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Open access

Yang Lv, Ning Pu, Wei-lin Mao, Wen-qi Chen, Huan-yu Wang, Xu Han, Yuan Ji, Lei Zhang, Da-yong Jin, Wen-Hui Lou, and Xue-feng Xu

Aim

We aim to investigate the clinical characteristics of the rectal NECs and the prognosis-related factors and construct a nomogram for prognosis prediction.

Methods

The data of 41 patients and 1028 patients with rectal NEC were retrieved respectively from our institution and SEER database. OS or PFS was defined as the major study outcome. Variables were compared by chi-square test and t-test when appropriate. Kaplan–Meier analysis with log-rank test was used for survival analysis and the Cox regression analysis was applied. The nomogram integrating risk factors for predicting OS was constructed by R to achieve superior discriminatory ability. Predictive utility of the nomogram was determined by concordance index (C-index) and calibration curve.

Results

In the univariate and multivariate analyses, tumor differentiation, N stage, M stage and resection of primary site were identified as independent prognostic indicators. The linear regression relationship was found between the value of Ki-67 index and the duration of OS (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the independent prognostic factors were added to formulate prognostic nomogram. The constructed nomogram showed good performance according to the C-index.

Conclusions

Contrary to WHO classification guideline, we found that the rectal NEC diseases are heterogeneous and should be divided as different categories according to the pathological differentiation. Besides, the nomogram formulated in this study showed excellent discriminative capability to predict OS for those patients. More advanced predictive model for this disease is required to assist risk stratification via the formulated nomogram.

Open access

Jintao Hu, Qingbo Chen, Xiao Ding, Xin Zheng, Xuefeng Tang, Song Li, and Hui Yang

Objective

Many cancer cells cannot survive without exogenous glutamine (Gln); however, cancer cells expressing glutamine synthetase (GS) do not have this restriction. Previous metabolomics studies have indicated that glutamine metabolism is altered during pituitary tumorigenesis. However, the main role of Gln in pituitary adenoma (PA) pathophysiology remains unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of GS and the main role of Gln in human PAs.

Methods

We used cell proliferation assay and flow cytometry to assess the effect of Gln depletion on three different pituitary cell lines and human primary PA cells. We then investigated the expression level of Gln synthetase (GS) in 24 human PA samples. At last, we used LC-MS/MS to identify the differences in metabolites of PA cells after the blockage of both endogenous and exogenous Gln.

Results

PA cell lines showed different sensitivities to Gln starvation, and the sensitivity is correlated with GS expression level. GS expressed in 21 out of the 24 human PA samples. Furthermore, a positive p53 and ki-67 index was correlated with a higher GS expression level (P < 0.05). Removal of both endogenous and exogenous Gln from GS-expressing PA cells resulted in blockage of nucleotide metabolism and cell cycle arrest.

Conclusions

Our data indicate that GS is needed for PA cells to undergo proliferation during Gln deprivation, and most human PA cells express GS and might have a negative response to exogenous Gln depletion. Moreover, Gln is mainly responsible for nucleotide metabolism in the proliferation of GS-expressing pituitary tumor cells.

Open access

Peng Fan, Chao-Xia Lu, Di Zhang, Kun-Qi Yang, Pei-Pei Lu, Ying Zhang, Xu Meng, Su-Fang Hao, Fang Luo, Ya-Xin Liu, Hui-Min Zhang, Lei Song, Jun Cai, Xue Zhang, and Xian-Liang Zhou

Liddle syndrome (LS), a monogenetic autosomal dominant disorder, is mainly characterized by early-onset hypertension and hypokalemia. Clinically, misdiagnosis or missing diagnosis is common, since clinical phenotypes of LS are variable and nonspecific. We report a family with misdiagnosis of primary aldosteronism (PA), but identify as LS with a pathogenic frameshift mutation of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) β subunit. DNA samples were collected from a 32-year-old proband and 31 other relatives in the same family. A designed panel including 41 genes associated with monogenic hypertension was screened using next-generation sequencing. The best candidate disease-causing variants were verified by Sanger sequencing. Genetic analysis of the proband revealed a novel frameshift mutation c.1838delC (p.Pro613Glnfs*675) in exon 13 of SCNN1B. This heterozygous mutation involved the deletion of a cytosine from a string of three consecutive cytosines located at codons 612 to 613 and resulted in deletion of the crucial PY motif and elongation of the β-ENaC protein. The identical mutation was also found in 12 affected family members. Amiloride was effective in alleviating LS for patients. There were no SCNN1A or SCNN1G mutations in this family. Our study emphasizes the importance of considering LS in the differential diagnosis of early-onset hypertension. The identification of a novel frameshift mutation of SCNN1B enriches the genetic spectrum of LS and has allowed treatment of this affected family to prevent severe complications.