Publications by authors named "Lixia Zhang"

290 Publications

Carboxylic acid reduction and sulfate-reducing bacteria stabilization combined remediation of Cr (VI)-contaminated soil.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 May 8;218:112263. Epub 2021 May 8.

Key Laboratory of Environmental and Applied Microbiology, Environmental Microbiology Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Science, Chengdu 610041, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China. Electronic address:

For controlling heavy metal pollution, the utilization of carboxylic acids (CAs) combined with sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) for continuous and stable remediation of Cr (VI)-contaminated soil was comprehensively investigated. At pH 3, citrate and lactate had photocatalysis characteristics that enabled them to reduce high Cr (VI) concentrations. The reduction efficiencies of citrate and lactate were 99.16-100% and 80.78-87.00%, respectively. In the 40 mg L Cr (VI) treatment, the total Cr adsorption rate of soil was 61.39-68.31%; as the pH increased, the Cr species adsorption capacity of the soil decreased. Following the addition of exogenous 100 mg L Cr (VI), the Cr (VI) content of re-contaminated soil was reduced to 16.2734 ± 0.9505 mg L or 15.8618 mg kg by adding citrate or lactate. Then, using SRB via culture by mulching, addition of citrate or lactate markedly reduced the toxicity of Cr (VI). The respective citrate or lactate treatments had sulfur concentrations of sulfide from deep soil (high-sulfide layer) of 70.54 ± 17.59 and 98.85 ± 13.84 mg kg, respectively, and released Cr (VI) concentrations of 0.22 ± 0.25 and 3.64 ± 3.32 mg kg, respectively, due to oxidation upon air exposure. We used a two-stage remediation strategy for these treatments: First, CAs were used for photocatalytic reduction to reduce Cr (VI); next, CAs were utilized as carbon sources by SRB, which further reduced Cr (VI) and stabilized Cr species. In addition, citrate was more conducive than lactate to maintaining the stability of the soil microbial community. The results show that this method has potential in the remediation of Cr (VI)-contaminated soil.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112263DOI Listing
May 2021

Clinical and diagnostic value of the combination of lymphocyte count and creatine kinase in the detection of coronavirus 2019.

Exp Ther Med 2021 Jun 16;21(6):641. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Department of Clinical Laboratory, Tianjin Haihe Hospital, Jinnan, Tianjin 300350, P.R. China.

The present study aimed to investigate the diagnostic efficiency of the absolute number of lymphocytes (LYM) and creatine kinase (CK) levels in the diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For this, the clinical data from 84 patients with COVID-19 admitted to Tianjin Haihe Hospital (Tianjin, China) between January and February 2020 were collected. The patients were divided into the following groups: The common COVID-19 group (n=61) and severe COVID-19 group (n=23). In addition, 30 healthy subjects were included as a control group. The results demonstrated that the percentage of neutrophils (NEU%) was significantly increased, while the absolute number of white blood cells, LYM and the percentage of lymphocytes (LYM%) were significantly decreased in patients with COVID-19. Furthermore, in the severe group, the absolute number of red blood cells in female patients, the NEU%, the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and the serum levels of interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein (CRP) were markedly elevated, while those of LYM and LYM% were significantly decreased (all P<0.05). In addition, in the receiver operating characteristics curve analysis for the combination of LYM + CK, the area under the curve values were 0.96 and 1.00, with a sensitivity of 95.08 and 100%, specificity of 86.67 and 100% and cut-off values of 0.42 and 0.50 for the common and severe COVID-19 group, respectively. The results indicated that the diagnostic efficiency of LYM + CK was higher than that of each single factor. Finally, a moderate correlation of lactate dehydrogenase with CRP and NLR (r=0.492 and 0.433, respectively; both P<0.05) was obtained. Overall, the results of the present study indicated that the values of LYM and CK were associated with the progression of COVID-19, suggesting that the combination of both factors may be of clinical diagnostic value for COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/etm.2021.10073DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8097235PMC
June 2021

Efficacy of intra-arterial thrombolytic therapy for vision loss resulting from hyaluronic acid filler embolization.

J Cosmet Dermatol 2021 Apr 6. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Department of Burns and Plastic Surgery of The Forth Medical Center of Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.

Background: The incidence of hyaluronic acid (HA) embolism has increased markedly in recent years. HA embolism can lead to serious complications such as blindness, eye and eyelid movement disorders, skin necrosis, and cerebral embolism. However, there is a lack of robust clinical evidence regarding the benefits of treatment of HA embolism with intra-arterial thrombolytic therapy (IATT).

Methods: In the present study, we enrolled 45 patients with decreased visual acuity, including 40 patients with symptoms of vision loss and eight patients with symptoms of intracranial embolism. The patients underwent emergency IATT via hyaluronidase and papaverine injections, followed by conventional sequential therapy.

Results: In the 45 patients with symptoms of vision loss, 16 (36%) exhibited improvements in final visual acuity, even when the clinical application of the thrombolytic treatments was performed beyond the recommended window for optimal treatment. The facial skin necrosis of all patients was restored to near normal appearance. Notably, for eight patients with suspected symptoms of intracranial infarction we performed cerebral angiography and IATT, and in two patients obtained partial recanalization of the obstruction, the symptoms of heavy headache and binocular distension pain were improved in one patient with intracranial embolism after IATT treatment.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that IATT is feasible for patients with vision loss induced by HA embolism. IATT combined with conventional sequential therapy was beneficial in the recovery from other serious HA embolism complications. Nevertheless, the underlying pathophysiological mechanism needs to be clarified in future animal experiments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jocd.14111DOI Listing
April 2021

Clinical features, laboratory findings and persistence of virus in 10 children with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Biomed J 2021 Mar 24;44(1):94-100. Epub 2020 Oct 24.

Pediatric Translational Medicine Institute, Shanghai Children's Medical Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200127, China. Electronic address:

Background: A pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19) has rapidly spread across the globe. Although many articles have established the clinical characteristics of adult COVID-19 patients so far, limited data are available for children. The aim of this study was to reveal the clinical features, laboratory findings and nucleic acid test results of ten pediatric cases.

Methods: In this retrospective single-center cohort study, pediatric cases with COVID-19 infection were consecutively enrolled in one hospital in Huangshi, China from January 1 to March 11, 2020.

