Publications -- Yiqiang (Eric) Cheng

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This collection is limited to articles published under the terms of a creative commons license or other open access publishing agreement since 2016. It is not intended as a complete list of the author's works.


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Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
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    Determination of metformin bio-distribution by LC-MS/MS in mice treated with a clinically relevant paradigm
    (PLOS, 2020-06-11) Chaudhari, Kiran; Wang, Jianmei; Xu, Yong; Winters, Ali; Wang, Linshu; Dong, Xiaowei; Cheng, Eric Y.; Liu, Ran; Yang, Shaohua
    Metformin, an anti-diabetes drug, has been recently emerging as a potential "anti-aging" intervention based on its reported beneficial actions against aging in preclinical studies. Nonetheless, very few metformin studies using mice have determined metformin concentrations and many effects of metformin have been observed in preclinical studies using doses/concentrations that were not relevant to therapeutic levels in human. We developed a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry protocol for metformin measurement in plasma, liver, brain, kidney, and muscle of mice. Young adult male and female C57BL/6 mice were voluntarily treated with metformin of 4 mg/ml in drinking water which translated to the maximum dose of 2.5 g/day in humans. A clinically relevant steady-state plasma metformin concentrations were achieved at 7 and 30 days after treatment in male and female mice. Metformin concentrations were slightly higher in muscle than in plasma, while, ~3 and 6-fold higher in the liver and kidney than in plasma, respectively. Low metformin concentration was found in the brain at ~20% of the plasma level. Furthermore, gender difference in steady-state metformin bio-distribution was observed. Our study established steady-state metformin levels in plasma, liver, muscle, kidney, and brain of normoglycemic mice treated with a clinically relevant dose, providing insight into future metformin preclinical studies for potential clinical translation.
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    HDAC Inhibitor-Mediated Epigenetic Regulation of Glaucoma-Associated TGFbeta2 in the Trabecular Meshwork
    (ARVO Journals, 2016-07-01) Bermudez, Jaclyn Y.; Webber, Hannah C.; Patel, Gaurang C.; Liu, Xiangyang; Cheng, Yi-Qiang; Clark, Abbot F.; Mao, Weiming
    PURPOSE: Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) results from glaucomatous damage to the trabecular meshwork (TM). The glaucoma-associated factor TGFbeta2 is increased in aqueous humor and TM of POAG patients. We hypothesize that histone acetylation has a role in dysregulated TGFbeta2 expression. METHODS: Protein acetylation was compared between nonglaucomatous TM (NTM) and glaucomatous TM (GTM) cells using Western immunoblotting (WB). Nonglaucomatous TM cells were treated with 10 nM thailandepsin-A (TDP-A), a potent histone deacetylase inhibitor for 4 days. Total and nuclear proteins, RNA, and nuclear protein-DNA complexes were harvested for WB, quantitative PCR (qPCR), and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays, respectively. Paired bovine eyes were perfused with TDP-A versus DMSO, or TDP-A versus TDP-A plus the TGFbeta pathway inhibitor LY364947 for 5 to 9 days. Intraocular pressure, TM, and perfusate proteins were compared. RESULTS: We found increased acetylated histone 3 and total protein acetylation in the GTM cells and TDP-A treated NTM cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that TDP-A induced histone hyperacetylation associated with the TGFbeta2 promoter. This change of acetylation significantly increased TGFbeta2 mRNA and protein expression in NTM cells. In perfusion-cultured bovine eyes, TDP-A increased TGFbeta2 in the perfusate as well as elevated IOP. Histologic and immunofluorescent analyses showed increased extracellular matrix and cytoskeletal proteins in the TM of TDP-A treated bovine eyes. Cotreatment with the TGFbeta pathway inhibitor LY364947 blocked TDP-A-induced ocular hypertension. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that histone acetylation has an important role in increased expression of the glaucoma-associated factor TGFbeta2. Histone hyperacetylation may be the initiator of glaucomatous damage to the TM.
