All Publications

  • Advanced zinc-air batteries based on high-performance hybrid electrocatalysts. Nature communications Li, Y., Gong, M., Liang, Y., Feng, J., Kim, J., Wang, H., Hong, G., Zhang, B., Dai, H. 2013; 4: 1805-?


    Primary and rechargeable Zn-air batteries could be ideal energy storage devices with high energy and power density, high safety and economic viability. Active and durable electrocatalysts on the cathode side are required to catalyse oxygen reduction reaction during discharge and oxygen evolution reaction during charge for rechargeable batteries. Here we developed advanced primary and rechargeable Zn-air batteries with novel CoO/carbon nanotube hybrid oxygen reduction catalyst and Ni-Fe-layered double hydroxide oxygen evolution catalyst for the cathode. These catalysts exhibited higher catalytic activity and durability in concentrated alkaline electrolytes than precious metal Pt and Ir catalysts. The resulting primary Zn-air battery showed high discharge peak power density ~265 mW cm(-2), current density ~200 mA cm(-2) at 1 V and energy density >700 Wh kg(-1). Rechargeable Zn-air batteries in a tri-electrode configuration exhibited an unprecedented small charge-discharge voltage polarization of ~0.70 V at 20 mA cm(-2), high reversibility and stability over long charge and discharge cycles.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms2812

    View details for PubMedID 23651993

  • Influence of Synaptic Vesicle Position on Release Probability and Exocytotic Fusion Mode SCIENCE Park, H., Li, Y., Tsien, R. W. 2012; 335 (6074): 1362-1366


    Neurotransmission depends on movements of transmitter-laden synaptic vesicles, but accurate, nanometer-scale monitoring of vesicle dynamics in presynaptic terminals has remained elusive. Here, we report three-dimensional, real-time tracking of quantum dot-loaded single synaptic vesicles with an accuracy of 20 to 30 nanometers, less than a vesicle diameter. Determination of the time, position, and mode of fusion, aided by trypan blue quenching of Qdot fluorescence, revealed that vesicles starting close to their ultimate fusion sites tended to fuse earlier than those positioned farther away. The mode of fusion depended on the prior motion of vesicles, with long-dwelling vesicles preferring kiss-and-run rather than full-collapse fusion. Kiss-and-run fusion events were concentrated near the center of the synapse, whereas full-collapse fusion events were broadly spread.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1216937

    View details for Web of Science ID 000301531600051

    View details for PubMedID 22345401

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3776413

  • MicroRNA-mediated conversion of human fibroblasts to neurons NATURE Yoo, A. S., Sun, A. X., Li, L., Shcheglovitov, A., Portmann, T., Li, Y., Lee-Messer, C., Dolmetsch, R. E., Tsien, R. W., Crabtree, G. R. 2011; 476 (7359): 228-U123


    Neurogenic transcription factors and evolutionarily conserved signalling pathways have been found to be instrumental in the formation of neurons. However, the instructive role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in neurogenesis remains unexplored. We recently discovered that miR-9* and miR-124 instruct compositional changes of SWI/SNF-like BAF chromatin-remodelling complexes, a process important for neuronal differentiation and function. Nearing mitotic exit of neural progenitors, miR-9* and miR-124 repress the BAF53a subunit of the neural-progenitor (np)BAF chromatin-remodelling complex. After mitotic exit, BAF53a is replaced by BAF53b, and BAF45a by BAF45b and BAF45c, which are then incorporated into neuron-specific (n)BAF complexes essential for post-mitotic functions. Because miR-9/9* and miR-124 also control multiple genes regulating neuronal differentiation and function, we proposed that these miRNAs might contribute to neuronal fates. Here we show that expression of miR-9/9* and miR-124 (miR-9/9*-124) in human fibroblasts induces their conversion into neurons, a process facilitated by NEUROD2. Further addition of neurogenic transcription factors ASCL1 and MYT1L enhances the rate of conversion and the maturation of the converted neurons, whereas expression of these transcription factors alone without miR-9/9*-124 was ineffective. These studies indicate that the genetic circuitry involving miR-9/9*-124 can have an instructive role in neural fate determination.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nature10323

    View details for Web of Science ID 000293731900041

    View details for PubMedID 21753754

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3348862

  • Mouse splenic B lymphocyte activation using different activation stimuli induces in vitro splicing of tumor necrosis factor-alpha nuclear pre-mRNA MOLECULAR IMMUNOLOGY Li, Y. Y., Yang, Y., Bao, M., Edwards, C. K., Parnes, J. R. 2006; 43 (6): 613-622


