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author:("Wen, gaining")
1.  Carnitine transporter OCTN2 and carnitine uptake in bovine kidney cells is regulated by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β/δ 
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα), a central regulator of fatty acid catabolism, has recently been shown to be a transcriptional regulator of the gene encoding the carnitine transporter novel organic cation transporter 2 (OCTN2) in cattle. Whether PPARβ/δ, another PPAR subtype, which has partially overlapping functions as PPARα and is known to share a large set of common target genes with PPARα, also regulates OCTN2 and carnitine transport in cattle is currently unknown. To close this gap of knowledge, we studied the effect of the PPARβ/δ activator GW0742 on mRNA and protein levels of OCTN2 and carnitine uptake in the presence and absence of the PPARβ/δ antagonist GSK3787 in the bovine Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cell line.
Treatment of MDBK cells with GW0742 caused a strong increase in the mRNA level of the known bovine PPARβ/δ target gene CPT1A in MDBK cells indicating activation of PPARβ/δ. The mRNA and protein level of OCTN2 was clearly elevated in MDBK cells treated with GW0742, but the stimulatory effect of GW0742 on mRNA and protein level of OCTN2 was completely blocked by GSK3787. In addition, GW0742 increased Na+-dependent carnitine uptake, which is mediated by OCTN2, into MDBK cells, whereas treatment of cells with the PPARβ/δ antagonist completely abolished the stimulatory effect of GW0742 on carnitine uptake.
The present study shows for the first time that gene expression of the carnitine transporter OCTN2 and carnitine transport are regulated by PPARβ/δ in bovine cells. These novel findings extend the knowledge about the molecular regulation of the OCTN2 gene and carnitine transport in cattle and indicate that regulation of OCTN2 gene expression and carnitine transport is not restricted to the PPARα subtype.
PMCID: PMC3998222  PMID: 24716857
Bovine kidney cell; Novel organic cation transporter 2; Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β/δ
2.  Sterol Regulatory Element-Binding Proteins Are Regulators of the Rat Thyroid Peroxidase Gene in Thyroid Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91265.
Sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs)-1c and -2, which were initially discovered as master transcriptional regulators of lipid biosynthesis and uptake, were recently identified as novel transcriptional regulators of the sodium-iodide symporter gene in the thyroid, which is essential for thyroid hormone synthesis. Based on this observation that SREBPs play a role for thyroid hormone synthesis, we hypothesized that another gene involved in thyroid hormone synthesis, the thyroid peroxidase (TPO) gene, is also a target of SREBP-1c and -2. Thyroid epithelial cells treated with 25-hydroxycholesterol, which is known to inhibit SREBP activation, had about 50% decreased mRNA levels of TPO. Similarly, the mRNA level of TPO was reduced by about 50% in response to siRNA mediated knockdown of both, SREBP-1 and SREBP-2. Reporter gene assays revealed that overexpression of active SREBP-1c and -2 causes a strong transcriptional activation of the rat TPO gene, which was localized to an approximately 80 bp region in the intron 1 of the rat TPO gene. In vitro- and in vivo-binding of both, SREBP-1c and SREBP-2, to this region in the rat TPO gene could be demonstrated using gel-shift assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation. Mutation analysis of the 80 bp region of rat TPO intron 1 revealed two isolated and two overlapping SREBP-binding elements from which one, the overlapping SRE+609/InvSRE+614, was shown to be functional in reporter gene assays. In connection with recent findings that the rat NIS gene is also a SREBP target gene in the thyroid, the present findings suggest that SREBPs may be possible novel targets for pharmacological modulation of thyroid hormone synthesis.
PMCID: PMC3953333  PMID: 24625548
3.  Supplementation of a grape seed and grape marc meal extract decreases activities of the oxidative stress-responsive transcription factors NF-κB and Nrf2 in the duodenal mucosa of pigs 
In pigs, enteric infections and the development of gut disorders such as diarrhoea are commonly observed, particularly after weaning. The present study investigated the hypothesis that feeding a grape seed and grape marc extract (GSGME) as a dietary supplement has the potential to suppress the inflammatory process in the small intestine of pigs by modulating the activities of NF-κB and Nrf2 due to its high content of flavonoids.
Twenty-four crossbred, 6 weeks old pigs were randomly assigned to 2 groups of 12 animals each and fed nutritionally adequate diets without or with 1% GSGME for 4 weeks.
