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2.  Nrf2 is essential for the expression of lipocalin–prostaglandin D synthase induced by prostaglandin D2 
Free radical biology & medicine  2013;65:1134-1142.
Nrf2 is a transcription factor that protects against inflammatory diseases, but the underlying mechanism of this effect remains unclear. Here, we report that Nrf2 uses lipocalin–prostaglandin D synthase (L-PGDS) as a mechanism for suppressing inflammation. Exogenously added prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) induced L-PGDS expression in bone-marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs), suggesting a positive feedback loop between L-PGDS expression and PGD2. Unlike lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced L-PGDS expression, PGD2-mediated expression was independent of MAPK, PU.1, or TLR4. Sequence analysis located a putative Nrf2 binding site in the murine L-PGDS promoter, to which Nrf2 bound when treated with PGD2. Chemical activation, or overexpression, of Nrf2 was sufficient to induce L-PGDS expression in macrophages, BMDMs, or lungs of Nrf2-knockout (KO) mice, but treatment with PGD2 failed to do so, suggesting a pivotal role for Nrf2 in the expression of L-PGDS. Consistent with this, expression of Nrf2 in the lungs of Nrf2-KO mice was sufficient to induce the expression of L-PGDS and to reduce neutrophilic lung inflammation elicited by LPS. Furthermore, expression of L-PGDS in mouse lungs decreased neutrophilic infiltration, ameliorating lung inflammation in mice. Together, our results show that Nrf2, activated by PGD2, induced L-PGDS expression, resulting in decreased inflammation. We suggest that the positive feedback induction of L-PGDS by PGD2 is part of the mechanism by which Nrf2 regulates inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3972891  PMID: 24029383
Nrf2; Lung inflammation; Lipocalin-prostaglandin D synthase; Prostaglandin D2; Gene expression; Free radicals
3.  Krüppel Like Factor 4 Promoter Undergoes Active Demethylation during Monocyte/Macrophage Differentiation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e93362.
The role of different lineage specific transcription factors in directing hematopoietic cell fate towards myeloid lineage is well established but the status of epigenetic modifications has not been defined during this important developmental process. We used non proliferating, PU.1 inducible myeloid progenitor cells and differentiating bone marrow derived macrophages to study the PU.1 dependent KLF4 transcriptional regulation and its promoter demethylation during monocyte/macrophage differentiation. Expression of KLF4 was regulated by active demethylation of its promoter and PU.1 specifically bound to KLF4 promoter oligo harboring the PU.1 consensus sequence. Methylation specific quantitative PCR and Bisulfite sequencing indicated demethylation of CpG residues most proximal to the transcription start site of KLF4 promoter. Cloned KLF4 promoter in pGL3 Luciferase and CpG free pcpgf-bas vectors showed accentuated reporter activity when co-transfected with the PU.1 expression vector. In vitro methylation of both KLF4 promoter oligo and cloned KLF4 promoter vectors showed attenuated in vitro DNA binding activity and Luciferase/mouse Alkaline phosphotase reporter activity indicating the negative influence of KLF4 promoter methylation on PU.1 binding. The Cytosine deaminase, Activation Induced Cytidine Deaminase (AICDA) was found to be critical for KLF4 promoter demethylation. More importantly, knock down of AICDA resulted in blockade of KLF4 promoter demethylation, decreased F4/80 expression and other phenotypic characters of macrophage differentiation. Our data proves that AICDA mediated active demethylation of the KLF4 promoter is necessary for transcriptional regulation of KLF4 by PU.1 during monocyte/macrophage differentiation.
PMCID: PMC3973678  PMID: 24695324
4.  GLYX-13, a NMDA Receptor Glycine-Site Functional Partial Agonist, Induces Antidepressant-Like Effects Without Ketamine-Like Side Effects 
Neuropsychopharmacology  2013;38(5):729-742.
