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1.  Prevalence of major cardiovascular risk factors and adverse risk profiles among three ethnic groups in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China 
Background
Prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors have been scarcely studied in Xinjiang, a multi-ethnic region.
Methods
Multi-ethnic, cross-sectional cardiovascular risk survey study in Xinjiang, including individuals of Uygur (n = 4695), Han (n = 3717) and Kazakh (n = 3196) ethnicities, aged 35-74 years. Analyses involved 11,608 participants with complete data enrolled between October 2007 and March 2010.
Results
There were differences in age-standardized prevalence of CVD risk factors between the three groups (all P < 0.001). Hypertension, obesity and smoking rates were higher among Kazakh (54.6%, 24.5%, and 35.8%, respectively). Dyslipidemia prevalence was higher among Uygur (54.3%), and diabetes prevalence was higher among Hans (7.1%). Age-standardized prevalence of adverse CVD risk profiles was different across different ethnicities. Compared with the Han participants, the Uygur and Kazakh had more CVD risk factors (P < 0.001). Compared with the Han participants, the adjusted odds ratios of 1, 2, and ≥3 risk factors profiles for Kazakh and Uygur participants were higher (all P < 0.001).
Conclusions
The present study showed the pervasive burden of CVD risk factors in all participant groups in the Xinjiang region. Three major ethnic groups living in Xinjiang had striking differences in the prevalence of major CVD risk factors and adverse risk profiles. Ethnic-specific strategies should be developed to prevent CVD in different ethnic groups, as well as to develop strategies to prevent future development of adverse CVD risk factors at a younger age.
doi:10.1186/1476-511X-12-185
PMCID: PMC3866600  PMID: 24341701
Cardiovascular disease; Risk factors; Disparities; Ethnicity; Epidemiology
2.  Genome-wide association study in Han Chinese identifies four new susceptibility loci for coronary artery disease 
Nature genetics  2012;44(8):890-894.
We performed a meta-analysis of 2 genome-wide association studies of coronary artery disease comprising 1,515 cases with coronary artery disease and 5,019 controls, followed by de novo replication studies in 15,460 cases and 11,472 controls, all of Chinese Han descent. We successfully identified four new loci for coronary artery disease reaching genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8), which mapped in or near TTC32-WDR35, GUCY1A3, C6orf10-BTNL2 and ATP2B1. We also replicated four loci previously identified in European populations (PHACTR1, TCF21, CDKN2A/B and C12orf51). These findings provide new insights into biological pathways for the susceptibility of coronary artery disease in Chinese Han population.
doi:10.1038/ng.2337
PMCID: PMC3927410  PMID: 22751097
3.  Prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of dyslipidemia among adults in Northwestern China: the cardiovascular risk survey 
Aim
The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of dyslipidemia in Xinjiang, China.
Method
Stratified sampling method was used to select a representative sample of the general population including Chinese Han, Uygur, and Kazak in this geographic area. Seven cities were chosen. Based on the government records of registered residences, one participant was randomly selected from each household. The eligibility criterion for the study was ≥ 35 years of age.
Results
A total of 14,618 participants (5,757 Han, 4,767 Uygur, and 4,094 Kazak), were randomly selected from 26 villages in 7 cities. The prevalence of dyslipidemia was 52.72% in the all participants. The prevalence of dyslipidemia was higher in Han than that in the other two ethnic (58.58% in Han, 48.27% in Uygur, and 49.60% in Kazak, P < 0.000). The prevalence of dyslipidemia was higher in men than that in women (56.4% vs. 49.3%, P < 0.000). Among the participants with dyslipidemia, the proportion of those who aware, treat, control of dyslipidemia were 53.67%, 22.51%, 17.09% in Han, 42.19%, 27.78%, 16.20% in Uygur, 37.02%, 21.11%, 17.77% in Kazak.
Conclusion
Dyslipidemia is highly prevalent in Xinjiang. The proportion of participants with dyslipidemia who were aware, treated, and controlled is unacceptably low. These results underscore the urgent need to develop national strategies to improve the prevention, detection, and treatment of dyslipidemia in Xinjiang.
doi:10.1186/1476-511X-13-4
PMCID: PMC3895843  PMID: 24393232
Dyslipidemia; Prevalence; Awareness; Treatment; Control
4.  Expression and Methylation of Mitochondrial Transcription Factor A in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients with Lung Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82739.
Background
Apoptosis plays a central role in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and this process can be regulated by mitochondrial transcription factor A (mtTFA). Epigenetics is involved in the regulation and modification of the genes involved in lung cancer and COPD. In this study, we determined the expression of mtTFA and its methylation levels in the COPD patients with lung cancer.
Methods
Twenty-one squamous cell lung cancer patients, 11 with COPD and 10 without COPD, undergoing pneumonectomy were enrolled. The apoptotic index (AI) of pulmonary vascular endothelial cells was analyzed by transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate-biotin nick end labeling assay. The expression of mtTFA mRNA and protein was measured using PCR, immunohistochemistry and Western-blot. Methylation of the mtTFA promoter was detected using bisulfite sequencing PCR.
