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Articles by Q Li
Total Records ( 20 ) for Q Li
  Z Zhang , Q Li , F Liu , Y Sun and J. Zhang

The aim of this study was to investigate the prevention of diet-induced obesity by a high safflower oil diet and adipocytic gene expression in mice. Forty 3-week-old C57BL/6 mice were randomly divided into three groups: control group (CON, 5% lard + 5% safflower oil), high lard group (LAR, 45% lard + 5% safflower oil), and high safflower oil group (SAF, 45% safflower oil + 5% lard). After 10 weeks, 10 mice of the LAR group were switched to high safflower oil diet (LAR–SAF). Ten weeks later, glucose tolerance tests were performed by intraperitoneal injection of glucose. Circulating levels of lipid and insulin were measured and white adipose tissues were taken for gene chip and reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction analysis. The LAR group showed higher body weight, adiposity index, insulin, and lipids than the CON group (P < 0.05). The body weight in the LAR–SAF group decreased after dietary reversal. The plasma biochemical profiles decreased in the LAR–SAF and SAF groups (P < 0.05) compared with those of the LAR group. The blood glucose level of the LAR–SAF group was reduced during intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test compared with that of the LAR group. The LAR–SAF group had lower levels of Orexin and Ghrelin gene expression, whereas the level of PPAR gene expression was significantly enhanced compared with that of the LAR group. So, the SAF diet can alter adipocytic adiposity-related gene expression and result in effective amelioration of diet-induced obesity.

  K Dong , Q Li , C Liu , Y Zhang , G Zhao and X. Guo

Motility and chemotaxis systems are critical for the virulence of leptospires. There were multiple copies of putative chemotaxis homologs located at leptospires large chromosome. CheB1 and CheB3 from Leptospira interrogans strain Lai are predicted to have a global CheB-like domain, but CheB2 is predicted to have a C-terminal effector domain only. In order to verify the function of three putative cheB genes, they were cloned into pQE31 vector and then expressed, respectively, in wild-type Escherichia coli strain RP437 and cheB defective strain RP4972. The results of swarming assays and the predicted ternary structures of CheB1 and CheB3 of L. interrogans strain Lai suggested that the absence of an N-terminal regulatory domain may be one of the reasons for the failure of CheB2 to complement an E. coli cheB mutant. Furthermore, CheB2 links solely to CheR1 and CheR3 in the interaction network of leptospires. Taken together, these results indicated that CheB2 may not function alone, and under certain physiological conditions, it may require CheB3 and CheR1 to function. The existence of multiple copies of chemotaxis gene homologs suggested that L. interrogans strain Lai might have a more complex chemosensory pathway.

  Y Zhou , P Lin , Q Li , L Han , H Zheng , Y Wei , Z Cui , Y Ni and X. Guo

Sputum is the most common sample collected from patients suffering from lower respiratory tract infections and it is crucial for the bacterial identification of these infections. In this study, we enrolled 101 sputum samples from 101 patients with lower respiratory tract infections. Initially, pyrosequencing of the 16S rDNA V3 hypervariable regions of the bacteria contained in the sputum was utilized as a culture-independent approach for microbiota analysis. For comparison, clinical laboratory tests using a culture-dependent automated bacterial identification system for the same cohort of sputum samples were also done. By pyrosequencing, >70,000 DNA fragments were found and classified into 129 bacterial genera after being analyzed by the Ribosomal Database Project (RDP) process. Most sequences belonged to several predominant genera, such as Streptococcus and Staphylococcus, indicating that these genera play an important role in lower respiratory tract infections. In addition, some sequences belonging to potential causative agents, such as Mycoplasma, Haemophilus, and Moraxella, were also found, but these sequences were not found by clinical laboratory tests. For the nine genera detected by both methods, the methods' sensitivities were compared and the results showed that pyrosequencing was more sensitive, except for Klebsiella and Mycobacterium. Significantly, this method revealed much more complicated bacterial communities and it showed a promising ability for the detection of bacteria.

