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author:("Liu, shuiqing")
1.  Implications of the Wnt5a/CaMKII Pathway in Retinoic Acid-Induced Myogenic Tongue Abnormalities of Developing Mice 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6082.
Although proper tongue development is relevant to other structures in the craniofacial region, the molecular details of muscle development in tongue remain poorly understood. Here, we report that pregnant mice treated with retinoic acid (+RA) produce embryos with tongue malformation and a cleft palate. Histological analyses revealed that at E14.5, the tongues of +RA fetuses failed to descend and flatten. Ultrastructural analysis showed that at perinatal stage E18.5, the myofilaments failed to form normal structures of sarcomeres, and arranged disorderly in the genioglossus. The proliferation and levels of myogenic determination markers (Myf5 and MyoD) and myosin in the genioglossus were profoundly reduced. Wnt5a and Camk2d expressions were down-regulated, while levels of Tbx1, Ror2, and PKCδ were up-regulated in the tongues of +RA fetuses. In mock- and Wnt5a-transfected C2C12 (Wnt5a-C2C12) cells, Wnt5a overexpression impaired proliferation, and maintained Myf5 at a relative high level after RA treatment. Furthermore, Wnt5a overexpression positively correlated with levels of Camk2d and Ror2 in C2C12 cells after RA exposure. These data support the hypothesis that the Wnt5a/CaMKII pathway is directly involved in RA-induced hypoplasia and disorder of tongue muscles.
PMCID: PMC4133706  PMID: 25124193
2.  Comparative Binding Affinities of Flavonoid Phytochemicals with Bovine Serum Albumin  
Dietary flavonoids show beneficial effects in the prevention of chronic diseases. However, flavonoid bioavailability is poor, probably due to their interaction with serum albumins. In the current work, the binding interactions of eight related flavonoids, sharing a similar core structure, with bovine serum albumin (BSA) were investigated by fluorescence spectroscopy. The binding affinities of the flavonoids with BSA were in the order hesperetin (KA=5.59 × 105)> quercetin (4.94 × 105) > naringenin (3.04 × 105) > isoquercitrin (4.66 × 104) > icariin (3.60 × 104) > rutin (1.65 × 104) > hesperidin (2.50 × 103) > naringin (8.70 × 102). The associations of specific structural components of the flavonoids with their binding properties to BSA were also explored and hydrophobicity, functional group substituents, steric hindrance effects and the spatial arrangements of substituents seem to be the key factors for the affinities of flavonoids towards BSA. The results from the current work contribute to a better understanding of the transport of flavonoids in plasma and helping predict their physiological functions based on their intrinsic structures.
PMCID: PMC4177624  PMID: 25276204
Flavonoids; Bovine serum albumin; Binding capacity; Structure; Function
3.  A New Mutation of the Atoh1 Gene in Mice with Normal Life Span Allows Analysis of Inner Ear and Cerebellar Phenotype in Aging 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79791.
Atoh1 is a transcription factor that regulates neural development in multiple tissues and is conserved among species. Prior mouse models of Atoh1, though effective and important in the evolution of our understanding of the gene, have been limited by perinatal lethality. Here we describe a novel point mutation of Atoh1 (designated Atoh1trhl) underlying a phenotype of trembling gait and hearing loss. Histology revealed inner ear hair cell loss and cerebellar atrophy. Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) and Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emission (DPOAE) showed functional abnormalities in the ear. Normal lifespan and fecundity of Atoh1trhlmice provide a complementary model to facilitate elucidation of ATOH1 function in hearing,central nervous system and cancer biology.
PMCID: PMC3827170  PMID: 24265785
4.  Transcription analysis of the porcine alveolar macrophage response to porcine circovirus type 2 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:353.
Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is the causal agent of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), which has severely impacted the swine industry worldwide. PCV2 triggers a weak and atypical innate immune response, but the key genes and mechanisms by which the virus interferes with host innate immunity have not yet been elucidated. In this study, genes that control the response of primary porcine alveolar macrophages (PAMs), the main target of PCV2, were profiled in vitro.
PAMs were successfully infected by PCV2-WH strain, as evidenced quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and immunofluorescence assay (IFA) results. Infection-related differential gene expression was investigated using pig microarrays from the US Pig Genome Coordination Program and validated by real-time PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Microarray analysis at 24 and 48 hours post-infection (HPI) revealed 266 and 175 unique genes, respectively, that were differentially expressed (false discovery rate <0.05; fold-change >2). Only six genes were differentially expressed between 24 and 48 HPI. The up-regulated genes were principally related to immune response, cytokine activity, locomotion, regulation of cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell growth arrest, and antigen procession and presentation. The down-regulated genes were mainly involved in terpenoid biosynthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, translation, proteasome degradation, signal transducer activity, and ribosomal proteins, which were representative of the reduced vital activity of PCV2-infected cells.
