Genome-wide association studies have identified susceptibility loci for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We conducted a meta-analysis of all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that showed nominally significant P-values in two previously published genome-wide scans that included a total of 2961 ESCC cases and 3400 controls. The meta-analysis revealed five SNPs at 2q33 with P< 5 × 10−8, and the strongest signal was rs13016963, with a combined odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of 1.29 (1.19–1.40) and P= 7.63 × 10−10. An imputation analysis of 4304 SNPs at 2q33 suggested a single association signal, and the strongest imputed SNP associations were similar to those from the genotyped SNPs. We conducted an ancestral recombination graph analysis with 53 SNPs to identify one or more haplotypes that harbor the variants directly responsible for the detected association signal. This showed that the five SNPs exist in a single haplotype along with 45 imputed SNPs in strong linkage disequilibrium, and the strongest candidate was rs10201587, one of the genotyped SNPs. Our meta-analysis found genome-wide significant SNPs at 2q33 that map to the CASP8/ALS2CR12/TRAK2 gene region. Variants in CASP8 have been extensively studied across a spectrum of cancers with mixed results. The locus we identified appears to be distinct from the widely studied rs3834129 and rs1045485 SNPs in CASP8. Future studies of esophageal and other cancers should focus on comprehensive sequencing of this 2q33 locus and functional analysis of rs13016963 and rs10201587 and other strongly correlated variants.
Human adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is characterized by diffused invasion of the tumor into adjacent organs and early distant metastasis. Anoikis resistance and epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) are considered prerequisites for cancer cells to metastasize. Exploring the relationship between these processes and their underlying mechanism of action is a promising way to better understand ACC tumors. We initially established anoikis-resistant sublines of ACC cells; the variant cells revealed a mesenchymal phenotype through Slug-mediated EMT-like transformation and displayed enhanced metastatic potential both in vitro and in vivo. Suppression of EMT by knockdown of Slug significantly impaired anoikis resistance, migration, and invasion of the variant cells. With overexpression of Slug and Twist, we determined that induction of EMT in normal ACC cells could prevent anoikis, albeit partially. These findings strongly suggest that EMT is indispensable in anoikis resistance, at least in ACC cells. Furthermore, we found that the EGFR/PI3K/Akt pathway acts as the common regulator for EMT-like transformation and anoikis resistance, as confirmed by their specific inhibitors. Gefitinib and LY294003 restored the sensibilities of anoikis-resistant cells to anoikis and simultaneously impaired their metastatic potential. In addition, the results from our in vivo model of metastasis suggest that pretreatment with gefitinib promotes mouse survival by alleviating pulmonary metastasis. Most importantly, immunohistochemistry of human ACC specimens showed a correlation between the overexpression of Slug and EGFR staining. This study has demonstrated that Slug-mediated EMT-like transformation is required by human ACC cells to achieve anoikis resistance and their metastatic potential. Targeting the EGFR/PI3K/Akt pathway holds potential as a preventive strategy against distant metastasis of ACC.
The tumor suppressor gene CDKN2A generates at least three different transcriptional variants, each of which is thought to encode a tumor suppressor. However, the inhibitory activities of these variants have not yet been compared in the same cells. Protein therapy is known to have several advantages over gene therapy. Thus, investigation of the exogenous protein molecule of the most effective suppressor may yield meaningful information regarding protein-based cancer therapy.
The inhibitory effects of p16INK4a, p14ARF and p12 were studied in the human lung cancer cell line A549 which lacks the CDKN2A locus. The eukaryotic expression plasmids of the three transcriptional variants were constructed and stably transfected into the cells. RNA and protein expression by the plasmids was confirmed using RT-PCR and fluorescence immunocytochemistry, respectively. Cell growth inhibition and cell-cycle redistribution after transfection were investigated based on growth curve and flow cytometry analyses. An exogenous His-tag fusion p16INK4a protein was obtained and purified by affinity chromatography. Cell growth inhibition and cell cycle arrest induced by the expression of p16INK4a protein were measured in A549 cells transduced with the exogenous protein.
