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Articles by X Yan
Total Records ( 7 ) for X Yan
  X Yan , S Walayat , Q Shi , J Zheng and Y. Wang

Though accumulated evidence has demonstrated the transformation capacity of human papillomavirus (HPV) type 18 protein E7, the underlying mechanism is still arguable. Developing a protein transduction domain (PTD)-linked E7 molecule is a suitable strategy for assessing the biological functions of the protein. In the present study, HPV18 E7 protein fused to an N-terminal PTD was expressed in the form of glutathione S-transferase fusion protein in Escherichia coli with pGEX-4T-3 vector. After glutathione-Sepharose 4B bead affinity purification, immunoblot identification and thrombin cleavage, the PTD-18E7 protein showed structural and functional activity in that it potently transduced the cells and localized into their nuclei. The PTD-18E7 protein transduced the NIH3T3 cells in 30 min and remained stable for at least 24 h. In addition, the PTD-18E7 protein interacted with retinoblastoma protein (pRB) and caused pRB degradation in the transduced NIH3T3 cells. In contrast to the pRB level, p27 protein level was elevated in the transduced NIH3T3 cells. The PTD-18E7 protein gives us a new tool to study the biological functions of the HPV E7 protein.

  L Zhu , J Wang , J Mu , H Wang , C Zhang , X Liu , X Yan , L Dai and D. Ma

Human tissue factor pathway inhibitor-2 (hTFPI-2) is a serine protease inhibitor and its inhibitory activity is enhanced by heparin. The Kunitz domain 3 and C-terminal of hTFPI-2 (hTFPI-2/KD3C), which has the activity toward heparin calcium, have been successfully expressed in Pichia pastoris and purified by SP-Sepharose and heparin-Sepharose chromatography. The Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, and circular dichroism (CD) experiment results implied that hTFPI-2/KD3C contained small contents of -helix and β-strand, but large amounts of random coil and two kinds of disulfide bonds, gauche-gauche-gauche (ggg) and trans-gauche-trans (tgt). The interaction of hTFPI-2/KD3C with heparin calcium was investigated by CD. It was found that heparin calcium induced β-strands in hTFPI-2/KD3C to different extents depending on the ratio of hTFPI-2/KD3C and heparin calcium.

  R Muniyappa , H Chen , R. H Muzumdar , F. H Einstein , X Yan , L. Q Yue , N Barzilai and M. J. Quon

Assessing insulin resistance in rodent models gives insight into mechanisms that cause type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome. The hyperinsulinemic euglycemic glucose clamp, the reference standard for measuring insulin sensitivity in humans and animals, is labor intensive and technically demanding. A number of simple surrogate indexes of insulin sensitivity/resistance have been developed and validated primarily for use in large human studies. These same surrogates are also frequently used in rodent studies. However, in general, these indexes have not been rigorously evaluated in animals. In a recent validation study in mice, we demonstrated that surrogates have a weaker correlation with glucose clamp estimates of insulin sensitivity/resistance than in humans. This may be due to increased technical difficulties in mice and/or intrinsic differences between human and rodent physiology. To help distinguish among these possibilities, in the present study, using data from rats substantially larger than mice, we compared the clamp glucose infusion rate (GIR) with surrogate indexes, including QUICKI, HOMA, 1/HOMA, log (HOMA), and 1/fasting insulin. All surrogates were modestly correlated with GIR (r = 0.34–0.40). Calibration analyses of surrogates adjusted for body weight demonstrated similar predictive accuracy for GIR among all surrogates. We conclude that linear correlations of surrogate indexes with clamp estimates and predictive accuracy of surrogate indexes in rats are similar to those in mice (but not as substantial as in humans). This additional rat study (taken with the previous mouse study) suggests that application of surrogate insulin sensitivity indexes developed for humans may not be appropriate for determining primary outcomes in rodent studies due to intrinsic differences in metabolic physiology. However, use of surrogates may be appropriate in rodents, where feasibility of clamps is an obstacle and measurement of insulin sensitivity is a secondary outcome.

  Y Huang , X Yan , M. J Zhu , R. J McCormick , S. P Ford , P. W Nathanielsz and M. Du

Maternal obesity (MO) is increasing at an alarming rate. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of MO on fibrogenesis in fetal skeletal muscle during maturation in late gestation. Nonpregnant ewes were assigned to a control diet (Con; fed 100% of NRC nutrient recommendations, n = 6) or obesogenic diet (OB; fed 150% of NRC recommendations, n = 6) from 60 days before conception, and fetal semitendenosus (St) muscle was sampled at 135 days of gestation (term 148 days). Total concentration and area of collagen in cross-sections of muscle increased by 27.0 ± 6.0 (P < 0.05) and 105.1 ± 5.9% (P = 0.05) in OB compared with Con fetuses. The expression of precursor TGF-β was 177.3 ± 47.6% higher, and concentration of phospho-p38 74.7 ± 23.6% was higher (P < 0.05) in OB than in CON fetal muscle. Increases of 327.9 ± 168.0 (P < 0.05) and 188.9 ± 82.1% (P < 0.05), respectively, were observed for mRNA expression of Smad7 and fibronectin in OB compared with Con muscles. In addition, enzymes involved in collagen synthesis, including lysyl oxidase, lysyl hydroxylase 2b, and prolyl 4-hydroxylase-1, were increased by 350.2 ± 90.0 (P < 0.05), 236.5 ± 25.2 (P < 0.05), and 82.0 ± 36.2% (P = 0.05), respectively, in OB muscle. In conclusion, MO-enhanced fibrogenesis in fetal muscle in late gestation was associated with upregulation of the TGF-β/p38 signaling pathway. Enhanced fibrogenesis at such an early stage of development is expected to negatively affect the properties of offspring muscle because muscle fibrosis is a hallmark of aging.

