Publications by authors named "Aimin Zhang"

158 Publications

Fabrication of outstanding thermal-insulating, mechanical robust and superhydrophobic PP/CNT/sorbitol derivative nanocomposite foams for efficient oil/water separation.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Jun 4;418:126295. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

Microcellular Plastics Manufacturing Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8, Canada.

Water pollution caused by industrial oily wastewater, is world-widely concerned by both scientific and practical researches, owing to its catastrophic destruction to natural environment, which highlights the urgency of producing green and advanced separation materials. Herein, a novel approach was proposed to fabricate oil-absorbing and oil/water-separating microcellular polypropylene (PP)/carbon nanotubes (CNTs)/sorbitol nanocomposites using a simple, green, and facile microcellular foaming technology. Owning to the effectively modified crystallization via introducing CNTs/sorbitol derivatives, the ultralight and highly-reticulated PP microcellular foam was prepared with an open-cell content of 99.4% and an expansion ratio of 50, which facilitated the creation of nano-porous structures on cell walls. Hence, the as-prepared PP nanocomposite foam presented pronounced absorption capacity of 40 g/g for applied oils with recovery efficiency of 97.2%, superior thermal-insulating and mechanical performance. Furthermore, the as-achieved unique hierarchical porous structures of the PP/CNT/sorbitol foam contributed to the outstanding oil/water separation capability, separation efficiency of up-to 97.6%, ascribed to its superhydrophobicity, capillary penetration action, high porosity and open-cell content. Therefore, this work provided new insight into the feasibility of advantageous, high-efficiency, environmentally friendly, and profitable PP-based foams as oil absorbents, which, to the best of our knowledge, outperform conventional polymer absorbents in treatment of oily wastewater.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.126295DOI Listing
June 2021

Isolation, purification and identification of biological compounds from Beauveria sp. and their evaluation as insecticidal effectiveness against Bemisia tabaci.

Sci Rep 2021 Jun 8;11(1):12020. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

College of Plant Protection, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang, 110866, China.

Bemisia tabaci is one of the most notorious agricultural pests in the world. A vicious circle among insect resistance, dose increased, environment and human body impaired as the overuse of synthetic pesticides are becoming increasingly evident. Entomopathogenic Beauveria sp. is known as an effective natural enemy to control B. tabaci. Therefore, this study aimed to purify and identify the biological compounds from Beauveria sp. LY2 via extensive chromatographic techniques, NMR and MS and evaluated for their insecticidal activities against B. tabaci via contact and feeding assay. The outcome identified that one new cerebroside, cerebroside F (1), nine known compounds, cerebroside B (2), bassiatin (3), methyl 1,4-dihydro-4-oxo-2-quinolinecarboxylate (4), cerevisterol (5), 9-hydroxycerevisterol (6), 6-dehydrocerevisterol (7), (22E,24R)-ergosta-8(14),22-diene-3β,5α,6β,7α-tetrol (8), melithasterol B (9) and ergosterol peroxide (10) were isolated. Among the known compounds, methyl 1,4-dihydro-4-oxo- 2-quinolinecarboxylate (4) was isolated from natural origin for the first time. It is demonstrable from the results that compounds 3, 4 and 7 strongly featured insecticidal activities against B. tabaci, being the LC value as 10.59, 19.05, 26.59 μg/mL respectively in contact as well as 11.42, 5.66, 5.65 μg/mL respectively in feeding experiment. Moreover, no adverse effect on plant growth/height or phytotoxicity was observed on pepper, cucumber, tomato and cotton. The data from the current study has provided the foundation for the use of newly purified compounds against Bemisia tabaci as an alternative to synthetic chemical compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-91574-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8187347PMC
June 2021

The MYB family transcription factor TuODORANT1 from Triticum urartu and the homolog TaODORANT1 from Triticum aestivum inhibit seed storage protein synthesis in wheat.

Plant Biotechnol J 2021 May 5. Epub 2021 May 5.

State Key Laboratory of Plant Cell and Chromosome Engineering, National Center for Plant Gene Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology/Innovative Academy of Seed Design, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

Seed storage proteins (SSPs) are determinants of wheat end-product quality. SSP synthesis is mainly regulated at the transcriptional level. Few transcriptional regulators of SSP synthesis have been identified in wheat and this study aims to identify novel SSP gene regulators. Here, the R2R3 MYB transcription factor TuODORANT1 from Triticum urartu was found to be preferentially expressed in the developing endosperm during grain filling. In common wheat (Triticum aestivum) overexpressing TuODORANT1, the transcription levels of all the SSP genes tested by RNA-Seq analysis were reduced by 49.71% throughout grain filling, which contributed to 13.38%-35.60% declines in the total SSP levels of mature grains. In in vitro assays, TuODORANT1 inhibited both the promoter activities and the transcription of SSP genes by 1- to 13-fold. The electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and ChIP-qPCR analysis demonstrated that TuODORANT1 bound to the cis-elements 5'-T/CAACCA-3' and 5'-T/CAACT/AG-3' in SSP gene promoters both in vitro and in vivo. Similarly, the homolog TaODORANT1 in common wheat hindered both the promoter activities and the transcription of SSP genes by 1- to 112-fold in vitro. Knockdown of TaODORANT1 in common wheat led to 14.73%-232.78% increases in the transcription of the tested SSP genes, which contributed to 11.43%-19.35% elevation in the total SSP levels. Our data show that both TuODORANT1 and TaODORANT1 are repressors of SSP synthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pbi.13604DOI Listing
May 2021

Pancreatic stellate cells regulate branched-chain amino acid metabolism in pancreatic cancer.

Ann Transl Med 2021 Mar;9(5):417

Department of Clinical Laboratory, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, Tianjin's Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Tianjin, China.

Background: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the most lethal malignancy: it has a 5-year survival rate of less than 9%. Although surgical resection is an effective treatment for PDAC, only a small number of patients can have their tumors surgically removed. Thus, an urgent need to find new therapeutic targets for PDAC exists. Understanding the molecular mechanism of PDAC development is essential for the treatment of this malignancy. This research aimed to study the mechanisms of pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs), which regulate branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) metabolism in PDAC.

