Publications by authors named "Zhongbao Zhang"

21 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Isoorientin Affects Markers of Alzheimer's Disease via Effects on the Oral and Gut Microbiota in APP/PS1 Mice.

J Nutr 2021 Oct 12. Epub 2021 Oct 12.

Beijing Agro-Biotechnology Research Center, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Beijing, China.

Background: There is growing evidence of strong associations between the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dysbiotic oral and gut microbiota. Recent studies demonstrated that isoorientin (ISO) is anti-inflammatory and alleviates markers of AD, which were hypothesized to be mediated by the oral and gut microbiota.

Objectives: We studied the effects of oral administration of ISO on AD-related markers and the oral and gut microbiota in mice.

Methods: Eight-month-old amyloid precursor protein/presenilin-1 (AP) transgenic male mice were randomly allocated to 3 groups of 15 mice each: vehicle (AP) alone or with a low dose of ISO (AP + ISO-L; 25 mg/kg) or a high dose of ISO (AP + ISO-H; 50 mg/kg). Age-matched wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 male littermates were used as controls. The 4 groups were treated intragastrically with ISO or sterilized ultrapure water for 2 months. AD-related markers in the brain, serum, colon, and liver were analyzed with immunohistochemical and histochemical staining, Western blotting, and ELISA. Oral and gut microbiotas were analyzed using 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing.

Results: The high-dose ISO treatment significantly decreased amyloid beta 42-positive deposition by 38.1% and 45.2% in the cortex and hippocampus, respectively, of AP mice (P < 0.05). Compared with the AP group, both ISO treatments reduced brain phospho-Tau, phosphor-p65, phosphor-inhibitor of NF-κB, and brain and serum LPS and TNF-α by 17.9%-72.5% and increased brain and serum IL-4 and IL-10 by 130%-210% in the AP + ISO-L and AP + ISO-H groups (P < 0.05). Abundances of 26, 25, and 23 microbial taxa in oral, fecal and cecal samples, respectively, were increased in both the AP + ISO-L and AP + ISO-H groups relative to the AP group [linear discriminant analysis (LDA) >3.0; P < 0.05]. Gram-negative bacteria, Alteromonas, Campylobacterales, and uncultured Bacteroidales bacterium were positively correlated (rho = 0.28-0.59; P < 0.05) with the LPS levels and responses of inflammatory cytokines.

Conclusions: The microbiota-gut-brain axis is a potential mechanism by which ISO reduces AD-related markers in AP mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxab328DOI Listing
October 2021

Jianqu fermentation with the isolated fungi significantly improves the immune response in immunosuppressed mice.

J Ethnopharmacol 2021 Mar 23;267:113512. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, Sichuan University of Science and Engineering, Zigong, China; College of Bioengineering, Sichuan University of Science and Engineering, Yibin, China. Electronic address:

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Jianqu, a classical formula of traditional Chinese medicine, is used clinically to treat symptoms like chill and fever headache, diarrhea and loss of appetite and act on patients with low immunity. However, the quality control of Jianqu fermentation is not well established, and its function in regulating the body's immunity still remains unclear.

Aim Of The Study: The present study firstly assesses the structure and diversity of fungal community during Jianqu fermentation and then investigates the immune regulating function of Jianqu extract in mouse model.

Materials And Method: The high-throughput sequencing is conducted to analyze the diversity and distribution of fungal community during the fermentation process of Jianqu, and then fungi with a high frequency and relative abundance are isolated. The immunosuppressed mice are induced by using cyclophosphamide (CTX) and used to evaluate the immune regulating function of Jianqu extract from natural fermentation or directed fermentation, respectively.

Results: With the fermentation, the diversity and distribution of fungal community significantly changed. The number of OTU (operational taxonomic unit) was gradually decreased from 223 ± 1 in the early phase to 201 ± 11 in the middle phase and to 175 ± 32 in the later phase of Jianqu fermentation. Generally, in genus level, Millerozyma, Debaryomyces and Rhizomucor showed a significant increase and became dominant in the mid or later phase of fermentation, while the Aspergillus displayed a decrease following the fermentation. However, Saccharomycopsis is a dominate species in surveyed samples. Next, six fungi strains with a high frequency and relative abundance, including Saccharomycopsis fibuligera, Millerozyma farinose, Hyphopichia burtonii, Rhizomucor pusillus, Lichtheimia ramosa, and Monascus purpureus, are isolated successfully. Interestingly, directed fermentation for Jianqu with the six isolated fungi strains could achieve similar morphological characteristics with the natural fermentation. Consistently, Jianqu extract from directed fermentation demonstrated a similar therapeutic effect on immune response as that of naturally fermented Jianqu.

