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1.  Smoking and Major Depressive Disorder in Chinese Women 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e106287.
To investigate the risk factors that contribute to smoking in female patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and the clinical features in depressed smokers.
We examined the smoking status and clinical features in 6120 Han Chinese women with MDD (DSM-IV) between 30 and 60 years of age across China. Logistic regression was used to determine the association between clinical features of MDD and smoking status and between risk factors for MDD and smoking status.
Among the recurrent MDD patients there were 216(3.6%) current smokers, 117 (2.0%) former smokers and 333(5.6%) lifetime smokers. Lifetime smokers had a slightly more severe illness, characterized by more episodes, longer duration, more comorbid illness (panic and phobias), with more DSM-IV A criteria and reported more symptoms of fatigue and suicidal ideation or attempts than never smokers. Some known risk factors for MDD were also differentially represented among smokers compared to non-smokers. Smokers reported more stressful life events, were more likely to report childhood sexual abuse, had higher levels of neuroticism and an increased rate of familial MDD. Only neuroticism was significantly related to nicotine dependence.
Although depressed women smokers experience more severe illness, smoking rates remain low in MDD patients. Family history of MDD and environmental factors contribute to lifetime smoking in Chinese women, consistent with the hypothesis that the association of smoking and depression may be caused by common underlying factors.
PMCID: PMC4152240  PMID: 25180682
2.  Childhood Sexual Abuse and the Development of Recurrent Major Depression in Chinese Women 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e87569.
Our prior study in Han Chinese women has shown that women with a history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) are at increased risk for developing major depression (MD). Would this relationship be found in our whole data set?
Three levels of CSA (non-genital, genital, and intercourse) were assessed by self-report in two groups of Han Chinese women: 6017 clinically ascertained with recurrent MD and 5983 matched controls. Diagnostic and other risk factor information was assessed at personal interview. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated by logistic regression.
We confirmed earlier results by replicating prior analyses in 3,950 new recurrent MD cases. There were no significant differences between the two data sets. Any form of CSA was significantly associated with recurrent MD (OR 4.06, 95% confidence interval (CI) [3.19–5.24]). This association strengthened with increasing CSA severity: non-genital (OR 2.21, 95% CI 1.58–3.15), genital (OR 5.24, 95% CI 3.52–8.15) and intercourse (OR 10.65, 95% CI 5.56–23.71). Among the depressed women, those with CSA had an earlier age of onset, longer depressive episodes. Recurrent MD patients those with CSA had an increased risk for dysthymia (OR 1.60, 95%CI 1.11–2.27) and phobia (OR 1.41, 95%CI 1.09–1.80). Any form of CSA was significantly associated with suicidal ideation or attempt (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.20–1.89) and feelings of worthlessness or guilt (OR 1.41, 95% CI 1.02–2.02). Intercourse (OR 3.47, 95%CI 1.66–8.22), use of force and threats (OR 1.95, 95%CI 1.05–3.82) and how strongly the victims were affected at the time (OR 1.39, 95%CI 1.20–1.64) were significantly associated with recurrent MD.
In Chinese women CSA is strongly associated with recurrent MD and this association increases with greater severity of CSA. Depressed women with CSA have some specific clinical traits. Some features of CSA were associated with greater likelihood of developing recurrent MD.
PMCID: PMC3906190  PMID: 24489940
3.  Clinical Features of Patients with Dysthymia in a Large Cohort of Han Chinese Women with Recurrent Major Depression 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83490.
Dysthymia is a form of chronic mild depression that has a complex relationship with major depressive disorder (MDD). Here we investigate the role of environmental risk factors, including stressful life events and parenting style, in patients with both MDD and dysthymia. We ask whether these risk factors act in the same way in MDD with and without dysthymia.
We examined the clinical features in 5,950 Han Chinese women with MDD between 30–60 years of age across China. We confirmed earlier results by replicating prior analyses in 3,950 new MDD cases. There were no significant differences between the two data sets. We identified sixteen stressful life events that significantly increase the risk of dysthymia, given the presence of MDD. Low parental warmth, from either mother or father, increases the risk of dysthymia. Highly threatening but short-lived threats (such as rape) are more specific for MDD than dysthymia. While for MDD more severe life events show the largest odds ratio versus controls, this was not seen for cases of MDD with or without dysthymia.
