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Yi-Min Sun - Top 30 Publications

A homozygous missense variant in HSD17B4 identified in a consanguineous Chinese Han family with type II Perrault syndrome.

Perrault syndrome is a rare multisystem disorder that manifests with sensorineural hearing loss in both sexes, primary ovarian insufficiency in females and neurological features. The syndrome is heterogeneous both genetically and phenotypically.

Clinical and molecular genetic features of cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis patients in Chinese families.

Cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX) is a lipid-storage disease caused by mutations in CYP27A1. Current publications of Chinese CTX were mainly based on case reports. Here we investigated the clinical manifestations, genetic features in Chinese CTX patients. The clinical materials of 4 Chinese CTX pedigrees were collected. The genetic testing was done by polymerase chain reaction plus Sanger sequencing. The features of Chinese CTX patients reported previously were also reviewed. Three novel mutations of p.Arg513Cys, c.1477-2A > C in family 1 and p.Arg188Stop in family 4 (NM 000784.3) in CYP27A1 were found. The probands in our study manifested cerebellar ataxia, tendon xanthoma and spastic paresis in family 1 and 4, tendon xanthoma plus spastic paraparesis in family 2, asymptomatic tendon xanthoma in family 3. Three known mutations of p.Arg137Gln, p.Arg127Trp and p.Arg405Gln were found respectively in Family 2, 3 and 4. For the Chinese patients reviewed, the most common findings were xanthomatosis (100%), pyramidal signs (100%), cerebellar ataxia (66.7%), cognitive impairment (66.7%), cataracts (50.0%), and peripheral neuropathy (33.3%). Chronic diarrhea was infrequently seen (5.6%). No mutation was found associated with any given clinical features. We identified 3 novel mutations in CYP27A1. In Chinese CTX patients, xanthomatosis was the most common symptom while cataracts and chronic diarrhea were less frequent. The special features in Chinese CTX patients might caused by the lack of serum cholestanol test and should be confirmed in larger number of patients in the future.

Novel Biocompatible Thermoresponsive Poly(N-vinyl Caprolactam)/Clay Nanocomposite Hydrogels with Macroporous Structure and Improved Mechanical Characteristics.

Poly(N-vinyl caprolactam) (PVCL) hydrogels usually suffer from the imporous structure and poor mechanical characteristics as well as the toxicity of cross-linkers, although PVCL itself is biocompatible. In this paper, novel biocompatible thermoresponsive poly(N-vinyl caprolactam)/clay nanocomposite (PVCL-Clay) hydrogels with macroporous structure and improved mechanical characteristics are developed for the first time. The macroporosity in the hydrogel is introduced by using Pickering emulsions as templates, which contain N-vinyl caprolactam (VCL) monomer as dispersed phase and clay sheets as stabilizers at the interface. After polymerization, macropores are formed inside the hydrogels with the residual unreacted VCL droplets as templates. The three-dimensional PVCL polymer networks are cross-linked by the clay nanosheets. Due to the nanocomposite structure, the hydrogel exhibits better mechanical characteristics in comparison to the conventional PVCL hydrogels cross-linked by N,N'-methylene diacrylamide (BIS). The prepared PVCL-Clay hydrogel possesses remarkable temperature-responsive characteristics with a volume phase transition temperature (VPTT) around 35 °C, and provides a feasible platform for cell culture. With macroporous structure and good mechanical characteristics as well as flexible assembly performance, the proposed biocompatible thermoresponsive PVCL-Clay nanocomposite hydrogels are ideal material candidates for biomedical, analytical, and other applications such as entrapment of enzymes, cell culture, tissue engineering, and affinity and displacement chromatography.

Olfaction in Parkin carriers in Chinese patients with Parkinson disease.

Olfactory identification was reported to be better among PD (Parkinson disease) patients with Parkin mutations, but previous studies didn't eliminate the interference of other PD related genes on olfaction, and whether olfaction of Parkin mutations patients was better in Chinese population was still unknown.