Conclusions: We firstly showed the significant change of structural profiles of fungal communities during Jianqu fermentation, and successfully isolated six dominate fungi strains in Jianqu. Interestingly, directed fermentation for Jianqu with these isolated strains could achieve a similar morphological characteristics and immune-modulating function as natural fermentation. It was suggested that Jianqu fermentation with functional fungi instead of natural microbes provide a new approach for the improvement of the production and quality control of the traditional Chinese medicine of Jianqu.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2020.113512DOI Listing
March 2021

Identifying key regulatory genes of maize root growth and development by RNA sequencing.

Genomics 2020 11 19;112(6):5157-5169. Epub 2020 Sep 19.

Beijing Agriculture Biotechnology Research Center, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Beijing 100097, China. Electronic address:

Root system architecture (RSA), the spatio-temporal configuration of roots, plays vital roles in maize (Zea mays L.) development and productivity. We sequenced the maize root transcriptome of four key growth and development stages: the 6th leaf stage, the 12th leaf stage, the tasseling stage and the milk-ripe stage. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were detected. 81 DEGs involved in plant hormone signal transduction pathway and 26 transcription factor (TF) genes were screened. These DEGs and TFs were predicted to be potential candidate genes during maize root growth and development. Several of these genes are homologous to well-known genes regulating root architecture or development in Arabidopsis or rice, such as, Zm00001d005892 (AtERF109), Zm00001d027925 (AtERF73/HRE1), Zm00001d047017 (AtMYC2, OsMYC2), Zm00001d039245 (AtWRKY6). Identification of these key genes will provide a further understanding of the molecular mechanisms responsible for maize root growth and development, it will be beneficial to increase maize production and improve stress resistance by altering RSA traits in modern breeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygeno.2020.09.030DOI Listing
November 2020

Effects of aspirin on hepatocellular carcinoma and its potential molecular mechanism.

J BUON 2020 Mar-Apr;25(2):981-986

Department of General Surgery, the third People's Hospital of Liaocheng, Liaocheng 252000, China.

Purpose: To explore the effects of aspirin (ASP) on the proliferation and apoptosis of HepG2 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells via the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.

Methods: Human HCC cells were cultured and treated with ASP at different concentrations. Cell proliferation was determined with cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) and colony formation, and the rate of apoptosis was measured by flow cytometry. Western blotting (WB) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assays were used to assess the changes in the expression levels of related proteins.

Results: ASP showed a time-and concentration-depented inhibitory effect on HepG2 cell proliferation. The number of colonies formed in ASP-treated HCC cells was significantly lower than in control cells. For HCC cells treated with ASP, the apoptosis rate enhanced with the increase of ASP concentration. The expression levels of TCF4 and LEF1, key molecules of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, were lowered in HCC cells treated with 4 mM ASP, and the nuclear translocation of β-catenin was weakened. The β-catenin activator exerted a negative influence on the anticancer effect of ASP.

Conclusions: ASP inhibits the proliferation and promotes the apoptosis of HCC cells through the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.
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February 2021

Analyses of the Complete Genome Sequence of the Strain Bacillus pumilus ZB201701 Isolated from Rhizosphere Soil of Maize under Drought and Salt Stress.

Microbes Environ 2019 Sep 23;34(3):310-315. Epub 2019 Aug 23.

Beijing Agro-Biotechnology Research Center, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences.

