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1.  Macromolecular prodrug of dexamethasone prevents particle-induced peri-implant osteolysis with reduced systemic side effects 
Aseptic implant loosening related to implant wear particle-induced inflammation is the most common cause of failure after joint replacement. Modulation of the inflammatory reaction to the wear products represents a rational approach for preventing aseptic implant failure. Long-term treatment using anti-inflammatory agents, however, can be associated with significant systemic side effects due to the drugs' lack of tissue specificity. To address this issue, N-(2-hydroxypropyl) methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymer-dexamethasone conjugate (P-Dex) was developed and evaluated for prevention of wear particle-induced osteolysis and the loss of fixation in a murine prosthesis failure model. Daily administration of free dexamethasone (Dex) was able to prevent wear particle-induced osteolysis, as assessed by micro-CT and histological analysis. Remarkably, monthly P-Dex administration (dose equivalent to free Dex treatment) was equally effective as free dexamethasone, but was not associated with systemic bone loss (a major adverse side effect of glucocorticoids). The reduced systemic toxicity of P-Dex is related to preferential targeting of the sites of wear particle-induced inflammation and its subcellular sequestration and retention by local inflammatory cell populations, resulting in sustained therapeutic action. These results demonstrate the feasibility of utilizing a macromolecular prodrug with reduced systemic toxicity to prevent wear particle-induced osteolysis.
doi:10.1016/j.jconrel.2013.11.024
PMCID: PMC3946775  PMID: 24326124
HPMA copolymer; prodrug; inflammation targeting; dexamethasone; implant loosening; ELVIS
2.  Dichloroacetate prevents restenosis in preclinical animal models of vessel injury 
Nature  2014;509(7502):641-644.
Despite the introduction of antiproliferative drug-eluting stents, coronary heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States1. In-stent restenosis and bypass graft failure are characterized by excessive smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation2,3 and concomitant myointima formation with luminal obliteration. Here we show that during the development of myointimal hyperplasia in human arteries, SMCs show hyperpolarization of their mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and acquire a temporary state with a high proliferative rate and resistance to apoptosis. Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase isoform 2 (PDK2) was identified as a key regulatory protein, and its activation proved necessary for relevant myointima formation. Pharmacologic PDK2 blockade with dichloroacetate or lentiviral PDK2 knockdown prevented ΔΨm hyperpolarization, facilitated apoptosis and reduced myointima formation in injured human mammary and coronary arteries, rat aortas, rabbit iliac arteries and swine (pig) coronary arteries. In contrast to several commonly used antiproliferative drugs, dichloroacetate did not prevent vessel re-endothelialization. Targeting myointimal ΔΨm and alleviating apoptosis resistance is a novel strategy for the prevention of proliferative vascular diseases.
doi:10.1038/nature13232
PMCID: PMC4323184  PMID: 24747400
3.  An outbreak following importation of wild poliovirus in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, 2011 
Background
After more than 10 years without a case of wild poliovirus (WPV) in China, an outbreak occurred in 2011 in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Methods
Acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) case surveillance was strengthened with epidemiological investigations and specimen collection and serological surveys were conducted among hospitalized patients.
Results
There were 21 WPV cases and 23 clinical compatible polio cases reported. WPV was isolated from 14 contacts of AFP cases and 13 in the healthy population. Incidence of WPV and clinical compatible polio cases were both highest among children <1 years, however, 24/44 (54.5%) polio cases were reported among adults aged 15–39 years.
Conclusions
High coverage of routine immunization should be maintained among children until WPV transmission is globally eradicated. Expansion of AFP case surveillance and use of serologic surveys to estimate population immunity should be conducted rapidly to guide preparedness and response planning for future WPV outbreaks.
doi:10.1186/s12879-015-0761-y
PMCID: PMC4336520  PMID: 25636581
Wild poliovirus; Importation; Acute flaccid paralysis; Supplementary immunization activities; Serological survey
4.  Few-quintuple Bi2Te3 nanofilms as potential thermoelectric materials 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8099.
The thermoelectric transport properties of p-type Bi2Te3 nanofilms with various quintuple layers (QL) were systematically investigated based on ab initio electronic structure calculations and Boltzmann transport equations. Our results demonstrated that p-type few-quintuple Bi2Te3 nanofilms could exhibit high thermoelectric performance. It was found out that the 1QL Bi2Te3 nanofilm had the highest ZT value as compared with other nanofilms, which is mainly attributed to the significant enhancement of the density of states near the edge of the valence band resulting from the strong coupling between the top and bottom electronic states and the quantum confinement effect. The dependence of the thermoelectric transport properties on carrier concentration and temperature was also discussed in detail, which can be useful for searching high-efficiency few-quintuple Bi2Te3 thermoelectric nanofilms.
doi:10.1038/srep08099
PMCID: PMC4309965  PMID: 25631644
5.  SynBioLGDB: a resource for experimentally validated logic gates in synthetic biology 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8090.
