[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rabies is a major public-health problem in developing countries such as China. Although the recent re-emergence of human rabies in China was noted in several epidemiological studies, little attention was paid to the reasons behind this phenomenon paralleling the findings of the previous reports. The purpose of this study is thus first to characterize the current trends of human rabies in China from 1990 to 2007, and then to define better recommendations for improving the post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) schedules delivered to rabies patients.
The most updated epidemiological data for 22527 human rabies cases from January 1990 to July 2007, retrieved from the surveillance database of reportable diseases managed by the Ministry of Health of China, were analysed. To investigate the efficiency for the post-exposure treatment of rabies, the details of 244 rabies patients, including their anti-rabies treatment of injuries or related incidents, were ascertained in Guangdong provincial jurisdiction. The risk factors to which the patients were predisposed or the regimens given to 80 patients who received any type of PEP were analysed to identify the reasons for the PEP failures.
The results from analysis of the large number of human rabies cases showed that rabies in China was largely under control during the period 1990-1996. However, there has been a large jump in the number of reported rabies cases since 2001 up to a new peak (with an incidence rate of 0.20 per 100000 people) that was reached in 2004, and where the level has remained until present. Then, we analysed the PEP in 244 rabies cases collected in the Guangdong province in 2003 and 2004, and found that 67.2% of the patients did not seek medical services or did not receive any PEP. Further analysis of PEP for the 80 rabies patients who received any type of PEP indicated that almost all of the patients did not receive proper or timely treatment on the wounds or post-exposure vaccination or rabies immunoglobulins.
While the issue of under-reporting of rabies in previous years may well be a factor in the apparent upwards trend of human rabies in recent years, the analysis of PEP in the Guangdong province provides evidence that suggests that the failure to receive PEP was a major factor in the number of human cases in China. Thus, the data underline the need for greatly improved availability and timely application of high-quality anti-rabies biologicals, both vaccines and immunoglobulins, in the treatment of human bite victims. Controlling dog rabies through pet vaccination schemes may also play a huge role in reducing the rate of human exposure. Education of the public, health care staff and veterinarians will also help to change the current situation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has been controlled, the subsequently emerging sporadic cases in 2004 emphasize the necessity of developing a rapid diagnostic method, which would be of great help in clinical diagnosis and also wild host screening. This study aims to establish an effective and rapid serological tool for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV by comparison among whole viral, N and N199 proteins by ELISA.
SARS-CoV N and N199 (a truncated nucleocapsid gene) genes were cloned, expressed, identified by Western blotting, and applied in screening of human and swine samples. Sera of SARS convalescent-phase patients, normal human sera, sera of patients with other respiratory diseases, and swine sera were screened by ELISA, with whole SARS-CoV F69, N and N199 proteins as antigens.
The sensitivity and specificity of N and N199 proteins in human sera diagnosis were approximate (P = 0.743), which was higher than whole viral protein but the difference was not significant (P = 0.234). The N199 protein proved to be more specific in swine sera screening than whole viral and N protein (P < 0.001).
N199 protein is feasible in both clinical diagnosis and SARS-CoV reservoir screening.
Chinese medical journal 12/2007; 120(24):2195-9. · 1.02 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine whether the surviving mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the testis after transplantation can differentiate into quasi-sperm.
(1) Making an animal model with sterilized testes. Forty 4-week old white male BASB/C mice were used to establish an animal model with sterilized testes and divided randomly into an experimental and a control group. (2) Cell preparation. The MSCs from 10 gray male 129-mice were isolated, cultured and purified by Percoll density gradient centrifugation combined with the adherent method. When the MSCs grew to an adequate number, they were made into a cell suspension with NS at a concentration of 1 million cells/ml. (3) Xenogeneic transplantation of the MSCs into the testis. The MSC suspension was blindly injected into the testes of the mice in the experimental group and NS into the testes of the controls. (4) Post-transplantation observation. Forty white female BASB/C mice were adopted, each put into a box with a male mouse from the experimental group or the control group, and then observed for pregnancy.
