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1.  Off Target Effects of c-MET Inhibitors on Thyroid Cancer Cells 
Molecular cancer therapeutics  2013;13(1):134-143.
Aberrantly activated c-MET signaling occurs in several cancers, promoting the development of c-MET inhibitors. In this study, we found that eight of 8 thyroid cancer cell lines (including six anaplastic thyroid cell lines) have prominent expression of c-MET protein. Fifty percent of the thyroid cancer cell lines (four of 8) were growth-inhibited by two small molecule c-MET inhibitors (Tivantinib and Crizotinib), associated with apoptosis and G2/M cell cycle arrest. However, Crizotinib did not inhibit 50% proliferation of thyroid cancer cells (SW1736 and TL3) at a concentration at which the drug completely inhibited ligand-stimulated c-MET phosphorylation. On the other hand, Tivantinib was less potent than Crizotinib at inhibiting c-MET phosphorylation, but was more potent than Crizotinib at decreasing cell growth. Suppressing c-MET protein expression and phosphorylation using siRNA targeting c-MET did not induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Taken together, Tivantinib and Crizotinib have off target(s) activity, contributing to their anti-tumor activity. In vivo study showed that Crizotinib markedly inhibited the growth of thyroid cancer cells (SW1736) in immunodeficient mice. In summary, c-MET inhibitors (Tivantinib and Crizotinib) suppress the growth of aggressive thyroid cancer cells, and this potential therapeutic benefit results from their non-MET-targeting effects.
PMCID: PMC3947168  PMID: 24170771
c-MET; thyroid cancer; Crizotinib; Tivantinib; off-target
2.  A morphologic and semi-quantitative technique to analyze synthesis and release of specific proteins in cells 
BMC Cell Biology  2014;15(1):45.
With the rapid advancement of cell biology, the evaluation of a given protein’s synthesis and release in cells becomes critical. However, up to now there has been no technique available to morphologically visualize and measure a newly synthesized protein in cells, nor can we measure the protein’s release from the cells.
In this study, we developed a set of assays combining pulse chase amino acid substitution, non-radioactive labeling, and immunofluorescence co-localization to visualize newly synthesized proteins in individual cells and then to detect their release using modified ELISA. We demonstrated the synthesis and release of Bcl-2, MMP-9, and immunoglobulin G (IgG) in a human trophoblast cell line, of which the last finding has not been reported previously.
This new technique offers a powerful tool to evaluate the dynamics of the synthesis and release of target proteins in individual cultured cells with wide applications in genetic and protein analysis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12860-014-0045-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4261763  PMID: 25476158
Morphology; Protein; Amino acid; Co-localization
3.  Practicing Pathology in the Era of Big Data and Personalized Medicine 
The traditional task of the pathologist is to assist physicians in making the correct diagnosis of diseases at the earliest possible stage to effectuate the optimal treatment strategy for each individual patient. In this respect surgical pathology (the traditional tissue diagnosis) is but a tool. It is not, of itself, the purpose of pathology practice; and change is in the air. This January 2014 issue of Applied Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Morphology (AIMM) embraces that change by the incorporation of the agenda and content of the journal Diagnostic Molecular Morphology (DMP). Over a decade ago AIMM introduced and promoted the concept of “molecular morphology,” and has sought to publish molecular studies that correlate with the morphologic features that continue to define cancer and many diseases. That intent is now reinforced and extended by the merger with DMP, as a logical and timely response to the growing impact of a wide range of genetic and molecular technologies that are beginning to reshape the way in which pathology is practiced. The use of molecular and genomic techniques already demonstrates clear value in the diagnosis of disease, with treatment tailored specifically to individual patients. Personalized medicine is the future, and personalized medicine demands personalized pathology. The need for integration of the flood of new molecular data, with surgical pathology, digital pathology, and the full range of pathology data in the electronic medical record has never been greater. This review describes the possible impact of these pressures upon the discipline of pathology, and examines possible outcomes. There is a sense of excitement and adventure. Active adaption and innovation are required. The new AIMM, incorporating DMP, seeks to position itself for a central role in this process.
