Displaying publications 41 - 60 of 62 in total

  1. Zhang W, Chen S, Mahalingam S, Wang M, Cheng A
    J. Gen. Virol., 2017 Oct;98(10):2413-2420.
    PMID: 28874226 DOI: 10.1099/jgv.0.000908
    Tembusu virus (TMUV, genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae) was first isolated in 1955 from Culex tritaeniorhynchus mosquitoes in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In April 2010, duck TMUV was first identified as the causative agent of egg-drop syndrome, characterized by a substantial decrease in egg laying and depression, growth retardation and neurological signs or death in infected egg-laying and breeder ducks, in the People's Republic of China. Since 2010, duck TMUV has spread to most of the duck-producing regions in China, including many of the coastal provinces, neighbouring regions and certain Southeast Asia areas (i.e. Thailand and Malaysia). This review describes the current understanding of the genome characteristics, host range, transmission, epidemiology, phylogenetic and immune evasion of avian-origin TMUV and the innate immune response of the host.
  2. Kim J, Hwang Y, Yoo M, Chen S, Lee IM
    Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, 2017 Nov;24(32):25137-25145.
    PMID: 28924945 DOI: 10.1007/s11356-017-0152-6
    In this study, the chemical substance flow of hydrogen fluoride (hydrofluoric acid, HF) in domestic chemical industries in 2014 was analyzed in order to provide a basic material and information for the establishment of organized management system to ensure safety during HF applications. A total of 44,751 tons of HF was made by four domestic companies (in 2014); import amount was 95,984 tons in 2014 while 21,579 tons of HF was imported in 2005. The export amount of HF was 2180 tons, of which 2074 ton (China, 1422 tons, U.S. 524 tons, and Malaysia, 128 tons) was exported for the manufacturing of semiconductors. Based on the export and import amounts, it can be inferred that HF was used for manufacturing semiconductors. The industries applications of 161,123 tons of HF were as follows: manufacturing of basic inorganic chemical substance (27,937 tons), manufacturing of other chemical products such as detergents (28,208 tons), manufacturing of flat display (24,896 tons), and manufacturing of glass container package (22,002 tons). In this study, an analysis of the chemical substance flow showed that HF was mainly used in the semiconductor industry as well as glass container manufacturing. Combined with other risk management tools and approaches in the chemical industry, the chemical substance flow analysis (CSFA) can be a useful tool and method for assessment and management. The current CSFA results provide useful information for policy making in the chemical industry and national systems. Graphical abstract Hydrogen fluoride chemical substance flows in 2014 in South Korea.
  3. Lai CM, Mak KK, Watanabe H, Jeong J, Kim D, Bahar N, et al.
    Public Health, 2015 Sep;129(9):1224-36.
    PMID: 26343546 DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2015.07.031
    OBJECTIVES: This study examines the associations of Internet addiction with social anxiety, depression, and psychosocial well-being among Asian adolescents. A self-medication model conceptualizing Internet addiction as a mediating role in relating depression and social anxiety to negative psychosocial well-being was tested.
    STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey.
    METHODS: In the Asian Adolescent Risk Behavior Survey (AARBS), 5366 adolescents aged 12-18 years from six Asian countries (China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Philippines) completed a questionnaire with items of the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SAS-A), Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CESD), Self-Rated Health of the Nation Outcome Scales for Children and Adolescents (HoNOSCA-SR) in the 2012-2013 school year. Structural equation modelling was used to examine the mediating role of Internet addiction in depression, social anxiety, and subjective psychosocial well-being.
    RESULTS: Significant differences on the scores of IAT, SAS-A, CESD, and HoNOSCA-SR across the six countries were found. The proposed self-medication model of Internet addiction received satisfactory goodness-of-fit with data of all countries. After the path from social anxiety to Internet addiction had been discarded in the revised model, there was a significant improvement of the goodness-of-fit in the models for Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines.
    CONCLUSIONS: Depression and social anxiety reciprocally influenced, whereas depression associated with poorer psychosocial well-being directly and indirectly through Internet addiction in all six countries. Internet addiction mediated the association between social anxiety and poor psychosocial well-being in China, Hong Kong, and Malaysia.
