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1.  High crude violacein production from glucose by Escherichia coli engineered with interactive control of tryptophan pathway and violacein biosynthetic pathway 
As bacteria-originated crude violacein, a natural indolocarbazole product, consists of violacein and deoxyviolacein, and can potentially be a new type of natural antibiotics, the reconstruction of an effective metabolic pathway for crude violacein (violacein and deoxyviolacein mixture) synthesis directly from glucose in Escherichia coli was of importance for developing industrial production process.
Strains with a multivariate module for varied tryptophan productivities were firstly generated by combinatorial knockout of trpR/tnaA/pheA genes and overexpression of two key genes trpEfbr/trpD from the upstream tryptophan metabolic pathway. Then, the gene cluster of violacein biosynthetic pathway was introduced downstream of the generated tryptophan pathway. After combination of these two pathways, maximum crude violacein production directly from glucose by E. coli B2/pED + pVio was realized with a titer of 0.6 ± 0.01 g L−1 in flask culture, which was four fold higher than that of the control without the tryptophan pathway up-regulation. In a 5-L bioreactor batch fermentation with glucose as the carbon source, the recombinant E. coli B2/pED + pVio exhibited a crude violacein titer of 1.75 g L−1 and a productivity of 36 mg L−1 h−1, which was the highest titer and productivity reported so far under the similar culture conditions without tryptophan addition.
Metabolic pathway analysis using 13C labeling illustrated that the up-regulated tryptophan supply enhanced tryptophan metabolism from glucose, whereas the introduction of violacein pathway drew more carbon flux from glucose to tryptophan, thereby contributing to the effective production of crude violacein in the engineered E. coli cell factory.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12934-015-0192-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4306242  PMID: 25592762
Violacein; Tryptophan; Glucose; Pathway optimization; Escherichia coli
2.  Voxel-Based Analysis of Fractional Anisotropy in Post-Stroke Apathy 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e116168.
To explore the structural basis of post-stroke apathy by using voxel-based analysis (VBA) of fractional anisotropy (FA) maps.
We enrolled 54 consecutive patients with ischemic stroke during convalescence, and divided them into apathy (n = 31) and non-apathy (n = 23) groups. We obtained magnetic resonance images of their brains, including T1, T2 and DTI sequences. Age, sex, education level, Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD) scores, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores, and infarct locations for the two groups were compared. Finally, to investigate the structural basis of post-stroke apathy, VBA of FA maps was performed in which we included the variables that a univariate analysis determined had P-values less than 0.20 as covariates.
HAMD (P = 0.01) and MMSE (P<0.01) scores differed significantly between the apathy and non-apathy groups. After controlling for age, education level, HAMD scores, and MMSE scores, significant FA reduction was detected in four clusters with peak voxels at the genu of the corpus callosum (X = −16, Y = 30, Z = 8), left anterior corona radiata (−22, 30, 10), splenium of the corpus callosum (−24, −56, 18), and right inferior frontal gyrus white matter (52, 24, 18), after family-wise error correction for multiple comparisons.
Post-stroke apathy is related to depression and cognitive decline. Damage to the genu of the corpus callosum, left anterior corona radiata, splenium of the corpus callosum, and white matter in the right inferior frontal gyrus may lead to apathy after ischemic stroke.
PMCID: PMC4282201  PMID: 25555189
3.  Development of proteomic technology of shotgun and label free combined with multiple reaction monitoring to simultaneously detect southern rice black-streaked dwarf virus and rice ragged stunt virus 
Virusdisease  2014;25(3):322-330.
The co-infection of rice caused by southern rice black-streaked dwarf virus (SRBSDV) and rice ragged stunt virus (RRSV) was widely found at many regions, such as Yunnan Province, China, and North and Central Vietnam. These rice viral diseases lead to seriously yield loss of rice. In this study, the proteomics technology of shotgun and label free combined with multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) was developed to detect rice sample of a single or/and co-infection. The shotgun assay indicated that some proteins coded by SRBSDV and RRSV were detected via the mode of in-gel digestion, except for P5-2, P7-2 and P9-2 of SRBSDV and P4b, P5, P6, P8a and P8b of RRSV. The technology of label free combined with MRM indicated that P2, P5-1, P4, P8, P7-1, P6, P9-1 and P10 of SRBSDV and P1, P3 and P9 of RRSV were higher abundance in rice plant, and P5-2, P7-2 and P9-2 of SRBSDV and P4b and P5 of RRSV were lower abundance in viruliferous-rice plant. So SRBSDV P9-1 and RRSV P3 was selected as marker molecule to be used in detection technology, and the label free combined with MRM technology was established to detect two kinds of rice virus.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13337-014-0195-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4188197
SRBSDV; RRSV; Shotgun protein proteomic; Multi reaction monitoring; Label free; Bio-informatics
4.  Tristetraprolin Down-Regulates IL-23 Expression in Colon Cancer Cells 
Molecules and Cells  2013;36(6):571-576.