  Q Li , J Li and J. Ren

Diabetic heart disease contributes to the high mortality in diabetics, although effective clinical management is lacking. The protease inhibitor 5-[5-(2-nitrophenyl) furfuryliodine]-1,3-diphenyl-2-thiobarbituric acid (UCF-101) was reported to protect the hearts against ischemic injury. This study examined the role of UCF-101 on streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic heart defect. Vehicle or UCF-101 was administrated to STZ diabetic mice, and cardiomyocyte mechanical properties were analyzed. UCF-101 reduced STZ-induced hyperglycemia and alleviated STZ-induced aberration in cardiomyocyte contractile mechanics. Diabetes dramatically decreased AMPK phosphorylation at Thr172 of catalytic -subunit, which was restored by UCF-101. Neither diabetes nor UCF-101 affected the expression of HtrA2/Omi and XIAP or caspase-3 activity. The AMPK activator resveratrol mimicked the UCF-101-induced beneficial effect against diabetic cardiac dysfunction. Mechanical properties in cardiomyocytes from the AMPK-kinase-dead (KD) mice displayed markedly impaired contractile function reminiscent of diabetes. STZ injection in AMPK-KD mice failed to elicit any additional cardiomyocyte contractile defect. UCF-101 significantly downregulated the AMPK-degrading enzymes PP2A and PP2C, the effect of which was mimicked by resveratrol. Taken together, these results indicate that UCF-101 protects against STZ-induced cardiac dysfunction, possibly through AMPK signaling.

  Q Li , X Li and B. Stanton

Aims: To review the patterns, contexts and impacts of alcohol use associated with commercial sex reported in the global literature. Methods: We identified peer-reviewed English-language articles from 1980 to 2008 reporting alcohol consumption among female sex workers (FSWs) or male clients. We retrieved 70 articles describing 76 studies, in which 64 were quantitative (52 for FSWs, 12 for male clients) and 12 qualitative. Results: Studies increased over the past three decades, with geographic concentration of the research in Asia and North America. Alcohol use was prevalent among FSWs and clients. Integrating quantitative and qualitative studies, multilevel contexts of alcohol use in the sex work environment were identified, including workplace and occupation-related use, the use of alcohol to facilitate the transition into and practice of commercial sex among both FSWs and male clients, and self-medication among FSWs. Alcohol use was associated with adverse physical health, illicit drug use, mental health problems, and victimization of sexual violence, although its associations with HIV/sexually transmitted infections and unprotected sex among FSWs were inconclusive. Conclusions: Alcohol use in the context of commercial sex is prevalent, harmful among FSWs and male clients, but under-researched. Research in this area in more diverse settings and with standardized measures is required. The review underscores the importance of integrated intervention for alcohol use and related problems in multilevel contexts and with multiple components in order to effectively reduce alcohol use and its harmful effects among FSWs and their clients.

  A Mohammed , N. B Janakiram , Q Li , V Madka , M Ely , S Lightfoot , H Crawford , V. E Steele and C. V. Rao

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the most common pancreatic malignancy with a dismal prognosis. Developing novel strategies to prevent or delay pancreatic cancer is currently of intense interest. The chemopreventive efficacy of gefitinib, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor, was evaluated against the progression of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasms (PanIN) to PDAC in conditional LSL-KrasG12D/+ transgenic mice. LSL-KrasG12D/+ and p48Cre/+ mice were bred, and offspring of activated KrasG12D/+ were generated. Six-week-old male KrasG12D/+ (20 per group) and C57BL/6 wild-type (12 per group) mice were fed (AIN-76A) diets containing 0, 100, and 200 ppm of gefitinib for 35 weeks. At termination, pancreases were evaluated histopathologically for PanINs and PDAC, and various biomarkers were measured by immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, immunoblotting, and/or reverse transcription-PCR. Dietary gefitinib at 100 and 200 ppm significantly suppressed PDAC incidence by 77% and 100%, respectively (P < 0.0001) when compared with control diet. Importantly, a significant inhibition of carcinoma and a dose-dependent suppression of PanINs [PanIN-1, 37-62% (P < 0.002); PanIN-2, 38-41 (P < 0.001); and PanIN-3, 7-34% (P < 0.0141)] were observed in mice treated with gefitinib. Furthermore, mice treated with 100 and 200 ppm of gefitinib exhibited 67.6% to 77.3% of the pancreas to be free from ductal lesions. Also, gefitinib reduced EGFR, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, cyclin D1, C2GNT, RhoA, β-catenin, p38, phospho-extracellular signal–regulated kinase, caveolin-1, and mucin and increased cyclin B1 in the pancreatic lesions/PDAC. In summary, these results show that gefitinib can prevent the progression of pancreatic cancer precursor lesions to PDAC in a preclinical model. The present study highlights the promise of chemoprevention and the potential usefulness of EGFR inhibitors in individuals at high risk for pancreatic cancer. Cancer Prev Res; 3(11); 1417–26. ©2010 AACR.

