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1.  Comparison of Therapeutic Effects of Laparoscopic and Open Operation for Congenital Choledochal Cysts in Adults 
Background. Laparoscopic cyst excision and Roux-en-Y hepaticojejunostomy for treating congenital choledochal cysts (CCCs) have proved to be efficacious in children. Its safety and efficacy in adult patients remain unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the laparoscopic procedure was feasible and safe in adult patients. Methods. We reviewed 35 patients who underwent laparoscopic operation (laparoscopic group) and 39 patients who underwent an open procedure (open group). The operative time, intraoperative blood loss, time until bowel motion recovery, duration of drainage, postoperative stay, time until resumption of diet, postoperative complications, and perioperative laboratory values were recorded and analyzed in both groups. Results. The operative time was longer in the laparoscopic group and decreased significantly with accumulating surgical experience (P < 0.01). The mean intraoperative blood loss was significantly lower in the laparoscopic group (P < 0.01). The time until bowel peristalsis recovery, time until resumption of diet, abdominal drainage, and postoperative stay were significantly shorter in the laparoscopic group (P < 0.01). The postoperative complication rate was not higher in the laparoscopic group than in the open group (P > 0.05). Conclusions. Laparoscopic cyst excision and hepaticojejunostomy are a feasible, effective, and safe method for treating CCCs in adult patients.
doi:10.1155/2014/670260
PMCID: PMC3955616  PMID: 24719612
2.  Plasmon resonance enhanced multicolour photodetection by graphene 
Nature communications  2011;2:579.
Graphene has the potential for high-speed, wide-band photodetection, but only with very low external quantum efficiency and no spectral selectivity. Here we report a dramatic enhancement of the overall quantum efficiency and spectral selectivity that enables multicolour photodetection, by coupling graphene with plasmonic nanostructures. We show that metallic plasmonic nanostructures can be integrated with graphene photodetectors to greatly enhance the photocurrent and external quantum efficiency by up to 1,500%. Plasmonic nanostructures of variable resonance frequencies selectively amplify the photoresponse of graphene to light of different wavelengths, enabling highly specific detection of multicolours. Being atomically thin, graphene photodetectors effectively exploit the local plasmonic enhancement effect to achieve a significant enhancement factor not normally possible with traditional planar semiconductor materials.
doi:10.1038/ncomms1589
PMCID: PMC4235953  PMID: 22146398
3.  Targeting the Raft-Associated Akt Signaling in Hepatocellular Carcinoma 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:836025.
Caveolin-1 and flotillin-1 are considered as markers of lipid rafts which can be regarded as sorting platforms for targeted transport of transmembrane proteins and are involved in fundamental cellular events such as signal transduction, cell adhesion, lipid/protein sorting, and human cancer. We addressed caveolin-1 and flotillin-1 expression in 90 human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and adjacent noncancerous tissues (ANT) samples by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting with specific antibodies. Significant caveolin-1 and flotillin-1 overexpression was found in HCC tissues compared to ANT and was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Raft-associated Akt signaling pathway components involved in the regulation of cell survival were altered by western blotting in HCC microdomain-enriched subcellular fractions purified from paired HCC and ANT samples. Our results demonstrated that the activity of raft-associated but not total membrane Akt determines its cellular functions. Lipid rafts differ in different types of tissues, which allows for the possibility of tissue-type-specific targeting for cell survival.
doi:10.1155/2014/836025
PMCID: PMC4163477  PMID: 25243186
4.  Domain Wall Motion in Synthetic Co2Si Nanowires 
Nano letters  2012;12(4):1972-1976.