In the experimental group, 8 cases of pregnancy (40%) were observed at 31-46 d (38.5 d on average), the offspring all white. In the control group, only 1 case of pregnancy (5%) was seen at 45 d, the offspring all white, too. It was suggested that the MSCs of the 129-mice failed to differentiate into functional quasi-sperm and pass their genes to their offspring, as would expectedly have been presented by a mixture of black and white. The pregnancy rates of the two groups were significantly different (P < 0.05), which indicated that MSCs could promote the healing of the testis damage.
MSCs cannot differentiate into quasi-sperm after heterogeneity transplantation into the testis, but can promote the healing of the testis damage.
Zhonghua nan ke xue = National journal of andrology 04/2007; 13(4):309-11.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To use the tyrosinase minigene as a visual marker to perform microinjection training and improve the techniques related with transgene to greatly elevate the efficiency of gene transfer.
A mouse tyrosinase minigene, i.e., TyBS, in which the 2.25-kb authentic genomic 5' non-coding flanking sequence of mouse tyrosinase was fused to a mouse tyrosinase cDNA, was introduced into the fertilized eggs of outbred Kunming albino mice.
Of the 11 animals that developed from the injected eggs, two mice (P1 and #8) exhibited pigmented hair (P1) and eyes (P1 and #8), as confirmed by PCR analysis for the tyrosinase minigene integrated into the genome. When founder P1 was bred to Kunming male mouse, six progeny out of 11 offspring inherited the transgene and the pigmented-eye phenotype.
Taken together, these results suggest that this minigene encodes the active tyrosinase protein and that its 5' flanking region contains the sequences regulating the expression of mouse tyrosinase gene as expected. We have rescued the albino phenotype by introduction and expression of a functional tyrosinase minigene in the Kunming albino mouse and the transgene can be passed to subsequent generation. These findings also indicate that TyBS can be a useful visual marker gene in the co-transgenic experiments.
World Journal of Gastroenterology 02/2007; 13(2):244-9. · 2.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To explore the methods of making an animal model with sterilized testes.
(1) X-ray local irradiation. Seventy 8-10-week-old male mice were equally divided into 6 experiment groups and a control group. The testes of the mice in the 6 experiment groups were irradiated sequentially by 1000, 1200, 1400, 1600, 1800 and 2000 cGy X-ray for 10 minutes, while those in the control group remained untreated. And then the pregnancy test was performed. (2) Cyclophosphamide injection. Forty 4-5-week-old male mice were divided into 3 experiment groups and a control group, the former treated with different doses of Cyclophosphamide via ip and the latter Natiichloridi Saline (N.S.) via i.p., followed by the pregnancy test. (3) Diphereline injection. Twenty 8-10-week-old male mice were equally divided into an experiment group and a control group, the former treated with Diphereline via ip and the latter N.S. via i.p., followed by the pregnancy test. (4) Identification by such pathologic examinations as TUNE1. technology, HE staining and immunohistochemical staining.
(1) X-ray local irradiation. The male mice of Group 1 and 2 made their female partners pregnant respectively 10 and 15 days after the X-ray irradiation, but not those of Group 3 and 4 in our 3-month observation, and those of Group 5 and 6 died respectively 2 and 5 days after the X-ray irradiation. By comparison, the controls got their female partners pregnant within 3 days after placed together. (2) Cyclophosphamide injection. The male mice of Group 1 gained weight about 7 g and achieved pregnancy 9-14 days after drug termination, those of Group 2 gained around 4 g but failed to effect pregnancy, and those in Group 3 lost weight and died respective at 3, 4 and 5 weeks during the medication, while the controls all got their female partners pregnant within 3 days after put together. (3) Diphereline injection. The 10 male mice of the experiment group effected pregnancy 3 weeks after drug termination, while the 10 controls achieved the same result with 3 days after placed together. (4) Pathologic identification: TUNEL technology showed that apoptotic cells were occasionally seen (0.71 +/- 0.12)% in the testis tissue of the control group and remarkably increased (10.36 +/- 1.48)% in the model group, with significant difference between the two groups (P < 0.05). HE staining revealed normal testis tissues and convoluted seminiferous tubules with large numbers of germ cells in the control group, but atrophied convoluted seminiferous tubules and estranged cell linkage with only Ledig's cells but no germ cells in the model group. Immunohistochemical staining showed that the positive expression rates of CD29, Hsp90alpha and CD117 were respectively (50.30 +/- 5.2)%, (41.6 +/- 3.5)% and (73.6 +/- 3.7)% in the control group, as compared with (1.3 +/- 0.2)%, 0% and (1.6 +/- 0.3)% in the model group, with significant difference (P < 0.01). The positive expression rate of p53 was (19.7 +/- 0.8)% in the control group, significantly different from that of the model group, which was (39.4 +/- 2.9)% (P < 0.01).
