Publications by authors named "Junhua Huang"

32 Publications

Neutrophil-Derived Semaphorin 4D Induces Inflammatory Cytokine Production of Endothelial Cells via Different Plexin Receptors in Kawasaki Disease.

Biomed Res Int 2020 16;2020:6663291. Epub 2020 Dec 16.

Department of Clinical Laboratory, The Affiliated Children's Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province 710003, China.

Inflammation of endothelial cells (ECs) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of coronary artery lesions (CALs) in Kawasaki disease (KD). Semaphorin 4D (Sema4D) is the first semaphorin shown to have immunoregulatory functions by interacting with its receptors-plexin Bs. Recently, Sema4D has been reported to exert a proinflammatory effect on the endothelium and to be involved in cardiovascular disease. However, the role of Sema4D in KD remains unknown. This study was aimed at revealing the change of soluble Sema4D (sSema4D) in the serum of patients with KD and the effect of the sSema4D-plexin axis on the production of proinflammatory cytokines from human coronary endothelial cells (HCAECs) stimulated with sera from KD patients. Our results showed that serum sSema4D levels were specifically elevated in KD patients, especially in those with CALs, and correlated positively with disease severity and serum concentrations of interleukin- (IL-) 1, IL-6, and IL-8. The disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain 17- (AMAM17-) mediated Sema4D shedding from neutrophils contributed to the elevation of sSema4D in the serum of KD patients. Furthermore, we found that Sema4D induced IL-1 production of HCAECs via plexin B2, whereas it promoted IL-6 and IL-8 production via plexin B1. Moreover, the expression of both plexin B1 and plexin B2 was upregulated in HCAECs treated with KD sera, and silencing of the two plexin receptors suppressed the overexpression of IL-1, IL-6, and IL-8 in KD serum-treated HCAECs. Thus, our findings indicated that sSema4D released from neutrophils participates in the pathogenesis of KD-CALs by promoting inflammatory cytokine production of ECs via both plexin B1 and plexin B2, and Sema4D may be a novel predictor for KD-CALs and a candidate therapeutic target for anti-inflammatory strategies of KD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/6663291DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7759398PMC
December 2020

Massive formation of early diagenetic dolomite in the Ediacaran ocean: Constraints on the "dolomite problem".

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 06 8;117(25):14005-14014. Epub 2020 Jun 8.

Institute for Geology, Mineralogy, and Geophysics, Ruhr University Bochum, D-44801 Bochum, Germany.

Paleozoic and Precambrian sedimentary successions frequently contain massive dolomicrite [CaMg(CO)] units despite kinetic inhibitions to nucleation and precipitation of dolomite at Earth surface temperatures (<60 °C). This paradoxical observation is known as the "dolomite problem." Accordingly, the genesis of these dolostones is usually attributed to burial-hydrothermal dolomitization of primary limestones (CaCO) at temperatures of >100 °C, thus raising doubt about the validity of these deposits as archives of Earth surface environments. We present a high-resolution, >63-My-long clumped-isotope temperature (T) record of shallow-marine dolomicrites from two drillcores of the Ediacaran (635 to 541 Ma) Doushantuo Formation in South China. Our T record indicates that a majority (87%) of these dolostones formed at temperatures of <100 °C. When considering the regional thermal history, modeling of the influence of solid-state reordering on our T record further suggests that most of the studied dolostones formed at temperatures of <60 °C, providing direct evidence of a low-temperature origin of these dolostones. Furthermore, calculated δO values of diagenetic fluids, rare earth element plus yttrium compositions, and petrographic observations of these dolostones are consistent with an early diagenetic origin in a rock-buffered environment. We thus propose that a precursor precipitate from seawater was subsequently dolomitized during early diagenesis in a near-surface setting to produce the large volume of dolostones in the Doushantuo Formation. Our findings suggest that the preponderance of dolomite in Paleozoic and Precambrian deposits likely reflects oceanic conditions specific to those eras and that dolostones can be faithful recorders of environmental conditions in the early oceans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1916673117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7321997PMC
June 2020

The dynamic change of neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio is predictive of pathological complete response after neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer patients.

Breast Cancer 2020 Sep 18;27(5):982-988. Epub 2020 Apr 18.

Department of Breast Surgery, Chengdu Fifth People's Hospital, Chengdu, 611130, Sichuan, People's Republic of China.

Background: The pre-treatment neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) has been reported to be a predictive factor for pathologic complete response (pCR) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) in breast cancer patients. However, whether the dynamic change of post-treatment neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (delta-NLR) can better predict the same outcome remains unclear.

Materials And Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 242 consecutive patients affected by breast cancer and candidates of NACT. The complete blood cell counts before and after NACT were evaluated to calculate NLR. The relationships between delta-NLR and pCR, along with other clinical-pathological characteristics were analyzed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using a logistic regression model.

Results: Of the 242 patients, 65 (26.9%) achieved a pCR. Pre-treatment NLR and post-treatment NLR were not significantly associated with pCR if analyzed separately in multivariate analyses. However, when combining together, patients with delta-NLR < 0 profile achieved a significantly higher rate of pCR compared to those with delta-NLR ≥ 0 (OR 2.84, 95% CI 1.35-5.96, p = 0.006). Additionally, the predictive value of delta-NLR was independent from common prognostic factors such as Ki-67, and molecular subtypes.

