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author:("Wang, kenbo")
1.  Fast Response and High Sensitivity ZnO/glass Surface Acoustic Wave Humidity Sensors Using Graphene Oxide Sensing Layer 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:7206.
We report ZnO/glass surface acoustic wave (SAW) humidity sensors with high sensitivity and fast response using graphene oxide sensing layer. The frequency shift of the sensors is exponentially correlated to the humidity change, induced mainly by mass loading effect rather than the complex impedance change of the sensing layer. The SAW sensors show high sensitivity at a broad humidity range from 0.5%RH to 85%RH with < 1 sec rise time. The simple design and excellent stability of our GO-based SAW humidity sensors, complemented with full humidity range measurement, highlights their potential in a wide range of applications.
PMCID: PMC4244623  PMID: 25425458
2.  The Influence of Pressure on the Intrinsic Dissolution Rate of Amorphous Indomethacin 
Pharmaceutics  2014;6(3):481-493.
New drug candidates increasingly tend to be poorly water soluble. One approach to increase their solubility is to convert the crystalline form of a drug into the amorphous form. Intrinsic dissolution testing is an efficient standard method to determine the intrinsic dissolution rate (IDR) of a drug and to test the potential dissolution advantage of the amorphous form. However, neither the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) nor the European Pharmacopeia (Ph.Eur) state specific limitations for the compression pressure in order to obtain compacts for the IDR determination. In this study, the influence of different compression pressures on the IDR was determined from powder compacts of amorphous (ball-milling) indomethacin (IND), a glass solution of IND and poly(vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) and crystalline IND. Solid state properties were analyzed with X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) and the final compacts were visually observed to study the effects of compaction pressure on their surface properties. It was found that there is no significant correlation between IDR and compression pressure for crystalline IND and IND–PVP. This was in line with the observation of similar surface properties of the compacts. However, compression pressure had an impact on the IDR of pure amorphous IND compacts. Above a critical compression pressure, amorphous particles sintered to form a single compact with dissolution properties similar to quench-cooled disc and crystalline IND compacts. In such a case, the apparent dissolution advantage of the amorphous form might be underestimated. It is thus suggested that for a reasonable interpretation of the IDR, surface properties of the different analyzed samples should be investigated and for amorphous samples the IDR should be measured also as a function of the compression pressure used to prepare the solid sample for IDR testing.
PMCID: PMC4190531  PMID: 25140536
amorphous; crystalline; dissolution; compression pressure; indomethacin
3.  Vestibular nuclei characterized by calcium-binding protein immunoreactivity and tract tracing in Gekko gecko 
Hearing research  2012;296:1-12.
Immunohistochemical techniques were used to describe the distribution of the calcium binding proteins calretinin, calbindin and parvalbumin as well as synaptic vesicle protein 2 in the vestibular nuclei of the Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko). In addition, tract tracing was used to investigate connections between the vestibular nerves and brainstem nuclei. Seven vestibular nuclei were recognized: the nuclei cerebellaris lateralis (Cerl), vestibularis dorsolateralis (Vedl), ventrolateralis (Vevl), ventromedialis (Vevm), tangentialis (Vetg), ovalis (VeO) and descendens (Veds). Vestibular fibers entered the brainstem with the ascending branch projecting to Vedl and Cerl, the lateral descending branch to Veds, and the medial descending branch to ipsilateral Vevl. Cerl lay most rostral, in the cerebellar peduncle. Vedl, located rostrally, was ventral to the cerebellar peduncle, and consisted of loosely arranged multipolar and monopolar cells. Vevl was found at the level of the vestibular nerve root and contained conspicuously large cells and medium-sized cells. Veds is a large nucleus, the most rostral portion of which is situated lateral and ventral to Vevl, and occupies much of the dorsal brainstem extending caudally through the medulla. VeO is a spherically shaped cell group lateral to the auditory nucleus magnocellularis and dorsal to the caudal part of Vevl. Vevm and Vetg were small in the present study. Except for VeO, all other vestibular nuclei appear directly comparable to counterparts in other reptiles and birds based on their location, cytoarchitecture, and connections, indicating these are conserved features of the vestibular system.
