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Articles by N Li
Total Records ( 7 ) for N Li
  N Li , Y Zhang and H. Feng
 

The white-rot basidiomycetes Phanerochaete chrysosporium is a model fungus used to investigate the secondary metabolism and lignin degradation. Genomic sequencing reveals the presence of at least 18 genes encoding putative epoxide hydrolases (EHs). One cDNA encoding EH (designated as PchEHA) was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. Transcriptional analysis demonstrated that the transcripts of PchEHA could be detected under the ligninolytic and nonligninolytic conditions as well as amended with anthracene. The recombinant enzyme exhibits broad hydrolytic activity toward several racemic epoxides including styrene oxide, epichlorohydrin, and 1,2-epoxybutane, but with different specificity. Using racemic styrene oxide as the substrate, the optimal pH and temperature are pH 9.0 and 40°C, respectively. The enzyme is not sensitive to EDTA, and is inhibited by H2O2, and several metal ions including Zn2+, Cd2+, and Hg2+ at various extents. Several organic cosolvents including acetone, dimethylsulfoxide, formamide, glycerol and ethanol at 10% (v/v) cause slight or no inhibition of the hydrolytic reaction. More importantly, the recombinant enzyme displays distinct enantioselective preference to several chiral epoxides. The enzyme showed good enantioselectivity toward chiral styrene oxide with preferential hydrolysis of (R)-enantiomer. PchEHA is likely a novel soluble EH based on the sequence analysis and catalytic properties, and is a great potential biocatalyst for the preparation of enantiopure styrene oxide in racemic kinetic resolution.

  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.

  H. N Tinsley , B. D Gary , J Thaiparambil , N Li , W Lu , Y Li , Y. Y Maxuitenko , A. B Keeton and G. A. Piazza
 

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) display promising antineoplastic activity, but toxicity resulting from cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibition limits their clinical use for chemoprevention. Studies suggest that the mechanism may be COX independent, although alternative targets have not been well defined. Here, we show that the NSAID sulindac sulfide (SS) inhibits cyclic guanosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cGMP) phosphodiesterase (PDE) activity in colon tumor cell lysates at concentrations that inhibit colon tumor cell growth in vitro and in vivo. A series of chemically diverse NSAIDs also inhibited cGMP hydrolysis at concentrations that correlate with their potency to inhibit colon tumor cell growth, whereas no correlation was observed with COX-2 inhibition. Consistent with its selectivity for inhibiting cGMP hydrolysis compared with cyclic AMP hydrolysis, SS inhibited the cGMP-specific PDE5 isozyme and increased cGMP levels in colon tumor cells. Of numerous PDE isozyme–specific inhibitors evaluated, only the PDE5-selective inhibitor MY5445 inhibited colon tumor cell growth. The effects of SS and MY5445 on cell growth were associated with inhibition of β-catenin–mediated transcriptional activity to suppress the synthesis of cyclin D and survivin, which regulate tumor cell proliferation and apoptosis, respectively. SS had minimal effects on cGMP PDE activity in normal colonocytes, which displayed reduced sensitivity to SS and did not express PDE5. PDE5 was found to be overexpressed in colon tumor cell lines as well as in colon adenomas and adenocarcinomas compared with normal colonic mucosa. These results suggest that PDE5 inhibition, cGMP elevation, and inhibition of β-catenin transcriptional activity may contribute to the chemopreventive properties of certain NSAIDs. Cancer Prev Res; 3(10); 1303–13. ©2010 AACR.

  N Mathur , S Sood , S Wang , R. J van Oort , S Sarma , N Li , D. G Skapura , J. H Bayle , M Valderrabano and X. H.T. Wehrens
 

Background— Mutations in the cardiac ryanodine receptor gene (RyR2) have been recently identified in victims of sudden infant death syndrome. The aim of this study was to determine whether a gain-of-function mutation in RyR2 increases the propensity to cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death in young mice.

Methods and Results— Incidence of sudden death was monitored prospectively in heterozygous knock-in mice with mutation R176Q in RyR2 (R176Q/+). Young R176Q/+ mice exhibited a higher incidence of sudden death compared with wild-type littermates. Optical mapping of membrane potentials and intracellular calcium in 1- to 7-day-old R176Q/+ and wild-type mice revealed an increased incidence of ventricular ectopy and spontaneous calcium releases in neonatal R176Q/+ mice. Surface ECGs in 3- to 10-day-old mice showed that R176Q/+ mice developed more ventricular arrhythmias after provocation with epinephrine and caffeine. Intracardiac pacing studies in 12- to 18-day-old mice revealed the presence of an arrhythmogenic substrate in R176Q/+ compared with wild-type mice. Reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting showed that expression levels of other calcium handling proteins were unaltered, suggesting that calcium leak through mutant RyR2 underlies arrhythmogenesis and sudden death in young R176Q/+ mice.