Methods: Differentially expressed proteins were detected via nanoliquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (nano-LC-MS/MS). Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment methods were used to find the valine-leucine-isoleucine (BCAA) degradation pathway. The levels of BCAAs in the sera and tissues of patients with PDAC were measured by using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The functions of BCAA concentrations and the effects of activated pancreatic stellate cells (aPSCs) were also evaluated by performing Cell Counting Kit-8, colony formation, and wound healing assays.

Results: A total of 1,519 proteins with significantly differential expression were discovered in PDAC and adjacent tissues by using nano-LC-MS/MS. KEGG pathway enrichment analysis identified the BCAA degradation pathway. The content of BCAA in PDAC clinical samples was up-regulated. However, the addition of different concentrations of BCAA to PDAC cell culture medium failed to promote the proliferation and migration of PDAC cells. Given that analysis based on The Cancer Genome Atlas database showed that the number of aPSCs gradually increased with the progression of PDAC, the effects of aPSCs on PDAC cells were explored. After coculture with aPSCs, PDAC cell proliferation showed a significant increase, and the proteins involved in the BCAA degradation pathway in PDAC cells had also changed.

Conclusions: aPSCs could regulate BCAA metabolism to enhance the progression of PDAC, indicating that the regulation of BCAA metabolism may serve as a new therapeutic direction for PDAC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/atm-21-761DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8033345PMC
March 2021

Wheat FRIZZY PANICLE activates VERNALIZATION1-A and HOMEOBOX4-A to regulate spike development in wheat.

Plant Biotechnol J 2021 Jun 16;19(6):1141-1154. Epub 2021 Jan 16.

State Key Laboratory of Plant Cell and Chromosome Engineering, Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shijiazhuang, China.

Kernel number per spike determined by the spike or inflorescence development is one important agricultural trait for wheat yield that is critical for global food security. While a few important genes for wheat spike development were identified, the genetic regulatory mechanism underlying supernumerary spikelets (SSs) is still unclear. Here, we cloned the wheat FRIZZY PANICLE (WFZP) gene from one local wheat cultivar. WFZP is specifically expressed at the sites where the spikelet meristem and floral meristem are initiated, which differs from the expression patterns of its homologs FZP/BD1 in rice and maize, indicative of its functional divergence during species differentiation. Moreover, WFZP directly activates VERNALIZATION1 (VRN1) and wheat HOMEOBOX4 (TaHOX4) to regulate the initiation and development of spikelet. The haplotypes analysis showed that the favourable alleles of WFZP associated with spikelet number per spike (SNS) were preferentially selected during breeding. Our findings provide insights into the molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying wheat spike development and characterize the WFZP as elite resource for wheat molecular breeding with enhanced crop yield.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pbi.13535DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8196646PMC
June 2021

A novel NAC family transcription factor SPR suppresses seed storage protein synthesis in wheat.

Plant Biotechnol J 2021 May 4;19(5):992-1007. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

State Key Laboratory of Plant Cell and Chromosome Engineering, National Center for Plant Gene Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology/Innovation Academy of Seed Design, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

The synthesis of seed storage protein (SSP) is mainly regulated at the transcriptional level. However, few transcriptional regulators of SSP synthesis have been characterized in common wheat (Triticum aestivum) owing to the complex genome. As the A genome donor of common wheat, Triticum urartu could be an elite model in wheat research considering its simple genome. Here, a novel NAC family transcription factor TuSPR from T. urartu was found preferentially expressed in developing endosperm during grain-filling stages. In common wheat transgenically overexpressing TuSPR, the content of total SSPs was reduced by c. 15.97% attributed to the transcription declines of SSP genes. Both in vitro and in vivo assays showed that TuSPR bound to the cis-element 5'-CANNTG-3' distributed in SSP gene promoters and suppressed the transcription. The homolog in common wheat TaSPR shared a conserved function with TuSPR on SSP synthesis suppression. The knock-down of TaSPR in common wheat resulted in 7.07%-20.34% increases in the total SSPs. Both TuSPR and TaSPR could be superior targets in genetic engineering to manipulate SSP content in wheat, and this work undoubtedly expands our knowledge of SSP gene regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pbi.13524DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8131056PMC
May 2021

Dexmedetomidine inhibits apoptosis of astrocytes induced by oxygen-glucose deprivation via targeting JAK/STAT3 signal pathway.

Brain Res 2021 01 2;1750:147141. Epub 2020 Oct 2.

Department of Neurology, the Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Liuzhou, Guangxi 545001, PR China.

Objective: There is an increasing interest concerning the contribution of astrocytes to the intrinsic bioremediation of ischemic brain injury. The aim of this work was to disclose the effects and mechanism of dexmedetomidine (DEX) on the apoptosis of astrocytes under oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD) condition.

Methods: Primary cultured astrocytes separated from Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were subjected to OGD treatment. Astrocytes were transfected with si-JMJD3 or pcDNA3.1-JMJD3 and then treated with DEX or JAK/STAT inhibitor (WP1066) before cell apoptosis was detected by TUNEL apoptosis kit. Western blot was applied to assess the level of apoptosis-related proteins Caspase-3, Bax and Bcl-2. Astrocyte cell viability was assessed by measuring the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level using a LDH assay kit.

Results: Astrocytes received OGD treatment had increased LDH and elevated apoptotic rate (P < 0.05). DEX could suppress OGD induced cytotoxic effect on astrocytes, as evidenced by decreased LDH release and suppressed cell apoptosis rate (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, DEX and WP1066 treatment were also found to inhibit the phosphorylation level of STAT1 and STAT3 (P < 0.05), indicating the DEX could suppress the activation of JAK/STAT signal pathway. JMJD3 overexpression in astrocytes could suppress the anti-apoptotic function of WP1066 in OGD treated astrocytes and hamper the protective effect of DEX in cell apoptosis (P < 0.05), suggesting that DEX and JAK/STAT signal pathway inhibits OGD induced apoptosis in astrocytes by down-regulating JMJD3.

