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1.  Evaluation of several adjuvants in avian influenza vaccine to chickens and ducks 
Virology Journal  2011;8:321.
The effects of three different adjuvants, mineral oil, Montanide™ ISA 70M VG, and Montanide™ ISA 206 VG, were evaluated on reverse genetics H5N3 avian influenza virus cell cultured vaccine. The immune results of SPF chickens after challenging with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus demonstrated that mineral oil adjuvant group and 70M adjuvant group provided 100% protection efficiency, but 206 adjuvant group provided only 40%. Statistical analysis indicated that the protection effects of mineral oil adjuvant group and the 70M adjuvant showed no significant difference to each other, but with significant difference to 206 adjuvant group. All three groups could induce high titres of antibody after immunizing SPF ducks, but there was no significant difference among them. The immunization effect of 70M adjuvant group on SPF chickens were the best and showed significant difference compared with optimized 70Mi Montanide™ eight series adjuvants groups. These results suggest that 70M adjuvant could be a novel adjuvant for preparing avian influenza vaccine.
PMCID: PMC3141683  PMID: 21703008
2.  Association of ERCC1 and ERCC2 polymorphisms with colorectal cancer risk in a Chinese population 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4112.
The ERCC1 and ERCC2 genes are important in repairing DNA damage and genomic instability, and are involved in the nucleotide excision repair pathway. We hypothesized that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in ERCC1 and ERCC2 are associated with the risk of colorectal cancer in a Chinese population. To test this hypothesis, we genotyped four functional SNPs (ERCC1 Asn118Asn, C8092A, ERCC2 Asp312Asn, and Lys751Gln) in a case-control study with 213 colorectal cancer cases and 240 cancer-free controls. We found that the ERCC1 C8092A polymorphism AA and CA/AA variant genotypes were associated with a significantly increased risk of colorectal cancer, compared with the CC genotype (OR = 2.50, 95% CI = 1.10–5.70 for AA versus CC, and OR = 1.58, 95% CI = 1.08–2.30 for CA/AA versus CC). Furthermore, the effect appeared to be more prominent among men, smokers, drinkers, and patients with rectal cancer. However, no other SNPs were observed for any significant association with colorectal cancer risk. These results suggest that the ERCC1 C8092A polymorphism may contribute to colorectal cancer susceptibility in the Chinese population. Further large and functional studies are needed to confirm our findings.
PMCID: PMC3925949  PMID: 24531312
3.  Identification of latent tuberculosis infection-related microRNAs in human U937 macrophages expressing Mycobacterium tuberculosis Hsp16.3 
BMC Microbiology  2014;14:37.
Latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) relies on a homeostasis of macrophages and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). The small heat shock protein, Mtb Hsp16.3 (also known as latency-associated antigen), plays an important role in Mtb persistence within macrophages. However, the mechanism of LTBI remains elusive. The aim of this study was to delineate LTBI-related miRNA expression in U937 macrophages expressing Mtb Hsp16.3 protein. U937 macrophages were infected with an integrase-deficient Lentivirus vector to transiently express Mtb Hsp16.3, and green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a control. We used a microRNA (miRNA) microarray chip containing more than 1000 probes to identify the significant differentially expressed miRNAs in the infected U937 cells, and employed real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) for validation. Furthermore, we confirmed these candidate LTBI-related miRNAs in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from subjects with LTBI and in healthy control individuals. Functional annotation prediction of miRNA target genes and pathway enrichment analyses were used to explore the putative links between these miRNAs and LTBI.
Analysis of the miRNA expression profile identified 149 miRNAs that were differentially expressed in U937 macrophages expressing Mtb Hsp16.3 compared with the control expressing GFP. The expression level of seven miRNAs (miR-424-5p, miR-493-5p, miR-296-5p, miR-27b-3p, miR-377-5p, miR-3680-5p, miR-191-5p) were validated by qRT-PCR. The expression level of four miRNAs (miR-424-5p, miR-27b-3p, miR-377-5p, miR-3680-5p) in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells samples from LTBI and healthy participants reflected the altered patterns observed in the microarray profile. The bioinformatic analyses suggest that the miRNAs may regulate Mtb latent infection by affecting the development of macrophage cells.
The results suggest that miRNA expression may play a considerable role in the pathogenesis of LTBI, and this would increase our understanding of the molecular basis of Hsp16.3-facilitated Mtb survival in macrophages.
