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1.  Quantification of Arachidonic Acid and Its Metabolites in Rat Tissues by UHPLC-MS/MS: Application for the Identification of Potential Biomarkers of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(11):e0166777.
To evaluate the potential relationship between benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and the arachidonic acid (AA) metabolome, a UHPLC—MS/MS method has been developed and validated for simultaneous determination of AA and its cyclooxygenase(COX) and lipoxygenase(LOX) pathway metabolites (15-HETE, 12-HETE, TXA2, 5-HETE, AA, PGI2, PGF2α, 8-HETE, PGD2, PGE2 and LTB4) in rat tissues. The analytes were extracted from tissue samples with a protein precipitation procedure and then separated on a Shim-pack XR-ODSC18 column with 0.05% formic acid in water (pH adjusted with dilute ammonia) and methanol:acetonitrile (20:80, v/v). Detection was performed on a UHPLC—MS/MS system with electrospray negative ionization (ESI) and a multiple reaction-monitoring mode. The lower limits of quantification (LLOQ) were 0.25–50 ng/mL for all of the analytes in the prostate, seminal, bladder, liver and kidney tissues. The absolute recoveries of the analytes from all of the tissues were more than 50%. By means of the method developed, the AA metabolites in tissue samples from Sham and BPH group rats were determined. The eleven biomarkers in the BPH group prostate, seminal, bladder, liver and kidney tissues were significantly higher than those of the sham group, indicating that BPH fortified the inducible expression of COX and LOX, as well as increased the production of AA and eicosanoids. The method described here offers a useful tool for the evaluation of complex regulatory eicosanoids responses in vivo.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166777
PMCID: PMC5125601  PMID: 27893755
2.  Reduction of Polarization Field Strength in Fully Strained c-Plane InGaN/(In)GaN Multiple Quantum Wells Grown by MOCVD 
The polarization fields in c-plane InGaN/(In)GaN multiple quantum well (MQW) structures grown on sapphire substrate by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition are investigated in this paper. The indium composition in the quantum wells varies from 14.8 to 26.5% for different samples. The photoluminescence wavelengths are calculated theoretically by fully considering the related effects and compared with the measured wavelengths. It is found that when the indium content is lower than 17.3%, the measured wavelengths agree well with the theoretical values. However, when the indium content is higher than 17.3%, the measured ones are much shorter than the calculation results. This discrepancy is attributed to the reduced polarization field in the MQWs. For the MQWs with lower indium content, 100% theoretical polarization can be maintained, while, when the indium content is higher, the polarization field decreases significantly. The polarization field can be weakened down to 23% of the theoretical value when the indium content is 26.5%. Strain relaxation is excluded as the origin of the polarization reduction because there is no sign of lattice relaxation in the structures, judging by the X-ray diffraction reciprocal space mapping. The possible causes of the polarization reduction are discussed.
doi:10.1186/s11671-016-1732-y
PMCID: PMC5122532  PMID: 27885621
Polarization field; InGaN/(In)GaN multiple quantum wells; Photoluminescence; Strain relaxation; Reciprocal space mapping
3.  Selective resource allocation may promote a sex ratio in pollinator fig wasps more beneficial for the host tree 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:35159.
Mutualisms play a key role in most ecosystems, yet the mechanisms that prevent overexploitation of the mutualistic relationship are still poorly understood. In the mutualism between fig trees and their pollinating wasps both partners depend on each other. Fig trees benefit from female wasps that disperse their pollen, whereas wasps frequently benefit from a higher ratio of male offspring. Here we use manipulative field experiments to address whether host trees (Ficus racemosa) can influence the offspring sex ratio of the pollinator wasp. We controlled wasp matings; virgin wasps can lay only male eggs. We found that virgin foundress wasps had fewer offspring than mated foundresses. This was not caused by virgin wasps having a shorter lifespan, or laying fewer eggs. Instead, male wasp larvae were more likely to die during development. Additionally, male eggs were deposited in flowers of equal style length to those of female eggs, yet emerged from galls with shorter pedicels than those of female wasps. We suggest that male larvae are either allocated less resources by the tree, or are less able to attract resources, during development. If the tree orchestrates this difference it would promote a more female-biased wasp brood, thus increasing the tree’s fitness.
doi:10.1038/srep35159
PMCID: PMC5059716  PMID: 27731351
4.  Terahertz identification and quantification of neurotransmitter and neurotrophy mixture 
Biomedical Optics Express  2016;7(11):4472-4479.
