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Articles by B Sun
Total Records ( 2 ) for B Sun
  B Sun , Y Xu , K. H Ng and T. Ito

Developmental regulation of the floral meristem ensures that plants of the same species have similarly sized flowers with a fixed number of floral organs. The maintenance of stem cells in the floral meristem is terminated after the production of a fixed number of floral organ primordia. Precise repression of the Arabidopsis thaliana homeobox gene WUSCHEL (WUS) by the floral homeotic protein AGAMOUS (AG) plays a major part in this process. Here we show that KNUCKLES (KNU) mediates the repression of WUS in floral meristem determinacy control. AG directly induces the transcription of KNU, which encodes a C2H2-type zinc finger protein with a conserved transcriptional repression motif. In turn, KNU represses WUS transcription to abolish stem cell activity. We also show that the timing of KNU induction is key in balancing proliferation and differentiation in flower development. Delayed KNU expression results in an indeterminate meristem, whereas ectopic KNU expression prematurely terminates the floral meristem. Furthermore, KNU induction by AG is preceded by changes in repressive histone modification at the KNU locus, which occurs in an AG-dependent manner. This study provides a mechanistic link between transcriptional feedback and epigenetic regulation in plant stem cell proliferation.

  J Xiao , N. l Wang , B Sun and G. p. Cai

Estrogen receptors (ERs) play a pivotal role in adipogenesis; therefore, compounds targeting ERs may also affect fat formation. Recent studies have shown that the Dioscorea plant (commonly called yam) exhibits an antiobesity effect on rodents. However, the active compounds and underlying mechanisms responsible for this effect are not yet fully understood. We evaluated the effects of pseudoprotodiocsin (PPD), a steroid saponin from Dioscorea nipponica Makino (a type of Dioscorea), on adipogenesis and the mechanisms underlying this effect. Treatment with PPD at the onset of adipogenic differentiation resulted in significantly decreased adipogenesis in both in vitro and in vivo experimental systems. An increased amount of ER mRNA, protein, and the accumulation of ER in the nucleus were also observed. However, the expression pattern of ERβ was not altered. Furthermore, the antiadipogenic effect of PPD was found to be ER dependent. It was also accompanied by the decreased expression of several genes involved in adipogenesis, including lipoprotein lipase (LPL), leptin, CCAAT/enhancer-binding-protein- (C/EBP), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor- (PPAR), as well as the increased expression of some negative factors of adipogenesis, including preadipocyte factor 1 (Pre-1), GATA-binding protein 2 (GATA-2), GC-induced leucine-zipper protein (GILZ), and C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP-10). In addition to its estrogenic action, PPD also abolished the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) activation. Our results suggest that PPD inhibits adipogenesis in an ER-dependent manner and induces the expression of ER. These findings may provide a lead toward a novel agent that can be used to treat obesity.

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