Publications by authors named "Tao Kang"

43 Publications

Glucose metabolism is required for oocyte maturation of zebrafish.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2021 06 1;559:191-196. Epub 2021 May 1.

Glucose is an essential source of energy production for animal cells. The importance of glucose metabolism in oocyte maturation has been studied extensively in mammals. However, such roles in non-mammalian species are still largely unknown. Here, we used zebrafish as a model, which is phylogenetically distant from mammals, and analyzed the role of glucose metabolism in oocyte maturation. Major glucose transporters (GLUT/Slc2A) were analyzed in zebrafish, two Slc2a1 (Slc2a1a and Slc2a1b), one Slc2a2, and two Slc2a3 (Slc2a3a and Slc2a3b) were identified. Among these five Slc2a genes, slc2a1b exhibited the highest expression level in fully grown follicles. The expression of slc2a1b gradually increased during folliculogenesis, and also significantly increases during the oocyte maturation process. Consistently, the glucose concentration increases during natural oocyte maturation. By using a fluorescent glucose derivative (6-NBDG) to trace glucose transport, the uptake of glucose by ovarian follicles in a time-dependent manner could be observed. Intriguingly, by treatment of glucose in vitro, oocyte maturation could be induced in a time-, dose- and stage-dependent manner. Glucose can be metabolized by glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway (HBP), and the polyol pathway. Using the inhibitors for these pathways, we found only PPP but not glycolysis, HBP or polyol pathway is essential for oocyte maturation. All these results clearly demonstrate for the first time that the glucose metabolism is required for oocyte maturation of zebrafish, suggesting the highly conserved role of glucose metabolism in control of oocyte maturation between fish and mammals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2021.04.059DOI Listing
June 2021

Separation of Follicular Cells and Oocytes in Ovarian Follicles of Zebrafish.

J Vis Exp 2021 04 18(170). Epub 2021 Apr 18.

College of Life Sciences, Northwest Normal University;

Zebrafish has become an ideal model to study the ovarian development of vertebrates. The follicle is the basic unit of the ovary, which consists of oocytes and surrounding follicular cells. It is vital to separate both follicular cells and oocytes for various research purposes such as for primary culture of follicular cells, analysis of gene expression, oocyte maturation and in vitro fertilization, etc. The conventional method uses forceps to separate both compartments, which is laborious, time consuming and has high damage to the oocyte. Here, we have established a simple method to separate both compartments using a pulled glass capillary. Under a stereomicroscope, oocytes and follicular cells can be easily separated by pipetting in a pulled fine glass capillary (the diameter depends on the follicle diameter). Compared with the conventional method, this new method has high efficiency in separating both oocytes and follicular cells and has low damage to the oocytes. More importantly, this method can be applied to early-stage follicles including at the pre-vitellogenesis stage. Thus, this simple method can be used to separate follicular cells and oocytes of zebrafish.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/62027DOI Listing
April 2021

Igf3: a novel player in fish reproduction†.

Biol Reprod 2021 06;104(6):1194-1204

School of Biomedical Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, China.

As in other vertebrates, fish reproduction is tightly controlled by gonadotropin signaling. One of the most perplexing aspects of gonadotropin action on germ cell biology is the restricted expression of gonadotropin receptors in somatic cells of the gonads. Therefore, the identification of factors conveying the action of gonadotropins on germ cells is particularly important for understanding the mechanism of reproduction. Insulin-like growth factors (Igfs) are recognized as key factors in regulating reproduction by triggering a series of physiological processes in vertebrates. Recently, a novel member of Igfs called Igf3 has been identified in teleost. Different from the conventional Igf1 and Igf2 that are ubiquitously expressed in a majority of tissues, Igf3 is solely or highly expressed in the fish gonads. The role of Igf3 in mediating the action of gonadotropin through Igf type 1 receptor on several aspects of oogenesis and spermatogenesis have been demonstrated in several fish species. In this review, we will summarize existing data on Igf3. This new information obtained from Igf3 provides insight into elucidating the molecular mechanism of fish reproduction, and also highlights the importance of Igf system in mediating the action of gonadotropin signaling on animal reproduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/biolre/ioab042DOI Listing
June 2021

Design, Synthesis, and SAR of Novel 1,3-Disubstituted Imidazolidine or Hexahydropyrimidine Derivatives as Herbicide Safeners.

J Agric Food Chem 2021 Jan 29;69(1):45-54. Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Department of Applied Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150030, China.

Herbicide safeners enhance herbicide detoxification in crops without reducing their herbicidal efficacy against target weeds. To alleviate maize injury caused by the sulfonylurea herbicide nicosulfuron, a series of 1,3-disubstituted imidazolidine or hexahydropyrimidine derivatives were rationally designed via bioisosterism and active subunit combinations. Thirty novel compounds were synthesized using an efficient one-pot method and low-cost raw materials and characterized by IR, H NMR, C NMR, and high-resolution mass spectrometer (HRMS). Bioactivity and structure-activity relationship (SAR) were evaluated for herbicide safeners tested against nicosulfuron injury. Most of the compounds effectively protected sensitive maize against nicosulfuron damage. The parent skeletons and substituents of the target compounds both substantially influenced their safener activity. Compound exhibited superior bioactivity compared to the safener isoxadifen-ethyl. Molecular docking simulations disclosed that compound competed with nicosulfuron for the acetolactate synthase active site and demonstrated that this is the protective mechanism of safeners. The target compound presented with strong herbicide safener activity in maize and is, therefore, a potential candidate for the development of a novel herbicide safener.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.0c04436DOI Listing
January 2021

NDRG4 Alleviates Aβ1-40 Induction of SH-SY5Y Cell Injury via Activation of BDNF-Inducing Signalling Pathways.

