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Articles by Y Yang
Total Records ( 25 ) for Y Yang
  G Hong , S Jiang , M Yu , Y Yang , F Li , F Xue and Z. Wei
 

The complete mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) of Artogeia melete was determined as being composed of 15,140 bp, including 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 2 rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes, and one control region. The gene order of A. melete mitogenome is typical of Lepidoptera and differs from the insect ancestral type in the location of trnM. The A. melete mitogenome has a total of 119 bp of intergenic spacer sequences spread over 10 regions, ranging in sizes between 1 and 48 bp. The nucleotide composition of the A. melete mitogenome is also biased toward A + T nucleotides (79.77%), which is higher than that of Ochrogaster lunifer (77.84%), but lower than nine other lepidopterans sequenced. The PCGs have typical mitochondrial start codons, except for cox1, which contains the unusual CGA. The cox1, cox2, nad2, and nad5 genes of the A. melete mitogenome have incomplete stop codons (T). The A. melete A + T-rich region contains some conserved structures that are similar to those found in other lepidopteran mitogenomes, including a structure combining the motif ‘ATAGA’, a 19-bp poly(T) stretch, a microsatellite (AT)n element, and a 9-bp poly(A) upstream trnM. The A. melete mitogenome contains a duplicated 36-bp repeat element, which consists of a 26-bp core sequence flanked by 10-bp perfectly inverted repeats.

  Y Wu , W Zhang , Y Yang , B Yu and A. Huang
 

In this study, we scanned the whole hepatitis B virus (HBV) genome for the identification of potential regulatory elements located on the S-(+)-strand. With pCDNA3.1-HBV1.3 as template which contains 1.3-fold HBV whole genome, HBV fragments were amplified by PCR methods, and then inserted into the upstream of a heterologous luciferase reporter vector (pGL3control) in antisense orientation, allowing the HBV expression from the S-(+)-strand. We found that the reporter plasmid containing nt 509-1(3182)-2639 of HBV inhibited luciferase gene transcription and expression in HepG2 cells. Our results strongly suggested that nt 453–250 of HBV may act as a novel negative regulatory element, which has not been reported before. Serial deletion analyses further indicated that nt 453–250 sequence of HBV genome would be the minimal sequence essential for the inhibitory effect of the novel negative regulatory element.

  J Zhang , Y Yang and J. Wu
 

PES1, the human homolog of zebrafish pescadillo, is a nucleolar protein that is essential for cell proliferation. We report herein that a nucleolar marker protein B23 physically interacts with PES1 and is involved in the nucleolar localization of PES1. In vivo interaction between B23 and PES1 was verified by co-immunoprecipitation of endogenous B23 and PES1 proteins, and they showed cellular co-localizations under both normal and actinomycin D-induced stress conditions. Furthermore, we mapped their interaction domains via in vitro pull-down assays. When B23 was knocked down by RNA interference, there appeared an increased nucleoplasmic distribution of PES1. Our results support a previous hypothesis that B23 might be a nucleolar hub protein for protein targeting to the nucleolus, and shed light on the nucleolar localization mechanism of PES1. The physical interaction between B23 and PES1 implies that they may participate in ribosome biogenesis in a protein complex.

  Q Liu , Z Dai , Z Liu , X Liu , C Tang , Z Wang , G Yi , L Liu , Z Jiang , Y Yang and Z. Yuan
 

It has been reported that oxidized low-density lipoprotein (Ox-LDL) can increase the expression of adipophilin. However, the detailed mechanisms are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism of Ox-LDL on adipophilin expression and the intracellular lipid droplet accumulation. A mouse macrophage-like cell line, RAW264.7, was used throughout, and it was found that Ox-LDL induced adipophilin expression in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, Ox-LDL induced peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor- (PPAR) expression and PPAR-specific inhibitor T0070907 abrogated Ox-LDL-induced adipophilin expression, but specific agonist GW1929 not. Furthermore, Ox-LDL induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2, and ERK1/2-specific inhibition by PD98059 suppressed the Ox-LDL-induced PPAR and adipophilin expression. The results showed that ERK1/2 or PPAR-specific inhibition decreased the amounts of intracellular lipid droplets. Meanwhile, the PPAR-specific agonist increased intracellular lipid droplets. These results suggested that Ox-LDL-induced increase in adipophilin level via ERK1/2 activation is one of the mechanisms of inducing greater amounts of intracellular lipid droplets in RAW264.7 cells, which indicated that adipophilin is involved in atherosclerotic progression.