  Q Li , Q Ke and M. Costa

In the present study, we examined the effects of CoCl2 on multiple histone modifications at the global level. We found that in both human lung carcinoma A549 cells and human bronchial epithelial Beas-2B cells, exposure to CoCl2 (≥200 µM) for 24 h increased H3K4me3, H3K9me2, H3K9me3, H3K27me3, H3K36me3, uH2A and uH2B but decreased acetylation at histone H4 (AcH4). Further investigation demonstrated that in A549 cells, the increase in H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 by cobalt ions exposure was probably through enhancing histone methylation processes, as methionine-deficient medium blocked the induction of H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 by cobalt ions, whereas cobalt ions increased H3K9me3 and H3K36me3 by directly inhibiting JMJD2A demethylase activity in vitro, which was probably due to the competition of cobalt ions with iron for binding to the active site of JMJD2A. Furthermore, in vitro ubiquitination and deubiquitination assays revealed that the cobalt-induced histone H2A and H2B ubiquitination is the result of inhibition of deubiquitinating enzyme activity. Microarray data showed that exposed to 200 µM of CoCl2 for 24 h, A549 cells not only increased but also decreased expression of hundreds of genes involved in different cellular functions, including tumorigenesis. This study is the first to demonstrate that cobalt ions altered epigenetic homeostasis in cells. It also sheds light on the possible mechanisms involved in cobalt-induced alteration of histone modifications, which may lead to altered programs of gene expression and carcinogenesis since cobalt at higher concentrations is a known carcinogen.

  H. P Yang , J Gonzalez Bosquet , Q Li , E. A Platz , L. A Brinton , M. E Sherman , J. V Lacey , M. M Gaudet , L. A Burdette , J. D Figueroa , J. G Ciampa , J Lissowska , B Peplonska , S. J Chanock and M. Garcia Closas

Background. Estrogen plays a major role in endometrial carcinogenesis, suggesting that common variants of genes in the sex hormone metabolic pathway may be related to endometrial cancer risk. In support of this view, variants in CYP19A1 [cytochrome P450 (CYP), family 19, subfamily A, polypeptide 1] have been associated with both circulating estrogen levels and endometrial cancer risk. Associations with variants in other genes have been suggested, but findings have been inconsistent. Methods. We examined 36 sex hormone-related genes using a tagging approach in a population-based case–control study of 417 endometrial cancer cases and 407 controls conducted in Poland. We evaluated common variation in these genes in relation to endometrial cancer risk using sequential haplotype scan, variable-sized sliding window and adaptive rank-truncated product (ARTP) methods. Results. In our case–control study, the strongest association with endometrial cancer risk was for AR (androgen receptor; ARTP P = 0.006). Multilocus analyses also identified boundaries for a region of interest in AR and in CYP19A1 around a previously identified susceptibility loci. We did not find evidence for consistent associations between previously reported candidate single-nucleotide polymorphisms in this pathway and endometrial cancer risk. Discussion. In summary, we identified regions in AR and CYP19A1 that are of interest for further evaluation in relation to endometrial cancer risk in future haplotype and subsequent fine mapping studies in larger study populations.

