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1.  A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Elimination in Hainan Province, 2002–2012 
In Hainan Province, China, great achievements in elimination of falciparum malaria have been made since 2010. There have been no locally acquired falciparum malaria cases since that time. The cost-effectiveness of elimination of falciparum malaria has been analyzed in Hainan Province. There were 4,422 falciparum malaria cases reported from 2002 to 2012, more cases occurred in males than in females. From 2002 to 2012, a total of 98.5 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) were reported because of falciparum malaria. Populations in the age ranges of 15–25 and 30–44 years had higher incidences and DALYs than other age groups. From 2002 to 2012, malaria-related costs for salaries of staff, funds from the provincial government, national government, and the GFATM were US$3.02, US$2.24, US$1.44, and US$5.08 million, respectively. An estimated 9,504 falciparum malaria cases were averted during the period 2003–2012. The estimated cost per falciparum malaria case averted was US$116.5. The falciparum malaria elimination program in Hainan was highly effective and successful. However, funding for maintenance is still needed because of imported cases.
PMCID: PMC4674241  PMID: 26438030
2.  STAT3 signaling drives EZH2 transcriptional activation and mediates poor prognosis in gastric cancer 
Molecular Cancer  2016;15:79.
STAT3 signaling plays the pivotal role in tumorigenesis through EZH2 epigenetic modification, which enhanced STAT3 activity by increased tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3. Here, another possible feedback mechanism and clinical significance of EZH2 and STAT3 were investigated in gastric cancer (GC).
STAT3, p-STAT3 (Tyr 705) and EZH2 expression were examined in 63 GC specimens with matched normal tissues by IHC staining. EZH2 and STAT3 were also identified in five GC cell lines using RT-PCR and western blot analyses. p-STAT3 protein was detected by western blotting. In order to investigate whether EZH2 expression was directly regulated by STAT3, EZH2 expression was further detected using siRNA for STAT3 or IL-6 stimulation, with dual luciferase reporter analyses, electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays. The clinical significance of STAT3, p-STAT3 and EZH2 expression was evaluated by multi-factor COX regression and Kaplan-Meier analyses.
Hyper-activation of STAT3, p-STAT3 and EZH2 expression were observed in GC cells and tissues. STAT3 signaling was correlated with EZH2 expression in GC (R = 0.373, P = 0.003), which was consistent with our data showing that STAT3 as the transcriptional factor enhanced EZH2 transcriptional activity by binding the relative promoter region (-214 ~ -206). STAT3 was an independent signature for poor survival (P = 0.002). Patients with STAT3+/EZH2+ or p-STAT3+/EZH2+ had a worse outcome than others (P < 0.001); Besides, high levels of STAT3 and EZH2 was associated with advanced TNM staging (P = 0.017). Moreover, treatment with a combination of siSTAT3 and EZH2-specific inhibitor, 3-deazaneplanocin A (DZNEP), increased the apoptotic ratio of cells. It is benefit for targeting STAT3-EZH2 interplay in GC treatment.
Our results indicate that STAT3 status mediated EZH2 upregulation, associated with advanced TNM stage and poor prognosis, suggesting that combination with knockdown of STAT3 and EZH2 inhibitor might be a novel therapy in GC treatment. Collectively, STAT3, p-STAT3 and EZH2 expression were provided for the precision medicine in GC patients.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12943-016-0561-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC5148878  PMID: 27938379
EZH2; STAT3; p-STAT3; 3-deazaneplanocin A; Gastric cancer; Prognosis
3.  A novel long non-coding RNA lnc-GNAT1-1 is low expressed in colorectal cancer and acts as a tumor suppressor through regulating RKIP-NF-κB-Snail circuit 
The role of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in colorectal cancer (CRC) progression has not fully been elucidated. This study was designed to report the identification of a novel lncRNA, lnc-GNAT1-1, and its functional role in CRC progression.
lncRNA expression profile microarray was performed in three paired primary and liver metastatic tissues of CRC, and a novel lncRNA, lnc-GNAT1-1, was identified to be a potential functional lncRNA. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to detect its expression in CRC tissues, cell lines, and patients’ plasma, cell fractionation was used to evaluate its subcellular location. lnc-GNAT1-1 was knockdown by siRNA or overexpressed by a lentivirus vector, then in vitro an vivo experiments were performed to evaluate its biological role and the underlying mechanisms in CRC.