    KEYWORDS: Adolescents; Asian; Depression; Internet addiction; Social anxiety; Structural equation modelling
  4. Yoochatchaval W, Kumakura S, Tanikawa D, Yamaguchi T, Yunus MF, Chen SS, et al.
    Water Sci. Technol., 2011;64(10):2001-8.
    PMID: 22105121 DOI: 10.2166/wst.2011.782
    The biodegradation characteristics of palm oil mill effluent (POME) and the related microbial community were studied in both actual sequential anaerobic ponds in Malaysia and enrichment cultures. The significant degradation of the POME was observed in the second pond, in which the temperature was 35-37 °C. In this pond, biodegradation of major long chain fatty acids (LCFA), such as palmitic acid (C16:0) and oleic acid (C18:1), was also confirmed. The enrichment culture experiment was conducted with different feeding substrates, i.e. POME, C16:0 and C18:1, at 35 °C. Good recovery of methane indicated biodegradation of feeds in the POME and C16:0 enrichments. The methane production rate of the C18:1 enrichment was slower than other substrates and inhibition of methanogenesis was frequently observed. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analyses indicated the existence of LCFA-degrading bacteria, such as the genus Syntrophus and Syntorophomonas, in all enrichment cultures operated at 35 °C. Anaerobic degradation of the POME under mesophilic conditions was stably processed as compared with thermophilic conditions.
  5. Othman WN, Muttalib KA, Bakri R, Doss JG, Jaafar N, Salleh NC, et al.
    J Public Health Dent, 2006;66(3):199-204.
    PMID: 16913247
    To translate and validate the Geriatric Oral Health Assessment Index (GOHAI into the Malay language for use in Malaysia.
  6. Pham NQ, Barnes I, Chen S, Pham TQ, Lombard L, Crous PW, et al.
    MycoKeys, 2018.
    PMID: 29681735 DOI: 10.3897/mycokeys.32.23754
    Cylindrocladiella spp. are widely distributed especially in tropical and sub-tropical regions, where they are mainly known as saprobes although some species are plant pathogens. Very little is known about these fungi in South-East Asia. The aim of this study was to identify a collection of Cylindrocladiella isolates from soils collected in forest nurseries and plantations in Vietnam and Malaysia. This was achieved using DNA sequence comparisons and morphological observations. The study revealed two previously described species, Cy. lageniformis and Cy. peruviana as well as five novel taxa, described here as Cy. arbustasp. nov., Cy. malesianasp. nov., Cy. obpyriformissp. nov., Cy. parvisporasp. nov. and Cy. solicolasp. nov. A relatively small collection of isolates from a limited geographic sampling revealed an unexpectedly high level of Cylindrocladiella diversity suggesting that many more species in this genus await discovery in South-East Asia.
  7. Reginald K, Tan CL, Chen S, Yuen L, Goh SY, Chew FT
    Sci Rep, 2018 08 06;8(1):11743.
    PMID: 30082894 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-30224-z
    We previously identified an expressed sequence tag clone, Der f 22, showing 41% amino acid identity to published Der f 2, and show that both genes are possible paralogues. The objective of this study was to characterize the genomic, proteomic and immunological functions Der f 22 and Der f 2. The full-length sequence of Der f 2 and Der f 22 coded for mature proteins of 129 and 135 amino acids respectively, both containing 6 cysteine residues. Phylogenetic analysis of known group 2 allergens and their homologues from our expressed sequence tag library showed that Der f 22 is a paralogue of Der f 2. Both Der f 2 and Der f 22 were single gene products with one intron. Both allergens showed specific IgE-binding to over 40% of the atopic patients, with limited of cross-reactivity. Both allergens were detected at the gut region of D. farinae by immunostaining. Der f 22 is an important allergen with significant IgE reactivity among the atopic population, and should be considered in the diagnostic panel and evaluated as future hypoallergen vaccine therapeutic target.
  8. Ko Y, Liu CW, Chen SS, Chen CY, Yao KS, Maruthasalam S, et al.
    Plant Dis., 2010 Apr;94(4):481.
