In China, rubella vaccination was introduced into the national immunization program in 2008, and a rubella epidemic occurred in the same year. In order to know whether changes in the genotypic distribution of rubella viruses have occurred in the postvaccination era, we investigate in detail the epidemiological profile of rubella in China and estimate the evolutionary rate, molecular clock phylogeny, and demographic history of the predominant rubella virus genotypes circulating in China using Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo phylodynamic analyses. 1E was found to be the predominant rubella virus genotype since its initial isolation in China in 2001, and no genotypic shift has occurred since then. The results suggest that the global 1E genotype may have diverged in 1995 and that it has evolved at a mutation rate of 1.65 × 10−3 per site per year. The Chinese 1E rubella virus isolates were grouped into either cluster 1 or cluster 2, which likely originated in 1997 and 2006, respectively. Cluster 1 viruses were found in all provinces examined in this study and had a mutation rate of 1.90 × 10−3 per site per year. The effective number of infections remained constant until 2007, and along with the introduction of rubella vaccine into the national immunization program, although the circulation of cluster 1 viruses has not been interrupted, some viral lineages have disappeared, and the epidemic started a decline that led to a decrease in the effective population size. Cluster 2 viruses were found only in Hainan Province, likely because of importation.
The incidence of measles in China from 1991 to 2008 was reviewed, and the nucleotide sequences from 1507 measles viruses (MeV) isolated during 1993 to 2008 were phylogenetically analyzed. The results showed that measles epidemics peaked approximately every 3 to 5 years with the range of measles cases detected between 56,850 and 140,048 per year. The Chinese MeV strains represented three genotypes; 1501 H1, 1 H2 and 5 A. Genotype H1 was the predominant genotype throughout China continuously circulating for at least 16 years. Genotype H1 sequences could be divided into two distinct clusters, H1a and H1b. A 4.2% average nucleotide divergence was found between the H1a and H1b clusters, and the nucleotide sequence and predicted amino acid homologies of H1a viruses were 92.3%–100% and 84.7%–100%, H1b were 97.1%–100% and 95.3%–100%, respectively. Viruses from both clusters were distributed throughout China with no apparent geographic restriction and multiple co-circulating lineages were present in many provinces. Cluster H1a and H1b viruses were co-circulating during 1993 to 2005, while no H1b viruses were detected after 2005 and the transmission of that cluster has presumably been interrupted. Analysis of the nucleotide and predicted amino acid changes in the N proteins of H1a and H1b viruses showed no evidence of selective pressure. This study investigated the genotype and cluster distribution of MeV in China over a 16-year period to establish a genetic baseline before MeV elimination in Western Pacific Region (WPR). Continuous and extensive MeV surveillance and the ability to quickly identify imported cases of measles will become more critical as measles elimination goals are achieved in China in the near future. This is the first report that a single endemic genotype of measles virus has been found to be continuously circulating in one country for at least 16 years.
China experienced several large measles outbreaks in the past two decades, and a series of enhanced control measures were implemented to achieve the goal of measles elimination. Molecular epidemiologic surveillance of wild-type measles viruses (MeV) provides valuable information about the viral transmission patterns. Since 1993, virologic surveillnace has confirmed that a single endemic genotype H1 viruses have been predominantly circulating in China. A component of molecular surveillance is to monitor the genetic characteristics of the hemagglutinin (H) gene of MeV, the major target for virus neutralizing antibodies.
Analysis of the sequences of the complete H gene from 56 representative wild-type MeV strains circulating in China during 1993–2009 showed that the H gene sequences were clustered into 2 groups, cluster 1 and cluster 2. Cluster1 strains were the most frequently detected cluster and had a widespread distribution in China after 2000. The predicted amino acid sequences of the H protein were relatively conserved at most of the functionally significant amino acid positions. However, most of the genotype H1 cluster1 viruses had an amino acid substitution (Ser240Asn), which removed a predicted N-linked glycosylation site. In addition, the substitution of Pro397Leu in the hemagglutinin noose epitope (HNE) was identified in 23 of 56 strains. The evolutionary rate of the H gene of the genotype H1 viruses was estimated to be approximately 0.76×10−3 substitutions per site per year, and the ratio of dN to dS (dN/dS) was <1 indicating the absence of selective pressure.