Expression of lnc-GNAT1-1 was decreased in liver metastasis than the primary tumor, while the later one is lower than the paired normal mucosa. Decreased lnc-GNAT1-1 expression was associated unfavorable clinicopathological features and a poor prognosis of CRC patients. In multivariate analysis, lnc-GNAT1-1 was proved to be an independent prognostic factor. In plasma, lnc-GNAT1-1 was significant decreased in CRC patients than healthy donors, and with the TNM stages advanced, the plasma lnc-GNAT1-1 level decreased; Receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC curve) showed that plasma lnc-GNAT1-1 had a moderate to well diagnostic efficiency for CRC. In vitro experiments showed that knockdown of lnc-GNAT1-1 could inhibit the aggressive phenotypes of CRC cell lines. In vivo study showed that overexpression of lnc-GNAT1-1 could suppress the liver metastasis of CRC cells. Finally, we explored the underlying mechanism of the role lnc-GNAT1-1 plays in CRC, and found a positive correlation between lnc-GNAT1-1 and Raf kinase inhibitor protein (RKIP) expression both in cells and in patients’ tissues. We further found that lnc-GNAT1-1 could regulate the RKIP-NF-κB-Snail circuit in CRC.
We have demonstrated in this study that a novel lncRNA, lnc-GNAT1-1, is low expressed in colorectal cancer tissues and plasma, and acts as a tumor suppressor through regulating RKIP-NF-κB-Snail circuit.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13046-016-0467-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC5135755  PMID: 27912775
Long non-coding RNA; lnc-GNAT1-1; RKIP; NF-κB; Snail
4.  A network-pathway based module identification for predicting the prognosis of ovarian cancer patients 
This study aimed to screen multiple genes biomarkers based on gene expression data for predicting the survival of ovarian cancer patients.
Two microarray data of ovarian cancer samples were collected from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. The data in the training set were used to construct Reactome functional interactions network, which then underwent Markov clustering, supervised principal components, Cox proportional hazard model to screen significantly prognosis related modules. The distinguishing ability of each module for survival was further evaluated by the testing set. Gene Ontology (GO) functional and pathway annotations were performed to identify the roles of genes in each module for ovarian cancer.
The network based approach identified two 7-gene functional interaction modules (31: DCLRE1A, EXO1, KIAA0101, KIN, PCNA, POLD3, POLD2; 35: DKK3, FABP3, IRF1, AIM2, GBP1, GBP2, IRF2) that are associated with prognosis of ovarian cancer patients. These network modules are related to DNA repair, replication, immune and cytokine mediated signaling pathways.
The two 7-gene expression signatures may be accurate predictors of clinical outcome in patients with ovarian cancer and has the potential to develop new therapeutic strategies for ovarian cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC5093979  PMID: 27806724
Ovarian cancer; Reactome functional interactions; Markov clustering; Supervised principal components; Prognosis
5.  Slip-Effect Functional Air Filter for Efficient Purification of PM2.5 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:35472.
Fabrication of air filtration materials (AFM) that allow air to easily flow through while retaining particles is a significant and urgent need due to the harmful airborne particulate matter pollution; however, this is still a challenging research area. Herein, we report novel slip-effect functional nanofibrous membranes with decreased air resistance (reduction rate of 40%) due to the slip flow of air molecules on the periphery of nanofibers. This was achieved through careful control over the diameters of electrospun polyacrylonitrile fibers and aperture size of fiber assembly. Fiber assembly with 86% of fiber diameters between 60–100 nm was found to be most effective for slip flow, as these diameters are close to the mean free path of air molecules (65.3 nm). Significantly, an equilibrium factor τ = df/d2 has been introduced to elucidate the effect of distance of adjacent fibers on the drag force of airflow. Furthermore, the most effective aperture size (>3.5 μm) for slip-effect has been determined. Ultimately, the new material displayed low air resistance of 29.5 Pa, high purification efficiency of 99.09%, good transmittance of 77%, and long service life. The successful fabrication of such materials can facilitate the development of high-performance AFMs for various applications.
PMCID: PMC5066256  PMID: 27748419
6.  Alterations of pulmonary function in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2016;11(4):249-253.
The aim of this study was to investigate the alterations of pulmonary function tests (PFTs) and their relationship with disease activity in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs).
Sixty-four IBD patients (31 Crohn's disease [CD] and 33 ulcerative colitis [UC]) and thirty healthy individuals (controls) were studied with regard to the following parameters of PFTs: Forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), their ratio, mid-forced expiratory flow of 25–75% (FEF 25–75), residual volume, total lung capacity, and diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO). The disease activity was calculated using the Crohn's Disease Activity Index for CD and Mayo Clinic Score for UC. Correlation analysis was performed between disease activity and sputum cytology and PFTs.
