Yaou Zhang

Sun Yat-Sen University, Shengcheng, Guangdong, China

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Publications (45)173.3 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Metabolic stress induces autophagy as an alternative source of energy and metabolites. Insufficient autophagy in nutrient-deprived cancer cells would be beneficial for cancer therapy. Here, we performed a functional screen in search of novel autophagy regulators from natural products. We showed that oblongifolin C (OC), a natural small molecule compound extracted from Garcinia yunnanensis Hu, is a potent autophagic flux inhibitor. Exposure to OC results in an increased number of autophagosomes and impaired degradation of SQSTM1/p62. Costaining of GFP-LC3B with LysoTracker Red or LAMP1 antibody demonstrates that autophagosome-lysosome fusion is blocked by OC treatment. Furthermore, OC inhibits lysosomal proteolytic activity by altering lysosomal acidification and downregulating the expression of lysosomal cathepsins. Importantly, OC can eliminate the tolerance of cancer cells to nutrient starvation. Starvation dramatically increases the susceptibility of cancer cells to OC-induced CASP3-dependent apoptosis in vitro. Subsequent studies in xenograft mouse model showed that OC has anticancer potency as revealed by increased staining of cleaved CASP3, LC3 puncta, and SQSTM1, as well as reduced expression of lysosomal cathepsins. Combined treatment with OC and caloric restriction potentiates anticancer efficacy of OC in vivo. Collectively, these data demonstrated that OC is a novel autophagic flux inhibitor and might be useful in anticancer therapy.
    Autophagy 02/2014; 10(5). · 12.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hypoxia activates autophagy, an evolutionarily conserved cellular catabolic process. Dysfunction in the autophagy pathway has been implicated in an increasing number of human diseases, including cancer. Hypoxia induces upregulation of a specific set of microRNAs (miRNAs) in a variety of cell types. Here, we describe hypoxia-induced MIR155 as a potent inducer of autophagy. Enforced expression of MIR155 increases autophagic activity in human nasopharyngeal cancer and cervical cancer cells. Knocking down endogenous MIR155 inhibits hypoxia-induced autophagy. We demonstrated that MIR155 targets multiple players in MTOR signaling, including RHEB, RICTOR, and RPS6KB2. MIR155 suppresses target-gene expression by directly interacting with their 3' untranslated regions (UTRs), mutations of the binding sites abolish their MIR155 responsiveness. Furthermore, by downregulating MTOR signaling, MIR155 also attenuates cell proliferation and induces G 1/S cell cycle arrest. Collectively, these data present a new role for MIR155 as a key regulator of autophagy via dysregulation of MTOR pathway.
    Autophagy 11/2013; 10(1). · 12.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: One criterion for microRNA identification is based on their conservation across species, and prediction of miRNA targets by empirical approaches using computational analysis relies on the presence of conservative mRNA 3'UTR. Because most miRNA target sites identified are highly conserved across different species, it is not clear whether miRNA targeting is species-specific. To predict miRNAs targeting, we aligned all available fibronectin 3'UTRs and observed significant conservation of all 20 species. Twelve miRNAs were predicted to target most fibronectin 3'UTRs, but rodent fibronectin showed potential binding sites specific for five different miRNAs. One of them, the miR-378a-5p, contained a complete matching seed-region for all rodent fibronectin, which could not be found in any other species. We designed experiments to test whether the species-specific targeting possessed biological function and found that expression of miR-378a-5p decreased cancer cell proliferation, migration, invasion, resulting in inhibition of tumor growth. Silencing fibronectin expression produced similar effects as miR-378a-5p, while transfection with a construct targeting miR-378-5p produced opposite results. Tumor formation assay showed that enhanced expression of fibronectin in the stromal tissues as a background environment suppressed tumor growth, while increased fibronectin expression inside the tumor cells promoted tumor growth. This was likely due to the different signaling direction, either inside-out or outside-in signal. Our results demonstrated that species-specific targeting by miRNA could also exert functional effects. Thus, one layer of regulation has been added to the complex network of miRNA signaling.