Publications by authors named "Meiling Liu"

172 Publications

Significance of amplitude integrated electroencephalography in early stage of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and cerebral function monitoring in Neonatal Intensive Care Units.

Am J Transl Res 2021 15;13(8):9437-9443. Epub 2021 Aug 15.

Department of Pediatrics, The Central Hospital of Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture Enshi 445000, Hubei Province, China.

Objective: To investigate the role of amplitude integrated electroencephalography (aEEG) diagnosis in early stage of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), and to evaluate the feasibility of aEEG in cerebral function monitoring in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU).

Methods: 60 cases of term infants with neonatal HIE were included in the observation group, and 50 healthy term infants were enrolled as the control group. Both groups received aEEG monitoring within 6 hours after birth, and the results were analyzed.

Results: The correlation coefficient between the degree of asphyxia, SWC, SA and aEEG background activity was r = 0.571 (<0.001); r = 0.512 (<0.001) and r = 0.293 (<0.001), respectively. The correlation coefficient between HIE degree and aEEG background activity, SWC was r = 0.742 (<0.001) and r = 0.763 (<0.001), respectively. The Gessell scores of the control group at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after birth were higher than those of the mild asphyxia group and the severe asphyxia group, and the mild asphyxia group showed higher Gessell scores than the severe asphyxia group (<0.001). The predicted ROC curve of aEEG monitoring on the occurrence of neonatal HIE showed the area under the curve (AUC) = 0.6354, Std. Error = 0.05668 (95% CI: 0.5243-0.7465, = 0.0209).

Conclusion: aEEG had obvious diagnostic value in brain injury in the early stage of full-term neonates with asphyxia, and could be used to monitor the cerebral function of NICU, which is helpful for early clinical detection of brain injury of full-term neonates with asphyxia, so as to improve early diagnosis and treatment.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8430076PMC
August 2021

Targeting cancer cell plasticity by HDAC inhibition to reverse EBV-induced dedifferentiation in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

Signal Transduct Target Ther 2021 Sep 4;6(1):333. Epub 2021 Sep 4.

Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center; State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China; Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine; Guangdong Key Laboratory of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Diagnosis and Therapy, Guangzhou, China.

Application of differentiation therapy targeting cellular plasticity for the treatment of solid malignancies has been lagging. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a distinctive cancer with poor differentiation and high prevalence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. Here, we show that the expression of EBV latent protein LMP1 induces dedifferentiated and stem-like status with high plasticity through the transcriptional inhibition of CEBPA. Mechanistically, LMP1 upregulates STAT5A and recruits HDAC1/2 to the CEBPA locus to reduce its histone acetylation. HDAC inhibition restored CEBPA expression, reversing cellular dedifferentiation and stem-like status in mouse xenograft models. These findings provide a novel mechanistic epigenetic-based insight into virus-induced cellular plasticity and propose a promising concept of differentiation therapy in solid tumor by using HDAC inhibitors to target cellular plasticity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41392-021-00702-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8418605PMC
September 2021

In situ growth of TiO nanowires on TiC MXenes nanosheets as highly sensitive luminol electrochemiluminescent nanoplatform for glucose detection in fruits, sweat and serum samples.

Biosens Bioelectron 2021 Aug 28;194:113600. Epub 2021 Aug 28.

Department of Chemistry, Key Laboratory of Bioorganic Phosphorus Chemistry & Chemical Biology of Ministry of Education, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, PR China. Electronic address:

A sensitive electrogenerated chemiluminescence (ECL) biosensor for glucose was developed based on in situ growth of TiO nanowires on TiC MXenes (TiO-TiC) as the nanoplatform. Via tuning the alkaline oxidation time, different amount of TiO nanowires can be found on MXenes. An ECL biosensor for glucose was constructed by covalent immobilization of glucose oxidase (GODx) on the glycine functional TiO-TiC surface, with the ECL signal depending on the in-situ formation of HO via the specifically catalysis of glucose by GODx, resulting in the apparent increase of ECL signal. The TiO-TiC can also act as the catalyst for the oxidation of HO into O to enhance the ECL of luminol. Based on this strategy, a highly sensitive ECL biosensor for glucose was obtained in wide concentration range of 20 nM-12 mM with a low detection limit of 1.2 nM (S/N = 3). The synergistic effects of large surface area, excellent conductivity, and high catalytic activity of the TiO-TiC make the sensor highly sensitive toward glucose; the specific enzyme catalysis reaction promises excellent selectivity of the ECL sensor. The proposed biosensor has been employed to detect glucose in human serum, fruits, and sweat samples with excellent performance, providing a universal approach for glucose in various samples, which shows great prospect in clinical diagnostics and wearable sensors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bios.2021.113600DOI Listing
August 2021

Random effect based tests for multinomial logistic regression in genetic association studies.

Genet Epidemiol 2021 Oct 17;45(7):736-740. Epub 2021 Aug 17.

Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gepi.22427DOI Listing
October 2021

CRISPR screening identifies CDK12 as a conservative vulnerability of prostate cancer.

Cell Death Dis 2021 Jul 27;12(8):740. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Department of Urology, Kidney and Urology Center, Pelvic Floor Disorders Center, The Seventh Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Shenzhen, China.

Androgen receptor (AR) signaling inhibitors provide limited survival benefits to patients with prostate cancer (PCa), and worse, few feasible genomic lesions restrict targeted treatment to PCa. Thus, a better understanding of the critical dependencies of PCa may enable more feasible therapeutic approaches to the dilemma. We performed a kinome-scale CRISPR/Cas9 screen and identified cyclin-dependent kinase 12 (CDK12) as being conservatively required for PCa cell survival. Suppression of CDK12 by the covalent inhibitor THZ531 led to an obvious anti-PCa effect. Mechanistically, THZ531 downregulated AR signaling and preferentially repressed a distinct class of CDK12 inhibition-sensitive transcripts (CDK12-ISTs), including prostate lineage-specific genes, and contributed to cellular survival processes. Integration of the super-enhancer (SE) landscape and CDK12-ISTs indicated a group of potential PCa oncogenes, further conferring the sensitivity of PCa cells to CDK12 inhibition. Importantly, THZ531 strikingly synergized with multiple AR antagonists. The synergistic effect may be driven by attenuated H3K27ac signaling on AR targets and an intensive SE-associated apoptosis pathway. In conclusion, we highlight the validity of CDK12 as a druggable target in PCa. The synergy of THZ531 and AR antagonists suggests a potential combination therapy for PCa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-021-04027-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8316367PMC
July 2021

Emerging Biological Functions of IL-17A: A New Target in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?

