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1.  Genetic variants in STAT4 and HLA-DQ genes confer risk of hepatitis B virus–related hepatocellular carcinoma 
Nature genetics  2012;45(1):72-75.
To identify genetic susceptibility loci for hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the Chinese population, we carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in 2,514 chronic HBV carriers (1,161 HCC cases and 1,353 controls) followed by a 2-stage validation among 6 independent populations of chronic HBV carriers (4,319 cases and 4,966 controls). The joint analyses showed that HCC risk was significantly associated with two independent loci: rs7574865 at STAT4, Pmeta = 2.48 × 10−10, odds ratio (OR) = 1.21; and rs9275319 at HLA-DQ, Pmeta = 2.72 × 10−17, OR = 1.49. The risk allele G at rs7574865 was significantly associated with lower mRNA levels of STAT4 in both the HCC tissues and nontumor tissues of 155 individuals with HBV-related HCC (Ptrend = 0.0008 and 0.0002, respectively). We also found significantly lower mRNA expression of STAT4 in HCC tumor tissues compared with paired adjacent nontumor tissues (P = 2.33 × 10−14).
PMCID: PMC4105840  PMID: 23242368
2.  TERT promoter mutations are associated with distant metastases in upper tract urothelial carcinomas and serve as urinary biomarkers detected by a sensitive castPCR 
Oncotarget  2014;5(23):12428-12439.
TERT promoter C228T and C250T mutations occur in various malignancies including bladder cancer (BC) and may serve as urinary tumor markers. However, the mutation association with clinical variables in upper tract urothelial carcinomas (UTUCs) is unclear. There is also a lack of sensitive tools to detect the minor mutant TERT promoter in bulk urinary DNA. Here we analyzed 220 UTUC patients [98 with renal pelvic carcinoma (RPC) and 122 with ureter carcinoma (UC)] and developed a Competitive Allele-Specific TaqMan PCR (castPCR) for urinary assay. We identified C228T or C250T mutations in 42 of 98 (43%) RPC and 23 of 122 (19%) UC tumors. Distant metastases were significantly correlated with UTUC patients harboring TERT promoter mutations (P = 0.001). C228T were detected in 6/10 and 9/10 of urine samples from patients with mutation-carrying tumors using Sanger sequencing and castPCR, respectively. When urine samples from 70 BC patients were analyzed together, the sensitivity of urinary C228T assay was 89% and 50% for castPCR and Sanger sequencing, respectively (P < 0.001). Collectively, TERT promoter mutations occur in UTUCs with a high frequency in RPCs and predict distant metastasis. castPCR assays of the mutation are a useful tool for urine-based diagnostics of urological malignancies.
PMCID: PMC4322995  PMID: 25474136
Cancer biomarkers; Promoter mutations; Telomerase; TERT; UTUC
3.  TERT promoter mutations in renal cell carcinomas and upper tract urothelial carcinomas 
Oncotarget  2014;5(7):1829-1836.
TERT promoter mutations are identified in many malignancies including bladder cancer (BC) and upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC). In contrast, no mutations were found in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) as reported in a recent study. Because the mutant TERT promoter in urine DNA was recently tested as a marker for BC, it is important to ascertain whether these mutations are truly absent in RCCs. Here we determined TERT promoter mutations in 109 patients with RCC and 14 patients with UTUC. The mutations were found in 9/96 (9.3%) clear cell RCC (ccRCC) tumors and 1/8 (13%) chromophobe RCC tumors. Among ccRCC patients, the mutation was correlated with the advanced stages and metastasis, and higher TERT expression. Among UTUCs, the mutation was detected in tumors from 3/5 (60%) patients with renal pelvic cancer and 1/9 (11%) patients with ureter cancer. The mutation was also detected in 1 of 4 urine samples from patients with mutation+ UTUC. Collectively, TERT promoter mutations do occur in RCCs and are associated with aggressive disease. The mutation is more frequent in renal pelvic cancer. Thus, the mutant TERT promoter found in urine may come from not only BC, but also RCC or UTUC.
PMCID: PMC4039120  PMID: 24742867
Promoter mutation; RCC; TERT; Telomerase; UTUC
4.  The Epidemic Characteristics and Changing Trend of Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome in Hubei Province, China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92700.
Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is caused by different hantaviruses within the Bunyaviridae family. HFRS is a fulminant, infectious disease that occurs worldwide and is endemic in all 31 provinces of China. Since the first HFRS case in Hubei Province was reported in 1957, the disease has spread across the province and Hubei has become one of the seriously affected areas in China with the greatest number of reported HFRS cases in the 1980's. However, the epidemic characteristics of HFRS in Hubei are still not entirely clear and long-term, systematic investigations of this epidemic area have been very limited.
The spatiotemporal distribution of HFRS was investigated using data spanning the years 1980 to 2009. The annual HFRS incidence, fatality rate and seasonal incidence between 1980 and 2009 were calculated and plotted. GIS-based spatial analyses were conducted to detect the spatial distribution and seasonal pattern of HFRS. A spatial statistical analysis, using Kulldorff's spatial scan statistic, was performed to identify clustering of HFRS.
