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Articles by J Zhou
Total Records ( 17 ) for J Zhou
  H Li , Q Liu , X Hu , D Feng , S Xiang , Z He , J Zhou , X Ding , C Zhou and J. Zhang

Mouse zinc finger CCHC domain containing 12 gene (ZCCHC12) has been identified as a transcriptional co-activator of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling, and human ZCCHC12 was reported to be related to non-syndromic X-linked mental retardation (NS-XLMR). However, the details of how human ZCCHC12 involve in the NS-XLMR still remain unclear. In this study, we identified a novel nuclear localization signal (NLS) in the middle of human ZCCHC12 protein which is responsible for the nuclear localization. Multiple-tissue northern blot analysis indicated that ZCCHC12 is highly expressed in human brain. Furthermore, in situ hybridization showed that ZCCHC12 is specifically expressed in neuroepithelium of forebrain, midbrain, and diencephalon regions of mouse E10.5 embryos. Luciferase reporter assays demonstrated that ZCCHC12 enhanced the transcriptional activities of activator protein 1 (AP-1) and cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) as a co-activator. In conclusion, we identified a new NLS in ZCCHC12 and figured out that ZCCHC12 functions as a transcriptional co-activator of AP-1 and CREB.

  J Zhou , L May , P Liao , P. L Gross and J. I. Weitz

Objective— Although stasis is important in the pathogenesis of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), how it contributes to thrombogenesis is largely unknown. To gain mechanistic insight, we used a rat model of inferior vena cava (IVC) ligation.

Methods and Results— Rats were subjected to IVC ligation for 15 to 60 minutes. Ligation resulted in rapid IVC dilatation and by 60 minutes, thrombi were detected in all rats. Small thrombi were detected in the IVC of most rats after 15 minutes of ligation. Thrombi were rich in fibrin, contained aggregated platelets as well as trapped leukocytes and red cells, and most originated at sites of localized endothelial denudation. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed tissue factor (TF)-expressing leukocytes within the thrombi and adherent to the vessel wall. Despite a largely intact vessel wall, endothelial cells also stained for TF. The expression of TF colocalized with that of protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), an enzyme implicated in TF decryption.

Conclusions— These findings suggest that the rapid development of DVT after IVC ligation reflects a combination of stasis-induced vein wall injury and enhanced TF expression in endothelial cells and leukocytes. Because TF expression occurs so soon after ligation, new synthesis is unlikely. Instead, stasis-induced venous dilatation with or without exposure of subendothelial TF, may be responsible for vessel wall TF expression. Colocalization of TF and PDI raises the possibility that PDI-mediated TF decryption plays a role in the pathogenesis of DVT.

  J Zhou , M Zhang , H Fang , O El Mounayri , J. M Rodenberg , A. N Imbalzano and B. P. Herring

Objective— Regulatory complexes comprising myocardin and serum response factor (SRF) are critical for the transcriptional regulation of many smooth muscle–specific genes. However, little is known about the epigenetic mechanisms that regulate the activity of these complexes. In the current study, we investigated the role of SWI/SNF ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling enzymes in regulating the myogenic activity of myocardin.

Methods and Results— We found that both Brg1 and Brm are required for maintaining expression of several smooth muscle–specific genes in primary cultures of aortic smooth muscle cells. Furthermore, the ability of myocardin to induce expression of smooth muscle–specific genes is abrogated in cells expressing dominant negative Brg1. In SW13 cells, which lack endogenous Brg1 and Brm1, myocardin is unable to induce expression of smooth muscle–specific genes. Whereas, reconstitution of wild-type, or bromodomain mutant forms Brg1 or Brm1, into SW13 cells restored their responsiveness to myocardin. SWI/SNF complexes were found to be required for myocardin to increase SRF binding to the promoters of smooth muscle–specific genes. Brg1 and Brm directly bind to the N terminus of myocardin, in vitro, through their ATPase domains and Brg1 forms a complex with SRF and myocardin in vivo in smooth muscle cells.

