Jian-Ping Guo

University of British Columbia - Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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Publications (16)82.22 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The membrane attack complex (MAC) is a key player in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and is a putative activator of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Amyloid beta (Aβ), a component of drusen deposits, has also been implicated in inflammasome activation by our work and those of others. However, the interactions of MAC and Aβ are still poorly understood, especially their roles in aging and retinal degenerative pathologies. Since inflammasome activation may represent a key cellular pathway underlying age-related chronic inflammation in the eye, the purpose of this study is to identify the effects associated with MAC and inflammasome activation in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)/choroid and to evaluate the therapeutic merits of MAC suppression. METHODS: Adult Long-Evans rats were divided into treatment and control groups. Treatment groups received oral aurin tricarboxylic acid complex (ATAC), a MAC inhibitor, in drinking-water, and control groups received drinking-water alone (No ATAC). Groups were sacrificed at 7.5 or 11.5 months, after approximately 40 days of ATAC treatment. To study age-related changes of Aβ and MAC in RPE/choroid, naive animals were sacrificed at 2.5, 7.5, and 11.5 months. Eye tissues underwent immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis for MAC, Aβ, NF-κB activation, as well as cleaved caspase-1 and IL-18. Vitreal samples were collected and assessed by multiplex assays for secreted levels of IL-18 and IL-1β. Statistical analyses were performed, and significance level was set at p ≤ 0.05. RESULTS: In vivo studies demonstrated an age-dependent increase in MAC, Aβ, and NF-κB activation in the RPE/choroid. Systemic ATAC resulted in a prominent reduction in MAC formation and a concomitant reduction in inflammasome activation measured by cleaved caspase-1 and secreted levels of IL-18 and IL-1β, but not in NF-κB activation. In vitro studies demonstrated Aβ-induced MAC formation on RPE cells. CONCLUSIONS: Age-dependent increases in Aβ and MAC are present in the rodent outer retina. Our results suggest that suppressing MAC formation and subsequent inflammasome activation in the RPE/choroid may reduce chronic low-grade inflammation associated with IL-18 and IL-1β in the outer retina.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of Neuroinflammation
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    ABSTRACT: Bexarotene has been reported to reduce brain amyloid-β (Aβ) levels and to improve cognitive function in transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Four groups failed to fully replicate the primary results but the original authors claimed overall support for the general conclusions. Because of its potential clinical importance, the current work studied the effects of bexarotene using two animal species and highly relevant paradigms. Rats were tested for the ability of bexarotene to prevent changes induced by an Aβ challenge in the form intracerebroventricular (i.c.v) administration of 7PA2 conditioned medium (7PA2 CM) which contains high levels of Aβ species. Bexarotene had no effect on the long-term potentiation of evoked extracellular field excitatory postsynaptic potentials induced by i.c.v. 7PA2 CM. It also had no effect following subcutaneous administration of 2, 5, 10 and 15 mg/kg on behavioral/cognitive impairment using an alternating-lever cyclic-ratio schedule of operant responding in the rat. The effects of bexarotene were further tested using the APPSwFILon,PSEN1*M146L*L286V transgenic mouse model of AD, starting at the time Aβ deposits first begin to develop. Mice were sacrificed after 48 days of exposure to 100 mg bexarotene per day. No significant difference between test and control mice was found using a water-maze test, and no significant difference in the number of Aβ deposits in cerebral cortex, using two different antibodies, was apparent. These results question the potential efficacy of bexarotene for AD treatment, even if instigated in the preclinical period prior to the onset of cognitive deficits reported for human AD. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Neuropharmacology