  L Liu , Y. H Li , Y. B Niu , Y Sun , Z. J Guo , Q Li , C Li , J Feng , S. S Cao and Q. B. Mei

Evidence strongly supported a link between inflammation and cancer. Patients with colitis have high risk for development of colon cancer. Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-B), partially induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) binding to Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4, is a vital molecule in supervising the transformation of colitis to colon cancer. It could be a good strategy to prevent colitis carcinogenesis for targeting LPS/TLR4/NF-B pathway. In the present study, we obtained an oligogalactan composed of five galacturonic acids from apple pectin and evaluated its protective efficacy on intestinal toxicities and carcinogenesis in a mouse model of colitis-associated colon cancer induced by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine and dextran sodium sulfate (DSS). The apple oligogalactan (AOG) was highly effective against intestinal toxicities and carcinogenesis and decreased the elevated levels of TLR4 and tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) induced by inflammation in vivo in this model system. In vitro studies, AOG alone only slightly increased the levels of protein expression and messenger RNA of TLR4, phosphorylation of IB and production of TNF- in HT-29 cells. However, AOG significantly decreased the elevation of all the biomarkers induced by LPS when it was combined with LPS. The effect of AOG may be related to membrane internalization and redistribution of TLR4 from cell membrane to cytoplasm. AOG is active against inflammation and carcinogenesis through targeting LPS/TLR4/NF-B pathway. Both AOG and LPS are agonists of TLR4 for sharing the same ligand but AOG has a much lower intrinsic activity than that of LPS. AOG may be useful for treatment of colitis and prevention of carcinogenesis in the clinics.

  Q Li , Y Guo , Q Ou , C Cui , W. J Wu , W Tan , X Zhu , L. B Lanceta , S. K Sanganalmath , B Dawn , K Shinmura , G. D Rokosh , S Wang and R. Bolli

Background— Although inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) is known to impart powerful protection against myocardial infarction, the mechanism for this salubrious action remains unclear.

Methods and Results— Adenovirus-mediated iNOS gene transfer in mice resulted 48 to 72 hours later in increased expression not only of iNOS protein but also of heme oxygenase (HO)-1 mRNA and protein; HO-2 protein expression did not change. iNOS gene transfer markedly reduced infarct size in wild-type mice, but this effect was completely abrogated in HO-1–/– mice. At 48 hours after iNOS gene transfer, nuclear factor-B was markedly activated. In transgenic mice with cardiomyocyte-restricted expression of a dominant negative mutant of IB (IBS32A,S36A), both basal HO-1 levels and upregulation of HO-1 by iNOS gene transfer were suppressed. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis of mouse hearts provided direct evidence that nuclear factor-B subunits p50 and p65 were recruited to the HO-1 gene promoter (–468 to –459 bp) 48 hours after iNOS gene transfer.

Conclusions— This study demonstrates for the first time the existence of a close functional coupling between cardiac iNOS and cardiac HO-1: iNOS upregulates HO-1 by augmenting nuclear factor-B binding to the region of the HO-1 gene promoter from –468 to –459 bp, and HO-1 then mediates the cardioprotective effects of iNOS. These results also reveal an important role of nuclear factor-B in both basal and iNOS-induced expression of cardiac HO-1. Collectively, the present findings significantly expand our understanding of the regulation of cardiac HO-1 and of the mechanism whereby iNOS exerts its cardioprotective actions.

  J Han , Q Li , L McCullough , C Kettelkamp , T Formosa and Z. Zhang

FACT plays important roles in both gene transcription and DNA replication. However, how this protein complex is targeted to these two distinct cellular processes remains largely unknown. Here we show that ubiquitylation of the Spt16 subunit of FACT by Rtt101, the cullin subunit of an E3 ubiquitin ligase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, links FACT to DNA replication. We find Rtt101 interacts with and ubiquitylates Spt16 in vitro and in vivo. Deletion of RTT101 leads to reduced association of both FACT and the replicative helicase MCM with replication origins. Loss of Rtt101 also reduces binding of FACT to MCM, but not the association of FACT with Leo1 and Spt5, two proteins involved in transcription. Origin function is compromised in cells lacking Rtt101 or with an Spt16 mutation. These findings identify Spt16 as an Rtt101 substrate, and suggest that Spt16 ubiquitylation is important for FACT to function during DNA replication.