Results
Compared to the non-COPD group, the AI was higher, and expression of mtTFA mRNA and protein was lower in the COPD group (P<0.001). Expression of the mtTFA protein was positively correlated with FEV1/Pre (r = 0.892, P<0.001), and negatively correlated with AI (r = −0.749, P<0.001) and smoke index (r = −0.763, P<0.001). Percentage of mtTFA promoter methylation in the COPD patients was significantly higher compared to the non-COPD patients (P<0.05).
Conclusion
These results suggest that the expression of mtTFA mRNA and protein is down-regulated in the lung tissue from the COPD patients with squamous cell lung cancer, and the level of mtTFA protein is related to apoptosis of pulmonary vascular endothelial cells. Aberrant mtTFA methylation may also play an important role in the pathogenesis of COPD.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082739
PMCID: PMC3867397  PMID: 24367550
5.  Appropriate Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference Cutoffs for Categorization of Overweight and Central Adiposity among Uighur Adults in Xinjiang 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80185.
Objective
The current overweight and central adiposity guidelines based on Western populations were not consistent with many studied based on the Asian populations. Uighur people live in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region which is located in the center of Asia. Their overweight and central cutoffs were largely unknown. We aimed to identify cutoffs for body mass index (BMI; in kg/m2) and waist circumference (WC; in cm) for categorization of overweight and central adiposity among Uighur adults in Xinjiang.
Methods
4767 Uighur participants were selected from the Cardiovascular Risk Survey (CRS) which was carried out from October 2007 to March 2010. The age of the participants were from 35 to 101 years old with the mean age of 50.09 years. Anthropometric data, blood pressure, serum concentration of serum total cholesterol, triglyceride, low density lipoprotein (LDL), high density lipoprotein (HDL) and fasting glucose were documented. The prevalence, sensitivity, specificity and distance on the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of each BMI and waist circumference values were calculated.
Results
The prevalence of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia were higher with higher BMI for both men and women. The prevalence of hypertension and hypercholesterolemia were higher with higher waist circumference for both men and women. In women, the prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia was noticed to increase as the waist circumference increased. The shortest distance in the receiver operating characteristic curves for hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, or ≥ 2 of these risk factors suggested a BMI cutoff of 26 and a waist circumference cutoff of 90 cm for both men and women.
Conclusions
Higher cutoffs for BMI and waist circumference are needed in the identification of Uighur patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080185
PMCID: PMC3820640  PMID: 24244645
6.  Treatment with chicken-egg-white or whole-egg extracts maintains and enhances the survival and differentiation of spleen cells 
Cytotechnology  2012;64(5):541-551.
The identification of egg extracts with the ability to maintain and enhance the survival and differentiation of cells would be widely useful in cellular biology research. In this study, we compared the different abilities of spleen cells to survive and differentiate in vivo after permeabilization by five different types of egg extracts. Five types of egg extracts were prepared. The spleen cells from male GFP-transgenic mice were permeabilized by the extracts for 30 min, cultured for 12 days, and then transfused into irradiated female mice. At varying days after transplantation, the percentage of GFP-expressing surviving spleen cells was detected in the peripheral blood by flow cytometry. At 120 days after transplantation, bone marrow cells from the female mice were analyzed for the presence of cells containing the Y chromosome. Surviving GFP-positive spleen cells that had been permeabilized with either chicken-egg-white or whole-egg extracts could be detected in the female mice after transplantation. A lower percentage of GFP-positive cells was also detected after permeabilization by the other extracts tested, and no GFP-positive cells were found in the female mouse transfused with spleen cells permeabilized with Hank’s Buffered Salt Solution (HBSS) as a control. At 120 days after transplantation, the percentage of cells containing a Y chromosome in the bone marrow positively correlated with the percentage of GFP-positive cells in the peripheral blood. After permeabilization by chicken-egg-white or whole-egg extracts, spleen cells demonstrated significantly enhanced survival and differentiation functions compared with the spleen cells treated with the other egg extracts tested. These results show that chicken-egg-white and whole-egg extracts have roles in maintaining and enhancing the survival and differentiation of spleen cells. Therefore, these two types of extracts may be of future use in maintaining the function of stem cells.
doi:10.1007/s10616-012-9431-8
PMCID: PMC3432533  PMID: 22350684
GFP-transgenic mice; Spleen cells; Extracts; Cell survival; Cell differentiation
7.  In vivo MRI tracking of iron oxide nanoparticle-labeled human mesenchymal stem cells in limb ischemia 
Background
Stem cell transplantation has been investigated for repairing damaged tissues in various injury models. Monitoring the safety and fate of transplanted cells using noninvasive methods is important to advance this technique into clinical applications.
Methods
In this study, lower-limb ischemia models were generated in nude mice by femoral artery ligation. As negative-contrast agents, positively charged magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (aminopropyltriethoxysilane-coated Fe2O3) were investigated in terms of in vitro labeling efficiency, effects on human mesenchymal stromal cell (hMSC) proliferation, and in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) visualization. Ultimately, the mice were sacrificed for histological analysis three weeks after transplantation.
