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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-05-15
    Description: H7N9 virus has caused five infection waves since it emerged in 2013. The highest number of human cases was seen in wave 5; however, the underlying reasons have not been thoroughly elucidated. In this study, the geographical distribution, phylogeny, and genetic evolution of 240 H7N9 viruses in wave 5, including 35 new isolates from patients and poultry in nine provinces, were comprehensively analyzed together with strains from first four waves. Geographical distribution analysis indicated that the newly emerging highly pathogenic (HP) and low-pathogenicity (LP) H7N9 viruses were cocirculating, causing human and poultry infections across China. Genetic analysis indicated that dynamic reassortment of the internal genes among LP-H7N9/H9N2/H6Ny and HP-H7N9, as well as of the surface genes, between the Yangtze and Pearl River Delta lineages resulted in at least 36 genotypes, with three major genotypes (G1 [A/chicken/Jiangsu/SC537/2013-like], G3 [A/Chicken/Zhongshan/ZS/2017-like], and G11 [A/Anhui/40094/2015-like]). The HP-H7N9 genotype likely evolved from G1 LP-H7N9 by the insertion of a KRTA motif at the cleavage site (CS) and then evolved into 15 genotypes with four different CS motifs, including PKG KRTA R/G, PKG KRIA R/G, PKR KRAA R/G, and PKR KRTA R/G. Approximately 46% (28/61) of HP strains belonged to G3. Importantly, neuraminidase (NA) inhibitor (NAI) resistance (R292K in NA) and mammalian adaptation (e.g., E627K and A588V in PB2) mutations were found in a few non-human-derived HP-H7N9 strains. In summary, the enhanced prevalence and diverse genetic characteristics that occurred with mammalian-adapted and NAI-resistant mutations may have contributed to increased numbers of human infections in wave 5. IMPORTANCE The highest numbers of human H7N9 infections were observed during wave 5 from October 2016 to September 2017. Our results showed that HP-H7N9 and LP-H7N9 had spread virtually throughout China and underwent dynamic reassortment with different subtypes (H7N9/H9N2 and H6Ny) and lineages (Yangtze and Pearl River Delta lineages), resulting in totals of 36 and 3 major genotypes, respectively. Notably, the NAI drug-resistant (R292K in NA) and mammalian-adapted (e.g., E627K in PB2) mutations were found in HP-H7N9 not only from human isolates but also from poultry and environmental isolates, indicating increased risks for human infections. The broad dissemination of LP- and HP-H7N9 with high levels of genetic diversity and host adaptation and drug-resistant mutations likely accounted for the sharp increases in the number of human infections during wave 5. Therefore, more strategies are needed against the further spread and damage of H7N9 in the world.
    Print ISSN: 0022-538X
    Electronic ISSN: 1098-5514
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-08-23
    Description: In experimental investigations on axial symmetry, over-ventilated CH 4 /air diffusion combustion in a packed bed is executed to study the height, shape and stability of the flame. The combustor is a quartz tube packed with alumina pellets in which a cylindrical fuel stream is surrounded by a coflow air nozzle. The results show that the bed length and pellet diameter have a significant influence on the flame properties. In general, the flame above the pellet surface has axial symmetry, and its shape and colour are similar to those of a conventional diffusion flame when the bed length is smaller. The colour of the flame front varies with the bed length. The changed colour indicates an increased flame front temperature and that the combustion regime above the bed surface may change from non-premixed combustion to partially premixed combustion or even premixed combustion owing to the mix and dispersion effect in the packed bed. In addition, multiple flame behaviours, such as an inclined flame front, isolated reaction zone and oscillatory motion followed by a pulsating sound with a few hertz in a packed bed, are observed experimentally. The possible reasons for these phenomena are discussed.
