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Feng Li - Top 30 Publications

Overexpression of G-protein-coupled receptors 65 in glioblastoma predicts poor patient prognosis.

G-protein-coupled receptors 65 (GPR65), identified as an acid-sensing receptor, is overexpressed in several malignancies and promote tumor development. Our aim was to investigate the expression and prognostic value of GPR65 in glioblastoma.

Self-assembly regulated anticancer activity of platinum coordinated selenomethionine.

It is urgently desired that self-assembly methods can be used to develop smart nanomedicines with adjustable anticancer activity and concise structure. Herein, we design carrier-free small molecule assemblies of platinum coordinated selenomethionine, which exhibit adjustable anticancer activity regulated by their self-assembly behaviors. The small molecule assemblies are prepared by coordination of selenomethionine esters with cisplatin. Their self-assembly behaviors can be tuned by esterification between selenomethionine and alcohols with different alkyl lengths, which results in adjustable anticancer activities. The coordination assemblies exhibit high anticancer activity as well as low side effects. Mechanistic studies indicate that they can consume glutathione (GSH) and therefore induce high level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cancer cells, which further lead to cell apoptosis. Our findings provide new strategies and insights in developing small molecule assemblies for cancer treatment.

Handgrip Strength as a Predictor of Nutritional Status in Chinese Elderly Inpatients at Hospital Admission.

To assess nutritional status and define gender- and age-specific handgrip strength (HGS) cut-point values for malnutrition or nutritional risk in elderly inpatients.

Sensing and Transmitting Intracellular Amino Acid Signals through Reversible Lysine Aminoacylations.

Amino acids are known regulators of cellular signaling and physiology, but how they are sensed intracellularly is not fully understood. Herein, we report that each aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (ARS) senses its cognate amino acid sufficiency through catalyzing the formation of lysine aminoacylation (K-AA) on its specific substrate proteins. At physiologic levels, amino acids promote ARSs bound to their substrates and form K-AAs on the ɛ-amine of lysines in their substrates by producing reactive aminoacyl adenylates. The K-AA marks can be removed by deacetylases, such as SIRT1 and SIRT3, employing the same mechanism as that involved in deacetylation. These dynamically regulated K-AAs transduce signals of their respective amino acids. Reversible leucylation on ras-related GTP-binding protein A/B regulates activity of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1. Glutaminylation on apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 suppresses apoptosis. We discovered non-canonical functions of ARSs and revealed systematic and functional amino acid sensing and signal transduction networks.

miR-195 inhibited abnormal activation of osteoblast differentiation in MC3T3-E1 cells via targeting RAF-1.

Recent reports have demonstrated that RAF-1L613V (a mutant of RAF-1) mutant mice show bone deformities similar to Noonan syndrome. It has been suggested that RAF-1L613V might abnormally activate osteoblast differentiation of MC3T3-E1 cells.

Optimization and validation of accelerated golden-angle radial sparse MRI reconstruction with self-calibrating GRAPPA operator gridding.

Golden-angle radial sparse parallel (GRASP) MRI reconstruction requires gridding and regridding to transform data between radial and Cartesian k-space. These operations are repeatedly performed in each iteration, which makes the reconstruction computationally demanding. This work aimed to accelerate GRASP reconstruction using self-calibrating GRAPPA operator gridding (GROG) and to validate its performance in clinical imaging.

RACER-GRASP: Respiratory-weighted, aortic contrast enhancement-guided and coil-unstreaking golden-angle radial sparse MRI.

To develop and evaluate a novel dynamic contrast-enhanced imaging technique called RACER-GRASP (Respiratory-weighted, Aortic Contrast Enhancement-guided and coil-unstReaking Golden-angle RAdial Sparse Parallel) MRI that extends GRASP to include automatic contrast bolus timing, respiratory motion compensation, and coil-weighted unstreaking for improved imaging performance in liver MRI.

Seasonality and brain size are negatively associated in frogs: evidence for the expensive brain framework.

