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1.  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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056365
PMCID: PMC3576392  PMID: 23431371
2.  Anti-inflammatory effects of BHBA in both in vivo and in vitro Parkinson’s disease models are mediated by GPR109A-dependent mechanisms 
Background
Accumulating evidence suggests that neuroinflammation plays an important role in the progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Excessively activated microglia produce several pro-inflammatory enzymes and pro-inflammatory cytokines, leading to damage to surrounding neurons and eventually inducing neurodegeneration. Therefore, the inhibition of microglial overactivation may be a potential therapeutic strategy to prevent the further progression of PD. β-Hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA) has been shown to suppress lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation in BV-2 cells and to protect dopaminergic neurons in previous studies, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Thus, in this study, we further investigated this mechanism in LPS-induced in vivo and in vitro PD models.
Methods
For the in vitro experiments, primary mesencephalic neuron-glia cultures were pretreated with BHBA and stimulated with LPS. [3H]dopamine (DA) uptake, tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive (TH-ir) neurons and morphological analysis were evaluated and analyzed in primary mesencephalic neuron-glia cultures. In vivo, microglial activation and the injury of dopaminergic neurons were induced by LPS intranigral injection, and the effects of BHBA treatment on microglial activation and the survival ratio and function of dopaminergic neurons were investigated. Four our in vitro mechanistic experiment, primary microglial cells were pretreated with BHBA and stimulated with LPS; the cells were then assessed for the responses of pro-inflammatory enzymes and pro-inflammatory cytokines, and the NF-κB signaling pathway was evaluated and analyzed.
Results
We found that BHBA concentration-dependently attenuated the LPS-induced decrease in [3H]DA uptake and loss of TH-ir neurons in the primary mesencephalic neuron/glia mixed culture. BHBA treatment significantly improved the motor dysfunction of the PD model rats induced by intranigral injection of LPS, and this beneficial effect of BHBA was attributed to the inhibition of microglial overactivation and the protection of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN). Our in vitro mechanistic study revealed that the inhibitory effect of BHBA on microglia was mediated by G-protein-coupled receptor 109A (GPR109A) and involved the NF-κB signaling pathway, causing the inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzyme (iNOS and COX-2) and pro-inflammatory cytokine (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6) production.
Conclusions
In conclusion, the present study supports the effectiveness of BHBA in protecting dopaminergic neurons against inflammatory challenge.
doi:10.1186/s12974-014-0230-3
PMCID: PMC4310035  PMID: 25595674
BHBA; GPR109A; Parkinson’s disease; neuroinflammation; LPS; NF-κB
3.  Improved self-management skills in Chinese diabetes patients through a comprehensive health literacy strategy: study protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2014;15(1):498.
Background
Diabetes self-management often involves the interpretation and application of oral, written, or quantitative information. Numerous diabetes patients in China have limited health literacy, which likely leads to poorer clinical outcomes. This study is designed to examine the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of addressing health literacy to improve self-management skills and glycemic control in Chinese diabetes patients.
Methods/design
This is a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) conducted in 20 community healthcare sites in Shanghai, China. Overall, 800 diabetes patients will be randomized into intervention and control arms and will have a baseline hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) assay and undergo a baseline survey which includes measures of health literacy and diabetes numeracy using revised Chinese versions of the Health Literacy Management Scale and Diabetes Numeracy Test Scale. During the 1-year period of intervention, while the control group will receive usual care, the intervention group will be supplemented with a comprehensive health literacy strategy which includes i) training healthcare providers in effective health communication skills that address issues related to low literacy, and ii) use of an interactive Diabetes Education Toolkit to improve patient understanding and behaviors. Assessments will be conducted at both patient and healthcare provider levels, and will take place upon admission and after 3, 6, 12, and 24 months of intervention. The primary outcome will be the improvement in HbA1c between Intervention group and Control group patients. Secondary outcomes at the patient level will include improvement in i) clinical outcomes (blood pressure, fasting lipids, body mass index, weight, smoking status), ii) patient reported self-management behaviors, and iii) patient-reported self-efficacy. Outcomes at the provider level will include: i) provider satisfaction and ii) intensity and type of care provided. The effects of the intervention will be examined in multivariable general linear models. Both cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analyses will be performed.
Discussion
The main strengths of this study are its large sample size and RCT design, involvement of both patients and healthcare providers, and the long term follow-up (24-months). This project will help to demonstrate the value of addressing health literacy and health communication to improve self-management and clinical outcomes among Chinese diabetes patients.
Trial registration
ISRCTN76130594, Registration date: Sept 22, 2014.
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-498
PMCID: PMC4307742  PMID: 25527255
Cost-effectiveness; Cost-utility; Diabetes self-management; Hemoglobin A1c; Literacy; Numeracy; Self-efficacy; Self-management behaviors
4.  BHBA Suppresses LPS-Induced Inflammation in BV-2 Cells by Inhibiting NF-κB Activation 
Mediators of Inflammation  2014;2014:983401.
