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1.  Hepatitis B virus infection in a cohort of HIV infected blood donors and AIDS patients in Sichuan, China 
Background
Co-infections of HBV and HIV are frequent due to similar routes of transmission. In that transmission through blood is an important route for both HBV and HIV, evaluation of the prevalence of HBV in HIV infected blood donors may be important for transfusion safety. In addition, because the epidemiological characteristics of HBV in HIV infected patients and blood donors may differ from each other, understanding of it could be significant for therapy and prevention of HBV in HIV infected adults. However, data reported on these in Chinese people remains limited.
Methods
614 HIV confirmed positive samples were collected from blood donors and patients and were screened for HBsAg and HBV DNA. The samples screened reactive for HBsAg or positive for HBV DNA were tested for the other serological markers of HBV including anti-HBs, HBeAg, anti-HBe and anti-HBc. For the samples tested positive for HBV DNA, the S region of HBV was amplified by nested PCR and the HBV genotypes were determined.
Results
HBV coinfections were found in 12.9% (79/614) HIV infected individuals including 42/417(10.1%) blood donors and 37/197 (18.8%) AIDS patients. In the HBsAg positive individuals, 80.0% were HBeAg negative in which 10.0% were HBV DNA negative and 38.3% with HBV DNA lower than 2000 IU/ml. The average HBV DNA levels were lower in donors than in patients. In the HBV DNA positive populations, HBV genotypes B, A and C accounted for 48.1%, 22.8% and 8.86% respectively. Mutations related to the failure of HBsAg detection were found in 2 of the 4 HBsAg-/HBV DNA + subjects.
Conclusions
High prevalence of HBV in HIV infected individuals was found in this study. Hence, we recommend routine testing of HBV for patients newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in China. Some HIV-HBV co-infected patients remain undiagnosed if only conventional serological markers for HBV are used and it’s important to detect HBV DNA for HIV infected patients. HBV DNA levels were relatively low in HBeAg negative patients, thus this serologic marker may be useful in prioritizing patients on their need for HBV treatment in settings in which HBV DNA is not available.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-12-164
PMCID: PMC4067527  PMID: 24923206
HIV; HBV; Blood donors; AIDS patients
2.  Nonspecific changes in clinical laboratory indicators in unselected terminally ill patients and a model to predict survival time based on a prospective observational study 
Background
The clinical prediction of survival is among the most challenging tasks because it refers to the process whereby the medical team assimilates clinical data using subjective methods. The purpose of this prospective observational study was to develop a model for evaluating survival time using objective laboratory parameters.
Methods
Albumin (ALB), creatinine (CRE), C-reactive protein (CRP) and the neutrophilic leukocyte count (NEU) were measured using automated analysers. A total of 177 subjects with any one positive item of 4 items were included in the study. Age on the observation date and date of death were recorded.
Results
ALB, CRE, CRP and the NEU were all significant predictors of survival time (p < 0.05). The median survival time of patients with anyone of the 4 items positive would be over 1 year; if any 2 items were positive, the median survival time was approximately 1 year; if any 3 items were positive, the median survival time was approximately 4 months and if 4 items were positive, the median survival time was approximately 20 days.
Conclusions
This study suggests that a model using ALB, CRE, CRP and the NEU is potentially useful in the objective evaluation of survival time in terminally ill patients.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-12-78
PMCID: PMC3994344  PMID: 24655421
Critical care medicine; Survival time; Laboratory medicine
3.  GJB2 mutation spectrum in 2063 Chinese patients with nonsyndromic hearing impairment 
Background
Mutations in GJB2 are the most common molecular defects responsible for autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing impairment (NSHI). The mutation spectra of this gene vary among different ethnic groups.
Methods
In order to understand the spectrum and frequency of GJB2 mutations in the Chinese population, the coding region of the GJB2 gene from 2063 unrelated patients with NSHI was PCR amplified and sequenced.
Results
A total of 23 pathogenic mutations were identified. Among them, five (p.W3X, c.99delT, c.155_c.158delTCTG, c.512_c.513insAACG, and p.Y152X) are novel. Three hundred and seven patients carry two confirmed pathogenic mutations, including 178 homozygotes and 129 compound heterozygotes. One hundred twenty five patients carry only one mutant allele. Thus, GJB2 mutations account for 17.9% of the mutant alleles in 2063 NSHI patients. Overall, 92.6% (684/739) of the pathogenic mutations are frame-shift truncation or nonsense mutations. The four prevalent mutations; c.235delC, c.299_c.300delAT, c.176_c.191del16, and c.35delG, account for 88.0% of all mutantalleles identified. The frequency of GJB2 mutations (alleles) varies from 4% to 30.4% among different regions of China. It also varies among different sub-ethnic groups.
Conclusion
In some regions of China, testing of the three most common mutations can identify at least one GJB2 mutant allele in all patients. In other regions such as Tibet, the three most common mutations account for only 16% the GJB2 mutant alleles. Thus, in this region, sequencing of GJB2 would be recommended. In addition, the etiology of more than 80% of the mutant alleles for NSHI in China remains to be identified. Analysis of other NSHI related genes will be necessary.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-7-26
PMCID: PMC2679712  PMID: 19366456
4.  Transcriptional patterns, biomarkers and pathways characterizing nasopharyngeal carcinoma of Southern China 
Background
The pathogenesis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a complicated process involving genetic predisposition, Epstein-Bar Virus infection, and genetic alterations. Although some oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes have been previously reported in NPC, a complete understanding of the pathogenesis of NPC in the context of global gene expression, transcriptional pathways and biomarker assessment remains to be elucidated.
Methods
Total RNA from 32 pathologically-confirmed cases of poorly-differentiated NPC was divided into pools inclusive of four consecutive specimens and each pool (T1 to T8) was co-hybridized with pooled RNA from 24 normal non-cancerous nasopharyngeal tissues (NP) to a human 8K cDNA array platform. The reliability of microarray data was validated for selected genes by semi-quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry.