Interleukin 23 (IL-23) is an inflammatory cytokine that plays an important role in tumor promotion. Expression of IL-23 is increased in cancer cells and correlates with tumor progression. However, the mechanisms regulating IL-23 expression in cancer cells are still unclear. Here we report that tristetraprolin (TTP), an AU-rich element (ARE)-binding protein, inhibits IL-23 production in CT26 mouse colon cancer cells. Overexpression of TTP decreased the stability of IL-23 mRNA and the expression level of IL-23 in CT26 cells. Conversely, inhibition of TTP by siRNA increased IL-23 production. TTP destabilized a luciferase mRNA reporter containing the IL-23 mRNA 3’UTR, which contains five AREs. Analyses of deletion and point mutants of the IL-23 mRNA 3’UTR demonstrated that the ARE cluster between the third and fifth AREs was responsible for TTP-mediated destabilization of IL-23 mRNA. A RNA electrophoretic mobility shift assay confirmed that TTP binds to this ARE cluster. Taken together, these results demonstrate that TTP acts as a negative regulator of IL-23 gene expression in mouse colon cancer cells and suggest its potential application as a novel therapeutic target to control IL-23-mediated tumor promotion.
PMCID: PMC3887959  PMID: 24292977
ARE-binding protein; cancer cells; gene regulation; IL-23; TTP
5.  The Prevalence of Antinuclear Antibodies in the General Population of China: A Cross-Sectional Study 
The incidence of autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and primary biliary cirrhosis has increased significantly in China. Information about the susceptibility or potential of autoimmune diseases in the general population is lacking.
To explore the prevalence of antinuclear antibody (ANA) and its specificities in the general population in China.
Twenty thousand nine hundred seventy sera samples were taken from the physical examination center in Baoding, China. Indirect immunofluorescence and line immunoassays were used to detect ANA and its specificities, respectively.
Samples from females had a higher prevalence of ANA than samples from males (χ2 = 278.55; P < 0.01). For both sexes, the prevalence of ANA positively correlated with age and there were significant differences among different age groups at 10-year intervals, except the 80 years group (P < 0.05). One thousand two hundred forty-three ANA-positive samples were further analyzed with line immunoassays. There was a significant difference among age groups and between sex groups in terms of the specific autoantibodies (P < 0.01). The autoantibodies with the top-3 positive frequencies were anti-Ro-52, anti-M2, and anti-SSA.
There was a high prevalence of ANA positivity in the general Chinese population that seemed to be influenced by sex and age and correlated with specific autoantibodies.
PMCID: PMC4245690  PMID: 25473438
antinuclear antibody; autoimmune diseases; Chinese; prevalence
6.  The Stent-Assisted Coil-Jailing Technique Facilitates Efficient Embolization of Tiny Cerebral Aneurysms 
Korean Journal of Radiology  2014;15(6):850-857.
Tiny cerebral aneurysms are difficult to embolize because the aneurysm's sac is too small for a single small coil, and coils within the aneurysm may escape from the confinement of a stent. This study was performed to introduce the stent-assisted coil-jailing technique and to investigate its effect on the coil embolization of tiny intracranial aneurysms.
Materials and Methods
Sixteen patients with tiny intracranial aneurysms treated with the stent-assisted coil-jailing technique between January 2011 and December 2013 were retrospectively reviewed and followed-up.
All aneurysms were successfully treated with the coil-jailing technique, and at the end of embolization, complete occlusion of the aneurysm was achieved in 9 cases (56.3%), incomplete occlusion in 6 (37.5%), and partial occlusion in 1 (6.3%). Intraprocedural complications included acute thrombosis in one case (6.3%) and re-rupture in another (6.3%). Both complications were managed appropriately with no sequela. Follow-up was performed in all patients for 3-24 months (mean, 7.7 months) after embolization. Complete occlusion was sustained in the 9 aneurysms with initial complete occlusion, progressive thrombosis to complete occlusion occurred in the 6 aneurysms with initial near-complete occlusion, and one aneurysm resulted in progressive thrombosis to complete occlusion after initial partial occlusion. No migration of stents or coils occurred at follow-up as compared with their positions immediately after embolization. At follow-up, all patients had recovered with no sequela.
The stent-assisted coil-jailing technique can be an efficient approach for tiny intracranial aneurysms, even though no definite conclusion regarding its safety can be drawn from the current data.
PMCID: PMC4248643  PMID: 25469099
Tiny intracranial aneurysm; Stent-assisted coiling; Redundant coil tails; Coil migration
7.  In vivo magnetic resonance imaging tracking of transplanted superparamagnetic iron oxide-labeled bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in rats with myocardial infarction 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2014;11(1):113-120.
Superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles generate superparamagnetism, thereby resulting in an inhomogeneous local magnetic field, which shortens the T2 value on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The purpose of the present study was to use MRI to track bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) labeled with SPIO in a rat model of myocardial infarction. The BMSCs were isolated from rats and labeled with SPIO. The anterior descending branch of the coronary artery was ligated under anesthesia. Two weeks later, the rats received, at random, 5×107 SPIO-labeled BMSCs, 5×107 unlabeled BMSCs or a vehicle (100 μl phosphate-buffered saline) via direct injection into the ischemic area (20 animals/group). MRI was used to track the SPIO-labeled BMSCs and the rats were then sacrificed to verify the presence of BMSCs using immunohistochemistry with an anti-CD90 antibody. The procedure labeled 99% of the BMSCs with SPIO, which exhibited low-intensity signals on T2 and T2* MRI imaging. At 24 h post-BMSC transplantation, low-intensity MRI signals were detected on the T2 and T2* sequences at the infarction margins. After 3 weeks following transplantation, low-intensity signals started to appear within the infarcted area; however, the signal intensity subsequently decreased and became indistinct. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the SPIO-labeled BMSCs migrated from the margin into the infarcted region. In conclusion, the BMSCs were readily labeled with SPIO and in vivo and MRI tracking demonstrated that the SPIO-labeled BMSCs established and grew in the infarcted myocardium.
PMCID: PMC4237077  PMID: 25323652
superparamagnetic iron oxide; bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells; myocardial infarction; magentic resonance imaging
8.  Cell transplantation into ischemic myocardium using mesenchymal stem cells transfected by vascular endothelial growth factor 
Aims: To investigate the effects of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) transplantation combining with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene therapy on myocardium rebuilding, angiogenesis, and heart function improvement in rats with myocardial infarction. Methods: SD rat MSCs were isolated, cultured in vitro, labeled with BrdU and transfected by Ad.VEGF gene. Four weeks after left anterior descending artery was ligated to create rat myocardial infarction, cardiac function was examined with echocardiography. Rats were randomly divided into four groups (n = 10 in each group): Group I: MSCs/Ad.VEGF implantation; Group II: MSCs implantation; Group III: Ad.VEGF injection; Group IV: Control. MSCs differentiation was observed 4 weeks after transplantation. Immunohistochemistry and angiogenesis were observed. Echocardiography was performed to detect the effects on heart function. Results: MSCs labeled with BrdU could be identified in host hearts in group I and II, most of them positively stained with cTnT antibody. Echocardiography indicated that the improvement of the LVEF value in group I was more significant than that in the other three groups (P < 0.01, respectively). Some cells were incorporated into the coronary capillaries in the infarcted region. The capillary density in group I was higher than that in the other three groups (P < 0.01, respectively). Conclusion: MSCs implantation combining with VEGF gene therapy can obviously repair damaged myocardium and enhance the angiogenesis in ischemic heart tissue.
PMCID: PMC4270627  PMID: 25550816
Mesenchymal stem cells; vascular endothelial growth factor; cell transplantation; myocardial ischemia
9.  Expression and prognostic significance of TCTN1 in human glioblastoma 
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and lethal intracranial malignancy in adults, with dismal prognosis despite multimodal therapies. Tectonic family member 1 (TCTN1) is a protein involved in a diverse range of developmental processes, yet its functions in GBM remain unclear. This study aims to investigate expression profile, prognostic value and effects of TCTN1 gene in GBM.
Protein levels of TCTN1 were assessed by immunohistochemical staining using a tissue microarray constructed by a Chinese cohort of GBM patients (n = 110), and its mRNA expression was also detected in a subset of this cohort. Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox regression were performed to estimate the prognostic significance of TCTN1. Similar analyses were also conducted in another two independent cohorts: The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) cohort (n = 528) and the Repository for Molecular Brain Neoplasia Data (REMBRANDT) cohort (n = 228). For the TCGA cohort, the relationships between TCTN1 expression, clinical outcome, molecular subtypes and genetic alterations were also analysed. Furthermore, proliferation of TCTN1 overexpressed or silenced GBM cells was determined by CCK-8 assays.
As discovered in three independent cohorts, both mRNA and protein levels of TCTN1 expression were markedly elevated in human GBMs, and higher TCTN1 expression served as an independent prognostic factor predicting poorer prognosis of GBM patients. Additionally, in the TCGA cohort, TCTN1 expression was dramatically decreased in patients within the proneural subtype compared to other subtypes, and significantly influenced by the status of several genetic aberrations such as CDKN2A/B deletion, EGFR amplification, PTEN deletion and TP53 mutation. The prognostic value of TCTN1 was more pronounced in proneural and mesenchymal subtypes, and was also affected by several genetic alterations particularly PTEN deletion. Furthermore, overexpression of TCTN1 significantly promoted proliferation of GBM cells, while its depletion evidently hampered cell growth.
TCTN1 is elevated in human GBMs and predicts poor clinical outcome for GBM patients, which is associated with molecular subtypes and genetic features of GBMs. Additionally, TCTN1 expression impacts GBM cell proliferation. Our results suggest for the first time that TCTN1 may serve as a novel prognostic factor and a potential therapeutic target for GBM.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12967-014-0288-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4198629  PMID: 25304031
TCTN1; Glioblastoma; Survival; Prognostic factor
10.  The effect of perinatal anxiety on bronchiolitis is influenced by polymorphisms in ROS-related genes 
BMC Pulmonary Medicine  2014;14(1):154.