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 09/2013; · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Versican is highly expressed during the early stages of tissue development and its expression is elevated during wound repair and tumor growth. There is little literature on the potential role of breast cancer stem cells on the cellular-extracellular matrix interactions involving versican. An anti-versican shRNA was used to observe the effect of reduction of versican on breast cancer self-renewal. A versican G3 construct was exogenously expressed in breast cancer cell lines. Colony formation and mammosphere formation assays were performed; flow cytometry was applied to analyze the prevalence of side population (SP) cells. The versican G3- and vector-transfected 66c14 cells were injected transdermally into BALB/c mice as a 10-fold dilution series from 1 x 105 to 1 x 102 cells per mouse. Versican G3 domain enhanced breast cancer self-renewal in both experimental in vitro and in vivo models. Versican G3 transfected cells contained high levels of SP cells, formed more mammospheres when cultured in the serum-free medium, and formed a greater number and larger colonies. Reduction of versican's functionality through anti-versican shRNA or knocking out the EGF-like motifs reduced the effect of versican on enhancing mammosphere and colony formation. Versican enhanced self-renewal played a role in enhanced chemotherapeutic drug resistance, relating partly to the up-regulated expression of EGFR signaling. Versican is highly expressed in breast cancer progenitor cells and was maintained at high levels before cell differentiation. Over-expression of versican enhanced breast cancer self-renewal through EGFR/AKT/GSK-3β (S9P) signaling, and conferred resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs tested.
    Molecular Cancer Research 02/2013; · 4.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: miR-181a has been presumed to target the 3'-untranslated regions (3'-UTR) of IL1a based on software predictions. miR-181a and IL1a have opposite expression levels in monocytes and macrophages in the inflammatory state. This led us to suspect that mir-181a has an important function in regulating inflammatory response by targeting IL1a. Fluorescence reporter assays showed that miR-181a effectively binds to the 3'-UTR of IL1a. The anti-inflammatory functions of miR-181a were investigated in lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-induced Raw264.7 and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)/LPS-induced THP-1 cells. We found that miR-181a mimics significantly lowered IL1a expression levels in these cells and, interestingly, miR-181a inhibitors reversed this decrease. In addition, miR-181a mimics significantly inhibited increase in the levels of inflammatory factors (IL1b, IL6, and TNFa) in these cells. Furthermore, miR-181a mimics and inhibitors decreased and increased, respectively, production of reactive oxygen species in PMA/LPS-induced THP-1 cells. These results indicate that miR-181a regulates inflammatory responses by directly targeting the 3'-UTR of IL1a and down-regulating IL1a levels. Interestingly, we found that miR-181a inhibited production of inflammatory factors even in IL1a-induced THP-1 cells, suggesting that the anti-inflammatory effects of miR-181a possibly involves other targets in addition to IL1a. Thus, we provide the first evidence for anti-inflammatory effects of miR-181a mediated at least in part by down-regulating IL1a.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e58639. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inflammatory stimuli are usually associated with homeostatic responses, which have an important function in protecting the body from excessive inflammatory damage. Previous studies reported the anti-inflammatory effect of miR-181a. The current study utilized two animal models of inflammation, induced by either lipopolysaccharides (LPS) or streptozotocin. We demonstrated that inflammatory stimuli significantly increase miR-181a expression, concurrently with inflammatory factors. In addition, the knock down of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) by small interfering RNA in LPS-induced Raw264.7 cells significantly reduces the expression of both miR-181a and inflammatory factors. Furthermore, patients with inflammatory response show increased expression of miR-181a, which is strongly correlated with the expression of interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. These data indicate that the up-regulation of miR-181a may be associated with homeostatic response to inflammatory stimuli by TLR-4 pathway activation. Therefore, miR-181a may serve as a novel marker for inflammatory response.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 12/2012; · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MiR-210 is up-regulated in multiple cancer types but its function is disputable and further investigation is necessary. Using a bioinformatics approach, we identified the putative target genes of miR-210 in hypoxia-induced CNE cells from genome-wide scale. Two functional gene groups related to cell cycle and RNA processing were recognized as the major targets of miR-210. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanism and biological consequence of miR-210 in cell cycle regulation, particularly mitosis. Hypoxia-induced up-regulation of miR-210 was highly correlated with the down-regulation of a group of mitosis-related genes, including Plk1, Cdc25B, Cyclin F, Bub1B and Fam83D. MiR-210 suppressed the expression of these genes by directly targeting their 3'-UTRs. Over-expression of exogenous miR-210 disturbed mitotic progression and caused aberrant mitosis. Furthermore, miR-210 mimic with pharmacological doses reduced tumor formation in a mouse metastatic tumor model. Taken together, these results implicate that miR-210 disturbs mitosis through targeting multi-genes involved in mitotic progression, which may contribute to its inhibitory role on tumor formation.
