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1.  De Novo Transcriptome Analysis to Identify Anthocyanin Biosynthesis Genes Responsible for Tissue-Specific Pigmentation in Zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0124497.
Zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) is commonly found in temperate climate regions and widely used for lawns, in part, owing to its uniform green color. However, some zoysiagrass cultivars accumulate red to purple pigments in their spike and stolon tissues, thereby decreasing the aesthetic value. Here we analyzed the anthocyanin contents of two zoysiagrass cultivars ‘Anyang-jungji’ (AJ) and ‘Greenzoa’ (GZ) that produce spikes and stolons with purple and green colors, respectively, and revealed that cyanidin and petunidin were primarily accumulated in the pigmented tissues. In parallel, we performed a de novo transcriptome assembly and identified differentially expressed genes between the two cultivars. We found that two anthocyanin biosynthesis genes encoding anthocyanidin synthase (ANS) and dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) were preferentially upregulated in the purple AJ spike upon pigmentation. Both ANS and DFR genes were also highly expressed in other zoysiagrass cultivars with purple spikes and stolons, but their expression levels were significantly low in the cultivars with green tissues. We observed that recombinant ZjDFR1 and ZjANS1 proteins successfully catalyze the conversions of dihydroflavonols into leucoanthocyanidins and leucoanthocyanidins into anthocyanidins, respectively. These findings strongly suggest that upregulation of ANS and DFR is responsible for tissue-specific anthocyanin biosynthesis and differential pigmentation in zoysiagrass. The present study also demonstrates the feasibility of a de novo transcriptome analysis to identify the key genes associated with specific traits, even in the absence of reference genome information.
PMCID: PMC4408010  PMID: 25905914
2.  Expression and roles of NUPR1 in cholangiocarcinoma cells 
Anatomy & Cell Biology  2012;45(1):17-25.
Nuclear protein-1 (NUPR1) is a small nuclear protein that is responsive to various stress stimuli. Although NUPR1 has been associated with cancer development, its expression and roles in cholangiocarcinoma have not yet been described. In the present study, we found that NUPR1 was over-expressed in human cholangiocarcinoma tissues, using immunohistochemistry. The role of NUPR1 in cholangiocarcinoma was examined by its specific siRNA. NUPR1 siRNA decreased proliferation, migration and invasion of human cholangiocarcinoma cell lines (HuCCT1 and SNU1196 cells). From these results, we conclude that NUPR1 is over-expressed in cholangiocarcinoma and regulates the proliferation and motility of cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC3328737  PMID: 22536548
NUPR1; Cholangiocarcinoma; Migration; Invasion; Proliferation
3.  Molecular Cloning and Expression of Cu/Zn-Containing Superoxide Dismutase from Fasciola hepatica 
Infection and Immunity  2000;68(7):3941-3948.
The cytosolic superoxide dismutase (SOD) of Fasciola hepatica, a causative agent of fascioliasis, was purified and characterized. The enzyme consists of two identical subunits, each with an apparent molecular mass of 17.5 kDa. An analysis of the enzyme's primary structure and inhibition studies revealed that the enzyme is a copper/zinc-containing SOD (Cu/Zn-SOD). The enzyme activity was relatively stable in a broad pH range, from pH 7.0 to 10.0, and the enzyme showed maximum activity at pH 7.5. This enzyme also displayed strong antigenicity against sera of bovine and human subjects with fascioliasis. The SOD gene fragment was amplified by PCR with degenerate oligonucleotide primers derived from amino acid sequences conserved in the Cu/Zn-SODs of other organisms. An F. hepatica cDNA library was screened with the SOD gene fragment as a probe. As a result, a complete gene encoding the Cu/Zn-SOD was identified, and its nucleotide sequence was determined. The gene had an open reading frame of 438 bp and 146 deduced amino acids. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence of the enzyme with previously reported Cu/Zn-SOD amino acid sequences revealed considerably high homologies. The coding region of the F. hepatica Cu/Zn-SOD was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. Staining of native polyacrylamide gel for SOD activity of the expressed protein revealed SOD activity that was inactivated by potassium cyanide and hydrogen peroxide but not by sodium azide. This means that the presence of the recombinant fusion protein is indicative of Cu/Zn-SOD. The expressed protein also reacted with sera of bovine and human subjects with fascioliasis, but it did not react with sera of uninfected bovine and human subjects.
PMCID: PMC101671  PMID: 10858207
4.  Non-specific activation of mouse peritoneal macrophages by a freshwater ciliate, Tetrahymena pyriformis 
Toxoplasma-killing activities of mouse peritoneal macrophages activated by the extracts of Tetrahymena pyriformis (Korean and Chinese strains) were evaluated, and the active protein fractions from both strains were partially characterized by a method including chromatographies and SDS-PAGE. The first peak in Korean strain and the second peak in Chinese strain of T. pyriformis obtained by DEAE-Sephadex A-50 chromatography were most effective in the activation of macrophages to kill Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites in vitro. Subsequent fractionations of obtained peak fractions were performed on a Sephadex G-200 gel. The first peaks fractionated from both strains of T. pyriformis had the highest toxoplasmacidal activities, and when subjected to the SDS-PAGE, one prominent band was visualized for each of the strains showing the same molecular weight of ca. 52.6 kDa. This active protein is suggested to be related to non-specific activation of mouse peritoneal macrophages.
PMCID: PMC2721115  PMID: 10905067
Tetrahymena pyriformis; macrophage; Toxoplasma

Results 1-4 (4)