Terahertz spectroscopy has been widely used for investigating the fingerprint spectrum of different substances. For cancerous tissues, the greatest difficulty is the absorption peaks of various substances contained in tissues overlap with each other, which are hard to identify and quantitative analyze. As a result, it is very hard to measure the presence of cancer cell and then to diagnose accurately. In this paper, we select three typical neurotransmitters (γ-aminobutyric acid, L-glutamic acid, dopamine hydrochloride) and two typical metabolites (inositol and creatine) in neurons to measure their terahertz spectra with different mixture ratios. By choosing characteristic absorption peaks, removing baseline and using the least square method, we can identify the components and proportions of each mixture, where the goodness of fit to practical situation is up to 94%. These results provide important evidences for identifying nerve substances and obtaining exact quantitative analysis.
doi:10.1364/BOE.7.004472
PMCID: PMC5119588  PMID: 27895988
(300.6495) Spectroscopy, terahertz; (170.1420) Biology
5.  Next-Generation Sequencing of Two Mitochondrial Genomes from Family Pompilidae (Hymenoptera: Vespoidea) Reveal Novel Patterns of Gene Arrangement 
Animal mitochondrial genomes have provided large and diverse datasets for evolutionary studies. Here, the first two representative mitochondrial genomes from the family Pompilidae (Hymenoptera: Vespoidea) were determined using next-generation sequencing. The sequenced region of these two mitochondrial genomes from the species Auplopus sp. and Agenioideus sp. was 16,746 bp long with an A + T content of 83.12% and 16,596 bp long with an A + T content of 78.64%, respectively. In both species, all of the 37 typical mitochondrial genes were determined. The secondary structure of tRNA genes and rRNA genes were predicted and compared with those of other insects. Atypical trnS1 using abnormal anticodons TCT and lacking D-stem pairings was identified. There were 49 helices belonging to six domains in rrnL and 30 helices belonging to three domains in rrns present. Compared with the ancestral organization, four and two tRNA genes were rearranged in mitochondrial genomes of Auplopus and Agenioideus, respectively. In both species, trnM was shuffled upstream of the trnI-trnQ-trnM cluster, and trnA was translocated from the cluster trnA-trnR-trnN-trnS1-trnE-trnF to the region between nad1 and trnL1, which is novel to the Vespoidea. In Auplopus, the tRNA cluster trnW-trnC-trnY was shuffled to trnW-trnY-trnC. Phylogenetic analysis within Vespoidea revealed that Pompilidae and Mutillidae formed a sister lineage, and then sistered Formicidae. The genomes presented in this study have enriched the knowledge base of molecular markers, which is valuable in respect to studies about the gene rearrangement mechanism, genomic evolutionary processes and phylogeny of Hymenoptera.
doi:10.3390/ijms17101641
PMCID: PMC5085674  PMID: 27727175
mitochondrial genomes; gene rearrangement; Vespoidea; Pompilidae; Auplopus; Agenioideu
6.  Novel CHOP activator LGH00168 induces necroptosis in A549 human lung cancer cells via ROS-mediated ER stress and NF-κB inhibition 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2016;37(10):1381-1390.
Aim:
C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) is a transcription factor that is activated at multiple levels during ER stress and plays an important role in ER stress-induced apoptosis. In this study we identified a novel CHOP activator, and further investigated its potential to be a therapeutic agent for human lung cancer.
Methods:
HEK293-CHOP-luc reporter cells were used in high-throughput screening (HTS) to identify CHOP activators. The cytotoxicity against cancer cells in vitro was measured with MTT assay. The anticancer effects were further examined in A549 human non-small cell lung cancer xenograft mice. The mechanisms underlying CHOP activation were analyzed using luciferase assays, and the anticancer mechanisms were elucidated in A549 cells.
Results:
From chemical libraries of 50 000 compounds, LGH00168 was identified as a CHOP activator, which showed cytotoxic activities against a panel of 9 cancer cell lines with an average IC50 value of 3.26 μmol/L. Moreover, administration of LGH00168 significantly suppressed tumor growth in A549 xenograft bearing mice. LGH00168 activated CHOP promoter via AARE1 and AP1 elements, increased DR5 expression, decreased Bcl-2 expression, and inhibited the NF-κB pathway. Treatment of A549 cells with LGH00168 (10 μmol/L) did not induce apoptosis, but lead to RIP1-dependent necroptosis, accompanied by cell swelling, plasma membrane rupture, lysosomal membrane permeabilization, MMP collapse and caspase 8 inhibition. Furthermore, LGH00168 (10 and 20 μmol/L) dose-dependently induced mito-ROS production in A549 cells, which was reversed by the ROS scavenger N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC, 10 mmol/L). Moreover, NAC significantly diminished LGH00168-induced CHOP activation, NF-κB inhibition and necroptosis in A549 cells.