We report the synthesis of single crystalline Co2Si nanowires, and electrical transport studies of single Co2Si nanowire devices at low temperature. The butterfly-shaped magnetoresistance shows interesting ferromagnetic features including negative magnetoresistance, hysteretic switch fields and step-wise drops in magnetoresistance. The non-smooth step-wise magnetoresistance response is attributed to magnetic domain wall pinning and de-pinning motion in the Co2Si nanowires probably at crystal defects or morphology defects. The temperature dependence of the domain wall de-pinning field is observed and is described by a model based on thermally assisted domain wall de-pinning over a single energy barrier.
doi:10.1021/nl204510p
PMCID: PMC3493485  PMID: 22469009
nanowires; magnetoresistance; domain wall; de-pinning field
5.  Development and evaluation of immunoassay for zeranol in bovine urine*  
A high affinity polyclonal antibody-based enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed for the quantification of zeranol in bovine urine. On the basis of urine matrix studies, the optimized dilution factors producing insignificant matrix interference were selected as 1:5 in pretreatment. In the improved ELISA, the linear response range was between 0.02 and 1 μg/ml , and the detection limit was 0.02 μg/ml for the assay. The overall recoveries and the coefficients of variation (CVs) were in the range of 82%~127% and 3.5%~8.8%, respectively. Thirty-six bovine urine samples spiked with zeranol (ranging from 0.2 to 10 μg/ml) were detected by the ELISA and liquid chromatography (LC) method, and good correlations were obtained between the two methods (R 2=0.9643). We conclude that this improved ELISA is suitable tool for a mass zeranol screening and can be an alternative for the conventional LC method for zeranol in bovine urine.
doi:10.1631/jzus.2007.B0900
PMCID: PMC2100163  PMID: 18257125
Zeranol; Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); Bovine urine
6.  Ponicidin Induces Apoptosis via JAK2 and STAT3 Signaling Pathways in Gastric Carcinoma 
Ponicidin has a variety of biological effects such as immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory functions as well as anti-viral functions especially in the upper respiratory tract infection. This study was aimed to elucidate the antitumor effect of ponicidin in gastric carcinoma MKN28 cells and the possible molecular mechanism involved. Cell viability was measured by the Cell Count Kit-8 (CCK8). Cell apoptosis was assessed by flow cytometry as well as cell cycle and reactive oxygen species (ROS) analysis. Western blot analysis was used to detect the active form of caspase-3 as well as Bax and B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) expressions after cells were treated with different concentrations of ponicidin. The results revealed that ponicidin could inhibit the growth of MKN28 cells significantly in both a time- and dose-dependent manner. The cell cycle was blocked and ROS generation was increased after the cells were treated with ponicidin. Bcl-2 expression was down-regulated remarkably while Bax expression and the active form of caspase-3 were increased after apoptosis occurred. We therefore conclude that ponicidin exhibited significant growth inhibition of gastric carcinoma cell line MKN28 and induced apoptosis of MKN28 cells via the signaling pathway regulated by Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) and signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (STAT3). Ponicidin may serve as a potential therapeutic agent for gastric carcinoma.
doi:10.3390/ijms16011576
PMCID: PMC4307321  PMID: 25588213
ponicidin; gastric carcinoma; MKN28 cells; apoptosis; JAK2; STAT3
7.  Reduction in dynamin-2 is implicated in ischaemic cardiac arrhythmias 
Ischaemic cardiac arrhythmias cause a large proportion of sudden cardiac deaths worldwide. The ischaemic arrhythmogenesis is primarily because of the dysfunction and adverse remodelling of sarcolemma ion channels. However, the potential regulators of sarcolemma ion channel turnover and function in ischaemic cardiac arrhythmias remains unknown. Our previous studies indicate that dynamin-2 (DNM2), a cardiac membrane-remodelling GTPase, modulates ion channels membrane trafficking in the cardiomyocytes. Here, we have found that DNM2 plays an important role in acute ischaemic arrhythmias. In rat ventricular tissues and primary cardiomyocytes subjected to acute ischaemic stress, the DNM2 protein and transcription levels were markedly down-regulated. This DNM2 reduction was coupled with severe ventricular arrhythmias. Moreover, we identified that the down-regulation of DNM2 within cardiomyocytes increases the action potential amplitude and prolongs the re-polarization duration by depressing the retrograde trafficking of Nav1.5 and Kir2.1 channels. These effects are likely to account for the DNM2 defect-induced arrhythmogenic potentials. These results suggest that DNM2, with its multi-ion channel targeting properties, could be a promising target for novel antiarrhythmic therapies.
doi:10.1111/jcmm.12335
PMCID: PMC4244014  PMID: 25092467
ischaemic cardiac arrhythmias; dynamin-2; ion channels; Nav1.5; Kir2.1
8.  Selective Ablation of Tumor-Associated Macrophages (TAMs) Suppresses Metastasis and Angiogenesis 
Cancer science  2013;104(9):1217-1225.
