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  1. Berki DM, Liu L, Choon SE, David Burden A, Griffiths CEM, Navarini AA, et al.
    J. Invest. Dermatol., 2015 Dec;135(12):2964-2970.
    PMID: 26203641 DOI: 10.1038/jid.2015.288
    Caspase recruitment family member 14 (CARD14, also known as CARMA2), is a scaffold protein that mediates NF-κB signal transduction in skin keratinocytes. Gain-of-function CARD14 mutations have been documented in familial forms of psoriasis vulgaris (PV) and pityriasis rubra pilaris (PRP). More recent investigations have also implicated CARD14 in the pathogenesis of pustular psoriasis. Follow-up studies, however, have been limited, so that it is not clear to what extent CARD14 alleles account for the above conditions. Here, we sought to address this question by carrying out a systematic CARD14 analysis in an extended patient cohort (n=416). We observed no disease alleles in subjects with familial PV (n=159), erythrodermic psoriasis (n=23), acral pustular psoriasis (n=100), or sporadic PRP (n=29). Conversely, our analysis of 105 individuals with generalized pustular psoriasis (GPP) identified a low-frequency variant (p.Asp176His) that causes constitutive CARD14 oligomerization and shows a significant association with GPP in Asian populations (P=8.4×10(-5); odds ratio=6.4). These data indicate that the analysis of CARD14 mutations could help stratify pustular psoriasis cohorts but would be mostly uninformative in the context of psoriasis and sporadic PRP.
  2. Kamei KI, Mashimo Y, Yoshioka M, Tokunaga Y, Fockenberg C, Terada S, et al.
    Small, 2017 05;13(18).
    PMID: 28272774 DOI: 10.1002/smll.201603104
    Cellular microenvironments are generally sophisticated, but crucial for regulating the functions of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). Despite tremendous effort in this field, the correlation between the environmental factors-especially the extracellular matrix and soluble cell factors-and the desired cellular functions remains largely unknown because of the lack of appropriate tools to recapitulate in vivo conditions and/or simultaneously evaluate the interplay of different environment factors. Here, a combinatorial platform is developed with integrated microfluidic channels and nanofibers, associated with a method of high-content single-cell analysis, to study the effects of environmental factors on stem cell phenotype. Particular attention is paid to the dependence of hPSC short-term self-renewal on the density and composition of extracellular matrices and initial cell seeding densities. Thus, this combinatorial approach provides insights into the underlying chemical and physical mechanisms that govern stem cell fate decisions.
  3. Zhou H, Liu L, Li R, Qin Y, Fang Q, Balasubramaniam VR, et al.
    Virol. J., 2017 08 17;14(1):156.
    PMID: 28814340 DOI: 10.1186/s12985-017-0823-4
    BACKGROUND: Astroviruses (AstVs) have been reported to infect and cause gastroenteritis in most animal species. Human AstVs were regarded the causative agent of viral diarrhea in children. In dogs, little is known about the epidemiology and clinical significance of AstV infection.

    FINDINGS: In this study, we collected and tested 253 rectal swabs from pet dogs; of which 64 samples (25.3%) tested positive for AstVs with diarrhea and 15 more samples (5.9%) also was identified as AstVs, however without any clinical signs. Phylogenetic analysis of 39 partial ORF1b sequences from these samples revealed that they are similar to AstVs, which can be subdivided into three lineages. Interestingly, out of the 39 isolates sequenced, 16 isolates are shown to be in the Mamastrovirus 5/canine astrovirus (CAstV) lineage and the remaining 23 isolates displayed higher similarities with known porcine astrovirus (PoAstV) 5 and 2. Further, analysis of 13 capsid sequences from these isolates showed that they are closely clustered with Chinese or Italy CAstV isolates.

    CONCLUSIONS: The findings indicate that CAstVs commonly circulate in pet dogs, and our sequencing results have shown the genomic diversity of CAstVs leading to increasing number of clusters.