β-Hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA) has neuroprotective effects, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unclear. Microglial activation plays an important role in neurodegenerative diseases by producing several proinflammatory enzymes and proinflammatory cytokines. The current study investigates the potential mechanisms whereby BHBA affects the expression of potentially proinflammatory proteins by cultured murine microglial BV-2 cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The results showed that BHBA significantly reduced LPS-induced protein and mRNA expression levels of iNOS, COX-2, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6. Blocking of GPR109A by PTX resulted in a loss of this anti-inflammatory effect in BV-2 cells. Western blot analysis showed that BHBA reduced LPS-induced degradation of IκB-α and translocation of NF-κB, while no effect was observed on MAPKs phosphorylation. All results imply that BHBA significantly reduces levels of proinflammatory enzymes and proinflammatory cytokines by inhibition of the NF-κB signaling pathway but not MAPKs pathways, and GPR109A is essential to this function. Overall, these data suggest that BHBA has a potential as neuroprotective drug candidate in neurodegenerative diseases.
doi:10.1155/2014/983401
PMCID: PMC3997897  PMID: 24803746
5.  Effects of Upregulation of Hsp27 Expression on Oocyte Development and Maturation Derived from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83402.
Heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27) is a heat shock protein family member which can inhibit apoptosis. Our previous studies reported down-regulated Hsp27 in ovarian tissue derived from women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) however, the exact effect of Hsp27 on oocyte maturation and developmental competence in PCOS is unclear. The effect of Hsp27 over-expression was studied in vitro using oocytes derived from PCOS patients. An artificial GFP-plasmid was injected into human oocyte to increase Hsp27 protein level. Oocyte maturation was evaluated by morphological observation. Mature oocytes were fertilized by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and embryonic developmental competence was evaluated. Critical apoptotic factors and cytokines were measured at both the mRNA and protein level. Our results revealed that Overexpression of HSP27 lowered the maturation rate of oocytes derived from PCOS patients. Meanwhile, fertilization rate and high quality embryo rate were similar between the Hsp27 overexpressing group and controls; however, the blastocyst formation rate in this group was significantly higher than control. Expression analysis revealed that the oocyte-secreted factors, BMP15 and GDF9, and the apoptotic-related regulators, Caspase 3, 8 and 9, were all significantly decreased in Hsp27 overexpressing oocytes. In conclusion, upregulation of Hsp27 inhibits oocyte maturation from PCOS patients, but improves embryonic developmental potential.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083402
PMCID: PMC3877038  PMID: 24391762
6.  IL-21 Modulates Release of Proinflammatory Cytokines in LPS-Stimulated Macrophages through Distinct Signaling Pathways 
Mediators of Inflammation  2013;2013:548073.
The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of IL-21 on LPS-induced mouse peritoneal macrophages. The results showed that IL-21 significantly inhibited LPS-induced mRNA expression of IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6 in macrophages, but not of IFN-γ, IL-10, CCL5, or CXCL2. ELISA analysis showed that IL-21 also suppressed LPS-induced production of TNF-α and IL-6 in culture supernatants. Western blot analysis showed that IL-21 clearly inhibited ERK and IκBα phosphorylation and NF-κB translocation in LPS-stimulated macrophages, but it increased STAT3 phosphorylation. Flow cytometric and Western blot analysis showed that IL-21 decreased M1 macrophages surface markers expression of CD86, iNOS, and TLR4 in LPS-stimulated cells. All results suggested that IL-21 decreases IL-6 and TNF-α production via inhibiting the phosphorylation of ERK and translocation of NF-κB and promotes a shift from the M1 to M2 macrophage phenotype by decreasing the expression of CD86, iNOS, and TLR4 and by increasing STAT3 phosphorylation in LPS-stimulated cells.
doi:10.1155/2013/548073
PMCID: PMC3888770  PMID: 24574581
7.  Bioequivalence and Pharmacokinetic Evaluation of Two Formulations of Risperidone 2 mg 
Drugs in R&d  2012;13(1):29-36.
Background
Risperidone is a benzisoxazole derivate and is effective in the treatment of schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses in adults and children. Although there are a few reports in the literature regarding the pharmacokinetic characteristics of risperidone, insufficient data on its pharmacokinetic properties in a Chinese population are available.
Objective
To meet the requirements for marketing a new generic product, this study was designed to compare the pharmacokinetic properties and bioequivalence of two 2 mg tablet formulations of risperidone: a newly developed generic formulation (test) and a branded formulation (reference) in healthy adult male Chinese volunteers.
Methods
A single-dose, open-label, randomized-sequence, 2 × 2 crossover study was conducted in fasted healthy male Chinese volunteers. Eligible participants were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive 1 tablet (2 mg each) of the test formulation (Risperidone tablet; Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., Hyderabad, India) or the reference formulation (Risperdal® tablet; Xian-Janssen Pharmaceutical Ltd., Xi-an, China), followed by a 2-week washout period and subsequent administration of the alternate formulation. The study drugs were administered after a 10-hour overnight fast. Plasma samples were collected over 96 hours. Plasma concentrations of the parent drug, risperidone, and its active metabolite, 9-hydroxy-risperidone, were analyzed by a liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry method. The formulations would be considered bioequivalent if the 90% confidence intervals (CIs) of the natural log-transformed values were within the predetermined 80–125% equivalence range for the maximum plasma drug concentration (Cmax) and the area under the plasma concentration–time curve (AUC), in accordance with guidelines issued by the US Food and Drug Administration. Assessment of tolerability was based on recording of adverse events (AEs), monitoring of vital signs, electrocardiograms, and laboratory tests at baseline and at completion of the study.