Although H genes of the genotype H1 strains were conserved and not subjected to selective pressure, several amino acid substitutions were observed in functionally important positions. Therefore the antigenic and genetic properties of H genes of wild-type MeVs should be monitored as part of routine molecular surveillance for measles in China.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) as a key group of non-coding RNAs have gained widely attention. Though lncRNAs have been functionally annotated and systematic explored in higher mammals, few are under systematical identification and annotation. Owing to the expression specificity, known lncRNAs expressed in embryonic brain tissues remain still limited. Considering a large number of lncRNAs are only transcribed in brain tissues, studies of lncRNAs in developmental brain are therefore of special interest. Here, publicly available RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) data in embryonic brain are integrated to identify thousands of embryonic brain lncRNAs by a customized pipeline. A significant proportion of novel transcripts have not been annotated by available genomic resources. The putative embryonic brain lncRNAs are shorter in length, less spliced and show less conservation than known genes. The expression of putative lncRNAs is in one tenth on average of known coding genes, while comparable with known lncRNAs. From chromatin data, putative embryonic brain lncRNAs are associated with active chromatin marks, comparable with known lncRNAs. Embryonic brain expressed lncRNAs are also indicated to have expression though not evident in adult brain. Gene Ontology analysis of putative embryonic brain lncRNAs suggests that they are associated with brain development. The putative lncRNAs are shown to be related to possible cis-regulatory roles in imprinting even themselves are deemed to be imprinted lncRNAs. Re-analysis of one knockdown data suggests that four regulators are associated with lncRNAs. Taken together, the identification and systematic analysis of putative lncRNAs would provide novel insights into uncharacterized mouse non-coding regions and the relationships with mammalian embryonic brain development.
The knowledge of mosquito species diversity and the level of anthropophily exhibited by each species in a region are of great importance to the integrated vector control. Culicine species are the primary vectors of Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus and filariasis in China. Anopheles sinensis plays a major role in the maintenance of Plasmodium vivax malaria transmission in China. The goal of this study was to compare the abundance and host-seeking behavior of culicine species and An. sinensis in Yongcheng city, a representative region of P. vivax malaria. Specifically, we wished to determine the relative attractiveness of different animal baits versus human bait to culicine species and An. sinensis.
Culex tritaeniorhynchus was the most prevalent mosquito species and An. sinensis was the sole potential vector of P. vivax malaria in Yongcheng city. There were significant differences (P < 0.01) in the abundance of both An. sinensis and Cx. tritaeniorhynchus collected in distinct baited traps. The relative attractiveness of animal versus human bait was similar towards both An. sinensis and Cx. tritaeniorhynchus. The ranking derived from the mean number of mosquitoes per bait indicated that pigs, goats and calves frequently attracted more mosquitoes than the other hosts tested (dogs, humans, and chickens). These trends were similar across all capture nights at three distinct villages. The human blood index (HBI) of female An. sinensis was 2.94% when computed with mixed meals while 3.70% computed with only the single meal. 19:00~21:00 was the primary peak of host-seeking female An. sinensis while 4:00~5:00 was the smaller peak at night. There was significant correlation between the density of female An. sinensis and the average relative humidity (P < 0.05) in Wangshanzhuang village.
Pigs, goats and calves were more attractive to An. sinensis and Cx. tritaeniorhynchus than dogs, humans, and chickens. Female An. sinensis host-seeking activity mainly occurred from 19:00 to 21:00. Thus, we propose that future vector control against An. sinensis and Cx. tritaeniorhynchus in the areas along the Huang-Huai River of central China should target the interface of human activity with domestic animals and adopt before human hosts go to bed at night.
Host-seeking behavior; mosquito; culicine species; Anopheles vectors; ecology; malaria elimination
G. zeae extracellular lipase has been overexpressed, purified and crystallized. Diffraction data were collected to 2.8 Å resolution.
