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1.  Two Pear Glutathione S-Transferases Genes Are Regulated during Fruit Development and Involved in Response to Salicylic Acid, Auxin, and Glucose Signaling 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89926.
Two genes encoding putative glutathione S-transferase proteins were isolated from pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) and designated PpGST1 and PpGST2. The deduced PpGST1 and PpGST2 proteins contain conserved Glutathione S-transferase N-terminal domain (GST_N) and Glutathione S-transferase, C-terminal domain (GST_C). Using PCR amplification technique, the genomic clones corresponding to PpGST1 and PpGST2 were isolated and shown to contain two introns and a singal intron respectively with typical GT/AG boundaries defining the splice junctions. Phylogenetic analysis clearly demonstrated that PpGST1 belonged to Phi class of GST superfamilies and had high homology with apple MdGST, while PpGST2 was classified into the Tau class of GST superfamilies. The expression of PpGST1 and PpGST2 genes was developmentally regulated in fruit. Further study demonstrated that PpGST1 and PpGST2 expression was remarkably induced by glucose, salicylic acid (SA) and indole-3-aceticacid (IAA) treatments in pear fruit, and in diseased fruit. These data suggested that PpGST1 and PpGST2 might be involved in response to sugar, SA, and IAA signaling during fruit development of pear.
PMCID: PMC3934943  PMID: 24587129
2.  Mathematical models for the Notch and Wnt signaling pathways and the crosstalk between them during somitogenesis 
Somitogenesis is a fundamental characteristic feature of development in various animal embryos. Molecular evidence has proved that the Notch and Wnt pathways play important roles in regulating the process of somitogenesis and there is crosstalk between these two pathways. However, it is difficult to investigate the detailed mechanism of these two pathways and their interactions in somitogenesis through biological experiments. In recent years some mathematical models have been proposed for the purpose of studying the dynamics of the Notch and Wnt pathways in somitogenesis. Unfortunately, only a few of these models have explored the interactions between them.
In this study, we have proposed three mathematical models for the Notch signalling pathway alone, the Wnt signalling pathway alone, and the interactions between them. These models can simulate the dynamics of the Notch and Wnt pathways in somitogenesis, and are capable of reproducing the observations derived from wet experiments. They were used to investigate the molecular mechanisms of the Notch and Wnt pathways and their crosstalk in somitogenesis through the model simulations.
Three mathematical models are proposed for the Notch and Wnt pathways and their interaction during somitogenesis. The simulations demonstrate that the extracellular Notch and Wnt signals are essential for the oscillating expressions of both Notch and Wnt target genes. Moreover, the internal negative feedback loops and the three levels of crosstalk between these pathways play important but distinct roles in maintaining the system oscillation. In addition, the results of the parameter sensitivity analysis of the models indicate that the Notch pathway is more sensitive to perturbation in somitogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3648501  PMID: 23602012
3.  Glucocorticoid receptor expression on acute lung injury induced by endotoxin in rats 
In cases of severe sepsis and septic shock, a series of pathophysiological changes lead to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. This study aimed to investigate the expression of glucocorticoid receptor mRNA in the rat lung following endotoxin (LPS) induced shock.
Totally 56 SD rats were randomly divided into 4 groups: LPS shock group (n=16), LPS+vasoactive intestinal peptide group(VIP) group, (n=16), LPS+VIP+ glucocorticoid (GC) group, (n=16),and control group (n=8). LPS shock was induced by intravenous injection of LPS (10 mg/kg) in rats. Within 15 minutes after LPS injection, rats in the treatment groups received VIP (5 nmol/kg) or VIP and methylprednisolone (3 mg/kg). The control group was given normal saline instead of LPS. The rats of the four groups were sacrificed at 6 hours,24 hours after injection respectively, and the lung tissues were collected. Pathological changes of the lungs were examined by light microscopy and electron microscopy. GRmRNA expression in the lung tissues was evaluated by RT-PCR.