A total of 104,467 HFRS cases were reported in Hubei Province between 1980 and 2009. Incidence of and mortality due to HFRS declined after the outbreak in 1980s and HFRS cases have been sporadic in recent years. The locations and scale of disease clusters have changed during the three decades. The seasonal epidemic pattern of HFRS was characterized by the shift from the unimodal type (autumn/winter peak) to the bimodal type.
Socioeconomic development has great influence on the transmission of hantaviruses to humans and new epidemic characteristics have emerged in Hubei Province. It is necessary to reinforce preventative measures against HFRS according to the newly-presented seasonal variation and to intensify these efforts especially in the urban areas of Hubei Province.
PMCID: PMC3962441  PMID: 24658382
5.  Biphasic regulation of P-glycoprotein function and expression by NO donors in Caco-2 cells 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2012;33(6):767-774.
To investigate the effects of nitric oxide (NO) donors on the function and expression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in Caco-2 cells.
Caco-2 cells were exposed to NO donors for designated times. P-gp function and expression were assessed using Rhodamine123 uptake assay and Western blotting, respectively. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (iROS) and intracellular reactive nitrogen species (iRNS) levels were measured using ROS and RNS assay kits, respectively.
Exposure of Caco-2 cells to 0.1 or 2 mmol/L of sodium nitroprusside (SNP) affected the function and expression of P-gp in concentration- and time-dependent manners. A short-term (4 h) exposure reduced P-gp function and expression accompanied with significantly increased levels of iROS and iRNS. In contrast, a long-term (24 h) exposure stimulated the P-gp function and expression. The stimulatory effects of 2 mmol/L SNP was less profound as compared to those caused by 0.1 mmol/L SNP. The other NO donors SIN-1 and SNAP showed similar effects. Neither the NO scavenger PTIO (2 mmol/L) nor soluble guanylate cyclase inhibitor ODQ (50 μmol/L) reversed the SNP-induced alteration of P-gp function. On the other hand, free radical scavengers ascorbate, glutathione and uric acid (2 mmol/L for each), PKC inhibitor chelerythrine (5 μmol/L), PI3K/Akt inhibitor wortmannin (1 μmol/L) and p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580 (10 μmol/L) reversed the upregulation of P-gp function by the long-term exposure to SNP, but these agents had no effect on the impaired P-gp function following the short-term exposure to SNP.
NO donors time-dependently regulate P-gp function and expression in Caco-2 cells: short-term exposure impairs P-gp function and expression, whereas long-term exposure stimulates P-gp function and expression. The regulation occurs via a NO-independent mechanism.
PMCID: PMC4010373  PMID: 22543702
Caco-2 cells; P-glycoprotein; Rhodamine123 uptake; NO donors; NO; PKC; PI3K/Akt; p38 MAPK
6.  The X Protein of Hepatitis B Virus Inhibits Apoptosis in Hepatoma Cells through Enhancing the Methionine Adenosyltransferase 2A Gene Expression and Reducing S-Adenosylmethionine Production* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2011;286(19):17168-17180.
The X protein (HBx) of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is involved in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and methionine adenosyltransferase 2A (MAT2A) promotes the growth of liver cancer cells through altering S-adenosylmethionine homeostasis. Thus, we speculated that a link between HBx and MAT2A may contribute to HCC development. In this study, the effects of HBx on MAT2A expression and cell apoptosis were investigated, and the molecular mechanism by which HBx and MAT2A regulate tumorigenesis was evaluated. Results from immunohistochemistry analyses of 37 pairs of HBV-associated liver cancer tissues/corresponding peritumor tissues showed that HBx and MAT2A are highly expressed in most liver tumor tissues. Our in vitro results revealed that HBx activates MAT2A expression in a dose-dependent manner in hepatoma cells, and such regulation requires the cis-regulatory elements NF-κB and CREB on the MAT2A gene promoter. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) further demonstrated that HBx facilitates the binding of NF-κB and CREB to MAT2A gene promoter. In addition, overexpression of HBx or MAT2A inhibits cell apoptosis, whereas knockdown of MAT2A expression stimulates apoptosis in hepatoma cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that HBx reduces MAT1A expression and AdoMet production but enhances MAT2β expression. Thus, we proposed that HBx activates MAT2A expression through NF-κB and CREB signaling pathways to reduce AdoMet production, inhibit hepatoma cell apoptosis, and perhaps enhance HCC development. These findings should provide new insights into our understanding how the molecular mechanisms underline the effects of HBV infection on the production of MAT2A and the development of HCC.
PMCID: PMC3089560  PMID: 21247894
Apoptosis; Cancer Tumor Promoter; Chromatin Immunoprecipitation (ChiP); CREB; DNA-Protein Interaction; DNA Viruses; Gene Regulation; Hepatitis Virus; Oncogene; S-Adenosylmethionine (AdoMet)
7.  Coxsackievirus A16 Infection Induces Neural Cell and Non-Neural Cell Apoptosis In Vitro 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e111174.