While all three variants suppressed cell growth, p16INK4a had the strongest effect. Marked G1-phase accumulation and S-phase inhibition were induced by p16INK4a and p14ARF but not by p12. Exogenous p16INK4a protein was successfully expressed and purified and transduction of the fusion protein into A549 cells inhibited cell growth by G1→S arrest.
Among the three transcript variants, p16INK4a has a greater inhibitory effect than p14ARF and p12; exogenous p16INK4a protein should be further investigated for use in cancer therapy as a protein agent.
In this paper, we present an investigation on the use of Au-Ag alloy popcorn-shaped nanoparticles (NPs) to realise the broadband optical absorption enhancement of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). Both simulation and experimental results indicate that compared with regular plasmonic NPs, such as nano-spheres, irregular popcorn-shaped alloy NPs exhibit absorption enhancement over a broad wavelength range due to the excitation of localized surface plasmons (LSPs) at different wavelengths. The power conversion efficiency (PCE) of DSCs is enhanced by 16% from 5.26% to 6.09% by incorporating 2.38 wt% Au-Ag alloy popcorn NPs. Moreover, by adding a scattering layer on the exterior of the counter electrode, the popcorn NPs demonstrate an even stronger ability to increase the PCE by 32% from 5.94% to 7.85%, which results from the more efficient excitation of the LSP mode on the popcorn NPs.
This study investigated the effects of pregnane X receptor (PXR/NR1I2) and CYP2B6 genetic variants on sodium ferulate (SF)-mediated induction of bupropion hydroxylation. The pharmacokinetics of bupropion and hydroxybupropion were evaluated after an oral dose of bupropion (150 mg) administered with and without SF pretreatment for 14 days in 33 healthy subjects. The area under the time-concentration curve (AUC) ratio of AUC_hyd (AUC(0-∞) of hydroxybupropion)/AUC_bup (AUC(0-∞) of bupropion) represents the CYP2B6 hydroxylation activity, which was significantly lower in CYP2B6*6 carriers (NR1I2 TGT noncarriers or carriers) than in noncarriers in both the basal and SF-induced states (p-value<0.05). AUC ratio and AUC_hyd of NR1I2 -24113AA variant were markedly lower than GA and GG genotypes (7.5±2.1 versus 14.5±3.3 and 20.6±1.1, and 8873±1431 versus 14,504±2218 and 17,586±1046) in the induced states. However, -24020(-)/(-) variant didn't show significant difference in the induction of CYP2B6 hydroxylation activity by SF compared with other -24020[GAGAAG]/(-) genotypes. NR1I2 TGT haplotype (-25385T+g.7635G+g.8055T) carriers exhibited a significantly decreased AUC ratio, compared with TGT noncarriers, in the basal states (7.6±1.0 versus 9.7±1.0), while this result wasn't observed in CYP2B6*6 noncarriers. Moreover, individuals with complete mutation-type [CYP2B6*6/*6+NR1I2 TGT+ -24113AA+ -24020 (-)/(-)] showed even lower percent difference of AUC ratio (8.7±1.2 versus 39.5±8.2) than those with complete wild-type. In conclusion, it is suggested that NR1I2 variants decrease the bupropion hydroxylation induced by SF treatment, particularly in CYP2B6*6 carriers.
Invasive cribriform carcinoma (ICC) and low-grade invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) were recently considered to belong to a low-grade breast neoplasia family. However, none of publications has compared ICC and low-grade IDC at present. Meanwhile, in order to evaluate prognostic significance of clinicopathological characteristics of different cribriform contents in ICC and invasive breast cancer with less cribriform structures, a retrospective review of fifty-one cases of ICC and forty cases of invasive breast cancer with less cribriform pattern (less than fifty percent) was conducted in a Chinese population. Forty-nine cases of low-grade IDC without cribriform elements were selected as a control. ICC presented more favorable prognostic factors than those of invasive breast carcinoma with less cribriform pattern and low-grade IDC, such as smaller tumor size, less frequent axillary lymph node involvement, higher positive rate of estrogen receptor and/or progestogen receptor expression, and lower proliferation index. The expression of human epidermal growth factor receptor two in ICC and invasive breast cancer with less cribriform pattern was mostly negative. Pure ICC showed less frequency of axillary lymph node involvement, but not its number. The proliferation index in the pure type was lower, although the tumor size in these two types was not obviously different. Tumors contained cribriform structures had a more favorable prognosis than those with low-grade IDC. Considering the tumor biology, and the benign course of pure ICC studied, chemotherapy may not be indicated in the typical case.