There are increased rates of stressful life events in MDD with dysthymia, but the impact of life events on susceptibility to dysthymia with MDD differs from that seen for MDD alone. The pattern does not fit a simple dose-response relationship, suggesting that there are moderating factors involved in the relationship between environmental precipitants and the onset of dysthymia. It is possible that severe life events in childhood events index a general susceptibility to chronic depression, rather than acting specifically as risk factors for dysthymia.
PMCID: PMC3873934  PMID: 24386213
4.  Suicidal Risk Factors of Recurrent Major Depression in Han Chinese Women 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80030.
The relationship between suicidality and major depression is complex. Socio- demography, clinical features, comorbidity, clinical symptoms, and stressful life events are important factors influencing suicide in major depression, but these are not well defined. Thus, the aim of the present study was to assess the associations between the above-mentioned factors and suicide ideation, suicide plan, and suicide attempt in 6008 Han Chinese women with recurrent major depression (MD). Patients with any suicidality had significantly more MD symptoms, a significantly greater number of stressful life events, a positive family history of MD, a greater number of episodes, a significant experience of melancholia, and earlier age of onset. Comorbidity with dysthymia, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social phobia, and animal phobia was seen in suicidal patients. The present findings indicate that specific factors act to increase the likelihood of suicide in MD. Our results may help improve the clinical assessment of suicide risk in depressed patients, especially for women.
PMCID: PMC3842272  PMID: 24312196
5.  Synergy between Proteasome Inhibitors and Imatinib Mesylate in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(7):e6257.
Resistance developed by leukemic cells, unsatisfactory efficacy on patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) at accelerated and blastic phases, and potential cardiotoxity, have been limitations for imatinib mesylate (IM) in treating CML. Whether low dose IM in combination with agents of distinct but related mechanisms could be one of the strategies to overcome these concerns warrants careful investigation.
Methods and Findings
We tested the therapeutic efficacies as well as adverse effects of low dose IM in combination with proteasome inhibitor, Bortezomib (BOR) or proteasome inhibitor I (PSI), in two CML murine models, and investigated possible mechanisms of action on CML cells. Our results demonstrated that low dose IM in combination with BOR exerted satisfactory efficacy in prolongation of life span and inhibition of tumor growth in mice, and did not cause cardiotoxicity or body weight loss. Consistently, BOR and PSI enhanced IM-induced inhibition of long-term clonogenic activity and short-term cell growth of CML stem/progenitor cells, and potentiated IM-caused inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis of BCR-ABL+ cells. IM/BOR and IM/PSI inhibited Bcl-2, increased cytoplasmic cytochrome C, and activated caspases. While exerting suppressive effects on BCR-ABL, E2F1, and β-catenin, IM/BOR and IM/PSI inhibited proteasomal degradation of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), leading to a re-activation of this important negative regulator of BCR-ABL. In addition, both combination therapties inhibited Bruton's tyrosine kinase via suppression of NFκB.
These data suggest that combined use of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and proteasome inhibitor might be helpful for optimizing CML treatment.
PMCID: PMC2705802  PMID: 19606213
6.  The impact of educational status on the clinical features of major depressive disorder among Chinese women 
Journal of Affective Disorders  2012;136(3):988-992.
Years of education are inversely related to the prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD), but the relationship between the clinical features of MDD and educational status is poorly understood. We investigated this in 1970 Chinese women with recurrent MDD identified in a clinical setting.
Clinical and demographic features were obtained from 1970 Han Chinese women with DSM-IV major depression between 30 and 60 years of age across China. Analysis of linear, logistic and multiple logistic regression models were used to determine the association between educational level and clinical features of MDD.
Subjects with more years of education are more likely to have MDD, with an odds ratio of 1.14 for those with more than ten years. Low educational status is not associated with an increase in the number of episodes, nor with increased rates of co-morbidity with anxiety disorders. Education impacts differentially on the symptoms of depression: lower educational attainment is associated with more biological symptoms and increased suicidal ideation and plans to commit suicide.
Findings may not generalize to males or to other patient populations. Since the threshold for treatment seeking differs as a function of education there may an ascertainment bias in the sample.