    PMID: 30754488 DOI: 10.1094/PDIS-94-4-0481B
    During March 2007, a fruit rot disease was observed in several loquat (Eriobotrya japonica (Thunberg) Lindley) fields located in Taichung, Nantou, and Miaoli counties. Loquat is a valuable fruit crop grown predominantly in central Taiwan, and hence, even a minor yield loss by this new disease is economically significant. Symptoms on fruits initially appeared as small lesions (<1 mm) that later developed into light-to-dark brown, circular, larger (7 mm), sunken lesions, indicating invasion of a pathogen into the fruit. Pieces of rotted fruit tissue (1 × 1 × 1 mm) were immersed for 1 min in 3% commercial bleach, followed by 70% ethanol, cultured on potato dextrose agar (PDA), and incubated under constant fluorescent light (185 ± 35 μE·m-2·s-1) at 24°C for 2 days. Three single conidial isolates (AS1 to AS3) were selected and used in morphological and pathogenicity studies. All three isolates were identified as an Alternaria sp. (1-3) and formed abundant, dark brown mycelium when cultured on PDA with light at 24°C. Conidiophores were 60 to 89 × 3 to 5 μm, densely fasciculate, cylindrical, simple or branched, and had distinct conidial scars. Conidia were 12 to 74 × 6 to 14 μm, golden brown, straight or curved, obclavate with beaks measuring half the length of the conidium, and observed in chains of 10 or more spores with four to seven transverse septa and several longitudinal septa. Pathogenicity tests were conducted twice by inoculating eight surface-sterilized wounded or unwounded fruits with each of the three isolates in each experiment. Two cuts (1 × 1 × 1 mm) were made on each fruit 3 cm apart with a sterile scalpel, and a 300-μl spore suspension (2 × 105 conidia per ml) was placed on each wound. Similarly, a 300-μl spore suspension was placed on unwounded fruits and air dried for 5 min. Control fruits were similarly treated with sterile water. Inoculated fruits were enclosed in a plastic bag and kept at 24 ± 1°C. Symptoms of soft rot were observed on 60% (unwounded) and 100% (wounded) of inoculated fruits 5 days after inoculation, while control fruits did not develop disease symptoms. Reisolation from the symptomatic fruits consistently yielded an Alternaria sp. This fungus previously has been reported as the causal agent of fruit rot or black spot of papaya, mango, kiwifruit, pear, and carambola from Australia, India, Malaysia, South Africa, and the United States (1-3). To our knowledge, this is the first report of fruit rot of loquat caused by an Alternaria sp. in Taiwan. To manage this disease, growers may resort to fungicidal sprays followed by bagging of fruits to reduce pre- and postharvest losses. References: (1) A. L. Jones and H. S. Aldwinckle. Compendium of Apple and Pear Diseases. The American Phytopathological Society. St. Paul, MN, 1990. (2) R. C. Ploetz. Diseases of Tropical Fruit Crops. CABI Publishing. Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK, 2003. (3) R. C. Ploetz et al. Compendium of Tropical Fruit Diseases. The American Phytopathological Society. St. Paul, MN, 1994.
  9. Sun Y, Wu G, Cheng KS, Chen A, Neoh KH, Chen S, et al.
    EBioMedicine, 2019 Aug;46:133-149.
    PMID: 31375425 DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.07.044
    BACKGROUND: The evaluation for surgical resectability of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients is not only imaging-based but highly subjective. An objective method is urgently needed. We report on the clinical value of a phenotypic circulating tumor cell (CTC)-based blood test for a preoperative prognostic assessment of tumor metastasis and overall survival (OS) of PDAC patients.

    METHODS: Venous blood samples from 46 pathologically confirmed PDAC patients were collected prospectively before surgery and immunoassayed using a specially designed TU-chip™. Captured CTCs were differentiated into epithelial (E), mesenchymal and hybrid (H) phenotypes. A further 45 non-neoplastic healthy donors provided blood for cell line validation study and CTC false positive quantification.