Exposure to perinatal anxiety affects disease susceptibility in offspring but studies on the association between perinatal anxiety and gene polymorphisms are lacking. This study aimed to elucidate the interaction between perinatal anxiety and polymorphisms in antioxidant defense and innate immunity genes on the development of respiratory tract infections (RTIs) during early infancy.
Trait anxiety levels in 440 women were assessed by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory during late gestation. The occurrence of RTIs, including bronchiolitis, during the first year of life was assessed by parent-reported doctor diagnosis. Polymorphisms in glutathione S-transferase P-1 (GSTP1, rs1695) and CD14 (rs2569190) were genotyped using the TaqMan assay. Copy number variations of GSTT1 were measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction.
Exposure to high levels of perinatal anxiety increased the risk of bronchiolitis in the first year of life (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.30; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.00–1.80), in particular among children with the AG + GG genotype of GSTP1 or the GSTT1 null genotype (aOR 3.36 and 2.79). In infants with the TC + CC genotype of CD14, high levels of perinatal anxiety were associated with an increased risk of upper RTI, lower RTI, and bronchiolitis (aOR 2.51, 4.60, and 4.31, respectively).
Perinatal maternal anxiety levels affect the occurrence of bronchiolitis in offspring. The effect of perinatal anxiety on the occurrence of bronchiolitis during infancy was influenced by genetic polymorphisms in antioxidant defense and innate immunity genes.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2466-14-154) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4196140  PMID: 25263840
Anxiety; Bronchiolitis; CD14; Perinatal; Glutathione S-transferase; Polymorphism; Respiratory tract infection
11.  Factors Related to Executive Dysfunction after Acute Infarct 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e108574.
The aim of this study was to investigate the association of infarct location with post-stroke executive dysfunction.
One hundred seventy-seven patients hospitalized with acute infarction were enrolled. General information and NIHSS score at admission were recorded. The infarct site was recorded from magnetic resonance T2-W1 and FLAIR images, and the extent of white matter disease was assessed using the Fazekas score. Seven days after symptoms, executive function was assessed using the validated Chinese version of Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (MDRS) Initiation/Perseveration (I/P) [MDRS I/P].
The average MDRS I/P score of the 177 infarction patients was 24.16±5.21, considerably lower than the average score (32.7±3.1) of a control group of normal individuals. Patients with infarcts in the corona radiata or basal ganglia had significantly lower MDRS I/P scores that those without infarcts at these locations. The number of infarcts in the basal ganglia was also significantly associated with low MDRS I/P scores. Male gender and low NIHSS score were significantly associated with low MDRS I/P score, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was significantly associated with high MDRS I/P score. The number of infarcts in areas other than the basal ganglia as well as corona radiata and the extent of white matter disease had no influence on this score.
The number of infarcts in the basal ganglia corona radiata, low NIHSS score, and male gender are significantly and independently related to poor executive function (that is, low MDRS I/P score) after acute infarct.
PMCID: PMC4172700  PMID: 25247604
12.  Comparison of clinical outcomes of Chinese men and women after coronary stenting for coronary artery disease: a multi-center retrospective analysis of 4,334 patients 
Journal of Biomedical Research  2013;28(5):368-375.
The outcome differences between Chinese male and female patients within one-year follow-up after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with stent remain unclear. The present study was aimed to compare clinical outcomes in such two populations. From May 1999 to December 2009, 4,334 patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI), unstable angina, stable angina, or silent ischemia, who underwent PCI, were registered at our centers. Among these, 3,089 were men and 1,245 were women. We compared these groups with respect to the primary outcomes of MI and secondary outcomes including a composite of major adverse cardiac events (MACE) including cardiac death, MI, target lesion revascularization, target vessel revascularization (TVR), stent thrombosis (ST), definite ST and probable ST at one-year follow-up. Chinese male patients had a higher MACE rate (13% vs. 10.7%, P  =  0.039), mainly led by TVR (9.09% vs. 6.98%, P = 0.024) at one year, which was significantly different than female patients. Chinese male and female patients showed a significant difference on MACEs. However, there was no significant difference with respect to MI between these groups.
PMCID: PMC4197387  PMID: 25332708
interventional cardiology; ischemic heart disease; drug-eluting stent; major adverse cardiac event; coronary stenting; gender difference
13.  Correlation between HER2 Overexpression and Clinicopathological Characteristics in Gastric Cancer Patients Who Have Undergone Curative Resection 
Journal of Gastric Cancer  2014;14(3):180-186.
At present, a human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-based concept of tumor biology has been established, and trastuzumab (Herceptin®; Genentech/Roche, San Francisco, CA, USA), a monoclonal humanized antibody directed against HER2, is a pivotal agent for the management of HER2 positive (HER2+) metastatic breast cancer. It is also known that HER2 has a predictive value in gastric cancer; however, its association with the prognosis of this disease remains uncertain. The purpose of this study was to evaluate both the relationship between HER2 overexpression in the tumors of gastric cancer patients, and the prognosis of these patients who have had curative resection.