PMCID: PMC3925440  PMID: 24521422
microRNAs; Macrophages; Mycobacterium; Tuberculosis; Small heat shock protein; Latent tuberculosis infection
4.  Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion causes decrease of O-GlcNAcylation, hyperphosphorylation of tau and behavioral deficits in mice 
Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) is one of the causes of vascular dementia (VaD) and is also an etiological factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, how CCH causes cognitive impairment and contributes to Alzheimer’s pathology is poorly understood. Here we produced a mouse model of CCH by unilateral common carotid artery occlusion (UCCAO) and studied the behavioral changes and brain abnormalities in mice 2.5 months after UCCAO. We found that CCH caused significant short-term memory deficits and mild long-term spatial memory impairment, as well as decreased level of protein O-GlcNAcylation, increased level of tau phosphorylation, dysregulated synaptic proteins and insulin signaling, and selective neurodegeneration in the brain. These findings provide mechanistic insight into the effects of CCH on memory and cognition and the likely link between AD and VaD.
PMCID: PMC3918671  PMID: 24575038
chronic cerebral hypoperfusion; Alzheimer’s disease; cognitive impairment; O-GlcNAcylation; tau phosphorylation; synaptic plasticity markers; brain insulin signaling; neurodegeneration
5.  8-bromo-7-methoxychrysin inhibits properties of liver cancer stem cells via downregulation of β-catenin 
AIM: To evaluate whether 8-bromo-7-methoxychrysin (BrMC), a synthetic analogue of chrysin, inhibits the properties of cancer stem cells derived from the human liver cancer MHCC97 cell line and to determine the potential mechanisms.
METHODS: CD133+ cells were sorted from the MHCC97 cell line by magnetic activated cell sorting, and amplified in stem cell-conditioned medium to obtain the enriched CD133+ sphere forming cells (SFCs). The stem cell properties of CD133+ SFCs were validated by the tumorsphere formation assay in vitro and the xenograft nude mouse model in vivo, and termed liver cancer stem cells (LCSCs). The effects of BrMC on LCSCs in vitro were evaluated by MTT assay, tumorsphere formation assay and transwell chamber assay. The effects of BrMC on LCSCs in vivo were determined using a primary and secondary xenograft model in Balb/c-nu mice. Expressions of the stem cell markers, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers and β-catenin protein were analyzed by western blotting or immunohistochemical analysis.
RESULTS: CD133+ SFCs exhibited stem-like cell properties of tumorsphere formation and tumorigenesis capacity in contrast to the parental MHCC97 cells. We found that BrMC preferentially inhibited proliferation and self-renewal of LCSCs (P < 0.05). Furthermore, BrMC significantly suppressed EMT and invasion of LCSCs. Moreover, BrMC could efficaciously eliminate LCSCs in vivo. Interestingly, we showed that BrMC decreased the expression of β-catenin in LCSCs. Silencing of β-catenin by small interfering RNA could synergize the inhibition of self-renewal of LCSCs induced by BrMC, while Wnt3a treatment antagonized the inhibitory effects of BrMC.
CONCLUSION: BrMC can inhibit the functions and characteristics of LCSCs derived from the liver cancer MHCC97 cell line through downregulation of β-catenin expression.
PMCID: PMC3837267  PMID: 24431896
Liver cancer; Cancer stem cell; 8-bromo-7-methoxychrysin; Self-renewal; β-catenin
6.  Hypoxia Promotes Epithelial - Mesenchymal Transition of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells via Inducing GLIPR-2 Expression 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e77497.
Glioma pathogenesis related-2 (GLIPR-2) belongs to pathogenesis related-1 (PR-1) family whose function remains unknown. In our previous studies, GLIPR-2 was found to be a novel potent stimulator of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in renal fibrosis which has been classified as type 2 EMT. However, whether GLIPR-2 could induce type 3 EMT in carcinogenesis needs further investigation. In this study, we showed that GLIPR-2 was expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues, hypoxia could upregulate the expression of GLIPR-2 in HepG2 and PLC/PRF/5 cells in vitro, overexpression of this protein promoted migration and invasion via EMT, knockdown of GLIPR-2 attenuated migration and invasion of HepG2 and PLC/PRF/5 cells in hypoxia. Moreover, extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) are positively regulated by GLIPR-2. Taken together, we provide evidence for a hypoxia/GLIPR-2/EMT/migration and invasion axis in HCC cells and it provides novel insights into the mechanism of migration and invasion of hepatocellular carcinoma cells in hypoxia condition.
PMCID: PMC3812270  PMID: 24204846
7.  Gadoxetic Acid Disodium-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging for the Detection of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e70896.
To determine the accuracy of MR imaging with gadoxetic acid disodium (Gd-EOB-DTPA) for the detection of hepatocelluar carcinoma (HCC).
