Kuo Zhang

Government of the People's Republic of China, Peping, Beijing, China

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Publications (22)67.22 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The participation of laboratories in external quality assessment (EQA) programs is required for the quality assurance of nucleic acid amplification of Chlamydia trachomatis. This study aimed to construct a new quality control (QC) material applicated in EQA of C. trachomatis PCR.
    Annals of Laboratory Medicine 09/2014; 34(5):360-6. · 1.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background This study aimed at analyzing the prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA among hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)–negative donations by cobas TaqScreen MPX test (Roche Molecular Systems) and discussing the meaning of a reactive minipool (MP) that does not resolve to an individual donation (ID)–reactive result.Study Design and Methods Nucleic acid amplification testing (NAT) was performed in 12 Chinese blood centers on 826,044 serologic negative donations in MPs of six. MP-reactive pools that were resolved to ID-reactive donations were confirmed by Roche TaqMan viral load assays. Antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen and antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) results were also analyzed. Cycle threshold (Ct) values of reactive MPs were analyzed in relation to the probability of pool resolution.ResultsA total of 1267 of 137,674 pools were reactive, of which 839 donations were reactive by ID-NAT. The MP6 HBV NAT–yield rate lay between 1 in 1600 and 1 in 1000. At MP Ct values equal or below 37, the probability of pool resolution was approximately 80%. The prevalence of anti-HBc in ID-reactive donations was 81%. The proportion of reactive pools that could not be resolved was 36%. The prevalence of anti-HBc in donations implicated in nonresolved MPs was significantly higher than those in nonreactive MPs (48% vs. 37%, p = 0.016).Conclusion The anti-HBc data suggest that approximately 10% of nonresolved MPs contain HBV DNA from a low-viral-load occult carrier. We consider ID-NAT resolution testing in duplicate to minimize HBV transmission risk associated with transfusing nonreactive donations implicated in reactive MPs.
    Transfusion 09/2014; · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Context: As a new antibody concept, natural bispecific antibodies (nBsAbs) have been detected in long-term passive immunization and some diseases, but their potential immunomodulatory role remains unclear. Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT) appears to fulfill the condition for nBsAb production but has not yet been characterized. Objective: To identify a new nBsAb against thyroid peroxidase (TPO) and thyroglobulin (Tg) in HT patients and to preliminarily explore its immunomodulatory role. Design, Setting, Patients: Serum samples were obtained from 136 HT patients, 92 diseased controls and 99 healthy controls for anti-TPO/Tg nBsAb detection. The relationship between anti-TPO/Tg nBsAb and other clinical parameters was also analyzed. Main Outcome Measures: The anti-TPO/Tg nBsAb was detected using a double-antigen sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Higher nBsAb levels were found to be associated with decreased inflammation in HT patients. Results: The prevalence of anti-TPO/Tg nBsAb in HT was 44.9% (61/136), significantly higher than that of diseased controls (2.2%, 2/92) (p < 0.0001) and healthy controls (0%, 0/99) (p < 0.0001). HT patients who were nBsAb-positive were prone to have significantly lower levels of serum C-reactive protein and tumor necrosis factor alpha compared to the nBsAb-negative individuals (p < 0.05). The serum amyloid A and interferon gamma levels also showed a similar trend in the two groups. The IgG subclass of anti-TPO/Tg nBsAb was IgG4. Further analysis showed a negative correlation between anti-TPO/Tg nBsAb and serum total IgG4 (r = -0.697, p = 0.025) in IgG4 thyroiditis patients. Conclusions: A new type of nBsAb against TPO and Tg in HT patients is identified. Our data also indicate a protective effect of anti-TPO/Tg nBsAb in the pathogenesis of HT and extend prior knowledge about nBsAb in diseases.
