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1.  Intestinally-targeted TGR5 agonists equipped with quaternary ammonium have an improved hypoglycemic effect and reduced gallbladder filling effect 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:28676.
TGR5 activation of enteroendocrine cells increases glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) release, which maintains glycemic homeostasis. However, TGR5 activation in the gallbladder and heart is associated with severe side effects. Therefore, intestinally-targeted TGR5 agonists were suggested as potential hypoglycemic agents with minimal side effects. However, until now no such compounds with robust glucose-lowering effects were reported, especially in diabetic animal models. Herein, we identify a TGR5 agonist, 26a, which was proven to be intestinally-targeted through pharmacokinetic studies. 26a was used as a tool drug to verify the intestinally-targeted strategy. 26a displayed a robust and long-lasting hypoglycemic effect in ob/ob mice (once a day dosing (QD) and 18-day treatment) owing to sustained stimulation of GLP-1 secretion, which suggested that robust hypoglycemic effect could be achieved with activation of TGR5 in intestine alone. However, the gallbladder filling effect of 26a was rather complicated. Although the gallbladder filling effect of 26a was decreased in mice after once a day dosing, this side effect was still not eliminated. To solve the problem above, several research strategies were raised for further optimization.
PMCID: PMC4919643  PMID: 27339735
2.  The Role of Hydrogen Peroxide and Nitric Oxide in the Induction of Plant-Encoded RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase 1 in the Basal Defense against Tobacco Mosaic Virus 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e76090.
Plant RNA-dependent RNA Polymerase 1 (RDR1) is an important element of the RNA silencing pathway in the plant defense against viruses. RDR1 expression can be elicited by viral infection and salicylic acid (SA), but the mechanisms of signaling during this process remains undefined. The involvement of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and nitric oxide (NO) in RDR1 induction in the compatible interactions between Tobacco mosaic tobamovirus (TMV) and Nicotiana tabacum, Nicotiana benthamiana, and Arabidopsis thaliana was examined. TMV inoculation onto the lower leaves of N. tabacum induced the rapid accumulation of H2O2 and NO followed by the increased accumulation of RDR1 transcripts in the non-inoculated upper leaves. Pretreatment with exogenous H2O2 and NO on upper leaf led to increased RDR1 expression and systemic TMV resistance. Conversely, dimethylthiourea (an H2O2 scavenger) and 2-(4-carboxyphenyl)- 4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide (an NO scavenger) partly blocked TMV- and SA-induced RDR1 expression and increased TMV susceptibility, whereas pretreatment with exogenous H2O2 and NO failed to diminish TMV infection in N. benthamiana plants with naturally occurring RDR1 loss-of-function. Furthermore, in N. tabacum and A. thaliana, TMV-induced H2O2 accumulation was NO-dependent, whereas NO generation was not affected by H2O2. These results suggest that, in response to TMV infection, H2O2 acts downstream of NO to mediate induction of RDR1, which plays a critical role in strengthening RNA silencing to restrict systemic viral infection.
PMCID: PMC3786905  PMID: 24098767
3.  Hydrogen peroxide functions as a secondary messenger for brassinosteroids-induced CO2 assimilation and carbohydrate metabolism in Cucumis sativus *  
Brassinosteroids (BRs) are potent regulators of photosynthesis and crop yield in agricultural crops; however, the mechanism by which BRs increase photosynthesis is not fully understood. Here, we show that foliar application of 24-epibrassinolide (EBR) resulted in increases in CO2 assimilation, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) accumulation, and leaf area in cucumber. H2O2 treatment induced increases in CO2 assimilation whilst inhibition of the H2O2 accumulation by its generation inhibitor or scavenger completely abolished EBR-induced CO2 assimilation. Increases of light harvesting due to larger leaf areas in EBR- and H2O2-treated plants were accompanied by increases in the photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (ΦPSII) and photochemical quenching coefficient (q P). EBR and H2O2 both activated carboxylation efficiency of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate oxygenase/carboxylase (Rubisco) from analysis of CO2 response curve and in vitro measurement of Rubisco activities. Moreover, EBR and H2O2 increased contents of total soluble sugar, sucrose, hexose, and starch, followed by enhanced activities of sugar metabolism such as sucrose phosphate synthase, sucrose synthase, and invertase. Interestingly, expression of transcripts of enzymes involved in starch and sugar utilization were inhibited by EBR and H2O2. However, the effects of EBR on carbohydrate metabolisms were reversed by the H2O2 generation inhibitor diphenyleneodonium (DPI) or scavenger dimethylthiourea (DMTU) pretreatment. All of these results indicate that H2O2 functions as a secondary messenger for EBR-induced CO2 assimilation and carbohydrate metabolism in cucumber plants. Our study confirms that H2O2 mediates the regulation of photosynthesis by BRs and suggests that EBR and H2O2 regulate Calvin cycle and sugar metabolism via redox signaling and thus increase the photosynthetic potential and yield of crops.
PMCID: PMC3468824  PMID: 23024048
Metabolism; Photosynthesis; Reactive oxygen species; Rubisco; Sucrose

Results 1-3 (3)