In the LPS shock group, lung histopathology demonstrated destruction of the alveolar space,widening of the inter-alveolar space, inflammatory cell infiltration and interstitial edema. However,pathological changes in the LPS+ VIP group and LPS+ VIP+GC group were milder than those in the LPS shock group. Six hours after LPS injection, GR mRNA expression was down-regulated in the LPS group (0.72± 0.24) and LPS+ VIP group (0.88±0.27) (P<0.05) as compared with the control group (1.17±0.22). The LPS shock group showed a more significant down-regualtion than the LPS+VIP group, but the difference was not statistically significant (P>0.05). In contrast, GRmRNA expression in the LPS+ VIP+GC group was significantly up-regulated at 6 hours and further at 24 hours (1.45±0.32 and 1.91±0.46 respectively) (P<0.05).
GrmRNA expression decreased in LPS induced lung injury in rats. Combined treatment with VIP and GC mitigated lung injury ang inflammation. The mechanism may be related to up-regulation of GR mRNA expression.
PMCID: PMC4129762  PMID: 25214944
Glucocorticoid; GRmRNA; Vasoactive intestinal peptide; LPS; Shock; Inflammation; Lung injury; Rat
5.  Key Dynamics of Conserved Asparagine in a Cryptochrome/Photolyase Family Protein by FTIR Spectroscopy† 
Biochemistry  2010;49(41):8882-8891.
Cryptochromes (Crys) and photolyases (Phrs) are flavoproteins that contain an identical cofactor (flavin adenine dinucleotide, FAD) within the same protein architecture, but whose physiological functions are entirely different. In this study, we investigated light-induced conformational changes of a cyanobacterium Cry/Phr-like protein (SCry-DASH) with UV–visible and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. We developed a system to measure light-induced difference spectra under the concentrated conditions. In the presence of reducing agent, SCry-DASH showed photoreduction to the reduced form, and we identified a signal unique for an anionic form in the process. Difference FTIR spectra enabled us to assign characteristic FTIR bands to the respective redox forms of FAD. An asparagine residue, which anchors the FAD embedded within the protein is conserved in not only the cyanobaterial protein, but also in Phrs and other Crys including the mammalian clock-related Crys. By characterizing an asparagine-to-cysteine (N392C) mutant of SCry-DASH, which mimics an insect specific Cry, we identified structural changes of the carbonyl group of this conserved asparagine upon light-irradiation. We also found that the N392C mutant is stabilized in the anionic form. We did not observe a signal from protonated carboxylic acid residues during the reduction process, suggesting that the carboxylic acid moiety would not be directly involved as a proton donor to FAD in the system. These results are in contrast to plant specific Crys represented by Arabidopsis thaliana Cry1 which carry Asp at the position. We discuss potential roles for this conserved asparagine position and functional diversity in the Cry/Phr frame.
PMCID: PMC4329311  PMID: 20828134
6.  FTIR Study of the Photoactivation Process of Xenopus (6-4) Photolyase† 
Biochemistry  2012;51(29):5774-5783.
Photolyases (PHRs) are blue-light activated DNA repair enzymes that maintain genetic integrity by reverting UV-induced photoproducts into normal bases. The FAD chromophore of PHRs has four different redox states: oxidized (FADox), anion radical (FAD•−), neutral radical (FADH•) and fully reduced (FADH−). We combined difference Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy with UV-visible spectroscopy to study the detailed photoactivation process of Xenopus (6-4) PHR. Two photons produce the enzymatically active, fully reduced PHR from oxidized FAD: FADox is converted to semiquinone via light-induced one-electron and one-proton transfers, and then to FADH− by light-induced one-electron transfer. We successfully trapped FAD•− at 200 K, where electron transfer occurs, but proton transfer does not. UV-visible spectroscopy following 450-nm illumination of FADox at 277 K defined the FADH•/FADH− mixture and allowed calculation of difference FTIR spectra among the four redox states. The absence of a characteristic C=O stretching vibration indicated that the proton donor is not a protonated carboxylic acid. Structural changes in Trp and Tyr are suggested from UV-visible and FTIR analysis of FAD•− at 200 K. Spectral analysis of amide-I vibrations revealed structural perturbation of the protein’s β-sheet during initial electron transfer (FAD•− formation), transient increase in α-helicity during proton transfer (FADH• formation) and reversion to the initial amide-I signal following subsequent electron transfer (FADH− formation). Consequently, in (6-4) PHR, unlike cryptochrome-DASH, formation of enzymatically active FADH− did not perturb α-helicity. Protein structural changes in the photoactivation of (6-4) PHR are discussed on the basis of the present FTIR observations.