PMCID: PMC4206549  PMID: 24326463
immunohistochemistry; molecular pathology; next-generation sequencing; PCR; digital pathology; surgical pathology; diagnostic molecular pathology; companion diagnostics; predictive markers; advanced personalized diagnostics; personalized medicine; big data; mass spectrometry; targeted therapy; morphologic classification; genomics; proteomics; metabolomics; liquid morphology
4.  Cancer-derived immunoglobulin G promotes LPS-induced proinflammatory cytokine production via binding to TLR4 in cervical cancer cells 
Oncotarget  2014;5(20):9727-9743.
Numerous studies have shown that various cancer cells express immunoglobulin G (IgG). However, the function of cancer-derived IgG and the underlying mechanism remain unclear. In this study, we demonstrated that IgG expression was significantly altered after exposure to LPS in cervical cancer cells, suggesting that IgG was potentially involved in regulation of TLR4 signaling. Reduction of IgG attenuated LPS-induced proinflammatory cytokine production. The phosphorylation levels of NF-κB and MAPK were consistently suppressed by knockdown of IgG, which in turn impaired NF-κB nuclear translocation and the activity of NF-κB responsive element. Furthermore, we found that IgG was recruited to TLR4 in the cytoplasm after LPS stimulation, and IgG silencing inhibited LPS-initiated proinflammatory cytokine production through downregulating TLR4 expression. Similar results were obtained in a mouse model of endotoxemia and human tissues. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that IgG is a positive regulator of LPS-induced proinflammatory cytokine production by binding to TLR4 and enhancing its expression. TLR4 signaling plays a positive role in the development of many inflammation induced cancers such as cervical cancer. Our study strongly indicates that IgG may promote cervical cancer cell proliferation through enhancing TLR4 signaling. IgG may be a novel therapeutic target in treating inflammation mediated cancers.
PMCID: PMC4259433  PMID: 25179302
IgG; cancer; promote; TLR4; proinflammatory cytokine
5.  Comparative Virus Replication and Host Innate Responses in Human Cells Infected with Three Prevalent Clades (2.3.4, 2.3.2, and 7) of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 Viruses 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(1):725-729.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus clades 2.3.4, 2.3.2, and 7 are the dominant cocirculating H5N1 viruses in poultry in China. However, humans appear to be clinically susceptible mostly to the 2.3.4 virus clade. Here, we demonstrated that A549 cells and human macrophages infected with clade 2.3.4 viruses produced significantly more viruses than those infected with the other two clades. Likewise, clade 2.3.4-infected macrophages caused the most severe cellular damage and strongest proinflammatory response.
PMCID: PMC3911739  PMID: 24131718
6.  Contribution of neural cell death to depressive phenotypes of streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice 
Disease Models & Mechanisms  2014;7(6):723-730.
Major depression disorder (MDD) or depression is highly prevalent in individuals with diabetes, and the depressive symptoms are more severe and less responsive to antidepressant therapies in these patients. The underlying mechanism is little understood. We hypothesized that the pathophysiology of comorbid depression was more complex than that proposed for MDD and that neural cell death played a role in the disease severity. To test this hypothesis, we generated streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice. These mice had blood glucose levels threefold above controls and exhibited depressive phenotypes as judged by a battery of behavioral tests, thus confirming the comorbidity in mice. Immunohistological studies showed markedly increased TUNEL-positive cells in the frontal cortex and hippocampus of the comorbid mice, indicating apoptosis. This finding was supported by increased caspase-3 and decreased Bcl-2 proteins in these brain regions. In addition, the serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) level of comorbid mice was reduced compared with controls, further supporting the neurodegenerative change. Mechanistic analyses showed an increased expression of mitochondrial fission genes fission protein 1 (Fis1) and dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), and a decreased expression of mitochondrial fusion genes mitofusin 1 (Mfn1), mitofusin 2 (Mfn2) and optical atrophy 1 (Opa1). Representative assessment of the proteins Drp1 and Mfn2 mirrored the mRNA changes. The data demonstrated that neural cell death was associated with the depressive phenotype of comorbid mice and that a fission-dominant expression of genes and proteins mediating mitochondrial dynamics played a role in the hyperglycemia-induced cell death. The study provides new insight into the disease mechanism and could aid the development of novel therapeutics aimed at providing neuroprotection by modulating mitochondrial dynamics to treat comorbid depression with diabetes.