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) play a critical role in promoting tumor development and metastasis. In this study, we found that legumain, an asparaginyl endopeptidase, was highly expressed on the surface of TAMs. A doxorubicin-based prodrug specifically activated by legumain selectively ablated TAMs and resulted in a significant reduction of angiogenic factors and related tumor vessel growth. Treatment with the prodrug also suppressed circulating tumor cells and myeloid immune suppressor Gr-1+ /CD11b+ cells in tumor-bearing animals. After selective ablation of TAMs by the prodrug, the tumor growth and metastases were greatly inhibited in murine tumor models. These results indicate that legumain-activated prodrugs targeting TAMs in tumors may represent a novel anti-cancer strategy.
doi:10.1111/cas.12202
PMCID: PMC3766435  PMID: 23691974
tumor-associated macrophage; legumain; prodrug; angiogenesis; metastasis
9.  Network Anomaly Detection System with Optimized DS Evidence Theory 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:753659.
Network anomaly detection has been focused on by more people with the fast development of computer network. Some researchers utilized fusion method and DS evidence theory to do network anomaly detection but with low performance, and they did not consider features of network—complicated and varied. To achieve high detection rate, we present a novel network anomaly detection system with optimized Dempster-Shafer evidence theory (ODS) and regression basic probability assignment (RBPA) function. In this model, we add weights for each senor to optimize DS evidence theory according to its previous predict accuracy. And RBPA employs sensor's regression ability to address complex network. By four kinds of experiments, we find that our novel network anomaly detection model has a better detection rate, and RBPA as well as ODS optimization methods can improve system performance significantly.
doi:10.1155/2014/753659
PMCID: PMC4165327  PMID: 25254258
10.  Abundance, Composition and Activity of Ammonia Oxidizer and Denitrifier Communities in Metal Polluted Rice Paddies from South China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102000.
While microbial nitrogen transformations in soils had been known to be affected by heavy metal pollution, changes in abundance and community structure of the mediating microbial populations had been not yet well characterized in polluted rice soils. Here, by using the prevailing molecular fingerprinting and enzyme activity assays and comparisons to adjacent non-polluted soils, we examined changes in the abundance and activity of ammonia oxidizing and denitrifying communities of rice paddies in two sites with different metal accumulation situation under long-term pollution from metal mining and smelter activities. Potential nitrifying activity was significantly reduced in polluted paddies in both sites while potential denitrifying activity reduced only in the soils with high Cu accumulation up to 1300 mg kg−1. Copy numbers of amoA (AOA and AOB genes) were lower in both polluted paddies, following the trend with the enzyme assays, whereas that of nirK was not significantly affected. Analysis of the DGGE profiles revealed a shift in the community structure of AOA, and to a lesser extent, differences in the community structure of AOB and denitrifier between soils from the two sites with different pollution intensity and metal composition. All of the retrieved AOB sequences belonged to the genus Nitrosospira, among which species Cluster 4 appeared more sensitive to metal pollution. In contrast, nirK genes were widely distributed among different bacterial genera that were represented differentially between the polluted and unpolluted paddies. This could suggest either a possible non-specific target of the primers conventionally used in soil study or complex interactions between soil properties and metal contents on the observed community and activity changes, and thus on the N transformation in the polluted rice soils.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102000
PMCID: PMC4109924  PMID: 25058658
11.  A meta-analysis of risk factors for depression in adults and children after natural disasters 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:623.
Background
A number of studies have shown a range of negative psychological symptoms (e.g. depression) after exposure to natural disasters. The aim of this study was to determine risk factors for depression in both children and adults who have survived natural disasters.
Methods
Four electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and PsychInfo) were used to search for observational studies (case–control, cross-sectional, and cohort studies) about depression following natural disasters. The literature search, study selection, and data extraction were conducted independently by two authors. Thirty-one articles were included in the study, of which twenty included adult participants and eleven included child participants. Summary estimates were obtained using random-effects models. Subgroup analysis, sensitivity analysis, and publication bias tests were performed on the data.
