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1.  Three New Asperentin Derivatives from the Algicolous Fungus Aspergillus sp. F00785 
Marine Drugs  2014;12(12):5993-6002.
Three new asperentin-type compounds, 6-O-α-d-ribosylasperentin (1) and 6-O-α-d-ribosyl-8-O-methylasperentin (2) and 5-hydroxyl-6-O-methylasperentin (3), along with asperentin (4) and its known analogues (5–9), were isolated from a halotolerant Aspergillus sp. strain F00785, an endotrophic fungus from marine alga. Their structures were determined using extensive NMR and HRESIMS spectroscopic analysis, including the X-ray crystallographic data for the assignment of the absolute configurations of compound 9. Compound 4 exhibited highly potent inhibitory activity against crop pathogens, Colletotrichum gleosporioides Penz. and Colletotrichum gleosporioides (Penz.) Sacc.
PMCID: PMC4278214  PMID: 25517217
asperentin; endophytic fungus; crop pathogen; α-d-ribofuranose
2.  Efficacy of intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guérin therapy against tumor immune escape in an orthotopic model of bladder cancer 
The aim of this study was to evaluate the antitumor immune response of the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) in an orthotopic bladder cancer model. The murine bladder cancer cell line MBT-2 was transurethrally implanted in the bladder of syngeneic female C3H/He mice. The animals were randomly divided into three treatment groups: Phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), low-dose BCG and high-dose BCG. The analyses of luciferin-stained tumor images 28 days after each treatment showed significant tumor growth inhibition in the high-dose group in comparison with that in the low-dose- or PBS-treated groups. In addition, the percentage of myeloid-derived suppressor cells in the high-dose group was significantly suppressed in comparison with that in the PBS and low-dose agent treatment groups. These findings are notable in terms of the clinical evaluations of this therapy for patients with bladder cancer. The outcomes of this study also provide important implications regarding antitumor immune responses in human cancer.
PMCID: PMC4247304  PMID: 25452795
Bacillus Calmette-Guérin; bladder cancer; immune-escape; myeloid-derived suppressor cells
3.  Effects of pamidronate disodium on the loss of osteoarthritic subchondral bone and the expression of cartilaginous and subchondral osteoprotegerin and RANKL in rabbits 
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a major health problem in the increasingly elderly population. Therefore, it is crucial to prevent and treat OA at an early stage. The present study investigated whether pamidronate disodium (PAM), a bone-loss inhibitor, can significantly prevent or reverse the progression of early anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT)-induced OA. Whether therapeutic intervention is associated with regulation of the expression of osteoprotegerin (OPG), receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL), metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) or Toll-like receptor-4 (TLR-4) in cartilage and/or subchondral bone was also investigated.
60 New Zealand rabbits were randomized into four groups: Sham-operated (n = 20); ACLT (n = 20); short-term treatment with PAM (PAM-S, n = 10) and long-term treatment with PAM (PAM-L, n = 10). For cartilage and subchondral bone testing, rabbits from Sham and ACLT groups were harvested at 2, 4, 6, and 14 weeks. Rabbits were given PAM from the 4th week after ACLT operation in PAM-S and PAM-L group, and were harvested at 6 and 14 weeks, respectively. Trabecular characteristics and cartilage changes were detected using Micro-CT, safranin O and rapid green staining, respectively. Immunohistochemical staining for OPG and RANKL were also performed. OPG, RANKL, MMP-9 and TLR-4 expression was evaluated by western blot analysis.
Micro-CT and histology analyses indicated that PAM treatment for 2 or 10 weeks could completely prevent or reverse osteoarthritic subchondral bone loss and cartilage surface erosion. Immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis indicated that expression of OPG and RANKL increased, although RANKL expression increased more significantly than that of OPG. Therefore the ratio of OPG to RANKL was lower in the ACLT group. However, the ratio of OPG to RANKL in the PAM group was significantly higher than that in the ACLT group. Additionally, expression of MMP-9 and TLR-4 were upregulated in the ACLT group and downregulated in the PAM treated groups.
