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author:("Li, chunked")
1.  PKC Activation in Niemann Pick C1 Cells Restores Subcellular Cholesterol Transport 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e74169.
Activation of protein kinase C (PKC) has previously been shown to ameliorate the cholesterol transport defect in Niemann Pick Type C1 (NPC1) cells, presumably by increasing the soluble levels of one of its substrates, vimentin. This activity would then restore the vimentin cycle in these cells and allow vimentin-dependent retrograde transport to proceed. Here, we further investigate the effects of PKC activation in NPC1 cells by evaluating different isoforms for their ability to solubilize vimentin and correct the NPC1 cholesterol storage phenotype. We also examine the effects of PKC activators, including free fatty acids and the PKC-specific activator diazoxide, on the NPC1 disease phenotype. Our results indicate that PKC isoforms α, βII, and ε have the greatest effects on vimentin solubilization. Furthermore, expression or activation of PKCε in NPC1 cells dramatically reduces the amount of stored cholesterol and restores cholesterol transport out of endocytic vesicles. These results provide further support for the contribution of PKCs in NPC1 disease pathogenesis and suggest that PKCs may be targeted in future efforts to develop therapeutics for NPC1 disease.
PMCID: PMC3744505  PMID: 23977398
2.  The mechanisms of microtubule catastrophe and rescue: implications from analysis of a dimer-scale computational model 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2012;23(4):642-656.
ETOC: The behavior of a dimer-scale computational model predicts that short interprotofilament “cracks” (laterally unbonded regions between protofilaments) exist even at the tips of growing MTs and that rapid fluctuations in the depths of these cracks govern both catastrophe and rescue.
Microtubule (MT) dynamic instability is fundamental to many cell functions, but its mechanism remains poorly understood, in part because it is difficult to gain information about the dimer-scale events at the MT tip. To address this issue, we used a dimer-scale computational model of MT assembly that is consistent with tubulin structure and biochemistry, displays dynamic instability, and covers experimentally relevant spans of time. It allows us to correlate macroscopic behaviors (dynamic instability parameters) with microscopic structures (tip conformations) and examine protofilament structure as the tip spontaneously progresses through both catastrophe and rescue. The model's behavior suggests that several commonly held assumptions about MT dynamics should be reconsidered. Moreover, it predicts that short, interprotofilament “cracks” (laterally unbonded regions between protofilaments) exist even at the tips of growing MTs and that rapid fluctuations in the depths of these cracks influence both catastrophe and rescue. We conclude that experimentally observed microtubule behavior can best be explained by a “stochastic cap” model in which tubulin subunits hydrolyze GTP according to a first-order reaction after they are incorporated into the lattice; catastrophe and rescue result from stochastic fluctuations in the size, shape, and extent of lateral bonding of the cap.
PMCID: PMC3279392  PMID: 22190741

Results 1-2 (2)