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Articles by Z Zhou
Total Records ( 13 ) for Z Zhou
  S Liu , K Kang , J Zhang , Q Ouyang , Z Zhou , S Tian and M. Xing

A 1591-bp cDNA of a serine-rich protein kinase (SRPK)-like protein has been identified in Physarum polycephalum (GenBank accession No. DQ140379). The cDNA contains two repeat sequences at bp 1–153 and bp 395–547. The encoding sequence is 56% homologous to human SRPK1 and is named Physarum SRPK (PSRPK). Consistent with other SRPKs, the consensus motifs of PSRPK are within the two conserved domains (CDs). However, divergent motifs between the N-terminal and CDs are much shorter than the corresponding sequences of other SRPKs. To study the structure and function of this protein, we performed co-expression experiment in Escherichia coli and in vitro phosphorylation assay to investigate the phosphorylation effect of recombinant PSRPK on the human SR protein, ASF/SF2. Western blot analysis showed that PSRPK could phosphorylate ASF/SF2 in E. coli cells. Autoradiographic examination showed that both recombinant PSRPK and a truncated form of PSRPK with a 28-aa deletion at the N-terminus could phosphorylate ASF/SF2 and a truncated form of ASF/SF2 that contains the RS domain. However, these two forms of PSRPK could not phosphorylate a truncated form ASF/SF2 that lacks the RS domain. A truncated form of PSRPK that lacks either of CDs does not have any phosphorylation activity. These results indicated that, like other SRPKs, the phosphorylation site in PSRPK is located within the RS domain of the SR protein and that its phosphorylation activity is closely associated with the two CDs. This study on the structure and function of PSRPK demonstrates that it is a new member of the SRPK family.

  Z Wang , Z Zhou , Z. Y Guo and C. W. Chi

The human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) envelope glycoprotein 120 (gp120) binds to cell surface receptors and mediates HIV entry. Previous studies suggest the cell surface protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) might interact with disulfide bond(s) of gp120 and thus facilitate HIV-1 entry. In the present study, a kinetic trapping approach was used to capture the disulfide cross-linking intermediate between gp120 and PDI. Active site mutant PDIs were prepared in which the C-terminal cysteine at the active site was replaced by a serine. The active site mutant PDIs were able to covalently cross-link with gp120 through a mixed disulfide bond in vitro. The cross-linking efficiency was enhanced by CD4 protein (primary receptor of HIV-1) and was inhibited both by bacitracin (a PDI inhibitor) and by catalytically inactive PDI. The present results suggested the cell surface PDI might play a role in HIV entry in vivo.

  M Sharma , Z Zhou , H Miura , A Papapetropoulos , E. T McCarthy , R Sharma , V. J Savin and E. A. Lianos

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with decreased renal nitric oxide (NO) production and increased plasma levels of methylarginines. The naturally occurring guanidino-methylated arginines N-monomethyl-l-arginine (l-NMMA) and asymmetric dimethyl-l-arginine (ADMA) inhibit NO synthase activity. We hypothesized that ADMA and l-NMMA compromise the integrity of the glomerular filtration barrier via NO depletion. We studied the effect of ADMA on albumin permeability (Palb) in isolated glomeruli and examined whether this effect involves NO- and superoxide (O2•–)-dependent mechanisms. ADMA at concentrations found in circulation of patients with CKD decreased cGMP and increased Palb in a dose-dependent manner. A similar increase in Palb was caused by l-NMMA but at a concentration two orders of magnitude higher than that of ADMA. NO donor DETA-NONOate or cGMP analog abrogated the effect of ADMA on Palb. The SOD mimetic tempol or the NAD(P)H oxidase inhibitor apocynin also prevented the ADMA-induced increase in Palb. The NO-independent soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) activator BAY 41–2272, at concentrations that increased glomerular cGMP production, attenuated the ADMA-induced increase in Palb. Furthermore, sGC incapacitation by the heme site-selective inhibitor ODQ increased Palb. We conclude that ADMA compromises the integrity of the filtration barrier by altering the bioavailability of NO and O2•– and that NO-independent activation of sGC preserves the integrity of this barrier under conditions of NO depletion. NO-independent activation of sGS may be a useful pharmacotherapeutic approach for preservation of glomerular function in CKD thereby reducing the risk for cardiovascular events.