Invasive cribriform carcinoma; invasive ductal carcinoma; breast; prognosis; China
Dickkopf-1 (DKK-1), a major regulator of the Wnt pathway, plays an important role in cardiovascular disease. However, no study has evaluated the association of DKK-1 and acute coronary syndrome (ACS). We investigated this association and whether the Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events (GRACE) hospital-discharge risk score predicting major adverse cardiac events (MACE) can be improved by adding the DKK-1 value.
We enrolled 291 patients (46 with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction [STEMI] and 245 with non-ST elevated ACS [NSTE-ACS]) who were divided into groups by tertiles of baseline plasma DKK-1 level measured by ELISA. The GRACE risk score was calculated and predictive value alone and together with DKK-1 and/or high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) level were assessed, respectively.
Compared with patients with NSTE-ACS, those with STEMI had higher plasma DKK-1 level at baseline (P = 0.006). Plasma DKK-1 level was correlated with hs-CRP level (r = 0.295, P<0.001) and was greater with high than intermediate or low GRACE scores (P = 0.002 and P<0.001, respectively). We found 44 (15.1%) MACEs during a median 2-year follow-up. DKK-1 levels were higher for patients with than without events (P<0.001). The rate of MACE increased with increasing DKK-1 level (P<0.001). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for GRACE score with MACE was 0.524 and improved to 0.791 with the addition of hs-CRP level, 0.775 with the addition of DKK-1 level and 0.847 with both values added.
DKK-1 is an independent predictor of long-term MACE of patients with ACS. The long-term predictive ability of post-discharge GRACE score may be enhanced by adding DKK-1 level.
Fusion genes are chromosomal aberrations that are found in many cancers and can be used as prognostic markers and drug targets in clinical practice. Fusions can lead to production of oncogenic fusion proteins or to enhanced expression of oncogenes. Several recent studies have reported that some fusion genes can escape microRNA regulation via 3′–untranslated region (3′-UTR) deletion. We performed whole transcriptome sequencing to identify fusion genes in glioma and discovered FGFR3-TACC3 fusions in 4 of 48 glioblastoma samples from patients both of mixed European and of Asian descent, but not in any of 43 low-grade glioma samples tested. The fusion, caused by tandem duplication on 4p16.3, led to the loss of the 3′-UTR of FGFR3, blocking gene regulation of miR-99a and enhancing expression of the fusion gene. The fusion gene was mutually exclusive with EGFR, PDGFR, or MET amplification. Using cultured glioblastoma cells and a mouse xenograft model, we found that fusion protein expression promoted cell proliferation and tumor progression, while WT FGFR3 protein was not tumorigenic, even under forced overexpression. These results demonstrated that the FGFR3-TACC3 gene fusion is expressed in human cancer and generates an oncogenic protein that promotes tumorigenesis in glioblastoma.
The incidence of Mycobacterium marinum infection has been increasing. First-line antituberculous drugs and other common antibiotics are effective for most cutaneous M. marinum infections; however, treatment failure still occurs in some rare cases. We report a case of a 70-year-old man with refractory cutaneous infection caused by M. marinum. Reasons for delayed diagnosis and related factors of the refractory infection are also discussed.
Samples of lesional skin were inoculated on Löwenstein–Jensen medium for acid-fast bacilli. Species of mycobacterium were identified by polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis. We then carried out genotyping by using mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units and sequencing of heat shock protein 65 (hsp65) and 16S rDNA genes.
Tissue cultures for acid-fast bacilli were positive. PCR-RFLP analysis and sequencing of hsp65 and 16S rDNA genes confirmed the isolated organisms to be M. marinum. Systemic therapy with rifampicin, clarithromycin, and amikacin empirically over 6 months led to complete resolution of skin lesions leaving only some residual scars.
