Publications by authors named "Fengqing Li"

21 Publications

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Spatio-temporal evolution and influencing mechanism of the COVID-19 epidemic in Shandong province, China.

Sci Rep 2021 04 9;11(1):7811. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Northwest University, Xi'an, 710127, China.

The novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) outbreak that emerged in late 2019 has posed a severe threat to human health and social and economic development, and thus has become a major public health crisis affecting the world. The spread of COVID-19 in population and regions is a typical geographical process, which is worth discussing from the geographical perspective. This paper focuses on Shandong province, which has a high incidence, though the first Chinese confirmed case was reported from Hubei province. Based on the data of reported confirmed cases and the detailed information of cases collected manually, we used text analysis, mathematical statistics and spatial analysis to reveal the demographic characteristics of confirmed cases and the spatio-temporal evolution process of the epidemic, and to explore the comprehensive mechanism of epidemic evolution and prevention and control. The results show that: (1) the incidence rate of COVID-19 in Shandong is 0.76/100,000. The majority of confirmed cases are old and middle-aged people who are infected by the intra-province diffusion, followed by young and middle-aged people who are infected outside the province. (2) Up to February 5, the number of daily confirmed cases shows a trend of "rapid increase before slowing down", among which, the changes of age and gender are closely related to population migration, epidemic characteristics and intervention measures. (3) Affected by the regional economy and population, the spatial distribution of the confirmed cases is obviously unbalanced, with the cluster pattern of "high-low" and "low-high". (4) The evolution of the migration pattern, affected by the geographical location of Wuhan and Chinese traditional culture, is dominated by "cross-provincial" and "intra-provincial" direct flow, and generally shows the trend of "southwest → northeast". Finally, combined with the targeted countermeasures of "source-flow-sink", the comprehensive mechanism of COVID-19 epidemic evolution and prevention and control in Shandong is revealed. External and internal prevention and control measures are also figured out.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-86188-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8035406PMC
April 2021

Genetic characterization of a novel porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus type I strain from southwest China.

Arch Virol 2021 Mar 24. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

College of Veterinary Medicine, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, China.

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is one of the most economically devastating viral diseases in the global pig industry. Recently, we isolated and plaque-purified porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) strain SC2020-1 from "aborted piglets" on a farm in Sichuan, China. To investigate the molecular biological characteristics of this strain, it was subjected to genome sequencing and analysis. The full-length genome sequence of strain SC2020-1 was 87.7% identical to that of the Lelystad strain (PRRSV type I protoype strain) and 82.2-84.8% identical to PRRSV type I isolates from China. NSP2, ORF3, and ORF4 were the most variable regions and contained discontinuous deletions or insertions when compared to other PRRSV type I strains. Phylogenetic analysis of the complete genome sequence showed that SC2020-1 clustered with PRRSV type I but outside of the three previously described branches (Lelystad virus-like, Amervac PRRS-like, and BJEU06-1-like). The Nsp2 gene was in the same branch with EUGDHD strains from China. This is the first report of PRRSV type I infection associated with abortion in sows in southwest China. Close attention should be paid to the prevention and control of this evolving virus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00705-021-04998-zDOI Listing
March 2021

Does Robot Navigation and Intraoperative Computed Tomography Guidance Help with Percutaneous Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy? A Match-Paired Study.

World Neurosurg 2021 Mar 29;147:e459-e467. Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Department of Orthopaedics, Yuhang Bang Er Hospital, Hangzhou, China. Electronic address:

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of robot-assisted percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (rPELD) using a specially designed orthopaedic robot with an intraoperative computed tomography-equipped suite for treatment of symptomatic lumbar disc herniation and compare rPELD with fluoroscopy-assisted percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (fPELD).

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed and compared demographic data, radiologic workups, and patient-reported outcomes of 39 patients treated with rPELD and 78 patients treated with fPELD at our institution between January 2019 and December 2019.

Results: Our data showed that a single-shot puncture in the rPELD group was significantly more precise compared with 4.12 ± 1.71 trials in the fPELD group (P < 0.001). There was an overall reduction of fluoroscopy (21.33 ± 3.89 times vs. 33.06 ± 2.92 times, P < 0.001), puncture-channel time (13.34 ± 3.03 minutes vs. 15.03 ± 4.5 minutes, P = 0.038), and total operative time (57.46 ± 7.49 minutes vs. 69.40 ± 12.59 minutes, P < 0.001) using the rPELD technique versus the fPELD technique. However, there were no significant differences in patient-reported outcomes, length of hospital stay, and complication rate between the 2 groups (P > 0.05).