    FINDINGS: A validated multivariable model consisting of disjunctively combined CTC phenotypes: "H-CTC≥15.0 CTCs/2ml OR E-CTC≥11.0 CTCs/2ml" generated an optimal prediction of metastasis with a sensitivity of 1.000 (95% CI 0.889-1.000) and specificity of 0.886 (95% CI 0.765-0.972). The adjusted Kaplan-Meier median OS constructed using Cox proportional-hazard models and stratified for E-CTC 

  10. Zhang JW, Chen S, Tomova Shakur TK, Bilgin B, Chai WJ, Ramis T, et al.
    Pers Soc Psychol Bull, 2019 09;45(9):1323-1337.
    PMID: 30658553 DOI: 10.1177/0146167218820914
    Theory and research converge to suggest that authenticity predicts positive psychological adjustment. Given these benefits of authenticity, there is a surprising dearth of research on the factors that foster authenticity. Five studies help fill this gap by testing whether self-compassion promotes subjective authenticity. Study 1 found a positive association between trait self-compassion and authenticity. Study 2 demonstrated that on days when people felt more self-compassionate, they also felt more authentic. Study 3 discovered that people experimentally induced to be self-compassionate reported greater state authenticity relative to control participants. Studies 4 and 5 recruited samples from multiple cultures and used a cross-sectional and a longitudinal design, respectively, and found that self-compassion predicts greater authenticity through reduced fear of negative evaluation (Study 4) and heightened optimism (Study 5). Across studies, self-compassion's effects on authenticity could not be accounted for by self-esteem. Overall, the results suggest that self-compassion can help cultivate subjective authenticity.
  11. Botelho DJ, Leo BF, Massa CB, Sarkar S, Tetley TD, Chung KF, et al.
    Nanotoxicology, 2016;10(1):118-27.
    PMID: 26152688 DOI: 10.3109/17435390.2015.1038330
    Multiple studies have examined the direct cellular toxicity of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). However, the lung is a complex biological system with multiple cell types and a lipid-rich surface fluid; therefore, organ level responses may not depend on direct cellular toxicity. We hypothesized that interaction with the lung lining is a critical determinant of organ level responses. Here, we have examined the effects of low dose intratracheal instillation of AgNPs (0.05 μg/g body weight) 20 and 110 nm diameter in size, and functionalized with citrate or polyvinylpyrrolidone. Both size and functionalization were significant factors in particle aggregation and lipid interaction in vitro. One day post-intratracheal instillation lung function was assessed, and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and lung tissue collected. There were no signs of overt inflammation. There was no change in surfactant protein-B content in the BAL but there was loss of surfactant protein-D with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-stabilized particles. Mechanical impedance data demonstrated a significant increase in pulmonary elastance as compared to control, greatest with 110 nm PVP-stabilized particles. Seven days post-instillation of PVP-stabilized particles increased BAL cell counts, and reduced lung function was observed. These changes resolved by 21 days. Hence, AgNP-mediated alterations in the lung lining and mechanical function resolve by 21 days. Larger particles and PVP stabilization produce the largest disruptions. These studies demonstrate that low dose AgNPs elicit deficits in both mechanical and innate immune defense function, suggesting that organ level toxicity should be considered.
  12. Sweeney S, Leo BF, Chen S, Abraham-Thomas N, Thorley AJ, Gow A, et al.
    Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces, 2016 Sep 01;145:167-75.
    PMID: 27182651 DOI: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2016.04.040
    Accompanying increased commercial applications and production of silver nanomaterials is an increased probability of human exposure, with inhalation a key route. Nanomaterials that deposit in the pulmonary alveolar region following inhalation will interact firstly with pulmonary surfactant before they interact with the alveolar epithelium. It is therefore critical to understand the effects of human pulmonary surfactant when evaluating the inhalation toxicity of silver nanoparticles. In this study, we evaluated the toxicity of AgNPs on human alveolar type-I-like epithelial (TT1) cells in the absence and presence of Curosurf(®) (a natural pulmonary surfactant substitute), hypothesising that the pulmonary surfactant would act to modify toxicity. We demonstrated that 20nm citrate-capped AgNPs induce toxicity in human alveolar type I-like epithelial cells and, in agreement with our hypothesis, that pulmonary surfactant acts to mitigate this toxicity, possibly through reducing AgNP dissolution into cytotoxic Ag(+) ions. For example, IL-6 and IL-8 release by TT1 cells significantly increased 10.7- and 35-fold, respectively (P<0.01), 24h after treatment with 25μg/ml AgNPs. In contrast, following pre-incubation of AgNPs with Curosurf(®), this effect was almost completely abolished. We further determined that the mechanism of this toxicity is likely associated with Ag(+) ion release and lysosomal disruption, but not with increased reactive oxygen species generation. This study provides a critical understanding of the toxicity of AgNPs in target human alveolar type-I-like epithelial cells and the role of pulmonary surfactant in mitigating this toxicity. The observations reported have important implications for the manufacture and application of AgNPs, in particular for applications involving use of aerosolised AgNPs.
