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1.  FOXP3 is an X-linked breast cancer suppressor gene and an important repressor of the HER-2/ErbB2 oncogene 
Cell  2007;129(7):1275-1286.
The X-linked Foxp3 is a member of the forkhead/winged helix transcription factor family. Germ-line mutations cause lethal autoimmune diseases in males. Serendipitously, we observed that Foxp3sf/+ heterozygous mice developed cancer at a high rate. The majority of the cancers were mammary carcinomas in which the wild-type Foxp3 allele was inactivated and ErbB2 was over-expressed. Foxp3 bound and repressed the ErbB2 promoter. Deletion, functionally significant somatic mutations and down-regulation of the FOXP3 gene were commonly found in human breast cancer samples and correlated significantly with HER-2 over-expression, regardless of the status of HER-2 amplification. In toto, the data demonstrate that FOXP3 is an X-linked breast cancer suppressor gene and an important regulator of the HER-2/ErbB2 oncogene.
PMCID: PMC1974845  PMID: 17570480
2.  Oxidative stress induces gastric submucosal arteriolar dysfunction in the elderly 
AIM: To evaluate human gastric submucosal vascular dysfunction and its mechanism during the aging process.
METHODS: Twenty male patients undergoing subtotal gastrectomy were enrolled in this study. Young and elderly patient groups aged 25-40 years and 60-85 years, respectively, were included. Inclusion criteria were: no clinical evidence of cardiovascular, renal or diabetic diseases. Conventional clinical examinations were carried out. After surgery, gastric submucosal arteries were immediately dissected free of fat and connective tissue. Vascular responses to acetylcholine (ACh) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) were measured by isolated vascular perfusion. Morphological changes in the gastric mucosal vessels were observed by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining and Verhoeff van Gieson (EVG) staining. The expression of xanthine oxidase (XO) and manganese-superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD) was assessed by Western blotting analysis. The malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) content and the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) were determined according to commercial kits.
RESULTS: The overall structure of vessel walls was shown by HE and EVG staining, respectively. Disruption of the internal elastic lamina or neointimal layers was not observed in vessels from young or elderly patients; however, cell layer number in the vessel wall increased significantly in the elderly group. Compared with submucosal arteries in young patients, the amount of vascular collagen fibers, lumen diameter and media cross-sectional area were significantly increased in elderly patients. Ach- and SNP-induced vasodilatation in elderly arterioles was significantly decreased compared with that of gastric submucosal arterioles from young patients. Compared with the young group, the expression of XO and the contents of MDA and H2O2 in gastric submucosal arterioles were increased in the elderly group. In addition, the expression of Mn-SOD and the activities of SOD and GSH-Px in the elderly group decreased significantly compared with those in the young group.
CONCLUSION: Gastric vascular dysfunction and senescence may be associated with increased oxidative stress and decreased antioxidative defense in the aging process.
PMCID: PMC3882420  PMID: 24409074
Aging; Vascular dysfunction; Gastric blood flow; Oxidative stress; Human
3.  An Exploratory Study of the Association between KCNB1 rs1051295 and Type 2 Diabetes and Its Related Traits in Chinese Han Population 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e56365.
Since the KCNB1 encoding Kv2.1 channel accounts for the majority of Kv currents modulating insulin secretion by pancreatic islet beta-cells, we postulated that KCNB1 is a plausible candidate gene for genetic variation contributing to the variable compensatory secretory function of beta-cells in type-2 diabetes (T2D). We conducted two studies, a case-control study and a cross-section study, to investigate the association of common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in KCNB1 with T2D and its linking traits. In the case-control study, we first examined the association of 20 tag SNPs of KCNB1 with T2D in a population with 226 T2D patients and non-diabetic subjects (screening study). We then identified the association in an enlarged population of 412 T2D patients and non-diabetic subjects (replication study). In the cross-sectional study, we investigated the linkage between the candidate SNP rs1051295 and T2D by comparing beta-cell function and insulin sensitivity among rs1051295 genotypes in a general population of 1051 subjects at fasting and after glucose loading (oral glucose tolerance tests, OGTT) in 84 fasting glucose impaired subjects, and several T2D-related traits. We found that among the 19 available tag SNPs, only the KCNB1 rs1051295 was associated with T2D (P = 0.027), with the rs1051295 TT genotype associated with an increased risk of T2D compared with genotypes CC (P = 0.009). At fasting, rs1051295 genotype TT was associated with a 9.8% reduction in insulin sensitivity compared to CC (P = 0.008); along with increased plasma triglycerides (TG) levels (TT/CC: P = 0.046) and increased waist/hip (W/H) ratio (TT/CC: P = 0.013; TT/TC: P = 0.002). OGTT confirmed that genotype TT exhibited reduced insulin sensitivity by 16.3% (P = 0.030) compared with genotype TC+CC in a fasting glucose impaired population. The KCNB1 rs1051295 genotype TT in the Chinese Han population is associated with decreased insulin sensitivity and increased plasma TG and W/H ratio, which together contribute to an increased risk for T2D.