Key diagnostic elements for M. marinum infections include a high index of suspicion raised by chronic lesions, poor response to conventional treatments, and a history of fish-related exposure. Strong clinical suggestion of M. marinum infection warrants initial empirical treatment. The duration of therapy is usually several months or even longer, especially for elderly patients. Amikacin can be considered in multidrug therapy for treatment of some refractory M. marinum infections.
amikacin; clarithromycin; skin infection; Mycobacterium marinum; nontuberculous mycobacteria
IL-2 plays a key role in the survival and proliferation of immune cells, especially T lymphocytes. Its expression is precisely regulated at transcriptional and posttranscriptional level. IL-2 is known to be regulated by RNA binding proteins, such as tristetraprolin (TTP), via an AU-rich element (ARE) in the 3′-untranslated region (3′UTR) to influence the stability of mRNA. MCPIP1, identified as a novel RNase, can degrade IL-6, IL-12 and TNF-α mRNA by an ARE-independent pathway in the activation of macrophages. Here, we reported that MCPIP1 was induced in the activation of T lymphocytes and negatively regulated IL-2 gene expression in both mouse and human primary T lymphocytes through destabilizing its mRNA. A set of Luciferase reporter assay demonstrated that a non-ARE conserved element in IL-2 3′UTR, which formed a stem-loop structure, responded to MCPIP1 activity.RNA immunoprecipitation and Biotin pulldown experiments further suggested that MCPIP1 could modestly bind to IL-2 mRNA. Taken together, these data demonstrate that MCPIP1 down-regulates IL-2 via an ARE-independent pathway.
Ventricular septal defect (VSD) is the most prevalent type of congenital heart disease and is a major cause of substantial morbidity and mortality in infants. Accumulating evidence implicates genetic defects, especially in cardiac transcription factors, in the pathogenesis of VSD. However, VSD is genetically heterogeneous and the genetic determinants for VSD in most patients remain to be identified.
A cohort of 230 unrelated patients with congenital VSD was included in the investigation. A total of 200 unrelated ethnically matched healthy individuals were recruited as controls. The entire coding region of GATA4, a gene encoding a zinc-finger transcription factor essential for normal cardiac morphogenesis, was sequenced initially in 230 unrelated VSD patients. The available relatives of the mutation carriers and 200 control subjects were subsequently genotyped for the presence of identified mutations.
Four heterozygous missense GATA4 mutations of p.Q55R, p.G96R, p.N197S, and p.K404R were identified in 4 unrelated patients with VSD. These mutations were not detected in 200 control individuals nor described in the human SNP database. Genetic analysis of the relatives of the mutation carriers showed that in each family the mutation co-segregated with VSD.
These findings expand the mutation spectrum of GATA4 linked to VSD and provide new insight into the molecular etiology responsible for VSD, suggesting potential implications for the genetic diagnosis and gene-specific therapy for VSD.
ventricular septal defect; transcription factor; genetics
Small sample sizes used in previous studies result in a lack of overlap between the reported gene signatures for prediction of chemotherapy response. Although morphologic features, especially tumor nuclear morphology, are important for cancer grading, little research has been reported on quantitatively correlating cellular morphology with chemotherapy response, especially in a large data set. In this study, we have used a large population of patients to identify molecular and morphologic signatures associated with chemotherapy response in serous ovarian carcinoma.
A gene expression model that predicts response to chemotherapy is developed and validated using a large-scale data set consisting of 493 samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and 244 samples from an Australian report. An identified 227-gene signature achieves an overall predictive accuracy of greater than 85% with a sensitivity of approximately 95% and specificity of approximately 70%. The gene signature significantly distinguishes between patients with unfavorable versus favorable prognosis, when applied to either an independent data set (P = 0.04) or an external validation set (P<0.0001). In parallel, we present the production of a tumor nuclear image profile generated from 253 sample slides by characterizing patients with nuclear features (such as size, elongation, and roundness) in incremental bins, and we identify a morphologic signature that demonstrates a strong association with chemotherapy response in serous ovarian carcinoma.
A gene signature discovered on a large data set provides robustness in accurately predicting chemotherapy response in serous ovarian carcinoma. The combination of the molecular and morphologic signatures yields a new understanding of potential mechanisms involved in drug resistance.