Recent human clinical studies with the NMDA receptor (NMDAR) antagonist ketamine have revealed profound and long-lasting antidepressant effects with rapid onset in several clinical trials, but antidepressant effects were preceded by dissociative side effects. Here we show that GLYX-13, a novel NMDAR glycine-site functional partial agonist, produces an antidepressant-like effect in the Porsolt, novelty induced hypophagia, and learned helplessness tests in rats without exhibiting substance abuse-related, gating, and sedative side effects of ketamine in the drug discrimination, conditioned place preference, pre-pulse inhibition and open-field tests. Like ketamine, the GLYX-13-induced antidepressant-like effects required AMPA/kainate receptor activation, as evidenced by the ability of NBQX to abolish the antidepressant-like effect. Both GLYX-13 and ketamine persistently (24 h) enhanced the induction of long-term potentiation of synaptic transmission and the magnitude of NMDAR-NR2B conductance at rat Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses in vitro. Cell surface biotinylation studies showed that both GLYX-13 and ketamine led to increases in both NR2B and GluR1 protein levels, as measured by Western analysis, whereas no changes were seen in mRNA expression (microarray and qRT-PCR). GLYX-13, unlike ketamine, produced its antidepressant-like effect when injected directly into the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). These results suggest that GLYX-13 produces an antidepressant-like effect without the side effects seen with ketamine at least in part by directly modulating NR2B-containing NMDARs in the MPFC. Furthermore, the enhancement of ‘metaplasticity' by both GLYX-13 and ketamine may help explain the long-lasting antidepressant effects of these NMDAR modulators. GLYX-13 is currently in a Phase II clinical development program for treatment-resistant depression.
PMCID: PMC3671991  PMID: 23303054
Depression; Unipolar/Bipolar; Animal models; Glutamate; Psychopharmacology; GLYX-13; NMDA receptor; GLYX-13; ketamine; depression; medial prefrontal cortex
5.  PKCε Increases Phosphorylation of the Cardiac Myosin Binding Protein C at Serine 302 both in Vitro and in Vivo† 
Biochemistry  2007;46(23):7054-7061.
Cardiac myosin binding protein C (cMyBPC) phosphorylation is essential for normal cardiac function. Although PKC was reported to phosphorylate cMyBPC in vitro, the relevant PKC isoforms and functions of PKC-mediated cMyBPC phosphorylation are unknown. We recently reported that a transgenic mouse model with cardiac-specific overexpression of PKCε (PKCε TG) displayed enhanced sarcomeric protein phosphorylation and dilated cardiomyopathy. In the present study, we have investigated cMyBPC phosphorylation in PKCε TG mice. Western blotting and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis demonstrated a significant increase in cMyBPC serine (Ser) phosphorylation in 12-month-old TG mice compared to wild type (WT). In vitro PKCε treatment of myofibrils increased the level of cMyBPC Ser phosphorylation in WT mice to that in TG mice, whereas treatment of TG myofibrils with PKCε showed only a minimal increase in cMyBPC Ser phosphorylation. Three peptide motifs of cMyBPC were identified as the potential PKCε consensus sites including a 100% matched motif at Ser302 and two nearly matched motifs at Ser811 and Ser1203. We treated synthetic peptides corresponding to the sequences of these three motifs with PKCε and determined phosphorylation by mass spectrometry and ELISA assay. PKCε induced phosphorylation at the Ser302 site but not at the Ser811 or Ser1203 sites. A S302A point mutation in the Ser302 peptide abolished the PKCε-dependent phosphorylation. Taken together, our data show that the Ser302 on mouse cMyBPC is a likely PKCε phosphorylation site both in vivo and in vitro and may contribute to the dilated cardiomyopathy associated with increased PKCε activity.
PMCID: PMC3969456  PMID: 17503784
6.  Role of presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors in the induction of long-term synaptic plasticity of vesicular release 
Neuropharmacology  2012;66:31-39.
While postsynaptic ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors have received the lions share of attention in studies of long-term activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, it is becoming clear that presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors play critical roles in both short-term and long-term plasticity of vesicular transmitter release, and that they act both at the level of voltage-dependent calcium channels and directly on proteins of the vesicular release machinery. Activation of G protein-coupled receptors can transiently inhibit vesicular release through the release of Gβγ which binds to both voltage-dependent calcium channels to reduce calcium influx, and directly to the C-terminus region of the SNARE protein SNAP-25. Our recent work has revealed that the binding of Gβγ to SNAP-25 is necessary, but not sufficient, to elicit long-term depression (LTD) of vesicular glutamate release, and that the concomitant release of Gαi and the second messenger nitric oxide are also necessary steps in the presynaptic LTD cascade. Here, we review the current state of knowledge of the molecular steps mediating short-term and long-term plasticity of vesicular release at glutamatergic synapses, and the many gaps that remain to be addressed.
PMCID: PMC3432151  PMID: 22626985
Group II metabotropic glutamate receptors; G protein-coupled receptors; Giα; Gβγ; long-term synaptic depression; SNAP-25; SNARE protein; synaptic plasticity; vesicular release
7.  Essential Role for Synaptopodin in Dendritic Spine Plasticity of the Developing Hippocampus 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2013;33(30):12510-12518.
