Publications by authors named "Kai Tang"

371 Publications

When microbial electrochemistry meets UV: The applicability to high-strength real pharmaceutical industry wastewater.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Sep 9;423(Pt B):127151. Epub 2021 Sep 9.

Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark. Electronic address:

Wastewater from pharmaceutical and related industries contains many residual pharmaceutical components rich in color and high COD contents, which cannot be removed through the traditional wastewater treatment processes. Recently, microbial electrolysis ultraviolet cell (MEUC) process has shown its promising potential to remove recalcitrant organics because of its merits of wide pH range, iron-free, and without complications of iron sludge production. However, its application to the real pharmaceutical-rich industrial wastewater is still unknown. In this study, the MEUC process was validated with real ciprofloxacin-rich (6863.79 ± 2.21 µg L) industrial wastewater (6840 ± 110 mg L of COD). The MEUC process achieved 100% removal of ciprofloxacin, 100% decolorization, and 99.1% removal of COD within 12, 60 and 30 h, respectively, when it was operated at pH-controlled at 7.8, applied voltage of 0.6 V, UV intensity of 10 mW cm, and cathodic aeration velocity of 0.005 mL min mL. Moreover, fluorescence analysis showed that protein- and humic-like substances in such wastewater were effectively removed, providing further evidence of its high treatment efficiency. Furthermore, eco-toxicity testing with luminescent bacteria Vibro Feschri confirmed that the treated effluent was utterly non-toxic. The results demonstrated the broad application potential of MEUC technology for treating industrial wastewater.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.127151DOI Listing
September 2021

A novel persulfate-photo-bioelectrochemical hybrid system promoting the degradation of refractory micropollutants at neutral pH.

J Hazard Mater 2021 08 16;416:125905. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark. Electronic address:

Bio-electro-Fenton is emerging as an alternative technology for the efficient and cost-effective removal of refractory micropollutants. Though promising, there are still several challenges that limit its wide application, including acidic operating conditions (pH at 2-3), the addition of supporting electrolytes (e.g., NaSO), and the issue of iron sludge generation. To address these challenges, a novel hybrid persulfate-photo-bioelectrochemical (PPBEC) system is proposed to remove model micropollutants (carbamazepine and clorfibric acid), from secondary effluent at low persulfate (PS) dosage and neutral pH. The effect of crucial operating parameters on the process was studied, including input voltage, cathodic aeration velocity, and PS dose. Under optimal conditions (0.6 V, 0.005 mL min mL and 1 mM), the PPBEC system achieved approx. 0.56-1.71 times greater micropollutant removal with 93% lower energy consumption when compared to the individual processes (UV/PS and PBEC). The improved performance was attributed to a faster production of sulfate radicals by UV irradiation, hydrogen peroxide activation and single-electron reduction, and hydroxyl radicals generated by UV irradiation. Furthermore, the transformation products of carbamazepine and clorfibric acid were identified and the probable pathways are proposed. Finally, the ecotoxicity of the PPBEC treated effluent was assessed by using Vibrio Fischeri, which exhibited a non-toxic effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125905DOI Listing
August 2021

Nanoparticle-mediated specific elimination of soft cancer stem cells by targeting low cell stiffness.

Acta Biomater 2021 Sep 4. Epub 2021 Sep 4.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Shenzhen Research Institute, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518053, China; Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China. Electronic address:

As the driving force of tumor progression, cancer stem cells (CSCs) hold much lower cellular stiffness than bulk tumor cells across many cancer types. However, it remains unclear whether low cell stiffness can be harnessed in nanoparticle-based therapeutics for CSC targeting. We report that breast CSCs exhibit much lower stiffness but considerably higher uptake of nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots (N-GQDs) than bulk tumor cells. Softening/stiffening cells enhances/suppresses nanoparticle uptake through activating/inhibiting clathrin- and caveolae-mediated endocytosis, suggesting that low cell stiffness mediates the elevated uptake in soft CSCs that may lead to the specific elimination. Further, soft CSCs enhance drug release, cellular retention, and nuclear accumulation of drug-loaded N-GQDs by reducing intracellular pH and exocytosis. Remarkably, drug-loaded N-GQDs specifically eliminate soft CSCs both in vitro and in vivo, inhibit tumor but not animal growth, and reduce the tumorigenicity of xenograft cells. Our findings unveil a new mechanism by which low cellular stiffness can be harnessed in nanoparticle-based strategies for specific CSC elimination, opening a new paradigm of cancer mechanomedicine. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Low cell stiffness is associated with high malignancy of tumor cells and thus serves as a mechanical hallmark of CSCs. However, it remains unclear whether cellular stiffness can be exploited for specific targeting of soft CSCs. This work reports that soft CSCs exhibit high N-GQD uptake compared to stiff tumor cells, which is regulated by cellular stiffness. Further, soft CSCs have enhanced drug release, cellular retention, and nuclear accumulation of drug-loaded N-GQDs, which enable the specific elimination of malignant CSCs both in vitro and in vivo with minimal side effect. In summary, our study demonstrates that CSC's low stiffness can be harnessed as a mechanical target for specific eradication, which provides a new paradigm of cancer mechanomedicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2021.08.053DOI Listing
September 2021

MiR-3064 in Epicardial Adipose-Derived Exosomes Targets Neuronatin to Regulate Adipogenic Differentiation of Epicardial Adipose Stem Cells.

Front Cardiovasc Med 2021 18;8:709079. Epub 2021 Aug 18.

Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Central People's Hospital of Zhanjiang, Zhanjiang, China.

The metabolism of epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) is closely related to coronary atherosclerotic heart disease (CAHD), but the specific mechanism is not fully understood. In this study, we investigated the effects of EAT microenvironment on adipose metabolism from the viewpoint of EAT-derived exosomes and epicardial adipose stem cells (EASCs). EAT samples from CAHD patients and non-CAHD patients were collected to obtain exosomes via tissue culture. MiRNA sequencing was performed to analyze differences in miRNA expression in exosomes between groups. Luciferase reporter assay was then performed to verify the miRNA target gene. EAT was digested by collagenase to obtain EASCs, which were induced to mature adipocytes . Immunochemical staining and western blotting were performed to detect protein expression levels. The results showed that CAHD patients had higher levels of EASCs in EAT, and no significant difference in the adipogenic differentiation ability of EASCs was observed between CAHD and non-CAHD patients . This indicates that the EAT microenvironment is a key factor affecting the adipogenic differentiation of EASCs. The EAT-derived exosomes from CAHD patients inhibited adipogenic differentiation of EASCs . Sequencing analysis showed that miR-3064-5p was highly expressed in EAT-derived exosomes in CAHD patients, and its inhibitor could improve the adipogenic differentiation of EASCs. Luciferase reporter assay results showed that the target gene of miR-3064-5p is neuronatin (Nnat). Nnat remained silent in EASCs and was less expressed in EAT of CAHD patients. Abovementioned results suggest that Nnat is the key to regulating the adipogenic differentiation of EASCs, and miR-3064-5p in EAT-derived exosomes can inhibit the expression of Nnat by targeting its mRNA, thereby affecting the adipogenic differentiation of EASCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2021.709079DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8416507PMC
August 2021

Metabolism of chiral sulfonate compound 2,3-dihydroxypropane-1-sulfonate (DHPS) by Roseobacter bacteria in marine environment.

Environ Int 2021 Aug 20;157:106829. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, College of Ocean and Earth Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, Fujian, PR China. Electronic address:

The sulfonate compound 2,3-dihydroxypropane-1-sulfonate (DHPS) is one of the most abundant organic sulfur compounds in the biosphere. DHPS derived from dietary intake could be transformed into sulfide by intestinal microbiota and thus impacts human health. However, little is known about its sulfur transformation and subsequent impacts in marine environment. In this study, laboratory-culturing was combined with targeted metabolomic, chemical fluorescence probing, and comparative proteomic methods to examine the bioavailability of chiral DHPS (R and S isomers) for bacteria belonging to the marine Roseobacter clade. The metabolic potential of DHPS in bacteria was further assessed based on genomic analysis. Roseobacter members Ruegeria pomeroyi DSS-3, Dinoroseobacter shibae DFL 12, and Roseobacter denitrificans OCh 114 could utilize chiral DHPS for growth, producing sulfite. They all contained a similar gene cluster for DHPS metabolism but differed in the genes encoding enzymes for desulfonation. There was no significant difference in the growth rate and DHPS consumption rate for R. pomeroyi DSS-3 between R- and S-DHPS cultures, with few proteins expressed differentially were found. Proteomic data suggested that a series of hydrogenases oxidized DHPS, after which desulfonation could proceed via three distinct enzymatic pathways. Strain R. pomeroyi DSS-3 completed the desulfonation via L-cysteate sulfo-lyase, while D. shibae DFL 12 and R. denitrificans OCh 114 primarily utilized sulfolactate sulfo-lyase, and sulfopyruvate decarboxylase followed by sulfoacetaldehyde acetyltransferase, respectively, to complete desulfonation releasing the sulfonate-moiety. The sulfite could be further oxidized or incorporated into sulfate assimilation, indicated by the proteomic data. Furthermore, DHPS metabolic pathways were found primarily in marine bacterial groups, including the majority of sequenced Roseobacter genomes. Our results suggest that chiral DHPS, as a vital reduced sulfur reservoir, could be metabolized by marine bacteria, providing a resource for bacterial growth, rather than acting as a source of toxic sulfide within the marine ecosystem.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106829DOI Listing
August 2021

Multifunctional nano-biosensor based on metal-organic framework for enhanced fluorescence imaging of intracellular miRNA-122 and synergistic chemo-photothermal therapy of tumor cells.

Anal Chim Acta 2021 Sep 18;1176:338779. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Key Laboratory of Optic-electric Sensing and Analytical Chemistry for Life Science, Ministry of Education, Shandong Key Laboratory of Biochemical Analysis, Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Life Science in Universities of Shandong, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Qingdao University of Science and Technology, Qingdao, 266042, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

A rationally designed multifunctional polydopamine (PDA)-coated metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) biosensors for detection of miRNA-122 with Zn-triggered aggregation-induced enhancement (AIE) and synergistic chem-photothermal therapy in vitro was developed for the first time. Further, it was successfully used for enhanced fluorescence imaging of miRNA-122 in living cells. The pH-responsive MOFs structure was decomposed under the influence of acidic environment, and a large amount of free Zn was released as the trigger agent for AIE signal amplification, realizing the ultra-sensitive detection of miRNA-122 and the accurate discrimination of the cells with different expression levels of miRNA-122, with the detection limit as low as 12.5 pM. Meanwhile, ZIF-8 nanoparticles with high loading rate can effectively deliver therapeutic drugs to achieve responsive release. In addition, the modification of versatile PDA-coating provides the biosensor with a faster drug release capability and photothermal conversion performance, demonstrating its superior synergistic chem-photothermal therapy performance. It is expected to play an important role in the integration of cancer diagnosis and synergistic therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2021.338779DOI Listing
September 2021

Reynoutrin Improves Ischemic Heart Failure in Rats Via Targeting S100A1.

Front Pharmacol 2021 23;12:703962. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Central People's Hospital of Zhanjiang, Zhanjiang, China.

This study investigated the effects of reynoutrin on the improvement of ischemic heart failure (IHF) and its possible mechanism in rats. The rat heart failure model was established by permanently ligating the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) and administering different doses of reynoutrin. Cardiac function, inflammatory factors releasing, oxidative stress, cardiomyocytes apoptosis, and myocardial fibrosis were evaluated. Western blotting was used to determine protein expression levels of S100 calcium-binding protein A1 (S100A1), matrix metallopeptidase 2(MMP2), MMP9, phosphorylated (p-) p65, and transforming growth factor -β1 (TGF-β1) in myocardial tissue of the left ventricle. Results showed that reynoutrin significantly improved cardiac function, suppressed the release of inflammatory factors, reduced oxidative stress, inhibited cardiomyocytes apoptosis, and attenuated myocardial fibrosis in rats with IHF. In rat myocardial tissue, permanent LAD-ligation resulted in a significant down-regulation in S100A1 expression, whereas reynoutrin significantly up-regulated S100A1 protein expression while down-regulating MMP2, MMP9, p-p65, and TGF-β1 expressions. However, when S100A1 was knocked down in myocardial tissue, the above-mentioned positive effects of reynoutrin were significantly reversed. Reynoutrin is a potential natural drug for the treatment of IHF, and its mechanism of action involves the up-regulation of S100A1 expression, thereby inhibiting expressions of MMPs and the transcriptional activity of nuclear factor kappa-B.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.703962DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8343003PMC
July 2021

Salivary High-Risk Human Papillomavirus (HPV) DNA as a Biomarker for HPV-Driven Head and Neck Cancers.

J Mol Diagn 2021 Jul 27. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Saliva & Liquid Biopsy Translational Laboratory, Faculty of Health, School of Biomedical Science, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; Translational Research Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Electronic address:

High-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) infection is a major risk factor of head and neck cancers (HNCs). Despite the rising prevalence of HPV-driven HNC (HPV-HNC), biomarkers for detection, prognostication, and disease monitoring are lacking. To evaluate the capacity of salivary HR-HPV DNA as a biomarker of HPV-HNC, the salivary HR-HPV statuses of 491 and 10 patients with primary and recurrent HNC, respectively, were determined at diagnosis, using quantitative real-time PCR and MassARRAY. Tumor cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (p16) expression was determined by IHC analysis. Patients with oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) (n = 215) were followed up for ≤5 years. Survival characteristics were evaluated in terms of event-free and cause-specific survival. Of the primary-HNC cohort, 43.2% were positive for salivary HR-HPV DNA, with most having OPC. Salivary HR-HPV DNA was detected in 81.4% of tumor p16-positive OPC patients at diagnosis. Prognosis in salivary HR-HPV-positive OPC patients was favorable compared with that in salivary HR-HPV-negative patients (event-free survival, hazard ratio = 0.42 [95% CI, 0.21-0.81, P = 0.010]; cause-specific survival, hazard ratio = 0.39 [95% CI, 0.18-0.86, P = 0.019]). In the recurrent-HNC cohort, salivary HR-HPV DNA was detected in 83.3% of those who previously had tumor p16-positive HNC. These findings indicate that this liquid biopsy-based, noninvasive biomarker can play an essential role in the detection and management of HPV-HNC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmoldx.2021.07.005DOI Listing
July 2021

Adropin Alleviates Myocardial Fibrosis in Diabetic Cardiomyopathy Rats: A Preliminary Study.

Front Cardiovasc Med 2021 12;8:688586. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

Department of Cardiology, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China.

Adropin (ADR) is a novel regulatory polypeptide and has important effects on energy metabolism in the heart. However, it is still unclear whether ADR can relieve ventricular remodeling in DCM. Therefore, this study was conducted to assess the effect of ADR on myocardial fibrosis in DCM rats. Twenty Wistar rats were randomly assigned into four groups: healthy control group (CON), DCM model group (DCM), DCM model treated with ADR group (ADR) and DCM model treated with perindopril group (PER). Collagen volume fraction (CVF) and perivascular collagen area (PVCA) were calculated. Diastolic function was assessed by echocardiography. The mitochondrial membrane potential assay was conducted by Rhodamine 123 staining. The protein expression levels of Col I, Col III, Mitofusin-1, Mitofusin-2 and Drp1 were evaluated using western blot. Compared to CON group, CVF, PVCA and the relative protein expression of Col I, Col III and Drp1 increased in DCM group. And the relative expression of Mitofusin-1 and Mitofusin-2 proteins decreased. During our investigations, CVF, PVCA and the relative protein expression of Col I, Col III and Drp1 decreased in ADR treated rats compared to DCM group. The diastolic function was elevated in ADR group. The fluorescence of Rhodamine 123 and the expression of Mitofusin-1 and Mitofusin-2 also increased in ADR group. Our study demonstrated that ADR could alleviate myocardial fibrosis and improve diastolic function in DCM rats. ADR may be a putative candidate for the treatment of DCM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2021.688586DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8310998PMC
July 2021

Microsurgical suturing and a wrapped clipping of traumatic internal carotid-ophthalmic artery aneurysm: A case report.

Asian J Surg 2021 Aug 24;44(8):1135-1136. Epub 2021 Jul 24.

Outpatient Department, The Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, 050000, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asjsur.2021.04.029DOI Listing
August 2021

Higher FT4 level within the normal range predicts the outcome of cryoballoon ablation in paroxysmal atrial fibrillation patients without structural heart disease.

Ann Noninvasive Electrocardiol 2021 Jul 11:e12874. Epub 2021 Jul 11.

Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.

Background: Accumulated evidence has indicated that a high-normal FT4 level is an independent risk factor for the clinical progression of AF. However, the association between elevated FT4 concentration within the normal range and AF recurrence after cryoballoon ablation in China is unknown.

Methods: This retrospective and observational study included 453 AF patients who underwent cryoballoon ablation from January 2016 to August 2018. Patients were classified into quartiles based on preprocedural serum FT4 concentration. The clinical characteristics of the patients and the long-term rate of AF recurrence after ablation were assessed.

Results: After a mean follow-up period of 17.4 ± 9.0 months, 91 (20.1%) patients suffered from AF recurrence. The AF recurrence rate by FT4 quartile was 17.7%, 19.0%, 21.4%, and 22.3% for participants with FT4 in quartile 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively (p < .001). On multivariate Cox regression, FT4 concentration (HR: 1.187, 95% CI: 1.093-1.290, p < .001) and left atrial diameter (HR: 1.052, 95% CI: 1.014-1.092, p = .007) were significant predictors of AF recurrence. When stratifying for AF type, the rate of postoperative recurrence was independently increased as FT4 concentration increased in paroxysmal AF, but not in persistent AF (p < .001 in paroxysmal AF and p = .977 in persistent AF).

Conclusion: Higher FT4 level within the normal range predicted the outcome of cryoballoon ablation in Chinese paroxysmal AF patients without structural heart disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/anec.12874DOI Listing
July 2021

Endoscopic Endonasal Approach for Clipping Anterior Communicating Artery Aneurysms From Cadaver Studies and Three-Dimensional Printed Models to a Clinical Case.

J Craniofac Surg 2021 Jul 7. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Department of Neurosurgery, Guangdong Provincial People's Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences Department of Neurology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.

Objectives: Anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysm is one of the most common intracranial aneurysms, and it is also the aneurysm with the highest rupture rate. With the improvement of endoscopic techniques, it is possible to use an endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) to clip ACoA aneurysms. For further analysis of the EEA for clipping ACoA aneurysms, we used cadaver heads and three-dimensional (3D)-printed models to finish the anatomical study, and we finally selected 1 clinical case to complete the clipping through the EEA.

Materials And Methods: We first collected 3 cadaver heads to simulate the EEA. Then, the imaging data of 29 real cases of ACoA aneurysm were collected, and the model of an aneurysm was prepared by 3D printing technology; then, the EEA was used to simulate the clipping of the aneurysm model. Finally, a clinical case with 2 ACoA aneurysms was selected to adopt the EEA for clipping.

Results: Both the cadaver head and 3D-printed aneurysm model could simulate aneurysm clipping with the EEA. The clinical case of the selected ACoA aneurysm can successfully complete the clipping through the EEA.

Conclusions: 3D-printed models are a good method to study the anatomical characteristics of a surgical approach. For specially selected ACoA aneurysms, the EEA is relatively simple method that can be used to clip the aneurysm successfully. The EEA for clipping ACoA aneurysms is a useful complement to the current traditional craniotomy approaches and endovascular embolization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SCS.0000000000007848DOI Listing
July 2021

A comparative analysis of the endoscopic endonasal and pterional approaches for clipping anterior communicating artery aneurysms on three-dimensional printed models.

Chin Med J (Engl) 2021 Jun 30;134(17):2113-2115. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

Department of Neurosurgery, Guangdong Provincial People's Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CM9.0000000000001593DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8439996PMC
June 2021

A Super-Sensitivity Photoacoustic Receiver System-on-Chip Based on Coherent Detection and Tracking.

IEEE Trans Biomed Circuits Syst 2021 06 12;15(3):454-463. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is becoming more attractive because it can obtain high-resolution and high-contrast images through merging the merits of optical and acoustic imaging. High sensitivity receiver is required in deep in-vivo PA imaging due to detecting weak and noisy ultrasound signal. A novel photoacoustic receiver system-on-chip (SoC) with coherent detection (CD) based on the early-and-late acquisition and tracking is developed and first fabricated. In this system, a weak PA signal with negative signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) can be clearly extracted when the tracking loop is locked to the input. Consequently, the output SNR of the receiver is significantly improved by about 29.9 dB than input one. For the system, a high dynamic range (DR) and high sensitivity analog front-end (AFE), a multiplier, a noise shaping (NS) successive-approximation (SAR) analog-to-digital convertor (ADC), a digital-to-analog convertor (DAC) and integrated digital circuits for the proposed system are implemented on-chip. Measurement results show that the receiver achieves 0.18 µVrms sensitivity at the depth of 1 cm with 1 mJ/cm laser output fluence. The contrast-to-noise (CNR) of the imaging is improved by about 22.2 dB. The area of the receiver is 5.71 mm, and the power consumption of each channel is about 28.8 mW with 1.8 V and 1 V power supply on the TSMC 65 nm CMOS process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TBCAS.2021.3091627DOI Listing
June 2021

The Comparative Influence of 2 and 4 Weeks Preoperative Antituberculosis Treatment on Spinal Tuberculosis Surgery: A Multicenter, Prospective, Randomized Clinical Trial.

Infect Dis Ther 2021 Sep 13;10(3):1451-1463. Epub 2021 Jun 13.

Department of Orthopedics, Beijing Key Laboratory for Drug Resistant Tuberculosis Research, Beijing Chest Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing Tuberculosis and Thoracic Tumor Institute, Beiguan St #9, Beijing, 101149, China.

Introduction: A trade-off between successful surgery and minimizing the operation delay for patients with spinal tuberculosis (TB) is a major consideration to determine the duration of preoperational anti-TB treatment (AAT). In this study, 2 and 4 weeks preoperative AAT durations were compared for their influence on the operation outcomes.

Method: A multicenter, prospective, randomized trial was conducted in four hospitals in China. New patients with spinal TB were recruited and randomly allocated to two groups (2 or 4 weeks' preoperative treatment) and administered the standardized first-line anti-TB drugs. The symptom changing and indicators reflecting recovery and side effects of the treatment were monitored. Patient was followed up for another 18 months after completion of treatment.

Results: In total, 150 eligible patients were enrolled between June 2014 and December 2016, and 13 patients were excluded after the enrollment. The remaining 137 participants were randomly allocated to the 2-week group (n = 68) or the 4-week group (n = 69). These two groups acquired similar surgical outcomes, considering wound healing rate within 3 months after the operation (94.20%, 65/69 vs 89.71%, 61/68; P = 0.333) and bony fusion rate within 6 months (98.46%, 64/65 vs 95.45%, 63/66; P = 0.317). However, the culture positive rate of pus collected during operation in the 4-week group (41.94%) was significantly lower than that of the 2-week group (60.94%, P = 0.033). No reoccurrence of disease was observed in either group during the 18-month follow-up period.

Conclusion: Patients with spinal TB administered 2 or 4 weeks of preoperative anti-TB treatment acquired similar surgical outcomes. However, patients who underwent the operation sooner suffered 2 weeks less agony from the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40121-021-00462-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8322202PMC
September 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

Selective Vacuum Evaporation by the Control of the Chemistry of Gas Phase in Vacuum Refining of Si.

Langmuir 2021 Jun 7;37(24):7473-7485. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Department of Materials Technology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim 7034, Norway.

The evaporation of P from liquid Si under vacuum and reduced pressures of H, He, and Ar was studied to evaluate the feasibility of effective P removal with insignificant Si loss. It was found that the introduction of Ar and He inert gases at low pressures reduces the rate of P removal, and their pressure decrease will increase the process rate. Moreover, the kinetics of P removal was higher in He than in Ar, with simultaneous lower Si loss. Under reduced pressures of H gas, however, the P removal rate was higher than that under vacuum conditions with the lowest Si loss. Quantum chemistry and dynamics simulations were applied, and the results indicated that P can maintain its momentum for longer distances in H once it is evaporated from the melt surface and then can travel far away from the surface, while Si atoms lose their momentum in closer distances, yielding less net Si flux to the gas phase. Moreover, this distance is significantly increased with decreasing pressure for H, He, and Ar gases; however, it is the largest for H and the lowest for Ar for a given pressure, while the temperature effect is insignificant. The rate of P evaporation was accelerated by applying an additional vacuum tube close to the melt surface for taking out the hot gas particles before they lose their temperature and velocity. It was shown that this technique contributes to the rate of process by preventing condensing gas stream back to the melt surface.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.1c00876DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8280733PMC
June 2021

Proteomic Alterations in Salivary Exosomes Derived from Human Papillomavirus-Driven Oropharyngeal Cancer.

Mol Diagn Ther 2021 07 2;25(4):505-515. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Saliva and Liquid Biopsy Translational Laboratory, The Translational Research Institute, The School of Biomedical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), 60 Musk Avenue, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane, QLD, 4059, Australia.

Background: Increasing evidence supports the notion that human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA integration onto the human genome can influence and alter the molecular cargo in the exosomes derived from head and neck cancer cells. However, the molecular cargo of salivary exosomes derived from HPV-driven oropharyngeal cancer (HPV-driven OPC) remains unelucidated.

Methods And Materials: Salivary exosomes morphology and molecular characterizations were examined using the nanoparticle tracking (NTA), western blot analysis, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and mass spectrometry analysis.

Results: We report that HPV16 DNA was detected (80%) in isolated salivary exosomes of HPV-driven OPC patients. Importantly, we demonstrate elevated protein levels of six main glycolytic enzymes [i.e., aldolase (ALDOA), glyceraldehye-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), lactate dehydrogenase A/B (LDHA and LDHB), phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (PGK1) and pyruvate kinase M1/2 (PKM)] in isolated salivary exosomes of HPV-driven OPC patients, suggesting a novel mechanism underlying the potential role of salivary exosomes in mediating the reciprocal interplay between glucose metabolism and HPV-driven OPC.

Conclusion: Our data demonstrate the potential diagnostic value of HPV16 DNA and glycolytic enzymes in salivary exosomes in discriminating healthy controls from HPV-driven OPC patients, thereby opening new avenues in the future for clinical translation studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40291-021-00538-2DOI Listing
July 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

Overexpression of miRNA-9 enhances galectin-3 levels in oral cavity cancers.

Mol Biol Rep 2021 May 21;48(5):3979-3989. Epub 2021 May 21.

Saliva & Liquid Biopsy Translational Laboratory, Faculty of Health, School of Biomedical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Room 603D, 60 Musk Avenue, Brisbane, QLD, 4059, Australia.

Oral cavity cancer (OCC) is the predominant subtype of head and neck cancer (HNC) and has up to 50% mortality. Genome-wide microRNA (miR) sequencing data indicates overexpression of miR-9-5p in HNC tumours, however, the biological role of miR-9-5p in OCC is complex; it can either act as a tumour suppressor or an oncomir, regulating many target genes at the post-transcriptional level. We have investigated the overexpression of miR-9-5p in three OCC cell lines. We have evaluated its expression levels and Galectin-3 as potential biomarkers in saliva samples collected from controls and OCC patients. We found that over expression of miR-9-5p in OCC cell lines resulted in a significant reduction in cell proliferation and migration, and an increase in apoptosis, which was paralleled by an increase in Galectin-3 secretion and export of Galectin-3 protein. Our data are consistent with miR-9-5p being a modulator of Galectin-3 via the AKT/γ-catenin pathway. In addition, the positive correlation between the levels of miR-9-5p expression and secreted Galectin-3 in saliva reflects a similar relationship in vivo, and supports the utility of their integrative evaluation in OCC. Our findings indicate that both miR-9-5p and Galectin-3 are critical biomolecules in the progression of OCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11033-021-06398-7DOI Listing
May 2021

A Retrospective Study of Patients Undergoing Acute Electroconvulsive Therapy for Predominately Manic or Mixed Episodes With and Without Lithium in Singapore.

J ECT 2021 Jul 21. Epub 2021 Jul 21.

From the Department of Mood and Anxiety, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore.

Objective: The effect of lithium therapy during Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) on cognition and treatment effectiveness is unclear. In this study, we compare the cognitive and symptomatic outcomes of patients undergoing ECT with and without lithium in a large tertiary psychiatric institution.

Methods: Patients with predominantly manic or mixed episodes on lithium were propensity score matched with controls. Cognition was assessed using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), while severity of symptoms was assessed using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) and Clinical Global Impression-Severity Scale. Quality of life was assessed using the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire Short Form (Q-LES-Q-SF) and EuroQol Five Dimension (EQ-5D). Linear mixed-effects modeling and conditional logistic regression were conducted as appropriate.

Results: 87 patients were included in the study. There was no significant difference in cognitive and symptomatic outcomes for patients receiving ECT with or without lithium after 6 sessions of ECT.

Conclusions: Concurrent lithium administration during the initial acute ECT course was not associated with differential cognitive or symptomatic outcomes. Lithium administration should not be a contraindication for appropriate acute ECT treatment in patients. Larger controlled studies to confirm these findings are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/YCT.0000000000000777DOI Listing
July 2021

Maribacter hydrothermalis sp. nov., Isolated from Shallow-Sea Hydrothermal Systems Off Kueishantao Island.

Curr Microbiol 2021 Jul 15;78(7):2815-2820. Epub 2021 May 15.

State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Fujian Key Laboratory of Marine Carbon Sequestration, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China.

A Gram-stain-negative, strictly aerobic, yellow-pigmented bacterial strain, designated as T28, was isolated from seawater of the shallow-sea hydrothermal system, Kueishantao Islet, Taiwan, China. Cells were oxidase-negative and catalase-positive rods without gliding motility. Growth was observed at 10-40 °C (optimum, 30 °C), at pH 5.0-8.0 (optimum, pH 6.0) and in the presence of 0-5% (w/v) NaCl (optimum, 2.5%). Strain T28 contained menaquinone 6 as the only isoprenoid quinone. The main cellular fatty acids were iso-C, iso-C G, and iso-C3-OH, summed feature 3 (Cω7c/ω6c). Polar lipids contain diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine, two unidentified phospholipids, six unidentified lipids, an unidentified aminolipid, and one unidentified aminophospholipids. The genomic DNA G + C content was 34.4 mol%. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of strain T28 shared highest similarity with Maribacter arcticus (97.7%). Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that the strain T28 belongs to the genus Maribacter. On the basis of phylogenetic data and several distinct phenotypic characteristics, strain T28 represents a novel species, for which the name Maribacter hydrothermalis sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is T28 (=CGMCC 1.15788 = JCM 31510).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00284-021-02519-4DOI Listing
July 2021

Prediction of overt hepatic encephalopathy after transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt treatment: a cohort study.

Hepatol Int 2021 Jun 11;15(3):730-740. Epub 2021 May 11.

Zhuhai Interventional Medical Centre, Zhuhai People's Hospital (Zhuhai Hospital Affiliated With Jinan University), No. 79 Kangning Road, Zhuhai, 519000, Guangdong Province, China.

Background/purpose: Overt hepatic encephalopathy (HE) risk should be preoperatively predicted to identify patients suitable for curative transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) instead of palliative treatments.

Methods: A total of 185 patients who underwent TIPS procedure were randomised (130 in the training dataset and 55 in the validation dataset). Clinical factors and imaging characteristics were assessed. Three different models were established by logistic regression analyses based on clinical factors (Model), imaging characteristics (Model), and a combination of both (Model). Their discrimination, calibration, and decision curves were compared, to identify the best model. Subgroup analysis was performed for the best model.

Results: Model, which contained two clinical factors and two imaging characteristics, was identified as the best model. The areas under the curve of Model, Model, and Model were 0.870, 0.963, and 0.978 for the training dataset and 0.831, 0.971, and 0.969 for the validation dataset. The combined model outperformed the clinical and imaging models in terms of calibration and decision curves. The performance of Model was not influenced by total bilirubin, Child-Pugh stages, model of end-stage liver disease score, or ammonia. The subgroup with a risk score ≥ 0.88 exhibited a higher proportion of overt HE (training dataset: 13.3% vs. 97.4%, p < 0.001; validation dataset: 0.0% vs. 87.5%, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Our combination model can successfully predict the risk of overt HE post-TIPS. For the low-risk subgroup, TIPS can be performed safely; however, for the high-risk subgroup, it should be considered more carefully.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12072-021-10188-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8286937PMC
June 2021

A domesticated Harbinger transposase forms a complex with HDA6 and promotes histone H3 deacetylation at genes but not TEs in Arabidopsis.

J Integr Plant Biol 2021 Aug 8;63(8):1462-1474. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Shenzhen Branch, Guangdong Laboratory for Lingnan Modern Agriculture, Genome Analysis Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture, Agricultural Genomics Institute at Shenzhen, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Shenzhen, 518124, China.

In eukaryotes, histone acetylation is a major modification on histone N-terminal tails that is tightly connected to transcriptional activation. HDA6 is a histone deacetylase involved in the transcriptional regulation of genes and transposable elements (TEs) in Arabidopsis thaliana. HDA6 has been shown to participate in several complexes in plants, including a conserved SIN3 complex. Here, we uncover a novel protein complex containing HDA6, several Harbinger transposon-derived proteins (HHP1, SANT1, SANT2, SANT3, and SANT4), and MBD domain-containing proteins (MBD1, MBD2, and MBD4). We show that mutations of all four SANT genes in the sant-null mutant cause increased expression of the flowering repressors FLC, MAF4, and MAF5, resulting in a late flowering phenotype. Transcriptome deep sequencing reveals that while the SANT proteins and HDA6 regulate the expression of largely overlapping sets of genes, TE silencing is unaffected in sant-null mutants. Our global histone H3 acetylation profiling shows that SANT proteins and HDA6 modulate gene expression through deacetylation. Collectively, our findings suggest that Harbinger transposon-derived SANT domain-containing proteins are required for histone deacetylation and flowering time control in plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jipb.13108DOI Listing
August 2021

Sacubitril/valsartan alleviates myocardial fibrosis in diabetic cardiomyopathy rats.

Hellenic J Cardiol 2021 May 4. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Cardiology, Cardiovascular Research Center, Affiliated Hospital of North Sichuan Medical College, Nanchong, China; Department of Internal Medicine, Quxian People's Hospital, Dazhou, China. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hjc.2021.04.004DOI Listing
May 2021

Does exports diversification and environmental innovation achieve carbon neutrality target of OECD economies?

J Environ Manage 2021 Aug 30;291:112648. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Baiyun Avenue North, Guangzhou, 510420, PR China. Electronic address:

Achieving carbon neutrality is of great importance to many developed and developing countries around the globe. Global warming is one of the leading issues caused by human activities. To cope with environmental challenges, and to achieve carbon neutrality, fiscal decentralization and eco-innovation are promising strategies that can also enable countries and local governments to pursue visible economic growth. This study investigates the role of export diversification, environment-related technological innovation, and fiscal decentralization in effectively achieving carbon neutrality target for 37 OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) economies from 1970 to 2019. For empirical analysis, it uses second-generation tests that deal with heterogeneity and cross-sectional dependence issues. To this end, this study employs updated cointegration techniques. The augmented mean group (AMG) approach is used to examine the long-run dynamic equilibrium among the variables of interest. The findings indicate that export diversification and fiscal decentralization followed by GDP growth affect carbon dioxide emission positively. While renewable energy consumption and environment-related technological innovation assure environmental improvement. Additionally, short-run causal and unidirectional links are found running from fiscal decentralization, export diversification, and environment-related technological innovation to carbon emissions. Our findings suggest that OECD partner countries need to be careful while devising fiscal decentralization and export diversification policies. They should increase the share of renewable energy, and expand environment-related technological innovation. Such strategic efforts would direct the OECD countries to meet the climate change mitigation agenda of sustainable development goals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.112648DOI Listing
August 2021

Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) inhibitors in clinical trials for cancer immunotherapy.

J Hematol Oncol 2021 04 21;14(1):68. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Key Laboratory of Advanced Drug Preparation Technologies, Ministry of Education, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, 450001, China.

Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) is a heme enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of L-tryptophan. Functionally, IDO1 has played a pivotal role in cancer immune escape via catalyzing the initial step of the kynurenine pathway, and overexpression of IDO1 is also associated with poor prognosis in various cancers. Currently, several small-molecule candidates and peptide vaccines are currently being assessed in clinical trials. Furthermore, the "proteolysis targeting chimera" (PROTAC) technology has also been successfully used in the development of IDO1 degraders, providing novel therapeutics for cancers. Herein, we review the biological functions of IDO1, structural biology and also extensively summarize medicinal chemistry strategies for the development of IDO1 inhibitors in clinical trials. The emerging PROTAC-based IDO1 degraders are also highlighted. This review may provide a comprehensive and updated overview on IDO1 inhibitors and their therapeutic potentials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13045-021-01080-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8061021PMC
April 2021

A Mixed-Signal Chip-Based Configurable Coherent Photoacoustic-Radar Sensing Platform for In Vivo Temperature Monitoring and Vital Signs Detection.

IEEE Trans Biomed Circuits Syst 2021 08 15;15(4):666-678. Epub 2021 Sep 15.

For precise health status monitoring and accurate disease diagnostics in the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential to detect various kinds of target signals robustly under high noise and strong interferences. Moreover, the health monitoring system is preferred to be realized in a small form factor for convenient mass deployments. A CMOS-integrated coherent sensing platform is proposed to achieve the goal, which synergetically leverages quadrature coherent photoacoustic (PA) detection and coherent radar sensing for achieving universal healthcare. By utilizing configurable mixed-signal quadrature coherent PA detection, high sensitivity and enhanced specificity can be achieved. In-phase (I) and quadrature (Q) templates are specifically designed to accurately sense and precisely reconstruct the target PA signals in a coherent mode. By mixed-signal implementation leveraging an FPGA to generate template waveforms adaptively, accurate tracking and precise reconstruction on the target PA signal can be attained based on the early-late tracking principle. The multiplication between the received PA signal and the templates is implemented efficiently in analog-domain by the Gilbert cell on-chip. In vivo blood temperature monitoring was realized based on the integrated PA sensing platform fabricated in a 65-nm CMOS process. With an integrated radar sensor deployed in the indoor scenario, noncontact monitoring on respiration and heartbeat rates can be attained based on electromagnetic (EM) sensing. By complementary usage of PA-EM sensing mechanisms, comprehensive health status monitoring and precise remote disease diagnostics can be achieved for the currentglobal COVID-19 pandemic and the future pervasive healthcare in the Internet of Everything (IoE) era.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TBCAS.2021.3074430DOI Listing
August 2021

Correcting a major error in assessing organic carbon pollution in natural waters.

Sci Adv 2021 Apr 14;7(16). Epub 2021 Apr 14.

State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing, China University of Petroleum-Beijing, Beijing 102249, China.

Microbial degradation of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in aquatic environments can cause oxygen depletion, water acidification, and CO emissions. These problems are caused by labile DOC (LDOC) and not refractory DOC (RDOC) that resists degradation and is thus a carbon sink. For nearly a century, chemical oxygen demand (COD) has been widely used for assessment of organic pollution in aquatic systems. Here, we show through a multicountry survey and experimental studies that COD is not an appropriate proxy of microbial degradability of organic matter because it oxidizes both LDOC and RDOC, and the latter contributes up to 90% of DOC in high-latitude forested areas. Hence, COD measurements do not provide appropriate scientific information on organic pollution in natural waters and can mislead environmental policies. We propose the replacement of the COD method with an optode-based biological oxygen demand method to accurately and efficiently assess organic pollution in natural aquatic environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abc7318DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8046372PMC
April 2021

Cell Cytoskeleton and Stiffness Are Mechanical Indicators of Organotropism in Breast Cancer.

Biology (Basel) 2021 Mar 25;10(4). Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Shenzhen Research Institute, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Shenzhen 518000, China.

Tumor metastasis involves the dissemination of tumor cells from the primary lesion to other organs and the subsequent formation of secondary tumors, which leads to the majority of cancer-related deaths. Clinical findings show that cancer cell dissemination is not random but exhibits organ preference or organotropism. While intrinsic biochemical factors of cancer cells have been extensively studied in organotropism, much less is known about the role of cell cytoskeleton and mechanics. Herein, we demonstrate that cell cytoskeleton and mechanics are correlated with organotropism. The result of cell stiffness measurements shows that breast cancer cells with bone tropism are much stiffer with enhanced F-actin, while tumor cells with brain tropism are softer with lower F-actin than their parental cells. The difference in cellular stiffness matches the difference in the rigidity of their metastasized organs. Further, disrupting the cytoskeleton of breast cancer cells with bone tropism not only elevates the expressions of brain metastasis-related genes but also increases cell spreading and proliferation on soft substrates mimicking the stiffness of brain tissue. Stabilizing the cytoskeleton of cancer cells with brain tropism upregulates bone metastasis-related genes while reduces the mechanoadaptation ability on soft substrates. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that cell cytoskeleton and biophysical properties of breast cancer subpopulations correlate with their metastatic preference in terms of gene expression pattern and mechanoadaptation ability, implying the potential role of cell cytoskeleton in organotropism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biology10040259DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8064360PMC
March 2021
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