Fusarium head blight, one of the most destructive crop diseases, is mainly caused by Fusarium graminearum (known in its sexual stage as Gibberella zeae). F. graminearum secretes various extracellular enzymes that have been hypothesized to be involved in host infection. One of the extracellular enzymes secreted by this organism is the G. zeae extracellular lipase (GZEL), which is encoded by the FGL1 gene. In order to solve the crystal structure of GZEL and to gain a better understanding of the biological functions of the protein and of possible inhibitory mechanisms of lipase inhibitors, recombinant GZEL was crystallized at 291 K using PEG 3350 as a precipitant. A data set was collected to 2.8 Å resolution from a single flash-cooled crystal (100 K). The crystal belonged to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 78.4, b = 91.0, c = 195.8 Å, α = β = γ = 90°. The presence of four molecules was assumed per asymmetric unit, which gave a Matthews coefficient of 2.6 Å3 Da−1.
extracellular lipases; Fusarium graminearum; Gibberella zeae; fusarium head blight
The metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a constellation of clinical features that include central obesity, hypertension, atherogenic dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance (IR). However, the concept remains controversial; it has been debated whether MetS represents nothing more than simultaneous co-occurrence of individual risk factors, or whether there are common, shared pathophysiologic mechanisms that link the individual components.
Methods and Results
To investigate the emergence of metabolic and cardiovascular components during the development of MetS, we identified MetS-predisposed animals (n=35) in a large population of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta, 12.7 ± 2.9 years old, n=408), acclimated them to standardized conditions, and monitored the progression of individual component features over 18 months. In total 18 MetS animals with recently developed fasting hyperinsulinemia, central obesity, hypertension, and atherogenic dyslipidemia, we found that individual metabolic and cardiovascular components track together during the transition from pre-MetS to onset of MetS; MetS was associated with a 60% impairment of flow mediated dilation (FMD), establishing the mechanistic link with vascular dysfunction. Pioglitazone treatment (3 mg/kg body weight/day for 6 weeks), a PPARγ agonist, reversibly improved atherogenic dyslipidemia and IR, and fully restored FMD with persistent benefits.
Co-emergence of metabolic and cardiovascular components during MetS progression and complete normalization of vascular dysfunction with PPARγ agonists suggest shared underlying mechanisms rather than separate processes, arguing for the benefit of early intervention of MetS components. Predictive NHP models of MetS should be highly valuable in mechanistic and translational studies on the pathogenesis of MetS in relation to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Metabolic Syndrome (MetS); Nonhuman Primates; Cardiovascular Disease; Pathogenesis; PPARγ agonists
Cardiac hypertrophy is a response of the myocardium to increased workload and is characterised by an increase of myocardial mass and an accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM). As an ECM protein, an integrin ligand, and an angiogenesis inhibitor, all of which are key players in cardiac hypertrophy, mindin is an attractive target for therapeutic intervention to treat or prevent cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. In this study, we investigated the role of mindin in cardiac hypertrophy using littermate Mindin knockout (Mindin−/−) and wild-type (WT) mice. Cardiac hypertrophy was induced by aortic banding (AB) or angiotensin II (Ang II) infusion in Mindin−/− and WT mice. The extent of cardiac hypertrophy was quantitated by echocardiography and by pathological and molecular analyses of heart samples. Mindin−/− mice were more susceptible to cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis in response to AB or Ang II stimulation than wild type. Cardiac function was also markedly exacerbated during both systole and diastole in Mindin−/− mice in response to hypertrophic stimuli. Western blot assays further showed that the activation of AKT/glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) signalling in response to hypertrophic stimuli was significantly increased in Mindin−/− mice. Moreover, blocking AKT/GSK3β signalling with a pharmacological AKT inhibitor reversed cardiac abnormalities in Mindin−/− mice. Our data show that mindin, as an intrinsic cardioprotective factor, prevents maladaptive remodelling and the transition to heart failure by blocking AKT/GSK3β signalling.
Mindin; Hypertrophy; Remodelling; Signal transduction; AKT
To examine whether the peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α), a key regulator linking angiogenesis and metabolism, could enhance the engraftment and angiogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in diabetic hindlimb ischemia, we engineered the overexpression of PGC-1α within MSCs using an adenoviral vector encoding green fluorescent protein and PGC-1α, and then tested the survivability and angiogenesis of MSCs in vitro and in vivo. Under the condition of hypoxia concomitant with serum deprivation, the overexpression of PGC-1α in MSCs resulted in a higher expression level of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (Hif-1α), a greater ratio of B-cell lymphoma leukemia-2 (Bcl-2)/Bcl-2–associated X protein (Bax), and a lower level of caspase 3 compared with the controls, followed by an increased survival rate and an elevated expression level of several proangiogenic factors. In vivo, the MSCs modified with PGC-1α could significantly increase the blood perfusion and capillary density of ischemic hindlimb of the diabetic rats, which was correlated to an improved survivability of MSCs and an increased level of several proangiogenic factors secreted by MSCs. We identified for the first time that PGC-1α could enhance the engraftment and angiogenesis of MSCs in diabetic hindlimb ischemia.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been used as genetic marker for genome-wide association studies in many species. Gene-associated SNPs could offer sufficient coverage in trait related research and further more could themselves be causative SNPs for traits. Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is one of the most important aquaculture species in the world accounting for nearly 14% of freshwater aquaculture production. There are various strains of common carp with different economic traits, however, the genetic mechanism underlying the different traits have not been elucidated yet. In this project, we identified a large number of gene-associated SNPs from four strains of common carp using next-generation sequencing.
