Genome-wide association studies have identified susceptibility loci for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We conducted a meta-analysis of all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that showed nominally significant P-values in two previously published genome-wide scans that included a total of 2961 ESCC cases and 3400 controls. The meta-analysis revealed five SNPs at 2q33 with P< 5 × 10−8, and the strongest signal was rs13016963, with a combined odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of 1.29 (1.19–1.40) and P= 7.63 × 10−10. An imputation analysis of 4304 SNPs at 2q33 suggested a single association signal, and the strongest imputed SNP associations were similar to those from the genotyped SNPs. We conducted an ancestral recombination graph analysis with 53 SNPs to identify one or more haplotypes that harbor the variants directly responsible for the detected association signal. This showed that the five SNPs exist in a single haplotype along with 45 imputed SNPs in strong linkage disequilibrium, and the strongest candidate was rs10201587, one of the genotyped SNPs. Our meta-analysis found genome-wide significant SNPs at 2q33 that map to the CASP8/ALS2CR12/TRAK2 gene region. Variants in CASP8 have been extensively studied across a spectrum of cancers with mixed results. The locus we identified appears to be distinct from the widely studied rs3834129 and rs1045485 SNPs in CASP8. Future studies of esophageal and other cancers should focus on comprehensive sequencing of this 2q33 locus and functional analysis of rs13016963 and rs10201587 and other strongly correlated variants.
Klotho was originally characterized as an aging suppressor gene that predisposed Klotho-deficient mice to premature aging-like syndrome. Although Klotho was recently reported to exhibit tumor suppressive properties during various malignant transformations, the functional role and molecular mechanism of Klotho in hepatocarcinogenesis remains poorly understood. In our present study, immunohistochemical Klotho staining levels in a clinical follow-up of 52 hepatoma patients were significantly associated with liver cirrhosis, tumor multiplicity and venous invasion. The overall survival rate of hepatoma patients with high Klotho expression was significantly lower than those patients with low Klotho expression. Moreover, Klotho overexpression increased cellular migration, anchorage-independent growth, and anoikis resistance in hepatoma cells. Klotho overexpression elevated p21-activated kinase 1 (PAK1) expression and shRNA-mediated PAK1 knockdown and kinase activity inhibition with kinase dead mutant PAK1 K299R coexpression or allosteric inhibitor IPA3 treatment reversed anoikis resistance in Klotho-overexpressed hepatoma cells. More importantly, the pivotal significance of upregulated VEGFR2 protein levels mediated by Klotho expression was confirmed by VEGFR2 inhibitor Axitinib and blocking antibody treatment in hepatoma cells. Axitinib treatment sensitized anoikis was reversed by constitutive active mutant PAK1 T423E coexpression in Klotho-overexpressed hepatoma cells. Conversely, knockdown of Klotho reduced VEGFR2/PAK1 dependent anoikis resistance, which could be reversed by PAK1 T423E. These results revealed a novel oncogenic function of Klotho in promoting anoikis resistance via activating VEGFR2/PAK1 signaling, thus facilitating tumor migration and invasion during hepatoma progression, which could provide a putative molecular mechanism for tumor metastasis.
Hyperuricemia (HUA) is a potential risk factor for developing insulin resistance, hypertension, dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease. Therefore, we studied the prevalence of HUA and associated risk factors in the population of two provinces in northern China.
Based on the research of Chinese Physiological Constant and Health Conditions conducted in 2008–2010, we enrolled 29,639 subjects in a randomized, stratified study in four sampling areas in Heilongjiang Province and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. We collected 13,140 serum samples to determine biochemical indicators including uric acid(UA), glucose, blood lipids, liver function, and renal function, and finally a representative sample of 8439 aged 18 years and older was determined. We also defined and stratified HUA, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and lipid abnormalities according to international guidelines.
