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Articles by Y Feng
Total Records ( 9 ) for Y Feng
  T Zhang , X Xu , L Shen , Y Feng , Z Yang , Y Shen , J Wang , W Jin and X. Wang

Overexpression of foreign proteins in Escherichia coli often leads to the formation of inclusion bodies (IBs), which becomes the major bottleneck in the preparation of recombinant proteins and their applications. In the present study, 36 proteins from IBs were refolded using a simple refolding method. Refolding yields of these proteins were defined as the percentage of soluble proteins following dilution refolding in the amount of denatured proteins in the samples before diluting into refolding buffer. Furthermore, a mathematical model was deduced to evaluate the role of biochemical properties in the protein refolding. Our results indicated that under the experimental conditions, isoelectric point of proteins might be mostly contributing to the high efficacy of protein refolding since the increment of one unit resulted in a decrease of 14.83% in the refolding yield. Other important mediators were components of protein secondary structure and the molecular weight (R2 = 0.98, P = 0.000, F-test). Six proteins with low efficiency in the protein refolding possessed relatively low isoelectric points. Furthermore, refolding yields of six additional proteins from IBs were predicted and further validated by refolding the proteins under the same conditions. Therefore, the model of protein refolding developed here could be used to predict the refolding yields of proteins from IBs through a simple method. Our study will be suggestive to optimize the methods for protein refolding from IBs according to their intrinsic properties.

  J Johansson , Y Feng , R Shao , M Lonn , H Billig and E. Stener Victorin

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with hyperandrogenism and insulin resistance, possibly reflecting defects in skeletal muscle and adipocyte insulin signaling. Low-frequency (2 Hz) electroacupuncture (EA) increases insulin sensitivity in female rats with dihydrotestosterone (DHT)-induced PCOS, but the mechanism is unclear. We hypothesized that low-frequency EA regulates mediators involved in skeletal muscle glucose uptake and metabolism and alters the lipid profile in rats with DHT-induced PCOS. To test this hypothesis, we implanted in prepubescent female rats 90-day continuous-release pellets containing DHT (PCOS). At 70 days of age, the rats were randomly subdivided into two groups: one received low-frequency EA (evoking muscle twitches) for 20–25 min five times/wk for 4–5 wk; the other did not. Controls were implanted with pellets containing vehicle only. All three groups were otherwise handled similarly. Lipid profile was measured in fasting blood samples. Insulin sensitivity was determined by euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp, soleus muscle protein expression of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4), and phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated Akt, and Akt substrate of 160 kDa was determined by Western blot analysis and GLUT4 location by immunofluorescence staining. PCOS EA rats had normalized insulin sensitivity, lower levels of total high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and increased expression of GLUT4 in different compartments of skeletal muscle compared with PCOS rats. Total weight and body composition did not differ in the groups. Thus, in rats with DHT-induced PCOS, low-frequency EA has systemic and local effects involving intracellular signaling pathways in muscle that may, at least in part, account for the marked improved insulin sensitivity.

  A Peier , J Kosinski , K Cox York , Y Qian , K Desai , Y Feng , P Trivedi , N Hastings and D. J. Marsh

Neuromedin U (NMU) and neuromedin S (NMS) are structurally related neuropeptides that have been reported to modulate energy homeostasis. Pharmacological data have shown that NMU and NMS inhibit food intake when administered centrally and that NMU increases energy expenditure. Additionally, NMU-deficient mice develop obesity, whereas transgenic mice overexpressing NMU are lean and hypophagic. Two high-affinity NMU/NMS receptors, NMUR1 and NMUR2, have been identified. NMUR1 is predominantly expressed in the periphery, whereas NMUR2 is predominantly expressed in the brain, suggesting that the effects of centrally administered NMU and NMS are mediated by NMUR2. To evaluate the role of NMUR2 in the regulation of energy homeostasis, we characterized NMUR2-deficient (Nmur2–/–) mice. Nmur2–/– mice exhibited a modest resistance to diet-induced obesity that was at least in part due to reduced food intake. Acute central administration of NMU and NMS reduced food intake in wild-type but not in Nmur2–/– mice. The effects on activity and core temperature induced by centrally administered NMU were also absent in Nmur2–/– mice. Moreover, chronic central administration of NMU and NMS evoked significant reductions in body weight and sustained reductions in food intake in mice. In contrast, Nmur2–/– mice were largely resistant to these effects. Collectively, these data demonstrate that the anorectic and weight-reducing actions of centrally administered NMU and NMS are mediated predominantly by NMUR2, suggesting that NMUR2-selective agonists may be useful for the treatment of obesity.

