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author:("Niu, xiaohei")
1.  Decreased serum glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin levels in patients with Chuvash polycythemia: a role for HIF in glucose metabolism 
In Chuvash polycythemia, a homozygous 598C>T mutation in the von Hippel-Lindau gene (VHL) leads to an R200W substitution in VHL protein, impaired degradation of α-subunits of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1 and HIF-2, and augmented hypoxic responses during normoxia. Chronic hypoxia of high altitude is associated with decreased serum glucose and insulin concentrations. Other investigators reported that HIF-1 promotes cellular glucose uptake by increased expression of GLUT1 and increased glycolysis by increased expression of enzymes such as PDK. On the other hand, inactivation of Vhl in murine liver leads to hypoglycemia associated with a HIF-2-related decrease in the expression of the gluconeogenic enzymes genes Pepck, G6pc, and Glut2. We therefore hypothesized that glucose concentrations are decreased in individuals with Chuvash polycythemia. We found that 88 Chuvash VHLR200W homozygotes had lower random glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin A1c levels than 52 Chuvash subjects with wildtype VHL alleles. Serum metabolomics revealed higher glycerol and citrate levels in the VHLR200W homozygotes. We expanded these observations in VHLR200W homozygote mice and found that they had lower fasting glucose values and lower glucose excursions than wild-type control mice but no change in fasting insulin concentrations. Hepatic expression of Glut2 and G6pc but not Pdk2 was decreased and skeletal muscle expression of Glut1, Pdk1 and Pdk4 was increased. These results suggest that both decreased hepatic gluconeogenesis and increased skeletal uptake and glycolysis contribute to the decreased glucose concentrations. Further study is needed to determine whether pharmacologically manipulating HIF expression might be beneficial for treatment of diabetic patients.
doi:10.1007/s00109-012-0961-5
PMCID: PMC3537876  PMID: 23015148
VHL; hypoxia inducible factors; glucose; insulin; glycolysis; gluconeogenesis
3.  HIV-1 Resistant CDK2-Knockdown Macrophage-Like Cells Generated from 293T Cell-Derived Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells  
Biology  2012;1(2):175-195.
A major challenge in studies of human diseases involving macrophages is low yield and heterogeneity of the primary cells and limited ability of these cells for transfections and genetic manipulations. To address this issue, we developed a simple and efficient three steps method for somatic 293T cells reprogramming into monocytes and macrophage-like cells. First, 293T cells were reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) through a transfection-mediated expression of two factors, Oct-4 and Sox2, resulting in a high yield of iPSC. Second, the obtained iPSC were differentiated into monocytes using IL-3 and M-CSF treatment. And third, monocytes were differentiated into macrophage-like cells in the presence of M-CSF. As an example, we developed HIV-1-resistant macrophage-like cells from 293T cells with knockdown of CDK2, a factor critical for HIV-1 transcription. Our study provides a proof-of-principle approach that can be used to study the role of host cell factors in HIV-1 infection of human macrophages.
doi:10.3390/biology1020175
PMCID: PMC3427948  PMID: 22934150
HIV-1 resistant macrophage-like cells; CDK2 knockdown; iPSC
4.  HIV-1 Resistant CDK2-Knockdown Macrophage-Like Cells Generated from 293T Cell-Derived Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells 
Biology : open access journal  2012;1(2):175-195.
A major challenge in studies of human diseases involving macrophages is low yield and heterogeneity of the primary cells and limited ability of these cells for transfections and genetic manipulations. To address this issue, we developed a simple and efficient three steps method for somatic 293T cells reprogramming into monocytes and macrophage-like cells. First, 293T cells were reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) through a transfection-mediated expression of two factors, Oct-4 and Sox2, resulting in a high yield of iPSC. Second, the obtained iPSC were differentiated into monocytes using IL-3 and M-CSF treatment. And third, monocytes were differentiated into macrophage-like cells in the presence of M-CSF. As an example, we developed HIV-1-resistant macrophage-like cells from 293T cells with knockdown of CDK2, a factor critical for HIV-1 transcription. Our study provides a proof-of-principle approach that can be used to study the role of host cell factors in HIV-1 infection of human macrophages.
doi:10.3390/biology1020175
PMCID: PMC3427948  PMID: 22934150
HIV-1 resistant macrophage-like cells; CDK2 knockdown; iPSC
5.  Altered cytokine profiles in patients with Chuvash polycythemia 
American journal of hematology  2009;84(2):74-78.