Results
With efficient labeling, aminopropyltriethoxysilane-modified magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (APTS-MNPs) did not significantly affect hMSC proliferation. In vivo, APTS-MNP-labeled hMSCs could be monitored by clinical 3 Tesla MRI for at least three weeks. Histological examination detected numerous migrated Prussian blue-positive cells, which was consistent with the magnetic resonance images. Some migrated Prussian blue-positive cells were positive for mature endothelial cell markers of von Willebrand factor and anti-human proliferating cell nuclear antigen. In the test groups, Prussian blue-positive nanoparticles, which could not be found in other organs, were detected in the spleen.
Conclusion
APTS-MNPs could efficiently label hMSCs, and clinical 3 Tesla MRI could monitor the labeled stem cells in vivo, which may provide a new approach for the in vivo monitoring of implanted cells.
doi:10.2147/IJN.S42578
PMCID: PMC3598527  PMID: 23515426
hind-limb ischemia; magnetic resonance imaging; iron oxide particles; stem cell implant
8.  The Interleukin 3 Gene (IL3) Contributes to Human Brain Volume Variation by Regulating Proliferation and Survival of Neural Progenitors 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e50375.
One of the most significant evolutionary changes underlying the highly developed cognitive abilities of humans is the greatly enlarged brain volume. In addition to being far greater than in most other species, the volume of the human brain exhibits extensive variation and distinct sexual dimorphism in the general population. However, little is known about the genetic mechanisms underlying normal variation as well as the observed sex difference in human brain volume. Here we show that interleukin-3 (IL3) is strongly associated with brain volume variation in four genetically divergent populations. We identified a sequence polymorphism (rs31480) in the IL3 promoter which alters the expression of IL3 by affecting the binding affinity of transcription factor SP1. Further analysis indicated that IL3 and its receptors are continuously expressed in the developing mouse brain, reaching highest levels at postnatal day 1–4. Furthermore, we found IL3 receptor alpha (IL3RA) was mainly expressed in neural progenitors and neurons, and IL3 could promote proliferation and survival of the neural progenitors. The expression level of IL3 thus played pivotal roles in the expansion and maintenance of the neural progenitor pool and the number of surviving neurons. Moreover, we found that IL3 activated both estrogen receptors, but estrogen didn’t directly regulate the expression of IL3. Our results demonstrate that genetic variation in the IL3 promoter regulates human brain volume and reveals novel roles of IL3 in regulating brain development.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050375
PMCID: PMC3511536  PMID: 23226269
9.  Long-term MRI tracking of dual-labeled adipose-derived stem cells homing into mouse carotid artery injury 
Background
Stem cell therapy has shown great promise for regenerative repair of injured or diseased tissues. Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) have become increasingly attractive candidates for cellular therapy. Magnetic resonance imaging has been proven to be effective in tracking magnetic-labeled cells and evaluating their clinical relevance after cell transplantation. This study investigated the feasibility of imaging green fluorescent protein-expressing ADSCs (GFP-ADSCs) labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide particles, and tracked them in vivo with noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging after cell transplantation in a model of mouse carotid artery injury.
Methods
GFP-ADSCs were isolated from the adipose tissues of GFP mice and labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide particles. Intracellular stability, proliferation, and viability of the labeled cells were evaluated in vitro. Next, the cells were transplanted into a mouse carotid artery injury model. Clinical 3 T magnetic resonance imaging was performed immediately before and 1, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 30 days after cell transplantation. Prussian blue staining and histological analysis were performed 7 and 30 days after transplantation.
Results
GFP-ADSCs were found to be efficiently labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide particles, with no effect on viability and proliferation. Homing of the labeled cells into the injured carotid artery tissue could be monitored by magnetic resonance imaging.
Conclusion
Magnetically labeled ADSCs with expression of GFP can home into sites of vascular injury, and may provide new insights into understanding of cell-based therapy for cardiovascular lesions.
doi:10.2147/IJN.S35647
PMCID: PMC3487538  PMID: 23125528
adipose-derived stem cells; carotid artery injury; magnetic resonance imaging; iron oxide particles; cell therapy
10.  Serum Uric Acid Levels Are Associated with Polymorphism in the SAA1 Gene in Chinese Subjects 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e40263.
Objective
Serum uric acid (SUA) is a cardiovascular risk marker associated with inflammation. The serum amyloid A protein (SAA) is an inflammatory factor and is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, the relationship between genetic polymorphisms of SAA and SUA levels has not been studied. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between SUA levels and SAA genetic polymorphisms.
Methods
All participants were selected from subjects participating in the Cardiovascular Risk Survey (CRS) study. The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs12218 of the SAA1 gene was genotyped by using the polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method. The association of SUA levels with genotypes was assessed by using the general liner mode.
Results
The SNP rs12218 was associated with SUA levels by analyses of a dominate model (P = 0.002) and additive model (P = 0.005), and the difference remained significant after adjustment of sex, age, obesity, ethnicity, HDL-C, alcohol intake, smoking, and creatinine (P = 0.006 and P = 0.023, respectively). The TT genotype was associated with an increased SUA concentration of 39.34 mmol/L (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.61–75.06, P = 0.031) compared with the CC genotype, and the TT genotype was associated with an increased SUA concentration of 2.48 mmol/L (95% CI, 6.86–38.10; P = 0.005) compared with the CT genotype.