Bacillus pumilus ZB201701 is a rhizobacterium with the potential to promote plant growth and tolerance to drought and salinity stress. We herein present the complete genome sequence of the Gram-positive bacterium B. pumilus ZB201701, which consists of a linear chromosome with 3,640,542 base pairs, 3,608 protein-coding sequences, 24 ribosomal RNAs, and 80 transfer RNAs. Genome analyses using bioinformatics revealed some of the putative gene clusters involved in defense mechanisms. In addition, activity analyses of the strain under salt and simulated drought stress suggested its potential tolerance to abiotic stress. Plant growth-promoting bacteria-based experiments indicated that the strain promotes the salt tolerance of maize. The complete genome of B. pumilus ZB201701 provides valuable insights into rhizobacteria-mediated salt and drought tolerance and rhizobacteria-based solutions for abiotic stress in agriculture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1264/jsme2.ME18096DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6759339PMC
September 2019

Effective Biodegradation of Aflatoxin B1 Using the (BL010) Strain.

Toxins (Basel) 2018 11 26;10(12). Epub 2018 Nov 26.

Beijing Agro-Biotechnology Research Center, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Beijing 100097, China.

Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), a pollutant of agricultural products, has attracted considerable attention in recent years, due to its potential impact on health. In the present study, (BL010) was demonstrated to efficiently degrade AFB1, reducing over 89.1% of the toxin content within 120 h. A crude enzyme solution of BL010 exhibited the highest degradation level (97.3%) after three induction periods. However, uninduced BL010 bacteria was not capable of reducing AFB1. Furthermore, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis showed that while a cell-free extract caused a significant decrease in AFB1 content (93.6%, < 0.05), cell culture fluid treatment did not significantly degrade AFB1. The biotransformation products of AFB1 were detected and further identified by quadrupole time-of-flight liquid chromatography⁻mass spectrometry (LC-Q-TOF/MS); these corresponded to a molecular formula of CHO₄. A sequence analysis of whole BL010 genes with a bioinformatics approach identified the secondary structures of two degrading enzymes (Chia010 and Lac010), providing an important basis for subsequent homology modeling and functional predictions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/toxins10120497DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6315853PMC
November 2018

Structural and functional profiles of the gut microbial community in polycystic ovary syndrome with insulin resistance (IR-PCOS): a pilot study.

Res Microbiol 2019 Jan - Feb;170(1):43-52. Epub 2018 Oct 4.

Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, Sichuan University of Science & Engineering, 180 Xueyuan Street, Zigong, 643000, Sichuan, China. Electronic address:

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex endocrine and metabolic disorder that affects 9-21% of reproductive-aged women. Affected women frequently display obesity, insulin resistance, and inflammation. Altered gut microbial community has been reported in PCOS and obese PCOS patients. However, the profile of the gut microbial community in insulin resistant PCOS (IR-PCOS) patients still remains unknown. In this study, next-generation sequencing based on the 16S rRNA gene was used to compare the gut microbial composition of women with IR-PCOS (n = 9, PCOS with insulin resistance), NIR-PCOS (n = 8, PCOS alone) and healthy controls (n = 8, HC). We assessed that the composition of the gut microbial communities in NIR-PCOS and IR-PCOS patients were significantly altered. The family Bacteroidaceae was prolific in the NIR-PCOS group and reached its highest level in the IR-PCOS group, while the Prevotellaceae dramatically decreased in PCOS patients, especially in the IR-PCOS group. Subsequent correlation analysis revealed that the increased clinical parameter levels, including insulin resistance, sex-hormones and inflammation, were positively associated with the abundance of Bacteroidaceae, but negatively associated with that of Prevotellaceae. In addition, IR-PCOS patients also displayed a significant difference in their amounts of Ruminococcaceae and Lachnospiraceae when compared to the NIR-PCOS group. Moreover, the functional prediction from PICRUSt revealed that 73 pathways are significantly changed in the gut microbial communities of PCOS patients. Specifically, 21 metabolism-associated pathways, including the steroid hormone biosynthesis and lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis pathways, are obviously changed in IR-PCOS when compared to NIR-PCOS and HC groups. Taking this into consideration, our present study suggests that the dysbiosis of gut microbial communities occurred most notably in IR-PCOS patients, and the difference in gut dysbiosis profile between the IR-PCOS and NIR-PCOS should be considered in clinical treatment for PCOS patients and future drugs development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.resmic.2018.09.002DOI Listing
February 2019

Distribution of Four Bioactive Flavonoids in Maize Tissues of Five Varieties and Correlation with Expression of the Biosynthetic Genes.

