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1.  Effects of Combined Anisodamine and Neostigmine Treatment on the Inflammatory Response and Liver Regeneration of Obstructive Jaundice Rats after Hepatectomy 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:362024.
Background. Cholestasis is associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing major liver resection. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of a combined anisodamine and neostigmine (Ani+Neo) treatment on the inflammatory response and liver regeneration in rats with obstructive jaundice (OJ) after partial hepatectomy. Materials and Methods. OJ was induced in the rats by bile duct ligation. After 7 days biliary drainage and partial hepatectomy were performed. These rats were assigned to a saline group or an Ani+Neo treatment group. The expressions of inflammatory mediators, liver regeneration, and liver damage were assessed at 48 h after hepatectomy. Results. The mRNA levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, MCP-1, and MIP-1α, in the remnant livers, and the serum levels of TNF-α and IL-1β were substantially reduced in the Ani+Neo group compared with saline group (P < 0.05). The Ani+Neo treatment obviously promoted liver regeneration as indicated by the liver weights and Ki-67 labeling index (P < 0.05). The serum albumin and γ-GT levels and liver neutrophil infiltration also significantly improved in the Ani+Neo group (P < 0.05) compared with the saline group. Conclusions. These results demonstrate that the combined anisodamine and neostigmine treatment is able to improve the liver regeneration in rats with OJ by substantially alleviating the inflammatory response.
PMCID: PMC4244971  PMID: 25478569
2.  Interferon-stimulated Gene 15 (ISG15) is a trigger for tumorigenesis and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma 
Oncotarget  2014;5(18):8429-8441.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide with poor prognosis. IFN-stimulated genes 15 (ISG15) is an ubiquitin-like molecule that is strongly upregulated by type I interferons as a primary response to diverse microbial and cellular stress stimuli. However, the role of ISG15 in HCC remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the function of ISG15 during HCC progression and related mechanism using clinicopathological data, cell line and xenograft model. Our results indicated that ISG15 is highly expressed in HCC tissues and multiple HCC cell lines. ISG15 expression is significantly associated with the differentiation grade, metastatic of tumor and survival of HCC patients. However, the expression of ISG15 is not affected by HBV infection. ISG15 promotes the proliferation and migration of hepatocarcinoma cells through maintaining Survivin protein stabilization via sequestering XIAP from interacting with Survivin. Knowing down ISG15 with SiRNA inhibited the xenografted tumor growth and prolonged the lifespan of tumor-bearing mice. All these results support that ISG15 high expression is an intrinsic feature for HCC and a trigger for tumorigenesis and metastasis. ISG15 may be a prognostic biomarker and the inhibition of ISG15 could provide a therapeutic advantage for HCC patients over-expressing ISG15.
PMCID: PMC4226694  PMID: 25238261
ISG15; HCC; Metastasis; Tumorigenesis
Blood cells, molecules & diseases  2008;41(3):255-258.
Increased HbF levels or F-cell (HbF containing erythrocyte) numbers can ameliorate the disease severity of β-thalassemia major and sickle cell anemia. Recent genome wide association studies reported that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in BCL11A gene on chromosome 2p16.1 were correlated with F-cells among healthy northern Europeans, and HbF among Sardinians with β-thalassemias. In this study, we showed that SNPs in BCL11A were associated with F-cell numbers in Chinese with β-thalassemia trait, and with HbF levels in Thais with either β-thalassemia or HbE trait and in African Americans with sickle cell anemia. Taken together, the data suggest that the functional motifs responsible for modulating F-cells and HbF levels reside within a 3 kb region in the second intron of BCL11A.
PMCID: PMC4100606  PMID: 18691915
4.  Functional consequences of retro-inverso isomerization of a miniature protein inhibitor of the p53-MDM2 interaction1 
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry  2013;21(14):4045-4050.