PMCID: PMC4036479  PMID: 24764190
Depression; Diabetes; Comorbidity; Apoptosis; Neurodegeneration; Mitochondria
7.  Immunoglobulin G Expression in Lung Cancer and Its Effects on Metastasis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97359.
Lung cancer is one of the leading malignancies worldwide, but the regulatory mechanism of its growth and metastasis is still poorly understood. We investigated the possible expression of immunoglobulin G (IgG) genes in squamous cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas of the lung and related cancer cell lines. Abundant mRNA of IgG and essential enzymes for IgG synthesis, recombination activation genes 1, 2 (RAG1, 2) and activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) were detected in the cancer cells but not in adjacent normal lung tissue or normal lung epithelial cell line. The extents of IgG expression in 86 lung cancers were found to associate with clinical stage, pathological grade and lymph node metastasis. We found that knockdown of IgG with siRNA resulted in decreases of cellular proliferation, migration and attachment for cultured lung cancer cells. Metastasis-associated gene 1 (MTA1) appeared to be co-expressed with IgG in lung cancer cells. Statistical analysis showed that the rate of IgG expression was significantly correlated to that of MTA1 and to lymph node metastases. Inhibition of MTA1 gene expression with siRNA also led to decreases of cellular migration and attachment for cultured lung cancer cells. These evidences suggested that inhibition of cancer migration and attachment induced by IgG down-regulation might be achieved through MTA1 regulatory pathway. Our findings suggest that lung cancer-produced IgG is likely to play an important role in cancer growth and metastasis with significant clinical implications.
PMCID: PMC4031068  PMID: 24853685
8.  Proteomic Analysis of the Ehrlichia chaffeensis Phagosome in Cultured DH82 Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88461.
Ehrlichia chaffeensis is an obligately intracellular bacterium that resides and multiplies within cytoplasmic vacuoles of phagocytes. The Ehrlichia-containing vacuole (ECV) does not fuse with lysosomes, an essential condition for Ehrlichia to survive inside phagocytes, but the mechanism of inhibiting the fusion of the phagosome with lysosomes is not clear. Understanding the ECV molecular composition may decipher the mechanism by which Ehrlichia inhibits phagosome-lysosome fusion. In this study, we obtained highly purified ECVs from E. chaffeensis-infected DH82 cells by sucrose density gradient centrifugation and analyzed their composition by mass spectrometry-based proteomics. The ECV composition was compared with that of phagolysosomes containing latex beads. Lysosomal proteins such as cathepsin D, cathepsin S, and lysosomal acid phosphatase were not detected in E. chaffeensis phagosome preparations. Some small GTPases, involved in membrane dynamics and phagocytic trafficking, were detected in ECVs. A notable finding was that Rab7, a late endosomal marker, was consistently detected in E. chaffeensis phagosomes by mass spectrometry. Confocal microscopy confirmed that E. chaffeensis phagosomes contained Rab7 and were acidified at approximately pH 5.2, suggesting that the E. chaffeensis vacuole was an acidified late endosomal compartment. Our results also demonstrated by mass spectrometry and immunofluorescence analysis that Ehrlichia morulae were not associated with the autophagic pathway. Ehrlichia chaffeensis did not inhibit phagosomes containing latex beads from fusing with lysosomes in infected cells. We concluded that the E. chaffeensis vacuole was a late endosome and E. chaffeensis might inhibit phagosome-lysosome fusion by modifying its vacuolar membrane composition, rather than by regulating the expression of host genes involved in trafficking.