  G Zhang , G Guo , X Hu , Y Zhang , Q Li , R Li , R Zhuang , Z Lu , Z He , X Fang , L Chen , W Tian , Y Tao , K Kristiansen , X Zhang , S Li , H Yang , J Wang and J. Wang

Understanding the dynamics of eukaryotic transcriptome is essential for studying the complexity of transcriptional regulation and its impact on phenotype. However, comprehensive studies of transcriptomes at single base resolution are rare, even for modern organisms, and lacking for rice. Here, we present the first transcriptome atlas for eight organs of cultivated rice. Using high-throughput paired-end RNA-seq, we unambiguously detected transcripts expressing at an extremely low level, as well as a substantial number of novel transcripts, exons, and untranslated regions. An analysis of alternative splicing in the rice transcriptome revealed that alternative cis-splicing occurred in ~33% of all rice genes. This is far more than previously reported. In addition, we also identified 234 putative chimeric transcripts that seem to be produced by trans-splicing, indicating that transcript fusion events are more common than expected. In-depth analysis revealed a multitude of fusion transcripts that might be by-products of alternative splicing. Validation and chimeric transcript structural analysis provided evidence that some of these transcripts are likely to be functional in the cell. Taken together, our data provide extensive evidence that transcriptional regulation in rice is vastly more complex than previously believed.

  R Zhao , J Zhu , X Ji , J Cai , F Wan , Q Li , B Zhong , S Tucker and D. Wang

To assess the resectability rate of patients with initially unresectable liver-only metastases from colorectal cancer (CRC) after treatment with irinotecan/capecitabine.


Patients received irinotecan (240 mg/m2) as a 30 min intravenous infusion on day 1 and capecitabine (1000 mg/m2) orally bid for 14 days beginning on day 2. Treatment was repeated every 3 weeks. The protocol encouraged two to four cycles of irinotecan/capecitabine after recovery from surgery.


Between May 2004 and February 2007, 48 patients entered in the study. Forty-seven (97.9%) of the 48 patients were assessable for response. The overall response rate before surgery was 56.3% (95% CI, 42.3–70.3%) in the treated population, including 2 non-confirmed complete response (CR), 18 partial responses (PR) and 7 non-confirmed PR. Twenty-three (47.9%) of 29 patients with tumor shrinkage proceeded to surgical intervention. Twenty of the 23 patients had a complete resection (S-CR). With a median follow-up time of 32 months (range, 24–38 months), the overall median time to progression and overall survival for all patients were 16.7 months (95% CI, 10.0–23.4 months) and 27.5 months (95% CI, 23.6–31.4 months) for all patients. The 1- 2- and 3-year overall survival estimates were 79.2% (95% CI, 67.7–90.7%), 60.4% (95% CI, 46.6–74.3%) and 29.2% (95% CI, 16.3–42.0%), respectively. Grade 3 diarrhea occurred in eight (17.0%) patients. The most common Grade 3/4 hematological adverse event was neutropenia in 8.5% of the patients. There were no treatment-related deaths during this study.


Irinotecan/capecitabine appears to be a safe and very effective regimen in selected patients with unresectable liver metastases from CRC, but who are treated with a curative intent.

  J Zheng , G Wang , G. Y Yang , D Wang , X Luo , C Chen , Z Zhang , Q Li , W Xu , Z Li and D. Wang

This Phase II study was conducted to evaluate the activity and feasibility of a regimen of nedaplatin and 5-fluorouracil as induction chemotherapy, followed by intensity-modulated radiotherapy concurrent with chemotherapy in patients with locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma.