The challenges of seasonal environments are thought to contribute to brain evolution, but in which way is debated. According to the Cognitive Buffer Hypothesis (CBH) brain size should increase with seasonality, as the cognitive benefits of a larger brain should help overcoming periods of food scarcity via, for instance, increased behavioral flexibility. However, in line with the Expensive Brain Framework (EBF) brain size should decrease with seasonality because a smaller brain confers energetic benefits in periods of food scarcity. Empirical evidence is inconclusive and mostly limited to homoeothermic animals. Here we used phylogenetic comparative analyses to test the impact of seasonality on brain evolution across 30 species of anurans (frogs) experiencing a wide range of temperature and precipitation. Our results support the EBF because relative brain size and the size of the optic tectum were negatively correlated with variability in temperature. In contrast, we found no association between the variability in precipitation and the length of the dry season with either brain size or the sizes of other major brain regions. We suggest that seasonality-induced food scarcity resulting from higher variability in temperature constrains brain size evolution in anurans. Less seasonal environments may therefore facilitate the evolution of larger brains in poikilothermic animals.

MicroRNA-34a functions as a tumor suppressor by directly targeting oncogenic PLCE1 in Kazakh esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the frequent malignant tumors with poor prognosis worldwide. Identifying the prognostic biomarkers and potential mechanisms of such tumors has attracted increasing interest in esophageal cancer biology. Our previous study showed that phospholipase C elipson 1 (PLCE1) expression is up-regulated and associated with disease progression in esophageal carcinoma. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play vital roles in regulating its target gene expression. However, studies on miRNA-regulated PLCE1 expression and its cellular function are still very few. We found that miR-34a is significantly expressed lower in ESCC tissues. We further showed that PLCE1 is a direct functional target gene of miR-34a, and the functional roles of miR-34a in ESCC cell lines in vitro were also determined through gain- and loss-of-function analyses. Results revealed that miR-34a functions as a tumor suppressor by inhibiting the proliferation, migration, and EMT phenotype, as well as promoting apoptosis of ESCC cell lines. Moreover, PLCE1 is overexpressed in ESCC tumors and promotes tumorigenicity in vivo and vitro. PLCE1 expression is negatively correlated with miR-34a profiles in ESCC tissues. Our data suggest that miR-34a exerts its anti-cancer function by suppressing PLCE1. The newly identified miR-34a/PLCE1 axis partially illustrates the molecular mechanism of ESCC metastasis and represents a new candidate therapeutic target for ESCC treatment.

Structure-based design of 6-chloro-4-aminoquinazoline-2-carboxamide derivatives as potent and selective p21-activated kinase 4 (PAK4) inhibitors.

Herein, we report the discovery and characterization of a novel class of PAK4 inhibitors with a quinazoline scaffold. Based on the shape and chemical composition of the ATP-binding pocket of PAKs, we chose a 2, 4-diaminoquinazoline series of inhibitors as a starting point. Guided by X-ray crystallography and a structure-based drug design (SBDD) approach, a series of novel 4-aminoquinazoline-2-carboxamide PAK4 inhibitors were designed and synthesized. The inhibitors' selectivity, therapeutic potency, and pharmaceutical properties were optimized. One of the best compounds, 31 (CZh226), showed remarkable PAK4 selectivity (346-fold vs PAK1) and favorable kinase selectivity profile. Moreover, this compound potently inhibited the migration and invasion of A549 tumor cells by regulating the PAK4-directed downstream signaling pathways in vitro. Taken together, these data support the further development of 31 as a lead compound for PAK4-targeted anticancer drug discovery and as a valuable research probe for the further biological investigation of group II PAKs.

Size-controlled fabrication of zein nano/microparticles by modified anti-solvent precipitation with/without sodium caseinate.