Conclusion: DEX protects astrocytes against apoptosis via inhibiting JAK2/STAT3 signal pathway and downregulating JMJD3 expression in vitro.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2020.147141DOI Listing
January 2021

Major genomic regions responsible for wheat yield and its components as revealed by meta-QTL and genotype-phenotype association analyses.

Planta 2020 Sep 24;252(4):65. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

School of Plant Biology, Faculty of Science and The UWA Institute of Agriculture, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, 6009, Australia.

Main Conclusion: Meta-QTL (MQTL) analysis was done for yield-related traits in wheat. Candidate genes were identified within the refined MQTL and further validated by genotype-phenotype association analysis. Extensive studies have been undertaken on quantitative trait locus/loci (QTL) for wheat yield and its component traits. This study conducted a meta-analysis of 381 QTL related to wheat yield under various environments, including irrigated, drought- and/or heat-stressed conditions. Markers flanking meta-QTL (MQTL) were mapped on the wheat reference genome for their physical positions. Putative candidate genes were examined for MQTL with a physical interval of less than 20 Mbp. A total of 86 MQTL were identified as responsible for yield, of which 34 were for irrigated environments, 39 for drought-stressed environments, 36 for heat-stressed environments, and 23 for both drought- and heat-stressed environments. The high-confidence genes within the physical positions of the MQTL flanking markers were screened in the reference genome RefSeq V1.0, which identified 210 putative candidate genes. The phenotypic data for 14 contrasting genotypes with either high or low yield performance-according to the Australian National Variety Trials-were associated with their genotypic data obtained through ddRAD sequencing, which validated 18 genes or gene clusters associated with MQTL that had important roles for wheat yield. The detected and refined MQTL and candidate genes will be useful for marker-assisted selection of high yield in wheat breeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00425-020-03466-3DOI Listing
September 2020

Family Integrated Care for Preterm Infants in China: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial.

J Pediatr 2021 01 6;228:36-43.e2. Epub 2020 Sep 6.

Maternal-Infant Care Research Centre, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Department of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Objective: To explore whether family integrated care (FICare) is feasible and improves the outcomes of preterm infants in China.

Study Design: This was a multicenter prospective cluster-randomized controlled trial comparing FICare and standard care. The primary outcome was length of stay (LOS). Secondary outcomes were nosocomial infections, duration of supplemental oxygen, breastfeeding, and weight gain. Outcomes were compared using univariate and multivariable analyses adjusted for potential confounders and clustering.

Results: We enrolled 601 preterm infants from 11 neonatal intensive care units (FICare, n = 298; control, n = 303). The unadjusted LOS was 30.81 vs 30.26 days (mean ratio, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.85-1.22; P = .85). After adjustment, outcomes in the FICare group were improved compared with the control group, including LOS (28.26 vs 35.04 days; mean ratio, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.72-0.91), total medical expenditures (mean ratio, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.53-0.90), weight gain velocity (15.73 vs 10.30 g/day; mean difference, 5.43; 95% CI, 3.65-7.21), duration of supplemental oxygen (13.11 vs 21.42 days; mean difference, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.50-1.00), nosocomial infection rates (4.13 vs 5.84/1000 hospital days; mean ratio, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.47-0.96), antibiotic exposure (38.63 vs 57.32/100 hospital days; mean ratio, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.47-0.96), breastfeeding rates (87.25% vs 55.78%; OR, 5.42; 95% CI, 3.25-9.05), and rehospitalization rates (3.65% vs 7.48%; OR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.28-0.77). At follow-up to 18 months, breastfeeding rates and weight were significantly (P < .05) higher over time in the FICare group.

Conclusions: FICare was feasible in Chinese neonatal intensive care units and was associated with reduced hospital LOS, medical expenditures, and rates of adverse outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2020.09.006DOI Listing
January 2021

TaCKX gene family, at large, is associated with thousand-grain weight and plant height in common wheat.

Theor Appl Genet 2020 Nov 27;133(11):3151-3163. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

State Key Laboratory of Plant Cell and Chromosome Engineering, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Innovative Academy of Seed Design, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China.

Key Message: We used SMRT sequencing and explored the haplotypes of TaCKX genes, linked with thousand-grain weight and plant height, and developed the functionally validated markers, which can be used in the marker-assisted breeding program. Cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase (CKX) enzymes catalyze the permanent degradation of cytokinins. Identification of the TaCKX alleles associated with yield traits and the development of functional markers is the first step in using these alleles in marker-assisted breeding program. To identify the alleles, we sequenced the genome fragments, containing TaCKX genes from 48 wheat genotypes, by PacBio sequencing. Six out of 22 TaCKX genes were found polymorphic, forming 14 distinct haplotypes. Functional markers were developed and validated for all the polymorphic TaCKX genes. Four specific haplotypes, i.e., TaCKX2A_2, TaCKX4A_2, TaCKX5A_3, and TaCKX9A_2, were found significantly associated with high thousand-grain weight (TGW) and short plant height (PH) in Chinese wheat micro-core collection (MCC) and GWAS open population (GWAS-OP), whereas TaCKX1B_2 in GWAS-OP and TaCKX11A_3 in MCC were significantly associated with high TGW and short PH. The mean values of TGW and PH for cumulative favorable haplotypes from chromosome 3A, i.e., TaCKX2A_2, TaCKX4A_2, and TaCKX5A_3, were significantly higher as compared to the cumulative unfavored haplotypes, and the change was additive in manner. Frequency distribution analysis revealed that since the 1960s, the frequency of the favorable haplotypes and TGW has gradually increased in Chinese wheat cultivars. Expression profiling in the seed tissue excised at 2, 4, 6, and 8 days after anthesis depicted that the favorable haplotypes are significantly less expressive as compared to the unfavored haplotypes. We conclude that the functional markers developed in this study can be used to select the favorable haplotypes of TaCKX genes in wheat marker-assisted breeding programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00122-020-03661-6DOI Listing
November 2020

Bottlebrush-like highly efficient antibacterial coating constructed using α-helical peptide dendritic polymers on the poly(styrene--(ethylene--butylene)--styrene) surface.