J Agric Food Chem 2018 Oct 2;66(40):10431-10437. Epub 2018 Oct 2.

Beijing Agro-Biotechnology Research Center , Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences , Beijing 100097 , China.

Flavonoids are characteristic in maize and have diverse biological functions. C-Glycosylflavones are neuroprotective against β-amyloid-induced tau hyperphosphorylation and neurotoxicity in SH-SY5Y cells, which is relevant to Alzheimer's disease prevention and treatment. The content of the flavonoids eriodictyol, luteolin, isoorientin, and maysin varied in pollens, silks, tassels, and seeds among five maize varieties. Eriodictyol content was high (51-322 ng/g dw) in pollens, while luteolin content was low (0.2-106 ng/g dw) in all four tissues. The isoorientin content was approximately 3- to 10-fold greater than eriodictyol in pollens and tassels, particularly in the hybrid M1 and sweet corn M5 varieties. Maysin content was high in most silks and tassels. The differential expression of five genes involved in the maysin biosynthesis correlated well with the profiles of the four flavonoids among tissues and varieties. The present study offers valuable data for maize breeding and the use of maize flavonoids as functional food components.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.8b03865DOI Listing
October 2018

[Preparation of multivalent egg yolk IgY antibodies against Helicobacter pylori].

Xi Bao Yu Fen Zi Mian Yi Xue Za Zhi 2018 Jun;34(6):555-560

School of Chemical Engineering, Sichuan University of Science & Engineering, Zigong 643000, China. *Corresponding authors, E-mail:

Objective To prepare a specific multivalent immunoglobulin of yolk (IgY) against multi-virulence factors of Helicobacter pylori (Hp). Methods The purified recombinant BabA2, UerB and FlaA of Hp were mixed equally with adjuvant, and then used to immunize egg-laying hens to produce specific multivalent IgY. Next, the biological characteristics of purified IgY were analyzed by SDS-PAGE, Western blot and ELISA. To analyze the inhibition effects of multivalent IgY on the growth of Hp in vitro, Hp was co-cultured with different final concentration of IgY (1, 5, 10) mg/mL in the presence or absence of antibiotics. Results After immunization, the titer of egg yolk IgY reached up to 1:150 000. Furthermore, the bacteriostasis assay showed that the multivalent IgY had a significant inhibitory effect on the growth of Hp at 5 mg/mL, and the combination with amoxicillin could further inhibited the growth of Hp. Conclusion The specific multivalent IgY against Hp is successfully prepared.
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June 2018

The complete genome sequence of Bacillus halotolerans ZB201702 isolated from a drought- and salt-stressed rhizosphere soil.

Microb Pathog 2018 Oct 17;123:246-249. Epub 2018 Jul 17.

Beijing Agro-Biotechnology Research Center, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Beijing, 100097, China; Beijing Key Laboratory of Agricultural Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, Beijing, 100097, China. Electronic address:

Bacillus halotolerans is a rhizobacterium with the potential to promote plant growth and tolerance to drought and salinity stress. Here, we present the complete genome sequence of B. halotolerans ZB201702, which consists of 4,150,000 bp in a linear chromosome, including 3074 protein-coding sequences, 30 rRNAs, and 85 tRNAs. Genome analysis revealed many putative gene clusters involved in defense mechanisms. Activity analysis of the strain under salt and simulated drought stress suggests tolerance to abiotic stresses. The complete genome information of B. halotolerans ZB201702 could provide valuable insights into rhizobacteria-mediated plant salt and drought tolerance and rhizobacteria-based solutions for abiotic stress agriculture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micpath.2018.07.019DOI Listing
October 2018

Complete genome sequence of Bacillus licheniformis BL-010.

Microb Pathog 2018 May 22;118:199-201. Epub 2018 Mar 22.