Materials and Methods
A systematic search was performed in PUBMED, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane Library and the Chinese Biomedical Literature Database up to March 2013 to identify studies about evaluation of Gd-EOB-DTPA enhanced MR imaging in patients suspected of having HCC. The data were extracted to perform heterogeneity test and threshold effect test and to calculate sensitivity, specificity, diagnostic odds ratio, predictive value, and areas under summary receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC).
From 601 citations, 10 were included in the meta-analysis. The methodological quality of the 10 studies was good. Overall HCC: There was significant heterogeneity in the pooled analysis (I2 = 69.4%, P = 0.0005), and the pooled weighted values were determined to be sensitivity: 0.91 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.89, 0. 93); specificity: 0.95 (95% CI: 0.94, 0.96); diagnostic odds ratio: 169.94 (95% CI: 108.84, 265.36); positive likelihood ratio: 15.75 (95% CI: 7.45, 33.31); negative likelihood ratio: 0.10 (95% CI: 0.06, 0.15). The AUC was 0.9778. HCC in cirrhosis: The estimates were to be sensitivity: 0.91 (95% CI: 0.88, 0.93); specificity: 0.93 (95% CI: 0.89, 0.95); diagnostic odds ratio: 234.24 (95% CI: 33.47, 1639.25); positive likelihood ratio: 15.08 (95% CI: 2.20, 103.40); negative likelihood ratio: 0.08 (95% CI: 0.03, 0.21). The AUC was 0.9814. ≤20 mm HCC: The AUC was 0.9936. There was no notable publication bias.
This meta-analysis suggests that MR imaging with Gd-EOB-DTPA has high diagnostic accuracy for the detection of HCC, especially for ≤20 mm HCC. This technique shows good prospect in diagnosis of HCC.
PMCID: PMC3744536  PMID: 23967130
8.  GLIPR-2 Overexpression in HK-2 Cells Promotes Cell EMT and Migration through ERK1/2 Activation 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e58574.
The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of tubular epithelial cells in the adult kidney is one of the key events in renal interstitial fibrosis. Glioma pathogenesis related-2 (GLIPR-2) has been shown to be up-regulated in proximal tubular cells (PTCs) in the fibrotic kidney. However, the biological function of GLIPR-2 remains unknown. In this study, we found that GLIPR-2 expression is elevated in the kidney tissue samples of patients with diabetic nephropathy (DN). Human proximal renal tubular epithelial cells (HK-2 cells) were transfected with pcDNA3.0-GLIPR-2 and selected with G418. To identify the biological function of GLIPR-2, an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) PCR array analysis was performed, and genes that had statistically significantly altered expression levels with more than a two-fold difference compared with the pcDNA3.0-transfected HK-2 cells were considered. Key elements of the EMT process, such as E-cadherin and vimentin, were transcriptionally activated in the pcDNA3.0-GLIPR-2-transfected sublines. In addition, α-SMA gene expression, which is a marker of myofibroblasts, increased in the pcDNA3.0-GLIPR-2-transfected HK-2 cells. The cell migration assay demonstrated that the transfection of HK-2 with GLIPR-2 promoted cell migration following an EMT. Additionally, consistent with the effects of increased EGFR expression levels, we found that the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) was highly elevated in the pcDNA3.0-GLIPR-2-transfected group. Our study demonstrates that GLIPR-2 overexpression in HK-2 cells can potentiate EMT-like processes in this cell type through the ERK1/2 signaling pathway. GLIPR-2 may be responsible for the development of renal fibrosis by increasing the accumulation of interstitial fibroblasts.
PMCID: PMC3596275  PMID: 23516513
9.  HTQC: a fast quality control toolkit for Illumina sequencing data 
BMC Bioinformatics  2013;14:33.
Illumina sequencing platform is widely used in genome research. Sequence reads quality assessment and control are needed for downstream analysis. However, software that provides efficient quality assessment and versatile filtration methods is still lacking.
We have developed a toolkit named HTQC – abbreviation of High-Throughput Quality Control – for sequence reads quality control, which consists of six programs for reads quality assessment, reads filtration and generation of graphic reports.
The HTQC toolkit can generate reads quality assessment faster than existing tools, providing guidance for reads filtration utilities that allow users to choose different strategies to remove low quality reads.
PMCID: PMC3571943  PMID: 23363224
10.  Amelioration of Albuminuria in ROCK1 Knockout Mice with Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Kidney Disease 
American Journal of Nephrology  2011;34(5):468-475.
