BioMed Research International The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Differential Proteomics Analysis of Colonic Tissues in Patients of Slow Transit Constipation Sat, 30 Apr 2016 14:08:05 +0000 Objective. To investigate and screen the different expression of proteins in STC and normal group with a comparative proteomic approach. Methods. Two-dimensional electrophoresis was applied to separate the proteins in specimens from both 5 STC patients and 5 normal controls. The proteins with statistically significant differential expression between two groups were identified by computer aided image analysis and matrix assisted laser desorption ionization tandem time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). Results. A total of 239 protein spots were identified in the average gel of the normal control and 215 in patients with STC. A total of 197 protein spots were matched and the mean matching rate was 82%. There were 14 protein spots which were expressed with statistically significant differences from others. Of those 14 protein spots, the expression of 12 spots increased markedly, while that of 2 spots decreased significantly. Conclusion. The proteomics expression in colonic specimens of STC patients is statistically significantly different from that of normal control, which may be associated with the pathogenesis of STC. Songlin Wan, Weicheng Liu, Cuiping Tian, Xianghai Ren, Zhao Ding, Qun Qian, Congqing Jiang, and Yunhua Wu Copyright © 2016 Songlin Wan et al. All rights reserved. Discovery of Azurin-Like Anticancer Bacteriocins from Human Gut Microbiome through Homology Modeling and Molecular Docking against the Tumor Suppressor p53 Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:22:47 +0000 Azurin from Pseudomonas aeruginosa is known anticancer bacteriocin, which can specifically penetrate human cancer cells and induce apoptosis. We hypothesized that pathogenic and commensal bacteria with long term residence in human body can produce azurin-like bacteriocins as a weapon against the invasion of cancers. In our previous work, putative bacteriocins have been screened from complete genomes of 66 dominant bacteria species in human gut microbiota and subsequently characterized by subjecting them as functional annotation algorithms with azurin as control. We have qualitatively predicted 14 putative bacteriocins that possessed functional properties very similar to those of azurin. In this work, we perform a number of quantitative and structure-based analyses including hydrophobic percentage calculation, structural modeling, and molecular docking study of bacteriocins of interest against protein p53, a cancer target. Finally, we have identified 8 putative bacteriocins that bind p53 in a same manner as p28-azurin and azurin, in which 3 peptides (p1seq16, p2seq20, and p3seq24) shared with our previous study and 5 novel ones (p1seq09, p2seq05, p2seq08, p3seq02, and p3seq17) discovered in the first time. These bacteriocins are suggested for further in vitro tests in different neoplastic line cells. Chuong Nguyen and Van Duy Nguyen Copyright © 2016 Chuong Nguyen and Van Duy Nguyen. All rights reserved. Psoralen and Isopsoralen Ameliorate Sex Hormone Deficiency-Induced Osteoporosis in Female and Male Mice Sat, 30 Apr 2016 11:20:18 +0000 Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disease, which is characterized by a systemic destruction of bone mass and microarchitecture. With life standard improved, the treatment of osteoporosis attracted more attention. The aim of this study is to verify the osteoprotective effect of psoralen and isopsoralen in females and males. Female and male mice were divided into 7 groups in this study: control group (sham-operation), model group (by ovariectomy or orchidectomy), positive control group (females given estradiol valerate; males given alendronate sodium), psoralen groups (10 mg/kg and 20 mg/kg), and isopsoralen groups (10 mg/kg and 20 mg/kg). After administration of psoralen and isopsoralen for 8 weeks, osteoporosis was ameliorated with increasing bone strength and improving trabecular bone microstructure as indicated by CT scan and pathology. Serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP), tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRACP), osteocalcin (OC), and C-terminal cross-linking telopeptides of type I collagen (CTX-1) were examined. Decreased TRACP and increased ALP/TRACP suggested restoring from bone destruction. These results suggest that psoralen and isopsoralen may be used as good natural compounds for the treatment of osteoporosis in males, as well as females. Xiaomei Yuan, Yanan Bi, Zeman Yan, Weiling Pu, Yuhong Li, and Kun Zhou Copyright © 2016 Xiaomei Yuan et al. All rights reserved. Personalized Medicine Based on Theranostic Radioiodine Molecular Imaging for Differentiated Thyroid Cancer Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:04:01 +0000 Molecular imaging based personalized therapy has been a fascinating concept for individualized therapeutic strategy, which is able to attain the highest efficacy and reduce adverse effects in certain patients. Theranostics, which integrates diagnostic testing to detect molecular targets for particular therapeutic modalities, is one of the key technologies that contribute to the success of personalized medicine. Although the term “theranostics” was used after the second millennium, its basic principle was applied more than 70 years ago in the field of thyroidology with radioiodine molecular imaging. Differentiated thyroid cancer, which arises from follicular cells in the thyroid, is the most common endocrine malignancy, and theranostic radioiodine has been successfully applied to diagnose and