Beijing Agro-Biotechnology Research Center, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Beijing 100097, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

The biodegradation of Aflatoxin B (AFB) is an industry of increasing importance. Bacillus licheniformis BL-010 was isolated from the aflatoxin contaminated corn feed storage, and was shown to degrade AFB efficiently. Here we present the complete genome sequence of BL-010, the genome comprises 4,287,714 bp in a circular chromosome with a GC content of 46.12% and contains genes encoding AFB degrading enzymes. The genome sequence displayed that this strain contains genes involved in production of laccase, aromatic ring-opening dioxygenase which could detoxify AFB. Complete genome sequence of the strain BL-010 can further provide the genomic basis for the biotechnological application of strain BL-010 as an effective way to degrade AFB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micpath.2018.03.037DOI Listing
May 2018

Isolation, structural analysis, and expression characteristics of the maize nuclear factor Y gene families.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2016 09 4;478(2):752-8. Epub 2016 Aug 4.

Beijing Agro-Biotechnology Research Center, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, China; College of Agriculture, Yangtze University, Hubei Collaborative Innovation Center for Grain Industry, Jingzhou 434023, Hubei, China. Electronic address:

NUCLEAR FACTOR-Y (NF-Y) has been shown to play an important role in growth, development, and response to environmental stress. A NF-Y complex, which consists of three subunits, NF-YA, NF-YB, and, NF-YC, binds to CCAAT sequences in a promoter to control the expression of target genes. Although NF-Y proteins have been reported in Arabidopsis and rice, a comprehensive and systematic analysis of ZmNF-Y genes has not yet been performed. To examine the functions of ZmNF-Y genes in this family, we isolated and characterized 50 ZmNF-Y (14 ZmNF-YA, 18 ZmNF-YB, and 18 ZmNF-YC) genes in an analysis of the maize genome. The 50 ZmNF-Y genes were distributed on all 10 maize chromosomes, and 12 paralogs were identified. Multiple alignments showed that maize ZmNF-Y family proteins had conserved regions and relatively variable N-terminal or C-terminal domains. The comparative syntenic map illustrated 40 paralogous NF-Y gene pairs among the 10 maize chromosomes. Microarray data showed that the ZmNF-Y genes had tissue-specific expression patterns in various maize developmental stages and in response to biotic and abiotic stresses. The results suggested that ZmNF-YB2, 4, 8, 10, 13, and 16 and ZmNF-YC6, 8, and 15 were induced, while ZmNF-YA1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12, and 13, ZmNF-YB15, and ZmNF-YC3 and 9 were suppressed by drought stress. ZmNF-YA3, ZmNF-YA8 and ZmNF-YA12 were upregulated after infection by the three pathogens, while ZmNF-YA1 and ZmNF-YB2 were suppressed. These results indicate that the ZmNF-Ys may have significant roles in the response to abiotic and biotic stresses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2016.08.020DOI Listing
September 2016

LncRNA HOTAIR controls the expression of Rab22a by sponging miR-373 in ovarian cancer.

Mol Med Rep 2016 Sep 28;14(3):2465-72. Epub 2016 Jul 28.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Tongji Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Tongji University, Shanghai 200065, P.R. China.

Increasing evidence suggests that the long non-coding RNA, HOX transcript antisense intergenic RNA (HOTAIR) is widely involved in the progression and metastasis of cancer. However, the specific role of HOTAIR in ovarian carcinogenesis remains to be fully elucidated. In the present study, the levels of HOTAIR were detected in 30 paired cancer and noncancer tissues using reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis. The effect of HOTAIR on the ovarian cancer cells was examined by overexpression or small interfering RNA interference experiments. To examine the competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNAs) mechanism, a luciferase reporter assay was used. In patients with ovarian cancer, HOTAIR was significantly upregulated. Furthermore, the upregulation of HOTAIR increased the proliferation, migration and invasion of ovarian cancer cells. By contrast, the knockdown of HOTAIR repressed cell invasion and viability. HOTAIR functioned as a ceRNA, and acted as a sink for microRNA (miR)‑373, thereby regulating the expression of Rab22a. The upregulation of HOTAIR contributed to the malignant progression of ovarian cancer cells. Therefore, the positive regulation between HOTAIR and Rab22a can be partially attributed to the ceRNA regulatory network through miR-373.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2016.5572DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4991663PMC
September 2016

The prognostic role and reduced expression of FOXJ2 in human hepatocellular carcinoma.