Dendritic spines are a major substrate of brain plasticity. Although many studies have focused on Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII)-mediated regulation of spine dynamics and synaptic function in adult brain, much less is know about protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent regulation of spine shape dynamics during postnatal brain development. Synaptopodin is a dendritic spine associated modulator of actin dynamics and a substrate of PKA. Here we show that NMDA and cAMP-induced dendritic spine expansion is impaired in hippocampal slices from 15- and 21-d-old synaptopodin-deficient mice. We further show that synaptopodin is required for full expression of PKA-dependent hippocampal long-term potentiation in 15- and 21-d-old, but not adult, mice. PKA-induced cAMP response element-binding phosphorylation is normal in the hippocampus of synaptopodin-deficient mice, suggesting that synaptopodin functions independently of cAMP response element-binding. Our results identify synaptopodin as a substrate of PKA in hippocampal neurons and point to an essential role for synaptopodin in activity-dependent regulation of dendritic spine dynamics and synaptic plasticity in postnatal brain development.
PMCID: PMC3721850  PMID: 23884954
8.  Electrostatic Induced Stretch Growth of Homogeneous β-Ni(OH)2 on Graphene with Enhanced High-Rate Cycling for Supercapacitors 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:3669.
Supercapacitors, as one of alternative energy devices, have been characterized by the rapid rate of charging and discharging, and high power density. But they are now challenged to achieve their potential energy density that is related to specific capacitance. Thus it is extremely important to make such materials with high specific capacitances. In this report, we have gained homogenous Ni(OH)2 on graphene by efficiently using of a facile and effective electrostatic induced stretch growth method. The electrostatic interaction triggers advantageous change in morphology and the ordered stacking of Ni(OH)2 nanosheets on graphene also enhances the crystallization of Ni(OH)2. When the as-prepared Ni(OH)2/graphene composite is applied to supercapacitors, they show superior electrochemical properties including high specific capacitance (1503 F g−1 at 2 mV s−1) and excellent cycling stability up to 6000 cycles even at a high scan rate of 50 mV s−1.
PMCID: PMC3888982  PMID: 24413283
9.  Management of hangman’s fracture with percutaneous transpedicular screw fixation 
European Spine Journal  2012;22(1):79-86.
This study describes a percutaneous technique for C2 transpedicular screw fixation and evaluates its safety and efficacy in the treatment of patients with hangman’s fracture.
Ten patients with hangman’s fracture were treated by percutaneous C2 transpedicular screw fixation. There are six males and four females, who were, based on the classification of Levine and Edwards, sorted as follows: type I fracture, three cases; type II, five cases; type IIa, two cases. The causes of injury were road traffic accident in six patients and falling injury in four patients. Other associated lesions included rib fractures (7 patients), head injuries (4 patients), and fractures of extremities (6 patients).
The new technique was performed successfully in all cases. The average operation time was 98 min (range 60–130 min) and the estimated blood loss was 25 ml (range 15–40 ml). No complications such as vascular or neural structures injuries were found intraoperatively. Postoperative CT scans demonstrated that 17 (85 %) of 20 screws were placed satisfactorily, and 3 (15 %) screws showed perforations of the pedicle wall (<2 mm). These patients were asymptomatic and no further intervention was required postoperatively. After 8–25 months follow-up (mean 15.3 months), solid fusion was demonstrated by computed tomography. All cases got well-sagittal alignment and no angulation or dislocation was found at the segment of C2–C3. There was no loss of fixation. Clinical examination showed a full range of motion in the neck in all patients.
The fluoroscopically assisted percutaneous C2 transpedicular screw fixation method is a technically feasible and minimally invasive technique for hangman’s fracture.
PMCID: PMC3540295  PMID: 23161420
Hangman’s fracture; Transpedicular screw; Percutaneous; Minimal invasive; Cervical spine
11.  Analyzing Kernel Matrices for the Identification of Differentially Expressed Genes 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e81683.