treat differentiated thyroid cancer, the applications of which were included in the guidelines published by various thyroid or nuclear medicine societies. Through better pathophysiologic understanding of thyroid cancer and advancements in nuclear technologies, theranostic radioiodine contributes more to modern tailored personalized management by providing high therapeutic effect and by avoiding significant adverse effects in differentiated thyroid cancer. This review details the inception of theranostic radioiodine and recent radioiodine applications for differentiated thyroid cancer management as a prototype of personalized medicine based on molecular imaging. Byeong-Cheol Ahn Copyright © 2016 Byeong-Cheol Ahn. All rights reserved. Genomic Analysis Unravels Reduced Inorganic Sulfur Compound Oxidation of Heterotrophic Acidophilic Acidicaldus sp. Strain DX-1 Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:19:29 +0000 Although reduced inorganic sulfur compound (RISC) oxidation in many chemolithoautotrophic sulfur oxidizers has been investigated in recent years, there is little information about RISC oxidation in heterotrophic acidophiles. In this study, Acidicaldus sp. strain DX-1, a heterotrophic sulfur-oxidizing acidophile, was isolated. Its genome was sequenced and then used for comparative genomics. Furthermore, real-time quantitative PCR was performed to identify the expression of genes involved in the RISC oxidation. Gene encoding thiosulfate: quinone oxidoreductase was present in Acidicaldus sp. strain DX-1, while no candidate genes with significant similarity to tetrathionate hydrolase were found. Additionally, there were genes encoding heterodisulfide reductase complex, which was proposed to play a crucial role in oxidizing cytoplasmic sulfur. Like many heterotrophic sulfur oxidizers, Acidicaldus sp. strain DX-1 had no genes encoding enzymes essential for the direct oxidation of sulfite. An indirect oxidation of sulfite via adenosine-5′-phosphosulfate was proposed in Acidicaldus strain DX-1. However, compared to other closely related bacteria Acidiphilium cryptum and Acidiphilium multivorum, which harbored the genes encoding Sox system, almost all of these genes were not detected in Acidicaldus sp. strain DX-1. This study might provide some references for the future study of RISC oxidation in heterotrophic sulfur-oxidizing acidophiles. Yuanyuan Liu, Hongying Yang, Xian Zhang, Yunhua Xiao, Xue Guo, and Xueduan Liu Copyright © 2016 Yuanyuan Liu et al. All rights reserved. Isolation and Characterization of a Broad Spectrum Bacteriocin from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens RX7 Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:20:45 +0000 We isolated a Bacillus strain, RX7, with inhibitory activity against Listeria monocytogenes from soil and identified it as Bacillus amyloliquefaciens based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The inhibitory activity was stable over a wide range of pH and was fully retained after 30 min at 80°C, after which it decreased gradually at higher temperatures. The activity was sensitive to the proteolytic action of α-chymotrypsin, proteinase-K, and trypsin, indicating its proteinaceous nature. This bacteriocin was active against a broad spectrum of bacteria and the fungus Candida albicans. Direct detection of antimicrobial activity on a sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel suggested an apparent molecular mass of approximately 5 kDa. Ammonium sulfate precipitation and anion-exchange and gel permeation chromatography integrated with reverse phase-high-performance liquid chromatography were used for bacteriocin purification. Automated N-terminal Edman degradation of the purified RX7 bacteriocin recognized the first 15 amino acids as NH2-X-Ala-Trp-Tyr-Asp-Ile-Arg-Lys-Leu-Gly-Asn-Lys-Gly-Ala, where the letter X in the sequence indicates an unknown or nonstandard amino acid. Based on BLAST similarity search and multiple alignment analysis, the obtained partial sequence showed high homology with the two-peptide lantibiotic haloduracin (HalA1) from Bacillus halodurans, although at least two amino acids differed between the sequences. A time-kill study demonstrated a bactericidal mode of action of RX7 bacteriocin. Kong Boon Lim, Marilen P. Balolong, Sang Hoon Kim, Ju Kyoung Oh, Ji Yoon Lee, and Dae-Kyung Kang Copyright © 2016 Kong Boon Lim et al. All rights reserved. The Impact of Serum Amyloid P-Component on Gene Expression in RAW264.7 Mouse Macrophages Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:17:10 +0000 Serum amyloid P-component (SAP) contributes to host defense and prevents fibrosis. Macrophages are the most abundant inflammatory cell type in atherosclerotic plaques. In the present study, using 3H-cholesterol-labeled counting radioactivity assay, we demonstrated that the apoAI-mediated cholesterol efflux in RAW264.7 macrophages was increased by SAP treatment in a time- and dose-dependent manner. We analyzed global gene expression changes upon SAP treatment using RNA sequencing. As a result, a total of 175 differentially expressed genes were identified, of which 134 genes were downregulated and 41 genes were upregulated in SAP treated cells compared to control cells. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis confirmed decreased expression of 5 genes and an increase in expression of 1 gene upon SAP treatment. Gene ontology analysis showed that genes involved in response to stimulus were significantly enriched in differentially expressed genes. Beyond protein-coding genes, we also identified 8 differentially expressed long noncoding RNAs. Our study may provide new insights into mechanisms underlying the functional role of SAP in macrophages. Dan Xi, Jinzhen Zhao, Jichen Liu, Haowei Xiong, Wenshuai He, Jing Hu, Wenyan Lai, and Zhigang Guo Copyright © 2016 Dan Xi et al. All rights reserved. Guitar: An R/Bioconductor Package for Gene Annotation Guided Transcriptomic Analysis of RNA-Related Genomic Features Thu, 28 Apr 2016 12:17:57 +0000 Biological features, such as genes and transcription factor binding sites, are often denoted with genome-based coordinates as the genomic features. While genome-based representation is usually very effective in correlating various biological features, it can be tedious to examine the relationship between RNA-related genomic features and the landmarks of RNA transcripts with existing tools due to the difficulty in the conversion between genome-based coordinates and RNA-based coordinates. We developed here an open source Guitar R/Bioconductor package for sketching the transcriptomic view of RNA-related biological features represented by genome based coordinates. Internally, Guitar package extracts the standardized RNA coordinates with respect to the landmarks of RNA transcripts, with which hundreds of millions of RNA-related genomic features can then be efficiently analyzed within minutes. We demonstrated the usage of Guitar package in analyzing posttranscriptional RNA modifications (5-methylcytosine and N6-methyladenosine) derived from high-throughput sequencing approaches (MeRIP-Seq and RNA BS-Seq) and show that RNA 5-methylcytosine (m5C) is enriched in 5′UTR. The newly developed Guitar R/Bioconductor package achieves stable performance on the data tested and revealed novel biological insights. It will effectively facilitate the analysis of RNA methylation data and other RNA-related biological features in the future. Xiaodong Cui, Zhen Wei, Lin Zhang, Hui Liu, Lei Sun, Shao-Wu Zhang, Yufei Huang, and Jia Meng Copyright © 2016 Xiaodong Cui et al. All rights reserved. miR-145a-5p Promotes Myoblast Differentiation Thu, 28 Apr 2016 11:39:27 +0000 MicroRNAs are a class of 18–22-nucleotide noncoding RNAs that posttranscriptionally regulate gene expression and have been shown to play an important role during myoblast differentiation. In this study, we found that the expression of miR-145a-5p was gradually increased during C2C12 myoblast differentiation, and miR-145a-5p inhibitors or mimics significantly suppressed or promoted the relative expression of specific myogenesis related marker genes. Moreover, overexpression or inhibition of miR-145a-5p enhanced or repressed the expression of some special genes involved in the endogenous Wnt signaling pathway during C2C12 myoblast differentiation, including Wnt5a, LRP5, Axin2, and β-catenin. These results indicated that miR-145a-5p might be considered as a new myogenic differentiation-associated microRNA that can promote C2C12 myoblast differentiation by enhancing genes related to myoblasts differentiation. Jingjing Du, Qiang Li, Linyuan Shen, Huaigang Lei, Jia Luo, Yihui Liu, Peiwen Zhang, Qiang Pu, Yi Zhang, Surong Shuai, Xuewei Li, Shunhua Zhang, and Li Zhu Copyright © 2016 Jingjing Du et al. All rights reserved. Biomechanical, Topological and Chemical Features That Influence the Implant Success of an Urogynecological Mesh: A Review Thu, 28 Apr 2016 11:36:39 +0000 Synthetic meshes are normally used to treat several diseases in the field of urogynecological surgery. Not-optimal selection of mesh and/or its not-correct implant may increase patient’s pain and discomfort. The knowledge of mechanical behaviour and topological and chemical properties of a mesh plays a fundamental role to minimize patient’s suffering and maximize the implant success. We analysed several papers reporting the meshes application for urogynecological pathologies, to extrapolate the principal parameters that normally are used to characterise the biomechanical, topological, and chemical properties, and to verify their influence on implant success. In this way we want demonstrate that, knowing these features, it is possible to foresee the success of a mesh implant. This review shows that the application of a mesh strictly depends on elastic modulus, failure load, porosity and pore size, filament diameter, polymer weight, and crystallinity. To increase the success of the implant and to help choice of optimal mesh for a clinical need, two indexes have been proposed for comparing, in an easier way, the mechanical performance of different commercially available meshes. Carmelo De Maria, Vito Santoro, and Giovanni Vozzi Copyright © 2016 Carmelo De Maria et al. All rights reserved. Mini Transsternal Approach to the Anterior High Thoracic Spine (T1–T4 Vertebrae) Wed, 27 Apr 2016 16:05:54 +0000 Purpose. The anterior high thoracic spine is one of the most complex segments to be accessed surgically due to anatomical constraints and transitional characteristics. We describe in detail the mini transsternal approach to metastatic, infective, traumatic, and degenerative pathologies of T1 to T4 vertebral bodies. We analyse our surgical series, indications, and outcomes. Methods. Over a 5-year period 18 consecutive patients with thoracic myelopathy due to metastatic, infective, traumatic, and degenerative pathologies with T1 to T4 vertebral bodies involvement received a mini transsternal approach with intraoperative monitoring. Frankel scoring system was used to grade the neurological status. Results. Mean follow-up was 40 months. 