Results
Stringent statistical filtering parameters identified 435 genes to be up-regulated and 257 genes to be down-regulated in NPC compared to NP. Seven up-regulated genes including CYC1, MIF, LAMB3, TUBB2, UBE2C and TRAP1 had been previously proposed as candidate common cancer biomarkers based on a previous extensive comparison among various cancers and normal tissues which did not, however, include NPC or NP. In addition, nine known oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, MIF, BIRC5, PTTG1, ATM, FOXO1A, TGFBR2, PRKAR1A, KLF5 and PDCD4 were identified through the microarray literature-based annotation search engine MILANO, suggesting these genes may be specifically involved in the promotion of the malignant conversion of nasopharyngeal epithelium. Finally, we found that these differentially expressed genes were involved in apoptosis, MAPK, VEGF and B cell receptor signaling pathways and other functions associated with cell growth, signal transduction and immune system activation.
Conclusion
This study identified potential candidate biomarkers, oncogenes/tumor suppressor genes involved in several pathways relevant to the oncogenesis of NPC. This information may facilitate the determination of diagnostic and therapeutic targets for NPC as well as provide insights about the molecular pathogenesis of NPC.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-6-32
PMCID: PMC2443113  PMID: 18570662
5.  NADPH oxidase p47phox siRNA attenuates adventitial fibroblasts proliferation and migration in apoE(-/-) mouse 
Background
Reactive oxide species (ROS) derived from NADPH oxidases is involved in atherosclerosis. However, as a key component of NADPH oxidase, how p47phox regulates NADPH oxidases activity, ROS production and adventitial fibroblasts (AFs) function remains unclear.
Methods
p47phox in aortic arteries of apoE(-/-) mice fed with hyperlipid diet was detected by immunohistochemistry. NADPH oxidase activity, superoxide anion (O2−) generation and p47phox expression were analyzed in primary AFs treated by diphenyleneiodonium (DPI). The proliferation and migration of AFs were also analyzed.
Results
p47phox expression was low in the aortic adventitia but high in the site of intimal injury with continuous hyperlipidic diet. Compared to AFs from wild-type mice, AFs derived from apoE(-/-) mice exhibited elevated NADPH oxidase activity, O2− production and higher mRNA and protein levels of p47phox, correlated with increased capability of proliferation and migration. DPI inhibited NADPH oxidase activity and AFs proliferation and migration in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, siRNA mediated knockdown of p47phox attenuated the proliferation and migration of AFs derived from apoE(-/-) mice.
Conclusion
p47phox plays a critical role in the regulation of adventitial fibroblast proliferation and migration and may be a new therapeutic target for neointimal hyperplasia.
doi:10.1186/s12967-015-0407-2
PMCID: PMC4312606  PMID: 25628043
NADPH oxidase; p47phox; Adventitia fibroblasts; Atherosclerosis; ApoE(-/-)
6.  Exogenous IFN-beta regulates the RANKL-c-Fos-IFN-beta signaling pathway in the collagen antibody-induced arthritis model 
Background
Although a variety of drugs have been used to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), none of them are able to cure the disease. Interferon β (IFN-β) has pleiotropic effects on RA, but whether it can be used to treat RA remains globally controversial. Thus, in this study we tested the effects of IFN-β on RA patients and on collagen antibody-induced arthritis (CAIA) model mice.
Methods
The cytokine and auto-antibody expression profiles in the serum and synovial fluid (SF) from RA patients were assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and compared with the results from osteoarthritis (OA) patients. Exogenous IFN-β was administered to RA patients and CAIA model mice, and the therapeutic effects were evaluated. Endogenous IFN-β expression in the joint bones of CAIA model mice was evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). The effects of exogenous IFN-β on CAIA model mice were assessed using a clinical scoring system, hematoxylin eosin and safranin-O with fast green counterstain histology, molybdenum target X-ray, and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining. The RANKL-RANK signaling pathway was analyzed using qRT-PCR. The RAW 264.7 cell line was differentiated into osteoclasts with RANKL stimulation and then treated with exogenous IFN-β.
Results
The expression of inflammatory cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-17, MMP-3, and RANKL) and auto-antibodies (CII antibodies, RF-IgM, and anti-CCP/GPI) were significantly higher in RA compared with OA patients. After IFN-β intervention, some clinical symptoms in RA patients were partially alleviated, and the expression of IFN-γ, IL-17, MMP-3, and OPG) returned to normal levels. In the CAIA model, the expression of endogenous IFN-β in the joint bones was decreased. After IFN-β administration, the arthritis scores were decreased; synovial inflammation, cartilage, and bone destruction were clearly attenuated; and the expression of c-Fos and NFATc1 were reduced, while RANKL and TRAF6 expression was unchanged. In addition, exogenous IFN-β directly inhibited RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis.
Conclusions
Exogenous IFN-β administration immunomodulates CAIA, may reduce joint inflammation and, perhaps more importantly, bone destruction by inhibiting the RANKL-c-Fos signaling pathway. Exogenous IFN-β intervention should be selectively used on RA patients because it may only be useful for RA patients with low endogenous IFN-β expression.
doi:10.1186/s12967-014-0330-y
PMCID: PMC4273316  PMID: 25491303
Rheumatoid arthritis; Interferon-β; Collagen II antibody-induced arthritis; Receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand; c-Fos
7.  Achyranthes bidentata extract exerts osteoprotective effects on steroid-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head in rats by regulating RANKL/RANK/OPG signaling 
Background
Steroid-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head (steroid-induced ONFH) presents great challenges due to the various effects of steroids on multi-system pathways involved into osteoblast differentiation, osteoblast and osteoclast apoptosis, lipid metabolism, calcium metabolism and coagulation. As one of the most frequently used herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine formulas that are prescribed for the regulation of bone and mineral metabolism, the therapeutic effects of Achyranthes bidentata on steroid-induced ONFH remain unclear. Thus, the aim of the current study was to verify whether Achyranthes bidentata extract (ABE) can be used to prevent steroid-induced ONFH and to investigate its underlying pharmacological mechanisms.