Synthetic biologists have developed DNA/molecular modules that perform genetic logic operations in living cells to track key moments in a cell's life or change the fate of a cell. Increasing evidence has also revealed that diverse genetic logic gates capable of generating a Boolean function play critically important roles in synthetic biology. Basic genetic logic gates have been designed to combine biological science with digital logic. SynBioLGDB (http://bioinformatics.ac.cn/synbiolgdb/) aims to provide the synthetic biology community with a useful resource for efficient browsing and visualization of genetic logic gates. The current version of SynBioLGDB documents more than 189 genetic logic gates with experimental evidence involving 80 AND gates and 16 NOR gates, etc. in three species (Human, Escherichia coli and Bacillus clausii). SynBioLGDB provides a user-friendly interface through which conveniently to query and browse detailed information about these genetic logic gates. SynBioLGDB will enable more comprehensive understanding of the connection of genetic logic gates to execute complex cellular functions in living cells.
doi:10.1038/srep08090
PMCID: PMC4308699  PMID: 25627341
6.  Long-Term Treatment of Clonidine, Atenolol, Amlodipine and Dihydrochlorothiazide, but Not Enalapril, Impairs the Sexual Function in Male Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0116155.
This study was designed to investigate the impact of representative antihypertensive drugs of 5 classes on the sexual function in male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) at doses that achieved similar blood pressure (BP) reduction. The experiment was performed in 6 groups of male SHR. The dose are 20 μg/kg/day for clonidine, 3 mg/kg/day for enalapril, 20 mg/kg/day for atenolol, 2 mg/kg/day for amlodipine, and 10 mg/kg/day for dihydrochlorothiazide. SHR were treated for 3 months, and then the penile erection and sexual behavior were detected. After BP recording, SHR were killed to evaluate the organ-damage, weight of accessory sex organs and levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone in serum. Five drugs had the similar efficacy on BP reduction. All drugs except of enalapril, significantly prolonged the mount latency, and decreased the mount frequency (P<0.05). Clonidine also reduced the conception rate (45% vs. 80% in control group, P<0.05). Amlodipine and dihydrochlorothiazide significantly increased the testosterone level (0.79±0.30, 0.80±0.34 vs. 0.49±0.20 in control group, unit: ng/dl, P<0.05). Enalapril, atenolol and amlodipine also significantly decreased the BP variability (systolic, 8.2±2.5, 7.6±1.8, 8.9±2.0 vs. 12.2±3.8 in control group, unit: mm Hg). All these drugs significantly decreased the organ-damage (P<0.05). In conclusion, long-term treatment with 5 common antihypertensive drugs possessed obvious organ protection in SHR. Clonidine, atenolol, amlodipine and dihydrochlorothiazide, but not enalapril, impair sexual function.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116155
PMCID: PMC4304790  PMID: 25615941
7.  Plumbagin induces cell cycle arrest and autophagy and suppresses epithelial to mesenchymal transition involving PI3K/Akt/mTOR-mediated pathway in human pancreatic cancer cells 
Plumbagin (PLB), an active naphthoquinone compound, has shown potent anticancer effects in preclinical studies; however, the effect and underlying mechanism of PLB for the treatment of pancreatic cancer is unclear. This study aimed to examine the pancreatic cancer cell killing effect of PLB and investigate the underlying mechanism in human pancreatic cancer PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells. The results showed that PLB exhibited potent inducing effects on cell cycle arrest in PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells via the modulation of cell cycle regulators including CDK1/CDC2, cyclin B1, cyclin D1, p21 Waf1/Cip1, p27 Kip1, and p53. PLB treatment concentration- and time-dependently increased the percentage of autophagic cells and significantly increased the expression level of phosphatase and tensin homolog, beclin 1, and the ratio of LC3-II over LC3-I in both PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells. PLB induced inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) pathways and activation of 5′-AMP-dependent kinase as indicated by their altered phosphorylation, contributing to the proautophagic activities of PLB in both cell lines. Furthermore, SB202190, a selective inhibitor of p38 MAPK, and wortmannin, a potent, irreversible, and selective PI3K inhibitor, remarkably enhanced PLB-induced autophagy in PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells, indicating the roles of PI3K and p38 MAPK mediated signaling pathways in PLB-induced autophagic cell death in both cell lines. In addition, PLB significantly inhibited epithelial to mesenchymal transition phenotype in both cell lines with an increase in the expression level of E-cadherin and a decrease in N-cadherin. Moreover, PLB treatment significantly suppressed the expression of Sirt1 in both cell lines. These findings show that PLB promotes cell cycle arrest and autophagy but inhibits epithelial to mesenchymal transition phenotype in pancreatic cancer cells with the involvement of PI3K/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin and p38 MAPK mediated pathways.
