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1.  Hepatitis C virus genotype and subtype distribution in Chinese chronic hepatitis C patients: nationwide spread of HCV genotypes 3 and 6 
Virology Journal  2015;12:109.
Background
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype and subtype are related to disease progression and response to antiviral therapy. Current HCV genotype and subtype distribution data, especially for genotypes 3 and 6, are limited in China. Our purpose was to investigate the current HCV genotype and subtype distributions in chronic hepatitis C patients in China.
Methods
Chronic hepatitis C patients (n = 1012) were enrolled, and demographic information and possible transmission risk factors were collected. Serum samples were subjected to reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, followed by direct DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the NS5B and core/E1 regions to determine HCV genotypes/subtypes. The geographical distributions of HCV genotypes/subtypes were analyzed. Demographic information and transmission risk factors were compared between different HCV genotypes/subtypes.
Results
Four genotypes and seven subtypes of HCV were detected in 970 patients. Subtypes 1b, 2a, 3a, 6a, 3b, 6n, and 1a were detected at frequencies of 71.96 %, 19.90 %, 3.20 %, 2.16 %, 1.96 %, 0.41 %, and 0.41 %, respectively. Genotypes 3 and 6 showed an increasingly wide geographic distribution over time. Patients with subtypes 1b and 2a were older than those with 3a, 3b, 6a, and 6n subtypes (p < 0.05 in all subtypes). More genotype 1 and 2 patients underwent blood transfusion than those with genotype 3 (all p < 0.05). More genotype 3 and 6 patients had a history of intravenous drug use than those with genotypes 1 and 2 (all p < 0.05).
Conclusions
Though subtypes 1b and 2a are still the most prevalent HCV subtypes in China, genotype 3 and 6 HCV infections have already spread nationwide from southern and western China.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12985-015-0341-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12985-015-0341-1
PMCID: PMC4513753  PMID: 26206422
Hepatitis C virus (HCV); Genotype; Phylogenetic analysis
2.  Downregulation of KIF1B mRNA in hepatocellular carcinoma tissues correlates with poor prognosis 
AIM: To compare kinesin family member 1B (KIF1B) expression with clinicopathologic parameters and prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients.
METHODS: KIF1B protein and mRNA expression was assessed in HCC and paracarcinomatous (PC) tissues from 68 patients with HCC using Western blot and quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR, respectively. Student’s t-tests were used to analyze relationships between clinicopathologic parameters and KIF1B expression, the Kaplan-Meier method was used to analyze survival outcomes, and the log-rank test was used to compare survival differences between groups.
RESULTS: Mean protein and mRNA levels of KIF1B were similar between HCC and PC tissues. However, HCC tissues with vein invasions had significantly lower KIF1B protein levels compared to those without vein invasions (2.30 ± 0.82 relative units vs 2.77 ± 0.84 relative units, P < 0.05). KIF1B protein levels in HCC tissues from patients with recurrence during the follow-up period were significantly lower than those without recurrence (2.31 ± 0.92 relative units vs 2.80 ± 0.80 relative units, P < 0.05). However, KIF1B protein and mRNA expression in HCC patients was not associated with other clinicopathologic parameters. Ratios of KIF1B mRNA expression in HCC tissues to those in PC tissues were correlated with overall survival (13.5 mo vs 20.0 mo, P < 0.05) and disease-free survival (11.5 mo vs 19.5 mo, P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Downregulation of KIF1B in HCC tissues is associated with poor prognosis; additional clinical studies are needed to confirm whether KIF1B can serve as a prognostic marker.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v21.i27.8418
PMCID: PMC4507112  PMID: 26217094
Clinicopathologic correlation; Kinesin family member 1B; Liver cancer; Survival; Tumor progression
3.  The Association of Lung Function, Bronchial Hyperresponsiveness, and Exhaled Nitric Oxide Differs Between Atopic and Non-atopic Asthma in Children 
Purpose
Although many previous studies have attempted to identify differences between atopic asthma (AA) and non-atopic asthma (NAA), they have mainly focused on the difference of each variable of lung function and airway inflammation. The aim of this study was to evaluate relationships between lung function, bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR), and the exhaled nitric oxide (eNO) levels in children with AA and NAA.