    Keywords: energy
    Electronic ISSN: 2054-5703
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
    Published by Royal Society
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  • 3
    Abstract: Gene expression data from microarrays are being applied to predict preclinical and clinical endpoints, but the reliability of these predictions has not been established. In the MAQC-II project, 36 independent teams analyzed six microarray data sets to generate predictive models for classifying a sample with respect to one of 13 endpoints indicative of lung or liver toxicity in rodents, or of breast cancer, multiple myeloma or neuroblastoma in humans. In total, 〉30,000 models were built using many combinations of analytical methods. The teams generated predictive models without knowing the biological meaning of some of the endpoints and, to mimic clinical reality, tested the models on data that had not been used for training. We found that model performance depended largely on the endpoint and team proficiency and that different approaches generated models of similar performance. The conclusions and recommendations from MAQC-II should be useful for regulatory agencies, study committees and independent investigators that evaluate methods for global gene expression analysis
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2018-02-09
    Description: Objectives To provide an up-to-date overview of long-term trends of liver cancer mortality and evaluate the effects attributable to age, period and cohort in Chinese population stratified by gender and urban/rural areas. Methods Population and liver cancer mortality data were obtained based on the Disease Surveillance Points in China from 1991 to 2014. To examine the time trends of liver cancer mortality by gender in urban and rural areas in China, Joinpoint analysis was used to estimate the annual per cent change. The intrinsic estimator, a method of age-period-cohort analysis to estimate age, period and cohort effects simultaneously, was used to analyse the underlying mechanisms for liver cancer mortality trends in the aforementioned four groups. Results We observed a significant decline in liver cancer mortality for urban men (average annual per cent change (AAPC)=–1.1%, P〈0.05) and urban women (AAPC=–1.4%, P〈0.05), while the liver cancer mortality remained stable for rural men (AAPC=–0.1%, P〉0.05) and rural women (AAPC=–0.9%, P〉0.05). Compared with the 15–19 age group, the liver cancer mortality risk of the 85 and above age group increased 65 and 42 times for urban and rural men, and 102 and 70 times for urban and rural women. From the 1990–1994 period to the 2005–2009 period, the risk increased 56% and 92% for urban and rural men, and 30% and 74% for urban and rural women. Compared with period and cohort effects, age effects were the most influential factor in liver cancer mortality. Conclusions As the status of ageing population in China gets worse, the burden caused by liver cancer mortality could still be a great challenge for China in the future. The disparity of liver cancer mortality trends between urban and rural residents can be attributed to period effects, referring to the unequal medical levels and resources between urban and rural areas.
    Keywords: Open access, Epidemiology
    Electronic ISSN: 2044-6055
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BMJ Publishing
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-02-23
    Description: Respiratory diseases, which are leading causes of mortality and morbidity in the world, are dysfunctions of the nasopharynx, the trachea, the bronchus, the lung and the pleural cavity. Symptoms of chronic respiratory diseases, such as cough, sneezing and difficulty breathing, may seriously affect the productivity, sleep quality and physical and mental well-being of patients, and patients with acute respiratory diseases may have difficulty breathing, anoxia and even life-threatening respiratory failure. Respiratory diseases are generally heterogeneous, with multifaceted causes including smoking, ageing, air pollution, infection and gene mutations. Clinically, a single pulmonary disease can exhibit more than one phenotype or coexist with multiple organ disorders. To correct abnormal function or repair injured respiratory tissues, one of the most promising techniques is to correct mutated genes by gene editing, as some gene mutations have been clearly demonstrated to be associated with genetic or heterogeneous respiratory diseases. Zinc finger nucleases (ZFN), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALEN) and clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) systems are three innovative gene editing technologies developed recently. In this short review, we have summarised the structure and operating principles of the ZFNs, TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9 systems and their preclinical and clinical applications in respiratory diseases.
    Print ISSN: 0022-2593
    Electronic ISSN: 1468-6244
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BMJ Publishing Group
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-09-21
    Description: Notch1 signaling must elevate to high levels in order to drive the proliferation of CD4 – CD8 – double-negative (DN) thymocytes and progression to the CD4 + CD8 + double-positive (DP) stage through β-selection. During this critical phase of pre–T-cell development, which is also known as the DN-DP transition, it is unclear whether the Notch1 transcriptional complex strengthens its signal output as a discrete unit or through cofactors. We previously showed that the protein inhibitor of activated STAT–like coactivator Zmiz1 is a context-dependent cofactor of Notch1 in T-cell leukemia. We also showed that withdrawal of Zmiz1 generated an early T-lineage progenitor (ETP) defect. Here, we show that this early defect seems inconsistent with loss-of-Notch1 function. In contrast, at the later pre–T-cell stage, withdrawal of Zmiz1 impaired the DN-DP transition by inhibiting proliferation, like withdrawal of Notch. In pre–T cells, but not ETPs, Zmiz1 cooperatively regulated Notch1 target genes Hes1 , Lef1 , and Myc. Enforced expression of either activated Notch1 or Myc partially rescued the Zmiz1-deficient DN-DP defect. We identified residues in the tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domain of Zmiz1 that bind Notch1. Mutating only a single residue impaired the Zmiz1-Notch1 interaction, Myc induction, the DN-DP transition, and leukemic proliferation. Similar effects were seen using a dominant-negative TPR protein. Our studies identify stage-specific roles of Zmiz1. Zmiz1 is a context-specific cofactor for Notch1 during Notch/Myc-dependent thymocyte proliferation, whether normal or malignant. Finally, we highlight a vulnerability in leukemic cells that originated from a developmentally important Zmiz1-Notch1 interaction that is hijacked during transformation from normal pre–T cells.
