Publications by authors named "Dan Sun"

369 Publications

Report of the Largest Chinese Cohort With Gene Defect and Literature Review.

Front Genet 2021 1;12:683255. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

Department of Neurology, National Center for Children's Health, Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

Thiamine metabolism dysfunction syndrome 2 (THMD2) is a rare metabolic disorder caused by mutations, inherited in autosomal recessive pattern. As a treatable disease, early diagnosis and therapy with vitamin supplementation is important to improve the prognosis. So far, the reported cases were mainly from Saudi Arab regions, and presented with relatively simple clinical course because of the hot spot mutation (T422A). Rare Chinese cases were described until now. In this study, we investigated 18 Chinese THMD2 patients with variable phenotypes, and identified 23 novel mutations, which expanded the genetic and clinical spectrum of the disorder. Meanwhile, we reviewed all 146 reported patients from different countries. Approximately 2/3 of patients presented with classical BTBGD, while 1/3 of patients manifested as much earlier onset and poor prognosis, including infantile Leigh-like syndrome, infantile spasms, neonatal lactic acidosis and infantile BTBGD. Literature review showed that elevated lactate in blood and CSF, as well as abnormal OXPHOS activities of muscle or skin usually correlated with infantile phenotypes, which indicated poor outcome. Brainstem involvement on MRI was more common in deceased cases. Thiamine supplementation is indispensable in the treatment of THMD2, whereas combination of biotin and thiamine is not superior to thiamine alone. But biotin supplementation does work in some patients. Genotypic-phenotypic correlation remains unclear which needs further investigation, and biallelic truncated mutations usually led to more severe phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2021.683255DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8281341PMC
July 2021

Shuanghuanglian oral preparations combined with azithromycin for treatment of Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia in Asian children: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

PLoS One 2021 13;16(7):e0254405. Epub 2021 Jul 13.

Department of Pediatrics, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China.

Background: Mycoplasma pneumoniae is one of the main causes of community-acquired pneumonia. Due to the imperfect immune system of children, this also causes Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (MPP) to be more common in children. Globally, the incidence of MPP in children is gradually increasing. This study was the first to systematically review the clinical efficacy and safety of Shuanghuanglian (SHL) oral preparations combined with azithromycin in the treatment of MPP in children.

Methods: This study fully retrieved 3 Chinese databases and 5 English databases to search the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of SHL oral preparations combined with azithromycin in the treatment of children with MPP. The search time is from the inception to September 2020. Data extraction and risk bias evaluation were performed independently by two researchers. We conducted a Meta-analysis of all the outcome indicators. Besides, Meta-regression, subgroup analysis, and heterogeneity analysis were used for the primary outcomes to find the possible potential confounding factors.

Results: Finally, we included 27 RCTs involving 2884 patients. SHL oral preparations combined with azithromycin were better than azithromycin alone in response rate (RR = 1.14, 95% CI[1.11, 1.18]; low certainty evidence), disappearance time of fever(MD = -1.72, 95% CI[-2.47, -0.97]; low certainty evidence), disappearance time of cough (MD = -2.95, 95% CI[-3.55, -2.34]; low certainty evidence), and disappearance time of pulmonary rales (MD = -2.13, 95% CI[-2.88, -1.38]; low certainty evidence). The Meta-regression results showed that the course of disease, age, and method of administration may be the source of heterogeneity. Subgroup analysis and sensitivity analysis have found that the results were stable. For other related clinical symptoms, T lymphocytes, and Serum inflammatory factors, SHL oral preparations combined with azithromycin was better than azithromycin alone, and the difference was statistically significant. For adverse events with low certainty evidence, safety needs further verification.

Conclusion: Based on the results of meta-analysis with low certainty evidence, we believed that SHL oral preparations combined with azithromycin likely be effectively improved clinical symptoms compared with azithromycin alone. Low certainty evidence showed that SHL may safety with no serious adverse events. Due to these limitations, the safety needs further verification. More high-quality, multicenter, and large-sample RCTs should be tested and verified in the future.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0254405PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8277054PMC
July 2021

CircRNA_100290 promotes GC cell proliferation and invasion via the miR-29b-3p/ITGA11 axis and is regulated by EIF4A3.

Cancer Cell Int 2021 Jun 28;21(1):324. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Laboratory of Gastrointestinal Onco-Pathology, Cancer Institute, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, 155 Nanjing North Street, Heping District, Shenyang, Liaoning Province, China.

Background: Circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been reported to be important regulators of the development and progression of various carcinomas. However, the role of circRNA_100290 in gastric cancer (GC) is still unclear. This study aimed to investigate the role of circRNA_100290 in GC invasion and metastasis and the possible underlying mechanism.

Methods: The expression of circRNA_100290 in GC cells and tissues was examined using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The role of circRNA_100290 in cell proliferation, migration, and invasion was evaluated in the AGS and HGC-27 cell lines in vitro. Bioinformatics tools, dual-luciferase reporter assays, Western blot assays and qRT-PCR were used to explore the pathways downstream of circRNA_100290. The mechanism underlying the regulation of circRNA_100290 expression was explored using RNA immunoprecipitation, qRT-PCR, and Western blot assays.

Results: The expression of circRNA_100290 was significantly upregulated in GC cells and 102 GC tissues, and high circRNA_100290 expression in GC was closely related to Borrmann's type, lymph node metastasis and tumour-node-metastasis stage. In vitro, knockdown of circRNA_100290 in AGS and HGC-27 cells significantly inhibited cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. Mechanistically, a dual-luciferase reporter assay confirmed the direct interaction between circRNA_100290 and miR-29b-3p, which targets ITGA11, an oncogene that is closely related to epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). In addition, EIF4A3, an RNA-binding protein (RBP), could inhibit the formation of circRNA_100290 by binding to the flanking sites of circRNA_100290. Low EIF4A3 expression in GC was related to a poor prognosis.

Conclusions: Elevated circRNA_100290 expression in GC promotes cell proliferation, invasion and EMT via the miR-29b-3p/ITGA11 axis and might be regulated by EIF4A3. CircRNA_100290 might be a promising biomarker and target for GC therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12935-021-01964-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8240270PMC
June 2021

Optimal water concentration for aqueous Li intercalation in vanadyl phosphate.

