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Liu C.,State Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics of China | Liu C.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Chung M.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Neuroscience Bulletin | Year: 2015

Circadian rhythm alterations have been implicated in multiple neuropsychiatric disorders, particularly those of sleep, addiction, anxiety, and mood. Circadian rhythms are known to be maintained by a set of classic clock genes that form complex mutual and self-regulatory loops. While many other genes showing rhythmic expression have been identified by genome-wide studies, their roles in circadian regulation remain largely unknown. In attempts to directly connect circadian rhythms with neuropsychiatric disorders, genetic studies have identified gene mutations associated with several rare sleep disorders or sleep-related traits. Other than that, genetic studies of circadian genes in psychiatric disorders have had limited success. As an important mediator of environmental factors and regulators of circadian rhythms, the epigenetic system may hold the key to the etiology or pathology of psychiatric disorders, their subtypes or endophenotypes. Epigenomic regulation of the circadian system and the related changes have not been thoroughly explored in the context of neuropsychiatric disorders. We argue for systematic investigation of the circadian system, particularly epigenetic regulation, and its involvement in neuropsychiatric disorders to improve our understanding of human behavior and disease etiology. © 2015, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Wang L.,Central South University | Guo J.-F.,Central South University | Zhang W.-W.,Central South University | Xu Q.,Central South University | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Neuroscience | Year: 2011

The Grb10-interacting GYF protein-2 gene (GIGYF2) is a PARK11 gene that reportedly has a causal role in familial Parkinson's disease (PD) among populations from Italy and France. However, no comprehensive study of the GIGYF2 gene has been conducted among PD patients from mainland China. In our previous study, the GIGYF2 gene was directly sequenced, and nine missense variants and 14 polymorphisms were identified. For these 14 polymorphisms, in the present study we performed a case-control analysis for 300 PD patients and 200 healthy controls from mainland China. The c.297T>C p.Ala99Ala polymorphism was associated with increased risk with respect to the pathogenesis of sporadic PD. In conclusion, within the Chinese population, the c.297T>C p.Ala99Ala polymorphism of the GIGYF2 gene may be associated with an increased risk of developing PD. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Guan W.-J.,Central South University | Wang J.-L.,Central South University | Liu Y.-T.,Central South University | Ma Y.-T.,State Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics of China | And 8 more authors.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2013

Spinocerebellar ataxia type 35 (SCA35) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder. In our previous study, using exome sequencing and linkage analysis, two missense mutations of the transglutaminase 6 (TGM6) gene were identified as causative for SCA35. TGM6 encodes transglutaminase 6 (TG6), a member of the transglutaminase family of enzymes that catalyze the formation of a covalent bond between a free amine group and the γ-carboxamide group of protein- or peptide-bound glutamine. However, the precise role of TG6 in contributing to SCA35 remains unclear. In this study, we analyzed the subcellular distribution, expression and in vitro activity of two missense mutations of TG6 (D327G, L517W) and found that both mutants exhibited decreased transglutaminase activity and stability. Furthermore, overexpressing the TG6 mutants sensitized cells to staurosporine-induced apoptosis by increasing the activity of caspases. We propose that the pro-apoptotic role of these mutants might underlie the pathogenesis of SCA35. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Wang L.,Central South University | Guo J.-F.,Central South University | Nie L.-L.,Central South University | Luo L.,Central South University | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Neuroscience | Year: 2011

The ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase L1 gene (UCH-L1) has been implicated in the etiology of Parkinson's disease (PD). In several previous studies, an S18Y (C54A) polymorphism in exon 3 of the UCH-L1 gene has been found to be protective against PD. We performed polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis for DNA samples from 408 Chinese patients with PD and 398 Chinese healthy controls. For the S18Y variant, there was no significant difference either in the individual allele or genotype frequencies between cases and control subjects. Possession of the S18Y variant did not alter the risk of developing PD (odds ratio: 0.827; 95% confidence interval = 0.596-1.147). There was no statistically significant difference in terms of age or sex distribution between the patients and controls (p > 0.05). Overall, considering our present results together with those of our previous studies, we now have access to data from more than 1000 patients from different regions of China, supporting the conclusion that the S18Y polymorphism may not have a protective effect against PD in the Chinese population. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Guan W.-J.,Central South University | Liu X.-J.,Central South University | Tang B.-S.,Central South University | Tang B.-S.,State Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics of China | And 9 more authors.
Neurology India | Year: 2013

