Publications

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    ABSTRACT: Growth arrest-specific protein 6 (Gas6) is a serum protein involved in granulocyte, platelet and endothelium interaction, and is implicated in both anti-inflammatory response as well as platelet/leukocytes activation. We investigated serum Gas6 level in different clinical manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Data were collected in 83 patients with SLE and 40 non-lupus controls. The Gas6 levels were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Our results demonstrated that the Gas6 level was higher in SLE patients as compared to the non-lupus control subjects (SLE vs. non-lupus control, median [inter-quartile range (IQR)] 22.67 [19.40-28.60] vs. 18.97 [16.05-20.62] ng/mL, p < 0.01). Furthermore, Gas6 level was higher in patients with nephritis (nephritis vs. non-nephritis, median [IQR] 26.21 [21.17-31.61] vs. 22.22 [18.98-26.98] ng/mL, p = 0.03) and in patients with cutaneous vasculitis (vasculitis vs. non-vasculitis, median [IQR] 27.89 [23.24-34.26] vs. 22.30 [19.32-27.16] ng/mL, p = 0.03). Our results indicate that the serum Gas6 level is increased in SLE patients with lupus nephritis or cutaneous vasculitis, implicating a potential to serve as a SLE disease activity marker.
    Rheumatology International 11/2013; · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We previously reported that the anticancer activity of a botanical compound 10'(Z), 13'(E), 15'(E)-heptadecatrienylhydroquinone [HQ17(3)] was attributed to topoisomerase (Topo) II poisoning and the induction of oxidative damage. HQ17(3) irreversibly inhibits Topo IIα activity in vitro, and is more cytotoxic in leukemia HL-60 cells than in Topo IIα-deficient variant HL-60/MX2 cells, which suggests that Topo IIα is a cellular target of HQ17(3). This study further characterizes the molecular mechanisms of the anticancer activity of HQ17(3). Proteomic analyses indicated that HQ17(3) reacted with Cys-427, Cys-733, and Cys-997 of recombinant Topo IIα in vitro, whereas it reacted with Cys-427 of cellular Topo IIα in Huh7 hepatoma cells. The modification of HQ17(3) inhibited Topo IIα catalytic activity, increased the Topo IIα-DNA cleavage complex, and caused the accumulation of DNA breakage. In Huh7 cells, HQ17(3) treatment caused prompt inhibition of DNA synthesis, and consequently induced the expression of DNA damage-related genes DDIT3, GADD45A, and GADD45G. Topo IIα inhibition, apoptosis, and oxidative stress were found to account for cytotoxicity caused by HQ17(3). Pretreatment of Huh7 cells with N-acetylcysteine (NAC) partially attenuated mitochondrial membrane damage, DNA breakage, and caspase activation. However, NAC pretreatment did not diminish HQ17(3)-induced cell death. These results suggest that the anticancer activity of HQ17(3) is attributed significantly to Topo IIα poisoning. The structural feature of HQ17(3) can be used as a model for the design of Topo IIα inhibitors and anticancer drugs.
    Chemical Research in Toxicology 10/2012; · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The contribution of genetic factors to the memory is widely acknowledged. Research suggests that these factors include genes involved in the dopaminergic pathway, as well as the genes for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). The activity of the products of these genes is affected by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the genes. This study investigates the association between memory and SNPs in genes involved in the dopaminergic pathway, as well as in the BDNF and MTHFR genes, in a sample of healthy individuals. The sample includes 134 Taiwanese undergraduate volunteers of similar cognitive ability. The Chinese versions of the Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS-III) and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-III) were employed. Our findings indicate that the BDNF Met66Val polymorphism and dopamine receptor D3 (DRD3) Ser9Gly polymorphism are associated significantly with long-term auditory memory. Further analysis detects no significant associations in the other polymorphisms and indices. Future replicated studies with larger sample sizes, and studies that consider different ethnic groups, are encouraged.