Extreme altitude can induce a range of cellular and systemic responses. Although it is known that hypoxia underlies the major changes and that the physiological responses include hemodynamic changes and erythropoiesis, the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways mediating such changes are largely unknown. To obtain a more complete picture of the transcriptional regulatory landscape and networks involved in extreme altitude response, we followed four climbers on an expedition up Mount Xixiabangma (8,012 m), and collected blood samples at four stages during the climb for mRNA and miRNA expression assays. By analyzing dynamic changes of gene networks in response to extreme altitudes, we uncovered a highly modular network with 7 modules of various functions that changed in response to extreme altitudes. The erythrocyte differentiation module is the most prominently up-regulated, reflecting increased erythrocyte differentiation from hematopoietic stem cells, probably at the expense of differentiation into other cell lineages. These changes are accompanied by coordinated down-regulation of general translation. Network topology and flow analyses also uncovered regulators known to modulate hypoxia responses and erythrocyte development, as well as unknown regulators, such as the OCT4 gene, an important regulator in stem cells and assumed to only function in stem cells. We predicted computationally and validated experimentally that increased OCT4 expression at extreme altitude can directly elevate the expression of hemoglobin genes. Our approach established a new framework for analyzing the transcriptional regulatory network from a very limited number of samples.
Over the last two decades, multiple classifier system (MCS) or classifier ensemble has shown great potential to improve the accuracy and reliability of remote sensing image classification. Although there are lots of literatures covering the MCS approaches, there is a lack of a comprehensive literature review which presents an overall architecture of the basic principles and trends behind the design of remote sensing classifier ensemble. Therefore, in order to give a reference point for MCS approaches, this paper attempts to explicitly review the remote sensing implementations of MCS and proposes some modified approaches. The effectiveness of existing and improved algorithms are analyzed and evaluated by multi-source remotely sensed images, including high spatial resolution image (QuickBird), hyperspectral image (OMISII) and multi-spectral image (Landsat ETM+). Experimental results demonstrate that MCS can effectively improve the accuracy and stability of remote sensing image classification, and diversity measures play an active role for the combination of multiple classifiers. Furthermore, this survey provides a roadmap to guide future research, algorithm enhancement and facilitate knowledge accumulation of MCS in remote sensing community.
multiple classifier system; classifier ensemble; remote sensing; classification
An apoptosis correlated molecule—protein Latcripin-1 of Lentinula edodes C91–3—was expressed and characterized in Pichia pastoris GS115. The total RNA was obtained from Lentinula edodes C91–3. According to the transcriptome, the full-length gene of Latcripin-1 was isolated with 3′-Full Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends (RACE) and 5′-Full RACE methods. The full-length gene was inserted into the secretory expression vector pPIC9K. The protein Latcripin-1 was expressed in Pichia pastoris GS115 and analyzed by Sodium Dodecylsulfonate Polyacrylate Gel Electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and Western blot. The Western blot showed that the protein was expressed successfully. The biological function of protein Latcripin-1 on A549 cells was studied with flow cytometry and the 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-Diphenyl-tetrazolium Bromide (MTT) method. The toxic effect of protein Latcripin-1 was detected with the MTT method by co-culturing the characterized protein with chick embryo fibroblasts. The MTT assay results showed that there was a great difference between protein Latcripin-1 groups and the control group (p < 0.05). There was no toxic effect of the characterized protein on chick embryo fibroblasts. The flow cytometry showed that there was a significant difference between the protein groups of interest and the control group according to apoptosis function (p < 0.05). At the same time, cell ultrastructure observed by transmission electron microscopy supported the results of flow cytometry. The work demonstrates that protein Latcripin-1 can induce apoptosis of human lung cancer cells A549 and brings new insights into and advantages to finding anti-tumor proteins.
