Publications by authors named "Huiming Zhang"

231 Publications

A Novel Filler for Gel Polymer Electrolyte with a High Lithium-Ion Transference Number toward Stable Cycling for Lithium-Metal Anodes in Lithium-Sulfur Batteries.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Oct 7;13(41):48622-48633. Epub 2021 Oct 7.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China.

Although the lithium metal is considered as the most promising anode for high energy density batteries, uncontrolled lithium dendrite growth and continuous side reactions with electrolyte hinder its practical applications for rechargeable batteries. Herein, we prepared a gel polymer electrolyte by synthesizing a novel 250 nm filler (KMgF), which is greatly beneficial to the formation of a uniformly deposited lithium-metal anode. This is due to the regulation effect of KMgF that double the lithium-ion transference number up to 0.63 and adjust the solid electrolyte interphase layer full of dense LiF and flexible polycarbonates, which greatly reduces the side reactions on the lithium-metal surface and inhibits the growth of lithium dendrites. Consequently, the composite gel polymer electrolyte guarantees a stable long cycle performance of more than 1400 h with 1 mA h cm for symmetric cells. Moreover, the composite gel polymer electrolyte demonstrates high compatibility and great promise for rechargeable lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c12736DOI Listing
October 2021

Abiotic stress responses in plants.

Nat Rev Genet 2021 Sep 24. Epub 2021 Sep 24.

Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology, Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

Plants cannot move, so they must endure abiotic stresses such as drought, salinity and extreme temperatures. These stressors greatly limit the distribution of plants, alter their growth and development, and reduce crop productivity. Recent progress in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the responses of plants to abiotic stresses emphasizes their multilevel nature; multiple processes are involved, including sensing, signalling, transcription, transcript processing, translation and post-translational protein modifications. This improved knowledge can be used to boost crop productivity and agricultural sustainability through genetic, chemical and microbial approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41576-021-00413-0DOI Listing
September 2021

Simethicone administration improves gastric cleanness for esophagogastroduodenoscopy: a randomized clinical trial.

Trials 2021 Aug 21;22(1):555. Epub 2021 Aug 21.

Department of Hepatology, The Fifth Medical Center of Chinese PLA General Hospital, No. 100 Middle Road in Fourth West Ring, Beijing, 100039, China.

Background: Esophagogastroduodenoscopy is very useful in diagnosing and treating upper gastrointestinal mucosal disorders, but too much foam and water in stomach decrease its diagnostic efficiency. Simethicone administration can help remove excessive foam.

Aims: To determine the optimal simethicone administration strategies in a comparative randomized controlled clinical trial.

Methods: Adult outpatients with indications for esophagogastroduodenoscopy were enrolled and randomly divided into group 1 (simethicone solution intake 20-30 min before procedure, n = 110), group 2 (simethicone solution intake 31-60 min before procedure, n = 92), and group 3 (simethicone solution intake > 60 min before procedure). Primary and secondary outcomes were procedure time and the patients' satisfaction after the examination. All symptoms like abdominal pain and distension were recorded.

Results: No statistically significant differences were found on the patients' demographic and clinical features and mean examination time (all P values > 0.05). The distribution of patients with different endoscopic and pathological diagnosis was comparable among three groups, respectively (P = 0.607; P = 0.289). However, the proportion of patients with Gastric Cleanness Grade A was most in group 2 (n = 73, 79.3%), and patient proportion with Gastric Cleanness Grade C was most found in group 1 (n = 72, 65.5%), which was greatly different (P < 0.001). There was no statistically significant difference on the satisfaction scores [immediately 6 (3-8) vs. 6 (1-10) vs. 6 (1-9), P = 0.533; 2 h after 10 (8-10) vs. 10 (10-10) vs. 10 (8-10), P = 0.463].

Conclusion: Simethicone solution intake 31-60 min before esophagogastroduodenoscopy can help obtain the best gastric cleanness, which is recommended in clinical practice (registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03776916 on December 13, 2018).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13063-021-05527-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8379843PMC
August 2021

Effects of Tocilizumab Therapy on Circulating B Cells and T Helper Cells in Patients With Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder.

Front Immunol 2021 29;12:703931. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

Department of Neurology, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin Neurological Institute, Key Laboratory of Post-Trauma Neuro-Repair and Regeneration in Central Nervous System, Ministry of Education, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Injuries, Variations and Regeneration of Nervous System, Tianjin, China.

Tocilizumab, a humanized anti-IL-6 receptor monoclonal antibody, showed its therapeutic efficacy on neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD). To assess the immunological effects of this drug on B cells, follicular T helper (Tfh) cells, and peripheral T helper (Tph) cells in patients with NMOSD, peripheral B cell and Tfh cell phenotypes were evaluated in 26 patients with NMOSD before and after tocilizumab treatment by nine-color flow cytometry, as well as the expression of costimulatory and co-inhibitory molecules on B cells. Results showed that the frequency of CD27IgD switched memory B cells, CD27IgD double-negative B cells, and CD27CD38 antibody-secreting cells was increased in patients with NMOSD. Tocilizumab treatment led to a significant shift of B cells to naïve B cells from memory B cells after 3 months. Three markers on B cells associated with T-cell activation (i.e., CD86 CD69, and HLA-DR) were downregulated after tocilizumab treatment. The frequencies of total Tfh and Tph cells were decreased, whereas that of follicular regulatory T cells tended to increase. Intrinsic increased PD-L1 and PD-L2 expression was characteristic of B cells in patients with NMOSD. Tocilizumab selectively restored PD-L1 on B-cell subsets. These results provided evidence that tocilizumab enhanced B- and T-cell homoeostasis by regulating B-cell differentiation and inhibiting lymphocyte activation in patients with NMOSD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.703931DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8360623PMC
July 2021

Genetic analysis implicates a molecular chaperone complex in regulating epigenetic silencing of methylated genomic regions.

J Integr Plant Biol 2021 Aug;63(8):1451-1461

Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology and Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 201602, China.

DNA cytosine methylation confers stable epigenetic silencing in plants and many animals. However, the mechanisms underlying DNA methylation-mediated genomic silencing are not fully understood. We conducted a forward genetic screen for cellular factors required for the silencing of a heavily methylated p35S:NPTII transgene in the Arabidopsis thaliana rdm1-1 mutant background, which led to the identification of a Hsp20 family protein, RDS1 (rdm1-1 suppressor 1). Loss-of-function mutations in RDS1 released the silencing of the p35S::NPTII transgene in rdm1-1 mutant plants, without changing the DNA methylation state of the transgene. Protein interaction analyses suggest that RDS1 exists in a protein complex consisting of the methyl-DNA binding domain proteins MBD5 and MBD6, two other Hsp20 family proteins, RDS2 and IDM3, a Hsp40/DNAJ family protein, and a Hsp70 family protein. Like rds1 mutations, mutations in RDS2, MBD5, or MBD6 release the silencing of the transgene in the rdm1 mutant background. Our results suggest that Hsp20, Hsp40, and Hsp70 proteins may form a complex that is recruited to some genomic regions with DNA methylation by methyl-DNA binding proteins to regulate the state of silencing of these regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jipb.13155DOI Listing
August 2021

Plant Transcriptome Reprograming and Bacterial Extracellular Metabolites Underlying Tomato Drought Resistance Triggered by a Beneficial Soil Bacteria.

Metabolites 2021 Jun 9;11(6). Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology, Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201602, China.

Water deficit is one of the major constraints to crop production and food security worldwide. Some plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) strains are capable of increasing plant drought resistance. Knowledge about the mechanisms underlying bacteria-induced plant drought resistance is important for PGPR applications in agriculture. In this study, we show the drought stress-mitigating effects on tomato plants by the strain TG1-E1, followed by the profiling of plant transcriptomic responses to TG1-E1 and the profiling of bacterial extracellular metabolites. Comparison between the transcriptomes of drought-stressed plants with and without TG1-E1 inoculation revealed bacteria-induced transcriptome reprograming, with highlights on differentially expressed genes belonging to the functional categories including transcription factors, signal transduction, and cell wall biogenesis and organization. Mass spectrometry-based analysis identified over 40 bacterial extracellular metabolites, including several important regulators or osmoprotectant precursors for increasing plant drought resistance. These results demonstrate the importance of plant transcriptional regulation and bacterial metabolites in PGPR-induced plant drought resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/metabo11060369DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8230097PMC
June 2021

MicroRNA miR-509-3p inhibit metastasis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition in hepatocellular carcinoma.

Bioengineered 2021 12;12(1):2263-2273

School of Stomatology, Jiamusi University, Jiamusi, China.

Our study seeks to obtain data which help to assess the impacts and related mechanisms of microRNA miR-509-3p in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We found that the expression of miR-509-3p was down-regulated and Twist was up-regulated in HCC tissues and cell lines (HepG2, HCCLM3, Bel7402, and SMMC7721) compared with the adjacent normal tissues and normal human hepatocyte (L02). Moreover, cell proliferation, invasion, migration and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in HepG2 and HCCLM3 cells were appeared to be markedly suppressed by overexpressed miR-509-3p. Overexpression of miR-509-3p also performed inhibition of the growth and metastasis in vivo. In addition, miR-509-3p could target and inhibit Twist expression, and it could further reverse the tumor promotion by Twist in HCC. All in all, miR-509-3p overexpression causes inhibition of the proliferation, migration, invasion and EMT of HCC cells by negatively regulating Twist, thereby suppressing HCC development and metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21655979.2021.1932210DOI Listing
December 2021

Development and Validation of Web-Based Nomograms for Predicting Cause-Specific Mortality in Surgically Resected Nonmetastatic Invasive Breast Cancer: A Population-Based Study.

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Oct 10;28(11):6537-6550. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of General Surgery, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, National Clinical Research Center for Digestive Diseases, Beijing, China.

Background: This study aims to build nomograms to predict overall survival (OS) and breast cancer-specific death (BCSD) in resected nonmetastatic invasive breast cancer.

Patients And Methods: Patients extracted from surveillance, epidemiology, and end results database between 2010 and 2014 were analyzed. Through multivariate Cox regression and Fine and Gray competing risks regression, independent predictive factors were identified and integrated to build nomograms for predicting OS and BCSD. The models were validated by bootstrap resampling and an independent cohort. Additionally, the models' performance was measured by the Harrell's C-index, calibrate curve, and time-dependent receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves.

Results: In total, 110,180 cases were identified and enrolled in the analysis, with 83,450 in the training cohort and 26,730 in the validation cohort. Several independent predictive factors for OS and BCSD were identified and integrated to construct the nomograms. The C-indexes in the training cohort and validation cohort were 0.759 and 0.772 for predicting OS, and 0.857 and 0.856 for predicting BCSD, respectively. The nomogram models were well calibrated, and the time-dependent ROC curves verified the superiority of our models for clinical usefulness. Significant differences in the OS and BCSD curves were also observed when stratifying patients into several different risk groups. For convenient access, we deployed these proposed nomograms into web-based calculators.

Conclusions: We established and validated novel nomograms for individualized prediction of OS and BCSD in resected nonmetastatic invasive breast cancer. These nomograms perform better than previous models and could be easily accessed easily by clinicians.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-021-10129-4DOI Listing
October 2021

A histone H3K4me1-specific binding protein is required for siRNA accumulation and DNA methylation at a subset of loci targeted by RNA-directed DNA methylation.

Nat Commun 2021 06 7;12(1):3367. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology, National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

In plants, RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) is a well-known de novo DNA methylation pathway that involves two plant-specific RNA polymerases, Pol IV and Pol V. In this study, we discovered and characterized an RdDM factor, RDM15. Through DNA methylome and genome-wide siRNA analyses, we show that RDM15 is required for RdDM-dependent DNA methylation and siRNA accumulation at a subset of RdDM target loci. We show that RDM15 contributes to Pol V-dependent downstream siRNA accumulation and interacts with NRPE3B, a subunit specific to Pol V. We also show that the C-terminal tudor domain of RDM15 specifically recognizes the histone 3 lysine 4 monomethylation (H3K4me1) mark. Structure analysis of RDM15 in complex with the H3K4me1 peptide showed that the RDM15 tudor domain specifically recognizes the monomethyllysine through an aromatic cage and a specific hydrogen bonding network; this chemical feature-based recognition mechanism differs from all previously reported monomethyllysine recognition mechanisms. RDM15 and H3K4me1 have similar genome-wide distribution patterns at RDM15-dependent RdDM target loci, establishing a link between H3K4me1 and RDM15-mediated RdDM in vivo. In summary, we have identified and characterized a histone H3K4me1-specific binding protein as an RdDM component, and structural analysis of RDM15 revealed a chemical feature-based lower methyllysine recognition mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23637-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8184781PMC
June 2021

Differential efficacy of mycophenolate mofetil in adults with relapsing myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated disorders.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2021 Aug 24;53:103035. Epub 2021 May 24.

Department of Neurology, Tianjin Neurological Institute, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin, China. Electronic address:

Background: Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-immunoglobulin (MOG-IgG) associated disorder (MOGAD) has been recognized as a distinct disease entity with recurrent attacks. But the standard therapeutic approach to reduce relapses is unknown. Different doses of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) are frequently used in MOGAD. We aimed to investigate the response to stratified doses of MMF in adult patients with MOGAD.

Methods: We determined the frequency of relapses in patients receiving various doses of MMF treatment for MOGAD. Patients were reviewed for relapses before and during long-term treatment. Cox proportional hazards models were used to analyze the correlation between the MMF dosage and the annualized relapse rate (ARR) as well as clinical features.

Results: 22 patients receiving low-dose MMF (< 1000 mg/day), 19 patients receiving moderate-dose MMF (1000 mg/day ≤ MMF dose < 2000 mg/day) and 21 patients receiving high-dose MMF (≥ 2000 mg/day) were collected in our cohort. Cox regression analysis showed that high-dose MMF treatment significantly reduced the risk of relapses (HR 0.501 [95% CI 0.268-0.934], p = 0.030) compared with low-dose and moderate-dose of MMF treatment, after adjusted by age, gender, disease duration and prednisone therapy. Patients (13/62) concomitant with autoimmune diseases, had a higher proportion of relapses (76.92%) compared with those without autoimmune diseases (18.37%) (HR = 5.96, 95% CI 1.73-20.48, p < 0.001). The overall median ARR reduced from 1.13 to 0.32 under high-dose MMF treatment (p = 0.004). However, there was no significant reduction in ARR either in patients with low-dose or those with moderate-dose of MMF.

Conclusion: This study suggests that high-dose of MMF treatment may reduce recurrent demyelinating attacks, with the lowest ARR. Randomized controlled studies are required to validate the effective therapeutic regimen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2021.103035DOI Listing
August 2021

ASO Visual Abstract: Development and Validation of Web-Based Nomograms for Predicting Cause-Specific Mortality in Surgically Resected Nonmetastatic Invasive Breast Cancer: A Population-Based Study.

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Jun 2. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Department of General Surgery, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University; National Clinical Research Center for Digestive Diseases, Beijing, 100050, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-021-10154-3DOI Listing
June 2021

Spatiotemporal Changes of Ecosystem Service Value Determined by National Land Space Pattern Change: A Case Study of Fengdu County in The Three Gorges Reservoir Area, China.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 05 9;18(9). Epub 2021 May 9.

School of Geographical Sciences, Southwest University, Chongqing 400045, China.

Exploring the spatiotemporal change characteristics of ecosystem service value (ESV) under the influence of national land space pattern (NLSP) changes is of great significance for promoting the rational use of land resources and the optimization of ecosystems. In this study, Fengdu County in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area was selected as a case study. We analyzed the changes in NLSP using land use data from 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2018. Then, we used the equivalent factor method and exploratory spatial data analysis method to explore the spatiotemporal change characteristics of the ESV of Fengdu County. The results show that: (1) From 1990 to 2018, the changes in NLSP in Fengdu County generally manifested in the transformation of agricultural space into urban space and ecological space; (2) The spatiotemporal change of ESV is a process that positively responds to the increase in ecological space and negatively responds to the expansion of urban space. From 1990 to 2018, the total ESV of Fengdu County showed a trend of continuous growth, with a total increase of CNY 11.10 × 10, and the change rate was 9.33%. The ESV gain area is mainly located along the Yangtze River and the southernmost part of the county, and the loss area is mainly located near the south bank of the Yangtze River; (3) ESV and its changes in Fengdu County have a significant positive spatial autocorrelation. The cold and hot spots of ESV change are mainly distributed along the Yangtze River and to the south of the Yangtze River. Therefore, it is suggested to integrate ESV as an important indicator into the decision-making of national land space planning. At the same time, it is necessary to strengthen the intensive use of urban space and protect the important ecological space from decreasing. Our study results provide useful insights for the development of regional NLS management and environmental protection policies. However, it is worth noting that the results of this paper are more applicable to areas where the terrain is dominated by mountains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18095007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8126005PMC
May 2021

Meta-Analytic Review of High Anxiety Comorbidity among Patients with Vitiligo.

Biomed Res Int 2021 17;2021:6663646. Epub 2021 May 17.

Department of Dermatology, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China.

Background: Vitiligo is a disfiguring skin disease with profound psychosocial impacts, such as anxiety, but the reported effect sizes of associations vary. We aimed to conduct a meta-analysis to quantify the strength of association between anxiety and vitiligo and to estimate the prevalence of anxiety among individuals with vitiligo.

Methods: A systematic literature search was performed in five online databases (MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and PsycINFO) from inception until March 20, 2020. All of the eligible studies were comprehensively reviewed, and all of the available data were analyzed according to our predefined criteria.

Results: Twenty-one studies involving 3259 patients in 11 countries were included in this meta-analysis. Compared with the healthy control group, patients with vitiligo often had concomitant anxiety (OR = 6.14 [95% CI: 3.35-11.24], = 30.1%). The pooled prevalence of anxiety in female patients was significantly higher than that in males (OR = 2.24 [95% CI: 1.31-3.84], = 0.0%). Subgroup analysis showed that the pooled prevalence of clinical anxiety disorder and anxiety symptoms was 12% (95% CI: 7%-16%, = 76.3%) and 34% (95% CI: 21%-46%, = 94.7%), respectively. No publication bias has been detected by Begg's funnel plot and Egger's test.

Conclusion: Patients with vitiligo have high anxiety comorbidity, with female predominance. Dermatologists and psychiatrists should be vigilant to the presence of anxiety, apply appropriate interventions to reduce the psychological impacts in a timely manner, and thus promote recovery in vitiligo patients. However, due to some objective limitations (poor information about the OR and diversity in assessment tools among included studies), findings should be interpreted with caution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/6663646DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8147524PMC
September 2021

Editorial: The Interplay Between Epigenetic Regulation and Other Cellular Processes.

Front Genet 2021 7;12:691202. Epub 2021 May 7.

Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2021.691202DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8138172PMC
May 2021

Measurements of Root Colonized Bacteria Species.

Bio Protoc 2021 Apr 5;11(7):e3976. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology, Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

Root-associated bacteria are able to influence plant fitness and vigor. A key step in understanding the belowground plant-bacteria interactions is to quantify root colonization by the bacteria of interest. Probably, genetic engineering with fluorescence markers is the most powerful way to monitor bacterial strains in plant. However, this could have some collateral problems and some strains can be challenging to label. In this sense, bacterial inoculation under properly controlled conditions can enable reliable and reproducible quantification of natural bacterial strains. In this protocol, we describe a detailed procedure for quantification of root-associated bacteria. This method applies non-aggressive samples processed with morphological identification and PCR-based genetic fingerprinting. This easy-to-follow protocol is suitable for studying bacterial colonization of plants grown either in artificial medium or in soil.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21769/BioProtoc.3976DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8054177PMC
April 2021

Long non-coding RNA HOTAIR promotes hepatocellular carcinoma progression by regulating miR-526b-3p/DHX33 axis.

Genes Genomics 2021 Aug 12;43(8):857-868. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Nanxishan Hospital, No. 46 Chongxin Road, Xiangshan District, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guilin City, 541002, China.

Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common human cancers. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play pivotal roles in progression of various cancers, including HCC.

Objective: We aimed to explore the exact role and underlying mechanism of lncRNA HOX transcript antisense intergenic RNA (HOTAIR) in HCC.

Methods: Quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was carried out to determine the levels of HOTAIR, DEAH-box helicase 33 (DHX33) and miR-526b-3p. Western blot assay was used to detect the protein level of DHX33. Besides, cell proliferation and apoptosis were assessed by methylthiazolyldiphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and flow cytometry analysis, respectively. Cell migration and invasion were detected by transwell assay. The interaction between miR-526b-3p and HOTAIR or DHX33 was predicted by starbase and confirmed by the dual-luciferase reporter assay. Murine xenograft model was established through injecting Huh7 cells transfected with sh-NC or sh-HOTAIR.

Results: The levels of HOTAIR and DHX33 were increased in HCC tissues and cells. Knockdown of either HOTAIR or DHX33 suppressed proliferation, migration and invasion but increased apoptosis in HCC cells. Moreover, DHX33 overexpression reversed the suppressive effect of HOTAIR knockdown on progression of HCC cells. Interestingly, miR-526b-3p could directly bind to HOTAIR, and DHX33 was a direct target of miR-526b-3p. Additionally, interference of HOTAIR restrained the tumor growth by upregulating miR-526b-3p and downregulating DHX33 in vivo.

Conclusions: HOTAIR knockdown suppressed cell proliferation, migration and invasion, and promoted apoptosis via regulating miR-526b-3p/DHX33 axis in HCC cells, providing a potential avenue for treatment of HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13258-021-01098-9DOI Listing
August 2021

Circular RNA RHOT1 promotes progression and inhibits ferroptosis via mir-106a-5p/STAT3 axis in breast cancer.

Aging (Albany NY) 2021 03 3;13(6):8115-8126. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of General Surgery, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

To explore the effect of circRHOT1 on breast cancer progression and the underlying mechanism. Significantly, our data revealed that the depletion of circRHOT1 was able to repress the proliferation and induce the apoptosis of breast cancer cells. CircRHOT1 knockdown could remarkably inhibit the invasion and migration in the breast cancer cells. Meanwhile, the depletion of circRHOT1 enhanced the erastin-induced inhibition effect on cell growth of breast cancer cells. The circRHOT1 knockdown notably increased the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), iron, and Fe in breast cancer cells. Mechanically, circRHOT1 was able to sponge microRNA-106a-5p (miR-106a-5p) and inhibited ferroptosis by down-regulating miR-106a-5p in breast cancer cells. Besides, miR-106a-5p induced ferroptosis by targeting signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) in the system. Moreover, the overexpression of STAT3 and miR-106a-5p inhibitor could reverse circRHOT1 knockdown-mediated breast cancer progression. Functionally, circRHOT1 promoted the tumor growth of breast cancer . In conclusion, we discovered that circRHOT1 contributed to malignant progression and attenuated ferroptosis in breast cancer by the miR-106a-5p/STAT3 axis. Our finding provides new insights into the mechanism by which circRHOT1 promotes the development of breast cancer. CircRHOT1 and miR-106a-5p may serve as potential targets for breast cancer therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.202608DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8034942PMC
March 2021

Dicer-like proteins influence Arabidopsis root microbiota independent of RNA-directed DNA methylation.

Microbiome 2021 02 26;9(1):57. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 201602, China.

Background: Plants are naturally associated with root microbiota, which are microbial communities influential to host fitness. Thus, it is important to understand how plants control root microbiota. Epigenetic factors regulate the readouts of genetic information and consequently many essential biological processes. However, it has been elusive whether RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) affects root microbiota assembly.

Results: By applying 16S rRNA gene sequencing, we investigated root microbiota of Arabidopsis mutants defective in the canonical RdDM pathway, including dcl234 that harbors triple mutation in the Dicer-like proteins DCL3, DCL2, and DCL4, which produce small RNAs for RdDM. Alpha diversity analysis showed reductions in microbe richness from the soil to roots, reflecting the selectivity of plants on root-associated bacteria. The dcl234 triple mutation significantly decreases the levels of Aeromonadaceae and Pseudomonadaceae, while it increases the abundance of many other bacteria families in the root microbiota. However, mutants of the other examined key players in the canonical RdDM pathway showed similar microbiota as Col-0, indicating that the DCL proteins affect root microbiota in an RdDM-independent manner. Subsequently gene analysis by shotgun sequencing of root microbiome indicated a selective pressure on microbial resistance to plant defense in the dcl234 mutant. Consistent with the altered plant-microbe interactions, dcl234 displayed altered characters, including the mRNA and sRNA transcriptomes that jointly highlighted altered cell wall organization and up-regulated defense, the decreased cellulose and callose deposition in root xylem, and the restructured profile of root exudates that supported the alterations in gene expression and cell wall modifications.

Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate an important role of the DCL proteins in influencing root microbiota through integrated regulation of plant defense, cell wall compositions, and root exudates. Our results also demonstrate that the canonical RdDM is dispensable for Arabidopsis root microbiota. These findings not only establish a connection between root microbiota and plant epigenetic factors but also highlight the complexity of plant regulation of root microbiota. Video abstract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40168-020-00966-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7913254PMC
February 2021

Distinct roles of nucleosome sliding and histone modifications in controlling the fidelity of transcription initiation.

RNA Biol 2021 Jan 28:1-11. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Biology, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

Regulation of gene expression starts from the transcription initiation. Regulated transcription initiation is critical for generating correct transcripts with proper abundance. The impact of epigenetic control, such as histone modifications and chromatin remodelling, on gene regulation has been extensively investigated, but their specific role in regulating transcription initiation is far from well understood. Here we aimed to better understand the roles of genes involved in histone H3 methylations and chromatin remodelling on the regulation of transcription initiation at a genome-scale using the budding yeast as a study system. We obtained and compared maps of transcription start site (TSS) at single-nucleotide resolution by nAnT-iCAGE for a strain with depletion of MINC (Mot1-Ino80C-Nc2) by Mot1p and Ino80p anchor-away () and a strain with loss of histone methylation () to their wild-type controls. Our study showed that the depletion of MINC stimulated transcription initiation from many new sites flanking the dominant TSS of genes, while the loss of histone methylation generates more TSSs in the coding region. Moreover, the depletion of MINC led to less confined boundaries of TSS clusters (TCs) and resulted in broader core promoters, and such patterns are not present in the mutant. Our data also exhibits that the MINC has distinctive impacts on TATA-containing and TATA-less promoters. In conclusion, our study shows that MINC is required for accurate identification of bona fide TSSs, particularly in TATA-containing promoters, and histone methylation contributes to the repression of transcription initiation in coding regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15476286.2020.1860389DOI Listing
January 2021

Roles of DEMETER in regulating DNA methylation in vegetative tissues and pathogen resistance.

J Integr Plant Biol 2021 Apr 16;63(4):691-706. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology and Center of Excellence for Molecular Plant Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 210602, China.

DNA methylation is an epigenetic mark important for genome stability and gene expression. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the 5-methylcytosine DNA glycosylase/demethylase DEMETER (DME) controls active DNA demethylation during the reproductive stage; however, the lethality of loss-of-function dme mutations has made it difficult to assess DME function in vegetative tissues. Here, we edited DME using clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) /CRISPR-associated protein 9 and created three weak dme mutants that produced a few viable seeds. We also performed central cell-specific complementation in a strong dme mutant and combined this line with mutations in the other three Arabidopsis demethylase genes to generate the dme ros1 dml2 dml3 (drdd) quadruple mutant. A DNA methylome analysis showed that DME is required for DNA demethylation at hundreds of genomic regions in vegetative tissues. A transcriptome analysis of the drdd mutant revealed that DME and the other three demethylases are important for plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses in vegetative tissues. Despite the limited role of DME in regulating DNA methylation in vegetative tissues, the dme mutants showed increased susceptibility to bacterial and fungal pathogens. Our study highlights the important functions of DME in vegetative tissues and provides valuable genetic tools for future investigations of DNA demethylation in plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jipb.13037DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8251943PMC
April 2021

Comment on "The Effect of Postoperative Complications After Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy on Long-term Survival: An International Multicenter Cohort Study".

Ann Surg 2020 Sep 28. Epub 2020 Sep 28.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China Department of clinical medicine, First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China Department of Thoracic Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0000000000004288DOI Listing
September 2020

Efficient chemoenzymatic synthesis of fluorinated sialyl Thomsen-Friedenreich antigens and investigation of their characteristics.

Eur J Med Chem 2020 Dec 29;208:112776. Epub 2020 Aug 29.

China International Science and Technology Cooperation Base of Food Nutrition/Safety and Medicinal Chemistry, Sino-French Joint Lab of Food Nutrition/Safety and Medicinal Chemistry, Key Laboratory of Industrial Fermentation Microbiology of Ministry of Education, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Industry Microbiology, College of Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin, 300457, China. Electronic address:

A set of fluorinated sialyl-T derivatives were efficiently synthesized using one-pot multi-enzyme (OPME) chemoenzymatic approach. The P. multocida α2-3-sialyltransferase (PmST1) involved in the synthesis showed extremely flexible donor and acceptor substrate specificities. These sialosides have been successfully investigated with stability towards Clostridium perfringens sialidase substrate specificity assay using H NMR spectroscopy. Hydrolysis studies monitored by H NMR clearly demonstrated that the fluorine substitution obviously reduced hydrolysis rate of Clostridium perfringens sialidase. To further investigate the fluorine influence, structure-dependent variation of sialoside-lectin binding was observed for MAL and different sialoside-immobilized surfaces. Subtle changes on the ligand of carbohydrate-binding protein were distinguished by SPR. These fluorinated sialyl-T derivatives obtained are valuable probes for further biological studies or antitumor drug design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmech.2020.112776DOI Listing
December 2020

Spatial Separation between Two Sounds of an Oddball Paradigm Affects Responses of Neurons in the Rat's Inferior Colliculus to the Sounds.

Neuroscience 2020 09 23;444:118-135. Epub 2020 Jul 23.

Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4, Canada. Electronic address:

The ability to sense occasionally occurring sounds in an environment is critical for animals. To understand this ability, we studied responses to acoustic oddball paradigms in the rat's midbrain auditory neurons. An oddball paradigm is a random sequence of stimuli created using two tone bursts, with one presented at a high probability (standard stimulus) and the other at a low probability (oddball stimulus). The sounds were either colocalized at the ear contralateral to a neuron under investigation (c90° azimuth) or separated with one at c90° while the other at another azimuth. We found that most neurons generated stronger responses to a sound at c90° when it was presented as an oddball than as a standard stimulus. Relocating one sound from c90° to another azimuth changed both responses to the relocated sound and the sound that remained at c90°. Most notably, the response to an oddball stimulus at c90° was increased when a standard stimulus was relocated from c90° to a location that was in front of the animal or on the ipsilateral side of recording. The increase was particularly large in neurons that displayed transient firing under contralateral stimulation but no firing under ipsilateral stimulation. These neurons likely play a particularly important role in using spatial cues to detect occasionally occurring sounds. Results suggest that effects of spatial separation between two sounds of an oddball paradigm on responses to the sounds were dependent on changes in the level of adaptation and binaural inhibition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2020.07.027DOI Listing
September 2020

DUSP6 protects murine podocytes from high glucose‑induced inflammation and apoptosis.

Mol Med Rep 2020 09 9;22(3):2273-2282. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

School of Basic Medicine, Jiamusi University, Jiamusi, Heilongjiang 154002, P.R. China.

Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is one of the most severe complications that can occur in patients with diabetes, and without effective and timely therapeutic intervention, can gradually progress to renal failure. Previous studies have focused on investigating the pathogenesis of DN; however, the role of dual‑specificity phosphatase 6 (DUSP6) in DN is not completely understood. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the role of dual‑specificity phosphatase 6 (DUSP6) in DN. DN model mice were established and the expression levels of DUSP6 in the kidney tissues and high glucose (HG)‑induced murine podocytes (MPC5 cells) were determined using immunohistochemistry, reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR and western blotting. In addition, the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inflammatory cytokines in MPC5 cells were analyzed using commercial assay kits or ELISA kits, respectively, and flow cytometric analysis was performed to analyze the rate of cell apoptosis. The present study indicated that DUSP6 expression levels were significantly decreased in DN model mice compared with control mice, and in HG‑induced MPC5 cells compared with normal glucose‑induced MPC5 cells. DUSP6 overexpression enhanced MPC5 cell viability and increased protein expression levels of cell markers, such as synaptopodin and nephrin, compared with the negative control group. DUSP6 overexpression also reduced the levels of ROS and inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin (IL)‑1β, IL‑6 and tumor necrosis factor‑α secreted by MPC5 cells under HG conditions. Moreover, compared with the HG group, cell apoptosis was inhibited by DUSP6 overexpression under HG conditions, which was further indicated by decreased expression levels of cleaved caspase‑3 and Bax. Thus, these findings indicated that DUSP6 mediated the protection against HG‑induced inflammatory response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2020.11317DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7411363PMC
September 2020

DNA demethylases are required for myo-inositol-mediated mutualism between plants and beneficial rhizobacteria.

Nat Plants 2020 08 13;6(8):983-995. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

Root-associated soil bacteria can strongly influence plant fitness. DNA methylation is an epigenetic mark important to many fundamental biological processes; however, its roles in plant interactions with beneficial microbes remain elusive. Here, we report that active DNA demethylation in Arabidopsis controls root secretion of myo-inositol and consequently plant growth promotion triggered by Bacillus megaterium strain YC4. Root-secreted myo-inositol is critical for YC4 colonization and preferentially attracts B. megaterium among the examined bacteria species. Active DNA demethylation antagonizes RNA-directed DNA methylation in controlling myo-inositol homeostasis. Importantly, we demonstrate that active DNA demethylation controls myo-inositol-mediated mutualism between YC4 and Solanum lycopersicum, thus suggesting a conserved nature of this epigenetic regulatory mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41477-020-0707-2DOI Listing
August 2020

High Molecular Weight Polyacrylonitrile Precursor for [email protected] Composite Cathode Materials with High Specific Capacity for Rechargeable Lithium Batteries.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2020 Jul 15;12(30):33702-33709. Epub 2020 Jul 15.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China.

Sulfurized pyrolyzed poly(acrylonitrile) ([email protected]) demonstrates high sulfur utilization, no polysulfide dissolution, no self-discharge, and extremely stable cycling. Its precursor, PAN, directly determines the performances of cathode materials, including the sulfur content and its utilization for [email protected] composite materials. Adopting PAN with the molecular weight approaching 550,000 as the precursor, the sulfur content in [email protected] approaches 55 wt %, and its reversible specific capacity was 901 mAh g at 50 °C with sulfur utilization over 98%. Moreover, it enabled stable cycling and excellent high rate capability with a specific capacity of 645 mAh g at 5 C. These significantly enhanced electrochemical properties are mainly due to the high molecular weight of the PAN precursor, which provides more space to accommodate amorphous sulfur, along with improved interfacial resistance of [email protected]
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c07658DOI Listing
July 2020

Tolfenamic acid inhibits GSK-3β and PP2A mediated tau hyperphosphorylation in Alzheimer's disease models.

J Physiol Sci 2020 Jun 9;70(1):29. Epub 2020 Jun 9.

Department of Pharmacology, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, 103 Wenhua Road, Shenhe District, Shenyang, 110016, Liaoning, People's Republic of China.

Tolfenamic acid, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, alleviated learning and memory deficits and decreased the expression of specificity protein 1 (SP1)-mediated cyclin-dependent kinase-5 (CDK5), a major protein kinase that regulates hyperphosphorylated tau, in Alzheimer's disease (AD) transgenic mice. However, whether tolfenamic acid can regulate the major tau protein kinase, glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β), or tau protein phosphatase, protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), further inhibiting hyperphosphorylation of tau, remains unknown. To this end, tolfenamic acid was administered i.p. in a GSK-3β overactivation postnatal rat model and orally in mice after intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of okadaic acid (OA) to develop a PP2A inhibition model. We used four behavioural experiments to evaluate memory function in ICV-OA mice. In this study, tolfenamic acid attenuated memory dysfunction. Tolfenamic acid decreased the expression of hyperphosphorylated tau in the brain by inhibiting GSK-3β activity, decreasing phosphorylated PP2A (Tyr307), and enhancing PP2A activity. Tolfenamic acid also increased wortmannin (WT) and GF-109203X (GFX) induced phosphorylation of GSK-3β (Ser9) and prevented OA-induced downregulation of PP2A activity in PC12 cells. Altogether, these results show that tolfenamic acid not only decreased SP1/CDK5-mediated tau phosphorylation, but also inhibited GSK-3β and PP2A-mediated tau hyperphosphorylation in AD models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12576-020-00757-yDOI Listing
June 2020

Solar photovoltaic interventions have reduced rural poverty in China.

Nat Commun 2020 04 23;11(1):1969. Epub 2020 Apr 23.

China Institute of Manufacturing Development, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing, 210044, China.

Since 2013, China has implemented a large-scale initiative to systematically deploy solar photovoltaic (PV) projects to alleviate poverty in rural areas. To provide new understanding of China's targeted poverty alleviation strategy, we use a panel dataset of 211 pilot counties that received targeted PV investments from 2013 to 2016, and find that the PV poverty alleviation pilot policy increases per-capita disposable income in a county by approximately 7%-8%. The effect of PV investment is positive and significant in the year of policy implementation and the effect is more than twice as high in the subsequent two to three years. The PV poverty alleviation effect is stronger in poorer regions, particularly in Eastern China. Our results are robust to alternative specifications and variable definitions. We propose several policy recommendations to sustain progress in China's efforts to deploy PV for poverty alleviation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15826-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7181783PMC
April 2020

Bacteria-derived diacetyl enhances Arabidopsis phosphate starvation responses partially through the DELLA-dependent gibberellin signaling pathway.

Plant Signal Behav 2020 04 17;15(4):1740872. Epub 2020 Mar 17.

PSC, Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology, and CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are naturally occurring soil microorganisms that colonize roots and stimulate plant growth. Some PGPR strains can directly regulate plant growth in the absence of physical contact with the plant, via volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions. Recently, we have described that respond differentially to diacetyl, a VOC from strain GB03 (GB03), through integral modulation of the immune system and the phosphate-starvation response (PSR) system, resulting in either mutualism or immunity. Under phosphate deficient conditions, diacetyl enhances salicylic acid- and jasmonic acid-mediated immunity and consequently causes plant hyper-sensitivity to phosphate deficiency. Here, we show that application of exogenous gibberellin (GA) partially alleviates the deleterious effect caused by either GB03 VOCs or diacetyl in under phosphate deficient conditions, while DELLA quadruple mutant exposed to GB03 VOCs exhibits a partial reduction on the stress symptoms. Moreover, diacetyl appears to enhance DELLA protein accumulation and increase the expression of several GA deactivation-related genes. These findings suggest that the DELLA-mediated GA signaling pathway is involved in the role of GB03 VOCs in regulating plant growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15592324.2020.1740872DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7194389PMC
April 2020

Transcriptome Analysis and Emerging Driver Identification of CD8+ T Cells in Patients with Vitiligo.

Oxid Med Cell Longev 2019 26;2019:2503924. Epub 2019 Nov 26.

Department of Dermatology, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Hunan Key Laboratory of Medical Epigenetics, Changsha, China.

Activated CD8+ T cells play important roles in the pathogenesis of vitiligo. However, driving factors about the activation and migration of CD8+ T cells remain obscure. In this study, we aim to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and uncover potential factors that drive the disease in melanocyte-specific CD8+ T cells in vitiligo. A total of 1147 DEGs were found through transcriptome sequencing in CD8+ T cells from lesional skin of vitiligo patients and normal controls. Based on KEGG pathway enrichment analysis and PPI, 16 upregulated and 23 downregulated genes were identified. Ultimately, 3 genes were figured out after RT-qPCR verification. The mRNA and protein expression levels of PIK3CB, HIF-1, and F2RL1 were all elevated in CD8+ T cells from peripheral blood in vitiligo. HIF-1 and PIK3CB were significantly increased in lesional skin of vitiligo. Two CpG sites of the HIF-1 promoter were hypomethylated in vitiligo CD8+ T cells. In conclusion, HIF-1, F2RL1, and PIK3CB may act as novel drivers for vitiligo, which are all closely associated with reactive oxygen species and possibly contribute to the activation and/or migration of melanocyte-specific CD8+ T cells in vitiligo. In addition, we uncovered a potential role for DNA hypomethylation of HIF-1 in CD8+ T cells of vitiligo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2019/2503924DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6899274PMC
June 2020
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