  13. Gonzalez-Carter DA, Leo BF, Ruenraroengsak P, Chen S, Goode AE, Theodorou IG, et al.
    Sci Rep, 2017 03 02;7:42871.
    PMID: 28251989 DOI: 10.1038/srep42871
    Silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are known to penetrate into the brain and cause neuronal death. However, there is a paucity in studies examining the effect of AgNP on the resident immune cells of the brain, microglia. Given microglia are implicated in neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD), it is important to examine how AgNPs affect microglial inflammation to fully assess AgNP neurotoxicity. In addition, understanding AgNP processing by microglia will allow better prediction of their long term bioreactivity. In the present study, the in vitro uptake and intracellular transformation of citrate-capped AgNPs by microglia, as well as their effects on microglial inflammation and related neurotoxicity were examined. Analytical microscopy demonstrated internalization and dissolution of AgNPs within microglia and formation of non-reactive silver sulphide (Ag2S) on the surface of AgNPs. Furthermore, AgNP-treatment up-regulated microglial expression of the hydrogen sulphide (H2S)-synthesizing enzyme cystathionine-γ-lyase (CSE). In addition, AgNPs showed significant anti-inflammatory effects, reducing lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated ROS, nitric oxide and TNFα production, which translated into reduced microglial toxicity towards dopaminergic neurons. Hence, the present results indicate that intracellular Ag2S formation, resulting from CSE-mediated H2S production in microglia, sequesters Ag+ ions released from AgNPs, significantly limiting their toxicity, concomitantly reducing microglial inflammation and related neurotoxicity.
  14. Botelho D, Leo BF, Massa C, Sarkar S, Tetley T, Chung KF, et al.
    Front Pharmacol, 2018;9:213.
    PMID: 29632485 DOI: 10.3389/fphar.2018.00213
    Here we examine the organ level toxicology of both carbon black (CB) and silver nanoparticles (AgNP). We aim to determine metal-specific effects to respiratory function, inflammation and potential interactions with lung lining fluid (LLF). C57Bl6/J male mice were intratracheally instilled with saline (control), low (0.05 μg/g) or high (0.5 μg/g) doses of either AgNP or CB 15 nm nanospheres. Lung histology, cytology, surfactant composition and function, inflammatory gene expression, and pulmonary function were measured at 1, 3, and 7 days post-exposure. Acutely, high dose CB resulted in an inflammatory response, increased neutrophilia and cytokine production, without alteration in surfactant composition or respiratory mechanics. Low dose CB had no effect. Neither low nor high dose AgNPs resulted in an acute inflammatory response, but there was an increase in work of breathing. Three days post-exposure with CB, a persistent neutrophilia was noted. High dose AgNP resulted in an elevated number of macrophages and invasion of lymphocytes. Additionally, AgNP treated mice displayed increased expression of IL1B, IL6, CCL2, and IL10. However, there were no significant changes in respiratory mechanics. At day 7, inflammation had resolved in AgNP-treated mice, but tissue stiffness and resistance were significantly decreased, which was accompanied by an increase in surfactant protein D (SP-D) content. These data demonstrate that the presence of metal alters the response of the lung to nanoparticle exposure. AgNP-surfactant interactions may alter respiratory function and result in a delayed immune response, potentially due to modified airway epithelial cell function.
  15. Sarkar S, Leo BF, Carranza C, Chen S, Rivas-Santiago C, Porter AE, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2015;10(11):e0143077.
