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author:("Wang, mianmin")
1.  MAC: identifying and correcting annotation for multi-nucleotide variations 
BMC Genomics  2015;16(1):569.
Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies have rapidly advanced our understanding of human variation in cancer. To accurately translate the raw sequencing data into practical knowledge, annotation tools, algorithms and pipelines must be developed that keep pace with the rapidly evolving technology. Currently, a challenge exists in accurately annotating multi-nucleotide variants (MNVs). These tandem substitutions, when affecting multiple nucleotides within a single protein codon of a gene, result in a translated amino acid involving all nucleotides in that codon. Most existing variant callers report a MNV as individual single-nucleotide variants (SNVs), often resulting in multiple triplet codon sequences and incorrect amino acid predictions. To correct potentially misannotated MNVs among reported SNVs, a primary challenge resides in haplotype phasing which is to determine whether the neighboring SNVs are co-located on the same chromosome.
Here we describe MAC (Multi-Nucleotide Variant Annotation Corrector), an integrative pipeline developed to correct potentially mis-annotated MNVs. MAC was designed as an application that only requires a SNV file and the matching BAM file as data inputs. Using an example data set containing 3024 SNVs and the corresponding whole-genome sequencing BAM files, we show that MAC identified eight potentially mis-annotated SNVs, and accurately updated the amino acid predictions for seven of the variant calls.
MAC can identify and correct amino acid predictions that result from MNVs affecting multiple nucleotides within a single protein codon, which cannot be handled by most existing SNV-based variant pipelines. The MAC software is freely available and represents a useful tool for the accurate translation of genomic sequence to protein function.
PMCID: PMC4521406  PMID: 26231518
2.  Glioma Association and Balancing Selection of ZFPM2 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0133003.
ZFPM2, encoding a zinc finger protein and abundantly expressed in the brain, uterus and smooth muscles, plays important roles in cardiac and gonadal development. Abnormal expression of ZFPM2 in ovarian tumors and neuroblastoma has been reported but hitherto its genetic association with cancer and effects on gliomas have not been studied. In the present study, the hexamer insertion-deletion polymorphism rs71305152, located within a large haplotype block spanning intron 1 to intron 3 of ZFPM2, was genotyped in Chinese cohorts of glioma (n = 350), non-glioma cancer (n = 354) and healthy control (n = 463) by direct sequencing and length polymorphism in gel electrophoresis, and ZFPM2 expression in glioma tissues (n = 69) of different grades was quantified by real-time RT-PCR. Moreover, potential natural selection pressure acting on the gene was investigated. Disease-association analysis showed that the overall genotype of rs71305152 was significantly associated with gliomas (P = 0.016), and the heterozygous genotype compared to the combined homozygous genotypes was less frequent in gliomas than in controls (P = 0.005) or non-glioma cancers (P = 0.020). ZFPM2 mRNA expression was negatively correlated with the grades of gliomas (P = 0.002), with higher expression levels in the low-grade gliomas. In the astrocytoma subtype, higher ZFPM2 expression was also correlated with the rs71305152 heterozygous genotype (P = 0.028). In addition, summary statistics tests gave highly positive values, demonstrating that the gene is under the influence of balancing selection. These findings suggest that ZFPM2 is a glioma susceptibility gene, its genotype and expression showing associations with incidence and severity, respectively. Moreover, the balancing selection acting on ZFPM2 may be related to the important roles it has to play in multiple organ development or associated disease etiology.
PMCID: PMC4514883  PMID: 26207917
3.  Excessive proliferation and impaired function of primitive hematopoietic cells in bone marrow due to senescence post chemotherapy in a T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia model 
In clinic settings, rel apsed leukemic patients are found to be more fragile to chemotherapy due to delayed or incomplete hematopoietic recovery, and hematopoiesis of these patients seem to be impaired.
We established a leukemia therapy model with a non-irradiated T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia mouse model combined with cytarabine and cyclophosphamide. Dynamic kinetics and functional status of both primitive hematopoietic cells and leukemic cells in a leukemia host under the chemotherapy stress were comprehensively investigated.
We successfully established the leukemia therapy model with T lymphoblastic phenotype. After treatment with cytarabine and cyclophosphamide, the frequency of L−K+S+ hematopoietic cells tides with the therapy, and stabled when the disease remission, then reduced when relapsed, while leukemic cells showed a delayed but consistent regeneration. Combination of chemotherapy significantly promote an early and transient entrance of L−K+S+ hematopoietic cells into active proliferation and induction of apoptosis on L−K+S+ cells in vivo. Moreover, in the competitive bone marrow transplantation assays, hematopoietic cells showed gradually diminished regenerative capacity. Testing of senescence-associated beta-galactosidase (SA-β gal) status showed higher levels in L−K+S+ hematopoietic cells post therapy when compared with the control. Gene expression analysis of hematopoietic primitive cells revealed up-regulated p16, p21, and down-regulated egr1 and fos.