Front Pharmacol 2021 2;12:695957. Epub 2021 Jul 2.

The Sixth Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Qingyuan People's Hospital; State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease, Sino-French Hoffmann Institute, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes high rates of disability and mortality worldwide because of severe progressive and irreversible symptoms. During the period of COPD initiation and progression, the immune system triggers the activation of various immune cells, including Regulatory T cells (Tregs), dendritic cells (DCs) and Th17 cells, and also the release of many different cytokines and chemokines, such as IL-17A and TGF-β. In recent years, studies have focused on the role of IL-17A in chronic inflammation process, which was found to play a highly critical role in facilitating COPD. Specially, IL-17A and its downstream regulators are potential therapeutic targets for COPD. We mainly focused on the possibility of IL-17A signaling pathways that involved in the progression of COPD; for instance, how IL-17A promotes airway remodeling in COPD? How IL-17A facilitates neutrophil inflammation in COPD? How IL-17A induces the expression of TSLP to promote the progression of COPD? Whether the mature DCs and Tregs participate in this process and how they cooperate with IL-17A to accelerate the development of COPD? And above associated studies could benefit clinical application of therapeutic targets of the disease. Moreover, four novel efficient therapies targeting IL-17A and other molecules for COPD are also concluded, such as Bufei Yishen formula (BYF), a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and curcumin, a natural polyphenol extracted from the root of .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.695957DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8294190PMC
July 2021

A questionnaire-based study to comprehensively assess the status quo of rare disease patients and care-givers in China.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2021 07 22;16(1):327. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Gene Therapy Center, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, 5-174 MCB, 420 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN, 55455, USA.

Background: There are over 16.8 million rare disease patients in China, representing a large community that should not be neglected. While the public lack the awareness of their existence and difficult status quo, for one reason that they exist as a rare and special group in our society, for another reason that all sectors of the community haven't introduced and propagandized them suitably. However, as a special group with more difficulties in all aspects than normal healthy persons, they need enough care and love from us. To provide a basis for policy-makers to better understand the status quo of rare disease patients and care-givers in China and to devise some new policies to improve their quality of life, a comprehensive analysis of the status quo, unmet needs, difficulty caused by the rare disease is essential.

Methods: A questionnaire-based online study of patients and care-givers (usually family members) was performed. The questionnaire was composed of 116 questions, such as the diagnosis process, treatment access, financial burden, views on patients' organizations, and a series of standardized tests to assess the quality of their life, including the SF-36, PHQ-9, PHQ-15, GAD-7, and PSQI. To examine the influence of age, disease type, and relationship to patients on the scores in these tests, statistical analysis with a general linear model was conducted.

Findings: A total of 1959 patients and care-givers participated in the survey, representing 104 rare diseases, such as lysosomal storage diseases, hemophilia, and muscular dystrophy diseases. The diagnosis was delayed for 1.4 ± 3.0 years, and patients experienced 1.6 ± 3.8 misdiagnoses between 3.2 ± 2.4 hospitals. The hospitals where diagnoses were made were highly concentrated in 10 large hospitals (43.8%) and 5 big cities (42.1%), indicating a significant inequality of medical resources. The disease often led to difficulty in social life, education, and employment, as well as financial burden that was seldom covered by medical insurance. A battery of standardized tests demonstrated poor health status, depression, somatization, anxiety, and sleeping issues among both patients and care-givers (p < 0.05). Statistical analysis of the questionnaire also showed that poor health, anxiety, depression, somatization, and sleeping problems were more prevalent in patients than in care-givers, and more prevalent in more severe diseases (e.g., hemophilia, Dravet) or undiagnosed than in other diseases.

Interpretations: This study identified the lack of rare disease awareness and legislative support as the major challenge to rare diseases in China, and makes key recommendations for policy-makers, including legislating orphan drug act, raising rare disease awareness, providing sufficient and fair opportunities about education and employment, expanding the medical insurance coverage of treatments, and protecting rights in education and employment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-021-01954-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8296703PMC
July 2021

A Comparative Analysis of Six Machine Learning Models Based on Ultrasound to Distinguish the Possibility of Central Cervical Lymph Node Metastasis in Patients With Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma.

Front Oncol 2021 25;11:656127. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Department of Ultrasonography, Binzhou Medical University Hospital, Binzhou City, China.

Current approaches to predict central cervical lymph node metastasis (CLNM) in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) have failed to identify patients who would benefit from preventive treatment. Machine learning has offered the opportunity to improve accuracy by comparing the different algorithms. We assessed which machine learning algorithm can best improve CLNM prediction. This retrospective study used routine ultrasound data of 1,364 PTC patients. Six machine learning algorithms were compared to predict the possibility of CLNM. Predictive accuracy was assessed by sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and the area under the curve (AUC). The patients were randomly split into the training (70%), validation (15%), and test (15%) data sets. Random forest (RF) led to the best diagnostic model in the test cohort (AUC 0.731 ± 0.036, 95% confidence interval: 0.664-0.791). The diagnostic performance of the RF algorithm was most dependent on the following five top-rank features: extrathyroidal extension (27.597), age (17.275), T stage (15.058), shape (13.474), and multifocality (12.929). In conclusion, this study demonstrated promise for integrating machine learning methods into clinical decision-making processes, though these would need to be tested prospectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.656127DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8270759PMC
June 2021

Direct Quantification and Visualization of Homocysteine, Cysteine, and Glutathione in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease Model Tissues.

