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Articles by L Xie
Total Records ( 8 ) for L Xie
  Q Feng , Z Fang , Z Yan , R Xing , L Xie and R. Zhang

We previously identified a matrix protein, MSI7, from pearl oyster Pinctada fucata. According to the structural analysis, the DGD site in the N-terminal of MSI7 is crucial for its role in the shell formation. In this study, we expressed a series of recombinant MSI7 proteins, including the wild-type and several mutants directed at the DGD site, using an Escherichia coli expression system to reveal the structure–function relationship of MSI7. Furthermore, in vitro crystallization, crystallization speed assay, and circular dichroism spectrometry were carried out. Results indicated that wild-type MSI7 could induce the nucleation of aragonite and inhibit the crystallization of calcite. However, none of the mutants could induce the nucleation of aragonite, but all of them could inhibit the crystallization of calcite to some extent. And all the proteins accelerated the crystallization process. Taken together, the results indicated that MSI7 could contribute to aragonite crystallization by inducing the nucleation of aragonite and inhibiting the crystallization of calcite, which agrees with our prediction about its role in the nacreous layer formation of the shell. The DGD site was critical for the induction of the nucleation of aragonite.

  L Xie and P. E. Bourne

Functional relationships between proteins that do not share global structure similarity can be established by detecting their ligand-binding-site similarity. For a large-scale comparison, it is critical to accurately and efficiently assess the statistical significance of this similarity. Here, we report an efficient statistical model that supports local sequence order independent ligand–binding-site similarity searching. Most existing statistical models only take into account the matching vertices between two sites that are defined by a fixed number of points. In reality, the boundary of the binding site is not known or is dependent on the bound ligand making these approaches limited. To address these shortcomings and to perform binding-site mapping on a genome-wide scale, we developed a sequence-order independent profile–profile alignment (SOIPPA) algorithm that is able to detect local similarity between unknown binding sites a priori. The SOIPPA scoring integrates geometric, evolutionary and physical information into a unified framework. However, this imposes a significant challenge in assessing the statistical significance of the similarity because the conventional probability model that is based on fixed-point matching cannot be applied. Here we find that scores for binding-site matching by SOIPPA follow an extreme value distribution (EVD). Benchmark studies show that the EVD model performs at least two-orders faster and is more accurate than the non-parametric statistical method in the previous SOIPPA version. Efficient statistical analysis makes it possible to apply SOIPPA to genome-based drug discovery. Consequently, we have applied the approach to the structural genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to construct a protein–ligand interaction network. The network reveals highly connected proteins, which represent suitable targets for promiscuous drugs.


  Q ZhuGe , M Zhong , W Zheng , G. Y Yang , X Mao , L Xie , G Chen , Y Chen , M. T Lawton , W. L Young , D. A Greenberg and K. Jin

A role for the Notch signalling pathway in the formation of arteriovenous malformations during development has been suggested. However, whether Notch signalling is involved in brain arteriovenous malformations in humans remains unclear. Here, we performed immunohistochemistry on surgically resected brain arteriovenous malformations and found that, compared with control brain vascular tissue, Notch-1 signalling was activated in smooth muscle and endothelial cells of the lesional tissue. Western blotting showed an activated form of Notch-1 in brain arteriovenous malformations, irrespective of clinical presentation and with or without preoperative embolization, but not in normal cerebral vessels from controls. In addition, the Notch-1 ligands Jagged-1 and Delta-like-4 and the downstream Notch-1 target Hes-1 were increased in abundance and activated in human brain arteriovenous malformations. Finally, increased angiogenesis was found in adult rats treated with a Notch-1 activator. Our findings suggest that activation of Notch-1 signalling is a phenotypic feature of brain arteriovenous malformations, and that activation of Notch-1 in normal vasculature induces a pro-angiogenic state, which may contribute to the development of vascular malformations.

  P Ouyang , Y Jiang , H. M Doan , L Xie , D Vasquez , R Welti , X Su , N Lu , B Herndon , S. S Yang , R Jeannotte and W. Wang

Exercise has been linked to a reduced cancer risk in animal models. However, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. This study assessed the effect of exercise with dietary consideration on the phospholipid profile in 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)–induced mouse skin tissues. CD-1 mice were randomly assigned to one of the three groups: ad libitum–fed sedentary control; ad libitum–fed treadmill exercise at 13.4 m/min for 60 min/d, 5 d/wk (Ex+AL); and treadmill-exercised but pair-fed with the same amount as the control (Ex+PF). After 14 weeks, Ex+PF but not Ex+AL mice showed ~25% decrease in both body weight and body fat when compared with the controls. Of the total 338 phospholipids determined by electrospray ionization–tandem mass spectrometry, 57 were significantly changed, and 25 species could distinguish effects of exercise and diet treatments in a stepwise discriminant analysis. A 36% to 75% decrease of phosphatidylinositol (PI) levels in Ex+PF mice occurred along with a significant reduction of PI 3-kinase in TPA-induced skin epidermis, as measured by both Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. In addition, ~2-fold increase of the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, docosahexaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids, in phosphatidylcholines, phosphatidylethanolamines, and lysophosphatidylethanolamines was observed in the Ex+PF group. Microarray analysis indicated that the expression of fatty acid elongase-1 increased. Taken together, these data indicate that exercise with controlled dietary intake, but not exercise alone, significantly reduced body weight and body fat as well as modified the phospholipid profile, which may contribute to cancer prevention by reducing TPA-induced PI 3-kinase and by enhancing -3 fatty acid elongation. Cancer Prev Res; 3(4); 466–77

  P O'Kane , L Xie , Z Liu , L Queen , G Jackson , Y Ji and A. Ferro

Acute administration of aspirin increases nitric oxide (NO) synthesis by platelets, an effect not shared by other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The aim of the present study was to determine the mechanism by which aspirin acutely increases the activity of NO synthase type 3 (NOS-3), the predominant NOS isoform expressed by platelets, and specifically whether this occurs through an increase in its acetylation.