PCV2 infection of PAMs causes up-regulation of genes related to inflammation, indicating that PCV2 may induce systematic inflammation. PCV2 persistently induced cytokines, mainly through the Toll-like receptor (TLR) 1 and TLR9 pathways, which may promote high levels of cytokine secretion. PCV2 may prevent apoptosis in PAMs by up-regulating SERPINB9 expression, possibly to lengthen the duration of PCV2 replication-permissive conditions. The observed gene expression profile may provide insights into the underlying immunological response and pathological changes that occur in pigs following PCV2 infection.
PMCID: PMC3680065  PMID: 23711280
5.  Implication of Proteins Containing Tetratricopeptide Repeats in Conditional Virulence Phenotypes of Legionella pneumophila 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(14):3579-3588.
Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaires' disease, is a ubiquitous freshwater bacterium whose virulence phenotypes require a type IV secretion system (T4SS). L. pneumophila strain JR32 contains two virulence-associated T4SSs, the Dot/Icm and Lvh T4SSs. Defective entry and phagosome acidification phenotypes of dot/icm mutants are conditional and reversed by incubating broth-grown stationary-phase cultures in water (WS treatment) prior to infection, as a mimic of the aquatic environment of Legionella. Reversal of dot/icm virulence defects requires the Lvh T4SS and is associated with a >10-fold induction of LpnE, a tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR)-containing protein. In the current study, we demonstrated that defective entry and phagosome acidification phenotypes of mutants with changes in LpnE and EnhC, another TPR-containing protein, were similarly reversed by WS treatment. In contrast to dot/icm mutants for which the Lvh T4SS was required, reversal for the ΔlpnE or the ΔenhC mutant required that the other TPR-containing protein be present. The single and double ΔlpnE and ΔenhC mutants showed a hypersensitivity to sodium ion, a phenotype associated with dysfunction of the Dot/Icm T4SS. The ΔlpnE single and the ΔlpnE ΔenhC double mutant showed 3- to 9-fold increases in translocation of Dot/Icm T4SS substrates, LegS2/SplY and LepB. Taken together, these data identify TPR-containing proteins in a second mechanism by which the WS mimic of a Legionella environmental niche can reverse virulence defects of broth-grown cultures and implicate LpnE and EnhC directly or indirectly in translocation of Dot/Icm T4SS protein substrates.
PMCID: PMC3393475  PMID: 22563053
6.  Transcription analysis on response of porcine alveolar macrophages to Haemophilus parasuis 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:68.
Haemophilus parasuis (H. parasuis) is the etiological agent of Glässer's disease in pigs. Currently, the molecular basis of this infection is largely unknown. The innate immune response is the first line of defense against the infectious disease. Systematical analysis on host innate immune response to the infection is important for understanding the pathogenesis of the infectious microorganisms.
A total of 428 differentially expressed (DE) genes were identified in the porcine alveolar macrophages (PAMs) 6 days after H. parasuis infection. These genes were principally related to inflammatory response, immune response, microtubule polymerization, regulation of transcript and signal transduction. Through the pathway analysis, the significant pathways mainly concerned with cell adhesion molecules, cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, complement and coagulation cascades, toll-like receptor signaling pathway, MAPK signaling pathway, suggesting that the host took different strategies to activate immune and inflammatory response upon H. parasuis infection. The global interactions network and two subnetworks of the proteins encoded by DE genes were analyzed by using STRING. Further immunostimulation analysis indicated that mRNA levels of S100 calcium-binding protein A4 (S100A4) and S100 calcium-binding protein A6 (S100A6) in porcine PK-15 cells increased within 48 h and were sustained after administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and Poly (I:C) respectively. The s100a4 and s100a6 genes were found to be up-regulated significantly in lungs, spleen and lymph nodes in H. parasuis infected pigs. We firstly cloned and sequenced the porcine coronin1a gene. Phylogenetic analysis showed that poCORONIN 1A belonged to the group containing the Bos taurus sequence. Structural analysis indicated that the poCORONIN 1A contained putative domains of Trp-Asp (WD) repeats signature, Trp-Asp (WD) repeats profile and Trp-Asp (WD) repeats circular profile at the N-terminus.