Anal Chem 2021 07 6;93(28):9878-9886. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology and Traditional Chinese Medicine Research (Ministry of Education), College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, China.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) are chronic neurodegenerative diseases with high morbidity and mortality. Homocysteine (Hcy), cysteine (Cys), and glutathione (GSH) are closely related to AD and PD. However, the dynamics of Hcy, Cys, and GSH in the brain tissues and the potential pathogenesis between Cys/Hcy/GSH with AD and PD remain unclear. Herein, a novel fluorescent probe with multiple binding sites was rationally designed and exploited for the direct quantification of serum total Hcy and Cys along with superior optical properties. Importantly, differentiation and simultaneity fluorescence imaging of Cys, Hcy, and GSH dynamics were achieved in living cells, tissues, and mouse models of AD and PD with this probe, providing direct evidences for the relationship between Hcy/Cys/GSH and AD/PD for the first time. In addition, pathogenesis studies demonstrated that elevated Hcy and Cys levels are closely related to imbalanced redox homeostasis, increased amyloid aggregates, and nerve cell cytotoxicity. These findings will greatly promote the understanding of the functions of Hcy/Cys/GSH in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, demonstrating clinical promise for the early diagnosis and prevention of AD and PD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.1c01945DOI Listing
July 2021

Sensitive and selective detection of chromium (VI) based on two-dimensional luminescence metal organic framework nanosheets via the mechanism integrating chemical oxidation-reduction and inner filter effect.

J Hazard Mater 2021 10 22;419:126443. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology & Traditional Chinese Medicine Research (Ministry of Education, China), College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, PR China.

Two-dimensional luminescence metal organic framework nanosheets (LMOF) named NH-CuMOFs were synthesized using Cu (II) nodes coordinated with negatively charged 2-aminoterephthalic acid (NH-BDC) via a bottom-up strategy, which were first used as the fluorescent probes for the detection of chromium Cr (VI). The nanosheets possess stable fluorescence with the maximum emission wavelength of 436 nm at excitation of 338 nm that can be effectively quenched by hexavalent chromium Cr (VI). The NH-CuMOFs nanosheets show superior advantage over the linker of NH-BDC for the excellent selectivity to Cr (Ⅵ) without the interferences of other metal ions. The mechanism investigation suggested that the sensitive detection of Cr (VI) was attributed to the chemical oxidation-reduction (redox) reaction and internal filtration effect (IFE) between Cr (VI) and NH-CuMOFs nanosheets. Based on this mechanism, the quantitation of Cr (VI) was realized in the linear range of 0.1-20 μM with a detection limit of 18 nM. Moreover, the detection of Cr (VI) in real samples was also conducted with good recovery. This work provides an optical sensing nanoplatform for heavy metal ions based on two-dimensional LMOFs via a novel mechanism integrating chemical redox reaction and IFE, which may promise broad application prospect for two-dimensional luminescence nanosheets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.126443DOI Listing
October 2021

Universal Nanoplatform for Formaldehyde Detection Based on the Oxidase-Mimicking Activity of MnO Nanosheets and the In Situ Catalysis-Produced Fluorescence Species.

J Agric Food Chem 2021 Jul 23;69(26):7303-7312. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology & Traditional Chinese Medicine Research (Ministry of Education, China), College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, PR China.

Formaldehyde (HCHO) pollution is a scientific problem of general concern and has aroused wide attention. In this work, a fluorometric method for sensitive detection of formaldehyde was developed based on the oxidase-mimicking activity of MnO nanosheets in the presence of -phenylenediamine (OPD). The MnO nanosheets were prepared by the bottom-up approach using manganese salt as the precursor, followed by the exfoliation with bovine serum albumin. The as-prepared MnO nanosheets displayed excellent oxidase-mimicking activity, and can be used as the nanoplatform for sensing in fluorometric analysis. OPD was used as a typical substrate because MnO nanosheets can catalyze the oxidation of OPD to generate yellow 2,3-diaminophenazine (DAP), which can emit bright yellow fluorescence at the wavelength of 560 nm. While in the presence of formaldehyde, the fluorescence was greatly quenched because formaldehyde can react with OPD to form Schiff bases that decreased the oxidation reaction of OPD to DAP. The main mechanism and the selectivity of the platform were studied. As a result, formaldehyde can be sensitively detected in a wide linear range of 0.8-100 μM with the detection limit as low as 6.2 × 10 M. The platform can be used for the detection of formaldehyde in air, beer, and various food samples with good performance. This work not only expands the application of MnO nanosheets in fluorescence sensing, but also provides a sensitive and selective method for the detection of formaldehyde in various samples via a new mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.1c01174DOI Listing
July 2021

BMI1 Drives Steroidogenesis Through Epigenetically Repressing the p38 MAPK Pathway.

Front Cell Dev Biol 2021 13;9:665089. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Institute of Reproductive Medicine, School of Medicine, Nantong University, Nantong, China.

Testosterone biosynthesis progressively decreases in aging males primarily as a result of functional changes to Leydig cells. Despite this, the mechanisms underlying steroidogenesis remain largely unclear. Using gene knock-out approaches, we and others have recently identified as an anti-aging gene. Herein, we investigate the role of BMI1 in steroidogenesis using mouse MLTC-1 and primary Leydig cells. We show that BMI1 can positively regulate testosterone production. Mechanistically, in addition to its known role in antioxidant activity, we also report that p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling is activated, and testosterone levels reduced, in BMI1-deficient cells; however, the silencing of the p38 MAPK pathway restores testosterone production. Furthermore, we reveal that BMI1 directly binds to the promoter region of , an upstream activator of p38, thereby modulating its chromatin status and repressing its expression. Consequently, this results in the inhibition of the p38 MAPK pathway and the promotion of steroidogenesis. Our study uncovered a novel epigenetic mechanism in steroidogenesis involving BMI1-mediated gene silencing and provides potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of hypogonadism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2021.665089DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8076678PMC
April 2021

ATR kinase activity promotes antibody class switch recombination in B cells through cell cycle regulation without suppressing DSB resection and microhomology usage.

