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1.  Genotypic variants at 2q33 and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in China: a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies 
Abnet, Christian C. | Wang, Zhaoming | Song, Xin | Hu, Nan | Zhou, Fu-You | Freedman, Neal D. | Li, Xue-Min | Yu, Kai | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Yuan, Jian-Min | Zheng, Wei | Dawsey, Sanford M. | Liao, Linda M. | Lee, Maxwell P. | Ding, Ti | Qiao, You-Lin | Gao, Yu-Tang | Koh, Woon-Puay | Xiang, Yong-Bing | Tang, Ze-Zhong | Fan, Jin-Hu | Chung, Charles C. | Wang, Chaoyu | Wheeler, William | Yeager, Meredith | Yuenger, Jeff | Hutchinson, Amy | Jacobs, Kevin B. | Giffen, Carol A. | Burdett, Laurie | Fraumeni, Joseph F. | Tucker, Margaret A. | Chow, Wong-Ho | Zhao, Xue-Ke | Li, Jiang-Man | Li, Ai-Li | Sun, Liang-Dan | Wei, Wu | Li, Ji-Lin | Zhang, Peng | Li, Hong-Lei | Cui, Wen-Yan | Wang, Wei-Peng | Liu, Zhi-Cai | Yang, Xia | Fu, Wen-Jing | Cui, Ji-Li | Lin, Hong-Li | Zhu, Wen-Liang | Liu, Min | Chen, Xi | Chen, Jie | Guo, Li | Han, Jing-Jing | Zhou, Sheng-Li | Huang, Jia | Wu, Yue | Yuan, Chao | Huang, Jing | Ji, Ai-Fang | Kul, Jian-Wei | Fan, Zhong-Min | Wang, Jian-Po | Zhang, Dong-Yun | Zhang, Lian-Qun | Zhang, Wei | Chen, Yuan-Fang | Ren, Jing-Li | Li, Xiu-Min | Dong, Jin-Cheng | Xing, Guo-Lan | Guo, Zhi-Gang | Yang, Jian-Xue | Mao, Yi-Ming | Yuan, Yuan | Guo, Er-Tao | Zhang, Wei | Hou, Zhi-Chao | Liu, Jing | Li, Yan | Tang, Sa | Chang, Jia | Peng, Xiu-Qin | Han, Min | Yin, Wan-Li | Liu, Ya-Li | Hu, Yan-Long | Liu, Yu | Yang, Liu-Qin | Zhu, Fu-Guo | Yang, Xiu-Feng | Feng, Xiao-Shan | Wang, Zhou | Li, Yin | Gao, She-Gan | Liu, Hai-Lin | Yuan, Ling | Jin, Yan | Zhang, Yan-Rui | Sheyhidin, Ilyar | Li, Feng | Chen, Bao-Ping | Ren, Shu-Wei | Liu, Bin | Li, Dan | Zhang, Gao-Fu | Yue, Wen-Bin | Feng, Chang-Wei | Qige, Qirenwang | Zhao, Jian-Ting | Yang, Wen-Jun | Lei, Guang-Yan | Chen, Long-Qi | Li, En-Min | Xu, Li-Yan | Wu, Zhi-Yong | Bao, Zhi-Qin | Chen, Ji-Li | Li, Xian-Chang | Zhuang, Xiang | Zhou, Ying-Fa | Zuo, Xian-Bo | Dong, Zi-Ming | Wang, Lu-Wen | Fan, Xue-Pin | Wang, Jin | Zhou, Qi | Ma, Guo-Shun | Zhang, Qin-Xian | Liu, Hai | Jian, Xin-Ying | Lian, Sin-Yong | Wang, Jin-Sheng | Chang, Fu-Bao | Lu, Chang-Dong | Miao, Jian-Jun | Chen, Zhi-Guo | Wang, Ran | Guo, Ming | Fan, Zeng-Lin | Tao, Ping | Liu, Tai-Jing | Wei, Jin-Chang | Kong, Qing-Peng | Fan, Lei | Wang, Xian-Zeng | Gao, Fu-Sheng | Wang, Tian-Yun | Xie, Dong | Wang, Li | Chen, Shu-Qing | Yang, Wan-Cai | Hong, Jun-Yan | Wang, Liang | Qiu, Song-Liang | Goldstein, Alisa M. | Yuan, Zhi-Qing | Chanock, Stephen J. | Zhang, Xue-Jun | Taylor, Philip R. | Wang, Li-Dong
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;21(9):2132-2141.