Chem Sci 2021 Feb 11;12(12):4450-4454. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Chemical System Engineering, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku Tokyo 113-8656 Japan

Development of high-performance aqueous batteries is an important goal for energy sustainability owing to their environmental benignity and low fabrication costs. Although a layered vanadyl phosphate is one of the most-studied host materials for intercalation electrodes with organic electrolytes, little attention has been paid to its use in aqueous Li systems because of its excessive dissolution in water. Herein, by controlling the water concentration, we demonstrate the stable operation of a layered vanadyl phosphate electrode in an aqueous Li electrolyte. The combination of experimental analyses and density functional theory calculations reveals that reversible (de)lithiation occurs between dehydrated phases, which can only exist in an optimal water concentration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0sc04647gDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8179479PMC
February 2021

Thromboembolic events associated with immune checkpoint inhibitors: A real-world study of data from the food and drug administration adverse event reporting system (FAERS) database.

Int Immunopharmacol 2021 Jun 12;98:107818. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Beijing Chao-Yang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing Institute of Respiratory Medicine, Beijing 100020, China. Electronic address:

Background: Although there have been a few studies reporting thromboembolic events (TEEs) in patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), the detailed profile of the TEEs and the prothrombotic effects of ICIs remain mostly unknown.

Methods: Data from January 2004 to December 2019 in the FAERS database were retrieved. We investigated the clinical characteristics of the TEEs and conducted disproportionality analysis by using reporting odds ratios (ROR) to compare ICIs with the full database and other anti-cancer agents.

Results: We identified 1855 reports of TEEs associated with ICIs. Affected patients tended to be male (59.68%) and older than 65 (47.12%). The case-fatality rate of the reported TEEs was high (38%). The median time to onset (TTO) of all cases was 42 (interquartile range [IQR] 15-96) days and the median TTO of fatal cases (31 [IQR 13-73] days) was significantly shorter than non-fatal cases (50 [IQR 20-108] days, p = 0.000002). ICIs showed increased risks of VTE (ROR 2.81, 95% CI 2.69-2.95) and ATE (ROR 1.44, 95% CI 1.37-1.52) compared with the full database. Compared with protein kinase inhibitors, ICIs showed an increased risk of VTE (ROR 1.23, 95% CI 1.17-1.29), but only anti-PD-L1 showed an increased risk of cerebral ATE (ROR 1.38, 95% CI 1.08-1.76). Compared with chemotherapy, ICIs showed an increased risk of PE (ROR 1.14, 95% CI 1.07-1.21).

Conclusions: Our study suggested ICIs tend to increase risks of VTE and ATE. The poor clinical outcome and early onset of these events should attract clinical attention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.intimp.2021.107818DOI Listing
June 2021

Association Between Hemoglobin Glycation Index and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and All Cause Mortality in Type 2 Diabetic Patients: A Meta-Analysis.

Front Cardiovasc Med 2021 28;8:690689. Epub 2021 May 28.

Department of Cardiology, The Second People's Hospital of Foshan, Foshan, China.

The hemoglobin glycation index (HGI) has been proposed as a marker to quantify inter-individual variation in hemoglobin glycosylation. However, whether HGI is associated with an increased risk of diabetic complications independent of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) remains unclear. This meta-analysis aimed to determine the association between HGI and the risk of all cause mortality and composite cardiovascular disease (CVD). PubMed, and EMBASE databases were searched for related studies up to March 31, 2021. Observational studies reported associations between HGI levels and composite CVD and all cause mortality were included for meta-analysis. A random effect model was used to calculate the hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for higher HGI. A total of five studies, comprising 22,035 patients with type two diabetes mellitus were included for analysis. The median follow-up duration was 5.0 years. After adjusted for multiple conventional cardiovascular risk factors, an increased level of HGI was associated with a higher risk of composite CVD (per 1 SD increment: HR = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.04-1.26) and all cause mortality (per 1 SD increment: HR = 1.18, 95% CI = 1.05-1.32). However, when further adjusted for HbA1c, the association between HGI and risk of composite CVD (per 1 SD increment of HGI: HR = 1.01, 95% CI = 0.93-1.10) and all cause mortality (per 1 SD increment of HGI: HR = 1.03, 95% CI = 0.96-1.10) became insignificant. High HGI was associated with an increased risk of composite CVD and all cause mortality after adjustment for multiple conventional cardiovascular risk factors. However, the association was mainly mediating by the level of HbA1c.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2021.690689DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8193090PMC
May 2021

Lidocaine Promoted Ferroptosis by Targeting miR-382-5p /SLC7A11 Axis in Ovarian and Breast Cancer.

Front Pharmacol 2021 26;12:681223. Epub 2021 May 26.

Department of Thyroid and Breast Ⅲ, Cangzhou Central Hospital, Cangzhou, China.

Ovarian and breast cancer are prevalent female malignancies with increasing occurrence incidence and metastasis, significantly affecting the health and life quality of women globally. Anesthetic lidocaine has presented anti-tumor activities in the experimental conditions. However, the effect of lidocaine on ovarian and breast cancer remains elusive. We identified the important function of lidocaine in enhancing ferroptosis and repressing progression of ovarian and breast cancer. Our data showed that lidocaine further repressed erastin-inhibited ovarian and breast cancer cell viabilities. The treatment of lidocaine induced accumulation of Fe, iron and lipid reactive oxygen species (ROS) in ovarian and breast cancer cells. The ovarian and breast cancer cell proliferation was suppressed while cell apoptosis was induced by lidocaine . Lidocaine attenuated invasion and migration of ovarian and breast cancer cells as well. Regarding the mechanism, we found that lidocaine downregulated solute carrier family 7 member 11 (SLC7A11) expression by enhancing microRNA-382-5p (miR-382-5p) in the cells. The inhibition of miR-382-5p blocked lidocaine-induced ferroptosis of ovarian and breast cancer cells. MiR-382-5p/SLC7A11 axis was involved in lidocaine-mediated inhibition of ovarian and breast cancer cell proliferation . The miR-382-5p expression was down-regulated but SLC7A11 expression was up-regulated in clinical ovarian and breast cancer samples. Furthermore, the treatment of lidocaine repressed tumor growth of ovarian cancer cells , in which the miR-382-5p expression was increased while SLC7A11 expression was decreased. Consequently, we concluded that the lidocaine promoted ferroptosis by miR-382-5p/SLC7A11 axis in ovarian and breast cancer cells. The clinical value of lidocaine in the treatment of ovarian and breast cancer deserves to be proved in detail.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.681223DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8188239PMC
May 2021

Co/[email protected] electrocatalysts derived from polyoxometalates (POM) for efficient hydrogen evolution.

