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Author: Mingjian Shi (22)


Dec
2016

Understanding blood-brain barrier responses to inflammatory stimulation (such as lipopolysaccharide mimicking a systemic infection or a cytokine cocktail that could be the result of local or systemic inflammation) is essential to understanding the effect of inflammatory stimulation on the brain. It is through the filter of the blood-brain barrier that the brain responds to outside influences, and the blood-brain barrier is a critical point of failure in neuroinflammation. It is important to note that this interaction is not a static response, but one that evolves over time.

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Sep
2015

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a critical structure that serves as the gatekeeper between the central nervous system and the rest of the body. It is the responsibility of the BBB to facilitate the entry of required nutrients into the brain and to exclude potentially harmful compounds; however, this complex structure has remained difficult to model faithfully in vitro. Accurate in vitro models are necessary for understanding how the BBB forms and functions, as well as for evaluating drug and toxin penetration across the barrier.

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Apr
2015

Dendritic spines are actin-rich protrusions that establish excitatory synaptic contacts with surrounding neurons. Reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton is critical for the development and plasticity of dendritic spines, which is the basis for learning and memory. Rho family GTPases are emerging as important modulators of spines and synapses, predominantly through their ability to regulate actin dynamics.

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Dec
1969

Cell migration is fundamental to a variety of physiological processes, including tissue development, homeostasis, and regeneration. Migration has been extensively studied with cells on 2-dimensional (2D) substrates, but much less is known about cell migration in 3D environments. Tissues and organs are 3D, which is the native environment of cells in vivo, pointing to a need to understand migration and the mechanisms that regulate it in 3D environments.

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Jul
2014

Asef2, a 652-amino acid protein, is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) that regulates cell migration and other processes via activation of Rho family GTPases, including Rac. Binding of the tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) to Asef2 is known to induce its GEF activity; however, little is currently known about other modes of Asef2 regulation. Here, we investigated the role of phosphorylation in regulating Asef2 activity and function.

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Apr
2014

A microfluidic cell co-culture platform that uses a liquid fluorocarbon oil barrier to separate cells into different culture chambers has been developed. Characterization indicates that the oil barrier could be effective for multiple days, and a maximum pressure difference between the oil barrier and aqueous media in the cell culture chamber could be as large as ~3.43 kPa before the oil barrier fails.

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Dec
2013

Non-muscle myosin II (MyoII) contractility is central to the regulation of numerous cellular processes, including migration. Rho is a well-characterized modulator of actomyosin contractility, but the function of other GTPases, such as Rac, in regulating contractility is currently not well understood. Here, we show that activation of Rac by the guanine nucleotide exchange factor Asef2 (also known as SPATA13) impairs migration on type I collagen through a MyoII-dependent mechanism that enhances contractility.

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Aug
2013

Two novel microfluidic cell culture schemes, a vertically-layered set-up and a four chamber set-up, were developed for co-culturing central nervous system (CNS) neurons and glia. The cell chambers in these devices were separated by pressure-enabled valve barriers, which permitted us to control communication between the two cell types. The unique design of these devices facilitated the co-culture of glia with neurons in close proximity (∼50-100 μm), differential transfection of neuronal populations, and dynamic visualization of neuronal interactions, such as the development of synapses.

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Oct
2012

Integrin α1β1 binding to collagen IV, which is mediated by the α1-inserted (I) domain, down-regulates collagen synthesis. When unligated, a salt bridge between Arg(287) and Glu(317) is thought to keep this domain in a low affinity conformation. Ligand binding opens the salt bridge leading to a high-affinity conformation.

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Feb
2012

There have been many reports of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations associated with human malignancies. We have observed allelic instability in UV-induced cutaneous tumors at the mt-Tr locus encoding the mitochondrial tRNA for arginine. We examined the effects of somatic alterations at this locus by modeling the change in a uniform nuclear background by generating cybrids harboring allelic variation at mt-Tr.

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Feb
2012

There is increasing awareness of the role of mtDNA alterations in the development of cancer, as mtDNA point mutations are found at high frequency in a variety of human tumors. To determine the biological effects of mtDNA mutations in UV-induced skin tumors, hairless mice were irradiated to produce tumors, and the tumor mtDNAs were screened for single-nucleotide changes using temperature gradient capillary electrophoresis (TGCE), followed by direct sequencing. A mutation hot spot (9821insA) in the mitochondrially encoded tRNA arginine (mt-Tr) locus (tRNA(Arg)) was discovered in approximately one-third of premalignant and malignant skin tumors.

