Publications by authors named "Cheng Lu"

888 Publications

Silver nanoparticles are effective in controlling microsporidia.

Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl 2021 Jun 17;125:112106. Epub 2021 Apr 17.

State Key Laboratory of Silkworm Genome Biology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400716, China; Key Laboratory of Sericultural Biology and Genetic Breeding, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Southwest University, Chongqing 400716, China. Electronic address:

Many approaches and technologies have been developed as treatments for microsporidian, infections but effective, broad-spectrum, and sustainable therapeutic approaches have not been found. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have antimicrobial activity and are widely used against many different pathogens. AgNPs provide an opportunity to develop formulations that will control microsporidia. In this study, we synthesized AgNPs via a chemical reduction method and evaluated their formation, morphology, and stability using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and ultraviolet spectroscopy analysis. We verified that AgNPs could disrupt the spore cell membrane and spore germination of microsporidia Nosema bombycis. This resulted in the release of microsporidia nucleic acids, proteins, and respiratory chain enzymes. The anti-microsporidia activity of AgNPs was studied by measuring the silkworm larvae survival rate and spore genome replication after microsporidia infection. AgNPs have anti-microsporidian activity and could be effective components of formulations for treating or preventing microsporidia infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2021.112106DOI Listing
June 2021

Simultaneous identification of contaminant sources and hydraulic conductivity field by combining geostatistics method with self-organizing maps algorithm.

J Contam Hydrol 2021 Apr 30;241:103815. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Key Laboratory of Agricultural Soil and Water Engineering in Arid and Semiarid Areas, Ministry of Education, Northwest A&F University, Xianyang, China.

In the contaminant remediation of groundwater, the release history of contaminant sources and hydraulic conductivity field are two key parameters that need to know, but their actual values are difficult to obtain and can only be inversely identified by limited measured data. However, the process of solving the inverse problem needs to repeatedly call the forward model of contaminant transport, which is very time-consuming, especially for the high-dimensional inverse problems. In this study, based on the training data generated from a prior range of parameters (the release strength of contaminant sources and hydraulic conductivity at pilot points), the self-organizing maps (SOM) algorithm was employed to construct the surrogate model for the numerical model of contaminant transport in a simplified hypothetical aquifer, then the surrogate model was used to retrieve jointly the contaminant strength of sources and the hydraulic conductivity at pilot points, and the Kriging method of geostatistics was further used to process the estimated K-values at pilot points to obtain the hydraulic conductivity field. Also, to investigate the ability of the SOM-based surrogate model for retrieving both contaminant source strengths and hydraulic conductivity, we gradually expanded the prior range and increased the number of inversion terms in each prior range. Moreover, the robustness of the SOM-based surrogate model for inversion was illustrated by proposing the scarcity of data and different degrees of measurement error in the limited actual observation data. When the actual observation data is reduced by 2/3, the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) of retrieving source strengths and hydraulic conductivity at pilot points are 1.07 and 0.09, respectively. The results indicated the SOM-based surrogate model shows remarkable inversion precision and robustness, and an accurate estimation of the actual hydraulic conductivity field could be obtained by the Kriging method based on that.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jconhyd.2021.103815DOI Listing
April 2021

Insights into the Structures and Bonding of Medium-Sized Cerium-Doped Boron Clusters.

J Phys Chem A 2021 May 7. Epub 2021 May 7.

School of Mathematics and Physics, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Wuhan 430074, China.

Since the discovery of metal-doped boron clusters attracted great significance to create a new class of materials, research interests have been directed to chemical bonding and structural evolution of lanthanide boride clusters. Here, we perform an extensive ground-state structure search for the CeB and CeB clusters in the size range from 9 to 18 using the Crystal structure AnaLYsis by Particle Swarm Optimization method and density functional theory optimization. It is found that the ground-state structures in both neutral and anionic series possess half-sandwich geometry. The host boron moiety in neutral series has a tendency to form borophene-like geometry. The pentagonal and hexagonal holes are more common in the larger anionic CeB series. The theoretical photoelectron spectroscopy has been simulated by applying time-dependent density functional theory calculations. The neutral CeB cluster is identified as a magic cluster on the basis of its robust relative stability with respect to its neighbors. Electronic structure and chemical bonding analyses reveal that the CeB cluster possesses a large HOMO-LUMO gap and enhanced stability with strong delocalized π and δ bonding via interactions between the Ce 5d- and B 2p-AOs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpca.1c02148DOI Listing
May 2021

Fol-milR1, a pathogenicity factor of Fusarium oxysporum, confers tomato wilt disease resistance by impairing host immune responses.

New Phytol 2021 May 7. Epub 2021 May 7.

College of Horticulture and Plant Protection, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, JS, 225009, China.

Although miRNAs are well known to play crucial roles in multiple biological processes, there is currently no evidence indicating milRNAs from Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lycopersici (Fol) interfere with tomato resistance during infection. Here, using sRNA-seq, we demonstrate that Fol-milR1, a trans-kingdom small RNA, is exported into tomato cells after infection. The knockout strain ∆Fol-milR1 displays attenuated pathogenicity to the susceptible tomato cultivar Moneymaker. On the other hand, Fol-milR1 overexpression strains exhibit enhanced virulence against the resistant cultivar Motelle. Several tomato mRNAs are predicted targets of Fol-milR1. Among these genes, Solyc06g007430 (encoding the CBL-interacting protein kinase, SlyFRG4) is regulated at the posttranscriptional level by Fol-milR1. Furthermore, SlyFRG4 loss-of-function alleles created using CRISPR/Cas9 in tomato (Motelle) exhibit enhanced disease susceptibility to Fol, further supporting that SlyFRG4 is essential for tomato wilt disease resistance. Notably, our results using immunoprecipitation with specific antiserum suggest that Fol-milR1 interferes with the host immunity machinery by binding to tomato ARGONAUTE 4a (SlyAGO4a). Furthermore, VIGS knock-down SlyAGO4a plants exhibit reduced susceptibility to Fol. Together, our findings support a model in which Fol-milR1 is a sRNA fungal effector that suppresses host immunity by silencing a disease resistance gene, thus providing a novel virulence strategy to achieve infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.17436DOI Listing
May 2021

Genes That Predict Poor Prognosis in Breast Cancer via Bioinformatical Analysis.