78% patients improved in Frankel grade after surgery and 22% patients remained unchanged. Average operation time was 210 minutes. There were no intraoperative complications. One patient developed postoperative pneumonia successfully treated with antibiotics. Conclusion. The mini transsternal is a safe approach for infective, metastatic, traumatic, and degenerative lesions affecting the anterior high thoracic spine and the only one allowing an early and direct visualisation of the anterior theca. This approach overcomes the anatomical constraints of this region and provides adequate room for optimal reconstruction and preservation of spinal alignment in the cervicothoracic transition zone with good functional patient outcomes. Christian Brogna, Bhaskar Thakur, Leslie Fiengo, Sandra Maria Tsoti, Alessandro Landi, Giulio Anichini, Francesco Vergani, and Irfan Malik Copyright © 2016 Christian Brogna et al. All rights reserved. A Comparison of Conventional Collagen Sponge and Collagen-Gelatin Sponge in Wound Healing Wed, 27 Apr 2016 14:25:39 +0000 The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of the collagen-gelatin sponge (CGS) with that of the collagen sponge (CS) in dermis-like tissue regeneration. CGS, which achieves the sustained release of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), is a promising material in wound healing. In the present study, we evaluated and compared CGSs and conventional CSs. We prepared 8 mm full-thickness skin defects on the backs of rats. Either CGSs or CSs were impregnated with normal saline solution (NSS) or 7 μg/cm2 of bFGF solution and implanted into the defects. At 1 and 2 weeks after implantation, tissue specimens were obtained from the rats of each group (, total ). The wound area, neoepithelial length, dermis-like tissue area, and the number and area of capillaries were evaluated at 1 and 2 weeks after implantation. There were no significant differences in the CGS without bFGF and CS groups. Significant improvements were observed in the neoepithelial length, the dermis-like tissue area, and the number of newly formed capillaries in the group of rats that received CGSs impregnated with bFGF. The effects on epithelialization, granulation, and vascularization of wound healing demonstrated that, as a scaffold, CGSs are equal or superior to conventional CSs. Chizuru Jinno, Naoki Morimoto, Ran Ito, Michiharu Sakamoto, Shuichi Ogino, Tsuguyoshi Taira, and Shigehiko Suzuki Copyright © 2016 Chizuru Jinno et al. All rights reserved. MicroRNA Profiling in Patients with Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma Associated with Balkan Endemic Nephropathy Wed, 27 Apr 2016 14:08:32 +0000 Balkan endemic nephropathy (BEN) is a disease that affects people that live in the alluvial plains along the tributaries of the Danube River in the Balkan region. BEN is a chronic tubulointerstitial disease with a slow progression to terminal renal failure and has strong association with upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC). There are several hypotheses about the etiology of BEN, but only the toxic effect of aristolochic acid has been confirmed as a risk factor in the occurrence of the disease. Aberrantly expressed miRNAs have been shown to be associated with many types of cancers. A number of studies have investigated the expression of microRNAs in urothelial carcinoma, mainly on urothelial bladder cancer, and only a few have included patients with UTUC. Here we present the first study of microRNA profiling in UTUC tissues from patients with BEN (BEN-UTUC) and patients with UTUC from nonendemic Balkan regions (non-BEN-UTUC) in comparison to normal kidney tissues. We found 10 miRNAs that were differentially expressed in patients with BEN-UTUC and 15 miRNAs in patients with non-BEN-UTUC. miRNA signature determined in BEN-UTUC patients differs from the non-BEN-UTUC patients; only miR-205-5p was mutual in both groups. Katerina Popovska-Jankovic, Predrag Noveski, Ljubinka Jankovic-Velickovic, Slavica Stojnev, Rade Cukuranovic, Vladisav Stefanovic, Draga Toncheva, Rada Staneva, Momir Polenakovic, and Dijana Plaseska-Karanfilska Copyright © 2016 Katerina Popovska-Jankovic et al. All rights reserved. Glutathione Peroxidase Level in Patients with Vitiligo: A Meta-Analysis Wed, 27 Apr 2016 13:30:08 +0000 Abnormality of glutathione peroxidase (GPx) is involved in the etiology and pathogenesis of vitiligo. However, the results were controversial. Aim. The purpose of this meta-analysis is to compare the levels of GPx between vitiligo patients and healthy controls. Methods. Relevant published articles were searched according to eligibility criteria. A meta-analysis was conducted to pool estimates of the standardized mean difference (SMD) with 95% confidence interval (CI). Results. Twenty-three studies with a total of 1076 vitiligo patients and 770 healthy controls were included. The pooled meta-analysis showed that patients with vitiligo had equivalent levels of GPx with the healthy controls (SMD = −0.47, 95% CI: −1.03 to 0.08, and ). Further subgroup analysis showed that the GPx levels of Asian patients or segmental vitiligo patients were, respectively, lower than those of healthy controls (Asian: SMD = −0.47, 95% CI: −1.08 to 0.14, and ; segmental: SMD = −3.59, 95% CI: −6.38 to −0.80, and ). Furthermore, the GPx levels in serum/plasma were significantly decreased in either stable or active vitiligo patients, comparing to healthy controls (stable: SMD = −2.01, 95% CI: −3.52 to −0.49, and ; active: SMD = −2.34, 95% CI: −4.07 to −0.61, and ). Conclusion. This meta-analysis showed a significant association between low GPx level and vitiligo. Bi-huan Xiao, Meihui Shi, Hongqiang Chen, Shaoshan Cui, Yan Wu, Xing-Hua Gao, and Hong-Duo Chen Copyright © 2016 Bi-huan Xiao et al. All rights reserved. Antibacterial Efficacy of Calcium Hypochlorite with Vibringe Sonic Irrigation System on Enterococcus faecalis: An In Vitro Study Wed, 27 Apr 2016 12:05:58 +0000 Aim. The purpose of this study was to compare