doi:10.2147/DDDT.S73689
PMCID: PMC4304578  PMID: 25632222
Plumbagin; pancreatic cancer; cell cycle; autophagy; EMT; Sirt1
8.  Inhibition of mitotic Aurora kinase A by alisertib induces apoptosis and autophagy of human gastric cancer AGS and NCI-N78 cells 
Gastric cancer is one of the most common cancers and responds poorly to current chemotherapy. Alisertib (ALS) is a second-generation, orally bioavailable, highly selective small-molecule inhibitor of the serine/threonine protein kinase Aurora kinase A (AURKA). ALS has been shown to have potent anticancer effects in preclinical and clinical studies, but its role in gastric cancer treatment is unclear. This study aimed to investigate the cancer cell-killing effect of ALS on gastric cancer cell lines AGS and NCI-N78, with a focus on cell proliferation, cell-cycle distribution, apoptosis, and autophagy and the mechanism of action. The results showed that ALS exhibited potent growth-inhibitory, proapoptotic, and proautophagic effects on AGS and NCI-N78 cells. ALS concentration-dependently inhibited cell proliferation and induced cell-cycle arrest at G2/M phase in both cell lines, with a downregulation of cyclin-dependent kinase 1 and cyclin B1 expression but upregulation of p21 Waf1/Cip1, p27 Kip1, and p53 expression. ALS induced mitochondria-mediated apoptosis and autophagy in both AGS and NCI-N78 cells. ALS induced the expression of proapoptotic proteins but inhibited the expression of antiapoptotic proteins, with a significant increase in the release of cytochrome c and the activation of caspase 9 and caspase 3 in both cell lines. ALS induced inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways while activating the 5′-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway as indicated by their altered phosphorylation, contributing to the proautophagic effects of ALS. SB202191 and wortmannin enhanced the autophagy-inducing effect of ALS in AGS and NCI-N78 cells. Notably, ALS treatment significantly decreased the ratio of phosphorylated AURKA over AURKA, which may contribute, at least in part, to the inducing effects of ALS on cell-cycle arrest and autophagy in AGS and NCI-N78 cells. Taken together, these results indicate that ALS exerts a potent inhibitory effect on cell proliferation but inducing effects on cell-cycle arrest, mitochondria-dependent apoptosis, and autophagy with the involvement of PI3K/Akt/mTOR, p38 MAPK, and AURKA-mediated signaling pathways in AGS and NCI-N78 cells.
doi:10.2147/DDDT.S74127
PMCID: PMC4298344  PMID: 25609923
gastric cancer; alisertib; AURKA; apoptosis; autophagy
9.  Alisertib, an Aurora kinase A inhibitor, induces apoptosis and autophagy but inhibits epithelial to mesenchymal transition in human epithelial ovarian cancer cells 
Ovarian cancer is a leading killer of women, and no cure for advanced ovarian cancer is available. Alisertib (ALS), a selective Aurora kinase A (AURKA) inhibitor, has shown potent anticancer effects, and is under clinical investigation for the treatment of advanced solid tumor and hematologic malignancies. However, the role of ALS in the treatment of ovarian cancer remains unclear. This study investigated the effects of ALS on cell growth, apoptosis, autophagy, and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), and the underlying mechanisms in human epithelial ovarian cancer SKOV3 and OVCAR4 cells. Our docking study showed that ALS, MLN8054, and VX-680 preferentially bound to AURKA over AURKB via hydrogen bond formation, charge interaction, and π-π stacking. ALS had potent growth-inhibitory, proapoptotic, proautophagic, and EMT-inhibitory effects on SKOV3 and OVCAR4 cells. ALS arrested SKOV3 and OVCAR4 cells in G2/M phase and induced mitochondria-mediated apoptosis and autophagy in both SKOV3 and OVCAR4 cell lines in a concentration-dependent manner. ALS suppressed phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B (Akt)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways but activated 5′-AMP-dependent kinase, as indicated by their altered phosphorylation, contributing to the proautophagic activity of ALS. Modulation of autophagy altered basal and ALS-induced apoptosis in SKOV3 and OVCAR4 cells. Further, ALS suppressed the EMT-like phenotype in both cell lines by restoring the balance between E-cadherin and N-cadherin. ALS downregulated sirtuin 1 and pre-B cell colony enhancing factor (PBEF/visfatin) expression levels and inhibited phosphorylation of AURKA in both cell lines. These findings indicate that ALS blocks the cell cycle by G2/M phase arrest and promotes cellular apoptosis and autophagy, but inhibits EMT via phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt/mTOR-mediated and sirtuin 1-mediated pathways in human epithelial ovarian cancer cells. Further studies are warranted to validate the efficacy and safety of ALS in the treatment of ovarian cancer.
doi:10.2147/DDDT.S74062
PMCID: PMC4296919  PMID: 25624750
alisertib; Aurora kinase A; epithelial ovarian cancer; cell cycle; apoptosis; autophagy; epithelial to mesenchymal transition; sirtuin 1
10.  Targeted Antiangiogenesis Gene Therapy Using Targeted Cationic Microbubbles Conjugated with CD105 Antibody Compared with Untargeted Cationic and Neutral Microbubbles 
Theranostics  2015;5(4):399-417.
Objective This study aimed to develop targeted cationic microbubbles conjugated with a CD105 antibody (CMB105) for use in targeted vascular endothelial cell gene therapy and ultrasound imaging. We compared the results with untargeted cationic microbubbles (CMB) and neutral microbubbles (NMB).