Methods
One hundred and thirty six asthmatic children aged 5-15 years and 40 normal controls were recruited. Asthma cases were classified as AA (n=100) or NAA (n=36) from skin prick test results. Lung function, BHR to methacholine and adenosine-5'-monophosphate (AMP), eNO, blood eosinophils, and serum total IgE were measured.
Results
The AA and NAA cases shared common features including a reduced small airway function and increased BHR to methacholine. However, children with AA showed higher BHR to AMP and eNO levels than those with NAA. When the relationships among these variables in the AA and NAA cases were evaluated, the AA group showed significant relationships between lung function, BHR to AMP or methacholine and eNO levels. However, the children in the NAA group showed an association between small airway function and BHR to methacholine only.
Conclusions
These findings suggest that the pathogenesis of NAA may differ from that of AA during childhood in terms of the relationship between lung function, airway inflammation and BHR.
doi:10.4168/aair.2015.7.4.339
PMCID: PMC4446632  PMID: 25749776
Asthma; atopy; child; lung function, bronchial hyperresponsiveness; exhaled nitric oxide
4.  Deformation twinning evolution from a single crystal in a face-centered-cubic ternary alloy 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:11290.
Deformation twinning evolution from a single crystal is conducted by molecular dynamics simulations, to elucidate a twinned face-centered-cubic alloy in an experiment with hardness up to 100 times as that of single crystals, and with ductility simultaneously. Critical twinning stress of cadmium zinc telluride (CdZnTe or CZT) calculated is 1.38 GPa. All the twin boundaries are along the (11-1) orientation, except the one with the (-111) plane that supports the indentation, interpreting the unidirectional and boundary-free characteristics, confirmed in the experiment. Three twin thicknesses after unloading are 3.2, 3.5, and 16 nm, which is consistent with the experimentally repeated pattern of a lamellar twin with thickness larger than 12.7 nm, followed by one or several twins with thicknesses smaller than 12.7 nm. An inverse triangle of a twin combining with three twins generate a synergistic strengthening effect through the hardening and softening functions, illuminating the ultrahigh hardness demonstrated in the experiment. Twinning takes place in loading, and detwinning occurs in unloading, which expounds the high ductility observed in the experiment.
doi:10.1038/srep11290
PMCID: PMC4462139  PMID: 26060979
5.  Interactions Between Innate Immunity Genes and Early-Life Risk Factors in Allergic Rhinitis 
Purpose
Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a common chronic disease. Many factors could affect the development of AR. We investigated early-life factors, such as delivery mode, feeding method, and use of antibiotics during infancy, which could affect the development of AR. In addition, how interactions between these factors and innate gene polymorphisms influence the development of AR was investigated.
Methods
A cross-sectional study of 1,828 children aged 9-12 years was conducted. Three early-life factors and AR were assessed by a questionnaire. Skin prick tests were done. Polymorphisms of TLR4 (rs1927911) and CD14 (rs2569190) were genotyped.
Results
Use of antibiotics during infancy increased the risk of AR (aOR [95% CI] 1.511 [1.222-2.037]) and atopic AR (aOR [95% CI], 1.565 [1.078-2.272]). There were synergistic interactions between caesarean delivery, formula feeding, and use of antibiotics in the rate of atopic AR (aOR [95% CI], 3.038 [1.256-7.347]). Additional analyses revealed that the risk for the development of AR or atopic AR subjects with the TLR4 CC genotype were highest when all the 3 early-life factors were present (aOR [95% CI], 5.127 [1.265-20.780] for AR; 6.078 [1.499-24.649] for atopic AR). In addition, the risk for the development of AR or atopic AR in subjects with the CD14 TT genotype were highest when all the 3 early-life factors were present (aOR [95% CI], 5.960 [1.421-15.002] for AR; 6.714 [1.440-31.312] for atopic AR).