The relationship between symptoms of MDD and educational status in Chinese women is unexpectedly complex. Our findings are inconsistent with the simple hypothesis from European and US reports that low levels of educational attainment increase the risk and severity of MDD.
PMCID: PMC3314924  PMID: 21824664
Major depressive disorder; Education; Socio-economic status; Symptom
7.  Hierarchical Macro-meso-microporous ZSM-5 Zeolite Hollow Fibers With Highly Efficient Catalytic Cracking Capability 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:7276.
Zeolite fibers have attracted growing interest for a range of new applications because of their structural particularity while maintaining the intrinsic performances of the building blocks of zeolites. The fabrication of uniform zeolite fibers with tunable hierarchical porosity and further exploration of their catalytic potential are of great importance. Here, we present a versatile and facile method for the fabrication of hierarchical ZSM-5 zeolite fibers with macro-meso-microporosity by coaxial electrospinning. Due to the synergistic integration of the suitable acidity and the hierarchical porosity, high yield of propylene and excellent anti-coking stability were demonstrated on the as-prepared ZSM-5 hollow fibers in the catalytic cracking reaction of iso-butane. This work may also provide good model catalysts with uniform wall thickness and tunable porosity for studying a series of important catalytic reactions.
PMCID: PMC4250908  PMID: 25450726
8.  Generation and characterization of spiking and non-spiking oligodendroglial progenitor cells from embryonic stem cells 
Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio)  2013;31(12):2620-2631.
Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) have been differentiated into oligodendroglial progenitor cells (OPCs), providing promising cell replacement therapies for many CNS disorders. Studies from rodents have shown that brain OPCs express a variety of ion channels, and that a subset of brain OPCs express voltage-gated sodium channel (NaV), mediating the spiking properties of OPCs. However, it is unclear whether PSC-derived OPCs exhibit electrophysiological properties similar to brain OPCs and the role of NaV in the functional maturation of OPCs is unknown. Here, using a mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) GFP-Olig2 knockin reporter line, we demonstrated that unlike brain OPCs, all of the GFP+/Olig2+ mESC-derived OPCs (mESC-OPCs) did not express functional NaV and failed to generate spikes (hence termed “non-spiking mESC-OPCs”), while expressing the delayed rectifier and inactivating potassium currents. By ectopically expressing NaV1.2 α subunit via viral transduction, we successfully generated mESC-OPCs with spiking properties (termed “spiking mESC-OPCs”). After transplantation into the spinal cord and brain of myelin-deficient shiverer mice, the spiking mESC-OPCs demonstrated better capability in differentiating into MBP expressing oligodendrocytes and in myelinating axons in vivo than the non-spiking mESC-OPCs. Thus, by generating spiking and non-spiking mESC-OPCs, this study reveals a novel function of NaV in OPCs in their functional maturation and myelination, and sheds new light on ways to effectively develop PSC-derived OPCs for future clinical applications.
PMCID: PMC3923867  PMID: 23940003
Embryonic stem cell; oligodendroglial progenitor cell; voltage-gated ion channel; action potential; myelination
9.  Genetic diversity and population structure of Rheum tanguticum (Dahuang) in China 
Chinese Medicine  2014;9(1):26.
Wild Rheum tanguticum (Dahuang in Chinese) has becoming endangered in China. This study aims to examine the genetic structure and genetic diversity of R. tanguticum within species, and the genetic differentiation within and among populations in China.
The variability and structure of 19 populations of R. tanguticum were investigated by their chloroplast DNA matK sequences. The genetic diversity index was calculated by Dnasp, PERMUT, and Arlequin 3.0 software, and a neighbor-joining (NJ)-tree was constructed by MEGA 5.0 software.
Fifteen haplotypes were obtained based on the matK sequence analysis. The mean genetic diversity within species was 0.894, and the genetic variability among populations (67.6%) was relatively higher than that within populations (13.88%) according to the AMOVA and PERMUT analyses. The NJ-tree and a pairwise difference analysis indicated geographical isolation of R. tanguticum. The gene flow among populations was 0.05, indicating a genetic drift among some populations, which was also confirmed by the NJ-tree and haplotype distributions. Furthermore, a mismatch distribution analysis revealed the molecular evolution of R. tanguticum.