Nineteen of the 31 CD patients (61.29%) and 17 of the 33 UC patients (51.52%) but none of the controls showed at least one abnormal PFTs (P < 0.05). Compared with controls, both CD and UC patients exhibited a significant reduction in FEV1 (P < 0.05), FVC (P < 0.05), FEF 25–75 (P < 0.05), and DLCO (P < 0.05). The majority with decreased measurements of PFTs were in the active phase of diseases (P < 0.05). IBD activity scores correlated negatively with some parameters of PFTs and positively with lymphocytosis and eosinophilia of sputum (P < 0.05).
Pulmonary function disorders are significantly common in IBD patients. The impairment in active disease is significantly greater than in remission.
PMCID: PMC5070433  PMID: 27803750
Crohn's disease; inflammatory bowel disease; pulmonary function tests; sputum; ulcerative colitis
7.  Multiple Minor QTLs Are Responsible for Fusarium Head Blight Resistance in Chinese Wheat Landrace Haiyanzhong 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(9):e0163292.
Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused by Fusarium graminearum Schwabe, is a devastating disease in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Use of host resistance is one of the most effective strategies to minimize the disease damage. Haiyanzhong (HYZ) is a Chinese wheat landrace that shows a high level of resistance to FHB spread within a spike (type II resistance). To map the quantitative trait loci (QTLs) in HYZ and identify markers tightly linked to the QTLs for FHB resistance, a population of 172 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) from a cross between HYZ and Wheaton (FHB susceptible) was genotyped using simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) derived from genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS), and evaluated for percentage of symptomatic spikelets (PSSs) per spike in three greenhouse experiments. Six QTLs for type II resistance were identified in HYZ, indicating that multiple minor QTLs together can provide a high level of FHB resistance in wheat. The QTL with the largest effect on FHB resistance was mapped on the chromosome arm 5AS, and the other five from HYZ were mapped on the chromosomes 6B, 7D, 3B, 4B and 4D. In addition, two QTLs from Wheaton were mapped on 2B. Critical SNPs linked to the QTLs on chromosomes 5A, 6B, and 2B were converted into KBioscience competitive allele-specific PCR (KASP) assays, which can be used for marker-assisted selection (MAS) to pyramid these QTLs in wheat.
PMCID: PMC5038969  PMID: 27676181
8.  A novel intrinsic analgesic mechanism: the enhancement of the conduction failure along polymodal nociceptive C-fibers 
Pain  2016;157(10):2235-2247.
Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.
Conduction failure represents a prime target for modulating pain signals along C-fibers and might provide a new promising strategy to modulating pain with little side effects.
Although conduction failure has been observed in nociceptive C-fibers, little is known regarding its significance or therapeutic potential. In a previous study, we demonstrated that C-fiber conduction failure, which is regarded as an intrinsic self-inhibition mechanism, was reduced in circumstances of painful diabetic neuropathy. In this study, we extend this finding in the complete Freund's adjuvant model of inflammatory pain and validate that the degree of conduction failure decreased and led to a greater amount of pain signals conveyed to the central nervous system. In complete Freund's adjuvant–injected animals, conduction failure occurred in a C-fiber-selective, activity-dependent manner and was associated with an increase in the rising slope of the C-fiber after-hyperpolarization potential. To target conduction failure in a therapeutic modality, we used ZD7288, an antagonist of hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic nucleotide–modulated channels which are activated by hyperpolarization and play a pivotal role in both inflammatory and neuropathic pain. ZD7288 promoted conduction failure by suppressing Ih as a mechanism to reduce the rising slope of the after-hyperpolarization potential. Moreover, perineuronal injection of ZD7288 inhibited abnormal mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia without affecting motor function or heart rate. Our data highlight the analgesic potential of local ZD7288 application and identify conduction failure as a novel target for analgesic therapeutic development.
PMCID: PMC5028159  PMID: 27583680
Conduction failure; Nociceptive C-Fiber; HCN; AHP; Pain; Analgesia
9.  Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents (2016): comments and comparisons 
A high quality diet is believed to play a functional role in promoting the healthy growth of mankind and preventing many kinds of chronic degenerative diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Adherence to a high quality diet has been strongly associated with a lower risk of mortality. To help promote healthy lifestyles and physical strength, the Chinese government has produced a new revised version of the Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents (2016) and the Chinese Food Pagoda, as guidance for dietary intake among its population. Similarly, the Japanese government has produced the Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top Model, and the US government has recently published revised dietary recommendations in its 2015–2020 eighth edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The evidence from all respective cohort studies involved in producing these guidelines shows a reduced risk of many chronic diseases and mortality if the guidelines are followed. All scientific findings support encouraging the general population to consume a broad variety of food on the basis of nutrient and food intakes in order to prevent deficiency diseases and a surplus of energy and nutrients, and recommend daily physical activity for health promotion.
