospital (Shanghai, China). Out of 55 cases, there were 22 cases of porokeratosis of Mibelli, 17 cases of disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP), 15 cases of disseminated superficial porokeratosis and one case of linear porokeratosis. The ratio of males to females was 39:16. Among them, 12 cases had a family history of porokeratosis. During the five-year follow-up period, no malignant transformation was observed and no further aggravation of lesions was detected. The results indicated that the initial region of DSAP in the Chinese population may differ from Caucasians. In combination with other studies, the present study found that genital porokeratosis in the Chinese population is often associated with pruritus. Since no recurrence was observed in cases treated with surgical excision, it was suggested that surgical excision is a viable treatment strategy and should be used for porokeratotic lesions if possible. In addition, regular follow-ups are required, since the aggravation of porokeratosis may cause the development of malignancy transformation.
PMCID: PMC4113647  PMID: 25120591
genital porokeratosis; clinical manifestation; etiology; pruritus; lesions
14.  In Vitro Characterization of Human Adenovirus Type 55 in Comparison with Its Parental Adenoviruses, Types 11 and 14 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e100665.
Human adenovirus type 55 (HAdV-B55) represents a re-emerging human pathogen, and this adenovirus has been reported to cause outbreaks of acute respiratory diseases among military trainees and in school populations around the world. HAdV-B55 has been revealed to have evolved from homologous recombination between human adenovirus type 14 (HAdV-B14) and type 11 (HAdV-B11), but it presents different clinical manifestations from parental virus HAdV-B11. In the present paper, we report the distinct biological features of HAdV-B55 in comparison with the parental viruses HAdV-B11 and HAdV-B14 in cell cultures. The results showed that HAdV-B55 replicated well in various cells, similar to HAdV-B11 and HAdV-B14, but that its processing had a slower and milder cytopathic effect in the early stages of infection. Viral fitness analysis showed that HAdV-B55 exhibited higher levels of replication in respiratory cells than did either of its parents. Cytotoxicity and apoptosis analyses in A549 cells indicated that HAdV-B55 was less cytotoxic than HAdV-B11 and HAdV-B14 were and induced milder apoptosis. Finally, thermal sensitivity analysis revealed that HAdV-B55 exhibited lower thermostability than did either HAdV-B11 or HAdV-B14, which may limit the transmission of HAdV-B55 in humans. Together, the findings described here expand current knowledge about this re-emerging recombinant HAdV, shedding light on the pathogenesis of HAdV-B55.
PMCID: PMC4067339  PMID: 24956280
15.  Small Interfering RNA Inhibition of Andes Virus Replication 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99764.
Andes virus (ANDV) is the most common causative agent of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in the Americas, and is the only hantavirus associated with human-to-human transmission. Case fatality rates of ANDV-induced HPS are approximately 40%. There are currently no effective vaccines or antivirals against ANDV. Since HPS severity correlates with viral load, we tested small interfering RNA (siRNA) directed against ANDV genes as a potential antiviral strategy. We designed pools of 4 siRNAs targeting each of the ANDV genome segments (S, M, and L), and tested their efficacy in reducing viral replication in vitro. The siRNA pool targeting the S segment reduced viral transcription and replication in Vero-E6 cells more efficiently than those targeting the M and L segments. In contrast, siRNAs targeting the S, M, or L segment were similar in their ability to reduce viral replication in human lung microvascular endothelial cells. Importantly, these siRNAs inhibit ANDV replication even if given after infection. Taken together, our findings indicate that siRNAs targeting the ANDV genome efficiently inhibit ANDV replication, and show promise as a strategy for developing therapeutics against ANDV infection.
PMCID: PMC4055710  PMID: 24924189
16.  Research Progress on Expansive Soil Cracks under Changing Environment 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:816759.
Engineering problems shunned previously rise to the surface gradually with the activities of reforming the natural world in depth, the problem of expansive soil crack under the changing environment becoming a control factor of expansive soil slope stability. The problem of expansive soil crack has gradually become a research hotspot, elaborates the occurrence and development of cracks from the basic properties of expansive soil, and points out the role of controlling the crack of expansive soil strength. We summarize the existing research methods and results of expansive soil crack characteristics. Improving crack measurement and calculation method and researching the crack depth measurement, statistical analysis method, crack depth and surface feature relationship will be the future direction.