Materials and Methods
A total of 139 consecutive patients with gastric cancer who underwent surgery at the Kosin University Gospel Hospital between October 2011 and March 2012 were included in this retrospective study. All tumor samples were examined for HER2 expression by immunohistochemistry. A retrospective review of the medical records was conducted to determine the correlation between the presence of HER2 overexpression and clinicopathological factors.
The HER2+ rate was 15.1%. HER2 overexpression was associated with histological grade (P=0.044) and Lauren classification (P=0.036). There was no significant difference in the 2-year overall survival between HER2+ and HER2- patients (P=0.396). Multivariate analysis showed that HER2 was not an independent prognostic factor.
HER2 overexpression in tumors was associated with histological grade and Lauren classification in gastric cancer patients with curative resection. However, HER2 was not an independent prognostic factor for gastric cancer in our study.
PMCID: PMC4199885  PMID: 25328763
Stomach neoplasms; Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2; Prognosis
14.  Thyroid Metastasis from Breast Carcinoma Accompanied by Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma 
Case Reports in Oncology  2014;7(2):528-533.
Metastasis to the thyroid gland is very rare. Recently, we experienced a case of thyroid metastasis from breast cancer accompanying a papillary thyroid. A 51-year-old female patient presented with a palpated lymph node on her left lateral neck. The patient had undergone a left modified radical mastectomy followed by chemotherapy and hormonal therapy 12 years prior. Ultrasonography of the neck revealed a malignant looking nodule at the left thyroid lobe, measuring 0.9 × 0.9 cm, and several cystic nodules at the right thyroid lobe. Ultrasonography of the neck additionally revealed a malignant looking lymph node at the right level VI. Fine-needle aspiration of the left thyroid lobe resulted in a diagnosis of papillary thyroid carcinoma and that of the right level VI in Hurthle cell lesion. The patient had a total thyroidectomy with selective dissection of the left neck node. Pathologic assessment of the specimen revealed metastatic carcinoma from the breast carcinoma and papillary thyroid carcinoma. Although the thyroid gland is highly vascularized, metastasis of malignant tumors to the thyroid is relatively rare and detection of metastasis shows a low frequency. So a careful evaluation of thyroid tumor should be considered in a patient with a history of other malignancy.
PMCID: PMC4164070  PMID: 25232322
Metastatic thyroid carcinoma; Breast carcinoma; Papillary thyroid carcinoma
15.  Additive Effect between IL-13 Polymorphism and Cesarean Section Delivery/Prenatal Antibiotics Use on Atopic Dermatitis: A Birth Cohort Study (COCOA) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e96603.
Although cesarean delivery and prenatal exposure to antibiotics are likely to affect the gut microbiome in infancy, their effect on the development of atopic dermatitis (AD) in infancy is unclear. The influence of individual genotypes on these relationships is also unclear. To evaluate with a prospective birth cohort study whether cesarean section, prenatal exposure to antibiotics, and susceptible genotypes act additively to promote the development of AD in infancy.
The Cohort for Childhood of Asthma and Allergic Diseases (COCOA) was selected from the general Korean population. A pediatric allergist assessed 412 infants for the presence of AD at 1 year of age. Their cord blood DNA was subjected to interleukin (IL)-13 (rs20541) and cluster-of-differentiation (CD)14 (rs2569190) genotype analysis.
The combination of cesarean delivery and prenatal exposure to antibiotics associated significantly and positively with AD (adjusted odds ratio, 5.70; 95% CI, 1.19–27.3). The association between cesarean delivery and AD was significantly modified by parental history of allergic diseases or risk-associated IL-13 (rs20541) and CD14 (rs2569190) genotypes. There was a trend of interaction between IL-13 (rs20541) and delivery mode with respect to the subsequent risk of AD. (P for interaction = 0.039) Infants who were exposed prenatally to antibiotics and were born by cesarean delivery had a lower total microbiota diversity in stool samples at 6 months of age than the control group. As the number of these risk factors increased, the AD risk rose (trend p<0.05).
Cesarean delivery and prenatal antibiotic exposure may affect the gut microbiota, which may in turn influence the risk of AD in infants. These relationships may be shaped by the genetic predisposition.
PMCID: PMC4029558  PMID: 24848505
16.  Proteomics Approaches for Identification of Tumor Relevant Protein Targets in Pulmonary Squamous Cell Carcinoma by 2D-DIGE-MS 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95121.
