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Association of novel mutations and heplotypes in the preS region of hepatitis B virus with hepatocellular carcinoma
Jia-Xin XIE, Jian-Hua YIN, Qi ZHANG, Rui PU, Wen-Ying LU, Hong-Wei ZHANG, Guang-Wen CAO, Jun ZHAO, Hong-Yang WANG,
Front. Med.    2010, 4 (4): 419-429.
Abstract   PDF (139KB)
The association of viral mutations and haplotypic carriages with mutations in the preS region of hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes B and C with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is of great significance for the prediction of this malignancy, but it remains obscure. We analyzed the preS sequences of HBV genotypes B and C from 1172 HBV-infected subjects including 231 patients with HCC. As compared with the HBV-infected subjects without HCC, C2875T, G2946C, A3054C, C3060A, T3066C, C3116T, A3120C, G3191A, A1C, C7A, C10A, A31C, C76T, G105C, and G147C in both genotypes were significantly associated with increased risks of HCC. C2875A, G2950A, G2951A, A3054T, C3060T, T3066A, T3069G, A3120T, and G3191C were significantly associated with increased risks of HCC in genotype C, whereas these mutations were inversely associated with HCC in genotype B. Multivariate regression analyses showed that C76A/T was a novel factor independently associated with an increased risk of HCC, as compared with those without HCC. The frequencies of haplotypes 2964A-3116T-preS2 start codon wild-type-7C, 2964C-3116T-7A-76C, and 2964A-3116T-7C-76A/T were significantly higher in the patients with HCC (P<0.001), whereas a haplotypic carriage with a single mutation and another three wild-types were inversely associated with HCC. Conclusively, the association of HBV mutations in the preS region with HCC depends on HBV genotype and haplotypic carriage with two or more mutations that are each associated with an increased risk of HCC independently.
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Top-geoherbs of traditional Chinese medicine: common trait, quality characteristics and formation
Luqi Huang, Lanping Guo, Chaoyi Ma, Wei Gao, Qingjun Yuan
Front Med    2011, 5 (2): 185-194.
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Top-geoherbs used in China are always featured with high qualities, and they grow in specified areas with specific environment. Recently, researches on top-geoherbs have attracted increasing attention in China and other countries. In order to have a thorough knowledge of top-geoherbs, this article reviews the concept, historical evolution, common trait and quality characteristics of top-geoherbs, and explains the forming mechanism including genetic mechanism and environmental mechanism. In addition, it introduces the influence of human factors on the quality of top-geoherbs. Finally, it proposes some problems that should be paid attention to in the researches on top-geoherbs.

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Behavioral methods for the functional assessment of hair cells in zebrafish
Qin Yang, Peng Sun, Shi Chen, Hongzhe Li, Fangyi Chen
Front. Med.    2017, 11 (2): 178-190.
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Zebrafish is an emerging animal model for studies on auditory system. This model presents high comparability with humans, good accessibility to the hearing organ, and high throughput capacity. To better utilize this animal model, methodologies need to be used to quantify the hearing function of the zebrafish. Zebrafish displays a series of innate and robust behavior related to its auditory function. Here, we reviewed the advantage of using zebrafish in auditory research and then introduced three behavioral tests, as follows: the startle response, the vestibular-ocular reflex, and rheotaxis. These tests are discussed in terms of their physiological characteristics, up-to-date technical development, and apparatus description. Test limitation and areas to improve are also introduced. Finally, we revealed the feasibility of these applications in zebrafish behavioral assessment and their potential in the high-throughput screening on hearing-related genes and drugs.