Conclusions: Delta-NLR, rather than pre-treatment or post-treatment NLR is associated with pCR rate, suggesting that the dynamic change of NLR may be an important factor predicting the response to NACT in breast cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12282-020-01096-xDOI Listing
September 2020

Effects of different constants and standards on the reproducibility of carbonate clumped isotope (Δ ) measurements: Insights from a long-term dataset.

Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 2020 Apr;34(8):e8678

State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, 430074, China.

Rationale: Carbonate clumped isotope (Δ ) thermometry examines the temperature-dependent excess abundance of the C- O bond in the carbonate lattice. Inconsistent temperature calibrations and standard values have been reported among laboratories, which has led to the use of equilibrated gases and carbonate standards for standardization. Furthermore, different acid fractionation factors and isotopic parameter sets have been proposed for improving inter-laboratory data comparability. However, few long-term datasets have been generated to explore the effects of these factors on the long-term reproducibility of Δ data within a laboratory.

Methods: Four standards (ISTB-1, NBS-19, GBWO4416, and GB04417) were analyzed as unknowns by isotope ratio mass spectrometry from 2015 to 2019. The values of Δ were calibrated using the ETH standards. We investigated the Assonov, Brand, and Gonfiantini isotope parameter sets for carbon and oxygen isotopes, as well as two correction schemes of equilibrated gas and carbonate standardization, using the same sample measurements to determine which procedures enhanced reproducibility. ISTB-1 (calcite) and ZK312-346W (dolomite) were measured to determine the 90°C acid fractionation factor.

Results: The corrected 90°C acid fractionation factors are 0.076 ± 0.008‰ for ISTB-1 and 0.077 ± 0.009‰ for ZK312-346W. The choice of isotope parameter set had no significant influence on final Δ values in this study. However, using the Assonov parameters to calculate Δ values improved the reproducibility of the results. The use of carbonate standards improved reproducibility through time compared with the use of equilibrated gases for standardization.

Conclusions: At 90°C, the acid fractionation factors of calcite and dolomite are statistically indistinguishable. We find an insignificant effect from changing the isotope parameter set, suggesting that the choice of isotope parameter set among laboratories is not a major factor affecting inter-laboratory reproducibility. We find that using carbonate standards improved the reproducibility of results, suggesting that the use of carbonate standards may help to achieve inter-laboratory comparability of results in future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rcm.8678DOI Listing
April 2020

Recent Developments in Tandem White Organic Light-Emitting Diodes.

Molecules 2019 Jan 2;24(1). Epub 2019 Jan 2.

LUMINOUS! Centre of Excellent for Semiconductor Lighting and Displays, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore.

Tandem white organic light-emitting diodes (WOLEDs) are promising for the lighting and displays field since their current efficiency, external quantum efficiency and lifetime can be strikingly enhanced compared with single-unit devices. In this invited review, we have firstly described fundamental concepts of tandem device architectures and their use in WOLEDs. Then, we have summarized the state-of-the-art strategies to achieve high-performance tandem WOLEDs in recent years. Specifically, we have highlighted the developments in the four types of tandem WOLEDs (i.e., tandem fluorescent WOLEDs, tandem phosphorescent WOLEDs, tandem thermally activated delayed fluorescent WOLEDs, and tandem hybrid WOLEDs). Furthermore, we have introduced doping-free tandem WOLEDs. In the end, we have given an outlook for the future development of tandem WOLEDs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules24010151DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6337303PMC
January 2019

East Asian hydroclimate modulated by the position of the westerlies during Termination I.

Science 2018 11 1;362(6414):580-583. Epub 2018 Nov 1.

State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, 430074, China.

Speleothem oxygen isotope records have revolutionized our understanding of the paleo East Asian monsoon, yet there is fundamental disagreement on what they represent in terms of the hydroclimate changes. We report a multiproxy speleothem record of monsoon evolution during the last deglaciation from the middle Yangtze region, which indicates a wetter central eastern China during North Atlantic cooling episodes, despite the oxygen isotopic record suggesting a weaker monsoon. We show that this apparent contradiction can be resolved if the changes are interpreted as a lengthening of the Meiyu rains and shortened post-Meiyu stage, in accordance with a recent hypothesis. Model simulations support this interpretation and further reveal the role of the westerlies in communicating the North Atlantic influence to the East Asian climate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aat9393DOI Listing
November 2018

Melatonin attenuates the inflammatory response via inhibiting the C/EBP homologous protein-mediated pathway in taurocholate-induced acute pancreatitis.

Int J Mol Med 2018 Dec 9;42(6):3513-3521. Epub 2018 Oct 9.

Department of Gastroenterology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325000, P.R. China.

