Publications by authors named "Jianjun Chen"

681 Publications

Performance Leap of Lithium Metal Batteries in LiPF Carbonate Electrolyte by a Phosphorus Pentoxide Acid Scavenger.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2022 Aug 5. Epub 2022 Aug 5.

Materials Science and Engineering Program, University of California - Riverside, Riverside, California 92521, United States.

Phosphorus pentoxide (PO) is investigated as an acid scavenger to remove the acidic impurities in a commercial lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF) carbonate electrolyte to improve the electrochemical properties of Li metal batteries. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements reveal the detailed reaction mechanisms of PO with the LiPF electrolyte and its impurities, which removes hydrogen fluoride (HF) and difluorophosphoric acid (HPOF) and produces phosphorus oxyfluoride (POF), OFP-O-PF anions, and ethyl difluorophosphate (CHOPOF) as new electrolyte species. The PO-modified LiPF electrolyte is chemically compatible with a Li metal anode and LiNiMnCoO (NMC622) cathode, generating a POF-rich solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) that leads to highly reversible Li electrodeposition, while eliminating transition metal dissolution and cathode particle cracking. The excellent electrochemical properties of the PO-modified LiPF electrolytes are demonstrated on Li||NMC622 pouch cells with 0.4 Ah capacity, 50 μm Li anode, 3 mAh cm NMC622 cathode, and 3 g Ah electrolyte/capacity ratio. The pouch cells can be galvanostatically cycled at C/3 for 230 cycles with 87.7% retention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.2c09267DOI Listing
August 2022

Scrutinizes the Sustainable Role of Halophilic Microbial Strains on Oxygen-Evolving Complex, Specific Energy Fluxes, Energy Flow and Nitrogen Assimilation of Sunflower Cultivars in a Suboptimal Environment.

Front Plant Sci 2022 18;13:913825. Epub 2022 Jul 18.

Department of Microbiology, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan.

Environmental extremes such as hypersaline conditions are significant threats to agricultural productivity. The sustainable use of halophilic microbial strains was evaluated in plant in a salt stress environment. Oxygen-evolving complex (OEC), energy compartmentalization, harvesting efficiencies (LHE), specific energy fluxes (SEF), and nitrogen assimilation of oilseed crops (Sunflower cultivars) in a suboptimal environment was examined. Plants were grown in a plastic pot (15 ×18 cm) containing sterilized (autoclaved at 120°C for 1 h) soil. Twenty-five ml suspension (10 CFU/ml) each of strain and (accession number NR 074540.1) and strain (accession number MW362506), were applied drenching method. Month-old plants were subjected to salt stress gradual increment method. The energy compartmentalization of microbial inoculated plants exposed to salt stress revealed higher photosystem II (PSII) activity at the donor side, lesser photo-inhibition, and increased performance of oxygen-evolving complex compared to control. High potassium (K) and low sodium (Na) ions in treated leaves with the activated barricade of the antioxidant system stimulated by strains favored enhanced photochemical efficiency, smooth electron transport, and lesser energy dissipation in the stressed plants. Moreover, the results reveal the increased activity of nitrite reductase (NiR) and nitrate reductase (NR) by microbial inoculation that elevated the nitrogen availability in the salt-stressed plant. The current research concludes that the application of bio-inoculants that reside in the hyper-saline environment offers substantial potential to enhance salt tolerance in sunflowers by modulating their water uptake, chlorophyll, nitrogen metabolism, and better photochemical yield.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2022.913825DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9340225PMC
July 2022

Identification of 12 OCA Cases in Chinese Population and Two Novel Variants.

Front Genet 2022 12;13:926511. Epub 2022 Jul 12.

Research Center for Translational Medicine, Shanghai East Hospital, School of Medicine, Tongji University, Shanghai, China.

OCA (oculocutaneous albinism) refers to a group of heterogeneous congenital disorders of which the common manifestations are variable degrees of cutaneous hypopigmentation and significant visual impairment, including poor visual acuity, photophobia, and nystagmus. Molecular analysis may elucidate its pathogenesis and be in favor of accurate diagnosis. High-throughput sequencing and Sanger sequencing were performed to detect mutational alleles and analysis was performed for prediction of variant pathogenicity. Ten -related and two -related patients were identified with 16 different variants with potential pathogenicity. Two novel missense variants [: c.623T > G, (Leu208Arg) and : c.1325A > G, (Asn442Ser)] are identified in this study, and three OCA cases are reported for the first time in Chinese population based on their associated variants. Analysis of crystal structures of TYR ortholog and its paralog TYRP1 suggests that the substitution of Leu may have an impact on protein stability. This study may facilitate OCA diagnosis by expanding the mutational spectrum of and as well as further basic studies about these two genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2022.926511DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9340472PMC
July 2022

Pre-attack and pre-episode symptoms in cluster headache: a multicenter cross-sectional study of 327 Chinese patients.

J Headache Pain 2022 Jul 30;23(1):92. Epub 2022 Jul 30.

Department of Neurology, the First Medical Center, Chinese PLA General Hospital, 100853, Beijing, China.

Background: There have been a few studies regarding the pre-attack symptoms (PAS) and pre-episode symptoms (PES) of cluster headache (CH), but none have been conducted in the Chinese population. The purpose of this study was to identify the prevalence and features of PAS and PES in Chinese patients, as well as to investigate their relationships with pertinent factors.