Biomed Res Int 2021 17;2021:6649660. Epub 2021 Apr 17.

Department of Breast, Women's Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital, Nanjing 210004, China.

Background: Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers all over the world, and it is now the leading cause of cancer death among females. The aim of this study was to find DEGs (differentially expressed genes) which can predict poor prognosis in breast cancer and be effective targets for breast cancer patients via bioinformatical analysis.

Methods: GSE86374, GSE5364, and GSE70947 were chosen from the GEO database. DEGs between breast cancer tissues and normal breast tissues were picked out by GEO2R and Venn diagram software. Then, DAVID (Database for Annotation, Visualization, and Integrated Discovery) was used to analyze these DEGs in gene ontology (GO) including molecular function (MF), cellular component (CC), and biological process (BP) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Gene and Genome (KEGG) pathway. Next, STRING (Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes) was used to investigate potential protein-protein interaction (PPI) relationships among DEGs and these DEGs were analyzed by Molecular Complex Detection (MCODE) in Cytoscape. After that, UALCAN, GEPIA (gene expression profiling interactive analysis), and KM (Kaplan-Meier plotter) were used for the prognostic information and core genes were qualified.

Results: There were 96 upregulated genes and 98 downregulated genes in this study. 55 upregulated genes were selected as hub genes in the PPI network. For validation in UALCAN, GEPIA, and KM, 5 core genes (, , , , and ) were found to highly expressed in breast cancer tissues with poor prognosis. They differentially expressed between different subclasses of breast cancer.

Conclusion: These five genes (, , , , and ) could be potential targets for therapy in breast cancer and prediction of prognosis on the basis of bioinformatical analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/6649660DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8075678PMC
April 2021

Bottom-Up (Cu, Ag, Au)/AlO/BiTe Assembled Thermoelectric Heterostructures.

Micromachines (Basel) 2021 Apr 22;12(5). Epub 2021 Apr 22.

National Key Laboratory of Science and Technology on Micro-Nano Fabrication, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China.

The interface affects the transmission behavior of electrons and phonons, which in turn determines the performance of thermoelectric materials. In this paper, metals (Cu, Ag, Au)/AlO/BiTe heterostructures have been fabricated from bottom to up to optimize the thermoelectric power factor. The introducing metals can be alloyed with BiTe or form interstitials or dopants to adjust the carrier concentration and mobility. In addition, the metal-semiconductor interface as well as the metal-insulator-semiconductor interface constructed by the introduced metal and AlO would further participate in the regulation of the carrier transport process. By adjusting the metal and oxide layer, it is possible to realize the simultaneous optimization of electric conductivity and Seebeck coefficient. This work will enable the optimal and novel design of heterostructures for thermoelectric materials with further improved performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/mi12050480DOI Listing
April 2021

Transcriptomics-based analysis of the mechanism by which Wang-Bi capsule alleviates joint destruction in rats with collagen-induced arthritis.

Chin Med 2021 Apr 12;16(1):31. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Institute of Basic Research in Clinical Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, 100700, China.

Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease accompanied with joint destruction that often leads to disability. Wang-Bi capsule (WB), a traditional Chinese medicine-based herbs formula, has exhibited inhibition effect on joint destruction of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) animal model in our previous study. But its molecular mechanisms are still obscure.

Methods: CIA rats were treated intragastrical with WB for eight weeks, and the effect of joints protection were evaluated by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining, safranin O fast green staining, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining and micro‑CT scanning analysis. The transcriptomic of tarsal joints were used to investigate how WB alleviated joint destruction.

Results: The histological examination of ankle joints showed WB alleviated both cartilage damage and bone destruction of CIA rats. This protective effect on joints were further evidenced by micro-CT analysis. The transcriptomic analysis showed that WB prominently changed 12 KEGG signaling pathways ("calcium signaling pathway", "cAMP signaling pathway", "cell adhesion molecules", "chemokine signaling pathway", "complement and coagulation cascades", "MAPK signaling pathway", "NF-kappa B signaling pathway", "osteoclast differentiation", "PI3K-Akt signaling pathway", "focal adhesion", "Gap junction" and "Rap1 signaling pathway") associated with bone or cartilage. Several genes (including Il6, Tnfsf11, Ffar2, Plg, Tnfrsf11b, Fgf4, Fpr1, Siglec1, Vegfd, Cldn1, Cxcl13, Chad, Arrb2, Fgf9, Egfr) regulating bone resorption, bone formation and cartilage development were identified by further analysis. Meanwhile, these differentially expressed genes were validated by real-time quantitative PCR.

Conclusions: Overall, the protective effect of WB treatment on joint were confirmed in CIA rats, and its basic molecular mechanisms may be associated with regulating some genes (including Il6, Tnfsf11, Ffar2 and Plg etc.) involved in bone resorption, bone formation and cartilage development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13020-021-00439-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8042720PMC
April 2021

Transcriptome analysis reveals changes in silkworm energy metabolism during Nosema bombycis infection.