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    ABSTRACT: Aberrant complement activation is known to exacerbate the pathology in a spectrum of degenerative diseases of aging. We previously reported that aurin tricarboxylic acid (ATA) is an orally effective agent which prevents formation of the membrane attack complex of complement. It inhibits C9 attachment to tissue bound C5b678 and thus prevents bystander lysis of host cells. In this study, we investigated the effects of ATA on the alternative complement pathway. We found that ATA prevented cleavage of the tissue bound properdin-C3b-Factor B complex into the active C3 convertase enzyme properdin-C3b-Factor Bb. This inhibition was reversed by adding Factor D to the serum. Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent type assays, we established that ATA binds directly to Factor D and C9 but not to properdin or other complement proteins. We conclude that ATA, by inhibiting at two stages of the alternative pathway, might be a particularly effective therapeutic agent in conditions such as macular degeneration, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinemia, and rheumatoid arthritis, in which activation of the alternative complement pathway initiates self damage.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Neurobiology of aging
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    ABSTRACT: Complement plays a vital role in both the innate and adaptive immune systems. It recognizes a target, opsonizes it, generates anaphylatoxins, and directly kills cells through the membrane attack complex (MAC). This final function, which assembles C5b-9(n) on viable cell surfaces, can kill host cells through bystander lysis. Here we identify for the first time compounds that can inhibit bystander lysis while not interfering with the other essential functions of complement. We show that aurin tricarboxylic acid (ATA), aurin quadracarboxylic acid (AQA), and aurin hexacarboxylic acid (AHA), block the addition of C9 to C5b-8 so that the MAC cannot form. These molecules inhibit hemolysis of human, rat, and mouse red cells with a half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) in the nanomolar range. When given orally to Alzheimer disease type B6SJL-Tg mice, they inhibit MAC formation in serum and improve memory retention. On autopsy, they show no evidence of harm to any organ. Aurin tricarboxylic acid, aurin quadracarboxylic acid, and aurin hexacarboxylic acid may be effective therapeutic agents in Alzheimer disease and other degenerative disorders where self damage from the MAC occurs.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Neurobiology of aging
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    ABSTRACT: A distinct conformational transition from the α-helix-rich cellular prion protein (PrPC) into its β-sheet-rich pathological isoform (PrPSc) is the hallmark of prion diseases, a group of fatal transmissible encephalopathies that includes spontaneous and acquired forms. Recently, a PrPSc-like intermediate form characterized by the formation of insoluble aggregates and protease-resistant PrP species termed insoluble PrPC (iPrPC) has been identified in uninfected mammalian brains and cultured neuronal cells, providing new insights into the molecular mechanism(s) of these diseases. Here, we explore the molecular characteristics of the spontaneously formed iPrPC in cultured neuroblastoma cells expressing wild-type or mutant human PrP linked to two familial prion diseases. We observed that although PrP mutation at either residue 183 from Thr to Ala (PrPT183A) or at residue 198 from Phe to Ser (PrPF198S) affects glycosylation at both N-linked glycosylation sites, the T183A mutation that results in intracellular retention significantly increased the formation of iPrPC. Moreover, while autophagy is increased in F198S cells, it was significantly decreased in T183A cells. Our results indicate that iPrPC may be formed more readily in an intracellular compartment and that a significant increase in PrPT183A aggregation may be attributable to the inhibition of autophagy.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2011 · Aging
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    ABSTRACT: The prion protein (PrP) is best known for its association with prion diseases. However, a controversial new role for PrP in Alzheimer disease (AD) has recently emerged. In vitro studies and mouse models of AD suggest that PrP may be involved in AD pathogenesis through a highly specific interaction with amyloid-β (Aβ42) oligomers. Immobilized recombinant human PrP (huPrP) also exhibited high affinity and specificity for Aβ42 oligomers. Here we report the novel finding that aggregated forms of huPrP and Aβ42 are co-purified from AD brain extracts. Moreover, an anti-PrP antibody and an agent that specifically binds to insoluble PrP (iPrP) co-precipitate insoluble Aβ from human AD brain. Finally, using peptide membrane arrays of 99 13-mer peptides that span the entire sequence of mature huPrP, two distinct types of Aβ binding sites on huPrP are identified in vitro. One specifically binds to Aβ42 and the other binds to both Aβ42 and Aβ40. Notably, Aβ42-specific binding sites are localized predominantly in the octapeptide repeat region, whereas sites that bind both Aβ40 and Aβ42 are mainly in the extreme N-terminal or C-terminal domains of PrP. Our study suggests that iPrP is the major PrP species that interacts with insoluble Aβ42 in vivo. Although this work indicated the interaction of Aβ42 with huPrP in the AD brain, the pathophysiological relevance of the iPrP/Aβ42 interaction remains to be established.