Neurochem Res 2020 Jul 12;45(7):1492-1499. Epub 2020 Mar 12.

The No.2 Department of Neurology, Shaanxi Provincial People's Hospital, No.256 West Youyi Rd, Xi'an, 710068, Shaanxi, China.

We explored the functions and mechanisms of N-myc downstream-regulated gene 4 (NDRG4) in an amyloid beta 1-40 induced Alzheimer's disease cell model. The levels of total and phosphorylated Tau protein were significantly up-regulated and cell activity was decreased with increasing Aβ1-40 treatment in SH-SY5Y cells. The expression of NDRG4 mRNA and protein levels were significantly decreased that induced by Aβ1-40 in these cells. NDRG4 overexpression significantly alleviated Aβ1-40-induced SH-SY5Y apoptosis rates and caspases-3/7 activities. Equally, Reactive oxygen species, Mitochondrial membrane potential and Microscale malondialdehyde levels were significantly down-regulated, and Superoxide dismutase activity was increased by NDRG4 overexpression. BDNF protein level and phosphorylation levels of AKT and ERK1/2 were enhanced by NDRG4 overexpression. We also determined that the inhibitory effects of NDRG4 on cell apoptosis and Reactive oxygen species release were partially reversed by BDNF silencing, and by application of the PI3K specific inhibitor (LY294002) or ERK inhibitor (PD98059). These data indicate that NDRG4 attenuates Aβ1-40-induced cell apoptosis and Reactive oxygen species release release, as well as oxidative stress injury. These effects may be mediated through BDNF-induced PI3K/AKT and MEK/ERK pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11064-020-03011-4DOI Listing
July 2020

Immunogenicity and protective potency of Norovirus GII.17 virus-like particle-based vaccine.

Biotechnol Lett 2020 Jul 22;42(7):1211-1218. Epub 2020 Feb 22.

Medical School, Kunming University of Science and Technology, No. 727, Southern Jingming Road, Chenggong District, Kunming, 650500, Yunnan, China.

Objectives: Noroviruses (NoVs) are major cause of acute viral gastroenteritis in worldwide, and the lack of a cell culture system that must be considered the virus like particles (VLPs) are used as an effective vaccine development.

Materials And Methods: In the present study, we investigated the expression of the major capsid protein (VP1) of the Genogroup II, genotype 17 (GII.17) NoV, using recombinant baculovirus system in insect cells, as well as a saliva binding blockade assay to detect their protective potency.

Results: Our results showed that GII.17 VLPs could be successfully generated in sf9 insect cells, and electron microscopic revealed that GII.17 VLPs appeared as spherical particles with a - 35 nm diameter. Immunized mice with purified VLPs produced GII.17 specific sera and could efficiently block GII.17 VLPs binding to the saliva histo-blood group antigens (HBGAs).

Conclusions: Together, these results suggested that GII.17 VLPs represent a promising vaccine candidate against NoV GII.17 infection and strongly support further preclinical and clinical studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10529-020-02837-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7223773PMC
July 2020

Subtly Manipulated Expression of ZmmiR156 in Tobacco Improves Drought and Salt Tolerance Without Changing the Architecture of Transgenic Plants.

Front Plant Sci 2019 10;10:1664. Epub 2020 Jan 10.

College of Agriculture, Ludong University, Yantai, China.

Plants in the juvenile state are more tolerant to adverse conditions. Constitutive expression of MicroRNA156 (miR156) prolonged the juvenile phase and increased resistance to abiotic stress, but also affected the architecture of transgenic plants. In this study, we investigated the possibility of subtle manipulation of miR156 expression in flowering plants, with the goal to increase tolerance to abiotic stress without altering the normal growth and development of transgenic plants. Transgenic tobacco plants expressing ZmmiR156 from maize were generated, driven either by the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter or the stress-inducible ZmRab17 promoter. Expression of ZmmiR156 led to improved drought and salt tolerance in both and transgenic plants, as shown by more vigorous growth, greater biomass production and higher antioxidant enzyme expression after a long period of drought or salt treatment, when compared to wild type and transgenic vector control plants. However, constitutive expression of ZmmiR156 also resulted in retarded growth, increased branching and delayed flowering of transgenic plants. These undesirable developmental changes could be mitigated by using the stress-inducible ZmRab17 promoter. Furthermore, under drought or salt stress conditions, expression of ZmmiR156 reduced the transcript level of and , the genes potentially targeted by ZmmiR156, as well as that of , , and , the senescence-associated genes in tobacco. Collectively, our results indicate that ZmmiR156 can be temporally manipulated for the genetic improvement of plants resistant to various abiotic stresses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2019.01664DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6965348PMC
January 2020

Robot Helps When Robot Fits: Examining the Role of Baby Robots in Fertility Promotion.

Healthcare (Basel) 2019 Nov 15;7(4). Epub 2019 Nov 15.

General Affairs Department, Anhui College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wuhu 241002, China.

Considering China is facing a precipitous decline in its population, there is an emerging trend of developing baby robots to encourage people's willingness to become "parents". Based on the decomposed theory of planned behavior and the theory of uncanny valley, this study empirically investigated whether a baby robot could perform as a prominent antecedent of fertility intention in China, and how this relates to its visual appearance. Consistent with prior research, the current study used a between-subjects design to show (1) a baby robot could significantly improve people's fertility attitude through temporal visual stimulation; (2) fertility attitude, subjective norms from peers, and perceived behavioral control of finance could significantly contribute to fertility intention. Theoretical contributions and implications are discussed in this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/healthcare7040147DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6956042PMC
November 2019

Insulin-like growth factor binding proteins inhibit oocyte maturation of zebrafish.

Gen Comp Endocrinol 2019 09 3;281:83-90. Epub 2019 Jun 3.

College of Life Sciences, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730070, China.