Pestic Biochem Physiol 2021 May 27;174:104809. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

State Key Laboratory of Silkworm Genome Biology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400716, China; Key Laboratory of Sericultural Biology and Genetic Breeding, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Chongqing 400716, China. Electronic address:

Energy metabolism is important for the proliferation of microsporidia in infected host cells, but there is limited information on the host response. The energy metabolism response of silkworm (Bombyx mori) to microsporidia may help manage Nosema bombycis infections. We analyzed differentially expressed genes in the B.mori midgut transcriptome at two significant time points of microsporidia infection. A total of 1448 genes were up-regulated, while 315 genes were down-regulated. A high proportion of genes were involved in the phosphatidylinositol signaling system, protein processing in the endoplasmic reticulum, and glycerolipid metabolism at 48 h post infection (h p.i.), and a large number of genes were involved in the TCA cycle and protein processing at 120 h p.i. These results showed that the early stages of microsporidia infection affected the basic metabolism and biosynthesis processes of the silkworm. Knockout of Bm_nscaf2860_46 (Bombyx mori isocitrate dehydrogenase, BmIDH) and Bm_nscaf3027_062 (Bombyx mori hexokinase, BmHXK) reduced the production of ATP and inhibited microsporidia proliferation. Host fatty acid degradation, glycerol metabolism, glycolysis pathway, and TCA cycle response to microsporidia infection were also analyzed, and their importance to microsporidia proliferation was verified. These results increase our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in N. bombycis infection and provide new insights for research on microsporidia control. IMPORTANCE: Nosema bombycis can be vertically transmitted in silkworm eggs. The traditional prevention and control strategies for microsporidia are difficult and time-consuming, and this is a problem in silkworm culture. Research has mainly focused on host gene functions related to microsporidia infection and host immune responses after microsporidia infection. Little is known about the metabolic changes occurring in the host after infection. Understanding the metabolic changes in the silkworm host could aid in the recognition of host genes important for microsporidia infection and growth. We analyzed host metabolic changes and the main participating pathways at two time points after microsporidia infection and screened the microsporidia-dependent host energy metabolism genes BmIDH and BmHXK. The results revealed genes that are important for the proliferation of Nosema bombycis. These results illustrate how microsporidia hijack the host genome for their growth and reproduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pestbp.2021.104809DOI Listing
May 2021

Efficacy and safety of methylprednisolone against acute respiratory distress syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2021 Apr;100(14):e25408

Intensive Care Unit, Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.

Background: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is caused by an inflammatory injury to the lung. Dysregulated inflammation is the cardinal feature of ARDS. Methylprednisolone is an option for treating ARDS. However, the benefits and adverse effects of methylprednisolone have not been well assessed in patients with ARDS. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of methylprednisolone against ARDS.

Material And Methods: The electronic database of Embase, PubMed, the Cochrane Library, CNKI, and Wanfang were searched, and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reporting the efficacy and safety of methylprednisolone for ARDS were included. Revman 5.3 and Stata 15.0 were used to conduct the analysis. The fixed-effects model was used to calculate summary odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence interval (CIs).

Results: Ten RCTs studies involving 692 patients with ARDS. The summary results demonstrated that, compared with placebo, methylprednisolone had a statistically significant effect on mortality (OR = 0.64; 95% CI: 0.43-0.95, I2 = 42%); the time of mechanical ventilation (MD) = -2.70, 95% CI: -3.31 to -2.10; I2 = 0%) in patients with ARDS, but it was not associated with increased rates of adverse events (OR = 0.80; 95% CI: 0.34-1.86; I2 = 58%).

Conclusions: This systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrated that Methylprednisolone is safe against ARDS. It may reduce mortality and shorten the time of mechanical ventilation. However, well-designed and large-sample studies were required to fully characterize the efficacy and safety of methylprednisolone against ARDS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000025408DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8036107PMC
April 2021

WTAP promotes myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury by increasing endoplasmic reticulum stress via regulating mA modification of ATF4 mRNA.

Aging (Albany NY) 2021 Mar 26;13(8):11135-11149. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Department of Cardiology, Seventh People's Hospital of Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200137, China.

Myocardial infarction (MI) is one of the leading causes of death. Wilms' tumor 1-associating protein (WTAP), one of the components of the mA methyltransferase complex, has been shown to affect gene expression via regulating mRNA modification. Although WTAP has been implicated in various diseases, its role in MI is unclear. In this study, we found that hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) time-dependently increased WTAP expression, which in turn promoted endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and apoptosis, in human cardiomyocytes (AC16). H/R effects on ER stress and apoptosis were all blocked by silencing of WTAP, promoted by WTAP overexpression, and ameliorated by administration of ER stress inhibitor, 4-PBA. We then investigated the underlying molecular mechanism and found that WTAP affected mA methylation of ATF4 mRNA to regulate its expression, and that the inhibitory effects of WTAP on ER stress and apoptosis were ATF4 dependent. Finally, WTAP's effects on myocardial I/R injury were confirmed . WTAP promoted myocardial I/R injury through promoting ER stress and cell apoptosis by regulating mA modification of ATF4 mRNA. These findings highlight the importance of WTAP in I/R injury and provide new insights into therapeutic strategies for MI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.202770DOI Listing
March 2021

Clinical safety of total glucosides of paeony adjuvant therapy for rheumatoid arthritis treatment: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

BMC Complement Med Ther 2021 Mar 26;21(1):102. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Institute of Basic Research in Clinical Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.

Background: Total glucosides of paeony (TGP), an active compound extracted from the roots of Paeonia lactiflora Pallas, has been increasingly used as the adjunctive therapy for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Though TGP could mitigate the unanticipated adverse effects during the conventional treatment of RA, high-quality evidence-based meta-analysis data on this subject are still insufficient. The objective of this study is to evaluate the clinical safety of TGP adjuvant therapy in the RA treatment.

Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, China Network Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), SinoMed and WanFang Data were retrieved for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and cohort study about TGP adjuvant therapy in patients with RA up to 28 January 2021. Literatures with eligibility criteria and information were screened and extracted by two researchers independently. The RevMan5.3 software was used for data analysis with effect estimates as risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI).