PMCID: PMC4329314  PMID: 22747528
7.  Chemical Constituents from the Stems of Manihot esculenta 
Two new compounds, maniesculentins A (1) and B (6), together with four known ones were isolated from the stems of Manihot esculenta Crantz. The structures of the new compounds were elucidated by extensive spectroscopic methods including NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. The two new compounds (1, 6) were assayed for antibacterial activity against four tested bacteria lines.
Graphical Abstract
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13659-015-0052-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4328001  PMID: 25673419
Euphorbiaceae; Manihot esculenta; Chemical constituents; Diterpenoids
8.  Chemical Constituents from the Stems of Manihot esculenta 
Two new compounds, maniesculentins A (1) and B (6), together with four known ones were isolated from the stems of Manihot esculenta Crantz. The structures of the new compounds were elucidated by extensive spectroscopic methods including NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. The two new compounds (1, 6) were assayed for antibacterial activity against four tested bacteria lines.
Graphical Abstract
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13659-015-0052-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4328001  PMID: 25673419
Euphorbiaceae; Manihot esculenta; Chemical constituents; Diterpenoids
9.  Big data - a 21st century science Maginot Line? No-boundary thinking: shifting from the big data paradigm 
BioData Mining  2015;8:7.
Whether your interests lie in scientific arenas, the corporate world, or in government, you have certainly heard the praises of big data: Big data will give you new insights, allow you to become more efficient, and/or will solve your problems. While big data has had some outstanding successes, many are now beginning to see that it is not the Silver Bullet that it has been touted to be. Here our main concern is the overall impact of big data; the current manifestation of big data is constructing a Maginot Line in science in the 21st century. Big data is not “lots of data” as a phenomena anymore; The big data paradigm is putting the spirit of the Maginot Line into lots of data. Big data overall is disconnecting researchers and science challenges. We propose No-Boundary Thinking (NBT), applying no-boundary thinking in problem defining to address science challenges.
PMCID: PMC4323225  PMID: 25670967
Big data; Maginot Line; No-Boundary thinking
10.  Deep RNA sequencing reveals a high frequency of alternative splicing events in the fungus Trichoderma longibrachiatum 
BMC Genomics  2015;16(1):54.
Alternative splicing is crucial for proteome diversity and functional complexity in higher organisms. However, the alternative splicing landscape in fungi is still elusive.
The transcriptome of the filamentous fungus Trichoderma longibrachiatum was deep sequenced using Illumina Solexa technology. A total of 14305 splice junctions were discovered. Analyses of alternative splicing events revealed that the number of all alternative splicing events (10034), intron retentions (IR, 9369), alternative 5’ splice sites (A5SS, 167), and alternative 3’ splice sites (A3SS, 302) is 7.3, 7.4, 5.1, and 5.9-fold higher, respectively, than those observed in the fungus Aspergillus oryzae using Illumina Solexa technology. This unexpectedly high ratio of alternative splicing suggests that alternative splicing is important to the transcriptome diversity of T. longibrachiatum. Alternatively spliced introns had longer lengths, higher GC contents, and lower splice site scores than constitutive introns. Further analysis demonstrated that the isoform relative frequencies were correlated with the splice site scores of the isoforms. Moreover, comparative transcriptomics determined that most enzymes related to glycolysis and the citrate cycle and glyoxylate cycle as well as a few carbohydrate-active enzymes are transcriptionally regulated.