    Brain and Cognition 08/2012; 80(2):282-9. · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The growth arrest-specific 6 (GAS6) gene product participates in platelet activation and granulocyte interaction with the endothelium. Our case-control study aimed to determine whether polymorphism of GAS6 was associated with predisposing risk or specific clinical manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Two of the single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the GAS6 gene, GAS6 834 + 7G/A (rs8191974) and GAS6 +1332C/T (rs1803628), were investigated in 83 SLE patients and 89 non-lupus control subjects. We demonstrated that among lupus patients, the GAS6 +1332 T allele was more prevalent in patients with cutaneous vasculitis (allele T 41.7 % in patients with cutaneous vasculitis compared with 18.3 % in patients without vasculitis, odds ratio (OR) 3.2, 95 % confidence interval 1.3-8.0, p = 0.016). In conclusion, GAS6 polymorphism is positively associated with cutaneous vasculitis in SLE patients, which suggests that GAS6 polymorphism could be a genetic marker for SLE with cutaneous vasculitis.
    Clinical Rheumatology 07/2012; 31(10):1443-8. · 2.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Only a small proportion of women infected with human papillomavirus type 18 (HPV18) may progress to persistent infection and cervical neoplasia. This community-based cohort study aimed to assess associations with human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II genotypes for natural infection of HPV18 and subsequent risk of cervical neoplasia. Among 10,190 cytologically normal participants, 125 with HPV18 infection were identified by HPV blot kit. HPV18 viral load at study entry was examined by real-time polymerase chain reaction; persistent infection was defined as HPV18 infection at 2 consecutive examinations. There was a significant association between HLA-DRB1*0403 allele and high HPV18 viral load (>1000 copies in 50 ng of total DNA) at study entry (odds ratio [OR], 7.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.0-25.2). After adjustment for age and viral load at study entry, haplotype HLA-DRB1*0405-DQA1*0301-DQB1*0302 was significantly associated with persistent HPV18 infection (OR, 13.3; 95% CI, 1.7-105.9). HLA-DRB1*0403 allele was also associated with a significantly increased risk of high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion or cancer, showing a multivariate-adjusted hazard ratio (95% CI) of 18.1 (2.6-128.5). HLA-DRB1*0403 allele and HLA-DRB1*0405-DQA1*0301-DQB1*0302 haplotype may play important roles in determination of high viral load and persistent infection of HPV18 and subsequent cervical neoplasia risk.
    Cancer 06/2011; 118(1):223-31. · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Galectin-3 is a beta-galactoside-binding lectin which is involved in modulating inflammation and apoptosis. Elevated expression of galectin-3 has been demonstrated in synovium of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of our study is to investigate the genetic polymorphisms of galectin-3 in association with RA. Polymorphisms of galectin-3 gene (LGALS3) were compared between 151 RA patients and 182 healthy subjects in Taiwan. Variants at two LGALS3 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) sites (rs4644 and rs4652, corresponding to LAGLS3 +191 and +292) were genotyped by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and sequence-specific oligonucleotide probe hybridization, respectively. The allelic carriage of LGALS3 +292C was increased in patients with RA (66.9% in RA vs. 52.7% in controls, odds ratio=1.8, 95% confidence interval=1.2-2.8, p=0.009). These results implicate that the genetic polymorphisms in galectin-3 gene may contribute to development of RA.
    Clinical Rheumatology 04/2011; 30(9):1227-33. · 2.04 Impact Factor
  • Neuroscience Research - NEUROSCI RES. 01/2011; 71.
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    ABSTRACT: Since the high degree of heritability of physiological traits was demonstrated by twin and adoption studies, contemporary researchers in the fields of clinical medicine, behavioral science, and genetics have acknowledged the crucial role of genetic factors in human physiology. The study described herein explores the association between physiological parameters and the dopaminergic system using molecular genetic techniques. A total of 558 Taiwanese female volunteers, ranging from 16 to 17 years, were recruited. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in genes involved in the dopaminergic pathway were selected for analysis. Systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure were associated significantly with the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism and the dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH) C1021T polymorphism. Furthermore, plasma uric acid was associated significantly with the COMT Val158Met polymorphism. Our study suggests the possible involvement of genetic polymorphisms in COMT and DBH in the regulation of blood pressure and plasma uric acid.