Conclusion:
LGH00168 is a CHOP activator that inhibits A549 cell growth in vitro and lung tumor growth in vivo.
doi:10.1038/aps.2016.61
PMCID: PMC5057234  PMID: 27264312
CHOP; LGH00168; ER stress; NF-κB; necroptosis; RIP1; ROS; non-small cell lung cancer A549 cells; cancer xenograft mice
7.  Inhibition of Sophocarpine on Poly I: C/D-GalN-Induced Immunological Liver Injury in Mice 
Increasing evidence has suggested that natural killer (NK) cells contribute to the pathogenesis of human immunological liver injury (ILI). Previous studies have demonstrated that Sophocarpine exerts activity in immune modulation. It also has a therapeutic effect on liver protection in that it can alleviate liver fibrosis by suppressing both the activation of hepatic stellate cells and the proliferation of the activated hepatic stellate cells. However, whether Sophocarpine protects the liver by regulating NK cell activity remains unclear. In this study, the modulating effect of Sophocarpine on NK cells in the liver was investigated. The results showed that Sophocarpine dramatically decreased the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and attenuated the liver injury induced by Poly I: C/D-GalN in C57BL/6- mice. More importantly, Sophocarpine pre-treatment significantly suppressed NK cell activation and downregulated the expression of NKG2D, a receptor responsible for NK cell activation. Moreover, the protein levels of DAP12, ZAP76 and Syk decreased, as did their corresponding mRNA levels. Overall, our study demonstrates that Sophocarpine inhibits NK cell activity, thus making it a promising therapy for ILI.
doi:10.3389/fphar.2016.00256
PMCID: PMC4981750  PMID: 27570511
NK cell activity; Sophocarpine; NKG2D-DAP12; immunological liver injury; Poly I: C/D-GalN
8.  Metabolic pathways regulated by γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) contributing to heat tolerance in creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:30338.
γ-Aminobutyric acid is a non-protein amino acid involved in various metabolic processes. The objectives of this study were to examine whether increased GABA could improve heat tolerance in cool-season creeping bentgrass through physiological analysis, and to determine major metabolic pathways regulated by GABA through metabolic profiling. Plants were pretreated with 0.5 mM GABA or water before exposed to non-stressed condition (21/19 °C) or heat stress (35/30 °C) in controlled growth chambers for 35 d. The growth and physiological analysis demonstrated that exogenous GABA application significantly improved heat tolerance of creeping bentgrass. Metabolic profiling found that exogenous application of GABA led to increases in accumulations of amino acids (glutamic acid, aspartic acid, alanine, threonine, serine, and valine), organic acids (aconitic acid, malic acid, succinic acid, oxalic acid, and threonic acid), sugars (sucrose, fructose, glucose, galactose, and maltose), and sugar alcohols (mannitol and myo-inositol). These findings suggest that GABA-induced heat tolerance in creeping bentgrass could involve the enhancement of photosynthesis and ascorbate-glutathione cycle, the maintenance of osmotic adjustment, and the increase in GABA shunt. The increased GABA shunt could be the supply of intermediates to feed the tricarboxylic acid cycle of respiration metabolism during a long-term heat stress, thereby maintaining metabolic homeostasis.
doi:10.1038/srep30338
PMCID: PMC4960583  PMID: 27455877
9.  Scorpion Venom Heat-Resistant Peptide Protects Transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans from β-Amyloid Toxicity 
Scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide (SVHRP) is a component purified from Buthus martensii Karsch scorpion venom. Our previous studies found SVHRP could enhance neurogenesis and inhibit microglia-mediated neuroinflammation in vivo. Here, we use the transgenic CL4176, CL2006, and CL2355 strains of Caenorhabditis elegans which express the human Aβ1-42 to investigate the effects and the possible mechanisms of SVHRP mediated protection against Aβ toxicity in vivo. The results showed that SVHRP-fed worms displayed remarkably decreased paralysis, less abundant toxic Aβ oligomers, reduced Aβ plaque deposition with respect to untreated animals. SVHRP also suppressed neuronal Aβ expression-induced defects in chemotaxis behavior and attenuated levels of ROS in the transgenic C. elegans. Taken together, these results suggest SVHRP could protect against Aβ-induced toxicity in C. elegans. Further studies need to be conducted in murine models and humans to analyze the effectiveness of the peptide.
doi:10.3389/fphar.2016.00227
PMCID: PMC4960250  PMID: 27507947
scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide; C. elegans; alzheimer’s disease; amyloid beta-peptide; behavior
10.  A Comprehensive Analysis of the Impact of HIV on HCV Immune Responses and Its Association with Liver Disease Progression in a Unique Plasma Donor Cohort 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(7):e0158037.
Objective
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) co-infection is recognized as a major cause of morbidity and mortality among HIV-1 infected patients. Our understanding of the impact of HIV infection on HCV specific immune responses and liver disease outcome is limited by the heterogeneous study populations with genetically diverse infecting viruses, varying duration of infection and anti-viral treatment.
Methods
Viral-specific immune responses in a cohort of 151 HCV mono- and HIV co-infected former plasma donors infected with a narrow source of virus were studied. HCV and HIV specific T cell responses were correlated with clinical data.