    The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: An external quality assessment (EQA) program for molecular detection of avian influenza A (H7N9) virus was implemented by National Center for Clinical Laboratory (NCCL) of China during June 2013. Virus-like particles (VLPs) that containing full length RNA sequences of hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA), matrix protein (MP) and nucleoprotein (NP) genes from the H7N9 virus (armored RNAs) were constructed. The EQA panel comprising 6 samples with different concentrations of armored RNAs positive for H7N9 viruses and four H7N9-negative samples (including one sample positive only for MP gene of the H7N9 virus) was distributed to 79 laboratories in China that carry out molecular diagnosis of H7N9 viruses. The overall performances of data sets were classified according to the results of both H7 and N9. Consequently, 80 data sets were received (one participant provided two sets of results), which were generated using commercial (n = 60) or in-house (n = 17) real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) kits and commercial assay employed isothermal amplification method (n =3). The results revealed that the majority (82.5%) of data sets correctly identified "H7N9 virus" while 17.5% of the data sets need to improve their diagnostic capability. The "improvable" data sets were derived mostly from false-negative results of N9 at relatively low concentrations. The false-negative rate was 5.6% and the false-positive rate was 0.6%. In addition, we observed varied diagnostic capabilities between different commercially available kits and in-house developed assays, with assay manufactured by BioPerfectus Technologies (Jiangsu, China) performing better than others did. Overall, the majority of laboratories have reliable diagnostic capacity.
    Journal of clinical microbiology 10/2013; · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most diagnosed cancer in the western male population with high mortality. Recently, alternative approaches based on immunotherapy including mRNA vaccines for PCa have shown therapeutic promise. However, for mRNA vaccine, several disadvantages such as the instability of mRNA, the high cost of gold particles, the limited production scale for mRNA-transfected dendritic cells in vitro, limit their development. Herein, recombinant bacteriophage MS2 virus-like particles (VLPs), which based on the interaction of a 19-nucleotide RNA aptamer and the coat protein of bacteriophage MS2, successfully addressed these questions, in which target mRNA was packaged by MS2 capsid. MS2 VLP-based mRNA vaccines were easily prepared by recombinant protein technology, nontoxic and RNase-resistant. We show the packaged mRNA was translated into protein as early as 12 hr after phagocytosed by macrophages. Moreover, MS2 VLP-based mRNA vaccines induced strong humoral and cellular immune responses, especially antigen-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) and balanced Th1/Th2 responses without upregulation of CD4(+) regulatory T cells, and protected C57BL/6 mice against PCa completely. As a therapeutic vaccine, MS2 VLP-based mRNA vaccines delayed tumor growth. Our results provide proof of concept on the efficacy and safety of MS2 VLP-based mRNA vaccine, which provides a new delivery approach for mRNA vaccine and implies important clinical value for the prevention and therapy of PCa.
    International Journal of Cancer 09/2013; · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Remarkable progress has been made in the quality assurance of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA nucleic amplification techniques (NAT) during the past decade. And this report presents a 10-y external quality assessment (EQA) program performed by National Center for Clinical Laboratories in China since 2003. EQA panels were produced using freeze-dried HBV plasma or negative controls and then calibrated against the first International Standard for HBV DNA. By 2012, total 35,570 qualitative EQA reports and 56,826 quantitative reports have been collected. The overall correct recognition rate in qualitative test increased from 95.15% in 2003 to 97.99% in 2012. The proportion of participants with acceptable quantitative results also rose to 87.99% in 2012 compared with that of 27.53% in 2003. Besides, we observed a satisfactory reproducibility of <5% in all parallel samples. However, some laboratories still had difficulties in exact quantification of some low viral loads, which near to the limits of the dynamic range of the assays. Taking together, current EQA program showed an encouraging improvement of HBV DNA NAT in China. Distributing more challenging samples and increasing the subtypes are still needed in the future.
    Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry 08/2013; · 2.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: In China, various assays for human papillomavirus (HPV) genotyping are currently used for cervical cancer screening. However, a proficiency test system is not available for standardizing and evaluating assay performance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of clinical laboratories for their ability to discriminate 9 HPV types with the proficiency panel. Methods: The panel of 24 samples included cloned genomic DNAs for HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 39, 51 and 52 at different concentrations, which were distributed to 76 clinical laboratories. Results reported by participants were compared with the reference results. Results: The samples containing 10(6) IU HPV-16/ml and 10(6) IU HPV-18/ml were (98.7 and 96.0%, respectively) identified correctly most often. For other high-risk HPV types, about 90% of data sets correctly identified samples containing 10(6) GE/ml of HPV-6, HPV-31, HPV-33 and HPV-52, while HPV-51, HPV-11 and HPV-39 in 10(6) GE/ml were correctly identified by only 42.7, 55.6 and 21.3% of laboratories, respectively. Conclusion: Our proficiency test system provided a traceable panel and showed that the differences in performance between laboratories were high, indicating that it is necessary for the laboratories to improve their operation and standardization of HPV genotyping.
    Intervirology 07/2013; · 1.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Food allergy has been reported increasingly around the world during the past several decades. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a common herpesvirus with high infection rate, is now suspected to be a risk or protective factor in food allergy. The aim of the study was to investigate the possible role of EBV infection in IgE-mediated food allergy. METHODS: 34 patients with an egg allergy and 34 healthy controls participated in this study. Egg allergy was confirmed by open-food challenge. Serum anti-viral capsid antigen (VCA), anti-Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA-1) IgG and egg specific (yolk and white)-IgE levels were evaluated by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). At the same time, EBV DNA as well as viral miRNAs in these samples was quantified by real-time PCR. RESULTS: The results showed that serum anti EBNA-1 IgG and two viral miRNAs (miR-BART1-5p and miR-BART7) were highly expressed in patients with egg allergy compared with healthy controls (p < 0.05, < 0.001 and < 0.01, respectively). Moreover, the expressions of anti EBNA-1 specific IgG, miR-BART1-5p and miR-BART7 positively correlated with the level of egg-specific IgE (p < 0.05, < 0.01 and < 0.01, respectively). The differences in anti VCA IgG concentration and EBV DNA copy number between the allergy patients and control individuals were not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: The high expression of EBV-specific antibody and miRNAs indicated that EBV infection might play a promoting role in IgE-mediated egg food allergy, and viral miRNAs-related immunomodulatory pathway was likely involved in this allergy process.
    Virology Journal 01/2013; 10(1):9. · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To construct and express ribonuclease-resistant virus-like particles containing rotavirus NSP3 gene by changing the affinity of MS2 bacteriophage coat protein pac site and to discuss the stability. In the study, 1 049 bp rotavirus NSP3 gene fragments were amplified by PCR using the primers containing PvuI and KpnI restriction enzyme sites and the uridine at position -5 in the pac site was replaced with cytosine to increase the affinity. The gel-purified PCR-amplified DNA fragments and pACYC-MS2 vector were digested with PvuI and KpnI and then ligated to generate recombinant plasmid pACYC-MS2-NSP3. The expression vector was transformed into competent Escherichia coli strain TOP 10, and was verified by PCR and sequencing. The positive bacteria were transformed into competent E.coli strain BL21(DE3). Then the cells were lysed by ultrasonic disruption, virus like particles (VLPs) were harvested after purification and their stability was discussed. The expression plasmid containing mutant pac site (uridine at position -5 in the pac site replaced with cytosine) was constructed successfully and the ribonuclease-resistant virus-like particles containing rotavirus NSP3 gene were expressed successfully. The VLPs were resistant to ribonuclease and deoxyribonuclease, and were stable at -20 °C, 4 °C and room temperature(25 °C), respectively. The methods used to increase the affinity of pac site could successfully construct and express the VLPs. The VLPs containing rotavirus NSP3 gene are stable and could be used as surrogates for positive controls and standards in rotavirus real time fluorescent quantitative reverse transcription-PCR kits.
    Beijing da xue xue bao. Yi xue ban = Journal of Peking University. Health sciences 10/2012; 44(5):737-41.