Peptide retro-inverso isomerization is thought to be functionally neutral and has been widely used as a tool for designing proteolytically stable D-isomers to recapitulate biological activities of their parent L-peptides. Despite success in a wide range of applications, exceptions amply exist that clearly defy this rule of thumb when parent L-peptides adopt an α-helical conformation in their bound state. The detrimental energetic effect of retro-inverso isomerization of an α-helical L-peptide on its target protein binding has been estimated to be 3.0-3.4 kcal/mol. To better understand how the retro-inverso isomer of a structured protein works at the molecular level, we chemically synthesized and functionally characterized the retro-inverso isomer of a rationally designed miniature protein termed stingin of 18 amino acid residues, which adopts an N-terminal loop and a C-terminal α-helix stabilized by two intra-molecular disulfide bridges. Stingin emulated the transactivation peptide of the p53 tumor suppressor protein and bound with high affinity and via its C-terminal α-helix to MDM2 and MDMX – the two negative regulators of p53. We also prepared the retro isomer and D-enantiomer of stingin for comparative functional studies using fluorescence polarization and surface plasmon resonance techniques. We found that retro-inverso isomerization of L-stingin weakened its MDM2 binding by 720 fold (3.9 kcal/mol); while enantiomerization of L-stingin drastically reduced its binding to MDM2 by three orders of magnitude, sequence reversal completely abolished it. Our findings demonstrate the limitation of peptide retro-inverso isomerization in molecular mimicry and reinforce the notion that the strategy works poorly with biologically active α-helical peptides due to inherent differences at the secondary and tertiary structural levels between an L-peptide and its retro-inverso isomer despite their similar side chain topologies at the primary structural levela.
PMCID: PMC3726206  PMID: 23660015
Retro-inverso peptide; p53; MDM2; MDMX; D-peptide; Apamin; Stingin
5.  Decreased Expression of C10orf10 and Its Prognostic Significance in Human Breast Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99730.
Breast cancer is a common malignant tumor, which severely threatens the health of women with an increasing incidence in many countries. Here, we identified C10orf10 as a novel differentially expression gene using expression microarray screening. The expression analysis indicated that C10orf10 was frequently decreased in human breast cancers compared to noncancerous breast tissues (81/95, P = 0.0063). Kaplan-Meier analysis indicated that patients with low C10orf10 expression showed a poorer prognosis both in mRNA (n = 1115, P = 0.0013) and protein (n = 100, P = 0.003) levels. Univariate and multivariate analysis showed that the C10orf10 expression was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival of breast cancer patients. Further analysis revealed that low expression of C10orf10 was an unfavorable factor for the prognosis of the patients who were luminal A, luminal B, Her2+ subtypes, at histological grade 2, lymph node negative and ER positive. Our data provided the first evidence that C10orf10 expression was frequently decreased in breast cancer tissues, and low expression of C10orf10 may be an important prognostic factor for poorer survival time of breast cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC4061027  PMID: 24936657
6.  Imaging RAGE expression in atherosclerotic plaques in hyperlipidemic pigs 
EJNMMI Research  2014;4:26.
Receptor for advanced glycated end product (RAGE) expression is a prominent feature of atherosclerosis. We have previously shown in apoE null mice uptake of a radiolabeled anti-RAGE antibody in atherosclerotic plaque and now evaluate RAGE-directed imaging to identify advanced plaques in a large animal model.
Nine hyperlipidemic (HL) pigs were injected with 603.1 ± 129.5 MBq of 99mTc-anti-RAGE F(ab′)2, and after 6 h (blood pool clearance), they underwent single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) imaging of the neck, thorax, and hind limbs. Two HL pigs received 99mTc non-immune IgG F(ab′)2, and three farm pigs were injected with 99mTc-anti-RAGE F(ab′)2. After imaging, the pigs were euthanized. The aorta from the root to bifurcation was dissected, and the innominates, proximal carotids, and coronaries were dissected and counted, stained for H&E and RAGE, and AHA-classified.
On pathology, 24% of the arterial segments showed AHA class III or IV lesions, and these lesions were confined almost exclusively to coronaries and carotids with % stenosis from 15% to 65%. Scatter plots of %ID/g for class III/IV vs. I/II lesions showed almost complete separation. Focal vascular uptake of tracer visualized on SPECT scans corresponded to class III/IV lesions in the coronary and carotid vessels. In addition, uptake in the hind limbs was noted in the HL pigs and corresponded to RAGE staining of small arteries in the muscle sections. Correlations for the vascular lesions were r = 0.747, P = 0.001 for %ID vs. %ID/g and r = 0.83, P = 0.002 for %ID/g vs. % RAGE staining.
Uptake of radiolabeled anti-RAGE antibody in coronary and carotid fibroatheroma and in the small arteries of the hind limbs in a relevant large animal model of atherosclerosis supports the important role of RAGE in atherosclerosis and peripheral artery disease as a target for imaging and treatment.
PMCID: PMC4078320  PMID: 25006545
RAGE; Atherosclerosis; Hyperlipidemic pigs; Imaging
7.  The Microglial Sensome Revealed by Direct RNA Sequencing 
Nature neuroscience  2013;16(12):10.1038/nn.3554.