Results
A total of 24 healthy male Chinese volunteers (mean age 22.9 years [standard deviation (SD) 2.7, range 19.2–27.1]; weight 63.2 kg [SD 7.0, range 52.0–78.0]; and height 171.3 cm [SD 6.1, range 162.0–187.0]) were enrolled, and all completed the study. For the parent drug, risperidone, the 90% CIs of the relative values (test vs. reference) of the Cmax, AUC from time zero to time t (AUCt), and AUC from time zero to infinity (AUC∞) were 97.0–124.0%, 92.7–115.1%, and 92.8–114.2%, respectively. For the active metabolite, 9-hydroxy-risperidone, the values were 104.4–117.7%, 101.0–113.7%, and 100.4–113.4%, respectively. The two formulations met the predetermined criteria for bioequivalence. A total of 73 AEs were observed in 24 subjects during the study. The most common AE was sedation (48 events), followed by nasal reactions (14 events), postural hypotension (3 events), hypertriglyceridemia (2 events), dizziness (4 events), nausea (1 event), and anorexia (1 event). Their severity was as follows: 16 were mild, 57 were moderate, and none were severe. The majority of the AEs were considered to be related (48 events) or probably related (23 events) to the study medication. No clinically significant abnormalities on physical examination, vital sign measurements, or electrocardiographic recordings were reported. No serious AEs were reported.
Conclusions
The data from this study in healthy adult male Chinese subjects suggest that the test formulation met the regulatory criteria for bioequivalence to the reference formulation, on the basis of the rate and extent of absorption. Both formulations were well tolerated.
doi:10.1007/s40268-012-0002-4
PMCID: PMC3627046  PMID: 23322527
8.  Bioequivalence and Pharmacokinetic Evaluation of Two Formulations of Risperidone 2 mg 
Drugs in R&D  2012;13(1):29-36.
Background
Risperidone is a benzisoxazole derivate and is effective in the treatment of schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses in adults and children. Although there are a few reports in the literature regarding the pharmacokinetic characteristics of risperidone, insufficient data on its pharmacokinetic properties in a Chinese population are available.
Objective
To meet the requirements for marketing a new generic product, this study was designed to compare the pharmacokinetic properties and bioequivalence of two 2 mg tablet formulations of risperidone: a newly developed generic formulation (test) and a branded formulation (reference) in healthy adult male Chinese volunteers.
Methods
A single-dose, open-label, randomized-sequence, 2 × 2 crossover study was conducted in fasted healthy male Chinese volunteers. Eligible participants were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive 1 tablet (2 mg each) of the test formulation (Risperidone tablet; Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., Hyderabad, India) or the reference formulation (Risperdal® tablet; Xian-Janssen Pharmaceutical Ltd., Xi-an, China), followed by a 2-week washout period and subsequent administration of the alternate formulation. The study drugs were administered after a 10-hour overnight fast. Plasma samples were collected over 96 hours. Plasma concentrations of the parent drug, risperidone, and its active metabolite, 9-hydroxy-risperidone, were analyzed by a liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry method. The formulations would be considered bioequivalent if the 90% confidence intervals (CIs) of the natural log-transformed values were within the predetermined 80–125% equivalence range for the maximum plasma drug concentration (Cmax) and the area under the plasma concentration–time curve (AUC), in accordance with guidelines issued by the US Food and Drug Administration. Assessment of tolerability was based on recording of adverse events (AEs), monitoring of vital signs, electrocardiograms, and laboratory tests at baseline and at completion of the study.
Results
A total of 24 healthy male Chinese volunteers (mean age 22.9 years [standard deviation (SD) 2.7, range 19.2–27.1]; weight 63.2 kg [SD 7.0, range 52.0–78.0]; and height 171.3 cm [SD 6.1, range 162.0–187.0]) were enrolled, and all completed the study. For the parent drug, risperidone, the 90% CIs of the relative values (test vs. reference) of the Cmax, AUC from time zero to time t (AUCt), and AUC from time zero to infinity (AUC∞) were 97.0–124.0%, 92.7–115.1%, and 92.8–114.2%, respectively. For the active metabolite, 9-hydroxy-risperidone, the values were 104.4–117.7%, 101.0–113.7%, and 100.4–113.4%, respectively. The two formulations met the predetermined criteria for bioequivalence. A total of 73 AEs were observed in 24 subjects during the study. The most common AE was sedation (48 events), followed by nasal reactions (14 events), postural hypotension (3 events), hypertriglyceridemia (2 events), dizziness (4 events), nausea (1 event), and anorexia (1 event). Their severity was as follows: 16 were mild, 57 were moderate, and none were severe. The majority of the AEs were considered to be related (48 events) or probably related (23 events) to the study medication. No clinically significant abnormalities on physical examination, vital sign measurements, or electrocardiographic recordings were reported. No serious AEs were reported.
Conclusions
The data from this study in healthy adult male Chinese subjects suggest that the test formulation met the regulatory criteria for bioequivalence to the reference formulation, on the basis of the rate and extent of absorption. Both formulations were well tolerated.
doi:10.1007/s40268-012-0002-4
PMCID: PMC3627046  PMID: 23322527
9.  Toward an understanding of the protein interaction network of the human liver 
Toward an understanding of the protein interaction network of the human liver
An extensive interaction network of human liver-expressed proteins is described, composed of 3484 interactions among 2582 proteins. Proteins associated with liver disease tend to be central and highly connected in the network.