Coxsackievirus A16 (CA16) is one of the main causative pathogens of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). Viral replication typically results in host cell apoptosis. Although CA16 infection has been reported to induce apoptosis in the human rhabdomyosarcoma (RD) cell line, it remains unclear whether CA16 induces apoptosis in diverse cell types, especially neural cells which have important clinical significance. In the current study, CA16 infection was found to induce similar apoptotic responses in both neural cells and non-neural cells in vitro, including nuclear fragmentation, DNA fragmentation and phosphatidylserine translocation. CA16 generally is not known to lead to serious neurological symptoms in vivo. In order to further clarify the correlation between clinical symptoms and cell apoptosis, two CA16 strains from patients with different clinical features were investigated. The results showed that both CA16 strains with or without neurological symptoms in infected patients led to neural and muscle cell apoptosis. Furthermore, mechanistic studies showed that CA16 infection induced apoptosis through the same mechanism in both neural and non-neural cells, namely via activation of both the mitochondrial (intrinsic) pathway-related caspase 9 protein and the Fas death receptor (extrinsic) pathway-related caspase 8 protein. Understanding the mechanisms by which CA16 infection induces apoptosis in both neural and non-neural cells will facilitate a better understanding of CA16 pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4211689  PMID: 25350381
8.  Multicenter comparison of the efficacy on prevention of pressure ulcer in postoperative patients between two types of pressure-relieving mattresses in China 
Objective: Present study is designed to evaluate the effects of preventing pressure ulcer in surgical patients with two types of pressure-relieving mattresses. Methods: 1074 surgical patients from 12 hospitals in China were divided into A group (static air mattress with repositioning every 2 hours, n = 562) and B group (power pressure air mattress with repositioning every 2 hours, n = 512). The patient was subjected to a pressure-relieving mattress and observed from 0-5 days after surgery. Indications include the Braden scores, hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (HAPU) incidence and stage. Results: The Braden scores between two groups in five days after surgery were no significant (P > 0.05). The incidence of HAPU between two groups in same days also was no significant (1.07% vs. 0.98%, P > 0.05). The incidence of Stage I and stage II pressure ulcers in group A and B were 1.07% (6/562) and 0.98% (5/512), respectively (χ2 = 0.148, P = 0.882). Conclusion: The effects of preventing pressure ulcer in surgical patients with two types of pressure-relieving mattresses are similar, but the protocol by static air mattress with repositioning every 2 hours is benefit when no power.
PMCID: PMC4211794  PMID: 25356144
Support surface; hospital-acquired pressure ulcers; prevention; surgical patients
9.  Decreased exposure of simvastatin and simvastatin acid in a rat model of type 2 diabetes 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2014;35(9):1215-1225.
Simvastatin is frequently administered to diabetic patients with hypercholesterolemia. The aim of the study was to investigate the pharmacokinetics of simvastatin and its hydrolysate simvastatin acid in a rat model of type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes was induced in 4-week-old rats by a treatment of high-fat diet combined with streptozotocin. After the rats received a single dose of simvastatin (20 mg/kg, po, or 2 mg/kg, iv), the plasma concentrations of simvastatin and simvastatin acid were determined. Simvastatin metabolism and cytochrome P4503A (Cyp3a) activity were assessed in hepatic microsomes, and its uptake was studied in freshly isolated hepatocytes. The expression of Cyp3a1, organic anion transporting polypeptide 2 (Oatp2), multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (Mrp2) and breast cancer resistance protein (Bcrp) in livers was measured using qRT-PCR.
After oral or intravenous administration, the plasma concentrations and areas under concentrations of simvastatin and simvastatin acid were markedly decreased in diabetic rats. Both simvastatin metabolism and Cyp3a activity were markedly increased in hepatocytes of diabetic rats, accompanied by increased expression of hepatic Cyp3a1 mRNA. Furthermore, the uptake of simvastatin by hepatocytes of diabetic rats was markedly increased, which was associated with increased expression of the influx transporter Oatp2, and decreased expression of the efflux transporters Mrp2 and Bcrp.
Diabetes enhances the metabolism of simvastatin and simvastatin acid in rats via up-regulating hepatic Cyp3a activity and expression and increasing hepatic uptake.
PMCID: PMC4155525  PMID: 25152023
diabetes; hypercholesterolemia; simvastatin; pharmacokinetics; hepatocyte; microsome; Cyp3a; organic anion transporting polypeptide 2; multidrug resistance-associated protein 2; breast cancer resistance protein
10.  Co-administration of paroxetine and pravastatin causes deregulation of glucose homeostasis in diabetic rats via enhanced paroxetine exposure 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2014;35(6):792-805.
Clinical evidence shows that co-administration of pravastatin and paroxetine deregulates glucose homeostasis in diabetic patients. The aim of this study was to verify this phenomenon in diabetic rats and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms.
Diabetes mellitus was induced in male SD rats by a high-fat diet combined with a low-dose streptozotocin injection. The rats were orally administered paroxetine (10 mg/kg) and pravastatin (10 mg/d) or both the drugs daily for 28 d. The pharmacokinetics of paroxetine and pravastatin were examined on d 1 and d 28. Biochemical parameters including serum insulin, glucose and lipids were monitored during the treatments. An insulin-secreting cell line (INS-1) was used for measuring insulin secretion.