J Mater Chem B 2020 08;8(33):7428-7437

National Engineering Research Center for Biomaterials, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064, P. R. China.

Infectious diseases induced by pathogenic bacteria are the major causes for the failure of medical implants. Meanwhile, the drug-resistance is steadily developed because of the large and even inappropriate use of antibiotics. Therefore, the development of antibacterial coating with non-antibiotic-based agents on the surfaces of medical implants and devices has been an urgent need. Herein, we propose a bottlebrush-like antibacterial coating on a poly(styrene-b-(ethylene-co-butylene)-b-styrene) (SEBS) triblock copolymer surface by UV-induced graft polymerization of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) acrylate terminated poly(lysine dendrimer). This PEG-conjugated antibacterial polymer possessed a substructure of α-helical backbone and cation dendrimer side chains stretching in the radial directions of the helix. The introduction of lysine peptide dendrimers endowed the prepared antibacterial polymer with precisely controlled characteristics of its local cation density, amphipathic composition as well as three-dimensional (3D) conformation to improve interactions with bacterial membranes. The antimicrobial assay and biocompatibility assay results showed that 96.83% of S. aureus and 99.99% of E. coli were killed after being in contact with the antibacterial coating, while no toxicity to mammalian cells or no hemolysis was detected. This antimicrobial activity was further confirmed by the molecular dynamics simulation results, which demonstrated that the employment of lysine peptide dendrimers enhanced the electrostatic interaction and hydrogen bonding between the brush and bacterial membranes remarkably. Such bottlebrush-like antibacterial coating constructed using α-helical peptide dendritic polymers may become an effective strategy for manufacturing antibacterial products for biomedical uses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0tb01336fDOI Listing
August 2020

Biallelic mutations in carbamoyl phosphate synthetase 1 induced hyperammonemia in a neonate: A case report.

Exp Ther Med 2020 Jul 6;20(1):623-629. Epub 2020 May 6.

Department of Neonatology, Children's Medical Center, Hunan Provincial People's Hospital and The First Affiliated Hospital of Hunan Normal University, Changsha, Hunan 410005, P.R. China.

The aim of the present report was to describe the clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of a case of carbamoyl phosphate synthetase 1 (CPS1) deficiency in a neonate, specifically, a 3 day-old female who visited Hunan Provincial People's Hospital due to anorexia and lethargy for 1 day. Physical and laboratory examination, and MRI were undertaken. Whole exome sequencing (WES) was applied for molecular etiology identification. Sanger sequencing was utilized to validate the variants detected by WES. Structural modeling was conducted for pathogenic analysis. Clinical examination revealed increased intracranial pressure, hyperammonemia, reduced citrulline, and increased glutamic acid levels. WES identified compound heterozygosity of c.713G>C, p.Arg238Pro and c.2339G>A, p.Arg780His in (NCBI reference sequence, NM_001875.4) as candidate pathogenic variants. Sanger sequencing validated these variants. Structural modeling further confirmed the pathogenesis of these mutations. In conclusion, CPS1 deficiency in neonates is a serious condition that may be misdiagnosed due to severe infection. WES can be a helpful tool in facilitating the diagnosis of this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.8717DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7282193PMC
July 2020

CyberKnife Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy as an Effective Treatment for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients With Decompensated Cirrhosis.

Front Oncol 2020 25;10:100. Epub 2020 Feb 25.

Radiation Oncology Center, The Fifth Medical Center of PLA General Hospital (Beijing 302 Hospital), Beijing, China.

The aim of our study was to evaluate the curative effect and safety of CyberKnife stereotactic body radiation therapy in treating decompensated cirrhosis hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. From March 2011 to December 2015, 32 HCC patients who refused or were ineligible for other treatments were treated with CyberKnife stereotactic body radiation therapy. Among these patients, 17 were Child-Pugh score 7 (53.13%), 7 were Child-Pugh score 8 (21.87%), 4 were Child-Pugh score 9 (12.50%), and 4 were Child-Pugh score 10 (12.50%). A total dose of 45-54 Gy in 5-10 fractions was given according to the location of lesions. The median follow-up period was 30 months (8-46 months). By July 2019, the tumors were recurrent or metastasized in 17 patients. The overall survival rates of 1, 2, and 3 years were 84.4, 61.8, and 46.0%, respectively. After 1, 2, and 3 years, the local control rates were 92.9%. The progression-free survival rates of the 1, 2, and 3-year treatments were 73.8, 44.6, and 33.4%, respectively. CyberKnife stereotactic body radiation therapy was an effective option for HCC patients with decompensated cirrhosis. The liver injury occurrence rate was acceptable in our study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.00100DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7052044PMC
February 2020

Biologically effective dose (BED) escalation of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) for hepatocellular carcinoma patients (≤5 cm) with CyberKnife: protocol of study.

Radiat Oncol 2020 Jan 28;15(1):20. Epub 2020 Jan 28.

Radiation Oncology Center, The Fifth Medical Center of PLA General Hospital (Beijing 302 Hospital), No. 100 Xi Si Huan Middle Road, Fengtai District, Beijing, 100039, China.

Background: There is a lack of data on the biologically effective dose and the efficacy of stereotactic body radiotherapy in hepatocellular carcinoma patients, and this study was conducted to explore the relation between BED and efficacy.

Methods: This study is designed as a mono-center study. The participants are randomized into three group, and received the following recommended schedule: 49Gy/7f, 54Gy/6f and 55Gy/5f with BED in correspondence to 83.3Gy, 102.6Gy and 115.5Gy. The primary outcome measures are to calculate local control rates (LC), overall survival rates (OS) and progression-free survival rates (PFS). The secondary outcome measures are to observe radiation-induced liver injury (RILD) rates, Child-Pugh score and indocyanine green retention rate at 15 min (ICG-R15) value before and after CK-SBRT. Moreover, gastrointestinal toxicities are also observed.

Discussion: There is no uniform standard for CK-SBRT dose schedule of hepatocellular carcinoma. We propose to conduct a study determining the optimal CK-SBRT schedule of hepatocellular carcinoma patients (≤5 cm). The trial protocol has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of 302 Hospital of PLA (People's Liberation Army). The Ethics number is 2017111D.

