Publications by authors named "Kun Xu"

493 Publications

Enzymatically-degradable hydrogel coatings on titanium for bacterial infection inhibition and enhanced soft tissue compatibility a self-adaptive strategy.

Bioact Mater 2021 Dec 19;6(12):4670-4685. Epub 2021 May 19.

Key Laboratory of Biorheological Science and Technology, Ministry of Education, College of Bioengineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing, 400044, China.

Ideal percutaneous titanium implants request both antibacterial ability and soft tissue compatibility. ZnO structure constructed on titanium has been widely proved to be helpful to combat pathogen contamination, but the biosafety of ZnO is always questioned. How to maintain the remarkable antibacterial ability of ZnO and efficiently reduce the corresponding toxicity is still challenging. Herein, a hybrid hydrogel coating was constructed on the fabricated ZnO structure of titanium, and the coating was proved to be enzymatically-degradable when bacteria exist. Then the antibacterial activity of ZnO was presented. When under the normal condition (no bacteria), the hydrogel coating was stable and tightly adhered to titanium. The toxicity of ZnO was reduced, and the viability of fibroblasts was largely improved. More importantly, the hydrogel coating provided a good buffer zone for cell ingrowth and soft tissue integration. The curbed Zn ion release was also proved to be useful to regulate fibroblast responses such as the expression of CTGF and COL-I. These results were also validated by studies. Therefore, this study proposed a valid self-adaptive strategy for ZnO improvement. Under different conditions, the sample could present different functions, and both the antibacterial ability and soft tissue compatibility were finely preserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bioactmat.2021.05.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8164017PMC
December 2021

Evaluation of glycemic index, antioxidant capacity, and metabolic effects of a fermented beverage made from Changbai Mountain fruit and vegetables.

J Food Biochem 2021 Jun 2:e13796. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Jilin University, Changchun, China.

Fermented foods and beverages have been known to be beneficial when included in the human diet. This study examined the glycemic index (GI) of a fermented beverage (FB) made from Changbai Mountain fruit and vegetables in humans and its antioxidant capacity and metabolic effects in a rat model of diabetes. Twenty healthy volunteers were tested with 50 g of glucose and 50 g equivalent of carbohydrates from FB on two separate days for GI measurement. The rats were randomly divided into blank control group (n = 15) and diabetic model (DM) group (n = 75). DM group were randomly divided into five groups, positive control group, model control group and three FB treatment (2.5, 5, 10 ml/kg·bw·d) groups. The general indices, including blood glucose and lipid levels and antioxidant index, of the rats were measured to investigate the effect of FB. The GI of FB was found to be 56.99, indicating it as a medium GI food. Compared to model control group, the low-dose FB group had lower blood glucose levels and higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in DM rats (p < .05). Medium- and high-dose FB decreased the serum malonaldehyde levels in DM rats compared to those in the model control group. The FB-treated DM rat groups showed increased serum glutathione and superoxide dismutase levels compared with those in the model control group (p < .05). FB is a medium GI food that plays a protective role against oxidative stress in DM rats. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: The present study evaluated the glycemic index of a fermented beverage (FB) made from Changbai Mountain fruit and vegetables in humans and investigated its antioxidant capacity and metabolic effects in a rat diabetes model. The study results may aid in the development of FB from fruits and vegetables and provide a theoretical basis for further research and development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfbc.13796DOI Listing
June 2021

A positive response of ginger root zone and rhizome development to suitable sowing depth.

Protoplasma 2021 Jun 2. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

College of Horticulture Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an, 271018, China.

Sowing depth significantly affects ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) yields, and sowing depth can affect rhizosphere community structure through root exudates. However, the relationship between the reaction process in root zone and ginger rhizome development is unclear. In this study, we investigated the rhizome and root development and rhizosphere environment at different sowing depths (2 cm (SD2), 5 cm (SD5), and 10 cm (SD10)). It was found that SD10 significantly increased ginger yield, which is related to the development of vascular bundles and the expression of aquaporin. PLS-PM analysis found that root length, root absorption capacity, and soil enzymes have the strongest correlation with yield, while root diameter is negatively correlated with yield. Under SD10, the increase of auxin and ethylene content together with the expression of ARF7, LBD16, and PIN1 promoted the development of lateral roots. In addition, SD10 increased the secretion of root organic acids, amino acids, and carbohydrates, which in turn promoted the development of rhizosphere bacteria. The promotion of SD10 on nitrogen cycle and nitrogen fixation ability in turn promoted the development of ginger.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00709-021-01647-9DOI Listing
June 2021

One-step colorimetric detection of Staphylococcus aureus based on target-induced shielding against the peroxidase mimicking activity of aptamer-functionalized gold-coated iron oxide nanocomposites.

Talanta 2021 Sep 1;232:122448. Epub 2021 May 1.