PMCID: PMC3928192  PMID: 24558391
9.  Evaluation of the Protective Immunity of a Novel Subunit Fusion Vaccine in a Murine Model of Systemic MRSA Infection 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e81212.
Staphylococcus aureus is a common commensal organism in humans and a major cause of bacteremia and hospital acquired infection. Because of the spread of strains resistant to antibiotics, these infections are becoming more difficult to treat. Therefore, exploration of anti-staphylococcal vaccines is currently a high priority. Iron surface determinant B (IsdB) is an iron-regulated cell wall-anchored surface protein of S. aureus. Alpha-toxin (Hla) is a secreted cytolytic pore-forming toxin. Previous studies reported that immunization with IsdB or Hla protected animals against S. aureus infection. To develop a broadly protective vaccine, we constructed chimeric vaccines based on IsdB and Hla. Immunization with the chimeric bivalent vaccine induced strong antibody and T cell responses. When the protective efficacy of the chimeric bivalent vaccine was compared to that of individual proteins in a murine model of systemic S. aureus infection, the bivalent vaccine showed a stronger protective immune response than the individual proteins (IsdB or Hla). Based on the results presented here, the chimeric bivalent vaccine affords higher levels of protection against S. aureus and has potential as a more effective candidate vaccine.
PMCID: PMC3852261  PMID: 24324681
10.  Effects and interactions of MiR-577 and TSGA10 in regulating esophageal squamous cell carcinoma 
Testis specific 10 (TSGA10) was originally identified as a testis-specific protein and tumor-associated antigen in a number of cancer types. In this study, we found that down-regulation of TSGA10 was associated with increased malignancy and clinical features of esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCCs). Moreover, increased expression of TSGA10 inhibited, while its knockdown promoted, tumor formation in vivo in nude mice. At the 3’UTR of the TSGA10 gene we identified two binding sites for microRNA-577 (miR-577). Further investigation demonstrated that expression levels of miR-577 and TSGA10 were negatively correlated to each other in ESCC cell lines and tumor samples. Moreover, manipulation of miR-577 and TSGA10 expression confirmed that miR-577 can regulate TSGA10 and in turn affect cell proliferation in vitro. Additionally, with flow cytometry and manipulation of the mir-577/TSGA10 axis, it was found that mir-577/TSGA10 axis influenced the growth of ESCC through regulating the G1-S phase transition. We also obtained evidence to establish that mir-577/TSGA10 axis activation was always accompanied by inactivation of the p53 pathway or the Rb pathway or both, thus, the latter two pathways are obligatory for progression of ESCCs with mir-577/TSGA10 axis activation. In addition, we found that such an interactive pathway in regulating cancer cell proliferation was restricted to a few cancer types including ESCC, but not uniformly applicable to other cancer types. This newly discovered regulatory mechanism provides a new dimension for ESCC diagnosis and therapy.
PMCID: PMC3843246  PMID: 24294352
ESCC; TSGA10; miR-577; G1-S phase transition; p53/p21 pathway; Rb/p16 pathway
11.  Aberrant chimeric RNA GOLM1-MAK10 encoding a secreted fusion protein as a molecular signature for human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma 
Oncotarget  2013;4(11):2135-2143.
It is increasingly recognized that chimeric RNAs may exert a novel layer of cellular complexity that contributes to oncogenesis and cancer progression, and could be utilized as molecular biomarkers and therapeutic targets. To date yet no fusion chimeric RNAs have been identified in esophageal cancer, the 6th most frequent cause of cancer death in the world. While analyzing the expression of 32 recurrent cancer chimeric RNAs in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) from patients and cancer cell lines, we identified GOLM1-MAK10, as a highly cancer-enriched chimeric RNA in ESCC. In situ hybridization revealed that the expression of the chimera is largely restricted to cancer cells in patient tumors, and nearly undetectable in non-neoplastic esophageal tissue from normal subjects. The aberrant chimera closely correlated with histologic differentiation and lymph node metastasis. Furthermore, we demonstrate that chimera GOLM1-MAK10 encodes a secreted fusion protein. Mechanistic studies reveal that GOLM1-MAK10 is likely derived from transcription read-through/splicing rather than being generated from a fusion gene. Collectively, these findings provide novel insights into the molecular mechanism involved in ESCC and provide a novel potential target for future therapies. The secreted fusion protein translated from GOLM1-MAK10 could also serve as a unique protein signature detectable by standard non-invasive assays. These observations are critical as there is no clinically useful molecular signature available for detecting this deadly disease or monitoring the treatment response.