Microglia, the principal neuroimmune sentinels of the brain, continuously sense changes in their environment and respond to invading pathogens, toxins and cellular debris. Microglia exhibit plasticity and can assume neurotoxic or neuroprotective priming states that determine their responses to danger. We used direct RNA sequencing, without amplification or cDNA synthesis, to determine the quantitative transcriptomes of microglia of healthy adult and aged mice. We validated our findings by fluorescent dual in-situ hybridization, unbiased proteomic analysis and quantitative PCR. We report here that microglia have a distinct transcriptomic signature and express a unique cluster of transcripts encoding proteins for sensing endogenous ligands and microbes that we term the “sensome”. With aging, sensome transcripts for endogenous ligand recognition are downregulated, whereas those involved in microbe recognition and host defense are upregulated. In addition, aging is associated with an overall increase in expression of microglial genes involved in neuroprotection.
PMCID: PMC3840123  PMID: 24162652
Microglia; Sensome; Direct RNA Sequencing; Aging; Macrophages; classical activation; Microbes; Alternative activation; quantitative transcriptome
8.  Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) Pathway Genes and Interstitial Lung Disease: An Association Study 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4893.
The etiology and pathogenesis of idiopathic interstitial lung disease (ILD) remain incompletely understood. Genetic susceptibility to ILD has been demonstrated in previous studies. It is well known that EGFR inhibitors can induce ILD in human lung cancer patient with ethnic differences, which prompted us to hypothesize that genetic variation in EGFR pathway genes confer susceptibility to ILD. We aimed in this study to investigate whether functional polymorphisms of EGFR and its ligands genes (EGF and TGFA) were associated with ILD. Three EGFR [−216G/T (rs712830), −191A/C (rs712829), 497R > K(A/G) (rs2227983)], one EGF [61A/G, (rs4444903)] and one TGFA (rs3821262C/T) polymorphisms previously demonstrated to alter gene functions were genotyped in 229 sporadic idiopathic ILD patients and 693 normal healthy individuals. Allelic and genotypic association tests between these polymorphisms and ILD were performed. The EGF 61A/G polymorphism was significantly associated with elevated risk of ILD, with the frequency of G allele significantly increased in the ILD patient population (OR = 1.33, 95%CI = 1.07–1.66, P = 0.0099). None of the other polymorphisms were associated with risk of ILD. Our study suggested that the EGF 61A/G polymorphism may be associated with sporadic ILD. While a false positive finding cannot be excluded, independent studies are warranted to further validate this result.
PMCID: PMC4018612  PMID: 24819665
9.  Insulin Regulates Glucose Consumption and Lactate Production through Reactive Oxygen Species and Pyruvate Kinase M2 
Although insulin is known to regulate glucose metabolism and closely associate with liver cancer, the molecular mechanisms still remain to be elucidated. In this study, we attempt to understand the mechanism of insulin in promotion of liver cancer metabolism. We found that insulin increased pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) expression through reactive oxygen species (ROS) for regulating glucose consumption and lactate production, key process of glycolysis in hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 and Bel7402 cells. Interestingly, insulin-induced ROS was found responsible for the suppression of miR-145 and miR-128, and forced expression of either miR-145 or miR-128 was sufficient to abolish insulin-induced PKM2 expression. Furthermore, the knockdown of PKM2 expression also inhibited cancer cell growth and insulin-induced glucose consumption and lactate production, suggesting that PKM2 is a functional downstream effecter of insulin. Taken together, this study would provide a new insight into the mechanism of insulin-induced glycolysis.
PMCID: PMC4034658  PMID: 24895527
10.  MicroRNA-143 inhibits tumor growth and angiogenesis and sensitizes chemosensitivity to oxaliplatin in colorectal cancers 
Cell Cycle  2013;12(9):1385-1394.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading cancer-related causes of death in the world. Recently, downregulation of microRNA-143 (miR-143) has been observed in CRC tissues. Here in this study, we found that miR-143 expression was downregulated both in CRC patients’ blood samples and tumor specimens. MiR-143 expression levels were strongly correlated with clinical stages and lymph node metastasis. Furthermore, insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGF-IR), a known oncogene, was a novel direct target of miR-143, whose expression levels were inversely correlated with miR-143 expression in human CRC specimens. Overexpression of miR-143 inhibited cell proliferation, migration, tumor growth and angiogenesis and increased chemosensitivity to oxaliplatin treatment in an IGF-IR-dependent manner. Taken together, these results revealed that miR-143 levels in human blood and tumor tissues are associated with CRC cancer occurrence, metastasis and drug resistance, and miR-143 levels may be used as a new diagnostic marker and therapeutic target for CRC in the future.
