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1.  On-line monitoring of oxygen in Tubespin, a novel, small-scale disposable bioreactor 
Cytotechnology  2011;63(4):345-350.
A novel, optical sensor was fixed in a new type of disposable bioreactor, Tubespin, for the on-line (real-time) monitoring of dissolved oxygen concentrations during cell culture. The cell density, viability and volumetric mass transfer coefficient were also determined to further characterize the bioreactors. The kLa value of the Tubespin at standard conditions was 24.3 h−1, while that of a spinner flask was only 2.7 h−1. The maximum cell density in the Tubespin bioreactor reached 6 × 106 cells mL−1, which was two times higher than the cell density in a spinner flask. Furthermore, the dynamic dissolved oxygen level was maintained above 90% air-saturation in the Tubespin, while the value was only 1.9% in a spinner flask. These results demonstrate the competitive advantage of using the Tubespin system over spinner flasks for process optimization and scale-down studies of oxygen transfer and cell growth.
PMCID: PMC3140833  PMID: 21574065
Tubespin; Spinner flask; Dissolved oxygen; kLa
2.  Enhancement of tumor cell death by combining cisplatin with an oncolytic adenovirus carrying MDA-7/IL-24 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2009;30(4):467-477.
The aim of this study was to creatively implement a novel chemo-gene-virotherapeutic strategy and further strengthen the antitumor effect in cancer cells by the combined use of ZD55-IL-24 and cisplatin.
ZD55-IL-24 is an oncolytic adenovirus that harbors interleukin 24 (IL-24), which has a strong antitumor effect and was identified and evaluated by PCR, RT-PCR, and Western blot analysis. Enhancement of cancer cell death using a combination of ZD55-IL-24 and cisplatin was assessed in several cancer cell lines by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and cytopathic effect (CPE) assay. Apoptosis induction by treatment with ZD55-IL-24 and/or cisplatin was detected in BEL7404 and SMMC7721 by morphological evaluation, apoptotic cell staining, and flow cytometry analysis. In addition, negative effects on normal cells were evaluated in the L-02 cell line using the MTT assay, the CPE assay, morphological evaluation, apoptotic cell staining, and flow cytometry analysis.
The combination of ZD55-IL-24 and cisplatin, which is superior to ZD55-IL-24, cisplatin, and ZD55-EGFP, as well as ZD55-EGFP plus cisplatin, resulted in a significantly increased effect. Most importantly, conjugation of ZD55-IL-24 with cisplatin had toxic effects equal to that of cisplatin and did not have overlapping toxicities in normal cells.
This study showed that ZD55-IL-24 conjugated with cisplatin exhibited a remarkably increased cytotoxic and apoptosis-inducing effect in cancer cells and significantly reduced the toxicity in normal cells through the use of a reduced dose.
PMCID: PMC4002269  PMID: 19270721
cisplatin; MDA-7/IL-24; oncolytic adenovirus; apoptosis
3.  Development of Catalysts and Ligands for Enantioselective Gold Catalysis 
Accounts of chemical research  2013;47(3):889-901.
The use of Au(I) complexes for the catalytic activation of C-C π-bonds has been the subject of intense investigation in the last decade or so. The facile formation of carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bonds facilitated by gold naturally led to efforts to render these transformations enantioselective. Early examples of enantioselective gold-catalyzed transformations have focused on bis(phosphinegold) complexes derived from axially chiral scaffolds. Although these complexes were highly successful in some reactions like cyclopropanation, careful choice of the weakly coordinating ligand (or counterion) was needed to obtain high levels of enantioselectivity for the case of allene hydroamination. These counterion effects led us to use the anion itself as a source of chirality, which was successful in the case of allene hydroalkoxylation. In order to expand the scope of reactions amenable to enantioselective gold catalysis to cycloadditions and other carbocyclization processes, a new class of mononuclear phosphite and phosphoramidite ligands was developed to supplement the previously widely utilized phosphines. Finally carbene ligands, in particular, the acyclic diaminocarbenes, have also been successfully applied to enantioselective transformations.
PMCID: PMC3960333  PMID: 24228794
4.  Amphiphilic p-Sulfonatocalix[4]arene as “Drug Chaperone” for Escorting Anticancer Drugs 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:9019.