Results: A total of 39 studies involving 3680 RA participants were included. There were 8 comparisons: TGP plus methotrexate (MTX) therapy versus MTX therapy, TGP plus leflunomide (LEF) therapy versus LEF therapy, TGP plus MTX and LEF therapy versus MTX plus LEF therapy, TGP plus tripterygium glycosides (TG) therapy versus TG therapy, TGP plus meloxicam (MLX) therapy versus MLX therapy and TGP plus sulfasalazine (SSZ) therapy versus SSZ therapy, TGP plus iguratimod (IGU) therapy versus IGU therapy, TGP plus prednisone acetate tablets (PAT) therapy versus PAT therapy. The meta-analysis results showed that the occurrence of hepatic adverse effect (RR = 0.31, 95% CI = 0.23-0.41, P < 0.00001) and leukopenia (RR = 0.41, 95% CI = 0.26-0.66, P = 0.0002) in TGP adjuvant therapy was significant decreased compared with non-TGP therapy. However, only TGP plus LEF therapy (RR = 0.22, 95% CI = 0.08-0.60, P = 0.003) and TGP plus MTX and LEF therapy (RR = 0.31, 95% CI = 0.22-0.42, P < 0.00001) had statistical difference in the subgroups of hepatic adverse effect. In leukopenia, TGP plus MTX and LEF therapy (RR = 0.47, 95% CI = 0.25-0.87, P = 0.02) had statistical difference.

Conclusions: This meta-analysis indicated that TGP adjuvant therapy might alleviate the incidence of hepatic adverse effect and leukopenia for the RA treatment compared to non-TGP therapy. The clinical safety of TGP adjuvant therapy warrant further investigation in experimental studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12906-021-03252-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8004450PMC
March 2021

[Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Surface Soil of China (2000-2020): Temporal and Spatial Distribution, Influencing Factors].

Huan Jing Ke Xue 2021 Mar;42(3):1065-1072

Technical Centre for Soil, Agriculture and Rural Ecology and Environment, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Beijing 100012, China.

With the rapid development of China's economy and society, the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) pollution of surface soil has attracted increasing attention. Based on a systematic review, this study identified 166 relevant papers (published from 2000 to 2020) dealing with the contamination of 16 PAHs in the surface soil of China and summarized the pollution level, temporal, and spatial distribution influencing factors of PAHs with statistics, spatial interpolation analysis, and source analysis methods. The results showed that the surface soil of China has been polluted by human-caused PAHs, with a median concentration of 675.70 μg·kg. Although the overall condition is good, some sampling points have been seriously polluted. Among the monomers of PAHs, the concentrations of fluoranthene (Fla) and pyrene (Pyr) are high, while acenaphthylene (Acy) and acenaphthene (Ace) are relatively low. During the survey period, the concentration data of surface soil PAHs are generally within the moderate pollution levels of 313.10-1070.45 μg·kg, while the annual changes of PAHs do not show obvious fluctuations and are less affected by oil production and consumption. Statistics and spatial interpolation results show that PAH pollution in the surface soil of China has regional characteristics, where the concentration decreases in order from northwest, north, east, northeast, southwest, and south-central China. The pollution level in most provinces is "contaminated" or "weakly contaminated." From the source analysis results, PAH pollution in surface soils in most areas of China comes from the high-temperature combustion of fossil fuels such as petroleum, biomass, and coal. Heilongjiang and some northwestern regions (e.g., Xinjiang and Tibet) were mainly represented by oil source pollution. Such results could provide a reference for soil environmental management and PAH pollution control in China.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13227/j.hjkx.202010190DOI Listing
March 2021

Insights into the Microstructures and Energy Levels of Pr-Doped YAlO Scintillating Crystals.

Inorg Chem 2021 Mar 19. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

School of Physics and Mechanical & Electrical Engineering, Hubei University of Education, Wuhan 430205, China.

Trivalent praseodymium (Pr)-doped materials have been extensively used in high-resolution laser spectroscopy, owing to their outstanding conversion efficiencies of plentiful transitions in the visible laser region. However, to clarify the microstructure and energy transfer mechanism of Pr-doped host crystals is a challenging topic. In this work, the stable structures of Pr-doped yttrium orthoaluminate (YAlO) have been widely searched based on the CALYPSO method. A novel monoclinic structure with the group symmetry is successfully identified. The Pr impurity can precisely occupy the Y position and get incorporated into the YAlO (YAP) host crystal with a Pr concentration of 6.25%. The result of the electronic band structure reveals a 3.62 eV band gap, which suggests a semiconductor character of YAP:Pr. Using our developed well-established parametrization matrix diagonalization (WEPMD) method, we have systematically analyzed the energy level scheme and proposed a set of newly improved parameters. Additionally, the energy transfer mechanism of YAP:Pr is clarified by deciphering the numerical electric dipole and magnetic dipole transitions. The popular red emission at 653 nm is assigned to the transition P → F, while the transition P → H with a large branching ratio is predicted to be a good laser channel. Many promising emission lines for laser actions are also obtained in the visible light region. Our results not only provide important insights into the energy transfer mechanisms of rare-earth ion-doped materials but also pave the way for the implementation of new types of laser devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.inorgchem.1c00021DOI Listing
March 2021

First-Order Correction of Statistical Significance for Screening Two-Way Epistatic Interactions.

Authors:
Lu Cheng Mu Zhu

Methods Mol Biol 2021 ;2212:181-190

University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

If one uses data to identify the most likely epistatic interaction between two genetic units, and then tests if the identified interaction is associated with a phenotype, the nominal statistical evidence will be inflated. Corrections are available but computationally expensive for genome-wide studies. We provide a first-order correction that can be applied in practice with essentially no additional computational cost.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-0716-0947-7_12DOI Listing
April 2021

Drug-Metabolizing Cytochrome P450 Enzymes Have Multifarious Influences on Treatment Outcomes.

Clin Pharmacokinet 2021 Mar 16. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

School of Chinese Materia Medica, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, 100029, China.