PMCID: PMC3576392  PMID: 23431371
4.  Single Endemic Genotype of Measles Virus Continuously Circulating in China for at Least 16 Years 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e34401.
The incidence of measles in China from 1991 to 2008 was reviewed, and the nucleotide sequences from 1507 measles viruses (MeV) isolated during 1993 to 2008 were phylogenetically analyzed. The results showed that measles epidemics peaked approximately every 3 to 5 years with the range of measles cases detected between 56,850 and 140,048 per year. The Chinese MeV strains represented three genotypes; 1501 H1, 1 H2 and 5 A. Genotype H1 was the predominant genotype throughout China continuously circulating for at least 16 years. Genotype H1 sequences could be divided into two distinct clusters, H1a and H1b. A 4.2% average nucleotide divergence was found between the H1a and H1b clusters, and the nucleotide sequence and predicted amino acid homologies of H1a viruses were 92.3%–100% and 84.7%–100%, H1b were 97.1%–100% and 95.3%–100%, respectively. Viruses from both clusters were distributed throughout China with no apparent geographic restriction and multiple co-circulating lineages were present in many provinces. Cluster H1a and H1b viruses were co-circulating during 1993 to 2005, while no H1b viruses were detected after 2005 and the transmission of that cluster has presumably been interrupted. Analysis of the nucleotide and predicted amino acid changes in the N proteins of H1a and H1b viruses showed no evidence of selective pressure. This study investigated the genotype and cluster distribution of MeV in China over a 16-year period to establish a genetic baseline before MeV elimination in Western Pacific Region (WPR). Continuous and extensive MeV surveillance and the ability to quickly identify imported cases of measles will become more critical as measles elimination goals are achieved in China in the near future. This is the first report that a single endemic genotype of measles virus has been found to be continuously circulating in one country for at least 16 years.
PMCID: PMC3332093  PMID: 22532829
5.  Effect of acupuncture treatment on vascular cognitive impairment without dementia: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2014;15(1):442.
Vascular cognitive impairment, no dementia (VCIND) is a condition at risk for future dementia and should be the target of preventive strategies. Preliminary evidence suggests that acupuncture may be a clinically effective intervention for people with early-stage vascular cognitive impairment. We will do a multicenter, 6-month, drug-controlled, nonblinded, randomized, parallel-group trial to determine whether acupuncture is effective for improving cognitive function and quality of life for patients with VCIND.
A total of 216 eligible patients will be recruited and randomly assigned acupuncture for two sessions/week (n = 108) or citicoline 300 mg/day (n = 108) in a multicenter, 6-month trial. The primary endpoint is cognition (Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale, Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-cog)). Secondary endpoints include assessments of activities of daily living and behavioral symptoms (Clock Drawing Test (CDT), Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living scale (IADL)).
This will be the first large-scale trial specifically evaluating acupuncture therapy in VCIND. If the study confirms the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture treatment, it will be important to examine how the acupuncture approach could most effectively be integrated into the provision of routine healthcare.
Trial registration
This study is registered as an International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial on 17 January 2014, number ISRCTN 82980206
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-442) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4242470  PMID: 25391431
6.  Specific Matrix Metalloproteinases Play Different Roles in Intraplaque Angiogenesis and Plaque Instability in Rabbits 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e107851.
Ectopic angiogenesis within the intima and media is considered to be a hallmark of advanced vulnerable atherosclerotic lesions. Some studies have shown that specific matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) might play different roles in angiogenesis. Therefore, we investigated the predominant effects of specific MMPs in intraplaque angiogenesis and plaque instability in a rabbit model of atherosclerosis.
Methods and Results
New Zealand rabbits underwent balloon injury of the abdominal artery and ingestion of a high-cholesterol (1%) diet to establish an atherosclerotic animal model. At weeks 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 after balloon injury, five rabbits were euthanized and the abdominal aorta was harvested. Blood lipid analysis, intravascular ultrasound imaging, pathologic and immunohistochemical expression studies, and western blotting were performed. From weeks 4 to 12, the expression of MMP-1, -2, -3, and -9 and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) increased with atherosclerotic plaque development in the abdominal aorta, while the expression of MMP-14 substantially decreased. The vulnerability index (VI) gradually increased over time. Intraplaque neovessels appeared at week 8. The microvessel density (MVD) was greater at week 12 than at week 8. The VI, MVD, and VEGF-A level were positively correlated with the MMP-1, -2,-3, and -9 levels within plaques. Negative correlations were noted between the MMP-14 level and the VI, MVD, and VEGF-A level.