The animal model with sterilized testes can be made either by X-ray local irradiation of the testis or by Cyclophosphamide injection via i.p..
Zhonghua nan ke xue = National journal of andrology 02/2007; 13(2):125-9.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The resurgence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is still a threat because the causative agent remaining in animal reservoirs is not fully understood, and sporadic cases continue to be reported. Developing high titers of anti-SARS hyperimmune globulin to provide an alternative pathway for emergent future prevention and treatment of SARS.
SARS coronavirus (CoV)F69 (AY313906) and Z2-Y3 (AY394989) were isolated and identified from 2 different Cantonese onset SARS patients. Immunogen was prepared from SARS-CoV F69 strain. Six health horses were immunized 4 times and serum was collected periodically to measure the profile of specific IgG and neutralizing antibodies using indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a microneutralization test. Sera were collected in large amounts at the peak, where IgG was precipitated using ammonium sulphate and subsequently digested with pepsin. The product was then purified using anion-exchange chromatography to obtain F(ab')2 fragments.
The specific IgG and neutralizing antibody titers peaked at approximately week 7 after the first immunization, with a maximum value of 1:14210. The sera collected at the peak were then purified. Fragment of approximately 15 g F(ab')2 was obtained from 1litre antiserum and the purity was above 90% with the titer of 1:5120, which could neutralize the other strain (SARS-CoV Z2-Y3) as well.
This research provides a viable strategy for the prevention and treatment of SARS coronavirus infection with equine hyperimmune globulin, with the purpose of combating any resurgence of SARS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The non-structural proteins (nsp or replicase proteins) of coronaviruses are relatively conserved and can be effective targets for drugs. Few studies have been conducted into the function of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) nsp5. In this study, bioinformatics methods were employed to predict the secondary structure and construct 3-D models of the SARS-CoV GD strain nsp5. Sequencing and sequential comparison was performed to analyze the mutation trend of the polymerase nsp5 gene during the epidemic process using a nucleotide-nucleotide basic local alignment search tool (BLASTN) and a protein-protein basic local alignment search tool (BLASTP). The results indicated that the nsp5 gene was steady during the epidemic process and the protein was homologous with other coronavirus nsp5 proteins. The protein encoded by the nsp5 gene was expressed in COS-7 cells and analyzed by sodium dodecylsulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). This study provided the foundation for further exploration of the protein's biological function, and contributed to the search for anti-SARS-CoV drugs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To study transplantation of mouse bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into the xenogeneic testis.
(1) The tibias and femurs were dissected from 5-6-week-old mice. The marrow in the tibias and femurs was flushed out with medium. MSCs were isolated, cultured and purified in vitro by Percoll density gradient centrifugation combined with adherent method. (2) MSCs of the third generation were adopted and marked with Hoechest33342 for observation, and then made into cell-suspending fluid. (3) The marked MSCs were transplanted into the testis of the xenogeneic mouse by testis net injection. The biopsies of the testis tissues were carried out at different time and made into frost slices at three sites for observation.