Our present study is the first one focusing on the response of porcine alveolar macrophages to H. parasuis. Our data demonstrate a series of genes are activated upon H. parasuis infection. The observed gene expression profile could help screening the potential host agents for reducing the prevalence of H. parasuis and further understanding the molecular pathogenesis associated with H. parasuis infection in pigs.
PMCID: PMC3296652  PMID: 22330747
7.  Proteomics, bioinformatics and targeted gene expression analysis reveals up-regulation of cochlin and identifies other potential biomarkers in the mouse model for deafness in usher syndrome type 1F 
Human Molecular Genetics  2010;19(8):1515-1527.
Proteins and protein networks associated with cochlear pathogenesis in the Ames waltzer (av) mouse, a model for deafness in Usher syndrome 1F (USH1F), were identified. Cochlear protein from wild-type and av mice at postnatal day 30, a time point in which cochlear pathology is well established, was analyzed by quantitative 2D gel electrophoresis followed by mass spectrometry (MS). The analytic gel resolved 2270 spots; 69 spots showed significant changes in intensity in the av cochlea compared with the control. The cochlin protein was identified in 20 peptide spots, most of which were up-regulated, while a few were down-regulated. Analysis of MS sequence data showed that, in the av cochlea, a set of full-length isoforms of cochlin was up-regulated, while isoforms missing the N-terminal FCH/LCCL domain were down-regulated. Protein interaction network analysis of all differentially expressed proteins was performed with Metacore software. That analysis revealed a number of statistically significant candidate protein networks predicted to be altered in the affected cochlea. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis of select candidates from the proteomic and bioinformatic investigations showed up-regulation of Coch mRNA and those of p53, Brn3a and Nrf2, transcription factors linked to stress response and survival. Increased mRNA of Brn3a and Nrf2 has previously been associated with increased expression of cochlin in human glaucomatous trabecular meshwork. Our report strongly suggests that increased level of cochlin is an important etiologic factor leading to the degeneration of cochlear neuroepithelia in the USH1F model.
PMCID: PMC2846161  PMID: 20097680
8.  A novel serine protease from the snake venom of Agkistrodon blomhoffii ussurensis 
A novel serine protease, ABUSV-SPase, was isolated to homogeneity for the first time from Chinese Agkistrodon blomhoffii ussurensis snake venom, and its enzymatic and structural properties were characterized by multiple techniques. ABUSV-SPase is a stable monomeric protein with a molecular mass of 26,752.6 a.m.u. It reacts optimally with its substrate Nα-tosyl-L-arginine methyl ester (TAME) at pH 7.0 and 41 °C. ESI-MS/MS analysis indicates that ABUSV-SPase is a new serine protease, sharing peptide homologies with various snake venom serine proteases, especially the snake venom thrombin-like enzymes of this group, and serine protease precursors. It is a zinc-containing protein, and although zinc is not essential for activity, its replacement by various divalent metal ions, including Mg2+, Mn2+, and Ca2+, increases the TAME hydrolysis activity of the enzyme. The intrinsic fluorescences of Tyr and Trp residues of ABUSV-SPase have emission wavelengths red-shifted by 12.8 nm and 3.6 nm from those of free Tyr and Trp, respectively. The zinc ion increases the hydrophobicity of the environment of the Trp residues, increases the thermostability of the protein, and affects the protein secondary structure to stabilize the enzyme, but appears to have no direct role in its esterase hydrolysis activity.
PMCID: PMC2845635  PMID: 18817802
Serine protease; Snake venom; Characteristics; Structure
9.  Pharmacologic intervention targeting glycolytic-related pathways protects against retinal injury due to ischemia and reperfusion 
Proteomics  2009;9(7):1869-1882.
Retinal ischemia contributes to multiple ocular diseases while aminoguanidine (AMG) treatment significantly inhibits the neuronal and vascular degeneration due to acute retinal ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) injury. In the present study, two-dimensional differential in gel electrophoresis (2D DIGE) was applied to profile global protein expression changes due to retinal I/R injury, and the protection effects mediated by AMG. Retinal ischemia was induced by elevated intraocular pressure to 80–90 mmHg for 2 hours, and reperfusion was established afterward. Retinal tissues were collected 2 days after I/R injury. After 2D DIGE analysis, a total of 96 proteins were identified. Among them, 28 proteins were identified within gel spots whose intensities were normalized by AMG pre-treatment, pathway analysis indicated that most were involved in glycolysis and carbohydrate metabolism. Selected enzymes identified by MS/MS within these pathways, including transketolase, triosephosphate isomerase 1, aldolase C, total enolase, and pyruvate kinase were validated by quantitative Western blots. Glycolytic enzymes and other differentially regulated proteins likely play previously unrecognized roles in retinal degeneration after I/R injury, and inhibition of the resulting metabolic changes, using pharmacologically agents such as AMG, serve to inhibit the changes in metabolism and mitigate retinal degeneration. Select glycolytic enzymes may provide novel therapeutic targets for inhibiting the neuronal and vascular degeneration after retinal I/R injury.