  4. Cai L, Xi Z, Amorim AM, Sugumaran M, Rest JS, Liu L, et al.
    New Phytol., 2019 01;221(1):565-576.
    PMID: 30030969 DOI: 10.1111/nph.15357
    Whole-genome duplications (WGDs) are widespread and prevalent in vascular plants and frequently coincide with major episodes of global and climatic upheaval, including the mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (c. 65 Ma) and during more recent periods of global aridification in the Miocene (c. 10-5 Ma). Here, we explore WGDs in the diverse flowering plant clade Malpighiales. Using transcriptomes and complete genomes from 42 species, we applied a multipronged phylogenomic pipeline to identify, locate, and determine the age of WGDs in Malpighiales using three means of inference: distributions of synonymous substitutions per synonymous site (Ks ) among paralogs, phylogenomic (gene tree) reconciliation, and a likelihood-based gene-count method. We conservatively identify 22 ancient WGDs, widely distributed across Malpighiales subclades. Importantly, these events are clustered around the Eocene-Paleocene transition (c. 54 Ma), during which time the planet was warmer and wetter than any period in the Cenozoic. These results establish that the Eocene Climatic Optimum likely represents a previously unrecognized period of prolific WGDs in plants, and lends further support to the hypothesis that polyploidization promotes adaptation and enhances plant survival during episodes of global change, especially for tropical organisms like Malpighiales, which have tight thermal tolerances.
  5. Yusuf S, Bosch J, Dagenais G, Zhu J, Xavier D, Liu L, et al.
    N. Engl. J. Med., 2016 May 26;374(21):2021-31.
    PMID: 27040132 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1600176
    BACKGROUND: Previous trials have shown that the use of statins to lower cholesterol reduces the risk of cardiovascular events among persons without cardiovascular disease. Those trials have involved persons with elevated lipid levels or inflammatory markers and involved mainly white persons. It is unclear whether the benefits of statins can be extended to an intermediate-risk, ethnically diverse population without cardiovascular disease.
    METHODS: In one comparison from a 2-by-2 factorial trial, we randomly assigned 12,705 participants in 21 countries who did not have cardiovascular disease and were at intermediate risk to receive rosuvastatin at a dose of 10 mg per day or placebo. The first coprimary outcome was the composite of death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke, and the second coprimary outcome additionally included revascularization, heart failure, and resuscitated cardiac arrest. The median follow-up was 5.6 years.
    RESULTS: The overall mean low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level was 26.5% lower in the rosuvastatin group than in the placebo group. The first coprimary outcome occurred in 235 participants (3.7%) in the rosuvastatin group and in 304 participants (4.8%) in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.64 to 0.91; P=0.002). The results for the second coprimary outcome were consistent with the results for the first (occurring in 277 participants [4.4%] in the rosuvastatin group and in 363 participants [5.7%] in the placebo group; hazard ratio, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.88; P<0.001). The results were also consistent in subgroups defined according to cardiovascular risk at baseline, lipid level, C-reactive protein level, blood pressure, and race or ethnic group. In the rosuvastatin group, there was no excess of diabetes or cancers, but there was an excess of cataract surgery (in 3.8% of the participants, vs. 3.1% in the placebo group; P=0.02) and muscle symptoms (in 5.8% of the participants, vs. 4.7% in the placebo group; P=0.005).
    CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with rosuvastatin at a dose of 10 mg per day resulted in a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular events than placebo in an intermediate-risk, ethnically diverse population without cardiovascular disease. (Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and AstraZeneca; HOPE-3 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00468923.).
    Note: Malaysia is a study site (Author: Yusoff K)
  6. Yusuf S, Lonn E, Pais P, Bosch J, López-Jaramillo P, Zhu J, et al.
    N. Engl. J. Med., 2016 May 26;374(21):2032-43.
    PMID: 27039945 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1600177
    BACKGROUND: Elevated blood pressure and elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Lowering both should reduce the risk of cardiovascular events substantially.