There were significant differences in the UA levels between different genders and regions. The total prevalence of HUA is 13.7%. Men had a higher prevalence of HUA than women (21% vs. 7.9%; P < 0.0001). As age increased, HUA prevalence decreased in men but rose in women. The suburbs of big cities had the highest HUA prevalence (18.7%), and in high-prevalence areas the proportion of women with HUA also increased. A stepwise logistic regression model was used to filter out twelve HUA risk factors, including age, gender, residence, hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, impaired fasting glucose, hypertension, obesity, abdominal obesity, CKD, drinking and sleeping. After adjusting for these factors, the odds ratio of HUA was 1.92 times higher in men than in women. Compared with agricultural and pastoral areas, the odds ratio of having HUA was 2.14 for participants in the suburbs of big cities and 1.57 in the center of big cities.
The prevalence of HUA is high in northern China. The differences in HUA prevalence by geographic region suggested that unbalanced economic development and health education, therefore HUA prevention measures should be strengthened to improve quality of life and reduce health care costs.
Prevalence; Hyperuricemia; Risk factors
Near infrared quantum dots have been receiving great attention as fluorescent optical probes for in vivo imaging applications. In this contribution, we report the synthesis and surface functionalization of cadmium free ternary AgInS2 nanocrystals emitting in the near infrared range for successful in vitro and in vivo bioimaging applications. The FDA approved triblock copolymer Pluronic F127 was used to encapsulate the nanocrystals and made them dispersible in aqueous solution. By employing a whole body small animal optical imaging setup, we were able to use the AgInS2 nanocrystals formulation for passive targeted delivery to the tumor site. The ultra-small crystal size, near-infrared emitting luminescence, and high quantum yield make the AgInS2 nanocrystals an attractive candidate as a biological contrast agent for cancer sensing and imaging.
Near infrared quantum dots; Bioimaging; Surface functionalization; Targeted delivery; Nanotoxicity.
Chronic inflammation plays a crucial role in the progression of vascular calcification (VC). This study was designed to investigate whether the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr) pathway is involved in the progression of VC in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) during inflammation.
Methods and Results
Twenty-eight ESRD patients were divided into control and inflamed groups according to plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) level. Surgically removed tissues from the radial arteries of patients receiving arteriovenostomy were used in the experiments. The expression of tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) of the radial artery were increased in the inflamed group. Hematoxylin-eosin and alizarin red S staining revealed parallel increases in foam cell formation and calcium deposit formation in continuous cross-sections of radial arteries in the inflamed group compared to the control, which were closely correlated with increased LDLr, sterol regulatory element binding protein-2 (SREBP-2), bone morphogenetic proteins-2 (BMP-2), and collagen I protein expression, as shown by immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent staining. Confocal microscopy confirmed that inflammation enhanced the translocation of the SREBP cleavage-activating protein (SCAP)/SREBP-2 complex from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi, thereby activating LDLr gene transcription. Inflammation increased alkaline phosphatase protein expression and reduced α-smooth muscle actin protein expression, contributing to the conversion of the vascular smooth muscle cells in calcified vessels from the fibroblastic to the osteogenic phenotype; osteogenic cells are the main cellular components involved in VC. Further analysis showed that the inflammation-induced disruption of the LDLr pathway was significantly associated with enhanced BMP-2 and collagen I expression.
Inflammation accelerated the progression of VC in ESRD patients by disrupting the LDLr pathway, which may represent a novel mechanism involved in the progression of both VC and atherosclerosis.
Although Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) marker is an invaluable tool for positional cloning, association study and evolutionary analysis, low SNP detection efficiency by Allele-Specific PCR (AS-PCR) still restricts its application as molecular marker like other markers such as Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR). To overcome this problem, primers with a single nucleotide artificial mismatch introduced within the three bases closest to the 3’end (SNP site) have been used in AS-PCR. However, for one SNP site, nine possible mismatches can be generated among the three bases and how to select the right one to increase primer specificity is still a challenge.