Decreased gene expression of CD2AP in Chinese patients with sporadic Alzheimer's disease.

Many sporadic Alzheimer's disease (SAD) risk genes have been identified in the last decades, but most of them have not been consistently accepted. Here, we sought to identify SAD-associated genes and their potential mechanisms involved in SAD pathogenesis. A 2-stage design was employed. In stage 1, 95 variants in 75 genes that were previously reported as SAD-risk genes in Caucasian populations were evaluated in 1857 subjects (422 SAD patients and 1435 controls). In stage 2, a subset of promising variants found in stage 1 were further evaluated in an independent cohort of 1001 subjects (254 SAD and 747 controls). Variants in CD2AP were significantly associated with SAD risk in our subjects. Furthermore, CD2AP gene expression in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) from 209 SAD patients and 213 controls was determined. CD2AP gene expression in PBL was significantly decreased in patients with SAD as compared with controls. Our study suggests that CD2AP is an SAD-risk gene in Chinese Han population and CD2AP gene expression is decreased in the PBL of patients with SAD, indicating its possible systemic involvement in SAD.

The heterozygous R1441C mutation of leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene in a Chinese patient with Parkinson disease: A five-year follow-up and literatures review.

Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2) was recognized associated with both familial and sporadic Parkinson Disease (PD). Seven missense mutations (G2019S, R1441C, R1441G, R1441H, Y1699C, I2020T, N1437H) of it have been confirmed disease- causing. They were common among Caucasian PD patients, but rarely reported in Asian, especially in Chinese Han population.

Odor Identification Test in Idiopathic REM-Behavior Disorder and Parkinson's Disease in China.

Olfactory dysfunction is common in Parkinson's disease (PD) and idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (iRBD), which is a risk factor in the development of PD. However, a few studies have conflicting results when comparing dysosmia in the patients with iRBD and PD. There is no study investigating the olfactory function in Chinese patients with iRBD. Additionally, the Sniffin' Sticks screening 12 test (SS-12) contains several odors that are not familiar to people in different cultures.

The heterozygous A53T mutation in the alpha-synuclein gene in a Chinese Han patient with Parkinson disease: case report and literature review.

The missense mutation A53T of alpha-synuclein gene (SNCA) was reported to be a rare but definite cause of sporadic and familial Parkinson disease (PD). It seemed to be restricted geographically in Greece and Italy. We aimed to identify the SNCA mutations in a Chinese PD cohort. Ninety-one early onset PD patients or familial PD probands were collected consecutively for the screening of PD-related genes. The genetic analysis was carried out by target sequencing of the exons and the corresponding flanking regions of the PD-related genes using Illumina HiSeq 2000 sequencer and further confirmed by Sanger sequencing or restriction fragment length polymorphism. Dosage mutations of exons in these genes were carried out by multiple ligation-dependent probe amplification. Among the 91 patients, we found only one heterozygous mutation of SNCA A53T, in a 23-year-old male patient with negative family history. The [(11)C]-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-fluorophenyl) tropan (CFT) PET and PD-related spatial covariance pattern (PDRP) via [(18)F]-fluorodeoxyglucos (FDG) PET confirmed a typical pattern of PD. After examining his parents, we found his mother was an asymptomatic carrier, with declined hand dexterity detected by quantitative motor tests. Reduced dopamine transporter uptake of his mother was identified by CFT PET, and abnormal PDRP pattern was found by FDG PET. Our investigation expanded the clinical and genetic spectrum of Chinese PD patients, and we suggested SNCA mutations to be screened in familial and early onset Chinese PD patients.

Next-generation sequencing-based molecular diagnosis of neonatal hypotonia in Chinese Population.