    METHODS: In a trial with 2-by-2 factorial design, we randomly assigned 12,705 participants at intermediate risk who did not have cardiovascular disease to rosuvastatin (10 mg per day) or placebo and to candesartan (16 mg per day) plus hydrochlorothiazide (12.5 mg per day) or placebo. In the analyses reported here, we compared the 3180 participants assigned to combined therapy (with rosuvastatin and the two antihypertensive agents) with the 3168 participants assigned to dual placebo. The first coprimary outcome was the composite of death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke, and the second coprimary outcome additionally included heart failure, cardiac arrest, or revascularization. The median follow-up was 5.6 years.
    RESULTS: The decrease in the LDL cholesterol level was 33.7 mg per deciliter (0.87 mmol per liter) greater in the combined-therapy group than in the dual-placebo group, and the decrease in systolic blood pressure was 6.2 mm Hg greater with combined therapy than with dual placebo. The first coprimary outcome occurred in 113 participants (3.6%) in the combined-therapy group and in 157 (5.0%) in the dual-placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.71; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56 to 0.90; P=0.005). The second coprimary outcome occurred in 136 participants (4.3%) and 187 participants (5.9%), respectively (hazard ratio, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.57 to 0.89; P=0.003). Muscle weakness and dizziness were more common in the combined-therapy group than in the dual-placebo group, but the overall rate of discontinuation of the trial regimen was similar in the two groups.
    CONCLUSIONS: The combination of rosuvastatin (10 mg per day), candesartan (16 mg per day), and hydrochlorothiazide (12.5 mg per day) was associated with a significantly lower rate of cardiovascular events than dual placebo among persons at intermediate risk who did not have cardiovascular disease. (Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and AstraZeneca; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00468923.).
    Note: Malaysia is a study site (Author: Yusoff K)
  7. Lonn EM, Bosch J, López-Jaramillo P, Zhu J, Liu L, Pais P, et al.
    N. Engl. J. Med., 2016 May 26;374(21):2009-20.
    PMID: 27041480 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1600175
    BACKGROUND: Antihypertensive therapy reduces the risk of cardiovascular events among high-risk persons and among those with a systolic blood pressure of 160 mm Hg or higher, but its role in persons at intermediate risk and with lower blood pressure is unclear.
    METHODS: In one comparison from a 2-by-2 factorial trial, we randomly assigned 12,705 participants at intermediate risk who did not have cardiovascular disease to receive either candesartan at a dose of 16 mg per day plus hydrochlorothiazide at a dose of 12.5 mg per day or placebo. The first coprimary outcome was the composite of death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke; the second coprimary outcome additionally included resuscitated cardiac arrest, heart failure, and revascularization. The median follow-up was 5.6 years.
    RESULTS: The mean blood pressure of the participants at baseline was 138.1/81.9 mm Hg; the decrease in blood pressure was 6.0/3.0 mm Hg greater in the active-treatment group than in the placebo group. The first coprimary outcome occurred in 260 participants (4.1%) in the active-treatment group and in 279 (4.4%) in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.93; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.79 to 1.10; P=0.40); the second coprimary outcome occurred in 312 participants (4.9%) and 328 participants (5.2%), respectively (hazard ratio, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.81 to 1.11; P=0.51). In one of the three prespecified hypothesis-based subgroups, participants in the subgroup for the upper third of systolic blood pressure (>143.5 mm Hg) who were in the active-treatment group had significantly lower rates of the first and second coprimary outcomes than those in the placebo group; effects were neutral in the middle and lower thirds (P=0.02 and P=0.009, respectively, for trend in the two outcomes).
    CONCLUSIONS: Therapy with candesartan at a dose of 16 mg per day plus hydrochlorothiazide at a dose of 12.5 mg per day was not associated with a lower rate of major cardiovascular events than placebo among persons at intermediate risk who did not have cardiovascular disease. (Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and AstraZeneca; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00468923.).
    Note: Malaysia is a study site (Author: Yusoff K)
  8. Lonn E, Bosch J, Pogue J, Avezum A, Chazova I, Dans A, et al.