Results
The prevalence of depression after natural disasters ranged from 5.8% to 54.0% in adults and from 7.5% to 44.8% in children. We found a number of risk factors for depression after exposure to natural disasters. For adults, the significant predictors were being female ;not married;holding religious beliefs; having poor education; prior trauma; experiencing fear, injury, or bereavement during the disaster; or losing employment or property, suffering house damage as a result of the disaster. For children, the significant predictors were prior trauma; being trapped during the disaster; experiencing injury, fear, or bereavement during the disaster; witnessing injury/death during the disaster; or having poor social support.
Conclusions
The current analysis provides evidence of risk factors for depression in survivors of natural disasters. Further research is necessary to design interventions to improve the mental health of survivors of natural disasters.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-623
PMCID: PMC4077641  PMID: 24941890
Depression; Risk factors; Children; Adults; Natural disasters
12.  Protein Inhibitor of Activated STAT 1 (PIAS1) Is Identified as the SUMO E3 Ligase of CCAAT/Enhancer-Binding Protein β (C/EBPβ) during Adipogenesis 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2013;33(22):4606-4617.
It is well recognized that PIAS1, a SUMO (small ubiquitin-like modifier) E3 ligase, modulates such cellular processes as cell proliferation, DNA damage responses, and inflammation responses. Recent studies have shown that PIAS1 also plays a part in cell differentiation. However, the role of PIAS1 in adipocyte differentiation remains unknown. CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ), a major regulator of adipogenesis, is a target of SUMOylation, but the E3 ligase responsible for the SUMOylation of C/EBPβ has not been identified. The present study showed that PIAS1 functions as a SUMO E3 ligase of C/EBPβ to regulate adipogenesis. PIAS1 expression was significantly and transiently induced on day 4 of 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation, when C/EBPβ began to decline. PIAS1 was found to interact with C/EBPβ through the SAP (scaffold attachment factor A/B/acinus/PIAS) domain and SUMOylate it, leading to increased ubiquitination and degradation of C/EBPβ. C/EBPβ became more stable when PIAS1 was silenced by RNA interference (RNAi). Moreover, adipogenesis was inhibited by overexpression of wild-type PIAS1 and promoted by knockdown of PIAS1. The mutational study indicated that the catalytic activity of SUMO E3 ligase was required for PIAS1 to restrain adipogenesis. Importantly, the inhibitory effect of PIAS1 overexpression on adipogenesis was rescued by overexpressed C/EBPβ. Thus, PIAS1 could play a dynamic role in adipogenesis by promoting the SUMOylation of C/EBPβ.
doi:10.1128/MCB.00723-13
PMCID: PMC3838193  PMID: 24061474
13.  Gankyrin Is Frequently Overexpressed in Cervical High Grade Disease and Is Associated with Cervical Carcinogenesis and Metastasis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95043.
Our previous studies have showed that Gankyrin expression is correlated with a malignant phenotype in endometrial carcinoma. Here, we investigated the possible role of Gankyrin in cervical disease. The increasing protein level of Gankyrin was observed in high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and carcinoma compared with benign cervical tissues and low-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. In para-carcinoma tissues, it was found interestingly that there was no lymph node metastasis when nuclei Gankyrin was positively expressed, but lymph node metastasis rate was 30% (6/20) when nuclei Gankyrin was negatively expressed. In vitro, the transfection of Gankyrin resulted in markedly up-regulating of Vimentin, β-catenin and Twist2, as well as down-regulating of E-cadherin in cervical carcinoma cells. Our results suggested that Gankyrin may be functional in cervical carcinogenesis and metastasis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095043
PMCID: PMC3994022  PMID: 24751719
14.  Surrounding Sensitive Electronic Properties of Bi2Te3 Nanoplates—Potential Sensing Applications of Topological Insulators 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4639.