J Leukoc Biol 2021 Apr 22. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Department of Pediatrics, The Seventh Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China.

Class switch recombination (CSR) changes the effector functions of antibodies and is carried out by classical and alternative nonhomologous end joining (c-NHEJ and A-EJ) of repetitive switch (S) region double-strand breaks (DSBs). The master DNA damage response (DDR) kinase ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) is critical for CSR in part by suppressing S region DSB resection. However, whether another related DDR kinase ATM- and Rad3-related (ATR) plays similar role in CSR remains elusive. In this study, we investigated the requirement for ATR kinase activity on CSR in both c-NHEJ competent and deficient B cell lines with high-throughput sequencing of S-S junctions. We found that ATR kinase inhibition efficiently blocked both c-NHEJ- and A-EJ-mediated CSR without affecting germline transcription and activation-induced cytosine deaminase expression. In contrast to ATM, ATR does not suppress S region DSB resection and microhomology usage. In addition, ATR kinase inhibition did not affect Cas9-generated DSB end joining by either c-NHEJ and A-EJ. ATR kinase-inhibited stimulated B cells proliferate much slower than controls and exhibited altered cell cycle profile with increased G1 and G2/M phase cells. In summary, our data revealed a role for ATR in promoting both c-NHEJ- and A-EJ-mediated CSR through regulating cell proliferation upon damage without negatively influencing DSB end-joining features.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/JLB.2MA0321-064RDOI Listing
April 2021

Overexpression of circ_0021739 in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells in Women with Postmenopausal Osteoporosis Is Associated with Reduced Expression of microRNA-194-5p in Osteoclasts.

Med Sci Monit 2021 Apr 20;27:e929170. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Department of Geriatrics, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China (mainland).

BACKGROUND Postmenopausal osteoporosis, a common disease among elderly women, is linked to estrogen deficiency, mechanical loading, and genotype. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are formed through reverse splicing of the splice donor at the 3' end and the splice accepter at the 5' end in pre-mRNA and have been shown to be involved in the development of multiple diseases. Based on their high sequence conservation and stability, circRNAs may be useful biomarkers in different diseases. However, the roles of circRNAs in postmenopausal osteoporosis remain incompletely understood. MATERIAL AND METHODS Fifty-three postmenopausal women were assigned to either the postmenopausal osteoporosis group (n=28) or the control group (n=25). Reverse-transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) analysis was performed to determine the differential expression of circRNAs between the 2 groups. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was conducted to evaluate the clinical diagnostic value of circRNA. Prediction of the binding sites between circRNA and miRNAs was conducted using miRanda and RNAhybrid. The function of the circRNA in osteoclastogenesis was determined by circRNA overexpression followed by tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase staining and RT-qPCR analysis. RESULTS Among 4 circRNAs previously identified by RNA-sequencing analysis as differentially expressed in patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis, only hsa_circ_0021739 showed a significant difference in expression between the groups and was downregulated in patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis. The hsa_circ_0021739 expression level was determined to be correlated with the lumbar vertebra, femur, and forearm T-scores. Overexpression of hsa_circ_0021739 decreased the level of hsa-miR-502-5p and inhibited the differentiation of osteoclasts. CONCLUSIONS The circRNA hsa_circ_0021739 is a potential blood biomarker for postmenopausal osteoporosis. In addition, hsa-miR-502-5p is a likely target of hsa_circ_0021739, which acts to regulate the differentiation of osteoclasts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12659/MSM.929170DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8067671PMC
April 2021

A multi-dimensional EBP educational program to improve evidence-based practice and critical thinking of hospital-based nurses: Development, implementation, and preliminary outcomes.

Nurse Educ Pract 2021 Mar 31;52:102964. Epub 2020 Dec 31.

Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center, China.

Improving outcomes and quality of care through evidence-based practice (EBP) is a priority globally. But most nurses have insufficient competence in EBP. How to conduct Educational interventions to enhance clinical nurses' EBP competencies and critical thinking disposition (CTD) requires more evidence. One hundred eleven clinical nurses from a Chinese four-campus hospital were enrolled in our EBP education program. The Johns Hopkins Nursing Evidence-Based Practice Model was used to develop and guide the educational and practical sessions. Multi-dimensional learning strategies -including online self-learning, on-site lectures, workshops, and social media-facilitated group discussions-were used to facilitate the implementation of the education sessions. After education, nurses embedded evidence into practice. The Chinese versions of the EBP Believe scale (EBPB), EBP Implementation scale (EBPI), and the Simplified Chinese Version of the Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CTDI-SCV) were applied to assess the relevant competencies among clinical nurses before and after the education program. Clinical nurses' EBPB, EBPI, and CTDI-SCV scores improved. But only EBPB and EBP skills and attitudes were enhanced with a statistical difference (t = -2.980, -4.141, and -2.695, with all p < 0.01). There was a small positive association between EBPB and CTDI-SCV (r = 0.396, p < 0.01). Fifteen EBP programs were successfully accomplished.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2020.102964DOI Listing
March 2021

Impact of biochar application on gas emissions from liquid pig manure storage.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jun 29;771:145454. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding 071000, PR China; Key Laboratory for Farmland Eco-Environment of Hebei Province, Baoding 071000, PR China. Electronic address:

Biochars have been used to reduce gas emissions from manure composting practices and to recover nutrients from wastewater because of their effective sorption capacity. However, relatively less is known about the impacts of different alkaline biochars on the gas emissions from liquid manure. Materials including two commercial biochars prepared from walnut shell (WA) and coconut shell (CC), respectively, and coal (CO) were applied (with manure/biochar ratio of 20:1 in weight) to examine their influence on NH, CH, and NO emissions from liquid pig manure during a 68-d period in comparison with a control (CK, without biochars), and to investigate the evolution of the manure N mass balances and the changes in biochar properties during liquid manure storage to understand the characteristics of biochar. Compared with the CK, the application of WA, CC, and CO biochars increased the NH emissions by 4.00, 3.87, and 1.23 times, respectively, the absorbed N content of the biochars was markedly lower than the enhanced gaseous losses through NH emissions. Similarly, the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the manure with WA, CC, and CO biochar application were 6.28, 5.55, and 0.83 times greater than those observed with the CK, respectively, and were mainly attributed to the enhanced CH emissions. The significant contribution (5%-12%) of indirect GHG emissions from the enhanced NH-N losses was also identified. The hypothesis for the enhanced gas emissions from liquid manure with biochar addition has been discussed in the present study; however, further investigation in the future is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145454DOI Listing
June 2021

Near-infrared light excited UCNP-DNAzyme nanosensor for selective detection of Pb and in vivo imaging.

Talanta 2021 May 29;227:122156. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology and Traditional Chinese Medicine Research, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, 410081, PR China. Electronic address:

Due to similar charges, atomic radii, and chemical properties of most metal ions, the selective sensing of these metal ions and imaging in vivo is still a challenge. A DNAzyme assemblied and near-infrared (NIR) light excited nanosensor was developed to detect and image Pb. In this nanosensor, NaYF:Yb, Er upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) introduced as NIR-to-Vis transducer were the donor of luminescence resonance energy transfer (LRET), and DNAzyme-functionalized black hole quencher 1 (BHQ1) acted as energy transfer acceptor. This proposed nanosensor was applied to detecting Pb in solution with high sensitivity and selectivity. Furthermore, we have successfully demonstrated the imaging ability of this nanosensor towords Pb in living cells and early-stage zebrafish with negligible autofluorescence and good photostability. The UCNP-DNAzyme nanosensor would enrich the method of imaging Pb in vivo, and might serve as a potential tool for understanding the metabolic pathways of Pb and the mechanism of lead poisoning in biological system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.talanta.2021.122156DOI Listing
May 2021

AtLURE1/PRK6-Mediated Signaling Promotes Conspecific Micropylar Pollen Tube Guidance.

Plant Physiol 2021 Feb 26. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

State Key Laboratory for Protein and Plant Gene Research, Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences at the College of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, People's Republic of China.

Reproductive isolation is a prerequisite to form and maintain a new species. Multiple prezygotic and postzygotic reproductive isolation barriers have been reported in plants. In the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana conspecific pollen tube precedence controlled by AtLURE1/PRK6-mediated signaling has been recently reported as a major prezygotic reproductive isolation barrier. By accelerating emergence of own pollen tubes from the transmitting tract, A. thaliana ovules promote self-fertilization and thus prevent fertilization by a different species. Taking advantage of a septuple atlure1null mutant, we now report on the role of AtLURE1/PRK6-mediated signaling for micropylar pollen tube guidance. Compared to wild-type ovules, atlure1null ovules displayed remarkably reduced micropylar pollen tube attraction efficiencies in modified semi-in vivo A. thaliana ovule targeting assays. However, when prk6 mutant pollen tubes were applied, atlure1null ovules showed micropylar attraction efficiencies comparable to that of wild-type ovules. These findings indicate that AtLURE1/PRK6-mediated signaling regulates micropylar pollen tube attraction in addition to promoting emergence of own pollen tubes from the transmitting tract. Moreover, semi-in vivo ovule targeting competition assays with the same amount of pollen grains from both A. thaliana and A. lyrata showed that A. thaliana wild-type and xiuqiu mutant ovules are mainly targeted by own pollen tubes, and that atlure1null mutant ovules are also entered to a large extent by A. lyrata pollen tubes. Taken together, we report that AtLURE1/PRK6-mediated signaling promotes conspecific micropylar pollen tube attraction representing an additional prezygotic isolation barrier.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/plphys/kiab105DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8195523PMC
February 2021

Moringa oleifera leaf extracts protect BMSC osteogenic induction following peroxidative damage by activating the PI3K/Akt/Foxo1 pathway.

J Orthop Surg Res 2021 Feb 20;16(1):150. Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Department of Geriatrics, Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, 246 Xuefu Road, Nangang District, Harbin, 150086, China.

Objective: We aimed to investigate the therapeutic effects of Moringa oleifera leaf extracts on osteogenic induction of rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) following peroxidative damage and to explore the underlying mechanisms.

Methods: Conditioned medium was used to induce osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs, which were treated with HO, Moringa oleifera leaf extracts-containing serum, or the phosphatidyl inositol-3 kinase (PI3K) inhibitor wortmannin, alone or in combination. Cell viability was measured using the MTT assay. Cell cycle was assayed using flow cytometry. Expression levels of Akt, phosphorylated (p)Akt, Foxo1, and cleaved caspase-3 were analyzed using western blot analysis. The mRNA levels of osteogenesis-associated genes, including alkaline phosphatase (ALP), collagen І, osteopontin (OPN), and Runx2, were detected using qRT-PCR. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, as well as superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-PX), and ALP activity were detected using commercially available kits. Osteogenic differentiation capability was determined using alizarin red staining.

Results: During osteogenic induction of rat BMSCs, HO reduced cell viability and proliferation, inhibited osteogenesis, increased ROS and MDA levels, and decreased SOD and GSH-PX activity. HO significantly reduced pAkt and Foxo1 expression, and increased cleaved caspase-3 levels in BMSCs. Additional treatments with Moringa oleifera leaf extracts partially reversed the HO-induced changes. Wortmannin partially attenuated the effects of Moringa oleifera leaf extracts on protein expression of Foxo1, pAkt, and cleaved caspase-3, as well as mRNA levels of osteogenesis-associated genes.