PMCID: PMC5018612  PMID: 27604857
Dietary guidelines; Chinese Food Pagoda; Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top; Dietary Guidelines for Americans
10.  Biodegradation of Methyl tert-Butyl Ether by Co-Metabolism with a Pseudomonas sp. Strain 
Co-metabolic bioremediation is supposed to be an impressive and promising approach in the elimination technology of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), which was found to be a common pollutant worldwide in the ground or underground water in recent years. In this paper, bacterial strain DZ13 (which can co-metabolically degrade MTBE) was isolated and named as Pseudomonas sp. DZ13 based on the result of 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis. Strain DZ13 could grow on n-alkanes (C5-C8), accompanied with the co-metabolic degradation of MTBE. Diverse n-alkanes with different carbon number showed a significant influence on the degradation rate of MTBE and accumulation of tert-butyl alcohol (TBA). When Pseudomonas sp. DZ13 co-metabolically degraded MTBE with n-pentane as the growth substrate, a higher MTBE-degrading rate (Vmax = 38.1 nmol/min/mgprotein, Ks = 6.8 mmol/L) and lower TBA-accumulation was observed. In the continuous degradation experiment, the removal efficiency of MTBE by Pseudomonas sp. Strain DZ13 did not show an obvious decrease after five times of continuous addition.
PMCID: PMC5036716  PMID: 27608032
co-metabolic degradation; Pseudomonas sp.; MTBE; alkane
11.  Cell-in-Cell Death Is Not Restricted by Caspase-3 Deficiency in MCF-7 Cells 
Journal of Breast Cancer  2016;19(3):231-241.
Cell-in-cell structures are created by one living cell entering another homotypic or heterotypic living cell, which usually leads to the death of the internalized cell, specifically through caspase-dependent cell death (emperitosis) or lysosome-dependent cell death (entosis). Although entosis has attracted great attention, its occurrence is controversial, because one cell line used in its study (MCF-7) is deficient in caspase-3.
We investigated this issue using MCF-7 and A431 cell lines, which often display cell-in-cell invasion, and have different levels of caspase-3 expression. Cell-in-cell death morphology, microstructures, and signaling pathways were compared in the two cell lines.
Our results confirmed that MCF-7 cells are caspase-3 deficient with a partial deletion in the CASP-3 gene. These cells underwent cell death that lacked typical apoptotic properties after staurosporine treatment, whereas caspase-3-sufficient A431 cells displayed typical apoptosis. The presence of caspase-3 was related neither to the lysosome-dependent nor to the caspase-dependent cell-in-cell death pathway. However, the existence of caspase-3 was associated with a switch from lysosome-dependent cell-in-cell death to the apoptotic cell-in-cell death pathway during entosis. Moreover, cellular hypoxia, mitochondrial swelling, release of cytochrome C, and autophagy were observed in internalized cells during entosis.
The occurrence of caspase-independent entosis is not a cell-specific process. In addition, entosis actually represents a cellular self-repair system, functioning through autophagy, to degrade damaged mitochondria resulting from cellular hypoxia in cell-in-cell structures. However, sustained autophagy-associated signal activation, without reduction in cellular hypoxia, eventually leads to lysosome-dependent intracellular cell death.
PMCID: PMC5053307  PMID: 27721872
Autophagy; Caspase 3; Cell hypoxia; Entosis; MCF-7 cells
12.  Hepatocyte growth factor inhibits hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced activation of xanthine oxidase in endothelial cells through the JAK2 signaling pathway 
Vascular endothelial cells (ECs) appear to be one of the primary targets of hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) injury. In our previous study, we demonstrated that hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) exhibited a protective effect in cardiac microvascular endothelial cells (CMECs) subjected to H/R by inhibiting xanthine oxidase (XO) by reducing the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration increased in response to H/R. The precise mechanisms through which HGF inhibits XO activation remain to be determined. In the present study, we examined the signaling pathway through which HGF regulates Ca2+ concentrations and the activation of XO during H/R in primary cultured rat CMECs. CMECs were exposed to 4 h of hypoxia and 1 h of reoxygenation. The protein expression of XO and the activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), janus kinase 2 (JAK2) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) signaling pathways were detected by western blot analysis. Cytosolic calcium (Ca2+) concentrations and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were measured by flow cytometry. The small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown of XO inhibited the increase in ROS production induced by H/R. LY294002 and AG490 inhibited the H/R-induced increase in the production and activation of XO. The PI3K and JAK2 signaling pathways were activated by H/R. The siRNA-mediated knockdown of PI3K and JAK2 also inhibited the increase in the production of XO protein. HGF inhibited JAK2 activation whereas it had no effect on PI3K activation. The siRNA-mediated knockdown of JAK2 prevented the increase in cytosolic Ca2+ induced by H/R. Taken together, these findings suggest that H/R induces the production and activation of XO through the JAK2 and PI3K signaling pathways. Furthermore, HGF prevents XO activation following H/R primarily by inhibiting the JAK2 signaling pathway and in turn, inhibiting the increase in cytosolic Ca2+.
