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1.  Silencing of Hint1, a novel tumor suppressor gene, by promoter hypermethylation in hepatocellular carcinoma 
Cancer letters  2008;275(2):277-284.
The Hint1 protein, a member of the histidine triad (HIT) family, is highly conserved in diverse species and ubiquitously expressed in mammalian tissues. Previous studies in mice provided evidence that Hint1 may be haplosufficient with respect to its function as a tumor suppressor. In the present study, we investigated the aberrant methylation of Hint1 and explored possible relationships between aberrant methylation and clinicopathological features in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Hypermethylation of Hint1 was evaluated by the methylation specific PCR (MSP) method in 40 patients with HCC (tumor and paired adjacent non-tumor tissues) from Taiwan, 22 cases of normal liver tissue (14 from Taiwan and 8 from the U.S.). HINT1 expression in tissues was detected by immunohistochemistry. The frequencies of hypermethylation of Hint1 in tumor, paired adjacent non-tumor and normal liver tissue were 55.0%, 37.5% and 9.1%, respectively. A statistically significant inverse association was found between Hint1 methylation status and expression of the HINT1 protein in tumor tissues (p<0.003). The relationship between Hint1 methylation status and clinical features and other, previously measured biomarkers was also analyzed. p16 hypermethylation was statistically significantly associated with Hint1 methylation status (p=0.035). There were no correlations between Hint1 methylation and HBV or HCV infection status or AFB1- and PAH-DNA adduct levels. These results suggest that promoter hypermethylation of Hint1 may play a role in hepatocarcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3522093  PMID: 19081673
Hint1; HCC; epigenetic changes; promoter hypermethylation; p16; environmental carcinogens
2.  The Unique HCV Genotype Distribution and the Discovery of a Novel Subtype 6u Among IDUs Co-Infected with HIV-1 in Yunnan, China 
Journal of medical virology  2008;80(7):1142-1152.
The Yunnan province is the epicenter of HIV-1 epidemics in China and a center for drug trafficking to the other parts of the world. In six prefectures of this province, a total of 132 IDUs were recruited to determine the seroprevalence of HCV and HIV-1 and the positive rates were 93.94% and 68.18%, respectively (P <0.001). Co-infection with HCV and HIV-1 was found among 89 IDUs, of whom several HCV fragments were amplified and sequenced. Sequences of the HCV 5′NCR-C and NS5B region were determined from 82 IDUs. Phylogenetic analyses showed consistent genotyping among 80 IDUs. Among them HCV genotypes 1a, 1b, 3a, 3b, 6a, 6n, and a tentatively assigned novel 6u subtype were found in 1 (1.25%), 16 (20%), 19 (23.75%), 24 (30%), 4 (5%), 9 (11.25%) and 7 (8.75%) individuals, respectively. In two IDUs, genotyping results were discordant, suggesting mixed HCV infections or recombination. The proportion of patients with HCV 1b tended to decrease from the north to south and from the east to west in this province. Genotype 3 and 6 strains were more frequent in the southern prefectures. The novel subtype 6u strains were only detected in Dehong which borders Myanmar. Our findings showed a unique pattern of HCV genotype distribution, which is similar to that in the southeastern Asian countries but distinct from that among the general population in China. Routes of drug trafficking and the resulting high prevalence of HIV-1 infection may have contributed to this pattern of HCV genotype distribution.
PMCID: PMC2999914  PMID: 18461611
HCV; HIV-1; co-infection IDUs; genotypes
3.  Mutations in p53, p53 protein overexpression and breast cancer survival 
p53 is an important tumor-suppressor gene that encodes p53 protein, a molecule involved in cell cycle regulation, and has been inconsistently linked to breast cancer survival. Using archived tumor tissue from a population-based sample of 859 women diagnosed with breast cancer between 1996–1997, we determined p53 mutations in exons 5–8 and p53 protein overexpression. We examined the association of p53 mutations with overexpression and selected tumor clinical parameters. We assessed whether either p53 marker was associated with survival through 2002, adjusting for other tumor markers and prognostic factors. The prevalence of protein overexpression in the tumor was 36% (307/859) and any p53 mutation was 15% (128/859). p53 overexpression was positively associated with the presence of any p53 mutation (odds ratio (OR)=2.2, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.5–3.2), particularly missense mutations (OR=7.0, 95%CI=3.6–13.7). Negative estrogen and progesterone receptor status (ER/PR) was positively associated with both p53 protein overexpression (OR = 2.6, 95% CI = 1.7–4.0), and p53 mutation (OR = 3.9, 95% CI = 2.4–6.5). Any p53 mutation and missense mutations, but not p53 protein overexpression, were associated with breast cancer-specific mortality (Hazard ratio HR=1.7, 95%CI=1.0–2.8; HR=2.0, 95%CI=1.1–3.6, respectively) and all-cause mortality (HR=1.5, 95%CI=1.0–2.4; HR=2.0, 95%CI=1.2–3.4, respectively); nonsense mutations were associated only with breast cancer-specific mortality (HR=3.0, 95%CI=1.1–8.1). These associations however did not remain after adjusting for ER/PR status. Thus, in this population-based cohort of women with breast cancer, although p53 protein overexpression and p53 mutations were associated with each other, neither independently impacted breast-cancer specific or all-causing mortality after considering ER/PR status.
