Zhikai Xu

Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, Liaoning, China

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Publications (9)26 Total impact

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    Dan Xiao · Kejian Wu · Xin Tan · Jing Le · Haitao Li · Yongping Yan · Zhikai Xu
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Hu County is a serious hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) epidemic area, with notable fluctuation of the HFRS epidemic in recent years. This study aimed to explore the optimal model for HFRS epidemic prediction in Hu. Methods: Three models were constructed and compared, including a generalized linear model (GLM), a generalized additive model (GAM), and a principal components regression model (PCRM). The fitting and predictive adjusted R2 of each model were calculated. Ljung-Box Q tests for fitted and predicted residuals of each model were conducted. The study period was stratified into before (1971-1993) and after (1994-2012) vaccine implementation epochs to avoid the confounding factor of vaccination. Results: The autocorrelation of fitted and predicted residuals of the GAM in the two epochs were not significant (Ljung-Box Q test, P>.05). The adjusted R2 for the predictive abilities of the GLM, GAM, and PCRM were 0.752, 0.799, and 0.665 in the early epoch, and 0.669, 0.756, and 0.574 in the recent epoch. The adjusted R2 values of the three models were lower in the early epoch than in the recent epoch. Conclusions: GAM is superior to GLM and PCRM for monthly HFRS case number prediction in Hu County. A shift in model reliability coincident with vaccination implementation demonstrates the importance of vaccination in HFRS control and prevention.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Background The invasion of red blood cells (RBCs) by malarial parasites is an essential step in the life cycle of Plasmodium falciparum. Human-parasite surface protein interactions play a critical role in this process. Although several interactions between human and parasite proteins have been discovered, the mechanism related to invasion remains poorly understood because numerous human-parasite protein interactions have not yet been identified. High-throughput screening experiments are not feasible for malarial parasites due to difficulty in expressing the parasite proteins. Here, we performed computational prediction of the PPIs involved in malaria parasite invasion to elucidate the mechanism by which invasion occurs.ResultsIn this study, an expectation maximization algorithm was used to estimate the probabilities of domain-domain interactions (DDIs). Estimates of DDI probabilities were then used to infer PPI probabilities. We found that our prediction performance was better than that based on the information of D. melanogaster alone when information related to the six species was used. Prediction performance was assessed using protein interaction data from S. cerevisiae, indicating that the predicted results were reliable. We then used the estimates of DDI probabilities to infer interactions between 490 parasite and 3,787 human membrane proteins. A small-scale dataset was used to illustrate the usability of our method in predicting interactions between human and parasite proteins. The positive predictive value (PPV) was lower than that observed in S. cerevisiae. We integrated gene expression data to improve prediction accuracy and to reduce false positives. We identified 80 membrane proteins highly expressed in the schizont stage by fast Fourier transform method. Approximately 221 erythrocyte membrane proteins were identified using published mass spectral datasets. A network consisting of 205 interactions was predicted. Results of network analysis suggest that SNARE proteins of parasites and APP of humans may function in the invasion of RBCs by parasites.Conclusions We predicted a small-scale PPI network that may be involved in parasite invasion of RBCs by integrating DDI information and expression profiles. Experimental studies should be conducted to validate the predicted interactions. The predicted PPIs help elucidate the mechanism of parasite invasion and provide directions for future experimental investigations.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2014 · BMC Bioinformatics
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    ABSTRACT: Stress granules (SGs) are cytoplasmic granules that are formed in cells when stress occurs. In this study, we found that SGs formed in cells infected with coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3), evidenced with the co-localization of some accepted SG markers in the viral infection-induced granules. We further discovered that adenosine-uridine (AU)-rich element RNA binding factor 1 (AUF1), which can bind to mRNAs and regulate their translation, was recruited to the SGs in response to high dose of CVB3 by detecting the co-localization of AUF1 with SG markers. Similar results were also observed in the enterovirus 71 (EV71)-infected cells. Finally, we demonstrated that AUF1 was also recruited to arsenite-induced SGs, suggesting that the recruitment of AUF1 to SG is not a specific response to viral infection. In summary, our data indicate that both CVB3 and EV71 infections can induce SG formation, and AUF1 is a novel SG component upon the viral infections. Our findings may shed light on understanding the picornavirus-host interaction.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Virus Research
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    ABSTRACT: The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor implicated in multiple cellular processes and its expression has been shown to play a critical role in tumorigenesis. However, the role of AhR in tumorigenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma remains unclear. In the current study, we investigated the role of AhR in hepatocellular carcinoma tumorigenesis and progression by (a) measuring the expression levels of AhR in liver lesions and (b) assessing the correlation between AhR expression and clinicopathologic parameters. The tissue microarray used in this study contained hepatocellular carcinoma tissues (n = 94), cancer adjacent normal hepatic tissues (n = 5) and normal hepatic tissues (n = 5), which were immunohistochemically assessed for AhR expression. Significantly stronger AhR staining was observed for hepatocellular carcinoma tissues than for cancer adjacent normal hepatic tissues (P = 0.003) and normal hepatic tissues (P = 0.004). In addition, AhR expression was associated with T stage (P = 0.03). The results from this study suggest that an increase in AhR expression is associated with hepatocellular carcinoma progression and may have a potential role in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Journal of molecular histology