(1) A lot of purified MSCs were obtained at the third generation. (2) The nucleoli of the marked MSCs showed light-yellow under the fluoroscope. (3) Xenogeneic transplantation of mouse bone marrow MSCs by testis net injection was successful, without immunoreaction. On the 1 st day after transplantation, MSCs only concentratively distributed in the medial slices, the nucleoli being light-yellow; On the 1 st and 3 rd day, MSCs dispersively distributed in the medial slices; On the 6th, 9th and 12th day, MSCs presented in all the slices of the three sites, some ranging tubally; On the 15th and 18th day, the fluorescence of MSCs weakened; On the 21 st day, the fluorescence of MSCs disappeared.
Transplantation of mouse bone marrow MSCs into the xenogeneic testis by testis net injection is effective and feasible, without immunoreaction. MSCs can survive after transplantation.
Zhonghua nan ke xue = National journal of andrology 08/2005; 11(7):499-502.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To translate Tet-on system into a conditional mouse model, in which hepatitis B or C virus (HBV or HCV) gene could be spatiotemporally expressed to overcome "immune tolerance" formed during the embryonic development and "immune escape" against hepatitis virus antigen(s), an effector mouse, carrying the reverse tetracycline-responsive transcriptional activator (rtTA) gene under the tight control of liver-specific human apoE promoter, is required to be generated.
To address this end, rtTA fragment amplified by PCR was effectively inserted into the vector of pLiv.7 containing apoE promoter to create the rtTA expressing vector, i.e., pApoE-rtTA. ApoE-rtTA transgenic fragment (-6.9 kb) released from pApoE-rtTA was transferred into mice by pronucleus injection, followed by obtaining one transgene (+) founder animal from microinjection through PCR and Southern blot analysis.
rtTA transgene which could be transmitted to subsequent generation (F1) derived from founder was expressed in a liver-specific fashion.
Taken together, these findings demonstrate that rtTA transgenic mice, in which rtTA expression is appropriately targeted to the murine liver, are successfully produced, which lays a solid foundation to 'off-on-off' regulate expression of target gene (s) (e.g., HBV and/or HCV) in transgenic mice mediated by Tet-on system.
World Journal of Gastroenterology 06/2005; 11(19):2885-91. · 2.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The rapid transmission and high mortality rate made severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) a global threat for which no efficacious therapy is available now. Without sufficient knowledge about the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), it is impossible to define the candidate for the anti-SARS targets. The putative non-structural protein 2 (nsp2) (3CL(pro), following the nomenclature by Gao et al, also known as nsp5 in Snidjer et al) of SARS-CoV plays an important role in viral transcription and replication, and is an attractive target for anti-SARS drug development, so we carried on this study to have an insight into putative polymerase nsp2 of SARS-CoV Guangdong (GD) strain.
The SARS-CoV strain was isolated from a SARS patient in Guangdong, China, and cultured in Vero E6 cells. The nsp2 gene was amplified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and cloned into eukaryotic expression vector pCI-neo (pCI-neo/nsp2). Then the recombinant eukaryotic expression vector pCI-neo/nsp2 was transfected into COS-7 cells using lipofectin reagent to express the nsp2 protein. The expressive protein of SARS-CoV nsp2 was analyzed by 7% sodium dodecylsulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The nucleotide sequence and protein sequence of GD nsp2 were compared with that of other SARS-CoV strains by nucleotide-nucleotide basic local alignment search tool (BLASTN) and protein-protein basic local alignment search tool (BLASTP) to investigate its variance trend during the transmission. The secondary structure of GD strain and that of other strains were predicted by Garnier-Osguthorpe-Robson (GOR) Secondary Structure Prediction. Three-dimensional-PSSM Protein Fold Recognition (Threading) Server was employed to construct the three-dimensional model of the nsp2 protein.
The putative polymerase nsp2 gene of GD strain was amplified by RT-PCR. The eukaryotic expression vector (pCI-neo/nsp2) was constructed and expressed the protein in COS-7 cells successfully. The result of sequencing and sequence comparison with other SARS-CoV strains showed that nsp2 gene was relatively conservative during the transmission and total five base sites mutated in about 100 strains investigated, three of which in the early and middle phases caused synonymous mutation, and another two base sites variation in the late phase resulted in the amino acid substitutions and secondary structure changes. The three-dimensional structure of the nsp2 protein was successfully constructed.