PMCID: PMC4075004  PMID: 25013869
17.  Anthocyanin biosynthetic genes in Brassica rapa 
BMC Genomics  2014;15(1):426.
Anthocyanins are a group of flavonoid compounds. As a group of important secondary metabolites, they perform several key biological functions in plants. Anthocyanins also play beneficial health roles as potentially protective factors against cancer and heart disease. To elucidate the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway in Brassica rapa, we conducted comparative genomic analyses between Arabidopsis thaliana and B. rapa on a genome-wide level.
In total, we identified 73 genes in B. rapa as orthologs of 41 anthocyanin biosynthetic genes in A. thaliana. In B. rapa, the anthocyanin biosynthetic genes (ABGs) have expanded and most genes exist in more than one copy. The anthocyanin biosynthetic structural genes have expanded through whole genome and tandem duplication in B. rapa. More structural genes located upstream of the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway have been retained than downstream. More negative regulatory genes are retained in the anthocyanin biosynthesis regulatory system of B. rapa.
These results will promote an understanding of the genetic mechanism of anthocyanin biosynthesis, as well as help the improvement of the nutritional quality of B. rapa through the breeding of high anthocyanin content varieties.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-426) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4072887  PMID: 24893600
Comparative genomics; Anthocyanin biosynthetic genes; Whole genome duplication; Brassica rapa; Cruciferae
18.  A Unique and Conserved Neutralization Epitope in H5N1 Influenza Viruses Identified by an Antibody against the A/Goose/Guangdong/1/96 Hemagglutinin 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(23):12619-12635.
Despite substantial efforts to control and contain H5N1 influenza viruses, bird flu viruses continue to spread and evolve. Neutralizing antibodies against conserved epitopes on the viral hemagglutinin (HA) could confer immunity to the diverse H5N1 virus strains and provide information for effective vaccine design. Here, we report the characterization of a broadly neutralizing murine monoclonal antibody, H5M9, to most H5N1 clades and subclades that was elicited by immunization with viral HA of A/Goose/Guangdong/1/96 (H5N1), the immediate precursor of the current dominant strains of H5N1 viruses. The crystal structures of the Fab′ fragment of H5M9 in complexes with H5 HAs of A/Vietnam/1203/2004 and A/Goose/Guangdong/1/96 reveal a conserved epitope in the HA1 vestigial esterase subdomain that is some distance from the receptor binding site and partially overlaps antigenic site C of H3 HA. Further epitope characterization by selection of escape mutants and epitope mapping by flow cytometry analysis of site-directed mutagenesis of HA with a yeast cell surface display identified four residues that are critical for H5M9 binding. D53, Y274, E83a, and N276 are all conserved in H5N1 HAs and are not in H5 epitopes identified by other mouse or human antibodies. Antibody H5M9 is effective in protection of H5N1 virus both prophylactically and therapeutically and appears to neutralize by blocking both virus receptor binding and postattachment steps. Thus, the H5M9 epitope identified here should provide valuable insights into H5N1 vaccine design and improvement, as well as antibody-based therapies for treatment of H5N1 infection.
PMCID: PMC3838140  PMID: 24049169
19.  A Chimeric Dengue Virus Vaccine using Japanese Encephalitis Virus Vaccine Strain SA14-14-2 as Backbone Is Immunogenic and Protective against Either Parental Virus in Mice and Nonhuman Primates 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(24):13694-13705.
The development of a safe and efficient dengue vaccine represents a global challenge in public health. Chimeric dengue viruses (DENV) based on an attenuated flavivirus have been well developed as vaccine candidates by using reverse genetics. In this study, based on the full-length infectious cDNA clone of the well-known Japanese encephalitis virus live vaccine strain SA14-14-2 as a backbone, a novel chimeric dengue virus (named ChinDENV) was rationally designed and constructed by replacement with the premembrane and envelope genes of dengue 2 virus. The recovered chimeric virus showed growth and plaque properties similar to those of the parental DENV in mammalian and mosquito cells. ChinDENV was highly attenuated in mice, and no viremia was induced in rhesus monkeys upon subcutaneous inoculation. ChinDENV retained its genetic stability and attenuation phenotype after serial 15 passages in cultured cells. A single immunization with various doses of ChinDENV elicited strong neutralizing antibodies in a dose-dependent manner. When vaccinated monkeys were challenged with wild-type DENV, all animals except one that received the lower dose were protected against the development of viremia. Furthermore, immunization with ChinDENV conferred efficient cross protection against lethal JEV challenge in mice in association with robust cellular immunity induced by the replicating nonstructural proteins. Taken together, the results of this preclinical study well demonstrate the great potential of ChinDENV for further development as a dengue vaccine candidate, and this kind of chimeric flavivirus based on JE vaccine virus represents a powerful tool to deliver foreign antigens.