PMCID: PMC2832100  PMID: 19602056
breast cancer; p53 mutations; p53 overexpression; survival
4.  Wnt7b stimulates embryonic lung growth by coordinately increasing the replication of epithelium and mesenchyme 
Development (Cambridge, England)  2008;135(9):1625-1634.
The effects of Wnt7b on lung development were examined using a conditional Wnt7b-null mouse. Wnt7b-null lungs are markedly hypoplastic, yet display largely normal patterning and cell differentiation. In contrast to findings in prior hypomorphic Wnt7b models, we find decreased replication of both developing epithelium and mesenchyme, without abnormalities of vascular smooth muscle development. We further demonstrate that Wnt7b signals to neighboring cells to activate both autocrine and paracrine canonical Wnt signaling cascades. In contrast to results from hypomorphic models, we show that Wnt7b modulates several important signaling pathways in the lung. Together, these cascades result in the coordinated proliferation of adjacent epithelial and mesenchymal cells to stimulate organ growth with few alterations in differentiation and patterning.
PMCID: PMC2556060  PMID: 18367557
Lung organogenesis; Wnt signaling; Organ growth
5.  A role of brassinosteroids in early fruit development in cucumber 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2008;59(9):2299-2308.
Brassinosteroids (BRs) are essential for many biological processes in plants, however, little is known about their roles in early fruit development. To address this, BR levels were manipulated through the application of exogenous BRs (24-epibrassinolide, EBR) or a BR biosynthesis inhibitor (brassinazole, Brz) and their effects on early fruit development, cell division, and expression of cyclin and cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) genes were examined in two cucumber cultivars that differ in parthenocarpic capacity. The application of EBR induced parthenocarpic growth accompanied by active cell division in Jinchun No. 4, a cultivar without parthenocarpic capacity, whereas Brz treatment inhibited fruit set and, subsequently, fruit growth in Jinchun No. 2, a cultivar with natural parthenocarpic capacity, and this inhibitory effect could be rescued by the application of EBR. RT-PCR analysis showed both pollination and EBR induced expression of cell cycle-related genes (CycA, CycB, CycD3;1, CycD3;2, and CDKB) after anthesis. cDNA sequences for CsCycD3;1 and CsCycD3;2 were isolated through PCR amplification. Both CsCycD3;1 and CsCycD3;2 transcripts were up-regulated by EBR treatment and pollination but strongly repressed by Brz treatment. Meanwhile, BR6ox1 and SMT transcripts, two genes involved in BR synthesis, exhibited feedback regulation. These results strongly suggest that BRs play an important role during early fruit development in cucumber.
PMCID: PMC2423651  PMID: 18515830
Brassinosteroids; cell division; Cucumis sativus; cyclin; flow cytometry; parthenocarpy
6.  Bis{4-[(Z)-(4-fluoro­benzyl­amino)(phenyl)­methyl­ene]-3-methyl-1-phenyl-1H-pyrazol-5(4H)-onato-κ2 N 4,O}nickel(II) 
The mol­ecule of the title compound, [Ni(C24H19FN3O)2], has twofold rotation symmetry. The NiII ion is in a square-planar coordination geometry which is distorted towards tetra­hedral and is coordinated by two N atoms of imine and two O atoms of pyrazolone from two Schiff base 4-[(Z)-(4-fluoro­benzyl­amino)phenyl­methyl­ene]-3-methyl-1-phenyl-1H-pyrazol-5(4H)-onate ligands.
PMCID: PMC2961089  PMID: 21202192
7.  An integrated genetic and physical map of homoeologous chromosomes 12 and 26 in Upland cotton (G. hirsutum L.) 
BMC Genomics  2008;9:108.