    Keywords: Immunobiology and Immunotherapy, Lymphoid Neoplasia
    Print ISSN: 0006-4971
    Electronic ISSN: 1528-0020
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2018-10-03
    Description: The development of small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) specific for epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) with activating mutations has led to a new paradigm in the treatment of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. However, most patients eventually develop resistance. Hypoxia is a key microenvironmental stress in solid tumors that is associated with poor prognosis due, in part, to acquired resistance to conventional therapy. This study documents that long-term, moderate hypoxia promotes resistance to the EGFR TKI, gefitinib, in the NSCLC cell line HCC827, which harbors an activating EGFR mutation. Following hypoxic growth conditions, HCC827 cells treated with gefitinib upregulated N-cadherin, fibronectin, and vimentin expression and downregulated E-cadherin, characteristic of an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which prior studies have linked to EGFR TKI resistance. Mechanistically, knockdown of the histone demethylases, LSD1 and PLU-1, prevented and reversed hypoxia-induced gefitinib resistance, with inhibition of the associated EMT, suggesting that LSD1 and PLU-1 play key roles in hypoxia-induced gefitinib resistance and EMT. Moreover, hypoxia-treated HCC827 cells demonstrated more aggressive tumor growth in vivo compared with cells grown in normoxia, but inhibition of LSD1 function by shRNA-mediated knockdown or by the small-molecular inhibitor SP2509 suppressed tumor growth and enhanced gefitinib response in vivo . These results suggest that hypoxia is a driving force for acquired resistance to EGFR TKIs through epigenetic change and coordination of EMT in NSCLC. This study suggests that combination of therapy with EGFR TKIs and LSD1 inhibitors may offer an attractive therapeutic strategy for NSCLCs. Mol Cancer Res; 16(10); 1458–69. ©2018 AACR .
    Print ISSN: 1541-7786
    Electronic ISSN: 1557-3125
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 8
    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    In: Science
    Publication Date: 2018-10-19
    Print ISSN: 0036-8075
    Electronic ISSN: 1095-9203
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Geosciences , Computer Science , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2018-12-02
    Description: Production of 25-hydroxycholesterol (25HC), a potent inhibitor of viral infection, is catalyzed by cholesterol 25-hydroxylase (CH25H). We previously reported that 25HC induced CH25H expression in a liver X receptor (LXR)-dependent manner, implying that LXR can play an important role in antiviral infection. In this study, we determined that activation of LXR by 25HC or synthetic ligands [T0901317 (T317) or GW3965] inhibited infection of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or MLV-(VSV)-GFP in HepG2 cells or RAW 264.7 macrophages. Genetic deletion of LXRα, LXRβ, or CH25H expression in HepG2 cells by CRISPR/Cas9 method increased cell susceptibility to HSV-1 infection and attenuated the inhibition of LXR on viral infection. Lack of interferon (IFN)- expression also increased cell susceptibility to viral infection. However, it attenuated, but did not block, the inhibition of LXR on HSV-1 infection. In addition, expression of CH25H, but not IFN-, was inversely correlated to cell susceptibility to viral infection and the antiviral actions of LXR. Metabolism of 25HC into 25HC-3-sulfate (25HC3S) by cholesterol sulfotransferase-2B1b moderately reduced the antiviral actions of 25HC because 25HC3S is a weaker inhibitor of HSV-1 infection than 25HC. Furthermore, administration of T317 to BALB/c mice reduced HSV-1 growth in mouse tissues. Taken together, we demonstrate an antiviral system of 25HC with involvement of LXR activation, interaction between CH25H and IFN-, and 25HC metabolism.
    Print ISSN: 0022-2275
    Electronic ISSN: 1539-7262
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2018-04-02
    Description: The systematic investigation of gene mutation and expression is important to discover novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets in cancers. Here, we integrated genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics to analyze three hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines with differential metastatic potentials. The results revealed the profile of the prometastasis metabolism potentially associated with HCC metastasis. The multiomic analysis identified 12 genes with variations at multiple levels from three metabolic pathways, including glycolysis, starch, and sucrose metabolism, and glutathione metabolism. Furthermore, uridine diphosphate (UDP)-glucose pyrophosphorylase 2 (UGP2), was observed to be persistently up-regulated with increased metastatic potential. UGP2 overexpression promoted cell migration and invasion and enhanced glycogenesis in vitro . The role of UGP2 in metastasis was further confirmed using a tumor xenograft mouse model. Taken together, the compendium of multiomic data provides valuable insights in understanding the roles of shifted cellular metabolism in HCC metastasis.
    Print ISSN: 1535-9476
    Electronic ISSN: 1535-9484
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
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