  B Lu , N Congdon , X Liu , K Choi , D. S. C Lam , M Zhang , M Zheng , Z Zhou , L Li , A Sharma and Y. Song

Objective  To study the associations between near work, outdoor activity, and myopia among children attending secondary school in rural China.

Methods  Among a random cluster sample of 1892 children in Xichang, China, subjects with an uncorrected acuity of 6/12 or less in either eye (n = 984) and a 25% sample of children with normal vision (n = 248) underwent measurement of refractive error. Subjects were administered a questionnaire on parental education, time spent outdoors, and weekly time spent engaged in and preferred working distance for a variety of near-work activities.

Results  Among 1232 children with refraction data, 998 (81.0%) completed the near-work survey. Their mean age was 14.6 years (SD, 0.8 years), 55.6% were girls, and 83.1% had myopia of –0.5 diopters or less (more myopia) in both eyes. Time and diopter-hours spent on near activities did not differ between children with and without myopia. In regression models, time spent on near activities and time outdoors were unassociated with myopia, adjusting for age, sex, and parental education.

Conclusions  These and other recent results raise some doubts about the association between near work and myopia. Additional efforts to identify other environmental factors associated with myopia risk and that may be amenable to intervention are warranted.

  M Zhang , N Congdon , L Li , Y Song , K Choi , Y Wang , Z Zhou , X Liu , A Sharma , W Chen and D. S. C. Lam

Objective  To study the effect of myopia and spectacle wear on bicycle-related injuries in rural Chinese students. Myopia is common among Chinese students but few studies have examined its effect on daily activities.

Methods  Data on visual acuity, refractive error, current spectacle wear, and history of bicycle use and accidents during the past 3 years were sought from 1891 students undergoing eye examinations in rural Guangdong province.

Results  Refractive and accident data were available for 1539 participants (81.3%), among whom the mean age was 14.6 years, 52.5% were girls, 26.8% wore glasses, and 12.9% had myopia of less than –4 diopters in both eyes. More than 90% relied on bicycles to get to school daily. A total of 2931 accidents were reported by 423 participants, with 68 requiring medical attention. Male sex (odds ratio, 1.55; P < .001) and spectacle wear (odds ratio, 1.38; P = .04) were associated with a higher risk of accident, but habitual visual acuity and myopia were unassociated with the crash risk, after adjusting for age, sex, time spent riding, and risky riding behaviors.

Conclusion  These results may be consistent with data on motor vehicle accidents implicating peripheral vision (potentially compromised by spectacle wear) more strongly than central visual acuity in mediating crash risk.

  Z Zhou , T. P McDade , J. P Simons , S. C Ng , L. A Lambert , G. F Whalen , S. A Shah and J. F. Tseng

Objective  To evaluate the effect of surgical resection and radiotherapy (RT) in retroperitoneal or abdominal sarcoma.

Design  Retrospective cohort.

Setting  Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results, 1988-2005.

Patients  Patients 18 years or older with initial diagnosis of primary retroperitoneal and nonvisceral abdominal sarcoma.

Main Outcome Measures  Survival for 2 years after diagnosis. Kaplan-Meier survival was stratified based on surgery and RT status. Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess adjusted effects of surgery and RT on survival in patients with locoregional disease.

