Ge Bai

University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, United States

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Publications (11)57.08 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We report the design, synthesis, characterization and evaluation of a novel class of γ-AApeptide one-bead-one-compound (OBOC) library, from which a small γ-AApeptide was identified to effectively prevent and disassemble Aβ aggregation.
    Chemical Communications 10/2013; · 6.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Antimicrobial drug resistance is one of the greatest threats facing mankind. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) can potentially circumvent drug resistance, probably through a bacterial membrane-disruption mechanism. However, they suffer from low in vivo stability, potential immunogenicity, and difficulty in optimization. The development of antimicrobial peptidomimetics is therefore an emerging research area as they avoid the potential disadvantages of AMPs. Cyclic peptidomimetics are of significant interest since constraints induced by cyclization are expected to further improve their antimicrobial activity. Nonetheless, the report of cyclic oligomeric peptidomimetics for antimicrobial development is rare. Herein, for the first time, we report the design and synthesis of cyclic γ-AApeptides via an on-resin cyclization. These cyclic γ-AApeptides are potent and broad-spectrum active against fungus and multi-drug resistant Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial pathogens. Our results demonstrate the potential of cyclic γ-AApeptides as a new class of antibiotics to circumvent drug resistance by mimicking the bactericidal mechanism of AMPs. Meanwhile, the facile synthesis of cyclic γ-AApeptides may further expand the applications of γ-AApeptides in biomedical sciences.
    Chemical Science 07/2012; 3(8):2570-2575. · 8.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite FDA suspension of Elan's AN-1792 amyloid beta (Aβ) vaccine in phase IIb clinical trials, the implications of this study are the guiding principles for contemporary anti-Aβ immunotherapy against Alzheimer's disease (AD). AN-1792 showed promising results with regards to Aβ clearance and cognitive function improvement, but also exhibited an increased risk of Th1 mediated meningoencephalitis. As such, vaccine development has continued with an emphasis on eliciting a notable anti-Aβ antibody titer, while avoiding the unwanted Th1 pro-inflammatory response. Previously, we published the first report of an Aβ sensitized dendritic cell vaccine as a therapeutic treatment for AD in BALB/c mice. Our vaccine elicited an anti-Aβ titer, with indications that a Th1 response was not present. This study is the first to investigate the efficacy and safety of our dendritic cell vaccine for the prevention of AD in transgenic mouse models (PDAPP) for AD. We also used Immunohistochemistry to characterize the involvement of LXR, ABCA1, and CD45 in order to gain insight into the potential mechanisms through which this vaccine may provide benefit. The results indicate that (1) the use of mutant Aβ1-42 sensitized dendritic cell vaccine results in durable antibody production, (2) the vaccine provides significant benefits with regards to cognitive function without the global (Th1) inflammation seen in prior Aβ vaccines, (3) histological studies showed an overall decrease in Aβ burden, with an increase in LXR, ABCA1, and CD45, and (4) the beneficial results of our DC vaccine may be due to the LXR/ABCA1 pathway. In the future, mutant Aβ sensitized dendritic cell vaccines could be an efficacious and safe method for the prevention or treatment of AD that circumvents problems associated with traditional anti-Aβ vaccines.
    Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology 06/2012; 7(3):640-55. · 3.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is increasing demand to develop antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) as next generation antibiotic agents, as they have the potential to circumvent emerging drug resistance against conventional antibiotic treatments. Non-natural antimicrobial peptidomimetics are an ideal example of this, as they have significant potency and in vivo stability. Here we report for the first time the design of lipidated γ-AApeptides as antimicrobial agents. These lipo-γ-AApeptides show potent broad-spectrum activities against fungi and a series of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including clinically relevant pathogens that are resistant to most antibiotics. We have analyzed their structure-function relationship and antimicrobial mechanisms using membrane depolarization and fluorescent microscopy assays. Introduction of unsaturated lipid chain significantly decreases hemolytic activity and thereby increases the selectivity. Furthermore, a representative lipo-γ-AApeptide did not induce drug resistance in S. aureus, even after 17 rounds of passaging. These results suggest that the lipo-γ-AApeptides have bactericidal mechanisms analogous to those of AMPs and have strong potential as a new class of novel antibiotic therapeutics.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 04/2012; 55(8):4003-9. · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although both human epidemiologic and animal model studies have suggested that caffeine/coffee protects against Alzheimer's disease, direct human evidence for this premise has been lacking. In the present case-control study, two separate cohorts consisting of 124 total individuals (65-88 years old) were cognitively assessed and a blood sample taken for caffeine/biomarker analysis. Subjects were then monitored for cognitive status over the ensuing 2-4 year period to determine the extent to which initial plasma caffeine/biomarkers levels would be predictive of changes in cognitive status. Plasma caffeine levels at study onset were substantially lower (-51%) in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subjects who later progressed to dementia (MCI→DEM) compared to levels in stable MCI subjects (MCI→MCI). Moreover, none of the MCI→DEM subjects had initial blood caffeine levels that were above a critical level of 1200 ng/ml, while half of stable MCI→MCI subjects had blood caffeine levels higher than that critical level. Thus, plasma caffeine levels greater than 1200 ng/ml (≈6 μM) in MCI subjects were associated with no conversion to dementia during the ensuing 2-4 year follow-up period. Among the 11 cytokines measured in plasma, three of them (GCSF, IL-10, and IL-6) were decreased in MCI→DEM subjects, but not in stable MCI→MCI subjects with high plasma caffeine levels. Coffee would appear to be the major or perhaps only source of caffeine for such stable MCI patients. This case-control study provides the first direct evidence that caffeine/coffee intake is associated with a reduced risk of dementia or delayed onset, particularly for those who already have MCI.