Supramolecularly constructing multifunctional platform for drug delivery is a challenging task. In this work, we propose a novel supramolecular strategy “drug chaperone”, in which macrocyclic amphiphiles directly coassemble with cationic drugs into a multifunctional platform and its surface is further decorated with targeting ligands through host–guest recognition. The coassembling and hierarchical decoration processes were monitored by optical transmittance measurements, and the size and morphology of amphiphilic coassemblies were identified by dynamic light scattering and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. In cell experiments to validate the drug chaperone strategy, the anticancer activities of free drugs were pronouncedly improved by coassembling with amphiphilic chaperone and further functionalization with targeting ligand.
PMCID: PMC4356970  PMID: 25761778
5.  Src inhibitor reduces permeability without disturbing vascularization and prevents bone destruction in steroid-associated osteonecrotic lesions in rabbits 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8856.
To examine the therapeutic effect of Src inhibitor on the VEGF mediating vascular hyperpermeability and bone destruction within steroid-associated osteonecrotic lesions in rabbits. Rabbits with high risk for progress to destructive repair in steroid-associated osteonecrosis were selected according to our published protocol. The selected rabbits were systemically administrated with either Anti-VEGF antibody (Anti-VEGF Group) or Src inhibitor (Src-Inhibition Group) or VEGF (VEGF-Supplement Group) or a combination of VEGF and Src inhibitor (Supplement & Inhibition Group) or control vehicle (Control Group) for 4 weeks. At 0, 2 and 4 weeks after administration, in vivo dynamic MRI, micro-CT based-angiography, histomorphometry and immunoblotting were employed to evaluate the vascular and skeletal events in different groups. The incidence of the destructive repair in the Anti-VEGF Group, Src-Inhibition Group and Supplement & Inhibition Group was all significantly lower than that in the Control Group. The angiogenesis was promoted in VEGF-Supplement Group, Src-Inhibition Group and Supplement & Inhibition Group, while the hyperpermeability was inhibited in Anti-VEGF Group, Src-Inhibition Group and Supplement & Inhibition Group. The trabecular structure was improved in Src-Inhibition Group and Supplement & Inhibition Group. Src inhibitor could reduce permeability without disturbing vascularization and prevent destructive repair in steroid-associated osteonecrosis.
PMCID: PMC4352921  PMID: 25748225
6.  PPARD +294C overrepresentation in general and long-lived population in China Bama longevity area and unique relationships between PPARD +294T/C polymorphism and serum lipid profiles 
The +294T/C polymorphism in the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta (PPARD) gene is associated with hyperlipidemia in several younger populations, but results are still inconsistence across ethnic groups and its possible impact on the lipid profiles of long-lived individuals remains unexploited. Here, we aimed to evaluate the possible correlation between PPARD +294T/C and serum lipid levels in a long-lived population in Bama, a region known for longevity situated in Guangxi, China.
Genotyping of PPARD +294T/C polymorphism was conducted in 505 long-lived inhabitants (aged 90 and above, long-lived group, LG) and 468 healthy controls (aged 60–75, non-long-lived group, non-LG) recruited from Bama area.
No difference in allelic and genotypic frequencies was found between the two groups (P > 0.05). However, C-allele and C-genotype (TC and CC) were significantly more frequent in the females of non-LG than were LG after sex stratification. CC carriers exhibited higher LDL-C level in LG (P < 0.05) but lower TC, TG and LDL-C in non-LG (P < 0.05 for each) than TT carriers; C allele carriers (TC/CC) in LG exhibited higher TC, TG, and LDL-C levels as compared with the same genotype and the same lipid parameter in non-LG (P < 0.05 for each). LDL-C in LG was correlated with genotypes while TC, TG, and LDL-C in non-LG were correlated with genotypes (P < 0.05-0.001).
Our results suggest that there were different impact patterns of PPARD +294T/C polymorphism on lipid profiles between long-lived cohort and average population in Bama area and this may be one of the genetic bases of its longevity.
PMCID: PMC4356147  PMID: 25873088
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta (PPARD); Longevity; Lipoprotein; Polymorphism; Association study
7.  Sp1 and c-Myc modulate drug resistance of leukemia stem cells by regulating survivin expression through the ERK-MSK MAPK signaling pathway 
Molecular Cancer  2015;14:56.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is initiated and maintained by a subset of self-renewing leukemia stem cells (LSCs), which contribute to the progression, recurrence and therapeutic resistance of leukemia. However, the mechanisms underlying the maintenance of LSCs drug resistance have not been fully defined. In this study, we attempted to elucidate the mechanisms of LSCs drug resistance.