Conclusion— These data demonstrate that the ability of myocardin to induce smooth muscle–specific gene expression is dependent on its interaction with SWI/SNF ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes.

  K He , X Li , J Zhou , X. W Deng , H Zhao and J. Luo

Summary:NTAP is designed to analyze ChIP-chip data generated by the NimbleGen tiling array platform and to accomplish various pattern recognition tasks that are useful especially for epigenetic studies. The modular design of NTAP makes the data processing highly customizable. Users can either use NTAP to perform the full process of NimbleGen tiling array data analysis, or choose post-processing modules in NTAP to analyze pre-processed epigenetic data generated by other platforms. The output of NTAP can be saved in standard GFF format files and visualized in GBrowse.

  J Zhou , M. D Greicius , E. D Gennatas , M. E Growdon , J. Y Jang , G. D Rabinovici , J. H Kramer , M Weiner , B. L Miller and W. W. Seeley

Resting-state or intrinsic connectivity network functional magnetic resonance imaging provides a new tool for mapping large-scale neural network function and dysfunction. Recently, we showed that behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease cause atrophy within two major networks, an anterior ‘Salience Network’ (atrophied in behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia) and a posterior ‘Default Mode Network’ (atrophied in Alzheimer’s disease). These networks exhibit an anti-correlated relationship with each other in the healthy brain. The two diseases also feature divergent symptom-deficit profiles, with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia undermining social-emotional function and preserving or enhancing visuospatial skills, and Alzheimer’s disease showing the inverse pattern. We hypothesized that these disorders would exert opposing connectivity effects within the Salience Network (disrupted in behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia but enhanced in Alzheimer’s disease) and the Default Mode Network (disrupted in Alzheimer’s disease but enhanced in behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia). With task-free functional magnetic resonance imaging, we tested these ideas in behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and healthy age-matched controls (n = 12 per group), using independent component analyses to generate group-level network contrasts. As predicted, behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia attenuated Salience Network connectivity, most notably in frontoinsular, cingulate, striatal, thalamic and brainstem nodes, but enhanced connectivity within the Default Mode Network. Alzheimer’s disease, in contrast, reduced Default Mode Network connectivity to posterior hippocampus, medial cingulo-parieto-occipital regions and the dorsal raphe nucleus, but intensified Salience Network connectivity. Specific regions of connectivity disruption within each targeted network predicted intrinsic connectivity enhancement within the reciprocal network. In behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, clinical severity correlated with loss of right frontoinsular Salience Network connectivity and with biparietal Default Mode Network connectivity enhancement. Based on these results, we explored whether a combined index of Salience Network and Default Mode Network connectivity might discriminate between the three groups. Linear discriminant analysis achieved 92% clinical classification accuracy, including 100% separation of behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Patients whose clinical diagnoses were supported by molecular imaging, genetics, or pathology showed 100% separation using this method, including four diagnostically equivocal ‘test’ patients not used to train the algorithm. Overall, the findings suggest that behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease lead to divergent network connectivity patterns, consistent with known reciprocal network interactions and the strength and deficit profiles of the two disorders. Further developed, intrinsic connectivity network signatures may provide simple, inexpensive, and non-invasive biomarkers for dementia differential diagnosis and disease monitoring.

  J. L Wang , X Yang , K Xia , Z. M Hu , L Weng , X Jin , H Jiang , P Zhang , L Shen , J Feng Guo , N li , Y. R Li , L. F Lei , J Zhou , J Du , Y. F Zhou , Q Pan , J Wang , R. Q Li and B. S. Tang