Mol Med Rep 2016 Jul 12;14(1):254-62. Epub 2016 May 12.

Department of General Surgery, The Third People's Hospital of Liaocheng, Liaocheng, Shandong 252000, P.R. China.

The current study aimed to investigate the potential role of the FOXJ2 (forkhead box J2) protein in the pathology of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Western blotting was performed to determine the expression levels of FOXJ2 in HCC tissues and HCC cells. Specimens from 110 patients with HCC undergoing hepatic resection were evaluated for FOXJ2 expression using an immunohistochemical assay. The correlation between FOXJ2 expression and clinicopathological factors of the patients was determined by statistical analysis to determine the prognostic merit of FOXJ2 expression in HCC. The detailed involvement of FOXJ2 in the regulation of HCC proliferation was further investigated using FOXJ2‑targeting small interfering RNA (siRNA). FOXJ2 protein was identified to be significantly downregulated in HCC tissues compared with adjacent normal liver tissues. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated that the expression of FOXJ2 was negatively correlated with Ki‑67 levels in HCC specimens (r=‑0.679, P<0.001). Furthermore, statistical analysis indicated FOXJ2 expression was significantly associated with histological differentiation (P=0.005), the size of largest tumor (P=0.002) and metastasis (P=0.036). Using Kaplan‑Meier analysis, it was demonstrated that high FOXJ2 expression levels predicted significantly improved patient survival rates compared with low FOXJ2 expression levels (P<0.001). In addition, it was observed that interference of FOXJ2 expression using siRNA oligos led to the promotion of proliferation of HepG2 cells. FOXJ2 was markedly downregulated in HCC tissues. The expression of FOXJ2 was correlated with tumor size, histological differentiation and metastasis. Low expression levels of FOXJ2 predicted poor prognosis for patients with HCC, suggesting that FOXJ2 may be a candidate prognostic marker of HCC. Depletion of FOXJ2 caused the promotion of HCC cell proliferation, implicating that FOXJ2 may serve an inhibitory role in the regulation of HCC cell proliferation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2016.5261DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4918614PMC
July 2016

Isolation, structural analysis, and expression characteristics of the maize TIFY gene family.

Mol Genet Genomics 2015 Oct 11;290(5):1849-58. Epub 2015 Apr 11.

Beijing Agro-Biotechnology Research Center, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Beijing, China.

TIFY, previously known as ZIM, comprises a plant-specific family annotated as transcription factors that might play important roles in stress response. Despite TIFY proteins have been reported in Arabidopsis and rice, a comprehensive and systematic survey of ZmTIFY genes has not yet been conducted. To investigate the functions of ZmTIFY genes in this family, we isolated and characterized 30 ZmTIFY (1 TIFY, 3 ZML, and 26 JAZ) genes in an analysis of the maize (Zea mays L.) genome in this study. The 30 ZmTIFY genes were distributed over eight chromosomes. Multiple alignment and motif display results indicated that all ZmTIFY proteins share two conserved TIFY and Jas domains. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the ZmTIFY family could be divided into two groups. Putative cis-elements, involved in abiotic stress response, phytohormones, pollen grain, and seed development, were detected in the promoters of maize TIFY genes. Microarray data showed that the ZmTIFY genes had tissue-specific expression patterns in various maize developmental stages and in response to biotic and abiotic stresses. The results indicated that ZmTIFY4, 5, 8, 26, and 28 were induced, while ZmTIFY16, 13, 24, 27, 18, and 30 were suppressed, by drought stress in the maize inbred lines Han21 and Ye478. ZmTIFY1, 19, and 28 were upregulated after infection by three pathogens, whereas ZmTIFY4, 13, 21, 23, 24, and 26 were suppressed. These results indicate that the ZmTIFY family may have vital roles in response to abiotic and biotic stresses. The data presented in this work provide vital clues for further investigating the functions of the genes in the ZmTIFY family.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00438-015-1042-6DOI Listing
October 2015

Isolation, structural analysis, and expression characteristics of the maize (Zea mays L.) hexokinase gene family.

Mol Biol Rep 2014 Sep 25;41(9):6157-66. Epub 2014 Jun 25.