One of the most important applications of microarray data is the class prediction of biological samples. For this purpose, statistical tests have often been applied to identify the differentially expressed genes (DEGs), followed by the employment of the state-of-the-art learning machines including the Support Vector Machines (SVM) in particular. The SVM is a typical sample-based classifier whose performance comes down to how discriminant samples are. However, DEGs identified by statistical tests are not guaranteed to result in a training dataset composed of discriminant samples. To tackle this problem, a novel gene ranking method namely the Kernel Matrix Gene Selection (KMGS) is proposed. The rationale of the method, which roots in the fundamental ideas of the SVM algorithm, is described. The notion of ''the separability of a sample'' which is estimated by performing -like statistics on each column of the kernel matrix, is first introduced. The separability of a classification problem is then measured, from which the significance of a specific gene is deduced. Also described is a method of Kernel Matrix Sequential Forward Selection (KMSFS) which shares the KMGS method's essential ideas but proceeds in a greedy manner. On three public microarray datasets, our proposed algorithms achieved noticeably competitive performance in terms of the B.632+ error rate.
PMCID: PMC3857896  PMID: 24349110
12.  Expression and prognostic significance of Golgiglycoprotein73 (GP73) with Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) related molecules in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) 
Diagnostic Pathology  2013;8:197.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common cancer and the third cause of cancer-related deaths, worldwide. It is essential to develop an effective prognostic biomarker and determine the mechanisms underlying HCC invasion and metastasis.
This study aimed to investigate the expression of Golgi glycoprotein73 (GP73) and Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) molecules such as E-cadherin and Vimentin in HCC. We also evaluated the prognostic value of GP73 in HCC.
Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was used to determine the expression of GP73 and EMT molecules in 75 HCC specimens and the corresponding paracarcinomatous liver (PCL) tissues. Spearman’s correlation test was used to analyze the correlation of GP73 and EMT molecules. Clinicopathological features of the HCC patients were also analyzed. Univariate survival analysis was performed by the Kaplan–Meier method and differences among the groups were analyzed by the Log-rank test.
GP73 expression in HCC was higher compared with PCL tissues (χ 2  = 73.60, P < 0.05). EMT molecules were also detected in HCC and PCL tissues. GP73 was negatively correlated with E-cadherin (r = − 0.49, P < 0.05), but positively correlated with Vimentin (r = 0.46, P < 0.05) in HCC. GP73 was correlated with the clinicopathological features including Edmondson grade, vascular invasion and TNM stage (P < 0.05), which was also associated with overall survival (OS) (P < 0.05).
GP73 was negatively with E-cadherin and positively correlated with Vimentin. It might be associated with aggressive behavior of HCC and had influence on patients’ OS. Further research is needed to determine the potential of GP73.
Virtual slides
The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: vs/1504046946108618;;
PMCID: PMC3924912  PMID: 24313979
13.  Reciprocal regulation of Akt and Oct4 promotes the self-renewal and survival of embryonal carcinoma cells 
Molecular cell  2012;48(4):627-640.
Signaling via the Akt serine/threonine protein kinase plays critical roles in the self-renewal of embryonic stem cells and their malignant counterpart, embryonal carcinoma cells (ECCs). Here we show that in ECCs, Akt phosphorylated the master pluripotency factor Oct4 at threonine 235, and that the levels of phosphorylated Oct4 in ECCs correlated with resistance to apoptosis and tumorigenic potential. Phosphorylation of Oct4 increased its stability, and facilitated its nuclear localization and its interaction with Sox2, which promoted the transcription of the core stemness genes POU5F1 and NANOG. Furthermore, in ECCs, unphosphorylated Oct4 bound to the AKT1 promoter and repressed its transcription. Phosphorylation of Oct4 by Akt resulted in dissociation of Oct4 from the AKT1 promoter, which activated AKT1 transcription and promoted cell survival. Therefore, a site-specific, post-translational modification of the Oct4 protein orchestrates the regulation of its stability, subcellular localization and transcriptional activities, which collectively promotes the survival and tumorigenicity of ECCs.
PMCID: PMC3601782  PMID: 23041284
14.  Correction: Telomere Reprogramming and Maintenance in Porcine iPS Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):10.1371/annotation/f5e4554b-18cc-46ef-ac39-73ac4d6750ae.
PMCID: PMC3829974  PMID: 24250774
15.  β-Estradiol Unmasks Metabotropic Receptor-Mediated Metaplasticity of NMDA Receptor Transmission in the Female rat Dentate Gyrus 
Psychoneuroendocrinology  2012;37(11):1845-1854.
