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Articles by C Zhang
Total Records ( 15 ) for C Zhang
  L Zhu , J Wang , J Mu , H Wang , C Zhang , X Liu , X Yan , L Dai and D. Ma

Human tissue factor pathway inhibitor-2 (hTFPI-2) is a serine protease inhibitor and its inhibitory activity is enhanced by heparin. The Kunitz domain 3 and C-terminal of hTFPI-2 (hTFPI-2/KD3C), which has the activity toward heparin calcium, have been successfully expressed in Pichia pastoris and purified by SP-Sepharose and heparin-Sepharose chromatography. The Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, and circular dichroism (CD) experiment results implied that hTFPI-2/KD3C contained small contents of -helix and β-strand, but large amounts of random coil and two kinds of disulfide bonds, gauche-gauche-gauche (ggg) and trans-gauche-trans (tgt). The interaction of hTFPI-2/KD3C with heparin calcium was investigated by CD. It was found that heparin calcium induced β-strands in hTFPI-2/KD3C to different extents depending on the ratio of hTFPI-2/KD3C and heparin calcium.

  B Chen , Y Ma , R Meng , Z Xiong , C Zhang , G Chen , A Zhang and Y. Dong

Proteasome inhibitors are involved in cell cycle control, growth and inflammatory signaling, and transcriptional regulation of mitotic cells. A recent study has suggested that specific proteasome inhibitor MG132 may suppress cardiomyocyte hypertrophy in vitro. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are not clear. In this study, we investigated the effects of long-term MG132 treatment on cardiac hypertrophy and the related molecular mechanisms in vivo. MG132 (0.1 mg/kg/day) was intraperitoneally injected to rats with abdominal aortic banding (AAB) for 8 weeks. Results showed that treatment with MG132 significantly attenuated left ventricular (LV) myocyte area, LV weight/body weight, and lung weight/body weight ratios, decreased LV diastolic diameter and wall thickness, and increased fractional shortening in AAB rats. AAB induced the phosphorylation of ERK1/2, JNK1, and p38 in cardiac myocytes. The elevated phosphorylation levels of ERK1/2 and JNK1 in AAB rats were significantly reversed by MG132 treatment. In conclusion, our results suggested that long-term treatment with MG132 attenuates pressure-overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy and improves cardiac function in AAB rats through regulation of ERK1/2 and JNK1 signaling pathways.

  C Zhang , Y Tan , W Guo , C Li , S Ji , X Li and L. Cai

Renal protection against diabetes-induced pathogenic injuries by multiple exposures to low-dose radiation (LDR) was investigated to develop a novel approach to the prevention of renal disease for diabetic subjects. C57BL/6J mice were given multiple low-dose streptozotocin (STZ; 60 x 6 mg/kg) to produce a type 1 diabetes. Two weeks after diabetes onset, some of diabetic mice and age-matched nondiabetic mice were exposed whole body to 25 mGy X-rays every other day for 2, 4, 8, 12, and 16 wk. Diabetes caused a significant renal dysfunction, shown by time-dependent increase in urinary microalbumin (Malb) and decrease in urinary creatinine (Cre), and pathological changes, shown by significant increases in renal structural changes and PAS-positive staining. However, diabetes-induced renal dysfunction and pathological changes were significantly, albeit partially, attenuated by multiple exposures to LDR. Furthermore, LDR protection against diabetes-induced renal dysfunction and pathological changes was associated with a significant suppression of diabetes-increased systemic and renal inflammation, shown by significant increases in serum and renal TNF, ICAM-1, IL-18, MCP-1, and PAI-1 contents. To further explore the mechanism by which LDR prevents diabetes-induced renal pathological changes, renal oxidative damage was examined by Western blotting and immunohistochemical staining for 3-nitrotyrosine and 4-hydroxynonenal. Significant increase in oxidative damage was observed in diabetic mice, but not diabetic mice, with LDR. Renal fibrosis, examined by Western blotting of connective tissue growth factor and Masson's trichrome staining, was also evident in the kidneys of diabetic mice but not diabetic mice with LDR. These results suggest that multiple exposures to LDR significantly suppress diabetes-induced systemic and renal inflammatory response and renal oxidative damage, resulting in a prevention of the renal dysfunction and fibrosis.