Upregulation of MMP-1, -2, -3, and -9 and downregulation of MMP-14 may contribute to intraplaque angiogenesis and plaque instability at the advanced stage of atherosclerosis in rabbits.
PMCID: PMC4169444  PMID: 25233229
7.  Evidence of Topological Surface State in Three-Dimensional Dirac Semimetal Cd3As2 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6106.
The three-dimensional topological semimetals represent a new quantum state of matter. Distinct from the surface state in the topological insulators that exhibits linear dispersion in two-dimensional momentum plane, the three-dimensional semimetals host bulk band dispersions linearly along all directions. In addition to the gapless points in the bulk, the three-dimensional Weyl/Dirac semimetals are also characterized by “topologically protected” surface state with Fermi arcs on their surface. While Cd3As2 is proposed to be a viable candidate of a Dirac semimetal, more investigations are necessary to pin down its nature. In particular, the topological surface state, the hallmark of the three-dimensional semimetal, has not been observed in Cd3As2. Here we report the electronic structure of Cd3As2 investigated by angle-resolved photoemission measurements on the (112) crystal surface and detailed band structure calculations. The measured Fermi surface and band structure show a good agreement with the band structure calculations with two bulk Dirac-like bands approaching the Fermi level and forming Dirac points near the Brillouin zone center. Moreover, the topological surface state with a linear dispersion approaching the Fermi level is identified for the first time. These results provide experimental indications on the nature of topologically non-trivial three-dimensional Dirac cones in Cd3As2.
PMCID: PMC4138522  PMID: 25139455
8.  Strong Anisotropy of Dirac Cones in SrMnBi2 and CaMnBi2 Revealed by Angle-Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:5385.
The Dirac materials, such as graphene and three-dimensional topological insulators, have attracted much attention because they exhibit novel quantum phenomena with their low energy electrons governed by the relativistic Dirac equations. One particular interest is to generate Dirac cone anisotropy so that the electrons can propagate differently from one direction to the other, creating an additional tunability for new properties and applications. While various theoretical approaches have been proposed to make the isotropic Dirac cones of graphene into anisotropic ones, it has not yet been met with success. There are also some theoretical predictions and/or experimental indications of anisotropic Dirac cone in novel topological insulators and AMnBi2 (A = Sr and Ca) but more experimental investigations are needed. Here we report systematic high resolution angle-resolved photoemission measurements that have provided direct evidence on the existence of strongly anisotropic Dirac cones in SrMnBi2 and CaMnBi2. Distinct behaviors of the Dirac cones between SrMnBi2 and CaMnBi2 are also observed. These results have provided important information on the strong anisotropy of the Dirac cones in AMnBi2 system that can be governed by the spin-orbital coupling and the local environment surrounding the Bi square net.
PMCID: PMC4064355  PMID: 24947490
9.  Surgery for Complete Vertical Rectus Paralysis Combined with Horizontal Strabismus 
Journal of Ophthalmology  2014;2014:828919.
Aims. To report outcomes of the simultaneous surgical correction of vertical rectus paralysis combined with moderate-to-large angle horizontal strabismus. Methods. If a preoperative forced duction test was positive, antagonist muscle weakening surgery was performed, and then augmented partial rectus muscle transposition (APRMT) + partial horizontal rectus recession-resection was performed 2 months later. If a preoperative forced duction test was negative, APRMT + partial horizontal rectus recession-resection was performed. Antagonistic muscle weakening surgery and/or conventional recession-resection of the horizontal and/or vertical muscles of the contralateral eye was performed 2 months later, as needed. Results. Ten patients with a mean age of 22.3 ± 13.0 years were included and mean follow-up was 7.1 months. The mean vertical deviation that APRMT corrected was 21.4 ± 3.7 PD (prism diopter). The absolute deviation in horizontal significantly decreased from a preoperative value of 48.5 ± 27.4 PD to a value of 3.0 ± 2.3 PD 6 months postoperatively. The movement score decreased from a value of −5 ± 0 preoperatively to a value of −2.7 ± 0.8 at 6 months postoperatively. Conclusion. For patients with complete vertical rectus paralysis combined with a moderate- to-large angle of horizontal strabismus, combined APRMT and partial horizontal rectus recession-resection is safe and effective for correcting vertical and horizontal strabismus.
PMCID: PMC4026980  PMID: 24883204
10.  Toll-Like Receptor 4 Mediates Inflammatory Cytokine Secretion in Smooth Muscle Cells Induced by Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95935.
Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL)-regulated secretion of inflammatory cytokines in smooth muscle cells (SMCs) is regarded as an important step in the progression of atherosclerosis; however, its underlying mechanism remains unclear. This study investigated the role of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in oxLDL-induced expression of inflammatory cytokines in SMCs both in vivo and in vitro. We found that the levels of TLR4, interleukin 1-β (IL1-β), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) and matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) expression were increased in the SMCs of atherosclerotic plaques in patients with femoral artery stenosis. In cultured primary arterial SMCs from wild type mice, oxLDL caused dose- and time-dependent increase in the expression levels of TLR4 and cytokines. These effects were significantly weakened in arterial SMCs derived from TLR4 knockout mice (TLR4−/−). Moreover, the secretion of inflammatory cytokines was blocked by TLR4-specific antibodies in primary SMCs. Ox-LDL induced activation of p38 and NFκB was also inhibited in TLR4−/− primary SMCs or when treated with TLR4-specific antibodies. These results demonstrated that TLR4 is a crucial mediator in oxLDL-induced inflammatory cytokine expression and secretion, and p38 and NFκB activation.
PMCID: PMC3995878  PMID: 24755612
11.  Wen-Dan Decoction Improves Negative Emotions in Sleep-Deprived Rats by Regulating Orexin-A and Leptin Expression 
Wen-Dan Decoction (WDD), a formula of traditional Chinese medicine, has been clinically used for treating insomnia for approximately 800 years. However, the therapeutic mechanisms of WDD remain unclear. Orexin-A plays a key role in the sleep-wake cycle, while leptin function is opposite to orexin-A. Thus, orexin-A and leptin may be important factors in sleep disorders. In this study, 48 rats were divided into control, model, WDD-treated, and diazepam-treated groups. The model of insomnia was produced by sleep deprivation (SD) for 14 days. The expressions of orexin-A, leptin, and their receptors in blood serum, prefrontal cortex, and hypothalamus were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunohistochemistry, and real time PCR. Open field tests showed that SD increased both crossing movement (Cm) and rearing-movement (Rm) times. Orexin-A and leptin levels in blood serum increased after SD but decreased in brain compared to the control group. mRNA expressions of orexin receptor 1 and leptin receptor after SD were decreased in the prefrontal cortex but were increased in hypothalamus. WDD treatment normalized the behavior and upregulated orexin-A, leptin, orexin receptor 1 and leptin receptor in brain. The findings suggest that WDD treatment may regulate SD-induced negative emotions by regulating orexin-A and leptin expression.
PMCID: PMC4016855  PMID: 24864160
12.  A Novel Complex A/C/G Intergenotypic Recombinant of Hepatitis B Virus Isolated in Southern China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e84005.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes and subgenotypes may vary in geographical distribution and virological features. Previous investigations, including ours, showed that HBV genotypes B and C were respectively predominant in South and North China, while genotypes A and D were infrequently detected and genotype G was not found. In this study, a novel A/C/G intergenotype was identified in patients with chronic HBV infection in Guilin, a city in southern China. Initial phylogenetic analysis based on the S gene suggested the HBV recombinant to be genotype G. However, extended genotyping based on the entire HBV genome indicated it to be an A/C/G intergenotype with a closer relation to genotype C. Breakpoint analysis using the SIMPLOT program revealed that the recombinant had a recombination with a arrangement of genotypes A, G, A and C fragments. Compared with the HBV recombinants harboring one or two genotype G fragments found in Asian countries, this Guilin recombinant was highly similar to the Vietnam (98–99%) and Long An recombinants (96–99%), but had a relatively low similarity to the Thailand one (89%). Unlike those with the typical genotype G of HBV, the patients with the Guilin recombinant were seropositive for HBeAg. Moreover, a relatively high HBV DNA viral load (>2×106 IU/ml) was detected in the patients, and the analysis of viral replication capacity showed that the Guilin recombinant strains had a competent replication capacity similar to genotypes B and C strains. These findings can aid in not only the clarification of the phylogenetic origin of the HBV recombinants with the genotype G fragment found in Asian countries, but also the understanding of the virological properties of these complicated HBV recombinants.
PMCID: PMC3901648  PMID: 24475029
13.  Tunable Dirac Fermion Dynamics in Topological Insulators 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:2411.
Three-dimensional topological insulators are characterized by insulating bulk state and metallic surface state involving relativistic Dirac fermions which are responsible for exotic quantum phenomena and potential applications in spintronics and quantum computations. It is essential to understand how the Dirac fermions interact with other electrons, phonons and disorders. Here we report super-high resolution angle-resolved photoemission studies on the Dirac fermion dynamics in the prototypical Bi2(Te,Se)3 topological insulators. We have directly revealed signatures of the electron-phonon coupling and found that the electron-disorder interaction dominates the scattering process. The Dirac fermion dynamics in Bi2(Te3−xSex) topological insulators can be tuned by varying the composition, x, or by controlling the charge carriers. Our findings provide crucial information in understanding and engineering the electron dynamics of the Dirac fermions for fundamental studies and potential applications.