    Journal of Neural Transmission 10/2010; 117(12):1371-6. · 3.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Improved treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) depends on the identification of new molecular markers that are able to predict treatment response and clinical outcome. The development of impaired apoptosis in leukemic cells is one factor that may influence their response to treatment. We investigated the expression of three apoptosis related genes, BCL2L13, CASP8AP2, and Livin, as well as their prognostic significance, in a retrospective study of 90 pediatric ALL patients diagnosed between 1996 and 2007 in Taiwan. Univariant analysis revealed that high expression of BCL2L13 was associated with inferior event-free survival and overall survival (p<0.001 and 0.005, respectively). Multivariate analysis for EFS and OS demonstrated that high expression of BCL2L13 was an independent prognostic factor for childhood ALL in this ethnic group.
    Leukemia research 01/2010; 34(1):18-23. · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a methylation enzyme that catalyzes the degradation pathway and inactivation of dopamine. It is accepted widely as being involved in the modulation of dopaminergic physiology and prefrontal cortex (PFC) function. The COMT Val158Met polymorphism is associated with variation in COMT activity. COMT 158Met allele may be advantageous for PFC-related cognitive abilities; however, it is also associated with increased anxiety, depression, and emotional vulnerability in response to stress or educational adversity. We hypothesized that the COMT polymorphism might be associated with academic performance. In this study, 779 Taiwanese tenth-grade volunteers were recruited. Scores from the Basic Competency Test (BCT), an annual national competitive entrance examination, were used to evaluate academic performance. The results indicated that students bearing homozygous for the Met allele tended to perform more poorly in all BCT subtests as compared to the other groups. In particular, the former performed significantly more poorly in the science and social science subtests. These findings provide evidence that affective factors might overwhelm cognitive abilities in high-stake tests like the BCT.
    Brain and Cognition 09/2009; 71(3):300-5. · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This retrospective study evaluates the role of pharmacogenomic determinants in the treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in the Taiwanese population. A total of 105 childhood ALL patients received combined chemotherapy of different intensities based on risk-directed Taiwan Pediatric Oncology Group (TPOG)-ALL-93 protocols. Seventeen genetic polymorphisms in 13 pharmacogenomic targets were analyzed by PCR-based restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and sequence-specific oligonucleotide (SSO) probe hybridization. Pharmacogenomic polymorphisms were correlated with event-free survival (EFS) of patients, with confounding effects adjusted by multivariate regression. Three polymorphic alleles in the multi-drug resistance 1 (MDR1) ABCB1 gene, and homozygotic MDR1 2677GG, 3435CC, and 2677G-3435C genotypes were highly associated with a significant reduction in EFS in those patients treated by the standard risk (SR) protocol (TPOG-ALL-93-SR). The hazard ratios were 6.8 (p = 0.01), 21.7 (p = 0.009), and 6.8 (p = 0.01), respectively. Independent pharmacogenomic determinants associated with treatment outcome were identified in subsets of Taiwanese ALL patients.
    Pediatric Blood & Cancer 09/2009; 54(2):206-11. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Milk fat globule-EGF factor 8 (MFG-E8) is a molecule implicated in phagocytic clearance of apoptotic cells by bridging between macrophages and apoptotic cells. Defects in MFG-E8 cause lupus-like disease in murine models. The aim of our study is to determine whether genetic variation in MFG-E8 predisposes human to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). A case-control study of MFG-E8 genetic polymorphism was performed on 147 SLE patients and 146 non-lupus control subjects. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the coding sequence of human MFG-E8 gene were investigated. SNPs on MFG-E8 residues 3 (3(Arg or Ser)) and 76 (76(Leu or Met)) did not show genetic linkage. Genetic polymorphism on MFG-E8 residue 76 correlated significantly to SLE. The MFG-E8-76(Met) allele predisposed subjects to SLE in a recessive mode (odds ratio: 2.1, P = 0.020), while carriage of MFG-E8-76(Leu) were negatively associated with SLE. The MFG-E8 genotypic combinations with 3(Ser) and 76(Leu) showed the most pronounced protective effect on SLE when compared to the most predisposing genotype 3(Arg/Arg)-76(Met/Met) (OR: 0.29, P = 0.007). According to our result, MFG-E8 is associated with SLE predisposition in Taiwanese. Our study implicates that the impairment of phagocytic clearance of apoptotic cells through phosphotidylserine-dependent MFG-E8 system may lead to the development of human SLE.