Potential markers for progression of pulmonary squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) were identified by examining samples of lung SCC and adjacent normal tissues using a combination of fluorescence two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE), matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS), and electrospray ionization quadrupole-time of flight mass spectrometry (ESI-Q-TOF). The PANTHER System was used for gel image based quantification and statistical analysis. An analysis of proteomic data revealed that 323 protein spots showed significantly different levels of expression (P≤0.05) in lung SCC tissue compared to expression in normal lung tissue. A further analysis of these protein spots by MALDI-TOF-MS identified 81 different proteins. A systems biology approach was used to map these proteins to major pathways involved in numerous cellular processes, including localization, transport, cellular component organization, apoptosis, and reproduction. Additionally, the expression of several proteins in lung SCC and normal tissues was examined using immunohistochemistry and western blot. The functions of individual proteins are being further investigated and validated, and the results might provide new insights into the mechanism of lung SCC progression, potentially leading to the design of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
PMCID: PMC3989308  PMID: 24740010
17.  Reference Values and Determinants of Fractional Concentration of Exhaled Nitric Oxide in Healthy Children 
Measurement of the fractional concentration of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) is a quantitative, noninvasive, simple, safe method of assessing airway inflammation. While FeNO measurement has been standardized, reference values for elementary school children are scarce. The aim of this study was to establish reference values for FeNO in children.
FeNO was measured in elementary school children at 6-12 years of age in Seoul, Korea, following American Thoracic Society guidelines and using a chemiluminescence analyzer (NIOX Exhaled Nitric Oxide Monitoring System, Aerocrine, Sweden). A total of 1,252 children completed a modified International Study of Asthma and Allergy in Children (ISAAC) questionnaire; FeNO was measured in 1,063 children according to the protocol and in 808 children defined as healthy controls.
Mean FeNO were 10.32 ppb, 16.58 ppb, and 12.36 ppb in non-atopic, atopic, and all 808 healthy controls, respectively. FeNO was not associated with age and gender. The FeNO reference equations were determined by multiple linear regression analysis, taking into account the variables of age, height, weight, total IgE, eosinophil percent, and bronchial hyper-responsiveness (methacholine PC20). FeNO=0.776+0.003×total IgE+0.340×eosinophil percent; coefficient of determination (R2)=0.084 in the 501 healthy non-atopic controls. FeNO=-18.365+1.536×eosinophil percent, R2=0.183 in the 307 healthy atopic controls; and FeNO=-7.888+0.130×Height+0.004×total IgE+1.233×eosinophil percent, R2=0.209 in the 808 all healthy controls. Eosinophil percent was correlated with FeNO in all healthy controls. FeNO was not associated with BMI.
This study provides reference values for FeNO that can be used to evaluate airway inflammation in elementary school children. Determinants that could most accurately predict FeNO in healthy school-age children were assessed.
PMCID: PMC3936047  PMID: 24587955
FeNO; reference value; determinants; healthy; children
18.  Inhibition of GM3 Synthase Attenuates Neuropathology of Niemann-Pick Disease Type C by Affecting Sphingolipid Metabolism 
Molecules and Cells  2014;37(2):161-171.
In several lysosomal storage disorders, including Niemann-Pick disease Type C (NP-C), sphingolipids, including glycosphingolipids, particularly gangliosides, are the predominant storage materials in the brain, raising the possibility that accumulation of these lipids may be involved in the NP-C neurodegenerative process. However, correlation of these accumulations and NP-C neuropathology has not been fully characterized. Here we derived NP-C mice with complete and partial deletion of the Siat9 (encoding GM3 synthase) gene in order to investigate the role of ganglioside in NP-C pathogenesis. According to our results, NPC mice with homozygotic deletion of GM3 synthase exhibited an enhanced neuropathological phenotype and died significantly earlier than NP-C mice. Notably, in contrast to complete depletion, NP-C mice with partial deletion of the GM3 synthase gene showed ameliorated NP-C neuropathology, including motor disability, demyelination, and abnormal accumulation of cholesterol and sphingolipids. These findings indicate the crucial role of GM3 synthesis in the NP-C phenotype and progression of CNS pathologic abnormality, suggesting that well-controlled inhibition of GM3 synthesis could be used as a therapeutic strategy.
PMCID: PMC3935629  PMID: 24599001
GM3; neuropathology; Niemann-pick type C disease; sphingolipids
19.  A Patient with Advanced Gastric Cancer Presenting with Extremely Large Uterine Fibroid Tumor 
Case Reports in Surgery  2014;2014:760913.
Introduction. Uterine fibroid tumors (uterine leiomyomas) are the most common benign uterine tumors. The incidence of uterine fibroid tumors increases in older women and may occur in more than 30% of women aged 40 to 60. Many uterine fibroid tumors are asymptomatic and are diagnosed incidentally. Case Presentation. A 44-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital with general weakness, dyspepsia, abdominal distension, and a palpable abdominal mass. An abdominal computed tomography scan showed a huge tumor mass in the abdomen which was compressing the intestine and urinary bladder. Gastroduodenal endoscopic and biopsy results showed a Borrmann type IV gastric adenocarcinoma. The patient was diagnosed with gastric cancer with disseminated peritoneal carcinomatosis. She underwent a hysterectomy with both salphingo-oophorectomy and bypass gastrojejunostomy. Simultaneous uterine fibroid tumor with other malignancies is generally observed without resection. But in this case, a surgical resection was required to resolve an intestinal obstruction and to exclude the possibility of a metastatic tumor. Conclusion. When a large pelvic or ovarian mass is detected in gastrointestinal malignancy patients, physicians try to exclude the presence of a Krukenberg tumor. If the tumors cause certain symptoms, surgical resection is recommended to resolve symptoms and to exclude a metastatic tumor.