In diabetic rats, co-administration of paroxetine and pravastatin markedly increased the concentrations of both the drugs compared with administration of each drug alone. Furthermore, co-administration severely impaired glucose homeostasis in diabetic rats, as demonstrated by significantly increased serum glucose level, decreased serum and pancreatic insulin levels, and decreased pancreatic Insulin-2 mRNA and tryptophan hydroxylase-1 (Tph-1) mRNA levels. Treatment of INS-1 cells with paroxetine (5 and 10 μmol/L) significantly inhibited insulin secretion, decreased the intracellular insulin, 5-HT, Insulin-2 mRNA and Tph-1 mRNA levels. Treatment of the cells with pravastatin (10 μmol/L) significantly stimulated insulin secretion, which was weakened by co-treatment with paroxetine.
Paroxetine inhibits insulin secretion at least via decreasing intracellular 5-HT and insulin biosynthesis. The deregulation of glucose homeostasis by co-administration of paroxetine and pravastatin in diabetic rats can be attributed to enhanced paroxetine exposure.
PMCID: PMC4086381  PMID: 24902787
diabetes mellitus; paroxetine; pravastatin; drug-drug interaction; pharmacokinetics; insulin; 5-HT; tryptophan hydroxylase
11.  A genetic variant in pseudogene E2F3P1 contributes to prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma 
Journal of Biomedical Research  2014;28(3):194-200.
Certain pseudogenes may regulate their protein-coding cousins by competing for miRNAs and play an active biological role in cancer. However, few studies have focused on the association of genetic variations in pseudogenes with cancer prognosis. We selected six potentially functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in cancer-related pseudogenes, and performed a case-only study to assess the association between those SNPs and the prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in 331 HBV-positive HCC patients without surgical treatment. Log-rank test and Cox proportional hazard models were used for survival analysis. We found that the A allele of rs9909601 in E2F3P1 was significantly associated with a better prognosis compared with the G allele [adjusted hazard ratio (HR)  =  0.69, 95% confidence interval (CI)  =  0.56–0.86, P  =  0.001]. Additionally, this protective effect was more predominant for patients without chemotherapy and transcatheter hepatic arterial chemoembolization (TACE) treatment. Interestingly, we also detected a statistically significant multiplicative interaction between genotypes of rs9909601 and chemotherapy or TACE status on HCC survival (P for multiplicative interaction < 0.001). These findings indicate that rs9909601 in the pseudogene E2F3P1 may be a genetic marker for HCC prognosis in Chinese.
PMCID: PMC4085556  PMID: 25013402
pseudogene; E2F3P1; SNP; hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); prognosis
12.  A Genetic Variant in Primary miR-378 Is Associated with Risk and Prognosis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in a Chinese Population 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e93707.
MiR-378 has been reported to be related to cell survival, tumor growth and angiogenesis and may participate in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development and prognosis. Genetic variants in primary miR-378 (pri-miR-378) may impact miR-378 expression and contribute to HCC risk and survival. This study aimed to assess the associations between a genetic variant in primary miR-378 and HCC susceptibility and prognosis.
We conducted a case-control study to analyze the association of rs1076064 in pri-miR-378 with hepatocellular carcinoma risk in 1300 HCC patients with positive hepatitis B virus (HBV) and 1344 HBV carriers. Then, we evaluated the correlation between the polymorphism and hepatocellular carcinoma prognosis in 331 HCC patients at either intermediate or advanced stage without surgical treatment.
The variant genotypes of rs1076064 were associated with a decreased HCC risk in HBV carriers [Adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 0.90, 95% confidence intervals (CI) = 0.81–1.00, P = 0.047]. Moreover, HCC patients with the variant genotypes were associated with a better survival [Adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 0.70, 95% CIs = 0.59–0.83, P<0.0001 in an additive genetic model]. The reporter gene assay showed that the variant G allele of rs1076064 exerted higher promoter activity than the A allele.
These findings indicate that rs1076064 may be a biomarker for HCC susceptibility and prognosis through altering pri-miR-378 transcription.
PMCID: PMC3994025  PMID: 24751683
13.  Functional Characterization of Interferon Regulation Element of Hepatitis B virus Genome In Vivo 
The roles of interferon regulatory element (IRE) in Hepatitis B virus (HBV) genome on inhibitory effect of interferon against HBV are controversial in vitro. This study aimed to determine the functional characterization of HBV-IRE sequence in vivo. Wild-type or IRE-mutant HBV replication-competent mice were firstly established, and mice were subquently treated with polyinosinic-polytidylin acid (polyI.C) or phosphate-buffered saline via intraperitoneal. Results showed that PolyI.C inhibited viral replication, and increased the level of 2′,5′-oligoadenylate synthase mRNA transcripts, a marker of INF-α/β induction. Between wild-type and IRE-mutant HBV replication-competent mice, the levels of HBV-RNA and HBV-DNA replication intermediates were similar. After PolyI.C treatment, the decreasing of HBV-RNA was similar between two groups, but HBV-DNA replication intermediates decreased significantly less in IRE-mutant than wild-type HBV replication-competent mice. These findings suggested that IRE mutant reduced the inhibitory effect of interferon on HBV replication, which played a role in antiviral effect of interferon against HBV.