PMCID: PMC3674066  PMID: 23574723
microRNA-143; tumorigenesis; angiogenesis; IGF-IR; chemotherapy
11.  Hyperoxia arrests pulmonary development in newborn rats via disruption of endothelial tight junctions and downregulation of Cx40 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2014;10(1):61-67.
This study investigated changes in vascular endothelial cell tight junction structure and the expression of the gene encoding connexin 40 (Cx40) at the early pneumonedema stage of hyperoxia-induced bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in a newborn rat model. A total of 96 newborn rats were randomly assigned to one of the following two groups, the hyperoxia group (n=48) and the control group (n=48). A hyperoxia-induced BPD model was established for the first group, while rats in the control group were maintained under normoxic conditions. Extravasation of Evans Blue (EB) was measured; the severity of lung injury was assessed; a transmission electron microscope (TEM) was used to examine the vascular endothelial cell tight junction structures, and immunohistochemical assay, western blotting and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were used to evaluate the expression of Cx40 at the mRNA and protein level. Our findings showed that injuries due to BPD are progressively intensified during the time-course of exposure to hyperoxic conditions. Pulmonary vascular permeability in the hyperoxia group reached the highest level at day 5, and was significantly higher compared to the control group. TEM observations demonstrated tight junctions between endothelial cells were extremely tight. In the hyperoxia group, no marked changes in the tight junction structure were found at days 1 and 3; paracellular gaps were visible between endothelial cells at days 5 and 7. Immunohistochemical staining revealed that the Cx40 protein is mainly expressed in the vascular endothelial cells of lung tissue. Western blotting and RT-PCR assays showed a gradual decrease in Cx40 expression, depending on the exposure time to hyperoxic conditions. However, the Cx40 mRNA level reached a trough at 5 days. Overall, our study demonstrated that exposure to hyperoxia damages the tight junction structures between vascular endothelial cells and downregulates Cx40. We therefore conclude that hyperoxia may participate in the regulation of pulmonary vascular endothelial permeability.
PMCID: PMC4068730  PMID: 24789212
hyperoxia; tight junction; Cx40; permeability; newborn; bronchopulmonary dysplasia
12.  Identification of Pummelo Cultivars by Using a Panel of 25 Selected SNPs and 12 DNA Segments 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94506.
Pummelo cultivars are usually difficult to identify morphologically, especially when fruits are unavailable. The problem was addressed in this study with the use of two methods: high resolution melting analysis of SNPs and sequencing of DNA segments. In the first method, a set of 25 SNPs with high polymorphic information content were selected from SNPs predicted by analyzing ESTs and sequenced DNA segments. High resolution melting analysis was then used to genotype 260 accessions including 55 from Myanmar, and 178 different genotypes were thus identified. A total of 99 cultivars were assigned to 86 different genotypes since the known somatic mutants were identical to their original genotypes at the analyzed SNP loci. The Myanmar samples were genotypically different from each other and from all other samples, indicating they were derived from sexual propagation. Statistical analysis showed that the set of SNPs was powerful enough for identifying at least 1000 pummelo genotypes, though the discrimination power varied in different pummelo groups and populations. In the second method, 12 genomic DNA segments of 24 representative pummelo accessions were sequenced. Analysis of the sequences revealed the existence of a high haplotype polymorphism in pummelo, and statistical analysis showed that the segments could be used as genetic barcodes that should be informative enough to allow reliable identification of 1200 pummelo cultivars. The high level of haplotype diversity and an apparent population structure shown by DNA segments and by SNP genotypes, respectively, were discussed in relation to the origin and domestication of the pummelo species.
PMCID: PMC3986212  PMID: 24732455
13.  Beneficial Effect of Glucose Control on Atherosclerosis Progression in Diabetic ApoE−/− Mice: Shown by Rage Directed Imaging 
Objective. Receptor for advanced glycated endproducts (RAGE) plays an important role in atherogenesis in diabetes. We imaged RAGE to investigate the effect of glucose control to suppress RAGE and reduce atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E null (apoE−/−) diabetic mice. Methods and Results. Thirty-three apoE−/− mice received streptozotocin and 6 weeks later 15 began treatment with insulin implants. Blood glucose measurements during study averaged: 140 ± 23 mg/dL (treated) and 354 ± 14 mg/dL (untreated). After 15 wk 30 mice were injected with 99mTc-anti-RAGE F(ab′)2, 3 with 99mTc-nonimmune IgG F(ab′)2, and all with CT contrast agent and underwent SPECT/CT imaging. At necropsy, the proximal aorta was weighed, counted, and sectioned and the % injected dose per gram (%ID/g) was calculated. From the merged SPECT/CT scans, tracer uptake localized to arteries was lower in the treated mice: 3.15 ± 1.82 × 10−3 versus 8.69 ± 4.58 × 10−3%ID (P = 0.001). Percent cross-sectional lesion area was smaller in the treated (14.3 ± 7.8% versus 29.5 ± 10.9%) (P = 0.03). RAGE uptake on scans (%ID) correlated with quantitative RAGE staining in the atheroma and with %ID/g (R = 0.6887; P = 0.01). Lesion size as percent cross-sectional area was smaller in the treated (14.3 ± 7.8% versus 29.5 ± 10.9%) (P = 0.03). RAGE uptake on scans (%ID) correlated with quantitative RAGE staining in the atheroma and with %ID/g (R = 0.6887; P = 0.01). Conclusions. These results support the importance of suppressing RAGE to reduce atherosclerotic complications of diabetes and value of molecular imaging to assess treatment effect.