We performed reverse phase protein arrays to analyze the expression of anti-apoptotic proteins in the LSC-enriched leukemia cell line KG-1a. Immuno-blotting, cell viability and clinical AML samples were evaluated to verify the micro-assay results. The characteristics and transcriptional regulation of survivin were analyzed with the relative luciferase reporter assay, mutant constructs, chromatin immuno-precipitation (ChIP), quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), and western blotting. The levels of Sp1, c-Myc, phospho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (p-ERK), phospho-mitogen and stress-activated protein kinase (p-MSK) were investigated in paired CD34+ and CD34- AML patient samples.
Survivin was highly over-expressed in CD34 + CD38- KG-1a cells and paired CD34+ AML patients compared with their differentiated counterparts. Functionally, survivin contributes to the drug resistance of LSCs, and Sp1 and c-Myc concurrently regulate levels of survivin transcription. Clinically, Sp1 and c-Myc were significantly up-regulated and positively correlated with survivin in CD34+ AML patients. Moreover, Sp1 and c-Myc were further activated by the ERK/MSK mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway, modulating survivin levels.
Our findings demonstrated that ERK/MSK/Sp1/c-Myc axis functioned as a critical regulator of survivin expression in LSCs, offering a potential new therapeutic strategy for LSCs therapy.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12943-015-0326-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4357193  PMID: 25890196
Survivin; Leukemia stem cell; Sp1; c-Myc; ERK; MSK pathway
8.  Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping and Dynamic Contrast Enhanced Quantitative Perfusion in Cerebral Cavernous Angiomas 
Hyperpermeability and iron deposition are two central pathophysiological phenomena in human cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) disease. Here we used two novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to establish a relationship between these phenomena.
Subjects with CCM disease (4 sporadic and 18 familial) underwent MRI imaging using the Dynamic Contrast Enhanced Quantitative Perfusion (DCEQP) and Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping (QSM) techniques that measure hemodynamic factors of vessel leak and iron deposition respectively, previously demonstrated in CCM disease. Regions of interest encompassing the CCM lesions were analyzed using these techniques
Susceptibility measured by QSM was positively correlated with permeability of lesions measured using DCEQP (r=0.49, p=<0.0001). The correlation was not affected by factors including familial predisposition, lesion volume, the contrast agent and the use of statin medication. Susceptibility was correlated with lesional blood volume (r=0.4, p=0.0001), but not with lesional blood flow.
The correlation between QSM and DCEQP suggests that the phenomena of permeability and iron deposition are related in CCM; hence “more leaky lesions” also manifest a more cumulative iron burden. These techniques might be used as biomarkers to monitor the course of this disease and the effect of therapy.
PMCID: PMC4351041  PMID: 24302484
Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping; Dynamic Contrast Enhanced Quantitative Perfusion; Cerebral Cavernous Malformation; Cavernous Angioma; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; cerebrovascular disease/stroke; cerebrovascular disorder
9.  The role of mechanical tension on lipid raft dependent PDGF-induced TRPC6 activation 
Biomaterials  2014;35(9):2868-2877.
Canonical transient receptor potential channel 6 (TRPC6) can play an important role in governing how cells perceive the surrounding material environment and regulate Ca2+ signaling. We have designed a TRPC6 reporter based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to visualize the TRPC6-mediated calcium entry and hence TRPC6 activity in live cells with high spatiotemporal resolutions. In mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF) can activate the TRPC6 reporter, mediated by phospholipase C (PLC). This TRPC6 activation occurred mainly at lipid rafts regions of the plasma membrane because disruption of lipid raft/caveolae by methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MβCD) or the expression of dominant-negative caveolin-1 inhibited the TRPC6 activity. Culturing cells on soft materials or releasing the intracellular tension by ML-7 reduced this PDGF-induced activation of TRPC6 without affecting the PDGF-regulated Src or inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptor function, suggesting a specific role of mechanical tension in regulating TRPC6. We further showed that the release of intracellular tension had similar effect on the diffusion coefficients of TRPC6 and a raft marker, confirming a strong coupling between TRPC6 and lipid rafts. Therefore, our results suggest that the TRPC6 activation mainly occurs at lipid rafts, which is regulated by the mechanical cues of surrounding materials.