Conclusions
Delivery mode, feeding method, and use of antibiotics during infancy appeared to have synergistic interactions in the development of AR. Gene-environment interactions between polymorphism of innate genes and early- life risk factors might affect the development of AR.
doi:10.4168/aair.2015.7.3.241
PMCID: PMC4397364  PMID: 25840711
Obstetric delivery; infant food; antibiotics; gene-environment interaction, allergic rhinitis
6.  Gene-gene interactions among CX3CL1, LEPR and IL-6 related to coronary artery disease in Chinese Han population 
Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of the interactions among CX3CL1 (rs170364 and rs614230), LEPR (rs6700896), and IL-6 (rs2066992) polymorphisms on the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) in Chinese Han population. Methods: 120 CAD patients and 109 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and direct sequencing methods were used to analyze the genotypes of CX3CL1, LEPR, and IL-6 polymorphisms. Multifactor dimensionality reduction (MDR) software was utilized to analyze gene-gene interactions. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were used for evaluating the association between gene polymorphisms or gene-gene interactions and CAD risk. Results: In the study, TT genotype of rs170364 in CX3CL1 might decrease the CAD risk (OR=0.39, 95% CI=0.16-0.98). No significant correlation was found between T allele of rs170364 and CAD risk (P>0.05). CC genotype and C allele in rs614230 (CX3CL1) were significantly related with decreased risk of CAD (OR=0.38, 95% CI=0.17-0.86; OR=0.66, 95% CI=0.45-0.97). For IL-6 rs2066992 polymorphism. GG genotype could increase the risk of CAD (OR=2.32, 95% CI=1.04-5.17). Whereas, no significant correlation was observed between LEPR rs6700896 and CAD susceptibility. MDR analysis showed that CX3CL1, LEPR and IL-6 genes might jointly promote the occurrence of CAD. Conclusions: The interactions of CX3CL1, LEPR and IL-6 genes might increase the risk of CAD.
PMCID: PMC4503200  PMID: 26191329
CX3CL1; LEPR; IL-6; interaction; coronary artery disease
7.  Helicobacter pylori infection in Chinese patients with atrial fibrillation 
Objective
To explore the relationship between Helicobacter pylori (Hp) infection and atrial fibrillation (AF) in Chinese patients.
Methods
A total of 285 hospitalized patients with AF and 300 patients from Health Screening Center who matched age and sex with AF group were enrolled. AF patients were divided into two groups: the short-standing AF category (less than a year) and the long-standing AF category (more than a year). All patients had laboratory testing of 13C urea breath test, high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and left atrial diameter (LAD). We analyzed the difference of these factors in all groups and explored the correlation between Hp infection and AF using logistic regression analysis.
Results
Both AF groups had more hypertension, diabetes, and Hp infection than the control group. The Hp value and the hs-CRP level in patients with long-standing AF were higher than those in the short-standing AF and the control groups (for Hp value: P<0.001 for both and for hs-CRP level: P=0.003, 0.002, respectively). The LAD of patients in the long-standing AF group was significantly larger than those in the short-standing AF group and control group (P=0.001 and P<0.001, respectively). The values of Hp, hs-CRP, and LAD in the long-standing AF category were significantly higher than those in the short-standing AF category (all P<0.05). After controlling the potential confounders, Hp value ≥4‰, hs-CRP >5 mg/L, and LAD >36 mm were significantly related to long-standing AF.
Conclusion
The values of Hp in patients with long-standing AF were significantly higher than those in short-standing AF and control groups. Hp δ value ≥4‰ is an independent predictor for long-standing AF.