  X Feng , H Huang , Y Yang , O Frohlich , J. D Klein , J. M Sands and G. Chen
 

The cell plasma membrane contains specialized microdomains called lipid rafts which contain high amounts of sphingolipids and cholesterol. Lipid rafts are involved in a number of membrane protein functions. The urea transporter UT-A1, located in the kidney inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD), is important for urine concentrating ability. In this study, we investigated the possible role of lipid rafts in UT-A1 membrane regulation. Using sucrose gradient cell fractionation, we demonstrated that UT-A1 is concentrated in the caveolae-rich fraction both in stably expressing UT-A1 HEK293 cells and in freshly isolated kidney IMCD suspensions. In these gradients, UT-A1 at the cell plasma membrane is codistributed with caveolin-1, a major component of caveolae. The colocalization of UT-A1 in lipid rafts/caveolae was further confirmed in isolated caveolae from UT-A1-HEK293 cells. The direct association of UT-A1 and caveolin-1 was identified by immunoprecipitation and GST pull-down assay. Examination of internalized UT-A1 in pEGFP-UT-A1 transfected HEK293 cells fluorescent overlap with labeled cholera toxin subunit B, a marker of the caveolae-mediated endocytosis pathway. Disruption of lipid rafts by methyl-β-cyclodextrin or knocking down caveolin-1 by small-interference RNA resulted in UT-A1 cell membrane accumulation. Functionally, overexpression of caveolin-1 in oocytes decreased UT-A1 urea transport activity and UT-A1 cell surface expression. Our results indicate that lipid rafts/caveolae participate in UT-A1 membrane regulation and this effect is mediated via a direct interaction of caveolin-1 with UT-A1.

  Y Yang , A Raine , K. L Narr , P Colletti and A. W. Toga
 

Context  Despite the repeated findings of impaired fear conditioning and affective recognition in psychopathic individuals, there has been a paucity of brain imaging research on the amygdala and no evidence suggesting which regions within the amygdala may be structurally compromised in individuals with psychopathy.

Objective  To detect global and regional anatomical abnormalities in the amygdala in individuals with psychopathy.

Design  Cross-sectional design using structural magnetic resonance imaging.

Setting  Participants were recruited from high-risk communities (temporary employment agencies) in the Los Angeles, California, area and underwent imaging at a hospital research facility at the University of Southern California.

Participants  Twenty-seven psychopathic individuals as defined by the Hare Psychopathy Checklist–Revised and 32 normal controls matched on age, sex, and ethnicity.

Main Outcome Measures  Amygdala volumes were examined using traditional volumetric analyses and surface-based mesh modeling methods were used to localize regional surface deformations.

Results  Individuals with psychopathy showed significant bilateral volume reductions in the amygdala compared with controls (left, 17.1%; right, 18.9%). Surface deformations were localized in regions in the approximate vicinity of the basolateral, lateral, cortical, and central nuclei of the amygdala. Significant correlations were found between reduced amygdala volumes and increased total and facet psychopathy scores, with correlations strongest for the affective and interpersonal facets of psychopathy.

Conclusions  Results provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, of focal amygdala abnormalities in psychopathic individuals and corroborate findings from previous lesion studies. Findings support prior hypotheses of amygdala deficits in individuals with psychopathy and indicate that amygdala abnormalities contribute to emotional and behavioral symptoms of psychopathy.

