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Articles by Lu Feng
Total Records ( 3 ) for Lu Feng
  Lu Feng , Bin Liu , Yanqun Liu , Yuli A. Ratiner , Bo Hu , Dan Li , Xiaolin Zong , Wei Xiong and Lei Wang
  The occurrence of unilateral flagellar phase variation was previously demonstrated in Escherichia coli strains carrying the non-fliC flagellin-specifying locus flk. In this study, we investigated the mechanism involved in this process. By using sequencing and sequence analysis, the flk region between the chromosomal genes yhaC and rnpB was characterized in all described flk-positive E. coli strains, including the H35 strain identified in this study (the other strains used are H3, H36, H47, and H53 strains), and this region was found to contain a putative integrase gene and flanking direct repeats in addition to the flk flagellin-specifying gene flkA and a fliC repressor gene, flkB, indicating that there is a typical genomic islet (GI), which was designated the flk GI. The horizontal transfer potential of the flk GI was indicated by detection of the excised extrachromosomal circular form of the flk GI. By generating fliC-expressing variants of H3 and H47 strains, unilateral flagellar phase variation in flk-positive strains was shown to be mediated by excision of the flk GI. The function of the proposed integrase gene was confirmed by deletion and a complementation test. The potential integration sites of the flk GI were identified. A general model for flagellar phase variation in flk-positive E. coli strains can be expressed as fliCoff + flkAonfliCon + flkAnone. This is the first time that a molecular mechanism for flagellar phase variation has been reported for E. coli.
  Inka Brockhausen , Bo Hu , Bin Liu , Kenneth Lau , Walter A. Szarek , Lei Wang and Lu Feng
  The O antigens of outer membrane-bound lipopolysaccharides (LPS) in gram-negative bacteria are oligosaccharides consisting of repeating units with various structures and antigenicities. The O56 and O152 antigens of Escherichia coli both contain a Glc-β1-3-GlcNAc linkage within the repeating unit. We have cloned and identified the genes (wfaP in O56 and wfgD in O152) within the two O-antigen gene clusters that encode glucosyltransferases involved in the synthesis of this linkage. A synthetic substrate analog of the natural acceptor substrate undecaprenol-pyrophosphate-lipid [GlcNAc-α-PO3-PO3-(CH2)11-O-phenyl] was used as an acceptor and UDP-Glc as a donor substrate to demonstrate that both wfgD and wfaP encode glucosyltransferases. Enzyme products from both glucosyltransferases were isolated by high-pressure liquid chromatography and analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance. The spectra showed the expected Glc-β1-3-GlcNAc linkage in the products, confirming that both WfaP and WfgD are forms of UDP-Glc: GlcNAc-pyrophosphate-lipid β-1,3-glucosyltransferases. Both WfaP and WfgD have a DxD sequence, which is proposed to interact with phosphate groups of the nucleotide donor through the coordination of a metal cation, and a short hydrophobic sequence at the C terminus that may help to associate the enzymes with the inner membrane. We showed that the enzymes have similar properties and substrate recognition. They both require a divalent cation (Mn2+ or Mg2+) for activity, are deactivated by detergents, have a broad pH optimum, and require the pyrophosphate-sugar linkage in the acceptor substrate for full activity. Substrates lacking phosphate or pyrophosphate linked to GlcNAc were inactive. The length of the aliphatic chain of acceptor substrates also contributes to the activity.
  Min Wang , Boyang Cao , Qunfang Yu , Lei Liu , Qili Gao , Lei Wang and Lu Feng
  The 16S-23S rRNA gene internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of Klebsiella spp., including Klebsiella pneumoniae subsp. pneumoniae, Klebsiella pneumoniae subsp. ozaenae, Klebsiella pneumoniae subsp. rhinoscleromatis, Klebsiella oxytoca, Klebsiella planticola, Klebsiella terrigena, and Klebsiella ornithinolytica, were characterized, and the feasibility of using ITS sequences to discriminate Klebsiella species and subspecies was explored. A total of 336 ITS sequences from 21 representative strains and 11 clinical isolates of Klebsiella were sequenced and analyzed. Three distinct ITS types—ITSnone (without tRNA genes), ITSglu [with a tRNAGlu (UUC) gene], and ITSile+ala [with tRNAIle (GAU) and tRNAAla (UGC) genes]—were detected in all species except for K. pneumoniae subsp. rhinoscleromatis, which has only ITSglu and ITSile+ala. The presence of ITSnone in Enterobacteriaceae had never been reported before. Both the length and the sequence of each ITS type are highly conserved within the species, with identity levels from 0.961 to 1.000 for ITSnone, from 0.967 to 1.000 for ITSglu, and from 0.968 to 1.000 for ITSile+ala. Interspecies sequence identities range from 0.775 to 0.989 for ITSnone, from 0.798 to 0.997 for ITSglu, and from 0.712 to 0.985 for ITSile+ala. Regions with significant interspecies variations but low intraspecies polymorphisms were identified; these may be targeted in the design of probes for the identification of Klebsiella to the species level. Phylogenetic analysis based on ITS regions reveals the relationships among Klebsiella species similarly to that based on 16S rRNA genes.
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