Transcriptome sequencing of four strains of common carp (mirror carp, purse red carp, Xingguo red carp, Yellow River carp) was performed with Solexa HiSeq2000 platform. De novo assembled transcriptome was used as reference for alignments, and SNP calling was done through BWA and SAMtools. A total of 712,042 Intra-strain SNPs were discovered in four strains, of which 483,276 SNPs for mirror carp, 486,629 SNPs for purse red carp, 478,028 SNPs for Xingguo red carp and 488,281 SNPs for Yellow River carp were discovered, respectively. Besides, 53,893 inter-SNPs were identified. Strain-specific SNPs of four strains were 53,938, 53,866, 48,701, 40,131 in mirror carp, purse red carp, Xingguo red carp and Yellow River carp, respectively. GO and KEGG pathway analysis were done to reveal strain-specific genes affected by strain-specific non-synonymous SNPs. Validation of selected SNPs revealed that 48% percent of SNPs (12 of 25) were tested to be true SNPs.
Transcriptome analysis of common carp using RNA-Seq is a cost-effective way of generating numerous reads for SNP discovery. After validation of identified SNPs, these data will provide a solid base for SNP array designing and genome-wide association studies.
Mindin is a secreted extracellular matrix protein, an integrin ligand, and an angiogenesis inhibitor, other examples of which are all key players in the progression of cardiac hypertrophy. However, its function during cardiac hypertrophy remains unclear. This study was aimed to identify the effect of mindin on cardiac hypertrophy and the underlying mechanisms.
Methods and results
A significant down-regulation of mindin expression was observed in human failing hearts. To further investigate the role of mindin in cardiac hypertrophy, we used cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes with gain and loss of mindin function and cardiac-specific Mindin-overexpressing transgenic (TG) mice. In cultured cardiomyocytes, mindin negatively regulated angiotensin II (Ang II)-mediated hypertrophic growth, as detected by [3H]-Leucine incorporation, cardiac myocyte area, and hypertrophic marker protein levels. Cardiac hypertrophy in vivo was produced by aortic banding (AB) or Ang II infusion in TG mice and their wild-type controls. The extent of cardiac hypertrophy was evaluated by echocardiography as well as by pathological and molecular analyses of heart samples. Mindin overexpression in the heart markedly attenuated cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis, and left ventricular dysfunction in mice in response to AB or Ang II. Further analysis of the signalling events in vitro and in vivo indicated that these beneficial effects of mindin were associated with the interruption of AKT/glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1–Smad signalling.
The present study demonstrates for the first time that mindin serves as a novel mediator that protects against cardiac hypertrophy and the transition to heart failure by blocking AKT/GSK3β and TGF-β1–Smad signalling.
Mindin; Hypertrophy; Remodelling; Signal transduction; AKT
High-throughput bisulfite sequencing is widely used to measure cytosine methylation at single-base resolution in eukaryotes. It permits systems-level analysis of genomic methylation patterns associated with gene expression and chromatin structure. However, methods for large-scale identification of methylation patterns from bisulfite sequencing are lacking. We developed a comprehensive tool, CpG_MPs, for identification and analysis of the methylation patterns of genomic regions from bisulfite sequencing data. CpG_MPs first normalizes bisulfite sequencing reads into methylation level of CpGs. Then it identifies unmethylated and methylated regions using the methylation status of neighboring CpGs by hotspot extension algorithm without knowledge of pre-defined regions. Furthermore, the conservatively and differentially methylated regions across paired or multiple samples (cells or tissues) are identified by combining a combinatorial algorithm with Shannon entropy. CpG_MPs identified large amounts of genomic regions with different methylation patterns across five human bisulfite sequencing data during cellular differentiation. Different sequence features and significantly cell-specific methylation patterns were observed. These potentially functional regions form candidate regions for functional analysis of DNA methylation during cellular differentiation. CpG_MPs is the first user-friendly tool for identifying methylation patterns of genomic regions from bisulfite sequencing data, permitting further investigation of the biological functions of genome-scale methylation patterns.
