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1.  Mouse-adapted scrapie strains 139A and ME7 overcome species barrier to induce experimental scrapie in hamsters and changed their pathogenic features 
Virology Journal  2012;9:63.
Background
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) diseases are known to be zoonotic diseases that can infect different kinds of animals. The transmissibility of TSE, like that of other infectious diseases, shows marked species barrier, either being unable to infect heterologous species or difficult to form transmission experimentally. The similarity of the amino acid sequences of PrP among species is believed to be one of the elements in controlling the transmission TSE interspecies. Other factors, such as prion strains and host's microenvironment, may also participate in the process.
Methods
Two mouse-adapted strains 139A and ME7 were cerebrally inoculated to Golden hamsters. Presences of scrapie associate fibril (SAF) and PrPSc in brains of the infected animals were tested by TEM assays and Western blots dynamically during the incubation periods. The pathogenic features of the novel prions in hamsters, including electrophoretic patterns, glycosylating profiles, immunoreactivities, proteinase K-resistances and conformational stabilities were comparatively evaluated. TSE-related neuropathological changes were assayed by histological examinations.
Results
After long incubation times, mouse-adapted agents 139A and ME7 induced experimental scrapie in hamsters, respectively, showing obvious spongiform degeneration and PrPSc deposits in brains, especially in cortex regions. SAF and PrPSc in brains were observed much earlier than the onset of clinical symptoms. The molecular characteristics of the newly-formed PrPSc in hamsters, 139A-ha and ME7-ha, were obviously distinct from the original mouse agents, however, greatly similar as that of a hamster-adapted scrapie strain 263 K. Although the incubation times and main disease signs of the hamsters of 139A-ha and ME7-ha were different, the pathogenic characteristics and neuropathological changes were highly similar.
Conclusions
This finding concludes that mouse-adapted agents 139A and ME7 change their pathogenic characteristics during the transmission to hamsters. The novel prions in hamsters' brains obtain new molecular properties with hamster-specificity.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-63
PMCID: PMC3325885  PMID: 22400710
2.  A point mutation in the DNA-binding domain of HPV-2 E2 protein increases its DNA-binding capacity and reverses its transcriptional regulatory activity on the viral early promoter 
Background
The human papillomavirus (HPV) E2 protein is a multifunctional DNA-binding protein. The transcriptional activity of HPV E2 is mediated by binding to its specific binding sites in the upstream regulatory region of the HPV genomes. Previously we reported a HPV-2 variant from a verrucae vulgaris patient with huge extensive clustered cutaneous, which have five point mutations in its E2 ORF, L118S, S235P, Y287H, S293R and A338V. Under the control of HPV-2 LCR, co-expression of the mutated HPV E2 induced an increased activity on the viral early promoter. In the present study, a series of mammalian expression plasmids encoding E2 proteins with one to five amino acid (aa) substitutions for these mutations were constructed and transfected into HeLa, C33A and SiHa cells.
Results
CAT expression assays indicated that the enhanced promoter activity was due to the co-expressions of the E2 constructs containing A338V mutation within the DNA-binding domain. Western blots analysis demonstrated that the transiently transfected E2 expressing plasmids, regardless of prototype or the A338V mutant, were continuously expressed in the cells. To study the effect of E2 mutations on its DNA-binding activity, a serial of recombinant E2 proteins with various lengths were expressed and purified. Electrophoresis mobility shift assays (EMSA) showed that the binding affinity of E2 protein with A338V mutation to both an artificial probe with two E2 binding sites or HPV-2 and HPV-16 promoter-proximal LCR sequences were significantly stronger than that of the HPV-2 prototype E2. Furthermore, co-expression of the construct containing A338V mutant exhibited increased activities on heterologous HPV-16 early promoter P97 than that of prototype E2.
Conclusions
These results suggest that the mutation from Ala to Val at aa 338 is critical for E2 DNA-binding and its transcriptional regulation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2199-13-5
PMCID: PMC3307029  PMID: 22333459
HPV-2; E2; DNA-binding; Transcriptional regulation; Promoter
3.  The Epidemiological, Clinical, and Laboratory Features of Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Patients in China: Surveillance Data from 2006 to 2010 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(8):e24231.