Conclusions
The rs12218 SNP in the SAA1 gene was associated with SUA levels in Chinese subjects, indicating that carriers of the T allele of rs12218 have a high risk of hyperuricemia.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040263
PMCID: PMC3386962  PMID: 22768267
11.  Type 2 Diabetes in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35270.
Background
The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence and distribution of type 2 diabetes and to determine the status of type 2 diabetes awareness, treatment, and control in Xinjiang, China. Our data came from the Cardiovascular Risk Survey (CRS) study designed to investigate the prevalence and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in Xinjiang from October 2007 to March 2010. A total of 14 122 persons (5583 Hans, 4620 Uygurs, and 3919 Kazaks) completed the survey and examination. Diabetes was defined by the American Diabetes Association 2009 criteria.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Overall, 9.26% of the Han, 6.23% of the Uygur, and 3.65% of the Kazak adults aged ≥35 years had diabetes. Among diabetes patients, only 53.0% were aware of their blood glucose level, 26.7% were taking hypoglycemic agents, and 10.4% achieved blood glucose control in Han, 35.8% were aware of their blood glucose level, 7.3% were taking hypoglycemic agents, and 3.13% achieved blood glucose control in Uygur, and 23.8% were aware of their blood glucose level, 6.3% were taking hypoglycemic agents, and 1.4% achieved blood glucose control in Kazak, respectively.
Conclusions/Significance
Our results indicate that diabetes is highly prevalent in Xinjiang. The percentages of those with diabetes who are aware, treated, and controlled are unacceptably low. These results underscore the urgent need to develop national strategies to improve prevention, detection, and treatment of diabetes in Xinjiang, the west China.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035270
PMCID: PMC3323648  PMID: 22506076
12.  Genome Sequence of the Milbemycin-Producing Bacterium Streptomyces bingchenggensis▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2010;192(17):4526-4527.
Streptomyces bingchenggensis is a soil-dwelling bacterium producing the commercially important anthelmintic macrolide milbemycins. Besides milbemycins, the insecticidal polyether antibiotic nanchangmycin and some other antibiotics have also been isolated from this strain. Here we report the complete genome sequence of S. bingchenggensis. The availability of the genome sequence of S. bingchenggensis should enable us to understand the biosynthesis of these structurally intricate antibiotics better and facilitate rational improvement of this strain to increase their titers.
doi:10.1128/JB.00596-10
PMCID: PMC2937363  PMID: 20581206
13.  Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies ALDH7A1 as a Novel Susceptibility Gene for Osteoporosis 
PLoS Genetics  2010;6(1):e1000806.
Osteoporosis is a major public health problem. It is mainly characterized by low bone mineral density (BMD) and/or low-trauma osteoporotic fractures (OF), both of which have strong genetic determination. The specific genes influencing these phenotypic traits, however, are largely unknown. Using the Affymetrix 500K array set, we performed a case-control genome-wide association study (GWAS) in 700 elderly Chinese Han subjects (350 with hip OF and 350 healthy matched controls). A follow-up replication study was conducted to validate our major GWAS findings in an independent Chinese sample containing 390 cases with hip OF and 516 controls. We found that a SNP, rs13182402 within the ALDH7A1 gene on chromosome 5q31, was strongly associated with OF with evidence combined GWAS and replication studies (P = 2.08×10−9, odds ratio = 2.25). In order to explore the target risk factors and potential mechanism underlying hip OF risk, we further examined this candidate SNP's relevance to hip BMD both in Chinese and Caucasian populations involving 9,962 additional subjects. This SNP was confirmed as consistently associated with hip BMD even across ethnic boundaries, in both Chinese and Caucasians (combined P = 6.39×10−6), further attesting to its potential effect on osteoporosis. ALDH7A1 degrades and detoxifies acetaldehyde, which inhibits osteoblast proliferation and results in decreased bone formation. Our findings may provide new insights into the pathogenesis of osteoporosis.
Author Summary
Osteoporosis is a major health concern worldwide. It is a highly heritable disease characterized mainly by low bone mineral density (BMD) and/or osteoporotic fractures. However, the specific genetic variants determining risk for low BMD or OF are largely unknown. Here, taking advantage of recent technological advances in human genetics, we performed a genome-wide association study and follow-up validation studies to identify genetic variants for osteoporosis. By examining a total of 11,568 individuals from Chinese and Caucasian populations, we discovered a susceptibility gene, ALDH7A1, which is associated with hip osteoporotic fracture and BMD. ALDH7A1 might inhibit osteoblast proliferation and decrease bone formation. Our finding opens a new avenue for exploring the pathophysiology of osteoporosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000806
PMCID: PMC2794362  PMID: 20072603
14.  Peroxisome Proliferator–Activated Receptor Alpha Expression Changes in Human Pregnant Myometrium 
Reproductive Sciences  2013;20(6):654-660.
Peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor alpha (PPARα) has been demonstrated to exhibit anti-inflammatory activities that are hypothesized to play a key role in labor suppression and maintenance of uterine quiescence. The aim of this study was to identify pregnancy- and labor-associated changes in PPARα in human myometrium. For this investigation, human myometrium was obtained from premenopausal women, and the study participants were categorized into the following 4 groups: nonpregnant (NP; n = 10), preterm not in labor (PNL; n = 10, gestation range 20-35 weeks), term not in labor (TNL; n = 20, gestation range 37-41 weeks), and term in labor (TL; n = 20, gestation range 37-41 weeks). Immunohistochemistry was used to locate and confirm the expression of PPARα. Relative quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Western blotting were employed to study the expression of anti-inflammatory PPARα and proinflammatory interleukin 1β (IL-1β). Immunohistochemistry indicated that PPARα was located in the nucleus of uterine smooth muscle cells. Compared to other groups, in PNL group, the PPARα messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein increased significantly. Decreased PPARα mRNA and protein expressions in myometrium were associated with labor while IL-1β increased remarkably. There were negative correlations between PPARα and IL-1β on mRNA (r = −.765, P < .01) and protein (r = −.624, P < .01) levels analyzed using Pearson test. In conclusion, human pregnancy is associated with changes in expression of PPARα and IL-1β in myometrium. The changes observed suggest that PPARα may play a role in maintaining pregnancy or initiating labor through inhibiting the expression of IL-1β in human myometrium.
doi:10.1177/1933719112461187
PMCID: PMC3713545  PMID: 23144166
pregnancy; myometrium; labor onset; peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor alpha; interleukin 1β
15.  Association of Egr3 genetic polymorphisms and coronary artery disease in the Uygur and Han of China 
Background
Endothelial cell activation and dysfunction are the foundation of atherosclerosis, including coronary artery disease (CAD). Endothelial cell activation is mediated by the level of gene transcription. Early growth response 3 (Egr3) is a critical determinant of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signalling in activated endothelial cells. If endothelial cells are excessively activated, it may lead to vasculopathic diseases, such as pathologic angiogenesis, inflammation, and atherosclerosis. The aim of the present study was to assess the association between the Egr3 gene polymorphisms and CAD.
Methods
Two independent case–control studies that involved the Han group (409 CAD patients and 351 control subjects) and the Uygur group (299 CAD patients and 303 control subjects) analysed the relationship between Egr3 SNPs (rs1996147 and rs1008949) and CAD. Genotyping was undertaken using the TaqMan SNP genotyping assay.
Results
The entire Uygur group and the males in the Uygur group showed a higher frequency of the A allele (rs1996147) in CAD patients than in the control subjects (P = 0.003 and P = 0.005, respectively). Additionally, the distribution of the recessive model of rs1996147 (AA vs GG + AG) for the total sample and the males was significantly different between CAD patients and control participants (P = 0.002 and P = 0.003, respectively), and the difference remained statistically significant following multivariate adjustment (Total: OR = 1.705; 95% CI: 1.166-2.494, P = 0.006; males: OR = 1.908, 95% CI: 1.189-3.062, P = 0.007). However, for Uygur females, we did not observe a difference in the allele frequency or genotypic distribution of rs1996147 between CAD patients and control participants. Similarly, the distribution of the rs1996147 allele frequency or genotypes showed no significant difference between patients with CAD and control participants in the Han group. The distribution of rs1008949 genotypes, dominant model, recessive model, and allele frequency did not show a significant difference between patients with CAD and the control subjects in the Han and Uygur groups.
Conclusion
rs1996147 may be a novel polymorphism of the Egr3 gene associated with CAD in males of the Chinese Uygur population.
doi:10.1186/1476-511X-13-84
PMCID: PMC4040484  PMID: 24886494
Egr3; Coronary artery disease; Polymorphism
16.  Minimally Invasive Midvastus versus Standard Parapatellar Approach in Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e95311.
Objective
Minimally invasive midvastus approach (mini-midvastus) has been widely used in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). However, the clinical effects still remains controversial. This meta-analysis was based on randomized controlled trials (RCTs) aiming to quantitatively analyze the clinical efficacy of mini-midvastus versus standard parapatellar approach in TKA.
Methods
This meta-analysis was performed according to the PRISMA guidelines. A literature search for the eligible RCTs was carried out in the databases of PubMed, the Cochrane library, EMBASE and Web of Science. Two independent reviewers independently completed the study selection, data extraction, and the assessment of methodological quality. Meta-analysis was conducted by the RevMan 5.2 software.
Results
A total of 18 RCTs (937 patients with 1093 TKAs) published from 2007 to 2013 were included. The meta-analysis suggested that the mini-midvastus approach significantly improved knee range of motion (ROM) and decreased visual analog score (VAS) at postoperative 1–2 weeks (p<0.05), and there were no statistical differences in terms of knee society score (KSS) (6 weeks to 1 year), VAS (6 weeks to 6 months), ROM (6 weeks to 6 months), lateral retinacular release, blood loss, straight leg raise, hospital stay and postoperative complications between the mini-midvastus and standard parapatellar approach (p>0.05). However, the operative time was significantly longer when performing the mini-midvastus group than the parapartellar approach (p<0.05).
