Publications by authors named "Feifei Zhang"

285 Publications

The efficient separation of NO/CO using unsaturated Fe sites in MIL-100Fe.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2021 Jun 14. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Research Institute of Special Chemicals, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Taiyuan University of Technology, Taiyuan 030024, Shanxi, China. and Shanxi Key Laboratory of Gas Energy Efficient and Clean Utilization, Taiyuan 030024, Shanxi, P. R. China.

It is a big challenge to separate N2O from CO2 using adsorption because they have similar physical properties. The Fe3+-F- site in MIL-100Fe transforms to an unsaturated Fe2+ site under high-temperature activation (300 °C), and the target sorbent MIL-100Fe-300 exhibits the biggest difference in CO2 and N2O adsorption capacity, and the selectivity of N2O/CO2 (50%/50%) is up to 3.00 at 298 K. According to DFT calculations, the original Fe3+-F- site has strong interaction with CO2, but the open Fe2+ site has a stronger interaction with N2O. Through a breakthrough experiment, it was confirmed that MIL-100Fe-300 has the best N2O/CO2 separation performance, making it potentially a useful material in industry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1cc01659hDOI Listing
June 2021

Redox-mediated Ambient electrolytic Nitrogen Reduction for Hydrazine and Ammonia Generation.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2021 Jun 2. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

National University of Singapore, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, SINGAPORE.

Ambient electrolytic nitrogen reduction reaction (eNRR) is extensively studied as a potential alternative to the capital and energy intensive Habor-Bosch process for ammonia production. Most lab-based eNRRs are performed with catalyst directly loaded on the electrode surface, with which the catalyst loading, gas flow and current density are constrained leading to a low rate of production. Herein, we present a redox-mediated electrolytic nitrogen reduction reaction (RM-eNRR) using polyoxometalate (POM) as the electron and proton carrier which frees the Fe-TiO 2 catalyst from the electrode and shifts the reduction of nitrogen to a reactor tank. The RM-eNRR process has achieved an ammonium production yield of 25.1 μg h -1 or 5.0 μg h -1 cm -2 at an ammonium concentration of 6.7 ppm. With excess catalyst, 61.0 ppm ammonium was accumulated in the electrolyte upon continuous operation, which is the highest concentration detected for ambient eNRR so far. The mechanism underlying the RM-eNRR was scrutinized both experimentally and computationally to delineate the POM-mediated charge transfer and hydrogenation process of nitrogen molecule on the catalyst. RM-eNRR is expected to provide an implementable solution to overcome the limitations in the conventional eNRR process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.202105536DOI Listing
June 2021

Segmentation and shielding of the most vulnerable members of the population as elements of an exit strategy from COVID-19 lockdown.

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2021 07 31;376(1829):20200275. Epub 2021 May 31.

Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

This study demonstrates that an adoption of a segmenting and shielding strategy could increase the scope to partially exit COVID-19 lockdown while limiting the risk of an overwhelming second wave of infection. We illustrate this using a mathematical model that segments the vulnerable population and their closest contacts, the 'shielders'. Effects of extending the duration of lockdown and faster or slower transition to post-lockdown conditions and, most importantly, the trade-off between increased protection of the vulnerable segment and fewer restrictions on the general population are explored. Our study shows that the most important determinants of outcome are: (i) post-lockdown transmission rates within the general and between the general and vulnerable segments; (ii) fractions of the population in the vulnerable and shielder segments; (iii) adherence to protective measures; and (iv) build-up of population immunity. Additionally, we found that effective measures in the shielder segment, e.g. intensive routine screening, allow further relaxations in the general population. We find that the outcome of any future policy is strongly influenced by the contact matrix between segments and the relationships between physical distancing measures and transmission rates. This strategy has potential applications for any infectious disease for which there are defined proportions of the population who cannot be treated or who are at risk of severe outcomes. This article is part of the theme issue 'Modelling that shaped the early COVID-19 pandemic response in the UK'.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0275DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8165590PMC
July 2021

Targeting the p300/NONO axis sensitizes melanoma cells to BRAF inhibitors.

Oncogene 2021 May 20. Epub 2021 May 20.

Jiangxi Key Laboratory of Cancer Metastasis and Precision Treatment, Central Laboratory, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, PR China.

BRAF inhibitors (BRAFi) that target BRAF V600E kinase, a driver mutation found in 50% of melanomas, show a significant antitumor response, but the common emergence of acquired resistance remains a challenge. Abnormal expression of RAF isoforms CRAF and ARAF reactivates pERK1/2, which plays crucial roles in the acquisition of resistance of melanoma cells. However, the mechanisms of dysregulation of RAF isoforms in resistant melanoma cells remain unknown. Here, we identified NONO interacted with and stabilized both CRAF and ARAF in melanoma cells, and that NONO was acetylated at 198K by p300 acetyltransferase, which stabilized NONO via antagonizing its ubiquitination/degradation mediated by RNF8. The upregulation of both p300 and NONO promoted the rebound of pERK1/2 and the subsequent resistance of melanoma cells to BRAFi, and the activation of ERK1/2 in turn induced p300 to form a positive feedback loop in resistant melanoma cells. There was a positive correlation between p300 and NONO in resistant melanoma cells and clinical samples, and p300 inhibitor C646 overcame the resistance of resistant melanoma cells to BRAF inhibitors in vitro and in vivo. Our findings reveal that targeting the positive feedback loop of p300-NONO-CRAF/ARAF-pERK1/2 may be excellent strategies to overcome the resistance of BRAF inhibitors for melanoma patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41388-021-01834-1DOI Listing
May 2021

Versatile Janus Composite Nonwoven Solar Absorbers with Salt Resistance for Efficient Wastewater Purification and Desalination.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Jun 19;13(21):24945-24956. Epub 2021 May 19.

National Engineering Research Center for Advanced Polymer Processing Technology, The Key Laboratory of Advanced Materials Processing & Mold of Ministry of Education, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, P. R. China.

Solar steam generation is an efficient way of harvesting solar energy for water purification. Developing a versatile solar absorber with salt resistance and the capability to purify an oil-in-water emulsion is a grand challenge. Herein, a polypropylene (PP) nonwoven fabric-based photothermal absorber is fabricated by the combination of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), polypyrrole (PPy), and a fluorinated hydrophobic coating in a layer-by-layer approach. The specially designed architecture displays a hierarchical microstructure and Janus wetting properties, facilitating solar absorption and heat generation on the evaporation surface, and can effectively prevent salt crystallization. The water layer formed on the superhydrophilic/underwater superoleophobic bottom surface could repel oil droplets and form a channel to advect concentrated salt back into bulk water, which enabled high purity separation of an oil-in-water emulsion and continuous desalinization of seawater without the reduction of the evaporation rate. As a result, the solar absorber can achieve a remarkable evaporation rate of 1.61 kg m h and an energy efficiency of 91.2% under 1 sun irradiation and shows extraordinary performance in the purification of contaminated wastewater (over 99.8% purity). The strategy proposed provides a pathway for developing versatile high-performance solar absorbers for the sustainable treatment of saline water, wastewater, and oil-containing water.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c05618DOI Listing
June 2021

Sodium Butyrate Supplementation Inhibits Hepatic Steatosis by Stimulating Liver Kinase B1 and Insulin-Induced Gene.

Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 May 11. Epub 2021 May 11.

Center for Fatty Liver, Department of Gastroenterology, Xinhua Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China; Shanghai Key Lab of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Shanghai, China. Electronic address:

Background And Aims: Butyric acid is an intestinal microbiota-produced short-chain fatty acid, which exerts salutary effects on alleviating nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, the underlying mechanism of butyrate on regulating hepatic lipid metabolism is largely unexplored.

Methods: A mouse model of NAFLD was induced with high-fat diet feeding, and sodium butyrate (NaB) intervention was initiated at the eighth week and lasted for 8 weeks. Hepatic steatosis was evaluated and metabolic pathways concerning lipid homeostasis were analyzed.

Results: Here, we report that administration of NaB by gavage once daily for 8 weeks causes an augmentation of insulin-induced gene (Insig) activity and inhibition of lipogenic gene in mice fed with high-fat diet. Mechanistically, NaB is sufficient to enhance the interaction between Insig and its upstream kinase AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). The stimulatory effects of NaB on Insig-1 activity are abolished in AMPKα1/α2 double knockout (AMPK-/-) mouse primary hepatocytes. Moreover, AMPK activation by NaB is mediated by LKB1, as evidenced by the observations showing NaB-mediated induction of phosphorylation of AMPK, and its downstream target acetyl-CoA carboxylase is diminished in LKB1-/- mouse embryonic fibroblasts.

Conclusions: These studies indicate that NaB serves as a negative regulator of hepatic lipogenesis in NAFLD and that NaB attenuates hepatic steatosis and improves lipid profile and liver function largely through the activation of LKB1-AMPK-Insig signaling pathway. Therefore, NaB has therapeutic potential for treating NAFLD and related metabolic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcmgh.2021.05.006DOI Listing
May 2021

Evidence of the retardation effect on the plasmonic resonances of aluminum nanodisks in the symmetric/asymmetric environment.

Opt Express 2021 May;29(10):14799-14814

A single metallic nanodisk is the simplest plasmonic nanostructure, but it is robust enough to generate a Fano resonance in the forward and backward scattering spectra by the increment of nanodisk height in the symmetric and asymmetric dielectric environment. Thanks to the phase retardation effect, the non-uniform distribution of electric field along the height of aluminum (Al) nanodisk generates the out-of-plane higher-order modes, which interfere with the dipolar mode and subsequently result in the Fano-lineshape scattering spectra. Meanwhile, the symmetry-breaking effect by the dielectric substrate and the increment of refractive index of the symmetric dielectric environment further accelerate the phase retardation effect and contribute to the appearance of out-of-plane modes. The experimental results on the periodic Al nanodisk arrays with different heights confirm the retardation-induced higher modes in the asymmetric and symmetric environment. The appearance of higher modes and blueshifted main dips in the transmission spectra prove the dominant role of out-of-plane higher modes on the plasmonic resonances of the taller Al nanodisk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.425136DOI Listing
May 2021

Divergent trends of hospitalizations for upper and lower gastrointestinal bleeding based on population prescriptions of aspirin, proton pump inhibitors and Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy: Trends of upper and lower gastrointestinal bleeding.

United European Gastroenterol J 2021 May 6. Epub 2021 May 6.

Department of Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Background: With the increasing use of medications that alter the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB), comprising aspirin, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), and Helicobacter pylori eradication therapies, the trends of GIB are evolving.

Objective: The aim of this study is to determine and predict the trends of GIB and to evaluate the effects of population prescriptions of these medications on GIB incidences.

Methods: We retrieved patients hospitalized for GIB in all public hospitals in Hong Kong between 2009 and 2019. Monthly age- and sex-standardized GIB data were fitted and predicted, based on population prescriptions of aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), anticoagulants, other antiplatelet drugs, PPIs, and H. pylori therapies, using autoregressive integrated moving average model for time series analysis.

Results: The incidence of upper GIB (UGIB) showed a clear declining trend while lower GIB (LGIB) decreased slightly. Older population (>80 years) had the greatest decline in UGIB but was associated with an increase in LGIB. Prescriptions of PPIs and aspirin increased significantly with time. PPIs prescriptions were negatively associated with UGIB incidence (coefficient log(PPIs) -4.58; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -5.69, -3.47). H. pylori eradication in the previous month showed a nonsignificant trend on UGIB (coefficient -0.14; 95% CI: -0.30, 0.02). In contrast, aspirin increased the incidences of UGIB (coefficient 0.06; 95% CI: 0.04, 0.07) and LGIB (coefficient 0.04; 95% CI: 0.03, 0.05). NSAIDs, anticoagulants, and other antiplatelet drugs were not significantly associated with the trend of either UGIB or LGIB. UGIB is predicted to decline continuously but LGIB is projected to rise, particularly with increasing use of aspirin.

Conclusions: UGIB incidences were decreasing and had been surpassed by LGIB. Based on population prescriptions of aspirin and PPIs, divergent trends of upper and lower GIB are expected, especially in elderly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ueg2.12067DOI Listing
May 2021

Thrombus aspiration during primary percutaneous coronary intervention improved outcome in patients with STEMI and a large thrombus burden.

J Int Med Res 2021 May;49(5):3000605211012611

Department of Cardiology Center, Hebei General Hospital, Shijiazhuang, No.348 West Peace Road, Xinhua District, Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, People's Republic of China.

Background: The benefit of thrombus aspiration (TA) during primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) to patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) remains controversial. This study aimed to assess TA's impact on the outcome and prognosis for patients with STEMI and a large thrombus burden during PPCI.

Methods: This retrospective study evaluated consecutive patients with STEMI and a large thrombus burden (thrombolysis in myocardial infraction [TIMI] thrombus grade ≥4) who underwent conventional PPCI (n = 126) or PPCI + TA (n = 208) between February 2017 and January 2019. The procedure outcome and clinical prognosis were compared.

Results: Postprocedural vessel diameter was larger, and corrected TIMI frame count (cTFC) was lower in the PPCI + TA compared with the PPCI group. The proportion of postprocedural TIMI 3 flow was 83.3% in the PPC group and 94.2% in the PPCI+TA group. During the 12-month follow-up, no significant differences existed in the incidence of cardiac death, reinfarction, stent thrombosis, target vessel revascularization, or stroke.

Conclusion: Application of TA in patients with STEMI and a large thrombus burden during PPCI may improve the procedural outcome, but it showed no benefit on the clinical prognosis in the 12-month follow-up. Longer follow-up studies are needed to confirm TA's clinical implications in patients with STEMI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/03000605211012611DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8113933PMC
May 2021

Emerging technologies for conversion of sustainable algal biomass into value-added products: A state-of-the-art review.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Aug 20;784:147024. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Department of Biology, Shantou University, Shantou 515063, Guangdong, China; Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Biotechnology, Shantou University, Shantou 515063, Guangdong, China; Institute of Marine Sciences, Shantou University, Shantou, Guangdong 515063, China. Electronic address:

Concerns regarding high energy demand and gradual depletion of fossil fuels have attracted the desire of seeking renewable and sustainable alternatives. Similar to but better than the first- and second-generation biomass, algae derived third-generation biorefinery aims to generate value-added products by microbial cell factories and has a great potential due to its abundant, carbohydrate-rich and lignin-lacking properties. However, it is crucial to establish an efficient process with higher competitiveness over the current petroleum industry to effectively utilize algal resources. In this review, we summarize the recent technological advances in maximizing the bioavailability of different algal resources. Following an overview of approaches to enhancing the hydrolytic efficiency, we review prominent opportunities involved in microbial conversion into various value-added products including alcohols, organic acids, biogas and other potential industrial products, and also provide key challenges and trends for future insights into developing biorefineries of marine biomass.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147024DOI Listing
August 2021

HDAC6 inhibitor WT161 performs anti-tumor effect on osteosarcoma and synergistically interacts with 5-FU.

Biosci Rep 2021 Apr;41(4)

Jiangxi Key Laboratory of Cancer Metastasis and Precision Treatment, Center Laboratory, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang 330008, China.

Background: WT161, as a selective HDAC6 inhibitor, has been shown to play anti-tumor effects on several kinds of cancers. The aim of the present study is to explore the roles of WT161 in osteosarcoma and its underlying mechanisms.

Methods: The anti-proliferative effect of WT161 on osteosarcoma cells was examined using MTT assay and colony formation assay. Cell apoptosis was analyzed using flow cytometer. The synergistic effect was evaluated by isobologram analysis using CompuSyn software. The osteosarcoma xenograft models were established to evaluate the anti-proliferative effect of WT161 in vivo.

Results: WT161 suppressed the cell growth and induced apoptosis of osteosarcoma cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Mechanistically, we found that WT161 treatment obviously increased the protein level of PTEN and decreased the phosphorylation level of protein kinase-B (AKT). More importantly, WT161 showed synergistic inhibition with 5-FU on osteosarcoma cells in vitro and in vivo.

Conclusions: These results indicate that WT161 inhibits the growth of osteosarcoma through PTEN and has a synergistic efficiency with 5-FU.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BSR20203905DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8150159PMC
April 2021

Role of LncRNAs in regulating cancer amino acid metabolism.

Cancer Cell Int 2021 Apr 13;21(1):209. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Jiangxi Key Laboratory of Cancer Metastasis and Precision Treatment, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Northern 128 Xiangshan Road, Nanchang, 330008, Jiangxi, People's Republic of China.

The metabolic change of tumor cells is an extremely complicated process that involves the intersection and integration of various signal pathways. Compared with normal tissues, cancer cells show distinguished metabolic characteristics called metabolic reprogramming, which has been considered as a sign of cancer occurrence. With the deepening of tumor research in recent years, people gradually found that amino acid metabolism played crucial roles in cancer progression. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), which are implicated in many important biological processes, were firstly discovered dysregulating in cancer tissues and participating in extensive regulation of tumorigenesis. This review focuses on the reprogramming of amino acid metabolism in cancers and how lncRNAs participate in the regulatory network by interacting with other macromolecular substances. Understanding the functions of lncRNA in amino acid reprogramming in tumors might provide a new vision on the mechanisms of tumorigenesis and the development of new approaches for cancer therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12935-021-01926-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8045299PMC
April 2021

An Explainable Artificial Intelligence Framework for the Deterioration Risk Prediction of Hepatitis Patients.

J Med Syst 2021 Apr 13;45(5):61. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Computer Science, Guangdong University of Education, Guangzhou, 510303, China.

In recent years, artificial intelligence-based computer aided diagnosis (CAD) system for the hepatitis has made great progress. Especially, the complex models such as deep learning achieve better performance than the simple ones due to the nonlinear hypotheses of the real world clinical data. However,complex model as a black box, which ignores why it make a certain decision, causes the model distrust from clinicians. To solve these issues, an explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) framework is proposed in this paper to give the global and local interpretation of auxiliary diagnosis of hepatitis while retaining the good prediction performance. First, a public hepatitis classification benchmark from UCI is used to test the feasibility of the framework. Then, the transparent and black-box machine learning models are both employed to forecast the hepatitis deterioration. The transparent models such as logistic regression (LR), decision tree (DT)and k-nearest neighbor (KNN) are picked. While the black-box model such as the eXtreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost), support vector machine (SVM), random forests (RF) are selected. Finally, the SHapley Additive exPlanations (SHAP), Local Interpretable Model-agnostic Explanations (LIME) and Partial Dependence Plots (PDP) are utilized to improve the model interpretation of liver disease. The experimental results show that the complex models outperform the simple ones. The developed RF achieves the highest accuracy (91.9%) among all the models. The proposed framework combining the global and local interpretable methods improves the transparency of complex models, and gets insight into the judgments from the complex models, thereby guiding the treatment strategy and improving the prognosis of hepatitis patients. In addition, the proposed framework could also assist the clinical data scientists to design a more appropriate structure of CAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10916-021-01736-5DOI Listing
April 2021

The feasibility of a radial turbo-spin-echo T2 mapping for preoperative prediction of the histological grade and lymphovascular space invasion of cervical squamous cell carcinoma.

Eur J Radiol 2021 Jun 1;139:109684. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

MR Collaboration, Siemens Healthcare Ltd., Beijing, China.

Purpose: The study aimed to analyze the feasibility of a radial turbo-spin-echo (TSE) T2 mapping to differentiate the histological grades and lymphovascular space invasion (LVSI) of cervical squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) in comparison with diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI).

Methods: A total of 58 patients with CSCC and 40 healthy volunteers underwent T2 mapping and DWI before therapy. The T2 and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values were calculated using different tumor characteristics. The differences, efficacies and correlations between parameters were determined.

Results: The T2 and ADC values were significantly different between CSCC and normal cervical stroma (both p < 0.05). Poorly differentiated (G3) tumor showed lower T2 and ADC values than well differentiated (G1) and moderately differentiated (G2) tumor (all p < 0.05). The T2 values were significantly lower in LVSI-positive CSCC than LVSI-negative CSCC (p < 0.05). No significant difference was found in ADC values for LVSI status (p = 0.561). The area under the ROC (AUC) for T2 and ADC values to distinguish G1/G2 and G3 tumor were 0.741 and 0.763, respectively. The AUC for T2 and ADC values to distinguish LVSI-positive and LVSI-negative CSCC were 0.877 and 0.537, respectively. The T2 and ADC values were negatively correlated with the tumor grades (r = -0.402 and r = -0.339, respectively).

Conclusions: Radial TSE T2 mapping is feasible for CSCC. Similar to ADC values, quantitative T2 values could serve as a noninvasive biomarker to predict histological grades preoperatively. Moreover, T2 values could determine the presence of LVSI better than ADC values.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrad.2021.109684DOI Listing
June 2021

Nanoscale microenvironment engineering for expanding human hair follicle stem cell and revealing their plasticity.

J Nanobiotechnology 2021 Mar 31;19(1):94. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Department of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, 1838 North Guangzhou Avenue, Guangzhou, 510515, Guangdong, China.

Background: Periodically regenerated hair follicles provide an excellent research model for studying tissue regeneration and stem cell homeostasis. Periodic activation and differentiation of hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) fuel cyclical bouts of hair regeneration. HFSCs represent an excellent paradigm for studying tissue regeneration and somatic stem cell homeostasis. However, these crucial studies are hampered by the lack of a culture system able to stably expand human HFSCs and regulate their fate.

Results: Here, we use layer-by-layer (LbL) self-assembly with gelatin/alginate to construct a nanoscale biomimetic extracellular matrix (ECM) for an HFSC population. The LbL coating provides ECM and mechanical support for individual cells, which helps to maintain the CD200α6 HFSC population to a certain extent. Addition of key signal molecules (FGF-7 and VEGF-A) simulates the minimum essential components of the stem cell microenvironment, thereby effectively and stably expanding HFSCs and maintaining the CD200α6 HFSC population. Subsequently, BMP2 loaded to the nanocoated layer, as a slow-release signal molecule, activates BMP signaling to regulate HFSCs' fate in order to obtain a purified CD200α6 HFSC population.

Conclusion: This system can minimize the microenvironment of HFSCs; thus, stably amplifying HFSCs and revealing their plasticity. Our study thus provides a new tool for studies of hair follicle reconstruction and stem cell homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12951-021-00840-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8010974PMC
March 2021

The novel prognostic risk factor STC2 can regulate the occurrence and progression of osteosarcoma via the glycolytic pathway.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2021 May 25;554:25-32. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Jiangxi Key Laboratory of Cancer Metastasis and Precision Treatment, Central Laboratory, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, North 128 Xiangshan Road, Nanchang, 330008, PR China. Electronic address:

Osteosarcoma, a highly aggressive malignant tumor of the bone, usually occurs in children and young adults. However, although the considerable achievement in the clinical treatment of osteosarcoma recent years, the overall survival of osteosarcoma patients has not been obviously improved. Cancer cells preferentially use glycolysis instead of oxidative phosphorylation to meet their increased energetic and biosynthetic demands, a phenomenon known as the Warburg effect. Glycolysis is a driving factor in multiple cancers and is emerging as a new cancer target treatment. In the present study, we established a model to screen for glycolysis-associated genes in osteosarcoma. This risk score of the model were correlated with clinical characteristics osteosarcoma patients. Besides, a functional assay identified that STC2 enhanced the glycolysis of osteosarcoma cells. Modulation of STC2 changes glucose consumption and lactate production as well as GLUT1 expression in osteosarcoma. Furthermore, we identified that change in the expression levels of STC2 affected the proliferation, invasion, and migration of osteosarcoma cells. Our findings showed STC2 as a new tumor-promoting factor of osteosarcoma cells through enhancing glycolysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2021.03.067DOI Listing
May 2021

Professional Identity During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Survey of Nurses in China.

Am J Crit Care 2021 Mar 26:e1-e9. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Xiaolian Jiang is a professor, West China School of Nursing/West China Hospital, Sichuan University.

Background: Emergency and intensive care unit nurses are the main workforce fighting against COVID-19. Their professional identity may affect whether they can actively participate and be competent in care tasks during the pandemic.

Objective: To examine the level of and changes in professional identity of Chinese emergency and intensive care unit nurses as the COVID-19 pandemic builds.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey composed of the Professional Identity Scale for Nurses plus 2 open-ended questions was administered to Chinese emergency and intensive care unit nurses through an online questionnaire.

Results: Emergency and intensive care unit nurses had a medium level of professional identity. Participants' total and item mean scores in 5 professional identity dimensions were higher than the professional identity norm established by Liu (P < .001). The greatest mean item score difference was in the dimension of professional identity evaluation (3.57 vs 2.88, P < .001). When asked about their feelings witnessing the COVID-19 situation and their feelings about participating in frontline work, 68.9% and 83.9%, respectively, reported positive changes in their professional identity.

Conclusions: The professional identity of emergency and intensive care unit nurses greatly improved during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. This finding may be attributed to more public attention and recognition of nurses' value, nurses' professional fulfillment, and nurses' feelings of being supported, motivated, respected, and valued.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4037/ajcc2021245DOI Listing
March 2021

Left ventricular mechanical dyssynchrony in patients with heart failure: What is the next step?

J Nucl Cardiol 2021 Mar 11. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, No. 185, Juqian Street, Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, 213003, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12350-021-02578-xDOI Listing
March 2021

Design and Synthesis of Novel Epigenetic Inhibitors Targeting Histone Deacetylases, DNA Methyltransferase 1, and Lysine Methyltransferase G9a with Efficacy in Multiple Myeloma.

J Med Chem 2021 03 4;64(6):3392-3426. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Small Molecule Discovery Platform, Molecular Therapeutics Program, Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA), University of Navarra, Avenida Pio XII 55, E-31008 Pamplona, Spain.

Concomitant inhibition of key epigenetic pathways involved in silencing tumor suppressor genes has been recognized as a promising strategy for cancer therapy. Herein, we report a first-in-class series of quinoline-based analogues that simultaneously inhibit histone deacetylases (from a low nanomolar range) and DNA methyltransferase-1 (from a mid-nanomolar range, IC < 200 nM). Additionally, lysine methyltransferase G9a inhibitory activity is achieved (from a low nanomolar range) by introduction of a key lysine mimic group at the 7-position of the quinoline ring. The corresponding epigenetic functional cellular responses are observed: histone-3 acetylation, DNA hypomethylation, and decreased histone-3 methylation at lysine-9. These chemical probes, multitarget epigenetic inhibitors, were validated against the multiple myeloma cell line MM1.S, demonstrating promising activity of (CM-444) with GI of 32 nM, an adequate therapeutic window (>1 log unit), and a suitable pharmacokinetic profile. , achieved significant antitumor efficacy in a xenograft mouse model of human multiple myeloma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.0c02255DOI Listing
March 2021

Association of Epicardial Fat Volume With Increased Risk of Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease in Chinese Patients With Suspected Coronary Artery Disease.

J Am Heart Assoc 2021 Mar 4;10(6):e018080. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Department of Nuclear Medicine The Third Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University Changzhou Jiangsu Province China.

Background Epicardial adipose tissue may be associated with the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease (CAD), but its effect on obstructive CAD risk is uncertain. Therefore, we aimed to examine the relationship between epicardial adipose tissue and obstructive CAD in Chinese patients with suspected CAD. Methods and Results The present study enrolled 194 consecutive inpatients with suspected CAD who underwent both noncontrast computed tomography and coronary angiography. We measured epicardial fat volume (EFV) and evaluated its association with obstructive CAD, which was defined as coronary stenosis severity ≥70%. Overall, 44.3% patients had obstructive CAD and tend to have higher EFV. Age, body mass index, triglycerides, incidence of hypertension, and hyperlipidemia were higher across tertiles of EFV ( for trend <0.05). In univariate regression analysis, a per-SD increase in EFV was independently associated with obstructive CAD (odds ratio [OR], 2.31; 95% CI, 1.61-3.32; <0.001). Consistent with these findings, EFV was still significantly related to obstructive CAD as continuous variable after adjustment for all traditional risk factors and coronary artery calcium (OR per SD, 2.82; 95% CI, 1.68-4.74; <0.001). Generalized additive model indicated that EFV was linearly associated with risk of obstructive CAD. -value analysis suggested robustness to unmeasured confounding. Conclusions Our results suggested that in Chinese patients with suspected CAD, EFV was significantly and positively associated with the risk of obstructive CAD, independent of traditional risk factors and coronary artery calcium.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.018080DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8174213PMC
March 2021

Incremental value of epicardial fat volume to coronary artery calcium score and traditional risk factors for predicting myocardial ischemia in patients with suspected coronary artery disease.

J Nucl Cardiol 2021 Feb 19. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.

Background: Epicardial fat volume (EFV) has been reported to be associated with coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD is the leading cause of myocardial ischemia and myocardial ischemia is closely related to major adverse cardiovascular events. We hypothesized that EFV could provide incremental value to traditional risk factors and coronary artery calcium score (CACS) in predicting myocardial ischemia in Chinese patients with suspected CAD.

Methods: We retrospectively studied 204 Chinese patients with suspected CAD who underwent single-photon emission computerized tomography-myocardial perfusion imaging (SPECT-MPI) combined with computed tomography (CT). Pericardial contours were manually defined, and EFV was automatically calculated. A reversible perfusion defect with summed difference score (SDS) ≥ 2 was defined as myocardial ischemia.

Results: The myocardial ischemia group had higher EFV than normal MPI group (137.80 ± 34.95cm vs. 106.63 ± 29.10 cm, P < .001). In multivariable logistic regression analysis, high EFV was significantly associated with myocardial ischemia [odds ratio (OR): 8.30, 95% CI: 3.72-18.49, P < .001]. Addition of EFV to CACS and traditional risk factors could predict myocardial ischemia more effectively, with larger AUC .82 (P < .001), positive net reclassification index .14 (P = .04) and integrated discrimination improvement .14 (P < .001). The bootstrap resampling method (times = 500) was used to internally validation and calculate the 95% confidence interval (CI) of the AUC (95% CI .75-.87). The calibration curve for the probability of myocardial ischemia demonstrated good agreement between prediction and observation.

Conclusions: In Chinese patients with suspected CAD, EFV was significantly associated with myocardial ischemia, and improved prediction of myocardial ischemia above traditional risk factors and CACS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12350-021-02538-5DOI Listing
February 2021

Gray Matter Atrophy in the Cortico-Striatal-Thalamic Network and Sensorimotor Network in Relapsing-Remitting and Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

Neuropsychol Rev 2021 Feb 13. Epub 2021 Feb 13.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610041, China.

Gray matter atrophy in multiple sclerosis (MS) is thought to be associated with disability and cognitive impairment, but previous studies have sometimes had discordant results, and the atrophy patterns of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) remain to be clarified. We conducted a meta-analysis using anisotropic effect-size-based algorithms (AES-SDM) to identify consistent findings from whole-brain voxel-based morphometry (VBM) studies of gray matter volume (GMV) in 924 RRMS patients and 204 PPMS patients. This study is registered with PROSPERO (number CRD42019121319). Compared with healthy controls, RRMS and PPMS patients showed gray matter atrophy in the cortico-striatal-thalamic network, sensorimotor network, and bilateral insula. RRMS patients had a larger GMV in the left insula, cerebellum, right precentral gyrus, and bilateral putamen as well as a smaller GMV in the bilateral cingulate, caudate nucleus, right thalamus, superior temporal gyrus and left postcentral gyrus than PPMS patients. The disease duration, Expanded Disability Status Scale score, Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test z-score, and T2-weighted lesion load were associated with specific gray matter regions in RRMS or PPMS. Alterations in the cortico-striatal-thalamic networks, sensorimotor network, and insula may be involved in the common pathogenesis of RRMS and PPMS. The deficits in the cingulate gyrus and caudate nucleus are more apparent in RRMS than in PPMS. The more severe cerebellum atrophy in PPMS may be a brain feature associated with its neurological manifestations. These imaging biomarkers provide morphological evidence for the pathophysiology of MS and should be verified in future research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11065-021-09479-3DOI Listing
February 2021

The Medial Thalamus Plays an Important Role in the Cognitive and Emotional Modulation of Orofacial Pain: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Based Study.

Front Neurol 2020 21;11:589125. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

State Key Laboratory of Oral Disease, Department of Orthodontics, West China School of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.

The thalamus plays a critical role in the perception of orofacial pain. We investigated the neural mechanisms of orofacial pain by exploring the intrinsic functional alterations of the thalamus and assessing the changes in functional connectivity (FC) between the thalamic subregions with significant functional alterations and other brain regions in orofacial pain using the seed-based FC approach. There were 49 participants in the orofacial pain group and 49 controls. Orofacial pain was caused by orthodontic separators. The resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data of the two groups were analyzed to obtain the fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) of the thalamus; the thalamic subregions with significant fALFF abnormalities were used as seeds for FC analysis. Student's -tests were used for comparisons. Pearson's correlation analysis was performed using SPM software. Forty-four participants with orofacial pain (mean age, 21.0 ± 0.9 years; 24 women) and 49 age- and sex-matched controls (mean age, 21.0 ± 2.6 years; 27 women) were finally included. Compared with the control group, the orofacial pain group demonstrated the following: (1) increased function in the dorsal area of the thalamus and decreased function in the medial thalamus; (2) decreased FC between the medial thalamus and 12 brain regions ( < 0.05, family-wise error corrected, voxel > 100); and (3) potential positive and negative correlations between the medial thalamus-seeded FC and visual analog scale score changes ( < 0.05, AlphaSim corrected). The findings show that the medial and dorsal thalami play important roles in orofacial pain perception, and that the medial thalamus likely plays an important role in the cognitive and emotional modulation of orofacial pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.589125DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7859266PMC
January 2021

Long-term androgen excess induces insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in PCOS-like rats.

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2021 04 26;208:105829. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Department of Integrative Medicine and Neurobiology, State Key Lab of Medical Neurobiology, Institute of Integrative Medicine of Fudan University, Institute of Brain Science, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Fudan University, 200032, Shanghai, China. Electronic address:

Objective: Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are at higher risk for metabolic disorders compared to healthy women, and about 51 % of women with PCOS suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Investigation into the pathological mechanism behind this association will provide insights for the prevention and treatment of this complication.

Methods: Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a nonaromatic androgen, was used to mimic the pathological conditions of hyperandrogenism and insulin resistance. Hematoxylin and eosin staining, Oil Red O staining, immunofluorescent staining, Western blots, and qRT-PCR were used to verify the hepatic steatosis and inflammation, and the latter two methods were also used for energy and mitochondrion-related assays. ELISA was used to measure the level of reactive oxygen species.

Results: Twelve weeks of DHT exposure led to obesity and insulin resistance as well as hepatic steatosis, lipid deposition, and different degrees of inflammation. The expression of molecules involved in respiratory chain and aerobic respiration processes, such as electron transfer complex II, pyruvate dehydrogenase, and succinate dehydrogenase complex subunit A, was inhibited. In addition, molecules associated with apoptosis and autophagy were also abnormally expressed, such as increased Bak mRNA, an increased activated caspase-3 to caspase-3 ratio, and increased Atg12 protein expression. All of these changes are associated with the mitochondria and lead to lipid deposition and inflammation in the liver.

Conclusions: Long-term androgen excess contributes to insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis by affecting mitochondrial function and causing an imbalance in apoptosis and autophagy, thus suggesting the pathogenesis of NAFLD in women with PCOS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsbmb.2021.105829DOI Listing
April 2021

Longitudinal evaluation of diastolic dyssynchrony by SPECT gated myocardial perfusion imaging early after acute myocardial infarction and the relationship with left ventricular remodeling progression in a swine model.

J Nucl Cardiol 2021 Jan 27. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, No. 185, Juqian Street, Changzhou, 213003, Jiangsu Province, China.

Background: Left ventricular diastolic dyssynchrony (LVDD), a dyssynchronous relaxation pattern, has been known to develop after myocardial damage. We aimed to evaluate the dynamic changes in LVDD in the early stage of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) by phase analysis of technetium methoxyisobutylisonitrile (Tc-MIBI) single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) gated myocardial perfusion imaging (GMPI) and explore its relationship with the progression of left ventricular remodeling (LVR).

Methods: The left anterior descending coronary arteries of 16 Bama miniature swine were occluded with a balloon to build AMI models. Animals were imaged by SPECT GMPI before AMI and at 1 day, 1 week and 4 weeks after AMI, and quantitative analysis was performed to determine the extent of left ventricle (LV) perfusion defects, left ventricular systolic dyssynchrony (LVSD) and the LVDD parameters: phase histogram bandwidth (PBW) and phase standard deviation (PSD). Echocardiography was simultaneously applied to evaluate left ventricular end-diastolic volume (LVEDV), left ventricular end-systolic volume (LVESV), left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), and the LVDD parameters: Te-12-diff and Te-12-SD. Myocardial injury markers were measured, and 12-lead ECGs were performed. The degree of LVR progression was defined as ΔLVESV (%) = (LVESV - LVESV)/LVESV.

Results: Thirteen swine completed the study. LVDD parameters changed dynamically at different time points after AMI. LVDD occurred as early as 1 day after AMI, peaked at 1 week, and trended toward a partial recovery at 4 weeks. Phase analysis on SPECT GMPI showed a significant correlation with tissue Doppler imaging for the assessment of LVDD during the longitudinal evaluation (r = 0.569 to 0.787, both P <0.05). During the univariate and multivariate regression analyses, the LVDD parameters PBW and PSD as of 1 day after AMI were significantly associated with the progression of LVR, respectively (PBW, β = 0.004, 95% CI 0.001 to 0.007, P = 0.024; PSD, β = 0.008, 95% CI 0.000 to 0.017, P = 0.049). Adjusted smooth curve fitting and threshold effect analysis indicated PBW and PSD break-point values of 142° and 60.4°, respectively, to predict the progression of LVR after AMI.

Conclusions: Phase analysis of SPECT GMPI can accurately and reliably characterize LVDD. LVDD occurred on the first day after AMI, reached its peak at 1 week, and partially recovered at 4 weeks after AMI. LVDD as evaluated by phase analysis of SPECT GMPI early after AMI was significantly associated with the progression of LVR. The early assessment of LVDD after AMI may provide helpful information for predicting the progression of LVR in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12350-020-02483-9DOI Listing
January 2021

Surface roughness and substrate induced symmetry-breaking: influence on the plasmonic properties of aluminum nanostructure arrays.

Nanoscale 2021 Jan;13(3):1915-1926

Light, Nanomaterials & Nanotechnologies (L2n), CNRS ERL 7004, Université de Technologie de Troyes, 12 rue Marie Curie, 10004 Troyes Cedex, France.

The surface topography is known to play an important role on the near- and far-field optical properties of metallic nanoparticles. In particular, aluminum (Al) nanoparticles are commonly fabricated through evaporation techniques, therefore exhibiting elevated surface roughness additionally to their native oxide layer. In this study, the mode-dependent influence of surface roughness on the plasmonic properties sustained by Al nanodisks (NDs) is first numerically investigated using a realistic model taking into account the thin native oxide layer. Due to the symmetry-breaking induced by the supporting dielectric substrate to Al ND, it appears that the roughness affects differently the substrate-induced out-of-plane quadrupolar mode (below 300 nm) and the in-plane dipolar mode sustained by the Al ND. By increasing the top surface roughness of the Al ND, the substrate-induced quadrupolar mode is significantly damped especially in the ultraviolet regime, while the dipolar resonance is broadened and redshifted. The explanation of these effects relies in the decoherence and dissipation of the collective electronic oscillations as a result of the top surface roughness to the different near-field distribution of the out-of-plane quadrupolar mode and in-plane dipolar mode. Moreover, the influences of the diameter of Al ND, dielectric substrate with different refractive index, and the oxidation of Al ND on these two modes are also investigated. Particularly, the quadrupolar mode disappears with surface roughness and oxidation, explaining why this mode is very weak and sometimes barely visible on evaporated Al nanostructures reported in the literature. Finally, these results are experimentally confirmed by characterizing the optical properties of periodic Al ND arrays.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0nr06305cDOI Listing
January 2021

LncRNA CRNDE attenuates chemoresistance in gastric cancer via SRSF6-regulated alternative splicing of PICALM.

Mol Cancer 2021 01 4;20(1). Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Department of Pathology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China.

De novo and acquired resistance, which are mainly mediated by genetic alterations, are barriers to effective routine chemotherapy. However, the mechanisms underlying gastric cancer (GC) resistance to chemotherapy are still unclear. We showed that the long noncoding RNA CRNDE was related to the chemosensitivity of GC in clinical samples and a PDX model. CRNDE was decreased and inhibited autophagy flux in chemoresistant GC cells. CRNDE directly bound to splicing protein SRSF6 to reduce its protein stability and thus regulate alternative splicing (AS) events. We determined that SRSF6 regulated the PICALM exon 14 skip splice variant and triggered a significant S-to-L isoform switch, which contributed to the expression of the long isoform of PICALM (encoding PICALML). Collectively, our findings reveal the key role of CRNDE in autophagy regulation, highlighting the significance of CRNDE as a potential prognostic marker and therapeutic target against chemoresistance in GC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12943-020-01299-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7780690PMC
January 2021

LncRNA CRNDE attenuates chemoresistance in gastric cancer via SRSF6-regulated alternative splicing of PICALM.

Mol Cancer 2021 01 4;20(1). Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Department of Pathology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China.

De novo and acquired resistance, which are mainly mediated by genetic alterations, are barriers to effective routine chemotherapy. However, the mechanisms underlying gastric cancer (GC) resistance to chemotherapy are still unclear. We showed that the long noncoding RNA CRNDE was related to the chemosensitivity of GC in clinical samples and a PDX model. CRNDE was decreased and inhibited autophagy flux in chemoresistant GC cells. CRNDE directly bound to splicing protein SRSF6 to reduce its protein stability and thus regulate alternative splicing (AS) events. We determined that SRSF6 regulated the PICALM exon 14 skip splice variant and triggered a significant S-to-L isoform switch, which contributed to the expression of the long isoform of PICALM (encoding PICALML). Collectively, our findings reveal the key role of CRNDE in autophagy regulation, highlighting the significance of CRNDE as a potential prognostic marker and therapeutic target against chemoresistance in GC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12943-020-01299-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7780690PMC
January 2021

Effect of experimental orthodontic pain on gray and white matter functional connectivity.

CNS Neurosci Ther 2021 Apr 28;27(4):439-448. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Huaxi MR Research Center (HMRRC), Department of Radiology, Functional and Molecular Imaging Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.

Aim: Over 90% of patients receiving orthodontic treatment experience clinically significant pain. However, little is known about the neural correlates of orthodontic pain and which has therefore been investigated in the present study of healthy subjects using an experimental paradigm.

Methods: Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) was performed in 44 healthy subjects 24 hours after an elastic separator had been introduced between the first and the second molar on the right side of the lower jaw and in 49 age- and sex-matched healthy control (HC) subjects. A K-means clustering algorithm was used to identify functional gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) resting-state networks, and differences in functional connectivity (FC) of GM and WM between the group of subjects with experimental orthodontic pain and HC were analyzed.

Results: Twelve GM networks and 14 WM networks with high stability were identified. Compared with HC, subjects with orthodontic pain showed significantly increased FC between WM12, which includes posterior thalamic radiation and posterior cingulum bundle, and most GM networks. Besides, the WM12 network showed significant differences in FC with three GM-WM loops involving the default mode network, dorsal attention network, and salience network, respectively.

Conclusions: Orthodontic pain is shown to produce an alteration of FC in networks relevant to pain processing, which may be mediated by a WM network relevant to emotion perception and cognitive processing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cns.13557DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7941220PMC
April 2021