PMCID: PMC5029971  PMID: 27573711
hepatocyte growth factor; hypoxia/reoxygenation; xanthine oxidase; endothelial cells; janus kinase 2
13.  Identifying a Safe Range of Stimulation Current for Intraoperative Neuromonitoring of the Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve: Results from a Canine Model 
Chinese Medical Journal  2016;129(15):1830-1834.
Intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) of the recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) has been widely applied during thyroid surgery. However, the safe range of stimulation intensity for IONM remains undetermined.
Total thyroidectomies were performed on twenty dogs, and their RLNs were stimulated with a current of 5–20 mA (step-wise in 5 mA increments) for 1 min. The evoked electromyography (EMG) of vocal muscles before and after supramaximal stimulation were recorded and compared. Acute microstructural morphological changes in the RLNs were observed immediately postoperatively under an electron microscope.
The average stimulating threshold for RLNs stimulated with 15 mA and 20 mA showed no significant changes compared to the unstimulated RLNs (15 mA group: 0.320 ± 0.123 mA vs. 0.315 ± 0.097 mA, P = 0.847; 20 mA group: 0.305 ± 0.101 mA vs. 0.300 ± 0.103 mA, P = 0.758). Similar outcomes were shown in average evoked EMG amplitude (15 mA group: 1,026 ± 268 μV vs. 1,021 ± 273 μV, P = 0.834; 20 mA group: 1,162 ± 275 μV vs. 1,200 ± 258 μV, P = 0.148). However, obvious acute microstructural morphological changes were observed in the nerves that were stimulated with 20 mA.
A stimulation intensity less than 15 mA might be safe for IONM of the RLN.
PMCID: PMC4976572  PMID: 27453233
Canine Model; Neuromonitoring; Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve; Safe Stimulation Intensity; Thyroid Surgery
14.  Prevalence of Delirium and Coma In Mechanically Ventilated Patients Sedated With Dexmedetomidine or Propofol 
Pharmacy and Therapeutics  2016;41(7):442-445.
In a retrospective review, the prevalence of delirium did not differ among intensive care unit patients who received either dexmedetomidine or propofol alone for 24 hours or more. Propofol was linked with more coma and shorter hospital stays.
To assess the prevalence of delirium and coma in mechanically ventilated patients sedated with dexmedetomidine or propofol alone; to evaluate the hospital length of stay for both treatment groups; and to evaluate the level of sedation, adverse effects, and hospital outcomes.
Medical records were reviewed retrospectively for patients who were admitted to the medical or surgical intensive care units (ICUs) in a 591-bed teaching hospital and who received either dexmedetomidine or propofol alone for 24 hours or more for sedation.
A total of 111 patients were included in the study, with 56 patients in the dexmedetomidine group and 55 patients in the propofol group. Results of the analysis showed that the propofol group had a higher prevalence of coma (43.6% versus 12.5%; P < 0.001). Dexmedetomidine patients had a longer median hospital length of stay of 23.5 days (interquartile range [IQR], 11.5–39.5 days) versus 15.0 days (IQR, 7.0–24.0 days; P = 0.01). The rates of delirium were similar in both groups, with 16% in dexmedetomidine-treated patients versus 20% in propofol-treated patients (P = 0.63).
No difference in the prevalence of delirium was found when comparing the dexmedetomidine- and propofol-treated groups. Propofol was associated with more coma and oversedation; dexmedetomidine was associated with longer time to extubation, longer length of stay in the ICU, and longer hospital length of stay.
PMCID: PMC4927019  PMID: 27408521
delirium; coma; mechanical ventilation; sedation; dexmedetomidine; propofol; intensive care
15.  Magneto-nanosensor platform for probing low-affinity protein–protein interactions and identification of a low-affinity PD-L1/PD-L2 interaction 
Nature Communications  2016;7:12220.