Methods CMB105 were prepared and compared with untargeted CMB and NMB. First, the microbubbles were characterized in terms of size, zeta-potential, antibody binding ability and plasmid DNA loading capacity. A tumor model of subcutaneous breast cancer in nude mice was used for our experiments. The ability of different types of microbubbles to target HUVECs in vitro and tumor neovascularization in vivo was measured. The endostatin gene was selected for its outstanding antiangiogenesis effect. For in vitro experiments, the transfection efficiency and cell cycle were analyzed using flow cytometry, and the transcription and expression of endostatin were measured by qPCR and Western blotting, respectively. Vascular tube cavity formation and tumor cell invasion were used to evaluate the antiangiogenesis gene therapy efficiency in vitro. Tumors were exposed to ultrasound irradiation with different types of microbubbles, and the gene therapy effects were investigated by detecting apoptosis induction and changes in tumor volume.
Results CMB105 and CMB differed significantly from NMB in terms of zeta-potential, and the DNA loading capacities were 16.76±1.75 μg, 18.21±1.22 μg, and 0.48±0.04 μg per 5×108 microbubbles, respectively. The charge coupling of plasmid DNA to CMB105 was not affected by the presence of the CD105 antibody. Both CMB105 and CMB could target to HUVECs in vitro, whereas only CMB105 could target to tumor neovascularization in vivo. In in vitro experiments, the transfection efficiency of CMB105 was 24.7-fold higher than the transfection efficiency of NMB and 1.47-fold higher than the transfection efficiency of CMB (P<0.05). With ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction (UTMD)-mediated gene therapy, the transcription and expression of endostatin were the highest in the CMB105 group (P<0.001); the antiangiogenesis effect and inhibition of tumor cells invasion was better with CMB105 than CMB or NMB in vitro (P<0.01). After gene therapy, the tumor volumes of CMB105 group were significantly smaller than that of CMB and NMB, and many tumor cells had begun apoptosis in the CMB105 group, which had the highest apoptosis index (P<0.001).
Conclusions As a contrast agent and plasmid carrier, CMB105 can be used not only for targeted ultrasound imaging but also for targeted gene therapy both in vitro and in vivo. The plasmid DNA binding ability of the CMB was not affected by conjugation of the CMB with the CD105 antibody, and because of its targeting ability, the gene transfection efficiency and therapeutic effect were better compared with the untargeted CMB and NMB. The advantages of targeted gene therapy with CMB105 in vivo were more prominent than with CMB or NMB because neither can target the endothelia in vivo.
doi:10.7150/thno.10351
PMCID: PMC4329503
Ultrasound-mediated gene delivery (UMGD); Antiangiogenesis; Target; Cationic microbubbles
11.  Zinc finger protein 139 expression in gastric cancer and its clinical significance 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(48):18346-18353.
AIM: To investigate the expression of zinc finger protein 139 (ZNF139) in gastric cancer (GC), and to analyze its clinical significance.
METHODS: A total of 108 patients who were diagnosed with GC and underwent surgery between January 2005 and March 2007 were enrolled in this study. Gastric tumor specimens and paired tumor-adjacent tissues were collected and paraffin-embedded, and the clinicopathologic characteristics and prognosis were recorded. The expression of ZNF139, Bcl-2, Bax, and caspase-3 were determined by immunohistochemistry, and apoptosis was assessed by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling. SPSS 13.0 software was used for data processing and analyses, and significance was determined at P < 0.05.
RESULTS: The expression of ZNF139 was stronger in tumors than in tumor-adjacent tissues (66.67% vs 44.44%; P < 0.01). Overexpression of ZNF139 correlated with tumor differentiation, invasion depth, clinical stage, lymphatic metastasis, and blood vessel invasion (all Ps < 0.05). Patients with overexpression of ZNF139 had a poorer prognosis (P < 0.01), and overexpression of ZNF139 was an independent factor for the prognosis of GC patients by a Cox survival analysis (P = 0.02). A negative relationship between ZNF139 and the apoptosis index was observed (r = -0.686; P < 0.01). The expression of Bcl-2 in GC was stronger than in tumor-adjacent tissues (66.67% vs 41.67%), whereas the expression levels of Bax and caspase-3 were lower in primary tumors (54.63% and 47.22%, respectively) than in tumor-adjacent tissues (73.15% and 73.15%, respectively) (all Ps < 0.05). The expression of ZNF139 negatively correlated with caspase-3 (r = -0.370; P < 0.01). The expressions of Bcl-2 and Bax were also negatively correlated (r = -0.231; P = 0.02). The expressions of caspase-3 and Bax protein were positively correlated (r = 0.217; P = 0.024).
CONCLUSION: ZNF139 is related to clinicopathologic characteristics and prognosis of GC. Furthermore, it is overexpressed and involved in apoptosis in GC tissues by regulating caspase-3.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i48.18346
PMCID: PMC4277971  PMID: 25561801
Apoptosis; Clinicopathologic characteristics; Gastric cancer; Prognosis; Zinc finger protein 139
12.  Polarization-dependent optical absorption of MoS2 for refractive index sensing 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:7523.