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Epidemiology of fungal infections in China
Min Chen, Yuan Xu, Nan Hong, Yali Yang, Wenzhi Lei, Lin Du, Jingjun Zhao, Xia Lei, Lin Xiong, Langqi Cai, Hui Xu, Weihua Pan, Wanqing Liao
Front. Med.    2018, 12 (1): 58-75.
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With the increasing number of immunocompromised hosts, the epidemiological characteristics of fungal infections have undergone enormous changes worldwide, including in China. In this paper, we reviewed the existing data on mycosis across China to summarize available epidemiological profiles. We found that the general incidence of superficial fungal infections in China has been stable, but the incidence of tinea capitis has decreased and the transmission route has changed. By contrast, the overall incidence of invasive fungal infections has continued to rise. The occurrence of candidemia caused by Candida species other than C. albicans and including some uncommon Candida species has increased recently in China. Infections caused by Aspergillus have also propagated in recent years, particularly with the emergence of azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus. An increasing trend of cryptococcosis has been noted in China, with Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii ST 5 genotype isolates as the predominant pathogen. Retrospective studies have suggested that the epidemiological characteristics of Pneumocystis pneumonia in China may be similar to those in other developing countries. Endemic fungal infections, such as sporotrichosis in Northeastern China, must arouse research, diagnostic, and treatment vigilance. Currently, the epidemiological data on mycosis in China are variable and fragmentary. Thus, a nationwide epidemiological research on fungal infections in China is an important need for improving the country’s health.

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Histone variants: critical determinants in tumour heterogeneity
Tao Wang, Florent Chuffart, Ekaterina Bourova-Flin, Jin Wang, Jianqing Mi, Sophie Rousseaux, Saadi Khochbin
Front. Med.    2019, 13 (3): 289-297.
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Malignant cell transformation could be considered as a series of cell reprogramming events driven by oncogenic transcription factors and upstream signalling pathways. Chromatin plasticity and dynamics are critical determinants in the control of cell reprograming. An increase in chromatin dynamics could therefore constitute an essential step in driving oncogenesis and in generating tumour cell heterogeneity, which is indispensable for the selection of aggressive properties, including the ability of cells to disseminate and acquire resistance to treatments. Histone supply and dosage, as well as histone variants, are the best-known regulators of chromatin dynamics. By facilitating cell reprogramming, histone under-dosage and histone variants should also be crucial in cell transformation and tumour metastasis. Here we summarize and discuss our knowledge of the role of histone supply and histone variants in chromatin dynamics and their ability to enhance oncogenic cell reprogramming and tumour heterogeneity.

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Talin and kindlin: the one-two punch in integrin activation
Feng Ye, Adam K. Snider, Mark H. Ginsberg
Front Med    2014, 8 (1): 6-16.
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Proper cell-cell and cell-matrix contacts mediated by integrin adhesion receptors are important for development, immune response, hemostasis and wound healing. Integrins pass trans-membrane signals bidirectionally through their regulated affinities for extracellular ligands and intracellular signaling molecules. Such bidirectional signaling by integrins is enabled by the conformational changes that are often linked among extracellular, transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains. Here, we review how talin-integrin and kindlin-integrin interactions, in cooperation with talin-lipid and kindlin-lipid interactions, regulate integrin affinities and how the progress in these areas helps us understand integrin-related diseases.

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Landscape of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in China: impact of ecology, climate, and behavior
Qiyong Liu, Wenbo Xu, Shan Lu, Jiafu Jiang, Jieping Zhou, Zhujun Shao, Xiaobo Liu, Lei Xu, Yanwen Xiong, Han Zheng, Sun Jin, Hai Jiang, Wuchun Cao, Jianguo Xu
Front. Med.    2018, 12 (1): 3-22.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (997KB)

For the past several decades, the infectious disease profile in China has been shifting with rapid developments in social and economic aspects, environment, quality of food, water, housing, and public health infrastructure. Notably, 5 notifiable infectious diseases have been almost eradicated, and the incidence of 18 additional notifiable infectious diseases has been significantly reduced. Unexpectedly, the incidence of over 10 notifiable infectious diseases, including HIV, brucellosis, syphilis, and dengue fever, has been increasing. Nevertheless, frequent infectious disease outbreaks/events have been reported almost every year, and imported infectious diseases have increased since 2015. New pathogens and over 100 new genotypes or serotypes of known pathogens have been identified. Some infectious diseases seem to be exacerbated by various factors, including rapid urbanization, large numbers of migrant workers, changes in climate, ecology, and policies, such as returning farmland to forests. This review summarizes the current experiences and lessons from China in managing emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, especially the effects of ecology, climate, and behavior, which should have merits in helping other countries to control and prevent infectious diseases.