Drug metabolism is a critical process for the removal of unwanted substances from the body. In humans, approximately 80% of oxidative metabolism and almost 50% of the overall elimination of commonly used drugs can be attributed to one or more of various cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes from CYP families 1-3. In addition to the basic metabolic effects for elimination, CYP enzymes in vivo are capable of affecting the treatment outcomes in many cases. Drug-metabolizing CYP enzymes are mainly expressed in the liver and intestine, the two principal drug oxidation and elimination organs, where they can significantly influence the drug action, safety, and bioavailability by mediating phase I metabolism and first-pass metabolism. Furthermore, CYP-mediated local drug metabolism in the sites of action may also have the potential to impact drug response, according to the literature in recent years. This article underlines the ability of CYP enzymes to influence treatment outcomes by discussing CYP-mediated diversified drug metabolism in primary metabolic sites (liver and intestine) and typical action sites (brain and tumors) according to their expression levels and metabolic activity. Moreover, intrinsic and extrinsic factors of personal differential CYP phenotypes that contribute to interindividual variation of treatment outcomes are also reviewed to introduce the multifarious pivotal role of CYP-mediated metabolism and clearance in drug therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40262-021-01001-5DOI Listing
March 2021

Indentation Strengths of Zirconium Diboride: Intrinsic versus Extrinsic Mechanisms.

J Phys Chem Lett 2021 Mar 15;12(11):2848-2853. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154, United States.

Zirconium diboride (ZrB) is an important ultra-high-temperature ceramic, which exhibits outstanding mechanical properties and is widely used in extreme environments. Extensive experimental studies, however, have found that synthesized ZrB specimens show widely scattered indentation hardness values ranging from 8.7 to 26 GPa. We have performed comprehensive stress-strain calculations of ZrB to explore its structural and stress responses and found that ZrB possesses an intrinsic indentation strength of 32.7 GPa, which is on par with those of other transition-metal borides that exhibit higher indentation hardness values of ∼30 GPa. This result suggests that large variations in measured hardness are driven by extrinsic factors, and an analysis of available experimental data indicates that the quality of the crystallinity of specimens holds the key to realizing improved hardness corresponding to the predicted intrinsic indentation strength. These findings offer insights into the origin of the previously reported lower hardness values of ZrB and raise the prospects of achieving superior strengths in well-crystallized ZrB that approach or match those of other ultrahard transition-metal compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpclett.1c00434DOI Listing
March 2021

Efficient and bright warm-white electroluminescence from lead-free metal halides.

Nat Commun 2021 Mar 3;12(1):1421. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Key Laboratory of Flexible Electronics (KLOFE) & Institute of Advanced Materials (IAM), Nanjing Tech University (NanjingTech), Nanjing, China.

Solution-processed metal-halide perovskites are emerging as one of the most promising materials for displays, lighting and energy generation. Currently, the best-performing perovskite optoelectronic devices are based on lead halides and the lead toxicity severely restricts their practical applications. Moreover, efficient white electroluminescence from broadband-emission metal halides remains a challenge. Here we demonstrate efficient and bright lead-free LEDs based on cesium copper halides enabled by introducing an organic additive (Tween, polyethylene glycol sorbitan monooleate) into the precursor solutions. We find the additive can reduce the trap states, enhancing the photoluminescence quantum efficiency of the metal halide films, and increase the surface potential, facilitating the hole injection and transport in the LEDs. Consequently, we achieve warm-white LEDs reaching an external quantum efficiency of 3.1% and a luminance of 1570 cd m at a low voltage of 5.4 V, showing great promise of lead-free metal halides for solution-processed white LED applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21638-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7930043PMC
March 2021

Sorghum breeding in the genomic era: opportunities and challenges.

Theor Appl Genet 2021 Mar 2. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Key Laboratory of Plant Resources, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100093, China.

Key Message: The importance and potential of the multi-purpose crop sorghum in global food security have not yet been fully exploited, and the integration of the state-of-art genomics and high-throughput technologies into breeding practice is required. Sorghum, a historically vital staple food source and currently the fifth most important major cereal, is emerging as a crop with diverse end-uses as food, feed, fuel and forage and a model for functional genetics and genomics of tropical grasses. Rapid development in high-throughput experimental and data processing technologies has significantly speeded up sorghum genomic researches in the past few years. The genomes of three sorghum lines are available, thousands of genetic stocks accessible and various genetic populations, including NAM, MAGIC, and mutagenised populations released. Functional and comparative genomics have elucidated key genetic loci and genes controlling agronomical and adaptive traits. However, the knowledge gained has far away from being translated into real breeding practices. We argue that the way forward is to take a genome-based approach for tailored designing of sorghum as a multi-functional crop combining excellent agricultural traits for various end uses. In this review, we update the new concepts and innovation systems in crop breeding and summarise recent advances in sorghum genomic researches, especially the genome-wide dissection of variations in genes and alleles for agronomically important traits. Future directions and opportunities for sorghum breeding are highlighted to stimulate discussion amongst sorghum academic and industrial communities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00122-021-03789-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7924314PMC
March 2021

Computerized tumor multinucleation index (MuNI) is prognostic in p16+ oropharyngeal carcinoma.

J Clin Invest 2021 04;131(8)

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

BACKGROUNDPatients with p16+ oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) are potentially cured with definitive treatment. However, there are currently no reliable biomarkers of treatment failure for p16+ OPSCC. Pathologist-based visual assessment of tumor cell multinucleation (MN) has been shown to be independently prognostic of disease-free survival (DFS) in p16+ OPSCC. However, its quantification is time intensive, subjective, and at risk of interobserver variability.METHODSWe present a deep-learning-based metric, the multinucleation index (MuNI), for prognostication in p16+ OPSCC. This approach quantifies tumor MN from digitally scanned H&E-stained slides. Representative H&E-stained whole-slide images from 1094 patients with previously untreated p16+ OPSCC were acquired from 6 institutions for optimization and validation of the MuNI.RESULTSThe MuNI was prognostic for DFS, overall survival (OS), or distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) in p16+ OPSCC, with HRs of 1.78 (95% CI: 1.37-2.30), 1.94 (1.44-2.60), and 1.88 (1.43-2.47), respectively, independent of age, smoking status, treatment type, or tumor and lymph node (T/N) categories in multivariable analyses. The MuNI was also prognostic for DFS, OS, and DMFS in patients with stage I and stage III OPSCC, separately.CONCLUSIONMuNI holds promise as a low-cost, tissue-nondestructive, H&E stain-based digital biomarker test for counseling, treatment, and surveillance of patients with p16+ OPSCC. These data support further confirmation of the MuNI in prospective trials.FUNDINGNational Cancer Institute (NCI), NIH; National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, NIH; National Center for Research Resources, NIH; VA Merit Review Award from the US Department of VA Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development Service; US Department of Defense (DOD) Breast Cancer Research Program Breakthrough Level 1 Award; DOD Prostate Cancer Idea Development Award; DOD Lung Cancer Investigator-Initiated Translational Research Award; DOD Peer-Reviewed Cancer Research Program; Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation Fund; Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Program in the Department of Biomedical Engineering; Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program, Case Western Reserve University; NCI Cancer Center Support Grant, NIH; Career Development Award from the US Department of VA Clinical Sciences Research and Development Program; Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center Support Grant, NIH; and Computational Genomic Epidemiology of Cancer Program, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH, the US Department of VA, the DOD, or the US Government.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI145488DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8075166PMC
April 2021