PMCID: PMC3965924  PMID: 24707431
20.  Canine Parvovirus VP2 Protein Expressed in Silkworm Pupae Self-Assembles into Virus-Like Particles with High Immunogenicity 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e79575.
The VP2 structural protein of parvovirus can produce virus-like particles (VLPs) by a self-assembly process in vitro, making VLPs attractive vaccine candidates. In this study, the VP2 protein of canine parvovirus (CPV) was expressed using a baculovirus expression system and assembled into parvovirus-like particles in insect cells and pupae. Electron micrographs of VLPs showed that they were very similar in size and morphology when compared to the wild-type parvovirus. The immunogenicity of the VLPs was investigated in mice and dogs. Mice immunized intramuscularly with purified VLPs, in the absence of an adjuvant, elicited CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses and were able to elicit a neutralizing antibody response against CPV, while the oral administration of raw homogenates containing VLPs to the dogs resulted in a systemic immune response and long-lasting immunity. These results demonstrate that the CPV-VLPs stimulate both cellular and humoral immune responses, and so CPV-VLPs may be a promising candidate vaccine for the prevention of CPV-associated disease.
PMCID: PMC3894932  PMID: 24465364
21.  Global catalogue of microorganisms (gcm): a comprehensive database and information retrieval, analysis, and visualization system for microbial resources 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:933.
Throughout the long history of industrial and academic research, many microbes have been isolated, characterized and preserved (whenever possible) in culture collections. With the steady accumulation in observational data of biodiversity as well as microbial sequencing data, bio-resource centers have to function as data and information repositories to serve academia, industry, and regulators on behalf of and for the general public. Hence, the World Data Centre for Microorganisms (WDCM) started to take its responsibility for constructing an effective information environment that would promote and sustain microbial research data activities, and bridge the gaps currently present within and outside the microbiology communities.
Strain catalogue information was collected from collections by online submission. We developed tools for automatic extraction of strain numbers and species names from various sources, including Genbank, Pubmed, and SwissProt. These new tools connect strain catalogue information with the corresponding nucleotide and protein sequences, as well as to genome sequence and references citing a particular strain. All information has been processed and compiled in order to create a comprehensive database of microbial resources, and was named Global Catalogue of Microorganisms (GCM). The current version of GCM contains information of over 273,933 strains, which includes 43,436bacterial, fungal and archaea species from 52 collections in 25 countries and regions.
A number of online analysis and statistical tools have been integrated, together with advanced search functions, which should greatly facilitate the exploration of the content of GCM.
A comprehensive dynamic database of microbial resources has been created, which unveils the resources preserved in culture collections especially for those whose informatics infrastructures are still under development, which should foster cumulative research, facilitating the activities of microbiologists world-wide, who work in both public and industrial research centres. This database is available from
PMCID: PMC3890509  PMID: 24377417
Microbial resources; Data management; Data sharing
22.  Efficient Semiparametric Estimation of Short-term and Long-term Hazard Ratios with Right-Censored Data 
Biometrics  2013;69(4):10.1111/biom.12097.
The proportional hazards assumption in the commonly used Cox model for censored failure time data is often violated in scientific studies. Yang and Prentice (2005) proposed a novel semiparametric two-sample model that includes the proportional hazards model and the proportional odds model as sub-models, and accommodates crossing survival curves. The model leaves the baseline hazard unspecified and the two model parameters can be interpreted as the short-term and long-term hazard ratios. Inference procedures were developed based on a pseudo score approach. Although extension to accommodate covariates was mentioned, no formal procedures have been provided or proved. Furthermore, the pseudo score approach may not be asymptotically efficient. We study the extension of the short-term and long-term hazard ratio model of Yang and Prentice (2005) to accommodate potentially time-dependent covariates. We develop efficient likelihood-based estimation and inference procedures. The nonparametric maximum likelihood estimators are shown to be consistent, asymptotically normal, and asymptotically efficient. Extensive simulation studies demonstrate that the proposed methods perform well in practical settings. The proposed method successfully captured the phenomenon of crossing hazards in a cancer clinical trial and identified a genetic marker with significant long-term effect missed by using the proportional hazards model on age-at-onset of alcoholism in a genetic study.
PMCID: PMC3868993  PMID: 24328712
Semiparametric hazards rate model; Non-parametric likelihood; Proportional hazards model; Proportional odds model; Semiparametric efficiency
23.  Predictive Efficacy of Low Burden EGFR Mutation Detected by Next-Generation Sequencing on Response to EGFR Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors in Non-Small-Cell Lung Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e81975.