Neonatal hypotonia is extremely challenging to diagnose because numerous disorders present similar clinical manifestations. Two panels for diagnosing neonatal hypotonia were developed, which enriches 35 genes corresponding to 61 neonatal hypotonia-related disorders. A cohort of 214 neonates with hypotonia was recruited from 2012 to 2014 in China for this study. Of these subjects, twenty-eight neonates with hypotonia were eliminated according to exclusion criteria and 97 were confirmed using traditional detection methods. The clinical diagnoses of the remaining 89 neonates with hypotonia were approached by targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS). Among the 89 tested neonates, 25 potentially pathogenic variants in nine genes (RYR1, MECP2, MUT, CDKL5, MPZ, PMM2, MTM1, LAMA2 and DMPK) were identified in 22 patients. Six of these pathogenic variants were novel. Of the 186 neonates with hypotonia, we identified the genetic causes for 117 neonates by the traditional detection methods and targeted NGS, achieving a high solving rate of 62.9%. In addition, we found seven neonates with RETT syndrome carrying five mutations, thus expanding the mutation profiles in Chinese neonates with hypotonia. Our study highlights the utility of comprehensive molecular genetic testing, which provides the advantage of speed and diagnostic specificity without invasive procedures.

Objective and quantitative assessment of motor function in Parkinson's disease-from the perspective of practical applications.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder with high morbidity because of the coming aged society. Currently, disease management and the development of new treatment strategies mainly depend on the clinical information derived from rating scales and patients' diaries, which have various limitations with regard to validity, inter-rater variability and continuous monitoring. Recently the prevalence of mobile medical equipment has made it possible to develop an objective, accurate, remote monitoring system for motor function assessment, playing an important role in disease diagnosis, home-monitoring, and severity evaluation. This review discusses the recent development in sensor technology, which may be a promising replacement of the current rating scales in the assessment of motor function of PD.

Activin A-Smad Signaling Mediates Connective Tissue Growth Factor Synthesis in Liver Progenitor Cells.

Liver progenitor cells (LPCs) are activated in chronic liver damage and may contribute to liver fibrosis. Our previous investigation reported that LPCs produced connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2), an inducer of liver fibrosis, yet the regulatory mechanism of the production of CTGF/CCN2 in LPCs remains elusive. In this study, we report that Activin A is an inducer of CTGF/CCN2 in LPCs. Here we show that expression of both Activin A and CTGF/CCN2 were upregulated in the cirrhotic liver, and the expression of Activin A positively correlates with that of CTGF/CCN2 in liver tissues. We go on to show that Activin A induced de novo synthesis of CTGF/CCN2 in LPC cell lines LE/6 and WB-F344. Furthermore, Activin A contributed to autonomous production of CTGF/CCN2 in liver progenitor cells (LPCs) via activation of the Smad signaling pathway. Smad2, 3 and 4 were all required for this induction. Collectively, these results provide evidence for the fibrotic role of LPCs in the liver and suggest that the Activin A-Smad-CTGF/CCN2 signaling in LPCs may be a therapeutic target of liver fibrosis.

Associations between APOE polymorphisms and seven diseases with cognitive impairment including Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies in southeast China.

To explore the effect of APOE polymorphisms on patients with cognitive impairments in The Chinese Han population.

Huntington's Disease: Relationship Between Phenotype and Genotype.

Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant inherited neurodegenerative disease with the typical manifestations of involuntary movements, psychiatric and behavior disorders, and cognitive impairment. It is caused by the dynamic mutation in CAG triplet repeat number in exon 1 of huntingtin (HTT) gene. The symptoms of HD especially the age at onset are related to the genetic characteristics, both the CAG triplet repeat and the modified factors. Here, we reviewed the recent advancement on the genotype-phenotype relationship of HD, mainly focus on the characteristics of different expanded CAG repeat number, genetic modifiers, and CCG repeat number in the 3' end of CAG triplet repeat and their effects on the phenotype. We also reviewed the special forms of HD (juvenile HD, atypical onset HD, and homozygous HD) and their phenotype-genotype correlations. The review will aid clinicians to predict the onset age and disease course of HD, give the genetic counseling, and accelerate research into the HD mechanism.