doi:10.2147/CIA.S72724
PMCID: PMC4423503  PMID: 25960645
high sensitivity C-reactive protein; left atrial diameter; 13C urea breath test
8.  Correlations of Human Epithelial Growth Factor Receptor 2 Overexpression with MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC6, p53, and Clinicopathological Characteristics in Gastric Cancer Patients with Curative Resection 
Background. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationships between HER2 overexpression in the tumor and MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC6, and p53 status and clinicopathological characteristics of gastric cancer patients. Methods. This retrospective study included 282 consecutive patients with gastric cancer who underwent surgery at the Kosin University Gospel Hospital between April 2011 and December 2012. All tumor samples were examined for HER2 expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC6, and p53 expression by staining. A retrospective review of the medical records was conducted to determine the correlation between the presence of HER2 overexpression and clinicopathological factors. Results. The HER2-positive rate was 18.1%. Although no association was found between HER2 expression and MUC5AC, the expression of MUC2, MUC6, and p53 was significantly correlated with HER2 positivity, respectively (P = 0.004, 0.037, 0.002). Multivariate analysis revealed that HER2 overexpression and nodal status were independent prognostic factors. Conclusions. HER2 overexpression in gastric carcinoma is an independent poor prognostic factor.
doi:10.1155/2015/946359
PMCID: PMC4427822  PMID: 26060493
9.  Transcutaneous electrical stimulation at auricular acupoints innervated by auricular branch of vagus nerve pairing tone for tinnitus: study protocol for a randomized controlled clinical trial 
Trials  2015;16:101.
Background
Subjective tinnitus is a phantom sensation experienced in the absence of any source of sound. Its mechanism remains unclear, and no approved drugs are available. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is an exciting new method to treat tinnitus, but direct electrical stimulation of the cervical vagus has disadvantages. This randomized controlled clinical trial aims to overcome these limitations by stimulating the auricular branch of vagus nerve (ABVN) on the outer ear. Since the ABVN is the only peripheral branch of the vagus nerve distributed on the ear’s surface, it should be possible to achieve analogous efficacy to VNS by activating the central vagal pathways. However, researches have indicated that the curative effect lies in a combination of auditory and vagal nerve stimulation. Moreover, from traditional Chinese theory, auricular acupoints used to treat tinnitus are mainly in the regions supplied by the ABVN. Whether stimulation at the auricular acupoints is due to unintentional stimulation of vagal afferent fibers also needs evidence.
Methods/design
A total of 120 subjects with subjective tinnitus are randomized equally into four groups: (1) electrical stimulation at auricular acupoints (CO10, CO11, CO12, and TF4) innervated by the ABVN; (2) electrical stimulation at auricular acupoints (CO10, CO11, CO12, and TF4) innervated by ABVN pairing tones; (3) electrical stimulation at auricular acupoints innervated by non-ABVN pairing tones; (4) electrical acupuncture. Patients will be treated for 30 minutes every other day for 8 weeks. The primary outcome measure is the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory. The secondary outcome measure combines a visual analogue scale to measure tinnitus disturbance and loudness with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Assessment is planned at baseline (before treatment) and in the 4th and 8th week, with further follow-up visits after termination of the treatment at the 12th week. Any adverse events will be promptly documented.
Discussion
Completion of this trial will help to confirm whether ABVN or the combination of ABVN and sound stimulus plays a more important role in treating tinnitus. Moreover, the result of this clinical trial will enhance our understanding of specific auricular acupoints.
Trial registration
Chinese Clinical Trials Register ChiCTR-TRC-14004940.
doi:10.1186/s13063-015-0630-4
PMCID: PMC4384366  PMID: 25872506
auricular acupoints; auricular branch of vagus nerve (ABVN); randomized controlled trial; subjective tinnitus; tones
10.  High expression of N-myc (and STAT) interactor predicts poor prognosis and promotes tumor growth in human glioblastoma 
Oncotarget  2014;6(7):4901-4919.