PMCID: PMC3740283  PMID: 23934507
14.  Clinical implications of cancer stem cell-like side population cells in human laryngeal cancer 
Tumour Biology  2013;34(6):3603-3610.
In this study, we try to detect and isolate the cancer stem cell-like side population cells (SP) from the laryngeal carcinoma cell line and primary laryngeal carcinoma and explore the clinical implications of SP cells in laryngeal carcinoma. The SP cells and non-side population cells (NSP) cells were sorted by Hoechst 33342 through FACS. The proliferation capacity, invasion ability, migration ability, and tumorigenic activity of the SP cells were evaluated. In addition, the association between the SP cells ratio and the prognostic factors of laryngeal cancer was analyzed. As a result, the percentage of the SP cells in Hep-2 cells was 5.1 %. The SP cells depicted float colonies, but the NSP cells failed to generate the typical cell spheres. The clone formation ratios were 47.47 ± 10.20 % vs. 4.98 ± 1.41 % in the flat plates and 46.82 ± 5.67 % vs. 12.53 ± 3.51 % in the soft agar for SP and NSP cells (P = 0.01 and 0.01). The SP cells depicted a higher migrating potency than the NSP cells in both the transwell assay and scarification test (all P < 0.05). The matrigel invasion assay showed that the artificial basement membrane penetration rate of SP cells was 39.04 ± 4.78 %, which was higher than 25.16 ± 4.63 % of the NSP cells (P < 0.05). Only 103 SP cells were able to form tumors in mice, whereas 104 NSP cells failed to form tumors. The SP cells were correlated with the differentiation, lymph node metastasis, and clinical stage of the laryngeal cancers. In conclusion, SP cells may be a potential prognostic factor of laryngeal cancer.
PMCID: PMC3879800  PMID: 23807678
Tumor stem cell; Side population; ABCG2; Laryngeal carcinoma
15.  Lack of Association between NLGN3, NLGN4, SHANK2 and SHANK3 Gene Variants and Autism Spectrum Disorder in a Chinese Population 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e56639.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social communication, absence or delay in language development, and stereotyped or repetitive behaviors. Genetic studies show that neurexin-neuroligin (NRXN-NLGN) pathway genes contribute susceptibility to ASD, which include cell adhesion molecules NLGN3, NLGN4 and scaffolding proteins SHANK2 and SHANK3. Neuroligin proteins play an important role in synaptic function and trans-synaptic signaling by interacting with presynaptic neurexins. Shank proteins are scaffolding molecules of excitatory synapses, which function as central organizers of the postsynaptic density. Sequence level mutations and structural variations in these genes have been identified in ASD cases, while few studies were performed in Chinese population. In this study, we examined the copy numbers of four genes NLGN4, NLGN3, SHANK2, and SHANK3 in 285 ASD cases using multiplex fluorescence competitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We also screened the regulatory region including the promoter region and 5′/3′ untranslated regions (UTR) and the entire coding region of NLGN4 in a cohort of 285 ASD patients and 384 controls by direct sequencing of genomic DNA using the Sanger method. DNA copy number calculation in four genes showed no deletion or duplication in our cases. No missense mutations in NLGN4 were identified in our cohort. Association analysis of 6 common SNPs in NLGN4 did not find significant difference between ASD cases and controls. These findings showed that these genes may not be major disease genes in Chinese ASD cases.
PMCID: PMC3582503  PMID: 23468870
16.  Influence of Pericarp, Cotyledon and Inhibitory Substances on Sharp Tooth Oak (Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata) Germination 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47682.
In order to explore the mechanism of delayed and uneven germination in sharp tooth oak (Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata) (STO), mechanical scarification techniques were used to study STO root and shoot germination and growth. The techniques used were: removing cup scar (RS), removing the pericarp (RP), and cutting off 1/2 (HC) and 2/3 (TC) cotyledons. Germination percentage and root and shoot length for Chinese cabbage (Beassica pekinensis) seeds (CCS) were also investigated for CCS cultivated in a Sanyo growth cabinet watered by distilled water and 80% methanol extracts from the acorn embryo, cotyledon and pericarp with concentrations of 1.0 g, 0.8 g, 0.6 g and 0.4 g dry acorn weight per ml methanol. The results showed that the majority of roots and shoots from acorns with RP and HC treatment emerged two weeks earlier, more simultaneously, and their total emergences were more than 46% and 28% higher, respectively. TC accelerated root and shoot emergence time and root length, but root and shoot germination rate and shoot height had no significant difference from the control. Positive consequences were not observed on all indices of RS treatment. The germination rates of CCS watered by 1.0 g·ml−1 methanol extracts from the embryo and cotyledon were significantly lower than those from the pericarp, and all concentrations resulted in decreased growth of root and shoot. Methanol extracts from pericarp significantly reduced root length of CCS, but presented little response in germination percentage and shoot length. The inhibitory effect was gradually increased with the increasing concentration of the methanol extract. We conclude that both the mechanical restriction of the pericarp and the presence of germination inhibitors in the embryo, cotyledon and pericarp are the causes for delayed and asynchronous germination of STO acorns.