Lentinula edodes; apoptosis; protein Latcripin-1; Pichia pastoris; expression
Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) regulate diverse cellular functions by their activity of cleaving ubiquitin from specific protein substrates. Ubiquitin-Specific Protease 46 (USP46) has recently been identified as a quantitative trait gene responsible for immobility in the tail suspension test and forced swimming test in mice. Mice with a lysine codon (Lys 92) deletion in USP46 exhibited loss of ‘behavioral despair’ under inescapable stresses in addition to abnormalities in circadian behavioral rhythms and the GABAergic system. However, whether this deletion affects enzyme activity is unknown. Here we show that USP46 has deubiquitinating enzyme activity detected by USP cleavage assay using GST-Ub52 as a model substrate. Interestingly, compared to wild type, the Lys 92 deletion mutant resulted in a decreased deubiquitinating enzyme activity of 27.04%. We also determined the relative expression levels of Usp46 in rat tissues using real-time RT-PCR. Usp46 mRNA was expressed in various tissues examined including brain, with the highest expression in spleen. In addition, like rat USP46, both human and mouse USP46 are active toward to the model substrate, indicating the USP cleavage assay is a simple method for testing the deubiquitinating enzyme activity of USP46. These results suggest that the Lys 92 deletion of USP46 could influence enzyme activity and thereby provide a molecular clue how the enzyme regulating the pathogenesis of mental illnesses.
In China, domestic ducks and wild birds often share the same water, in which influenza viruses replicate preferentially. Isolation of 2 novel reassortant highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N5) viruses from apparently healthy domestic ducks highlights the role of these ducks as reassortment vessels. Such new subtypes of influenza viruses may pose a pandemic threat.
H5N5; highly pathogenic avian influenza; reassortant; domestic ducks; viruses; influenza; China; dispatch
A recent genome-wide scan has identified two genetic variants in the HLA-DP region strongly associated with hepatitis B infection in Japanese. This study evaluates the effects of these risk variants in Chinese, where the HBV infection is the most popular in the world.
Methods and Findings
We have assessed the relationship between these two single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs3077 and rs9277535) and chronic hepatitis B infection in two independent case-control studies. The first population in Chinese Han included 736 patients and 782 spontaneously recovered controls. The second set was established in Chinese Zhuang minority of 177 patients and 208 controls. Both A alleles of rs3077 and rs9277535 significantly deceased the risk to CHB in Chinese Han (OR = 0.540, 95%CI: 0.464–0.628, P = 4.068×10−16 and OR = 0.696, 95%CI: 0.601–0.806, P = 1.062×10−6, respectively). Conceivably, rs9277535 was found to be associated with decreased risk of the disease in Chinese Zhuang, with an OR of 0.606 (95%CI, 0.441–0.833, P = 0.002).
Chronic hepatitis B susceptibility loci in HLA-DP region (rs3077 and rs9277535) identified by genome-wide scan in Japanese population were validated in Chinese population. These findings might provide clues to develop screening and surveillance strategies.
The opposite effects of chemotherapy, which enhance the malignancy of treated cancers such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), are not well understood. We investigated this phenomenon and corresponding mechanisms to develop a novel approach for improving chemotherapy efficacy in HCC.
Human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines HepG2 (with low metastatic potential) and MHCC97L (with moderate metastatic potential) were used for the in vitro study. An orthotopic nude mouse model of human HCC was developed using MHCC97L cells. We then assessed the metastatic potential of surviving tumor cells after in vitro and in vivo oxaliplatin treatment. The molecular changes in surviving tumor cells were evaluated by western blot, immunofluorescence, and immunohistochemistry. The Chinese herbal extract Songyou Yin (composed of five herbs) was investigated in vivo to explore its effect on the metastatic potential of oxaliplatin-treated cancer cells.
MHCC97L and HepG2 cells surviving oxaliplatin treatment showed enhanced migration and invasion in vitro. Residual HCC after in vivo oxaliplatin treatment demonstrated significantly increased metastasis to the lung (10/12 vs. 3/12) when re-inoculated into the livers of new recipient nude mice. Molecular changes consistent with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) were observed in oxaliplatin-treated tumor tissues and verified by in vitro experiments. The Chinese herbal extract Songyou Yin (4.2 and 8.4 g/kg) attenuated EMT and inhibited the enhanced metastatic potential of residual HCC in nude mice (6/15 vs. 13/15 and 3/15 vs. 13/15, respectively).