Risk prediction for sporadic Alzheimer's disease using genetic risk score in the Han Chinese population.

More than 30 independent single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk by genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in European. We aimed to confirm these SNPs in Chinese Han and investigate the utility of these genetic markers. We randomly divided 459 sporadic AD (SAD) patients and 751 cognitively normal controls into two sets (discovery and testing). Thirty-three SAD risk-associated SNPs were firstly tested in the discovery set. Significant SNPs were used to calculate genetic risk score (GRS) in the testing set. Predictive performance of GRS was evaluated using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). In the discovery set, 6 SNPs were confirmed (P = 7.87 x 10(-11)~0.048), including rs9349407 in CD2AP, rs11218343 in SORL1, rs17125944 in FERMT2, rs6859 in PVRL2, rs157580 and rs2075650 in TOMM40. The first three SNPs were associated with SAD risk independent of APOE genotypes. GRS based on these three SNPs were significantly associated with SAD risk in the independent testing set (P = 0.002). The AUC for discriminating cases from controls was 0.58 for GRS, 0.60 for APOE, and 0.64 for GRS and APOE. Our data demonstrated that GRS based on AD risk-associated SNPs may supplement APOE for better assessing individual risk for AD in Chinese.

Genetic association of CUGBP2 and DNMBP with Alzheimer' s disease in the Chinese Han population.

Recently, candidate genetic studies revealed the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of CUGBP2 (rs2242451) and DNMBP (rs11190305 and rs3740058) associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Due to genetic heterogeneity and different ethnic background, the purpose of our study was to confirm the association between these 3 SNPs with AD risk in the Chinese Han population.

Associations between apolipoprotein E gene polymorphisms and Alzheimer's disease risk in a large Chinese Han population.

Apolipoprotein E gene (APOE) polymorphisms contributing to the risk of sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been identified for decades, but it has not been investigated in large AD samples of Chinese Han population.

Common variants at Bin1 are associated with sporadic Alzheimer's disease in the Han Chinese population.

Recent genome-wide association studies identified bridging integrator 1 (Bin1) to be associated with sporadic Alzheimer's disease (SAD). To clarify the relevance of Bin1 as a genetic determinant of AD, we analyzed its association in a Han Chinese population from the South East part of mainland China.

Systematic profiling of mRNA and miRNA expression in the pancreatic islets of spontaneously diabetic Goto-Kakizaki rats.

Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is a complex multifactorial metabolic disorder that affects >100 million individuals worldwide, yet the mechanisms involved in the development and progression of the disease have not yet been fully elucidated. The present study examined the mRNA and micro (mi)RNA expression profiles by microarray analysis in the pancreas islets of spontaneously diabetic Goto-Kakizaki rats with the aim to identify regulatory mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of T2DM. A total of 9 upregulated and 10 downregulated miRNAs were identified, including miR-150, miR-497, miR-344-3p and let-7f, which were independently validated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction assays. In addition, differential expression of 670 genes was detected by mRNA microarray analysis, including 370 upregulated and 247 downregulated genes. The differentially expressed genes were statistically associated with major cellular pathways, including the immune response pathway and the extracellular matrix (ECM)-receptor interaction pathway. Finally, a reverse regulatory association of differentially expressed miRNAs and their predicted target genes was constructed, supported by analysis of their mRNA and miRNA expression profiles. A number of key pairs of miRNA-mRNA was proposed to have significant roles in the pathogenesis of T2DM rats based on bioinformatics analysis, one example being the let-7f/collagen, type II, alpha 1 pair that may regulate ECM-receptor interactions.

Common GSAP promoter variant contributes to Alzheimer's disease liability.