In 2003, Plasmodium vivax malaria has re-emerged in central eastern China including Yongcheng prefecture, Henan Province, where no case has been reported for eleven years. Our goals were to detect the space-time distribution pattern of malaria and to determine significant environmental variables contributing to malaria incidence in Yongcheng from 2006 to 2010, thus providing scientific basis for further optimizing current malaria surveillance and control programs.
This study examined the spatial and temporal heterogeneities in the risk of malaria and the influencing factors on malaria incidence using geographical information system (GIS) and time series analysis. Univariate analysis was conducted to estimate the crude correlations between malaria incidence and environmental variables, such as mosquito abundance and climatic factors. Multivariate analysis was implemented to construct predictive models to explore the principal environmental determinants on malaria epidemic using a Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE) approach.
Annual malaria incidence at town-level decreased from the north to south, and monthly incidence at prefecture-level demonstrated a strong seasonal pattern with a peak from July to November. Yearly malaria incidence had a visual spatial association with yearly average temperature. Moreover, the best-fit temporal model (model 2) (QIC = 16.934, P<0.001, R2 = 0.818) indicated that significant factors contributing to malaria incidence were maximum temperature at one month lag, average humidity at one month lag, and malaria incidence of the previous month.
Findings supported the effects of environment factors on malaria incidence and indicated that malaria control targets should vary with intensity of malaria incidence, with more public resource allocated to control the source of infections instead of large scale An. sinensis control when malaria incidence was at a low level, which would benefit for optimizing the malaria surveillance project in China and some other countries with unstable or low malaria transmission.
Malaria; Anopheles; Weather; Geographic information system; Modeling
Despite great efforts to improve diagnosis and treatment, tuberculosis (TB) remains a major health problem worldwide, especially in developing countries. Lack of concrete immune markers is still the obstacle to properly evaluate active TB. Therefore, identification of more validated biomarkers and phenotypic signatures is imperative. In particular, T cell-related biomarkers are more significant.
To understand the nature of CD4+ T cell-derived signatures involved in infection and disease development, we examined and analyzed whole genome expression profiles of purified CD4+ T cells from healthy individuals (HD), two distinct populations with latent infection (with low or high IFN-γ levels, LTBL/LTBH) and untreated TB patients. Following, we validated the expression profiles of genes in the peripheral CD4+ T cells from each group and examined secretion levels of distinct cytokines in serum and pleural effusion.
Our bio-informatic analyses indicate that the two latent populations and clinical TB patients possess distinct CD4+ T cell gene expression profiles. Furthermore, The mRNA and protein expression levels of B cell activating factor (BAFF), which belongs to the TNF family, and a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) were markedly up-regulated at the disease stage. In particular, the dramatic enhancement of BAFF and APRIL in the pleural effusion of patients with tuberculosis pleurisy suggests that these proteins may present disease status. In addition, we found that the BAFF/APRIL system was closely related to the Th1 immune response. Our study delineates previously unreported roles of BAFF and APRIL in the development of tuberculosis, and these findings have implications for the diagnosis of the disease. Our study also identifies a number of transcriptional signatures in CD4+ T cells that have the potential to be utilized as diagnostic and prognostic tools to combat the tuberculosis epidemic.
Mycobacterial culture and identification provide a definitive diagnosis of TB. Culture on Löwenstein-Jensen (L-J) medium is invariably delayed because of the slow growth of M. tuberculosis on L-J slants. Automated liquid culture systems are expensive. A low-cost culturing medium capable of rapidly indicating the presence of mycobacteria is needed. The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate a novel biphasic culture medium for the recovery of mycobacteria from clinical sputum specimens from suspected pulmonary tuberculosis patients.