Significant efforts have been paid to exploring the fundamental properties of topological insulators (TIs) in recent years. However, the investigation of TIs as functional materials for practical device applications is still quite limited. In this work, electronic sensors based on Bi2Te3 nanoplates were fabricated and the sensing performance was investigated. On exposure to different surrounding environments, significant changes in the conducting properties were observed by direct electrical measurements. These results suggest that nanostructured TIs hold great potential for sensing applications.
doi:10.1038/srep04639
PMCID: PMC3982166  PMID: 24717774
15.  Glutamate and GABA imbalance promotes neuronal apoptosis in hippocampus after stress 
Background
People who experience traumatic events have an increased risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, PTSD-related pathological changes in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex remain poorly understood.
Material/Methods
We investigated the effect of a PTSD-like animal model induced by severe stress. The experimental rats received 20 inescapable electric foot shocks in an enclosed box for a total of 6 times in 3 days. The physiological state (body weight and plasma corticosterone concentrations), emotion, cognitive behavior, brain morphology, apoptosis, and balance of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex were observed. Cell damages were examined with histological staining (HE, Nissl, and silver impregnation), while apoptosis was analyzed with flow cytometry using an Annexin V and propidium iodide (PI) binding and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated-dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) method.
Results
In comparison with the sham litter-mates, the stressed rats showed decreased body weight, inhibition of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation, increase in freezing response to trauma reminder, hypoactivity and anxiety-like behaviors in elevated plus maze and open field test, poor learning in Morris water maze, and shortened latency in hot-plate test. There were significant damages in the hippocampus but not in the prefrontal cortex. Imbalance between glutamate and GABA was more evident in the hippocampus than in the prefrontal cortex.
Conclusions
These results suggest that neuronal apoptosis in the hippocampus after severe traumatic stress is related to the imbalance between glutamate and GABA. Such modifications may resemble the profound changes observed in PTSD patients.
doi:10.12659/MSM.890589
PMCID: PMC3976216  PMID: 24675061
Apoptosis; Central Nervous System; Stress Disorders; Post-Traumatic
16.  Synthesis and evaluation of the aldolase antibody-derived chemical-antibodies targeting alpha(5)beta(1) integrin 
Molecular pharmaceutics  2012;10(2):538-543.
Integrin α5β1 is an important therapeutic target that can be inhibited using an aldolase antibody (Ab)-derived chemical-Ab (chem-Ab) for the treatment of multiple human diseases, including cancers. A fairly optimized anti-integrin α5β1 chem-Ab 38C2-4e was obtained using an in situ convergent chemical programming (CP) approach, which minimized the time and efforts needed to develop a chem-Ab. Multiple Ab-programming agents (PAs) 4a-e could be prepared rapidly using the Cu-catalyzed alkyne-azide coupling (Cu-AAC) reaction of an α5β1 inhibitor 2 with multiple linkers 3a-e, either before or after conjugating the linkers into Ab 38C2 binding sites. In these two-steps processes, the products after step 1 can be used in next step without performing an extensive purification or analysis of the Ab-PAs or Ab-linker conjugates affording chem-Abs 38C2-(4a-e). Flow cytometry assay was used to determine binding of the chem-Abs to U87 human glioblastoma cells expressing α5β1 integrin, and identify 38C2-3e as the strongest binder. Further studies revealed that 38C2-3e strongly inhibited proliferation of U87 cells and tube formation of HUVEC in matrigel assay, as well as tumor growth and metastasis of 4T1 cells in vivo.
doi:10.1021/mp3004463
PMCID: PMC3596504  PMID: 23102054
Integrin alpha(5)beta(1); chemical programming; antibody 38C2; Aldolase antibody; cancer; chemical-antibody (chem-Ab); in-situ convergent strategy
17.  Transactivation of Atg4b by C/EBPβ Promotes Autophagy To Facilitate Adipogenesis 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2013;33(16):3180-3190.