Patients received neoadjuvant chemotherapy comprised two cycles of 5-fluorouracil at 700 mg/m2/day administered on days 1–4 as continuous intravenous infusion and nedaplatin (100 mg/m2 administered i.v. over 2 h) given after the administration of 5-fluorouracil on day 1, repeated every 3 weeks, followed by intensity-modulated radiotherapy concurrent with nedaplatin. During intensity-modulated radiotherapy, nedaplatin was administered at a dose of 100 mg/m2 intravenous infusion on days 1, 22 and 43, given ~60 min before radiation.


Fifty-nine (95.8%) of the 60 patients were assessable for response. Thirty-eight cases of complete response and 14 cases of partial response were confirmed after completion of chemoradiation, with the objective response rate of 86.7% (95% CI, 78.1–95.3%). The median follow-up period was 48 months (range, 30–62 months). The 3-year progression-free survival and overall survival were 75.0% (95% CI, 63.0–87.0%) and 85.5% (95% CI, 75.9–95.1%). No patient showed Grade 3 or higher renal dysfunction. The most commonly observed late effect was xerostomia, but the severity diminished over time, and the detectable xerostomia at 24 months was 10.2%. There were no treatment-related deaths during this study.


Neoadjuvant chemotherapy with nedaplatin and 5-fluorouracil followed by concomitant nedaplatin and intensity-modulated radiotherapy is an effective and safe treatment for Southern China patients affected by locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

  X Wang , Q Li , X Niu , H Chen , L Xu and C. Qi

Sspg1d, one of endopolygalacturonases, is an important fungal effector secreted by the necrotrophic fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum during early infection. Using sspg1d as bait, a small C2 domain protein (designated as IPG-1) was identified by yeast two-hybrid screening of a canola cDNA library. Deletion analysis confirmed that the C-terminus of IPG-1 is responsible for its interaction with sspg1d in the yeast two-hybrid assay. The sspg1d/IPG-1 interaction was further confirmed in plant cells by a biomolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assay. A transient expression assay showed that the IPG-1–GFP fusion protein was targeted to the plasma membrane and nucleus in onion epidermal cells. Following treatment with a Ca2+ ionophore, it was distributed throughout the cytosol. Real-time PCR assay demonstrated that IPG-1 was highly induced by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in canola leaves and stems. Southern blot analysis indicated the presence of about five homologues of IPG-1 in the canola genome. Two additional members of the IPG-1gene family were isolated by RT-PCR. Their sequence similarity with IPG-1 is as high as 95%. However, they did not interact with sspg1d in the yeast two-hybrid assay. Possible roles of IPG-1 and its association with sspg1d in the defence signalling pathway were discussed.

  Q Li , S Rajanahally , M. A Edson and M. M. Matzuk

Oocyte-derived growth factors are critically involved in multiple ovarian processes via paracrine actions. Although recombinant proteins have been applied to dissect the physiological functions of these factors, variation of activities among different protein preparations remains an issue. To further elucidate the roles of one of these growth factors, bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15), in mediating oocyte-regulated molecular and cellular events and to explore its potential clinical application, we engineered the human BMP15 sequence to efficiently produce bioactive recombinant human BMP15 (rhBMP15). The proteolytic cleavage site of the hBMP15 precursor was optimized to facilitate the production of the mature protein, and a FLAG-tag was placed at the N-terminus of the mature region to ease purification and avoid potential interference of the tag with the cystine knot structure. The rhBMP15 protein was purified using anti-FLAG M2 affinity gel. Our results demonstrated that the N-terminal tagged rhBMP15 was efficiently processed in HEK-293 cells. Furthermore, the purified rhBMP15 could activate SMAD1/5/8 and induce the transcription of genes encoding cumulus expansion-related transcripts (Ptx3, Has2, Tnfaip6 and Ptgs2), inhibitory SMADs (Smad6 and Smad7), BMP antagonists (Grem1 and Fst), activin/inhibin βA (Inhba) and βB (Inhbb) subunits, etc. Thus, our rhBMP15 containing a genetically modified cleavage sequence and an N-terminal FLAG-tag can be efficiently produced, processed and secreted in a mammalian expression system. The purified rhBMP15 is also biologically active and very stable, and can induce the expression of a variety of mouse granulosa cell genes.

