• Xin Zhou

      Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • Mutant connexin 50 (S276F) inhibits channel and hemichannel functions inducing cataract

      Yuanyuan Liu Chen Qiao Tanwei Wei Fang Zheng Shuren Guo Qiang Chen Ming Yan Xin Zhou

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      This study was designed to detect the expression, detergent resistance, subcellular localization, and channel and hemichannel functions of mutant Cx50 to understand the forming mechanism for inducing congenital cataract by a novel mutation p.S276F in connexin 50 (Cx50) reported previously by us. HeLa and human lens epithelial (HLE) cells were transfected with wild-type Cx50 and mutant Cx50 (S276F). We examined the functional characteristics of mutant Cx50 (S276F) in comparison with those of wild-type Cx50 using immunoblot, confocal fluorescence microscopy, dye transfer analysis and dye uptake assay. The mutant and wild-type Cx50 were expressed in equal levels and could efficiently localize to the plasma membrane without transportation and assembly problems. Scrape loading dye transfer was significantly evident in cells transfected with wild-type Cx50 compared to those in cells transfected with mutant Cx50 and cotransfected with wild-type and mutant Cx50. The dye uptake was found to be significantly lower in cells transfected with mutant Cx50 than in cells transfected with wild-type Cx50 and cells cotransfected with wild-type and mutant Cx50. The transfected HeLa and HLE cell lines showed similar performance in all the experiments. These results indicated that the mutant Cx50 (S276F) might inhibit the function of gap junction channel in a dominant negative manner, but inhibit the hemichannel function in a recessive negative manner.

    • Transgenic overexpression of BAFF regulates the expression of immune-related genes in zebrafish, Danio rerio


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      The B-cell activating factor (BAFF) is a member of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily that specifically regulates B lymphocyte proliferation and survival. Excess BAFF leads to overproduction of antibodies for secretion, anti-dsDNA antibodies and a lupus-like syndrome in mice. To investigate whether transgenic overexpression of the zebrafish BAFF leads to immunoglobulin changes and/or early maturing of the immune system, a Tol2-GFP-2A-BAFF/His recombinant plasmid was constructed by inserting a 2A peptide between the green fluorescent protein (GFP) and BAFF sequences. Functional GFP and BAFF proteins were expressed separately and confirmed in HeLa cells. The relative expression of immune-related genes (IgLC-1, IgLC-2, IgLC-3, IgD, IgM and IL-4), early lymphoid markers (Ikaros, Rag-1 and TCRAC), and the protooncogene Bcl-2 were evaluated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in F0 founder of transgenic zebrafish juveniles and adults. Ectopic expression of BAFF in adults was confirmed using Western blots and was shown to upregulate IgLC-1, IgLC- 2, IgD, IgM, IgZ/T, Ikaros, Rag-1, TCRAC, IL-4 and Bcl-2 expression in juveniles on day 21 and IgLC-1, IgLC-2, IgD, IgM, IgZ/T, Rag-1, TCRAC and Bcl-2 expression in zebrafish three months postfertilization. The relative titers of specific IgM against Edwardsiella tarda WED were assessed using modified enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with the whole body homogenate of zebrafish and demonstrated a significant increase in BAFF-transgenic group. Therefore, our findings provided novel insight into further exploration of modulating adaptive immunity and studying autoimmune diseases caused by regulating BAFF.

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