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.
PMCID: PMC3315211  PMID: 22323360
2.  Associations of Educational Attainment, Occupation, Social Class and Major Depressive Disorder among Han Chinese Women 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86674.
The prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD) is higher in those with low levels of educational attainment, the unemployed and those with low social status. However the extent to which these factors cause MDD is unclear. Most of the available data comes from studies in developed countries, and these findings may not extrapolate to developing countries. Examining the relationship between MDD and socio economic status in China is likely to add to the debate because of the radical economic and social changes occurring in China over the last 30 years.
Principal findings
We report results from 3,639 Chinese women with recurrent MDD and 3,800 controls. Highly significant odds ratios (ORs) were observed between MDD and full time employment (OR = 0.36, 95% CI = 0.25–0.46, logP = 78), social status (OR = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.77–0.87, logP = 13.3) and education attainment (OR = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.86–0.90, logP = 6.8). We found a monotonic relationship between increasing age and increasing levels of educational attainment. Those with only primary school education have significantly more episodes of MDD (mean 6.5, P-value = 0.009) and have a clinically more severe disorder, while those with higher educational attainment are likely to manifest more comorbid anxiety disorders.
In China lower socioeconomic position is associated with increased rates of MDD, as it is elsewhere in the world. Significantly more episodes of MDD occur among those with lower educational attainment (rather than longer episodes of disease), consistent with the hypothesis that the lower socioeconomic position increases the likelihood of developing MDD. The phenomenology of MDD varies according to the degree of educational attainment: higher educational attainment not only appears to protect against MDD but alters its presentation, to a more anxious phenotype.
PMCID: PMC3909008  PMID: 24497966
3.  Childhood Sexual Abuse and the Development of Recurrent Major Depression in Chinese Women 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e87569.
Our prior study in Han Chinese women has shown that women with a history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) are at increased risk for developing major depression (MD). Would this relationship be found in our whole data set?
Three levels of CSA (non-genital, genital, and intercourse) were assessed by self-report in two groups of Han Chinese women: 6017 clinically ascertained with recurrent MD and 5983 matched controls. Diagnostic and other risk factor information was assessed at personal interview. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated by logistic regression.
We confirmed earlier results by replicating prior analyses in 3,950 new recurrent MD cases. There were no significant differences between the two data sets. Any form of CSA was significantly associated with recurrent MD (OR 4.06, 95% confidence interval (CI) [3.19–5.24]). This association strengthened with increasing CSA severity: non-genital (OR 2.21, 95% CI 1.58–3.15), genital (OR 5.24, 95% CI 3.52–8.15) and intercourse (OR 10.65, 95% CI 5.56–23.71). Among the depressed women, those with CSA had an earlier age of onset, longer depressive episodes. Recurrent MD patients those with CSA had an increased risk for dysthymia (OR 1.60, 95%CI 1.11–2.27) and phobia (OR 1.41, 95%CI 1.09–1.80). Any form of CSA was significantly associated with suicidal ideation or attempt (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.20–1.89) and feelings of worthlessness or guilt (OR 1.41, 95% CI 1.02–2.02). Intercourse (OR 3.47, 95%CI 1.66–8.22), use of force and threats (OR 1.95, 95%CI 1.05–3.82) and how strongly the victims were affected at the time (OR 1.39, 95%CI 1.20–1.64) were significantly associated with recurrent MD.
In Chinese women CSA is strongly associated with recurrent MD and this association increases with greater severity of CSA. Depressed women with CSA have some specific clinical traits. Some features of CSA were associated with greater likelihood of developing recurrent MD.