Chuvash polycythemia results from a homozygous 598C>T mutation in exon 3 of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene. This disrupts the normoxia pathway for degrading hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1α and HIF-2α causing altered expression of HIF-1 and HIF-2 inducible genes. As hypoxia induces expression of proinflammatory cytokines, we hypothesized that there might be an elevation of Th1 cytokines in the setting of Chuvash polycythemia. We analyzed plasma concentrations of Th1 (interleukins-2 and 12, interferon-γ, granulocyte-monocyte colony-stimulating factor, tumor necrosis factor-α) and Th2 cytokines (interleukins-4, 5, 10, and 13) using the Bio-Plex multiplex suspension array system in 34 VHL598C>T homozygotes and 32 VHL wild-type participants from Chuvashia. Concentrations of all the Th1 and Th2 cytokines measured were elevated in the VHL598C>T homozygotes compared with the control wild-type participants, but the ratios of Th1 to Th2 cytokines did not differ by genotype. In parallel, peripheral blood concentrations of CD4 positive T-helper cells and CD4/CD8 ratio were lower in the VHL598C>T homozygotes. In conclusion, the up-regulated hypoxic response in Chuvash polycythemia is associated with increased plasma products of both the Th1 and Th2 pathways, but the balance between the two pathways seems to be preserved.
doi:10.1002/ajh.21327
PMCID: PMC2857756  PMID: 19062180
6.  Elevated homocysteine, glutathione and cysteinylglycine concentrations in patients homozygous for the Chuvash polycythemia VHL mutation 
Haematologica  2008;93(2):279-282.
In Chuvash polycythemia, homozygous von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) 598C>T leads to increased hypoxia inducible factor-1α and 2α, thromboses and lower systemic blood pressures. Circulating homocysteine, glutathione, γ-glutamyltransferase and cysteinylglycine concentrations were higher in 34 VHL598C>T homozygotes than in 37 normal controls and cysteine was lower. Multivariate analysis showed elevated homocysteine independently associated with higher mean systemic blood pressures and elevated glutathione was associated with lower pressures to a similar degree. Among VHL598C>T homozygotes, homocysteine was elevated with low and normal folate concentrations, consistent with a possible defect in the remethylation pathway. The elevated glutathione and γ-glutamyltranserase levels correlated positively with cysteinylglycine, consistent with possible upregulation of a glutathione synthetic enzyme and γ-glutamyltransferase. Cysteinylglycine correlated inversely with cysteine, consistent with possible reduced cysteinyldipeptidase activity. We conclude that up-regulated hypoxia-sensing may influence multiple steps in thiol metabolism. The effects of the resultant elevated levels of homocysteine and glutathione on systemic blood pressure may largely balance each other out.
doi:10.3324/haematol.11851
PMCID: PMC2852873  PMID: 18223282
VHL; polycythemia; homocysteine; folate; glutathione
7.  Angiogenic and Inflammatory Markers of Cardiopulmonary Changes in Children and Adolescents with Sickle Cell Disease 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(11):e7956.
Background
Pulmonary hypertension and left ventricular diastolic dysfunction are complications of sickle cell disease. Pulmonary hypertension is associated with hemolysis and hypoxia, but other unidentified factors are likely involved in pathogenesis as well.
Design and Methods
Plasma concentrations of three angiogenic markers (fibroblast growth factor, platelet derived growth factor–BB [PDGF-BB], vascular endothelial growth factor [VEGF]) and seven inflammatory markers implicated in pulmonary hypertension in other settings were determined by Bio-Plex suspension array in 237 children and adolescents with sickle cell disease at steady state and 43 controls. Tricuspid regurgitation velocity (which reflects systolic pulmonary artery pressure), mitral valve E/Edti ratio (which reflects left ventricular diastolic dysfunction), and a hemolytic component derived from four markers of hemolysis and hemoglobin oxygen saturation were also determined.
Results
Plasma concentrations of interleukin-8, interleukin-10 and VEGF were elevated in the patients with sickle cell disease compared to controls (P≤0.003). By logistic regression, greater values for PDGF-BB (P = 0.009), interleukin-6 (P = 0.019) and the hemolytic component (P = 0.026) were independently associated with increased odds of elevated tricuspid regurgitation velocity while higher VEGF concentrations were associated with decreased odds (P = 0.005) among the patients with sickle cell disease. These findings, which are consistent with reports that PDGF-BB stimulates and VEGF inhibits vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation, did not apply to E/Etdi.
Conclusions
Circulating concentrations of angiogenic and pro-Inflammatory markers are altered in sickle cell disease children and adolescents with elevated tricuspid regurgitation velocity, a subgroup that may be at risk for developing worsening pulmonary hypertension. Further studies to understand the molecular changes in these children are indicated.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007956
PMCID: PMC2776981  PMID: 19956689
8.  Regulation of HIV-1 Transcription at 3% Versus 21% Oxygen Concentration 
Journal of cellular physiology  2009;221(2):469-479.