PMCID: PMC3550782  PMID: 24293814
Interferon regulatory element; Hepatitis B virus; Transcription; Replication; Polyinosinic-polytidylin acid; Mice model
14.  Evaluation of Paeonol Skin-Target Delivery from Its Microsponge Formulation: In Vitro Skin Permeation and In Vivo Microdialysis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79881.
The aim of the present study was to design a novel topical skin-target drug-delivery system, the paeonol microsponge, and to investigate its drug-release patterns in dosage form, both in vitro and in vivo. Paeonol microsponges were prepared using the quasi-emulsion solvent-diffusion method. In vitro release studies were carried out using Franz diffusion cells, while in vivo studies were investigated by microdialysis after the paeonol microsponges were incorporated into a cream base. In vitro release studies showed that the drug delivered via microsponges increased the paeonol permeation rate. Ex vivo drug-deposition studies showed that the microsponge formulation improved drug residence in skin. In addition, in vivo microdialysis showed that the values for the area under the concentration versus time curve (AUC) for the paeonol microsponge cream was much higher than that of paeonol cream without microsponges. Maximum time (Tmax) was 220 min for paeonol microsponge cream and 480 min for paeonol cream, while the half-life (t1/2) of paeonol microsponge cream (935.1 min) was almost twice that of paeonol cream (548.6 min) in the skin (n = 3). Meanwhile, in the plasma, the AUC value for paeonol microsponge cream was half that of the paeonol cream. Based on these results, paeonol-loaded microsponge formulations could be a better alternative for treating skin disease, as the formulation increases drug bioavailability by lengthening the time of drug residence in the skin and should reduce side-effects because of the lower levels of paeonol moving into the circulation.
PMCID: PMC3835837  PMID: 24278204
15.  Gene Duplication and Fragment Recombination Drive Functional Diversification of a Superfamily of Cytoplasmic Effectors in Phytophthora sojae 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e70036.
Phytophthora and other oomycetes secrete a large number of putative host cytoplasmic effectors with conserved FLAK motifs following signal peptides, termed crinkling and necrosis inducing proteins (CRN), or Crinkler. Here, we first investigated the evolutionary patterns and mechanisms of CRN effectors in Phytophthora sojae and compared them to two other Phytophthora species. The genes encoding CRN effectors could be divided into 45 orthologous gene groups (OGG), and most OGGs unequally distributed in the three species, in which each underwent large number of gene gains or losses, indicating that the CRN genes expanded after species evolution in Phytophthora and evolved through pathoadaptation. The 134 expanded genes in P. sojae encoded family proteins including 82 functional genes and expressed at higher levels while the other 68 genes encoding orphan proteins were less expressed and contained 50 pseudogenes. Furthermore, we demonstrated that most expanded genes underwent gene duplication or/and fragment recombination. Three different mechanisms that drove gene duplication or recombination were identified. Finally, the expanded CRN effectors exhibited varying pathogenic functions, including induction of programmed cell death (PCD) and suppression of PCD through PAMP-triggered immunity or/and effector-triggered immunity. Overall, these results suggest that gene duplication and fragment recombination may be two mechanisms that drive the expansion and neofunctionalization of the CRN family in P. sojae, which aids in understanding the roles of CRN effectors within each oomycete pathogen.
PMCID: PMC3726527  PMID: 23922898
16.  Genetic variants in pseudogene E2F3P1 confer risk for HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma in a Chinese population 
Journal of Biomedical Research  2013;27(3):215-219.
Recent studies showed that pseudogenes can regulate the expression of their coding gene partners by competing for miRNAs. The E2F family plays a crucial role in the control of cell cycle checkpoint. E2F3P1 is a pseudogene of E2F3. Few studies focused on genetic variations on pseudogenes. In this study, we performed a case-control study to assess the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in E2F3P1 and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) risk in 1050 hepatitis B virus (HBV)-positive HCC cases and 1050 chronic HBV carriers. Logistic regression analysis was applied to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations between genotypes and HCC risk. We found that the variant CT/TT genotypes of rs1838149 were associated with a significantly decreased risk of HCC (adjusted OR = 0.66, 95% CIs = 0.51-0.86, P = 0.002) compared to those with wildtype CC homozygote. Furthermore, the AA genotype of rs9909601 had an increased HCC risk with an adjusted OR of 1.41 (95% CIs = 1.07-1.86), and the A allele of rs9909601 was significantly associated with HCC risk compared to those with the G allele (adjusted OR = 1.17, 95% CIs = 1.03-1.33, P = 0.017). These results indicate that genetic variations in the pseudogene E2F3P1 may confer HCC risk.
PMCID: PMC3664728  PMID: 23720677
E2F3P1; single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP); hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); susceptibility
17.  Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies a Novel Susceptibility Locus at 12q23.1 for Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Han Chinese 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(1):e1003190.