We conclude that primitive hematopoietic cells in bone marrow enter proliferation earlier than leukemic cells after chemotherapy, and gradually lost their regenerative capacity partly by senescence due to accelerated cycling.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12967-015-0543-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4504405  PMID: 26183432
Primitive hematopoietic cells; Leukemia; Chemotherapy; Senescence
4.  Coxsackievirus B3 Engineered To Contain MicroRNA Targets for Muscle-Specific MicroRNAs Displays Attenuated Cardiotropic Virulence in Mice 
Journal of Virology  2014;89(2):908-916.
Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) is trophic for cardiac tissue and is a major causative agent for viral myocarditis, where local viral replication in the heart may lead to heart failure or even death. Recent studies show that inserting microRNA target sequences into the genomes of certain viruses can eradicate these viruses within local host tissues that specifically express the cognate microRNA. Here, we demonstrated both in vitro and in vivo that incorporating target sequences for miRNA-133 and -206 into the 5′ untranslated region of the CVB3 genome ameliorated CVB3 virulence in skeletal muscle and myocardial cells that specifically expressed the cognate cellular microRNAs. Compared to wild-type CVB3, viral replication of the engineered CVB3 was attenuated in human TE671 (rhabdomyosarcoma) and L6 (skeletal muscle) cell lines in vitro that expressed high levels of miRNA-206. In the in vivo murine CVB3-infection model, viral replication of the engineered CVB3 was attenuated specifically in the heart that expressed high levels of both miRNAs, but not in certain tissues, which allowed the host to retain the ability to induce a strong and protective humoral immune response against CVB3. The results of this study suggest that a microRNA-targeting strategy to control CVB3 tissue tropism and pathogenesis may be useful for viral attenuation and vaccine development.
IMPORTANCE Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) is a major causative agent for viral myocarditis, and viral replication in the heart may lead to heart failure or even death. Limiting CVB3 replication within the heart may be a promising strategy to decrease CVB3 pathogenicity. miRNAs are ∼21-nucleotide-long, tissue-specific endogenous small RNA molecules that posttranscriptionally regulate gene expression by imperfectly binding to the 3′ untranslated region (UTR), the 5′ UTR, or the coding region within a gene. In our study, muscle-specific miRNA targets (miRT) were incorporated into the CVB3 genome. Replication of the engineered viruses was restricted in the important heart tissue of infected mice, which reduced cardiac pathology and increased mouse survival. Meanwhile, replication ability was retained in other tissues, thus inducing a strong humoral immune response and providing long-term protection against CVB3 rechallenge. This study suggests that a microRNA-targeting strategy can potentially control CVB3 tissue tropism and pathogenesis and may be useful for viral attenuation and vaccine development.
PMCID: PMC4300646  PMID: 25339771
5.  Mucosal Immunization with the Live Attenuated Vaccine SPY1 Induces Humoral and Th2-Th17-Regulatory T Cell Cellular Immunity and Protects against Pneumococcal Infection 
Infection and Immunity  2014;83(1):90-100.
Mucosal immunization with attenuated vaccine can protect against pneumococcal invasion infection, but the mechanism was unknown. Our study found that mucosal delivery with the live attenuated SPY1 vaccine strain can confer T cell- and B cell-dependent protection against pneumococcal colonization and invasive infection; yet it is still unclear which cell subsets contribute to the protection, and their roles in pneumococcal colonization and invasion remain elusive. Adoptive transfer of anti-SPY1 antibody conferred protection to naive μMT mice, and immune T cells were indispensable to protection examined in nude mice. A critical role of interleukin 17A (IL-17A) in colonization was demonstrated in mice lacking IL-17A, and a vaccine-specific Th2 immune subset was necessary for systemic protection. Of note, we found that SPY1 could stimulate an immunoregulatory response and that SPY1-elicited regulatory T cells participated in protection against colonization and lethal infection. The data presented here aid our understanding of how live attenuated strains are able to function as effective vaccines and may contribute to a more comprehensive evaluation of live vaccines and other mucosal vaccines.
PMCID: PMC4288905  PMID: 25312946
6.  KIAA1199 as a potential diagnostic biomarker of rheumatoid arthritis related to angiogenesis 
Our previous proteomic study on fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) derived from the synovial tissues found that the expression of KIAA1199 was higher in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients than in healthy controls. The aim of this study was to examine the biological function of KIAA1199 and evaluate its clinical diagnosis value in RA.