Methods and results

Platelets isolated from the blood of healthy human subjects were exposed in vitro to vehicle or aspirin at different concentrations (5 µmol/L–4 mmol/L). Changes in intraplatelet Ca2+ concentration were determined from fura-2 fluorescence. Following immunoprecipitation of NOS-3 from platelet lysates, its activity was determined from l-[3H]arginine to l-[3H]citrulline conversion, and its serine phosphorylation quantified by western blotting. Acetylation of NOS-3 in platelets was assessed by the incorporation of radioactivity into the immunoprecipitated enzyme from [acetyl-14C]aspirin. Following transfection of HeLa cells with NOS-3, NO biosynthesis in response to aspirin was determined from cyclic GMP measurement, and sites of NOS-3 acetylation were ascertained by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. At all concentrations tested, aspirin increased the activity of NOS-3 from platelets. This was not associated with any measurable change in intraplatelet Ca2+ concentration. Serine phosphorylation of NOS-3 in platelets was decreased, and this was especially marked for serine-1177 phosphorylation, whereas acetylation of NOS-3 was increased, by aspirin incubation. HeLa cells transfected with NOS-3 exhibited an increase in NO biosynthesis following aspirin exposure, and this was associated with acetylation of the enzyme on both serine-765 and serine-771.


Aspirin acetylates NOS-3 acutely in platelets, and this causes an increase in its activity as well as a decrease in its phosphorylation. It is also possible that aspirin indirectly affects NOS-3 activity by acetylating other substrates within the platelet, but this remains to be determined.

  L Xie , R Ma , C Han , K Su , Q Zhang , T Qiu , L Wang , G Huang , J Qiao , J Wang and J. Cheng

Sperm screening is an essential step in in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures. The swim-up method, an assay for sperm motility, is used clinically to select the ideal sperm for subsequent manipulation. However, additional parameters, including acrosome reaction capability, chemotaxis, and thermotaxis, are also important indicators of mammalian sperm health. To monitor both sperm motility and chemotaxis simultaneously during sperm screening, we designed and constructed a microdevice comprising a straight channel connected with a bibranch channel that mimics the mammalian female reproductive tract.


The width and length of the straight channel were optimized to select the motile sperms. We selectively cultured cumulus cells in the bibranch channel to generate a chemoattractant-forming chemical gradient. Sperm chemotaxis was represented by the ratio of the sperm swimming toward different branches.


The percentage of motile sperms improved from 58.5% (3.8%) to 82.6% (2.9%) by a straight channel 7 mm in length and 1 mm in width. About 10% of sperms were found to be chemotactically responsive in our experiment, which is consistent with previous studies.


For the first time, we achieved the combined evaluation of both sperm motility and chemotaxis. The motile and chemotactically responsive sperms can easily be enriched on a lab-on-a-chip device to improve IVF outcome.

  L Xie , P. G Frank , M. P Lisanti and G. Sowa

The goal of this study was to determine whether caveolin-2 (Cav-2) is capable of controlling endothelial cell (EC) proliferation in vitro. To realize this goal, we have directly compared proliferation rates and cell cycle-associated signaling proteins between lung ECs isolated from wild-type (WT) and Cav-2 knockout (KO) mice. Using three independent proliferation assays, we have determined that Cav-2 KO ECs proliferate by ca. 2-fold faster than their WT counterparts. Cell cycle analysis by flow cytometry of propidium iodide-stained cells showed a relatively higher percentage of Cav-2 KO ECs in S and G2/M and lower percentage in Go/G1 phases of cell cycle relative to their WT counterparts. Furthermore, an over 2-fold increase in the percentage of S phase-associated Cav-2 KO relative to WT ECs was independently determined with bromodeoxyuridine incorporation assay. Mechanistically, the increase in proliferation/cell cycle progression of Cav-2 KO ECs correlated well with elevated expression levels of predominantly S phase- and G2/M phase-associated cyclin A and B1, respectively. Further mechanistic analysis of molecular events controlling cell cycle progression revealed increased level of hyperphosphorylated (inactive) form of G1 to S phase transition inhibitor, the retinoblastoma protein in hyperproliferating Cav-2 KO ECs. Conversely, the expression level of the two cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p16INK4 and p27Kip1 was reduced in Cav-2 KO ECs. Finally, increased phosphorylation (activation) of proproliferative extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 was observed in hyperproliferating Cav-2 KO ECs. Overall, our data suggest that Cav-2 negatively regulates lung EC proliferation and cell cycle progression.

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