PMCID: PMC3485030  PMID: 23133517
17.  Correlation between imaging features of Pneumocystis Jiroveci Pneumonitis (PCP), CD4+ T lymphocyte count, and plasma HIV viral load: A study in 50 consecutive AIDS patients 
To investigate the imaging manifestations of Pneumocystis Jiroveci Pneumonitis (PCP) in AIDS patients, and the correlation between imaging features, CD4+ lymphocyte count, and plasma HIV viral load.
Materials and methods
A total of consecutive 50 AIDS patients with PCP were reviewed retrospectively. Chest CT manifestations, CD4+ lymphocyte count, and plasma HIV viral load were analyzed to investigate their correlation.
PCP chest CT manifestations included ground-glass opacities dominated in 28 cases (28/50, 56%), lung cysts dominated in 10 cases (10/50, 20%), consolidation dominated in 6 cases (6/50, 12%), interstitial lesion dominated in 3 cases (3/50, 6%), and mixed lesions in 3 cases (3/50, 6%). In these 50 patients, CD4+ lymphocyte count ranged from 2 to 373 cells/µL. Plasma HIV viral load ranged from 500 to 5.28×107 copies/mL. CD4+ lymphocyte count in ground-glass opacities dominated patients was higher than that of lung cyst dominated patients (P<0.05). Plasma virus load of lung cysts dominated PCP patients was higher than that of consolidation dominated patients (P<0.05).
The typical chest imaging features of PCP in AIDS patients included lung ground-glass opacities and lung cysts. The chest imaging features were correlated with CD4+ T lymphocyte count and plasma HIV viral load.
PMCID: PMC3508599  PMID: 23256070
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS); Pneumocystis Jiroveci Pneumonitis; Tomography; X-ray computed; CD4+ lymphocyte counts; Virus load
18.  Fever with Thrombocytopenia Associated with a Novel Bunyavirus in China 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;364(16):1523-1532.
Heightened surveillance of acute febrile illness in China since 2009 has led to the identification of a severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) with an unknown cause. Infection with Anaplasma phagocytophilum has been suggested as a cause, but the pathogen has not been detected in most patients on laboratory testing.
We obtained blood samples from patients with the case definition of SFTS in six provinces in China. The blood samples were used to isolate the causal pathogen by inoculation of cell culture and for detection of viral RNA on polymerase-chain-reaction assay. The pathogen was characterized on electron microscopy and nucleic acid sequencing. We used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, indirect immunofluorescence assay, and neutralization testing to analyze the level of virus-specific antibody in patients’ serum samples.
We isolated a novel virus, designated SFTS bunyavirus, from patients who presented with fever, thrombocytopenia, leukocytopenia, and multiorgan dysfunction. RNA sequence analysis revealed that the virus was a newly identified member of the genus phlebovirus in the Bunyaviridae family. Electron-microscopical examination revealed virions with the morphologic characteristics of a bunyavirus. The presence of the virus was confirmed in 171 patients with SFTS from six provinces by detection of viral RNA, specific antibodies to the virus in blood, or both. Serologic assays showed a virus-specific immune response in all 35 pairs of serum samples collected from patients during the acute and convalescent phases of the illness.
A novel phlebovirus was identified in patients with a life-threatening illness associated with fever and thrombocytopenia in China. (Funded by the China Mega-Project for Infectious Diseases and others.)
PMCID: PMC3113718  PMID: 21410387
19.  Effects of Flos carthami on CYP2D6 and on the Pharmacokinetics of Metoprolol in Rats 
Flos carthami is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine. Clinically, the Flos carthami Injection has been used concomitantly with other Western drugs and may be used concomitantly with β-blockers, such as metoprolol, to treat cerebrovascular and coronary heart diseases, in China. Metoprolol is a CYP2D6 substrate and is predominantly metabolized by this isozyme. However, we do not know whether there is an effect of Flos carthami on CYP2D6 and the consequences of such an effect. Concern is raised regarding the possible herb-drug interaction. In this report, the effects of Flos carthami on the activity of CYP2D6 in vivo and in vitro and on the pharmacokinetics of metoprolol, in rats, are investigated. To assess the inhibitory potency of Flos carthami, the concentration associated with 50% inhibition (IC50) of dextromethorphan metabolism was determined based on the concentration-inhibition curves. The inhibitory effect of Flos carthami on CYP2D6 was also compared with cimetidine in vitro. Flos carthami could significantly inhibit CYP2D6 in rats both in vitro and in vivo (P < .05) and could slow down the metabolic rate of metoprolol as suggested by prolonged t1/2 (67.45%), by increased Cmax (74.51%) and AUC0−∞ (76.89%). These results suggest that CYP2D6 is a risk factor when Flos carthami is administered concomitantly with metoprolol or other CYP2D6 substrates.