The over-expression of KIAA1199 was verified by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), Immunohistochemistry, Immunofluorescence and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in inactive and active RA patients and healthy controls. The effect of KIAA1199 expression on FLSs proliferation, angiogenesis and related pathway were analyzed by MTT, cell migration, tube formation, chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay, qPCR and western-blotting after KIAA1199 knockdown and over-expression.
The verification results show the up-regulation of KIAA1199 in RA patients at mRNA and protein level as compared to that in healthy controls. ELISA and receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analysis shows that KIAA1199 concentration in serum, synovial fluid and synovial tissues could be used as dependable biomarkers for the diagnosis of active RA, provided an area under roc curve (AUC) of 0.83, 0.92 and 0.92. Sensitivity and specificity, which were determined by cut-off points, reached 72% 84% and 80% in sensitivity and 80%, 93.3%, 93.3% in specificity, respectively. Moreover, KIAA1199 also enhance the proliferation and angiogenesis of synovial membrane, and KIAA1199/ PLXNB3/ SEMA5A/CTGF axis may be a newly found pathway enhancing cell proliferation and angiogenesis.
KIAA1199 may be a potential diagnostic biomarker of RA related to angiogenesis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13075-015-0637-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4448531  PMID: 26022278
7.  Identification of functional cooperative mutations of SETD2 in human acute leukemia 
Nature genetics  2014;46(3):287-293.
Acute leukemia characterized by chromosomal rearrangements requires additional molecular disruptions to develop into full-blown malignancy1,2, yet the cooperative mechanisms remain elusive. Using whole-genome sequencing of a pair of monozygotic twins discordant for MLL (also called KMT2A) gene-rearranged leukemia, we identified a transforming MLL-NRIP3 fusion gene3 and biallelic mutations in SETD2 (encoding a histone H3K36 methyltransferase)4. Moreover, loss-of-function point mutations in SETD2 were recurrent (6.2%) in 241 patients with acute leukemia and were associated with multiple major chromosomal aberrations. We observed a global loss of H3K36 trimethylation (H3K36me3) in leukemic blasts with mutations in SETD2. In the presence of a genetic lesion, downregulation of SETD2 contributed to both initiation and progression during leukemia development by promoting the self-renewal potential of leukemia stem cells. Therefore, our study provides compelling evidence for SETD2 as a new tumor suppressor. Disruption of the SETD2-H3K36me3 pathway is a distinct epigenetic mechanism for leukemia development.
PMCID: PMC4440318  PMID: 24509477
8.  Antibacterial effects of Traditional Chinese Medicine monomers against Streptococcus pneumoniae via inhibiting pneumococcal histidine kinase (VicK) 
Two-component systems (TCSs) have the potential to be an effective target of the antimicrobials, and thus received much attention in recent years. VicK/VicR is one of TCSs in Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae), which is essential for pneumococcal survival. We have previously obtained several Traditional Chinese Medicine monomers using a computer-based screening. In this study, either alone or in combination with penicillin, their antimicrobial activities were evaluated based on in vivo and in vitro assays. The results showed that the MICs of 5′-(Methylthio)-5′-deoxyadenosine, octanal 2, 4-dinitrophenylhydrazone, deoxyshikonin, kavahin, and dodecyl gallate against S. pneumoniae were 37.1, 38.5, 17, 68.5, and 21 μg/mL, respectively. Time-killing assays showed that these compounds elicited bactericidal effects against S. pneumoniae D39 strain, which led to a 6-log reduction in CFU after exposure to compounds at four times of the MIC for 24 h. The five compounds inhibited the growth of Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus mitis, Streptococcus mutans or Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae, meanwhile, deoxyshikonin and dodecyl gallate displayed strong inhibitory activities against Staphylococcus aureus. These compounds showed no obvious cytotoxicity effects on Vero cells. Survival time of the mice infected by S. pneumoniae strains was prolonged by the treatment with the compounds. Importantly, all of the five compounds exerted antimicrobial effects against multidrug-resistant clinical strains of S. pneumoniae. Moreover, even at sub-MIC concentration, they inhibited cell division and biofilm formation. The five compounds all have enhancement effect on penicillin. Deoxyshikonin and dodecyl gallate showed significantly synergic antimicrobial activity with penicillin in vivo and in vitro, and effectively reduced nasopharyngeal and lung colonization caused by different penicillin-resistant pneumococcal serotypes. In addition, the two compounds also showed synergic antimicrobial activity with erythromycin and tetracycline. Taken together, our results suggest that these novel VicK inhibitors may be promising compounds against the pneumococcus, including penicillin-resistant strains.