The results suggest that polymerase nsp2 is relatively stable during the phase of epidemic. The amino acid and secondary structure change may be important for viral infection. The fact that majority of single nucleotide variations (SNVs) are predicted to cause synonymous, as well as the result of low mutation rate of nsp2 gene in the epidemic variations, indicates that the nsp2 is conservative and could be a target for anti-SARS drugs. The three-dimensional structure result indicates that the nsp2 protein of GD strain is high homologous with 3CL(pro) of SARS-CoV urbani strain, 3CL(pro) of transmissible gastroenteritis virus and 3CL(pro) of human coronavirus 229E strain, which further suggests that nsp2 protein of GD strain possesses the activity of 3CL(pro).
Chinese medical journal 06/2005; 118(9):707-13. · 1.02 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To isolate, culture and purify mouse bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and observe the main biological characteristics of MSCs cultured in conditions for spermatogonia in vitro.
The tibias and femurs were dissected from 5 - 6-week old mice and the marrow in the tibias and femurs was flushed out with medium. MSCs were isolated, cultured, purified in vitro by Percoll density gradient centrifugation combined with adherent method and identified by dynamic observation of stem cell characteristics by transmission electron microscope, HE staining, and immunohistochemical detection of cell markers. The quantities of such cytokines as IL-6, IL-8, G-CSF and SCF in culture liquid with MSCs were measured by ELISA, and compared with those of the control group. MSCs of the third generation were divided into two groups to be induced and cultured. MSCs of the control group were cultured with basal medium, while those of the experimental group with conditional medium. The results were analysed by microscopic observation, HE staining and immunohistochemical methods.
Pure MSCs were obtained. The cultured cells, with stem cell characteristics, shuttle-shaped at HE staining, immature under the transmission electron microscope and CD44 and CD90 positive by immunohistochemical detection, could be identified as MSCs. Compared with the control group, the quantities of IL-6, IL-8, G-CSF and SCF in the experimental group increased significantly (P < 0.05). The shapes of MSCs changed and immunohistochemical staining for CD27, CD119 and Oct-4 was positive in the experimental group, but both were just the opposite in the control group.
Pure MSCs can be obtained by Percoll density gradient centrifugation combined with adherent method and identified by dynamically observing stem cell characteristics, HE staining, observation under the transmission electron microscope and immunohistochemical detection of cell markers. MSCs can secrete cytokines such as IL-6, IL-8, G-CSF, SCF, and so on. MSCs cultured in conditions for spermatogonia may show some biological characteristics of spermatogonia.
Zhonghua nan ke xue = National journal of andrology 05/2005; 11(5):350-5.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus core protein (HCV-C) has been known to play an important role in hepatocarcinogenesis. But, up to now there is no certain evidence in pathomorphology directly supporting this standpoint. In this study, a human hepatocytes model expressing HCV-C was established for investigating the influence of HCV-C on hepatocytes biological properties.
The HCV-C expression plasmid, PcDNA3-C, was transfected into Chang-liver cells to establish HCV-C expressing cells. Proliferation rate and variation index of DNA content of these cells were measured by MTT and FCM. The malignant transformation of these cells was observed by electron microscope. Furthermore, these cells were subcutaneous injected into nude mice to observed their tumor genesis.
Proliferation rate and variation index of DNA content of these cells markedly increased. 10/10 of BALB/c-nu/nu nude mice generated tumors at 3 weeks after subcutaneous inoculation of the HCV-C expressing cells. And, histological structure of the tumors coincided with that of hepatocarcinoma.
The HCV-C may play a key role in hepatocarcinogenesis resulting from HCV infection.