This study, consisting of a comprehensive analysis of the alternative splicing landscape in the filamentous fungus T. longibrachiatum, revealed an unexpectedly high ratio of alternative splicing events and provided new insights into transcriptome diversity in fungi.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1251-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4324775  PMID: 25652134
Alternative splicing; Fungi; RNA-Seq; Intron retention; Transcriptome; Trichoderma longibrachiatum
11.  Breast adenoid cystic carcinoma in a 19-year-old man: a case report and review of the literature 
Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of the breast is very rare in males. There have been only eight previous articles published on breast ACC in males. Here, we will report on the first case of this type of tumor in the Chinese province of Hainan. The patient was a 19-year-old male, and he underwent a radical mastectomy (RM) with axillary lymph node dissection. The histopathological examination specimen revealed that surgical margins were negative; none of the 41 axillary lymph nodes excised were positive for malignancy. The patient is alive and well 67 months after radical mastectomy. In the present study, we discuss the diagnosis and treatment options for male breast ACC based on previous English publications.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12957-015-0442-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4329652
Male; Breast; Adenoid cystic carcinoma; Treatment; Prognosis
12.  Genetic polymorphism analyses of 30 InDels in Chinese Xibe ethnic group and its population genetic differentiations with other groups 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8260.
In the present study, we obtained population genetic data and forensic parameters of 30 InDel loci in Chinese Xibe ethnic group from northwestern China and studied the genetic relationships between the studied Xibe group and other reference groups. The observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.1704 at HLD118 locus to 0.5247 at HLD92 locus while the expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.1559 at HLD118 locus to 0.4997 at HLD101 locus. The cumulative power of exclusion and total probability of discrimination power in the studied group were 0.9867 and 0.9999999999902 for the 30 loci, respectively. Analyses of structure, PCA, interpopulation differentiations and phylogenetic tree revealed that the Xibe group had close genetic relationships with South Korean, Beijing Han and Guangdong Han groups. The results indicated that these 30 loci should only be used as a complement for autosomal STRs in paternity cases but could provide an acceptable level of discrimination in forensic identification cases in the studied Xibe group. Further studies should be conducted for better understanding of the Xibe genetic background.
PMCID: PMC4317707  PMID: 25651970
13.  Cloning and analysis of expression patterns and transcriptional regulation of RghBNG in response to plant growth regulators and abiotic stresses in Rehmannia glutinosa 
SpringerPlus  2015;4:60.
RghBNG, a gene of unknown function, was cloned from Rehmannia glutinosa by reverse transcription PCR and rapid amplification of cDNA ends. The full-length cDNA of RghBNG was 548 bp with a282-bp open reading frame. It encoded a polypeptide of 93 amino acids with a predicted molecular weight of 10.5 kDa and a theoretical isoelectric point of 9.25. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that RghBNG had no homology to any known plant genes, whereas the RghBNG polypeptide was highly similar to other plant proteins and possessed one conserved B12D protein family functional domain. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that RghBNG encoded for a dicot protein. RghBNG spatial and temporal expression patterns and responses to abiotic stresses and plant growth regulators were investigated by qRT-PCR. RghBNG transcripts were detected in roots, stems, leaves, petals, receptacles, stamens and pistils with the highest and lowest levels respectively observed in petals and leaves of mature plants. Additionally, RghBNG transcripts were detected at three developmental stages of roots, stems and leaves; the highest levels were observed in roots at seedling stage; Transcript levels changed to varying degrees in different tissues and stages; We also studied the effects of abiotic stress and plant growth regulators in roots and leaves. RghBNG expression was significantly increased (p < 0.01) by chromium, gibberellic acid and NaCl, with the highest levels induced by chromium stress; In contrast, 6-benzyladenine reduced expression. These results strongly suggest that RghBNG is involved in R. glutinosa growth, development and response to plant growth regulators and abiotic stresses.