Background: Gluten sensitivity (GS) is a spectrum of disorders with diverse manifestations. Recent evidence suggests that ataxia may be the only manifestation of GS and that it may be one of the causes of sporadic ataxia. Aim: To investigate the prevalence of gluten ataxia among patients with ataxia in China. Materials and Methods: Serum levels of anti-gliadin, anti-transglutaminase 2 (TG2), and anti-transglutaminase 6 (TG6) antibodies measured in 125 patients with ataxia (100 patients with sporadic ataxia and 25 patients with hereditary ataxia) and 51 healthy controls by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: The serum concentrations of anti-gliadin, anti-TG2 IgG, IgA, and TG6-IgG antibodies were elevated in ataxia patients, but the increase was not statistically significant. However, TG6-IgA serum levels were significantly higher in sporadic ataxia as compared to those in healthy controls (P < 0.05). Conclusions: These results provide evidence that sporadic ataxia in a subgroup of patients may be due to gluten ataxia in mainland China. Measurement of serum anti-TG6 antibodies along with anti-TG2 and anti-gliadin antibodies may be useful for diagnosing gluten ataxia.


Guan W.-J.,Central South University | Xia K.-D.,State Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics of China | Ma Y.-T.,State Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics of China | Liu Y.-T.,Central South University | And 8 more authors.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2013

A common feature of polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases is the presence of aggregates in neuronal cells caused by expanded polyglutamine tracts. PolyQ proteins are the substrates of transglutaminase 2, and the increased activity of transglutaminase in polyQ diseases suggests that transglutaminase may be directly involved in the formation of the aggregates. We previously identified the transglutaminase 6 gene to be causative of spinocerebellar ataxia type 35 (SCA35), and we found that SCA35-associated mutants exhibited reduced transglutaminase activity. Here we report that transglutaminase 6 interacts and co-localizes with both normal and expanded polyQ proteins in HEK293 cells. Moreover, the overexpression of transglutaminase 6 promotes the formation of polyQ aggregates and the conversion of soluble polyQ into insoluble polyQ aggregates. However, SCA35-associated mutants do not affect their interactions with polyQ proteins. These data suggest that transglutaminase 6 could be involved in polyQ diseases and there may exist a common pathological link between polyQ associated SCA and SCA35. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Yan Y.P.,Zhejiang University | Peng D.T.,Beijing Hospital | Tian J.,Zhejiang University | Chi J.W.,State Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics of China | And 5 more authors.
Science China Life Sciences | Year: 2011

Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by abnormal CAG repeat expansion in the 5′-end of the Huntingtin (HTT) gene. In addition to the canonical C-terminal full-length huntingtin (htt) nuclear export signal, a cytoplasmic localization-related domain (CLRD) in the N-terminus of htt has recently been reported. Here, we analyzed this domain by introducing deletion and substitution mutations in a truncated N-terminal htt protein and subsequently monitored htt expression, aggregation and subcellular localization by immunocytochemistry and Western blot analysis. We demonstrated that Htt4-17 was the essential sequence for htt cytoplasmic localization. We also found that the subcellular distribution of htt was altered when Htt1-17 was mutated to contain amino acids of different charges, suggesting a structural requirement of Htt1-17 for the cytoplasmic localization of htt. Deletion of the first three amino acids did not affect its association with mitochondria. We observed that defective cytoplasmic localization resulted in a reduction of total htt aggregates and increased nuclear aggregates, indicating that the subcellular distribution of the protein might influence the aggregation process. These studies provide new insight into the molecular mechanism of htt aggregation in HD. © 2011 The Author(s).