In this study, different from the previous reports which used a limited quantity of primers randomly (several or dozen pairs), we systematically investigated the effects of mismatch base pairs, mismatch sites and SNP types on primer specificity with 2071 primer pairs, which were designed based on SNPs from Brassica oleracea 01-88 and 02-12. According to the statistical results, we (1) found that the primers designed with SNP (A/T), in which the mismatch (CA) in the 3rd nucleotide from the 3’ end, had the highest allele-specificity (81.9%). This information could be used when designing primers from a large quantity of SNP sites; (2) performed the primer design principle which forms the one and only best primer for every SNP type. This is never reported in previous studies. Additionally, we further identified its availability in rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) and sesame (Sesamum indicum). High polymorphism percent (75%) of the designed primers indicated it is a general method and can be applied in other species.
The method provided in this study can generate primers more effectively for every SNP site compared to other AS-PCR primer design methods. The high allele-specific efficiency of the SNP primer allows the feasibility for low- to moderate- throughput SNP analyses and is much suitable for gene mapping, map-based cloning, and marker-assisted selection in crops.
SNP; AS-PCR; Mismatch; Polymorphism; Destabilization
Although the genetic variability of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in HBV-infected patients has been extensively studied, reports on genotypes, subtypes and mutations in the S region of HBV strains from Chinese blood donors are limited. In this study, 245 blood samples from HBsAg-positive blood donors were collected from five geographically diverse blood centers in China. The S region of HBV was amplified, and the HBV genotype and subtype were determined. The amino acid sequences of the S region were aligned, and mutations related to the failure of immunization and HBsAg detection were determined. Of the 245 samples, 228 (93 %) were genotyped successfully. We found that genotypes B, C, D and A accounted for 58.8 %, 21.9 %, 6.6 % and 3.95 % of the isolates, respectively. The distribution of HBV antigen subtypes was as follows: adw (67.6 %), adr (23.3 %) and ayw (8.7 %). Mutations were present in 39 (17.1 %) of 228 samples in the major hydrophilic region (MHR) of the S region. This study demonstrated that HBV genotype/subtype B/adw was the most frequent strain circulating in HBV-infected Chinese blood donors, followed by C/adr. The occurrence of MHR mutants in HBV-infected blood donors and the potential failure to detect some of them in collected units poses a threat to transfusion safety.
Aptamers are single-stranded oligonucleotides of DNA or RNA that bind to target molecules with high affinity and specificity. Typically, aptamers are generated by an iterative selection process, called systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX). Recent advancements in SELEX technology have extended aptamer selection from comparatively simple mixtures of purified proteins to whole living cells, and now cell-based SELEX (or cell-SELEX) can isolate aptamers that bind to specific target cells. Combined with nanotechnology, microchips, microfluidic devices, RNAi and other advanced technologies, cell-SELEX represents an integrated platform providing ultrasensitive and highly specific tools for clinical medicine. In this review, we describe the recent progress made in the application of cell-SELEX for diagnosis, therapy and biomarker discovery.
aptamer; SELEX; molecular medicine
Early in this study, CdTe/ZnS core/shell quantum dots (QDs) were encapsulated in carboxylated Pluronic F127 triblock polymeric micelle, to preserve the optical and colloidal stability of QDs in biological fluids. Folic acid (FA) was then conjugated to the surface of QDs for the targeted delivery of the QD formulation to the tumor site, by exploiting the overexpressed FA receptors (FARs) on the tumor cells. Cytotoxicity study demonstrated that the QD formulation has negligible in vitro toxicity. The in vitro study showed that the bioconjugated micelle-encapsulated QDs, but not the unconjugated QDs, were able to efficiently label Panc-1 cancer cells. In vivo imaging study showed that bioconjugated QDs were able to target tumor site after intravenous injection of the formulation in tumor-bearing mice.
Quantum dots; Targeted delivery; Bioimaging; Bioconjugation; Pluronics and Nanotoxicity.
