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Dr. Zongjian  Jia  Dmd image

Dr. Zongjian Jia Dmd

1 Place Notre Dame
St Johnsbury VT 05819
802 489-9357
Medical School: Other - Unknown
Accepts Medicare: No
Participates In eRX: No
Participates In PQRS: No
Participates In EHR: No
License #: 016.0095984
NPI: 1568800464
Taxonomy Codes:
1223G0001X

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Conformational targeting of fibrillar polyglutamine proteins in live cells escalates aggregation and cytotoxicity. - PloS one
Misfolding- and aggregation-prone proteins underlying Parkinson's, Huntington's and Machado-Joseph diseases, namely alpha-synuclein, huntingtin, and ataxin-3 respectively, adopt numerous intracellular conformations during pathogenesis, including globular intermediates and insoluble amyloid-like fibrils. Such conformational diversity has complicated research into amyloid-associated intracellular dysfunction and neurodegeneration. To this end, recombinant single-chain Fv antibodies (scFvs) are compelling molecular tools that can be selected against specific protein conformations, and expressed inside cells as intrabodies, for investigative and therapeutic purposes.Using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and live-cell fluorescence microscopy, we report that a human scFv selected against the fibrillar form of alpha-synuclein targets isomorphic conformations of misfolded polyglutamine proteins. When expressed in the cytoplasm of striatal cells, this conformation-specific intrabody co-localizes with intracellular aggregates of misfolded ataxin-3 and a pathological fragment of huntingtin, and enhances the aggregation propensity of both disease-linked polyglutamine proteins. Using this intrabody as a tool for modulating the kinetics of amyloidogenesis, we show that escalating aggregate formation of a pathologic huntingtin fragment is not cytoprotective in striatal cells, but rather heightens oxidative stress and cell death as detected by flow cytometry. Instead, cellular protection is achieved by suppressing aggregation using a previously described intrabody that binds to the amyloidogenic N-terminus of huntingtin. Analogous cytotoxic results are observed following conformational targeting of normal or polyglutamine-expanded human ataxin-3, which partially aggregate through non-polyglutamine domains.These findings validate that the rate of aggregation modulates polyglutamine-mediated intracellular dysfunction, and caution that molecules designed to specifically hasten aggregation may be detrimental as therapies for polyglutamine disorders. Moreover, our findings introduce a novel antibody-based tool that, as a consequence of its general specificity for fibrillar conformations and its ability to function intracellularly, offers broad research potential for a variety of human amyloid diseases.
Localized Rho GTPase activation regulates RNA dynamics and compartmentalization in tumor cell protrusions. - The Journal of biological chemistry
mRNA trafficking and local protein translation are associated with protrusive cellular domains, such as neuronal growth cones, and deregulated control of protein translation is associated with tumor malignancy. We show here that activated RhoA, but not Rac1, is enriched in pseudopodia of MSV-MDCK-INV tumor cells and that Rho, Rho kinase (ROCK), and myosin II regulate the microtubule-independent targeting of RNA to these tumor cell domains. ROCK inhibition does not affect pseudopodial actin turnover but significantly reduces the dynamics of pseudopodial RNA turnover. Gene array analysis shows that 7.3% of the total genes analyzed exhibited a greater than 1.6-fold difference between the pseudopod and cell body fractions. Of these, only 13.2% (261 genes) are enriched in pseudopodia, suggesting that only a limited number of total cellular mRNAs are enriched in tumor cell protrusions. Comparison of the tumor pseudopod mRNA cohort and a cohort of mRNAs enriched in neuronal processes identified tumor pseudopod-specific signaling networks that were defined by expression of M-Ras and the Shp2 protein phosphatase. Pseudopod expression of M-Ras and Shp2 mRNA were diminished by ROCK inhibition linking pseudopodial Rho/ROCK activation to the localized expression of specific mRNAs. Pseudopodial enrichment for mRNAs involved in protein translation and signaling suggests that local mRNA translation regulates pseudopodial expression of less stable signaling molecules as well as the cellular machinery to translate these mRNAs. Pseudopodial Rho/ROCK activation may impact on tumor cell migration and metastasis by stimulating the pseudopodial translocation of mRNAs and thereby regulating the expression of local signaling cascades.
Rho/ROCK-dependent pseudopodial protrusion and cellular blebbing are regulated by p38 MAPK in tumour cells exhibiting autocrine c-Met activation. - Biology of the cell / under the auspices of the European Cell Biology Organization
The c-Met-dependent, beta-actin-rich, blebbed pseudopodia of MSV-MDCK-INV (invasive Moloney-sarcoma-virus-transformed Madin-Darby canine kidney) cells are induced by Rho/ROCK (Rho kinase) activation, and are morphologically distinct from flat extended lamellipodia.Microtubules were shown to extend to these actin-rich pseudopodial domains, and microtubule depolymerization by nocodazole treatment resulted in progressive cellular blebbing, initiating in the pseudopodial domains and resulting in transient cellular rounding and blebbing after 30 min. The blebbing response was dependent on autocrine HGF (hepatocyte growth factor) activation of c-Met and prevented by inhibition of RhoA, ROCK and p38 MAPK (p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase), but not ERK (extracellular-signal-regulated kinase) or PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase). Phospho-p38 MAPK was present in pseudopodia, localizing activation of this signalling pathway to this protrusive membrane structure. In serum-starved cells, LPA (lysophosphatidic acid) activation of RhoA induced p38 MAPK-dependent pseudopodial protrusions, and inhibition of p38 MAPK prevented pseudopodial protrusion and displacement of MSV-MDCK-INV cells. MSV-MDCK-INV cells exhibited intermittent blebbing and rounding, which may represent an integral part of their motile behaviour.The localized activation of an autocrine HGF/c-Met loop regulates Rho/ROCK activation of p38 MAPK signalling to stimulate both membrane blebbing and pseudopod formation.