Results  Of 1901 patients with locoregional disease, 1547 (81.8%) underwent resection; 447 (23.5%) received RT. Overall, patients who received both surgery and RT demonstrated improved survival compared with patients who underwent either therapy alone; patients undergoing monotherapy in turn had more favorable survival compared with patients who received neither therapy (P < .001, log rank). Cox analysis demonstrated that surgical resection (hazard ratio [HR], 0.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.21-0.29; P < .001) and RT (0.78; 0.63-0.95; P = .01) independently predicted improved survival in locoregional disease only. In adjusted analyses stratified for American Joint Commission on Cancer (AJCC) stage, for stage I disease (n = 694), RT provided an additional benefit (HR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.25-0.96; P = .04) independent of that from resection (0.35; 0.21-0.58; P < .001). For stage II/III (n = 552), resection remained protective (HR, 0.24; 95% CI, 0.18-0.32; P < .001); however, RT was no longer associated with a significant benefit (0.78; 0.58-1.06; P = .11).

Conclusions  In a national cohort of retroperitoneal and abdominal sarcomas, surgical resection was associated with significant survival benefits for AJCC disease stages I to III. Radiotherapy provided additional benefit for patients with stage I disease. Resection should be offered to reasonable surgical candidates with nonmetastatic retroperitoneal/abdominal sarcomas; radiotherapy may most benefit patients with early-stage disease.

  L Peng , Y. L Ran , H Hu , L Yu , Q Liu , Z Zhou , Y. M Sun , L. C Sun , J Pan , L. X Sun , P Zhao and Z. H. Yang

The purpose of this study was to investigate invasion- and metastasis-related genes in gastric cancer. To this end, we used the transwell system to select a highly invasive subcell line from minimally invasive parent cells and compared gene expression in paired cell lines with high- and low-invasive potentials. Lysyl oxidase-like 2 (LOXL2) was overexpressed in the highly invasive subcell line. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that LOXL2 expression was markedly increased in carcinoma relative to normal epithelia, and this overexpression in primary tumor was significantly associated with depth of tumor invasion, lymph node metastasis and poorer overall survival. Moreover, LOXL2 expression was further increased in lymph node metastases compared with primary cancer tissues. RNA interference-mediated knockdown and ectopic expression of LOXL2 showed that LOXL2 promoted tumor cell invasion in vitro and increased gastric carcinoma metastasis in vivo. Subsequent mechanistic studies showed that LOXL2 could activate both the Snail/E-cadherin and Src kinase/Focal adhesion kinase (Src/FAK) pathways. However, secreted LOXL2 induced gastric tumor cell invasion and metastasis exclusively via the Src/FAK pathway. Expression correlation analysis in gastric carcinoma tissues also revealed that LOXL2 promoted invasion via the Src/FAK pathway but not the Snail/E-cadherin pathway. We then evaluated secreted LOXL2 as a target for gastric carcinoma treatment and found that an antibody against LOXL2 significantly inhibited tumor growth and metastasis. Overall, our data revealed that LOXL2 overexpression, a frequent event in gastric carcinoma progression, contributes to tumor cell invasion and metastasis, and LOXL2 may be a therapeutic target for preventing and treating metastases.

  P Subramanian , E Karshovska , P Reinhard , R. T. A Megens , Z Zhou , S Akhtar , U Schumann , X Li , M van Zandvoort , C Ludin , C Weber and A. Schober

Rationale: The chemokine CXCL12 (CXC motif ligand 12) and its receptor CXCR 4 (CXC motif receptor 4) direct the recruitment of smooth muscle progenitor cells (SPCs) in neointima formation after vascular injury. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) induces CXCL12 and neointimal accumulation of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) in uninjured arteries. Thus, we hypothesize that LPA may regulate CXCL12-mediated vascular remodelling.

Objectives: We evaluated the role of LPA receptors in initiating CXCL12-dependent vascular repair by SPCs.