Adenocarcinoma (AC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) are two major histological subtypes of lung cancer. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have made considerable advances in the understanding of lung cancer susceptibility. Obvious heterogeneity has been observed between different histological subtypes of lung cancer, but genetic determinants in specific to lung SqCC have not been systematically investigated. Here, we performed the GWAS analysis specifically for lung SqCC in 833 SqCC cases and 3,094 controls followed by a two-stage replication in additional 2,223 lung SqCC cases and 6,409 controls from Chinese populations. We found that rs12296850 in SLC17A8-NR1H4 gene region at12q23.1 was significantly associated with risk of lung SqCC at genome-wide significance level [additive model: odds ratio (OR) = 0.78, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.72–0.84, P = 1.19×10−10]. Subjects carrying AG or GG genotype had a 26% (OR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.67–0.81) or 32% (OR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.56–0.83) decreased risk of lung SqCC, respectively, as compared with AA genotype. However, we did not observe significant association between rs12296850 and risk of lung AC in a total of 4,368 cases with lung AC and 9,486 controls (OR = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.90–1.02, P = 0.173). These results indicate that genetic variations on chromosome 12q23.1 may specifically contribute to lung SqCC susceptibility in Chinese population.
Author Summary
Previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) strongly suggested the importance of genetic susceptibility for lung cancer. However, the studies specific to different histological subtypes of lung cancer were limited. We performed the GWAS analysis specifically for lung squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) with 570,009 autosomal SNPs in 833 SqCC cases and 3,094 controls and replicated in additional 2,223 lung SqCC cases and 6,409 controls from Chinese populations (822 SqCC cases and 2,243 controls for the first replication stage and 1,401 SqCC cases and 4,166 controls for the second replication stage). We found a novel association at rs12296850 (SLC17A8-NR1H4) on12q23.1. However, rs12296850 didn't show significant association with risk of lung adenocacinoma (AC) in 4,368 lung AC cases and 9,486 controls. These results indicate that genetic variations on chromosome 12q23.1 may specifically contribute to lung SqCC susceptibility in Chinese population.
PMCID: PMC3547794  PMID: 23341777
18.  GWAS Identifies Novel Susceptibility Loci on 6p21.32 and 21q21.3 for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Carriers 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(7):e1002791.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have recently identified KIF1B as susceptibility locus for hepatitis B virus (HBV)–related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). To further identify novel susceptibility loci associated with HBV–related HCC and replicate the previously reported association, we performed a large three-stage GWAS in the Han Chinese population. 523,663 autosomal SNPs in 1,538 HBV–positive HCC patients and 1,465 chronic HBV carriers were genotyped for the discovery stage. Top candidate SNPs were genotyped in the initial validation samples of 2,112 HBV–positive HCC cases and 2,208 HBV carriers and then in the second validation samples of 1,021 cases and 1,491 HBV carriers. We discovered two novel associations at rs9272105 (HLA-DQA1/DRB1) on 6p21.32 (OR = 1.30, P = 1.13×10−19) and rs455804 (GRIK1) on 21q21.3 (OR = 0.84, P = 1.86×10−8), which were further replicated in the fourth independent sample of 1,298 cases and 1,026 controls (rs9272105: OR = 1.25, P = 1.71×10−4; rs455804: OR = 0.84, P = 6.92×10−3). We also revealed the associations of HLA-DRB1*0405 and 0901*0602, which could partially account for the association at rs9272105. The association at rs455804 implicates GRIK1 as a novel susceptibility gene for HBV–related HCC, suggesting the involvement of glutamate signaling in the development of HBV–related HCC.
Author Summary
Previous studies strongly suggest the importance of genetic susceptibility for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the studies about genetic etiology on HBV–related HCC were limited. Our genome-wide association study included 523,663 autosomal SNPs in 1,538 HBV–positive HCC patients and 1,465 chronic HBV carriers for the discovery analysis. 2,112 HBV–positive HCC cases and 2,208 HBV carriers (the initial validation), and 1,021 cases and 1,491 HBV carriers (the second validation), were then analyzed for validation. The fourth independent samples of 1,298 cases and 1,026 controls were analyzed as replication. We discovered two novel associations at rs9272105 (HLA-DQA1/DRB1) on 6p21.32 and rs455804 (GRIK1) on 21q21.3. HLA-DRB1 molecules play an important role in chronic HBV infection and progression to HCC. The association at rs455804 implicates GRIK1 as a novel susceptibility gene for HBV–related HCC, suggesting the involvement of glutamate signaling in the development of HBV–related HCC.
PMCID: PMC3395595  PMID: 22807686
19.  Tissue cholesterol content alterations in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2012;33(7):909-917.
Diabetes is associated with elevated serum total cholesterol level and disrupted lipoprotein subfractions. The aim of this study was to examine alterations in the tissue cholesterol contents closely related to diabetic complications.
Intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin was used to induce type 1 diabetes in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. On d 35 after the injection, liver, heart, intestine, kidney, pancreas, cerebral cortex and hippocampus were isolated from the rats. The content of total and free cholesterol in the tissues was determined using HPLC. The ATP-binding cassette protein A1 (ABCA1) protein and ApoE mRNA were measured using Western blot and QT-PCR analyses, respectively.