Conclusion: Moringa oleifera leaf extracts ameliorate peroxidative damage and enhance osteogenic induction of rat BMSCs by activating the PI3K/Akt/Foxo1 pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13018-021-02284-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7896384PMC
February 2021

MicroRNA expression profiles in the seminal plasma of nonobstructive azoospermia patients with different histopathologic patterns.

Fertil Steril 2021 05 16;115(5):1197-1211. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

National Health Commission Key Laboratory of Male Reproductive Health, National Research Institute for Family Planning, Beijing, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

Objective: To investigate microRNA (miRNA) expression profiles in the seminal plasma of nonobstructive azoospermia (NOA) patients with different histopathologic patterns and evaluate potential noninvasive diagnostic biomarkers of NOA.

Design: Sequencing and validation using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR).

Setting: Reproductive center and research institute.

Patient(s): Thirteen patients with NOA (7 Sertoli cell-only syndrome [SCOS] and 6 hypospermatogenesis to spermatogenesis arrest [SA]) and 7 normal fertile controls for sequencing, six samples per group for validation; 54 patients with NOA (27 SCOS and 27 SA) and 19 normal fertile controls for large-sample qRT-PCR analysis.

Intervention(s): None.

Main Outcome Measure(s): MicroRNA expression profiles in the seminal plasma of patients with NOA with different histopathologic patterns were assessed using high-throughput sequencing and validated using qRT-PCR.

Result(s): There were 78 overexpressed and 132 underexpressed miRNAs in patients with SCOS and 32 up-regulated and 90 down-regulated miRNAs in patients with SA compared with fertile men with normozoospermia. Two down-regulated and one up-regulated miRNA were validated using qRT-PCR, which indicated that the qRT-PCR and sequencing results were basically consistent. Hsa-miR-34c-5p expression was significantly lower in the seminal plasma of patients with NOA than normal fertile controls. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve(AUC) for hsa-miR-34c-5p was 0.979 and 0.987 in the seminal plasma of patients with SA and patients with SCOS, respectively, compared with normal fertile controls. The AUC was 0.799 for hsa-miR-34c-5p in the seminal plasma between patients with SA and patients with SCOS. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway enrichment analysis of differentially expressed miRNA target genes revealed that the Notch signaling pathway was one of the most abundant signaling pathways. The expression of Hes5, an effector of the Notch signaling pathway, was significantly higher in the seminal plasma of patients with NOA than normal fertile controls.

Conclusion(s): MicroRNA expression profiles in seminal plasma were altered in patients with NOA compared with normal fertile controls. The profiles differed in patients with NOA with different pathologic patterns. We speculate that miR-34c-5p in seminal plasma could be a potential noninvasive biomarker to diagnose patients with NOA and distinguish different pathologic types of NOA. The Notch signaling pathway may be involved in the pathogenesis of NOA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2020.11.020DOI Listing
May 2021

Color Judgments of #The Dress and #The Jacket in a Sample of Different Cultures.

Perception 2021 Mar 18;50(3):216-230. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Sweden.

Two viral photographs, #The Dress and #The Jacket, have received recent attention in research on perception as the colors in these photos are ambiguous. In the current study, we examined perception of these photographs across three different cultural samples: Sweden (Western culture), China (Eastern culture), and India (between Western and Eastern cultures). Participants also answered questions about gender, age, morningness, and previous experience of the photographs. Analyses revealed that only age was a significant predictor for the perception of The Dress, as older people were more likely to perceive the colors as blue and black than white and gold. In contrast, multiple factors predicted perception of The Jacket, including age, previous experience, and country. Consistent with some previous research, this suggests that the perception of The Jacket is a different phenomenon from perception of The Dress and is influenced by additional factors, most notably culture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0301006621991320DOI Listing
March 2021

Self-Catalyzed Surface Reaction-Induced Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer on Cysteine-Stabilized MnO Quantum Dots for Selective Detection of Dopamine.

Anal Chem 2021 02 5;93(7):3586-3593. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology & Traditional Chinese Medicine Research (Ministry of Education, China), College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, PR China.

A simple one-step ultrasonic method was developed for the synthesis of luminescent MnO quantum dots (MnO QDs) in the presence of cysteine, in which cysteine acted as the exfoliating agent and stabilization ligand. The cysteine-stabilized MnO QDs (Cys-MnO QDs) possess a fluorescence quantum yield of 4.7%, and the fluorescence intensity of Cys-MnO QDs is sensitive to dopamine (DA). The mechanism by which the Cys-MnO QDs catalyzed the self-polymerization of DA to form polydopamine nanoparticles (PDA NPs) and caused the fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between MnO QDs and PDA NPs was revealed. The sensing platform displayed a wide detection range (0.1-200 μM) with a low detection limit of 28 nM for the detection of DA. Moreover, the Michael addition/Schiff base reaction between the PDA NPs and cysteine on MnO QDs was demonstrated to facilitate the excellent selectivity toward DA detection in the presence of various interferences. This work not only develops a robust method for the preparation of highly luminescent MnO QDs but also provides a universal strategy on the basis of surface chemical reaction-induced FRET for the detection of DA with high sensitivity and selectivity, which is promising in the application of clinical diagnosis, drug delivery, and fluorescence-guided cancer therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.0c05102DOI Listing
February 2021

Genetic analysis of maize shank length by QTL mapping in three recombinant inbred line populations.

Plant Sci 2021 Feb 22;303:110767. Epub 2020 Nov 22.