Upland cotton (G. hirsutum L.) is the leading fiber crop worldwide. Genetic improvement of fiber quality and yield is facilitated by a variety of genomics tools. An integrated genetic and physical map is needed to better characterize quantitative trait loci and to allow for the positional cloning of valuable genes. However, developing integrated genomic tools for complex allotetraploid genomes, like that of cotton, is highly experimental. In this report, we describe an effective approach for developing an integrated physical framework that allows for the distinguishing between subgenomes in cotton.
A physical map has been developed with 220 and 115 BAC contigs for homeologous chromosomes 12 and 26, respectively, covering 73.49 Mb and 34.23 Mb in physical length. Approximately one half of the 220 contigs were anchored to the At subgenome only, while 48 of the 115 contigs were allocated to the Dt subgenome only. Between the two chromosomes, 67 contigs were shared with an estimated overall physical similarity between the two chromosomal homeologs at 40.0 %. A total of 401 fiber unigenes plus 214 non-fiber unigenes were located to chromosome 12 while 207 fiber unigenes plus 183 non-fiber unigenes were allocated to chromosome 26. Anchoring was done through an overgo hybridization approach and all anchored ESTs were functionally annotated via blast analysis.
This integrated genomic map describes the first pair of homoeologous chromosomes of an allotetraploid genome in which BAC contigs were identified and partially separated through the use of chromosome-specific probes and locus-specific genetic markers. The approach used in this study should prove useful in the construction of genome-wide physical maps for polyploid plant genomes including Upland cotton. The identification of Gene-rich islands in the integrated map provides a platform for positional cloning of important genes and the targeted sequencing of specific genomic regions.
PMCID: PMC2270834  PMID: 18307816
8.  Establishment and characterization of a new cell line derived from human colorectal laterally spreading tumor 
AIM: To study the molecular mechanism of laterally spreading tumor (LST), a cell line [Laterally Spreading Tumor-Rectum 1 (LST-R1)] was derived and the characteristics of this cell line were investigated.
METHODS: A new cell line (LST-R1) originated from laterally spreading tumor was established. Properties of the cell line were characterized using scanning and transmission electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry method, cytogenetic analysis and nude mice xenograft experiments. In vitro invasion assay, cDNA microarray and Western blotting were used to compare the difference between the LST-R1 and other colorectal cancer cell lines derived from prudent colon cancer.
RESULTS: Our study demonstrated that both epithelial special antigen (ESA) and cytokeratin-20 (CK20) were expressed in LST-R1. The cells presented microvilli and tight junction with large nuclei. The karyotypic analysis showed hyperdiploid features with structural chromosome aberrations. The in vivo tumorigenicity was also demonstrated in nude mice xenograft experiments. The invasion assay suggested this cell line has a higher invasive ability. cDNA microarray and Western blotting show the loss of the expression of E-cadherin in LST-R1 cells.
CONCLUSION: We established and characterized a colorectal cancer cell line, LST-R1 and LST-R1 has an obvious malignant tendency, which maybe partially attributed to the changes of the expression of some adhesion molecules, such as E-cadherin. It is also a versatile tool for exploring the original and progressive mechanisms of laterally spreading tumor and the early colon cancer genesis.
PMCID: PMC2690667  PMID: 18300345
LST-R1; Cell line; Invasion; E-cadherin
9.  In vivo anti-tumor effect of hybrid vaccine of dendritic cells and esophageal carcinoma cells on esophageal carcinoma cell line 109 in mice with severe combined immune deficiency 
AIM: To develop a fusion vaccine of esophageal carcinoma cells and dendritic cells (DC) and observe its protective and therapeutic effect against esophageal carcinoma cell line 109 (EC109).
METHODS: The fusion vaccine was produced by fusing traditional polyethyleneglycol (PEG), inducing cytokine, sorting CD34+ magnetic microbead marker and magnetic cell system (MACS). The liver, spleen and lung were pathologically tested after injection of the fusion vaccine. To study the therapeutic and protective effect of the fusion vaccine against tumor EC109, mice were divided immune group and therapeutic group. The immune group was divided into P, E, D and ED subgroups, immunized by phosphate buffered solution (PBS), inactivated EC109, DC and the fusion vaccine respectively, and attacked by EC109 cells. The tumor size, weight, latent period and mouse survival period were recorded and statistically analyzed. The therapeutic group was divided into four subgroups: P, inactivated EC109, D and ED subgroups, which were attacked by EC109 and then treated with PBS, inactivated EC109, DC, and EC109-DC respectively. Pathology and flow cytometry were also used to study the therapeutic effect of the fusion vaccine against EC109 cells.
