Rita P.-Y. Chen

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In prion diseases, the normal prion protein is transformed by an unknown mechanism from a mainly α-helical structure to a β-sheet-rich, disease-related isomer. In this study, we surprisingly found that a slow, spontaneous α-to-coil-to-β transition could be monitored by circular dichroism spectroscopy in one full-length mouse recombinant prion mutant(More)
The principal event underlying the development of prion disease is the conversion of soluble cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into its disease-causing isoform, PrP(Sc). This conversion is associated with a marked change in secondary structure from predominantly α-helical to a high β-sheet content, ultimately leading to the formation of aggregates consisting(More)
A ubiquitin mutant with two Cys mutations, m[C]q/S65C, was site-specifically labeled with two dye molecules, Alexa Fluor 488 (donor) and Alexa Fluor 594 (acceptor), due to the different reactivity of these two Cys residues. This doubly dye-labeled ubiquitin has lower structural stability than wild-type ubiquitin. Taking advantage of this decreased(More)
Neprilysin (NEP) is the most important Aβ-degrading enzyme. Its expression level decreases with age and inversely correlated with amyloid accumulation, suggesting its correlation with the late-onset of Alzheimer's disease. Recently, many reports showed that upregulating NEP level is a promising strategy in the prevention and therapy of Alzheimer's disease.(More)
In order to directly observe the refolding kinetics from a partially misfolded state to a native state in the bottom of the protein-folding funnel, we used a "caging" strategy to trap the β-sheet structure of ubiquitin in a misfolded conformation. We used molecular dynamics simulation to generate the cage-induced, misfolded structure and compared the(More)
An ethylene receptor gene named BoERS1 was cloned from a bamboo (Bambusa oldhamii) cDNA library. The open reading frame of BoERS1 was 1,899 bp and encoded a 632-amino acid protein, which contains the five conserved motifs (H, N, G1, F, and G2 boxes) of the bacterial two-component system histidine kinases and shows high sequence similarity with other(More)
The amino acid sequences in the amyloidogenic region (amino acids 108–144) of several mammalian prion proteins were compared and variations were found to occur at residues 109 (M or L), 112 (M or V), 129 (M, V, or L), 135 (N or S), 138 (M, L, or I), 139 (M or I), and 143 (N or S). Using the bovine PrP peptide (residues 108–144 based on the numbering of the(More)
sequences in molecular phylogenetic trees is consistent with early observations that polychaetes tend to have relatively short branches in such trees, and hence are useful taxa with which to reconstruct gene family evolution. Also it is clear that the traditional molecular model systems for protostomes (e.g. Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis(More)
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