Publications by authors named "Hongsheng Liu"

204 Publications

Circulating activated immune cells as a potential blood biomarkers of non-small cell lung cancer occurrence and progression.

BMC Pulm Med 2021 Sep 6;21(1):282. Epub 2021 Sep 6.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, No. 1 Shuaifuyuan Wangfujing Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100730, China.

Background: Treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has greatly improved in recent years. However, noninvasive early screening for carcinogenesis and progression unclear. The aim of this study was to explore the predictive value of peripheral blood immune cells in untreated NSCLC patients.

Methods: We retrospectively enrolled 305 untreated NSCLC patients and 132 healthy participants from February 2016 to August 2019 in Peking Union Medical College Hospital. Immune cell levels were determined by flow cytometry and routine blood tests.

Results: NSCLC patients had lower levels of T lymphocytes, NK cells, CD8+ T cells, naïve CD4+/CD4+, naïve CD4+ T cells and higher levels of CD4+ T cells, memory CD4+/CD4+ T cells, memory CD4+ T cells, CD4+CD28+/CD4+ T cells, CD4+CD28+ T cells, CD8+CD28+/CD8+ T cells, CD8+HLA-DR+/CD8+ T cells, CD8+HLA-DR+ T cells T cells, CD8+CD38+/CD8+ T cells, CD8+CD38+ T cells and CD4+/CD8+ T cells than those in controls. The percentages of specific lymphocyte subtypes were significantly different in cancer patients versus healthy individuals. For instance, cancer patients had lower levels of B cells, CD4+ T cells, naïve CD4+/CD4+ T cells, naïve CD4+ T cells, CD4+CD28+ T cells, CD8+CD28+ T cells and higher levels of NK cells, white blood cells (WBC), monocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, monocytes to lymphocyte ratio (MLR), neutrophils to lymphocyte ratio (NLR), eosinophil to lymphocyte ratio (ELR), basophil to lymphocyte ratio (BLR), and blood platelet to lymphocyte ratio (PLR).

Conclusions: Abnormal T cell levels can be used as an independent predictive biomarker for noninvasive early screening in NSCLC occurrence and progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12890-021-01636-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8420051PMC
September 2021

Type B thymoma in a patient with HIV infection: A case report with a review of HIV and thymoma coexistence.

Thorac Cancer 2021 Sep 5. Epub 2021 Sep 5.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.

HIV infection predisposes people to cancer, including AIDS-defining cancers, such as Kaposi sarcoma, and a broad range of non-AIDS-defining cancers. Here we report a case with rare coexistence of HIV and thymoma, and summarize all the comorbid cases that currently exist. We found that in all the cases reported, thymoma occurred when CD4+ counts were within a normal range, but the immune response in peripheral T-cell repertoire remains unknown. In our case, an overview of the immune system under this complicated situation is given for the first time by showing the lymphocyte subpopulations in the blood and the immune cell distribution of the thymoma. This case expands the scope of non-AIDS-defining cancers, and provides insight into the influence of the immune system under two immunocompromising conditions, HIV infection and thymoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1759-7714.14135DOI Listing
September 2021

Long non-coding RNAs HERH-1 and HERH-4 facilitate cyclin A2 expression and accelerate cell cycle progression in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.

BMC Cancer 2021 Aug 26;21(1):957. Epub 2021 Aug 26.

National Health Commission's Key Laboratory of Critical Care Medicine, Tianjin First Central Hospital, School of Medicine, Nankai University, No. 24 Fukang Road, Nankai District, Tianjin, 300192, China.

Background: The advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), such as the recurrent tumor after liver transplantation (LT), is an obstacle of HCC treatment. The aim of this study was to discover the underlying mechanism of HCC progression caused by non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs).

Methods: To this end, we investigated the selected patient cohort of matching primary and recurrent HCC after receiving LT. The recurrent tumors after LT were regarded as clinical models of the advanced HCC. Microarrays were used to profile lncRNA and mRNA expression in HCC recurrent and primary tissue samples. The mRNA profile characteristics were analyzed by bioinformatics. Two cell lines, HepG2 and QGY-7703, were used as HCC cell models. The protein-coding potential, length, and subcellular location of the interested lncRNAs were examined by bioinformatics, Northern blot, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), and quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) assays. HCC cell proliferation was detected by CCK-8, doubling time and proliferation marker gene quantitation assays. DNA replication during the cell cycle was measured by EdU/PI staining and flow cytometry analyses. Promoter activity was measured using a luciferase reporter assay. Interactions between DNA, RNA, and protein were examined by immunoprecipitation and pull-down assays. The miRNA-target regulation was validated by a fluorescent reporter assay.

Results: Both lncRNA and mRNA profiles exhibited characteristic alterations in the recurrent tumor cells compared with the primary HCC. The mRNA profile in the HCC recurrent tissues, which served as model of advanced HCC, showed an aberrant cell cycle regulation. Two lncRNAs, the highly expressed lncRNA in recurrent HCC (HERH)-1 and HERH-4, were upregulated in the advanced HCC cells. HERH-1/4 enhanced proliferation and promoted DNA replication and G1-S transition during the cell cycle in HCC cells. HERH-1 interacted with the transcription factor CREB1. CREB1 enhanced cyclin A2 (CCNA2) transcription, depending on HERH-1-CREB1 interaction. HERH-4 acted as an miR-29b/c sponge to facilitate CCNA2 protein translation through a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) pathway.

