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1.  De-repression of CSP-1 activates adaptive responses to antifungal azoles 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:19447.
Antifungal azoles are the major drugs that are used to treat fungal infections. This study found that in response to antifungal azole stress, Neurospora crassa could activate the transcriptional responses of many genes and increase azole resistance by reducing the level of conidial separation 1 (CSP-1), a global transcription repressor, at azole-responsive genes. The expression of csp-1 was directly activated by the transcription factors WC-1 and WC-2. Upon ketoconazole (KTC) stress, the transcript levels of wc-1 and wc-2 were not changed, but csp-1 transcription rapidly declined. A chromatin immunoprecipitation-quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed a rapid reduction in the WC-2 enrichment at the csp-1 promoter upon KTC treatment, which might be responsible for the KTC-induced csp-1 downregulation. Deletion of csp-1 increased resistance to KTC and voriconazole, while csp-1 overexpression increased KTC susceptibility. CSP-1 transcriptionally repressed a number of azole-responsive genes, including genes encoding the azole target ERG11, the azole efflux pump CDR4, and the sterol C-22 desaturase ERG5. Deletion of csp-1 also reduced the KTC-induced accumulation of ergosterol intermediates, eburicol, and 14α-methyl-3,6-diol. CSP-1 orthologs are widely present in filamentous fungi, and an Aspergillus fumigatus mutant in which the csp-1 was deleted was resistant to itraconazole.
PMCID: PMC4726075  PMID: 26781458
2.  Molecular cloning, modeling and differential expression of a gene encoding a silent information regulator-like protein from Sporothrix schenckii 
Sporothrix schenckii (S. schenckii) is a dimorphic fungus that produces lymphocutaneous lesions. The signature characteristic of S. schenckii is a temperature-induced phase transition. Silent information regulator (Sir) has been proven to be involved in phenotypic switching in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) and Candida albicans (C. albicans) by organizing chromatin structure. In this study, we isolated and characterized a Sir homologue gene, designated as SsSir2, from the yeast form of S. schenckii. The full-length SsSir2 cDNA sequence is 1753 bp in size and contains an open reading frame of 1329 bp encoding 442 amino acids. The predicted molecular mass of SsSir2 is 48.1 kDa with an estimated theoretical isoelectric point of 4.6. The SsSir2 kinase domain shows a 78% identity with that of Hst2, a Sir2 Ib gene from S. cerevisiae. Three exons and two introns were identified within the 1472-bp SsSir2 genomic DNA sequence of S. schenckii. A three-dimensional model of SsSir2 was constructed using a homology modeling method, and its reliability was evaluated. The active site of SsSir2 was identified by docking simulation, which indicated that several important residues, such as Asn127 and Asp129, play an important role in the histone deacetylase activity of Sir2 family proteins. The differential expression of the SsSir2 in two stages was demonstrated by real-time RT-PCR. The expression of SsSir2 was higher in the yeast stage compared with that in the mycelial one, which indicated that SsSir2 may be involved in the phenotypic switching and morphogenesis of the yeast phase in S. schenckii.
PMCID: PMC4056409  PMID: 24682409
SsSir2; Sporothrix schenckii; gene cloning; molecular modeling; differential expression
3.  Phenotypic and molecular identification of Sporothrix isolates of clinical origin in Northeast China 
Mycopathologia  2013;176(1-2):67-74.
Sporotrichosis is the most common deep mycosis in Northeast China which is an area of high epidemicity due to contact with reeds or cornstalks. In this study, we have characterized a total of 74 clinical isolates from fixed cutaneous, lymphocutaneous and disseminated clinical forms and from Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning provinces, respectively. All isolates (previously as Sporothrix schenckii) were identified as Sporothrix globosa according to their phenotypic characteristics and calmodulin gene sequences analysis. They were subdivided into two sub-clades (S. globosa I and S. globosa II). Most of our isolates (71/74) presented restricted growth at 37 °C, which differed from a previous report. Up to now, S. globosa is the only pathogenic species in Northeast China, no matter what kind of clinical form and which region it is isolated from. Most of our clinical isolates (68/74) were clustered with three Chinese environmental isolates reported in the literature. The new findings of S. globosa isolates on division and thermotolerance at 37 °C described in this study will help us gain a better understanding of S. globosa.