    Can J Cardiol, 2016 Mar;32(3):311-8.
    PMID: 26481083 DOI: 10.1016/j.cjca.2015.07.001
    Cholesterol and blood pressure (BP) can be effectively and safely lowered with statin drugs and BP-lowering drugs, reducing major cardiovascular (CV) events by 20%-30% within 5 years in high-risk individuals. However, there are limited data in lower-risk populations. The Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation-3 (HOPE-3) trial is evaluating whether cholesterol lowering with a statin drug, BP lowering with low doses of 2 antihypertensive agents, and their combination safely reduce major CV events in individuals at intermediate risk who have had no previous vascular events and have average cholesterol and BP levels.
  9. O'Donnell MJ, Chin SL, Rangarajan S, Xavier D, Liu L, Zhang H, et al.
    Lancet, 2016 Aug 20;388(10046):761-75.
    PMID: 27431356 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30506-2
    BACKGROUND:Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability, especially in low-income and middle-income countries. We sought to quantify the importance of potentially modifiable risk factors for stroke in different regions of the world, and in key populations and primary pathological subtypes of stroke.
    METHODS:We completed a standardised international case-control study in 32 countries in Asia, America, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and Africa. Cases were patients with acute first stroke (within 5 days of symptom onset and 72 h of hospital admission). Controls were hospital-based or community-based individuals with no history of stroke, and were matched with cases, recruited in a 1:1 ratio, for age and sex. All participants completed a clinical assessment and were requested to provide blood and urine samples. Odds ratios (OR) and their population attributable risks (PARs) were calculated, with 99% confidence intervals.
    FINDINGS: Between Jan 11, 2007, and Aug 8, 2015, 26 919 participants were recruited from 32 countries (13 447 cases [10 388 with ischaemic stroke and 3059 intracerebral haemorrhage] and 13 472 controls). Previous history of hypertension or blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or higher (OR 2·98, 99% CI 2·72-3·28; PAR 47·9%, 99% CI 45·1-50·6), regular physical activity (0·60, 0·52-0·70; 35·8%, 27·7-44·7), apolipoprotein (Apo)B/ApoA1 ratio (1·84, 1·65-2·06 for highest vs lowest tertile; 26·8%, 22·2-31·9 for top two tertiles vs lowest tertile), diet (0·60, 0·53-0·67 for highest vs lowest tertile of modified Alternative Healthy Eating Index [mAHEI]; 23·2%, 18·2-28·9 for lowest two tertiles vs highest tertile of mAHEI), waist-to-hip ratio (1·44, 1·27-1·64 for highest vs lowest tertile; 18·6%, 13·3-25·3 for top two tertiles vs lowest), psychosocial factors (2·20, 1·78-2·72; 17·4%, 13·1-22·6), current smoking (1·67, 1·49-1·87; 12·4%, 10·2-14·9), cardiac causes (3·17, 2·68-3·75; 9·1%, 8·0-10·2), alcohol consumption (2·09, 1·64-2·67 for high or heavy episodic intake vs never or former drinker; 5·8%, 3·4-9·7 for current alcohol drinker vs never or former drinker), and diabetes mellitus (1·16, 1·05-1·30; 3·9%, 1·9-7·6) were associated with all stroke. Collectively, these risk factors accounted for 90·7% of the PAR for all stroke worldwide (91·5% for ischaemic stroke, 87·1% for intracerebral haemorrhage), and were consistent across regions (ranging from 82·7% in Africa to 97·4% in southeast Asia), sex (90·6% in men and in women), and age groups (92·2% in patients aged ≤55 years, 90·0% in patients aged >55 years). We observed regional variations in the importance of individual risk factors, which were related to variations in the magnitude of ORs (rather than direction, which we observed for diet) and differences in prevalence of risk factors among regions. Hypertension was more associated with intracerebral haemorrhage than with ischaemic stroke, whereas current smoking, diabetes, apolipoproteins, and cardiac causes were more associated with ischaemic stroke (p<0·0001).
    INTERPRETATION: Ten potentially modifiable risk factors are collectively associated with about 90% of the PAR of stroke in each major region of the world, among ethnic groups, in men and women, and in all ages. However, we found important regional variations in the relative importance of most individual risk factors for stroke, which could contribute to worldwide variations in frequency and case-mix of stroke. Our findings support developing both global and region-specific programmes to prevent stroke.