The function of insulin-like growth factor (Igf) system in ovary has attracted much attention, but the role of Igf binding proteins (Igfbps) in ovary is still largely unknown. In this study, the role of Igfbps in oocyte maturation was investigated in zebrafish. The expression of all eight identified Igfbps except Igfbp6b could be detected in the adult ovary and exhibited differential expression profiles during folliculogenesis. The expression of several Igfbps is dynamically changed during oocyte maturation induced by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). By treatment of an Igfbps inhibitor NBI-31772 in vitro, the oocyte maturation could be stimulated in a clear dose-, time- and stage-dependent manner. Such effects were also observed by administration of NBI-31772 in vivo. Igfbps are differentially expressed in both follicular cells and oocytes, but the effect of NBI-31772 could only be found in intact follicles and not in the denuded oocytes. Previous studies have demonstrated that Igf3 is the major Igf member in regulating oocyte maturation of zebrafish. Interestingly, NBI-31772 could increase the effect of Igf3 on oocyte maturation. Furthermore, we found the effect of NBI-31772 on oocyte maturation could be blocked by an Igf type 1 receptor inhibitor BMS-536924 in vitro, suggesting the Igfbps can inhibit the oocyte maturation via Igf/Igf1r pathway. Together, we provided the first evidence in fish that Igfbps inhibit oocyte maturation of zebrafish.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2019.06.002DOI Listing
September 2019

Rational design, synthesis and structure-activity relationship of novel substituted oxazole isoxazole carboxamides as herbicide safener.

Pestic Biochem Physiol 2019 Jun 6;157:60-68. Epub 2019 Mar 6.

Department of Applied Chemistry, College of Science, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150030, China. Electronic address:

A series of novel substituted oxazole isoxazole carboxamides derivatives were designed on the basis of active subunit combination. Forty-four novel compounds were synthesized by an efficient one-pot procedure under microwave irradiation. The bioactivity was evaluated as herbicide safener against the injury of chlorsulfuron. It was found that most of the synthesized compounds displayed remarkable protection against chlorsulfuron via enhanced glutathione content and glutathione S transferase activity. Especially compound I-11 exhibited better bioactivity than the safeners isoxadifen-ethyl and R-28725. Molecular docking simulations suggested that the target compounds could compete with chlorsulfuron in the active site of acetolactate synthase, which could explain the protective effects of safeners. The present work demonstrates that the target compounds containing oxazole isoxazole groups could be considered as potential candidates for developing novel safeners in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pestbp.2019.03.003DOI Listing
June 2019

Fragment splicing-based design, synthesis and safener activity of novel substituted phenyl oxazole derivatives.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2019 02 29;29(4):570-576. Epub 2018 Dec 29.

Department of Applied Chemistry, College of Science, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150030, China. Electronic address:

Fragment splicing is a primary strategy in the design and optimization of leading compound toward new skeleton with target bioactivity. Herein a series of novel substituted phenyl oxazole derivatives were designed via fragment analysis and coupling strategy that led to highly potent and bio-selective herbicide safener. The biological tests showed that most of the compounds could enhance the maize growth index, glutathione content and anti-reverse enzyme glutathione S-transferase activity in vivo. The molecular docking model exhibited that the novel compound could compete with chlorsulfuron binding to the herbicide target enzyme, which consequently attained the herbicide detoxification. Especially compound I-f displayed the best activities than commercial safener isoxadifen-ethyl and other compounds. The present work demonstrates that the synthesized compounds could be developed as potential candidates for the discovery of novel herbicide safeners in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2018.12.061DOI Listing
February 2019

LanCL1 attenuates ischemia-induced oxidative stress by Sirt3-mediated preservation of mitochondrial function.

Brain Res Bull 2018 09 31;142:216-223. Epub 2018 Jul 31.

Department of Spine Surgery, Honghui Hospital, Xi'an Jiaotong University, No. 555 Youyi East Road, Xi'an, Shaanxi, 710054, China. Electronic address:

Lanthionine synthetase C-like protein 1 (LanCL1) is homologous to prokaryotic lanthionine cyclases, and has been shown to have novel functions in neuronal redox homeostasis. A recent study showed that LanCL1 expression was developmental and activity-dependent regulated, and LanCL1 transgene protected neurons against oxidative stress. In the present study, the potential protective effects of LanCL1 against ischemia was investigated in an in vitro model mimicked by oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) in neuronal HT22 cells. We found that OGD exposure induced a temporal increase and persistent decreases in the expression of LanCL1 at both mRNA and protein levels. Overexpression of LanCL1 by lentivirus (LV-LanCL1) transfection preserved cell viability, reduced lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release and attenuated apoptosis after OGD. These protective effects were accompanied by decreased protein radical formation, lipid peroxidation and mitochondrial dysfunction. In addition, LanCL1 significantly stimulated mitochondrial enzyme activities and SOD2 deacetylation in a Sirt3-dependent manner. The results of western blot analysis showed that LanCL1-induced activation of Sirt3 was dependent on Akt-PGC-1α pathway. Knockdown of PGC-1α expression using small interfering RNA (siRNA) or blocking Akt activation using specific antagonist partially prevented the protective effects of LanCL1 in HT22 cells. Taken together, our results show that LanCL1 protects against OGD through activating the Akt-PGC-1α-Sirt3 pathway, and may have potential therapeutic value for ischemic stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainresbull.2018.07.017DOI Listing
September 2018

Long Noncoding RNA SNHG1 Promotes Neuroinflammation in Parkinson's Disease via Regulating miR-7/NLRP3 Pathway.

Neuroscience 2018 09 18;388:118-127. Epub 2018 Jul 18.