Results
HIV-1 accelerated liver disease progression and decreased HCV specific T cell immunity. The magnitude of HCV specific T cell responses inversely correlated with lower HCV RNA load and reduced liver injury as assessed by non-invasive markers of liver fibrosis. HIV co-infection reduced the frequency of HCV specific CD4+ T cells with no detectable effect on CD8+ T cells or neutralizing antibody levels.
Conclusion
Our study highlights the impact of HIV co-infection on HCV specific CD4+ T cell responses in a unique cohort of patients for both HCV and HIV and suggests a crucial role for these cells in controlling chronic HCV replication and liver disease progression.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0158037
PMCID: PMC4959707  PMID: 27455208
11.  Robust Multiple-Range Coherent Quantum State Transfer 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:28886.
We propose a multiple-range quantum communication channel to realize coherent two-way quantum state transport with high fidelity. In our scheme, an information carrier (a qubit) and its remote partner are both adiabatically coupled to the same data bus, i.e., an N-site tight-binding chain that has a single defect at the center. At the weak interaction regime, our system is effectively equivalent to a three level system of which a coherent superposition of the two carrier states constitutes a dark state. The adiabatic coupling allows a well controllable information exchange timing via the dark state between the two carriers. Numerical results show that our scheme is robust and efficient under practically inevitable perturbative defects of the data bus as well as environmental dephasing noise.
doi:10.1038/srep28886
PMCID: PMC4929469  PMID: 27364891
12.  Density abnormalities in normal-appearing gray matter in the middle-aged brain with white matter hyperintense lesions: a DARTEL-enhanced voxel-based morphometry study 
Background and purpose
Little is known about the structural alterations within gray matter (GM) in middle-aged subjects with white matter hyperintense (WMH) lesions. Here, we aimed to examine the anatomical changes within the GM and their relationship to WMH lesion loads in middle-aged subjects.
Participants and methods
Twenty-three middle-aged subjects with WMH lesions (WMH group) and 23 demographically matched healthy control subjects participated in the study. A Diffeomorphic Anatomical Registration Through Exponentiated Liealgebra-enhanced voxel-based morphometry was used to measure the GM density, and the correlations between WMH lesion volume and extracted GM values in abnormal regions were identified by voxel-based morphometry analysis.
Results
Compared with the healthy control subjects, the WMH group had a significantly decreased GM density in the left middle frontal gyrus, bilateral anterior cingulate cortex, left and right premotor cortex, and left and right middle cingulate cortex and an increased GM density in the bilateral cerebellum anterior lobe, left middle temporal gyrus, right temporoparietal junction, left and right prefrontal cortex (PFC), and left inferior parietal lobule. A relationship was observed between the normalized WMH lesion volume and the decreased GM density, including the left middle frontal gyrus (ρ=−0.629, P=0.002), bilateral anterior cingulate cortex (ρ=−0.507, P=0.019), right middle cingulate cortex (ρ=−0.484, P=0.026), and right premotor cortex (ρ=−0.438, P=0.047). The WMH lesion loads also negatively correlated with increased GM density in the right temporoparietal junction (ρ=−0.484, P=0.026), left PFC (ρ=−0.469, P=0.032), and right PFC (ρ=−0.438, P=0.047).
Conclusion
We observed that lesion load-associated structural plasticity corresponds to bidirectional changes in regional GM density in the WMH group.
doi:10.2147/CIA.S98409
PMCID: PMC4869624  PMID: 27274211
white matter hyperintense lesion; voxel-based morphometry; normal-appearing gray matter; aging
13.  Novel role of PELP1 in regulating chemotherapy response in mutant p53-expressing triple negative breast cancer cells 
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), the most aggressive breast cancer subtype, occurs in younger women and is associated with poor prognosis. Gain-of-function mutations in TP53 are a frequent occurrence in TNBC and have been demonstrated to repress apoptosis and up-regulate cell cycle progression. Even though TNBC responds to initial chemotherapy, resistance to chemotherapy develops and is a major clinical problem. Tumor recurrence eventually occurs and most patients die from their disease. An urgent need exists to identify molecular-targeted therapies that can enhance chemotherapy response. In the present study, we report that targeting PELP1, an oncogenic co-regulator molecule, could enhance the chemotherapeutic response of TNBC through the inhibition of cell cycle progression and activation of apoptosis. We demonstrate that PELP1 interacts with MTp53, regulates its recruitment, and alters epigenetic marks at the target gene promoters. PELP1 knockdown reduced MTp53 target gene expression, resulting in decreased cell survival and increased apoptosis upon genotoxic stress. Mechanistic studies revealed that PELP1 depletion contributes to increased stability of E2F1, a transcription factor that regulates both cell cycle and apoptosis in a context-dependent manner. Further, PELP1 regulates E2F1 stability in a KDM1A-dependent manner, and PELP1 phosphorylation at the S1033 residue plays an important role in mediating its oncogenic functions in TNBC cells. Accordingly, depletion of PELP1 increased the expression of E2F1 target genes and reduced TNBC cell survival in response to genotoxic agents. PELP1 phosphorylation was significantly greater in the TNBC tumors than in the other subtypes of breast cancer and in the normal tissues. These findings suggest that PELP1 is an important molecular target in TNBC, and that PELP1-targeted therapies may enhance response to chemotherapies.