Zein-based nano/microparticles have been demonstrated to be promising carrier systems for both the food industry and biomedical applications. However, the fabrication of size-controlled zein particles has been a challenging issue. In this study, a modified anti-solvent precipitation method was developed, and the effects of various factors, such as mixing method, solvent/anti-solvent ratio, temperature, zein concentrations and the presence of sodium caseinate (SC) on properties of zein particles were investigated. Evidence is presented that, among the previously mentioned factors, the mixing method, especially mixing rate, could be used as an effective parameter to control the size of zein particles without changing other parameters. Moreover, through fine-tuning the mixing rate together with zein concentration, particles with sizes ranging from nanometers to micrometers and low polydispersity index values could be easily obtained. Based on the size-controlled fabrication method, SC-coated zein nanoparticles could also be obtained in a size-controlled manner by incubation of the coating material with the already-formed zein particles. The resultant nanoparticles showed better performance in both drug loading and controlled release, compared with zein/SC hybrid nanoparticles fabricated by adding aqueous ethanol solution to SC solution. The possible mechanisms of the nanoprecipitation process and self-assembly formation of these nanoparticles are discussed.

Detection and complete genome characteristics of Posavirus 1 from pigs in China.

Porcine stool-associated RNA virus 1 (Posavirus 1) is a novel member of picornaviruses and first identified from fecal samples of 30-day-old pigs with diarrhea in USA in 2011. To evaluate the existence of Posavirus 1 in swine herds, 118 clinical samples from diarrheal pigs and 31 fecal swabs from healthy pigs were collected and detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using Posavirus 1-specific primers. Only five fecal samples from diarrheal pigs on two swine farms were positive for Posavirus 1. The complete genome sequences [excluding poly (A) tail] of two representative isolates SDQD-25 and HBTS-11 are determined and consist of 9840 and 9819 nucleotides in length, and encode one putative polyprotein of 3070 and 2952 amino acids, respectively. They share 90.3% homology with each other and 81.3-95.4% homologies with American Posavirus 1 isolates or strains at the nucleotide sequence level. The phylogenetic analysis based on the entire genomes of reference picornavirus strains or isolates showed SDQD-25, HBTS-11 cluster together with American Posavirus 1 isolates or strains, yet are clearly distant from the other picornaviruses. The complete genome sequences of Chinese Posavirus 1 isolates will enrich the information of Posavirus 1 sequence database and further expedite posavirus research on the genetic diversity, epidemiology, and evolution in China.

Hierarchical Mn₂O₃ Microspheres In-Situ Coated with Carbon for Supercapacitors with Highly Enhanced Performances.

Porous Mn₂O₃ microspheres have been synthesized and in-situ coated with amorphous carbon to form hierarchical [email protected]₂O₃ microspheres by first producing MnCO₃ microspheres in solvothermal reactions, and then annealing at 500 °C. The self-assembly growth of MnCO₃ microspheres can generate hollow structures inside each of the particles, which can act as micro-reservoirs to store biomass-glycerol for generating amorphous carbon onto the surfaces of Mn₂O₃ nanorods consisting of microspheres. The [email protected]₂O₃ microspheres, prepared at 500 °C, exhibit highly enhanced pseudocapacitive performances when compared to the particles after annealed at 400 °C and 600 °C. Specifically, the [email protected]₂O₃ microspheres prepared at 500 °C show high specific capacitances of 383.87 F g-1 at current density of 0.5 A g-1, and excellent cycling stability of 90.47% of its initial value after cycling for 5000 times. The asymmetric supercapacitors assembled with [email protected]₂O₃ microspheres after annealed at 500 °C and activated carbon (AC) show an energy density of up to 77.8 Wh kg-1 at power density of 500.00 W kg-1, and a maximum power density of 20.14 kW kg-1 at energy density of 46.8 Wh kg-1. We can attribute the enhanced electrochemical performances of the materials to their three-dimensional (3D) hierarchical structure in-situ coated with carbon.