The No.2 Department of Neurology, Shaanxi Province People's Hospital, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710068, China.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorders. Neuroinflammation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of PD. Long noncoding RNA small nucleolar RNA host gene 1 (SNHG1) was elevated in the brain specimens of PD patients and MPP+-treated SH-SY5Y cells. The expression of mouse Snhg1 and miR-7 was firstly determined in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced BV2 cells. The role and mechanism of SNHG1 in the neuroinflammation of PD were investigated using gain- and loss-of function approaches both in vitro and in vivo. Snhg1 expression was elevated, whereas miR-7 reduced in LPS-induced BV2 cells. Upregulation of Snhg1 elevated, and Snhg1 knockdown suppressed LPS-induced BV2 microglial activation and inflammation. miR-7 reversed, while anti-miR-7 further enhanced the effects of Snhg1 on BV2 cells. Furthermore, we found that Snhg1 functioned as a competing endogenous RNA for miR-7 to regulate nod-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) expression, leading to the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome. In the microglial culture supernatant transfer model, knockdown of Snhg1 or NLRP3 in LPS-stimulated BV2 cells inhibited primary neurons from apoptosis and elevated caspase-3 activity. Additionally, Snhg1 was increased in MPTP-induced PD mouse models. Downregulation of Snhg1 elevated miR-7 expression, suppressed the activation of microglia and NLRP3 inflammasome as well as dopaminergic neuron loss in the midbrain substantia nigra pars compacta in MPTP-treated mice. In conclusion, our study suggests that SNHG1 promotes neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of PD via modulating miR-7/NLRP3 pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2018.07.019DOI Listing
September 2018

[Clinical research on mild and moderate carpal tunnel syndrome treated with contralateral needling technique at distal acupoints and acupuncture at local acupoints].

Zhongguo Zhen Jiu 2017 May;37(5):479-482

Second Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Affiliated Hospital of Tianjin Academy of TCM, Tianjin 300120, China.

Objective: To compare the differences in the clinical therapeutic effects on mild and moderate carpal tunnel syndrome between the combined therapy of regular acupuncture and contralateral needling technique at distal acupoints and the regular acupuncture.

Methods: Sixty patients of mild and moderate carpal tunnel syndrome were divided into an observation group and a control group according to random number table, 30 cases in each one. Laogong (PC 8), Daling (PC 7), Neiguan (PC 6), Yuji (LU 10) and Hegu (LI 4) were selected on the affected side in the two groups. In the observation group, the reducing needling technique with lifting and thrusting was applied at first to Taichong (LR 3) and Zhongfeng (LR 4) on the opposite side and afterwards those on the affected side were stimulated. In the control group, acupuncture was given at the acupoints on the affected side. The even-needling technique was used at the acupoints on the affected side in the patients of the two groups. Acupuncture was given once every day, 30 min each time. The treatment for 10 days was as one session. The therapeutic effects were evaluated after 3 sessions. The changes in median nerve electrophysiology, Levine's carpal tunnel syndrome questionnaire, the patient-rated wrist evaluation (PRWE) and the evaluation of therapeutic effects were observed before and after treatment in the two groups.

Results: The total effective rate was 90.0% (27/30) in the observation group, better than 70.0% (21/30) in the control group (<0.05). After treatment, the nerve sensory conduction velocity and the amplitude of median nerve were all increased in the two groups, indicating the significant differences (all <0.05). The increase in the observation group was more apparent than that in the control group (all <0.05). The symptom severity score (SSS) and function status score (FSS) were all reduced apparently after treatment in the two groups (both <0.05). SSS and FSS in the observation group were lower apparently than those in the control group after treatment (both <0.05). PRWE score after treatment was reducedapparently as compared with that before treatment in the two groups (both <0.05). The result in the observation group was lower than that in the control group after treatment (<0.05).

Conclusions: The combined treatment of regular acupuncture technique and the contralateral needling technique at distal acupoints achieves the definite therapeutic effects on mild and moderate carpal tunnel syndrome, apparently superior to the regular needling technique.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13703/j.0255-2930.2017.05.007DOI Listing
May 2017

A Prediction Model with a Combination of Variables for Diagnosis of Lung Cancer.

Med Sci Monit 2017 Nov 25;23:5620-5629. Epub 2017 Nov 25.

School of Biotechnology, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China (mainland).

BACKGROUND Multivariate models with a combination of variables can predict disease more accurately than a single variable employed alone. We developed a logistic regression model with a combination of variables and evaluated its ability to predict lung cancer. MATERIAL AND METHODS The exhaled breath from 57 patients with lung cancer and 72 healthy controls without cancer was collected. The VOCs of exhaled breath were examined qualitatively and quantitatively by a novel electronic nose (Z-nose4200 equipment). The VOCs in the 2 groups were compared using the Mann-Whitney U test, and the baseline data were compared between the 2 groups using the chi-square test or ANOVA. Variables from VOCs and baseline data were selected by stepwise logistic regression and subjected to a prediction model for the diagnosis of lung cancer as combined factors. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to evaluate the predictive ability of this prediction model. RESULTS Nine VOCs in exhaled breath of lung cancer patients differed significantly from those of healthy controls. Four variables - age, hexane, 2,2,4,6,6-pentamethylheptane, and 1,2,6-trimethylnaphthalene - were entered into the prediction model, which could effectively separate the lung cancer samples from the control samples with an accuracy of 82.8%, a sensitivity of 76.0%, and a specificity of 94.0%. CONCLUSIONS The profile of VOCs in exhaled breath contained distinguishable biomarkers in the patients with lung cancers. The prediction model with 4 variables appears to provide a new technique for lung cancer detection.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5713113PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.12659/msm.904738DOI Listing
November 2017

Neurons in dorsal premotor cortex represent the switching of intended hand path in a delayed reaching task.

J Integr Neurosci 2017 ;16(3):365-382

School of Automation, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China.

Dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) is considered to play a crucial role in motor preparation, yet how the variation of neuronal activity affects the generation of different circumstances dependent movements remains unclear. Here we trained two monkeys to perform a delayed reaching task instructed by two sets of cues, one for indicating the target locations and another for indicating a conditionally presented virtual obstacle in the reaching path, which required the monkey to make a bypassing instead of straight reaching. We recorded the activity of PMd neurons and investigated how they responded to the switching of intended hand path induced by obstacle bypassing. Comparing the neuronal activity between hand bypassing trials and straight reaching trials, we found 30% of the total 687 set-related neurons showed different overall discharging level, and another 24% showed different onset time during the delay period. We also found 16% of the neurons were modulated only by target location and 14% were modulated by both target location and path switching. Our results demonstrate PMd neurons not only represent the planning of reaching to different target locations, as many previous studies have shown, but also represent the switching of intended reaching path induced by hand bypassing, suggesting how PMd neurons coordinate for such circumstances dependent motor planning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JIN-170024DOI Listing
May 2018

Modified Glasgow prognostic score might be a prognostic factor for hepatocellular carcinoma: a meta-analysis.

Panminerva Med 2017 Dec 21;59(4):302-307. Epub 2016 Dec 21.

Department of Vascular Surgery, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital Affiliated to Tongji University, Shanghai, China.

Introduction: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth-most common cancer. Recent studies have demonstrated that there was a relationship between modified Glasgow prognostic score (mGPS) and survival of HCC. However, the results were inconsistent.

Evidence Acquisition: The following databases were searched for relevant articles published until June 2016: PubMed; EMBASE; Web of Science and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure. The strength of association between mGPS and OS of HCC was estimated by pooled HRs with corresponding 95% CIs.

Evidence Synthesis: Seven studies with 2047 HCC patients were included in this meta-analysis. The mGPS was an independent marker of poor prognosis in patients with HCC (HR=2.21; 95% CI: 1.73-2.82; I2=51%). In the subgroup analysis of study design, both prospective studies (HR=1.68; 95% CI: 1.35-2.11; I2=0%) and retrospective studies (HR=2.64; 95% CI: 1.92-3.62; I2=39%) with higher mGPS had shorter OS. The patients with resectable HCC and high mGPS also showed shorter OS (HR=2.33; 95% CI: 1.65-3.29; I2=63%). In the subgroup analysis by sample size, both large sample size studies (HR=2.56; 95% CI: 1.50-4.38; I2=72%) and small sample size studies (HR=2.00; 95% CI: 1.62-2.48; I2=0%) showed the same results.

Conclusions: In conclusion, this meta-analysis suggested that mGPS might be an independent prognostic factor for HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0031-0808.16.03236-5DOI Listing
December 2017

Chronic lymphocytic inflammation with pontine perivascular enhancement responsive to steroids (CLIPPERS) with intracranial Epstein-Barr virus infection: A Case Report.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2016 Nov;95(46):e5377

Department of Neurology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, P. R. China.

Background: Chronic lymphocytic inflammation with pontine perivascular enhancement responsive to steroids (CLIPPERS) is an inflammatory disorder in the central nervous system (CNS) with distinct clinical, radiological, and pathological features. The pathophysiology of CLIPPERS still remains unclear and the reports are quite few. Although the radiological lesions were reported to be located predominantly in the pons, brachium pontis, and cerebellum, other adjacent structures such as the white matter and spinal cord were very recently reported as involved regions in CLIPPERS. In this study, we report a case of CLIPPERS presenting with intracranial Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection and diffuse white matter involvement.

Case Summary: A 37-year-old male was diagnosed with mediastinal Hodgkin's lymphoma (lymphocyte predominance type) at the age of 26, and then obtained complete remission after treatment and remained free of relapse for 11 years. He was admitted with 7 months' history of mental disorder, and 20 days' history of gait and limb ataxia, dysphagia, and cough. The diagnosis of CLIPPERS was established based on the findings of punctate and nodular enhancing lesions in the bilateral pons, the basal ganglia, the mid-brain, the pontine brachium, and diffuse white matter in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), together with CD3 T-lymphocytic inflammatory infiltration in perivascular and parenchymal area revealed by bilateral parietal lobe brain biopsy. Also, our patient exhibited a good response to steroid therapy and remained free of relapse for 5 months. Importantly, we found intracranial Epstein-Barr virus infection in this patient.

Conclusion: CLIPPERS might be an autoimmune disorder, and intracranial EBV-infection raises the possibility that EBV-associated autoimmunity is associated with CLIPPERS pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000005377DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5120928PMC
November 2016

Prediction of functional outcome in patients with convulsive status epilepticus: the END-IT score.

Crit Care 2016 Feb 25;20:46. Epub 2016 Feb 25.

Department of Neurology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, 710032, PR China.

Background: Prediction of the functional outcome for patients with convulsive status epilepticus (CSE) has been a challenge. The aim of this study was to characterize the prognostic factors and functional outcomes of patients after CSE in order to develop a practicable scoring system for outcome prediction.

Methods: We performed a retrospective explorative analysis on consecutive patients diagnosed with CSE between March, 2008 and November, 2014 in a tertiary academic medical center in northwest China. The modified Rankin Scale (mRS) was used to measure the functional outcome at three months post discharge.