Autophagy is a highly conserved self-digestion pathway involved in various physiological and pathophysiological processes. Recent studies have implicated a pivotal role of autophagy in adipocyte differentiation, but the molecular mechanism for its role and how it is regulated during this process are not clear. Here, we show that CCAAT /enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ), an important adipogenic factor, is required for the activation of autophagy during 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation. An autophagy-related gene, Atg4b, is identified as a de novo target gene of C/EBPβ and is shown to play an important role in 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation. Furthermore, autophagy is required for the degradation of Klf2 and Klf3, two negative regulators of adipocyte differentiation, which is mediated by the adaptor protein p62/SQSTM1. Importantly, the regulation of autophagy by C/EBPβ and the role of autophagy in Klf2/3 degradation and in adipogenesis are further confirmed in mouse models. Our data describe a novel function of C/EBPβ in regulating autophagy and reveal the mechanism of autophagy during adipocyte differentiation. These new insights into the molecular mechanism of adipose tissue development provide a functional pathway with therapeutic potential against obesity and its related metabolic disorders.
doi:10.1128/MCB.00193-13
PMCID: PMC3753907  PMID: 23754749
18.  Influenza Virus-Induced Lung Inflammation Was Modulated by Cigarette Smoke Exposure in Mice 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86166.
Although smokers have increased susceptibility and severity of seasonal influenza virus infection, there is no report about the risk of 2009 pandemic H1N1 (pdmH1N1) or avian H9N2 (H9N2/G1) virus infection in smokers. In our study, we used mouse model to investigate the effect of cigarette smoke on pdmH1N1 or H9N2 virus infection. Mice were exposed to cigarette smoke for 21 days and then infected with pdmH1N1 or H9N2 virus. Control mice were exposed to air in parallel. We found that cigarette smoke exposure alone significantly upregulated the lung inflammation. Such prior cigarette smoke exposure significantly reduced the disease severity of subsequent pdmH1N1 or H9N2 virus infection. For pdmH1N1 infection, cigarette smoke exposed mice had significantly lower mortality than the control mice, possibly due to the significantly decreased production of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Similarly, after H9N2 infection, cigarette smoke exposed mice displayed significantly less weight loss, which might be attributed to lower cytokines and chemokines production, less macrophages, neutrophils, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells infiltration and reduced lung damage compared to the control mice. To further investigate the underlying mechanism, we used nicotine to mimic the effect of cigarette smoke both in vitro and in vivo. Pre-treating the primary human macrophages with nicotine for 72 h significantly decreased their expression of cytokines and chemokines after pdmH1N1 or H9N2 infection. The mice subcutaneously and continuously treated with nicotine displayed significantly less weight loss and lower inflammatory response than the control mice upon pdmH1N1 or H9N2 infection. Moreover, α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor knockout mice had more body weight loss than wild-type mice after cigarette smoke exposure and H9N2 infection. Our study provided the first evidence that the pathogenicity of both pdmH1N1 and H9N2 viruses was alleviated in cigarette smoke exposed mice, which might partially be attributed to the immunosuppressive effect of nicotine.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086166
PMCID: PMC3897646  PMID: 24465940
19.  Synergistic and Antagonistic Effects of Salinity and pH on Germination in Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85282.
The effects of salt-alkaline mixed stress on switchgrass were investigated by evaluating seed germination and the proline, malondialdehyde (MDA) and soluble sugar contents in three switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) cultivars in order to identify which can be successfully produced on marginal lands affected by salt-alkaline mixed stress. The experimental conditions consisted of four levels of salinity (10, 60, 110 and 160 mM) and four pH levels (7.1, 8.3, 9.5 and 10.7). The effects of salt-alkaline mixed stress with equivalent coupling of the salinity and pH level on the switchgrass were explored via model analyses. Switchgrass was capable of germinating and surviving well in all treatments under low-alkaline pH (pH≤8.3), regardless of the salinity. However, seed germination and seedling growth were sharply reduced at higher pH values in conjunction with salinity. The salinity and pH had synergetic effects on the germination percentage, germination index, plumular length and the soluble sugar and proline contents in switchgrass. However, these two factors exhibited antagonistic effects on the radicular length of switchgrass. The combined effects of salinity and pH and the interactions between them should be considered when evaluating the strength of salt-alkaline mixed stress.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085282
PMCID: PMC3891870  PMID: 24454834
20.  Ipsilateral and Contralateral Auditory Brainstem Response Reorganization in Hemispherectomized Patients 
Neural Plasticity  2013;2013:832473.