School of Public Health, Jilin University, Changchun, 130021, China. Electronic address:

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is one of the most threatened food-borne pathogens. Thus, it is necessary to establish fast, portable and reliable tools to realize the identification of S. aureus. Herein, the authors describe an effective colorimetric-based biosensor for the detection of S. aureus in multiple types of samples. Initially, a nanozyme composed of gold and iron oxide nanoparticles was synthesized and further modified with S. aureus-specific aptamer via Au-S bond. By utilizing the intrinsic peroxidase-like activity of the above magnetic conjugates, 3,3',5,5'-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) can be transferred to oxTMB by oxidation of hydrogen peroxide (HO), resulting in a visible blue color. However, the introduction of S. aureus can turn off the UV-vis absorbance signals of TMB-HO system, due to the identification property of the nanozyme probe. Consequently, the optical density of the mixed solution measured at 652 nm decreased linearly as the concentration of S. aureus increased from 10 to 10 CFU mL, with the visible limit of detection as low as 10 CFU mL. The as-prepared sensor can detect S. aureus in spiked water, milk and urine samples quantitatively during 12 min without any pre-enrichment, separation or washing steps. In our perception, the one-step colorimetric assay show promise in practical on-site detection of S. aureus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.talanta.2021.122448DOI Listing
September 2021

Estimation of Vehicle Dynamic Parameters Based on the Two-Stage Estimation Method.

Sensors (Basel) 2021 May 26;21(11). Epub 2021 May 26.

School of Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering, University of Wollongong, Wollongong 2522, Australia.

Vehicle dynamic parameters are of vital importance to establish feasible vehicle models which are used to provide active controls and automated driving control. However, most vehicle dynamics parameters are difficult to obtain directly. In this paper, a new method, which requires only conventional sensors, is proposed to estimate vehicle dynamic parameters. The influence of vehicle dynamic parameters on vehicle dynamics often involves coupling. To solve the problem of coupling, a two-stage estimation method, consisting of multiple-models and the Unscented Kalman Filter, is proposed in this paper. During the first stage, the longitudinal vehicle dynamics model is used. Through vehicle acceleration/deceleration, this model can be used to estimate the distance between the vehicle centroid and vehicle front, the height of vehicle centroid and tire longitudinal stiffness. The estimated parameter can be used in the second stage. During the second stage, a single-track with roll dynamics vehicle model is adopted. By making vehicle continuous steering, this vehicle model can be used to estimate tire cornering stiffness, the vehicle moment of inertia around the yaw axis and the moment of inertia around the longitudinal axis. The simulation results show that the proposed method is effective and vehicle dynamic parameters can be well estimated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s21113711DOI Listing
May 2021

A critical role of PvFtsH2 in the degradation of photodamaged D1 protein in common bean.

Hortic Res 2021 Jun 1;8(1):126. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Key Laboratory of Soybean Molecular Design Breeding, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, The Innovative Academy of Seed Design, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Haping Road 138, Nangang District, 150081, Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province, China.

Light is required for initiating chloroplast biogenesis and photosynthesis; however, the photosystem II reaction center (PSII RC) can be photodamaged. In this study, we characterized pvsl1, a seedling-lethal mutant of Phaseolus vulgaris. This mutant showed lethality when exposed to sunlight irradiation and a yellow-green leaf phenotype when grown in a growth chamber under low-light conditions. We developed 124 insertion/deletion (INDEL) markers based on resequencing data of Dalong1 and PI60234, two local Chinese common bean cultivars, for genetic mapping. We identified Phvul.002G190900, which encodes the PvFtsH2 protein, as the candidate gene for this pvsl1 mutation through fine-mapping and functional analysis. A single-base deletion occurred in the coding region of Phvul.002G190900 in the pvsl1 mutant, resulting in a frameshift mutation and a truncated protein lacking the Zn metalloprotease domain. Suppressed expression of Phvul.002G190900 at the transcriptional level was detected, while no change in the subcellular localization signal was observed. The seedlings of pvsl1 exhibited hypersensitivity to photoinhibition stress. In the pvsl1 mutant, abnormal accumulation of the D1 protein indicated a failure to rapidly degrade damaged D1 protein in the PSII RC. The results of this study demonstrated that PvFtsH2 is critically required for survival and maintaining photosynthetic activity by degrading photodamaged PSII RC D1 protein in common bean.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41438-021-00554-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8167180PMC
June 2021

Distinct metabolite profiles of adiposity indices and their relationships with habitual diet in young adults.

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2021 Apr 5. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Global Health Institute, Xi'an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, 76 West Yanta Road, 710061, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China; Nutrition and Food Safety Engineering Research Center of Shaanxi Province, Key Laboratory of Environment and Genes Related to Diseases, Xi'an Jiaotong University, 76 West Yanta Road, 710061, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China. Electronic address:

Background And Aims: Obesity is characterized as overall or regional adiposity accumulation. However, the metabolic status underlying fat accumulation was not well understood. We sought to identify metabolite profiles based on their correlations with body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage (BFP), waist circumference (WC), and visceral adiposity index (VAI) in young Chinese adults (19-37 years old), and their associations with dietary consumption were also explored.

Methods And Results: A total of 86 plasma samples were analyzed using untargeted lipidomics and metabolomics approaches. Metabolite profiles of adiposity indices were identified using random forest modelling. Ridge regression was used to generate metabolite scores. Overall, 30, 46, 30, and 20 metabolites correlated with BMI, BFP, WC, and VAI, respectively, which resulted in metabolite scores for each index. Top three enriched categories of the identified metabolites were glycerophospholipids, glycerolipids, and sphingolipids, with some specific metabolites (such as phosphatidylserine (37:2), phatidylethanolamine (42:4), and ceramide (40:0)) exclusively associated with overall adiposity, and some other metabolites exclusively associated with abdominal adiposity indices, e.g., triradylglycerol (45:0, 52:4, and 35:0) and diacylglycerol (38:4, 36:3, and 36:5). Moreover, metabolite scores were negatively associated with the intake of food rich in protein or fiber, while they were positively associated with food rich in carbohydrate, with similar results for adiposity indices.

