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1.  Taiwan Aneurysm Registry: Multivariate Analysis of Two-Month, One-Year, and Two-Year Outcomes after Endovascular and Microsurgical Treatment of Ruptured Aneurysms 
Interventional Neuroradiology  2013;19(1):35-42.
We compared the outcomes of endovascular coiling with microsurgical clipping of aneurysms in a Taiwanese population.
In an ambi-directional cohort design, patient baseline characteristics and clinical course after treatment for ruptured subarachnoid aneurysm were abstracted from medical records from three hospitals to examine and compare differences in post-operative outcomes between those treated with endovascular coiling and those treated with microsurgical clipping. Outcomes were measured, using the modified Rankin scale, two months, one year and two years postoperatively.
Of the 642 patients enrolled in the study, 281 underwent endovascular treatment and 361 underwent neurosurgery. The demographics and baseline characteristics of two groups were comparable except for a larger maximum target aneurysm lumen size (p=0.02) in the endovascular group. Patients who underwent the endovascular procedure tended to have a better quality of life than those who had neurosurgery (p<0.01). When the severity of symptom data was pooled into two groups (Rankin values 0-2 and 3-6) a statistically significant relationship was found between the severity of symptoms and age, Hunt and Hess grade, number of target aneurysms detected, and log of maximum target aneurysm lumen size (all p≤0.01). After controlling for potential confounding factors and using the lumped Rankin outcome data, no significant difference in outcome was found between the two procedures at either time point.
Our study indicated that endovascular coiling achieves results comparable to surgical clipping for patients with ruptured subarachnoid aneurysms in a Taiwanese population.
PMCID: PMC3601615  PMID: 23472721
aneurysm, hemorrhage, microsurgery, endovascular coiling, size, outcome, quality of life
2.  Effect of penehyclidine hydrochloride on β-arrestin-1 expression in lipopolysaccharide-induced human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells 
β-arrestins are expressed proteins that were first described, and are well-known, as negative regulators of G protein-coupled receptor signaling. Penehyclidine hydrochloride (PHC) is a new anti-cholinergic drug that can inhibit biomembrane lipid peroxidation, and decrease cytokines and oxyradicals. However, to date, no reports on the effects of PHC on β-arrestin-1 in cells have been published. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of PHC on β-arrestin-1 expression in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMEC). Cultured HPMEC were pretreated with PHC, followed by LPS treatment. Muscarinic receptor mRNAs were assayed by real-time quantitative PCR. Cell viability was assayed by the methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) conversion test. The dose and time effects of PHC on β-arrestin-1 expression in LPS-induced HPMEC were determined by Western blot analysis. Cell malondialdehyde (MDA) level and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity were measured. It was found that the M3 receptor was the one most highly expressed, and was activated 5 min after LPS challenge. Furthermore, 2 μg/mL PHC significantly upregulated expression of β-arrestin-1 within 10 to 15 min. Compared with the control group, MDA levels in cells were remarkably increased and SOD activities were significantly decreased in LPS pretreated cells, while PHC markedly decreased MDA levels and increased SOD activities. We conclude that PHC attenuated ROS injury by upregulating β-arrestin-1 expression, thereby implicating a mechanism by which PHC may exert its protective effects against LPS-induced pulmonary microvascular endothelial cell injury.
PMCID: PMC3935276  PMID: 24345913
Penehyclidine hydrochloride; Human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells; β-arrestin-1
3.  Rapid reuptake of granzyme B leads to emperitosis: an apoptotic cell-in-cell death of immune killer cells inside tumor cells 
Wang, S | He, M-f | Chen, Y-h | Wang, M-y | Yu, X-m | Bai, J | Zhu, H-y | Wang, Y-y | Zhao, H | Mei, Q | Nie, J | Ma, J | Wang, J-f | Wen, Q | Ma, L | Wang, Y | Wang, X-n
Cell Death & Disease  2013;4(10):e856-.
A cell-in-cell process refers to the invasion of one living cell into another homotypic or heterotypic cell. Different from non-apoptotic death processes of internalized cells termed entosis or cannibalism, we previously reported an apoptotic cell-in-cell death occurring during heterotypic cell-in-cell formation. In this study, we further demonstrated that the apoptotic cell-in-cell death occurred only in internalized immune killer cells expressing granzyme B (GzmB). Vacuole wrapping around the internalized cells inside the target cells was the common hallmark during the early stage of all cell-in-cell processes, which resulted in the accumulation of reactive oxygen species and subsequent mitochondrial injury of encapsulated killer or non-cytotoxic immune cells. However, internalized killer cells mediated rapid bubbling of the vacuoles with the subsequent degranulation of GzmB inside the vacuole of the target cells and underwent the reuptake of GzmB by killer cells themselves. The confinement of GzmB inside the vacuole surpassed the lysosome-mediated cell death occurring in heterotypic or homotypic entosis processes, resulting in a GzmB-triggered caspase-dependent apoptotic cell-in-cell death of internalized killer cells. On the contrary, internalized killer cells from GzmB-deficient mice underwent a typical non-apoptotic entotic cell-in-cell death similar to that of non-cytotoxic immune cells or tumor cells. Our results thus demonstrated the critical involvement of immune cells with cytotoxic property in apoptotic cell-in-cell death, which we termed as emperitosis taken from emperipolesis and apoptosis. Whereas entosis or cannibalism may serve as a feed-on mechanism to exacerbate and nourish tumor cells, emperitosis of immune killer cells inside tumor cells may serve as an in-cell danger sensation model to prevent the killing of target cells from inside, implying a unique mechanism for tumor cells to escape from immune surveillance.