PMCID: PMC2994065  PMID: 21127727
20.  Fresh raspberry phytochemical extract inhibits hepatic lesion in a Wistar rat model 
Red raspberry possesses potent antioxidant capacity and antiproliferative activity against cancer in vitro.
The objective of this study was to determine the protective effects of raspberry 80% acetone extract in a rat hepatic lesions model induced by diethylnitrosamine (DEN). Rats were treated with the red raspberry extract (0.75, 1.5 or 3.0 g/kg of body weight) by gavage starting 2 h after DEN administration and continuing for 20 weeks.
A dose-dependent inhibition by red raspberry extract of DEN-induced hepatic nodule formation which stands for hepatic lesions was observed. Corresponding hepatic nodule incidence rates were 45.0, 40.0, 25.0 and 5.0% in positive control, low, middle and high groups, respectively (P < 0.01 or 0.05). Gross findings, histopathological and ultrastructural evaluations of hepatic lesion were performed on 9, 8, 5 and 1 hepatic nodule in positive control, low, middle and high doses of groups, respectively, identified in rats from the respective groups of 20. A decreasing trend of proportions of hepatocellular carcinoma masses accompanied the increasing doses of red raspberry extract.
These findings demonstrate that the potent capacity of red raspberry diet could not only suppress DEN-induced hepatic lesions in rats, but also reduce the definite diagnostic features of neoplasm.
PMCID: PMC2999596  PMID: 21108811
21.  Differential expression of proteomics models of colorectal cancer, colorectal benign disease and healthy controls 
Proteome Science  2010;8:16.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is often diagnosed at a late stage with concomitant poor prognosis. The hypersensitive analytical technique of proteomics can detect molecular changes before the tumor is palpable. The surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization-time of flight-mass spectra (SELDI-TOF-MS) is a newly-developed technique of evaluating protein separation in recent years. The protein chips have established the expression of tumor protein in the serum specimens and become the newly discovered markers for tumor diagnosis. The objective of this study was to find new markers of the diagnosis among groups of CRC, colorectal benign diseases (CBD) and healthy controls. The assay of SELDI-TOF-MS with analytical technique of protein-chip bioinformatics was used to detect the expression of protein mass peaks in the sera of patients or controls. One hundred serum samples, including 52 cases of colorectal cancer, 27 cases of colorectal benign disease, and 21 cases of healthy controls, were examined by SELDI-TOF-MS with WCX2 protein-chips.
The diagnostic models (I, II and III) were setup by analyzed the data and sieved markers using Ciphergen - Protein-Chip-Software 5.1. These models were combined with 3 protein mass peaks to discriminate CRC, CBD, and healthy controls. The accuracy, the sensitivity and the particularity of cross verification of these models are all highly over 80%.
The SELDI-TOF-MS is a useful tool to help diagnose colorectal cancer, especially during the early stage. However, identification of the significantly differentiated proteins needs further study.
PMCID: PMC2862023  PMID: 20334691
22.  Regulation of G1 Arrest and Apoptosis in Hypoxia by PERK and GCN2-Mediated eIF2α Phosphorylation12 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2010;12(1):61-68.
Hypoxia is a common microenvironment in solid tumors and is correlated with tumor progression by regulating cancer cell survival. Recent studies suggest that activation of double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase-like endoplasmic reticulum-related kinase (PERK) and phosphorylation of α subunit of eIF2 (eIF2α) confer cell adaptation to hypoxic stress. However, eIF2α is still phosphorylated at a lowered level in PERK knockout cells under hypoxic conditions. The mechanism for eIF2α kinase(s) (eIF2AK)-increased cell survival is not clear. In this report, we provide evidence that another eIF2AK, the amino acid starvation-dependent general control of amino acid biosynthesis kinase (GCN2), is also involved in hypoxia-induced eIF2α phosphorylation. We demonstrate that both GCN2 and PERK mediate the cell adaptation to hypoxic stress. High levels of eIF2α phosphorylation lead to G1 arrest and protect cells from hypoxia-induced apoptosis. Reduced phosphorylation of eIF2α by knocking out either PERK or GCN2 suppresses hypoxia-induced G1 arrest and promotes apoptosis in accompany with activation of p53 signal cascade. However, totally abolishing phosphorylation of eIF2α inhibits G1 arrest without promoting apoptosis. On the basis of our results, we propose that the levels of eIF2α phosphorylation serve as a “switch” in regulation of G1 arrest or apoptosis under hypoxic conditions.