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CRISPR-Cas9 mediated LAG-3 disruption in CAR-T cells
Yongping Zhang, Xingying Zhang, Chen Cheng, Wei Mu, Xiaojuan Liu, Na Li, Xiaofei Wei, Xiang Liu, Changqing Xia, Haoyi Wang
Front. Med.    2017, 11 (4): 554-562.
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T cells engineered with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) have been successfully applied to treat advanced refractory B cell malignancy. However, many challenges remain in extending its application toward the treatment of solid tumors. The immunosuppressive nature of tumor microenvironment is considered one of the key factors limiting CAR-T efficacy. One negative regulator of T cell activity is lymphocyte activation gene-3 (LAG-3). We successfully generated LAG-3 knockout T and CAR-T cells with high efficiency using CRISPR-Cas9 mediated gene editing and found that the viability and immune phenotype were not dramatically changed during in vitro culture. LAG-3 knockout CAR-T cells displayed robust antigen-specific antitumor activity in cell culture and in murine xenograft model, which is comparable to standard CAR-T cells. Our study demonstrates an efficient approach to silence immune checkpoint in CAR-T cells via gene editing.

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Natural killer cell lines in tumor immunotherapy
Min Cheng, Jian Zhang, Wen Jiang, Yongyan Chen, Zhigang Tian
Front Med    2012, 6 (1): 56-66.
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Natural killer (NK) cells are considered to be critical players in anticancer immunity. However, cancers are able to develop mechanisms to escape NK cell attack or to induce defective NK cells. Current NK cell-based cancer immunotherapy is aimed at overcoming NK cell paralysis through several potential approaches, including activating autologous NK cells, expanding allogeneic NK cells, usage of stable allogeneic NK cell lines and genetically modifying fresh NK cells or NK cell lines. The stable allogeneic NK cell line approach is more practical for quality-control and large-scale production. Additionally, genetically modifying NK cell lines by increasing their expression of cytokines and engineering chimeric tumor antigen receptors could improve their specificity and cytotoxicity. In this review, NK cells in tumor immunotherapy are discussed, and a list of therapeutic NK cell lines currently undergoing preclinical and clinical trials of several kinds of tumors are reviewed.

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Combination of biomaterial transplantation and genetic enhancement of intrinsic growth capacities to promote CNS axon regeneration after spinal cord injury
Bin Yu, Xiaosong Gu
Front. Med.    2019, 13 (2): 131-137.
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The inhibitory environment that surrounds the lesion site and the lack of intrinsic regenerative capacity of the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS) impede the regrowth of injured axons and thereby the reestablishment of neural circuits required for functional recovery after spinal cord injuries (SCI). To circumvent these barriers, biomaterial scaffolds are applied to bridge the lesion gaps for the regrowing axons to follow, and, often by combining stem cell transplantation, to enable the local environment in the growth-supportive direction. Manipulations, such as the modulation of PTEN/mTOR pathways, can also enhance intrinsic CNS axon regrowth after injury. Given the complex pathophysiology of SCI, combining biomaterial scaffolds and genetic manipulation may provide synergistic effects and promote maximal axonal regrowth. Future directions will primarily focus on the translatability of these approaches and promote therapeutic avenues toward the functional rehabilitation of patients with SCIs.

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The antibiotic resistome: gene flow in environments, animals and human beings
Yongfei Hu, George F. Gao, Baoli Zhu
Front. Med.    2017, 11 (2): 161-168.
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The antibiotic resistance is natural in bacteria and predates the human use of antibiotics. Numerous antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) have been discovered to confer resistance to a wide range of antibiotics. The ARGs in natural environments are highly integrated and tightly regulated in specific bacterial metabolic networks. However, the antibiotic selection pressure conferred by the use of antibiotics in both human medicine and agriculture practice leads to a significant increase of antibiotic resistance and a steady accumulation of ARGs in bacteria. In this review, we summarized, with an emphasis on an ecological point of view, the important research progress regarding the collective ARGs (antibiotic resistome) in bacterial communities of natural environments, human and animals, i.e., in the one health settings. We propose that the resistance gene flow in nature is “from the natural environments” and “to the natural environments”; human and animals, as intermediate recipients and disseminators, contribute greatly to such a resistance gene “circulation.”