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    Mechanistic studies of DepR in regulating FK228 biosynthesis in Chromobacterium violaceum no. 968
    (PLOS, 2018-04-19) Qiao, Yongjian; Tong, Tiantian; Xue, Jiao; Lin, Wenjing; Deng, Zixin; Cheng, Yi-Qiang; Zhu, Dongqing
    DepR, a LysR-type transcriptional regulator encoded by the last gene of the putative min operon (orf21-20-19-depR) located at the downstream region of the anticancer agent FK228 biosynthetic gene cluster in Chromobacterium violaceum No. 968, positively regulates the biosynthesis of FK228. In this work, the mechanism underlining this positive regulation was probed by multiple approaches. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and DNase I footprinting assay (DIFA) identified a conserved 35-nt DNA segment in the orf21-orf22 intergenic region where the purified recombinant DepR binds to. Quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) and green fluorescent protein (GFP) promoter probe assays established that transcription of phasin gene orf22 increases in the depR deletion mutant of C. violaceum (CvDeltadepR) compared to the wild-type strain. FK228 production in the orf22-overexpressed strain C. violaceum was reduced compared with the wild-type strain. DepR has two conserved cysteine residues C199 and C208 presumed to form a disulfide bridge upon sensing oxidative stress. C199X point mutations that locked DepR in a reduced conformation decreased the DNA-binding affinity of DepR; T232A or R278A mutation also had a negative impact on DNA binding of DepR. Complementation of CvDeltadepR with any of those versions of depR carrying a single codon mutation was not able to restore FK228 production to the level of wild-type strain. All evidences collectively suggested that DepR positively regulates the biosynthesis of FK228 through indirect metabolic networking.
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    Improved production of cytotoxic thailanstatins A and D through metabolic engineering of Burkholderia thailandensis MSMB43 and pilot scale fermentation
    (Elsevier B.V., 2016-04-01) Liu, Xiangyang; Zhu, Hui; Biswas, Sreya; Cheng, Yi-Qiang
    Thailanstatin A (TST-A) is a potent antiproliferative natural product discovered by our group from Burkholderia thailandensis MSMB43 through a genome-guided approach. The limited supply of TST-A, due to its low titer in bacterial fermentation, modest stability and very low recovery rate during purification, has hindered the investigations of TST-A as an anticancer drug candidate. Here we report the significant yield improvement of TST-A and its direct precursor, thailanstatin D (TST-D), through metabolic engineering of the thailanstatin biosynthetic pathway in MSMB43. Deletion of tstP, which encodes a dioxygenase involved in converting TST-A to downstream products including FR901464 (FR), resulted in 58% increase of the TST-A titer to 144.7 +/- 2.3 mg/L and 132% increase of the TST-D titer to 14.6 +/- 0.5 mg/L in the fermentation broth, respectively. Deletion of tstR, which encodes a cytochrome P450 involved in converting TST-D to TST-A, resulted in more than 7-fold increase of the TST-D titer to 53.2 +/- 12.1 mg/L in the fermentation broth. An execution of 90 L pilot-scale fed-batch fermentation of the tstP deletion mutant in a 120-L fermentor led to the preparation of 714 mg of TST-A with greater than 98.5% purity. The half-life of TST-D in a phosphate buffer was found to be at least 202 h, significantly longer than that of TST-A or FR, suggesting superior stability. However, the IC50 values of TST-D against representative human cancer cell lines were determined to be greater than those of TST-A, indicating weaker antiproliferative activity. This work enabled us to prepare sufficient quantities of TST-A and TST-D for our ongoing translational research.
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    Genomics-guided discovery of a new and significantly better source of anticancer natural drug FK228
    (Elsevier B.V., 2018-11-05) Liu, Xiangyang; Xie, Feng; Doughty, Leah B.; Wang, Qi; Zhang, Lixin; Liu, Xueting; Cheng, Yi-Qiang
    FK228 is an FDA-approved anticancer drug naturally produced by Chromobacterium violaceum No. 968 up to 19mg/L in a pilot industry-scale batch fermentation. Here we report a genomics-guided discovery of Burkholderia thailandensis MSMB43 as a new and significantly better source of FK228. The genome of B. thailandensis MSMB43 was found to contain a functional biosynthetic gene cluster highly homologous to that of FK228 in C. violaceum No. 968, and the bacterium indeed produces authentic FK228. By simple fermentation in shaking flasks in a preferred M8 medium, B. thailandensis MSMB43 produced FK228 up to 67.7mg/L; by fed-batch fermentation in a 20-L fermentor in M8 medium, B. thailandensis MSMB43 produced FK228 up to 115.9mg/L, which is 95 fold higher than that of C. violaceum No. 968 under the same laboratory fermentation conditions. RT-PCR analysis indicated that the high FK228 yield of B. thailandensis MSMB43 was due to high expression of biosynthetic genes, represented by Bth_depA, during the fermentation process. Further genetic manipulation resulted in a recombinant strain, B. thailandensis MSMB43/pBMTL3-tdpR, which harbors a broad host-range vector expressing the thailandepsin biosynthetic pathway regulatory gene tdpR. This engineered strain produced up to 168.5mg/L of FK228 in fed-batch fermentation in a 20-L fermentor in M8 medium. Therefore, the wild-type B. thailandensis MSMB43 or its engineered derivative could potentially be a good starting point for an industrial process to improve FK228 production for its expanding use in therapy.