    Nucleic Acids Research 11/2012; · 8.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Versican is detected in the interstitial tissues at the invasive margins of breast carcinoma, predictive of relapse, and negatively impacting overall survival rates. G3 domain is important in breast cancer cell growth, migration and bone metastasis. However, mechanistic studies evaluating versican G3 enhanced breast cancer bone metastasis is limited. METHODS: A versican G3 construct was exogenously expressed in the 66c14 and the MC3T3 E1 cell line. Cells were observed through light microscopy and viability analyzed by Coulter Counter or determined with colorimetric proliferation assays. The Annexin V-FITC apoptosis detection kit was used to detect apoptotic activity. Modified chemotactic Boyden chamber migration invasion assays were applied to observe tumor migration and invasion to bone stromal cells and MC3T3 E1 cells. Alkaline phosphatase staining and Alkaline Phosphatase ELISA assays were performed to observe ALP activity in MC3T3 E1 cells. Results and Discussion: In the four mouse breast cancer cell lines 67NR, 66c14, 4T07, and 4T1, 4T1 cells expressed higher levels of versican, and showed higher migration and invasion ability to MC3T3 E1 cells and primary bone stromal cells. 4T1 conditioned medium (CM) inhibited MC3T3 E1 cell growth, and even lead to apoptosis. Only 4T1 CM prevented MC3T3 E1 cell differentiation, noted by inhibition of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. We exogenously expressed a versican G3 construct in a cell line that expresses low versican levels (66c14), and observed that the G3-expressing 66c14 cells showed enhanced cell migration and invasion to bone stromal and MC3T3 E1 cells. This observation was prevented by selective EGFR inhibitor AG1478, selective MEK inhibitor PD 98059, and selective AKT inhibitor Triciribine but not by selective JNK inhibitor SP 600125. Versican G3 enhanced breast cancer cell invasion to bone stromal cells or osteoblast cells appear to occur through mechanisms enhancing EGFR/ERK or AKT signaling. G3 expressing MC3T3 E1 cells showed inhibited cell growth and cell differentiation when cultured with TGF-beta1 (1ng/ml), and expressed enhanced cell apoptosis when cultured with TNF- alpha (2ng/ml). G3 expressing MC3T3 E1 cells also expressed enhanced EGFR/JNK signaling in the above conditions, an observation prevented by SP 600125. G3 domain enhanced tumor cell migration and invasion to bone, enhanced inhibition on MC3T3 E cell differentiation induced by TGF-beta, and promoted MC3T3 E1 cell apoptosis induced by TNF-alpha. Versican G3 functionality were dependent on its EGF-like motifs. Without the structure of EGF-like repeats, G3 domain lost its function in activating the EGFR/JNK signaling pathway, and thus would not confer enhancement of tumor cell migration and invasion to bone with concordant inhibition of MC3T3 E1 cell differentiation and promotion of MC3T3 E1 cell apoptosis. CONCLUSIONS: Versican enhances breast cancer bone metastasis not only through enhancing tumor cell mobility, invasion, and survival in bone tissues, but also by inhibiting pre-osteoblast cell growth, differentiation, which supply favorable microenvironments for tumor metastasis.