In diabetic rats, the level of free cholesterol was significantly decreased in the peripheral tissues, but significantly elevated in hippocampus, as compared with those in the control rats. Diabetic rats showed a trend of decreasing the total cholesterol level in the peripheral tissues, but significant change was only found in kidney and liver. In diabetic rats, the level of the ABCA1 protein was significantly increased in the peripheral tissues and cerebral cortex; the expression of ApoE mRNA was slightly decreased in hippocampus and cerebral cortex, but the change had no statistical significance.
Type 1 diabetes decreases the free cholesterol content in the peripheral tissues and increases the free cholesterol content in hippocampus. The decreased free cholesterol level in the peripheral tissues may be partly due to the increased expression of the ABCA1 protein.
PMCID: PMC4011154  PMID: 22705727
diabetes; cholesterol; ABCA1; liver X receptor; apolipoprotein E
20.  A Genetic Variant in Long Non-Coding RNA HULC Contributes to Risk of HBV-Related Hepatocellular Carcinoma in a Chinese Population 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35145.
Recently, several studies have demonstrated that two long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), HULC and MALAT1, may participate in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development and progression. However, genetic variations in the two lncRNAs and their associations with HCC susceptibility have not been reported. In this study, we hypothesized that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in HULC and MALAT1 may contribute to HCC risk.
We conducted a case-control study and genotyped two SNPs, rs7763881 in HULC and rs619586 in MALAT1, in 1300 HBV positive HCC patients, 1344 HBV persistent carriers and 1344 subjects with HBV natural clearance to test the associations between the two SNPs and susceptibility to HCC and HBV chronic infection.
The variant genotypes of rs7763881 were significantly associated with decreased HCC risk in a dominant genetic model [AC/CC vs. AA: adjusted odds ration (OR)  =  0.81, 95% confidence intervals (CIs)  =  0.68–0.97, P  =  0.022]. Furthermore, the variant genotypes of rs619586 was associated with decreased HCC risk with a borderline significance (AG/GG vs. AA: adjusted OR  =  0.81, 95% CIs  =  0.65–1.01, P  =  0.057). However, no significant association was found between the two SNPs and HBV clearance.
The variant genotypes of rs7763881 in HULC may contribute to decreased susceptibility to HCC in HBV persistent carriers.
PMCID: PMC3320879  PMID: 22493738
21.  The expression patterns and correlations of claudin-6, methy-CpG binding protein 2, DNA methyltransferase 1, histone deacetylase 1, acetyl-histone H3 and acetyl-histone H4 and their clinicopathological significance in breast invasive ductal carcinomas 
Diagnostic Pathology  2012;7:33.
Claudin-6 is a candidate tumor suppressor gene in breast cancer, and has been shown to be regulated by DNA methylation and histone modification in breast cancer lines. However, the expression of claudin-6 in breast invasive ductal carcinomas and correlation with clinical behavior or expression of other markers is unclear. We considered that the expression pattern of claudin-6 might be related to the expression of DNA methylation associated proteins (methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) and DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1)) and histone modification associated proteins (histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1), acetyl-histone H3 (H3Ac) and acetyl- histone H4 (H4Ac)).
We have investigated the expression of claudin-6, MeCP2, HDAC1, H3Ac and H4Ac in 100 breast invasive ductal carcinoma tissues and 22 mammary gland fibroadenoma tissues using immunohistochemistry.
Claudin-6 protein expression was reduced in breast invasive ductal carcinomas (P < 0.001). In contrast, expression of MeCP2 (P < 0.001), DNMT1 (P = 0.001), HDAC1 (P < 0.001) and H3Ac (P = 0.004) expressions was increased. Claudin-6 expression was inversely correlated with lymph node metastasis (P = 0.021). Increased expression of HDAC1 was correlated with histological grade (P < 0.001), age (P = 0.004), clinical stage (P = 0.007) and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.001). H3Ac expression was associated with tumor size (P = 0.044) and clinical stage of cancers (P = 0.034). MeCP2, DNMT1 and H4Ac expression levels did not correlate with any of the tested clinicopathological parameters (P > 0.05). We identified a positive correlation between MeCP2 protein expression and H3Ac and H4Ac protein expression.
Our results show that claudin-6 protein is significantly down-regulated in breast invasive ductal carcinomas and is an important correlate with lymphatic metastasis, but claudin-6 down-regulation was not correlated with upregulation of the methylation associated proteins (MeCP2, DNMT1) or histone modification associated proteins (HDAC1, H3Ac, H4Ac). Interestingly, the expression of MeCP2 was positively correlated with the expression of H3Ac and H3Ac protein expression was positively correlated with the expression of H4Ac in breast invasive ductal carcinoma
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PMCID: PMC3349567  PMID: 22455563
Claudin-6; Histone deacetylase 1; Methyl-CpG binding protein 2; DNA methyltransferase 1; Breast invasive ductal carcinomas
22.  A Genetic Variant in the Promoter Region of miR-106b-25 Cluster and Risk of HBV Infection and Hepatocellular Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e32230.