the in vitro efficacy of calcium hypochlorite (Ca[OCl]2) and sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) associated with sonic (Vibringe) irrigation system in root canals which were contaminated with Enterococcus faecalis. Material and Methods. The root canals of 84 single-rooted premolars were enlarged up to a file 40, autoclaved, inoculated with Enterococcus faecalis, and incubated for 21 days. The samples were divided into 7 groups according to the irrigation protocol: G0: no treatment; G1: distilled water; G2: 2.5% NaOCl; G3: 2.5% Ca(OCl)2; G4: distilled water with sonic activation; G5: 2.5% NaOCl with sonic activation; and G6: 2.5% Ca(OCl)2 with sonic activation. Before and after decontamination procedures microbiological samples were collected and the colony-forming units were counted and the percentages of reduction were calculated. Results. Distilled water with syringe irrigation and sonic activation groups demonstrated poor antibacterial effect on Enterococcus faecalis compared to other experimental groups (). There was no statistically significant difference between syringe and sonic irrigation systems with Ca(OCl)2 and NaOCl. Conclusion. The antimicrobial property of Ca(OCl)2 has been investigated and compared with that of NaOCl. Both conventional syringe irrigation and sonic irrigation were found effective at removing E. faecalis from the root canal of extracted human teeth. Aysin Dumani, Hatice Korkmaz Guvenmez, Sehnaz Yilmaz, Oguz Yoldas, and Zeliha Gonca Bek Kurklu Copyright © 2016 Aysin Dumani et al. All rights reserved. Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Adenylyl Transferase 2: A Promising Diagnostic and Therapeutic Target for Colorectal Cancer Wed, 27 Apr 2016 06:30:45 +0000 Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers all over the world. It is essential to search for more effective diagnostic and therapeutic methods for CRC. Abnormal nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) metabolism has been considered as a characteristic of cancer cells. In this study, nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyl transferases (NMNATs) as well as p53-mediated cancer signaling pathways were investigated in patients with colorectal cancer. The CRC tissues and adjacent normal tissues were obtained from 95 untreated colorectal cancer patients and were stained for expression of nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyl transferase 2 (NMNAT2) and p53. The survival rate was analyzed by the Kaplan-Meier method and the log-rank test. The multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression analysis was conducted as well. Our data demonstrated that expression of NMNAT2 and p53 was significantly higher in CRC tissues, while NMNAT2 expression is in correlation with the invasive depth of tumors and TNM stage. Significant positive correlation was found between the expression of NMNAT2 and the expression of p53. However, NMNAT2 expression was not a statistically significant prognostic factor for overall survival. In conclusion, our results indicated that NMNAT2 might participate in tumorigenesis of CRC in a p53-dependent manner and NMNAT2 expression might be a potential therapeutic target for CRC. Chunhui Cui, Jia Qi, Quanwen Deng, Rihong Chen, Duanyang Zhai, and Jinlong Yu Copyright © 2016 Chunhui Cui et al. All rights reserved. Production and Partial Characterization of an Alkaline Xylanase from a Novel Fungus Cladosporium oxysporum Tue, 26 Apr 2016 13:53:08 +0000 A new fungus Cladosporium oxysporum GQ-3 producing extracellular xylanase was isolated from decaying agricultural waste and identified based on the morphology and comparison of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) rDNA gene sequence. C. oxysporum produced maximum xylanase activity of 55.92 U/mL with wheat bran as a substrate and NH4Cl as a nitrogen source. Mg2+ improved C. oxysporum xylanase production. Partially purified xylanase exhibited maximum activity at 50°C and pH 8.0, respectively, and showed the stable activity after 2-h treatment in pH 7.0–8.5 or below 55°C. Mg2+ enhanced the xylanase activity by 2% while Cu2+ had the highest inhibition ratio of 57.9%. Furthermore, C. oxysporum xylanase was resistant to most of tested neutral and alkaline proteases. Our findings indicated that Cladosporium oxysporum GQ-3 was a novel xylanase producer, which could be used in the textile processes or paper/feed industries. Guo-Qiang Guan, Peng-Xiang Zhao, Jin Zhao, Mei-Juan Wang, Shu-Hao Huo, Feng-Jie Cui, and Jian-Xin Jiang Copyright © 2016 Guo-Qiang Guan et al. All rights reserved. Circulating Betatrophin Is Increased in Patients with Overt and Subclinical Hypothyroidism Tue, 26 Apr 2016 09:24:13 +0000 Thyroid hormone (TH) affects many metabolic processes such as promoting oxidation of sugar, fat, and protein in many tissues. Thyroid dysfunction is associated with metabolic disorders. The newly discovered adipocyte- and hepatocyte-derived cytokine, betatrophin, has been reported to be involved in metabolic diseases, but its influence on thyroid dysfunction is uncertain. Therefore, the present study aims to evaluate circulating betatrophin levels in subjects with different thyroid function status and to predict the factors associated with betatrophin levels, especially whether thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), TH, or thyroid autoantibodies are associated with betatrophin levels. In the study, serum betatrophin was measured in the subjects grouped as overt hypothyroidism (OH), subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH), euthyroid with isolated thyroid peroxidase antibody positivity (isolated Ab), and healthy control (HC), according to their thyroid