doi:10.1007/s10549-015-3339-x
PMCID: PMC4385448  PMID: 25788226
PELP1; p53; DNA damage response; oncogene; coregulator; E2F1; TNBC
14.  The Therapeutic Efficacy and Safety of Compound Kushen Injection Combined with Transarterial Chemoembolization in Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma: An Update Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
Background: Compound Kushen Injection (CKI) is a Chinese patent medicine approved by the China Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of various types of solid tumors. CKI, combined with transarterial chemoembolization (TACE), is believed to increase the therapeutic efficacy of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We report an updated and extended meta-analysis with detailed outcomes of both the efficacy and adverse events (AEs) of CKI combined with TACE therapy.
Materials and methods: Electronic databases, including PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library, the Chinese Biomedical Database (CBM), Wanfang, the VIP medicine information system (VMIS) and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), were examined for relevant articles before November 13, 2015. An odds ratio (OR) was used to estimate tumor response (TR), Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) improvement, Child-Pugh (CP) improvement, survival rate (SR) and AEs. A publication bias and a subgroup analysis were also assessed.
Results: Eighteen studies, with a total of 1,338 HCC patients who met the criteria for the meta-analysis, were included. TR, KPS improvement and CP improvement were significantly enhanced for the combination therapy compared to TACE alone (OR = 1.84, 95% CI: [1.46, 2.33], P < 0.00001; OR = 2.37, 95% CI: [1.76, 3.18], P < 0.00001; OR = 1.81, 95% CI: [1.08, 3.03], P = 0.02, respectively). The combination therapy was associated with an improvement in 1-year and 2-year SRs but not an improved 3-year SR (OR = 2.40; 95% CI: [1.59, 3.62], P < 0.0001; OR = 2.49, 95% CI: [1.24, 5.00], P = 0.01; OR = 2.49, 95% CI: [0.94, 6.61], P = 0.07, respectively). A safety analysis indicated that AEs (including nausea/vomiting, fever, hepatalgia, increased transaminase, increased bilirubin and leukopenia) were reduced for the combination treatment compared to TACE alone.
Conclusion: The combination treatment of TACE and CKI was associated with improved TR, KPS and CP improvement and improved 1- and 2-year SRs in patients with unresectable HCC. The 3-year SR was not improved. The combination therapy resulted in a reduction in AEs. The findings of this study should be interpreted with caution because of the small sample size and study limitations.
doi:10.3389/fphar.2016.00070
PMCID: PMC4814457  PMID: 27065861
Compound Kushen Injection; transarterial chemoembolization; unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma; meta-analysis; systematic review
15.  Low-dose tacrolimus combined with donor-derived mesenchymal stem cells after renal transplantation: a prospective, non-randomized study 
Oncotarget  2016;7(11):12089-12101.
Calcineurin inhibitors, including tacrolimus, are largely responsible for advances in allotransplantation. However, the nephrotoxicity associated with these immunosuppressants impairs patients' long-term survival after renal allograft. Therefore, novel regimens that minimize or even eliminate calcineurin inhibitors could improve transplantation outcomes. In this pilot study, we investigated the use of low-dose tacrolimus in combination with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are immunosuppressive and prolong allograft survival in experimental organ transplant models. Donor-derived, bone marrow MSCs combined with a sparing dose of tacrolimus (0.04-0.05 mg/kg/day) were administered to 16 de novo living-related kidney transplant recipients; 16 other patients received a standard dose of tacrolimus (0.07-0.08 mg/kg/day). The safety of MSC infusion, acute rejection, graft function, graft survival, and patient survival were evaluated over ≥24 months following kidney transplantation. All patients survived and had stable renal function at the 24 month follow-up. The combination of low-dose tacrolimus and MSCs was as effective as standard dose tacrolimus in maintaining graft survival at least 2 years after transplantation. In addition, both groups had similar urea, urine protein, urinary RBC, urinary WBC, 24-h urine protein, and creatinine clearance rates from 7 days to 24 months after transplantation. Furthermore, no differences in the proportion of lymphocytes, CD19, CD3, CD34, CD38, and natural killer cells were detected between the control and experimental groups. None of the MSC recipients experienced immediate or long-term toxicity from the treatment. This preliminary data suggests that the addition of MSCs permits the use of lower dosages of nephrotoxic calcineurin inhibitors following renal transplantation.
doi:10.18632/oncotarget.7725
PMCID: PMC4914271  PMID: 26933811
acute rejection; calcineurin inhibitors; graft survival; mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs); nephrotoxicity; Pathology Section
16.  RY10-4 Inhibits the Proliferation of Human Hepatocellular Cancer HepG2 Cells by Inducing Apoptosis In Vitro and In Vivo 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(3):e0151679.