PMCID: PMC3875775  PMID: 24243830
Transcriptome; transcription-induced chimeric RNAs; GOLM1-MAK10; secreted fusion protein; cancer biomarker; esophageal cancer
12.  First Genome Sequence of a Burkholderia pseudomallei Isolate in China, Strain BPC006, Obtained from a Melioidosis Patient in Hainan 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(23):6604-6605.
Melioidosis, caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, is considered to be endemic to Northern Australia and Southeast Asia, with high mortality and relapse rates, regardless of powerful antibiotic therapy. Here we report the first genome sequence of Burkholderia pseudomallei strain BPC006, obtained from a melioidosis patient in Hainan, China. The genome sizes of the 2 chromosomes were determined to be 4,001,777 bp and 3,153,284 bp.
PMCID: PMC3497521  PMID: 23144371
13.  Short Placental Telomere was Associated with Cadmium Pollution in an Electronic Waste Recycling Town in China 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60815.
In Guiyu, an electronic waste recycling site near Shantou, Guangdong province, China, primitive ways of e-waste processing have caused severe cadmium and lead pollution to the local residents. However, the possible effects of cadmium or lead pollution to genomic integrity of the local residents have not been investigated. We examined the possible relationship between cadmium and lead concentrations in placenta and placental telomere length in Guiyu and compared the data with that of a non-polluted town. Graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry and real-time PCR were used to determine placental cadmium and lead concentrations, and placental telomere length. We found that placental cadmium concentration was negatively correlated with placental telomere length (r = −0.138, p = 0.013). We also found that placental cadmium concentration of 0.0294 µg/g might be a critical point at which attrition of placental telomere commenced. No significant correlation between placental lead concentration and placental telomere length was detected (r = 0.027, p = 0.639). Our data suggest that exposure to cadmium pollution during pregnancy may be a risk factor for shortened placental telomere length that is known to be related to cancer development and aging. Furthermore, grave consequence on the offspring from pregnancies in e-waste polluted area is indicated.
PMCID: PMC3614985  PMID: 23565277
14.  Correlation of Immunoglobulin G Expression and Histological Subtype and Stage in Breast Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e58706.
Recently, growing evidence indicates that immunoglobulins (Igs) are not only produced by mature B lymphocytes or plasma cells, but also by various normal cells types at immune privileged sites and neoplasm, including breast cancer. However, the association of breast cancer derived IgG with genesis and development of the disease has not yet been established.
In this study we examined the expression of IgG in 186 breast cancers, 20 benign breast lesions and 30 normal breast tissues. Both immunohistochemistry with antibodies to Igκ (immunoglobulin G κ light chain) and Igγ (immunoglobulin G heavy chain) and in situ hybridization with an antisense probe to IgG1 heavy chain constant region gene were performed. Various clinicopathological features were also analyzed.
We found that IgG is specifically expressed in human breast cancer cells. Both infiltrating ductal carcinoma and infiltrating lobular carcinoma had significantly greater numbers of Igκ and Igγ positive cancer cells as compared with medullary carcinoma, carcinoma in situ, and benign lesions (all p<0.05). In addition, IgG expression was correlated with breast cancer histological subtypes (p<0.01) and AJCC stages (p<0.05), with more abundance of IgG expression in more malignant histological subtypes or in more advanced stage of the disease.
IgG expression in breast cancer cells is correlated with malignancy and AJCC stages of the cancers. This suggests that breast cancer derived IgG may be associated with genesis, development and prognosis of the cancer.
