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Yanggu, South Korea

Kang D.-H.,Ewha Medical Research Institute | Song K.Y.,University of Minnesota | Wei L.-N.,University of Minnesota | Law P.-Y.,University of Minnesota | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Molecular Medicine | Year: 2013

α-complex protein 2 (α-CP2) is known as an RNA-binding protein that interacts in a sequence-specific manner with single-stranded polycytosine [poly(C)]. This protein is involved in various post-transcriptional regulations, such as mRNA stabilization and translational regulation. In this study, the full-length mouse α-CP2 gene was expressed in an insoluble form with an N-terminal histidine tag in Escherichia coli and purified for homogeneity using affinity column chromatography Its identity was confirmed using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. Recombinant α-CP2 was expressed and refolded. The protein folding conditions for denatured α-CP2 were optimized. DNA and RNA electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated that the recombinant α-CP2 is capable of binding to both single-stranded DNA and RNA poly(C) sequences. Furthermore, plasmids expressing α-CP2 activated the expression of a luciferase reporter when co-transfected with a single-stranded (pGL-SS) construct containing a poly(C) sequence. To our knowledge, this study demonstrates for the first time that α-CP2 functions as a transcriptional activator by binding to a single-stranded poly(C) sequence.

Yoon S.H.,Ewha Womans University | Yoon S.H.,Ewha Medical Research Institute | Lee H.Y.,Ewha Womans University | Kim H.W.,Ewha Womans University | And 4 more authors.
Korean Journal of Pediatric Infectious Diseases | Year: 2013

Purpose: Although the overall incidence of hepatitis A in Korea has been decreasing recently, the adolescents born before the introduction of the hepatitis A vaccine remain to be highly vulnerable to outbreak. This study examines the unvaccinated adolescents' and their parents' knowledge and health beliefs toward hepatitis A vaccination. Methods: Healthy adolescents aged 13-19 years old who had no previous history of hepatitis A vaccine and hepatitis A infection, and their parents or legal guardians were the subjects of the study. The survey was conducted using a structured questionnaire based on the Health Belief Model, and examined the subjects' demographics, knowledge, and health beliefs (i.e., perceived susceptibility, severity, benefits, and barriers). Results: We included 157 adolescents and their parents/guardians (mean age: 16.0±1.6 and 45.6±4.7 years, respectively). The average knowledge item score for adolescents and parents was 6.4±3.7 and 7.3±3.4 (out of 18), respectively. Similarly, average Health Belief Model item scores were: susceptibility, 5.6±1.6 and 5.9±1.7 (range: 2-10); severity, 16.3±4.1 and 18.3±3.6 (range:5-25); benefits, 19.7±3.3 and 20.6±2.1 (range:5-25); and barriers, 41.3±8.9 and 39.0±9.1 (range:7-85). The major reason for not undergoing hepatitis A vaccination was lack of knowledge about its importance. Conclusions: Refresher health lectures about hepatitis A and the vaccine are needed by both the adolescents and their parents. Furthermore, the inclusion of hepatitis A vaccine in the national immunization program should be considered to reduce the risk of hepatitis A outbreak and to raise the vaccination coverage among the adolescents in Korea.

Ryu Y.J.,Ewha Medical Research Institute | Chun E.-M.,Ewha Medical Research Institute | Lee J.H.,Ewha Medical Research Institute | Chang J.H.,Ewha Medical Research Institute
Korean Journal of Internal Medicine | Year: 2010

Background/Aims: Patients with chronic airway lung diseases often experience depression and anxiety, but little information is available regarding Koreans with these conditions. We thus assessed depression and anxiety in Korean patients with chronic airway lung diseases. Methods: The degree of depression and anxiety in 84 outpatients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 37 with asthma, 33 with bronchiectasis, and 73 healthy controls were evaluated by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Results: The patients with COPD and bronchiectasis had higher BDI scores and were more likely than controls to experience depression ([COPD, 17; range, 0 to 42; prevalence, 55%], [bronchiectasis, 16; range, 3 to 51; prevalence, 55%], [controls, 13; range, 0 to 31; prevalence, 30%], p < 0.05). The state-anxiety scores of the patients were higher than those of the controls, but only the bronchiectasis group demonstrated a higher frequency of state-anxiety compared with the controls (39 vs. 16%, patients vs. controls, p = 0.015). Among all patients, 22% presented with concomitant depression and state-anxiety, and 25% demonstrated depression and trait-anxiety. Depression was positively correlated with both state-anxiety (r = 0.644) and trait-anxiety (r = 0.597, p < 0.0001). Irrespective of individual diagnosis, post-bronchodilator FEV1 (odds ratio [OR], 0.972; p = 0.027) and smoking history (OR, 3.894; p = 0.018) were independent risk factors for depression in patients with chronic airway lung diseases. Conclusions: Chronic airway lung diseases are associated with depression and/or anxiety, particularly in those with a higher airflow limitation and/or history of smoking.

Lee M.,Ewha Womans University | Lee M.,Ewha Medical Research Institute | Kim S.E.,Ewha Womans University | Kim S.E.,Ewha Medical Research Institute | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Cortical physiology in human motor cortex is influenced by behavioral motor training (MT) as well as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation protocol such as intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS). This study aimed to test whether MT and iTBS can interact with each other to produce additive changes in motor cortical physiology. We hypothesized that potential interaction between MT and iTBS would be dependent on BDNF Val66Met polymorphism, which is known to affect neuroplasticity in the human motor cortex. Eighty two healthy volunteers were genotyped for BDNF polymorphism. Thirty subjects were assigned for MT alone, 23 for iTBS alone, and 29 for MT + iTBS paradigms. TMS indices for cortical excitability and motor map areas were measured prior to and after each paradigm. MT alone significantly increased the motor cortical excitability and expanded the motor map areas. The iTBS alone paradigm also enhanced excitability and increased the motor map areas to a slightly greater extent than MT alone. A combination of MT and iTBS resulted in the largest increases in the cortical excitability, and the representational motor map expansion of MT + iTBS was significantly greater than MT or iTBS alone only in Val/Val genotype. As a result, the additive interaction between MT and iTBS was highly dependent on BDNF Val66Met polymorphism. Our results may have clinical relevance in designing rehabilitative strategies that combine therapeutic cortical stimulation and physical exercise for patients with motor disabilities. © 2013 Lee et al.

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