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Articles by J Cheng
Total Records ( 9 ) for J Cheng
  M. J Yang , F Wang , J. H Wang , W. N Wu , Z. L Hu , J Cheng , D. F Yu , L. H Long , H Fu , N Xie and J. G. Chen

The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin and the pancreatic β-cell-derived hormone insulin function as afferent signals to the hypothalamus in an endocrine feedback loop that regulates body adiposity. They act in hypothalamic centers to modulate the function of specific neuronal subtypes, such as neuropeptide Y (NPY) neurons, by modifying neuronal electrical activity. To investigate the intrinsic activity of these neurons and their responses to insulin and leptin, we used a combination of morphological features and immunocytochemical technique to identify the NPY neurons of hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) and record whole cell large-conductance Ca2+-activated potassium (BK) currents on them. We found that both of the hormones increase the peak amplitude of BK currents, shifting the steady-state activation curve to the left. The effect of both insulin and leptin can be prevented by pretreatment with inhibitors of tyrosine kinase and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) but not MAPK. These data indicate that PI3K-mediated signals are the common regulators of BK channels by insulin and leptin and mediated the two hormones' identical activatory effects on ARC NPY neurons. The effect of insulin and leptin together was similar to that of insulin or leptin alone, and leptin or insulin pretreatment did not lead to insulin- or leptin-sensitizing effects, respectively. These intracellular signaling mechanisms may play key roles in regulating ARC NPY neuron activity and physiological processes such as the control of food intake and body weight, which are under the combined control of insulin and leptin.

  J Cheng , Y Wang , Y Ma , B. T. y Chan , M Yang , A Liang , L Zhang , H Li and J. Du

Mechanical stress plays an important role in proliferation of venous smooth muscle cells (SMCs) in neointima, a process of formation that contributes to failure of vein grafts. However, it is unknown what intracellular growth signal leads to proliferation of venous SMCs.


The objective of this study is to identify mechanisms of mechanical stretch on neointima formation.

Methods and Results:

By a microarray analysis, we found that mechanical cyclic stretch (15% elongation) stimulated the transcription of SGK-1 (serum-, glucocorticoid-regulated kinase-1). Mechanical stretch–induced SGK-1 mRNA expression was blocked by actinomycin D. The mechanism for the SGK-1 expression involved MEK1 but not p38 or JNK signaling pathway. SGK-1 activation in response to stretch is blocked by insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 receptor inhibitor and mammalian target of rapamycin complex (mTORC)2 inhibitor (Ku-0063794) but not mTORC1 inhibitor (rapamycin). Mechanical stretch–induced bromodeoxyuridine incorporation was reduced by 83.5% in venous SMCs isolated from SGK-1 knockout mice. In contrast, inhibition of Akt, another downstream signal of PI3K resulted in only partial inhibition of mechanical stretch–induced proliferation of venous SMCs. Mechanical stretch also induced phosphorylation and nuclear exportation of p27kip1, whereas knockout of SGK-1 attenuated this effect of mechanical stretch on p27kip1. In vivo, we found that placement of a vein graft into artery increased SGK-1 expression. Knockout of SGK-1 effectively prevented neointima formation in vein graft. There is significant lower level of p27kip1 located in the nucleus of neointima cells in SGK-1 knockout mice compared with that of wild-type vein graft. In addition, we also found that wire injury of artery or growth factors in vitro increased expression of SGK-1.


These results suggest that SGK-1 is an injury-responsive kinase that could mediate mechanical stretch–induced proliferation of vascular cells in vein graft, leading to neointima formation.

  J Cheng , D. W Van Norstrand , A Medeiros Domingo , C Valdivia , B. h Tan , B Ye , S Kroboth , M Vatta , D. J Tester , C. T January , J. C Makielski and M. J. Ackerman

Background— Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is a leading cause of death during the first 6 months after birth. About 5% to 10% of SIDS may stem from cardiac channelopathies such as long-QT syndrome. We recently implicated mutations in 1-syntrophin (SNTA1) as a novel cause of long-QT syndrome, whereby mutant SNTA1 released inhibition of associated neuronal nitric oxide synthase by the plasma membrane Ca-ATPase PMCA4b, causing increased peak and late sodium current (INa) via S-nitrosylation of the cardiac sodium channel. This study determined the prevalence and functional properties of SIDS-associated SNTA1 mutations.

