Dec 2016, Volume 10 Issue 4

Cover illustration

  • Endogenous CRM1 (Alexa Fluor 594-conjugated secondary antibody, red) and overexpressed NUP98-IQCG (EGFP-tagged, green) colocalize in distinct nuclear dots (yellow) in HEK293T cells. (Courtesy of Dr. Saijuan Chen. See pages 410?419 by Mengmeng Pan et al. for more information.)

  • Select all
    Hainv Gao, Hangping Yao, Shigui Yang, Lanjuan Li

    The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a novel zoonotic pathogen. In 2012, the infectious outbreak caused by MERS-CoV in Saudi Arabia has spread to more than 1600 patients in 26 countries, resulting in over 600 deaths. Without a travel history, few clinical and radiological features can reliably differentiate MERS from SARS. But in real world, comparing with SARS, MERS presents more vaguely defined epidemiology, more severe symptoms, and higher case fatality rate. In this review, we summarize the recent findings in the field of MERS-CoV, especially its molecular virology, interspecies mechanisms, clinical features, antiviral therapies, and the further investigation into this disease. As a newly emerging virus, many questions are not fully answered, including the exact mode of transmission chain, geographical distribution, and animal origins. Furthermore, a new protocol needs to be launched to rapidly evaluate the effects of unproven antiviral drugs and vaccine to fasten the clinical application of new drugs.

    Shuhang Wang,Yongping Song,Feifei Yan,Delong Liu

    The tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are becoming the first line of therapy for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Acquired mutations in EGFR account for one of the major mechanisms of resistance to the TKIs. Three generations of EGFR TKIs have been used in clinical applications. AZD9291 (osimertinib; Tagrisso) is the first and only FDA approved third-generation EGFR TKI for T790M-positive advanced NSCLC patients. However, resistance to AZD9291 arises after 9–13 months of therapy. The mechanisms of resistance to third-generation inhibitors reported to date include the EGFR C797S mutation, EGFR L718Q mutation, and amplifications of HER-2, MET, or ERBB2. To overcome the acquired resistance to AZD9291, EAI045 was discovered and recently reported to be an allosteric EGFR inhibitor that overcomes T790M- and C797S-mediated resistance. This review summarizes recent investigations on the mechanisms of resistance to the EGFR TKIs, as well as the latest development of EAI045 as a fourth-generation EGFR inhibitor.

    Zhen He,Cheng Hu,Weiping Jia

    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major cause of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma and is a considerable threat to public health. miRNAs are important post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression, and the dysregulation of miRNAs is involved in various biological processes in the liver, including lipid homeostasis, inflammation, apoptosis, and cell proliferation. Recently, a number of studies have described the association between miRNAs and NAFLD progression and have shown that circulating miRNAs reflect histological changes in the liver. Therefore, circulating miRNAs have potential use for the evaluation of NAFLD severity. In this review, we discuss the involvement of miRNAs in NAFLD pathogenesis and the key role of miRNAs in the screening, diagnosis, and staging of NAFLD.

    Hongli Yin,Tianyi Liu,Ying Zhang,Baofeng Yang

    Caveolae are a kind of specific cystic structures of lipid rafts in the cytoplasmic membrane and are rich in cholesterol and sphingolipids. In recent years, many researchers have found that both caveolins and caveolae play a role in the development of various human diseases, including coronary heart disease, hypertension, and nervous system disorders. The specific mechanisms by which caveolins induce diseases have been a topic of interest. However, a number of detailed molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. This article focuses on the relationship between caveolin proteins and human diseases and reviews the molecular mechanisms of caveolins in disease networks.

    Jananni Muthu,Sivaramakrishnan Muthanandam,Jaideep Mahendra

    Periodontitis is the chronic destructive disease of the periodontium (Gums) caused by host bacterial interactions. The effect of such host bacterial interactions in oral cavity also evokes a systemic response. Numerous studies have found common mechanisms of destruction for periodontal diseases and other chronic diseases like diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, respiratory diseases, and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Oral colonization by respiratory pathogens appears to be a risk factor for development of respiratory diseases and oral interventions aimed at reducing oral bacterial count have resulted in reduced incidence of these reparatory illness. This reflects the importance of oral hygiene among patients with respiratory illness. This review highlights the association between periodontal diseases and respiratory diseases.