PMCID: PMC4438233  PMID: 26042111
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Traditional Chinese Medicine monomer; antimicrobial; histidine kinase; VicK protein
9.  Mouse bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells inhibit leukemia/lymphoma cell proliferation in vitro and in a mouse model of allogeneic bone marrow transplant 
The allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) contributes to the reconstitution of hematopoiesis by ameliorating acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD). However, the role of MSCs in graft-versus-leukemia remains to be determined. In the present study, we co-cultured C57BL/6 mouse bone marrow (BM)-derived MSCs with A20 murine B lymphoma, FBL3 murine erythroleukemia and P388 murine acute lymphocytic leukemia cells. Cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell cycle progression and the amount of cytokine secretion were then measured using a Cell Counting kit-8, Annexin V/propidium iodide staining, flow cytometry and ELISA, respectively. We also established a model of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) using BALB/c mice. Following the administration of A20 cells and MSCs, we recorded the symptoms and the survival of the mice for 4 weeks, assessed the T cell subsets present in peripheral blood, and, after the mice were sacrifice, we determined the infiltration of MSCs into the organs by histological staining. Our results revealed that the MSCs inhibited the proliferation of the mouse lymphoma and leukemia cells in vitro, leading to cell cycle arrest and reducing the secretion of interleukin (IL)-10. In our model of allogeneic BMT, the intravenous injection of MSCs into the mice injected wth A20 cells decreased the incidence of lymphoma, improved survival, increased the fraction of CD3+CD8+ T cells, decreased the fraction of CD3+CD4+ T cells and CD4+CD25+ T cells in peripheral blood, and ameliorated the manifestation of aGVHD. The results from the present study indicate that MSCs may be safe and effective when used in allogeneic BMT for the treatment of hemotological malignancies.
PMCID: PMC4494598  PMID: 25901937
bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells; leukemia; lymphoma; bone marrow transplantation; apoptosis; cell cycle
10.  Intracystic papillary carcinoma of breast: interrelationship with in situ and invasive carcinoma and a proposal of pathogenesis: array comparative genomic hybridization study of 14 cases 
Classifying intracystic papillary carcinoma under invasive or in situ ductal carcinoma is still a matter of debate. The purpose of this study is to explore the genomic relationship of this tumor to its concurrent invasive ductal carcinoma and ductal carcinoma in situ using array comparative genomic hybridization. Intracystic papillary carcinoma cases were classified into three categories: pure, with concurrent ductal carcinoma in situ, or with concurrent invasive ductal carcinoma. Each component was dissected using laser capture microdissection. DNA was extracted and array comparative genomic hybridization was performed. The test of difference in copy number changes among the three tumors was carried out using CGHMultiArray. Intracystic papillary carcinoma clustered with 4 of 5 concurrent ductal carcinoma in situ cases and with 2 of 2 invasive ductal carcinoma cases. Intracystic papillary carcinoma showed the highest proportions of genome copy number aberration, followed by ductal carcinoma in situ then by invasive ductal carcinoma (p=0.06). Comparing intracystic papillary carcinoma with invasive ductal carcinoma vs. without invasive ductal carcinoma, the former had 11q22.1 to 11q23.3 loss (p=0.031) and chr5 gain (p=0.085) and enriched with matrix metalloproteinase genes. Comparing intracystic papillary carcinoma with ductal carcinoma in situ vs. without ductal carcinoma in situ, the former had gain in 5q35.3 (p=0.041), 8q24.3 (p=0.041), and 21q13.2 to 21q13.31 (p=0.011). Comparing intracystic papillary carcinoma with ductal carcinoma in situ, the latter acquired a group of genes involved in cell adhesion and motility, while intracystic papillary carcinoma differentially expressed genes that are involved in papillary carcinomas of other organs (thyroid and kidney). We conclude that the overall molecular change in intracystic papillary carcinoma is closer to ductal carcinoma in situ than to invasive ductal carcinoma, which may explain the indolent behavior of this tumor. We offer herein a proposal of intracystic papillary carcinoma pathogenesis through its relation to invasive ductal carcinoma and ductal carcinoma in situ.
PMCID: PMC4389629  PMID: 23907150
intracystic papillary carcinoma; pathogenesis; array comparative genomic hybridization
11.  Nrf2 amplifies oxidative stress via induction of Klf9 
Molecular cell  2014;53(6):916-928.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) activate NF-E2-related transcription factor 2 (Nrf2), a key transcriptional regulator driving antioxidant gene expression and protection from oxidant injury. Here we report that in response to elevation of intracellular ROS above a critical threshold, Nrf2 stimulates expression of transcription Kruppel-like factor 9 (Klf9), resulting in further Klf9-dependent increases in ROS and subsequent cell death. We demonstrated that Klf9 independently causes increased ROS levels in various types of cultured cells and in mouse tissues and is required for pathogenesis of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice. Mechanistically, Klf9 binds to the promoters and alters the expression of several genes involved in the metabolism of ROS, including suppression of thioredoxin reductase 2, an enzyme participating in ROS clearance. Our data reveal an Nrf2-dependent feed-forward regulation of ROS and identify Klf9 as a novel ubiquitous regulator of oxidative stress and lung injury.