The surviving HCC after oxaliplatin treatment underwent EMT and demonstrated increased metastatic potential. Attenuation of EMT by Songyou Yin may improve the efficacy of chemotherapy in HCC.
This study was carried out to analyze the vertical transmission of Yq AZFc microdeletions from father to son in infertile Han Chinese families to investigate genetic factors and family background affecting fertility status. The peripheral blood of infertile males in 19 Han families was extracted and screened with modified multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Family trees were drawn according to fertility status and clinical characteristics of the subjects. The vertical transmission of Yq AZFc microdeletions was detected in six cases of 19 investigated families (31.6%, 6/19). Although both fathers and sons showed a similar type of Yq AZFc deletion, the fathers were fertile, whereas the sons were infertile and showed severe oligozoospermia. The vertical transmission of Yq AZFc microdeletion from fertile fathers to infertile sons over generations is not rare. This has different effects on fertility status in fathers and sons in Han Chinese families. Both genetic factors and family background affect spermatogenetic phenotypes.
infertility; microdeletion; vertical transmission; Y chromosome
The aim of this work was to construct a novel food-grade industrial arming yeast displaying β-1,3-1,4-glucanase and to evaluate the thermal stability of the glucanase for practical application. For this purpose, a bi-directional vector containing galactokinase (GAL1) and phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (PGK1) promoters in different orientations was constructed. The β-1,3-1,4-glucanase gene from Bacillus subtilis was fused to α-agglutinin and expressed under the control of the GAL1 promoter. α-galactosidase induced by the constitutive PGK1 promoter was used as a food-grade selection marker. The feasibility of the α-galactosidase marker was confirmed by the growth of transformants harboring the constructed vector on a medium containing melibiose as a sole carbon source, and by the clear halo around the transformants in Congo-red plates owing to the expression of β-1,3-1,4-glucanase. The analysis of β-1,3-1,4-glucanase activity in cell pellets and in the supernatant of the recombinant yeast strain revealed that β-1,3-1,4-glucanase was successfully displayed on the cell surface of the yeast. The displayed β-1,3-1,4-glucanase activity in the recombinant yeast cells increased immediately after the addition of galactose and reached 45.1 U/ml after 32-h induction. The thermal stability of β-1,3-1,4-glucanase displayed in the recombinant yeast cells was enhanced compared with the free enzyme. These results suggest that the constructed food-grade yeast has the potential to improve the brewing properties of beer.
α-agglutinin; Food-grade selection marker; β-1,3-1,4-glucanase; α-galactosidase; Thermostability
Chicken type II collagen (CCII) is a protein extracted from the cartilage of chicken breast and exhibits intriguing possibilities for the treatment of autoimmune diseases by inducing oral tolerance. A 24-week, double-blind, double-dummy, randomized, methotrexate (MTX)-controlled study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of CCII in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Five hundred three RA patients were included in the study. Patients received either 0.1 mg daily of CCII (n = 326) or 10 mg once a week of MTX (n = 177) for 24 weeks. Each patient was evaluated for pain, morning stiffness, tender joint count, swollen joint count, health assessment questionnaire (HAQ), assessments by investigator and patient, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and C-reactive protein (CRP) by using the standard tools at baseline (week 0) and at weeks 12 and 24. Additionally, rheumatoid factor (RF) was evaluated at weeks 0 and 24. Measurement of a battery of biochemical parameters in serum, hematological parameters, and urine analysis was performed to evaluate the safety of CCII.
Four hundred fifty-four patients (94.43%) completed the 24-week follow-up. In both groups, there were decreases in pain, morning stiffness, tender joint count, swollen joint count, HAQ, and assessments by investigator and patient, and all differences were statistically significant. In the MTX group, ESR and CRP decreased. RF did not change in either group. At 24 weeks, 41.55% of patients in the CCII group and 57.86% in the MTX group met the American College of Rheumatology 20% improvement criteria (ACR-20) and 16.89% and 30.82%, respectively, met the ACR 50% improvement criteria (ACR-50). Both response rates for ACR-20 and ACR-50 in the CCII group were lower than those of the MTX group, and this difference was statistically significant (P < 0.05). The DAS28 (disease activity score using 28 joint counts) values of the two treatment groups were calculated, and there was a statistically significant difference between the two treatment groups (P < 0.05). Gastrointestinal complaints were common in both groups, but there were fewer and milder side effects in the CCII group than in the MTX group. The incidence of adverse events between the two groups was statistically significant (P < 0.05).