Methods and Results: Wire-induced carotid injury was performed in apolipoprotein E–/– mice on western-type diet. LPA receptor expression was studied by immunostaining and quantitative RT-PCR. LPA receptors LPA1 and LPA3 were detected in the media of uninjured arteries and in the injury-induced neointima. LPA3 mRNA was upregulated and LPA1 mRNA downregulated at one week after injury. The LPA1/3 antagonist Ki16425 inhibited neointima formation by 71% and reduced both relative neointimal SMCs and the macrophage content. Additionally, neointimal hypoxia-inducible factor-1 and CXCL12 expression, the injury-induced peripheral stem cell antigen-1 (Sca-1)+/Lin SPC mobilization, and the neointimal recruitment of Sca-1+SMCs were inhibited by Ki16425. In wild type mice, LPA20:4 increased CXCL12 and hypoxia-inducible factor-1 expression in carotid arteries as early as 1 day following short-term endoluminal incubation. LPA20:4-induced SPC mobilization and neointima formation were blocked by Ki16425, LPA1- and LPA3-specific small interfering (si)RNA, and the CXCR4 antagonist POL5551. Ki16425 reduced LPA20:4-mediated neointimal recruitment of SPC as demonstrated by 2-photon microscopy in bone marrow chimeric mice after repopulation with SM22-LacZ transgenic, hematopoietic cells. Moreover, POL5551 decreased the neointimal accumulation of CXCR4+ SMCs.

Conclusions: LPA1 and LPA3 promote neointima formation through activation of CXCL12-mediated mobilization and recruitment of SPCs.

  L Hou , M Deo , P Furspan , S. V Pandit , S Mironov , D. S Auerbach , Q Gong , Z Zhou , O Berenfeld and J. Jalife

The rapid delayed rectifier potassium current, IKr, which flows through the human ether-a-go-go-related (hERG) channel, is a major determinant of the shape and duration of the human cardiac action potential (APD). However, it is unknown whether the time dependency of IKr enables it to control APD, conduction velocity (CV), and wavelength (WL) at the exceedingly high activation frequencies that are relevant to cardiac reentry and fibrillation.


To test the hypothesis that upregulation of hERG increases functional reentry frequency and contributes to its stability.

Methods and Results:

Using optical mapping, we investigated the effects of IKr upregulation on reentry frequency, APD, CV, and WL in neonatal rat ventricular myocyte (NRVM) monolayers infected with GFP (control), hERG (IKr), or dominant negative mutant hERG G628S. Reentry frequency was higher in the IKr-infected monolayers (21.12±0.8 Hz; n=43 versus 9.21±0.58 Hz; n=16; P<0.001) but slightly reduced in G628S-infected monolayers. APD80 in the IKr-infected monolayers was shorter (>50%) than control during pacing at 1 to 5 Hz. CV was similar in both groups at low frequency pacing. In contrast, during high-frequency reentry, the CV measured at varying distances from the center of rotation was significantly faster in IKr-infected monolayers than controls. Simulations using a modified NRVM model predicted that rotor acceleration was attributable, in part, to a transient hyperpolarization immediately following the AP. The transient hyperpolarization was confirmed experimentally.


hERG overexpression dramatically accelerates reentry frequency in NRVM monolayers. Both APD and WL shortening, together with transient hyperpolarization, underlies the increased rotor frequency and stability.

  S Zheng , W Li , M Xu , X Bai , Z Zhou , J Han , J. Y. J Shyy and X. Wang

Ischemia induces angiogenesis as a compensatory response. Although ischemia is known to causes synthesis and release of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), it is not clear whether CGRP regulates angiogenesis under ischemia and how does it function. Thus we investigated the role of CGRP in angiogenesis and the involved mechanisms. We found that CGRP level was increased in the rat hindlimb ischemic tissue. The expression of exogenous CGRP by adenovirus vectors enhanced blood flow recovery and increased capillary density in ischemic hindlimbs. In vitro, CGRP promoted human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) tube formation and migration. Further more, CGRP activated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) both in vivo and in vitro, and pharmacological inhibition of CGRP and cAMP attenuated the CGRP-activated AMPK in vitro. CGRP also induced endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) phosphorylation in HUVECs at Ser1177 and Ser633 in a time-dependent manner, and such effects were abolished by AMPK inhibitor Compound C. As well, Compound C blocked CGRP-enhanced HUVEC tube formation and migration. These findings indicate that CGRP promotes angiogenesis by activating the AMPK-eNOS pathway in endothelial cells.

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