Acute pancreatitis (AP) is a serious disease characterized by the activation of trypsin, autodigestion, edemas, hemorrhages and necrosis. However, the mechanisms of regulating the apoptosis and inflammation of acinar cells in AP remain unclear. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress‑related molecule, C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), has pro‑-apoptotic and pro‑inflammatory properties, in addition to regulating ER stress responses. In the present study, a lentivirus‑mediated RNA interference (RNAi) approach was used to specifically knockdown the expression of CHOP in the pancreatic tissue of Sprague‑Dawley rats to investigate the potential role of CHOP during AP, which was induced by the retrograde injection of 5% taurocholate into the biliopancreatic duct of rats. Pre‑treatment with melatonin was further used to identify the potential anti‑inflammatory mechanisms in AP. Pancreatic tissues were procured for western blot analysis, histological examination, reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical staining. ER stress was rapidly activated in the early stage and increased over time in the rat AP model. However, the silencing of CHOP expression markedly inhibited apoptosis and ER stress, reducing the activation of nuclear factor‑κB and inflammation injury in AP. Melatonin also exhibited anti‑inflammatory and apoptotic effects, and significantly decreased the expression of CHOP. Thus, it can be concluded that the CHOP‑mediated pathway serves an important role in the development of AP, and that melatonin can reduce pancreatic damage via the inhibition of CHOP expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2018.3920DOI Listing
December 2018

Emergence of Nanoplatelet Light-Emitting Diodes.

Materials (Basel) 2018 Aug 8;11(8). Epub 2018 Aug 8.

LUMINOUS, Center of Excellent for Semiconductor Lighting and Displays, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore.

Since 2014, nanoplatelet light-emitting diodes (NPL-LEDs) have been emerged as a new kind of LEDs. At first, NPL-LEDs are mainly realized by CdSe based NPLs. Since 2016, hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite NPLs are found to be effective to develop NPL-LEDs. In 2017, all-inorganic perovskite NPLs are also demonstrated for NPL-LEDs. Therefore, the development of NPL-LEDs is flourishing. In this review, the fundamental concepts of NPL-LEDs are first introduced, then the main approaches to realize NPL-LEDs are summarized and the recent progress of representative NPL-LEDs is highlighted, finally the challenges and opportunities for NPL-LEDs are presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma11081376DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6119858PMC
August 2018

Melatonin Attenuates Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Acute Pancreatitis.

Pancreas 2018 08;47(7):884-891

From the Departments of Gastroenterology and.

Objectives: The objective of this study is to explore the effect of melatonin on endoplasmic reticulum stress in acute pancreatitis (AP) and the molecular mechanism.

Methods: Acute pancreatitis was induced in vivo in Sprague-Dawley rats by the retrograde injection of 5% taurocholate into the biliopancreatic duct and in vitro by treating AR42J cells with cerulein (10 nmol/L) plus lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (10 mg/L). The rats and cells were treated with melatonin (50 mg/kg in rats and 0.5, 1, and 2 mmol/L in AR42J cells) 30 minutes before AP was induced. After 9 hours, the cells and rat pancreas tissue were collected for Western blot, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, histological examination, immunohistochemistry, and immunofluorescence analysis.

Results: Inositol-requiring 1α (IRE1α)-mediated Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) pathway were activated early in AR42J cells and rat AP models. Melatonin significantly inhibited the expression of proinflammatory cytokines. Western blot and immunohistochemical results all indicated that melatonin regulated apoptosis-related protein expression. In addition, melatonin treatment resulted in significantly reduced pancreatic tissue injury, as revealed by histological changes and pathological scores. Furthermore, melatonin treatment significantly reduced the activation of IRE1α-mediated JNK/NF-κB pathway-related proteins.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that melatonin protects AR42J cells and Sprague-Dawley rats against AP-associated injury, probably through downregulation of IRE1α-mediated JNK/NF-κB pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPA.0000000000001082DOI Listing
August 2018

Room-Temperature Fabricated Thin-Film Transistors Based on Compounds with Lanthanum and Main Family Element Boron.

Molecules 2018 06 6;23(6). Epub 2018 Jun 6.

Institute of Polymer Optoelectronic Materials and Devices, State Key Laboratory of Luminescent Materials and Devices, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China.

For the first time, compounds with lanthanum from the main family element Boron (LaB) were investigated as an active layer for thin-film transistors (TFTs). Detailed studies showed that the room-temperature fabricated LaB thin film was in the crystalline state with a relatively narrow optical band gap of 2.28 eV. The atom ration of La/B was related to the working pressure during the sputtering process and the atom ration of La/B increased with the increase of the working pressure, which will result in the freer electrons in the LaB thin film. LaB-TFT without any intentionally annealing steps exhibited a saturation mobility of 0.44 cm²·V·s, which is a subthreshold swing () of 0.26 V/decade and a / ratio larger than 10⁴. The room-temperature process is attractive for its compatibility with almost all kinds of flexible substrates and the LaB semiconductor may be a new choice for the channel materials in TFTs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules23061373DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6099821PMC
June 2018

Long non-coding RNA GHET1 promotes human breast cancer cell proliferation, invasion and migration via affecting epithelial mesenchymal transition.

Cancer Biomark 2018 ;22(3):565-573

Department of Emergency Medicine, Chengdu Fifth People's Hospital, Chengdu, Sichuan, China.

Objective: Breast cancer is a common malignancy in women and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been shown to play key roles in the development and progression of breast cancer. In the present study, we examined the biological role of lncRNA gastric carcinoma highly expressed transcript 1 (GHET1) in breast cancer.