PMCID: PMC3731519  PMID: 23771481
Sporotrichosis; Sporothrix globosa; Calmodulin gene; Northeast China
4.  Emergence and Continuous Evolution of Genotype 1E Rubella Viruses in China 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(2):353-363.
In China, rubella vaccination was introduced into the national immunization program in 2008, and a rubella epidemic occurred in the same year. In order to know whether changes in the genotypic distribution of rubella viruses have occurred in the postvaccination era, we investigate in detail the epidemiological profile of rubella in China and estimate the evolutionary rate, molecular clock phylogeny, and demographic history of the predominant rubella virus genotypes circulating in China using Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo phylodynamic analyses. 1E was found to be the predominant rubella virus genotype since its initial isolation in China in 2001, and no genotypic shift has occurred since then. The results suggest that the global 1E genotype may have diverged in 1995 and that it has evolved at a mutation rate of 1.65 × 10−3 per site per year. The Chinese 1E rubella virus isolates were grouped into either cluster 1 or cluster 2, which likely originated in 1997 and 2006, respectively. Cluster 1 viruses were found in all provinces examined in this study and had a mutation rate of 1.90 × 10−3 per site per year. The effective number of infections remained constant until 2007, and along with the introduction of rubella vaccine into the national immunization program, although the circulation of cluster 1 viruses has not been interrupted, some viral lineages have disappeared, and the epidemic started a decline that led to a decrease in the effective population size. Cluster 2 viruses were found only in Hainan Province, likely because of importation.
PMCID: PMC3264136  PMID: 22162559
5.  Single Endemic Genotype of Measles Virus Continuously Circulating in China for at Least 16 Years 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e34401.
The incidence of measles in China from 1991 to 2008 was reviewed, and the nucleotide sequences from 1507 measles viruses (MeV) isolated during 1993 to 2008 were phylogenetically analyzed. The results showed that measles epidemics peaked approximately every 3 to 5 years with the range of measles cases detected between 56,850 and 140,048 per year. The Chinese MeV strains represented three genotypes; 1501 H1, 1 H2 and 5 A. Genotype H1 was the predominant genotype throughout China continuously circulating for at least 16 years. Genotype H1 sequences could be divided into two distinct clusters, H1a and H1b. A 4.2% average nucleotide divergence was found between the H1a and H1b clusters, and the nucleotide sequence and predicted amino acid homologies of H1a viruses were 92.3%–100% and 84.7%–100%, H1b were 97.1%–100% and 95.3%–100%, respectively. Viruses from both clusters were distributed throughout China with no apparent geographic restriction and multiple co-circulating lineages were present in many provinces. Cluster H1a and H1b viruses were co-circulating during 1993 to 2005, while no H1b viruses were detected after 2005 and the transmission of that cluster has presumably been interrupted. Analysis of the nucleotide and predicted amino acid changes in the N proteins of H1a and H1b viruses showed no evidence of selective pressure. This study investigated the genotype and cluster distribution of MeV in China over a 16-year period to establish a genetic baseline before MeV elimination in Western Pacific Region (WPR). Continuous and extensive MeV surveillance and the ability to quickly identify imported cases of measles will become more critical as measles elimination goals are achieved in China in the near future. This is the first report that a single endemic genotype of measles virus has been found to be continuously circulating in one country for at least 16 years.
PMCID: PMC3332093  PMID: 22532829
6.  Rubella Virus Genotypes in the People's Republic of China between 1979 and 2007: a Shift in Endemic Viruses during the 2001 Rubella Epidemic▿ † 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2010;48(5):1775-1781.
The incidence of rubella cases in China from 1991 to 2007 was reviewed, and the nucleotide sequences from 123 rubella viruses collected during 1999 to 2007 and 4 viral sequences previously reported from 1979 to 1984 were phylogenetically analyzed. Rubella vaccination was not included in national immunization programs in China before 2007. Changes in endemic viruses were compared with incidences of rubella epidemics. The results showed that rubella epidemics occur approximately every 6 to 8 years (1993/1994, 2001, and 2007), and a shift of disease burden to susceptible young adults was observed. The Chinese rubella virus sequences were categorized into 5 of the 13 rubella virus genotypes, 1a, 1E, 1F, 2A, and 2B; cocirculations of these different genotypes were found in China. In Anhui province, a shift in the predominant genotype from 1F and 2B to 1E coincided with the 2001 rubella epidemic. This shift may have occurred throughout China during 2001 to 2007. This study investigated the genotype distribution of rubella viruses in China over a 28-year period to establish an important genetic baseline in China during its prevaccination era.
PMCID: PMC2863877  PMID: 20351211
7.  Genetic characterization of wild-type measles viruses isolated in China, 2006-2007 
Virology Journal  2010;7:105.
Molecular characterization of wild-type measles viruses in China during 1995-2004 demonstrated that genotype H1 was endemic and widely distributed throughout the country. H1-associated cases and outbreaks caused a resurgence of measles beginning in 2005. A total of 210,094 measles cases and 101 deaths were reported by National Notifiable Diseases Reporting System (NNDRS) and Chinese Measles Laboratory Network (LabNet) from 2006 to 2007, and the incidences of measles were 6.8/100,000 population and 7.2/100,000 population in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Five hundred and sixty-five wild-type measles viruses were isolated from 24 of 31 provinces in mainland China during 2006 and 2007, and all of the wild type virus isolates belonged to cluster 1 of genotype H1. These results indicated that H1-cluster 1 viruses were the predominant viruses circulating in China from 2006 to 2007. This study contributes to previous efforts to generate critical baseline data about circulating wild-type measles viruses in China that will allow molecular epidemiologic studies to help measure the progress made toward China's goal of measles elimination by 2012.
PMCID: PMC2887432  PMID: 20500809
8.  Comparison of Four Methods Using Throat Swabs To Confirm Rubella Virus Infection▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2007;45(9):2847-2852.
Laboratory tests are essential for confirming sporadic cases and outbreaks of rubella. Detection of rubella virus is often necessary to confirm rubella cases and to identify specimens to be used to characterize wild-type rubella viruses. The sensitivities of four methods for detecting rubella virus infection using throat swabs, which had been collected in Henan and Anhui provinces in China, were evaluated. The methods used were reverse transcription (RT)-PCR followed by Southern hybridization using RNA extracted directly from clinical specimens, virus growth in tissue culture followed by virus detection by RT-PCR, low-background immunofluorescence in infected tissue culture cells using monoclonal antibodies to the structural proteins of rubella virus, and a replicon-based method of detecting infectious virus. Among these four methods, direct RT-PCR followed by hybridization was the most sensitive method; the replicon-based method was the least difficult to perform.
PMCID: PMC2045274  PMID: 17596370
9.  Molecular epidemiology of measles viruses in China, 1995–2003 
Virology Journal  2007;4:14.
This report describes the genetic characterization of 297 wild-type measles viruses that were isolated in 24 provinces of China between 1995 and 2003. Phylogenetic analysis of the N gene sequences showed that all of the isolates belonged to genotype H1 except 3 isolates, which were genotype A. The nucleotide sequence and predicted amino acid homologies of the 294-genotype H1 strains were 94.7%–100% and 93.3%–100%, respectively. The genotype H1 isolates were divided into 2 clusters, which differed by approximately 2.9% at the nucleotide level. Viruses from both clusters were distributed throughout China with no apparent geographic restriction and multiple co-circulating lineages were present in many provinces. Even though other measles genotypes have been detected in countries that border China, this report shows that genotype H1 is widely distributed throughout the country and that China has a single, endemic genotype. This important baseline data will help to monitor the progress of measles control in China.
PMCID: PMC1802751  PMID: 17280609

Results 1-9 (9)