Genetic diversity among and within populations of R. tanguticum in China was demonstrated.
PMCID: PMC4223855  PMID: 25383092
10.  Characterization of the anticancer effects of S115, a novel heteroaromatic thiosemicarbazone compound, in vitro and in vivo 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2014;35(10):1302-1310.
To investigate the anticancer effects of S115, a novel heteroaromatic thiosemicarbazone compound in vitro and in vivo.
The anti-proliferative action of S115 was analyzed in 12 human and mouse cancer cell lines using MTT assay. Autograft and xenograft cancer models were made by subcutaneous inoculation of cancer cells into mice or nude mice. The mice were orally treated with S115 (2, 8, 32 mg·kg−1·d−1) for 7 d, and the tumor size was measured every 3 d. Cell apoptosis and cell cycle distribution were examined using flow cytometry, gene expression profile analyses, Western blots and RT-PCR.
The IC50 values of S115 against 12 human and mouse cancer cell lines ranged from 0.3 to 6.6 μmol/L. The tumor growth inhibition rate caused by oral administration of S115 (32 mg·kg−1·d−1) were 89.7%, 81.7%, 78.4% and 77.8%, respectively, in mouse model of B16 melanoma, mouse model of Colon26 colon cancer, nude mouse model of A549 lung cancer and nude mouse model of SK-OV-3 ovarian cancer. Furthermore, oral administration of S115 (7.5 mg·kg−1·d−1) synergistically enhanced the anticancer effects of cyclophosphamide, cisplatin, or 5-fluorouracil in mouse model of S180 sarcoma. Treatment of A549 human lung cancer cells with S115 (1.5 μmol/L) induced G0/G1 cell cycle arrest, and increased apoptosis. Furthermore, S115 downregulated the level of ubiquitin, and upregulated the level of Tob2 in A549 cells.
S115 exerts anticancer effects against a variety of cancer cells in vitro and in grafted cancer models by inducing apoptosis, downregulating ubiquitin and upregulating Tob2.
PMCID: PMC4186988  PMID: 25220642
anticancer drug; thiourea; thiosemicarbazone; melanoma; colon cancer; human lung cancer; ovarian cancer; cell cycle arrest; apoptosis; ubiquitin; Tob2
11.  The Distribution and Common Amino Acid Polymorphisms of Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-31 Variants in 2700 Women from Northern China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99141.
To investigate the distribution of Human papillomavirus (HPV)-31 A, B and C variants as well as the common amino acid polymorphisms in Chinese women, all 14 HPV-31 positive cervical exfoliated cell specimens identified from a descriptive study including ∼2700 women from Northern China were analyzed. HPV-31 positive specimens were identified by Mass Spectrometry and the fragments of partial Long Control Region, E6 and E7 were amplified and directly sequenced or cloned into vector and then sequenced to confirm the variant information. HPV-31 prevalence in Northern Chinese female population was 0.52%. Six different sequences represented all 14 isolates, and these isolates were subsequently classified into variant lineage A (9), B (0) and C (5) by phylogenetic analysis. Five common amino acid polymorphism sites (2 in E6 and 3 in E7) and a novel non-synonymous mutation were detected in the current study. Our investigation suggested that HPV-31 was much less detected in Chinese women population than that in western countries. A and C variants were commonly detected while B variants were rarely detected in this population.
PMCID: PMC4047102  PMID: 24901850
12.  Transplantation of umbilical cord and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells in a patient with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis 
Cell Adhesion & Migration  2013;7(5):404-407.
There is currently great interest in the use of mesenchymal stem cells as a therapy for multiple sclerosis with potential to both ameliorate inflammatory processes as well as improve regeneration and repair. Although most clinical studies have used autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, other sources such as allogeneic umbilical cord-derived cells may provide a more accessible and practical supply of cells for transplantation. In this case report we present the treatment of aggressive multiple sclerosis with multiple allogenic human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cell and autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells over a 4 y period. The treatments were tolerated well with no significant adverse events. Clinical and radiological disease appeared to be suppressed following the treatments and support the expansion of mesenchymal stem cell transplantation into clinical trials as a potential novel therapy for patients with aggressive multiple sclerosis.