PMCID: PMC3824662  PMID: 24113190
apoptotic cell-in-cell death; emperitosis; immune cytotoxic cells; granzyme B; vacuole formation
4.  Quercetin postconditioning attenuates myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats through the PI3K/Akt pathway 
Quercetin (Que), a plant-derived flavonoid, has multiple benefical actions on the cardiovascular system. The current study investigated whether Que postconditioning has any protective effects on myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in vivo and its potential cardioprotective mechanisms. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly allocated to 5 groups (20 animals/group): sham, I/R, Que postconditioning, Que+LY294002 [a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway inhibitor], and LY294002+I/R. I/R was produced by 30-min coronary occlusion followed by 2-h reperfusion. At the end of reperfusion, myocardial infarct size and biochemical changes were compared. Apoptosis was evaluated by both TUNEL staining and measurement of activated caspase-3 immunoreactivity. The phosphorylation of Akt and protein expression of Bcl-2 and Bax were determined by Western blotting. Que postconditioning significantly reduced infarct size and serum levels of creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase compared with the I/R group (all P<0.05). Apoptotic cardiomyocytes and caspase-3 immunoreactivity were also suppressed in the Que postconditioning group compared with the I/R group (both P<0.05). Akt phosphorylation and Bcl-2 expression increased after Que postconditioning, but Bax expression decreased. These effects were inhibited by LY294002. The data indicate that Que postconditioning can induce cardioprotection by activating the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway and modulating the expression of Bcl-2 and Bax proteins.
PMCID: PMC3854307  PMID: 24068165
Ischemia and reperfusion; Quercetin; Postconditioning; PI3K/Akt
5.  Genome-wide association study in a Chinese population identifies a susceptibility locus for type 2 diabetes at 7q32 near PAX4 
Diabetologia  2013;56(6):1291-1305.
Most genetic variants identified for type 2 diabetes have been discovered in European populations. We performed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in a Chinese population with the aim of identifying novel variants for type 2 diabetes in Asians.
We performed a meta-analysis of three GWAS comprising 684 patients with type 2 diabetes and 955 controls of Southern Han Chinese descent. We followed up the top signals in two independent Southern Han Chinese cohorts (totalling 10,383 cases and 6,974 controls), and performed in silico replication in multiple populations.
We identified CDKN2A/B and four novel type 2 diabetes association signals with p < 1 × 10−5 from the meta-analysis. Thirteen variants within these four loci were followed up in two independent Chinese cohorts, and rs10229583 at 7q32 was found to be associated with type 2 diabetes in a combined analysis of 11,067 cases and 7,929 controls (pmeta = 2.6 × 10−8; OR [95% CI] 1.18 [1.11, 1.25]). In silico replication revealed consistent associations across multiethnic groups, including five East Asian populations (pmeta = 2.3 × 10−10) and a population of European descent (p = 8.6 × 10−3). The rs10229583 risk variant was associated with elevated fasting plasma glucose, impaired beta cell function in controls, and an earlier age at diagnosis for the cases. The novel variant lies within an islet-selective cluster of open regulatory elements. There was significant heterogeneity of effect between Han Chinese and individuals of European descent, Malaysians and Indians.
Our study identifies rs10229583 near PAX4 as a novel locus for type 2 diabetes in Chinese and other populations and provides new insights into the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-013-2874-4) contains peer-reviewed but unedited supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.
PMCID: PMC3648687  PMID: 23532257
Chinese; Diabetes; East Asians; Genetics; Genome-wide association study
6.  Effects of Zearalenone on IL-2, IL-6, and IFN-γ mRNA Levels in the Splenic Lymphocytes of Chickens 
The Scientific World Journal  2012;2012:567327.
Zearalenone (ZEN) is an estrogenic mycotoxin produced by several Fusarium species, which can contaminate food and feed. These compounds elicit a wide spectrum of toxic effects, including the capacity to alter normal immune function. In this study, the in vitro effects of the treatment of ConA-stimulated splenic lymphocytes with ZEN (0–25 μg/mL) were examined. ZEN modulates the expression of IL-2, IL-6, and IFN-γ. The IL-2 levels were up to fourfold higher (P < 0.05) compared with the levels in the control at toxin concentrations of 25 μg/mL after 48 h of treatment. The IL-6 levels were critically suppressed at this concentration; these changes were very statistically significant (P < 0.05). At lower ZEN concentrations (0.1, 0.4 and 1.6 μg/mL), the IFN-γ levels changed slightly; however at 6.25 and 25 μg/mL, the IFN-γ results reached statistical significance compared with the control levels (P < 0.05). These data suggest that ZEN has potent effects on the expression of chicken splenic lymphocytes cytokines at the mRNA level.