PMCID: PMC3595271  PMID: 23554916
15.  IgG Expression in Human Colorectal Cancer and Its Relationship to Cancer Cell Behaviors 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e47362.
Increasing evidence indicates that various cancer cell types are capable of producing IgG. The exact function of cancer-derived IgG has, however, not been elucidated. Here we demonstrated the expression of IgG genes with V(D)J recombination in 80 cases of colorectal cancers, 4 colon cancer cell lines and a tumor bearing immune deficient mouse model. IgG expression was associated with tumor differentiation, pTNM stage, lymph node involvement and inflammatory infiltration and positively correlated with the expressions of Cyclin D1, NF-κB and PCNA. Furthermore, we investigated the effect of cancer-derived IgG on the malignant behaviors of colorectal cancer cells and showed that blockage of IgG resulted in increased apoptosis and negatively affected the potential for anchor-independent colony formation and cancer cell invasion. These findings suggest that IgG synthesized by colorectal cancer cells is involved in the development and growth of colorectal cancer and blockage of IgG may be a potential therapy in treating this cancer.
PMCID: PMC3486799  PMID: 23133595
16.  Development and characterization of a novel nanoemulsion drug-delivery system for potential application in oral delivery of protein drugs 
The stability of protein drugs remains one of the key hurdles to their success in the market. The aim of the present study was to design a novel nanoemulsion drug-delivery system (NEDDS) that would encapsulate a standard-model protein drug – bovine serum albumin (BSA) – to improve drug stability.
The BSA NEDDS was prepared using a phase-inversion method and pseudoternary phase diagrams. The following characteristics were studied: morphology, size, zeta potential, drug loading, and encapsulation efficiency. We also investigated the stability of the BSA NEDDS, bioactivity of BSA encapsulated within the NEDDS, the integrity of the primary, secondary, and tertiary structures, and specificity.
The BSA NEDDS consisted of Cremophor EL-35, propylene glycol, isopropyl myristate, and normal saline. The average particle diameter of the BSA NEDDS was about 21.8 nm, and the system showed a high encapsulation efficiency (>90%) and an adequate drug-loading capacity (45 mg/mL). The thermodynamic stability of the system was investigated at different temperatures and pH levels and in room-temperature conditions for 180 days. BSA NEDDS showed good structural integrity and specificity for the primary, secondary, and tertiary structures, and good bioactivity of the loaded BSA.
BSA NEDDS showed the properties of a good nanoemulsion-delivery system. NEDDS can greatly enhance the stability of the protein drug BSA while maintaining high levels of drug bioactivity, good specificity, and integrity of the primary, secondary, and tertiary protein structures. These findings indicate that the nanoemulsion is a potential formulation for oral administration of protein drugs.
Video abstract
PMCID: PMC3484902  PMID: 23118537
nanoemulsion; drug-delivery system; protein drug; oral administration; stability
17.  Human Surfactant Protein A2 Gene Mutations Impair Dimmer/Trimer Assembly Leading to Deficiency in Protein Sialylation and Secretion 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e46559.
Surfactant protein A2 (SP-A2) plays an essential role in surfactant metabolism and lung host defense. SP-A2 mutations in the carbohydrate recognition domain have been related to familial pulmonary fibrosis and can lead to a recombinant protein secretion deficiency in vitro. In this study, we explored the molecular mechanism of protein secretion deficiency and the subsequent biological effects in CHO-K1 cells expressing both wild-type and several different mutant forms of SP-A2. We demonstrate that the SP-A2 G231V and F198S mutants impair the formation of dimmer/trimer SP-A2 which contributes to the protein secretion defect. A deficiency in sialylation, but not N-linked glycosylation, is critical to the observed dimmer/trimer impairment-induced secretion defect. Furthermore, both mutant forms accumulate in the ER and form NP-40-insoluble aggregates. In addition, the soluble mutant SP-A2 could be partially degraded through the proteasome pathway but not the lysosome or autophagy pathway. Intriguingly, 4-phenylbutyrate acid (4-PBA), a chemical chaperone, alleviates aggregate formation and partially rescued the protein secretion of SP-A2 mutants. In conclusion, SP-A2 G231V and F198S mutants impair the dimmer/trimer assembly, which contributes to the protein sialylation and secretion deficiency. The intracellular protein mutants could be partially degraded through the proteasome pathway and also formed aggregates. The treatment of the cells with 4-PBA resulted in reduced aggregation and rescued the secretion of mutant SP-A2.