PMCID: PMC4009322  PMID: 24829796
14.  RNAscope for In situ Detection of Transcriptionally Active Human Papillomavirus in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
The 'gold standard' for oncogenic HPV detection is the demonstration of transcriptionally active high-risk HPV in tumor tissue. However, detection of E6/E7 mRNA by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) requires RNA extraction which destroys the tumor tissue context critical for morphological correlation and has been difficult to be adopted in routine clinical practice. Our recently developed RNA in situ hybridization technology, RNAscope, permits direct visualization of RNA in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue with single molecule sensitivity and single cell resolution, which enables highly sensitive and specific in situ analysis of any RNA biomarker in routine clinical specimens. The RNAscope HPV assay was designed to detect the E6/E7 mRNA of seven high-risk HPV genotypes (HPV16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 52, and 58) using a pool of genotype-specific probes. It has demonstrated excellent sensitivity and specificity against the current 'gold standard' method of detecting E6/E7 mRNA by qRT-PCR. HPV status determined by RNAscope is strongly prognostic of clinical outcome in oropharyngeal cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC4145807  PMID: 24637627
Medicine; Issue 85; RNAscope; Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC); Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OPSCC); Human Papillomavirus (HPV); E6/ E7 mRNA; in situ hybridization; tumor
15.  Turning a Scorpion Toxin into an Antitumor Miniprotein 
Journal of the American Chemical Society  2008;130(41):10.1021/ja8042036.
PMCID: PMC3810402  PMID: 18798622
16.  Latrunculin A Treatment Prevents Abnormal Chromosome Segregation for Successful Development of Cloned Embryos 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e78380.
Somatic cell nuclear transfer to an enucleated oocyte is used for reprogramming somatic cells with the aim of achieving totipotency, but most cloned embryos die in the uterus after transfer. While modifying epigenetic states of cloned embryos can improve their development, the production rate of cloned embryos can also be enhanced by changing other factors. It has already been shown that abnormal chromosome segregation (ACS) is a major cause of the developmental failure of cloned embryos and that Latrunculin A (LatA), an actin polymerization inhibitor, improves F-actin formation and birth rate of cloned embryos. Since F-actin is important for chromosome congression in embryos, here we examined the relation between ACS and F-actin in cloned embryos. Using LatA treatment, the occurrence of ACS decreased significantly whereas cloned embryo-specific epigenetic abnormalities such as dimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 9 (H3K9me2) could not be corrected. In contrast, when H3K9me2 was normalized using the G9a histone methyltransferase inhibitor BIX-01294, the Magea2 gene—essential for normal development but never before expressed in cloned embryos—was expressed. However, this did not increase the cloning success rate. Thus, non-epigenetic factors also play an important role in determining the efficiency of mouse cloning.
PMCID: PMC3813513  PMID: 24205216
17.  OptiVol fluid index predicts acute decompensation of heart failure with a high rate of unexplained events 
Intrathoracic impedance monitoring has emerged as a promising new technique for the detection of impending heart failure (HF). Although false positive episodes have been reported in case reports and clinical trials, the efficacy and false positive rate in real-world practice remain unclear.
The aim of this study is to investigate the utility and reliability of the OptiVol alert feature in clinical practice.
We continuously recruited patients who underwent implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) or cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator (CRT-D) implantation with feature of intrathoracic impedance monitoring system in our center from Sep. 2010 to Oct. 2012. Regular in-office follow-up were required of all patients and the following information was collected at each visit: medical history, device interrogation, N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) measurement and an echocardiogram. Worsening HF was defined as hospitalization or the presentation of signs or symptoms of HF.