Results: A total of 10 children with COVID-19 were recruited. Of them, four were the asymptomatic type, one was the mild type, and five were the moderate type (including two subclinical ones). All patients were from family clusters. Only fever, nasal discharge and nasal congestion were observed. Lymphopenia and leukopenia were uncommon in our sample but elevated levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and alpha-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase (α-HBDH) were observed frequently. Of these laboratory test variables, no statistical difference was identified between asymptomatic and symptomatic patients. Abnormalities in radiological data were detected in five patients, and representative findings of chest CT images were patchy shadows and ground-glass opacities. There were two cases whose oropharyngeal nucleic acid tests reversed to positive after one negative result, and two patients whose oropharyngeal swabs tested negative but rectal swabs showed positive.

Conclusions: Clinical symptoms were mild in children with COVID-19. Increased levels of LDH and α-HBDH were potential clinical biomarkers for pediatric cases. More attention should be paid to the SARS-CoV-2 viral assessment of rectal swabs before patients are discharged.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bj.2020.10.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7585360PMC
March 2021

Renal Involvement and HBV Infection Are Common in Chinese Patients With Cryoglobulinemia.

Front Immunol 2021 25;12:580271. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Department of Rheumatology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Science, Beijing, China.

This study aimed to describe the main characteristics of Chinese patients with cryoglobulinemia, especially the characteristics of patients with different causes of cryoglobulinemia. Eighty inpatients diagnosed with cryoglobulinemia from different wards in Peking Union Medical College Hospital were included in this study. Demographic, clinical, biological, and renal pathological data were collected. We analyzed the characteristics of 61 patients with different causes of cryoglobulinemia. Most patients (36/80, 45%) were diagnosed between 40 and 60 years of age. The male: female ratio was 1:1.5. Mixed (II + III) cryoglobulinemia accounted for the majority (43.8%) of cases. Renal involvement (87.5%), cutaneous involvement (57.5%), and fever (27.5%) were the most common clinical manifestations, while other manifestations included serositis and pulmonary and gastrointestinal involvement. The most common renal histopathological pattern was membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (25/42, 59.5%). The secondary causes of cryoglobulinemia included infectious diseases (26/61, 32.5%), such as hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, and connective tissue diseases (22/61, 27.5%), such as lupus and hematologic tumors (13/61, 16.3%). Patients with hematologic tumors were diagnosed at an older age ( = 0.044) and mostly had type I cryoglobulinemia ( < 0.001). No significant difference in clinical or biological manifestations was found among patients with different causes of cryoglobulinemia. This is the largest cohort of Chinese patients with cryoglobulinemia. We found that renal involvement and HBV infection might be more common in Chinese patients with cryoglobulinemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.580271DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7947000PMC
February 2021

Molecular cloning and biochemical characterization of a trehalose synthase from Myxococcus sp. strain V11.

Protein Expr Purif 2021 Jul 4;183:105865. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

College of Bioscience and Bioengineering, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang, 330045, PR China; Collaborative Innovation Center of Postharvest Key Technology and Quality Safety of Fruits and Vegetables in Jiangxi Province, Nanchang, 330045, PR China. Electronic address:

The tresI gene of Myxococcus sp. strain V11 was cloned, and found to encode a trehalose synthase comprising 551 amino acids. The deduced molecular weight of the encoded TreS I protein 64.7 kDa and the isoelectric point (pI) was predicted to be 5.6. The catalytic cleft consists of the Asp202-Glu244-Asp310 catalytic triad and additional conserved residues. The recombinant (His)-tag enzyme was expressed in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3) and purified by Ni-affinity chromatography, resulting in a specific activity of up to 172.7 U/mg. TLC and HPLC results confirmed that rTreS I can convert maltose into trehalose, with a yield of 61%. The K and V values of recombinant TreS I for maltose were 0.62 mM and 25.5 mM min mg protein, respectively. TreS I was optimally active at 35° and stable at temperatures of <25 °C. TreS I was stable within a narrow range of pH values, from 6.0 to 7.0. The enzymatic activity was slightly stimulated by Mg and strongly inhibited by Fe, Co and Cu. TreS I was also strongly inhibited by SDS and weakly by EDTA and TritonX-100.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pep.2021.105865DOI Listing
July 2021

Rechargeable microbial fuel cell based on bidirectional extracellular electron transfer.

Bioresour Technol 2021 Jun 23;329:124887. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Soil Environmental Health and Regulation, College of Resources and Environment, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, Fujian 350002, China.

Rechargeable microbial electrochemical systems can be used as renewable energy storage systems or as potable bioelectronics devices. In this study, a bioelectrode capable of bidirectional extracellular electron transfer was firstly introduced to construct the rechargeable microbial fuel cell (MFC). The performance of rechargeable MFC was enhanced with the increase of charge/discharge cycles, and a maximum energy efficiency of 4.5 ± 0.2% and Coulombic efficiency of 29.4 ± 4.1% were obtained. H was the main charge carrier, while the accumulated acetate was only about 10 mg L. The charge time under constant current mode largely affected the energy recovery. A decreased abundance of Mycobacteria, Geobacter, and Azospirillum, accompanied by an increase of Azonexus and Rhodococcus was observed in the rechargeable MFC, compared to control tests fueled with acetate. This study demonstrates the potential of bioelectrode for energy storage and recovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2021.124887DOI Listing
June 2021

Characterization and Exploration of Potential Neuroprotective Peptides in Walnut () Protein Hydrolysate against Cholinergic System Damage and Oxidative Stress in Scopolamine-Induced Cognitive and Memory Impairment Mice and Zebrafish.

J Agric Food Chem 2021 Mar 1;69(9):2773-2783. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

School of Food Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China.