Methods and Findings
The biphasic medium consisted of 7 ml units of L-J slant medium, 3 ml units of liquid culture medium, growth indicator and a mixture of antimicrobial agents. The decontamination sediments of sputum specimens were incubated in the biphasic culture medium at 37°C. Mycobacterial growth was determined based on the appearance of red granule sediments and the examination using acid-fast bacilli (AFB). The clinical sputum specimens were cultured in the biphasic medium, on L-J slants and in the Bactec MGIT 960 culture system. Among smear-positive specimens, the mycobacteria recovery rate of the biphasic medium was higher than that of the L-J slants (P<0.001) and similar to that of MGIT 960 (P>0.05). Among smear-negative specimens, the mycobacterial recovery rate of the biphasic medium was higher than that of L-J slants (P<0.001) and lower than that of MGIT 960 (P<0.05). The median times to detection of mycobacteria were 14 days, 20 days and 30 days for cultures grown in MGIT, in biphasic medium, on L-J slants for smear negative specimens, respectively (P<0.001).
The biphasic culture medium developed in this study is low-cost and suitable for mycobacterial recovery. It does not require any expensive detection instrumentation, decreases the time required for detection of M. tuberculosis complex, and increases the detection rate of M. tuberculosis complex.
Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is one of the most important aquaculture species of Cyprinidae with an annual global production of 3.4 million tons, accounting for nearly 14% of the freshwater aquaculture production in the world. Due to the economical and ecological importance of common carp, genomic data are eagerly needed for genetic improvement purpose. However, there is still no sufficient transcriptome data available. The objective of the project is to sequence transcriptome deeply and provide well-assembled transcriptome sequences to common carp research community.
Transcriptome sequencing of common carp was performed using Roche 454 platform. A total of 1,418,591 clean ESTs were collected and assembled into 36,811 cDNA contigs, with average length of 888 bp and N50 length of 1,002 bp. Annotation was performed and a total of 19,165 unique proteins were identified from assembled contigs. Gene ontology and KEGG analysis were performed and classified all contigs into functional categories for understanding gene functions and regulation pathways. Open Reading Frames (ORFs) were detected from 29,869 (81.1%) contigs with an average ORF length of 763 bp. From these contigs, 9,625 full-length cDNAs were identified with sequence length from 201 bp to 9,956 bp. Comparative analysis revealed that 27,693(75.2%) contigs have significant similarity to zebrafish Refseq proteins, and 24,371(66.2%), 24,501(66.5%) and 25,025(70.0%) to teraodon, medaka and three-spined stickleback refseq proteins. A total of 2,064 microsatellites were initially identified from 1,730 contigs, and 1,639 unique sequences had sufficient flanking sequences on both sides for primer design.
The transcriptome of common carp had been deep sequenced, de novo assembled and characterized, providing the valuable resource for better understanding of common carp genome. The transcriptome data will facilitate future functional studies on common carp genome, and gradually apply in breeding programs of common carp, as well as closely related other Cyprinids.
The personality trait of neuroticism is a risk factor for major depressive disorder (MDD), but this relationship has not been demonstrated in clinical samples from Asia.
We examined a large-scale clinical study of Chinese Han women with recurrent major depression and community-acquired controls.
Elevated levels of neuroticism increased the risk for lifetime MDD (with an odds ratio of 1.37 per SD), contributed to the comorbidity of MDD with anxiety disorders, and predicted the onset and severity of MDD. Our findings largely replicate those obtained in clinical populations in Europe and US but differ in two ways: we did not find a relationship between melancholia and neuroticism; we found lower mean scores for neuroticism (3.6 in our community control sample).
Our findings do not apply to MDD in community-acquired samples and may be limited to Han Chinese women. It is not possible to determine whether the association between neuroticism and MDD reflects a causal relationship.
Neuroticism acts as a risk factor for MDD in Chinese women, as it does in the West and may particularly predispose to comorbidity with anxiety disorders. Cultural factors may have an important effect on its measurement.