PMCID: PMC4049522  PMID: 24613345
12.  Structural variation discovery in the cancer genome using next generation sequencing: Computational solutions and perspectives 
Oncotarget  2015;6(8):5477-5489.
Somatic Structural Variations (SVs) are a complex collection of chromosomal mutations that could directly contribute to carcinogenesis. Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology has emerged as the primary means of interrogating the SVs of the cancer genome in recent investigations. Sophisticated computational methods are required to accurately identify the SV events and delineate their breakpoints from the massive amounts of reads generated by a NGS experiment. In this review, we provide an overview of current analytic tools used for SV detection in NGS-based cancer studies. We summarize the features of common SV groups and the primary types of NGS signatures that can be used in SV detection methods. We discuss the principles and key similarities and differences of existing computational programs and comment on unresolved issues related to this research field. The aim of this article is to provide a practical guide of relevant concepts, computational methods, software tools and important factors for analyzing and interpreting NGS data for the detection of SVs in the cancer genome.
PMCID: PMC4467381  PMID: 25849937
structural variation; next generation sequencing; cancer genome analysis; somatic mutation
13.  Efficacy and safety of decitabine in combination with G-CSF, low-dose cytarabine and aclarubicin in newly diagnosed elderly patients with acute myeloid leukemia 
Oncotarget  2015;6(8):6448-6458.
This prospective phase II, open label, study was designed to assess the efficacy and safety of D-CAG induction treatment for elderly patients with newly diagnosed AML.
Experimental Design
All patients in this study were treated with decitabine of 15 mg/m2 for 5 days and G-CSF for priming, in combination with cytarabine of 10-mg/m2 q12h for 7 days and aclarubicin of 10 mg/day for 4 days (D-CAG).
Among 85 evaluable patients, overall response rate (ORR) and complete remission (CR) were 82.4% and 64.7%, respectively, after 1 cycle of therapy. The ORR in patients aged <70 years was 83.0% and 81.6% in patients aged ≥70 years. There was a significantly longer median overall survival (OS) in patients with response (16 months) than in those without response (7 months, p< 0.0001). The OS for patients aged ≥70 years and 60-69 years was 10 months and 12 months, respectively (p=0.4994). The two-year OS probability was 19.2% and the twenty-month survival rate was 33.8%. Induction mortality of D-CAG treated elderly patients with AML is 4.4%.
D-CAG regimen was well tolerated and showed a promising clinic efficacy in elderly patients with AML (≥70 years).
PMCID: PMC4467448  PMID: 25749041
D-CAG; elderly patients; AML
14.  SCNVSim: somatic copy number variation and structure variation simulator 
BMC Bioinformatics  2015;16(1):66.
Somatically acquired structure variations (SVs) and copy number variations (CNVs) can induce genetic changes that are directly related to tumor genesis. Somatic SV/CNV detection using next-generation sequencing (NGS) data still faces major challenges introduced by tumor sample characteristics, such as ploidy, heterogeneity, and purity. A simulated cancer genome with known SVs and CNVs can serve as a benchmark for evaluating the performance of existing somatic SV/CNV detection tools and developing new methods.
SCNVSim is a tool for simulating somatic CNVs and structure variations SVs. Other than multiple types of SV and CNV events, the tool is capable of simulating important features related to tumor samples including aneuploidy, heterogeneity and purity.
SCNVSim generates the genomes of a cancer cell population with detailed information of copy number status, loss of heterozygosity (LOH), and event break points, which is essential for developing and evaluating somatic CNV and SV detection methods in cancer genomics studies.
PMCID: PMC4349766  PMID: 25886838
15.  High expression of neuroguidin increases the sensitivity of acute myeloid leukemia cells to chemotherapeutic drugs 
Neuroguidin (NGDN) is a eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E binding protein. The purpose of this study was to clarify the function of NGDN and its possible mechanism of action in human myeloid leukemia cells. Proliferation inhibition and apoptosis in NGDN over-expressing myeloid multidrug-resistant leukemia cells (K562/A02-NGDN) was significantly higher than in control K562/A02 cells following treatment with vincristine, etoposide, and epirubicin, indicating that NGDN over-expression can increase the sensitivity of multidrug-resistant leukemia cells to chemotherapeutic drugs. Furthermore, NGDN knock-down in K562/A02 cells resulted in the activation of multiple tumor-related signaling pathways, especially the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13045-015-0108-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4340276  PMID: 25887473
Neuroguidin; Acute myeloid leukemia; Multidrug-resistant; Chemotherapeutic drug; mTOR
16.  A Large Scale, Ion Current based Proteomics Investigation of Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients 
Journal of proteome research  2013;13(2):627-639.