PAM can significantly inhibit and even reverse early osteoarthritic subchondral bone loss, thus alleviating the process of cartilaginous degeneration. The mechanisms involved may be associated with the upregulation of OPG expression, and downregulation of RANKL, MMP-9 and TLR-4 expression.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-370) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4240862  PMID: 25377946
Osteoarthritis; Pamidronate disodium; Subchondral bone; Cartilage; Osteoprotegerin (OPG); Receptor activator of nuclear factor-κ B ligand (RANKL)
5.  Acute Impact of Pacing at Different Cardiac Sites on Left Ventricular Rotation and Twist in Dogs 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e111231.
We evaluated the acute impact of different cardiac pacing sites on two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography (STE) derived left ventricular (LV) rotation and twist in healthy dogs.
Twelve dogs were used in this study. The steerable pacing electrodes were positioned into right heart through the superior or inferior vena cava, into LV through aorta across the aortic valve. The steerable pacing electrodes were positioned individually in the right atrium (RA), right ventricular apex (RVA), RV outflow tract (RVOT), His bundle (HB), LV apex (LVA) and LV high septum (LVS), individual pacing mode was applied at 10 minutes interval for at least 5 minutes from each position under fluoroscopy and ultrasound guidance and at stabilized hemodynamic conditions. LV short-axis images at the apical and basal levels were obtained during sinus rhythm and pacing. Offline STE analysis was performed. Rotation, twist, time to peak rotation (TPR), time to peak twist (TPT), and apical-basal rotation delay (rotational synchronization index, RSI) values were compared at various conditions. LV pressure was monitored simultaneously.
Anesthetic death occurred in 1 dog, and another dog was excluded because of bad imaging quality. Data from 10 dogs were analyzed. RVA, RVOT, HB, LVA, LVS, RARV (RA+RVA) pacing resulted in significantly reduced apical and basal rotation and twist, significantly prolonged apical TPR, TPT and RSI compared to pre-pacing and RA pacing (all P<0.05). The apical and basal rotation and twist values were significantly higher during HB pacing than during pacing at ventricular sites (all P<0.05, except basal rotation at RVA pacing). The apical TPR during HB pacing was significantly shorter than during RVOT and RVA pacing (both P<0.05). The LV end systolic pressure (LVESP) was significantly lower during ventricular pacing than during pre-pacing and RA pacing.
Our results show that RA and HB pacing results in less acute reduction on LV twist, rotation and LVESP compared to ventricular pacing.
PMCID: PMC4207788  PMID: 25340769
6.  Peptide Functionalized Oxime Hydrogels with Tunable Mechanical Properties and Gelation Behavior 
Biomacromolecules  2013;14(10):10.1021/bm401133r.
We demonstrate the formation of polyethylene glycol (PEG) based hydrogels via oxime ligation and the photo-initiated thiol-ene 3D patterning of peptides within the hydrogel matrix post-gelation. The gelation process and final mechanical strength of hydrogels can be tuned using pH and the catalyst concentration. The time scale to reach the gel point and complete gelation can be shortened from hours to seconds using both pH and aniline catalyst, which facilitates the tuning of the storage modulus from 0.3 kPa to over 15 kPa. Azide and alkene functionalized hydrogels were also synthesized and we have shown the post gelation “click” type Husigen 1,3 cycloaddition and thiolene-based radical reactions for spatially defined peptide incorporation. These materials are the initial demonstration for translationally relevant hydrogel materials that possess tunable mechanical regimes attractive to soft tissue engineering and possess atom neutral chemistries attractive for post gelation patterning in the presence or absence of cells.
PMCID: PMC3871203  PMID: 24050500
hydrogel; oxime; PEG; click chemistry; thiolene
7.  Intraocular Pressure and Associations in Children. The Gobi Desert Children Eye Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e109355.
To assess the intraocular pressure (IOP) and its association in children in a population living in an oasis in the Gobi Desert.
The cross-sectional school-based study included all schools in the Ejina region. The children underwent an ophthalmic examination, non-contact tonometry and measurement of blood pressure and body height and weight.