PMCID: PMC3354442  PMID: 22645433
7.  Interphase cytogenetics of workers exposed to benzene. 
Environmental Health Perspectives  1996;104(Suppl 6):1325-1329.
Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is a powerful new technique that allows numerical chromosome aberrations (aneuploidy) to be detected in interphase cells. In previous studies, FISH has been used to demonstrate that the benzene metabolites hydroquinone and 1,2,4-benzenetriol induce aneuploidy of chromosomes 7 and 9 in cultures of human cells. In the present study, we used an interphase FISH procedure to perform cytogenetic analyses on the blood cells of 43 workers exposed to benzene (median = 31 ppm, 8-hr time-weighted average) and 44 matched controls from Shanghai, China. High benzene exposure (> 31 ppm, n = 22) increased the hyperdiploid frequency of chromosome 9 (p < 0.01), but lower exposure (< or = 31 ppm, n = 21) did not. Trisomy 9 was the major form of benzene-induced hyperdiploidy. The level of hyperploidy in exposed workers correlated with their urinary phenol level (r = 0.58, p < 0.0001), a measure of internal benzene dose. A significant correlation was also found between hyperdiploidy and decreased absolute lymphocyte count, an indicator of benzene hematotoxicity, in the exposed group (r = -0.44, p = 0.003) but not in controls (r = -0.09, p = 0.58). These results show that high benzene exposure induces aneuploidy of chromosome 9 in nondiseased individuals, with trisomy being the most prevalent form. They further highlight the usefulness of interphase cytogenetics and FISH for the rapid and sensitive detection of aneuploidy in exposed human populations.
PMCID: PMC1469718  PMID: 9118914
8.  Molecular analysis of HLA-DR beta and DQ beta polymorphism in Chinese with rheumatoid arthritis. 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1993;52(8):610-612.
OBJECTIVES--Several studies have suggested that genetic predisposition to rheumatoid arthritis may be related to the presence of specific polymorphic HLA sequences that are often associated with HLA-DR4 haplotypes. This study was performed to determine if an association exists between Chinese with rheumatoid arthritis and a particular HLA-DR beta or DQ beta subtype. METHODS--This study used the polymerase chain reaction to amplify HLA-DR beta and DQ beta genes, and oligonucleotide probe hybridisation to examine the association of certain polymorphic sequences with rheumatoid arthritis in 23 Chinese patients from Shanghai. RESULTS--An HLA-DR4 associated sequence was significantly increased in the Chinese patients (43%) compared with healthy controls (14%) from the same location (relative risk = 4.6, 95% confidence limits 1.1 to 19.3). Analysis of the third hyperpolymorphic region of DR4 positive samples was performed to detect polymorphic sequences associated with Dw4, Dw10, Dw13, Dw14, Dw15, and KT2 cellular specificities. Examination of this region showed that 91% of patients had sequences encoding amino acids QRRAA (associated with Dw14 and Dw15) or QKRAA (associated with Dw4) compared with 64% of the DR4 positive controls. CONCLUSIONS--Rheumatoid arthritis in the Chinese is associated with HLA-DR4. There is a possible relationship between sequences within the third hyperpolymorphic region of the DRB allele and rheumatoid arthritis in the Chinese.
PMCID: PMC1005121  PMID: 8215626
9.  A study on the association of serum 1,5-anhydroglucitol levels and the hyperglycaemic excursions as measured by continuous glucose monitoring system among people with type 2 diabetes in China 
Blood glucose excursion is an important component of the glycaemic burden, but there are no indexes that can directly reflect them. The aim was to evaluate the values and significance of serum 1,5-anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG) in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus in China and to elucidate the relationship between 1,5-AG and traditional indexes of glycaemic excursions by continuous glucose monitoring.
A total of 576 healthy adults and 292 patients were included, and their 1,5-AG, fasting blood glucose and postprandial blood glucose and glycated haemoglobin were measured. For the 34 patients, their mean blood glucose, standard deviation of blood glucose, mean amplitude of glucose excursion, mean of daily differences, low blood glucose M-value index and the area under the curve for blood glucose above 180 mg/dL were calculated by use of a continuous glucose monitoring system.
Serum levels of 1,5-AG among healthy adults were 28.44 ± 8.76 µg/mL with a significant gender bias rather than age bias. The 1,5-AG levels in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus were 4.57 ± 3.71 µg/mL, which were lower than those seen in the healthy adults. There was a correlation between 1,5-AG and glycated haemoglobin, fasting blood glucose, and postprandial blood glucose (r = −0.251, −0.195 and −0.349, respectively; all had p < 0.05). The continuous glucose monitoring system demonstrated that 1,5-AG presents a negative correlation with mean blood glucose, standard deviation of blood glucose, mean amplitude of glucose excursion and mean of daily differences for 7 days and with the area under the curve for blood glucose above 180 mg/dL on the third, fourth and seventh days.