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High-affinity T cell receptors redirect cytokine-activated T cells (CAT) to kill cancer cells
Synat Kang, Yanyan Li, Yifeng Bao, Yi Li
Front. Med.    2019, 13 (1): 69-82.
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Cytokine-activated T cells (CATs) can be easily expanded and are widely applied to cancer immunotherapy. However, the good efficacy of CATs is rarely reported in clinical applications because CATs have no or very low antigen specificity. The low-efficacy problem can be resolved using T cell antigen receptor-engineered CAT (TCR-CAT). Herein, we demonstrate that NY-ESO-1157–165 HLA-A*02:01-specific high-affinity TCR (HAT)-transduced CATs can specifically kill cancer cells with good efficacy. With low micromolar range dissociation equilibrium constants, HAT-transduced CATs showed good specificity with no off-target killing. Furthermore, the high-affinity TCR-CATs delivered significantly better activation and cytotoxicity than the equivalent TCR-engineered T cells (TCR-Ts) in terms of interferon-g and granzyme B production and in vitro cancer cell killing ability. TCR-CAT may be a very good alternative to the expensive TCR-T, which is considered an effective personalized cyto-immunotherapy.

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Progress on the research and development of human enterovirus 71 (EV71) vaccines
Zhenglun Liang, Qunying Mao, Fan Gao, Junzhi Wang
Front Med    2013, 7 (1): 111-121.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (219KB)

Enterovirus 71 (EV71) infections, which can cause severe complications, have become one of the serious public health issues in the Western Pacific region and China. To date, a number of pharmaceutical companies and institutes have initiated the research and development of EV71 vaccines as a countermeasure. As is the case with innovative vaccine development, there are several critical bottlenecks in EV71 vaccine development that must be overcome before the clinical trials, including the selection of vaccine strain, standardization of the procedure for quantifying neutralizing antibody (NTAb) and antigen, establishment and application of a reference standard and biological standards, development of animal models for the evaluation of protective efficacy, and identification of the target patient population. To tackle these technical obstacles, researchers in Mainland of China have conducted a series of studies concerning the screening of vaccine strains and the establishment of criteria, biological standards and detection methods, thereby advancing EV71 vaccine development. This review summarizes recent worldwide progress on the quality control and evaluation of EV71 vaccines.

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Mechanisms of insulin resistance in obesity
Jianping Ye
Front Med    2013, 7 (1): 14-24.
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Obesity increases the risk for type 2 diabetes through induction of insulin resistance. Treatment of type 2 diabetes has been limited by little translational knowledge of insulin resistance although there have been several well-documented hypotheses for insulin resistance. In those hypotheses, inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, hyperinsulinemia and lipotoxicity have been the major concepts and have received a lot of attention. Oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, genetic background, aging, fatty liver, hypoxia and lipodystrophy are active subjects in the study of these concepts. However, none of those concepts or views has led to an effective therapy for type 2 diabetes. The reason is that, there has been no consensus for a unifying mechanism of insulin resistance. In this review article, literature is critically analyzed and reinterpreted for a new energy-based concept of insulin resistance, in which insulin resistance is a result of energy surplus in cells. The energy surplus signal is mediated by ATP and sensed by adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway. Decreasing ATP level by suppression of production or stimulation of utilization is a promising approach in the treatment of insulin resistance. In support, many of existing insulin sensitizing medicines inhibit ATP production in mitochondria. The effective therapies such as weight loss, exercise, and caloric restriction all reduce ATP in insulin sensitive cells. This new concept provides a unifying cellular and molecular mechanism of insulin resistance in obesity, which may apply to insulin resistance in aging and lipodystrophy.

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Neuroprotective effects of Ginkgo biloba extract and Ginkgolide B against oxygen–glucose deprivation/reoxygenation and glucose injury in a new in vitro multicellular network model
Xiaohan Yang, Tiezheng Zheng, Hao Hong, Nan Cai, Xiaofeng Zhou, Changkai Sun, Liying Wu, Shuhong Liu, Yongqi Zhao, Lingling Zhu, Ming Fan, Xuezhong Zhou, Fengxie Jin
Front. Med.    2018, 12 (3): 307-318.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (526KB)