Out of eligible 1911 children, 1565 (81.9%) children with a mean age of 11.9±3.5 years (range: 6–21 years) participated. Mean spherical refractive error was −1.58±2.00 diopters. In multivariate analysis, higher IOP (right eye) was associated with younger age (P<0.001; standardized coefficient beta: −0.13; regression coefficient B: −0.13; 95% Confidence interval (CI):−0.18, −0.07), higher diastolic blood pressure (P<0.001;beta:0.13;B:0.05;95%CI:0.03,0.07), higher corneal refractive power (P<0.001;beta:0.11;B:0.23;95%CI:0.12,0.34), more myopic refractive error (P = 0.035;beta: −0.06;B: −0.10;95%CI: −0.19, −0.001), and Han Chinese ethnicity of the father (P = 0.03;beta:0.06;B:0.42;95%CI:0.04,0.89). If age and diastolic blood pressure were dropped, higher IOP was associated with higher estimated cerebrospinal fluid pressure (CSFP) (P<0.001;beta:0.09; B:0.13;95%CI:0.06,0.21) after adjusting for higher corneal refractive power (P<0.001) and Han Chinese ethnicity of the father (P = 0.04). Correspondingly, higher IOP of the left eye was associated with younger age (P<0.001;beta: −0.15;B: −0.16;95%CI: −0.21, −0.10), female gender (P<0.001;beta:0.09;B:0.65;95%CI:0.30,1.01), higher corneal refractive power (P<0.001;beta:0.08;B:0.19;95%CI:0.06,0.32), more myopic refractive error (P = 0.03;beta: −0.06;B: −0.12;95%CI: −0.22, −0.01), and higher estimated CSFP (P<0.001;beta:0.11;B:0.17;95%CI:0.09,0.24).
In school children, higher IOP was associated with steeper corneal curvature and with younger age and higher blood pressure, or alternatively, with higher estimated CSFP. Corneal curvature radius should be included in the correction of IOP measurements. The potential association between IOP and CSFP as also assumed in adults may warrant further research.
PMCID: PMC4190171  PMID: 25295855
8.  Risk factors influencing the recurrence of papillary thyroid carcinoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Objective: To evaluate the risk factors influencing the recurrence of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Methods: This meta-analysis used MEDLINE (PubMed), EMBASE and CNKI including all cohort studies reporting the risk factors influencing the recurrence after the initial operation on PTC up to February 23, 2014. Software RevMan 5.2 was used for meta-analysis. Results: Thirteen studies with a total of 7048 patients were included in our meta-analysis. Of all variables, gender, extrathyroid extension, LNM, tumor size, distance metastasis, thyroid surgery types and 131-I given or not were significantly correlated with recurrence, While overall recurrence was similar between the group of ≤ 45 years and > 45 years, multifolicality and solitary. However, when stratified the participants by study location (ie, Asian including China, Korea, Japan, Western country including America, France, Italy, Australia), a statistically significant summary odds ratio for age were found in Western country but none in Asian. Conclusion: The risk factors influencing recurrence includes male, extrathyroid extension, LNM, tumor size more than 2 cm, distance metastasis and subtotal thyroidectomy. However, selection of operation mode should be based on not only the recurrence but the comprehensive consideration of the clinical features.
PMCID: PMC4203153  PMID: 25337182
Papillary thyroid carcinoma; risk factors; recurrence
9.  An integrated genomic and metabolomic framework for cell wall biology in rice 
BMC Genomics  2014;15(1):596.
Plant cell walls are complex structures that full-fill many diverse functions during plant growth and development. It is therefore not surprising that thousands of gene products are involved in cell wall synthesis and maintenance. However, functional association for the majority of these gene products remains obscure. One useful approach to infer biological associations is via transcriptional coordination, or co-expression of genes. This approach has proved useful for several biological processes. Nevertheless, combining co-expression with other large-scale measurements may improve the biological inferences.
In this study, we used a combined approach of co-expression and cell wall metabolomics to obtain new insight into cell wall synthesis in rice. We initially created a weighted gene co-expression network from publicly available datasets, and then established a comprehensive cell wall dataset by determining cell wall compositions from 29 tissues that almost cover the whole life cycle of rice. We subsequently combined the datasets through the conversion of co-expressed gene modules into eigen-vectors, representing expression profiles for the genes in the modules, and performed comparative analyses against the cell wall contents. Here, we made three major discoveries. First, we confirmed our approach by finding primary and secondary wall cellulose biosynthesis modules, respectively. Second, we found co-expressed modules that strongly correlated with re-organization of the secondary cell walls and with modifications and degradation of hemicellulosic structures. Third, we inferred that at least one module is likely to play a regulatory role in the production of G-rich lignification.