Conclusion
This meta-analysis found that compared with the standard parapatellar approach, the mini-midvastus approach had early advantages in the VAS and ROM, but had the disadvantage in the operative time.
Level of Evidence
Therapeutic study Level I.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095311
PMCID: PMC4028179  PMID: 24845859
17.  Folate receptor-targeted liposomes enhanced the antitumor potency of imatinib through the combination of active targeting and molecular targeting 
Purpose
Imatinib inhibits platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR), and evidence shows that PDGFR participates in the development and progression of cervical cancer. Although imatinib has exhibited preclinical activity against cervical cancer, only minimal clinical therapeutic efficacy was observed. This poor therapeutic efficacy may be due to insufficient drug delivery to the tumor cells and plasma protein binding. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore a novel folate receptor (FR)-targeted delivery system via imatinib-loaded liposomes to enhance drug delivery to tumor cells and to reduce plasma protein binding.
Methods
Imatinib was remote-loaded into FR-targeted liposomes which were prepared by thin film hydration followed by polycarbonate membrane extrusion. Encapsulation efficiency, mean size diameter, and drug retention were characterized and cellular uptake, cell cytotoxicity, and cell apoptosis on cervical cancer HeLa cells were evaluated. Comparative pharmacokinetic studies were also carried out with FR-targeted imatinib liposomes, simple imatinib liposomes, and free imatinib.
Results
High encapsulation efficiency (>90%), appropriate mean particle size (143.5 nm), and zeta potential (−15.97 mV) were obtained for FR-targeted imatinib liposomes. The drug release profile showed minimal imatinib leakage (<5%) in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) at pH =7.4 within 72 hours of incubation, while more leakage (>25%) was observed in PBS at pH =5.5. This indicates that these liposomes possess a certain degree of pH sensitivity. Cytotoxicity assays demonstrated that the FR-targeted imatinib liposomes promoted a six-fold IC50 reduction on the non-targeted imatinib liposomes from 910 to 150 μM. In addition, FR-targeted imatinib liposomes enhanced HeLa cell apoptosis in vitro compared to the non-targeted imatinib liposomes. Pharmacokinetic parameters indicated that both targeted and non-targeted liposomes exhibited long circulation properties in Kunming mice.
Conclusion
These findings indicate that the nano-sized FR-targeted PDGFR antagonist imatinib liposomes may constitute a promising strategy in cervical cancer therapy through the combination of active targeting and molecular targeting.
doi:10.2147/IJN.S60178
PMCID: PMC4019625  PMID: 24855354
liposomes; imatinib; folate receptor; tumor targeting; PDGFR
18.  Optical properties of epitaxial BiFeO3 thin film grown on SrRuO3-buffered SrTiO3 substrate 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):188.
The BiFeO3 (BFO) thin film was deposited by pulsed-laser deposition on SrRuO3 (SRO)-buffered (111) SrTiO3 (STO) substrate. X-ray diffraction pattern reveals a well-grown epitaxial BFO thin film. Atomic force microscopy study indicates that the BFO film is rather dense with a smooth surface. The ellipsometric spectra of the STO substrate, the SRO buffer layer, and the BFO thin film were measured, respectively, in the photon energy range 1.55 to 5.40 eV. Following the dielectric functions of STO and SRO, the ones of BFO described by the Lorentz model are received by fitting the spectra data to a five-medium optical model consisting of a semi-infinite STO substrate/SRO layer/BFO film/surface roughness/air ambient structure. The thickness and the optical constants of the BFO film are obtained. Then a direct bandgap is calculated at 2.68 eV, which is believed to be influenced by near-bandgap transitions. Compared to BFO films on other substrates, the dependence of the bandgap for the BFO thin film on in-plane compressive strain from epitaxial structure is received. Moreover, the bandgap and the transition revealed by the Lorentz model also provide a ground for the assessment of the bandgap for BFO single crystals.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-188
PMCID: PMC4002908  PMID: 24791162
BiFeO3 thin film; Optical properties; Spectroscopic ellipsometry; Lorentz model; Dielectric function; 78.67.-n; 78.20.-e; 07.60.Fs
19.  Analysis on the Relevance of Asthma Susceptibility with the Alteration of Integrin β 4 Expression 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95533.