Conclusions: The oncogenic lncRNA HERH-1/4 promoted CCNA2 expression at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels and accelerated cell cycle progression in HCC cells. The HERH-1-CREB1-CCNA2 and HERH-4-miR-29b/c-CCNA2 axes served as molecular stimuli for HCC advance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-021-08714-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8390207PMC
August 2021

Anchor and bridge functions of APTES layer on interface between hydrophilic starch films and hydrophobic soyabean oil coating.

Carbohydr Polym 2021 Nov 20;272:118450. Epub 2021 Jul 20.

Collage of Food Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China; Sino-Singapore International Joint Research Institute, Knowledge City, Guangzhou 510663, China. Electronic address:

One of the well-recognized weaknesses of starch-based materials is their sensitivity to moisture, which limits their expanding applications. Natural materials, soyabean oils have been used as a coating for starch film, but the poor interface between hydrophilic starch and hydrophobic soyabean oil needs to be improved. In this work, (3-Aminopropyl) triethoxysilane (APTES) was used to reinforce the bonding between starch matrix and the coating of bio-based acrylated epoxidized soyabean oil (AESO). Study results show that APTES interacted effectively with both starch films via hydrogen bonding, and chemical bonds with AESO through the Michael addition reaction. Pull adhesion and cross-cutting tests demonstrated that the interfacial adhesion was significantly improved after treating their surface with APTES. The interfacial adhesion strength increased over 4 times after treating with 1.6 wt% APTES. The starch films treated with APTES and AESO coating were intact after soaking in water for more than 2 h.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2021.118450DOI Listing
November 2021

Preparation and Characterization of Instant Casein Phosphopeptide by Supercritical Fluid Assisted Atomization.

Foods 2021 Jul 5;10(7). Epub 2021 Jul 5.

Collage of Food Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China.

Casein phosphopeptide (CPP) has been widely used as micronutrient supplementation for certain populations. However, its solubility performance is far from satisfying. In this work, instant CPP powders with micropore structures were fabricated by supercritical fluid-assisted atomization (SAA) using supercritical CO fluid (SC-CO) as an atomizing agent. The effects of the processing parameters (temperature, time, and pressure) on SC-CO absorption rate and dissolution rate were systematically evaluated and studied. The viscosity of the CPP solution increased with increased pressure of SC-CO as pressure increased its solubility. The processing conditions are optimized as follows: 40 °C, 40 min, and 8.27 MPa, with an SC-CO absorption rate of about 8 wt.%. The dissolution time of the SAA-CPP powders was significantly decreased from 1800 s to 54 s at room temperature, due to the micropore structures and almost 10 times increase in the specific surface area of SAA-CPP. The bioactivities of the instant SAA-CPP, especially the calcium-binding capacity, were also evaluated and showed no observable difference. Among the four CPPs prepared in different ways in this work, SAA-CPP had better dissolution performance. The results show that SAA technology is a promising way to prepare instant polypeptide powders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/foods10071555DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8304231PMC
July 2021

Value of preoperative computed tomography for meso-Rex bypass in children with extrahepatic portal vein obstruction.

Insights Imaging 2021 Jul 27;12(1):109. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Department of Pediatric Surgery, Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center, 9 Jinsui Road, Guangzhou, 510623, Guangdong, China.

Background: Extrahepatic portal vein obstruction (EHPVO) is the most important cause of hematemesis in children. Intrahepatic left portal vein and superior mesenteric vein anastomosis, also known as meso-Rex bypass (MRB), is becoming the gold standard treatment for EHPVO. We analyzed the value of preoperative computed tomography (CT) in determining whether MRB is feasible in children with EHPVO.

Results: We retrieved data on 76 children with EHPVO (50 male, 26 female; median age, 5.9 years) who underwent MRB (n = 68) or the Warren procedure (n = 8) from 2013 to 2019 and retrospectively analyzed their clinical and CT characteristics. The Rex recess was categorized into four subtypes (types 1-4) depending on its diameter in CT images. Of all 76 children, 7.9% had a history of umbilical catheterization and 1.3% had leukemia. Sixteen patients (20 lesions) had associated malformations. A total of 72.4% of Rex recesses could be measured by CT, and their mean diameter was 3.5 ± 1.8 mm (range 0.6-10.5 mm). A type 1, 2, 3, and 4 Rex recess was present in 9.2%, 53.9%, 11.8%, and 25.0% of patients, respectively. MRB could be performed in patients with types 1, 2, and 3, but those with type 4 required further evaluation. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and diagnostic accuracy of CT were 100%, 83.8%, 42.1%, 100%, and 85.5%, respectively.

Conclusions: Among the four types of Rex recesses on CT angiography, types 1-3 allow for the performance of MRB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13244-021-01057-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8316534PMC
July 2021

Using Network Distance Analysis to Predict lncRNA-miRNA Interactions.

Interdiscip Sci 2021 Sep 7;13(3):535-545. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Research Center for Computer Simulating and Information Processing of Bio-Macromolecules of Shenyang, Liaoning University, Shenyang, 110036, China.