    Mengmeng Pan,Qiyao Zhang,Ping Liu,Jinyan Huang,Yueying Wang,Saijuan Chen

    NUP98 fuses with approximately 34 different partner genes via translocation in hematological malignancies. Transgenic or retrovirus-mediated bone marrow transplanted mouse models reveal the leukemogenesis of some NUP98-related fusion genes. We previously reported the fusion protein NUP98-IQ motif containing G (IQCG) in a myeloid/T lymphoid bi-phenoleukemia patient with t(3;11) and confirmed its leukemogenic ability. Herein, we demonstrated the association of NUP98-IQCG with CRM1, and found that NUP98-IQCG expression inhibits the CRM1-mediated nuclear export of p65 and enhances the transcriptional activity of nuclear factor-κB. Moreover, IQCG could be entrapped in the nucleus by NUP98-IQCG, and the fusion protein interacts with calmodulin via the IQ motif in a calcium-independent manner. Therefore, the inhibition of nuclear exports of p65 and IQCG might contribute to the leukemogenesis of NUP98-IQCG.

    Xiaoling Wang,Yun Tan,Yizhen Li,Jingming Li,Wen Jin,Kankan Wang

    Inappropriate cell proliferation during oncogenesis is often accompanied by inactivation of components involved in the cell cycle machinery. Here, we report that cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2C (CDKN2C) as a member of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors is a target of the PML/RARα oncofusion protein in leukemogenesis of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). We found that CDKN2C was markedly downregulated in APL blasts compared with normal promyelocytes. Chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with quantitative polymerase chain reaction demonstrated that PML/RARα directly bound to the CDKN2C promoter in the APL patient-derived cell line NB4. Luciferase assays indicated that PML/RARα inhibited the CDKN2C promoter activity in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, all-trans retinoic acid treatment induced CDKN2C expression by releasing the PML/RARα binding on chromatin in NB4 cells. Functional studies showed that ectopic expression of CDKN2C induced a cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phase and a partial differentiation in NB4 cells. Finally, the transcriptional regulation of CDKN2C was validated in primary APL patient samples. Collectively, this study highlights the importance of CDKN2C inactivation in the abnormal cell cycle progression and differentiation block of APL cells and may provide new insights into the study of pathogenesis and targeted therapy of APL.

    Xinping Zhou,Xingnong Ye,Yanling Ren,Chen Mei,Liya Ma,Jiansong Huang,Weilai Xu,Juying Wei,Li Ye,Wenyuan Mai,Wenbin Qian,Haitao Meng,Jie Jin,Hongyan Tong

    Acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a rare life-threatening thrombotic microangiopathy. This study aimed to provide a profile of the diagnosis and management of patients with acquired TTP collected in 10 years in a single center in southeast China. A total of 60 patients diagnosed with acute acquired TTP from March 2005 to August 2015 were enrolled. Among the 60 patients, 52 patients presented with their first episodes, and eight patients had two or more episodes. The median age at presentation was 49 (range, 17 to 78) years with a female predominance (male:female ratio, 1:1.60). ADAMTS 13 activity were analyzed in 43 patients, among whom 33 (76.7%) patients had a baseline level of<5%. Mortality was 30%. Plasma exchange (PEX) was performed in 62 of 69 (89.9%) episodes. Corticosteroids were administered in 54 of 69 (78.3%) episodes. Other immunosuppressants (e.g., vincristine, cyclosporine, and cyclosporin) were used in 7 of 69 (10.1%) episodes. Rituximab was documented in 4 patients with refractory/relapsed TTP for 5 episodes, showing encouraging results. In conclusion, the diagnosis of TTP depended on a comprehensive analysis of clinical data. Plasma ADAMTS13 activity assay helped confirm a diagnosis. PEX was the mainstay of the therapy, and rituximab can be used in relapsed/refractory disease.

    Xin Du,Daobin Zhou

    A phase II study (A2202) was performed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of JAK inhibitor ruxolitinib in 63 Chinese MF patients. Ruxolitinib was given twice a day (bid) at a starting dose of 15 mg (n=25) or 20 mg (n=38) based on a baseline platelet count. About 94.7% of the patients achieved a reduction in spleen size, 27.0% of which exhibited significant reduction (≥35%) at week 24. Significant improvement in debilitating constitutional symptoms, as assessed by MFSAF v2.0, was observed in patients treated with ruxolitinib. Ruxolitinib treatment was generally well tolerated by Chinese patients. Although the treatment was associated with an increase in certain adverse events (AEs) that were established as identified risks (anemia and thrombocytopenia), these AEs were considered manageable in this clinical setting. Ruxolitinib provided substantial reductions in splenomegaly and improvements in symptoms, and was well-tolerated by Chinese patients with MF.

