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1.  Neuroprotective Effects of a Novel Single Compound 1-Methoxyoctadecan-1-ol Isolated from Uncaria sinensis in Primary Cortical Neurons and a Photothrombotic Ischemia Model 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85322.
We identified a novel neuroprotective compound, 1-methoxyoctadecan-1-ol, from Uncaria sinensis (Oliv.) Havil and investigated its effects and mechanisms in primary cortical neurons and in a photothrombotic ischemic model. In primary rat cortical neurons against glutamate-induced neurotoxicity, pretreatment with 1-methoxyoctadecan-1-ol resulted in significantly reduced neuronal death in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, treatment with 1-methoxyoctadecan-1-ol resulted in decreased neuronal apoptotic death, as assessed by nuclear morphological approaches. To clarify the neuroprotective mechanism of 1-methoxyoctadecan-1-ol, we explored the downstream signaling pathways of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) with calpain activation. Treatment with glutamate leads to early activation of NMDAR, which in turn leads to calpain-mediated cleavage of striatal-enriched protein tyrosine phosphatase (STEP) and subsequent activation of p38 mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK). However, pretreatment with 1-methoxyoctadecan-1-ol resulted in significantly attenuated activation of GluN2B-NMDAR and a decrease in calpain-mediated STEP cleavage, leading to subsequent attenuation of p38 MAPK activation. We confirmed the critical role of p38 MAPK in neuroprotective effects of 1-methoxyoctadecan-1-ol using specific inhibitor SB203580. In the photothrombotic ischemic injury in mice, treatment with 1-methoxyoctadecan-1-ol resulted in significantly reduced infarct volume, edema size, and improved neurological function. 1-methoxyoctadecan-1-ol effectively prevents cerebral ischemic damage through down-regulation of calpain-mediated STEP cleavage and activation of p38 MAPK. These results suggest that 1-methoxyoctadecan-1-ol showed neuroprotective effects through down-regulation of calpain-mediated STEP cleavage with activation of GluN2B-NMDAR, and subsequent alleviation of p38 MAPK activation. In addition, 1-methoxyoctadecan-1-ol might be a useful therapeutic agent for brain disorder such as ischemic stroke.
PMCID: PMC3885700  PMID: 24416390
2.  A NAC transcription factor and SNI1 cooperatively suppress basal pathogen resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;40(18):9182-9192.
Transcriptional repression of pathogen defense-related genes is essential for plant growth and development. Several proteins are known to be involved in the transcriptional regulation of plant defense responses. However, mechanisms by which expression of defense-related genes are regulated by repressor proteins are poorly characterized. Here, we describe the in planta function of CBNAC, a calmodulin-regulated NAC transcriptional repressor in Arabidopsis. A T-DNA insertional mutant (cbnac1) displayed enhanced resistance to a virulent strain of the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae DC3000 (PstDC3000), whereas resistance was reduced in transgenic CBNAC overexpression lines. The observed changes in disease resistance were correlated with alterations in pathogenesis-related protein 1 (PR1) gene expression. CBNAC bound directly to the PR1 promoter. SNI1 (suppressor of nonexpressor of PR genes1, inducible 1) was identified as a CBNAC-binding protein. Basal resistance to PstDC3000 and derepression of PR1 expression was greater in the cbnac1 sni1 double mutant than in either cbnac1 or sni1 mutants. SNI1 enhanced binding of CBNAC to its cognate PR1 promoter element. CBNAC and SNI1 are hypothesized to work as repressor proteins in the cooperative suppression of plant basal defense.
PMCID: PMC3467076  PMID: 22826500
3.  Identification of Diachea leucopodia on Strawberry from Greenhouse in Korea 
Mycobiology  2008;36(3):143-147.
We have detected the slime mold, Diachea leucopodia (GNU06-10) in a strawberry greenhouse located in Sancheong-gun, Gyeongnam. Typical fruiting bodies had developed gregariously on the strawberry leaves, petioles, and plant debris on ground soil habitat, and also surprisingly on plastic pipes and a vinyl covering. Field samples were examined via stereomicroscopy, light microscopy, and SEM for the determination of morphological characteristics. Dark-brown to black spores formed gregariously within the stipitate cylindrical sporangium, and were covered by an iridescent peridium, which may be intact at maturity, or may have disintegrated. The upper portion of the peridium generally breaks up to expose the spores, whereas the lower portion was usually persistent. The results of energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS) analysis showed that lime was present in the stalk and columella but absent from the spores, capillitium, and peridium. The above characteristics confirm its taxonomic position in the genus Diachea. However, this genus is intermediate in character between the Physarales and Stemonitales of the Myxogastromycetidae. Hence, this genus had been classified as a member of the Stemonitales until the mid-1970's, on the basis of its iridescent peridium and noncalcareous capillitial system, similar to Comatricha of the Stemonitaceae. By way of contrast, emphasis on morphological characteristics, most notably the calcareous stalk and typical columella, places Diachea within the order Physarales. The presence of a phaneroplasmodium during the trophic stage and lime deposition in its sporophores, as was confirmed in this work, supported the inclusion of Diachea in the Physarales, and the noncalcareous capillitial system verified its identification as a member of the Didymiaceae. Further characteristics of the species D. leucopodia include the following: phaneroplasmodium, spore globose 7.5 µm in diameter, very minutely roughened; sporangia 500 µm × 1mm, more or less cylindrical, gregarious, stalked 1.2mm; stalk and columella white.
PMCID: PMC3755183  PMID: 23997614
Diachea leucopodia; Digital mapping; Energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry; Slime mold; Strawberry

Results 1-3 (3)