  K Iskandar , Y Cao , Y Hayashi , M Nakata , E Takano , T Yada , C Zhang , W Ogawa , M Oki , S Chua , H Itoh , T Noda , M Kasuga and J. Nakae

Both insulin and leptin signaling converge on phosphatidylinositol 3-OH kinase [PI(3)K]/3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1 (PDK-1)/protein kinase B (PKB, also known as Akt) in proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons. Forkhead box-containing protein-O1 (FoxO1) is inactivated in a PI(3)K-dependent manner. However, the interrelationship between PI(3)K/PDK-1/Akt and FoxO1, and the chronic effects of the overexpression of FoxO1 in POMC neurons on energy homeostasis has not been elucidated. To determine the extent to which PDK-1 and FoxO1 signaling in POMC neurons was responsible for energy homeostasis, we generated POMC neuron-specific Pdk1 knockout mice (POMCPdk1–/–) and mice selectively expressing a constitutively nuclear (CN)FoxO1 or transactivation-defective (256)FoxO1 in POMC neurons (CNFoxO1POMC or 256FoxO1POMC). POMCPdk1–/– mice showed increased food intake and body weight accompanied by decreased expression of Pomc gene. The CNFoxO1POMC mice exhibited mild obesity and hyperphagia compared with POMCPdk1–/– mice. Although expression of the CNFoxO1 made POMCPdk1–/– mice more obese due to excessive suppression of Pomc gene, overexpression of 256FoxO1 in POMC neurons had no effects on metabolic phenotypes and Pomc expression levels of POMCPdk1–/– mice. These data suggest a requirement for PDK-1 and FoxO1 in transcriptional regulation of Pomc and food intake.

  D. W Brook , J. S Brook , C Zhang and J. Koppel

Objectives  To determine whether attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adolescence is related to substance use disorders (SUDs) in adulthood and whether conduct disorder (CD) mediates this relationship.

Design  A prospective design incorporating 5 assessments in participants spanning the mean ages of 14 to 37 years. Two baseline assessments were taken at ages 14 and 16 years, and 3 outcome assessments were taken between ages 27 and 37 years.

Setting  United States.

Participants  A community sample of individuals initially drawn from upstate New York in 1975 and observed to a mean age of 37 years.

Interventions  The Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children was used to assess ADHD and CD and the University of Michigan Composite International Diagnostic Interview was used to assess SUDs.

Main Outcome Measure  A diagnosis of SUDs given to participants in adulthood.

Results  The odds ratios for ADHD and CD in adolescence as related to SUDs in adulthood were 1.9 and 3.5, respectively. The association between ADHD and SUDs, however, was indirect because CD served as a mediator between ADHD and SUDs.

Conclusions  Pediatricians should focus on adolescent ADHD when it progresses to CD because CD is a major predictor of SUDs in adulthood.

  H Wang , W Zhang , C Zhu , C Bucher , B. R Blazar , C Zhang , J. F Chen , J Linden , C Wu and Y. Huo

Background— Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the arterial vessel wall. The A2A receptor (A2AR) plays a central role in many antiinflammatory effects of adenosine. However, the role of A2AR in atherosclerosis is not clear.

Methods and Results— The knockout of A2AR in apolipoprotein E–deficient (Apoe–/–/A2AR–/–) mice led to an increase in body weight and levels of blood cholesterol and proinflammatory cytokines, as well as the inflammation status of atherosclerotic lesions. Unexpectedly, Apoe–/–/A2AR–/– mice developed smaller lesions, as did chimeric Apoe–/– mice lacking A2AR in bone marrow–derived cells (BMDCs). The lesions of those mice exhibited a low density of foam cells and the homing ability of A2AR-deficient monocytes did not change. Increased foam cell apoptosis was detected in atherosclerotic lesions of Apoe–/–/A2AR–/– mice. In the absence of A2AR, macrophages incubated with oxidized LDL or in vivo–formed foam cells also exhibited increased apoptosis. A2AR deficiency in foam cells resulted in an increase in p38 mitogen–activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity. Inhibition of p38 phosphorylation abrogated the increased apoptosis of A2AR-deficient foam cells.