Here, we integrated transcriptomic associations and cell wall metabolism and found that certain co-expressed gene modules are positively correlated with distinct cell wall characteristics. We propose that combining multiple data-types, such as coordinated transcription and cell wall analyses, may be a useful approach to glean new insight into biological processes. The combination of multiple datasets, as illustrated here, can further improve the functional inferences that typically are generated via a single type of datasets. In addition, our data extend the typical co-expression approach to allow deeper insight into cell wall biology in rice.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-596) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4112216  PMID: 25023612
Rice; Cell wall; Co-expression network; Metabolomics
10.  Significant association between the Axin2 rs2240308 single nucleotide polymorphism and the incidence of prostate cancer 
Oncology Letters  2014;8(2):789-794.
The Wnt signaling pathway plays a crucial role in human cancer development, and axis inhibition protein 2 (Axin2) is a master scaffold protein involved in Wnt signaling. Axin2 negatively regulates Wnt signaling and acts as a tumor suppressor protein. The present study evaluated the association between the Axin2 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2240308 [guanine (G)/adenine (A)] and the incidence of prostate cancer. In total, 103 patients with prostate cancer and 100 cancer-free control males were included in this case-control study, and were genotyped using the genomic DNA extracted from peripheral blood samples. The results revealed a higher incidence of prostate cancer in the subjects with the homozygous GG genotype and a reduced cancer incidence in the patients with the GA genotype of the rs2240308 SNP (G/A) in the Axin2 gene. The adjusted odds ratio for carriers with the GA genotype was 0.377 (95% CI, 0.206–0.688; P=0.001) and that for the AA genotype was 0.830 (95% CI, 0.309–2.232; P=0.712) compared with the GG genotype. Therefore, the GA genotype was found to exhibit a protective effect that decreased the risk of prostate cancer. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the significant association between this SNP (rs2240308, G/A) and the risk of prostate cancer. This association indicates the possibility that the variations in the Axin2 gene in this position may play a significant role in promoting the development of cancer in the prostate. We believe that the Axin2 SNP (rs2240308) could be a useful biomarker for the predisposition and early diagnosis of the disease.
PMCID: PMC4081410  PMID: 25013500
prostate cancer; single nucleotide polymorphism; Axin2; rs2240308; Wnt signaling pathway
11.  Comparison of the sagittal profiles among thoracic idiopathic scoliosis patients with different Cobb angles and growth potentials 
Previous studies have demonstrated that pelvic incidence and sacral slope are significantly greater in idiopathic scoliosis patients compared with normal adolescents. However, whether these sagittal parameters are related to the progression of scoliosis remain unknown. The present was designed to determine the differences in the sagittal profiles among thoracic idiopathic scoliosis patients with different potentials for curve progression.
Ninety-seven outpatient idiopathic scoliosis patients enrolled from June 2008 to June 2011 were divided to three groups according to different Cobb angles and growth potentials: (1) non-progression of thoracic curve group, Risser sign of 5 and Cobb’s angle < 40°; (2) moderate progression of thoracic curve group, Risser sign of 5 and Cobb’s angle ≥ 40°; and (3) severe progression of thoracic curve group, Risser sign ≤ 3 and Cobb’s angle ≥ 40°. All patients underwent whole spinal anteroposterior and lateral X-ray in standing position, and the sagittal parameters were measured, including thoracic kyphosis, lumbar lordosis, sacral slope, pelvic incidence, and pelvic tilt.
The average thoracic scoliosis Cobb’s angle in the non-progression group was significantly less than that in the moderate progression group (P < 0.01) and severe progression group (P < 0.01), but there was no statistical difference in the average thoracic scoliosis Cobb’s angle between the severe progression group and moderate progression group. The average thoracic kyphosis angle in the severe progression group (9° ± 4°) was significantly smaller than that in the non-progression group (18° ± 6°, P < 0.01) and moderate progression group (14° ± 5°, P < 0.05). No statistical differences were present in the average lumbar lordosis, sacral slope, pelvic incidence, and pelvic tilt among the three groups.