The benefit of immunonutrition in patients undergoing hepatectomy: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Perioperative immunonutrition in liver resection remains doubtful. A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to compare postoperative outcomes between patients undergoing hepatectomy who received perioperative immunonutrition and those who did not.A PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Web of Knowledge database search was performed to retrieve all of the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the value of perioperative immunonutrition in patients undergoing hepatectomy until the end of September 2016. Data extraction and quality assessment of RCTs were performed in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. The quality of evidence for each postoperative outcome was assessed using the GRADEpro analysis. A random-effects model was used to conduct a meta-analysis with RevMan 5.3.5 software. Eight RCTs including 805 patients (402 with and 403 without immunonutrition) were identified. Immunonutrition, mainly ω-3 fatty acids, significantly reduced the incidence of postoperative total complications (risk ratio [RR] = 0.59; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.46-0.75; p < 0.0001) and infectious complications (RR = 0.46; 95% CI, 0.32-0.68; p < 0.0001), and shortened the length of hospital stay (standardized mean difference, -0.49; 95% CI, -0.81 to -0.16; p = 0.0004). There was no significant between-group difference in postoperative mortality (RR = 0.46; 95% CI, 0.16-1.31; p = 0.15). Immunonutrition, mainly ω-3 fatty acids, is potentially beneficial in reducing overall and infectious postoperative complications and in shortening the hospital stay for patients undergoing hepatectomy.

Salen-Mn compounds induces cell apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells through promoting AMPK activity and cell autophagy.

Currently only docetaxel has been approved to be used in the chemotherapy of prostate cancer and new drugs are urgent need. Salen-Mn is a novel type of synthetic reagent bionic and exerts remarkable anticancer activities. However, the effect of Salen-Mn on human prostate cancer has not been elucidated yet. In this study, we found that treatment of PC-3 and DU145 human prostate cancer cells with Salen-Mn inhibited cell growth in dose and time dependent manner. Moreover, Salen-Mn induced cell apoptosis, and increased the expression of apoptotic proteins, such as cleaved caspase-3, cleaved PARP, and Bax, in PC-3 and DU145 prostate cancer cells. Furthermore, we found that Salen-Mn induced expression of LC3-I/II, which is protein marker of cell autophagy, in both dose and time dependent manners; in addition, Salen-Mn increased the phosphorylation of AMPK, suggesting that Salen-Mn increase cell autophagy through activating AMPK pathway. On the other hand, when PC-3 and DU145 cells were treated with Salen-Mn and 3-MA, an inhibitor of cell autophagy, the inhibitory effect of Salen-Mn on cell growth and the induction of apoptotic proteins were decreased. In addition, we found that Salen-Mn inhibited the growth of PC-3 cell xenografts in nude mice. In summary, our results indicate that Salen-Mn suppresses cell growth through inducing AMPK activity and autophagic cell death related cell apoptosis in prostate cancer cells and suggest that Salen-Mn and its derivatives could be new options for the chemical therapeutics in the treatment of prostate cancer.

The dynamic characteristics of the anterior cingulate cortex in resting-state fMRI of patients with depression.

The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is part of the limbic system of the brain. It is a bridge between attentional and emotional processing, which is responsible for the integration of visceral, attentional, and affective information. Lesioning of the ACC, which produces striking changes, is used to treat major depression disorder (MDD). Moreover, the brain dynamically integrates and coordinates functions of its different subparts to realize its cognitive capability. Hence, the spatio-temporal community distribution of the ACC is necessary to completely understand MDD.

Defect Engineering in MoSe2 for the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction: From Point Defects to Edges.