Acute ischemic stroke (AIS), as the third leading cause of death worldwide, is characterized by its high incidence, mortality rate, high incurred disability rate, and frequent reoccurrence. The neuroprotective effects of Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) against several cerebral diseases have been reported in previous studies, but the underlying mechanisms of action are still unclear. Using a novel in vitro rat cortical capillary endothelial cell-astrocyte-neuron network model, we investigated the neuroprotective effects of GBE and one of its important constituents, Ginkgolide B (GB), against oxygen–glucose deprivation/reoxygenation and glucose (OGD/R) injury. In this model, rat cortical capillary endothelial cells, astrocytes, and neurons were cocultured so that they could be synchronously observed in the same system. Pretreatment with GBE or GB increased the neuron cell viability, ameliorated cell injury, and inhibited the cell apoptotic rate through Bax and Bcl-2 expression regulation after OGD/R injury. Furthermore, GBE or GB pretreatment enhanced the transendothelial electrical resistance of capillary endothelial monolayers, reduced the endothelial permeability coefficients for sodium fluorescein (Na-F), and increased the expression levels of tight junction proteins, namely, ZO-1 and occludin, in endothelial cells. Results demonstrated the preventive effects of GBE on neuronal cell death and enhancement of the function of brain capillary endothelial monolayers after OGD/R injury in vitro; thus, GBE could be used as an effective neuroprotective agent for AIS/reperfusion, with GB as one of its significant constituents.

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Present status and progress of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy for esophageal cancer
Jing Liu, Jinbo Yue, Ligang Xing, Jinming Yu
Front Med    2013, 7 (2): 172-179.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (134KB)

Trimodality based on neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (nCRT) followed by surgery is gaining popularity as a treatment strategy for locally advanced esophageal cancer. In this review, we summarize the role of nCRT and the recommended nCRT regimens based on clinical trials and meta-analyses. We analyze the relationship of nCRT with pathologic complete response (pCR) and then identify potential predictive markers of response. Compared with surgery alone and neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery, trimodality provides longer survival and has the advantage of local control compared with definitive chemoradiotherapy. The standard regimen is a platinum-based regimen with a radiation dose range of 41.4–50.4βGy by conventional fractionation. Evidence shows that patients with pCR tend to live longer than non-responders, indicating that pCR is a significant prognostic factor for patients with esophageal cancer. Individualized medicine requires predictive markers of individual patients based on their own genes. Currently, no definite marker is proved to be sufficiently sensitive and specific for use in clinical practice, although 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography shows promise in predicting response to nCRT.

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Insulin resistance and the metabolism of branched-chain amino acids
Jingyi Lu, Guoxiang Xie, Weiping Jia, Wei Jia
Front Med    2013, 7 (1): 53-59.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (196KB)

Insulin resistance (IR) is a key pathological feature of metabolic syndrome and subsequently causes serious health problems with an increased risk of several common metabolic disorders. IR related metabolic disturbance is not restricted to carbohydrates but impacts global metabolic network. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), namely valine, leucine and isoleucine, are among the nine essential amino acids, accounting for 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle proteins and 40% of the preformed amino acids required by mammals. The BCAAs are particularly responsive to the inhibitory insulin action on amino acid release by skeletal muscle and their metabolism is profoundly altered in insulin resistant conditions and/or insulin deficiency. Although increased circulating BCAA concentration in insulin resistant conditions has been noted for many years and BCAAs have been reported to be involved in the regulation of glucose homeostasis and body weight, it is only recently that BCAAs are found to be closely associated with IR. This review will focus on the recent findings on BCAAs from both epidemic and mechanistic studies.

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Molecular classification and precision therapy of cancer: immune checkpoint inhibitors
Yingyan Yu
Front. Med.    2018, 12 (2): 229-235.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (155KB)

On May 23, 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a treatment for cancer patients with positive microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) markers or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) markers. This approach is the first approved tumor treatment using a common biomarker rather than specified tumor locations in the body. FDA previously approved Keytruda for treatment of several types of malignancies, such as metastatic melanoma, metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer, recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer, refractory Hodgkin lymphoma, and urothelial carcinoma, all of which carry positive programmed death-1/programmed death-ligand 1 biomarkers. Therefore, indications of Keytruda significantly expanded. Several types of malignancies are disclosed by MSI-H status due to dMMR and characterized by increased neoantigen load, which elicits intense host immune response in tumor microenvironment, including portions of colorectal and gastric carcinomas. Currently, biomarker-based patient selection remains a challenge. Pathologists play important roles in evaluating histology and biomarker results and establishing detection methods. Taking gastric cancer as an example, its molecular classification is built on genome abnormalities, but it lacks acceptable clinical characteristics. Pathologists are expected to act as “genetic interpreters” or “genetic translators” and build a link between molecular subtypes with tumor histological features. Subsequently, by using their findings, oncologists will carry out targeted therapy based on molecular classification.