Major depressive disorder; Anxiety disorders; Neuroticism
DNA methylation is an important epigenetic modification for genomic regulation in higher organisms that plays a crucial role in the initiation and progression of diseases. The integration and mining of DNA methylation data by methylation-specific PCR and genome-wide profiling technology could greatly assist the discovery of novel candidate disease biomarkers. However, this is difficult without a comprehensive DNA methylation repository of human diseases. Therefore, we have developed DiseaseMeth, a human disease methylation database (http://bioinfo.hrbmu.edu.cn/diseasemeth). Its focus is the efficient storage and statistical analysis of DNA methylation data sets from various diseases. Experimental information from over 14 000 entries and 175 high-throughput data sets from a wide number of sources have been collected and incorporated into DiseaseMeth. The latest release incorporates the gene-centric methylation data of 72 human diseases from a variety of technologies and platforms. To facilitate data extraction, DiseaseMeth supports multiple search options such as gene ID and disease name. DiseaseMeth provides integrated gene methylation data based on cross-data set analysis for disease and normal samples. These can be used for in-depth identification of differentially methylated genes and the investigation of gene–disease relationship.
As an important epigenetic modification, DNA methylation plays a crucial role in the development of mammals and in the occurrence of complex diseases. Genes that interact directly or indirectly may have the same or similar functions in the biological processes in which they are involved and together contribute to the related disease phenotypes. The complicated relations between genes can be clearly represented using network theory. A protein-protein interaction (PPI) network offers a platform from which to systematically identify disease-related genes from the relations between genes with similar functions.
We constructed a weighted human PPI network (WHPN) using DNA methylation correlations based on human protein-protein interactions. WHPN represents the relationships of DNA methylation levels in gene pairs for four cancer types. A cancer-associated subnetwork (CASN) was obtained from WHPN by selecting genes associated with seed genes which were known to be methylated in the four cancers. We found that CASN had a more densely connected network community than WHPN, indicating that the genes in CASN were much closer to seed genes. We prioritized 154 potential cancer-related genes with aberrant methylation in CASN by neighborhood-weighting decision rule. A function enrichment analysis for GO and KEGG indicated that the optimized genes were mainly involved in the biological processes of regulating cell apoptosis and programmed cell death. An analysis of expression profiling data revealed that many of the optimized genes were expressed differentially in the four cancers. By examining the PubMed co-citations, we found 43 optimized genes were related with cancers and aberrant methylation, and 10 genes were validated to be methylated aberrantly in cancers. Of 154 optimized genes, 27 were as diagnostic markers and 20 as prognostic markers previously identified in literature for cancers and other complex diseases by searching PubMed manually. We found that 31 of the optimized genes were targeted as drug response markers in DrugBank.
Here we have shown that network theory combined with epigenetic characteristics provides a favorable platform from which to identify cancer-related genes. We prioritized 154 potential cancer-related genes with aberrant methylation that might contribute to the further understanding of cancers.
The growth factor progranulin (PGRN) has been implicated in embryonic development, tissue repair, tumorigenesis, and inflammation, but its receptors remain unidentified. We report that PGRN bound directly to tumor necrosis factor receptors (TNFR), and disturbed the TNFα/TNFR interaction. PGRN-deficient mice were susceptible to collagen-induced arthritis, and administration of PGRN reversed inflammatory arthritis. Atsttrin, an engineered protein composed of three PGRN fragments, exhibited selective TNFR binding. PGRN and Atsttrin prevented inflammation in multiple arthritis mouse models and inhibited TNFα-activated intracellular signaling. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that PGRN is a ligand of TNFR, an antagonist of TNFα signaling and plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory arthritis in mice. They also suggest new potential therapeutic interventions for various TNFα-mediated pathologies and conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis.
DNA methylation plays critical roles in transcriptional regulation and chromatin remodeling. Differentially methylated regions (DMRs) have important implications for development, aging and diseases. Therefore, genome-wide mapping of DMRs across various temporal and spatial methylomes is important in revealing the impact of epigenetic modifications on heritable phenotypic variation. We present a quantitative approach, quantitative differentially methylated regions (QDMRs), to quantify methylation difference and identify DMRs from genome-wide methylation profiles by adapting Shannon entropy. QDMR was applied to synthetic methylation patterns and methylation profiles detected by methylated DNA immunoprecipitation microarray (MeDIP-chip) in human tissues/cells. This approach can give a reasonable quantitative measure of methylation difference across multiple samples. Then DMR threshold was determined from methylation probability model. Using this threshold, QDMR identified 10 651 tissue DMRs which are related to the genes enriched for cell differentiation, including 4740 DMRs not identified by the method developed by Rakyan et al. QDMR can also measure the sample specificity of each DMR. Finally, the application to methylation profiles detected by reduced representation bisulphite sequencing (RRBS) in mouse showed the platform-free and species-free nature of QDMR. This approach provides an effective tool for the high-throughput identification of potential functional regions involved in epigenetic regulation.