    The pleiotropic functions of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha) have brought considerable attention in the past decade to its physiological and pathological roles in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. However, little is known about how the production of TNFalpha is regulated at the transcriptional and translational levels in immune cells such as T and B lymphocytes. Our previous study demonstrated that unspliced "pre-mRNA" of TNFalpha is present in resting T cells. Initiation of splicing of TNFalpha pre-mRNA to mature mRNA requires T cell activation, which is unique and necessary for TNFalpha production when compared to its production in mononuclear phagocytes, including different lineages of macrophages (Mvarphi) and dendritic cells (DC). In this study, we further demonstrate that resting mouse B cells also contain pre-existing TNFalpha mRNA. The physiological process of B cell activation induced by (1) either the cross-linking of the B cell receptor (BCR) or CD40, (2) treatment with LPS, or PMA plus ionomycin, induces TNFalpha mRNA splicing in vitro. The kinetic response of TNFalpha splicing in B cells is much slower when compared to that in activated T cells. Studies using well-known kinase inhibitors demonstrated that MAP kinase kinase (MEK) and protein kinase C (PKC) are required for TNFalpha splicing upon stimulation through the BCR. These studies demonstrate that the production of TNFalpha in activated B cells is regulated differently than in activated T cells, and these differences may allow for the selective inhibition of TNFalpha in various autoimmune diseases depending on the mechanism of action of the selected anti-TNFalpha therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.molimm.2005.04.010

    View details for Web of Science ID 000234952300014

    View details for PubMedID 15899518

  • Enhancement of plasmid-mediated gene therapy for muscular dystrophy by directed plasmid integration PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Bertoni, C., Jarrahian, S., Wheeler, T. M., Li, Y. N., Olivares, E. C., Calos, M. P., Rando, T. A. 2006; 103 (2): 419-424


    Plasmid-mediated gene therapy can restore dystrophin expression in skeletal muscle in the mdx mouse, a model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. However, sufficient long-term expression and distribution of dystrophin remain a hurdle for translating this technology into a viable treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. To improve plasmid-mediated gene therapy for muscle diseases, we studied the effects of targeted plasmid integration using a phage integrase (phiC31) that can mediate the integration of suitably modified plasmids into the mammalian genome. Using a luciferase expression plasmid, we monitored plasmid gene expression noninvasively in living mice by bioluminescence imaging. Coinjection of an integrase plasmid resulted in 5- to 10-fold higher levels of sustained luciferase expression. Likewise, plasmid-mediated dystrophin expression in mdx muscle was enhanced by integration. Using a combination of dystrophin and luciferase plasmids, we analyzed the functional benefit of dystrophin expression in the dystrophic muscle. The expression of dystrophin slowed the loss of luciferase expression associated with muscle degeneration, and that protection was enhanced by targeted integration of the dystrophin plasmid. In the presence of integrase, dystrophin expression was distributed along a much greater length of individual fibers, and this was associated with increased protection against degenerative changes. These data demonstrate the importance of both the level and distribution of dystrophin expression to achieve therapeutic efficacy, and that the efficacy can be enhanced by targeted plasmid integration.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000234624100031

    View details for PubMedID 16387861

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC1326153

  • Dual promoter-controlled oncolytic adenovirus CG5757 has strong tumor selectivity and significant antitumor efficacy in preclinical models CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Li, Y. H., Idamakanti, N., Arroyo, T., Thorne, S., Reid, T., Nichols, S., VanRoey, M., Colbern, G., Nguyen, N., Tam, O., Working, P., Yu, D. C. 2005; 11 (24): 8845-8855


    Transcriptionally controlled oncolytic adenovirus CG5757 is engineered with two tumor-specific promoters from E2F-1 and human telomerase reverse transcriptase genes. This virus has broad anticancer spectrum and higher specificity. The objective of the current study is to show its antitumor selectivity and therapeutic potential.The antitumor specificity of E2F-1 and human telomerase reverse transcriptase promoters was evaluated in a panel of tumor and normal cells. Under the control of these promoters, the tumor-selective expression of E1a and E1b genes was evaluated. Further in vitro antitumor specificity and potency of this virus were characterized by viral replication and cytotoxicity assays followed by a newly developed ex vivo tumor culture assay. Subsequently, in vivo antitumor efficacy and toxicology studies were carried out to assess the therapeutic potential of this oncolytic agent.In a broad panel of cells, E2F-1 and human telomerase reverse transcriptase promoters were activated in a tumor-selective manner. Under the control of these promoters, expression of E1a and E1b genes appears only in tumor cells. This specificity is extended to viral replication and hence the cytotoxicity in a broad range of cancer cells. Furthermore, CG5757 only replicates in cancer tissues but not in normal tissues that are derived from clinical biopsies. The safety profile was further confirmed in in vivo toxicology studies, and strong efficacy was documented in several tumor xenograft models after CG5757 was given via different routes and regimens.CG5757 has strong antitumor selectivity and potency. It has low toxicity and has great potential as a therapeutic agent for different types of cancers.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-05-1757