Halide Homogenization for High-Performance Blue Perovskite Electroluminescence.

Research (Wash D C) 2020 24;2020:9017871. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

Key Laboratory of Flexible Electronics (KLOFE) & Institute of Advanced Materials (IAM), Nanjing Tech University (NanjingTech), 30 South Puzhu Road, Nanjing 211816, China.

Metal halide perovskite light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have achieved great progress in recent years. However, bright and spectrally stable blue perovskite LED remains a significant challenge. Three-dimensional mixed-halide perovskites have potential to achieve high brightness electroluminescence, but their emission spectra are unstable as a result of halide phase separation. Here, we reveal that there is already heterogeneous distribution of halides in the as-deposited perovskite films, which can trace back to the nonuniform mixture of halides in the precursors. By simply introducing cationic surfactants to improve the homogeneity of the halides in the precursor solution, we can overcome the phase segregation issue and obtain spectrally stable single-phase blue-emitting perovskites. We demonstrate efficient blue perovskite LEDs with high brightness, e.g., luminous efficacy of 4.7, 2.9, and 0.4 lm W and luminance of over 37,000, 9,300, and 1,300 cd m for sky blue, blue, and deep blue with Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage (CIE) coordinates of (0.068, 0.268), (0.091, 0.165), and (0.129, 0.061), respectively, suggesting real promise of perovskites for LED applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.34133/2020/9017871DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7877380PMC
December 2020

DIA-based proteome reveals the involvement of cuticular proteins and lipids in the wing structure construction in the silkworm.

J Proteomics 2021 04 18;238:104155. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

State Key Laboratory of Silkworm Genome Biology, Key Laboratory of Sericultural Biology and Genetic Breeding, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China. Electronic address:

Wing discs of Bombyx mori (B. mori) are transformed into wings during metamorphosis via dramatic morphological and structural changes. Mutations in genes related to the wings cause the adults to have altered wing shapes or abnormal wing colour. At present, there are more than 20 wing mutants recorded in the silkworm. However, the key factors that influence B. mori wing development are still unclear. Here, we used the strains +/+ and Wes/+ that are typical for the normal wing and shriveled wing phenotypes, respectively, to identify differentially expressed proteins by label-free data-independent acquisition (DIA). Ten enriched GO terms and 9 KEGG pathways were identified based on the 3993 proteins in the wings. Among the identified and quantified proteins, 370 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) were detected (P-value <0.01, |log2FC| > 0.58). Mapping of the DEPs to the reference canonical pathways in KEGG showed that the top 20% of the pathways were related to fatty acid, cutin, suberin and wax biosynthesis, protein processing in endoplasmic reticulum, protein export, etc. Of the 370 DEPs, 238 were down-regulated, and 132 were up-regulated of Wes/+ compared with +/+. Numerous cuticular proteins were down-regulated, and fatty metabolism enzymes were up-regulated, in Wes/+ compared with +/+. SIGNIFICANCE: The comparative analysis of proteomes suggested that cuticular proteins and fatty metabolism enzymes are the main abnormally expressed proteins in the pupal wings of Wes/+, leading to curly and shrunken wings after moth transformation. Our results also identify the substances affecting the development of silkworm wings from the perspective of proteins. The information from this study is important for further research on the molecular mechanisms of wing development in lepidopteran insects, and these differentially expressed genes may be targets for Lepidoptera pest control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jprot.2021.104155DOI Listing
April 2021

EFEMP1 Overexpression Contributes to Neovascularization in Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

Front Pharmacol 2020 15;11:547436. Epub 2021 Jan 15.

Shanghai Key Laboratory of Ocular Fundus Diseases, Department of Ophthalmology, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University, National Clinical Research Center for Eye Diseases, Shanghai Engineering Center for Visual Science and Photomedicine, Shanghai Engineering Center for Precise Diagnosis and Treatment of Eye Diseases, Shanghai, China.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of blindness, and choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in AMD can lead to serious visual impairment. Gene expression profiling of human ocular tissues have a great potential to reveal the pathophysiology of AMD. This study aimed to identify novel molecular biomarkers and gene expression signatures of AMD. We analyzed transcriptome profiles in retinal-choroid tissues derived from donor patients with AMD in comparison with those from healthy controls using a publicly available dataset (GSE29801). We focused on the EFEMP1 gene, which was found to be differentially upregulated in AMD, especially in wet AMD eyes. Serological validation analysis was carried out to verify the expression of EFEMP1 in 39 wet AMD patients and 39 age- and gender-matched cataract controls, using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We then investigated the role of EFEMP1 in angiogenesis through experiments involving EFEMP1 overexpression (OE) and knockdown in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). An increase in EFEMP1 expression was observed in the retinal-choroid tissues of eyes with AMD, which was more significant in wet AMD than in dry AMD. In addition, there was a significant increase in serum fibulin-3 (EFEMP1 encoded protein) concentration in patients with wet AMD compared with that in the controls. Tube formation and proliferation of EFEMP1-OE HUVECs increased significantly, whereas those of EFEMP1 knockdown HUVECs decreased significantly compared with those of the control. Additional extracellular fibulin-3 treatments did not increase tube formation and proliferation of wildtype and EFEMP1 knockdown HUVECs, indicating that the proangiogenic properties of EFEMP1 are of cell origin. We also found that vascular endothelial growth factor expression in HUVECs was upregulated by EFEMP1 overexpression and downregulated by EFEMP1 knockdown. Our findings demonstrate EFEMP1 as a novel biomarker for CNV in AMD, providing a new target for the development of wet AMD-directed pharmaceuticals and diagnostics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.547436DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7874111PMC
January 2021