PMCID: PMC3925146  PMID: 24397990
Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET); Canonical transient receptor potential 6 (TRPC6); lipid rafts; intracellular tension; mechanical microenvironment
10.  Evaluation of Iron Content in Human Cerebral Cavernous Malformation using Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping 
Investigative radiology  2014;49(7):498-504.
To investigate and validate quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) for lesional iron quantification in cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM).
Materials and Methods
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies were performed in phantoms and 16 patients on a 3T scanner. QSM, susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI), and R2* maps were reconstructed from in vivo data acquired with a three-dimensional, multi-echo, and T2*-weighted gradient echo sequence. Magnetic susceptibility measurements were correlated to SWI and R2* results. In addition, iron concentrations from surgically excised CCM lesion specimens were determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and correlated with QSM measurements.
The QSM images demonstrated excellent image quality for depicting CCM lesions in both sporadic and familial cases. Susceptibility measurements revealed a positive linear correlation with R2* values (R2 = 0.99 for total, R2 = 0.69 for mean; p < 0.01). QSM values of known iron-rich brain regions matched closely with previous studies and in interobserver consistency. A strong correlation was found between QSM and the concentration of iron phantoms (0.925, p < 0.01), as well as between QSM and mass spectroscopy estimation of iron deposition (0.999 for total iron, 0.86 for iron concentration; p < 0.01) in 18 fragments of 4 excised human CCM lesion specimens.
The ability of QSM to evaluate iron deposition in CCM lesions was illustrated via phantom, in vivo and ex vivo validation studies. QSM may be a potential biomarker for monitoring CCM disease activity and response to treatments.
PMCID: PMC4254705  PMID: 24619210
11.  Prophylactic intra-peritoneal drain placement following pancreaticoduodenectomy: A systematic review and meta-analysis 
AIM: To conduct a meta-analysis comparing outcomes after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) with or without prophylactic drainage.
METHODS: Relevant comparative randomized and non-randomized studies were systemically searched based on specific inclusion and exclusion criteria. Postoperative outcomes were compared between patients with and those without routine drainage. Pooled odds ratios (OR) with 95%CI were calculated using either fixed effects or random effects models.
RESULTS: One randomized controlled trial and four non-randomized comparative studies recruiting 1728 patients were analyzed. Patients without prophylactic drainage after PD had significantly higher mortality (OR = 2.32, 95%CI: 1.11-4.85; P = 0.02), despite the fact that they were associated with fewer overall complications (OR = 0.62, 95%CI: 0.48-0.82; P = 0.00), major complications (OR = 0.75, 95%CI: 0.60-0.93; P = 0.01) and readmissions (OR = 0.77, 95%CI: 0.60-0.98; P = 0.04). There were no significant differences in the rates of pancreatic fistula, intra-abdominal abscesses, postpancreatectomy hemorrhage, biliary fistula, delayed gastric emptying, reoperation or radiologic-guided drains between the two groups.
CONCLUSION: Indiscriminate abandonment of intra-abdominal drainage following PD is associated with greater mortality, but lower complication rates. Future randomized trials should compare routine vs selective drainage.
PMCID: PMC4342931  PMID: 25741162
Pancreaticoduodenectomy; Drain; Meta-analysis; Morbidity; Postoperative pancreatic fistula
12.  Viral etiology of community-acquired pneumonia among adolescents and adults with mild or moderate severity and its relation to age and severity 
Better knowledge of distribution of respiratory viruses (RVs) in adolescents and adults with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is needed.
To investigate the RVs etiology among adolescents and adults with CAP, according to age and pneumonia severity index (PSI), a multi-center, prospective study was conducted from November 2010 to April 2012. Fifteen RVs were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Bacteria were detected by urinary antigen, conventional culture and PCR.
Mean (SD) age and median (IQR) PSI score of 954 patients enrolled was 45.2 (19.5) years (range 14–94) and 42 (36). RVs were found in 262 patients (27.5%): influenza virus A (IFV A, 9.9%) comprised of pandemic H1N1 (6.7%) and seasonal H3N2 (3.5%), human rhinovirus (4.3%), adenovirus (4.2%), human metapneumovirus (1.8%), parainfluenza virus 1, 3 and 2 (1.7%, 1.5% and 1.2%). Influenza virus B, enterovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, human coronavirus and parainfluenza virus 4 were rarely detected (<1%). Frequency of IFV A was highest among patients aged between 45–64 years (p < 0.001), while adenovirus among patients aged 14–17 years (p < 0.001), no differences was found in other RVs. The proportion of pandemic H1N1 increased with severity of pneumonia evaluated by PSI (P < 0.05).
