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author:("Guo, xiaoyan")
1.  Domain-swapping of mesophilic xylanase with hyper-thermophilic glucanase 
BMC Biotechnology  2012;12:28.
Domain fusion is limited at enzyme one terminus. The issue was explored by swapping a mesophilic Aspergillus niger GH11 xylanase (Xyn) with a hyper-thermophilic Thermotoga maritima glucanase (Glu) to construct two chimeras, Xyn-Glu and Glu-Xyn, with an intention to create thermostable xylanase containing glucanase activity.
When expressed in E. coli BL21(DE3), the two chimeras exhibited bi-functional activities of xylanase and glucanase. The Xyn-Glu Xyn moiety had optimal reaction temperature (Topt) at 50 °C and thermal in-activation half-life (t1/2) at 50 °C for 47.6 min, compared to 47 °C and 17.6 min for the Xyn. The Glu-Xyn Xyn moiety had equivalent Topt to and shorter t1/2 (5.2 min) than the Xyn. Both chimera Glu moieties were more thermostable than the Glu, and the three enzyme Topt values were higher than 96 °C. The Glu-Xyn Glu moiety optimal pH was 5.8, compared to 3.8 for the Xyn-Glu Glu moiety and the Glu. Both chimera two moieties cooperated with each other in degrading substrates.
Domain-swapping created different effects on each moiety properties. Fusing the Glu domain at C-terminus increased the xylanase thermostability, but fusing the Glu domain at N-terminus decreased the xylanase thermostability. Fusing the Xyn domain at either terminus increased the glucanase thermostability, and fusing the Xyn domain at C-terminus shifted the glucanase pH property 2 units higher towards alkaline environments. Fusing a domain at C-terminus contributes more to enzyme catalytic activity; whereas, fusing a bigger domain at N-terminus disturbs enzyme substrate binding affinity.
PMCID: PMC3413519  PMID: 22676349
Xylanase; Glucanase; Domain-swapping; Fusing
2.  Identifying Highly Conserved and Highly Differentiated Gene Ontology Categories in Human Populations 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e27871.
Detecting and interpreting certain system-level characteristics associated with human population genetic differences is a challenge for human geneticists. In this study, we conducted a population genetic study using the HapMap genotype data to identify certain special Gene Ontology (GO) categories associated with high/low genetic difference among 11 Hapmap populations. Initially, the genetic differences in each gene region among these populations were measured using allele frequency, linkage disequilibrium (LD) pattern, and transferability of tagSNPs. The associations between each GO term and these genetic differences were then identified. The results showed that cellular process, catalytic activity, binding, and some of their sub-terms were associated with high levels of genetic difference, and genes involved in these functional categories displayed, on average, high genetic diversity among different populations. By contrast, multicellular organismal processes, molecular transducer activity, and some of their sub-terms were associated with low levels of genetic difference. In particular, the neurological system process under the multicellular organismal process category had low levels of genetic difference; the neurological function also showed high evolutionary conservation between species in some previous studies. These results may provide a new insight into the understanding of human evolutionary history at the system-level.
PMCID: PMC3227580  PMID: 22140477
3.  N-Acetylgalactosaminyltransferase-14 as a potential biomarker for breast cancer by immunohistochemistry 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:123.
The post-translational modification of proteins, including glycosylation, differs between normal and tumor cells. The UDP-N-acetyl-D-galactosamine polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferases (GalNAc-Tases) family of enzymes regulates the initial steps of mucin O-glycosylation and is responsible for the altered glycosylation state observed in cancer cells. Recently it was found that GalNAc-T14 mRNA is heterogeneously expressed in breast carcinomas compared to normal tissue, however the expression profile of GalNAc-T14 protein in breast carcinomas compared to normal tissue is still unknown. In this study, we assessed the expression profile of GalNAc-T14 protein in malignant and non-malignant breast tissues by immunohistochemistry to evaluate whether GalNAc-T14 might be a potential biomarker for breast cancer.
In formalin-fixed tissues, the expression level of GalNAc-T14 protein was evaluated by immunohistochemistry assay in breast tissues. Expression profiles were assessed in normal tissues, benign fibroadenomas and several types of carcinomas.
Our results showed that GalNAc-T14 was heterogeneously expressed in breast carcinomas compared to non-malignant tissue. GalNAc-T14 expression was observed in 47/56 (83.9%) carcinoma samples, 7/48 (14.6%) non-malignant breast tissue samples. GalNAc-T14 expression level was associated with histological grade. For this enzyme a significant association with invasive ductal type, mucinous adenocarcinoma and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) type was found.
Our results provide evidence that GalNAc-T14 may be a potential biomarker for breast cancer by immunohistochemistry. GalNAc-T14 expression level was associated with histological grade. GalNAc-T14 expression can provide new insights about breast cancer glycobiology.
PMCID: PMC2873381  PMID: 20356418

Results 1-3 (3)