PMCID: PMC3903683  PMID: 24192520
mesenchymal stem cell; multiple sclerosis; stem cells; MS; axon; myelination; regeneration; transplantation
13.  Deletion of C7L and K1L Genes Leads to Significantly Decreased Virulence of Recombinant Vaccinia Virus TianTan 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68115.
The vaccinia virus TianTan (VTT) has been modified as an HIV vaccine vector in China and has shown excellent performance in immunogenicity and safety. However, its adverse effects in immunosuppressed individuals warrant the search for a safer vector in the following clinic trails. In this study, we deleted the C7L and K1L genes of VTT and constructed six recombinant vaccinia strains VTT△C7L, VTT△K1L, VTT△C7LK1L, VTKgpe△C7L, VTKgpe△K1L and VTT△C7LK1L-gag. The pathogenicity and immunogenicity of these recombinants were evaluated in mouse and rabbit models. Comparing to parental VTT, VTT△C7L and VTT△K1L showed significantly decreased replication capability in CEF, Vero, BHK-21 and HeLa cell lines. In particular, replication of VTT△C7LK1L decreased more than 10-fold in all four cell lines. The virulence of all these mutants were decreased in BALB/c mouse and rabbit models; VTT△C7LK1L once again showed the greatest attenuation, having resulted in no evident damage in mice and erythema of only 0.4 cm diameter in rabbits, compared to 1.48 cm for VTT. VTKgpe△C7L, VTKgpe△K1L and VTT△C7LK1L-gag elicited as strong cellular and humoral responses against HIV genes as did VTKgpe, while humoral immune response against the vaccinia itself was reduced by 4-8-fold. These data show that deletion of C7L and K1L genes leads to significantly decreased virulence without compromising animal host immunogenicity, and may thus be key to creating a more safe and effective HIV vaccine vector.
PMCID: PMC3698190  PMID: 23840887
14.  Cytosine Methylation Alteration in Natural Populations of Leymus chinensis Induced by Multiple Abiotic Stresses 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e55772.
Human activity has a profound effect on the global environment and caused frequent occurrence of climatic fluctuations. To survive, plants need to adapt to the changing environmental conditions through altering their morphological and physiological traits. One known mechanism for phenotypic innovation to be achieved is environment-induced rapid yet inheritable epigenetic changes. Therefore, the use of molecular techniques to address the epigenetic mechanisms underpinning stress adaptation in plants is an important and challenging topic in biological research. In this study, we investigated the impact of warming, nitrogen (N) addition, and warming+nitrogen (N) addition stresses on the cytosine methylation status of Leymus chinensis Tzvel. at the population level by using the amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) and retrotransposon based sequence-specific amplification polymorphism (SSAP) techniques.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Our results showed that, although the percentages of cytosine methylation changes in SSAP are significantly higher than those in MSAP, all the treatment groups showed similar alteration patterns of hypermethylation and hypomethylation. It meant that the abiotic stresses have induced the alterations in cytosine methylation patterns, and the levels of cytosine methylation changes around the transposable element are higher than the other genomic regions. In addition, the identification and analysis of differentially methylated loci (DML) indicated that the abiotic stresses have also caused targeted methylation changes at specific loci and these DML might have contributed to the capability of plants in adaptation to the abiotic stresses.
Our results demonstrated that abiotic stresses related to global warming and nitrogen deposition readily evoke alterations of cytosine methylation, and which may provide a molecular basis for rapid adaptation by the affected plant populations to the changed environments.
PMCID: PMC3572093  PMID: 23418457
15.  Xenon preconditioning: molecular mechanisms and biological effects 
Xenon is one of noble gases and has been recognized as an anesthetic for more than 50 years. Xenon possesses many of the characteristics of an ideal anesthetic, but it is not widely applied in clinical practice mainly because of its high cost. In recent years, numerous studies have demonstrated that xenon as an anesthetic can exert neuroprotective and cardioprotective effects in different models. Moreover, xenon has been applied in the preconditioning, and the neuroprotective and cardioprotective effects of xenon preconditioning have been investigated in a lot of studies in which some mechanisms related to these protections are proposed. In this review, we summarized these mechanisms and the biological effects of xenon preconditioning.