This study aimed to investigate the anti-tumor activity of RY10-4, a small molecular that was designed and synthesized based on the structure of protoapigenone. A previous screening study showed that RY10-4 possessed anti-proliferative effects against HepG2 human hepatocellular carcinoma cells. However, the full range of RY10-4 anti-cancer effects on liver tumors and the underlying mechanisms have not been identified. Herein, employing flow cytometry, and Western blot analysis, we demonstrate that RY10-4 can induce cell cycle arrest, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and apoptosis in HepG2 cells. In HepG2 cell xenograft tumor model, RY10-4 significantly inhibited the growth of tumors and induced apoptosis in tumor cells, with little side effects. Moreover, RY10-4 caused the suppression of STAT3 activation, which may be involved the apoptosis induction. In addition, RY10-4 inhibited the proliferation of Hep3B and HuH-7 human hepatocellular carcinoma cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Taken together, our results suggest that RY10-4 has a great potential to develop as chemotherapeutic agent for liver cancer.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0151679
PMCID: PMC4790938  PMID: 26974964
17.  Freeze-Dried Rat Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cell Paracrine Factors: A Simplified Novel Material for Skin Wound Therapy 
Tissue Engineering. Part A  2014;21(5-6):1036-1046.
The mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) supernatant is well known as a rich source of autologous cytokines and universally used for tissue regeneration in current clinical medicine. However, the limitation of conditioned medium used in open-wound repair compels the need to find a more sophisticated way to take advantage of the trophic factors of MSCs. We have now fabricated a three-dimensional membrane from freeze-dried bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells-conditioned medium (FBMSC-CM) using a simple freeze-dried protocol. Scanning electron microscopy images showed the microstructure of the FBMSC-CM membrane (FBMSC-CMM) resembling a mesh containing growth factors. ELISA was used to test the paracrine factors retained in the FBMSC-CMM, and the results indicated that FBMSC-CMM withheld over 80% of the paracrine factors. Live/dead assays were adopted to test the toxicity of the FBMSC-CMM on cultured rat dermal fibroblasts, and the results confirmed its biological safety with low toxicity. Moreover, the FBMSC-CMM could significantly accelerate wound healing and enhance the neovascularization as well as epithelialization through strengthening the trophic factors in the wound bed as determined by immunohistochemical staining. Thus, the ability to maintain paracrine factors and enhance the effectiveness of these growth factors in the wound as well as the simple procedure and economical materials required for production qualifies the FBMSC-CMM to be a candidate biomaterial for open-wound regeneration.
doi:10.1089/ten.tea.2014.0102
PMCID: PMC4356236  PMID: 25343727
18.  Substance P combined with epidermal stem cells promotes wound healing and nerve regeneration in diabetes mellitus 
Neural Regeneration Research  2016;11(3):493-501.
Exogenous substance P accelerates wound healing in diabetes, but the mechanism remains poorly understood. Here, we established a rat model by intraperitoneally injecting streptozotocin. Four wounds (1.8 cm diameter) were drilled using a self-made punch onto the back, bilateral to the vertebral column, and then treated using amniotic membrane with epidermal stem cells and/or substance P around and in the middle of the wounds. With the combined treatment the wound-healing rate was 100% at 14 days. With prolonged time, type I collagen content gradually increased, yet type III collagen content gradually diminished. Abundant protein gene product 9.5- and substance P-immunoreactive nerve fibers regenerated. Partial nerve fiber endings extended to the epidermis. The therapeutic effects of combined substance P and epidermal stem cells were better than with amniotic membrane and either factor alone. Our results suggest that the combination of substance P and epidermal stem cells effectively contributes to nerve regeneration and wound healing in diabetic rats.
doi:10.4103/1673-5374.179073
PMCID: PMC4829018  PMID: 27127492
nerve regeneration; diabetes; substance P; epidermal stem cells; sensory nerve; wound healing; collagen; neural regeneration
19.  Maternal sleep deprivation at different stages of pregnancy impairs the emotional and cognitive functions, and suppresses hippocampal long-term potentiation in the offspring rats 
Molecular Brain  2016;9:17.
Background
Sleep deprivation during pregnancy is a serious public health problem as it can affect the health of pregnant women and newborns. However, it is not well studied whether sleep deprivation at different stages of pregnancy has similar effects on emotional and cognitive functions of the offspring, and if so, the potential cellular mechanisms also remain poorly understood.
Methods
In the present study, the pregnant rats were subjected to sleep deprivation for 6 h per day by gentle handling during the first (gestational days 1–7), second (gestational days 8–14) and third trimester (gestational days 15–21) of pregnancy, respectively. The emotional and cognitive functions as well as hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) were tested in the offspring rats (postnatal days 42-56).