Thoracic hypokyphosis is strongly related with the curve progression in thoracic idiopathic scoliosis patients, but not pelvic sagittal profiles.
PMCID: PMC4012511  PMID: 24635839
Sagittal profiles; Idiopathic scoliosis; Thoracic kyphosis; Lumbar lordosis
12.  A clinical morphologic study of the C2 pedicle and isthmus 
European Spine Journal  2012;22(1):39-45.
This anatomic, radiographic study investigated locational differences in the C2 pedicle and isthmus [pediculoisthmic component (PIC)] and characterized its narrowest section for clinical application in posterior C2 screw fixation.
Structures surrounding the transverse foramina of 30 dry C2s and 10 C3s were compared morphologically. Spinal CT scans of 32 Chinese adults were subjected to volume rendering and multiplanar reconstruction to identify the narrowest C2 PIC, and correlative parameters were measured and analyzed.
Inferior C2 and C3 structures were morphologically similar. In superior view, the C2 superior facets lay on the transverse foramen and the upper portion between superior and inferior facets was flat (average mediolateral angle, 11.1° ± 2.4°). In inferior view, the posteroinferomedial portion of the C2 transverse foramen displayed a partially tubular structure (average mediolateral angle of projection, 42.6° ± 4.9°). Average height and width were 11.6 and 6.9 mm. The inner medullary cavity was elliptical and the middle site of endosteal diameter was 3.3 ± 1.9 mm. Medial internal cortical bone was significantly thicker than lateral bone (P < 0.01).
The PIC is located between superior and inferior C2 facets. The superior flat area is the isthmus and the inferomedial area connecting the inferior facet and vertebral body is the pedicle. The pedicle is partially tubular and projects posteromedially to the transverse foramen. The narrowest PIC section is the narrowest point of the C2 pedicle. Considering its thin lateral cortical bone, medial and superior pedicle screw placement and preoperative CT reconstruction are recommended.
PMCID: PMC3540312  PMID: 22890566
C2; Axis; Pedicle; Isthmus; Reformatted CT
13.  Biomass digestibility is predominantly affected by three factors of wall polymer features distinctive in wheat accessions and rice mutants 
Wheat and rice are important food crops with enormous biomass residues for biofuels. However, lignocellulosic recalcitrance becomes a crucial factor on biomass process. Plant cell walls greatly determine biomass recalcitrance, thus it is essential to identify their key factors on lignocellulose saccharification. Despite it has been reported about cell wall factors on biomass digestions, little is known in wheat and rice. In this study, we analyzed nine typical pairs of wheat and rice samples that exhibited distinct cell wall compositions, and identified three major factors of wall polymer features that affected biomass digestibility.
Based on cell wall compositions, ten wheat accessions and three rice mutants were classified into three distinct groups each with three typical pairs. In terms of group I that displayed single wall polymer alternations in wheat, we found that three wall polymer levels (cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin) each had a negative effect on biomass digestibility at similar rates under pretreatments of NaOH and H2SO4 with three concentrations. However, analysis of six pairs of wheat and rice samples in groups II and III that each exhibited a similar cell wall composition, indicated that three wall polymer levels were not the major factors on biomass saccharification. Furthermore, in-depth detection of the wall polymer features distinctive in rice mutants, demonstrated that biomass digestibility was remarkably affected either negatively by cellulose crystallinity (CrI) of raw biomass materials, or positively by both Ara substitution degree of non-KOH-extractable hemicelluloses (reverse Xyl/Ara) and p-coumaryl alcohol relative proportion of KOH-extractable lignin (H/G). Correlation analysis indicated that Ara substitution degree and H/G ratio negatively affected cellulose crystallinity for high biomass enzymatic digestion. It was also suggested to determine whether Ara and H monomer have an interlinking with cellulose chains in the future.
Using nine typical pairs of wheat and rice samples having distinct cell wall compositions and wide biomass saccharification, Ara substitution degree and monolignin H proportion have been revealed to be the dominant factors positively determining biomass digestibility upon various chemical pretreatments. The results demonstrated the potential of genetic modification of plant cell walls for high biomass saccharification in bioenergy crops.