Proteome-scale protein interaction maps are available for many organisms, ranging from bacteria, yeast, worms and flies to humans. These maps provide substantial new insights into systems biology, disease research and drug discovery. However, only a small fraction of the total number of human protein–protein interactions has been identified. In this study, we map the interactions of an unbiased selection of 5026 human liver expression proteins by yeast two-hybrid technology and establish a human liver protein interaction network (HLPN) composed of 3484 interactions among 2582 proteins. The data set has a validation rate of over 72% as determined by three independent biochemical or cellular assays. The network includes metabolic enzymes and liver-specific, liver-phenotype and liver-disease proteins that are individually critical for the maintenance of liver functions. The liver enriched proteins had significantly different topological properties and increased our understanding of the functional relationships among proteins in a liver-specific manner. Our data represent the first comprehensive description of a HLPN, which could be a valuable tool for understanding the functioning of the protein interaction network of the human liver.
doi:10.1038/msb.2011.67
PMCID: PMC3261708  PMID: 21988832
human liver; network; protein–protein interaction; yeast two hybrid
10.  Drug susceptibility profile and pathogenicity of H7N9 influenza virus (Anhui1 lineage) with R292K substitution 
Neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) are the only available licensed therapeutics against human H7N9 influenza virus infections. The emergence of NAI-resistant variants of H7N9viruses with an NA R292K mutation poses a therapeutic challenge. A comprehensive understanding of the susceptibility of these viruses to clinically available NAIs, non-NAIs and their combinations is crucial for effective treatment. In this study, by using limited serial passage and plaque purification, an R292K variant of the Anhui1 lineage was isolated from a patient with clinical evidence of resistance to oseltamivir. In vitro and cell-based assays confirmed a high level of resistance conferred by the R292K mutation to oseltamivir carboxylate and a moderate level of resistance to zanamivir and peramivir. Non-NAI antivirals, such as T-705, ribavirin and NT-300, efficiently inhibited both the variant and the wild-type in cell-based assays. A combination of NAIs and non-NAIs did not exhibit a marked synergistic effect against the R292K variant. However, the combination of two non-NAIs (T-705 and ribavirin) exhibited significant synergism against the mutant virus. In experimentally infected mice, the variant showed delayed onset of symptoms, a reduced viral load and attenuated lethality compared with the wild-type. Our study suggested non-NAIs should be tested clinically for H7N9 patients with a sustained high viral load. Possible drug combination regimens, such as T-705 plus ribavirin, should be further tested in animal models. The pathogenicity and transmissibility of the R292K H7N9 variant should be further assessed with genetically well-characterized pairs of viruses and, most-desirably, with competitive fitness experiments.
doi:10.1038/emi.2014.80
PMCID: PMC4274890
H7N9; influenza virus; neuraminidase; oseltamivir; peramivir
11.  TMDB: A literature-curated database for small molecular compounds found from tea 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14(1):243.
Background
Tea is one of the most consumed beverages worldwide. The healthy effects of tea are attributed to a wealthy of different chemical components from tea. Thousands of studies on the chemical constituents of tea had been reported. However, data from these individual reports have not been collected into a single database. The lack of a curated database of related information limits research in this field, and thus a cohesive database system should necessarily be constructed for data deposit and further application.
Description
The Tea Metabolome database (TMDB), a manually curated and web-accessible database, was developed to provide detailed, searchable descriptions of small molecular compounds found in Camellia spp. esp. in the plant Camellia sinensis and compounds in its manufactured products (different kinds of tea infusion). TMDB is currently the most complete and comprehensive curated collection of tea compounds data in the world. It contains records for more than 1393 constituents found in tea with information gathered from 364 published books, journal articles, and electronic databases. It also contains experimental 1H NMR and 13C NMR data collected from the purified reference compounds or collected from other database resources such as HMDB. TMDB interface allows users to retrieve tea compounds entries by keyword search using compound name, formula, occurrence, and CAS register number. Each entry in the TMDB contains an average of 24 separate data fields including its original plant species, compound structure, formula, molecular weight, name, CAS registry number, compound types, compound uses including healthy benefits, reference literatures, NMR, MS data, and the corresponding ID from databases such as HMDB and Pubmed. Users can also contribute novel regulatory entries by using a web-based submission page. The TMDB database is freely accessible from the URL of http://pcsb.ahau.edu.cn:8080/TCDB/index.jsp. The TMDB is designed to address the broad needs of tea biochemists, natural products chemists, nutritionists, and members of tea related research community.
Conclusion
The TMDB database provides a solid platform for collection, standardization, and searching of compounds information found in tea. As such this database will be a comprehensive repository for tea biochemistry and tea health research community.
doi:10.1186/s12870-014-0243-1
PMCID: PMC4172869  PMID: 25224438
Tea; Camellia sinensis; Small molecular; Compounds; Metabolites
12.  Association between CYP1A2 and CYP1B1 Polymorphisms and Colorectal Cancer Risk: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e100487.
Background
The previous published data on the association between CYP1A2*F (rs762551), CYP1B1 Leu432Val (rs1056836), Asn453Ser (rs180040), and Arg48Gly (rs10012) polymorphisms and colorectal cancer risk remained controversial.