    Yugang Cheng,Hanxiang Zhan,Lei Wang,Jianwei Xu,Guangyong Zhang,Zongli Zhang,Sanyuan Hu

    The incidence rate of pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (pNENs) has increased rapidly in recent years. However, the clinicopathological characteristics of pNENs are poorly understood. Medical records of patients who underwent surgery and were confirmed as pNENs by pathological examination from January 2003 to February 2015 in Qilu Hospital were reviewed retrospectively. A total of 100 patients, 36 males and 64 females, were included with a mean operation age of 46.26±13.41 years. Among the 100 cases, 76 had insulinomas and 24 had non-functional pNENs. Tumor size ranged from 0.5 cm to 9 cm, and the mean size was 2.20±1.40 cm. The percentages of TNM stages I, II, III, and IV tumors were 89.0%, 8.0%, 0.0%, and 3.0%, respectively. Based on the WHO classification, pNENs were classified into three grades: G1, G2, and G3. G1, G2, and G3 tumors were confirmed in 72.9%, 23.7%, and 3.4% patients, respectively. The positive rates of CgA and Syn immunohistochemical staining were 94.5% (69/73) and 100% (74/74), respectively. Compared with insulinoma, non-functional pNENs have larger tumor sizes, more advanced TNM staging, a higher Ki-67 index, and a higher rate of liver metastasis (P<0.05). In conclusion, pNENs are heterogeneous tumors with varying clinical manifestations, diverse tumor biological characteristics, and different prognoses. Non-functional pNENs present a more aggressive behavioral model and have poorer prognosis than functional pNENs.

    Sushun Liu,Qing Pang,Jingyao Zhang,Mimi Zhai,Sinan Liu,Chang Liu

    Different organ preservation methods are key factors influencing the results of liver transplantation. In this study, the outcomes of experimental models receiving donation after cardiac death (DCD) livers preserved through machine perfusion (MP) or static cold storage (CS) were compared by conducting a meta-analysis. Standardized mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated to compare pooled data from two animal species. Twenty-four studies involving MP preservation were included in the meta-analysis. Compared with CS preservation, MP can reduce the levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and hyaluronic acid (HA) and the changes in liver weight. By contrast, MP can enhance bile production and portal vein flow (PVF). Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels and histological changes significantly differed between the two preservation methods. In conclusion, MP of DCD livers is superior to CS in experimental animals.

    Juanjuan Xin,Yangshuai Su,Zhaokun Yang,Wei He,Hong Shi,Xiaoyu Wang,Ling Hu,Xiaochun Yu,Xianghong Jing,Bing Zhu

    Previous studies have demonstrated the effects of different afferent fibers on electroacupuncture (EA)-induced analgesia. However, contributions of functional receptors expressed on afferent fibers to the EA analgesia remain unclear. This study investigates the roles of acid-sensing ion channel 3 (ASIC3) and transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) receptors in EA-induced segmental and systemic analgesia. Effects of EA at acupoint ST36 with different intensities on the C-fiber reflex and mechanical and thermal pain thresholds were measured among the ASIC3/, TRPV1/, and C57BL/6 mice. Compared with C57BL/6 mice, the ipsilateral inhibition of EA with 0.8 C-fiber threshold (0.8Tc) intensity on C-fiber reflex was markedly reduced in ASIC3/ mice, whereas the bilateral inhibition of 1.0 and 2.0Tc EA was significantly decreased in TRPV1/ mice. The segmental increase in pain thresholds induced by 0.3 mA EA was significantly reduced in ASIC3/ mice, whereas the systemic enhancement of 1.0 mA EA was markedly decreased in TRPV1/ mice. Thus, segmental analgesia of EA with lower intensity is partially mediated by ASIC3 receptor on Aβ-fiber, whereas systemic analgesia induced by EA with higher intensity is more likely induced by TRPV1 receptor on Ad- and C-fibers.

