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1.  High Prevalence of the EBER Variant EB-8m in Endemic Nasopharyngeal Carcinomas 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(3):e0121420.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded small RNAs (EBERs) are the most highly expressed transcripts in all EBV-associated tumors and are involved in both lymphoid and epithelioid carcinogenesis. Our previous study on Chinese isolates from non-endemic area of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) identified new EBER variants (EB-8m and EB-10m) which were less common but relatively more frequent in NPC cases than healthy donors. In the present study, we determined the EBER variants in NPC cases and healthy donors from endemic and non-endemic areas of NPC within China and compared the EBER variants, in relation to the genotypes at BamHI F region (prototype F and f variant), between population groups and between two areas. According to the phylogenetic tree, four EBER variants (EB-6m, EB-8m, EB-10m and B95-8) were identified. EB-6m was dominant in all population groups except for endemic NPC group, in which EB-8m was dominant. EB-8m was more common in endemic NPC cases (82.0%, 41/50) than non-endemic NPC cases (33.7%, 32/95) (p<0.0001), and it was also more frequent in healthy donors from endemic area (32.4%, 24/74) than healthy donors from non-endemic area (1.1%, 1/92) (p<0.0001). More importantly, the EB-8m was more prevalent in NPC cases than healthy donors in both areas (p<0.0001). The f variant, which has been suggested to associate with endemic NPC, demonstrated preferential linkage with EB-8m in endemic isolates, however, the EB-8m variant seemed to be more specific to NPC isolates than f variant. These results reveal high prevalence of EBER EB-8m variant in endemic NPC cases, suggesting an association between NPC development and EBV isolates carrying EB-8m variant. Our finding identified a small healthy population group that shares the same viral strain which predominates in NPC cases. It could be interesting to carry extensive cohort studies following these individuals to evaluate the risk to develop NPC.
PMCID: PMC4373760  PMID: 25807550
2.  Heterologous expression of human costimulatory molecule B7-2 and construction of B7-2 immobilized polyhydroxyalkanoate nanoparticles for use as an immune activation agent 
BMC Biotechnology  2012;12:43.
Costimulation of T cells via costimulatory molecules such as B7 is important for eliciting cell-mediated antitumor immunity. Presenting costimulation molecules by immobilizing recombinant B7 on the surface of nanovectors is a novel strategy for complementary therapy. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are a family of biodegradable, non-toxic, biocompatible polyesters, which can be used as a nonspecific immobilizing matrix for protein presentation. Recombinant protein fusion with PHA granule binding protein phasin (PhaP) can be easily immobilized on the surface of PHA nanoparticles through hydrophobic interactions between PhaP and PHA, and therefore provides a low-cost protein presenting strategy.
In this study, the extracellular domain of the B7-2 molecule (also named as CD86) was fused with PhaP at its N-terminal and heterogeneously expressed in recombinant Escherichia coli strain BL21 (DE3). The purified B7-2-PhaP protein was immobilized on the surface of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) (PHBHHx)-based nanoparticles. Loading of 240 μg (3.2 pMol) of B7-2-PhaP protein per mg nanoparticles was achieved. Immobilized B7-2-PhaP on PHBHHx nanoparticles induced T cell activation and proliferation in vitro.
A PHA nanoparticle-based B7-2 costimulation molecule-presenting system was constructed. The PHA-based B7 presenting nanosystem provided costimulation signals to induce T cell activation and expansion in vitro. The B7-2-PhaP immobilized PHA nanosystem is a novel strategy for costimulation molecule presentation and may be used for costimulatory molecule complementary therapy.
PMCID: PMC3468374  PMID: 22846711
PHA nanoparticle; B7-2; Costimulation; PhaP; Immobilization

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