The proportion of RVs in CAP is higher than previously reported. IFV A pneumonia are usually found in patients older than 45 years, while, adenovirus pneumonia are common in adolescents and young adults. Pandemic H1N1 virus is still recognized by PSI as a high-severity pathogen. The findings contribute baseline data on viral CAP study in China.
PMCID: PMC4342096  PMID: 25812108
Community-acquired pneumonia; Respiratory viral infection; Pneumonia severity index; Adolescent; Adult; Influenza virus A; Adenovirus; Human rhinovirus
13.  Herpes simplex virus-1 infection or Simian virus 40-mediated immortalization of corneal cells causes permanent translocation of NLRP3 to the nuclei 
To investigate into the potential involvement of pyrin containing 3 gene (NLRP3), a member of the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptors with cytosolic pattern recognition, in the host defense of corneas against viruses.
The herpes viral keratitis model was utilized in BALB/c mice with inoculation of herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1). Corneal tissues removed during therapy of patients with viral keratitis as well as a Simian vacuolating virus 40 (SV40)-immortalized human corneal epithelial cell line were also examined. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect NLRP3 in these subjects, focusing on their distribution in tissue or cells. Western blot was used to measure the level of NLRP3 and another two related molecules in NLPR3 inflammasome, namely caspase-1 and IL-1β.
The NLRP3 activation induced by HSV-1 infection in corneas was accompanied with redistribution of NLRP3 from the cytoplasm to the nucleus in both murine and human corneal epithelial cells. Furthermore, in the SV40-immortalized human corneal epithelial cells, NLRP3 was exclusively located in the nucleus, and treatment of the cells with high concentration of extracellular potassium (known as an inhibitor of NLRP3 activation) effectively drove NLRP3 back to the cytoplasm as reflected by both immunohistochemistry and Western blot.
It is proposed that herpes virus infection activates and causes redistribution of NLRP3 to nuclei. Whether this NLRP3 translocation occurs with other viral infections and in other cell types merit further study.
PMCID: PMC4325240  PMID: 25709906
pyrin containing 3 gene; inflammasome; translocation; herpes simplex virus-1; keratitis; human corneal epithelial cell; Simian vacuolating virus 40; immortalization
14.  Selection by Pollinators on Floral Traits in Generalized Trollius ranunculoides (Ranunculaceae) along Altitudinal Gradients 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0118299.
Abundance and visitation of pollinator assemblages tend to decrease with altitude, leading to an increase in pollen limitation. Thus increased competition for pollinators may generate stronger selection on attractive traits of flowers at high elevations and cause floral adaptive evolution. Few studies have related geographically variable selection from pollinators and intraspecific floral differentiation. We investigated the variation of Trollius ranunculoides flowers and its pollinators along an altitudinal gradient on the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and measured phenotypic selection by pollinators on floral traits across populations. The results showed significant decline of visitation rate of bees along altitudinal gradients, while flies was unchanged. When fitness is estimated by the visitation rate rather than the seed number per plant, phenotypic selection on the sepal length and width shows a significant correlation between the selection strength and the altitude, with stronger selection at higher altitudes. However, significant decreases in the sepal length and width of T. ranunculoides along the altitudinal gradient did not correspond to stronger selection of pollinators. In contrast to the pollinator visitation, mean annual precipitation negatively affected the sepal length and width, and contributed more to geographical variation in measured floral traits than the visitation rate of pollinators. Therefore, the sepal size may have been influenced by conflicting selection pressures from biotic and abiotic selective agents. This study supports the hypothesis that lower pollinator availability at high altitude can intensify selection on flower attractive traits, but abiotic selection is preventing a response to selection from pollinators.
PMCID: PMC4334720  PMID: 25692295
15.  Genome-wide distribution comparative and composition analysis of the SSRs in Poaceae 
BMC Genetics  2015;16:18.
The Poaceae family is of great importance to human beings since it comprises the cereal grasses which are the main sources for human food and animal feed. With the rapid growth of genomic data from Poaceae members, comparative genomics becomes a convinent method to study genetics of diffierent species. The SSRs (Simple Sequence Repeats) are widely used markers in the studies of Poaceae for their high abundance and stability.