[Quchi (LI 11) for treatment of allergic diseases based on coincidence of key therapeutic characteristics of acupoints and pathogenesis of allergic diseases].

Zhongguo Zhen Jiu 2021 Jan;41(1):81-4

Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Dongzhimen Hospital, Beijing University of CM, Beijing 100701, China.

According to the etiology, allergic diseases are related to wind and heat; according to the pathogenesis, most of allergic diseases are -blood diseases; from the theory of , allergic diseases are closely related to the depressed heat of and stomach-intestine, and the common elements of the pathogenesis of allergic diseases are wind, heat, , blood and . With reviewing the ancient literature and modern research, the key therapeutic effect of Quchi (LI 11) and its special treatment effect on allergic diseases are summarized. It is suggested that the key therapeutic characteristics of Quchi (LI 11), including dispelling the wind, clearing the heat, cooling the blood and regulating stomach-intestine function, are in accordance with the common causes and pathogenesis of allergic diseases. Therefore, Quchi (LI 11) is considered an important acupoint for the treatment of allergic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13703/j.0255-2930.20200226-0005DOI Listing
January 2021

Influence of Aeration Microporous Aperture on Oxygen Mass Transfer Efficiency in Terms of Bubble Motion Flow Field.

ACS Omega 2021 Feb 19;6(4):2790-2799. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

Institute of Water Resources and Hydro-electric Engineering, Xi'an University of Technology, Xi'an 710048, China.

Microporous aeration has been widely used to restore eutrophic water bodies. The gas-liquid mass transfer in the aeration process has a significant influence on the improvement of water quality. Therefore, the influence mechanism of oxygen mass transfer is worth studying. However, the influence of bubble movement characteristics on oxygen mass transfer has not been systematically studied. Thus, the present study explored the influence mechanism of microporous apertures on oxygen mass transfer in terms of bubble motion characteristics by investigating the oxygen mass transfer process and the feature of bubble movement under different aeration microporous aperture sizes. The results showed that the mass transfer efficiency was reduced as the micropore aperture increased from 200 to 400 μm. and the reduction rate was 7.17% when the aperture increased from 200 to 300 μm, which was lower than that from 300 to 400 μm (19.17%). Furthermore, the micropore aperture showed a positive correlation with the time-averaged velocity field. With the increase in aperture, the bubble velocity gradient (from the center to both sides of the edge) increased from about 0.2 to 0.4 m/s, which increased the oxygen mass transfer effect. The increase of micropore aperture caused the increase of average Sauter bubble diameter and the decrease of specific surface area of bubbles. In addition, the negative effects of the reduction of specific surface area and the shortening of bubble residence time on oxygen mass transfer efficiency were greater than the positive effects of the increase of turbulent kinetic energy. When the aperture changes from 300 to 400 μm, the shortening of bubble residence time should have played a major role. This study provides some theoretical parameters for investigating the mechanism of oxygen mass transfer in microporous aeration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.0c05126DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7860074PMC
February 2021

Regulatory Role of the RNA N-Methyladenosine Modification in Immunoregulatory Cells and Immune-Related Bone Homeostasis Associated With Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Front Cell Dev Biol 2020 21;8:627893. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Institute of Clinical Medicine, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing, China.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease for which the etiology has not been fully elucidated. Previous studies have shown that the development of RA has genetic and epigenetic components. As one of the most highly abundant RNA modifications, the N-methyladenosine (mA) modification is necessary for the biogenesis and functioning of RNA, and modification aberrancies are associated with various diseases. However, the specific functions of mA in the cellular processes of RA remain unclear. Recent studies have revealed the relationship between mA modification and immune cells associated with RA. Therefore, in this review, we focused on discussing the functions of mA modification in the regulation of immune cells and immune-related bone homeostasis associated with RA. In addition, to gain a better understanding of the progress in this field of study and provide the proper direction and suggestions for further study, clinical application studies of mA modification were also summarized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2020.627893DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7859098PMC
January 2021

Genomic monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 uncovers an Nsp1 deletion variant that modulates type I interferon response.

Cell Host Microbe 2021 03 29;29(3):489-502.e8. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Hospital, Sichuan University and Collaborative Innovation Center for Biotherapy, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, China; Department of Laboratory Medicine and Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Key Laboratory of Birth Defects and Related Diseases of Women and Children of MOE, West China Second University Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, the causative agent of COVID-19, is undergoing constant mutation. Here, we utilized an integrative approach combining epidemiology, virus genome sequencing, clinical phenotyping, and experimental validation to locate mutations of clinical importance. We identified 35 recurrent variants, some of which are associated with clinical phenotypes related to severity. One variant, containing a deletion in the Nsp1-coding region (Δ500-532), was found in more than 20% of our sequenced samples and associates with higher RT-PCR cycle thresholds and lower serum IFN-β levels of infected patients. Deletion variants in this locus were found in 37 countries worldwide, and viruses isolated from clinical samples or engineered by reverse genetics with related deletions in Nsp1 also induce lower IFN-β responses in infected Calu-3 cells. Taken together, our virologic surveillance characterizes recurrent genetic diversity and identified mutations in Nsp1 of biological and clinical importance, which collectively may aid molecular diagnostics and drug design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2021.01.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7846228PMC
March 2021

The antimicrobial peptide YD attenuates inflammation miR-155 targeting CASP12 during liver fibrosis.