HIV transcription is induced by the HIV-1 Tat protein, in concert with cellular co-factors including CDK9, CDK2, NF-κB, and others. The cells of most of the body’s organs are exposed to ~3–6% oxygen, but most in vitro studies of HIV replication are conducted at 21% oxygen. We hypothesized that activities of host cell factors involved in HIV-1 replication may differ at 3% versus 21% O2, and that such differences may affect HIV-1 replication. Here we show that Tat-induced HIV-1 transcription was reduced at 3% O2 compared to 21% O2. HIV-1 replication was also reduced in acutely or chronically infected cells cultured at 3% O2 compared to 21% O2. This reduction was not due the decreased cell growth or increased cellular toxicity and also not due to the induction of hypoxic response. At 3% O2, the activity of CDK9/cyclin T1 was inhibited and Sp1 activity was reduced, whereas the activity of other host cell factors such as CDK2 or NF-κB was not affected. CDK9-specific inhibitor ARC was much less efficient at 3% compared to 21% O2 and also expression of CDK9/cyclin T1-dependent IκB inhibitor α was repressed. Our results suggest that lower HIV-1 transcription at 3% O2 compared to 21% O2 may be mediated by lower activity of CDK9/cyclin T1 and Sp1 at 3% O2 and that additional host cell factors such as CDK2 and NF-κB might be major regulators of HIV-1 transcription at low O2 concentrations.
doi:10.1002/jcp.21882
PMCID: PMC2778305  PMID: 19626680
9.  Iron Chelators ICL670 and 311 Inhibit HIV-1 Transcription 
Virology  2007;367(2):324-333.
HIV-1 replication is induced by the excess of iron and iron chelation by desferrioxamine (DFO) inhibits viral replication by reducing proliferation of infected cells. Treatment of the cells with DFO and 2-hydroxy-1-naphthylaldehyde isonicotinoyl hydrazone (311) inhibit expression of proteins that regulate cell-cycle progression, including cycle-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2). Our recent studies showed that CDK2 participates in HIV-1 transcription and viral replication suggesting that inhibition of CDK2 by iron chelators might also affect HIV-1 transcription. Here we evaluated the effect of a clinically approved orally effective iron chelator, 4-[3,5-bis-(hydroxyphenyl) -1,2,4-triazol-1-yl]-benzoic acid (ICL670) and 311 on HIV-1 transcription. Both ICL670 and 311 inhibited Tat–induced HIV-1 transcription in CEM-T cells, 293T and HeLa cells. Neither ICL670 nor 311 induced cytotoxicity at concentrations that inhibited HIV-1 transcription. The chelators decreased cellular activity of CDK2 and reduced HIV-1 Tat phosphorylation by CDK2. The ICL670 and 311 did not decrease CDK9 protein level but significantly reduced association of CDK9 with cyclin T1 and reduced phosphorylation of Ser-2 residues of RNA polymerase II C-terminal domain. In conclusion, our findings add to the evidence that iron chelators can inhibit HIV-1 transcription by deregulating inhibiting CDK2 and CDK9. Further consideration should be given to the development of iron chelators for future anti-retroviral therapeutics.
doi:10.1016/j.virol.2007.06.011
PMCID: PMC2077891  PMID: 17631934
HIV-1; desferrioxamine (DFO); 2-hydroxy-1-naphthylaldehyde isonicotinoyl hydrazone (311); 4-[3,5-bis-(hydroxyphenyl) -1,2, 4-triazol-1-yl]-benzoic acid (ICL670); transcription; CDK2; CDK9
10.  Role of mTOR signaling in intestinal cell migration 
An early signaling event activated by amino acids and growth factors in many cell types is the phosphorylation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR; FRAP), which is functionally linked to ribosomal protein s6 kinase (p70s6k), a kinase that plays a critical regulatory role in the translation of mRNAs and protein synthesis. We previously showed that intestinal cell migration, the initial event in epithelial restitution, is enhanced by l-arginine (ARG). In this study, we used amino acids as prototypic activators of mTOR and ARG, IGF-1, or serum as recognized stimulators of intestinal cell migration. We found that 1) protein synthesis is required for intestinal cell migration, 2) mTOR/p70s6k pathway inhibitors (rapamycin, wortmannin, and intracellular Ca2+ chelation) inhibit cell migration, 3) ARG activates migration and mTOR/p70s6k (but not ERK-2) in migrating enterocytes, and 4) immunocytochemistry reveals abundant p70s6k staining in cytoplasm, whereas phosphop70s6k is virtually all intranuclear in resting cells but redistributes to the periphery on activation by ARG. We conclude that mTOR/p70s6k signaling is essential to intestinal cell migration, is activated by ARG, involves both nuclear and cytoplasmic events, and may play a role in intestinal repair.
doi:10.1152/ajpgi.00189.2005
PMCID: PMC1778840  PMID: 16710051
insulin-like growth factor-1; arginine; p70 s6 kinase; extracellular signal-regulated kinase-2; rapamycin

Results 1-10 (10)