PMCID: PMC3878626  PMID: 24341349
Cell wall; Cellulose crystallinity; Arabinose substitution degree; p-coumaryl alcohol proportion; Biomass digestibility; Chemical pretreatment; Wheat; Rice
14.  Resveratrol protects rabbit ventricular myocytes against oxidative stress-induced arrhythmogenic activity and Ca2+ overload 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2013;34(9):1164-1173.
To investigate whether resveratrol suppressed oxidative stress-induced arrhythmogenic activity and Ca2+ overload in ventricular myocytes and to explore the underlying mechanisms.
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2, 200 μmol/L)) was used to induce oxidative stress in rabbit ventricular myocytes. Cell shortening and calcium transients were simultaneously recorded to detect arrhythmogenic activity and to measure intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i). Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases II (CaMKII) activity was measured using a CaMKII kit or Western blotting analysis. Voltage-activated Na+ and Ca2+ currents were examined using whole-cell recording in myocytes.
H2O2 markedly prolonged Ca2+ transient duration (CaTD), and induced early afterdepolarization (EAD)-like and delayed afterdepolarization (DAD)-like arrhythmogenic activity in myocytes paced at 0.16 Hz or 0.5 Hz. Application of resveratrol (30 or 50 μmol/L) dose-dependently suppressed H2O2-induced EAD-like arrhythmogenic activity and attenuated CaTD prolongation. Co-treatment with resveratrol (50 μmol/L) effectively prevented both EAD-like and DAD-like arrhythmogenic activity induced by H2O2. In addition, resveratrol markedly blunted H2O2-induced diastolic [Ca2+]i accumulation and prevented the myocytes from developing hypercontracture. In whole-cell recording studies, H2O2 significantly enhanced the late Na+ current (INa,L) and L-type Ca2+ current (ICa,L) in myocytes, which were dramatically suppressed or prevented by resveratrol. Furthermore, H2O2-induced ROS production and CaMKII activation were significantly prevented by resveratrol.
Resveratrol protects ventricular myocytes against oxidative stress-induced arrhythmogenic activity and Ca2+ overload through inhibition of INa,L/ICa,L, reduction of ROS generation, and prevention of CaMKII activation.
PMCID: PMC4003166  PMID: 23912472
resveratrol; cardioprotective agents; oxidative stress; cardiac arrhythmias; Ca2+ overload; CaMKII; late sodium current; L-type calcium current
15.  Strain-Promoted Crosslinking of PEG-based Hydrogels via Copper-Free Cycloaddition 
ACS macro letters  2012;1(8):1071-1073.
The synthesis of a 4-dibenzocyclooctynol (DIBO) functionalized polyethylene glycol (PEG) and fabrication of hydrogels via strain-promoted, metal-free, azide-alkyne cycloaddition is reported. The resulting hydrogel materials provide a versatile alternative in which to encapsulate cells that are sensitive to photochemical or chemical crosslinking mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC3507357  PMID: 23205321
hydrogel; click chemistry; human mesenchymal stem cell; cycloaddition
16.  Serum Lipoprotein(a) Positively Correlates with Coronary Artery Calcification in Low-Risk Chinese Han Patients: A Study from a Single Center 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e71673.
Elevated plasma levels of lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)) and a higher degree of coronary artery calcification (CAC) are both considered to be risk factors for atherosclerosis. However, previous studies have demonstrated that the relationship between Lp(a) levels and the degree of CAC indicates significant heterogeneity that may be due to varying ethnicities. The purpose of this study was to examine the predictive power of Lp(a) for CAC as measured by multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) in the Han ethnic group of China.
A total of 1082 subjects were recruited in this study. The patients were divided into four groups: patients without hypertension or diabetes were group 1, patients with hypertension were group 2, patients with diabetes were group 3 and patients with both hypertension and diabetes were group 4. CAC score (CACs), lipid profiles (Lp(a), LDL, HDL, TG, TC), HbA1C, glucose, personal health history and body morphology were measured in all participants. The predictive power of Lp(a) for calcified atherosclerotic plaque was determined by correlations and ordinal logistic regression.