Although blockade of Rho kinase with pharmacologic inhibitors ameliorates renal fibrosis and diabetic kidney disease (DKD), the underlined mechanisms remain largely unclear. The present study tested the hypothesis that ROCK1 may regulate the early development of albuminuria via the megalin/cubilin-dependent mechanism.
A DKD model was induced in ROCK1 knockout and wild-type mice by streptozotocin (STZ). The effect of deleted ROCK1 on urinary albumin excretion and the expression of megalin/cubilin were examined. In addition, the effect of blocking ROCK activities with an inhibitor (Y-27632) on tubular albumin reabsorption was tested in a normal rat tubular epithelial cell line (NRK52E) under high-glucose conditions. Expression of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, interleukin-1β and collagen-1 was also been examined.
Urinary albumin excretion was significantly increased in ROCK1 WT mice at 8 weeks after STZ injection. In contrast, mice lacking ROCK1 gene were protected against the development of albuminuria. This was associated with the protection against the loss of megalin/cubilin and an increase in TGF-β1, IL-1β, and fibrosis in the kidney. In vitro, we also found that blockade of Rho kinase with inhibitor Y-27632 prevented high-glucose-induced loss of megalin expression and an increase of TGF-β1, thereby increasing the absorption rate of FITC-labeled albumin by tubular epithelial cells.
ROCK1 may play a role in the development of albuminuria in DKD by downregulating the endocytosis receptors complex – megalin/cubilin.
Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel
PMCID: PMC3691875  PMID: 21986457
Diabetic kidney disease; Tubular cells, albuminuria; ROCK; Megalin; Cubilin
11.  Developmental Regulation of Protein O-GlcNAcylation, O-GlcNAc Transferase, and O-GlcNAcase in Mammalian Brain 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43724.
O-GlcNAcylation is a common posttranslational modification of nucleocytoplasmic proteins by β-N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc). The dynamic addition and removal of O-GlcNAc groups to and from proteins are catalyzed by O-linked N-acetylglucosamine transferase (O-GlcNAc transferase, OGT) and β-N-acetylglucosaminidase (O-GlcNAcase, OGA), respectively. O-GlcNAcylation often modulates protein phosphorylation and regulates several cellular signaling and functions, especially in the brain. However, its developmental regulation is not well known. Here, we studied protein O-GlcNAcylation, OGT, and OGA in the rat brain at various ages from embryonic day 15 to the age of 2 years. We found a gradual decline of global protein O-GlcNAcylation during developmental stages and adulthood. This decline correlated positively to the total protein phosphorylation at serine residues, but not at threonine residues. The expression of OGT and OGA isoforms was regulated differently at various ages. Immunohistochemical studies revealed ubiquitous distribution of O-GlcNAcylation at all ages. Strong immunostaining of O-GlcNAc, OGT, and OGA was observed mostly in neuronal cell bodies and processes, further suggesting the role of O-GlcNAc modification of neuronal proteins in the brain. These studies provide fundamental knowledge of age-dependent protein modification by O-GlcNAc and will help guide future studies on the role of O-GlcNAcylation in the mammalian brain.
PMCID: PMC3425547  PMID: 22928023
12.  The Effect of miR-338-3p on HBx Deletion-Mutant (HBx-d382) Mediated Liver-Cell Proliferation through CyclinD1 Regulation 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43204.
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) DNA integration and HBV X (HBx) deletion mutation occurs in HBV-positive liver cancer patients, and C-terminal deletion in HBx gene mutants are highly associated with hepatocarcinogenesis. Our previous study found that the HBx-d382 deletion mutant (deleted at nt 382–400) can down-regulate miR-338-3p expression in HBx-expressing cells. The aim of the present study is to examine the role of miR-338-3p in the HBx-d382-mediated liver-cell proliferation.
We established HBx-expressing LO2 cells by Lipofectamine 2000 transfection. A miR-338-3p mimics or inhibitor was transfected into LO2/HBx-d382 and LO2/HBx cells using miR-NC as a control miRNA. In silico analysis of potential miR-338-3p targets revealed that miR-338-3p could target the cell cycle regulatory protein CyclinD1. To confirm that CyclinD1 is negatively regulated by miR-338-3p, we constructed luciferase reporters with wild-type and mutated CyclinD1-3′UTR target sites for miR-338-3p binding. We examined the CyclinD1 expression by real-time PCR and western blot, and proliferation activity by flow cytometric cell cycle analysis, Edu incorporation, and soft agar colony.