PMCID: PMC3547746  PMID: 23305274
Xenon; Preconditioning; Neuroprotection; Cardioprotection; Mechanism
16.  Oncometabolite 2-Hydroxyglutarate Is a Competitive Inhibitor of α-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenases 
Cancer cell  2011;19(1):17-30.
IDH1 and IDH2 mutations occur frequently in gliomas and acute myeloid leukemia, leading to simultaneous loss and gain of activities in the production of α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) and 2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG), respectively. Here we demonstrate that 2-HG is a competitive inhibitor of multiple α-KG-dependent dioxygenases, including histone demethylases and the TET family of 5-methlycytosine (5mC) hydroxylases. 2-HG occupies the same space as α-KG does in the active site of histone demethylases. Ectopic expression of tumor-derived IDH1 and IDH2 mutants inhibits histone demethylation and 5mC hydroxylation. In glioma, IDH1 mutations are associated with increased histone methylation and decreased 5-hydroxylmethylcytosine (5hmC). Hence, tumor-derived IDH1 and IDH2 mutations reduce α-KG and accumulate an α-KG antagonist, 2-HG, leading to genome-wide histone and DNA methylation alterations.
PMCID: PMC3229304  PMID: 21251613
17.  KLF4 is a novel regulator of the constitutively expressed HSP90 
Cell Stress & Chaperones  2009;15(2):211-217.
Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is a zinc finger-containing transcription factor with diverse regulatory functions in cell growth, proliferation, and differentiation. But little is known about the regulation of KLF4 on the expression of HSP90 (HSP84 and HSP86). In the current study, overexpression of KLF4 was firstly identified to promote the basal expression of HSP90 (HSP84 and HSP86) but not the inducible expression in the C2C12 cells and RAW264.7 cells. Conversely, KLF4 inhibition by antisense oligonucleotides markedly decreased the constitutive expression of HSP90 (HSP84 and HSP86). Here, we also presented data that overexpression of KLF4 resulted in enhanced promoter activities of HSP84. Consistently, KLF4 bind to the KLF4 binding sites in the promoter regions of HSP84 directly. Together, these findings support a role for KLF4 as a novel regulator of the constitutive expression of HSP90.
PMCID: PMC2866988  PMID: 19669938
KLF4; HSP90; HSP84; HSP86; Gene regulation
18.  Upregulation of the constitutively expressed HSC70 by KLF4 
Cell Stress & Chaperones  2008;13(3):337-345.
Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is a transcription factor that is abundantly expressed in various organisms from bacteria to mammals. It has been demonstrated that KLF4 regulates the expression of a wide range of genes. Analysis of KLF4 target genes reveals its diverse regulatory functions in cell growth, proliferation, differentiation, embryogenesis, and inflammation. However, the regulation of the expression of inducible heat shock protein 70 (HSP72) and heat shock cognate 70 (HSP73) by KLF4 is not defined. In our previous study, a complementary deoxyribonucleic acid microarray assay showed that KLF4 overexpression led to dramatic upregulation of HSP73 messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) in murine C2C12 myoblast cells, suggesting that HSP73 is a potential target gene regulated by KLF4. The effect of KLF4 on the expression of HSP72 and HSP73 was further examined by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and Western blot in KLF4-overexpressing or KLF4-deficient cells. The results showed the upregulation of the HSP73 constitutive expression by KLF4 overexpression in both C2C12 cells and murine RAW264.7 macrophages; in response to heat stress, however, few changes were observed in the levels of HSP73 by KLF4 overexpression. In addition, knockdown of endogenous KLF4 expression by morpholino antisense oligonucleotides significantly decreased both HSP73 mRNA and protein levels under normal conditions. Conversely, KLF4 had no effect on the expression of HSP72. Taken together, these findings suggest an important role for KLF4 as a novel regulator of the constitutive expression of HSP73.