1,5-AG may serve as a marker of hyperglycaemia and 7-day hyperglycaemic excursions as well as being a useful adjunct to glycated haemoglobin for blood glucose monitoring in patients with diabetes. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
PMCID: PMC3510303  PMID: 22238204
1,5-anhydroglucitol; type 2 diabetes mellitus; hyperglycaemic excursions
10.  Active Targeting Using HER-2-affibody-conjugated Nanoparticles Enabled Sensitive and Specific Imaging of Orthotopic HER-2 Positive Ovarian Tumors 
Despite advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment, ovarian cancer remains one of the most fatal cancer types. The development of targeted nanoparticle imaging probes and therapeutics offers promising approaches for early detection and effective treatment of ovarian cancer. In this study, we have developed HER-2 targeted magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) by conjugating a high affinity and small size HER-2 affibody that is labeled with a unique near infrared dye (NIR-830) to the nanoparticles. Using a clinically relevant orthotopic human ovarian tumor xenograft model, we have shown that HER-2 targeted IONPs are selectively delivered into both primary and disseminated ovarian tumors, enabling non-invasive optical and MR imaging of the tumors as small as 1 mm in the peritoneal cavity. We have determined that HER-2 targeted delivery of the IONPs is essential for specific and sensitive imaging of the HER-2 positive tumor since we are unable to detect the imaging signal in the tumors following systemic delivery of non-targeted IONPs into the mice bearing HER-2 positive SKOV3 tumors. Furthermore, imaging signals and the IONPs are not detected in HER-2 low expressing OVCAR3 tumors after systemic delivery of HER-2 targeted-IONPs. Since HER-2 is expressed in a high percentage of ovarian cancers, the HER-2 targeted dual imaging modality IONPs have potential for the development of novel targeted imaging and therapeutic nanoparticles for ovarian cancer detection, targeted drug delivery, and image-guided therapy and surgery.
PMCID: PMC3946402  PMID: 24038985
HER-2 targeted nanoparticles; HER-2 affibody; NIR-830 dye; orthotopic human ovarian tumor xenograft model
11.  TBX6 Null Variants and a Common Hypomorphic Allele in Congenital Scoliosis 
The New England journal of medicine  2015;372(4):341-350.
Congenital scoliosis is a common type of vertebral malformation. Genetic susceptibility has been implicated in congenital scoliosis.
We evaluated 161 Han Chinese persons with sporadic congenital scoliosis, 166 Han Chinese controls, and 2 pedigrees, family members of which had a 16p11.2 deletion, using comparative genomic hybridization, quantitative polymerase-chain-reaction analysis, and DNA sequencing. We carried out tests of replication using an additional series of 76 Han Chinese persons with congenital scoliosis and a multi-center series of 42 persons with 16p11.2 deletions.
We identified a total of 17 heterozygous TBX6 null mutations in the 161 persons with sporadic congenital scoliosis (11%); we did not observe any null mutations in TBX6 in 166 controls (P<3.8×10−6). These null alleles include copy-number variants (12 instances of a 16p11.2 deletion affecting TBX6) and single-nucleotide variants (1 nonsense and 4 frame-shift mutations). However, the discordant intrafamilial phenotypes of 16p11.2 deletion carriers suggest that heterozygous TBX6 null mutation is insufficient to cause congenital scoliosis. We went on to identify a common TBX6 haplotype as the second risk allele in all 17 carriers of TBX6 null mutations (P<1.1×10−6). Replication studies involving additional persons with congenital scoliosis who carried a deletion affecting TBX6 confirmed this compound inheritance model. In vitro functional assays suggested that the risk haplotype is a hypomorphic allele. Hemivertebrae are characteristic of TBX6-associated congenital scoliosis.
Compound inheritance of a rare null mutation and a hypomorphic allele of TBX6 accounted for up to 11% of congenital scoliosis cases in the series that we analyzed.
PMCID: PMC4326244  PMID: 25564734
12.  Syntaxin 6-mediated Golgi translocation plays an important role in nuclear functions of EGFR through microtubule-dependent trafficking 
Oncogene  2013;33(6):756-770.
Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are cell surface receptors that initiate signal cascades in response to ligand stimulation. Abnormal expression and dysregulated intracellular trafficking of RTKs have been shown to be involved in tumorigenesis. Recent evidence shows that these cell surface receptors translocate from cell surface to different cellular compartments, including the Golgi, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the nucleus, to regulate physiological and pathological functions. Although some trafficking mechanisms have been resolved, the mechanism of intracellular trafficking from cell surface to the Golgi is not yet completely understood. Here we report a mechanism of Golgi translocation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in which EGF-induced EGFR travels to the Golgi via microtubule-dependent movement by interacting with dynein and fuses with the Golgi through syntaxin 6-mediated membrane fusion. We also demonstrate that the microtubule- and syntaxin 6-mediated Golgi translocation of EGFR is necessary for its consequent nuclear translocation and nuclear functions. Thus, together with previous studies, the microtubule- and syntaxin 6-mediated trafficking pathway from cell surface to the Golgi, ER and the nucleus defines a comprehensive trafficking route for EGFR to travel from cell surface to the Golgi and the nucleus.