Methods: The expression of GHET1 was determined by qRT-PCR assay; CCK-8, colony formation, Transwell invasion and migration assays detected breast cancer cell proliferation, invasion and migration; cell apoptosis and cell cycle were determined by flow cytometry; protein levels were determined by western blot assay.

Results: GHET1 was up-regulated in breast cancer tissues and cell lines, and the up-regulation of GHET1 was positively correlated with larger tumor size, advanced clinical stage, lymph node metastasis and shorter overall survival. Knockdown of GHET1 suppressed cell proliferation, invasion and migration, and induced apoptosis and G0/G1 cell cycle arrest in MCF-cells. Knockdown of GHET1 also suppressed the protein levels of N-cadherin, vimentin, and decreased the protein level of E-cadherin in MCF-7 cells. On the other hand, overexpression of GHET1 promoted cell proliferation, invasion and migration, and inhibited cell apoptosis and increased cell population at S phase in BT-20 cells. Overexpression of GHET1 also promoted epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) in BT-20 cells. Furthermore, knockdown of GHET1 also suppressed in vivo tumor growth of MCF-7 cells, and also decreased the protein levels of N-cadherin and vimentin, and increased the protein levels of E-cadherin in the tumor tissues from the nude mice.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrated that GHET1 was up-regulated in breast cancer tissues and cell lines, and promoted breast cancer cell proliferation, invasion and migration by affecting EMT. Our study for the first time revealed the biological functions of GHET1 in breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/CBM-181250DOI Listing
October 2018

Regulation of DNA replication-coupled histone gene expression.

Oncotarget 2017 Nov 16;8(55):95005-95022. Epub 2017 Oct 16.

Hubei Collaborative Innovation Center for Green Transformation of Bio-Resources, Hubei Key Laboratory of Industrial Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences, Hubei University, Wuhan, Hubei 430062, China.

The expression of core histone genes is cell cycle regulated. Large amounts of histones are required to restore duplicated chromatin during S phase when DNA replication occurs. Over-expression and excess accumulation of histones outside S phase are toxic to cells and therefore cells need to restrict histone expression to S phase. Misregulation of histone gene expression leads to defects in cell cycle progression, genome stability, DNA damage response and transcriptional regulation. Here, we discussed the factors involved in histone gene regulation as well as the underlying mechanism. Understanding the histone regulation mechanism will shed lights on elucidating the side effects of certain cancer chemotherapeutic drugs and developing potential biomarkers for tumor cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21887DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5706932PMC
November 2017

Identification and characterization of six glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of a new bacterial exopolysaccharide in Paenibacillus elgii.

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 2018 Feb 3;102(3):1357-1366. Epub 2017 Dec 3.

Zhejiang Province Key Laboratory of Plant Secondary Metabolism and Regulation, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou, 310018, China.

Paenibacillus elgii B69 produces a new xylose-containing exopolysaccharide (EPS) that effectively removes the pollutants from wastewater through flocculation. However, information about the biosynthesis of this EPS is limited. In this study, sequence analysis showed six putative glycosyltransferases (GTs) genes in polysaccharide gene clusters involved in glycosidic linkages of repeating units. Each gene was deleted and phenotypes were examined to understand the functions of these genes. Two of the genes were deleted successfully to encode a priming glucose GT and a side-chain xylose GT, but other genes were unsuccessfully deleted because of the accumulation of toxic intermediate products. The six genes were cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli, and the corresponding enzymes were purified. The activity of GTs was analyzed through mass spectrometry by using the purified membrane fraction as a lipid carrier receptor after a hexasaccharide repeated unit was reconstructed in vitro. The specificities of six different GTs and the building order of the hexasaccharide were characterized. This study provided a basis for future research on the biosynthetic pathway of EPS in Paenibacillus or other genera.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00253-017-8673-yDOI Listing
February 2018

The ectodomain of rabies virus glycoprotein determines dendritic cell activation.

Antiviral Res 2017 05 1;141:1-6. Epub 2017 Feb 1.

State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China; Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA. Electronic address:

The immune evasion of wild-type (wt) rabies virus (RABV) has been attributed to its glycoprotein (G), particularly to their inefficiency to bind/enter into dendritic cells (DCs). However, the domain responsible for G-mediated DC activation is not clear. In the present study, attempts were made to map the domain(s) on the G involved in differential DC activation using laboratory-adapted and wt viruses. Recombinant RABVs with exchange in each of the structural domains such as signal peptide (sp), ectodomain (et), transmembrane domain (tm), cytoplasmic tail (ct) of the G between wt and laboratory-adapted strains were constructed. Characterizations of these recombinant RABVs show that the viruses containing the sp, tm and ct from the wt G are capable of growing in high titer by efficient cell-to-cell spread, similar to laboratory-adapted virus. On the other hand, recombinant virus containing the et domain from wt G was inefficient in cell-to-cell spread and grew in lower levels, similar to the wt RABV. Analysis of DC activation shows that viruses containing sp and tm from wt G are efficient in binding to and activating DCs. However, viruses containing the et domain from wt G are incompetent in binding to and activating DCs. Analysis of the G expression in the infected cells suggests that the level of G expression is regulated solely by the ct domain, indicating the level of G expression and DC activation are governed by different domains. Together, our results demonstrate that G-mediated DC activation is regulated by the et domain while the level of G expression by the ct domain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.antiviral.2017.01.022DOI Listing
May 2017

Crystal structure of the mouse hepatitis virus ns2 phosphodiesterase domain that antagonizes RNase L activation.