College of Biological Science and Technology, Liaoning Province Research Center of Plant Genetic Engineering Technology, Shenyang Key Laboratory of Maize Genomic Selection Breeding, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang, 110866, China. Electronic address:

In maize, the shank is a unique tissue linking the stem to the ear. Shank length (SL) mainly affects the transport of photosynthetic products to the ear and the dehydration of kernels via regulated husk morphology. The limited studies on SL revealed it is a highly heritable quantitative trait controlled by significant additive and additive-dominance effects. However, the genetic basis of SL remains unclear. In this study, we analyzed three maize recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying the SL. The data indicated the SL varied among the three RIL populations and was highly heritable. Additionally, the SL was positively correlated with the husk length (HL), husk number (HN), ear length (EL), and ear weight (EW) in the BY815/K22 (BYK) and CI7/K22 (CIK) RIL populations, but was negatively correlated with the husk width (HW) in the BYK RIL population. Moreover, 10 quantitative trait loci (QTL) for SL were identified in the three RIL populations, five of which were large-effect QTL. The percentage of the total phenotypic variation explained by the QTL for SL was 13.67 %, 20.45 %, and 30.81 % in the BY815/DE3 (BYD), BYK, and CIK RIL populations, respectively. Further analyses uncovered some genetic overlap between SL and EL, SL and ear row number (ERN), SL and cob weight (CW), and SL and HN. Unlike the large-effect QTL qSL BYK-2-2, which spanned the centromere, the other four large-effect QTL were delimited to a single peak bin via bin map. Furthermore, 2, 5, 6, and 12 genes associated with SL were identified for qSL BYK-2-1, qSL CIK-2-1, qSL CIK-9-1, and qSL CIK-9-2, respectively. Five of the candidate genes for SL may contribute to the hormone metabolism and sphingolipid biosynthesis regulating cell elongation, division, differentiation, and expansion. These results may be relevant for future studies on the genetic basis of SL and for the molecular breeding of maize based on marker-assisted selection to develop new varieties with an ideal SL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plantsci.2020.110767DOI Listing
February 2021

CRISPR/Cas9 screening identifies a kinetochore-microtubule dependent mechanism for Aurora-A inhibitor resistance in breast cancer.

Cancer Commun (Lond) 2021 02 20;41(2):121-139. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510060, P. R. China.

Background: Overexpression of Aurora-A (AURKA) is a feature of breast cancer and associates with adverse prognosis. The selective Aurora-A inhibitor alisertib (MLN8237) has recently demonstrated promising antitumor responses as a single agent in various cancer types but its phase III clinical trial was reported as a failure since MLN8237 did not show an apparent effect in prolonging the survival of patients. Thus, identification of potential targets that could enhance the activity of MLN8237 would provide a rationale for drug combination to achieve better therapeutic outcome.

Methods: Here, we conducted a systematic synthetic lethality CRISPR/Cas9 screening of 507 kinases using MLN8237 in breast cancer cells and identified a number of targetable kinases that displayed synthetic lethality interactions with MLN8237. Then, we performed competitive growth assays, colony formation assays, cell viability assays, apoptosis assays, and xenograft murine model to evaluate the synergistic therapeutic effects of Haspin (GSG2) depletion or inhibition with MLN8237. For mechanistic studies, immunofluorescence was used to detect the state of microtubules and the localization of Aurora-B and mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK).

Results: Among the hits, we observed that Haspin depletion or inhibition marginally inhibited breast cancer cell growth but could substantially enhance the killing effects of MLN8237. Mechanistic studies showed that co-treatment with Aurora-A and Haspin inhibitors abolished the recruitment of Aurora-B and mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK) to centromeres which were associated with excessive microtubule depolymerization, kinetochore-microtubule (KT-MT) attachment failure, and severe mitotic catastrophe. We further showed that the combination of MLN8237 and the Haspin inhibitor CHR-6494 synergistically reduced breast cancer cell viability and significantly inhibited both in vitro and in vivo tumor growth.

Conclusions: These findings establish Haspin as a synthetic lethal target and demonstrate CHR-6494 as a potential combinational drug for promoting the therapeutic effects of MLN8237 on breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cac2.12125DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7896750PMC
February 2021

Coffee Intake Interacted with the rs1944420, rs7236090, and rs2849382 Haplotype to Influence Breast Cancer Risk in Middle-Aged Women.

Nutr Cancer 2021 Jan 18:1-10. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Department of Food and Nutrition, Obesity/Diabetes Research Center, Hoseo University, Asan, Chungnam, South Korea.

We hypothesized that the haplotype of genetic variants increases breast cancer risk and interacts with lifestyles in Korean women. We identified single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) of associated with breast cancer risk after adjusting for covariates in 390 breast cancer patients and 36,726 women without any cancer that participated in the Korean Genomic Epidemiology Study (KoGES). An allelic genetic model showed that three SNPs (rs1944420, rs7236090, and rs2849382) in the gene were significantly associated with breast cancer (ORs = 1.28, 0.84, and 0.79, respectively). The participants with the minor allele of the haplotype with three SNPs had 1.65-fold higher breast cancer risk than those with the major allele, after adjusting for covariates. Serum C-reactive protein concentration had a positive association with breast cancer risk. A significant interaction was also observed between the minor allele of the haplotype and coffee intake ( = 0.03). A low coffee intake in women with the minor allele presented a higher breast cancer risk than a low coffee intake in those with the major allele. In conclusion, the risk of breast cancer risk was higher in post-menopausal women with the minor allele of the haplotype, and consuming more than 1 cup of coffee per day reduced the risk. The results of this study could be applied to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01635581.2021.1871926DOI Listing
January 2021

A Method for Subtype Analysis with Somatic Mutations.

Bioinformatics 2021 Jan 8. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, 98109, U.S.A.

Motivation: Cancer is a highly heterogeneous disease, and virtually all types of cancer have subtypes. Understanding the association between cancers subtypes and genetic variations is fundamental to the development of targeted therapies for patients. Somatic mutation plays important roles in tumor development and has emerged as a new type of genetic variations for studying the association with cancer subtypes. However, the low prevalence of individual mutations poses a tremendous challenge to the related statistical analysis.