In this study, using the genomic sequences of 9 Poaceae species, we detected 11,993,943 SSR loci and developed 6,799,910 SSR primer pairs. The results show that SSRs are distributed on all the genomic elements in grass. Hexamer is the most frequent motif and AT/TA is the most frequent motif in dimer. The abundance of the SSRs has a positive linear relationship with the recombination rate. SSR sequences in the coding regions involve a higher GC content in the Poaceae than that in the other species. SSRs of 70-80 bp in length showed the highest AT/GC base ratio among all of these loci. The result shows the highest polymorphism rate belongs to the SSRs ranged from 30 bp to 40 bp. Using all the SSR primers of Japonica, nineteen universal primers were selected and located on the genome of the grass family. The information of SSR loci, the SSR primers and the tools of mining and analyzing SSR are provided in the PSSRD (Poaceae SSR Database,
Our study and the PSSRD database provide a foundation for the comparative study in the Poaceae and it will accelerate the study on markers application, gene mapping and molecular breeding.
PMCID: PMC4333251  PMID: 25886726
16.  Interstitial diffuse radiance spectroscopy of gold nanocages and nanorods in bulk muscle tissues 
Radiance spectroscopy was applied to the interstitial detection of localized inclusions containing Au nanocages or nanorods with various concentrations embedded in porcine muscle phantoms. The radiance was quantified using a perturbation approach, which enabled the separation of contributions from the porcine phantom and the localized inclusion, with the inclusion serving as a perturbation probe of photon distributions in the turbid medium. Positioning the inclusion at various places in the phantom allowed for tracking of photons that originated from a light source, passed through the inclusion’s location, and reached a detector. The inclusions with high extinction coefficients were able to absorb nearly all photons in the range of 650–900 nm, leading to a spectrally flat radiance signal. This signal could be converted to the relative density of photons incident on the inclusion. Finally, the experimentally measured quantities were expressed via the relative perturbation and arranged into the classical Beer–Lambert law that allowed one to extract the extinction coefficients of various types of Au nanoparticles in both the transmission and back reflection geometries. It was shown that the spatial variation of perturbation could be described as 1/r dependence, where r is the distance between the inclusion and the detector. Due to a larger absorption cross section, Au nanocages produced greater perturbations than Au nanorods of equal particle concentration, indicating a better suitability of Au nanocages as contrast agents for optical measurements in turbid media. Individual measurements from different inclusions were combined into detectability maps.
PMCID: PMC4335609  PMID: 25709450
gold nanocages; gold nanorods; turbid media; porcine muscles; diffuse radiance spectroscopy; Beer–Lambert law; perturbation
17.  Left Ventricle: Fully Automated Segmentation Based on Spatiotemporal Continuity and Myocardium Information in Cine Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (LV-FAST) 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:367583.
CMR quantification of LV chamber volumes typically and manually defines the basal-most LV, which adds processing time and user-dependence. This study developed an LV segmentation method that is fully automated based on the spatiotemporal continuity of the LV (LV-FAST). An iteratively decreasing threshold region growing approach was used first from the midventricle to the apex, until the LV area and shape discontinued, and then from midventricle to the base, until less than 50% of the myocardium circumference was observable. Region growth was constrained by LV spatiotemporal continuity to improve robustness of apical and basal segmentations. The LV-FAST method was compared with manual tracing on cardiac cine MRI data of 45 consecutive patients. Of the 45 patients, LV-FAST and manual selection identified the same apical slices at both ED and ES and the same basal slices at both ED and ES in 38, 38, 38, and 41 cases, respectively, and their measurements agreed within −1.6 ± 8.7 mL, −1.4 ± 7.8 mL, and 1.0 ± 5.8% for EDV, ESV, and EF, respectively. LV-FAST allowed LV volume-time course quantitatively measured within 3 seconds on a standard desktop computer, which is fast and accurate for processing the cine volumetric cardiac MRI data, and enables LV filling course quantification over the cardiac cycle.
PMCID: PMC4337041  PMID: 25738153
18.  Postoperative recurrence of desmoid tumors: clinical and pathological perspectives 
The clinical features and the pathological changes of desmoid tumors were studied to point out the key factors affecting the recurrence.
The clinical data and specimens of 56 patients who underwent desmoid tumor resection from 2003 to 2008 were reviewed. Possible clinical factors related to the postoperative recurrence were analyzed statistically. The specimens round the lesions were studied histopathologically.