HBx-d382 exhibited enhanced proliferation and CyclinD1 expression in LO2 cells. miR-338-3p expression inhibited cell proliferation in LO2/HBx-d382 cells (and LO2/HBx cells), and also negatively regulated CyclinD1 protein expression. Of the two putative miR-338-3p binding sites in the CyclinD1-3′UTR region, the effect of miR-338-3p on the second binding site (nt 2397–2403) was required for the inhibition.
miR-338-3p can directly regulate CyclinD1 expression through binding to the CyclinD1-3′UTR region, mainly at nt 2397–2403. Down-regulation of miR-338-3p expression is required for liver cell proliferation in both LO2/HBx and LO2/HBx-d382 mutant cells, although the effect is more pronounced in LO2/HBx-d382 cells. Our study elucidated a novel mechanism, from a new miRNA-regulation perspective, underlying the propensity of HBx deletion mutants to induce hepatocarcinogenesis at a faster rate than HBx.
PMCID: PMC3422285  PMID: 22912826
13.  Differential Effects of an O-GlcNAcase Inhibitor on Tau Phosphorylation 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35277.
Abnormal hyperphosphorylation of microtubule-associated protein tau plays a crucial role in neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The aggregation of hyperphosphorylated tau into neurofibrillary tangles is also a hallmark brain lesion of AD. Tau phosphorylation is regulated by tau kinases, tau phosphatases, and O-GlcNAcylation, a posttranslational modification of proteins on the serine or threonine residues with β-N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc). O-GlcNAcylation is dynamically regulated by O-GlcNAc transferase, the enzyme catalyzing the transfer of GlcNAc to proteins, and N-acetylglucosaminidase (OGA), the enzyme catalyzing the removal of GlcNAc from proteins. Thiamet-G is a recently synthesized potent OGA inhibitor, and initial studies suggest it can influence O-GlcNAc levels in the brain, allowing OGA inhibition to be a potential route to altering disease progression in AD. In this study, we injected thiamet-G into the lateral ventricle of mice to increase O-GlcNAcylation of proteins and investigated the resulting effects on site-specific tau phosphorylation. We found that acute thiamet-G treatment led to a decrease in tau phosphorylation at Thr181, Thr212, Ser214, Ser262/Ser356, Ser404 and Ser409, and an increase in tau phosphorylation at Ser199, Ser202, Ser396 and Ser422 in the mouse brain. Investigation of the major tau kinases showed that acute delivery of a high dose of thiamet-G into the brain also led to a marked activation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β), possibly as a consequence of down-regulation of its upstream regulating kinase, AKT. However, the elevation of tau phosphorylation at the sites above was not observed and GSK-3β was not activated in cultured adult hippocampal progenitor cells or in PC12 cells after thiamet-G treatment. These results suggest that acute high-dose thiamet-G injection can not only directly antagonize tau phosphorylation, but also stimulate GSK-3β activity, with the downstream consequence being site-specific, bi-directional regulation of tau phosphorylation in the mammalian brain.
PMCID: PMC3334936  PMID: 22536363
14.  Construction and characterization of an infectious clone of coxsackievirus A16 
Virology Journal  2011;8:534.
Coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) is a member of the Enterovirus genus of the Picornaviridae family and it is a major etiological agent of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), which is a common illness affecting children. CVA16 possesses a single-stranded positive-sense RNA genome containing approximately 7410 bases. Current understanding of the replication, structure and virulence determinants of CVA16 is very limited, partly due to difficulties in directly manipulating its RNA genome.
Two overlapping cDNA fragments were amplified by RT-PCR from the genome of the shzh05-1 strain of CVA16, encompassing the nucleotide regions 1-4392 and 4381-7410, respectively. These two fragments were then joined via a native XbaI site to yield a full-length cDNA. A T7 promoter and poly(A) tail were added to the 5' and 3' ends, respectively, forming a full CVA16 cDNA clone. Transfection of RD cells in vitro with RNA transcribed directly from the cDNA clone allowed the recovery of infectious virus in culture. The CVA16 virus recovered from these cultures was functionally and genetically identical to its parent strain.
We report the first construction and characterization of an infectious cDNA clone of CVA16. The availability of this infectious clone will greatly enhance future virological investigations and vaccine development for CVA16.