Conclusion: We observed unique metabolite profiles of regional or overall fat deposition in young adults. Glycerophospholipids, glycerolipids, or sphingolipids may be involved in the regulation of adiposity accumulation, affected by dietary exposures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2021.03.025DOI Listing
April 2021

Arbuscular mycorrhizal trees influence the latitudinal beta-diversity gradient of tree communities in forests worldwide.

Nat Commun 2021 05 25;12(1):3137. Epub 2021 May 25.

School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and ectomycorrhizal (EcM) associations are critical for host-tree performance. However, how mycorrhizal associations correlate with the latitudinal tree beta-diversity remains untested. Using a global dataset of 45 forest plots representing 2,804,270 trees across 3840 species, we test how AM and EcM trees contribute to total beta-diversity and its components (turnover and nestedness) of all trees. We find AM rather than EcM trees predominantly contribute to decreasing total beta-diversity and turnover and increasing nestedness with increasing latitude, probably because wide distributions of EcM trees do not generate strong compositional differences among localities. Environmental variables, especially temperature and precipitation, are strongly correlated with beta-diversity patterns for both AM trees and all trees rather than EcM trees. Results support our hypotheses that latitudinal beta-diversity patterns and environmental effects on these patterns are highly dependent on mycorrhizal types. Our findings highlight the importance of AM-dominated forests for conserving global forest biodiversity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23236-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8149669PMC
May 2021

Reversed Charge Transfer and Enhanced Hydrogen Spillover in Pt Nanoclusters Anchored on Titanium Oxide with Rich Oxygen Vacancies Boost Hydrogen Evolution Reaction.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2021 May 17. Epub 2021 May 17.

Tianjin University of Technology, Institute for New Energy Materials and Low Carbon Technologies, 391 Binshuixi Road, 300384, Tianjin, CHINA.

The catalytic activity of metal clusters is closely related with the support, while the knowledge about the influence of support on the catalytic activity is scarce. Herein, we show that, Pt nanoclusters (NCs) anchored on porous TiO 2 nanosheets with rich oxygen vacancies ( V O -rich Pt/TiO 2 ) and deficient oxygen vacancies ( V O -deficient Pt/TiO 2 ), display significantly different catalytic activity for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), in which V O -rich Pt/TiO 2 shows a mass activity of 45.28 A mg Pt -1 at -0.1 V vs. RHE, 16.7 and 58.8 times higher than those of V O -deficient Pt/TiO 2 and commercial Pt/C, respectively. DFT calculations and in-situ Raman spectra suggest that porous TiO 2 with rich oxygen vacancies can simultaneously achieve the reversed charge transfer (electrons transfer from TiO 2 to Pt NCs) and enhanced hydrogen spillover from Pt NCs to TiO 2 support, which bring to electron-rich Pt NCs being favorable for proton reduction to absorbed H*, as well as the acceleration of hydrogen desorption at Pt catalytic sites, both promoting the HER. Our work provides a new strategy for rational design of highly efficient HER catalysts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.202104856DOI Listing
May 2021

The Synchronized Efforts to Decipher the Molecular Basis for Soybean Maturity Loci , , and That Regulate Flowering and Maturity.

Front Plant Sci 2021 28;12:632754. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Department of Biotechnology, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Suita, Japan.

The general concept of photoperiodism, i.e., the photoperiodic induction of flowering, was established by Garner and Allard (1920). The genetic factor controlling flowering time, maturity, or photoperiodic responses was observed in soybean soon after the discovery of the photoperiodism. , , and were named in 1971 and, thereafter, genetically characterized. At the centennial celebration of the discovery of photoperiodism in soybean, we recount our endeavors to successfully decipher the molecular bases for the major maturity loci , , and in soybean. Through systematic efforts, we successfully cloned the gene in 2009, the gene in 2011, and the gene in 2012. Recently, successful identification of several circadian-related genes such as , , and has enriched the known major pathway. Further research progresses on the identification of new flowering and maturity-related genes as well as coordinated regulation between flowering genes will enable us to understand profoundly flowering gene network and determinants of latitudinal adaptation in soybean.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2021.632754DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8113421PMC
April 2021

Regioselective C-H Phosphorothiolation of (Hetero)arenes Enabled by the Synergy of Electrooxidation and Ultrasonic Irradiation.

Org Lett 2021 Jun 13;23(11):4214-4218. Epub 2021 May 13.

Faculty of Environment and Life, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100124, China.

An electrochemically regioselective C-H phosphorothiolation of (hetero)arenes with thiocyanate as the S source under ultrasonic irradiation has been developed. The synergistic cooperation of electrooxidation and ultrasonication markedly accelerated the C-H phosphorothiolation reaction. This mechanistically different method is distinguished by its wide substrate scope and transition-metal-free and external-oxidant-free conditions, thus complementing the existing metal-catalyzed or peroxide-mediated protocols for the green synthesis of -(hetero)aryl phosphorothioates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.1c01161DOI Listing
June 2021

Atomic-scale insights into quantum-order parameters in bismuth-doped iron garnet.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 May;118(20)

National Center for Electron Microscopy in Beijing, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, 100084 Beijing, People's Republic of China;