J Gen Virol 2016 Apr 11;97(4):880-886. Epub 2016 Jan 11.

State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, PRChina.

Prior studies have demonstrated that the mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) A59 strain ns2 protein is a member of the 2H phosphoesterase family and exhibits 2',5'-phosphodiesterase (PDE) activity. During the IFN antiviral response, ns2 cleaves 2',5'-oligoadenylate (2-5A), a key mediator of RNase L activation, thereby subverting the activation of RNase L and evading host innate immunity. However, the mechanism of 2-5A cleavage by ns2 remains unclear. Here, we present the crystal structure of the MHV ns2 PDE domain and demonstrate a PDE fold similar to that of the cellular protein, a kinase anchoring protein 7 central domain (AKAP7(CD)) and rotavirus VP3 carboxy-terminal domain. The structure displays a pair of strictly conserved HxT/Sx motifs and forms a deep, positively charged catalytic groove with β-sheets and an arginine-containing loop. These findings provide insight into the structural basis for 2-5A binding of MHV ns2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jgv.0.000395DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5974288PMC
April 2016

Crystal structural basis for Rv0315, an immunostimulatory antigen and inactive beta-1,3-glucanase of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Sci Rep 2015 Oct 15;5:15073. Epub 2015 Oct 15.

The National Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, as two billion people are latently infected with Mtb. To address Mtb drug resistance and the limitations of current vaccines, the characteristics of candidate Mtb vaccines need to be explored. Here, we report the three-dimensional structure of Rv0315 at 1.70 Å resolution, a novel immunostimulatory antigen of Mtb, and demonstrate that Rv0315 is an inactive β-1,3-glucanase of the glycoside hydrolase 16 (GH16) family. Our study further elaborates the molecular basis for the lack of glucan recognition by Rv0315. Rv0315 has a large open groove, and this particular topology cannot bind oligosaccharide chains in solution, thus explaining the lack of detectable hydrolytic activity towards its substrate. Additionally, we identified Glu-176, a conserved catalytic residue in GH16 endo-β-1,3-glucanases, as essential for Rv0315 to induce immunological responses. These results indicate that Rv0315 likely diverged from a broad-specificity ancestral GH16 glucanase, and this inactive member of the GH16 family offers new insights into the GH16 glucanase. Together, our findings suggest that an inactive β-1,3-glucanase in Mtb drives T-helper 1 (Th1) immune responses, which may help develop more effective vaccines against Mtb infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep15073DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4606783PMC
October 2015

Imidazole tailored deep eutectic solvents for CO2 capture enhanced by hydrogen bonds.

Phys Chem Chem Phys 2015 Nov;17(41):27306-16

Beijing Key Laboratory of Ionic Liquids Clean Process, State Key Laboratory of Multiphase Complex Systems, Key Laboratory of Green Process and Engineering, Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China.

Deep eutectic solvents (DESs) have emerged as promising alternative candidates for CO2 capture in recent years. In this work, several novel DESs were firstly prepared to enhance CO2 absorption. Structural and physical properties of DESs were investigated, as well as their absorption performance of CO2. A distinct depression in the melting point up to 80 K of DESs was observed compared with that of BMIMCl. The observed red shifts of the C2H group in an imidazolium ring and its chemical shifts downfield in NMR spectra are indicative of a hydrogen bond interaction between BMIMCl and MEA. In particular, CO2 uptake in MEA : ILs (4 : 1) at room temperature and atmospheric pressure is up to 21.4 wt%, which is higher than that of 30 wt% MEA (13%). A hydrogen bond related mechanism was proposed in which ILs act as a medium to improve CO2 uptake through hydrogen bonds. Finally, the firstly reported overall heat of CO2 absorption is slightly higher than that of 30 wt% MEA, implying that the hydrogen bonds of DESs contribute to the overall heat of CO2 absorption. This study reveals that the heat of CO2 absorption can be tailored by the proper molar ratio of MEA and ILs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c5cp04050gDOI Listing
November 2015

Computational insights into the molecular interaction and ion-pair structures of a novel zinc-functionalized ionic liquid, [Emim][Zn(TFSI)₃].

Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc 2016 Jan 8;153:6-15. Epub 2015 Aug 8.