PMCID: PMC4320158
Rehmannia glutinosa; RghBNG gene; Cloning and expression; qRT-PCR; Abiotic stress; Plant growth regulator
14.  Antibiotic stewardship programmes in intensive care units: Why, how, and where are they leading us 
Antibiotic usage and increasing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) mount significant challenges to patient safety and management of the critically ill on intensive care units (ICU). Antibiotic stewardship programmes (ASPs) aim to optimise appropriate antibiotic treatment whilst minimising antibiotic resistance. Different models of ASP in intensive care setting, include “standard” control of antibiotic prescribing such as “de-escalation strategies”through to interventional approaches utilising biomarker-guided antibiotic prescribing. A systematic review of outcomes related studies for ASPs in an ICU setting was conducted. Forty three studies were identified from MEDLINE between 1996 and 2014. Of 34 non-protocolised studies, [1 randomised control trial (RCT), 22 observational and 11 case series], 29 (85%) were positive with respect to one or more outcome: These were the key outcome of reduced antibiotic use, or ICU length of stay, antibiotic resistance, or prescribing cost burden. Limitations of non-standard antibiotic initiation triggers, patient and antibiotic selection bias or baseline demographic variance were identified. All 9 protocolised studies were RCTs, of which 8 were procalcitonin (PCT) guided antibiotic stop/start interventions. Five studies addressed antibiotic escalation, 3 de-escalation and 1 addressed both. Six studies reported positive outcomes for reduced antibiotic use, ICU length of stay or antibiotic resistance. PCT based ASPs are effective as antibiotic-stop (de-escalation) triggers, but not as an escalation trigger alone. PCT has also been effective in reducing antibiotic usage without worsening morbidity or mortality in ventilator associated pulmonary infection. No study has demonstrated survival benefit of ASP. Ongoing challenges to infectious disease management, reported by the World Health Organisation global report 2014, are high AMR to newer antibiotics, and regional knowledge gaps in AMR surveillance. Improved AMR surveillance data, identifying core aspects of successful ASPs that are transferable, and further well-conducted trials will be necessary if ASPs are to be an effective platform for delivering desired patient outcomes and safety through best antibiotic policy.
PMCID: PMC4326760
Antibiotic stewardship programme; Intensive care; Antimicrobial resistance; Antibacterial resistance; Antibiotic resistance
15.  Heterozygous mutation of c.3521C>T in COL1A1 may cause mild osteogenesis imperfecta/Ehlers-Danlos syndrome in a Chinese family 
Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is an inheritable connective tissue disorder with a broad clinical heterozygosis, which can be complicated by other connective tissue disorders like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS). OI/EDS are rarely documented. Most OI/EDS mutations are located in the N-anchor region of type I procollagen and predominated by glycine substitution. We identified a c.3521C>T (p.A1174V) heterozygous mutation in COL1A1 gene in a four-generation pedigree with proposed mild OI/EDS phenotype. The affected individuals had blue sclera and dentinogenesis imperfecta (DI) was uniformly absent. The OI phenotype varied from mild to moderate, with the absence of scoliosis and increased skin extensibility. Easy bruising, joint dislocations and high Beighton score were present in some affected individuals. EDS phenotype is either mild or unremarkable in some individuals. The mutation is poorly conserved and in silico prediction support the relatively mild phenotype. The molecular mechanisms of the mutation that leads to the possible OI/EDS phenotype should be further identified by biochemical analysis of N-propeptide processing and steady state collagen analysis.
PMCID: PMC4322595
Osteogenesis imperfecta; Ehlers-Danlos syndrome; type I collagen; mutations; in silico prediction
16.  Adoptive T-cell therapy of prostate cancer targeting the cancer stem cell antigen EpCAM 
BMC Immunology  2015;16(1):1.
Adoptive transfer of tumor infiltrating or circulating lymphocytes transduced with tumor antigen receptors has been examined in various clinical trials to treat human cancers. The tumor antigens targeted by transferred lymphocytes affects the efficacy of this therapeutic approach. Because cancer stem cells (CSCs) play an important role in tumor growth and metastasis, we hypothesized that adoptive transfer of T cells targeting a CSC antigen could result in dramatic anti-tumor effects.
An EpCAM-specific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) was constructed to transduce human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) and thereby enable them to target the CSC marker EpCAM. To investigate the therapeutic capabilities of PBLs expressing EpCAM-specific CARs, we used two different tumor models, PC3, the human prostate cancer cell line, which has low expression levels of EpCAM, and PC3M, a highly metastatic clone of PC3 that has high expression levels of EpCAM. We demonstrate that CAR-expressing PBLs can kill PC3M tumor cells in vitro and in vivo. Despite the low expression of EpCAM on PC3 cells, CAR-expressing PBLs significantly inhibited tumor growth and prolonged mouse survival in a PC3 metastasis model, probably by targeting the highly proliferative and metastatic population of cancer cells.