PMCID: PMC4101695  PMID: 23201031
4.  Optical simulations of P3HT/Si nanowire array hybrid solar cells 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):238.
An optical simulation of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT)/Si nanowire array (NWA) hybrid solar cells was investigated to evaluate the optical design requirements of the system by using finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method. Steady improvement of light absorption was obtained with increased P3HT coating shell thickness from 0 to 80 nm on Si NWA. Further increasing the thickness caused dramatic decrease of the light absorption. Combined with the analysis of ultimate photocurrents, an optimum geometric structure with a coating P3HT thickness of 80 nm was proposed. At this structure, the hybrid solar cells show the most efficient light absorption. The optimization of the geometric structure and further understanding of the optical characteristics may contribute to the development for the practical experiment of the promising hybrid solar cells.
PMCID: PMC4051409  PMID: 24948883
P3HT; Si nanowire array; Hybrid solar cells; Finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method
5.  The novel centriolar satellite protein SSX2IP targets Cep290 to the ciliary transition zone 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2014;25(4):495-507.
The centriolar satellite protein SSX2IP mediates recruitment of Cep290 to the basal body of cilia. It promotes BBSome and Rab8 entry into cilia, as well as accumulation of the ciliary membrane protein SSTR3. The data establish SSX2IP as a novel targeting factor for ciliary membrane proteins cooperating with Cep290, the BBSome, and Rab8.
In differentiated human cells, primary cilia fulfill essential functions in converting mechanical or chemical stimuli into intracellular signals. Formation and maintenance of cilia require multiple functions associated with the centriole-derived basal body, from which axonemal microtubules grow and which assembles a gate to maintain the specific ciliary proteome. Here we characterize the function of a novel centriolar satellite protein, synovial sarcoma X breakpoint–interacting protein 2 (SSX2IP), in the assembly of primary cilia. We show that SSX2IP localizes to the basal body of primary cilia in human and murine ciliated cells. Using small interfering RNA knockdown in human cells, we demonstrate the importance of SSX2IP for efficient recruitment of the ciliopathy-associated satellite protein Cep290 to both satellites and the basal body. Cep290 takes a central role in gating proteins to the ciliary compartment. Consistent with that, loss of SSX2IP drastically reduces entry of the BBSome, which functions to target membrane proteins to primary cilia, and interferes with efficient accumulation of the key regulator of ciliary membrane protein targeting, Rab8. Finally, we show that SSX2IP knockdown limits targeting of the ciliary membrane protein and BBSome cargo, somatostatin receptor 3, and significantly reduces axoneme length. Our data establish SSX2IP as a novel targeting factor for ciliary membrane proteins cooperating with Cep290, the BBSome, and Rab8.
PMCID: PMC3923641  PMID: 24356449
6.  Autophagy in human articular chondrocytes is cytoprotective following glucocorticoid stimulation 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2014;9(6):2166-2172.
For the past 60 years, glucocorticosteroid (GC) drugs, including prednisone and dexamethasone (Dex), have been used for the treatment of early stage osteoarthritis (OA). However, multiple administration of GCs may destroy the articular cartilage. It has been previously reported that GC treatment may also lead to the initiation of autophagy, which is an essential mechanism for cell homeostasis and survival. Rapamycin (Rapa), an inhibitor of the mammalian target of Rapamycin, may cause a degeneration-associated pathology in organs and induce autophagy in a variety of cell types, which has been applied in the treatment of experimental OA. A previous study by our group observed that GC apparently increases the apoptosis of chondrocytes, resulting in the inhibition of extracellular matrix synthesis. Therefore, the present study aimed to further examine the effects of autophagy in chondrocytes under GC treatment and to verify the molecular mechanisms involved in the cytoprotective role of Rapa. Short-term GC treatment did not significantly inhibit chondrocyte viability, while cell autophagy was increased. In addition, upregulation of autophagy by Rapa prevented the expression of apoptosis-associated genes and improved cell activity. In conclusion, the present study revealed that increased autophagy is an adaptive response to protect chondrocytes from short-term GC exposure, whereas prolonged GC treatment decreases autophagy and increases apoptosis in vitro. Upregulation of autophagy by Rapa may protect chondrocytes against the adverse effect induced by GC.