Forty three patients (male: 76.7%, mean age: 57 ± 15 years, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF): 33% ± 14%) were included in this observational study. Fifty four alert events and 14 adjudicated worsening HF were detected within 288 ±163 days follow-up. Eleven (20.4%) alert episodes were associated with acute cardiac decompensation in 9 patients with a positive predictive value of 78.6%. Forty three audible alerts showed no connection to worsening HF. The unexplained alerts rate was 79.6% and 1.27 per person-year. Thirty seven alarm alerts were detected in patients with EF < 45%, among which 9 accompanied with HF, 17 alerts detected in patients with LVEF ≥ 45% and 2 associated with HF. There was no significant difference between the two groups (9/37 vs. 2/17; P = 0.47).
Patients with normal or nearly normal left ventricular systolic function also exhibited considerable alert events. The OptiVol fluid index predicted worsening cardiac events with a high unexplained detection rate, and any alert must therefore be analyzed with great caution. Efforts to improve the specificity of this monitoring system represent a significant aspect of future studies.
PMCID: PMC3796699  PMID: 24133513
Heart failure; Intrathoracic impedance measurement; OptiVol fluid index; Left ventricular ejection fraction
18.  Huang Qi Jian Zhong Pellet Attenuates TNBS-Induced Colitis in Rats via Mechanisms Involving Improvement of Energy Metabolism 
Huang Qi Jian Zhong Pellet (HQJZ) is a famous Chinese medicine formula for treatment of various gastrointestinal tract diseases. This study investigated the role of HQJZ in 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid- (TNBS-) induced colitis and its underlying mechanism. Colonic mucosal injury was induced by TNBS in the Sprague-Dawley rats. In the HQJZ treatment group, HQJZ was administered (2 g/kg) for 14 days starting from day 1 after TNBS infusion. Colonic mucosal injury occurred obviously 1 day after TNBS challenge and did not recover distinctively until day 15, including an increase in macro- and microscopic scores, a colonic weight index, a decrease in colonic length, a number of functional capillaries, and blood flow. Inverted intravital microscopy and ELISA showed colonic microcirculatory disturbances and inflammatory responses after TNBS stimulation, respectively. TNBS decreased occludin, RhoA, and ROCK-I, while increasing Rac-1, PAK-1, and phosphorylated myosin light chain. In addition, ATP content and ATP5D expression in colonic mucosa decreased after TNBS challenge. Impressively, treatment with HQJZ significantly attenuated all of the alterations evoked by TNBS, promoting the recovery of colonic injury. The present study demonstrated HQJZ as a multitargeting management for colonic mucosal injury, which set in motion mechanisms involving improvement of energy metabolism.
PMCID: PMC3690262  PMID: 23840258
19.  Effects of surface wettability and contact time on protein adhesion to biomaterial surfaces 
Biomaterials  2007;28(22):3273-3283.
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to directly measure the adhesion forces between three test proteins and low density polyethylene (LDPE) surfaces treated by glow discharge plasma to yield various levels of water wettability. The adhesion of proteins to the LDPE substrates showed a step dependence on the wettability of surfaces as measured by the water contact angle (θ). For LDPE surfaces with θ > ∼60–65°, stronger adhesion forces were observed for bovine serum albumin, fibrinogen and human FXII than for the surfaces with θ < 60°. Smaller adhesion forces were observed for FXII than for the other two proteins on all surfaces although trends were identical. Increasing the contact time from 0 to 50 s for each protein–surface combination increased the adhesion force regardless of surface wettability. Time varying adhesion data was fit to an exponential model and free energies of protein unfolding were calculated. This data, viewed in light of previously published studies, suggests a 2-step model of protein denaturation, an early stage on the order of seconds to minutes where the outer surface of the protein interacts with the substrate and a second stage involving movement of hydrophobic amino acids from the protein core to the protein/surface interface.
Impact statement
The work described in this manuscript shows a stark transition between protein adherent and protein non-adherent materials in the range of water contact angles 60–65°, consistent with known changes in protein adsorption and activity. Time-dependent changes in adhesion force were used to calculate unfolding energies relating to protein–surface interactions. This analysis provides justification for a 2-step model of protein denaturation on surfaces.
PMCID: PMC3671914  PMID: 17466368
AFM; Protein; Adhesion; Wettability
20.  Imaging receptor for advanced glycation end product expression in mouse model of hind limb ischemia 
EJNMMI Research  2013;3:37.
The purpose of this study is to image the effect of diabetes on expression of receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (RAGE) in limb ischemia in live animals.
