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Articles by X Gao
Total Records ( 9 ) for X Gao
  A Qian , S Di , X Gao , W Zhang , Z Tian , J Li , L Hu , P Yang , D Yin and P. Shang

The diamagnetic levitation as a novel ground-based model for simulating a reduced gravity environment has been widely applied in many fields. In this study, a special designed superconducting magnet, which can produce three apparent gravity levels (0, 1, and 2 g), namely high magneto-gravitational environment (HMGE), was used to simulate space gravity environment. The effects of HMGE on osteoblast gene expression profile were investigated by microarray. Genes sensitive to diamagnetic levitation environment (0 g), gravity changes, and high magnetic field changes were sorted on the basis of typical cell functions. Cytoskeleton, as an intracellular load-bearing structure, plays an important role in gravity perception. Therefore, 13 cytoskeleton-related genes were chosen according to the results of microarray analysis, and the expressions of these genes were found to be altered under HMGE by real-time PCR. Based on the PCR results, the expressions of WASF2 (WAS protein family, member 2), WIPF1 (WAS/WASL interacting protein family, member 1), paxillin, and talin 1 were further identified by western blot assay. Results indicated that WASF2 and WIPF1 were more sensitive to altered gravity levels, and talin 1 and paxillin were sensitive to both magnetic field and gravity changes. Our findings demonstrated that HMGE can affect osteoblast gene expression profile and cytoskeleton-related genes expression. The identification of mechanosensitive genes may enhance our understandings to the mechanism of bone loss induced by microgravity and may provide some potential targets for preventing and treating bone loss or osteoporosis.

  W Sun , X Gao , X Zhao , D Cui and Q. Xia

The study was undertaken to examine the effects of C-peptide on glomerular volume (VGLOM), mesangial matrix synthesis, and degradation in streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic rats with poor or moderate glycemic control. Series 1 (poor glycemic control) included groups of healthy rats, hyperglycemic rats, diabetic insulin-treated rats and diabetic C-peptide-treated rats. Series 2 (moderate glycemic control) included groups of healthy rats, diabetic insulin-treated rats, diabetic insulin- and C-peptide-treated rats. After 8 weeks, the left kidney was excised for evaluation of VGLOM and mesangial matrix area via light microscopy. Mesangial cells were cultured for 48 h and type IV collagen expression and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 expression were measured by ELISA and RT–PCR. The results indicated that in Series 1, C-peptide administration suppressed the diabetes-induced increase in the VGLOM and the mesangial matrix area. In Series 2, C-peptide administration resulted in a similar decrease in the VGLOM and a greater decrease in the mesangial matrix area when compared with insulin therapy alone. Moreover, C-peptide (300 nM) completely inhibited the glucose-induced increase of the collagen IV mRNA expression and protein concentration in mesangial cells cultured in 30 mM glucose medium. MMP-2 mRNA expression was not influenced by C-peptide. In conclusion, C-peptide administration to STZ-diabetic rats for 8 weeks results in the inhibition of diabetes-induced expansion of the mesangial matrix. This effect is independent of the level of glycemic control and results from the inhibition of diabetes-induced excessive formation of mesangial type IV collagen.

  B Alipanahi , X Gao , E Karakoc , L Donaldson and M. Li

Motivation: Picking peaks from experimental NMR spectra is a key unsolved problem for automated NMR protein structure determination. Such a process is a prerequisite for resonance assignment, nuclear overhauser enhancement (NOE) distance restraint assignment, and structure calculation tasks. Manual or semi-automatic peak picking, which is currently the prominent way used in NMR labs, is tedious, time consuming and costly.

Results: We introduce new ideas, including noise-level estimation, component forming and sub-division, singular value decomposition (SVD)-based peak picking and peak pruning and refinement. PICKY is developed as an automated peak picking method. Different from the previous research on peak picking, we provide a systematic study of the proposed method. PICKY is tested on 32 real 2D and 3D spectra of eight target proteins, and achieves an average of 88% recall and 74% precision. PICKY is efficient. It takes PICKY on average 15.7 s to process an NMR spectrum. More important than these numbers, PICKY actually works in practice. We feed peak lists generated by PICKY to IPASS for resonance assignment, feed IPASS assignment to SPARTA for fragments generation, and feed SPARTA fragments to FALCON for structure calculation. This results in high-resolution structures of several proteins, for example, TM1112, at 1.25 Å.

Availability: PICKY is available upon request. The peak lists of PICKY can be easily loaded by SPARKY to enable a better interactive strategy for rapid peak picking.


  Y Lu , Y Zhang , N Wang , Z Pan , X Gao , F Zhang , H Shan , X Luo , Y Bai , L Sun , W Song , C Xu , Z Wang and B. Yang

A characteristic of both clinical and experimental atrial fibrillation (AF) is atrial electric remodeling associated with profound reduction of L-type Ca2+ current and shortening of the action potential duration. The possibility that microRNAs (miRNAs) may be involved in this process has not been tested. Accordingly, we assessed the potential role of miRNAs in regulating experimental AF.