As a noncentrosymmetric crystal with spin-polarized band structure, MoS2 nanomaterials have attracts increasing attention in many areas such as lithium ion batteries, flexible electronic devices, photoluminescence and valleytronics. The investigation of MoS2 is mainly focused on the electronics and spintronics instead of optics, which restrict its applications as key elements of photonics. In this work, we demonstrate the first observation of the polarization-dependent optical absorption of the MoS2 thin film, which is integrated onto an optical waveguide device. With this feature, a novel optical sensor combining MoS2 thin-film and a microfluidic structure has been constituted to achieve the sensitive monitoring of refractive index. Our work indicates the MoS2 thin film as a complementary material to graphene for the optical polarizer in the visible light range, and explores a new application direction of MoS2 nanomaterials for the construction of photonic circuits.
doi:10.1038/srep07523
PMCID: PMC4268638  PMID: 25516116
13.  Mild hypothermia combined with a scaffold of NgR-silenced neural stem cells/Schwann cells to treat spinal cord injury 
Neural Regeneration Research  2014;9(24):2189-2196.
Because the inhibition of Nogo proteins can promote neurite growth and nerve cell differentiation, a cell-scaffold complex seeded with Nogo receptor (NgR)-silenced neural stem cells and Schwann cells may be able to improve the microenvironment for spinal cord injury repair. Previous studies have found that mild hypothermia helps to attenuate secondary damage in the spinal cord and exerts a neuroprotective effect. Here, we constructed a cell-scaffold complex consisting of a poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) scaffold seeded with NgR-silenced neural stem cells and Schwann cells, and determined the effects of mild hypothermia combined with the cell-scaffold complexes on the spinal cord hemi-transection injury in the T9 segment in rats. Compared with the PLGA group and the NgR-silencing cells + PLGA group, hindlimb motor function and nerve electrophysiological function were clearly improved, pathological changes in the injured spinal cord were attenuated, and the number of surviving cells and nerve fibers were increased in the group treated with the NgR-silenced cell scaffold + mild hypothermia at 34°C for 6 hours. Furthermore, fewer pathological changes to the injured spinal cord and more surviving cells and nerve fibers were found after mild hypothermia therapy than in injuries not treated with mild hypothermia. These experimental results indicate that mild hypothermia combined with NgR gene-silenced cells in a PLGA scaffold may be an effective therapy for treating spinal cord injury.
doi:10.4103/1673-5374.147952
PMCID: PMC4316453  PMID: 25657741
nerve regeneration; spinal cord injury; neural stem cells; Schwann cells; mild hypothermia; cell scaffold; poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolic acid); neurological function; neural regeneration
14.  Sequential treatment with AT-101 enhances cisplatin chemosensitivity in human non-small cell lung cancer cells through inhibition of apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1-activated IL-6/STAT3 signaling pathway 
AT-101, known as R-(–)-gossypol, is a potent anticancer agent, but its chemosensitizing effects remain elusive. The present study aimed to examine whether AT-101 could increase the sensitivity of non-small cell lung cancer A549 cells to cisplatin (CDDP) and the underlying mechanisms. We evaluated the efficacy of the sequential treatment with AT-101 and CDDP using both in vitro and in vivo models. Our results showed that as compared to AT-101 or CDDP monotherapy, or AT-101 plus CDDP concurrent treatment, the sequential treatment significantly inhibited cell proliferation and migration and induced tumor cell death. Moreover, the efficacy of the sequential treatment was also confirmed in a mouse A549 xenograft model. Our study revealed that AT-101 inhibited the reduced status of apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1) and attenuated APE1-mediated IL-6/STAT3 signaling activation by decreasing IL-6 protein expression; suppressing the STAT3–DNA binding; and reducing the expression of the downstream antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL. In conclusion, AT-101 enhances the sensitivity of A549 cells to CDDP in vitro and in vivo through the inhibition of APE1-mediated IL-6/STAT3 signaling activation, providing a rationale for the combined use of AT-101 and CDDP in non-small cell lung cancer chemotherapy.
doi:10.2147/DDDT.S71432
PMCID: PMC4271790  PMID: 25548514
AT101; NSCLC; cisplatin; chemosensitivity; APE1; STAT3; nude mice; apoptosis
15.  Different levels of glycosylated hemoglobin influence severity and long-term prognosis of coronary heart disease patients with stent implantation 
The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels and the severity and long-term prognosis of coronary heart disease (CHD) with stent implantation. A total of 2,825 consecutive patients with stent implantation were stratified into three groups based on the levels of HbA1c: Low HbA1c group (group A, HbA1c ≤5.9% or 41 mmol/mol; n=1,035), moderate HbA1c group (group B, 5.9%< HbA1c <6.8% or 41< HbAlc <51 mmol/mol; n=1,025) and high HbA1c group (group C, HbA1c ≥6.8% or 51 mmol/mol; n=765). The impact of HbA1c on the Gensini score and the long-term prognosis of CHD with stent implantation were observed. After an average of 1 year of follow-up of the 2,825 patients in a hospital cohort, participants with low or high HbA1c had a higher risk of major adverse cardiac events (MACE) and target lesion revascularization (TLR) compared with participants with moderate HbA1c after adjusting for multiple potential confounders (hazard ratios for low HbAlc, 1.505 and 1.478, respectively, and for high HbAlc, 1.626 and 1.522, respectively). Analysis of HbA1c as a continuous variable showed that each 1% increase of HbA1c was significantly associated with decreased risks of MACE and TLR of 53.5 and 54.2%, respectively, in those with a low HbA1c level and with increased risks of MACE and TLR of 9.5 and 9.2%, respectively, in those with a moderate or high HbA1c level, suggesting a U-shaped association between HbA1c and the risk of MACE and TLR. In conclusion, HbA1c levels, either as a continuous variable or a categorical variable, have a U-shaped correlation with MACE and TLR in CHD patients with stent implantation, even after adjustment for multiple confounders.
doi:10.3892/etm.2014.2128
PMCID: PMC4280935  PMID: 25574198
glycosylated hemoglobin; coronary artery disease; Gensini score; major adverse cardiac events
16.  In vivo reduction of cell-free methemoglobin to oxyhemoglobin results in vasoconstriction in canines 
Transfusion  2013;53(12):10.1111/trf.12162.