Our data demonstrate that PBLs expressing with EpCAM-specific CARs have significant anti-tumor activity against prostate cancer. Therefore, the adoptive transfer of T cells targeting EpCAM could have great potential as a cancer treatment.
PMCID: PMC4318439  PMID: 25636521
Adoptive T-cell transfer; Chimeric antigen receptor; Cancer stem cell; EpCAM; Prostate cancer
17.  Submucosal Injection Solution for Endoscopic Resection in Gastrointestinal Tract: A Traditional and Network Meta-Analysis 
Objective. To explore and define the current optimal submucosal injection solution used in ESD and EMR for gastrointestinal tract neoplasms in terms of clinical outcomes and other aspects. Methods. PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase, and clinical trials register center were searched with terms of “endoscopic resection” and “submucosal injection solution” to identify relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Both direct comparison using traditional meta-analysis method and indirect comparison using network meta-analysis method were performed. Results. A total of 11 RCTs with 1152 patients were included. Meta-analysis showed that, compared with normal saline, other submucosal injection solutions induced a significant increase in terms of en bloc resection rate (I2 = 0%, OR = 2.11, 95% CI (1.36, 3.26), and P = 0.008) and complete resection rate (I2 = 0%, OR = 2.14, 95% CI (1.41, 3.24), and P = 0.0003); and there was no significant difference in the incidence of total complications (I2 = 0%, OR = 0.87, 95% CI (0.59, 1.29), and P = 0.49). Conclusions. Other newly developed submucosal injection solutions significantly increased en bloc resection rate and complete resection rate and decreased bleeding rate and finical cost of endoscopic resection in gastrointestinal tract, while current evidence did not find the difference between them, which need to be explored by further studies.
PMCID: PMC4326037
18.  Association between epidermal growth factor receptor mutations and the expression of excision repair cross-complementing protein 1 and ribonucleotide reductase subunit M1 mRNA in patients with non-small cell lung cancer 
The present study aimed to investigate the association between epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutations and excision repair cross-complementing protein 1 (ERCC1) and ribonucleotide reductase subunit M1 (RRM1) mRNA expression in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tissue. The quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to detect EGFR mutations, and ERCC1 and RRM1 mRNA expression in 257 cases of NSCLC. In the NSCLC samples the EGFR mutation rate was 49.03% (126/257). The rate was higher in females and non-smoking patients (P<0.05). High expression of ERCC1 mRNA was observed in 47.47% of the samples (122/257), while a high RRM1 mRNA expression was observed in 61.87% of the samples (159/257). In comparison with patients with NSCLC without EGFR mutations, patients with EGFR mutations had significantly lower levels of ERCC1 mRNA expression (P<0.05); however, EGFR mutations and expression levels of RRM1 mRNA were not correlated in NSCLC tissues (P>0.05). In addition, ERCC1 mRNA expression was not correlated with the expression levels of RRM1 mRNA (P>0.05). In conclusion, patients with NSCLC with EGFR mutations tend to have a low expression of ERCC1 mRNA and may potentially benefit from platinum-based chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4316980  PMID: 25667646
non-small cell lung cancer; epidermal growth factor receptor; excision repair cross-complementing protein 1; ribonucleotide reductase subunit M1; molecular detection; individualized treatment
19.  Novel recombinant chimeric virus-like particle is immunogenic and protective against both enterovirus 71 and coxsackievirus A16 in mice 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:7878.