PMCID: PMC3283524  PMID: 22165961
Coxsackievirus A16; Infectious cDNA clone; In vitro transcription; Recovered virus
15.  CREB Is a Positive Transcriptional Regulator of Gamma Interferon in Latent but Not Active Tuberculosis Infections ▿  
Gamma interferon (IFN-γ) is a crucial cytokine for protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, but the mechanism of IFN-γ transcription is still unclear. The cyclic AMP (cAMP) responsive element binding (CREB) proteins belong to the bZip (basic leucine zipper) family of transcription factors and are essential for T-cell function and cytokine production. This study focused on the capacity of CREB proteins to regulate IFN-γ transcription in CD3+ T cells obtained from tuberculosis (TB) patients and persons with latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in China. The electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA), chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), and Western blotting were used to demonstrate the regulatory role of CREB. EMSA (in vitro) and ChIP (in vivo) experiments suggested CREB could bind to the IFN-γ proximal promoter in persons with LTBI, whereas no binding was detected in TB patients. Western blotting confirmed the expression of CREB proteins, especially serine-133-phosphorylated CREB, was markedly reduced in TB patients compared with persons with LTBI. These results suggested that CREB could promote the transcription and production of IFN-γ through binding with the IFN-γ proximal promoter, but the regulatory role of CREB was decreased in tuberculosis patients owing to diminished expression of CREB proteins, which in turn reduced the IFN-γ production.
PMCID: PMC2944447  PMID: 20685939
16.  The function and mechanism of COX-2 in angiogenesis of gastric cancer cells 
Here we aimed to investigate the effect of COX-2 siRNA on proliferation and angiogenesis of gastric cancer cells.
The gastric cancer cell line SGC7901 was transfected with COX-2 siRNA, then the growth and angiogenesis of cells were detected by in vitro and in vivo assay. Human microarray, RT-PCR and western blot were used to identify differentially expressed angiogenesis-related molecules in cells with decreased expression of COX-2.
Down-regulation of COX-2 could significantly inhibit the in vitro and in vivo growth of gastric cancer cells, and suppress the migration and tube formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Totally 23 angiogenesis-related molecules were found involved in COX-2-induced angiogenesis suppression. The results of RT-PCR and western blot showed that down-regulation of COX-2 might inhibit VEGF, Flt-1, Flk-1/KDR, angiopoietin-1, tie-2, MMP2 and OPN.
COX-2 might mediate tumor angiogenesis and growth, and could be considered as a target for gastric cancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC3039621  PMID: 21266034
17.  Brain glucose transporters, O-GlcNAcylation and phosphorylation of tau in diabetes and Alzheimer disease 
Journal of neurochemistry  2009;111(1):242-249.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) increases the risk for Alzheimer disease (AD), but the underlying mechanism is unknown. In this study, we determined the levels of major brain glucose transporters (GLUT), O-GlcNAcylation and phosphorylation of tau in the postmortem brain tissue from frontal cortices of 7 controls, 11 T2DM subjects, 10 AD subjects and 8 additional subjects who had both T2DM and AD. We found that the neuronal GLUT3 was decreased to a bigger extent in T2DM brain than in AD brain. The O-GlcNAcylation levels of global proteins and of tau were also decreased in T2DM brain as seen in AD brain. Phosphorylation of tau at some of the AD abnormal hyperphosphorylation sites was increased in T2DM brain. These results suggest that T2DM may contribute to the increased risk for AD by impairing brain glucose uptake/metabolism and, consequently, down-regulation of O-GlcNAcylation, which facilitates abnormal hyperphosphorylation of tau.
PMCID: PMC2760012  PMID: 19659459
Alzheimer disease; Diabetes mellitus; O-GlcNAcylation; Glucose transporter; Tau phosphorylation; Human brain
18.  Combined MELD and blood lipid level in evaluating the prognosis of decompensated cirrhosis 
AIM: To evaluate the prognostic value of the combined model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) and blood lipid level in patients with decompensated cirrhosis.
METHODS: A total of 198 patients with decompensated cirrhosis were enrolled into the study. The values of triglyceride (TG), cholesterol (TC), high density lipoproteins (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL) of each patient on the first day of admission were retrieved from the medical records, and MELD was calculated. All the patients were followed up for 1 year. The relationship between the change of blood lipid level and the value of MELD score was studied by analysis of variance. The prognostic factors were screened by multivariate Cox proportional hazard model. Draw Kaplan-Meier survival curves were drawn.
RESULTS: Forty-five patients died within 3 mo and 83 patients died within 1 year. The levels of TG, TC, HDL and LDL of the death group were all lower than those of the survivors. The serum TG, TC, HDL and LDL levels were lowered with the increase of the MELD score. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard model showed that MELD ≥ 18 and TC ≤ 2.8 mmol/L were independent risk factors for prognosis of decompensated cirrhosis. Survival analysis showed that MELD ≥ 18 combined with TC ≤ 2.8 mmol/L can clearly discriminate between the patients who would survive and die in 1 year.
CONCLUSION: MELD ≥ 18 and TC ≤ 2.8 mmol/L are two important indexes to predict the prognosis of patients with decompensated cirrhosis. Their combination can effectively predict the long-term prognosis of patients with decompensated cirrhosis.