PMCID: PMC2673948  PMID: 18379898
KLF4; HSP73; HSP72; Gene expression
19.  4,4′-(Cyclo­hexane-1,1-di­yl)diphenol methanol solvate 
The title compound, crystallized as a methanol solvate, C18H20O2·CH3OH, is an inter­mediate in the synthesis of the anti­lipidemic agent clinofibrate. Mol­ecules are packed together with the methanol solvent molecule via two O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds. The third O—H⋯O hydrogen bond is between neighboring 4,4′-(cyclo­hexane-1,1-di­yl)diphenol mol­ecules. The dihedral angle between two benzene rings planes is 81.69 (6).
PMCID: PMC2968192  PMID: 21581883
20.  Comparison of Immunogenicity between Codon Optimized HIV-1 Thailand Subtype B gp140 and gp145 Vaccines 
Vaccine  2007;25(26):4949-4959.
HIV-1 pandemic posed an unprecedent challenge to the global health and it is believed that an effective vaccine will be the final solution against HIV-1. HIV-1 envelope is the primary immunogen in developing neutralization antibody based HIV vaccine. To define the suitable Env derived immunogen, we systemically compared the immunogenicity of gp140 and gp145 in a DNA vaccination alone and a prime-boost modalities. 2 DNA vaccines and 2 recombinant Tiantan vaccinia vaccines (rTTV) were constructed for vaccination of female Balb/c mice. Elispot assay was used to read out the T cell immunity and ELISA assay was used to quantify antibody immunity. PLL (poly-L-Leucine)-ELISA assay was used in linear antibody epitope mapping. Mice primed with gp145 tended to elicit more Env-specific T cells responses than those primed with gp140, significant difference was observed in DNA immunization alone. The ultimate T cell responses in prime-boost regimen tends to be determined mainly by the priming efficacy. Linear antibody epitope mapping displayed that sera raised by gp145 priming were vigorously reactive to more peptides than that by gp140. Our data demonstrated HIV-1 Thailand B-derived gp145 may raise higher T-cell responses and broader linear peptide-specific antibody responses than gp140 does. However, it remains to be determined that how these observations are relevant to neutralization antibody activities.
PMCID: PMC1961633  PMID: 17350736
HIV-1; Vaccine; Envelope; Immunogen design
21.  Induction of KLF4 in response to heat stress 
Cell Stress & Chaperones  2006;11(4):379-389.
Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is an evolutionarily conserved zinc finger–containing transcription factor with diverse regulatory functions in cell growth, proliferation, differentiation, and embryogenesis. However, little is known about the response of KLF4 to heat stress. In this study, Western blot and reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction were performed to determine the changes in KLF4 expression in response to heat stress. The results showed that heat stress up-regulated KLF4 messenger RNA and protein levels in a time-dependent manner in vivo and in 4 cell lines. Moreover, a study with heat shock transcription factor 1 (Hsf1) gene knockout mice indicated that the induction of KLF4 in response to heat stress was mediated by Hsf1. This process occurred rapidly, indicating that KLF4 is an immediate early response gene of heat stress. Next, the roles of KLF4 under heat stress conditions were analyzed for cells overexpressing or deficient in KLF4. The results showed overexpression of KLF4 increased the death rate of C2C12 cells, whereas KLF4 deficiency decreased the injury of C2C12 cells from heat stress conditions, suggesting that KLF4 might play an important role in cell injury induced by heat stress. KLF4 might be an immediate early response gene and could play an important role in cell injury induced by heat stress.
PMCID: PMC1712684  PMID: 17278886
22.  NADPH oxidase p47phox siRNA attenuates adventitial fibroblasts proliferation and migration in apoE(-/-) mouse 
Reactive oxide species (ROS) derived from NADPH oxidases is involved in atherosclerosis. However, as a key component of NADPH oxidase, how p47phox regulates NADPH oxidases activity, ROS production and adventitial fibroblasts (AFs) function remains unclear.
p47phox in aortic arteries of apoE(-/-) mice fed with hyperlipid diet was detected by immunohistochemistry. NADPH oxidase activity, superoxide anion (O2−) generation and p47phox expression were analyzed in primary AFs treated by diphenyleneiodonium (DPI). The proliferation and migration of AFs were also analyzed.
p47phox expression was low in the aortic adventitia but high in the site of intimal injury with continuous hyperlipidic diet. Compared to AFs from wild-type mice, AFs derived from apoE(-/-) mice exhibited elevated NADPH oxidase activity, O2− production and higher mRNA and protein levels of p47phox, correlated with increased capability of proliferation and migration. DPI inhibited NADPH oxidase activity and AFs proliferation and migration in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, siRNA mediated knockdown of p47phox attenuated the proliferation and migration of AFs derived from apoE(-/-) mice.
p47phox plays a critical role in the regulation of adventitial fibroblast proliferation and migration and may be a new therapeutic target for neointimal hyperplasia.