Accumulated research has suggested the importance of the adhesion molecules modulation as therapeutic approach for bronchial asthma. Adhesion molecules expression alteration contributes to the pathogenesis of asthma. In order to probe the roles of expression imbalance of adhesion molecules in asthma pathogenesis, expression profiling of adhesion molecules was performed using cDNA microarray assay. The results showed that the expression pattern of adhesion molecules was altered in peripheral blood leucocytes of asthma patients. In this study, we focused on one of the abnormally expressed molecule, integrin β4, which was down-regulated in all asthma patients, to analyze the relevance of asthma susceptibility with the alteration of integrin β4 expressions. Real time PCR was used to verify the down-regulation of integrin β4 in additional 38 asthma patients. Next, the 5′flanking region of integrin β4 DNA were amplified, sequenced and site-directed mutagenesis technology in correspondent variation sites were carried out. Among 4 variation sites found in 5′ flanking region of integrin β4, 3 were related to asthma susceptibility: -nt1029 G/A, -nt 1051 G/A, and -nt 1164 G/C. A reduction of human integrin β4 promoter activity was observed at mutants of these sites. This study demonstrates that various adhesion molecules in asthma patients are abnormally expressed. Mutations in 5′ flanking region result in reduced integrin β4 expression, which is related to increased risk of asthma.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095533
PMCID: PMC3989341  PMID: 24740264
20.  KCTD1 Suppresses Canonical Wnt Signaling Pathway by Enhancing β-catenin Degradation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94343.
The canonical Wnt signaling pathway controls normal embryonic development, cellular proliferation and growth, and its aberrant activity results in human carcinogenesis. The core component in regulation of this pathway is β-catenin, but molecular regulation mechanisms of β-catenin stability are not completely known. Here, our recent studies have shown that KCTD1 strongly inhibits TCF/LEF reporter activity. Moreover, KCTD1 interacted with β-catenin both in vivo by co-immunoprecipitation as well as in vitro through GST pull-down assays. We further mapped the interaction regions to the 1-9 armadillo repeats of β-catenin and the BTB domain of KCTD1, especially Position Ala-30 and His-33. Immunofluorescence analysis indicated that KCTD1 promotes the cytoplasmic accumulation of β-catenin. Furthermore, protein stability assays revealed that KCTD1 enhances the ubiquitination/degradation of β-catenin in a concentration-dependent manner in HeLa cells. And the degradation of β-catenin mediated by KCTD1 was alleviated by the proteasome inhibitor, MG132. In addition, KCTD1-mediated β-catenin degradation was dependent on casein kinase 1 (CK1)- and glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β)-mediated phosphorylation and enhanced by the E3 ubiquitin ligase β-transducin repeat-containing protein (β-TrCP). Moreover, KCTD1 suppressed the expression of endogenous Wnt downstream genes and transcription factor AP-2α. Finally, we found that Wnt pathway member APC and tumor suppressor p53 influence KCTD1-mediated downregulation of β-catenin. These results suggest that KCTD1 functions as a novel inhibitor of Wnt signaling pathway.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094343
PMCID: PMC3988066  PMID: 24736394
21.  Serum Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 Levels Are Correlated with the Severity of Diabetic Retinopathy 
Journal of Diabetes Research  2014;2014:929756.
The aim of the study was to assess serum fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) concentrations in Chinese type 2 diabetic patients with and without retinopathy and to assess the association between FGF21 and the severity of retinopathy. 117 diabetic patients were compared with 68 healthy controls. Fasting blood glucose, serum total cholesterol, serum triglycerides, serum insulin, and serum FGF21 levels were estimated. FGF21 concentrations in the patients were significantly higher than those in control. In the patient group there was a significant positive correlation between FGF21, insulin level, and homeostasis model assessment index. Serum FGF21 concentrations in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy or nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy were significantly higher than those in patients without diabetic retinopathy. When the presence of diabetes was defined as the final variable in the conditional logistic regression model with the FGF21 concentration as the continuous variable, FGF21 was significantly involved in the model. This study shows that the increase in serum concentration of FGF21 was associated with the severity of diabetic retinopathy and suggests that FGF21 may play a role in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy and its degree.
doi:10.1155/2014/929756
PMCID: PMC4009259  PMID: 24895642
22.  Repair of Segmental Bone Defect Using Totally Vitalized Tissue Engineered Bone Graft by a Combined Perfusion Seeding and Culture System 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94276.
Background
The basic strategy to construct tissue engineered bone graft (TEBG) is to combine osteoblastic cells with three dimensional (3D) scaffold. Based on this strategy, we proposed the “Totally Vitalized TEBG” (TV-TEBG) which was characterized by abundant and homogenously distributed cells with enhanced cell proliferation and differentiation and further investigated its biological performance in repairing segmental bone defect.
Methods
In this study, we constructed the TV-TEBG with the combination of customized flow perfusion seeding/culture system and β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) scaffold fabricated by Rapid Prototyping (RP) technique. We systemically compared three kinds of TEBG constructed by perfusion seeding and perfusion culture (PSPC) method, static seeding and perfusion culture (SSPC) method, and static seeding and static culture (SSSC) method for their in vitro performance and bone defect healing efficacy with a rabbit model.
Results
Our study has demonstrated that TEBG constructed by PSPC method exhibited better biological properties with higher daily D-glucose consumption, increased cell proliferation and differentiation, and better cell distribution, indicating the successful construction of TV-TEBG. After implanted into rabbit radius defects for 12 weeks, PSPC group exerted higher X-ray score close to autograft, much greater mechanical property evidenced by the biomechanical testing and significantly higher new bone formation as shown by histological analysis compared with the other two groups, and eventually obtained favorable healing efficacy of the segmental bone defect that was the closest to autograft transplantation.