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract During the past few years there has been great interest in the development of circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) as stable blood-based biomarkers for cancer detection. Deregulation of miRNAs in blood samples has shown considerable clinical utilities in cancers. Due to poorly characterized preanalytical and analytical variables and the lack of a standardized measurement protocol, the application of these miRNA fingerprints is hindered by conflicting results. In this review, we outline our current understanding of preanalytically and analytically confounding factors. We believe that great consideration should be taken in the development of circulating miRNA as tumor biomarkers.
    Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine 09/2012; · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: EdU (5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine) incorporation has proved advantageous in the studies of cell kinetics, DNA synthesis, and cellular proliferation in vitro and in vivo compared to [(3) H]thymidine incorporation and BrdU (5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine) incorporation. Here, we describe a method that combines EdU incorporation and immunostaining with flow cytometric analysis to detect the proliferations of T lymphocyte subsets in vitro and optimized the assay's conditions. We found that the number of EdU(+) cells were associated with EdU concentration, incubation time, and the volume of Click reaction solution, the best EdU concentration 10-50 μM, the optimal incubation time 8-12 h and the proper volume of Click volume 100 μl for labeling 1 × 10(6) lymphocytes. Fixation was better to be performed before permeabilization, not together with. Furthermore, the permeabilization detergent reagent, PBS with 0.05% saponin was better than Tris buffer saline (TBS) with 0.1% Triton X-100. In addition, sufficient wash with PBS with 0.05% saponin has no influence on the staining of EdU(+) cells. Also, the lymphocytes incorporating EdU could be stored at 4°C, -80°C, and in liquid nitrogen up to 21 days. The present study will aid in optimization of flow cytometry assay to detect the proliferations of T cell subsets by EdU incorporation and the labeling of cell surface antigens. © 2012 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.
    Cytometry Part A 08/2012; 81(10):901-9. · 3.71 Impact Factor
  • Annals of the rheumatic diseases 03/2012; 71(5):790. · 8.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, microRNA (miRNA)-mediated RNA interference has been developed as a useful tool in gene function analysis and gene therapy. A major obstacle in miRNA-mediated RNAi is cellular delivery, which requires an efficient and flexible delivery system. The self-assembly of the MS2 bacteriophage capsids has been used to develop virus-like particles (VLPs) for RNA and drug delivery. However, MS2 VLP-mediated miRNA delivery has not yet been reported. We therefore used an Escherichia coli expression system to produce the pre-miR 146a contained MS2 VLPs, and then conjugated these particles with HIV-1 Tat(47-57) peptide. The conjugated MS2 VLPs effectively transferred the packaged pre-miR146a RNA into various cells and tissues, with 0.92-14.76-fold higher expression of miR-146a in vitro and about two-fold higher expression in vivo, and subsequently suppressed its targeting gene. These findings suggest that MS2 VLPs can be used as a novel vehicle in miRNA delivery systems, and may have applications in gene therapy.
    FEBS Journal 02/2012; 279(7):1198-208. · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by the presence of pathogenic autoantibodies. Recent studies suggest that microRNAs (miRNAs) play an essential role in immunoregulation and may be involved in the pathogenesis of SLE. Therefore, it was of interest to investigate the potential therapeutic application of miRNAs in SLE, a concept that has not been thoroughly investigated thus far. Virus-like particles (VLPs) are a type of recombinant nanoparticle enveloped by certain proteins derived from the outer coat of a virus. Herein, we describe a novel miRNA-delivery approach via bacteriophage MS2 VLPs and investigate the therapeutic effects of miR-146a, a well-studied and SLE-related miRNA, in BXSB lupus-prone mice. VLPs containing miR-146a, and the control VLPs, were prepared using an Escherichia coli expression system and then administered to lupus-prone mice over a 12-day period. We performed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to evaluate the anti-dsDNA antibody, autoantibody to nuclear antigen (ANA), total IgG and total IgM levels in serum. The expression of miR-146a was analyzed by qRT-PCR. SLE-related cytokines as well as some toll-like receptor signaling pathway molecules were also measured. Treatment with MS2-miR146a VLP showed profound effects on lupus-prone BXSB mice, including an increased level of mature miR-146a, which led to a significant reduction in the expression of autoantibodies and total IgG. Remarkably, these mice also exhibited reduced levels of proinflammatorycytokines, including IFN-Interferon-α (IFN-α), Interleukin-1β (Il-1β) and Interleukin-6 (Il-6). Moreover, we showed that the toll-like receptor pathway was involved in this regulation. Restoring the loss of miR-146a was effective in eliminating the production of autoantibodies and ameliorating SLE progression in lupus-prone mice. Thus, the induction of dysregulated miRNAs by an MS2 VLP-based delivery system may lead to novel therapies.