Center for Molecular and Materials Sciences, Sansom Institute, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Electronic address:

The ion pair structures of a novel CO2 capture material in the form of a metal chelate anion-containing room temperature ionic liquid (IL), 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium tri[bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide]zincate(II), [Emim][Zn(TFSI)3], were elucidated by correlating the infrared spectra generated using density functional theory (DFT) calculations with the experimental spectrum derived from a room temperature infrared spectroscopic measurement. A free volume energy minimization algorithm revealed stable structures where the zinc ion forms an octahedral, homoleptic complex with the ligand bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide through coordination with the oxygen of the sulfone group, with 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acting as the counterion. The method of analysis was built around 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide, [Emim][TFSI], involving direct comparison with published data, and extended to the more complex [Emim][Zn(TFSI)3] system. The DFT calculations reproduced the vibrational spectra of [Emim][Zn(TFSI)3] and [Emim][TFSI] using their optimized geometries, with correlation slopes of 0.9996 and 1.0022, respectively. Comparison of the vibrational modes of [Emim][TFSI] and [Emim][Zn(TFSI)3] provided insights into the ion pair structure of, and molecular interactions in the ILs analyzed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.saa.2015.07.102DOI Listing
January 2016

Parainfluenza virus 5 expressing the G protein of rabies virus protects mice after rabies virus infection.

J Virol 2015 Mar 31;89(6):3427-9. Epub 2014 Dec 31.

Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, Athens, Georgia, USA

Rabies remains a major public health threat around the world. Once symptoms appear, there is no effective treatment to prevent death. In this work, we tested a recombinant parainfluenza virus 5 (PIV5) strain expressing the glycoprotein (G) of rabies (PIV5-G) as a therapy for rabies virus infection: we have found that PIV5-G protected mice as late as 6 days after rabies virus infection. PIV5-G is a promising vaccine for prevention and treatment of rabies virus infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.03656-14DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4337528PMC
March 2015

Effects of the nuclear localization of the N(pro) protein of classical swine fever virus on its virulence in pigs.

Vet Microbiol 2014 Dec 17;174(3-4):391-398. Epub 2014 Oct 17.

State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin 150001, PR China. Electronic address:

The N(pro) protein of classical swine fever virus (CSFV) is localized in the cytoplasm and nucleus. However, it is unknown whether the nuclear localization of N(pro) correlates with the virulence of CSFV in the host. Previously, we showed that the N(pro) protein fused with interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) was present only in the cytoplasm. Here, we generated and evaluated a recombinant CSFV vSM-IRF3 harboring the IRF3 gene inserted into the N(pro) gene of the highly virulent CSFV Shimen strain. Compared to the even nuclear and cytoplasmic distribution of the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-N(pro) fusion expressed by the recombinant CSFV EGFP-CSFV, vSM-IRF3 expressed an IRF3-N(pro) fusion protein that only was localized in the cytoplasm. vSM-IRF3 was markedly attenuated in vitro and in vivo, and the inoculated pigs were completely protected from lethal CSFV challenge, whereas the parental virus as well as EGFP-CSFV exhibited a typical virulent phenotype. Taken together, the nuclear localization of N(pro) plays a significant role in the CSFV replication and virulence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2014.09.027DOI Listing
December 2014

High diversity of bacterial pathogens and antibiotic resistance in salmonid fish farm pond water as determined by molecular identification employing 16S rDNA PCR, gene sequencing and total antibiotic susceptibility techniques.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2014 Oct 6;108:281-6. Epub 2014 Aug 6.

Department of Pathogenic Biology, Xian Jiatong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.

The aim of this study was to examine the microbiological and related parameters (antibiotic resistance and pathogen identification) of water at two salmonid fish farms in Northern Ireland. Total Bacterial Counts at the Movanagher Fish Farm was 1730 colony forming units (cfu)/ml water (log10 3.24cfu/ml) and 3260cfu/ml (log10 3.51cfu/ml) at the Bushmills Salmon Station. Examination of resulting organisms revealed 10 morphological phenotypes, which were subsequently sequenced to determine their identification. All these organisms were Gram-negative and no Gram-positive organisms were isolated from any water sample. From these phenotypes, eight different genera were identified including Acinetobacter, Aeromonas, Chryseobacterium, Erwinia, Flavobacterium, Pseudomonas and Rheinheimera. One unnamed novel taxon was identified from water at the Movanagher Fish Farm, belonging to the genus Acinetobacter and has been tentatively named Acinetobacter movanagherensis. No other novel taxa were observed. All but one of these environmental organisms (Erwinia) are potential pathogens of fish disease. Total antibiotic resistance was observed to varying degrees in water specimens. The most resistant populations were observed in water taken from the Bushmills Salmon Station inlet, followed by water from the Movanagher Fish Farm. No resistance was observed against tetracycline and there was only one occurrence of resistance against ciprofloxacin. Overall, this study indicates that potential fish pathogens made up the majority of environmental organisms identified, even in the absence of recorded fish disease. There was also relatively high levels of total antibiotic resistance in the bacterial water populations examined, where tetracycline was the only antibiotic with zero resistance. These data indicate that the threat of bacterial disease is relatively close due to the indigenous colonization of farm water and that husbandry standards should be maintained at a high standard to avert bacterial disease outbreaks, rather than relying on the absence of specific pathogens in the immediate farm environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2014.05.022DOI Listing
October 2014

Generation of a recombinant classical swine fever virus stably expressing the firefly luciferase gene for quantitative antiviral assay.

Antiviral Res 2014 Sep 20;109:15-21. Epub 2014 Jun 20.