PMCID: PMC2842532  PMID: 20238407
Cirrhosis; Model of end-stage liver disease; Blood lipid; Prognosis; Survival time
19.  Developmental regulation of tau phosphorylation, tau kinases, and tau phosphatases 
Journal of neurochemistry  2009;108(6):1480-1494.
Tau is a neuronal microtubule-associated protein. Its hyperphosphorylation plays a critical role in Alzheimer disease (AD). Expression and phosphorylation of tau are regulated developmentally, but its dynamic regulation and the responsible kinases or phosphatases remain elusive. Here, we studied the developmental regulation of tau in rats during development from embryonic day 15 through the age of 24 months. We found that tau expression increased sharply during the embryonic stage and then became relatively stable, whereas tau phosphorylation was much higher in developing brain than in mature brain. However, the extent of tau phosphorylation at seven of the 14 sites studied was much less in developing brain than in AD brain. Tau phosphorylation during development matched the period of active neurite outgrowth in general. Tau phosphorylation at various sites had different topographic distributions. Several tau kinases appeared to regulate tau phosphorylation collectively at overlapping sites, and the decrease of overall tau phosphorylation in adult brain might be due to the higher levels of tau phosphatases in mature brain. These studies provide new insight into the developmental regulation of site-specific tau phosphorylation and identify the likely sites required for the abnormal hyperphosphorylation of tau in AD.
PMCID: PMC2676439  PMID: 19183272
Alzheimer disease; tau phosphorylation; protein kinases; protein phosphatases; development
20.  Bis(2,2-dinitro­prop­yl)formal 
The complete mol­ecule of the title compound [systematic name: bis(2,2-dinitro­prop­oxy)methane], C7H12N4O10, which was synthesized by the condensation reaction between 2,2-dinitro­propanol and paraformaldehyde in methyl­ene chloride, is generated by crystallographic twofold symmetry with one C atom lying on the rotation axis. In the crystal structure, mol­ecules are linked into chains running parallel to the b axis by inter­molecular C—H⋯O hydrogen-bond inter­actions, generating rings of graph-set motif R 2 2(14).
PMCID: PMC2968987  PMID: 21582607
21.  Tube Formation in Nanoscale Materials 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2008;3(12):473-480.
The formation of tubular nanostructures normally requires layered, anisotropic, or pseudo-layered crystal structures, while inorganic compounds typically do not possess such structures, inorganic nanotubes thus have been a hot topic in the past decade. In this article, we review recent research activities on nanotubes fabrication and focus on three novel synthetic strategies for generating nanotubes from inorganic materials that do not have a layered structure. Specifically, thermal oxidation method based on gas–solid reaction to porous CuO nanotubes has been successfully established, semiconductor ZnS and Nb2O5 nanotubes have been prepared by employing sacrificial template strategy based on liquid–solid reaction, and an in situ template method has been developed for the preparation of ZnO taper tubes through a chemical etching reaction. We have described the nanotube formation processes and illustrated the detailed key factors during their growth. The proposed mechanisms are presented for nanotube fabrication and the important pioneering studies are discussed on the rational design and fabrication of functional materials with tubular structures. It is the intention of this contribution to provide a brief account of these research activities.
PMCID: PMC2893443  PMID: 20592945
Nanotubes; Chemical synthesis; Nanostructures; Inorganic materials
22.  Tube Formation in Nanoscale Materials 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2008;3(12):473-480.
The formation of tubular nanostructures normally requires layered, anisotropic, or pseudo-layered crystal structures, while inorganic compounds typically do not possess such structures, inorganic nanotubes thus have been a hot topic in the past decade. In this article, we review recent research activities on nanotubes fabrication and focus on three novel synthetic strategies for generating nanotubes from inorganic materials that do not have a layered structure. Specifically, thermal oxidation method based on gas–solid reaction to porous CuO nanotubes has been successfully established, semiconductor ZnS and Nb2O5nanotubes have been prepared by employing sacrificial template strategy based on liquid–solid reaction, and an in situ template method has been developed for the preparation of ZnO taper tubes through a chemical etching reaction. We have described the nanotube formation processes and illustrated the detailed key factors during their growth. The proposed mechanisms are presented for nanotube fabrication and the important pioneering studies are discussed on the rational design and fabrication of functional materials with tubular structures. It is the intention of this contribution to provide a brief account of these research activities.
PMCID: PMC2893443  PMID: 20592945
Nanotubes; Chemical synthesis; Nanostructures; Inorganic materials
23.  Decreased glucose transporters correlate to abnormal hyperphosphorylation of tau in Alzheimer disease1 
FEBS letters  2008;582(2):359-364.