  C Han , S. D Dib Hajj , Z Lin , Y Li , E. M Eastman , L Tyrrell , X Cao , Y Yang and S. G. Waxman
 

Inherited erythromelalgia (IEM), an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by severe burning pain in response to mild warmth, has been shown to be caused by gain-of-function mutations of sodium channel Nav1.7 which is preferentially expressed within dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and sympathetic ganglion neurons. Almost all physiologically characterized cases of IEM have been associated with onset in early childhood. Here, we report the voltage-clamp and current-clamp analysis of a new Nav1.7 mutation, Q10R, in a patient with clinical onset of erythromelalgia in the second decade. We show that the mutation in this patient hyperpolarizes activation by only –5.3 mV, a smaller shift than seen with early-onset erythromelalgia mutations, but similar to that of I136V, another mutation that is linked to delayed-onset IEM. Using current-clamp, we show that the expression of Q10R induces hyperexcitability in DRG neurons, but produces an increase in excitability that is smaller than the change produced by I848T, an early-onset erythromelalgia mutation. Our analysis suggests a genotype–phenotype relationship at three levels (clinical, cellular and molecular/ion channel), with mutations that produce smaller effects on sodium channel activation being associated with a smaller degree of DRG neuron excitability and later onset of clinical signs.

  A Kim , M. J Kim , Y Yang , J. W Kim , Y. I Yeom and J. S. Lim
 

Downregulation of the N-myc downstream-regulated gene 2 (NDRG2) gene is involved in the progression of aggressive forms of cancer, along with the poor prognosis of cancer patients. In the current study, we examined the effect of NDRG2 expression on the metastatic potential of HT1080 human fibrosarcoma and B16F10 murine melanoma cells in both in vitro and in vivo systems. In gelatin zymography, NDRG2 expression remarkably suppressed the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 activity and slightly inhibited MMP-2 activity of both cell lines. Tumor migration and invasion in vitro were significantly reduced by NDRG2 expression, and NDRG2 inhibited tumor cell proliferation in an anchorage-independent semisolid agar assay. Specifically, we found that NDRG2 affects invasion through suppression of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-B) activity. In animal experiments, subcutaneously injected B16F10-NDRG2 cells showed delayed tumor growth compared with B16F10-mock cells. Furthermore, severe metastasis from primary tumor mass into the draining lymph nodes was observed after injection of B16F10-mock cells, but not with B16F10-NDRG2 cells. Pulmonary metastasis after intravenous injection of B16F10 cells was also reduced by NDRG2 expression. Intra- and peritumoral angiogenesis that is critical for the tumor growth and metastasis was clearly found in tumors after injection with B16F10-mock cells, whereas it was impaired in tumors after injection with B16F10-NDRG2 cells. Collectively, our data show that NDRG2 expression significantly suppresses tumor invasion by inhibiting MMP activities, which are regulated through the NF-B signaling. Moreover, results from animal experiments provide evidence for the regulatory role of the NDRG2 gene in metastatic tumors.

  W Zhang , K Sun , Y Yang , H Zhang , F. B Hu and R. Hui
 

Background: Hyperuricemia has been positively associated with hypertension, but whether this association is independent of adiposity and other cardiovascular risk factors remains a matter of debate.

Methods: We conducted a community-based prospective cohort study comprising 7220 participants (mean age 37 years; 73.8% men) in the Qingdao Port Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in China, who were free from hypertension at study entry in 1999–2000. During 4-year follow-up, 1370 men (19.0%) and 208 women (11.0%) had developed hypertension.

Results: After adjustment for age, body mass index, and other covariates, the relative risks (RRs) of developing hypertension comparing the highest and lowest uric acid quartiles were 1.55 (95% CI 1.10–2.19; P for trend <0.001) for men and 1.91 (1.12–3.25; P for trend <0.001) for women. After additional adjustment for abdominal obesity, the RRs comparing the participants in the highest and lowest quartiles of uric acid were 1.39 (1.16–1.68; P for trend 0.003) for men and 1.85 (1.06–3.24; P for trend 0.006) for women. In joint analysis, compared with those in the lowest uric acid quartile and without abdominal obesity, participants who were in the highest quartile and also had abdominal obesity had a 3.0- and 3.4-fold greater risk of incident hypertension (1.56–3.97 for men and 2.10–3.81 for women, respectively).