  M Guo , H Feng , J Zhang , W Wang , Y Wang , Y Li , C Gao , H Chen , Y Feng and Z. G. He

Sequence-specific DNA-binding transcription factors have widespread biological significance in the regulation of gene expression. However, in lower prokaryotes and eukaryotic metazoans, it is usually difficult to find transcription regulatory factors that recognize specific target promoters. To address this, we have developed in this study a new bacterial one-hybrid reporter vector system that provides a convenient and rapid strategy to determine the specific interaction between target DNA sequences and their transcription factors. Using this system, we have successfully determined the DNA-binding specificity of the transcription regulator Rv3133c to a previously reported promoter region of the gene Rv2031 in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In addition, we have tested more than 20 promoter regions of M. tuberculosis genes using this approach to determine if they interact with ~150 putative regulatory proteins. A variety of transcription factors are found to participate in the regulation of stress response and fatty acid metabolism, both of which comprise the core of in vivo-induced genes when M. tuberculosis invades macrophages. Interestingly, among the many new discovered potential transcription factors, the WhiB-like transcriptional factor WhiB3 was identified for the first time to bind with the promoter sequences of most in vivo-induced genes. Therefore, this study offers important data in the dissection of the transcription regulations in M. tuberculosis, and the strategy should be applicable in the study of DNA-binding factors in a wide range of biological organisms.

  S Wang , Z Zhang , X Lin , D. S Xu , Y Feng and K. Ding

Ophiopogon japonicus is a traditional Chinese medicine used to treat cardiovascular disease. Recent studies have confirmed its beneficial properties, but not the mechanism of action. Herein, we investigate the anti-ischemic properties of a water-soluble β-d-fructan (MDG-1) from Ophiopogon japonicus, and assess the cytoprotective and proangiogenic effects of MDG-1. MDG-1 protects cardiomyocyte and microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1) against oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD)-induced cell death, as well as protect myocardial cells from ischemia-induced death occurring after coronary artery ligation in rats. Meanwhile, MDG-1 stimulates the differentiation of HMEC-1 cells into capillary-like structures in vitro and functions as a chemoattractant in migration assays, and promotes neovascularization in ischemic myocardium. In addition, MDG-1 upregulates sphingosine kinase 1 and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor 1 expression. Both MDG-1 and S1P induce basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) expression in HMEC-1 cells. Further study revealed that both MDG-1 and S1P induce Akt and ERK phosphorylation in a dose- and time-dependent manner, an effect that is attenuated by pre-treatment with either the Akt inhibitor wortmannin or the ERK inhibitor PD98059, and MDG-1 can also induce eNOS phosphorylation and increases in production of NO. These data indicate that MDG-1 presented remarkable anti-ischemic activity and protects cardiomyocyte and HMEC-1 cells from ischemia-induced cell damage by inducing S1P1 and bFGF cytoprotective and proangiogenic effects via the S1P/bFGF/Akt/ERK/eNOS signaling pathway.

  S. M Hartig , S Ishikura , R. S Hicklen , Y Feng , E. G Blanchard , K. A Voelker , C. S Pichot , R. W Grange , R. M Raphael , A Klip and S. J. Corey

F-BAR proteins are a newly described family of proteins with unknown physiological significance. Because F-BAR proteins, including Cdc42 interacting protein-4 (CIP4), drive membrane deformation and affect endocytosis, we investigated the role of CIP4 in GLUT4 traffic by flow cytometry in GLUT4myc-expressing L6 myoblasts (L6 GLUT4myc). L6 GLUT4myc cells express CIP4a as the predominant F-BAR protein. siRNA knockdown of CIP4 increased insulin-stimulated 14C-deoxyglucose uptake by elevating cell-surface GLUT4. Enhanced surface GLUT4 was due to decreased endocytosis, which correlated with lower transferrin internalization. Immunoprecipitation of endogenous CIP4 revealed that CIP4 interacted with N-WASp and Dynamin-2 in an insulin-dependent manner. FRET confirmed the insulin-dependent, subcellular properties of these interactions. Insulin exposure stimulated specific interactions in plasma membrane and cytosolic compartments, followed by a steady-state response that underlies the coordination of proteins needed for GLUT4 traffic. Our findings reveal a physiological function for F-BAR proteins, supporting a previously unrecognized role for the F-BAR...

  N Sidell , Y Feng , L Hao , J Wu , J Yu , M. A Kane , J. L Napoli and R. N. Taylor

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and endometrial angiogenesis play a critical role in successful embryonic implantation. Despite many studies of the effects of estrogen and progesterone on VEGF expression, its focal regulation at the site of implantation is unknown. Retinoic acid (RA) has been reported to regulate VEGF in a variety of cell types. Because localized RA synthesis occurs within the periimplantation endometrium, we tested the possibility that RA regulates VEGF production in endometrial stromal cells. Using primary and telomerase-immortalized human endometrial stromal cells, we determined that RA alone did not alter constitutive levels of VEGF production, but markedly amplified secretion when the cells were cotreated with activators of VEGF gene transcription (12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate, TPA; TGF-β; and IL-1β). Whereas TPA or TGF-β alone stimulated VEGF promoter activity and up-regulated mRNA levels, significant protein secretion was detected only after RA was added to the culture systems. Analysis of retinoids in secretory phase endometrial biopsies indicated that endogenous RA accumulated at concentrations sufficient to induce VEGF secretion. Polyribosome profile analysis showed that the addition of RA to transcriptional activators of VEGF shifted the translational suppressed VEGF mRNA transcripts into larger polyribosome complexes engaged in active translation. Although the precise mechanism(s) of the RA effect remains to be defined, it appears to be mediated by reactive oxygen species; the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine inhibited RA+TPA-stimulated secretion of VEGF by more than 80%. Together, our results demonstrate that in human endometrial stromal cells, RA can combine with transcriptional activators of VEGF to augment VEGF secretion through a translational mechanism of action mediated by reactive oxygen species. These findings suggest a link between the spatiotemporal changes of retinoid synthesis in the periimplantation stroma and the capacity to quickly up-regulate focal VEGF secretion needed to induce early angiogenic events of pregnancy.

  Y Feng , L Zou , R Si , Y Nagasaka and W. Chao

Myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88), an adaptor critical for innate immune function, plays a role in neutrophil recruitment and myocardial injury after transient ischemia. However, how MyD88 signaling modulates neutrophil function and myocardial injury remains unclear. In an in vivo model of neutrophil migration and a chimeric model of MyD88 deletion, we demonstrated that Gr-1-positive (Gr-1+) neutrophil migration was significantly decreased by 68% in MyD88-deficient (Myd88–/–) mice and by 33% in knockout->wild-type (KO->WT; donor->recipient) chimeric mice, which lacked MyD88 in bone marrow cells but maintained normal MyD88 expression in the heart. This marked attenuation in neutrophil migration was associated with decreased peritoneal neutrophil CXCR2 expression and lower peritoneal KC, a neutrophil chemoattractant, in MyD88–/– mice. Moreover, in vitro, KC induces significantly more downregulation of CXCR2 expression in MyD88–/– than WT neutrophils. In an in vivo model of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury, KO->WT chimeric mice had significantly smaller infarct sizes compared with the WT->WT mice. While there was a marked increase in proinflammatory cytokine/chemokine expression in the myocardium following I/R, there was no significant difference between WT->WT and KO->WT mice. In contrast, Gr-1+ neutrophil recruitment in the myocardium was markedly attenuated in MyD88–/– mice. Deletion of Toll-interleukin-1 receptor (TIR)-domain-containing adaptor protein-inducing interferon-β-mediated transcription factor (Trif), another innate immune adaptor, had no effect on the KC-mediated CXCR2 downregulation or on myocardial neutrophil recruitment after I/R. Taken together, these findings suggest that MyD88 signaling is essential for maintaining neutrophil migratory function and chemokine receptor expression. MyD88 signaling in bone marrow-derived circulating cells may play a specific and critical role in the development of myocardial I/R-induced injury.

  W Xu , L Yi , Y Feng , L Chen and J. Liu

Pancreatic phospholipase A2 (phospholipase A2 group 1B, G1B) belongs to the superfamily of secreted phospholipase A2 (PLA2) enzymes. G1B has been proposed to be a potential target for diseases such as hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. Human pancreatic prophospholipase A2 (pro-hG1B) is activated by cleavage of the first seven-residue propeptide (phospholipase A2 propeptide, PROP). However, questions still remain on the mode of action for pro-hG1B. In this work, we expressed pro-hG1B in Pichia pastoris and determined the crystal structure at 1.55-Å resolution. The x-ray structure demonstrates that pro-hG1B forms a trimer. In addition, PROP occupies the catalytic cavity and can be self-cleaved at 37 °C. A new membrane-bound surface and activation mechanism are proposed based on the trimeric model of pro-hG1B. We also propose a new autoproteolytic mechanism for pro-hG1B by the reaction triad Asp49-Arg0-Ser(-2) that is similar to the serine protease catalytic triad.

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