Male wild-type C57BL/6 mice were either made diabetic or left as control. Two months later, diabetic and non-diabetic mice underwent left femoral artery ligation. The right leg served as lesion control. Five days later, mice were injected with 15.1 ± 4.4 MBq 99mTc-anti-RAGE F(ab’)2 and 4 to 5 h later (blood pool clearance) underwent SPECT/CT imaging. At the completion of imaging, mice were euthanized, hind limbs counted and sectioned, and scans reconstructed. Regions of interest were drawn on serial transverse sections comprising the hind limbs and activity in millicuries summed and divided by the injected dose (ID). Quantitative histology was performed for RAGE staining and angiogenesis.
Uptake of 99mTc-anti-RAGE F(ab')2 as %ID × 10−3 was higher in the left (ischemic) limbs for the diabetic mice (n = 8) compared to non-diabetic mice (n = 8) (1.20 ± 0.44% vs. 0.49 ± 0.40%; P = 0.0007) and corresponded to less angiogenesis in the diabetic mice. Uptake was also higher in the right limbs of diabetic compared to non-diabetic animals (0.82 ± 0.33% vs. 0.40 ± 0.14%; P = 0.0004).
These data show the feasibility of imaging and quantifying the effect of diabetes on RAGE expression in limb ischemia.
PMCID: PMC3662588  PMID: 23663412
Limb ischemia; Diabetes; RAGE; Molecular imaging; Radionuclides
Journal of biomechanics  2007;40(13):2865-2871.
Mechanical stimulation of osteoblasts by fluid flow promotes a variety of pro-differentiation effects and improving the efficiency of these mechanical signals could encourage specific differentiation pathways. One way this could be accomplished is by altering mechanical properties of osteoblasts. In this study, murine osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells were cultured on surfaces covered with nanometer-sized islands to examine the hypothesis that the elastic modulus of osteoblastic cells is affected by nanoscale topography. Nanoislands were produced by polymer demixing of polystyrene and poly(bromostyrene), which leads to a segregated polymer system and formation of nanometer sized topographical features. The elastic modulus of MC3T3-E1 cells was determined using atomic force microscopy in conjunction with the Hertz mathematical model. Osteoblastic cells cultured on nanotopographic surfaces (11-38 nm high islands) had a different distribution of cellular modulus values, e.g., the distribution shifted towards higher modulus values, relative to cells on flat control surfaces. There were also differences in cell modulus distribution between two flat controls as surface chemistry was changed between polystyrene and glass. Taken together, our results demonstrate that both surface nanotopography and chemistry affect the mechanical properties of cells and may provide new methods for altering the response of cells to external mechanical signals.
PMCID: PMC3607429  PMID: 17467715
osteoblast; elastic modulus; nanotopography; atomic force microscopy; Hertz model
22.  Preparation and characterization of flexible nanoliposomes loaded with daptomycin, a novel antibiotic, for topical skin therapy 
The purpose of this study was to investigate flexible nanoliposomes for mediating topical delivery of daptomycin, and to document permeation rates and bacteriostatic activity towards skin infections. Response surface methodology was used to optimize the daptomycin-loaded flexible nanoliposomes (DAP-FL), and the amount of drug loaded into the particles was evaluated as the investigation index. The optimal lipid ratio was lecithin to sodium cholate 17:1 (w/w) and the lipid to drug ratio was 14:1 (w/w). The hydration temperature was set at 37°C and the duration of treatment with ultrasound was 20 minutes. The DAP-FL obtained had a small mean particle size (55.4 nm) with a narrow size distribution (polydispersity index 0.15). The mean entrapment efficiency was 87.85% ± 2.15% and the mean percent drug loading was 5.61% ± 0.14%. Using skin mounted between the donor and receptor compartments of a modified Franz diffusion cell, the percentage and quantity of cumulative daptomycin permeation from DAP-FL within 12 hours were measured at 96.28% ± 0.70% and (132.23 ± 17.73) μg/cm2 *5 = 661.15 ± 88.65 μg/cm2, directly, showing rapid and efficient antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus. Following local administration of DAP-FL, daptomycin was detected in multilayer tissues within the skin and underlying structures in the dorsal skin of the mouse. Effective therapeutic concentrations were maintained for several hours, and significantly inhibited bacterial growth and injury-induced biofilms. These results demonstrate that the DAP-FL can enhance the ability of daptomycin to permeate the skin efficiently, where it has a powerful antibacterial action and activity against biofilms. This novel formulation of daptomycin has potential as a new approach in the clinical application of daptomycin.