Nanotechnology 2021 Jun 23;32(37). Epub 2021 Jun 23.

School of Chemical and Envirmental Engineering, Changchun University of Science and Technology, Changchun, People's Republic of China.

The stable hydrogen generation catalysts with favorable performance have been widely studied. As we all know, bimetallic hybrids have been emerged as one type of outstanding electrocatalysts and applied to electrochemical hydrogen generation field. In this work, using bimetallic polyoxometalates (POM) as soft templates and polyethyleneimine (PEI) as carbon source, we synthesized cobalt and tungsten-based bimetallic electrocatalysts () via one-step simple high temperature calcination process.exhibits good hydrogen evolution performances. Thereinto, the overpotentials are 129 and 142 mV at the current density of 10 mA cm, and the Tafel slopes are 93 and 91 mV decin 0.5 M HSOand 1.0 M KOH aqueous solutions, respectively. Furthermore, the catalyst shows good stability for 24 h. The excellent catalytic performance () can be ascribed to the synergistic effect of WC and Co nanoparticles and the protection function of graphitic carbon layers. Furthermore, this work may provide an experimental guidance for the large-scale production of low-cost materials with good catalytic effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/ac084dDOI Listing
June 2021

Metformin hydrochloride action on cell membrane N-cadherin expression and cell nucleus revealed by SERS nanoprobes.

Talanta 2021 Sep 30;232:122442. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

State Key Laboratory of Supramolecular Structure and Materials, Institute of Theoretical Chemistry, College of Chemistry, Jilin University, Changchun, 130012, PR China. Electronic address:

The anti-tumor effects of metformin hydrochloride (MH), an initial pharmacologic agent for type 2 diabetes, were reexamined by surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy. A SERS immuno-tag fabricated by decorating silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) with a specific antibody was employed to trace the dynamic expression of the tumor metastasis-related N-cadherin. With the MH action, the N-cadherin expression on the cell membranes decreases, proving that MH has a pharmacological effect on prohibiting cancer cell metastasis. Another AgNP-based nucleus targeting nanoprobe was adopted to culture with the MH acted cells, which can help the label-free SERS collection of the cell nuclei to explore the MH influences on intranuclear genes and proteins. By analyzing the intranuclear SERS spectra, the find is that MH has impacts on the transcription and translation of genes, thus regulates the expression of tumor metastasis-related proteins (N-cadherins). This study presents a proof-of-concept for MH as a potential drug for diabetes patients associated with tumors. The developed plasmonic immune analytical platform can be extended to assess other substances of the cell membrane and applicable for the SERS-based screening of membrane receptor-related drugs at the cellular level.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.talanta.2021.122442DOI Listing
September 2021

Detection of Disease-Causing SNVs/Indels and CNVs in Single Test Based on Whole Exome Sequencing: A Retrospective Case Study in Epileptic Encephalopathies.

Front Pediatr 2021 13;9:635703. Epub 2021 May 13.

Department of Cardiology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.

Epileptic encephalopathies (EEs) are a pediatric entity with highly phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity. Both single nucleotide variants (SNVs)/Indels and copy number variations (CNVs) could be the causes. Whole exome sequencing (WES) is widely applied to detect SNVs/Indels, but the bioinformatics approach for detecting CNVs is still limited and weak. In the current study, the possibility of profiling both disease-causing SNVs/Indels and CNVs in a single test based on WES in EEs was evaluated. The infants diagnosed with EEs were enrolled from a single pediatric epilepsy center between January 2018 and February 2020. Demographic and clinical data were collected. In WES data, the pathogenic SNVs were identified through an in-house pipeline, and pathogenic CNVs were identified by CNVkit. The diagnostic rate was evaluated, and the molecular findings were characterized. A total of 73 infants were included; 36 (49.32%) of them were males. The median age was 7 months. Thirty-two (43.84%) infants had been diagnosed with epilepsy syndrome. The most common type of syndrome was West syndrome (22/73, 30.1%), followed by Dravet syndrome (20/77, 27.4%). Fifty-four (73.97%) had intellectual development delay. The genetic cause of EEs, pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants, were successfully discovered in 46.6% (34/73) of the infants, and 29 (39.7%) infants carried SNVs/Indels, while 5 (6.8%) carried CNVs. The majority of the disease-causing variants were inherited in pattern (25, 71.4%). In addition to showing that the variants in the ion channel encoding genes accounted for the main etiology, we discovered and confirmed two new disease-causing genes, and . Five discovered CNVs were deletions of 2q24.3, 1p36, 15q11-q13, 16p11.2, and 17p13.3, and all were confirmed by array comparative genomic hybridization. The application of both SNVs/Indels and CNVs detection in a single test based on WES yielded a high diagnosis rate in EEs. WES may serve as a first-tier test with cost-effective benefit in EEs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fped.2021.635703DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8155357PMC
May 2021

MicroRNA-342 Promotes the Malignant-Like Phenotype of Endometrial Stromal Cells via Regulation of Annexin A2.

Anal Cell Pathol (Amst) 2021 15;2021:1328682. Epub 2021 May 15.

Department of Gynecology, Heilongjiang Provincial Hospital, Harbin, 150036 Heilongjiang, China.