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    Pulmonary Carcinoid Surface Receptor Modulation Using Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
    (MDPI, 2019-06-03) Guenter, Rachael E.; Aweda, Tolulope; Carmona Matos, Danilea M.; Whitt, Jason; Chang, Alexander W.; Cheng, Eric Y.; Liu, X. Margaret; Chen, Herbert; Lapi, Suzanne E.; Jaskula-Sztul, Renata
    Pulmonary carcinoids are a type of neuroendocrine tumor (NET) accounting for 1-2% of lung cancer cases. Currently, Positron Emission Tomography (PET)/CT based on the radiolabeled sugar analogue [(18)F]-FDG is used to diagnose and stage pulmonary carcinoids, but is suboptimal due to low metabolic activity in these tumors. A new technique for pulmonary carcinoid imaging, using PET/CT with radiolabeled somatostatin analogs that specifically target somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (SSTR2), is becoming more standard, as many tumors overexpress SSTR2. However, pulmonary carcinoid patients with diminished SSTR2 expression are not eligible for this imaging or any type of SSTR2-specific treatment. We have found that histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors can upregulate the expression of SSTR2 in pulmonary carcinoid cell lines. In this study, we used a non-cytotoxic dose of HDAC inhibitors to induce pulmonary carcinoid SSTR2 expression in which we confirmed in vitro and in vivo. A non-cytotoxic dose of the HDAC inhibitors: thailandepsin A (TDP-A), romidepsin (FK228), suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), AB3, and valproic acid (VPA) were administered to promote SSTR2 expression in pulmonary carcinoid cell lines and xenografts. This SSTR2 upregulation technique using HDAC inhibitors could enhance radiolabeled somatostatin analog-based imaging and the development of potential targeted treatments for pulmonary carcinoid patients with marginal or diminished SSTR2 expression.
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    Chromobacterium spp. mediate their anti-Plasmodium activity through secretion of the histone deacetylase inhibitor romidepsin
    (Springer Nature, 2018-04-18) Saraiva, Raul G.; Huitt-Roehl, Callie R.; Tripathi, Abhai; Cheng, Yi-Qiang; Bosch, Jurgen; Townsend, Craig A.; Dimopoulos, George
    The Chromobacterium sp. Panama bacterium has in vivo and in vitro anti-Plasmodium properties. To assess the nature of the Chromobacterium-produced anti-Plasmodium factors, chemical partition was conducted by bioassay-guided fractionation where different fractions were assayed for activity against asexual stages of P. falciparum. The isolated compounds were further partitioned by reversed-phase FPLC followed by size-exclusion chromatography; high resolution UPLC and ESI/MS data were then collected and revealed that the most active fraction contained a cyclic depsipeptide, which was identified as romidepsin. A pure sample of this FDA-approved HDAC inhibitor allowed us to independently verify this finding, and establish that romidepsin also has potent effect against mosquito stages of the parasite's life cycle. Genomic comparisons between C. sp. Panama and multiple species within the Chromobacterium genus further demonstrated a correlation between presence of the gene cluster responsible for romidepsin production and effective antiplasmodial activity. A romidepsin-null Chromobacterium spp. mutant loses its anti-Plasmodium properties by losing the ability to inhibit P. falciparum HDAC activity, and romidepsin is active against resistant parasites to commonly deployed antimalarials. This independent mode of action substantiates exploring a chromobacteria-based approach for malaria transmission-blocking.