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Altered intestinal microbiota associated with colorectal cancer
Hong Zhang, Ying Chang, Qingqing Zheng, Rong Zhang, Cheng Hu, Weiping Jia
Front. Med.    2019, 13 (4): 461-470.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (692KB)

The gut microbiota plays an important role in the development and progression of colorectal cancer (CRC). To learn more about the dysbiosis of carcinogenesis, we assessed alterations in gut microbiota in patients with CRC. A total of 23 subjects were enrolled in this study: 9 had CRC (CRC group) and 14 had normal colons (normal group). The microbiome of the mucosal--luminal interface of each subject was sampled and analyzed using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. We also used Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) to predict microbial functional profiles. The microbial composition of the mucosal lumen differed between the groups, and the presence of specific bacteria may serve as a potential biomarker for colorectal carcinogenesis. We identified a significant reduction in Eubacterium, which is a butyrate-producing genera of bacteria, and a significant increase in Devosia in the gut microbiota of CRC patients. Different levels of gut microflora in healthy and CRC samples were identified. The observed abundance of bacterial species belonging to Eubacterium and Devosia may serve as a promising biomarker for the early detection of CRC.

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Regulatory factors of mesenchymal stem cell migration into injured tissues and their signal transduction mechanisms
Li LI, Jianxin JIANG
Front Med    2011, 5 (1): 33-39.
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Adult stem cells hold great promise for wound healing and tissue regeneration. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), for example, have been shown to play a role in tissue repair. Research has shown that endogenous bone marrow MSCs or exogenously delivered MSCs migrate to the sites of injury and participate in the repair process. The precise mechanisms underlying migration of MSCs into the injured tissue are still not fully understood, although multiple signaling pathways and molecules were reported, including both chemoattractive factors and endogenous electric fields at wounds. This review will briefly summarize the regulatory facors and signaling transduction pathways involved in migration of MSCs. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the migration of MSCs will help us to develop new stem cell-based therapeutic strategies in regenerative medicine.

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Gut microbial balance and liver transplantation: alteration, management, and prediction
Xinyao Tian, Zhe Yang, Fangzhou Luo, Shusen Zheng
Front. Med.    2018, 12 (2): 123-129.
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Liver transplantation is a conventional treatment for terminal stage liver diseases. However, several complications still hinder the survival rate. Intestinal barrier destruction is widely observed among patients receiving liver transplant and suffering from ischemia–reperfusion or rejection injuries because of the relationship between the intestine and the liver, both in anatomy and function. Importantly, the resulting alteration of gut microbiota aggravates graft dysfunctions during the process. This article reviews the research progress for gut microbial alterations and liver transplantation. Especially, this work also evaluates research on the management of gut microbial alteration and the prediction of possible injuries utilizing microbial alteration during liver transplantation. In addition, we propose possible directions for research on gut microbial alteration during liver transplantation and offer a hypothesis on the utilization of microbial alteration in liver transplantation. The aim is not only to predict perioperative injuries but also to function as a method of treatment or even inhibit the rejection of liver transplantation.

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Role of the forkhead transcription factor FOXO-FOXM1 axis in cancer and drug resistance
Fung Zhao, Eric W.-F. Lam
Front Med    2012, 6 (4): 376-380.
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The forkhead transcription factors FOXO and FOXM1 have pivotal roles in tumorigenesis and in mediating chemotherapy sensitivity and resistance. Recent research shows that the forkhead transcription factor FOXM1 is a direct transcriptional target repressed by the forkhead protein FOXO3a, a vital downstream effector of the PI3K-AKT-FOXO signaling pathway. Intriguingly, FOXM1 and FOXO3a also compete for binding to the same gene targets, which have a role in chemotherapeutic drug action and sensitivity. An understanding of the role and regulation of the FOXO-FOXM1 axis will impact directly on our knowledge of chemotherapeutic drug action and resistance in patients, and provide new insights into the design of novel therapeutic strategy and reliable biomarkers for prediction of drug sensitivity.