    BMC Cancer 08/2012; 12(1):341. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Akt family of serine/threonine protein kinases are key regulators of multiple aspects of cell behaviour, including proliferation, survival, metabolism, and tumorigenesis. Growth-factor-activated Akt signalling promotes progression through normal, unperturbed cell cycles by acting on diverse downstream factors involved in controlling the G1/S and G2/M transitions. Remarkably, several recent studies have also implicated Akt in modulating DNA damage responses and genome stability. High Akt activity can suppress ATR/Chk1 signalling and homologous recombination repair (HRR) via direct phosphorylation of Chk1 or TopBP1 or, indirectly, by inhibiting recruitment of double-strand break (DSB) resection factors, such as RPA, Brca1, and Rad51, to sites of damage. Loss of checkpoint and/or HRR proficiency is therefore a potential cause of genomic instability in tumor cells with high Akt. Conversely, Akt is activated by DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in a DNA-PK- or ATM/ATR-dependent manner and in some circumstances can contribute to radioresistance by stimulating DNA repair by nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ). Akt therefore modifies both the response to and repair of genotoxic damage in complex ways that are likely to have important consequences for the therapy of tumors with deregulation of the PI3K-Akt-PTEN pathway.
    Journal of Oncology 01/2012; 2012:951724.
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    ABSTRACT: Adipogenic differentiation of preadipocytes is a complex process regulated by various factors including miRNAs and cytokines. MiR-143 is a well known miRNA that enhances adipogenesis. Pleiotrophin (PTN), a heparin-binding growth factor, plays a negative role in adipogenesis. In this investigation, we demonstrate that PTN is a target gene of miR-143 during adipogenic differentiation in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. MiR-143 down regulates PTN expression through interaction with a target site of miR-143 in the coding region of mouse PTN. The rare codons upstream of the target site regulate miR143-induced translational knockdown of PTN, which provides more insight into the mechanism of adipogenic differentiation.
    FEBS letters 09/2011; 585(20):3303-9. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It has been reported previously that both Cdk1 and Cdk2 phosphorylate Chk1 in a cell-cycle dependent manner. Cdk-mediated phosphorylation is required for efficient activation of Chk1 and checkpoint proficiency in response to DNA damage. Here, we demonstrate that Cdk-mediated phosphorylation is also required for replication stress induced Chk1 activation and S/M checkpoint proficiency. Re-introduction of Chk1 mutant (S286A/S301A) into Chk1 deficient cells is capable of restraining mitosis in cells with completely unreplicated DNA, but the mitotic delay at later stage of the cell cycle is largely impaired. The mutation strongly attenuates aphidicolin induced Chk1 activation without altering the S-phase dependent Chk1 activation. These data indicate that Cdk-mediated phosphorytion is required for efficient Chk1 activation and multiple checkpoint proficiency.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 09/2011; 413(3):465-70. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that have important roles in gene regulation. We have previously reported that activin receptor-like kinase 7 (ALK7) and its ligand, Nodal, induce apoptosis in human epithelial ovarian cancer cells. In this study, we examined the regulation of ALK7 by miRNAs and demonstrate that miR-376c targets ALK7. Ectopic expression of miR-376c significantly increased cell proliferation and survival, enhanced spheroid formation and blocked Nodal-induced apoptosis. Interestingly, overexpression of miR-376c blocked cisplatin-induced cell death, whereas anti-miR-376c enhanced the effect of cisplatin. These effects of miR-376c were partially compensated by the overexpression of ALK7. Moreover, in serous carcinoma samples taken from ovarian cancer patients who responded well to chemotherapy, strong ALK7 staining and low miR-376c expression was detected. By contrast, ALK7 expression was weak and miR-376c levels were high in samples from patients who responded poorly to chemotherapy. Finally, treatment with cisplatin led to an increase in expression of mRNA encoding Nodal and ALK7 but a decrease in miR-376c levels. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the Nodal-ALK7 pathway is involved in cisplatin-induced cell death in ovarian cancer cells and that miR-376c enhances proliferation, survival and chemoresistance by targeting, at least in part, ALK7.