LncRNA-miRNA interactions contribute to the regulation of therapeutic targets and diagnostic biomarkers in multifarious human diseases. However, it remains difficult to experimentally identify lncRNA-miRNA associations at large scale, and computational prediction methods are limited. In this study, we developed a network distance analysis model for lncRNA-miRNA association prediction (NDALMA). Similarity networks for lncRNAs and miRNAs were calculated and integrated with Gaussian interaction profile (GIP) kernel similarity. Then, network distance analysis was applied to the integrated similarity networks, and final scores were obtained after confidence calculation and score conversion. Our model obtained satisfactory results in fivefold cross validation, achieving an AUC of 0.8810 and an AUPR of 0.8315. Moreover, NDALMA showed superior prediction performance over several other network algorithms, and we tested the suitability and flexibility of the model by comparing different types of similarity. In addition, case studies of the relationships between lncRNAs and miRNAs were conducted, which verified the reliability of our method in predicting lncRNA-miRNA associations. The datasets and source code used in this study are available at https://github.com/Liu-Lab-Lnu/NDALMA .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12539-021-00458-zDOI Listing
September 2021

Depressive State in the Emergency Department During COVID-19: A National Cross-Sectional Survey in China.

Front Psychiatry 2021 14;12:566990. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Department of Emergency Medicine, The First Affiliate Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, Wulumuqi, China.

Chinese emergency department (ED) staff encountered significant mental stress while fighting the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We sought to investigate the prevalence and associated factors for depressive symptoms among ED staff (including physicians, nurses, allied health, and auxiliary ED staff). A cross-sectional national survey of ED staff who were on duty and participated in combating the COVID-19 pandemic was conducted March 1-15, 2020. A total of 6,588 emergency medical personnel from 1,060 hospitals responded to this survey. A majority of respondents scored above 10 points on the PHQ-9 standardized test, which is associated with depressive symptoms. Those aged 31-45, those working in the COVID-19 isolation unit, and those with relatives ≤ 16 or ≥70 years old at home all had statistically significant associations with scoring >10 points. Depressive symptoms among Chinese emergency medical staff were likely quite common during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and reinforce the importance of targeted ED staff support during future outbreaks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.566990DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8236535PMC
June 2021

Ultrasensitive detection of circulating tumour DNA via deep methylation sequencing aided by machine learning.

Nat Biomed Eng 2021 06 15;5(6):586-599. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Shanghai Chest Hospital, Shanghai, China.

The low abundance of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) in plasma samples makes the analysis of ctDNA biomarkers for the detection or monitoring of early-stage cancers challenging. Here we show that deep methylation sequencing aided by a machine-learning classifier of methylation patterns enables the detection of tumour-derived signals at dilution factors as low as 1 in 10,000. For a total of 308 patients with surgery-resectable lung cancer and 261 age- and sex-matched non-cancer control individuals recruited from two hospitals, the assay detected 52-81% of the patients at disease stages IA to III with a specificity of 96% (95% confidence interval (CI) 93-98%). In a subgroup of 115 individuals, the assay identified, at 100% specificity (95% CI 91-100%), nearly twice as many patients with cancer as those identified by ultradeep mutation sequencing analysis. The low amounts of ctDNA permitted by machine-learning-aided deep methylation sequencing could provide advantages in cancer screening and the assessment of treatment efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41551-021-00746-5DOI Listing
June 2021

Totarol, a natural diterpenoid, induces selective antitumor activity in SGC-7901 human gastric carcinoma cells by triggering apoptosis, cell cycle disruption and suppression of cancer cell migration.

J BUON 2021 Mar-Apr;26(2):640

Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery and 2Department of Cardiac Intensive Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Jining Medical University, Jining, Shandong, 272000 China.

Retraction of: 'Totarol, a natural diterpenoid, induces selective antitumor activity in SGC-7901 human gastric carcinoma cells by triggering apoptosis, cell cycle disruption and suppression of cancer cell migration', by Tong Xu, Lunhua Huang, Zhiqiang Liu, Dongwen Ma, Guowei Zhang, Xiaofei Ning, Xinyang Lu, Hongsheng Liu, Biao Jiang JBUON 2019;24(2):686-692; PMID:31128024. Following the publication of the above article, readers drew to our attention that part of the data was unreliable. The authors were requested to provide the raw data to prove the originality, but were unable to do so. After an investigation, the Editors of JBUON decided to retract this article. We thank the readers for bringing this matter to our attention. We apologize for any inconvenience it may cause.
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June 2021

Prediction of the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) Permeability of Chemicals Based on Machine-Learning and Ensemble Methods.

Chem Res Toxicol 2021 Jun 28;34(6):1456-1467. Epub 2021 May 28.

Research Center for Computer Simulating and Information Processing of Bio-macromolecules of Shenyang, Liaoning University, Shenyang 110036, China.

The ability of chemicals to enter the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a key factor for central nervous system (CNS) drug development. Although many models for BBB permeability prediction have been developed, they have insufficient accuracy (ACC) and sensitivity (SEN). To improve performance, ensemble models were built to predict the BBB permeability of compounds. In this study, in silico ensemble-learning models were developed using 3 machine-learning algorithms and 9 molecular fingerprints from 1757 chemicals (integrated from 2 published data sets) to predict BBB permeability. The best prediction performance of the base classifier models was achieved by a prediction model based on an random forest (RF) and a MACCS molecular fingerprint with an ACC of 0.910, an area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) of 0.957, a SEN of 0.927, and a specificity of 0.867 in 5-fold cross-validation. The prediction performance of the ensemble models is better than that of most of the base classifiers. The final ensemble model has also demonstrated good accuracy for an external validation and can be used for the early screening of CNS drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemrestox.0c00343DOI Listing
June 2021

Multiscale simulations of the hydration shells surrounding spherical FeO nanoparticles and effect on magnetic properties.