Loss of estrogen in women following menopause is associated with increased risk for cognitive decline, dementia and depression, all of which can be prevented by estradiol replacement. The dentate gyrus plays an important role in cognition, learning and memory. The gatekeeping function of the dentate gyrus to filter incoming activity into the hippocampus is modulated by estradiol in a frequency-dependent manner and involves activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR). In the present study, we investigated whether estradiol (EB) modulates the metaplastic effect of inducing synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) on subsequent propensity for expression of larger LTP in the dentate gyrus. At medial perforant path-dentate granule cell synapses in hippocampal slices of ovariectomized female rats, EB replacement was critical for an initial induction of LTP to enhance the magnitude of subsequent LTP elicited by a second high-frequency stimulation, metaplasticity, which was not present in slices from oil-treated control animals. EB enhanced expression of group I mGluRs, and the metaplastic effect of EB on LTP required activation of group I mGluRs that led to Src-family tyrosine kinase-mediated phosphorylation of NR2B subunits of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR) that enhanced the magnitude of NMDAR-dependent LTP. Our data show that EB effects on LTP in the hippocampal dentate gyrus require activation of group I mGluRs, which in turn leads to functional metaplastic regulation of NR2B subunit-containing NMDARs, as opposed to direct effects of EB on NMDARs.
PMCID: PMC3432293  PMID: 22541715
β-estradiol; female; dentate gyrus; LTP; metabotropic glutamate receptors; NMDA receptors; NR2B subunit
16.  Comparative Analysis of Mitochondrial Genomes of Five Aphid Species (Hemiptera: Aphididae) and Phylogenetic Implications 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e77511.
Insect mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) are of great interest in exploring molecular evolution, phylogenetics and population genetics. Only two mitogenomes have been previously released in the insect group Aphididae, which consists of about 5,000 known species including some agricultural, forestry and horticultural pests. Here we report the complete 16,317 bp mitogenome of Cavariella salicicola and two nearly complete mitogenomes of Aphis glycines and Pterocomma pilosum. We also present a first comparative analysis of mitochondrial genomes of aphids. Results showed that aphid mitogenomes share conserved genomic organization, nucleotide and amino acid composition, and codon usage features. All 37 genes usually present in animal mitogenomes were sequenced and annotated. The analysis of gene evolutionary rate revealed the lowest and highest rates for COI and ATP8, respectively. A unique repeat region exclusively in aphid mitogenomes, which included variable numbers of tandem repeats in a lineage-specific manner, was highlighted for the first time. This region may have a function as another origin of replication. Phylogenetic reconstructions based on protein-coding genes and the stem-loop structures of control regions confirmed a sister relationship between Cavariella and pterocommatines. Current evidence suggest that pterocommatines could be formally transferred into Macrosiphini. Our paper also offers methodological instructions for obtaining other Aphididae mitochondrial genomes.
PMCID: PMC3798312  PMID: 24147014
17.  Bacterial Community Mapping of the Mouse Gastrointestinal Tract 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e74957.
Keeping mammalian gastrointestinal (GI) tract communities in balance is crucial for host health maintenance. However, our understanding of microbial communities in the GI tract is still very limited. In this study, samples taken from the GI tracts of C57BL/6 mice were subjected to 16S rRNA gene sequence-based analysis to examine the characteristic bacterial communities along the mouse GI tract, including those present in the stomach, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, cecum, colon and feces. Further analyses of the 283,234 valid sequences obtained from pyrosequencing revealed that the gastric, duodenal, large intestinal and fecal samples had higher phylogenetic diversity than the jejunum and ileum samples did. The microbial communities found in the small intestine and stomach were different from those seen in the large intestine and fecal samples. A greater proportion of Lactobacillaceae were found in the stomach and small intestine, while a larger proportion of anaerobes such as Bacteroidaceae, Prevotellaceae, Rikenellaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Ruminococcaceae were found in the large intestine and feces. In addition, inter-mouse variations of microbiota were observed between the large intestinal and fecal samples, which were much smaller than those between the gastric and small intestinal samples. As far as we can ascertain, ours is the first study to systematically characterize bacterial communities from the GI tracts of C57BL/6 mice.
PMCID: PMC3792069  PMID: 24116019
18.  Associations Between Fibrocytes and Postcontrast Myocardial T1 Times in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy 
Fibrocytes are bone marrow‐derived mesenchymal progenitors that have been linked to various fibrotic disorders. This study was undertaken to investigate whether fibrocytes are increased in diffuse myocardial fibrosis in humans.