Autosomal-dominant spinocerebellar ataxias constitute a large, heterogeneous group of progressive neurodegenerative diseases with multiple types. To date, classical genetic studies have revealed 31 distinct genetic forms of spinocerebellar ataxias and identified 19 causative genes. Traditional positional cloning strategies, however, have limitations for finding causative genes of rare Mendelian disorders. Here, we used a combined strategy of exome sequencing and linkage analysis to identify a novel spinocerebellar ataxia causative gene, TGM6. We sequenced the whole exome of four patients in a Chinese four-generation spinocerebellar ataxia family and identified a missense mutation, c.1550T–G transition (L517W), in exon 10 of TGM6. This change is at a highly conserved position, is predicted to have a functional impact, and completely cosegregated with the phenotype. The exome results were validated using linkage analysis. The mutation we identified using exome sequencing was located in the same region (20p13–12.2) as that identified by linkage analysis, which cross-validated TGM6 as the causative spinocerebellar ataxia gene in this family. We also showed that the causative gene could be mapped by a combined method of linkage analysis and sequencing of one sample from the family. We further confirmed our finding by identifying another missense mutation c.980A–G transition (D327G) in exon seven of TGM6 in an additional spinocerebellar ataxia family, which also cosegregated with the phenotype. Both mutations were absent in 500 normal unaffected individuals of matched geographical ancestry. The finding of TGM6 as a novel causative gene of spinocerebellar ataxia illustrates whole-exome sequencing of affected individuals from one family as an effective and cost efficient method for mapping genes of rare Mendelian disorders and the use of linkage analysis and exome sequencing for further improving efficiency.

  Z Han , Z Hong , C Chen , Q Gao , D Luo , Y Fang , Y Cao , T Zhu , X Jiang , Q Ma , W Li , L Han , D Wang , G Xu , S Wang , L Meng , J Zhou and D. Ma

Tumor cells acquire the ability to proliferate uncontrollably, resist apoptosis, sustain angiogenesis and evade immune surveillance. Signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3 regulates all of these processes in a surprisingly large number of human cancers. Consequently, the STAT3 protein is emerging as an ideal target for cancer therapy. This paper reports the generation of an oncolytic adenovirus (M4), which selectively blocks STAT3 signaling in tumor cells as a novel therapeutic strategy. M4 selectively replicated in tumor cells and expressed high levels of antisense STAT3 complementary DNA during the late phase of the viral infection in a replication-dependent manner. The viral progeny yield of M4 in tumor cells was much higher than that of the parent adenoviral mutants, Ad5/dE1A. M4 effectively silenced STAT3 and its target genes in tumor cells while sparing normal cells and exhibited potent antitumoral efficacy in vitro and in vivo. Systemic administration of M4 significantly inhibited tumor growth in an orthotopic gastric carcinoma mouse model, eliminated abdominal cavity metastases and prolonged survival time. In summary, M4 has low toxicity and great potential as a therapeutic agent for different types of cancers.

  J Zhou , Y Zhu , M Cheng , D Dinesh , T Thorne , K. K Poh , D Liu , C Botros , Y. L Tang , N Reisdorph , R Kishore , D. W Losordo and G. Qin

Background— Recent studies have identified a polymorphism in the endothelin-converting enzyme (ECE)–1b promoter (–338C/A) that is strongly associated with hypertension in women. The polymorphism is located in a consensus binding sequence for the E2F family of transcription factors. E2F proteins are crucially involved in cell-cycle regulation, but their roles in cardiovascular function are poorly understood. Here, we investigated the potential role of E2F2 in blood pressure regulation.

Methods and Results— Tail-cuff measurements of systolic and diastolic blood pressures were significantly higher in E2F2-null (E2F2–/–) mice than in their wild-type littermates, and in ex vivo ring assays, aortas from the E2F2–/– mice exhibited significantly greater contractility in response to big endothelin-1. Big endothelin-1 is activated by ECE-1, and mRNA levels of ECE-1b, the repressive ECE-1 isoform, were significantly lower in E2F2–/– mice than in wild-type mice. In endothelial cells, chromatin immunoprecipitation assays confirmed that E2F2 binds the ECE-1b promoter, and promoter-reporter assays indicated that E2F2 activates ECE-1b transcription. Furthermore, loss or downregulation of E2F2 led to a decline in ECE-1b levels, to higher levels of the membranous ECE-1 isoforms (ie, ECE-1a, -1c, and -1d), and to deregulated ECE-1 activity. Finally, Sam68 coimmunoprecipitated with E2F2, occupied the ECE-1b promoter (chromatin immunoprecipitation), and repressed E2F2-mediated ECE-1b promoter activity (promoter-reporter assays).