There was no significant difference in the CACs between group 2 and group 3 (z = 1.790, p = 0.736), and there were significant differences among the other groups. However, there was no significant difference in the total Lp(a) among the 4 groups (χ2 = 0.649, p = 0.885). Only In group 1, Lp(a) was a statistically significant predictor of the presence of calcified coronary plaque using ordinal logistic regression.
Levels of Lp(a) positively correlate with CACs among Chinese Han people who are without diabetes and hypertension, suggesting that Lp(a) may be an important risk factor for the presence of calcified atheromas.
PMCID: PMC3741126  PMID: 23951216
17.  Integrative TCM Conservative Therapy for Low Back Pain due to Lumbar Disc Herniation: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial 
Low back pain due to lumbar disc herniation (LDH) is very common in clinic. This randomized controlled trial was designed to investigate the effects of integrative TCM conservative therapy for low back pain due to LDH. A total of 408 patients with low back pain due to LDH were randomly assigned to an experimental group with integrative TCM therapy and a control group with normal conservative treatment by the ratio of 3 : 1. The primary outcome was the pain by the visual analogue scale (VAS). The secondary outcome was the low back functional activities by Chinese Short Form Oswestry Disability Index (C-SFODI). Immediately after treatment, patients in the experimental group experienced significant improvements in VAS and C-SFODI compared with the control group (between-group difference in mean change from baseline, −16.62 points, P < 0.001 in VAS; −15.55 points, P < 0.001 in C-SFODI). The difference remained at one-month followup, but it is only significant in C-SFODI at six-month followup (−7.68 points, P < 0.001). No serious adverse events were observed. These findings suggest that integrative TCM therapy may be a beneficial complementary and alternative therapy for patients with low back pain due to LDH.
PMCID: PMC3707258  PMID: 23864883
18.  Effects of Different Selenium Levels on Gene Expression of a Subset of Selenoproteins and Antioxidative Capacity in Mice 
Biological Trace Element Research  2013;154(2):255-261.
This study aimed to evaluate how excess selenium induces oxidative stress by determining antioxidant enzyme activity and changes in expression of selected selenoproteins in mice. BALB/c mice (n = 20 per group) were fed a diet containing 0.045 (Se-marginal), 0.1 (Se-adequate), 0.4 (Se-supernutrition), or 0.8 (Se-excess) mg Se/kg. Gene expression was quantified in RNA samples extracted from the liver, kidney, and testis by real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. We found that glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase activities decreased in livers of mice fed the marginal or excess dose of Se as compared to those in the Se-adequate group. Additionally, superoxide dismutase and glutathione reductase activities were significantly reduced only in mice fed the excess Se diet, compared to animals on the adequate Se diet. Se-supernutrition had no effect on hepatic mRNA levels of GPx isoforms 1 and 4 (GPx1 and GPx4), down-regulated GPx isoform 3 (GPx3), and upregulated selenoprotein W (SelW) mRNA expression. The excess Se diet led to decreased hepatic mRNA levels of GPx1, GPx3 and GPx4 but no change in testicular mRNA levels of GPx1, GPx3 or SelW. Dietary Se had no effect on testicular mRNA levels of GPx4. Thus, our results suggest that Se exposure can reduce hepatic antioxidant capacity and cause liver dysfunction. Dietary Se was found to differentially regulate mRNA levels of the GPx family or SelW, depending on exposure. Therefore, these genes may play a role in the toxicity associated with Se.
PMCID: PMC3703305  PMID: 23760574
Selenium; Antioxidant; Overexposure; mRNA
19.  2-[(5-Methyl­thio­phen-2-yl)methyl­idene]malono­nitrile 
There are two independent molecules in the asymmetric unit of the title compound, C9H6N2S, which is an inter­mediate compound of a cardiovascular drug. The two molecules are nearly planar, displaying dihedral angles of 3.5 (2) and 5.7 (2)° between the thiophene ring and the malononitrile moiety. In the crystal, C—H⋯N inter­actions lead to the formation of a sheet structure that packs in a parallel fashion.
PMCID: PMC3772448  PMID: 24046591
20.  Global Identification of Multiple OsGH9 Family Members and Their Involvement in Cellulose Crystallinity Modification in Rice 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e50171.