State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, No. 427 Maduan Street, Harbin 150001, PR China. Electronic address:

Classical swine fever (CSF), caused by classical swine fever virus (CSFV), is a highly contagious swine disease leading to significant economic losses worldwide. Vaccines are widely used to control the disease, and no CSFV-specific antivirals are currently available. To facilitate anti-CSFV molecule discovery, we developed a reporter virus CSFV-N(pro)Fluc stably expressing the firefly luciferase (Fluc) gene in the N(pro) gene. The reporter virus enabled more sensitive and convenient detection of the N(pro) protein expression and the viral replication by luciferase reporter assay than by traditional methods. The CSFV N(pro) protein was detectable as early as 4.5h post-infection. As a proof-of-concept for its utility in rapid antiviral screening, this reporter virus was used to quantify anti-CSFV neutralizing antibodies of 50 swine sera and to assess 12 small interfering RNAs targeting different regions of the CSFV genome. The results were comparable to those obtained by traditional methods. Taken together, the reporter virus CSFV-N(pro)Fluc represents a useful tool for rapid and quantitative screening and evaluation of antivirals against CSFV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.antiviral.2014.06.006DOI Listing
September 2014

Visualization of the Npro protein in living cells using biarsenically labeling tetracysteine-tagged classical swine fever virus.

Virus Res 2014 Aug 6;189:67-74. Epub 2014 May 6.

State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin 150001, PR China. Electronic address:

Real-time fluorescence imaging of viral proteins in living cells is a valuable means to study virus-host interactions, and tetracysteine (TC)-biarsenical technology has been used in several viruses but not in classical swine fever virus (CSFV). Here, we generated CSFV mutants vSMTC385 or vSMTC412 bearing the small TC tag (CCPGCC) in the N-terminal region of the N(pro) protein. The mutants showed growth characteristics indistinguishable from that of the wild-type virus, and retained similar N(pro) subcellular localization to that of the parent virus. Furthermore, labeling with membrane-permeable biarsenical dye resulted in the fluorescent N(pro) protein in the context of virus infection. Finally, we showed that N(pro) was localized in the cytoplasm of CSFV-infected cells at 27 h post-infection (hpi) and present in the nucleus at 48 hpi, and the nuclear import and export was clearly observed from 36.5 to 37 hpi. Interestingly, our results demonstrated that N(pro) transported across the nuclear pores by passive diffusion, which might be prevented by exogenous interferon regulatory factor 3 interacting with N(pro). Taken together, biarsenical labeling allows real-time visualization of the nucleus import and export of the fluorescent N(pro) protein in CSFV-infected living cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virusres.2014.04.018DOI Listing
August 2014

The role of noncoding regions of classical swine fever virus C-strain in its adaptation to the rabbit.

Virus Res 2014 Apr 16;183:117-22. Epub 2014 Feb 16.

State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin 150001, China. Electronic address:

Classical swine fever (CSF) is a devastating disease of swine caused by classical swine fever virus (CSFV). C-strain, a modified live vaccine against CSF, was developed through hundreds of passages of a highly virulent CSFV in the rabbit in China in the mid-1950s. To identify the role of noncoding regions (NCRs) of C-strain in its adaptation to the rabbit, we generated and evaluated a series of chimeric viruses derived from C-strain and the highly virulent Shimen strain. The results demonstrated that the NCRs of the C-strain were essential for its fever induction in rabbits and the coding region but not NCRs was necessary for its replication in the spleen of rabbits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virusres.2014.02.003DOI Listing
April 2014

Post-traumatic stress disorder status in a rescue group after the Wenchuan earthquake relief.

Neural Regen Res 2013 Jul;8(20):1898-906

Department of Epidemiology, Huaxi Public Health School of Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, Sichuan Province, China.

Previous studies have suggested that the incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder in earthquake rescue workers is relatively high. Risk factors for this disorder include demographic characteristics, earthquake-related high-risk factors, risk factors in the rescue process, personality, social support and coping style. This study examined the current status of a unit of 1 040 rescue workers who participated in earthquake relief for the Wenchuan earthquake that occurred on May 12(th), 2008. Post-traumatic stress disorder was diagnosed primarily using the Clinician-Administered Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Scale during structured interviews. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were used to examine major risk factors that contributed to the incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder. Results revealed that the incidence of this disorder in the rescue group was 5.96%. The impact factors in univariate analysis included death of family members, contact with corpses or witnessing of the deceased or seriously injured, near-death experience, severe injury or mental trauma in the rescue process and working at the epicenter of the earthquake. Correlation analysis suggested that post-traumatic stress disorder was positively correlated with psychotic and neurotic personalities, negative coping and low social support. Impact factors in multivariate logistic regression analysis included near-death experience, severe injury or mental trauma, working in the epicenter of the rescue, neurotic personality, negative coping and low social support, among which low social support had the largest odds ratio of 20.42. Findings showed that the occurrence of post-traumatic stress disorder was the result of the interaction of multiple factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3969/j.issn.1673-5374.2013.20.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4145976PMC
July 2013

Simplified serum neutralization test based on enhanced green fluorescent protein-tagged classical swine fever virus.

J Clin Microbiol 2013 Aug 22;51(8):2710-2. Epub 2013 May 22.

State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin, China.