IDH1 and IDH2 mutations occur frequently in gliomas and acute myeloid leukemia, leading to simultaneous loss and gain of activities in the production of α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) and 2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG), respectively. Here we demonstrate that 2-HG is a competitive inhibitor of multiple α-KG-dependent dioxygenases, including histone demethylases and the TET family of 5-methlycytosine (5mC) hydroxylases. 2-HG occupies the same space as α-KG does in the active site of histone demethylases. Ectopic expression of tumor-derived IDH1 and IDH2 mutants inhibits histone demethylation and 5mC hydroxylation. In glioma, IDH1 mutations are associated with increased histone methylation and decreased 5-hydroxylmethylcytosine (5hmC). Hence, tumor-derived IDH1 and IDH2 mutations reduce α-KG and accumulate an α-KG antagonist, 2-HG, leading to genome-wide histone and DNA methylation alterations.
Plasmalogens play multiple roles in the structures of biological membranes, cell membrane lipid homeostasis and human diseases. We report the isolation and identification of choline plasmalogens (ChoPlas) from swine liver by high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)/MS. The growth and viability of hepatoma cells (CBRH7919, HepG2 and SMMC7721) was determined following ChoPlas treatment comparing with that of human normal immortal cell lines (HL7702). Result indicated that ChoPlas inhibited hepatoma cell proliferation with an optimal concentration and time of 25 μmol/L and 24 h. To better understand the mechanism of the ChoPlas-induced inhibition of hepatoma cell proliferation, Caveolin-1 and PI3K/Akt pathway signals, including total Akt, phospho-Akt(pAkt) and Bcl-2 expression in CBRH7919 cells, were determined by western blot. ChoPlas treatment increased Caveolin-1 expression and reduced the expression of phospho-Akt (pAkt) and Bcl-2, downstream targets of the PI3K/Akt pathway. Further cell cycle analysis showed that ChoPlas treatment induced G1 and G1/S phase transition cell cycle arrest. The expression of essential cell cycle regulatory proteins involved in the G1 and G1/S phase transitions, cyclin D, CDK4, cyclin E and CDK2, were also analyzed by western blot. ChoPlas reduced CDK4, cyclin E and CDK2 expression. Taken together, the results indicate that swine liver-derived natural ChoPlas inhibits hepatoma cell proliferation associated with Caveolin-1 and PI3K/Akt signals.
Long terminal repeat retrotransposons (LTR-RTs) are the major DNA components in flowering plants. Most LTR-RTs contain dinucleotides ‘TG’ and ‘CA’ at the ends of the two LTRs. Here we report the structure, evolution, and propensity of a tomato atypical retrotransposon element (TARE1) with both LTRs starting as ‘TA’. This family is also characterized by high copy numbers (354 copies), short LTR size (194 bp), extremely low ratio of solo LTRs to intact elements (0.05∶1), recent insertion (most within 0.75∼1.75 million years, Mys), and enrichment in pericentromeric region. The majority (83%) of the TARE1 elements are shared between S. lycopersicum and its wild relative S. pimpinellifolium, but none of them are found in potato. In the present study, we used shared LTR-RTs as molecular markers and estimated the divergence time between S. lycopersicum and S. pimpinellifolium to be <0.5 Mys. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the TARE1 elements, together with two closely related families, TARE2 and TGRE1, have formed a sub-lineage belonging to a Copia-like Ale lineage. Although TARE1 and TARE2 shared similar structural characteristics, the timing, scale, and activity of their amplification were found to be substantially different. We further propose a model wherein a single mutation from ‘G’ to ‘A’ in 3′ LTR followed by amplification is responsible for the origin of TARE1, thus providing evidence that the proliferation of a spontaneous mutation can be mediated by the amplification of LTR-RTs at the level of RNA.