Conclusions: These data suggest a positive association between plasma uric acid and incidence of hypertension during short-term follow-up in a Chinese population. The association between hyperuricemia and hypertension was partly mediated by abdominal obesity.

  Y Yang , X Li , L Cui , M Fu , A. B Rabie and D. Zhang
 

Mechanical stress induces human periodontal ligament (PDL) cells to express an osteoblastic phenotype in vitro. Core binding factor a1 (CBFA1) is a key regulator of osteoblast differentiation. This study was designed to investigate the role of CBFA1 in alveolar bone remodelling, specifically the expression of CBFA1 messenger RNA (mRNA) in human PDL cells under mechanical stress and its up- and downstream relationships with other bone remodelling markers. Cultured human PDL cells were exposed to mechanical stress. The expressions of CBFA1 and alkaline phosphatase (ALP), osteopontin (OPN), osteoprotegrin (OPG), and receptor activator nuclear factor kappa B ligand (RANKL) were detected before and after RNA interference (RNAi) of CBFA1. The data were analysed using a t-test and one-way analysis of variance.

After mechanical stress loading, CBFA1 mRNA expression was raised initially, followed by an increased expression of ALP and RANKL, decreased expression of OPG, and a change in OPN expression. After CBFA1 knock-down in human PDL cells by small hairpin (sh) RNA, the expression of ALP, OPN, OPG, and RANKL also changed. These findings suggest that in the present model system CBFA1 may play an important role in PDL-mediated bone remodelling in response to mechanical stimulation. Mechanical stress: CBFA1–ALP and OPG–PDL homeostasis may be one of the signal transduction pathways of human PDL cell differentiation under mechanical stress without exclusion of the involvement of other pathways.

  J Sun , E. Y Yu , Y Yang , L. A Confer , S. H Sun , K Wan , N. F Lue and M. Lei
 

In budding yeast, Cdc13, Stn1, and Ten1 form a heterotrimeric complex (CST) that is essential for telomere protection and maintenance. Previous bioinformatics analysis revealed a putative oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding (OB) fold at the N terminus of Stn1 (Stn1N) that shows limited sequence similarity to the OB fold of Rpa2, a subunit of the eukaryotic ssDNA-binding protein complex replication protein A (RPA). Here we present functional and structural analyses of Stn1 and Ten1 from multiple budding and fission yeast. The crystal structure of the Candida tropicalis Stn1N complexed with Ten1 demonstrates an Rpa2N–Rpa3-like complex. In both structures, the OB folds of the two components pack against each other through interactions between two C-terminal helices. The structure of the C-terminal domain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Stn1 (Stn1C) was found to comprise two related winged helix–turn–helix (WH) motifs, one of which is most similar to the WH motif at the C terminus of Rpa2, again supporting the notion that Stn1 resembles Rpa2. The crystal structure of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe Stn1N–Ten1 complex exhibits a virtually identical architecture as the C. tropicalis Stn1N–Ten1. Functional analyses of the Candida albicans Stn1 and Ten1 proteins revealed critical roles for these proteins in suppressing aberrant telomerase and recombination activities at telomeres. Mutations that disrupt the Stn1–Ten1 interaction induce telomere uncapping and abolish the telomere localization of Ten1. Collectively, our structural and functional studies illustrate that, instead of being confined to budding yeast telomeres, the CST complex may represent an evolutionarily conserved RPA-like telomeric complex at the 3' overhangs that works in parallel with or instead of the well-characterized POT1–TPP1/TEBP–β complex.