Sun Q.-Y.,Central South University | Guo J.-F.,Central South University | Han W.-W.,Central South University | Zuo X.,Central South University | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Neuroscience | Year: 2013

The glucocerebrosidase (GBA) gene mutation is emerging as an important risk factor for Parkinson's disease. We previously reported that the GBA gene L444P mutation is an important risk factor for PD in the Chinese population. The prevalence of this mutation in other neurodegenerative diseases and movement disorders remains completely unexplored in mainland China. In the present study, we extended the screening of GBA gene L444P mutation to Chinese patients with essential tremor (ET) and multiple system atrophy (MSA). We searched for the GBA gene L444P mutation in 109 patients with ET, 54 patients with MSA, and 657 controls from mainland China. None of the 109 patients with ET or 54 patients with MSA carried the GBA gene L444P mutation. Among the 657 controls, we found one L444P heterozygote. The difference in mutation frequencies between patients with ET or MSA and the control group was not statistically significant (chi-squared test, p = 1, respectively). The results suggest that the GBA gene L444P mutation may be not responsible for ET in mainland China. Whether the GBA gene L444P mutation modifies the risk for MSA deserves further study in larger samples. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Ning W.-B.,Central South University | Hu G.-Y.,Central South University | Peng Z.-Z.,Central South University | Wang L.,Central South University | And 7 more authors.
International Immunopharmacology | Year: 2011

Objectives: The present study was designed to investigate the inhibitory effects of fluorofenidone on Ang II-induced apoptosis in renal tubular cells and the related signaling pathway. Methods: Rat proximal tubular epithelial cells (NRK-52E) were used to examine the anti-apoptosis effects of fluorofenidone. Cell proliferation was assessed by methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium assay. Apoptosis was examined by AO/EB staining and TUNEL assay. The expression of Fas/FasL pathway members, including Fas, FasL, Bax, Bcl-2, Caspase-8, and Caspase-3 was detected by real-time RT-PCR and/or Western blot, respectively. The activity of Caspase-8 and Caspase-3 was detected by spectrophotometry. Results: Fluorofenidone didn't affect the proliferation of NRK-52E cells, but significantly inhibited the apoptosis of NRK-52E cells induced by Ang II. Fluorofenidone significantly reduced Ang II-induced increases in Fas, FasL, Bax, Caspase-8 and Caspase-3 at the mRNA level. Consistent with these observations, fluorofenidone also prevented Ang II-mediated up-regulation of FasL and Bax at the protein level. Additionally, Ang II-induced activation of Caspase-8 and Caspase-3 as well as Ang II-initiated downregulation of Bcl-2 at both mRNA and protein levels was all prevented by fluorofenidone. Conclusions: Fluorofenidone can inhibit Ang II-induced apoptosis of renal tubular cells through blockage of the Fas/FasL pathway. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | State Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics of China
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Neuroscience bulletin | Year: 2015

Circadian rhythm alterations have been implicated in multiple neuropsychiatric disorders, particularly those of sleep, addiction, anxiety, and mood. Circadian rhythms are known to be maintained by a set of classic clock genes that form complex mutual and self-regulatory loops. While many other genes showing rhythmic expression have been identified by genome-wide studies, their roles in circadian regulation remain largely unknown. In attempts to directly connect circadian rhythms with neuropsychiatric disorders, genetic studies have identified gene mutations associated with several rare sleep disorders or sleep-related traits. Other than that, genetic studies of circadian genes in psychiatric disorders have had limited success. As an important mediator of environmental factors and regulators of circadian rhythms, the epigenetic system may hold the key to the etiology or pathology of psychiatric disorders, their subtypes or endophenotypes. Epigenomic regulation of the circadian system and the related changes have not been thoroughly explored in the context of neuropsychiatric disorders. We argue for systematic investigation of the circadian system, particularly epigenetic regulation, and its involvement in neuropsychiatric disorders to improve our understanding of human behavior and disease etiology.

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