Nanoscale 2021 May;13(20):9293-9302

Dipartimento di Scienza dei Materiali, Università di Milano-Bicocca, via R. Cozzi 55, I-20125 Milano, Italy.

Iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles (NPs) are excellent systems in catalysis and in nanomedicine, where they are mostly immersed in aqueous media. Even though the NP solvation by water is expected to play an active role, the detailed structural insight at the nanostructure oxide/water interface is still missing. Here, based on our previous efforts to obtain accurate models of dehydrated Fe3O4 NPs and of their magnetic properties and through multiscale molecular dynamics simulations combining the density functional tight binding method and force field, we unravel the atomistic details of the short range (chemical) and long range (physical) interfacial effects when magnetite nanoparticles are immersed in water. The influence of the first hydration shell on the structural, electronic and magnetic properties of Fe3O4 NPs is revealed by high-level hybrid density functional calculations. Hydrated Fe3O4 NPs possess larger magnetic moment than dehydrated ones. This work bridges the large gap between experimental studies on solvated Fe3O4 NPs and theoretical investigations on flat Fe3O4 surfaces covered with water and paves the way for further study of Fe3O4 NPs in biological environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1nr01014jDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8230581PMC
May 2021

Analysis of clinicopathological features of primary diaphragm tumors: A single-center study.

Thorac Cancer 2021 06 4;12(12):1810-1813. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.

Background And Objectives: Primary diaphragm tumors are rare. The aim of this study was to explore the clinicopathological features of primary diaphragm tumor patients who underwent surgical treatment in our center to improve the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

Methods: Clinical data of patients with primary diaphragm tumor who underwent surgery in our hospital from 2004 to 2019 were reviewed and analyzed.

Results: A total of 18 patients were enrolled. The male:female ratio was 8:10, and the median age was 58 years old (35-74 years old). Most patients included in this study had no typical clinical symptoms. Nine tumor cases were distributed in the left and right diaphragms separately, whereas 11 cases were located at the diaphragm angle. The diaphragm of 12 patients was reconstructed by direct suture. All postoperative pathologies showed that the tumors were benign, and cysts were observed in most of the cases (5/18).

Conclusions: There are no difference in distribution of gender and distribution on both sides of the diaphragm. In addition, primary diaphragm tumor is common in middle-age patients. Most cases occur in the diaphragm angle and are characterized by cyst lesions. Surgical resection is an effective treatment option for primary diaphragm tumor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1759-7714.13988DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8201529PMC
June 2021

Abnormal Intrinsic Functional Interactions Within Pain Network in Cervical Discogenic Pain.

Front Neurosci 2021 14;15:671280. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Department of Radiology, The Affiliated Xi'an Central Hospital, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China.

Cervical discogenic pain (CDP) is mainly induced by cervical disc degeneration. However, how CDP modulates the functional interactions within the pain network remains unclear. In the current study, we studied the changed resting-state functional connectivities of pain network with 40 CDP patients and 40 age-, gender-matched healthy controls. We first defined the pain network with the seeds of the posterior insula (PI). Then, whole brain and seed-to-target functional connectivity analyses were performed to identify the differences in functional connectivity between CDP and healthy controls. Finally, correlation analyses were applied to reveal the associations between functional connectivities and clinical measures. Whole-brain functional connectivity analyses of PI identified increased functional connectivity between PI and thalamus (THA) and decreased functional connectivity between PI and middle cingulate cortex (MCC) in CDP patients. Functional connectivity analyses within the pain network further revealed increased functional connectivities between bilateral PI and bilateral THA, and decreased functional connectivities between left PI and MCC, between left postcentral gyrus (PoCG) and MCC in CDP patients. Moreover, we found that the functional connectivities between right PI and left THA, between left PoCG and MCC were negatively and positively correlated with the visual analog scale, respectively. Our findings provide direct evidence of how CDP modulates the pain network, which may facilitate understanding of the neural basis of CDP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2021.671280DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8079815PMC
April 2021

Synthesis of sustained release/controlled release nanoparticles carrying nattokinase and their application in thrombolysis.

Pharmazie 2021 04;76(4):145-149

School of Pharmacy, Liaoning University, Shenyang; Liaoning University; Research Center for Computer Simulating and Information Processing of Bio-Macromolecules of Liaoning Province; Technology Innovation Center for Computer Simulating and Information Processing of Bio-Macromolecules of Shenyang 5 , Shenyang, China.

Thrombus-related diseases have a high mortality rate and are seriously threatening human life and health. Nattokinase (NK), which has a strong thrombolytic effect, can treat thrombotic diseases. In this study, NK-conjugated magnetite nanoparticles (NK-MNPs) were prepared to accurately deliver NK to the thrombus site. Fe₃ O₄, carboxymethyl chitosan and sodium alginate were combined to form magnetite nanoparticles (MNPs), which were prepared to encapsulate NK. The mean diameter of NK-MNPs was 168.9±4.8 nm, and the zeta potential was -33.8±0.9 mV. The release percentage reached a plateau in approximately 12 h, with 65.24% NK released. Magnetic targeting experiments showed that the light transmittance of the solution reached 90%. The results from the thrombolysis experiments demonstrated the sustained release thrombolysis potential of NK-MNPs. A hemolysis experiment demonstrated that the hemolysis rate of NK-MNPs was less than 5% at an enzymatic activity of 50-150 IU/mL. Moreover NK-MNPs were stored for 90 days at 4 °C and still maintained an enzyme activity above 90%. In conclusion, NK-MNPs hold great promise for improved thrombolytic efficacy, with sustained release and magnetic targeting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1691/ph.2021.0155DOI Listing
April 2021

Analytical Modeling and Validation of a Preloaded Piezoceramic Current Output.

Micromachines (Basel) 2021 Mar 25;12(4). Epub 2021 Mar 25.

School of Mechanical, Electrical and Information Engineering, Shandong University, Weihai 204209, China.

Energy harvesting using piezoceramic has drawn a lot of attention in recent years. Its potential usage in microelectromechanical systems is starting to become a reality thanks to the development of an integrated circuit. An accurate equivalent circuit of piezoceramic is important in energy harvesting and the sensing system. A piezoceramic is always considered to be a current source according to empirical testing, instead of the derivation from its piezoelectric characteristics, which lacks accuracy under complicated mechanical excitation situations. In this study, a new current output model is developed to accurately estimate its value under various kinds of stimulation. Considering the frequency, amplitude and preload variation imposed on a piezoceramic, the multivariate model parameters are obtained in relation to piezo coefficients. Using this model, the current output could be easily calculated without experimental testing in order to quickly estimate the output power in energy harvesting whatever its geometric shape and the various excitations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/mi12040353DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8064484PMC
March 2021

Effects of Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio Combined With Interleukin-6 in Predicting 28-Day Mortality in Patients With Sepsis.

Front Immunol 2021 16;12:639735. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Department of Emergency, The Fourth Medical Center of the Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.

Background: The current study aimed to evaluate the relationship between the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) combined with interleukin (IL)-6 on admission day and the 28-day mortality of septic patients.

Material And Methods: We conducted an observational retrospective study. Patients with presumed sepsis were included. We observed the correlation of studied biomarkers (NLR, IL-6, PCT, and CRP) and the severity scores (APACHE II and SOFA scores) by plotting scatter plots. The relationships of the studied biomarkers and 28-day mortality were evaluated by using Cox regression model, receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve, and reclassification analysis.

Results: A total of 264 patients diagnosed with sepsis were enrolled. It was revealed that IL-6 had the strongest correlation with both APACHE II and SOFA scores, followed by the NLR and PCT, and there was no obvious correlation between CRP and the illness severity. NLR and IL-6 were independent predictors of the 28-day mortality in septic patients in the Cox regression model [NLR, odds ratio 1.281 (95% CI 1.159-1.414), < 0.001; IL-6, odds ratio 1.017 (95% CI 1.005-1.028), =0.004]. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) of NLR, IL-6 and NLR plus IL-6 (NLR_IL-6) was 0.776, 0.849, and 0.904, respectively.

Conclusion: Our study showed that the levels of NLR and IL-6 were significantly higher in the deceased patients with sepsis. NLR and IL-6 appeared to be independent predictors of 28-day mortality in septic patients. Moreover, NLR combined with IL-6 could dramatically enhance the prediction value of 28-day mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.639735DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8007868PMC
March 2021

Accurate electronic properties and non-linear optical response of two-dimensional MA2Z4.

Nanoscale 2021 Mar;13(10):5479-5488

Key Laboratory of Materials Modification by Laser, Ion and Electron Beams (Dalian University of Technology), Ministry of Education, School of Physics, Dalian 116024, China.

Two-dimensional MA2Z4 (M = Mo, W, V, Nb, Ta, Ti, Zr, Hf, or Cr; A = Si or Ge; Z = N, P, or As) is a new lead in the 2D family, because it exhibits versatile properties by tuning the components M, A and Z. However, theoretical studies on MA2Z4 are quite limited, and electronic properties are mainly studied by standard DFT levels, which seriously underestimates the band gap. Here, we systematically investigated the electronic properties and nonlinear optical response of MA2Z4 using a hybrid HSE06 functional. It was found that replacing component Z changes the lattice constant most, while the lattice influence by component M substitution is only slight. We showed that the gap difference between PBE and HSE06 is generally about 30% but can be up to 101%. (MIV = Hf, Ti, or Zr)Si2N4 possesses multi-valley characteristics. Furthermore, the second-harmonic generation (SHG) responses of various MA2Z4 composites were also calculated. Three non-zero elements of second order non-linear susceptibilities are revealed for MA2Z4 with the relationship: d16 = d21 = d22, indicating that MA2Z4 belongs to the D3H1 space group. HfSi2N4 possesses a multi-valley characteristic, and exhibits the largest susceptibility under broad wavelengths and the value of d21 reaches 3697.04 pm V-1 at band gap resonance energy. Intriguingly, the non-linear coefficients of MoSi2P4 and MoSi2As4 in the IR region are two orders of magnitude larger than those of other well-known non-linear crystals, such as LiGaS2 and BaAl4S7. We further explored the anisotropic SHG response by the polar plot of intensity under different incident light into MA2Z4. Our work provides theoretical guidelines for further experimental explorations of MA2Z4 and paves the way for its utilization in non-linear optic devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0nr09146dDOI Listing
March 2021

Predicting lncRNA-miRNA interactions based on interactome network and graphlet interaction.

Genomics 2021 May 12;113(3):874-880. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Research Center for Computer Simulating and Information Processing of Bio-macromolecules of Shenyang, Liaoning University, Shenyang, 110036, China; Technology Innovation Center for Computer Simulating and Information Processing of Bio-macromolecules of Shenyang, Shenyang, 110036, China; School of Pharmacy, Liaoning University, Shenyang, 110036, China. Electronic address:

In the development and treatment of many human diseases, the regulatory roles between lncRNAs and miRNAs are important, but much remains unknown about them; moreover, experimental methods for analyzing them are expensive and time-consuming. In this work, we applied a semi-supervised interactome network-based approach to explore and forecast the latent interaction between lncRNAs and miRNAs. We constructed graphs according to the similarity of each of lncRNAs and miRNAs and determined the number of graphlet interaction isomers between nodes in these two graphs. According to the two graphs and the known interactive relationship, we calculated a score for lncRNA-miRNA pairs, as the prediction result. The results showed that the model (LMI-INGI) was reliable in fivefold cross-validation (AUC = 0.8957, PRE = 0.6815, REC = 0.8842, F1 score = 0.7452, AUPR = 0.9213). We also tested the model with data based on the similarity of expression profile and similarity of function for verifying the applicability of LMI-INGI, and the resulting AUC value was 0.9197 and 0.9006, respectively. Compared with the other four algorithms and variable similarity tests, our model successfully demonstrated superiority and good generalizability. LMI-INGI would be helpful in forecasting interactions between lncRNAs and miRNAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygeno.2021.02.002DOI Listing
May 2021

Survival outcomes of surgery in patients with pulmonary large-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma: a retrospective single-institution analysis and literature review.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2021 02 12;16(1):82. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, 100730, China.

Background: Pulmonary large-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (pLCNEC) is a very rare malignancy originating from the lung and bronchus, and its biological behaviour, clinical diagnosis, treatment and prognosis are poorly understood. Thus, the clinical characteristics and surgical treatment-related prognostic factors of this rare disorder must be explored.

Results: The clinical data of 59 patients (48 males and 11 females) who were treated by surgery and diagnosed with pLCNEC by postoperative pathology at Peking Union Medical College Hospital from April 2004 to April 2019 were analysed retrospectively. The median patient age was 62 years (38-79 years), and the median duration of disease was 2 months (0.5-18 months). Compared with other lung malignancies, pLCNEC lacks specific clinical symptoms and imaging features, and preoperative biopsy pathology is often insufficient to confirm the diagnosis. The corresponding numbers of patients who were classified into stages I, II, III and IV according to the postoperative pathological tumour-nodal-metastasis stage were 25, 12, 15 and 7, respectively. The median overall survival was 36 months (0.9-61.1 months). The 1-year, 3-year and 5-year survival rates were 76.3%, 49% and 44.7%, respectively. The tumour stage exerted a significant effect on survival (Cox multivariate analysis p < 0.05).

Conclusions: For patients with resectable pLCNEC, multidisciplinary therapy based on surgery may have good survival benefits, and tumour stage is an independent risk factor for the prognosis of pLCNEC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-021-01730-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7881654PMC
February 2021

MutagenPred-GCNNs: A Graph Convolutional Neural Network-Based Classification Model for Mutagenicity Prediction with Data-Driven Molecular Fingerprints.

Interdiscip Sci 2021 Mar 27;13(1):25-33. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

School of Life Science, Liaoning University, Shenyang, 110036, China.

An important task in the early stage of drug discovery is the identification of mutagenic compounds. Mutagenicity prediction models that can interpret relationships between toxicological endpoints and compound structures are especially favorable. In this research, we used an advanced graph convolutional neural network (GCNN) architecture to identify the molecular representation and develop predictive models based on these representations. The predictive model based on features extracted by GCNNs can not only predict the mutagenicity of compounds but also identify the structure alerts in compounds. In fivefold cross-validation and external validation, the highest area under the curve was 0.8782 and 0.8382, respectively; the highest accuracy (Q) was 80.98% and 76.63%, respectively; the highest sensitivity was 83.27% and 78.92%, respectively; and the highest specificity was 78.83% and 76.32%, respectively. Additionally, our model also identified some toxicophores, such as aromatic nitro, three-membered heterocycles, quinones, and nitrogen and sulfur mustard. These results indicate that GCNNs could learn the features of mutagens effectively. In summary, we developed a mutagenicity classification model with high predictive performance and interpretability based on a data-driven molecular representation trained through GCNNs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12539-020-00407-2DOI Listing
March 2021

Parametrization of the Fe-O cross-interaction for a more accurate FeO/water interface model and its application to a spherical FeO nanoparticle of realistic size.

J Chem Phys 2021 Jan;154(3):034702

Dipartimento di Scienza dei Materiali, Università di Milano-Bicocca, via R. Cozzi 55, 20125 Milano, Italy.

The accurate description of iron oxides/water interfaces requires reliable force field parameters that can be developed through comparison with sophisticated quantum mechanical calculations. Here, a set of CLASS2 force field parameters is optimized to describe the Fe-O cross-interaction through comparison with hybrid density functional theory (HSE06) calculations of the potential energy function for a single water molecule adsorbed on the FeO (001) surface and with density functional tight binding (DFTB+U) molecular dynamics simulations for a water trilayer on the same surface. The performance of the new parameters is assessed through the analysis of the number density profile of a water bulk (12 nm) sandwiched between two magnetite slabs of large surface area. Their transferability is tested for water adsorption on the curved surface of a spherical FeO nanoparticle of realistic size (2.5 nm).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/5.0035678DOI Listing
January 2021

Quantitative study of starch swelling capacity during gelatinization with an efficient automatic segmentation methodology.

Carbohydr Polym 2021 Mar 5;255:117372. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

China School of Mathematics, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China; Department of Electrical Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, Canada. Electronic address:

A novel image segmentation methodology combined with optical microscopy observation was developed for qualifying starch swelling. Starch granules in the micrograph were successfully segmented based on high-precision edges extraction achieved by Canny edge detection together with mathematical morphology operation. Granules were automatically identified by computer vision and characterized by giving quantifiable area of these granules. The evolved swelling process could be generally divided into two phases. During the first phase, starch granules were only swollen up by 2.56 %, which is hard to be identified by conventional naked eye. During the following narrow temperature interval (60-66 ℃), these starch granules were detected to swell up significantly by 9.08 %. Through the granule area variable, swelling capacity was high-throughput characterized, which allows for the whole evaluation to be completed within a couple of minutes. The proposed methodology showed a high accuracy and potential as a novel technique for characterizing gelatinization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2020.117372DOI Listing
March 2021

Predicting the reproductive toxicity of chemicals using ensemble learning methods and molecular fingerprints.

Toxicol Lett 2021 Apr 6;340:4-14. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Technology Innovation Center for Computer Simulating and Information Processing of Bio-macromolecules of Shenyang, Shenyang, 110036, China; Engineering Laboratory for Molecular Simulation and Designing of Drug Molecules of Liaoning, Liaoning University, Shenyang, 110036, China; School of Pharmaceutical Science, Liaoning University, Shenyang, 110036, China. Electronic address:

Reproductive toxicity endpoints are a significant safety concern in the assessment of the adverse effects of chemicals in drug discovery. Computational models that can accurately predict a chemical's toxic potential are increasingly pursued to replace traditional animal experiments. Thus, ensemble learning models were built to predict the reproductive toxicity of compounds. Our ensemble models were developed using support vector machine, random forest, and extreme gradient boosting methods and 9 molecular fingerprints calculated for a dataset containing 1823 chemicals. The best prediction performance was achieved by the Ensemble-Top12 model, with an accuracy (ACC) of 86.33 %, a sensitivity (SEN) of 82.02 %, a specificity (SPE) of 90.19 %, and an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.937 in 5-fold cross-validation and ACC, SEN, SPE, and AUC values of 84.38 %, 86.90 %, 90.67 %, and 0.920, respectively, in external validation. We also defined the applicability domain (AD) of the ensemble model by calculating the Tanimoto distance of the training set. Compared with models in existing literature, our ensemble model achieves relatively high ACC, SPE and AUC values. We also identified several fingerprint features related to chemical reproductive toxicity. Considering the performance of model, we recommend using the Ensemble-Top12 model to predict reproductive toxicity in early drug development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2021.01.002DOI Listing
April 2021

ZNF280A promotes lung adenocarcinoma development by regulating the expression of EIF3C.

Cell Death Dis 2021 01 4;12(1):39. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Department of Medical Oncology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, China.

Lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) is the most common histological subtype in non-small cell lung cancer, which is the malignant tumor with the highest mortality and morbidity in the world. Herein, ZNF280A, a member of the zinc finger protein family carrying two consecutive Cys2His2 zinc finger domains, was shown by us to act as a tumor driver in LUAD. The immunohistochemical analysis of ZNF280A in LUAD indicated its positive correlation with tumor grade, pathological stage and lymphatic metastasis, and negative relationship with patients' survival. A loss-of-function study revealed the inhibition of LUAD development by ZNF280A in vitro and in vivo, whereas ZNF280A overexpression induced opposite effects. Statistical analysis of gene expression profiling in LUAD cells with or without ZNF280A knockdown identified EIF3C as a potential downstream of ZNF280A, which possesses similar regulatory effects on phenotypes of LUAD cells with ZNF280A. Moreover, downregulation of EIF3C in ZNF280A-overexpressed cells could attenuate neutralize the ZNF280A-induced promotion of LUAD. In summary, our study demonstrated that ZNF280A may promote the development of LUAD by regulating cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell cycle, and cell migration and probably via interacting EIF3C.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-020-03309-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7791122PMC
January 2021

Distinct disease severity between children and older adults with COVID-19: Impacts of ACE2 expression, distribution, and lung progenitor cells.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 Jan 3. Epub 2021 Jan 3.

Prenatal Diagnostic Centre and Cord Blood Bank; Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China.

Background: Children and older adults with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) display a distinct spectrum of disease severity yet the risk factors aren't well understood. We sought to examine the expression pattern of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the cell-entry receptor for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and the role of lung progenitor cells in children and older patients.

Methods: We retrospectively analysed clinical features in a cohort of 299 patients with COVID-19. The expression and distribution of ACE2 and lung progenitor cells were systematically examined using a combination of public single-cell RNA-seq datasets, lung biopsies, and ex vivo infection of lung tissues with SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus in children and older adults. We also followed up patients who had recovered from COVID-19.

Results: Compared with children, older patients (> 50 yrs.) were more likely to develop into serious pneumonia with reduced lymphocytes and aberrant inflammatory response (p = 0.001). The expression level of ACE2 and lung progenitor cell markers were generally decreased in older patients. Notably, ACE2 positive cells were mainly distributed in the alveolar region, including SFTPC positive cells, but rarely in airway regions in the older adults (p < 0.01). The follow-up of discharged patients revealed a prolonged recovery from pneumonia in the older (p < 0.025).

Conclusion: Compared to children, ACE2 positive cells are generally decreased in older adults and mainly presented in the lower pulmonary tract. The lung progenitor cells are also decreased. These risk factors may impact disease severity and recovery from pneumonia caused by SARS-Cov-2 infection in older patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1911DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7799282PMC
January 2021

LncRNA PART1 promotes cell proliferation and progression in non-small-cell lung cancer cells via sponging miR-17-5p.

J Cell Biochem 2021 04 27;122(3-4):315-325. Epub 2020 Dec 27.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, China.

It has been demonstrated in previous studies that lncPART1 is dysregulated in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, the function of lncPART1 in NSCLC is unclear. Therefore, this experimental design was based on LncPART1 to explore the pathogenesis of NSCLC. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to detect the expression of lncPART1 and miR-17-5p in NSCLC. Cell Counting Kit -8, colony formation, and transwell assays were used to examine the effects of lncPART1 and miR-17-5p on NSCLC cell proliferation and migration invasiveness. Target gene prediction, luciferase reporter assays were used to validate downstream target genes for lncPART1 and miR-17-5p. Western blot analysis was used to detect the expression of TGFBETAR2. LncPART1 was highly expressed in NSCLC. LncPART1 significantly promoted cell proliferation of NSCLC cells. miR-17-5p was down-expressed in NSCLC. miR-17-5p overexpression inhibited cell proliferation and migration invasion in NSCLC cells. LncPART1 was able to inhibit miR-17-5p expression and upregulate the expression level of TGFBETAR2. The results of in vivo animal models confirmed that lncPART1 promoted NSCLC progression by miR-17-5p/TGFBETAR2 axis. LncPART1 promoted the progression of NSCLC by miR-17-5p/TGFBETAR2 axis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcb.29714DOI Listing
April 2021

Image-based deep learning in diagnosing the etiology of pneumonia on pediatric chest X-rays.

Pediatr Pulmonol 2021 05 19;56(5):1036-1044. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Institute of Pediatrics, Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.

Purpose: Comparing the efficacy of a deep-learning model in classifying the etiology of pneumonia on pediatric chest X-rays (CXRs) with that of human readers.

Methods: We built a clinical-pediatric CXR set containing 4035 patients to exploit a deep-learning model called Resnet-50 for differentiating viral from bacterial pneumonia. The dataset was split into training (80%) and validation (20%). Model performance was assessed by receiver operating characteristic curve and area under the curve (AUC) on the first test set of 400 CXRs collected from different studies. For the second test set composed of 100 independent examinations obtained from the daily clinical practice at our institution, the kappa coefficient was selected to measure the interrater agreement in a pairwise fashion for the reference standard, all reviewers, and the model. Gradient-weighted class activation mapping was used to visualize the significant areas contributing to the model prediction.

Results: On the first test set, the best-performing classifier achieved an AUC of 0.919 (p < .001), with a sensitivity of 79.0% and specificity of 88.9%. On the second test set, the classifier achieved performance similar to that of human experts, which resulted in a sensitivity of 74.3% and specificity of 90.8%, positive and negative likelihood ratios of 8.1 and 0.3, respectively. Contingence tables and kappa values further revealed that expert reviewers and model reached substantial agreements on differentiating the etiology of pediatric pneumonia.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that the model performed similarly as human reviewers and recognized the regions of pathology on CXRs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ppul.25229DOI Listing
May 2021

Clinical outcomes of pleural drainage on pneumothorax and hydrothorax in critically ill patients with COVID-19: A case series with literature review.

Heart Lung 2021 Mar-Apr;50(2):213-219. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Science & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.

Background: For patients with COVID-19, pneumothorax and hydrothorax are suggested to be negative prognostic indicators. However, the management of these two conditions has rarely been discussed. We aimed to describe the clinical outcomes of pleural drainage in critically ill patients with COVID-19.

Methods: A total of 17 pleural drainages were performed in 11 critically ill patients with pneumothorax or hydrothorax. Either chest tubes or central venous catheters (CVCs) were used. The clinical outcomes, including respiratory and circulation indicators at 24 h and 1 h before the procedure and 24 h and 48 h after the procedure, were retrospectively recorded.

Results: (1) Following pleural drainage, there was a 19.1% improvement in the PaO/FiO ratio from 147.4 mmHg (-1 h) to 175.5 mmHg (24 h), while the mean positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP) decreased from 10.7 cmHO (-1 h) to 8.9 cmHO (24 h) and 8.1 cmHO (48 h). The A-a gradients decreased from 313.3 mmHg (-1 h) to 261.3 mmHg (24 h). (2) The dosage of norepinephrine increased from 0.15 μg/kg/min (-1 h) to 0.40 μg/kg/min (24 h). (3) No haemorrhagic or infectious complications were observed. (4) A total of 41.6% of CVCs were partially or fully obstructed, while no chest tubes were obstructed.

Conclusion: For critically ill patients with COVID-19, pleural drainage leads to a significant improvement in oxygenation and gas exchange, but the deterioration of circulation is not reversed. It is safe to perform pleural drainage even though anticoagulation therapy and glucocorticoids are widely used. Chest tubes rather than CVCs are recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrtlng.2020.12.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7834236PMC
March 2021
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