    PMID: 26580078 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143077
    Exposure to silver nanoparticles (AgNP) used in consumer products carries potential health risks including increased susceptibility to infectious pathogens. Systematic assessments of antimicrobial macrophage immune responses in the context of AgNP exposure are important because uptake of AgNP by macrophages may lead to alterations of innate immune cell functions. In this study we examined the effects of exposure to AgNP with different particle sizes (20 and 110 nm diameters) and surface chemistry (citrate or polyvinlypyrrolidone capping) on cellular toxicity and innate immune responses against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) by human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM). Exposures of MDM to AgNP significantly reduced cellular viability, increased IL8 and decreased IL10 mRNA expression. Exposure of M.tb-infected MDM to AgNP suppressed M.tb-induced expression of IL1B, IL10, and TNFA mRNA. Furthermore, M.tb-induced IL-1β, a cytokine critical for host resistance to M.tb, was inhibited by AgNP but not by carbon black particles indicating that the observed immunosuppressive effects of AgNP are particle specific. Suppressive effects of AgNP on the M.tb-induced host immune responses were in part due to AgNP-mediated interferences with the TLR signaling pathways that culminate in the activation of the transcription factor NF-κB. AgNP exposure suppressed M.tb-induced expression of a subset of NF-κB mediated genes (CSF2, CSF3, IFNG, IL1A, IL1B, IL6, IL10, TNFA, NFKB1A). In addition, AgNP exposure increased the expression of HSPA1A mRNA and the corresponding stress-induced Hsp72 protein. Up-regulation of Hsp72 by AgNP can suppress M.tb-induced NF-κB activation and host immune responses. The observed ability of AgNP to modulate infectious pathogen-induced immune responses has important public health implications.
  16. Chung KF, Seiffert J, Chen S, Theodorou IG, Goode AE, Leo BF, et al.
    ACS Nano, 2017 03 28;11(3):2652-2664.
    PMID: 28221763 DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.6b07313
    There is a potential for silver nanowires (AgNWs) to be inhaled, but there is little information on their health effects and their chemical transformation inside the lungs in vivo. We studied the effects of short (S-AgNWs; 1.5 μm) and long (L-AgNWs; 10 μm) nanowires instilled into the lungs of Sprague-Dawley rats. S- and L-AgNWs were phagocytosed and degraded by macrophages; there was no frustrated phagocytosis. Interestingly, both AgNWs were internalized in alveolar epithelial cells, with precipitation of Ag2S on their surface as secondary Ag2S nanoparticles. Quantitative serial block face three-dimensional scanning electron microscopy showed a small, but significant, reduction of NW lengths inside alveolar epithelial cells. AgNWs were also present in the lung subpleural space where L-AgNWs exposure resulted in more Ag+ve macrophages situated within the pleura and subpleural alveoli, compared with the S-AgNWs exposure. For both AgNWs, there was lung inflammation at day 1, disappearing by day 21, but in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), L-AgNWs caused a delayed neutrophilic and macrophagic inflammation, while S-AgNWs caused only acute transient neutrophilia. Surfactant protein D (SP-D) levels in BALF increased after S- and L-AgNWs exposure at day 7. L-AgNWs induced MIP-1α and S-AgNWs induced IL-18 at day 1. Large airway bronchial responsiveness to acetylcholine increased following L-AgNWs, but not S-AgNWs, exposure. The attenuated response to AgNW instillation may be due to silver inactivation after precipitation of Ag2S with limited dissolution. Our findings have important consequences for the safety of silver-based technologies to human health.
  17. Cheng J, Wang Y, Hou J, Luo D, Xie Q, Ning Q, et al.
    J. Clin. Virol., 2014 Dec;61(4):509-16.
    PMID: 25200354 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcv.2014.08.008
    In mainland China, peginterferon (PEG-IFN) alfa-2b 1.0μg/kg/wk for 24 weeks is the approved treatment for HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B.
  18. Qian M, Zhang H, Kham SK, Liu S, Jiang C, Zhao X, et al.
    Genome Res., 2017 02;27(2):185-195.