Acta Pharm Sin B 2021 Jan 12;11(1):100-111. Epub 2020 Jul 12.

Key Laboratory of Preclinical Study for New Drugs of Gansu Province, School of Basic Medical Sciences & Research Unit of Peptide Science, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, 2019RU066, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China.

The antimicrobial peptide APKGVQGPNG (named YD), a natural peptide originating from CBSYD1, exhibited excellent antibacterial and antioxidant properties . These characteristics are closely related to inflammatory responses which is the central trigger for liver fibrosis. However, the therapeutic effects of YD against hepatic fibrosis and the underlying mechanisms are rarely studied. In this study, we show that YD improved liver function and inhibited the progression of liver fibrosis by measuring the serum transaminase activity and the expression of -smooth muscle actin and collagen I in carbon tetrachloride-induced mice. Then we found that YD inhibited the level of miR-155, which plays an important role in inflammation and liver fibrosis. Bioinformatics analysis and luciferase reporter assay indicate that is a new target of miR-155. We demonstrate that YD significantly decreases the contents of inflammatory cytokines and suppresses the NF-B signaling pathway. Further studies show that transfection of the miR-155 mimic in RAW264.7 cells partially reversed the YD-mediated CASP12 upregulation, the downregulated levels of inflammatory cytokines, and the inactivation of the NF-B pathways. Collectively, our study indicates that YD reduces inflammation through the miR-155--NF-B axis during liver fibrosis and provides a promising therapeutic candidate for hepatic fibrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apsb.2020.07.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7838029PMC
January 2021

Contamination of Aflatoxins Induces Severe Hepatotoxicity Through Multiple Mechanisms.

Front Pharmacol 2020 11;11:605823. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

School of Chinese Materia Medica, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China.

Aflatoxins (AFs) are commonly contaminating mycotoxins in foods and medicinal materials. Since they were first discovered to cause "turkey X" disease in the United Kingdom in the early 1960s, the extreme toxicity of AFs in the human liver received serious attention. The liver is the major target organ where AFs are metabolized and converted into extremely toxic forms to engender hepatotoxicity. AFs influence mitochondrial respiratory function and destroy normal mitochondrial structure. AFs initiate damage to mitochondria and subsequent oxidative stress. AFs block cellular survival pathways, such as autophagy that eliminates impaired cellular structures and the antioxidant system that copes with oxidative stress, which may underlie their high toxicities. AFs induce cell death via intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis pathways and influence the cell cycle and growth via microribonucleic acids (miRNAs). Furthermore, AFs induce the hepatic local inflammatory microenvironment to exacerbate hepatotoxicity via upregulation of NF-κB signaling pathway and inflammasome assembly in the presence of Kupffer cells (liver innate immunocytes). This review addresses the mechanisms of AFs-induced hepatotoxicity from various aspects and provides background knowledge to better understand AFs-related hepatoxic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.605823DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7830880PMC
January 2021

The Role of Hydrogen on the Behavior of Intergranular Cracks in Bicrystalline α-Fe Nanowires.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2021 Jan 23;11(2). Epub 2021 Jan 23.

School of Mechanical, Materials, Mechatronic and Biomedical Engineering, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.

Hydrogen embrittlement (HE) has been extensively studied in bulk materials. However, little is known about the role of H on the plastic deformation and fracture mechanisms of nanoscale materials such as nanowires. In this study, molecular dynamics simulations are employed to study the influence of H segregation on the behavior of intergranular cracks in bicrystalline α-Fe nanowires. The results demonstrate that segregated H atoms have weak embrittling effects on the predicted ductile cracks along the GBs, but favor the cleavage process of intergranular cracks in the theoretically brittle directions. Furthermore, it is revealed that cyclic loading can promote the H accumulation into the GB region ahead of the crack tip and overcome crack trapping, thus inducing a ductile-to-brittle transformation. This information will deepen our understanding on the experimentally-observed H-assisted brittle cleavage failure and have implications for designing new nanocrystalline materials with high resistance to HE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano11020294DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7911322PMC
January 2021

Enhancement of catalytic activity in NH-SCR reaction by promoting dispersibility of CuCe/TiO-ZrO with ultrasonic treatment.

Ultrason Sonochem 2021 Apr 11;72:105466. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

School of Energy and Power Engineering, Changsha University of Science & Technology, Changsha 410114, PR China; Key Laboratory of Renewable Energy Electric-Technology of Hunan Province, Changsha 410114, PR China.

A series of CuCe-modified TiO-ZrO catalysts synthesized by stepwise impregnation method and ultrasonic-assisted impregnation method were investigated to research the removal of NO in the simulated flue gas. Results showed that the CuCe/TiO-ZrO catalyst prepared by ultrasonic-assisted impregnation method exhibited the superior NO conversion, in which higher than 85% NO was degraded at the temperature range of 250-400 °C and the highest NO conversion of 94% at 350 °C. It proves that ultrasonic treatment can markedly improve the performance of catalysts. The effect of ultrasonic enhancement on CuCe/TiO-ZrO was comprehensively studied through being characterized by physicochemical characterization. Results reveal that the ultrasonic cavitation effect improves the distribution of active species and the synergistic interaction between Cu with Ce components (Cu + Ce ↔ Cu + Ce) on the catalysts significantly, thus resulting in better dispersibility as well as a higher ratio of Cu and Ce of the catalysts. Moreover, it was found that the CuCe/TiO-ZrO catalyst prepared by the ultrasonic-assisted impregnation method represented a higher degree of ultrafine metal particles and evenness. The above results were described with the generalized dimension and singularity spectra in multifractal analysis and validated by the comparative test. Therefore, it can be concluded that ultrasonic treatment facilitates the particle size and distribution of active sites on the catalysts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ultsonch.2021.105466DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7816018PMC
April 2021