Liver international: official journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver 03/2005; 25(1):141-7. · 4.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conditional gene expression and gene deletion are important experimental approaches for examining the functions of particular gene products in mouse models. These strategies exploiting Cre-mediated site-specific DNA recombination have been incorporated into transgenic and gene-targeting procedures to allow in vivo manipulation of DNA in embryonic stem cells (ES cells) or living animals. The Cre/lox P system has become widely used in conditional gene targeting, conditional gene repair and activation, inducible chromosome translocation, and chromosome engineering. In this project, we have employed the universal transgenic system and the liver-specific promoter system for tightly temporal and liver-specific control of Cre gene expression in mice that (1) integrates the advantages of the Tet-on gene expression system and Cre/lox P site-mediated gene activation, and (2) simplifies the scheme of animal crosses through a combination of two control elements in a single transgene. A liver-specific apoE promoter was inserted into the promoter cloning site upstream of the rtTA cassette of pCore construct to generate the transgene construct pApoErtTA-tetO-Cre, followed by demonstrating stringent regulation of doxycycline (Dox)-induced Cre-mediated recombination in the lox P-flanked transcription STOP cassette-modified BEL-7402 cells. That is to say, in the absence of Dox, the Cre gene is not expressed and will not induce site-specific recombination between two lox P sites, whereas on exposure to Dox, the Cre gene will be expressed and the recombination will occur. Together, these data indicate that the Tet-on gene expression system is able to successfully and stringently control Cre expression in vitro, which lays a solid foundation for efficient and spatio-temporal Cre gene activation in transgenic mice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The etiologic agent of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has been confirmed to be a novel coronavirus (CoV), namely SARS-CoV. Developing safe and effective SARS-CoV vaccines is essential for us to prevent the possible reemergence of its epidemic. Previous experiences indicate that inactivated vaccine is conventional and more hopeful to be successfully developed. Immunogenicity evaluation of an experimental inactivated SARS-CoV vaccine in rabbits was conducted and reported in this paper.
The large-scale cultured SARS-CoV F69 strain was inactivated with 0.4% formaldehyde and purified, then used as the immunogen combined with Freund's adjuvant. Eight adult New Zealand rabbits were immunized four times with this experimental inactivated vaccine. Twelve sets of rabbit serum were sampled from the third day to the seventy-fourth day after the first vaccination. The titers of specific anti-SARS-CoV IgG antibody were determined by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and the neutralizing antibody titers were detected with micro-cytopathic effect neutralization test.
Rapid and potent humoral immune responses were induced by the inactivated SARS-CoV vaccine in all the eight test rabbits. Titers of both specific IgG antibody and neutralizing antibody peaked at about six weeks after first vaccination, with the maximum value of 1:81 920 and 1:20 480, respectively. After that, serum antibody levels remained at a plateau or had a slight decrease, though two boosters were given in the succedent 4 to 5 weeks. Cross neutralization response existed between SARS-CoV F69 strain and Z2-Y3 strain.
The inactivated SARS-CoV vaccine made from F69 strain owns strong immunogenicity, and the cross neutralization response between the two different SARS-CoV strains gives a hint of the similar neutralizing epitopes, which provide stable bases for the development of inactivated SARS-CoV vaccines.
Chinese medical journal 12/2004; 117(11):1625-9. · 1.02 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conditional gene expression has greatly facilitated the examination of the functions of particular gene products. Using the Cre/lox P switching expression system, we plan to develop efficient conditional transgene activation of hepatitis C virus core protein (HCV-C) cDNA (nucleotide 342-914) in the transgenic mice to overcome "immune tolerance" formed during the embryonic period and "immune escape" against hepatitis virus antigen in our project. To use this system in vivo, the dormant transgenic construct, i.e., pApoE-SCS-EGFP-HCV-C, was generated using techniques of standard molecular biology. The liverspecific human apoE promoter was here used to target expression of genes of interest (EGFP and HCV-C) to murine liver. Prior to generating the transgenic mice, the availability of Cre/lox P system and construct functionality were successfully verified by a cell-free recombination system and via checking the expression of EGFP and HCV-C in the human hepatoma cells at the mRNA and protein levels. These results suggest that the Cre/lox P system could tightly control expression of EGFP and HCV-C in vitro, which laid a solid foundation to conditionally activate expression of target gene(s) in transgenic mice by Cre-mediated site-specific recombination.