Methods and Results
Thirty‐seven patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and 20 healthy controls were recruited. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging with postcontrast T1 mapping was performed to non‐invasively quantify diffuse myocardial fibrosis and these patients were classified into 2 groups (T1<470 ms or T1≥470 ms, as likely or unlikely to have diffuse fibrosis, respectively). Circulating fibrocytes (CD45+/CD34+/collagen I+) were measured by flow cytometry. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were cultured for 13 days and fibrocytes were quantitated by flow cytometry (CD45+/collagen I+) and real‐time PCR (gene expression of matrix proteins). Plasma cytokines/chemokines mediating fibrocyte trafficking and differentiation were measured by multiplex assays. Circulating fibrocytes were decreased in HCM patients compared to controls. The proportion of fibrocytes derived from PBMCs was increased in patients with diffuse fibrosis compared with those without or controls (31.1±4.1% versus 18.9±3.9% and 10.9±2.0%, P<0.05 and P<0.001, respectively), and the proportion of fibrocytes was inversely correlated with T1 time (r=−0.37, P=0.03). Plasma levels of stromal cell‐derived factor‐1 were elevated in patients with diffuse fibrosis compared with those without or controls (5131±271 pg/mL versus 3893±356 pg/mL and 4172±185 pg/mL, respectively, both P<0.05).
HCM patients with diffuse fibrosis as assessed by postcontrast T1 mapping have elevated plasma SDF and an enhanced ability of PBMCs to differentiate into fibrocytes, suggesting that fibrocytes may contribute to the pathogenesis of myocardial fibrosis.
PMCID: PMC3835231  PMID: 24125844
fibroblasts; hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; myocardial fibrosis; T1 mapping
19.  Telomere Reprogramming and Maintenance in Porcine iPS Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74202.
Telomere reprogramming and silencing of exogenous genes have been demonstrated in mouse and human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells). Pigs have the potential to provide xenotransplant for humans, and to model and test human diseases. We investigated the telomere length and maintenance in porcine iPS cells generated and cultured under various conditions. Telomere lengths vary among different porcine iPS cell lines, some with telomere elongation and maintenance, and others telomere shortening. Porcine iPS cells with sufficient telomere length maintenance show the ability to differentiate in vivo by teratoma formation test. IPS cells with short or dysfunctional telomeres exhibit reduced ability to form teratomas. Moreover, insufficient telomerase and incomplete telomere reprogramming and/or maintenance link to sustained activation of exogenous genes in porcine iPS cells. In contrast, porcine iPS cells with reduced expression of exogenous genes or partial exogene silencing exhibit insufficient activation of endogenous pluripotent genes and telomerase genes, accompanied by telomere shortening with increasing passages. Moreover, telomere doublets, telomere sister chromatid exchanges and t-circles that presumably are involved in telomere lengthening by recombination also are found in porcine iPS cells. These data suggest that both telomerase-dependent and telomerase-independent mechanisms are involved in telomere reprogramming during induction and passages of porcine iPS cells, but these are insufficient, resulting in increased telomere damage and shortening, and chromosomal instability. Active exogenes might compensate for insufficient activation of endogenous genes and incomplete telomere reprogramming and maintenance of porcine iPS cells. Further understanding of telomere reprogramming and maintenance may help improve the quality of porcine iPS cells.
PMCID: PMC3787036  PMID: 24098638
20.  Downregulation of KPNA2 in non-small-cell lung cancer is associated with Oct4 expression 
Oct4 is a major transcription factor related to stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. To fulfill its functions, it must be able to enter the nucleus and remain there to affect transcription. KPNA2, a member of the karyopherin family, plays a central role in nucleocytoplasmic transport. The objective of the current study was to examine the association between Oct4 and KPNA2 expression levels with regard to both the clinicopathological characteristics and prognoses of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Immunohistochemistry was used to detect the expression profile of Oct4 and KPNA2 in NSCLC tissues and adjacent noncancerous lung tissues. Real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blotting were used to detect the mRNA and protein expression profiles of Oct4 and KPNA2 in lung cancer cell lines. Small interfering RNAs were used to deplete Oct4 and KPNA2 expressions. Double immunofluorescence was used to detect Oct4 expression in KPNA2 knockdown cells. Co-immunoprecipitation was used to detect the interaction of Oct4 and KPNA2.