  R. S Srinivasan , X Geng , Y Yang , Y Wang , S Mukatira , M Studer , M. P. R Porto , O Lagutin and G. Oliver
 

The homeobox gene Prox1 is crucial for mammalian lymphatic vascular development. In the absence of Prox1, lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) are not specified. The maintenance of LEC identity also requires the constant expression of Prox1. However, the mechanisms controlling the expression of this gene in LECs remain poorly understood. The SRY-related gene Sox18 is required to induce Prox1 expression in venous LEC progenitors. Although Sox18 is also expressed in embryonic arteries, these vessels do not express Prox1, nor do they give rise to LECs. This finding suggests that some venous endothelial cell-specific factor is required for the activation of Prox1. Here we demonstrate that the nuclear hormone receptor Coup-TFII is necessary for the activation of Prox1 in embryonic veins by directly binding a conserved DNA domain in the regulatory region of Prox1. In addition, we show that the direct interaction between nuclear hormone receptors and Prox1 is also necessary for the maintenance of Prox1 expression during early stages of LEC specification and differentiation.

  L de la Torre Ubieta , B Gaudilliere , Y Yang , Y Ikeuchi , T Yamada , S DiBacco , J Stegmuller , U Schuller , D. A Salih , D Rowitch , A Brunet and A. Bonni
 

Neuronal polarity is essential for normal brain development and function. However, cell-intrinsic mechanisms that govern the establishment of neuronal polarity remain to be identified. Here, we report that knockdown of endogenous FOXO proteins in hippocampal and cerebellar granule neurons, including in the rat cerebellar cortex in vivo, reveals a requirement for the FOXO transcription factors in the establishment of neuronal polarity. The FOXO transcription factors, including the brain-enriched protein FOXO6, play a critical role in axo–dendritic polarization of undifferentiated neurites, and hence in a switch from unpolarized to polarized neuronal morphology. We also identify the gene encoding the protein kinase Pak1, which acts locally in neuronal processes to induce polarity, as a critical direct target gene of the FOXO transcription factors. Knockdown of endogenous Pak1 phenocopies the effect of FOXO knockdown on neuronal polarity. Importantly, exogenous expression of Pak1 in the background of FOXO knockdown in both primary neurons and postnatal rat pups in vivo restores the polarized morphology of neurons. These findings define the FOXO proteins and Pak1 as components of a cell-intrinsic transcriptional pathway that orchestrates neuronal polarity, thus identifying a novel function for the FOXO transcription factors in a unique aspect of neural development.

  G Chen , Y Yang , O Frohlich , J. D Klein and J. M. Sands
 

Protein restriction and hypercalcemia result in a urinary concentrating defect in rats and humans. Previous tubular perfusion studies show that there is an increased active urea transport activity in the initial inner medullary (IM) collecting duct in low-protein diet (LPD) and vitamin D (Vit D) animal models. To investigate the possible mechanisms that cause the urinary concentrating defect and to clone the new active urea transporter, we employed a modified two-tester suppression subtractive hybridization (ttSSH) approach and examined gene expression induced by LPD and Vit D in kidney IM base. Approximately 600 clones from the subtracted library were randomly selected; 150 clones were further confirmed to be the true positive genes by slot blot hybridization with subtracted probes from LPD and Vit D and sent for DNA sequencing. We identified 10 channel/transporter genes that were upregulated in IM base in LPD and Vit D animal models; 8 were confirmed by real-time PCR. These genes include aquaporin 2 (AQP2), two-pore calcium channel protein 2, brain-specific organic cation transporter, Na+- and H+-coupled glutamine transporter, and solute carrier family 25. Nine genes are totally new, and twelve are uncharacterized hypothetical proteins. Among them, four genes were shown to be new transmembrane proteins as judged by Kyte-Doolittle hydrophobic plot analysis. ttSSH provides a useful method to identify new genes from two conditioned populations.