PMCID: PMC3874427  PMID: 23376851
EGF receptor; Golgi and nuclear translocation; microtubules; syntaxin 6
13.  Local structure order in Pd78Cu6Si16 liquid 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8277.
The short-range order (SRO) in Pd78Cu6Si16 liquid was studied by high energy x-ray diffraction and ab initio molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The calculated pair correlation functions at different temperatures agree well with the experimental results. The partial pair correlation functions from ab intio MD simulations indicate that Si atoms prefer to be uniformly distributed while Cu atoms tend to aggregate. By performing structure analysis using Honeycutt-Andersen index, Voronoi tessellation, and atomic cluster alignment method, we show that the icosahedron and face-centered cubic SRO increase upon cooling. The dominant SRO is the Pd-centered Pd9Si2 motif, namely the structure of which motif is similar to the structure of Pd-centered clusters in the Pd9Si2 crystal. The study further confirms the existence of trigonal prism capped with three half-octahedra that is reported as a structural unit in Pd-based amorphous alloys. The majority of Cu-centered clusters are icosahedra, suggesting that the presence of Cu is benefit to promote the glass forming ability.
PMCID: PMC4317692  PMID: 25652079
14.  Cost-Effectiveness of Chemoprevention with Proton Pump Inhibitors in Barrett’s Esophagus 
Digestive diseases and sciences  2014;59(6):1222-1230.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may reduce the risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) in patients with Barrett’s esophagus. PPIs are prescribed for virtually all patients with Barrett’s esophagus, irrespective of the presence of reflux symptoms, and represent a de facto chemopreventive agent in this population. However, long-term PPI use has been associated with several adverse effects, and the cost-effectiveness of chemoprevention with PPIs has not been evaluated.
The purpose of this study was to assess the cost-effectiveness of PPIs for the prevention of EAC in Barrett’s esophagus without reflux.
We designed a state-transition Markov micro-simulation model of a hypothetical cohort of 50-year-old white men with Barrett’s esophagus. We modeled chemoprevention with PPIs or no chemoprevention, with endoscopic surveillance for all treatment arms. Outcome measures were life-years, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), incident EAC cases and deaths, costs, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios.
Assuming 50 % reduction in EAC, chemoprevention with PPIs was a cost-effective strategy compared to no chemoprevention. In our model, administration of PPIs cost $23,000 per patient and resulted in a gain of 0.32 QALYs for an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $12,000/QALY. In sensitivity analyses, PPIs would be cost-effective at $50,000/QALY if they reduce EAC risk by at least 19 %.
Chemoprevention with PPIs in patients with Barrett’s esophagus without reflux is cost-effective if PPIs reduce EAC by a minimum of 19 %. The identification of subgroups of Barrett’s esophagus patients at increased risk for progression would lead to more cost-effective strategies for the prevention of esophageal adenocarcinoma.
PMCID: PMC4315516  PMID: 24795040
Cost-effectiveness; Proton pump inhibitors; Barrett’s esophagus; Esophageal adenocarcinoma; Clostridium difficile infection; Pharmacoepidemiology; Chemoprevention
15.  Plasmid CDS5 Influences Infectivity and Virulence in a Mouse Model of Chlamydia trachomatis Urogenital Infection 
Infection and Immunity  2014;82(8):3341-3349.
The native plasmid of both Chlamydia muridarum and Chlamydia trachomatis has been shown to control virulence and infectivity in mice and in lower primates. We recently described the development of a plasmid-based genetic transformation protocol for Chlamydia trachomatis that for the first time provides a platform for the molecular dissection of the function of the chlamydial plasmid and its individual genes or coding sequences (CDS). In the present study, we transformed a plasmid-free lymphogranuloma venereum isolate of C. trachomatis, serovar L2, with either the original shuttle vector (pGFP::SW2) or a derivative of pGFP::SW2 carrying a deletion of the plasmid CDS5 gene (pCDS5KO). Female mice were inoculated with these strains either intravaginally or transcervically. We found that transformation of the plasmid-free isolate with the intact pGFP::SW2 vector significantly enhanced infectivity and induction of host inflammatory responses compared to the plasmid-free parental isolate. Transformation with pCDS5KO resulted in infection courses and inflammatory responses not significantly different from those observed in mice infected with the plasmid-free isolate. These results indicate a critical role of plasmid CDS5 in in vivo fitness and in induction of inflammatory responses. To our knowledge, these are the first in vivo observations ascribing infectivity and virulence to a specific plasmid gene.
PMCID: PMC4136204  PMID: 24866804
17.  HIV Tat protein affects circadian rhythmicity by interfering with the circadian system 
Wang, T | Jiang, Z | Hou, W | Li, Z | Cheng, S | Green, LA | Wang, Y | Wen, X | Cai, L | Clauss, M | Wang, Z
HIV Medicine  2014;15(9):565-570.
Sleep disorders are common in patients with HIV/AIDS, and can lead to poor quality of life. Although many studies have investigated the aetiology of these disorders, it is still unclear whether impaired sleep quality is associated with HIV itself, social problems, or side effects of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Moreover, despite its known neurological associations, little is known about the role of the trans-activator of transcription (Tat) protein in sleep disorders in patients with HIV/AIDS. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that the sleep quality of patients with HIV/AIDS affected by an altered circadian rhythm correlates with cerebrospinal HIV Tat protein concentration.
Ninety-six patients with HIV/AIDS between 20 and 69 years old completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Their circadian rhythm parameters of blood pressure, Tat concentration in cerebrospinal fluid, melatonin concentration, CD4 cell count and HIV RNA viral load in serum were measured.
The circadian amplitude of systolic blood pressure and the score for sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index) were negatively correlated with HIV Tat protein concentration, while the melatonin value was positively correlated with Tat protein concentration.
The HIV Tat protein affects circadian rhythmicity by interfering with the circadian system in patients with HIV/AIDS and further increases the melatonin excretion value. A Tat protein-related high melatonin value may counteract HIV-related poor sleep quality during the progression of HIV infection. This study provides the first clinical evidence offering an explanation for why sleep quality did not show an association with progression of HIV infection in previous studies.
PMCID: PMC4285855  PMID: 24750691
circadian rhythm; HIV/AIDS; sleep; Tat protein
18.  Novel Gene Variants Predict Serum Levels of the Cytokines IL-18 and IL-1ra in Older Adults 
Cytokine  2013;65(1):10-16.
Activation of inflammatory pathways measured by serum inflammatory markers such as interleukin-18 (IL-18) and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) is strongly associated with the progression of chronic disease states in older adults. Given that these serum cytokine levels are in part a heritable trait, genetic variation may predict increased serum levels. Using the Cardiovascular Health Study and InCHIANTI cohorts, a genome-wide association study was performed to identify genetic variants that influence IL18 and IL-1ra serum levels among older adults. Multiple linear regression models characterized the association between each SNP and log-transformed cytokine values. Tests for multiple independent signals within statistically significant loci were performed using haplotype analysis and regression models conditional on lead SNP in each region. Multiple SNPs were associated with these cytokines with genome-wide significance, including SNPs in the IL18-BCO gene region of chromosome 2 for IL-18 (top SNP rs2250417, P = 1.9×10−32) and in the IL1 gene family region of chromosome 2 for IL-1ra (rs6743376, P = 2.3×10−26). Haplotype tests and conditional linear regression models showed evidence of multiple independent signals in these regions. Serum IL-18 levels were also associated with a region on chromosome 2 containing the NLRC4 gene (rs12989936, P = 2.7×10−19). These data characterize multiple robust genetic signals that influence IL-18 and IL-1ra cytokine production. In particular, the signal for serum IL-18 located on chromosome two is novel and potentially important in inflammasome triggered chronic activation of inflammation in older adults. Replication in independent cohorts is an important next step, as well as molecular studies to better understand the role of NLRC4.
PMCID: PMC4060632  PMID: 24182552
chronic inflammation; genome-wide association studies; older adults
19.  Immunogenic calreticulin exposure occurs through a phylogenetically conserved stress pathway involving the chemokine CXCL8 
Cell Death and Differentiation  2013;21(1):59-68.
The exposure of calreticulin (CRT) on the surface of stressed and dying cancer cells facilitates their uptake by dendritic cells and the subsequent presentation of tumor-associated antigens to T lymphocytes, hence stimulating an anticancer immune response. The chemotherapeutic agent mitoxantrone (MTX) can stimulate the peripheral relocation of CRT in both human and yeast cells, suggesting that the CRT exposure pathway is phylogenetically conserved. Here, we show that pheromones can act as physiological inducers of CRT exposure in yeast cells, thereby facilitating the formation of mating conjugates, and that a large-spectrum inhibitor of G protein-coupled receptors (which resemble the yeast pheromone receptor) prevents CRT exposure in human cancer cells exposed to MTX. An RNA interference screen as well as transcriptome analyses revealed that chemokines, in particular human CXCL8 (best known as interleukin-8) and its mouse ortholog Cxcl2, are involved in the immunogenic translocation of CRT to the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane. MTX stimulated the production of CXCL8 by human cancer cells in vitro and that of Cxcl2 by murine tumors in vivo. The knockdown of CXCL8/Cxcl2 receptors (CXCR1/Cxcr1 and Cxcr2) reduced MTX-induced CRT exposure in both human and murine cancer cells, as well as the capacity of the latter-on exposure to MTX-to elicit an anticancer immune response in vivo. Conversely, the addition of exogenous Cxcl2 increased the immunogenicity of dying cells in a CRT-dependent manner. Altogether, these results identify autocrine and paracrine chemokine signaling circuitries that modulate CRT exposure and the immunogenicity of cell death.
PMCID: PMC3857625  PMID: 23787997
α factor; autophagy; apoptosis; BAX; endoplasmic reticulum stress; PERK
20.  Molecular mechanisms of ATP secretion during immunogenic cell death 
Cell Death and Differentiation  2013;21(1):79-91.
The immunogenic demise of cancer cells can be induced by various chemotherapeutics, such as anthracyclines and oxaliplatin, and provokes an immune response against tumor-associated antigens. Thus, immunogenic cell death (ICD)-inducing antineoplastic agents stimulate a tumor-specific immune response that determines the long-term success of therapy. The release of ATP from dying cells constitutes one of the three major hallmarks of ICD and occurs independently of the two others, namely, the pre-apoptotic exposure of calreticulin on the cell surface and the postmortem release of high-mobility group box 1 (HMBG1) into the extracellular space. Pre-mortem autophagy is known to be required for the ICD-associated secretion of ATP, implying that autophagy-deficient cancer cells fail to elicit therapy-relevant immune responses in vivo. However, the precise molecular mechanisms whereby ATP is actively secreted in the course of ICD remain elusive. Using a combination of pharmacological screens, silencing experiments and techniques to monitor the subcellular localization of ATP, we show here that, in response to ICD inducers, ATP redistributes from lysosomes to autolysosomes and is secreted by a mechanism that requires the lysosomal protein LAMP1, which translocates to the plasma membrane in a strictly caspase-dependent manner. The secretion of ATP additionally involves the caspase-dependent activation of Rho-associated, coiled-coil containing protein kinase 1 (ROCK1)-mediated, myosin II-dependent cellular blebbing, as well as the opening of pannexin 1 (PANX1) channels, which is also triggered by caspases. Of note, although autophagy and LAMP1 fail to influence PANX1 channel opening, PANX1 is required for the ICD-associated translocation of LAMP1 to the plasma membrane. Altogether, these findings suggest that caspase- and PANX1-dependent lysosomal exocytosis has an essential role in ATP release as triggered by immunogenic chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3857631  PMID: 23852373
apoptosis; Beclin 1; caspases; endoplasmic reticulum stress; quinacrine; U2OS cells
21.  Value of ultrasonography for detecting chronic injury of the lateral ligaments of the ankle joint compared with ultrasonography findings 
The British Journal of Radiology  2013;87(1033):20130406.
The aim of this study was to assess the accuracy of ultrasonography in the diagnosis of chronic lateral ankle ligament injury.
A total of 120 ankles in 120 patients with a clinical suspicion of chronic ankle ligament injury were examined by ultrasonography by using a 5- to 17-MHz linear array transducer before surgery. The results of ultrasonography were compared with the operative findings.
There were 18 sprains and 24 partial and 52 complete tears of the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL); 26 sprains, 27 partial and 12 complete tears of the calcaneofibular ligament (CFL); and 1 complete tear of the posterior talofibular ligament (PTFL) at arthroscopy and operation. Compared with operative findings, the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of ultrasonography were 98.9%, 96.2% and 84.2%, respectively, for injury of the ATFL and 93.8%, 90.9% and 83.3%, respectively, for injury of the CFL. The PTFL tear was identified by ultrasonography. The accuracy of identification between acute-on-chronic and subacute–chronic patients did not differ. The accuracies of diagnosing three grades of ATFL injuries were almost the same as those of diagnosing CFL injuries.
Ultrasonography provides useful information for the evaluation of patients presenting with chronic pain after ankle sprain.
Advances in knowledge:
Intraoperative findings are the reference standard. We demonstrated that ultrasonography was highly sensitive and specific in detecting chronic lateral ligments injury of the ankle joint.
PMCID: PMC3898969  PMID: 24352708
22.  Mechanism of Highly Synchronized Bilateral Hippocampal Activity 
Experimental neurology  2013;251:101-111.
In vivo studies of epileptiform discharges in the hippocampi of rodents have shown that bilateral seizure activity can sometimes be synchronized with very small delays (< 2 ms). This observed small time delay of epileptiform activity between the left and right CA3 regions is unexpected given the physiological propagation time across the hemispheres (> 6 ms). The goal of this study is to determine the mechanisms of this tight synchronization with in-vitro electrophysiology techniques and computer simulations. The hypothesis of a common source was first eliminated by using an in-vitro preparation containing both hippocampi with a functional ventral hippocampal commissure (VHC) and no other tissue. Next, the hypothesis that a noisy baseline could mask the underlying synchronous activity between the two hemispheres was ruled out by low noise in-vivo recordings and computer simulation of the noisy environment. Then we built a novel bilateral CA3 model to test the hypothesis that the phenomenon of very small left-to-right propagation delay of seizure activity is a product of epileptic cell network dynamics. We found that the commissural tract connectivity could decrease the delay between seizure events recorded from two sides while the activity propagated longitudinally along the CA3 layer thereby yielding delays much smaller than the propagation time between the two sides. The modeling results indicate that both recurrent and feedforward inhibition were required for shortening the bilateral propagation delay and depended critically on the length of the commissural fiber tract as well as the number of cells involved in seizure generation. These combined modeling/experimental studies indicate that it is possible to explain near perfect synchronization between the two hemispheres by taking into account the structure of the hippocampal network.