CENP-E, one of spindle checkpoint proteins, plays a crucial role in the function of spindle checkpoint. Once CENP-E expression was interrupted, the chromosomes can not separate procedurally, and may result in aneuploidy which is a hallmark of most solid cancers, such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We investigate the expression of CENP-E in human hepatocellular carcinoma,. and analyze the effect of low CENP-E expression on chromosome separation in normal liver cell line (LO2).
We determined its levels in HCC and para-cancerous tissues, human hepatocellular carcinoma-derived cell line (HepG2) and LO2 cell line using real time quantitative PCR (QPCR) and Western blot. Further to know whether reduction in CENP-E expression impairs chromosomes separation in LO2 cells. we knocked down CENP-E using shRNA expressing vector and then count the aneuploid in LO2 cells using chromosomal counts assay.
We found that both CENP-E mRNA and protein levels were significantly reduced in HCC tissues and HepG2 cells compared with para-cancerous tissues and LO2 cells, respectively. A significantly-increased proportion of aneuploid in these down-knocked LO2 cells compared with those treated with control shRNA vector.
Together with other results, these results reveal that CENP-E expression was reduced in human HCC tissue, and low CENP-E expression result in aneuploidy in LO2 cells.
Oleic acid (OA) stimulates vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation and migration. The precise mechanism is still unclear. We sought to investigate the effects of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) coactivator-1 alpha (PGC-1α) on OA-induced VSMC proliferation and migration.
Oleate and palmitate, the most abundant monounsaturated fatty acid and saturated fatty acid in plasma, respectively, differently affect the mRNA and protein levels of PGC-1α in VSMCs. OA treatment resulted in a reduction of PGC-1α expression, which may be responsible for the increase in VSMC proliferation and migration caused by this fatty acid. In fact, overexpression of PGC-1α prevented OA-induced VSMC proliferation and migration while suppression of PGC-1α by siRNA enhanced the effects of OA. In contrast, palmitic acid (PA) treatment led to opposite effects. This saturated fatty acid induced PGC-1α expression and prevented OA-induced VSMC proliferation and migration. Mechanistic study demonstrated that the effects of PGC-1α on VSMC proliferation and migration result from its capacity to prevent ERK phosphorylation.
OA and PA regulate PGC-1α expression in VSMCs differentially. OA stimulates VSMC proliferation and migration via suppression of PGC-1α expression while PA reverses the effects of OA by inducing PGC-1α expression. Upregulation of PGC-1α in VSMCs provides a potential novel strategy in preventing atherosclerosis.
This report describes the genetic characterization of 297 wild-type measles viruses that were isolated in 24 provinces of China between 1995 and 2003. Phylogenetic analysis of the N gene sequences showed that all of the isolates belonged to genotype H1 except 3 isolates, which were genotype A. The nucleotide sequence and predicted amino acid homologies of the 294-genotype H1 strains were 94.7%–100% and 93.3%–100%, respectively. The genotype H1 isolates were divided into 2 clusters, which differed by approximately 2.9% at the nucleotide level. Viruses from both clusters were distributed throughout China with no apparent geographic restriction and multiple co-circulating lineages were present in many provinces. Even though other measles genotypes have been detected in countries that border China, this report shows that genotype H1 is widely distributed throughout the country and that China has a single, endemic genotype. This important baseline data will help to monitor the progress of measles control in China.
Human adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ADSCs) are an attractive multipotent stem cell source with therapeutic applicability across diverse fields for the repair and regeneration of acute and chronically damaged tissues. In recent years, there has been increasing interest in ADSC for tissue engineering applications. However, the mechanisms underlying the regulation of ADSC proliferation are not fully understood. Here we show that 47 transcripts are up-regulated while 23 are down-regulated in ADSC compared to terminally differentiated cells based on global mRNA profiling and microRNA profiling. Among the up-regulated genes, the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is fine-tuned by miR-199a-5p. Further investigation indicates that VEGF accelerates ADSC proliferation whereas the multipotency of ADSC remains stable in terms of adipogenic, chondrogenic and osteogenic potentials after VEGF treatment, suggesting that VEGF may serve as an excellent supplement for accelerating ADSC proliferation during in vitro expansion.