Methods
Steroid-induced ONFH rat models were established to evaluate the effects of ABE treatment on osteonecrotic changes and repair processes. Microfocal computed tomography (Micro-CT) was performed to assess the effects of ABE treatment on bone mass, microstructure, and vascularization. Then, the effects of ABE treatment on osteoclast differentiation and bone formation were also evaluated in vivo and in vitro. In addition, receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B (RANK), RANK ligand (RANKL), and osteoprotegerin (OPG) expression in sera, femoral heads and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) were detected at both protein and mRNA levels.
Results
The ratio of empty lacuna, adipose tissue area, and adipocyte perimeter in the bone marrow were markedly lower in the ABE treatment groups than in the model group. Micro-CT evaluation indicated that ABE treatment could improve the microstructure of the trabecular bone, increase bone mineral density and promote vascularization in steroid-induced ONFH rats. Moreover, ABE treatment inhibited osteoclast differentiation and activated bone formation markers. Interestingly, OPG downregulation, RANK and RANKL upregulation, and an increased ratio of RANKL to OPG in sera and necrotic femoral head could be reversed by ABE treatment, which also effectively inhibited RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation and regulated RANKL and OPG expression of in vitro.
Conclusion
ABE may prevent steroid-induced ONFH and alleviate steroid-induced bone deterioration by regulating the RANKL/RANK/OPG signaling pathway.
doi:10.1186/s12967-014-0334-7
PMCID: PMC4256888  PMID: 25471933
Achyranthes bidentata extract; Steroid-induced osteonecrosis; Femoral head; Osteoprotective; RANKL/RANK/OPG signaling pathway
8.  miR-200c Inhibits invasion, migration and proliferation of bladder cancer cells through down-regulation of BMI-1 and E2F3 
Background
MicroRNA-200c (miR-200c) is one of the short noncoding RNAs that play crucial roles in tumorigenesis and tumor progression. It also acts as considerable modulator in the process of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a cell development regulating process that affects tumor development and metastasis. However, the role of miR-200c in bladder cancer cells and its mechanism has not been well studied. The purpose of this study was to determine the potential role of miR-200c in regulating EMT and how it contributed to bladder cancer cells in invasion, migration and proliferation.
Methods
Real-time reverse transcription-PCR was used to identify and validate the differential expression of MiR-200c involved in EMT in 4 bladder cancer cell lines and clinical specimens. A list of potential miR-200 direct targets was identified through the TargetScan database. The precursor of miR-200c was over-expressed in UMUC-3 and T24 cells using a lentivirus construct, respectively. Protein expression and signaling pathway modulation were validated through Western blot analysis and confocal microscopy, whereas BMI-1 and E2F3, direct target of miR-200c, were validated by using the wild-type and mutant 3′-untranslated region BMI-1/E2F3 luciferase reporters.
Results
We demonstrate that MiR-200c is down-regulated in bladder cancer specimens compared with adjacent ones in the same patient. Luciferase assays showed that the direct down-regulation of BMI-1 and E2F3 were miR-200c-dependent because mutations in the two putative miR-200c-binding sites have rescued the inhibitory effect. Over-expression of miR-200c in bladder cancer cells resulted in significantly decreased the capacities of cell invasion, migration and proliferation. miR-200c over-expression resulted in conspicuous down-regulation of BMI-1and E2F3 expression and in a concomitant increase in E-cadherin levels.
Conclusions
miR-200c appears to control the EMT process through BMI-1 in bladder cancer cells, and it inhibits their proliferation through down-regulating E2F3. The targets of miR-200c include BMI-1 and E2F3, which are a novel regulator of EMT and a regulator of proliferation, respectively.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12967-014-0305-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12967-014-0305-z
PMCID: PMC4226852  PMID: 25367080
miR-200c; BMI-1; E2F3; Bladder cancer cells
9.  Aurora-A contributes to cisplatin resistance and lymphatic metastasis in non-small cell lung cancer and predicts poor prognosis 
Background
Platinum-based chemotherapy improves survival among patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but the efficiency is limited due to resistance. In this study, we aimed to identify the expression of Aurora-A and its correlation with cisplatin resistance and prognosis in NSCLC.
Methods
We used immunohistochemical analysis to determine the expression of Aurora-A protein in 102 NSCLC patients treated by surgery and adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy. The prognostic significances were assessed by Kaplan-Meier survival estimates and Cox models. The potential role of Aurora-A in the regulation of cisplatin resistance in NSCLC cells was examined by transfections using expression vector and small interfering RNA or using small-molecule inhibitors.
Results
Aurora-A expression was significantly associated with clinical stage (p = 0.018), lymph node metastasis (p = 0.038) and recurrence (p = 0.005), and was an independent prognostic parameter in multivariate analysis. High level of Aurora-A expression predicted poorer overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). In vitro data showed that Aurora-A expression was elevated in cisplatin-resistant lung cancer cells, and overexpression or knockdown of Aurora-A resulted in increased or decreased cellular resistance to cisplatin. Furthermore, inhibition of Aurora-A reversed the migration ability of cisplatin-resistant cells.
Conclusions
The current findings suggest that high Aurora-A expression is correlated with cisplatin-based chemotherapeutic resistance and predicts poor patient survival in NSCLC. Aurora-A might serve as a predictive biomarker of drug response and therapeutic target to reverse chemotherapy resistance.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-12-200
PMCID: PMC4237886  PMID: 25082261
Non-small cell lung cancer; Aurora-A; Cisplatin resistance; Prognosis; Metastasis
10.  An innovative system for 3D clinical photography in the resource-limited settings 
Background
Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) is the most frequently occurring cancer in Mozambique among men and the second most frequently occurring cancer among women. Effective therapeutic treatments for KS are poorly understood in this area. There is an unmet need to develop a simple but accurate tool for improved monitoring and diagnosis in a resource-limited setting. Standardized clinical photographs have been considered to be an essential part of the evaluation.