    PMID: 27903646 DOI: 10.1101/gr.209163.116
    Chromosomal translocations are a genomic hallmark of many hematologic malignancies. Often as initiating events, these structural abnormalities result in fusion proteins involving transcription factors important for hematopoietic differentiation and/or signaling molecules regulating cell proliferation and cell cycle. In contrast, epigenetic regulator genes are more frequently targeted by somatic sequence mutations, possibly as secondary events to further potentiate leukemogenesis. Through comprehensive whole-transcriptome sequencing of 231 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), we identified 58 putative functional and predominant fusion genes in 54.1% of patients (n = 125), 31 of which have not been reported previously. In particular, we described a distinct ALL subtype with a characteristic gene expression signature predominantly driven by chromosomal rearrangements of the ZNF384 gene with histone acetyltransferases EP300 and CREBBP ZNF384-rearranged ALL showed significant up-regulation of CLCF1 and BTLA expression, and ZNF384 fusion proteins consistently showed higher activity to promote transcription of these target genes relative to wild-type ZNF384 in vitro. Ectopic expression of EP300-ZNF384 and CREBBP-ZNF384 fusion altered differentiation of mouse hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and also potentiated oncogenic transformation in vitro. EP300- and CREBBP-ZNF384 fusions resulted in loss of histone lysine acetyltransferase activity in a dominant-negative fashion, with concomitant global reduction of histone acetylation and increased sensitivity of leukemia cells to histone deacetylase inhibitors. In conclusion, our results indicate that gene fusion is a common class of genomic abnormalities in childhood ALL and that recurrent translocations involving EP300 and CREBBP may cause epigenetic deregulation with potential for therapeutic targeting.
  19. Shang X, Peng Z, Ye Y, Asan, Zhang X, Chen Y, et al.
    EBioMedicine, 2017 Sep;23:150-159.
    PMID: 28865746 DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.08.015
    Hemoglobinopathies are among the most common autosomal-recessive disorders worldwide. A comprehensive next-generation sequencing (NGS) test would greatly facilitate screening and diagnosis of these disorders. An NGS panel targeting the coding regions of hemoglobin genes and four modifier genes was designed. We validated the assay by using 2522 subjects affected with hemoglobinopathies and applied it to carrier testing in a cohort of 10,111 couples who were also screened through traditional methods. In the clinical genotyping analysis of 1182 β-thalassemia subjects, we identified a group of additional variants that can be used for accurate diagnosis. In the molecular screening analysis of the 10,111 couples, we detected 4180 individuals in total who carried 4840 mutant alleles, and identified 186 couples at risk of having affected offspring. 12.1% of the pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants identified by our NGS assay, which were undetectable by traditional methods. Compared with the traditional methods, our assay identified an additional at-risk 35 couples. We describe a comprehensive NGS-based test that offers advantages over the traditional screening/molecular testing methods. To our knowledge, this is among the first large-scale population study to systematically evaluate the application of an NGS technique in carrier screening and molecular diagnosis of hemoglobinopathies.
  20. Rebbeck TR, Friebel TM, Mitra N, Wan F, Chen S, Andrulis IL, et al.
    Breast Cancer Res., 2016 11 11;18(1):112.
    PMID: 27836010
    BACKGROUND: Most BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers have inherited a single (heterozygous) mutation. Transheterozygotes (TH) who have inherited deleterious mutations in both BRCA1 and BRCA2 are rare, and the consequences of transheterozygosity are poorly understood.

    METHODS: From 32,295 female BRCA1/2 mutation carriers, we identified 93 TH (0.3 %). "Cases" were defined as TH, and "controls" were single mutations at BRCA1 (SH1) or BRCA2 (SH2). Matched SH1 "controls" carried a BRCA1 mutation found in the TH "case". Matched SH2 "controls" carried a BRCA2 mutation found in the TH "case". After matching the TH carriers with SH1 or SH2, 91 TH were matched to 9316 SH1, and 89 TH were matched to 3370 SH2.

    RESULTS: The majority of TH (45.2 %) involved the three common Jewish mutations. TH were more likely than SH1 and SH2 women to have been ever diagnosed with breast cancer (BC; p = 0.002). TH were more likely to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer (OC) than SH2 (p = 0.017), but not SH1. Age at BC diagnosis was the same in TH vs. SH1 (p = 0.231), but was on average 4.5 years younger in TH than in SH2 (p 

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