Conclusions— Our findings demonstrate that a gain-of-function mutation in RyR2 confers an increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death in young mice and that young R176Q/+ mice may be used as a model for elucidating the complex interplay between genetic and environmental risk factors associated with sudden infant death syndrome.

  H Yuan , N Li and Y. Lai
 

Generating a phosphate prodrug is one of the common approaches for circumventing poor solubility issues of a parent drug. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) level was determined in rat intestine mucosa scraps, human colon carcinoma (Caco-2) cells, and Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells to characterize in vitro models for ALP-mediated phosphate prodrug conversion. In addition, fosphenytoin and fosfluconazole were used as probe prodrugs to evaluate the models. The highest amount of ALP was detected in rat intestinal mucosa scraps, whereas ALP in 5-day cultured MDCK cells was minimal. As anticipated, ALP levels correlated with the parent drug conversion; the shortest cleavage half-life (t1/2) was observed in rat mucosa scraps; and MDCK cells showed the slowest conversion. Furthermore, the polarized conversion for the prodrugs was observed in Caco-2 monolayer cells, suggesting the polarized localization of alkaline in differentiated Caco-2 cells. The rate of ALP-mediated conversion was prodrug concentration-dependent with Michaelis-Menten constants of 1160 and 351 µM for fosphenytoin and fosfluconazole, respectively, determined in Caco-2 cells. The results revealed that whereas the intestinal mucosa scraps reserved the highest ALP activities and were shown as a promising in vitro tool for screening the bioconversion of phosphate prodrug, Caco-2 monolayers could provide the predictive information of bioconversion and further offer the capability in characterizing the permeability of prodrug and parent drug.

  H Yuan , N Li and Y. Lai
 

Generating a phosphate prodrug is one of the common approaches for circumventing poor solubility issues of a parent drug. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) level was determined in rat intestine mucosa scraps, human colon carcinoma (Caco-2) cells, and Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells to characterize in vitro models for ALP-mediated phosphate prodrug conversion. In addition, fosphenytoin and fosfluconazole were used as probe prodrugs to evaluate the models. The highest amount of ALP was detected in rat intestinal mucosa scraps, whereas ALP in 5-day cultured MDCK cells was minimal. As anticipated, ALP levels correlated with the parent drug conversion; the shortest cleavage half-life (t1/2) was observed in rat mucosa scraps; and MDCK cells showed the slowest conversion. Furthermore, the polarized conversion for the prodrugs was observed in Caco-2 monolayer cells, suggesting the polarized localization of alkaline in differentiated Caco-2 cells. The rate of ALP-mediated conversion was prodrug concentration-dependent with Michaelis-Menten constants of 1160 and 351 µM for fosphenytoin and fosfluconazole, respectively, determined in Caco-2 cells. The results revealed that whereas the intestinal mucosa scraps reserved the highest ALP activities and were shown as a promising in vitro tool for screening the bioconversion of phosphate prodrug, Caco-2 monolayers could provide the predictive information of bioconversion and further offer the capability in characterizing the permeability of prodrug and parent drug.

  C Wang , R Qi , N Li , Z Wang , H An , Q Zhang , Y Yu and X. Cao
 

Notch signaling plays a critical role in regulating cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Our previous study showed that overexpression of Notch1 could inhibit human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell growth by arresting the cell cycle and inducing apoptosis. HCC cells are resistant to apoptotic induction by tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), so new therapeutic approaches have been explored to sensitize HCC cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. We are wondering whether and how Notch1 signaling can enhance the sensitivity of HCC cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. In this study, we found that overexpression of ICN, the constitutive activated form of Notch1, up-regulated p53 protein expression in HCC cells by inhibiting proteasome degradation. p53 up-regulation was further observed in human primary hepatocellular carcinoma cells after activation of Notch signaling. Inhibition of the Akt/Hdm2 pathway by Notch1 signaling was responsible for the suppression of p53 proteasomal degradation, thus contributing to the Notch1 signaling-mediated up-regulation of p53 expression. Accordingly, Notch1 signaling could make HCC cells more sensitive to TRAIL-induced apoptosis, whereas Notch1 signaling lost the synergistic promotion of TRAIL-induced apoptosis in p53-silenced HepG2 HCC cells and p53-defective Hep3B HCC cells. The data suggest that enhancement of TRAIL-induced apoptosis by Notch1 signaling is dependent upon p53 up-regulation. Furthermore, Notch1 signaling could enhance DR5 expression in a p53-dependent manner. Taken together, Notch1 signaling sensitizes TRAIL-induced apoptosis in HCC cells by inhibiting Akt/Hdm2-mediated p53 degradation and up-regulating p53-dependent DR5 expression. Thus, our results suggest that activation of Notch1 signaling may be a promising approach to improve the therapeutic efficacy of TRAIL-resistant HCC.

 
 
 
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