The purpose of this study was to determine the neuroprotective effect and mechanism of walnut protein hydrolysates (WPH) against memory deficits induced by scopolamine in mice and further to validate the potent neuroprotective peptides identified by integrated approaches of analysis and peptidomics in scopolamine-induced zebrafish. Results showed that a remarkable amelioration on behavioral performance was observed for oral administration of WPH, and disorders of cholinergic system and oxidative stress were normalized in the brains of mice also. Unfortunately, no obvious inflammatory response and anti-inflammatory effect were observed. Additionally, WPH significantly upregulated the expressions of antioxidant defense-related protein (Nrf2) and neurotrophic-related protein (BDNF and CREB). Furthermore, 20 peptides with relatively higher abundance and PeptideRanker scores were predicted by docking to AchE and Keap1. Among them, FY and SGFDAE with the highest binding affinities, -9.8 and -8.0 kcal/mol, were considered as the promising AchE and Keap1 inhibitors, respectively. They were further validated to have neuroprotective capacity in scopolamine-induced zebrafish, indicating that peptidomics and prediction might be the effective approaches to screen neuroprotective peptides.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.0c07798DOI Listing
March 2021

Cellulose accumulation in the secondary cell walls is negatively correlated with the tenderness of new shoots in Camellia sinensis.

Physiol Plant 2021 Feb 22. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

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

Tea, which is usually made from the new shoots of tea plants (Camellia sinensis), is one of the most popular and healthy beverages. The tenderness of new shoots plays a critical role in the production of high-quality tea; however, the factors affecting the tenderness of the new shoots of tea have not been extensively studied. Here, we show that cellulose accumulation is negatively correlated with the tenderness of new shoots, including leaves and stems, by characterizing the cellulose content and visualizing cellulose in the new shoots of two cultivars ("Huangjinya" and "Yujinxiang") via toluidine blue staining. We further found that the number of cells with secondary cell walls (SCWs) and the thickness of SCWs increased with the maturity degree of stems in both cultivars. Because cellulose is the most abundant polymer in SCW, we next identified three cellulose synthase CsCesAs, CsCesA4, 7, and 8A, through homologous alignment with Arabidopsis AtCesAs. Protein sequence analysis revealed that these proteins were closely related based on the phylogenetic analysis. We finally showed that the gene expression of the three CsCesAs was positively correlated with the maturity degree and cellulose content of the new shoots. Thus, our data suggest that cellulose accumulation, especially in the SCWs, is negatively correlated with the tenderness of new shoots in tea plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ppl.13376DOI Listing
February 2021

The seroprevalence and kinetics of IgM and IgG in the progression of COVID-19.

BMC Immunol 2021 02 17;22(1):14. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Peking Union Medical College Hospital & Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.

Background: SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus first recognized in late December 2019 that causes coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19). Due to the highly contagious nature of SARS-CoV-2, it has developed into a global pandemic in just a few months. Antibody testing is an effective method to supplement the diagnosis of COVID-19. However, multicentre studies are lacking to support the understanding of the seroprevalence and kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in COVID-19 epidemic regions.

Method: A multicentre cross-sectional study of suspected and confirmed patients from 4 epidemic cities in China and a cohort study of consecutive follow-up patients were conducted from 29/01/2020 to 12/03/2020. IgM and IgG antibodies elicited by SARS-CoV-2 were tested by a chemiluminescence assay. Clinical information, including basic demographic data, clinical classification, and time interval from onset to sampling, was collected from each centre.

Results: A total of 571 patients were enrolled in the cross-sectional study, including 235 COVID-19 patients and 336 suspected patients, each with 91.9%:2.1% seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG and 92.3%:5.4% seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgM. The seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG in COVID-19 patients was over 70% less than 7 days after symptom onset. Thirty COVID-19 patients were enrolled in the cohort study and followed up for 20 days. The peak concentrations of IgM and IgG were reached on the 10th and 20th days, respectively, after symptom onset. The seroprevalence of COVID-19 IgG and IgM increased along with the clinical classification and treatment time delay.

Conclusion: We demonstrated the kinetics of IgM and IgG SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in COVID-19 patients and the association between clinical classification and antibodies, which will contribute to the interpretation of IgM and IgG SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests and in predicting the outcomes of patients with COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12865-021-00404-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7887538PMC
February 2021

High-performance wearable thermoelectric generator with self-healing, recycling, and Lego-like reconfiguring capabilities.

Sci Adv 2021 Feb 10;7(7). Epub 2021 Feb 10.

School of Energy and Power Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China.

Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are an excellent candidate for powering wearable electronics and the "Internet of Things," due to their capability of directly converting heat to electrical energy. Here, we report a high-performance wearable TEG with superior stretchability, self-healability, recyclability, and Lego-like reconfigurability, by combining modular thermoelectric chips, dynamic covalent polyimine, and flowable liquid-metal electrical wiring in a mechanical architecture design of "soft motherboard-rigid plugin modules." A record-high open-circuit voltage among flexible TEGs is achieved, reaching 1 V/cm at a temperature difference of 95 K. Furthermore, this TEG is integrated with a wavelength-selective metamaterial film on the cold side, leading to greatly improved device performance under solar irradiation, which is critically important for wearable energy harvesting during outdoor activities. The optimal properties and design concepts of TEGs reported here can pave the way for delivering the next-generation high-performance, adaptable, customizable, durable, economical, and eco-friendly energy-harvesting devices with wide applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abe0586DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7875524PMC
February 2021

Dual-enzyme hydrolysis for preparation of ACE-inhibitory peptides from sesame seed protein: Optimization, separation, and identification.

J Food Biochem 2021 Apr 5;45(4):e13638. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Research Center for Agricultural and Sideline Products Processing, Henan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhengzhou, 450002, P.R. China.