Results
The offspring displayed impaired hippocampal-dependent spatial learning and memory, and increased depressive- and anxiety-like behaviors. Quantification of BrdU-positive cells revealed that adult hippocampal neurogenesis was significantly reduced compared to control. Electrophysiological recording showed that maternal sleep deprivation impaired hippocampal CA1 LTP and reduced basal synaptic transmission, as reflected by a decrease in the frequency and amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic current in the hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons.
Conclusions
Taken together, these results suggest that maternal sleep deprivation at different stages of pregnancy disrupts the emotional and cognitive functions of the offspring that might be attributable to the suppression of hippocampal LTP and basal synaptic transmission.
doi:10.1186/s13041-016-0197-3
PMCID: PMC4753670  PMID: 26876533
Maternal sleep deprivation; Spatial learning and memory; Anxiety; Depression; Neurogenesis; Long-term potentiation
20.  Corrigendum: Polyamine regulates tolerance to water stress in leaves of white clover associated with antioxidant defense and dehydrin genes via involvement in calcium messenger system and hydrogen peroxide signaling 
doi:10.3389/fphys.2016.00052
PMCID: PMC4753327  PMID: 26913009
antioxidant; dehydrin; gene expression; oxidative damage; polyamine; regulation; white clover (Trifolium repens)
21.  17β-Estradiol Attenuates Hematoma Expansion through ERα/Sirt1/NF-κB Pathway in Hyperglycemic Intracerebral Hemorrhage Mice 
Background and Purpose
17β-estradiol (E2) has been reported to reduce bleeding and brain injury in experimental intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) model. However, it is not clear if E2 can prevent early hematoma expansion (HE) induced by hyperglycemia in acute ICH. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of E2 on HE and its potential mechanisms in hyperglycemic ICH mice.
Methods
Two hundred, 8-week-old male CD1 mice were used. Intracerebral hemorrhage was performed by collagenase injection. 50% Dextrose (8 ml/kg) was injected intraperitoneally 3 hours after ICH to induce acute HE (normal saline was used as control). The time course of HE was measured 6 hours, 24 hours, and 72 hours after ICH. Two dosages (100 µg/kg and 300 µg/kg) of E2 were administrated 1 hour after ICH intraperitoneally. Neurobehavioral deficits, hemorrhage volume, blood glucose level and blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption were measured. To study the mechanisms of E2, estrogen receptor α (ERα) inhibitor MPP, Sirt1 siRNA was administered respectively. Protein expression of ERα, Sirt1, and acetylated NF-κB, and activity of MMP-9 were detected.
Results
Hyperglycemia enhanced HE and deteriorated neurological deficits after ICH from 6 hours after ICH. E2 treatment prevented BBB disruption and improved neurological deficits 24 hours and 72 hours after ICH. E2 reduced HE by activating its receptor ERα, decreasing the expression Sirt1, deacelylation of NF-κB and inhibiting the activity of MMP-9. ERα inhibitor MPP and Sirt1 siRNA removed these effects of E2.
Conclusions
E2 treatment prevented hyperglycemia enhanced HE and improved neurological deficits in ICH mice mediated by ERα/Sirt1/NF-κB pathway. E2 may serve as an alternative treatment to decrease early HE after ICH.
doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.006372
PMCID: PMC4308513  PMID: 25523052
17β-Estradiol; Sirt1; MMP-9; Hematoma expansion; intracerebral hemorrhage
22.  Stimulation of terrestrial ecosystem carbon storage by nitrogen addition: a meta-analysis 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:19895.
Elevated nitrogen (N) deposition alters the terrestrial carbon (C) cycle, which is likely to feed back to further climate change. However, how the overall terrestrial ecosystem C pools and fluxes respond to N addition remains unclear. By synthesizing data from multiple terrestrial ecosystems, we quantified the response of C pools and fluxes to experimental N addition using a comprehensive meta-analysis method. Our results showed that N addition significantly stimulated soil total C storage by 5.82% ([2.47%, 9.27%], 95% CI, the same below) and increased the C contents of the above- and below-ground parts of plants by 25.65% [11.07%, 42.12%] and 15.93% [6.80%, 25.85%], respectively. Furthermore, N addition significantly increased aboveground net primary production by 52.38% [40.58%, 65.19%] and litterfall by 14.67% [9.24%, 20.38%] at a global scale. However, the C influx from the plant litter to the soil through litter decomposition and the efflux from the soil due to microbial respiration and soil respiration showed insignificant responses to N addition. Overall, our meta-analysis suggested that N addition will increase soil C storage and plant C in both above- and below-ground parts, indicating that terrestrial ecosystems might act to strengthen as a C sink under increasing N deposition.