Methodology/Principal Findings
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the role of CYP1A2*F, CYP1B1 Leu432Val, Asn453Ser, and Arg48Gly genotypes in colorectal cancer susceptibility. We performed a meta-analysis on all the eligible studies that provided 5,817 cases and 6,544 controls for CYP1A2*F (from 13 studies), 9219 cases and 10406 controls for CYP1B1 Leu432Val (from 12 studies), 6840 cases and 7761 controls for CYP1B1 Asn453Ser (from 8 studies), and 4302 cases and 4791 controls for CYP1B1Arg48Gly (from 6 studies). Overall, no significant association was found between CYP1A2*F, CYP1B1 Leu432Val, Asn453Ser, and Arg48Gly and colorectal cancer risk when all the eligible studies were pooled into the meta-analysis. And in the subgroup by ethnicity and source of controls, no evidence of significant association was observed in any subgroup analysis.
Conclusions/Significance
In summary, this meta-analysis indicates that CYP1A2*F, CYP1B1 Leu432Val, Asn453Ser, and Arg48Gly polymorphisms do not support an association with colorectal cancer, and further studies are needed to investigate the association. In addition, our work also points out the importance of new studies for CYP1A2*F polymorphism in Asians, because high heterogeneity was found (dominant model: I2 = 81.3%; heterozygote model: I2 = 79.0).
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100487
PMCID: PMC4130485  PMID: 25115775
13.  Production and immunogenicity of chimeric virus-like particles containing the spike glycoprotein of infectious bronchitis virus 
Journal of Veterinary Science  2014;15(2):209-216.
Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) poses a severe threat to the poultry industry and causes heavy economic losses worldwide. Vaccination is the most effective method of preventing infection and controlling the spread of IBV, but currently available inactivated and attenuated virus vaccines have some disadvantages. We developed a chimeric virus-like particle (VLP)-based candidate vaccine for IBV protection. The chimeric VLP was composed of matrix 1 protein from avian influenza H5N1 virus and a fusion protein neuraminidase (NA)/spike 1 (S1) that was generated by fusing IBV S1 protein to the cytoplasmic and transmembrane domains of NA protein of avian influenza H5N1 virus. The chimeric VLPs elicited significantly higher S1-specific antibody responses in intramuscularly immunized mice and chickens than inactivated IBV viruses. Furthermore, the chimeric VLPs induced significantly higher neutralization antibody levels than inactivated H120 virus in SPF chickens. Finally, the chimeric VLPs induced significantly higher IL-4 production in mice. These results demonstrate that chimeric VLPs have the potential for use in vaccines against IBV infection.
doi:10.4142/jvs.2014.15.2.209
PMCID: PMC4087222  PMID: 24378590
chimeric virus-like particle; immune response; infectious bronchitis virus
14.  Soil Characteristic Comparison of Fenced and Grazed Riparian Floodplain Wetlands in the Typical Steppe Region of the Inner Mongolian Plateau, China 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:765907.
In recent decades, degradation of ecosystem in the steppe region of the Inner Mongolia Plateau, especially in riparian floodplain wetlands, has become a significant ecological crisis. Not uncommonly, with the increasing of livestock in the Inner Mongolian steppe region, a riparian floodplain wetland is becoming a hotspot area of grazing for local herdsmen. Hence, it is essential to understand degradation mechanisms of riparian floodplain wetland ecosystems caused by extensive grazing. In this study, the spatial distribution of soil compaction, salinity, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, organic carbon, and microbial biomass C and N were investigated. The results showed that grazing led to an increase in soil compaction and soil surface salinity, which significantly lowered levels of total N, P, and TOC in the soil surface. Grazing decreased soil microbial biomass C and N concentration in the lower riparian floodplain wetland, whereas it significantly increased soil microbial biomass C and N concentration in the higher riparian floodplain wetland. Elevation differences in the riparian floodplain wetland increased spatial heterogeneity in the soil and thus resulted in different influence of grazing on wetland soils and ecosystem. Therefore, elevation differences and grazing intensity were the main factors controlling soil characteristics in the riparian floodplain wetland of this region.
doi:10.1155/2014/765907
PMCID: PMC4052528  PMID: 24959627
15.  Resolving DNA at Efficiencies of More than A Million Plates per Meter Using Bare Narrow Open Capillary without Sieving Matrix 
We report a novel approach for effectively separating DNA molecules in free solution. The method uses a bare narrow open capillary without any sieving matrices to resolve a wide size-range of DNA fragments at efficiencies of more than a million plates per meter routinely.
doi:10.1039/c3cc40728d
PMCID: PMC3711670  PMID: 23459665
16.  Thapsigargin Induces Apoptosis by Impairing Cytoskeleton Dynamics in Human Lung Adenocarcinoma Cells 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:619050.
