Vera Sau-Fong Chan

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Bone mineral density (BMD), a risk factor for osteoporosis, is believed to be under genetic control. The effect of environmental factors and gender on the heritability of BMD and bone size is ill-defined. In this study, heritability estimates (h2) were determined in 3,320 southern Chinese subjects from 1,019 families using the variance components model. The(More)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is caused by infection of a previously undescribed coronavirus (CoV). L-SIGN, encoded by CLEC4M (also known as CD209L), is a SARS-CoV binding receptor that has polymorphism in its extracellular neck region encoded by the tandem repeat domain in exon 4. Our genetic risk association study shows that individuals(More)
A number of alkenylbenzenes related to safrole and estragole are known to be hepatocarcinogenic in rats and/or mice, apparently by a genotoxic mechanism. However, they are not bacterial mutagens in the Ames test. We have studied the ability of a series of carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic congeners to induce unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) in freshly(More)
OBJECTIVE Although Th17 cells have been increasingly recognised as an important effector in various autoimmune diseases, their function in the pathogenesis of Sjögren's syndrome (SS) remains largely uncharacterised. This study aims to determine the role of Th17 cells in the development of experimental SS (ESS). METHODS The ESS was induced in wildtype and(More)
The allylbenzenes estragole, methyleugenol and safrole are hepatocarcinogens in rodents at very high doses, but allylbenzene itself is neither hepatotoxic nor hepatocarcinogenic. To elucidate further the significance of metabolic 1'-hydroxylation in the carcinogenicity of the allylbenzenes and to give further insights into the(More)
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous small RNA molecules best known for their function in post-transcriptional gene regulation. Immunologically, miRNA regulates the differentiation and function of immune cells and its malfunction contributes to the development of various autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Over the last decade,(More)
Identification of the nature of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-infected cells is crucial toward understanding the pathogenesis. Using multicolor colocalization techniques, we previously reported that SARS(+) cells in the lung of fatally infected patients expressed the only known functional receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, and also a(More)
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) were first discovered as regulatory RNAs that controlled the timing of the larval development of Caenorhabditis elegans. Since then, nearly 30,000 mature miRNA products have been found in many species, including plants, warms, flies and mammals. Currently, miRNAs are well established as endogenous small (~22 nt) noncoding RNAs, which have(More)
Dendritic cells (DCs) constitute a heterogeneous population of professional antigen presenting cells which are the initiators and key regulators for both immunity and tolerance induction. The significance and impact of DC biology in contemporary immunology and medical research is heightened by the award of the 2011 Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology to(More)
Sonic hedgehog (Shh) is a crucial morphogen in the development of numerous tissues and organs, including the nervous system, gastrointestinal tract and lung. Recent findings suggest that Shh plays an important role in thymocyte development and peripheral T cell function. Here we report that the Shh receptors, patched and smoothened, are expressed in resting(More)