    Journal of Cell Science 02/2011; 124(Pt 3):359-68. · 5.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Overexpression of EGFR and versican has been reported in association with breast cancers. Considered oncogenic, these molecules may be attractive therapeutic targets. Possessing anti-apoptotic and drug resistant properties, overexpression of these molecules is accompanied by selective sensitization to the process of apoptosis. In this study, we exogenously expressed a versican G3 construct in breast cancer cell lines and analyzed the effects of G3 on cell viability in fetal bovine serum free conditioned media and evaluated the effects of apoptotic agent C2-ceramide, and chemotherapeutic agents including Docetaxel, Doxorubicin, and Epirubicin. Versican G3 domain enhanced tumor cell resistance to apoptosis when cultured in serum free medium, Doxorubicin, or Epirubicin by up-regulating pERK and GSK-3β (S9P). However, it could be prevented by selective EGFR inhibitor AG 1478 and selective MEK inhibitor PD 98059. Both AG 1478 and PD 98059 enhanced expression of pSAPK/JNK, while selective JNK inhibitor SP 600125 enhanced expression of GSK-3β (S9P). Versican G3 promoted cell apoptosis induced by C2-ceramide or Docetaxel by enhancing expression of pSAPK/JNK and decreasing expression of GSK-3β (S9P), an observation blocked by AG 1478 or SP 6000125. Inhibition of endogenous versican expression by siRNA or reduction of versican G3's expression by linking G3 with 3'UTR prevented G3 modulated cell apoptosis. The dual roles of G3 in modulating breast cancer cell resistance to chemotherapeutic agents may in part explain a potential mechanism for breast cancer cell resistance to chemotherapy and EGFR therapy. The apoptotic effects of chemotherapeutics depend upon the activation and balance of down stream signals in the EGFR pathway. GSK-3β (S9P) appears to function as a key checkpoint in this balance of apoptosis and anti-apoptosis. Investigation and potential consideration of targeting GSK-3β (S9P) merits further study.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(11):e26396. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gut microbes play important roles in regulating fat storage and metabolism. Rhizoma coptidis (RC) and its main active compound, berberine, have either antimicrobial or anti-obesity activities. In the present study, we hypothesize that RC exerts anti-obesity effects that are likely mediated by mechanisms of regulating gut microbes and berberine may be a key compound of RC. Gut microbes and glucose and lipid metabolism in high-fat diet-fed C57BL/6J (HFD) mice in vivo are investigated after RC and berberine treatments. The results show that RC (200 mg/kg) and berberine (200 mg/kg) significantly lower both body and visceral adipose weights, and reduce blood glucose and lipid levels, and decrease degradation of dietary polysaccharides in HFD mice. Both RC and berberine significantly reduce the proportions of fecal Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes to total bacteria in HFD mice. In the trial ex vivo, both RC and berberine significantly inhibit the growth of gut bacteria under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. In in vitro trials, both RC and berberine significantly inhibit the growth of Lactobacillus (a classical type of Firmicutes) under anaerobic conditions. Furthermore, both RC and berberine significantly increase fasting-induced adipose factor (Fiaf, a key protein negatively regulated by intestinal microbes) expressions in either intestinal or visceral adipose tissues. Both RC and berberine significantly increase mRNA expressions of AMPK, PGC1α, UCP2, CPT1α, and Hadhb related to mitochondrial energy metabolism, which may be driven by increased Fiaf expression. These results firstly suggest that antimicrobial activities of RC and berberine may result in decreasing degradation of dietary polysaccharides, lowering potential calorie intake, and then systemically activating Fiaf protein and related gene expressions of mitochondrial energy metabolism in visceral adipose tissues. Taken together, these action mechanisms may contribute to significant anti-obesity effects. Findings in the present study also indicate that pharmacological regulation on gut microbes can develop an anti-obesity strategy.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(9):e24520. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The management of diabetes without any side effects remains a challenge in medicine. In this study, antidiabetic activity and the mechanism of action of scorpion combined with gypsum (SG) were investigated. Streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice were orally administrated with scorpion (200 mg kg(-1) per day) in combination with gypsum (200 mg kg(-1) per day) for 5 weeks. SG treatment resulted in decreased body weight, blood glucose and lipid levels, and increased serum and pancreatic insulin levels in diabetic mice. Furthermore, SG significantly increased the number and volume of beta cells in the Islets of Langerhans and promoted peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and pancreatic duodenal homeobox 1 expressions in pancreatic tissues. However, scorpion or gypsum alone had no significant effect in this animal model. Metformin showed a slight or moderate effect in this diabetic model, but this effect was weak compared with that of SG. Taken together, SG showed a new antidiabetic effect in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. This effect may possibly be involved in enhancing beta-cell regeneration and promoting insulin secretion by targeting PPARγ and PDX-1. Moreover, this new effect of SG offers a promising step toward the treatment of diabetic patients with beta-cell failure as a complementary and alternative medicine.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2011; 2011:683561. · 1.72 Impact Factor