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 03/2012; 30(3):559-72. · 4.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cell-penetrating peptides including the trans-activating transcriptional activator (Tat) from HIV-1 have been used as carriers for intracellular delivery of a myriad of cargoes including drugs, molecular probes, DNAs and nanoparticles. Utilizing fluorescence flow cytometry and confocal fluorescence microscopy, we demonstrate that a γ-AApeptide mimetic of Tat (48-57) can cross the cell membranes and enter the cytoplasm and nucleus of cells, with efficiency comparable to or better than that of Tat peptide (48-57). Deletion of the four side chains of the γ-AApeptide attenuates translocation capability. We also establish that the γ-AApeptide is even less toxic than the Tat peptide against mammalian cells. In addition to their low toxicity, γ-AApeptides are resistant to protease degradation, which may prove to be advantageous over α-peptides for further development of molecular transporters for intracellular delivery.
    Molecular Pharmaceutics 03/2012; 9(5):1529-34. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previously, our lab was the first to report the use of antigen-sensitized dendritic cells as a vaccine against Alzheimer's disease (AD). In preparation of this vaccine, we sensitized the isolated dendritic cells ex vivo with Aβ peptide, and administered these sensitized dendritic cells as a therapeutic agent. This form of cell therapy has had success in preventing and/or slowing the rate of cognitive decline when administered prior to the appearance of Aβ plaques in PDAPP mice, but has not been tested in 2×Tg models. Herein, we test the efficacy and safety of this vaccine in halting and reversing Alzheimer's pathology in 9-month-old APP+PS1 mice. The results showed that administration of this vaccine elicits a long-lasting antibody titer, which correlated well with a reduction of Aβ burden upon histological analysis. Cognitive function in transgenic responders to the vaccine was rescued to levels similar to those found in non-transgenic mice, indicating that the vaccine is capable of providing therapeutic benefit in APP+PS1 mice when administered after the onset of AD pathology. The vaccine also shows indications of circumventing past safety problems observed in AD immunotherapy, as Th1 pro-inflammatory cytokines were not elevated after long-term vaccine administration. Moreover, microhemorrhaging and T-cell infiltration into the brain are not observed in any of the treated subjects. All in all, this vaccine has many advantages over contemporary vaccines against Alzheimer's disease, and may lead to a viable treatment for the disease in the future.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(12):e49468. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Some short and cationic peptides such as the Tat peptide can cross the cell membrane and function as vectors for intracellular delivery. Here we show that an α-AApeptide is able to penetrate the membranes of living cells from an extracellular environment and enter the endosome and cytoplasm of cells. The efficiency of the cellular uptake is comparable to a Tat peptide (48-57) of the same length and is unexpectedly superior to an α-peptide with identical functional groups. The mechanism of uptake is similar to that of the Tat peptide and is through endocytosis by an energy-dependent pathway. Due to the easy synthesis of the α-AApeptides, their resistance to proteolytic hydrolysis, and their low cytotoxicity, α-AApeptides represent a new class of transporters for the delivery of drugs.
    Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry 12/2011; 10(6):1149-53. · 3.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the identification of a new class of antimicrobial peptidomimetics-γ-AApeptides with potent and broad-spectrum activity, including clinically-relevant strains that are unresponsive to most antibiotics. They are also not prone to select for drug-resistance.
    Chemical Communications 10/2011; 47(44):12197-9. · 6.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report a new class of peptide mimetics, α-AApeptides, that display broad-spectrum activity against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and fungi. With non-hemolytic activity, resistance to protease hydrolysis, and easy sequence programmability, α-AApeptides may emerge as a novel class of antibiotics.
    Chemical Communications 09/2011; 47(34):9729-31. · 6.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Retrospective and prospective epidemiologic studies suggest that enhanced coffee/caffeine intake during aging reduces risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Underscoring this premise, our studies in AD transgenic mice show that long-term caffeine administration protects against cognitive impairment and reduces brain amyloid-β levels/deposition through suppression of both β- and γ-secretase. Because coffee contains many constituents in addition to caffeine that may provide cognitive benefits against AD, we examined effects of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee on plasma cytokines, comparing their effects to caffeine alone. In both AβPPsw+PS1 transgenic mice and non-transgenic littermates, acute i.p. treatment with caffeinated coffee greatly and specifically increased plasma levels of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (GCSF), IL-10, and IL-6. Neither caffeine solution alone (which provided high plasma caffeine levels) or decaffeinated coffee provided this effect, indicating that caffeine synergized with some as yet unidentified component of coffee to selectively elevate these three plasma cytokines. The increase in GCSF is particularly important because long-term treatment with coffee (but not decaffeinated coffee) enhanced working memory in a fashion that was associated only with increased plasma GCSF levels among all cytokines. Since we have previously reported that long-term GCSF treatment enhances cognitive performance in AD mice through three possible mechanisms (e.g., recruitment of microglia from bone marrow, synaptogenesis, and neurogenesis), the same mechanisms could be complimentary to caffeine's established ability to suppress Aβ production. We conclude that coffee may be the best source of caffeine to protect against AD because of a component in coffee that synergizes with caffeine to enhance plasma GCSF levels, resulting in multiple therapeutic actions against AD.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 03/2011; 25(2):323-35. · 4.17 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

37 Citations
57.08 Total Impact Points


  • 2013
    • University of South Florida
      • Department of Chemistry
      Tampa, Florida, United States