PMCID: PMC3906190  PMID: 24489940
4.  Clinical Features of Patients with Dysthymia in a Large Cohort of Han Chinese Women with Recurrent Major Depression 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83490.
Dysthymia is a form of chronic mild depression that has a complex relationship with major depressive disorder (MDD). Here we investigate the role of environmental risk factors, including stressful life events and parenting style, in patients with both MDD and dysthymia. We ask whether these risk factors act in the same way in MDD with and without dysthymia.
We examined the clinical features in 5,950 Han Chinese women with MDD between 30–60 years of age across China. We confirmed earlier results by replicating prior analyses in 3,950 new MDD cases. There were no significant differences between the two data sets. We identified sixteen stressful life events that significantly increase the risk of dysthymia, given the presence of MDD. Low parental warmth, from either mother or father, increases the risk of dysthymia. Highly threatening but short-lived threats (such as rape) are more specific for MDD than dysthymia. While for MDD more severe life events show the largest odds ratio versus controls, this was not seen for cases of MDD with or without dysthymia.
There are increased rates of stressful life events in MDD with dysthymia, but the impact of life events on susceptibility to dysthymia with MDD differs from that seen for MDD alone. The pattern does not fit a simple dose-response relationship, suggesting that there are moderating factors involved in the relationship between environmental precipitants and the onset of dysthymia. It is possible that severe life events in childhood events index a general susceptibility to chronic depression, rather than acting specifically as risk factors for dysthymia.
PMCID: PMC3873934  PMID: 24386213
5.  Suicidal Risk Factors of Recurrent Major Depression in Han Chinese Women 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80030.
The relationship between suicidality and major depression is complex. Socio- demography, clinical features, comorbidity, clinical symptoms, and stressful life events are important factors influencing suicide in major depression, but these are not well defined. Thus, the aim of the present study was to assess the associations between the above-mentioned factors and suicide ideation, suicide plan, and suicide attempt in 6008 Han Chinese women with recurrent major depression (MD). Patients with any suicidality had significantly more MD symptoms, a significantly greater number of stressful life events, a positive family history of MD, a greater number of episodes, a significant experience of melancholia, and earlier age of onset. Comorbidity with dysthymia, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social phobia, and animal phobia was seen in suicidal patients. The present findings indicate that specific factors act to increase the likelihood of suicide in MD. Our results may help improve the clinical assessment of suicide risk in depressed patients, especially for women.
PMCID: PMC3842272  PMID: 24312196
6.  Transcriptome and Small RNA Deep Sequencing Reveals Deregulation of miRNA Biogenesis in Human Glioma 
The Journal of pathology  2013;229(3):10.1002/path.4109.
Altered expression of oncogenic and tumor-suppressing microRNAs (miRNAs) is widely associated with tumorigenesis. However, the regulatory mechanisms underlying these alterations are poorly understood. We sought to shed light on the deregulation of miRNA biogenesis promoting the aberrant miRNA expression profiles identified in these tumors. Using sequencing technology to perform both whole-transcriptome and small RNA sequencing of glioma patient samples, we examined precursor and mature miRNAs to directly evaluate the miRNA maturation process, and interrogated expression profiles for genes involved in the major steps of miRNA biogenesis. We found that ratios of mature to precursor forms of a large number of miRNAs increased with the progression from normal brain to low-grade and then to high-grade gliomas. The expression levels of genes involved in each of the three major steps of miRNA biogenesis (nuclear processing, nucleo-cytoplasmic transport, and cytoplasmic processing) were systematically altered in glioma tissues. Survival analysis of an independent data set demonstrated that the alteration of genes involved in miRNA maturation correlates with survival in glioma patients. Direct quantification of miRNA maturation with deep sequencing demonstrated that deregulation of the miRNA biogenesis pathway is a hallmark for glioma genesis and progression.
PMCID: PMC3857031  PMID: 23007860
microRNA; biogenesis; glioma
7.  Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition Is Required for Acquisition of Anoikis Resistance and Metastatic Potential in Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e51549.
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.
PMCID: PMC3522696  PMID: 23272116
8.  Comparison of the inhibitory effects of three transcriptional variants of CDKN2A in human lung cancer cell line A549 
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.
