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author:("Hu, xiaoming")
1.  Bmovo-1 Regulates Ovary Size in the Silkworm, Bombyx mori 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104928.
The regulation of antagonistic OVO isoforms is critical for germline formation and differentiation in Drosophila. However, little is known about genes related to ovary development. In this study, we cloned the Bombyx mori ovo gene and investigated its four alternatively spliced isoforms. BmOVO-1, BmOVO-2 and BmOVO-3 all had four C2H2 type zinc fingers, but differed at the N-terminal ends, while BmOVO-4 had a single zinc finger. Bmovo-1, Bmovo-2 and Bmovo-4 showed the highest levels of mRNA in ovaries, while Bmovo-3 was primarily expressed in testes. The mRNA expression pattern suggested that Bmovo expression was related to ovary development. RNAi and transgenic techniques were used to analyze the biological function of Bmovo. The results showed that when the Bmovo gene was downregulated, oviposition number decreased. Upregulation of Bmovo-1 in the gonads of transgenic silkworms increased oviposition number and elevated the trehalose contents of hemolymph and ovaries. We concluded that Bmovo-1 was involved in protein synthesis, contributing to the development of ovaries and oviposition number in silkworms.
PMCID: PMC4132112  PMID: 25119438
2.  Anti-Fibrotic Actions of Interleukin-10 against Hypertrophic Scarring by Activation of PI3K/AKT and STAT3 Signaling Pathways in Scar-Forming Fibroblasts 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e98228.
The hypertrophic scar (HS) is a serious fibrotic skin condition and a major clinical problem. Interleukin-10 (IL-10) has been identified as a prospective scar-improving compound based on preclinical trials. Our previous work showed that IL-10 has anti-fibrotic effects in transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1-stimulated fibroblasts, as well as potential therapeutic benefits for the prevention and reduction of scar formation. However, relatively little is known about the mechanisms underlying IL-10-mediated anti-fibrotic and scar-improvement actions.
To explore the expression of the IL-10 receptor in human HS tissue and primary HS fibroblasts (HSFs), and the molecular mechanisms contributing to the anti-fibrotic and scar-improvement capabilities of IL-10.
Expression of the IL-10 receptor was assessed in HS tissue and HSFs by immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence microscopy, and polymerase chain reaction analysis. Primary HSFs were treated with IL-10, a specific phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K) inhibitor (LY294002) or a function-blocking antibody against the IL-10 receptor (IL-10RB). Next, Western blot analysis was used to evaluate changes in the phosphorylation status of AKT and signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) 3, as well as the expression levels of fibrosis-related proteins.
HS tissue and primary HSFs were characterized by expression of the IL-10 receptor and by high expression of fibrotic markers relative to normal controls. Primary HSFs expressed the IL-10 receptor, while IL-10 induced AKT and STAT3 phosphorylation in these cells. In addition, LY294002 blocked AKT and STAT phosphorylation, and also up-regulated expression levels of type I and type III collagen (Col 1 and Col 3) and alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) in IL-10-treated cells. Similarly, IL-10RB reduced STAT3/AKT phosphorylation and blocked the IL-10-mediated mitigation of fibrosis in HSFs.
IL-10 apparently inhibits fibrosis by activating AKT and STAT3 phosphorylation downstream of the IL-10 receptor, and by facilitating crosstalk between the PI3K/AKT and STAT3 signal transduction pathways.
PMCID: PMC4039501  PMID: 24878845
3.  Molecular Cloning and Functional Characterization of the Dual Oxidase (BmDuox) Gene from the Silkworm Bombyx mori 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e70118.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) from nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidases and their related dual oxidases are known to have significant roles in innate immunity and cell proliferation. In this study, the 5,545 bp cDNA of the silkworm Bombyx mori dual oxidase (BmDuox) gene containing a full-length open reading frame was cloned. It was shown to include an N-terminal signal peptide consisting of 28 amino acid residues, a 240 bp 5′-terminal untranslated region (5′-UTR), an 802 bp 3′-terminal region (3′-UTR), which contains nine ATTTA motifs, and a 4,503 bp open reading frame encoding a polypeptide of 1,500 amino acid residues. Structural analysis indicated that BmDuox contains a typical peroxidase domain at the N-terminus followed by a calcium-binding domain, a ferric-reducing domain, six transmembrane regions and binding domains for flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). Transcriptional analysis revealed that BmDuox mRNA was expressed more highly in the head, testis and trachea compared to the midgut, hemocyte, Malpighian tube, ovary, fat bodies and silk glands. BmDuox mRNA was expressed during all the developmental stages of the silkworm. Subcellular localization revealed that BmDoux was present mainly in the periphery of the cells. Some cytoplasmic staining was detected, with rare signals in the nucleus. Expression of BmDuox was induced significantly in the larval midgut upon challenge by Escherichia coli and Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV). BmDuox-deleted larvae showed a marked increase in microbial proliferation in the midgut after ingestion of fluorescence-labeled bacteria compared to the control. We conclude that reducing BmDuox expression greatly increased the bacterial load, suggesting BmDuox has an important role in inhibiting microbial proliferation and the maintenance of homeostasis in the silkworm midgut.