BACKGROUND
Cell-free hemoglobin (Hb) in the vasculature leads to vasoconstriction and injury. Proposed mechanisms have been based on nitric oxide (NO) scavenging by oxyhemoglobin (oxyHb) or processes mediated by oxidative reactions of methemoglobin (metHb). To clarify this, we tested the vascular effect and fate of oxyHb or metHb infusions.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS
Twenty beagles were challenged with 1 h similar infusions of (200uM) metHb (n=5), oxyHb (n=5), albumin (n=5), or saline (n=5). Measurements were taken over 3 h.
RESULTS
Infusions of the two pure Hb species resulted in increases in mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), systemic vascular resistance index, and NO consumption capacity of plasma (all p<0.05) with the effects of oxyHb being greater than that from metHb (MAP; increase 0 to 3h; 27±6 % vs.7±2 %, respectively) (all p<0.05). The significant vasoconstrictive response of metHb (vs. albumin and saline controls) was related to in vivo auto-reduction of metHb to oxyHb, and the vasoactive Hb species that significantly correlated with MAP was always oxyHb, either from direct infusion or after in vivo reduction from metHb. Clearance of total Hb from plasma was faster after metHb than oxyHb infusion (p<0.0001).
CONCLUSION
These findings indicate that greater NO consumption capacity makes oxyHb more vasoactive than metHb. Additionally, metHb is reduced to oxyHb post-infusion and cleared faster or is less stable than oxyHb. Although we found no direct evidence that metHb itself is involved in acute vascular effects, in aggregate, these studies suggest that metHb is not inert and its mechanism of vasoconstriction is due to its delayed conversion to oxyHb by plasma-reducing agents.
doi:10.1111/trf.12162
PMCID: PMC3686899  PMID: 23488474
methemoglobin; cell-free hemoglobin; nitric oxide; vasoconstriction; hemoglobin
17.  V-ATPase V0 Sector Subunit a1 in Neurons Is a Target of Calmodulin*,S 
The Journal of biological chemistry  2007;283(1):294-300.
The V0 complex forms the proteolipid pore of a vesicular ATPase that acidifies vesicles. In addition, an independent function in membrane fusion has been suggested in vacuolar fusion in yeast and synaptic vesicle exocytosis in fly neurons. Evidence for a direct role in secretion has also recently been presented in mouse and worm. The molecular mechanisms of how the V0 components might act or are regulated are largely unknown. Here we report the identification and characterization of a calmodulin-binding site in the large cytosolic N-terminal region of the Drosophila protein V100, the neuron-specific V0 subunit a1. V100 forms a tight complex with calmodulin in a Ca2+-dependent manner. Mutations in the calmodulin-binding site in Drosophila lead to a loss of calmodulin recruitment to synapses. Neuronal expression of a calmodulin-binding deficient V100 uncovers an incomplete rescue at low levels and cellular toxicity at high levels. Our results suggest a vesicular ATPase V0-dependent function of calmodulin at synapses.
doi:10.1074/jbc.M708058200
PMCID: PMC4249936  PMID: 17933871
18.  Combined deletion of Pten and p53 in mammary epithelium accelerates triple-negative breast cancer with dependency on eEF2K 
EMBO Molecular Medicine  2014;6(12):1542-1560.
The tumor suppressors Pten and p53 are frequently lost in breast cancer, yet the consequences of their combined inactivation are poorly understood. Here, we show that mammary-specific deletion of Pten via WAP-Cre, which targets alveolar progenitors, induced tumors with shortened latency compared to those induced by MMTV-Cre, which targets basal/luminal progenitors. Combined Pten-p53 mutations accelerated formation of claudin-low, triple-negative-like breast cancer (TNBC) that exhibited hyper-activated AKT signaling and more mesenchymal features relative to Pten or p53 single-mutant tumors. Twenty-four genes that were significantly and differentially expressed between WAP-Cre:Pten/p53 and MMTV-Cre:Pten/p53 tumors predicted poor survival for claudin-low patients. Kinome screens identified eukaryotic elongation factor-2 kinase (eEF2K) inhibitors as more potent than PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors on both mouse and human Pten/p53-deficient TNBC cells. Sensitivity to eEF2K inhibition correlated with AKT pathway activity. eEF2K monotherapy suppressed growth of Pten/p53-deficient TNBC xenografts in vivo and cooperated with doxorubicin to efficiently kill tumor cells in vitro. Our results identify a prognostic signature for claudin-low patients and provide a rationale for using eEF2K inhibitors for treatment of TNBC with elevated AKT signaling.
doi:10.15252/emmm.201404402
PMCID: PMC4287974  PMID: 25330770
eEF2K; p53; prognosis; Pten; triple-negative breast cancer
19.  High-temperature cultivation of recombinant Pichia pastoris increases endoplasmic reticulum stress and decreases production of human interleukin-10 
Microbial Cell Factories  2014;13(1):163.