  Y Huang , X Yan , J. X Zhao , M. J Zhu , R. J McCormick , S. P Ford , P. W Nathanielsz , J Ren and M. Du

Maternal obesity (MO) has harmful effects on both fetal development and subsequent offspring health. The impact of MO on fetal myocardium development has received little attention. Fibrogenesis is regulated by the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/p38 signaling pathway. Using the well-established model of MO in pregnant sheep, we evaluated the effect of MO on TGF-β/p38 and collagen accumulation in fetal myocardium. Nonpregnant ewes were assigned to a control diet [Con, fed 100% of National Research Council (NRC) nutrient recommendations] or obesogenic diet (OB, fed 150% of NRC recommendations) from 60 days before conception. Fetal ventricular muscle was sampled at 75 and 135 days of gestation (dG). At 75 dG, the expression of precursor TGF-β was 39.9 ± 9.9% higher (P < 0.05) in OB than Con fetal myocardium, consistent with the higher content of phosphorylated Smad3 in OB myocardium. The phosphorylation of p38 tended to be higher in OB myocardium (P = 0.08). In addition, enhanced Smad complexes were bound to Smad-binding elements in 75 dG OB fetal myocardium measured by DNA mobility shift assay (130.2 ± 26.0% higher, P < 0.05). Similar elevation of TGF-β signaling was observed in OB fetal myocardium at 135 dG. Total collagen concentration in OB was greater than Con fetal myocardium (2.42 ± 0.16 vs. 1.87 ± 0.04%, P < 0.05). Matrix metalloproteinase-9 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-3 were higher in the Con group compared with OB sheep (43.86 ± 16.01 and 37.23 ± 7.97% respectively, P < 0.05). In summary, MO results in greater fetal heart connective tissue accumulation associated with an upregulated TGF-β/p38 signaling pathway at late gestation; such changes would be expected to negatively impact offspring heart function.

  J Tang , S Le , L Sun , X Yan , M Zhang , J MacLeod , B LeRoy , N Northrup , A Ellis , T. J Yeatman , Y Liang , M. E Zwick and S. Zhao

Human colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the better-understood systems for studying the genetics of cancer initiation and progression. To develop a cross-species comparison strategy for identifying CRC causative gene or genomic alterations, we performed array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) to investigate copy number abnormalities (CNAs), one of the most prominent lesion types reported for human CRCs, in 10 spontaneously occurring canine CRCs. The results revealed for the first time a strong degree of genetic homology between sporadic canine and human CRCs. First, we saw that between 5% and 22% of the canine genome was amplified/deleted in these tumors, and that, reminiscent of human CRCs, the total altered sequences directly correlated to the tumor's progression stage, origin, and likely microsatellite instability status. Second, when mapping the identified CNAs onto syntenic regions of the human genome, we noted that the canine orthologs of genes participating in known human CRC pathways were recurrently disrupted, indicating that these pathways might be altered in the canine CRCs as well. Last, we observed a significant overlapping of CNAs between human and canine tumors, and tumors from the two species were clustered according to the tumor subtypes but not the species. Significantly, compared with the shared CNAs, we found that species-specific (especially human-specific) CNAs localize to evolutionarily unstable regions that harbor more segmental duplications and interspecies genomic rearrangement breakpoints. These findings indicate that CNAs recurrent between human and dog CRCs may have a higher probability of being cancer-causative, compared with CNAs found in one species only.

  G. M Polzin , W Wu , X Yan , J. M McCraw , S Abdul Salaam , A. D Tavakoli , L Zhang , D. L Ashley and C. H. Watson

Standardized machine smoking measurements are poor predictors of exposure. We have refined a method using the solanesol deposited in discarded cigarette butts as a marker for estimating deliveries of mainstream smoke constituents. Developing a fast and accurate method for measuring solanesol in cigarette filters to assess tobacco smoke intake could provide a way to assess how people smoke under natural conditions. We have developed and validated a new, lower-cost, high-throughput method to measure the solanesol content in discarded cigarette filter butts and correlated these measurements with mainstream smoke deliveries of nicotine and tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs).


Cigarettes were machine smoked under a variety of conditions to cover a wide range of nicotine deliveries and solanesol levels in the spent cigarette filter. Following machine smoking, a 1-cm portion of filter material, measured from the mouth end, was removed from the cigarette butts for analysis. Although an isotopically labeled solanesol analog is currently not commercially available, we achieved excellent quantitative results using a structurally similar compound, geranylgeraniol, as an internal standard (IS). After spiking with IS and solvent extracted, solanesol extracts were then analyzed using liquid chromatography coupled with a single-quadrupole mass analyzer. Analysis was carried out using manual preparation as well as a high-throughput 48-well format using automated liquid handlers.


Recoveries of solanesol from cigarette butts exceeded 95% with excellent precision and exhibited excellent linearity for both preparation methods. In addition, we show that the mouth-level exposure for both nicotine and TSNAs may be estimated by their relation to the solanesol retained in the cigarette filter.


We believe that this method provides excellent versatility and throughput for the estimation of mouth-level exposure to a wide range of toxins in cigarette smoke under naturalistic conditions. In addition, this method allows a far more accurate measure of exposure both from a single cigarette as well as from daily smoking.

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