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is increasing rapidly among Chinese adults, and limited data are available on T2DM management and the status of glycemic control in China. We assessed the efficacy of oral antidiabetes drugs (OADs), glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, and insulin for treatment of T2DM across multiple regions in China.
This was a multicenter, cross-sectional survey of outpatients conducted in 606 hospitals across China. Data from all the patients were collected between April and June, 2011.
A total of 238,639 patients were included in the survey. Eligible patients were treated with either OADs alone (n=157,212 [65.88%]), OADs plus insulin (n=80,973 [33.93%]), or OADs plus GLP-1 receptor agonists (n=454 [0.19%]). The OAD monotherapy, OAD + insulin, and OAD + GLP-1 receptor agonist groups had mean glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels (±SD) of 7.67% (±1.58%), 8.21% (±1.91%), and 7.80% (±1.76%), respectively. Among those three groups, 34.63%, 26.21%, and 36.12% met the goal of HbA1c <7.0%, respectively. Mean HbA1c and achievement of A1c <7.0% was related to the duration of T2DM.
Less than one third of the patients had achieved the goal of HbA1c <7.0%. Glycemic control decreased and insulin use increased with the duration of diabetes.
China; GLP-1 receptor agonists; HbA1c; Insulin; Oral antidiabetes drugs (OADs); Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Persistent and heavy rainfall in the upper and middle Huaihe River of China brought about severe floods during the end of June and July 2007. However, there has been no assessment on the association between the floods and infectious diarrhea. This study aimed to quantify the impact of the floods in 2007 on the burden of disease due to infectious diarrhea in northwest of Anhui Province.
A time-stratified case-crossover analysis was firstly conducted to examine the relationship between daily cases of infectious diarrhea and the 2007 floods in Fuyang and Bozhou of Anhui Province. Odds ratios (ORs) of the flood risk were quantified by conditional logistic regression. The years lived with disability (YLDs) of infectious diarrhea attributable to floods were then estimated based on the WHO framework of the calculating potential impact fraction in the Burden of Disease study.
A total of 197 infectious diarrheas were notified during the exposure and control periods in the two study areas. The strongest effect was shown with a 2-day lag in Fuyang and a 5-day lag in Bozhou. Multivariable analysis showed that floods were significantly associated with an increased risk of the number cases of infectious diarrhea (OR = 3.175, 95%CI: 1.126–8.954 in Fuyang; OR = 6.754, 95%CI: 1.954–23.344 in Bozhou). Attributable YLD per 1000 of infectious diarrhea resulting from the floods was 0.0081 in Fuyang and 0.0209 in Bozhou.
Our findings confirm that floods have significantly increased the risks of infectious diarrhea in the study areas. In addition, prolonged moderate flood may cause more burdens of infectious diarrheas than severe flood with a shorter duration. More attention should be paid to particular vulnerable groups, including younger children and elderly, in developing public health preparation and intervention programs. Findings have significant implications for developing strategies to prevent and reduce health impact of floods.
Carboxyl-terminal binding protein 1 (CtBP1) is a transcriptional co-repressor with oncogenic potential. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining using human breast cancer tissue arrays revealed that 92% of invasive ductal breast cancer cases have CtBP1-positive staining compared to 4% CtBP1-positive in normal breast tissue. To explore the functional impact of CtBP1 in breast cancer, we examined CtBP1’s transcriptional regulation of known tumor suppressors, breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (Brca1), and E-cadherin. We found CtBP1 was recruited to the promoter regions of Brca1 and E-cadherin genes in breast cancer cells. Concomitantly, Brca1 loss was detected in 57% and E-cadherin loss was detected in 76% of human invasive ductal breast cancers, and correlated with CtBP1 nuclear staining in these lesions. Importantly, siRNA knock down of CtBP1 restored Brca1 and E-cadherin expression in breast cancer cell lines, implying CtBP1 down-regulates Brca1 and E-cadherin genes in human breast cancer. This study provides evidence that although genetic loss of Brca1 and E-cadherin are infrequent in breast cancer, they are downregulated at the transcriptional level by CtBP1 expression. Thus, CtBP1 activation could be a potential biomarker for breast cancer development.