Results: In this article, we propose an approach, SASOM, for the association analysis of cancer subtypes with somatic mutations. Our approach tests the association between a set of somatic mutations (from a genetic pathway) and subtypes, while incorporating functional information of the mutations into the analysis. We further propose a robust p-value combination procedure, DAPC, to synthesize statistical significance from different sources. Simulation studies show that the proposed approach has correct type I error and tends to be more powerful than possible alternative methods. In a real data application, we examine the somatic mutations from a cutaneous melanoma dataset, and identify a genetic pathway that is associated with immune-related subtypes.

Availability And Implementation: The SASOM R package is available at https://github.com/rksyouyou/SASOM-pkg. R scripts and data are available at https://github.com/rksyouyou/SASOM-analysis.

Supplementary Information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btaa1090DOI Listing
January 2021

Variation in IgE binding potencies of seven Artemisia species depending on content of major allergens.

Clin Transl Allergy 2020 Nov 18;10(1):50. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Departments of Experimental Immunology and of Otorhinolaryngology, UMC, University Of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ , Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Artemisia weed pollen allergy is important in the northern hemisphere. While over 350 species of this genus have been recorded, there has been no full investigation into whether different species may affect the allergen diagnosis and treatment. This study aimed to evaluate the variations in amino acid sequences and the content of major allergens, and how these affect specific IgE binding capacity in representative Artemisia species.

Methods: Six representative Artemisia species from China and Artemisia vulgaris from Europe were used to determine allergen amino acid sequences by transcriptome, gene sequencing and mass spectrometry of the purified allergen component proteins. Sandwich ELISAs were developed and applied for Art v 1, Art v 2 and Art v 3 allergen quantification in different species. Aqueous pollen extracts and purified allergen components were used to assess IgE binding by ELISA and ImmunoCAP with mugwort allergic patient serum pools and individual sera from five areas in China.

Results: The Art v 1 and Art v 2 homologous allergen sequences in the seven Artemisia species were highly conserved. Art v 3 type allergens in A. annua and A. sieversiana were more divergent compared to A. argyi and A. vulgaris. The allergen content of Art v 1 group in the seven extracts ranged from 3.4% to 7.1%, that of Art v 2 from 1.0% to 3.6%, and Art v 3 from 0.3% to 10.5%. The highest IgE binding potency for most Chinese Artemisia allergy patients was with A. annua pollen extract, followed by A. vulgaris and A. argyi, with A. sieversiana significantly lower. Natural Art v 1-3 isoallergens from different species have almost equivalent IgE binding capacity in Artemisia allergic patients from China.

Conclusion And Clinical Relevance: There was high sequence similarity but different content of the three group allergens from different Artemisia species. Choice of Artemisia annua and A. argyi pollen source for diagnosis and immunotherapy is recommended in China.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13601-020-00354-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7677751PMC
November 2020

Feasibility of MRI-based radiomics features for predicting lymph node metastases and VEGF expression in cervical cancer.

Eur J Radiol 2021 Jan 21;134:109429. Epub 2020 Nov 21.

Department of Radiology, Chongqing University Cancer Hospital & Chongqing Cancer Institute & Chongqing Cancer Hospital, Chongqing 400030, People's Republic of China; Key Laboratory for Biorheological Science and Technology of Ministry of Education (Chongqing University), Chongqing University Cancer Hospital & Chongqing Cancer Institute & Chongqing Cancer Hospital, Chongqing 400044, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

Purpose: To investigate the predictive value of MRI-based radiomics features for lymph node metastasis (LNM) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in patients with cervical cancer.

Method: A total of 163 patients with cervical cancer were enrolled in this study. A total of 134 patients were included for LNM differentiation, and 118 were included for VEGF expression discrimination. The patients were randomly assigned to the training group or test group at a ratio of 2:1. Radiomics features were extracted from T1WI enhanced and T2WI MRI scans of each patient, and tumor stage was also documented according to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) guidelines. The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator algorithm was used for feature selection. The results of 5-fold cross validation were applied to select the best classification models. The performances of the constructed models were further evaluated with the test group.

Results: Sixteen radiomics features and the FIGO stage were selected to construct the LNM discrimination model. The LNM prediction model achieved the best diagnostic performance, with areas under the receiver operating curve (AUCs) of 0.95 and 0.88 in the training group and test group, respectively. Nine radiomics characteristics were screened to build the VEGF prediction model, with AUCs of 0.82 and 0.70 in the training group and test group, respectively. Decision curve analysis confirmed their clinical usefulness.

Conclusions: The presented radiomics prediction models demonstrated potential to noninvasively differentiate LNM and VEGF expression in cervical cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrad.2020.109429DOI Listing
January 2021

Vegetation richness, species identity and soil nutrients drive the shifts in soil bacterial communities during restoration process.

Environ Microbiol Rep 2021 Aug 20;13(4):411-424. Epub 2020 Dec 20.

Shapotou Desert Research and Experiment Station, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu, 730000, China.

Soil bacteria play an essential role in functioning of ecosystems and maintaining of biogeochemical cycles. However, little is known about changes in the compositions and functional groups of soil bacterial communities during different restoration stages. The influences of aboveground vegetation and belowground soil properties on soil bacterial communities were also unclear during this process. Here we sequenced the soil bacterial communities in different stages of sand fixation. Sand fixation increased the diversity of the bacterial communities, among which the populations of Actinobacteria, Acidobacteria and Gemmatimonadetes changed significantly. The function prediction showed sand fixation increased Gram-positive and aerobic bacteria. Bacterial structure is significantly correlated with plant richness, coverage and biomass. In particular, we found species identity was an important determinant in structuring bacterial composition. Soil properties were all significantly correlated with soil bacterial community richness and diversity. Fusobacteria was strongly positively correlated with sand, Chloroflexi with total N and Gemmatimonadetes with SOM and total C. It suggested that soil nutrients (TC, TN and SOM) have large consequences for soil bacterial community dissimilarities. These results indicated that vegetation richness, especially species identity, together with improvement in soil nutrients, play key roles in driving the shifts in soil microbial community structure and function during restoration process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1758-2229.12913DOI Listing
August 2021
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