Pigs administered GSGME had a lower transactivation of NF-κB and Nrf2 and a lower expression of various target genes of these transcription factors in the duodenal mucosa than control pigs (P < 0.05). Concentrations of α-tocopherol and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) in liver and plasma and total antioxidant capacity of plasma and relative mRNA abundances of NF-κB and Nrf2 target genes in the liver did not differ between the two groups. However, the ratio of villus height:crypt depth and the gain:feed ratio was higher in the pigs fed GSGME than in control pigs (P < 0.05).
This study shows that dietary supplementation of a polyphenol rich GSGME suppresses the activity of NF-κB in the duodenal mucosa of pigs and thus might provide a useful dietary strategy to inhibit inflammation in the gut frequently occurring in pigs. Feeding GSGME did not influence vitamin E status and the antioxidant system of the pigs but improved the gain:feed ratio. In overall, the study suggests that polyphenol-rich plant extracts such GSGME could be useful feed supplements in pig nutrition, in order to maintain animal health and improve performance.
PMCID: PMC3599961  PMID: 23453040
NF-κB; Nrf2; Polyphenol; Pig; Intestine
4.  Regulation of Genes Involved in Carnitine Homeostasis by PPARα across Different Species (Rat, Mouse, Pig, Cattle, Chicken, and Human) 
PPAR Research  2012;2012:868317.
Recent studies in rodents convincingly demonstrated that PPARα is a key regulator of genes involved in carnitine homeostasis, which serves as a reasonable explanation for the phenomenon that energy deprivation and fibrate treatment, both of which cause activation of hepatic PPARα, causes a strong increase of hepatic carnitine concentration in rats. The present paper aimed to comprehensively analyse available data from genetic and animal studies with mice, rats, pigs, cows, and laying hens and from human studies in order to compare the regulation of genes involved in carnitine homeostasis by PPARα across different species. Overall, our comparative analysis indicates that the role of PPARα as a regulator of carnitine homeostasis is well conserved across different species. However, despite demonstrating a well-conserved role of PPARα as a key regulator of carnitine homeostasis in general, our comprehensive analysis shows that this assumption particularly applies to the regulation by PPARα of carnitine uptake which is obviously highly conserved across species, whereas regulation by PPARα of carnitine biosynthesis appears less well conserved across species.
PMCID: PMC3486131  PMID: 23150726
5.  Coevolution of aah: A dps-Like Gene with the Host Bacterium Revealed by Comparative Genomic Analysis 
The Scientific World Journal  2012;2012:504905.
A protein named AAH was isolated from the bacterium Microbacterium arborescens SE14, a gut commensal of the lepidopteran larvae. It showed not only a high sequence similarity to Dps-like proteins (DNA-binding proteins from starved cell) but also reversible hydrolase activity. A comparative genomic analysis was performed to gain more insights into its evolution. The GC profile of the aah gene indicated that it was evolved from a low GC ancestor. Its stop codon usage was also different from the general pattern of Actinobacterial genomes. The phylogeny of dps-like proteins showed strong correlation with the phylogeny of host bacteria. A conserved genomic synteny was identified in some taxonomically related Actinobacteria, suggesting that the ancestor genes had incorporated into the genome before the divergence of Micrococcineae from other families. The aah gene had evolved new function but still retained the typical dodecameric structure.
PMCID: PMC3289904  PMID: 22454608
6.  13-hydroxy linoleic acid increases expression of the cholesterol transporters ABCA1, ABCG1 and SR-BI and stimulates apoA-I-dependent cholesterol efflux in RAW264.7 macrophages 
Synthetic activators of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) stimulate cholesterol removal from macrophages through PPAR-dependent up-regulation of liver × receptor α (LXRα) and subsequent induction of cholesterol exporters such as ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) and scavenger receptor class B type 1 (SR-BI). The present study aimed to test the hypothesis that the hydroxylated derivative of linoleic acid (LA), 13-HODE, which is a natural PPAR agonist, has similar effects in RAW264.7 macrophages.
RAW264.7 macrophages were treated without (control) or with LA or 13-HODE in the presence and absence of PPARα or PPARγ antagonists and determined protein levels of LXRα, ABCA1, ABCG1, SR-BI, PPARα and PPARγ and apolipoprotein A-I mediated lipid efflux.