Substantial efforts have been made to understand the interactions between immune checkpoint receptors and their ligands targeted in immunotherapies against cancer. To carefully characterize the complete network of interactions involved and the binding affinities between their extracellular domains, an improved kinetic assay is needed to overcome limitations with surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Here, we present a magneto-nanosensor platform integrated with a microfluidic chip that allows measurement of dissociation constants in the micromolar-range. High-density conjugation of magnetic nanoparticles with prey proteins allows multivalent receptor interactions with sensor-immobilized bait proteins, more closely mimicking natural-receptor clustering on cells. The platform has advantages over traditional SPR in terms of insensitivity of signal responses to pH and salinity, less consumption of proteins and better sensitivities. Using this platform, we characterized the binding affinities of the PD-1—PD-L1/PD-L2 co-inhibitory receptor system, and discovered an unexpected interaction between the two known PD-1 ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2.
Measurement of low-affinity protein–protein interactions is challenging; surface plasmon resonance requires high concentrations of reagents. Here the authors combine magneto-nanosensors with microfluidic chips and protein-conjugated magnetic nanoparticles to discover a low-affinity interaction between T-cell inhibitory receptors PD-L1 and PD-L2.
PMCID: PMC4961847  PMID: 27447090
16.  Intermittent Fever, Progressive Weight Gain, and Personality Changes in a Five-Year-Old Girl: Unusual Paraneoplastic Syndrome due to Presacral Ganglioneuroma 
Case Reports in Endocrinology  2016;2016:2743576.
Ganglioneuromas are rare tumors in the neuroblastoma group. Paraneoplastic syndrome (PNS) due to presacral ganglioneuromas was hardly reported in previous literature. Here, we reported that a case of a 5-year-old girl with a presacral ganglioneuroma presented with PNS, who presented with intermittent fever, progressive weight gain, and personality changes. Our report revealed intermittent fever, progressive weight gain, and personality changes may represent rare paraneoplastic syndromes in ganglioneuromas.
PMCID: PMC4931079  PMID: 27413558
17.  Benign incidental findings of osteopoikilosis on Tc-99m MDP bone SPECT/CT 
Medicine  2016;95(23):e3868.
Osteopoikilosis is a benign but rare condition characterized by bone islands throughout the osseous tissue, which could be easily confused with bone metastasis. We present a case of a 37-year-old man presented to orthopedic outpatient clinic with right hip pain for 2 weeks. There were multiple, small punctate lesions scattered throughout the skeleton on radiograph. Subsequent Tc-99m methylene diphosphonate (MDP) bone scan with pelvic single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/computed tomography (CT) showed multiple enostoses without abnormal focal MDP uptake. Therefore, clinical diagnosis was compatible with osteopoikilosis while bone metastasis was unlikely. The symptoms then improved by conservative treatments. Osteopoikilosis is usually an incidental finding on radiograph or CT, and a normal MDP confirmed the diagnosis by excluding bone metastasis. It is important for clinicians to recognize the specific image features to prevent further unnecessary interventions. In addition, bone SPECT/CT could also make the diagnosis in one step.
PMCID: PMC4907677  PMID: 27281099
bone islands/enostoses; bone metastasis; case report; osteopoikilosis; Tc-99m MDP bone SPECT/CT
18.  Multiplex giant magnetoresistive biosensor microarrays identify interferon-associated autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:27623.
High titer, class-switched autoantibodies are a hallmark of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Dysregulation of the interferon (IFN) pathway is observed in individuals with active SLE, although the association of specific autoantibodies with chemokine score, a combined measurement of three IFN-regulated chemokines, is not known. To identify autoantibodies associated with chemokine score, we developed giant magnetoresistive (GMR) biosensor microarrays, which allow the parallel measurement of multiple serum antibodies to autoantigens and peptides. We used the microarrays to analyze serum samples from SLE patients and found individuals with high chemokine scores had significantly greater reactivity to 13 autoantigens than individuals with low chemokine scores. Our findings demonstrate that multiple autoantibodies, including antibodies to U1-70K and modified histone H2B tails, are associated with IFN dysregulation in SLE. Further, they show the microarrays are capable of identifying autoantibodies associated with relevant clinical manifestations of SLE, with potential for use as biomarkers in clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC4899742  PMID: 27279139
19.  Effects of testosterone on the expression levels of AMH, VEGF and HIF-1α in mouse granulosa cells 
The present study aimed to investigate the effects of testosterone on mouse granulosa cell morphology, and the expression levels of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α). Mouse granulosa cells were isolated and identified, and their morphology was examined using hematoxylin and eosin, F-actin, and follicle-stimulating hormone receptor staining. The mRNA expression levels of AMH, VEGF and HIF-1α were examined using reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and their protein secretion levels were investigated using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Testosterone treatment did not affect granulosa cell morphology; however, it significantly increased the mRNA expression levels of AMH and VEGF, and the protein secretion levels of AMH, VEGF and HIF-1α. These results suggested that testosterone was able to regulate the functions of granulosa cells by upregulating the expression levels of AMH, VEGF and HIF-1α.