functions. From our results, we found that betatrophin may be associated with thyroid insufficiency but not thyroid autoimmunity. Thus, when interpreting the results of betatrophin, thyroid functions should also be taken into consideration. Cheng Han, Xinghai Xia, Aihua Liu, Xiaowen Zhang, Mi Zhou, Chuhui Xiong, Xin Liu, Jie Sun, Xiaoguang Shi, Zhongyan Shan, and Weiping Teng Copyright © 2016 Cheng Han et al. All rights reserved. Recurrence and Treatment after Renal Transplantation in Children with FSGS Sun, 24 Apr 2016 13:55:08 +0000 Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a common cause of end-stage renal disease and a common pathologic diagnosis of idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (NS), especially in steroid-resistant cases. FSGS is known to recur after kidney transplantation, frequently followed by graft loss. However, not all patients with FSGS suffer from recurrence after kidney transplantation, and genetic and secondary FSGS have a negligible risk of recurrence. Furthermore, many cases of recurrence achieve remission with the current management of recurrence (intensive plasmapheresis/immunosuppression, including rituximab), and other promising agents are being evaluated. Therefore, a pathologic diagnosis of FSGS itself should not cause postponement of allograft kidney transplantation. For patients with a high risk of recurrence who presented with classical symptoms of NS, that is, severe edema, proteinuria, and hypoalbuminemia, close monitoring of proteinuria is necessary, followed by immediate, intensive treatment for recurrence. Hee Gyung Kang, Il-Soo Ha, and Hae Il Cheong Copyright © 2016 Hee Gyung Kang et al. All rights reserved. Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery with Intraoperative Image-Guided Navigation Sun, 24 Apr 2016 11:37:57 +0000 We present our perioperative minimally invasive spine surgery technique using intraoperative computed tomography image-guided navigation for the treatment of various lumbar spine pathologies. We present an illustrative case of a patient undergoing minimally invasive percutaneous posterior spinal fusion assisted by the O-arm system with navigation. We discuss the literature and the advantages of the technique over fluoroscopic imaging methods: lower occupational radiation exposure for operative room personnel, reduced need for postoperative imaging, and decreased revision rates. Most importantly, we demonstrate that use of intraoperative cone beam CT image-guided navigation has been reported to increase accuracy. Terrence T. Kim, J. Patrick Johnson, Robert Pashman, and Doniel Drazin Copyright © 2016 Terrence T. Kim et al. All rights reserved. Biosimilars in Developed and Developing East and Southeast Asian Countries: Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia—Overview, Evolution, and Regulations Assessment Sun, 24 Apr 2016 09:19:04 +0000 The development of biological products has experienced continuous growth over the past three decades. The expiration of patent protection for many biological medicines has led to the development of biosimilars in many countries around the world. This paper reviews the literature on biosimilar drugs and covers their therapeutic status, clinical trials, approved biosimilars, and regulatory guidelines in Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia. The literature suggests that biosimilars are comparable but not identical to the reference product. They are not a generic version of an innovative product and do not ensure therapeutic equivalence. Biosimilars present more challenges than conventional generics and their marketing approval is also much more complicated. Guidelines for biosimilars were published in Japan in July 2009 by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), in South Korea in March 2009 by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS), and in Malaysia in July 2008 by the National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau (NPCB). Tomas Gabriel Bas and Carolina Oliu Castillo Copyright © 2016 Tomas Gabriel Bas and Carolina Oliu Castillo. All rights reserved. Preparation, Characterization, and Insecticidal Activity of Avermectin-Grafted-Carboxymethyl Chitosan Sun, 24 Apr 2016 09:10:23 +0000 Avermectin-grafted-N,O-carboxymethyl chitosan (NOCC) derivative was obtained by esterification reaction using dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCC) as dehydrating agent and 4-methylaminopyridine as catalyst. The structures of the conjugate were confirmed by FT-IR, 1H NMR, and XRD. Insecticidal activities against armyworms, carmine spider mites, black bean aphids, and brown plant hoppers were investigated at concentrations ranging from 0.16 to 1000 mg/L. At the concentration of 1000 mg/L and 500 mg/L, the lethal rate was 100%. Good insecticidal activity at 4 mg/L was still shown, especially against the black bean aphids and brown plant hoppers. Moreover, the photostability of the conjugate was evaluated and showed an apparent improvement. At 300 mins, the residual rate of the conjugate was 11.22%, much higher than 0.2% of the avermectin technical material. The conjugate we developed showed potential for further study and application in crop protection. Yan Li, Yukun Qin, Song Liu, Ronge Xing, Huahua Yu, Kecheng Li, and Pengcheng Li Copyright © 2016 Yan Li et al. All rights reserved. Protective Effect of an Antibody against Specific Extracellular Domain of TLR2 on Agonists-Driven Inflammatory and Allergic Response Sun, 24 Apr 2016 08:30:58 +0000 Specific blocking strategies of TLR2-mediated inflammatory signaling and hypersensitivity reactions may offer novel therapeutic strategies to prevent a variety of diseases. In this study, we