    FUNDING: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Canadian Stroke Network, Health Research Board Ireland, Swedish Research Council, Swedish Heart and Lung Foundation, The Health & Medical Care Committee of the Regional Executive Board, Region Västra Götaland (Sweden), AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada), Pfizer (Canada), MSD, Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland, and The Stroke Association, with support from The UK Stroke Research Network.
  10. Mashimo Y, Yoshioka M, Tokunaga Y, Fockenberg C, Terada S, Koyama Y, et al.
    J Vis Exp, 2018 09 07.
    PMID: 30247461 DOI: 10.3791/57377
    Cellular microenvironments consist of a variety of cues, such as growth factors, extracellular matrices, and intercellular interactions. These cues are well orchestrated and are crucial in regulating cell functions in a living system. Although a number of researchers have attempted to investigate the correlation between environmental factors and desired cellular functions, much remains unknown. This is largely due to the lack of a proper methodology to mimic such environmental cues in vitro, and simultaneously test different environmental cues on cells. Here, we report an integrated platform of microfluidic channels and a nanofiber array, followed by high-content single-cell analysis, to examine stem cell phenotypes altered by distinct environmental factors. To demonstrate the application of this platform, this study focuses on the phenotypes of self-renewing human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). Here, we present the preparation procedures for a nanofiber array and the microfluidic structure in the fabrication of a Multiplexed Artificial Cellular MicroEnvironment (MACME) array. Moreover, overall steps of the single-cell profiling, cell staining with multiple fluorescent markers, multiple fluorescence imaging, and statistical analyses, are described.
  11. Lee CH, Ko AM, Warnakulasuriya S, Ling TY, Sunarjo, Rajapakse PS, et al.
    Am J Public Health, 2012 Mar;102(3):e17-24.
    PMID: 22390524 DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300521
    We investigated the population burden of betel quid abuse and its related impact on oral premalignant disorders (OPDs) in South, Southeast, and East Asia.
  12. Liu L, Mo Z, Liang Z, Zhang Y, Li R, Ong KC, et al.
    BMC Med, 2015;13:226.
    PMID: 26381232 DOI: 10.1186/s12916-015-0448-7
    To investigate the long-term effects on immunity of an inactivated enterovirus 71 (EV71) vaccine and its protective efficacy.
  13. Li H, Liu L, Dang M, Zhang W, Liu J
    Int. J. Neurosci., 2019 Sep 13.
    PMID: 31516045 DOI: 10.1080/00207454.2019.1667797
    The present study was designed to explore the relative susceptibility of in vitro fertilization (IVF)-conceived mice to global cerebral ischemic injury with the possible role of hydrogen sulfide and enzymes responsible for its production. IVF was carried to obtain pups, which were allowed to grow to the age of eight weeks. Thereafter, male mice were subjected to 20 minutes of global ischemia and 24 hours of reperfusion. The mice obtained from other groups including normal mating; superovulation, but normal mating and normal mating, but embryo implantation were also subjected to global ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury. IVF-derived mice exhibited significant more injury in response to I/R injury in comparison to other groups assessed in terms of impairment in locomotor activity, development of motor in coordination, neurological severity score, cerebral infarction, apoptosis markers (caspase-3 activity and Bcl-2 expression). Moreover, there was a relative decrease in the brain levels of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and its biosynthetic enzymes viz. cystathionine-β-synthase and cystathionine-γ-lyase. Interestingly, the levels of H2S and cystathionine-γ-lyase were significantly low in IVF-derived mice in basal conditions also i.e. before subjecting to I/R injury and these biochemical alterations were associated with the behavioral deficits in mice, even before subjecting to I/R injury. It is concluded that in vitro fertilization-derived mice are more susceptible to global cerebral ischemia reperfusion injury, which may be possibly due to decreased levels of hydrogen sulfide and its biosynthetic enzymes viz., cystathionine-β-synthase and cystathionine-γ-lyase.
  14. Li X, Xu A, Sheng H, Ting TH, Mao X, Huang X, et al.
    Pediatr Diabetes, 2018 03;19(2):251-258.
    PMID: 28791793 DOI: 10.1111/pedi.12560
    BACKGROUND: Sulfonylurea therapy can improve glycemic control and ameliorate neurodevelopmental outcomes in patients suffering from neonatal diabetes mellitus (NDM) with KCNJ11 or ABCC8 mutations. As genetic testing results are often delayed, it remains controversial whether sulfonylurea treatment should be attempted immediately at diagnosis or doctors should await genetic confirmation.

    OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness and safety of sulfonylurea therapy in Chinese NDM patients during infancy before genetic testing results were available.

    METHODS: The medical records of NDM patients with their follow-up details were reviewed and molecular genetic analysis was performed. Sulfonylurea transfer regimens were applied in patients diagnosed after May 2010, and glycemic status and side effects were evaluated in each patient.

    RESULTS: There were 23 NDM patients from 22 unrelated families, 10 had KCNJ11 mutations, 3 harbored ABCC8 mutations, 1 had INS mutations, 4 had chromosome 6q24 abnormalities, 1 had a deletion at chromosome 1p36.23p36.12, and 4 had no genetic abnormality identified. Sixteen NDM infants were treated with glyburide at an average age of 49 days (range 14-120 days) before genetic confirmation. A total of 11 of 16 (69%) were able to successfully switch to glyburide with a more stable glucose profile. The responsive glyburide dose was 0.51 ± 0.16 mg/kg/d (0.3-0.8 mg/kg/d), while the maintenance dose was 0.30 ± 0.07 mg/kg/d (0.2-0.4 mg/kg/d). No serious adverse events were reported.

    CONCLUSIONS: Molecular genetic diagnosis is recommended in all patients with NDM. However, if genetic testing results are delayed, sulfonylurea therapy should be considered before such results are received, even in infants with newly diagnosed NDM.

  15. Zhang P, Wang P, Yan L, Liu L
    Int J Nanomedicine, 2018;13:7047-7059.
    PMID: 30464458 DOI: 10.2147/IJN.S180138
    Background: Nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) is one of the subtypes of head and neck cancers. It occurs rarely, and its prevalence depends mainly on geographical location. Modern-day research is focused on coupling nanotechnology and traditional medicine for combating cancers. Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were synthesized from Solanum xanthocarpum (Sx) leaf extract using reduction method.

    Methods: Characterization of the synthesized AuNPs was done by different techniques such as ultraviolet-visible spectrum absorption, X-ray diffraction, dynamic light scattering, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and energy-dispersive X-ray analysis.

    Results: All the results showed the successful green synthesis of AuNPs from Sx, which induced apoptosis of C666-1 cell line (NPC cell line). There was a decline in both cell viability and colony formation in C666-1 cells upon treatment with Sx-AuNPs. The cell death was proved to be caused by autophagy and mitochondrial-dependent apoptotic pathway.

    Conclusion: Thus, due to their anticancer potential, these nanoparticles coupled with Sx can be used for in vivo applications and clinical research in future.

  16. Li X, Ting TH, Sheng H, Liang CL, Shao Y, Jiang M, et al.
    BMC Pediatr, 2018 03 06;18(1):101.
    PMID: 29510678 DOI: 10.1186/s12887-018-1060-8
    BACKGROUND: There is scarcity of information on the clinical features and genetics of glucokinase-maturity-onset diabetes of the young (GCK-MODY) in China. The aim of the study was to investigate the clinical and molecular characteristics of Chinese children with GCK-MODY.

    METHODS: Eleven children with asymptomatic hyperglycemia and clinically suspected GCK-MODY were identified from the database of children with diabetes in the biggest children's hospital in South China. Clinical data were obtained from medical records. Blood was collected from the patients and their parents for glucokinase (GCK) gene analysis. Parents without diabetes were tested for fasting glucose and HbA1c. Clinical information and blood for GCK gene analysis were obtained from grandparents with diabetes. GCK gene mutational analysis was performed by polymerase chain reaction and direct sequencing. Patients without a GCK gene mutation were screened by targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology for other MODY genes.

    RESULTS: Nine children tested positive for GCK gene mutations while two were negative. The nine GCK-MODY patients were from unrelated families, aged 1 month to 9 years and 1 month at first detection of hyperglycaemia. Fasting glucose was elevated (6.1-8.5 mmol/L), HbA1c 5.2-6.7% (33.3-49.7 mmol/mol), both remained stable on follow-up over 9 months to 5 years. Five detected mutations had been previously reported: p.Val182Met, c.679 + 1G > A, p.Gly295Ser, p.Arg191Gln and p.Met41Thr. Four mutations were novel: c.483 + 2 T > A, p.Ser151del, p.Met57GlyfsX29 and p.Val374_Ala377del. No mutations were identified in the other two patients, who were also tested by NGS.