Bismuth and rare earth elements have been identified as effective substituent elements in the iron garnet structure, allowing an enhancement in magneto-optical response by several orders of magnitude in the visible and near-infrared region. Various mechanisms have been proposed to account for such enhancement, but testing of these ideas is hampered by a lack of suitable experimental data, where information is required not only regarding the lattice sites where substituent atoms are located but also how these atoms affect various order parameters. Here, we show for a Bi-substituted lutetium iron garnet how a suite of advanced electron microscopy techniques, combined with theoretical calculations, can be used to determine the interactions between a range of quantum-order parameters, including lattice, charge, spin, orbital, and crystal field splitting energy. In particular, we determine how the Bi distribution results in lattice distortions that are coupled with changes in electronic structure at certain lattice sites. These results reveal that these lattice distortions result in a decrease in the crystal-field splitting energies at Fe sites and in a lifted orbital degeneracy at octahedral sites, while the antiferromagnetic spin order remains preserved, thereby contributing to enhanced magneto-optical response in bismuth-substituted iron garnet. The combination of subangstrom imaging techniques and atomic-scale spectroscopy opens up possibilities for revealing insights into hidden coupling effects between multiple quantum-order parameters, thereby further guiding research and development for a wide range of complex functional materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2101106118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8157958PMC
May 2021

Effect of soil sulfamethoxazole on strawberry (Fragaria ananassa): Growth, health risks and silicon mitigation.

Environ Pollut 2021 May 7;286:117321. Epub 2021 May 7.

College of Horticulture Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, 271018, China; Collaborative Innovation Center of Fruit & Vegetable Quality and Efficient Production in Shandong Taian, 271018, China; Key Laboratory of Biology of Horticultural Crops in Huanghuai Region, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Taian, 271018, China; State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, Taian, 271018, China. Electronic address:

The negative impact of antibiotic pollution on the agricultural system and human health is a hot issue in the world. However, little information is available on the antibiotics toxicity mechanism and the role of silicon (Si) to alleviate the antibiotics toxicity. In this study, strawberry (Fragaria ananassa) showed excitatory response to low-dose SMZ (1 mg L), but strawberry root and photosynthetic efficiency were damaged under high level. When SMZ level exceeded 10 mg L, H0, O, MDA and relative conductivity increased, while SOD and CAT activities first increased and then decreased. SMZ accumulated more in roots and fruits, but less in stems, and the accumulation increased with the increase of SMZ-dose. Under 1 mg L SMZ, the SMZ accumulation in fruits was 110.54 μg kg, which exceeded the maximum residue limit. SMZ can induce the expression of sul1, sul2 and intI1, and intI1 had the highest abundance. Exogenous application of Si alleviated the toxicity of SMZ, which is mainly related to the degradation of SMZ in soil and the reduction of SMZ absorption by strawberry. In addition, Si relieved root damage, promoted the increase of photosynthetic efficiency, and improved the antioxidant system to resist SMZ toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117321DOI Listing
May 2021

Clinical value of thoracic ultrasonography in the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Med Ultrason 2021 Apr 22. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

The First Hospital of Shanxi Medical University.

Aims: The present study investigated and evaluated the accuracy of thoracic ultrasonography (TUS) in the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism (PE) by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Material And Methods: The PubMed, Em-base and the Cochrane library databases were searched till March 2019 to retrieve relevant articles and the overall diagnostic accuracy of TUS in PE diagnosis was evaluated by meta-analysis.

Results: Overall, 16 studies including 1,916 patients were enrolled in this meta-analysis. Of these, 762 (39.8%) had confirmed PE. The overall sensitivity, specificity, and area under the ROC curve (AUC) of TUS for PE were 82% (95% confidence interval (CI), 72%-88%), 89% (95% CI, 79%-95%), and 0.91 (95% CI, 0.88-0.93), respectively. Other efficacy parameters assessed demonstrated a positive likelihood ratio (PLR) of (7.6; 95% CI, 4.0-14.5), negative likelihood ratio of (NLR) (0.21; 95% CI, 0.14-0.30), and diagnostic odds' ratio (DOR) of (36.86; 95% CI, 21.41-63.48).

Conclusions: The current study suggested that although TUS cannot safely rule out PE, it is likely to be used as an aid or guidance to establish procedures and help to improve the diagnostic deficits in patients with PE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11152/mu-3049DOI Listing
April 2021

The Spectral Irradiance, Growth, Photosynthetic Characteristics, Antioxidant System, and Nutritional Status of Green Onion ( L.) Grown Under Different Photo-Selective Nets.

Front Plant Sci 2021 25;12:650471. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

College of Horticulture Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an, China.

The active regulation of the plant growth environment is a common method for optimizing plant yield and quality. In horticulture today, light quality control is carried out using photo-selective nets or membranes to improve the yield and quality of cultivated plants. In the present study, with natural light as the control (CK), we tested different photo-selective nets (white, WN; blue, BN; green, GN; yellow, YN; and red, RN) with 30% shade for characteristics of growth, development, quality, yield, photosynthesis, and chlorophyll fluorescence, considering the antioxidant system, as well as the influence of element absorption and transformation of green onion ( L.) plants at different growth stages. We found that plants under BN and WN have greater height and fresh weight than those of plants under the other nets. Plants under the BN treatment had the highest quality, yield, photosynthetic pigment content, net photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate, and stomatal conductance, whereas the intercellular CO concentration was the highest in plants in the YN treatment. The photosynthesis noon break phenomenon was significantly lower in plants with covered photo-selective nets than in CK plants. NPQ was the highest in the YN treatment, and Fv/Fm, ΦPSII, and qP among the plants in the other treatments were different; from highest to lowest, they were as follows: BN > WN > CK > RN > GN > YN. The active oxygen content of green onion leaves in the BN treatment was significantly lower than that in the other treatments, and their key enzyme activity was significantly increased. BN also improved the absorption and transformation of elements in various organs of green onion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2021.650471DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8030602PMC
March 2021

Differentiation in stem and leaf traits among sympatric lianas, scandent shrubs and trees in a subalpine cold temperate forest.