The relevance of miRNA- (miR-) 342 to endometriosis has been highlighted, while its function in regulating the malignant-like phenotype of endometrial stromal cells which demonstrate epigenetic abnormalities that alter expression of transcription factors, remains unclear. Therefore, we sought to characterize the effects of miR-342 in endometrial stromal cell proliferation by regulating Annexin A2 (ANXA2). We first characterized the levels of miR-342 and ANXA2 in 31 cases of normal endometrium from patients with grade II-III cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or patients with hysterectomy versus ectopic endometrial tissues of 42 patients with endometriosis. miR-342 was upregulated, while ANXA2 was downregulated in ectopic endometrial tissues. Bioinformatics website and dual-luciferase reporter assay revealed that miR-342 negatively modulated ANXA2 expression. Following loss- and gain-of-function approaches, CCK-8, Transwell, and flow cytometry demonstrated that overexpression of miR-342 markedly increased cell proliferation, migration, and invasion but inhibited cell apoptotic ratio of endometrial stromal cells, which was reversed by ANXA2 elevation. Further, overexpressed miR-342 activated the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway, as evidenced by upregulated levels of p-PI3K/PI3K, p-AKT/AKT, and p-mTOR/mTOR. Taken together, miR-342 targets ANXA2 to activate the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway, thereby promoting the malignant-like phenotype of endometrial stromal cells, highlighting miR-342 inhibition as a promising approach for the treatment of endometriosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/1328682DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8143883PMC
May 2021

Modification of polyetheretherketone implants: From enhancing bone integration to enabling multi-modal therapeutics.

Acta Biomater 2021 Jul 18;129:18-32. Epub 2021 May 18.

Analytical & Testing Center, Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Orthopedic Research Institute, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China. Electronic address:

Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is a popular thermoplastic material widely used in engineering applications due to its favorable mechanical properties and stability at high temperatures. With the first implantable grade PEEK being commercialized in 1990s, the use of PEEK has since grown exponentially in the biomedical field and has rapidly transformed a large section of the medical devices landscape. Nowadays, PEEK is a standard biomaterial used across a wide range of implant applications, however, its bioinertness remains a limitation for bone repair applications. The increasing demand for enhanced treatment efficacy/improved patient quality of life, calls for next-generation implants that can offer fast bone integration as well as other desirable therapeutic functions. As such, modification of PEEK implants has progressively shifted from offering desirable mechanical properties, enhancing bioactivity/fast osteointegration, to more recently, tackling post-surgery bacterial infection/biofilm formation, modulation of inflammation and management of bone cancers. Such progress is also accompanied by the evolution of the PEEK manufacturing technologies, to meet the ever increasing demand for more patient specific devices. However, no review has comprehensively covered the recently engaged application areas to date. This paper provides an up-to-date review on the development of PEEK-based biomedical devices in the past 10 years, with particularly focus on modifying PEEK for multi-modal therapeutics. The aim is to provide the peers with a timely update, which may guide and inspire the research and development of next generation PEEK-based healthcare products. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Significant progress has been made in PEEK processing and modification techniques in the past decades, which greatly contributed to its wide applications in the biomedical field. Despite the high volume of published literature on PEEK implant related research, there is a lack of review on its emerging applications in multi-modal therapeutics, which involve bone regeneration, anti-bacteria/anti-inflammation, and cancer inhibition, etc. This timely review covers the state-of-the-art in these exciting areas and provides the important guidance for next generation PEEK based biomedical device research and development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2021.05.009DOI Listing
July 2021

Application of a fugacity model to estimate emissions and environmental fate of ship stack PAHs in Shanghai, China.

Chemosphere 2021 Oct 11;281:130710. Epub 2021 May 11.

Department of Environmental Engineering, Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai, 200135, PR China; International Joint Research Center for Persistent Toxic Substances (IJRC-PTS), Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai, 200135, PR China.

The understandings of environmental activities and regional inventory of ship stack PAHs are very limited in Shanghai due, in part, to the lack of source-segregated analysis. To address this, measured PAHs in organic film on ship surfaces were employed to reconstruct concentrations in various compartments through a fugacity model to investigate the level, transport, fate and annual emission of ship stack PAHs in Shanghai. The results revealed that ship stack PAHs results in 11.2-181 ng L and 71.0-1710 ng g in water and sediment of Shanghai, respectively. After being released into air, ship stack PAHs mainly concentrated in organic films and sediments while sunk in water and sediment. Crucial mass transfer pathways include deposition of airborne and sediment PAHs. The mass loss of ship stack PAHs was primarily through air advection, followed by degradation in sediment. The ship emissions (53.7 tons annually) accounted for approximate one tenth of the regional total in Shanghai (in 2017). Additionally, shipping was estimated to release 127 tons of PAHs annually into the Shanghai section of Yangtze River. Our results suggest our fugacity-based approach can be used to estimate the regional emissions and inventory of ship stack PAHs in the surrounding environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.130710DOI Listing
October 2021

Dynamic intracellular mechanical cues facilitate collective signaling responses.

iScience 2021 May 3;24(5):102396. Epub 2021 Apr 3.

State Key Laboratory of Photon-Technology in Western China Energy, Institute of Photonics and Photon-Technology, Northwest University, Xi'an 710069, China.

Collective behavior emerges in diverse life machineries, e.g., the immune responses to dynamic stimulations. The essential questions that arise here are that whether and how cells collectively respond to stimulation frequencies higher than their intrinsic natural values, e.g., the acute inflammation conditions. In this work, we systematically studied morphological and signaling responses of population fibroblasts in an interconnected cell monolayer and uncovered that, besides the natural NF-B oscillation frequency of 1/90 min, collective signaling response emerges in the cell monolayer at 1/20 min TNF- input periodicity as well. Using a customized microfluidic device, we independently induced dynamic chemical stimulation and cytoskeleton reorganization on the stand-alone cells to exclude the effect of cell-cell communication. Our results reveal that, at this particular frequency, chemical stimulation is translated into dynamic intracellular mechanical cues through RAC1-medicated induction of dynamic cell-cell connections and cytoskeleton reorganizations, which synergize with chemical input to facilitate collective signaling responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2021.102396DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8091894PMC
May 2021

Influence of cluster positions in the canopy and row orientation on the flavonoid and volatile compound profiles in Vitis vinifera L. Cabernet franc and Chardonnay berries.