Conclusion— Inactivation of A2AR, especially in BMDCs, inhibits the formation of atherosclerotic leisons, suggesting that A2AR inactivation may be useful for the treatment of atherosclerosis.

  H Wang , W Zhang , R Tang , R. P Hebbel , M. A Kowalska , C Zhang , J. D Marth , M Fukuda , C Zhu and Y. Huo

Objective— Core2 1 to 6-N-glucosaminyltransferase-I (C2GlcNAcT-I) plays an important role in optimizing the binding functions of several selectin ligands, including P-selectin glycoprotein ligand. We used apolipoprotein E (ApoE)-deficient atherosclerotic mice to investigate the role of C2GlcNAcT-I in platelet and leukocyte interactions with injured arterial walls, in endothelial regeneration at injured sites, and in the formation of arterial neointima.

Methods and Results— Arterial neointima induced by wire injury was smaller in C2GlcNAcT-I-deficient apoE–/– mice than in control apoE–/– mice (a 79% reduction in size). Compared to controls, apoE–/– mice deficient in C2GlcNAcT-I also demonstrated less leukocyte adhesion on activated platelets in microflow chambers (a 75% reduction), and accumulation of leukocytes at injured areas of mouse carotid arteries was eliminated. Additionally, endothelial regeneration in injured lumenal areas was substantially faster in C2GlcNAcT-I-deficient apoE–/– mice than in control apoE–/– mice. Endothelial regeneration was associated with reduced accumulation of platelet factor 4 (PF4) at injured sites. PF4 deficiency accelerated endothelial regeneration and protected mice from neointima formation after arterial injury.

Conclusions— C2GlcNAcT-I deficiency suppresses injury-induced arterial neointima formation, and this effect is attributable to decreased leukocyte recruitment to injured vascular walls and increased endothelial regeneration. Both C2GlcNAcT-I and PF4 are promising targets for the treatment of arterial restenosis.

  C Zhang , Y Jiang and Y. Chai

Regularization methods are characterized by loss functions measuring data fits and penalty terms constraining model parameters. The commonly used quadratic loss is not suitable for classification with binary responses, whereas the loglikelihood function is not readily applicable to models where the exact distribution of observations is unknown or not fully specified. We introduce the penalized Bregman divergence by replacing the negative loglikelihood in the conventional penalized likelihood with Bregman divergence, which encompasses many commonly used loss functions in the regression analysis, classification procedures and machine learning literature. We investigate new statistical properties of the resulting class of estimators with the number pn of parameters either diverging with the sample size n or even nearly comparable with n, and develop statistical inference tools. It is shown that the resulting penalized estimator, combined with appropriate penalties, achieves the same oracle property as the penalized likelihood estimator, but asymptotically does not rely on the complete specification of the underlying distribution. Furthermore, the choice of loss function in the penalized classifiers has an asymptotically relatively negligible impact on classification performance. We illustrate the proposed method for quasilikelihood regression and binary classification with simulation evaluation and real-data application.

  C Zhang , L Fu , J Fu , L Hu , H Yang , T. H Rong , Y Li , H Liu , S. B Fu , Y. X Zeng and X. Y. Guan

Purpose: Tumor fibroblasts (TF) have been suggested to play an essential role in the complex process of tumor-stroma interactions and tumorigenesis. The aim of the present study was to investigate the specific role of TF in the esophageal cancer microenvironment.

Experimental Design: An Affymetrix expression microarray was used to compare gene expression profiles between six pairs of TFs and normal fibroblasts from esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Differentially expressed genes were identified, and a subset was evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry.

Results: About 43% (126 of 292) of known deregulated genes in TFs were associated with cell proliferation, extracellular matrix remodeling, and immune response. Up-regulation of fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2), which showed the most significant change, was detected in all six tested TFs compared with their paired normal fibroblasts. A further study found that FGFR2-positive fibroblasts were only observed inside the tumor tissues and not in tumor-surrounding stromal tissues, suggesting that FGFR2 could be used as a TF-specific marker in ESCC. Moreover, the conditioned medium from TFs was found to be able to promote ESCC tumor cell growth, migration, and invasion in vitro.