Background
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare, rapidly progressive fatal central nervous system disorder, which consists of three main catalogues: sporadic, familial, and iatrogenic CJD.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In China, the surveillance for CJD started in 2006, covering 12 provincial Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCs) and 15 hospitals. From 2006 to 2010, 624 suspected patients were referred to China CJD surveillance. The epidemiological, clinical and laboratory features of sporadic CJD (sCJD) were analysed. Both groups of probable and possible sCJD showed highest incidences in the population of 60 to 69 year-olds. The most common presenting symptoms were progressive dementia and mental-related symptoms (neurological symptoms including sleeping turbulence, depression, anxiety and stress). Among the four main clinical manifestations, myoclonus was more frequently observed in the probable sCJD patients. About 2/3 of probable sCJD cases showed positive 14-3-3 in CSF and/or periodic sharp wave complexes (PSWC) in electroencephalography (EEG). The presence of myoclonus was significantly closely related with the appearance of PSWC in EEG. Polymorphisms of codon 129 in PRNP of the notified cases revealed a highly predominant M129M genotype in Han Chinese. Among 23 genetic human prion diseases, ten were D178N/M129M Fatal familial insomnia (FFI) and five were T188K genetic CJD (gCJD), possibly indicating a special distribution of gCJD-related mutations in Han Chinese.
Conclusion
From the period of 2006 to 2010, 261 patients were diagnosed as sCJD and 23 patients were diagnosed as genetic human prion diseases in China. The epidemiological, clinical and laboratory analysis data were consistent with the characteristics of sporadic CJD, which provide insight into the features of CJD in China.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024231
PMCID: PMC3164193  PMID: 21904617
4.  Human Prion disease with a T188K mutation in Chinese: a case report 
Cases Journal  2009;2:7820.
Inherited Prion diseases are characterized by mutations in the PRNP gene predispose to disease by causing the expression of abnormal PrP protein. We report a 58-year-old Chinese female with mutation in codon 188 (T188K) of the PRNP gene, while the codon 129 was a methionine homozygous genotype. The patient displayed 4-year long slowly progressive sleeping disturbance and rapid exacerbation of neurological status after other neurological manifestations appeared. Cerebral spinal fluid 14-3-3 protein was positive.
doi:10.1186/1757-1626-2-7820
PMCID: PMC2740053  PMID: 19830016
5.  Surveillance for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in China from 2006 to 2007 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:360.
Background
Human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (HTSE), or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), is a group of rare and fatal diseases in central nervous system. Since outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and variant CJD, a worldwide CJD surveillance network has been established under the proposition of WHO. In China, a national CJD surveillance system has started since 2002. The data of CJD surveillance from 2006 to 2007 was analyzed.
Methods
Total 12 provinces are included in CJD surveillance system. The surveillance unit in each province consists of one or two sentinel hospitals and the provincial CDC. All suspected CJD cases reported from CJD surveillance were diagnosed and subtyped based on the diagnostic criteria for CJD issued by WHO.
Results
Total 192 suspected CJD cases were reported and 5 genetic CJD, 51 probable and 30 possible sporadic CJD (sCJD) cases were diagnosed. The collected sCJD cases distribute sporadically without geographical clustering and seasonal relativity and the highest incidences in both probable and possible sCJD cases appeared in the group of 60–69 year. The most common three foremost symptoms were progressive dementia, cerebellum and mental-related symptoms. The probable sCJD patients owning both typical EEG alteration and CSF protein 14-3-3 positive have more characteristic clinical syndromes than the ones having only one positive. The polymorphisms of codon 129 of all tested reported cases shows typical patterns of Han Chinese as previous reports, that M129M are predominant whereas M129V are seldom.
Conclusion
Chinese CJD patients possessed similar epidemiological and clinical characteristics as worldwide.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-360
PMCID: PMC2596798  PMID: 18928564

Results 1-5 (5)