To prepare and identify ACE-inhibitory peptides originated from sesame seed protein, peptides with strong ACE-inhibitory activities were obtained via the optimization of protease and hydrolysis conditions, and these peptides were purified and identified by membrane separation, gel filtration, and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Results showed that the dual-enzyme comprised alcalase and trypsin with the enzyme activity ratio of 3:7 was suitable to produce ACE-inhibitory peptides. The highest ACE-inhibitory activity of 98.10 ± 0.26% was obtained at the following parameters, pH 8.35, E/S ratio of 6,145 U/g, and hydrolysis time of 4.4 hr. ISGAQPSLR and VVISAPSK ranked the first and second ACE-inhibitory activity among 15 identified ACE-inhibitory peptides. Both peptides influenced ACE via binding with the S1 pocket, S2 pocket, and Zn ion. ISGAQPSLR even impacted the S1' pocket. ISGAQPSLR and VVISAPSK acted as a competitive and noncompetitive inhibitor, respectively. ACE-inhibitory peptides derivated from sesame seed protein have potential applications in functional food. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Although sesame seed protein is proven as the precursor of ACE-inhibitory peptide, preparing ACE-inhibitory peptide from sesame seed protein is still suffering from insufficient information on hydrolysis condition and the peptide sequence. Therefore, the performance of the typical protease on preparing ACE-inhibitory peptide from sesame seed protein has been evaluated, the effect of the amino acid composition of sesame seed protein and cleavage specificity of protease on the generation of ACE-inhibitory peptide has been investigated, hydrolysis conditions have been optimized, the peptide sequence has been identified to illuminate the effect of sesame seed protein fraction on the formation of ACE-inhibitory peptide and discuss the structural characteristics. ACE-inhibitory peptides originating from sesame seed protein could apply in functional food. It is promising for dual-enzyme hydrolysis to utilize in preparation of high-value bioactive peptides.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfbc.13638DOI Listing
April 2021

Cottonseed Oil Alleviates Ischemic Stroke-Induced Oxidative Stress Injury Via Activating the Nrf2 Signaling Pathway.

Mol Neurobiol 2021 Jan 14. Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Department of Anesthesiology, The First Medical Center of Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100853, China.

Oxidative stress is believed to be one of the primary causes in ischemic stroke injury, and the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling pathway is the most important endogenous antioxidative stress damage pathway. Cottonseed oil (CSO), which is used mostly as a solvent for lipid-soluble drugs, has been shown to exert antioxidative effects against peripheral tissue injury. However, the effects and mechanisms of CSO on ischemic stroke-induced oxidative stress injury and the Nrf2 signaling pathway remain largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the potential of CSO in regulating oxidative stress injury induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion and reperfusion (MCAO-R), or oxygen and glucose deprivation and reperfusion (OGD-R). We found that 1.3 mL/kg CSO treatment of male rats with a subcutaneous injection once every other day for 3 weeks significantly improved neurological deficit; reduced infarction volume; alleviated neuronal injuries; reduced the content of ROS and MDA; increased the activity of SOD, GSH, and GSH-PX; and markedly increased the expression of Nrf2. Furthermore, treatment with 10 μL/mL CSO to a neuron cell line (HT-22) for 24 h significantly increased cell viability and decreased cell apoptosis after OGD-R injury; significantly reduced the levels of ROS and MDA; increased the activity of SOD, GSH, and GSH-PX; and induced an increase in Nrf2 nuclear translocation. Based on our findings, we conclude that CSO treatment alleviates ischemic stroke injury-induced oxidative stress via activating the Nrf2 signaling pathway, highlighting the potential that CSO has as a therapeutic for ischemic strokes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12035-020-02256-yDOI Listing
January 2021

Southern Blight on Medicago sativa Caused by Sclerotium rolfsii in North China.

Plant Dis 2021 Jan 13. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Qingdao Agricultural University, 98431, College of Grassland Science, Qingdao, Shandong, China;

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is one of the most important perennial leguminous forages in many countries, known by its high feed value and yield potential. With the increasing demand for feed, alfalfa has been planted all over China. However, an increasingly serious alfalfa disease was observed and may restrict the development of the alfalfa industry in North China. In August 2019, an emerging alfalfa disease with symptoms resembling southern blight was observed in Jiaozhou experimental base (Jiaozhou Modern Agricultural Science and Technology Demonstration Park) of Qingdao Agricultural University (Qindao, Shandong province, China). The infected plants showed dark brown lesions on the stems and yellowing and wilting of the leaves. The pathogen produced white fluffy mycelia, and later sclerotia on stems and roots; the disease affected up to 25% of the plants and causes bare spots filled with weeds (Figure S1). Typical symptomatic tissues were brought back to the laboratory for pathogen isolation and identification. Fragments (3-5mm2) of root tissues were excised from lesions on the symptomatic roots and their surfaces were disinfested by sequential dipping in 70% ethanol for 30 s and in 2% NaClO for 3 min, then the fragments were rinsed in sterile water five times and cultured on potato dextrose (PDA) medium amended with streptomycin sulfate (0.1mg/mL). Cultures were incubated at 28°C in the dark and purified in PDA medium for three times. A representative strain (coded as CZL1) was isolated from the root rot of the diseased plant. After four days incubation on PDA, CZL1 formed white fluffy aerial mycelium 5.6-6 cm in diameter typical of S. rolfsii. After 15 to 20 days, abundant round sclerotia approximately1-3 mm in diameter were produced on the surface of the culture (Figure S2). The sclerotia were white at first and then gradually turned dark brown. To confirm the identity of the causal fungus, the complete internal transcribed spacer (ITS) rDNA region of the fungus was amplified using the primers ITS1/ITS4 (White et al.1990), and the elongation factor-1a gene (EF1a) was amplified using primers EF1-983F/EF1-2218R (Rehner and Buckley 2005). Then the PCR amplicons were cloned into the pCE2 TA/Blunt-Zero vector. The isolate was determined to contain two distinct sequence types for each gene. The results of ITS (MT812692, MT812693) and EF1a (MT846496 and MT846497) sequences were deposited in GenBank. DNA analysis revealed that the two ITS sequences were more than 99% identical to Athelia rolfsii (MN872304) in the NCBI GenBank database, and two EF1a sequences were 99% identical to the A. rolfsii EF1a sequence MN702789 and KP982854. To fulfill Koch's postulates, infected sorghum grain was placed near the roots of 15 40-day-old healthy alfalfa seedlings split into 3 pots with the same number of seedlings receiving a control treatment of sterilized sorghum grain. All plants were incubated in growth chamber at 24±1°C with 14-h-photoperiod (85% relative humidity). After 10-15 days, blight symptoms identical to those in the field were observed on inoculated plants, whereas those control plants were symptomless (Figure S2). S. rolfsii was successfully re-isolated from the inoculated plants and molecularly characterized as described above. Based on disease symptoms, fungal colonies, the ITS and EF1a sequence, and pathogenicity to the host, this fungus was identified as S. rolfsii (teleomorph Athelia rolfsii). To our knowledge, this is the first report of S. rolfsii as the causal agent of southern blight of alfalfa in North China, and it is also the first report of southern blight on alfalfa caused by S. rolfsii in China since 1996 observed in Guizhou province (Mo and Luo 1996).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-10-20-2302-PDNDOI Listing
January 2021

Sargassum fusiforme polysaccharide partly replaces acarbose against type 2 diabetes in rats.