    Lupus 02/2009; 18(8):676-81. · 2.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II molecules are associated with host immune responses against hepatitis B virus infection. Male gender is the apparent host factor when someone encounters with the severity of hepatitis. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of the most polymorphic HLA class II allele, human leukocyte antigen-DRB1, with the severity of hepatitis in male carriers of hepatitis B virus. In this prospective cohort study, a total of 204 carriers of hepatitis B virus (131 men and 73 women) who have been followed-up for more than 1 year at the outpatient clinic of a university hospital were collected consecutively. Fifty carriers of hepatitis B virus (group I) with alanine aminotransferase <2x upper limit of normal (mean follow-up 83.6 months) were compared with 154 chronic hepatitis B patients (group II) with alanine aminotransferase >/=2x upper limit of normal (mean follow-up 81.3 months). Alleles of HLA-DRB1 were typed by the polymerase chain reaction-sequence specific oligonucleotide probe hybridization and genotypes of hepatitis B virus by melting curve analysis. HLA-DRB1*1101 was found in 18% of group I versus 8% of group II in male carriers (OR 0.23, P = 0.020, after adjustment for age) and 4% versus 9.4% in female carriers (P = 0.094). In male carriers harboring DRB1*1101, the distribution of hepatitis B viral genotype was comparable between the two groups. HLA-DRB1*1101 correlates with less severe hepatitis in Taiwanese male carriers of hepatitis B virus.
    Journal of Medical Virology 02/2009; 81(4):588-93. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Summary In July and August 1989, the automated differential cell count (ADCC) capability of the Sysmex NE-8000 was evaluated by a modified H20-T protocol, the standard for differential leucocyte counting (DLC) method published by the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCLS), USA. The ADCC of NE-8000 was compared with the manual reference method, using the Central Hematology Laboratory of the National Taiwan University Hospital as a venue. Of the total 493 blood samples analysed, 246 were from inpatients and 247, from outpatients. The NE-8000 system was found to be 4 to 4.5 times more precise than the 200-cell manual differential count in neutrophil, lymphocyte and eosinophil counts, and 1.5 to 2.5 times more precise in monocyte and basophil counts. According to our laboratory-defined criteria, the clinical sensitivity of NE-8000 was satisfactory with a sensitivity of 95.22%, a specificity of 83.71%, a false positive rate of 16.29%, a false negative rate of 4.78% and an efficacy of 95.10%. Correlation of the NE-8000 with the manual reference method was acceptable with correlation coefficients of 0.85 for neutrophils, 0.88 for lymphocytes, 0.97 for eosinophils, 0.62 for monocytes and 0.40 for basophils. The suspected interpretive messages given by the NE-8000 were good in flagging blasts and immature granulocytes only. In leucopenic specimens, the NE-8000 failed to flag morphological abnormalities in half of the cases. Traditional manual differential count of 100 or 200 leucocytes on stained smears also gave 2.3% false negative results on morphological anomalies. Generally speaking, it is practical to apply analysers which combine complete blood cell count and ADCC to deal with specimens without DLC abnormalities, and saving the manpower for those specimens with morphological abnormalities.