Methods and Results— Using polymerase chain reaction, denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography, and DNA sequencing of SNTA1’s open reading frame, 6 rare (absent in 800 reference alleles) missense mutations (G54R, P56S, T262P, S287R, T372M, and G460S) were identified in 8 (3%) of 292 SIDS cases. These mutations were engineered using polymerase chain reaction–based overlap extension and were coexpressed heterologously with SCN5A, neuronal nitric oxide synthase, and PMCA4b in HEK293 cells. INa was recorded using the whole-cell method. A significant 1.4- to 1.5-fold increase in peak INa and 2.3- to 2.7-fold increase in late INa compared with controls was evident for S287R-, T372M-, and G460S-SNTA1 and was reversed by a neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibitor. These 3 mutations also caused a significant depolarizing shift in channel inactivation, thereby increasing the overlap of the activation and inactivation curves to increase window current.

Conclusions— Abnormal biophysical phenotypes implicate mutations in SNTA1 as a novel pathogenic mechanism for the subset of channelopathic SIDS. Functional studies are essential to distinguish pathogenic perturbations in channel interacting proteins such as 1-syntrophin from similarly rare but innocuous ones.

  A Moran , D Gu , D Zhao , P Coxson , Y. C Wang , C. S Chen , J Liu , J Cheng , K Bibbins Domingo , Y. M Shen , J He and L. Goldman

Background— The relative effects of individual and combined risk factor trends on future cardiovascular disease in China have not been quantified in detail.

Methods and Results— Future risk factor trends in China were projected based on prior trends. Cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease and stroke) in adults ages 35 to 84 years was projected from 2010 to 2030 using the Coronary Heart Disease Policy Model–China, a Markov computer simulation model. With risk factor levels held constant, projected annual cardiovascular events increased by >50% between 2010 and 2030 based on population aging and growth alone. Projected trends in blood pressure, total cholesterol, diabetes (increases), and active smoking (decline) would increase annual cardiovascular disease events by an additional 23%, an increase of approximately 21.3 million cardiovascular events and 7.7 million cardiovascular deaths over 2010 to 2030. Aggressively reducing active smoking in Chinese men to 20% prevalence in 2020 and 10% prevalence in 2030 or reducing mean systolic blood pressure by 3.8 mm Hg in men and women would counteract adverse trends in other risk factors by preventing cardiovascular events and 2.9 to 5.7 million total deaths over 2 decades.

Conclusions— Aging and population growth will increase cardiovascular disease by more than a half over the coming 20 years, and projected unfavorable trends in blood pressure, total cholesterol, diabetes, and body mass index may accelerate the epidemic. National policy aimed at controlling blood pressure, smoking, and other risk factors would counteract the expected future cardiovascular disease epidemic in China.

  J Gu , W Yang , J Cheng , T Yang , Y Qu , Y Kuang , H Huang , L Yang , W He and L. Min

To analyse the temporal and spatial characteristics of traumatic brain injury and the distribution of combined injuries in the Wenchuan earthquake, and describe the treatment opportunities and preferences for therapy.


The diagnosis and treatment of 92 patients with traumatic brain injury who survived the massive earthquake (magnitude 8) in Wenchuan, Sichuan Province, on 12 May 2008 were systematically analysed.


The patients all came from the plains northwest of Chengdu city. Seventy-six patients were admitted during the early stage (within 12 h) after the earthquake. Ten patients underwent surgery and three patients died.


Patients with traumatic brain injury during the early period accounted for a large proportion of the patients wounded in the Wenchuan earthquake, and their conditions changed quickly. The patients all came from the plain area which has convenient transportation. After admission, providing first-aid early had a significant effect on increasing the success of treatment for these patients.

  H. H Liu , P Lu , Y Guo , E Farrell , X Zhang , M Zheng , B Bosano , Z Zhang , J Allard , G Liao , S Fu , J Chen , K Dolim , A Kuroda , J Usuka , J Cheng , W Tao , K Welch , Y Liu , J Pease , S. A de Keczer , M Masjedizadeh , J. S Hu , P Weller , T Garrow and G. Peltz