Glioma is the most malignant brain tumor and glioblastoma (GBM) is the most aggressive type. The involvement of N-myc (and STAT) interactor (NMI) in tumorigenesis was sporadically reported but far from elucidation. This study aims to investigate roles of NMI in human glioma. Three independent cohorts, the Chinese tissue microarray (TMA) cohort (N = 209), the Repository for Molecular Brain Neoplasia Data (Rembrandt) cohort (N = 371) and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) cohort (N = 528 or 396) were employed. Transcriptional or protein levels of NMI expression were significantly increased according to tumor grade in all three cohorts. High expression of NMI predicted significantly unfavorable clinical outcome for GBM patients, which was further determined as an independent prognostic factor. Additionally, expression and prognostic value of NMI were associated with molecular features of GBM including PTEN deletion and EGFR amplification in TCGA cohort. Furthermore, overexpression or depletion of NMI revealed its regulation on G1/S progression and cell proliferation (both in vitro and in vivo), and this effect was partially dependent on STAT1, which interacted with and was regulated by NMI. These data demonstrate that NMI may serve as a novel prognostic biomarker and a potential therapeutic target for glioblastoma.
PMCID: PMC4467123  PMID: 25669971
NMI; glioblastoma; prognosis; immunohistochemistry; TCGA
11.  Poor prognostic factors in patients who underwent surgery for acute non-occlusive ischemic colitis 
Introduction
Ischemic colitis (IC) is a disease with high postoperative morbidity and mortality. Knowledge of the risk factors for postoperative mortality could be helpful in clinical decision making and in optimizing postoperative treatment.
Methods
From a prospective database, we conducted a retrospective medical record review of 50 patients who underwent surgery for IC between 2003 and 2011 at our institution. We analyzed the causes and potential risk factors for early mortality after surgery for IC.
Results
The early postoperative mortality and morbidity rates were 30.0% (15/50) and 54% (27/50), respectively. The two most common causes of death were multi-organ failure (66.7%, 10/15) and fulminant septic shock (20.0%, 3/15). Univariate analysis showed that postoperative mortality was significantly associated with preoperative nephropathy, coronary artery disease, a previous history of cardiovascular surgery, an ASA score ≥ 4, surgical delay ≥ 3 days, preoperative hemodynamic instability, and use of pre- and intraoperative adrenergic vasopressors. In the multivariate analysis, a previous history of cardiovascular surgery (odds ratio [OR], 8.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2–56.5) and surgical delay ≥ 3 days (OR, 5.7; 95% CI, 1.2–27.9) were identified as independent risk factors for postoperative mortality.
Conclusions
Because surgical delay is an avoidable determinant of early mortality, a high index of suspicion and early surgical intervention can increase survival. A routine postoperative evaluation for IC may be helpful in patients with a previous history of cardiovascular surgery.
doi:10.1186/s13017-015-0003-z
PMCID: PMC4369083  PMID: 25798186
Ischemic colitis; Surgery; Postoperative mortality; Risk factors
12.  Association Between Antibiotic Exposure, Bronchiolitis, and TLR4 (rs1927911) Polymorphisms in Childhood Asthma 
Purpose
The complex interplay between environmental and genetic factors plays an important role in the development of asthma. Several studies have yielded conflicting results regarding the 2 asthma-related risk factors: antibiotic usage during infancy and/or a history of bronchiolitis during early life and the development of asthma. In addition to these risk factors, we also explored the effects of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) polymorphism on the development of childhood asthma.
Methods
This cross-sectional study involved 7,389 middle school students who were from 8 areas of Seoul, Korea, and completed the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire. The TLR4 polymorphism rs1927911 was genotyped in 1,395 middle school students from two areas using the TaqMan assay.
Results
Bronchiolitis in the first 2 years of life, antibiotic exposure during the first year of life, and parental history of asthma were independent risk factors for the development of asthma. When combined, antibiotic use and a history of bronchiolitis increased the risk of asthma (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 4.64, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.09-6.97, P value for interaction=0.02). In subjects with CC genotype of TLR4, antibiotic exposure and a history of bronchiolitis during infancy, the risk of asthma was increased, compared to subjects without these risk factors (aOR: 5.72, 95% CI: 1.74-18.87).