Results: A total of 132 CSE patients was included, with a median age of 25.5 years and 60.6% were male. Three months post discharge, an unfavorable outcome with mRS of 3-6 was seen in 62 (47.0%) patients, 25 (18.9%) of whom died. Logistic regression analysis revealed that encephalitis (p = 0.029), nonconvulsive SE (p = 0.018), diazepam resistance (p = 0.005), image abnormalities (unilateral lesions, p = 0.027; bilateral lesions or diffuse cerebral edema, p < 0.001) and tracheal intubation (p = 0.032) were significant independent predictors for unfavorable outcomes. Based on the coefficients in the model, these predictors were assigned a value of 1 point each, with the exception of the image, creating a 6-point scoring system, which we refer to as END-IT, for the outcome prediction of CSE. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the END-IT score was 0.833 and using a cut-off point of 3 produced the highest sum sensitivity (83.9%) and specificity (68.6%). Compared with status epilepticus severity score (STESS) and Epidemiology-based Mortality score in SE (EMSE), END-IT score showed better discriminative power and predictive accuracy for the outcome prediction.

Conclusions: We developed an END-IT score with a strong discriminative power for predicting the functional outcome of CSE patients. External prospective validation in different cohorts is needed for END-IT score.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13054-016-1221-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4768332PMC
February 2016

Active phagocytosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (H37Ra) by T lymphocytes (Jurkat cells).

Mol Immunol 2015 Aug 22;66(2):429-38. Epub 2015 May 22.

Department of Neurology, Xijing Hospital, the Fourth Military Medical University, No. 15 Changle-Xi Road, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province 710032, China. Electronic address:

This study aimed to co-culture Jurkat T lymphocytes with inactivated Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb H37Ra), explore whether T lymphocytes could phagocytose H37Ra cells, and determine the underlying mechanism. Jurkat T lymphocytes were co-cultured with H37Ra cells, and confocal laser scanning microscopy, electron microscopy, and flow cytometry techniques were used to identify phagocytosis and elucidate its mechanism. After Jurkat T lymphocytes phagocytosed H37Ra cells, the cell body became larger, with abundant cytoplasm, the portion of the nucleus closest to the bacterium deformed, long and short pseudopodia were extended, and the folds of the cell membrane formed depressions that created phagocytic vesicles surrounding the bacterium. The macropinocytosis inhibitor amiloride and the cytoskeletal inhibitor cytochalasin D were found to inhibit phagocytic efficacy; serum complements might enhance phagocytosis through opsonization. Jurkat T lymphocytes could actively phagocytose inactivated Mtb via the macropinocytotic mechanism. Actin remodeling played an important role in the macropinocytotic process. Serum complements may regulate phagocytosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molimm.2015.04.018DOI Listing
August 2015

Overexpression of the PtSOS2 gene improves tolerance to salt stress in transgenic poplar plants.

Plant Biotechnol J 2015 Sep 30;13(7):962-73. Epub 2015 Jan 30.

National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

In higher plants, the salt overly sensitive (SOS) signalling pathway plays a crucial role in maintaining ion homoeostasis and conferring salt tolerance under salinity condition. Previously, we functionally characterized the conserved SOS pathway in the woody plant Populus trichocarpa. In this study, we demonstrate that overexpression of the constitutively active form of PtSOS2 (PtSOS2TD), one of the key components of this pathway, significantly increased salt tolerance in aspen hybrid clone Shanxin Yang (Populus davidiana × Populus bolleana). Compared to the wild-type control, transgenic plants constitutively expressing PtSOS2TD exhibited more vigorous growth and produced greater biomass in the presence of high concentrations of NaCl. The improved salt tolerance was associated with a decreased Na(+) accumulation in the leaves of transgenic plants. Further analyses revealed that plasma membrane Na(+) /H(+) exchange activity and Na(+) efflux in transgenic plants were significantly higher than those in the wild-type plants. Moreover, transgenic plants showed improved capacity in scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by salt stress. Taken together, our results suggest that PtSOS2 could serve as an ideal target gene to genetically engineer salt-tolerant trees.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pbi.12335DOI Listing
September 2015

[Indices selection and comprehensive evaluation of salinity tolerance for peanut varieties].

Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao 2013 Dec;24(12):3487-94

A total of two hundred peanut varieties (lines) were exposed to different salt concentrations under pot cultivation, to evaluate salinity tolerance by indices such as emergence, morphology and biomass accumulation from emergence to seedling stage. The results showed that, as the salinity concentration increased, the emergence time was prolonged, plant morphology establishment was inhibited seriously, and biomass accumulation was reduced. The optimal concentration for evaluating salinity tolerance was 0.30%-0.45%. Ten indices were contributed to the mean membership function value by the membership function analysis. According to the correlation coefficient between indices and the mean membership function value, plant fresh mass, shoot fresh mass, root fresh mass, root dry mass, plant height and stem height could be the first selected indices for evaluating salinity tolerance of peanut plant. Plant dry mass, shoot dry mass, taproot length and emergence speed could be the second selected indices to comprehensively evaluate salinity tolerance of peanut plant. The 200 varieties were divided into 4 groups at different salinity concentrations, i. e. high salinity tolerance, salinity tolerance, salinity sensitivity, and high salinity sensitivity. Number of salinity tolerant varieties was decreased with increasing salinity concentration while the salinity sensitive one was increased. Salinity tolerance of some varieties showed the similarity (tolerant or sensitive) under different salinity stresses. Some varieties showed different tolerance under different salinity stresses, i. e. tolerance at low salinity concentration while sensitivity at high salinity concentration.
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December 2013

PI3K/Akt signal pathway involved in the cognitive impairment caused by chronic cerebral hypoperfusion in rats.

PLoS One 2013 10;8(12):e81901. Epub 2013 Dec 10.

Department of Neurology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.

Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) is a common pathophysiological state that usually occurs in conditions such as vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease, both of which are characterized by cognitive impairment. In previous studies we found that learning capacity and memory were gradually impaired with CCH, which altered the expression of synaptophysin, microtubule associated protein-2, growth associated protein-43, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, nerve growth factor, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit 1, cAMP response element-binding protein and tau hyperphosphorylation in the hippocampus. However, the molecular basis of cognitive impairment in CCH remains obscure. Here we explore the hypothesis that the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt) signal pathway is involved in this type of cognitive impairment. In order to determine if the expression of PI3K, Akt and phosphorylated Akt (p-Akt) proteins are altered at different stages of CCH with differing levels of cognitive impairment. we performed permanent, bilateral occlusion of the common carotid arteries (2-VO) to induce CCH. Adult male SD rats were randomly divided into sham-operated group, 2-VO 1 week group, 2-VO 4 weeks group and 2-VO 8 weeks group. Behavior tests were utilized to assess cognitive abilities, while western blots were utilized to evaluate protein expression. Rats in the 2-VO groups spent less time exploring novel objects than those in the sham-operated group, and the discrimination ratio of the 2-VO 8 weeks group and the sham-operated group were higher than chance (0.50). Escape latencies in the Morris water maze task in the 2-VO 1 week group were longer than those in the sham-operated group on day 4 and day 5, while escape latencies in the 2-VO 4 weeks group were longer than those in the sham-operated group from day 3 to day 5. Escape latencies in 2-VO 8 weeks group were longer than those in the sham-operated group from day 2 to day 5. NE (northeast) square swimming times in the 2-VO 1 week group, 2-VO 4 weeks group and 2-VO 8 weeks group were shorter than that in the sham-operated group. Western blotting showed that the PI3K expression in the 2-VO 1 week group was lower than that in sham-operated group, while p-Akt expression in the 2-VO 8 weeks group was higher than that in the sham-operated group. There was a linear relationship between the PI3K expression and the discrimination ratio, as well as a linear relationship between the PI3K and NE square swimming time. Thus, we propose that the PI3K/Akt signal pathway is an important cell pathway that is associated with the cognitive impairment following CCH.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0081901PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3858283PMC
September 2014

Detection of mitochondrial DNA mutations by high-throughput sequencing in the blood of breast cancer patients.

Int J Mol Med 2014 Jan 19;33(1):77-82. Epub 2013 Nov 19.

Graduate School of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510515, P.R. China.

Mitochondrial DNA mutations have been identified in serveral types of cancer. In breast cancer, germline and somatic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations have been identified. A number of mtDNA mutations in breast cancer have been identified in protein-coding regions (in protein-coding genes, such as ND2, COX3, ND4, ND5 and CytB). Mutations in these structure proteins cause impaired electron transport function and lead to electron leakage and increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, which in turn increases oxidative stress and oxidative damage to the mitochondria, as well as to cells. These data establish an association between mtDNA mutations and breast cancer; however, there is no reliable prediction of breast cancer predisposition or progression based on mtDNA mutation patterns thus far. In this study, we used high-throughput sequencing to detect mtDNA mutations in the blood of breast cancer patients. Some of these mutations may be used as potential markers for breast cancer diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2013.1559DOI Listing
January 2014

[Effects of drought stress on the root growth and development and physiological characteristics of peanut].

Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao 2013 Jun;24(6):1586-92

Shandong Peanut Research Institute, Qingdao 266100, Shandong, China.

Taking two peanut varieties Huayu 17 and Tangke 8 as test objects, a soil column culture experiment was conducted in a rainproof tank to study the peanut root morphological development and physiological characteristics at late growth stages under moderate drought and well-watered conditions. Tanke 8 had more developed root system and higher yield and drought coefficient, while Huayu 17 had poorer root adaptability to drought stress. For the two varieties, their root length density and root biomass were mainly distributed in 0-40 cm soil layer, whereas their root traits differed in the same soil layer. The total root length, total root surface area, and total root volume of Huayu 17 at each growth stage were smaller under drought stress than under well-balanced water treatment, while these root characteristics of Tangke 8 under drought stress only decreased at flowering-pegging stage. Drought stress increased the root biomass, surface area, and volume of the two varieties in 20-40 cm soil layer, but decreased these root traits in the soil layers below 40 cm. Under drought stress, the root activity of the two varieties in the soil layers below 40 cm at pod filling stage decreased, and the decrement was larger for Huayu 17. The differences in the root system development and physiological characteristics of the two varieties at late growth stages under drought stress suggested that the root system of the two varieties had different water absorption and utilization under drought stress.
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June 2013

Constitutive expression of cell wall invertase genes increases grain yield and starch content in maize.

Plant Biotechnol J 2013 Dec 9;11(9):1080-91. Epub 2013 Aug 9.

National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

Grain size, number and starch content are important determinants of grain yield and quality. One of the most important biological processes that determine these components is the carbon partitioning during the early grain filling, which requires the function of cell wall invertase. Here, we showed the constitutive expression of cell wall invertase-encoding gene from Arabidopsis, rice (Oryza sativa) or maize (Zea mays), driven by the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter, all increased cell wall invertase activities in different tissues and organs, including leaves and developing seeds, and substantially improved grain yield up to 145.3% in transgenic maize plants as compared to the wild-type plants, an effect that was reproduced in our 2-year field trials at different locations. The dramatically increased grain yield is due to the enlarged ears with both enhanced grain size and grain number. Constitutive expression of the invertase-encoding gene also increased total starch content up to 20% in the transgenic kernels. Our results suggest that cell wall invertase gene can be genetically engineered to improve both grain yield and grain quality in crop plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pbi.12102DOI Listing
December 2013

Electroacupuncture reduces hemiplegia following acute middle cerebral artery infarction with alteration of serum NSE, S-100B and endothelin.

Curr Neurovasc Res 2013 Aug;10(3):216-21

Department of Neurology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, and Center for Cerebral Vascular Diseases, Medical College of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, China.