investigated the blocking effects of a new anti-TLR2 antibody anti-T20 against a 20 mer peptide T20 located in the extracellular specific domain of mouse TLR2. In addition, the effects of the anti-T20 in vitro, measuring the inhibition of the IL-6 and TNF-α production in response to PGN, LTA, and Pam3CSK4-stimulated RAW264.7 cells, were determined. In vivo, the effects of anti-T20 on a lethal anaphylaxis model using PGN-challenged OVA allergic mice, including the rectal temperature and mortality, and serum levels of TNF-α, IL-6, and LTC4 were assayed. The results showed that anti-T20 specifically bound to TLR2 and significantly inhibited PGN, LTA, and Pam3CSK4-driven TNF-α and IL-6 production by RAW264.7 cells. Also, anti-T20 protected OVA allergic mice from PGN-induced lethal anaphylaxis, and the serum levels of TNF-α, IL-6, and LTC4 of anti-T20 treated PGN-challenged OVA allergic mice were decreased as compared to isotype control of anti-T20 treated mice. In summary, this study produced a new antibody against the specific extracellular domain of TLR2 which has protective effect on TLR2 agonists-driven inflammatory and allergic response. Tianwu Guo, Jun Cai, Yanxia Peng, Lifang Zhang, Qiaofen Lan, Yanwen Chen, Huanjin Liao, Tong Xie, Ping Wu, and Qingjun Pan Copyright © 2016 Tianwu Guo et al. All rights reserved. Predicting Subcellular Localization of Apoptosis Proteins Combining GO Features of Homologous Proteins and Distance Weighted KNN Classifier Sun, 24 Apr 2016 07:09:15 +0000 Apoptosis proteins play a key role in maintaining the stability of organism; the functions of apoptosis proteins are related to their subcellular locations which are used to understand the mechanism of programmed cell death. In this paper, we utilize GO annotation information of apoptosis proteins and their homologous proteins retrieved from GOA database to formulate feature vectors and then combine the distance weighted KNN classification algorithm with them to solve the data imbalance problem existing in CL317 data set to predict subcellular locations of apoptosis proteins. It is found that the number of homologous proteins can affect the overall prediction accuracy. Under the optimal number of homologous proteins, the overall prediction accuracy of our method on CL317 data set reaches 96.8% by Jackknife test. Compared with other existing methods, it shows that our proposed method is very effective and better than others for predicting subcellular localization of apoptosis proteins. Xiao Wang, Hui Li, Qiuwen Zhang, and Rong Wang Copyright © 2016 Xiao Wang et al. All rights reserved. Predicted 3D Model of the Rabies Virus Glycoprotein Trimer Sun, 24 Apr 2016 06:03:45 +0000 The RABVG ectodomain is a homotrimer, and trimers are often called spikes. They are responsible for the attachment of the virus through the interaction with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), and the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR). This makes them relevant in viral pathogenesis. The antigenic structure differs significantly between the trimers and monomers. Surfaces rich in hydrophobic amino acids are important for trimer stabilization in which the C-terminal of the ectodomain plays an important role; to understand these interactions between the G proteins, a mechanistic study of their functions was performed with a molecular model of G protein in its trimeric form. This verified its 3D conformation. The molecular modeling of G protein was performed by a I-TASSER server and was evaluated via a Rachamandran plot and ERRAT program obtained 84.64% and 89.9% of the residues in the favorable regions and overall quality factor, respectively. The molecular dynamics simulations were carried out on RABVG trimer at 310 K. From these theoretical studies, we retrieved the RMSD values from Cα atoms to assess stability. Preliminary model of G protein of rabies virus stable at 12 ns with molecular dynamics was obtained. Bastida-González Fernando, Celaya-Trejo Yersin, Correa-Basurto José, and Zárate-Segura Paola Copyright © 2016 Bastida-González Fernando et al. All rights reserved. Roles and Clinical Applications of OPG and TRAIL as Biomarkers in Cardiovascular Disease Thu, 21 Apr 2016 12:43:55 +0000 Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) remain the major cause of death and premature disability in Western societies. Assessing the risk of CVD is an important aspect in clinical decision-making. Among the growing number of molecules that are studied for their potential utility as CVD biomarkers, a lot of attention has been focused on osteoprotegerin (OPG) and its ligands, which are receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL) and TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand. Based on the existing literature and on our experience in this field, here we review what the possible roles of OPG and TRAIL in CVD are and their potential utility as CVD biomarkers. Stella Bernardi, Fleur Bossi, Barbara Toffoli, and Bruno Fabris Copyright © 2016 Stella Bernardi et al. All rights reserved. Lycium barbarum Polysaccharide Mediated the Antidiabetic and Antinephritic Effects in Diet-Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Sprague Dawley Rats via Regulation of NF-κB Thu, 21 Apr 2016 12:38:09 +0000 Lycium barbarum, extensively utilized as a medicinal plant in China for years, exhibits antitumor, immunoregulative, hepatoprotective, and neuroprotective properties. The present study aims to investigate the hyperglycemic and antidiabetic nephritic effects of polysaccharide which is separated from Lycium barbarum (LBPS) in high-fat diet-streptozotocin- (STZ-) induced rat models. The reduced bodyweight and enhanced blood glucose