    Clinical & Laboratory Haematology 06/2008; 15(4):287 - 299. · 1.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is frequently associated with anti-SSA/Ro and anti-SSB/La autoantibodies. The objective of this study is to examine the prevalence of anti-SSA/Ro and anti-SSB/La autoantibodies in HCV-infected patients and their possible associations with HLA-DRB1 polymorphism in Chinese patients in Taiwan. About 288 HCV-infected patients were recruited for autoantibody detection and HLA-DRB1 typing. Anti-SSA/Ro and anti-SSB/La autoantibodies were detected in 12.8 and 9.7% of HCV-infected patients. Anti-SSA/Ro antibody was positively associated with age over 55 [p = 0.04; odds ratio = 2.17; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.03-4.57]. Anti-SSB/La antibody was negatively associated with HLA-DR2 carriage (p = 0.024; odds ratio = 0.30; 95% CI, 0.10-0.90). No significant correlation was found between autoantibody production and gender, autoimmune manifestation, presence of cirrhosis, or hepatocellular carcinoma in HCV infection. In conclusion, anti-SSA/Ro and anti-SSB/La antibodies present frequently in HCV-infected patients. Anti-SSB/La antibody is negatively associated with HLA-DR2 in HCV-infected patients in Taiwan.
    Clinical Rheumatology 04/2008; 27(3):365-8. · 2.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Decoy receptor 3 (DcR3/TR6) is a decoy receptor for the Fas ligand (FasL) and can inhibit FasL-induced apoptosis. It has been reported recently that DcR3 can induce T cell activation via co-stimulation of T cells, suggesting that DcR3 may be involved in the pathophysiology of autoimmune diseases. This study aims to analyse the serum DcR3 in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and to investigate the role of DcR3 in the pathogenesis of SLE. Significantly elevated serum DcR3 was observed in SLE patients, and the mean serum DcR3 level was significantly higher for those with active disease [SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI) >/= 10] compared with that in patients with inactive disease (SLEDAI < 10). In addition to reducing activation-induced cell death in activated T cells via neutralization of the FasL, soluble DcR3-Fc enhanced T cell proliferation and increased interleukin-2 and interferon-gamma production via co-stimulation of T cells. Moreover, enhanced T cell reactivity to DcR3-induced co-stimulation was demonstrated in lymphocytes from patients with SLE, suggesting the elevated serum DcR3 may associate with enhanced T cell activation in vivo. These findings are the first to demonstrate that serum DcR3 concentrations are increased in SLE patients, and this may imply a possible role of DcR3 in the pathogenesis of SLE via enhanced T cell hyperreactivity and reduced apoptosis in activated T cells.
    Clinical & Experimental Immunology 01/2008; 151(3):383-390. · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major human pathogen causing chronic liver disease, which leads to cirrhosis of liver and hepatocellular carcinoma. The HCV core protein, a viral nucleocapsid, has been shown to affect various intracellular events, including cell proliferation and apoptosis. However, the precise mechanisms of the effects are not fully understood. In this study, we show that HCV core protein sensitizes human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line, Huh7, conferred sensitivity to TRAIL-, but not Fas ligand-mediated apoptosis. Huh7 cells are resistant to TRAIL, despite the induction of caspase-8 after TRAIL engagement. However, HCV core protein induces TRAIL apoptosis signaling via sequential induction of caspase-8, Bid cleavage, activation of mitochondrial pathway, and effector caspase-3. HCV core protein also induces activation of caspase-9 after TRAIL engagement, and the induction of TRAIL sensitivity by HCV core protein could be reversed by caspase-9 inhibitor. Therefore, the HCV core protein-induced TRAIL-mediated apoptosis is dependent upon activation of caspase-8 downstream pathway to convey the death signal to mitochondria, leading to activation of mitochondrial signaling pathway and breaking the apoptosis resistance. These results combined indicate that the HCV core protein enhances TRAIL-, but not Fas ligand-mediated apoptotic cell death in Huh7 cells via a mechanism dependent on the activation of mitochondria apoptosis signaling pathway. These results suggest that HCV core protein may have a role in immune-mediated liver cell injury by modulation of TRAIL-induced apoptosis.
    The Journal of Immunology 03/2005; 174(4):2160-6. · 5.52 Impact Factor
  • Transplantation Proceedings 03/2003; 35(1):527-8. · 0.95 Impact Factor

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