Conclusion— Our results identify a cell-cycle–independent mechanism by which E2F2 regulates endothelial function, arterial contractility, and blood pressure.

  M. C Tsai , L Chen , J Zhou , Z Tang , T. F Hsu , Y Wang , Y. T Shih , H. H Peng , N Wang , Y Guan , S Chien and J. J. Chiu

Rationale: Phenotypic modulation of smooth muscle cells (SMCs), which are located in close proximity to endothelial cells (ECs), is critical in regulating vascular function. The role of flow-induced shear stress in the modulation of SMC phenotype has not been well defined.

Objective: The objective was to elucidate the role of shear stress on ECs in modulating SMC phenotype and its underlying mechanism.

Methods and Results: Application of shear stress (12 dyn/cm2) to ECs cocultured with SMCs modulated SMC phenotype from synthetic to contractile state, with upregulation of contractile markers, downregulation of proinflammatory genes, and decreased percentage of cells in the synthetic phase. Treating SMCs with media from sheared ECs induced peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-, -, and - ligand binding activities; transfecting SMCs with specific small interfering (si)RNAs of PPAR- and -, but not -, inhibited shear induction of contractile markers. ECs exposed to shear stress released prostacyclin (PGI2). Transfecting ECs with PGI2 synthase-specific siRNA inhibited shear-induced activation of PPAR-/, upregulation of contractile markers, downregulation of proinflammatory genes, and decrease in percentage of SMCs in synthetic phase. Mice with PPAR- deficiency (compared with control littermates) showed altered SMC phenotype toward a synthetic state, with increased arterial contractility in response to angiotensin II.

Conclusions: These results indicate that laminar shear stress induces synthetic-to-contractile phenotypic modulation in SMCs through the activation of PPAR-/ by the EC-released PGI2. Our findings provide insights into the mechanisms underlying the EC-SMC interplays and the protective homeostatic function of laminar shear stress in modulating SMC phenotype.

  Y Sun , S Ma , J Zhou , A. K Yamoah , J. Q Feng , R. J Hinton and C. Qin

The small integrin-binding ligand, N-linked glycoprotein (SIBLING) family is closely related to osteogenesis. Until recently, little was known about their existence in articular cartilage. In this study, we systematically evaluated the presence and distribution of four SIBLING family members in rat femoral head cartilage: dentin matrix protein 1 (DMP1), bone sialoprotein (BSP), osteopontin (OPN), and dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP). First, non-collagenous proteins were extracted and then separated by ion-exchange chromatography. Next, the protein extracts eluted by chromatography were analyzed by Stains-all staining and Western immunoblotting. IHC was used to assess the distribution of these four SIBLING family members in the femoral head cartilage. Both approaches showed that all the four SIBLING family members are expressed in the femoral head cartilage. IHC showed that SIBLING members are distributed in various locations throughout the articular cartilage. The NH2-terminal fragments of DMP1, BSP, and OPN are present in the cells and in the extracellular matrix, whereas the COOH-terminal fragment of DMP1 and the NH2-terminal fragment of DSPP are primarily intracellularly localized in the chondrocytes. The presence of the SIBLING family members in the rat femoral head cartilage suggests that they may play important roles in chondrogenesis. (J Histochem Cytochem 58:1033–1043, 2010)