Toxic amyloid-β40-42 (Aβ40-42) peptide cleaved from Aβ protein precursor by β- and γ secretases plays a crucial role in the etiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recently, Paul Greengard laboratory described a novel γ-secretase activating protein (gSAP) that specifically increases Aβ40-42 production without affecting the cleavage of another γ-secretase substrate, Notch. In this study, we show that expression of messenger RNA for GSAP, the gene that encodes the gSAP precursor protein, in human temporal cortex correlates with genotypes of 6 linked single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located within the 5' region of GSAP in both Han Chinese and Caucasian populations. One of these SNPs, rs4727380, associates with AD diagnosis in a Han Chinese-based case-control study comprising 397 AD cases and 474 controls and in a Caucasian-based sample comprising 1906 cases and 1475 controls. As predicted, the high-expression allele of rs4727380 was identified as the AD risk allele in both samples. We also determined that rs4727380 correlates with AD diagnosis primarily among APOE4 noncarriers. To our knowledge, this is the first report providing genetic evidence linking GSAP to AD liability.

Associations between apolipoprotein E genotypes and serum levels of glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides in a cognitively normal aging Han Chinese population.

To determine the associations between apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotypes and serum levels of glucose, total cholesterol, and triglycerides in a cognitively normal aging Han Chinese population.

Clusterin variants are not associated with southern Chinese patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Recent genome-wide association studies identified clusterin (CLU) to be associated with sporadic Alzheimer's disease. To help clarify the relevance of CLU as genetic determinant of AD, we analyzed its association in southern Chinese Han population. This study comprised 499 sporadic Alzheimer's disease patients and 592 unrelated age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Four single-nucleotide polymorphisms (rs2279590, rs9331888, rs11136000, and rs1532278) within CLU were selected for genotyping. No positive association was found between the CLU variants and AD. Our study suggests that CLU variants may not be an AD susceptibility factor in southern Chinese Han population.

Lack of association between CALHM1 p.P86L variation and Alzheimer's disease in the Han Chinese population.

In recent years, several studies have reported calcium homeostasis modulator 1 (CALHM1) was a potential gene related to Alzheimer's disease (AD) susceptibility. However, whether CALHM1 p.P86L variation (rs2986017), a risk factor for AD is still controversial. Two independent studies have been performed in the Chinese population and the conclusions have not reached an agreement. In the present study, we performed a replication case-control study in 1301 Chinese subjects including 452 sporadic AD patients and 849 unrelated age and gender-matched controls, to determine whether this variation is a risk factor for AD in the Han Chinese population. We failed to replicate the positive association between the CALHM1 p.P86L variation and AD. In addition, we also examined p.P86L variation in a meta-analysis of 5 independent studies performed in Chinese and other Asian populations and negative association was found in total 2328 AD patients and 2865 controls. Our study suggests that CALHM1 p.P86L variation may not be an AD susceptibility factor in the Han Chinese population.

A variant within FGF1 is associated with Alzheimer's disease in the Han Chinese population.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques and Tau-containing neurofibrillary tangles in vulnerable brain areas. The progression of AD is well correlated with hippocampal neuron loss which highly suggests genes associated with neuron survival would be important for AD pathogenesis. According to the recent results of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and other reported studies, we selected two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs3765728 within tumor protein p73 (P73), and rs34011 within fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1), both genes were related to neuron survival. We analyzed the distribution of rs3765728 and rs34011 in 1,083 Chinese subjects including 429 unrelated sporadic AD patients and 654 unrelated age and gender-matched control subjects. We found that the genotype distribution of rs34011 was significantly different between AD and control group (χ(2) = 9.048, df = 2, P = 0.011). Logistic regression manifested the risk of AD increased in TT genotype carriers in total subjects (Wald = 8.892, df = 1, P = 0.003, odds ratio [OR]:2.009, 95% confidence interval [95%CI]: 1.270-3.178). This effect was also found in APOE ϵ4 carrier group (Wald = 7.844, df = 1, P = 0.005, OR: 4.201, 95%CI: 1.539-11.472), suggesting the rs34011 has a synergetic effect of APOE on AD risk. However, no association was observed between rs3765728 and AD in the Han Chinese population (χ(2) = 0.431, df = 2, P = 0.806).