Food Res Int 2021 05 15;143:110306. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Center for Viticulture and Enology, College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China; Key Laboratory of Viticulture and Enology, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Beijing 100083, China. Electronic address:

Sunlight conditions around grape clusters vary with their positions, and can have a significant effect on grape berry compounds. This study investigated the influence of cluster positions in the canopy (interior and two exterior canopy sides) and vineyard row orientation (north-south and east-west) on flavonoid and volatile compound profiles of Vitis vinifera L. cvs 'Cabernet franc' (CF) and 'Chardonnay' (CH) berries in two consecutive years. The experimental vineyard was located in Jiaodong Peninsula of China, which is characterized by a temperate monsoon-type climate and relatively short sunlight duration. Clusters located in the interior of the canopy received less sunlight irradiation than the exterior positions, and the average temperature around clusters located in different positions differed slightly. The results showed that over two years, the positions of clusters in the canopy had no consistent impact on cluster weight, berry weight, juice total soluble solids or titratable acidity for either cultivar. For both cultivars, the interior clusters had lower total flavonol concentrations than the exterior clusters, while the position of clusters in the canopy had no major impacts on the composition of anthocyanins and flavan-3-ols. The volatile compounds were somewhat influenced by the positions of clusters in the canopy, while some bound norisoprenoids and terpenoids had lower levels in interior clusters than in exterior clusters. These results will help winegrowers make decisions regarding harvest strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2021.110306DOI Listing
May 2021

Electron-Injection-Engineering Induced Phase Transition toward Stabilized 1T-MoS with Extraordinary Sodium Storage Performance.

ACS Nano 2021 May 10;15(5):8896-8906. Epub 2021 May 10.

School of Chemical Engineering & Advanced Materials, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide 5005, SA, Australia.

Phase transition engineering, with the ability to alter the electronic structure and physicochemical properties of materials, has been widely used to achieve the thermodynamically unstable metallic phase MoS (1T-MoS), although the complex operating conditions and low yield of previous strategies make the large-scale fabrication of 1T-MoS a big challenge. Herein, we report a facile electron injection strategy for phase transition engineering and fabricate a composite of conductive TiO chemically bonded to 1T-MoS nanoflowers (TiO-1T-MoS NFs) on a large scale. The underlying mechanism analysis reveals that electron-injection-engineering triggers a reorganization of the Mo 4d orbitals and results in a 100% phase transition of MoS from 2H to 1T. In the TiO-1T-MoS NFs composite, the 1T-MoS demonstrates a higher electronic conductivity, a lower Na diffusion barrier, and a more restricted S release than 2H-MoS. In addition, conductive TiO bonding successfully resolves the stability challenge of the 1T phase. These merits endow TiO-1T-MoS NFs electrodes with an excellent rate capability (650/288 mAh g at 50/20 000 mA g, respectively) and an outstanding cyclability (501 mAh g at 1000 mA g after 700 cycles) in sodium ion batteries. Such an improvement signifies that this facile and scalable phase-transition engineering combined with a deep mechanism analysis offers an important reference for designing advanced materials for various applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.1c01518DOI Listing
May 2021

Chitosan/Silver Nanoparticle/Graphene Oxide Nanocomposites with Multi-Drug Release, Antimicrobial, and Photothermal Conversion Functions.

Materials (Basel) 2021 Apr 30;14(9). Epub 2021 Apr 30.

School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Queens University Belfast, Belfast BT9 5AH, UK.

In this work, we designed and fabricated a multifunctional nanocomposite system that consists of chitosan, raspberry-like silver nanoparticles, and graphene oxide. The room temperature atmospheric pressure microplasma (RT-APM) process provides a rapid, facile, and environmentally-friendly method for introducing silver nanoparticles into the composite system. Our composite can achieve a pH controlled single and/or dual drug release. Under pH 7.4 for methyl blue loaded on chitosan, the drug release profile features a burst release during the first 10 h, followed by a more stabilized release of 70-80% after 40-50 h. For fluorescein sodium loaded on graphene oxide, the drug release only reached 45% towards the end of 240 h. When the composite acted as a dual drug release system, the interaction of fluorescein sodium and methyl blue slowed down the methyl blue release rate. Under pH 4, both single and dual drug systems showed a much higher release rate. In addition, our composite system demonstrated strong antibacterial abilities against and , as well as an excellent photothermal conversion effect under irradiation of near infrared lasers. The photothermal conversion efficiency can be controlled by the laser power. These unique functionalities of our nanocomposite point to its potential application in multiple areas, such as multimodal therapeutics in healthcare, water treatment, and anti-microbials, among others.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma14092351DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8124926PMC
April 2021

Generation of Dynamical Environmental Conditions using a High-Throughput Microfluidic Device.

J Vis Exp 2021 04 17(170). Epub 2021 Apr 17.

State Key Laboratory of Cultivation Base for Photoelectric Technology and Functional Materials, State Key Laboratory of Photon-Technology in Western China Energy, Institute of Photonics and Photon-Technology, Northwest University;

Mimicking in vivo environmental conditions is crucial for in vitro studies on complex life machinery. However, current techniques targeting live cells and organs are either highly expensive, like robotics, or lack nanoliter volume and millisecond time accuracy in liquid manipulation. We herein present the design and fabrication of a microfluidic system, which consists of 1,500 culture units, an array of enhanced peristaltic pumps and an on-site mixing modulus. To demonstrate the capacities of the microfluidic device, neural stem cell (NSC) spheres are maintained in the proposed system. We observed that when the NSC sphere is exposed to CXCL in day 1 and EGF in day 2, the round-shaped conformation is well maintained. Variation in the input order of 6 drugs causes morphological changes to the NSC sphere and the expression level representative marker for NSC stemness (i.e., Hes5 and Dcx). These results indicate that dynamic and complex environmental conditions have great effects on NSC differentiation and self-renewal, and the proposed microfluidic device is a suitable platform for high throughput studies on the complex life machinery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/61735DOI Listing
April 2021

Sodium citrate as a self-sacrificial sodium compensation additive for sodium-ion batteries.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2021 Apr;57(35):4243-4246

Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Chemical Power Sources, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, 410083, P. R. China.

Commercial sodium citrate is proposed as the self-sacrificial cathode additive for the first time to offset the initial sodium loss. The optimum additive can obviously increase the energy density of the as-constructed hard carbon//Na3V2(PO4)2F3/rGO full-cell by 28.9% without sacrificing its other electrochemical properties, showing promising application prospects in sodium ion batteries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1cc01292dDOI Listing
April 2021

MAPK-Activated Transcription Factor PxJun Suppresses Expression and Confers Resistance to Cry1Ac Toxin in (L.).

Appl Environ Microbiol 2021 Jun 11;87(13):e0046621. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Department of Plant Protection, Institute of Vegetables and Flowers, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China.