PMCID: PMC4055442  PMID: 24691715
chondrocytes; dexamethasone; glucocorticoid; autophagy; apoptosis
7.  Relation between Gastric Cancer and Protein Oxidation, DNA Damage, and Lipid Peroxidation 
Objects. The aim of this study is to evaluate protein oxidation, DNA damage, and lipid peroxidation in patients with gastric cancer and to investigate the relationship between oxidative stress and gastric cancer. Methods. We investigated changes in serum protein carbonyl (PC), advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP), and 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT) levels, as indicators of protein oxidation, serum 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), as a biomarker of DNA damage, and malondialdehyde (MDA), conjugated diene (CD), 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE), and 8-ISO-prostaglandin F2α (8-PGF) in serum, as lipid peroxidation markers in gastric cancer (GC) patients and healthy control. Results. Compared with control, a statistically significant higher values of 8-OHdG, PC, AOPP, and 3-NT were observed in the GC patients (P < 0.05). The products of lipid peroxidation, MDA, CD, 4-HNE, and 8-PGF, were significantly lower in the GC patients compared to those of control (P < 0.05). In addition, the products of oxidative stress were similar between the Helicobacter pylori positive and the negative subgroups of GC patients. Conclusions. GC patients were characterized by increased protein oxidation and DNA damage, and decreased lipid peroxidation. Assessment of oxidative stress and augmentation of the antioxidant defense system may be important for the treatment and prevention of gastric carcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3886607  PMID: 24454985
8.  Sodium fluoride induces apoptosis through the downregulation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α in primary cultured rat chondrocytes 
It has been reported that sodium fluoride (NaF) suppresses the proliferation and induces apoptosis of chondrocytes. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the effect have not been elucidated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the mechanisms of the effects of NaF on primary cultured rat chondrocytes in vitro. Chondrocytes were treated with NaF at concentrations of 0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 mM. Cell viability decreased and the rate of apoptotic cells increased significantly with the gradient concentration of NaF in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Electron microscopy revealed cytoplasmic, organelle and nuclear alterations in the ultrastructure of chondrocytes exposed to various NaF concentrations. The cell cycle distribution was analyzed by flow cytometry, and the results indicated that NaF induced G2 cell cycle arrest. Western blotting was used to detect the apoptotic pathways. Downregulation of the Bcl-2 protein and upregulation of Bax, cleaved caspase-9, −12 and −3 proteins suggested that NaF was capable of inducing apoptosis through the mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum pathways. The results also showed that the levels of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α), sex determining region Y box gene 9 (Sox9) and the collagen II (Col II) protein of the NaF groups were lower compared to those of the control groups. Thus, NaF may induce apoptosis through the downregulation of HIF-1α and disrupt the synthesis of extracellular matrix (ECM) through the downregulation of HIF-1α via the Sox9 pathway in primary cultured rat chondrocytes.
PMCID: PMC3896455  PMID: 24317498
sodium fluoride; chondrocyte; hypoxia-inducible factor 1α; sex determining region Y box gene 9; collagen II; apoptosis
9.  Telomere-Binding Protein TPP1 Modulates Telomere Homeostasis and Confers Radioresistance to Human Colorectal Cancer Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e81034.
Radiotherapy is one of the major therapeutic strategies in cancer treatment. The telomere-binding protein TPP1 is an important component of the shelterin complex at mammalian telomeres. Our previous reports showed that TPP1 expression was elevated in radioresistant cells, but the exact effects and mechanisms of TPP1 on radiosensitivity is unclear.
Principal Findings
In this study, we found that elevated TPP1 expression significantly correlated with radioresistance and longer telomere length in human colorectal cancer cell lines. Moreover, TPP1 overexpression showed lengthened telomere length and a significant decrease of radiosensitivity to X-rays. TPP1 mediated radioresistance was correlated with a decreased apoptosis rate after IR exposure. Furthermore, TPP1 overexpression showed prolonged G2/M arrest mediated by ATM/ATR-Chk1 signal pathway after IR exposure. Moreover, TPP1 overexpression accelerated the repair kinetics of total DNA damage and telomere dysfunction induced by ionizing radiation.