Superior catalytic activity and high chemical stability of inexpensive electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) are crucial to the large-scale production of hydrogen from water. The nonprecious two-dimensional MoSe2 materials emerge as a potential candidate, and the improvement of their catalytic activity depends on the optimization of active reaction sites at both the edges and the basal plane. Herein, the structural stability, electrocatalytic activity, and HER mechanisms on a series of MoSe2 catalytic structures including of point defects, holes, and edges have been explored by using first-principles calculations. Our calculated results demonstrate that thermodynamically stable defects (e.g., VSe, VSe2, SeMo, and VMo3Se2) and edges (e.g., Mo-R and Se-R) in MoSe2 are very similar to the case of MoS2, but their HER activity is higher than that of the corresponding structures in MoS2, which is in good agreement with experimental observations. Furthermore, a Fermi-abundance model is proposed to explain the fundamental correlation between the HER activity of various MoSe2 catalysts and their intrinsic electronic structures, and this model is also applicable for assessing the HER activity of other types of catalysts, such as MoS2 and Pt. Moreover, two different HER mechanisms have been revealed in the MoSe2 catalytic structures: the Volmer-Tafel mechanism is preferred for the VSe and VSe2 structures, whereas the Volmer-Heyrovsky mechanism is more favorable for other MoSe2 catalytic structures. The present work suggests that MoSe2 with appropriate defects and edges is able to compete against the Pt-based catalysts and also opens a route to design highly active electrocatalysts for the HER.

Doublet-Triplet Energy Transfer-Dominated Photon Upconversion.

Stable luminescent π-radicals with doublet emission have aroused a growing interest for functional molecular materials. We have demonstrated a neutral π-radical dye (4-N-carbazolyl-2,6-dichlorophenyl)bis(2,4,6-trichlorophenyl)-methyl (TTM-1Cz) with remarkable doublet emission, which could be used as triplet sensitizer to initiate the photophysical process of triplet-triplet annihilation photon upconversion (TTA-UC). Dexter-like excited doublet-triplet energy transfer (DTET) was confirmed by theoretical calculation. With the same sensitizer, a mixed solution of TTM-1Cz and aromatic emitters could upconvert red light (λ = 635 nm) to blue or cyan light. An anti-Stokes energy shift as large as 0.92 eV was observed from red to blue light upconversion. This finding of DTET phenomena offers a new kind of triplet sensitizer for TTA-UC.

Myokine mediated muscle-kidney crosstalk suppresses metabolic reprogramming and fibrosis in damaged kidneys.

Kidney injury initiates metabolic reprogramming in tubule cells that contributes to the development of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Exercise has been associated with beneficial effects in patients with CKD. Here we show that the induction of a myokine, irisin, improves kidney energy metabolism and prevents kidney damage. In response to kidney injury, mice with muscle-specific PGC-1α overexpression (mPGC-1α) exhibit reduced kidney damage and fibrosis. Metabolomics analysis reveals increased ATP production and improved energy metabolism in injured kidneys from mPGC-1α mice. We identify irisin as a serum factor that mediates these metabolic effects during progressive kidney injury by inhibiting TGF-β type 1 receptor. Irisin depletion from serum blunts the induction of oxygen consumption rate observed in tubule cells treated with mPGC-1α serum. In mice, recombinant irisin administration attenuates kidney damage and fibrosis and improves kidney functions. We suggest that myokine-mediated muscle-kidney crosstalk can suppress metabolic reprograming and fibrogenesis during kidney disease.

Enhanced performance and kinetics of marine anammox bacteria (MAB) treating nitrogen-rich saline wastewater with Mn(II) and Ni(II) addition.

A sequencing batch reactor (SBR) was used to study nitrogen removal performance of marine anammox bacteria (MAB) with Mn(II) and Ni(II) addition. The reactor was operated at 25 ± 0.5 °C with influent pH of 7.5 ± 0.1. Optimal ammonium removal efficiencies (AREs) were 93.95% and 93.18% with 0.05 mM Mn(II) and 0.025 mM Ni(II), respectively. Both Mn(II) and Ni(II) played key roles in treating nitrogen-rich saline wastewater. However, the effect resulting from Ni(II) was far stronger than Mn(II). With optimal Ni(II) addition (0.025 mM), maximal nitrogen removal rate (NRR) and specific anammox activity (SAA) increased by 14.64% and 57.88%, respectively. Modified Boltzmann model was appropriate to describe nitrogen removal at low Mn(II) and Ni(II) concentrations while remodified Logistic model could be used at high Mn(II) and Ni(II) concentrations. Mn(II) and Ni(II) dosage should be controlled within 0.075 mM to achieve good nitrogen removal in nitrogen-rich saline wastewater treatment.