Conclusions: Taken together, our data indicate that rPELD provides a precise skin entry point and optimal trajectory for puncture, which increases the success rate of PELD, negating the need for revision surgery. However, further studies are required to confirm the superiority and application of the rPELD technique.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.12.095DOI Listing
March 2021

FADS1 promotes the progression of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma through activating AKT/mTOR signaling.

Cell Death Dis 2020 04 24;11(4):272. Epub 2020 Apr 24.

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.

Metabolic abnormality is the major feature of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC), however, the underlying mechanism remain largely elusive. Fatty acid desaturase 1 (FADS1), as the key rate-limiting enzyme of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), catalyzes dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) to arachidonic acid (AA). In this study, we reported that the expression of FADS1 was upregulated in LSCC, high FADS1 expression was closely associated with the advanced clinical features and poor prognosis of the recurrent LSCC patients after chemotherapy. Liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis revealed that FADS1 overexpression induced greater conversion of DGLA to AA, suggesting an increased activity of FADS1. Similarly, the level of prostaglandin E2 (PGE), a downstream metabolite of AA, was also elevated in cancerous laryngeal tissues. Functional assays showed that FADS1 knockdown suppressed the proliferation, migration and invasion of LSCC cells, while FADS1 overexpression had the opposite effects. Bioinformatic analysis based on microarray data found that FADS1 could activate AKT/mTOR signaling. This hypothesis was further validated by both in vivo and in vitro assays. Hence, our data has supported the viewpoint that FADS1 is a potential promoter in LSCC progression, and has laid the foundation for further functional research on the PUFA dietary supplementation interventions targeting FADS1/AKT/mTOR pathway for LSCC prevention and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-020-2457-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7181692PMC
April 2020

Meta-Analysis on the Efficacy and Safety of Traditional Chinese Medicine as Adjuvant Therapy for Refractory Androgenetic Alopecia.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2019 31;2019:9274148. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

Department of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, China.

Objective: Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) therapies have been widely used for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia (AGA) for thousands of years. We conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the curative efficacy and safety of TCM for treating AGA.

Methods: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of TCM for the treatment of AGA through March 2019 were systematically identified in 4 English databases, namely, PubMed, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, and Web of Science, and 4 Chinese databases, namely, Sino-Med, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), China Science and Technology Journal Database (VIP), and WanFang. Quality assessment and data analysis were performed by Review Manager 5.3.5, and Stata 15.1 was used to cope with publication bias.

Results: 30 RCTs involving 2615 patients were randomly divided into a TCM group and a conventional medicine (CM) group. The results showed that the total efficacy rate (TER) of the TCM group was significantly higher than that of the control group (OR = 3.34, 95% CI = 2.75-4.05, < 0.00001). The total symptom score (TSS) of the TCM group was markedly reduced when compared with the CM group (SMD = -0.86; 95% CI = -1.19, -0.53; < 0.00001). The microelement levels (Fe, Zn, and Cu) in hair were significantly improved when complemented with TCM therapy. In addition, no significant differences were observed between the two groups in terms of adverse events (OR = 0.55, 95% CI = 0.29-1.05, =0.07).

Conclusions: In view of the effectiveness and safety of TCM, the present meta-analysis suggests that TCM could be recommended as an effective and safe adjuvant therapy for the treatment of AGA by improving the TER, symptoms, serum testosterone levels, and microelement levels. However, long-term and higher-quality RCTs are needed to overcome the limitations of the selected studies and more precisely interrogate the efficacy and safety of TCM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2019/9274148DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6875197PMC
October 2019

Chronic Intermittent Ethanol Exposure Induces Upregulation of Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 in the Rat Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampus.

Neurochem Res 2019 Jul 26;44(7):1593-1601. Epub 2019 Mar 26.

Key Laboratory for Cellular Physiology of Ministry of Education, Department of Physiology, National Key Disciplines, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, 030001, Shanxi, China.

Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9, Gelatinase B), an extracellular-acting Zn-dependent endopeptidase, are involved in brain pathologies including ischemia, glioma, and epilepsy. Recent studies suggested that MMP-9 plays an important role in neuronal plasticity, specifically in learning and memory. To determine whether and how MMP-9 plays role in alcohol-related behaviors, male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were subjected to chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure for 4 weeks, following which we collected tissue samples from the hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and amygdala at different stages (acute and chronic exposure) during alcohol exposure. Real-time PCR and western blot assays were used to detect changes in the mRNA and protein expression of MMP-9. Our results indicated that both acute and chronic alcohol exposure induced up-regulation of MMP-9 mRNA levels in the hippocampus and mPFC, but not in the amygdala. Furthermore, acute and chronic alcohol exposure up regulated the expression of total MMP-9 and active MMP-9 in these two brain regions. Moreover, the increase of active MMP-9 expression was larger than those in total MMP-9 expression. Immunoprecipitation analyses identified potential MMP-9-interacting proteins, including Itgb1, Src, Eef1a2, tubulin, actin, and histone H2B. These results demonstrate that both acute and CIE exposure induced increases in MMP-9 expression in the mPFC and hippocampus, suggesting that MMP-9 plays a key role in chronic alcohol exposure and dependence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11064-019-02783-8DOI Listing
July 2019

Moderate warming over the past 25 years has already reorganized stream invertebrate communities.

Sci Total Environ 2019 Mar 15;658:1531-1538. Epub 2018 Dec 15.

Faculty of Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany; Environmental Campus Birkenfeld, University of Applied Sciences Trier, Birkenfeld, Germany.

Climate warming often results in species range shifts, biodiversity loss and accumulated climatic debts of biota (i.e. slower changes in biota than in temperature). Here, we analyzed the changes in community composition and temperature signature of stream invertebrate communities over 25 years (1990-2014), based on a large set of samples (n = 3782) over large elevation, latitudinal and longitudinal gradients in central Europe. Although warming was moderate (average 0.5 °C), we found a strong reorganization of stream invertebrate communities. Total abundance (+35.9%) and richness (+39.2%) significantly increased. The share of abundance (TA) and taxonomic richness (TR) of warm-dwelling taxa (TA: +73.2%; TR: +60.2%) and medium-temperature-dwelling taxa (TA: +0.4%; TR: +5.8%) increased too, while cold-dwelling taxa declined (TA: -61.5%; TR: -47.3%). The community temperature index, representing the temperature signature of stream invertebrate communities, increased at a similar pace to physical temperature, indicating a thermophilization of the communities and, for the first time, no climatic debt. The strongest changes occurred along the altitudinal gradient, suggesting that stream invertebrates use the spatial configuration of river networks to track their temperature niche uphill. Yet, this may soon come to an end due to the summit trap effect. Our results indicate an ongoing process of replacement of cold-adapted species by thermophilic species at only 0.5 °C warming, which is particularly alarming in the light of the more drastic climate warming projected for coming decades.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.12.234DOI Listing
March 2019

Studying safe storage time of orange peel (Citrus reticulata) using high-throughput sequencing and conventional pure culture.

Food Sci Nutr 2018 Nov 29;6(8):2545-2552. Epub 2018 Oct 29.

Department of Pharmacy Chengdu University of TCM Standardization education ministry key laboratory of traditional Chinese medicine Chengdu Sichuan China.

is a fungal genus widely studied all over the world because some species are known allergens and opportunistic human pathogens. The dynamic growth of is a prerequisite for establishing safe storage time of orange peel. In this paper, high-throughput sequencing technique was used for the first time to analyze the diversity and structure of fungi in the same batch of samples at different periods of time, and 20 batches of fresh orange peel and 56 batches of dried peel were verified. Results shown that the orange peel gradually began to grow fungal after storing for 240 days, and the abundance became maximum at 270 days and then decreased. These results suggest the safe storage time should be from January to August. And orange peel should be dried in August to prevent rapid propagation or metabolic toxicity production of fungi.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.866DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6261230PMC
November 2018

Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 Alleviates Expression of Aβ and α-, β-, and γ-Secretases in the Cortex and Hippocampus of APP/PS1 Double Transgenic Mice.

J Mol Neurosci 2018 Dec 9;66(4):595-603. Epub 2018 Nov 9.

Department of General Practice, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, 246 Xuefu Road, Nangang District, Harbin, 150086, Heilongjiang, People's Republic of China.

To examine the effect of subcutaneous injection of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) on the expression of the amyloid protein (Aβ), α-secretase (ADAM10), β-secretase (BACE1), and γ-secretase (PS1) in APP/PS1 double transgenic mice. APP/PS1 double transgenic mice and wild-type mice were divided into wild-type group, wild-type therapy group, transgenome group, and transgenic therapy group. Subcutaneous injection of IGF-1 (50 μg/kg day) was administered once daily to the wild-type therapy group and transgenic therapy group for 8 weeks, respectively. The expression of the Aβ in the cortex and hippocampus was detected by immunohistochemistry 8 weeks after administration. The levels of Aβ, DAM10, BACE1, and PS1 were analysed by Western blot. The expression of the Aβ in the cortex of the gene therapy group was significantly lower than that of the transgenome group (p < 0.05). In APP/PS1 double transgenic mice, BACE1 expression was markedly higher in both the hippocampus (p < 0.001, p = 0.00009) and the cortex (p = 0.001), compared to that of the wild-type mice. The treatment of IGF-1 markedly reduced ADAM10 expression in the hippocampus in both transgenic mice and wild-type mice (p < 0.05), whereas the treatment mainly decreased BACE1 expression in transgenic mice but not in the wild-type mice (p < 0.05). No significant differences in PS1 levels were detected in all groups. IGF decreased Aβ over-expression in the cortex and hippocampus and might inhibit the damage induced by Aβ in APP/PS1 double transgenic mice. Our study suggests that IGF-1 should inhibit Aβ production through α-secretase and β-secretase but not γ-secretase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12031-018-1201-4DOI Listing
December 2018

The Monitoring and Assessment of Aquatic Toxicology.

Biomed Res Int 2017 3;2017:9179728. Epub 2017 Jan 3.

Senckenberg Research Institute, Gelnhausen, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2017/9179728DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5239833PMC
February 2017

Modelling Vulnerability and Range Shifts in Ant Communities Responding to Future Global Warming in Temperate Forests.

PLoS One 2016 9;11(8):e0159795. Epub 2016 Aug 9.

Department of Life and Nanopharmaceutical Sciences and Department of Biology, Kyung Hee University, Dongdaemun, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea.

Global warming is likely leading to species' distributional shifts, resulting in changes in local community compositions and diversity patterns. In this study, we applied species distribution models to evaluate the potential impacts of temperature increase on ant communities in Korean temperate forests, by testing hypotheses that 1) the risk of extinction of forest ant species would increase over time, and 2) the changes in species distribution ranges could drive upward movements of ant communities and further alter patterns of species richness. We sampled ant communities at 335 evenly distributed sites across South Korea and modelled the future distribution range for each species using generalized additive models. To account for spatial autocorrelation, autocovariate regressions were conducted prior to generalized additive models. Among 29 common ant species, 12 species were estimated to shrink their suitable geographic areas, whereas five species would benefit from future global warming. Species richness was highest at low altitudes in the current period, and it was projected to be highest at the mid-altitudes in the 2080s, resulting in an upward movement of 4.9 m yr-1. This altered the altitudinal pattern of species richness from a monotonic-decrease curve (common in temperate regions) to a bell-shaped curve (common in tropical regions). Overall, ant communities in temperate forests are vulnerable to the on-going global warming and their altitudinal movements are similar to other faunal communities.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0159795PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4978472PMC
July 2017

A newly developed dispersal metric indicates the succession of benthic invertebrates in restored rivers.

Sci Total Environ 2016 Nov 18;569-570:1570-1578. Epub 2016 Jul 18.

Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt, Department of River Ecology and Conservation, Gelnhausen, Germany; Faculty of Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.

Dispersal capacity plays a fundamental role in the riverine benthic invertebrate colonization of new habitats that emerges following flash floods or restoration. However, an appropriate measure of dispersal capacity for benthic invertebrates is still lacking. The dispersal of benthic invertebrates occurs mainly during the aquatic (larval) and aerial (adult) life stages, and the dispersal of each stage can be further subdivided into active and passive modes. Based on these four possible dispersal modes, we first developed a metric (which is very similar to the well-known and widely used saprobic index) to estimate the dispersal capacity for 802 benthic invertebrate taxa by incorporating a weight for each mode. Second, we tested this metric using benthic invertebrate community data from a) 23 large restored river sites with substantial improvements of river bottom habitats dating back 1 to 10years, b) 23 unrestored sites very close to the restored sites, and c) 298 adjacent surrounding sites (mean±standard deviation: 13.0±9.5 per site) within a distance of up to 5km for each restored site in the low mountain and lowland areas of Germany. We hypothesize that our metric will reflect the temporal succession process of benthic invertebrate communities colonizing the restored sites, whereas no temporal changes are expected in the unrestored and surrounding sites. By applying our metric to these three river treatment categories, we found that the average dispersal capacity of benthic invertebrate communities in the restored sites significantly decreased in the early years following restoration, whereas there were no changes in either the unrestored or the surrounding sites. After all taxa had been divided into quartiles representing weak to strong dispersers, this pattern became even more obvious; strong dispersers colonized the restored sites during the first year after restoration and then significantly decreased over time, whereas weak dispersers continued to increase. The successful application of our metric to river restoration might be promising in further applications of this metric, for example, in analyzing metacommunity structure or community's recovery from extreme events such as floods, droughts or catastrophic pollution episodes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.06.251DOI Listing
November 2016

Continental drift and climate change drive instability in insect assemblages.

Sci Rep 2015 Jun 17;5:11343. Epub 2015 Jun 17.

1] Department of Biology, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea [2] Department of Life and Nanopharmaceutical Sciences, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea.

Global change has already had observable effects on ecosystems worldwide, and the accelerated rate of global change is predicted in the future. However, the impacts of global change on the stability of biodiversity have not been systematically studied in terms of both large spatial (continental drift) and temporal (from the last inter-glacial period to the next century) scales. Therefore, we analyzed the current geographical distribution pattern of Plecoptera, a thermally sensitive insect group, and evaluated its stability when coping with global change across both space and time throughout the Mediterranean region--one of the first 25 global biodiversity hotspots. Regional biodiversity of Plecoptera reflected the geography in both the historical movements of continents and the current environmental conditions in the western Mediterranean region. The similarity of Plecoptera assemblages between areas in this region indicated that the uplift of new land and continental drift were the primary determinants of the stability of regional biodiversity. Our results revealed that climate change caused the biodiversity of Plecoptera to slowly diminish in the past and will cause remarkably accelerated biodiversity loss in the future. These findings support the theory that climate change has had its greatest impact on biodiversity over a long temporal scale.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep11343DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4469969PMC
June 2015

Climatic and Catchment-Scale Predictors of Chinese Stream Insect Richness Differ between Taxonomic Groups.

PLoS One 2015 24;10(4):e0123250. Epub 2015 Apr 24.

Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Department of Ecosystem Research, Berlin, Germany.

Little work has been done on large-scale patterns of stream insect richness in China. We explored the influence of climatic and catchment-scale factors on stream insect (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera; EPT) richness across mid-latitude China. We assessed the predictive ability of climatic, catchment land cover and physical structure variables on genus richness of EPT, both individually and combined, in 80 mid-latitude Chinese streams, spanning a 3899-m altitudinal gradient. We performed analyses using boosted regression trees and explored the nature of their influence on richness patterns. The relative importance of climate, land cover, and physical factors on stream insect richness varied considerably between the three orders, and while important for Ephemeroptera and Plecoptera, latitude did not improve model fit for any of the groups. EPT richness was linked with areas comprising high forest cover, elevation and slope, large catchments and low temperatures. Ephemeroptera favoured areas with high forest cover, medium-to-large catchment sizes, high temperature seasonality, and low potential evapotranspiration. Plecoptera richness was linked with low temperature seasonality and annual mean, and high slope, elevation and warm-season rainfall. Finally, Trichoptera favoured high elevation areas, with high forest cover, and low mean annual temperature, seasonality and aridity. Our findings highlight the variable role that catchment land cover, physical properties and climatic influences have on stream insect richness. This is one of the first studies of its kind in Chinese streams, thus we set the scene for more in-depth assessments of stream insect richness across broader spatial scales in China, but stress the importance of improving data availability and consistency through time.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0123250PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4409210PMC
January 2016

MiR-34a, miR-21 and miR-23a as potential biomarkers for coronary artery disease: a pilot microarray study and confirmation in a 32 patient cohort.

Exp Mol Med 2015 Feb 6;47:e138. Epub 2015 Feb 6.

Department of Gerontology, the First Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.

The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) in apolipoprotein E (apoE) knockout mice (apoE(-/-)) and to validate the role of these miRNAs in human coronary artery disease (CAD). Pooled plasma from 10 apoE(-/-) mice and 10 healthy C57BL/6 (B6) mice was used to perform the microarray analysis. The results showed that miR-34a, miR-21, miR-23a, miR-30a and miR-106b were differentially expressed in apoE(-/-) mice, and these expression changes were confirmed by real-time quantitative reverse-transcription PCR. Then, miR-34a, miR-21, miR-23a, miR-30a and miR-106b were detected in the plasma of 32 patients with CAD and of 20 healthy controls. Only miR-34a, miR-21 and miR-23a were significantly differentially expressed in the plasma of CAD patients (all P<0.01). In conclusion, miR-34a, miR-21 and miR-23a were elevated in CAD patients, which means that these miRNAs might serve as biomarkers of CAD development and progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/emm.2014.81DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4346489PMC
February 2015

Potential impacts of global warming on the diversity and distribution of stream insects in South Korea.

Conserv Biol 2014 Apr 26;28(2):498-508. Epub 2013 Dec 26.

Department of Biology, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, 130-701, Republic of Korea.

Globally, the East Asian monsoon region is one of the richest environments in terms of biodiversity. The region is undergoing rapid human development, yet its river ecosystems have not been well studied. Global warming represents a major challenge to the survival of species in this region and makes it necessary to assess and reduce the potential consequences of warming on species of conservation concern. We projected the effects of global warming on stream insect (Ephemeroptera, Odonata, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera [EOPT]) diversity and predicted the changes of geographical ranges for 121 species throughout South Korea. Plecoptera was the most sensitive (decrease of 71.4% in number of species from the 2000s through the 2080s) order, whereas Odonata benefited (increase of 66.7% in number of species from the 2000s through the 2080s) from the effects of global warming. The impact of global warming on stream insects was predicted to be minimal prior to the 2060s; however, by the 2080s, species extirpation of up to 20% in the highland areas and 2% in the lowland areas were predicted. The projected responses of stream insects under global warming indicated that species occupying specific habitats could undergo major reductions in habitat. Nevertheless, habitat of 33% of EOPT (including two-thirds of Odonata and one-third of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera) was predicted to increase due to global warming. The community compositions predicted by generalized additive models varied over this century, and a large difference in community structure in the highland areas was predicted between the 2000s and the 2080s. However, stream insect communities, especially Odonata, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera, were predicted to become more homogenous under global warming.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12219DOI Listing
April 2014

Response of fish communities to various environmental variables across multiple spatial scales.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2012 Oct 15;9(10):3629-53. Epub 2012 Oct 15.

Department of Biology, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Korea.

A better understanding of the relative importance of different spatial scale determinants on fish communities will eventually increase the accuracy and precision of their bioassessments. Many studies have described the influence of environmental variables on fish communities on multiple spatial scales. However, there is very limited information available on this topic for the East Asian monsoon region, including Korea. In this study, we evaluated the relationship between fish communities and environmental variables at multiple spatial scales using self-organizing map (SOM), random forest, and theoretical path models. The SOM explored differences among fish communities, reflecting environmental gradients, such as a longitudinal gradient from upstream to downstream, and differences in land cover types and water quality. The random forest model for predicting fish community patterns that used all 14 environmental variables was more powerful than a model using any single variable or other combination of environmental variables, and the random forest model was effective at predicting the occurrence of species and evaluating the contribution of environmental variables to that prediction. The theoretical path model described the responses of different species to their environment at multiple spatial scales, showing the importance of altitude, forest, and water quality factors to fish assemblages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph9103629DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3506418PMC
October 2012

The properties of NodD were affected by mere variation in length within its hinge region.

Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai) 2009 Nov;41(11):963-71

State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China.

In Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae, NodD, a member of the LysR-type transcriptional regulators, while auto-regulating, activates transcription of other nod genes in the presence of naringenin. A hinge region of NodD was previously identified in our laboratory as a functional region independent of its N-terminal DNA-binding and C-terminal regulatory domain. Further study was carried out to see the possible effect of the length variation in the hinge region on NodD properties. To our surprise, as many as seven classes of phenotypes were observed. Class I is deficient of activating nodA transcription and abolishes auto-regulation; class II is able to activate nodA transcription independently of naringenin and abolishes auto-regulation; class III retains autoregulating but partial activating ability; class IV is able to activate transcription independently of naringenin and retains auto-regulation; in class V, nodA is transcribed constitutively but the transcription level is drastically down-regulated in the presence of naringenin; in class VI, nodA is transcribed constitutively with higher induction ratio; in class VII, nodA is transcribed constitutively with lower induction ratio. To learn more about the possible mechanism, circular permutation assays were done, which showed that the length variation of the hinge of NodD caused by mutation led to the change in bend angles of nod promoter. This finding should help to get an insight into how transcriptional regulation is mediated by NodD at the molecular level as well as to understand the regulatory system of this important family.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/abbs/gmp090DOI Listing
November 2009

A small functional intramolecular region of NodD was identified by mutation.

Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai) 2009 Oct;41(10):822-30

State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

In Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae, NodD, as a member of the LysR-type transcriptional regulators (LTTRs), exerts auto-regulation and activates transcription of other nod genes in the presence of naringenin. LTTRs were typically composed of N-terminal DNA-binding domain and C-terminal regulatory domain. In this study, by systematic insertion mutation, a region of 12 amino acids in length of NodD was identified as functional domain. Insertion mutants in this region appeared to acquire the ability of constitutively activating nodA gene and retained their auto-regulation properties. This identified region was shown to be a hinge of NodD as revealed through the model built using Swiss- PDB Viewer software. It is the first time to report that as a member of LysR family, NodD has been shown to contain a short intramolecular domain that influences its performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/abbs/gmp073DOI Listing
October 2009

Symbiotic plasmid is required for NolR to fully repress nodulation genes in Rhizobium leguminosarum A34.

Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai) 2008 Oct;40(10):901-7

State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China.

NolR is a regulator of nodulation genes present in Rhizobium and Sinorhizobium. However, the mechanism by which NolR participates in the inducible transcription of nodulation genes remains unclear. To investigate whether there are other factors regulating the function of NolR, an insertion mutant of NolR in Rhizobium leguminosarum strain 8401, which lacks the symbiotic plasmid, was constructed by homologous recombination. We investigated the effects of NolR inactivation on the expression of nodulation genes. Three inducible nodulation genes (nodA, nodF and nodM) were expressed constitutively in NolR- mutant, MR114. Our results suggested that the symbiotic plasmid is required for NolR to fully repress nodulation genes in Rhizobium leguminosarum A34. In addition, MR114 has provided a useful tool for further study of molecular interactions between NolR and other factors.
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October 2008

In vitro observation of the molecular interaction between NodD and its inducer naringenin as monitored by fluorescence resonance energy transfer.

Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai) 2008 Sep;40(9):783-9

State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China.

At initial stages in the Rhizobium legume symbiosis, most nodulation genes are controlled by NodD protein and plant inducers. Some genetic studies and other reports have suggested that NodD may be activated by its direct interaction with plant inducers. However, there has been no molecular evidence of such an inducing interaction. In this paper, we used fluorescence resonance energy transfer technique to see whether such an interaction exists between NodD and its activator, naringenin, in vitro. The tetracysteine motif (Cys-Cys-Pro-Gly-Cys-Cys) was genetically inserted into NodD to label NodD with 4',5'-bis(1,3,2-dithioarsolan-2-yl) fluorescein (FlAsH). Naringenin was labeled with fluorescein by chemical linking. In the fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments in vitro, the fluorescence intensity of one acceptor, NodD(90R6)-FlAsH, increased by 13%. This suggests that NodD may directly interact with inducer naringenin in vitro and that the reaction centre is likely near hinge region 1 of NodD.
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September 2008