Deciphering the molecular mechanisms underlying insect resistance to Cry toxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is pivotal for the sustainable utilization of Bt biopesticides and transgenic Bt crops. Previously, we identified that mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-mediated reduced expression of the gene is associated with Bt Cry1Ac resistance in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.). However, the underlying transcriptional regulation mechanism remains enigmatic. Here, the promoter in Cry1Ac-susceptible and Cry1Ac-resistant strains was cloned and analyzed and found to contain a putative Jun binding site (JBS). A dual-luciferase reporter assay and yeast one-hybrid assay demonstrated that the transcription factor PxJun repressed expression by interacting with this JBS. The expression levels of were increased in the midguts of all resistant strains compared to the susceptible strain. Silencing of expression significantly elevated expression and Cry1Ac susceptibility in the resistant NIL-R strain, and silencing of expression decreased expression and also increased expression. These results indicate that MAPK-activated PxJun suppresses expression to confer Cry1Ac resistance in , deepening our understanding of the transcriptional regulation of midgut Cry receptor genes and the molecular basis of insect resistance to Bt Cry toxins. The transcriptional regulation mechanisms underlying reduced expression of Bt toxin receptor genes in Bt-resistant insects remain elusive. This study unveils that a transcription factor PxJun activated by the MAPK signaling pathway represses expression and confers Cry1Ac resistance in . Our results provide new insights into the transcriptional regulation mechanisms of midgut Cry receptor genes and deepen our understanding of the molecular basis of insect resistance to Bt Cry toxins. To our knowledge, this study identified the first transcription factor that can be involved in the transcriptional regulation mechanisms of midgut Cry receptor genes in Bt-resistant insects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00466-21DOI Listing
June 2021

The screening of immune-related biomarkers for prognosis of lung adenocarcinoma.

Bioengineered 2021 12;12(1):1273-1285

Department of Geriatrics, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing, China.

Lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) accounts for a frequently seen non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) histological subtype, and it is associated with dismal prognostic outcome. However, the benefits of traditional treatment are still limited, and the efficacies of immunotherapy are quite different. Therefore, it is of great significance to identify novel immune-related therapeutic targets in lung adenocarcinoma. In this study, we identified a set of immune-related biomarkers for prognosis of lung adenocarcinoma, which could provide new ideas for immunotherapy of lung adenocarcinoma. Datasets related to LUAD were filtered from the GEO database. The appropriate packages were used to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and to carry out enrichment analysis, followed by the construction of prognostic biomarkers. The Kaplan-Meier (K-M) curves were plotted to analyze patient survival based on hub genes. Associations between the expression of selected biomarkers and six types of tumor-infiltrating immune cells were evaluated based on the online tool TIMER. After analyzing five GEO datasets(GSE32867, GSE46539, GSE63459, GSE75037 and GSE116959), we discovered altogether 67 DEGs, among which, 15 showed up-regulation while 52 showed down-regulation. Enrichments of integrated DEGs were identified in the ontology categories. CAV1, CFD, FMO2 and CLEC3B were eventually selected as independent prognostic biomarkers, they were correlated with clinical outcomes of LUAD patients. Moreover, a positive correlation was observed between biomarker expression and all different types of immune infiltration, and the expression level of the four biomarkers was all positively related to macrophage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21655979.2021.1911211DOI Listing
December 2021

Job satisfaction, resilience and social support in relation to nurses' turnover intention based on the theory of planned behaviour: A structural equation modelling approach.

Int J Nurs Pract 2021 Apr 15:e12941. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

School of Nursing, Jilin University, Jilin, China.

Background: Many national studies have shown that nurses have a high turnover rate. The key to maintaining the stability of nursing staff is to explore the factors that affect their turnover intention; however, no research has been performed to explore the influencing factors and mechanisms of nurses' turnover intention based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour.

Aim: Based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour, examining the relationships among resilience, job satisfaction, social support and turnover intention of nurses, a structural equation model was constructed to examine the mediating role of job satisfaction and social support between resilience and turnover intention.

Methods: In this descriptive cross-sectional study, a total of 350 questionnaires were distributed to participants from three tertiary hospitals in Changchun, Jilin Province, between December 2018 and March 2019.

Results: The final model fits well. Job satisfaction and social support directly influences turnover intention. Resilience indirectly influences turnover intention through job satisfaction and social support.

Conclusion: Turnover intention is a complex variable, which is directly and indirectly affected by many factors. In this study, a new structural equation model was proposed, which laid a foundation for future longitudinal studies.

Summary Statement: What is already known about this topic? Globally, the high rate of nurse turnover is one of the major reasons for the shortage of nurses. The turnover intention of nurses is influenced by many factors. Few studies have examined the influencing factors of turnover intention based on theory or constructed a structural equation model to clarify the mechanism. What does this paper contribute? The Theory of Planned Behaviour presents the key determinants of behaviour and can guide our understanding of the behavioural mechanism of the turnover intention of nurses. Three influencing factors of turnover intention based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (resilience, job satisfaction and social support), directly or indirectly affected turnover intention. The implications of this paper: Future interventions should consider the indirect role of resilience. A positive effect of increased social support and job satisfaction on turnover intention occurs through improved resilience. Longitudinal studies with larger samples are needed in the future to verify the effectiveness of the mediating effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ijn.12941DOI Listing
April 2021

Thiophene donor for NIR-II fluorescence imaging-guided photothermal/photodynamic/chemo combination therapy.

