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Articles by M. X Zhu
Total Records ( 2 ) for M. X Zhu
  E. J Zmuda , L Qi , M. X Zhu , R. G Mirmira , M. R Montminy and T. Hai

Most people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) have reduced β-cell mass, and apoptosis is a key factor for this reduction. Previously, we showed that ATF3, an adaptive-response gene, is induced by various stress signals relevant to T2D, such as high glucose and high fatty acid. Because ATF3 is proapoptotic in β-cells, we tested the hypothesis that ATF3 plays a detrimental role and contributes to the development of T2D. We compared wild-type (WT) and ATF3 knockout (KO) mice in an animal model for T2D, high-fat diet-induced diabetes. We also used INS-1 β-cells and primary islets to analyze the roles of ATF3 in β-cell function, including insulin gene expression and glucose-induced insulin secretion. Surprisingly, WT mice performed better in glucose tolerance test than KO mice, suggesting a protective, rather than detrimental, role of ATF3. At 12 wk on high-fat diet, no β-cell apoptosis was observed, and the WT and KO mice had comparable β-cell areas. However, ATF3 deficiency significantly reduced serum insulin levels in the KO mice without affecting insulin sensitivity, suggesting reduced β-cell function in the KO mice. Analyses using INS-1 cells and primary islets support the notion that this defect is due, at least partly, to reduced insulin gene transcription in the KO islets without detectable reduction in glucose-induced calcium influx, a critical step for insulin secretion. In conclusion, our results support a model in which, before apoptosis becomes obvious, expression of ATF3 can be beneficial by helping β-cells to cope with higher metabolic demand.

  M. X Zhu , J Ma , J Parrington , P. J Calcraft , A Galione and A. M. Evans

Recently, we identified, for the first time, two-pore channels (TPCs, TPCN for gene name) as a novel family of nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP)-gated, endolysosome-targeted calcium release channels. Significantly, three subtypes of TPCs have been characterized, TPC1-3, with each being targeted to discrete acidic calcium stores, namely lysosomes (TPC2) and endosomes (TPC1 and TPC3). That TPCs act as NAADP-gated calcium release channels is clear, given that NAADP binds to high- and low-affinity sites associated with TPC2 and thereby induces calcium release and homologous desensitization, as observed in the case of endogenous NAADP receptors. Moreover, NAADP-evoked calcium signals via TPC2 are ablated by short hairpin RNA knockdown of TPC2 and by depletion of acidic calcium stores with bafilomycin. Importantly, however, NAADP-evoked calcium signals were biphasic in nature, with an initial phase of calcium release from lysosomes via TPC2, being subsequently amplified by calcium-induced calcium release (CICR) from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In marked contrast, calcium release via endosome-targeted TPC1 induced only spatially restricted calcium signals that were not amplified by CICR from the ER. These findings provide new insights into the mechanisms that cells may utilize to "filter" calcium signals via junctional complexes to determine whether a given signal remains local or is converted into a propagating global signal. Essentially, endosomes and lysosomes represent vesicular calcium stores, quite unlike the ER network, and TPCs do not themselves support CICR or, therefore, propagating regenerative calcium waves. Thus "quantal" vesicular calcium release via TPCs must subsequently recruit inositol 1,4,5-trisphoshpate receptors and/or ryanodine receptors on the ER by CICR to evoke a propagating calcium wave. This may call for a revision of current views on the mechanisms of intracellular calcium signaling. The purpose of this review is, therefore, to provide an appropriate framework for future studies in this area.

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