    Chun Chen,Zhihong Cheng,Ping Jiang,Mei Sun,Qi Zhang,Jun Lv

    Aiming to control rising medical expenditures and help improve China’s healthcare systems, this study examined whether a cap-based medical insurance scheme with shared financial interest between the insurance and healthcare providers is effective in containing hospitals’ C-section medical expenditures. We used 6547 caesarean delivery case records from a teaching tertiary-level general public hospital located in Wuxi, China (2004–2013), and used the Chow test to investigate the possibility of significant variation in mean medical expenditures for caesarean deliveries pre- and post-reform. We also used paired sample t-tests and linear regression models to compare the mean medical expenditures between insured and uninsured women undergoing caesarean delivery during the post-reform period. After the scheme’s implementation, medical expenditures for caesarean deliveries declined and the medical expenditures of women covered by the scheme were significantly lower than those of uninsured patients. These findings indicated the scheme’s effectiveness in minimizing caesarean delivery expenditures. The cap-based medical insurance scheme with shared financial interest between insurance and healthcare providers would likely steer healthcare providers’ behaviors in a more cost-effective direction.

    Yuqin Men,Aizhen Zhang,Liwen Zhang,Yecheng Jin,Zhishuo Wang,Jing Zhao,Xiaolin Yu,Jian Zhang,Jiangang Gao

    The tumor suppressor gene liver kinase B1 (LKB1), also called STK11, encodes a serine/threonine kinase. LKB1 plays crucial roles in cell differentiation, proliferation, and polarity. In this study, LKB1 conditional knockout mice (LKB1Pax2 CKO mice) were generated using Pax2-Cre mice to investigate the function of LKB1 in inner ear hair cells during early embryonic period. LKB1Pax2 CKO mice died perinatally. Immunofluorescence and scanning electron microscopy revealed that stereociliary bundles in LKB1Pax2 CKO mice were clustered and misoriented, respectively. Moreover, ectopic distribution of kinocilium bundles resulting from abnormal migration of kinocilium was observed in the mutant mice. The orientation of stereociliary bundles and the migration of kinocilia are critical indicators of planar cell polarity (PCP) of hair cells. LKB1 deficiency in LKB1Pax2 CKO mice thus disrupted hair cell planar polarity during embryonic development. Our results suggest that LKB1 is required in PCP formation in cochlear hair cells in mice.

    Zeyu Chen,Rong Guo,Jianghong Xu,Chuangjun Qiu

    This study evaluated the immunogenicity and protective immunity of a Hemophilus influenzae b (Hib) polysaccharide conjugate vaccine with the pneumococcal surface adhesin A (PsaA) protein carrier in young mice. The Hib polysaccharide was conjugated with the rPsaA protein carrier, which was produced using recombinant DNA technology. A total of 15 young mice aged 3 weeks to 5 weeks were immunized with the conjugate vaccine, and another 15 young mice of the same age were immunized with the licensed Hib-tetanus toxoid (TT) vaccine. Furthermore, the third group of 15 young mice was inoculated with phosphate buffer saline as control. The immunized mice were inoculated with pneumococcus in the middle ear. Results showed that IgG antibody responses against both the PsaA protein and Hib polysaccharide were observed in the Hib-PsaA group. However, no statistical difference was observed in the titer of IgG against the Hib polysaccharide between Hib-PsaA and Hib-TT groups. The elimination rate of pneumococcus and the inflammation of the middle ear showed the effectiveness of protective immunity against otitis media caused by pneumococcus. Our results suggest that the Hib polysaccharide can be successfully conjugated with rPsaA via amide condensation. This new Hib-PsaA conjugate vaccine can induce both anti-PsaA and anti-Hib immune responses in young mice and elicit effective protection against acute otitis media caused by pneumococcus.

    Xiaoxiao Zhang,Li Yuan,Linli Qiu,Yali Yang,Qing Lv,Lin Li,Jing Wang,Lin He,Li Zhang,Xinfang Wang,Mingxing Xie,Xu Yu Jin

    Contrast echocardiography with left ventricular opacification (LVO) improves the definition of endocardium in two-dimensional echocardiography (2DE). This study was aimed to determine whether LVO offered added diagnostic value in noncompaction of left ventricular myocardium (NCVM). A total of 85 patients (40±20 years, 54 males) with suspected NCVM were subjected to transthoracic 2DE and LVO, and 40 healthy volunteers were examined with 2DE and assigned as control subjects. The location of NCVM, the thickness ratio of noncompacted to compacted myocardium (NCR), and the cavity size and ejection fraction of LV were quantified. Results revealed that NCVM was mainly located in the LV medium (53.2%), apical (46.2%) segments, and lateral wall (39.8%). The NCR obtained through LVO was greater than that detected through 2DE (4.2±1.3 vs. 3.3±1.2, P<0.001), and higher inter-correlations and less intra- and inter-observer variabilities were determined in the former than in the latter. The NCVM detection rates were also increased from 63.5% via 2DE to 83.5% via LVO and 89.4% via 2DE combined with LVO (2DE+ LVO) (P = 0.0004). The LV cavity size was greater and the LV ejection fraction (LVEF) was lower in the NCVM patients than in the control group (P<0.01). In the NCVM group, the LV cavity size was higher and the LVEF was lower in LVO than in 2DE (P<0.01). In conclusion, contrast echocardiography contributes significant sensitivity and reproducibility to routine transthoracic echocardiography in NCVM diagnosis. Therefore, this technique should be clinically performed to diagnose suspected NCVM.