Acta Biomater 2021 06 6;127:287-297. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

West China School of Basic Medical Sciences & Forensic Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China; School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA. Electronic address:

Organic fluorophores/photosensitizers have been widely used in biological imaging and photodynamic and photothermal combination therapy in the first near-infrared (NIR-I) window. However, their applications in the second near-infrared (NIR-II) window are still limited primarily due to low fluorescence quantum yields (QYs). Here, a boron dipyrromethene (BDP) is created as a molecularly engineered thiophene donor unit with high QYs to the redshift. Thiophene insertion initiates substantial redshifts of the absorbance as compared to its counterparts in which iodine is introduced. The fluorescent molecule can be triggered by an NIR laser with a single wavelength, thereby producing emission in the NIR-II windows. Single NIR laser-triggered phototherapeutic nanoparticles (NPs) are developed by encapsulating the BDP and the chemotherapeutic drug docetaxel (DTX) by using a synthetic amphiphilic poly(styrene-co-chloromethyl styrene)-graft-poly(ethylene glycol) functionalized with folic acid (FA). These BDP-T-N-DTX-FA NPs not only show superior solubility and high singlet oxygen QY (Φ=62%) but also demonstrate single NIR laser-triggered multifunctional characteristics. After intravenous administration of the NPs into 4T1 tumor-bearing mice, the accumulation of the NPs in the tumor showed a high signal-to-background ratio (11.8). Furthermore, 4T1 tumors in mice were almost eradicated by DTX released from the BDP-T-N-DTX-FA NPs under single NIR laser excitation and the combination of photodynamic therapy (PDT) and photothermic therapy (PTT). STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: The application of organic photosensitizers is still limited primarily due to low fluorescence quantum yields (QYs) in the second near-infrared (NIR-II) window. Here, a boron dipyrromethene (BDP) as a molecularly engineered thiophene donor unit with high QYs to the redshift is created. Phototherapeutic nanoparticles (NPs) are developed by encapsulating the BDP and docetaxel (DTX) using a synthetic amphiphilic poly(styrene-co-chloromethyl styrene)-graft-poly(ethylene glycol) functionalized with folic acid (FA). These BDP-T-N-DTX-FA NPs not only show high singlet oxygen QY (Φ=62%) but also demonstrate single NIR laser-triggered multifunctional characteristics and a high signal-to-background ratio (11.8). Furthermore, 4T1 tumors in mice were almost eradicated by DTX released from the BDP-T-N-DTX-FA NPs under single NIR laser excitation and the PDT/PTT combination therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2021.03.064DOI Listing
June 2021

Effect of integrated treatment on enhancing the enzymatic hydrolysis of cocksfoot grass and the structural characteristics of co-produced hemicelluloses.

Biotechnol Biofuels 2021 Apr 7;14(1):88. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Beijing Key Laboratory of Lignocellulosic Chemistry, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, 100083, China.

Background: Cocksfoot grass (Dactylis glomerata L.) with high biomass yield and rich cellulose can be used to produce bioethanol as fuel additive. In view of this, ultrasonic and hydrothermal pretreatments followed by successive alkali extractions were assembled into an integrated biorefinery process applied on cocksfoot grass to improve its enzymatic hydrolysis. In this work, the effects of ultrasonic and hydrothermal pretreatments followed by sequential alkali extractions on the enzymatic hydrolysis of cocksfoot grass were investigated. In addition, since large amount of hemicelluloses were released during the hydrothermal pretreatment and alkali extraction process, the yields, structural characteristics and differentials of water- and alkali-soluble hemicellulosic fractions isolated from different treatments were also comparatively explored.

Results: The integrated treatment significantly removed amorphous hemicelluloses and lignin, resulting in increased crystallinity of the treated residues. A maximum saccharification rate of 95.1% was obtained from the cellulose-rich substrate after the integrated treatment. In addition, the considerable hemicelluloses (31.4% water-soluble hemicelluloses and 53.4% alkali-soluble hemicelluloses) were isolated during the integrated treatment. The released water-soluble hemicellulosic fractions were found to be more branched as compared with the alkali-soluble hemicellulosic fractions and all hemicellulosic fractions were mixed polysaccharides mainly composed of branched xylans and β-glucans.

Conclusion: The combination of ultrasonic and hydrothermal pretreatments followed by successive alkali extractions can dramatically increase the enzymatic saccharification rate of the substrates and produce considerable amounts of hemicelluloses. Detailed information about the enzymatic hydrolysis rates of the treated substrates and the structural characteristics of the co-produced hemicelluloses will help the synergistic utilization of cellulose and hemicellulose in cocksfoot grass.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13068-021-01944-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8028065PMC
April 2021

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon contamination along roads based on levels on vehicle window films.

Environ Pollut 2021 Jun 13;279:116921. Epub 2021 Mar 13.

Department of Environmental Engineering, Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai, 200135, PR China; International Joint Research Center for Persistent Toxic Substances (IJRC-PTS), Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai, 200135, PR China.

Vehicular emissions are known to be major contributors of airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in cities. In order to assess the long-term contamination of PAHs along roads, we collected organic films from vehicle windows (26 private cars and 4 buses, in Shanghai, China) and used mathematical models to convert the film-bound PAH concentrations to the airborne PAH concentrations. The field measurements of airborne PAHs revealed that the partitioning and Level III fugacity model was suitable to estimate the airborne concentrations of high and low volatile PAHs (expect for naphthalene), respectively. The total airborne PAH concentrations along roads in Shanghai ranged from 0.83 to 3.37 μg m and the incremental lifetime cancer risks (ILCR) by exposure to PAHs along roads were greater than the USEPA lower guideline of 10, indicating non-negligible carcinogenic risks to drivers and passengers, especially via ingestion processes. This study provided a practicable method to investigate long-term air contamination of PAHs in vehicles and along roads based on film-bound PAH on vehicle windows. In addition, it was also possible to investigate the health risk in vehicles as a result of exposure to PAHs. Comparisons of PAHs between roads and shipping lanes also facilitated the delineation of vehicular and shipping PAH inventories. A capsule that summarizes the main finding of the work: Investigating film-bound PAH on vehicle windows is a practicable pathway to investigate the long-term contamination of PAHs in vehicles and along roads. This method can not only simplify the sampling processes, but the model calculations. The results also enabled investigations into ILCR in vehicles and specified source apportionment of traffic PAHs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116921DOI Listing
June 2021

Imidazoline Gemini Surfactants as Corrosion Inhibitors for Carbon Steel X70 in NaCl Solution.

ACS Omega 2021 Mar 19;6(8):5653-5660. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

School of Materials and Chemical Engineering, Xuzhou University of Technology, Xuzhou 221018, P. R. China.

The Gemini imidazoline surfactants were synthesized from a series of saturated fatty acids. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), polarization curve, and quantum chemistry methods were used to study the corrosion inhibition behavior of Gemini imidazoline surfactants for X70 carbon steel in NaCl solution. Results reveal that such kind of surfactants has an outstanding inhibition effect on carbon steel X70 in NaCl solution and that the restrained efficiency of Gemini imidazoline in an alkaline solution is better than that in a neutral solution. The shorter the carbon chain length, the higher the suppressive efficiency. The higher the concentration of Gemini imidazoline surfactant, the better the inhibition effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.0c06103DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7931391PMC
March 2021

Development and Validation of an Immune-Related Gene-Pair Model of High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer After Platinum-Based Chemotherapy.