Methods
When a therapeutic response is achieved, nodular KS often exhibits a reduction of the thickness without a change in the base area of the lesion. To evaluate the vertical space along with other characters of a KS lesion, we have created an innovative imaging system with a consumer light-field camera attached to a miniature “photography studio” adaptor. The image file can be further processed by computational methods for quantification.
Results
With this novel imaging system, each high-quality 3D image was consistently obtained with a single camera shot at bedside by minimally trained personnel. After computational processing, all-focused photos and measurable 3D parameters were obtained. More than 80 KS image sets were processed in a semi-automated fashion.
Conclusions
In this proof-of-concept study, the feasibility to use a simple, low-cost and user-friendly system has been established for future clinical study to monitor KS therapeutic response. This 3D imaging system can be also applied to obtain standardized clinical photographs for other diseases.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-12-169
PMCID: PMC4065604  PMID: 24929434
11.  miR-200b as a prognostic factor in breast cancer targets multiple members of RAB family 
Background
miR-200b has been reported to be a tumor suppressor and a promising therapeutic target in cancer. miR-200b has been associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition and chemo-resistance in cancer. The aim of this study is to investigate the expression of miR-200b, its prognostic roles and its potential targets in breast cancer.
Methods
qRT-PCR was used to detect miR-200b expression in breast cancer tissues and cell lines. In situ hybridization of miR-200b on tissue microarray including 134 breast cancer samples was used to evaluate its prognostic role. Novel targets of miR-200b in breast cancer were predicted and confirmed by luciferase reporter assay and western bloting. Immunohistochemical staining was used for protein detection. The biological effects of miR-200b in breast cancer cells were further confirmed by ectopic expression of its mimics followed by MTT assay and invasion test.
Results
miR-200b was downregulated in breast cancer tissues and cell lines and its low-expression correlated with poor outcome in breast cancer patients. Members of RAB family, RAB21, RAB23, RAB18 and RAB3B were predicted to be the targets of miR-200b. The luciferase reporter assay was performed to certificate this prediction. The expressions of RAB21, RAB23, RAB18 and RAB3B were suppressed by transfection of miR-200b in breast cancer cells. Over-expression of miR-200b or knock-down of RAB21, RAB23, RAB18 and RAB3B inhibited breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion in vitro.
Conclusions
Our study provides evidence that miR-200b is a prognostic factor in breast cancer targeting multiple members of RAB family. MiR-200b could be a potential therapeutic target in breast cancer.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-12-17
PMCID: PMC3898994  PMID: 24447584
miR-200b; RAB family; Breast cancer; Prognosis
12.  Forkhead box transcription factor 1 expression in gastric cancer: FOXM1 is a poor prognostic factor and mediates resistance to docetaxel 
Background
Forkhead box transcription factor 1 (FOXM1) has been reported to overexpress and correlate with pathogenesis in a variety of human malignancies. However, little research has been done to investigate its clinical significance in gastric cancer.
Methods
We examined the expression of FOXM1 in 103 postoperational gastric cancer tissues and 5 gastric cell lines by immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis respectively. Data on clinic-pathological features and relevant prognostic factors in these patients were then analyzed. Moreover, the association of FOXM1 expression and chemosensitivity to docetaxel in gastric cancer cells was further explored.
Results
Our study demonstrated that the level of FOXM1 expression was significantly higher in gastric cancer than in para-cancer tissues (P < 0.001) and normal gastric cell lines (P = 0.026). No significant association was found between FOXM1 expression and any clinical pathological features (P > 0.1). FOXM1 amplification was identified as an independent prognostic factor in gastric cancer (P = 0.001), and its affection is more significant in patients with tumor size larger than 5 cm (P = 0.004), pT3-4 (P = 0.003) or pIII-IV (P = 0.001). Additionally, shown to mediate docetaxel resistance in gastric cancers by our research, FOXM1 was revealed to alter microtubule dynamics in response to the treatment of docetaxel, and the drug resistance could be reversed with FOXM1 inhibitor thiostrepton treatment.
Conclusions
FOXM1 can be a useful marker for predicting patients’ prognosis and monitoring docetaxel response, and might be a new therapeutic target in docetaxel resistant gastric cancer.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-11-204
PMCID: PMC3766246  PMID: 24004449
FOXM1; Gastric cancer; Prognosis; Docetaxel resistance
13.  Dexmedetomidine protects against renal ischemia and reperfusion injury by inhibiting the JAK/STAT signaling activation 
Background
The α2-adrenoreceptor agonist dexmedetomidine is known to provide renoprotection against ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) injury. However the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the Janus kinase and signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT) signaling pathway plays a role in dexmedetomidine’s renoprotection.
Methods
I/R model was induced by bilateral renal pedicle clamping for 45 min followed by 48 h of reperfusion in male Wistar rat. Sham laparotomy served as controls. Animals received dexmedetomidine (50 μg/kg, i.p.) in the absence or presence of atipamezole (250 μg/kg, i.p.), or vehicle (DMSO) in the absence or presence of selective JAK2 inhibitor tyrphostin AG490 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) before ischemia. Renal function, histology, apoptosis, expression of cleaved caspase 3 protein, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and phosphorylations of JAK2, STAT1 and STAT3 were assessed.
Results
The animals treated with either dexmedetomidine or AG490 exhibited an improved renal functional recovery, attenuated histological lesions and reduced number of apoptotic tubular epithelial cells. Either dexmedetomidine or AG490 inhibited the phosphorylations of JAK2 and its downstream molecule STAT1 and STAT3, accompanied by down-regulation the expression of cleaved caspase 3, ICAM-1 and MCP-1 proteins, and significantly ameliorated renal I/R injury.
Conclusions
Dexmedetomidine protects kidney against I/R injury, at least in part, through its inhibitory effects on injury-induced activation of JAK/STAT signaling pathway. If our data can be extrapolated to clinical setting, then dexmedetomidine may therefore serve as a clinical strategy to treat/prevent perioperative renal I/R injury.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-11-141
PMCID: PMC3700850  PMID: 23759023
Dexmedetomidine; Ischemia and Reperfusion Injury; AG490; JAK/STAT; Renoprotection
14.  Low expression of PTK6/Brk predicts poor prognosis in patients with laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma 
Background
Protein tyrosine kinase 6 (PTK6), also known as breast tumor kinase (Brk), was a nonreceptor tyrosine kinase containing SH3, SH2, and tyrosine kinase catalytic domains. The deregulated expression of PTK6 was observed in various human cancers. However, little was known about PTK6 expression and its clinicopathological significance in human laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC).
Materials
PTK6 expression was evaluated in 7 pairs of surgically resectable laryngeal tissues by Western blotting and in 13 pairs of surgically resectable laryngeal tissues by reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR). Using immunohistochemistry, we performed a retrospective study of the PTK6 expression levels on 134 archival LSCC paraffin-embedded samples. Prognostic outcomes correlated with PTK6 were examined using Kaplan–Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards model.
Results
The PTK6 expression level was lower in LSCC tissues than in the adjacent noncancerous epithelial laryngeal tissues by Western blots and RT-PCR. By immunohistochemical analysis, we observed high expression of PTK6 in 25 of 76 (32.9%) adjacent noncancerous epithelial laryngeal tissues and in 39 of 134 (29.1%) of LSCC, respectively. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that pN status and the expression level of PTK6 (P < 0.05) were independent and significant prognostic factors. In the primary LSCC category, median DFS (disease free survival) of high, medium and low PTK6 expression patients were 88.5 months ,74.5 months and 49.0 months (log-rank test, P = 0.002); median OS (overall survival) of high, medium and low PTK6 expression patients were 88.5 months ,76.3 months and 65.7 months (log-rank test, P = 0.002). Reduced cytoplasmic PTK6 expression in LSCC was significantly associated with late pN status (P =0.005, r = 0.27), advanced pTNM stages (III and IV) (P =0.027, r = 0.147), and poor differentiated LSCC (P <0.0001, r = 0.486). In adjacent paracancerous laryngeal epithelial samples, median DFS of high, medium and low PTK6 expression patients were 92.6 months ,75.6 months and 48.5 months (log-rank test, P = 0.020); median OS of high, medium and low PTK6 expression patients were 92.9 months ,78.9 months and 74.6 months (log-rank test, P = 0.042).
Conclusion
The present findings indicated that cytoplasmic PTK6 expression is a potential prognostic factor for survival in LSCC patients. High expression of PTK6 was associated with favorable OS and DFS in LSCC patients.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-11-59
PMCID: PMC3599503  PMID: 23497344
PTK6/Brk; Laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma; Prognosis
15.  Overexpression of FoxM1 is associated with tumor progression in patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma 
Background
Fork head box M1 (FoxM1) is a proliferation-associated transcription factor essential for cell cycle progression. Numerous studies have documented that FoxM1 has multiple functions in tumorigenesis and its elevated levels are frequently associated with cancer progression. The present study was conducted to investigate the expression of FoxM1 and its prognostic significance in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Meanwhile, the function of FoxM1 in human ccRCC was further investigated in cell culture models.
Methods
Real-time quantitative PCR, western blot and immunohistochemistry were used to explore FoxM1 expression in ccRCC cell lines and primary ccRCC clinical specimens. FoxM1 expression was knocked down by small interfering RNA (siRNA) in Caki-1 and 786-O cells; proliferation, colony formation, cell cycle, migration, invasion, and angiogenesis were assayed.
Results
FoxM1 expression was up-regulated in the majority of the ccRCC clinical tissue specimens at both mRNA and protein levels. Clinic pathological analysis showed that FoxM1 expression was significantly correlated with primary tumor stage (P <0.001), lymph node metastasis (P = 0.01), distant metastasis (P = 0.01), TNM stage (P < 0.001) and histological grade (P = 0.003). The Kaplan–Meier survival curves revealed that high FoxM1 expression was associated with poor prognosis in ccRCC patients (P < 0.001). FoxM1 expression was an independent prognostic marker of overall ccRCC patient survival in a multivariate analysis (P = 0.008). Experimentally, we found that down-regulation of FoxM1 inhibited cell proliferation and induced cell cycle arrest with reduced expression of cyclin B1, cyclin D1, and Cdk2, and increased expression of p21 and p27. Also, down-regulation of FoxM1 reduced expression and activity of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), MMP-9 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), resulting in the inhibition of migration, invasion, and angiogenesis.
Conclusions
These results suggest that FoxM1 expression is likely to play important roles in ccRCC development and progression, and that FoxM1 is a prognostic biomarker and a promising therapeutic target for ccRCC.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-10-200
PMCID: PMC3492118  PMID: 23006512
Renal cell carcinoma; FoxM1; Prognosis; Small interfering RNA
16.  Prediction consistency and clinical presentations of breast cancer molecular subtypes for Han Chinese population 
Journal of Translational Medicine  2012;10(Suppl 1):S10.
Background
Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease in terms of transcriptional aberrations; moreover, microarray gene expression profiles had defined 5 molecular subtypes based on certain intrinsic genes. This study aimed to evaluate the prediction consistency of breast cancer molecular subtypes from 3 distinct intrinsic gene sets (Sørlie 500, Hu 306 and PAM50) as well as clinical presentations of each molecualr subtype in Han Chinese population.
Methods
In all, 169 breast cancer samples (44 from Taiwan and 125 from China) of Han Chinese population were gathered, and the gene expression features corresponding to 3 distinct intrinsic gene sets (Sørlie 500, Hu 306 and PAM50) were retrieved for molecular subtype prediction.
Results
For Sørlie 500 and Hu 306 intrinsic gene set, mean-centring of genes and distance-weighted discrimination (DWD) remarkably reduced the number of unclassified cases. Regarding pairwise agreement, the highest predictive consistency was found between Hu 306 and PAM50. In all, 150 and 126 samples were assigned into identical subtypes by both Hu 306 and PAM50 genes, under mean-centring and DWD. Luminal B tended to show a higher nuclear grade and have more HER2 over-expression status than luminal A did. No basal-like breast tumours were ER positive, and most HER2-enriched breast tumours showed HER2 over-expression, whereas, only two-thirds of ER negativity/HER2 over-expression tumros were predicted as HER2-enriched molecular subtype. For 44 Taiwanese breast cancers with survival data, a better prognosis of luminal A than luminal B subtype in ER-postive breast cancers and a better prognosis of basal-like than HER2-enriched subtype in ER-negative breast cancers was observed.
Conclusions
We suggest that the intrinsic signature Hu 306 or PAM50 be used for breast cancers in the Han Chinese population during molecular subtyping. For the prognostic value and decision making based on intrinsic subtypes, further prospective study with longer survival data is needed.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-10-S1-S10
PMCID: PMC3445863  PMID: 23046482
17.  Nuclear overexpression of metastasis-associated protein 1 correlates significantly with poor survival in nasopharyngeal carcinoma 
Background
Metastasis-associated protein 1 (MTA1) has been associated with poor prognosis in several malignant carcinomas. The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression and prognostic value of MTA1 in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).
Methods
MTA1 expression was assessed using immunohistochemistry in paraffin-embedded tumor specimens from 208 untreated NPC patients. Cox regression analysis was used to calculate the hazard ratio (HR), 95% confidence interval (CI) and identify independent prognostic factors, and recursive partitioning analysis was used to create a decision tree.
Results
Nuclear overexpression of MTA1 was observed in 48.6% (101/208) of the NPC tissues. Nuclear overexpression of MTA1 correlated positively with N classification (P = 0.02), clinical stage (P = 0.04), distant metastasis (P < 0.01) and death (P = 0.01). Additionally, nuclear overexpression of MTA1 correlated significantly with poorer distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS; P <0.01) and poorer overall survival (OS; P < 0.01). MTA1 had prognostic significance in NPC patients with stage II disease, but not stage III or IV disease. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that nuclear overexpression of MTA1 was independently associated with poorer DMFS (HR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.13–3.72; P = 0.02) and poorer OS (HR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.09–3.59; P = 0.03). Using recursive partitioning analysis, the NPC patients could be classified with a low, intermediate or high risk of distant metastasis and death, on the basis of clinical stage, age and MTA1 expression.
Conclusion
The results of this study suggest that nuclear overexpression of MTA1 correlates significantly with poorer DMFS and poorer OS in NPC. MTA1 has potential as a novel prognostic biomarker in NPC.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-10-78
PMCID: PMC3478212  PMID: 22537306
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Biomarker; MTA1; Prognosis
18.  Long-term fenofibrate treatment impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and up-regulated pancreatic NF-kappa B and iNOS expression in monosodium glutamate-induced obese rats: Is that a latent disadvantage? 
Background
Fenofibrate, a PPAR alpha agonist, has been widely used in clinics as lipid-regulating agent. PPAR alpha is known to be expressed in many organs including pancreatic beta cells and regulate genes involved in fatty acid metabolism. Some reports based on cell lines or animals have provided evidences that PPAR alpha agonists may affect (increased or suppressed) beta cell insulin secretion, and several studies are producing interesting but still debated results.
Methods
In this research, we investigated the long term effects of fenofibrate on beta cell function in a metabolic syndrome animal model, monosodium glutamate (MSG) induced obese rats. Obese MSG rats were administered by gavage with fenofibrate at a dose of 100 mg/kg for 12 weeks. Oral glucose tolerance and insulin tolerance tests were performed to evaluate glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. We have used the hyperglycemic clamp technique to evaluate the capacity of beta cell insulin secretion. This technique provides an unbiased approach to understand the beta cell function in vivo. The changes of gene and protein expression in the pancreas and islets were also analyzed by Real-Time-PCR, Western blot and immunostaining.
Results
Fenofibrate reduced the plasma lipid levels within a few days, and showed no beneficial effects on glucose homeostasis or insulin sensitivity in obese MSG rats. But the animals treated with fenofibrate exhibited significantly decreased fasting plasma insulin and impaired insulin secretory response to glucose stimulation. Further studies confirmed that fenofibrate increased MDA level and decreased total ATPase activity in pancreatic mitochondrion, accompanied by the upregulation of iNOS and NF-kappa B and TNF alpha expression in pancreatic islets of obese MSG rats.
Conclusions
Long-term fenofibrate treatment disrupted beta cell function, and impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in obese MSG rats, perhaps to some extent associated with the activated inflammatory pathway and increased formation of oxidative products, especially the up-regulation of NF-kappa B and iNOS expression in islets.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-9-176
PMCID: PMC3223503  PMID: 21999347
19.  MicroRNA-134 as a potential plasma biomarker for the diagnosis of acute pulmonary embolism 
Background
Acute pulmonary embolism (APE) remains a diagnostic challenge due to a variable clinical presentation and the lack of a reliable screening tool. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression in a wide range of pathophysiologic processes. Circulating miRNAs are emerging biomarkers in heart failure, type 2 diabetes and other disease states; however, using plasma miRNAs as biomarkers for the diagnosis of APE is still unknown.