    Wei Wang,Ming Li,Li Wang,Xueqing Yu

    Immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) is a common form of chronic glomerulonephritis with unknown pathogenesis. Accumulating evidences have shown the ethnic-specific association between certain human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles and IgAN susceptibility. This study was designed to explore the relationship between HLA-DQB1 alleles and disease susceptibility and clinical manifestations of patients with IgAN in southern Han Chinese. A PCR sequence-based typing technique was used to detect HLA-DQB1 alleles in 217 IgAN patients and 229 healthy subjects. Clinical data were collected from each patient at the time of renal biopsy. Twenty HLA-DQB1 alleles were detected in IgAN patients and healthy subjects. High frequency of HLA-DQB1*060101 and low frequency of HLA-DQB1*030101 were observed in IgAN patients compared with healthy controls. Further stratification analysis revealed that the frequency of DQB1*060101 was significantly higher in patients with urine protein≥1.0 g/24 h than in patients with urine protein<1.0 g/24 h. In combination with our previous DRB1 results, we also analyzed the association of DRB1-DQB1 haplotypes with IgAN. We found that the frequency of haplotype DRB1*090102-DQB1*060101 was significantly higher [odds ratio (OR) = 4.409, Pc = 0.016], whereas that of HLA-DRB1*070101-DQB1*020101 was significantly lower (OR= 0.194, Pc = 0.016) compared with healthy controls. Our study indicated that HLA-DQB1*060101 alleles may be a potential predictor of high-risk IgAN susceptibility in Chinese Han population.

    Ying Ma,Nanxue Zhang,Shi Wu,Haihui Huang,Yanpei Cao

    This study aimed to compare the antimicrobial activities of topical agents against Propionibacterium acnes isolated from patients admitted to a hospital in Shanghai, China. The minimal inhibitory concentrations of the cultured P. acnes were determined in accordance with the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. Susceptibilities to clindamycin and erythromycin were compared in terms of gender, age, disease duration, previous treatment, and disease severity. A total of 69 P. acnes strains were isolated from 98 patients (70.41%). The susceptibility to triple antibiotic ointment (neomycin/bacitracin/polymyxin B) and bacitracin was 100%. The susceptibility to fusidic acid was 92.7%. The resistance rates to neomycin sulfate, erythromycin, and clindamycin were 11.7%, 49.3%, and 33.4%, respectively. The high resistance rate to clindamycin and erythromycin was significantly affected by gender, previous treatment, and disease severity rather than by age and disease duration. Topical antibiotics should not be used separately for long-term therapy to avoid multiresistance. The use of topical antibiotics should be determined by clinicians on the basis of clinical conditions.

    Hang Xiang,Xiaomei Zhang,Chao Yang,Wenhuan Xu,Xin Ge,Rong Zhang,Ya Qiu,Wanjun Sun,Fan Li,Tianyuan Xiang,Haixu Chen,Zheng Wang,Qiang Zeng

    Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease with continuous or recurrent symptoms. A 42-year-old male patient with intermittent diarrhea accompanied by bloody mucopurulent stools was admitted to our hospital. The diagnosis of UC was confirmed by a combination of laboratory examination, colonoscopy, and histological assay. The patient developed herpes zoster in the hospital, which challenged traditional treatments. Therefore, we performed an autologous bone marrow cells to modulate the immune system with his permission. Autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells were collected and injected locally into the bowel mucosa, and subsequently injected systemically through a peripheral vein. After the patient underwent auto bone marrow mononuclear cells transplantations twice, the patient’s symptoms were alleviated. Furthermore, he recovered from hematochezia, and his hypersensitive C reactive protein decreased. Colonoscopy results showed reduced lesions and decreased areas with bleeding and edema in the sigmoid colon and rectum. No recurrence occurred in the subsequent two years, but long-time monitoring is still necessary for the prophylaxis of colorectal cancer.