Genome-wide copy number scan in Chinese patients with premature ovarian failure.

To investigate genetic causes in Chinese women with primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) for Genome-wide copy number variations (CNVs), focusing on novel autosomal microdeletions and microduplications.

Association study of ABCA7 and NPC1 polymorphisms with Alzheimer's disease in Chinese Han ethnic population.

The LRRK2 R1628P variant plays a protective role in Han Chinese population with Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) are the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorders that may share some overlapping etiologies. Mutations within leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) have been reported to be responsible for PD, and the location of LRRK2 is within a linkage peak for sporadic AD (SAD). The aim of this study was to investigate two Asian-specific LRRK2 variants, R1628P and G2385R, with the association of Han Chinese SAD.

Chemopreventive effects of Ginkgo biloba extract in estrogen-negative human breast cancer cells.

Excessive level of estrogen is considered as a main cause of breast cancer, therefore, many studies have focused on estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer, even though ER-negative cancer has a poor prognosis than ER-positive breast cancer. We evaluated the anti-cancer effects of Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) in estrogen-independent breast cancer. GBE has been traditionally used as a platelet activating factor, a circulatory stimulant, a tonic, and anti-asthmatic drug, and anti-cancer agent. However, anti-cancer effects of GBE on ER-negative breast cancer have not been proved yet. In this study, we tested chemotherapeutic potential of GBE in the MDA-MB-231 (ER-negative) human breast cancer cell line. Our results showed that cytotoxicity effects of GBE in MDA-MB-231 lead to DNA fragmentation at high concentrations (500 and 1,000 μg/ml). Caspase-3 was significantly activated and mRNA levels of apoptosis-related genes (Bcl-2 and Bax) were altered. These results indicate that GBE induces apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 cells. It is presumed that GBE has chemopreventive effects in ER-independent breast cancer through anti-proliferation and apoptosis-inducing activities.

Chinese patients with spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 presenting with rare clinical symptoms.

Clinical heterogeneity is the prominent feature of spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) which is sometimes neglected and often impedes the timely diagnosis of patients. In this study, the clinical data of 201 unrelated Chinese SCA3 patients were retrospectively studied. The rare clinical features were summarized and the underlying genetic mutations were screened by direct DNA sequencing. Three patients were found primarily presenting with the rare clinical features, including dystonic phenotype without response to levodopa, chorea and memory decline, and hearing impairment, respectively. We firstly reported three diverse heterogeneities of SCA3 patients, which are quite uncommon in the Chinese SCA3 patients. Our results expanded the variable phenotypes of SCA3 and provided the explicit information for the rare and special SCA3 manifestations. Based on this new knowledge, we suggested that when the presentation was consistent with HD or DRD while negative in the corresponding genetic testing, SCA3 should be considered, and clinicians should divert partial attention to the examinations on the auditory system of SCA3 patients.

The polymorphism of the ATP-binding cassette transporter 1 gene modulates Alzheimer disease risk in Chinese Han ethnic population.

Recent studies highlight a potential role of cholesterol metabolic disturbance in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer disease (AD). The adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette transporter 1 (ABCA1) gene resides within proximity of linkage peaks on chromosome 9q influence AD and plays a key role in cellular cholesterol efflux in the brain.

Analysis of Chinese women with primary ovarian insufficiency by high resolution array-comparative genomic hybridization.

Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) is defined as a primary ovarian defect characterized by absent menarche (primary amenorrhea) or premature depletion of ovarian follicles before the age of 40 years. The etiology of primary ovarian insufficiency in human female patients is still unclear. The purpose of this study is to investigate the potential genetic causes in primary amenorrhea patients by high resolution array based comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH) analysis.