  S. F Chang , T. K Chang , H. H Peng , Y. T Yeh , D. Y Lee , C. R Yeh , J Zhou , C. K Cheng , C. A Chang and J. J. Chiu

Cell cycle regulation by differentiation signals is critical for eukaryote development. We investigated the roles of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-4, an important stimulator of osteoblast differentiation and bone formation, in regulating cell cycle distribution in four osteoblast-like cell lines and mouse primary osteoblasts, and the underlying mechanisms. In all cells used, BMP-4 induced G0/G1 arrest. The molecular basis of the BMP-4 effect was analyzed, and the presentation on molecular mechanism is focused on human MG63 cells. BMP-4 induced p21CIP1 and p27KIP1 expressions and hence cell differentiation but had no effects on the expressions of cyclins A, B1, D1, and E, cyclin-dependent protein kinase-2, -4, and -6. Using specific small interfering RNA (siRNA), we found that BMP-4-induced G0/G1 arrest, and p21CIP1 and p27KIP1 expressions were mediated by BMP receptor type IA (BMPRIA)-specific Sma- and Mad-related protein (Smad)1/5. BMP-4 induced transient phosphorylations of ERK; transfection of MG63 cells with ERK2, but not ERK1, -specific siRNA inhibited the BMP-4-induced responses in MG63 cells. Pretreatment of MG63 cells with Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser, which blocks the cell-extracellular matrix interaction, or transfection with β3 integrin-specific siRNA inhibited BMP-4-induced ERK and Smad1/5 phosphorylations. BMP-4 induced transient increases in associations of β3-integrin with focal adhesion kinase and Shc, the dominant-negative mutants of which inhibited BMP-4-induced ERK and Smad1/5 phosphorylations. Our results indicate that BMP-4 induces G0/G1 arrest and hence differentiation in osteoblast-like cells through increased expressions of p21CIP1 and p27KIP1, which are mediated by BMPRIA-specific Smad1/5. The extracellular matrix/β3 integrin/ focal adhesion kinase/Shc/ERK2 signaling pathway is involved in these BMP-4-induced responses in osteoblast-like cells.

  Z. L Chu , C Carroll , R Chen , J Alfonso , V Gutierrez , H He , A Lucman , C Xing , K Sebring , J Zhou , B Wagner , D Unett , R. M Jones , D. P Behan and J. Leonard

G protein-coupled receptor 119 (GPR119) is largely restricted to pancreatic insulin-producing β-cells and intestinal glucagon-like peptide-1-producing L-cells. Synthetic agonists of this receptor elicit glucose-dependent release of these endocrine factors, thereby enhancing glycemic control. Oleoylethanolamide also activates GPR119, but it remains unclear whether endogenous production of this lipid modulates GPR119 activity under normal or dysglycemic conditions. We show here that a relatively diverse set of lipid amides activate GPR119. Among these, the endovallinoid N-oleoyldopamine (OLDA) stimulated cAMP accumulation in GPR119-transfected cells as effectively as oleoylethanolamide and the previously described synthetic agonist AR231453. None of these lipid amides increased cAMP in control-transfected cells or in cells transfected with a number of other G protein-coupled receptors. OLDA stimulated both cAMP accumulation and insulin release in HIT-T15 cells, which express GPR119 endogenously, and in GPR119-transfected RIN-5F cells. Oral administration of OLDA to C57bl/6 mice elicited significant improvement in glucose tolerance, whereas GPR119-deficient mice were essentially unresponsive. OLDA also acutely elevated plasma gastric inhibitory peptide levels, a known hallmark of GPR119 activation. OLDA represents a possible paracrine modulator of GPR119 in pancreatic islets, where markers of dopamine synthesis correlated well with GPR119 expression. However, no such correlation was seen in the colon. Collectively, these studies indicate that multiple, distinct classes of lipid amides, acting via GPR119, may be important modulators of glucose homeostasis.