Int J Biol Macromol 2021 Feb 19;170:447-458. Epub 2020 Dec 19.

School of Food Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China; Institute of Agricultural Products Processing, Henan Academy of Agriculture Sciences, 116 Huayuan Road, Zhengzhou 450002, China; Guangdong Food Green Processing and Nutrition Regulation Technologies Research Center, Guangzhou 510640, China. Electronic address:

The objective of present research was to explore whether Sargassum fusiforme polysaccharide (SFP) could partly replace acarbose against type 2 diabetes in rats. Results indicated that SFP co-administered with low-dose acarbose intervention typically mitigated diabetic symptoms and serum profiles and exhibited better anti-diabetic effects than single acarbose treatment in controlling fasting blood glucose, improving insulin resistance and mitigating kidney injuries. The RT-qPCR analysis indicated that SFP co-administered with low-dose acarbose administration distinctly activated the IRS/PI3K/AKT signaling pathway compared with single acarbose treatment. Moreover, the co-administration also restrained liver fat accumulation via affecting the expression of HMGCR and SREBP-1c genes. In addition, the 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis indicated that SFP co-administered with low-dose acarbose significantly restored beneficial composition of gut flora in diabetic rats, such as the increase of Muribaculaceae, Lachnospiraceae, Bifidobacterium, Ruminococcaceae_UCG-014, Ruminococcus_1, Romboutsia, Eggerthellaceae, Alistipes and Faecalibaculum, and the decrease of Escherichia-Shigella. These results suggested that SFP, the novel natural adjuvant of acarbose, displayed the desirable benefits in minimizing the dose of drug, while improving the anti-diabetic efficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.12.126DOI Listing
February 2021

Influence of starch fine structure and storage proteins on the eating quality of rice varieties with similar amylose contents.

J Sci Food Agric 2020 Dec 13. Epub 2020 Dec 13.

Rice Research Center, Crop Breeding and Cultivation Research Institute, Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Shanghai, China.

Background: Rice eating quality largely dictates consumer preference, and the demand for new rice varieties with excellent eating quality from farmers is increasing. Identification of factors contributing to eating quality is helpful for developing high-quality rice varieties.

Results: Two groups of rice with different apparent amylose content (AACs) were used in this study. One group contained four varieties with low AACs (8.8-9.4%), whereas the other contained four traditional varieties with medium AACs (17.2-17.5%). The physicochemical properties, starch fine structure and crystallinity and storage protein composition of the two groups were analyzed. We found that, in both groups, the rice varieties with high eating quality had more short-chain amylopectin, lower glutelin and prolamin content, and a higher albumin content. In addition, the low-AAC varieties produced opaque endosperms, which may result from an increased number of pores in the center of starch granules.

Conclusions: Both the fine structure of starch and the storage protein composition were closely related to rice eating quality. In both groups, short branch-chain amylopectin, short-chain amylopectin [degree of polymerization (DP) 6-12], and albumin had positive effects on eating quality. By contrast, long branch-chain amylopectin, long-chain amylopectin (DP 35-60), glutelin and prolamin had adverse effects on eating quality of rice. © 2020 Society of Chemical Industry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.11014DOI Listing
December 2020

YAP activation in melanoma contributes to anoikis resistance and metastasis.

Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 2021 Apr 13;246(8):888-896. Epub 2020 Dec 13.

Institute of Dermatology and Venereology, Sichuan Academy of Medical Sciences and Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, Chengdu 610072, China.

Melanoma is inherently heterogeneous, providing resistance to apoptosis. Anoikis resistance is a hallmark feature of metastatic melanoma to escape apoptosis when cells lose contact with adjacent cells or extracellular matrix. The yes-associated protein transcription co-activator is the effector of Hippo pathway. Herein, we investigated the function of yes-associated protein in anoikis resistance of melanoma cells. When melanoma cells were grown under anchorage-independent condition, anoikis-resistant cells displayed higher levels of yes-associated protein activation than the cells that were attached to the basement membrane, as evidenced by downregulated phosphorylated yes-associated protein at Ser127 and higher expression of downstream genes and . Yes-associated protein overexpression directly enhanced the anoikis resistance and metastatic potential of melanoma cells. Conversely, yes-associated protein inhibitor CA3 exhibited Dose-dependent induction of anoikis in resistant melanoma cells and exerted great inhibition on cell migration. Knockdown of yes-associated protein expression by shRNA also rendered melanoma cells susceptible to anoikis and interrupted cell invasiveness. Yes-associated protein inhibition in anoikis-resistant cells also reduced the number of metastatic nodules in the lung sections of SCID mice. Clinically, higher yes-associated protein level in the lung metastasis tissues correlated with higher BCL2 and MCL1 expressions compared with the non-metastasis tissues. Overall, our finding suggests that the aberrant activation of yes-associated protein exerts important role on anoikis resistance and metastatic capability of melanoma cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1535370220977101DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8024502PMC
April 2021

Transcription factor CsDOF regulates glutamine metabolism in tea plants (Camellia sinensis).

Plant Sci 2021 Jan 16;302:110720. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, College of Horticulture Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, Shandong, 271018, China. Electronic address:

Glutamine plays a critical role in ammonium assimilation, and contributes substantially to the taste and nutritional quality of tea. To date, little research has been done on glutamine synthesis in tea plants. Here, a zinc finger protein CsDOF and a glutamine synthetase (GS)-encoding gene CsGS2 from tea plant (Camellia sinensis cv 'Shuchazao') were characterized, and their role in glutamine biosynthesis was determined using transient suppression assays in tea leaves and overexpression in Arabidopsis thaliana. The expression patterns of CsDOF and CsGS2, the GS activity and the glutamine content of photosynthetic tissues (leaf and bud) were significantly induced by shade. Suppressing the expression of CsDOF resulted in downregulated expression of CsGS2 and reduction of the leaf glutamine content. Moreover, in CsDOF-silenced plants, the expression of CsDOF and the glutamine content under shade treatment were higher than in natural light. The glutamine content and CsGS2 transcript level were also decreased in tea leaves when CsGS2 was suppressed, while they were higher under shade treatment than in natural light in CsGS2-silenced plants. In addition, the glutamine content and GS2 transcript level were increased when CsDOF and CsGS2 was overexpressed in Arabidopsis thaliana, respectively. In binding analyses, CsDOF directly bound to an AAAG motif in the promoter of CsGS2, and promotes its activity. The study shed new light on the molecular mechanism by which CsDOF activates CsGS2 gene expression and contributes to glutamine biosynthesis in tea plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plantsci.2020.110720DOI Listing
January 2021

Evaluation of Botanicals for Management of Piercing-Sucking Pests and the Effect on Beneficial Arthropod Populations in Tea Trees Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze (Theaceae).

J Insect Sci 2020 Nov;20(6)

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

The tea green leafhopper Empoasca onukii Matsuda (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), the orange spiny whitefly, Aleurocanthus spiniferus (Quaintanca) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), and the green plant bugs Apolygus lucorum Meyer-Dür (Hemiptera: Miridae) are the important piercing-sucking herbivores in tea trees Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze (Theaceae). The goal of this study was to evaluate the laboratory toxicities and field control efficacies of botanical insecticides including matrine, azadirachtin, veratrine, and pyrethrin to three tea pests. Via leaf-dip bioassay, toxicity tests with botanical insecticides indicated that there were significant differences between the LC50 values for botanical insecticides within the same insect species. Matrine had the highest toxicity to E. onukii, A. spiniferus, and A. lucorum with the LC50 values of 2.35, 13.10, and 44.88 mg/liter, respectively. Field tests showed that, among four botanical insecticides, matrine at dose of 9 g a.i. ha-1 can significantly reduce the numbers of E. onukii and A. spiniferus and the infestation of A. lucorum on the tea plants. Furthermore, botanical insecticides matrine and azadirachtin had no obvious influence on the coccinellids, spiders, and parasitoids densities in tea plantations. The results of this study indicated that use of botanical insecticides, such as matrine, has the potential to manipulate the population of E. onukii, A. spiniferus, and A. lucorum and will be an effective and environmentally compatible strategy for the control of tea pests.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieaa101DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7751187PMC
November 2020

The Protective Effects of Tripeptides VPP and IPP against Small Extracellular Vesicles from Angiotensin II-Induced Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells Mediating Endothelial Dysfunction in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells.

J Agric Food Chem 2020 Nov 12;68(47):13730-13741. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

School of Food Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, P.R. China.

Endothelial dysfunction is a common disorder of vascular homeostasis in hypertension characterized by oxidative stress, malignant migration, inflammatory response, and active adhesion response of endothelial cells. The extracellular vesicles (EVs), a vital participant in vascular cell communication, have been considered responsible for vascular disease progression. However, the potential mechanism of antihypertensive peptides against the EVs-induced endothelial dysfunction is still unclear. In this study, we investigated whether the antihypertensive peptides Val-Pro-Pro (VPP) and Ile-Pro-Pro (IPP) ameliorate the effects of EVs from Ang II-induced vascular smooth muscles (VSMCs) on the endothelial dysfunction. The dihydroethidium staining, wound healing assay, 3D cell culture, and co-culture with U937 monocyte were used to investigate the oxidant/antioxidant balance, migration, tube formation, and cell adhesion in EV-induced human umbilical vein endothelial cells. VPP and IPP treatment reduced the level of reactive oxygen species and EV-induced expression of adhesion molecules and restored the ability of tube formation by upregulating endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression. VPP and IPP reduced the protein levels of IL-6 to 227.34 ± 10.56 and 273.84 ± 22.28 pg/mL, of IL-1β protein to 131.56 ± 23.18 and 221.14 ± 13.8 pg/mL, and of MCP-1 to 301.48 ± 19.75 and 428.68 ± 9.59 pg/mL. These results suggested that the VPP and IPP are potential agents that can improve the endothelial dysfunction caused by EVs from Ang II-induced VSMCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.0c05698DOI Listing
November 2020

Source apportionment and spatial distribution of potentially toxic elements in soils: A new exploration on receptor and geostatistical models.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Mar 1;759:143428. Epub 2020 Nov 1.

College of Geography and Environment, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250014, China. Electronic address:

Potentially toxic element (PTE) pollution is considered as the main soil environmental problem in the world. Source apportionment and spatial pattern of soil PTEs are essential for soil management. US-EPA positive matrix factorization (EPAPMF) and sequential Gaussian simulation (SGS) are general modeling tools for source apportionment and spatial distribution, respectively. Factor analysis with nonnegative constraints (FA-NNC) and stochastic partial derivative equations (SPDE) provided potential tools for this issue. We compared the performance of FA-NNC with PMF and the performance of SPDE with SGS, based on a dataset containing 9 PTEs in 285 topsoil samples. Three factors were determined by the two receptor models, and the source contributions were similar, suggesting that FA-NNC can validly identify quantitative sources of soil PTEs. The average source contributions were calculated based on the PMF and FA-NNC. Natural sources dominated the contents of As, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, and Zn and affected 56.0%, 38.7%, and 84.8% of the Cd, Hg, and Pb concentrations, respectively. A total of 59.8% of Hg and 12.0% of Pb were associated with atmospheric deposition from coal combustion, industrial and traffic emissions, respectively. Agricultural and industrial activities contributed 37.2% of Cd concentration. SPDE proved to be an effective geostatistical technique to simulate the spatial patterns of soil PTEs with higher prediction accuracy than SGS. Co, Cr, Cu, and Ni had similar spatial patterns with hotspots randomly distributed across the study area. The common hotspots of As, Cd, Hg, Pb, and Zn in central parts inherited their high geochemical background in mudstone, while intensive human inputs in these areas also contributed to the accumulation of Cd, Hg, and Pb.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143428DOI Listing
March 2021

Age- and refraction-related changes in anterior segment anatomical structures measured by swept-source anterior segment OCT.

PLoS One 2020 23;15(10):e0240110. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

Doheny Eye Institute and Stein Eye Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, California, United States of America.

Purpose: To assess the effects of age and refractive status on anterior segment anatomical structures, including the ciliary body, using a new swept-source anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT) device.