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2011 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: The epitope of the 3F4 antibody most commonly used in human prion disease diagnosis is believed to consist of residues Met-Lys-His-Met (MKHM) corresponding to human PrP-(109-112). This assumption is based mainly on the observation that 3F4 reacts with human and hamster PrP but not with PrP from mouse, sheep, and cervids, in which Met at residue 112 is replaced by Val. Here we report that, by brain histoblotting, 3F4 did not react with PrP of uninfected transgenic mice expressing elk PrP; however, it did show distinct immunoreactivity in transgenic mice infected with chronic wasting disease. Compared with human PrP, the 3F4 reactivity with the recombinant elk PrP was 2 orders of magnitude weaker, as indicated by both Western blotting and surface plasmon resonance. To investigate the molecular basis of these species- and conformer-dependent preferences of 3F4, the epitope was probed by peptide membrane array and antigen competition experiments. Remarkably, the 3F4 antibody did not react with MKHM but reacted strongly with KTNMK (corresponding to human PrP-(106-110)), a sequence that is also present in cervids, sheep, and cattle. 3F4 also reacted with elk PrP peptides containing KTNMKHV. We concluded that the minimal sequence for the 3F4 epitope consists of residues KTNMK, and the species- and conformer-dependent preferences of 3F4 arise largely from the interactions between Met(112) (human PrP) or Val(115) (cervid PrP) and adjacent residues.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2010 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
  • Jian-Ping Guo · Sheng Yu · Patrick L McGeer
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    ABSTRACT: Compounds that will inhibit buildup of amyloid-beta(Abeta) deposits in Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain are potential therapeutic agents. Here we report the development of two simple in vitro screening assays to identify such agents. We use these assays to evaluate the relative potency of some possible candidates. One assay is based on binding of fluorescence-tagged Abeta{1-42} to synthetic Abeta{1-42} plated in wells of fluorescent black-wall microplates. Fluorescence-tagged Abeta{1-42} solutions with and without blockers are then added to the plates, and the amount of bound fluorescence is measured. Another is a tissue type assay, where sections of unfixed AD or AD model transgenic mouse brains are mounted on glass slides. The same solutions assayed in the microplate test are then added to tissue sections. Binding of fluorescence-tagged Abeta{1-42} to the Abeta deposits in AD or transgenic brain tissue is detected with a fluorescence microscope. Good agreement is obtained between the two methods. Most of the tested agents have too low an affinity for Abeta {1-42} to be effective clinically. Agents that may have marginal affinity according to these tests include 1,2,3,4,6-penta-O-galloyl-b-D-glucopyranose (PGG), S-diclofenac, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), resveratrol, and extracts of spirulina, ginger, rhubarb, cinnamon, blueberries, and turmeric. Compounds which failed to show binding include scyllo-inositol, myo-inositol, rhamnose, ginkgolide A, emodin, rhein, caryophellene, curcumin, valproic acid, tramiprosate, and garlic extract.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2010 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2) have been identified in families with autosomal dominant late-onset Parkinson disease (PD). Lrrk2 is a phylogenetically conserved, ubiquitous protein, which is constitutively expressed in various cells including neurons and glial cells of human brain. We recently reported that Lrrk2 is identified in Lewy bodies in PD as well as in neuronal and glial inclusions in several other neurodegenerative disorders. Here we show that Lrrk2 is closely associated with the tau-positive inclusions in eight members of a family with frontotemporal dementia of the pallido-ponto-nigral degeneration type linked to the chromosome 17 N279K tau mutation (N279K/FTDP-17/PPND). Lrrk2 is colocalized with tau in oligodendroglial coiled bodies and intracytoplasmic neuronal inclusions. HLA-DR positive reactive microglia and ICAM-1 positive reactive astrocytes accumulated in affected areas demonstrating that inflammatory processes are also involved in the disease pathogenesis. Western blot analysis of soluble extracts of N279K/FTDP-17/PPND brain tissue suggests that C-terminal fragment(s) of apparent 64-75 kDa molecular weight may be the major Lrrk2 species in pathological deposits. The possibility that Lrrk2 is linked with various neurodegenerative disorders through the ubiquitin proteosome pathway is discussed. The results indicate that Lrrk2 is linked to frontotemporal atrophy of PPND type caused by N279K tau mutation. They also show that chronic inflammation is involved in the pathogenesis of N279K/FTDP-17/PPND.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2007 · Acta Neuropathologica
