Publications by authors named "Qianyi Yang"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Transcription Factor KLF14 and Metabolic Syndrome.

Front Cardiovasc Med 2020 27;7:91. Epub 2020 May 27.

Center for Public Health Genomics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, United States.

Metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) is a combination of metabolic abnormalities that lead to the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). Although various criteria for defining MetSyn exist, common abnormalities include abdominal obesity, elevated serum triglyceride, insulin resistance, and blood glucose, decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and hypertension. MetSyn prevalence has been increasing with the rise of obesity worldwide, with significantly higher prevalence in women compared with men and in Hispanics compared with Whites. Affected individuals are at a higher risk of developing T2D (5-fold) and CVD (2-fold). Heritability estimates for individual components of MetSyn vary between 40 and 70%, suggesting a strong contribution of an individual's genetic makeup to disease pathology. The advent of next-generation sequencing technologies has enabled large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) into the genetics underlying MetSyn pathogenesis. Several such studies have implicated the transcription factor KLF14, a member of the Krüpple-like factor family (KLF), in the development of metabolic diseases, including obesity, insulin resistance, and T2D. How KLF14 regulates these metabolic traits and increases the risk of developing T2D, atherosclerosis, and liver dysfunction is still unknown. There have been some debate and controversial results with regards to its expression profile and functionality in various tissues, and a systematic review of current knowledge on KLF14 is lacking. Here, we summarize the research progress made in understanding the function of KLF14 and describe common attributes of its biochemical, physiological, and pathophysiological roles. We also discuss the current challenges in understanding the role of KLF14 in metabolism and provide suggestions for future directions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2020.00091DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7274157PMC
May 2020

Exploration of sensory and spinal neurons expressing gastrin-releasing peptide in itch and pain related behaviors.

Nat Commun 2020 03 13;11(1):1397. Epub 2020 Mar 13.

Center for the Study of Itch and Sensory Disorders, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA.

Gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) functions as a neurotransmitter for non-histaminergic itch, but its site of action (sensory neurons vs spinal cord) remains controversial. To determine the role of GRP in sensory neurons, we generated a floxed Grp mouse line. We found that conditional knockout of Grp in sensory neurons results in attenuated non-histaminergic itch, without impairing histamine-induced itch. Using a Grp-Cre knock-in mouse line, we show that the upper epidermis of the skin is exclusively innervated by GRP fibers, whose activation via optogeneics and chemogenetics in the skin evokes itch- but not pain-related scratching or wiping behaviors. In contrast, intersectional genetic ablation of spinal Grp neurons does not affect itch nor pain transmission, demonstrating that spinal Grp neurons are dispensable for itch transmission. These data indicate that GRP is a neuropeptide in sensory neurons for non-histaminergic itch, and GRP sensory neurons are dedicated to itch transmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15230-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7070094PMC
March 2020

Genetic polymorphism of IL36RN in Han patients with generalized pustular psoriasis in Sichuan region of China: A case-control study.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2018 Aug;97(31):e11741

Department of Dermatology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China.

The aim of this study was to detect IL36RN variant types and frequency in Han patients with generalized pustular psoriasis (GPP) in Sichuan region of China, reveal the difference of variant frequency between GPP alone and GPP + PV (psoriasis vulgaris), and preliminarily clarify the pathogenesis of GPP in this region.Genomic DNA was extracted and subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the amplification of the entire encoding and splice sites of the IL36RN gene followed by bidirectional sequencing. Differences in frequencies of IL36RN variants between groups were analyzed by SPSS Statistics 17.0 software. Meanwhile, the IL36RN variant frequency between GPP alone and GPP + PV was compared.The total IL36RN variant frequency was 60.47% in Han GPP patients from Sichuan region of China. Three variant types (c.115 + 6T > C, c.140A > G, c.227C > T) were identified, among which c.115 + 6T > C exhibited the highest frequency (55.81%). All the 3 variants' frequency of GPP alone group had statistical significance when compared with PV patients and normal controls (P < .05). The IL36RN variant frequency of GPP alone group was statistically higher than that of GPP + PV group (79.17% vs 36.84%, P < .05).IL36RN may be the major disease-causing gene in GPP patients in Han population in Sichuan region of China. c.115 + 6T > C is a possible hot-spot mutation within the IL36RN gene. In contrast to GPP + PV, IL36RN mutations possibly play a more important role in the development of GPP alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000011741DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6081173PMC
August 2018

Characterization of Small Molecules Inhibiting the Pro-Angiogenic Activity of the Zinc Finger Transcription Factor Vezf1.