PMCID: PMC3463533  PMID: 23056344
18.  Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic studies of the C-terminal domain of outer membrane protein A from enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli  
In this study, recombinant OmpAC from EHEC was purified and crystallized and a diffraction data set was collected to 2.7 Å resolution.
Outer membrane protein A (OmpA) of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) plays multiple roles in bacterial physiology and pathogenesis, such as mediation of bacterial conjunction, maintenance of cell shape, induction of adhesion of EHEC to host cells etc. Better understanding of the functions of OmpA will help in the control of EHEC infections. OmpA is composed of two domains: the N-terminal domain and the C-terminal domain. The N-terminal domain is a β-barrel structure and embeds in the outer membrane of the bacterium. The structure and function of the C-terminal domain of OmpA (OmpAC) remain elusive. In this study, recombinant OmpAC from EHEC was purified and crystallized and a diffraction data set was collected to 2.7 Å resolution. The crystals belonged to space group I4132, with unit-cell parameter a = 158.99 Å. The Matthews coefficient and solvent content were calculated to be 2.55 Å3 Da−1 and 51.77%, respectively, for two molecules in the asymmetric unit.
PMCID: PMC2917294  PMID: 20693671
outer membrane protein A; enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli
19.  Compromised autophagy by MIR30B benefits the intracellular survival of Helicobacter pylori 
Autophagy  2012;8(7):1045-1057.
Helicobacter pylori evade immune responses and achieve persistent colonization in the stomach. However, the mechanism by which H. pylori infections persist is not clear. In this study, we showed that MIR30B is upregulated during H. pylori infection of an AGS cell line and human gastric tissues. Upregulation of MIR30B benefited bacterial replication by compromising the process of autophagy during the H. pylori infection. As a potential mechanistic explanation for this observation, we demonstrate that MIR30B directly targets ATG12 and BECN1, which are important proteins involved in autophagy. These results suggest that compromise of autophagy by MIR30B allows intracellular H. pylori to evade autophagic clearance, thereby contributing to the persistence of H. pylori infections.
PMCID: PMC3429542  PMID: 22647547
Helicobacter pylori; MIR30B; ATG12; BECN1; autophagy
20.  Immunoglobulin G Locus Events in Soft Tissue Sarcoma Cell Lines 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e21276.
Recently immunoglobulins (Igs) have been found to be expressed by cells other than B lymphocytes, including various human carcinoma cells. Sarcomas are derived from mesenchyme, and the knowledge about the occurrence of Ig production in sarcoma cells is very limited. Here we investigated the phenomenon of immunoglobulin G (IgG) expression and its molecular basis in 3 sarcoma cell lines. The mRNA transcripts of IgG heavy chain and kappa light chain were detected by RT-PCR. In addition, the expression of IgG proteins was confirmed by Western blot and immunofluorescence. Immuno-electron microscopy localized IgG to the cell membrane and rough endoplasmic reticulum. The essential enzymes required for gene rearrangement and class switch recombination, and IgG germ-line transcripts were also identified in these sarcoma cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation results demonstrated histone H3 acetylation of both the recombination activating gene and Ig heavy chain regulatory elements. Collectively, these results confirmed IgG expression in sarcoma cells, the mechanism of which is very similar to that regulating IgG expression in B lymphocytes.
PMCID: PMC3121753  PMID: 21731691
21.  Transcription Factors E2A, FOXO1 and FOXP1 Regulate Recombination Activating Gene Expression in Cancer Cells 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e20475.