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    ABSTRACT: CD8+ T cells play an important role in early HIV infection. However, HIV has the capacity to avoid specific CTL responses due to a high rate of mutation under selection pressure. Although the HIV proteins, gag and pol, are relatively conserved, these sequences generate low-affinity MHC-associated epitopes that are poorly immunogenic. Here, we applied an approach that enhanced the immunogenicity of low-affinity HLA-A2.1-binding peptides. The first position with tyrosine (P1Y) substitution enhanced the affinity of HLA-A2.1-associated peptides without altering their antigenic specificity. More importantly, P1Y variants efficiently stimulated in vivo native peptide-specific CTL that also recognized the corresponding naturally processed epitope. The potential to generate CTL against any low-affinity HLA-A2.1-associated peptide provides us with the necessary technique for identification of virus cryptic epitopes for development of peptide-based immunotherapy. Therefore, identification and modification of the cryptic epitopes of gal and pol provides promising candidates for HIV immunotherapy dependent upon efficient presentation by virus cells. Furthermore, this may be a breakthrough that overcomes the obstacle of immune escape caused by high rates of mutation. In this study, bioinformatics analysis was used to predict six low-affinity cryptic HIV gag and pol epitopes presented by HLA-A*0201. A HIV compound multi-CTL epitope gene was constructed comprising the gene encoding the modified cryptic epitope and the HIV p24 antigen, which induced a strong CD8+ T cell immune response regardless of the mutation. This approach represents a novel strategy for the development of safe and effective HIV prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Molecular Biology Reports
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    ABSTRACT: Hantaan virus (HTNV) of the Bunyaviridae family is a major agent causing hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), a high-mortality-rate disease threatening approximately 150,000 people around the world yearly. The 3D8 monoclonal antibody displays a neutralizing activity to HTNV infection. In this study, the B-cell epitopes of HTNV glycoproteins (GPs) were finely mapped by peptide scanning. A new B-cell epitope (882)GFLCPEFPGSFRKKC(896) of HTNV, which locates on Gc, has been screened out from a set of 15-mer synthesized peptides covering the full length of HTNV-GPs. It has been shown by the alanine-scanning technique that (885)C, (893)R, (894)K, (895)K, and (896)C are the key amino acids of the binding sites of the GPs. The implications of identifying a novel B-cell epitope for hantavirus immunology and vaccinology are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Journal of General Virology
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the role of viral load in the pathogenesis of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, the Hantaan virus RNA load in plasma from 101 patients was quantified, and the relationships between viral load and disease course, severity, and level of specific humoral immunity were analyzed. The viral load, detectable in 79 patients, ranged from 3.43 to 7.33 log10 copies/mL of plasma. In the early stage of disease, patients in severe/critical group were found to have higher viral loads than those in the mild/moderate group (5.90 vs 5.03 log10 copies/mL; P = .001), suggesting an association between Hantaan virus load and disease severity.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · The Journal of Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are classified as category A biological threat agents by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States for its hazardous and potential bioterrorist threat to the public. About 1% naturally occurring botulisms are caused by Botulinum neurotoxin serotype F (BoNT/F). Most of the immunoassays for detecting BoNTs focus on the serotypes A and B, but few methods have been established for the detection of BoNT/F. Recently, the recombinant Hc subunit of botulinum neurotoxin type F (rFHc) was expressed as an effective vaccine against BoNT/F, indicating that this rFHc could be an effective immunogen to raise monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) for the detection and neutralization of BoNT/F. Here we present a novel sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based on two MAbs against rFHc, which were FMMU-BTF-8 and FMMU-BTF-29 as capture antibody and detection antibody, respectively. The limit of detection (LOD) of this ELISA reached 12.09 pg/mL, much less than that of the other reported immunoassays. A simple, sensitive ELISA for detecting and quantifying BoNT/F was established, which can be used as a valuable method to detect and quantify BoNT/F.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Hybridoma (2005)
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    ABSTRACT: Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most poisonous substances ever known. The early detection of these toxins could bear more time for appropriate medical intervention. The standard method for detecting BoNTs is the mouse bioassay, which is time consuming (up to 4 days) and requires a large number of laboratory animals. The immunologic detection methods could detect the toxins within a day, but most of these methods are less sensitive compared with the mouse bioassay due to the lack of high-affinity antibodies. Recently, the recombinant H(C) subunit of botulinum neurotoxin type A (rAH(C)) was expressed as an effective vaccine against botulism, indicating that the rAH(C) could be an effective immunogen that raises the monoclonal antibody (mAb) for detecting BoNT/A. After immunized BALB/c mice with rAH(C), 56 mAbs were generated. Two of these mAbs were selected to establish a highly sensitive sandwich chemiluminescence enzyme immunoassay (CLEIA), in which FMMU-BTA-49 and FMMU-BTA-22 were used as capture antibody and detection antibody, respectively. The calculated limit of detection (LOD) based on molecular weight of rAH(C) and BoNT/A reached 0.45 pg mL(-1). This CLEIA can be used in the detection of BoNT/A in matrices such as milk and beef extract. This method has 20-40 fold lower LOD than that of the mouse bioassay and takes only 3 h to complete the detection, indicating that it can be used as a valuable method to detect and quantify BoNT/A.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Analytica chimica acta

Publication Stats

45 Citations
26.00 Total Impact Points


  • 2012-2015
    • Fourth Military Medical University
      • • Department of Pathogenic MIcrobiology
      • • Department of Immunology
      Xi’an, Liaoning, China
  • 2014
    • Harbin Medical University
      • Department of Microbiology
      Charbin, Heilongjiang Sheng, China