  T Li , Y Yang and C. M. Canessa
 

Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are proton-activated sodium channels of the nervous system. Mammals express four ASICs, and orthologs of these genes have been found in all chordates examined to date. Despite a high degree of sequence conservation of all ASICs across species, the response to a given increase in external proton concentration varies markedly: from large and slowly inactivating inward currents to no detectable currents. The underlying bases of this functional variability and whether it stems from differences in proton-binding sites or in structures that translate conformational changes have not been determined yet. We show here that the ASIC1 ortholog of an early vertebrate, lamprey ASIC1, does not respond to protons; however, only two amino acid substitutions for the corresponding ones in rat ASIC1, Q77L and T85L, convert lamprey ASIC1 into a highly sensitive proton-activated channel with apparent H+ affinity of pH50 7.2. Addition of C73H increases the magnitude of the currents by fivefold, and W64R confers desensitization similar to that of the mammalian counterpart. Most amino acid substitutions in these four positions increase the rates of opening and closing the pore, whereas only few, namely, the ones in rat ASIC1, slow the rates. The four residues are located in a contiguous segment made by the β1-β2-linker, β1-strand, and the external segment of the first transmembrane helix. We conclude that the segment thus defined modulates the kinetics of opening and closing the pore and that fast kinetics of desensitization rather than lack of acid sensor accounts for the absence of proton-induced currents in the parent lamprey ASIC1.

  C Barmeyer , C Rahner , Y Yang , F. J Sigworth , H. J Binder and V. M. Rajendran
 

KCNN4 channels that provide the driving force for cAMP- and Ca2+-induced anion secretion are present in both apical and basolateral membranes of the mammalian colon. However, only a single KCNN4 has been cloned. This study was initiated to identify whether both apical and basolateral KCNN4 channels are encoded by the same or different isoforms. Reverse transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR), real-time quantitative-PCR (RT-QPCR), and immunofluorescence studies were used to clone and identify tissue-specific expression of KCNN4 isoforms. Three distinct KCNN4 cDNAs that are designated as KCNN4a, KCNN4b, and KCNN4c encoding 425, 424, and 395 amino acid proteins, respectively, were isolated from the rat colon. KCNN4a differs from KCNN4b at both the nucleotide and the amino acid level with distinct 628 bp at the 3'-untranslated region and an additional glutamine at position 415, respectively. KCNN4c differs from KCNN4b by lacking the second exon that encodes a 29 amino acid motif. KCNN4a and KCNN4b/c are identified as smooth muscle- and epithelial cell-specific transcripts, respectively. KCNN4b and KCNN4c transcripts likely encode basolateral (40 kDa) and apical (37 kDa) membrane proteins in the distal colon, respectively. KCNN4c, which lacks the S2 transmembrane segment, requires coexpression of a large conductance K+ channel β-subunit for plasma membrane expression. The KCNN4 channel blocker TRAM-34 inhibits KCNN4b- and KCNN4c-mediated 86Rb (K+ surrogate) efflux with an apparent inhibitory constant of 0.6 ± 0.1 and 7.8 ± 0.4 µM, respectively. We conclude that apical and basolateral KCNN4 K+ channels that regulate K+ and anion secretion are encoded by distinct isoforms in colonic epithelial cells.

  A Friggeri , Y Yang , S Banerjee , Y. J Park , G Liu and E. Abraham
 

Phagocytosis of apoptotic cells is critical to resolution of inflammation. High mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1), a mediator of inflammation, has been shown to diminish phagocytosis through binding to phosphatidylserine (PS) exposed on the surface of apoptotic neutrophils. However, it is currently unknown whether HMGB1 also modulates the activity of receptors involved in PS recognition on the surface of phagocytes. In the present studies, we found that preincubation of macrophages with HMGB1 decreased their ability to engulf apoptotic neutrophils or thymocytes. Preincubation of macrophages with HMGB1 prevented the enhancement of efferocytosis resulting from exposure to milk fat globule EGF factor 8 (MFG-E8), an opsonin that bridges PS and vβ3 as well as vβ5-integrins on the surface of phagocytes. The inhibitory effect of HMGB1 on the phagocytic activity of macrophages was prevented by preincubation of HMGB1 with soluble vβ3, but not with soluble vβ5. HMGB1 colocalized with the β3-integrin on the cell membrane of macrophages and bound to soluble vβ3, but not to soluble vβ5. HMGB1 suppressed the interaction between MFG-E8 and vβ3. HMGB1 also inhibited intracellular signaling events, including ERK phosphorylation and Rac-1 activation, which are activated in macrophages during phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. These results demonstrate that HMGB1 blocks vβ3-dependent recognition and uptake of apoptotic cells.

  J. Q Hang , Y Yang , S. F Harris , V Leveque , H. J Whittington , S Rajyaguru , G Ao Ieong , M. F McCown , A Wong , A. M Giannetti , S Le Pogam , F Talamas , N Cammack , I Najera and K. Klumpp
 

The binding affinity of four palm and thumb site representative non-nucleoside inhibitors (NNIs) of HCV polymerase NS5B to wild-type and resistant NS5B polymerase proteins was determined, and the influence of RNA binding on NNI binding affinity was investigated. NNIs with high binding affinity potently inhibited HCV RNA polymerase activity and replicon replication. Among the compounds tested, HCV-796 showed slow binding kinetics to NS5B. The binding affinity of HCV-796 to NS5B increased 27-fold over a 3-h incubation period with an equilibrium Kd of 71 ± 2 nm. Slow binding kinetics of HCV-796 was driven by slow dissociation from NS5B with a koff of 4.9 ± 0.5 x 10–4 s–1. NS5B bound a long, 378-nucleotide HCV RNA oligonucleotide with high affinity (Kd = 6.9 ± 0.3 nm), whereas the binding affinity was significantly lower for a short, 21-nucleotide RNA (Kd = 155.1 ± 16.2 nm). The formation of the NS5B-HCV RNA complex did not affect the slow binding kinetics profile and only slightly reduced NS5B binding affinity of HCV-796. The magnitude of reduction of NNI binding affinity for the NS5B proteins with various resistance mutations in the palm and thumb binding sites correlated well with resistance -fold shifts in NS5B polymerase activity and replicon assays. Co-crystal structures of NS5B-Con1 and NS5B-BK with HCV-796 revealed a deep hydrophobic binding pocket at the palm region of NS5B. HCV-796 interaction with the induced binding pocket on NS5B is consistent with slow binding kinetics and loss of binding affinity with mutations at amino acid position 316.

  Y Yang , J Weiner , Y Liu , A. J Smith , D. J Huss , R Winger , H Peng , P. D Cravens , M. K Racke and A. E. Lovett Racke
 

The extent to which myelin-specific Th1 and Th17 cells contribute to the pathogenesis of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is controversial. Combinations of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and IL-23 with transforming growth factor β were used to differentiate myelin-specific T cell receptor transgenic T cells into Th17 cells, none of which could induce EAE, whereas Th1 cells consistently transferred disease. However, IL-6 was found to promote the differentiation of encephalitogenic Th17 cells. Further analysis of myelin-specific T cells that were encephalitogenic in spontaneous EAE and actively induced EAE demonstrated that T-bet expression was critical for pathogenicity, regardless of cytokine expression by the encephalitogenic T cells. These data suggest that encephalitogenicity of myelin-specific T cells appears to be mediated by a pathway dependent on T-bet and not necessarily pathway-specific end products, such as interferon and IL-17.

  F Coulombe , M Divangahi , F Veyrier , L de Leseleuc , J. L Gleason , Y Yang , M. A Kelliher , A. K Pandey , C. M Sassetti , M. B Reed and M. A. Behr
 

Peptidoglycan-derived muramyl dipeptide (MDP) activates innate immunity via the host sensor NOD2. Although MDP is N-acetylated in most bacteria, mycobacteria and related Actinomycetes convert their MDP to an N-glycolylated form through the action of N-acetyl muramic acid hydroxylase (NamH). We used a combination of bacterial genetics and synthetic chemistry to investigate whether N-glycolylation of MDP alters NOD2-mediated immunity. Upon infecting macrophages with 12 bacteria, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) secretion was NOD2 dependent only with mycobacteria and other Actinomycetes (Nocardia and Rhodococcus). Disruption of namH in Mycobacterium smegmatis obrogated NOD2-mediated TNF secretion, which could be restored upon gene complementation. In mouse macrophages, N-glycolyl MDP was more potent than N-acetyl MDP at activating RIP2, nuclear factor B, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and proinflammatory cytokine secretion. In mice challenged intraperitoneally with live or killed mycobacteria, NOD2-dependent immune responses depended on the presence of bacterial namH. Finally, N-glycolyl MDP was more efficacious than N-acetyl MDP at inducing ovalbumin-specific T cell immunity in a model of adjuvancy. Our findings indicate that N-glycolyl MDP has a greater NOD2-stimulating activity than N-acetyl MDP, consistent with the historical observation attributing exceptional immunogenic activity to the mycobacterial cell wall.

  X Huang , X Bai , Y Cao , J Wu , M Huang , D Tang , S Tao , T Zhu , Y Liu , Y Yang , X Zhou , Y Zhao , M Wu , J Wei , D Wang , G Xu , S Wang , D Ma and J. Zhou
 

Angiogenesis is increasingly recognized as an important prognosticator associated with the progression of lymphoma and as an attractive target for novel modalities. We report a previously unrecognized mechanism by which lymphoma endothelium facilitates the growth and dissemination of lymphoma by interacting with circulated T cells and suppresses the activation of CD4+ T cells. Global gene expression profiles of microdissected endothelium from lymphoma and reactive lymph nodes revealed that T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain–containing molecule 3 (Tim-3) was preferentially expressed in lymphoma-derived endothelial cells (ECs). Clinically, the level of Tim-3 in B cell lymphoma endothelium was closely correlated to both dissemination and poor prognosis. In vitro, Tim-3+ ECs modulated T cell response to lymphoma surrogate antigens by suppressing activation of CD4+ T lymphocytes through the activation of the interleukin-6–STAT3 pathway, inhibiting Th1 polarization, and providing protective immunity. In a lymphoma mouse model, Tim-3–expressing ECs promoted the onset, growth, and dissemination of lymphoma by inhibiting activation of CD4+ T cells and Th1 polarization. Our findings strongly argue that the lymphoma endothelium is not only a vessel system but also a functional barrier facilitating the establishment of lymphoma immune tolerance. These findings highlight a novel molecular mechanism that is a potential target for enhancing the efficacy of tumor immunotherapy and controlling metastatic diseases.

  G Liu , A Friggeri , Y Yang , J Milosevic , Q Ding , V. J Thannickal , N Kaminski and E. Abraham
 

Uncontrolled extracellular matrix production by fibroblasts in response to tissue injury contributes to fibrotic diseases, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a progressive and ultimately fatal process that currently has no cure. Although dysregulation of miRNAs is known to be involved in a variety of pathophysiologic processes, the role of miRNAs in fibrotic lung diseases is unclear. In this study, we found up-regulation of miR-21 in the lungs of mice with bleomycin-induced fibrosis and also in the lungs of patients with IPF. Increased miR-21 expression was primarily localized to myofibroblasts. Administration of miR-21 antisense probes diminished the severity of experimental lung fibrosis in mice, even when treatment was started 5–7 d after initiation of pulmonary injury. TGF-β1, a central pathological mediator of fibrotic diseases, enhanced miR-21 expression in primary pulmonary fibroblasts. Increasing miR-21 levels promoted, whereas knocking down miR-21 attenuated, the pro-fibrogenic activity of TGF-β1 in fibroblasts. A potential mechanism for the role of miR-21 in fibrosis is through regulating the expression of an inhibitory Smad, Smad7. These experiments demonstrate an important role for miR-21 in fibrotic lung diseases and also suggest a novel approach using miRNA therapeutics in treating clinically refractory fibrotic diseases, such as IPF.

 
 
 
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