PMCID: PMC3732266  PMID: 23936382
4.  A Study on BMPR-IB Genes of Bayanbulak Sheep 
The average twin lambing rate of Bayanbulak sheep is 2% to 3%. However, a flock of sheep with a close genetic relationship and an average of 2 to 3 lambs per birth has been found recently. To determine the major genes controlling the prolificacy of the flock in the present study, the flock was designated A while 100 normal Bayanbulak sheep were randomly selected to comprise the control flock B. Ligase detection reaction method was applied to detect and analyze the 10 mutational loci of the 3 candidate prolificacy genes including bone morphogenetic protein type I receptors, bone morphogenetic protein 15, and growth differentiation factor 9. The 10 mutational loci are as follows: FecB locus of the BMPR-IB gene; FecXI, FecXB, FecXL, FecXH, FecXG, and FecXR of the BMP15 gene; and G1, G8, and FecTT of the GDF9 gene. Two mutations including BMPR-IB/FecB and GDF9/G1 were found in Bayanbulak sheep. Independence test results of the two flocks demonstrate that the FecB locus has a significant effect on the lambing number of Bayanbulak sheep. However, the mutation frequency of the G1 locus in GDF9 is very low. Independence test results demonstrate that the GDF9 locus does not have a significant impact on the lambing performance of Bayanbulak sheep. Among the 10 detected loci, BMPR-IB/FecB is the major gene that influences the high lambing rate of Bayanbulak sheep.
PMCID: PMC4093051  PMID: 25049703
Bayanbulak Sheep; Fertility; BMPR-IB; GDF9; BMP15
5.  Role of Donor-Specific Regulatory T Cells in Long-Term Acceptance of Rat Hind Limb Allograft 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43825.
Vascularized bone marrow transplantation (VBMT) is widely accepted as an efficient means of establishing chimerism and inducing tolerance. However, the mechanism underlying is poorly understood. Recently, regulatory T cells (Tregs) have been shown to play an important role in regulating immune responses to allogeneic antigens. In this study, we explored the role of Tregs in the induction of tolerance in an allogeneic hind limb transplantation model.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Forty-eight Lewis rats were divided into 6 groups. They received isografts and allografts from Brown-Norway hind limbs. Recipients in groups 1 and 2 received isografts and those in the other groups received allografts. The bone components of donor limbs were kept intact in groups 1, 3, and 5 but removed before transplantation into groups 2, 4, and 6. Tapered cyclosporin A (CsA) was administered to recipients in groups 5 and 6 after transplantation. During the 100-day observation period, all isografts survived, but the allografts in groups 3 and 4 were rejected within 8 to 12 days. CsA-treated intact allografts survived rejection-free for more than 100 days, and CsA-treated allografts lacking bone elements were rejected within 2 months. Stable peripheral chimerism and myeloid chimerism were observed in group 5. Declining peripheral chimerism and a lack of myeloid chimerism were observed in group 6. Donor-specific Tregs were exclusively detected in both peripheral blood and in the spleens of long-term recipient rats in group 5, with an increased FoxP3 mRNA expression in the allografts. This was further demonstrated to be responsible for donor-specific hyporeactivity by in vitro one-way mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR).
Bone components in the allogeneic hind limbs can induce myeloid chimerism and donor-specific Tregs may be essential to tolerance induction. The bone-removal hind limb model may be a suitable counterpart to the induction of tolerance in the study of limb transplantation.
PMCID: PMC3430627  PMID: 22952774
6.  Activated Notch4 Inhibits Angiogenesis: Role of β1-Integrin Activation 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2002;22(8):2830-2841.
Notch4 is a member of the Notch family of transmembrane receptors that is expressed primarily on endothelial cells. Activation of Notch in various cell systems has been shown to regulate cell fate decisions. The sprouting of endothelial cells from microvessels, or angiogenesis, involves the modulation of the endothelial cell phenotype. Based on the function of other Notch family members and the expression pattern of Notch4, we postulated that Notch4 activation would modulate angiogenesis. Using an in vitro endothelial-sprouting assay, we show that expression of constitutively active Notch4 in human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1) inhibits endothelial sprouting. We also show that activated Notch4 inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced angiogenesis in the chick chorioallantoic membrane in vivo. Activated Notch4 does not inhibit HMEC-1 proliferation or migration through fibrinogen. However, migration through collagen is inhibited. Our data show that Notch4 cells exhibit increased β1-integrin-mediated adhesion to collagen. HMEC-1 expressing activated Notch4 do not have increased surface expression of β1-integrins. Rather, we demonstrate that Notch4-expressing cells display β1-integrin in an active, high-affinity conformation. Furthermore, using function-activating β1-integrin antibodies, we demonstrate that activation of β1-integrins is sufficient to inhibit VEGF-induced endothelial sprouting in vitro and angiogenesis in vivo. Our findings suggest that constitutive Notch4 activation in endothelial cells inhibits angiogenesis in part by promoting β1-integrin-mediated adhesion to the underlying matrix.
PMCID: PMC133705  PMID: 11909975

Results 1-6 (6)