PMCID: PMC4950823  PMID: 27446291
testosterone; anti-Müllerian hormone; hypoxia-inducible factor-1α; vascular endothelial growth factor
20.  Downregulation of miR-199b is associated with distant metastasis in colorectal cancer via activation of SIRT1 and inhibition of CREB/KISS1 signaling 
Oncotarget  2016;7(23):35092-35105.
The progression of distant metastasis cascade is a multistep and complicated process, frequently leading to a poor prognosis in cancer patients. Recently, growing evidence has indicated that deregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) contributes to tumorigenesis and tumor progression in colorectal cancer (CRC). In the present study, by comparing the miRNA expression profiles of CRC tissues and corresponding hepatic metastasis tissues, we established the downregulation of miR-199b in CRC metastasis tissues. The decrease in miR-199b expression was significantly correlated to late TNM stage and distant metastasis. Moreover, Kaplan–Meier curves showed that CRC patients with high expression level of miR-199b had a longer median survival. Functional assays results indicated that the restoration of miR-199b considerably reduced cell invasion and migration in vitro and in vivo, and increased the sensitivity to 5-FU and oxaliplatin. Further dual-luciferase reporter gene assays revealed that SIRT1 was the direct target of miR-199b in CRC. The expression of miR-199b was inversely correlated with SIRT1 in CRC specimens. SIRT1 knockdown produced effects on biological behavior that were similar to those of miR-199b overexpression. Furthermore, through Human Tumor Metastasis PCR Array we discovered KISS1 was one of the downstream targets of SIRT1. Silencing of SIRT1 upregulated KISS1 expression by enhancing the acetylation of the transcription factor CREB. The latter was further activated via binding to the promoter of KISS1 to induce transcription. Thus, we concluded that miR-199b regulates SIRT1/CREB/KISS1 signaling pathway and might serve as a prognosis marker or a novel therapeutic target for patients with CRC.
PMCID: PMC5085212  PMID: 27145368
miR-199b; SIRT1; KISS1; colorectal cancer; metastasis
21.  The Msi family of RNA binding proteins function redundantly as intestinal oncoproteins 
Cell reports  2015;13(11):2440-2455.
Members of Msi family of RNA binding proteins have recently emerged as potent oncoproteins in a range of malignancies. MSI2 is highly expressed in hematopoietic cancers where it is required for disease maintenance. In contrast to the hematopoietic system, colorectal cancers can express both Msi family members, MSI1 and MSI2. Here we demonstrate that in the intestinal epithelium, Msi1 and Msi2 have analogous oncogenic effects. Further, comparison of Msi1/2-induced gene expression programs and transcriptome-wide analyses of Msi1/2-RNA binding targets reveal significant functional overlap, including induction of the PDK-Akt-mTORC1 axis. Ultimately, we demonstrate that concomitant loss of function of both MSI family members is sufficient to abrogate the growth of human colorectal cancer cells, and Msi gene deletion inhibits tumorigenesis in several mouse models of intestinal cancer. Our findings demonstrate that MSI1 and MSI2 act as functionally redundant oncoproteins required for the ontogeny of intestinal cancers.
Graphical Abstract
PMCID: PMC4894540  PMID: 26673327
22.  Synthesis of a novel adamantyl nitroxide derivative with potent anti-hepatoma activity in vitro and in vivo  
American Journal of Cancer Research  2016;6(6):1271-1286.
In this study, a novel adamantyl nitroxide derivative was synthesized and its antitumor activities in vitro and in vivo were investigated. The adamantyl nitroxide derivative 4 displayed a potent anticancer activity against all the tested human hepatoma cells, especially with IC50 of 68.1 μM in Bel-7404 cells, compared to the positive control 5-FU (IC50=607.7 μM). The significant inhibition of cell growth was also observed in xenograft mouse model, with low toxicity. Compound 4 suppressed the cell migration and invasion, induced the G2/M phase arrest. Further mechanistic studies revealed that compound 4 induced cell death, which was accompanied with damaging mitochondria, increasing the generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species, cleavages of caspase-9 and caspase-3, as well as activations of Bax and Bcl-2. These results confirmed that adamantyl nitroxide derivative exhibited selective antitumor activities via mitochondrial apoptosis pathway in Bel-7404 cells, and would be a potential anticancer agent for liver cancer.