Molecules 2018 07 3;23(7). Epub 2018 Jul 3.

Department of Biochemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.

Discovery of inhibitors for endothelial-related transcription factors can contribute to the development of anti-angiogenic therapies that treat various diseases, including cancer. The role of transcription factor Vezf1 in vascular development and regulation of angiogenesis has been defined by several earlier studies. Through construction of a computational model for Vezf1, work here has identified a novel small molecule drug capable of inhibiting Vezf1 from binding to its cognate DNA binding site. Using structure-based design and virtual screening of the NCI Diversity Compound Library, 12 shortlisted compounds were tested for their ability to interfere with the binding of Vezf1 to DNA using electrophoretic gel mobility shift assays. We identified one compound, T4, which has an IC50 of 20 μM. Using murine endothelial cells, MSS31, we tested the effect of T4 on endothelial cell viability and angiogenesis by using tube formation assay. Our data show that addition of T4 in cell culture medium does not affect cell viability at concentrations lower or equal to its IC 50 but strongly inhibits the network formation by MSS31 in the tube formation assays. Given its potential efficacy, this inhibitor has significant therapeutic potential in several human diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules23071615DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6100598PMC
July 2018

The transcription factor Vezf1 represses the expression of the antiangiogenic factor Cited2 in endothelial cells.

J Biol Chem 2018 07 24;293(28):11109-11118. Epub 2018 May 24.

From the Department of Biochemistry and

Formation of the vasculature by angiogenesis is critical for proper development, but angiogenesis also contributes to the pathogenesis of various disorders, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Vascular endothelial zinc finger 1 (Vezf1), is a Krüppel-like zinc finger protein that plays a vital role in vascular development. However, the mechanism by which Vezf1 regulates this process is not fully understood. Here, we show that mouse embryonic stem cells (ESC) have significantly increased expression of a stem cell factor, Cbp/p300-interacting transactivator 2 (Cited2). Compared with WT ESCs, ESCs inefficiently differentiated into endothelial cells (ECs), which exhibited defects in the tube-formation assay. These defects were due to reduced activation of EC-specific genes concomitant with lower enrichment of histone 3 acetylation at Lys (H3K27) at their promoters. We hypothesized that overexpression of Cited2 in cells sequesters P300/CBP away from the promoters of proangiogenic genes and thereby contributes to defective angiogenesis in these cells. This idea was supported by the observation that shRNA-mediated depletion of Cited2 significantly reduces the angiogenic defects in the ECs. In contrast to previous studies that have focused on the role of Vezf1 as a transcriptional activator of proangiogenic genes, our findings have revealed a role for Vezf1 in modulating the expression of the antiangiogenic factor Cited2. Vezf1 previously has been characterized as an insulator protein, and our results now provide insights into the mechanism, indicating that Vezf1 can block inappropriate, nonspecific interactions of promoters with -located enhancers, preventing aberrant promoter activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA118.002911DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6052231PMC
July 2018

Non-canonical Opioid Signaling Inhibits Itch Transmission in the Spinal Cord of Mice.

Cell Rep 2018 Apr;23(3):866-877

Center for the Study of Itch, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA; Department of Anesthesiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA; Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA; Department of Developmental Biology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA. Electronic address:

Chronic itch or pruritus is a debilitating disorder that is refractory to conventional anti-histamine treatment. Kappa opioid receptor (KOR) agonists have been used to treat chronic itch, but the underlying mechanism remains elusive. Here, we find that KOR and gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR) overlap in the spinal cord, and KOR activation attenuated GRPR-mediated histamine-independent acute and chronic itch in mice. Notably, canonical KOR-mediated G signaling is not required for desensitizing GRPR function. In vivo and in vitro studies suggest that KOR activation results in the translocation of Ca-independent protein kinase C (PKC)δ from the cytosol to the plasma membrane, which in turn phosphorylates and inhibits GRPR activity. A blockade of phospholipase C (PLC) in HEK293 cells prevented KOR-agonist-induced PKCδ translocation and GRPR phosphorylation, suggesting a role of PLC signaling in KOR-mediated GRPR desensitization. These data suggest that a KOR-PLC-PKCδ-GRPR signaling pathway in the spinal cord may underlie KOR-agonists-induced anti-pruritus therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2018.03.087DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5937707PMC
April 2018

Depletion of UBC9 Causes Nuclear Defects during the Vegetative and Sexual Life Cycles in Tetrahymena thermophila.

Eukaryot Cell 2015 Dec 9;14(12):1240-52. Epub 2015 Oct 9.

Department of Biochemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA

Ubc9p is the sole E2-conjugating enzyme for SUMOylation, and its proper function is required for regulating key nuclear events such as transcription, DNA repair, and mitosis. In Tetrahymena thermophila, the genome is separated into a diploid germ line micronucleus (MIC) that divides by mitosis and a polyploid somatic macronucleus (MAC) that divides amitotically. This unusual nuclear organization provides novel opportunities for the study of SUMOylation and Ubc9p function. We identified the UBC9 gene and demonstrated that its complete deletion from both MIC and MAC genomes is lethal. Rescue of the lethal phenotype with a GFP-UBC9 fusion gene driven by a metallothionein promoter generated a cell line with CdCl2-dependent expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-Ubc9p. Depletion of Ubc9p in vegetative cells resulted in the loss of MICs, but MACs continued to divide. In contrast, expression of catalytically inactive Ubc9p resulted in the accumulation of multiple MICs. Critical roles for Ubc9p were also identified during the sexual life cycle of Tetrahymena. Cell lines that were depleted for Ubc9p did not form mating pairs and therefore could not complete any of the subsequent stages of conjugation, including meiosis and macronuclear development. Mating between cells expressing catalytically inactive Ubc9p resulted in arrest during macronuclear development, consistent with our observation that Ubc9p accumulates in the developing macronucleus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/EC.00115-15DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4664876PMC
December 2015

SUMOylation is developmentally regulated and required for cell pairing during conjugation in Tetrahymena thermophila.

Eukaryot Cell 2015 Feb 19;14(2):170-81. Epub 2014 Dec 19.

Department of Biochemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA

The covalent attachment of small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) to target proteins regulates numerous nuclear events in eukaryotes, including transcription, mitosis and meiosis, and DNA repair. Despite extensive interest in nuclear pathways within the field of ciliate molecular biology, there have been no investigations of the SUMO pathway in Tetrahymena. The developmental program of sexual reproduction of this organism includes cell pairing, micronuclear meiosis, and the formation of a new somatic macronucleus. We identified the Tetrahymena thermophila SMT3 (SUMO) and UBA2 (SUMO-activating enzyme) genes and demonstrated that the corresponding green fluorescent protein (GFP) tagged gene products are found predominantly in the somatic macronucleus during vegetative growth. Use of an anti-Smt3p antibody to perform immunoblot assays with whole-cell lysates during conjugation revealed a large increase in SUMOylation that peaked during formation of the new macronucleus. Immunofluorescence using the same antibody showed that the increase was localized primarily within the new macronucleus. To initiate functional analysis of the SUMO pathway, we created germ line knockout cell lines for both the SMT3 and UBA2 genes and found both are essential for cell viability. Conditional Smt3p and Uba2p cell lines were constructed by incorporation of the cadmium-inducible metallothionein promoter. Withdrawal of cadmium resulted in reduced cell growth and increased sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents. Interestingly, Smt3p and Uba2p conditional cell lines were unable to pair during sexual reproduction in the absence of cadmium, consistent with a function early in conjugation. Our studies are consistent with multiple roles for SUMOylation in Tetrahymena, including a dynamic regulation associated with the sexual life cycle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/EC.00252-14DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4311922PMC
February 2015