Conclusions
Early-life antibiotic exposures and a history of bronchiolitis are risk factors for asthma in young adolescents. Polymorphisms of TLR4 modified the influence of these environmental factors. Reducing antibiotic exposure and preventing bronchiolitis during infancy may prevent the development of asthma, especially in genetically susceptible subjects.
doi:10.4168/aair.2015.7.2.167
PMCID: PMC4341338  PMID: 25729624
Asthma; antibiotics; bronchiolitis; polymorphism; Toll-like receptor 4
13.  Angiopoietin-like proteins stimulate HSPC development through interaction with notch receptor signaling 
eLife  null;4:e05544.
Angiopoietin-like proteins (angptls) are capable of ex vivo expansion of mouse and human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). Despite this intriguing ability, their mechanism is unknown. In this study, we show that angptl2 overexpression is sufficient to expand definitive HSPCs in zebrafish embryos. Angptl1/2 are required for definitive hematopoiesis and vascular specification of the hemogenic endothelium. The loss-of-function phenotype is reminiscent of the notch mutant mindbomb (mib), and a strong genetic interaction occurs between angptls and notch. Overexpressing angptl2 rescues mib while overexpressing notch rescues angptl1/2 morphants. Gene expression studies in ANGPTL2-stimulated CD34+ cells showed a strong MYC activation signature and myc overexpression in angptl1/2 morphants or mib restored HSPCs formation. ANGPTL2 can increase NOTCH activation in cultured cells and ANGPTL receptor interacted with NOTCH to regulate NOTCH cleavage. Together our data provide insight to the angptl-mediated notch activation through receptor interaction and subsequent activation of myc targets.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05544.001
eLife digest
Bone marrow contains types of stem cell that can produce new blood and immune cells. Transplanting bone marrow from a healthy person can be used to treat people with certain disorders of the blood and immune system, by providing a new supply of regenerating bone marrow stem cells. Bone marrow transplants are also critical for individuals who had their own bone marrow stem cells destroyed by cancer or by toxic anti-cancer therapies like chemotherapy.
Acquiring bone marrow for transplants can be a difficult process. Sometimes doctors can use the patient's own stem cells for a transplant. But in circumstances where the patient lacks healthy bone marrow, a bone marrow donor must be found. Donors and recipients must be carefully matched: certain proteins on the donor's bone marrow cells must be very similar to the proteins on the recipient's bone marrow cells, or the recipient's immune system will attack and kill the new cells.
If scientists could learn to grow the stem cells found in bone marrow in laboratories, they could circumvent some of the challenges associated with bone marrow donation. To do that, scientists must first understand the precise molecular mechanisms that allow the blood cell-producing stem cells to regenerate themselves and produce new blood cells.
Angiopoietin-like proteins are commonly used to help stem cells grow in the laboratory, and Lin et al. have now looked in detail at how these proteins work. This revealed that angiopoietin-like proteins also cause the stem cells that produce blood cells to grow in zebrafish embryos and are necessary for the embryos' vascular system to develop properly.
Zebrafish embryos lacking angiopoietin-like proteins develop a similar set of developmental problems as zebrafish embryos with a mutation in another protein called Notch. Through a series of experiments, Lin et al. show that angiopoietin-like proteins interact with Notch and help transform Notch into its active form, which is necessary for blood stem cell growth. Lin et al. also found that both angiopoietin-like proteins and Notch affect the same signaling molecules. This suggests that the two proteins may work together as part of the same molecular pathway. The work suggests an alternative method to activate Notch for blood stem cell stimulation during processes such as bone marrow or cord blood transplantation.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05544.002
doi:10.7554/eLife.05544
PMCID: PMC4371382  PMID: 25714926
angiopoietin-like proteins; notch; hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells; LILRB2; myc; zebrafish
14.  High crude violacein production from glucose by Escherichia coli engineered with interactive control of tryptophan pathway and violacein biosynthetic pathway 
Background
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/s12934-015-0192-x
PMCID: PMC4306242  PMID: 25592762
Violacein; Tryptophan; Glucose; Pathway optimization; Escherichia coli
15.  Voxel-Based Analysis of Fractional Anisotropy in Post-Stroke Apathy 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e116168.
