Zongyi Li

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We have identified desmoglein-2 (DSG-2) as the primary high-affinity receptor used by adenoviruses Ad3, Ad7, Ad11 and Ad14. These serotypes represent key human pathogens causing respiratory and urinary tract infections. In epithelial cells, adenovirus binding of DSG-2 triggers events reminiscent of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, leading to transient(More)
Current approaches for treatment of late-stage breast cancer rarely result in a long-term cure. In part this is due to tumor stroma that prevents access of systemically or intratumorally applied therapeutics. We propose a stem cell gene therapy approach for controlled tumor stroma degradation that uses the pathophysiologic process of recruitment of(More)
Human adenovirus serotypes Ad3, Ad7, Ad11, and Ad14 use the epithelial junction protein desmoglein 2 (DSG2) as a receptor for infection. During Ad infection, the fiber and penton base capsid proteins are produced in vast excess and form hetero-oligomers, called pentons. It has been shown for Ad3 that pentons self-assemble into penton-dodecahedra (PtDd). Our(More)
Tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) include overexpressed self-antigens (for example, Her2/neu) and tumor virus antigens (for example, HPV-16 E6/E7). Although in cancer patients, TAA-specific CD4+ and CD8+ cells are often present, they are not able to control tumor growth. In recent studies, it became apparent that tumor site-located immune evasion mechanisms(More)
Monoclonal antibodies specific for cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (anti-CTLA4) are a novel form of cancer immunotherapy. While preclinical studies in mouse tumor models have shown anti-tumor efficacy of anti-CTLA4 injection or expression, anti-CTLA4 treatment in patients with advanced cancers had disappointing therapeutic benefit. These(More)
Cuticular waxes are essential for the well-being of all plants, from controlling the transport of water and nutrients across the plant surface to protecting them against external environmental attacks. Despite their significance, our current understanding regarding the structure and function of the wax film is limited. In this work, we have formed(More)
Adenoviruses are common pathogens. The localization of their receptors coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor, and desmoglein-2 in cell-cell junction complexes between polarized epithelial cells represents a major challenge for adenovirus infection from the apical surface. Structural proteins including hexon, penton base and fiber are excessively produced(More)
LIBRARIES __ Acknowledgments I am deeply grateful to my thesis advisor, Prof. Victor Guillemin. Throughout my graduate studies at MIT, he has offered me constant guidance, support and encouragement , both academically and non-academically. I could not thank him enough for the mathematics I learned from him as well as for all the care I got from him. I have(More)
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