Brca1; CtBP1; E-cadherin; transcription; breast cancer
Cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1) catalyzes the first and rate-limiting step in the classical pathway of bile acids synthesis in liver and is crucial for maintaining lipid homeostasis. Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α) and α1-fetoprotein transcription factor (FTF) are two major transcription factors driving CYP7A1 promoter activity in hepatocytes. Previous researches have shown that Prospero-related homeobox (Prox1) directly interacts with both HNF4α and FTF and potently co-represses CYP7A1 transcription and bile acid synthesis through unidentified mechanisms. In this work, mechanisms involved in Prox1-mediated co-repression were explored by identifying Prox1-associated proteins using immunoprecipitation followed by mass spectrometry (IP-MS) methodology. Multiple components of the epigenetically repressive lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1)/nucleosome remodeling and histone deacetylase (NuRD) complex, most notably LSD1 and histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2), were found to be associated with Prox1 and GST pulldown assay demonstrated that Prox1 directly interacts with LSD1. Sequential chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays showed that Prox1 co-localizes with HNF4α, LSD1 and HDAC2 on CYP7A1 promoter in HepG2 cells. Furthermore, by using ChIP assay on HepG2 cells with endogenous Prox1 knocked down by RNA interference, Prox1 was shown to recruit LSD1 and HDAC2 onto CYP7A1 promoter and cause increased H3K4 demethylation. Finally, bile acids treatment of HepG2 cells, which significantly repressed CYP7A1 transcription, resulted in increased Prox1 and LSD1/NuRD complex occupancy on CYP7A1 promoter with a concurrent increase in H3K4 demethylation and H3/H4 deacetylation. These results showed that Prox1 interacts with LSD1 to recruit the repressive LSD1/NuRD complex to CYP7A1 promoter and co-represses transcription through epigenetic mechanisms. In addition, such Prox1-mediated epigenetic repression is involved in the physiologically essential negative feedback inhibition of CYP7A1 transcription by bile acids.
For optimal image quality in susceptibility-weighted imaging and accurate quantification of susceptibility, it is necessary to isolate the local field generated by local magnetic sources (such as iron) from the background field that arises from imperfect shimming and variations in magnetic susceptibility of surrounding tissues (including air). Previous background removal techniques have limited effectiveness depending on the accuracy of model assumptions or information input. In this article, we report an observation that the magnetic field for a dipole outside a given region of interest (ROI) is approximately orthogonal to the magnetic field of a dipole inside the ROI. Accordingly, we propose a nonparametric background field removal technique based on projection onto dipole fields (PDF). In this PDF technique, the background field inside an ROI is decomposed into a field originating from dipoles outside the ROI using the projection theorem in Hilbert space. This novel PDF background removal technique was validated on a numerical simulation and a phantom experiment and was applied in human brain imaging, demonstrating substantial improvement in background field removal compared with the commonly used high-pass filtering method.
susceptibility; projection; dipole field; background removal
Dyslipidemia and activation of renin-angiotensin system (RAS) contribute to the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). This study investigated possible synergistic effects of intrarenal RAS activation with hyperlipidemia in renal injuries.
Apolipoprotein knockout mice were fed with normal chow diet (control) or high fat diet (HF group) for eight weeks. Human proximal tubular epithelial cell line (HK-2) was treated without (control) or with cholesterol (30 μg/ml) plus 25-hydroxycholesterol (1 μg/ml) (lipid group) for 24 hours. The plasma lipid profile and RAS components were determined by clinical biochemistry assay and radiommunoassay, respectively. Collagen deposition in kidneys was evaluated by Masson-staining. The gene and protein expressions of molecules involved in RAS components and biomarkers of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) were examined by real-time PCR, immunochemical staining, and Western blot.