Conclusions: Our study provides new candidate genes for the esophageal cancer microenvironment. Based on our results, we hypothesize that FGFR2(+)-TFs might provide cancer cells with a suitable microenvironment via secretion of proteins that could promote cancer development and progression through stimulation of cancer cell proliferation, induction of angiogenesis, inhibition of cell adhesion, enhancement of cell mobility, and promotion of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

  C Zhang , C Wang , X Chen , C Yang , K Li , J Wang , J Dai , Z Hu , X Zhou , L Chen , Y Zhang , Y Li , H Qiu , J Xing , Z Liang , B Ren , K Zen and C. Y. Zhang

Sensitive and specific biomarkers for the early detection of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) are urgently needed to reduce the high morbidity and mortality of the disease. The discovery of serum microRNAs (miRNAs) and their unique concentration profiles in patients with various diseases makes them attractive, novel noninvasive biomarkers for tumor diagnosis. In this study, we investigated the serum miRNA profile in ESCC patients to develop a novel diagnostic ESCC biomarker.


Serum samples were taken from 290 ESCC patients and 140 age- and sex-matched controls. Solexa sequencing technology was used for an initial screen of miRNAs in serum samples from 141 patients and 40 controls. A hydrolysis probe–based stem–loop quantitative reverse-transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) assay was conducted in the training and verification phases to confirm the concentrations of selected miRNAs in serum samples from 149 patients and 100 controls.


The Solexa sequencing results demonstrated marked upregulation of 25 serum miRNAs in ESCC patients compared with controls. RT-qPCR analysis identified a profile of 7 serum miRNAs (miR-10a, miR-22, miR-100, miR-148b, miR-223, miR-133a, and miR-127-3p) as ESCC biomarkers. The area under the ROC curve for the selected miRNAs ranged from 0.817 to 0.949, significantly higher than for carcinoembryonic antigen (0.549; P < 0.0005). More importantly, this panel of 7 miRNAs clearly distinguished stage I/II ESCC patients from controls.


This panel of 7 serum miRNAs holds promise as a novel blood-based biomarker for the diagnosis of ESCC.

  J Ling , G Zhuang , B Tazon Vega , C Zhang , B Cao , Z Rosenwaks and K. Xu

The scarce amount of DNA contained in a singe cell is a limiting factor for clinical application of preimplantation genetic diagnosis mainly due to the risk of misdiagnosis caused by allele dropout and the difficulty in obtaining copy number variations in all 23 pairs of chromosomes. Multiple displacement amplification (MDA) has been reported to generate large quantity of products from small amount of templates. Here, we evaluated the fidelity of whole-genome amplification MDA from single or a few cells and determined the accuracy of chromosome copy number assessment on these MDA products using an Affymetrix 10K 2.0 SNP Mapping Array. An average coverage rate (86.2%) from single cells was obtained and the rates increased significantly when five or more cells were used as templates. Higher concordance for chromosome copy number from single cells could be achieved when the MDA amplified product was used as reference (93.1%) than when gDNA used as reference (82.8%). The present study indicates that satisfactory genome coverage can be obtained from single-cell MDA which may be used for studies where only a minute amount of genetic materials is available. Clinically, MDA coupled with SNP mapping array may provide a reliable and accurate method for chromosome copy number analysis and most likely for the detection of single-gene disorders as well.

  C Zhang , S Zheng , Y Wang , Y Zhao , J Zhu and L. Ge

Cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD) is a dominantly inherited skeletal dysplasia caused by mutations in the osteoblast-specific transcription factor-encoding gene, RUNX2. To correlate different RUNX2 mutations with CCD clinical spectrum, we studied six independent Chinese CCD patients. In five patients, mutations were detected in the coding region of the RUNX2 gene, including two frameshift mutations and three missense mutations. Of these mutations, four were novel and one had previously been reported. All the detected mutations were exclusively clustered within the Runt domain that affected conserved residues in the Runt domain. In vitro green fluorescent protein fusion studies showed that the three mutations—R225L, 214fs and 172fs—interfered with nuclear accumulation of RUNX2 protein, while T200I mutation had no effect on the subcellular distribution of RUNX2. There was no marked phenotypic difference between patients in craniofacial and clavicles features, while the expressivity of supernumerary teeth in our patient cohort had a striking variation, even among family members. The occurrence of intrafamilial clinical variability raises the view that hypomorphic effects and genetic modifiers may alter the clinical expressivity of these mutations. Our results provide new genetic evidence that mutations involved in RUNX2 contribute to CCD.