CCII is effective in the treatment of RA and is safe for human consumption. CCII exerts its beneficial effects by controlling inflammatory responses through inducing oral tolerance in RA patients.
Clinical trial registration number: ChiCTR-TRC-00000093.
Serologic and molecular evidence indicates that peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) infection has emerged in goats and sheep in the Ngari region of southwestern Tibet, People’s Republic of China. Phylogenetic analysis confirms that the PPRV strain from Tibet is classified as lineage 4 and is closely related to viruses currently circulating in neighboring countries of southern Asia.
Peste des petits ruminants virus; prevalence; ruminants; Tibet; China; dispatch
While human cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) virus infection continue to increase globally, available clinical data on H5N1 cases are limited. We conducted a retrospective study of 26 confirmed human H5N1 cases identified through surveillance in China from October 2005 through April 2008.
Data were collected from hospital medical records of H5N1 cases and analyzed. The median age was 29 years (range 6–62) and 58% were female. Many H5N1 cases reported fever (92%) and cough (58%) at illness onset, and had lower respiratory findings of tachypnea and dyspnea at admission. All cases progressed rapidly to bilateral pneumonia. Clinical complications included acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS, 81%), cardiac failure (50%), elevated aminotransaminases (43%), and renal dysfunction (17%). Fatal cases had a lower median nadir platelet count (64.5×109 cells/L vs 93.0×109 cells/L, p = 0.02), higher median peak lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) level (1982.5 U/L vs 1230.0 U/L, p = 0.001), higher percentage of ARDS (94% [n = 16] vs 56% [n = 5], p = 0.034) and more frequent cardiac failure (71% [n = 12] vs 11% [n = 1], p = 0.011) than nonfatal cases. A higher proportion of patients who received antiviral drugs survived compared to untreated (67% [8/12] vs 7% [1/14], p = 0.003).
The clinical course of Chinese H5N1 cases is characterized by fever and cough initially, with rapid progression to lower respiratory disease. Decreased platelet count, elevated LDH level, ARDS and cardiac failure were associated with fatal outcomes. Clinical management of H5N1 cases should be standardized in China to include early antiviral treatment for suspected H5N1 cases.
Decrease in endogenous hydrogen sulfide (H2S) was reported to participate in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy (DN). This study is aimed at exploring the relationship between the abnormalities in H2S metabolism, hyperglycemia-induced oxidative stress and the activation of intrarenal renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Cultured renal mesangial cells (MCs) and streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic rats were used for the studies. The expressions of angiotensinogen (AGT), angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), angiotensin II (Ang II) type I receptor (AT1), transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and collagen IV were measured by real time PCR and Western blot. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was assessed by fluorescent probe assays. Cell proliferation was analyzed by 5'-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation assay. Ang II concentration was measured by an enzyme immunoassay. AGT, ACE and AT1 receptor mRNA levels and Ang II concentration were increased in high glucose (HG) -treated MCs, the cell proliferation rate and the production of TGF-β1 and of collagen IV productions were also increased. The NADPH oxidase inhibitor diphenylenechloride iodonium (DPI) was able to reverse the HG-induced RAS activation and the changes in cell proliferation and collagen synthesis. Supplementation of H2S attenuated HG-induced elevations in ROS and RAS activation. Blockade on H2S biosynthesis from cystathione-γ-lyase (CSE) by DL-propargylglycine (PPG) resulted in effects similar to that of HG treatment. In STZ-induced diabetic rats, the changes in RAS were also reversed by H2S supplementation without affecting blood glucose concentration. These data suggested that the decrease in H2S under hyperglycemic condition leads to an imbalance between oxidative and reductive species. The increased oxidative species results in intrarenal RAS activation, which, in turn, contributes to the pathogenesis of renal dysfunction.