PMCID: PMC2897778  PMID: 20565749
9.  Specific gene-regulation networks during the pre-implantation development of the pig embryo as revealed by deep sequencing 
BMC Genomics  2014;15:4.
Because few studies exist to describe the unique molecular network regulation behind pig pre-implantation embryonic development (PED), genetic engineering in the pig embryo is limited. Also, this lack of research has hindered derivation and application of porcine embryonic stem cells and porcine induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).
We identified and analyzed the genome wide transcriptomes of pig in vivo-derived and somatic cell nuclear transferred (SCNT) as well as mouse in vivo-derived pre-implantation embryos at different stages using mRNA deep sequencing. Comparison of the pig embryonic transcriptomes with those of mouse and human pre-implantation embryos revealed unique gene expression patterns during pig PED. Pig zygotic genome activation was confirmed to occur at the 4-cell stage via genome-wide gene expression analysis. This activation was delayed to the 8-cell stage in SCNT embryos. Specific gene expression analysis of the putative inner cell mass (ICM) and the trophectoderm (TE) revealed that pig and mouse pre-implantation embryos share regulatory networks during the first lineage segregation and primitive endoderm differentiation, but not during ectoderm commitment. Also, fatty acid metabolism appears to be a unique characteristic of pig pre-implantation embryonic development. In addition, the global gene expression patterns in the pig SCNT embryos were different from those in in vivo-derived pig embryos.
Our results provide a resource for pluripotent stem cell engineering and for understanding pig development.
PMCID: PMC3925986  PMID: 24383959
10.  Neonatal Desensitization Supports Long-Term Survival and Functional Integration of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Rat Joint Cartilage Without Immunosuppression 
Stem Cells and Development  2012;22(1):90-101.
Immunological response hampers the investigation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) or their derivates for tissue regeneration in vivo. Immunosuppression is often used after surgery, but exhibits side effects of significant weight loss and allows only short-term observation. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether neonatal desensitization supports relative long-term survival of hESC-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hESC-MSCs) and promotes cartilage regeneration. hESC-MSCs were injected on the day of birth in rats. Six weeks after neonatal injection, a full-thickness cylindrical cartilage defect was created and transplanted with a hESC-MSC-seeded collagen bilayer scaffold (group d+s+c) or a collagen bilayer scaffold (group d+s). Rats without neonatal injection were transplanted with the hESC-MSC-seeded collagen bilayer scaffold to serve as controls (group s+c). Cartilage regeneration was evaluated by histological analysis, immunohistochemical staining, and biomechanical test. The role of hESC-MSCs in cartilage regeneration was analyzed by CD4 immunostaining, cell death detection, and visualization of human cells in regenerated tissues. hESC-MSCs expressed CD105, CD73, CD90, CD29, and CD44, but not CD45 and CD34, and possessed trilineage differentiation potential. Group d+s+c exhibited greater International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) scores than group d+s or group s+c. Abundant collagen type II and improved mechanical properties were detected in group d+s+c. There were less CD4+ inflammatory cell infiltration and cell death at week 1, and hESC-MSCs were found to survive as long as 8 weeks after transplantation in group d+s+c. Our study suggests that neonatal desensitization before transplantation may be an efficient way to develop a powerful tool for preclinical study of human cell-based therapies in animal models.
PMCID: PMC3528094  PMID: 22788986
11.  cis-Acting Elements and trans-Acting Factors in the Transcriptional Regulation of Raf Kinase Inhibitory Protein Expression 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83097.
