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1.  Deep Sea Water Modulates Blood Pressure and Exhibits Hypolipidemic Effects via the AMPK-ACC Pathway: An in Vivo Study  
Marine Drugs  2013;11(6):2183-2202.
Deep sea water (DSW), originally pumped from the Pacific Rim off the coast of Hualien County (Taiwan), and its mineral constituents, were concentrated by a low-temperature vacuum evaporation system to produce a hardness of approximately 400,000 mg/L of seawater mineral concentrate. The primary composition of this seawater mineral concentrate was ionic magnesium (Mg2+), which was approximately 96,000 mg/L. Referring to the human recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium, we diluted the mineral concentrate to three different dosages: 0.1 × DSW (equivalent to 3.75 mg Mg2+/kg DSW); 1 × DSW (equivalent to 37.5 mg Mg2+/kg DSW); and 2 × DSW (equivalent to 75 mg Mg2+/kg DSW). Additionally, a magnesium chloride treatment was conducted for comparison with the DSW supplement. The study indicated that 0.1 × DSW, 1 × DSW and 2 × DSW decreased the systolic and diastolic pressures in spontaneous hypertensive rats in an eight-week experiment. DSW has been shown to reduce serum lipids and prevent atherogenesis in a hypercholesterolemic rabbit model. Our results demonstrated that 1 × DSW and 2 × DSW significantly suppressed the serum cholesterol levels, reduced the lipid accumulation in liver tissues, and limited aortic fatty streaks. These findings indicated that the antiatherogenic effects of DSW are associated with 5′-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) stimulation and the consequent inhibition of phosphorylation of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) in atherosclerotic rabbits. We hypothesize that DSW could potentially be used as drinking water because it modulates blood pressure, reduces lipids, and prevents atherogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3721228  PMID: 23774889
deep sea water; atherosclerosis; HMG-CoA reductase; AMP-activated protein kinase; acetyl-CoA carboxylase
2.  New Anti-Inflammatory Aromatic Components from Antrodia camphorata 
Three new benzenoids, 3-isopropenyl-2-methoxy-6-methyl-4,5-methylenedioxyphenol (1), 2-hydroxy-4,4′-dimethoxy-3,3′-dimethyl-5,6,5′,6′-bimethylenedioxybiphenyl (2), 4,4′-dihydroxy-3,3′-dimethoxy-2,2′-dimethyl-5,6,5′,6′-bimethylenedioxybiphenyl (3), together with two known benzenoids, 2,3,6-trimethoxy-5-methylphenol (4) and 2,3-methylenedioxy-4-methoxy-5-methylphenol (5), were isolated from Antrodia camphorata. Our results support that compounds 1–5 potently inhibited LPS (lipopolysaccharide)-induced nitric oxide (NO) production in a dose-dependent manner. The IC50 values of compounds 1, 3 and 5 were 1.8 ± 0.2, 18.8 ± 0.6 and 0.8 ± 0.3 μg/mL, respectively.
PMCID: PMC3634465  PMID: 23443162
Antrodia camphorata; polyporaceae; benzenoid; anti-inflammatory
3.  A Chinese herbal formula "Gan-Lu-Yin" suppresses vascular smooth muscle cell migration by inhibiting matrix metalloproteinase-2/9 through the PI3K/AKT and ERK signaling pathways 
This study was to explore the effects of Gan-Lu-Yin (GLY) on the migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) induced by fetal bovine serum and on neointima formation in a rat model of carotid artery balloon injury.
VSMCs were treated with different concentrations of GLY, and then analyzed with Flow cytometric analysis, zymography, transwell, and western blotting. SD rats received balloon-injury were analyzed with H&E staining.
Our results showed that GLY significantly decreased the thickness of neointima. The inhibition by non-cytoxic doses of GLY of VSMCs migration was through its negative regulatory effects on phosphorylated ERK1/2, PI3K/AKT, and FAK. The data showed that GLY can inhibit the migration of VSMCs cells, and might block injury-induced neointima hyperplasia via the inhibition of VSMCs migration, without inducing apoptosis.
These observations provide a mechanism of GLY in attenuating cell migration, thus as a potential intervention for restenosis.
PMCID: PMC3475136  PMID: 22920190
Chinese herbs; Gan-Lu-Yin; Migration; Restenosis; Vascular smooth muscle cell
4.  Ethanolic Extract of Vitis thunbergii Exhibits Lipid Lowering Properties via Modulation of the AMPK-ACC Pathway in Hypercholesterolemic Rabbits 
Vitis thunbergii (VT) is a wild grape that has been shown to provide various cardioprotective effects. The present study was designed to examine whether a VT extract could reduce serum lipid levels and prevent atherogenesis in a hypercholesterolemic rabbit model. At the end of an 8-week study, our results showed that a VT extract supplement markedly suppressed the serum levels of cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein, reduced lipid accumulation in liver tissues, and limited aortic fatty streaks. Our findings suggest that the VT extract activated AMPK (5′-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) with subsequent inhibition of the activation of ACC (acetyl-CoA carboxylase). Our results suggest that this VT extract could be further developed as a potential lipid-lowering agent and as a natural health food to prevent atherogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3320028  PMID: 22536284
5.  High yield expression in a recombinant E. coli of a codon optimized chicken anemia virus capsid protein VP1 useful for vaccine development 
Chicken anemia virus (CAV), the causative agent chicken anemia, is the only member of the genus Gyrovirus of the Circoviridae family. CAV is an immune suppressive virus and causes anemia, lymph organ atrophy and immunodeficiency. The production and biochemical characterization of VP1 protein and its use in a subunit vaccine or as part of a diagnostic kit would be useful to CAV infection prevention.
Significantly increased expression of the recombinant full-length VP1 capsid protein from chicken anemia virus was demonstrated using an E. coli expression system. The VP1 gene was cloned into various different expression vectors and then these were expressed in a number of different E. coli strains. The expression of CAV VP1 in E. coli was significantly increased when VP1 was fused with GST protein rather than a His-tag. By optimizing the various rare amino acid codons within the N-terminus of the VP1 protein, the expression level of the VP1 protein in E. coli BL21(DE3)-pLysS was further increased significantly. The highest protein expression level obtained was 17.5 g/L per liter of bacterial culture after induction with 0.1 mM IPTG for 2 h. After purification by GST affinity chromatography, the purified full-length VP1 protein produced in this way was demonstrated to have good antigenicity and was able to be recognized by CAV-positive chicken serum in an ELISA assay.
Purified recombinant VP1 protein with the gene's codons optimized in the N-terminal region has potential as chimeric protein that, when expressed in E. coli, may be useful in the future for the development of subunit vaccines and diagnostic tests.
PMCID: PMC3157419  PMID: 21781331

Results 1-5 (5)