Comparative epidemiology of porcine circovirus type 3 in pigs with different clinical presentations.

Porcine circovirus type 3 (PCV3), as an emerging circovirus species, was reported to be widely circulating in the United States, China, South Korea and Poland. Previous studies revealed that PCV3 was mainly concentrated in sick animals with respiratory disease, skin disease, reproductive disorders and so on. However, the circulating status of PCV3 in pigs with other clinical presentations (especilly asymptomatic or diarrhea) was not well established.

Rubipodanones A-D, naphthohydroquinone dimers from the roots and rhizomes of Rubia podantha.

Four previously undescribed naphthohydroquinone dimers named rubipodanones A-D, together with 19 known quinones containing three known napthohydroquinone dimers named rubioncolin C, methyl 5-hydroxy-dinaphtho[1,2-2',3']furan-7,12-dione-6-carboxylate and rubialatin B, were isolated from the roots and rhizomes of Rubia podantha. Their structures and absolute configurations were determined mainly by NMR, X-ray diffraction, and computational methods. Rubipodanones C and D, the glycosides of rubipodanone A and a pair of C-3 epimer, are the first identified dimeric napthohydroquinone glycosides from the Rubia plants. All naphthohydroquinone dimers were evaluated for their cytotoxicities against ten tumor cell lines and effects on the tumor-associated NF-κB signaling pathway, and rubioncolin C showed the best cytotoxicity with IC50 value of 1.53 μM and NF-κB inhibitory activity with IC50 value of 2.97 μM. These results also demonstrated that the key roles of C-3 configuration and sugar group for biological activities of rubipodanone C.

Positive association between serum uric acid and bone mineral density in Chinese type 2 diabetes mellitus stratified by gender and BMI.

Accumulating evidence has demonstrated that serum uric acid (UA), a natural powerful antioxidant, plays a beneficial role in bone health in the general population. However, few reports are available on the association between serum UA and bone in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We therefore investigated whether the benefit of serum UA for bone health was still present in those patients. 626 males and 609 postmenopausal females with T2DM were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. Serum UA concentrations and bone mineral density (BMD) measured at lumbar spine, femoral neck and total hip by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry were obtained from all subjects. Meanwhile, data on osteoporosis prevalence, glucose metabolism, bone turnover markers and other serum biochemical indexes were collected. After adjustment for potential confounders, the results suggested that serum UA was positively associated with BMD in patients with normal weight, but this positive association varied by gender and skeletal sites in overweight T2DM patients [body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 kg/m2]. Moreover, significantly lower odds ratios (ORs) for osteoporosis were found in postmenopausal patients with the highest UA tertile and male patients with medium UA tertile [adjusted OR 0.315, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.170-0.581 for postmenopausal patients; adjusted OR 0.464, 95% CI 0.225-0.955 for male patients]. The positive association between serum UA and BMD found in Chinese T2DM patients may imply that relatively high UA is a protective factor for bone in these patients. Large intervention studies are needed to further confirm the outcomes and provide possible explanations.

MicroRNA‑103 regulates tumorigenesis in colorectal cancer by targeting ZO‑1.

Given the emerging role of microRNAs (miRs) in cancer progression, the present study investigated the role and underlying mechanism of miR‑103 in colorectal cancer (CRC). Reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction was conducted to quantify the expression levels of miR‑103 in clinical specimens and cell lines. The role of miR‑103 in CRC was examined using MTT, colony formation and transwell assays. In addition, a luciferase reporter assay was used to confirm an associated between the 3' untranslated region of zonula occuldens‑1 (ZO‑1) and miR‑103. The results demonstrated that miR‑103 was upregulated in CRC. Overexpression of miR‑103 promoted CRC cell proliferation and migration in vitro, whereas downregulation of miR‑103 inhibited cell proliferation and migration. ZO‑1 was identified as a direct target of miR‑103, revealing its expression to be inversely correlated with miR‑103 expression in CRC samples. In conclusion, the present study revealed that miR‑103 has strong tumor‑promoting effects via of targeting ZO‑1 in CRC and has potential development of miRNA‑based targeted approaches for the treatment of CRC.