Treatment of RAW264.7 cells with 13-HODE increased PPAR-transactivation activity and protein concentrations of LXRα, ABCA1, ABCG1 and SR-BI when compared to control treatment (P < 0.05). In addition, 13-HODE enhanced cholesterol concentration in the medium but decreased cellular cholesterol concentration during incubation of cells with the extracellular lipid acceptor apolipoprotein A-I (P < 0.05). Pre-treatment of cells with a selective PPARα or PPARγ antagonist completely abolished the effects of 13-HODE on cholesterol efflux and protein levels of genes investigated. In contrast to 13-HODE, LA had no effect on either of these parameters compared to control cells.
13-HODE induces cholesterol efflux from macrophages via the PPAR-LXRα-ABCA1/SR-BI-pathway.
PMCID: PMC3248880  PMID: 22129452
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors; Cholesterol efflux; Macrophage; Oxidized fatty acids
7.  The ancient mammalian KRAB zinc finger gene cluster on human chromosome 8q24.3 illustrates principles of C2H2 zinc finger evolution associated with unique expression profiles in human tissues 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:206.
Expansion of multi-C2H2 domain zinc finger (ZNF) genes, including the Krüppel-associated box (KRAB) subfamily, paralleled the evolution of tetrapodes, particularly in mammalian lineages. Advances in their cataloging and characterization suggest that the functions of the KRAB-ZNF gene family contributed to mammalian speciation.
Here, we characterized the human 8q24.3 ZNF cluster on the genomic, the phylogenetic, the structural and the transcriptome level. Six (ZNF7, ZNF34, ZNF250, ZNF251, ZNF252, ZNF517) of the seven locus members contain exons encoding KRAB domains, one (ZNF16) does not. They form a paralog group in which the encoded KRAB and ZNF protein domains generally share more similarities with each other than with other members of the human ZNF superfamily. The closest relatives with respect to their DNA-binding domain were ZNF7 and ZNF251. The analysis of orthologs in therian mammalian species revealed strong conservation and purifying selection of the KRAB-A and zinc finger domains. These findings underscore structural/functional constraints during evolution. Gene losses in the murine lineage (ZNF16, ZNF34, ZNF252, ZNF517) and potential protein truncations in primates (ZNF252) illustrate ongoing speciation processes. Tissue expression profiling by quantitative real-time PCR showed similar but distinct patterns for all tested ZNF genes with the most prominent expression in fetal brain. Based on accompanying expression signatures in twenty-six other human tissues ZNF34 and ZNF250 revealed the closest expression profiles. Together, the 8q24.3 ZNF genes can be assigned to a cerebellum, a testis or a prostate/thyroid subgroup. These results are consistent with potential functions of the ZNF genes in morphogenesis and differentiation. Promoter regions of the seven 8q24.3 ZNF genes display common characteristics like missing TATA-box, CpG island-association and transcription factor binding site (TFBS) modules. Common TFBS modules partly explain the observed expression pattern similarities.
The ZNF genes at human 8q24.3 form a relatively old mammalian paralog group conserved in eutherian mammals for at least 130 million years. The members persisted after initial duplications by undergoing subfunctionalizations in their expression patterns and target site recognition. KRAB-ZNF mediated repression of transcription might have shaped organogenesis in mammalian ontogeny.