Conclusion
This study demonstrated the feasibility of TV-TEBG construction with combination of perfusion seeding, perfusion culture and RP technique which exerted excellent biological properties. The application of TV-TEBG may become a preferred candidate for segmental bone defect repair in orthopedic and maxillofacial fields.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094276
PMCID: PMC3984127  PMID: 24728277
23.  First record of Eubroncus (Hymenoptera, Mymaridae) from China, with description of three new species 
ZooKeys  2014;29-41.
The genus Eubroncus Yoshimoto, Kozlov & Trjapitzin is first recorded from China, and three species, E. hani sp. n., E. tibetanus sp. n. and E. vertexus sp. n. are described as new. A key to the six described species is given, with photomicrographs to illustrate morphological characters.
doi:10.3897/zookeys.399.6996
PMCID: PMC4023233  PMID: 24843251
Chalcidoidea; Mymaridae; Eubroncus; taxonomy; new species; China
24.  ALDH Maintains the Stemness of Lung Adenoma Stem Cells by Suppressing the Notch/CDK2/CCNE Pathway 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92669.
Objective
To evaluate the expression of ALDH1A1 in lung adenoma stem cells (LASCs) and maintenance of their stemness through the Notch pathway.
Methods
LASCs (A549s) were isolated from lung adenoma cells (A549) and identified by their coexpression of CD133 and CD326 and their capacity formulti-directional differentiation. Expression of ALDH1A1 in A549 and A549s cells were evaluated by Real-time PCR. Effects of ALDH1A1 upregulation in A549 cells and its downregulation in A549s cells on the clonogenicity and cell cycle were assessed by colony-forming unit assay. Moreover, the effects of ALDH1A1 on the Notch pathway, and thus on the cell cycle, were studied.
Results
A549s cells were successfully isolated and identified.ALDH1A1expression was significantly higher in A549s than in A549 cells. Clonogenicity was significantly decreased in A549s cells treated with ALDH1A1 siRNA. Duration of the G1 stage of the cell cycle increased after ALDH1A1 was overexpressed, or decreased with ALDH1A1 siRNA. ALDH1A1, Notch1, −2, and −3, CDK2, and CCNE1 expression levels were higher in A549s cells than in A549 cells. Expression of Notch1, −2, and −3, CDK2, and CCNE1 was significantly decreased by upregulation of ALDH1A1 in A549 cells, but increased by its interruption in A549s cells. When Notch3 or CDK2 expression was downregulated, the expression levels of ALDH1A1, Notch1, −2, and −3, CDK2, and CCNE1 were reduced in all cell types.
Conclusion
ALDH1A1 expression improved clonogenicity and inhibited the cell cycle, maintaining the stemness of the A549s cells; this may involve suppression of the Notch/CDK2/Cyclin pathway.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092669
PMCID: PMC3966794  PMID: 24671051
25.  Endoscope-Guided Interstitial Intensity-Modulated Brachytherapy and Intracavitary Brachytherapy as Boost Radiation for Primary Early T Stage Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90048.
Background
Intracavitary brachytherapy (ICBT) is usually applied as boost radiotherapy for superficial residual of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) after primary extern-beam radiptherapy (ERT). Here, we evaluated the outcome of endoscope-guided interstitial intensity-modulated brachytherapy (IMBT) boost radiation for deep-seated residual NPC.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Two hundred and thirteen patients with residual NPC who were salvaged with brachytherapy boost radiation during 2005–2009 were analyzed retrospectively. Among these patients, 171 patients had superficial residual NPC (≤1 cm below the nasopharyngeal epithelium) were treated with ICBT boost radiation, and interstitial IMBT boost radiation was delivered to 42 patients with deep-seated residual NPC (>1 cm below the nasopharyngeal epithelium). We found that IMBT boost subgroup had a higher ratio of T2b (81.0% VS 34.5%, P<0.001) and stage II (90.5% VS 61.4%, P = 0.001) than that of ICBT boost subgroup. The dosage of external-beam radiotherapy in the nasopharyngeal (63.0±3.8 VS 62.6±4.3 Gray (Gy), P = 0.67) and regional lymph nodes (55.8±5.0 VS 57.5±5.7 Gy, P = 0.11) was comparable in both groups. For brachytherapy, IMBT subgroup had a lower boost radiation dosage than ICBT subgroup (11.0±2.9 VS 14.8±3.2 Gy, P<0.01). Though the IMBT group had deeper residual tumors and received lower boost radiation dosages, both subgroups had the similar 5-year actuarial overall survival rate (IMBT VS ICBT group: 96.8% VS 93.6%, P = 0.87), progression-free survival rate (92.4% VS 86.5%, P = 0.41) and distant metastasis-free survival rate (94.9% VS 92.7%, P = 0.64). Moreover, IMBT boost radiation subgroup had a similar local (97.4% VS 94.4%, P = 0.57) and regional (95.0% VS 97.2%, P = 0.34) control to ICBT subgroup. The acute and late toxicities rates were comparable between the both subgroups.
Conclusions/Significance
IMBT boost radiation may be a promising therapeutic selection for deep-seated residual NPC.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090048
PMCID: PMC3940723  PMID: 24595299

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