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Non-invasive continuous blood pressure monitoring: a review of current applications
Elena Chung, Guo Chen, Brenton Alexander, Maxime Cannesson
Front Med    2013, 7 (1): 91-101.
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Blood pressure monitoring has come a long way from the initial observations made by Reverend Hales in the 18th century. There are none that deny the importance of monitoring perioperative blood pressure; however, the limited ability of the current prevalent technology (oscillometric blood pressure monitoring) to offer continuous blood pressure measurements leaves room for improvement. Invasive monitoring is able to detect beat-to-beat blood pressure measurement, but the risks inherent to the procedure make it unsuitable for routine use except when this risk is outweighed by the benefits. This review focuses on the discoveries which have led up to the current blood pressure monitoring technologies, and especially the creation of those offering non-invasive but continuous blood pressure monitoring capabilities, including their methods of measurement and limitations.

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Clinical analysis of 275 cases of acute drug-induced liver disease
LI Lei, JIANG Wei, WANG Jiyao
Front. Med.    2007, 1 (1): 58-61.
Abstract   PDF (330KB)
In order to analyze the causative drugs, clinical manifestation and pathological characteristics of the patients with acute drug-induced liver disease, from January 2000 to December 2005, 275 cases diagnosed as acute drug-induced liver diseases according to Maria Criterion and hospitalized in Zhongshan Hospital of Fudan University were retrospectively reviewed. Each was determined by drug history, clinical symptoms and signs, laboratory tests and therapeutic effects. In 41 cases, the diagnosis was confirmed by liver biopsy. The proportion of acute drug-induced liver disease among all of the acute liver injuries was annually increased. The most common drugs which induced acute liver injuries were traditional Chinese herb medicine (23.3%, 64/275 cases), antineoplastics (15.3%, 42/275), hormones and other immunosuppressant agents (13.8%, 38/275), antihypertensive drugs and other cardiovascular drugs (10.2%, 28/275), NSAIDs (8.7%, 24/275) respectively. Hepatocellular injury was the predominant type in these cases (132 cases, 48%). The principal clinical manifestation included nausea (54.8%), fatigue (50.2%), jaundice (35.6%). 27.9% patients were asymptomatic. Most patients were cured with good prognosis. The total effective rate was 94.2% after treatment. The clinicians should pay attention to the prevention, diagnosis and therapy of drug-induced liver disease.
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Molecular epidemiology of Cryptococcus neoformans species complex isolates from HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients in southeast China
Min CHEN MM, Wei-Hua PAN MD, Wan-Qing LIAO MM, Xiao-Ran LI BS, Bi-Wei FENG BS, Zhe-Xue QUAN PhD, Shao-Xi WU MD, Xiao-Ping TANG MD, Zhi-Rong YAO MD,
Front. Med.    2010, 4 (1): 117-126.
Abstract   PDF (179KB)
This study investigated the molecular types of the Cryptococcus neoformans species complex isolates and their clinical manifestations among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive and HIV-negative patients in southeast China in the past 15 years. The molecular types of 109 isolates from 108 patients were analyzed by the PCR fingerprinting method, sequences of internal transcribed spacers of rDNA (ITS region), and sequences of the capsule-associated gene (CAP59). In HIV-positive patients, clinical isolates were grouped into molecular types VNI (75%, 15/20), VNII (15%, 3/20), and VNIII (10%, 2/20). In HIV-negative patients, the majority of the clinical isolates were grouped into molecular types VNI (72%, 64/89), VNII (13%, 12/89), VGI (12%, 11/89), VNIII (1%, 1/89), and VGII (1%, 1/89). In reference to the mating type of the isolates, 97% (106/109) were of the MATα, 2% (2/109) were of the MATα/- and 1% (1/109) were of the MATα/a. As for the clinical manifestations of the molecular types among the patients, the average cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure of the patients infected by the C. gattii was higher than that of the patients infected by the C. neoformans. These results suggest that both HIV-positive and HIV-negative cryptococcal patients in the southeast of China are mostly infected by the C. neoformans strains. No C. gattii strains were found in HIV-positive patients.
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Zinc homeostasis in the metabolic syndrome and diabetes
Xiao Miao, Weixia Sun, Yaowen Fu, Lining Miao, Lu Cai
Front Med    2013, 7 (1): 31-52.
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Zinc (Zn) is an essential mineral that is required for various cellular functions. Zn dyshomeostasis always is related to certain disorders such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes and diabetic complications. The associations of Zn with metabolic syndrome, diabetes and diabetic complications, thus, stem from the multiple roles of Zn: (1) a constructive component of many important enzymes or proteins, (2) a requirement for insulin storage and secretion, (3) a direct or indirect antioxidant action, and (4) an insulin-like action. However, whether there is a clear cause-and-effect relationship of Zn with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, or diabetic complications remains unclear. In fact, it is known that Zn deficiency is a common phenomenon in diabetic patients. Chronic low intake of Zn was associated with the increased risk of diabetes and diabetes also impairs Zn metabolism. Theoretically Zn supplementation should prevent the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and diabetic complications; however, limited available data are not always supportive of the above notion. Therefore, this review has tried to summarize these pieces of available information, possible mechanisms by which Zn prevents the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and diabetic complications. In the final part, what are the current issues for Zn supplementation were also discussed.

