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1.  Association of BANK1 and TNFSF4 with systemic lupus erythematosus in Hong Kong Chinese 
Genes and Immunity  2009;10(5):414-420.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a prototypic autoimmune disease with complex genetic inheritance. Recently, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in BANK1 and TNFSF4 have been shown to be associated with SLE in Caucasian populations, but it is not known whether they are also involved in the disease in other ethnic groups. Recent data from our genome-wide association study (GWAS) for 314 SLE cases and 920 controls collected in Hong Kong identified SNPs in and around BANK1 and TNFSF4 to be associated with SLE risk. On the basis of the results of the reported studies and our GWAS, SNPs were selected for further genotyping in 949 SLE patients (overlapping with the 314 cases in our GWAS) and non-overlapping 1042 healthy controls. We confirmed the associations of BANK1 and TNFSF4 with SLE in Chinese (BANK1, rs3733197, odds ratio (OR)=0.84, P=0.021; BANK1, rs17266594, OR=0.61, P=4.67 × 10−9; TNFSF4, rs844648, OR=1.22, P=2.47 × 10−3; TNFSF4, rs2205960, OR=1.30, P=2.41 × 10−4). Another SNP located in intron 1 of BANK1, rs4522865, was separately replicated by Sequenom in 360 cases and 360 controls and was also confirmed to be associated with SLE (OR=0.725, P=2.93 × 10−3). Logistic regression analysis showed that rs3733197 (A383T in ankyrin domain) and rs17266594 (a branch point-site SNP) from BANK1 had independent contributions towards the disease association (P=0.037 and 6.63 × 10−8, respectively). In TNFSF4, rs2205960 was associated with SLE independently from the effect of rs844648 (P=6.26 × 10−3), but not vice versa (P=0.55). These findings suggest that multiple independent genetic variants may be present within the gene locus, which exert their effects on SLE pathogenesis through different mechanisms.
doi:10.1038/gene.2009.16
PMCID: PMC2834352  PMID: 19357697
SLE; BANK1; TNFSF4; Chinese; genetic association
2.  Recovery and characterization of poly(3-hydroxybutyric acid) synthesized in Alcaligenes eutrophus and recombinant Escherichia coli. 
We studied recovery of poly(3-hydroxybutyric acid) (PHB) from Alcaligenes eutrophus and a recombinant Escherichia coli strain harboring the A. eutrophus poly(3-hydroxyalkanoic acid) biosynthesis genes. The amount of PHB degraded to a lower-molecular-weight compound in A. eutrophus during the recovery process was significant when sodium hypochlorite was used, but the amount degraded in the recombinant E. coli strain was negligible. However, there was no difference between the two microorganisms in the patterns of molecular weight change when PHB was recovered by using dispersions of a sodium hypochlorite solution and chloroform. To understand these findings, we examined purified PHB and lyophilized cells containing PHB by using a differential scanning calorimeter, a thermogravimetric analyzer, and nuclear magnetic resonance. The results of our analysis of lyophilized whole cells containing PHB with the differential scanning calorimeter suggested that the PHB granules in the recombinant E. coli strain were crystalline, while most of the PHB in A. eutrophus was in a mobile amorphous state. The stability of the native PHB in the recombinant E. coli strain during sodium hypochlorite treatment seemed to be due to its crystalline morphology. In addition, as determined by the thermogravimetric analyzer study, lyophilized cell powder of the recombinant E. coli strain containing PHB exhibited greater thermal stability than purified PHB obtained by chloroform extraction. The PHB preparations extracted from the two microorganisms had identical polymer properties.
PMCID: PMC167258  PMID: 7887612

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