Direct sequencing remains the most widely used method for the detection of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations in lung cancer; however, its relatively low sensitivity limits its clinical use. The objective of this study was to investigate the sensitivity of detecting an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation from peptide nucleic acid-locked nucleic acid polymerase chain reaction (PNA-LNA PCR) clamp and Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (PGM) techniques compared to that by direct sequencing. Furthermore, the predictive efficacy of EGFR mutations detected by PNA-LNA PCR clamp was evaluated. EGFR mutational status was assessed by direct sequencing, PNA-LNA PCR clamp, and Ion Torrent PGM in 57 patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We evaluated the predictive efficacy of PNA-LNA PCR clamp on the EGFR-TKI treatment in 36 patients with advanced NSCLC retrospectively. Compared to direct sequencing (16/57, 28.1%), PNA-LNA PCR clamp (27/57, 47.4%) and Ion Torrent PGM (26/57, 45.6%) detected more EGFR mutations. EGFR mutant patients had significantly longer progressive free survival (14.31 vs. 21.61 months, P = 0.003) than that of EGFR wild patients when tested with PNA-LNA PCR clamp. However, no difference in response rate to EGFR TKIs (75.0% vs. 82.4%, P = 0.195) or overall survival (34.39 vs. 44.10 months, P = 0.422) was observed between the EGFR mutations by direct sequencing or PNA-LNA PCR clamp. Our results demonstrate firstly that patients with EGFR mutations were detected more frequently by PNA-LNA PCR clamp and Ion Torrent PGM than those by direct sequencing. EGFR mutations detected by PNA-LNA PCR clamp may be as a predicative factor for EGFR TKI response in patients with NSCLC.
PMCID: PMC3869671  PMID: 24376508
24.  De novo Assembly and Characterization of the Global Transcriptome for Rhyacionia leptotubula Using Illumina Paired-End Sequencing 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e81096.
The pine tip moth, Rhyacionia leptotubula (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) is one of the most destructive forestry pests in Yunnan Province, China. Despite its importance, less is known regarding all aspects of this pest. Understanding the genetic information of it is essential for exploring the specific traits at the molecular level. Thus, we here sequenced the transcriptome of R. leptotubula with high-throughput Illumina sequencing.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In a single run, more than 60 million sequencing reads were generated. De novo assembling was performed to generate a collection of 46,910 unigenes with mean length of 642 bp. Based on Blastx search with an E-value cut-off of 10−5, 22,581 unigenes showed significant similarities to known proteins from National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) non-redundant (Nr) protein database. Of these annotated unigenes, 10,360, 6,937 and 13,894 were assigned to Gene Ontology (GO), Clusters of Orthologous Group (COG), and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) databases, respectively. A total of 5,926 unigenes were annotated with domain similarity derived functional information, of which 55 and 39 unigenes respectively encoding the insecticide resistance related enzymes, cytochrome P450 and carboxylesterase. Using the transcriptome data, 47 unigenes belonging to the typical “stress” genes of heat shock protein (Hsp) family were retrieved. Furthermore, 1,450 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were detected; 3.09% of the unigenes contained SSRs. Large numbers of SSR primer pairs were designed and out of randomly verified primer pairs 80% were successfully yielded amplicons.
A large of putative R. leptotubula transcript sequences has been obtained from the deep sequencing, which extensively increases the comprehensive and integrated genomic resources of this pest. This large-scale transcriptome dataset will be an important information platform for promoting our investigation of the molecular mechanisms from various aspects in this species.
PMCID: PMC3837686  PMID: 24278383
25.  Crystal Structure of a Four-Layer Aggregate of Engineered TMV CP Implies the Importance of Terminal Residues for Oligomer Assembly 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e77717.
Crystal structures of the tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) coat protein (CP) in its helical and disk conformations have previously been determined at the atomic level. For the helical structure, interactions of proteins and nucleic acids in the main chains were clearly observed; however, the conformation of residues at the C-terminus was flexible and disordered. For the four-layer aggregate disk structure, interactions of the main chain residues could only be observed through water–mediated hydrogen bonding with protein residues. In this study, the effects of the C-terminal peptides on the interactions of TMV CP were investigated by crystal structure determination.
Methodology/Principal Findings
The crystal structure of a genetically engineered TMV CP was resolved at 3.06 Å. For the genetically engineered TMV CP, a six-histidine (His) tag was introduced at the N-terminus, and the C-terminal residues 155 to 158 were truncated (N-His-TMV CP19). Overall, N-His-TMV CP19 protein self-assembled into the four-layer aggregate form. The conformations of residues Gln36, Thr59, Asp115 and Arg134 were carefully analyzed in the high radius and low radius regions of N-His-TMV CP19, which were found to be significantly different from those observed previously for the helical and four-layer aggregate forms. In addition, the aggregation of the N-His-TMV CP19 layers was found to primarily be mediated through direct hydrogen-bonding. Notably, this engineered protein also can package RNA effectively and assemble into an infectious virus particle.
The terminal sequence of amino acids influences the conformation and interactions of the four-layer aggregate. Direct protein–protein interactions are observed in the major overlap region when residues Gly155 to Thr158 at the C-terminus are truncated. This engineered TMV CP is reassembled by direct protein–protein interaction and maintains the normal function of the four-layer aggregate of TMV CP in the presence of RNA.
PMCID: PMC3817195  PMID: 24223721

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