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Chronic hepatitis B virus infection: epidemiology, prevention, and treatment in China
Rui Yu,Rong Fan,Jinlin Hou
Front. Med.    2014, 8 (2): 135-144.
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Chronic hepatitis B is a major health problem in China. The universal vaccination program since 1992 has changed the epidemiology of hepatitis B virus infection in China from highly to moderately endemic. The most prevalent hepatitis B virus strains in China are genotypes B and C, whereas those in western provinces are genotypes D and C/D hybrid. Chronic hepatitis B poses a heavy burden to the society in China. Different treatment strategies have been explored to improve patient outcomes in a cost-effective manner. However, antiviral drugs with a low genetic barrier to resistance are still extensively used because of the generally low income and limited resources in China. Individualized antiviral therapy is closely associated with translational medicine, which utilizes information from studies on genomics, immune biomarkers, and fibrosis. The results of these studies are crucial in further improving treatment outcomes.

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Transforming bacterial disease surveillance and investigation using whole-genome sequence to probe the trace
Biao Kan, Haijian Zhou, Pengcheng Du, Wen Zhang, Xin Lu, Tian Qin, Jianguo Xu
Front. Med.    2018, 12 (1): 23-33.
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Two decades have passed since the first bacterial whole-genome sequencing, which provides new opportunity for microbial genome. Consequently, considerable genetic diversity encoded by bacterial genomes and among the strains in the same species has been revealed. In recent years, genome sequencing techniques and bioinformatics have developed rapidly, which has resulted in transformation and expedited the application of strategy and methodology for bacterial genome comparison used in dissection of infectious disease epidemics. Bacterial whole-genome sequencing and bioinformatic computing allow genotyping to satisfy the requirements of epidemiological study in disease control. In this review, we outline the significance and summarize the roles of bacterial genome sequencing in the context of bacterial disease control and prevention. We discuss the applications of bacterial genome sequencing in outbreak detection, source tracing, transmission mode discovery, and new epidemic clone identification. Wide applications of genome sequencing and data sharing in infectious disease surveillance networks will considerably promote outbreak detection and early warning to prevent the dissemination of bacterial diseases.

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Genetic and clinical markers for predicting treatment responsiveness in rheumatoid arthritis
Xin Wu, Xiaobao Sheng, Rong Sheng, Hongjuan Lu, Huji Xu
Front. Med.    2019, 13 (4): 411-419.
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Although many drugs and therapeutic strategies have been developed for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment, numerous patients with RA fail to respond to currently available agents. In this review, we provide an overview of the complexity of this autoimmune disease by showing the rapidly increasing number of genes associated with RA. We then systematically review various factors that have a predictive value (predictors) for the response to different drugs in RA treatment, especially recent advances. These predictors include but are certainly not limited to genetic variations, clinical factors, and demographic factors. However, no clinical application is currently available. This review also describes the challenges in treating patients with RA and the need for personalized medicine. At the end of this review, we discuss possible strategies to enhance the prediction of drug responsiveness in patients with RA.

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Prospects of immunotherapy for cancer
Zhinan Chen
Front. Med.    2019, 13 (1): 1-2.
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