  K Sugiura , Y. Q Su , Q Li , K Wigglesworth , M. M Matzuk and J. J. Eppig

The differentiation and function of cumulus cells depend upon oocyte-derived paracrine factors, but studies on the estrogen receptor knockout mice suggested that estrogen also participates in these processes. This study investigates the possible coordination of estrogen and oocytes in the development and function of cumulus cells using cumulus expansion and the expression of transcripts required for expansion as functional endpoints. Preantral granulosa cell-oocyte complexes developed in vitro with 17β-estradiol (E2) exhibited increased levels of cumulus expansion and Has2 transcripts, encoding hyaluronan synthase 2, compared with those developed without E2. Moreover, cumulus cell-oocyte complexes (COCs) isolated from antral follicles and maintained in culture without E2 exhibited reduced cumulus expansion and Has2 mRNA levels compared with freshly isolated COCs. Exogenous E2, provided during the maintenance culture, alleviated these deficiencies. However, when oocytes were removed from COCs, E2 supplementation did not maintain competence to undergo expansion; the presence in culture of either fully grown oocytes or recombinant growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) was required. Recombinant bone morphogenetic protein 15, but not fibroblast growth factor 8, augmented the GDF9 effect. Oocytes or GDF9 suppressed cumulus cell levels of Nrip1 transcripts encoding nuclear receptor-interacting protein 1, a potential inhibitor of estrogen receptor signals. Therefore, E2 and oocyte-derived paracrine factors GDF9 and bone morphogenetic protein 15 coordinate to promote the development of cumulus cells and maintain their competence to undergo expansion. Furthermore, suppression of Nrip1 expression in cumulus cells by oocyte may be one mechanism mediating cross talk between oocyte and E2 signals that promotes follicular development.

  F Chen , M. J Gao , Y. S Miao , Y. X Yuan , M. Y Wang , Q Li , B. Z Mao , L. W Jiang and Z. H. He

The rice pattern recognition receptor (PRR) XA21 confers race-specific resistance in leaf infection by bacterial blight Xathomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), and was shown to be primarily localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) when expressed with its native promoter or overexpressed in the protoplast. However, whether the protein is still ER-localization in the intact cell when overexpressed remains to be identified. Here, we showed that XA21, its kinase-dead mutant XA21PK736EP, and the triple autophosphorylation mutant XA21PS686A/T688A/S699A GFP fusions were primarily localized to the plasma membrane (PM) when overexpressed in the intact transgenic rice cell, and also localized to the ER in the transgenic protoplast. The transgenic plants constitutively expressing the wild-type XA21 or its GFP fusion displayed race-specific resistance to Xoo at the adult and seedling stages. XA21 and XA21PK736EP could be internalized probably via the SCAMP-positive early endosomal compartment in the protoplast, suggesting that XA21 might be endocytosed to initiate resistance responses during pathogen infection. We also established a root infection system and demonstrated that XA21 also mediated race-specific resistance responses to Xoo in the root. Our current study provides an insight into the nature of the XA21-mediated resistance and a practical approach using the root cell system to further dissect the cellular signaling of the PRR during the rice–Xoo interaction.

  I Duncan , C Birkmeyer , S Coughlin , Q Li , D Sherr and S. Boren


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of diabetes self-management education/training (DSME/T) on financial outcomes (cost of patient care).


Commercial and Medicare claims payer-derived datasets were used to assess whether patients who participate in diabetes education are more likely to follow recommendations for care than similar patients who do not participate in diabetes education, and if claims of patients who participate in diabetes education are lower than those of similar patients who do not.


Patients using diabetes education have lower average costs than patients who do not use diabetes education. Physicians exhibit high variation in their referral rates to diabetes education.


The collaboration between diabetes educators and physicians yields positive clinical quality and cost savings. The analysis indicates that quality can be improved, and cost reduced, by increasing referral rates to diabetes education among low-referring physicians, specifically among men and people in disadvantaged areas. More needs to be done to inform physicians about ways to increase access to diabetes education for underserved populations.

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