    CONCLUSIONS: GCK gene mutations are detected in Chinese children and their family members with typical clinical features of GCK-MODY. Four novel mutations are detected.
  17. Chen L, Wang Z, Zhang B, Ge M, Ng H, Niu Y, et al.
    Carbohydr Polym, 2019 Feb 01;205:271-278.
    PMID: 30446105 DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2018.10.070
    Carbon and nitrogen sources in culture medium of Antrodia cinnamomea were optimized to eliminate the interference of exterior macromolecules on exopolysaccharide (EPS) yield by submerged fermentation. The results suggested that culture medium containing 50 g/L of glucose and 20 g/L of yeast extract as the optimal carbon and nitrogen sources could produce 1.03 g/L of exopolysaccharides. After purification, two heteropolysaccharides (AC-EPS1 and AC-EPS2) were obtained and characterized to provide the basic structure information. As the main component of the produced EPS, AC-EPS2 (accounting for 89.63%) was mainly composed of galactose (87.42%) with Mw (molecular weight) and R.M.S. (root-mean-square) radius of 1.18 × 105 g/mol and 25.3 nm, respectively. Furthermore, the spherical and flexible chain morphologies of EPS were observed in different solvents by TEM. The structural and morphological information of purified EPS were significant for further study on their structure-activity relationship and related applications.
  18. Cui X, Wang R, Bian P, Wu Q, Seshadri VDD, Liu L
    Artif Cells Nanomed Biotechnol, 2019 Dec;47(1):3391-3398.
    PMID: 31394949 DOI: 10.1080/21691401.2019.1649269
    Nimbolide, a triterpenoid isolated from flower of neem tree possess various therapeutic properties. The objective of the study was to assess the anti-arthritic activity of nimbolide in arthritis induced rats. Nimbolide (20 mg/kg per day) was given orally to arthritic rats induced with Complete Freund's Adjuvant and changes in paw volume, body weight, organ indices (thymus and spleen), arthritic score, biochemical parameters and proinflammatory cytokines levels were determined. Histopathological analysis was also performed. Western blot analysis was also performed. Rats treated with nimbolide displayed marked reduction in arthritic score, organ indices, volume of paw, edema formation, along with substantial enhancement in body weight. Histopathological findings showed significant reduction in destruction of joints and inflammation following nimbolide treatment. The protective action of arthritic rats treated with nimbolide was also substantiated by molecular and biochemical studies. The results of the study show that nimbolide treatment has markedly enhanced health and reduced inflammation via lessening the proinflammatory cytokines expression in arthritic rats. Hence, nimbolide may be used as a potent therapeutic drug in treating rheumatoid arthritis.
  19. Zhang KJ, Liu L, Rong X, Zhang GH, Liu H, Liu YH
    Mitochondrial DNA A DNA Mapp Seq Anal, 2016 11;27(6):4314-4315.
    PMID: 26462416
    We sequenced and annotated the complete mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) of Bactrocera diaphora (Diptera: Tephtitidae), which is an economically important pest in the southwest area of China, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Malaysia. This mitogenome is 15 890 bp in length with an A + T content of 74.103%, and contains 37 typical animal mitochondrial genes that are arranged in the same order as that of the inferred ancestral insects. All protein-coding genes (PCGs) start with a typical ATN codon, except cox1 that begins with TCG. Ten PCGs stop with termination codon TAA or TAG, whereas cox1, nad1 and nad5 have single T-- as the incomplete stop codon. All of the transfer RNA genes present the typical clover leaf secondary structure except trnS1 (AGN) with a looping D-arm. The A + T-rich region is located between rrnS and trnI with a length of 946 bp, and contains a 20 bp poly-T stretch and 22 bp poly-A stretch. Except the control region, the longest intergenic spacer is located between trnR and trnN that is 94 bp long with an excessive high A + T content (95.74%) and a microsatellite-like region (TA)13.
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