The mice fed with high-fat diet showed significant hyperlipidemia with collagen deposition in renal tubular interstitium compared to controls. The plasma levels of renin, angiotensin I, and angiotensin II were no difference in two groups. However, the kidneys of HF group showed up-regulated RAS components, which were positively associated with increased plasma levels of triglyceride, total cholesterol, and LDL. These effects were further confirmed by in vitro studies. Lipid loading induced HK-2 cells underwent EMT, which was closely associated with the increased expressions of intracellular RAS components.
Local RAS activation was involved in hyperlipidemia-mediated renal injuries, suggesting that there are synergistic effects resulting from RAS activation with hyperlipidemia that accelerates the progression of CKD.
Hyperlipidemia; Renin-angiotensin system; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition; Renal injury
Endomorphins (EMs) have a very important bridge-function in
cardiovascular, endocrinological, and neurological systems. This
study is to investigate the effects of EMs on the synthesis and
secretion of vasoactive substances induced by advanced glycation
end products in primary cultured human umbilical vein endothelial
cells (HUVECs). Firstly, HUVECs were stimulated with AGEs-bovine
serum albumin (AGEs-BSA), bovine serum albumin (BSA), or both
AGEs-BSA and EMs together, respectively. Then, HUVEC survival rate
was calculated by MTT assay, the levels of NO, endothelial nitric
oxide synthase (eNOS), and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)
were detected by colorimetric analysis, and the contents of
endothelin-1 (ET-1) were detected by ELISA. The mRNA levels of
eNOS and ET-1 were measured by RT-PCR. The expression of p38
mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) was detected by
immunofluorescence assay. The results showed that the mRNA
expression and secretion of eNOS were significantly enhanced after
incubation with EMs compared to those with AGEs-BSA, while the
secretion of NO and iNOS, mRNA expression, and secretion of ET-1
had opposite changes. The fluorescence intensity of p38MAPK in
nuclear was decreased after pretreatment with EMs compared to
incubation with AGEs-BSA. Conclusion. The present
study suggests that EMs have certain protection effect on
AGEs-BSA-induced injury in HUVEC.
In silico screening of metazoan genome data identified multiple endogenous hepadnaviral elements in the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) genome, most notably two elements comprising about 1.3× and 1.0× the full-length genome. Phylogenetic and molecular dating analyses show that endogenous budgerigar hepatitis B viruses (eBHBV) share an ancestor with extant avihepadnaviruses and infiltrated the budgerigar genome millions of years ago. Identification of full-length genomes with preserved key features like ε signals could enable resurrection of ancient BHBV.
The risk factors for No. 12p and No. 12b lymph node (LN) metastases in advanced gastric cancer (GC) remain controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate the risk factors for No. 12p and No. 12b LN metastases in advanced GC.
From January 1999 to December 2005, a retrospective analysis of 163 patients with advanced GC who underwent D2 lymphadenectomy in addition to No. 12p and No. 12b LN dissections was conducted. Potential clinicopathological factors that could influence No. 12p and No. 12b LN metastases were statistically analyzed.
There were 15 cases (9.2%) with No. 12p LN metastases and 5 cases (3.1%) with synchronous No. 12b LN metastases. A logistic regression analysis revealed that the Borrmann type (III/IV versus I/II, P = 0.029), localization (lesser/circular versus greater, P = 0.025), and depth of invasion (pT4 versus pT2/pT3, P = 0.009) were associated with 11.1-, 3.8-, and 5.6-fold increases, respectively, for risk of No. 12p and No. 12b LN metastases. A logistic regression analysis also showed that No. 5 (P = 0.006) and No. 12a (P = 0.004) LN metastases were associated with 6.9- and 11.3-fold increases, respectively, for risk of No. 12p and No. 12b LN metastases. In addition, significant differences in 5-year survival of patients with and without No. 12p and No. 12b LN metastases were observed (13.3% versus 35.1%, P = 0.022).