PMCID: PMC4312606  PMID: 25628043
NADPH oxidase; p47phox; Adventitia fibroblasts; Atherosclerosis; ApoE(-/-)
23.  The interaction between the helicase DHX33 and IPS-1 as a novel pathway to sense double-stranded RNA and RNA viruses in myeloid dendritic cells 
In eukaryotes, there are at least 60 members of the DExD/H helicase family, many of which are able to sense viral nucleic acids. By screening all known family members, we identified the helicase DHX33 as a novel double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) sensor in myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs). The knockdown of DHX33 using small heteroduplex RNA (shRNA) blocked the ability of mDCs to produce type I interferon (IFN) in response to poly I:C and reovirus. The HELICc domain of DHX33 was shown to bind poly I:C. The interaction between DHX33 and IPS-1 is mediated by the HELICc region of DHX33 and the C-terminal domain of IPS-1 (also referred to MAVS and VISA). The inhibition of DHX33 expression by RNA interference blocked the poly I:C-induced activation of MAP kinases, NF-κB and IRF3. The interaction between the helicase DHX33 and IPS-1 was independent of RIG-I/MDA5 and may be a novel pathway for sensing poly I:C and RNA viruses in mDCs.
PMCID: PMC4002151  PMID: 24037184
DHX33; helicase; innate immunity; IPS-1; myeloid dendritic cell; viral nucleic acid
24.  Is the Excessive Use of Microblogs an Internet Addiction? Developing a Scale for Assessing the Excessive Use of Microblogs in Chinese College Students 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e110960.
More and more college students are using microblogs, with some excessive users demonstrating addiction-like symptoms. However, there is currently no published scale available for use in assessing excessive use of these microblogs, a significant impediment to advancing this area of research. We collected data from 3,047 college students in China and developed a Microblog Excessive Use Scale (MEUS) for Chinese college students, comparing it with criteria used for assessing Internet addiction. Our diagnostic scale featured three factors, two of which–“withdrawal and health problem” and “time management and performance”–are already included in Internet addiction assessment scales. The third factor, “social comfort,” does not appear in Internet addiction assessment scales. Our study found that females have significantly higher MEUS scores than males, and that total MEUS scores positively correlated with scores from “self-disclosure” and “real social interaction” scales. These findings differ from results obtained in previous investigations into Internet addiction. Our results indicate that some characteristics of the excessive use of microblogs are different to those of Internet addiction, suggesting that microblog overuse may not correspond exactly to the state of Internet addiction.
PMCID: PMC4236055  PMID: 25405928
25.  Conformational Dynamics inside Amino-Terminal Disease Hotspot of Ryanodine Receptor 
Structure (London, England : 1993)  2013;21(11):10.1016/j.str.2013.09.004.
The N-terminal region of both skeletal and cardiac ryanodine receptor is a disease mutation hotspot. Recently, a crystal structure of the RyR1 fragment (residues 1-559) was solved. This N-terminal structure contains three separate domains, A, B, and C, and was docked into a central vestibule in a full-length RyR1 cryo-EM map. Here we reconstructed 3D cryo-EM structures of two GFP-tagged RyR2s with GFP inserted after residue Glu-310 and Ser-437, respectively. The structures of RyR2E310-GFP and RyR2S437-GFP displayed an extra mass on domain B and C, directly validating the predicted docking model. Next, we revealed domain movements in molecular dynamics flexible fitting models in both the closed and open state cryo-EM maps. To further probe the conformational changes, we generated FRET pairs by inserting CFP or YFP in two selected domains, FRET studies of three dual-insertion pairs and three co-expressed single-insertion pairs showed the dynamic structural changes within the N-terminal domains.
PMCID: PMC3826818  PMID: 24139989

Results 1-25 (533)