The neutralization immunofluorescence test (NIFT), currently used for detecting neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) against classical swine fever virus (CSFV), is time-consuming. Here, a simplified neutralization test based on enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-tagged CSFV (EGFP-NT) was developed for direct detection of anti-CSFV NAbs without immunostaining. The relative sensitivity and specificity between EGFP-NT and NIFT or blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were both 100%. The NAb titers by EGFP-NT and the blocking rates by blocking ELISA showed a good correlation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.00859-13DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3719638PMC
August 2013

Efficient and stable rescue of classical swine fever virus from cloned cDNA using an RNA polymerase II system.

Arch Virol 2013 Apr 29;158(4):901-7. Epub 2012 Nov 29.

State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 427 Maduan Street, Harbin, 150001, Heilongjiang, China.

Conventional reverse genetics for classical swine fever virus (CSFV) is based on the transfection of permissive cells with either in vitro or intracellularly synthesized RNA transcripts from a viral genomic cDNA clone. These strategies are complicated, inefficient and time-consuming. This study is aimed to develop an improved reverse genetics method for the direct, rapid and efficient recovery of CSFV from cloned cDNA. The cDNA clone pBRCISM was constructed, which harbors the full-length genomic sequence from the CSFV Shimen strain flanked by the cytomegalovirus promoter (an RNA polymerase II promoter), a chimeric intron, and hammerhead ribozyme sequences at the 5'-end and the hepatitis delta virus ribozyme and SV40 polyadenylation signal sequences at the 3'-end. Infectious progeny virus was rescued from PK-15 cells directly transfected with pBRCISM, and its morphology, one-step growth characteristics and pathogenicity were indistinguishable from the parent virus and virus rescued from classical reverse genetics. The reverse genetics based on RNA polymerase II yielded a 120-fold increase in the titer of nascent virus in 12-h less time than a reverse genetics method based on in vitro transcription. The full-length cDNA clone remained stable and infectious after 20 passages in bacterial cells, in contrast to the instability of the full-length clone without the intron after 9 passages. The improved reverse genetics method developed in the present study is efficient, stable, convenient and cost-effective and will be valuable for the rapid recovery of CSFV mutants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00705-012-1548-8DOI Listing
April 2013

Realisation of an all solid state lithium battery using solid high temperature plastic crystal electrolytes exhibiting liquid like conductivity.

Phys Chem Chem Phys 2012 Apr 22;14(13):4597-604. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

CSIRO Energy Technology, Clayton South VIC, Australia.

Replacement of volatile and combustible electrolytes in conventional lithium batteries is desirable for two reasons: safety concerns and increase in specific energy. In this work we consider the use of an ionic organic plastic crystal material (IOPC), N-ethyl-N-methylpyrrolidinium tetrafluoroborate, [C2mpyr][BF(4)], as a solid-state electrolyte for lithium battery applications. The effect of inclusion of 1 to 33 mol% lithium tetrafluoroborate, LiBF(4), into [C2mpyr][BF(4)] has been investigated over a wide temperature range by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), impedance spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry and cycling of full Li|LiFePO(4) batteries. The increases in ionic conductivity by orders of magnitude observed at higher temperature are most likely associated with an increase in Li ion mobility in the highest plastic phase. At concentrations >5 mol% LiBF(4) the ionic conductivity of these solid-state composites is comparable to the ionic conductivity of room temperature ionic liquids. Galvanostatic cycling of Li|Li symmetrical cells showed that the reversibility of the lithium metal redox reaction at the interface of this plastic crystal electrolyte is sufficient for lithium battery applications. For the first time we demonstrate an all solid state lithium battery incorporating solid electrolytes based on IOPC as opposed to conventional flammable organic solvents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c2cp24077gDOI Listing
April 2012

Homogeneous catalysts with a mechanical ("machine-like") action.

Chemistry 2009 ;15(19):4746-59

ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, Intelligent Polymer Research Institute, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.

Chemical reactions may be controlled by either: 1) the minimum threshold energy that must be overcome during collisions between reactant molecules/atoms (the activation energy, E(a)), or: 2) the rate at which reactant collisions occur (the collision frequency, A)--for reactions with low E(a). Reactions of type 2 are governed by the physical, mechanical interaction of the reactants. Such mechanical processes are unusual, but not unknown in molecular catalysts. In this work we examine the machine-like nature of the action in various abiological mechanical catalysts and consider the implications for mimicry of biological catalysts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/chem.200802396DOI Listing
June 2009

A new family of ionic liquids based on N,N-dialkyl-3-azabicyclo[3.2.2]nonanium cations: organic plastic crystal behaviour and highly reversible lithium metal electrodeposition.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2007 Dec 17(48):5226-8. Epub 2007 Oct 17.

CSIRO Energy Technology, Clayton South, VIC 3169, Australia.

A new family of ionic liquids based on N,N-dialkyl-3-azabicyclo[3.2.2]nonanium cations exhibits wide electrochemical windows, excellent lithium deposition-stripping behaviour and plastic crystal properties and therefore these cation structures, which are extensions from pyrrolidinium- and piperidinium-based cations, complement a set of related structures for a systematic study on the physicochemical properties of ionic liquids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/b709772gDOI Listing
December 2007