Methods
Thirty-two APE patients, 32 healthy controls, and 22 non-APE patients (reported dyspnea, chest pain, or cough) were enrolled in this study. The TaqMan miRNA microarray was used to identify dysregulated miRNAs in the plasma of APE patients. The TaqMan-based miRNA quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reactions were used to validate the dysregulated miRNAs. The receiver-operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was conducted to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the miRNA identified as the candidate biomarker.
Results
Plasma miRNA-134 (miR-134) level was significantly higher in the APE patients than in the healthy controls or non-APE patients. The ROC curve showed that plasma miR-134 was a specific diagnostic predictor of APE with an area under the curve of 0.833 (95% confidence interval, 0.737 to 0.929; P < 0.001).
Conclusions
Our findings indicated that plasma miR-134 could be an important biomarker for the diagnosis of APE. Because of this finding, large-scale investigations are urgently needed to pave the way from basic research to clinical utilization.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-9-159
PMCID: PMC3189884  PMID: 21943159
20.  Effects of transplantation with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells modified by Survivin on experimental stroke in rats 
Background
This study was performed to determine whether injury induced by cerebral ischemia could be further improved by transplantation with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) modified by Survivin (SVV).
Methods
MSCs derived from bone marrow of male Sprague-Dawley rats were infected by the self-inactive lentiviral vector GCFU carrying green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene and SVV recombinant vector (GCFU-SVV). In vitro, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) were detected in infected MSCs supernatants under hypoxic conditions by ELSIA. In vivo, experiments consisted of three groups, one receiving intravenous injection of 500 μl of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) without cells (control group) and two groups administered the same volume solution with either three million GFP-MSCs (group GFP) or SVV/GFP-MSCs (group SVV). All animals were submitted to 2-hour middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and then reperfusion. Differentiation and survival of the transplanted MSCs were determined by confocal microscope. Western blot was used to detect the expression of VEGF and bFGF in ischemic tissue. A 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining was used to assess the infarct volume. Evaluation of neurological function was performed using a modified Neurological Severity Score (mNSS).
Results
In vitro, modification with SVV further increased secretion of VEGF and bFGF under hypoxic condition. In vivo, only very few transplantated cells co-expressed GFP and NeuN. The survival transplanted cells in the group SVV was 1.3-fold at 4 days after transplantation and 3.4-fold higher at 14 days after transplantation, respectively, when compared with group GFP. Expression of VEGF and bFGF in the ischemic tissue were further up-regulated by modification with SVV. Moreover, modification with SVV further reduced the cerebral infarct volume by 5.2% at 4 days after stroke and improved post-stroke neurological function at 14 days after transplantation.
Conclusion
Modification with SVV could further enhance the therapeutic effects of MSCs possibly through improving the MSCs survival capacity and up-regulating the expression of protective cytokines in the ischemic tissue.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-9-105
PMCID: PMC3146839  PMID: 21733181
21.  Co-evolution of cancer microenvironment reveals distinctive patterns of gastric cancer invasion: laboratory evidence and clinical significance 
Background
Cancer invasion results from constant interactions between cancer cells and their microenvironment. Major components of the cancer microenvironment are stromal cells, infiltrating inflammatory cells, collagens, matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) and newly formed blood vessels. This study was to determine the roles of MMP-9, MMP-2, type IV collagen, infiltrating macrophages and tumor microvessels in gastric cancer (GC) invasion and their clinico-pathological significance.
Methods
Paraffin-embedded tissue sections from 37 GC patients were studied by Streptavidin-Peroxidase (SP) immunohistochemical technique to determine the levels of MMP-2, MMP-9, type IV collagen, macrophages infiltration and microvessel density (MVD). Different invasion patterns were delineated and their correlation with major clinico-pathological information was explored.
Results
MMP2 expression was higher in malignant gland compared to normal gland, especially nearby the basement membrane (BM). High densities of macrophages at the interface of cancer nests and stroma were found where BM integrity was destroyed. MMP2 expression was significantly increased in cases with recurrence and distant metastasis (P = 0.047 and 0.048, respectively). Infiltrating macrophages were correlated with serosa invasion (P = 0.011) and TNM stage (P = 0.001). MVD was higher in type IV collagen negative group compared to type IV collagen positive group (P = 0.026). MVD was related to infiltrating macrophages density (P = 0.040). Patients with negative MMP9 expression had better overall survival (OS) compared to those with positive MMP9 expression (Median OS 44.0 vs 13.5 mo, P = 0.036). Median OS was significantly longer in type IV collagen positive group than negative group (Median OS 25.5 vs 10.0 mo, P = 0.044). The cumulative OS rate was higher in low macrophages density group than in high macrophages density group (median OS 40.5 vs 13.0 mo, P = 0.056). Median OS was significantly longer in low MVD group than high MVD group (median OS 39.0 vs 8.5 mo, P = 0.001). The difference of disease-free survival (DFS) between low MVD group and high MVD group was not statistically significant (P = 0.260). Four typical patterns of cancer invasion were identified based on histological study of the cancer tissue, including Washing pattern, Ameba-like pattern, Spindle pattern and Linear pattern.
Conclusions
Proteolytic enzymes MMP9, MMP2 and macrophages in stroma contribute to GC progression by facilitating the angiogenesis. Cancer invasion patterns may help predict GC metastasis.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-8-101
PMCID: PMC2965128  PMID: 20950454
22.  Lentivirus-mediated RNAi silencing targeting ABCC2 increasing the sensitivity of a human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell line against cisplatin 
Background
High resistance to drug is taken as a characteristic of human tumors, which is usually mediated by multidrug resistance-associated genes. ABCC2, an ATP-binding cassette multidrug resistance transporter, is found to be expressed in a variety of human cancers. In this study the effect of a RNAi construct targeting ABCC2 on the chemosensitivity of NPC cell line CNE2 against cisplatin was investigated.