Proteomic analysis of bronchoalveolarBlavageBfluid (BALF) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients may provide new biomarkers and deeper understanding of the disease mechanisms but remains challenging. Here we describe an ionBcurrentBbased strategy for comparative analysis of BALF proteomes from patients with moderate and stable COPD vs. healthy controls. The strategy includes an efficient preparation procedure providing quantitative recovery and a nanoBLC/MS analysis with a long, heated column. Under optimized conditions, high efficiency and reproducibility were achieved for each step, enabling a “20Bplex” comparison of clinical subjects (n=10/group). Without depletion/fractionation, a total of 423 unique protein groups were quantified under stringent criteria with at least two quantifiable peptides. SeventyBsix proteins were determined as significantlyBaltered in COPD, which represent a diversity of biological processes such as alcohol metabolic process, gluconeogenesis/glycolysis, inflammatory response, proteolysis, and oxidation reduction. Interestingly, altered alcohol metabolism responding to oxidant stress is a novel observation in COPD. The prominently elevated key enzymes involved in alcohol metabolism (e.g. ADH1B, ALDH2&ALDH3A1) may provide a reasonable explanation for a bewildering observation in COPD patients known for decades: the underestimation of the blood alcohol concentrations through breath tests. These discoveries could provide new insights for identifying novel biomarkers and pathological mediators in clinical studies.
PMCID: PMC4073647  PMID: 24188068
Biomarker Discovery; Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid; Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Peptide Extracted Ion Current
17.  Top2a identifies and provides epigenetic rationale for novel combination therapeutic strategies for aggressive prostate cancer 
Oncotarget  2014;6(5):3136-3146.
Progression of aggressive prostate cancers (PCa) with androgen receptor splice variants or neuroendrocrine features is currently untreatable in the clinic. Therefore novel therapies are urgently required. We conducted RNA-seq using tumors from a unique murine transplant mouse model which spontaneously progresses to metastatic disease. Differential gene expression analysis revealed a significant increase of topoisomerase IIα, Top2a (Top2a) in metastatic tumors. Interrogation of human data revealed that increased Top2a expression in primary tumors selected patients with more aggressive disease. Further, significant positive correlation was observed between Top2a and the histone methyltransferase, Ezh2. Combination of the Top2 poison etoposide with the Ezh2 inhibitor GSK126 or DZNep significantly increased cell death in vitro in murine and human prostate cancer cell lines. Additionally, combination therapy extended time to progression and increased therapeutic efficacy in vivo. Overall, our studies demonstrate that patients screened for Top2a and Ezh2 expression would exhibit significant response to a combinational treatment involving low dose etoposide combined with Ezh2 inhibition. In addition, our data suggests that this combination therapeutic strategy is beneficial against aggressive PCa, and provides strong rationale for continued clinical development.
PMCID: PMC4413643  PMID: 25605014
Top2a; etoposide; epigenetics; Ezh2; prostate cancer; therapy
18.  Targeting Oxidative Stress in Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma 
Cancer cell  2013;24(6):710-724.
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a soft-tissue sarcoma with molecular and cellular features of developing skeletal muscle. Rhabdomyosarcoma has two major histological subtypes, embryonal and alveolar, each with distinct clinical, molecular, and genetic features. Genomic analysis show that embryonal tumors have more structural and copy number variations than alveolar tumors. Mutations in the RAS/NF1 pathway are significantly associated with intermediate- and high-risk embryonal rhabdomyosarcomas (ERMS). In contrast, alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) have fewer genetic lesions overall and no known recurrently mutated cancer consensus genes. To identify therapeutics for ERMS, we developed and characterized orthotopic xenografts of tumors that were sequenced in our study. High throughput screening of primary cultures derived from those xenografts identified oxidative stress as a pathway of therapeutic relevance for ERMS.
PMCID: PMC3904731  PMID: 24332040
19.  Mediastinal Lymph Node Dissection versus Mediastinal Lymph Node Sampling for Early Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e109979.
This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the overall survival, local recurrence, distant metastasis, and complications of mediastinal lymph node dissection (MLND) versus mediastinal lymph node sampling (MLNS) in stage I–IIIA non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.
A systematic search of published literature was conducted using the main databases (MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases) to identify relevant randomized controlled trials that compared MLND vs. MLNS in NSCLC patients. Methodological quality of included randomized controlled trials was assessed according to the criteria from the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Review of Interventions (Version 5.1.0). Meta-analysis was performed using The Cochrane Collaboration’s Review Manager 5.3. The results of the meta-analysis were expressed as hazard ratio (HR) or risk ratio (RR), with their corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI).