We demonstrated that elevated expressions of TPP1 in human colorectal cancer cells could protect telomere from DNA damage and confer radioresistance. These results suggested that TPP1 may be a potential target in the radiotherapy of colorectal cancer.
PMCID: PMC3834294  PMID: 24260532
10.  Dependence of DNA condensation on the correlation distance between condensed counterions 
Journal of Biological Physics  2012;38(4):589-596.
Based on the ground state of counterions condensed on a DNA molecule, a model has been developed to successfully detect the process of DNA condensation. Through further investigation, the process of DNA condensation strongly depends on the correlation distance between condensed counterions on DNA molecules. Generally, there are two routes. The process of DNA condensation with the correlation distance between condensed counterions being 2 nm or 4 nm is different from the one with the correlation distance between condensed counterions being 3 nm or 5 nm. Effects of ionic strength on the diameter of toroidal condensates originate from the increase of correlation distance between condensed counterions.
PMCID: PMC3473126  PMID: 24615221
DNA condensation; Monte Carlo simulation; Correlation distance between condensed counterions
11.  Flexible surface acoustic wave resonators built on disposable plastic film for electronics and lab-on-a-chip applications 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:2140.
Flexible electronics are a very promising technology for various applications. Several types of flexible devices have been developed, but there has been limited research on flexible electromechanical systems (MEMS). Surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices are not only an essential electronic device, but also are the building blocks for sensors and MEMS. Here we report a method of making flexible SAW devices using ZnO nanocrystals deposited on a cheap and bendable plastic film. The flexible SAW devices exhibit two wave modes - the Rayleigh and Lamb waves with resonant frequencies of 198.1 MHz and 447.0 MHz respectively, and signal amplitudes of 18 dB. The flexible devices have a high temperature coefficient of frequency, and are thus useful as sensitive temperature sensors. Moreover, strong acoustic streaming with a velocity of 3.4 cm/s and particle concentration using the SAW have been achieved, demonstrating the great potential for applications in electronics and MEMS.
PMCID: PMC3701897  PMID: 23828169
12.  Inhibition of UBE2D3 Expression Attenuates Radiosensitivity of MCF-7 Human Breast Cancer Cells by Increasing hTERT Expression and Activity 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64660.
The known functions of telomerase in tumor cells include replenishing telomeric DNA and maintaining cell immortality. We have previously shown the existence of a negative correlation between human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) and radiosensitivity in tumor cells. Here we set out to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying regulation by telomerase of radiosensitivity in MCF-7 cells. Toward this aim, yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) screening of a human laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma radioresistant (Hep2R) cDNA library was first performed to search for potential hTERT interacting proteins. We identified ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2D3 (UBE2D3) as a principle hTERT-interacting protein and validated this association biochemically. ShRNA-mediated inhibition of UBE2D3 expression attenuated MCF-7 radiosensitivity, and induced the accumulation of hTERT and cyclin D1 in these cells. Moreover, down-regulation of UBE2D3 increased hTERT activity and cell proliferation, accelerating G1 to S phase transition in MCF-7 cells. Collectively these findings suggest that UBE2D3 participates in the process of hTERT-mediated radiosensitivity in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells by regulating hTERT and cyclin D1.
PMCID: PMC3669415  PMID: 23741361
13.  Construction of a tumor-specific bioluminescent eukaryotic expression vector and analysis of its expression in vitro and in vivo 
Oncology Letters  2013;6(1):207-211.