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May
2010

Lck is an Src family protein tyrosine kinase with predominant T cell expression. Aberrant expression or activation of Lck kinase has been reported in both lymphoid and non-lymphoid malignancies. We showed previously that the signal transduction pathway involving Janus kinase (JAK) and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) is constitutively activated and contributes to Lck-mediated oncogenesis.

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Apr
2010

Prevalence and mortality make cancer a health challenge in need of effective and better tolerated therapeutic approaches, with tumor angiogenesis identified as a promising target for drug development. The epoxygenase products, the epoxyeicosatrienoic acids, are pro-angiogenic, and down-regulation of their biosynthesis by peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha) ligands reduces tumor angiogenesis and growth. Endothelial cells lacking a Cyp2c44 epoxygenase, a PPARalpha target, show reduced proliferative and tubulogenic activities that are reversed by the enzyme's metabolites.

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Mar
2010

Transplant recipients have an elevated risk of skin cancer, with a 65- to 250-fold increase in squamous cell carcinoma. Usage of the immunosuppressant cyclosporine A (CsA) is associated with the development of skin cancer. We hypothesized that the increased incidence of skin cancer was due to the action of CsA within keratinocyte mitochondria where it can inhibit mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) opening.

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Mar
2010

Lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) and 7-ketocholesterol (7-KC) are two key components of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) and have been shown to injure endothelial cells derived from various species. This report examines LPC- and 7-KC-induced cell death in mouse aorta endothelial cells (MAECs). The presence and the mechanism of cell death were assessed with morphological criteria, Hoechst 33342 and propidium iodide fluorescence staining, and caspase-3 activity.

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Jan
2006

Lck is a Src family protein tyrosine kinase and is expressed predominantly in T cells. Aberrant expression or activation of Lck kinase has been reported in both lymphoid and nonlymphoid malignancies. However, the mechanisms underlying Lck-mediated oncogenesis remain largely unclear.

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Jul
2005

Individuals with a heterozygous mutation at the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated gene (ATM) have been reported to be predisposed to ischemic heart disease. This report examined for the first time the effect of a heterozygous ATM mutation (ATM(+)(/-)) on plasma lipid levels and atherosclerosis intensity using ATM(+/-), ATM(+)(/+) (wild type), ATM(+)(/+)/LDLR(-)(/-) (low density lipoprotein receptor knockout), ATM(+)(/-)/LDLR(-)(/-), ATM(+)(/+)/ApoE(-)(/-) (apolipoprotein E knockout), and ATM(+)(/-)/ApoE(-)(/-) mice. Our data demonstrated that the plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels in ATM(+)(/-) and ATM(+)(/-)/LDLR(-)(/-) mice were approximately the same as those in ATM(+)(/+) and ATM(+)(/+)/LDLR(-)(/-) control mice, respectively.

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May
2004

Increasing evidence demonstrates that reactive oxygen species, for example, superoxide (O(2)(-.)) and hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)), promote vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation, and that superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase work in concert to scavenge O(2)(-.) and H(2)O(2).

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Apr
2004

Age-related endothelial dysfunction has been suggested to play a role in atherogenesis. Food restriction (FR) has been shown to retard the development of atherosclerosis. The goal of this report is to assess the effect of aging and FR on endothelial functions, including the release of endothelial nitric oxide (NO) and the adhesion of mononuclear cells (MNCs) to endothelial cells (ECs).

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Aug
2003

This report assessed the effect of overexpressing Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD) and/or catalase on the interaction of mononuclear cells (MNCs) and endothelial cells (ECs). ECs were obtained from the aorta of wild-type mice and transgenic mice overexpressing Cu,ZnSOD and/or catalase. MNCs were obtained from wild-type mice.

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Jul
2003

Hypertension is an age-dependent disorder. Oxidative stress has been suggested to play a role in aging and age-dependent disorders. The objective of this study is to examine the oxidant and antioxidant status in the aorta of a mouse model with high blood pressure (BPH).

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Jan
2003

Hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) has been shown to induce vascular smooth muscle cell contraction in vitro. In this study, the effect of endogenously produced H(2)O(2) on blood pressure (BP) was examined using a transgenic mouse model (hCatTg(+/0)) in which catalase is overexpressed.
The hCatTg(+/0) and wild-type mice received a bolus injection of norepinephrine (NE; 1 microg/g) or angiotensin II (Ang II; 0.

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