Methods and Results—

The miRNA transcriptome was analyzed by microarray and verified by real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction with left atrial samples from dogs with AF established by right atrial tachypacing for 8 weeks and from human atrial samples from AF patients with rheumatic heart disease. miR-223, miR-328, and miR-664 were found to be upregulated by >2 fold, whereas miR-101, miR-320, and miR-499 were downregulated by at least 50%. In particular, miR-328 level was elevated by 3.9-fold in AF dogs and 3.5-fold in AF patients relative to non-AF subjects. Computational prediction identified CACNA1C and CACNB1, which encode cardiac L-type Ca2+ channel 1c- and β1 subunits, respectively, as potential targets for miR-328. Forced expression of miR-328 through adenovirus infection in canine atrium and transgenic approach in mice recapitulated the phenotypes of AF, exemplified by enhanced AF vulnerability, diminished L-type Ca2+ current, and shortened atrial action potential duration. Normalization of miR-328 level with antagomiR reversed the conditions, and genetic knockdown of endogenous miR-328 dampened AF vulnerability. CACNA1C and CACNB1 as the cognate target genes for miR-328 were confirmed by Western blot and luciferase activity assay showing the reciprocal relationship between the levels of miR-328 and L-type Ca2+ channel protein subunits.


miR-328 contributes to the adverse atrial electric remodeling in AF through targeting L-type Ca2+ channel genes. The study therefore uncovered a novel molecular mechanism for AF and indicated miR-328 as a potential therapeutic target for AF.

  Y Xiao , X Gao , S Maragh , W. G Telford and A. Tona

Background: Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is an important biomarker whose status plays a pivotal role in therapeutic decision-making for breast cancer patients and in determining their clinical outcomes. Ensuring the accuracy and reproducibility of HER2 assays by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) requires a reliable standard for monitoring assay sensitivity and specificity, and for assessing methodologic variation. A prior NIST workshop addressed this need by reaching a consensus to create cell lines as reference materials for HER2 testing.

Methods: Breast carcinoma cell lines SK-BR-3 and MCF-7 were characterized quantitatively by IHC with chicken anti-HER2 IgY antibody and by FISH with biotinylated bacterial artificial chromosome DNA probes; both assays used quantum dots as detectors. Formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) cell blocks were prepared and tested for suitability as candidate reference materials by IHC and FISH with commercially available reagents. IHC and FISH results were also compared with those obtained by laser-scanning cytometry and real-time PCR, respectively.

Results: MCF-7 cells had typical numbers of gene copies and very low production of HER2 protein, whereas SK-BR-3 cells contained approximately 10-fold more copies of the gene and exhibited approximately 15-fold higher amounts of HER2 protein than MCF-7 cells. FFPE SK-BR-3 cells showed results similar to those for fresh SK-BR-3 cells.

Conclusions: SK-BR-3 and MCF-7 are suitable as candidate reference materials in QC of HER2 testing. Coupled with the associated assay platforms, they provide valuable controls for quantitative measurement of HER2 amplification and production in breast cancer samples, irrespective of the antibody/probe or detector used.

  F Catania , X Gao and D. G. Scofield

Over 30 years since their discovery, the origin of spliceosomal introns remains uncertain. One nearly universally accepted hypothesis maintains that spliceosomal introns originated from self-splicing group-II introns that invaded the uninterrupted genes of the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA) and proliferated by "insertion" events. Although this is a possible explanation for the original presence of introns and splicing machinery, the emphasis on a high number of insertion events in the genome of the LECA neglects a considerable body of empirical evidence showing that spliceosomal introns can simply arise from coding or, more generally, nonintronic sequences within genes. After presenting a concise overview of some of the most common hypotheses and mechanisms for intron origin, we propose two further hypotheses that are broadly based on central cellular processes: 1) internal gene duplication and 2) the response to aberrant and fortuitously spliced transcripts. These two nonmutually exclusive hypotheses provide a powerful way to explain the establishment of spliceosomal introns in eukaryotes without invoking an exogenous source.

  Y Chen , C Qian , C Guo , F Ge , X Zhang , X Gao , S Shen , B Lian , K Kitazato , Y Wang and S. Xiong

Nucleoside diphosphate phosphate transferase A (NDPK-A) has been shown to play critical roles in the regulation of proliferation, differentiation, growth and apoptosis of cells. Our previous study suggested that the disulphide cross-linkage between cysteine 4 (C4) and cysteine 145 (C145) of NDPK-A might be a possible regulator of its activity. To confirm this hypothesis, the C145 residue of NDPK-A was mutated to serine, and the isomerization and biological activities of the mutant were investigated and compared with those of its wild-type counterpart. It was found the C145S mutation eliminated the intramolecular disulphide bond (DB) and prevented the formation of intermolecular DB, which was known to dissociate the hexameric NDPK-A into dimeric one. We also demonstrated that the C145S mutation didn’t affect the autologous hexamerization of this protein, and the mutant had increased bioactivities including phosphate transferase and DNase. These findings support the hypothesis that the formation of DBs in NDPK-A is involved in the regulation of the oligomerization and bioactivity of this multiple function protein, and that C145 is a key residue in the regulation of NDPK-A. In addition, the C145S mutant that we have constructed might be an attractive candidate for use in applications that require NDPK-A.

  E Brailoiu , D Churamani , X Cai , M. G Schrlau , G. C Brailoiu , X Gao , R Hooper , M. J Boulware , N. J Dun , J. S Marchant and S. Patel

Nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP) is a widespread and potent calcium-mobilizing messenger that is highly unusual in activating calcium channels located on acidic stores. However, the molecular identity of the target protein is unclear. In this study, we show that the previously uncharacterized human two-pore channels (TPC1 and TPC2) are endolysosomal proteins, that NAADP-mediated calcium signals are enhanced by overexpression of TPC1 and attenuated after knockdown of TPC1, and that mutation of a single highly conserved residue within a putative pore region abrogated calcium release by NAADP. Thus, TPC1 is critical for NAADP action and is likely the long sought after target channel for NAADP.

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