    International Journal of Nanomedicine 01/2012; 7:5957-67. · 4.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Three armored RNAs (virus-like particles [VLPs]) containing target sequences from enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CA16) and a pan-enterovirus (pan-EV) sequence were constructed and used in an external quality assessment (EQA) to determine the performance of laboratories in the detection of EV71 and CA16. The EQA panel, which consisted of 20 samples, including 14 positive samples with different concentrations of EV and either EV71 or CA16 armored RNAs, 2 samples with all 3 armored RNAs, and 4 negative-control samples (NaN(3)-preserved minimal essential medium [MEM] without VLPs), was distributed to 54 laboratories that perform molecular diagnosis of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) virus infections. A total of 41 data sets from 41 participants were returned; 5 (12.2%) were generated using conventional in-house reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) assays, and 36 (87.8%) were generated using commercial real-time RT-PCR assays. Performance assessments of laboratories differed; 12 (29.3%) showed a need for improvement. Surprisingly, 4 laboratories were unable to detect EV71 RNA in any samples, even those containing the highest concentration of 10(7) IU/ml. Furthermore, the detection sensitivity for EV71 among all laboratories (82.1%) was substantially lower than that for EV (97.4%) or CA16 (95.1%). Overall, the results of the present study indicate that EQA should be performed periodically to help laboratories monitor their ability to detect HFMD viruses and to improve the comparability of results from different laboratories.
    Journal of clinical microbiology 08/2011; 49(10):3591-5. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autoantibodies to the catalytic domain of v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homologue B1 (BRAF) have been recently identified as a new family of autoantibodies involved in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The objective of this study was to determine antibody responses to the catalytic domain of BRAF in RA and other autoimmune diseases. The association between RA-related clinical indices and these antibodies was also assessed. The presence of autoantibodies to the catalytic domain of BRAF (anti-BRAF) or to peptide P25 (amino acids 656-675 of the catalytic domain of BRAF; anti-P25) was determined in serum samples from patients with RA, primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and healthy controls by using indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) based on the recombinant catalytic domain of BRAF or a synthesized peptide, respectively. Associations of anti-BRAF or anti-P25 with disease variables of RA patients were also evaluated. Our results show that the BRAF-specific antibodies anti-BRAF and anti-P25 are equally present in RA, pSS, and SLE patients. However, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) used to detect inflammation was significantly different between patients with and without BRAF-specific antibodies. The anti-BRAF-positive patients were found to have prolonged disease, and active disease occurred more frequently in anti-P25-positive patients than in anti-P25-negative patients. A weak but significant correlation between anti-P25 levels and ESRs was observed (r = 0.319, p = 0.004). The antibody response against the catalytic domain of BRAF is not specific for RA, but the higher titers of BRAF-specific antibodies may be associated with increased inflammation in RA.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(12):e28975. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Quantification of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA can be used for diagnosing HBV infection and monitoring the effect of antiviral therapy. However, probably because of mismatches between the template and primer/probe, HBV DNA in some HBV infections could not be detected using currently available commercial assays with single primer/probe. By aligning the HBV sequences, we developed a duplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay using two sets of primers/probes and a specific armored DNA as internal control (IC). The limit of the duplex real-time PCR assay was 29.5 IU/ml, whereas the specificity was 100%. The within-run precision coefficient of variation (CV) ranged from 1.02% to 2.73%, while the between-run CV ranged from 0.83% to 1.25%. The optimal concentration of armored DNA IC in the HBV DNA duplex real-time PCR assay was 1 000 copies/ml. Data from 69 serum samples with HBV infection showed that the performance of the duplex real-time PCR assay was comparable to that of the COBAS Ampliprep/Cobas Taqman (CAP/CTM) HBV assay and was superior to those of the domestic commercial HBV assays. The duplex real-time PCR assay is sufficiently sensitive, specific, accurate, reproducible and cost-effective for the detection of HBV DNA. It is suitable for high throughput screening and frequent HBV DNA level monitoring.
    Virology Journal 01/2011; 8:227. · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In assays for anti-hepatitis E virus (HEV) immunoglobulin M (IgM), large volumes of the patient's sera cannot be easily obtained for use as a positive control. In this study, we investigated an alternative chemical method in which rabbit anti-HEV IgG was conjugated with human IgM and was used as a positive control in the anti-HEV IgM assay. Rabbit anti-HEV IgG was isolated from immune sera by chromatography on protein A-Sepharose and was conjugated with human IgM by using 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide (EDC) as a crosslinker. The specific anti-HEV IgG antibody titer was 100,000 times that of the negative control, i.e., prebleed rabbit serum. The results of anti-HEV IgM enzyme-linked immunosobent assay showed that the antibody conjugate was similar to anti-HEV IgM antibodies produced in humans. The results of a stability experiment showed that the antibody conjugate was stable for use in external quality assessment or internal quality control trials. We concluded that the chemically conjugated rabbit-human antibody could be used instead of the traditional serum control as a positive control in the anti-HEV IgM assay.
    Virology Journal 01/2010; 7:101. · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The branched DNA (bDNA) assay is a reliable method for quantifying the RNA of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). The positive controls and standards for this assay for the detection of HIV-1 consist of naked RNA, which is susceptible to degradation by RNase. Armored RNA is a good candidate for an RNase-resistant positive control or standard. However, its use has been limited by the maximal length of the exogenous RNA packaged into virus-like particles by routine armored RNA technology. In the present study, we produced armored long RNA (armored L-RNA) controls or standards (AR-HIV-pol-3034b) for a bDNA assay of HIV-1 by increasing the amount and affinity of the pac sites (the pac site is a specific 19-nucleotide stem-loop region located at the 5' terminus of the MS2 bacteriophage replicase gene) by a one-plasmid double-expression system. AR-HIV-pol-3034b was completely resistant to DNase and RNase, was stable in normal human EDTA-preserved plasma at 4 degrees C for at least 6 months, and produced reproducible, linear results in the Versant HIV-1 RNA 3.0 assay. In conclusion, AR-HIV-pol-3034b could act as a positive control or standard in a bDNA assay for the detection of HIV-1. In addition, the one-plasmid double-expression system can be used as a better platform than the one-plasmid expression system and the two-plasmid coexpression system for expressing armored L-RNA.
    Journal of clinical microbiology 07/2009; 47(8):2571-6. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To observe whether or not the small-interfering RNA (siRNA) that conjugated with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) TAT(47-57) peptides can enter Huh-7 cells and efficiently silence hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in cell culture. siRNA targeting the highly conserved stem loop IV of the HCV 5' untranslated region (5'UTR) was conjugated to TAT(47-57) peptides via the crosslinker sulfosuccinimidyl-4-(p-maleimidophenyl)-butyrate, and then the conjugates were added to the Huh-7 cell culture. Firefly luciferase activity and HCV RNA were assessed using a luciferase assay reagent and real-time reverse transcript polymerase chain reaction, respectively. The expression of firefly luciferase in HCV replicons and the concentration of HCV RNA were downregulated by siRNA-TAT(47-57), and siRNA-TAT(47-57) mediated RNA interfering activity which was directly correlated with increasing concentrations of the siRNA-TAT(47-57) conjugate used. Cell-penetrating peptides such as HIV-1 TAT are an effective method for the delivery of siRNA targeted at 5'UTR of HCV in mammalian cells.
    Intervirology 02/2009; 52(3):135-40. · 1.89 Impact Factor