We conclude that Borrmann type, localization, and depth of invasion are significant variables for identifying patients with No. 12p and No. 12b LN metastases. Individuals with No. 5 or No. 12a LN metastases should be on high alert for the possibility of additional metastases to the No. 12p and No. 12b LNs.
Gastrectomy; gastric cancer; lymphadenectomy; metastasis; risk factor
The magnetic susceptibility of tissue can be determined in gradient echo MRI by deconvolving the local magnetic field with the magnetic field generated by a unit dipole. This Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping (QSM) problem is unfortunately ill-posed. By transforming the problem to the Fourier domain, the susceptibility appears to be undersampled only at points where the dipole kernel is zero, suggesting that a modest amount of additional information may be sufficient for uniquely resolving susceptibility. A Morphology Enabled Dipole Inversion (MEDI) approach is developed that exploits the structural consistency between the susceptibility map and the magnitude image reconstructed from the same gradient echo MRI. Specifically, voxels that are part of edges in the susceptibility map but not in the edges of the magnitude image are considered to be sparse. In this approach an L1 norm minimization is used to express this sparsity property. Numerical simulations and phantom experiments are performed to demonstrate the superiority of this L1 minimization approach over the previous L2 minimization method. Preliminary brain imaging results in healthy subjects and in patients with intracerebral hemorrhages illustrate that QSM is feasible in practice.
quantitative susceptibility mapping; gradient echo; inverse problem; morphology enabled dipole inversion; tissue susceptibility; L1 norm; L2 norm; constraint minimization; sparsity
Melatonin is involved in the regulation of circadian and seasonal rhythms and immune function. Prior research reported low melatonin levels in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). ASMT located in pseudo-autosomal region 1 encodes the last enzyme of the melatonin biosynthesis pathway. A previous study reported an association between ASD and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs4446909 and rs5989681 located in the promoter of ASMT. Furthermore, rare deleterious mutations were identified in a subset of patients. To investigate the association between ASMT and autism, we sequenced all ASMT exons and its neighboring region in 398 Chinese Han individuals with autism and 437 healthy controls. Although our study did not detect significant differences of genotypic distribution and allele frequencies of the common SNPs in ASMT between patients with autism and healthy controls, we identified new rare coding mutations of ASMT. Among these rare variants, 4 were exclusively detected in patients with autism including a stop mutation (p.R115W, p.V166I, p.V179G, and p.W257X). These four coding variants were observed in 6 of 398 (1.51%) patients with autism and none in 437 controls (Chi-Square test, Continuity Correction p = 0.032, two-sided). Functional prediction of impact of amino acid showed that p.R115W might affect protein function. These results indicate that ASMT might be a susceptibility gene for autism. Further studies in larger samples are needed to better understand the degree of variation in this gene as well as to understand the biochemical and clinical impacts of ASMT/melatonin deficiency.
The conductivity and permittivity of tumors are known to differ significantly from those of normal tissues. Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) is a relatively new imaging method for exploiting these differences. However, the accuracy of data capture is one of the difficult problems urgently to be solved in the clinical application of EIT technology. A new concept of EIT sensitizers is put forward in this paper with the goal of expanding the contrast ratio of tumor and healthy tissue to enhance EIT imaging quality. The use of nanoparticles for changing tumor characteristics and determining the infiltration vector for easier detection has been widely accepted in the biomedical field. Ultra-pure water, normal saline, and gold nanoparticles, three kinds of material with large differences in electrical characteristics, are considered as sensitizers and undergo mathematical model analysis and animal experimentation. Our preliminary results suggest that nanoparticles are promising for sensitization work. Furthermore, in experimental and simulation results, we found that we should select different sensitizers for the detection of different types and stages of tumor.
EIT; nanoparticle sensitizer; tumor detection; EMF analysis