RESULTS: Flow cytometry showed that the expression of folate receptor (FR), EC109 (C), DCs (D) in human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell line (HNE1) (B) was 78.21%, 89.50%, and 0.18%, respectively. The fusion cells (C) were highly expressed. No tumor was found in the spleen, lung and liver after injection of the fusion vaccine. Human IgG was tested in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL). In the immune group, the latent period was longer in EC109-DC subgroup than in other subgroups, while the tumor size and weight were also smaller than those in ED subgroup. In the therapeutic group, the tumor size and weight were smaller in ED subgroup than in P, inactivated EC109 and DC subgroups.
CONCLUSION: Fusion cells are highly expressed not only in FR but also in CD80. The fusion vaccine has a distinctive protective effect against tumor EC109 and can inhibit the growth of tumor in mice, and its immune protection against tumor attack is more significant.
PMCID: PMC2690663  PMID: 18300341
Dendritic cells; Esophageal carcinoma cells; Cell fusion; Immune protection; Immunotherapy
10.  Lsr2 of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a DNA-bridging protein 
Nucleic Acids Research  2008;36(7):2123-2135.
Lsr2 is a small, basic protein present in Mycobacterium and related actinomycetes. Recent studies suggest that Lsr2 is a regulatory protein involved in multiple cellular processes including cell wall biosynthesis and antibiotic resistance. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unknown. In this article, we performed biochemical studies of Lsr2–DNA interactions and structure–function analysis of Lsr2. Analysis by atomic force microscopy revealed that Lsr2 has the ability to bridge distant DNA segments, suggesting that Lsr2 plays a role in the overall organization and compactness of the nucleoid. Mutational analysis identified critical residues and selection of dominant negative mutants demonstrated that both DNA binding and protein oligomerization are essential for the normal functions of Lsr2 in vivo. These results provide strong evidence that Lsr2 is a DNA bridging protein, which represents the first identification of such proteins in bacteria phylogenetically distant from the Enterobacteriaceae. DNA bridging by Lsr2 also provides a mechanism of transcriptional regulation by Lsr2.
PMCID: PMC2367712  PMID: 18187505
11.  Pro370Leu MYOC gene mutation in a large Chinese family with juvenile-onset open angle glaucoma: correlation between genotype and phenotype 
Molecular Vision  2008;14:1533-1539.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Most of the cases are primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). POAG is a genetically heterogenous disease; autosomal dominance is the most frequent type of monogenic inheritance. In this study, we identified the genotype of a MYOC mutation and investigated the phenotype of a Chinese juvenile-onset open angle glaucoma (JOAG) pedigree (GZ.1 pedigree).
Blood samples were obtained from 24 participants. We performed sequence and gene linkage analysis in the GZ.1 pedigree retrospectively. Comprehensive ophthalmologic examinations were performed for each family member. Pharmacological treatment or filtering surgery was performed as needed according to the intraocular pressure (IOP) of each individual.
A Pro370Leu myocilin mutation located in exon 3 of MYOC was identified in 24 members of the GZ.1 pedigree. Sixteen patients had juvenile-onset primary open-angle glaucoma (JOAG), and the others participating in the project had no such genotype. Analysis of polymorphic microsatellite markers indicated that the disease in GZ.1 is autosomal dominant inheritance. The patients in GZ.1 are characterized by early age of onset (before 35 years of age), severe clinical presentations, and high intraocular pressure unresponsive to pharmacological treatment; requiring 89.5% of the patients to undergo filtering surgery. Fortunately, the success rate of surgery was high. None of the patients required further medical treatment and only one demonstrated low IOP fundus changes.
This is the first evidence of a founder effect for a Pro370Leu myocilin mutation in a Chinese POAG pedigree. The family with the Pro370Leu myocilin mutation presents with juvenile-onset glaucoma. After 10 years of follow-up, it is evident that the mutation is closely associated with the phenotype of the patients. Analysis of MYOC in JOAG patients may enable the identification of at-risk individuals and help prevent disease progression toward the degeneration of the optic nerve, and may also contribute to genetic counseling.
PMCID: PMC2518531  PMID: 18728751

Results 1-11 (11)