The objective of this study was performed to investigate the effects of thapsigargin on apoptosis, actin cytoskeletal dynamics, and actin cytoskeletal proteins in human lung adenocarcinoma cell. Thapsigargin is a specific irreversible inhibitor of ER calcium-ATPase, which may promote ER stress by depletion of lumenal calcium stores and show potential to induce cell death. The effects of thapsigargin on the apoptosis in A549 cells were assayed by Hoechst staining. Moreover, the F-actin staining by Rhodamine-phalloidin and RhoA antibody for cytoskeleton organizations were applied to A549 cells. To confirm the impairment of cytoskeletal dynamics treated with thapsigargin, western blots were applied to analyze the protein levels of p-Cofilin-1 (Ser3), Cofilin-1, and pPaxillin (Tyr118), as well as RhoA and pS6 (S240/244). Results suggest that thapsigargin may induce cell death in A549 cells with a time- and dose-dependent manner. The F-actin fibers and RhoA signals are also reduced with a time- and dose-dependent manner by thapsigargin treatment. The phosphorylation forms of Cofilin-1 and paxillin are attenuated by 1 μM thapsigargin treatment for 24 h. These alternations may be caused by the inhibition of of mTORC1 activities (indicated by pS6 (Ser240/244)) and RhoA pathways after thapsigargin treatment. The present findings highlight important roles of calcium entry in cytoskeleton organization and apoptosis in human lung adenocarcinoma cells and will help to set a stage to the clinical treatment of cancer cell metastasis.
doi:10.1155/2014/619050
PMCID: PMC3926280  PMID: 24605059
17.  Comparative study of systematic thoracoscopic lymphadenectomy and conventional thoracotomy in resectable non-small cell lung cancer 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2014;6(1):45-51.
Objective
To assess the feasibility and safety of the video-assisted thoracoscopy surgery (VATS) systematic lymph node dissection in resectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Methods
The clinical data of patients with NSCLC who underwent VATS or thoracotomy combined with lobectomy and systematic lymphadenectomy from January 2001 to January 2008 were retrospectively analyzed to identify their demographic parameters, number of dissected lymph nodes and postoperative complications.
Results
A total of 5,620 patients were enrolled in this study, with 2,703 in the VATS group, including 1,742 men (64.4%), and 961 women (35.6%), aged 59.5±10.9 years; and 2,917 in the thoracotomy group, including 2,163 men (74.2%), and 754 women (25.8%), aged 58.5±10.4 years. Comparing the VATS with the thoracotomy groups, the mean operative time was 146 vs. 157 min, with a significant difference (P<0.001); and the average blood loss was 162 vs. 267 mL, with a significant difference (P<0.001). Comparing the two groups of patients data, the number of lymph node dissection: 18.03 in the VATS group and 15.07 in the thoracotomy group on average, with a significant difference (P<0.001); postoperative drainage time: 4.5 days in the VATS group and 6.37 days in the thoracotomy group on average, with a significant difference (P<0.001); postoperative hospital stay: 6.5 days in the VATS group and 8.37 days in the thoracotomy group on average, with a significant difference (P<0.001); proportion of postoperative chylothorax: 0.2% (4/2,579) in the VATS group and 0.4% (10/2,799) in the thoracotomy group, without significant difference (P>0.05).
Conclusions
For patients with resectable NSCLC, VATS systematic lymph node dissection is safe and effective with fewer postoperative complications, and significantly faster postoperative recovery compared with traditional open chest surgery.
doi:10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2014.01.07
PMCID: PMC3895592  PMID: 24455175
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); video-assisted thoracoscopy surgery (VATS); systematic lymph node dissection
18.  Global RNA sequencing reveals that genotype-dependent allele-specific expression contributes to differential expression in rice F1 hybrids 
BMC Plant Biology  2013;13:221.
Background
Extensive studies on heterosis in plants using transcriptome analysis have identified differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in F1 hybrids. However, it is not clear why yield in heterozygotes is superior to that of the homozygous parents or how DEGs are produced. Global allele-specific expression analysis in hybrid rice has the potential to answer these questions.
Results
We report a genome-wide allele-specific expression analysis using RNA-sequencing technology of 3,637–3,824 genes from three rice F1 hybrids. Of the expressed genes, 3.7% exhibited an unexpected type of monoallelic expression and 23.8% showed preferential allelic expression that was genotype-dependent in reciprocal crosses. Those genes exhibiting allele-specific expression comprised 42.4% of the genes differentially expressed between F1 hybrids and their parents. Allele-specific expression accounted for 79.8% of the genes displaying more than a 10-fold expression level difference between an F1 and its parents, and almost all (97.3%) of the genes expressed in F1, but non-expressed in one parent. Significant allelic complementary effects were detected in the F1 hybrids of rice.
Conclusions
Analysis of the allelic expression profiles of genes at the critical stage for highest biomass production from the leaves of three different rice F1 hybrids identified genotype-dependent allele-specific expression genes. A cis-regulatory mechanism was identified that contributes to allele-specific expression, leading to differential gene expression and allelic complementary effects in F1 hybrids.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-13-221
PMCID: PMC3878109  PMID: 24358981
Allele-specific expression; Complementary effects; Differentially expressed genes; Genotype-dependent monoallelic expression; Rice hybrids
19.  Prevalence of diabetes mellitus in outpatients with essential hypertension in China: a cross-sectional study 
BMJ Open  2013;3(11):e003798.
Objectives
To investigate the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) and new detection of DM using fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and 2 h plasma glucose (2-hPG) in hypertensive outpatients in China.
Design
Multicenter cross-sectional study.
Setting
46 hospitals in China.