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) has been recognized as an important global public health issue, which is predominantly caused by enterovirus 71 (EV-A71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16). There is no available vaccine against HFMD. An ideal HFMD vaccine should be bivalent against both EV-A71 and CVA16. Here, a novel strategy to produce bivalent HFMD vaccine based on chimeric EV-A71 virus-like particles (ChiEV-A71 VLPs) was proposed and illustrated. The neutralizing epitope SP70 within the capsid protein VP1 of EV-A71 was replaced with that of CVA16 in ChiEV-A71 VLPs. Structural modeling revealed that the replaced CVA16-SP70 epitope is well exposed on the surface of ChiEV-A71 VLPs. These VLPs produced in Saccharomyces cerevisiae exhibited similarity in both protein composition and morphology as naive EV-A71 VLPs. Immunization with ChiEV-A71 VLPs in mice elicited robust Th1/Th2 dependent immune responses against EV-A71 and CVA16. Furthermore, passive immunization with anti-ChiEV-A71 VLPs sera conferred full protection against lethal challenge of both EV-A71 and CVA16 infection in neonatal mice. These results suggested that this chimeric vaccine, ChiEV-A71 might have the potential to be further developed as a bivalent HFMD vaccine in the near future. Such chimeric enterovirus VLPs provide an alternative platform for bivalent HFMD vaccine development.
PMCID: PMC4297979  PMID: 25597595
20.  Fabrication of Cell Patches Using Biodegradable Scaffolds with a Hexagonal Array of Interconnected Pores (SHAIPs) 
Polymer  2013;55(1):445-452.
Cell patches are widely used for healing injuries on the surfaces or interfaces of tissues such as those of epidermis and myocardium. Here we report a novel type of porous scaffolds made of poly(D,L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) for fabricating cell patches. The scaffolds have a single layer of spherical pores arranged in a unique hexagonal pattern and are therefore referred to as “scaffolds with a hexagonal array of interconnected pores (SHAIPs)”. SHAIPs contain both uniform pores and interconnecting windows that can facilitate the exchange of biomacromolecules, ensure homogeneous cell seeding, and promote cell migration. As a proof-of-concept demonstration, we have created skeletal muscle patches with a thickness of approximately 150 μm using SHAIPs. The myoblasts seeded in the scaffolds maintained high viability and were able to differentiate into multi-nucleated myotubes. Moreover, neovasculature could efficiently develop into the patches upon subcutaneous implantation in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3891771  PMID: 24443593
porous scaffolds; cell patches; C2C12 myoblasts; photoacoustic microscopy; tissue engineering; regenerative medicine
21.  Intestinal Parasite Co-infection among Pulmonary Tuberculosis Cases without Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in a Rural County in China 
Epidemiologic studies of co-infection with tuberculosis (TB) and intestinal parasites in humans have not been extensively investigated in China. A cross-section study was conducted in a rural county of Henan Province, China. Pulmonary TB (PTB) case-patients receiving treatment for infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and healthy controls matched for geographic area, age, and sex were surveyed by using questionnaires. Fecal and blood specimens were collected for detection of intestinal parasites, routine blood examination, and infection with human immunodeficiency virus. The chi-square test was used for univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression models were used to adjust for potential confounding factors. A total of 369 persons with PTB and 366 healthy controls were included; all participants were negative for human immunodeficiency virus. The overall prevalence of intestinal parasites in persons with PTB was 14.9%, including intestinal protozoa (7.9%) and helminthes (7.6%). The infection spectrum of intestinal parasites was Entamoeba spp. (1.4%), Blastocystis hominis (6.2%), Trichomonas hominis (0.3%), Clonorchis sinensis (0.3%), Ascaris lumbricoides (0.5%), Trichuris trichiura (2.2%), and hookworm (4.6%). The prevalence of intestinal parasites showed no significant difference between persons with PTB and healthy controls after adjusting for potential confounding factors. There was no factor that affected infection rates for intestinal parasites between the two groups. Infection with intestinal parasites of persons with PTB was associated with female sex (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.01–4.17), body mass index ≤ 19 (AOR = 3.02, 95% CI = 1.47–6.20), and anemia (AOR = 2.43, 95% CI = 1.17–5.03). Infection of healthy controls was only associated with an annual labor time in farmlands > 2 months (AOR = 4.50, 95% CI = 2.03–10.00). In addition, there was no significant trend between rates of infection with intestinal parasites and duration of receiving treatment for infection with M. tuberculosis in persons with PTB. The prevalence of intestinal parasites was not higher in persons with PTB, and there was no evidence that PTB increased susceptibility to intestinal parasites in this study. However, for patients with PTB, women and patients with comorbidities were more likely to be infected with intestinal parasites.