Tree Physiol 2021 Apr 5. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China.

The scandent shrub plant form is a variant of liana that has upright and self-supporting stems when young but later becomes a climber. We aimed to explore the associations of stem and leaf traits among sympatric lianas, scandent shrubs and trees, and the effects of growth form and leaf habit on variation in stem or leaf traits. We measured 16 functional traits related to stem xylem anatomy, leaf morphology and nutrient stoichiometry in eight liana, eight scandent shrub and 21 tree species co-occurring in a subalpine cold temperate forest at an elevation of 2,600-3,200 m in Southwest China. Overall, lianas, scandent shrubs and trees were ordered along a fast-slow continuum of stem and leaf functional traits, with some traits overlapping. We found a consistent pattern of lianas > scandent shrubs > trees for hydraulically weighted vessel diameter, maximum vessel diameter and theoretical hydraulic conductivity. Vessel density and sapwood density showed a pattern of lianas = scandent shrubs < trees, and lianas < scandent shrubs = trees, respectively. Lianas had significantly higher specific leaf area and lower carbon concentration than co-occurring trees, with scandent shrubs showing intermediate values that overlapped with lianas and trees. The differentiation among lianas, scandent shrubs and trees was mainly explained by variation in stem traits. Additionally, deciduous lianas were positioned at the fast end of the trait spectrum, and evergreen trees at the slow end of the spectrum. Our results showed for the first time clear differentiation in stem and leaf traits among sympatric liana, scandent shrub and tree species in a subalpine cold temperate forest. This work will contribute to understanding the mechanisms responsible for variation in ecological strategies of different growth forms of woody plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/tpab049DOI Listing
April 2021

Expression and Functional Analysis of the Argonaute Protein of (TtAgo) in BL21(DE3).

Biomolecules 2021 Mar 31;11(4). Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Key Laboratory of Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction of Shaanxi Province, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China.

The prokaryotic Argonaute proteins (pAgos) have been reported to cleave or interfere with DNA targets in a guide-dependent or independent manner. It is often difficult to characterize pAgos in vivo due to the extreme environments favored by their hosts. In the present study, we expressed functional pAgo (TtAgo) in BL21 (DE3) cells at 37 °C. Initial attempts to express TtAgo in BL21(DE3) cells at 37 °C failed. This was not because of TtAgo mediated general toxicity to the host cells, but instead because of TtAgo-induced loss of its expression plasmid. We employed this discovery to establish a screening system for isolating loss-of-function mutants of TtAgo. The gene was used to help select for full-length TtAgo loss of function mutants, as overexpression of renders the cell to be resistant to the triclosan. We isolated and characterized eight mutations in TtAgo that abrogated function. The ability of TtAgo to induce loss of its expression vector in vivo at 37 °C is an unreported function that is mechanistically different from its reported in vitro activity. These results shed light on the mechanisms by which TtAgo functions as a defense against foreign DNA invasion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom11040524DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8067300PMC
March 2021

Nutritional risk screening score as an independent predictor of nonventilator hospital-acquired pneumonia: a cohort study of 67,280 patients.

BMC Infect Dis 2021 Apr 1;21(1):313. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Centre for Clinical Big Data Statistics, Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University College of Medicine, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou, 310058, China.

Background: Currently, the association of nutritional risk screening score with the development of nonventilator hospital-acquired pneumonia (NV-HAP) is unknown. This study investigated whether nutritional risk screening score is an independent predictor of NV-HAP.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted between September 2017 and June 2020 in a tertiary hospital in China. The tool of Nutritional Risk Screening 2002 (NRS-2002) was used for nutritional risk screening. A total score of ≥3 indicated a patient was "at nutritional risk." Logistic regression was applied to explore the association between the NRS score and NV-HAP.

Results: A total of 67,280 unique patients were included in the study. The incidence of NV-HAP in the cohort for the NRS < 3 and ≥ 3 NRS group was 0.4% (232/62702) and 2.6% (121/4578), respectively. In a multivariable logistic regression model adjusted for all of the covariates, per 1-point increase in the NRS score was associated with a 30% higher risk of NV-HAP (OR = 1.30; 95%CI:1.19-1.43). Similarly, patients with NRS score ≥ 3 had a higher risk of NV-HAP with an odds ratio (OR) of 2.06 (confidence interval (CI): 1.58-2.70) than those with NRS score < 3. Subgroup analyses indicated that the association between the NRS score and the risk of NV-HAP was similar for most strata. Furthermore, the interaction analyses revealed no interactive role in the association between NRS score and NV-HAP.

Conclusion: NRS score is an independent predictor of NV-HAP, irrespective of the patient's characteristics. NRS-2002 has the potential as a convenient tool for risk stratification of adult hospitalized patients with different NV-HAP risks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-021-06014-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8013169PMC
April 2021

Cardiac Aging: From Basic Research to Therapeutics.

Oxid Med Cell Longev 2021 9;2021:9570325. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

The Key Laboratory of Geriatrics, Beijing Institute of Geriatrics, Beijing Hospital, National Center of Gerontology, National Health Commission, Institute of Geriatric Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100730, China.