Change in risk of breast cancer after receiving hormone replacement therapy by considering effect-modifiers: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies.

We synthesize the current literatures and use the power of meta-analysis to examine trends on association between hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and the risk of breast cancer (BC). We performed a comprehensive literature search using PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science from their inception until Jan 2017. Prospective studies that provided adjusted risk estimates of HRT and BC risk were eligible. Categorical and dose-response meta-analyses followed the PRISMA were conducted using random effects model and restricted cubic spline model, respectively. Forty-seven publications from thirty-five unique studies were included, involving 3,898,376 of participants and 87,845 of BC cases. Compared with non-users, RR for current estrogen-only therapy (ET) users was 1.14 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.05-1.22), and for per year increases was 1.02 (95% CI = 1.02-1.02). Moreover, RR for current estrogen plus progestin therapy (EPT) users was 1.76, (95% CI = 1.56-1.96), and for per year increases was 1.08 (95% CI = 1.08-1.08). Dose-response analyses revealed 8-10 years' onset peaks, and indicated residual increased BC risk remained after stopping use of ET regimen rather than for EPT. Effect-modifiers like BMI, duration of use, race/ethnicity, routes of administration were recognized. In Conclusions, current use of EP or EPT and ever use of tibolone are associated with an elevated risk of BC. Compared with slim HRT users and non-users, lower BC risks were found among overweight/obese HRT users and former EPT users, respectively. Both ET and EPT users are associated with higher risk of lobular BC than ductal BC, and more ER-positive than negative BC cases were detected among EPT users.

Overexpression of calcyphosine is associated with poor prognosis in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

Calcyphosine (CAPS), a calcium-binding protein, has been identified as a potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in several human carcinomas. However, little is known about CAPS in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). The present study aimed to investigate the expression levels of CAPS in ESCC tissues and evaluate its clinicopathological significance. Reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical staining were conducted to detect the expression of CAPS in ESCC tissues and adjacent non-cancerous tissues. ESCC samples exhibited higher levels of CAPS mRNA than paired non-cancerous samples (P=0.0015), and the mRNA level of CAPS was positively associated with histological grade (P=0.0013) and tumor invasion depth (P=0.0206). In addition, Kaplan-Meier survival analysis revealed that patients with high CAPS expression experienced significantly shorter 5-year overall survival times than those with low CAPS expression (P=0.0112). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that CAPS protein expression was an independent prognostic biomarker for patients with ESCC. In conclusion, the findings of the present study demonstrated that CAPS may represent a novel diagnostic indicator and an independent prognostic biomarker in ESCC.

The relationship between MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression levels with breast cancer incidence and prognosis.

The relationship between the expression levels of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and MMP-9 and breast cancer prognosis was studied. Two breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7) and one human normal breast cell line (HS578Bst) were investigated. Fluorescence real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western blotting were used to detect cellular mRNA and protein MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression levels. Breast cancer tissue samples from 80 patients and tumor-adjacent normal tissue samples from 40 patients were collected, and MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression in these samples were examined using immunohistochemistry (IHC). The relationship of MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression levels with breast cancer patient clinicopathological parameters and prognosis was analyzed. RT-PCR and western blot results showed that MMP-2 and MMP-9 mRNA and protein expression levels were significantly higher in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells than in HS578Bst cells. A high expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 was found in 83.75% (67/80) and 78.75% (63/80) of breast cancer tissue samples, respectively. MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression in breast cancer tissues were significantly different from that in tumor-adjacent normal tissues (p<0.01). MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression levels in breast cancer tissues were correlated with lymph node metastasis and tumor staging. Single factor survival analysis showed that MMP-2 and MMP-9 were factors influencing breast cancer prognosis. MMP-2 and MMP-9 are highly expressed in breast cancer tissues and are closely related to lymph node metastasis and tumor staging. MMP-2 and MMP-9 can be used as reference indices for guiding breast cancer prognosis and treatment.