Background
The yeast Pichia pastoris (P. pastoris) has become a popular ‘cell factory’ for producing heterologous proteins, but production widely varies among proteins. Cultivation temperature is frequently reported to significantly affect protein production; however, the underlying mechanisms of this effect remain unclear.
Results
A P. pastoris strain expressing recombinant human interleukin-10 (rhIL-10) under the control of the AOX1 promoter was used as the model in this study. This system shows high-yield rhIL-10 production with prolonged methanol-induction times when cultured at 20°C but low-yield rhIL-10 production and higher cell death rates when cultured at 30°C. Further investigation showed that G3-pro-rhIL10, an immature form of rhIL-10 that contains the glycosylation-modified signal peptide, remained in the ER for a prolonged period at 30°C. The retention resulted in higher ER stress levels that were accompanied by increased ROS production, Ca2+ leakage, ER-containing autophagosomes, shortened cortical ER length and compromised induction of the unfolded protein response (UPR). In contrast, G3-pro-rhIL10 was quickly processed and eliminated from the ER at 20°C, resulting in a lower level of ER stress and improved rhIL-10 production.
Conclusions
High-temperature cultivation of an rhIL-10 expression strain leads to prolonged retention of immature G3-pro-rhIL10 in ER, causing higher ER stress levels and thus greater yeast cell death rates and lower production of rhIL-10.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12934-014-0163-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12934-014-0163-7
PMCID: PMC4251845  PMID: 25425395
High-temperature cultivation; Misfolded protein; ER stress; Unfolded protein response; ER-phagy; Pichia pastoris
20.  Oxidation of Water by a NonhaemDiiron(IV) Complex via Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer 
A high-potential nonhaem(μ-oxo)diiron(IV) complex was found to oxidize water to hydroxyl radical via PCET, instead of forming an O–O bond. The rate-determining step requires a second water molecule, proposed to act as a base to promote proton transfer. This work shows that additional factors besides a high redox potential are required to effect O–O bond formation.
doi:10.1039/c3cc46391e
PMCID: PMC3940062  PMID: 24108275
21.  Probing the Effect of Human Normal Sperm Morphology Rate on Cycle Outcomes and Assisted Reproductive Methods Selection 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e113392.
Sperm morphology is the best predictor of fertilization potential, and the critical predictive information for supporting assisted reproductive methods selection. Given its important predictive value and the declining reality of semen quality in recent years, the threshold of normal sperm morphology rate (NSMR) is being constantly corrected and controversial, from the 4th edition (14%) to the 5th version (4%). We retrospectively analyzed 4756 cases of infertility patients treated with conventional-IVF(c-IVF) or ICSI, which were divided into three groups according to NSMR: ≥14%, 4%–14% and <4%. Here, we demonstrate that, with decrease in NSMR(≥14%, 4%–14%, <4%), in the c-IVF group, the rate of fertilization, normal fertilization, high-quality embryo, multi-pregnancy and birth weight of twins gradually decreased significantly (P<0.05), while the miscarriage rate was significantly increased (p<0.01) and implantation rate, clinical pregnancy rate, ectopic pregnancy rate, preterm birth rate, live birth rate, sex ratio, and birth weight(Singleton) showed no significant change. In the ICSI group, with decrease in NSMR (≥14%, 4%–14%, <4%), high-quality embryo rate, multi-pregnancy rate and birth weight of twins were gradually decreased significantly (p<0.05), while other parameters had no significant difference. Considering the clinical assisted methods selection, in the NFMR ≥14% group, normal fertilization rate of c-IVF was significantly higher than the ICSI group (P<0.05), in the 4%–14% group, birth weight (twins) of c-IVF were significantly higher than the ICSI group, in the <4% group, miscarriage of IVF was significantly higher than the ICSI group. Therefore, we conclude that NSMR is positively related to embryo reproductive potential, and when NSMR<4% (5th edition), ICSI should be considered first, while the NSMR≥4%, c-IVF assisted reproduction might be preferred.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113392
PMCID: PMC4239063  PMID: 25411962
22.  A Chemical Perspective on Transcriptional Fidelity: Dominant Contributions of Sugar Integrity Revealed by Unlocked Nucleic Acids 
Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)  2013;52(47):10.1002/anie.201307661.