    View details for Web of Science ID 000234356300043

    View details for PubMedID 16361574

  • Electron crystallography of yeast RNA polymerase II preserved in vitreous ice ULTRAMICROSCOPY Asturias, F. J., Chang, W. H., Li, Y., Kornberg, R. D. 1998; 70 (3): 133-143


    Two-dimensional (2-D) crystals of yeast RNA polymerase preserved in vitreous ice were studied by electron crystallographic and single-particle techniques. An electron density projection map of the enzyme was calculated from the data, which extended to a resolution of about 12 A, but was unexpectedly weak at resolutions higher than about 20 A. Multivariate statistics analysis revealed a large amount of variability in unit-cell structure in the polymerase crystals, partially related to high mobility of certain polymerase domains. Those same domains were previously identified as being involved in a conformational transition in the enzyme that controls DNA processivity and access to the active center cleft. Electron microscopic studies of other large multiprotein complexes are likely to require similar approaches to those described here.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000072223200004

    View details for PubMedID 9499590

  • Evidence for a mediator cycle at the initiation of transcription PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Svejstrup, J. Q., Li, Y., Fellows, J., Gnatt, A., Bjorklund, S., Kornberg, R. D. 1997; 94 (12): 6075-6078


    Free and elongating (DNA-bound) forms of RNA polymerase II were separated from yeast. Most cellular polymerase II was found in the elongating fraction, which contained all enzyme phosphorylated on the C-terminal domain and none of the 15-subunit mediator of transcriptional regulation. These and other findings suggest that mediator enters and leaves initiation complexes during every round of transcription, in a process that may be coupled to C-terminal domain phosphorylation.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997XD84400020

    View details for PubMedID 9177171

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC21003

  • Identification of Rox3 as a component of mediator and RNA polymerase II holoenzyme JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Gustafsson, C. M., Myers, L. C., Li, Y., Redd, M. J., Lui, M., ERDJUMENTBROMAGE, H., Tempst, P., Kornberg, R. D. 1997; 272 (1): 48-50


    Yeast Rox3 protein, implicated by genetic evidence in both negative and positive transcriptional regulation, is identified as a mediator subunit by peptide sequence determination and is shown to copurify and co-immunoprecipitate with RNA polymerase II holoenzyme.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997WA56400012

    View details for PubMedID 8995225

  • RSC, an essential, abundant chromatin-remodeling complex CELL Cairns, B. R., Lorch, Y., Li, Y., Zhang, M. C., Lacomis, L., ERDJUMENTBROMAGE, H., Tempst, P., Du, J., Laurent, B., Kornberg, R. D. 1996; 87 (7): 1249-1260


    A novel 15-subunit complex with the capacity to remodel the structure of chromatin, termed RSC, has been isolated from S. cerevisiae on the basis of homology to the SWI/SNF complex. At least three RSC subunits are related to SWI/SNF polypeptides: Sth1p, Rsc6p, and Rsc8p are significantly similar to Swi2/Snf2p, Swp73p, and Swi3p, respectively, and were identified by mass spectrometric and sequence analysis of peptide fragments. Like SWI/SNF, RSC exhibits a DNA-dependent ATPase activity stimulated by both free and nucleosomal DNA and a capacity to perturb nucleosome structure. RSC is, however, at least 10-fold more abundant than SWI/SNF complex and is essential for mitotic growth. Contrary to a report for SWII/SNF complex, no association of RSC (nor of SWI/SNF complex) with RNA polymerase II holoenzyme was detected.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996WA54100013

    View details for PubMedID 8980231

  • CTD KINASE ASSOCIATED WITH YEAST RNA POLYMERASE-II INITIATION FACTOR-B CELL Feaver, W. J., Gileadi, O., Li, Y., Kornberg, R. D. 1991; 67 (6): 1223-1230


    A kinase activity specific for the C-terminal repeat domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II is associated with nearly homogeneous yeast general initiation factor b by three criteria: cofractionation on the basis of size and charge and coinactivation by mild heat treatment. The kinase phosphorylates the CTD at multiple sites in a processive manner. Factor b may possess a DNA-dependent ATPase activity as well. Both kinase and DNA-dependent ATPase activities exhibit the same nucleotide requirements as previously demonstrated for the initiation of transcription. These results support the idea that phosphorylation of the CTD lies on the pathway of transcription initiation and identify a catalytic activity of a general factor essential for the initiation process.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1991GX16400020

    View details for PubMedID 1836979