  Y Ge , A. L Wu , C Warnes , J Liu , C Zhang , H Kawasome , N Terada , M. D Boppart , C. J Schoenherr and J. Chen

Rapamycin-sensitive signaling is required for skeletal muscle differentiation and remodeling. In cultured myoblasts, the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) has been reported to regulate differentiation at different stages through distinct mechanisms, including one that is independent of mTOR kinase activity. However, the kinase-independent function of mTOR remains controversial, and no in vivo studies have examined those mTOR myogenic mechanisms previously identified in vitro. In this study, we find that rapamycin impairs injury-induced muscle regeneration. To validate the role of mTOR with genetic evidence and to probe the mechanism of mTOR function, we have generated and characterized transgenic mice expressing two mutants of mTOR under the control of human skeletal actin (HSA) promoter: rapamycin-resistant (RR) and RR/kinase-inactive (RR/KI). Our results show that muscle regeneration in rapamycin-administered mice is restored by RR-mTOR expression. In the RR/KI-mTOR mice, nascent myofiber formation during the early phase of regeneration proceeds in the presence of rapamycin, but growth of the regenerating myofibers is blocked by rapamycin. Igf2 mRNA levels increase drastically during early regeneration, which is sensitive to rapamycin in wild-type muscles but partially resistant to rapamycin in both RR- and RR/KI-mTOR muscles, consistent with mTOR regulation of Igf2 expression in a kinase-independent manner. Furthermore, systemic ablation of S6K1, a target of mTOR kinase, results in impaired muscle growth but normal nascent myofiber formation during regeneration. Therefore, mTOR regulates muscle regeneration through kinase-independent and kinase-dependent mechanisms at the stages of nascent myofiber formation and myofiber growth, respectively.

  S Laing , G Wang , T Briazova , C Zhang , A Wang , Z Zheng , A Gow , A. F Chen , S Rajagopalan , L. C Chen , Q Sun and K. Zhang

Recent studies have suggested a link between inhaled particulate matter (PM) exposure and increased mortality and morbidity associated with pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases. However, a precise understanding of the biological mechanism underlying PM-associated toxicity and pathogenesis remains elusive. Here, we investigated the impact of PM exposure in intracellular stress signaling pathways with animal models and cultured cells. Inhalation exposure of the mice to environmentally relevant fine particulate matter (aerodynamic diameter < 2.5 µm, PM2.5) induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and activation of unfolded protein response (UPR) in the lung and liver tissues as well as in the mouse macrophage cell line RAW264.7. Ambient PM2.5 exposure activates double-strand RNA-activated protein kinase-like ER kinase (PERK), leading to phosphorylation of translation initiation factor eIF2 and induction of C/EBP homologous transcription factor CHOP/GADD153. Activation of PERK-mediated UPR pathway relies on the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and is critical for PM2.5-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, PM2.5 exposure can activate ER stress sensor IRE1, but it decreases the activity of IRE1 in splicing the mRNA encoding the UPR trans-activator X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1). Together, our study suggests that PM2.5 exposure differentially activates the UPR branches, leading to ER stress-induced apoptosis through the PERK-eIF2-CHOP UPR branch. This work provides novel insights into the cellular and molecular basis by which ambient PM2.5 exposure elicits its cytotoxic effects that may be related to air pollution-associated pathogenesis.

  J Maciejowski , K. A George , M. E Terret , C Zhang , K. M Shokat and P. V. Jallepalli

Cdc20 and Mad2 or Bub1 don’t come together in Mps1-null cells, resulting in a dramatic acceleration of anaphase onset (see also related papers by Hewitt et al. and Santaguida et al. in this issue).

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