Background. Cortical hemispherectomy leads to degeneration of ipsilateral subcortical structures, which can be observed long term after the operation. Therefore, reorganization of the brainstem auditory pathway might occur. The aim of this study was to assess reorganization of brainstem auditory pathways by measuring the auditory brainstem response (ABR) in long-term hemispherectomized patients. Methods. We performed bilateral monaural stimulation and measured bilateral ABR in 8 patients ~20 years after hemispherectomy and 10 control subjects. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed in patients to assess structural degeneration. Results. All patients showed degenerated ipsilateral brainstem structures by MRI but no significant differences in bilateral recording ABR wave latencies. However, nonsurgical-side stimulation elicited significantly longer wave V latencies compared to surgical-side stimulation. Differences in bilateral ABR were observed between hemispherectomized patients and control subjects. Waves III and V latencies elicited by nonsurgical-side stimulation were significantly longer than those in control subjects; surgical-side stimulation showed no significant differences. Conclusions. (1) Differences in ABR latency elicited by unilateral stimulation are predominantly due to bilateral brainstem auditory pathway activity rather than to changes in brainstem volume; (2) ABR Waves III and V originate predominantly in the contralateral brainstem; and (3) subcortical auditory pathways appear to reorganize after long term hemispherectomy.
doi:10.1155/2013/832473
PMCID: PMC3884784  PMID: 24455311
21.  A Noise Level Prediction Method Based on Electro-Mechanical Frequency Response Function for Capacitors 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e81651.
The capacitors in high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) converter stations radiate a lot of audible noise which can reach higher than 100 dB. The existing noise level prediction methods are not satisfying enough. In this paper, a new noise level prediction method is proposed based on a frequency response function considering both electrical and mechanical characteristics of capacitors. The electro-mechanical frequency response function (EMFRF) is defined as the frequency domain quotient of the vibration response and the squared capacitor voltage, and it is obtained from impulse current experiment. Under given excitations, the vibration response of the capacitor tank is the product of EMFRF and the square of the given capacitor voltage in frequency domain, and the radiated audible noise is calculated by structure acoustic coupling formulas. The noise level under the same excitations is also measured in laboratory, and the results are compared with the prediction. The comparison proves that the noise prediction method is effective.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0081651
PMCID: PMC3857221  PMID: 24349105
22.  High Yield Chemical Vapor Deposition Growth of High Quality Large-Area AB Stacked Bilayer Graphene 
ACS nano  2012;6(9):8241-8249.
Bernal stacked (AB stacked) bilayer graphene is of significant interest for functional electronic and photonic devices due to the feasibility to continuously tune its band gap with a vertical electrical field. Mechanical exfoliation can be used to produce AB stacked bilayer graphene flakes but typically with the sizes limited to a few micrometers. Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) has been recently explored for the synthesis of bilayer graphene but usually with limited coverage and a mixture of AB and randomly stacked structures. Herein we report a rational approach to produce large-area high quality AB stacked bilayer graphene. We show that the self-limiting effect of graphene growth on Cu foil can be broken by using a high H2/CH4 ratio in a low pressure CVD process to enable the continued growth of bilayer graphene. A high temperature and low pressure nucleation step is found to be critical for the formation of bilayer graphene nuclei with high AB stacking ratio. A rational design of a two-step CVD process is developed for the growth of bilayer graphene with high AB stacking ratio (up to 90 %) and high coverage (up to 99 %). The electrical transport studies demonstrated that devices made of the as-grown bilayer graphene exhibit typical characteristics of AB stacked bilayer graphene with the highest carrier mobility exceeding 4,000 cm2/V·s at room temperature, comparable to that of the exfoliated bilayer graphene.
doi:10.1021/nn302918x
PMCID: PMC3493488  PMID: 22906199
bilayer graphene; band gap; AB stacking; chemical vapor deposition; copper foil
23.  Realization of ferromagnetic graphene oxide with high magnetization by doping graphene oxide with nitrogen 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:2566.