The Raf kinase inhibitory protein (RKIP) is down-regulated in multiple types of human cancers. Decreased RKIP transcription activity may be one of the major mechanisms responsible for the downregulation of RKIP expression in human diseases. To test this hypothesis, we need to gain basic knowledge of the transcriptional regulation of RKIP. To achieve this objective, we made a systematic effort to identify cis-acting elements and trans-acting factors that control RKIP promoter activity. We found that full RKIP promoter activity requires the region −56 to +261 relative to the transcription start site. Within the full promoter region, there are two motifs rich in G/C that responded to transcription factor Sp1, one cAMP-responsive element that responded to the transcription factor CREB, and one docking site for the histone acetylase p300. In human melanoma A375 cells and human cervical cancer HeLa cells, mutation or deletion of each of these cis-acting elements decreased promoter activity. In A375 cells, knockdown of the corresponding transcription factors Sp1, CREB, or p300 decreased RKIP promoter activity, whereas overexpression of CREB and p300 increased RKIP promoter activity. The results obtained with HeLa cells also supported the idea that Sp1 and CREB play positive roles in the regulation of RKIP transcription. These findings suggest that regulators of the expression or activity of Sp1, CREB, and p300 are involved in regulating RKIP transcription.
PMCID: PMC3873293  PMID: 24386147
12.  Broadband light absorption enhancement in dye-sensitized solar cells with Au-Ag alloy popcorn nanoparticles 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:2112.
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.
PMCID: PMC3698494  PMID: 23817586
13.  Genetic Variants of Pregnane X Receptor (PXR) and CYP2B6 Affect the Induction of Bupropion Hydroxylation by Sodium Ferulate 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e62489.
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.
Trial Registration ChiCTR-TRC-11001285
PMCID: PMC3686783  PMID: 23840296
14.  Invasive cribriform carcinoma in a Chinese population: comparison with low-grade invasive ductal carcinoma-not otherwise specified 
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.
PMCID: PMC3563205  PMID: 23412348
Invasive cribriform carcinoma; invasive ductal carcinoma; breast; prognosis; China
15.  Dickkopf-1 as a Novel Predictor Is Associated with Risk Stratification by GRACE Risk Scores for Predictive Value in Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome: A Retrospective Research 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54731.
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.
PMCID: PMC3554648  PMID: 23359112
16.  The tumorigenic FGFR3-TACC3 gene fusion escapes miR-99a regulation in glioblastoma  
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.
PMCID: PMC3561838  PMID: 23298836
17.  Successful treatment of refractory cutaneous infection caused by Mycobacterium marinum with a combined regimen containing amikacin 
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.
PMCID: PMC3514062  PMID: 23226012
amikacin; clarithromycin; skin infection; Mycobacterium marinum; nontuberculous mycobacteria
18.  MCPIP1 Down-Regulates IL-2 Expression through an ARE-Independent Pathway 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e49841.
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.
PMCID: PMC3504106  PMID: 23185455
19.  Novel GATA4 mutations in patients with congenital ventricular septal defects 
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.
PMCID: PMC3560722  PMID: 22648249
ventricular septal defect; transcription factor; genetics
20.  Integrated Analysis of Gene Expression and Tumor Nuclear Image Profiles Associated with Chemotherapy Response in Serous Ovarian Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e36383.
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.
Methodology/Principal Findings
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.
PMCID: PMC3348145  PMID: 22590536
21.  Transcriptome and Network Changes in Climbers at Extreme Altitudes 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e31645.
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.
PMCID: PMC3290542  PMID: 22393366
22.  Multiple Classifier System for Remote Sensing Image Classification: A Review 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2012;12(4):4764-4792.
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.
PMCID: PMC3355439  PMID: 22666057
multiple classifier system; classifier ensemble; remote sensing; classification
23.  A Novel Apoptosis Correlated Molecule: Expression and Characterization of Protein Latcripin-1 from Lentinula edodes C91–3 
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.
PMCID: PMC3382792  PMID: 22754362
Lentinula edodes; apoptosis; protein Latcripin-1; Pichia pastoris; expression
24.  Lysine 92 Amino Acid Residue of USP46, a Gene Associated with ‘Behavioral Despair’ in Mice, Influences the Deubiquitinating Enzyme Activity 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e26297.
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.
PMCID: PMC3197135  PMID: 22043315
25.  Novel Reassortant Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N5) Viruses in Domestic Ducks, China 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2011;17(6):1060-1063.
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.
PMCID: PMC3358203  PMID: 21749770
H5N5; highly pathogenic avian influenza; reassortant; domestic ducks; viruses; influenza; China; dispatch

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