Plant glycoside hydrolase family 9 (GH9) comprises typical endo-β-1,4-glucanase (EGases, EC3.2.1.4). Although GH9A (KORRIGAN) family genes have been reported to be involved in cellulose biosynthesis in plants, much remains unknown about other GH9 subclasses. In this study, we observed a global gene co-expression profiling and conducted a correlation analysis between OsGH9 and OsCESA among 66 tissues covering most periods of life cycles in 2 rice varieties. Our results showed that OsGH9A3 and B5 possessed an extremely high co-expression with OsCESA1, 3, and 8 typical for cellulose biosynthesis in rice. Using two distinct rice non-GH9 mutants and wild type, we performed integrative analysis of gene expression level by qRT-PCR, cellulase activities in situ and in vitro, and lignocellulose crystallinity index (CrI) in four internodes of stem tissues. For the first time, OsGH9B1, 3, and 16 were characterized with the potential role in lignocellulose crystallinity alteration in rice, whereas OsGH9A3 and B5 were suggested for cellulose biosynthesis. In addition, phylogenetic analysis and gene co-expression comparison revealed GH9 function similarity in Arabidopsis and rice. Hence, the data can provide insights into GH9 function in plants and offer the potential strategy for genetic manipulation of plant cell wall using the five aforementioned novel OsGH9 genes.
PMCID: PMC3537678  PMID: 23308094
21.  Spectroscopic study on the interaction of pristine C60 and serum albumins in solution 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2012;7(1):433.
The interaction of nanomaterials with biological macromolecules is an important foundation of the design and the biological safety assessments of nanomaterials. This work aims to investigate the interaction between pristine C60 and serum albumins (human serum albumin and bovine serum albumin) in solution. Stable aqueous dispersion of C60 was prepared by simple direct ultrasonic method and characterized by UV–vis spectrophotometry, transmission electronic microscopy and dynamic light scattering techniques, and spectroscopic methods (fluorescence spectroscopy, synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy and circular dichroism spectroscopy) were utilized for the investigation. It was found that the fluorescence of serum albumins could be quenched by C60 nanoparticles in a substantially similar way. Slight changes of the surrounding microenvironment of amino residues were observed, while little effects on the protein secondary structure occurred. The different effects of dispersion methods on the interaction of C60 nanoparticles with serum protein were also compared and discussed.
PMCID: PMC3562194  PMID: 22856352
Bovine serum albumin; Fluorescence; Fullerene; Human serum albumin; Spectroscopy
22.  2-(2-Chloro­phen­yl)-5-methyl-1,3-dioxane-5-carboxylic acid 
In the title compound, C12H13ClO4, the 1,3-dioxane ring adopts a chair conformation and the 2-chloro­benzene and methyl substituents occupy equatorial sites. The carboxyl group is in an axial inclination. In the crystal, carb­oxy­lic acid inversion dimers linked by pairs of O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds generate R 2 2(8) loops.
PMCID: PMC3393306  PMID: 22807863
23.  2,2-Dibromo-N-(4-fluoro­phen­yl)acetamide 
In the crystal structure of the title compound, C8H6Br2FNO, C—H⋯O and N—H⋯O hydrogen bonding results in six-membered rings and links the mol­ecules into chains running parallel to the c axis. The dihedral angle between the fluoro­phenyl ring and the acetamide group is 29.5 (5)°.
PMCID: PMC3379398  PMID: 22719596
24.  N-(4-Fluoro­phen­yl)-2,2-dimethyl­propan­amide 
The crystal packing in the title compound, C11H14FNO, features N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds, resulting in chains of mol­ecules running parallel to the c axis. The dihedral angle between the ring and the amide group is 39.1 (3)°.
PMCID: PMC3379342  PMID: 22719540
25.  3-(2-Methyl-2-nitro­prop­yl)-1H-indole 
In the title compound, C12H14N2O2, the indole ring is essentially planar, with an r.m.s. deviation of 0.0136 Å. In the crystal, pairs of N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds link the mol­ecules into inversion dimers..
PMCID: PMC3379343  PMID: 22719541

Results 1-25 (32)