PMCID: PMC2805884  PMID: 20072654
23.  Laforin Negatively Regulates Cell Cycle Progression through Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β-Dependent Mechanisms▿ §  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2008;28(23):7236-7244.
Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) represses cell cycle progression by directly phosphorylating cyclin D1 and indirectly regulating cyclin D1 transcription by inhibiting Wnt signaling. Recently, we reported that the Epm2a-encoded laforin is a GSK-3β phosphatase and a tumor suppressor. The cellular mechanism for its tumor suppression remains unknown. Using ex vivo thymocytes and primary embryonic fibroblasts from Epm2a−/− mice, we show here a general function of laforin in the cell cycle regulation and repression of cyclin D1 expression. Moreover, targeted mutation of Epm2a increased the phosphorylation of Ser9 on GSK-3β while having no effect on the phosphorylation of Ser21 on GSK-3α. In the GSK-3β+/+ but not the GSK-3β−/− cells, Epm2a small interfering RNA significantly enhanced cell growth. Consistent with an increased level of cyclin D1, the phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein (Rb) and the levels of Rb-E2F-regulated genes cyclin A, cyclin E, MCM3, and PCNA are also elevated. Inhibitors of GSK-3β selectively increased the cell growth of Epm2a+/+ but not of Epm2a−/− cells. Taken together, our data demonstrate that laforin is a selective phosphatase for GSK-3β and regulates cell cycle progression by GSK-3β-dependent mechanisms. These data provide a cellular basis for the tumor suppression activity of laforin.
PMCID: PMC2593373  PMID: 18824542
24.  FOXP3 is a novel transcriptional repressor for the breast cancer oncogene SKP2  
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2007;117(12):3765-3773.
S-phase kinase-associated protein 2 (SKP2) is a component of the E3 ubiquitin ligase SKP1-Cul1-Fbox complex. Overexpression of SKP2 results in cell cycle dysregulation and carcinogenesis; however, the genetic lesions that cause this upregulation are poorly understood. We recently demonstrated that forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) is an X-linked breast cancer suppressor and an important repressor of the oncogene ERBB2/HER2. Since FOXP3 suppresses tumor growth regardless of whether the tumors overexpress ERBB2/HER2, additional FOXP3 targets may be involved in its tumor suppressor activity. Here, we show that mammary carcinomas from mice heterozygous for a Foxp3 mutation exhibited increased Skp2 expression. Ectopic expression of FOXP3 in mouse mammary cancer cells repressed SKP2 expression with a corresponding increase in p27 and polyploidy. Conversely, siRNA silencing of the FOXP3 gene in human mammary epithelial cells increased SKP2 expression. We also show that Foxp3 directly interacted with and repressed the Skp2 promoter. Moreover, the analysis of over 200 primary breast cancer samples revealed an inverse correlation between FOXP3 and SKP2 levels. Finally, we demonstrated that downregulation of SKP2 was critical for FOXP3-mediated growth inhibition in breast cancer cells that do not overexpress ERBB2/HER2. Our data provide genetic, biochemical, and functional evidence that FOXP3 is a novel transcriptional repressor for the oncogene SKP2.
PMCID: PMC2075479  PMID: 18008005
25.  LLL12 Inhibits Endogenous and Exogenous Interleukin-6-induced STAT3 Phosphorylation in Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells 
Anticancer research  2011;31(6):2029-2035.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most serious types of cancer, with a five-year survival rate at only 6%. There is a critical need to develop more effective treatments for pancreatic cancer. Growing evidence shows that chronic inflammation plays a crucial role in tumor initiation and progression. Here we demonstrated that the endogenous expression of the inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) correlates with signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) phosphorylation in human pancreatic cancer cells. Inhibition of the endogenous IL-6/STAT3 pathway reduces cell viability. Exogenous IL-6 induces STAT3 phosphorylation, but differently induces phosphorylation of STAT3 upstream kinases, Janus kinase 1(JAK1), JAK2, and tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2). Interestingly, LLL12, a nonpeptide, cell-permeable small molecule, selectively blocked exogenous IL-6-induced STAT3 phosphorylation and nuclear translocation in both PANC-1 and ASPC-1 pancreatic cancer cell lines independently of the phosphorylation of JAK1, JAK2, and TYK2. These results suggest that the inhibition of endogenous and exogenous IL-6-mediated STAT3 signaling may be a potential therapeutic approach for pancreatic cancer.
PMCID: PMC4288000  PMID: 21737619
Interleukin-6; signal transducer and activator of transcription 3; pancreatic cancer

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