MiR-106b-25 cluster, hosted in intron 13 of MCM7, may play integral roles in diverse processes including immune response and tumorigenesis. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs999885, is located in the promoter region of MCM7.
We performed a case-control study including 1300 HBV-positive hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cases, 1344 HBV persistent carriers and 1344 subjects with HBV natural clearance to test the association between rs999885 and the risk of HBV persistent infection and HCC. We also investigated the genotype-expression correlation between rs999885 and miR-106b-25 cluster in 25 pairs of HCC and adjacent non-tumor liver tissues.
Compared with the HBV natural clearance subjects carrying rs999885 AA genotype, those with AG/GG genotypes had a decreased risk of chronic HBV infection with an adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 0.79 [95% confidence intervals (CIs) = 0.67–0.93]. However, the AG/GG genotypes were significantly associated with an increased HCC risk in HBV persistent carriers (adjusted OR = 1.25, 95% CIs = 1.06–1.47). Expression analysis revealed that the expression level of miR-106b-25 cluster was significantly higher in AG/GG carriers than those in AA carriers in non-tumor liver tissues.
These findings indicate that the A to G base change of rs999885 may provide a protective effect against chronic HBV infection but an increased risk for HCC in HBV persistent carriers by altering the expression of the miR-106b-25 cluster.
PMCID: PMC3290543  PMID: 22393390
23.  Modulation of pharmacokinetics of theophylline by antofloxacin, a novel 8-amino-fluoroquinolone, in humans 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2011;32(10):1285-1293.
To evaluate the pharmacokinetic interactions between theophylline and antofloxacin in vivo and in vitro.
A randomized, 5-day treatment and 3-way crossover design was documented in 12 healthy subjects. The subjects were orally administered with antofloxacin (400 mg on d 1 and 200 mg on d 2 to 5), theophylline (100 mg twice a day and morning dose 200 mg on d 1 and 5), or theophylline plus antofloxacin. The plasma and urinary pharmacokinetics of antofloxacin and theophylline were characterized after the first and last dose. The effect of antofloxacin on theophylline metabolism was also investigated in pooled human liver microsomes.
The 5-day treatment with antofloxacin significantly increased the area of the plasma concentration-time curve and peak plasma concentration of theophylline, accompanied by a decrease in the excretion of theophylline metabolites. On the contrary, theophylline did not affect the pharmacokinetics of antofloxacin. In vitro studies using pooled human hepatic microsomes demonstrated that antofloxacin was a weak reversible and mechanism-based inhibitor of CYP1A2. The clinical interaction between theophylline and antofloxacin was further validated by the in vitro results.
The results showed that antofloxacin increases the plasma theophylline concentration, partly by acting as a mechanism-based inhibitor of CYP1A2.
PMCID: PMC4010077  PMID: 21892200
antofloxacin; theophylline; drug interactions; pharmacokinetics; CYP1A2
24.  Application of hepatitis B virus replication mouse model 
AIM: To evaluate the value of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication mouse model with regard to several aspects of the study of HBV biology.
METHODS: To evaluate the HBV replication mouse model in detecting the efficacy of anti-HBV agents, the interferon inducer polyinosinic-polytidylin acid (polyIC) and nucleotide analogues adefovir and entecavir were administered to mice injected with wild type pHBV4.1, and the inhibiting effect of these agents on HBV DNA replication was evaluated. To identify the model’s value in a replication ability study of HBV drug-resistant mutants and a HBx-minus mutant, telbivudine resistance mutants (rtM204I, ayw subtype), adefovir resistance mutants (rtA181V + rtN236T, ayw subtype) and HBx-minus mutants were injected respectively, and their corresponding HBV DNA replication intermediates in mouse liver were assessed.
RESULTS: Compared with the wild type HBV replication mouse model without antiviral agent treatment, the HBV DNA replication intermediates of the polyIC-treated group were decreased 1-fold; while in the entecavir- and adefovir-treated groups, the levels of HBV DNA replication intermediates were inhibited 13.6-fold and 1.4-fold, respectively. For the mouse models injected with telbivudine resistance mutant, adefovir resistance mutant and HBx-minus mutant, HBV DNA replication intermediates could still be detected, but the levels of HBV DNA replication intermediates of these mutants decreased 4.5-fold, 5.6-fold and 2.9-fold respectively, compared with the mouse model with wild type HBV plasmid.
CONCLUSION: The HBV replication mouse model we established was a useful and convenient tool to detect the efficacy of antiviral agents and to study the replication ability of HBV mutants in vivo.
PMCID: PMC2860074  PMID: 20419834
Hepatitis B virus; Antiviral agents; Drug resistance; Mutants; Mouse model
25.  2-(3-Oxocyclo­hex-1-enylamino)acetic acid 
The six-membered ring of the title compound, C8H11NO3, adopts an envelope shape with the C atom in the meta position of the carbonyl representing the flap. This atom is disordered over two positions in an 0.865 (6): 0.135 (6) ratio. In the crystal, a two-dimensional supra­molecular network parallel to the ac plane is built up from O—H⋯O and N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds.
PMCID: PMC2971405  PMID: 21578369

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