Acupuncture may help motor recovery in chronic stroke survivors, but it is unclear whether it is useful for acute or subacute stroke patients. This study aimed to assess the effiency of electroacupuncture on hemiplegic patients caused by acute first-ever middle cerebral artery infarction. Ninety-eight patients with hemiplegia after first-ever middle cerebral artery infarction were divided into the observation group and the control group. Electroacupuncture was applied once daily for three weeks seven days after symptom onset. The motor functions of the limbs and the activities of daily living (ADL) were evaluated by Fugl-Meyer assessment (FMA) and Barthel index (BI). Serum neuron-specific enolase (NSE), soluble protein-100B (S-100B) and endothelin (ET) were quantified before and after treatment.After treatment, the FMA and BI scores were improved in comparison to before treatment scores in the same group (P<0.01 or P<0.05), with a more significant improvement in the observation group (with electroacupuncture) than in the control group (P<0.01). After treatments, the amounts of serum NSE, S-100B and ET in the observation group were significantly decreased when compared with those of the control group (P<0.01 or P<0.05). No adverse reactions occurred during electroacupuncture. This study showed that motor functions of the limbs and the activities of daily living in hemiplegic patients caused by acute cerebral infarction were improved significantly after treatment with electroacupuncture and this improvement was associated with reduced serum levels of NSE, S-100B and ET.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/15672026113109990005DOI Listing
August 2013

Protective effects of ginsenoside Rd against okadaic acid-induced neurotoxicity in vivo and in vitro.

J Ethnopharmacol 2011 Oct 8;138(1):135-41. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

Department of Neurology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Panax ginseng, a traditional Chinese herbal medicine, has been widely used to restore the disease and enhance the healthy body in Asia for about 5000 years. The present study aimed to investigate the possible neuroprotective effects of ginsenoside Rd against OA-induced toxicity.

Materials And Methods: Ginsenoside Rd was used in tauopahy models of Alzheimer's disease (AD). To mimic the in vivo or in vitro tau hyperphosphorylation, okadaic acid (OA), a protein phosphatase inhibitor, was bilaterally micro-infused into the cerebral ventricle of adult male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats, or added in media of cultured cortical neurons. The phosphorylation levels of tau and the activities of protein phosphatase 2A (PP-2A) were measured and compared with ginsenoside Rd pretreated groups.

Results: Pretreatment with ginsenoside Rd in SD rats (10mg/kg for 7 days) or in cultured cortical neurons (2.5 or 5μmol/L for 12h) reduced OA-induced neurotoxicity and tau hyperphosphorylation by enhancing the activities of PP-2A.

Conclusions: The result of the present work implied that ginsenoside Rd protected SD rats and cultured cortical neurons against OA-induced toxicity. The possible neuroprotective mechanism may be that ginsenoside Rd decreases OA-induced the hyperphosphorylation of tau by the increase in activities of PP-2A. Thus, this study promises that ginsenoside Rd might be a potential preventive drug candidate for AD and other tau pathology-related neuronal degenerative diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2011.08.068DOI Listing
October 2011

Reactive oxygen species hydrogen peroxide mediates Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus reactivation from latency.

PLoS Pathog 2011 May 19;7(5):e1002054. Epub 2011 May 19.

Tumor Virology Program, Greehey Children's Cancer Research Institute, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, United States of America.

Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) establishes a latent infection in the host following an acute infection. Reactivation from latency contributes to the development of KSHV-induced malignancies, which include Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), the most common cancer in untreated AIDS patients, primary effusion lymphoma and multicentric Castleman's disease. However, the physiological cues that trigger KSHV reactivation remain unclear. Here, we show that the reactive oxygen species (ROS) hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) induces KSHV reactivation from latency through both autocrine and paracrine signaling. Furthermore, KSHV spontaneous lytic replication, and KSHV reactivation from latency induced by oxidative stress, hypoxia, and proinflammatory and proangiogenic cytokines are mediated by H₂O₂. Mechanistically, H₂O₂ induction of KSHV reactivation depends on the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase ERK1/2, JNK, and p38 pathways. Significantly, H₂O₂ scavengers N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), catalase and glutathione inhibit KSHV lytic replication in culture. In a mouse model of KSHV-induced lymphoma, NAC effectively inhibits KSHV lytic replication and significantly prolongs the lifespan of the mice. These results directly relate KSHV reactivation to oxidative stress and inflammation, which are physiological hallmarks of KS patients. The discovery of this novel mechanism of KSHV reactivation indicates that antioxidants and anti-inflammation drugs could be promising preventive and therapeutic agents for effectively targeting KSHV replication and KSHV-related malignancies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1002054DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3098240PMC
May 2011

Mechanical phenotype is important for stromal aromatase expression.

Steroids 2011 Jul 4;76(8):797-801. Epub 2011 Mar 4.

Department of Molecular Medicine, Institute of Biotechnology, University of Texas, San Antonio, TX 78245, USA.

Evidence that aromatase expression in tumor-associated breast stroma is elevated, provides a rationale for use of aromatase inhibitors (AIs) in breast cancer treatment. However, regulation of local aromatase expression in cancer-free breast stroma is poorly understood. Recent clinical work indicates that stromal cells in dense breast tissue tend to express higher levels of aromatase than their counterpart from non-dense tissue. Consistent with the clinical observation, our cell culture-based study indicated that cell density, cell shape, and extracellular matrix (ECM) significantly induced stromal aromatase expression via a distinct signal transduction pathway. In addition, we identified a number of cell surface markers that are commonly associated with aromatase-expressing stromal cells. As mammographic density is one of the strongest and most prevalent risk factors for breast cancer, these findings provide a potential mechanistic link between alterations in tissue composition of dense breast tissue and increased stromal aromatase expression. Further exploration of the in vitro model system may advance understanding of an important problem in breast cancer biology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.steroids.2011.02.039DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3114299PMC
July 2011
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