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    ABSTRACT: alpha-Synuclein, a gene whose mutations, duplication, and triplication has been linked to autosomal dominant familial Parkinson's disease (fPD), appears to play a central role in the pathogenesis of sporadic PD (sPD) as well. Enhancement of neurodegeneration induced by mutant alpha-synuclein has been attributed to date largely to faster formation of alpha-synuclein aggregates in neurons. Recently, we reported that microglial activation enhances wild type (WT) alpha-synuclein-elicited dopaminergic neurodegeneration. In the present study, using a primary mesencephalic culture system, we tested whether mutated alpha-synuclein could activate microglia more powerfully than WT alpha-synuclein, thereby contributing to the accelerated neurodegeneration observed in fPD. The results showed that alpha-synuclein with the A30P or A53T mutations caused greater microglial activation than WT alpha-synuclein. Furthermore, the extent of microglial activation paralleled the degree of dopaminergic neurotoxicity induced by WT and mutant alpha-synuclein. Mutant alpha-synuclein also induced greater production of reactive oxygen species than WT alpha-synuclein by NADPH oxidase (PHOX), and PHOX activation was linked to direct activation of macrophage antigen-1 (Mac-1) receptor, rather than alpha-synuclein internalization via scavenger receptors. These results have, for the first time, demonstrated that microglia are also critical in enhanced neurotoxicity induced by mutant alpha-synuclein.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2007 · Glia
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2) have been recently identified in families with autosomal-dominant late-onset Parkinson disease. We report that by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, the mRNA of LRRK2 is expressed in soluble extracts of human brain, liver, and heart and in cultured human astrocytes, microglia, and oligodendroglia as well as in human neuroblastoma cell lines. We find by Western blotting using a polyclonal antibody of the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 protein (Lrrk2) specific for C-terminal residues 2,511-2,527 that an apparent full-length protein and several of its fractions are expressed in soluble extracts of normal human brain. By immunocytochemistry, the antibody recognizes neurons, and more weakly astrocytes and microglia, in normal brain tissue. It intensely labels Lewy bodies in Parkinson disease and related neurodegenerative disorders. It also labels a subset of neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer disease and the Parkinsonism dementia complex of Guam (PDCG). It labels thorn-shaped astrocytes and oligodendroglial coiled bodies in PDCG; oligodendroglial inclusions in multiple system atrophy; Pick bodies in Pick disease; nuclear and cytoplasmic inclusions in Huntington disease; and intraneuronal and glial inclusions in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In summary, LRRK2 is constitutively expressed in neurons and also in glial cells of human brain. It strongly associates with pathological inclusions in several neurodegenerative disorders.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2006 · Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
  • Article: P3-335

    No preview · Article · Jul 2006
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    ABSTRACT: To date, there is no reasonable explanation as to why plaques and tangles simultaneously accumulate in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We demonstrate here by Western blotting and ELISA that a stable complex can form between tau and amyloid-beta protein (Abeta). This complex enhances tau phosphorylation by GSK3beta, but the phosphorylation then promotes dissociation of the complex. We have localized the sites of this interaction by using peptide membrane arrays. Abeta binds to multiple tau peptides, especially those in exons 7 and 9. This binding is sharply reduced or abolished by phosphorylation of specific serine and threonine residues. Conversely, tau binds to multiple Abeta peptides in the mid to C-terminal regions of Abeta. This binding is also significantly decreased by GSK3beta phosphorylation of tau. We used surface plasmon resonance to determine the binding affinity of Abeta for tau and found it to be in the low nanomolar range and almost 1,000-fold higher than tau for itself. In soluble extracts from AD and control brain tissue, we detected Abeta bound to tau in ELISAs. We also found by double immunostaining of AD brain tissue that phosphorylated tau and Abeta form separate insoluble complexes within the same neurons and their processes. We hypothesize that in AD, an initial step in the pathogenesis may be the intracellular binding of soluble Abeta to soluble nonphosphorylated tau, thus promoting tau phosphorylation and Abeta nucleation. Blocking the sites where Abeta initially binds to tau might arrest the simultaneous formation of plaques and tangles in AD.