Trail Registration: Clinical trails number: NCT03295500. Date of registration: November, 2017.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13014-020-1471-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6986016PMC
January 2020

TubZIP28, a novel bZIP family transcription factor from Triticum urartu, and TabZIP28, its homologue from Triticum aestivum, enhance starch synthesis in wheat.

New Phytol 2020 06 8;226(5):1384-1398. Epub 2020 Feb 8.

Agronomy College, National Key Laboratory of Wheat and Maize Crop Science, Collaborative Innovation Center of Henan Grain Crops, Henan Agricultural University, 15 Longzihu College District, Zhengzhou, 450046, China.

Starch in wheat grain provides humans with carbohydrates and influences the quality of wheaten food. However, no transcriptional regulator of starch synthesis has been identified first in common wheat (Triticum aestivum) due to the complex genome. Here, a novel basic leucine zipper (bZIP) family transcription factor TubZIP28 was found to be preferentially expressed in the endosperm throughout grain-filling stages in Triticum urartu, the A genome donor of common wheat. When TubZIP28 was overexpressed in common wheat, the total starch content increased by c. 4%, which contributed to c. 5% increase in the thousand kernel weight. The grain weight per plant of overexpression wheat was also elevated by c. 9%. Both in vitro and in vivo assays showed that TubZIP28 bound to the promoter of cytosolic AGPase and enhanced both the transcription and activity of the latter. Knockout of the homologue TabZIP28 in common wheat resulted in declines of both the transcription and activity of cytosolic AGPase in developing endosperms and c. 4% reduction of the total starch in mature grains. To the best of our knowledge, TubZIP28 and TabZIP28 are transcriptional activators of starch synthesis first identified in wheat, and they could be superior targets to improve the starch content and yield potential of wheat.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.16435DOI Listing
June 2020

Repeated CyberKnife stereotactic body radiation therapy in hepatocellular carcinoma.

Radiat Oncol 2020 Jan 9;15(1):10. Epub 2020 Jan 9.

Department of Radiation Oncology, The Fifth Medical Center of PLA General Hospital (302 Military Hospital), Beijing, 100039, China.

Background: To explore the survival and side effects of repeated CyberKnife stereotactic body radiation therapy (CK-SBRT) on hepatocellular carcinoma patients.

Methods: 24 HCC patients were collected at The Fifth Medical Center of PLA General Hospital from November 2011 to July 2016. They received second-course CK-SBRT with a prescribed dose of 50(48-55) Gy/5-8fx, and a single dose of 10 (7-11) Gy/fx. Cumulative overall survival rates (OS), progression-free survival rates (PFS) and local control rates (LC) were calculated by Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: All patients finished their radiotherapy plans. The 1-,2- and 3-year cumulative OS rate were 95.8,81.1 and 60.8%. The 1-,2- and 3-year LC rate were 95.5,90.7 and 90.7%, respectively. The 1-, 2- and 3-year PFS were 74.8, 49.2 and 39.4%, respectively. 16 patients complained of fatigue during second-course therapy, 2 patients showed Grade 2 gastrointestinal reaction, 1 patient was diagnosed radiation-induced liver disease and none died. PFS was significantly higher in the interval time < 12 months group than in the interval time ≥ 12 months group (p = 0.030).

Conclusions: It is preliminarily believed that re-CK-SBRT is an effective and safe treatment for HCC patients, but the treatment criteria should be strictly controlled.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13014-020-1457-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6953301PMC
January 2020

NIR-UV Responsive Actuator with Graphene Oxide/Microchannel-Induced Liquid Crystal Bilayer Structure for Biomimetic Devices.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2020 Feb 22;12(5):6727-6735. Epub 2020 Jan 22.

State Key Laboratory of Polymer Materials Engineering of China , Polymer Research Institute of Sichuan University , Chengdu 610065 , China.

Soft bilayer actuators with a simple fabrication process, diverse molecular alignment, and multistimulus response are displayed in this work. The microchannel method proposed by us can exquisitely program the molecular arrangement. Based on the mismatch in coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) between graphene oxide (GO) and the azobenzene doped liquid crystal network (ALCN), bilayer actuators can exhibit reversible, rapid, and complex deformations under the control of heat, UV and NIR light. Furthermore, in addition to microchannels, various deformation behaviors of bilayer actuators can also be programmed by directionally arranging GO layers. Smart bilayer membranes can be customized into a range of delicate biomimetic devices, such as bionic butterfly, bionic leaf, and foot robot, promising their numerous applications in biomimetic and intelligent soft robotics fields.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.9b20672DOI Listing
February 2020

Full-length transcriptome analysis of shade-induced promotion of tuber production in Pinellia ternata.

BMC Plant Biol 2019 Dec 18;19(1):565. Epub 2019 Dec 18.

Key Laboratory of Resource Plant Biology of Anhui Province, College of Life Sciences, Huaibei Normal University, Huaibei, 235000, China.

Background: Pinellia ternata is native to China and has been used as a traditional herb due to its antiemetic, antitussive, analgesic, and anxiolytic effects. When exposed to strong light intensity and high temperature during the reproductive growth process, P. ternata withers in a phenomenon known as "sprout tumble", which largely limits tuber production. Shade was previously found to delay sprout tumble formation (STF); however, no information exists regarding this process at the molecular level. Hence, we determined the genes involved in tuber development and STF in P. ternata.

Results: Compared to that with natural sun-light (control), shade significantly induced chlorophyll accumulation, increased chlorophyll fluorescence parameters including initial fluorescence, maximal fluorescence, and qP, and dramatically repressed chlorophyll a:b and NPQ. Catalase (CAT) activity was largely induced by shade, and tuber products were largely increased in this environment. Transcriptome profiles of P. ternata grown in natural sun-light and shaded environments were analyzed by a combination of next generation sequencing (NGS) and third generation single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing. Corrections of SMRT long reads based on NGS short reads yielded 136,163 non-redundant transcripts, with an average N50 length of 2578 bp. In total, 6738 deferentially-expressed genes (DEGs) were obtained from the comparisons, specifically D5S vs D5CK, D20S vs D20CK, D20S vs D5S, and D20CK vs D5CK, of which, 6384 DEGs (94.8%) were generated from the D20S vs D20CK comparison. Gene annotation and functional analyses revealed that these genes were related to auxin signal transduction, polysaccharide and sugar metabolism, phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, and photosynthesis. Moreover, the expression of genes enriched in photosynthesis appeared to be significantly altered by shade. The expression patterns of 16 candidate genes were consistent with changes in their transcript abundance as identified by RNA-Seq, and these might contribute to STF and tuber production.