Oct4 was overexpressed in 29 of 102 (28.4%) human lung cancer samples and correlated with differentiation (P = 0.002) and TNM stage (P = 0.003). KPNA2 was overexpressed in 56 of 102 (54.9%) human lung cancer samples and correlated with histology (P = 0.001) and differentiation (P = 0.045). Importantly, Oct4 and KPNA2 expression levels correlated significantly (P < 0.01). Expression of Oct4 and KPNA2 was associated with short overall survival. In addition, depleting Oct4 and KPNA2 expression using small interfering RNAs inhibited proliferation in lung cancer cell lines. Real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blotting analysis indicated that reduction of KPNA2 expression significantly reduced mRNA and nucleoprotein levels of Oct4. Double immunofluorescence analysis revealed that nuclear Oct4 signals were reduced significantly in KPNA2 knockdown cells. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that KPNA2 interacts with Oct4 in lung cancer cell lines.
Oct4 and KPNA2 play an important role in NSCLC progression. Oct4 nuclear localization may be mediated by its interaction with KPNA2.
PMCID: PMC3849263  PMID: 24070213
Non-small-cell lung cancer; Oct4; KPNA2; Nucleocytoplasmic transport
21.  Transcriptome and Expression Profile Analysis of Highly Resistant and Susceptible Banana Roots Challenged with Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense Tropical Race 4 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e73945.
Banana wilt disease, caused by the fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense 4 (Foc4), is regarded as one of the most devastating diseases worldwide. Cavendish cultivar ‘Yueyoukang 1’ was shown to have significantly lower disease severity and incidence compared with susceptible cultivar ‘Brazilian’ in greenhouse and field trials. De novo sequencing technology was previously performed to investigate defense mechanism in middle resistant ‘Nongke No 1’ banana, but not in highly resistant cultivar ‘Yueyoukang 1’. To gain more insights into the resistance mechanism in banana against Foc4, Illumina Solexa sequencing technology was utilized to perform transcriptome sequencing of ‘Yueyoukang 1’ and ‘Brazilian’ and characterize gene expression profile changes in the both two cultivars at days 0.5, 1, 3, 5 and 10 after infection with Foc4. The results showed that more massive transcriptional reprogramming occurs due to Foc4 treatment in ‘Yueyoukang 1’ than ‘Brazilian’, especially at the first three time points, which suggested that ‘Yueyoukang 1’ had much faster defense response against Foc4 infection than ‘Brazilian’. Expression patterns of genes involved in ‘Plant-pathogen interaction’ and ‘Plant hormone signal transduction’ pathways were analyzed and compared between the two cultivars. Defense genes associated with CEBiP, BAK1, NB-LRR proteins, PR proteins, transcription factor and cell wall lignification were expressed stronger in ‘Yueyoukang 1’ than ‘Brazilian’, indicating that these genes play important roles in banana against Foc4 infection. However, genes related to hypersensitive reaction (HR) and senescence were up-regulated in ‘Brazilian’ but down-regulated in ‘Yueyoukang 1’, which suggested that HR and senescence may contribute to Foc4 infection. In addition, the resistance mechanism in highly resistant ‘Yueyoukang 1’ was found to differ from that in middle resistant ‘Nongke No 1’ banana. These results explain the resistance in the highly resistant cultivar and provide more insights in understanding the compatible and incompatible interactions between banana and Foc4.
PMCID: PMC3781162  PMID: 24086302
22.  Myosin VI contributes to maintaining epithelial barrier function 
Epithelial barrier dysfunction is associated with the pathogenesis of a number of immune inflammations; the etiology is not fully understood. The fusion of endosome/lysosome is a critical process in the degradation of endocytic antigens in epithelial cells. Recent reports indicate that myosin VI (myo6) is involved in the activities of endosomes. The present study aims to investigate the role of myo6 in epithelial barrier dysfunction.
The endosome accumulation was observed in myo6-deficient Rmcs. More than 80% endosomes were fused with lysosomes in naïve Rmcs while less than 30% endosomes were fused with lysosomes in the myo6-deficient Rmcs. The myo6-deficient Rmc monolayers showed high permeability to a macromolecular antigen, ovalbumin, the latter still conserved the antigenicity, which induced strong T cell activation.
We conclude that myo6 plays a critical role in the fusion of endosome/lysosome in Rmc epithelial cells. Deficiency of myo6 compromises the epithelial barrier function.
PMCID: PMC3847564  PMID: 24028494
Endosome; Lysosome; Epithelium; Barrier function; Myosin
23.  The Genome of the Moderate Halophile Amycolicicoccus subflavus DQS3-9A1T Reveals Four Alkane Hydroxylation Systems and Provides Some Clues on the Genetic Basis for Its Adaptation to a Petroleum Environment 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e70986.