PMCID: PMC3615926  PMID: 23569376
daptomycin; liposomes; response surface methodology; biofilm
23.  Tumor-targeted liposomal drug delivery mediated by a diseleno bond-stabilized cyclic peptide 
Peptide ligands have played an important role in tumor-targeted drug delivery as targeting moieties. The in vivo fate of peptide-mediated drug delivery systems and the following antitumor effects may greatly depend on the stability of the peptide ligand. In the current study, a tumor-targeting cyclic peptide screened by phage display, Lyp-1 (a peptide that specifically binds to tumor and endothelial cells of tumor lymphatics in certain tumors), was structurally modified by replacement of the original intramolecular disulfide bond with a diseleno bond. The produced analog Syp-1 (seleno derivative of Lyp-1) maintained specific binding ability to the target protein p32 (Kd = 18.54 nM), which is similar to that of Lyp-1 (Kd = 10.59 nM), indicated by surface plasmon resonance assay. Compared with Lyp-1, Syp-1 showed significantly improved stability against serum. After the peptide attached onto the surface of fluorophore-encapsulating liposomes, the more efficient tumor uptake of liposomal fluorophore mediated by Syp-1 was observed. Furthermore, Syp-1 modified liposomal doxorubicin presented the most potent tumor growth inhibitory ability among all the therapeutic groups, with a low half maximal inhibitory concentration of 588 nM against MDA-MB-435 cells in vitro and a high tumor inhibition rate of 73.5% in vivo. These findings clearly indicated that Syp-1 was a stable and effective tumor targeting ligand and suggest that the sulfur-to-selenium replacement strategy may help stabilize the phage-displayed cyclic peptide containing disulfide-bond under physiological conditions and strongly support the validity of peptide-mediated drug targeting.
PMCID: PMC3598503  PMID: 23515368
tumor targeting; liposome; cyclic peptide; selenopeptide
24.  Discrepancy of blood pressure between the brachial artery and radial artery 
In this study, we attempted to find the relations between blood pressure (BP) measured on the brachial artery (bBP) and BP assessed on the radial artery (rBP) in the right arm.
Three hundred and fifteen patients were enrolled in this study. Those who had peripheral vascular disease, wounds of arm skin or subcutaneous tissue infection were excluded. After a 15-minute equilibration and stabilization period after inducation of anesthesia, three bBP and rBP records were obtained sequentially using an oscillometric device with an adult cuff and infant cuff, respectively. Order for each BP was randomized.
The bBP was significantly lower than the rBP (P<0.05). The difference between the two values varied from 13 to 18 mmHg in systolic BP (SBP), diastolic BP (DBP) and mean blood pressure (MAP) respectively. And the rBP was positively correlated with the bBP (r=0.872, 0.754, 0.765; P<0.001, <0.001, <0.001; SBP, DBP, MAP, respectively).
The bBP value can be evaluated by the noninvasive measurements of rBP using an appropriate cuff in clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC4129906  PMID: 25215136
Blood pressure; Brachial artery; Radial artery; Correlation; Linear regression
25.  N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor-Dependent Denitrosylation of Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase Increase the Enzyme Activity 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e52788.
Our laboratory once reported that neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) S-nitrosylation was decreased in rat hippocampus during cerebral ischemia-reperfusion, but the underlying mechanism was unclear. In this study, we show that nNOS activity is dynamically regulated by S-nitrosylation. We found that overexpressed nNOS in HEK293 (human embryonic kidney) cells could be S-nitrosylated by exogenous NO donor GSNO and which is associated with the enzyme activity decrease. Cys331, one of the zinc-tetrathiolate cysteines, was identified as the key site of nNOS S-nitrosylation. In addition, we also found that nNOS is highly S-nitrosylated in resting rat hippocampal neurons and the enzyme undergos denitrosylation during the process of rat brain ischemia/reperfusion. Intrestingly, the process of nNOS denitrosylation is coupling with the decrease of nNOS phosphorylation at Ser847, a site associated with nNOS activation. Further more, we document that nNOS denitrosylation could be suppressed by pretreatment of neurons with MK801, an antagonist of NMDAR, GSNO, EGTA, BAPTA, W-7, an inhibitor of calmodulin as well as TrxR1 antisense oligonucleotide (AS-ODN) respectively. Taken together, our data demonstrate that the denitrosylation of nNOS induced by calcium ion influx is a NMDAR-dependent process during the early stage of ischemia/reperfusion, which is majorly mediated by thioredoxin-1 (Trx1) system. nNOS dephosphorylation may be induced by the enzyme denitrosylation, which suggest that S-nitrosylation/denitrosylation of nNOS may be an important mechanism in regulating the enzyme activity.
PMCID: PMC3532120  PMID: 23285183

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