The long spin diffusion length makes graphene very attractive for novel spintronic devices, and thus has triggered a quest for integrating the charge and spin degrees of freedom. However, ideal graphene is intrinsic non-magnetic, due to a delocalized π bonding network. Therefore, synthesis of ferromagnetic graphene or its derivatives with high magnetization is urgent due to both fundamental and technological importance. Here we report that N-doping can be an effective route to obtain a very high magnetization of ca. 1.66 emu/g, and can make graphene oxide (GO) to be ferromagnetism with a Curie-temperature of 100.2 K. Clearly, our findings can offer the easy realization of ferromagnetic GO with high magnetization, therefore, push the way for potential applications in spintronic devices.
doi:10.1038/srep02566
PMCID: PMC3759045  PMID: 23995236
24.  Nuclear Multidrug-Resistance Related Protein 1 Contributes to Multidrug-Resistance of Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma Mainly via Regulating Multidrug-Resistance Protein 1: A Human Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma Cells Model and Spearman's Rank Correlation Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e69611.
Background
Multidrug resistance-related protein 1 (MRP1/ABCC1) and multidrug resistance protein 1 (MDR1/P-glycoprotein/ABCB1) are both membrane-bound drug transporters. In contrast to MDR1, MRP1 also transports glutathione (GSH) and drugs conjugated to GSH. Due to its extraordinary transport properties, MRP1/ABCC1 contributes to several physiological functions and pathophysiological incidents. We previously found that nuclear translocation of MRP1 contributes to multidrug-resistance (MDR) of mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC). The present study investigated how MRP1 contributes to MDR in the nuclei of MEC cells.
Methods
Western blot and RT-PCR was carried out to investigate the change of multidrug-resistance protein 1 (MDR1) in MC3/5FU cells after MRP1 was downregulated through RNA interference (RNAi). Immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining of 127 cases of MEC tissues was scored with the expression index (EI). The EI of MDR1 and MRP1 (or nuclear MRP1) was analyzed with Spearman's rank correlation analysis. Using multiple tumor tissue assays, the location of MRP1 in other tissues was checked by HIC. Luciferase reporter assays of MDR1 promoter was carried out to check the connection between MRP1 and MDR1 promoter.
Results
MRP1 downregulation led to a decreased MDR1 expression in MC3/5FU cells which was caused by decreased activity of MDR1 promoter. IHC study of 127 cases of MEC tissues demonstrated a strong positive correlation between nuclear MRP1 expression and MDR1 expression. Furthermore, IHC study of multiple tumor tissue array sections showed that although nuclear MRP1 widely existed in MEC tissues, it was not found in normal tissues or other tumor tissues.
Conclusions
Our findings indicate that nuclear MRP1 contributes to MDR mainly through regulating MDR1 expression in MEC. And the unique location of MRP1 made it an available target in identifying MEC from other tumors.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069611
PMCID: PMC3754958  PMID: 24013781
25.  TLR5 Signaling Enhances the Proliferation of Human Allogeneic CD40-Activated B Cell Induced CD4hiCD25+ Regulatory T Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e67969.
Although diverse functions of different toll-like receptors (TLR) on human natural regulatory T cells have been demonstrated recently, the role of TLR-related signals on human induced regulatory T cells remain elusive. Previously our group developed an ex vivo high-efficient system in generating human alloantigen-specific CD4hiCD25+ regulatory T cells from naïve CD4+CD25− T cells using allogeneic CD40-activated B cells as stimulators. In this study, we investigated the role of TLR5-related signals on the generation and function of these novel CD4hiCD25+ regulatory T cells. It was found that induced CD4hiCD25+ regulatory T cells expressed an up-regulated level of TLR5 compared to their precursors. The blockade of TLR5 using anti-TLR5 antibodies during the co-culture decreased CD4hiCD25+ regulatory T cells proliferation by induction of S phase arrest. The S phase arrest was associated with reduced ERK1/2 phosphorylation. However, TLR5 blockade did not decrease the CTLA-4, GITR and FOXP3 expressions, and the suppressive function of CD4hiCD25+ regulatory T cells. In conclusion, we discovered a novel function of TLR5-related signaling in enhancing the proliferation of CD4hiCD25+ regulatory T cells by promoting S phase progress but not involved in the suppressive function of human CD40-activated B cell-induced CD4hiCD25+ regulatory T cells, suggesting a novel role of TLR5-related signals in the generation of induced regulatory T cells.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067969
PMCID: PMC3700901  PMID: 23844139

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