Beijing Agro-Biotechnology Research Center, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Beijing, 100097, China,

Hexokinases (HXKs, EC 2.7.1.1) play important roles in metabolism, glucose (Glc) signaling, and phosphorylation of Glc and fructose and are ubiquitous in all organisms. Despite their physiological importance, the maize HXK (ZmHXK) genes have not been analyzed systematically. We isolated and characterized nine members of the ZmHXK gene family which were distributed on 3 of the 10 maize chromosomes. A multiple sequence alignment and motif analysis revealed that the maize ZmHXK proteins share three conserved domains. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the ZmHXK family can be divided into four subfamilies. We identified putative cis-elements in the ZmHXK promoter sequences potentially involved in phytohormone and abiotic stress responses, sugar repression, light and circadian rhythm regulation, Ca(2+) responses, seed development and germination, and CO2-responsive transcriptional activation. To study the functions of maize HXK isoforms, we characterized the expression of the ZmHXK5 and ZmHXK6 genes, which are evolutionarily related to the OsHXK5 and OsHXK6 genes from rice. Analysis of tissue-specific expression patterns using quantitative real time-PCR showed that ZmHXK5 was highly expressed in tassels, while ZmHXK6 was expressed in both tassels and leaves. ZmHXK5 and ZmHXK6 expression levels were upregulated by phytohormones and by abiotic stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11033-014-3495-9DOI Listing
September 2014

X1-homologous genes family as central components in biotic and abiotic stresses response in maize (Zea mays L.).

Funct Integr Genomics 2014 Mar 26;14(1):101-10. Epub 2013 Oct 26.

Beijing Agro-Biotechnology Research Center, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Beijing, 100097, China.

X1-homologous genes (XHS) encode plant specific proteins containing three basic domains (XH, XS, zf-XS). In spite of their physiological importance, systematic analyses of ZmXHS genes have not yet been explored. In this study, we isolated and characterized ten ZmXHS genes in a whole-of-genome analysis of the maize genome. A total of ten members of this family were identified in maize genome. The ten ZmXHS genes were distributed on seven maize chromosomes. Multiple alignment and motif display results revealed that most ZmXHS proteins share all the three conserved domains. Putative cis-elements involved in abiotic stress responsive, phytohormone, pollen-specific and quantitative, seed development and germination, light and circadian rhythms regulation, Ca(2+)-responsive, root hair cell-specific, and CO(2)-responsive transcriptional activation were observed in the promoters of ZmXHS genes. Yeast hybrid assay revealed that the XH domain of ZmXHS5 was necessary for interaction with itself and ZmXHS2. Microarray data showed that the ZmXHS genes had tissue-specific expression patterns in the maize developmental steps and biotic stresses response. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis results indicated that, except ZmXHS9, the other nine ZmXHS genes were induced in the seedling leaves by at least one of the four abiotic stresses applied.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10142-013-0343-2DOI Listing
March 2014

Genome-wide analysis and identification of HAK potassium transporter gene family in maize (Zea mays L.).

Mol Biol Rep 2012 Aug 19;39(8):8465-73. Epub 2012 Jun 19.

Beijing Agro-Biotechnology Research Center, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Beijing 100097, China.

The high-affinity K(+) (HAK) transporter gene family constitutes the largest family that functions as potassium transporter in plant and is important for various cellular processes of plant life. In spite of their physiological importance, systematic analyses of ZmHAK genes have not yet been investigated. In this paper, we indicated the isolation and characterization of ZmHAK genes in whole-genome wide by using bioinformatics methods. A total of 27 members (ZmHAK1-ZmHAK27) of this family were identified in maize genome. ZmHAK genes were distributed in all the maize 10 chromosomes. These genes expanded in the maize genome partly due to tandem and segmental duplication events. Multiple alignment and motif display results revealed major maize ZmHAK proteins share all the three conserved domains. Phylogenetic analysis indicated ZmHAK family can be divided into six subfamilies. Putative cis-elements involved in Ca(2+) response, abiotic stress adaption, light and circadian rhythms regulation and seed development were observed in the promoters of ZmHAK genes. Expression data mining suggested maize ZmHAK genes have temporal and spatial expression pattern. In all, these results will provide molecular insights into the potassium transporter research in maize.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11033-012-1700-2DOI Listing
August 2012

6,6-Dimethyl-2H,5H,6H,7H-1,3-dithiolo[4,5-f][1,5,3]dithia-silepin-2-one.