It has long been accepted that immunoglobulins (Igs) were produced by B lymphoid cells only. Recently Igs have been found to be expressed in various human cancer cells and promote tumor growth. Recombination activating gene 1 (RAG1) and RAG2, which are essential enzymes for initiating variable-diversity-joining segment recombination, have also been found to be expressed in cancer cells. However, the mechanism of RAG activation in these cancer cells has not been elucidated. Here, we investigated the regulatory mechanism of RAG expression in four human cancer cell lines by analyzing transcription factors that induce RAG activation in B cells. By RT-PCR, Western blot and immunofluorescence, we found that transcription factors E2A, FOXO1 and FOXP1 were expressed and localized to the nuclei of these cancer cells. Over-expression of E2A, FOXO1 or Foxp1 increased RAG expression, while RNA interference of E2A, FOXO1 or FOXP1 decreased RAG expression in the cancer cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments showed acetylation of RAG enhancer (Erag) and E2A, FOXO1 or FOXP1 were bound to Erag in vivo. These results indicate that in these cancer cells the transcription factors E2A, FOXO1 and FOXP1 regulate RAG expression, which initiates Ig gene rearrangement much in the way similar to B lymphocytes.
PMCID: PMC3105062  PMID: 21655267
22.  A role for the clock gene, Per1 in prostate cancer 
Cancer research  2009;69(19):7619-7625.
Circadian rhythms regulate diverse physiological processes including homeostatic functions of steroid hormones and their receptors. Perturbations of these rhythms are associated with pathogenic conditions, such as depression, diabetes, and cancer. Androgens play an important role in both normal development and carcinogenesis of the prostate. In the present study, we investigated a potential role for the core clock factor, Per1, in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer. Serum-shocked synchronized prostate cancer cells displayed disrupted circadian rhythms compared to the normal prostate tissue. Using Oncomine to perform a meta-analysis of microarray expression studies, we found that Per1 is downregulated in human prostate cancer samples compared with normal prostates. Reporter assays demonstrated that Per1 inhibited transactivation of the androgen receptor (AR) both in 293T cells overexpressing the AR and in the prostate cancer cell line, LNCaP. Forced expression of Per1 in LNCaP cells, diminished the expression of known androgen-sensitive genes following stimulation with dihydrotestosterone (DHT). We showed that Per1 physically interacted with AR; and in addition, we found that Per1 itself is regulated by androgens in prostate cancer cells. Overexpression of Per1 in prostate cancer cells resulted in significant growth inhibition and apoptosis. Our results support the emerging role of circadian genes as key players in malignant transformation. Further elucidating the connections between clock genes and the AR pathway could benefit the development of new therapeutic strategies for prostate cancer, as well as, provide insights into chronotherapy as a way to optimize current therapies.
PMCID: PMC2756309  PMID: 19752089
circadian rhythms; Per1; androgen receptor; prostate cancer
23.  Multiple organ infection and the pathogenesis of SARS 
After >8,000 infections and >700 deaths worldwide, the pathogenesis of the new infectious disease, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), remains poorly understood. We investigated 18 autopsies of patients who had suspected SARS; 8 cases were confirmed as SARS. We evaluated white blood cells from 22 confirmed SARS patients at various stages of the disease. T lymphocyte counts in 65 confirmed and 35 misdiagnosed SARS cases also were analyzed retrospectively. SARS viral particles and genomic sequence were detected in a large number of circulating lymphocytes, monocytes, and lymphoid tissues, as well as in the epithelial cells of the respiratory tract, the mucosa of the intestine, the epithelium of the renal distal tubules, the neurons of the brain, and macrophages in different organs. SARS virus seemed to be capable of infecting multiple cell types in several organs; immune cells and pulmonary epithelium were identified as the main sites of injury. A comprehensive theory of pathogenesis is proposed for SARS with immune and lung damage as key features.
PMCID: PMC2213088  PMID: 16043521

Results 1-23 (23)