Front Oncol 2020 10;10:626555. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Gynaecology, The First Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China.

Background: High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is a common cause of death from gynecological cancer, with an overall survival rate that has not significantly improved in decades. Reliable bio-markers are needed to identify high-risk HGSOC to assist in the selection and development of treatment options.

Method: The study included ten HGSOC cohorts, which were merged into four separate cohorts including a total of 1,526 samples. We used the relative expression of immune genes to construct the gene-pair matrix, and the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator regression was performed to build the prognosis model using the training set. The prognosis of the model was verified in the training set (363 cases) and three validation sets (of 251, 354, and 558 cases). Finally, the differences in immune cell infiltration and gene enrichment pathways between high and low score groups were identified.

Results: A prognosis model of HGSOC overall survival rate was constructed in the training set, and included data for 35 immune gene-related gene pairs and the regression coefficients. The risk stratification of HGSOC patients was successfully performed using the training set, with a p-value of Kaplan-Meier of < 0.001. A score from this model is an independent prognostic factor of HGSOC, and prognosis was evaluated in different clinical subgroups. This model was also successful for the other three validation sets, and the results of Kaplan-Meier analysis were statistically significant (p < 0.05). The model can also predict patient progression-free survival with HGSOC to reflect tumor growth status. There was a lower infiltration level of M1 macrophages in the high-risk group compared to that in the low-risk group (p < 0.001). Finally, the immune-related pathways were enriched in the low-risk group.

Conclusion: The prognostic model based on immune-related gene pairs developed is a potential prognostic marker for high-grade serous ovarian cancer treated with platinum. The model has robust prognostic ability and wide applicability. More prospective studies will be needed to assess the practical application of this model for precision therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.626555DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7928280PMC
February 2021

Composite pressure cell for pulsed magnets.

Rev Sci Instrum 2021 Feb;92(2):023903

National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544, USA.

Extreme pressures and high magnetic fields can affect materials in profound and fascinating ways. However, large pressures and fields are often mutually incompatible; the rapidly changing fields provided by pulsed magnets induce eddy currents in the metallic components used in conventional pressure cells, causing serious heating, forces, and vibration. Here, we report a diamond-anvil-cell made mainly out of insulating composites that minimizes inductive heating while retaining sufficient strength to apply pressures of up to 8 GPa. Any residual metallic component is made of low-conductivity metals and patterned to reduce eddy currents. The simple design enables rapid sample or pressure changes, desired by pulsed-magnetic-field-facility users. The pressure cell has been used in pulsed magnetic fields of up to 65 T with no noticeable heating at cryogenic temperatures. Several measurement techniques are possible inside the cell at temperatures as low as 500 mK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/5.0025557DOI Listing
February 2021

Koala methylomes reveal divergent and conserved DNA methylation signatures of X chromosome regulation.

Proc Biol Sci 2021 02 24;288(1945):20202244. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

School of Biological Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA.

X chromosome inactivation (XCI) mediated by differential DNA methylation between sexes is an iconic example of epigenetic regulation. Although XCI is shared between eutherians and marsupials, the role of DNA methylation in marsupial XCI remains contested. Here, we examine genome-wide signatures of DNA methylation across fives tissues from a male and female koala (), and present the first whole-genome, multi-tissue marsupial 'methylome atlas'. Using these novel data, we elucidate divergent versus common features of representative marsupial and eutherian DNA methylation. First, tissue-specific differential DNA methylation in koalas primarily occurs in gene bodies. Second, females show significant global reduction (hypomethylation) of X chromosome DNA methylation compared to males. We show that this pattern is also observed in eutherians. Third, on average, promoter DNA methylation shows little difference between male and female koala X chromosomes, a pattern distinct from that of eutherians. Fourth, the sex-specific DNA methylation landscape upstream of , the primary RNA associated with marsupial XCI, is consistent with the epigenetic regulation of female-specific (and presumably inactive X chromosome-specific) expression. Finally, we use the prominent female X chromosome hypomethylation and classify 98 previously unplaced scaffolds as X-linked, contributing an additional 14.6 Mb (21.5%) to genomic data annotated as the koala X chromosome. Our work demonstrates evolutionarily divergent pathways leading to functionally conserved patterns of XCI in two deep branches of mammals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.2244DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7934952PMC
February 2021

Comparison of the effects of different pretreatments on the structure and enzymatic hydrolysis of Miscanthus.

Biotechnol Appl Biochem 2021 Feb 19. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

School of Materials and Chemical Engineering, Hubei University of Technology, Wuhan, People's Republic of China.

Miscanthus is regarded as a desired bioenergy crop with enormous lignocellulose residues for biofuels and other chemical products. In this study, the effect of different pretreatments (including microwave, NaOH, CaO, and microwave + NaOH/CaO) on sugar yields was investigated, leading to largely varied hexose yields at 4.0-73.4% (% cellulose) released from enzymatic hydrolysis of pretreated Miscanthus residues. Among them, the highest yield of 73.4% for hexoses was obtained from 12% NaOH (w/v) solution pretreatment, whereas 1% CaO (w/w) and microwave pretreatment resulted in a lower hexose yield than the control (without pretreatment). The sugar yield from microwave followed with 1% NaOH pretreatment was 4.3 times higher than that of microwave followed with 1% CaO. However, the enzymatic hydrolysis efficiencies of the sample were 15.2% and 58.5% under microwave pretreatment followed by 12% NaOH or 12.5% CaO, respectively, which were lower than those of the same concentration of alkali (NaOH and CaO) pretreatments. To investigate the mechanism of varied enzymatic saccharification under different pretreatments, the changes in the surface structure and porosity of the Miscanthus-pretreated lignocelluses were studied by means of Fourier transform infrared, Congo red staining, and scanning electron microscopy analysis. The results show that the different pretreatments destroy the cell wall cladding structure and reduce the bonding force between cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin to different degrees, therefore increasing the accessibility of cellulose and enhancing cellulose digestion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bab.2131DOI Listing
February 2021