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2006 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Thrombin is a serine protease that is generated by proteolytic cleavage of its precursor, prothrombin. We previously showed that thrombin proteolyses the microtubule-associated protein tau and that phosphorylation of tau inhibits this process. To characterize further the role of thrombin in the brain, we investigated prothrombin and thrombin expression in cultured brain cells and in brains of control, Alzheimer disease (AD) and parkinsonism-dementia complex of Guam (PDCG). We show by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction that prothrombin mRNA is expressed in brain tissues, neuroblastoma cells, and cultured human astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglial cells. We also show by immunohistochemistry that the proteins prothrombin and thrombin are present in brain using specific monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies for both proteins. All antibodies stained residual serum in blood vessels, as well as normal pyramidal neurons and their processes, and some astrocytes. Additionally, in AD and PDCG cases, all antibodies stained extra- and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), senile plaques, and reactive microglial cells. The ubiquitous expression of prothrombin and thrombin in brain cells suggests that thrombin plays an important physiological role in normal brain. The accumulation of thrombin and prothrombin in NFTs supports the hypothesis that thrombin may be involved in tau proteolysis and that failure to metabolize tau may lead to its aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2006 · Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
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    Tetsuaki Arai · Jian-Ping Guo · Patrick L McGeer
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    ABSTRACT: The microtubule-associated protein tau aggregates intracellularly by unknown mechanisms in Alzheimer's disease and other tauopathies. A contributing factor may be a failure to break down free cytosolic tau, thus creating a surplus for aggregation, although the proteases that degrade tau in brain remain unknown. To address this issue, we prepared cytosolic fractions from five normal human brains and from perfused rat brains and incubated them with or without protease inhibitors. d-Phenylalanyl-l-prolylarginyl chloromethyl ketone, a thrombin-specific inhibitor, prevented tau breakdown in these fractions, suggesting that thrombin is a brain protease that processes tau. We next exposed human recombinant tau to purified human thrombin and analyzed the fragments by N-terminal sequencing. We found that thrombin proteolyzed tau at multiple arginine and lysine sites. These include Arg155–Gly156, Arg209–Ser210, Arg230–Thr231, Lys257–Ser258, and Lys340–Ser341 (numbering according to the longest human tau isoform). Temporally, the initial cleavage occurred at the Arg155–Gly156 bond. Proteolysis of the resultant C-terminal tau fragment then proceeded bidirectionally. When tau was phosphorylated by glycogen synthase kinase-3β, most of these proteolytic processes were inhibited, except for the first cleavage at the Arg155–Gly156 bond. Furthermore, paired helical filament tau prepared from Alzheimer's disease brain was more resistant to thrombin proteolysis than following dephosphorylation by alkaline phosphatase. The results suggest a possible role for thrombin in proteolysis of tau under physiological and/or pathological conditions in human brains. They are consistent with the hypothesis that phosphorylation of tau inhibits proteolysis by thrombin or other endogenous proteases, leading to aggregation of tau into insoluble fibrils.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2005 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: We synthesized on cellulose membranes 4942 ten-amino-acid peptides which included all of the sequences predicted for the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) corona virus. We probed these membranes with four pairs of acute and convalescent sera from recovered SARS cases. We correlated positively reacting peptides with the in vitro SARS-CoV neutralizing activity of the samples. We found that convalescent sera with high neutralizing activity recognized exclusively only a limited number of peptides on the membranes. This suggests that antibodies against the epitopes represented by these peptides could be responsible for much of the SARS-CoV neutralizing activity. The findings have implications for monitoring humoral responses to SARS-CoV as well as for developing a successful SARS vaccine.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2004 · Virology

Publication Stats

581 Citations
82.22 Total Impact Points


  • 2004-2015
    • University of British Columbia - Vancouver
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2010
    • University of Portsmouth
      • Biophysics Laboratories
      Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom