Publications by authors named "Hui Liu"

4,633 Publications

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Effects of a probiotic-fermented herbal blend on the growth performance, intestinal flora and immune function of chicks infected with Salmonella pullorum.

Poult Sci 2021 Apr 15;100(7):101196. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Beijing Engineering Laboratory of Probiotics Key Technology Development, Beijing Key Laboratory of Agricultural Product Detection and Control of Spoilage Organisms and Pesticide Residue, Beijing Laboratory of Food Quality and Safety, Food Science and Engineering College, Beijing University of Agriculture, Beijing, 102206, China. Electronic address:

Salmonella pullorum is a highly pathogenic bacteria in poultry industry. However, antibiotics were restricted in many countries because of the increasing risk of antibiotic resistance, Therefore, an environmental friendly and effective alternative strives to be developed. This study investigated the benefit of a probiotic-fermented herbal blend on the growth performance and gut microbiota of newborn broilers infected with S. pullorum. A total of 120 one-day-old dwarf male chicks were randomly allotted to 4 treatment groups, each including 5 replicates of 6 chicks: negative control (NC), positive control (PC), herbal blend (HB), and probiotic-fermented herbal blend (PF). All birds (n = 90), except for those in the NC, were infected with S. pullorum (1.69 × 10 CFU) on day 1. On day 11, body weight (BW), mortality, tissue pathology, cecal colony counts, immune organ indices, cecal mucosa secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) concentrations, and cecal cytokine mRNA expression levels were investigated. No mortality was observed after the PF treatment, and less pathological condition was in the ileum, cecum, and liver of HB and PF. BW, average daily gain and average daily feed intake were significant higher in the HB group compared to the PC and were the highest in the PF (P < 0.05). HB treatment significantly increased cecal populations of Lactobacilli, and decreased cecal populations of Escherichia coli and Salmonella, but results were more pronounced in the PF group (P < 0.05). Both HB and PF treatments increased cecal mucosa sIgA compared with the PC (P < 0.05). Tumor necrosis factor alpha and interferon gamma were lowest (P < 0.05) and interleukin 4 was the highest (P < 0.05) in PF, which exhibited similar levels to the NC group. PF treatment significantly improved the development of the thymus and bursa in S. pullorum-infected chicks. In conclusion, PF treatment prevented death, improved growth performance, regulated intestinal flora and enhanced immune ability of in S. pullorum-infected with chicks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2021.101196DOI Listing
April 2021

Humins with Efficient Electromagnetic Wave Absorption: a By-Product of Furfural Conversion  to Isopropyl Levulinate via a Tandem Catalytic Reaction in One-Pot.

Chemistry 2021 Jun 10. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Jilin University, College of Chemistry, CHINA.

Both one-pot catalytic conversion of furfural (FAL) to isopropyl levulinate (PL) and carbonization of by-product (humins) for electromagnetic wave absorption are discussed, which provides inspiration that humins can be applied to electromagnetic wave absorption. In the former, phosphotungstic acid (PW) is employed as a homogeneous catalyst to convert FAL to PL via a tandem reaction in one pot, with the formation of a vast amount of humins. With FAL and various intermediates as substrates, it was found that humins was a polymerization product of FAL, furfuryl alcohol (FOL) and furfuryl ester (FE) with furan rings. In addition, the in-situ attenuated total reflection infrared (ATR-IR) spectra also provided a basis for the proposed reaction route. In the latter, with the humins as raw material, P species and WO 3 doped nano-porous carbon (Humins-700) platform formed after high-temperature annealing is used for electromagnetic wave absorption and manifests desirable absorption performance. The minimum reflection loss (RL min ) value is -47.3 dB at 13.0 GHz with a thickness of 2.0 mm and the effective absorption bandwidth reaches 4.5 GHz (11.2 - 5.7 GHz).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/chem.202101928DOI Listing
June 2021

Soluble fibrinogen‑like protein 2 levels are decreased in patients with ischemic heart failure and associated with cardiac function.

Mol Med Rep 2021 Aug 10;24(2). Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of Geriatrics, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430022, P.R. China.

Soluble fibrinogen‑like protein 2 (sFGL2), as a novel effector of regulatory T cells (Tregs), exhibits immune regulatory activity in several inflammatory diseases. Immune activation and persistent inflammation participate in the progression of ischemic heart failure (IHF). The present study aimed to determine serum sFGL2 levels in patients with IHF and explore the relationship between sFGL2 levels and cardiac function. A total of 104 patients with IHF and 32 healthy controls were enrolled. patients with IHF were further split into subgroups according to the New York Heart Association functional classification or left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). Serum sFGL2 levels and peripheral Tregs frequencies were analyzed by ELISA and flow cytometry, respectively. The suppressive function of Tregs was measured by proliferation and functional suppression assays. Serum levels of sFGL2 and circulating Tregs frequencies were significantly decreased in patients with IHF compared with healthy controls. In patients with IHF, sFGL2 levels and Tregs frequencies were decreased with the deterioration of cardiac function. Tregs from patients with IHF exhibited compromised ability to suppress CD4CD25 T cells proliferation and inflammatory cytokines secretion. Specifically, sFGL2 levels and Tregs frequencies positively correlated with LVEF, whereas negatively correlated with left ventricular end‑diastolic dimension and N‑terminal pro‑brain natriuretic peptide. sFGL2 levels were positively correlated with Tregs frequencies. In conclusion, the reduction of serum sFGL2 levels are associated with the progression of IHF and sFGL2 could be used as a potential indicator for predicting disease severity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2021.12198DOI Listing
August 2021

Identification of a nomogram based on an 8-lncRNA signature as a novel diagnostic biomarker for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Aging (Albany NY) 2021 Jun 9;13. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610036, China.

Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (cALL) still represents a major cause of disease-related death in children. This study aimed to explore the prognostic value of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in cALL. We downloaded lncRNA expression profiles from the TARGET and GEO databases. Univariate, least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) and multivariate Cox regression analyses were applied to identify lncRNA-based signatures. We identified an eight-lncRNA signature (LINC00630, HDAC2-AS2, LINC01278, AL356599.1, AC114490.1, AL132639.3, FUT8.AS1, and TTC28.AS1), which separated the patients into two groups with significantly different overall survival rates. A nomogram based on the signature, BCR ABL1 status and white blood cell count at diagnosis was developed and showed good accuracy for predicting the 3-, 5- and 7-year survival probability of cALL patients. The C-index values of the nomogram in the training and internal validation set reached 0.8 (95% CI, 0.757 to 0.843) and 0.806 (95% CI, 0.728 to 0.884), respectively. The nomogram proposed in this study objectively and accurately predicted the prognosis of cALL. experiments suggested that LINC01278 promoted the proliferation of leukemic cells and inhibited leukemic cell apoptosis by targeting the inhibition of miR-500b-3p in cALL, and LINC01278 may be a biological target for the treatment of cALL in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.203116DOI Listing
June 2021

N-acetylcysteine alleviates ocular surface damage in STZ-induced diabetic mice by inhibiting the ROS/NLRP3/Caspase-1/IL-1β signaling pathway.

Exp Eye Res 2021 Jun 5:108654. Epub 2021 Jun 5.

Tianjin International Joint Research and Development Centre of Ophthalmology and Vision Science, Eye Institute and School of Optometry, Tianjin Medical University Eye Hospital, Tianjin, China. Electronic address:

Diabetes mellitus (DM) induces damage to the ocular surface, which leads to vision decline. In the current study, we investigated whether N-acetylcysteine (NAC) plays a protective role in diabetes-induced ocular surface damage. The diabetic mice model was treated with 0.3% NAC topically. Corneal epithelial integrity, tear volume and corneal sensitivity were examined by sodium fluorescein staining, phenol red cotton thread and esthesiometer respectively. The level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was measured with 2',7-dichlorofluorescein diacetate. The expression of NLRP3, IL-1β and caspase-1 were evaluated by RT-PCR, western blot and immunostaining. The level of SOD1 was assessed by RT-PCR. We found that the expression of NLRP3, IL-1β and caspase-1 were elevated in diabetic cornea and conjunctiva. Treatment with NAC improved corneal epithelial integrity, increased tear production and corneal sensitivity in diabetic mice. Moreover, NAC markedly attenuated ROS accumulation and decreased NLRP3, IL-1β and caspase-1 levels in diabetic cornea and conjunctiva. These results suggest that NAC improves ocular surface damage in STZ-induced diabetic mice, which may be related to the inhibition of the ROS/NLRP3/Caspase-1/IL-1β signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exer.2021.108654DOI Listing
June 2021

Investigation of giardiasis in captive animals in zoological gardens with strain typing of assemblages in China.

Parasitology 2021 Jun 8:1-19. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Department of Parasitology, Zunyi Medical University, Zunyi563000, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031182021000913DOI Listing
June 2021

Automatic Facial Recognition of Williams-Beuren Syndrome Based on Deep Convolutional Neural Networks.

Front Pediatr 2021 19;9:648255. Epub 2021 May 19.

Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Guangdong Provincial People's Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangdong Cardiovascular Institute, Guangzhou, China.

Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) is a rare genetic syndrome with a characteristic "elfin" facial gestalt. The "elfin" facial characteristics include a broad forehead, periorbital puffiness, flat nasal bridge, short upturned nose, wide mouth, thick lips, and pointed chin. Recently, deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have been successfully applied to facial recognition for diagnosing genetic syndromes. However, there is little research on WBS facial recognition using deep CNNs. The purpose of this study was to construct an automatic facial recognition model for WBS diagnosis based on deep CNNs. The study enrolled 104 WBS children, 91 cases with other genetic syndromes, and 145 healthy children. The photo dataset used only one frontal facial photo from each participant. Five face recognition frameworks for WBS were constructed by adopting the VGG-16, VGG-19, ResNet-18, ResNet-34, and MobileNet-V2 architectures, respectively. ImageNet transfer learning was used to avoid over-fitting. The classification performance of the facial recognition models was assessed by five-fold cross validation, and comparison with human experts was performed. The five face recognition frameworks for WBS were constructed. The VGG-19 model achieved the best performance. The accuracy, precision, recall, F1 score, and area under curve (AUC) of the VGG-19 model were 92.7 ± 1.3%, 94.0 ± 5.6%, 81.7 ± 3.6%, 87.2 ± 2.0%, and 89.6 ± 1.3%, respectively. The highest accuracy, precision, recall, F1 score, and AUC of human experts were 82.1, 65.9, 85.6, 74.5, and 83.0%, respectively. The AUCs of each human expert were inferior to the AUCs of the VGG-16 (88.6 ± 3.5%), VGG-19 (89.6 ± 1.3%), ResNet-18 (83.6 ± 8.2%), and ResNet-34 (86.3 ± 4.9%) models. This study highlighted the possibility of using deep CNNs for diagnosing WBS in clinical practice. The facial recognition framework based on VGG-19 could play a prominent role in WBS diagnosis. Transfer learning technology can help to construct facial recognition models of genetic syndromes with small-scale datasets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fped.2021.648255DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8170407PMC
May 2021

GWAS Mediated Elucidation of Heterosis for Metric Traits in Cotton ( L.) Across Multiple Environments.

Front Plant Sci 2021 20;12:565552. Epub 2021 May 20.

State Key Laboratory of Cotton Biology/Institute of Cotton Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (ICR, CAAS), Anyang, China.

For about a century, plant breeding has widely exploited the heterosis phenomenon-often considered as hybrid vigor-to increase agricultural productivity. The ensuing F hybrids can substantially outperform their progenitors due to heterozygous combinations that mitigate deleterious mutations occurring in each genome. However, only fragmented knowledge is available concerning the underlying genes and processes that foster heterosis. Although cotton is among the highly valued crops, its improvement programs that involve the exploitation of heterosis are still limited in terms of significant accomplishments to make it broadly applicable in different agro-ecological zones. Here, F hybrids were derived from mating a diverse Upland Cotton germplasm with commercially valuable cultivars in the Line × Tester fashion and evaluated across multiple environments for 10 measurable traits. These traits were dissected into five different heterosis types and specific combining ability (SCA). Subsequent genome-wide predictions along-with association analyses uncovered a set of 298 highly significant key single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)/Quantitative Trait Nucleotides (QTNs) and 271 heterotic Quantitative Trait Nucleotides (hQTNs) related to agronomic and fiber quality traits. The integration of a genome wide association study with RNA-sequence analysis yielded 275 candidate genes in the vicinity of key SNPs/QTNs. Fiber micronaire (MIC) and lint percentage (LP) had the maximum number of associated genes, i.e., each with 45 related to QTNs/hQTNs. A total of 54 putative candidate genes were identified in association with HETEROSIS of quoted traits. The novel players in the heterosis mechanism highlighted in this study may prove to be scientifically and biologically important for cotton biologists, and for those breeders engaged in cotton fiber and yield improvement programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2021.565552DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8173050PMC
May 2021

Transport characteristics of fragmental polyethylene glycol terephthalate (PET) microplastics in porous media under various chemical conditions.

Chemosphere 2021 Aug 15;276:130214. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States.

Transport characteristics of fragmental polyethylene glycol terephthalate (PET) microplastics in porous media were elucidated via column experiments under a series combination of electrolytes, pH, and humic acid (HA) conditions. Fragmental PET microplastics showed low mobility in porous media with a small mass recovery rate (<50.1%) even under unfavorable retention conditions. The electrolyte, pH, and HA showed combined impact on PET microplastic transport. PET microplastics mobility was enhanced with decreasing electrolyte concentration, increasing pH, and increasing HA concentration. Basic properties (e.g. destiny and shape) of PET microplastics showed stronger effect on their transport behaviors in porous media rather than the experimental chemical conditions. In general, both environmental factors and basic properties played important roles in controlling the retention and transport of PET microplastics in porous media. A numerical model considering the second order kinetic deposition sites was applied to depict the retention and transport of PET microplastics in porous media. Model simulations well matched the experimental breakthrough curves. Given the fragmental PET microplastics have more realistic and irregular shapes, results from this study can improve present knowledge of the environmental fate and risk of microplastics in underground soil and water systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.130214DOI Listing
August 2021

CT-free attenuation correction for dedicated cardiac SPECT using a 3D dual squeeze-and-excitation residual dense network.

J Nucl Cardiol 2021 Jun 3. Epub 2021 Jun 3.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.

Background: Attenuation correction (AC) using CT transmission scanning enables the accurate quantitative analysis of dedicated cardiac SPECT. However, AC is challenging for SPECT-only scanners. We developed a deep learning-based approach to generate synthetic AC images from SPECT images without AC.

Methods: CT-free AC was implemented using our customized Dual Squeeze-and-Excitation Residual Dense Network (DuRDN). 172 anonymized clinical hybrid SPECT/CT stress/rest myocardial perfusion studies were used in training, validation, and testing. Additional body mass index (BMI), gender, and scatter-window information were encoded as channel-wise input to further improve the network performance.

Results: Quantitative and qualitative analysis based on image voxels and 17-segment polar map showed the potential of our approach to generate consistent SPECT AC images. Our customized DuRDN showed superior performance to conventional network design such as U-Net. The averaged voxel-wise normalized mean square error (NMSE) between the predicted AC images by DuRDN and the ground-truth AC images was 2.01 ± 1.01%, as compared to 2.23 ± 1.20% by U-Net.

Conclusions: Our customized DuRDN facilitates dedicated cardiac SPECT AC without CT scanning. DuRDN can efficiently incorporate additional patient information and may achieve better performance compared to conventional U-Net.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12350-021-02672-0DOI Listing
June 2021

The Value of PETRA in Pulmonary Nodules of <3 cm Among Patients With Lung Cancer.

Front Oncol 2021 18;11:649625. Epub 2021 May 18.

Department of Radiology, The Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, China.

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the visibility of different subgroups of lung nodules of <3 cm using the pointwise encoding time reduction with radial acquisition (PETRA) sequence on 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in comparison with that obtained using low-dose computed tomography (LDCT).

Methods: The appropriate detection rate was calculated for each of the different subgroups of lung nodules of <3 cm. The mean diameter of each detected nodule was determined. The detection rates and diameters of the lung nodules detected by MRI with the PETRA sequence were compared with those detected by computed tomography (CT). The sensitivity of detection for the different subgroups of pulmonary nodules was determined based on the location, size, type of nodules and morphologic characteristics. Agreement of nodule characteristics between CT and MRI were assessed by intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and Kappa test.

Results: The CT scans detected 256 lung nodules, comprising 99 solid nodules (SNs) and 157 subsolid nodules with a mean nodule diameter of 8.3 mm. For the SNs, the MRI detected 30/47 nodules of <6 mm in diameter and 52/52 nodules of ≥6 mm in diameter. For the subsolid nodules, the MRI detected 30/51 nodules of <6 mm in diameter and 102/106 nodules of ≥6 mm in diameter. The PETRA sequence returned a high detection rate (84%). The detection rates of SN, ground glass nodules, and PSN were 82%, 72%, and 94%, respectively. For nodules with a diameter of >6 mm, the sensitivity of the PETRA sequence reached 97%, with a higher rate for nodules located in the upper lung fields than those in the middle and lower lung fields. Strong agreement was found between the CT and PETRA results (correlation coefficients = 0.97).

Conclusion: The PETRA technique had high sensitivity for different type of nodule detection and enabled accurate assessment of their diameter and morphologic characteristics. It may be an effective alternative to CT as a tool for screening and follow up pulmonary nodules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.649625DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8167054PMC
May 2021

Dual Regulation of Cytoplasm and Peroxisomes for Improved Α-Farnesene Production in Recombinant .

ACS Synth Biol 2021 Jun 3. Epub 2021 Jun 3.

The Key Laboratory of Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biotechnology, Ministry of Education, School of Biotechnology, Jiangnan University, 1800# Lihu Road, WuXi 214122, People's Republic of China.

Microbial production of α-farnesene from renewable raw materials is a feasible alternative to traditional petroleum craft. Recently, the research on improving α-farnesene production in mainly focused on cytoplasmic engineering, while comprehensive engineering of multiple subcellular compartments is rarely reported. Here, we first sought to confirm that the isopentenol utilization pathway (IUP) could act as a two-step shortcut for IPP synthesis in peroxisomes. In addition, we proposed dual regulation of cytoplasm and peroxisomes to boost α-farnesene synthesis in X33, thus the resultant strain produced 2.18 ± 0.04 g/L, which was 1.3 times and 2.1 times than that of the strain only with peroxisomal or cytoplasmic engineering, respectively. The α-farnesene production achieved 2.56 ± 0.04 g/L in shake flasks after carbon source cofeeding, which was the highest reported production in worldwide literatures to the best of my knowledge. Therefore, we propose these strategies as efficient approaches to enhancing α-farnesene production in , which might bring new ideas for the biosynthesis of high-value compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acssynbio.1c00186DOI Listing
June 2021

Denudatine-type diterpenoid alkaloids from an aqueous extract of the lateral root of .

J Asian Nat Prod Res 2021 Jun 3:1-12. Epub 2021 Jun 3.

State Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substance and Function of Natural Medicines, Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100050, China.

Five new denudatine-type diterpenoid alkaloids (1-5), along with the known analogue aconicarmine (), were isolated from an aqueous decoction of the lateral roots of (fu-zi). Their structures were determined by spectroscopic data analysis and electronic circular dichroism (ECD) calculations. Compound is the first denudatine-type diterpenoid alcohol iminium alkaloid, which could be partially transformed into the aza acetal form in pyridine-. Compound inhibited mice writhing in an acetic acid-induced writhing assay.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10286020.2021.1931141DOI Listing
June 2021

Streptococcal infection in childhood Henoch-Schönlein purpura: a 5-year retrospective study from a single tertiary medical center in China, 2015-2019.

Pediatr Rheumatol Online J 2021 Jun 2;19(1):79. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Department of Pediatrics, Chaohu Hospital of Anhui Medical University, No.64 Chaohu North Road, Hefei, 230022, People's Republic of China.

Background: The present study focuses on the associations of streptococcal infection with the clinical phenotypes, relapse/recurrence and renal involvement in Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) children.

Methods: Two thousand seventy-four Chinese children with HSP were recruited from January 2015 to December 2019. Patients' histories associated with HSP onset were obtained by interviews and questionnaires. Laboratory data of urine tests, blood sample and infectious agents were collected. Renal biopsy was performed by the percutaneous technique.

Results: (1) Streptococcal infection was identified in 393 (18.9%) HSP patients, and served as the most frequent infectious trigger. (2) Among the 393 cases with streptococcal infection, 43.0% of them had arthritis/arthralgia, 32.1% had abdominal pain and 29.3% had renal involvement. (3) 26.1% of HSP patients relapsed or recurred more than 1 time within a 5-year observational period, and the relapse/recurrence rate in streptococcal infectious group was subjected to a 0.4-fold decrease as compared with the non-infectious group. (4) No significant differences in renal pathological damage were identified among the streptococcal infectious group, the other infectious group and the non-infectious group.

Conclusions: Streptococcal infection is the most frequent trigger for childhood HSP and does not aggravate renal pathological damage; the possible elimination of streptococcal infection helps relieve the relapse/recurrence of HSP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12969-021-00569-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8173722PMC
June 2021

Biocatalyst and colorimetric biosensor of carcinoembryonic antigen constructed via chicken egg white-copper phosphate organic/inorganic hybrid nanoflowers.

J Colloid Interface Sci 2021 May 18;601:50-59. Epub 2021 May 18.

School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Green Preparation and Functionalization for Inorganic Materials, Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, Xi'an 710021, PR China.

In this article, the dual-functional chicken egg white-copper phosphate organic-inorganic hybrid nanoflowers (Cu-NFs), combining the functions of signal amplification and biological recognition, were prepared through a simple one-pot method. The Cu-NFs exhibit excellent biocatalytic activity of peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase. Besides, a biotin-labeled secondary antibody encapsulated Cu-NFs-2 ([email protected]) capture probe was prepared by using the interaction between avidin in the egg white and biotin. Based upon this superiority, the as-prepared Cu-NFs-2 were used in labeled avidin-biotin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Cu-NFs-2 based-LAB-ELISA) to construct a sensitive colorimetric biosensor for the ultrasensitive detection of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). Under weak alkaline (pH = 7.5) conditions, the as-developed colorimetric sensor displayed a wide linear range of 0.05-40 ng/mL with a detection limit of 3.52 pg/mL. Furthermore, this colorimetric sensor has been successfully applied to the detection of CEA in human serum samples. Therefore, the as-developed colorimetric sensor has broad application prospects in the field of medical diagnosis and portable detection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2021.05.069DOI Listing
May 2021

Fine regulation of electron transfer in [email protected] nanoparticles for boosting the oxygen evolution reaction.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2021 Jun 2. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Institute of New Energy Materials, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Key Laboratory for Advanced Ceramics and Machining Technology of Ministry of Education, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, P. R. China. and Longyan University, Longyan, 364012, P. R. China.

In this study, a core-shell structure ([email protected]) was constructed to modify the valence state of cobalt cations precisely by continuously adjusting the shell thickness. There exists a volcano relationship between the valence state of Co sites and OER activity, and the lowest overpotential (212 [email protected] mA cm-2) has been obtained.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1cc02189cDOI Listing
June 2021

DeepD2V: A Novel Deep Learning-Based Framework for Predicting Transcription Factor Binding Sites from Combined DNA Sequence.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 May 24;22(11). Epub 2021 May 24.

School of Computer Science and Technology, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing 211816, China.

Predicting in vivo protein-DNA binding sites is a challenging but pressing task in a variety of fields like drug design and development. Most promoters contain a number of transcription factor (TF) binding sites, but only a small minority has been identified by biochemical experiments that are time-consuming and laborious. To tackle this challenge, many computational methods have been proposed to predict TF binding sites from DNA sequence. Although previous methods have achieved remarkable performance in the prediction of protein-DNA interactions, there is still considerable room for improvement. In this paper, we present a hybrid deep learning framework, termed DeepD2V, for transcription factor binding sites prediction. First, we construct the input matrix with an original DNA sequence and its three kinds of variant sequences, including its inverse, complementary, and complementary inverse sequence. A sliding window of size with a specific stride is used to obtain its -mer representation of input sequences. Next, we use word2vec to obtain a pre-trained -mer word distributed representation model. Finally, the probability of protein-DNA binding is predicted by using the recurrent and convolutional neural network. The experiment results on 50 public ChIP-seq benchmark datasets demonstrate the superior performance and robustness of DeepD2V. Moreover, we verify that the performance of DeepD2V using word2vec-based -mer distributed representation is better than one-hot encoding, and the integrated framework of both convolutional neural network (CNN) and bidirectional LSTM (bi-LSTM) outperforms CNN or the bi-LSTM model when used alone. The source code of DeepD2V is available at the github repository.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22115521DOI Listing
May 2021

Designing Zn-doped nickel sulfide catalysts with an optimized electronic structure for enhanced hydrogen evolution reaction.

Nanoscale 2021 Jun 1;13(22):10127-10132. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

School of Materials Science and Engineering, Hebei University of Technology, Dingzigu Road 1, Tianjin 300130, P. R. China.

Designing non-noble-metal electrocatalysts with excellent performance and economic benefits toward the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is extremely crucial for future energy development. In particular, the rational cationic-doped strategy can effectively tailor the electronic structure of the catalysts and improve the free energy of the adsorbed intermediate, thus enhancing HER performance. Herein we reported Zn-doped NiS nanosheet arrays supported on Ni foam (Zn-NiS/NF) that were synthesized by a two-step hydrothermal process for improving HER catalysis under alkaline conditions. Remarkably, the obtained Zn-NiS/NF displays excellent HER catalytic performance with an overpotential of 78 mV to reach a current density of 10 mA cm and dramatic long-term stability for 18 h in 1 M KOH. In addition, the results based on the density functional theory calculations reveal that Zn dopants can modulate the electronic structure of NiS and optimize the hydrogen adsorption free energy (ΔG). Thus cationic-doping engineering provides an efficient method to enhance the intrinsic activities of transition-metal sulfides, which may contribute to the development of nonprecious electrocatalysts for HER.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1nr01726hDOI Listing
June 2021

Polymorphism of P66 in Strains in China.

Biomed Environ Sci 2021 May;34(5):364-371

State Key Laboratory of Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control, National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 102206, China.

Objective: To study the polymorphism in P66 and its human B-cell epitopes of strains in China.

Methods: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing were used to obtain the P66 sequences of 59 Chinese . Then the sequences were analyzed by MEGA 5.10 software and compared with the human B-cell epitope sequences from the Immune Epitope Database (IEDB) based on the reference strain of each genotype.

Results: Results showed that genetic and amino acid diversity presented in the 66 kD protein of all 59 Chinese strains, especially in ( ) and ( ) strains. strains were divided into three subclusters and two scattered strains JC1-7 and JC2-2 according to the amino acid sequences of P66. The P66 sequences of 15 Xinjiang strains represented by XI91-12 in the subcluster 1, changed from CAA to TAA codon at 508aa position, resulting in early termination. Bases A and C were inserted at sequence position 1 523 bp of strains FP1, LB20, LB21, and SZ21 in the genotype, which resulted to early termination at position 511 aa. G base was inserted at 438 bp of LIP94-11 strain, which led to early termination at position 172 aa.

Conclusion: In P66 of 59 Chinese strains, polymorphisms were widely distributed. More importantly, the P66 amino acid sequences of strains had a certain regional character. One of the characteristics of Xinjiang isolates might be the variation at the 508aa location in 15 Xinjiang strains, which may be related to the strains' pathogenicity in this area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3967/bes2021.048DOI Listing
May 2021

Malignant plasmacytes in bone marrow detected by flow cytometry as a predictor for the risk stratification system of multiple myeloma.

Cytometry B Clin Cytom 2021 May 31. Epub 2021 May 31.

Department of Hematology, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin, China.

Background: Multiple myeloma (MM) is a clonal disorder characterized by the proliferation of plasma cells and their accumulation within the bone marrow (BM). The flow cytometric analysis is an essential method for the hematological diseases because of high sensitivity.

Aims: This study evaluates the indication role of malignant plasmacytes (PCs) in BM detected by flow cytometry for the risk stratification of MM.

Methods: Whole BM samples from 92 newly diagnosed MM patients were included in the study. We collected 10 cells each sample by flow cytometry. Then we analyzed the correlation between the malignant PCs in BM and the characteristics of patients.

Results: In this study, patients were stratified according to different baseline characteristics and the median ratio of the malignant PCs were compared. The significant statistical differences (p < 0.05) were: Hb < 100 g/L versus ≥100 g/L; β2-microglobulin <3.5 mg/dL versus 3.5-5.5 mg/dL versus >5.5 mg/dL; LDH > 250 U/L versus LDH 250 U/L; ISS I versus ISS II versus ISS III; R-ISS I versus II versus III. The detailed data are showed in Table 2. The significant correlations were observed between the malignant PCs in BM and (Figure 1): plasma cell of biopsy, hemoglobin, β2-microglobulin, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatinine. "Double hit" or "triple hit" are defined as containing any two or three of the high risk cytogenetic abnormalities (t(4;14), t(14;16), t(14;20); del17q; TP53 mutation; 1q21 gain) by mSMAR. "Double or triple hit" had independently unfavorable significance for overall survival. As expected, the malignant PCs of "double or triple hit" group is significantly higher than the group B (one high risk genetic factor) and the group A (normal cytogenetic) (p < 0.0001 and p < 0.019).

Conclusion: Multiparametric flow cytometry is a highly sensitive method to identify and quantify malignant PCs. And the ratio of malignant PCs detected by MFC showed strongly correlation with the severity of the pathology of MM. Malignant PCs in BM detected by flow cytometry could be regarded as a predictor for the risk stratification system of MM. Thus, it should be considered applying in the routine evaluation of MM at diagnosis and after therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cyto.b.22024DOI Listing
May 2021

DFT and Experimental Studies on the Mechanism of Mercury Adsorption on O-/NO-Codoped Porous Carbon.

ACS Omega 2021 May 27;6(18):12343-12350. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

School of Metallurgy and Environment, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China.

The utilization of O and NO in flue gas to activate the raw porous carbon with auxiliary plasma contributes to an effective mercury (Hg)-removal strategy. The lack of in-depth knowledge on the Hg adsorption mechanism over the O-/NO-codoped porous carbon severely limits the development of a more effective Hg removal method and the potential application. Therefore, the generation processes of functional groups on the surface during plasma treatment were investigated and the detailed roles of different groups in Hg adsorption were clarified. The theoretical results suggest that the formation of functional groups is highly exothermic and they preferentially form on a carbon surface, and then affect Hg adsorption. The active groups affect Hg adsorption in a different manner, which depends on their nature. All of these active groups can improve Hg adsorption by enhancing the interaction of Hg with a surface carbon atom. Particularly, the preadsorbed NO and O groups can react directly with Hg by forming HgO. The experimental results confirm that the active groups cocontribute to the high Hg removal efficiency of O-/NO-codoped porous carbon. In addition, the mercury temperature-programmed desorption results suggest that there are two forms of mercury present on O-/NO-codoped porous carbon, including a carbon-bonded Hg atom and HgO.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.1c01391DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8154138PMC
May 2021

Diverse Functions of IAA-Leucine Resistant PpILR1 Provide a Genic Basis for Auxin-Ethylene Crosstalk During Peach Fruit Ripening.

Front Plant Sci 2021 12;12:655758. Epub 2021 May 12.

Zhengzhou Fruit Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhengzhou, China.

Auxin and ethylene play critical roles in the ripening of peach () fruit; however, the interaction between these two phytohormones is complex and not fully understood. Here, we isolated a peach gene, , which encodes an indole-3-acetic acid (IAA)-amino hydrolase. Functional analyses revealed that PpILR1 acts as a transcriptional activator of 1-amino cyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase (), and hydrolyzes auxin substrates to release free auxin. When Cys137 was changed to Ser137, PpILR1 failed to show hydrolase activity but continued to function as a transcriptional activator of in tobacco and peach transient expression assays. Furthermore, transgenic tomato plants overexpressing exhibited ethylene- and strigolactone-related phenotypes, including premature pedicel abscission, leaf and petiole epinasty, and advanced fruit ripening, which are consistent with increased expression of genes involved in ethylene biosynthesis and fruit ripening, as well as suppression of branching and growth of internodes (related to strigolactone biosynthesis). Collectively, these results provide novel insights into the role of IAA-amino acid hydrolases in plants, and position the PpILR1 protein at the junction of auxin and ethylene pathways during peach fruit ripening. These results could have substantial implications on peach fruit cultivation and storage in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2021.655758DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8149794PMC
May 2021

Cathepsin K deficiency promotes alveolar bone regeneration by promoting jaw bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells proliferation and differentiation via glycolysis pathway.

Cell Prolif 2021 May 30:e13058. Epub 2021 May 30.

State Key Laboratory of Military Stomatology & National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases & Shaanxi Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Stomatology, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.

Objectives: To clarify the possible role and mechanism of Cathepsin K (CTSK) in alveolar bone regeneration mediated by jaw bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (JBMMSC).

Materials And Methods: Tooth extraction models of Ctsk knockout mice (Ctsk ) and their wildtype (WT) littermates were used to investigate the effect of CTSK on alveolar bone regeneration. The influences of deletion or inhibition of CTSK by odanacatib (ODN) on proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of JBMMSC were assessed by CCK-8, Western blot and alizarin red staining. To explore the differently expressed genes, RNA from WT and Ctsk JBMMSC was sent to RNA-seq. ECAR, glucose consumption and lactate production were measured to identify the effect of Ctsk deficiency or inhibition on glycolysis. At last, we explored whether Ctsk deficiency or inhibition promoted JBMMSC proliferation and osteogenic differentiation through glycolysis.

Results: We found out that Ctsk knockout could promote alveolar bone regeneration in vivo. In vitro, we confirmed that both Ctsk knockout and inhibition by ODN could promote proliferation of JBMMSC, up-regulate expression of Runx2 and ALP, and enhance matrix mineralization. RNA-seq results showed that coding genes of key enzymes in glycolysis were significantly up-regulated in Ctsk JBMMSC, and Ctsk deficiency or inhibition could promote glycolysis in JBMMSC. After blocking glycolysis by 3PO, the effect of Ctsk deficiency or inhibition on JBMMSC's regeneration was blocked subsequently.

Conclusions: Our findings revealed that Ctsk knockout or inhibition could promote alveolar bone regeneration by enhancing JBMMSC regeneration via glycolysis. These results shed new lights on the regulatory mechanism of CTSK on bone regeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cpr.13058DOI Listing
May 2021

EDLmAPred: ensemble deep learning approach for mRNA mA site prediction.

BMC Bioinformatics 2021 May 29;22(1):288. Epub 2021 May 29.

Engineering Research Center of Intelligent Control for Underground Space, Ministry of Education, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou, 221116, China.

Background: As a common and abundant RNA methylation modification, N6-methyladenosine (mA) is widely spread in various species' transcriptomes, and it is closely related to the occurrence and development of various life processes and diseases. Thus, accurate identification of mA methylation sites has become a hot topic. Most biological methods rely on high-throughput sequencing technology, which places great demands on the sequencing library preparation and data analysis. Thus, various machine learning methods have been proposed to extract various types of features based on sequences, then occupied conventional classifiers, such as SVM, RF, etc., for mA methylation site identification. However, the identification performance relies heavily on the extracted features, which still need to be improved.

Results: This paper mainly studies feature extraction and classification of mA methylation sites in a natural language processing way, which manages to organically integrate the feature extraction and classification simultaneously, with consideration of upstream and downstream information of mA sites. One-hot, RNA word embedding, and Word2vec are adopted to depict sites from the perspectives of the base as well as its upstream and downstream sequence. The BiLSTM model, a well-known sequence model, was then constructed to discriminate the sequences with potential mA sites. Since the above-mentioned three feature extraction methods focus on different perspectives of mA sites, an ensemble deep learning predictor (EDLmAPred) was finally constructed for mA site prediction. Experimental results on human and mouse data sets show that EDLmAPred outperforms the other single ones, indicating that base, upstream, and downstream information are all essential for mA site detection. Compared with the existing mA methylation site prediction models without genomic features, EDLmAPred obtains 86.6% of the area under receiver operating curve on the human data sets, indicating the effectiveness of sequential modeling on RNA. To maximize user convenience, a webserver was developed as an implementation of EDLmAPred and made publicly available at www.xjtlu.edu.cn/biologicalsciences/EDLm6APred .

Conclusions: Our proposed EDLmAPred method is a reliable predictor for mA methylation sites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12859-021-04206-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8164815PMC
May 2021

The synergistic protection of EGCG and quercetin against streptozotocin (STZ)-induced NIT-1 pancreatic β cell damage via upregulation of BCL-2 expression by miR-16-5p.

J Nutr Biochem 2021 May 26:108748. Epub 2021 May 26.

College of Food Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, Key Laboratory of Food Processing Technology and Quality Control of Shandong Higher Education Institutes, Taian 271018, P.R. China. Electronic address:

EGCG and quercetin are flavonoids which usually co-exist in edible plants and they exhibit anti-diabetes effects. This study aimed to explore the mechanisms by which quercetin and EGCG synergistically protected pancreatic β-cells from streptozotocin-induced apoptosis. EGCG, quercetin, and their combinations (both 15 μM) all reversed STZ-induced cells damage and enhanced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, with the combination being more effective than a single compound. At the molecular level, the EGCG-quercetin combination upregulated BCL-2 expression and caused a greater reduction in miR-16-5p level than EGCG alone or quercetin alone. Overexpression of miR-16-5p could offset the down-regulated apoptotic genes caused by the synergistic action of the combination. These findings suggest that EGCG and quercetin exert synergistic anti-diabetes effect, possibly via decreasing the expression of miR-16-5p that targets directly BCL-2. This is the first report on a miRNA-based mechanism underlying the synergistic protective effect of EGCG and quercetin against pancreatic cell damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnutbio.2021.108748DOI Listing
May 2021

Knockdown of NOLC1 Inhibits PI3K-AKT Pathway to Improve the Poor Prognosis of Esophageal Carcinoma.

J Oncol 2021 8;2021:9944132. Epub 2021 May 8.

Department of Gastroenterology, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong First Medical University, Jinan 271199, China.

Objective: Esophageal carcinoma (ESCA) is a common malignant gastrointestinal tumor. The abnormal expression of NOLC1 is involved in the tumorigenesis of various human tumors, whereas the function and mechanism of NOLC1 in ESCA remain unclear. In this study, we explored the relationship between NOLC1 and poor prognosis of ESCA, and its role and mechanism in the occurrence of ESCA.

Methods: The NOLC1 expression in ESCA tissues and cell lines was determined by qRT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, or western blot. The Kaplan-Meier method was conducted to estimate the overall survival. Cox regression analysis was carried out to examine the association between patient characteristics and prognosis. A recombined lentiviral vector containing NOLC1 was applied for transfecting ESCA cells (Eca109 and TE-13) and established a stable cell line with low NOLC1 expression or high NOLC1 expression, in the absence or presence of PI3K inhibitor (LY294002) treatment. Cell proliferation, apoptosis rate, invasion ability, migration ability, and PI3K/AKT pathway were detected by CCK8 assay, flow cytometry, Transwell assay, wound-healing assay, and western blot.

Results: NOLC1 overexpression was observed in ESCA tissues and ESCA cell lines (EC9706, Eca109, TE-13, Kyse170, T.TN) compared with adjacent normal tissues and normal esophageal cell line HEEC. NOLC1 overexpression was markedly associated with bigger tumor size, lymph node metastasis, and advanced TNM stage. Patients with NOLC1 overexpression have shorter overall survival than that of those with low NOLC1 expression. NOLC1 overexpression was considered to be an independent poor prognostic factor affecting overall survival. NOLC1 knockdown inhibited proliferation, migration, invasion, and cyclin B1 expression and promoted the apoptosis and cleaved-caspase-3 expression of Eca109 and TE-13 cells. NOLC1 overexpression accelerated proliferation, migration, invasion, and cyclin B1 expression and inhibited the apoptosis and cleaved-caspase-3 expression of ESCA cells via activating PI3K/AKT pathway. Rescue experiments showed that PI3K inhibitor (LY294002) could reverse the phenomenon caused by NOLC1 overexpression.

Conclusion: NOLC1 may be a marker for poor prognosis. It can participate in the occurrence and development of ESCA via the PI3K/AKT pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/9944132DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8128555PMC
May 2021

Bioinformatic analysis of differentially expressed genes as prognostic markers in pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma tumors.

Genes Genet Syst 2021 May 26. Epub 2021 May 26.

Department of Hand and Microsurgery, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University.

The pathogenesis of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (PCPG) catecholamine-producing tumors is exceedingly complicated. Here, we sought to identify important genes affecting the prognosis and survival rate of patients suffering from PCPG. We analyzed 95 samples obtained from two microarray data series, GSE19422 and GSE60459, from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) repository. First, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified by comparing 87 PCPG tumor samples and eight normal adrenal tissue samples using R language. The GEO2R tool and Venn diagram software were applied to the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery (DAVID) to analyze Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways and Gene Ontology (GO). We further employed Cytoscape with the Molecular Complex Detection (MCODE) tool to make protein-protein interactions visible for the Search Tool for Retrieval of Interacting Genes (STRING). These procedures resulted in 30 candidate DEGs, which were subjected to Kaplan-Meier analysis and validated by Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis (GEPIA) to determine their influence on overall survival rate. Finally, we identified ALDH3A2 and AKR1B1, two genes in the glycerolipid metabolism pathway, as being particularly enriched in PCPG tumors and correlated with T and B tumor-infiltrating immune cells. Our results suggest that these two DEGs are closely associated with the prognosis of malignant PCPG tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1266/ggs.20-00057DOI Listing
May 2021

Performance of a Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Detection Assay in Symptomatic Children.

Pediatrics 2021 May 26. Epub 2021 May 26.

Departments of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2021-050832DOI Listing
May 2021