Methods: The study included patients who visited a tertiary headache center and nine other headache clinics between January 2019 and September 2021. A questionnaire was used to collect general data and information about PAS and PES.

Results: Among the 327 patients who met the CH criteria (International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition), 269 (82.3%) patients experienced at least one PAS. The most common PAS were head and facial discomfort (74.4%). Multivariable logistic regression analysis depicted that the number of triggers (OR = 1.798, p = 0.001), and smoking history (OR = 2.067, p = 0.026) were correlated with increased odds of PAS. In total, 68 (20.8%) patients had PES. The most common symptoms were head and facial discomfort (23, 33.8%). Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that the number of triggers were associated with increased odds of PES (OR = 1.372, p = 0.005).

Conclusions: PAS are quite common in CH patients, demonstrating that CH attacks are not comprised of a pain phase alone; investigations of PAS and PES could help researchers better understand the pathophysiology of CH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s10194-022-01459-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9338588PMC
July 2022

Highly efficient and stable ZnO-based perovskite solar cells enabled by a self-assembled monolayer as the interface linker.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2022 Jul 29. Epub 2022 Jul 29.

China-Australia Institute for Advanced Materials and Manufacturing, Jiaxing University, Jiaxing 314001, P. R. China.

2-TA and 3-TA were introduced for the first time on the surface of ZnO, and used as SAMs for interfacial modification. A highest PCE of 20.6% was achieved for 2-TA PSCs with improved energy alignment and perovskite film quality, and reduced defect density. The modified ZnO exhibited better thermostability of the perovskite and resultant device stability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d2cc03890kDOI Listing
July 2022

SARM1 deletion in parvalbumin neurons is associated with autism-like behaviors in mice.

Cell Death Dis 2022 Jul 22;13(7):638. Epub 2022 Jul 22.

School of Mental Health, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, 325035, Zhejiang, China.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a group of neurodevelopmental disorder diseases, is characterized by social deficits, communication difficulties, and repetitive behaviors. Sterile alpha and TIR motif-containing 1 protein (SARM1) is known as an autism-associated protein and is enriched in brain tissue. Moreover, SARM1 knockdown mice exhibit autism-like behaviors. However, its specific mechanism in ASD pathogenesis remains unclear. Here we generated parvalbumin-positive interneurons (PVI)-specific conditional SARM1 knockout (SARM1-CKO) mice. SARM1-CKO male mice showed autism-like behaviors, such as mild social interaction deficits and repetitive behaviors. Moreover, we found that the expression level of parvalbumin was reduced in SARM1-CKO male mice, together with upregulated apoptosis-related proteins and more cleaved-caspase-3-positive PVIs, suggesting that knocking out SARM1 may cause a reduction in the number of PVIs due to apoptosis. Furthermore, the expression of c-fos was shown to increase in SARM1-CKO male mice, in combination with upregulation of excitatory postsynaptic proteins such as PSD-95 or neuroligin-1, indicating enhanced excitatory synaptic input in mutant mice. This notion was further supported by the partial rescue of autism-like behavior deficits by the administration of GABA receptor agonists in SARM1-CKO male mice. In conclusion, our findings suggest that SARM1 deficiency in PVIs may be involved in the pathogenesis of ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-022-05083-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9307765PMC
July 2022

[Diagnostic value of a novel test paper detection of ECP in nasal secretion for allergic rhinitis].

Lin Chung Er Bi Yan Hou Tou Jing Wai Ke Za Zhi 2022 Jun;36(6):407-413

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery,Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University,Wuhan,430060,China.

To explore the diagnostic value of a novel test paper, which detect eosinophil cationic protein(ECP) of nasal secretion in allergic rhinitis(AR). Nasal secretion and serum samples from 107 patients with allergic rhinitis(AR group) and 40 healthy volunteers(control group) were selected. The nasal symptoms were also evaluated in AR group. The degree of ECP coloration was evaluated by nasal secretion eosinophil cationic protein-myeloperoxid(ECP-MPO) test paper, and the concentration of ECP in nasal secretion and the concentration of cytokines in serum were detected at the same time. The difference and correlation among these indexes were analyzed. The best cutoff value and test efficiency of ECP chromogenic grade and concentration of nasal secretion were calculated by receiver operating characteristic curve(ROC). The concentration of ECP in nasal secretion of AR patients was significantly higher than that of healthy controls(<0.05). The color grade of nasal secretion detected by the test paper was positively correlated with the concentration of ECP in nasal secretion(<0.05), and there was significant difference among different grades(<0.05). There was a satisfying symmetry between the ECP color grade of nasal secretion and the serum specific IgE(sIgE) level as well as a high diagnostic consistency between them(<0.05). The area under the curve(AUC) of ECP concentration ROC in nasal secretion was 0.807 2, corresponding to 64% sensitivity and 85% specificity when the cutoff value was set at 0.980 5; when the cutoff value was set at 1, the AUC of nasal secretion ECP color grading was 0.941 9, corresponding to 92% sensitivity and 94% specificity. No clear correlation between the concentration of ECP in nasal secretion and serum cytokines was found(>0.05). The results of this novel test paper is in good agreement with those of serological allergens. It could serve as a preliminary test to evaluate the severity of allergy with satisfactory sensitivity and specificity, and is especially suitable in clinical practice for primary hospital.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13201/j.issn.2096-7993.2022.06.001DOI Listing
June 2022

Association of Ozone Exposures with the risk of thyroid nodules in Hunan Province: a population-based cohort study.

Environ Health 2022 Jul 8;21(1):65. Epub 2022 Jul 8.

Department of General Surgery, Xiangya Hospital Central South University, Changsha, 410008, Hunan, China.

Background: Increasing evidence associates air pollution with thyroid dysfunction, whereas the potential relationship between exposure to ozone (O) and Thyroid Nodules (TNs) is unclear.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study investigated the association between O exposure and TNs in Hunan province, enrolling 191,357 Chinese adults who lived in Hunan province from January 2009 to December 2019 and received voluntary medical examinations. Individual exposure levels to O from 2010 to 2019 were measured on account of participants' residential addresses at the district level. Associations of O exposure with the risk of incidental TNs were assessed by restricted cubic splines and surveyed as odds ratios after adjusting for demographic factors.

Results: In total, 81,900 adults were newly diagnosed with TNs during the study period. Age-standardized TNs detection rate in Hunan province increased from 25.9 to 46.3% between 2010 and 2019, with the greatest annual percent change being 8.1 [95% CI, 7.3-8.8]. A similar trend has been found in all tumor sizes, ages, and both sexes. O exposure presented a statistically significant dose-dependent positive correlation (greater than 0.036 ppm) with TNs. Similarly, long-term exposure to high levels of O (1-year average O concentrations exceeding 0.0417 ppm) was found positively associated with increased TSH levels.

Conclusions: High-level O exposure in the long term was associated with an increase in TSH. Consequently, increased TSH was related to the increased risk of TNs. Being exposed to high-level O in the long term was related to the increased detection rates of TNs in Hunan province, which could be mediated by TSH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12940-022-00874-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9264600PMC
July 2022

Analysis on the Moderating Effect of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education Mode and Locus of Control of College Teachers and Students Based on Comic Style Recognition.

Front Psychol 2022 16;13:843665. Epub 2022 Jun 16.

Keyi College of Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou, China.

This study was carried out to explore the moderating effect of comic education and locus of control (LOC) in innovation and entrepreneurship education in colleges and universities. Firstly, the theoretical knowledge of comic education, innovation and entrepreneurship education, and LOC was briefly introduced, and the significance of comics for innovation and entrepreneurship education was discussed. Secondly, the existing innovation and entrepreneurship education modes in colleges and universities in China were introduced. Thirdly, a simple comparative analysis was conducted on the internal and external characteristics of LOC. Finally, an investigation was performed on the innovation and entrepreneurship ability of college students. The results demonstrate that the average score of students' innovation spirit is 3.302, with a standard deviation of 0.481, suggesting that the current college students' overall innovative spirit is moderate. Besides, students get moderate scores in each dimension, and the difference between different students is slight. Among them, the mean of reflectiveness is the highest ( = 3.446, = 0.540), and the mean of criticality is the lowest ( = 3.160, = 0.481). The average score of the current students' entrepreneurial ability is 3.112, indicating that the students' entrepreneurial ability is above the average. From the perspective of each dimension, students have the lowest score in opportunity discovery ability, which is at a low level ( = 2.821, = 0.873), while the other five dimensions are at a medium level. The highest is strategic decision-making ability ( = 3.264, = 0.749). At the same time, factors such as gender, grade, institution, and students' relatives significantly impact students' innovation and entrepreneurship ability. It can be concluded that colleges and universities should focus on controlling the quality of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching and guiding and carrying out innovation and entrepreneurship practice activities. They should also encourage students to participate in courses and activities related to innovation and entrepreneurship to improve college students' innovation and entrepreneurship ability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.843665DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9245793PMC
June 2022

Liquid-crystal-polymer binary diffractive optical elements with a sub-micrometer feature size realized by a contact polarization holography.

Opt Lett 2022 Jul;47(13):3195-3198

In this Letter, a contact polarization holographic photoalignment method is proposed. In the holographic recording, a phase mask is contacted with a photoalignment film, making light carrying wavefront information interfere with reference light in the near-field region to realize polarization holographic pattern recording with a sub-micrometer feature size. The relevant theoretical derivation is given, and holographic recording of a 0.4 µm feature-size phase mask is realized. The proposed method can conveniently realize liquid-crystal binary diffractive optical elements with a sub-micrometer feature size. Off-axis diffraction can also be realized by superimposing the grating information by changing the angle between the substrate and the interference light.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.461386DOI Listing
July 2022

Discovery of pomalidomide-based PROTACs for selective degradation of histone deacetylase 8.

Eur J Med Chem 2022 Sep 21;239:114544. Epub 2022 Jun 21.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of New Drug Screening, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, 510515, China; Department of General Surgery & Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Precision Medicine for Gastrointestinal Tumor, Nanfang Hospital, The First School of Clinical Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510515, China. Electronic address:

Overexpression of histone deacetylase 8 (HDAC8) is associated with various diseases such as cancer. Thus, compounds that can modulate HDAC8 levels have therapeutic potential for these diseases. Based on the proteolysis targeting chimera (PROTAC) strategy, we designed and synthesized a series of HDAC8 degraders by tethering an HDAC6/8 dual inhibitor with pomalidomide (a cereblon ligand). Among them, compound ZQ-23 exhibited significant and selective degradation of HDAC8 with DC of 147 nM and D of 93%, and exhibited no effects on HDAC1 and HDAC3. Interestingly, we found that the degradation of target protein started at ∼2 h after treatment with ZQ-23 and the maximal degradation effect was achieved at 10 h. The HDAC8 level was partially recovered within 24 h. In addition, ZQ-23 had no degrading effects on HDAC1 and HDAC3 at all concentrations, but could dose-dependently increase the levels of acetylated SMC-3 (HDAC8 substrate). Mechanism study demonstrated that ZQ-23 degraded HDAC8 through the ubiquitin-protease pathway, rather than lysosome system. Collectively, these results suggest that ZQ-23 represents a novel PROTAC-based HDAC8 degrader worthy of further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmech.2022.114544DOI Listing
September 2022

ZIF-8 nanoparticles induce neurobehavioral disorders through the regulation of ROS-mediated oxidative stress in zebrafish embryos.

Chemosphere 2022 Oct 22;305:135453. Epub 2022 Jun 22.

Translational Research Institute of Brain and Brain-like Intelligence, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Anesthesiology and Brain Functional Modulation, Department of Pediatrics, Shanghai Fourth People's Hospital, School of Medicine, Tongji University, Shanghai, 200434, China. Electronic address:

Zeolite imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) is a nanomaterial of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which have various applications in drug delivery and water pollution remediation. However, little is known about its developmental neurotoxicity in aquatic organisms, especially on the low-level exposure. In the present study, we investigated the toxic effects of ZIF-8 NPs on the neuron development, behavioral traits, oxidative stress and gene expression in zebrafish embryos. Firstly, our results showed that ZIF-8 induced significantly embryonic malformations and abnormal development of nervous system in zebrafish embryos with a concentration-dependent manner. Meanwhile, the locomotor behavior was obviously inhibited while the anxiety behavior was greatly increased after ZIF-8 exposure. Secondly, the levels of ROS and antioxidant enzyme activities (CAT, SOD and MDA) together with AChE and ATPase were substantially increased in the ZIF-8 exposed groups. At the molecular level, ZIF-8 NPs could down-regulate the expression profiles of neural development-related genes (gap43, synapsin 2a and neurogenin 1) and PD-like related genes (dj-1, dynactin and parkin), but up-regulate the expression levels of neuro-inflammatory genes (nox-1, glip1a and glip1b) in larval zebrafish. In addition, we further explored the molecular mechanism of neurotoxicity induced by ZIF-8 with pharmacological experiments. The results showed that specific inhibition of ROS-mediated oxidative stress by the astaxanthin could reverse the expression patterns of ATPase, AChE and neurodevelopmental genes. Moreover, astaxanthin can partially rescue the ZIF-8-modulated locomotor behavior. Taken together, our results demonstrated that ZIF-8 had the potential to cause neurotoxicity in zebrafish embryos. These informations presented in this study will help to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of ZIF-8 nanoparticles exposure in zebrafish, which providing a scientific evaluation of its safety to aquatic ecosystems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.135453DOI Listing
October 2022

Exploiting Unreduced Gametes for Improving Ornamental Plants.

Front Plant Sci 2022 6;13:883470. Epub 2022 Jun 6.

College of Forestry and Landscape Architecture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China.

The formation of gametes with somatic chromosome number or unreduced gametes (2 gametes) is an important process involved in the origin of polyploid plants in nature. Unreduced gametes are the result of meiotic mutations occurring during micro- and mega-sporogenesis. 2 gametes have been identified or artificially induced in a large number of plant species. Breeding of plants through 2 gametes can be advantageous because it combines genetic effects of polyploidy with meiotic recombination and sexual hybridization to produce tremendous genetic variation and heterosis. 2 gametes also occur in ornamental plants, but the potential of using 2 gametes in ornamental plant breeding has not been extensively exploited. Ornamental plants are primarily produced for their esthetic appearance and novelty, not for food and yield, and they can be readily propagated through vegetative means. Triploids, tetraploids, and plants with even higher ploidy levels produced through 2 gametes can be propagated through tissue culture to fix their phenotypes, thus leading to the development of new cultivars. In this review article, we intend to discuss the mechanisms underlying the formation of 2 gametes, techniques for 2 gamete identification, methods for enhancing 2 gamete formation, and the current status in the use of 2 gametes for development of novel ornamental plants. We believe that polyploidy breeding through 2 gametes represents a viable way of developing new cultivars, new species, and even new genera of ornamental plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2022.883470DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9207335PMC
June 2022

Structure-Directing Role of Support on Hg Oxidation over VO/TiO Catalyst Revealed for NO and Hg Simultaneous Control in an SCR Reactor.

Environ Sci Technol 2022 Jul 16;56(13):9702-9711. Epub 2022 Jun 16.

State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, P. R. China.

The crystal structure of TiO strongly influences the physiochemical properties of supported active sites and thus the catalytic performance of the as-synthesized catalyst. Herein, we synthesized TiO with different crystal forms (R = rutile, A = anatase, and B = brookite), which were used as supports to prepare vanadium-based catalysts for Hg oxidation. The Hg oxidation efficiency over VO/TiO-B was the best, followed by VO/TiO-A and VO/TiO-R. Further experimental and theoretical results indicate that gaseous Hg reacts with surface-active chlorine species produced by the adsorbed HCl and the reaction orders of Hg oxidation over VO/TiO catalyst with respect to HCl and Hg concentration were approximately 0 and 1, respectively. The excellent Hg oxidation efficiency over VO/TiO-B can be attributed to lower redox temperature, larger HCl adsorption capacity, and more oxygen vacancies. This work suggests that to achieve the best simultaneous removal of NO and Hg on state-of-the-art VO/TiO catalyst, a combination of anatase and brookite TiO-supported vanadyl tandem catalysts is supposed to be employed in the SCR reactor, and the brookite-type catalyst should be on the downstream of the anatase-based catalyst due to the inhibition of NH on Hg oxidation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.2c01480DOI Listing
July 2022

Evidence for Water-Borne Transmission of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 Viruses.

Front Microbiol 2022 26;13:896469. Epub 2022 May 26.

State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China.

In this study, we isolated 10 H5N1 strains from water samples in Dongting Lake and 4 H5N1 strains from lakeside backyard poultry. These isolates belonged to three distinct clades (clade 2.3.2, 2.3.4, and 7). Phylogenetic analysis showed a diversified genome constellation. The genetic characteristics of some viruses isolated from water samples were extremely similar to those from lakeside poultry. Pathogenic experiments showed that selected represented isolates in this study were highly pathogenic for SPF chickens but had a diversified virulence in mice. The results of our study suggested the potential transmission of avian influenza (H5N1) between the poultry and wild waterfowls and water body around the habitat may play an important role.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2022.896469DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9183062PMC
May 2022

An Improved Procedure for -Mediated Transformation of 'Carrizo' Citrange.

Plants (Basel) 2022 May 30;11(11). Epub 2022 May 30.

Department of Plant Science, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA.

Although several protocols for genetic transformation of citrus have been published, it is highly desirable to further improve its efficiency. Here we report treatments of cells and citrus explants prior to and during co-cultivation process to enhance transformation efficiency using a commercially used rootstock 'Carrizo' citrange [ (L.) Osb. × (L.) Raf.] as a model plant. We found explants from light-grown seedlings exhibited higher transformation efficiency than those from etiolated seedlings. We pre-cultured cells in a 1/10 MS, 0.5 g/L 2-(-morpholino) ethanesulfonic acid (MES) and 100 µM acetosyringone liquid medium for 6 h at 25 °C before used to infect citrus explants. We incubated epicotyl segments in an MS liquid medium containing 13.2 µM 6-BA, 4.5 µM 2,4-D, 0.5 µM NAA for 3 h at 25 °C prior to infection. In the co-cultivation medium, we added 30 µM paclobutrazol and 10 µM lipoic acid. Each of these treatments significantly increased the efficiencies of transformation up to 30.4% (treating with acetosyringone), 31.8% (treating explants with cytokinin and auxin), 34.9% (paclobutrazol) and 38.6% (lipoic acid), respectively. When the three treatments were combined, we observed that the transformation efficiency was enhanced from 11.5% to 52.3%. The improvement of genetic transformation efficiency mediated by these three simple treatments may facilitate more efficient applications of transgenic and gene editing technologies for functional characterization of citrus genes and for genetic improvement of citrus cultivars.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants11111457DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9183180PMC
May 2022

B-Cell-Epitope-Based Fluorescent Quantum Dot Biosensors for SARS-CoV-2 Enable Highly Sensitive COVID-19 Antibody Detection.

Viruses 2022 05 12;14(5). Epub 2022 May 12.

State Key Laboratory of Virology, Institute for Vaccine Research, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China.

A new antibody diagnostic assay with more rapid and robust properties is demanded to quantitatively evaluate anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) immunity in a large population. Here, we developed a nanometer-scale fluorescent biosensor system consisting of CdSe-ZnS quantum dots (QDs) coupled with the highly sensitive B-cell epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 that could remarkably identify the corresponding antibody with a detection limit of 100 pM. Intriguingly, we found that fluorescence quenching of QDs was stimulated more obviously when coupled with peptides than the corresponding proteins, indicating that the energy transfer between QDs and peptides was more effective. Compared to the traditional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), the B-cell-epitope-based QD-biosensor could robustly distinguish coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) antibody-positive patients from uninfected individuals with a higher sensitivity (92.3-98.1% positive rates by QD-biosensor vs. 78.3-83.1% positive rates by ELISAs in 207 COVID-19 patients' sera) in a more rapid (5 min) and labor-saving manner. Taken together, the 'QD-peptides' biosensor provided a novel real-time, quantitative, and high-throughput method for clinical diagnosis and home-use tests.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v14051031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9145955PMC
May 2022

Therapeutic Effects of Synthetic Triblock Amphiphilic Short Antimicrobial Peptides on Human Lung Adenocarcinoma.

Pharmaceutics 2022 Apr 24;14(5). Epub 2022 Apr 24.

Department of Pathology and Pathophysiology, Shanghai Skin Disease Hospital, School of Medicine, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China.

Because of their unique properties, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) represent a potential reservoir of novel anticancer therapeutic agents. However, only a few AMPs can kill tumors with high efficiency, and obtaining inexpensive anticancer AMPs with strong activity is still a challenge. In our previous work, a series of original short amphiphilic triblock AMP (KFK) analogues were developed which were demonstrated to exert excellent effects on bacterial infection, both in vitro and in vivo. Herein, the overall objectives were to assess the potent tumoricidal capacities of these analogues against human lung cancer cell line A549 and the underlying mechanism. The results of the CCK-8 assay revealed that the precise modification of the peptides' primary sequences could modulate their tumoricidal potency. In the tumoricidal progress, positive charge and hydrophobicity were the key driving forces. Among these peptides, KFK displayed the most remarkable tumoricidal activity. Furthermore, the excellent anticancer capacity of KFK was proven by the live/dead cell staining, colony formation assay, and tumor growth observations on xenografted mice, which indicated that KFK might be a promising drug candidate for lung cancer, with no significant adverse effects in vitro or in vivo. In addition, the cell apoptosis assay using flow cytometry, the morphology observations using the optical microscope, confocal microscopy using CellMask™ Deep Red staining, and scanning electron microscope suggested that membrane disruption was the primary mechanism of its antitumor action. Through analyzing the structure-activity relationship, it was found that the amount of positive charge required for KFK to exert its optimal tumoricidal effect was more than that needed for the antimicrobial activity, while the optimal proportion of hydrophobicity was less. Our findings suggest that further analysis of the structure-activity relationship of AMPs' primary sequence variations will be beneficial. Hopefully, this work can provide guiding principles in designing peptide-based therapeutics for lung cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics14050929DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9143638PMC
April 2022

Variation in Rotenone and Deguelin Contents among Strains across Four Species and Their Activities against Aphids and Whiteflies.

Toxins (Basel) 2022 05 13;14(5). Epub 2022 May 13.

Key Laboratory of Natural Pesticide and Chemical Biology, Ministry of Education, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China.

Botanical pesticides have received increasing attention for sustainable control of insect pests. Plants from the genus are known to produce rotenone and deguelin. Rotenone is known to possess insecticidal activities against a wide range of pests, but deguelin's activities remain largely inconclusive. On the other hand, the biosynthesis of rotenone and deguelin may vary in species. This study analyzed the rotenone and deguelin contents in 13 strains across 4 species over 4 growing seasons using HPLC. Our study shows that the species and even the strains within a species vary substantially in the biosynthesis of rotenone and deguelin, and their contents can be affected by the growing season. After identification of the LC values of chemical rotenone and deguelin against (Glover) and (Gennadius), leaf extracts derived from the 13 strains were used to test their insecticidal activities against the 2 pests. The results showed that the extracts derived from 2 strains of . had the highest insecticidal activity, resulting in 100% mortality of and greater than 90% mortality of . The higher mortalities were closely associated with the higher contents of rotenone and deguelin in the two strains, indicating that deguelin also possesses insecticidal activities. This is the first documentation of leaf extracts derived from 13 strains against 2 important pests of and . The strain variation and seasonal influence on the rotenone and deguelin contents call for careful attention in selecting appropriate strains and seasons to produce leaf extracts for the control of insect pests.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050339DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9146100PMC
May 2022

Construction of Ecological Security Pattern Based on the Importance of Ecological Protection-A Case Study of Guangxi, a Karst Region in China.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2022 05 7;19(9). Epub 2022 May 7.

College of Geomatics and Geoinformation, Guilin University of Technology, Guilin 541004, China.

The ecological security pattern is an important way to coordinate the contradiction between regional economic development and ecological protection and is conducive to promoting regional sustainable development. This study examines Guangxi, a karst region in China. The ecosystem service function and ecological environment sensitivity were both selected to evaluate the ecological conservation importance, and based on the results of the ecological conservation importance evaluation, suitable patches were selected as ecological sources. Meanwhile, resistance factors were selected from both natural factors and human activities to construct a comprehensive resistance surface, circuit theory was used to identify ecological corridors, ecological pinch points, and ecological barrier points, and ecological protection suggestions were then proposed. The results show that there are 50 patches of ecological sources in Guangxi, with a total area of 60,556.99 km; 115 ecological corridors, with the longest corridor reaching 194.97 km; 301 ecological pinch points, whose spatial distribution is fragmented; and 286 ecological barrier points, most of which are concentrated in the central part of Guangxi. The results of this study provide a reference for the construction of ecological security patterns and ecological conservation in developing countries and karst areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095699DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9101742PMC
May 2022

Application of developmental regulators to improve in planta or in vitro transformation in plants.

Plant Biotechnol J 2022 Aug 25;20(8):1622-1635. Epub 2022 May 25.

Department of Environmental Horticulture, Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Apopka, FL, USA.

Plant genetic transformation is a crucial step for applying biotechnology such as genome editing to basic and applied plant science research. Its success primarily relies on the efficiency of gene delivery into plant cells and the ability to regenerate transgenic plants. In this study, we have examined the effect of several developmental regulators (DRs), including PLETHORA (PLT5), WOUND INDUCED DEDIFFERENTIATION 1 (WIND1), ENHANCED SHOOT REGENERATION (ESR1), WUSHEL (WUS) and a fusion of WUS and BABY-BOOM (WUS-P2A-BBM), on in planta transformation through injection of Agrobacterium tumefaciens in snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus). The results showed that PLT5, WIND1 and WUS promoted in planta transformation of snapdragons. An additional test of these three DRs on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) further demonstrated that the highest in planta transformation efficiency was observed from PLT5. PLT5 promoted calli formation and regeneration of transformed shoots at the wound positions of aerial stems, and the transgene was stably inherited to the next generation in snapdragons. Additionally, PLT5 significantly improved the shoot regeneration and transformation in two Brassica cabbage varieties (Brassica rapa) and promoted the formation of transgenic calli and somatic embryos in sweet pepper (Capsicum annum) through in vitro tissue culture. Despite some morphological alternations, viable seeds were produced from the transgenic Bok choy and snapdragons. Our results have demonstrated that manipulation of PLT5 could be an effective approach for improving in planta and in vitro transformation efficiency, and such a transformation system could be used to facilitate the application of genome editing or other plant biotechnology application in modern agriculture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pbi.13837DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9342618PMC
August 2022

Editorial: Advances in Breeding for Quantitative Disease Resistance.

Front Plant Sci 2022 13;13:890002. Epub 2022 Apr 13.

New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2022.890002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9043843PMC
April 2022

Self-Assembled Pt/MoC/MWCNTs Nano Catalyst for Ethanol Electrooxidation of Fuel Cells.

Front Chem 2022 12;10:891640. Epub 2022 Apr 12.

School of Mechanical Engineering, Dongguan University of Technology, Dongguan, China.

Direct ethanol fuel cells (DEFCs) have attracted more and more attention because of their unique advantages such as low cost and low toxicity. However, sluggish C-C bond cleavage during the ethanol electrooxidation reaction (EOR) in acidic media results in a lower energy yield and gravely hinders the commercialization of DEFCs. Therefore, it is very necessary to develop an anode catalyst with high performance, high stability and low cost to solve this problem. In this paper, Pt/MoC/MWCNTs nanocomposites with different mass ratios of PtMo were obtained through a molecular self-assembly technology. The structure and morphology of Pt/MoC/MWCNTs nanocomposites were characterized by several techniques such as XRD, FESEM, XPS, etc. The electrochemical performance and stability of Pt/WC/MWCNTs electrocatalysts toward EOR were investigated in acid electrolytes. The results show that PtMo exists in the form of alloy. The size of Pt/MoC nanoparticles is very uniform with an average size of ∼24 nm. The Pt/MoC/MWCNTs exhibits excellent electrocatalytic activities with an electrochemically active surface area of 37.1 m g, a peak current density of 610.4 mA mg and a steady-state current density of 39.8 mA mg after 7,200 s, suggesting that the Pt/MoC/MWCNTs is a very promising candidate for application in EOR of DEFCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fchem.2022.891640DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9039006PMC
April 2022

Toxic effects of glyphosate on the intestine, liver, brain of carp and on epithelioma papulosum cyprinid cells: Evidence from in vivo and in vitro research.

Chemosphere 2022 Sep 27;302:134691. Epub 2022 Apr 27.

College of Life Science, Henan Normal University, Xinxiang, 453007, PR China. Electronic address:

Glyphosate (GLY) is the most widely used organophosphorus herbicide in agriculture. The present study aimed to analyze the comprehensive toxicological effects of GLY on juvenile common carp and an epithelioma papulosum cyprinid (EPC) cell line. In the in vivo experiments, exposure to GLY (5 and 15 mg/L) for 30 days induced liver inflammation and oxidative damage in common carp and changed the physical barrier of the intestine. Histopathological analysis of the intestine, liver, brain, and changes in oxidative stress biomarkers provided evidence of damage and immune system responses to GLY. Moreover, an inhibitory effect of 15 mg/L GLY on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity was found in the brain, which may be an important reason for the significant decrease in both swimming distance and average acceleration of common carp. Cell experiments showed that 0.65 and 3.25 mg/L GLY inhibited the viability of EPCs. Furthermore, oxidative DNA damage, mitochondrial dysfunction, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production were observed in EPC cells following GLY exposure. Taken together, this study not only highlights the negative effects of GLY on common carp but also enriches the knowledge of the cytotoxicity mechanism to further clarify the comprehensive toxicity of GLY in common carp.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.134691DOI Listing
September 2022

Alteration of Glycerophospholipid Metabolism in Hippocampus of Post-stroke Depression Rats.

Neurochem Res 2022 Jul 25;47(7):2052-2063. Epub 2022 Apr 25.

Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, No. 1 Yixueyuan Road, Chongqing, China.

Post-stroke depression (PSD) is the most common mental disorder in stroke survivors. However, its specific pathophysiology remains largely unknown. Previous studies suggested a role of hippocampus in PSD. Therefore, we conducted this study to investigate the lipid metabolic signatures in hippocampus of PSD rats. Here, the liquid chromatography mass spectrometry was used to identify the lipid metabolic signatures in the hippocampus of PSD, control and stroke rats. Then, correlations between behavior indices and differential lipid metabolites in PSD rats were explored. Pathway and enrichment analysis were further conducted to uncover the crucial metabolic pathways related to PSD. Finally, we found that the lipid metabolic phenotype in hippocampus of PSD rats was substantially different from that in control and stroke rats, and identified 50 key lipid metabolites that were significantly decreased in PSD rats. These differential metabolites were mainly involved in glycerophospholipid metabolism. Meanwhile, the sucrose preference and immobility time were found to be significantly positively and negatively, respectively, correlated with glycerophospholipid metabolites. The pathway and enrichment analysis showed that the glycerophospholipid metabolism, especially cardiolipin metabolism, was significantly disturbed in PSD rats. These results suggested that the down-regulated glycerophospholipids in hippocampus, especially cardiolipin, might participate in the pathophysiology of PSD. Our findings would be helpful for future exploring the pathophysiology of PSD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11064-022-03596-yDOI Listing
July 2022

Discovery of novel 7,8-dihydropteridine-6(5H)-one-based DNA-PK inhibitors as potential anticancer agents via scaffold hopping strategy.

Eur J Med Chem 2022 Jul 20;237:114401. Epub 2022 Apr 20.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of New Drug Screening, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, 510515, PR China; Department of General Surgery & Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Precision Medicine for Gastrointestinal Tumor, Nanfang Hospital, The First School of Clinical Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510515, China. Electronic address:

DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) is an essential element in the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway and has been regarded as a druggable target for antineoplastic agents. Starting from AZD-7648, a potent DNA-PK inhibitor being investigated in phase II clinical trials for advanced cancer treatment, two series of DNA-PK inhibitors were rationally designed via scaffold hopping strategy, synthesized, and assessed for their biological activity. Most compounds exhibited potent biochemical activity on DNA-PK enzymatic assay with IC values below 300 nM. Among these compounds, DK1 showed the best DNA-PK-inhibitory potency (IC = 0.8 nM), slightly better than that of AZD-7648 (IC = 1.58 nM). Mode of action studies revealed that compound DK1 decreased the expression levels of γH2A.X and demonstrated synergistic antiproliferative activity against a series of cancer cell lines when used in combination with doxorubicin. Moreover, DK1 showed reasonable in vitro drug-like properties and favorable in vivo pharmacokinetics as an oral drug candidate. Importantly, the combination therapy of DK1 with DNA double-strand break (DSB)-inducing agent doxorubicin showed synergistic anticancer efficacy in the HL-60 xenograft model with a tumor growth inhibition (TGI) of 52.4% and 62.4% for tumor weight and tumor volume, respectively. In conclusion, DK1 is a novel DNA-PK inhibitor with great promise for further study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmech.2022.114401DOI Listing
July 2022

Novel CRBN-Recruiting Proteolysis-Targeting Chimeras as Degraders of Stimulator of Interferon Genes with In Vivo Anti-Inflammatory Efficacy.

J Med Chem 2022 05 22;65(9):6593-6611. Epub 2022 Apr 22.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of New Drug Screening, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China.

The activation of the cyclic GMP-AMP synthase-stimulator of interferon gene (STING) pathway has been associated with the pathogenesis of many autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, and small molecules targeting STING have emerged as a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of these diseases. While several STING inhibitors have been identified with potent anti-inflammatory effects, we would like to explore STING degraders based on the proteolysis-targeting chimera (PROTAC) technology as an alternative strategy to target the STING pathway. Thus, we designed and synthesized a series of STING protein degraders based on a small-molecule STING inhibitor () and pomalidomide (a CRBN ligand). These compounds demonstrated moderate STING-degrading activities. Among them, achieved the highest degradation potency with a DC of 3.2 μM. Importantly, exerted high anti-inflammatory efficacy in a cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury mouse model by modulating the STING signaling pathway. Taken together, represents the first PROTAC degrader of STING deserving further investigation as a new anti-inflammatory agent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.1c01948DOI Listing
May 2022

RNA-binding proteins in regulating mRNA stability and translation: roles and mechanisms in cancer.

Semin Cancer Biol 2022 Apr 2. Epub 2022 Apr 2.

Department of Systems Biology, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Monrovia 91016, USA; City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, CA 91010, USA; Gehr Family Center for Leukemia Research, City of Hope, Duarte, CA 91010, USA. Electronic address:

RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are key players in cellular physiology through posttranscriptional regulation of the expression of target RNA transcripts. By modulating the processing, stability and translation of cancer-related messenger RNA (mRNA) transcripts, a large set of RBPs play essential roles in various types of cancers. Perturbations in RBP activity have been causally associated with cancer development, tumor metabolism, drug resistance, cancer stem cell self-renewal, and tumor immune evasion. Here, we summarize the recent advances in cancer pathological roles and mechanisms of RBPs in regulating mRNA stability and translation with an emphasis on the emerging category of RNA modification-associated RBPs. The functional diversity of RBPs in different types of cancers and the therapeutic potential of targeting dysregulated RBPs for cancer treatment are also discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.semcancer.2022.03.025DOI Listing
April 2022

Design, Synthesis, and Bioevaluation of Novel Enzyme-Triggerable Cell Penetrating Peptide-Based Dendrimers for Targeted Delivery of Camptothecin and Cancer Therapy.

J Med Chem 2022 04 5;65(7):5850-5865. Epub 2022 Apr 5.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of New Drug Screening, Southern Medical University, 1838 Guangzhou Avenue North, Guangzhou 510515, China.

Novel enzyme-triggerable cell penetrating peptide (ETCPP) dendrimers with a camptothecin (CPT) warhead were designed and synthesized based on an amphiphilic penetrating peptide (FKKFFRKLL, discovered by us before). Among the newly synthesized ETCPP dendrimer conjugates, BL_Oc-SS-CPT (a high-generation dendrimer) exhibited the highest activity with ICs in the nanomolar range (31-747 nM) against a panel of cancer cells, which is 3-10 times better than that of CPT. BL_Oc-SS-CPT remained intact during transit to target cells and in normal tissues with a plasma half-life of 4.2 h, 2.3-fold longer than that of the monomer (1.8 h). Once reaching the tumor site, BL_Oc-SS-CPT gradually released CPT in the presence of excessive matrix metalloproteinase-2/9 and GSH in cancer cells. Importantly, BL_Oc-SS-CPT exhibited excellent in vivo tumor targeting capability and antitumor efficacy with benign toxicity profiles. Thus, the novel ETCPP dendrimer-based drug delivery system (e.g., BL_Oc-SS-CPT) represents a safe and effective strategy for targeted cancer therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.2c00287DOI Listing
April 2022
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