We included results reported from six randomized controlled trials, with a total of 1,791 patients included in the primary meta-analysis. Compared to MLNS in NSCLC patients, there was no statistically significant difference in MLND on overall survival (HR = 0.77, 95% CI 0.55 to 1.08; P = 0.13). In addition, the results indicated that local recurrence rate (RR = 0.93, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.28; P = 0.67), distant metastasis rate (RR = 0.88, 95% CI 0.74 to 1.04; P = 0.15), and total complications rate (RR = 1.10, 95% CI 0.67 to 1.79; P = 0.72) were similar, no significant difference found between the two groups.
Results for overall survival, local recurrence rate, and distant metastasis rate were similar between MLND and MLNS in early stage NSCLC patients. There was no evidence that MLND increased complications compared with MLNS. Whether or not MLND is superior to MLNS for stage II–IIIA remains to be determined.
PMCID: PMC4190366  PMID: 25296033
20.  A simple model clarifies the complicated relationships of complex networks 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6197.
Real-world networks such as the Internet and WWW have many common traits. Until now, hundreds of models were proposed to characterize these traits for understanding the networks. Because different models used very different mechanisms, it is widely believed that these traits origin from different causes. However, we find that a simple model based on optimisation can produce many traits, including scale-free, small-world, ultra small-world, Delta-distribution, compact, fractal, regular and random networks. Moreover, by revising the proposed model, the community-structure networks are generated. By this model and the revised versions, the complicated relationships of complex networks are illustrated. The model brings a new universal perspective to the understanding of complex networks and provide a universal method to model complex networks from the viewpoint of optimisation.
PMCID: PMC4145283  PMID: 25160506
21.  Dysfunction of Bone Marrow Vascular Niche in Acute Graft-Versus-Host Disease after MHC-Haploidentical Bone Marrow Transplantation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104607.
Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGvHD) is the most common complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), which is often accompanied by impaired hematopoietic reconstitution. Sinusoidal endothelial cells (SECs) constitute bone marrow (BM) vascular niche that plays an important role in supporting self-renewal capacity and maintaining the stability of HSC pool. Here we provide evidences that vascular niche is a target of aGvHD in a major histocompatibility complex (MHC)–haploidentical matched murine HSCT model. The results demonstrated that hematopoietic cells derived from GvHD mice had the capacity to reconstitute hematopoiesis in healthy recipient mice. However, hematopoietic cells from healthy donor mice failed to reconstitute hematopoiesis in GvHD recipient mice, indicating that the BM niche was impaired by aGvHD in this model. We further demonstrated that SECs were markedly reduced in the BM of aGvHD mice. High level of Fas and caspase-3 expression and high rate of apoptosis were identified in SECs, indicating that SECs were destroyed by aGvHD in this murine HSCT model. Furthermore, high Fas ligand expression on engrafted donor CD4+, but not CD8+ T cells, and high level MHC-II but not MHC-I expression on SECs, suggested that SECs apoptosis was mediated by CD4+ donor T cells through the Fas/FasL pathway.
PMCID: PMC4131885  PMID: 25119573
22.  Recurrent Somatic Structural Variations Contribute to Tumorigenesis in Pediatric Osteosarcoma 
Cell reports  2014;7(1):104-112.
Osteosarcoma is a neoplasm of mesenchymal origin with features of osteogenic differentiation. Patients with recurrent or metastatic disease have a very poor prognosis. To define the landscape of somatic mutations in pediatric osteosarcoma, we performed whole-genome sequencing of DNA from 20 osteosarcoma tumor samples and matched normal tissue (obtained from 19 patients) in the discovery cohort as well as 14 samples from 13 patients in the validation cohort. Our results demonstrate that pediatric osteosarcoma is characterized by multiple somatic chromosomal lesions, including structural variations (SVs) and copy number alterations (CNAs). Moreover, single nucleotide variations (SNVs) exhibit a pattern of localized hypermutation called “kataegis” in 50% of the tumors. Despite these regions of kataegis across the osteosarcoma genomes, we detected relatively few recurrent SNVs, and only when SVs were included did we identify the major pathways that are mutated in osteosarcoma. We identified p53 pathway lesions in all 19 patient’s tumors in the discovery cohort, 9 of which were translocations in the first intron of the TP53 gene, leading to gene inactivation. This mechanism of p53 gene inactivation is unique to osteosarcoma among pediatric cancers. In an additional cohort of 32 patients, TP53 gene alterations were identified in 29 of those tumors. Beyond TP53, the RB1, ATRX and DLG2 genes showed recurrent somatic alterations (SNVs and/or SVs) in 29–53% of the tumors. These data highlight the power of whole-genome sequencing in identifying recurrent somatic alterations in cancer genomes that may be missed using other methods.