The moderate halophile Amycolicicoccus subflavus DQS3-9A1T is the type strain of a novel species in the recently described novel genus Amycolicicoccus, which was isolated from oil mud precipitated from oil produced water. The complete genome of A. subflavus DQS3-9A1T has been sequenced and is characteristic of harboring the genes for adaption to the harsh petroleum environment with salinity, high osmotic pressure, and poor nutrient levels. Firstly, it characteristically contains four types of alkane hydroxylases, including the integral-membrane non-heme iron monooxygenase (AlkB) and cytochrome P450 CYP153, a long-chain alkane monooxygenase (LadA) and propane monooxygenase. It also accommodates complete pathways for the response to osmotic pressure. Physiological tests proved that the strain could grow on n-alkanes ranging from C10 to C36 and propane as the sole carbon sources, with the differential induction of four kinds of alkane hydroxylase coding genes. In addition, the strain could grow in 1–12% NaCl with the putative genes responsible for osmotic stresses induced as expected. These results reveal the effective adaptation of the strain DQS3-9A1T to harsh oil environment and provide a genome platform to investigate the global regulation of different alkane metabolisms in bacteria that are crucially important for petroleum degradation. To our knowledge, this is the first report to describe the co-existence of such four types of alkane hydroxylases in a bacterial strain.
PMCID: PMC3743902  PMID: 23967144
24.  Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in Blast-Exposed Military Veterans and a Blast Neurotrauma Mouse Model 
Science translational medicine  2012;4(134):134ra60.
Blast exposure is associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI), neuropsychiatric symptoms, and long-term cognitive disability. We examined a case series of postmortem brains from U.S. military veterans exposed to blast and/or concussive injury. We found evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a tau protein–linked neurodegenerative disease, that was similar to the CTE neuropathology observed in young amateur American football players and a professional wrestler with histories of concussive injuries. We developed a blast neurotrauma mouse model that recapitulated CTE-linked neuropathology in wild-type C57BL/6 mice 2 weeks after exposure to a single blast. Blast-exposed mice demonstrated phosphorylated tauopathy, myelinated axonopathy, microvasculopathy, chronic neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration in the absence of macroscopic tissue damage or hemorrhage. Blast exposure induced persistent hippocampal-dependent learning and memory deficits that persisted for at least 1 month and correlated with impaired axonal conduction and defective activity-dependent long-term potentiation of synaptic transmission. Intracerebral pressure recordings demonstrated that shock waves traversed the mouse brain with minimal change and without thoracic contributions. Kinematic analysis revealed blast-induced head oscillation at accelerations sufficient to cause brain injury. Head immobilization during blast exposure prevented blast-induced learning and memory deficits. The contribution of blast wind to injurious head acceleration may be a primary injury mechanism leading to blast-related TBI and CTE. These results identify common pathogenic determinants leading to CTE in blast-exposed military veterans and head-injured athletes and additionally provide mechanistic evidence linking blast exposure to persistent impairments in neurophysiological function, learning, and memory.
PMCID: PMC3739428  PMID: 22593173
25.  Method Development and Validation for Ultra-High Pressure Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry Determination of Multiple Prostanoids in Biological Samples 
Journal of AOAC International  2013;96(1):67-76.
Following oxygenation of arachidonic acid by cyclooxygenase to form prostaglandin H2 (PGH2), a variety of prostanoids can be generated with diverse physiologic effects on pain, inflammation, allergy, cardiovascular system, cancer, etc. To facilitate the quantitative analysis of prostanoids in human serum of cell culture, an ultra-high pressure LC (UHPLC)/MS/MS method was developed and validated for the measurement of six eicosanoids belonging to the cyclooxygenase pathway: PGE2, PGD2, 8-iso-PGF2α, PGF2α, 6-keto-PGF1α, and thromboxane B2 (TXB2). Selectivity, matrix effects, calibration model, precision, and accuracy (intraday and interday), lower limit of quantitation (LLOQ), recovery, stability, and sample dilution were evaluated. Fast UHPLC separation was carried out in only 0.5 min with isocratic elution, and each prostanoid was measured using negative electrospray ionization MS with collision-induced dissociation and selected reaction monitoring. UHPLC/MS/MS provided high throughput with peak widths of approximately 3 s and an LLOQ of 0.020 ng/mL for PGE2, 0.027 ng/mL for PGD2, 0.152 ng/mL for 8-iso-PGF2α, 0.179 ng/mL for PGF2α and 6-keto-PGF1α, and 0.013 ng/mL for TXB2.
PMCID: PMC3723117  PMID: 23513960

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