The overall recurrence rate was 39.3%. The postoperative recurrence rate of the patients with negative surgical margins and no tumor invasion of the major vessels and nerves was low (P < 0.05). However, the desmoid tumors could destroy the cortical bone and invade the medullary cavity.
Desmoid tumors were pathologically benign, which could extensively invade tissues around the lesions. The invasion of major vessels and nerves and quality of surgical margins are the key factors for the high postoperative recurrence rate.
PMCID: PMC4329213  PMID: 25888954
Histopathology; Immunohistochemistry; Tumor resection
19.  MicroRNA-185 Targets SOCS3 to Inhibit Beta-Cell Dysfunction in Diabetes 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0116067.
Diabetes is the most common and complex metabolic disorder, and one of the most important health threats now. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a group of small non-coding RNAs that have been suggested to play a vital role in a variety of physiological processes, including glucose homeostasis. In this study, we investigated the role of miR-185 in diabetes. MiR-185 was significantly downregulated in diabetic patients and mice, and the low level was correlated to blood glucose concentration. Overexpression of miR-185 enhanced insulin secretion of pancreatic β-cells, promoted cell proliferation and protected cells from apoptosis. Further experiments using in silico prediction, luciferase reporter assay and western blot assay demonstrated that miR-185 directly targeted SOCS3 by binding to its 3’-UTR. On the contrary to miR-185’s protective effects, SOCS3 significantly suppressed functions of β-cell and inactivated Stat3 pathway. When treating cells with miR-185 mimics in combination with SOCS3 overexpression plasmid, the inhibitory effects of SOCS3 were reversed. While combined treatment of miR-185 mimics and SOCS3 siRNA induced synergistically promotive effects compared to either miR-185 mimics or SOCS3 siRNA treatment alone. Moreover, we observed that miR-185 level was inversely correlated with SOCS3 expression in diabetes patients. In conclusion, this study revealed a functional and mechanistic link between miR-185 and SOCS3 in the pathogenesis of diabetes. MiR-185 plays an important role in the regulation of insulin secretion and β-cell growth in diabetes. Restoration of miR-185 expression may serve a potentially promising and efficient therapeutic approach for diabetes.
PMCID: PMC4319748  PMID: 25658748
20.  Complete Genome Sequence Analysis of Echovirus 24 Associated with Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease in China in 2012 
Genome Announcements  2015;3(1):e01456-14.
Echovirus 24 belongs to human enterovirus B species in the family Picornaviridae. Here, we report the whole-genome sequences of a novel complete genome sequence of a recombinant (echovirus 24) Echo 24 strain, PZ18/JS/2012, which was isolated from a patient with hand-foot-and-mouth disease in China.
PMCID: PMC4319619  PMID: 25657272
22.  The Ctp Type IVb Pilus Locus of Agrobacterium tumefaciens Directs Formation of the Common Pili and Contributes to Reversible Surface Attachment 
Journal of Bacteriology  2014;196(16):2979-2988.
Agrobacterium tumefaciens can adhere to plant tissues and abiotic surfaces and forms biofilms. Cell surface appendages called pili play an important role in adhesion and biofilm formation in diverse bacterial systems. The A. tumefaciens C58 genome sequence revealed the presence of the ctpABCDEFGHI genes (cluster of type IV pili; Atu0216 to Atu0224), homologous to tad-type pilus systems from several bacteria, including Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans and Caulobacter crescentus. These systems fall into the type IVb pilus group, which can function in bacterial adhesion. Transmission electron microscopy of A. tumefaciens revealed the presence of filaments, significantly thinner than flagella and often bundled, associated with cell surfaces and shed into the external milieu. In-frame deletion mutations of all of the ctp genes, with the exception of ctpF, resulted in nonpiliated derivatives. Mutations in ctpA (a pilin homologue), ctpB, and ctpG decreased early attachment and biofilm formation. The adherence of the ctpA mutant could be restored by ectopic expression of the paralogous pilA gene. The ΔctpA ΔpilA double pilin mutant displayed a diminished biovolume and lower biofilm height than the wild type under flowing conditions. Surprisingly, however, the ctpCD, ctpE, ctpF, ctpH, and ctpI mutants formed normal biofilms and showed enhanced reversible attachment. In-frame deletion of the ctpA pilin gene in the ctpCD, ctpE, ctpF, ctpH, and ctpI mutants caused the same attachment-deficient phenotype as the ctpA single mutant. Collectively, these findings indicate that the ctp locus is involved in pilus assembly and that nonpiliated mutants, which retain the CtpA pilin, are proficient in attachment and adherence.