PMCID: PMC4096827  PMID: 24703847
23.  Thymic Damage, Impaired Negative Selection, and Development of Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease Caused by Donor CD4+ and CD8+ T Cells 
Prevention of chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) remains a major challenge in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), due to limited understanding of cGVHD pathogenesis and lack of appropriate animal models. Here, we report that, in classical acute GVHD models with C57BL/6 donors and MHC-mismatched BALB/c recipients and with C3H.SW donors and MHC-matched C57BL/6 recipients, GVHD recipients surviving for more than 60 days after HCT developed cGVHD characterized by cutaneous fibrosis, tissue damage in the salivary gland and the presence of serum autoantibodies. Donor CD8+ T cells were more potent than CD4+ T cells for inducing cGVHD. The recipient thymus and de novo-generated, donor-derived CD4+ T cells were required for induction of cGVHD by donor CD8+ T cells but not by donor CD4+ T cells. Donor CD8+ T cells preferentially damaged recipient medullary thymic epithelial cells and impaired negative selection, resulting in production of autoreactive CD4+ T cells that perpetuated damage to the thymus and augmented the development of cGVHD. Short-term anti-CD4 monoclonal antibody treatment early after HCT enabled recovery from thymic damage and prevented cGVHD. These results demonstrate that donor CD8+ T cells cause cGVHD solely through thymic-dependent mechanisms, while CD4+ T cells can cause cGVHD through either thymic-dependent or independent mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC3746979  PMID: 23709681
24.  A Genome-Wide RNAi Screen Identifies FOXO4 as a Metastasis-Suppressor through Counteracting PI3K/AKT Signal Pathway in Prostate Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e101411.
Activation of the PI3K/AKT signal pathway is a known driving force for the progression to castration-recurrent prostate cancer (CR-CaP), which constitutes the major lethal phenotype of CaP. Here, we identify using a genomic shRNA screen the PI3K/AKT-inactivating downstream target, FOXO4, as a potential CaP metastasis suppressor. FOXO4 protein levels inversely correlate with the invasive potential of a panel of human CaP cell lines, with decreased mRNA levels correlating with increased incidence of clinical metastasis. Knockdown (KD) of FOXO4 in human LNCaP cells causes increased invasion in vitro and lymph node (LN) metastasis in vivo without affecting indices of proliferation or apoptosis. Increased Matrigel invasiveness was found by KD of FOXO1 but not FOXO3. Comparison of differentially expressed genes affected by FOXO4-KD in LNCaP cells in culture, in primary tumors and in LN metastases identified a panel of upregulated genes, including PIP, CAMK2N1, PLA2G16 and PGC, which, if knocked down by siRNA, could decrease the increased invasiveness associated with FOXO4 deficiency. Although only some of these genes encode FOXO promoter binding sites, they are all RUNX2-inducible, and RUNX2 binding to the PIP promoter is increased in FOXO4-KD cells. Indeed, the forced expression of FOXO4 reversed the increased invasiveness of LNCaP/shFOXO4 cells; the forced expression of FOXO4 did not alter RUNX2 protein levels, yet it decreased RUNX2 binding to the PIP promoter, resulting in PIP downregulation. Finally, there was a correlation between FOXO4, but not FOXO1 or FOXO3, downregulation and decreased metastasis-free survival in human CaP patients. Our data strongly suggest that increased PI3K/AKT-mediated metastatic invasiveness in CaP is associated with FOXO4 loss, and that mechanisms to induce FOXO4 re-expression might suppress CaP metastatic aggressiveness.
PMCID: PMC4077825  PMID: 24983969
25.  Class I ADP-Ribosylation Factors Are Involved in Enterovirus 71 Replication 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99768.
Enterovirus 71 is one of the major causative agents of hand, foot, and mouth disease in infants and children. Replication of enterovirus 71 depends on host cellular factors. The viral replication complex is formed in novel, cytoplasmic, vesicular compartments. It has not been elucidated which cellular pathways are hijacked by the virus to create these vesicles. Here, we investigated whether proteins associated with the cellular secretory pathway were involved in enterovirus 71 replication. We used a loss-of-function assay, based on small interfering RNA. We showed that enterovirus 71 RNA replication was dependent on the activity of Class I ADP-ribosylation factors. Simultaneous depletion of ADP-ribosylation factors 1 and 3, but not three others, inhibited viral replication in cells. We also demonstrated with various techniques that the brefeldin-A-sensitive guanidine nucleotide exchange factor, GBF1, was critically important for enterovirus 71 replication. Our results suggested that enterovirus 71 replication depended on GBF1-mediated activation of Class I ADP-ribosylation factors. These results revealed a connection between enterovirus 71 replication and the cellular secretory pathway; this pathway may represent a novel target for antiviral therapies.
PMCID: PMC4049829  PMID: 24911624

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