  J Zhou , D. D Kim and R. D. Peluffo

Nitric oxide (NO) plays a central role as a cellular signaling molecule in health and disease. In the heart, NO decreases the rate of spontaneous beating and the velocity and extent of shortening and accelerates the velocity of relengthening. Since the cationic amino acid l-arginine (l-Arg) is the substrate for NO production by NO synthases (NOS), we tested whether the transporters that mediate l-Arg import in cardiac muscle cells represent an intervention point in the regulation of NO synthesis. Electrical currents activated by l-Arg with low apparent affinity in whole cell voltage-clamped rat cardiomyocytes were found to be rapidly and reversibly inhibited by NO donors. Radiotracer uptake studies performed on cardiac sarcolemmal vesicles revealed the presence of high-affinity/low-capacity and low-affinity/high-capacity components of cationic amino acid transport that were inhibited by the NO donor S-nitroso-N-acetyl-dl-penicillamine. NO inhibited uptake in a noncompetitive manner with Ki values of 275 and 827 nM for the high- and low-affinity component, respectively. Fluorescence spectroscopy experiments showed that millimolar concentrations of l-Arg initially promoted and then inhibited the release of endogenous NO in cardiomyocytes. Likewise, l-Arg currents measured in cardiac myocytes voltage clamped in the presence of 460 nM free intracellular Ca2+, a condition in which a Ca-CaM complex should activate endogenous NO production, showed fast activation followed by inhibition of l-Arg transport. The NOS inhibitor N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester, but not blockers of downstream reactions, specifically removed this inhibitory component. These results demonstrate that NO acutely regulates its own biosynthesis by modulating the availability of l-Arg via cationic amino acid transporters.

  Z Zhang , X Xu , Y Zhang , J Zhou , Z Yu and C. He

LINGO-1 is a component of the tripartite receptor complexes, which act as a convergent mediator of the intracellular signaling in response to myelin-associated inhibitors and lead to collapse of growth cone and inhibition of neurite extension. Although the function of LINGO-1 has been intensively studied, its downstream signaling remains elusive. In the present study, a novel interaction between LINGO-1 and a serine-threonine kinase WNK1 was identified by yeast two-hybrid screen. The interaction was further validated by fluorescence resonance energy transfer and co-immunoprecipitation, and this interaction was intensified by Nogo66 treatment. Morphological evidences showed that WNK1 and LINGO-1 were co-localized in cortical neurons. Furthermore, either suppressing WNK1 expression by RNA interference or overexpression of WNK1-(123–510) attenuated Nogo66-induced inhibition of neurite extension and inhibited the activation of RhoA. Moreover, WNK1 was identified to interact with Rho-GDI1, and this interaction was attenuated by Nogo66 treatment, further indicating its regulatory effect on RhoA activation. Taken together, our results suggest that WNK1 is a novel signaling molecule involved in regulation of LINGO-1 mediated inhibition of neurite extension.

  A Dessein , C Chevillard , V Arnaud , X Hou , A. A Hamdoun , H Dessein , H He , S. A Abdelmaboud , X Luo , J Li , A Varoquaux , A Mergani , M Abdelwahed , J Zhou , A Monis , M. G.R Pitta , N Gasmelseed , S Cabantous , Y Zhao , A Prata , C Brandt , N. E Elwali , L Argiro and Y. Li

Abnormal fibrosis occurs during chronic hepatic inflammations and is the principal cause of death in hepatitis C virus and schistosome infections. Hepatic fibrosis (HF) may develop either slowly or rapidly in schistosome-infected subjects. This depends, in part, on a major genetic control exerted by genes of chromosome 6q23. A gene (connective tissue growth factor [CTGF]) is located in that region that encodes a strongly fibrogenic molecule. We show that the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs9402373 that lies close to CTGF is associated with severe HF (P = 2 x 10–6; odds ratio [OR] = 2.01; confidence interval of OR [CI] = 1.51–2.7) in two Chinese samples, in Sudanese, and in Brazilians infected with either Schistosoma japonicum or S. mansoni. Furthermore, SNP rs12526196, also located close to CTGF, is independently associated with severe fibrosis (P = 6 x 10–4; OR = 1.94; CI = 1.32–2.82) in the Chinese and Sudanese subjects. Both variants affect nuclear factor binding and may alter gene transcription or transcript stability. The identified variants may be valuable markers for the prediction of disease progression, and identify a critical step in the development of HF that could be a target for chemotherapy.

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