Participants
Study patients were consecutively recruited from June to December 2009 from hypertension outpatient clinics in 46 hospitals in 22 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in China. At least 100 consecutive patients were recruited in each hospital. FPG was measured for all patients and 2-hPG was measured in those without a history of DM. A total of 4942 hypertensive outpatients aged ≥20 years were included.
Results
Prevalence of DM was 24.3% (which included both previously and newly diagnosed cases). Among the 1202 patients with DM, 417 (34.7%) were newly detected. In patients aged <45 years, 52.6% of cases of DM were newly detected. Of the 417 cases of newly detected diabetes, 54.9% were identified using FPG tests and the remaining 45.1% by 2-hPG tests; 27.1% of patients with newly detected DM had FPG <6.1 mmol/L and 16.5% had FPG <5.6 mmol/L. Among the elderly patients (≥65 years), 32.4% had normal FPG (<6.1 mmol/L) and 24.5% had optimal FPG (<5.6 mmol/L).
Conclusions
Our findings showed a high prevalence of DM and newly detected DM among Chinese hypertensive outpatients. Application of additional 2-hPG testing to FPG assay can improve the detection rate of DM, especially in elderly patients.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003798
PMCID: PMC3840347  PMID: 24259390
Epidemiology; Public Health
20.  A Functional Variant rs1820453 in YAP1 and Breast Cancer Risk in Chinese Population 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79056.
Background
To investigate the association between rs1820453 which located in the promoter region of yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1) gene and breast cancer (BC) risk.
Method and Findings
We conducted a hospital-based case-control study including a total of 480 BC cases and 545 cancer-free controls in Chinese population. Then the expression quantitative trait locus (e-QTL) analysis was performed to explore the possible function of rs1820453 to the YAP1 gene expression. The association between rs1820453 and BC risk was significantly identified with the odds ratio (OR) was 1.27 (95 % confidence interval (CI) =1.03-1.57) under allelic model when adjusted by age and menopausal status. In addition, the correlation analysis of rs1820453 and YAP1 expression level found that this variant was significantly associated with the gene expression in Chinese population. When compared with level of mRNA expression of the AA genotype (6.011±0.046), the mRNA expression level in CC genotype (5.903±0.026) was statistically lower (P=0.024).
Conclusion
The results from this study suggested that rs1820453 A>C change may affect the gene expression and contribute to the risk of developing BC in Chinese population though larger sample-size studies along with functional experiments were anticipated to warrant the results.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079056
PMCID: PMC3815349  PMID: 24223879
21.  Phosphodiesterase 4 Inhibition Impairs Cocaine-Induced Inhibitory Synaptic Plasticity and Conditioned Place Preference 
Neuropsychopharmacology  2012;37(11):2377-2387.
Endocannabinoid-mediated long-term depression of inhibitory synaptic transmission (I-LTD) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is implicated in cocaine-induced inhibitory synaptic plasticity and behavioral effects. It remains poorly understood, however, how this I-LTD is regulated and whether this regulation affects cocaine-seeking behavior. I-LTD requires cyclic adenosine 3′, 5′-monophosphate (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) signaling, raising the possibility that modulators of cAMP/PKA signaling may regulate I-LTD and the reinforcement behavior. Phosphodiesterase (PDE) 4 hydrolyses cAMP and terminates cAMP/PKA signaling. Here, we report that selective PDE4 inhibitors rolipram and Ro 20-1724 blocked I-LTD and acute depression of inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) induced by D2 dopamine receptor and cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonists in VTA dopamine neurons. We also show that intra-VTA microinjections of PDE4 inhibitor rolipram impaired the acquisition, but not the expression, of conditioned place preference (CPP) to cocaine. Systemic administration of rolipram also increased cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation and activation in the VTA. Together, our results suggest that blockade of cocaine-induced inhibitory synaptic plasticity (I-LTD) and enhancement of CREB activation are two putative cellular mechanisms by which PDE4 inhibition impairs the acquisition of cocaine CPP.
doi:10.1038/npp.2012.93
PMCID: PMC3442353  PMID: 22713909
phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4); endocannabinoid; long-term depression of inhibitory synaptic transmission (I-LTD); conditioned place preference (CPP); cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB); addiction and substance abuse; cAMP; cannabinoids; endocannabinoid; I-LTD; neurophysiology; phosphodiesterase 4; second messengers; synaptic plasticity
22.  Comprehensive screening for PRSS1, SPINK1, CFTR, CTRC and CLDN2 gene mutations in Chinese paediatric patients with idiopathic chronic pancreatitis: a cohort study 
BMJ Open  2013;3(9):e003150.
Objective
Genetic alterations may contribute to chronic pancreatitis (CP) in Chinese young patients. This study was designed to investigate mutations of cationic trypsinogen (PRSS1), pancreatic secretory trypsin inhibitor or serine protease inhibitor Kazal type 1 (SPINK1), cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), chymotrypsin C (CTRC) and CLDN2 genes and the copy number variations (CNVs) of PRSS1 and asses associations with the development of idiopathic CP (ICP) in Chinese children.
Design
Retrospective.
Setting
A single center.
Participants
75 ICP Chinese children (40 boys and 35 girls).
Primary and secondary outcome measures
Mutations of PRSS1, SPINK1, CFTR, CTRC and CLDN2 genes and CNVs.