PMCID: PMC4135632  PMID: 24914181
23.  Determination of royal jelly freshness by ELISA with a highly specific anti-apalbumin 1, major royal jelly protein 1 antibody*  
Major royal jelly protein 1 (MRJP1), designated apalbumin 1, has been regarded as a freshness marker of royal jelly (RJ). A MRJP1-specific peptide (IKEALPHVPIFD) identified by bioinformatics analysis of homologous members of the major royal protein family was synthesized and used to raise polyclonal anti-MRJP1 antibody (anti-SP-MRJP1 antibody). Western blot analysis showed that anti-SP-MRJP1 antibody only reacted with MRJP1 in RJ. In contrast, the previously reported antibody against recombinant MRJP1 (anti-R-MRJP1 antibody) reacted with other members of MRJP family in RJ. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using anti-SP-MRJP1 antibody demonstrated that MRJP1 content in RJ stored at 40 °C significantly degraded by 37.3%, 55.9%, 58.0%, 60.6%, 65.7%, 72.7%, and 73.1% at 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, and 49 d, respectively, when compared with MRJP1 content in fresh RJ (0 d). Optical density analysis of MRJP bands from sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) profiles demonstrated that the degradation of MRJP1, MRJP2, MRJP3, and MRJP5 in RJ was strongly and positively correlated with the period of storage (P<0.0001). Our results indicated anti-SP-MRJP1 antibody was highly specific for MRJP1, and ELISA using the antibody is a sensitive and easy-to-use method to determine the freshness and authenticity of RJ.
PMCID: PMC4322426  PMID: 25644470
Freshness; Royal jelly; Major royal jelly protein 1 (MRJP1); Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); High specific antibody
24.  Safety of an Escherichia coli-expressed bivalent human papillomavirus (types 16 and 18) L1 virus-like particle vaccine 
An Escherichia coli-expressed recombinant bivalent human papillomavirus (types 16 and 18) vaccine candidate has been shown to be safe and immunogenic in preclinical trials. The safety of this vaccine was analyzed in an open-label phase I clinical trial in Jiangsu province, China. Thirty-eight healthy women from 18 to 55 y of age were enrolled and vaccinated at 0, 1, and 6 mo. Adverse events that occurred within 30 d after each injection and serious adverse events that occurred throughout the study were recorded. In addition, blood parameters were tested before and after each injection. All but one woman received all 3 doses. Thirty-two (84.2%) of the participants reported adverse events, all adverse events of which were mild, of short duration and resolved spontaneously. No serious adverse events occurred during the study. Changes in blood parameters after each injection were random, mild, and not clinically significant. These preliminary results show that a new Escherichia coli-expressed recombinant HPV 16/18 bivalent vaccine is well tolerated in healthy women and support further immunogenicity and efficacy studies for this HPV vaccine candidate.
PMCID: PMC4185883  PMID: 24161937
human papillomavirus; vaccine; clinical trial; safety; phase I
25.  Sustained release of vancomycin from novel biodegradable nanofiber-loaded vascular prosthetic grafts: in vitro and in vivo study 
This study describes novel biodegradable, drug-eluting nanofiber-loaded vascular prosthetic grafts that provide local and sustained delivery of vancomycin to surrounding tissues. Biodegradable nanofibers were prepared by first dissolving poly(D,L)-lactide-co-glycolide and vancomycin in 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoro-2-propanol. The solution was then electrospun into nanofibers onto the surface of vascular prostheses. The in vitro release rates of the pharmaceutical from the nanofiber-loaded prostheses was characterized using an elution method and a high-performance liquid chromatography assay. Experimental results indicated that the drug-eluting prosthetic grafts released high concentrations of vancomycin in vitro (well above the minimum inhibitory concentration) for more than 30 days. In addition, the in vivo release behavior of the drug-eluting grafts implanted in the subcutaneous pocket of rabbits was also documented. The drug-eluting grafts developed in this work have potential applications in assisting the treatment of vascular prosthesis infection and resisting reinfection when an infected graft is to be exchanged.
PMCID: PMC4321605  PMID: 25673985
drug-eluting prosthetic graft; vascular prosthesis infection; release characteristics

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