PMCID: PMC3902113  PMID: 24262205
Epilepsy; Synchronization; in vivo; in vitro; in silico
23.  Imaging the Intracellular Distribution of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors in Living Cells with Quantitative Hyperspectral Stimulated Raman Scattering 
Nature chemistry  2014;6(7):614-622.
ABL1 tyrosine-kinase inhibitors (TKI) are a front-line therapy for chronic myelogenous leukemia and represent the best known examples of targeted cancer therapeutics. However, the dynamic uptake of low molecular weight TKIs into cells and their intracellular behavior is largely unknown due to the difficulty of observing non-fluorescent small molecules at subcellular resolution. Here we report the direct label-free visualization and quantification of two TKI drugs – imatinib and nilotinib inside living cells using hyperspectral stimulated Raman scattering imaging. Both drugs were enriched over 1000-fold in lysosomes as a result of their lysosomotropic properties. In addition, low solubility appeared to contribute significantly to the surprisingly large accumulation of nilotinib. We further show that the lysosomal trapping of imatinib was reduced by more than 10-fold when using chloroquine simultaneously, suggesting that chloroquine may increase the efficacy of TKIs through lysosome mediated drug-drug interaction besides the commonly proposed autophagy inhibition mechanism.
PMCID: PMC4205760  PMID: 24950332
Raman spectroscopy; Hyperspectral SRS imaging; Tyrosine kinase inhibitor; Lysosomotropism
24.  Theranostic Nanoparticles Carrying Doxorubicin Attenuate Targeting Ligand Specific Antibody Responses Following Systemic Delivery 
Theranostics  2015;5(1):43-61.
Understanding the effects of immune responses on targeted delivery of nanoparticles is important for clinical translations of new cancer imaging and therapeutic nanoparticles. In this study, we found that repeated administrations of magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) conjugated with mouse or human derived targeting ligands induced high levels of ligand specific antibody responses in normal and tumor bearing mice while injections of unconjugated mouse ligands were weakly immunogenic and induced a very low level of antibody response in mice. Mice that received intravenous injections of targeted and polyethylene glycol (PEG)-coated IONPs further increased the ligand specific antibody production due to differential uptake of PEG-coated nanoparticles by macrophages and dendritic cells. However, the production of ligand specific antibodies was markedly inhibited following systemic delivery of theranostic nanoparticles carrying a chemotherapy drug, doxorubicin. Targeted imaging and histological analysis revealed that lack of the ligand specific antibodies led to an increase in intratumoral delivery of targeted nanoparticles. Results of this study support the potential of further development of targeted theranostic nanoparticles for the treatment of human cancers.
PMCID: PMC4265747  PMID: 25553097
Targeting ligands; nanoparticles; antibody; immune response; tumor imaging; nanoparticle delivery.
25.  Genetic variation in the GSTM3 promoter confer risk and prognosis of renal cell carcinoma by reducing gene expression 
Tan, X | Wang, Y | Han, Y | Chang, W | Su, T | Hou, J | Xu, D | Yu, Y | Ma, W | Thompson, T C | Cao, G
British Journal of Cancer  2013;109(12):3105-3115.
Glutathione S-transferase mu 3 (GSTM3) has been proven to be downregulated in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). We aimed to characterise the role of GSTM3 and its genetic predisposition on the occurrence and postoperative prognosis of RCC.
The effect of GSTM3 on RCC aggressiveness was examined using transfection and silencing methods. Glutathione S-transferase mu 3 expression in renal tissues was examined by immunohistochemistry. The associations of rs1332018 (A-63C) and rs7483 (V224I) polymorphisms with RCC risk were examined using 400 RCC patients and 802 healthy controls. The factors contributing to postoperative disease-specific survival of RCC patients were evaluated using the Cox proportional hazard model.
Glutathione S-transferase mu 3 silencing increased the invasion and anchorage-independent growth of RCC cell lines. rs1332018 (AC+CC vs AA), which correlated with low expression of GSTM3 in kidney, was associated with RCC risk (odds ratio, 1.446; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.111–1.882). rs1332018 variants and low GSTM3 expression significantly predicted unfavourable postoperative survivals of RCC patients (P<0.05). rs1332018 variants independently predicted a poor prognosis (hazard ratio, 2.119; 95% CI, 1.043–4.307).
Glutathione S-transferase mu 3 may function as a tumour suppressor in RCC. rs1332018 genetic variants predispose the host to downregulating GSTM3 expression in kidney, facilitate carcinogenesis, and predict an unfavourable postoperative prognosis of RCC.
PMCID: PMC3859948  PMID: 24157827
renal cell carcinoma; GSTM3; polymorphism; risk; prognosis

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