PMCID: PMC3838253  PMID: 24109223
20.  Synthesis of l-Ascorbic Acid Lactone Derivatives 
A small focused library which comprised of l-AA lactone derivatives was built with a facile method. This reported method was optimized by modifying the acidity of the solvent. As a result, 12 l-AA lactones were synthesized. Among these lactones, lactones 8–12 were new compounds. The cytotoxicity of these synthetic compounds were investigated.
PMCID: PMC4050306  PMID: 24955300
l-Ascorbic acid lactone; Cytotoxicity; Focused library
21.  Synthesis of l-Ascorbic Acid Lactone Derivatives 
A small focused library which comprised of l-AA lactone derivatives was built with a facile method. This reported method was optimized by modifying the acidity of the solvent. As a result, 12 l-AA lactones were synthesized. Among these lactones, lactones 8–12 were new compounds. The cytotoxicity of these synthetic compounds were investigated.
PMCID: PMC4050306  PMID: 24955300
l-Ascorbic acid lactone; Cytotoxicity; Focused library
22.  Recombinant tandem multi-linear neutralizing epitopes of human enterovirus 71 elicited protective immunity in mice 
Virology Journal  2014;11:79.
Human Enterovirus 71 (EV71) has emerged as the leading cause of viral encephalitis in children, especially in the Asia-Pacific regions. EV71 vaccine development is of high priority at present, and neutralization antibodies have been documented to play critical roles during in vitro and in vivo protection against EV71 infection.
In this study, a novel strategy to produce EV71 vaccine candidate based on recombinant multiple tandem linear neutralizing epitopes (mTLNE) was proposed. The three well identified EV71 linear neutralizing epitopes in capsid proteins, VP1-SP55, VP1-SP70 and VP2-SP28, were sequentially linked by a Gly-Ser linker ((G4S)3), and expressed in E.coli in fusion with the Trx and His tag at either terminal. The recombinant protein mTLNE was soluble and could be purified by standard affinity chromatography. Following three dosage of immunization in adult mice, EV71-specific IgG and neutralization antibodies were readily induced by recombinant mTLNE. IgG subtyping demonstrated that lgG1 antibodies dominated the mTLNE-induced humoral immune response. Especially, cytokine profiling in spleen cells from the mTLNE-immunized mice revealed high production of IL-4 and IL-6. Finally, in vivo challenge experiments showed that passive transfer with anti-mTLNE sera conferred full protection against lethal EV71 challenge in neonatal mice.
Our results demonstrated that this rational designed recombinant mTLNE might have the potential to be further developed as an EV71 vaccine in the future.
PMCID: PMC4030048  PMID: 24885030
Enterovirus 71; Vaccine; Linear neutralizing epitopes
23.  Rare deleterious mutations of the gene EFR3A in autism spectrum disorders 
Molecular Autism  2014;5:31.
Whole-exome sequencing studies in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have identified de novo mutations in novel candidate genes, including the synaptic gene Eighty-five Requiring 3A (EFR3A). EFR3A is a critical component of a protein complex required for the synthesis of the phosphoinositide PtdIns4P, which has a variety of functions at the neural synapse. We hypothesized that deleterious mutations in EFR3A would be significantly associated with ASD.
We conducted a large case/control association study by deep resequencing and analysis of whole-exome data for coding and splice site variants in EFR3A. We determined the potential impact of these variants on protein structure and function by a variety of conservation measures and analysis of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Efr3 crystal structure. We also analyzed the expression pattern of EFR3A in human brain tissue.