Methods: This prospective observational study included 63 healthy volunteers (mean age: 44.2 years). Images of the anterior segment were obtained using a new swept-source AS-OCT (ANTERION, Heidelberg Engineering GmbH, Heidelberg, Germany) with tracking and image averaging from the right eye of all participants. Repeatability as well as inter- and intra-observer reliability of biometric measurements were evaluated. The impact of image tracking and averaging on ciliary muscle measurements was tested. Univariate and multivariable statistical models were developed to evaluate the relationship of age and refractive status on anterior segment biometric measurements.

Results: For all test-retest repeatability and inter- and intra-observer reproducibility of swept-source AS-OCT measurements, high intraclass correlation (ICC) was noted (0.88-1.00). The nasal maximum ciliary muscle thickness (CMTMAX) and distance between scleral spur to the thickest point of the ciliary muscle (SSMAX) were larger than those on the temporal side (p<0.001 and p = 0.006, respectively). Nasal and temporal CMTMAX (p = 0.004 and p<0.001, respectively) and lens thickness (p<0.01) increased with age. Nasal and temporal SSMAX decreased with older age and increasing hyperopia (p = 0.01 and p<0.001, respectively). Image averaging resulted in improved ciliary muscle measurements (p = 0.008 to 0.02). Lens vault increased with older age and increased hyperopia (p<0.01). OCT measurements of the angle decreased with older age and increased hyperopia (p<0.001 to 0.03). Aqueous depth decreased with older age and increased hyperopia (p<0.01). Pupil diameter decreased with older age (p<0.01).

Conclusions: Repeatability and reproducibility of biometric measurements using the ANTERION AS-OCT were excellent. Image averaging improved the accuracy of ciliary muscle measurements. The device produced measurements of biometric parameters that described superficial and deep structures including the ciliary body and full lens thickness from a single image.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0240110PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7584205PMC
December 2020

Role of homocysteine in the development and progression of Parkinson's disease.

Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2020 11 21;7(11):2332-2338. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Taizhou University, Taizhou, China.

Homocysteine is an essential intermediate product of biochemical reactions that is present in various tissues of the human body. Homocysteine may be associated with the development and progression of Parkinson's disease. Plasma homocysteine levels in patients with Parkinson's disease are elevated compared to those of healthy individuals. High homocysteine drives PD development and progression while aggregating the clinical symptoms of PD patients. The relationship between PD and homocysteine involves multiple pathways, including nerve cell apoptosis, oxidative stress, and DNA damage. This is crucial for explaining how high homocysteine drives the PD procession. Elevated homocysteine level during PD development and progression offers a new strategy for the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acn3.51227DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7664283PMC
November 2020

Estrogen Attenuates Traumatic Brain Injury by Inhibiting the Activation of Microglia and Astrocyte-Mediated Neuroinflammatory Responses.

Mol Neurobiol 2021 Mar 21;58(3):1052-1061. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Xijing Hospital, Air Force Military Medical University, Xi'an, 710032, China.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI), which leads to high mortality and morbidity, is a prominent public health problem worldwide. Neuroinflammation involving microglia and astrocyte activation has been demonstrated to play critical role in the secondary injury induced by TBI. A1 astrocytes, which are induced by activated microglia, can directly kill neurons by secreting neurotoxic complement C3. Estrogen has been proved to possess neuroprotective effects, but the effect and underlying mechanism of estrogen on TBI-induced neuroinflammatory injury remain largely unclear. In this study, we constructed an adult male mouse model of TBI and immediately after injury treated the mice with 17β-estradiol (E2) (100 μg/kg, once every day via intraperitoneal injection) for 3 days. We found that E2 treatment significantly alleviated TBI-induced neurological deficits, neuronal injuries, and brain edema and significantly inhibited Iba1 and GFAP expression, which are markers of microglia and astrocyte activation, respectively. E2 treatment also significantly inhibited TLR4 and NF-κB protein expression, and significantly reduced the expression of the proinflammatory factors IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α. Moreover, E2 treatment significantly decreased the number of complement C3d/GFAP-positive cells and complement C3d protein expression. Taking these results together, we concluded that E2 treatment dramatically alleviates TBI neuroinflammatory injury by inhibiting TLR4/NF-κB pathway-mediated microglia and astrocyte activation and neuroinflammation and reducing A1-phenotype neurotoxic astrocyte activation. Our findings indicate that E2 treatment may be a potential therapy strategy for TBI-induced neuroinflammation injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12035-020-02171-2DOI Listing
March 2021

Impaired lung regeneration after SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Cell Prolif 2020 12 20;53(12):e12927. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Department of Basic Medicine, Haihe Clinical College of Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cpr.12927DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7645888PMC
December 2020

Exploring antimicrobial mechanism of essential oil of Amomum villosum Lour through metabolomics based on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Microbiol Res 2021 Jan 25;242:126608. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China. Electronic address:

Amomum villosum Lour (A. villosum Lour) has medicinal properties and has been widely used in China for many years. Herein we aimed to investigate the antibacterial mechanism and the metabolome variation caused by A. villosum Lour essential oil (EO) in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The metabolite profile of MRSA was acquired, and metabolic pathways were assessed for significant alterations caused upon treating bacterial cells with EO, the antibacterial mechanism of EO was further investigated in combination with multiple experiments. Metabolomics analysis revealed that 72 metabolites and 10 pathways were significantly affected. EO specifically disrupted amino acid metabolism and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, and also inhibited adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) synthesis. Furthermore, the activities of pivotal enzymes involved in the TCA cycle were suppressed. Increased ROS levels could decrease the sensitivity of MRSA to EO, improving the survival of EO-treated MRSA cells. Our data indicate that A. villosum Lour EO causes metabolic dysfunction in MRSA, leading to reduced ROS levels, disruption of the TCA cycle, inhibition of ATP synthesis, and suppression of the activities of key enzymes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micres.2020.126608DOI Listing
January 2021

NCOR1 may be a potential biomarker of a novel molecular subtype of prostate cancer.

FEBS Open Bio 2020 Dec 8;10(12):2678-2686. Epub 2020 Nov 8.

Jilin Collaborative Innovation Center for Antibody Engineering, Jilin Medical University, Jilin, China.

Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most frequently diagnosed male cancer. An earlier study of a cohort of 333 primary prostate carcinomas showed that 74% of these tumors fell into one of seven subtypes of a molecular taxonomy defined by specific gene fusions (ERG, ETV1/4 and FLI1) or mutations (SPOP, FOXA1 and IDH1). Molecular subtypes may aid in distinguishing indolent cases from aggressive cases and improving management of the disease. However, molecular features of PCa outside the seven subtypes are still not well studied. Here we report molecular features of PCa cases without typical features of the established subtypes. We performed comprehensive genomic analysis of 91 patients, including 54 primary and 37 metastatic cases, by whole-exome sequencing. TP53, SPOP, FOXA1, AR (androgen receptor) and a TMPRSS2-ERG fusion emerged as the most commonly altered genes in primary cases, whereas AR, FOXA1, PTEN, CDK12, APC and TP53 were the most commonly altered genes in metastatic cases. Nuclear receptor corepressor (NCOR1) genomic alterations have been identified in 5% of cases, which are nontypical molecular features of PCa subtypes. A novel NCOR1 c.2182G>C (p.Val728Leu) was identified in tumor. RT-PCR was used to show that this mutation caused loss of NCOR1 exon 19 and might be oncogenic in PCa. NCOR1 is involved in maintenance of mitochondrial membrane potential in PCa cells, and loss of NCOR1 might contribute to PCa progression. Therefore, NCOR1 may be a potential molecular marker of a subtype of PCa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2211-5463.13004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7714081PMC
December 2020

The value of 4D fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography in the diagnosis of lung lesions.

Nucl Med Commun 2020 Dec;41(12):1306-1312

Department of Nuclear Medicine.

Objective: This study aimed to assess the clinical value of 4D fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose PET/computed tomography (F-FDG PET/CT) in the differential diagnosis for lung lesions.

Patients And Methods: Fifty-eight patients with lung lesions including lung cancer, pneumonia nodules, and benign pulmonary nodules were enrolled. The PET/CT scan was performed immediately (15 min of dynamic scan), at 60 min (early scan), and at 120 min (delayed scan) after the injection of F-FDG. The time-activity curves (TACs) were generated from the dynamic PET. The maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) of each lesion at early and delayed scans was measured, and the retention index of SUVmax (RI-SUVmax) was calculated. The cutoff values for SUVmax were determined.

Results: Lung cancer lesions (27/31, 87.1%) exhibited a continuously rising slope of TAC, whereas pneumonia lesions (13/15, 86.66%) and benign pulmonary nodules (12/12, 100%) exhibited a continuously decreasing slope of TAC. The early-SUVmax and delayed-SUVmax in the pneumonia group were significantly lower than those in the lung cancer group, whereas notably higher than those in the benign pulmonary nodules group. The diagnostic accuracy was: delayed-SUVmax > early-SUVmax > RI-SUVmax.

Conclusion: The 4D F-FDG PET/CT exhibited excellent performance with high accuracy in the dynamic PET/CT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MNM.0000000000001289DOI Listing
December 2020

Spatial assessment models to evaluate human health risk associated to soil potentially toxic elements.

Environ Pollut 2021 Jan 23;268(Pt B):115699. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

College of Geography and Environment, Shandong Normal University, Ji'nan, 250014, China. Electronic address:

Quantifying source apportionment of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in soils and associated human health risk (HHR) is essential for soil environment regulation and pollution risk mitigation. For this purpose, an integrated method was proposed, and applied to a dataset consisting of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Se, and Zn in 273 soil surface samples. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) was used to quantitatively examine sources contributions of PTEs in soils; and the HHR arising from the identified source was determined by combining source profiles and health risk assessment; at last, sequential Gaussian simulation (SGS) was used to identify the areas with high HHR. Four sources were identified by PMF. Natural and agricultural sources affected all 9 PTEs contents with contributions ranging from 19.2% to 62.9%. 41.9% of Cd, 40.8% of Pb, 58.6% of Se, and 29.8% of Zn were controlled by industrial and traffic emissions. Metals smelting and mining explained 35.5%, 30.5%, and 24.9% of Cr, Cu, and Ni variations, respectively. Hg was dominated by atmospheric deposition from coal combustion and coking (58.7%). The mean values of the total non-carcinogenic risks of PTEs were 1.55 × 10 and 9.40 × 10 for adults and children, and the total carcinogenic risk of PTEs had an average value of 8.86 × 10. Based on source-oriented HHR calculation, natural and agricultural sources were the most important factor influencing HHR, explaining 51.0% and 49.1% of non-carcinogenic risks for children and adults, and 44.2% of carcinogenic risk. SGS indicated that 1.1% of the total area was identified as hazardous areas with non-carcinogens risk for children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115699DOI Listing
January 2021

The exploration of Parkinson's disease: a multi-modal data analysis of resting functional magnetic resonance imaging and gene data.

Brain Imaging Behav 2020 Sep 29. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Intelligent Computing and Language Information Processing, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, People's Republic of China.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the most universal chronic degenerative neurological dyskinesia and an important threat to elderly health. At present, the researches of PD are mainly based on single-modal data analysis, while the fusion research of multi-modal data may provide more meaningful information in the aspect of comprehending the pathogenesis of PD. In this paper, 104 samples having resting functional magnetic resonance imaging (rfMRI) and gene data are from Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) and Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database to predict pathological brain areas and risk genes related to PD. In the experiment, Pearson correlation analysis is adopted to conduct fusion analysis from the data of genes and brain areas as multi-modal sample characteristics, and the clustering evolution random forest (CERF) method is applied to detect the discriminative genes and brain areas. The experimental results indicate that compared with several existing advanced methods, the CERF method can further improve the diagnosis of PD and healthy control, and can achieve a significant effect. More importantly, we find that there are some interesting associations between brain areas and genes in PD patients. Based on these associations, we notice that PD-related brain areas include angular gyrus, thalamus, posterior cingulate gyrus and paracentral lobule, and risk genes mainly include C6orf10, HLA-DPB1 and HLA-DOA. These discoveries have a significant contribution to the early prevention and clinical treatments of PD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11682-020-00392-6DOI Listing
September 2020