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    Weidong Xie, Yunan Zhao, Yaou Zhang
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    ABSTRACT: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) occurs in 95% of the diabetic populations. Management of T2DM is a challenge. Traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) are usually served as adjuvants used to improve diabetic syndromes in combination of routine antidiabetic drugs. For single-herb prescriptions, Ginseng, Bitter melon, Golden Thread, Fenugreek, Garlic, and Cinnamon might have antidiabetic effects in T2DM patients. Among 30 antidiabetic formulas approved by the State Food and Drugs Administrator of China, top 10 of the most frequently prescribed herbs are Membranous Milkvetch Root, Rehmannia Root, Mongolian Snakegourd Root, Ginseng, Chinese Magnoliavine Fruit, Kudzuvine Root, Dwarf Lilyturf Tuber, Common Anemarrhena Rhizome, Barbary Wolfberry Fruit, and India Bread, which mainly guided by the theory of TCM. Their action mechanisms are related to improve insulin sensitivity, stimulate insulin secretion, protect pancreatic islets, and even inhibit intake of intestinal carbohydrates. However, it is very difficult to determine antihyperglycemic components of TCM. Nevertheless, TCM are becoming popular complementary and alternative medicine in treatment of syndromes of T2DM. In the future, it requires further validation of phytochemical, pharmacological, and clinical natures of TCM in T2DM in the future studies, especially for those herbs with a high prescription frequency.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2011; 2011:726723. · 1.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anti-beta (2)-glycoprotein I (anti-β2-GP1) is one of the important pathogenesis factors responsible for thrombosis formation in patients with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). Administration of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) is a common method used to inhibit the abnormal antibody levels and decrease the mortality of APS in emergency situations. We hypothesize that the Fc fragment of IgG is the molecular structure responsible for these effects. The present study investigates the beneficial effects of both recombinant and natural human Fc fragments of heterogeneous IgG against human anti-β2-GP1 antibodies in mouse models with APS. Results showed that both recombinant and natural human Fc fragments moderately but significantly decreased the levels of serum anti-β2-GP1 antibodies and had anti-coagulation effects in human β2-GP1-immunized mice. Furthermore, both recombinant and natural human Fc fragments inhibited thrombosis formation and decreased mortality in mouse models infused intravenously with human anti-β2GP1 antibodies from patients with APS. Findings suggest that the Fc fragment might be one of the active structural units of heterogeneous IgG. Thus, recombinant human Fc fragment administration may be a useful treatment for individuals with APS.
    International immunopharmacology 11/2010; 11(1):136-40. · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mature microRNAs (miRNAs) are single-stranded RNAs that regulate post-transcriptional gene expression. In our previous study, we have shown that versican 3'UTR, a fragment of non-coding transcript, has the ability to antagonize miR-199a-3p function thereby regulating expression of the matrix proteins versican and fibronectin, and thus resulting in enhanced cell-cell adhesion and organ adhesion. However, the impact of this non-coding fragment on tumorigenesis is yet to be determined. Using computational prediction confirmed with in vitro and in vivo experiments, we report that the expression of versican 3'UTR not only antagonizes miR-199a-3p but can also lower its steady state expression. We found that expression of versican 3'UTR in a mouse breast carcinoma cell line, 4T1, decreased miR-199a-3p levels. The decrease in miRNA activity consequently translated into differences in tumor growth. Computational analysis indicated that both miR-199a-3p and miR-144 targeted a cell cycle regulator, Rb1. In addition, miR-144 and miR-136, which have also been shown to interact with versican 3'UTR, was found to target PTEN. Expression of Rb1 and PTEN were up-regulated synergistically in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that the 3'UTR binds and modulates miRNA activities, freeing Rb1 and PTEN mRNAs for translation. In tumor formation assays, cells transfected with the 3'UTR formed smaller tumors compared with cells transfected with a control vector. Our results demonstrated that a 3'UTR fragment can be used to modulate miRNA functions. Our study also suggests that miRNAs in the cancer cells are more susceptible to degradation, due to its interaction with a non-coding 3'UTR. This non-coding component of mRNA may be used retrospectively to modulate miRNA activities.