PMCID: PMC2766920  PMID: 19288518
2D DIGE; Aminoguanidine; Glycolysis; Protein profiling; Retinal ischemia and reperfusion
10.  Environmental Mimics and the Lvh Type IVA Secretion System Contribute to Virulence-Related Phenotypes of Legionella pneumophila▿  
Infection and Immunity  2006;75(2):723-735.
Legionella pneumophila, the causative organism of Legionnaires' disease, is a fresh-water bacterium and intracellular parasite of amoebae. This study examined the effects of incubation in water and amoeba encystment on L. pneumophila strain JR32 and null mutants in dot/icm genes encoding a type IVB secretion system required for entry, delayed acidification of L. pneumophila-containing phagosomes, and intracellular multiplication when stationary-phase bacteria infect amoebae and macrophages. Following incubation of stationary-phase cultures in water, mutants in dotA and dotB, essential for function of the type IVB secretion system, exhibited entry and delay of phagosome acidification comparable to that of strain JR32. Following encystment in Acanthamoeba castellanii and reversion of cysts to amoeba trophozoites, dotA and dotB mutants exhibited intracellular multiplication in amoebae. The L. pneumophila Lvh locus, encoding a type IVA secretion system homologous to that in Agrobacterium tumefaciens, was required for restoration of entry and intracellular multiplication in dot/icm mutants following incubation in water and amoeba encystment and was required for delay of phagosome acidification in strain JR32. These data support a model in which the Dot/Icm type IVB secretion system is conditionally rather than absolutely required for L. pneumophila virulence-related phenotypes. The data suggest that the Lvh type IVA secretion system, previously thought to be dispensable, is involved in virulence-related phenotypes under conditions mimicking the spread of Legionnaires' disease from environmental niches. Since environmental amoebae are implicated as reservoirs for an increasing number of environmental pathogens and for drug-resistant bacteria, the environmental mimics developed here may be useful in virulence studies of other pathogens.
PMCID: PMC1828514  PMID: 17101653
11.  Alcohol Dehydrogenase Restricts the Ability of the Pathogen Candida albicans To Form a Biofilm on Catheter Surfaces through an Ethanol-Based Mechanism‡  
Infection and Immunity  2006;74(7):3804-3816.
Candida biofilms formed on indwelling medical devices are increasingly associated with severe infections. In this study, we used proteomics and Western and Northern blotting analyses to demonstrate that alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) is downregulated in Candida biofilms. Disruption of ADH1 significantly (P = 0.0046) enhanced the ability of Candida albicans to form biofilm. Confocal scanning laser microscopy showed that the adh1 mutant formed thicker biofilm than the parent strain (210 μm and 140 μm, respectively). These observations were extended to an engineered human oral mucosa and an in vivo rat model of catheter-associated biofilm. Inhibition of Candida ADH enzyme using disulfiram and 4-methylpyrazole resulted in thicker biofilm (P < 0.05). Moreover, biofilms formed by the adh1 mutant strain produced significantly smaller amounts of ethanol, but larger amounts of acetaldehyde, than biofilms formed by the parent and revertant strains (P < 0.0001), demonstrating that the effect of Adh1p on biofilm formation is mediated by its enzymatic activity. Furthermore, we found that 10% ethanol significantly inhibited biofilm formation in vitro, with complete inhibition of biofilm formation at ethanol concentrations of ≥20%. Similarly, using a clinically relevant rabbit model of catheter-associated biofilm, we found that ethanol treatment inhibited biofilm formation by C. albicans in vivo (P < 0.05) but not by Staphylococcus spp. (P > 0.05), indicating that ethanol specifically inhibits Candida biofilm formation. Taken together, our studies revealed that Adh1p contributes to the ability of C. albicans to form biofilms in vitro and in vivo and that the protein restricts biofilm formation through an ethanol-dependent mechanism. These results are clinically relevant and may suggest novel antibiofilm treatment strategies.
PMCID: PMC1489753  PMID: 16790752

Results 1-11 (11)