PMCID: PMC4937732  PMID: 27429843
Adamantyl nitroxide derivative; hepatoma; anticancer; apoptosis; reactive oxygen species
23.  Prognostic and Clinicopathological Value of Programmed Death Ligand-1 in Breast Cancer: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(5):e0156323.
Recently, the interest in programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) as a prognostic marker in several types of malignant tumors has increased. In the present meta-analysis, we aimed to explore the prognostic and clinicopathological value of PD-L1 in breast cancer. We searched Medline/PubMed, Web of Science, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library databases, and grey literature from inception until January 20, 2016. Studies concerning breast cancer that focused on PD-L1 expression and studies reporting survival data were included; two authors independently performed the data extraction. The pooled risk ratio (RR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were assessed to determine the association between the clinicopathological parameters of patients and PD-L1 expression. Five studies involving 2061 patients were included in this meta-analysis. The results indicated that positive/higher PD-L1 expression was a negative predictor for breast cancer, with an RR of 1.64 (95% CI, 1.14–2.34) for the total mortality risk and an RR of 2.53 (95% CI, 1.78–3.59) for the mortality risk 10 years after surgery. Moreover, positive/higher PD-L1 expression was significantly associated with positive lymph node metastasis (RR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.04–1.70), poor nuclear grade (RR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.07–1.43), and negative estrogen receptor status (RR, 2.45; 95% CI, 1.31–4.60) in breast cancer patients. Our findings suggest that PD-L1 can serve as a significant biomarker for poor prognosis and the adverse clinicopathologic features of breast cancer and could facilitate the better management of individual patients.
PMCID: PMC4882023  PMID: 27227453
24.  Genome wide association mapping for grain shape traits in indica rice 
Planta  2016;244(4):819-830.
Main conclusion
Using genome-wide association mapping, 47 SNPs within 27 significant loci were identified for four grain shape traits, and 424 candidate genes were predicted from public database.
Grain shape is a key determinant of grain yield and quality in rice (Oryza sativa L.). However, our knowledge of genes controlling rice grain shape remains limited. Genome-wide association mapping based on linkage disequilibrium (LD) has recently emerged as an effective approach for identifying genes or quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying complex traits in plants. In this study, association mapping based on 5291 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was conducted to identify significant loci associated with grain shape traits in a global collection of 469 diverse rice accessions. A total of 47 SNPs were located in 27 significant loci for four grain traits, and explained ~44.93–65.90 % of the phenotypic variation for each trait. In total, 424 candidate genes within a 200 kb extension region (±100 kb of each locus) of these loci were predicted. Of them, the cloned genes GS3 and qSW5 showed very strong effects on grain length and grain width in our study. Comparing with previously reported QTLs for grain shape traits, we found 11 novel loci, including 3, 3, 2 and 3 loci for grain length, grain width, grain length–width ratio and thousand grain weight, respectively. Validation of these new loci would be performed in the future studies. These results revealed that besides GS3 and qSW5, multiple novel loci and mechanisms were involved in determining rice grain shape. These findings provided valuable information for understanding of the genetic control of grain shape and molecular marker assistant selection (MAS) breeding in rice.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00425-016-2548-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC5018019  PMID: 27198135
Genome-wide association mapping; Grain shape; Rice; Single nucleotide polymorphism
25.  Combined hepatocellular cholangiocarcinoma: Controversies to be addressed 
World Journal of Gastroenterology  2016;22(18):4459-4465.
Combined hepatocellular cholangiocarcinoma (CHC) accounts for 0.4%-14.2% of primary liver cancer cases and possesses pathological features of both hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma. Since this disease was first described and classified in 1949, the classification of CHC has continuously evolved. The latest definition and classification of CHC by the World Health Organization is based on the speculation that CHC arises from hepatic progenitor cells. However, there is no evidence demonstrating the common origin of different components of CHC. Furthermore, the definition of CHC subtypes is still ambiguous and the identification of CHC subtype when a single tumor contains many components has remained unresolved. In addition, there is no summary on the newly recognized histopathology features or the contribution of CHC components to prognosis and outcome of this disease. Here we provide a review of the current literature to address these questions.
PMCID: PMC4858629  PMID: 27182157
Progenitor cell origin; Pathology classification; Combined hepatocellular cholangiocarcinoma

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