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(10):e13599. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs play important roles in various biological processes involving fairly complex mechanism. Analysis of genome-wide miRNA microarray demonstrate that a single miRNA can regulate hundreds of genes, but the regulative extent on most individual genes is surprisingly mild so that it is difficult to understand how a miRNA provokes detectable functional changes with such mild regulation. To explore the internal mechanism of miRNA-mediated regulation, we re-analyzed the data collected from genome-wide miRNA microarray with bioinformatics assay, and found that the transfection of miR-181b and miR-34a in Hela and HCT-116 tumor cells regulated large numbers of genes, among which, the genes related to cell growth and cell death demonstrated high Enrichment scores, suggesting that these miRNAs may be important in cell growth and cell death. MiR-181b induced changes in protein expression of most genes that were seemingly related to enhancing cell growth and decreasing cell death, while miR-34a mediated contrary changes of gene expression. Cell growth assays further confirmed this finding. In further study on miR-20b-mediated osteogenesis in hMSCs, miR-20b was found to enhance osteogenesis by activating BMPs/Runx2 signaling pathway in several stages by co-repressing of PPARγ, Bambi and Crim1. With its multi-target characteristics, miR-181b, miR-34a and miR-20b provoked detectable functional changes by co-regulating functionally-related gene groups or several genes in the same signaling pathway, and thus mild regulation from individual miRNA targeting genes could have contributed to an additive effect. This might also be one of the modes of miRNA-mediated gene regulation.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(10):e13558. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Certain individuals ingesting a low-fat diet are still prone to visceral obesity, and the reasons remain undetermined. This study aimed to investigate differentially expressed proteins of visceral adipose tissues between low-fat diet-fed obesity-resistant and obesity-prone C57BL/6 mice through a proteomics approach and to ascertain potential mechanisms associated with these obesity-prone animals. First, animals were fed low-fat or normal-chow diets for 6 weeks. Dietary intake and body weight were monitored during this period. After 6 weeks of the low-fat diet, obesity-prone and obesity-resistant mice (NOP and NOR groups) were defined as those within the upper and lower quarters for weight gain, respectively. Proteomic analysis showed that ubiquinol-cytochrome c reductase core protein 1 (Uqcrc1) and Enolase 3, β muscle were decreased by 8.1- and 8.8-fold in the visceral adipose tissues of the NOP mice compared to the NOR controls, respectively, while monoglyceride lipase (MGLL) and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) X-linked were increased by 5.3- and 4.7-fold, respectively. These results indicate that obesity-prone animals fed low-fat diets exhibited differentially expressed proteins, e.g., Uqcrc1, Enolase 3, MGLL and G6PDH involved in energy metabolism, glycolysis and fat synthesis in visceral adipose tissues, which are useful for defining molecular markers and understanding the mechanisms of the development of obesity.
    Molecular Medicine Reports 01/2010; 3(6):1047-52. · 1.17 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

848 Citations
279 Downloads
3k Views
173.30 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • Sun Yat-Sen University
      Shengcheng, Guangdong, China
  • 2006–2013
    • Tsinghua University
      • • Graduate School at Shenzhen
      • • School of Life Sciences
      Beijing, Beijing Shi, China
  • 2010
    • Third Military Medical University
      Ch’ung-ch’ing-shih, Chongqing Shi, China
  • 2008–2010
    • Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • University of Jinan (Jinan, China)
      Chi-nan-shih, Shandong Sheng, China
  • 2009
    • Jinan University (Guangzhou, China)
      Shengcheng, Guangdong, China
    • University Town of Shenzhen
      Shen-ch’üan-shih, Zhejiang Sheng, China
  • 2006–2008
    • The University of Hong Kong
      • Department of Biochemistry
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 2003–2006
    • City University of Hong Kong
      • Department of Biology and Chemistry
      Chiu-lung, Kowloon City, Hong Kong
  • 1999–2005
    • University of Toronto
      • • Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
      • • Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada