Fanya Zeng

The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

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Publications (25)154.15 Total impact

  • Hong Kong medical journal = Xianggang yi xue za zhi / Hong Kong Academy of Medicine 08/2012; 18 Suppl 3:35-8.
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    ABSTRACT: Although membrane perforation was suggested as the means of penetration mediated by IBDV, the cellular mechanism being hijacked to facilitate its entry is largely unknown. In this study, the entry pathway of cell culture adapted IBDV (caIBDV) was characterized in DF-1 chicken embryonic fibroblasts. We observed that the entry of caIBDV was inhibited by bafilomycin A1 and CaEGTA which interfere with the function of vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase) and retain endosomal Ca(2+). This result suggests that the intact caIBDV particle was transported to the V-ATPase positive vesicles for uncoating and implicates an essential role of endocytosis during the viral entry. The IBDV-mediated endocytosis was demonstrated to be clathrin-independent. Instead, the entry of caIBDV in DF-1 was reduced under the inhibitions or depletions of lipid raft, c-Src tyrosine kinase, dynamin and actin polymerization. In summary, this study confirmed the role of endocytosis in caIBDV entry and characterized the route of its endocytosis.
    Virus Research 12/2011; 165(1):9-16. · 2.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a respiratory disease caused by a zoonotic coronavirus (CoV) named SARS-CoV (SCoV), which rapidly swept the globe after its emergence in rural China during late 2002. The origins of SCoV have been mysterious and controversial, until the recent discovery of SARS-like CoV (SLCoV) in bats and the proposal of bats as the natural reservior of the Coronaviridae family. In this article, we focused on discussing how phylogenetics contributed to our understanding towards the emergence and transmission of SCoV. We first reviewed the epidemiology of SCoV from a phylogenetic perspective and discussed the controversies over its phylogenetic origins. Then, we summarized the phylogenetic findings in relation to its zoonotic origins and the proposed inter-species viral transmission events. Finally, we also discussed how the discoveries of SCoV and SLCoV expanded our knowledge on the evolution of the Coronaviridae family as well as its implications on the possible future re-emergence of SCoV.
    Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 09/2009; 9(6):1185-96. · 3.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Birnaviruses are bi-segmented double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) viruses infecting insects, avian species and a wide range of aquatic species. Although homologous recombination is a common phenomenon in positive-sense RNA viruses, recombination in dsRNA viruses is rarely reported. Here we performed a comprehensive survey on homologous recombination in all available sequences (>1800) of the family Birnaviridae based on phylogenetic incongruence. Although inter-species recombination was not evident, potential intra-species recombination events were detected in aquabirnaviruses and infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV). Eight potential recombination events were identified and the possibility that these events were non-naturally occurring was assessed case by case. Five of the eight events were identified in IBDVs and all of these five events involved live attenuated vaccine strains. This finding suggests that homologous recombination between vaccine and wild-type IBDV strains may have occurred; the potential risk of mass vaccination using live vaccines is discussed. This is the first report of evidence for homologous recombination within the family Birnaviridae.
    Journal of General Virology 01/2009; 89(Pt 12):3156-64. · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 1. The adenovirus-mediated overexpression of SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) spike protein (S) and its C-terminal domain (S2) induce apoptosis in Vero E6 cells. 2. Such apoptosis in Vero E6 cells is time- and dose-dependent. 3. The adenovirus-mediated overexpression of SARS-CoV N-terminal domain (S1) and other structural proteins, including E,M and N protein, do not induce apoptosis.
    Hong Kong medical journal = Xianggang yi xue za zhi / Hong Kong Academy of Medicine 08/2008; 14 Suppl 4:8-13.
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, the full mitochondrial genome of a basidiomycete fungus, Pleurotus ostreatus, was sequenced and analyzed. It is a circular DNA molecule of 73 242 bp and contains 44 known genes encoding 18 proteins and 26 RNA genes. The protein-coding genes include 14 common mitochondrial genes, one ribosomal small subunit protein 3 gene, one RNA polymerase gene and two DNA polymerase genes. In addition, one RNA and one DNA polymerase genes were identified in a mitochondrial plasmid. These two genes show relatively low similarities to their homologs in the mitochondrial genome but they are nearly identical to the known mitochondrial plasmid genes from another Pleurotus ostreatus strain. This suggests that the plasmid may mediate the horizontal gene transfer of the DNA and RNA polymerase genes into mitochondrial genome, and such a transfer may be an ancient event. Phylogenetic analysis based on the cox1 ORFs verified the traditional classification of Pleurotus ostreatus among fungi. However, the discordances were observed in the phylogenetic trees based on the six cox1 intronic ORFs of Pleurotus ostreatus and their homologs in other species, suggesting that these intronic ORFs are foreign DNA sequences obtained through HGT. In summary, this analysis provides valuable information towards the understanding of the evolution of fungal mtDNA.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 04/2008; 280(1):34-41. · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A novel H1N2 swine influenza A virus emerged in Europe since 1994. Previous phylogenetic analyses revealed that its genome segments were derived from H1N1 human virus, H3N2 human virus and avian-like H1N1/H3N2 swine virus, indicating the possibility of multiple reassortments events. However, dates of these reassortment events have not been investigated systematically. In this study, we used both global and local molecular clock concepts in a maximum likelihood framework to extrapolate the times of origins of the genome segments in European H1N2 swine viruses, and deduced that novel neuraminidase, hemagglutinin and other internal protein genes were introduced to the European H1N2 lineage at the 1970s, early 1980s and late 1980s, respectively through reassortments. Furthermore, in light of the evolutionary timescale reconstructed for the H1N2 viruses, we argue that further reassortments, in addition to those responsible for the introductions of novel genome segments, might have also occurred among the viruses prior to the outbreaks arose in United Kingdom at 1994. Our results confirm that the viral genes of various origins have stably maintained in swine population for many years before the multiple genetic reassortant was detected. Our evolutionary analyses also suggested that the HA and NA genes evolved in a significantly higher rate of synonymous substitutions after they were introduced from human to swine and established the European H1N2 swine lineage.
    Virus Research 03/2008; 131(2):271-8. · 2.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously demonstrated that over-expression of spike protein (S) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) or its C-terminal subunit (S2) is sufficient to induce apoptosis in vitro. To further investigate the possible roles of S2 in SARS-CoV-induced apoptosis and pathogenesis of SARS, we characterized the host expression profiles induced upon S2 over-expression in Vero E6 cells by oligonucleotide microarray analysis. Possible activation of mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in S2 expressing cells was suggested, as evidenced by the up-regulation of cytochrome c and down-regulation of the Bcl-2 family anti-apoptotic members. Inhibition of Bcl-2-related anti-apoptotic pathway was further supported by the diminution of S2-induced apoptosis in Vero E6 cells over-expressing Bcl-xL. In addition, modulation of CCN E2 and CDKN 1A implied the possible control of cell cycle arrest at G1/S phase. This study is expected to extend our understanding on the pathogenesis of SARS at a molecular level.
    Virology 03/2008; 371(1):32-43. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bats have been identified as the natural reservoir of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like and SARS coronaviruses (SLCoV and SCoV). However, previous studies suggested that none of the currently sampled bat SLCoVs is the descendant of the direct ancestor of SCoV, based on their relatively distant phylogenetic relationship. In this study, evidence of the recombinant origin of the genome of a bat SLCoV is demonstrated. We identified a potential recombination breakpoint immediately after the consensus intergenic sequence between open reading frame 1 and the S coding region, suggesting the replication intermediates may participate in the recombination event, as previously speculated for other CoVs. Phylogenetic analysis of its parental regions suggests the presence of an uncharacterized SLCoV lineage that is phylogenetically closer to SCoVs than any of the currently sampled bat SLCoVs. Using various Bayesian molecular-clock models, interspecies transfer of this SLCoV lineage from bats to the amplifying host (e.g., civets) was estimated to have happened a median of 4.08 years before the SARS outbreak. Based on this relatively short window period, we speculate that this uncharacterized SLCoV lineage may contain the direct ancestor of SCoV. This study sheds light on the possible host bat species of the direct ancestor of SCoV, providing valuable information on the scope and focus of surveillance for the origin of SCoV.
    Journal of Virology 03/2008; 82(4):1819-26. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses have seriously affected the Asian poultry industry since their recurrence in 2003. The viruses pose a threat of emergence of a global pandemic influenza through point mutation or reassortment leading to a strain that can effectively transmit among humans. In this study, we present phylogenetic evidences for the interlineage reassortment among H5N1 HPAI viruses isolated from humans, cats, and birds in Indonesia, and identify the potential genetic parents of the reassorted genome segments. Parsimony analyses of viral phylogeography suggest that the reassortant viruses may have originated from greater Jakarta and surroundings, and subsequently spread to other regions in the West Java province. In addition, Bayesian methods were used to elucidate the genetic diversity dynamics of the reassortant strain and one of its genetic parents, which revealed a more rapid initial growth of genetic diversity in the reassortant viruses relative to their genetic parent. These results demonstrate that interlineage exchange of genetic information may play a pivotal role in determining viral genetic diversity in a focal population. Moreover, our study also revealed significantly stronger diversifying selection on the M1 and PB2 genes in the lineages preceding and subsequent to the emergence of the reassortant viruses, respectively. We discuss how the corresponding mutations might drive the adaptation and onward transmission of the newly formed reassortant viruses.
    PLoS Pathogens 02/2008; 4(8):e1000130. · 8.14 Impact Factor
  • Veterinary Microbiology 02/2008; 126(4):390-3. · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    01/2008;
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    ABSTRACT: Infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) induces apoptosis and immunosuppression. To understand the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of infectious bursal disease (IBD) and the host-directed antiviral responses, cDNA microarrays were used to identify the differentially expressed transcripts in IBDV-infected chicken embryonic fibroblasts. The results suggest a general suppression of surface receptors, including CD40 ligand and SEMA4D. These are related to T- and B-cell activation and differentiation, which may contribute to the immunosuppression of IBD. In addition, activation of genes involved in Toll-like receptor- and interferon (IFN)-mediated antiviral responses was detected. In particular, upregulation of Toll-like receptor 3, a double-stranded (ds) RNA receptor, and MX1, an IFN-inducible antiviral GTPase, may represent the possible host-directed defence responses against the virus and its dsRNA genome. Interestingly, several lines of evidence suggest the modulation of G protein-coupled receptors and receptor tyrosine kinase signalling pathways, especially the possible transactivation of epidermal growth factor receptor by lysophosphatidic acid. Alteration of these may contribute to the previously reported activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases upon IBDV infection, resulting in macrophage activation and inflammatory responses. Additionally, numerous target genes and inducers of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) were upregulated profoundly, implying that IBDV may modulate host-cell survival and apoptosis to support its replication and facilitate viral spread through NF-kappaB activation. In summary, this investigation of host-gene expression unravelled the candidate physiological pathways involved in host-virus interaction on a molecular level, providing a foundation for researchers to design experiments based on testable hypotheses targeting individual genes.
    Journal of General Virology 07/2007; 88(Pt 6):1785-96. · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We reported the analytical interference of anti-Escherichia coli protein (EP) antibodies in human sera and residual EP in a recombinant nucleocapsid protein-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay as a possible source of false positives in severe acute respiratory syndrome serodiagnosis. The rate of false positives was significantly reduced by adding mouse anti-EP antiserum in the blocking step.
    Clinical and Vaccine Immunology 02/2007; 14(1):99-101. · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tissue culture adaptation of infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) results in alternation of three residues on its major capsid protein VP2 and these residues may engage in receptor binding. Although the key of successful infection of tissue culture adapted IBDV in tissue cultures was defined as the virus entering steps, mechanism of the adaptation is poorly understood. In this study, recombinant VP2s of an attenuated strain (D78) and a very virulent strain (HK46) of IBDV tagged with rabbit immunoglobulin G heavy chain were expressed in mammalian cells, generating RAVP2 and RVVP2, respectively, in high purity. Using flow cytometry, both RAVP2 and RVVP2 were demonstrated to bind with Vero cells while these bindings were blocked by D78 viral particles, implying both very virulent IBDVs (vvIBDVs) and attenuated IBDVs bind to Vero cells through the same receptor(s). Since vvIBDVs cannot be propagated directly in tissue cultures, the specific binding between RVVP2 and Vero cells suggests the barrier for tissue culture adaptation may be beyond the virus attachment process.