doi:10.1038/srep19895
PMCID: PMC4728605  PMID: 26813078
23.  Intrinsic Functional Plasticity of the Thalamocortical System in Minimally Disabled Patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis 
The thalamus plays a crucial role in sensorimotor, cognitive, and attentional circuit functions. Disruptions in thalamic connectivity are believed to underlie the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Therefore, assessing thalamocortical structural connectivity (SC) and functional connectivity (FC) may provide new insights into the mechanism of intrinsic functional plasticity in a large-scale neural network. We used resting-state FC measurement and diffusion tensor imaging probabilistic tractography to study the functional and structural integrity of the thalamocortical system in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and matched healthy controls. In the thalamocortical connections of RRMS patients, we found lesion load-related regional FC in the right temporal pole, which reflected compensatory hyperconnectivity related to lesion-related demyelination. We also found significant correlations between increased diffusivity and slowed cognitive processing (PASAT) or the impact of fatigue (MFIS-5), as well as between connective fiber loss and disease duration. Taken together, the evidence from SC and FC analysis of the thalamocortical system suggests that minimally disabled RRMS patients exhibit a dissociated SC–FC pattern and limited regional functional plasticity to compensate for the chronic demyelination-related loss of long-distance SC. These results also provide further evidence supporting the notion that MS is a disorder of anatomical disconnection.
doi:10.3389/fnhum.2016.00002
PMCID: PMC4725198  PMID: 26834600
functional connectivity; structural connectivity; thalamus; relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis; fiber tractography
24.  De novo Transcriptome Analysis and Molecular Marker Development of Two Hemarthria Species 
Hemarthria R. Br. is an important genus of perennial forage grasses that is widely used in subtropical and tropical regions. Hemarthria grasses have made remarkable contributions to the development of animal husbandry and agro-ecosystem maintenance; however, there is currently a lack of comprehensive genomic data available for these species. In this study, we used Illumina high-throughput deep sequencing to characterize of two agriculturally important Hemarthria materials, H. compressa “Yaan” and H. altissima “1110.” Sequencing runs that used each of four normalized RNA samples from the leaves or roots of the two materials yielded more than 24 million high-quality reads. After de novo assembly, 137,142 and 77,150 unigenes were obtained for “Yaan” and “1110,” respectively. In addition, a total of 86,731 “Yaan” and 48,645 “1110” unigenes were successfully annotated. After consolidating the unigenes for both materials, 42,646 high-quality SNPs were identified in 10,880 unigenes and 10,888 SSRs were identified in 8330 unigenes. To validate the identified markers, high quality PCR primers were designed for both SNPs and SSRs. We randomly tested 16 of the SNP primers and 54 of the SSR primers and found that the majority of these primers successfully amplified the desired PCR product. In addition, high cross-species transferability (61.11–87.04%) of SSR markers was achieved for four other Poaceae species. The amount of RNA sequencing data that was generated for these two Hemarthria species greatly increases the amount of genomic information available for Hemarthria and the SSR and SNP markers identified in this study will facilitate further advancements in genetic and molecular studies of the Hemarthria genus.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2016.00496
PMCID: PMC4834353  PMID: 27148320
de novo assembly; marker development; Hemarthria R. Br.; RNA-Seq; transcriptome
25.  TaSYP71, a Qc-SNARE, Contributes to Wheat Resistance against Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici 
N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) are involved in plant resistance; however, the role of SYP71 in the regulation of plant–pathogen interactions is not well known. In this study, we characterized a plant-specific SNARE in wheat, TaSYP71, which contains a Qc-SNARE domain. Three homologs are localized on chromosome 1AL, 1BL, and 1DL. Using Agrobacterium-mediated transient expression, TaSYP71 was localized to the plasma membrane in Nicotiana benthamiana. Quantitative real-time PCR assays revealed that TaSYP71 homologs was induced by NaCl, H2O2 stress and infection by virulent and avirulent Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst) isolates. Heterologous expression of TaSYP71 in Schizosaccharomyces pombe elevated tolerance to H2O2. Meanwhile, H2O2 scavenging gene (TaCAT) was downregulated in TaSYP71 silenced plants treated by H2O2 compared to that in control, which indicated that TaSYP71 enhanced tolerance to H2O2 stress possibly by influencing the expression of TaCAT to remove the excessive H2O2 accumulation. When TaSYP71 homologs were all silenced in wheat by the virus-induced gene silencing system, wheat plants were more susceptible to Pst, with larger infection area and more haustoria number, but the necrotic area of wheat mesophyll cells were larger, one possible explanation that minor contribution of resistance to Pst was insufficient to hinder pathogen extension when TaSYP71 were silenced, and the necrotic area was enlarged accompanied with the pathogen growth. Of course, later cell death could not be excluded. In addition, the expression of pathogenesis-related genes were down-regulated in TaSYP71 silenced wheat plants. These results together suggest that TaSYP71 play a positive role in wheat defense against Pst.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2016.00544
PMCID: PMC4838636  PMID: 27148348
Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici; wheat; SNARE; plasma membrane; virus-induced gene silencing; resistance; H2O2 tolerance

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