PMCID: PMC2865497  PMID: 20346131
8.  The DNA sequence of the human X chromosome 
Ross, Mark T. | Grafham, Darren V. | Coffey, Alison J. | Scherer, Steven | McLay, Kirsten | Muzny, Donna | Platzer, Matthias | Howell, Gareth R. | Burrows, Christine | Bird, Christine P. | Frankish, Adam | Lovell, Frances L. | Howe, Kevin L. | Ashurst, Jennifer L. | Fulton, Robert S. | Sudbrak, Ralf | Wen, Gaiping | Jones, Matthew C. | Hurles, Matthew E. | Andrews, T. Daniel | Scott, Carol E. | Searle, Stephen | Ramser, Juliane | Whittaker, Adam | Deadman, Rebecca | Carter, Nigel P. | Hunt, Sarah E. | Chen, Rui | Cree, Andrew | Gunaratne, Preethi | Havlak, Paul | Hodgson, Anne | Metzker, Michael L. | Richards, Stephen | Scott, Graham | Steffen, David | Sodergren, Erica | Wheeler, David A. | Worley, Kim C. | Ainscough, Rachael | Ambrose, Kerrie D. | Ansari-Lari, M. Ali | Aradhya, Swaroop | Ashwell, Robert I. S. | Babbage, Anne K. | Bagguley, Claire L. | Ballabio, Andrea | Banerjee, Ruby | Barker, Gary E. | Barlow, Karen F. | Barrett, Ian P. | Bates, Karen N. | Beare, David M. | Beasley, Helen | Beasley, Oliver | Beck, Alfred | Bethel, Graeme | Blechschmidt, Karin | Brady, Nicola | Bray-Allen, Sarah | Bridgeman, Anne M. | Brown, Andrew J. | Brown, Mary J. | Bonnin, David | Bruford, Elspeth A. | Buhay, Christian | Burch, Paula | Burford, Deborah | Burgess, Joanne | Burrill, Wayne | Burton, John | Bye, Jackie M. | Carder, Carol | Carrel, Laura | Chako, Joseph | Chapman, Joanne C. | Chavez, Dean | Chen, Ellson | Chen, Guan | Chen, Yuan | Chen, Zhijian | Chinault, Craig | Ciccodicola, Alfredo | Clark, Sue Y. | Clarke, Graham | Clee, Chris M. | Clegg, Sheila | Clerc-Blankenburg, Kerstin | Clifford, Karen | Cobley, Vicky | Cole, Charlotte G. | Conquer, Jen S. | Corby, Nicole | Connor, Richard E. | David, Robert | Davies, Joy | Davis, Clay | Davis, John | Delgado, Oliver | DeShazo, Denise | Dhami, Pawandeep | Ding, Yan | Dinh, Huyen | Dodsworth, Steve | Draper, Heather | Dugan-Rocha, Shannon | Dunham, Andrew | Dunn, Matthew | Durbin, K. James | Dutta, Ireena | Eades, Tamsin | Ellwood, Matthew | Emery-Cohen, Alexandra | Errington, Helen | Evans, Kathryn L. | Faulkner, Louisa | Francis, Fiona | Frankland, John | Fraser, Audrey E. | Galgoczy, Petra | Gilbert, James | Gill, Rachel | Glöckner, Gernot | Gregory, Simon G. | Gribble, Susan | Griffiths, Coline | Grocock, Russell | Gu, Yanghong | Gwilliam, Rhian | Hamilton, Cerissa | Hart, Elizabeth A. | Hawes, Alicia | Heath, Paul D. | Heitmann, Katja | Hennig, Steffen | Hernandez, Judith | Hinzmann, Bernd | Ho, Sarah | Hoffs, Michael | Howden, Phillip J. | Huckle, Elizabeth J. | Hume, Jennifer | Hunt, Paul J. | Hunt, Adrienne R. | Isherwood, Judith | Jacob, Leni | Johnson, David | Jones, Sally | de Jong, Pieter J. | Joseph, Shirin S. | Keenan, Stephen | Kelly, Susan | Kershaw, Joanne K. | Khan, Ziad | Kioschis, Petra | Klages, Sven | Knights, Andrew J. | Kosiura, Anna | Kovar-Smith, Christie | Laird, Gavin K. | Langford, Cordelia | Lawlor, Stephanie | Leversha, Margaret | Lewis, Lora | Liu, Wen | Lloyd, Christine | Lloyd, David M. | Loulseged, Hermela | Loveland, Jane E. | Lovell, Jamieson D. | Lozado, Ryan | Lu, Jing | Lyne, Rachael | Ma, Jie | Maheshwari, Manjula | Matthews, Lucy H. | McDowall, Jennifer | McLaren, Stuart | McMurray, Amanda | Meidl, Patrick | Meitinger, Thomas | Milne, Sarah | Miner, George | Mistry, Shailesh L. | Morgan, Margaret | Morris, Sidney | Müller, Ines | Mullikin, James C. | Nguyen, Ngoc | Nordsiek, Gabriele | Nyakatura, Gerald | O’Dell, Christopher N. | Okwuonu, Geoffery | Palmer, Sophie | Pandian, Richard | Parker, David | Parrish, Julia | Pasternak, Shiran | Patel, Dina | Pearce, Alex V. | Pearson, Danita M. | Pelan, Sarah E. | Perez, Lesette | Porter, Keith M. | Ramsey, Yvonne | Reichwald, Kathrin | Rhodes, Susan | Ridler, Kerry A. | Schlessinger, David | Schueler, Mary G. | Sehra, Harminder K. | Shaw-Smith, Charles | Shen, Hua | Sheridan, Elizabeth M. | Shownkeen, Ratna | Skuce, Carl D. | Smith, Michelle L. | Sotheran, Elizabeth C. | Steingruber, Helen E. | Steward, Charles A. | Storey, Roy | Swann, R. Mark | Swarbreck, David | Tabor, Paul E. | Taudien, Stefan | Taylor, Tineace | Teague, Brian | Thomas, Karen | Thorpe, Andrea | Timms, Kirsten | Tracey, Alan | Trevanion, Steve | Tromans, Anthony C. | d’Urso, Michele | Verduzco, Daniel | Villasana, Donna | Waldron, Lenee | Wall, Melanie | Wang, Qiaoyan | Warren, James | Warry, Georgina L. | Wei, Xuehong | West, Anthony | Whitehead, Siobhan L. | Whiteley, Mathew N. | Wilkinson, Jane E. | Willey, David L. | Williams, Gabrielle | Williams, Leanne | Williamson, Angela | Williamson, Helen | Wilming, Laurens | Woodmansey, Rebecca L. | Wray, Paul W. | Yen, Jennifer | Zhang, Jingkun | Zhou, Jianling | Zoghbi, Huda | Zorilla, Sara | Buck, David | Reinhardt, Richard | Poustka, Annemarie | Rosenthal, André | Lehrach, Hans | Meindl, Alfons | Minx, Patrick J. | Hillier, LaDeana W. | Willard, Huntington F. | Wilson, Richard K. | Waterston, Robert H. | Rice, Catherine M. | Vaudin, Mark | Coulson, Alan | Nelson, David L. | Weinstock, George | Sulston, John E. | Durbin, Richard | Hubbard, Tim | Gibbs, Richard A. | Beck, Stephan | Rogers, Jane | Bentley, David R.
Nature  2005;434(7031):325-337.
The human X chromosome has a unique biology that was shaped by its evolution as the sex chromosome shared by males and females. We have determined 99.3% of the euchromatic sequence of the X chromosome. Our analysis illustrates the autosomal origin of the mammalian sex chromosomes, the stepwise process that led to the progressive loss of recombination between X and Y, and the extent of subsequent degradation of the Y chromosome. LINE1 repeat elements cover one-third of the X chromosome, with a distribution that is consistent with their proposed role as way stations in the process of X-chromosome inactivation. We found 1,098 genes in the sequence, of which 99 encode proteins expressed in testis and in various tumour types. A disproportionately high number of mendelian diseases are documented for the X chromosome. Of this number, 168 have been explained by mutations in 113 X-linked genes, which in many cases were characterized with the aid of the DNA sequence.
PMCID: PMC2665286  PMID: 15772651
9.  Widespread Occurrence and Genomic Context of Unusually Small Polyketide Synthase Genes in Microbial Consortia Associated with Marine Sponges▿  
Numerous marine sponges harbor enormous amounts of as-yet-uncultivated bacteria in their tissues. There is increasing evidence that these symbionts play an important role in the synthesis of protective metabolites, many of which are of great pharmacological interest. In this study, genes for the biosynthesis of polyketides, one of the most important classes of bioactive natural products, were systematically investigated in 20 demosponge species from different oceans. Unexpectedly, the sponge metagenomes were dominated by a ubiquitously present, evolutionarily distinct, and highly sponge-specific group of polyketide synthases (PKSs). Open reading frames resembling animal fatty acid genes were found on three corresponding DNA regions isolated from the metagenomes of Theonella swinhoei and Aplysina aerophoba. Their architecture suggests that methyl-branched fatty acids are the metabolic product. According to a phylogenetic analysis of housekeeping genes, at least one of the PKSs belongs to a bacterium of the Deinococcus-Thermus phylum. The results provide new insights into the chemistry of sponge symbionts and allow inference of a detailed phylogeny of the diverse functional PKS types present in sponge metagenomes. Based on these qualitative and quantitative data, we propose a significantly simplified strategy for the targeted isolation of biomedically relevant PKS genes from complex sponge-symbiont associations.
PMCID: PMC1855645  PMID: 17293531

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