    Virus Research 02/2007; 123(1):50-6. · 2.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neutralizing effects of antibodies targeting the C-terminal stalk (S2) subunit of the spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus have previously been reported, although its mechanism remained elusive. In this study, high titered mouse antisera against the N-terminal globular (S1) and S2 subunits of the S protein were generated and total immunoglobulin G (IgG) was purified from these antisera. The efficiency of these purified IgGs in virus neutralization and blocking of receptor binding were compared quantitatively using virus neutralization assay and a previously developed cell-based receptor binding assay, respectively. We demonstrated that anti-S1 IgG neutralizes the virus and binds to the membrane associated S protein more efficiently than anti-S2 IgG does. Moreover, both anti-S1 and anti-S2 IgGs were able to abolish the binding between S protein and its cellular receptor(s), although anti-S1 IgG showed a significantly higher blocking efficiency. The unexpected blocking ability of anti-S2 IgG towards the receptor binding implied a possible role of the S2 subunit in virus docking process and argues against the current hypothesis of viral entry. On the other hand, the functional roles of the previously reported neutralizing epitopes within S2 subunit were investigated using an antigen specific antibody depletion assay. Depletion of antibodies against these regions significantly diminished, though not completely abolished, the neutralizing effects of anti-S2 IgG. It suggests the absence of a major neutralizing domain on S2 protein. The possible ways of anti-S2 IgGs to abolish the receptor binding and the factors restricting anti-S2 IgGs to neutralize the virus are discussed.
    FEBS Letters 11/2006; 580(24):5612-20. · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) is a birnavirus causing immunosuppressive disease in chickens. Emergence of the very virulent form of IBDV (vvIBDV) in the late 1980s dramatically changed the epidemiology of the disease. In this study, we investigated the phylogenetic origins of its genome segments and estimated the time of emergence of their most recent common ancestors. Moreover, with recently developed coalescence techniques, we reconstructed the past population dynamics of vvIBDV and timed the onset of its expansion to the late 1980s. Our analysis suggests that genome segment A of vvIBDV emerged at least 20 years before its expansion, which argues against the hypothesis that mutation of genome segment A is the major contributing factor in the emergence and expansion of vvIBDV. Alternatively, the phylogeny of genome segment B suggests a possible reassortment event estimated to have taken place around the mid-1980s, which seems to coincide with its expansion within approximately 5 years. We therefore hypothesize that the reassortment of genome segment B initiated vvIBDV expansion in the late 1980s, possibly by enhancing the virulence of the virus synergistically with its existing genome segment A. This report reveals the possible mechanisms leading to the emergence and expansion of vvIBDV, which would certainly provide insights into the scope of surveillance and prevention efforts regarding the disease.
    Journal of Virology 10/2006; 80(17):8503-9. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The pro-apoptotic properties of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) structural proteins were studied in vitro. By monitoring apoptosis indicators including chromatin condensation, cellular DNA fragmentation and cell membrane asymmetry, we demonstrated that the adenovirus-mediated over-expression of SARS-CoV spike (S) protein and its C-terminal domain (S2) induce apoptosis in Vero E6 cells in a time- and dosage-dependent manner, whereas the expression of its N-terminal domain (S1) and other structural proteins, including envelope (E), membrane (M) and nucleocapsid (N) protein do not. These findings suggest a possible role of S and S2 protein in SARS-CoV induced apoptosis and the molecular pathogenesis of SARS.
    FEBS Letters 01/2006; 579(30):6699-704. · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Proteins and peptide bound polysaccharides (PSP) extracted from Basidiomycetous fungi are widely used in cancer immunotherapy and recently demonstrated to induce apoptosis in cancer cells in vitro. In order to provide the molecular pharmacological mechanisms of PSP on human cancer cells, we investigated the gene expression profiles of PSP-treated apoptotic human promyelotic leukemic HL-60 cells using ResGen 40k IMAGE printed cDNA microarray. In total 378 and 111 transcripts were identified as differentially expressed in the apoptotic cells by at least a factor of 2 or 3, respectively. Our data show that PSP-induced apoptosis in HL-60 cells might be mediated by up-regulation of early transcription factors such as AP-1, EGR1, IER2 and IER5, and down-regulation of NF-kappaB transcription pathways. Other gene expression changes, including the increase of several apoptotic or anti-proliferation genes, such as GADD45A/B and TUSC2, and the decrease of a batch of phosphatase and kinase genes, may also provide further evidences in supporting the process of PSP induced apoptosis in cancer cells. Some of the well-characterized carcinogenesis-related gene transcripts such as SAT, DCT, Melan-A, uPA and cyclin E1 were also alternated by PSP in the HL-60 cells. These transcripts can be employed as markers for quality control of PSP products on functional levels. The present study provides new insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in PSP-induced apoptosis in leukemic HL-60 cells analyzed by cDNA microarray.
    International Journal of Oncology 09/2005; 27(2):513-23. · 2.66 Impact Factor
  • The Lancet 06/2004; 363(9423):1825; author reply 1826-7. · 39.06 Impact Factor