The aims of this study were to construct a tumor-specific bioluminescent eukaryotic vector driven by the hTERT gene promoter and to establish a stable HeLa cell line expressing a modified firefly luciferase gene. PhTERTp-luc and pGL4.17 (luc2/Neo) were digested with SacI and HindIII, respectively, and the recombinant vector phTERTp-luc-neo was generated by ligating the desired fragments. The expression of phTERTp-luc-neo was tested in a non-transformed cell line (MRC-5), and in telomerase-positive (HeLa, MCF-7 and 293T) and -negative (U2OS and SaOS) transformed cell lines using a luciferase assay. Results showed that the recombinant vector had higher luciferase activity in telomerase-positive transformed cell lines. PhTERTp-luc-neo was transfected into a HeLa cell line, selected by G418 and bioluminescence imaging, and a cell clone HeLa-luc that constitutively expressed both neomycin and luciferase was obtained. We also conducted experiments in animals to observe luciferase activity in vivo using stable cell lines that were subcutaneously implanted into BALB/c nude mice and tumor growth was monitored by bioluminescence imaging. The HeLa-luc cell line retained its oncogenicity and tumors were detected on the fifth day following implantation by bioluminescence imaging. This study has formed a basis for the study of the expression and regulation of hTERT and early tumor detection. It also provides a convenient, sensitive and reliable platform for cervical cancer research.
PMCID: PMC3742522  PMID: 23946805
hTERT; tumor-specific vector; telomerase; in vivo bioluminescence imaging; stable cell clone
14.  Comparison on Virulence and Immunogenicity of Two Recombinant Vaccinia Vaccines, Tian Tan and Guang9 Strains, Expressing the HIV-1 Envelope Gene 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e48343.
The vaccinia virus Guang9 strain (VG9), derived from the vaccinia virus Tian Tan strain (VTT) has been found to be less virulent than VTT.
Methodology/Principal Findings
To investigate whether VG9 could be a potential replicating virus vector, the TK genes in VG9 and VTT were replaced with the HIV-1 envelope gene via homologous recombination, resulting in the recombinant viruses, VG9-E and VTT-E. The biology, virulence, humoral and cellular immunological responses of VG9-E and VTT-E were evaluated. Our results indicated no obvious difference in range of host cells and diffusion between two recombinant viruses. Neurovirulence for VG9-E in weanling and suckling mice, and skin virulence in rabbits, were lower than that of VTT-E. The humoral immune responses, including binding antibody and neutralizing antibody responses, induced by VG9-E were not significantly different from those for VTT-E whilst IFN-γ response which represented cellular immune response induced by VG9-E was significantly higher than that did by VTT-E.
Our results indicated that VG9-E was less virulent, yet induced higher cellular immune response than VTT-E. Therefore, it could be an ideal replicating vaccinia vector for HIV vaccine research and development.
PMCID: PMC3491055  PMID: 23139778
15.  Analysis of Gene Expression Profiles of Liver Stellate Cells During Liver Regeneration in Rats 
Molecules and Cells  2011;31(1):17-23.
This study performed a large-scale, high-throughput analysis of transcriptional profiling of liver stellate cells (LSCs) at the cellular level to investigate changes in the biological activity of LSCs during rat liver regeneration (LR) and the relation of these changes to LR. First, a rat liver regeneration model was established by partial hepatectomy (PH). Stellate cells were isolated in high purity and yield from the regenerating rat liver by Percoll density gradient centrifugation and immunomagnetic bead sorting. The changes in gene expression of LSCs after PH were examined using a rat genome 230 2.0 array composed of 24622 genes. The results indicated that 10241 of the 24622 genes investigated on the array were differentially expressed in LSCs. Of the 10241 genes, 1563 known genes were related to LR, which were grouped into three major gene expression clusters according to three-fold cut-off threshold: the upregulated gene cluster, the down-regulated gene cluster, and the cluster composed of genes showing complex changes in expression. Additionally, the genes were grouped into those involved in transcription regulation, signal transduction, transport, cellular metabolism, inflammation and immunity by functional analysis. When gene expression profiles were combined with the results of gene functional analysis, most of the genes involved in cytokine secretion and retinol metabolism in LSCs were significantly enriched in the cluster characterized by decreased expression, whereas genes involved in lipid metabolism were mostly enriched in the cluster showing increased expression. Based on further analysis of genes expressed in a phase-dependent manner during LR, it was suggested that lipid metabolism in LSCs was enhanced in the whole regeneration process, and that immune response and cytokine secretion were impaired during all three regenerative phases.
PMCID: PMC3906875  PMID: 21191813
gene expression profiles; liver regeneration; liver stellate cell; partial hepatectomy; rat

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