A complex association between ABCA7 genotypes and blood lipid levels in Southern Chinese Han patients of sporadic Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive cognitive decline. It can be divided into familial AD (FAD) and sporadic AD (SAD) based on the family history. Recently dysregulation of cholesterol homeostasis has been implicated in the development of late-onset AD. ATP-binding cassette transporter A7 (ABCA7) gene, regulating the transport of cholesterol, has been recently identified as a susceptible gene of AD by several large genome-wide association studies. To test the genetic effect of ABCA7 rs3764650 on blood lipid levels in Southern Chinese Han population and investigate the risk factors of SAD, a total of 118 SAD patients and 120 healthy matched controls were recruited and the genotyping in ABCA7 rs3764650 was conducted on the Sequenom MassARRAY iPLEX platform. Meanwhile, the levels of fasting lipid profile and mini-mental state examination (MMSE) scores were tested. There was significant difference in genotype distribution between SAD patients and controls (p=0.001). While the difference of ABCA7 rs3764650 allele distribution between SAD patients and controls was only significant in APOEε4-noncarriers (p=0.039). The association between blood lipid levels and ABCA7 rs3764650 genotypes was influenced by APOEε4 status. In APOEε4-noncarriers of SAD, the total cholesterol (TC) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels in GG genotype group were significantly lower than those in GT and TT genotype groups (all p<0.05). Whereas no significant difference of blood lipid levels was found among three genotypes in APOEε4-carriers of SAD and controls. Additionally, logistic regression analysis showed that lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels (p=0.015, OR=5.669) and GG genotype (p=0.013, OR=8.318) were positively associated with SAD. Our results suggest that GG genotype of ABCA7 rs3764650 was a risk factor of SAD in Southern Chinese Han population as well as lipid homeostasis.

Chemometric Methods to Quantify 1D and 2D NMR Spectral Differences Among Similar Protein Therapeutics.

NMR spectroscopy is an emerging analytical tool for measuring complex drug product qualities, e.g., protein higher order structure (HOS) or heparin chemical composition. Most drug NMR spectra have been visually analyzed; however, NMR spectra are inherently quantitative and multivariate and thus suitable for chemometric analysis. Therefore, quantitative measurements derived from chemometric comparisons between spectra could be a key step in establishing acceptance criteria for a new generic drug or a new batch after manufacture change. To measure the capability of chemometric methods to differentiate comparator NMR spectra, we calculated inter-spectra difference metrics on 1D/2D spectra of two insulin drugs, Humulin R® and Novolin R®, from different manufacturers. Both insulin drugs have an identical drug substance but differ in formulation. Chemometric methods (i.e., principal component analysis (PCA), 3-way Tucker3 or graph invariant (GI)) were performed to calculate Mahalanobis distance (D M) between the two brands (inter-brand) and distance ratio (D R) among the different lots (intra-brand). The PCA on 1D inter-brand spectral comparison yielded a D M value of 213. In comparing 2D spectra, the Tucker3 analysis yielded the highest differentiability value (D M = 305) in the comparisons made followed by PCA (D M = 255) then the GI method (D M = 40). In conclusion, drug quality comparisons among different lots might benefit from PCA on 1D spectra for rapidly comparing many samples, while higher resolution but more time-consuming 2D-NMR-data-based comparisons using Tucker3 analysis or PCA provide a greater level of assurance for drug structural similarity evaluation between drug brands.

Acute activation of GLP-1-expressing neurons promotes glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity.

Glucagon-like peptides are co-released from enteroendocrine L cells in the gut and preproglucagon (PPG) neurons in the brainstem. PPG-derived GLP-1/2 are probably key neuroendocrine signals for the control of energy balance and glucose homeostasis. The objective of this study was to determine whether activation of PPG neurons per se modulates glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity in vivo.