Conclusion: The full-length transcripts identified in this study have provided a more accurate depiction of P. ternata gene transcription. Further, we identified potential genes involved in STF and tuber growth. Such data could serve as a genetic resource and a foundation for further research on this important traditional herb.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12870-019-2197-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6921527PMC
December 2019

Natural variations in the promoter of Awn Length Inhibitor 1 (ALI-1) are associated with awn elongation and grain length in common wheat.

Plant J 2020 03 4;101(5):1075-1090. Epub 2019 Dec 4.

State Key Laboratory of Plant Cell and Chromosome Engineering, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Innovation Academy of Seed Design, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China.

Wheat awn plays a vital role in photosynthesis, grain production, and drought tolerance. However, the systematic identification or cloning of genes controlling wheat awn development is seldom reported. Here, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) with 364 wheat accessions and identified 26 loci involved in awn length development, including previously characterized B1, B2, Hd, and several rice homologs. The dominant awn suppressor B1 was fine mapped to a 125-kb physical interval, and a C H zinc finger protein Awn Length Inhibitor 1 (ALI-1) was confirmed to be the underlying gene of the B1 locus through the functional complimentary test with native awnless allele. ALI-1 expresses predominantly in the developing spike of awnless individuals, transcriptionally suppressing downstream genes. ALI-1 reduces cytokinin content and simultaneously restrains cytokinin signal transduction, leading to a stagnation of cell proliferation and reduction of cell numbers during awn development. Polymorphisms of four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located in ALI-1 promoter region are diagnostic for the B1/b1 genotypes, and these SNPs are associated with awn length (AL), grain length (GL) and thousand-grain weight (TGW). More importantly, ali-1 was observed to increase grain length in wheat, which is a valuable attribute of awn on grain weight, aside from photosynthesis. Therefore, ALI-1 pleiotropically regulates awn and grain development, providing an alternative for grain yield improvement and addressing future climate changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tpj.14575DOI Listing
March 2020

Enhancing Genetic Gain through Genomic Selection: From Livestock to Plants.

Plant Commun 2020 Jan 16;1(1):100005. Epub 2019 Oct 16.

Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.

Although long-term genetic gain has been achieved through increasing use of modern breeding methods and technologies, the rate of genetic gain needs to be accelerated to meet humanity's demand for agricultural products. In this regard, genomic selection (GS) has been considered most promising for genetic improvement of the complex traits controlled by many genes each with minor effects. Livestock scientists pioneered GS application largely due to livestock's significantly higher individual values and the greater reduction in generation interval that can be achieved in GS. Large-scale application of GS in plants can be achieved by refining field management to improve heritability estimation and prediction accuracy and developing optimum GS models with the consideration of genotype-by-environment interaction and non-additive effects, along with significant cost reduction. Moreover, it would be more effective to integrate GS with other breeding tools and platforms for accelerating the breeding process and thereby further enhancing genetic gain. In addition, establishing an open-source breeding network and developing transdisciplinary approaches would be essential in enhancing breeding efficiency for small- and medium-sized enterprises and agricultural research systems in developing countries. New strategies centered on GS for enhancing genetic gain need to be developed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.xplc.2019.100005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7747995PMC
January 2020

Biologically effective dose (BED) of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) was an important factor of therapeutic efficacy in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (≤5 cm).

BMC Cancer 2019 Aug 28;19(1):846. Epub 2019 Aug 28.

Radiation Oncology Center, The Fifth Medical Center of PLA General Hospital (Beijing 302 Hospital), No. 100 Xi Si Huan Middle Road, Fengtai District, Beijing, 100039, China.

Background: To explore the association between biologically effective dose (BED) and survival rates in Child-Pugh A classification (CP-A) small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients treated with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT).

Methods: This retrospective study included 108 small HCC patients who were treated with SBRT between 2011 and 2014. The prescribed dose delivered to the tumor were 48Gy/8f, 49Gy/7f, 50Gy/5f and 54Gy/6f. The median biologically effective dose (BED) of the total prescribed dose was 100Gy (76.8-102.6Gy). Factors associated with the survival rate were examined using the Cox proportion hazards model, and the factors associated with radiation-induced liver injury (RILD) were examined by logistic regression analysis.

Results: For these patients, the median follow-up time was 42 months (6-77 months), and the 1-, 2- and 3-year overall survival (OS) rates were 96.3, 89.8 and 80.6%, respectively. The 1-, 2- and 3-year progression-free survival (PFS) rates were 85.2, 70.1 and 60.6%, respectively. The 1-, 2- and 3-year local control (LC) rates were 98.1, 96.2 and 95.1%, respectively. The 1-, 2- and 3-year distant metastasis- free survival (DMFS) rates were 86.1, 72.8 and 61.2%. The OS, PFS and DMFS were significantly higher in the BED ≥ 100Gy group than in the BED < 100Gy group (OS: p = 0.020; PFS: p = 0.017; DMFS: p = 0.012). The PLT count was a predictive factor of RILD.

Conclusions: SBRT is a safe and effective option for CP-A HCC patients. A BED value greater than 100Gy and lower CP score are associated with improved OS and PFS. Additionally, the peripheral PLT count are predictive factors of RILD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-019-6063-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6712687PMC
August 2019

A case report on mother-to-child transmission of Brucella in human, China.

BMC Infect Dis 2019 Jul 27;19(1):666. Epub 2019 Jul 27.

State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China.

