Publications by authors named "Fei Xu"

1,241 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Long Non-coding RNA DLEU2L Targets miR-210-3p to Suppress Gemcitabine Resistance in Pancreatic Cancer Cells via BRCA2 Regulation.

Front Mol Biosci 2021 22;8:645365. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

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

Gemcitabine (GEM) resistance remains a challenging clinical issue to overcome in chemotherapy against pancreatic cancer. We previously demonstrated that miR-210 derived from pancreatic cancer stem cells enhanced the GEM-resistant properties of pancreatic cancer cells, thus identifying miR-210 as an oncogenic miRNA. Herein, we report the existence of an upstream effector that acts as a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) to miR-210. Bioinformatic screening was performed to identify lncRNAs with a binding relationship to miR-210. Overexpression and interference vectors were constructed to demonstrate the effect of ceRNA activity in pancreatic cell behavior, both and . DLEU2L (deleted in lymphocytic leukemia 2-like), which is expressed at low levels in pancreatic cancer tissues, was shown to exhibit a binding relationship with miR-210-3p. Overexpression of DLEU2L and silencing of miR-210-3p suppressed the proliferation, migration, and invasion of pancreatic cancer cells while promoting apoptosis. These effects occurred via the inhibition of the Warburg effect (aerobic glycolysis) and AKT/mTOR signaling. In addition, we showed that BRCA2 is a target gene of miR-210-3p, and the downregulation of miR-210-3p by DLEU2L effectively induced an upregulation of BRCA2 via the ceRNA mechanism. , DLEU2L overexpression and miR-210-3p interference suppressed pancreatic tumor progression, consistent with the results of studies. The findings of our study establish DLEU2L as a ceRNA to miR-210-3p and reveal the critical role of the DLEU2L/miR-210-3p crosstalk in targeting GEM resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmolb.2021.645365DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8100451PMC
April 2021

Dexmedetomidine Exerts Renal Protective Effect by Regulating the PGC-1α/STAT1/IRF-1 Axis.

Nephron 2021 May 7:1-12. Epub 2021 May 7.

Department of Orthopedics, Affiliated Hospital of Chengde Medical College, Chengde, China.

Background: Ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury is the main cause of acute kidney injury (AKI), and its incidence and mortality increase year by year in the population. Dexmedetomidine (DEX) can improve AKI by regulating inflammation and oxidative stress, but its mechanism is still unclear.

Methods: A hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) model of HK-2 cells and a kidney I/R model of C57BL/6J mice were established. In the experiment, cells were transfected with sh-PGC-1α to inhibit PGC-1α expression. The changes of ROS level and mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) were analyzed. HE staining was used to assess kidney damage in mice. Concentration of kidney injury markers serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen and expression of inflammatory factors were detected by ELISA. qPCR analysis was used to detect mRNA levels of related proteins in cells and mouse kidney tissues. The protein intracellular content and phosphorylation levels were determined by Western blotting.

Result: The production of inflammatory factors and ROS was increased in HK-2 cells treated with H/R, while MMP, cell viability, and mitochondrial-related protein levels were decreased. DEX attenuated pathological changes induced by H/R, while knockdown of PGC-1α eliminated the mitigation effect. DEX inhibited the damage of I/R to the kidneys of mice and increased the expression of mitochondrial-related proteins and PGC-1α in the kidneys, while inhibiting the phosphorylation of STAT1 and the expression of IRF-1.

Conclusions: DEX appears to inhibit mitochondrial damage and cellular inflammation by upregulating PGC-1α to affect STAT1 phosphorylation level and IRF-1 expression, thereby preventing AKI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000514532DOI Listing
May 2021

Urban-rural differences in catastrophic health expenditure among households with chronic non-communicable disease patients: evidence from China family panel studies.

BMC Public Health 2021 May 6;21(1):874. Epub 2021 May 6.

Department of Social Medicine and Health Management, College of Public Health, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, 450001, Henan, China.

Background: The prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) challenges the Chinese health system reform. Little is known for the differences in catastrophic health expenditure (CHE) between urban and rural households with NCD patients. This study aims to measure the differences above and quantify the contribution of each variable in explaining the urban-rural differences.

Methods: Unbalanced panel data were obtained from the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) conducted between 2012 and 2018. The techniques of Fairlie nonlinear decomposition and Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition were employed to measure the contribution of each independent variable to the urban-rural differences.

Results: The CHE incidence and intensity of households with NCD patients were significantly higher in rural areas than in urban areas. The urban-rural differences in CHE incidence increased from 8.07% in 2012 to 8.18% in 2018, while the urban-rural differences in CHE intensity decreased from 2.15% in 2012 to 2.05% in 2018. From 2012 to 2018, the disparity explained by household income and self-assessed health status of household head increased to some extent. During the same period, the contribution of education attainment to the urban-rural differences in CHE incidence decreased, while the contribution of education attainment to the urban-rural differences in CHE intensity increased slightly.

Conclusions: Compared with urban households with NCD patients, rural households with NCD patients had higher risk of incurring CHE and heavier economic burden of diseases. There was no substantial change in urban-rural inequality in the incidence and intensity of CHE in 2018 compared to 2012. Policy interventions should give priority to improving the household income, education attainment and health awareness of rural patients with NCDs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-10887-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8101026PMC
May 2021

Multi-scale structuring of cell-instructive cellulose nanocrystal composite hydrogel sheets via sequential electrospinning and thermal wrinkling.

Acta Biomater 2021 May 1. Epub 2021 May 1.

Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8, Canada; School of Biomedical Engineering, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8, Canada. Electronic address:

Structured hydrogel sheets offer the potential to mimic the mechanics and morphology of native cell environments in vitro; however, controlling the morphology of such sheets across multiple length scales to give cells consistent multi-dimensional cues remains challenging. Here, we demonstrate a simple two-step process based on sequential electrospinning and thermal wrinkling to create nanocomposite poly(oligoethylene glycol methacrylate)/cellulose nanocrystal hydrogel sheets with a highly tunable multi-scale wrinkled (micro) and fibrous (nano) morphology. By varying the time of electrospinning, rotation speed of the collector, and geometry of the thermal wrinkling process, the hydrogel nanofiber density, fiber alignment, and wrinkle geometry (biaxial or uniaxial) can be independently controlled. Adhered C2C12 mouse myoblast muscle cells display a random orientation on biaxially wrinkled sheets but an extended morphology (directed preferentially along the wrinkles) on uniaxially wrinkled sheets. While the nanofiber orientation had a smaller effect on cell alignment, parallel nanofibers promoted improved cell alignment along the wrinkle direction while perpendicular nanofibers disrupted alignment. The highly tunable structures demonstrated are some of the most complex morphologies engineered into hydrogels to-date without requiring intensive micro/nanofabrication approaches and offer the potential to precisely regulate cell-substrate interactions in a "2.5D" environment (i.e. a surface with both micro- and nano-structured topographies) for in vitro cell screening or in vivo tissue regeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2021.04.044DOI Listing
May 2021

IL33 (Interleukin 33)/ST2 (Interleukin 1 Receptor-Like 1) Axis Drives Protective Microglial Responses and Promotes White Matter Integrity After Stroke.

Stroke 2021 Apr 27:STROKEAHA120032444. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Health Care System, Pittsburgh, PA (F.X., Q.Y., J.C., X.H.).

Background And Purpose: Emerging evidence highlights the importance of IL33 (interleukin 33) and its receptor (ST2 [interleukin 1 receptor-like 1]) in normal brains and neurological disorders. This study explores the function of the IL33/ST2 signaling axis and a transcription factor STAT6 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 6) in white matter integrity and long-term recovery after stroke.

Methods: Transient middle cerebral artery occlusion was induced in wild type, ST2 knockout, STAT6 knockout, and microglia/macrophage-depleted (by PLX5622 diet) mice. Sensorimotor and cognitive functions were evaluated. White matter integrity was measured by immunofluorescent staining, diffusion tensor imaging, electron microscopy, and electrophysiology. The death of oligodendrocytes and its precursor cells (OPC) and the microglia/macrophage responses were evaluated 3 days after stroke. Primary microglia-oligodendrocyte/OPC cocultures were used for mechanistic studies. Parametric tests (Student test or ANOVA) or nonparametric Mann-Whitney test were used for statistical analysis based on the numbers of groups, types of variables, and the structure of each data set.

Results: ST2 deficiency exacerbates sensorimotor and cognitive deficits for 28 days after middle cerebral artery occlusion compared with wild-type mice, which was accompanied by deteriorated structural damages and impaired conduction of compound action potentials in white matter. ST2 knockout mice displayed increased death of oligodendrocytes and OPCs, and a concomitant exacerbation in neuroinflammation 3 days after stroke. Using microglia/macrophage-depleted mice and microglia-oligodendrocyte/OPC cocultures, we showed that IL33 protected oligodendrocytes and OPCs against ischemic injury in a microglia/macrophage dependent manner. Further mechanistic studies identified STAT6 as a molecule that mediates the protective effects of IL33/ST2 on oligodendrocytes in the ischemic brain. IL33 treatment failed to rescue oligodendrocytes and OPCs after stroke in STAT6 knockout mice.

Conclusions: These results shed light on the IL33/ST2/STAT6 signaling as a potential immune regulatory mechanism to modulate microglia/macrophage activity, improve white matter integrity, and restore long-term neurological functions after stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.032444DOI Listing
April 2021

[Effects of Land Use Changes on Soil Fungal Community Structure and Function in the Riparian Wetland Along the Downstream of the Songhua River].

Huan Jing Ke Xue 2021 May;42(5):2531-2540

College of Environmental Science and Engineering, China West Normal University, Nanchong 637002, China.

The aim of this study was to provide a reference for wetland resource management and ecological restoration by analyzing the influence of land use changes on the soil fungal community and its function and to identify the potential natural restoration ability of degraded riverside wetlands in the Songhua River. In July 2018, soil fungi in a natural wetland, paddy field, sand mining slash, and restoration wetland along the downstream of the Songhua River were amplified by PCR. PCR products were sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq PE300 high-throughput sequencing platform. The differences in the soil fungal community composition and function and its influencing factors were analyzed. The results showed that the -diversity indexes of soil fungi were significantly reduced by sand mining or cultivation in the natural wetland (<0.05). The ACE index and Chao1 index of soil fungi in the sand mining slash were significantly improved after the sand mining area was restored to a constructed wetland (<0.05). There were significant differences in the soil fungal community structure between the paddy field and other land use types (<0.05). The soil fungi in the riparian wetland could be divided into 16 phyla. Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Mortierellomycota, and Rozellomycota were the dominant phyla (relative abundance>1%). Ectomycorrhizal was the main functional fungus in the natural wetland and restoration wetland with the supplementation of bryophyte parasites and lichen parasites. Litter saprotrophs and soil saprotrophs were the main functional groups of fungi in the paddy field and sand mining slash, and the relative abundances of animal pathogens and plant pathogens increased significantly in the paddy field. The diversity of the soil fungal community was significantly influenced by the soil pH, organic carbon, total nitrogen, and total phosphorus contents. Thus, resource development in the natural riparian wetlands reduced the ecosystem stability and increased the potential ecological risks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13227/j.hjkx.202008307DOI Listing
May 2021

The distribution of Fusarium graminearum and F. asiaticum causing Fusarium head blight of wheat in relation to climate and cropping system.

Plant Dis 2021 Apr 21. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Henan Academy of Agricultural SciencesZhengzhou , China, 450002;

In the main wheat production area of China (The Huang Huai Plain, HHP), both Fusarium graminearum and F. asiaticum, the causal agents of Fusarium head blight (FHB), are present. We investigated whether the relative prevalence of F. graminearum and F. asiaticum is related to cropping systems and/or climate factors. A total of 1844 Fusarium isolates were obtained from 103 fields of two cropping systems: maize-wheat and rice-wheat rotations. To maximize the differences in climatic conditions, isolates were sampled from the north and south HHP region. Based on the phylogenetic analysis of EF-1α and Tri101sequences, 1207 of the 1844 isolates belonged to F. graminearum, and the remaining 637 isolates belonged to F. asiaticum. The former was predominant in the northern region: 1022 of the 1078 Fusarium isolates in the north were F. graminearum. The latter was predominant in the southern region: 581 of the 766 Fusarium isolates belonging to F. asiaticum. Analysis based on generalised linear modelling, the relative prevalence of the two species was associated more with climatic conditions than with the cropping system. Fusarium graminearum was associated with drier conditions, cooler conditions during the winter but warmer conditions in the infection and grain-colonization period, and with the maize-wheat rotation. The opposite was true for F. asiaticum. Except 15-ADON, the trichothecene chemotype composition of F. asiaticum differed between the two cropping systems. The 3-ADON was more prevalent in the maize-wheat rotation; whereas NIV more prevalent in the rice-wheat rotation. The results also suggested that environmental conditions in the overwintering period appeared to be more important than that in the infection and grain-colonization and pre-anthesis sporulation periods in affecting the relative prevalence of F. graminearum and F. asiaticum. More research is needed to study the effect of overwintering conditions on subsequent epidemic in the following spring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-01-21-0013-REDOI Listing
April 2021

Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals the differential response to cadmium stress of two Pleurotus fungi: Pleurotus cornucopiae and Pleurotus ostreatus.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Apr 6;416:125814. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Key Laboratory of Bio-Resource and Eco-Environment of Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, Sichuan, PR China; Key Laboratory of Environment Protection, Soil ecological protection and pollution control, Sichuan University & Department of Ecology and Environment of Sichuan, Chengdu 610065, Sichuan, PR China. Electronic address:

Pleurotus has great potential for heavy metal mycoremediation. Using comparative transcriptome analysis, the response of Pleurotus ostreatus and Pleurotus cornucopiae under Cd contamination was evaluated. P. ostreatus and P. cornucopia accumulated 0.34 and 0.46 mg/g Cd in mycelium, respectively. Cd removal elevated with its concentration elevation, which reached 56.47% and 54.60% for P. ostreatus and P. cornucopia with Cd at 20 mg/L. Low-level Cd (≤ 1 mg/L) had no significant influence on either fungus, while varied response was observed under high-level Cd. 705 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in P. cornucopia at Cd1 and Cd20, whereas 12,551 DEGs in P. ostreatus. Differentially regulated functional categories and pathways were also identified. ATP-binding cassette transporters were involved in Cd transport in P. cornucopia, whereas the endocytosis and phagosome pathways were more enhanced in P. ostreatus. 26 enzymes including peroxisomal enzymes catalase and superoxide dismutase were upregulated in P. ostreatus, whereas only cytosolic catalase was overexpressed in P. cornucopia, suggesting their different Cd detoxification pathways. Also, the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway involved in Cd resistance in both species instead of glutathione metabolism, although more active in P. ostreatus. These findings provided new insight into the molecular mechanism of mycoremediation and accumulator screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125814DOI Listing
April 2021

Silica optical fiber integrated with two-dimensional materials: towards opto-electro-mechanical technology.

Light Sci Appl 2021 Apr 14;10(1):78. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures and Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210093, China.

In recent years, the integration of graphene and related two-dimensional (2D) materials in optical fibers have stimulated significant advances in all-fiber photonics and optoelectronics. The conventional passive silica fiber devices with 2D materials are empowered for enhancing light-matter interactions and are applied for manipulating light beams in respect of their polarization, phase, intensity and frequency, and even realizing the active photo-electric conversion and electro-optic modulation, which paves a new route to the integrated multifunctional all-fiber optoelectronic system. This article reviews the fast-progress field of hybrid 2D-materials-optical-fiber for the opto-electro-mechanical devices. The challenges and opportunities in this field for future development are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41377-021-00520-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8046821PMC
April 2021

A Natural Product Chemist's Guide to Unlocking Silent Biosynthetic Gene Clusters.

Annu Rev Biochem 2021 Apr 13. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA; email:

Microbial natural products have provided an important source of therapeutic leads and motivated research and innovation in diverse scientific disciplines. In recent years, it has become evident that bacteria harbor a large, hidden reservoir of potential natural products in the form of silent or cryptic biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs). These can be readily identified in microbial genome sequences but do not give rise to detectable levels of a natural product. Herein, we provide a useful organizational framework for the various methods that have been implemented for interrogating silent BGCs. We divide all available approaches into four categories. The first three are endogenous strategies that utilize the native host in conjunction with classical genetics, chemical genetics, or different culture modalities. The last category comprises expression of the entire BGC in a heterologous host. For each category, we describe the rationale, recent applications, and associated advantages and limitations. Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 90 is June 2021. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-biochem-081420-102432DOI Listing
April 2021

Screening Tools Based on Nomogram for Diabetic Kidney Diseases in Chinese Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Patients.

Diabetes Metab J 2021 Apr 13. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

ADR Monitoring Department, Henan Medical Products Administration & Center for ADR Monitoring of Henan, Zhengzhou, China.

Background: The influencing factors of diabetic kidney disease (DKD) in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) were explored to develop and validate a DKD diagnostic tool based on nomogram approach for patients with T2DM.

Methods: A total of 2,163 in-hospital patients with diabetes diagnosed from March 2015 to March 2017 were enrolled. Specified logistic regression models were used to screen the factors and establish four different diagnostic tools based on nomogram according to the final included variables. Discrimination and calibration were used to assess the performance of screening tools.

Results: Among the 2,163 participants with diabetes (1,227 men and 949 women), 313 patients (194 men and 120 women) were diagnosed with DKD. Four different screening equations (full model, laboratory-based model 1 [LBM1], laboratory-based model 2 [LBM2], and simplified model) showed good discriminations and calibrations. The C-indexes were 0.8450 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.8202 to 0.8690) for full model, 0.8149 (95% CI, 0.7892 to 0.8405) for LBM1, 0.8171 (95% CI, 0.7912 to 0.8430) for LBM2, and 0.8083 (95% CI, 0.7824 to 0.8342) for simplified model. According to Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test, good agreement between the predicted and observed DKD events in patients with diabetes was observed for full model (χ2=3.2756, P=0.9159), LBM1 (χ2=7.749, P=0.4584), LBM2 (χ2=10.023, P=0.2634), and simplified model (χ2=12.294, P=0.1387).

Conclusion: LBM1, LBM2, and simplified model exhibited excellent predictive performance and availability and could be recommended for screening DKD cases among Chinese patients with diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2020.0117DOI Listing
April 2021

Viral reduction of human blood by UVA photosensitized vitamin K5.

J Med Virol 2021 Apr 10. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Division of Blood Components and Devices, OBRR, CBER, FDA, Silver Spring, MD, USA.

Blood product transfusion can transmit viral pathogens. Pathogen reduction methods for blood products have been developed but, so far, are not available for whole blood. We evaluated if Vitamin K5 (VK5) and ultraviolet light A (UVA) irradiation could be used for virus inactivation in plasma and whole blood. Undiluted human plasma and whole blood diluted to 20% were spiked with high levels of vaccinia or Zika viruses. Infectious titers were measured by standard TCID assay before and after VK5/ UVA treatments. Up to 3.6 log of vaccinia and 3.2 log of Zika were reduced in plasma by the combination of 500 μM VK5 and 3 J/cm UVA, and 3.1 log of vaccinia and 2.9 log of Zika were reduced in diluted human blood (20%) by the combination of 500 μM VK5 and 70 J/cm UVA. At end of whole blood treatment hemolysis increased from 0.18% to 0.41% but remained below the 1% hemolysis which is acceptable to the FDA for red cell transfusion products. No significant alteration of biochemical parameters of red blood cells occurred with treatment. Our results provide a proof of a concept that a viral pathogen reduction method based on VK5/UVA may be developed for whole blood. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmv.27008DOI Listing
April 2021

Recognizing adsorption of Cd(Ⅱ) by a novel core-shell mesoporous ion-imprinted polymer: Characterization, binding mechanism and practical application.

Chemosphere 2021 Mar 24;278:130369. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

School of Medical Instrument and Food Engineering, Shanghai Engineering Research Center for Food Rapid Detection, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, P.O. Box 454, No. 516, Jungong Road, Shanghai, 200093, PR China. Electronic address:

A novel monodispersed Cd(II) ion-imprinted polymer (IIP) was synthesized inside core-shell mesoporous silica (C-SMS) particles to improve the diffusion kinetics of the polymer. The synthesized IIP@C-SMS was characterized and subsequently used in solid-phase extraction (SPE) for the selective adsorption of Cd(II) in aquatic samples. The results indicated that IIP had been successfully assembled inside the C-SMS particles with a high specific surface area (546.3 m g) and uniform mesoporous size (2.07 nm). The obtained IIP@C-SMS takes only 15 min to reach the adsorption equilibrium due to the highly developed mesoporous structure. IIP@C-SMS also presented a maximal adsorption capacity (201.9 μmol g) for Cd(II), which was much higher than that of NIP@C-SMS (80.3 μmol g). The relative selectivity coefficient of IIP@C-SMS for Cd(II)/M(II) (M = Cu(II), Pb(II), Cr(II), and Ni(II)) were 7.15, 8.70, 7.18, and 7.36, respectively, further confirming the satisfactory selectivity of IIP@C-SMS. The adsorption isotherms of IIP@C-SMS toward Cd(II) could be described by Langmuir model; whereas the adsorption kinetics could be fitted by the pseudo-second-order model, indicating chemisorption was the rate-limiting step. The FT-IR, ITC and XPS analysis further confirmed that the Cd(II)-induced cavities during the ion-imprinting process and the coordination between Cd(II) and -SH groups were the main adsorption mechanism. Furthermore, in real samples, IIP@C-SMS-SPE adsorbed approximately 93-104% of Cd(II). This work provides new insights for the design of novel macroporous sorbents for Cd(II).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.130369DOI Listing
March 2021

Microbial abundance and community in constructed wetlands planted with and in winter.

Int J Phytoremediation 2021 Apr 7:1-10. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

College of Geography and Environment, Collaborative Innovation Center of Human-Nature and Green Development in the Universities of Shandong, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, PR China.

Novelty Statement: The microbial abundance and communities were characterized in CWs with different plant species during winter. Better removal efficiency with high microbial abundance and diversified microbial community were found in CWs planted with This study confirmed that in winter, withered plants in CWs can effectively remove NH-N and COD by affecting microbial abundance and community structure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15226514.2021.1907737DOI Listing
April 2021

Transient delayed gastric emptying following laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication for gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Langenbecks Arch Surg 2021 Apr 6. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

The Nutrition Department, Suining Central Hospital, Sichuan, China.

Purpose: Although laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication (LNF) is a kind of minimally invasive surgery, some transition time may still be required to allow the fundoplicated stomach to adapt to the new anatomical position. We observed transient delayed gastric emptying (DGE) post-LNF in our preliminary study. This study aimed to investigate the occurrence rate and development of transient DGE post-LNF.

Methods: Patients who underwent LNF for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) at our institution were recruited consecutively. They were treated with standardized LNF and prospectively followed up for 2 months. Proper diet guidance and/or pharmacologic therapy were given during these 2 months. GERD Health-Related Quality of Life (GERD-HRQL), DGE symptoms, and DGE status were evaluated preoperatively and postoperatively.

Results: Fifty-one patients underwent LNF and completed a 2-month follow-up. LNF succeeded in all patients. Prior to LNF, no DGE was identified. At the 1-month follow-up, LNF led to a significant reduction in the GERD-HRQL total score but a significantly increased DGE score. Endoscopically, DGE was identified in forty-seven (n = 47, 92.2%) patients. At the 2-month follow-up, the GERD-HRQL scores continued to show decreases compared to the 1 month. The DGE score returned to the baseline value. Endoscopically, no DGE was identified in any patients (n = 0, 0.0%).

Conclusions: Transient DGE is a very common one-month post-LNF but can recover quickly in the second month following LNF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00423-021-02156-2DOI Listing
April 2021

Investigating the Influence of Electronic Effects of Functional Groups on the Fluorescence Mechanism of Probes in Water Samples.

J Phys Chem A 2021 Apr 6;125(14):2866-2875. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Lab Analyst of Network Information Center, Dalian Polytechnic University, Dalian 116034, P. R. China.

This study investigates the fluorescence quenching mechanism of formaldehyde detection probe Naph1 and its contrast probe Naph3 in water samples and discussed the effect of the electron-donating group and electron-withdrawing group on fluorescence characteristics based on density functional theory (DFT) and time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT). We optimized the structures of the four probes Naph1, Naph1-S, Naph3, and Naph3-S (Scheme 1) and calculated the absorption and emission spectra, which were in good agreement with the experiment. Frontier molecular orbitals (FMOs) were used to analyze the charge arrangement in the excited state. To investigate the intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT) phenomenon, a potential energy curve was constructed. The amount of fragment charge transfer was analyzed by the IFCT method, and then it was determined whether there was an intramolecular charge transfer (ICT) process. It was found that there was an ICT process in Naph3. The electronic effect of the functional groups did not determine the ICT characteristics and the fluorescence characteristics of the substance. Furthermore, the spin-orbit coupling  (SOC) constant based on the intersystem crossing (ISC) was supplemented, which showed that the fluorescence quenching of Naph1 and Naph3 was caused by the ISC and the corresponding quenching of Naph3-S was caused by charge transfer (CT) in the excited state.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpca.1c00108DOI Listing
April 2021

The complete mitochondrial genome of Zhehuang-1 (Hymenochaetales, Basidiomycota).

Mitochondrial DNA B Resour 2021 Mar 19;6(3):1096-1097. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Institute of Horticulture, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, People's Republic of China.

In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome of Zhehuang-1 was determined. Genomic DNA samples individually collected from a population in southeastern China (Qiandaohu, Zhejiang Province, N29°44'24'', E118°52'48'') were sequenced with an Illumina NovaSeq 6000. The complete mitochondrial genome was 97,345 bp in length and consisted of 22 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 29 tRNAs, 3 ribosomal RNAs, and a control region. has a mitochondrial gene arrangement that is similar to that of . Phylogenetic analysis performed using ML methods based on the complete mitogenome sequence showed that is a member of the Polyporaceae. The complete mitogenome sequence provides important data for further study of the complex.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23802359.2020.1832592DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7995906PMC
March 2021

Optical conveyor belt based on a plasmonic metasurface with polarization dependent hot spot arrays.

Opt Lett 2021 Apr;46(7):1522-1525

In this Letter, we propose a novel metasurface conveyor belt with periodic orientated arrays of gold plasmonic elliptical elements (GPEEs), which can be continuously lit in a relay way by switching the polarization of the excitation beam and can be used to trap, transport, and sort particles. The array of the hot field can provide a larger trapping area and better stiffness. With the incident optical intensity of 0.08/µ, the depth of the potential well could be as high as 10. By setting a narrow interval between plasmonic ellipses in principal axes, it can help further enhance their directional resonant coupling and polarization dependence. Furthermore, based on consideration of the Brownian motion of trapped particles in aqueous solution, we analyzed its time response property of particle manipulation with different applied switching frequencies from a statistical point of view. As confirmed by numerical analysis, our design offers a novel scheme of particle sorting using a scalable hot spot array with better performance, which could be used in many on-chip optofluidic applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.419201DOI Listing
April 2021

Silencing Contributes to the Suppression of Lung Adenocarcinoma Development.

Cancer Manag Res 2021 18;13:2633-2642. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Jiangxi Institute of Respiratory Disease, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, Jiangxi, People's Republic of China.

Purpose: Lung cancer has been recognized as the most fatal malignant tumor with the highest morbidity and mortality in recent years.

Materials And Methods: In this study, we found that LMNB1, which is an important component protein of the nuclear skeleton, was significantly upregulated in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) and correlated with the pathological stage as well as lymphatic metastasis.

Results: In vitro loss-of-function study utilizing knockdown LUAD cell lines demonstrated that depletion of inhibited development of LUAD through regulating cell proliferation, cell apoptosis, cell cycle and cell motility. Decreased tumorigenesis of knockdown LUAD cells was proved in mice xenograft models. Moreover, the mechanism by which promotes LUAD was explored through the expression evaluation of apoptosis-related proteins and cancer-related signaling pathways.

Conclusion: In conclusion, our study identified as a tumor promotor and a potential therapeutic target in LUAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S275874DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7987266PMC
March 2021

Mechanistic insights into substrate recognition and catalysis of a new ulvan lyase of the polysaccharide lyase family 24.

Appl Environ Microbiol 2021 Mar 26. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

State Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology, Shandong University, Qingdao, 266237, China

Ulvan is an important marine polysaccharide. Bacterial ulvan lyases play important roles in ulvan degradation and marine carbon cycling. Until now, only a small number of ulvan lyases have been characterized. Here, a new ulvan lyase, Uly1, belonging to the polysaccharide lyase (PL) family 24 from the marine bacterium is characterized. The optimal temperature and pH for Uly1 to degrade ulvan are 40°C and pH 9.0, respectively. Uly1 degrades ulvan polysaccharides in the endolytic manner, mainly producing ΔRha3S, consisting of an unsaturated 4-deoxy-L--hex-4-enopyranosiduronic acid and a 3-O-sulfated α-L-rhamnose. The structure of Uly1 was resolved at a 2.10 Å resolution. Uly1 adopts a seven-bladed β-propeller architecture. Structural and site-directed mutagenesis analyses indicate that four highly conserved residues, H128, H149, Y223 and R239, are essential for catalysis. H128 functions as both the catalytic acid and base, H149 and R239 function as the neutralizers, and Y223 plays a supporting role in catalysis. Structural comparison and sequence alignment suggest that Uly1 and many other PL24 enzymes may directly bind the substrate near the catalytic residues for catalysis, different from the PL24 ulvan lyase LOR_107 adopting a two-stage substrate binding process. This study provides new insights into ulvan lyases and ulvan degradation.Ulvan is a major cell wall component of green algae of the genus Many marine heterotrophic bacteria can produce extracellular ulvan lyases to degrade ulvan for carbon nutrient. In addition, ulvan has a range of physiological bioactivities based on its specific chemical structure. Ulvan lyase thus plays an important role in marine carbon cycling and has great potential in biotechnological applications. However, only a small number of ulvan lyases have been characterized over the past ten years. Here, based on biochemical and structural analyses, a new ulvan lyase of polysaccharide lyase family 24 is characterized and its substrate recognition and catalytic mechanisms are revealed. Moreover, a new substrate binding process adopted by PL24 ulvan lyases is proposed. This study offers a better understanding of bacterial ulvan lyases and is helpful for studying the application potentials of ulvan lyases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00412-21DOI Listing
March 2021

YAP1/TEAD1 upregulate platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta to promote vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and neointima formation.

J Mol Cell Cardiol 2021 Mar 19;156:20-32. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, GA 30912, United States. Electronic address:

We have previously demonstrated that the transcription co-factor yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1) promotes vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) de-differentiation. Yet, the role and underlying mechanisms of YAP1 in neointima formation in vivo remain unclear. The goal of this study was to investigate the role of VSMC-expressed YAP1 in vascular injury-induced VSMC proliferation and delineate the mechanisms underlying its action. Experiments employing gain- or loss-of-function of YAP1 demonstrated that YAP1 promotes human VSMC proliferation. Mechanistically, we identified platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGFRB) as a novel YAP1 target gene that confers the YAP1-dependent hyper-proliferative effects in VSMCs. Furthermore, we identified TEA domain transcription factor 1 (TEAD1) as a key transcription factor that mediates YAP1-dependent PDGFRβ expression. ChIP assays demonstrated that TEAD1 is enriched at a PDGFRB gene enhancer. Luciferase reporter assays further demonstrated that YAP1 and TEAD1 co-operatively activate the PDGFRB enhancer. Consistent with these observations, we found that YAP1 expression is upregulated after arterial injury and correlates with PDGFRβ expression and VSMC proliferation in vivo. Using a novel inducible SM-specific Yap1 knockout mouse model, we found that the specific deletion of Yap1 in adult VSMCs is sufficient to attenuate arterial injury-induced neointima formation, largely due to inhibited PDGFRβ expression and VSMC proliferation. Our study unravels a novel mechanism by which YAP1/TEAD1 promote VSMC proliferation via transcriptional induction of PDGFRβ, thereby enhancing PDGF-BB downstream signaling and promoting neointima formation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yjmcc.2021.03.005DOI Listing
March 2021

Establishment of a standardized dietary model for nanoparticles oral exposure studies.

Food Sci Nutr 2021 Mar 15;9(3):1441-1451. Epub 2021 Jan 15.

School of Medical Instrument and Food Engineering Shanghai Engineering Research Center for Food Rapid Detection University of Shanghai for Science and Technology Shanghai China.

Food matrices could affect the physicochemical properties of nanoparticles (NPs) and define the biological effects of NPs via oral exposure compared with the pristine NPs. We established a standardized dietary model based on Chinese dietary reference intakes and Chinese dietary guidelines to mimic the exposure of NPs in real life and to evaluate further the biological effect and toxicity of NPs via oral exposure compared with current models. The standardized dietary model prepared from the primary emulsion was dried into powder using spray drying compared with commercial food powder and then was reconstituted compared with the fresh sample. The average particle size (295.59 nm), potential (-23.78 mV), viscosity (0.04 pa s), and colors (L, a, b = 84.13, -0.116, 8.908) were measured and characterized of the fresh sample. The flowability (repose angle = 37.28° and slide angle = 36.75°), moisture (2.68%), colors (L, a, b = 94.16, -0.27, 3.01), and bulk density (0.45 g/ml) were compared with commercial food powder. The size (310.75 nm), potential (-23.98 mV), and viscosity (0.04 pa s) of reconstituted model were similar to the fresh sample. Results demonstrated that the model was satisfy the characterizations of easy to fabrication, good stability, small particle size, narrow particle size distribution, strong practicability, and good reproducibility similar to most physiological food state and will be used to evaluate NPs' safety.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.2112DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7958543PMC
March 2021

Mechanisms and kinetics studies of the atmospheric oxidation of eugenol by hydroxyl radicals and ozone molecules.

Sci Total Environ 2021 May 22;770:145203. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

College of Environment and Safety Engineering, Qingdao University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266042, PR China.

Eugenol is a representative methoxyphenol derived from the pyrolysis of lignin containing a branched alkene group. Its concentration in the atmosphere is equivalent to guaiacol and syringol. In this present paper, the gas phase reaction mechanisms and kinetic parameters of eugenol with hydroxyl radicals (OH) and ozone molecules (O) were calculated at the M06-2×/6-311+G(3df,2p)//M06-2×/6-311+G(d,p) level. There are two distinct reaction types between eugenol and OH. In particular, Path2 is most favorable in the OH additions, whereas IM16 is most advantageous in H atom abstraction pathways. OH additions have more advantages than H abstraction reactions. Thus, the comprehensive and detailed reaction schemes for the further reactions of IM2 were presented. The main products generated by IM2 are methyl (Z)-3-(2-formylpenta-1,4-dien-1-yl)-2-hydroxyoxirane-2-carboxylate (P2B-4), 2-methoxy-2-oxoacetic acid (P2B-10), 2-allylmalealdehyde (P2B-11) and other carbonyl or carboxyl compounds. As for the reaction of eugenol with O, the cycloaddition reactions and subsequent oxidative degradation processes were also explored, which yielded the most dominant product 2-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl) acetaldehyde (P8-1). The reaction constants of the primary reactions for eugenol with OH and O under the temperature range of 225- 375 K were successively calculated by POLYRATE and MESMER program. At 298 K and 1 atm, the respective rate coefficients are 5.91 × 10 and 5.48 × 10 cm molecule s and the corresponding atmospheric lifetimes are 4.70 h and 0.72 h. The short lifetimes suggest that once eugenol enters the atmosphere, it is likely to be rapidly degraded. This work aims to provide theoretical guidance for the photochemical reaction mechanisms of eugenol with OH and O, and present a reference for more experimental researches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145203DOI Listing
May 2021

The relationship between socioeconomic position and health literacy among urban and rural adults in regional China.

BMC Public Health 2021 Mar 17;21(1):527. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, 101 Longmian Ave., Nanjing, 211166, People's Republic of China.

Background: To examine associations of socioeconomic position (SEP), separately indicated by education, monthly family average income (FAI) and occupation, with health literacy (HL) among adults in regional China.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among urban and rural adults (aged 25-69 years) who were randomly selected, using the probability proportionate to size sampling approach, from Nanjing municipality of China during October and December of 2016. HL, the outcome variable, was assessed using the Chinese Resident Health Literacy Scale. SEP, our independent variable, was separately measured with educational attainment, monthly family average income and occupation. Logistic regression models were introduced to examine SEP-HL association with odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI).

Results: Totally, 8698 participants completed the survey. The proportion of participants with unweighted and weighted adequate HL was 18.0% (95%CI = 17.2, 18.8%) and 19.9% (95%CI = 16.6, 23.6%), respectively, in this study. After adjustment for possible confounding factors, each SEP indicator was in significantly positive relation to both unweighted and weight HL level. Participants who obtained 13+ and 10-12 years educational attainment, respectively, had 2.41 (95%CI = 1.60, 3.64) and 1.68 (95%CI = 1.23, 2.29) times odds to record weighted adequate HL compared to their counterparts who were with 0-9 years education. Subjects within upper (OR = 1.92, 95%CI = 1.24, 2.98) and middle FAI tertile (OR = 1.59, 95%CI = 1.19, 2.13), respectively, were more likely to report weighted adequate HL relative to those who were within lower FAI tertile. White collars were more likely to have weighted adequate HL (OR = 1.33, 95%CI = 1.09, 1.61) than blue collars.

Conclusions: Each of education, FAI and occupation was positively associated with health literacy among urban and rural adults in China. The findings have important implications that different SEP indicators can be used to identify vulnerable residents in population-based health literacy promotion campaigns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-10600-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7972343PMC
March 2021

Joint association of cigarette smoking and PM with COPD among urban and rural adults in regional China.

BMC Pulm Med 2021 Mar 15;21(1):87. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Nanjing Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 3, Zizhulin, Nanjing, 210037, China.

Background: Cigarette smoking and PM are important risk factors of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). However, the joint association of cigarette smoking and PM with COPD is unknown.

Methods: A community-based study was conducted among urban and rural adults aged 40 + years between May and December of 2015 in Jiangsu Province, China. The outcome variable was spirometry-defined COPD. Explanatory measures were smoking status (non-smokers or smokers) and PM exposure [low level (< 75 μg/m) or high level (≥ 75 μg/m)]. Mixed-effects logistic regression models were applied to calculate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) to investigate the associations of cigarette smoking and PM with COPD.

Results: The prevalence of COPD was 11.9% (95% CI = 10.9%, 13.0%) within the overall 3407 participants in this study. After adjustment for potential confounders and community-level clustering effect, smokers tended to develop COPD relative to non-smokers (OR = 2.46, 95% CI 1.76, 3.43), while only smokers exposed to high level PM were more likely to experience COPD (OR = 1.36; 95% CI 1.01, 1.83) compared to their counterparts exposed to low level PM. Meanwhile, compared to non-smokers who exposed to low level PM, non-smokers who exposed to high level PM (OR = 1.10, 95% CI 0.74, 1.64), smokers who exposed to low (OR = 2.22, 95% CI 1.51, 3.27) or high level PM (OR = 3.14, 95% CI 2.15, 4.59) were, respectively, more like to develop COPD.

Conclusions: Cigarette smoking was positively associated with COPD among overall participants, while PM was in positive relation to COPD among smokers only. Moreover, cigarette smoking and PM might have an additive effect on the risk of COPD among adult smokers aged 40 years or older in China.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12890-021-01465-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7962238PMC
March 2021

BRD4 inhibition sensitizes cervical cancer to radiotherapy by attenuating DNA repair.

Oncogene 2021 Apr 12;40(15):2711-2724. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, China.

Cisplatin-based chemoradiotherapy is the recommended treatment for local advanced cervical cancer, but radioresistance remains one of the most important and unresolved clinical problems. Investigations have revealed aberrant epigenetic modifications as one of the chief culprits for the development of radioresistance. Here, we attempt to identify a radiosensitizer from an epigenetic drug synergy screen and explore the underlying mechanism. We integrated epigenetic inhibitors and radiotherapy in cervical cancer cell lines to identify potential radiosensitizers. We further verified the sensitization effect of the drug and the function of its target gene both in vitro and in vivo. Finally, we validated the clinical significance of its target gene in clinical cervical cancer specimens. We identified JQ1, a BRD4 inhibitor, as a potent radiosensitizer. Functional assays demonstrated that repressing BRD4 activity led to significant radiosensitization and potentiation of DNA damage in cervical cancer cell lines. By using RNA-seq to determine JQ1-mediated changes in transcription, we identified RAD51AP1 as a major BRD4 target gene involved in radiosensitivity. A dual-luciferase reporter assay and ChIP-qPCR showed that BRD4 binds to the promoter region of RAD51AP1 and promotes its transcription, whereas this activity was attenuated by BRD4 inhibition. The in vivo experiments also suggested a synergy between BRD4 inhibition and radiotherapy. High BRD4 expression was found to be related to a worse prognosis and radiation resistance. BRD4 inhibition sensitizes cervical cancer to radiotherapy by inhibiting RAD51AP1 transcription. The combination of JQ1 with radiotherapy merits further evaluation as a therapeutic strategy for improving local control in cervical cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41388-021-01735-3DOI Listing
April 2021

Nomogram predictive model of post-operative recurrence in non-functioning pituitary adenoma.

Gland Surg 2021 Feb;10(2):807-815

Department of Oncology, 74th Army Hospital of PLA, Guangzhou, China.

Background: To analyze and predict the possibility of post-operative recurrence in non-functioning pituitary adenoma (NFPA) patients, we investigated the clinical factors leading to tumor recurrence and built a nomogram predictive model based on these risk factors.

Methods: A single-center retrospective study was performed. A total of 145 NFPA patients who underwent surgical treatment at Shenzhen People's Hospital from September 2013 to January 2019 were selected. Among them, 52 patients were diagnosed with recurrence of NFPA according to follow-up investigations. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to determine the significant risk factors. A nomogram model was then built to predict recurrence using these factors.

Results: The univariate analysis and the binary logistic regression analysis showed that age, tumor size, cavernous invasion, sphenoid sinus invasion, and surgical extension were significant factors affecting tumor recurrence. We then built a nomogram model to predict post-operative recurrence in NFPA patients using these factors. The correlation analysis indicated that sphenoid sinus invasion [hazard ratio (HR) =13.14, 95% confidence interval (CI): 7.03-24.58, P<0.0001], cavernous sinus invasion (HR =7.53, 95% CI: 4.27-13.28, P<0.0001), and tumor size (HR =11.06, 95% CI: 6.11-20.03, P<0.0001) could promote the recurrence of NFPA. In contrast, advanced age (HR =0.50, 95% CI: 0.28-0.86, P<0.0001) and gross total resection (HR =0.12, 95% CI: 0.07-0.22, P<0.0001) could effectively inhibit recurrence.

Conclusions: In this study, we developed a nomogram predictive model based on the significant recurrence-associated factors for NFPA. This nomogram may aid neurosurgeons in the post-operative prediction of recurrence, and may facilitate tailored counseling of individual patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/gs-21-47DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7944052PMC
February 2021

Study on the neuroprotective effects of Genistein on Alzheimer's disease.

Brain Behav 2021 Mar 11:e02100. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Second Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, China.

Along with the aging of the world population, the incidence rate of Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been increasing. At present, AD has become one of the most serious problems faced by modern medicine. Studies have shown that estrogen has a positive effect on AD, but estrogen has the side effect of leading to tumors. Recent in vivo studies have shown that genistein, one of the selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), can improve brain function through the blood-brain barrier (BBB), antagonize the toxicity of amyloid β-protein (Aβ), that is, to inhibit neurotoxicity due to aggregation of beta amyloid protein, and have neuroprotective effects. In addition, the use of Gen can avoid the risk of endometrial cancer and breast cancer caused by estrogen therapy while exerting an estrogen-like effect, which has some potential for the delay and treatment of AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/brb3.2100DOI Listing
March 2021

Tocilizumab in patients with moderate or severe COVID-19: a randomized, controlled, open-label, multicenter trial.

Front Med 2021 Mar 9. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, the First Affiliated Hospital of University of Science and Technology of China (Anhui Provincial Hospital), Hefei, 230001, China.

Tocilizumab has been reported to attenuate the "cytokine storm" in COVID-19 patients. We attempted to verify the effectiveness and safety of tocilizumab therapy in COVID-19 and identify patients most likely to benefit from this treatment. We conducted a randomized, controlled, open-label multicenter trial among COVID-19 patients. The patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive either tocilizumab in addition to standard care or standard care alone. The cure rate, changes of oxygen saturation and interference, and inflammation biomarkers were observed. Thirty-three patients were randomized to the tocilizumab group, and 32 patients to the control group. The cure rate in the tocilizumab group was higher than that in the control group, but the difference was not statistically significant (94.12% vs. 87.10%, rate difference 95% CI-7.19%-21.23%, P = 0.4133). The improvement in hypoxia for the tocilizumab group was higher from day 4 onward and statistically significant from day 12 (P = 0.0359). In moderate disease patients with bilateral pulmonary lesions, the hypoxia ameliorated earlier after tocilizumab treatment, and less patients (1/12, 8.33%) needed an increase of inhaled oxygen concentration compared with the controls (4/6, 66.67%; rate difference 95% CI-99.17% to-17.50%, P = 0.0217). No severe adverse events occurred. More mild temporary adverse events were recorded in tocilizumab recipients (20/34, 58.82%) than the controls (4/31, 12.90%). Tocilizumab can improve hypoxia without unacceptable side effect profile and significant influences on the time virus load becomes negative. For patients with bilateral pulmonary lesions and elevated IL-6 levels, tocilizumab could be recommended to improve outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11684-020-0824-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7940448PMC
March 2021

A strategy for programming the regulation of transcription with application in molecular circuits.

Nanoscale 2021 Mar;13(10):5429-5434

Key Laboratory of Image Information Processing and Intelligent Control of Education Ministry of China, School of Artificial Intelligence and Automation, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, Hubei, China.

In vitro transcription is a convenient platform for fabricating nanodevices and has been used for assembling synthetic networks. However, it remains challenging to regulate synthetic cell-free in vitro transcription by multiple stimuli in a simple and programmable way. We proposed a strategy to regulate in vitro transcription by controlling the transcription templates' promoter domain via variable DNA inputs. To demonstrate the utility of this strategy, various logic circuits and cascading circuits were implemented. With the advantage of simplicity, modularity, programmability, and extensibility, the proposed strategy has potential in biocomputing, bioanalytical, and therapeutic applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0nr08465dDOI Listing
March 2021