With research progress on longevity, we have gradually recognized that cardiac aging causes changes in heart structure and function, including progressive myocardial remodeling, left ventricular hypertrophy, and decreases in systolic and diastolic function. Elucidating the regulatory mechanisms of cardiac aging is a great challenge for biologists and physicians worldwide. In this review, we discuss several key molecular mechanisms of cardiac aging and possible prevention and treatment methods developed in recent years. Insights into the process and mechanism of cardiac aging are necessary to protect against age-related diseases, extend lifespan, and reduce the increasing burden of cardiovascular disease in elderly individuals. We believe that research on cardiac aging is entering a new era of unique significance for the progress of clinical medicine and social welfare.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/9570325DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7969106PMC
May 2021

Selective recognition of a cyclic peptide hormone in human plasma by hydrazone bond-oriented surface imprinted nanoparticles.

Anal Chim Acta 2021 Apr 9;1154:338301. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, CAS Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Living Biosystems, CAS Research/Education Center for Excellence in Molecular Sciences, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190, China; School of Chemistry, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China. Electronic address:

As a kind of artificial recognition material, molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) offer a promising perspective to be developed as synthetic chemical binders capable of selectively recognize biomacromolecules. However, owing to the large size and conformational flexibility of proteins and peptides, imprinting of these biomacromolecules remains a challenge. Novel imprinting strategies still need exploration for the improvement of recognition performance of MIPs. Herein, we developed a hydrazone bond-oriented surface imprinting strategy for an endogenous peptide hormone, human atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP). Surface-oriented imprinting of peptide via reversible covalent bond anchoring approach increased the orientation homogeneity of imprinted cavities as well as the utility of templates. The prepared nanoparticles exhibited high selectivity and fast recognition kinetics for ANP epitope. The dissociation constant between ANP epitope and MIP was measured as 5.3 μM. The applicability of the material in real samples was verified by the selective magnetic extraction of ANP from human plasma samples. This hydrazone bond-oriented surface imprinting strategy provides an alternative approach for the separation of peptides or proteins in complex bio-samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2021.338301DOI Listing
April 2021

Indirect Electrosynthesis with Halogen Ions as Mediators.

Chem Rec 2021 Mar 16. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Faculty of Environment and Life, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, 100124, China.

Organic electrosynthesis has gained increasing research interest as it harvests electric current as redox regents, thereby providing a sustainable alternative to conventional approaches. Compared with direct electrosynthesis, indirect electrosynthesis employs mediator(s) to lower the overpotentials for substrate activation, and enhance the reaction efficiency and functional group compatibility by shifting the heterogenous electron transfer process to be homogenous. As one of the most versatile and cost-efficient mediators, halogen mediators are always combined with an irreversible halogenation reaction. Thus, the electrochemical reaction between halogen mediators and substrates doesn't directly controlled by the two standard potentials difference. In this account, our recent developments in the area of halogen-mediated indirect electrosynthesis are summarized. The anodically generated halogen species from halogenide salts have the abilities to undergo electron-transfer (ET) or hydrogen-atom- transfer (HAT) processes. The reaction features, scopes, limitations, and mechanistic rationalisations are discussed in this account. We hope our studies will contribute to the future developments to broaden the scope of halogen-mediated electrosynthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tcr.202100036DOI Listing
March 2021

PDL and CD insensitive low complexity equalizer for short reach coherent systems.

Opt Express 2021 Mar;29(5):6657-6667

We propose a polarization dependent loss (PDL) and chromatic dispersion (CD) insensitive, low-complexity adaptive equalizer (AEQ) for short-reach coherent optical transmission systems. The AEQ contains a 1-tap butterfly finite impulse response (FIR) filter and two N-tap FIR filters. It first performs polarization demultiplexing using the 1-tap filter, of which the coefficients are obtained based on Stokes space. Then it mitigates the inter-symbol interference (ISI) using the two N-tap finite impulse response (FIR) filters and adjust the filter's coefficients by utilizing constant modulus algorithm (CMA). Through theoretical and experimental analysis, we verify that this proposed AEQ can perform robust polarization demultiplexing when PDL and CD exists. Besides, our proposed AEQ has faster convergence speed compared with recently proposed AEQs. In addition, it reduces the number of multipliers and thus reduce the computational complexity of conventional butterfly filter structure AEQ. And this proposed AEQ suffers little bit error ratio loss compared with the conventional AEQ. Due to the low-complexity and robustness to PDL and CD, this proposed AEQ is well-suited for future low-cost short-reach optical communication system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.418456DOI Listing
March 2021

Phase-change reconfigurable metasurface for broadband, wide-angle, continuously tunable and switchable cloaking.

Opt Express 2021 Feb;29(4):5959-5971

Being invisible at will has fascinated humanity for centuries and it has become more tangible with the development of metasurfaces, which have demonstrated the extraordinary ability of wavefront manipulation. However, state-of-the-art invisibility cloaks typically work in a deterministic system with a limited bandwidth and small incident angle ranges. Here, by integrating the phase-change material of GeSbTe and the wavefront tailoring functionality of a reflective metasurface, we have achieved a unique carpet cloak that is endowed with broadband invisibility from 6920 to 8220 nm, fully concealing objects over a wide angular span of ±25° and a prominent radar cross-section reduction. Furthermore, the central cloaking wavelength can be continuously tuned with GeSbTe film under different intermediate phases by precisely controlling external stimuli, which will provide a flexible and encouraging way to achieve active features once fabricated. Simulation results also show that the cloaking bandwidth can be significantly extended by triggering GeSbTe from the amorphous to crystalline states. Importantly, the hybrid metasurface can realize switching of "ON" and "OFF" states in terms of cloaking features by converting GeSbTe from the amorphous to the crystalline state. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first metasurface carpet cloak that utilizes the phase-change material of GeSbTe to achieve ultra-broadband, wide-angle, continuously tunable and switchable cloaking with low profiles, light weights, and easy access. This design of a reconfigurable cloak is expected to find potential applications in various areas such as vehicle cloaking, illusions and so on.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.418200DOI Listing
February 2021

Near-Infrared Light-Activatable Dual-Action Nanoparticle Combats the Established Biofilms of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Its Accompanying Inflammation.

Small 2021 Apr 10;17(13):e2007522. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Key Laboratory of Biorheological Science and Technology, Ministry of Education College of Bioengineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing, 400044, P. R. China.

Clinically, inhibition of both bacterial infection and excessive inflammation is a crucial step for improved wound treatments. Herein, the fabrication of near-infrared-light (NIR)-activatable deoxyribonuclease (DNase)-carbon monoxide (CO)@mesoporous polydopamine nanoparticles (MPDA NPs) is demonstrated for efficient elimination of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) biofilms and the following anti-inflammatory activity. Specifically, thermosensitive CO-gas-releasing donors (CO releasing molecules, FeCO) are first encapsulated into MPDA NPs, followed by covalently immobilizing deoxyribonuclease I (DNase I) on the surfaces of MPDA NPs. DNase I can degrade the extracellular DNA in biofilms, which site specifically destroys the compactness of the biofilms. With NIR irradiation, [email protected] NPs display great photothermal ability, and further trigger on-demand delivery of bactericidal CO gas that can adequately permeate the impaired biofilms. Eventually, they achieve effective MRSA biofilm elimination in virtue of the synergistic effects of both DNase I participation and CO-gas-potentiated photothermal therapy. Importantly, the inflammatory responses of [email protected] NPs and NIR-treated wounds are simultaneously alleviated owing to the anti-inflammatory features of released CO. Finally, NIR-activatable [email protected] NPs accelerate the healing process of MRSA-biofilm-infected cutaneous wounds. Taken together, this phototherapeutic strategy displays great therapeutic potential in treating the formidable clinical problems caused by MRSA biofilms and the accompanying inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smll.202007522DOI Listing
April 2021

Integrated gut virome and bacteriome dynamics in COVID-19 patients.

Gut Microbes 2021 Jan-Dec;13(1):1-21

Fifth Medical Center of Chinese PLA General Hospital, National Clinical Research Center for Infectious Diseases, Beijing, China.

SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of the current global pandemic of COVID-19; this virus infects multiple organs, such as the lungs and gastrointestinal tract. The microbiome in these organs, including the bacteriome and virome, responds to infection and might also influence disease progression and treatment outcome. In a cohort of 13 COVID-19 patients in Beijing, China, we observed that the gut virome and bacteriome in the COVID-19 patients were notably different from those of five healthy controls. We identified a bacterial dysbiosis signature by observing reduced diversity and viral shifts in patients, and among the patients, the bacterial/viral compositions were different between patients of different severities, although these differences are not entirely distinguishable from the effect of antibiotics. Severe cases of COVID-19 exhibited a greater abundance of opportunistic pathogens but were depleted for butyrate-producing groups of bacteria compared with mild to moderate cases. We replicated our findings in a mouse COVID-19 model, confirmed virome differences and bacteriome dysbiosis due to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and observed that immune/infection-related genes were differentially expressed in gut epithelial cells during infection, possibly explaining the virome and bacteriome dynamics. Our results suggest that the components of the microbiome, including the bacteriome and virome, are affected by SARS-CoV-2 infections, while their compositional signatures could reflect or even contribute to disease severity and recovery processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19490976.2021.1887722DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7946006PMC
March 2021

Response of growth, photosynthetic electron transfer, and chloroplast ultrastructure to different LED light combination in green onion (Allium fistulosum L.).

Physiol Plant 2021 Mar 4. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

College of Horticulture Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an, 271018, China.

With the rapid development of facility agriculture, it has become popular to study the influences of different light qualities on the growth, material metabolism, and morphology of horticultural crops. Last several years, green onions cultivation models have undergone major changes, and facility cultivation has developed rapidly. To determine the impact of light quality on the green onions, we studied the parameters connected to photosynthesis, incorporating growth, and development, photosynthetic rate (P ), chlorophyll fluorescence, light response curve, photosynthetic electron transfer, and chloroplast ultrastructure. We roundly analyzed the influences of different LED light combination (white: W, white-blue combination 3:1:WB, white-green combination 3:1:WG, white-yellow combination 3:1:WY, and white-red combination 3:1:WR, light intensity: 500 ± 10 μmol photons m s ) on the photosynthetic performance of green onions. The WB light led to better results than those of the WR, WG, and WY. There were significant performance improvements in leaf area, plant height, stem thickness, relative growth rate (RGR), pigment content, photosynthetic capacity, photosynthetic electron transfer efficiency, and chloroplast ultrastructure integrity. In contrast, plants treated with WG and WY were exposed to appreciably blocked light, but they effectively formed a light protection mechanism. The results of this research not only provided insight into the response mechanism of crop photosynthesis to different light qualities, but they also provided a scientific foundation for better planting green onions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ppl.13381DOI Listing
March 2021

Grafting improves tomato yield under low nitrogen conditions by enhancing nitrogen metabolism in plants.

Protoplasma 2021 Feb 22. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

College of Horticulture Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, 271018, Tai'an, People's Republic of China.

To alleviate the effects of increasingly severe environmental conditions and meet the increasing demand for organic agricultural products, this paper studied tomato grafting under low nitrogen conditions in an effort to enhance yield and improve fruit quality by enhancing nitrogen metabolism. In this study, we screened for two tomato genotypes, a high nitrogen use efficiency genotype ('TMS-150') and a low nitrogen use efficiency genotype ('0301111'), using rootstocks from 25 tomato genotypes and studied the effects of tomato grafting on plant yield, fruit quality, nitrogen content, activities of key nitrogen metabolism enzymes, and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) under different nitrogen fertilizer conditions. The results showed that the yield of the tomato plants, the activities of key enzymes during nitrogen metabolism, the contents of different forms of nitrogen, and the efficiency of nitrogen use were lower at low nitrogen fertilization levels and higher at higher nitrogen fertilization levels, while the measured indicators were the highest under the N40 nitrogen fertilizer treatment. Grafting tomatoes with high-NUE tomato seedlings as the rootstock resulted in significant increases in the nitrogen content and the activity of key enzymes, enhanced the NUE of tomato plants, increased tomato yield, and improved fruit quality compared to those of the seedlings grafted with low-NUE rootstock. Our results indicate that tomato plants grafted with high-NUE rootstock presented enhanced absorption and utilization of nitrogen and increased plant yield by promoting nitrogen metabolism at different nitrogen levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00709-021-01623-3DOI Listing
February 2021

Atomic insight into spin, charge and lattice modulations at SrFeO/SrTiO interfaces.

Nanoscale 2021 Mar 22;13(12):6066-6075. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

National Center for Electron Microscopy in Beijing, Key Laboratory of Advanced Materials (MOE), The State Key Laboratory of New Ceramics and Fine Processing, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, People's Republic of China.

Novel phenomena and functionalities at interfaces of oxide heterostructures are currently of great interest in a wide range of applications. At such interfaces, charge, spin, orbital and lattice ordering coexist and correlate closely, contributing to rich functional responses. By using atomically resolved imaging and spectroscopy techniques, we investigated magnetic behaviors and structural modulation at the SrFeO/SrTiO interface. Fe/Ti element intermixing and oxygen vacancies occurred across a few unit cells at the interface. Furthermore, antiferromagnetic spin ordering of Fe with different valence states in the interface of SrFeO/SrTiO induced uncompensated magnetic moments. Compared to the SrFeO/LaSrAlTaO heterojunction, the variations of charge and lattice order parameters at the SrFeO/SrTiO interfaces were also determined by advanced electron microscopy, which provided a good understanding of the physical origin of disparate macroscopic magnetic properties, further investigated by magnetometer measurements and X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) spectra. These studies provide comprehensive insight into the interfacial modulation of ferrite oxide, which may be useful for designing future devices in oxide electronics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0nr07697jDOI Listing
March 2021

Low pH alleviated salinity stress of ginger seedlings by enhancing photosynthesis, fluorescence, and mineral element contents.

PeerJ 2021 11;9:e10832. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

College of Horticulture Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an, Shandong, China.

We investigated the effects of low pH on the photosynthesis, chlorophyll fluorescence, and mineral contents of the leaves of ginger plants under salt stress. This experiment involved four treatments: T1 (pH 6, 0 salinity), T2 (pH 4, 0 salinity), T3 (pH 6, 100 mmol L salinity) and T4 (pH 4, 100 mmol L salinity). This study showed that photosynthesis (Pn, Gs, WUE and Tr) and chlorophyll fluorescence (qP, Φ PSII, and Fv/Fm) significantly decreased under salt stress; however, all the parameters of the ginger plants under the low-pH treatment and salt stress recovered. Moreover, low pH reduced the content of Na and enhanced the contents of K, Mg, Fe and Zn in the leaves of ginger plants under salt stress. Taken together, these results suggest that low pH improves photosynthesis efficiency and nutrient acquisition and reduces the absorption of Na, which could enhance the salt tolerance of ginger.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.10832DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7882138PMC
February 2021

EGCG Regulates Cell Apoptosis of Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells Grown on 316L Stainless Steel for Stent Implantation.

Drug Des Devel Ther 2021 11;15:493-499. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Jilin University, Changchun, 130021, People's Republic of China.

Background: Nowadays, medical grade 316L stainless steel (316L SS) is being widely used for intravascular stents, and the drug-eluting stent (DES) system is able to significantly reduce the occurrences of in-stent restenosis. But the drugs and the polymer coating used in DES potentially induce the forming of late stent thrombosis. In order to reduce the occurrence of ISR after stent implantation, the development of novel drugs for DESs is urgently needed.

Methods: This study aimed to investigate the potential mechanisms of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) grown on 316L stainless steel (316L SS) using flow cytometry and Q-PCR methods.

Results: Our results showed that EGCG (12.5, 25, 50, 100 μmol/L) significantly inhibited HUVEC proliferation. Flow cytometry analysis indicated that EGCG (25, 50, 100 μmol/L) induced apoptosis. Moreover, qRT-PCRrevealed that genes associated with cell apoptosis (caspase-3, 8, 9, Fas) and autophagy (Atg 5, Atg 7, Atg 12) were up-regulated after EGCG treatment.

Conclusion: These findings indicate that EGCG possesses chemo preventive potential in stent coating which may serve as a novel new drug for stent implantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S296548DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7886104PMC
February 2021