Tumor cell pseudopodial protrusions. Localized signaling domains coordinating cytoskeleton remodeling, cell adhesion, glycolysis, RNA translocation, and protein translation. - The Journal of biological chemistry
The pseudopodial protrusions of Moloney sarcoma virus (MSV)-Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK)-invasive (INV) variant cells were purified on 1-microm pore polycarbonate filters that selectively allow passage of the pseudopodial domains but not the cell body. The purified pseudopodial fraction contains phosphotyrosinated proteins, including Met and FAK, and various signaling proteins, including Raf1, MEK1, ERK2, PKBalpha (Akt1), GSK3alpha, GSK3beta, Rb, and Stat3. Pseudopodial proteins identified by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry included actin and actin-regulatory proteins (ERM, calpain, filamin, myosin, Sra-1, and IQGAP1), tubulin, vimentin, adhesion proteins (vinculin, talin, and beta1 integrin), glycolytic enzymes, proteins associated with protein translation, RNA translocation, and ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation, as well as protein chaperones (HSP90 and HSC70) and signaling proteins (RhoGDI and ROCK). Inhibitors of MEK1 (U0126) and HSP90 (geldanamycin) significantly reduced MSV-MDCK-INV cell motility and pseudopod expression, and geldanamycin treatment inhibited Met phosphorylation and induced the expression of actin stress fibers. ROCK inhibition did not inhibit cell motility but transformed the pseudopodial protrusions of MSV-MDCK-INV cells into extended lamellipodia. Dominant negative Rho disrupted pseudopod expression and, in serum-starved cells, L-alpha-lysophosphatidic acid (oleoyl) activation of Rho induced pseudopodial protrusions or, in the presence of the ROCK inhibitor, extended lamellipodia. RNA was localized to the actin-rich pseudopodial domains of MSV-MDCK-INV cells, but the extent of colocalization with dense actin ruffles was reduced in the extended lamellipodia formed upon ROCK inhibition. Rho/ROCK activation in epithelial tumor cells therefore regulates RNA translocation to a pseudopodial domain that contains proteins involved in signaling, cytoskeleton remodeling, cell adhesion, glycolysis, and protein translation and degradation.
Acid-induced conformational changes in phosphoglucose isomerase result in its increased cell surface association and deposition on fibronectin fibrils. - The Journal of biological chemistry
Phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI) is a glycolytic enzyme that exhibits extracellular cytokine activity as autocrine motility factor, neuroleukin, and maturation factor and that has been recently implicated as an autoantigen in rheumatoid arthritis. In contrast to its receptor-mediated endocytosis at neutral pH, addition of 25 microg/ml of either Alexa 568- or FITC-conjugated PGI to NIH-3T3 cells at progressively acid pH results in its quantitatively increased association with cell surface fibrillar structures that is particularly evident at pH 5. A similar pH-dependent cell surface association of PGI is observed for first passage human chondrocytes obtained from osteoarthritic joints. At acid pH, PGI colocalizes with fibronectin fibrils, and this association occurs directly upon addition of PGI to the cells. In contrast to the receptor-mediated endocytosis of PGI, fibril association of 25 microg/ml PGI at pH 5 is not competed with an excess (2 mg/ml) of unlabeled PGI. PGI binding at acid pH is therefore neither saturable nor mediated by its receptor. PGI is enzymatically active as a dimer and we show here by non-denaturing gel electrophoresis as well as by glutaraldehyde cross-linking that it exists at neutral pH in a tetrameric form. Increasingly acid pH results in the appearance of PGI monomers that correlates directly with its enhanced cell surface association. However, glutaraldehyde cross-linked PGI is endocytosed at neutral pH and still exhibits enhanced cell surface binding at pH 5. Circular dichroism analysis revealed pH-dependent changes in the near but not the far UV spectra indicating that the tertiary structure of the protein is specifically altered at pH 5. Conformational changes of PGI and exposure of the monomer-monomer interface under acidic conditions, such as those encountered in the synovial fluid of arthritic joints, could therefore result in its deposition on the surface of joints and the induction of an autoimmune response.
Extensive polymorphism and different evolutionary patterns of intron 2 were identified in the HLA-DQB1 gene. - Immunogenetics
Exon 2 and intron 2 of the HLA DQB1 gene from 20 individuals were cloned and sequenced and eight alleles were obtained. Based on our analysis, the nucleotide diversity of the 5' end of intron 2 was higher than the synonymous nucleotide diversity of exon 2, which may be due to the lower GC content and the 'hitch-hiking effect'. In contrast, the opposite phenomenon was observed for the 3' end of intron 2, which may be the result of the recombination between the 3' end and 5' end of intron 2 and the subsequent genetic drift. The results indicated that different regions of intron 2 in the DQB1 gene had different evolutionary patterns.

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