Background: Human brucellosis is endemic in China and commonly occurs through contact with infected animals from working with livestock or consumption of unpasteurized dairy products. Although rare, human-to-human, and possible sexual transmission, of Brucella has been reported. In this report, we describe a case of likely mother-to-child transmission of Brucella in Hunan Province, China.

Case Presentation: Between June and October 2016, a 28-year old man sought care for testicular swelling and pain at several health facilities. His 26-year old wife developed intermittent fever along with right thigh and hip pain between November 2016 and February 2017 respectively. On April 5, 2017, the female patient delivered a male neonate at 34 weeks of gestation through natural labor. The child's venal blood sample was cultured on April 5, 2017. Brucella was isolated and identified on April 12, 2017. On the same date, serum antibodies of the father and mother were above 1:100 (based on the serum agglutination test [SAT]). The strains isolated from the mother and neonate were identified as Brucella melitensis biotype 1.

Conclusions: This report highlights a family cluster of brucellosis. Culture results strongly support mother-to-child transmission, and a high probability of sexual transmission from husband to wife.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-019-4302-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6661076PMC
July 2019

Effect of intermittent hypoxia or hyperoxia on lung development in preterm rat neonates during constant oxygen therapy.

J Cell Biochem 2019 10 27;120(10):17545-17554. Epub 2019 Jun 27.

The Second School of Clinical Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China.

Impaired lung development is a major negative factor in the survival of preterm neonates. The present study was aimed to investigate the impact of constant oxygen, intermittent hyperoxia, and hypoxia on the lung development in preterm rat neonates. Neonatal rats were exposed to 40% O with or without brief hyperoxia episodes (95% O ) or brief hypoxia episodes (10% O ) from day 0 to day 14, or to room air. The body weight, radical alveolar count (RAC), and total antioxidant capacity (TAOC) were significantly lower whereas the lung coefficient and malondialdehyde (MDA) were significantly higher in the hyperoxia and hypoxia groups than the air control and constant oxygen group at day 7, day 14, and day 21 after birth. The lung function indexes were reduced by intermittent hyperoxia and hypoxia. In contrast, the constant oxygen therapy increased the lung function. HIF-1α and VEGF expression were significantly increased by hypoxia and decreased by hyperoxia. The constant oxygen therapy only decreased the HIF-1α expression at day 14 and 21. In summary, the constant oxygen treatment promoted lung function without affecting the antioxidative capacity in preterm rat neonates. While intermittent hyperoxia and hypoxia inhibited lung development, decreased antioxidative capacity, and dysregulated HIF-1α/VEGF signaling in preterm rat neonates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcb.29019DOI Listing
October 2019

Unraveling the genetic architecture of grain size in einkorn wheat through linkage and homology mapping and transcriptomic profiling.

J Exp Bot 2019 09;70(18):4671-4688

State Key Laboratory of Plant Cell and Chromosome Engineering, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology/Innovation Academy of Seed Design, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

Understanding the genetic architecture of grain size is a prerequisite to manipulating grain development and improving the potential crop yield. In this study, we conducted a whole genome-wide quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping of grain-size-related traits by constructing a high-density genetic map using 109 recombinant inbred lines of einkorn wheat. We explored the candidate genes underlying QTLs through homologous analysis and RNA sequencing. The high-density genetic map spanned 1873 cM and contained 9937 single nucleotide polymorphism markers assigned to 1551 bins on seven chromosomes. Strong collinearity and high genome coverage of this map were revealed by comparison with physical maps of wheat and barley. Six grain size-related traits were surveyed in five environments. In total, 42 QTLs were identified; these were assigned to 17 genomic regions on six chromosomes and accounted for 52.3-66.7% of the phenotypic variation. Thirty homologous genes involved in grain development were located in 12 regions. RNA sequencing identified 4959 genes differentially expressed between the two parental lines. Twenty differentially expressed genes involved in grain size development and starch biosynthesis were mapped to nine regions that contained 26 QTLs, indicating that the starch biosynthesis pathway plays a vital role in grain development in einkorn wheat. This study provides new insights into the genetic architecture of grain size in einkorn wheat; identification of the underlying genes enables understanding of grain development and wheat genetic improvement. Furthermore, the map facilitates quantitative trait mapping, map-based cloning, genome assembly, and comparative genomics in wheat taxa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erz247DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6760303PMC
September 2019

Correlation between TSLP gene polymorphism and childhood asthma.

Panminerva Med 2020 03 8;62(1):65-67. Epub 2019 May 8.

Department of General, Zibo City Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, Zibo, China -

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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0031-0808.19.03631-0DOI Listing
March 2020

Congenital brucellosis in a Chinese preterm neonate: A case report.

J Int Med Res 2019 May 10;47(5):2296-2301. Epub 2019 Apr 10.

1 Children's Medical Centre, Hunan Provincial People's Hospital/The First Affiliated Hospital of Hunan Normal University, Changsha, Hunan, China.

Although extremely rare, congenital brucellosis can occur via perinatal transmission. We report a case of an infant born prematurely at 34-36 weeks' gestation who had pyrexia, shortness of breath, hepatosplenomegaly and thrombocytopenia. Blood cultures were positive for Gram-negative coccobacilli and Brucella infection was suspected. While, serological tests were negative for Brucella antibodies, B. melitensis infection was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Serology of the parents' blood confirmed the presence of Brucella. The family did not live in an endemic area but had ridden a camel 12 months before the pregnancy. The bacteria may have been sexually transmitted from father to mother and then to foetus via an intrauterine infection. In endemic areas or where the family has been in close contact with infected animals, brucellosis should be suspected in a severely ill neonate with an unknown infection. Thorough medical histories from the family are essential as early diagnosis and prompt therapy will almost certainly improve neonatal outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0300060519838921DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6567740PMC
May 2019

Strong and thermal-resistance glass fiber-reinforced polylactic acid (PLA) composites enabled by heat treatment.

Int J Biol Macromol 2019 May 4;129:448-459. Epub 2019 Feb 4.

Key Laboratory for Liquid-Solid Structural Evolution and Processing of Materials (Ministry of Education), Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong 250061, China. Electronic address:

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a biodegradable polymer derived from renewable resources, showing potentials in replacing traditional petroleum-based polymers, yet its brittleness and low thermal-resistance limits its applications. Thus, glass fibers (GF) combined with heat treatment were used to prepare high-performance PLA. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were employed to analyze crystallization behavior of PLA/GF composite. Tensile, flexural and impact tests were conducted to investigate mechanical properties, and heat deflection temperature was measured to evaluate thermal resistance. GF can coincidently enhance strength, rigidity, and toughness of PLA. Isothermal heat treatment can further improve the mechanical properties regardless of GF content. Compared with neat PLA, the tensile strength, flexural modulus, and impact strength can be increased by 162.5%, 266.4%, 232.5%, respectively, in the presence of 20 wt% GF after isothermal heat treatment, and meanwhile heat deflection temperature can be increased from 50.6 °C to 148.8 °C. Both DSC and XRD analysis results indicated that GF can significantly enhance crystallization of PLA. Thus, not only GF but also enhanced crystallization led to the outstanding mechanical performance of PLA/GF composites. While GF shows little effect on thermal resistance, heat treatment can remarkably improve thermal stability, in particular for PLA/GF composites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2019.02.020DOI Listing
May 2019

Genome-wide identification and expression analysis of new cytokinin metabolic genes in bread wheat ( L.).

PeerJ 2019 31;7:e6300. Epub 2019 Jan 31.

The State Key Laboratory of Plant Cell and Chromosome Engineering, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

Cytokinins (CKs) are involved in determining the final grain yield in wheat. Multiple gene families are responsible for the controlled production of CKs in plants, including isopentenyl transferases for synthesis, zeatin O-glucosyltransferases for reversible inactivation, β-glucosidases for reactivation, and CK oxidases/dehydrogenases for permanent degradation. Identifying and characterizing the genes of these families is an important step in furthering our understanding of CK metabolism. Using bioinformatics tools, we identified four new , four new , and 25 new genes in common wheat. All of the genes harbored the characteristic conserved domains of their respective gene families. We renamed genes on the basis of their true orthologs in rice and maize to remove inconsistencies in the nomenclature. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the early divergence of monocots from dicots, and the gene duplication event after speciation was obvious. Abscisic acid-, auxin-, salicylic acid-, sulfur-, drought- and light-responsive -regulatory elements were common to most of the genes under investigation. Expression profiling of CK metabolic gene families was carried out at the seedlings stage in AA genome donor of common wheat. Exogenous application of phytohormones (6-benzylaminopurine, salicylic acid, indole-3-acetic acid, gibberellic acid, and abscisic acid) for 3 h significantly upregulated the transcript levels of all four gene families, suggesting that plants tend to maintain CK stability. A 6-benzylaminopurine-specific maximum fold-change was observed for and in root and shoot tissues, respectively; however, the highest expression level was observed in the gene family, indicating that the reactivation of the dormant CK isoform is the quickest way to counter external stress. The identification of new CK metabolic genes provides the foundation for their in-depth functional characterization and for elucidating their association with grain yield.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.6300DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6360083PMC
January 2019

Synergistic effect and degradation mechanism on Fe-Ni/CNTs for removal of 2,4-dichlorophenol in aqueous solution.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2019 Mar 2;26(9):8768-8778. Epub 2019 Feb 2.

Key Laboratory of Mesoscopic Chemistry of MOE, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210023, People's Republic of China.

Fe-Ni bimetallic nanoparticles supported on CNTs (Fe-Ni/CNTs) were synthesized, characterized, and applied for removal of 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP) in aqueous solution. The removal performance was enhanced drastically on Fe-Ni/CNTs with respect to monometallic Fe/CNTs. The synergistic effect between Fe-Ni nanoparticles and CNTs has been studied in detail. The research results indicated that the doping of Ni played an important role in promoting the catalytic degradation of 2,4-DCP. And the presence of CNTs not only could effectively reduce the aggregation of nanoparticles but also facilitate the mass transfer of 2,4-DCP and the formation of active atomic hydrogen during the catalytic process. In addition, the removal kinetics of 2,4-DCP by Fe-Ni/CNTs were in agreement with a pseudo-first-order model, and the rate constants were dependent on a number of factors including the initial concentration of 2,4-DCP, the dosage of Fe-Ni/CNTs, pH value of the solution, and doping amount of Ni. The degradation mechanism involved the adsorption by CNTs and catalytic reduction by Fe under the stimulating of Ni, and the preferred dechlorination followed the order of para-Cl > ortho-Cl. The study confirmed that Fe-Ni/CNTs had a potential to be a promising catalytic material for removal of chlorophenol and had a great prospect for practical application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-04394-wDOI Listing
March 2019

UNC5D, suppressed by promoter hypermethylation, inhibits cell metastasis by activating death-associated protein kinase 1 in prostate cancer.

Cancer Sci 2019 Apr 20;110(4):1244-1255. Epub 2019 Feb 20.

Department of Laboratory, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Tianjin's Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Tianjin, China.

Prostate cancer (PCa) death primarily occurs due to metastasis of the cells, but little is known about the underlying molecular mechanisms. This study aimed to evaluate the expression of UNC5D, a newly identified tumor suppressor gene, analyze its epigenetic alterations, and elucidate its functional relevance to PCa metastasis. Meta-analysis of publicly available microarray datasets revealed that UNC5D expression was frequently downregulated in PCa tissues and inversely associated with PCa metastasis. These results were verified in clinical specimens by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry assays. Through methylation analysis, the downregulated expression of UNC5D in PCa tissues and cell lines was found to be attributable to the hypermethylation of the promoter. A negative correlation was observed between methylation and UNC5D mRNA expression in PCa samples. The ectopic expression of UNC5D in PCa cells effectively reduced their ability to migrate and invade both in vitro and in vivo, and siRNA-mediated knockdown of UNC5D yielded consistent results. UNC5D can recruit and activate death-associated protein kinase 1, which remained to be essential for its metastatic suppressor function. In conclusion, these results suggested that UNC5D as a novel putative metastatic suppressor gene that is commonly down-regulated by hypermethylation in PCa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cas.13935DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6447834PMC
April 2019