Methods
Lentiviral vectors were constructed to allow an efficient expression of anti-ABCC2 siRNA. The effective target sequence comprised nucleotides 1707–1727 of the human ABCC2 mRNA. The cell clones expressing the construct were picked and expanded, followed by identification using qRT-PCR and western blot method. As control, lentiviral vector containing invalid RNAi sequence was transfected to CNE2 cells. In vitro, cellular accumulation of cisplatin was detected by HPLC. The capacity of cellular growth and sensitivity of cells against cisplatin were detected by MTT assay. In vivo, the sensitivity of the tumor tissues against cisplatin were evaluated by transplanted CNE2 nude mice model.
Results
Two CNE2 cell clones with reduced expression of targeted ABCC2 mRNA and protein for more than 70% by qRT-PCR and western blot were established, and no differences were shown in proliferation rates compared to control CNE2 cells by growth curves analysis. In vitro the accumulation of intracellular cisplatin in these CNE2 cell clones with reduced expression of ABCC2 increased markedly, accompanied by increased sensitivity against cisplatin. In vivo, the growth of CNE2 solid tumors with a stably transfected anti-ABCC2 siRNA construct was significantly inhibited by cisplatin in transplanted nude mice model.
Conclusion
Our investigation demonstrated that lentivirus-mediated RNAi silencing targeting ABCC2 might reverse the ABCC2-related drug resistance of NPC cell line CNE2 against cisplatin.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-6-55
PMCID: PMC2572589  PMID: 18834541
24.  Interleukin-37 is increased in ankylosing spondylitis patients and associated with disease activity 
Background
Interleukin-37 (IL-37) has been known to play an immunosuppressive role in various inflammatory disorders, but whether it participates in the regulation of pathogenesis of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) has not been investigated. Here, we examined the serum levels of IL-37 and its clinical association in AS, and explored the anti-inflammatory effects of IL-37 on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from AS patients.
Methods
The mRNA levels of IL-37, TNF-α, IL-6, IL-17, and IL-23 in PBMCs and their serum concentrations from 46 AS patients were examined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA), respectively. The correlations between serum IL-37 levels with disease activity, laboratory values and pro-inflammatory cytokines in AS were analyzed by Spearman correlation test. PBMCs from 46 AS patients were stimulated with recombinant IL-37 protein, expressions of TNF-α, IL-6, IL-17 and IL-23 were determined by RT-PCR and ELISA.
Results
Compared to healthy controls (HC), AS patients and active AS patients showed higher levels of IL-37 in PBMCs and serum respectively. Strikingly, serum IL-37 levels were higher in AS patients with osteoporosis than those without. Serum levels of IL-37 were correlated with laboratory values as well as TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-17, but not IL-23 in patients with AS. The productions of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-6, IL-17, IL-23 in PBMCs from AS patients were obviously attenuated after recombinant IL-37 stimulation, but not in the HC.
Conclusion
The higher levels of IL-37 were found in AS patients, which were correlated with disease activity and AS related pro-inflammatory cytokines. More importantly, IL-37 inhibits the expressions of the pro-inflammatory cytokines from PBMCs in AS patients, indicating the potential anti-inflammatory role of IL-37 in AS.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12967-015-0394-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12967-015-0394-3
PMCID: PMC4323018  PMID: 25627863
Interleukin-37; Ankylosing spondylitis; Peripheral blood mononuclear cells; Tumor necrosis factor-α; Interleukin-17; Interleukin-6; Interleukin-23
25.  ZBP-89 reduces histone deacetylase 3 by degrading IkappaB in the presence of Pin1 
Background
Histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) is overexpressed in cancers and its inhibition enhances anti-tumor chemotherapy. ZBP-89, a transcription factor, can induce pro-apoptotic Bak and reduce HDAC3 but the mechanism is unknown. Pin1, a molecular switch that determines the fate of phosphoproteins, is known to interact with HDAC3. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism how ZBP-89 downregulated HDAC3.
Methods
In this study, liver cells, Pin1-knockout Pin1−/− and Pin1 wild-typed Pin+/+ cells were used to explore how ZBP-89 reduced HDAC3. The overexpression of ZBP-89 was achieved by infecting cells with Ad-ZBP-89, an adenoviral construct containing ZBP-89 gene. The role of NF-κB was determined using CAY10576, MG132 and SN50, the former two being inhibitors of IκB degradation and SN50 being an inhibitor of p65/p50 translocation. A xenograft tumor model was used to confirm the in vitro data.
Results
ZBP-89 reduced HDAC3, and it could form a complex with IκB and induce IκB phosphorylation to inhibit IκB. Furthermore, ZBP-89-mediated HDAC3 reduction was suppressed by IκB degradation inhibitors CAY10576 and MG132 but not by p65/p50 translocation inhibitor SN50, indicating that IκB decrease rather than the elevated activity of NF-κB contributed to HDAC3 reduction. ZBP-89-mediated HDAC3 or IκB reduction was significantly less obvious in Pin1−/− cells compared with Pin1+/+ cells. In Ad-ZBP-89-infected Pin1+/+ cancer cells, Pin1 siRNA increased HDAC3 but decreased Bak, compared with cells without ZBP-89 infection. These findings indicate that Pin1 participates in ZBP-89-mediated HDAC3 downregulation and Bak upregulation. The cell culture result was confirmed by in vivo mouse tumor model experiments.
Conclusions
ZBP-89 attenuates HDAC3 by increasing IκB degradation. Such attenuation is independent of NF-κB activity but partially depends on Pin1. The novel pathway identified may help generate new anti-cancer strategy by targeting HDAC3 and its related molecules.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12967-015-0382-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12967-015-0382-7
PMCID: PMC4311446  PMID: 25623232
ZBP-89; HDAC3; Pin1; IκB; Hepatocellular carcinoma

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