PMCID: PMC3886404  PMID: 24166044
22.  Non-Invasive and in situ Characterization of the Degradation of Biomaterial Scaffolds by Volumetric Photoacoustic Microscopy 
Degradation is among the most important properties of biomaterial scaffolds, which are indispensable for regenerative medicine. The currently used method relies on the measurement of mass loss across different samples and cannot track the degradation of an individual scaffold in situ. Here we report, for the first time, the use of multiscale photoacoustic microscopy to non-invasively monitor the degradation of an individual scaffold. We could observe alterations to the morphology and structure of a scaffold at high spatial resolution and deep penetration, and more significantly, quantify the degradation of an individual scaffold as a function of time, both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, the remodeling of vasculature inside a scaffold can be visualized simultaneously using a dual-wavelength scanning mode in a label-free manner. This optoacoustic method can be used to monitor the degradation of individual scaffolds, offering a new approach to non-invasively analyze and quantify biomaterial-tissue interactions in conjunction with the assessment of in vivo vascular parameters.
PMCID: PMC3894115  PMID: 24130155
inverse opal scaffolds; regenerative medicine; MTT formazan; erosion; blood vessels; photoacoustic imaging
24.  Understanding Excitation Energy Transfer in Metalloporphyrin Heterodimers with Different Linkers, Bonding Structures and Geometries through Stimulated X-Ray Raman Spectroscopy 
Journal of modern optics  2014;61(7):558-567.
We present simulations of stimulated X-ray Raman (SXRS) signals from covalent porphyrin heterodimers with different linkers, chemical bonding structures and geometries. The signals are interpreted in terms of valence electron wavepacket motion. One- and two-color SXRS signals can jointly indicate excitation energy transfer (EET) between the porphyrin monomers. It is shown that the SXRS signals provide a novel window into EET dynamics in multiporphyrin systems, and can be used as a powerful tool to monitor the subtle chemical environment which affects EET.
PMCID: PMC4097320  PMID: 25045204
25.  The anti-tumor activity of Mikania micrantha aqueous extract in vitro and in vivo 
Cytotechnology  2013;66(1):107-117.
Aqueous extract obtained from Mikania micrantha (MMAE) is commonly used as traditional medicine in some countries. We hypothesized that MMAE may inhibit tumor cell growth, both in an in vitro and in vivo setting. In in vitro experiments, two kinds of human cancer cell lines, K562 and Hela were used to test the anti-tumor activity. Inhibitory concentrations (IC50) were obtained from the inhibition curves fitted by regression analysis, inhibitory rates (%) were calculated by MTT assay, morphological changes were observed by transmission electron microscope (TEM), cell cycles were analyzed by flow cytometry (FCM), and DNA ladders were determined by agarose gel electrophoresis. The in vivo anti-tumor activity was evaluated by calculating the tumor inhibitory rates, thymus index and spleen index of S180-bearing mice. Paraffin-embedded sections were used to test the pathologic changes. The result displayed that the growth of K562 and Hela were enhanced when treated with MMAE at 20 μg/mL after 48 h. Other concentrations of MMAE (50, 100, 200, 400 μg/mL) inhibited the proliferation of both kinds of cells. The IC50 values of K562 and Hela at 48 h were 167.16 and 196.27 μg/mL and at 72 h 98.07 and 131.56 μg/mL, respectively. The effects showed time-dose dependence. MMAE led to damages of organelles and induced apoptosis. These results were confirmed by ladder DNA fragmentation profile. MMAE also increased the percentage of cells in G2/M phase and decreased the percentage of cells undergoing G0/G1 and S phase in in vivo tests using S180 cells. MMAE showed antitummor activity in vivo, with its tumor inhibitory rate ranging from 12.1 to 46.9 %. MMAE also induced necrosis, as shown by pathological examination of Hematoxilin-Eosin stained tumor sections. Meanwhile, compared with the control group, the changes of thymus index and spleen index in MMAE treated group were not obvious. This study suggests that MMAE may be an effective agent for cancer therapy with low toxicity.
PMCID: PMC3886538  PMID: 23397444
MMAE (Mikania micrantha aqueous extract); K562; Hela; S180-bearing mice

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