Brain glucose uptake/metabolism is impaired in Alzheimer disease (AD). Here, we report that levels of the two major brain glucose transporters (GLUT1 and GLUT3) responsible for glucose uptake into neurons were decreased in AD brain. This decrease correlated to the decrease in O-GlcNAcylation, to the hyperphosphorylation of tau, and to the density of neurofibrillary tangles in human brains. We also found down-regulation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1, a major regulator of GLUT1 and GLUT3, in AD brain. These studies provide a possible mechanism by which GLUT1 and GLUT3 deficiency could cause impaired brain glucose uptake/metabolism and contribute to neurodegeneration via down-regulation of O-GlcNAcylation and hyperphosphorylation of tau in AD.
PMCID: PMC2247364  PMID: 18174027
Glucose transporters; tau; hyperphosphorylation; Alzheimer disease; O-GlcNAcylation; hypoxia-inducible factor
24.  A non-transgenic mouse model (icv-STZ mouse) of Alzheimer’s disease: Similarities to and differences from the transgenic model (3xTg-AD mouse) 
Molecular neurobiology  2012;47(2):711-725.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) can be divided into sporadic AD (SAD) and familial AD (FAD). Most AD cases are sporadic and result from multiple etiologic factors, including environmental, genetic and metabolic factors, whereas FAD is caused by mutations in the presenilins or amyloid-β (Aβ) precursor protein (APP) genes. A commonly used animal model for AD is the 3xTg-AD transgenic mouse model, which harbors mutated presenilin 1, APP and tau genes and thus represents a model of FAD. There is an unmet need to in the field to characterize animal models representing different AD mechanisms, so that potential drugs for SAD can be evaluated preclinically in these animal models. A mouse model generated by intracerebroventricular (icv) administration of streptozocin (STZ), the icv-STZ mouse, shows many aspects of SAD. In this study, we compared the non-cognitive and cognitive behaviors as well as biochemical and immunohistochemical alterations between the icv-STZ mouse and the 3xTg-AD mouse. We found that both mouse models showed increased exploratory activity as well as impaired learning and spatial memory. Both models also demonstrated neuroinflammation, altered synaptic proteins and insulin/IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1) signaling, and increased hyperphosphorylated tau in the brain. The most prominent brain abnormality in the icv-STZ mouse was neuroinflammation, and in the 3xTg-AD mouse it was elevation of hyperphosphorylated tau. These observations demonstrate the behavioral and neuropathological similarities and differences between the icv-STZ mouse and the 3xTg-AD mouse models and will help guide future studies using these two mouse models for the development of AD drugs.
PMCID: PMC3582864  PMID: 23150171
Alzheimer’s disease; mouse model; behavioral tests; brain pathology
25.  Matrices of Physiologic Stiffness Potently Inactivate Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Fibroblasts 
Fibroblasts from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) have been shown to differ from normal lung fibroblasts in functional behaviors that contribute to the pathogenesis of IPF, including the expression of contractile proteins and proliferation, but how such behaviors vary in matrices with stiffness matched to normal and fibrotic lung tissue remains unknown. Here, we tested whether pathologic changes in matrix stiffness control IPF and normal lung tissue–derived fibroblast functions, and compared the relative efficacy of mechanical cues to an antifibrotic lipid mediator, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). Fibroblasts were grown on collagen I–coated glass or hydrogel substrates of discrete stiffnesses, spanning the range of normal and fibrotic lung tissue. Traction microscopy was used to quantify contractile function. The CyQuant Cell Proliferation Assay (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA) was used to assess changes in cell number, and PGE2 concentrations were measured by ELISA. We confirmed differences in proliferation and PGE2 synthesis between IPF and normal tissue–derived fibroblasts on rigid substrates. However, IPF fibroblasts remained highly responsive to changes in matrix stiffness, and both proliferative and contractile differences between IPF and normal fibroblasts were ablated on physiologically soft matrices. We also confirmed the relative resistance of IPF fibroblasts to PGE2, while demonstrating that decreases in matrix stiffness and the inhibition of Rho kinase both potently attenuate contractile function in IPF-derived fibroblasts. We conclude that pathologic changes in the mechanical environment control important IPF fibroblast functions. Understanding how mechanical cues control fibroblast function may offer new opportunities for targeting these cells, even when they are resistant to antifibrotic pharmacological agents or biological mediators.
PMCID: PMC3653602  PMID: 23258227
pulmonary fibrosis; lung; extracellular matrix; fibroblast contractility

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