Objective
To explore the structural basis of post-stroke apathy by using voxel-based analysis (VBA) of fractional anisotropy (FA) maps.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116168
PMCID: PMC4282201  PMID: 25555189
16.  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.
doi:10.1007/s13337-014-0195-y
PMCID: PMC4188197
SRBSDV; RRSV; Shotgun protein proteomic; Multi reaction monitoring; Label free; Bio-informatics
17.  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.
doi:10.1007/s10059-013-0268-6
PMCID: PMC3887959  PMID: 24292977
ARE-binding protein; cancer cells; gene regulation; IL-23; TTP
18.  Suppressive effects of induced pluripotent stem cell-conditioned medium on in vitro hypertrophic scarring fibroblast activation 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2014;11(4):2471-2476.
Hypertrophic scarring (HS) is a type of fibrosis that occurs in the skin, and is characterized by fibroblast activation and excessive collagen production. However, at present, therapeutic strategies for this condition are ineffective. Previous studies have identified that the mutual regulation of chronic inflammation, mechanical force and fibroblast activation leads to the formation of HS. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are novel bioengineered embryonic-like stem cells, initially created from mouse adult fibroblasts. The current study demonstrated that iPSC-conditioned medium (iPSC-CM) may significantly suppress hypertrophic scar fibroblast activation. It was observed that in the presence of iPSC-CM, the level of collagen I was markedly reduced and α-smooth muscle actin, a marker for myofibroblasts (activated fibroblasts that mediate mechanical force-induced HS formation), exhibited a significantly lower level of expression in human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) activated with transforming growth factor-β1. Additionally, iPSC-CM attenuated the local inflammatory cell response by blocking the adhesion of human acute monocytic leukemia cell monocytes and fibroblasts in vitro. In addition, the contractile ability of HDFs may be reduced by iPSC-CM. These observations suggest that iPSC-CM may protect against processes leading to hypertrophic scarring by attenuating fibroblast activation, blocking inflammatory cell recruitment and adhesion and reducing the contractile ability of fibroblasts.
doi:10.3892/mmr.2014.3115
PMCID: PMC4337479  PMID: 25524174
hypertrophic scarring; induced pluripotent stem cell; conditioned medium; fibroblast activation
19.  The Prevalence of Antinuclear Antibodies in the General Population of China: A Cross-Sectional Study 
Background
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.
Objective
To explore the prevalence of antinuclear antibody (ANA) and its specificities in the general population in China.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1016/j.curtheres.2014.06.004
PMCID: PMC4245690  PMID: 25473438
antinuclear antibody; autoimmune diseases; Chinese; prevalence
20.  The Stent-Assisted Coil-Jailing Technique Facilitates Efficient Embolization of Tiny Cerebral Aneurysms 
Korean Journal of Radiology  2014;15(6):850-857.
Objective
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.3348/kjr.2014.15.6.850
PMCID: PMC4248643  PMID: 25469099
Tiny intracranial aneurysm; Stent-assisted coiling; Redundant coil tails; Coil migration
21.  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.
doi:10.3892/mmr.2014.2649
PMCID: PMC4237077  PMID: 25323652
superparamagnetic iron oxide; bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells; myocardial infarction; magentic resonance imaging
22.  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
23.  Expression and prognostic significance of TCTN1 in human glioblastoma 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/s12967-014-0288-9
PMCID: PMC4198629  PMID: 25304031
TCTN1; Glioblastoma; Survival; Prognostic factor
24.  The effect of perinatal anxiety on bronchiolitis is influenced by polymorphisms in ROS-related genes 
BMC Pulmonary Medicine  2014;14:154.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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).
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2466-14-154
PMCID: PMC4196140  PMID: 25263840
Anxiety; Bronchiolitis; CD14; Perinatal; Glutathione S-transferase; Polymorphism; Respiratory tract infection
25.  Factors Related to Executive Dysfunction after Acute Infarct 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e108574.
Aim
The aim of this study was to investigate the association of infarct location with post-stroke executive dysfunction.
Methods
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].
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108574
PMCID: PMC4172700  PMID: 25247604

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