Acetaminophen-induced liver toxicity is the most frequent precipitating cause of acute liver failure and liver transplant, but contemporary medical practice has mainly focused on patient management after a liver injury has been induced. An integrative genetic, transcriptional, and two-dimensional NMR-based metabolomic analysis performed using multiple inbred mouse strains, along with knowledge-based filtering of these data, identified betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase 2 (Bhmt2) as a diet-dependent genetic factor that affected susceptibility to acetaminophen-induced liver toxicity in mice. Through an effect on methionine and glutathione biosynthesis, Bhmt2 could utilize its substrate (S-methylmethionine [SMM]) to confer protection against acetaminophen-induced injury in vivo. Since SMM is only synthesized in plants, Bhmt2 exerts its beneficial effect in a diet-dependent manner. Identification of Bhmt2 and the affected biosynthetic pathway demonstrates how a novel method of integrative genomic analysis in mice can provide a unique and clinically applicable approach to a major public health problem.

  J Cheng , S Huang , H Yu , Y Li , K Lau and X. Chen

Trans-sialidases catalyze the transfer of a sialic acid from one sialoside to an acceptor to form a new sialoside. 2,3-Trans-sialidase activity was initially discovered in the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, and more recently was found in a multifunctional Pasteurella multocida sialyltransferase PmST1. 2,8-Trans-sialidase activity was also described for a multifunctional Campylobacter jejuni sialyltransferase CstII. We report here the discovery of the 2,6-trans-sialidase activity of a previously reported recombinant truncated bacterial 2,6-sialyltransferase from Photobacterium damsela (15Pd2,6ST). This is the first time that the 2,6-trans-sialidase activity has ever been identified. Kinetic studies indicate that 15Pd2,6ST-catalyzed trans-sialidase reaction follows a ping-pong bi-bi reaction mechanism. Cytidine 5'-monophosphate, the product of sialyltransferase reactions, is not required by the trans-sialidase activity of the enzyme but enhances the trans-sialidase activity modestly as a non-essential activator. Using chemically synthesized Neu5AcpNP and LacβMU, 2,6-linked sialoside Neu5Ac2,6LacβMU has been obtained in one-step in high yield using the trans-sialidase activity of 15Pd2,6ST. In addition to the 2,6-trans-sialidase activity, 15Pd2,6ST also has 2,6-sialidase activity. The multifunctionality is thus a common feature of many bacterial sialyltransferases.

  L Zhang , K Lau , J Cheng , H Yu , Y Li , G Sugiarto , S Huang , L Ding , V Thon , P. G Wang and X. Chen

Lewis x (Lex) and sialyl Lewis x (SLex)-containing glycans play important roles in numerous physiological and pathological processes. The key enzyme for the final step formation of these Lewis antigens is 1-3-fucosyltransferase. Here we report molecular cloning and functional expression of a novel Helicobacter hepaticus 1-3-fucosyltransferase (HhFT1) which shows activity towards both non-sialylated and sialylated Type II oligosaccharide acceptor substrates. It is a promising catalyst for enzymatic and chemoenzymatic synthesis of Lex, sialyl Lex and their derivatives. Unlike all other 1-3/4-fucosyltransferases characterized so far which belong to Carbohydrate Active Enzyme (CAZy, glycosyltransferase family GT10, the HhFT1 shares protein sequence homology with 1-2-fucosyltransferases and belongs to CAZy glycosyltransferase family GT11. The HhFT1 is thus the first 1-3-fucosyltransferase identified in the GT11 family.

  J Deng , X Liao , J Hu , X Leng , J Cheng and G. Zhao

In contrast to animal ferritin, relatively little information is available on phytoferritin. Black bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) has been consumed in many countries. In the present study, new ferritin from black bean seed was purified by two consecutive anion exchange and size exclusion chromatography. The apparent molecular mass of the native black bean seed ferritin (BSF) was found to be ~560 kDa by native PAGE analysis. N-terminal sequence, MALDI-TOF-MS and MS/MS analyses indicate that BSF and soybean seed ferritin (SSF) share very high identity in amino acid sequence. However, SDS–PAGE result indicates that BSF consists of 26.5 (H-1) and 28.0 kDa (H-2) subunits with a ratio of 2 : 1, while the ratio of these two subunits in SSF is 1 : 1. This result demonstrates that the two proteins have different subunit composition which might affect their activities in iron uptake and release. Indeed, at high iron flux, the initial rate of iron oxidative deposition in apoBSF is larger than that in apoSSF. On the contrary, the iron release from BSF is significantly slower than that from SSF. All these results indicate that phytoferritin might regulate the transit of iron into and out of the protein cavity by changing its subunit composition.

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