doi:10.1002/anie.201307661
PMCID: PMC3866818  PMID: 24167045
synthetic nucleic acid analogues; RNA polymerase II; transcriptional fidelity; sugar integrity
23.  Decreased SCF/c-kit signaling pathway contributes to loss of interstitial cells of Cajal in gallstone disease 
Cholecystolithiasis is a common disease, and gallbladder dysmotility is considered as a pivotal pathogenesis. Interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) serve as pacemakers and mediators of neuromuscular transmission for gastrointestinal motility. Reduction of ICCs has been reported in gallstone diseases. However, there are no reasonable mechanisms for the cholecystolithiasis-associated loss of ICCs in humans. Stem cell factor (SCF) and its ligand c-kit are essential for normal development and survival of ICCs. To date, little is known about the SCF/c-kit signaling pathway in gallstone diseases. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of the SCF/c-kit signaling pathway in the loss of ICCs in cholecystolithiasis. Data from 18 patients with gallstones and 14 individuals without gallstones were compared. The gallbladder contractility was assessed by measuring the gallbladder ejection fraction (GEF) ultrasonographically. Tissues samples were obtained during surgery, changes of ICC quantities were analyzed by immunohistochemistry, and the mRNA and protein expression of SCF and c-kit were detected by Real-Time PCR and Western-blot analysis. Compared with the controls, the GEF was significantly reduced in the gallstone group, and decreased number of ICCs was present obviously in the gallstone group. Furthermore, the mRNA and protein expression of SCF and c-kit were significantly attenuated in the gallstone group. These data indicate that gallbladder motility may be affected by reduction of ICCs in gallstone disease. Additionally, the decreased of SCF/c-kit signaling pathway play an important role in the loss of ICCs.
PMCID: PMC4276177  PMID: 25550919
Gallstone disease; interstitial cells of Cajal; stem cell factor; c-kit; gallbladder motility
24.  Effects of hypothermia combined with neural stem cell transplantation on recovery of neurological function in rats with spinal cord injury 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2014;11(3):1759-1767.
The microenvironment of the injured spinal cord is hypothesized to be involved in driving the differentiation and survival of engrafted neural stem cells (NSCs). Hypothermia is known to improve the microenvironment of the injured spinal cord in a number of ways. To investigate the effect of NSC transplantation in combination with hypothermia on the recovery of rat spinal cord injury, 60 Sprague-Dawley female rats were used to establish a spinal cord hemisection model. They were divided randomly into three groups: A, spinal cord injury group; B, NSC transplantation group; and C, NSC transplantation + hypothermia group. At 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks post-injury, the motor function of all animals was evaluated using the Basso, Beattie and Besnaham locomotor scoring system and the inclined plane test. At 4 weeks post-transplantation, histological analysis and immunocytochemistry were performed. At 8 weeks post-transplantation, horseradish peroxidase nerve tracing and transmission electron microscopy were conducted to observe axonal regeneration. The outcome of hind limb motor function recovery in group C significantly surpassed that in group B at 4 weeks post-injury (P<0.05). Recovery was also observed in group A, but to a lesser degree. For the pathological sections no neural axonal were observed in group A. A few axon-like structures were observed in group B and more in group C. Horseradish peroxidase-labeled neurofibers and bromodeoxyuridine-positive cells were observed in the spinal cords of group C. Fewer of these cells were found in group B and fewer still in group A. The differences among the three groups were significant (P<0.05). Using transmission electron microscopy, newly formed nerve fibers and myelinated nerve fibers were observed in the central transverse plane in groups B and C, although these nerve fibers were not evident in group A. In conclusion, NSC transplantation promoted the recovery of hind limb function in rats, and combination treatment with hypothermia produced synergistic effects.
doi:10.3892/mmr.2014.2905
PMCID: PMC4270334  PMID: 25385306
spinal cord injury; neural stem cells; transplantation; hypothermia; rat
25.  A phase I clinical trial of dose escalation of lobaplatin in combination with fixed-dose docetaxel for the treatment of human solid tumours that had progressed following chemotherapy 
Oncology Letters  2014;9(1):67-74.
In this study, the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of lobaplatin (LBP) when it was combined with docetaxel (TXT) for the treatment of solid tumours that had progressed following chemotherapy was determined, and toxicities to this regimen were evaluated. A modified Fibonacci method was used for the dose escalation of LBP. The patients received TXT (at a fixed dose of 60 mg/m2) on day one (d1) and LBP (at an initial tested dose of 30 mg/m2) on day two (d2) of a treatment cycle that was repeated every 21 days. Each dose group consisted of at least three cases. In the absence of dose-limiting toxicity (DLT), we proceeded to the next dose group, with a dose increment of 5 mg/m2 between groups, until DLT occurred. The dose immediately below the dose that produced DLT was regarded as the MTD. The 17 patients examined in this study completed a total of 58 cycles of chemotherapy, and a total of three dose-escalation groups (30 mg/m2 LBP, 35 mg/m2 LBP, and 40 mg/m2 LBP) were established. The main adverse event that was observed was myelosuppression. DLT occurred in four patients, including three patients in the 40 mg/m2 LBP group and one patient in the 35 mg/m2 LBP group. In total, three out of the four patients in the 40 mg/m2 LBP group exhibited DLT. We determined that the treatment administered to the 35 mg/m2 LBP group represented the MTD. Thus, our phase I trial revealed that the MTD for the tested LBP combination regimen was 35 mg/m2 LBP and 60 mg/m2 TXT. This regimen resulted in mild adverse reactions and favourable patient tolerance. Therefore, we recommend the use of these dosages in phase II clinical trials.
doi:10.3892/ol.2014.2675
PMCID: PMC4246893  PMID: 25435935
dose escalation; lobaplatin; docetaxel; chemotherapy; neoplasm

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