concentration in serum were observed in diabetic rats, and they were significantly normalized to the healthy level by 100 mg/kg of metformin (Met) and LBPS at doses of 100, 250, and 500 mg/kg. LBPS inhibited albuminuria and blood urea nitrogen concentration and serum levels of inflammatory factors including IL-2, IL-6, TNF-α, IFN-α, MCP-1, and ICAM-1 compared with diabetic rats, and it indicates the protection on renal damage. Furthermore, the activities of SOD and GSH-Px in serum were enhanced strikingly by LBPS which suggests its antioxidation effects. LBPS, compared with nontreated diabetic rats, inhibited the expression of phosphor-nuclear factors kappa B (NF-κB) and inhibitor kappa B alpha in kidney tissues. Collectively, LBPS possesses antidiabetic and antinephritic effects related to NF-κB-mediated antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities. Mingzhao Du, Xinyu Hu, Ling Kou, Baohai Zhang, and Chaopu Zhang Copyright © 2016 Mingzhao Du et al. All rights reserved. Association of Microalbuminuria with Metabolic Syndrome among Aged Population Thu, 21 Apr 2016 08:02:21 +0000 Background. The impact of the various components of metabolic syndrome (MetS) on chronic kidney disease has been conflicting. We aim to investigate the association between MetS and microalbuminuria and identify the major contributing components of MetS that result in microalbuminuria in the Chinese aged population. Methods. A total of 674 adults aged 55–98 years (males: 266; mean age: years) were studied. MetS was defined by the 2004 Chinese Diabetes Society criteria and microalbuminuria by urine albumin-creatinine ratio (UACR) ≥3 mg/mmoL. Results. The prevalence of microalbuminuria was gradually increased with increasing number of MetS components (). In multivariate regression, after adjusting for age and sex, MetS was the strongest correlate of microalbuminuria (OR = 1.781, 95% CI = 1.226–2.587; ) followed by the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) (OR = 1.217, 95% CI = 1.044–1.092; ), systolic blood pressure (SBP) (OR = 1.011, 95% CI = 1.107–1.338; ), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (OR = 0.576, 95% CI = 0.348–0.953; ). Conclusions. MetS is independently associated with microalbuminuria in the Chinese aged population. Elevated FPG is the most predominant component of metabolic syndrome associated with microalbuminuria followed by elevated SBP and reduced HDL-C. Xiao-Hong Li, Hai-Yan Lin, Shu-Hua Wang, Li-Ying Guan, and Yi-Bing Wang Copyright © 2016 Xiao-Hong Li et al. All rights reserved. Circulating Permeability Factors in Primary Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis: A Review of Proposed Candidates Thu, 21 Apr 2016 07:48:21 +0000 Primary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a major cause of the nephrotic syndrome and often leads to end-stage renal disease. This review focuses on circulating permeability factors in primary FSGS that have been implicated in the pathogenesis for a long time, partly due to the potential recurrence in renal allografts within hours after transplantation. Recently, three molecules have been proposed as a potential permeability factor by different groups: the soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR), cardiotrophin-like cytokine factor-1 (CLCF-1), and CD40 antibodies. Both CLCF-1 and CD40 antibodies have not been validated by independent research groups yet. Since the identification of suPAR, different studies have questioned the validity of suPAR as a biomarker to distinguish primary FSGS from other proteinuric kidney diseases as well as suPAR’s pathogenic role in podocyte damage. Researchers have suggested that cleaved molecules of suPAR have a pathogenic role in FSGS but further studies are needed to determine this role. In future studies, proposed standards for the research of the permeability factor should be carefully followed. The identification of the permeability factor in primary FSGS would be of great clinical relevance as it could influence potential individual treatment regimen. Eva Königshausen and Lorenz Sellin Copyright © 2016 Eva Königshausen and Lorenz Sellin. All rights reserved. Improve the Anaerobic Biodegradability by Copretreatment of Thermal Alkali and Steam Explosion of Lignocellulosic Waste Wed, 20 Apr 2016 13:57:31 +0000 Effective alteration of the recalcitrance properties like crystallization of cellulose, lignin shield, and interlinking of lignocellulosic biomass is an ideal way to utilize the full-scale potential for biofuel production. This study exhibited three different pretreatment effects to enhance the digestibility of corn stover (CS) for methane production. In this context, steam explosion (SE) and thermal potassium hydroxide (KOH-60°C) treated CS produced the maximal methane yield of 217.5 and 243.1 mL/, which were 40.0% and 56.4% more than untreated CS (155.4 mL/), respectively. Copretreatment of thermal potassium hydroxide and steam explosion (CPTPS) treated CS was highly significant among all treatments and improved 88.46% (292.9 mL/) methane yield compared with untreated CS. Besides, CPTPS also achieved the highest biodegradability up to 68.90%. Three kinetic models very well simulated dynamics of methane production yield. Moreover, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses declared the most effective changes in physicochemical properties after CPTPS pretreatment. Thus, CPTPS might be a promising approach to deconstructing the recalcitrance of lignocellulosic structure to improve the biodegradability for AD. Muhammad Abdul Hanan Siddhu, Jianghao Li, Jiafu Zhang, Yan Huang, Wen Wang, Chang Chen, and Guangqing Liu Copyright © 2016 Muhammad Abdul Hanan Siddhu et al. All rights reserved.