Results
7 patients had heterozygous mutations in PRSS1, that is, N29I (n=1), R122H or R122C (n=6). The CNVs of PRSS1 in five patients had abnormal copies (1 copy (n=4), five copies (n=1)). 43 patients had IVS3+2T>C (rs148954387) (10 homozygous and 33 heterozygous) in SPINK1. None of the PRSS1 mutation patients carried a SPINK1 mutation. Frequency of PRSS1 and SPINK1 mutations was 9.3% and 57.3%, respectively, with an overall frequency of 66.6% (50/75). In addition, one patient had a novel deletion of CFTR (GCTTCCTA from c.500 to c.508 leading to the shortened polypeptide molecule via a stop codon). Another patient had a novel missense in CLDN2 exon 2 (c.592A>C mutation). Clinically, patients with SPINK1 mutations had a higher rate of pancreatic duct stones, pancreatic pseudocyst and pancreatic calcification than those without SPINK1 mutations (p<0.05).
Conclusions
SPINK1 mutations were more commonly associated with Chinese children with ICP. SPINK1 IVS3+2T>C mutation may play an important role in the pathogenesis of Chinese paediatric ICP. However, further study is needed to confirm and to investigate the role of these genes in the development of Chinese ICP.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003150
PMCID: PMC3773632  PMID: 24002981
Gastroenterology; Genetics
23.  Single Domain Antibody Multimers Confer Protection against Rabies Infection 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e71383.
Post-exposure prophylactic (PEP) neutralizing antibodies against Rabies are the most effective way to prevent infection-related fatality. The outer envelope glycoprotein of the Rabies virus (RABV) is the most significant surface antigen for generating virus-neutralizing antibodies. The small size and uncompromised functional specificity of single domain antibodies (sdAbs) can be exploited in the fields of experimental therapeutic applications for infectious diseases through formatting flexibilities to increase their avidity towards target antigens. In this study, we used phage display technique to select and identify sdAbs that were specific for the RABV glycoprotein from a naïve llama-derived antibody library. To increase their neutralizing potencies, the sdAbs were fused with a coiled-coil peptide derived from the human cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP48) to form homogenous pentavalent multimers, known as combodies. Compared to monovalent sdAbs, the combodies, namely 26424 and 26434, exhibited high avidity and were able to neutralize 85-fold higher input of RABV (CVS-11 strain) pseudotypes in vitro, as a result of multimerization, while retaining their specificities for target antigen. 26424 and 26434 were capable of neutralizing CVS-11 pseudotypes in vitro by 90–95% as compared to human rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG), currently used for PEP in Rabies. The multimeric sdAbs were also demonstrated to be partially protective for mice that were infected with lethal doses of rabies virus in vivo. The results demonstrate that the combodies could be valuable tools in understanding viral mechanisms, diagnosis and possible anti-viral candidate for RABV infection.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071383
PMCID: PMC3748109  PMID: 23977032
24.  Sequencing of Fifty Human Exomes Reveals Adaptation to High Altitude 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2010;329(5987):75-78.
Residents of the Tibetan Plateau show heritable adaptations to extreme altitude. We sequenced 50 exomes of ethnic Tibetans, encompassing coding sequences of 92% of human genes, with an average coverage of 18X per individual. Genes showing population-specific allele frequency changes, which represent strong candidates for altitude adaptation, were identified. The strongest signal of natural selection came from EPAS1, a transcription factor involved in response to hypoxia. One SNP at EPAS1 shows a 78% frequency difference between Tibetan and Han samples, representing the fastest allele frequency change observed at any human gene to date. This SNP’s association with erythrocyte abundance supports the role of EPAS1 in adaptation to hypoxia. Thus, a population genomic survey has revealed a functionally important locus in genetic adaptation to high altitude.
doi:10.1126/science.1190371
PMCID: PMC3711608  PMID: 20595611
25.  Knockdown of Regulator of Cullins-1 (ROC1) Expression Induces Bladder Cancer Cell Cycle Arrest at the G2 Phase and Senescence 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e62734.
Regulator of Cullins-1 (ROC1) is a key subunit in the Cullin-RING ligase (CRL) protein complex. Overexpression of ROC1 protein is associated with tumor progression and poor prognosis of non-muscle invasive bladder transitional cell carcinoma (NMIBC). This study was designed to assess the effects of ROC1 knockdown in bladder cancer cells and to determine the potential mechanisms involved. A total of 112 bladder cancer tissue specimens were recruited for immunohistochemical analyses of ROC1 overexpression. Bladder cancer cell lines were used to knockdown ROC1 expression using ROC1 siRNA. Our data showed that ROC1 knockdown remarkably inhibited bladder cancer cell growth, arrested cells at the G2 phase of the cell cycle, and induced the p53-dependent cell senescence. Molecularly, G2 arrest was associated with upregulation of p21, p27, cyclin B1, and Cdc2 proteins. ROC1 knockdown induced-senescence functioned through p53/p21 pathway. Knockdown of p21 expression partially rescued ROC1 knockdown-induced growth inhibition in cancer cells. Furthermore, nude mouse xenograft analyses confirmed these in vitro data. In conclusion, data from the current study indicate that ROC1 plays an essential role in bladder cancer progression and could serve as a novel anticancer target for bladder transitional cell carcinoma (BTCC).
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062734
PMCID: PMC3648563  PMID: 23667514

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