Rare nonsynonymous mutations in EFR3A were more common among cases (16 / 2,196 = 0.73%) than matched controls (12 / 3,389 = 0.35%) and were statistically more common at conserved nucleotides based on an experiment-wide significance threshold (P = 0.0077, permutation test). Crystal structure analysis revealed that mutations likely to be deleterious were also statistically more common in cases than controls (P = 0.017, Fisher exact test). Furthermore, EFR3A is expressed in cortical neurons, including pyramidal neurons, during human fetal brain development in a pattern consistent with ASD-related genes, and it is strongly co-expressed (P < 2.2 × 10−16, Wilcoxon test) with a module of genes significantly associated with ASD.
Rare deleterious mutations in EFR3A were found to be associated with ASD using an experiment-wide significance threshold. Synaptic phosphoinositide metabolism has been strongly implicated in syndromic forms of ASD. These data for EFR3A strengthen the evidence for the involvement of this pathway in idiopathic autism.
PMCID: PMC4032628  PMID: 24860643
Autism spectrum disorder; Genetics; Rare variants; EFR3A; Synapse; Phosphoinositide metabolism
24.  Parallel mRNA and MicroRNA Profiling of HEV71-Infected Human Neuroblastoma Cells Reveal the Up-Regulation of miR-1246 in Association with DLG3 Repression 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95272.
Human enterovirus 71 (HEV71) has emerged as the leading cause of viral encephalitis in children in most Asian countries. The roles of host miRNAs in the neurological pathogenesis of HEV71 infection remain unknown. In the present study, comprehensive miRNA expression profiling in HEV71-infected human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells was performed using the Affymetrix Gene Chip microarray assay and was validated using real-time RT-PCR. Among the 69 differentially expressed miRNAs, miR-1246 was specifically induced by HEV71 infection in human neuroblastoma cells, but inhibition of miR-1246 failed to affect HEV71 replication. Parallel mRNA and microRNA profiling based on the 35 K Human Genome Array identified 182 differentially regulated genes. Target prediction of miR-1246 and network modeling revealed 14 potential target genes involved in cell death and cell signaling. Finally, a combined analysis of the results from mRNA profiling and miR-1246 target predication led to the identification of disc-large homolog 3 (DLG3), which is associated with neurological disorders, for further validation. Sequence alignment and luciferase reporter assay showed that miR-1246 directly bound with the 3′-UTR of DLG3 gene. Down-regulation of miR-1246 induced significant changes in DLG3 expression levels in HEV71-infected SHSY5Y cells. Together, these results suggested that miR-1246 might play a role in neurological pathogenesis of HEV71 by regulating DLG3 gene in infected cells. These findings provide new information on the miRNA and mRNA profiles of HEV71-infected neuroblastoma cells. The biological significance of miR-1246 and DLG3 during the course of HEV71 infection deserves further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3989279  PMID: 24739954
25.  Tumors of the angle of Treitz: A single-center experience 
AIM: To explore the feasibility and oncologic outcomes of segmental jejunal resection on the left side of the mesenteric vessels in patients with tumors of the angle of Treitz using data from a single center.
METHODS: Thirteen patients with tumors of the angle of Treitz who underwent surgery at our institution were prospectively followed. A segmental jejunal resection on the left side of the mesenteric vessels was performed in all patients. Formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tumor samples were examined. The primary end point of this analysis was disease-free survival.
RESULTS: In this study, there were 8 males and 5 females (mean age, 50.1 years; range, 36-74 years). The mean tumor size was 8.1 cm (range, 3.2-15 cm). Histologic examination showed 11 gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) and 2 adenocarcinomas. Five of the GIST patients presented with potential low risk, and 6 presented with intermediate and high risk, according to the National Institutes of Health criteria. One potentially high-risk patient showed tumor progression at 46 mo and died 52 mo after surgery. One patient with locally advanced adenocarcinoma received neoadjuvant chemotherapy and adjuvant radiotherapy, but the disease progressed, and the patient died 9 mo after surgery. One GIST patient without progression died 16 mo after surgery because of a postoperative intestinal obstruction. The median overall survival rate was 84.6 mo, and the median disease-free survival rate was 94.5 mo.
CONCLUSION: The overall survival of patients with tumors of the angle of Treitz was encouraging even when the tumor size was relatively large. A segmental resection on the left side of the mesenteric vessels is considered to be a reliable and curative option for tumors of the angle of Treitz.
PMCID: PMC3974531  PMID: 24707147
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor; Adenocarcinoma; Angle of Treitz; Surgical treatment; Prognosis

Results 1-25 (111)