Acta Crystallogr Sect E Struct Rep Online 2012 Apr 21;68(Pt 4):o1122. Epub 2012 Mar 21.

In the structure of the title compound, C(7)H(10)OS(4)Si, the carbonyl O atom lies in the plane of the five-membered dithiole ring with a deviation of only 0.022 (2) Å. The seven-membered ring adopts a chair conformation. The crystal packing is stabilized by S⋯O [3.096 (4) Å] and S⋯S [3.620 (4) Å] contacts, together with C-H⋯S inter-actions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1107/S1600536812011142DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3344068PMC
April 2012

Characterization and expression analysis of six MADS-box genes in maize (Zea mays L.).

J Plant Physiol 2012 May 21;169(8):797-806. Epub 2012 Mar 21.

Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, PR China.

MADS-box genes encode a family of transcription factors, which control diverse developmental processes in flowering plants, with organs ranging from roots, flowers and fruits. In this study, six maize cDNAs encoding MADS-box proteins were isolated. BLASTX searches and phylogenetic analysis indicated that the six MADS-box genes belonging to the AGL2-like clade. qRT-PCR analysis revealed that these genes had differential expression patterns in different organs in maize. The results of yeast one-hybrid system indicated that the protein ZMM3-1, ZMM3-2, ZMM6, ZMM7-L, ZMM8-L and ZMM14-L had transcriptional activation activity. Subcellular localization of ZMM7-L demonstrated that the fluorescence of ZMM7-L-GFP was mainly detected in the nuclei of onion epidermal cells. qRT-PCR analysis for expression pattern of ZMM7-L showed that the gene was up-regulated by abiotic stresses and down-regulated by exogenous ABA. The germination rates of over-expression transgenic lines were lower than that of the wild type on medium with 150 mM NaCl, 350 mM mannitol. These results indicated that ZMM7-L might be a negative transcription factor responsive to abiotic stresses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jplph.2011.12.020DOI Listing
May 2012

Development and genetic mapping of SSR markers in foxtail millet [Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv.].

Theor Appl Genet 2009 Feb 13;118(4):821-9. Epub 2009 Jan 13.

Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences/National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement (NFCRI), 100081 Beijing, People's Republic of China.

SSR markers are desirable markers in analysis of genetic diversity, quantitative trait loci mapping and gene locating. In this study, SSR markers were developed from two genomic libraries enriched for (GA)n and (CA)n of foxtail millet [Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv.], a crop of historical importance in China. A total of 100 SSR markers among the 193 primer pairs detected polymorphism between two mapping parents of an F(2) population, i.e. "B100" of cultivated S. italica and "A10" of wild S. viridis. Excluding 14 markers with unclear amplifications, and five markers unlinked with any linkage group, a foxtail millet SSR linkage map was constructed by integrating 81 new developed SSR markers with 20 RFLP anchored markers. The 81 SSRs covered nine chromosomes of foxtail millet. The length of the map was 1,654 cM, with an average interval distance between markers of 16.4 cM. The 81 SSR markers were not evenly distributed throughout the nine chromosomes, with Ch.8 harbouring the least (3 markers) and Ch.9 harbouring the most (18 markers). To verify the usefulness of the SSR markers developed, 37 SSR markers were randomly chosen to analyze genetic diversity of 40 foxtail millet accessions. Totally 228 alleles were detected, with an average 6.16 alleles per locus. Polymorphism information content (PIC) value for each locus ranged from 0.413 to 0.847, with an average of 0.697. A positive correlation between PIC and number of alleles and between PIC and number of repeat unit were found [0.802 and 0.429, respectively (P < 0.01)]. UPGMA analysis revealed that the 40 foxtail millet cultivars could be grouped into five clusters in which the landraces' grouping was largely consistent with ecotypes while the breeding varieties from different provinces in China tended to be grouped together.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00122-008-0942-9DOI Listing
February 2009
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